Friday, May 12, 2017

Parsha Emor, Stories Holocaust, Rabbi Shimon, Why I am Converting


Light note for learning Torah: Trump's first international trip is to Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican. He chose those 3 after Steve Bannon told him a joke about an Iman a Priest and a Rabbi, he responded I got to meet these guys! Thank you Saturday night live!

Parsha Emor

Last week, we had basically a guide how to make the nation holy. This week we go on with the holiness of the Cohanim and the Cohain Gadol can only marry a virgin and not even a widow of his childless brother for Yebum. Prior to last week, the Torah covered 185 Mitzvos according to the Rambam there were in the double Parshiyos a total of 79 Mitzvos. An increase in over 40% adding to our knowledge. This week also is Mitzvah rich and appropriate for our season as the counting of the Omer of Barley between Pessach and Shavuos is one of them.

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

Speak unto the priests the sons of Aaron, and say unto them: Both Rashi and the Ramban comment on the double language. The Ramban adds a lot more information. If we see a small priestly child contaminate himself for the dead or eat something forbidden, we need not go out of our way to stop him but if he reaches the age of education that he will understand and remember we do.

…5 They shall not make baldness upon their head, neither shall they shave off the corners of their beard, nor make any cuttings in their flesh.

They shall not make bald patches on their heads: for a deceased. But are not [all] Israelites warned against this (see Deut. 14:1)]? However, when referring to the Israelites, Scripture says, “[You shall not…make any baldness] between your eyes [for the dead]” (Deut. 14:1). Thus, one might think that one is not liable [for making bald patches] anywhere else on the head. Scripture, therefore, says [regarding kohanim] “[They shall not make bald patches] on their heads” [teaching us that the prohibition applies to the entire head]. And we can extrapolate from kohanim to all Israelites through a gezeirah shavah [i.e., a Rabbinical tradition linking the laws of two otherwise unrelated verses or passages through common key words or phrases, as follows]: Here [regarding kohanim] Scripture uses the expression קָרְחָה - bald patches, and there regarding Israelites, Scripture [also] uses the expression קָרְחָה - bald patches. Thus, just as here [regarding kohanim, the prohibition applies to] the entire head, so is it understood further [regarding all Israelites], [that the prohibition applies to] the entire head, wherever one makes a bald patch on the head, [not just “between the eyes”], and just as there [regarding all Israelites, the prohibition applies to making bald patches only as a gesture of mourning] over a dead person [(see Deut. 14:1), “You shall not…make any baldness…for the dead”] - so, here [regarding kohanim, the prohibition applies to making bald patches only as a gesture of mourning] over a dead person. — [Torath Kohanim 21:11; Mak. 20a] Nor shall they shave the edge of their beard: Since it is stated in reference to all Israelites, “and you shall not destroy [the edge of your beard]” (Lev. 19:27), one might think that if one removed [the hairs] with tweezers or with a plane, one would be liable [to lashes]. Therefore, it says [here], “nor shall they shave,” [meaning] that one is liable only for something called “shaving” (גִּלוּחַ) with “destruction” (הַשְׁחָתָה) involved in it - that being a razor. — [Mak. 21a] Nnor shall they make cuts in their flesh: יִשְׂרְטוּ שָׂרֶטֶת, lit. “nor shall they cut a cut in their flesh.” [Why the double language?] Since regarding [all] Israelites, Scripture states (Lev. 19:28), “You shall not make cuts in your flesh for a person [who died],” one might think, that if someone made [several, e.g.,] five cuts, he would be liable for [having transgressed] only one [negative commandment]. Scripture, therefore, states, “nor shall they cut a cut,” to make one become liable for every individual cut made. For this word שָׂרֶטֶת is superfluous and thus is to be expounded [as above], as Scripture could have [merely] written, “nor shall they cut,” [in which case] I would have known that it means [not to cut] a cut. [Hence, the superfluous שָׂרֶטֶת was written to make one liable for each individual cut.]- [Torath Kohanim 21:12]

The above is basically the Pshat but the Ramban says that a Cohain especially the Cohain HaGadol should not let his hair grow for mourning which is different from the Pshat.

