Sad story. On Thursday, my neighbor Steve told me that Chaim David ben Chana Golda was in the hospital. I asked if it was his Kidneys again. I was told Leukemia, so I gave Chaim a call and was invited orally to his son’s wedding. On Friday, an hour before Shabbos, poor Chaim’s soul went to its resting place. Please remove his name from the prayer list.
A correction in my prayer list. I had placed Yoel based on the man’s English Name Joel but it is really. Yosef ben Esther!
We left off last week with the fact that Esav wants to murder Yacov over the blessing that Rivka told him to “steal”. That is the continuation of Avraham Avinu. Rivka comes up with a great excuse that Yacov needs a proper Shidduch and not these Chet women. Yitzchak listens to his wife and again blesses Yacov. Esav takes a wife from Yishmael to please his parents. This is the difference between a horrible choice for a wife and a poor choice. Still it is an improvement. Yacov flees Esav but as we open our Parsha, he takes a break to study 14 years in the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever. Then he works for Lavan in order to marry Rachel and ends up marrying Leah. Rather than cause a scandal, he is given Rachel too. All this we shall see and discuss in this Parsha.
28:10 And Jacob went out from Beer-sheba, and went toward Haran. 11 And he lighted upon the place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took one of the stones of the place, and put it under his head, and lay down in that place to sleep.
It seems logical that a man would take a large flat stone to but under his cloak or a garment and rest his head upon it. However, it is written: he took some of the stones of the place. The commentaries write that he took twelve stones from the place to protect himself and they became one or did he take 12 small flat stones. It is a nice Medrash that they turned into one as he made a monument at the end and perhaps a Kabbalistic Message is there and one can find it perhaps from the original via hints.
12 And he dreamed, and behold a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold the angels of God ascending and descending on it.
According to one commentary this is Har HaBeis and another the current Beis El but if we go by the commentary that the Angels from Eretz Yisrael are ascending and the Angels from Chutz LaAretz are descending then it would be far off to the north. However, there is another commentary that these are the Angels of Yacov and Esav and when Yacov ascends, Esav descends and when Yacov is on the ascent, then Esav is on the descent. Can you imagine the Angels of Esav ascending about 2000 rungs as Yacov’s go down and
13 And, behold, the LORD stood beside him, and said: 'I am the LORD, the God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac. The land whereon thou lie, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed. 14 And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south. And in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed.
You are the continuation of Avraham and Yitzchak. You will have children that shall be very numerous.
15 And, behold, I am with thee, and will keep thee whithersoever thou go, and will bring thee back into this land; for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.'
Yacov is given a wonderful promise that even if he goes into Gallus, he shall return to Eretz Yisrael. To top that off, he is promised that HASHEM will not leave him.
16 And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said: 'Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.' 17 And he was afraid, and said: 'How full of awe is this place! this is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate of heaven.'
Yacov is shaken to his core. I am wondering if this is the first time that he receives prophecy. For he might have been tied down by Esav’s presence to receive prophecy.
18 And Jacob rose up early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put under his head, and set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of it.
I think the stones were around him and he took one stone for his head but as I wrote above the Medrash claims that the twelve became one. I base my idea as if I were camping outside by myself in an area where there might be animals.
19 And he called the name of that place Beth-el, but the name of the city was Luz at the first. 20 And Jacob vowed a vow, saying: 'If God will be with me, and will keep me in this way that I go, and will give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on, 21 so that I come back to my father's house in peace, then shall the LORD be my God, 22 and this stone, which I have set up for a pillar, shall be God's house; and of all that Thou shalt give me I will surely give the tenth unto Thee.'
Yacov is not sure of himself if this is a wishful thinking dream or a prophetic dream. Also with Yosef, he looks at the story but treats it with caution. Thus with Sofek aka Uncertainty, he makes the prayer – vow unto HASHEM.
29:1 Then Jacob went on his journey, and came to the land of the children of the east.
