Last week’s Torah Tidbits pointed out that one Pasuk said that Avraham was 86 when Yishmael was born and the next started out with Avraham being 99 years old. At the start of our Parsha we are right after the circumcision and it runs through the Akeda (Yitzchak’s being placed on the Mizbayach). We have the requests to save Sodom and the fleeing of Lot. The mischief of Lot’s daughters precisely after Sodom was destroyed. It also says something about where Lot sent his daughters to be educated. We come across another drought and Avraham going to coastal plans with their ability to dig not too far down for water. Finally, we have the well of the swearing alliance ceremony or Beer Sheva not meaning seven but vow which sounds the same.
18:1 And the LORD appeared unto him by the terebinths of Mamre, as he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;
We have a lesson from this story. 1) HASHEM comes to Avraham who is 99 and still in pain from the Bris and visits the sick. (We shall see the burial of the dead with Aaron and Moshe). 2) Avraham decides to break off a conversion with HASHEM to serve guests and make a Kiddush HASHEM.
2 and he lifted up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood over against him; and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed down to the earth,
Another lesson is that even though the three appeared to be even idol worshippers who prayed to the dust of the earth, Avraham at the age of 99 RAN to meet them and offer them food and water to these wayfarers.
3 and said: 'My lord, if now I have found favor in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant. 4 Let now a little water be fetched, and wash your feet, and recline yourselves under the tree.
Contrary to our politicians, Avraham promises very little to these three Goyim a bit of water and the washing of the feet to rid them of dust just in case they prayed to dust. He then starts off a meal with milk, butter and the best part of three cows, a full tongue each.
5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and stay ye your heart; after that ye shall pass on; forasmuch as ye are come to your servant.' And they said: 'So do, as thou have said.'
After pressing them to stay and Rashi says it was a horribly hot Nissan day (perhaps 104F or more or 40C plus) they agree to sit in the shade and rest their beasts. [Note in the Beer Sheva region, the temperature can get extremely hot and water is not abundant to say it modestly.]
6 And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said: 'Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes.'
He then instructs his 89-year-old wife to HURRY and MAKE CAKES OF FARINA FLOUR. This is not the ordinary black bread that people were used to. These type of cakes with honey or sweetened with dates and raisins. The fine flour was only used in sacrifices or for the wealth. The intestinal diseases brought about by fine flour were unknown to man until recently. For it was only about a century ago that the average man had such fine flour.
7 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetched a calf tender and good, and gave it unto the servant; and he hastened to dress it.
Avraham, who is with a bit of pain and bandaged, RAN himself at the age of 99 and fetched a calf. Rashi implies three calves for three whole tongues. But the Pshat is one large calf and it provides enough tongue and steaks for all and then even something for the way if salted.
8 And he took curd, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.
For an appetizer, he gives them yoghourt, butter and perhaps cream with the bread while the calf cooks. During this time, he stands over and waits on them. He also explains to them that everything comes from HASHEM who created the sun, moon, planets, earth, sea and air. He praises more HASHEM and most likely tells them of the 7 Mitzvos of the Bnei Noach.
9 And they said unto him: 'Where is Sarah thy wife?' And he said: 'Behold, in the tent.'
How did these Goyim know that he had a wife and her name? Did he tell them about being married? Usually in the Middle East men do not talk about their wives much less mention their names! There is something going on beneath the surface here.
