30 April 2018

Seriously Speaking...

15 Iyyar 5778
30 Days of the Omer

All the news sites are reporting that the Prime Minister will address the nation at 8 pm  this evening on the subject of Iran, and that at least a portion of his speech will be in English for the benefit of the "international community." Sounds serious.


Redemption Is A Process

15 Iyyar 5778
30 Days of the Omer

"Our Rav told us that praying for Jonathan Pollard's redemption and praying for the redemption of Klal Yisrael are really one and the same."  - Esther Pollard

Did we finally get the headline this morning that Jonathan Pollard has finally been freed to come home to Israel? Not quite... 
Officials: Trump 'seriously considering' letting Pollard move to Israel

Of course, it can't happen in one fell swoop. As with everything connected to the full and final redemption, this too is a process - step by step. But, we're closer now than we've ever been.

Pray! ...Pray hard!!

Know the Law

15 Iyyar 5778
30 Days of the Omer

Learn the difference between a mitzvah and a minhag. It's especially important because the more recent the origin of the minhag, the more questionable it becomes.
Hagaon HaRav Yitzchak Yosef: There Is No Mitzva To Travel To Meron On Lag B’Omer

Rishon L’Tzion HaGaon HaRav Yitzchak Yosef Shlita during his motzei Shabbos shiur mentioned Lag B’Omer, stating there is no mitzva to travel to the tziyun of the Rashbi, an announcement he makes annually.

The rav cited the travels involved in making the trip results in a great deal of bitul Torah, and therefore, one should continue with one’s regular learning schedule.

The rav added HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef ZT”L continued his limud as was the case in Yeshivat Porat Yosef, as back then, the masses did not travel to Meron on Lag B’Omer.

The rav advises those who are having a chalaka (upsherin) can take a break and do so at the tziyun of Shimon HaTzaddik or Shmuel HaNavi, in Yerushalayim.

24 April 2018

"Why Do People Hate Jews?"

9 Iyyar 5778
24 Days of the Omer

Some might answer that question by saying that the Jews are an accursed people. When pressed to name a reason, few, if any, would get it right...
Behold, I set before you today a blessing and a curse. The blessing, that you will heed the commandments of the Lord your God, which I command you today; and the curse, if you will not heed the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn away from the way I command you this day, to follow other gods, which you did not know. (Devarim 11.26-28)

And it will be if you obey the Lord, your God, to observe to fulfill all His commandments which I command you this day, the Lord, your God, will place you supreme above all the nations of the earth. ...And it will be, if you do not obey the Lord, your God, to observe to fulfill all His commandments and statutes which I am commanding you this day, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you. (Devarim 28.1, 15)
Antisemitism is a supernatural tool the Almighty uses to bring his wayward children into line. The only way to "fight" it is to get with the (Torah) program.

22 April 2018

The Treachery of the (Western) Nations

7 Iyyar 5778
22 Days of the Omer

History keeps repeating itself - over and over again. Pharaoh let us go and then promptly changed his mind and set off after us to bring us back to Egypt. King Cyrus let us leave the Babylonian Exile to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple and then changed his mind and stopped the construction.

Even in modern times, we see the same pattern. Despite the common misconception that the nations "gave" us Eretz Yisrael out of guilt over the Holocaust, in fact, they made that decision some 25 years earlier.

Jews had been returning and settling the land in earnest since the first group of the Vilna Gaon's students arrived in 1809. The aims of the Zionist movement reached the high levels of leadership in the British government which merited to liberate the Holy Land from the Turks in 1917. No sooner had they taken control than they issued "The Balfour Declaration" supporting "the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." In 1918, Britain was joined in this endeavor by France, Italy and the United States.
On 5th Iyar 5680 (April 23, 1920), the heads of the Allied Powers who had won the First World War - led by Britain, France and Italy - met in San Remo for an international convention, the purpose of which was to re-organize the world after the war. 
The convention adopted the Balfour Declaration and gave it international validity, "recognition of the historic right of the Jewish people to return to their ancient homeland." Britain received the mandate over Eretz Yisrael, which meant taking responsibility for helping the Jewish people establish their national home in accordance with the Balfour Declaration.
The San Remo Conference also stated that the national home of the Jewish people would stretch over all of Eretz Yisrael on both sides of the Jordan River.*

Led by Haj Amin el-Husseini, the resident Arabs made their disapproval of these developments known through attacks on Jews. True to current form, the terror was rewarded with an immediate capitulation by Britain when they decided to divide the land between the Jews and the Arabs, lopping off the major portion east of the Jordan River, calling it Trans-Jordan and installing King Abdullah.

On 23 Elul 5682 (September 16, 1922), the League of Nations (precursor to the UN) approved the decision while upholding "the historic right of the Jewish people to return and establish their national home in their ancient homeland."

Despite the nations attempts at appeasement and generosity at our expense, Arab opposition continued to be expressed through waves of murder and mayhem across the country. The result was even bigger rewards to the Arabs: severe restrictions on Jewish aliyah and settlement just when Europe was beginning to simmer below the surface.

