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17 August 2014

"The Essential Core of the Whole Torah"

21 Menachem Av 5774

(H/T Israel 613)

There is only one verse in all the Tanach which is composed of all the twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet plus the five end-letters. The verse in found in Tzefanyah (3:8) and speaks of the importance of waiting for the final redemption.
ספר צפניה פרק ג : ח
לָכֵן חַכּוּ לִי נְאֻם יְדֹוָד לְיוֹם קוּמִי לְעַד כִּי מִשְׁפָּטִי לֶאֱסֹף גּוֹיִם לְקָבְצִי מַמְלָכוֹת לִשְׁפֹּךְ עֲלֵיהֶם זַעְמִי כֹּל חֲרוֹן אַפִּי כִּי בְּאֵשׁ קִנְאָתִי תֵּאָכֵל כָּל הָאָרֶץ

“Therefore wait for Me, says Hashem, until the day that I rise up to the prey. For My determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them My indignation, all My fierce anger: for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of My jealousy.”

That all the letters of the Torah express this theme teaches us that the yearning and waiting for the redemption to reveal His dominion is the essential core of the whole Torah. (Beer Moshe Vayechi 820)

15 August 2014

Parshat Eikev 5774

19 Menachem Av 5774

Parashat Eikev: The golden calf still echoes
by Daniel Pinner

Parashat Eikev continues the second of Moshe’s three farewell discourses to his beloved nation, in which he recounts the salient events of the last forty years of desert wanderings. His second discourse began last week in Parashat Va-et’chanan (Deuteronomy 4:44), and will continue until the end of Chapter 26 (in Parashat Ki Tavo, in another 4 weeks).

The word “eikev” is somewhat open to interpretation. Targum Onkelos and Targum Yonatan both render, “It will be, in return for your hearkening to these ordinances, and you will guard them and perform them, then Hashem your God will guard for you the covenant and the loving-kindness that He swore to your forefathers”.

Rabbi Shimshon Rafael Hirsch follows this interpretation and translates: “It will come to pass as the consequence of your hearing these legal maxims and carefully carrying them out, that Hashem your God will keep the covenant and the love with you that He swore to your forefathers”.

The Ibn Ezra and the Radak (in Sefer ha-Shorashim) both understand the word “eikev” to mean “ultimately, until the end of time”, both of them citing the way the word is used in Psalms 119:12. Thus per the Ibn Ezra, Hashem guarantees reward for the mitzvot, even though the reward may be delayed until the very end of the world.

The Radak is ambiguous: does he mean that the reward can be delayed, even until the end of the world? Or does he render, “If you keep these ordinances until the end of the world…”?

The Ramban defines “eikev” as “ba’avur”, approximately “for the sake of” or “because”, citing the meaning of the word in Genesis 26:5. Hence, “it will be, because you hearken to these ordinances and you guard them and perform them, Hashem your God will guard for you the covenant and the loving-kindness that He swore to your forefathers”.

The word “eikev” connotes “after”, hence the first understanding cited above (both Targumim and Rabbi Shimshon Rafael Hirsch).

I suggest that the conditional clause is not just the first half of the first verse of Parashat Eikev (“it will be, as a consequence of your hearkening to these ordinances and guarding them and performing them…”), and the consequence does not begin with the second half of the first verse (“…then Hashem your God will guard for you the covenant and the loving-kindness which He swore to your forefathers”).

Rather, the conditional clause covers the first two verses in their entirety, and the consequence begins with verse 14 (the third verse in our parashah).

Hence: “It will be, as a consequence of your hearkening to these ordinances and guarding them and performing them, and [of] Hashem your God’s guarding for you the covenant and the loving-kindness which He swore to your forefathers, and [of] His loving you and blessing you and multiplying you, and blessing the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your Land, your grain, your wine, and your oil, the offspring of your cattle and the flocks of your sheep and goats on the Land which He swore to your forefathers to give you – you will be the most blessed of all nations…”.

That is to say, according to this reading, it is not that Hashem guards the covenant and the loving-kindness which He swore to our forefathers as a consequence and a reward for our hearkening to the ordinances and guarding them and performing them, and that part of the covenant is that He will love us and bless us and multiply us, and bless the fruit of our womb and the fruit of our Land and so on.

Rather, our hearkening to the ordinances and guarding them and performing them, together with Hashem’s guarding the covenant and loving us and blessing us and multiplying us, and blessing the fruit of our womb and the fruit of our Land and so on, is what will make us the most blessed of all nations.

Later in the parashah (chapter9), Moshe admonishes us not to assume that Hashem grants us victory over our enemies, the nations who occupy the Land of Israel, because of our righteousness; rather, it is because of their evil that they lose.

