09 December 2019

Whose Messiah? Whose Anti-Messiah?

12 Kislev 5780

Netflix will be airing a new series on Jan. 1, 2020 called "Messiah."  This is only of interest because it coincides with the time when we are [I am?] expecting the Jewish Messiah to make his presence known.  It's ironic that this new series seems to create a Messiah character by mixing the Christian and Muslim traditions together.  (From the trailer, he looks and talks like a Palestinian J*sus, but he has the name given to the Anti-Messiah by the Quran - Al-Masih ad-Dajjal.)  But, the debate completely leaves out any Jewish connection.  Maybe that's a good thing?  

It has already created a lot of controversy online even before it has been seen.  There are loads of Youtube videos by both Christians and Muslims discussing its pros and cons.  There is even a campaign calling for Netflix subscribers to cancel their accounts in protest of the series as "blasphemy."  Of course, this is coming from people who believe the Messiah is also Divine, God forbid!

When people get their information about who and what the Messiah is from the New Testament or the Quran or - God forbid, Netflix! - it's no wonder they aren't going to recognize the real thing when they see it!  Maybe that's a good thing, too.  Even Netflix is ultimately run by HKB"H.
The Trailer For Netflix's Intense New Thriller Begs the Question: Messiah or Madman?

The line between miracles and madness is a thin one in the first trailer for Netflix's new geopolitical thriller. ...Messiah follows CIA agent Eva Geller as she encounters a mysterious figure who quickly gains global attention for his "miracles." While his cult-like followers see his godly actions as the work of a higher figure, Geller sees them as acts of public disruption and discovers that this Messiah may really be a sinister con artist with plans to dismantle the global balance of power.

But Geller is up against more than the Messiah's zen-like presence, razor-sharp cheekbones, and flowing locks; the mysterious stranger quickly converts people to his cause with several incredible acts, including allegedly saving a young woman from a violent tornado. As Geller searches for the truth behind the stranger's intentions, the tangled web of lies and secrets surrounding his existence gets more complex as his popularity grows.

MESSIAH Official Trailer (2020)

10 Surprising Facts About Messiah

Interesting that the skeptic - the character tasked with rooting out the truth - has a Jewish name - "Geller."  Another article notes the following...

“Messiah is a series that will have the audience asking big questions. What if someone showed up in [2020] amid strange occurrences and was thought to be the Messiah? What would society do? How would the media cover him? Would millions simply quit work? Could governments collapse?” ... “It’s a series that could change everything.”
Again,  they are basing their presumptions on a New Testament version of a messiah.  We could ask the same questions, but we would get entirely different answers.  I don't think Mashiach will announce who he is.  He'll have a job to do, and he will simply go about doing it.  WE will know that only Mashiach can do this particular job, so when we see who takes it up, we will be clued in to who he really is.  Whether we will talk about it openly or not, I don't know.  But, I believe it will be those who are most actively looking for Mashiach who will recognize him.  One thing you can be sure of, the leftists, the rabidly secular and the world community, especially the UN and the Vatican, will hate him and will censor him and anything he does, because it will be in fulfillment of the Torah and the Jewish national destiny!

Finally, he will fulfill the requirement for being the Anti-Messiah of both Christianity and Islam as he will condemn both false religions as fakes and deceivers.

Please share your thoughts in the comments.

08 December 2019


11 Kislev 5780

I am not promoting this as entertainment, but as education.  In the past, the Judges of the Sanhedrin would be required to be informed about such subjects.  I think it is a mitzvah to understand the forces at work in our world and where they are leading us.  This is no doubt why the prophets of Tanach wrote about the various empires and their characteristics.  

We need to know and understand how vitally important it is that we do not emulate them or participate in their rebellion against the Divine order or their mass exploitation of world populations and resources. In fact, as a light to the nations, we have to demonstrate the better way and take a stand against the crimes of the corporations.

[It's quite long, but is broken up by subheadings, making it easier to pick it up a bit at a time.  It would take longer to read it in book form.]