It reached its culmination on 28 Iyar 5699 (May 17, 1939), just three and a half months before the outbreak of WWII, when the British rescinded the Balfour Declaration and began to prohibit Jewish aliyah. This is when the Jews of Eretz Yisrael rebelled against British rule. And the situation did not improve after the war.
The British abuse of Holocaust survivors and their total denial of their international commitments stirred global public opinion, which became a major factor in expelling the British from the Land.
...the United Nations (UN) General Assembly convened on 8 Iyar 5707 (April 28, 1947) to discuss the question of Eretz Yisrael's future. ...the discussions ended with a decision to send a committee to investigate the Eretz Yisrael problem and to propose solutions....
...after months of trips and meetings, the committee decided - by a majority vote - to recommend the creation of two countries, Jewish and Arab, in the western part of Eretz Yisrael.... 

...Jerusalem - Old and New - would remain an international city under UN jurisdiction.*

The Jews acquiesced. The Arab reaction: "We will not agree to the establishment of a Jewish State on even 1% of Palestine."*

On November 29, 1947, the vote was taken and the Partition Plan was approved by a majority vote in the UN. The very next day, the Arabs of Eretz Yisrael went on the attack with help from other Arab nations and the British themselves. No one helped the Jews.
It was impossible to buy real armored vehicles because every other country - including America - had imposed a total embargo on selling arms and military equipment to the Hebrew Yishuv....

...While the battles raged in Israel, so they raged in the political arena, with the UN Building in New York at the center of attention. It seemed that the United States, which had supported the Partition Plan for two States in Eretz Yisrael, had changed its position. On the 8th Adar Alef 5708 (March 19, 1948), the American delegation announced that it supported UN trustee rule in Eretz Yisrael, a stance that meant the continuation of the British Mandate. Other countries quickly followed the American lead.*
Chaim Weizmann somehow convinced Truman to stand by his original decision, which he eventually did, but not without a lot of pressure on Weizmann and Ben Gurion to delay the declaration of the State, which essentially would amount to the same outcome of a continuation of the intolerable Mandate. It was put to a vote and, B"H, the leadership of the Yishuv stood their ground.

By the time statehood was declared on 5 Iyyar 5708 (May 15, 1948), the brave, but exhausted  defenders of the Yishuv had been fighting against all odds for five months. On the following day, they faced the rested, well-trained and well-equipped armies of five Arab countries. And still the international embargo of arms and equipment ("led by the United States") against the Jewish defenders was upheld! No one believed the Jews had any chance at all of winning and even their very survival was in question!

Only a month into the battle, with hundreds already dead and thousands wounded, the nascent State of Israel was about to be completely overrun by her enemies when the UN suddenly proposed a 28-day ceasefire and the Arabs accepted.

During this time, Israel began to "secretly and unofficially" receive much-needed supplies, arms and even planes through the auspices of Czechoslavakia "with the approval of the Soviet Union." This turned the tide of the war. 

When Hashem runs the show, He can use anyone and anything to accomplish His will and it does not depend on the goodwill of the nations or their reliability as an ally. That's why we have to always stay in good standing with Him and depend solely on Him, because the nations are treacherous at heart.

True to form, the worst treachery was yet to come...
...the UN had used the ceasefire for its own purposes. The heads of the UN delegation - Swedish Count Bernadotte and his deputy, American Ralph Bunche - prepared a new proposal for solving the Jewish-Arab conflict. The new suggestion cancelled the Partition Plan...and instead proposed the set-up of a federation between two national entities, Arab and Jewish, which would be run under joint ruling institutions. The issue of continued Jewish immigration was supposed to be decided in these institutions, in which the Arabs would have a clear and decisive majority, since the Arab entity included all the Arabs in Eretz Yisrael....*
Including returned "refugees" and including Trans-Jordan!!
...Despite Israel's opposition, Count Bernadotte stood firm, even swaying further to the side of the Arabs in a document he submitted to the UN General Assembly on 12 Elul 5708 (September 16, 1948). In his amended proposal, he removed the entire Negev - from the Ashkeon-Chevron line and southwards - from the area of the Jewish State. ...the Western powers unanimously adopted his plan.*
We had gone from all of Palestine to 1/3 of Palestine to 45% of that 1/3 to no homeland at all as the nations of the world broke every promise and reneged on every deal! 

It was only due to Hashem's help that we were spared.  The new Israeli government rejected this plan and our Heaven-sent victory left the UN with no other option but to refuse to recognize our new borders. They called on us, in vain, to allow the Arab refugees to return and to retreat to the borders as laid out in the 1947 Partition Plan. The nations of the world, including the United States, have held firm on these demands until this very day.
_______________________

* All quotes come from "The Ingathering and Independence Scroll" by Dr. Hagi Ben-Artzi.

Interesting date correlations (see bold type above): 5 Iyyar was the day Israel declared its independence, 28 Iyyar was the day that Jerusalem was reunified in 1967, and 23 Elul is the Hebrew date of the 9/11 Twin Towers attack.