And then Moshe continues by reminding us of how we provoked God at Horeb (Mount Sinai) with the sin of the golden calf: “Remember, do not forget, how you enraged Hashem your God in the desert…” (Deuteronomy 9:7), and then, over the course of 34 verses (until 10:11), Moshe continues by reminding us, in excruciating detail, of that entire débâcle and of how he pleaded and prayed to God not to destroy us because of that sin, but to sustain us despite it.

The first commandment that God gave us, immediately after the sin of the golden calf, was to expel all the idolatrous inhabitants of the Land of Israel: “Be on your guard lest you seal a covenant with the inhabitant of the Land…lest he be a trap in your midst. Instead smash their altars, break their pillars, and chop down their idolatrous trees…lest you forge a covenant with the inhabitant of the Land and go astray after their gods and sacrifice to their gods…” (Exodus 34:12-15).

This warning was amply justified there: after all, this came immediately after the mixed multitude had seduced the nation into idolatry. Moshe and the entire nation had just experienced how easily idolaters among them could be “a trap in their midst”, so now was the time for God to admonish them against allowing such a débâcle to recur.

In Parashat Eikev, almost forty years later, Moshe again connects the necessity to drive the idolatrous nations out of Israel with the débâcle of the golden calf. Near the beginning of the parashah he encourages us with the promise: “Hashem will remove from you every sickness; and He will not inflict upon you any of the evil diseases of Egypt which you have known – He will inflict them on all your enemies. You will consume all the nations which Hashem your God gives you; your eye shall not pity them, and you will not worship their gods, for it is an entrapment for you” (Deuteronomy7:15-16).

And Moshe continues: “Should you say in your heart: ‘These peoples are greater than me; how will I be able to dispossess them?’ – Do not fear them! Remember, remember well, what Hashem your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt, the great trials which your eyes saw, and the signs and the wonders and the mighty hand and the outstretched arm with which Hashem your God took you out” (vs. 17-19).

When the sin of the golden calf actually occurred, God used it by immediately afterwards commanding the Children of Israel to take possession of their Land and not to allow any idolaters or other enemies to remain therein. When Moshe reminded the nation of the event, he prefaced it by giving them the same charge.

Maybe the generation which worshipped the golden calf had not fully absorbed God’s riposte, and in case they had not, Moshe repeated it for the generation that was about to enter the Land of Israel and conquer it. In return for hearkening to God’s ordinances, guarding them and performing them, Hashem guards for you the covenant and the loving-kindness that He swore to your forefathers. And He will ultimately pay you your reward for keeping the mitzvot. If not now, immediately, then one day, even though it may be in the far distant future.

And know that you will be – indeed, you are! – the most blessed of nations, and this is for two reasons: both as a consequence of your keeping the mitzvot, and as a consequence of God’s guarding the covenant which He swore to your forefathers. Because you are God’s nation, because “Israel is called by the Name of God” (Tanhuma, Kedoshim 5), God will make you the most blessed of nations, even though you sin.

The Midrash Lekach Tov begins its exposition on Parashat Eikev by citing the verse, “A Song of Praise of Asaph: Surely God is good to Israel, to the pure of heart” (Psalms 73:1). The Midrash picks up on the word “akh” (which we have translated here as “surely”, which also means “however”), and expounds: “Wherever the word ‘akh’ occurs, it implies a restriction. Asaph the composer said: ‘Surely God is good to Israel’ – meaning even when He sits in judgement over them, because he used the name ‘Elokim’ [God, connoting His attribute of strict justice, in contrast to Hashem which connotes His attribute of mercy]”.

Even when God punished the Children of Israel for the sin of the golden calf, He was still good to them, sustaining them in the desert.

Moshe could remind them of their sin a generation later, and they could hear the rebuke, safe and secure in the knowledge that in spite of all, they were still God’s nation, charged with possessing the Land of Israel.

The echoes of the sin of the golden calf yet resound: the day of the sin, the 17th of Tammuz, would become a day of disaster throughout the generations, a day on which until this very generation we still fast in mourning for Jerusalem which was besieged on this day, and for numerous other disasters which happened throughout the millennia on this day.

“Eikev” – punishment can be stretched out until the very end of time, and the punishment for the sin of the golden calf is still unfolding in our days. But even this implies a measure of comfort, because even as punishment resounds through the generations, so too are we guaranteed our eventual reward, even if it come in the far-distant future.

14 August 2014

Part 6: The Weapons of War and the Final Victory

18 Menachem Av 5774

(Part 5)

Let us summarize. Up to now, we have identified the war, the battlefield and the enemy. In this final part, we will, b'ezrat Hashem, define our weapons and the method for attaining victory.

