Friday, September 16, 2016

Elul, Parsha Ki Teitzei, Part 9 return to Judaism

Elul Part 3

Last week, my spelling and grammar check caught something that I did not see. Everybody HAS a great Shabbos even though my intent was plural. OK a little mistake. But then again, aren’t all our sins and intentions little one.

Somebody I know in his youth was sent to Russia to try to get youths around his age to become seriously religious. He certainly prays with Kavannah and is very learned but not a Gaon in Torah. Yet, he told me rather than go into details. “There isn’t any guardian against immodesty”! What happened to the poor fellow who had finished his army service and his secular learning and Yeshiva? He unfortunately let himself be in a situation which a normal red blooded America or Israeli male could not stand by. That is why the Sages put a fence around the Torah with Halachos Yechud. (Being alone with a member of the opposite sex.) One former Minister in Israel was set up. The powers that be did not like him as Justice Minister for he was ruining the elites there. A soldier girl stood outside of the Cabinet Meeting and asked to speak to him. Everybody around him suddenly disappeared and she accused him of tongue-kissing her by force. It was a he-said she said situation. He got off the hook but lost his Ministry Post which was the goal of the whole sting.

We have to be careful in our behavior and put safeguards on ourselves. There are three stealing offenses in the Torah. One is a hold-up type or robbery, another is thieving by embezzlement or a break-in and the third which carries the death penalty is stealing a Jew and selling him as a slave. Can it happen did it happen – I can assume that it was so as we see the story of Yosef but that was before Matan Torah. Not much of an excuse but I guess better than murdering him.

There are three or more main Yetzer HaRa components that all of us have. The first one hits both male and female as Puberty occurs. In ancient times, females were married off young and Abaye, the writer/compiler of the Talmud said two things. “I am glad that I was an Orphan so that I never had the problem of honoring my father and my mother improperly” and “If I had married at the age of 14 instead of 16, I would have destroyed my Yetzer completely!” I don’t think any serious person today would want to marry their daughters at the age of 12 or their sons at the age of 13,14 with the education requirements in the modern world. However, our Parsha speaks specifically against one’s daughter doing harlotry. Most Beis Yacov or other Seminary girls and Yeshiva Boys are pure until marriage. However, our world is full of problematic situations for our children. Just like the Yeshiva fellow in his 20’s on assignment to the former atheistic Russia to help youths, these pure children/young adults can fall into a trap.

The second main branch of the Yetzer HaRa is money and finance. I heard stories of two men who were honest but had to feed their families (similar to the pious thief story). One came to Israel from Germany in the 1930’s he was smart enough to get out but had a family and could not earn a living wage. He would feed his family and then sneak into a Kibbutz Grove and eat oranges. A similar story I heard from the second man. He came in 1949 or 1950 and he gave good food to his child and wife less but for himself despite him being the first to the Synagogue and the last to leave, a Daf Yomi, Mishnah Yomi person had to take oranges to survive. However, most of the thievery occurs with money left around, break-ins, pick-pockets and embezzlement. Part of this is laziness and not willing to work hard and the other part is feeling treated unfairly. These get rich quick or Ponzi Schemes most of the time end up with somebody in jail.

Finally, we have two more based on laziness and gluttony. It is easier for most of us to want to rest and relax or sleep. Being an over-eater of good food may or may not be our fault. My mother went through the great-depression and after world war II people were starving in Europe. She made us clean our plates or no desserts. To be honest, I am far from skinny and my brother makes me look thin. I have three children two I did not make them clean their plates and they are thin. The third took my bad example in my eating habits. So when we eat and pray we have to be diligent to set a proper example. (More on Pray below)

My father was a workaholic and I took from his example and I work until I am too tired to continue. I cannot stay up like the Vilna Gaon or Rav Ovadia Yosef but I can try things. I have my own Yetzer and my problem is wasting Torah Time. The problem arises among some Frum Jews who are more interested in watching champion sports and arguing about a bad referee call or if this play would have been so and so. I do sports to my ability at my age which is the elliptical as my feet can’t really take a treadmill. My weight lifting has gone down over the years but I try to keep my muscles in shape. But I use my time for my health and then my learning or teaching.