And they said to him: Heb. אֵלָיו. There are dots over the letters איו in the word אֵלָיו. And we learned: Rabbi Simeon the son of Eleazar says: “Wherever the [undotted] letters are more than the dotted ones, you must expound on the [undotted] letters, etc.” And here, the dotted letters are more than the [undotted] letters, and you must expound on the dotted [letters]. [The meaning is that] they also asked Sarah,“Where (אַיוֹ) is Abraham?” (Gen. Rabbah 48:15) We learn that a person should ask in his lodging place of the husband about the wife, and of the wife about the husband (B.M. 87a). In Bava Metzia (ad loc.) it is said: The ministering angels knew where our mother Sarah was, but [they asked in order] to make known that she was modest, in order to endear her to her husband. Said Rabbi Joseph the son of Chanina: In order to send her a cup of blessing (i.e., the cup of wine upon which the Grace after Meals is recited). Behold in the tent: She is modest. — [from B.M. ad loc., Mid. Ps. 128:3]
10 And He said: 'I will certainly return unto thee when the season cometh round; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son.' And Sarah heard in the tent door, which was behind him.
Now they must be revealing themselves to Avraham as no longer a simple Goy blessing him but an Angel prophesizing about him and his wife having a son next year at this time. Not any time but precisely by the sundial.
At this time next year: At this time in the coming year. It was Passover, and on the following Passover, Isaac was born, since we do not read כְּעֵת [at “a” time], but כָּעֵת [at “this” time]. כָּעֵת חַיָּה means: at this time, when there will be life for you, when you will all be alive and well. — [from Targum Yerushalmi, Targum Jonathan] I will surely return: The angel did not announce that he [himself] would return to him, but he was speaking to him as an emissary of the Omnipresent. Similarly (above 16:10): “And the angel said to her: I will greatly multiply [your seed],” but he [the angel] did not have the power to multiply [her children], but he spoke as an emissary of the Omnipresent. Here too, it was as an emissary of the Omnipresent that he said this to him. (Elisha said to the Shunamite woman (II Kings 4:16): “At this season, at this time next year, you will be embracing a son.” And she said, “No my lord, O man of God, do not fail your maidservant. Those angels who announced to Sarah said (below verse 14): ‘At the appointed time, I will return,’” [but Elisha did not promise to return]. Elisha replied, “Those angels, who live and endure forever, said, ‘At the appointed time, I will return.’ But I am flesh and blood, alive today and dead tomorrow. Whether I shall be alive or dead, ‘At this time, etc. [you will embrace a son.’”] (Gen. Rabbah 53:2). And it was behind him: The entrance was behind the angel.
11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old, and well stricken in age; it had ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
Ceased to have: It had ceased from her. — [from Gen Rabbah 48:16] The way of the women: the menstrual cycle.
Notice the modest language of the Torah manner or way of women this is a far cry from our course common language of the street, locker room, gangster rap or any army.
12 And Sarah laughed within herself, saying: 'After I am waxed old shall I have plea
sure, my lord being old also?' 13 And the LORD said unto Abraham: 'Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying: Shall I of a surety bear a child, who am old?
Is it really true: Is it really true that I will give birth? Although I am old: Scripture altered [her statement] for the sake of peace, for she had said, “and my master is old.” - [from B.M. 87a]
For here we learn that for the sake of Shalom Beis of husband and wife, one can alter the truth.
14 Is anything too hard for the LORD. At the set time I will return unto thee, when the season cometh round, and Sarah shall have a son.'
Even with insemination techniques and filters today, the doctors cannot really determine the sex of the child but here we see a guarantee of a son and not more or less than next year precisely on this lunar date.
15 Then Sarah denied, saying: 'I laughed not'; for she was afraid. And He said: 'Nay; but thou didst laugh.' 16 And the men rose up from thence, and looked out toward Sodom; and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.
From here we learn that one should accompany guests about six feet or close to two meters when they leave your house. Nowadays, One could also check up if they made it safely home although this is an extra special precaution but could be used if they decided to return home in a storm.
17 And the LORD said: 'Shall I hide from Abraham that which I am doing; 18 seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? … 20 And the LORD said: 'Verily, the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and, verily, their sin is exceeding grievous. … 22 And the men turned from thence, and went toward Sodom; but Abraham stood yet before the LORD. 23 And Abraham drew near, and said: 'Wilt Thou indeed sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 Peradventure there are fifty righteous within the city; will you indeed sweep away and not forgive the place for the fifty righteous that are therein? 25 That be far from Thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked, that so the righteous should be as the wicked; that be far from Thee; shall not the Judge of all the earth do justly?'
