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25 September 2008

What Money Can Buy

Anyone in the market for a Prime Minister?


Livni a 'Hollywood Star'

(IsraelNN.com) Hollywood producers were among big donors to Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni's campaign to replace outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert as leader of the Kadima party and to form a new government. She also received large financial backing from East Coast millionaires, according to campaign contribution lists quoted by The Marker.

Her chief opponent, Transportation and Road Safety Minister Shaul Mofaz, won financial support from Jews with lineage from his native Iran. Among contributors to Foreign Minister Livni are men involved in a projected development of a hotel in Herzliya.

21 September 2008

Yasher Koach, Yad l'Achim!

(Hat tip to Esav Exposed)

Big Brother Is Watching

Three missionaries tried to deceitfully convert to Judaism in religious courts around the world, only to be foiled by Yad L'Achim .

A few weeks ago, a distinguished-looking professor of international law showed up at Chabad house of Geneva headed by Rabbi Mendel Pewzner asking to convert to Judaism.

He made an excellent impression, dressed in a suit and hat and displaying broad knowledge of Judaism. Most importantly, he appeared very sincere in his desire to accept upon himself the yoke of Torah and mitzvos.

As the man began making inroads into the kehillah, attending services and being invited into homes, Rabbi Pewzner got an urgent message from Yad L'Achim in Israel: The newcomer was a missionary. Yad L'Achim backed up its charge with evidence that the man was a Mormon and active in missionary activity around the world.

Moreover, Yad L'Achim presented eye-witness testimony that during the very time that the man was in shul, in his religious Jewish garb, he was trying to convince tourists visiting the place to convert out of Judaism.

The final evidence, which left no doubt as to the man's intentions, was a statement attributed to him that he wanted to become a Jew because it would be easier for him to operate among Jews, since he could pass himself off as one of them.

While the kehillah, armed with this critical information, banished the man from its midst, the story doesn't end here. The jurist moved on to Israel and appeared before a beis din for conversion declaring his "sincere" desire to become a Jew. Yad L'Achim, which kept the impostor on its radar, was quick to present the members of the beis din with its evidence.

With a persistence that is characteristic of missionaries, the man moved on to Rome, where he turned to a local beis din for assistance. Yad L'Achim tripped him up again, presenting Rabbi Gad Eldad, a member of the conversion court in Rome, with the facts.

The learned law professor is not the first missionary to try to convert to Judaism to be able to infiltrate the Jewish community. Nor is he the first whose efforts were stymied by Yad L'Achim. A couple from Frankfurt, Germany, members of a missionary cult, recently began the process of conversion with the Rabbinical Council of America. But the council's beis din rejected their application after receiving incriminating information from Yad L'Achim.

Harav Shalom Dov Lifschitz, chairman of Yad L'Achim, revealed that he recently sent an urgent appeal to conversion courts around the world asking that applicants sign a statement disavowing their belief in Christianity before their application will be considered.

"It isn't foolproof, but it will put up a barrier because their religious beliefs forbid them from making such a declaration," he said. "We have to understand that there are missionaries who are seeking to convert to Judaism – and receive Israeli citizenship as a result – as a means of advancing their missionary efforts. Every step must be taken to stop them."

"Consequence Management Response Force"

When the daily headlines start looking like these...

NEW YORK POST: ALMOST ARMAGEDDON
MARKETS WERE 500 TRADES FROM A MELTDOWN

THE ECONOMIST: DERIVATIVES MARKET MAY SET OFF A FINANCIAL NUCLEAR WAR

...it must be comforting to know that your neighborhood military battalion knows what it feels like to be tasered.

Brigade homeland tours start Oct. 1

The 3rd Infantry Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team has spent 35 of the last 60 months in Iraq patrolling in full battle rattle, helping restore essential services and escorting supply convoys.

Now they’re training for the same mission — with a twist — at home.

Beginning Oct. 1 for 12 months, the 1st BCT will be under the day-to-day control of U.S. Army North, the Army service component of Northern Command, as an on-call federal response force for natural or manmade emergencies and disasters, including terrorist attacks.

...They may be called upon to help with civil unrest and crowd control or to deal with potentially horrific scenarios such as massive poisoning and chaos in response to a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive, or CBRNE, attack.

Training for homeland scenarios has already begun at Fort Stewart and includes specialty tasks such as knowing how to use the “jaws of life” to extract a person from a mangled vehicle; extra medical training for a CBRNE incident; and working with U.S. Forestry Service experts on how to go in with chainsaws and cut and clear trees to clear a road or area.

