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30 November 2012

"People get the leaders they deserve"

16 Kislev 5773

That's an old saying. I don't know if it's true, but I do know that our leaders are a reflection of us. Come to think of it, maybe that's the reason we deserve them.

Take Barack Obama for example. His nation's economy is teetering on the edge of a financial abyss and what is he doing?

Residents Alerted to Obamas' Hawaiian Holiday Plans

The report delivered to residents living along the ocean and canal that surrounds the multi-million dollar homes at Kailuana Place where the President stays, informed them of restrictions that will be implemented for 20 days beginning December 17 and running through January 6.

...With the staff, special forces, local police presence and equipment, the President's visit adds up annually to at least a $4 million vacation courtesy of the Hawaii and federal taxpayers.

How is this any different from the throngs of Americans who put holiday shopping on Black Friday at the top of their priorities list and finance it with credit card debt that they know not how they'll pay?  There's no money, but spend, spend, spend anyway!

Closer to home, look at Bibi Netanyahu.  What the public sees portrayed in the media is not a true reflection of who he is, but who we are. We talk a good talk, but we're short on action. We make a show of loyalty to our Jewish identity, but we are afraid to anger our gentile benefactors by acting too Jewish.  G-d knows the gentiles admire the Israelis (albeit begrudgingly), but they merely tolerate the Jews (or worse). The kippah comes out occasionally, when it's use is unavoidable, but it's not for everyday. When asked "From where will my help come?" the Bibi Netanyahu Jews instantly reply, "America!"

About the "left" and so-called "center" secular there is simply nothing to say.  They are all traveling the wrong way down the road of perdition - the assimilation of the Jewish people into extinction.

Ah, but now there is hope waiting in the wings, yes?  The "right-wing" (read right-thinking) to be more precise.  Naftali Bennet (Jewish Home) as well as Moshe Feiglin (from within the Likud) are inspiring the right-wing religious Zionists. You'd think Mashiach had come.

Naftali Bennet:  Clean-shaven, no kippah. Hi-tech millionaire. Pays homage to "Jewish tradition" and settlements.   Former chief of staff for Bibi Netanyahu.  He's a younger version of Netanyahu, representing all those who really want to continue business as usual, but with some guarantee for settlements.  They have no vision for the Jewish future beyond being an extension of Edom in the Land of Israel.

Moshe Feiglin:  Bearded.  Not ashamed to wear a kippah everywhere all the time.  Gives credit to Hashem on a regular basis.  He goes up on Har Habayit and supports Jewish rights to worship there.  He is a man of faith who says he won't cave in to the demands of the gentile nations.  He's not afraid to declare that Yehuda and Shomron are ours and that Oslo is dead.

Granted, this is a huge leap when compared to the rest of the pack.  Consequently, it is tempting to dismiss the warning signs. After everything, Moshe aspires to be a politician, so he has to have the most necessary qualification to be a politician - he has to be a pragmatist.  He has to appeal to the broadest base possible in the Likud party which is after all not a religious party.  To offset his positive points which might scare off his secular supporters, he assures them that he is against religious coercion.  He is against the chametz law which bans the sale of chametz during the week of Passover and he says he is in favor of civil marriage.  Oh, and he favors legalization of marijuana.

After ten years, those who've put their faith in Moshe Feiglin's leadership, because up until now he offered the greatest hope for real change for those with a messianic vision, have been rewarded with the possibility that he might actually get a seat in the next Knesset.

This is about as good as it gets. It would seem that this non-Torah system of democracy is incapable of producing messianic leadership which will deliver us to the geulah shleimah.

As long as we continue to deceive ourselves and each other, we will continue to elect this kind of leadership, because it is a reflection of who we really are.  We really don't want Mashiach to come.  We really don't want to have Torah law as the law of the land.  We really don't want to build the Temple and reinstitute sacrificial worship.

Despite what we might think or proclaim, what most of us want is easily seen in our current leadership - an inferior copy of America where the highest priority is business success and the accumulation of wealth and all the things that wealth can provide.  And where religion and state each have their place, where religion is not a matter of nationhood, but a personal preference. And where we are not a unique nation with a G-d given mission and destiny, but one just like all the others.

When WE change and become the people deserving of a Mashiach-led regime, where Torah is the law of the land, deserving of coercion no less than current civil law which is "coerced" every day as needed, then Mashiach will be revealed before our eyes.

I'm afraid that were he standing before us today, only a handful would "vote" for him.

********

A note about the picture: Yes, democracy was a Greek invention and during Kislev, the time when we battled against the Greek worldview and its attempt to obliterate the light of Torah and replace it with its own warped idea of enlightenment, it is an ideal time to take it on and continue the battle our ancestors waged so courageously.

29 November 2012

NOVEMBER 29TH - 1947 & 2012

15 Kislev 5773

(Devarim 32:21) "They have provoked My jealousy with a non god, provoked My anger with their vanities. Thus, I will provoke their jealousy with a non people, provoke their anger with a foolish nation."


A "non people" with a non government doesn't have a heritage of its own and certainly has no need of a land.

'With UN Bid, Arabs Once Again Try to Steal Israel's Heritage'  November 29th is a day that belongs to Israel, says one historian - and the PA is trying to 'steal' it for themselves
It's no accident that the Palestinian Authority is bringing its “case” to the United Nations on November 29 – a day that has for 65 years been identified with the State of Israel.

“It's very typical of the PA to choose the day that Israel was recognized as a state by the UN as the date for their state's recognition,” said one historian. “The PA has tried to co-opt so many Jewish and Israeli symbols in the past, and the co-opting of November 29 fits right in with that,” said Moshe Siebel, a history afficianado....


It does make it easier to see who the Erev Rav are.

Meretz to Rally for PA State at Zionism's 'Ground Zero'

Ehud Olmert isn't the only Israeli who is applauding the PA's statehood bid at the UN. Far left political party Meretz, too, approves of the moves, and plans a rally in Tel Aviv Thursday night – right in front of the building where David Ben-Gurion declared a Jewish state on May 14, 1948.... A special message from PA chief Mahmoud Abbas will be read at the event. Singer Miri Awad will perform.


I'll let Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu have the last word...

“A Hand Raised Against G-d will be Removed”

Chief Rabbi of Safed Shmuel Eliyahu related to the expected UN resolution in favor of the PA bid. “They think they can change their mind after voting to establish the State of Israel, and pass anti-Semitic resolutions. Their vote has no relevance. Pharaoh also released the Jewish Nation before changing his mind and chasing them by the Red Sea. Nothing remained of him or his army. Nations voting against Israel will have to deal with the Wrath of G-d.”

Supervolcano Risk X 2

15 Kislev 5773

By now, everyone knows there is an active supervolcano in Yellowstone Park in Wyoming, but did you know there is another one in California?? And it is currently at level "yellow" alert status because of an earthquake swarm???

From yesterday...

Upswing in Earthquakes in the Long Valley Caldera Region of California  (TheWeatherSpace.com) - An upswing in California earthquakes has some people questioning the health of the faultlines. Long Valley Caldera to Mammoth Mountain are swarming at the same time.

Earthquakes are the normal in California, however within the last week an upswing in activity has been noted. The Long Valley Caldera is showing signs that magma is indeed moving down there.

The Long Valley Caldera is something that is dismissed due to the Yellowstone Super Volcano. There is evidence in the past that the Long Valley Caldera is more dangerous than Yellowstone, and just a stone's throw away from the populated regions of Southern California.

The caldera is just north of Ridgecrest off of Highway 395 and activity has been spiking within the last week.

"We don't think much is going on there, but it is being monitored," said the USGS. "We have teams in the area and have just recently finished a study on the area."

So while no one can predict what will happen, just as Yellowstone, the Long Valley Caldera is considered a super volcano that can go off at anytime.

"We've notice an increase in 2s and 3s across California as well, with poppers across Southern California," said TheWeatherSpace.com Senior Meteorologist Kevin Martin. "This usually means we are going to have the stress released soon in the area. What is also interesting is Long Valley and Mammoth Mountain activity is happening at the same time. This is real interesting."

According to Jim Berkland, a retired geologist, Full Moons usually generate large earthquakes due to the tidal forces. There is a lunar eclipse tonight so the moon can't get any fuller.




28 November 2012

The Hammer is now poised over the West Coast

15 Kislev 5773

River of storms headed for Northern California

It's shaping up as California's equivalent of a hurricane: A series of warm, wet storms arriving today that will be unlike anything the state has seen in years.

...If this comes to pass, Sacramento could receive more rain in a few days than it gets in an average January, typically the wettest month of the year.

...The first storm arrives today and lasts through Thursday. It is expected to be relatively mild.

The second hits Friday and will be the real soaker, lasting through Sunday with drenching rain and strong winds. A third, even wetter storm, may follow later on Sunday.

Sacramento could see sustained winds of 35 mph with gusts to 45 mph. The Sierra Nevada foothills could see gusts up to 55 mph.

These are warm storms and snow levels will be high – 7,000 feet and up. That means many Sierra highway passes could stay free of snow. But it also means more terrain will be exposed to rainfall runoff.

..."These are the types of events that are responsible for the biggest flood damages on the West Coast," said [Marty Ralph, an expert on the phenomenon at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colo.] "To me, that's the analogue to the hurricane problem."

...In Sacramento, one of the capital region's premier sporting events, the 30th annual California International Marathon, is expected to go ahead on Sunday despite the weather. Organizers say the race has never been canceled.


[Reminiscent of New York City Marathon and Sandy?]

More than 15,000 people are expected at the 26.2-mile race, which starts at 7 a.m. Sunday near the base of Folsom Dam.

...High winds and soaked ground raise the potential for downed trees and power outages.


Deja vu, except for the surge of ocean water. However, this part of California has something in common with New Orleans. It has an aging levee system which poses a hazard to area residents in the event of failure. See what this 2006 article has to say about it:

California mired in its own levee crisis
Officials, in a stalemate, struggle to find money for repairs - despite rising warnings of failing levees.


New Orleans' levees aren't the only ones getting close scrutiny these days. California's deteriorating network of water barricades - humbler in structure than those in the Big Easy but no less key to the health and safety of millions of residents - is prompting state and local officials to speak in "state of emergency" terms.

...The threat of levee failure in northern California is immediate and widespread, warn experts. Depending on where a failure in the vast system occurs, it could be hurricane Katrina-like in scale, they add.

At serious risk are cities large and small, including the state capital; the San Joaquin Valley in central California, producer of half the nation's fruits and vegetables; and drinking water for 24 million Californians.


Then there's this from two weeks ago:

California's Katrina?

The scenario is known as “California’s Katrina.” An earthquake or superstorm causes Gold Rush-era earthen levees to collapse. Saltwater from San Francisco Bay floods the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta, displacing half a million lowland Californians, poisoning the water supply for as many as 28 million more who live in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Silicon Valley, and ruining farmland that produces 11 percent of the nation’s agricultural value. The eighth-largest economy in the world could be sunk for months, even years.


********

In other flooding news:

Wild storm hits Western Australia
A BRUTAL storm has left more than 50,000 homes in Perth and regional Western Australia without power, as emergency services scrambled to cope with widespread damage to schools, heritage buildings and homes across the state.


UK Floods, Worst Flooding Since 2007, Extreme Weather Global Weirding?

The UK looks set to experience its worst series of floods since at least the great floods of 2007 when areas that had never flooded in living memory experienced what would turn out to be their worst floods in over 150 years.

The latest of a series of heavy rain fall induced flooding is being experienced by the south and south west areas of England and Wales, with over 500 flood warnings in place nation wide, as one of the wettest summers on record had left the ground saturated, unable to soak up additional heavy rain fall that is resulting in the failure of drainage systems.

The current wave of flooding follows on from highly damaging flooding earlier in the year (September) that literally resulted in roads and foundations of buildings being washed away that were subsequently demolished.

The following Met Office graph illustrates the increasing volatility in the extremes of weather that the UK is facing as a drought during the first 3 months of the year gave way extraordinarily heavy rainfall from April onwards, continuing in June, and July with rainfall of as much as 225% of the annual average. The Above average rainfall has continued into this month which looks set to turn out to be another record month for rainfall.


27 November 2012

Comparatively Speaking

13 Kislev 5773

...Hurricane Sandy worse than Hurricane Katrina

Gov. Cuomo said Monday that Hurricane Sandy was in some ways even worse than Hurricane Katrina, as he announced the state would seek a whopping $42 billion in federal disaster aid.

Cuomo acknowledged that far more people died as a result of Katrina’s fury, than Sandy’s. But he said last month’s superstorm caused more property damage, and affected a greater number of people.

...Louisiana lost 214,700 homes as a result of the two storms; Sandy wrecked 305,000 homes just in New York. There were 800,000 power outages in Louisiana, compared with more than 2 million in New York.


And while 18,700 businesses were lost to the hurricanes in Louisiana, Sandy affected more than 265,300 businesses across the Empire State.

...Sandy is blamed for 135 deaths in the U.S., including 60 in New York. Katrina was responsible for 1,833 deaths.


(Hat tip Global Disaster Watch)

26 November 2012

Stop the world, I want to get off!

13 Kislev 5773

The countdown to 21.12.2012, or The End of the World as We Know It, is now being counted in days - 25 to be exact. I don't know about you, but in light of the mess that mankind has made of this world - the poisoning of the planet and the imprisonment of its population - I'm all for the Creator hitting a reset button.

This is essentially what happened at the time of the Great Flood and also at the Tower of Bavel. Sometimes, we forget that this world and this reality are not what has always been, nor what will always be. I mean, there are people that, despite the downfall of empires across recorded history, have a difficult time imagining a world without America, which has only existed for 236 years - not even a blip on the cosmic radar. I think it is essential to understand that we are on the cusp of another Big Change, whether it actually begins or ends on the famous December date or not.

We're told numerous times in the Tanakh that the Era of Redemption will witness strange occurrences in the heavens as well as on the earth:

Yeshayahu 13.10 - "For the stars of the heavens and its constellations shall not allow their light to illuminate, the sun has become dark in its going forth, and the moon shall not shine its light."

Yechezkel 32.7 - "And with your smoke I will cover the heavens, and I will darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not shine its light."

Yoel 2.10; 3.3,4,5 - "Before it the earth quakes, the heavens tremble; the sun and moon darken, and the stars withdraw their shining. ...And I will perform signs in the heavens and on the earth: Blood, fire, and pillars of smoke. The sun shall turn to darkness, and the moon to blood, prior to the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord. And it shall come to pass that whoever shall call in the name of the Lord shall be delivered, for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there shall be a deliverance, as the Lord said, and among the survivors whom the Lord invites."

Yeshayahu 60.19 - "Your sun shall no longer set, neither shall your moon be gathered in, for the Lord shall be to you for an everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be completed."

Zechariah 14.4,6, 10 - "...the Mount of Olives shall split in the midst thereof-toward the east and toward the west-a very great valley. And half the mountain shall move to the north, and half of it to the south. ... And it shall come to pass on that day that there shall be no light, only disappearing light and thick darkness. ...The whole earth shall be changed to be like a plain, from the hill of Rimmon in the south of Jerusalem; but it [Jerusalem] will be elevated high and remain in its old place...."

Malachi 3.19,20 - "For lo, the sun comes, glowing like a furnace, and all the audacious sinners and all the perpetrators of wickedness will be stubble. And the sun that comes shall burn them up so that it will leave them neither root nor branch, says the Lord of Hosts. And the sun of mercy shall rise with healing in its wings for you who fear My Name."


Speaking of the sun. You may not have seen the news report coming as it did in the midst of Amud Anan. (That's why I failed to report on it at the time.)  But, on the second day of the war - Friday, 16 November - what has been described by scientists as a solar tsunami swept across the sun's surface.  (Spaceweather.com is the place to monitor the increasing solar activity.)

Bear all this in mind as you (hopefully) re-read a previous post entitled...

What is Really Going on With "2012"

5 Iyar 5772
Day 20 of the Omer


There is a LOT of misinformation and disinformation out there about what 21.12.2012 is really all about. What does it portend and what is the proof that anything at all will happen?

In short, nobody knows for sure, even the so-called experts, because this is all new territory for humankind. But all you have to do is read the news and view videos of recent world disasters to see with your own eyes that most of what was beginning to be predicted in 2008 and 2009 is already happening - massive flooding, torrential rains, increasing intensity and frequency of earthquakes, volcanoes, floods, windstorms (hurricanes, tornadoes and typhoons), and fireballs in the heavens.

I'm going to do my best to bring you all the most salient points in a nutshell in order to increase understanding and decrease confusion. Any one of these points could be expanded into entire volumes and some have been, but I want to give you the big picture - to the best of my own ability to understand it - and then you can dig deeper on your own if you want further explanation (or repudiation, as the case may be).

First of all, the Mayan connection: Their "long count" calendar was an astronomical calendar pinpointing astronomical events into the future with great accuracy which, by all accounts, surpasses even the abilities which exist today. In other words, they have a track record which proves they knew what they were talking about. So what was it exactly that they predicted for 21.12.2012? They predicted (and scientists now concur) that our solar system would reach its closest, unobstructed approach to the center of our galaxy on that day.

We are all familiar with the idea of our planets revolving around our sun...


But, did you know that our solar system revolves around the Milky Way galaxy? I didn't. I guess I never really thought about it. However, while the earth revolves in an elliptical orbit over the course of 365 days...


The entire solar system revolves around the galaxy in a wave motion...


...crossing the galactic equator or the galactic plane (marked as a yellow line in the picture) and aligning with the center of the galaxy every 26,000 years. In case you were interested, it supposedly takes 230 million years for it to make a complete revolution around the outer realms of the galaxy.

This is important because this is the area in which the black hole at the center of our galaxy exerts its greatest gravitational pull. We will reach the center point of that crossing or the time of greatest influence on our solar system on 21.12.2012.

Anyone who grew up watching any incarnation of Star Trek knows that a black hole sucks up everything within reach of it, so it's not surprising that new asteroids are being suddenly discovered in close proximity to earth and that giant fireballs - meteors pulled off course - are increasingly being reported worldwide. This is only the latest...

Minivan-Size Meteor Created Fireball in the Sky

(See also 1Asteroid 2011, 2Asteroid 2011 and Asteroid 2012.)

Ok, so we can see how smaller objects will likely respond to the galactic center's gravitational wave and how this, in turn, will affect the larger planets, but aside from dodging space debris, the most critical element in all of this is the glowing orb at the center of our solar system - the Sun.

Interestingly, the Hebrew prophets mention the Sun often in End Times prophecies about a period of time known as "The Day of the Lord" when the earth is being transformed - a time in which the Creator of the World reveals Himself through the power and forces of nature.

(Isaiah 30:26)- "...and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold as the light of the seven days,...."

(Malachi 3:19-20)- "For lo, the sun comes, glowing like a furnace, and all the audacious sinners and all the perpetrators of wickedness will be stubble. And the sun that comes shall burn them up .... And the sun of mercy shall rise with healing in its wings for you who fear My Name."
(See more sources here.)

Also, "The Song of Deborah" (Shirat Devorah) found in the Biblical book of Judges is supposed to be an account of the final redemption and it ends off with...you got it! A reference to the Sun - "So may perish all Your enemies, O Lord; but they that love Him as the sun when he goes forth in his might."

It's not by chance that "The End of the World As We Know It" (TEOTWAWKI) discussions center around solar activity. The galactic center's gravitational wave will energize the Sun, more so the closer it approaches the middle of the galactic plane, and this will spur greater than usual solar activity at a time when our Sun is already reaching its normal cyclical solar maximum (which occurs every 11 years). And it will also cause the Sun to heat up the planets, as has already been noted in the scientific community...

Sun Blamed for Warming of Earth and Other Worlds
Mars Melt Hints at Solar, Not Human, Cause for Warming, Scientist Says

But, when I say "heat up the planets," I'm talking about more than heating the atmosphere, I'm talking about increased solar radiation accompanying massive solar flares which heat up the earth's core resulting in increased earthquake and volcanic activity, as well as increased speed and severity of surface winds and waves. Note this report from today's news...

Study: Antarctic ice melting from warm water below

Theoretically, the super-heated core could become destabilized from the crust leading to crustal displacement causing a geographic pole shift which some say ample evidence exists for its having happened before in earth's geologic history.

So far, we've only discussed the physical effects on the celestial bodies, but what about OUR bodies? Does this increasing gravitational field and resulting increase in solar radiation affect human beings as well? And while we've discussed physical manifestations, what about the spiritual ones? Is the soul affected, too?

I could not find ready answers to these questions, but the recent reports of abnormal behavior among airline crews may offer us a clue.

Again, this event only happens every 26,000 years, so no one has any previous experience with it, but some believe that ancient cultures like the Mayans and the Egyptians had a tradition about what to expect to happen.

One of the most bizarre Mayan prophecies demonstrates a uniquely peculiar effect of approaching a black hole...

"When the four corners of the earth rest on the dark rift, a cosmic sky portal will be opened up and souls will be harvested."
Black holes distort time and space and theoretically can produce an interdimensional rift through which people could disappear, a term the autistic children used in relation to the evildoers in the world. And it's reminiscent of Isaiah 24:18 - "...for windows from above have been opened and the foundations of the earth have trembled." But, now I digress....

It's known that in addition to the physical transformation, the Mayans expected a metaphysical transformation as well. I'll let Rabbi Glazerson's book The Mayan Culture and Judaism describe it...

...A tremendous surge of energy continually emanates from the center of the galaxy, the spiral whirlpool of the Milky Way. This energy does not approach the earth directly, rather it passes through many "stations" on the way (planets and different star systems - the most well-known being the sun) that transform this pure energy and channel it to us in a new form.

During this time there is a line-up of several planets that cause the earth to face the center of the galaxy head-on, thereby allowing us to receive this energy. This situation, according to the Maya, will significantly influence our consciousness, raising it to an extremely high level .... Just as the sun rises at a specific time, and there is the moment when the first infinitestimal ray of light shines, there is also a process in which we directly face the photonic light that comes from the center of the galaxy, and under these conditions on 21.12.2012 exactly - this sunrise will transpire. It has been scientifically verified.... We are presently experiencing an amazing awakening of consciousness. Why is this already happening? It is exactly like the rising of the sun. Long before we perceive the rising of the sun, it is already possible to see its light.

...It is the dawn of the rising of the galaxy!

These photonic rays will increasingly influence our awareness and will raise the frequency of our consciousness to the ultimate levels possible. ...If we are not able to receive these high frequencies, we will be negatively affected.


As the prophet said - "...all the audacious sinners and all the perpetrators of wickedness will be stubble. And the sun that comes shall burn them up .... And the sun of mercy shall rise with healing in its wings for you who fear My Name."

If all of this really comes about, and there certainly is evidence to support it, those who say it will be the end of the world as we know it will be correct and so will those who say it will be a spiritually transformative event which will lead to a new age of peace and harmony among mankind.

We Jews have been looking forward to just such a time for thousands of years. We call it the Messianic Era or Days of Mashiach and the Light at the center of the galaxy could very well be the Ohr Ganuz, or the Original Light of Creation which was "put away for the righteous in time to come."


23 November 2012

Message from Moishela: "There Are Almost No Leaders and All Is Confusion"

9 Kislev 5773

There Are Almost No Leaders and All Is Confusion

It has been a very very hard day for all here in Eretz Yisroel. There have been many attacks on cities, villages, Moshavs in the South, rockets in Yerushalayim area, and Ashkelon Ashdod etc.

We’re under siege, and still Hashem has made unbelievable Nissim happen. When you consider that probably over a thousand missiles have been shot into Israel, and of course every Yid that was killed is an important person, still the casualties have been unbelievably low. Mamash a Ness! And many people are reporting unbelievable Nissim. Whole families in apartments that blew up and everyone walked out unscathed. And this type of thing has happened a few times. As much as the Arabs fire rockets at us, still comparatively they have done very little damage. True, houses have been blown up, but its still much less than the damage that was done with Sandy.

We can see clearly that Hashem is guiding us, trying to give us a message, and the message of course is “my children come back to Me. My sweet Yiddishe children come back to Me, leave the Egel HaZahav and come back to Me, leave all the stupidities of the Olam Hazeh and come back to Me. Because if not it’s going to get much worse, Hashem Yishmor.”

Now they’re speaking of a ceasefire, but they aren’t speaking to the Israelis. They are speaking to each other the American’s the Arabs, the Europeans, and they will let us know what they want Israel to do. They will bring us to the table and give us a pen and say sign. Of course ceasefires like that will only last a short time and we all know that the Arabs are notoriously known for breaking ceasefires. Usually what happens is, the Israelis keep the ceasefire meticulously, and the Arabs launch a few missiles here, a few there, but that’s not counted. The Israeli government doesn’t count it, and no other government counts it. It’s as if nothing has happened. However Am Yisroel is very angry about the situation and they have been demonstrating because they know if you don’t finish the job now then it won’t be finished. It will continue. The only problem is that most Yidden are wrong and everybody is seeing this not correctly. Hashem has sent the Americans or the Europeans or the English to force Israel into a battle; to force Israel into a battle that she can win only by a huge Ness and both Edom and Yishmoel want to take over Eretz Yisroel.

I’m warning you Am Yisroel. People from the outside have great designs planned for Eretz Yisroel, Hashem Yishmiranu. They don’t like Jews. We’re not Israelis, we’re Jews, and they hate Jews and they want Eretz Yisroel. They want it to be the center of their satanic religion. They want to show HaKodosh Boruch Hu that they are in charge or that their so called Moshiach is, really going to come to Eretz Yisroel and rule. But Hashem will not let them rule. We’re going to have a very hard time until Moshiach Tzidkainu will come and rescue us.

We have to rescue ourselves. We first have to do Teshuva, so that this hard time that’s coming upon us, will pass by with Rachamim. I told you it’s like a tunnel. We’re already in the middle of the tunnel and the door behind us is closing and the light is getting dimmer and dimmer, and we’re going forward deeper into the darkness. The darkness is still not as dark as it’s going to be. It’s going to be so dark that we’ll see nothing, nothing in front of us, nothing behind us. We won’t know where behind is and where in front is. We are going into total darkness.

Am Yisroel make it easy on yourselves. Am Yisroel, save yourselves much trouble. Save yourselves suffering. Come back to HaKodosh Boruch Hu. Those who are very far, keep Shabbos. Keep all the basic Mitzvos. Say Shema Yisroel in the morning and at night. Wash your hands (with a washing cup) when you get up in the morning and say Modeh Ani keep Taharas Hamishpacha and put on Tefillin. Get close to HaKodosh Boruch Hu. You’re not going to have another chance. Those who are supposedly close to HaKodosh Boruch Hu, dig down inside of yourselves and know what you have done wrong. Know that you’re on the wrong track and straighten it out. We’ve been wayward children, and Hashem loves us, and Hashem wants to bring us back. He is trying to show us how much He loves us with Nissim, so many

Nissim. And in America so many people have forgotten Sandy already, and so many people want to go back to their parties, but Am Yisroel in Eretz Yisroel don’t be like the Americans. Be better, be closer. Please I beg you, we should not have to go through more suffering than necessary. Please, please, I beg you. I beg you, come back, because if you come back it will be so much easier. It’s going to be hard. Believe me we’re going to go through Gehenom, but if we have Shmirah because we’re trying to be good, because we’re trying to be Tzaddikim, then Hashem will take care of us and protect us. However if we don’t want to listen to the warnings we have been getting now, like most of the Frum in America that have gone through the Frankenstorm, then we’ll be in big trouble and we’ll suffer very much.

I beg you Am Yisroel, listen to me. I want you to know that even if there is a so-called ceasefire tonight, it will be worth nothing. The Arabs feel that they have won and because of that Israel will be in very big trouble, and it won’t take long till you’ll see that my predictions are coming true.

Am Yisroel brace yourselves. Brace yourselves by doing Teshuva. Brace yourselves by loving each other, and doing Chessed for each other instead of all this Loshon Hora and Motzi Shem Rah, and all the violence in the Frum street one against the other. It can’t continue, and all of those who are working on the side of the Sitra Achra, will be wiped away.

I am saying the following to every Yid in Eretz Yisroel:

There is no reason now for any Yid to ever leave Eretz Yisroel again. I reiterate again, no reason ever to leave Eretz Yisroel again, never ever. First of all, there is nowhere to run to, and Eretz Yisroel is the place that Hashem promised us and this is where we must stay now, and we can’t save our lives by running away because there is nowhere in the world that wants Jews. There is no reason to leave Eretz Yisorel at all ever.

Tatti: Do people in America feel that things are changing?
Moishela: United States of America is a thing of the past and England is also on its way out. Many Jews feel it but many more don’t. Many are worried and are living with a black cloud over their heads trying to keep up business as usual but it doesn’t really work.

Mommy: Why were you crying so much when you woke up this morning?
Moishela: Last night a Tzaddik came to me in a dream. The Tzaddik was my Rebbe the Baal Shem Tov and with words he painted for me a vision of the near future of the world.

I saw death and destruction for much of the world,
I saw Yidden in Eretz Yisroel suffering pain and hunger and confusion,
I saw many Yidden their lifeless bodies strewn around on the ground,
I saw a group of Yidden coming together and crying out to Hashem.
They were wrapped in Talaisim and with Tefillin on their heads and arms they were crying and begging Hashem to forgive them and bring the Geula. They were begging Hashem not to destroy the descendents of Avrohom, Yitzchok, and Yaakov and telling Hashem they know the truth and begging Hashem to forgive them and bring Moshiach. Then the Tzaddik that showed me all this started to fade away and he said it’s up to Am Yisroel and then he disappeared.

Tatti: Wow that was a very frightening vision.
Moishela: Know that this is really the beginning of the end even if there is a ceasefire. The problem isn’t the Arabs the problem is that we the Yidden are not doing what we are supposed to do. The problem is that we Yidden many of us believe in Kochi VeOtzem Yodi. We are sure that we are the strong ones that our Iron Dome is what is saving Am Yisroel. There are Yidden that don’t believe that but still don’t believe in HaKodosh Boruch Hu the way they are supposed to.

There are almost no leaders and all is confusion. The world is full of confusion and evil. Almost overnight the world seems to have turned from a jolly democratic world where people had no problem planning for the future with confidence that it would come to pass and as if overnight it has turned into a world where evil is taking more and more control. Every person has become afraid and worried about their daily existence and the world seems totally chaotic, like a huge insane asylum run by uniformed Reshoim and this is very frightening.

22 November 2012

What Just Happened?

8 Kislev 5773

Normally, when we think of eight days in Kislev, we think of Hanukah. Now, we have the eight days of Amud Anan.

What just happened this past week in Aza? Well, there is the way the public perceives it; the way the politicians plan it; what the government tells us; the way the media presents it and ultimately, the way Hashem is directing it.

Most of the world can be classified either as puppets or pawns. The puppets think they know what's happening. The pawns don't have a clue, but they make guesses - some more educated than others. Only the One Above knows what's really going on.

But, I think that if we stay focused on the big picture, look at things from the perspective of our long and eventful history and view current events within the context of the unfolding redemption, we might be able to make some sense out of the confusion.

Clearly, as much as we all wanted to believe it, it was never the government's intention to put an end to Hamas once and for all.  I read one analysis (can't recall where) that implied that this whole adventure was a live training exercise to test the Iron Dome and to eliminate Hamas's supply of long-range missiles which threatened the center of Israel in preparation for the go at Iran.  If true, then it won't be long in coming as Iran will rush to resupply them.  In fact, a shipment is en route now.

It's interesting and (eye-opening) to see who has come out as the declared winner of this most recent conflict - Muhamed Morsi, Muslim Brotherhood President of Egypt.

Drudgereport 22-11-2012:
Gaza deal seals major role for Egypt's president...

Debka 22-11-2012:
...By deferring to Egypt’s superior authority, Israel let itself be demoted to an equal footing with Hamas,....

Netanyahu and Barak’s advisers defend this concession by maintaining that it is superseded by Morsi’s dependence on Washington for the sake of American aid grants and guarantees for international credit to rescue Egypt’s economy from collapse. Cairo will be in the hands of the Obama administration and so Israel has nothing to worry about, they say.


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

I think this linkage between Obama and Egypt at this critical moment is a clue to where we stand in the redemption process.

We started with Egypt and we'll finish with "Egypt" - America, who is spiritual Egypt and who is headed by a man who is very likely a gilgul of one of the pharaohs. It was no coincidence that he gave his first big foreign policy address from Cairo.

But, do you know what concerns me most about all this? Two very critical things came out of Amud Anan which have no doubt doomed America and will consequently bring unspeakable suffering to its citizens and unmentionable danger to my Jewish brethren.

President of the US Barack Obama publicly and openly pressured Israel's leadership to bend to his will or else allowed it to appear as though he did.  And the Israeli "leadership" gushed praise and thanks, not to Hashem, but to US President Barack Obama.

As reported by Yeshiva World News...

Prime Minister: "I would like to thank US President Barak Obama for his support of our right to defend ourselves and throughout Operation Pillar of Defense. Thanks to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for her efforts as well."

Defense Minister: "Thanks to the Obama administration and to US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta for the ongoing support and assistance."

Foreign Minister: "Thanks to President Obama, EU Foreign Minister Catherine Ashton and the international community towards bringing an end to the attacks from Gaza."

Disgusting!

Out of all the thanks being poured out, not one word of thanks to HKB"H. But that's the Erev Rav regime for you. Did we really expect anything else? But, it's going to backfire because already there are comments on the internet that the public kudos to Obama for the Iron Dome "without which Israel could not have killed babbies in Gaza" is inviting retribution on America from angry Muslims.

Furthermore, as long as Israel gives credit to America instead of to Hashem, or as long as they stand in the way of us defeating our enemies once and for all, as the case may be, He will be compelled to remove America from this equation. Either way you look at it, America's days are numbered and the Jews who live within its borders will suffer the brunt of American rage against Israel.

It's not over yet.  Harder times are coming.  Make sure you are prepared.

21 November 2012

Traumatic Stress

8 Kislev 5773

Well, you can't really call it POST-traumatic stress while it's ongoing. I would wager that there is not one Jew in Eretz Yisrael who is not suffering some kind of stress due to the current matzav. We are a small country and a tightly-knit people when the chips are down. No one remains unaffected. Even those in the north of the country where it is now quiet are surely reliving the trauma of 2006.

We are all reliving past traumas and recounting them to each other. I told a new employee about my famous "Terror Tour" of downtown Jerusalem where I can point out the place and describe each attack that occurred during the worst years of suicide bombings - three separate explosions of which I heard from my home.

I daresay there is no Jewish citizen of Israel who does not know someone who was killed or wounded in an attack over the years.

After taking my bus from home and waiting an extra long time getting through the checkpoint, I transferred to the Jerusalem lite-rail with the knowledge in the back of my mind that two dummy pipe bombs had already interrupted train service twice since last week. As soon as I took a seat, I heard one woman telling her seatmate that there had been a "pigua" on a bus in Tel Aviv. Flashback to the one I witnessed in Jerusalem where the bus roof had been peeled back like an open sardine can.

Immediately, one of my daughters called to tell me about it. I have another daughter who lives in Jerusalem, but works in Tel Aviv. I was sure she must be in her office working and not out traveling around the city.

Everyone I know is exhibiting some sign of stress beyond the usual. According to Reactions of Civilians Exposed to Terrorism and War Trauma in Israel: "...researchers have identified Israel as a natural laboratory for studying stress and its effects in the context of terrorism and war...."

Lovely.  

It's very important that we acknowledge this - to ourselves and to each other - and understand that this can be behind what otherwise might be construed as rude behavior or inattention, etc.  In short, we need to cut each other, and ourselves, some slack. Also, we need to take extra care to practice stress-reduction techniques - the foremost of which is reciting Tehillim.

And remember...this, too shall pass.

********

On another note entirely...

...today - 21 November / 8 Kislev - is the anniversary of the arrest of Jonathan Pollard. He is now beginning his 28th year in prison. Please take a moment to contemplate his sacrifice on behalf of Am Yisrael and say a special prayer for him.

18 November 2012

Hiding in the Diaspora

5 Kislev 5773

Those who call for Jews to hurry home to Eretz Yisrael in order to "escape" trouble are making a big mistake. Eretz Yisrael is not a place to hunker down and hide out til trouble passes over. It's the vehicle for fulfilling our national destiny. And that's never been more obvious than when buses were blowing up and missiles were raining down. But, since 1948, the Diaspora has become a place where Jews hide out from their national responsibilities. Allow me to explain further.

It all goes back to Yetziat Mitzrayim.

Hashem took us down to Egypt where we grew into a great nation and then He brought us up out of Egypt to return us to our land - Eretz Yisrael - which we were going to have to conquer.

