Friday, May 13, 2016

Parsha Emor, 50th anniversary of my return to Judaism

Good Shabbos all. Israel is a week ahead of the Diaspora. This will be probably the last time I mention the Diaspora Parsha which is Pasha Kedoshim as this continues for three more months.

Parsha Emor

This week is a continuation of the last two weeks. First atoning for sins and then making the nation holy. Now it is time to have a separation from holy to holy in the seed of the Cohanim. For even an ordinary Cohain has to act differently and marry better quality than that an ordinary person who can marry a divorced woman. (Even if we say that the husband was horrible, still she chose him.) The ordinary Cohain can marry a widow. However, the Cohain Gadol can only marry a virgin excluding even the poor widow.

21:1 And the LORD said unto Moses: Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them: There shall none defile himself for the dead among his people;

We see this when the sons of Aaron passed away, the Leviim cousins took care of the burial and bodies.

2 except for his kin, that is near unto him, for his mother, and for his father, and for his son, and for his daughter, and for his brother;

Even though for an ordinary Cohain it is permissible it is better to relegate the duties to a non-Cohain. It is customary today to walk after the coffin a little except the Kabbalistic custom and then after burial pray from afar on the pathway.

3 and for his sister a virgin, that is near unto him, that hath had no husband, for her may he defile himself.

If he sister passed away young or was a spinster all her life, he may attend to the burial chores like the other relatives mentioned above.

4 He shall not defile himself, being a chief man among his people, to profane himself.

All the laws which we mentioned above apply only to an ordinary Cohain but not the Cohain HaGadol who does not even leave Yerushalayim.

5 They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corners of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh. 6 They shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God; for the offerings of the LORD made by fire, the bread of their God, they do offer; therefore they shall be holy.

Now normal Jews are forbidden to shave the corners of their beards or make the cuttings on their flesh since the Cohanim are the exception to Am Yisrael in excellence and Kedusha, that is repeated here. However, the holiness goes deeper than a plain person. Henceforth, the reasons why their Kedusha goes deeper than the ordinary Israeli. Even the women that are permitted to them are holier.

7 They shall not take a woman that is a harlot, or profaned; neither shall they take a woman put away from her husband; for he is holy unto his God.
I can understand quickly the harlot as she goes with the highest or even first bidder. However, a woman profaned by rape or incest can make a wonderful wife. However, I have watched enough testimony by such women to realize that they have been hurt deep inside and their who life has been changed.

Still a woman divorced because her husband was a drunkard, disgusting, criminal, stunk, beat her or even of less an intelligence or social class does not make for a bad wife. In fact, she might be a wonderful Baalas Ha Beis (Yiddish = Balabusta) [fine wife of good quality]. However, she has been rejected by one husband whether her fault or not makes her Pasul for the Cohain.

8 Thou shalt sanctify him therefore; for he offers the bread of thy God; he shall be holy unto thee; for I the LORD, who sanctify you, am holy. 9 And the daughter of any priest, (If a Kohen’s daughter becomes desecrated through adultery) if she profanes herself by playing the harlot, she profanes her father: she shall be burnt with fire.

Because her holiness is higher than that of a Jew or Levi, she is also treated special and judged accordingly.

If [a kohen’s daughter] becomes desecrated through adultery: Heb. כִּי תֵחֵל. [The word תֵּחֵל here, stems from the word חִלּוּל, desecration, and not from the word הַתְחָלָה, beginning, and thus, the phrase here means:] If she becomes desecrated (תִּתְחַלֵּל) through a forbidden union, whereby she had a marriage-bond to a man and she committed adultery-whether [this bond had been] a betrothal or a marriage. And our Rabbis differ with regards to the matter [i.e., as to which stage of marriage-bond is referred to here]. All agree, however, that Scripture did not speak of a single woman. — [Sanh. 50b-51a] She desecrates her father: She has desecrated and degraded his honor, for [people] will say of him, “Cursed is he who fathered this one! Cursed is he who raised this one!” - [Sanh. 52a]

10 And the priest that is highest among his brethren, upon whose head the anointing oil is poured, and that is consecrated to put on the garments, shall not let the hair of his head go loose, nor rend his clothes; 11 neither shall he go in to any dead body, nor defile himself for his father, or for his mother; 12 neither shall he go out of the sanctuary, nor profane the sanctuary of his God; for the consecration of the anointing oil of his God is upon him: I am the LORD. 13 And he shall take a wife in her virginity. 14 A widow, or one divorced, or a profaned woman, or a harlot, these shall he not take; but a virgin of his own people shall he take to wife. 15 And he shall not profane his seed among his people; for I am the LORD who sanctify him.