The juxtaposition seems to be at the age of 63 and not 77 after 14 years of learning Torah and Creation through Avraham. Therefore, if we want to rely upon tradition Yacov is much older. The higher age does make sense with our calculation as Yosef disappeared 22 years and was 17 when he left Yacov. Yacov lived another 17 years in Egypt so the numbers adds up to 56 years in the life of Yosef. Our mathematic model is as follows: 147 minus 56 leaves 89. Yacov worked 20 years for Lavan. When Yosef was born, he wanted to leave but had two years left. He then worked another six years for the animals as payment. Thus, Yosef was 8 when he left Grandfather Lavan and only at the age of 10 met his Grandfather Yitzchak. If Rivka was 14 when she married Yitzchak that would make her 34 when the twins were born. Yacov being 99 he might or might not have made it to see her alive again. If she was three or in between, he would have made it to see her. We have nothing but the tradition saying Rivka passed away at the age of 133 to make us believe that he just could have missed her or just could have made it to see her. In any case, we do not read anything more of her life after she sends him to Lavan for a Shidduch.
2 And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, lo, three flocks of sheep lying there by it.--For out of that well they watered the flocks. And the stone upon the well's mouth was great. 3 And thither were all the flocks gathered; and they rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the sheep, and put the stone back upon the well's mouth in its place.-- 4 And Jacob said unto them: 'My brethren, whence are ye?' And they said: 'Of Haran are we.' 5 And he said unto them: 'Know ye Laban the son of Nahor?' And they said: 'We know him.' 6 And he said unto them: 'Is it well with him?' And they said: 'It is well; and, behold, Rachel his daughter comes with the sheep.' 7 And he said: 'Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together; water ye the sheep, and go and feed them.' 8 And they said: 'We cannot, until all the flocks be gathered together, and they roll the stone from the well's mouth; then we water the sheep.'
The stone is very heavy and only a number of men can move it.
9 While he was yet speaking with them, Rachel came with her father's sheep; for she tended them. 10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother's brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother's brother, that Jacob went near, and rolled the stone from the well's mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother's brother.
That Jacob drew near and rolled: As one who removes the stopper from a bottle, to let you know that he possessed great strength (Gen. Rabbah 70:12).
I am pretty sure that he used his staff and a rock as a fulcrum to lever out the stone. The alternative is having him use the DIVINE NAME and being strong like Shimon.
11 And Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice, and wept.
I don’t know how Rachel felt, but in front of everybody, she is kissed by this strange man. It is not specified if it is a kiss on the forehead, cheek, hand, lips but that he kissed her. It might be that this is the order and Rachel is in shock after being kissed and the Yacov explains how he is her Bashert.
And wept: Since he foresaw with the holy spirit that she (Rachel) would not enter the grave with him. Another explanation: Since he came empty-handed, he said, “Eliezer, my grandfather’s servant, had nose rings, and bracelets and sweet fruits in his possession, and I am coming with nothing in my hands. [He had nothing] because Eliphaz the son of Esau had pursued him to kill him at his father’s orders; he (Eliphaz) overtook him, but since he had grown up in Isaac’s lap, he held back his hand. He said to him (Jacob), ”What shall I do about my father’s orders?“ Jacob replied,”Take what I have, for a poor man is counted as dead." - [from Bereishit Rabbathi by Rabbi Moshe Hadarshan]
12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father's brother, and that he was Rebekah's son; and she ran and told her father.
What might have appeared to be an inappropriate kiss at first order turned into a Glatt Kosher kiss from a man that could not resist his love for her. For there were two sets of twins according to the Medrash. Esav and Yacov as the first set and Leah and Rachel as the second set. Leah was supposed to marry Esav and Rachel was set aside for Yacov. However, Leah prayed and her crying made her eyes soft as we see below.
13 And it came to pass, when Laban heard the tidings of Jacob his sister's son, that he ran to meet him, and embraced him, and kissed him, and brought him to his house. And he told Laban all these things.
The description of Lavan’s hugs and kiss by Rashi is appalling. One would think it would be like the film from Aish HaTorah below of the Uncle aged 102 who thought everybody perished in the war and met his 66 year old nephew for the first time.
That he ran towards him: He thought that he (Jacob) was laden with money, for the servant of the household (Eliezer) had come here with ten laden camels.[from Gen. Rabbah 70:13] And he embraced: When he (Laban) did not see anything with him (Jacob), he said, “Perhaps he has brought golden coins, and they are in his bosom.” [from Gen. Rabbah 70:13] And he kissed him: He said,“Perhaps he has brought pearls, and they are in his mouth.” [from Gen. Rabbah 70:13] He told Laban: that he had come only because he was compelled to do so because of his brother (Esau), and that they had taken his money from him. — [from Gen. Rabbah 70:13]
14 And Laban said to him: 'Surely thou art my bone and my flesh.' And he abode with him the space of a month. 15 And Laban said unto Jacob: 'Because thou art my brother, should thou therefore serve me for nought? tell me, what shall thy wages be?'