Avraham continues negotiating with the Angels now for the lives of the people of Sodom.
32 And he said: 'Oh, let not the LORD be angry, and I will speak yet but this once. Peradventure ten shall be found there.' And He said: 'I will not destroy it for the ten's sake.' 33 And the LORD went His way, as soon as He had left off speaking to Abraham; and Abraham returned unto his place.
The negotiations go on until if there is a Minyan of Righteous Men then the city will not be destroyed. However, if this fails to be the case Sodom will be destroyed.
19:1 And the two angels came to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom; and Lot saw them, and rose up to meet them; and he fell down on his face to the earth; 2 and he said: 'Behold now, my lords, turn aside, I pray you, into your servant's house, and tarry all night, and wash your feet, and ye shall rise up early, and go on your way.' And they said: 'Nay; but we will abide in the broad place all night.'
Despite the fact that he lived in the wicked city, he still conducted himself sort of in the ways of Avraham.
3 And he urged them greatly; and they turned in unto him, and entered into his house; and he made them a feast, and did bake unleavened bread, and they did eat.
Sodom had rules against guests and the Angels appeared to them as fair skinned men. Canaan was from Noach but Black and such fair men looked womanly to them.
4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both young and old, all the people from every quarter. 5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him: 'Where are the men that came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them.'
They had no qualms of behaving in this manner towards the men and wanted to do what they did until the men collapsed or bled to death from the penetration. For the wicked it was “Oh what fun”.
6 And Lot went out unto them to the door, and shut the door after him. 7 And he said: 'I pray you, my brethren, do not so wickedly. 8 Behold now, I have two daughters that have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes; only unto these men do nothing; forasmuch as they are come under the shadow of my roof.'
To this day there is an unwritten tradition that an Arab protects and defends his guests in his house or restaurant but once outside the others can kill them. However, offering up his daughters was not the way of Avraham for Lot had been corrupted by them.
9 And they said: 'Stand back.' And they said: 'This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs play the judge; now will we deal worse with thee, than with them.' And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and drew near to break the door. 10 But the men put forth their hand, and brought Lot into the house to them, and the door they shut. 11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great; so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
The Angels put up such a light that the men could not see where his door was or which street they were on.
12 And the men said unto Lot: 'Hast thou here any besides? son-in-law, and thy sons, and thy daughters, and whomsoever you have in the city; bring them out of the place; 13 for we will destroy this place, because the cry of them is waxed great before the LORD; and the LORD hath sent us to destroy it.' 14 And Lot went out, and spoke unto his sons-in-law, who married his daughters, and said: 'Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy the city.' But he seemed unto his sons-in-law as one that jested.
Like most people they ignore or mock the truth. Noach was treated as a crazy man, Avraham thrown into the fire, the Angels mocked, Moshe almost stoned so I am in good company as I lost approximately 6000 readers for my Inyanay Diyoma stand on how I believe is the best way to serve HASHEM and Am Yisrael during the election. [I have no qualms against people who voted contrary to me if they did so for the sake of heaven, Am Yisrael and Eretz Yisrael.] I have no regrets. For once I was on a cruise and the people offered me to lead the prayer. They wanted it mixed and with a Reform Siddur which had nothing to do with Judaism. The Conservatives have tried to make their Siddur politically correct with the blessings on women but it is basically traditional prayers. You can understand, that I prayed by myself a few Israelis on the cruise were shocked and walked out of the ‘Synagogue’ of the Ship.
15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying: 'Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters that are here; lest thou be swept away in the iniquity of the city.' 16 But he lingered; and the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the LORD being merciful unto him. And they brought him forth, and set him without the city.
