Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Parshiyos Hazinu - Zos HaBracha, Rabbi Yacov Lustig, story and returning Pasha Noach


Baruch Dayan Emmes Rabbi Yacov Lustig (Yacov ben Tova Ethel on my prayer listed passed away). In an e-mail Chesped by the Chief Chabad Rabbi of Brazil:  Our final address has three names which represent three kinds of lives and ways of living.
1 - Beis Hakvoros, those who live as if life ends here and then a cold slab covers all.
2 - Beis Olam, those who leave projects which will continue even after they have gone.
3 - Beis Hachaim, those who continue alive and among us because they inspired and inspire, whose company was a pleasure and an honor, and will always be remembered. 
Rabbi Yakov Lustig was a Beis Hachaim yid.

Shabsi and Yael Alpern

Parsha Hazinu

Last week, we concluded the 613 Mitzvos. The last one was to listen to this song and some say to memorize it. In fact, when my oldest son was in elementary school, he committed this to rote.

32:1 Give ear, ye heavens, and I will speak; and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.

One needs two witnesses. In the spiritual world of Torah, sometimes the walls of one’s house are called to testify upon our actions what we thought was private. Moshe calls upon heaven and earth to witness the Bnei Yisrael.

2 My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew; as the small rain upon the tender grass, and as the showers upon the herb.

The Torah is not supposed to be like a Volcano or Hurricane but rather like a drop of rain. Rabbi Akiva was asked by Rachel to learn Torah and she would marry him. He was smart but when it came to learning a Boor and Am HaAretz. As he tended the sheep for her father, he saw a rock which had been cut deep by dripping water. He learned that if the hard rock could be cut by water, his head can be penetrated by Torah which is often equated with living waters.

3 For I will proclaim the name of the LORD; ascribe ye greatness unto our God.

One should try to live a Kiddush HASHEM.

4 The Rock, His work is perfect; for all His ways are justice; a God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is He. 5 Is corruption His? No; His children's is the blemish; a generation crooked and perverse.

Who is crooked and perverse? Not HASHEM for HE is just and perfect but rather us.

6 Do ye thus requite the LORD, O foolish people and unwise? is not He thy father that hath gotten thee? hath He not made thee, and established thee?

Throughout the ten days of repentance, we say “Our Father, Our King” known as the Avinu Malkaynu Prayer. We start with “sinned before you” and end with “we have no deeds (Rav Ovadia Yosef used to say like a person asking for shopping at the local story, we have no money give us credit) do unto us Tzeduka V’ Chessed (charity and mercy) and save us”.

7 Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations; ask thy father, and he will declare unto thee, thine elders, and they will tell thee.

Oy what was the level of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yacov and where are we today. It is true that life was longer and different then and the bustle of the Jet Set was not upon the world. There was no rush hour, but they did have threats, tests and wars in their generations. Avraham was thrown into the fire, fought a war, had to sacrifice his only son which fortunately was stopped and even had to chop a strategic part of his body at the age of 99. Yitzchak stretched out his neck and Yacov had problems with his brother, father-in-law and more that endangered his life.

8 When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance, when He separated the children of men, He set the borders of the peoples according to the number of the children of Israel. 9 For the portion of the LORD is His people, Jacob the lot of His inheritance.

The first Rashi in the Chumash gives us the right to the land of Yisrael and now the Torah is concluding with our inheritance.

… 30 How should one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, except their Rock had given them over and the LORD had delivered them up?

When HASHEM is with us and we are doing Mitzvos or even if HE foresees that we will repent and return we can win physical battles. But first we must fight our spiritual battles.

… 36 For the LORD will judge His people, and repent Himself for His servants; when He sees that their stay is gone, and there is none remaining, shut up or left at large.

This line is so appropriate for Shabbos Teshuva. We are being judged act that way!

… 40 For I lift up My hand to heaven, and say: As I live forever, 41 If I whet My glittering sword, and My hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to Mine adversaries, and will recompense them that hate Me. 42 I will make Mine arrows drunk with blood, and My sword shall devour flesh; with the blood of the slain and the captives, from the long-haired heads of the enemy.' 43 Sing aloud, O ye nations, of His people; for He doth avenge the blood of His servants, and doth render vengeance to His adversaries, and doth make expiation for the land of His people.

For those who ignored the cries of the 6,000,000 during the Shoah the Muslim Immigration is about to extract a high price until Esav and Yishmael fight in the war or Gog and Magog.

44 And Moses came and spoke all the words of this song in the ears of the people, he, and Hoshea the son of Nun. 45 And when Moses made an end of speaking all these words to all Israel, 46 he said unto them: 'Set your heart unto all the words wherewith I testify against you this day; that ye may charge your children therewith to observe to do all the words of this law. 47 For it is no vain thing for you; because it is your life, and through this thing ye shall prolong your days upon the land, whither ye go over the Jordan to possess it.'

You will be the generation that conquers the land.  So you must remember this song and observe the Commandments.

48 And the LORD spoke unto Moses that selfsame day, saying: 49 'Get thee up into this mountain of Abarim, unto mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, that is over against Jericho; and behold the land of Canaan, which I give unto the children of Israel for a possession; 50 and die in the mount whither thou go up, and be gathered unto thy people; as Aaron thy brother died in mount Hor, and was gathered unto his people. 51 Because ye trespassed against Me in the midst of the children of Israel at the waters of Meribath-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin; because ye sanctified Me not in the midst of the children of Israel. 52 For thou shalt see the land afar off; but thou shalt not go thither into the land which I give the children of Israel.'