"It came to pass when Pharaoh let the people go, that God did not lead them [by] way of the land of the Philistines for it was near, because God said, Lest the people reconsider when they see war and return to Egypt." (Shemot 13.17)

When the meraglim - the twelve spies sent out by Moshe Rabeinu - reported back to the people, Hashem's fears were realized. Ten of the twelve convinced the people that the enemy was too great for us - that we would all die trying to conquer the land.  The two who had faith that Hashem would not let us down, but would fight alongside us, lost the battle for the hearts and minds of a large part of the People of Israel.

Then - as now - the punishment for rebelling against ratzon Hashem was exile from the land.  We lost our chance and had to wait forty years, wandering in the desert, for an entire generation to die off, before we got another chance.

The Torah tells us, and the prophets and the writings back it up, that exile from our land is a punishment and that one day, that decree would be lifted and Hashem would return us to our land.  How many times a day throughout all the centuries have we prayed for that day to come?  And yet, still there is this dichotomy of the meraglim where part of the Jewish people says, "We get to live in Eretz Yisrael," while the other part says, "We don't have to live in Eretz Israel."

It's a fact that Eretz Yisrael is the safest place for a Jew to be - and especially so as judgment begins to fall on the nations of the world - but, that should not be interpreted to mean that no trouble or trial or injury will befall a Jew in Eretz Yisrael.  No one would be foolish enough to believe such a claim.  It goes against all evidence to the contrary.  What it means is that when the trouble or trial or, G-d forbid, injury happens to a Jew in Eretz Yisrael, it catches him while he is busy about the business Hashem created him for, not hiding out from his God-given responsibilities.

It's predictable that as the situation deteriorates for Jews in the Diaspora, it will also deteriorate in Eretz Yisrael.  This is necessary to preserve free will.  History shows that the borders of Eretz Yisrael were wide open for a period of time before Hitler's rise to power in Germany, but the Arabs were perpetrating pogroms against the Jews and the British collaborated with them.  (Witness Hebron 1929.) So, even though they didn't like the climate that was developing in Europe, many European Jews held back from any serious consideration of emigratiion.  By the time it became clear how bad it was going to get there, the British White Paper had been issued, severely limiting Jewish immigration to Eretz Yisrael, and the rest of the world closed its doors (and eyes and ears) to Jews.

This is the only possible end for those who make calculations about where it is "safer" to be.  This should never be a consideration when we are deciding about making the ultimate move to Eretz Yisrael.  It's "safest" to be where you belong.  We can't run from troubles or even from death.  They are a necessary part of this reality which is preparing us for the world to come.  But, as Jews, we also can't continue to run away from our obligations to God and to our fellow Jews:

(Bamidbar 32.6-9) "...Moses said to the descendants of Gad and the descendants of Reuben, "Shall your brethren go to war while you stay here? Why do you discourage the children of Israel from crossing over to the land which the Lord has given them? This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to explore the Land. They went up to the Valley of Eshkol and saw the land, and they discouraged the children of Israel from crossing into the land which the Lord has given them."

Hashem is asking every Diaspora Jew this question today - "Shall your brethren go to war while you stay here?" Shall you live in comfort and security and indulge yourselves among the impure nations while your brothers are fighting and dying to conquer the land which you have rejected, but for which you share an equal responsibility? Neither your physical well-being, nor even that of your children (witness the generation of the desert who feared for their children's lives!) must have any bearing on this holy and irrevocable calling.

Now, look how we've come full circle again back to the meraglim:

"...Why do you discourage the children of Israel from crossing over to the land which the Lord has given them? This is what your fathers did when I sent them from Kadesh Barnea to explore the Land. They went up to the Valley of Eshkol and saw the land, and they discouraged the children of Israel from crossing into the land which the Lord has given them."

Did you, as a Diapora Jew arguing for your right to remain in chu"l even to the point of accusing the Israeli Jew of sinning by being there, ever imagine yourself compared to one of the meraglim who discouraged the people?

This is very serious business, folks! Hashem deemed them worthy of death.

Hashem commanded us regarding Eretz Yisrael - enter and conquer.  The Israeli Jew is suffering because he has not completed the second part of this commandment, but the Diaspora Jew has not even begun!  Brothers and sisters, this is a reality-changiing error and never more so than NOW!  

And a special warning to those who speak lashon hara against Eretz Yisrael, discouraging Diaspora Jews from emigrating and discouraging Israeli Jews and causing them to doubt the righteousness of their mission - if you merit gehinnom, believe me, there will be a very special place for you there.

As I write this, I bear in mind that the Truth hurts and it's never popular with the masses.

17 November 2012

It's No Mystery How We Came to This State

4 Kislev 5773

Cruel, wicked, cowardly "leadership" that cares more about world opinion than Jewish life and that adheres to a warped humanistic idea of morality.

This is an example of the kind of people (and thinking) that has brought us to this terrible state:

Former IDF Gaza Division Commander Brigadier-General (retired) Chico Tamir ... feels “we must lower our expectations regarding the outcome of this operation” because if ground forces are sent in, “the amount of force needed [to protect soldiers] will exceed all proportions and therefore the gain by sending in ground forces is minimal in my opinion”.

Tamir feels that the mission as it is may buy quiet for a period of time but “Hamas measures the blow in the number of killed and this operation will not buy us years of quiet to my sorrow. For that to happen, the use of force would have to be beyond what we would view as acceptable.

He basically feels it is unrealistic to believe when this operation ends Hamas is going to fold up and go away.


And then there's this:

"The IDF reports the Kerem Shalom Crossing will operate for a number of hours on Sunday to permit deliveries of food and humanitarian supplies to Gaza."

And also this:

Prime Minister Netanyahu today spoke with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras and Czech Prime Minister Petr Necas. During his conversation with German Chancellor Merkel, the Prime Minister said that no country in the world would agree to a situation in which its population lives under a constant missile threat.

Yesterday (Friday, 2 Kislev), Prime Minister Netanyahu spoke with US President Barack Obama for the second time since the start of Operation Pillar of Defense and expressed his appreciation for the US position regarding Israel’s right to defend itself. The Prime Minister also thanked him for the American assistance in purchasing Iron Dome batteries.

Prime Minister Netanyahu is expected to speak with other world leaders this evening and in the coming days.


No other country would feel the need to justify the obvious or seek approval for it either.

The current "leadership" does not have what it takes to finish this job. Only one can - Hashem's anointed - Ben David. And he will only make his appearance when the Jewish people have had enough to understand what needs to be done and are willing to follow such a leader.

I can't help but wonder how much shockingly worse it has to get before that day arrives.

Tomer Devorah wants to publicly offer grateful thanks to HKB"H for His care and protection and for all the miracles He has performed for us that the destruction of Jewish lives and property has not been greater.

16 November 2012

Another Milestone Reached

2 Kislev 5773

Debka today:

...Our sources report that Thursday, some international airlines cancelled flights to Israel. International airline officials told DEBKAfile that security in central Israel is uncertain after Palestinian rockets from Gaza reached the Tel Aviv area. They fear Ben Gurion international airport at Lod may be next.

The sources noted that the landing of a rocket in the sea off Bat Yam posed a serious aviation hazard because it occurred under the flight path of passenger planes bound for and departing Israel. Intense Israeli Air Force activity over Gaza was making commercial flights additionally “hazardous if not impossible,” they said.

Air France was the first to reschedule flights and advise passengers to call in before setting out for their airport of departure.


Like everyone else, I'm keeping up with the liveblogging at Muqata and YWN and praying.

Two notes about Shabbat:

Shabbat under Siege: Plans for Quiet Channel, Special Prayer

Rabbi Ovadia Yosef: Add Chosen Prayers till War's End

We may not be able to have a peaceful Shabbat externally, but we can remain at peace internally knowing that HKB"H is in charge of it all and He's doing everything for our very best, in order to bring the geulah shleimah at long last.

Shabbat shalom!

PS: Did you notice that time speeded up again? Watch how quickly developments are occurring now.

14 November 2012

Chodesh Kislev Tov

29 Marcheshvan 5773
Erev Rosh Chodesh Kislev



The Month of Kislev According to the Book of Formation (Sefer Yetzirah)

According to Sefer Yetzirah, each month of the Jewish year has a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, a zodiac sign, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, a sense, and a controlling limb of the body that correspond to it.

Introduction

Kislev (כִּסְלֵו) is the ninth of the twelve months of the Jewish calendar.

Kislev is the month of Chanukah, the only holiday in the Jewish calendar which spans, and hence connects, two months. Chanukah begins on the 25th day of the month of Kislev and concludes in the month of Tevet (either on the 2nd or 3rd, depending on the number of days in Kislev).

The name Kislev derives from the Hebrew word kesel1 (כֶּסֶל), which means either “security,” or “trust.” There are two states of trust—one active and one passive—both of which manifest in the month of Kislev, which in the human body correspond to the right and left kidneys, respectively. In Hebrew, the word for kidney2 is also kesel (כֶּסֶל).

The miracle of Chanukah reflects the active trust of the Hasmoneans (the Maccabees) in God that drove them to stand up and fight against the Hellenistic Seleucid kingdom (and its culture). Kislev's sense is sleep. Sleep too is connected with trust and reflects the passive trust that we all have that God's Providence always watches over all.

The month of Kislev is also related to redemption of Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi, the founder of Chabad and disciple of the Magid of Mezritch, the successor of the Ba'al Shem Tov. Rabbi Shneur Zalman, also known as the Alter Rebbe authored the Tanya, the classic text of Chassidut. He was sentenced to death by the Czarist regime in Russia because of his support for Jews who lived in the Holy land, at that time under the rule of the Ottoman empire. Spiritually, it was revealed to him that he was being sentenced in heaven for openly disseminating the innermost mysteries of the Torah. On the 19th day of Kislev 5559, the Alter Rebbe was cleared of all charges and freed. The 19th day of Kislev is therefore referred to as "the New Year of Chassidut" implying that through the spiritual channel of this day, the inner wisdom of Chassidut and the power to integrate its wisdom into one's daily life is brought down into this world. Indeed, the foundation of the way of Chassidut is absolute trust and faith in God's omnipresence and the omnipotence of His Divine providence.

Letter: Samech (ס)

The name of the letter samech implies "support." The experience of feeling supported corresponds to the trust and confidence in Divine providence associated with Kislev, as described above. In the same vein, in Psalms we find the expression, “God supports (סוֹמֵךְ) all the fallen and lifts up all the bent over."3 Also, "Should he fall, he will not be cast aside, for God supports (סוֹמֵךְ) his hand."4

The letter samech is shaped like a circle, representing God’s omnipresence and universal providence. The "great circle," representing God’s Infinite light is explained in Chassidut to reflect His right arm embracing (and supporting, from beneath) with great, infinite love, all of reality, as is said, "And from beneath, the arms of the universe."5

Zodiac sign: Keshet (Sagittarius, the Bow)

The zodiac symbol of Kislev is the bow (קֶשֶׁת), which means both an archer’s bow and a rainbow. The latter relates clearly with the theme of Chanukah as the archer’s bow of the Maccabees. It symbolizes their active trust in God to fight against the Hellenistic culture that ruled the world at the time. Though the Hasmoneans themselves were members of the tribe of Levi and part of the priesthood, in the Bible, the art of archery and the bow are ascribed to the tribe of Benjamin in particular, the tribe of the month of Kislev (see 2 Chronicles 14:7).

When corresponding the tribes of Israel to the months of the year, the priests (kohanim) and Levites are not counted (according to the Arizal—instead the tribe of Levi corresponds to Second Adar, the 13th additional month inserted into 7 out of every 19 years). As an all-inclusive manifestation of the Jewish soul, the priests contain and reflect the spiritual source of each of the twelve tribes of Israel. This is especially true in relation to the tribe of Benjamin, because the Holy Temple, where the priests served, was constructed in his portion of the Land of Israel. Thus the relationship between the priesthood and Benjamin is similar to that between the soul and the body. The priests fight the holy war embodied in Benjamin’s bow.

The archer’s bow is a projection (or, one might say it is shot, like an arrow out of a bow) of the rainbow—the sign of the covenant made between God and creation never to destroy the world again and a sign of peace—which pervades the end of the previous month, Cheshvan.6 Graphically, the two bows—the rainbow and the archer’s bow—are two half circles, that when joined together form the shape of the circular letter samech, the letter of the month of Kislev.

Tribe: Benjamin

As mentioned earlier, the tribe of Benjamin is the one most gifted with the art of the bow. The Holy Temple in Jerusalem was built in the part of the Land of Israel belonging to Benjamin. Moses prophesied this in his blessing for Benjamin, “To Benjamin he [Moses] said, ‘[Benjamin is] the beloved of God, He [the Almighty] shall dwell trustfully over him; He hovers over him all the day, and between his shoulders He rests."7 Here we explicitly see that Benjamin symbolizes both trust and rest, the sense of the month of Kislev.

Of all the tribes of Israel, Benjamin was the only one born in the land of Israel. The land of Israel is the place where one most clearly experiences Divine providence. In the words of the Zohar, “There is no place vacant of Him.”8

When Jacob blessed Benjamin before his passing, he likened him to a wolf. Based on this blessing, Jacob is symbolized by a wolf. The wolf, representing craving and gulping down food without chewing (wolfing it down), symbolizes Benjamin’s mundane craving for God and his ability to excite others about grabbing Divinity wherever and whenever it can be found. In the body, the kidneys are identified as the source of craving, and as noted earlier, one of the meanings of the name Kislev is kidneys. In addition, the kidney’s are the seat of the sefirot victory and acknowledgment whose inner essence and motivating force are active and passive trust.

Sense: Sleep

Sleep depends on the tranquility and restfulness that comes from feeling trust and security in God and His Divine providence. At the end of Leviticus, we find the blessing, “And you shall dwell securely in your land. And I shall give peace in the land, and you shall lie down without fear....”9

To have a sense in sleep suggests something we all ascribe to achieve. The word "sense" (חוּשׁ) itself is cognate to “quickness” (חִישׁ) implying that a person who has a well-developed sense of sleep has the ability to sleep well but quickly. Indeed, we know that the greatest of the tzadikim, required very few hours of sleep each day.

Benjamin’s talent and prowess with a bow—the ability to shoot and hit his target—depend upon a most tranquil inner spirit. In fact, the whole process of aiming, shooting and hitting the target can be described as being almost asleep. The archer’s tranquility comes from the realization that it is God that guides his arrows to their intended targets. A tranquil personality is one with little inner friction and tension. The sense of sleep suggests the ability to release stress, as one lies quietly confident in God’s support.

The sense of sleep is of course deeply related with the dream state (see Kislev: The Month of Dreams). When one possesses complete trust in God one dreams the future in positively. Good dreams at night reflect good thoughts throughout the day, especially the optimistic attitude and consciousness taught by Chassidut, “Think good and it will be good.”

The Pentateuch contains descriptions of 10  dreams. By Divine Providence, all 10 appear in the weekly Torah portions read during the month of Kislev. This is one of the best examples of the Alter Rebbe’s saying that one should “live with the times,” i.e., live life with the messages of the weekly Torah portion in mind.

Controller: Belly

The part of the body considered Kislev’s controller, or guide, is the belly (קֵבָה). The relation between the belly, especially when it is full and satiated and the tranquil state of sleep (Kislev’s sense) is clear and explicit in the teachings of our sages. The rectified individual always has a figuratively full belly, regardless of his or her conditions. To attain this state of contentment, one must never be jealous of others, as the sages state, “Who is rich? He who is happy with his portion.” Being content demands a spiritual outlook on life and its conditions; an outlook that makes us realize that our portion—the hand we have been dealt by the Almighty—is indeed ours and no one else’s. The word “belly” derives from the word “measure” (קַב). The sages state that by nature, “The individual desires onemeasure of that which is his, more than he desires nine measures of that which belongs to his fellow.”

Being content ourselves is the best way to feed the world—to ensure that Divine effluence reaches all. One of the greatest (and poorest) Mishnaic sages was Rabbi Chaninah ben Dosah. Despite his extreme poverty, Rabbi Chaninah was always content. The Talmud relates that it was said in heaven that, “The entire world is fed in merit of Chaninah my son, yet Chaninah himself is content with merely one measure of carobs every week.”10Rabbi Chaninah also teaches us that a content belly is possible when one knows one’s proper measure.11

In English, belly is not a very specific anatomical term. To properly identify the belly, we need to go back to the Pentateuch, where we find that the belly is one of the three organs donated to the priests from every kosher animal slaughtered12 (not for the purpose of a sacrifice).13 

Still, from the description of Pinchas’s act of self-sacrifice,14 we learn that the word “belly” (קֵבָה) also refers to the womb. Thus, belly can be understood not only as a specific organ in the body but a general term, including the entire region of the abdomen, which like its synonym בטן, can refer to the stomach, the (large) intestines, or the womb. The womb, in particular, relates to Benjamin, Kislev’s tribe. Benjamin is described as the “point of Zion” in Kabbalah, referring to the feminine aspect of the sefirah foundation, anatomically identified with the female procreative organ, the womb.

Color: Blue-Violet


Notes:
1. See Job 4:6.
2. See Psalms 38:8.
3. Ibid. 145:14.
4. Ibid. 37:24.
5. Deuteronomy 33:27.
6. See our article on Cheshvan.
7. Deuteronomy 33:12. Note that Benjamin’s blessing follows Levi’s (which also refers to the priesthood, who were form the tribe of Levi), an allusion to the future connection between the Hasmoneans and the art of the bow, Benjamin’s expertise.
8Tikunei Zohar 57 (91b).
9. Leviticus 26:5-6.
10Berachot 17b.
11. This concept will appear again in the month of Shevat, its sense (eating and taste) and its controller (the eetztumka or kurkevan, the esophagus to stomach).
12. Deuteronomy 18:3.
13Chulin 130a. Rambam, Hilchot bikurim, ch. 9.
14. The sages (Chulin 134b) teach us that all three gifts allude to the various actions taken by Pinchas at that time in order to save the children of Israel from the plague that had begun killing them.

09 November 2012

The Cultural Milieu

23 Marcheshvan 5773

In every place and in every time, there is a cultural milieu which defines how people relate to one another.

In the time and place where I grew up, it was considered very rude to ask for something. One had to wait until he was invited. For instance, I could not ask to go over to my friend's house, unless first an invitation was extended. The thinking was that it might be an inconvenient time for guests, but by asking outright, my friend would be put on the spot and feel embarrassed to turn me down. One did not ask for a piece of cake or a cup of coffee. He waited until it was offered and even then, it was rude to accept on the first offer. A typical exchange might go something like this:

Hostess: "Can I get you anything? Coffee, tea?"

Guest: "No, thanks."

Hostess: "Are you sure?"

Guest: "I wouldn't want to put you to any trouble."

Hostess: "It's no trouble at all."

Guest: "Well, in that case..."


The third time is the charm here. If you turn the offer down the third time, the hostess understands that you really don't want anything.  You can imagine my surprise the first time I confided to a friend that I was hurt that I had not been invited for many months and she responded, equally surprised, that I had never mentioned that I wanted to come.

I have to say that I prefer a more honest interaction, but as we see in this week's parshah, social rules of engagement are nothing new. There are some interesting clues in the opening scene which provides some insight into what it must have been like in Avraham Avinu's time.

Then Abraham rose from beside his dead, and spoke to the Hittites, saying, "I am a resident alien among you; sell me a burial site among you, that I may remove my dead for burial." And the Hittites replied to Abraham, saying to him, "Hear us, my lord: you are the elect of God among us. Bury your dead in the choicest of our burial places; none of us will withhold his burial place from you for burying your dead." Thereupon Abraham bowed low to the people of the land, the Hittites, and he said to them, "If it is your wish that I remove my dead for burial, you must agree to intercede for me with Ephron son of Zohar. Let him sell me the cave of Machpelah that he owns, which is at the edge of his land. Let him sell it to me, at the full price, for a burial site in your midst."

Ephron was present among the Hittites; so Ephron the Hittite answered Abraham in the hearing of the Hittites, all who entered the gate of his town, saying, "No, my lord, hear me: I give you the field and I give you the cave that is in it; I give it to you in the presence of my people. Bury your dead." Then Abraham bowed low before the people of the land, and spoke to Ephron in the hearing of the people of the land, saying, "If only you would hear me out! Let me pay the price of the land; accept it from me, that I may bury my dead there." And Ephron replied to Abraham, saying to him, "My lord, do hear me! A piece of land worth four hundred shekels of silver-what is that between you and me? Go and bury your dead." Abraham accepted Ephron's terms. Abraham paid out to Ephron the money that he had named in the hearing of the Hittites-four hundred shekels of silver at the going merchants' rate.

So Ephron's land in Machpelah, near Mamre-the field with its cave and all the trees anywhere within the confines of that field-passed to Abraham as his possession, in the presence of the Hittites, of all who entered the gate of his town. And then Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave of the field of Machpelah, facing Mamre-now Hebron-in the land of Canaan. Thus the field with its cave passed from the Hittites to Abraham, as a burial site.


It was the custom in ancient times for the men to meet at the city gates to conduct public business. Many interested observers would also be present and at times would act as witnesses when required. It was probably under such circumstances that Avrahamn Avinu approached Ephron with an offer to buy his field.

The parshah begins by telling us that Avraham spoke to the Hittites in a general way as if to see what places might be on offer to buy as a burial place for Sarah. But, we know that he already has his heart set on the Cave of Machpelah which lies in the field owned by Ephron the Hittite. Notice how Avraham, when he makes his specific request known, does not speak directly to Ephron, but continues speaking in a general way to the Hittites as a group, as if Ephron were not there. But, then we read "Ephron was present among the Hittites."

I can only guess, but this seems to be a cultural way to save face. If Ephron is not interested, he will remain quiet since he was not spoken to directly, but if he is interested in making a deal with Avraham, this is his chance to speak up, which he does.

The prescribed social interaction continues as Ephron magnanimously offers to "give" the field to Avraham. It would be socially crass to ask for money from a man seeking a place to bury his dead wife. However, business is business and a field is a valuable commodity. He doesn't really intend to give it away for free and this is understood by everyone present.

It's interesting that while negotiations are progressing, Avraham is still addressing himself by way of the group at large and not to Ephron directly. And Ephron responds by mentioning a monetary value for the field without saying specifically that this is what he wants for it. But all present understand the cultural milieu and that this is how such business plays out. We know that it was always Ephron's intent to sell the field as it says "...Abraham accepted Ephron's terms."

~Shabbat shalom!~