Thursday, January 7, 2016

Parsha Va'eira part 1 stories

Parsha Va’eira Part 1

I was pretty close to finishing but broke out with a but broke out with a 39C fever aka close to 103F.

Last week we saw Moshe bitterly disappointed that he could not help Am Yisrael in fact their situation is now much worse. This week we start off Moshe explains to Pharaoh that if he does not let the people go, the L-RD will leash a plague of blood on the mighty Nile River. Then he reiterates that there will be a plague of Frog and lice comes without warning Pharaoh and this time the magicians and priests call it the “finger of G-D” but still he is not convinced. He will have two more chances to let the Bnei Yisrael go but if not HASHEM will harden his heart. This week we have 7 plagues and gnats/flies are not one of them contrary to the poor translations.

6:2 And God spoke unto Moses, and said unto him: 'I am the LORD; 3 and I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, as God Almighty, but by My name YHWH I made Me not known to them.

The Tetragrammaton NAME was not known to the Avos but is now revealed to Moshe. The full 72 letter NAME very few know and there is a Rabbinical Dispute as to what letters and how to pronounce it. One is not advised to seek it out and I am talking about myself.

But [with] My name YHWH, I did not become known to them: It is not written here לֹא הוֹדַעְךְתִּי, “but My Name YHWH I did not make known to them,” but לֹא נוֹדַעְךְתִּי, “I did not become known.” [I.e.,] I was not recognized by them with My attribute of keeping faith, by dint of which My name is called YHWH, [which means that I am] faithful to verify My words, for I made promises to them, but I did not fulfill [them while they were alive].

4 And I have also established My covenant with them, to give them the land of Canaan, the land of their sojornings, wherein they sojourned. 5 And moreover I have heard the groaning of the children of Israel, whom the Egyptians keep in bondage; and I have remembered My covenant. 6 Wherefore say unto the children of Israel: I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm, and with great judgments;

Now we shall have miracles and judgements on Mitzrayim an in the future on the nations of the world. For 2,000 years, we have been the punching bag of the nations and the 10 tribes about 500 more years. We mention the redemption with an outstretched arm and great judgements on Pessach.

7 and I will take you to Me for a people, and I will be to you a God; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. 8 And I will bring you in unto the land, concerning which I lifted up My hand to give it to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob; and I will give it you for a heritage: I am the LORD.' 9 And Moses spoke so unto the children of Israel; but they hearkened not unto Moses for impatience of spirit, and for cruel bondage.

Look what happened when we trusted in you and you and Aaron went to Pharaoh.

10 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 11 'Go in, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land.'

Moshe will do what he is commanded to do but knows that he will be rejected. Still he has no confidence in himself with his speech impediment.

12 And Moses spoke before the LORD, saying: 'Behold, the children of Israel have not hearkened unto me; how then shall Pharaoh hear me, who am of uncircumcised lips?' 13 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, and gave them a charge unto the children of Israel, and unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt.

He will be the prophet and big brother Aaron will translate what Moshe says into understandable terms.

14 These are the heads of their fathers' houses: the sons of Reuben the first-born of Israel: Hanoch, and Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. These are the families of Reuben. 15 And the sons of Simeon: Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman. These are the families of Simeon. 16 And these are the names of the sons of Levi according to their generations: Gershon and Kohath, and Merari. And the years of the life of Levi were a hundred thirty and seven years. 17 The sons of Gershon: Libni and Shimei, according to their families. 18 And the sons of Kohath: Amram, and Izhar, and Hebron, and Uzziel. And the years of the life of Kohath were a hundred thirty and three years. 19 And the sons of Merari: Mahli and Mushi. These are the families of the Levites according to their generations. 20 And Amram took him Jochebed his father's sister to wife; and she bore him Aaron and Moses. And the years of the life of Amram were a hundred and thirty and seven years. 21 And the sons of Izhar: Korah, and Nepheg, and Zichri. 22 And the sons of Uzziel: Mishael, and Elzaphan, and Sithri. 23 And Aaron took him Elisheba, the daughter of Amminadab, the sister of Nahshon, to wife; and she bore him Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar. 24 And the sons of Korah: Assir, and Elkanah, and Abiasaph; these are the families of the Korahites. 25 And Eleazar Aaron's son took him one of the daughters of Putiel to wife; and she bore him Phinehas. These are the heads of the fathers' houses of the Levites according to their families. 26 These are that Aaron and Moses, to whom the LORD said: 'Bring out the children of Israel from the land of Egypt according to their hosts.' 27 These are they that spoke to Pharaoh king of Egypt, to bring out the children of Israel from Egypt. These are that Moses and Aaron. 28 And it came to pass on the day when the LORD spoke unto Moses in the land of Egypt,