20 April 2018

"You Shall Be Holy"

5 Iyyar 5778
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
20 Days of the Omer

It has come to my attention that some people still do not understand my complaints against Christianity and some sects of Hasidism, so I'd like to take this opportunity to try and bring some clarity to the issue. I'll try to make it short and succinct so there can be no misunderstanding.

HKB"H: "You shall have no other gods before Me."

  • Christianity is an idolatrous religion, worshiping a man-god who is supposedly the physical offspring of the Creator, God forbid! 
  • It is a missionary religion intent on bringing the entirety of humanity - especially and including Jews - into that idolatrous worship.
  • They compiled a book of "scripture" which they added to our Tanach and call the entire thing the "Bible" - the "inspired Word of God," God forbid!

This is a horrible, treacherous crime against HKB"H which carries a horrendous penalty - death. It got the ten tribes of the Northern Kingdom of Israel exiled and permanently cut off from the nation, as well as the first Beit Hamikdash destroyed. We have an obligation from the Torah to our fellow Jews and to HKB"H to prevent its practice and proliferation in Eretz Yisrael.

Some elements in some sects of modern Hasidism are coming closer and closer to the Christian religious model. It is this tendency which I decry and distance myself from.

  • Rebbe 'worship' to the point of believing that a rebbe is still alive or communicating with his followers from the grave or otherwise directing their lives or intervening on their behalf from above.
  • Viewing a particular Hasidic sect as superior to other Jews and "encouraging" others to adopt this path.
  • The addition of a particular Hasidic text which can even supercede the Torah as an object of study. 
That's not to say that other sects of Judaism don't have their own issues. There is plenty of correction and improvement called for all around. But, these seeming similarities between Christianity and some sects of Hasidism are too close for my taste or my comfort.  

In this week's Torah portion [Kedoshim] we are commanded: "You shall be holy, for holy am I, Hashem, your God."

The commentary says...
It was God's will to rest His Presence among the Jewish people so that it could rise to its calling to be a holy nation of His servants (Exodus 19.6). In order to make this possible, Israel was enjoined to avoid the spiritual contaminations that would result from the sexual and religious practices listed in the previous several chapters. This sidrah begins by explaining that the reason for these prohibitions was to make it possible for the nation to become holy by emulating its Creator as much as possible. Furthermore, the purpose of this holiness is for people to become elevated in their lives on this world, and the way to do this, our passage teaches, is by scrupulous adherence to the commandments found on the first tablet of the Ten Commandments....
The first of which is, "I am Hashem, your God, Who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, from the house of slavery." And the second one is, "You shall have no other gods before Me."

More commentary...
"...before Me." (in My presence), i.e., as long as I exist. Since God is eternal, this prohibition, too, is permanent (Rashi)  To defy a human king to his face is the worst form of treason, and since God is omnipresent, idolatry is an unpardonable affront. (Ibn Ezra, Sforno)  ...The Torah uses the expression jealous only with reference to idolatry and to a suspicious husband's claim that his wife was unfaithful (Numbers 5.14) The term refers to an abuse of trust and someone's refusal to give up something that is rightfully his. In the context of idolatry, God alone is entitled to the veneration of human beings and He will not countenance worship of other beings. Mechilta teaches that God says, "For idolatry, I zealously exact punishment, but in other matters I am gracious and merciful." In the context of the jealous husband who claims that his wife has lived with another man, he refuses to give up the faithfulness to which he is entitled.

19 April 2018

"ABOVE AND BEYOND"

4 Iyyar 5778
19 Days of the Omer
Yom Ha'atzmaut (commemorated)
"Would you risk everything – your future, your citizenship, even your life – to help a brother in need?

In 1948, just three years after the liberation of Nazi death camps, a group of Jewish American pilots answered a call for help. In secret and at great personal risk, they smuggled planes out of the U.S., trained behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia and flew for Israel in its War of Independence. As members of Machal – “volunteers from abroad” – this ragtag band of brothers not only turned the tide of the war; they also embarked on personal journeys of discovery and renewed Jewish pride. ABOVE AND BEYOND is their story.

The first major feature-length documentary about the foreign airmen in the ’48 War, ABOVE AND BEYOND brings together new interviews with the pilots, as well as stunning aerial footage, to present a fascinating, little-known tale filled with heart, heroism and high-flying chutzpah. The film follows the pilots on their circuitous route from the United States – where they met and trained in secret and struggled to stay two steps ahead of the FBI – to Panama, Italy and Czechoslovakia, where they flew versions of the very Nazi planes they had tried to shoot down in World War II. More than a retelling of the ’48 Arab-Israeli War, ABOVE AND BEYOND examines the motivations of the foreign volunteers – both Jews and non-Jews. It mines the tensions between the Israelis and Machal soldiers. Would the foreign pilots stay in Israel after the war? Were they Americans first or Jews first? The film recounts the personal stories of the young pilots, whose experiences in Israel were life altering. And through their stories, ABOVE AND BEYOND reveals how under-equipped and isolated the Israelis were, how desperately they needed planes and pilots and how critical the actions of these young American men were for the country’s survival."