The 1st BCT’s soldiers also will learn how to use “the first ever nonlethal package that the Army has fielded,” 1st BCT commander Col. Roger Cloutier said,
referring to crowd and traffic control equipment and nonlethal weapons designed to subdue unruly or dangerous individuals without killing them.
“It’s a new modular package of nonlethal capabilities that they’re fielding. They’ve been using pieces of it in Iraq, but this is the first time that these modules were consolidated and this package fielded, and because of this mission we’re undertaking we were the first to get it.”

The package includes equipment to stand up a hasty road block; spike strips for slowing, stopping or controlling traffic; shields and batons; and, beanbag bullets.

I was the first guy in the brigade to get Tasered,” said Cloutier, describing the experience as “your worst muscle cramp ever — times 10 throughout your whole body.“I’m not a small guy, I weigh 230 pounds ... it put me on my knees in seconds.”
The brigade will not change its name, but the force will be known for the next year as a CBRNE Consequence Management Response Force, or CCMRF (pronounced “sea-smurf”).

“I can’t think of a more noble mission than this,” said Cloutier, who took command in July.


“We’ve been all over the world during this time of conflict, but now our mission is to take care of citizens at home ... and depending on where an event occurred, you’re going home to take care of your home town, your loved ones.”

While soldiers’ combat training is applicable, he said, some nuances don’t apply.

“If we go in, we’re going in to help American citizens on American soil, to save lives, provide critical life support, help clear debris, restore normalcy and support whatever local agencies need us to do, so it’s kind of a different role,” said Cloutier, who, as the division operations officer on the last rotation, learned of the homeland mission a few months ago while they were still in Iraq.



Yeah, right! With "spike strips...; shields and batons; and, beanbag bullets." Oh, and don't forget the tasers! Very comforting indeed.

17 September 2008

In the Month of Elul...

Our intrepid Prime Minister has chosen the period leading up to Yom HaDin, a time for serious introspection, soul-searching and repentance, days to be in awe of the One before Whom we stand---to make the folowing asinine declarations:

Olmert: ‘Forget Greater Israel’
by Ze'ev Ben-Yechiel

(IsraelNN.com) "The notion of a Greater Israel no longer exists, and anyone who still believes in it is deluding themselves," said Ehud Olmert, in what is likely to be his last cabinet meeting as Prime Minister.

"Forty years after the Six Day War ended, we keep finding excuses not to act. This isn't doing Israel any good,” said Olmert to the members of his cabinet.

Olmert warned that unless Israel gives up more land, it will face pressure from overseas to grant all PA Arabs citizenship in a single state of two nationalities. “The international community in starting to view Israel as a future binational state. We can prove that we have been more creative than the other side through the years, and that they have been more obstinate, but as usual, we will win the debate by not losing sight of what's really important.”

...“We have to ask ourselves is losing a hill here or there, is worth forfeiting the chance to achieve something. This is why I say that this is the time to discuss the evacuation-compensation . We have to keep pushing it, and eventually bring it before the government,” he noted, referring to a proposal put forth by Chaim Ramon, former Minister of Justice and current Vice-Premier.

...“A day will come, probably sooner than some are willing to admit, that all of us will be willing to embrace the same solutions that some of us are rejecting right now.” [unwitting prophecy???]


Olmert: Israel Wasted 40 Years on Judea, Samaria

(IsraelNN.com) Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said Wednesday that Israel spent 40 years investing its energy on Judea and Samaria – in vain.

"We invested the emotional resources and our thoughts in 'how to build Judea and Samaria' but history made it clear to us that the state of Israel has other realistic and practical alternatives," Olmert said in a speech at the Ashalim students' village. "The future of the state of Israel will not be in our mixing with the Palestinians but in the empty parts of the land that are thirsting for our entrepreneurial and inventive drive," he added.

"For forty years we invested the energy of our souls in order to build up a place from which, in retrospect, we see that the land shall not be built. I say this carefully, with respect and circumspection," he said. "I have great appreciation for the people who built their homes in those places and in the past I, too, supported them."


It's Olmert's mouth moving, but it's the Sitra Achra speaking. They're gonna have to pick Olmert up and remove him , chair and all, because he won't let go of it willingly. Like Paro (and countless others) before him, he has deluded himself and is convinced that he can not fail or fall. That usually means that the failure and the fall are imminent.