All this was just to show us Moshe’s lineage.

29 that the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 'I am the LORD; speak thou unto Pharaoh king of Egypt all that I speak unto thee.' 30 And Moses said before the LORD: 'Behold, I am of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh hearken unto me?'

Moshe has no self-confidence.

7:1 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'See, I have set thee in God's stead to Pharaoh; and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. 2 Thou shalt speak all that I command thee; and Aaron thy brother shall speak unto Pharaoh, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land. 3 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. 4 But Pharaoh will not hearken unto you, and I will lay My hand upon Egypt, and bring forth My hosts, My people the children of Israel, out of the land of Egypt, by great judgments. 5 And the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD, when I stretch forth My hand upon Egypt, and bring out the children of Israel from among them.'

Moshe he told that he will go in vain but shall succeed in the end for “I am the    L-RD!”

6 And Moses and Aaron did so; as the LORD commanded them, so did they. 7 And Moses was fourscore years old, and Aaron fourscore and three years old, when they spoke unto Pharaoh.

The Pharaoh who was worried about the redemption of the Bnei Yisrael 80 years ago is gone and this is his son or grandson ruling Mitzrayim.

8 And the LORD spoke unto Moses and unto Aaron, saying: 9 'When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying: Show a wonder for you; then thou shalt say unto Aaron: Take thy rod, and cast it down before Pharaoh, that it become a serpent.' 10 And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so, as the LORD had commanded; and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent. 11 Then Pharaoh also called for the wise men and the sorcerers; and they also, the magicians of Egypt, did in like manner with their secret arts. 12 For they cast down every man his rod, and they became serpents; but Aaron's rod swallowed up their rods.

They were charmed snakes but Aaron’s rod swallowed them and returned to being a rod which is a better “trick” before Pharaoh but it did not impress him.

But Aaron’s staff swallowed their staffs: After it had again become a staff, it swallowed them all. — [from Shab. 97a]

13 And Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken. 14 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Pharaoh's heart is stubborn, he refuses to let the people go. 15 Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goes out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river's brink to meet him; and the rod which was turned to a serpent shalt thou take in thy hand. 16 And thou shalt say unto him: The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has sent me unto thee, saying: Let My people go, that they may serve Me in the wilderness; and, behold, hitherto thou hast not hearkened; 17 thus says the LORD: In this thou shalt know that I am the LORD--behold, I will smite with the rod that is in my hand upon the waters which are in the river, and they shall be turned to blood. 18 And the fish that are in the river shall die, and the river shall become foul; and the Egyptians shall loathe to drink water from the river.'

Pharaoh sort of yawned and basically said in Egyptian ‘Ho hum’ and acted bored.

19 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Say unto Aaron: Take thy rod, and stretch out thy hand over the waters of Egypt, over their rivers, over their streams, and over their pools, and over all their ponds of water, that they may become blood; and there shall be blood throughout all the land of Egypt, both in vessels of wood and in vessels of stone.' 20 And Moses and Aaron did so, as the LORD commanded; and he lifted up the rod, and smote the waters that were in the river, in the sight of Pharaoh, and in the sight of his servants; and all the waters that were in the river were turned to blood.

