Friday, September 2, 2016

Elul, Parsha Re'eh, Pekuach Nefesh?, Holocaust Rescue

Please add to the prayer list Peter David ben Ursula

A quote for Elul that will put you in a good mood for repentance: The happier we are, the happier we make others. And let's face it — the happier we make others, the happier the world becomes. – Dr. Harry

Mussar – Elul is upon us.

Elul is coming. The month of Rachamim (DIVINE Compassion). This is the time to prepare for the Day of Judgement. In Perkei Avos there was advice to repent one day before one’s death. We don’t know about ourselves from minute to minute or hour to hour. My neighbor Eliezer David (DOVID in Hebrew) HaCohain ben Naomi got a rare visit from me last week. I am exhausted with a lot of things that I am also busy taking care of an 11-year-old at my age. He looked chipper and was in good spirits. On Sunday, he was rushed to the hospital with a bad case of pneumonia and the doctors found more growths in his lungs and abdomen. On Friday, before putting out the blogspot, I tried for 15 to 20 minutes or more working in the shade to open up a sink drain. I did not feel too well after very little physical work but loss of fluids from the humidity and especially salt. So one does not know when one must do Teshuva. Elul is the month set aside by the Rabbis to work on ourselves.

Friday was a reawakening for me personally. I mentioned above about the idea of going to repent one day before your death. Do we know the day that we will die? Unless we are alert enough to say Vidui (confession) we must be prepared daily. A true story of a fellow I believe that his name was Avraham Roda. He used to go fishing every Friday and perhaps Shabbos. He came and started learning after work with Rabbi Yerachmiel Boyer. He participated in a Seeum of completing a Mesecta of Gemara (Tractate of Talmud). He even convinced others to become more religious. Shortly thereafter, he was called to the heavenly court upon completing his mission in this world. About it was said, “Some people earn their place in the world to come in a few hours and some in a lifetime.”

We all sin in one way or another. Some it is being a bit of a glutton, others it is immodesty, still others it is wasting time (which unfortunately most of us do). The Vilna Gaon had a notebook in which he wrote down the time he wasted so that he could beat his breast on Yom Kippur about his wasting his learning. One of his close Talmidim got hold of the book and calculated that is was about 3 hours a year. When I write Mussar, I don’t write for you who read this but for me. How much time did I waste on politics this year, idle chatter with my wife and friends, even in the Beis Medrash and dawdling before going to bed or taking a shower. I finished my investments for a while and am not a day trader so why am I following the market so much?

There is plenty each of us can do to improve ourselves. Lately, I have been working ever so slightly on my prayer. For as I returned to Judaism 48 years ago as I started praying the Shemona Esray Prayer, it took me in English 10 to 15 minutes and the first time in Hebrew 30 plus minutes to pray. Now after working for years and years, I have the prayer down zip. Slowly I am praying for the ill, people needing a return to Judaism and childless couple(s), I guess if I had more time, I would pray for tens of thousands of Shidduchim. But what happened to “Oh KING, helper, savor, shield…” or “when my foot slips your loving kindness upholds me” Na I breeze through that in 5th gear about 50 mph over the speed limit. Perhaps that is how the angels view it before them. The latest I7 computer can’t match that speed. The human mind is amazing so we have to stop being off on a Geyser in Yellowstone, climbing the Everest, chasing Penguins in Antarctica or wherever our mind takes us but concentrate on our prayer.

These two elements of Teshuva and Tephilla are sides of the Elul Triangle. Now it is time to consider Tzeduka. What charity did we do today? Charity is not money. A friend of mine visits her mother who is losing it a bit and sitting with her when she is ill. These are the things that have no limit and the vineyard exists in the next world. Honoring Parents, financial charity, visiting the sick, attending to the dead (including cleaning their graves), Torah learning, etc. However, there is a stage in between not mentioned by our Sages. Informing a deaf-mute that he/she must go to the shelter, guiding the blind, feeding the invalid or even a small child, giving a person employment or helping them find a place in another department when your department is experiencing cuts in manpower. There is no limit so even if you don’t have a penny on you, you can listen to somebody who is down and out. We don’t know even if we prevented a suicide for listening to somebody who is so down and out and it does not matter if it is a Jew or non-Jew. For often a Jew helps a non-Jew he makes a Kiddush HASHEM and things are recorded.

In conclusion, Teshuva, Tephilla and Tzeduka is anything from a slight effort to a tremendous effort but it helps you and the whole world on The Day of Judgement!

Johnny who is interested in Judaism right now a Ben Noach posted: THE BEST APOLOGY IS CHANGED BEHAVIOR which he took from some Torah group.

Parsha Re’eh

Up until now in 3 Parshiyos, we have heard Moshe Rabbaynu’s first Drasha and have received about 22 of the 200 in Devarim. We were told of the Mitzvah of living in the land and the setting up of the cities of refuge. At this point we start the second Drasha and this week’s Parsha contains 55 new Mitzvos follow by Shoftim with a large number of Mitzvos and Ki Teitzei with over 70 Mitzvos. We are given a choice by HASHEM to either get a blessing or a curse. Like a good father in heaven, HE wants us to choose wisely.