*The below is a partial list of approximately 270 Multinational Corporations 
  operating in Israel.  (Source

07 December 2019

Is the Countdown to Mashiach Now a Matter of Days or Weeks?

10 Kislev 5780
Shavua tov!

I am convinced that Netanyahu is the last Prime Minister, and that there will not be a third election.  I am convinced that the war with Iran is imminent as it will be a last-ditch attempt by both Netanyahu and Trump to hang on to their seats of power.  I am convinced that the outcome of that war will be the downfall of both the Erev Rav and Eisav and that Mashiach ben Yosef will be revealed and rise to take power in its disastrous wake.

We should pay special attention to the weeks wherein we read the parashiot about Yosef, especially Parashat Mikeitz, which covers the week of Hanukkah and describes Yosef's rise to power and the following parashah, Vayigash, which brings us into the secular year 2020 and which recounts the revelation of Yosef to his brothers.

How the Israel-Iran war might begin

05 December 2019

Going Home

8 Kislev 5780
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Vayeitzei
Then [Jacob] heard the words of Laban's sons, saying, "Jacob has taken all that belonged to our father, and from that which belonged to our father he amassed all this wealth."  Jacob also noticed Laban's disposition that, behold, it was not toward him as in earlier days.

And Hashem said to Jacob, "Return to the land of your fathers and to your native land, and I will be with you."  (Bereishit 31.1-3)
CommentaryAnd I will be with you.  When you return home, I will be with you, but as long as you remain here with the unclean Laban, My Presence will not rest on you (Rashi).  This removal of God's protection, as evidenced by the displeasure of Laban and his sons, was designed to provoke Jacob to leave Charan and return to Eretz Yisrael (Malbim). 
There really is no place like home, and nothing makes you feel the truth of that statement quite like overstaying your welcome in someone else's home. Even when the someone is family and they love you and you love them, there comes a point when you just have to be under your own vine and fig tree.  

It's to our father Ya'aqov's great credit that he was sensitive to the hints and wasted no time getting out of what was fast becoming an untenable situation.  He didn't need to be told twice.

Soon, we will once again follow the course of our father Ya'aqov's life after returning home to Eretz Yisrael, and we will see, once again, that coming home did not mean an end to his troubles.  He just traded one set of troubles for another.  But, in Eretz Yisrael, Hashem would be right there with him through the troubles.

From this we can learn that we don't come home to Eretz Yisrael in order to avoid problems, or in order to rest on our laurels and enjoy life. We come home because Hashem, our Abba, is calling us.  He's telling each one of us, "Come home, son/daughter, and we'll spend time together - I'll be with you."  Who could ever pass that up?  Who could be so cold as to turn their back on such an offer?

Our father Ya'aqov was just watching and listening and waiting for that call.  He was hoping for it and praying for it - that signal to come home.  That's why when it came, he wasted no time.  He was more than ready to go. 

He knew, like we do, that everything up until our arrival back home in Eretz Yisrael has just been practice.  Now, the real work begins.  Only in Eretz Yisrael can our destiny be realized and our mission be fulfilled. 


Sufganiyot as Metaphor

7 Kislev 5780

My first Hanukkah in Israel in 1994, the only sufganiyot that were available looked like those pictured on the left.  There were two choices - the chalavi "ribat chalav" or the parve "tut."  They made no pretense to being more than what they were or what they were intended to be.  

As Western ideology, norms, and so-called values have invaded Israel over the intervening years, the sufganiyot have evolved.  (See picture on the right.) Although these are smaller and less tasty, they are very beautiful to look at albeit at upwards of three times the cost.  

Despite the fancy decorations and variety of flavors, they still can't compete in my mind, or on my tastebuds, with the humble and modest jelly donut of the good old days when Israel herself was still without pretensions.

03 December 2019

Esau and the Color Red

6 Kislev 5780

We read in last week's parashah about Esau and his interesting connections to the color red.  He was born with red skin, and he sold his birthright for red bean soup.  In an upcoming parashah, we'll learn that his nation becomes known as Edom - Hebrew for "red."  From the very beginning, red was his color.