Prayer. I used to pray all the time with Kavannah. When did I lose it? I lost it perhaps the day the Rabbis told me to pray in Hebrew. My problem was that I did not learn prayers in the Talmud Torah or Religious Schools like the Rabbis. I started at zero at the age of 20 plus and prayed slowly and with feeling in English. Perhaps the SOMECH NOFLIM became “when my foot slips your loving kindness upholds me” instead of support the falling but I had feeling. The Hebrew which was still long out of my grasp some 49 years ago was too much. The speed of the working-man Minyan was different from the Baalei Teshuva Yeshiva Minyan. Ha-ha I learned how to Daven the speed of the Minyan or catch-up and I mouthed words for many years. It is a habit that with my schedule I cannot break. I was told by Rabbi Edward Davis Shlita in a lecture and a friend of mine who is a Kabbalist that I should try to concentrate on a sentence or two and pray in Hebrew. It is not quite the same but I do speak Hebrew. One part of the prayer which I do say fast but semi-understand is the sacrifices. How is this? I started saying them after I spoke Hebrew for 25 to 30 years so I knew what I was saying. ANYBODY WHO TELLS YOU TO SAY TEHILLIM IN HEBREW WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING … maybe I will keep my feelings to myself as I have nothing nice to say. My great-great grandfather Zev or Wolf Paschales had the right idea, he was the first to translate Tehillim into German during the Plague in the 1800’s and published Psalms for women and not Hebrew versed men in German.  

The conclusion from all my ranting and raving above is to put limits on yourself. I have seen too many married women who dress and behave immodestly. I don’t even want to talk about low grade men with or without Yarmulkes. Earn your money honestly and don’t give into your Yetzer for a higher standard of living. Eat and sleep in moderation and put borders on your indulgence. I make it my business if I drink a Le Chaim at a wedding to do so at the start of the night so I only drive a few hours later and just in case have a back-up driver. The same with eating in moderation. Try to pray with as much intent as you can. I know that only Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur when the prayers are long, do I actually at least say the Amidah with as much Kavannah as I can my Hebrew is better but my concentration is worse so what used to be 45 minutes for Mussaf have become 25 or less minutes on Rosh Hashanah.

Do you want to know what is going on during Elul and the High Holidays in English and Hebrew: Chapter 128 through 138:

Ki Teitzei

Last week we had a Parsha with 41 Mitzvos and have gotten up to Mitzvah 531 which ended the Parsha Mitzvah wise. This week we 74 Mitzvos ending up with 605.

Last we discussed the excuses for not going into battle. (I forgot to mention last week that in 1982 I had just remarried 3 months prior to my call-up but almost all the wars we fight today are Mitzvah Wars in such everybody should go and no excuses). This week, we will discuss what happens if one sees a beautiful captive woman.

21:10 When thou go forth to battle against thine enemies, and the LORD thy God delivers them into thy hands, and thou carry them away captive,

This week I will discuss a hidden parable on this going to war as it is Elul and the war is with the Yetzer.

11 and see among the captives a woman of goodly form, and thou hast a desire unto her, and would take her to thee to wife; 12 then thou shalt bring her home to thy house; and she shall shave her head, and pare her nails; 13 and she shall put the raiment of her captivity from off her, and shall remain in thy house, and bewail her father and her mother a full month; and after that thou may go in unto her, and be her husband, and she shall be thy wife.

The Torah makes a great concession to the soldier who captures a surface beauty in the heat of a battle. The Physical Pshat is as written. The Parable is that your Yetzer HaRa is like a beautiful woman. It comes to you in whatever form it can attack you. If you imagine sleeping, eating or a beautiful woman it will come after you. The only way to calm yourself is to remove the garments of the Yetzer whether it be a cake with cream and a cherry and make the cake plain without sugar and no cream and cherry for you shaved the Yetzer. Then you pare the nails with a smaller size bite. You have to put on a new garment which is more modest that cat is gluten and fattening. Waiting a month for you will either make the woman desire you or you will get sick of her nagging. If you have conquered your Yetzer and you are a good person in control of yourself with the woman, cake or sleep then you will be able to go into the cake, rest period and sleep, or the woman. For this is what is required of you in order to avoid gluttony, sloth like traits and lewdness. For even a thief is like a sloth in that he is too lazy to work to earn what he is stealing and not like the pious thief of our story last week.