Aaron was chosen for this as the river had saved Moshe 80 years earlier. So even for the inanimate HASHEM did his Chessed.

21 And the fish that were in the river died; and the river became foul, and the Egyptians could not drink water from the river; and the blood was throughout all the land of Egypt. 22 And the magicians of Egypt did in like manner with their secret arts; and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken.

With their secret rites: Heb. בְּלָטֵיהֶם, an incantation which they uttered silently and in secret (בְּלָּט). [This follows Onkelos.] Our Rabbis, however, said: בְּלָטֵיהֶם means acts of demons. בְּלַהִטֵיהֶם means acts of magic. — [from Sanh. 67b] [See above commentary on verse 11.] And Pharaoh’s heart was steadfast: saying, “You are doing this through sorcery. ‘You are bringing straw to Aphraim,’ a city that is full of straw. So too you bring magic to Egypt, which is [already] full of magic.” - from Exod. Rabbah 9:11, Men. 85a]

23 And Pharaoh turned and went into his house, neither did he lay even this to heart. 24 And all the Egyptians dug round about the river for water to drink; for they could not drink of the water of the river. 25 And seven days were fulfilled, after that the LORD had smitten the river.

They could not work the Bnei Yisrael during this time and had to buy water from the Bnei Yisrael in order to drink and live.

26 And the LORD spoke unto Moses: 'Go in unto Pharaoh, and say unto him: Thus says the LORD: Let My people go, that they may serve Me. 27 And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs. 28 And the river shall swarm with frogs, which shall go up and come into thy house, and into thy bed-chamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people, and into thine ovens, and into thy kneading-troughs. 29 And the frogs shall come up both upon thee, and upon thy people, and upon all thy servants.'

A baker was hung for a small pebble in the bread now there would be frogs jumping into the oven as the bread rose up.

8:1 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Say unto Aaron: Stretch forth thy hand with thy rod over the rivers, over the canals, and over the pools, and cause frogs to come up upon the land of Egypt.' 2 And Aaron stretched out his hand over the waters of Egypt; and the frogs came up , and covered the land of Egypt.

Again it is Aaron who must do the job as it is the river.

3 And the magicians did in like manner with their secret arts, and brought up frogs upon the land of Egypt. 4 Then Pharaoh called for Moses and Aaron, and said: 'Entreat the LORD, that He take away the frogs from me, and from my people; and I will let the people go, that they may sacrifice unto the LORD.' 5 And Moses said unto Pharaoh: 'Have thou this glory over me; against what time shall I entreat for thee, and for thy servants, and for thy people, that the frogs be destroyed from thee and thy houses, and remain in the river only?' 6 And he said: 'Against to-morrow.' And he said: 'Be it according to thy word; that thou may know that there is none like unto the LORD our God. 7 And the frogs shall depart from thee, and from thy houses, and from thy servants, and from thy people; they shall remain in the river only.'

The first plague did not affect Pharaoh as he had wine and beer to drink but now the second one was disrupting his meals.

8 And Moses and Aaron went out from Pharaoh; and Moses cried unto the LORD concerning the frogs, which He had brought upon Pharaoh. 9 And the LORD did according to the word of Moses; and the frogs died out of the houses, out of the courts, and out of the fields. 10 And they gathered them together in heaps; and the land stank. 11 But when Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he hardened his heart, and hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken.

No more plague no more repentance that is why the 10 Makkos. So now 8 more are in store for Pharaoh unless he repents.

12 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Say unto Aaron: Stretch out thy rod, and smite the dust of the earth, that it may become lice throughout all the land of Egypt.'

Now the dust of the earth had hidden the body of the Egyptian.