11:26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse:

This is proof of no predestination for one has a choice which is quite clear.

27 the blessing, if ye shall hearken unto the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day;

If you are diligent in the observance and love HASHEM, then you will be blessed with the Shechina upon you.

28 and the curse, if ye shall not hearken unto the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.

Don’t become fascinated by temporary lures away from the Torah and Mitzvos for they will lead you down to the pit of destruction.

29 And it shall come to pass, when the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou go to possess it, that thou shalt set the blessing upon mount Gerizim, and the curse upon mount Eval.

This is by Schem, the heart of country between Yarden and the Sea and this is where Yosef would be buried. Yehoshua will do this. Yehoshua 8:34.

Upon Mount Gerizim: [עַל, usually “upon,” here means] “facing Mount Gerizim.” [The Levites] turned their faces [toward the mountain] and began with the blessing: “Blessed is the man who does not make any graven or molten image….” Each of the curses in that section [beginning Deut. 27:15] were first stated in the expression of a blessing. Afterwards, they turned their faces towards Mount Eval and began [to recite the corresponding] curse. — [Sotah 32a]

30 Are they not beyond the Jordan, behind the way of the going down of the sun, in the land of the Canaanites that dwell in the Arabah, over against Gilgal, beside the terebinths of Moreh?

Are they not [on the other side of the Jordan]?- [: Moses] gave [geographical] landmarks [describing the mountains]. Beyond: Heb. אַחֲרֵי, [I.e.,] after crossing the Jordan, much further on in distance, for that is the meaning of the expression אַחֲרֵי, “beyond”; wherever [the term] אַחֲרֵי is used, [it signifies] “a great separation [in time or place].” On the other side of the Jordan, way beyond,] in the direction of the sunset: [i.e.,] beyond the Jordan, toward the west. And the cantillation marks of the verse prove that [אַחֲרֵי and דֶּרֶךְ] refer to two separate things, for they are marked with two [conjunctive] accents [thus demonstrating that these words are not connected]: אַחֲרֵי is punctuated with a pashta [which separates the word from the succeeding one], and דֶּרֶךְ is punctuated with a mashpel [which we call a yetib]. In addition, [the ד of the word דֶּרֶךְ has a dagesh inside it [which indicates that the word דֶּרֶךְ begins a new phrase or topic]. If, however, אַחֲרֵי דֶרֶךְ were one phrase [meaning “beyond the direction”], then אַחֲרֵי would have been punctuated by a conjunctive accent, namely a shofar hafuch [which we call a mahpach] and דֶּרֶךְ by a pashta [the combination of which indicates the connection between those words. Additionally, the ד of the word דֶּרֶךְ] would not have a dagesh inside it. [But this is not so, and thus אַחֲרֵי and דֶּרֶךְ are separate words in this verse.] Opposite: Far off from Gilgal. [Near] the plains of Moreh: This is Schem, as is stated: “to the place of Schem, to the plain of Moreh” (Gen. 12:6).

31 For ye are to pass over the Jordan to go in to possess the land which the LORD your God giveth you, and ye shall possess it, and dwell therein. 32 And ye shall observe to do all the statutes and the ordinances which I set before you this day.

What I am commanding you now.

12:1 These are the statutes and the ordinances, which ye shall observe to do in the land which the LORD, the God of thy fathers, hath given thee to possess it, all the days that ye live upon the earth. 2 Ye shall surely destroy all the places, wherein the nations that ye are to dispossess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, and under every leafy tree.

This is the first of the fifty-five Mitzvos in this Parsha followed by the second.

3 And ye shall break down their altars, and dash in pieces their pillars, and burn their Asherim with fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods; and ye shall destroy their name out of that place.

Modern Israel has not done this yet and in fact can’t. I assume that during the war of Gog and Magog they will fall by themselves in the quake or when the Moshiach comes. Basically, this is a difference between a secular run state and a religious state.

4 Ye shall not do so unto the LORD your God. 5 But unto the place which the LORD your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put His name there, even unto His habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come; 6 and thither ye shall bring your burnt-offerings, and your sacrifices, and your tithes, and the offering of your hand, and your vows, and your freewill-offerings, and the firstlings of your herd and of your flock; 7 and there ye shall eat before the LORD your God, and ye shall rejoice in all that ye put your hand unto, ye and your households, wherein the LORD thy God hath blessed thee.

In this place and not all over the land. In fact, outside of the chosen place it is forbidden.

