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10 August 2010

JudeoXianity - Another Chapter

Have you heard the latest controversy? Giant Brazilian Temple Replica Panned as 'Mockery'

A church wants to build a full scale replica of the Holy Temple in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Doesn't Sao Paulo mean Saint Paul in Portuguese?) Complete with the Kedosh Hakedoshim, lehavdil, dedicated to the false Xian god.

We shouldn't be surprised that it has come to this. Since the apostate "messianic" Jews began introducing their gentile Xian brethren to Jewish ritual, interest in Israel and all things "Jewish" has been growing like crazy.

It used to be restricted to Stars of David, kippot, tallitot and shofarot. Then it advanced to tzitzit, tefillin, and siddurim. Now they're installing replicas of the Western Wall in their churches...

Those are some scary kids. Looks like they are in training to make the next round of crusades, G-d forbid! And let me remind you this is a gentile church. These are not Jews! You can see Becky Fischer in the video. She runs the J*sus Camp.

Some people think this is all good, that it means the Xians are beginning to see the truth and the beauty of Judaism. But is that really the case? Or is it just another means to their same end---the conversion of the Jews to faith in their man-god?


09 August 2010

The Cup Has Been Passed

"For there is a cup [of punishment] in Hashem's hand, with strong wine of full mixture which overflows from this [cup] only [until] its dregs shall they drain and drink---all the wicked of the earth." (Tehillim 75.9)

"Awaken, awaken, arise, Jerusalem, for you have drunk from the hand of the Lord the cup of His wrath; the dregs of the cup of weakness you have drained. ...So said your Master, the Lord, and your God Who shall judge His people, "Behold, I took from you the cup of weakness; the dregs of the cup of My wrath-you shall no longer continue to drink it. And I will place it into the hand of those who cause you to wander, who said to your soul, 'Bend down and let us cross,' and you made your body like the earth and like the street for those who cross." (Yeshayahu 51.17, 22-23)

Russia's devastating summer heatwave has cost almost 5,000 lives, according to officials who conceded yesterday that the state was struggling to gain control over the worst wildfires in decades.


Russia, the world's third wheat exporter, Thursday banned grain exports for the next four-and-a-half months due to a record drought that has destroyed millions of hectares (acres) of its land.


The worst flooding in Pakistan's history has now affected more than four million people and left at least 1,600 dead, says the UN.


At least 15 people have been killed and thousands of others have been evacuated as heavy rain and flooding disrupt traffic and cause power outages in central Europe. Polish officials announced on Sunday that at least three people have been killed after rivers overflew and a dam burst, submerging towns in southwestern Poland.


The U.S. might be experiencing a hot, hot summer, but south of the border, things couldn't be more different. Latin America's southernmost regions are shivering through the coldest winter in decades, which has left vast swaths of Argentina and Brazil with snow, and caused millions of freshwater fish to freeze to death in Bolivia.

To get an idea of how unusual this icy snap is, you just have to take a look at the weather records of Argentina's capital Buenos Aires. It's snowed there three times since 1918 -- and two of those dustings have taken place in the past month. (The other was in July 2007). But while the city has gotten off relatively lightly during the current big freeze -- it's only experienced a light spattering of snow so far -- the country's Andean and Patagonian provinces have been buried under 3 feet of snow. Dozens of villages have been cut off by the vast drifts, which have killed an unknown number of livestock and ruined thousands of acres of crops.


One of Indonesia's most active volcanoes erupted Friday, sending lava and a searing gas cloud tumbling down its slopes.


New NASA airborne radar images of Southern California near the U.S.-Mexico border show Earth's surface is continuing to deform following the April 4 magnitude, 7.2 temblor and its many aftershocks that have rocked Mexico's state of Baja California and parts of the American Southwest.


A group of researchers studied the effects of the massive earthquake that jolted [Chile] in February, killing almost 500 people. ...They said the 8.8-magnitude earthquake was "the fifth largest event in modern seismology".


Dangerous rip currents fueled by Tropical Storm Colin continue to bash the coast. Heavy surf and dangerous side shore currents have kept rescuers off the stands and in the water throughout the day. With Tropical Storm Colin at a near standstill near the island of Bermuda it looks as though Sunday may see even worse currents still.


The number of people killed or missing in devastating floods across China so far this year has risen to nearly 1,700, the government said Wednesday, warning the situation could still get worse.