Say to Aaron: It was inappropriate for the dust to be smitten through Moses since it had protected him when he slew the Egyptian and had hidden him in the sand. [Therefore,] it was smitten through Aaron [instead]. — [from Tanchuma, Va’era 14, Exod. Rabbah 10:7]

13 And they did so; and Aaron stretched out his hand with his rod, and smote the dust of the earth, and there were lice upon man, and upon beast; all the dust of the earth became gnats throughout all the land of Egypt. 14 And the magicians did so with their secret arts to bring forth lice, but they could not; and there were gnats upon man, and upon beast. 15 Then the magicians said unto Pharaoh: 'This is the finger of God'; and Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he hearkened not unto them; as the LORD had spoken.

It is the finger of God: This plague is not through sorcery; it is from the Omnipresent. — [from Exod. Rabbah 10:7] As the Lord had spoken: “But Pharaoh will not hearken to you” (Exod. 7:4).

A road to peace Moshe vs Gandhi by Rabbi Dov Greenberg
As terror continues to threaten our brothers and sisters in Israel, let us turn to the greatest leader of the Jewish people, Moses, for a genuine road map toward peace and liberation.  
Moses' profile
The Hebrew Bible shares only three incidents about Moses' life prior to G-d choosing him as a leader and prophet (Exodus Chapter 2, this week's portion):

1) As a young man, Moses goes out among his brethren and sees an Egyptian overseer brutally beating a Hebrew. He strikes down the oppressor, burying him in the sand.

2) The next day, Moses attempts to bring peace between two Hebrews who are fighting, but the aggressor is indignant and says, "Who appointed you as a prince and leader over us? Do you mean to kill me as you killed the Egyptian?" Realizing that his intervention the previous day had already become known, Moses escapes from Egypt and finds refuge in Midian.

3) In Midian, Moses probably wants nothing more than peace and tranquility. Instead, he finds himself embroiled in yet another conflict. He witnesses the local shepherds bullying a group of girls who were first in line to draw water from a well. He immediately rises to their defense, driving off the offending shepherds.

These are the only episodes we know about Moses (besides the circumstances of his birth) prior to his selection by G-d as a leader, because they express a paradigm indispensable to leadership: A leader must have the courage to battle injustice wherever it exists. In all three instances, Moses is deeply committed to fighting injustice. He intervenes when a non-Jew oppresses a Jew, when two Jews fight, and when non-Jewish men oppress non-Jewish women. When it is necessary to kill, he is willing to kill. When it is sufficient to talk he is ready to talk; when it is necessary to fight, he is prepared to fight. One who rejects the choice of aggression out of a sense of compassion may be a kind human being but a wholly inadequate leader, because the long-term results of a failure to battle evil are far worse.
Politically Incorrect
In modern terms, Moses is politically incorrect. He does not lecture the Egyptian taskmaster about "the cycle of violence" or give him a lesson on "rage management." Moses knows that by the time he will complete his lecture the Hebrew might be dead. Moses is aware that at times, violence is a moral, though difficult, choice. It saves the lives of the innocent.

Prohibiting moral killing, guarantees immoral killing. It is violence used by police that stops violent criminals from murdering and hurting innocent people. There are many innocent men and women alive today solely because someone used violence to save their lives. If someone had killed the hijackers of 9/11 before they commandeered the planes, thousands of lives would have been saved.
Gandhi's Advice
Throughout history, many chose not to emulate Moses' example. During the Second World War, for example, when it appeared that Nazi Germany will attempt to capture England, Mahatma Gandhi offered the British the following advice:

"I would like you to lay down the arms you have which are useless for saving you or humanity. You will invite Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini to take what they want of the countries you call your possessions. Let them take possession... If these gentlemen choose to occupy your homes, you will vacate them. If they do not give you free passage out, you will allow yourself, man, woman and child, to be slaughtered, but you will refuse to owe allegiance to them."