8 Ye shall not do after all that we do here this day, every man whatsoever is right in his own eyes;

You shall not do as all [the things] that we do [here this day]: This refers back to [what is stated above], “For you are crossing the Jordan…” (Deut. 11:31), meaning: When you will cross the Jordan, you immediately are permitted to offer up [sacrifices] on a bamah [a temporary altar] during the entire fourteen years of conquering [the nations] and dividing [the land among the tribes], but on a bamah you may not sacrifice all that you sacrifice “here this day,” in the Mishkan , which is with you and has been anointed and is [thus] fit to sacrifice therein sin-offerings and guilt-offerings, vows and donations, whereas on a bamah , you may sacrifice only what is vowed or a donated. And that is the meaning of “every man [doing] what he deems fit” vows and donations that you donate because you deem fit to bring them, not because of any obligation [imposed upon you]; only these may you offer up on a bamah . — [Sifrei; Zev. 117b]
You shall not do as all [the things] that we do [here this day]: This refers back to [what is stated above], “For you are crossing the Jordan…” (Deut. 11:31), meaning: When you will cross the Jordan, you immediately are permitted to offer up [sacrifices] on a bamah [a temporary altar] during the entire fourteen years of conquering [the nations] and dividing [the land among the tribes], but on a bamah you may not sacrifice all that you sacrifice “here this day,” in the Mishkan , which is with you and has been anointed and is [thus] fit to sacrifice therein sin-offerings and guilt-offerings, vows and donations, whereas on a bamah , you may sacrifice only what is vowed or a donated. And that is the meaning of “every man [doing] what he deems fit” vows and donations that you donate because you deem fit to bring them, not because of any obligation [imposed upon you]; only these may you offer up on a bamah . — [Sifrei; Zev. 117b]You shall not do as all [the things] that we do [here this day]: This refers back to [what is stated above], “For you are crossing the Jordan…” (Deut. 11:31), meaning: When you will cross the Jordan, you immediately are permitted to offer up [sacrifices] on a bamah [a temporary altar] during the entire fourteen years of conquering [the nations] and dividing [the land among the tribes], but on a bamah you may not sacrifice all that you sacrifice “here this day,” in the Mishkan , which is with you and has been anointed and is [thus] fit to sacrifice therein sin-offerings and guilt-offerings, vows and donations, whereas on a bamah , you may sacrifice only what is vowed or a donated. And that is the meaning of “every man [doing] what he deems fit” vows and donations that you donate because you deem fit to bring them, not because of any obligation [imposed upon you]; only these may you offer up on a bamah . — [Sifrei; Zev. 117b]

9 for ye are not as yet come to the rest and to the inheritance, which the LORD your God giveth thee. 10 But when ye go over the Jordan, and dwell in the land which the LORD your God causes you to inherit, and He giveth you rest from all your enemies round about, so that ye dwell in safety; 11 then it shall come to pass that the place which the LORD your God shall choose to cause His name to dwell there, thither shall ye bring all that I command you: your burnt-offerings, and your sacrifices, your tithes, and the offering of your hand, and all your choice vows which ye vow unto the LORD.

Only in this place shall you sacrifice and bring your Teruma and Maaser and Maaser Sheni has to be eaten here see up to Pasuk 17.

12 And ye shall rejoice before the LORD your God, ye, and your sons, and your daughters, and your men-servants, and your maid-servants, and the Levite that is within your gates, forasmuch as he hath no portion nor inheritance with you. 13 Take heed to thyself that thou offer not thy burnt-offerings in every place that thou seest; 14 but in the place which the LORD shall choose in one of thy tribes, there thou shalt offer thy burnt-offerings, and there thou shalt do all that I command thee. 15 Notwithstanding thou mayest kill and eat flesh within all thy gates, after all the desire of thy soul, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which He hath given thee; the unclean and the clean may eat thereof, as of the gazelle, and as of the hart. 16 Only ye shall not eat the blood; thou shalt pour it out upon the earth as water. 17 Thou may not eat within thy gates the tithe of thy corn, or of thy wine, or of thine oil, or the firstlings of thy herd or of thy flock, nor any of thy vows which thou vow, nor thy freewill-offerings, nor the offering of thy hand; 18 but thou shalt eat them before the LORD thy God in the place which the LORD thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy man-servant, and thy maid-servant, and the Levite that is within thy gates; and thou shalt rejoice before the LORD thy God in all that thou put thy hand unto.

Eating only in the Temple area or Yerushalayim for the Korban Pessach due to the amount of space required.
19 Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou live upon thy land.

He shall receive his Maaser. [Today we are Tumay and therefore the Cohanim and Leviim do not receive this.]

20 When the LORD thy God shall enlarge thy border, as He hath promised thee, and thou shalt say: 'I will eat flesh', because thy soul desires to eat flesh; thou may eat flesh, after all the desire of thy soul.

Once you are on your inheritance in the land you will be able to slaughter and eat meat anywhere and not as we are doing now in the wilderness before the Ohel Moed.

21 If the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to put His name there be too far from thee, then thou shalt kill RITUALLY SLAUGHTER of thy herd and of thy flock, which the LORD hath given thee, as I have commanded thee, and thou shalt eat within thy gates, after all the desire of thy soul. 22 Howbeit as the gazelle and as the hart is eaten, so thou shalt eat thereof; the unclean and the clean may eat thereof alike. 23 Only be stedfast in not eating the blood; for the blood is the life; and thou shalt not eat the life with the flesh.