If one looks honestly at general warfare, it is clear to see that it is being fought at a much higher level than ever before. There is an intellectual aspect to it that was not necessary in times past.

As Torah-Jews, we are uniquely equipped to fight this war, coming to it as we do from the top of the mountain, so to speak. We started out at the top with the direct Divine revelation that the rest of civilization has been working up to for over 5,000 years.

Our single most important weapon in this war for hearts and minds is the Truth of Torah. The enemy brings lies and propaganda, whether religious, societal or political. We should not stoop to their inferior level, but insist that they meet us at the upper level of absolute Truth. There, they have no chance against us.

The Truth of Torah is wielded in two ways - through the dissemination of information and through ongoing education. Our generation has been invested with a most unique tool for accomplishing this task. It's called the internet. It allows us unlimited access to people and places and information without the hindrance of time or distance.

Our job is to learn and to know the Truth so that we can then pass it on to the people within our sphere of influence. These are the ones we are tasked to inform and educate and attempt to enlist into the battle, so that the power of Truth will grow throughout the world.

In so doing, as we cling more and more to the Truth of authentic Torah Judaism, a direct consequence of this will be the distancing of our souls from those of the Erev Rav. The only way we can unify with them is by lowering ourselves to their base level. As we ascend higher and higher in our striving for Truth, we will become very distant from them, both in our minds and in our hearts, so that the separation required to battle their reign in this world will be accomplished in the natural course of events.

This does not require us to judge anyone; to point out certain people or to name names. And it does not require us to take any physical action against those who oppose our views. 

When the Erev Rav come to bring us together and to join with the nations, we will stand firmly on the Truth of Torah that tells us we must remain separate from the nations. When the Erev Rav come to convince us that the Torah has changed since Har Sinai and needs to be modernized to fit the times, that surely when it defined idolatry it wasn't talking about the Christians of today, and other such nonsense, we will stand firmly on the Truth of our Holy Torah which is as unchanging as the G-d who gave it.

We will stand as firm and solid and confident and steadfast as Mount Sinai itself and WE WILL WIN! Because, in their frustration, they will wash their hands of us. They will move away from us to join with the nations and once they have disconnected themselves from the kedushah which has kept them alive and empowered them until this day, Hashem will remove them from this world. 



Part 5: The Mating of Eisav and Yishmael

18 Menachem Av 5774

Just like every lie must be wrapped around a kernel of truth in order to be believed, so the Erev Rav must attach themselves to the holy sparks within Real-Jews in order to accomplish their wicked acts. And this is precisely why we are exhorted to separate ourselves from them. By instead drawing closer, as the current trend in Torah education teaches, we empower them all the more.

We read in Part 4 that "the real problem is that the Erev Rav have a mission in life: to pull the real Jews away from G-d, and away from real, authentic Torah and mitzvoth."

But, it goes even beyond that as Kol HaTor explains...
The mating of Esau and Ishmael comes through Armelius, angelic prince of the Erev Rav, and it can destroy Israel and the whole world, Heaven help us!  The main striving of the Erev Rav is to mate Esau and Ishmael and separate the two Messiahs, and our own main battle is to shatter and rout the power of the erev rav, the impurity of evil Armelius, from Israel. The Erev Rav is our greatest enemy. It is what separates between the two Messiahs. Its impurity operates only via indirect deception. Hence, the war against the Erev Eav is the hardest and most bitter, and we must gird ourselves with our last strength toward this end. Whoever does not actively take part in the war against the erev rav automatically becomes a partner to its impurity, and whoever he is, he is better off not having been born. The main strength of the Erev Rav is in the gates of Jerusalem, especially at the entrance to the city on the western dividing line.
 The Erev Rav is that part of the Jewish People intent on war against G-d and against the truth and credibility of His Torah. With them we face an uncompromising battle to the finish, and the Gra emphasized this in his call to holy war against them. When he says that whoever does not actively fight the Erev Rav becomes their partner and is better off never having been born, he means to warn against the distorted tolerance and groundless love which are the main impediments in this war. 
To get a better handle on this idea of "mating Eisav and Yishmael", let's look back to where it all started, in B'reishit, chapter 28...
...And Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him away to Padan aram, to take himself a wife from there, and that when he blessed him, he commanded him, saying, "You shall not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan." ... And Esau saw that the daughters of Canaan were displeasing to his father Isaac. So Esau went to Ishmael, and he took Mahalath, the daughter of Ishmael, the son of Abraham, the sister of Nebaioth, in addition to his other wives as a wife.
According to the Midrash, Eisav was not trying to please his parents at this late date. else he would have divorced his two Canaanite wives. He had other ulterior motives for "mating" with Yishmael...
...Esau’s intention in marrying Ishmael’s daughter was to then ensnare Ishmael in the following plot:

