The aim of this blog is to point out the "hidden" hand of God in the daily events of our lives and to give strength
and encouragement to those anxiously awaiting the final redemption - may it come speedily in our time.

27 June 2016

"Are You A Dirt Worshipper?"

22 Sivan 5776

In response to my post for Parshat Sh'lach last week, this is the question I received as a comment: "Are you a dirt worshipper?" Since this week is Parshat Sh'lach in the Diaspora, it is still relevant, so I will answer this question now.

If by "dirt worshipper" the commenter means as follows...

"For Your servants hold dear her stones and cherish even her dust." (Tehillim 102:15)

The touching scene of Jews kissing the earth upon their arrival in Eretz Yisrael has its roots in the words of King David and in the actions of our Talmudic Sages. Rabbi Abba kissed the rocks at the port of Acco. Rabbi Chiya bar Gamda rolled in the dust of the land. Rabbi Chanina went even further by repairing the roads so that his beloved country would not have a bad reputation with those who traveled upon them. (Kesuvos 112)

...then I must plead guilty. I think Eretz Yisrael is the most beautiful land on the face of the Earth and I never tire of extolling her virtues to whomever is willing to listen. It's our marital home with HKB"H. How can I not love it? Every image of her thrills my soul. 

Every day I look out across the hills of the Judean Desert towards the towers and spires of Holy Yerushalayim and I thank God and I think dayenu!

I listen to the happy little birds singing their hearts out from the walls and the trees and I know that this is the song they sing so joyfully - every single day: The Beautiful and Holy Land of Israel!

May we merit to witness the elimination of all idolatry and houses of avodah zarah from our Holy Land.

See also: Ohr Somayach's Love Of the Land Archives - Selections from classical Torah sources which express the special relationship between the People of Israel and Eretz Yisrael

26 June 2016

Global Rebellion - Remaking the World in Man's Image

20 Sivan 5776

The New World Order crowd means to unseat the Sovereign of the World by undoing and undermining the Creator's existing order so as to replace it with their own! They think they will re-create the world in their own image, but little do they realize that they are only lackeys of the Satan and they are really remaking it in the image of the serpent of old who hates mankind and wishes to destroy it. 

In the past, when the Generation of the Tower of Bavel tried to do the same thing, the Creator stopped them by destroying their unity, as this is what enabled them to accomplish so much. He intervened by separating them into different languages and by dividing the world's land mass into separate continents.

Electricity fuels the technology which makes the globalization process of today succeed. Every minute of every day, there is an opportunity for a solar flare or CME which will deliver a mortal blow to the world's electric grid. When it goes, the result will be exactly like what happened to the Generation of the Tower of Bavel.

A Word About "Brexit" - Beginning of the Endgame

20 Sivan 5776

Make no mistake! The only reason the "exit" vote in the referendum to take Britain out of the EU succeeded is because this is the way the NWO wanted it to go. 

It's counter-intuitive. The idea is to bring down the current system and create such chaos, want and need that the world will welcome, even beg for a new one-world currency system as their salvation. It's mental and emotional manipulation - including, and especially, all the media coverage of this event.

This is not a victory for the 99% over the 1%. That's obviously what they want us to believe, but it's just another psy-ops!

It looks like this is the beginning of the "controlled crash" that we've been expecting. If so, look for unstable and volatile market moves this week. There are already unconfirmed reports of people not receiving their electronic benefits for the month of June in the US and of interruptions in electronic funds transfers. Make sure you have a supply of needed items on hand. There is just no way to know how quickly a situation might degenerate to the point at which stores may be depleted or that you won't be able to safely travel the streets to reach one.

This applies worldwide!!

23 June 2016

Parashat Sh'lach - 5776

18 Sivan 5776
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

"Why is the LORD taking us to that land [Israel] to fall by the sword? Our wives and children will be carried off! It would be better for us to go back to Egypt!

Don't even think about it!

ADL: Dramatic rise in US anti-Semitic assaults in last year
ADL CEO Greenblatt: “We are disturbed that violent anti-Semitic incidents are rising, and we know that for every incident reported, there’s likely another that goes unreported."

...And Joshua son of Nun and Caleb son of Jephunneh, of those who had scouted the land, rent their clothes and exhorted the whole Israelite community: “The land that we traversed and scouted is an exceedingly good land. If the LORD is pleased with us, He will bring us into that land, a land that flows with milk and honey, and give it to us; only you must not rebel against the LORD.

...And the LORD said to Moses, “How long will this people spurn Me, and how long will they have no faith in Me despite all the signs that I have performed in their midst?

If you get nothing else out of this parashah, then understand this...

From these statements we learn some important facts: 1) rejection of Eretz Yisrael is equal to rebellion against God; and, 2) rejection of Eretz Yisrael is equal to rejecting God and lacking faith in Him. 

The Torah itself attests to this! Think on this all your days.


Food for Thought:

"Your children will roam in the Wilderness for forty years and bear your guilt.... Like the number of the days that you spied out the Land, forty days, a day for a year, a day for a year, shall you bear your iniquities - forty years - and you shall comprehend straying from Me."

I was thinking about this forty years for the forty days. According to the way I read this pasuk, there were forty days of sinning that had to be 'paid for' with the forty days of wandering.

But, doesn't it make you wonder why forty days when the sin was only committed when the evil report was given at the end of the forty days?

Could it be that the spies who erred had determined in their hearts from the very beginning that no matter what they saw in the Land, they had no intention of going in to settle it? This would be one explanation for why they viewed every detail so negatively and why they couldn't be swayed by Calev's or Yehoshua's arguments. Perhaps for all those forty days, they had been planning to give a bad report.