Lot was weak in faith and only by the merits of Avraham and serving him, did he desire to live. So the Angels saved him, his wife and daughters with some provisions.
…19 behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast magnified thy mercy, which thou hast shown unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest the evil overtake me, and I die.
He did not know that the Angels would not destroy Sodom until he was in safety.
20 Behold now, this city is near to flee unto, and it is a little one; oh, let me escape thither--is it not a little one? and my soul shall live.'
Migdal Bavel (tower of Babel) happened when Avraham was 48 years old and he is 99 now. Counting both first and last year it is 52 years since the nations split up. The word Nun Aleph translated as behold or please is 51 in Gematria and the sins had not be as bad as the extra year of Sodom and the other cities.
21 And he said unto him: 'See, I have accepted thee concerning this thing also, that I will not overthrow the city of which thou hast spoken.
What follows is the utter destruction of Sodom and the foundation for the making of the Moshiach.
…26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. 27 And Abraham got up early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the LORD. 28 And he looked out toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the Plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the land went up as the smoke of a furnace. 29 And it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the Plain, that God remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when He overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt. 30 And Lot went up out of Zoar, and dwelt in the mountain, and his two daughters with him; for he feared to dwell in Zoar; and he dwelt in a cave, he and his two daughters.
He was smart enough to get out of Zoar as it was perhaps only a temporary refuge and far better to live with his supplies in a cave.
I would like to make a note here that as one goes down from Arad to the tongue of the Dead Sea, one sees ruins which we call Zoar today. However, since Moav and Ammon are on the other side of the Yarden, I believe that Lot and the cities were there by the Tongue and he fled to the current Jordanian Side.
31 And the first-born said unto the younger: 'Our father is old, and there is not a man in the earth to come in unto us after the manner of all the earth.
They were not instructed by Sara and learned in the public schooling, if they learned at all, of Sodom.
32 Come, let us make our father drink wine, and we will lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.' 33 And they made their father drink wine that night. And the first-born went in, and lay with her father; and he knew not when she lay down, nor when she arose.
You have to be completely gone or a drink with drugs not to know anything going on with you.
34 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the first-born said unto the younger: 'Behold, I lay yesternight with my father. Let us make him drink wine this night also; and go thou in, and lie with him, that we may preserve seed of our father.' 35 And they made their father drink wine that night also. And the younger arose, and lay with him; and he knew not when she lay down, nor when she arose. 36 Thus were both the daughters of Lot with child by their father. 37 And the first-born bore a son, and called his name Moab
The Mem in Hebrew is the preposition from so literally from my father which is the brazen way of Sodom.
… the same is the father of the Moabites unto this day. 38 And the younger, she also bore a son, and called his name Ben-ammi
Literally son of my nation.
…the same is the father of the children of Ammon unto this day.
…20: 1 And Abraham journeyed from thence toward the land of the South, and dwelt between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar. 2 And Abraham said of Sarah his wife: 'She is my sister.' And Abimelech king of Gerar sent, and took Sarah. 3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him: 'Behold, thou shalt die, because of the woman whom thou hast taken; for she is a man's wife.' … 17 And Abraham prayed unto God; and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maid-servants; and they bore children. 18 For the LORD had fast closed up all the wombs of the house of Abimelech, because of Sarah Abraham's wife.
We then have the story of Avimelech and the attempt to take Sarah again. We see that Avraham leaves and after being kicked out, trouble with the Plishtim. Eventually a treaty is made by the well of swearing, Beer Sheva.
22: 1 And it came to pass after these things, that God did prove Abraham, and said unto him: 'Abraham'; and he said: 'Here am I.' 2 And He said: 'Take now thy son, thine only son, whom thou love, even Isaac, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him …
Both sons were only sons to their mothers, both sons he loved therefore the Chumash has to specify Yitzchak. Yishmael and Eliezer accompany Avraham to the Akeda.