From this we see that Yacov was helping Lavan around the house and with the animals on a voluntary basis.
16 Now Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 And Leah's eyes were weak; but Rachel was of beautiful form and fair to look upon. 18 And Jacob loved Rachel; and he said: 'I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter.'
I wonder if he had said, “I will serve thee for a year or six months for Rachel”, if Lavan would have accepted this? Yacov appears to be a poor negotiator.
19 And Laban said: 'It is better that I give her to thee, than that I should give her to another man; abide with me.' 20 And Jacob served seven years for Rachel; and they seemed unto him but a few days, for the love he had to her … 23 And it came to pass in the evening, that he took Leah his daughter, and brought her to him; and he went in unto her. 24 And Laban gave Zilpah his handmaid unto his daughter Leah for a handmaid. 25 And it came to pass in the morning that, behold, it was Leah; and he said to Laban: 'What is this thou hast done unto me? did not I serve with thee for Rachel? wherefore then hast thou beguiled me?'
Thus began a series of deceptions by Lavan. Prior to Yacov’s appearance, according to the Medrash, Lavan only had daughters. He had Rachel and Leah by his wife and by his maidservant Zilpah and Bilhah.
… 30:1 And when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister; and she said unto Jacob: 'Give me children, or else I die.' 2 And Jacob's anger was kindled against Rachel; and he said: 'Am I in God's stead, who hath withheld from thee the fruit of the womb?' 3 And she said: 'Behold my maid Bilhah, go in unto her; that she may bear upon my knees, and I also may be built up through her.'
For as much as Yacov davened, she did not have children.
4 And she gave him Bilhah her handmaid to wife; and Jacob went in unto her. 5 And Bilhah conceived, and bore Jacob a son. … 22 And God remembered Rachel, and God hearkened to her, and opened her womb. 23 And she conceived, and bore a son, and said: 'God hath taken away my reproach.' 24 And she called his name Joseph, saying: 'The LORD add to me another son.' 25 And it came to pass, when Rachel had borne Joseph, that Jacob said unto Laban: 'Send me away, that I may go unto mine own place, and to my country.
Yacov foresaw that the Yetzer could not conquer Yosef so he figured that it would be time to return to Beer Sheva. It is also not 100% clear if this was exactly with the birth of Yosef or at the time when the 14 years were paid off.
26 Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served thee, and let me go; for thou know my service wherewith I have served thee.' 27 And Laban said unto him: 'If now I have found favor in thine eyes--I have observed the signs, and the LORD hath blessed me for thy sake.' 28 And he said: 'Appoint me thy wages, and I will give it.' … 31 And he said: 'What shall I give thee?' And Jacob said: 'Thou shalt not give me aught; if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed thy flock and keep it. 32 I will pass through all thy flock to-day, removing from thence every speckled and spotted one, and every dark one among the sheep, and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and of such shall be my hire. … 35 And he removed that day the he-goats that were streaked and spotted, and all the she-goats that were speckled and spotted, every one that had white in it, and all the dark ones among the sheep, and gave them into the hand of his sons. 36 And he set three days' journey betwixt himself and Jacob. And Jacob fed the rest of Laban's flocks.
This was given over to his sons lest there be a mistake. Yacov was very meticulous in his work and honest but when Lavan saw that the healthier ones that were born were going to Yacov, he changed the wages. Until -
… 39 And the flocks conceived at the sight of the rods, and the flocks brought forth streaked, speckled, and spotted. … 43 And the man increased exceedingly, and had large flocks, and maid-servants and men-servants, and camels and asses.
At this point Lavan was quite old and his sons that were born after Yacov married Leah and Rachel. That blessing came from the presence of Yacov. So now they became worried about their own inheritance.
31:1 And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying: 'Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's has he gotten all this wealth.' 2 And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as beforetime.
This was troubling to Yacov and he had problems. Lavan wanted him as a worker and the sons wanted to kill him for “stealing” their inheritance.