“You – Esau said to Ishmael – kill your brother Isaac. I will kill my brother Jacob. Then we will become one nation, remaining sole heirs to all of Abraham’s legacy and property! Ishmael refused: ‘Am I then like Cain who killed his brother?! No, I will not do as you suggest.” Esau’s intention was to then kill Ishmael, and he would be left the sole heir.
Throughout our dispersion, it is known that when our situation was dire in the lands ruled by Eisav, we were always able to find shelter in the lands of Yishmael and when Yishmael went on the rampage, we were able to find rest in the lands of Eisav. But, woe to us when Eisav and Yishmael combine their forces against us! Then, no place is safe!

In modern times, we saw this clearly when Hitler, y"sh and the Mufti of Jerusalem, y"sh met together, and again, when the British armed the Arabs before leaving the Mandate behind.
Rabbi Nachman Kahane: "If anyone has any doubt regarding the affinity that exists between Aisav and Yishmael, one need not look further than what happened last night in the UN’s General Assembly. There are only two entities in the world which are not national states, but the member states of the UN has granted them "non-member observer state" status: the Vatican Aisavists of Rome, and the Yishmaelites now squatting on the holy land of Yehuda, Shomrom, Azza and East Yerushalayim. They are the willing hirelings of the anti-Jewish world to make battle against HaShem’s chosen people.
It would seem also, that the so-called "Peace Process", instigated, nurtured and encouraged by the Erev Rav, has firmly united Eisav and Yishmael in a joint pact, in the present, to remove us not only from the Holy Land, but from the world!

With the 1991 Madrid ConferenceEisav/Yishmael cooperation was taken to a whole new level...
Also known as the Madrid Peace Talks or Madrid Summit. Refers to the international peace conference held in Madrid, Spain in 1991, following the First Gulf War. Co-sponsored by the United States and the Soviet Union, it was the first time that representatives from Israel, the Palestinian community and representatives from Arab countries that had not yet formally recognized Israel came together to discuss the prospects for peace in direct negotiations. US President George H.W. Bush saw it as redemption of pledges he had made to Arab leaders in setting up the anti-Saddam Hussein coalition during the First Gulf War; Israel was incensed by the inclusion of Palestinian Liberation Organization representatives, albeit as part of the Jordanian delegation. The talks were based on United Nations Resolutions 242 and 338 as well as the Camp David Accords of 1978, accepting the “land-for-peace” formula for resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict. It set up a system of multi- and bilateral committees, which met with few results until overtaken by the revelation of the Oslo Process between Israel and Palestinian representatives in August 1993. The Madrid Conference is generally seen as a precursor to Oslo, though formally unrelated.
What we are all suffering, right now!! a direct outgrowth of this event. Any Jew who is a party to this "process", or who approves of it, or who even sympathizes with it, is de facto Erev Rav, by definition, and it is their input which enables and empowers this coalition of evil.

And, lo and behold, it is the "innocent" involvement of Real-Jews who are enabling and empowering the Erev Rav!! It always comes back to us and the perversion of Jewish thought and the corruption of authentic Judaism.

Peres Center for Peace and other such joint Israeli-Arab organizations are all about erasing the differences between gentiles and Jews and the uniqueness of Am Yisrael and mixing us together as one universal human family.

You look for the Jews behind the peace process and you'll find the worst of the Erev Rav, for it is they who have mated Eisav and Yishmael.

Highly recommend reading Henry Kissinger, The Real Prime Minister of Israel?

(Part 6)

Part 4: The Erev Rav - Barrier to Progress

18 Menachem Av 5774

In the war for the hearts and minds of Jews, we have an internal enemy. They're called the Erev Rav and they present a formidable barrier to the dissemination of authentic Judaism and the breaking of our connection with Western values and democracy. 