The Nevo range and probably Har Ha Hor one can see from the other side of the Yarden down to Eilat and the Hermon and to the Mediterrean Sea. Moshe’s reward is seeing the land but his punishment is not entering it. It is a pity for had he entered, we would never have had Gallus.

Zos HaBracha

33:1 And this is the blessing wherewith Moses the man of God blessed the children of Israel before his death. 2 And he said: The LORD came from Sinai, and rose from Seir unto them; He shined forth from mount Paran, and He came from the myriads holy, at His right hand was a fiery law unto them. 3 Yea, He loves the peoples, all His holy ones--they are in Thy hand; and they sit down at Thy feet, receiving of Thy words. 4 Moses commanded us a law, an inheritance of the congregation of Jacob. 5 And there was a king in Yeshurun, when the heads of the people were gathered, all the tribes of Israel together.

It is not a normal law with speeding tickets or obstruction on the sidewalk but a fiery law. It is a law for a holy nation. The Congregation of Yeshurun a straight and religious people. So Moshe blessed the tribes.

6 Let Reuben live, 7 And this for Judah, and he said: Hear, LORD, the voice of Judah, 8 And of Levi he said: 12 Of Benjamin he said: 13 And of Joseph he said:

Moshiach ben Yosef:

17 His firstling bullock, majesty is his; and his horns are the horns of the wild-ox; with them he shall gore the peoples all of them, even the ends of the earth; and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh. 18 And of Zebulun he said: 20 And of Gad he said: Blessed be He that enlargeth Gad; 22 And of Dan he said: 23 And of Naphtali he said: 24 And of Asher he said: … 29 Happy art thou, O Israel, who is like unto thee? a people saved by the LORD, the shield of thy help, and that is the sword of thy excellency! And thine enemies shall dwindle away before thee; and thou shalt tread upon their high places.

Now that Moshe had finished blessing the people, it was time for him to pass on and be rewarded to witness the Holyland and find his heavenly rest.

34:1 And Moses went up from the plains of Moab unto mount Nebo, to the top of Pisgah, that is over against Jericho. And the LORD showed him all the land, even Gilead as far as Dan; 2 and all Naphtali, and the land of Ephraim and Manasseh, and all the land of Judah as far as the hinder sea; 3 and the South, and the Plain, even the valley of Jericho the city of palm-trees, as far as Zoar. 4 And the LORD said unto him: 'This is the land which I swore unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, saying: I will give it unto thy seed; I have caused thee to see it with thine eyes, but thou shalt not go over thither.' 5 So Moses the servant of the LORD died there in the land of Moab, according to the word of the LORD.

He lay down upon a rock in a cave and the L-RD drew out his soul. After which I assume an earthquake caused the entrance of the cave to be sealed. It is also possible that Yehoshua ben Nun sealed the entrance and then forgot where Moshe was buried.

6 And he was buried in the valley in the land of Moab over against Beth-peor; and no man knows of his sepulchre unto this day.

We will never know but his 2 Gilgulim of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai and the Ari Zal we do know. Some say that they were just sparks of Moshe’s Neshama.  

7 And Moses was a hundred and twenty years old when he died: his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.

I am 50 years younger and I feel my strength, memory and concentration waning. Yet Moshe miraculously kept his until the last moment.

8 And the children of Israel wept for Moses in the plains of Moab thirty days; so the days of weeping in the mourning for Moses were ended. 9 And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him; and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the LORD commanded Moses.

People near Yehoshua could feel the presence of the Shechina and were awe stricken.

10 And there hath not arisen a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face;

He was a one-time prophet and even the Moshiach will not be like him.

11 in all the signs and the wonders, which the LORD sent him to do in the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh, and to all his servants, and to all his land; 12 and in all the mighty hand, and in all the great terror, which Moses wrought in the sight of all Israel.

Chazak – Chazak v’ nit Chazak

Order in the World, here comes the JUDGE.

I read in Torah Tidbits from the OU about the curses that people were barely observant written by a Rabbi who lived sometime between 1550 -1600 CE 5310 – 5360 on our calendar.

I always wondered in my youth why the older folks were so perturbed about my generation. Yes, there were hippies, promiscuity and other things. However, these things did exist before. But now in the world of internet, cell phones, tablets etc. things have jumped really out of hand and parenting and so called ‘snow flake generation’ is upon us and I thought my generation was becoming an entitlement generation this one is worse.

Where are the Jews? Instead of being a light unto the Nations, the non-Orthodox like Bernie (marry a Goya and eat trafe in the Orthodox section of Brooklyn) Sanders leads these folks and is their hero. Israel slammed by Islamists, the Clan and others on Facebook and Zuckerberg (marry a Goya) allows it while censoring Jewish Groups. Don’t get me wrong there are fine non-Jews and great converts to Judaism just we don’t marry out of our religion.

But we must be strong and repentant and the happenings in the last paragraph will go away if we do Teshuva, Tephilla and Tzeduka. Ezra faced a problem with ten different classifications of Jews in his day. I have no idea where we are today. We don’t know in some cases whom we are much less others.

The world is full of surprises. Earthquakes, terror attacks, illness, fires, floods, hurricanes can happen. That is why we must be vigilant in our prayers on Rosh Hashanah. We do not have to catch a bus, plane or train so pray slowly and with feeling. The meal can wait a few minutes for us and we will not die of starvation.

I wish everybody a good Judgement and writing in the book of life, health and happiness.