3 And the LORD said unto Jacob: 'Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.'
He has a promise from HASHEM but still with these cunning characters, he had to be very secret as the walls of a stable or feed through has ears.
4 And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock,
Only in the field without surveillance or ease dropping could he secretly talk to his wives explain to them his dream and the problems involved and conceive a plan of action.
5 and said unto them: 'I see your father's countenance, that it is not toward me as beforetime; but the God of my father hath been with me. 6 And ye know that with all my power I have served your father. 7 And your father hath mocked me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me. 8 If he said thus: The speckled shall be thy wages; then all the flock bore speckled; and if he said thus: The streaked shall be thy wages; then bore all the flock streaked. 9 Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me. … 13 I am the God of Beth-el, where thou didst anoint a pillar, where thou didst vow a vow unto Me. Now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy nativity.' 14 And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him: 'Is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house? 15 Are we not accounted by him strangers? for he hath sold us, and hath also quite devoured our price. 16 For all the riches which God hath taken away from our father, that is ours and our children's. Now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do.'
My own thoughts on the subject is as I have passed 70 after 120 years I will have no use for money. To whom will my possessions go? I can only leave them to my children and grandchildren and with the help of HASHEM great-grandchildren. For when I am gone my Torah, Charity and good deeds would hopefully give me something in the next world but the physical possessions I leave in this world. Lavan did not view his daughters and their children as his continuation and legacy. Rather he only viewed his sons as his continuation. Rashi only had daughters and from them arose Rabbaynu Tam, the Mahram of Padua, many others Rabbis and famous people like Alfred Dreyfus.
17 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon the camels; 18 and he carried away all his cattle, and all his substance which he had gathered, the cattle of his getting, which he had gathered in Paddan-aram, to go to Isaac his father unto the land of Canaan. … 20 And Jacob outwitted Laban the Aramean, in that he told him not that he fled. 21 So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the River, and set his face toward the mountain of Gilead.
Now a normal employer or uncle would let a worker go if he wanted to leave or return home to his family. But not Lavan for he knows that his flocks have been blessed by Yacov’s work and presence and he wants that despite the wages. So he organizes a Pose to round up Yacov and basically enslave him and his family.
… 24 And God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream of the night, and said unto him: 'Take heed to thyself that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.' 25 And Laban came up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mountain; and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mountain of Gilead. 26 And Laban said to Jacob: 'What hast thou done, that thou hast outwitted me, and carried away my daughters as though captives of the sword? 27 Wherefore didst thou flee secretly, and outwit me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth and with songs, with tabret and with harp; 28 and didst not suffer me to kiss my sons and my daughters? Now hast thou done foolishly.
What a false story about the sending of him away. He would have preferred to kill or enslave Yacov. If this was a going away to kiss his daughters why was he not alone but with a large Pose? He could have come with treats and trinkets for his young grandchildren. Coming empty-handed with a platoon speaks definitely of different intentions. The truth comes out now.
29 It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt; but the God of your father spoke unto me yesternight, saying: Take heed to thyself that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad.
This is the real reason why Yacov is not enslaved or killed. (This year, I purposely left out the story of the stealing of the idol by Rachel as I have explained it in past years). So after finding nothing he owned among Yacov’s possessions, Yacov proposes a covenant of peace.
44 And now come, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee.' 45 And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. 46 And Jacob said unto his brethren: 'Gather stones'; and they took stones, and made a heap. And they did eat there by the heap. 47 And Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha; but Jacob called it Galeed. 48 And Laban said: 'This heap is witness between me and thee this day.' Therefore was the name of it called Galeed; 49 and Mizpah, for he said: 'The LORD watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another. 50 If thou shalt afflict my daughters, and if thou shalt take wives beside my daughters, no man being with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee.'
He realizes that there is nothing he can do because Yacov is backed by G-D but he can make sure that the wealth in the possession of Yacov will not be shared by other wives or children and that his offspring will be the only ones to inherit it. [Still he could not prevent Yacov from giving presents in his lifetime to Esav, charity to the poor, or sacrifices unto HASHEM.]
… 53 The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us.' And Jacob swore by the Fear of his father Isaac. 54 And Jacob offered a sacrifice in the mountain, and called his brethren to eat bread; and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mountain.