14 And it shall be, if thou have no delight in her, then thou shall let her go whither she will; but thou shalt not sell her at all for money, thou shalt not deal with her as a slave, because thou hast humbled her.

That is the Yetzer you saw somebody that you considered beautiful for everything is relative. You capture and conquer this woman, bake-shop or mattress and now you have had your fill either she is yapping at you like a dog, you have a stomachache from the cakes or you lose out on something from over-sleeping so you remove the Yetzer now from you.

15 If a man has two wives, the one beloved, and the other hated, and they have borne him children, both the beloved and the hated; and if the first-born son be hers that was hated;

This does not have to be the case but often is because they are rivals for his affection. However, if he has a fair turn system it might work out. I try to treat all my children and grandchildren equal but some give me back more love than the others which does make for a bit more favoritism of one over the other.

16 then it shall be, in the day that he causes his sons to inherit that which he has, that he may not make the son of the beloved the first-born before the son of the hated, who is the first-born;

The Torah recognizes the pain of the wife and therefore gives her first-born the reward and by that the mother regains her pride. We might say that in the case of Yacov Avinu, he had no intention of marrying Leah at all! He contracted for Rachel and was deceived and Leah came in her place so it was like instead of the soldier raping the captive, Yacov was captured by Leah and deceived into being her husband. As she walked around him seven times she was not humbling herself but tying him up. To see such a veil I posted this photo on Facebook of one wedding that I took.  The difference in my photo is that the mother of the groom is with the bride and no switch can take place. Rivka was in Eretz Yisrael and the wedding was in Padan Aram.

17 but he shall acknowledge the first-born, the son of the hated, by giving him a double portion of all that he has; for he is the first-fruits of his strength, the right of the first-born is his. 18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son, that will not hearken to the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and though they chasten him, will not hearken unto them; 19 then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;

In Tractate Sanhedrin the conditions for this to happen are that the son is from the age of thirteen years and one day until thirteen and a half years. The voice of the mother and the father must be similar in tone, volume and bass-treble. The Talmud says what is the reason and answers it is because if he becomes a stubborn glutton and drunkard he will resort to stealing and perhaps murder. Today we have seen this with various drugs on people.

20 and they shall say unto the elders of his city: 'This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he doth not hearken to our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.' 21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he dies; so shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. 22 And if a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and thou hang him on a tree; 23 his body shall not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt surely bury him the same day; for he that is hanged is a reproach unto God; that thou defile not thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance.

The Talmud says there never was one and on the other hand says that Avshalom the son of Chaggit became one and rebelled against King David as Chaggit was a captive thus the putting one close to the other captive-hated wife-rebellious son combination.

22:1 Thou shalt not see thy brother's ox or his sheep driven away, and hide thyself from them; thou shalt surely bring them back unto thy brother. 2 And if thy brother be not nigh unto thee, and thou know him not, then thou shalt bring it home to thy house, and it shall be with thee until thy brother require it, and thou shalt restore it to him. …

This goes for any Jew even those that we don’t get along with.

5 A woman shall not wear that which pertains unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment; for whosoever doeth these things is an abomination unto the LORD thy God.

The word abomination is used in the case of idol worship, homosexuality and now cross dressing. This is not for those who dress funny once a year on Purim or recently there was a story about “women in full Burkas” that were really men and assassinating ISIS leaders. Obviously such action would be permitted but not for a fetish.

6 If a bird's nest chance to be before thee in the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, and the dam sitting upon the young, or upon the eggs, thou shalt not take the dam with the young; 7 thou shalt in any wise let the dam go, but the young thou may take unto thyself; that it may be well with thee, and that thou may prolong thy days.