Rosh Hashanah Shofar Blowing and Spear Fishing in Oceania
By Rabbi Ben Tanny

The plane taxied slowly to the airport terminal and then came to a stop. I strapped on my backpack, picked up the Torah scroll, and headed to clear New Caledonian** customs. As I had expected, a man met me at the exit gate. He was thrilled to see me with the Torah. "It has been so long," the man said. "May I carry it?"
I handed him the Torah which he held reverently for a few seconds. Then his face lit up with the biggest smile. "We are so delighted you could come," said the man. "We are maybe 150 Jewish people here, mostly from Algeria and Tunisia. It has been a long time since we have had a rabbi and a Torah."
"I am not a rabbi," I corrected him. "I am an 18-year-old studying in a Rabbinical seminary. Perhaps one day I will be a rabbi."***
"Yes, but you can read from the Torah. You know how to blow the shofar, lead the prayers, and put up some mezuzot. We here cannot do this very well. We are isolated on this island."
The man's name was Abraham. I knew this from having spoken to him on the phone. Other than knowing his name, I knew nothing about him, though I'd learn a lot as he welcomed me to stay in his home for the following weeks.

Abraham spoke with me in French. I understood most of what he was saying with my Montreal Quebec French, though there were some differences. When we needed clarification we switched to broken Hebrew. Abraham had never been to Israel but his parents had taught him some Hebrew when he lived in Algeria.

The truth was I had not wanted to come to New Caledonia for the High Holidays. I had just spent almost an entire year of intensive study in Australia and was scheduled to fly home to Montreal. I wanted to see my family and friends. There was also a synagogue in Montreal that had offered to pay me $800 to conduct services over the High holidays.

But two weeks before the end of the school term a call had come through. The Jewish community of New Caledonia wanted a rabbi for a few weeks. The senior yeshiva students laid a "guilt trip" on me. I was the only student in the yeshiva who could lead a service, blow shofar, and speak French. In addition, they knew that I had solo backpacked around Europe, so they thought I might just be crazy enough to go solo to this French Polynesian island.

After a large dose of hearing that I was the only one who could do the job, I agreed to go. I found someone who would lend me a small Torah scroll provided I insure it. Also, as requested by the community, I purchased 10 mezuzot and 50 kipot on the agreement that they would pay me back for everything.

Though I wouldn't earn the money I could have earned in Montreal, I imagined that I would at least have some fun exploring the island. But within a short time after arriving in New Caledonia, I was no longer so sure about that.

In the week preceding Rosh Hashana, I visited Jews in and around Numea, the capital. I affixed 10 mezuzot to door-posts, put tefilin on people, helped a boy find a yeshiva in Israel, and even had an interview with a local newspaper. I was kept busy teaching Torah and it seemed as if all 150 Jews wanted to meet and talk with me.

I was asked to sit through a number of community meetings and I gave my two cents when asked, and sometimes even when not. At one point they were discussing building plans for a new synagogue and mikva. One of the big donors did not want to give any money towards the construction of the mikva. "If you have money for just a synagogue or a mikva, Jewish law requires that you build a mikva," I explained. It took a little more convincing, but in the end he agreed to contribute.

I finally did get a few days break in the days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. A wealthy community member rented for me a wave runner for a full day. I rode from one island to the next, stopping off to snorkel in the reefs teaming with magnificent coral and fish life.

The next day he gave me a plane ticket to one of the smaller neighboring islands. I cycled around, exploring native villages where people lived in grass huts, caves filled with bats, and deserted white sandy beaches. I picked green coconuts to drink and found plenty opportunities to escape into my own tropical paradise.

When I got back Abraham set me up to go spear fishing with one of the local champions he knew well. Needless to say I didn't spear anything but the fisherman gave me half his catch to take back for Abraham to cook for us. It was a delightful change from canned tuna.

The two and a half weeks flew by. As Abraham drove me to the airport, I sat in the car thinking; "Even if I did not make any money I accomplished a lot and had a great time. The money made in Montreal would have been nice, but I got to have an incredible experience." In addition, I had a direct flight to Montreal and would see my family in the next 24 hours, G-d willing.

"We are very thankful that you came and for all your help," Abraham said, as he bid me good-bye. "We want to give you something as a token of our appreciation." He handed me an envelope. In the envelope there was $1000 Australian which equaled $800 Canadian based on the exchange rate at that time. I had just received the same amount of money that I would have earned had I forgone New Caledonia and gone home to Montreal.

At the young age of 18, my trip to New Caledonia had helped me realize that we can not make one penny more or less than what G-d intends for us. I did the right thing by coming to help the New Caledonian community, I had an awesome experience, and I received the exact amount of money that was destined to be mine.****
*Source: Reprinted with permission from // Submitted by Daniel Keren. Edited and annotated by Yerachmiel Tilles.
Editor's notes:
** New Caledonia, formerly called French Polynesia, is located in the southwest Pacific Ocean, 1,210 km east of Australia
*** In 2013, Adelaide Hebrew Congregation appointed Rabbi Binyamin Tanny as spiritual head of the orthodox Jewish community of South Australia.
**** "A person's earnings for the coming year (except expenditures in honor of Shabbat, Jewish holidays, and for the Torah education of one's children.) are determined in the days between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur." (Talmud, Beitza 16a)

After having to pick up Butts of others this gladdens an ole soldier’s heart.,7340,L-5017735,00.html

Finally, Israel recognizes nuclear reactor cancer.