Yacov now enters Eretz Yisrael and the Angels of the place come to greet the Tzaddik and rightful owner of the land.
32:1 And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them. And Laban departed, and returned unto his place. 2 And Jacob went on his way, and the angels of God met him. 3 And Jacob said when he saw them: 'This is God's camp.' And he called the name of that place Mahanaim.
One of them will remain and wrestle with him over the land for Esav.
Laws of Chanucha 25 Kislev night of Dec. 12th https://ohr.edu/1304
Ida and Louise Cook’s Remarkable Rescue Mission
Louise Cook was born in 1901 and her sister Ida in 1904. By the time Nazism was ascendant in Europe, the sisters were confirmed middle-aged spinsters, living in their family home in London. Louise was an office worker, Ida a typist and later a prolific writer who published under the name Mary Burchell. Their single passion in life was opera, scrimping and saving to be able to visit the world’s great opera houses.
In 1934, at was at one of these operas, the sisters’ lives changed. A few weeks earlier, Austria’s Chancellor Englebert Dolfus had been murdered by a gang of Nazis. All of Austria was in turmoil, but Ida and Louise cared only for music and travelled to Salzburg for an opera festival where they became friendly with the great Romanian singer Viorica Ursuleac. At the end of the festival, Ursuleac took the sisters by the arm and asked them to look after a dear friend, a certain Frau Mitia Mayer-Lismann, who would be travelling to London soon on a short trip.
Ida and Louise agreed, and back in London they took Frau Mayer-Lismann around to see the sites. As the women chatted, Frau Mayer-Lismann mentioned that she was Jewish, and was surprised when the clueless sisters said they hadn’t realized. Patiently, Frau Mayer-Lismann explained to Ida and Louise what life was like for Jews in Austria and Germany.
Years later, Ida Cook remembered that conversation as a turning point. “We began to see things more clearly and to see them, to our lasting benefit, through the eyes of an ordinary devoted family like ourselves. By the time the full horror of what was happening in Germany, and later in Austria, reached the newspapers, the whole thing had become almost too fantastic for the ordinary mind to take in,” Ida wrote in her 1950 memoir We Followed our Stars. “It took a war to make people understand what was happening in peacetime, and very many never understood it. To us, the case of the Mayer-Lismanns was curious and shocking, but we did what I suppose most people would have done. We asked, ‘Where did they hope to go? And what could we do to help?’”
As British women living in London, it was difficult indeed to help Austrian and German Jews. Britain restricted the number of Jewish refugees it accepted and the paltry number of refugees it did accept was allowed only under strict conditions. Jewish refugees had to be sponsored by a British citizen and had to produce a large sum of money guaranteeing they wouldn’t be a burden on the state. Because refugees were not allowed to work in Britain, this financial guarantee had to be produced upfront, posing a near-insurmountable burden on many Jews.
Moved by Frau Mayer-Lismann’s descriptions, Ida and Louise began to sponsor refugees. When their money ran out, they encouraged others to help and marshalled resources to provide guarantees to Jewish refugees.
Ida later described their methods. “We began to coordinate the smaller offers of money or hospitality around individual cases, until we had enough money or hospitality to ‘cover’ a case. Then we would persuade some trusting friend or relative to sign the official guarantee form, on the understanding that the guarantee would never be called on because we already had the wherewithal to meet the needs of the case.” Many of the sisters’ friends started cutting back on their daily expenses, walking instead of taking the bus or cutting out cigarettes, for instance, in order to contribute to refugees’ pledge guarantees.
Word soon spread among Jews in Germany and Austria, and Ida and Louise were inundated with requests for help.Word soon spread among Jews in Germany and Austria, and Ida and Louise were inundated with requests for help. Louise began learning German to better aid the refugees. Every few months, the sisters would travel to Germany to meet with potential refugees, with the pretext of attending operas as cover. In order to evade scrutiny, they travelled through smaller ports, flying from Croydon airport near London into Cologne on a Saturday morning and returning via boat from Holland on Sunday nights. “You never know what you can do until you refuse to take no for an answer,” Ida later explained of their travels.
