29 February 2008

Mashiach's Almost Here!

'Yes' Offering Religious Channel

Dan moves to cancel Shabbat bus services

~Shabbat shalom umevorach!

Shabbat Shalom

Parashat Vayakhel (Shabbat Mevorchin)
by Rabbi Nachman Kahana

Part One: Time & Space

The Almighty created for us mortals a two dimensional world of Time and Space; each independent of the other and each with its own "natural" laws. Time can exist without a spacial entity, and space is not measured by time unless a change occurs within the space (in the absence of all change the concept of time does not exist, and it for this reason that HaShem is beyond time because He is totally unchanging).

Time has no influence on space and, conversely, space has no influence on time, because they do not intersect. Although, theoretically, it could be said that at the absolute edge of the universe, which most physicists claim is expanding, the beginning of time meets the beginning of space, and where beyond that point there is no time nor space.

Einstein theorized, and it was later proven, that speed influences time, so that the closer one travels to the speed of light; time passes more slowly (if a twin was to travel in a space ship close to the speed of light, upon his return to earth he will be younger than his twin brother.)

But even if it has been proven that speed influences time, no such proof exists that space influences time.

Comes Parashat Va’Yakhel to prove otherwise.

Our parasha begins with two mitzvot adjacent to each other - Shabbat and the Mishkan (synonymous with the Bet Hamikdash.)

Shabbat is the absolute, ultimate sanctity of time. It occurs in seven day cycles independent of all human involvement, contrary to the holydays of the year whose dates are determined by a bet din when declaring the time of the new month (rosh chodesh.) The sanctity of shabbat would be in affect even if there were no Jews to observe it.

The site of the Bet Ha’Mikdash on the Temple Mount in Yerushalayim is the absolute sanctity of space. It was declared so at the moment of creation, as the Gemara (Yoma 54b and many other sources) states, that the earth expanded from a primordial point which was later called Har Habayit.

The sanctity of Har HaBayit is eternal and absolute, as the Rambam states (Hilchot Bet Habechira 6,16) that the sanctity of the site is derived from the presence of the holy Shechina which never departed.

The Gemara (Shabbat 49b) explains the reason that the Torah positions the mitzva of Shabbat together with the building of the Mishkan.

This is the Torah’s directive that the creative activities which were necessary to construct the Mishkan are the activities which are prohibited to perform on Shabbat (The Zohar explains that these same 39 major activities were performed, as it would be, by HaShem when creating the universe.)

So here we find the dimension of space (Mishkan and Mikdash) influencing the dimension of time.

But there is a more spectacular example of how the Mikdash slows time, in the spirit of Einstein who showed that speed influences time.

One of the 365 prohibitions of the Torah is to leave the meat of a korban (sacrifice) beyond the time which was specified for eating it or its being consumed in flames on the holy altar (notar) i.e., the meat of a korbam oleh (burnt offering) must be burnt on the altar before sunrise of the day following the animal’s shechita. However, this prohibition is not in affect when the meat is brought up to the head of the altar even if it is not burnt for an extended period of time; the reason being that time stops at the head of the altar; there is no today and no tomorrow.

How huge is the magnitude of the sanctity of Har Habayit, that it dominates the absolute dimension of Time?

Now, come with me, my friend, for a little walk from my home in the Old City towards the ultimate sanctity of space in the universe from where the Shechina has never departed - Har Habayit.

What do you see?

An enormous mosque called Al Aksa at the southern end of the Mount, and a large domed building called Kipat HaSela - The Dome of the Rock, which the experts are undecided if it is standing on the place of the Kodesh Kedoshim (the Holy of Holies) or on the place of the Miz’bayach (the large altar.)

These buildings are there because we were absent for 2000 years. However, we have, with the grace of HaShem, returned to a part of Eretz Yisrael, and are sovereign over all Yerushalayim for the first time in over 2000 years.

A Jewish head and heart would assume, without question, that the foremost place in our consciousness is Har Habatyim. One would assume that the leading contemporary rabbinic figures, especially of the Yeshiva world, would demand that every Jew ascend the mountain daily, but certainly at least three times a year - Pessach, Shevuot and Succot - after immersing in a mikve and wearing appropriate shoes. And if, for various reasons, we cannot demolish these two Moslem abominations, there would be a huge bet knesset on the Mount, housing a yeshiva with the foremost Torah minds of the nation.

That’s what one might assume. However the bitter reality is far far different.

The Chareidi rabbinate despite its overwhelming negation of everything the Israeli Chief Rabbinate of Israel stands for, are in agreement in their negative attitude towards Har Habayit.