18 April 2018

There Is No 'Reverse' In The Geulah Vehicle

4 Iyyar 5778
19 Days of the Omer
Yom Ha'atzmaut Commemorated

On the Founding of the Modern State of Israel - Too often we are called upon to point out deficiencies and to provide warnings of inherent dangers in the path we follow on our way to redemption in our Holy Land. Today is a day for setting those important tasks aside and to marvel at the miracles which have accompanied us thus far and to give thanks for all the good that we have been blessed with along with the daily challenges.

All of history has been moving forward in this direction and with this goal since the very beginning. Sometimes the process speeds up and sometimes it slows down, but it never reverses.
...Just as there is a measure of sin which, when full, causes wrath and calamity to befall the world, so too is there a measure of retribution which, when full, brings forth Divine grace and radiance to the world, whereby God bestows compassion even upon those of His children who have suffered the full measure of His fury. Even if we lack the merit of deeds to bring the redemption, the Jewish people in our time indeed possess the merit achieved through suffering.
And perhaps the very intensification of sin and moral decline are themselves sufficient cause for the redemption, for the very act of salvation is an impetus towards repentance and renewed allegiance to His covenant. This idea is found in the words of the Prophet (Yechezkel 16.62-62): And I will establish my covenant with you and you shall know that I am Hashem...so that you might recall and feel ashamed, never opening your mouth again because of your embarrassment after I forgive you for all that you have done. The Prophet (Ibid. 36.22-25) further tells us: Therefore say unto the House of Israel, thus says Hashem your God: Not for your sake do I do this, O House of Israel, but for the sake of My holy Name which you have profaned...and I will take you from among the nations...and I will bring you into your own land, and I will sprinkle you with the waters of purification and you shall be cleansed of all your impurities.
In Yeshayahu (44.22) we read: I have erased your transgressions as if they were vapor, and your sins as if they were a cloud. Return unto Me for I have redeemed you.
There are many allusions in our sources to the idea of redemption and forgiveness preceding repentance and purification. The precise nature of this, however, remains beyond our perception, for who among man can fathom the essence of the Divine plan?
...Let your mouth be filled with song and praise to God for what He has done, for what He does, and for what He shall yet do on behalf of His chosen Nation, the seed of Israel, from now and until the End of Days.
-The Book of Our Heritage, The Month of Iyar by Rabbi Eliyahu Kitov

According to the [Vilna] Gaon, all the work involved in gathering in the exiles, building Jerusalem and broadening the settlement of the land of Israel so that the Shechina will return to it, all the principles of the work and all the major and minor details are connected to the mission and role of the first mashiach, Mashiach ben Yosef. Mashiach ben Yosef is the miraculous power who will assist every act done when the awakening starts from below, in a natural manner, because he comes from the earth.
- Kol HaTor

THE AWAKENING FROM BELOW...

"Will The Real Superman Please Stand Up"

3 Iyyar 5778
18 Days of the Omer
Yom Hazikaron commemorated

17 April 2018

Safe In The Hands of the ONE Above

3 Iyyar 5778
18 Days of the Omer
Yom Hazikaron commemorated


Our dependence and reliance on HKB"H is not something to be cryptically hinted at or poetically alluded to any more than it should be ignored altogether. It should be announced loudly, clearly and unequivocally, leaving no one in doubt as to what is being said. Like this...

From the Introduction to the "The Ingathering and Independence Scroll" by Dr. Hagi Ben-Artzi:
...There is no question that the Jewish people revealed their power and courage in this wondrous process, and that is how all the history books tell the story. "The Ingathering and Independence Scroll" exposes another factor, without which the entire development of Zionism would have ended in abject failure - the God of Israel, who is guiding the Redemption of Israel so He can fulfill His promise and covenant.
Indeed, the miraculous aspect of Israel's revival is even more astounding in that it all appears in the visions of Israel's Prophets and Sages. Everything promised in the Tanach is coming true in our days - step by step, stage by stage, precisely according to the Divine plan.
The Zionist story is not complete without the integration of the Divine and the human. Divine supervision with huge self-sacrifice and dedication....
Had the Prime Minister simply consulted his brother-in-law before speaking, he would not have made such a serious error in his remarks to Keren Hayesod.

From the Foreword by Rabbi Doron Perez to "The Ingathering and Independence Scroll":
"In your blood you shall live." (Yechezkel 16.6)
Just like the newborn is covered in blood when granted the gift of life, so too at the time of our national birth - both the original birth when we came out of Egypt and our rebirth in modern Israel - were great gifts of life accompanied by blood.
...The War of Independence, fought over 15 months in two stages, would be the most costly and bloodiest war in Israel's history. it would exact the dreadful price of 6,373 dead and 15,000 wounded, soldier and civilian alike. Approximately 1% of Israel's population was killed during the war, a shocking statistic by any standard. In today's terms, that would be the equivalent of - God forbid - 85,000 deaths in Israel or 3.5 million in the USA.
Yet, God had told us: "In your blood you shall live; in your blood you shall live."
As we face the ever-present prospect of yet another war, we Jews who live in the Holy Land of Israel remember those who preceded us and paid the ultimate price for our right to live as Jews in the land God gave to our forefathers and to us. We will keep faith with them (and with HKB"H) by continuing the struggle and occupying this land forevermore.