These are extra prohibitions for a Cohain Gadol.

16 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 17 Speak unto Aaron, saying: Whosoever he be of thy seed throughout their generations that hath a blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God.

The Cohain had to be fit and I head of one Cohain who did not deal with a toothache because of this:

18 For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath anything maimed, or anything too long, 19 or a man that is broken-footed, or broken-handed, 20 or crook-backed, or a dwarf, or that hath his eye overspread, or is scabbed, or scurvy, or hath his stones crushed; 21 no man of the seed of Aaron the priest, that hath a blemish, shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire; he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God. 22 He may eat the bread of his God, both of the most holy, and of the holy. 23 Only he shall not go in unto the veil, nor come nigh unto the altar, because he hath a blemish; that he profane not My holy places; for I am the LORD who sanctify them. 24 So Moses spoke unto Aaron, and to his sons, and unto all the children of Israel.

The next chapter continues with this and includes an involuntary release of seed and therefore after marital relations, a Cohain must go to the Mikvah to serve HASHEM.

… 23:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: The appointed seasons of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are My appointed seasons.

This section deal with all the Yomim Tovim of Am Yisrael. We start out from the holiest followed by two of the three Regelim then the Tishrei Yomim Tovim starting from Rosh Hashanah.
3 Six days shall work be done; but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of work; it is a Sabbath unto the LORD in all your dwellings.

Solemn day of rest for all Jews not just Orthodox. But wait over the years I have been trying to convince my Conservative and Reform Readers to observe the Shabbos. However, I came across the following Statistic from the PEW Institute research which shocked the core of my being. The population of the Modern Orthodox are 170,000 adults and 47,000 children. Observe the Seder 98% Fast on Yom Kippur 90% Shabbos Candles 78% Observe Kashrus 83% Go the Synagogue at least once a week 67% Do not handle money on Shabbos 81% Believe firmly in HASHEM 77% What is also bad that there are border-line cases in the Charedi Communities that smoke and do so on Shabbos or go out dating non-religious youths their age both males and females. The Rabbis know and they hush this up to make everybody in their realms great and they have no problems.

I don’t claim to be a solver of problems. In fact, those who follow me over the years that I have written Torah on the net don’t find me a fire and brimstone Rabbi, but as for the statistics I can only tell you this: What is not a problem in this world will be a big one in the next. Your Yetzer will tell you go out forget about Shabbos, Kashrus and Family Purity. It is not a matter of having a onetime fling if 17% don’t fully observe Shabbos or somebody in a fit of passion put the Mikvah aside and succumbed once and then regretted it. Only 78% light Shabbos Candles among “Orthodox” in the USA!!! This is no big deal to spend a few dollars and have aluminum foil to protect from fire and even many non-observant Jews light Shabbos Candles and keep Kosher to one degree or another at home even if it is not completely perfect. When I was in the hospital with Oxygen all about, I lit a Chanucha Menorah with electrical lights that supplied me with.

How can somebody call himself Orthodox and not observe the minimum requirements of Mitzvos. I spend more money with compassion to feed stray cats and for my dog and fish each year than I spend on Shabbos Candles in perhaps ten years. What is the matter with these people? 77% believe firmly in HASHEM perhaps that is the problem, but they must believe a bit to call themselves Orthodox. Perhaps one needs Mussar and learning to overcome the weak belief for the 23%. Where are the 2% that don’t have a Seder? I know of a disabled Conservative Ger who held a Seder with Matzos and one or two other things due to poverty. But the TORAH does not mince words and when it says those who do not observe Shabbos and without a Korban a Seder shall be cut off from their people. Kares is in the next world! Remember Gehennom lasts at maximum 12 months although Kaf Keller can be very long. Kares is forever or until one has a reincarnation to repent which might be centuries away.

As for those folks who for some reason or other violated these fundamental commands and beliefs of Am Yisrael I can only remind you that sincere repentance, prays and charity will annul or atone for the evil decree upon you.