Rivka Levy wrote an excellent seven-part series on the Erev Rav for Breslov's website. You'll want to go there and read it in full as time allows, but meantime, please peruse these important excerpts which take us from their origins to their fate at the end of days.
From Part 1:
...The Torah was given after just 26 generations, but we know from Psalms that Hashem said He'd only give it after 1000 generations - so what happened to the other 974?
The Talmud, Chagigah 13b, explains: "These are the 974 generations that were decreed to be created before the creation of the world, but were not created. The Holy One, Blessed is He, arose and 'hangs' them in each generation, and they are the most brazen of each generation." The word 'brazen' is a key clue to what's going on here, and we're going to meet it again later on in many holy works.
The Vilna Gaon explains in his book Sifra D'Tzniusa, Chapter 1, that the 974 generations are the Erev Rav.
The Arizal explains that these souls started to be rectified with the generation of the flood; then reincarnated as the generation of the dispersion; then again, as the generation in S'dom, and finally, in Egypt.
The souls who had been sufficiently rectified and purified reincarnated into Bnei Yisrael, the Children of Israel. The ones who had not been sufficiently rectified became the 'mixed multitude', or millions of Egyptian converts who came out of Egypt with the Children of Yisrael, despite G-d advising Moses against accepting them.
The Zohar in Ki Tisa 191A explains that the Erev Rav were false converts, who wanted to be Jews to be 'on the winning team' and to get all the benefits of being the servants of such a powerful 'G-d', as opposed to serving Hashem with their hearts and souls. 
From Part 2:
The Torah first explicitly mentions the Erev Rav in Shemot 12: 37-38: "The Children of Israel travelled from Ramses towards Succot. There were about 600,000 adult males on foot, besides the children. The Erev Rav also went up with them."
The Arizal in Shaarei HaPesukim, Shemot 1:8 explains that when Pharaoh complains that "The people, the Children of Israel are more numerous and greater than us," he wasn't just talking about Bnei Yisrael; he was also talking about the millions of Egyptians converts that Yosef and Yaacov converted (remember, Yosef made all the Egyptians circumcise themselves.)
According to the Arizal, these converts were the Erev Rav, who left together with the Jewish people in the Exodus - and they were more than double the Jewish people.
...Those original Erev Rav souls became intermingled with the authentic Jewish souls. We still have the Erev Rav with us, but today, they can be born into the best families, have the highest pedigree, and be the most (externally) pious and 'frum' people you'd ever care to meet. Why is this a problem?
Simply put, the soul of a real Jew is a part of G-d. In its essence, it's completely pure and holy and good, and is always yearning to return to its source, namely, G-d.
This returning to G-d is the essence of making teshuva. A real Jew can be eating a pork chop on Yom Kippur on Tel Aviv beach, and still have a deep (as yet unexpressed or unrecognised) yearning to connect to G-d.
The soul of an Erev Rav, by contrast, even if it's housed in an externally very pious 'body' cannot come back to G-d. It's not rooted in G-d, and G-d is completely out of the picture, even if the person themselves appears to be mega-observant.
But that's not the real problem. The real problem is that the Erev Rav have a mission in life: to pull the real Jews away from G-d, and away from real, authentic Torah and mitzvoth.
From Part 3:
...A real Jew will acknowledge their wrongdoing on some level, and display some sort of embarrassment, shame and regret, even if they carry on doing it. (The yetzer hara, or evil inclination, is very strong, and it's very hard to immediately stop doing bad things, even when we've actually realized they are bad.)
By contrast, the Erev Rav are brazen, which means that they won't accept any suggestion that they are doing anything wrong, and they will justify their evil deeds with any amount of lies, evasion, intimidation and other manipulative behaviours.
From Part 4:
...a key tell-tale sign of the brazen-faced Erev Rav is that they genuinely believe that they are perfect and can do no wrong. And if you try to challenge them on that, they won't back down and they'll just keep lying about their actions, and the impact of their actions on other people. 
From Part 5: 
...Let's recap what we've learnt from Rebbe Nachman about 'brazen' 'wicked' people (ie, the Erev Rav):