Whether we remain in this world or go on to the next one, we are safe in the hands of the ONE above. It is He and He alone who enables all our efforts. Blessed be He and blessed be His Name. Shalom al Yisrael!


Not Something to Celebrate

2 Iyyar 5778
17 Days of the Omer

It's a very bad practice at any time, but especially when we are in such a dire situation with our enemies, to take all the credit for ourselves and to leave HKB"H completely out of the picture. 
Israel ‘more powerful’ than ever, says PM, responding to Iran threats
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday asserted that Israel was “more powerful” than ever, after Iran threatened to retaliate for an raid on an Iranian military in facility in Syria that killed 7 soldiers and that has been attributed to Israel.
“The founders of modern Zionism did not say the attacks on the Jewish people would cease once we establish a Jewish state, Netanyahu told the Keren Hayesod-UIA Annual World Conference in Jerusalem.
“They said that we could defend ourselves against those attacks. And that’s exactly what the State of Israel has done,” he said. “It’s restored the capacity of the Jewish people to defend ourselves, by ourselves, against any threat.
He continued: “And we are as powerful as we’ve [ever] been before. We’re economically successful as we’ve never been before. And we take our economic power and our military might and we weld them together to have unprecedented diplomatic flourishing of Israel’s relations around the world.”
Someone should remind him of what a former great leader of Israel once wrote:
"Before destruction comes pride, and before stumbling [comes] a haughty spirit." (Mishlei 16.18)
During the week in which Israel prepares to celebrate 70 years of "independence," it's never been clearer to the average Israeli how very dependent we have become on the help of "allies." For all Netanyahu's bluster about Iran, it sounds to me like he's whistling in the dark when he needs to start praying. 

16 April 2018

"No Jew will be left behind? DON'T BET ON IT!"

2 Iyyar 5778
17 Days of the Omer

Speeding Up The Geulah

1 Iyyar 5778
Rosh Chodesh Bet
16 Days of the Omer

Just like at the time of the Mabul, and Migdal Bavel, and Sodom and Amorah, the wicked are fast bringing about their own end.
"...And Hashem said, '...should it not be withheld from them all they propose to do?'" (Breishit 11.5-6)
Battle Over Gene-Edited Food

Genetic editing is like playing God – and what’s wrong with that?

Playing God: should we revive extinct species?

15 April 2018

New World Judaism "Conversion"

30 Nisan 5778
Rosh Chodesh Aleph
15 Days of the Omer

Amar’e Stoudemire is converting to Judaism
Former NBA All-Star Amar’e Stoudemire has for years claimed to have “Hebrew roots,” studied Judaism and practiced its cultural customs. Now he is making the ties official by converting to the Jewish religion.
Stoudemire, 35, told HBO sports reporter Jon Frankel at an event at Harvard University on Sunday that he is “in the process” of converting.
...Stoudemire [says] he is converting “simply to get acclimated to the culture in Israel and also to apply for citizenship.”
But he added: “My journey on this path really has nothing to do with citizenship, it’s just really truly a spiritual journey, and my goal is to get into the kingdom, and that’s the only mission.”
Stoudemire had said earlier in the conversation that he partly follows both the New and the Old Testaments.
Any time you try to redefine yourself, you’re converting, whether it’s religious converting or just personal improvement,” he said. “I think converting from a religious point of view allows you to really look at the biblical point of view from a different perspective.”
And his bible, of course, has both the "old" and the "new" testaments. 

What more needs be said? This is the kind of "conversion" being proposed for the 60 million with an "affinity" to Judaism or Israel or the Jewish people. And these are the kinds of "Jews" the Israeli government wants in Israel.

Notice, HKB"H and His Torah and mitzvot do not figure into it at all. 





A Very Important Message

30 Nisan 5778
Rosh Chodesh Aleph
15 Days of the Omer

While we've been fighting BDS and antisemitism at the front door, rampant assimilation has crept in the back door. Assimilation is a far greater existential threat than BDS or antisemitism. We seem to keep forgetting that Yishmael attacks our bodies, but Eisav attacks our souls.

This is a very important read: Texting On Shabbos: No Big Deal?

MAJOR DEVELOPMENT!

30 Nisan 5778
Rosh Chodesh Aleph
15 Days of the Omer

Last night...