17 that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast hearkened to My voice.' 19 So Abraham returned unto his young men, and they rose up and went together to Beer-sheba; and Abraham dwelt at Beer-sheba.
The Pasukim imply a round trip to Har Moriah and a return to Beer Sheva. It might have been via Chevron but no mention is made of Chevron. Only next week do we see a connection with Chevron. The Medrash likes to say that Sara died when she thought that Yitzchak was sacrificed which would make him 37 years old. She tried to stop Avraham via Chevron. However, The Pshat shows otherwise.
20 And it came to pass after these things, that it was told Abraham, saying: 'Behold, Milcah, she also hath borne children unto thy brother Nahor: 21 Uz his first-born, and Buz his brother, and Kemuel the father of Aram; 22 and Chesed, and Hazo, and Pildash, and Jidlaph, and Bethuel.' 23 And Bethuel begot Rebekah; these eight did Milcah bear to Nahor, Abraham's brother. 24 And his concubine, whose name was Reumah, she also bore Tebah, and Gaham, and Tahash, and Maacah.
All the births of the seven boys from Michal and the four from the Pilegish were to include Rivka and her pedigree in the Chumash.
From Tianjin China to Tsfat Israel by Rabbi Y. Tilles
Aaron Waldman was born in 1983, in Tianjin, China (a city southeast of Beijing with a population of 13 million). His father was an engineer and his mother was a technician.
"After conversion, I chose 'Aharon' as my Jewish name, because the biblical Aharon was known as a man of truth and a lover of peace. The Jewish people are lovers of truth and peace.
"My Chinese name, Chai, translated into English means "wood". In Yiddish it is "valde"; that is how I chose the surname Waldman when I became Jewish-I am 'the man of the wood.'
"Yet, I am like a 'rootless tree.' Modern China is not classic, traditional China. It has become very much a Western-style country; it is not really Chinese. In modern China we were not educated with tradition. We are cut off from the root. I feel the spiritual emptiness.
"I was taught when I was young, in elementary school, that the universe has no beginning and no end," he recalls. "If you believe there is a beginning of everything, you are religious. That means you're superstitious, you're stupid.
"In the university in Tianjin, where I studied mechanical engineering, I was taught that the universe has a beginning, called the Big Bang. If you do not believe that the universe has a beginning, you are stupid. What's the truth?
"When I was young, communism was the truth. After I did research, I realized that it cannot be.
"One day during my senior year of university, the American teacher of my graduate-level English class spoke with me about religion and the Bible - a topic with which I was completely unfamiliar. He gave me an English-Chinese Bible to read. I was eager to learn English, and the book seemed like an excellent learning tool. I started to read the book carefully, word by word. This raised many questions - not only the definitions of certain English words, but also the concepts discussed in the book. I went back to the teacher again and again with my questions. I didn't realize that he was a Christian missionary with a hidden agenda of proselytizing.
"After acquiring a Master's degree in mechanical engineering in 2005, I got a good job working as an engineer in automotive design. I spent most of my free time undertaking a more thorough study of religion. I spent years studying the Bible, along with any books I could find about Western religions.
"When I started to research religion, I read maybe 10 versions of the Bible. But English Bibles and Chinese Bibles are all translations, and I found many contradictions between the versions. I realized that to know the truth, I would have to read the original text. So in order to be able to do this, I decided to learn Hebrew on my own, biblical Hebrew.
"After two years the huge central library in Tianjin finally acquired a Hebrew-English dictionary. Becoming proficient in Hebrew was a slow, steady process. After a while, maybe five years, I could read the Bible in Hebrew. I still didn't know how to pronounce anything because while a dictionary helps for reading, you can only guess at the sounds.
"Another couple of years later, with Israel and China normalizing diplomatic relations, a Chinese tourist went to visit and brought back a "learn Hebrew" CD. That eventually got passed along to me and I crossed another hurdle in my quest, finally hearing spoken Hebrew for the first time.