… 9 And the LORD spoke unto Moses saying: 10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When ye are come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring the sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest unto the priest. 11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you; on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it. 12 And in the day when ye wave the sheaf, ye shall offer a he-lamb without blemish of the first year for a burnt-offering unto the LORD. 13 And the meal-offering thereof shall be two tenth parts of an ephah of fine flour mingled with oil, an offering made by fire unto the LORD for a sweet savor; and the drink-offering thereof shall be of wine, the fourth part of a hin. 14 And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor fresh ears, until this selfsame day, until ye have brought the offering of your God; it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the day of rest, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the waving; seven weeks shall there be complete; 16 even unto the morrow after the seventh week shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall present a new meal-offering unto the LORD. 17 Ye shall bring out of your dwellings two wave-loaves of two tenth parts of an ephah; they shall be of fine flour, they shall be baked with leaven, for first-fruits unto the LORD. …

Rabbi Simon Jacobson wrote the following which Aish got permission to print. The link is here for the daily meditations:  With the mitzvah of counting the 49 days, known as Sefiras Ha'Omer, the Torah invites us on a journey into the human psyche, into the soul. There are seven basic emotions that make up the spectrum of human experience. At the root of all forms of enslavement, is a distortion of these emotions. Each of the seven weeks between Passover and Shavuot is dedicated to examining and refining one of them.
The seven emotional attributes are:
  1. Chesed ― Loving-kindness
  2. Gevurah ― Justice and discipline
  3. Tiferet ― Harmony, compassion
  4. Netzach ― Endurance
  5. Hod ― Humility
  6. Yesod ― Bonding
  7. Malchut ― Sovereignty, leadership
The seven weeks, which represent these emotional attributes, further divide into seven days making up the 49 days of the counting. Since a fully functional emotion is multidimensional, it includes within itself a blend of all seven attributes. Thus, the counting of the first week, which begins on the second night of Pesach, as well as consisting of the actual counting ("Today is day one of the Omer...") would consist of the following structure with suggested meditations:
Upon conclusion of the 49 days we arrive at the 50th day ― Mattan Torah. After we have achieved all we can accomplish through our own initiative, traversing and refining every emotional corner of our psyche, we then receive a gift ('mattan' in Hebrew) from above. We receive that which we could not achieve with our own limited faculties. We receive the gift of true freedom ― the ability to transcend our human limitations and touch the divine.

For tonight: Day 21 ― Malchut of Tiferet: Nobility in Compassion
Examine the dignity of your compassion. For compassion to be complete (and enhance the other six aspects of compassion) it must recognize and appreciate individual sovereignty. It should boost self-esteem and cultivate human dignity. Both your own dignity and the dignity of the one benefiting from your compassion.
Is my compassion expressed in a dignified manner? Does it elicit dignity in others? Do I recognize the fact that when I experience compassion as dignified it will reflect reciprocally in the one who receives compassion?
Exercise for the day: Rather than just giving charity, help the needy help themselves in a fashion that strengthens their dignity.

The two-room, high-ceilinged studio where illustrator and animator Joseph Bau worked for much of his adult life appears mostly unchanged on Holocaust Remembrance Day 2016, his drafting table still laid with containers of brushes and pens, the walls hung with his characteristic broad-stroked caricatures, the original tiled floors and walls cracked and chipped in places.
His daughters, Clila and Hadassah Bau, wouldn’t have it any other way.
Their father’s workplace, where the Holocaust survivor created his original paintings, illustrations, animations and top-secret forgeries for the Mossad — a fact they only learned after his death — is where the two sisters, now both in their 60s, pay homage to their parents’ Holocaust history, offering a piece of Bau performance art to whomever has an hour to spare.
“It’s the smallest museum in the world,” Hadassah Bau likes to say. “He built it all himself.”
Their father, said the sisters repeatedly, was one of a kind. A humorous, loving, creative “startup-ist,” said Hadassah Bau, using the popular term for Israeli high-tech entrepreneurs, “he was always trying something different, always creating something new.”
He had a penchant for invention, and it was a skill set that probably saved him more than once during the Holocaust. He and his wife, Rebecca Tannenbaum — whom he met when the two were imprisoned in the Plaszow concentration camp outside Krakow, before Bau was sent to Oskar Schindler’s factory and his wife to Auschwitz — believed in miracles, and often told their daughters that miracles happened everywhere, all the time.

Clila (left) and Hadassah Bau tell the story of their father’s art and their parents’ Holocaust history at the Joseph Bau House in Tel Aviv, on Holocaust Remembrance Day, May 5, 2016. (Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)
The sisters, each dressed in a T-shirt bearing a reproduction of their father’s art, told parts of their parents’ story in English on this particular Holocaust Remembrance Day to a group of American tourists from Florida and Minnesota, seated on black folding chairs in the main room of the studio.
In September 1938, Joseph Bau was about to start his second year at Poland’s Krakow University as an art major when the German troops invaded Poland and sent Krakow’s Jews into the walled ghetto.
Every Jew in the ghetto needed some kind of job, said Hadassah Bau. Her father had been the only student in his major to study calligraphy, the art of Gothic lettering, which were ancient German letters.
“He fell in love with it,” she said.
The only thing he had brought with him to the ghetto was his case of pens and brushes, a prescient choice, said Hadassah Bau. He drew a sign, in Gothic lettering, announcing himself as an artist and calligrapher, and the Nazis came looking for him to draft maps and signs for the ghetto.
“He always said that art saved his life,” continued Hadassah Bau.
Bau’s art saved others as well. He became known as a master forger, faking documents and papers that allowed hundreds of Jews to escape the ghetto and the Plaszow concentration camp, where he and others were sent from the Krakow ghetto.
Joseph Bau’s signature, which is more easily read when turned sideways. (Courtesy Joseph Bau website)
In the labor camp, Bau continued working for the Nazis as a draughtsman. When he was commanded one day to create a blueprint — a complicated task in those years requiring natural sunlight to reproduce the technical drawing on light-sensitive sheets — he panicked, knowing there wasn’t enough sunlight on that particular day to reproduce the negative of the original drawing.
He headed outdoors, knowing he would be shot if he didn’t fulfill the task, and was holding up the technical drawing, hoping for a miracle, when a young woman passed by. In a moment of concentration-camp flirtation, Bau held the drawing up to her face, and when he returned to the office, found that the negative had succeeded, and he had the necessary blueprint.
That crisis averted, he sought out the young woman, Rebecca Tannenbaum, and the two conducted a clandestine courtship in the camp, knowing that if they were caught, both would be shot. Their relationship culminated in a secret wedding ceremony held in the dark of night in one of the women’s barracks, where more than a thousand women could be housed at a time, said Clila Bau.
Bau’s mother performed the ceremony, using silver rings that a jeweler in the camp’s watchmaker shop had made from a silver spoon. Bau traded the ring for weeks of his daily bread ration. The two consummated their marriage on the third row of wooden beds, sharing the space with the other women who slept there. When the horn was blown the next morning for roll call, the women all laid on top of Bau in order to hide him from the Nazi officers.
The Bau wedding was immortalized in the film Schindler’s List, fictionalizing some of the details, said Hadassah Bau — “My mother always said they didn’t have a chuppah like that, because who had cloth just lying around?” — and creating a strange kind of celebrity for the family.
The pair became known for their attempts to bring humor and joy to their fellow inmates. Bau made a deck of playing cards that he called “Hope” cards, featuring images of people during more normal times. He would pull them out when someone was losing hope, said Hadassah Bau, showing them that they could look like that again, with worries as mundane as professional goals or family arguments.
He also created a book of poems, written on small squares of cardboard paper collected from the Nazis’ discarded cigarette boxes. The book, which contained a small, pressed flower he had given to his wife, was kept inside the case of artists’ tools he had managed to keep hidden in the camp.
An oil painting of Oskar Schindler by Joseph Bau, who stayed in touch with his savior for the rest of his life. (Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)
The case was taken from Bau while he was still in the camp, but miraculously turned up at Schindler’s factory when Bau was moved there.
“From then on, for the rest of his life,” said Hadassah Bau, “he kept it with him at all times.”
It was only in 1993 on the couple’s 50th wedding anniversary — when Schindler’s List was being screened in Israel and reporters came to interview the couple — that Joseph Bau found out that it was his wife who had worked to get his name on Schindler’s list.
The Baus found each other after the war — “another story of miracles,” Hadassah Bau said — got married again in Krakow, where she, their older daughter, was born, and made their way to Israel in 1950.
In Israel, Bau devoted himself to learning Hebrew, turning to illustration, movies and animation with time, and working as a master forger for the Mossad. Known as the Israeli ‘Walt Disney,’ he produced animated shorts for movie theaters and television, and created the opening and closing titles and credits for nearly every Israeli movie made from the 1950s though the 1970s.
Their family, said Hadassah Bau, was a happy one, where jokes, comical songs and humor were valued above all else.
The artistic gene was also passed on to his children and grandchildren, all of whom work in the creative arts.
“Art, for us, is everything,” said Hadassah Bau.
She and her sister have run the nonprofit museum for the last 19 years, touring the world to tell their parents’ story, and are now raising money to publish their father’s concentration camp book of poems, The World and I and their mother’s diary, In The Name of God! and translate his memoir, Dear God! Have You Ever Gone Hungry? into English.
The Joseph Bau House on Berdichevski Street in Tel Aviv, one of the more dilapidated buildings on a street of renovated Bauhaus homes, May 5, 2016 (Jessica Steinberg/Times of Israel)
When their mother died in 1997, said Hadassah Bau, it was nearly impossible for their father to find the will to live. But the museum was his idea, and when he died in 2002, it was already up and running.
Their family history is crucial, said the sisters, a piece of the Holocaust that can never be forgotten. It’s a sentiment they’ve passed on to their children as well — successfully, it seems, as Hadassah Bau’s son married his own wife in the same place where his grandparents got married: on the grounds of the Plaszow concentration camp.

50th anniversary of my starting to believe in HASHEM. Part 1

What started out as a morning dream right before I woke up was to change my life. I was an atheist or at least agnostic in my belief. I observed more or less nothing. My family on my mother’s side were Reform Jews for over 100 years I was the product of all this. My father’s father broke away from traditional Judaism from a family that was born into the world of a Jewish Publisher and exposed too much to modernity and at the age of 17, his father had died and his older brother who converted in order to teach in the University influenced him. This and the fact that most likely he had been taken to the Kaporos ceremony or his father had examined a Shochet in action. The slaughter of the chickens, the German -Austrian propaganda and his older brother had gotten him to give up.

I posted this five years ago when my friend Carl mentioned here was still alive. He passed away last year on Chaf Tammuz so may this mention raise his Neshama. Now on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of two private miracles, I am posting this week the occurrence of the first one and next two weeks the continuation.

As I wrote last week, I am about to tell a very-very personal story. It was the spark that initiated my becoming Frum. But first a bit of a background first: I was brought up a 6th Generation Reform Jew. My grandfather, a cigar smoker, had insisted that I start learning in Reform Sunday School for my Bar Mitzvah so after the High Holidays of 1956 (5716) my mother enrolled me in the Steven Wise Free Synagogue. It was almost completely free of being a Synagogue and anybody who went there could not easily become the Wise son.

I was just a little over 9 and 1/2 when I introduced our first Chanucha into our house and little be known to me the first Seder that I was to conduct would only be reported to my dying grandfather in the cancer ward of Montefiore Hospital in the Bronx. I never had what Rabbi Simon Jacobson wrote this year:
“Tatte, ich vel ba dir fregen fir kashes…” (Father, I will ask you four questions).
That is how I – and millions of other children – would begin asking the traditional four questions at the annual Passover Seder.
This year, for the first time in my life, I do not have my father before me to ask him the questions. I will not sit at his table, as I did for so many years, watching him quietly smile as we would pose the four questions.

No I had to conduct the Seder myself, because my father had been a child sent to a Catholic Orphanage at the age of 3 during WWI and he never had a Seder from his anti-religious father. I even tried to answer the questions in my own way from my scanty knowledge of Torah on that first Seder. Due to my bed time and it was daylight savings time, the Seder was conducted before Sun down. In fact we had no knowledge of selling Chametz or the forbidden use of Chametz. This was in fact the first year that we had Matzos in the house. My mother treated me to a dish called Gefilte Fish that I had never heard of and for me made Matzo Ball Soup. (Somehow this tradition had penetrated her generation.)

As the Reform wear their Tallisim as a scarf and we had no Tallis in the house, I grabbed the hand me down Scarf that I inherited from my anti-religious grandfather to have some sort of link to the elders and conducted the Seder in English from the Reform book that I had received from the "Temple". My father told me that I was making a joke of the religion to which I answered that I had no Tallis and this was the closest thing that I had and a link with my forefathers.

A year or two later, I visited my friend whom I was to learn in my adulthood the son of members of the Communist Party. They invited me to a lunch at their house and they were going to put Bacon on their Matzos. Now eating Bacon on Bread during Pessach might not have bothered me but not on Matzos that were something holy during Pessach so I declined. This was perhaps one of some of the tests that I had from HASHEM but at that time it did not correlate with me but reflecting back over the years, the refusal although far from Yiddishkeit was a religious plus for a fellow too young to fully observe Mitzvos.

When I was close to 14 the Reform Rabbi of the Free Synagogue of Flushing was teaching me how to become an Atheist. I walked out of the Synagogue, left the Reform and eventually did become an Atheist or Agnostic at the age of 16 but I didn't need to be Jewish or have Synagogue for that. That test I passed, but the atheistic-liberalism from the Reform teaching had wounded my soul so perhaps this caused the slippage at the age of 16. For life is not a continuous Aliyah in gains but steps forwards and backwards.

Something else happened to me during these years, I spent my whole free time in Astronomy with the exception of dating like a red blooded non-religious fellow does. When the Ranger Seven went to the moon, the first photos were transmitted back live and I watched them with my friend. I told him, "I saw these photos before, I remember them." Then I recalled a series of dreams that I had around the age of 12 or 13 and passed it off a coincidence and my concentration on Astronomy.
During my first year of College in CCNY, things were not going as I had expected. I had managed to skip a year of College Chemistry and Physics, but going into the second year with first year of Calculus not under my belt and getting used to a new environment was hard. I had not listened to my friend Jerry who told me do the course again and “get a few A's under your belt.” Well that was my desire to graduate younger - I guess to get to Vietnam quicker. Still I entered CCNY and revised a non-existent Astronomy Club with the help of Professor Cotton. At the end of the year, I worked as an assistant for him and proctored the final examination. After the exam a woman came up to me old enough to be my mother. She was interested how a freshman could proctor an examination and where I learned Astronomy from. Her name by the way, Toby Willig* whom I would have years later for guidance on my path to becoming Frum. All this time, I lead weekend Astronomy expeditions to my country house in Greenwood Lake, NY. *She later become the President of Emunah and is the mother of Rabbi David Willig Shlita.

It was the weekend of April 21 to 23. Archie (aside note for those who remember the comic books – he was married to a Betty so I found out how the Archie comics that I read as a kid ended) drove me up to the bungalow. We were going to observe the last of the Lyrid or Eta-Aquarid Meteor Shower, took photos of the sky on Friday and Saturday nights. (Remember I am an Agnostic more of a Goy than Jew) On Sunday morning after coming up from our observing position on the dock with an 85 to 90% view of the sky I noticed a drunk driver had rammed the mailboxes on the side of road and I changed my camera setting from night to day (that would prove a bad mistake). I figured that I could get a write up about 18 year olds from NJ that drove to NY to drink in our local Greenwood Lake paper (but I never did in the end).
After resting up, we drove home to the City. The next morning, I had a dream that was about to change my life. I dreamt that I was going to see the biggest fireball meteor that I ever saw in my life. (Including to this day) I dreamt that I was going to see this great fireball, get my name in the New York Times with the article starting on the front page and then meeting two female class mates outside of the Physics office in CCNY getting congratulations and a kiss on the check from them and being congratulated by Professor Mark W. Zemansky. (The famous Physics book in those days was Sears & Zemansky and he was a famous specialist in Thermodynamics. A great dream especially the part with the girls and that was that. (I bet you expected a young non-religious assimilated youth to dream of meeting Rav Moshe Feinstein, The Lubavitcher Rebbe and Rav Yosef Baer Soleveichik by the Physics Dept.)

But wait, that afternoon I was on the number 7 train home from CCNY on the elevated part of the tracks and I looked out towards the south and said to myself "The Meteor is going to come out of the South". It was late in the afternoon and I was restless. For some reason, I could not learn. I figured I would walk over 13 blocks to my friend Carl and go across the street from him to Dr. Glass's Pharmacy to purchase sunglasses.
Carl decided to walk me back to my house to get some exercise. We were going up Greenpoint Ave between 47th and 46th street when Carl said to me, "Take off those sunglasses you look like an idiot as the Sun has just set." No sooner did I remove them and place them in my pocket. Carl says, "Look at that it is too bright to be a meteor it must be a UFO!" Sure enough going from South to North was a meteor with a diameter as wide as the moon leaving a giant contrail in the sky. I raced home to get my camera. But I had my focus stop at F22 for the mailbox photo instead of F2 for the contrail photo.
Somehow the dream was in the background and I managed to call up the NY Times. I gave them my roll of film and a full scientific report on the meteor, speed, color, and other details. They wrote the article. Some lucky fellow managed to actually photograph the meteor in flight so I was out of luck especially because of my camera F stop. And the next day, everything fell into place.

So did I recognize the miracle - of course not. Why should I believe it was more than an accident and I went about my school work on April 25th, '66 with little worries and cares and bit of pride for making the NY Times. (In those days it was not known as an extreme leftist rag). All went about according to the laws of nature and I continued my studies through summer school to learn more Calculus like electron spin Matrixes.

In early August, I had finished my summer school and was back up at Greenwood Lake waiting for the Perseid Meteor Shower. It was a cloudy night so as I lay in my bed, I began to reflect on the physics behind my dream. Let's see my brainwaves were in my bed on the morning of April 24th and the earth was in such and such a point in space traveling in its orbit at 25,000 mile per day going around the Sun at 18,000 miles per hour with the Sun going around the galaxy at such and such miles per hour. My mind waves had gone to the observance of the meteor then to the NY Times that evening, the reading of the NY Times article on my way to College, the Physics Dept. the Next Morning and also on the Subway Train the previous day. Trying to figure out things I realized that my mind had been: (1) Back and forth in time. (2) My brainwaves had traveled back and forth instantly distances greater than the speed of light. This called for a new theory of Physics that could explain the phenomena. I began to go deeper and deeper into the consequences of my theory. There was a dimension above time and space for this travel (little did I know that Klein in 1923 had come up with a 5th dimension and in the future around 1980 Prof. Schwartz of UCLA was going to come up with 11 dimensions proven mathematically.) My conclusion was that one's brain waves somehow could travel physically back and forth to anyplace in the Universe instantly! I called this the Principle of Cosmic Unity or the Principle of Oneness. This would be the biggest thing in my family since the Exclusion Principle. 

My mind was ticking away faster than any quad I7 computer will ever be. Suddenly the Oneness hit me like a ton of bricks. The Universe is ONE! Suddenly, something vague buried deep in my subconscious from 9-10 years back in Sunday School hit me. One of the few sentences that I knew in Hebrew "SHEMA YISRAEL HASHEM ELOKAYNU HASHEM EHUD" (Hear O'Israel, The L-RD our G-D, The L-RD is One.)

The Good Mapamnik debates the man with the Kipa:
Politically, I was moving more to the right but religiously, I was still with MAPAM and the anti-religious people. The week after my new physics theory, I was back in CCNY to pick up my grades and I stopped off at the Physics Dept. A fellow named Himmelstein was packing up his stuff as he was going for his MS and PhD at Columbia University and leaving us. I had never said more to him than hello or goodbye but my theory was in the back of my mind. I wanted to find out from him if G-D could exist. We debated and argued for a few hours about Cain meeting his wife and other G-D walking in Gan Eden, The Hand of G-D, etc. I had a Catholic concept of Heaven and Hell and he dispelled that. My whole Atheistic an Agnostic belief was just about out the window after about two hours of debate and me absorbing everything he said about miracles being natural events with minute probabilities. 

Still it was going to take another miracle to get me solid in my faith and a visit from my friend Howard to set me on the right track but that is going to be another story later on. I will only end this part of the story with a note. For some time I learned Chavrutha in Rehovot with Dr. Pinchas Fuchs. We debated whether or not one should say Hallel on Yom HaAtzmaut (Israeli Independence Day) or not. He replied to me that even for a private miracle one should say Hallel all the more so for a national miracle. I decided to look for the Newspaper Clipping that I had from ’66. It turned out that it said April 25, ’66. I looked up the date: Hey or the 5th of Iyar! (Ind. Day) The two days of Miracles occurred on the 4th and 5th of Iyar! 7 years after the meteor on the same Hebrew Calendar night, my son Asher Shalom was born! Copied and pasted from writing by Danny Shoemann Shlita (who was bullied off of the internet by the Charedim with all his great contributions.) If one experiences a miracle, one should celebrate the day of the miracle every year. On this day one should set aside time to thank Hashem for the miracle and to talk about the miracle. Source: Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 61:3 Part two next week.

Statistics about Israel and the Diaspora:

Number of Citizens in Eretz Yisrael 8,148,000
Jews 6,377,000 non-Jews 1,771,000
Numbers of soldier who died from their wounds in battle or after a hospital stay from battlefield injuries 23,477. Over 2,000 civilians killed by terrorists or wars.
In Israel 86 or 88% of the Jews celebrate Pessach Seder of which 70% are according to the tradition. Somewhere between 30 to 35% are Orthodox.

In the US Diaspora the following statistics from 2013 from PEW Institute:
Reform 35% Non-Affiliated 30% Conservative 18% Orthodox 10% Other 7%
Orthodox: Charedim 62% Modern Orthodox 31% Other 7%

Observing Mitzvos of all US Jews to some extent is 70% Fasting on Yom Kippur 53% Observe Kosher at home 23% light candles for Shabbos 22% (many of the non-observant Jews in Israel also light Shabbos Candles so that the numbers look more like 50 to 70% both the Sephardic, Yemeni, and European Jews brought this custom with them and it stuck even if they don’t observe properly.)

The population of the Modern Orthodox are 170,000 adults and 47,000 children. Observe the Seder 98% Fast on Yom Kippur 90% Shabbos Candles 78% Observe Kashrus 83% Go the Synagogue at least once a week 67% Do not handle money on Shabbos 81% Believe firmly in HASHEM 77%

Reform 50% are married to Jews and 50% to non-Jews
Conservative 73% married to Jews and 27% to non-Jews
Orthodox 98% married to Jews and 2% to non-Jews
Modern Orthodox 94% married to Jews and 6% to non-Jews 
Total USA Jews married to Jews 56% to non-Jews 44%

Modern Orthodox who have emotional connection to Israel 77% those who think that the USA does not support Israel enough 64% and those who believe in peace with the Arabs is possible 33%

Many in Israel calling for the resignation of the deputy chief of staff:

From Stephen: One can see this from Alon Moreh (Mamre) today it is above Schem and visible with the naked eye.

Milestone at the age of 84 the Colonel retires from the IDF. He was master of ceremonies on Independence Day for 34 years and put on a spectacular bunch of marches and arrangements:,7340,L-4801767,00.html

Inyanay Diyoma

Time for Jews especially Israelis to demand respect an Ed-Op by Diane Weber Biderman:

Well, well less time delay on response:,7340,L-4800094,00.html

It will not help her agent Molder will get the truth out there:

Rockets into Israel on Shabbos and the IAF responds in kind but I believe they are all 30 meters underground now.

Russia and US agree to remove Assad and some top Syrian Generals to make peace. Patience has run out with him:‘decapitate’-Syrian-military-

You’ll never know when they will turn on the Jews: Ed-Op Ben Dror Yemini:,7340,L-4798065,00.html

After 25 rockets and mortars in 4 days (more than all of 2015 CE) there is a calming down in the south if the military wing of Hamas complies:,7340,L-4800634,00.html

Obama advisor admits who lied to the public about the Iranian deal:

Kind of ironic that a prince of Saudi Arabia begging Americans to reject Trump, and we the American people begging our government to release the 21 pages kept secret about Saudi Arabian involvement in 9/11.

No longer Mr. Security as fear of terrorism returns: No fear of G-D = fear of man:

$50,000,000 in tunnel building aid from the USA to Gaza. Thanks to Kerry and his State Dept. and a Catholic Charity Partner. The same group did not request Pope Pious XII to save Jews during WWII.,7340,L-4801490,00.html

The nature of Amalek is to attack the old and the weak elderly women stabbed:

3 soldiers get honors do to fighting the terrorist in the recent attacks:

Munich terror attack a product of welcoming in “refugees”.

Under Morsi, we threatened to send troops to Cairo to save the besieged Embassy:

Bereaved family has a girl but nothing can replace the son that they lost.

Youth captured gives a concert to the Shin Bet:

We finished Davening and I wanted to make it into my car before the memorial sirens went off as the siren is right over the Synagogue on the high point of the Yeshuv – ha-ha right over my head the ear splitting sound so I put my fingers in my ears and then Baruch Hu and went to the car. But 23,477 made the ultimate sacrifice for Israel not mentioning a few thousand victims of internal terror (which is lower than the murder rate in most US Cities).

As for Obama’s Iranian Peace deal – how is it working for you?

French PM takes to task UNESCO resolutions:,7340,L-4802247,00.html

Egypt (peace partner), PLO (partner) help Hamas get cement.

Shabbat Shalom with blessings,

Rachamim Pauli