6 They shall be holy unto their God, and not profane the name of their God; for the offerings of the LORD made by fire, the bread of their God, they do offer; therefore, they shall be holy.

At this point the laws of being holy and marrying only holy people are given and that a Cohain Gadol cannot marry a widow but only a virgin. Below which Cohain cannot serve with offerings before the L-RD.

… 15 And he shall not profane his seed among his people; for I am the LORD who sanctify him.

No matter how worthy a Giyores who is capable of being the wife and even the queen of Am Yisrael, a Cohain cannot marry a non-Jew or the women specified here. The Cohain Gadol cannot marry even the widow of the previous Cohain Gadol for she is a widow (the Pasukim that I skipped over 7 - 14).

16 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 17 Speak unto Aaron, saying: Whosoever he be of thy seed throughout their generations that hath a blemish, let him not approach to offer the bread of his God. 18 For whatsoever man he be that hath a blemish, he shall not approach: a blind man, or a lame, or he that hath anything maimed, or anything too long, 19 or a man that is broken-footed, or broken-handed, 20 or crook-backed, or a dwarf, or that hath his eye overspread, or is scabbed, or scurvy, or hath his stones crushed; 21 no man of the seed of Aaron the priest, that hath a blemish, shall come nigh to offer the offerings of the LORD made by fire; he hath a blemish; he shall not come nigh to offer the bread of his God.

Just as a Korban cannot be blemished so to the Cohain. It is forbidden to officiate in the service but to fray the Korban or wash the room where the Korban is cut up and I was taught slaughter the Korban but not gather the blood or other parts of the service. He can partake in eating Teruma and eating parts given to a Cohain as a child can but not serve.

22:1 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 2 Speak unto Aaron and to his sons, that they separate themselves from the holy things of the children of Israel, which they hallow unto Me, and that they profane not My holy name: I am the LORD. 3 Say unto them: Whosoever he be of all your seed throughout your generations, that approaches unto the holy things, which the children of Israel hallow unto the LORD, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from before Me: I am the LORD.

Being Tamay is worse than being with a blemish as it completely invalidates a Cohain from coming close to a Korban. He is forbidden to eat Teruma or of the gifts of a Korban given to the Cohain.

… 8 That which dies of itself, or is torn of beasts, he shall not eat to defile himself therewith: I am the LORD.

Isn’t all of Am Yisrael forbidden Trafe and Nevailah? Of course but if we see the next sentence we understand that these ingredients like a Cohain Leper or with a blemish exclude him from serving HASHEM.

9 They shall therefore keep My charge, lest they bear sin for it, and die therein, if they profane it: I am the LORD who sanctify them.

The average man who does this will be flogged unless it is for saving his life. But the Cohain will die in service of HASHEM.

10 There shall no common man eat of the holy thing; a tenant of a priest, or a hired servant, shall not eat of the holy thing.

A common man cannot trespass on the holy things given a Cohain but his slave/servant may eat.

11 But if a priest buy any soul, the purchase of his money, he may eat of it; and such as are born in his house, they may eat of his bread. 12 And if a priest's daughter be married unto a common man, she shall not eat of that which is set apart from the holy things. 13 But if a priest's daughter be a widow, or divorced, and have no child, and is returned unto her father's house, as in her youth, she may eat of her father's bread; but there shall no common man eat thereof.

There is an exception if a Bas Cohain marries a different Cohain then there is no problem whatsoever.

14 And if a man eat of the holy thing through error, then he shall put the fifth part thereof unto it, and shall give unto the priest the holy thing. 15 And they shall not profane the holy things of the children of Israel, which they set apart unto the LORD; 16 and so cause them to bear the iniquity that brings guilt, when they eat their holy things; for I am the LORD who sanctify them.

This is the rule of Shogeg aka a mistake. If one mixes up regular food with the pure Teruma for the Cohain set aside or the gifts of the Korban belonging to the Cohain, he or she shall pay an indemnity of 20% Thus if one had a kilogram of wheat that was Teruma and eat it, he has to give 1,200 grams of wheat or anything else.