Drunk Israeli jailed after trying to open plane door.,7340,L-5018131,00.html

A few days ago a member of the Mahal Air Force passed away at 94. Here is a live 91- year-old honored for his rescue of Yemenite Jews.,7340,L-5017990,00.html

I saw a news flash that the population of Israel is 8,753,000 but that is half a million larger than on independence day.

Cameras caught police brutality against Charedim. Courts take over.

Inyanay Diyoma

Two Hamas terrorist die in work accident:

NY: Drunk attacks two Orthodox Jews thinking them to be female Muslims.,7340,L-5017286,00.html

Suspicious envelop arrives in the Israeli Consulate.

Hamas pressured to going towards Fatach.,7340,L-5017520,00.html

IDF is not prepared to fight Syria and the report is critical of Netanyahu.

Expect this for the next war with Hezballah and perhaps Hamas.

Trump’s Speech at UN Rocket Man, Iran, Venezuela, and Cuba ending in G-D bless the world, G-D bless America.,7340,L-5018904,00.html

Mexican Quake captured in real time.

2 Plane Loads of rescue men and equipment left for Mexico. Synagogue damaged in 7.1 quake. Jewish schools are beginning to organize to aid the rest of the country. “Thirty years ago today, there was a very strong earthquake in Mexico. So this morning, before the earthquake, we had an earthquake drill.”

Molotov Cocktails thrown at Jewish Center.,7340,L-5016263,00.html

Pentagon offers a lame response to Moscow on Syrian entrance into Iraq and Russia air power.

Russian floating pontoons help Iran as they threaten to raise Haifa - Tel Aviv.

Al Sisi has an idea for peace but it is not the Torah’s one.,7340,L-5019142,00.html

Good Shabbos and a healthy, happy, wonderful, joyous, marvelous, prosperous, successful, blessed, fruitful and Torah filled New Year,
Rachamim Pauli

Friday, September 15, 2017

Parshiyos Netzavim-Vayelech, Elul, stories

Prayers needed Dikla bat Ora

Motzei Shabbos all Ashkenazim start saying Selichos.

Remember to make an Erev Tavshillin when a holiday falls before Shabbos.
If you google it also Aish, Star K and CRC have instructions.
Example: Take two rolls and some Tuna perhaps some hardboiled eggs and put them together to make the Eruv then say the blessing. The food should be set aside and of course eggs in the refrigeration. Read the articles for other suggestions.

Parsha Nitzavim

This week we have a double Parsha. We have essentially finished at this time 611 Mitzvos. We have 2 more Parshiyos. Hazinu will be Shabbos Teshuva and Zos HaBracha which is always on Simchas Torah. We left off last week about defeating Og and Sichon and the coming into Eretz Yisrael. This week we start off the same but this is not history but to say do not fear your enemies, you will defeat them like HASHEM helped you with Og and Sichon.

29:9 Ye are standing this day all of you before the LORD your God: your heads, your tribes, your elders, and your officers, even all the men of Israel, 10 your little ones, your wives, and thy stranger that is in the midst of thy camp, from the hewer of thy wood unto the drawer of thy water;

Although the wood cutter and water carrier are people who earn their money honestly, these professions were looked down upon. Years later in the late 2nd Temple Times cobblers and weavers were so abundant that they were frowned upon. Today who has not had a shoe or suitcase repaired and a weaver is rare and a special skill so I would conclude one should not look down upon them.

11 that thou should enter into the covenant of the LORD thy God--and into His oath--which the LORD thy God makes with thee this day; 12 that He may establish thee this day unto Himself for a people, and that He may be unto thee a God, as He spoke unto thee, and as He swore unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.

You have a contract with G-D that you are born into and no escape clause. You must do what is expected of you. The owner (L-RD) is pressing and the workers are lazy (us) but we must rise to the occasion and do the Mitzvos, Teshuva, Tephilla and Tzeduka that is required of us.

13 Neither with you only do I make this covenant and this oath; 14 but with him that stands here with us this day before the LORD our God, and also with him that is not here with us this day.

You must always realize that HASHEM is present in everything. Every atom is bound together by his will otherwise they would fly off or the negative would bind with the positive and the atom would collapse. Since HASHEM is eternal, just as HASHEM was with Moshe so with us today and future generations that we will not see in our limited life time.

… 20 and the LORD shall separate him unto evil out of all the tribes of Israel, according to all the curses of the covenant that is written in this book of the law.

The evil on this planet can only last a certain amount of time until it comes crashing down. The Soviet Union crumbled after 70 years but the half moral and half immoral behavior of the people during the first and second Temples led to a slower accounting. However, I have seen with my own eyes groundless hatred of ethnic Jews from different countries. This has slowed down our redemption but that evil too shall pass.

21 And the generation to come, your children that shall rise up after you, and the foreigner that shall come from a far land, shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses wherewith the LORD hath made it sick; 22 and that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and a burning, that it is not sown, nor bears, nor any grass grows therein, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in His anger, and in His wrath;

Samuel Clemens aka Mark Twain wrote about his visit to Eretz Yisrael. If just before his passing we could bring him in a time machine to today, he would not believe what has happened. During his visit, between the area of Acre and Yerushalayim he did not even see trees or people for hours along his trip.

… 28 The secret things belong unto the LORD our God; but the things that are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

The secret things are sometimes shared with those that fear HIM. However, for us simple folk, the Torah is available and perhaps if we are capable of learning to love and fear HASHEM, we too will get some of HIS secrets and treasures. (See story in orange below about the barren woman and the woman who could not get married – it is a true story which happened in our days.)