The Talmud goes on to state that the honoring of parents and bird’s nest is only for long life in the next world. For what happened to Elisha, the teacher of Rebbe Meir, who saw a father send his son to fetch eggs and the son fell out of the tree and died. He did not get a long life in this world so Elisha forsook everything.

8 When thou build a new house, then thou shalt make a parapet for thy roof, that thou bring not blood upon thy house, if any man fall from thence.

A person is required to have safety features on his home so that if somebody walked on his flat roof he should be protected from falling.

13 If any man take a wife, and go in unto her, and hate her, 14 and lay wanton charges against her, and bring up an evil name upon her, and say: 'I took this woman, and when I came nigh to her, I found not in her the tokens of virginity'; 15 then shall the father of the damsel, and her mother, take and bring forth the tokens of the damsel's virginity unto the elders of the city in the gate.

This was even in Talmudic times up to a certain age group after which the damsel is no longer considered a virgin.

… 22 If a man be found lying with a woman married to a husband, then they shall both of them die, the man that lay with the woman, and the woman; so shalt thou put away the evil from Israel. 23 If there be a damsel that is a virgin betrothed unto a man, and a man find her in the city, and lie with her; 24 then ye shall bring them both out unto the gate of that city, and ye shall stone them with stones that they die: the damsel, because she cried not, being in the city; and the man, because he hath humbled his neighbor’s wife; so thou shalt put away the evil from the midst of thee.

Today under the Chupah we do two of the three methods of acquiring a wife. In olden times, an engagement was one or two of the three acquiring methods and she was betrothed and would need a Ketuba payment and a Get to release the woman. The idea here is that if she was a city, a blood curling scream would get the men out to find out what was going on. This might not work in Chicago or the inner cities today.

25 But if the man finds the damsel that is betrothed in the field, and the man take hold of her, and lie with her; then the man only that lay with her shall die. 26 But unto the damsel thou shalt do nothing; there is in the damsel no sin worthy of death; for as when a man rises against his neighbor, and slays him, even so is this matter. 27 For he found her in the field; the betrothed damsel cried, and there was none to save her.

This seems to be Chicago today as “there was none to save her”.

28 If a man finds a damsel that is a virgin, that is not betrothed, and lay hold on her, and lie with her, and they be found; 29 then the man that lay with her shall give unto the damsel's father fifty shekels of silver, and she shall be his wife, because he hath humbled her; he may not put her away all his days.

This is good for lovers, seducers, etc. but rapist is sentence to life with a woman who hates him. 

23: … 2 He that is crushed or maimed in his privy parts shall not enter into the assembly of the LORD. 3 A Maumzer not enter into the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation shall none of his enter into the assembly of the LORD. 4 An Ammonite or a Moabite shall not enter into the assembly of the LORD; even to the tenth generation shall none of them enter into the assembly of the LORD forever;

The showed non-merciful conduct towards you when you left Egypt.

5 because they met you not with bread and with water in the way, when ye came forth out of Egypt; and because they hired against thee Balaam the son of Beor from Pethor of Aram-naharaim, to curse thee. …
… 16 Thou shalt not deliver unto his master a bondman that is escaped from his master unto thee; 17 he shall dwell with thee, in the midst of thee, in the place which he shall choose within one of thy gates, where it likes him best; thou shalt not wrong him.

This is a Canaanite Slave sold for money if it is a Jew sold for thievery he is not returned but we don’t want him stealing things so Beis Din should get involved.

Rashi brings down another idea for Pasuk 16: You shall not deliver a slave: As the Targum [Onkelos aka Achilles] renders it [עֲבַד עַמְמִין, a Jewish servant who had been sold to a gentile] (Gittin 45a). Another explanation: even a Canaanite servant of an Israelite who fled from outside the land to the Land of Israel. — [Gittin 45a

18 There shall be no harlot of the daughters of Israel, neither shall there be a sodomite of the sons of Israel.

Shouldn’t this be naturally so? What do we need this for? For what father would want this for his daughter or a gigolo or man for hire by other men for his son?