In Germany, Ida and Louise often worked with Clemens Krauss, the head of the Berlin State Opera and then the Munich Opera House. Krauss was married to the singer Viorica Ursuleac, who’d befriended the Cook sisters years before. Throughout World War II, it was assumed that Clemens Krauss was a passionate Nazi; afterwards it was revealed that he in fact had personally worked to help Jews escape. In the case of the Cook sisters, he provided them cover for their trips. When they announced another visit to Germany, Krauss would send them the details of that weekend’s opera performances so they could gush about seeing their favorite opera to suspicious border guards or other officials.
Ida’s forthright style moved others to action.Back in Britain, Ida began writing and speaking out publicly about the dangers facing Jews in Europe. Her forthright style moved others to action. Invited to address her first conference about the situation, Ida was dismayed at the dry, academic tone of the speakers. When her turn came, Ida decided to talk about an actual Jew. “He has asked me to save his life. He is under sentence to go back to Buchenwald Concentration Camp - and almost certain death - unless he can be got out of the country in a matter of weeks. I have no guarantee. I have no means of saving him. He must die, unless I can find both - and find them quickly.”
Ida recalls the profoundly uncomfortable silence that followed. Three days later, the conference organizer’s secretary called her. She had been crying nonstop about the Jew Ida had spoken of and she and her husband had decided to sponsor him themselves, saving his life.
In the final years leading up to World War II, Ida and Louise began an even more dangerous activity: having exhausted their own finances to pledge refugees, they began smuggling diamonds and other precious gems that desperate Jews had purchased out of Austria and Germany in order to help pay pledges to resettle in Britain. This carried huge risks: Jews weren’t allowed to bring valuables out of those countries, and the penalties for anyone caught helping them would be severe.
On November 9, hordes of Nazis and Nazi-sympathisers poured into the streets of cities and towns throughout Germany and Austria, burning thousands of synagogues, destroying Jewish businesses, and beating and killing scores of Jews. Thirty thousand Jews were arrested that night. For the world, it became clear just how little Nazis thought the lives of Jews was worth. Just weeks after these pogroms, Ida was asked to travel once more to Germany to help an older Jewish woman get out to safety in Britain.
Ida did so, at enormous risk, and then was presented with a still more dangerous request. A Jew with a visa to Britain needed help raising the financial guarantee they required. They’d spent their entire life savings to purchase a single diamond brooch which would cover the guarantee, but Jews were barred from bringing valuables out of Germany. Would Ida please smuggle this life-saving jewelry into Britain instead? Ida said yes.
She affixed the huge diamond brooch to the front of her cheap sweater. People would assume it was a fake.When she saw the brooch, Ida was appalled. It was an enormous oblong, glittering with huge diamonds. At the time, Ida was wearing a cheap cardigan from the Marks & Spencer. With trembling fingers, she affixed the blazing diamond brooch to the front of her sweater, reasoning that anyone seeing her would assume it was a fake. Her ruse worked, and she returned to England with the brooch still affixed to her cheap outfit.
In the following months, both Ida and Louise repeated this daring ruse time and again, smuggling diamonds and pearls that Jewish refugees had bought with their life savings into England where they were converted into pledges guaranteeing them a safe place to stay. If they were caught, the sisters decided to “do the nervous British spinster act” and behave eccentrically. When an Austrian frontier official questioned Louise’s opulent string of pearls that she was wearing along with her otherwise inexpensive outfit, she acted affronted, exclaiming, “And why not?!’ She frantically ran to a mirror and looked at herself, all the while yelling at the inspector, “What is wrong with my appearance? What were you trying to imply?” until the inspector fled Louise’s crazy act.
The last person Ida and Louise were able to rescue, their 29th, was a 25-year-old Jewish photographer named Lisa Basch. It was 1939 and the sisters’ old friend Frau Mitia Mayer-Lismann was now living safely in Britain. She handed the sisters a list of names and addresses with the words “God bless you and help you” written at the top.
Louise had no more leave from work, so Ida went alone to Frankfurt to the Basch’s family home. It was in ruins, having been searched by the SS. Most of the Basch family had found refuge; only Lisa remained with no place to go. Ida interviewed her, then got to work raising a guarantee, allowing Lisa to find refuge in England.
