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29 July 2011

"Hit Hard"

27 Tamuz 5771

About June 11th, the autistic messages reported the following:

"The majority of the Jews abroad are not waking up, but in the very near future, they will get hit hard. And I hope that they will wake up. And also, here – the majority of the Jews are not waking up, and also here they will get hit, but not like abroad. "

What could be harder than Jew on Jew murder in the frum community?

One month after that message was given, on July 11, 2011, 9 year-old Leiby Kletsky went missing in Boro Park, Brooklyn in New York. His dismembered body was found two days later after a massive search effort by the Jewish community and rescue services. Jews worldwide had been praying for his safe return.

We read in subsequent reports how the murderer, a member of the frum community, had helped in the search and even attended a wedding after the kidnapping, but before killing his victim.

Two weeks later, on July 28th, this time in Israel, Rabbi Elazar Abuchatzeira of Beer Sheva has been murdered and if initial reports are to be believed, the murderer was a frum Jew known to the rabbi. One report quotes Israel's Chief Rabbi Yona Mtzger saying, "I believe such a shocking thing has never happened before."

There is no question in my mind that this is a clear fulfillment of the words of the autistic children. Is there any yirei Shamayim out there who is not wide awake after this? The real question, however, is will we listen to the entire message and follow the advice we've been given or will we continue to suffer further consequences of ignoring Hashem's efforts to get our attention?

Shabbat Shalom.

28 July 2011

July Message from the Autistic Children - Pt 2

26 Tamuz 5771

(See Pt 1 here.)

Moishele's message continues...

...The end is really close. And not only the Jews know this, the gentiles also know. Am Yisrael, soon, do you hear? SOON! Get your accounts in order with Heaven, because there is no time. Do an accounting with HKB”H so there shouldn’t be any surprises for you, so it won’t be difficult for you. Return to the truth. Even the tzadikim need to do an accounting; even the righteous. All Am Yisrael, the whole world stands in judgment now. Also, the animals, also nature, also the sky and the earth and people. And the most important in the people: Am Yisrael. We will all stand in judgment before the Creator and He will judge us. Now, at this minute, we have to begin to do serious teshuva, and spare ourselves from very much suffering. Again, this is soonest. In the near future, much greater suffering will begin and will arrive also to Eretz Yisrael. Are there questions?

Q.How do we begin to do teshuva like this?

A.Sit down and make a list of all your sins that you know you have done and all your bad tendencies and do teshuva for each and every one before HKB”H. Pray for Am Yisrael to pass through this easily. You need to say a lot of vidui. It’s desirable to say vidui also within your prayers. Teshuva, teshuva, teshuva. And this is teshuva and this is the solution to everything.

I came only to tell these things, and I want to say to you that everything that I’ve said is true, and a giant danger stands before us in the nearest future. Hashem wants us to regret very much all our sins from all the generations, from all the gilgulim, and we will be ready again to receive the Torah, to trust completely in Hashem and not to fear. The difficult test that stands before us now in the near future will be: not to fear. To trust in Hashem, to trust in Hashem and not to be afraid. And this will be a difficult test, hard, very hard. If for the Jews who left Mitzrayim it was difficult to trust Hashem to such an extent that the vast majority couldn’t leave, and died, then this test will be at least twice as hard, but do not fear. Whoever trusts in Hashem and doesn’t fear will succeed to pass through this relatively easily. The end will be so sweet, and so good, there exist no words in this world of ours today to describe it.


Ahar’le

I want to say to you, Oy, oy! What is waiting for us! And this scares me very much, all the time. You all know that I am a coward, fearing very much the wars. The war. War, war. And this is very scary. Also here in the Land there will be war. And I want to say not only in the Land. It will indeed be hard here, but in the world, it will really be the scariest. Really massive destruction. And people will really kill themselves, really will kill themselves in multitudes and will go from the world. And not only people, even whole countries will disappear and be completely destroyed. And Hashem will bring down upon the world fear and destruction straight from Heaven.

People think that they are the rulers, and that their so-called excellent weapons are able to destroy. But HKB”H will show them that only He is able to destroy. And He will destroy them together with everything: with the animals, with the trees, with the stones, everything will be completely destroyed, but before the greatest evildoers will die, they will say that HKB”H is the Master of the World, and HE is the Truth. And then they will disappear from reality, will disappear and will not return, and will not exist in any place in creation. Prepare, because it will begin in the near future. It will begin on low heat and will go and grow to amazing things.

Q. How will this come to fruition in the Land?

A. I cannot say, but you will see for yourselves, and you will see all the liars here in this Land, all the evildoers; all the evildoers that are so-called Jews. There will be war here and there will be war abroad. But abroad, it will be the kind of destruction where it will be impossible to live there afterwards.

Q. What’s with the Jews abroad?

A. The majority of the Jews abroad are not waking up, but in the very near future, they will get hit hard. And I hope that they will wake up. And also, here – the majority of the Jews are not waking up, and also here they will get hit, but not like abroad. Darkness, darkness, darkness, there will not be electricity, there won’t be water…and not only that, it won’t be possible to bring food from the shops or nothing, and no gas for the cars, and the biggest problem is with the water.

(To be continued...)

