Im yirtzeh Hashem, this blog will remain free to the public, but if you feel you've benefitted from anything that has appeared
here over the years and feel so inclined, please contribute to the cause. Your tzedakah will be very much appreciated. Many thanks!

31 March 2008

WELCOME!

Tomer Devorah welcomes Ha-Mikdash to the line-up of recommended blogs with a recommendation to read Judah HaKohain's latest entitled "Wait a Second!"

30 March 2008

Two Shabbats in a Row

We have a tradition that if Am Yisrael will observe two Shabbats in a row, then Mashiach will come immediately. In his shiur on Parashat Shemini, Rabbi Sitorsky says that this is only possible when Shabbat is Erev Pesach as it will be this year. Shabbat is followed immediately by another Shabbat --- Pesach!

I pray that all of us will do proper teshuva and make adequate spiritual preparation so that we can merit to have Mashiach immediately upon keeping these two Shabbats in a row!

'Queen' Condi


'Queen' Condi issues her rulings and expects immediate obedience.

Rice Talks Tough About Israeli Road Map Compliance

(IsraelNN.com) U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had some tough words for Israel Sunday regarding the "gestures" Israel has undertaken to carry out in Judea and Samaria.

"We will monitor exactly what the Israelis do and the purpose is to improve the Palestinians' freedom of movement," Rice said. "We want to be much more systematic about what is promised and what is actually carried out," she added.

General William Fraser, Rice said, will be following Israel's implementation of the Road Map closely "and making sure that the road blocks are indeed removed and that this has an impact on the Palestinians' freedom of movement." Before Fraser arrived, she said, "we did not do this and we received promises that the Israeli steps would be carried out within a short time. I expect this to happen very soon."
But she has conveniently forgotten that she is speaking to the servant of Hashem. She has no right to issues orders to us and she and the nation she represents will pay a price for their chutspah...

Thursday, March 27, 2008
Small quakes this morning -

3.2 SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, CALIFORNIA
2.8 NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
3.1 GREATER LOS ANGELES AREA, CALIFORNIA
3.1 NEVADA
3.5 ARIZONA
Yesterday
2.5 in the SEATTLE-TACOMA URBAN AREA, WASHINGTON

Tuesday
4.2 in YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, WYOMING
& 2.6 and 2.5 in NEVADA

Strange & Scary

This report reminds me of when the gates to the Temple would open of their own accord...

Deaf Receive False Alarm: 'Israel Under Attack'


(IsraelNN.com) The beepers handed out to deaf people who live in the range of Gaza's rockets broadcast a false alarm Sunday, sending many to bomb shelters. The message said: "a true alarm has gone off throughout Israel, due to an attack on the country. Go into a bomb shelter within the next 3 minutes, turn off air conditioners, seal openings and place a wet rag under the door. Put on gas mask if instructed by the media."

29 March 2008

Open Letter to 'Secret Believers'

No matter who you are, no matter where you are, no matter if you think you've had a 'conversion' to Judaism or if you think you're part of the 'lost' tribes, if you are a believer in or follower of YESHU, may his cursed name be blotted out forever, you are the enemy of Truth and therefore my enemy as well. I do not welcome you to email me or to refer my blog posts to others like yourself via your personal email lists.

I cannot emphasize enough my utter revulsion at those who put on costumes, play-acting at being Jewish, stealing the work of Torah teachers and broadcasting it as their own; taking truth, honor, purity and holiness and sullying it by mixing it with treif. What a concoction! Surely Hashem's righteous anger burns against you and the just reward for your evil is accruing interest on top of interest. May you receive it speedily and soon!!

28 March 2008

LATE POST

Sorry to insert this after my week-ending signature, but I just read the following and felt it must go out as soon as possible to anyone who may read this before Shabbat begins.

May we all merit a peaceful Shabbat in which we can connect to our Creator with real love and teshuva and come away from it strengthened and purified for a great week to come.

Excerpts from Rabbi Lazer Brody:

Emuna News Special Report: The Sword on Israel's Jugular

...Our veteran readers and friends know that we are anything but doomsday prophets. Those who know Rav Shalom Arush shlit'a know that he is the happiest of people and always smiling. But of late, as one of this generation's holiest and righteous men, he has taken the burden of the Jewish people, particularly those in Israel, on his shoulders. In the last two months, he has aged ten years. His eyes are bloodshot from crying to Hashem, praying for the people of Israel for hours on end.

...The people of Israel stand in the shadow of a dark cloud of severe judgment. We must drop everything and return to Hashem. For those that think we're daft, pour yourself another expresso and delete the Beams from your favorites list. For those of you that have the slightest trust in me, please do your utmost to strengthen your emuna and do genuine teshuva.

...If you think you'll be cushy in Thornhill or in Great Neck while missiles are falling on Israel, you're wrong this time. Hashem is judging us this very moment. The evening of Shabbat Parah is time to purify ourselves.

Also of note from Akiva @ Mystical Paths: Basra

26 March 2008

New Messages from Daniel

Posted to Daniel's site on 24 March 2008:

"Am Yisrael, beloved of HKBH, return home, there's no more time, the end has arrived." (Binyamin Golden, 3/2008)

Message #1)
To the residents of S'derot---dear Jews,

I know how hard your lives are and that from moment to moment you don't know from where will come the next bomb...

HKBH loves you and this situation brings you to the possibility of returning to Him in Truth. When a person sees that he has no one to depend upon---not upon the army, not upon the police, not upon the government---then he knows, not just in thought, but in understanding, from inside and from outside, that there is no one to depend upon apart from HKBH.

And now is the biggest possibility of S'derot residents to return to Him in complete teshuva because in the very near future, really, all of Eretz Yisrael will be exactly like S'derot.

I pray very strongly that in all Eretz Yisrael there will be great and revealed miracles like there is today in S'derot and that this will result in a mass return to our Father in Heaven and to His Torah. And I pray that there won't be korbanot, that these [events] will frighten us enough of a portion to enlighten us. And if c"v we don't awaken, then I don't want to think more about what can be. HKBH loves His people Yisrael and he wants that His people will return to him. Let's begin the process of return to Him davka from S'derot and this will privilege all of us, all Am Yisrael, in happiness and joy, to receive Mashiach Tzidkeinu speedily in our days. Amen!

Message #2)
...to the volunteers that distribute the communication pages of the autistics,

To all the distributors, I want to wish to you a Purim sameach and that we will be privileged, all of us, to the complete redemption. I want to thank you for your efforts in order to rescue Am Yisrael.

We are quickly approaching the end. Everyone can see this. Already, there is no need to be autistic for this [to see this]. And those that believe in HKBH, those that trust in HKBH, those that really wait for Mashiach, those that cry over the destruction of the House, those that want only to sit all the days of their lives in the House of Hashem, they will be privileged to receive Mashiach Tzidkeinu and take pleasure from the World to Come.

With blessings that all of us, all Am Yisrael, will be privileged very soon to receive Mashiach ben David, Mashiach Tzidkeinu.

Message #3)
...to the organizers of the Sack & Ashes Assembly,

Woe to us! What is waiting for us? Woe to Am Yisrael, woe to the world. These are the last repairs (tikunim) and the most difficult. But these which are with all the heart, with all their Heavenly[?] essence, sackcloth on the body and ashes on the head, taking out the pride and sitting on the floor and crying over all that we lost because of our sins and over the sorrow of the Shekhina, over the Beit Hamikdash, over Eretz Yisrael, all these for which we cry many tears and do teshuva and decide to change the path and to walk only Hashem's way, deciding to live, with Hashem's help, only according to His will.


All these are able to save themselves and many other Jews.

I bless everyone that we will all be privileged to receive Mashiach Tzidkeinu and be able to take pleasure from the World to Come.

AMEN!

25 March 2008

Transformation

The world is in the process of being transformed and human beings have no say in the matter; neither can they stop it or change it in any way.

Vast Antarctic Ice Shelf on Verge of Collapse

A vast ice shelf hanging on by a thin strip looks to be the next chunk to break off from the Antarctic Peninsula, the latest sign of global warming's impact on Earth's southernmost continent.

Scientists are shocked by the rapid change of events.

Glaciologist Ted Scambos of the University of Colorado was monitoring satellite images of the Wilkins Ice Shelf and spotted a huge iceberg measuring 25 miles by 1.5 miles (41 kilometers by 2.5 kilometers - about 10 times the area of Manhattan) that appeared to have broken away from the shelf.

Scambos alerted colleagues at the British Antarctic Survey (BAS) that it looked like the entire ice shelf - about 6,180 square miles (16,000 square kilometers - about the size of Northern Ireland)- was at risk of collapsing.