One is required to cover the blood of fowls and wild animals with dust.

THE BIG MISTAKE THE NON-RELIGIOUS ‘LEADERS’ OF ISRAEL MADE AT THE END OF THE SIX DAY WAR: 29 When the LORD thy God shall cut off the nations from before thee, whither thou go in to dispossess them, and thou dispossess them, and dwell in their land; 30 take heed to thyself that thou be not ensnared to follow them, after that they are destroyed from before thee; and that thou inquire not after their gods, saying: 'How used these nations to serve their gods? even so will I do likewise.'

Can you believe that some leftist want to assimilate with the murderous religion. These are the same that yell women’s rights against the Rabbis but would stone a woman to death or come modestly dressed for their Arab friends and just a little better than a Bikini for a Rabbi.

31 Thou shalt not do so unto the LORD thy God; for every abomination to the LORD, which He hates, have they done unto their gods; for even their sons and their daughters do they burn in the fire to their gods.

There are places and religions today tolerated in Israel where certain idols will have to be removed in the future but now we are physically here in Israel but still spiritually in Gallus.

13:1 All this word which I command you, that shall ye observe to do; thou shalt not add thereto, nor diminish from it.

This is now a fact that once Moshe finished the Torah is immutable. One does not have inheritance today and usually is not interested in being with his sister-in-law should his brother pass on and he would do Yebum (especially since one can only take one wife) so we do Halitzah, but should the man and the woman live together after three months to know if she is pregnant or not, then Yebum is still valid.

2 If there arise in the midst of thee a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams--and he give thee a sign or a wonder, 3 and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spoke unto thee--saying: 'Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them';

Once he says go astray from the Torah we immediately know that he is a false prophet. Especially if he starts talking about any other religion existing today.

4 thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or unto that dreamer of dreams; for the LORD your God put you to proof, to know whether ye do love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Despite his twisting of words and prophecy and wonders using formulas that move demons and other negative spiritual things, we do not listen to him.

5 After the LORD your God shall ye walk, and Him shall ye fear, and His commandments shall ye keep, and unto His voice shall ye hearken, and Him shall ye serve, and unto Him shall ye cleave. 6 And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death; because he hath spoken perversion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of bondage, to draw thee aside out of the way which the LORD thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee.

He is brought before the Sanhedrin and put to death.

7 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, that is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying: 'Let us go and serve other gods,' which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; 8 of the gods of the peoples that are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth; 9 thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him; 10 but thou shalt surely kill him; thy hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

This goes for the closest of relatives to be put to death.

11 And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to draw thee away from the LORD thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 12 And all Israel shall hear, and fear, and shall do no more any such wickedness as this is in the midst of thee.

We have to keep ourselves and our land pure from such wickedness. For the land of Eretz Yisrael has a spiritual-physical power to vomit such individuals or the whole nation from the Holyland.

13 If thou shalt hear tell concerning one of thy cities, which the LORD thy God giveth thee to dwell there, saying: …16 thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that city with the edge of the sword, destroying it utterly, and all that is therein and the cattle thereof, with the edge of the sword.

In Tractate Sanhedrin there was a dispute that there ever was a city like this or not and one Rabbi testified that he saw the ruins of such a city. One thing is for sure if it were a border city we do not destroy it to leave our boundaries open.

17 And thou shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of the broad place thereof, and shall burn with fire the city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, unto the LORD thy God; and it shall be a heap forever; it shall not be built again.

This goes well for the Rabbi who claimed that he had seen the ruins as for the other Rabbis there never was nor will be such a city.

 …19 when thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep all His commandments which I command thee this day, to do that which is right in the eyes of the LORD thy God.

This essentially is the whole Torah between G-D and man and what is expected of us. Between man and man is in Vayikra 19 or Hillel the Elder in Avos and Tractate Shabbos: "What is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow: this is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn"

14:1 Ye are the children of the LORD your God: ye shall not cut yourselves, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead.

Like the Shiites in Lebanon and Iran with knives on their foreheads and upper brow.

The Parsha continues with a repeat of the laws of Kashrus: 6 And every beast that parts the hoof, and hath the hoof wholly cloven in two, and chews the cud, among the beasts, that ye may eat. …kosher birds until … Thou shalt not seethe a kid in its mother's milk.

… 15:1 At the end of every seven years thou shalt make a release. 2 And this is the manner of the release: every creditor shall release that which he hath lent unto his neighbor; he shall not exact it of his neighbor and his brother; because the LORD'S release hath been proclaimed. 3 Of a foreigner thou may exact it; but whatsoever of thine is with thy brother thy hand shall release.

A reminder of Shmita between man and man. Tithes were discussed earlier in our Pasha and therefore hinted Shmita of the Land.