In 2007, Lisa Basch recalled Ida Cook to Britain’s Daily Telegraph, remembering that Ida had been like a mother to her. Ms. Basch eventually moved to New York, and recalled that every time the Cook sisters visited that city, Lisa “was completely at their service. Wherever they had to go, whomever they wanted to visit, I drove them there. Ida always said to me, ‘You don’t have to repay anything.’ but I wanted to. I was so grateful. I loved her really, and if it hadn’t been for her…”
Video: 102 year old survivor meets his 66 year old Nephew for the first time after thinking all his family died in the war. http://www.aish.com/jw/s/102-Year-Old-Holocaust-Survivor-Meets-His-Nephew-for-First-Time.html?s=show
Holocaust video from Nechama: https://www.facebook.com/attn/videos/1506667196035401/
The blind Chazan 16 min.: http://chazonus.com/the-story-of-the-blind-chazan/
Stolen Torah Scrolls returned. https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/11/19/torah-scrolls-stolen-from-jaffa-synagogue-are-found-in-hebron-and-returned-after-cooperation-between-israeli-palestinian-police/
P is for Palestine in book. https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/11/19/childrens-book-p-is-for-palestine-which-hails-intifada-draws-ire-of-manhattan-mothers/
Some of the sites are natural and some man-made but a lovely film to see the works of creation. Most if not all of the US spots, I have seen. From Chaim B. https://www.youtube.com/embed/ICFQS_jpzFY?rel=0
This was posted by Benjamin and forwarded to me: Congratulations to Nitsana Leitner on her book, Harpoon, becoming a National Bestseller.
It's the story of the secret Mossad, headed by the legendary Meir Dagan, that launched a war against terror financing. It's available on Amazon.
Details from the Kurds of Iranian Human Right’s Violations. https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/11/16/kurdish-authorities-detail-serial-human-rights-outrages-by-iran-backed-militias-in-northern-iraq/
IDF Chief speaks with Saudi Newspaper about sharing intelligence on Iran. https://www.algemeiner.com/2017/11/16/in-first-ever-interview-with-saudi-newspaper-idf-chief-says-israel-in-complete-agreement-with-riyadh-about-need-to-thwart-irans-regional-ambitions-in-middle-east/
Syria tries to violate no troop zone and gets shot at. https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5044500,00.html
What really happened with Saudis and Lebanon. https://www.debka.com/hariri-lands-paris-watch-money-trail-riyadh-business-partner-prince-abdul-aziz/
New film of the Rabin Assassination retrial requested. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/238204
Synagogue broken into and vandalized. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/238240
For the second day Syria tries to violate the cease fire demilitarized zone. https://www.debka.com/mivzak/second-day-idf-tank-fires-syrian-fortification-work-dmz/
In my border patrol days, there was no fence just one strand of barbed wire that I could almost walk under – now shooting from Muslim Brotherhood/ISIS Sinai. http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/Israeli-soldier-wounded-from-spillover-shooting-in-Sinai-514699
Iran in Syria: https://www.debka.com/irans-gen-soleimani-takes-personal-command-abu-kamal-battle-deputy-killed/
Kushner under investigation re: Israel. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/238348
Ed-Op Ben Dror Yemeni. When you get BDS money, you become part of BDS. https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5044956,00.html
Video escape from N. Korea. https://www.aol.com/article/news/2017/11/21/un-command-shows-dramatic-video-of-nkorea-defectors-getaway-under-fire/23284941/
Netanyahu speaks with Putin on Syria. https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5046241,00.html
Liberated land not occupied https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5044911,00.html
Terror victim in vegetative state passes away. http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/238355
Israel thwarts explosive smuggling. https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5046519,00.html
Questions on countries and Embassies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjfCnVDI44E
Nice Mossad Story but is it true? Possible yes. https://www.debka.com/new-details-israel-busted-isis-plot-turn-laptops-airborne-bombs-vanity-fair/
No agreement with Putin on Iran-Hezballah in Syria. https://www.debka.com/no-headway-putin-netanyahu-conversation-iran-hizballah-removal-golan-border/
Hamas strengthens grip on west bank. https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5047229,00.html
Trump peace plan doomed to fail because the Arabs will say “no” Ed-Op by Ben Dror Yemeni. https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5045890,00.html
A new Ed-Op with the same title that Russia must consider Israel’s interests by Alex Fishman. https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-5046414,00.html
Saudis tell the world who the new Hitler is: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/238453
Wishing you all a good Shabbos,