Landslides and floods triggered by torrential rain have engulfed a town in north-western China, killing at least 127 people and leaving 1,300 missing.


Russian health officials are warning people in Moscow to stay inside and avoid physical exertion as smog from the worst wildfires in modern Russian history smothers the city.


A magnitude 5.3 earthquake hit southern Iran on Saturday morning, the U.S. Geological Survey said, a day after another moderate quake in the country's northeast left 170 people injured.


A wildfire that scorched almost 14,000 acres in Northern Los Angeles County continued to threaten thousands of homes Saturday, although fire officials said they appeared to be gaining the upper hand in the days-long battle.


A state of calamity declared at the end of May by the government was extended for another 30 days due to the grave damages caused by the eruption of the Pacaya Volcano and tropical storm Agatha that left 166 dead and displaced thousands.


The Volcán Irazú shook and shook and shook - a total of 31 times - between 5am and 11am on Thursday, though only one of the tremors was perceived by the population, registering 3.1 on the Richter scale.


Large parts of the United States faced another day of extreme weather yesterday, with temperatures in the capital and on the Southeast coast forecast to be near or above 38 degrees Celsius and more storms likely in the mid-Atlantic and Ohio Valley regions.


NASA-funded researchers are monitoring a big event in our planet's atmosphere. High above Earth's surface where the atmosphere meets space, a rarefied layer of gas called "the thermosphere" recently collapsed and now is rebounding again.


Waves of thunderstorms rolled through the Metro Saturday night. High winds and hail caused major damage to parts of Minnesota. Nearly 16,000 Metro households are still without power. ... at least eight tornadoes were reported by trained spotters.... There were reports of hail as big as softballs in some areas.


A spell of extreme cold weather has brought ice and snow to much of Argentina, killing at least nine. Most of the victims were homeless people.... The cold front moving up from Antarctica has caused temperatures to plunge across the southern cone region of South America. Deaths have also been reported in Paraguay, Uruguay and Bolivia.


"And the earth quaked and roared, the foundations of the earth shook, they trembled when His wrath flared." (Tehillim 18.7)

"God is for us a refuge and strength, a help in distress, very accessible. Therefore, we shall not be afraid when the earth is transformed, and at mountains collapse in the heart of the seas; when its waters rage and are muddied, mountains quake in His majesty." (Tehillim 46.2-4)
(With thanks to Global Disaster Watch for the links.)

08 August 2010

An Answer to the Question...

"Where did the oil go?"

Items of Interest

Interesting that today's main headline in the American news is the execution of six Western missionaries by the Taliban. I say interesting because this week's parsha, Parshat Re'eh, instructs us as follows:

(Devarim 13:7-12 )...If your brother, the son of your mother, tempts you in secret or your son, or your daughter, or the wife of your embrace, or your friend, who is as your own soul saying, "Let us go and worship other gods, which neither you, nor your forefathers have known." Of the gods of the peoples around you, [whether] near to you or far from you, from one end of the earth to the other end of the earth; You shall not desire him, and you shall not hearken to him; neither shall you pity him, have mercy upon him, nor shield him. But you shall surely kill him, your hand shall be the first against him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people. And you shall stone him with stones so that he dies, because he sought to lead you astray from the Lord, your God, Who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. And all Israel shall listen and fear, and they shall no longer do any evil such as this in your midst.

This is a very difficult topic, but we can not allow ourselves to think that we will be more merciful than our Creator. We are obligated under the covenant to obey His instructions explicitly. If we want to prepare for Mashiach, we need to look seriously at our own willingness to live with the consequences of a restored Torah regime and a rebuilt Beit HaMikdash.
Of course, the western press highlights the humanitarian self-sacrifice of these workers and assures us that they were non-proselytizing. But, all one has to do is go to a website or a blog where such people discuss their experiences abroad in the "mission field" and you will immediately read the reports of their successes in wooing people over to their false god. And their motives are not so selfless after all as this is how they believe that they earn their Olam Haba.
To be enslaved to a false religion and to lead others astray is a tragedy all around.
Then, for the second Shabbat in a row, a high-profile American Jew has made a very public desecration of the Shabbat.

"Elena Kagan was sworn in Saturday as the 112th justice and fourth woman ever to serve on the Supreme Court."
Last Shabbat Marc Mezvinsky wore a tallit and stood under a quasi-chuppah and intermarried with a shiksa. If I were a Jew living in America I would duck and cover about this time. Just how much more is Hashem going to continue to take?