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

Moshe is giving the nation a review of the holidays and the special sanctity of the day. He therefore starts with the holy of the holidays.

3 Six days shall work be done; but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of work; it is a Sabbath unto the LORD in all your dwellings.

It hurts HASHEM like a father to see HIS children still violating the Shabbos to such an extent. How many times I have seen mothers and fathers aggravated by children who did not listen to them or those who became addicted. How many prayers, pleas for help have I heard of or spoke to a parent on Skype. For HASHEM the violators of Shabbos are HIS creation and HE is their parent. Some violations can be attributed to the freedoms given the Jews since the middle-ages where they can mingle and be like anybody. Some comes from a generation or two and my cousins from my mother’s side a 7th and 8th generation that may or may not be Jewish at all. It hurts me deep inside as a Rabbi on my own failure to reach across to my students and reach and convince me of the holiness and sanctity of the day.

I admit that if one is addicted to TV, the internet, news-a-holic like myself to cut oneself off from the world each week for 25 hours and Rosh Hashanah or outside of Israel Yom-Tov Shabbos that can last 72 hours it is hard. It is easier for a bookworm type or a family that likes to walk together through the neighborhood, but much harder for the A-type personalities. Yet, when one realizes the pleasure in this world as one gets used to complete rest and relaxation, he would not do things any other way. It is a revolution for some.

I have written that the first stage was not writing or erasing and traveling. I did not pick fruits except on our country place and they were berries that could be picked before or after Shabbos. Slowly I learned about carrying from domain to domain and turning on and off electricity or lighting a fire. Cooking was easy as I bought kosher cold-cuts or tuna or gefilte fish. I always loved fresh fruits and vegetables.
4 These are the appointed seasons of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their appointed season. 5 In the first month, on the fourteenth day of the month at dusk, is the LORD'S Passover.

This is when we bring the Korban.

6 And on the fifteenth day of the same month is the feast of unleavened bread unto the LORD; seven days ye shall eat unleavened bread.

This is when leavening is forbidden. Our Sages of blessed memory place a fence around the Torah and forbade eating from about mid-morning and then having in our possession Chametz from the 5/12 hours of daylight

7 In the first day ye shall have a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work. 8 And ye shall bring an offering made by fire unto the LORD seven days; in the seventh day is a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work.

Pessach and other Yomim Tovim are holy but if during the weekday, one can carry and cook from an existing flame. This is not so for Shabbos which is holier.

9 And the LORD spoke unto Moses saying: 10 Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them: When ye are come into the land which I give unto you, and shall reap the harvest thereof, then ye shall bring the sheaf of the first-fruits of your harvest unto the priest. 11 And he shall wave the sheaf before the LORD, to be accepted for you; on the morrow after the Sabbath the priest shall wave it.

In this case it is day after Yom Tov Rishon of Pessach and not Motzei Shabbos. This is oral Torah from Sinai.

15 And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after the day of rest, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the waving; seven weeks shall there be complete; 16 even unto the morrow after the seventh week shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall present a new meal-offering unto the LORD.

This is the counting of Omer which is 7 full weeks and on the evening of the 50th we have the start of Shavuos on the 50th day.

… 21 And ye shall make proclamation on the selfsame day; there shall be a holy convocation unto you; ye shall do no manner of servile work; it is a statute forever in all your dwellings throughout your generations. 22 And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corner of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleaning of thy harvest; thou shalt leave them for the poor, and for the stranger: I am the LORD your God.

One of the reasons that we read or Megilla Ruth on Shavuos is that She gathered barley from the field of Boaz. It is also the birth and Yahrzeit of David HaMelech.

Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur: 23 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 24 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying: In the seventh month, in the first day of the month, shall be a solemn rest unto you, a memorial proclaimed with the blast of horns, a holy convocation. 25 Ye shall do no manner of servile work; and ye shall bring an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 26 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 27 Howbeit on the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement; there shall be a holy convocation unto you, and ye shall afflict your souls; and ye shall bring an offering made by fire unto the LORD. 28 And ye shall do no manner of work in that same day; for it is a day of atonement, to make atonement for you before the LORD your God. 29 For whatsoever soul it be that shall not be afflicted in that same day, he shall be cut off from his people. 30 And whatsoever soul it be that doeth any manner of work in that same day, that soul will I destroy from among his people. 31 Ye shall do no manner of work; it is a statute forever throughout your generations in all your dwellings. 32 It shall be unto you a Sabbath of solemn rest, and ye shall afflict your souls; in the ninth day of the month at even, from even unto even, shall ye keep your Sabbath.

It is a very holy day and carrying out is forbidden and all the Melachos of Shabbos. However, it is not as holy as Shabbos Kodesh as only 6 people get called up to the Torah and not 7 as on Shabbos unless Yom Kippur falls on the Shabbos. We afflict our souls according to the tradition of Chachamim of not eating & drinking, not having marital relations, no bathing & washing or wearing shoes. [Many times I have written that one must guard one’s health and there are things that over-ride Yom Kippur. I have very bad ankles and feet. The last time I wore canvas shoes, my feet hurt every step for over a month. This is not what the Torah wants. Modern sneakers such as Nike and New Balance often have some leather mixed in with the material. The same with diabetics, cancer and certain heart patients who should eat according to Halacha on Yom Kippur. Certain sink diseases or infections may force somebody to wash certain parts of one’s body. It the job of the Rabbis to make sure that people guard the holiness of the day but also take care of their lives.

33 And the LORD spoke unto Moses, saying: 34 Speak unto the children of Israel, saying: On the fifteenth day of this seventh month is the feast of tabernacles for seven days unto the LORD. 35 On the first day shall be a holy convocation; ye shall do no manner of servile work. 36 Seven days ye shall bring an offering made by fire unto the LORD; on the eighth day shall be a holy convocation unto you; and ye shall bring an offering made by fire unto the LORD; it is a day of solemn assembly; ye shall do no manner of servile work.

Sukkos is a special gathering and has a starting Yom Tov and a concluding Yom Tov. Note that nothing is mentioned about praying for dew on Pessach or rain on Sukkos, but this is oral Torah.

37 These are the appointed seasons of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to bring an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt-offering, and a meal-offering, a sacrifice, and drink-offerings, each on its own day;

These are the Yomim Tovim of holiness before HASHEM which are beside the holiest of days.

38 beside the Sabbaths of the LORD, and beside your gifts, and beside all your vows, and beside all your freewill-offerings, which ye give unto the LORD.

I conclude this week’s Parsha without the section on the blasphemer or the equating of the Gerim with the Bnei Yisrael and the treating of the poor. Hopefully some future time I will deal with this.

Why this person is converting to Judaism:

Gog and Magog: Gina from Argentina sent me this. It is a film in Spanish of for which there is an English and Hebrew translation. This is a lecture by a Kabbalist from the year 5754 that was given a month before his passing. He basically said that the evil which comes out of the north is not Syria or Iran but North Korea which starts the war of Gog. Disclaimer: I received this minutes before this publication and have not seen the video myself but will watch it Ble Neder. However, the translation of the introductory page did look strong enough for me to recommend one watching this.

Lag B’ Omer in Meron again and again.

Zelig was getting older, and couldn't seem to find his bashert (destined soul-mate). On Lag b'Omer 5774, while his mother was in the midst of her bus ride to Meron in order to pray at the tombsite of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, she took out her cell phone and dialed her husband. When he answered she said to him excitedly,
"I just reminded myself of when we were in Meron many years ago, praying for a child. We promised that if we were blessed with a boy, we would call him Shimon. But when our first son was born, we forgot our promise and named him Zelig. Now I am wondering, maybe this is what is holding back his finding the right young woman?"
The father, a Chasid, immediately contacted his Rebbe, who told him that from now on they should call their son Shimon-Zelig [and that at the next Torah reading in synagogue he should do the procedure to ratify the new name-y.t.].
The mother prayed fervently to the Al-mighty at the tombsite of Rabbi Shimon that her son Shimon Zelig should finally find his soul-mate and become engaged.
The next Shabbat, the Gabbai (synagogue manager) honored their son with an Aliyah, summoning him with the name "Shimon-Zelig." After the Aliyah was completed, he made a special blessing for the young man, again using his new name, Shimon-Zelig.
It so happened another person in the congregation was also named Zelig. He approached the Gabbai and asked him, "Why did you call this young man by the name Shimon Zelig? Until now he was simply Zelig, like me."
The Gabbai said, "That is what the father asked me to do. I don't know his reason. I didn't ask any questions."
It turns out this Zelig had a daughter, and years before he had considered the young man Zelig to be a desirable match for his daughter. But 800 years earlier the great sage Rabbi Yehuda Chasid taught that the names of a father-in-law and son-in-law (and mother-in-law and daughter-in-law) should not be the same. Now that their names weren't exactly the same, he decided to pursue the match with alacrity.
It didn't take long until Shimon-Zelig was engaged to Zelig's daughter!
* * *
In the year 5773, a certain G-d fearing, honorable good Jew who lived in Jerusalem was imprisoned for some reason. As Lag B' Omer approached, this prisoner was very upset that he couldn't be in Meron for the festive occasion.
He asked his son to go to pray for him, and he expressed his sorrow that he can't go there as well. "I go every year, and now I am behind bars and unable to attend."
The son replied, "Since you go to Rabbi Shimon every year but this year you can't for a reason beyond your control, I am certain that Rabbi Shimon will this year come to you instead!"
His father smiled. He appreciated his son's effort to cheer him up, but of course it was just wishful thinking.
That year, on Lag b' Omer, a fire broke out in the jail. The Jewish inmates took advantage of the fire to dance around it and sing joyously the three classic Lag b' Omer songs over and over. Thus, they had a genuine Lag b' Omer bonfire celebration right there in prison!
Nor was that all. The fire caused so much damage, the jail needed repairs. As a result, there wasn't room for all the prisoners, so the next morning, on Lag b' Omer day, the ones with the lightest sentences were freed.
So it seems that Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai did go to the remorseful Jew, just as his son had said. He, and many others of the prisoners, were able to celebrate on Lag b' Omer, and then to be set free as well.
Source: "Torah Wellsprings" - R. Elimelech Biderman (Emor 5776 - adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from the translation of R. Baruch Twersky)

This will not the story for this week because it is a Holocaust Repeat but worth hearing again thanks to Max. While he was in Dachau, a Jew who was being taken to his death suddenly flung a small bag at my father, Judah Wallis. He caught it, thinking it might contain a piece of bread. Upon opening it, however, he was disturbed to discover a pair of Tefillin. Judah was very frightened because he knew that were he to be caught carrying Tefillin, he would be put to death instantly. So he hid the Tefillin under his shirt and headed for his bunkhouse.
In the morning, just before the appel [roll call], while still in his bunkhouse, he put on the Tefillin. Unexpectedly, a German officer appeared. He ordered him to remove the Tefillin, noted the number on Judah’s arm.
At the appel, in front of thousands of silent Jews, the officer called out Judah’s number and he had no choice but to step forward. The German officer waved the Tefillin in the air and said, "Dog! I sentence you to death by public hanging for wearing these."
Judah was placed on a stool and a noose was placed around his neck. Before he was hanged, the officer said in a mocking tone, "Dog, what is your last wish?"
“To wear my Tefillin one last time," Judah replied.
“The officer was dumbfounded. He handed Judah the Tefillin. As Judah put them on, he recited the verse that is said while the Tefillin are being wound around the fingers: "Ve’eirastich li le’olam, ve’eirastich li b’tzedek uvemishpat, ub’chessed, uv’rachamim, ve’eirastich li b’emunah, v’yodaat es Hashem – I will betroth you to me forever and I will betroth you to me with righteousness and with justice and with kindness and with mercy and I will betroth you to me with fidelity, and you shall know G-d."
It is hard for us to picture this Jew with a noose around his neck, wearing Tefillin on his head and arm – but that was the scene that the entire camp was forced to watch, as they awaited the impending hanging of the Jew who had dared to break the rule against wearing Tefillin.
Even women from the adjoining camp were lined up at the barbed wire fence that separated them from the men’s camp, forced to watch this horrible sight.
As Judah turned to watch the silent crowd, he saw tears in many people’s eyes. Even at that moment, as he was about to be hanged, he was shocked. Jews were crying! How was it possible that they still had tears left to shed? And for a stranger? Where were those tears coming from? Impulsively, in Yiddish, he called out, "Yidden, I am the victor. Don’t you understand, I am the winner!"
The German officer understood the Yiddish and was infuriated. He said to Judah, "You dog, you think you are the winner? Hanging is too good for you. You are going to get another kind of death."
“Judah, my father, was taken from the stool and the noose was removed from his neck. He was forced into a squatting position and two huge rocks were placed under his arms. Then he was told that he would be receiving 25 lashes to his head – the head on which he had dared to position his Tefillin. The officer told him that if he dropped even one of the rocks, he would be shot immediately. In fact, because this was such an extremely painful form of death, the officer advised him, "Drop the rocks now. You will never survive the 25 lashes to the head. Nobody ever does."
Judah’s response was, "No, I won’t give you the pleasure."
At the 25th lash, Judah lost consciousness and was left for dead. He was about to be dragged to a pile of corpses, after which he would have been burned in a ditch, when another Jew saw him, shoved him to the side, and covered his head with a rag so people didn’t realize he was alive. Eventually, after he recovered consciousness fully, he crawled to the nearest bunkhouse that was on raised piles and hid under it until he was strong enough to come out under his own power. Two months later he was liberated.
During the hanging and beating episode, a 17-year-old girl had been watching the events from the women’s side of the fence. After liberation, she made her way to Judah. She walked over to him and said, "I’ve lost everyone. I don’t want to be alone any more. I saw what you did that day when the officer wanted to hang you. Will you marry me?”
My parents walked over to the Klausenberger Rebbe and requested that he perform the marriage ceremony. The Klausenberger Rebbe, whose Kiddush Hashem is legendary, wrote out a kesubah [marriage contract] by hand from memory and married the couple. I have that handwritten kesubah in my possession to this day.
~~ Rabbi Yosef Wallis

From Steve B. WWII not only Japanese Internment but Jewish Latino Internment in the USA.

Anti-Zionist Jews break into army base.

Inyanay Diyoma

Infiltrator from Lebanon puts an end to officer’s military career.

Iran realizes that anti-Israel written on missiles ruins their status:

Problem with the Health Dept. and Hadassah Hospital:,7340,L-4958068,00.html

Russian Propaganda aimed at limiting Israel on the Golan.’s-4-Syrian-ceasefire-zones-–-Kremlin-spin

ISIS affiliate swaps 82 school girls for terrorists.

Iranian Submarine Missile test B”H fails but more evidence of N. Korea-Iran cooperation.

Israeli Police and Army have massive preparations for Trump Visit: Rabbi Pauli says hold his feet to the fire on the Embassy Move.

Blessed be HE - relieved ISIS from us:

French election. One was extreme right the other extreme left. When all the leftist newspapers liked Macron I figured out something was not kosher on either side. Just saying.

Trump Admin approves heavier weapons to Kurds:,7340,L-4959744,00.html

Israel TV shuts down after 49 years on a 2-hour notice. With tears in their eyes, the broadcasters did the show showing off the staff from Haifa and Yerushalayim and the interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury did not air:,7340,L-4959836,00.html

Israel ranks in the lower half of the world with freedom of the press.,7340,L-4959764,00.html

Within half an hour, terrorist shooter apprehended:,7340,L-4959833,00.html

PLO defends terrorism as freedom fighters:

Ed-Op Ben Dror Exposing hunger strike leader as a crook.,7340,L-4959433,00.html

Netanyahu meets with USA Chief of Staff:

Non-Jewish soldier girl joined the rescue unit:,7340,L-4960932,00.html

Good Shabbos all,
Rachamim Pauli