"So who is telling the truth? The Christians insist they are. But check the Bible. It says G-d is one, while they say G-d is three, including a man who died on a cross. There's no three in the text. The Bible says you should protect the Sabbath. The Christians don't do that. It is the Jews that do. And so forth.
"I realized that only Judaism was faithful to the original text. I became less focused on Christianity and more independent in my search. I set out to read any book I could find that was even remotely connected to the Jews - everything from holocaust memoirs to Israeli politics. Around this time the internet was coming into full swing. The Chinese government had not yet instituted filtering technology, so I had full access to everything from Maimonides to Martin Buber. All this made a tremendous intellectual impact on me.
"Five years later, in 2000, I reached the conclusion that Christianity was wrong. Only Judaism has the whole piece. So I made the choice that I want to live this way of life."
"But In China I couldn't, there was no synagogue in mainland China at that time. And how would I keep kosher?
"I decided to try locating a Jew in China. It was not easy. Finally I got in touch with a man named David Buxbaum, an American Jewish lawyer practicing in East Asia, with an office in Beijing.
"It was a real breakthrough to talk with a flesh-and-blood Jew who believed in the veracity of the Jewish Bible. What really impressed me was how humble, sincere and scholarly this man was. Now I knew that the negative stereotypes I had been getting from the Chinese media and the numerous Christian pastors I had consulted in my investigations were indefensible.
"I identified very clearly with the Jews, wandering the world in search of the Promised Land. I felt that I, too, was wandering in search of my homeland. After a long build-up, I finally reached a point of utter clarity. I decided to become Jewish and move to Israel, although I had no clue what precisely that would entail.
"I soon discovered it was logistically impossible to achieve this from the confines of China. I needed a halfway stop to serve as a launching point - enabling me to gain Western citizenship, become Jewish, and then go to Israel. There was no direct path and I needed a plan.
Part II - Canada"I had a friend living in Canada, a Chinese guy who had successfully navigated the immigration process. He showed me exactly how to do it. In 2005 I was able to move to Toronto and get a job in mechanical engineering. There I saw Judaism alive and in action. Imagine my first attendance at a synagogue, my first taste of matzah, my first shofar blast, my first dance at a Jewish wedding. It was all so beautiful, so pure, so untainted by the cynicism and materialism that has overrun our lives.
"As I learned more and more, it felt hypocritical that I was not putting this into practice. I decided to become observant: Lighting Shabbat candles. Prayer. Kashrut. The big deal was when I stopped eating pork, which is a main ingredient in almost all Chinese dishes.
"I studied, I struggled, and I questioned. I was determined to take this as far as the truth would allow. A few years passed and I was starting to feel like a Jew. I identified with the Jewish people who have been so unjustly slandered and persecuted. I understood that Judaism is true, and in order to solidify my love for the truth, I was ready to become Jewish. I studied extensively with Rabbi Robinson in Toronto, who guided me carefully through the whole process.
"In 2011, after 16 long years of searching, I completed my conversion with Rabbi Shlomo Miller in Toronto. I had finally come home to the Jewish people.
Part III - Israel"In May 2012 I made aliyah to Israel, and enrolled at Yeshivat Aish HaTorah in Jerusalem--directly across from the Western Wall! -- where I continued my passion for studying Torah.
"I knew that the Land of Israel was to be my homeland. And indeed, when I arrived here I felt that I found home. This was what I was looking for: A sincere, honest, devoted life. (Although I must admit being disappointed that the modern state of Israel has less Jewishness than I expected. For me this was a culture shock.)
I began a Chinese blog to provide basic knowledge of Jews and Israel so Chinese people will not be easily brainwashed by the negative media bias. I also worked on translating counter-missionary materials into Chinese, in order to refute religious slander against the Jews.
