25 March 2010

NEEDED: American Exodus

Comments from readers to Breitbart's article entitled Israeli media slams PM's bid to end US row are much more telling that the article itself.

Here is a sample:

Between the Obama regime and Israel, this gentile will side with Israel. However, don't expect a lot of support from liberal American Jews. They are a sick deluded bunch. They are Israel's worse enemy and they also are an enemy of the American people who love freedom, i.e. in otherwords Socialist Leftist Jews are just as much an evil as Osama Bin Laden and Karl Marx (a Jew). Don't get me wrong, I love Israel and conservative Jews, but Leftist Jews need to be deported for they work with the forces in this country that will destroy this country.

The writer clearly considers himself a "friend" of Jews and Israel. When the time comes, and it will, they won't distinguish between "Leftist" Jews and others. The right-wing in America has fascist tendencies. American Jews of every stripe ignore it at their own peril.

21 March 2010

NOT a 3rd Intifada???


From today's headlines:

21 Arabs Arrested for Rioting in Jerusalem

Arabs Rioting in Gush Etzion

Galilee Arabs Riot

Soldiers Kill Two Terrorists Near Itamar

Arabs Rioting in Hevron

Arabs Riot South of Jerusalem

Arabs Riot in Issawiya Neighborhood of Eastern J'lem

Firebomb Attack at Silwad

Rock Attack at Hussan

Shots Fired at Soldiers in Southern Hevron Hills

Ariel-Area Rock Attack

Rock Attack at Nabi Elias

Kassam Rocket Hits South of Ashkelon

19 March 2010

Spring is Here



Nissan: Month of Kings, King of Months

By Rebbetzin Chana Bracha Siegelbaum
Founder and Director, Midreshet B'erot Bat Ayin

Spring is in the Air
Nissan, it sounds like the Hebrew word nitzan (bud). The two words are connected, for this month is referred to as "month of the spring" (Deuteronomy/Devarim 16:1) always occurring near April when we enjoy the magnificent beauty of nature budding around us. Hibernating animals awaken, flowers bloom, fruit trees blossom and vegetation emerges everywhere. Snow melts to reveal the new growth of green grass below as the world experiences a bursting forth of life. We, too, tap into the energy of renewal predominant in the air. Take a moment to stop, enjoy, and appreciate the world. Make a blessing on a flowering fruit tree. Listen to the birds chirp. Watch a stream of water flow. Breathe the air. Give thanks for all the beauty that surrounds you.

Be Highly Connected
Kabbalah teaches that Nissan is a time when man is capable of achieving dramatic change by way of miracles. In this month there exists a special ability to engage the assistance of the One Above. It's as if G-d bends down and sweeps you off your feet to take you wherever you need to go. And by connecting with G-d, Kabbalah explains, you too become sanctified. Thus, we have a certain strength during this month to exude an additional degree of holiness. This parallels the renewal taking place in the month of Nissan.
More on Nissan, Pesach and Springtime in the Kabbalah . . .

17 March 2010

"Regime Change"???


US may be seeking Israel 'regime change'By Lachlan Carmichael (AFP)

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration's row with Israel over settlements has prompted some analysts to wonder whether it seeks "regime change," a new government that can make peace with the Palestinians.

...In unusually harsh words, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday that his right-wing government's plans to build new settler homes in east Jerusalem sent a "deeply negative signal" about Israel's ties to its top ally.

"Is this about regime change, or is it about (Israeli) behavior modification?" asked Aaron David Miller, a Middle East peace negotiator in past Republican and Democratic administrations.

..."If it's the former, then I think we're naive in the extreme in thinking that we will be able to produce and somehow manage that," said Miller, now at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington.

Miller said Obama and Clinton may be trying to create the impression Netanyahu is "mismanaging the relationship" with Washington in order to shake up Israeli politics.

After all, he said, former president George H.W. Bush and his top diplomat James Baker did much the same thing with then Israeli prime minister Yitzhak Shamir and helped pave the way for Yitzhak Rabin to become prime minister.

"But there are no more Rabins," Miller said.

...The previous George W. Bush administration embraced "regime change" for Iraq, Iran and North Korea, although the term referred to the violent overthrow of dictatorships.

"In people's heart of hearts, they probably want somebody other than Netanyahu but I can't imagine that anybody really believes that they have a strategy or a real chance of effecting it," the former ambassador said.

To be sure, he said, Netanyahu might be able to drop a right-wing party and bring in Tzipi Livni, a former foreign minister and candidate for premier who once mulled joining his government, and her centrist Kadima....

HEY! WE WANT "REGIME CHANGE" TOO!! WE WANT MASHIACH!!! RIGHT NOW!!!!

16 March 2010

We Knew It Was Coming



(Some excerpts)

"Jan. 16...a team of senior military officers from the U.S. Central Command ..., arrived at the Pentagon to brief Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Michael Mullen on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The team had been dispatched by CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus to underline his growing worries at the lack of progress in resolving the issue. ...there was a growing perception among Arab leaders that the U.S. was incapable of standing up to Israel, that CENTCOM's mostly Arab constituency was losing faith in American promises, that Israeli intransigence on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was jeopardizing U.S. standing in the region,....

...Petraeus sent a paper to the White House requesting that the West Bank and Gaza ..., be made a part of his area of operations. Petraeus's reason was straightforward: with U.S. troops deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. military had to be perceived by Arab leaders as engaged in the region's most troublesome conflict.

...what Biden told Netanyahu reflected the importance the administration attached to Petraeus's Mullen briefing: "This is starting to get dangerous for us," Biden reportedly told Netanyahu. "What you're doing here undermines the security of our troops who are fighting in Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan. That endangers us and it endangers regional peace." Yedioth Ahronoth went on to report: "The vice president told his Israeli hosts that since many people in the Muslim world perceived a connection between Israel's actions and US policy, any decision about construction that undermines Palestinian rights in East Jerusalem could have an impact on the personal safety of American troops fighting against Islamic terrorism." The message couldn't be plainer: Israel's intransigence could cost American lives.



H/T to Noah David Simon

15 March 2010

Hearing the Hidden Message in Current Events


In an insightful article called "A Blessing in Disguise," Moshe Dann wrote the following:

...Condemning a routine announcement of Israeli plans to build a new neighborhood in Jerusalem, Biden fired the first shot. Clinton added that "it was not only an insult to Biden, but an insult to the United States." ...As she put it, this was not a dispute over policy, but a deliberate attempt to humiliate the United States of America.

It suddenly struck me that it was highly significant that hurt pride was the Americans' main complaint, here at the beginning of the Passover season when we are attempting to eradicate pride from our lives.

From the Meaningful Life website:

...On the spiritual level, leaven, whose primary feature is that it rises and inflates itself, embodies pride. This explains our uncompromising rejection of chametz. Other negative traits might be tolerable, or even useful, in small, greatly diluted doses. Depression, for example, has been declared “a grave sin,”[2] for man is commanded to “serve G-d with joy”;[3] but a small dash of melancholy, counterbalanced by a hundredfold helping of joy, may serve a positive function, reflecting a necessary concern over one’s shortcomings and the commitment to rectify them. The same applies to anger, stubbornness, chutzpa, and a host of other negative character traits: as a rule, they are undesirable, yet in the proper context and in the right proportions, each has its positive applications. Arrogance and pride, however, are of such spiritual toxicity (the Talmud states that G-d says of the arrogant one, “I and he cannot dwell in the same world”[4]) that we must forgo any attempt to exploit them, and must totally eradicate them from every crevice of our hearts.[5]

The 49-Day Difference
And yet, despite the severity of the prohibition of chametz, it is only forbidden for eight days and several hours a year,[6] while other, less “toxic” elements are forbidden year-round. In other words, there is a state of being, which Passover represents, in which arrogance and pride are objectionable in any context and quantity. After “Passover,” however, chametz becomes permissible and even desirable.

This duality is also expressed in the laws governing the offerings brought to G-d in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. In the Holy Temple, it was “Passover” all year round: all grain offerings had to be unleavened, in keeping with the divine command that, “No leaven ... may be brought as a fire-offering to G-d.”[7] This, too, reflects G-d’s utter abhorrence of arrogance and pride. Nevertheless, on the festival of Shavuot, two loaves of bread, specifically commanded to be “baked leavened,”[8] were offered in the Temple.

Thus, Passover and Shavuot represent two extremes in the desirability of pride. On Passover chametz is wholly and utterly forbidden, while on Shavuot it is not only permitted but is a mitzvah, commanded and desired by G-d.

Passover marks our birth as a people, when G-d extracted a clan of slaves from the “forty-nine gates of depravity” of Egypt and set them on the journey toward Sinai, where He took Israel as His eternal bride on Shavuot. Connecting Passover and Shavuot is the forty-nine day “Counting of the Omer”: the Torah commands that beginning on the eve of the second day of Passover, we should conduct a daily count of the days that have passed from the day after the Exodus.

The Kabbalists explain that the human personality consists of seven basic attributes (love, restraint, harmony, ambition, devotion, connection and receptiveness), reflecting the seven divine attributes (sefirot) which G-d invested in His creation. Each sefirah contains elements of all seven, making for a total of forty-nine divine channels of relation to our reality, and forty-nine corresponding traits in the human heart.[9] Thus, the Kabbalists speak of the utterly corrupt society of Egypt as a moral nadir of “forty-nine gates of depravity.” These are paralleled by “forty-nine gates of understanding”—the ladder and process by which one achieves the refinement and perfection of all elements in one’s character.

Therein lies the significance of the forty-nine day count and climb from Passover to Shavuot. On the first day of Passover, we were physically removed from the land of Egypt; yet we still had to remove the “Egypt” from within us, to cleanse our hearts and minds of the residue of two centuries of pagan environment and practice. So on the second day of Passover begins a forty-nine-day count, chronicling a daily internal exodus from another of Egypt’s “gates of depravity” and entry into another of the “gates of understanding.” After forty-nine days, we attain the internal purity required to receive the divine election and communication of Shavuot.

Hence the difference between Passover and Shavuot regarding chametz. One who is still burdened with negative drives and emotions lacks the ability to sublimate the most potent and corruptible of the heart’s traits—pride. So immediately following the Exodus, chametz is banned. It is only upon attaining the full refinement of all forty-nine compartments of the heart on Shavuot that the offering of leaven to G-d becomes a mitzvah, appropriate and desirable.

On this level, pride is no longer the self-inflating chametz of the “Passover” personality, but the selfless pride of one who has cleansed his heart of every last vestige of self-interest and has dedicated it exclusively to the service of his Creator. This is a pride not in what one is or has achieved, but an expression of the majesty of He whom he serves and whose reality he conveys in his every thought, word and deed. [10]


King Solomon wrote in Mishlei 16.18 that "Pride precedes destruction and a haughty spirit brings on a fall." It reminds me also of Yirmiyahu 49. Read it with America in mind:

...Your awe-inspiring presence has misled you, the wickedness of your heart, who dwells in the crags of the rock, who has seized the height of the hill. Even if you raise your nest as high as the eagle, I will bring you down from there---the word of Hashem. Edom shall be desolate; everyone who passes by it will be astonished and whistle over all its afflictions, like the overturning of Sodom and Gomorrah, and its neighbors---said Hashem---where no man shall dwell and no human shall sojourn....

One day, we will see the utter destruction of American pride in the same way that we witnessed the destruction of Egyptian pride. And that day is not far off.
[See also Mashiach's Wife's post on a related subject.]

14 March 2010

"Thoughts for the Month of Nissan"


B"H

by
Roy S. Neuberger

Dear Friends:

I had the honor to visit Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman Shlita"h in Bnai Brak several days ago. The discussion touched on the name of my late mother's family, "Salant." The Great Rabbi took a sefer and read us a passage concerning the Gadol Reb Zundel Salant ZT"L, the father-in-law of the legendary Reb Shmuel Salant ZT"L. While Reb Zundel was still in Lithuania the infamous Cantonist decrees were in force, resulting in the kidnapping of Jewish children as conscripts into the Russian army. The story concerns a Jewish man who aided the Russian military authorities. Reb Zundel warned this man, "You will go straight to Gehenom unless you stop." But the man continued his nefarious activities.

Years later, after Reb Zundel had emigrated to the Holy Land, he was learning one day. Suddenly, he stopped and yelled, "Get out of here! I warned you! Now it is too late!"

His colleagues, amazed, asked him what had prompted this outburst.

Apparently, at that moment, this Jewish kidnapper had died in Europe. His neshoma, immediately suffering in the furnace of Gehenom, came to Reb Zundel in the Holy Land screaming and begging to the tzaddik for a tikkun to save him from eternal torture! But it was too late. He had chosen his own fate. These words I heard from Rabbi Aharon Leib Shteinman.

It seems that the fires of Gehenom are real!



We enter the month of Nisan. Pesach is a mere two weeks away.

My friends, we must try to understand that all these events are REAL! Gehenom is real! Gan Eden is real! We are being held accountable for EVERYTHING we do! Our redemption is assured; G-d will certainly save us, as He has promised, but the question is whether we will be among those He saves! As the season of our Redemption approaches, we must be extremely sensitive to the realities of the world in which we live.

As I write, sitting in Yerushalayim Ir ha Kodesh, it is Shushan Purim and the world seems on fire. Chile has experienced one of the most powerful earthquakes ever recorded; countries around the Pacific Rim are being warned of a tsunami. The weather in Israel is wild! Buckets of rain pour out of the sky amidst lightning and thunder, and then, literally the next minute, with clouds flying overhead at forty miles per hour, the sky opens up in the most brilliant sunshine I have ever seen in Israel. The heavens seem washed clean by the rain and there is not a dust speck in the air! Our driver, Yosef the Tsadddik, says that all the "katrigim," spiritual impediments, have been washed away. From the road near Beit El we saw clearly yesterday the mountains of Jordan, as if we could touch them. I had not ever before realized they were even visible from that spot, although I have driven there countless times! Rivers tumbled down previously-dry stream beds; waterfalls streamed over once-parched cliffs, all under brilliant sunlight. And then, only minutes later, the sky is black again and buckets of water once again pour from the sky amidst thunder and lightning. Back and forth, back and forth, goes the darkness and light, as if these were the days when the forces of good and evil are gearing up for their final confrontation.

And so it may be!

Our cousins, the children of Ishmael, are rioting in the Old City. The nations of the world are trying to draw the net closer and closer around us. Do they care that Israel set up the most effective field hospital in Haiti a few months ago? Do they care that we are Goy Kadosh and Mamleches Kohanim, the Holy Nation? They desire only to complete their age-long efforts to eliminate kedusha from the world.

And we? Do we understand the danger we face?

My beloved friend, Dr. Mori Bank, a man on fire with love of Torah, pointed out an unbelievable passage in Yoel ha Novi. We say in the Haggadah, "dam v'aish v'simros ashan" ... blood and fire and pillars of smoke (3:3). Were "pillars of smoke" found in the days of the Exodus? What is this passage doing in the Haggadah? Rather, according to Rabbi Yisroel Meir Lau, this passage refers to the future redemption, and is specifically a reference to the destruction of the Twin Towers.

My friends, do we understand what times we are living in? Please listen further to the words of Yoel ha Novi: "For behold, in those days and at that time, when I will bring back the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all of the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Yehoshafat," (Yoel 4:1-2) which Rashi explains means "the Valley of G-d's judgment."

The nations of the world are being drawn toward the Land of Israel like moths to a light. They think they are coming - G-d forbid! - for the final destruction of their enemies, but in fact they are being drawn here by G-d for their OWN final judgment, just as Haman came to Queen Esther's feast thinking it was for his glory, but in fact it was a trap for his ultimate downfall! "Rabos machashavos... Many designs are in a man's heart, but only the counsel of G-d will prevail." (Proverbs 19:21) For in the "Valley of Judgment... I will contend with them there concerning My People and My possession, Israel, that they dispersed among the nations, and they divided up My land, and they cast lots [which perhaps hints at Purim!] upon My People!" (Yoel 4:2-3)

My friends, we are apparently in the final countdown. We cannot afford to play games while G-d is rushing toward the "final judgment" of all the world's nations. There is no time for "politics" or sinas chinom. It is a time for teshuva and Torah, for yiras Shomayim and the knowledge that, in the words of Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch Shlita"h (which I heard with my own ears) "only our closeness to the Ribono shel Olam will save us!"

According to Sefer ha Todaah (Book of Our Heritage), "Our sages say, the first of Nisan was crowned with ten crowns: it was the first day of Creation ... the day when the first of the princes of the tribes, Nachshon ben Aminadav, offered his sacrifice (in the Mishkan) ... the day when Aharon began his duties as a Kohen ... the first day of communal divine service ... the first day the Divine Fire descended from Heaven .. the first day the sanctified portions of the sacrifices were eaten only within sanctified limits ... the first day on which G-d's Presence dwelt among the people ... the first day the Kohanim blessed the people with 'Birkas ha Kohanim' ... the first day on which the use of private alters became prohibited ... and the first day of the beginning of the months." (Pages 480-1)

The Mishkan was given to us for redemption after our sins. Pesach was given to us for redemption after we had sunk to the forty ninth level of degradation. No matter how low we may have fallen personally or nationally - G-d forbid! - G-d has promised that He will come to rescue "My People and My possession, Israel." The nations of the world sink in the mud of cynicism and hopelessness, bowing down to idols of wood and stone, material cravings which lead only to the grave. They want us to fall into their fallacies and degradation. But "they slumped and fell and we arose and were invigorated!" (Psalm 20)

It is Rosh Chodesh Nisan, time for the Children of Israel to prepare for the Geulah Shelemah, the imminent coming of Moshiach ben Dovid and the Bais Hamikdosh, which will stand forever in splendor on the Holy Mountain, may we see it soon in our days!



Roy S. Neuberger

12 March 2010

Shabbat Shalom


BS"D

YESHIVAT HARA'AYON HAYEHUDI
Jerusalem, Israel
HaRav Yehuda Kreuser SHLIT"A, Rosh Yeshiva

PARSHAT VAYAKHEL-PEKUDEI/SHABBAT HACHODESH
27 Adar 5770/12-13 March 2010
WHO AND WHAT ARE REALLY PRECIOUS BEFORE G-D?
"And every wise-hearted man among you shall come and make all that the L-rd has commanded, the tabernacle, its tent and its cover, its clasp, and its board, its bar, its pillars, the table and its poles, and all its vessels, and the show bread, the candlesticks and its vessels, and its lamp, the altar . . "

Once again the Torah, in the last two parshiot of the book of Exodus, goes over the very detailed laws of the building of the Tabernacle and the making of the Priestly garments. The question that comes to mind is: Why, why would the Torah bother to once again go over all the details of the Tabernacle and garments and repeat who made them, "Bezalel ben Uri ben Chur", when we have just been told that in the past few parshiot? Why does the Torah repeat itself, especially in light of the fact that the Tabernacle, replaced by the Temple in Jerusalem, will never be built and used again?

We find something similar in the book of Genesis, when Abraham sent his servant, the Damascene, Eliezer to find a wife for his son Yitzchak. The Torah relates to us Eliezer's miraculous journey and his self-made test to find a suitable mate for Yitzchak. Then, as if we have never just heard the account, the Torah goes on and re-tells the story again, with all its details. Rashi comments that the acts of the Patriarchs are so dear to G-d that the Torah repeats them, while other principals in the Torah, complex as they may be, are only hinted at in the text.

We must conclude that the repeating of the works of the Tabernacle and the Priestly garments in our parshiot comes to teach us the endearment which the Creator of the world holds for these works. Not only are more than half of the Torah commandments connected directly or indirectly with the Temple service, but we also find that the Mishna teaches us that the world stands on three foundations: Torah study, kindness and the Priestly service.

It comes, then, as no surprise that we find in the books of Ezra and Nechemiah the list of the Jewish people who returned to the Land of Israel at the beginning of the Second Temple period. After being given permission by Koresh, king of Paras, to return and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem, the texts go on to list the families who came back home. Pathetically, they numbered only a faction of the entire population, most of who preferred to remain in the exiles. Interestingly, though, the text lists the names of each family that returned and their possessions: "Their horses were seven hundred and thirty six, their mules two hundred and forty five, their camels four hundred and thirty five . . . " (Ezra 2/66). Now, do we really care how many horses or camels they had, that it got listed in the Bible for all eternity??? The equivalent of this would be to list today the Cohen family, who came back to Israel from Baltimore, Maryland with their Chevrolet, does anyone care what car they brought with them when they made aliya? Doesn't seem to make much sense. Rather, once again we see how dear the returnees were to Hashem, that each individual family is listed with their possessions, for all eternity.

Even more astounding is the fact that these very same families that returned in Ezra's time were not really the cream of the crop, to say the least. The people who came from "Tel Melach" were called so because their deeds were like the deeds of the people of Sodom, hence the word "melach", which means salt. "Tel Charsha", which means "deaf", were called so because the people from that city were like deaf people who did not know who their father or mother were. There were Cana'anite slaves, mamzerim, priests who were unfit to work in the Temple service, and a great many who had married foreign wives. Still, the book of Ezra calls them "Cherub", which was the holy angel-like figure over the Ark of the Covenant in the Holy of Holies. The Talmud explains that in spite of the fact that these returnees were not very righteous, they were regarded before Hashem like the holy "Cherubim". Why? How is that possible? Because they returned to the Land of Israel and helped in the rebuilding of the Temple - they were cherished by G-d!

Well, you ask, what about all the others who stayed in Babylon and the other exiles, all those "righteous Jews"- like today, those who do not return to take part in the Redemption process have absolutely no part in it. All those who stayed were lost to the Jewish people within a few generations.

People, wake up! The Torah in our parsha repeats the all-important work of the Temple service to teach us just how important it is before He who Created this world. And Ezra lists the returnees to the Land in spiteof their debased deeds, because they are precious before Hashem. Want to be loved by Hashem? All it takes today is to get on that plane and come home.

Blessings,
Levi Chazen

The Goyim See It Coming...

WHY DON'T THE JEWS???

"Calling All Rebels"by Chris Hedges

There are no constraints left to halt America's slide into a totalitarian capitalism. Electoral politics are a sham. The media have been debased and defanged by corporate owners. The working class has been impoverished and is now being plunged into profound despair. The legal system has been corrupted to serve corporate interests. Popular institutions, from labor unions to political parties, have been destroyed or emasculated by corporate power. And any form of protest, no matter how tepid, is blocked by an internal security apparatus that is starting to rival that of the East German secret police. The mounting anger and hatred, coursing through the bloodstream of the body politic, make violence and counter-violence inevitable. Brace yourself. The American empire is over. And the descent is going to be horrifying.

Those singled out as internal enemies will include people of color, immigrants, gays, intellectuals, feminists, Jews, Muslims, union leaders and those defined as "liberals." They will be condemned as anti-American and blamed for our decline. The economic collapse, which remains mysterious and enigmatic to most Americans, will be pinned by demagogues and hatemongers on these hapless scapegoats. And the random acts of violence, which are already leaping up around the fringes of American society, will justify harsh measures of internal control that will snuff out the final vestiges of our democracy. The corporate forces that destroyed the country will use the information systems they control to mask their culpability. The old game of blaming the weak and the marginal, a staple of despotic regimes, will empower the dark undercurrents of sadism and violence within American society and deflect attention from the corporate vampires that have drained the blood of the country....


I visited the NEW Hurva




See the VIDEO.

10 March 2010

Daven Harder, Hashem is Listening

Yosef Banda Leaves Japan En-Route To Eretz Yisroel
Ten months following his sentencing in a Japanese court, one of the three Bochrim imprisoned in a harsh Japanese prison, Yosef Banda is scheduled to arrive in Eretz Yisrael on Wednesday evening, (March 10th), where he will serve the remainder of his sentence, according to numerous reports.
Knesset to Biden: Return Pollard for Pesach
(IsraelNN.com) The heads of most factions in the Knesset sent a letter to U.S. Vice President Joe Biden on Wednesday asking him to please shorten the sentence of Jonathan Pollard as a humanitarian gesture to the Jewish people for the Passover holiday.

09 March 2010

Redemption by 2015?

BY RABBI NACHMAN KAHANA:

BS"D
Parashat Ki Tisa
5770

The roots of this message are imbedded in the Megila and Tractate Megila, and, would seemingly have been more appropriate to send it before Purim. But since its massive trunk, intertwined boughs and thick foliage stretch far into the future, spanning 2500 years to our days, its relevance goes far and beyond the miracles of Purim.

I believe that the Purim episode holds within it the secrets of the final chapters in human history, and even their time frame.

The Gemara (Megila 7a) tells of Esther’s request that the miraculous salvation of the Jewish people and the events leading up to it be included in the TaNaCh (Bible) as its 24th book, to be an everlasting remembrance of our miraculous victory over the forces of Amalek.

The rabbis rejected her request, basing their rejection on a verse in Mishlay (Proverbs 24:20)

הלא כתבתי לך שלישים
For I Have written it (in the TaNaCh) three times

The rabbis explained to Esther that this verse is the basis of our tradition that victory over Amelek may be written in the TaNaCh only three times: - once in parashat Beshalach, the second also in the Torah in parashat Ki Taytzay, and the third in the Book of Samuel, where King Shaul vanquishes Amalek. Therefore we are prohibited from adding a fourth entry.

Eventually, Esther convinced the rabbis that the two victories mentioned in the Torah should be counted as one entry, the episode of King Shaul as the second entry, and the victory over Haman as the third.

The rabbis agreed; so today we have Megilat Esther as the 24th book of the TaNaCH.

The Gemara does not discuss the tradition that only three victories over Amalek may be written in the TaNaCh, because herein lies the hermetically sealed secret of how the final redemption will come about and when.

I would like to share with you my thoughts on what is behind this tradition, with the hope that these thoughts will be verified in the very near future.

That the three victories over Amalek is recorded in the TaNaCh - but no more - is intended to inform us that when Amalek will be defeated three times in the time frame of a 70 year life span, the final redemption of Am Yisrael will have arrived.

It has never yet happened in the history of nations that three evil empires fell in the short span of 70 years; since it takes hundreds of years for an empire to develop, to peak, become corrupt and then die.

But it is occurring right now in our generation of 70 years!

The 70 year count began in 1945 and will conclude in 2015.

In 1945 the Nazi leaders of Germany , unmistakably Amalek personalities, were defeated. Ten of them - the number of Haman’s sons - were sentenced to be hung; 9 were put to death by hanging with the tenth, Hermann Goering, escaping the gallows by committing suicide in his prison cell.

Forty six years later, in 1991, the leaders of the evil Soviet Union , also sons of Amalek, together with their anti-Semitic ideology, were discarded into the trash bin of history.

This leaves five years from now until the year 2015. In this period we shall see the destruction of another Amalek power.

Who will it be?

Perhaps It will be the Haman of the Koran spinning his hatred from Persia-Iran; or perhaps world Christianity or Islam; possibly all of them.

What makes this projection ever more interesting is the fact that the year 2015 corresponds to our calendar year of 5775, which in Hebrew is:

תשע"ה
which means salvation.

I submit this in full knowledge that, at the end of the day, all human calculations could be proven false in the face of what HaShem has in store for us.

05 March 2010

Shabbat Shalom

BS"D

YESHIVAT HARA'AYON HAYEHUDI
Jerusalem, Israel
HaRav Yehuda Kreuser SHLIT"A, Rosh Yeshiva

PARSHAT KI TISSA
20 Adar 5770/5-6 March 2010


THE GREAT DEBATE - EREV-RAV: YES OR NO?

"Hashem spoke to Moses, 'Go, descend, for your nation that you have brought up from Egypt has degenerated. They have strayed quickly from the way that I have commanded them."

Rashi is quick to point out that Torah tell us that it was the nation that you brought out of Egypt that has strayed from the path and built a golden calf. Should it not have been written: the nation has strayed from the path? What is the meaning of your nation? Was it Moses' nation and not G-d's nation that left Egypt? Rather, Rashi is informing us that the people responsible for the sin of the golden calf were the mixed multitudes known as the Erev-Rav: Those non-Jewish slaves that were also in slavery in Egypt and left with us. Hashem said to Moses at that time: You did not consult Me about whether they should join the exodus of the Jewish people or not, but you did it on your own. You said it is good that converts should cling to the Divine Presence, but they became degenerate and caused degeneracy among the Jewish people.

Then should these mixed multitudes, the Erev-Rav, be allowed to enter the community of the Jewish people? Was it a mistake on Moses' part to take the Erev-Rav with them? The Talmud teaches us that in Abraham's time Timna, the daughter of one of the chief leaders, wanted to join the Jewish people but Abraham's court rejected her. In the end, she became the concubine of Esau's eldest son, for she said: Better to be a maidservant to this people than a princess of another people. Apparently, Abraham was of the opinion that the time was not right for certain elements to join with us.

One who was of the opinion to bring in the mixed multitudes to the Jewish people was King Solomon. Solomon married one thousand wives, women from all the nations of the world, princesses, in order to spread the teachings of the Torah and bring the nations closer to Hashem. Unfortunately, as the Tanach teaches us, Solomon's attempt was not successful, "and when Solomon was old he burnt incense to idols." Our Rabbis are quick to point out that Solomon himself did not worship idols, but he did not rebuke his many wives for worshipping them. In the end, instead of Solomon influencing them, they influenced him.

A prime example of the nations joining with the Jewish people before the right time is the story that we find in the book of Joshua. The Gibeonites, a nation in the Jerusalem area, came to the Jewish people though trickery. Acting as if they came from a distant land, they force their way into a treaty with Joshua and the elders, thus joining the Jewish people. But in the time of king David, they showed their true colors and their trait of cruelty by having seven descendents of King Saul put to death. After seeing this, King David and his court rejected the Gibeonites, and forever decreed that they cannot join the Jewish people.

So great is the danger of the Erev-Rav that the Tikkunei Zohar writes: "And all the exile and destruction of the Temple and all the tribulations - it is all [the result] of Moshe Rabbeinu's accepting the Erev Rav, and all the brash and evil men of the generation are of them, that is to say from their souls, that they are an incarnation of them."

The Gra in Kol-Hator writes: "The Erev-Rav is our greatest foe, he is what separates the two Messiahs, the Erev-Rav operates only by deceit, and indirectly. Therefore the war against the Erev-Rav is the most difficult and most bitter, and we must use all our remaining forces to win this war. Whoever is not engaged in actively fighting the Erev-Rav becomes an automatic partner to the Erev-Rav, and whoever this may be, it would be better for him had he not been created."


Apparently the time for the Erev-Rav to join forces with us is not now; somewhere down the road, after the complete Redemption when the Jewish people will be a light unto the nations, it will be time to take them in. In the meantime, it is the Erev-Rav, like in Moses' time, who are doing all they can to stop the Redemption from taking place. Beware, for the danger is great!

In the words of the Safra ditz'ni'utha: G-d transplants them into every generation, and they are the bold-faced of the generation. Our Sages said that in the period of "Messiah's footsteps", impudence will become great... and the Erev-Rav will return to be the shepherds of Israel."

Blessings from Jerusalem,
Levi Hazen

04 March 2010

"Killer" Wave

SPAIN - 3/3/10 - A huge wave has slammed into a cruise ship carrying almost 2000 people in the Mediterranean, leaving two people dead and six injured. The FREAK WAVE "smashed windows in the lounge area" of the ship. The accident occurred on Wednesday evening off the coast of Spain's northeastern Catalonia region as the vessel was en route for the Italian port of Genoa. After the accident the captain rerouted the ship to the Spanish port of Barcelona, where it arrived late on Wednesday to evacuate the dead and injured. Five people were slightly injured while a 62-year-old woman was in serious condition with her both her legs broken.

The rogue waves were 26ft (8m) high. Three "abnormally high" waves broke windows in the front of the ship. "A wave broke the glass in the area of the saloon and water was taken on board." There had been winds of more than 100km/h (60 mph) in the area. [This is the latest in a rash of huge waves striking ships and coasts around the globe.]


Passenger on cruise ship: Wave ordeal terrifying
BARCELONA, Spain – Monstrous waves that smashed into a Mediterranean cruise ship flooded people's cabins, broke windows in a restaurant and sent terrified travelers screaming for doctors, passengers said Thursday....
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