…19 All the firstling males that are born of thy herd and of thy flock thou shalt sanctify unto the LORD thy God; thou shalt do no work with the firstling of thine ox, nor shear the firstling of thy flock.

The first born is reiterated here.

20 Thou shalt eat it before the LORD thy God year by year in the place which the LORD shall choose, thou and thy household. 21 And if there be any blemish therein, lameness, or blindness, any ill blemish whatsoever, thou shalt not sacrifice it unto the LORD thy God.
One does not bring a blemished animal or fruit as an offering before HASHEM.

… 16:1 Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover unto the LORD thy God; … 9 Seven weeks shalt thou number unto thee; from the time the sickle is first put to the standing corn shalt thou begin to number seven weeks. 10 And thou shalt keep the feast of weeks unto the LORD thy God after the measure of the freewill-offering of thy hand, which thou shalt give, according as the LORD thy God blesses thee. … 13 Thou shalt keep the feast of tabernacles seven days, after that thou hast gathered in from thy threshing-floor and from thy winepress. 14 And thou shalt rejoice in thy feast, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy man-servant, and thy maid-servant, and the Levite, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, that are within thy gates.

The Parsha ends with his holiday reminder.

 …17 every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which He hath given thee

How do we treat Pekuach Nefesh when the case is more Sofek Pekuach Nefesh? Background: Former Yeshiva Student Now Minister of Transport hired Druze and Bedouin workers to work on the building of the railroad and bridge construction on Shabbos of the new train-lines: HaEmek, Tel Aviv Subway and Yerushalayim – Tel Aviv.

The police said that working during the week and shutting down traffic would endanger lives for Ambulances could not get through the heavy weekday traffic not to mention more accidents. The exchange is located near Ichalov Hospital.

"Remember," Dizengoff writes, "Shabbat is our most amazing sign of national solidarity from generation to generation, and anyone who undermines it undermines the unity of Israel ... Preserve the Shabbat, and it will preserve us."

Dizengoff was not an observant Jew, nor was Ahad Ha'am (Hebrew essayist Asher Zvi Hirsch Ginsberg), who wrote: "More than Jews have kept Shabbat, Shabbat has kept the Jews." As for me I see no pressing need to work on building the Railway on Shabbos. I am uncertain if the street closure on Shabbos can’t be done weekdays at 11 PM or midnight to 5 AM.,7340,L-4847120,00.html

Next Shabbos only 3 of the 20 projects and sites were thought to be dangerous and even still I wonder: MY QUESTION IS WHY NOT THIS SHABBOS???

Part 9 of my return to Judaism will appear in another week due to the reasonable long story below.

From Haim O. Manila Poker Group that Rescued German Jews.

Vu Ahin Zol Ikh Geyn?
Tell me where shall I go,
Who can answer my plea?
Tell me where shall I go,
Every door is locked to me?
Though the worlds large enough,
Theres no room for me I know,
What I see is not for me,
Each road is closed, I am not free—
Tell me where shall I go.
Written in the 1930s by the Polish Yiddish actor Igor S. Korntayer, this plaintive Yiddish ballad describes in stark terms the dilemma faced by German Jews desperate to escape from their homeland after Hitler came to power. Suffering through a worldwide economic depression, Western nations, including the United States and Canada, imposed stringent immigration laws and rigid quotas and were unwilling to accept large numbers of refugees. In order to better identify German Jews who tried to enter the country, the Swiss government asked the German government to stamp a large red J, for “Jude, in the passports of all German Jewish citizens. Thwarted from emigrating to the West, thousands of German Jews fled eastward by sea and land routes seeking refuge in Asia and the Far East, especially the open city of Shanghai.
Shanghai was unique in that the city was internationally controlled and required neither a visa, passport, affidavit, nor certificate of guarantee for entry. Jews desperate to leave Germany and who were able to do so found asylum in Shanghai. The outbreak of war between China and Japan in 1937 made immigration perilous. In September 1937, Germany sent a ship to Shanghai to evacuate its nationals from the war zone and bring them to Manila. They also took on board 28 German Jewish families. When the ship arrived in Manila, the citys small Jewish community took charge of the Jewish refugees. This episode became the impetus for a Philippine plan to rescue German Jews from Nazi clutches.
Of all the Far East sanctuaries, only one country deliberately sought to save Jews: the Philippine Commonwealth. The rescue plan evolved from the close friendship and cooperation of a small group of men who regularly met to play poker. Their efforts led to the Philippines saving more than 1,300 German and Austrian Jews from 1938 to 1939.
The story begins with the four Frieder brothers, Alex, Phillip, Herbert, and Morris, who owned a two-for-a nickel cigar business. In 1918, the brothers decided to transfer their cigar manufacturing operation to Manila from New York City, to reduce production costs. The brothers then took two-year turns living in Manila and overseeing their plant. They also became active in Manilas Jewish community of 150 men, women, and children.
When the Shanghai German Jewish refugees disembarked in Manila,  American High Commissioner Paul V. McNutt waived the visa requirements and admitted them. At his urging, Alex and Phillip Frieder organized a Jewish refugee committee to support and help them adjust and settle in. From these refugees, the Frieders heard harrowing accounts of Nazi brutality and atrocities perpetrated against Germanys Jews. This revelation spurred them to rescue German Jews. To achieve their goal, the Frieders enlisted the help of men they played poker with. These poker buddies included McNutt, Manuel L. Quezon, president of the Philippine Commonwealth, and a young Army colonel named Dwight D. Eisenhower, then an aide to Gen. Douglas MacArthur, field marshal of the Philippines. At the late-night card games, these friends devised a rescue plan to eventually bring as many as 10,000 German Jews to the Philippines.
Although American immigration laws applied to the Philippines, the country had no quota system. A financial guarantee from a resident sufficed to obtain an entry visa. If the Jewish refugee who arrived in the Philippines was able to find employment, he met an important provision of U.S. immigration policy: that he not become a burden on the state. McNutt, the Frieder brothers, and Quezon became the active movers of the plan; Eisenhower played no ongoing role in the rescue but served as the groups liaison to the U.S. Army, which oversaw the Philippines.
Paul V. McNutt, a Roosevelt appointee, had been a professor of law, governor of Indiana (1935-1937), and a prominent figure in the Democratic Party. A decent and humane individual, McNutt learned about the Nazi atrocities from Jacob Weiss, a close Jewish ally in Indianas Democratic Party, and from reports he received from Jewish groups. McNutt had long disdained racial hatred and anti-Semitism, and respected Jews, as he said, “for their toughness, resiliency, and success.” He often spoke out and condemned the German government and Hitler, and supported the Zionist goal of a Jewish homeland in Palestine. McNutt realized that any long-term effort to permit large numbers of Jews to enter the Philippines had to be methodical, carefully planned, and in accord with United States immigration statutes.
McNutt acted cautiously because he wanted the plan to succeed. He felt the integration of the first groups would determine the number of those able to follow. He assured Jacob Weiss and the Frieders he would do everything in his power to absorb a portion of the Jewish political refugees from Europe. To follow through, he collaborated with Quezon, the other crucial member of the poker group.