* They are angry, stubborn and refuse to mend their ways, even when they are shown what they are doing wrong.
* We need to avoid them like the plague, or we'll get pulled away from the service of G-d, and caught up in their punishment (just like what happened with the original Erev Rav and the Golden Calf)
* There's no point speaking to them, even to try to get them to change their ways
* They hide their evil and heresy behind a veneer of 'good' and 'religious', which confuses us, and makes it very hard for us to know what's going on, or what to do about it
* Sincere Torah learning (ie, learning Torah to live it, and not just to know it) shatters their friendship
From Part 6:
The Tikkunei Zohar 119a explains that: "as soon as they [the Erev Rav] are removed from the world, then people will start calling in the name of Hashem."
The Erev Rav can't / won't / don't do hitbodedut, or personal prayer, where you call out to G-d in your own words. Why not? They don't really believe in Him!
What's more, the Erev Rav actively discourage other people from putting G-d in the picture, and turning to Him to solve their problems. They are the people who make a very big point of 'hishtadlut' - effort - and who are always telling us that it's 'forbidden to rely on miracles'. They'll be the ones who are encouraging us to medicate or buy our problems away, and who are always looking for 'natural' explanations for everything that happens in our lives, that cuts G-d out of the picture.
Remember, many of the Erev Rav appear to be externally religious, and these 'hidden enemies' are the hardest of the lot to identify and stay away from, because they will try to 'prove' their heretical lies and ideas with quotes from the Torah itself!
...Let's recap what we've just learnt from the Vilna Gaon: the main problem with the Erev Rav is that they influence the real Jews to follow their evil ways, and to cut G-d out of their lives. They use devious, sneaky ways to do this, and will hide their evil designs behind a very pious or 'good' front. If we don't actively fight against their evil influence and ideas, then we end up helping them, and the Vilna Gaon tells us it would then have been better for us if we hadn't been born in the first place.
...Rabbi Simcha Issaschar Ber Halberstam, the Divre Simcha, explains that even the 'good' that the Erev Rav do has to be rejected.
..."And even if we see in them (the Erev Rav) good things like Torah, and tradition, and good manners, and in particular, they make peace with everybody and peace is the foundation of everything, and it is a very good trait, even so, as in the case of a sick person that needs to have his blood extracted, even though the soul is in the blood, so it will be in the days prior to Moshiach."
"We must reject all these people even when they have good aspects in their behaviour, because then will be time of clarification and selection, and this will be the trial and choice in those days."
Rav Halberstam is teaching us that prior to Moshiach coming, one of our main jobs will be to split off from, and reject, the Erev Rav, even if they are apparently doing 'good' things.
In particular, the Erev Rav are obsessed with 'making peace' at any price, and will bully others mercilessly to get them to acquiesce to their plans. 
From Part 7:
...Erev Rav are typically attracted to roles and positions where they can influence the people around them, which gives them the perfect platform for starting or encouraging negative trends that take Jews away from G-d.
...Making a name for themselves is one of the main preoccupations of the Erev Rav, as set out both by Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in the Zohar, and the Vilna Gaon.
Rabbi Chaim Vital, the main student of the Arizal, warns us in the introduction to his book Etz Chaim that a key way that the Erev Rav do this is by pursuing 'honourable' positions in the Jewish religious world, and making a point of doing mitzvoth that will get them kudos from others.
...In the book Rebbe Nachman's Wisdom, paragraph 126, the Rebbe says the following about false leaders in the time preceding the coming of Moshiach:
"The Talmud teaches us that the angels will chant 'holy, holy, holy' before the Tzadikim, just like they do before G-d…the tzadikim who remain faithful before the Moshiach's coming will deserve this, and much more. So difficult will it be to remain firm in faith and not to be misled by everyone's mistaken beliefs in the pre-Messianic era.
"At that time, many who call themselves religious leaders will preach falsehood… There will remain some truly religious individuals, but they will be very widely scattered."
(Part 5)

Part 3: On Democracy and Western Values

18 Menachem Av 5774

(Part 2)

With the help of the Maharal of Prague, we can identify Fourth Exile - Western (Edom/Rome) values as the idealistic enemy of Torah Judaism and the coming Messianic Kingdom.

Right now, the only basis upon which we are enticing gentiles to take our side in the fight with Yishmael ( which is a whole other topic) is an appeal to them based on our "common values" and on the basis of being the "only democracy in the Middle East".

What's wrong with this picture? Well, that's what I'm going to try to explain, but on some level, the truth will either resonate with your pure Jewish soul or it won't and there's really no way to "prove" this to anyone.

As someone said once, our job is to get the information out there for those who are thirsting for the truth. It's not our job to make anyone drink.

With regard to Western values, you can't get a better description than the one offered up in yesterday's news in a dispute between two Jews, Naomi Wolf  and Rabbi Shmuely Boteach.

Naomi Wolfe is a descendant of Holocaust survivors, a feminist and a popular political speaker. She recently called the death of 400+ children in Gaza a "genocide," an assertion refuted by Rabbi Boteach and then vehemently countered by Ms. Wolfe with the following statements...
...Do you think this is what God asks of us, to split rhetorical hairs like this in the face of the murder of children? I could cite you chapter and verse from our scripture warning us that justice, mercy and the saving of human life — not Jewish but human life — is what God demands of us, not nationalism or militarism or fetishizing a state or an ethnicity. Read the Prophets — they are not talking about borders. They are talking about righteousness, and about God being p–d off at us when we deviate from the path of righteousness. Which we formally now are.
Please check the Geneva conventions definitions of genocide — they support my use of ‘genocide’, not yours — but that is not what is most important. The issue here is: do we want to be the people manifesting what should be truly Jewish values — justice, compassion, mercy, kindness — or do we want to be remembered as the people who are equivocating over the bodies of children?
I actually feel that Israel is exhibiting the opposite of real Jewish values. Jewish values as I see and cherish them, as I was raised on them — are — humanism — – valuing all people in a context of diversity — justice (universal Kantian justice, not ‘justice for Jews” or a double standard in the law) — the search for the truth, not ‘hasbarah’ or spin — and the idea of transparent universal ethics. THAT is true Judaism. THAT, not a nation-state, is Judaism’s contribution to the world.
I would say that acting according to those values is ‘inhabiting a Jewish state’ and that Israel’s late embrace of nationalism, fetishizing ethnicity, a judicial double standard, militarism, violence against civilians, and disregard for the rule of law — is the opposite of a truly Jewish state.
I would say Israel has hijacked Judaism and Jewish values and turned them into the opposite of what they are supposed to be, and is holding us all hostage; if we try to reclaim our legacy we are tarred as ‘disloyal.’ Maybe, properly understood, it is Israel that is currently being disloyal to Judaism.
Maybe our mission on earth is not to embrace nationalism and the fetishizing of ethnicity – but to bring the values of cosmopolitanism, humanism, rule of law, and embracing diversity, that we lived for in exile around the world — that protected us in Russia France Italy Spain — and did not protect us when they were weakened — into the universe? Maybe our gift is supposed to be knowing what being an exile, stateless, homeless, feels like — so bringing universal values of justice, liberal humanism, democracy, the search for truth in a context of free speech, and civil society — into every society.
Wouldn’t that be a tradition to be proud of?
What if “the holy land” is not a place on the globe but a way of behaving to one’s fellow man and woman?
I choose that place.
She's just made the case for Jews to be made stateless once again. In fact, according to Naomi, we're better off without a state. Having our own country has turned us into Nazis. Oh no, she didn't use the word, but she leaves no doubt about what she is implying.

Note, please, the reiteration of the word "universal." We've already seen from the Maharal that this describes fourth-empire thinking. It's also what is behind the concept of the New World Order and she has just described for you the new NWO "universal" religion. You'll notice also that Truth doesn't figure in here at all, as she continues to insist that Israel has perpetrated a "genocide."

Now, let's look at democracy - that "ideal" government that all "freedom-lovers" pay lip-service to. Why is it bad for the Jews? For this, I turn to Rabbi Meir Kahane and his book Uncomfortable Questions for Comfortable Jews...

...before we can even consider the relationship between Judaism and liberal democracy, it is imperative to define what we mean by "Judaism."

...for the sake of the Jewish people, it is time to speak about the ignorance, the perversion, the corruption, the counterfeiting of Judaism. It is more than time to bring down what Judaism really says about Jews and non-Jews, about the status of both in the world, about the concept of Israel as a special chosen people and the place of a non-Jew within the Jewish State, about the contradictions between basic Judaism and basic western democracy and liberalism.

...The liberal west speaks of the rule of democracy, of the authority of the majority, while Judaism speaks of the Divine truth that is immutable and not subject to the ballot box, or to majority error.

The liberal west speaks of the absolute equality of all peoples while Judaism speaks of spiritual status of the chosenness of the Jew from and above all other people, of the special and exclusive relationship between G-d and Israel.

The liberal west speaks of subjective truth, of no one being able to claim or to know what is absolute truth, while Judaism speaks of objective, eternal truth that is known, having been given by G-d at Sinai.
The liberal west speaks of freedom and the right of all people to live their lives as they see fit as long as they do not harm others, while Judaism declares that there is no such thing as "victimless crime," since the sinner becomes, himself, a victim and the very act of not following G-d's law will bring down punishment and harm to all.
The liberal west speaks of tolerance and the obligation to respect all views regardless of their rightness or wrongness. while Judaism demands that the Jew choose truth and the path of right and not tolerate evil in his midst. And so the homosexual, the prostitute, the abortionist, the addict are not permitted the tolerance of living their own lives as they see fit, for Judaism is not a certificate of license, but of obligation.
The liberal west speaks of the purpose of life in the attainment of joy, happiness, and man's desires and fulfillment as he sees it, while Judaism sets down for man what his fulfillment is and what his goal in life should be.