To the Jews of Germany Gandhi offered a similar message:

"I am as certain as I am dictating these words that the stoniest German heart will melt [if only the Jews] adopt active non-violence. Human nature ... unfailingly responds to the advances of love. I do not despair of his [Hitler's] responding to human suffering even though caused by him." Had Gandhi convinced the English to lay down their arms and practice non-violence, the Jewish people would have been annihilated, democracy and human rights would have disappeared, and the world would have been plunged into a new Dark Age of unimaginable cruelty. War, while always unfortunate and painful, is not always evil; sometimes, fighting a war is the most moral thing to do.

Astonishingly, the nation that Moses created -- Israel -- has in recent years emulated Gandhi rather than Moses. With the Oslo accords and the Gaza withdrawal, we invited our sworn enemies to take parts of our homeland in the belief that they would reciprocate with peace and good will. Instead of declaring outright war against the terrorists and their infrastructure, we chose to practice restraint and non-violent diplomacy. Many of us believed then, and many Jews still believe, that the stoniest terrorist heart will melt in response to our peaceful advances.
Chamberlain and Churchill
In 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain appeased Adolf Hitler, by allowing the German Fuhrer to occupy the Sudetenland for a mere promise of peace. Chamberlain then returned to England and announced that he had brought "Peace in our time."  Winston Churchill denounced him as a naive appeaser who believed that he could buy Hitler's good will by giving in to his immoral demands. "You were given a choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war."

Sadly, the same has transpired with Israel. By relinquishing parts of our homeland, Israel chose dishonor. In return, Israel received war. Today we are in the midst of the worst bloodletting in Israeli history. The relentless terror is a direct result of the tragic policy that believes in appeasing terrorists and not destroying them. Appeasement is suicidal for the innocent and ensures victory for the evil.

The terror war on Israel, like World War II, is a war against the Jews. Losing is catastrophic. Losing is not an option. This is no time for appeasement or restraint. This is a time for righteous might.

The prophets of Israel were the first to conceive of peace as an ideal. Isaiah gave voice to the great words engraved in the imagination of the West: "Nation shall not lift up sword against Nation; neither shall they learn war anymore."  But the way to hasten Isaiah's vision is to fight evil, not allow it to flourish. At another time when the Jews needed to forcefully confront their enemies, the prophet Joel declared, "Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears." The use of moral violence must always be the last resort. But when all other attempts fail, righteous might is the only response to immoral violence.

*) Rabbi Dov Greenberg is the director of Chabad at Stanford University.