Go to link above to view: Quezon (Left) and McNutt (Right) ‘Discussing’ (1938). (Photo courtesy of Rescue in the Philippines)
Quezon, the Philippine president, enthusiastically supported the plan. In 1935, Filipinos had elected him as the commonwealths first president. At the time, the Philippines were still a colonial possession of the United States. Quezon was an astute politician who used his fluency in English, political acumen, and gift of flattery to win over policymakers in Washington. Most important, Quezon was friendly and socialized with McNutt and the Frieders and visited with them at their homes. As a non-Aryan, he hated the Nazis and sympathized with the plight of Jews in Nazi Germany. He also believed the Jewish refugees would become an asset to the Philippines, especially with their expertise and knowledge of medicine and other professional fields. His endorsement proved significant because the commonwealths officials determined who could get off the ships and enter the territory.
The plan the men devised respected U.S. immigration laws and gained for the Philippines occupations and skills needed in their economy. McNutt told Phillip Frieder that if the Jewish community in Manila assumed responsibility for the immigrant families, he would be glad to allow them to enter. He said it was of the utmost importance that the refugees sent to the Philippines be unlikely to become public charges and able to easily assimilate into the community. Frieder agreed, provided that he and other Jewish members of the community could select the type of people who were to come.
The Frieders and other Jewish leaders worried that a large influx of refugees would tax the employment market and necessitate extensive welfare services, which their tiny community was unable to provide. They also knew that the long-term success of any resettlement program required the sympathy of the Filipinos. That meant the refugees had to be integrated into the community, secure employment, and avoid becoming public charges. Consequently, they advocated a controlled-entry program.
With McNutts consent, the Frieders contacted the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee (JDC). The JDC had created the Refugee Economic Corp. (REC), which helped resettle Jewish refugees. The REC worked with the Hilfsverein der Juden in Deutschland (Relief Association of German Jews). This German Jewish organization had been established in 1901 to engage in social welfare and educational activities among needy Jews. After Hitler came to power, the association assisted German Jews trying to emigrate everywhere but Palestine, which was handled by the Jewish Agency.
The Hilfsverein kept lists of those German Jews who applied to emigrate. The lists included the occupation or profession of each prospective emigrant. The German government allowed the Hilfsverein to exist because it wanted all Jews out of Germany, and the Hilfsverein promoted this goal. After the war broke out, the German government shut it down and assumed its activities.
The Frieders submitted the list of occupations they felt the economy needed and whose practitioners could be absorbed into the Philippine community to McNutt who, as the American High Commissioner, was a key link between the Frieders and the REC. He sent the plan and the list of prospective occupations to the REC. The list contained 14 needed skills and occupations as well as the number of people to be admitted in each category. Most of the occupations were in medicine—doctors, dentists, and nurses. Other categories included chemical engineers, auto mechanics, agricultural experts, cigar and tobacco specialists, men and women barbers, women dressmakers and stylists, accountants, film and photography experts, and even one rabbi, “not over 40 years of age, Conservative, married, and able to speak English.
The REC and JDC approved the plan and transmitted the list of immigrants to the Hilfsverein. The REC in conjunction with the JDC also advanced funds to support the immigrants. This met with McNutt’s stipulations that the immigrants not become public charges. The REC asked the Hilfsverein to “prepare a preliminary list of the people meeting the requirements outlined in the REC list, and to select from among the applicants for emigration those who might be “absorbed in the Philippine Islands within a short time. It reminded the Hilfsverein that “in view of the delicacy of the negotiations involved, we expect you to keep this matter entirely confidential, and under no circumstances give it any publicity whatsoever.
The REC worked with the Hilfsverein to determine who among those on the list should have the first chance to leave. The Hilfsverein informed the chosen applicants, got their OK, and sent their dossiers, which included photographs, curriculum vitae, educational data, and letters of recommendation to the REC and to the Jewish Refugee Committee in Manila. Alex Frieder and other members of the committee carefully studied the applications and forwarded the names to the Philippine government for approval. Alice Weston, Alex Frieders daughter, remembered that “day after day her father pored over lists of would-be refugees. She claimed it took so much of his time that he neglected his own business.
Seeing that the refugees were unlikely to become a public burden, McNutt endorsed visas for the German Jews who had the desired occupations and passed the screening process and background check. He relayed this request to the State Departments visa division, which sent instructions to the appropriate U.S. consular officers to issue the visas. The State Department forbade consular officials from granting visas to any refugee except those accepted by Manilas Jewish Refugee Committee.
McNutts role cannot be overstated. He was the prime mover in fostering a dialogue between the Philippine government, the U.S. State Department, the Manila Jewish community, and the REC. His willingness to be personally involved and to work with the various agencies was crucial to the plans success. In a letter to McNutt, Charles Liebman, president of the Refugee Economic Corp., wrote that his organization sincerely appreciated the most generous way in which you have interested yourself in the fate of the refugees.” Alex Frieder later wrote that without McNutts involvement and assistance, they would not have succeeded in saving Jews.
The refugees who came to Manila had a difficult time adjusting. They did not know the language; the heat and humidity were overpowering; and the mosquitoes were gigantic. Many lived in crowded community housing, which led to tensions and fights. But the young Jews saw the Philippines as a new adventure. Children climbed mango trees, swam in the bay, and learned Filipino songs. Lotte Hershfield remembered running around in sandals and summer clothes, but it was very difficult for my parents, she said. “They never really learned Tagalog [the official Philippine language]. They had been Westernized and they stayed mostly within their circle of other immigrants.
Although many of the refugees found suitable employment, some did not seek work because they were elderly and supported by relatives living abroad. Others were not able to work in their professions or trades because the market in those fields was oversupplied. Numbers of refugees also overstated their qualifications when they had registered for emigration with the Hilfsverein. Alex Frieder admitted that perhaps “we have been misled by the rather indiscriminate usage of the terms perfect,” expert,” and “specialist” on the affidavits, and thus have given visa recommendations to cases for which we have been unable to find employment after arrival in Manila.” In addition, he said, “the fact must be faced that a certain number of our immigrants will never make adjustments,” and will need relief permanently.

Go to link above to view: Philippino and the Israeli stamps commemorating the Philippines rescue of Jewish refugees from the Holocaust during World War II. The stamps depict the “Open Doors” monument at the “Memorial Park” in Rishon Le-Zion which was erected to commemorate the Philippines rescue of Jews. (
After America entered the war and Japan invaded and occupied the Philippines, the granting of visas to Jews ended. Ironically, the Japanese treated the German Jewish refugees considerably better than the British, American, and other enemy nationals residing in Manila. Because Germany was Japans ally, they thought of the German Jews as Germans and did not put them in internment camps. However, Jewish nationals from countries at war with Japan were interned and treated badly.
When the U.S. began to reconquer the Philippines, conditions for Jews quickly deteriorated. As the Japanese suffered defeat, their troops in Manila went on a rampage. They committed widespread atrocities against everyone, including the Jews, before they retreated from the city. The Japanese shot and bayoneted anyone and everyone they considered American and their allies, which in their eyes included almost everyone who was white.
Despite all they endured, the hundreds of surviving Jews and their children remained forever thankful that the Manila poker players saved them from certain death in the Holocaust. A recent documentary, Rescue in the Philippines, chronicled the affair. And in 2009, the Israeli city of Rishon Lezion erected a monument shaped like three open doors honoring Manuel Quezon and the Philippine people for their noble actions in rescuing German and Austrian Jews from persecution and death.
The article is based on correspondence, memos, and reports about the Philippine rescue operation housed in the archives of the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee. Copies of this material can also be found in the Yad Vashem archives in Jerusalem. Other source material included interviews with survivors, Dean J. Kotlowski’s biography of and articles about Paul V. McNutt, and Frank Ephraim’s 2003 memoir, Escape to Manila: From Nazi Tyranny to Japanese Terror.