David Vaughan of the BAS had predicted in 1993 that the northern part of the Wilkins Ice Shelf was likely to be lost within 30 years if warming on the Peninsula continued at the same rate.

"Wilkins is the largest ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula yet to be threatened," he said. "I didn't expect to see things happen this quickly. The ice shelf is hanging by a thread - we'll know in the next few days and weeks what its fate will be."
(Read it in full at the link above.)

24 March 2008

Favorite Quote of the Day

Quote:

"...The current vacation from reality on Wall Street may last a few more days, or even a couple weeks, but it seems as though a whole flock of black swan events is circling the sky over Financial-land and is about to blot out the sun. By black swan, I refer to the concept popularized by Nassim Nicholas Taleb in his recent book of that name, namely unexpected events of great power that tend to change the course of history."

Waiting for the Next War

How can you not feel like your life is on hold while you're waiting for the next war to begin?

Report: Iranian, Syrian missiles to pound Israel in next war 
Secret report paints grim picture: Thousands of casualties, nationwide power outages

Hundreds of dead, thousands of injured, missile barrages on central Israel, full paralysis at Ben-Gurion Airport, constantly bombed roads, nationwide power outages that last for long hours, and whole regions' water supply being cut off – this is what the next war could look like. (Excerpt. Read it in full from the link above.)

According to Debka, there is a real possibility that it can happen at virtually any moment.

Barak: Israel’s army and intelligence poised for instant response to Hizballah attack

Here is a link to a very interesting article about how Israel would fare in a nuclear exchange with Iran.

Analysis: A Mideast nuclear war?

In Israel especially, ignorance must truly be bliss.

Check Out Rav Lazer Brody's

Decline of the Dollar

23 March 2008

Some Like It Hot...NOT ME!

Ask anyone. Purim is never this hot. It's usually chill and rainy. Even in a leap year when the holiday falls later in the season, it shouldn't be more than 70s out. Instead it is in the 90s and one weather report predicts 97 degrees for Jerusalem! Is it significant that the temperature increased as VP Cheney arrived in the capital? Is it significant that it goes up as the forty-day mourning period for arch-terrorist Mugniyeh comes to an end and Hizb'ollah announces that they have proof that Israel was complicit in his elimination? Is the weather reflecting the increasing heat of the political and security situations? Stay tuned...

21 March 2008

A Very Special Purim

From Rabbi Sitorsky's Parsha Shiur this week:
...The Purim Meshulash that we've been talking about for the last number of weeks is upon us and this is the greatest Purim, the Purim that is triple, the Purim in a leap year as it is this year, as we mentioned there will not be a year like this with such a Purim for thirteen years. There will not be a year like this with a shana meuveres at the same for 44 years. There will not be a year like this that ends with a ches, which tzadikim always were very excited when there was a year that ended with a ches because most events that happened to klal Yisrael happened in a year that ended with a ches. The next time that there will be a year that ends with a ches and there'll be a Purim Meshulash and Erev Pesach on Shabbos will be 220 years from now ... which is the last time that it will ever happen because it'll happen 12 years before the year 6000. So this is certainly very unique as we've been mentioning for the past few weeks.

And not only the rabbis are saying this is a very special Purim:

Good Friday! Happy Purim, Eid, etc...

On Friday more than a billion Christians around the world will mark the gravest observance on their Calendar, Good Friday, ...on this particular Friday, March 21, it seems almost no believer of any sort will be left without his or her own holiday. In what is statistically, at least, a once-in-a-millennium combination, the following will all occur on the 21st:
Good Friday
Purim
, a Jewish festival celebrating the biblical book of Esther
Narouz, the Persian New Year, which is observed with Islamic elaboration in Iran and all the "stan" countries, as well as by Zoroastrians and Baha'is.
Eid Milad an Nabi, the Birth of the Prophet, which is celebrated by some but not all Sunni Muslims and, though officially beginning on Thursday, is often marked on Friday.
Small Holi, Hindu, an Indian festival of bonfires, to be followed on Saturday by Holi, a kind of Mardi Gras.
Magha Puja, a celebration of the Buddha's first group of followers, marked primarily in Thailand.
"Half the world's population is going to be celebrating something," says Raymond Clothey, Professor Emeritus of Religious studies at the University of Pittsburgh. "My goodness," says Delton Krueger, owner of www.interfaithcalendar.org, who follows "14 major religions and six others." He counts 20 holidays altogether (including some religious double-dips, like Maundy Thursday and Good Friday) between the 20th (which is also quite crowded) and the 21st. He marvels: "There is no other time in 2008 when there is this kind of concentration."
And in fact for quite a bit longer than that. Ed Reingold and Nachum Dershowitz, co-authors of the books Calendrical Calculations and Calendrical Tabulations, determined how often in the period between 1600 and 2400 A.D. Good Friday, Purim, Narouz and the Eid would occur in the same week. The answer is nine times in 800 years. Then they tackled the odds that they would converge on a two-day period. And the total is ... only once: tomorrow. And that's not even counting Magha Puja and Small Holi.
Happy Purim and Shabbat shalom.

19 March 2008

Holiday Wishes

An easy, but meaningful fast to all and may we only hear good news this holiday of Purim. May all our enemies be scattered---forever!

Chag Purim Sameach

Plan to join the online rally around the world Thursday night at 11:00 p.m. Israel time, 5:00 p.m. EST.

More details: Jews Around the World Rally With Israel Purim Night

Tremendous Ideological Victory!!


HEROINE OF ISRAEL
Tzviyah Sariel
of Elon Moreh


Tzviya Sariel is Acquitted

...Her stubborness was not appreciated in some religious-Zionist circles, however. Some felt that her parents and teachers were to blame for not encouraging her to do the minimum necessary to get her out of prison.

Tzviya's friends, however, were very supportive throughout her ordeal. "What goes on in the courtroom and police stations is truly a farce," one school friend [name withheld at her request] told Arutz-7. "The police simply make up accusations, and the judge makes rulings that have nothing to do with justice. She refuses to identify herself, so she has to stay in prison with criminals for weeks and weeks? What does that have to do with justice?"

She did the right thing and she won! What a courageous young woman. What a merit she is to Am Yisrael!! Ad meah v'esrim, Tzviyah.

PURIM ROUNDUP #2

THE LOTTOAn observant Jew called Jacob finds himself in dire trouble. His business has gone bust and he's in serious financial trouble. He's so desperate that he decides to ask God for help. He goes into the synagogue and begins to pray...........

"God, please help me, I've lost my business and if I don't get some money, I'm going to lose my house as well, please let me win the lotto".

Lotto night comes and somebody else wins it.

Jacob goes back to the synagogue. "God, please let me win the lotto, I've lost my business, my house and I'm going to lose my car as well".

Lotto night comes and Jacob still has no luck!!

Back to the synagogue. "My God, why have you forsaken me?? I've lost my business, my house, my car and my wife and my children are starving. I don't often ask you for help and I have always been a good servant to you. Why won't you just let me win the lotto this one time so I can get my life back in order???"

Suddenly there is a blinding flash of light as the heavens open and Jacob is confronted by the voice of GOD himself : "JACOB, MEET ME HALF WAY ON THIS ONE....BUY A TICKET!"

HEBREW BUGS Two bees buzz around what's left of a rose bush. "How was your summer?" asks bee number one. "Not too good," sez bee two. "Lotta rain, lotta cold. Not enough flowers, not enough pollen."

The first bee has an idea. "Hey, why don't you go down the corner and hang a left? There's a bar mitzvah going on. Plenty of flowers and fruit." Bee two buzzes, "Thanks!" and takes off.

An hour later, the bees bump into each other again. "How was the bar mitzvah?" asks the info-bee. "Great!" sez buddy-bee.

The first bee peers at his pal and wonders, "What's that on your head?" "A yarmulke," is the answer. "I didn't want them to think I was a wasp."

BUSINESS PARTNERS
Cohen & Levy are both in the antique business across the street from each other, and have been for years. Cohen hates Levy - he thinks he's a gonniff & a liar & an ignorant bum, and says so publicly. Levy thinks the same about Cohen.

One day Levy leaves the door open to his shop and goes out for a few minutes. Cohen takes the opportunity to walk across the street and steal a magic lantern Levy has in the window. He gets it back to his shop and can't resist rubbing it. Naturally a genie pops out of the lantern.

"Cohen", says the genie, "because you have released me from a thousand years of confinement in the lantern, I will grant you one wish - anything you want - money, power, fame, anything. But because the lamp belongs to Levy, whatever it is you get, Levy will get twice as much."

"You mean," says Cohen, "if I ask for a million dollars, Levy gets two million?"

"That's right," says the genie, "and if you ask for a beautiful woman, Levy gets two beautiful women."

"All right, genie," says Cohen. "I know what I want."

"What's that?"

"I wish I were half dead."

HOME SWEET HOMEA good, old American Jew felt the death is close and asked his sons to take him to the Holy Land, to die there and be buried in Jerusalem.

The loving sons did as he asked, brought him to Jerusalem, put him in a hospital and waited for death to come. However, once in Jerusalem the old man felt better and better and in some weeks was again strong, healthy and full of life. He called upon his sons and told them: " Take me quickly back to the United States."

The sons were somehow disappointed and asked: "Father how come? You said you want to die in the Holy Land and be buried in Jerusalem!'

"Yes," answered the father, to die it's OK but to live here....!?"

GOT ANY CASH?
A Lebanese Arab emigrated to America sixty years ago and accumulated great wealth. Upon his death the rich man's will stipulated that his hundred million dollar bequest was to be divided equally among his three closest friends: a Catholic, A Protestant and a Jew. There was only one small provision: each of the heirs was required to deposit one hundred thousand dollars in the coffin before it was lowered into the ground. This act, according to the deceased's statement, was to prove their good faith while the will was in probate.
As the coffin was about to be closed for the last time, the Catholic quickly deposited his hundred thousand dollars into the casket. The Protestant followed suit and placed his hundred thousand dollars besides the Catholic's money. Then the Jew reached into the coffin, withdrew the two hundred thousand dollars in cash and replaced it with a check for three hundred thousand dollars.

(With thanks to Harry Leichter)

18 March 2008

PURIM NEWS

"Baruch Hashem" Usage at Epidemic Levels, Baruch Hashem
by David Friedman
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK — [TheKnish.com] Pyschologists and rabbinic leaders are warning about the prevalence of Honorifics and Frum Idiom Confusion Syndrome in the Jewish community, bli ayin hara.

Over the past several years the number of honorifics and superstitous idioms added to the frum vocabulary has been increasing exponentially, k'niyna hara. This has caused some confusion to occur, baruch Hashem, especially to those with more simple minds, kein yirbu.

Typically the syndrome starts with overuse of the terms, b'chasdei Hashem, then quickly turns to usage of the terms in the completely wrong place, shlita. In more advanced cases, nisht auf Shabbos geret, idioms foreign to the frum world, l'havdil elef havdalos, are used as well, praise the L-rd.

In addition to the number of such terms, zy gezunt, the prevalence of usage of such terms has increased exponentially as well, yasher koach. For example, 20 years ago, mamesh, the term "baruch Hashem", was limited to a portion of Maariv that most people did not say, gezundheit. Today it constitutes 23% of a typical frum male's spoken word and 27% of a typical frum female's, im yirtzeh Hashem by you. It has been added to most kosher menus, thank you - come again, and has replaced "all of the above" on standardized tests given to yeshiva bochrim, lo aleinu.

Family and friends of those afflicted with this disease, chas v'shalom, are advised to use caution when asking simple questions such as "How are you?" This may cause the afflicted person, zt"l, to reply with a stream of unrelated frum idioms that usually have nothing to do with how they are doing, may Allah strike you down with the strength of 1000 elephants. The best option, in the opinion of the professionals, Hashem yinakem damam, is to stick a tehillim in front of them, ad meah v'esrim. This should keep their mouths busy until such time as a permanent cure is found.

PURIM ROUNDUP #1

A NEW FLOOD IS FORETOLD

A new flood is foretold and nothing can be done to prevent it; in three days, the waters will wipe out the world. The greatest leaders of the major religions go on worldwide television to make their final plea.
  • The leader of Buddhism pleads with everyone to become a Buddhist; that way, they will at least find salvation in heaven.
  • The Pope goes on television and shakes his fists to the audience, "It is still not too late to accept Jesus!" he cries.
  • The Chief Rabbi of Israel approaches the podium...stands silent for what seems to be an eternity...looks directly into the lens of the center camera and slowly but solemnly states, "My people"...he pauses once again and continues..."We have three days to learn to live under water"...
WHY G-D NEVER RECEIVED TENURE AT ANY UNIVERSITY
He had only one major publication.
It was in Hebrew; had no references; wasn't published in an academic journal; and some doubt he wrote it himself.
  • He may have created the world, but what has he done since?
  • The scientific community cannot replicate his results.
  • He never received permission from the ethics board to use human subjects.
  • When one experiment went awry, he tried to cover it up by drowning the subjects.
  • He rarely came to class; telling the students to, "Read the book."
  • Some say he had his son teach the class.
  • He expelled his first two students.
  • His office hours were irregular and sometimes held on a mountain top.
  • Although there were only ten requirements, most students failed.
REFORM RABBI

A Reform Rabbi was so compulsive a golfer that once, on Yom Kippur, he left the house early and went out for a quick nine holes by himself. An angel who happened to be looking on immediately notified his superiors that a grievous sin was being committed on earth. On the sixth hole, G-d caused a mighty wind to take the ball directly from the tee to the cup for a miraculous and dramatic hole in one.
The angel was horrified. "Lord," he said, "you call this a punishment?!"
"Sure," answered G-d with a smile. "Who can he tell?"
THE FLIGHT
Two Arabs boarded a shuttle out of Washington for New York. One sat in the window seat, the other in the middle seat. Just before take-off, a fat, little Jewish guy got on and took the aisle seat next to the Arabs. He kicked off his shoes, wiggled his toes and was settling in when the Arab in the window seat said, "I think I'll go up and get a coke." (Shuttle flights do not have cabin attendants, but you probably knew that.)

"No problem," said the Jew. "I'll get it for you." While he was gone the Arab picked up the Jew's shoe and spit in it.

The Jew brought back the coke, when the other Arab said, "That looks good. Think I'll have one too." Again, the Jew obligingly goes to fetch it, and while he is gone the Arab picks up the other shoe and spits in it.

The Jew returns with the coke, and they all sit back and enjoy the short flight. When the plane was landing the Jew slipped his feet into his shoes and knew immediately what had happened.

"How long must this go on?" he asked. "This enmity between our peoples ...this hatred ... this spitting in shoes ... and peeing in Cokes?"

(With thanks to Harry Leichter)

A Sign of Things to Come

Mainstream Elements Joined Jabel Makaber Protest

(IsraelNN.com) National Security Agency (Shin Bet) officials are concerned that youth with mainstream backgrounds joined right wing activists in Sunday's protest on the Jabel Makaber home of the terrorist who murdered eight students at the Merkaz HaRav yeshiva almost two weeks ago.

...Several of the youth were from Efrat, a [modern Orthodox] suburban community south of Jerusalem .... One other protestor works for the Interior Ministry.

The police explained they allowed the demonstration, although it was illegal, in order to allow protestors to vent their anger after the terrorist attack,* but the protest quickly escalated to violence, reflecting a growing frustration with the government.
(* That was rather obvious.)

By Contrast...

Israel Stands Firm in Worldwide Financial Earthquake

(IsraelNN.com) The strong Israeli economy and a Bank of Israel forecast of a reasonable inflation rate have made Israel one of the best-situated countries to withstand the financial earthquake that has shaken the United States and reverberated around the world, according to several analysts. The Tel Aviv stock market sank sharply Monday in anticipation of a Wall Street crash, which did not materialize, and analysts said it likely will spring back.

The shekel-dollar rate slipped below 3.40 briefly on Monday and ended slightly above the same level. Lehman Brothers' Tolga Ediz said that Israel appears to be a safer investment than those in other countries because of the higher interest rate than in the United States and the previous performance of the local stock market. "In real trade-weighted terms, the shekel is still about four per cent lower than its historical ten-year average, something that cannot be said about the majority of currencies in emerging markets," he added.

16 March 2008

"Gilui Da'at Torah"

(Hat tip to Esser Agaroth for pointing to this gem at CosmicX and many thanks to Cosmic for the translation!)

Here is What Ynetnews Won't Show You

Amazing Stories of Hashgacha Pratit

From poster "Educator" at the Revava Forum:
Some interesting stories I heard connected to this terror attack.

One person who was scheduled to learn at the library had a heart attack in the morning before the attack. He had to go to the hospital to get treatment. There he learned that his medical problems saved him from the terrorist.

Another person who lives in my neighborhood had learned for 2 straight years every thursday night at the mercaz harav library. On the day of the "pigua" he decided he wanted to go to the sivuv shiarim rosh chodesh celebration in the old city of Jerusalem and therefore, he moved up his chevruta learning to an earlier time and was safe at the kotel at the time of the attack

Another family I know of had a wedding that night and so a number of people who would have been in the library were at the wedding.

The rest of the stories come from a local religious newspaper.

Rabbi Shendorphi who is very punctual was scheduled to teach at the library at the time of the attack, but was delayed two minutes while looking for a particular book. He was on the steps of the Yeshiva when he was warned about the terrorist attack that just had taken place. {Some members of his shiur saved themselves by barricading the door to a small inner room in the library}

2 students who hid an unlocked room. raced outside when the terrorist turned his head.He shot at them but missed them.Yoni Yechiya hid among the book stacks. The terrorist looked at Yoni but as if he suffered from temporary blindness failed to notice him and passed by to another stack.

Rabbi Yosef Badichi had planned to learn in the library that evening with one of the students who was indeed killed in the attack. After having returned from the Kotel, he delayed going into the library to make a phone call to his family and this saved him.

Elchonon Cohen moved the gun barrel that was pointed at his head and evaded the terrorist when he tried to grab him

Aryeh Mercer got a phone call that his baby was crying and his wife asked him to come home. He asked her are you sure he needs me and when she insisted he left the yeshiva a minute before the attack.

Avodah Ivrit & Other News


Top Hareidi Rabbi Bans Arab Labor Following Merkaz HaRav Attack
...“According to Jewish law, it is completely forbidden to hire Arabs, especially in yeshivas,” Rabbi Kanievsky said. “There is a concern of endangering lives.”

The rabbi continued, explaining, “After all, we are at war with them…and are there not Jews that can work and make a living?”

...Rabbi Kanievsky is one of the most recognized authorities in hareidi-religious society. He is the son of the Steipler Rebbe, Rabbi Yisrael Yaakov Kanievsky, and the son-in-law of Rabbi Yosef Shalom Elyashiv, the leader of Lithuanian Hareidi Jewry.

Attention Turns to Israel-Arab Fifth Column

Jewish Youth in Paris Call Peres 'Traitor' for Arming Arabs

High Alert as Mughniyeh Mourning Period End Approaches

(IsraelNN.com) As the 40-day mourning period following the death of Hizbullah second-in-command Imad Mughniyeh comes to a close, Israeli security officials have raised the alert at home and abroad.

Israeli tourists and business travelers have been instructed to postpone their trips to Islamic countries embassies have increased security measures as have other Israeli and Jewish establishments abroad.

Hizbullah terrorists have blamed Israel for Mughniyeh's assassination, as has Iran, the terror group's primary patron. The terror organization has vowed to retaliate against Israel for the killing. The customary 40-day mourning period for the arch-terrorist ends this coming Saturday.

What Do You Make of This?

I'm still trying to figure it out. (With thanks to the one who sent it.)


14 March 2008

Another Message...

Edom is bumping down that ladder, rung by rung, on his butt. Ya'akov/Yisrael is on the way up to the top. The final exile is ending.

The first evidence is seen in the fall of Edom's god to Yisrael.

Shekel World's Strongest Currency against Dollar

(IsraelNN.com) The shekel has gained in the last few months against the dollar more than any other world currency, and the shekel-dollar rate reached an 11-year record of less than 3.40 shekels Thursday before ending the evening slightly above 3.40. The Bank of Israel intervened in trading for the first time in a decade and bought dollars, a total reverse of the history of the shekel, which for decades held a low status against the former almighty dollar.

There's a Message Here...

The fall of Israel (to be replaced by the rule of Mashiach) is too close for the comfort of those currently in power. Next time, there will be no escape. The pressure from the crowds of Jews over the situation in the country is what will bring it about. Keep up the pressure!! Don't let Amalek cool us down again!!

Peres 'Miraculously' Escapes Injury from Falling Sign

(IsraelNN.com) President Shimon Peres escaped injury at the International Paris Book Fair Thursday when a huge sign collapsed and almost struck him. The accident occurred when Peres was mobbed by journalists and other visitors after he came out of his car. As he made his way to one of the book stalls, the crowd's pressure caused an oversized sign with the word "Israel" on it to collapse.

Peres's bodyguards immediately followed the procedure for attempted assassinations: they covered the president with a bulletproof mat and lay on top of him. The Presidential Residence's economic adviser, Uri Ben Porat, blocked the sign with his left arm and was later hospitalized with a possible broken arm.

Two security men and a Government Press Office photographer, Amos Ben-Gershon, were also hurt. Peres was unscathed. His daughter, Tziki Valdan, who was present at the event, said later: "my father was saved miraculously."

Shabbat Shalom

Parashat Vayikra: Turnabout
Rabbi Nachman Kahana

As remote as it might appear, there is an inherent connection between the holiday of Purim and the Book of Vayikra, and this can be condensed into a single word, "VA’NAHAFOCH" meaning - an etched-in-stone status quo suddenly and unexpectedly reverses itself in a total turnabout.

The word appears in Book of Esther (9:1):
ובשנים- עשר חדש הוא-חדש אדר בשלושה עשר יום בו אשר הגיע דבר-המלך ודתו להעשות ביום אשר שברו איבי היהודים לשלוט בהם ונהפוך הוא אשר ישלטו היהודים המה בשנאיהם

The pasuk relates that on the 13th day in the month of Adar, which was designated by Haman for the murder of all Jews in the territories under King Achashverosh, it all became reversed and:

Instead of the Jews being destroyed, we rose up to destroy our would be murderers.

Instead of Haman hanging Mordechai, Haman was hung along with his sons and Mordechai became the possessor of Haman’s wealth and title.

Instead of the deep secret of Esther’s background, it became public knowledge that she was a Jewish daughter.

The price for restoring a gallon to 3 dollars at the pump, Israel will become the sacrificial lamb.
Instead of the prohibition on rebuilding the Holy Temple mandated by Achashverosh, Esther’s son, Daryavish, who followed Achashverosh on the throne, renewed the original charter of Koresh (Cyrus the Great) permitting the rebuilding of the Temple.

The Book of Vayikra, which sets down the halachot (laws and rituals) of the sacrifices, is the essence of "VA’NAHAFOCH" - reversal.

The great RaMbaN in his commentary to Vayikra states that the sinner brings his sacrifice to the Temple. There he sees how the animal is slaughtered, its blood captured in a container and sprinkled on the altar, it’s hide stripped from him, and it’s innards burned on the altar. The sinner then internalizes that it is he who is deserving of all these acts, but for the love of HaShem towards His people he was spared.

And with this thought, he is drawn closer to HaShem. The sinner, in thought and deed, is reversed; he is no longer distant from his Father In Heaven, now he is close and a beloved son to Hashem.

We are entering (to be more exact, "have entered") a period of VA’NAHAFOCH, where what was axiomatic and consistent until now is melting under our feet, just as the great ice ocean of the Arctic is melting before our eyes.

The next president of the United States will not be the traditional youngish, white Protestant male. And as a barrel of oil tops 150 dollars in its march to 200, and at the pump a gallon of gas will cost 8 dollars, the new President will oversee the dissolution of the firmly entrenched friendship between the USA and Israel. The price for restoring a gallon to 3 dollars at the pump, Israel will become the sacrificial lamb.

VA’NAHAFOCH

As Israel feels abandoned by the USA, it will be drawn closer to Russia. There are today in Israel over one million people from the former Soviet Union, who continue to maintain family and business ties with Russia, versus a little more than one hundred thousand Jews from the United States. Russia will supply us with essential oil, and we will be an essential ally to Russia who will need our military capacity.

Iran (modern day Persia of Mordechai and Esther times) will achieve nuclear capability, and will use their nuclear status to arouse the many Moslem republics which are on Russia’s southern border.

It will not be the United States which makes war on Iran, but rather Russia.

VA’NAHAFOCH

The Jews of Eretz Yisrael do not hate. There is no call for vengeance...You say: What a great people! The great Chafetz Chaim would be proud. I think they would hang their heads in shame.
In the near future, the United States in a last ditch attempt to stabilize its currency, will limit the withdrawal of dollars from the country, as did South Africa and others in similar situations.

The dreams of Aliya will then remain only dreams.

The U.S. Selective Service Act will be re-installed to take away your sons and daughters.

With no aliya, no children and no money - the future will be bleak.

In my country, we were witness last week to a calamity, which was felt by all as an earthquake of 9 on the Richter scale. We walk around today, holding our heads, uttering in total disbelief how could HaShem, even within the framework of freedom of choice, have permitted this son of Amalek to enter Yeshivat Mercaz HaRav and shoot to death 8 young, beautiful children of Am Yisrael.

They were learning Torah; the bullets which smashed into their young holy bodies were the bullets which defiled the blood drenched chumashim and gemarot.

And people come to rabbis with the question "Why?"

My answer is VA’NAHAFOCH - to reverse our current situation.

For the last 100 years, the Arabs in the country have murdered our people, and in the last 60 years the surrounding Arab nations have declared war upon war against us.

But for some unfathomable reason, the Jews of Eretz Yisrael do not hate, nor do they anger, nor do they act in vengeance. There is no call from rabbis and roshei yeshiva, not even from the Mercaz Yeshiva for vengeance.

You say: What a great people! What musar! The great Chafetz Chaim and Reb Yisrael Salanter would be proud. But I say they would hang their heads in shame.

In order to destroy Amalek one must hate and be angry. To hate is not politically correct. But HaShem is not a politician, He is a father and a rav to Am Yisrael.

Think of King David when he learned that the King of Moav had murdered his parents and brothers. The Tanach (Shmuel 2 8:2) records that David captured the land of Moav, and at random had two thirds of the male population killed.

David, the author of Tehilim, the rabbi who sat daily to answer people’s halachic questions, knew the importance of anger and vengeance. The Moabites never troubled the Jewish nation again.

I believe, to the degree one can understand massacres as these, that HaShem is trying to pull us out of our apathy. 4000 rockets on the city of Sderot and now Ashkelon, and the people and their government are unconscious. The powers that be in Israel, permit the family of the murderer to set up a mourner tent where thousands of Arabs come to identify with his actions. It is demented!

If the murder of these 8 tzaddikim will not create a spirit of VA’NAHAFOCH we will, God forbid, bear witness to future acts of violence until the leaders will awaken or until a new generation of leaders will arise. Leaders who will not cower before the demands of foreign "gods", but who will be endowed with the "spirit" of HaShem - the spirit of courage and emuna.

The man we call "The Mashiach" will be endowed with the "ruach" (spirit) which HaShem blessed Moshe, King David and Shimshon before him, as recorded in the TaNaCh.

RamBaM (hilchot melachim) states that the people, and indeed the man himself, will not know that he is the Mashiach. It will become clear to all only through his actions. RaMBaM states that he will influence the Jews to return to Torah and will lead the Jewish people in their wars.

The Mashiach will be a rav who will love and draw the people to God. But he will also know how to anger and how to hate the enemies of Israel, and enact from them vengeance for every Jewish tear ever shed.

Shabbat Shalom
Nachman Kahana

13 March 2008

Remembering Moshe Rabbeinu

Thursday night 13 March & Friday 14 March / 7 Adar II:

Yahrzeit of Moshe Rabbeinu -- Moses -- who died in the year 1272 B.C.E. If a death occurred in the month of Adar in a year that was not a leap year, it is customary to observe the Yahrzeit in both months of Adar in a leap year. On Moses' yahrzeit it is appropriate to strengthen oneself in belief in Moses and the Torah:"And they believed in HaShem and in Moses His servant" (Exodus 14:31). Breslover Chassidim customarily recite prayers on the theme of attachment to the true Tzaddik from Likutey Tefilot (e.g. Part I, Prayers 18, 30 and 64; Part II Prayers 7 & 20).

Today's Headlines on 'Drudge'

Oil hits new record of $111...
Stocks Struggle...
Gold hits $1,000 record high...
Retail Sales Plunge...
Foreclosures Up 60 Pct on Year...
Oil Prices Set New Highs
Dollar Down...
PAPER: Fed takes boldest action since The Depression...
'Magic is over' for USA, says foreign minister of France...
Riot police called to control crowd at housing authority in Boca Raton...

That Wind is Really Beginning to Pick Up and Blow

Every Jew at his own level of emuna and strength!!

The world is going to change and it will start in Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh. The work will be done by the servants of Hashem in Eretz HaKodesh. The privilege is yours. All you have to do is take it! If you're not here to participate in the fulfillment of Jewish destiny, you're going to miss the biggest event in the history of the world since the parting of the Reed Sea!!


University Students Flood Sapir College for Rally


(IsraelNN.com) Thousands of students flooded into the campus of Sapir College on the outskirts of Sderot in an outpouring of support for the rocket-battered city and other besieged nearby communities Thursday at noon. After a barrage of 15 rockets hit the area early Thursday morning, it was decided by the student union to follow the recommendations of the IDF Home Front Command and hold the event indoors for safety's sake.

"We are here to support you," declared National Students Association Chairman Itai Shonshine as he addressed the multitude that came from all over the country for the solidarity rally. "Every student in the State of Israel must remember this rally. People here just want to study and all we want is peace a quiet," he said.

Several weeks ago, a student at Sapir College who was a husband and father of four was killed in a Kassam rocket attack that battered the city while he was on campus.

"Praise the L-rd & Pass the Ammunition"

Bereaved Families to March on Terrorist's Jerusalem Home
by Ezra HaLevi

(IsraelNN.com) Posters have gone up around Jerusalem announcing a march on the house of the terrorist that murdered eight yeshiva students to take place Sunday. Bereaved families will be taking part.

“Getting up from mourning and taking action – destroying the home of the terrorist,” proclaim the posters in large red letters. On the top, the terrorist’s uncle is quoted: “We are proud of him and happy about his actions – every resident of Jabel Mukaber is,” he said, referring to the eastern Jerusalem neighborhood where the terrorist’s family lives.

Organizers say that bereaved families, from the most recent attack as well as the thousands of victims since the Oslo Accords, will be taking part in the march and invite the masses to march on the Arab neighborhood with the aim of “destroying the home of the murderer and expelling his family and supporters.”

...The march is set to begin at the Armon HaNetziv promenade in Jerusalem at 5 PM on Sunday.

“The Arab enemy that is among us – in Lod, Akko, Wadi Ara and in the holy city of Jerusalem – supports and encourages the murder of Jews,” organizers wrote, followed by a quote from the Scroll of Esther, which will be read next week for the Purim Festival: “And there was an upheaval, what was to be done to the Jews was perpetrated upon their enemies....”

5768 "a very special year"

Excerpt from Rabbi Sitorsky's shiur on Parashat Vayikra. Hear it in it's entirety here.

"...we find ourselves now exactly like then [the first Purim] at a time when there's a tremendous hester panim, greater even than in the time of Purim. They had a Mordechai, they had an Esther, they had neviim---they had hester panim, but they had such great people. Today, we have none of that, so the hester panim is a lot greater.

... a person shouldn't think that Purim is something that happened in the past. It's NOW! What they did then is what we have to do NOW! And intensify our emuna and bitachon and know that there IS going to be a third Beit Hamikdash and we ARE going to bring korbanos and there IS going to be a yeshua and every Jew has to intensify his tzipiti hayeshua [expectation of redemption] and his emuna and bitachon in the geula which will come im yirtza Hashem very, very soon and this is a very special year and we really shouldn't, chas v'shalom, allow this year to pass with nothing happening. We don't know what's going to happen, no one knows what's going to happen, but this is certainly a very great year--- tav shin samech ches---- and its exactly... the way it was then, the year that...the nes of Purim occurred...."

UPDATE to "Attack on Purim?"

It's not just me.

Lebanese Ready To Flee on Fears of New War with Israel

(IsraelNN.com) Lebanese citizens are preparing passports and personal affairs in preparation for a quick exit if Hizbullah makes good on it threat last month to take revenge on Israel for the assassination of its mastermind terrorist, Imad Mughniyeh. Officials in southern Lebanon said they have been overwhelmed by residents wanting to update travel documents and rent apartments in safer areas, the French news agency AFP reported. The passport office in the coastal city of Tyre has received daily requests for passports at a rate of five times the normal.

"I renewed my passport and those of the three children because I'm scared something is going to happen," one woman said outside Beirut government offices. "If war breaks out, I will immediately leave to join my husband who works in Qatar, said the woman, Lina Helman. Residents in the Hizbullah-dominated Bekaa valley are looking for housing in Christian areas in expectation of Israeli air strikes on Hizbullah.

The As-Safir newspaper noted, "The Lebanese are worried about the situation and are acting as if war was imminent as they set up emergency plans."

Mashiach is at the Door

Can you feel the wind picking up in Eretz Yisrael? The clouds of confusion are beginning to disperse. Here and there, the Truth is coming out into the open again after going underground for a very long time.

Sanhedrin: Revenge is Fine Says the Lord
(IsraelNN.com) The Permanent Beit Din of the Sanhedrin met Tuesday to discuss the option of revenge following the massacre at Mercaz HaRav yeshiva Thursday. According to news website Nfc, it ruled that by not performing their duty to take revenge for the attack, the government and the IDF are leaving it up to individual Jews to do so.

"Jews are not sheep and will not go like sheep to the slaughter," the Sanhedrin stated. "The Jewish people will find the way to strike its enemies. The Jewish nation has the patience required for this," it added.

Regarding the concept of revenge, the Beit Din stated: "When there is no judicial system, revenge is at the root of justice and is a corollary of a person's dignity and freedom. No just sentence is without revenge," it added. The court also noted that the word "revenge" (nekama) enjoys the special privilege of appearing between two instances of the Lord's name in Psalms 94, verse 1: " O Lord, the God who avenges! O God who avenges, reveal
your splendor!"

Survey: Half of Jewish public opposes Arabs living in Jewish neighborhoods (Haaretz)

More allusions to Purim!

Abbas in Tirade Over 'Barbaric' IDF Bethlehem Op
(IsraelNN.com) PA leader Mahmoud Abbas issued an emotional denouncement of Israel's Special Operations action in Bethlehem Wednesday which left four senior terrorists dead in a bullet riddled car.

"This barbaric crime against our fighters and against our Palestinian people tears the mask off of the fake mask covering the face of Israel, which speaks of peace and on a daily basis commits crimes, murders and executions against our people."

"Despite all of the fake claims by the Israeli government that it wants peace and security, on the ground it ceaselessly continues constructing settlements in Jerusalem and in the other territories in the West Bank, as it casts aside all of its fake commitments at Annapolis and in the other international events, besides the barbaric holocaust it perpetrated against our people, our women and children in Gaza."

Trippple Purim 5768

I was thinking about the threat from the current 'Haman' (Achmadinejad) in the present-day Persia (Iran) and the fact that it is set for Purim, just like originally. Then I thought about this being Purim Meshulash, a three day Purim which constitutes a 72-hr period and I recalled these things from the posts by Rav Dahan's student, Daniel:

...the Rav said that the final Berur (purification?) is getting closer, and he said that this Berur will be a hard one, and that it is a Berur to the whole people of Israel, no matter if we're talking on the most secular Jew in the world, or on the most Charedi Jew. The Rav said that the major Berur will be through a hard Nisayon (test) in faith. He tried to conclude the subject and go further, but the audience tried in any way to push him to get more info, and this is more or less what they could get from him:

(a) The Berur's duration will be 72 hours.
(b) The Nisayon will be based on choice: are we choosing HaShem or not.
(c) The Rav hinted that there will be something in the sky, and he was very unclear about what exactly this will be. My source understood that this is something like a plane or an angel (he thought it reminds of what the Rav said once about the Malachim), and there will be something like a lethal bomb threatening ch"v to blow on us. These were only hints, not more than that.

The audience asked more details about the exact type of the Berur that will be, and about the kind of Nisayon that he's talking about, and the Rav again talked with unclear terms and hard to understand hints. He gave them 2 answers:

(1) He said that it's known (it wasn't known to me) that Rav Bnayahu said in the past that we should be prepared to deliver our soul and die on Kiddush HaShem,
(2) He said that the test in something similar to something that may happen if we see in our eyes as if not only that HaShem is not choosing us, and not with us, but He is actually choosing others, and helps them clearly, and the question is whether we will continue to believe in Him and in the Torah after such a situation that may happen. Again, only hints and nothing clear.

The Rav concluded the lesson by saying that in the help of HaShem we're going to enter the month of Adar this week, and this is a month that we should expect in it that actually every day the Geulah will come. He said that the people of Israel has already passed to many troubles, and it seems like he was hinting (or asking) that in the merit of the troubles of the people of Israel until now, all the hard things and tests will be canceled.
How interesting is it that this was spoken about previously at Purim time. Here is another:

"...This Purim, HaShem will b'h remove the masks and reveal to us that we are His children and we will say, You are our Father. We will sing and dance lichvod HKB'H.

...When will we reach the last Klipa? The Zohar HaKadosh, zs'l,says that when the Erev Rav (Unholy Mixture) are the leaders, this is the last Klipa that we must endure till HKB'H returns the truth of His Torah. The 3rd Bet Hamikdash is ready in Shamayim and during the Gulf War it began coming down.

I'll give you a sign: The leaders are the Erev Rav and they are stupid and fools. They have no knowledge of anything from HKB'H. There are almost no leaders that are from the Kedusha. After this leadership which is no leadership at all, HKB'H will reveal Himself. HaShem Will Fight the last war and win and then, rule over us. HKB'H will remove the last Klipa, only HKB'H.

Only 20% of Am Israel will survive. Know this - HaShem is the Moshiach, HaShem is the King and He'll lead us. There will never be another leadership of the Klipa. The Klipot will be removed forever.

All those that did not do Teshuva, will not be able to do Teshuva. Only those that keep the Mitzvot, Emunah, and Torah will survive forever - very few people. There will not be atomic bombs but there will be a complete darkness - Yemei Choshech for those who distanced themselves from HKB'H.

Those who side ONLY with HKB'H, will survive."
Perhaps the process was delayed and it is Purim 5768 when these events will occur. We are certainly more ready today than we were a year or two ago. And that is the purpose of chevlei Mashiach after all---to get us ready!

Those who are prepared by having thought out all the ramifications of these events and the consequences of their actions; and having done teshuva to the best of their ability, they will have nothing to fear when the darkness descends upon the whole world.

That said, I must admit that I am still not ready, still not at the optimum of my potential, Hashem have mercy on us all!

12 March 2008

Attack on Purim?

Full moon's coming around again and this time it will be Shushan Purim...
Israel to Hizbullah: Revenge Attack Could Mean War

(IsraelNN.com) Israel has recently warned Hizbullah that it will not hesitate to retaliate with war for a large scale attack on its citizens, Channel 10 – Nana news reported Wednesday. The Hizbullah attack is expected in revenge for the killing of its operations officer Imad Mughniyeh. Iranian TV vowed that Israel would face its "third destruction" on the 40th day after Mughniyeh's death, which will occur next Saturday.

Israeli intelligence is picking up extensive "chatter" between Hizbullah and Iran but still has not located specific intentions to carry out a terror attack. Israeli military attachés worldwide have been instructed to change their routine movements and retired military persons were warned to exercise caution in their trave
ls.

11 March 2008

Maybe "Zionism" IS the Problem

Apparently nothing has yet been learned by those who proclaim themselves the "leaders" of the "right-wing, Zionist-religious camp." Can you imagine how long we will lie here and bleed before these people understand the Torah response to terrorist atrocities? We do not have that kind of time. We will bleed to death first, G-d forbid!
...At a gathering of the Yeshivot Bnei Akiva movement in Ramot Shapira, in the Jerusalem corridor, the revered Rabbi Chaim Druckman - long-time head of Yeshivat Or Etzion and teacher-rabbi in Merkaz HaRav - said, 'We would have expected to hear the heads of our state declaring: For every yeshiva student who was murdered, we will start a new yeshiva; for every boy killed, we will start another Jewish community or neighborhood in the Negev, the Galilee, the Shomron and Hevron, and that for every person who dies for the sanctification of G-d's Name we will bring another 1,000 new olim [immigrants]. These are the proper Jewish Zionist responses to these terrible murders, at the same time as dealing militarily with the terrorists. Our youth can carry out these missions and is waiting for them."

...Women in Green, too, called for the immediate establishment of eight new Jewish towns throughout Judea and Samaria as "true Jewish Zionist revenge." The organization says that this is especially fitting "in light of the fact that Yeshivat Merkaz HaRav symbolizes Jewish settlement in Yesha. At this time, when the Olmert government continues to cave in to the Arab enemy by continuing to negotiate the matter of a new Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem, eight new Jewish towns will send a clear message to the entire world: The sons of Haman and their henchmen will not deter us and will not stop our settlement enterprise; we will rather strengthen and enhance our loyalty and attachment to the entire Land of Israel."
The TORAH Response:

Shemot 23,
31. And I will make your boundary from the Red Sea to the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert to the river, for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hands, and you shall drive them out from before you.
32. You shall not form a covenant for them or for their gods.
33. They shall not dwell in your land, lest they cause you to sin against Me, that you will worship their gods, which will be a snare for you.

Bamidbar 33,
51. Speak to the children of Israel and say to them: When you cross the Jordan into the land of Canaan,
52. you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you, destroy all their temples, destroy their molten idols, and demolish their high places.
53. You shall clear out the Land and settle in it, for I have given you the Land to occupy it.
...
55. But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the Land from before you, then those whom you leave over will be as spikes in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they will harass you in the land in which you settle.
56. And it will be that what I had intended to do to them, I will do to you.

Devarim 9,

1. Hear, O Israel: Today, you are crossing the Jordan to come in to possess nations greater and stronger than you, great cities, fortified up to the heavens.
...
3. You shall know this day, that it is the Lord your God Who passes over before you as a consuming fire He will destroy them, and He will subdue them before you; and you shall drive out them and destroy them quickly, as the Lord spoke to you.
The so-called religious leaders are as impotent as the political leadership. How can we ask Hashem to send us Mashiach when we can't even acknowledge philosophically how the enemy is to be defeated!!

And as for Amalek...

WIG: "The sons of Haman and their henchmen will not deter us and will not stop our settlement enterprise; we will rather strengthen and enhance our loyalty and attachment to the entire Land of Israel."
The "sons of Haman" are AMALEK!! There is only ONE WAY to deal with Amalek---

Devarim 25,
19. [Therefore,] it will be, when the Lord your God grants you respite from all your enemies around [you] in the land which the Lord, your God, gives to you as an inheritance to possess, that you shall obliterate the remembrance of Amalek from beneath the heavens. You shall not forget!

Shmuel I 15,
2. So said the Lord of Hosts, 'I remember that which Amalek did to Israel, how he laid (wait) for him on the way, when he came up out of Egypt.

3. Now, go, and you shall smite Amalek, and you shall utterly destroy all that is his, and you shall not have pity on him: and you shall slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.' "
ZACHOR!!

Gevuros, Merkaz HaRav, and Zachor

by Rabbi Pinchas Winston of Thirtysix.org

We interrupt this series of essays on the concept of Gevuros to talk about the reality of Gevuros. Part 2 was supposed to have been an explanation of the quote with which we left off at the end of Part 1— more theory—but the reality of Gevuros has drawn the attention of the Jewish world for now, just in advance of Parashas Zachor, when we remember just how real and damaging Gevuros can be.

Before explaining just what the Gevuros are in technical Kabbalistic terms, at this time, it is important to know that there are a set amount of them. When they are used up completely, or more accurately, when all of them have been “sweetened”, then Yemos HaMoshiach automatically begins.

That is good news, and bad news. The good news is that, the difficult part of Gevuros do not last forever, and that their completion results in a period of history during which they can no longer do any damage, or intercede between man and God. It may take a long time to use them up, but once it happens, they are gone for good and Yemos HaMoshiach begins in earnest.

However, that might not be so bad if Yemos HaMoshiach did not have to begin by a certain, pre-designated time in history. If it didn’t matter when Yemos HaMoshiach begins, then the Gevuros could be, theoretically, used up over a long period of time, perhaps softening their effect on man and Creation.

However, that is not the way God planned it. Rather, Yemos HaMoshiach has a final possible date, what the Talmud calls “b’ittah” (Sanhedrin 98a), if, God forbid, we don’t bring Moshiach earlier, which means rectifying the Gevuros early. It is this reality and interdependency that creates all the turmoil and tragedy in history, especially for the Jewish people.

The following analogy explains the point.

Let’s say a new condominium project is started, and that, within a few weeks, the prospective building is already half sold, with people leaving large deposits upon the signing of the contract between the builder and the buyer. Aside from the myriad of technical details found in the contract, the main points are the schedule of payments of the buyer, and the building schedule of the builder.

If the buyer fails to make the necessary payments on time, then he loses the condominium that he bought, plus his deposit. If the builder fails to complete the project within the requisite amount of time, then he will have to either pay a fine, or cover the cost of temporary accommodation for the buyer, who probably sold his house and planned to move out by the expected date of completion of his new apartment. Either way, the result is a hefty loss of money for the builder.

Let’s say, that after a year of keeping to schedule, the construction worker’s union calls a strike, resulting in major construction delays. With less than a year to go until the completion date, the builder finds himself falling behind schedule on a daily basis, and starts worrying about big losses and potential court cases.

Fortunately, the strike is resolved, and the workers have permission to return to their former jobs. However, as they resume their work, they find themselves very behind schedule, and in a very tense working environment as the worries and concerns of the owners and managers alike can’t help but spill over into what used to be an upbeat work environment. The workers are asked to put in extra hours, or to find another job. Deadlines have a nasty habit of turning up the heat in life.

Creation is no different. It is a work in progress, ever since it was first made, and certainly since Adam HaRishon ate from the Aitz HaDa’as Tov v’Rah. God is the builder, man is the construction crew, and history is the buyer, so-to-speak. The building? A world in which all the Gevuros have been rectified.

How are we supposed to do that?

Well, every time we overcome laziness to perform a mitzvah, or, we hold ourselves back from performing a sin, we harness the power of Gevuros for the sake of God, and that sweetens it, rectifies it, and sends it back to its pure source above. And, most important of all, Creation has come that much closer to rectification, and we have earned more reward in the World-to-Come, the purpose of Creation in the first place.

But, what if we don’t overcome our inertia and pass up the mitzvah, or fail to reign in our wanton desires and transgress instead? We also use up Gevuros, except not the ideal way. Rather than harness them, they harness us, and that demands rectification as well, either in the form of teshuvah, or punishment, both of which purify the Gevuros and rectify Creation.

For the most part, that is how history works. There are those, a minority, who overcome their yetzer hara, and perform mitzvos and avoid transgression, and sweeten the Gevuros the ideal way. Then there are those, the vast majority of mankind through history, who avoid mitzvos and perform transgressions, and suffer the consequences as well, using up the Gevuros in a negative way. History, during such times, is a matter of personal successes and tragedies, many of which barely make the news.

However, as one can imagine, Gevuros are used up too slowly this way. When the Jewish people cease to be the light unto nations they were redeemed from Egypt to become, and mankind simply drifts through history, then when the “construction” deadlines come —“keitzim” in Talmudic language—mankind may find himself desperately behind schedule, and requiring a major rectification.

Those are the times of gazeiros—Heavenly decrees. Those are the times of darkness. Those are the times of tragedy, when history catches up on its schedule of rectification at our cost.

If the Gevuros are not used up by us, then they are used up through us. The worst the suffering, the more the Gevuros are used up. The greater the Kiddush Hashem while going through the suffer, the more the Gevuros are used up, until enough are used up for Creation to be considered back on schedule, at least for the time being.

Yes, the State of Israel was “built upon the ashes of the Holocaust,” because Gevuros are likened to a consuming fire. Had history continued without the Holocaust, the nations of the world would never have agreed to let the Jewish people form a homeland within her historical borders; the Gevuros would not have permitted it. Spent, the Chassadim were allowed to do their magic, and the Jewish people gained a homeland, once again, after 2,000 years without one.

You can always tell where history is holding with respect to the rectification of the Gevuros by how it treats the Jewish people. Anti-Semitism is never logical, never like other forms of racism, and the more this is the case, the more a keitz must be on its way, and the more we must behind on the construction schedule.

Last week’s attack on the Merkaz HaRav Yeshivah at the entrance to Jerusalem was both a major blow and a wake up call. Aside from being the terrible, terrible tragedy that it was, it was also a frightening upping on the ante. The fools of the world may justify it by claiming that such yeshivos produce the kind of Jew who is prepared to live on land that the Arab’s fight over. However, we, on the other hand, have to ask, “How could Divine Providence have allowed such evil to enter the walls of such a holy place, and kill and harm so many pure souls?”

Why didn’t their Torah and mitzvos protect them?

Granted, no one dies by accident. It could very well be that, as always, Divine Providence arranged it so that all the people who died were those who had finished their personal rectifications, and had to move on. The attack was just a way to bring it about for them.

However, that is between them and God. From our vantage point, we see young men cut down in the prime, in a gruesome way, in a holy place while pursuing a holy path in life. How could that have happened, and what does it mean for the rest of us, even those who don’t see any connection between those who were attacked and themselves?

If we’re going to ask such probing questions, then we might as well phrase it correctly:

Are we so far behind, at this late stage of history, for the next keitz, perhaps the final one, in the rectification of the Gevuros, that such an extreme tragedy had to occur? Are we in fact approaching, God forbid, a new gazeirah designed to bring history up to speed, as was the case with respect to the Ten Martyrs who died in Roman times?

If the answer is yes, then this has not been only about changes in a yeshivah, but about changes to the entire world. What happened last week was a fierce wind, but it is only the heralder of a much larger storm brewing on the horizon.

And, something else as well.

Many people reacted differently to the crisis, but one very common reaction, among Jews in the Diaspora was, “You see, it’s not safe to be in Israel at this time.” They might as add well to that, “… and God is telling us not to come to His holy land … He is telling us not to further the cause of Kibbutz Golios that seems to be in progress at this very time.”

Well, that makes sense, doesn’t it? There’s God, working overtime to engineer the Final Redemption, as evident from the amazing miracles in Eretz Yisroel over the last 60 years, the great success of the Jewish people abroad for the last 100 years, and all the prophecies that have come true over the last decade alone. And now He’s saying, “Scrap that.”

Perhaps. But only to the “Four-Fifths”, that large body of Jews throughout history who have always looked for reasons to stay in the Diaspora, with what they would like to believe is God’s blessing. And, if they can’t manage to do that through blessing, then they’ll use negative events, such as last week’s slaying, as their basis for their decision instead.

However, if we learn anything from Pharaoh at all, it is this: you hang by the rope you tie. If a Jew wants an excuse to not come home, then God will give it to him, and give it to him, and give it to him. If redemption is not his priority, and he chooses not to pursue the path of his ancestors, then God will cut him the necessary slack to not do so. This way, when the redemption comes, he’ll be right where he thought he wanted to be: on the wrong side of the ocean.

The Kabbalists have a name for it: birrur—separ-ation—and nothing carries it out better than the Gevuros. For, as we come close to the end of history, God wants to know where each and every Jew stands, with respect to Torah, mitzvos, Eretz Yisroel, the temple, and redemption in general. Redemption has always been invitation only, and the Host has His criteria.

Come on, folks, wake-up! Every redemption has always left Jews behind, lots of them. And, just like our generation, most of them assumed that they were safe, in God’s good book, worthy of redemption, and therefore, had nothing to think too deeply about. They just sat back, waited, and … and … got lost along the way.

And, each time, the present generation failed to learn from the mistakes of the previous generation. They just went about their business as if whatever caused the suffering of the previous generation has no relevance whatsoever to their approach to Torah and mitzvos. Despite signs to the contrary.

Fortunate is the Jew who knows history, and has made a point of understanding its relevance to all the generations. Even more fortunate is the Jew who has taken to the time to understand how God runs his world, and what our role in history is meant to be. How many Jews today can boast such an intellectual and spiritual advantage?

Tragically, very few. As a result, the one thing that made us so different from the rest of the nations of the world, and kept us in good stead with the Creator of the Universe, is no more. We are still, per capita, the brightest people. We still produce highly talented individuals. We still make money like the best of them out there. But, we no longer look past the surface of history, below the surface of events taking place, to understand them on the deeper level they weren’t meant to be understood.

We have always been a people who believed that nothing is really as it seems on the surface. One of the reasons we dress up on Purim is to remind us of that crucial detail of life. We are supposed to be a deep-thinking people, each one on his own level, so that we can earn our reward in the World-to-Come by seeking out the story behind the story behind the story, etc. It’s how we find God and His message.

It is Amalekian to deal with life superficially. That’s why the gematria of “Amalek” is that of “suffek”, which means “doubt”. Doubt is symptomatic of superficiality, and when it attacks us, it is for the sake of making us delve deeper into the meaning of life and history.

That is why, says the GR”A, after the first defeat of Amalek, Moshe Rabbeinu was told to speak “b’aznei Yehoshua”, into the ears of Yehoshua. For, the gematria of “b’aznei” is “sod”, as in Kabbalah, for, the GR”A revealed, Amalek will only be defeated at the End-of-Days, b’derech Sod.

That may mean different things to different people, but it also means one thing to all of us: Amalek is not fought with superficiality. Quite the contrary, we learned last week that simply pursuing a life of Torah and mitzvos is no guarantee of survival in a war that is designed to make people re-think history, and the events of today.

Gevuros are the source of hester panim. They constrict the light of God, light that can only be regained by going from Pshat to Remez to Drush and to Sod. They keep back information that we need to know in order to see how wasteful sin really is. They keep us in the dark about ideas we ought to know about, in order to partner up with God in bringing history to a peaceful conclusion.

And, they do it in such a way that we are convinced that it is for our own good. (The Original Snake sure seemed like a swell fellow until God lowered the boom!).

But that is, in the end, their job, remember? At the end of days, when God says to you, “Why did you think like that?” you may answer, “It’s the fault of Gevuros! They made me do it!” but it won’t fly. God will simply answer back, “You’re right, the Gevuros did it. But that was their job. Yours, on the other hand, was to go past them and find the truth. Why didn’t you do that?”

Surprise!

We need to do ourselves a favor. We need to start thinking again. I don’t mean the kind of thinking that makes us excel at gemora or business, but the kind of thinking that allows us to see past the costumes of the modern world. Morgan Stanley, and the rest of Wall Street, works for God. They just don’t know it. Neither does Yves St. Laurent, or any of the other financial and fashion institutions that soak up our attention and divert us from the true issues of our time.

Likewise, there is a secret Torah world within our Torah world. Secret, because we choose to ignore it, or to stay ignorant of it. But it’s the one with the real road map, one that was written long before President Bush took power, and one that will exist longer after he leaves the White House.

In fact, they all work for God, every single element of Creation is His. He created them, He sustains them, and He maintains them. But their job is to work for the Gevuros; every single element of Creation that keeps us from concentrating on the long term goals of the Jewish people, and the true mission of our nation—to rectify the Gevuros—is on Team Gevuros. They can even include close family members.

The blueprint for Creation was drawn up long ago. It includes a rendering of the final building. After 5,768 years, we are fast approaching the completion date, and from the sound of it, it seems we’re behind schedule.

Last week’s event was a reminder, once again, of the other ways of getting back on track. Purim reminds us of how we can avert such events if we push, while there is still time, to make up for lost time.

Zachor.

(Rabbi Pinchas Winston, Thirtysix.org )

Thoughts on a Sunny Day

I was out on the midrahov (Ben Yehuda Mall) at noon and it always seems to me as if there are more and more Arabs out and about in what were formerly, mainly Jewish areas. They have an attitude, too. The young men swagger and act like they own the place and the women like to walk down the middle and force you to go around them. It really burns me up that they can feel safe to walk anywhere in this country that they like and we are restricted from anyplace deemed primarily Arab. One of the things I most look forward to, if G-d will be merciful and grant me years to see the geulah shleimah, is being able to go anywhere in this broad, beautiful land that I want without taking my life into my hands.

Another Mashal

I have a feeling that this matzav is going to play out like a fireworks display. Periods of quiet interspersed with short bursts of explosions. And then at the very end, they throw everything in at once without a break until it's all gone and complete quiet is restored at last with no more explosions.

10 March 2008

A Mashal

I'll tell you why everything is happening as it is. It doesn't require nevua or great Torah knowledge or a special degree from university. All it takes is first grade arithmentic---the ability to add one and one together to get two---and some experience with childbirth. That's where being a mom comes in handy.

Our sages compared the approach of the geulah to the process of childbirth because it fits on several levels. For our purposes, it must be understood that the labor is already underway and has been for some time. Hashem designed things so the labor would start out slowly and increase over time. This allows everything to adjust to the new situation gradually so that the intensity that must come at the very end will not overwhelm either the mother or the infant at the beginning.

It is desirable that the labor increase over time until enough momentum is built to bring about birth. What we don't want to see happen is for the situation to remain static and unchanging. There is no way to go back and no progress is being made to go forward. In a real life occurrence such as this, either the laboring woman would receive drugs to stimulate her contractions or if the baby is in distress, an operation would be performed.

Somehow Am Yisrael has learned to live with the low-level pain of unrelenting, but non-progressive labor. It's tolerable. We're uncomfortable with daily qassam and rock-throwing attacks, but we can still walk around and do what we must. When we get hit with something like a big terrorist attack, it wakes everyone up with a great howl. It's like we just got a big shot of labor-inducing drug that brought on a tremendously painful contraction.

The same thing happened with the Passover Massacre in 2002, the expulsion from Gush Katif in 2005 and the mini-War in Lebanon in 2006 among others. Each time, things had slowed down and needed to be stimulated into making more progress.

Labor and birth is painful. In between contractions, you just want to sleep. It's very exhausting. Towards the end, you feel simultaneously like you just can't take it anymore and like you will go on like this forever and never return to a normal existence again. And then before you know it, you have a beautiful, healthy baby in your arms and absolutely everything that led up to it is completely forgotten in the bliss of that moment.

This is only a fraction of what Am Yisrael will experience with the arrival of the geulah shleimah, may we live and survive to see it in our days. We just have to keep reminding ourselves that all is for our ultimate good and in order to bring about the Great and Complete Redemption with Tehiyat HaMeitim. AMEN!