Compare that to this amazing story about the "Mezuzah Rebbe," Rav Moshe ben Tov, who was niftar last week. It is taken from the 17 Av 5770 issue of Mishpacha magazine as told by Reb Yomtov Friedman of Flatbush...
"The first time he came to America, he came not as a poel yeshuos but to be machazek Yidden, to inspire them to cherish the mitzvah of mezuzah. We picked him up at the airport, and he spoke words of Torah throughout our trip to Brooklyn. We were amazed: an older man, on his first trip to America, yet the skyline and passing scenery meant nothing to him. His eyes were lowered until we reached our home. My wife had prepared refreshments for him, but he did not eat. 'If from Shamayim they arranged that I should have to leave Eretz Yisrael,' he explained, 'then there must be some area in which I need tikun, so I am fasting today, the day I left Eretz Yisrael.' "
Marrying into the top of goyische American society or attaining the top of the political ladder in the American government is just so much ashes and bitterness when compared to the loftiness of this Yerushalmi Tzadik's soul, may his memory forever be a blessing.
Shavua tov!

06 August 2010

Update on the Oil Gusher

BP says its "static kill" was a success and the government is reporting that all that nasty oil is gone now, so the summer can end on a high note. Or can it? Take a look at the graphic below which illustrates the damage likely caused by BP's hubris, mismanagement and obfuscations.

(Click to enlarge.)

05 August 2010

My Vacation Day

I work for an Orthodox institution which has shortened hours during chol hamoed Pesach and Sukkot and during Hanukah. Consequently, I usually end up using my vacation time to cover those lost hours and it doesn't leave over much for a summer vacation. Today was the day I chose for my one summer vacation day. Guess where I went!

Question: Where do you go on vacation when the world's most spectacular spot is in your own backyard?

Answer: You vacation in your own backyard, of course!

For the price of a 15 min, $1.50 bus ride, I can travel right to the center of the world. And I can do it any day of the week, 365 days a year. What a deal, huh?

I'm a Yerushalmi. Out of the abundance of His mercy and His kindness, Hashem brought me up to live close to Him in His palace---His Holy City Yerushalayim.

Today, instead of soaking up the sun on the beach in Tel Aviv, I decided to soak up some kedusha. Also, instead of rushing through the city like I usually do, I played tourist and walked slowly, taking in all the sights with a fresh perspective. It really is a very beautiful city. G-d forbid that I should ever take her (or my place within her) for granted! Thank you, Hashem!!

I took the number 60 bus from the center of town to the entrance to Mamilla. I tried to take a picture to show you and that's how I discovered that my camera's batteries had died.

(Take a 3-D virtual tour of it HERE.)

I walked through the new Mamilla outdoor mall with all its fancy, expensive shops since I had not done so since its opening. I found that all I had been missing were the vast collection of immodest graven images on display throughout the promenade and a huge church with crosses that overlooks it.

The entrance through Shaar Yafo is still under some kind of construction and the Arab shuk on David St is still congested with tourists. Some things don't change. I sat in the shade of some palm trees near the Cardo to make some notes for this post and perused the local bulletin board out of force of habit. I'm always on the lookout for housing in the Old City. Just my luck, there was an ad for a 2.5 room apartment for ONLY 1.5 million sheqels.

I wandered around the Jewish Quarter for a bit and happened upon a musical group performing for a bar mitzvah crowd. It was really cool so I decided it would be worthwhile to buy new batteries and make a video to share with you. By the time I got back, it was just breaking up. Oh well!

Next I visited my favorite bookstore---Moriah---in the Rova. I replaced a book I had given away and bought two new ones, both by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan. Can't wait to get started on them. Yummy spiritual food!! And speaking of food…

I chose a nice Mehadrin shwarma place for lunch that looked out on the new Hurva Synagogue. Shwarma b'pita im humus v'çharif (rak ktsat), gam chatzilim aval b'li salatim, toda. I don’t trust anyone in any public eatery to actually wash the outsides of their vegetables, so I take my shwarma with humus and a bit of hot sauce and fried eggplant without salads. I watched the steady activity out on the Rova Plaza, the open area in the middle of the Jewish Quarter. There were lots of obviously Israeli families with young kids. That made me really happy. The steady stream of Arab women cutting through the Jewish Quarter to get to Kfar Shiloach didn't.