Olmert to Ignore Elections, Offers More 'Goodwill Gestures'
by Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
(IsraelNN.com) Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has offered Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Mahmoud Abbas more "goodwill gestures" despite the Kadima elections that will determine his replacement as party leader and head of the government, PA sources said Wednesday. He apparently has backtracked on his stated promise to quit the day after the elections.

One of the gestures he promised Abbas at a meeting on the eve of the leadership elections is the release of more Arab terrorists.
Prime Minister Olmert had promised to resign after a new leader is chosen, but he can remain in power for several weeks while his replacement tries to form a new government, which is not a certainty. If the new party leader is unable to form a government, President Shimon Peres will ask another party leader to carry out the task or order new elections.

Prime Minister Olmert's reported promise of more compromises and concessions to the PA may be challenged by opposition parties, who can ask Attorney General Menachem Mazuz to rule that he has no right to make policy decisions while he is a "lame duck" prime minister.

Mazuz recently denied a petition that he declare the government to be in "transition" and to limit Olmert's flexibility. If one of the four candidates wins Wednesday's election on the first round with at least 40 percent plurality, the Olmert administration will legally be one that is temporary.

Sources quoted by Chinese news agency Xinhua also stated that Abbas asked Prime Minister Olmert to offer more facilities to Arabs at the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount, to take down more checkpoints and roadblocks and to free Marwan Barghouti. The Tanzim terrorist head is serving five life terms in prison for planning deadly terrorist attacks that resulted in the murders of numerous people. Prime Minister Olmert replied he would free him by the end of the month, Xinhua reported.

Prime Minister Olmert already has granted permission to the Muslim custodians of the Temple Mount to repair and restore verses from the Koran that were carved into several Muslim buildings on the Temple Mount, according to WorldNetDaily reporter Aaron Klein.

Special tools and machinery for repairing the verses have been stored in Ashdod for three years, Klein reported.

And all in the month of ELUL!!

Change of Direction

When you see certain words or phrases being repeated very prominently, you can be sure they contain a message.

HA'ARETZ: Livni to voters: Pick change, show you are sick of the same old politics
FOXNEWS:
Obama Fine-Tunes ‘Change’ Message, as Race Tightens

Obama, whose slogan has long been “Change We Can Believe In,” has since the end of the Democratic National Convention in late August altered his rallying cry — and not because it ends in a preposition.

Obama now speaks at a podium that bears the words “Change We Need.”

...The sudden focus on change-iness, as Stephen Colbert might put it, comes after John McCain and running mate Sarah Palin began to market themselves as the true reformers. McCain declared “change is coming” in his GOP nomination acceptance speech,....


Besides political change, we've been hearing a lot until now about climate change---major change---and we're both seeing it and experiencing it.

There's actually a double message here. The Jewish People must change direction and change their ways, i.e. do teshuva, because Hashem is preparing the world for the biggest change of all---Days of Mashiach!

16 September 2008

Mida k'Neged Mida



Collapse on Wall Street

This is what collapse looks like on Wall Street. October looks like it is going to be bloody beyond belief. Read the story closely and smell the fear. There is now a $400 trillion derivatives bubble hanging in the balance. The government has drawn the line on bailouts. That's good but it means the Fed is getting seriously squeezed and it hasn't dealt with Ike yet. We don't have a clue as to how much damage Ike did yet but it was serious. The price of gold has been bombed as bad as the price of oil. Both are due for huge breakouts and capital is looking for the exits. Today is going to be a busy, busy day. We have passed the Plunge Protection Team's pay grade....

Wall Street's Tower of Babel

...We are falling into a kind of chaos. This chaos appears in our economic behavior – in our indebtedness and failure to observe the traditional rules of economy. We have also ignored the warnings of our forefather’s money and credit. And we have lost our common sense in matters of money and finance. We fought a war on drugs but did not realize that the devil’s most powerful drug is credit. Is there any doubt that human beings cannot resist its addiction? We are now beyond the point of no return.

...The problem is that what is occurring in terms of birth pangs are not fully appreciated. At some point Americans will realize what has happened to them and their financial system.

So here is the executive summary:

The perversity of money and the financial system to do the very opposite of what all reason indicates should not deceive us from understanding reality. The fact that so many people do not see the tremendous peril we are in does not change reality. Over time people have lost touch with the great truths of economic life. The consequences of this insensitivity to these truths are to be unperturbed, irrational, and indifferent to signs of imminent disaster.

We are blind to enemy identification. We cannot see clear and present danger.
The new financial alchemy has created a complexity , a deception, and a structure which exceeds what is humanly manageable.
A single event could cripple our economic life and collapse our financial system. It is only a matter of time.
The Ten Sigma Event is like the ten plagues of Egypt. The plagues are happening again in a different form but the message is the same. The truth will be set free. I think we are at the stage of “tomorrow about this time I will cause it to rain a very heavy and dreadful fall of hail.” Those who got their servants and livestock into houses and shelters were not destroyed. Some ignored the message and did not believe it and they lost everything. It is hard to hear a message of counterculture financial warning.
Money has become so complex that it has been confusing. So many new forms and extensions of money have flooded our lives. Debt has been confused as wealth and has been an addiction unto itself.
There is a reason that gold is called “precious” metal.
The financial elite of the United States have sacrificed the system’s survival for the greatest financial gains of all history. The system itself is dead and it is all theater from here on.
As the financial plagues unfold may I suggest you “urgently ask for gold and silver”.


Wanted: Homeland "Stolen" by the State

Yitzhar's rabbi: The state stole Israel from the JewsBy Nadav Shragai, Haaretz Correspondent

Rabbi David Dudkevitch, the rabbi of the West Bank settlement of Yitzhar, was not present last Shabbat when dozens of Yitzhar residents avenged the stabbing of a boy from the settlement by going on a rampage of shooting and destruction in the neighboring village of Asira al-Kabiliya. He was there in spirit, however. Dudkevitch, who is highly respected in Yitzhar, is generally media-shy, but this time, he made an exception.

"The proper and healthy thing, and this applies to the events of Shabbat as well as in general, is for the Israel Defense Forces to be involved not only in apprehending terror suspects, but also in collective punishment, up to the level of reprisals, of the environment that supports terror," Dudkevitch told Haaretz Monday. "In the past, the State of Israel did this. But [today], just as it did in Gaza, with one hand it acts against terrorists and Katyusha launchers and with the other it feeds them and their families and cultivates the soil from which terror grows."

"Most of the Arab population - in the Galilee, the Triangle and in Judea and Samaria [the West Bank] - desires the destruction of the state," Dudkevitch continued. "Some of them say this in Western-democratic disguise, others say it without masks."
According to the rabbi, 80 to 85 percent of local Arabs "hope and scheme to destroy the sovereignty of the Jewish people in our land," and therefore, "their emigration should be encouraged."

How?

"There will be many opportunities, both by encouraging and by deporting, but we must start with encouragement, with a general statement. That's the minimum."

Dudkevitch, 44, has been dubbed the rabbi of the "hilltop youth," and as such he expresses surprise when asked why Yitzhar is not surrounded by fences, which might have prevented the infiltration of the knife-wielding terrorist on Saturday.

"I am amazed to be asked that," he said. "The Bible says that when people 'sit in [fenced] camps' it radiates fear and unnaturalness, while when they are in open towns, it is a sign of strength, confidence and heroism. Let the Arabs, not the Jews, live within fortresses, fenced in. There are settlements that have agreed to be fenced in. I don't judge anyone. In Yitzhar we chose otherwise. There is so much land surrounding the settlements that the Arabs never thought of approaching them, and those that fence themselves in lose a huge amount of land."

In recent years, Dudkevitch has become identified with a strain of religious Zionism that distances itself from the symbols and institutions of the state. He does not reject this image.

"Unfortunately, the State of Israel, and especially its judicial system and its constitution, has in recent years chosen to place nearly every Jewish element into a universal, rather than Jewish, definition. It still glories in the title of a Jewish-democratic state, or democratic-Jewish, but in nearly every respect, particularly that of sovereignty, there's nothing to back that up. The state stole the state from the Jews, and sovereignty is attributed to all its citizens and not to the Jewish people throughout the generations."

"Against this background," he continued, "it's obvious that a great many people who are secure in their Judaism feel emotionally distant from the state, which is in another place altogether. This has a very high price, because citizens who find it hard to identify with their state - that is very damaging. When traitors to their state are allowed to serve in the Knesset and become part of the decision-making process, how can anyone, first of all on the emotional level, identify with that state?"

In light of the possibility that additional territory and Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria will be evacuated, some of your colleagues are talking about establishing a 'state of Judea' alongside the State of Israel. Do you believe in this?

"The State of Israel is not the be-all and end-all. If it decides it does not want to be in the hereditary lands of our forefathers, then other Jews have the right to organize themselves in order to live there, even without a link to the state. Is it practical? I doubt it. That's why I'm not signing up for it. But when there's talk about another expulsion, then on the ideological level, the 'State of Judea' is no worse than expulsion."



If you still have any doubts, read Our World: Mrs. Clean is a Fraud

15 September 2008

"We're at Impact"

Breaking News from LATOC
Over the last 12 months there have been a number of times when informed people thought "this is it." Well if today and this past weekend aren't "it", I don't know what is. We now have multiple large banks fighting for their lives and a 10 day disruption in gasoline supplies coming out of the Gulf Coast, both on the heels of the government nationalizing $5 trillion in mortgages and the Big Three automakers all letting it be known that they're going to need government bailouts as well. And that's before we even get to the crisis in Georgia over the BTC pipeline, the war in Nigeria MEND declared, or the rapidly collapsing climate.

About six months ago I wrote on this page it was time to "brace for impact". Now I would say forget about bracing for impact, we are at impact right now. It may take a few weeks, even months, for the smoke to clear but I suspect that once it does, people will look back on mid-September as the day "it" happened.

As far as what you can do, my guess is you're already doing whatever there is that you can realistically do. So there's not much for me to tell you other than get ready to roll with the punches as things are about to get very interesting. Even the Wall Street Journal is, more or less, saying as much. In an article posted to its website last night, the Journal predicted that today is going to be "the mother of all Mondays":.... Meanwhile, CNBC is referring to yesterday as "Bloody Sunday" while anticipating "massive triage" and a "complete reorganization" of the financial world:.... BBC News is asking "Is this 1930 all over again?" while describing this past weekend as a "signal moment":....

You would think these developments along with Hurricane Ike and the government seizue of Fannie & Freddie would have been enough to wake the general public from its corn-syrup induced narcosis, but my guess is many (most?) people reading this are surrounded by people who *still* don't have a clue as to what is going on. ....

Psychological Warfare and Its Fallout

The psychological war for the hearts and minds of Israelis continues. Whether it's the settlers or the chareidim, Torah-observant Jews are being made out to be the enemies of the state and democratic values. The attack on Torah and authentic Judaism and those who adhere to it is felt on many levels. Today, it is being used once again to de-legitimize an entire population so that they may be forcibly removed from their ancestral homes and land. However, its fallout will be felt as far away as Jews have been scattered these last two millenia.

In today's climate of anti-Judaism, it no longer makes sense to have one camp in Israel and another in the Diaspora...just in case. Just take a look at the comments generated by one of the stories linked above:
1. Stuart Smith
September 15th, 2008 - 3:46 am

These ultra-orthodox are supported by the tax dollars of a state they did not build and did not fight for. Yet they want to dictate to all. Parasites.

2. William
September 15th, 2008 - 4:14 am

First: This “state” is supported by the tax dollars of another Nation, so it is not REALLY a “state”, it is a WELFARE CLIENT. Second: Remember how the US bombed and invaded Afghanistan to stop the Taliban from using “modesty” squads? HUH? Remember how all the Jews howled and yelped about the Fanatic Muslims? Looks like we should spread FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY to Israel, at least cut off the CHARITY.

3. William
September 15th, 2008 - 4:24 am

William,
I agree there is no difference between any fundamentalist group that wants to control your liberty. However, you must be honest in your assessment. One was supported by the goverenment, this one is a mob mentality. Please be fair instead of inciting the same mob violence as illustrated by this small bunch of fanatics.

4. Bill D
September 15th, 2008 - 4:27 am

What’s next for these crazies? Suicide bombings at movie theaters and other places they deem immoral? Good lord, they are just as evil as any Islamic fanatic…

5. William
September 15th, 2008 - 4:32 am

I have been overly “fair”. WHOSE anti-GENTILE mindset has spread bigotry for millenia? Who is engaged in Ethnic Cleansing of the Native Peoples? The Arabs and Ottoman Turks allowed DIVERSITY in Palestine. It is the current usurpers who could drive Christians and Muslims out. The Zenophobic-Tribalists create the very backlash that they decry.
Jews in chu"l are as much at risk as the Jews in Israel. It makes much more sense in such a climate for us to stick together as ONE camp in ONE land in unity and brotherhood, where we can have the greatest impact---our God-given homeland in Eretz Yisrael.
Frum Jews in the West, please come home. You are needed HERE to strengthen our numbers and our influence!

Duck! Stock Markets Crashing!

Lehman Brothers files for bankruptcy threatening most acute financial catastrophe in decades
DEBKAfile: September 15, 2008, 7:49 AM (GMT+02:00)

Sunday night, Barclays and the Bank of America dropped out of bidding to buy Lehman Brothers, the fourth biggest investment bank in the world, and the federal government said there would be no bailout. Ten US and foreign banks have set up a $50bn fund to save troubled companies. The Bank of America opted to save Merril Lynch from buckling instead of Lehman. AIG is also in danger with disastrous effect on the world insurance industry.

Tokyo, Singapore and Hong Kong stock exchanges were closed Monday by a holiday and insulated from the backlash from New York, but US stock markets are set to tumble when they open promising Monday will be a financial Ides of September. The collapse of the three biggest names on Wall Street threatens to wipe out many billions of dollars from pension funds and the banking and insurance industries in a worldwide chain reaction.

14 September 2008

Footnote on Hurricane "IKE"

Many comparisons have been made over the last 24 hours between Hurricane Ike 2008 and the Great Hurricane of 1900 which both zeroed in on Galveston, Texas. It has been noted elsewhere that "Ike" is a nickname or shortened version of the name Isaac. Interestingly, a book written about the 1900 hurricane was called "Isaac's Storm."

They followed similar tracks:



Both storms arrived on Shabbat Parshat Ki Tetzei---the 1900 storm on 14 Elul 5660 and Hurricane Ike on 13 Elul 5768 --- 108 years apart.

What does any of this mean? All I know is that it's no coincidence, because we don't believe in coincidences.

For more information about effects in the aftermath of the storm:

Hurricane Damage Extensive in Texas
Insurers loss from Ike seen from $8 bln to $18 bln
Hurricane Ike hits heart of U.S. oil sector

See the video version of the book Isaac's Storm...

05 September 2008

Gustav's Legacy

The storm is gone, but its memory lingers.

Checkpoints, power outages frustrate Gustav evacuees

...The state's power grid sustained severe damage from Gustav, officials say, and it could be weeks before all of it is repaired. Frustrated motorists poured back into the state Tuesday hoping to return home, only to be turned back at checkpoints on all the major highways. Many grew frustrated as they roamed the state like gypsies or sat in motels they could scarcely afford, their cash running low and no way to get more.

"No power, no tissue, no phone, and the lady just came to collect the rent," said elementary school teacher Shondrelle Paul, who with her 11-month-old baby and sister were holed up at the Budget Inn in Gonzales, La. "Money is getting thin."

With no electricity Tuesday, ATMs could not dispense money and restaurants could not open to feed people still unable to return home. Communication was made difficult by spotty cellular and Internet service.

Dozens of hospitals were still running on generator power, several without air conditioning, and there were fears that hundreds of patients might have to be evacuated in the next few days. Only one hospital in New Orleans had the capacity to provide dialysis — though all but one were up and running — and two in the Alexandria area were running low on drinking water.

Convoy after convoy of vehicles — from ambulances to utility repair cherry-pickers to tree removal trucks — rolled into a state that was smacked hard by the storm that blew in Monday. Across southern Louisiana, town after town sat without power. In Village St. George, bands of rain on the back side of Gustav added to confusion after a large power transformer was toppled, leaving cables snaking across all the lanes of Interstate 10 in both directions.

04 September 2008

Making the Point Clearer

As a Jew, you may agree and you may not, but when this woman says "God" you have to understand that for her, that means J*sus. She's a Pentacostal, one of the most extreme branches of Protestantism. And she will be a heartbeat away from a 72 yr old President, if elected. So what is my alternative, you may ask, a possible Muslim under the influence of a black racist?

My point is that this is no choice for Jews. The only choice you have is Eretz Yisrael. That is your destiny. And this "choice" (between religious extremes) is meant to make that very, very clear to you. Everything in the world is now revolving around religion. If you don't see that, open your eyes.

Palin: Iraq war 'a task that is from God'

Palin told graduating students of the church's School of Ministry, "What I need to do is strike a deal with you guys." As they preached the love of Jesus throughout Alaska, she said, she'd work to implement God's will from the governor's office, including creating jobs by building a pipeline to bring North Slope natural gas to North American markets.

"God's will has to be done in unifying people and companies to get that gas line built, so pray for that," she said.

03 September 2008

"Nothing New Under the Sun"

Yeshayahu 31:1. "Woe to those who go down to Egypt for aid, and who rely on horses and trust in chariots which are many, and on riders who are very strong, and they did not rely on the Holy One of Israel and the Lord they did not seek."

Egypt Cuts off Flow of Gas Into Israel

Egypt invites Hizballah delegation, recognizes Lebanese terrorist group

Unwitting Prophecy

Yishai Calls Disengagement 'Miserable Expulsion'
(IsraelNN.com) In an unusually strongly worded statement following the announcement of a cabinet debate on an "expulsion compensation" plan, Shas leader Eli Yishai said that the nation of Israel has not yet healed from "the wounds of the miserable expulsion" and already there are those "illegitimately cooking up a second expulsion."

The government is "a de facto transition government and it is unworthy that someone from within it is leading to situations that the coalition partners find unacceptable," he said.


It sure is---the one leading into the rule of Mashiach Tzidkeinu!

The Chamber of Mashiach

From KabbalaOnline:
Translation and commentary by Rabbi Moshe Yaakov Wisnefsky

Rabbi Yisrael Baal Shem Tov ["Israel, Master of the Good Name (of G-d)," 1698 -1760], was the founder of the Chassidic movement. Presented here is the famous letter the Baal Shem Tov wrote to his brother-in-law in the Holy Land, Rabbi Gershon of Kitov, in which he describes his encounter with the soul of the Mashiach, the latter giving him instructions as how to hasten his coming.

This letter was first published in 1781 as an appendix to Ben Porat Yosef [p.128a] by Rabbi Yaakov Yosef of Polnoye, one of the Baal Shem Tov's chief disciples. Since then it has been republished many times in various books. This letter never reached its originally intended destination.

Certain disciples of the Baal Shem Tov made it a practice to study this letter very deeply - some even read it daily - because they realized that it contains the basic elements of the Baal Shem Tov's teachings, which in turn will lead to the revelation of the Mashaich.

This translation is based on the one in R. Aryeh Kaplan's Chassidic Masters, p. 12. The commentary and notes are based mostly on R. Yitzchak Ginsburgh's book Sod HaShem Lireiav, pp. 362-3 (Jerusalem, 1985).

On Rosh Hashanah of the year 5507[1] I performed, by means of oath, an elevation of soul [to the higher spiritual realms], as known to you, and saw wondrous things I had never seen before. That which I saw and learned there is impossible to convey in words, even face to face.

When I returned to the lower Garden of Eden [one of the levels of the abode of departed souls], I saw innumerable souls, both living and dead, some whom I knew and others whom I did not. They were fleeting back and forth, going from one universe to another through the Column[2] that is known to those who delve in mysteries. Their state of joy was so great that lips cannot express it, and the physical ear is too gross to hear it.

There were also many wicked people who had repented; their sins were forgiven, since this was a special time of grace. Even to my eyes it was wondrous how many were accepted as penitents, many of whom you know. There was great joy among them too, and they also ascended in the above mentioned manner.

All of them beseeched and petitioned me unceasingly: "Because of the glory of your Torah, G-d granted you greater understanding to perceive and know these things. Ascend with us, so that you can be our help and support."

Because of the great joy that I saw among them, I decided to ascend with them. Due to the great danger involved in ascending to the supernal universes, I asked my master (Achiya the Shilonite[3]) to come with me, as I had never before ascended to such a high level. I ascended from level to level until I entered the chamber of the Mashiach[4], where the Mashiach learns Torah with all the sages and tzadikim and also with the Seven Shepherds[5]

I saw great joy there, but I did not know the reason for it. At first I thought that the reason for this joy was because I had passed away from the physical world, heaven forbid. Later, they told me that my time had not yet come to die, since they have great pleasure on high when I bring about Unifications through the holy Torah down below. To this very day, I do not know the reason for that joy.

The question which follows had already been posed to the Mashiach in Talmudic times by Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi (Talmud Sanhedrin 98a). Then, the answer was: "Today", which was interpreted by the prophet Elijah as meaning: "Today - if you would only listen to G-d's voice" (Psalms 95:7). According to Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak of Lubavitch (Likutei Dibburim, Simchat Torah 5690, #30 [p. 618ff]), the Baal Shem Tov was in effect saying to the Mashiach: "We have already listened to His voice, even to the extent of giving up our lives in order to do so. Why, then, have you not come?"

I asked the Mashiach: "When will the Master come?", and he answered: "By this you shall know:

In the time when your teaching will become public and revealed in the world, and your wellsprings will burst forth to the farthest extremes, that which I have taught you and you have comprehended, and they also shall be able to perform unifications and elevations as you, and then all of the kelipot will cease to exist, and there shall be a time of good will and salvation."

The Mashiach sets five conditions for his coming; each of these is a step in a cumulative process:

1. "Your teachings will become public and revealed in the world": As is known, for most mystics and spiritual-focused people becoming a public figure is a very painful experience. Nonetheless, it is a challenge that must be faced if one's insights and teachings are to affect the world.

2. "Your wellsprings will burst forth to the farthest extremes" (Proverbs 5:16): His whole self, his "wellspring," must be revealed. If Mashiach is to come, everyone must be able to experience something of what it is like to be the Baal Shem Tov.

3. "That which I have taught you and what you have comprehended [yourself]": Expressible ideas and even those ideas that are inherently inexpressible must be revealed.

4. "They also shall be able to perform unifications and elevations as you": The Baal Shem Tov's power of unification must become public domain. In its simplest sense, this means that everyone must subscribe to the Baal Shem Tov's doctrine of the equality-of-soul of all Jewish people, the basis of his infinite love of all Jews (see Tanya ch. 32).

5. "All the kelipot will cease to exist and there shall be a time of good will and salvation": Evil can be eradicated and the transcendent light of G-d can shine. The eradication of evil on this level can be understood as seeing it as ultimately good. This, however, cannot be successfully accomplished without first attaining the previous four levels.

I stood in wonder and great distress as to the length of time necessary for this, when can this be?! But from that which I learned there - three potent practices and three Holy Names, easy to learn and explain - my mind settled, and I thought that possibly by means of these, men of my nature will be able to achieve levels similar to mine. They would then be able to ascend, learn and perceive, just like myself. But I was not given permission all the days of my life to reveal this.

Nonetheless, according to Rabbi Mordechai of Neshchiz (1748-1800), the Baal Shem Tov alluded to these practices in the continuation of his letter (Imrei Kodesh 40; Sefer Baal Shem Tov p. 122, end of note 13).

For your sake, I made a request that I might be allowed to teach this to you, but permission was denied. I am still bound by this oath, but this may I inform you and may G-d help you, your way shall ever be in the presence of G-d and never leave your consciousness in the time of your prayer and study. And every word of your lips intend to unite (i.e., be aware of and meditate upon each word): for in every letter there are Worlds and Souls and Divinity, and they ascend and connect and unify with each other, and afterward the letters connect and unify to become a word, and [then] unify in true unification in Divinity.

In every letter there are Worlds: These are the "three potent practices" alluded to earlier in the letter, and are among the basic teachings of the Baal Shem Tov. For a detailed description of this technique, see The Hebrew Letters by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh.

Here, only two verbs are used: "connect and unify." In the following phrase, "And [then] unify in true unification in Divinity," only one verb, "unify," appears. From this we learn that, in particular, there are three stages of meditation: meditation of the secrets of individual letters; meditation on the dynamic process of letters combining to form meaningful words; and, in the terminology of Tanya (II, ch.12 [89b]), meditation on the "light above all" which spontaneously appears around the total structure of a finished word.

Include your soul with them in each and every state. All the worlds unify as one and ascend to produce an infinitely great joy and pleasure, as you can understand from the joy of groom and bride in miniature and physicality: in the physical microcosm, how much more so in such an exalted level as this. Surely G-d will be your aid and wherever you turn you will succeed and reach greater awareness. "Give to the wise and he will become ever wiser." (Proverbs 9:9)

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Footnotes:

[1] This was 12 years and 12 days after the Baal Shem Tov had begun teaching publicly (18 Elul, 5494 [1734 C.E.]). Since the Baal Shem Tov taught publicly until his passing in 1760, the events described in this letter occurred at the mid-point of this period.

[2] That rises from the Lower to the Higher Garden of Eden (see Tanya, ch. 39 [52a]).

[3] Achiya, mentioned in Kings I 11:29, 14:2, is said to be from the generation of the Exodus and was the mentor of the prophet Elijah. See Toldot Yaakov Yosef, Balak (p. 575), Keter Shem Tov 143

[4] referred to in the Zohar as "the bird's nest"; it is described in detail at the end of Etz Chaim.

[5] as listed in Talmud Sukka 52b: Adam, Seth, Methuselah, Abraham, Jacob, Moses and David. In the Zohar (3:103b): Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph, and David.