20 Dead After Israeli Warplanes Reportedly Attack Iranian Military Base In Syria




Assad can breathe easily
Analysis: Fearing a Russian response, Trump, May and Macron circumscribed their strike to chemical weapons research and production facilities. This was overly cautious, as so long as the very survivability of Assad's regime is not at stake, he will not be deterred from further use of such weapons. Israel, meanwhile, has realized it can count only on itself.
That's a good first step in understanding that we can rely only on HKB"H! 
___________________

RELATED: Attack drone revelation shows grave, immediate, adjacent threat to Israel: Iran

13 April 2018

12 April 2018

Good Advice For Everyone From Haifa's Mayor

27 Nisan 5778
Twelve Days of the Omer
Haifa orders townspeople to prepare for emergency
Mayor Yonah Yahav of Haifa, Israel’s third largest city, Thursday decided not to wait for an official alert, but to issue orders to the town’s residents to prepare for any fallout from a US military operation in Syria. The municipal authorities were instructed to open up public shelters and place emergency services on the ready. Yahav advised families to prepare shelters and fortified rooms for occupation and lay in supplies of essential items for the duration.
I have been witness to very unusual military activity in my area today. Nothing about this strikes me as the usual. On the contrary, it feels very different this time. We are getting very close to the month of messianic wars and military miracles. 

Using the Holocaust to Missionize Jews

27 Nisan 5778
12 Days of the Omer

Shoah-themed events abound. Now it's March of the Nations - shmad by assimilation. It's no longer just for Sukkot! [Opening comments for a trial run. If all is well, they'll stay in place.]







Each day begins with worship and prayer to the Xian god-man and they will be spending special time with Holocaust survivors. Hashem yerachem aleynu!

The organizers are March of Life (Germany) and Helping Hand Coalition (Israel).

"Strategic Partners" include: Knesset Christian Allies Caucus (Israel), Helping Hand Global Forum (Israel), ALEH (Israel), Association of Concentration Camps and Ghetto Survivors in Israel (Israel), Christen an der Seite Israels (Germany/Switzerland), Gateway Church (USA), Gebetshaus Augsburg (Germany), God’s Grace International (USA), GOD TV (England), Hazit Hakavod – Front of Respect (Israel), International Christian Embassy Jerusalem (Israel), Keshet Educational Tours (Israel), TBN Polska (Poland), Wächterruf (Germany),Abraham Dienste (Switzerland), Aglow International (USA), Amutat Zikaron (Israel), Association of Ukrainian Immigrants in Israel (Israel), Association of Wounded Soldiers and Partisans who Fought the Nazis (Israel), Brad TV (South Korea), Central Organization for Jews from Arab Countries and Iran (Israel), Chavda Ministries International (USA), Christ for all Nations (USA), Christen im Beruf e.V. (Germany), Christians for Israel Australia (Australia), Coordination Committee of Russian Immigrants in Israel (Israel), D-Netz (Germany), Ebenezer Operation Exodus (Germany/Switzerland), European Coalition for Israel (Belgium), Fundacja ESPA (Poland), Fundacja Glos na Pustyni (Poland), Fundacja OBDS (Poland), Fundacja Pojednanie (Poland), Fundacja Polania (Poland), Fundacja Zycie i Misja (Poland), Global Aid Network (Germany), Glory of Zion International Ministries (USA), Humanitarian Resources International Foundation (USA), Initiative 27. Januar (Germany), International Humanitarian Network (USA), Iris Global (USA), Israel Allies Foundation (Belgium), Israel Werke Schweiz, Israeli Association of Refugee Victims of the Disaster (Israel), Jerusalem Forum of Holocaust Survivors Organizations (Israel), Jerusalem House of Prayer for all Nations (Israel), Jewish Agency for Israel (USA), Missionswerk Karlsruhe (Germany), Move Church (Germany), New Life Radio-Moscow (Russia), Phönix aus der Asche (Germany), Raffles Air (Singapore), Shalom Israel (Singapore), Shofar International (USA), Simon Wiesenthal Center (USA), Skola Slug Ducha (Poland), Toward Jerusalem Council II (Poland/Switzerland), Veterans Union of World War II – Fighters Against Nazism (Israel), Volvieron del Sur (Switzerland), World Druze Association (Israel), World Organization of Libyan Jews (Israel).

Scheduled for May 13-15, 2018.

11 April 2018

A Timely Message from HaRav HaMekubal Amram Vaknin

27 Nisan 5778
Twelve Days of the Omer
Yom HaShoah

Now I know the situation is serious.

לשם יחוד קודשא בריך הוא. רבי עמרם ועקנין שליט״א אומר לכול עם ישראל מה שאנחנו שומעים ורואים,העם צריך להתכונן ושיכין את עצמו ויתפללו יום ולילה זה מה שיעזור לנו ,לא נשק ולא תוכניות רק תפילות לבורא עולם רק זה מה שיעזור לנו,ושנחזור בתשובה ונהיה עם אחד,הדתי לא ישנא את החילוני והחילוני לא ישנא את הדתי,ונבקש מבורא עולם שבזכות אימותינו ואבותינו הקדושים שבורא עולם יציל אותנו מהאויבים , וזה הזמן שעם ישראל יתאחד ויחזור בתשובה ביחד. ושלום על ישראל.