30:1 And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt bethink thyself among all the nations, whither the LORD thy God hath driven thee, 2 and shalt return unto the LORD thy God, and hearken to His voice according to all that I command thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thy heart, and with all thy soul; 3 that then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the peoples, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. 4 If any of thine that are dispersed be in the uttermost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will He fetch thee.

I have met Jews that were born in Afghanistan, China, Siberia and other far off places. They are coming back to Eretz Yisrael.

5 And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and He will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. 6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, that thou may live.

It is not a fast process and the founders of Modern Israel were divided into two camps. 1) The religious like Moshe Solomon founding Petah Tikva and the Jews who founded Rehovot. 2) The non-religious socialists. At first they brought over many people and cut their Peyos and told the children that religion was no longer needed. At one point, like the Reform in the States, they were winning. The masses were in their numbers. However, they did not count on what spiritual emptiness did. For their parents had brought them up weakly religious with morals. As soon as the morals left things became chaotic. Both immoral and illegal behavior followed including certain religious for that was the norm in the country. Between the Reform outside and the Socialist inside Israel, it looked like the religion was going away. However, nobody counted on the Baal Teshuva movement. It started in a small trickle. The London Brothers opened up a small Yeshiva for Jews who returned to the fold in the 1940’s. At the end of World War II Jewish Education by the Young Israel brought back a few returning soldiers. In Eretz Yisrael the return was slower due to the nature of the Socialist Government and the first major group was Aish HaTorah and the Shalom Hartman Institute for mainly English Speakers. Then after the 1973 elections when Menachem Begin be say “Baruch HASHEM”, “Bezrat HASHEM” and then HASHEM reappeared in peoples’ lives. Sephardim returned to their roots. The Shass movement was born. Rabbis Uri Zohar, Amnon Yitzchak, Rami Levy and many more began preaching to the masses. Arachim, Gesher and other groups began lectures to educate people. Today the demographics are beginning to shift towards more and more religious. In the States, the once largest Conservative Congregations as the older folks died out and they got more and more Liberal, their numbers decreased. The Reform are the largest denomination on paper but who attends these Synagogues and when. However, what do we see in the Orthodox three daily prayers, Shuirim, Kollelim for working people, Daf Yomi, Mishnah Yomi, etc. The return is on before our eyes. We ARE RETURNING. The critical mass of the majority of the Jewish Population is shifting to Eretz Yisrael now. Once that happens, we will experience great things.

7 And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, that persecuted thee. 8 And thou shalt return and hearken to the voice of the LORD, and do all His commandments which I command thee this day. 9 And the LORD thy God will make thee over-abundant in all the work of thy hand, in the fruit of thy body, and in the fruit of thy cattle, and in the fruit of thy land, for good; for the LORD will again rejoice over thee for good, as He rejoiced over thy fathers;

Most of our population are not farmers anymore but many will return to plots of land and private houses in the land of Yisrael. Even in the times of the second Beis HaMikdash, many people lived in cities. The meaning here is that our labor will be blessed and we will become wealthy. We will be able to communicate and travel and receive Torah information at our finger tips. Seforim that were rare are not on the net and available.

10 if thou shalt hearken to the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this book of the law; if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul.

All this prosperity and the return of the people will come about with our own return through either repentance by immediate Teshuva or through learning with the intent to perform correctly the Mitzvos.

11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not too hard for thee, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that thou should say: 'Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?'

For the original observance and belief of Adam through Noach was through oral accounts. It was Avram who caused the initial return to Monotheism. Now Moshe has given us written Torah at Sinai along with some Oral Torah explanations. (How to make Tzitzis, Tephillin, slaughter animals and the knife used, koshering, what constitutes leaven and other every day or every week actions.)

13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou should say: 'Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, and make us to hear it, that we may do it?'

We don’t have to explore the planets and stars to find Torah but perhaps there are moral systems elsewhere on the planet.

14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou may do it.

Rather, the Torah and best instructions for mankind straight from THE CREATOR is here before us. It is up to us to read and observe the instructions for being a good human being.

15 See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil, 16 in that I command thee this day to love the LORD thy God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments and His statutes and His ordinances; then thou shalt live and multiply, …

Observe and live and be blessed.

19 I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before thee life and death, the blessing and the curse; therefore choose life, that thou may live, thou and thy seed; 20 to love the LORD thy God, to hearken to His voice, and to cleave unto Him; for that is thy life, and the   of thy days; that thou may dwell in the land which the LORD swore unto thy fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.

Torah = life and the length of our days. Non-Observance or non-compliance = death or punishments and exiles. It is up to us to do what HASHEM has told us.

Parsha Vayelech

When I graduated High School, College or first got married and had children, I could not picture myself at 70. The world was before me. Now that I am 70, I cannot picture myself at 120 or Moshe’s age in this Parsha. I still have some strength but am not what I was at 50 or 60. Reading of Moshe in Pasuk Bet that can no longer go out and come it. I can sort of imagine it as I saw my step father at the age of 100 but still what appears to be so far away on the human scale is like yesterday before HASHEM. We do not know when our time will come that is why Teshuva is imperative to be a daily occurrence.

31:1 And Moses went and spoke these words unto all Israel. 2 And he said unto them: 'I am a hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in; and the LORD hath said unto me: Thou shalt not go over this Jordan.

I have no permission to pass over the Yarden but Yehoshua and Calev shall lead you in the conquering of the land. Still more important than a leader is the fact:

3 The LORD thy God, He will go over before thee; He will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt dispossess them; and Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as the LORD hath spoken.