It could be that he saved my grandparents from the Shoah but they got out in 1938 or 1939 before the transportations. I have the passport of my grandfather and it was with a Chinese Visa.

This post I received from a potential or full convert named Tikvah: From the Sefer Garden of Emuna: There was a King who wanted to share his treasures with his people so he graciously made them an offer. He opened his castle to the public where they could partake of his treasures for the next 120 days. So the people came along and saw a big sign saying "Open for the next 120 days! Take what you want within that time, and then it's going to be closed." 
Next to his castle, an amusement park also opened it's doors to the public with free rides, drinks, food and cheap amusement. 
The people thought to themselves, "You know what, there's another 120 days left. Let's go and enjoy ourselves a little bit, and then we'll come back before the 120 days are up". 
But the amusement park was so exciting, that they forgot all about the King's offer and his treasures which he wanted to share with them. 
He was waiting for them....just to come and take. 
And that's how HaShem/G-d is with us. 
He has an amazing storehouse filled with treasure, He's given us His Torah, the opportunities to do Mitzvot, treasured information of how to conduct our lives in order to live fulfilling lives for our own benefit, how to draw closer to HIM, treasures for this world and eternity. 
Yet our world had become filled with cheap amusements...TV, movies, games, internet....we choose the "excitement" of this world and we lose out on what is most important. 
The world is an illusion. 
There is nothing but HaShem.


Last thoughts of Rebbetzin Jungreis:

First humans in Eretz Yisrael (after Adam or 400,000 years ago – believe what you want),7340,L-4846834,00.html

The General and MK who kept his cool and smile under shelling and wounds dies of Kidney Failure at 80:,7340,L-4847244,00.html

Inyanay Diyoma


The world is becoming “everyman for himself” or Shoftim 17:6 In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes. Shoftim 21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes. Israel has been forced by Obama to make a deal with Turkey and the US and maybe Israel are leaving the Kurds while the Turks attack so the Kurds turn to Iran for help. Saudis are fighting both ISIS and Iran in Yemen. Things are complex and old alliances are unrattling.

Note: As the election in the States and in the future in Israel approaches I express my opinions, facts and data from others. My intent is the best for Israel. I have a friend whom I have known for well over 60 years and 60 years ago attended his Bar Mitzvah. He is very high up in the Democratic Party and one can be friends. The main goal here is for the production and distribution of words of Torah. My politics is based on what I personally believe is best for Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael and to bring the Moshiach. So if you see my political opinions vs. pure news please take this into account for my intent is not to get people angry but to enhance my view of the world. So please skip political opinions if they agitate you.

CNN or NY Times: Innocent terrorist rushing soldiers in order to murder them brutally became a Shachid:

From May: IDF prepared for a massive ISIS terrorist attack from Sinai:

Ben Dror Yemeni wins the award by the terrorist organization to be the chief inciter against them:,7340,L-4846179,00.html

?Peace? talks but first release murderers then we will talk:

Tried to break up a knife fight between two Arab youths paid for it with his life.,7340,L-4847340,00.html

Libya closing in on part of the ISIS in one city:,7340,L-4847354,00.html

A thought from Dr. Harry especially holds for Europe: Rome was overrun by the Visigoths in an event that symbolized the fall of the Western Roman Empire. This is a moment in history that we would do well to remember. An empire that ruled the world was corrupted from the inside to the point that they could not defend themselves from a much weaker enemy. This could conceivably be the beginning of our new dark middle ages.

What took them so long?

Turkish Kurdish war as Erdogan starts carving out his Caliphate:

He claimed his innocence:,7340,L-4847788,00.html

Fighting both Iran and ISIS in Yemen:

Hillel the elder said, “Because you killed others, others have killed you.”

Hamas is living in luxury how can we get the bodies of our boys back if you allow this:

While Israel Slept - Trump doubles down on the wall and assimilation in the USA.

Diplomacy with Mexico pays off for Trump as he comes up smelling like a rose.

 Immigrants most likely will thrive.

Most of the headlines were back to school in Israel, wounded soldier in Schem took second place.

Explosion destroys Amos 6 satellite as it is loaded on Space X platform. No TV internet for Africa as of now.

This time before Dr. Martin Sherman even wrote me, I got this from Arutz 7 and Editorial how the Fatach is losing control of the west bank.

From Jewish Republicans: A new report just revealed secret exemptions in the Iran nuclear deal that would allow Iran to evade various restrictions, including restrictions on their enriched uranium levels.

With these secret exemptions, Iran was allowed to exceed the established limit of how much low-enriched uranium (LEU) they can keep in their nuclear facilities. This is significant because LEU can easily be purified into highly enriched, weapons-grade uranium.

Have a good Shabbos and a good Rosh Chodesh Elul,
Rachamim Pauli