For the Name of the Holy One, Blessed be He. Rabbi Amram Vaknin shlit"a says to all Am Yisrael what we are hearing and seeing, the people need to prepare and should prepare themselves and pray day and night, that's what will help us, not a weapon and not plans, just prayers to the Creator of the World. Only this is what will help us, and will return us in teshuvah and we will be one people. The religious won't hate the seculars and the seculars won't hate the religious and we will request from the Creator of the World that in the merit of our holy matriarchs and patriarchs that the Creator of the World will save us from the enemies. This is the time that Am Yisrael will unite and will return in teshuvah together.
Peace upon Yisrael.

Never Say "Never Again"

27 Nisan 5778
Twelve Days of the Omer

It's Yom HaShoah. Some people say "Never again!" Some people ask sincerely if it could possibly happen again. In answer I have to say, "It already is happening again." This time it's global. The kindling has been piled up and the match is at the ready.



IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY, YOU NEED TO READ
THE RAINBOW SWASTIKA. And if you can't do more right now, then at least read the page at the link down to "Other Articles and Essays." And pass this information along!

"For a kinder, gentler final solution." 

Current Jewish Spiritualities in Israel: A New Age
Recently, new spiritualities have been emerging in Israel, which combine Judaism and New Age spirituality.

...New Age spiritualities have become widespread recently, and they have gained legitimacy in Israeli society and worldwide. The New Age can arguably be defined as a Western, global, liberal spirituality that strives to offer an alternative to mainstream culture in all areas of life.
And the above was written already in 2012! In the New World religion, spirituality is good, but religion is bad. More and more you can hear this word "spirituality" being used in place of religion by supposedly "Orthodox" Jews - especially those involved with interfaith activities.

The Torah is the pill that chokes the wicked of the world. 

Allusions to Syria in This Week's Haftarah

26 Nisan 5778
Eleven Days of the Omer

Eisav's end is very, very near. Whatever awaits it in Syria will likely bring it to its doom. And when Eisav falls, the exile will truly be over. 

Neshama's blogpost inspired me to look up this source. (See Yeshayah 21:11, 12) - "A prophecy concerning DUMA...." The commentary says: "The name DUMA is a reference to EDOM (Rashi). In this prophecy, God says that Israel cries out to God, its Watchman, because of the oppression of the night, i.e., exile, inflicted by Edom, whose homeland was Seir. Deliverance is at hand, but the night will continue for the wicked. Only repentance will bring the long-awaited salvation."

An alleged poison gas attack on a village called Duma in Syria appears to be leading the world straight into WW3 and the ultimate downfall of Edom.

So, since it looks like the war could start on Friday night, I went looking to the parashah and haftarah for connections and this is what I found.

Commentary on the haftarah for Parashat Metzora: "This story...deals with Aram, the persecutor of the Jews.... King Ben-Hadad of Aram mounted a siege of Samaria."

Davka, this week, the haftarah points to Syria!


Yeshayah 7.8 identifies it further: "For the capital of Aram is Damascus...."

Damascus Is Doomed

Yeshayah 17.1: "A prophecy concerning Damascus - Behold, Damascus will be negated from being a city, and it will be a heap of rubble."

Yirmiyah 49.27: "...And I will set fire to the wall of Damascus, and it will consume the palaces of Ben-Hadad."

Furthermore, according to Rav Yekutiel Fish, Ben-Hadad is equal in gematria to Assad.

Nisan Message from Meir Yisroel

26 Nisan 5778
Eleven Days of the Omer
Our near future is going to be a very hard time. Financial collapse, world war and very many other changes that almost seem impossible to get through will plague us. However, Hashem will open up the sea and bring His true Yidden through the waters safely from the Gehenom that we are living in now under the control of the Yetzer Hora to the freedom on the other shore where the greatest pleasure in the world is only to serve Hashem and this will save us for all eternity.
See the entire message HERE.

See the final Adar message HERE.

The War Drums Are Growing Deafening

27 Nisan 5778
Twelve Days of the Omer

UPDATES

Maybe they know something the rest of us don't. The Jerusalem Post has begun live-blogging about this tonight. See HERE.

The Guardian has joined JPost in live updating the situation. See HERE.

Haaretz live updates HERE.

As there are now three options for live updates, I am going to cease updating and refer the readers to one or all of the above. HKB"H should have mercy on us and do whatever it takes to bring about the geulah shleimah.

April 12, 2018 (27 Nisan 5778)
  • UK-Russia tensions rise over Syria attack and Salisbury poisoning
  • May can strike Syria without Commons vote, says senior Tory
  • Assad adviser: Syria ready for war with West, Israel will be ‘biggest loser’
  • Trump Threatens Moscow as Israel Stares Down Iran
(27 Nisan 5778) 
April 11, 2018 (26 Nisan 5778)
April 10, 2018 (25 Nisan 5778)
  • U.S. Navy Destroyer Armed With Tomahawks Arrives Off Syrian Coast, "Harassed" By Russian Warplanes
  • Iron Dome deployed in Golan Heights amid Syria strike uproar
  • US, France, UK prepare air, navy units for sustained assault in Syria
  • US destroyer in range to fire on Syria
  • Iran threatens Israel over Syria strike
  • Trump Cancels South America Trip To "Oversee" Syria Military Response


For the sake of those who do not keep up with the news, you need to know that there has been a flurry of global war-related activity since the close of Pesach. With the ongoing conflict along the Gaza border blaring in the background, here is a timeline of events occurring in Syria.