For HASHEM will guide you and lead you to conquest.

4 And the LORD will do unto them as He did to Sichon and to Og, the kings of the Amorites, and unto their land; whom He destroyed.

Do not be as the spiteful Goyim say “A Jew with a yellow streak down his back” but just as Sichon and Og were conquered, so shall you conquer the land.

5 And the LORD will deliver them up before you, and ye shall do unto them according unto all the commandment which I have commanded you. 6 Be strong and of good courage, fear not, nor be affrighted at them; for the LORD thy God, He it is that doth go with thee; He will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.'

Chazak V’ Amatz be strong and of courage is repeated 4 times in chapter 1 of Yehoshua. One must be this way and fearing of G-D and not man in order conquer. One cannot be afraid of people a head taller than them or with more muscles or numbers but rely upon the Holy ONE blessed be HE. If you trust and rely solely upon HIM, HE will not fail thee, nor forsake thee. But when Defense Minister Moshe Dayan said a month before the Yom Kippur War our strength and our might – the rest is history with many good Jews dead and buried and few still missing in action.

7 And Moses called unto Joshua, and said unto him in the sight of all Israel: 'Be strong and of good courage; for thou shalt go with this people into the land which the LORD hath sworn unto their fathers to give them; and thou shalt cause them to inherit it.

Not only the people need Chazak V’ Amatz but all the more so, the leader needs Chazak V’ Amatz.

8 And the LORD, He it is that does go before thee; He will be with thee, He will not fail thee, neither forsake thee; fear not, neither be dismayed.'

Having been myself on the front line and having a son on the front line it takes a lot of strength as an individual and perhaps trust in HASHEM as a parent to get through a situation.

9 And Moses wrote this law, and delivered it unto the priests the sons of Levi, that bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, and unto all the elders of Israel. 10 And Moses commanded them, saying: 'At the end of every seven years, in the set time of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles,

This Mitzvah is starting to be reinstated at the Kotel in the eight year or the first year of the Shmita cycle.

11 when all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which He shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12 Assemble the people, the men and the women and the little ones, and thy stranger that is within thy gates, that they may hear, and that they may learn, and fear the LORD your God, and observe to do all the words of this law; 13 and that their children, who have not known, may hear, and learn to fear the LORD your God, as long as ye live in the land whither ye go over the Jordan to possess it.'

I think nowadays it could be done by a TV or Podcast to each Synagogue from the Kotel even World Wide. It is for all. From the greatest and most learned Rabbis to the suckling child. The message of Torah should get out.

14 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Behold, thy days approach that thou must die; call Joshua, and present yourselves in the tent of meeting, that I may give him a charge.' And Moses and Joshua went, and presented themselves in the tent of meeting. 15 And the LORD appeared in the Tent in a pillar of cloud; and the pillar of cloud stood over the door of the Tent. 16 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Behold, thou art about to sleep with thy fathers; and this people will rise up, and go astray after the foreign gods of the land, whither they go to be among them, and will forsake Me, and break My covenant which I have made with them. 17 Then My anger shall be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them, and I will hide My face from them, and they shall be devoured, and many evils and troubles shall come upon them; so that they will say in that day: Are not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us? 18 And I will surely hide My face in that day for all the evil which they shall have wrought, in that they are turned unto other gods.

Since HASHEM is above the fourth dimension, the future is available. Even to this day, many even observant Jews, cannot see the miracles which I often point out. We are blinded by nature. However, blood in the water followed by frogs, followed by lice, … starting every 30th day is beyond the state of probability and statistics. That is where science, nature and statistics fail us. We have to say that THIS IS THE FINGER OF G-D just like the Egyptian Magicians and Scientists.

19 Now therefore write ye this song for you, and teach thou it the children of Israel; put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for Me against the children of Israel.

The song is Parsha Hazinu which is a Mussar warning for the people.

20 For when I shall have brought them into the land which I swore unto their fathers, flowing with milk and honey; and they shall have eaten their fill, and waxen fat; and turned unto other gods, and served them, and despised Me, and broken My covenant; 21 then it shall come to pass, when many evils and troubles are come upon them, that this song shall testify before them as a witness; for it shall not be forgotten out of the mouths of their seed; for I know their imagination how they do even now, before I have brought them into the land which I swore.' 22 So Moses wrote this song the same day, and taught it the children of Israel. 23 And he gave Joshua the son of Nun a charge, and said: 'Be strong and of good courage; for thou shalt bring the children of Israel into the land which I swore unto them; and I will be with thee.'

Chazak V’ Amatz again. It is an awesome job to hold together a nation of individuals where each and every man has his own independent thought process and acts like a king.

24 And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished, 25 that Moses commanded the Levites, that bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying: 26 'Take this book of the law, and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.

This is Sefer Devarim. It appears to me that the blessings in Zos HaBracha is also there. There is a dispute if Moshe wrote the last 8 lines or they were finished by Yehoshua. Only when we recover the original Teva and scroll will we be able to see the hand writing.

… 30 And Moses spoke in the ears of all the assembly of Israel the words of this song, until they were finished:

Elul Determination, Drive, Direction

Last week the three R words were my own. The three D words came from the book “Illuminations of the Maggid” by Rabbi Krohn. He quoted the three words came from Rabbi Shlomo Freifeld.

For us the determination is to do sufficient Teshuva as our driving force is to be written in the Sefer Ha Chaim. Our direction to live another year as good Jews.