"When I came to Israel my parents were furious. The Chinese and world media isn't friendly to the Jewish people. So from my parents' point of view, they thought that I joined an evil cult and I went to an evil country. Now I think they reconciled somewhat.
"In Sivan 2014 I married Shalvi, and about four months after that, we moved to Tsfat (Safed). I studied in several different yeshivas and kollels (Torah centers for married men). But it is difficult to earn a living in Tsfat, so I spent a total of about a year in China teaching Judaism.
"Ironically, today there is a growing Chinese fascination with Judaism. Three universities have departments of Jewish studies, with probably a few hundred masters and doctoral candidates, all of whom are Chinese.
In operating on a purely academic level, however, these studies tend to miss out on the spiritual core driving the Jewish people. The Talmud in particular has gained a reputation as the "grand repository of secret business advice." With popular Chinese titles like "Crack the Talmud: 101 Jewish Business Rules," this faux-Talmudic wisdom has now become a guide for fortune-seekers.
"As for me, I am grateful to have discovered that the real "wealth" of Judaism is in its ethics and spirituality. That's why I joined.
Sources: Compiled by Yerachmiel Tilles from:
a) Waldman's video presentation for Orot TV
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tmiROL6uJtc - in English with Hebrew
b) the article and the 2 photos derived from the video on //YnetNews.com
c) An article in "Kol Chevra - 20th Yahrzeit" (supplied to Yerachmiel
Tilles by Aaron Waldman);
d) My conversations with Aharon Waldman (we are both residents of Tsfat).
Editor's note: Flash! The day before I completed this report, Aharon informed me that he is leaving Tsfat and moving to Bnei Barak.
Connection: Weekly Reading of Lech Lecha, opening verse -- "Go: from your land, from your birthplace, from your father's home, to the land that I shall show you."(Gen. 12:1)
For those Jews upset with Trump’s victory: http://edgar1981.blogspot.co.il/2016/11/a-message-to-jews-upset-about-trumps.html
Mafia Wars policeman killed: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4877844,00.html
Israeli invention to clear blocked arteries (Arabs please boycott). http://www.jewsnews.co.il/2016/04/20/israeli-company-discovers-cure-for-blocked-arteries.html
Muezzin Bill blocked temporarily. (At 4 AM sometimes at high decibels the loud speakers go off in the Mosque. It used to be a human call now it is so loud that it bothers both Muslim and Jews.) However, because of the Shabbos Sirens the bill goes back to the Ministers. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4879699,00.html
Rabbi falls asleep at the wheel and drives off a cliff to the next world: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/220384
I wanted to look into medical marijuana for somebody with shaky hands but has a weak heart but not after this: http://www.aol.com/article/news/2016/11/14/new-study-finds-marijuana-use-may-weaken-your-heart/21605644/
Even in Israel masculinity is on the decline with less men drafted: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4880366,00.html
Fierce battle in Mosul: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4877852,00.html
Iran has been testing missiles and making heavy water against the agreement. A president Trump may scare them like Reagan or act. http://debka.com/article/25774/Trump’s-first-ME-military-action-may-target-Iran
Kissinger Warns Trump on Iran: https://www.algemeiner.com/2016/11/11/kissinger-to-prevent-regional-explosion-us-must-thwart-iranian-expansionism/
Israel’s credit rating improves: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/220164
Arab threat to America: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/220191
From my Christian friend Shona. I might not read Christian papers but share this for I can be outraged and horrified at Muslim Middle-east murders of Christians and this filth paid by Soros that beats a PTSD homeless Veteran to death. (I was not the only Jew to post this) http://christiantimesnewspaper.com/breaking-protesters-beat-homeless-veteran-to-death-in-philadelphia/
Will Iran be a loser with a Trump Presidency? https://www.algemeiner.com/2016/11/10/iran-expert-islamic-republic-fears-it-could-be-the-big-loser-from-trumps-victory/
Cat and Mouse game in Syria with Obama trying to stifle Trump’s agenda. Helps Kurds late in 9th inning. http://debka.com/article/25776/Obama-hits-Trump-tie-with-Putin-Erdogan-on-Syria