Andrea Cohen's Story --- 1/1/2016
sent via Yaffah Batya DaCosta on Friday, January 1, 2016 at 2:28am
My name is Andrea Cohen i live in Israel now after experiencing a huge miracle 5 years ago, that I'd really love to share with you. A facebook message could never do it justice.
I've returned to Judaism to my family's complete surprise after 500+ years of secrecy. My family is from Sicily and believed we were faithful typical Sicilian I Catholic Americans, I was born and raised in New York like a typical Sicilian American girl despite my unhealthy obsession with the holocaust, and reading the Bible on Saturday morning as a little girl. Womanhood took over, forgetting all that, moving on to flight attendant training in Daytona beach Florida where I met and fell in love with a secular Israeli Kohain. Thanks to our forbidden civil marriage at the time, and birth of our son, I contemplated how to raise our child, questioning my own "faith:" finding i was raised in a false religion, and very quickly realizing my foremothers were quite possibly Jewish. Many signs brought me to that idea. I wanted to be a Jew. I explained that to my husband and he explained a kohen cannot marry a convert. This put me in a jam.
I wanted to live my life as a Jew and raise my children as such, and quite possibly was about to divorce him in order to end our forbidden marriage and go on my way to becoming a Jew. I wasn't so sure Hashem would give me such a hard test. Either way I prayed and cried out loud with heavy tears To Hashem that if my suspicions of being Jewish were real to please provide me with proof and fast so I would know what to do. After all, the reasons I married my husband was for his G-d fearing , Torah loving, spiritual qualities, despite his outward secular lifestyle at the time. He was observant in many areas such as kashrut, tefillin, observing Shabbat in certain ways, and these had become very dear to me and I felt at home with these observances. So I was bent on finding if we are Jewish, which of course my grandmother denied. Despite the signs I showed her that we are different. She unfortunately didn't know the certain things she did were Jewish rituals, she felt they were just Sicilian rituals, she told me, no way she's happy she's not a Jew, because everyone's always trying to kill the Jew's, and never to forget it.!
Anyhow trying to make a long story short, through a Chabad rabbi in Rome was connected to a Jewish man, an expert archivist, Jewish genealogist, who traveled to Bronte Sicily, and unearthed 11 generations of fore mothers, family tree mother to daughter, in the basement of the church archives, the only records that survived the fires of this town in Sicily that sits at the foot of one of the world's most active volcanos. These records connected me to families that were proven Jew's that were tried tested and taxed during inquisition times. He's put me together all of my evidences . Photocopies of records, plus his own expertise on the matter which I then went on to present to countless beit dinim over the course of 4 years, birth of a second son, rejection from the Jewish community+ family, friends...finally by miracle through my husband's family brought my case to the beit din ha Gadol in Jerusalem, where the head of the beit din, the Av beit din, sat on my case investigating it, and presented it to the beit din who then accepted me to return to Judaism without conversion, and gave me permission to marry my Husband, a kohain, and his status remained as a kohain. It was such a big miracle we almost died from the pain of the processes and then again from the shock of yes after the whole world told me I wasn't Jewish and told us we would never be allowed to marry. But It was all G-ds plan, and we made it, Baruch Hashem, throughout this process we both became completely observant, my husband was my teacher, and we both very quickly returned to Judaism, together, in the merit of this struggle, that strengthened our faith so strong that it should never again be lost. Baruch Hashem I'm here in Israel now where the journey never ends! Baruch Hashem, we were brought close to Chabad and have a wonderful community we live with now, with great Rabbis and rebbetzins who continue to help us grow, and now have a lovely growing family with 4 little sweet children . Thanks for taking the time for reading my story ( be continued) Shabbat shalom!

I received this question from a potential convert “A. W.” and thought the question so nice that it was worth publishing and answering here: Why are there things that have no answer other than to check with your rabbi? Shouldn't they all be in agreement on the answer to any question? How is what is "right" in one orthodox community possibly not "right" in another. This is not a sarcastic question; I'm converting to I really would like to understand.

Hezekiah replied: Ashkenazi and Sephardic have different Halachos.

Joseph wrote: Each Minchag is different. Even down to very minor things like how many times to wash the hands for Netilas Yadayim and when to say the prayer. Or IF to say the prayer after washing in the morning. Each Minchag is different and it is strange for newcomers but it is what it is. So sometimes there really is no other answer besides see your Rav. 

Look up Hillel’s answer on Halacha and then Shammai. They both had different answers but both are written in Mishna.

Now, A. W. asks: But why could you not choose the one that made more sense to you? Why would you have to follow the thought of your rabbi? Would it be considered a transgression of Torah? If two rabbis have differing views, would one congregation be transgressing the Torah while the other is obeying? I guess I'm not understanding how both could be right.

Skylar wrote a number of answer: In short both custom is the words and working of the Living G-D.

Rabbi Yosef Serebryanski Shlita wrote: Each person has his/her individual connection with the Creator and each person is a unique expression of the Creator. If we all tried to be the same then we would not be able to fulfill the Creator's purpose in our creation.

The questions posed are great questions and a lot of good answer are given. Skylar basically answered what the voice from heaven stated (Bas Kol) that both Hillel and Shammai are Divrei ELOKIM Chaim = the words of the Living G-D. For example various customs on waiting between eating milk after meat or various Pessach customs.

My wife should go according my customs as the Minchag goes according to the tribe of the husband. Her family came from Romania so she waiting 5 plus hours between meat and milk and my family lived in the Austrian Empire and the waiting time there is three hours. If she had married a Sephardi it would have been 6 hours or a man from Holland 72 minutes. This comes from the meal spacing in each country which became a local custom.