27 July 2011

Glenn Beck's Christian Agenda

26 Tamuz 5771

A few days ago, I gave you proof that Glenn Beck believes he is on a mission from God. In his video anouncing the 8/24 Restoring Courage event, he seems to be implying that he is standing as a prophet to the world.

"...What God commands to be said by his prophets of old, this August, I will stand, where he has always been, in the ancient walls of the city of Jerusalem."

Is this what is driving his fixation on the Temple Mount?

"...It is time to return inside the walls that surround Jerusalem and stand with people of all faiths, ..." (Glenn Beck announces rally, Ynet, 17 May 2011)
What's that "return" about? "Return?"

"...Jesus taught day after day in the Temple there and performed miracles there. He was crucified outside of the city and he rose again from the dead IN THAT CITY."
(Glenn Beck Israel Trip Report, Part 1)

"...I never work on the Sabbath unless your 'ox is in the mire' ...

You probably didn't get that reference. It's from the New Testament. And according to Beck, the "Sabbath" is on Sunday.

"...or it is the Lord’s work and telling the truth about Israel and about love and about Him is His work. "

How is Beck gonna "tell the truth" about God when his only knowledge is of the Mormon God or is it really Yeshu he is referring to? No matter. To Christians, it's all the same.

"...we’re going to do a program that will be in Jerusalem in the place where Pontius Pilate was...."

How cool is that? This is the Roman governor who sat to judge the charges brought against Yeshu by the Jews and made a show of washing his hands of the whole affair when he found no fault in him.

"...if you’re a Christian, gather with Jewish people..... This is a real Christian event, so it might make some people uncomfortable....that I promise you will blow your mind when you see what we’re doing. I’m not kidding you. I’m standing at the southern wall of the Temple Mount. Behind me is the Al Aksa Mosque. The windows were open the day that I went and you can see into the Al Aksa Mosque. Um, as I’m standing here, [demonstrating with his hands] a little farther than this wall is that wall of the Al Aksa Mosque. About where that exit sign is [pointing right] is where Jesus turned the tables over in the Temple [demonstrating]. Over here on these stairs [pointing left] is where Jesus was found teaching. "

With Glenn's help, the Christians will now have a brand new holy site---the southern wall of the Temple Mount, God forbid!

"...It is an amazing, amazing site. we, people of faith, of ALL faiths will stand together and serve You and protect against injustice. ...Who will stand up and say, 'I’m sorry, I have no horse in this race, [pointing up] except HIM.' And I will stand as a shield for anyone against injustice. It will be a life-changing event.
(Video: Glenn previews the events of “Restoring Courage”)


And no doubt, Beck will serve as the High Priest of this ecumenical, interfaith service.

"...If you're Christian, you're not going in there [Dome of the Rock]...which is probably a good thing because if you did, perhaps you would learn something. Maybe, too much. Inside the Dome of the Rock, and there are no official, legal pictures inside the Dome of the Rock, but inside, there are almost 800 feet of Arabic inscriptions that date back to the late 7th century conquest and here is what some of it reads, quoting: "People of the Book," that would be the people of the Bible, "do not go beyond the bounds in your religion, nor say anything about the truth about God. The messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was only God's messenger, His word that He committed to Mary and a spirit proceeding from Him. So believe in God and His messengers. Do not say three. Refrain, for it is better for you. For God is only one God. Glory be to Him, that He should have a son.

...The writing on the outside, for all the world to see, proclaims a message to Christians: "There is one God. There is no God, but God alone, without partner." That would be the trinity. "He is God, one God, the everlasting who has not begotten and who has not been begotten." Understand? He has no children and He certainly does not have a partner or a son."

(Video: Glenn Beck Israel Trip Report, Part 2)

Whoa! I don't think Glenn has a lot of sympathy for the Muslim view of his man-god.

"...The most holy sites on the planet are there. Ask yourself this question: Do you believe that when they are in Arab control, like those big Buddhist statues with the Taliban, that they will remain open and safe? We have the Western Wall; the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, it's where Jesus was apparently killed and buried and rose again;the Mount of Olives; the place of the Last Supper; the Temple Mount; the foundation stone.... They are attacking us in the name of religion....

"I met a man named Rabbi Riskin...he's under attack...because in his position, rabbis don't usually meet with Christians and talk about Ezekiel, but he's reaching out as much as he can and there are many people in Israel who are doing that. Rabbi Riskin told me he is convinced that God is asking him to gather people of all faiths to stand together...I believe the same thing." (Video: Glen Beck 05 16 2011)

Glenn Beck describes Jerusalem split into four parts, as is currently the case, and Israel as the guardian of everyone's holy places, as the ideal situation. His goal is to protect Christianity's interests in the Old City from a Muslim takeover in September. Sounds like a repeat of the Crusades to me. Maybe that is what he meant by "return" to Jerusalem?

He made a big thing out of this particular site being, well, basically, chosen for him by God.

"...When I picked this location, I didn't pick it. I truly believe that it was selected for me. I don't think I really had a choice. Everyone advised me - no, no, no - it can't be done, and I said, let's just try and all of the doors were open to us and in a remarkable fashion...."
(Video: 'Glenn Beck announces changes in plan for 8/24 Israel event)

And then, supposedly, security pointed out the danger of holding the event in the shadow of Al Aksa Mosque during the month of Ramadan. There was even an allusion to Yitzchak Rabin's assassination. How that figures in is anybody's guess, a hint at rightwing extremists? Hey! They're all friends with Glenn Beck! Anyway, he announced a change of venue and now today, the big news is.... It's back on for the Temple Mount!!

"...We had told you that we were not going to do it at the Temple Mount. There was a lot of push back and a lot of things that had happened. And so we would not do it at the most sacred space on planet Earth, the southern steps, the southern excavation site of the Temple Mount.

"...I'd like to announce today that on 8/24, Restoring Courage is going to be held at the southern steps of the Temple Mount, EXACTLY AS PLANNED. ...On 8/24, I will be standing with courage at the Temple Mount. ...When I announced a couple of weeks ago that we were not gonna do it at the Temple Mount and we were gonna look for another place, quite honestly, what happened to me is, I felt as soon as we did that, I felt all of the power of this event leave. And I felt...I said, something's just wrong. We have to do it at the Temple Mount. ...When we have people of other faiths come to us and say, "It HAS to be there. You MUST have it there," we agree, we agree."
(Video: Glenn announces new location for 'Restoring Courage')

Get a load of who all's coming so far: "...the biggest spiritual leaders from all over the world (at the all-Christian kick-off event on 8/21); ... politicians; four presidential candidates; 30 to 40 national figures from the political realm of the US alone, not counting mayors or governors. Seventy political representatives from around the world..., as well as citizen delegations from 100 countries, including Bahrain.... More than that I cannot reveal." (JPost)

They are inviting individuals from all the countries of the world to come and stand with their nation's flag at the southern approach to the Holy Temple Mount. Maybe Glenn Beck is Gog and this is a rather different invasion from what we have historically envisioned.

In any case, Beck assures us in his video that he is not aiming to start World War Three. That makes me feel so much better.

26 July 2011

July Message from the Autistic Children - Pt 1

24 Tamuz 5771

THE NEXT STAGE – THE GEULAH

Moisheleh

I want to tell you that I rarely sleep and eat lately, because I can not enjoy anything when I know that humans, creation of the Almighty, will go through such hard situations – so hard – so… I do not know what word to use to describe what is standing before all mankind: the destruction, death, huge dangers and situations that never occurred in our world. And of course, wars. And wars have begun, but there will be wars that ultimately will be very different from what we are used to.

God created the world. He created man and the world so completely, in every detail. And man would be perfect, and live forever, without the trouble of this world, and without all the problems of this world. There are people who want to be “like God,” but not the good characteristics – but really in His stead – sitting on the throne in His place, so to speak. And so we’ve arrived after so many years to a situation where the person is still trying to be instead of G-d. And in contrast, the righteous are trying to follow God in all His good traits and all things that the Torah dictates to us.

But the evil ones want to take over. Take over and drag people from the truth to falsehood. They want to destroy the good – and increase the evil. Because evil is the opposite of good. And this good is HKB”H. And they believe it is possible to fight against God, God forbid and forever. But God allows them to think and act until all the evil comes to the top completely, until everyone can see clearly what is falsehood and what is evil. It is amazing that already so many years that man more or less thought that he’s taking over this world and that in reality, he was successful in going down stage by stage until the abyss, and ultimately evil will finish itself off and the good, that is the least, will grow and fill the world.

Jews are the best, but only the real Jews and not the Erev Rav. And even among the Jews, there will remain only a few, but the best. And they will be the basis of the next world – the world of Mashiach – of the Beit Hamikdash and korbanot, etc.

In a short time, we’ll face the most difficult trials worldwide and also, in Israel. Do not be afraid. And I’m talking only to the real Jews: Do not be afraid! God will give you everything you need. Hashem will watch over all the real Jews. When I write “real,” it does not mean Jews who can show their pedigree to the world. Even a Jew with a pedigree can be Erev Rav. And every Jew who was standing on Mount Sinai is a real Jew, but that does not mean that everyone stood on Mount Sinai. There are Jews who are sure they are real Jews, observe mitzvot, study Torah, but there’s only one problem: they go against the truth; which is exactly the sign. They took the Torah and confused interpretations to fit it to what they want. And I know that what I just said is very dangerous, because the Erev Rav can now say “Wow! Sure what we are doing is the truth!”

Jews who are trying to get to the truth through turning to Yiddishkeit as it once was, true Yiddishkeit, these are Jewish souls, usually; any Jew who really wants the truth, not so-called “truth” according to the majority of Jews. Let’s give examples: Jews seeking heterim for clear halachot that heterim are not possible, like for example heterim about modesty – this is, of course, Erev Rav. Jews that condemn each other and cause serious disputes, or informers to the government or social services or various other things like this, they can’t be Jews! The Jewish heart can’t do a thing like this. It’s known that in our period of time the majority of the Jews are Erev Rav and there’s no one at all who can deny this because it was already written by the hands of Gedolei HaDor from previous years, in generations before ours, written clearly. There is a man indeed that is really Jewish, but he belongs to society and is therefore confused.. Still, he does not have the evil inclination, the evilness of the Erev Rav. And we feel the difference between confused ones and evil ones. The evil ones adopt all the bad things, and the confused ones go along with them because of the confusion, but ultimately they will arrive at the truth. However, the Erev Rav can under no circumstances arrive at the truth. So, prepare for the most difficult times and pray and return in teshuva sin by sin, because the end is really close.