The liberal west categorically negates certain concepts — i.e., vengeance, hate and violence — almost priori while Judaism speaks of "a lime to love and a lime to hate, a time for war and a time for peace," with the need and commandment lo love the good and hate evil, to seek peace but to go to war against the wicked, with vengeance, at the proper time, an obligation, in order to show that there is a Judge and there is justice in the world.
The liberal west speaks of the most important thing being life itself and thus moves easily into a concept of better anything than dead, while Judaism speaks of the quality of life, with the yardstick being the doing of G-d's will in life and the commandment being to give up one's life if necessary in order to obey certain of C-d's laws.
The liberal west speaks of the pragmatic and practical, with reality being that which we can see and touch and feel, while Judaism rests on a foundation of faith and belief in a G-d who is Omnipotent and who is the G-d of history.
But above all. Judaism differs from liberal and non-liberal western values in that the foundation upon which it rests is that of "the yoke of Heaven," the acceptance of G-d's lJaw and values and concepts as truth, without testing them in the fires of ones own knowledge, choice, desires, and acceptance. One does not weigh and mull over Jewish values as presented in Torah authority. One does not test them to see if they are acceptable to the taste, sweet to the palate. One does not test them by his own standards to see if he believes them to be just or decent or merciful or good. It is the Almighty who created the world and the word, who created finite and stumbling man, who created justice and decency and mercy and good. That which He created is just and decent and merciful and good, and we accept it because of tlhat. It is this yoke of Heaven, the setting aside of our will before His because He is truth and His Torah is truth, that is the fundamental of Judaism.
He goes on quite a bit more, but this should be enough to give you a good idea. Western-style democracy is what allows for Gay Pride parades, an influx of African "refugees", human trafficking for prostitution, Diversity Week in the IDF, and more horrors. 

It is LIE versus TRUTH and it's intention is to destroy us as a holy and unique and separated people and it will unless we do our part to stop it. 

(Part 4)

Part 2: Identifying the Enemy in this War

18 Menachem Av 5774

(Part 1)

Now that we see that the real war is being fought on an intellectual level, it's easier to understand how the battle is for the hearts and minds of mankind. But, who or what is the enemy?

The enemy is not so much a certain group of people as it is the ideas certain people embody and promote.

From Rabbi Aryeh Carmell's "Who is Messiah?"...
...the first to predict the rise of a secular Jewish state as prelude to the coming of the Messiah is Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel of Prague (1525-1609) known as "Maharal", in his discussion of the rise of "the Kingdom of the Messiah".
...Maharal affirms that the coming of the Messiah is not, as often thought a sudden event; it is a process. The "Holy kingdom of Israel" - Maharal's term for the reign of the Messiah will emerge from an earlier, non-holy kingdom.
The Midrash states: Just as Moshe, who was destined to break the power of Pharaoh, was brought up in Pharaoh's palace, so the Messiah, who is destined to settle accounts with Edom, will live with them in their city. The ultimate failure of the empire of Edom will give rise to a new and different kingdom- the Kingdom of the Messiah...
This is why Yaacov was born holding on to the heel of Esav (Bereshit 25:26).
Now, "the kingdom of Edom" refers to the last of the four empires of the world foreseen by Daniel (chapters 4-5): Babylonia, Media, Greece, and Rome. Rome, as world power, is long since dead and gone. But its heritage, Western Civilization, rules the world. Our Rabbis indicate that the kingdom of the Messiah will grow up in the context of Western civilization. Indeed, the parable of "the heel of Esav" signifies that the spiritual failure and moral bankruptcy of that civilization will be the catalyst for the coming of the Messiah.
So far Maharal - properly understood - has described how the kingdom of the Messiah emerges from the break down of Western civilization.
But this is not all. Maharal's vision is guided by veiled hints in the Midrash: the "Kingdom of Israel" itself undergoes development. In its immature stage it forms part of the Fourth Empire, and only when it reaches maturity does it throw off this attachment and emerge as "the holy kingdom of the Messiah".
Maharal continues:
So long as the kingdom of the Messiah has not yet reached perfection, the kingdom of the Messiah is attached to Edom (nigar el Edom) ...The holy kingdom of Israel... must grow out of the non-holy kingdom that preceded it.
Maharal, in a telling parable, describes the relationship between the embryonic "kingdom of Israel" and its "Edomite" environment: Fruit grows within a husk; when the fruit ripens the husks falls off... So it is with Israel. Their kingdom emerges and grows from within the kingdom of the nations i.e., from the existential power of the kingdom of the nations, and from their level, it raises itself to a higher level. And when the kingdom of Israel reaches complete maturity the kingdom of nations is removed, just as the husk is removed, and falls off when the fruit reaches its perfection.
The Messianic RevolutionThe Messianic revolution will take place in the hearts and minds of the people. The "falling off of the husk" does not refer to a political or military event, nor does "kingdom of the nations" refer to a political entity. The husk refers to the value system of the Western world. The falling off of the husk signifies the victory of spirituality over materialism, faith in G-d over unbounded trust in one's own power, and awareness of divine providence over belief in blind chance.
Now that we have identified this war for hearts and minds as one of Western values versus Torah values, let's go the next step to distinguish between the two. Many, many Jews today truly believe that they are one and the same. They couldn't be more wrong. And this may be the single most important problem among Am Yisrael - clinging to Eisav, instead of becoming Yisrael.

You can't win a war, if you don't identify and understand who your enemy is.

(Part 3)