Peanuts on Pessach for example Rabbi Moshe Feinstein came from the Baltic and the German Jews in NY ate Peanuts on Pessach and so does Chabad but the Hungarian and Romanian Jews do not and the Sephardim eat Peanuts. American Maize should not fall under any custom and is good for baby food but the majority of Ashkenazim in Israel do not eat it while Quinoa which has become a recent grain and canola is permitted but Mustard which grows the same way was forbidden in the Talmudic days because of the farming method then and many- many communities don’t use it.

I know that it is confusing but one should when they convert choose a custom. I know when I was becoming religious my Rabbi held by no water touching Matzos and my mother reminded me that we used to eat Matzo balls on the night of the Seder. As the Shabbos song goes about the tribes: Each under his encampment and each under his flag. Just pick one set of customs and follow it until you find yourself a husband and take on his.

Furthermore the Minchagim are correct for those who follow. One sometimes gets dispensation if a close family member aka father-in-law or brother-in-law on Pessach or a more liberal Shmita Observance has a different custom but one should check with his Rabbi on how to act. . I almost forgot. I am a very strict on observing Shmita according to the Chazon Ish. During my duty as first line of defense by the Syrian Border, I went to Rabbi Simcha HaCohain Kuk Shlita who is very strict on observing Shmita and makes sure that Rehovot gets only non-Jewish fruits and vegetables during Shmita. I asked him what do I do in the army? He answered that the Heter that the army uses is perfectly good but upon returning home, I should return to my regular and strict observance. Also I have a custom of not eating in the house of a mourner. It does not mean any more than my not eating at a house of a mourner even though normally I eat at the person’s house because during mourning, I only eat at the house of a close relative for that is my custom. The Sephardim want you to make a blessing on food in their house because it is there custom and when my mother passed on, I had food out in my house. Let us not confuse Halacha and Minchag.

Lastly, Rav Wolfe of Rishon Le Tzion used to have three Psak Dinim ready. One for the very strict observing Jew. One for the ordinary Orthodox Jew and one for the most liberal observing Jew.   

P.S. I almost forgot. I am a very strict on observing Shmita according to the Chazon Ish. During my duty as first line of defense by the Syrian Border, I went to Rabbi Simcha HaCohain Kuk Shlita who is very strict on observing Shmita and makes sure that Rehovot gets only non-Jewish fruits and vegetables during Shmita. I asked him what do I do in the army? He answered that the Heter that the army uses is perfectly good but upon returning home, I should return to my regular and strict observance.

From Yaffah Rabbi Sternbuch Shlita talks in Hebrew of Russia vs. Turkey, the Gaon from Vilna and Moshiach:

From Reuven K. Conservative Judaism by moving towards the Reform is neither selling Socialist Judaism or Orthodox Torah Judaism and is slowly going the way of all rebellious movements in Judaism.

Bnei Menashe in India suffer some damage in India:

Jerry Lewis hid a film of a clown taking children to the holocaust it was too much to produce and he just could not go on:

Inyanay Diyoma

Terrorist from Friday is an Israeli Arab with a violent criminal past and a clear danger to society:,7340,L-4747481,00.html

Tel Aviv: There remains a question as to where the murderer fled.

The sniper of Chevron that murdered Shalhevet Pass is back and operating again:

Hezballah the first of their revenge program for somebody like Samir Kuntar who they did not agree with in his life: (the film with the bridge being taken down was months ago to make way for the subway).

More trouble in Chevron and Yerushalayim:,7340,L-4748440,00.html

Even though I disagree with Ben Dror Yemini, I am always impressed with his writing and that is why I present his views for they come from deep thought:,7340,L-4747586,00.html

443 Laser terrorists caught.

Have a good Shabbos all,

Rachamim Pauli