April 7, 2018 (23 Nisan 5778- Beginning of the week of "Gevurah":
April 8, 2018 
  • Trump: Russia, Iran responsible for chemical attack in Syria
  • Moscow warns against US military intervention in Syria over chemical “hoax”
(24 Nisan 5778)
  • A military airbase belonging to the Assad regime near the Syrian city of Homs was attacked with missiles on Sunday night, Syrian media reported.
April 9, 2018
  • 14 were reportedly killed in the attack on the base in Syria, including Iranian soldiers.
  • United States officials have told NBC that Israel carried out the attack in Syria and informed Washington before the operation.
  • Kremlin slams Israel for bombing of Syrian airbase, says Jerusalem did not provide prior notification to Russian forces.
(25 Nisan 5778)
  • Iran confirms 4 of its military advisers killed in Syria airbase strike
  • Trump: Major decision on strike in Syria in 24-48 hours
  • White Supremacists Defend Assad, Warn Trump: Don't Let Israel Force You Into War With Syria
I'll try to keep you updated here as developments warrant. Hineh, lo yanum v'lo yishan Shomer Yisrael.
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A Good Synopsis

10 April 2018

Are We Losing the War for Hearts and Minds?

25 Nisan 5778
Ten Days of the Omer

I picked up this book at Steimatsky's in Jerusalem. It is written by a professor at Hebrew University who received his PhD in History from Oxford University. It purports to "explore the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century - from overcoming death to creating artificial life."

It's like a handbook for understanding the enemy, how he thinks and what he is plotting.
Excerpt from the book Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari, Chapter 7 - "The Humanist Revolution":
The modern deal offers us power, on condition that we renounce our belief in a great cosmic plan that gives meaning to life. Yet when you examine the deal closely, you find a cunning escape clause. If humans somehow manage to find meaning without predicating it upon some great cosmic plan, this is not considered a breach of contract.
This escape clause has been the salvation of modern society, for it is impossible to sustain order without meaning. The great political, artistic and religious project of modernity has been to find meaning to life that is not rooted in some great cosmic plan. We are not actors in a divine drama, and nobody cares about us and our deeds, so nobody sets limits to our power - but we are still convinced our lives have meaning.
As of 2016, humankind has indeed managed to have it both ways. Not only do we possess far more power than ever before, but, against all expectations, God's death did not lead to social collapse. Throughout history prophets and philosophers have argued that if humans stopped believing in a great cosmic plan, all law and order would vanish. Yet today, those who pose the greatest threat to global law and order are precisely those people who continue to believe in God and His all-encompassing plans....
...The antidote to a meaningless and lawless existence was provided by humanism, a revolutionary new creed that conquered the world during the last few centuries. The humanist religion worships humanity, and expects humanity to play the part that God played in Christianity and Islam, and that the laws of nature played in Buddhism and Daoism. Whereas traditionally the great cosmic plan gave meaning to the life of humans, humanism reverses the roles and expects the experiences of humans to give meaning to the cosmos. According to humanism, humans must draw from within their inner experiences not only the meaning of their own lives, but also the meaning of the entire universe. This is the primary commandment humanism has given us: create meaning for a meaningless world.
...For centuries humanism has been convincing us that we are the ultimate source of meaning, and that our free will is therefore the highest authority of all. Instead of waiting for some external entity to tell us what's what, we can rely on our own feelings and desires.
This IS the "New World Religion" and it has made phenomenal inroads into every other belief system on the planet, including unfortunately, Judaism. So many "religious, Orthodox" Jews have been caught up in it, either wittingly or unwittingly, aware or unaware, that it has become the greatest existential threat of our time. It is very noticeable in Facebook groups where so-called religious Jews discuss current events. Instead of taking a stand and basing it on this source or that - the Torah, the Mishneh or the Halachah - they refer to what they think, what they feel, what they have experienced or what appeals to their own sensitivities. 

How many times have I heard so-called "religious Orthodox" Jews decry the return of korbanot to a rebuilt Beit HaMikdash because it is "primitive" and offends their modern sensibilities.That's just one example. Begin to listen to the conversations around you and start noticing how many sentences begin with the words I feel or I think. Ask someone what he bases his opinion on and notice how hard pressed he is to name a single Torah source.

Humanism has really taken root and flowered in the Jewish world with, I daresay, most Jews being completely clueless about it or the implications of it. It's high time we began to remedy this situation and turn the tide toward truth and hope. Because right now, it looks like we are losing this struggle. In the War for Hearts and Minds, we must endeavor to harness both and bring them into submission to our Master and King - HKB"H - and to His immutable Laws. 

[I suggest a review of The Coming World Religion - Part 2.]
________________________
NOTE: Homo Deus is Latin for god-man. The Satan is still peddling the same old lie and very gullible humans are only too eager to believe it. "...For God knows that on the day that you eat thereof, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil."