15 March 2018

Vayikra: "Torah of the Cohanim"

29 Adar 5778
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Erev Rosh Chodesh Nisan
Parashat Vayikra-HaChodesh

Rabbi Mordechai Sitorsky

Parashat Vayikra: Vayikra/Nisan


14 March 2018

"Frightening Similarities Between the American and Egyptian Exiles"

28 Adar 5778


Ending Israel's Attachment to the "West"

27 Adar 5778

Yesterday, there was a headline that proclaimed Israel as having the highest birthrate "in the West." Geographically-speaking, Israel is not part of the West, but through it's attachment to Eisav/Edom, it has become a Western outpost in the Middle East. This is the very thing the Arabs despise the most about us. More properly, Israel is the crossroads or the meeting point between East and West. Where better to be a lighthouse shining the truth to a world darkened by oppressive false religions on both sides? But, Israel's spiritual light is overshadowed by the Western sun of empirical materialism.

Israel's western alignment at the End of Days was predicted by no less than the Maharal of Prague.
(Excerpted from "Who is the Messiah?" by Rabbi Aryeh Carmell):
...So long as the kingdom of the Messiah has not yet reached perfection, the kingdom of the Messiah is attached to Edom (nigar el Edom) ...The holy kingdom of Israel... must grow out of the non-holy kingdom that preceded it.
Maharal, in a telling parable, describes the relationship between the embryonic "kingdom of Israel" and its "Edomite" environment: Fruit grows within a husk; when the fruit ripens the husks falls off... So it is with Israel. Their kingdom emerges and grows from within the kingdom of the nations i.e., from the existential power of the kingdom of the nations, and from their level, it raises itself to a higher level. And when the kingdom of Israel reaches complete maturity the kingdom of nations is removed, just as the husk is removed, and falls off when the fruit reaches its perfection.
The Messianic revolution will take place in the hearts and minds of the people. The "falling off of the husk" does not refer to a political or military event, nor does "kingdom of the nations" refer to a political entity. The husk refers to the value system of the Western world. The falling off of the husk signifies the victory of spirituality over materialism, faith in G-d over unbounded trust in one's own power, and awareness of divine providence over belief in blind chance.
Today, it feels like the "husk" is so firmly attached that it might never come off, r"l.
Israel and U.S. Militaries Increasingly Joined at the Hip
U.S. And Israeli Forces Conduct Military Exercises In Juniper Cobra Drill
American troops 'here to defend Israel'
...The David's Sling commander also recounted how moved he was by joint briefings at the end of each day. "American tactical officers take to the stage, and say they're here to defend the State of Israel and its sovereignty as if they were fighting for their own country. They say they'll do anything to defend Israel. It's moving," he said.
Lt.-Col. Richard Clark, commander of the American force, said that US Army forces are prepared to leave Europe and arrive in Israel within two or three days from the moment they are called upon.
Think "Rome" and understand that they want to protect the Erev Rav regime which is the epitome of their "twin" and that the Kingdom of Messiah will properly be perceived as the greatest threat to them and their hegemony here.

Even while Israel's ruling regime re-entrenches itself, the ties appear to grow tighter still.
With anti-Iran, pro-Israel stances, Pompeo may become Jerusalem’s new darling
Preoccupied by the political crisis that threatened to bring down the ruling coalition, politicians in Jerusalem on Tuesday overwhelmingly ignored the news of the United States getting a new secretary of state.
...Pompeo is a known hawk on Iran. His views on the 2015 Iran deal perfectly align with those of Trump — and Netanyahu. They all think the deal was a catastrophe and needs to be dramatically improved or thrown out altogether.
Pompeo indicated in late 2014, before the deal was signed, that he believed military strikes on Iranian nuclear facilities would more effectively thwart Tehran’s quest for atomic bombs than diplomacy.
“Iran, the world’s largest state sponsor of terror, has become an even more emboldened and disruptive player in the Middle East,” he said at his Senate confirmation hearing in January 2017.
Unsurprisingly, friends of the Islamic Republic on Tuesday rang the alarm bell over the appointment.
Pompeo in Foggy Bottom would increase the chances of “a new war in the Middle East,” the National Iranian American Council warned, calling him “one of the most ideological opponents of diplomacy with Iran.”
This is no less than yad Hashem making a move on His heavenly chess board. East and West - the US and Iran - are destined for a final showdown. When it comes, the husk will weaken significantly, to the point of allowing the Messianic Kingdom to emerge and throw off its remains. I look forward to that day.

13 March 2018

The Government Is Tottering

26 Adar 5778

Will it stabilize or will it fall. It's being battered about by earth-shaking events and political ill-winds. Can it survive? Do God-fearing Jews even want it to survive in its current form? Anything might be better than being stuck in the rut of the status quo. I, for one, would not shed any tears on its demise.

I wonder what would be if we could pass a law that no one who had ever held office before could run in the next election and open the entire field to newcomers. Turn the political ill-winds into a refreshing wind of change. Ahh!

And why are there no term-limits in this country??? In fact, I think all politicians should be limited to one term. That way, they can concentrate on the job they were elected to do rather than spend most of their first term trying to secure a second term. If four years is not enough, perhaps the term itself should be extended to five or six years, but no one holding office should be investing their time in trying to get re-elected when they should be serving their constituents. And, in my opinion, there should never be such a thing called a "career politician."

11 March 2018

Please Vote in the Blog Poll

25 Adar 5778

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Do You Have a 'Golden Calf' in Your Life?

24 Adar 5778

We're closing in on Rosh Chodesh Nisan at the end of this week. Better start cleaning out all the chametz we've collected since last year. Look carefully inside yourself - into all the corners of your heart and mind - and if you find some remnant of the 'Golden Calf,' get rid of it!

08 March 2018

"It's the Job of the Jews"

22 Adar 5778
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Vayakhel-Pekudei-Parah
The Job of the Jews!
...At an ecumenical gathering of spiritual leaders from the across the globe, they were deciding in which way to unify their minds for some noble purpose. It was proposed that they take some meditative moments together to transcend this world and to reach beyond the mud of daily life and the constant tug of physical desire. In the final instant a new and surprising suggestion was offered by one of the clerics, “Instead of trying to get beyond worldliness, why don’t we raise the physical and create a space for G-dliness here on earth?!” The suggestion was immediately dismissed by the moderator of the exercise, “Nah!” he said, “That’s the job of Jews!” Observing the quantity of details and the quality of communal effort that went into creating the Tabernacle is an emphatic reminder of the importance our unique mission on this earth and the critical task we have of transforming our own little corner of creation. It remains, after all these years, “The Job of the Jews!”
See the full text of this D'var Torah by Rabbi Label Lam here.