(To be continued...)

25 July 2011

Who is a "Righteous Gentile?"

23 Tamuz 5771


This is similar to the question which continues to plague Israel---Who is a Jew? There are those who like to say, so-and-so may not be halachicly Jewish, but he would have qualified for the gas chamber in Hitler's Germany.

While that is tragic, it is not a reason to abandon the halacha. Hitler, y"sh does not define for us who is a Jew. Only Hashem does. To allow the Nazis to define Jewishness is to allow them to continue the shmad against us by other means and for all time. And just as we do not allow them to define who is a Jew, neither do we allow Yad Vashem to define who is a righteous Gentile.

Despite that Yad Vashem confers "righteous" status on Gentiles who assisted Jews, even to saving their lives, during the holocaust, we are duty-bound to employ the halachic criteria because while we may owe a debt of gratitude to such people, it is the Master of the World who defines this status and it is judged based on the person's relationship to HASHEM, not to Jews.

Today, this is a terribly misunderstood subject and it is causing no dearth of trouble for Am Yisrael as a result. Today, anyone who is "pro-Israel" is called a righteous Gentile, even down to those who would ocnvert us all to their idolatry if given half a chance. It's not only wrong, it cheapens the demands it requires of those who truly earn it. It is a slap in the face to all truly righteous Gentiles, who often have made great personal sacrifices to attain that level. We owe it to them and to the truth and we owe it to Hashem to set the record straight.

Again, "Jew" and "righteous Gentile" are legal statuses defined by Jewish Law as handed down from the Creator at Har Sinai. We are not free, out of some false sense of obligation or gratitude, to move the boundaries Hashem has set in His limitless wisdom.

Before getting into what makes one a "stam" goy and another a "righteous goy," I ought to address another issue which coincides with this. Perhaps, before we can distinguish between goy and goy, we ought first to understand what separates the goy and the Jew. Is there a real distinction or are we "all brothers in the family of Mankind?"

Let's hear Rabbi David Bar Chayim on the subject: The Distinction between Jews and Gentiles in Torah

Introduction

Over the past few years, there has been a recognizable trend amongst different circles in the religious community -- a humanistic/universal inclination. There are many who have written in praise of love, “for all men who were created in the image of G-d.” We have even been “graced” with a pamphlet of this name, Chaviv Adam Sh’nivra B’tzelem, composed and edited by Mr. Yochanan Ben Ya’acov, the Director General of the Bnei Akiva Youth Movement. The explicit goal of those who share this outlook is to prove that all men are equal, that it is forbidden to discriminate against any man on the basis of his race, and that anyone who claims the opposite is nothing but a racist, distorting the words of the Torah in order to fit them to his “dreadful” opinions.

...As will be further clarified, this outlook completely contradicts the Torah of Moses, and stems from an absolute lack of knowledge, permeated with foreign Western “values.” There would not be any need to respond were it not for the many who are mistaken and lead astray by it.

This outlook has even been expressed by some rabbis whose goal is to show how great and important the stature of the Gentile is in our Torah, and who thereby violate the truth by taking things out of context and inaccurately interpreting the words of Chazal and the Rishonim.


(Space does not allow. See the list of halachot which distinguish between Jews and Gentiles here.)

In the book "Derech Hashem," part 2, section 4, the Ramchal explained at length the difference between Israel and the nations of the world:

One of the deepest concepts of G-d's providence involves Israel and the other nations. With regards to their basic human characteristics, the two appear exactly alike. From the Torah's viewpoint, however, the two are completely different, and are treated as ones belonging to completely different genera…

Before Adam sinned, he was on a level much higher than contemporary man… In that state, man was on a very lofty level, fit for a high degree of eternal excellence…He would have then sired future generations while still in that state of excellence. Their number would be accurately determined by G-d's wisdom, depending on how those enjoying His good should best be perfected...

However, when Adam sinned, he fell from his original high level, and brought upon himself a great degree of darkness and insensitivity…. Mankind in general also fell from its original height, and remained on a degraded level…He was thus only prepared and receptive to a much lower level, and it was in this state that his children were born…they were all born into this degraded state…


Until Avraham Avinu who raised himself back up to the higher level through his spiritual work and earned the right to pass this trait on to his progeny through Yitzchak and Yaaqov. Thereafter, his physical descendants and any individuals from among the nations who followed Avraham's path and raised themselves up to his level (converting) would be a separate people---Jews.

...According to the Highest Judgment, it turned out that none of them deserved to rise above the degraded level…not even a little bit. But Abraham, being the only exception, succeeded in elevating himself through his deeds, which led to him being chosen by G-d. Abraham was therefore permanently made into a superior and excellent tree, conforming to man's highest level. It was further provided that he would be able to produce branches [and father a nation] based on his characteristics. The world was then divided into seventy nations, each on its own particular level in the general scheme. All of them, however, remained on the level of man in his fallen state, while only Israel became men in the elevated state.

The verdict, however, was not that the other nations should be destroyed. It only meant that they would have to remain on the lower level that we have discussed. This lower state of man should never have existed, had Adam not sinned… These nations still have the human aspect, blemished though it may be, so G-d desired that they should at least have a part of what was actually appropriate for the true mankind. He therefore granted them a divine soul somewhat like that of the Jew, even though it is not on the same level as Jewish souls are, but on a much lower level. They were likewise given commandments through which they could attain both material and spiritual advantages appropriate to their nature -- the Seven Commandments given to the children of Noah.

In the World to Come, however, there will be no nation other than Israel. The souls of righteous Gentiles will be allowed to exist in the Future World, but only as an addition and attachment to Israel. They will therefore be secondary to the Jews, just as a garment is secondary to the one who wears it. All that they attain of the ultimate good will have to be attained in this manner, since by virtue of their nature they can receive no more.


Which brings us back to our original question---Who is a righteous Gentile?

...Maimonides stated explicitly in chapter 8 of The Laws of Kings (halacha 10): 'Moses our teacher was commanded by the Mighty One to force the Gentiles to accept the commandments of the sons of Noah…Anyone who accepts the Seven Commandments and is careful to fulfill them is considered a righteous Gentile and receives a portion in the World to Come. This depends upon him accepting and fulfilling them
because G-d had so commanded in the Torah…'

Meaning that while the actions of some gentiles might be noteworthy and commendable, if he does not obey the sheva mitzvot b'nei Noah, he is a "stam" goy. Additionally, if he observes the sheva mitzvot because he thinks they are nice and good, but not because they were commanded, he is not entitled to the status of "righteous" gentile.

Being precise in our language is also part of being people of truth.

24 July 2011

Glenn Beck is on a mission from God

22 Tamuz 5771


On 20 April 2011, before "Restoring Courage in Jerusalem" was announced, Glenn Beck described for his listeners what can only be defined as his "call from God." I think he is dangerous and delusional and this is the proof.

The "founders" left America as the "guardians of Man's freedom."

(Transcript from the video entitled: Beck explains "the plan that [God] would have me articulate, I think, to you")

"Will you pick up the mantle, left to you by the founders, to be the guardians of Man's freedom? [particularly, "freedom" for everyone to worship as they choose] ...I believe your God will ask you, 'What did you do?' ...Yesterday, when I walked out of the studio, I looked at Pat and I almost said, I said, "I can feel it, coming," and he said, "I know." He said, "They are just, they are just strong in power, and focus." And I said, "It's just darkness and I can just feel it coming." .I started to say, I said, "The problem is, is that," and I stopped, because I don't want to utter something like this without really thinking it through. But, I was about to say, "The problem is, is that God is giving a plan, I think, to me, that is not really a plan," and I stopped myself, because, I didn't want to utter those things out loud. If that's not exactly right and it's not, that time of reflection that took me about 30 seconds, as Pat stood there going, [under his breath] "Do you think he forgot we were standing there having a conversation?" Then I said, "The problem is that I think the plan that the Lord would have us follow is hard for people to understand, but I'm telling you, here's what I feel with everything that is in me. [Under his breath] (Boy are they gonna use this against me.) If you've listened to this program for a long time, you know who I am, um, and you know that many of the things that I've done and said that have put me, you know, in harm's way, one way or another. They always start at the same place. they always start at my gut or my heart and then I figure it out as we go along. All the stuff I feel has been important on this show has been things that I felt and didn't understand. I say because of my track record with you who've been here a long time, because of my track record with you, I beg of you to help me get this message out and I beg of you to pray for clarity on my part. The plan that HE would have me articulate, I think, to you, is "Get behind me." And I don't mean "me," I mean HIM. "Get behind Me. Stand behind Me." I truly believe, I have done years now, of reading, the founders, the diaries, the letters, the Pilgrims, their diaries, their letters! I've read the first hand letters; I've held them in my hands!! The exchanges between the founders. I've held their actual letters in my hand! I have seen it with my own eyes and I will tell you that God was instrumental and they knew it! They knew that they had very little to do with it. They just stood where they were supposed to stand and said what they were supposed to say as HE directed... That's what He's asking us to do. Stand peacefully, quietly with anger, quiet with anger, loudly with truth. Faith is the answer. Get on your knees! Don't let it take another 9/11! Get on your knees! I don't care what church you go to; no church at all, I don't care! Turn to HIM!

...we were starting the TV show and there were things that I did that I wouldn't do now because I had to be more of an entertainer to get people to go "What is that show at 5 o'clock?" I never said anything that I didn't believe, but I may have said things in an entertaining fashion. ...I also had to figure out, I'm on a learning curve here. I had to figure out, ok, I was trying to figure out what is true and what is not and we were alone! We still are! Nobody is helping us on this. We have to piece it together...


And he has the chutspah to proclaim for his new network: GBTV - the truth lives here

22 July 2011

Clarification

20 Tamuz 5771

In response to a very kind email that I received, I want to clarify something I wrote previously.

Yes, everyone sins and every sin is an act of rebellion against HKBH's sovereignty. But there is a vast difference between one who slips and falls on the proper derech and gets up again and continues on in the path towards Hashem and one who turns himself around and flees in the opposite direction and essentially removes himself from his people. However, even such a person, as a fellow Jew, I would extend a greeting to him. But there are some who go so far in their rebellion that they become an outright spiritual danger to the Jewish people and it is to these that I then go so far as not to give a greeting. With someone I know from my own experience is actually a rodef, bringing about physical or spiritual harm to other Jews, I can not say "shalom," because there is no shalom between us. And this person can only fix this situation by abandoning his rebellion. Until he does, he needs to be put "outside the camp" for the protection of others who could come under his influence or suffer at his hands.

In my position, I can think of at five people of my acqaintance that this applies to and three of them are rabbis teaching heresy. The other two engage openly and favorably with missionaries and bring them together with Jews. Obviously, then, I'm talking about very extreme cases. And those who are equipped to deal with kiruv situations have their own set of guidelines, I'm sure.

I thank the writer of the email for giving me the opportunity to clear that up. Often when we speak or write, we know what we have in mind, but it doesn't always come across when communicated.

Looking forward to the day when all Jews can enjoy complete achdut,
Shabbat shalom!

21 July 2011

20 July 2011

What's Holding Back the Redemption

18 Tammuz 5771

In response to an article which seeks to convince us that the redemption is being held up because of lashon hara, I have written the following:

I'm not saying anything against the Chofetz Chaim. I have only the greatest respect for Chazal. But, I am not familiar enough with his teachings to know them in detail and in their proper context to know whether the current interpretations going around are accurate or not.

We have to be very careful, because the Gaon miVilna said that at the end of days, the majority of rabbis would be from the Erev Rav. It is possible to take something good like shmirat halashon and use it to distract people from even bigger issues.

We have a treasure-trove of information for what Hashem wants from us and what He finds unacceptable in the examples of the forefathers and in the words of our prophets. And I do not hold by anyone who says that these are invalid for us today because things have changed; people are not the same. I do not believe that we have changed anymore than Hashem has changed and this is clearly evident from the way we keep repeating all the mistakes from the past.

The Torah prescribes exile from the camp for those who rebel against G-D’s authority. When they repent, they are to be welcomed back with open arms. The key here is the rebellion aspect. In society, if someone is plotting rebellion against the king, anyone who assists him and does not condemn his actions is considered a traitor as well. It can’t be that we would signal approval of open rebellion against Hashem and His laws through silence and acceptance. We have to distance ourselves from such people and not have normal relations with them until they change their evil behavior. I do not give greetings to such people.

Just like nothing stops Shabbat coming in when the sun goes down---it comes whether we are ready or not---so, too, Redemption will arrive and nothing on earth can stop it. Chances are very good, unfortunately, that we will still not be ready and still won’t deserve it and Hashem will intervene only to spare Himself the rampant desecration of His Name.

There are much bigger issues at stake when we are talking about being prepared for the Geulah. I am convinced that the biggest problem that holds back Mashiach is our general unwillingness to follow him. Hashem will not send a redeemer early to a people who aren’t going to follow him. It would mean eliminating the vast majority, so nothing can be gained by bringing redemption early. However, when the last possible moment arrives, he will come, but only to those who will follow him and barring a really mass teshuva in this area, many---maybe most---will not remain.

This idea can clearly be seen reflected in the incident that occurred in Mitzrayim when Moshe Rabeinu first went out to his brothers to act as a redeemer. That day he saw a Mitzri beating a Jew and he killed the Mitzri. The next day, he saw an Ivri beating his brother and castigated him for it. Was the Ivri contrite? Did he admit that Moshe Rabeinu was right and stop acting wrongly? No, he despised Moshe Rabeinu’s words and showed so little regard for him and his authority that he threatened to reveal the act from the previous day, putting Moshe Rabeinu in danger. This caused a delay of many, many years before Hashem would once again send Moshe Rabeinu to redeem Am Yisrael right before they would have reached the fiftieth level of impurity from which redemption would have been impossible. And even so, four-fifths of the Jews did not get out and why? Because their hearts were attached to Mitzrayim and they did not want to leave.

The final redemption will be like the first redemption. To what is your heart attached? To Hashem or to materialism, comfort and sensuality? Are you in rebellion against Hashem’s sovereignty over His world and over your individual life? When He says, I brought you out of the Land of Mitzrayim to bring you into the Land of Israel, are you anxious to move or do you dread it or even outright refuse it? When Mashiach will come and give the orders to wipe out our enemies, will you obey? Or will you object on the basis that these people are our "friends" or in the name of human rights, etc.

The redemption is coming, but at the last possible moment. There is nothing we can do at this point that will stop it or slow it down. But! Whether we survive to participate in it and to reap its rewards is up to us. The time when the many can mess everything up for the few will soon be over. Thank G-D!

19 July 2011

The War with Eisav

17 Tamuz 5771

On a day when we recall what our enemies did to us in times past, I am declaring war on their descendants who are still at it after all these years and this is a call to rally the troops.

THE WAR WITH EISAV
Today, everyone knows we are engaged in a physical war with Yishmael, but few seem to understand that we are also in a spiritual war with Eisav.

“It’s a war for hearts and minds.”

“It’s a halachah, Eisav soneh et Yaaqov.”

I'm referring specifically to the Christians who "love" us with consequences for the Jews who love them.

This is not the first time in history that a group, realizing that they could not defeat us militarily, decided to destroy us through “friendship.”

In the matter of Baal Peor at Shittim: [A Moabite girl lures a Jew into her store]…Following that the girl says [to the Jew], “You are like one of the family. Sit! Choose what you like!” And a jug of Ammonite wine is sitting by her. The wine of the nations has not yet been prohibited. The girl comes out in jewelry and perfume, and entices him, saying, “Why do we love you, but you hate us? Take this vessel for free! Surely we are all descendants of one man, Terach, father of Abraham.” (Tanchuma, Balak, 18)

“I have separated you out from among the nations to be Mine. If you are separated from the nations, then you are Mine, otherwise, you belong to Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylonia and his associates.” (Torat Kohanim, Kedoshim, 9)

“…our sages said, “If someone makes a partnership with a non-Jew, it is as though he worships idols and forges a covenant with him.” (Tanna Devei Eliyahu Rabbah, 7)

“Blessed are You, Hashem our G-D, King of the Universe, Who separates between holy and secular, between light and dark, between Israel and the nations, between the seventh day and the six days of labor….” (Havdalah prayer)


It’s clear from these examples that one thing has nothing whatever to do with the other. Holy and secular, light and dark, Shabbat and weekdays are mutually exclusive. Then it follows that Israel and the nations would also be intended to be mutually exclusive. They share nothing in common.

Excerpts from When Christian 'Love' Can Hurt Usby Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen

… I will begin with the insights of Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein, a noted Chassidic sage of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. These insights are found in his work, Shem MiShmuel, which provides a commentary on the weekly Torah portion.

… Rabbi Bornstein discusses a deeper meaning of the following words from Yaakov's prayer to be saved from the harmful plans of his brother, Eisav: "Save me, please, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Eisav." (Genesis 32:12)

…Why does Yaakov first refer to Eisav as "my brother" and then refer to him by name? Some commentators explain that Yaakov was more frightened of Eisav as a brother and friend than as Eisav - the one known for his violence. This is because Yaakov was concerned that Eisav might attempt to become close to him in order to draw him to Eisav's harmful philosophy and distorted ways. This was potentially very dangerous to Yaacov and his family, for it could lead to the end of the spiritual mission to which Yaakov had dedicated his life. We are therefore told that Yaacov primarily feared his "brother," and only then "Eisav."

…The idea that Yaakov, our forefather, was first concerned about spiritual survival is also found in the Beis HaLevi - a commentary on the Torah by Rabbi Yosef Dov Ber Soloveitchik, a noted Lithuanian Jewish sage of the late 19th century. Regarding Yaakov's prayer to be saved "from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Eisav," Rabbi Soloveitchik points out that it would have been sufficient for Yaakov to say, "from the hand of my brother, Eisav." Why, then, did he refer to two hands - the hand of his brother and the hand of Eisav? Rabbi Soloveitchik explains that Yaakov was concerned about two facets of Eisav's strategy - the hand of brotherhood and the hand of violence. He first mentions the hand of brotherhood, for he recognized the serious danger posed by the "love" of Eisav when its goal is to wean Yaakov away from the right path.

Rabbi Soloveitchik cites the teaching, "All the actions of the forefathers are auguries for their descendants;" thus, the prayer of Yaakov, our forefather, is relevant for each generation of our people. Rabbi Soloveitchik points out that there are descendants of Eisav who deal with us in the same two ways as Eisav sought to deal with Yaakov. Initially, they promulgate brutal decrees designed to convert, persecute and even destroy us; however, when HaShem, the Compassionate One, does not allow them to eliminate our presence as a people, then they seek to live in peace with us. Through this strategy, they hope to distance us from our path and our faith.

Rabbi Soloveitchik then cites various midrashim that describe how, in a later stage of our history, these descendants of Eisav will ask us to modify our tradition so as to lessen the distance between their religion and Judaism. Rabbi Soloveitchik explains that they will even adopt certain tenets of Judaism in order to tempt us to give up some of our heritage.

Who are these descendants of Eisav that will seek to tempt us in this way? An answer can be found in the concluding passage of the Torah portion for this Shabbos, where we find a list of various rulers that descend from Eisav, including "the chief of Magdiel." (Genesis 36:43) The classical commentator, Rashi, writes: "Magdiel - this is Rome." (cited in Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer 38)

According to Jewish tradition, Rome became the kingdom of Eisav, and the Christian civilization, which became centered in Rome, is a continuation of this kingdom. As Rabbi Soloveitchik reminded us, this kingdom of Eisav initially tries to convert us through force and when this fails, it will conspire to distance us from our way of serving HaShem by developing peaceful and brotherly relations with us.
Aishdaas article by Meir Levin:
The rabbinic identification of Rome with the Biblical figure of Esau is basic to the traditional understanding of much of the relevant sections of Chumash Bareishis. Esau's faults and shortcomings as well as his complex and tortured relationship with his brother Yakov was seen by the Rabbis through the prism of this identification, so much so that the conflict of these two brothers typifies the struggle for spiritual and moral supremacy between Rome and Jerusalem.

It is somewhat unclear, though, what supports this identification. The voluminous Roman chronicles do not appear to contain any awareness of descent from Esau[2], although a memory of such an ignoble descent certainly could have been lost[3] or suppressed. Our tradition does preserve the particulars of Roman descent from Esau.

"The great kingdom of Rome was built by Zepho, son of Eliphaz, son of Esau. Tirtat of the land of Elisha attacked him and killed him (Yelamdeinu, Batei Midrashos 160)."

The Malbim in his commentary to Obadia 1,1 suggests that in addition to genealogical descent, the identification of Rome and Esau is also based on the "founding of their faith by children of Edom, as R. Isaac Abarbanel wrote to Isaiah 34, with proofs."

This comment of the Malbim may lead us the supposition that identification of Rome as Esau rests on the very visible traits that Roman, and subsequently Western civilization, shares with the character traits of Esau as he is described in the Chumash. In fact, it is my impression that midrashic collections seem to highlight especially these cultural qualities when they discuss Esau. The limitations of space do not allow a full treatment of this subject, which in truth deserves a book length treatment; we can, however, manage to briefly focus on two or three of them.

Among such traits is the individualism and disdain for tradition and authority that is such an obvious feature of Western civilization and also of Esau who was a "self-made man". Esau willingly gave up his birthright in order to build his future with his own toil and effort. "Esau showed to others that (in his opinion) the institution of birthright is not morally correct. Rather one who is more talented, of his own right should be honored above others. Many great leaders of the nations of the worlds followed Esau 's opinion and disparaged the status of birth; rather, (they held) everything depends on the natural abilities of each individual (Netsiv, Haemek Davar to Genesis 23,34).

One trait of Esau that few will fail to recognize in the civilization and culture of the West is the emphasis on the image over substance, leavened with a good measure of hypocrisy.[4]

He (Esau) was a hypocrite (Shocher Tov 14,3).

Esau would hunt him (Yitshak) and deceive him with words (Genesis Rabbah 63,10).

Nevertheless, the emphasis on the appearances brings a certain measure of outward nobility and aristocratic bearing which is evident in the outside trappings of Esau's civilization, his architecture, art, music - the brilliance of classical Western culture. The Maharal writes: " The verse "two proud ones in your belly" alludes to the wide view of Israel and Edom, not just Rebbi and Antoninus alone (see our Midrash Toldos for a technical discussion of this statement) - that they possess a specific substance. They have a live force of substance and they comport themselves with worth in their eating. This means that there is one who eats like an animal, without raising himself in it but Israel and Esau do not conduct themselves so. They prepare a proper environment to make their eating more important. So also Esau comports himself in his clothing to this day to honor himself in his dress and to raise his self respect above that of other nations, also through great buildings. Not so Ishmael - they do not care about their clothing, cuisine, bathhouses[5].... this means that they (sons of Esau) have a self-worth in their life-force[6][7] (Gur Arye, Gen. 25, 24).

The following midrash typifies the personalization of Rome and the West as Esau while not sparing his hypocrisy.[8]

In the future Esau will wrap himself in a tallis, sit down next to Yakov and say to him, "You are my brother"....Yakov will say to him, "My brother, you will not be like me. "I will lead you to death, I will be the pestilence that leads you to Sheol (Hoshea 13,14). Had I upheld degrees that you promulgated against me, I would have been guilty at the eyes of Heaven. Had I violated them, you would have killed me? (Yalkut Shimoni, Yirmiahu 333)

"That was Esau's intention when he told Yakov, "Let us travel together and I will go before you (Genesis 33,12). He wanted them to join together in both this world and the world to come, to meet each other halfway, with each modifying his conduct until they were alike (Yalkut Shimoni, Genesis 133). Indeed, Esau will even adopt certain tenets of Judaism-such as monotheism, the Divinity of the Torah, and reward and punishment-but only if Israel will give up some of its heritage. Similarly, according to Tanna D'Bei Eliahu Zuta(19), Esau proposed. "Give up some of the mitzvos that divide us. You will thereby enjoy this world and still have half the world to come. Isn't that enough? (Bais Halevy, Vayishlach).

Can one see relevance in these ancient writings for the world of today? Do we not see the pinnacle of Esau's civilization, the country that is the utmost embodiment of his values of individualism and superficiality/ image, offering this bargain to sons of Yakov, and most of them have taken it. In return, Esau has placed his political and military might in service of common goals, in support of the so-called "Judeo-Christian" values. Will this friendship continue when Esau sees that Yakov returns to his Law and rejects his extended hand and his conditions of friendship?[9]

To summarize, the Chazal were keen observers of human nature and the political and social cultures that surrounded them. They unerringly ferreted out the personality traits of Biblical figures that they were then able to match with national characters and identify one with the other. In this way, aided by received traditions, they were able to predict how these nations are likely to behave down even to our time.


If you are a Christian "lover" of Israel or a Jew who denounces his brother whlie clinging tot he Christian---consider yourself warned. If you are a Torah faithful Jew, I adjure you to join the battle.