The following is law is designed to stop Arabs after 50 years for claiming land where people have settled and then have it dismantled by the court. We know they lie but the leftist judges rule the legislature. It will compensate Arabs with proof via payment and leave the houses. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4878502,00.html
Arab vandalism against tombs: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4878533,00.html
Ed-Op it was the craziness of Political Correctness which gave rise to Donald Trump: This correctness did not remain in the margins. It went up. In 2009, it was Nidal Malik Hasan, US Army Medical Corps psychiatrist at the Fort Hood base in Texas, who murdered 13 of his friends in a shooting spree. It was clear that Hasan was a “repentant” who had teamed up with jihad. But US President Barack Obama, who quickly neglected his position as the world’s police, soon became the leading cop in the thought police. He banned the use of the phrase “Islamic terror.” http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4878306,00.html
Hezballah shows off tanks, missiles and APC like a full army now. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4879426,00.html
Bannon is pro-Israel with a clear record ignore the leftist press: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/220321
Israeli Missile Boats hardened against cyber-attacks. http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4879413,00.html
Okay Liberal Jews who contribute large sums to the DNC the Jew Hater Keith Ellison and his stealth Jihad is now a contender for Chairman. http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/minnesota-rep-keith-ellison-announces-bid-dnc-chair/story?id=43530069
Abbas’s Sons run this: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/220348
Putin has a small Russian strike in Syria after talking to Trump: http://debka.com/article/25778/Putin’s-low-key-Syrian-operation---a-call-to-Trump
Look who gave aid to Gush Katif refugees not so much the Israeli Gov. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/220338
Canada’s PM aids terrorism: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/220421
Many years ago, I met Mr. Geller who was retired who was an ex-member of Ha Shomer group. He was able to round up Abu so and so. Abu had been hiding from the Jews for years because he would pray that he would not be caught. Mr. Geller’s trick was to pray that he would catch him! Nice Prayers: http://www.jewsnews.co.il/2016/10/08/u-s-imam-muslims-have-the-right-to-take-the-property-of-filthy-christians-and-jews-4.html
Another terror ring busted: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/220371
Giuliani says the non-treaty Iran deal can be reversed the first day. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/220412
Not to waste time on a two-State solution: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4879436,00.html
US demands clarification about possible American Technology on drone given to the Russians: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4880589,00.html
Atheists who robbed from dead Hungarian Jews is object of anti-Semitism in this world. How much more so judged as a Jew in the next! http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/220484
Likud calls Defense Minister a stealth leftist. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/220481
Lincoln said keep your friends close and your enemies closer BUT I hope this is not so: Rumor # 1: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/220475 # 2 I am uncertain why the rumors are flying: http://www.aol.com/article/news/2016/11/17/report-trump-considering-nikki-haley-for-secretary-of-state/21608351/
Daniel Greenfield’s Blog Nov. 15th check this out on the Yasser Arafat Museum: http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.il/
What again the main stream media is lying about Steve Bannon being anti-Semitic! https://www.algemeiner.com/2016/11/15/amid-antisemitism-controversy-senior-trump-adviser-stephen-bannon-to-attend-major-pro-israel-groups-gala-dinner/
If they are doing it, they should also check out fake death notices like I got Willy Nelson and a few others. It looks like censoring the right. http://debka.com/article/25785/Faceless-monitors-judge-fake-news-on-social-media
Protester in chief according to Alinsky you keep protesting non-stop. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2016/11/17/obama-to-anti-trump-protesters-march-on.html
Iran and their tricks: https://www.algemeiner.com/2016/11/17/think-tank-latest-atomic-energy-report-on-iranian-compliance-with-nuclear-deal-borders-on-deception-by-omission/
Have a wonderful Shabbos,