The descent to the Kotel is lovely this time of year.
Say hello to the Temple Menorah on the way down. And may Hashem make us zoche to watch it being moved into its future permanent home within the Temple precincts!

Then it was time to take care of the King's business. Time to daven Minchah, which unlike Shacharit, is a pleasure because the Kotel is in direct sun and it's very hot (93/34 today) and consequently, there are much fewer people there; no trouble at all getting face time with the last remnant of the wall that supported our Holy Temple.
Then there are those who don't need to stand and wait for room to open up.
On the way out, I heard some singing coming from the men's side and thought I might still get some sounds of Yerushalayim on video for those of you who are far away.

This is a look back up towards the Jewish Quarter from the way out of the Kotel Plaza to the buses. One is the new Aish Building and the other shows the historic Porat Yosef Yeshiva.

This sight was a bit jarring. At the entrance to the Davidson Center, a large plasma screen with video has been installed. I have to say that I did not appreciate this juxtaposition of ancient and modern.
I only waited a few minutes for a bus and then twenty minutes later I was back at my door. All in all a very nice little vacation. I hope you enjoyed it, too!

(PS. Click on any picture for a larger, clearer image.)

04 August 2010

Solar Storm

Our local star blew us a kiss yesterday to remind us of the Creator's power and majesty.

Drudge called it a "Solar Tsunami." provides these details...

"On August 1st, the entire Earth-facing side of the sun erupted in a tumult of activity. There was a C3-class solar flare, a solar tsunami, multiple filaments of magnetism lifting off the stellar surface, large-scale shaking of the solar corona, radio bursts, a coronal mass ejection and more.

...A coronal mass ejection (CME) hit Earth's magnetic field on August 3rd at 1740 UT. The impact sparked a G2-class geomagnetic storm that lasted nearly 12 hours--time enough for auroras to spread all the way from Europe to North America.

...The solar storm of August 1st sent two CMEs toward Earth. The first one arrived yesterday, August 3rd, sparking mild but beautiful Northern Lights over Europe and North America. The second CME is still en route. NOAA forecasters estimate a 35% chance of major geomagnetic storms when the cloud arrives on August 4th or 5th."

Here is a nice vid that explains about CMEs:

03 August 2010

What's Going on in Russia?

Have you heard anything of what is going on in Russia?

...Wildfires raging across central Russia claimed 34 lives and blanketed cities in a smoky haze as drought and record heat cut crop yields, driving wheat prices as much as 19 percent higher last week.

About 156,000 firefighters are battling 693 blazes on more than 120,000 hectares (463 square miles), according to the Emergency Situations Ministry. Since the start of the fire season, 565,737 hectares have been consumed by flames, the ministry said in an e-mailed statement today.

In many regions, including Moscow, July was the hottest month since records began 130 years ago, and the heat wave will last at least through the end of this week,....

...Industrial output may also suffer in July and August from extreme weather, VTB Capital’s Evtifyeva and Dmitry Fedotkin said in an e-mailed note today. “In particular, major automakers have announced summer breaks due to the extreme weather conditions.”

Last week, state-run automaker OAO AvtoVAZ suspended production because of the heat.


The cost of the damage caused by forest fires that have hit European Russia amid the ongoing heatwave is now preliminarily estimated at 5 billion rubles and is likely to increase further, Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin told reporters on July 31.


Russia's drought threatens sowing for next crop

01 August 2010

The Happy Chatan - A Sad Picture

If you don't already know him, meet Marc Mezvinsky. He's an American Jew. Mother is a former NBC reporter and former Congresswoman. Father is a former Congressman, convicted of 31 counts of fraud in 2001, released in 2008 to a halfway house. There are ten siblings.

He was married on Shabbat Parshat Eikev in an interfaith ceremony, officiated by Rabbi James Ponet and the Rev. William Shillady, to the daughter of former President Bill and current Secretary of State Hilary Clinton---Chelsea Clinton, a Methodist.

Reports say the program included "friends and family reading the Seven Blessings, which are typically recited at traditional Jewish weddings following the vows and exchange of rings."

In the photos, he's wearing a kippa and a tallit. Someone should have explained to him what the fringes on the corners stand for.

It makes one wonder why he chooses to identify as a Jew at all. And if he does, why does he not care enough to ensure that his children will be Jews?

(Sorry we had to cut the bride out of the picture, her wedding dress was not tzanuah.)