21 June 2016

It's Always "Midah K'Neged Midah"

15 Sivan 5776

Something interesting came up in a discussion at home this morning. I'm sure you've heard that reference to how if the Jews find themselves under spiritual attack, they are required to make a physical response and vice versa, if they find themselves under physical attack, then the appropriate response is a spiritual one. Traditionally, this has been illustrated through Purim and Hanukah. At Purim, the Jews were threatened with physical annihilation and responded with prayer and fasting, while at Hanukah, the Greeks forbid us to practice our religion and our response was a physical one - war.

The question came up as to whether this was the correct explanation or could it be a case of the response being dictated by the location. In other words, in the Purim story, the Jews were outside the Land of Israel where the gentiles ruled, so they had no power to do more than fast and pray until the gentile king decreed they could do more. But, the Hanukah story took place inside the Land of Israel where the Jews had self-determination and actually had the power and the authority to declare a war.

I consulted Rav Yehudah Richter for the source of this idea and asked his opinion on which approach was more valid. I took notes as we spoke on the phone, so if anything appears to be in error, it's either my lack of understanding or a misstatement of what he communicated to me.

Apparently, the original source for the concept of physical threat/spiritual response and vice versa comes from the Bach who wrote a halachic commentary on the Tur's commentary on the Shulchan Aruch. (I really hope I got that right.) In any case, what has commonly come down to us is missing a few very important details, which when understood, actually explain how neither of the two above approaches adequately expresses the real situation.

In the case of Purim, for example, it wasn't precisely that they were under a physical threat or that they were residing in the Diaspora that dictated the appropriate response and the same goes for the events of Hanukah.

Rav Richter explains that it is all about the sin for which they needed to do teshuvah, how to make that teshuvah and then how they commemorated those events all in a midah k'neged midah framework.

At Purim, the Jews sinned through eating and drinking at Ahashverosh's banquet. Consequently, their teshuvah was expressed through the absention from eating and drinking. And those days of Purim are celebrated through holy eating and drinking.

At Hanukah, the Jews sinned through laxness in their service in the Beit Hamikdash, so they were punished midah k'neged midah by being denied their spiritual service to Hashem. Their teshuvah came in restoring it and the historical commemoration of those events involves spiritual actions like kindling lights. There is no mitzvah to eat or drink on Hanukah

Thank you, Rav Richter!!

So, now, knowing this, we might be better able to figure out what we are supposed to be doing about our situation today. I don't know about you, but I'd heard sinat chinam and lashon hara repeated so often as the source of all our present difficulties that I think I had come to view it as a kind of knee-jerk explanation lacking a real basis in reality. But, if we concentrate on the principle of midah k'neged midah, this, I think, is the key to the truth and lo and behold...

What characterizes the most recent decree upon the Jews of Eretz Yisrael? Stabbing attacks and car rammings. Stated another way: running people down and stabbing them in the back. Aha! Wow! Sinat chinam and lashon hara!

Lest we err further, ahavat chinam is not the correct answer. That just goes to the other extreme. And we know that there are instances in which, by law, lashon hara is not only permissible but a mitzvahSo, how do we do teshuvah for this? Very simplistically, we need to lift our brothers and sisters up and defend their character and their honor. 

Life is a balancing act and as every tightrope walker knows, it ain't simple and it ain't easy. But, if we realize that harboring ill-will toward a neighbor out of envy or sharing gossip about a friend out of our own insecurity could result in a mass-casualty car-ramming in Tel Aviv or a stabbing in the Old City, maybe it will make us think twice and make a real effort to change our attitudes. 

On the other hand, if we are successful in squelching that temptation to evil thought or speech, we might just be instrumental in preventing the next attack!

Everything has its consequence - midah k'neged midah.


It was only after I had posted this that I found this wonderful article which complements it so remarkably and picks up where I left off. You must not miss this!

20 June 2016

Pollard Parallels

14 Sivan 5776

Jonathan Jay Pollard is a very special neshamah with a very special role to play in the unfolding of the final redemption. His entire life's story reads like something right out of the Tanakh. There is something very spiritually short-sighted in anyone who can't see that. Rather than go back to the beginning or the middle though, I'd just like to comment on something that has occurred to me recently.

For some reason, we all thought the day would come when the cell door would swing open and Jonathan Pollard would leave prison a free man - free to go out and do whatever he wanted to do; a complete redemption, if you will. But, that's not what happened. The reality is that he is still very much a prisoner, although under better conditions than what he had inside the prison. At least now he is "home".

You might say the same thing happened to the Jews as a whole. When the State of Israel was declared and Jews from all over the Diaspora were free to immigrate to Eretz Yisrael, they thought, "This is it! This is the redemption!" (Some still think that today.) But, instead, since 1948, it is like the Jewish people just went out from the harshness of a prison - a completely alien place - to a place that is supposedly "home", but with such restrictions that we are still virtually prisoners in that home.

The Jewish people are being held as virtual prisoners by the same Eisavian world that continues to hold fast to Jonathan Pollard - forced to abide by their warped ideas of justice and democracy. In the Land of the Torah we are forbidden to have a king on the throne of David. We are forbidden to have a Sanhedrin. We are forbidden to build the Holy Temple. We are forbidden to destroy our enemies. Instead we are bidden to adopt and promote Western (Greek and Roman) 'values' of inclusion (of gentiles) and tolerance (for sin).

I don't understand why it is necessary that we suffer through this extra step in the process on the way to the complete redemption, but just like I know that the day of true freedom will certainly come for the Jewish people as a whole, I have no doubt whatsoever that this day will come for Jonathan Jay Pollard as well. 

May Hashem in the abundance of His kindness and mercy bring the days of suffering to a swift conclusion and count us all worthy to cross the threshold into Yemot HaMashiach.