It's even more interesting to see how that connection has been maintained over such a long period of time.  From religion to the military to political ideology, the color red is very prominently on display.

The Significance of the Color Red in Russian Culture

Red is a prominent color in Russian culture and history. The Russian word for red, " krasni," was, in the past, also used to describe something beautiful, good or honorable. Today, "krasni" is used to indicate something that is red in color, while "krasivi" is the modern Russian word for “beautiful.” However, many important sites and cultural artifacts still reflect the combined usage of the word, and a name that incorporates this root might still be considered something elevated in status. In fact, the Russian word for excellent -- "prekrasni" --shares the root " kras" with these other words.

Red Square, or "Krasnaya ploshad," is one of the most famous examples of the red/beautiful connection. Red Square is the most important square in Moscow and sits adjacent to the Kremlin. Many people believe that Red Square is so named because communism and Soviet Russia are associated with the color red. But Red Square's name, which may have originally come from the beauty of St. Basil's Cathedral or the beauty of the square itself, predates the Bolshevik Revolution in 1917 and thus is not the basis for the commonly used term "Reds" for Russian communists.

...The Bolsheviks appropriated the color red to symbolize the blood of the workers, and the red flag of the Soviet Union, with its gold-colored hammer and sickle, is still recognized today. During the revolution, the Red Army (Bolshevik forces) fought the White Army (loyalists to the czar). During the Soviet period, red became a part of daily life from an early age: Virtually all children were members of a communist youth group called the Pioneers from ages 10 to 14 and were required to wear a red scarf around their necks to school every day. Russian communists and Soviets are called Reds in popular culture -- "Better dead than red" was a popular saying that rose to prominence in the U.S. and U.K. in the 1950s.
True to its Edomite origins, no longer is good and evil depicted with white and black in America.  Today, among those who still believe in good and evil, red has replaced white while blue has been substituted for black.

I came across something else related to Esau's red color which I had never learned before...

"Esau’s skin was so red that Isaac was afraid to circumcise him, deciding to wait until he was older and his complexion improved. Da'at Zekeinim on Genesis 25:25 holds that by the time it became clear that the reddish skin was simply Esau’s natural skin color, Esau refused to be circumcised."  (Source)
Red is a color very rarely seen in Israel.  Apparently, Yishmael isn't much into it either.

"'Tis the Season"

5 Kislev 5780

How appropriate is it that Judaism's most important anti-assimilationist holiday occurs at the same time of year as the Diaspora's most assimilationist holiday?
Newly announced Hallmark Hanukkah movies are actually antisemitic

The excitement over Hallmark introducing two Hanukkah movies to its Christmas lineup this year was dashed when it became apparent that they contained within them some of the oldest antisemitic canards, according to The Washington Post. While the two movies did mention Hanukkah and had Jewish characters, they were far from complimentary or positive about the Judaism and the Jewish people.

...The Jew is portrayed as a mischievous, unreliable, outsider who doesn't belong - despite his efforts to fit in among the Christian family - reflecting the century old claim, seen in Nazi propaganda and 9/11 conspiracies.

...Hanukkah stands only in relation to Christmas - but not independently. The festival of Hanukkah in fact is a hindrance to the characters being able to celebrate Christmas as usual.

...These two movies stories’ portray Jews and Christians as clearly different - and the Jew not fitting in, despite their efforts.

The Jewish characters are forced to observe Christmas, having to accept that they must succumb to the dominant faith, rather than practice their own.

These movies are strengthening stereotypes at a time when antisemitic hate crimes are on the rise throughout the US and Europe. Suggesting Jews cannot proudly celebrate their own Hanukkah and instead must join in the Christian spirit and assimilate into the Christian cultural mainstream and hide their Jewish identity is highly problematic.

Jews should be proud of the Hanukkah miracle they are celebrating and not feel they need to join in the Christmas celebrations; Christmas is a Christian holiday - Hanukkah is a Jewish one!
This year Hanukkah is observed from December 23 - 30.