 There shall not be a prostitute: Heb. קְדֵשָׁה, one who is unbridled, prepared (מְקֻדֶּשֶׁת), and ready for prostitution. And there shall not be a male prostitute: Heb. קָדֵשׁ, one [i.e., a male] ready for homosexual relations. - [Kid. 68b] Onkelos , however, renders: “A woman of the daughters of Israel shall not become a wife to a slave.” [Nevertheless, Onkelos 's explanation does not contradict that given above, for] such [a woman] is also susceptible to illicit relations, since this sort of marriage [between a Jewess and a slave] is not legally binding. For [slaves] are compared to donkeys, as it says, “Stay here with the donkey (עִם-הַחֲמוֹר)” (Gen. 22:5). [The choice of the word] עִם [rather אֶת [denotes] those compared to a donkey. - [Kid. 68a] [Abraham said this to his lads when he left them to take Isaac to offer him as a sacrifice. The lads were both slaves, both Eliezer and Ishmael, the son of his handmaid, Hagar. Similarly, the second half of the verse is rendered by Onkelos as follows:]“And no Israelite man shall take a maidservant as a wife,” since he too, becomes a קָדֵשׁ [“one reserved for illicit relations”] through her, because every time he cohabits with her, it is considered prostitution, since his marriage to her is not binding. — [See Pes. 88b]

19 Thou shalt not bring the hire of a harlot, or the price of a dog, into the house of the LORD thy God for any vow; for even both these are an abomination unto the LORD thy God.

She did prostitution and now wants to become a big donator for the Mikdash equals nothing doing. The same goes for money earned by breeding dogs (cats) etc.

A prostitute’s fee: [For example,] if one gave her a lamb as her fee, it is unfit to be offered up as a sacrifice. — [Sifrei 23:127] The price of a dog: If one exchanged a dog for a lamb [this lamb is unfit for a sacrifice]. — [Sifrei 23:127; Temurah 29a] Because both of them [are an abomination to the Lord, your God]: Heb. גַּם הֵם. [The extra word גַּם, lit.“also,” comes] to include [a prostitute’s fee or the price of a dog, which has been] converted [to another form]. For example, wheat, which he (sic) made into flour. — [Temurah 30b] [Sefer Yereim ch. 207 reads: which she made into flour.]

20 Thou shalt not lend upon interest to thy brother: interest of money, interest of victuals, interest of anything that is lent upon interest. 21 Unto a foreigner thou may lend upon interest; but unto thy brother thou shalt not lend upon interest; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all that thou put thy hand unto, in the land whither thou go in to possess it.

This precludes business loans. Our Sages say that interest bites the borrower and the lender is bit in the next world.

22 When thou shalt vow a vow unto the LORD thy God, thou shalt not be slack to pay it; for the LORD thy God will surely require it of thee; and it will be sin in thee. … 25 When thou come into thy neighbor's vineyard, then thou may eat grapes until thou have enough at thine own pleasure; but thou shalt not put any in thy vessel.

This is talking about the worker and not the poor man’s tithe or during Shmita but there too not too much.

… 24:1 When a man taketh a wife, and marries her, then it cometh to pass, if she find no favor in his eyes, because he hath found some unseemly thing in her, that he writes her a bill of divorcement, and giveth it in her hand, and sends her out of his house,

If she becomes somebody else’s wife, she can never return to the husband. It is also a Mitzvah to divorce if there is no Shalom Beis in the house or she has misconducted herself with other men.

… 4 her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after that she is defiled; for that is abomination before the LORD; and thou shalt not cause the land to sin, which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance. ... 6 No man shall take the mill or the upper millstone to pledge; for he taketh a man's life to pledge. 7 If a man be found stealing any of his brethren of the children of Israel, and he deal with him as a slave, and sell him; then that thief shall die; so shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee.

There shall be no human trafficking and certainly not capturing free men to enslave them.

…  One of the six remembrances: 9 Remember what the LORD thy God did unto Miriam, by the way as ye came forth out of Egypt. … 14 Thou shalt not oppress a hired servant that is poor and needy, whether he be of thy brethren, or of thy strangers that are in thy land within thy gates. 15 In the same day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the sun go down upon it; for he is poor, and sets his heart upon it: lest he cry against thee unto the LORD and it be sin in thee. … 17 Thou shalt not pervert the justice due to the stranger, or to the fatherless; nor take the widow's raiment to pledge. 18 But thou shalt remember that thou were a bondman in Egypt, and the LORD thy God redeemed thee thence; therefore, I command thee to do this thing.

Now we see the source of the Mitzvah that Boaz did with his field and the extra charity above this to Ruth and Naomi.

19 When thou reap thy harvest in thy field, and hast forgot a sheaf in the field, thou shalt not go back to fetch it; it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thy hands. 20 When thou beat thine olive-tree, thou shalt not go over the boughs again; it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. 21 When thou gather the grapes of thy vineyard, thou shalt not glean it after thee; it shall be for the stranger, for the fatherless, and for the widow. 22 And thou shalt remember that thou were a bondman in the land of Egypt; therefore I command thee to do this thing.

25:1 If there be a controversy between men, and they come unto judgment, and the judges judge them, by justifying the righteous, and condemning the wicked, 2 then it shall be, if the wicked man deserve to be beaten, that the judge shall cause him to lie down, and to be beaten before his face, according to the measure of his wickedness, by number. 3 Forty stripes he may give him, he shall not exceed; lest, if he should exceed, and beat him above these with many stripes, then thy brother should be dishonored before thine eyes.

For too many will loosen a man’s bowls or the man will start wining and crying like a child for being so embarrassed his public but up to 39 lashes our Sages say a he-man can withstand. After every three a doctor would look him over (nowadays, pulse and blood pressure) this is a punishment not a death penalty.
4 Thou shalt not muzzle the ox when he treads out the grain. 5 If brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not be married abroad unto one not of his kin; her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of a husband's brother unto her. 6 And it shall be, that the first-born that she bears shall succeed in the name of his brother that is dead, that his name be not blotted out of Israel.

Today we perform the shoe removal ceremony. However, if after 90 days from the time the brother departed, he and she are permitted to live together because of the dead man’s Kesubah {in spoken Hebrew today Ketuba}.

7 And if the man like not to take his brother's wife, then his brother's wife shall go up to the gate unto the elders, and say: 'My husband's brother refuses to raise up unto his brother a name in Israel; he will not perform the duty of a husband's brother unto me.' 8 Then the elders of his city shall call him, and speak unto him; and if he stand, and say: 'I like not to take her'; 9 then shall his brother's wife draw nigh unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit in his face; and she shall answer and say: 'So shall it be done unto the man that doth not build up his brother's house.' 10 And his name shall be called in Israel the house of him that had his shoe loosed.

Today there is a once size fits all roman sandal type that the sister-in-law removes. It is a special sandal and not a normal shoe. However, the Pshat does not appear to be this way but only instituted by the Rabbis.

11 When men strive together one with another, and the wife of the one draw near to deliver her husband out of the hand of him that smites him, and puts forth her hand, and taketh him by the secrets; 12 then thou shalt cut off her hand, thine eye shall have no pity.

We give her a stiff fine today. It is not normal for a woman to go around squeezing other men’s private parts even to save her husband from being struck. The Torah wants to insure this.

13 Thou shalt not have in thy bag diverse weights, a great and a small. 14 Thou shalt not have in thy house diverse measures, a great and a small. 15 A perfect and just weight shalt thou have; a perfect and just measure shalt thou have; that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee. 16 For all that do such things, even all that do unrighteously, are an abomination unto the LORD thy God.

This is the standardization of weights and measures. One cannot have one weight for a silver shekel and another and another weight by somebody else but a standard.

The following is more than a remembrance but a Mitzvah to destroy Amalek. 17 Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way as ye came forth out of Egypt; 18 how he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, all that were enfeebled in thy rear, when thou were faint and weary; and he feared not God. 19 Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget.

Not real converts but food “converts”.,7340,L-4852869,00.html

Part 9 My Return to Judaism by Rabbi Rachamim Pauli
(A subtheme the power of one or two people)

Aish HaTorah in Yerushalayim looked perhaps slightly promising but I was married and my wife was expecting. I did not know how I could be in their Kollel. Some of the folks there in my day looked a bit Hippie-types. For one of my friends who was like this was almost persuaded by the late Rabbi Noach Weinberg to join Aish. Rabbi Nightingale in FL is a graduate of Aish and their teachers are very good but back then, I was at a cross-road between Kollel and work and I chose work.

I did spend some time at the Shalom Hartman Institute which was related to Yeshiva ITRI. It was for somebody I believe with a little background like myself and had a very intense and serious study program. They had very good learning and a dormitory but nothing really back in 1970 for a fellow married and a Kollel. The food there was quite good I remember. To be honest if I were not married and my wife expecting, I probably would have liked staying there.

So if I can’t go to a Baalei Teshuva Yeshiva in English I would find another way to learn. I could not get a place to live without a job from the Israeli Government and I would have to pay a lot more money on the private market. Once I got a job which only lasted 3 months, I was able to move into Kiriat Ponovez also known as Shikun Pittsburgh for the Rebbe there. I learned a little Rambam with an older Kollel fellow from the Grodno Yeshiva and later found a Chavrutha Shlomo Angel to learn in English. I was progressing. I also learned the set of Medrash Rabbah in English that I had and many other books in English. I was moving up. Later I contacted Rabbi Yerachmiel Kram Shlita for help and as I started work at an Electronics Plant in Ashdod. I worked 13 hours a day and then an hour Daf Yomi at night and six hours on Fridays. Somehow I had the energy for that and by that time two children.

Eventually, one of my Chavrutha and co-worker and I were disappointed with the caliber of the religious education in Ashdod and we moved to Rehovot. I would go to the Daf Yomi after work and eventually, I paid Rabbi Shlomo Issacovitch Shlita as a private Rebbe a small fee for a 5 day a week Shuir. He told me that if he did not need the money he would have taught me for free so it was mutually agreeable for the both of us for a number of years. I also attended Shuirim and I single-handed organized the Kollel for workers on Fridays. I had the privilege of learning with Dr. Stuart Weissrose and a Shuir from a Rosh Kollel Rabbi Avraham Riesman Shlita. I sold the idea to Rabbi Simcha HaCohain Kuk Shlita and the Rabbinute established a Kollel for the city. A professor or two from Bar Ilan University joined in and one Chavrutha was Dr. Lee Specter of the Weitzman Institute who wrote about HASHEM and Biology. I also learned with Rabbi Tuvia Wein Zal uncle of the famed Rabbi Beryl Wein Shlita. Rabbi Tuvia brought in a Baal Teshuva from the Weitzman Institute and he taught us both.

When I remarried and moved to Petach Tikva, most of my learning was in a Daf Yomi although a friend of mine Avi (his brother is the Rabbi of the Netzach Yisrael Synagogue in Petach Tikva) invited me to the Friday Kollel. You see the little 2 man Kollel took off. From Rehovot it spread to Petach Tikva, Chashmonayim, Rabbi Kram heard from me and opened in the electronics plant in Ashdod. I am sure that other cities got the idea. One idea of one fellow with a desire to learn spread out.

I went to work when I lived in Petach Tikva to a company closer to home than Ashdod. It was near what today is Airport City. There a fellow named Baruch Dim Shlita brought in Rabbi Yerachmiel Boyer Shlita and at one time we had 90 fellows learning twice a week. Unfortunately, our main project was cancelled and many including Baruch opted for early pension or compensation. However, before that, I learned with Baruch another three days a week to make it into a five-day evening Kollel and was successful in doing so. It was again one man with an idea and a Rabbi backing him. The five day Kollel still exists and every Monday Rabbi Boyer gives his Shuir to this day.

My learning did not stop there and for years Jack Winnett Shlita opened up a Beis Medrash and Schul in his basement and under the guidance of the Surgeon Rabbi and Dr. Shalom Friedman Shlita we had a Daf Yomi every day. Prior to that I tried learning nightly with Alan Farber PhD but it was too much for me to come in cold into a Gemara Daf each Night. I was so happy that everything thing fell into place between Jack and Dr. Friedman. Both Jack and Dr. Friedman have moved to Yerushalayim but the Daf in the evening and one in the morning continues where I live.

Ending up with the power of one or two people to move things. Rabbi Mimran Shlita and I started learning years ago as I was about to go to early pension. The building of the Kollel where were learned was built by a retired staff sergeant Reuven Yonati of pious memory. We began learning for ordination and after a year or two (after Rabbi Mimran had passed his Dayan Exam, he got Smicha to be a regular Rabbi. It took me another year or so in Hebrew and some English from the Chief Rabbinute to be tested by Rabbi Mimran – all in all three years of learning before I too became a full Rabbi). About fifteen years ago we discussed opening a night Kollel and it has been running since. One of the fellows has written a few books while learning in the Kollel. About 12 years ago, Rabbi Mimran opened up a day Kollel and we learned for a number of years full time. However, the time came that I decided that I had to take care of my physical health and started working out in the gym. At the same time, after being on Mail-Jewish for a number of years, I began to write and participate in the Torah Forum. Eventually, I started a weekly story and eventually Parsha. It was in the beginning among about 400 friends and a few groups. With the help of a lady on Skype in Canada named Mrs. Tsila Kahane until 120 years, helped me open up a blogspot. I began with 23 readers. I now B”H have a couple of thousand readers. With vacations I have seen readership drop and gain according to seasons and when a war breaks out with the Inyanay Diyoma, the readership climbs.

I want to end with one thought. I am sure that if one person wants with a good idea and energy, he can do a lot. The Lubavitcher Rebbe succeeded with an Organization and sending messengers around to world to build a Torah System in almost any place Jews are in the world.

MONEY BLINDS JUDGES and Rabbis – corruption:

World’s oldest man celebrates Bar Mitzvah 100 years late.,7340,L-4855338,00.html

Inyanay Diyoma

He called Yudenrein Ethnic Cleansings and POTUS Osama gets angry:,7340,L-4852660,00.html

Please click both articles: I wrote to Dr. Martin Sherman that a two State solution would not be good because it goes against the Torah and a one State solution with Arabs here would be thorns in our sides:
He wrote me back with this article that he wrote in 2011: In fact about 8 articles more. I am about to read them and analyze and may reply further.

Obama decides to do something like Trump wanted but no guarantees for Israel as Iran pushes forward:

Presidential Candidate’s Advisor what the PLO wants is ethnic cleansing:

Light Rail would have passed over the parking lot that collapsed: Kwai???,7340,L-4853184,00.html

Two Ministers meet with Facebook heads to discuss removal of incitement posts:,7340,L-4853594,00.html

What Hillary said on 9/11 that is more than pneumonia and Bill said she had Vertigo a number of times. Deep Vein Thrombosis which she had three times usually repeats itself and can be life threatening.


Terrorist armed to the teeth caught at sea:

After a fourth shell in one week fell yesterday and a plane attack, 3 mortars fall on the Golan today closing down road 98:

Israeli Military Satellite launched:

Keeping an eye out for this:

Gaza car thieving ring caught with Israeli Arabs:

Besides attacking Syrian Positions, Israel warned the rebels not to go overboard that shells land by us:

On Tuesday this coming week, a homeland defense drill will occur:,7340,L-4855393,00.html

Ofek 11 Satellite unknown if it failed or can be reprogrammed:’s-failure-would-hamper-Israel’s-intel-ops

Jewish woman raised as a Muslim escapes ISIS:

Have a wonderful Shabbos,
Rachamim Pauli