The Rambam in Hilchos Teshuva writes that one should see himself and the whole world as half innocent and half guilty with Mitzvos. One more sin and we are given (not upon us) a bad judgement. One more Mitzvah and not only ourselves but the whole of Am Yisrael gets written in the book of life. Life and death is a fine line. We watched in horror as 8 very elderly people in a nursing home died of what appears to be carbon monoxide poisoning from an inside generate to move fans or air conditioning when their A/C unit failed do to a blown out transistor during Hurricane Irma. Not only did people die, but some perhaps dedicated staff may face criminal charges. When was the initial Judgement Passed? On Rosh Hashanah 5777 and was sealed on Hoshana Rabbah.

So a simple thing like a regret for a sin or just a visit to somebody who is ill or helping somebody in need could put us and the whole world over to the side of life wouldn’t it be worth it. In fact, even restraining from a sin (Traveling, Cooking, Driving, etc. on Shabbos) can save the whole world. That is the power of the individual inside of the Congregation. It is written “all of Israel is a guarantor one for another”.

It is not upon me to know everybody’s strength or weakness. It is upon me as it is upon you to strengthen my prayer, repentance and charity. Let us give just a little more of a try to make sure that we are written in the book of life for 5778.

I took this story from Bracha Din who wrote this out.

The Greatest Segula. (treasure) Rabbi Ashear #668.
Many people look for some type of segula to bring them the yeshua (redemption or redeeming factor) they need. However, there are no quick fixes. לפום צערא אגרא, the more effort put in, the greater is the merit. Mesirut nefesh, (willing to do soul rending things or literally like a soldier willing to give their life for another) doing something that requires tremendous inner strength is the greatest segula.
The Gemara tells us (Rosh HaShana 17) כל המעביר על מידותיו, מוחלין לו על כל פשעיו,whoever forgives and overlooks a wrong done to him, is forgiven for all of his sins. What could possibly be a greater segula than to be totally cleansed from sin? This is a powerful segula because the difficulty involved is enormous. It is not easy for a person to recognize that what was done to him was from Hashem and not bear a grudge; or for a person to lower himself and take the first step to bringing shalom, instead of saying, "Let him come to me."
Rabbi Lugassi related a story told to him by a woman from Israel, who we'll call Rachel. She had a friend in high school that was from a wealthy family, while she was from a poor family. The wealthy friend's attitude towards her made her feel so low. Her ga'ava and condescending remarks were like arrows shooting into Rachel's heart. The girl might not have realized the damage she was causing, but Rachel said she was broken. She lost all of her self-esteem and it had an adverse effect on her life. It was hard for her to date and she found herself alone, with no direction, at the age of twenty-eight.
One day, Rachel met one of her old friends, Sarah, on the street, who asked her how she was doing. She replied, "Not so great," and proceeded to tell her about all the negative feelings she had towards that girl. She just could not let it go.
Sarah decided to look up that girl and try to bring peace. She found out that the girl now lived in the United States. She gave her a call and asked how things were. The girl replied, "Baruch Hashem, but I have been married for many years without children and it's so hard. We've been trying doctors and Rabbis, but nothing is working."
Sarah told her about the heartache that she had caused her friend and said that the best segula would be to appease her. The woman was shocked that her comments had done so much damage. Nevertheless, she did not hesitate to admit guilt. She didn't make excuses, saying, "Come on, it wasn't that bad," or, "Please, she's blaming her problems on me." Rather, she immediately decided to fly to Israel to ask for forgiveness in person.
The two women met and Rachel later described how difficult it was for her to totally forgive. They actually had to meet several times until Rachel was מעביר על מידותיה and released all of her negative feelings. Finally, the two hugged and kissed each other. Before they departed, the friend said to Rachel, "I am anticipating that you get married this year. Please send me an invitation. I am going to come back and dance with you."
Later that year, Baruch Hashem, Rachel did get married. However, her friend could not make it; she was in labor with her first baby.
Being מעביר על מידותיו, lowering oneself to give in and forgive is a wondrous segula that can produce the greatest yeshuot.

Time for a Change by Rabbi Yerachmiel Tilles

In the days of the third Rebbe of Chabad, the Tzemach Tzedek, the lands in Russia were controlled by the 'nobility'.
The town of Lubavitch happened to be under the jurisdiction of a particularly savage one; a 'Poritz' (Baron) that from time to time revealed a sadistic pleasure for issuing cruel decrees on 'his' serfs… especially the Jewish ones.
The decrees would come like lighting on a clear day sometimes because he needed money, sometimes from boredom, but most often from pure meanness.
All of his serfs, Jew and gentile alike, hated and feared him and secretly hoped that he die and leave them alone permanently (although the other Nobles weren't much better). But to even dream that he have a change of heart and treat them more kindly was unthinkable.
Once it so happened that the Poritz came out with a new decree that was so severe that the gentiles went to the Chabad chasidim in the Poritz's domain and asked them to request their leader to do something to help.
But Just as the chasidim were preparing a delegation to visit the Rebbe, one of the Rebbe's most faithful followers received a message from the Rebbe to come see him immediately.
The chasid entered the Rebbe's room and stood in awe before him waiting for the Rebbe to speak.
"Go to the Poritz and tell him, in my name, 'It's time you changed!'"
The chasid looked with disbelief at the Rebbe. Suddenly he felt faint. It was difficult for him to breathe, his knees began knocking and he felt dizzy.
Perhaps he had heard incorrectly. But no. It was no mistake. Just the thought of the Poritz was overwhelming. The man was simply not human! To actually visit him would be suicide!
"But Rebbe! How can …? There are guards…with dogs!…at the castle door. I'll be killed before I can say a….!"
He stopped. He knew that the Rebbe never made a mistake.
"Don't worry," The Tzemach Tzedek continued, "I will teach you a special holy 'Name' (a Kabbalistic word) that will protect you from all evil. You have absolutely nothing to worry about."
The Rebbe taught the chasid how to pronounce this word and what to think when he said it. Finally, when he was sure that the chasid understood and would remember, he told him to set off as soon as possible.
The Chassid returned home (for what he hoped would not be the last time) told his wife he would be gone for a day or so, kissed his children and set off in the direction of the Poritz's castle.
After an hour he began to see the huge building looming in the distance through the forest trees and mist. A cold fear filled his soul. He tried to muster up courage but he just couldn't. So he pictured the Rebbe's face and although he was still frightened, he continued walking.
Suddenly he got a glimpse of the guards with their dogs. Thank G-d they were far away and he was downwind, so the dogs didn't smell him. He stepped behind a tree, peeked out, composed his thoughts and said the 'name' the Rebbe taught him.
They came closer and closer, the dogs sniffing the ground before them. But they passed some fifty yards away and didn't notice him at all.
Nevertheless, he wasn't taking any chances. He waited till they were sufficiently distant and again proceeded to the castle, trying to be as quiet and quick as possible, repeating the name over and over as he went. When he reached the steps before the massive castle door he said it with even more fervor.
Standing there at attention were two huge guards armed with spears and swords, each with a jumbo fierce dog at his side.
But strangely, the guards suddenly turned to one another and began a lively conversation, while the dogs just lay there panting as though they sensed nothing.
The chasid stepped gingerly by them, pushed the door open and entered. There sitting on a plush chair, drinking a glass of vodka with a smoking cigar dangling from his fingertips and one foot on the table, sat the dreaded Poritz.
He turned toward the door to see who entered.
"What the…? Who are you? You, Jew! How did you get into my castle?" He screamed with fury and disbelief as he rose to his feet and put his hand on the handle of his gun in his belt. But the chasid, having become accustomed to miracles, calmly straightened himself and said,
"My Rebbe, the Tzemach Tzedek of Lubavitch, sent me. He told me to tell you that…."
He cleared his throat and spoke slowly and clearly, "It is time for you to change!"
It was as though someone threw a bucket of cold water on the Poritz. He took one step back and his body shook as though awakened from a dream.
He lowered his head for an instant, then looked up directly into the eyes of the Chassid and said ….. "Yes".
The chasid, realizing his mission was complete, turned on his heels, and being careful to saying the 'name' the Rebbe had given him, walked quietly out the door past the guards and exited the Castle grounds.
Interestingly, the instant he didn't need the name, it simply slipped out of his mind. No matter how he tried he could not remember even one letter of it!
Several months later, a rumor spread that the Poritz went on a hunting excursion alone and his horse returned a few days later without him. A search was made with no results. All trace of him had been lost as though the ground had swallowed him up.
But the chasid knew that it must have been because of the Rebbe's message to him. Probably a partial punishment for the suffering he had caused to others.
Months afterward, a disheveled, long-haired beggar appeared in the town of Lubavitch, chose a seat in the main shul, opened a book of Psalms and didn't leave.
Someone got the idea of asking him if perhaps he knew the Poritz and what happened to him. The beggar answered that in fact he did know, and then revealed that he was none other than the evil Poritz himself! He told his story:
He had been born into a Jewish family but somewhere down the line had fallen into the hands of the Church, and once in their clutches he not only changed his religion but transformed into a sworn anti-Semite. In time he rose in power and riches until he was virtually a king.
But when he heard the message the chasid gave him it somehow awakened his Jewish soul and he changed totally, like a man awakening from a dream.
When the elder Chassidim saw what happened they discussed it with the other followers of the Rebbe and decided to appeared as a group before the Rebbe and demand that he do the same miracle for them.
"If the Rebbe has the ability to completely change the stone-heart of someone such as the Poritz, then please do the same with us. Open our hearts as well so we can have true love and fear of the Creator!"
The Rebbe smiled. "When a shepherd tends his flocks he can't personally run after every animal that strays a bit. That would deplete all his energy. Rather he whistles and throws small stones or sends his dogs so they will return on their own. But if occasionally one sheep happens to fall into a deep pit then the shepherd has no other choice than to do the job himself. That is why I did what I did with the Poritz.'
Source: Adapted and supplemented by Yerachmiel Tilles from the rendition of Rabbi Tuvia Bolton on // (submitted by Daniel Keren).
Biographical note:
Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneersohn [of blessed memory: 29 Elul 5549 - 13 Nissan 5626 (Sept. 1789 - April 1866)], the third Rebbe of Chabad, was known as the Tzemach Tzedek, after his books of Jewish Law responsa and Talmudic commentary called by that name. He was renowned not only as a Rebbe, but also as a leading scholar in his generation in both the revealed and hidden aspects of Torah. (Photo from
1) Weekly Reading-Tshuvah
2) Seasonal-End of Elul month: Tshuvah
3) Seasonal-Erev Rosh Hashana (next week) marks 151 hundred years since the birth of the Tzemach Tzedek.

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Good Shabbos and a healthy, happy, wonderful, joyous, marvelous, prosperous, successful, blessed, fruitful and Torah filled New Year,

Rachamim Pauli