The great rabbis who accompanied Rabbi Akiva to Yerushalayim after the Temple’s destruction (Tractate Makot 24a) were devastated when seeing foxes walking freely on the Mount, and were comforted by Rabbi Akiva only because of the future which he predicted. They would rend their clothing and pull out their hair if they knew that there would be rabbis who would one day prohibit Jews from ascending the Mount, while being totally indifferent, passive, blase, aloof, unmoved, unconcerned, apathetic and phlegmatic to the fact that the worst enemies of our people do as they please in the holiest place in the world. Never a demonstration, never a protest - total absolute capitulation.

I, and the hundreds of other rabbanim of the dati-leumi school, and the thousands of our adherents who do ascend the Mount, are enraged by the reality of what we see. The Moslem Wakf (religious council) by consent of the Israeli government, which is empowered by the Chareidi rabbis and the hand chosen chief rabbis , are the "masters" of the Mount. A Jew who enters the Mount is identified and checked against a master list of "provocateurs." Then the Jew is lectured by a Jewish policeman on the prohibition to pray, or even to move one’s lips on the Mount.

The Chareidi prohibition does not stem from a fear that one might enter the prohibited area of the Temple compound, because if we do not know where the Temple was, we do know where it was not, and we are careful to walk in a wide perimeters near the edges of the Mount.

To add insult to injury, whenever an ancient Byzantine cemetery is uncovered hundreds and even thousands of Chareidim will demonstrate violently if it is not treated as a Jewish one.

If appears that in the cosmic competition between Time and Space, between Shabbat and the Har HaBayit, Shabbat emerges victorious. Probably because the promise of Shabbat is kugel, kishka and cholent, while the promise of Har Habayit is struggle and mesirat nefesh.

Part Two: The Sanctity of the Temple Mount

Thoughts on what makes Har Habayit the eternal repository of sanctity.

Our rabbis taught that Moshe beseeched HaShem 515 times to enter eretz Yisrael, the gematria (numerical equivalent) of the word va'et'chanan. Moshe did not request a homestead of lush rolling land, nor did he request a palatial home befitting the first king of Israel - Moshe requested to simply enter the land for one purpose, as the Gemara (Sota 14a) says: "Was it to eat of its fruit or find pleasures of the Land that Moshe wished to enter? No! It was for one reason. Moshe prayed for the opportunity to keep mitzvot in Eretz Yisrael."

It would appear that the Gemara is at odds with the description of Moshe's prayer to Hashem as related in Midrash Raba.

The midrash relates that HaShem refuses to permit Moshe to enter the Land, and Moshe begs: "If i cannot enter in a live state let my body be brought into the land". No! "Let me enter in the form an animal so I can tread on the Land". No! "Then let me enter as a bird without touching the Land". No!

Now, if according to the Gemara, Moshe wanted to enter the Land to keep its mitzvot why would it satisfy him to enter as an animal or a bird?

We must therefore conclude that there is a mitzva that even an animal or a bird can perform - just being present in the land even if one does nothing else, is the fulfillment of a mitzva - and this even an animal or a bird can do.

Now, if the Land is so holy that even its air space is sanctified (the Zohar says that Eretz Yisrael is directly under the kisay ha'kavod (Heavenly Throne of Glory) and the earthly Yerushalayim is directly under the heavenly Yerushalayim) and influences the spirit of all who are present here, the question arises: how can we live as "normal" human beings, doing the things which people must do in order to maintain our personal and national lives? How do we get up in the morning and go to work, deal in commerce and industry, fix our cars when they break, eat, sleep and attend to our bodily needs? the whole Land should be as the Kodesh HaKadashim of the Temple, if even an animal is stirred by the sanctity of the Land?

I suggest the following:

Newly grown crops in Eretz Yisrael are designated as "Tevel" and no part may be eaten because of their sanctity, the punishment being the termination of one's life prior to the time allotted to him at birth. The prohibition is annulled by separating the required tithes as stated in the Torah. One of the tithes is "Terumah Gedola" which is given to a kohen. The amount of teruma from the Torah is one grain of wheat from an entire crop. Not being a farmer, I would give a wild guess that there are close to a billion grains in a decent size wheat crop, which would make the Teruma Gedola totally insignificant in terms of quantity. Nevertheless, this (and the other tithes) are the factors which determine if one lives his life through or dies earlier.

We can conclude that this one single grain concentrates in itself the sanctity of the entire crop, for in the spiritual world size, space, numbers etc., are irrelevant (the heavens have a different set of physics and chemistry.)

Accordingly, I suggest we live and function in Eretz Yisrael despite its inherent sanctity because HaShem has seperated a piece of "teruma" which concentrates in it that necessary amount of kiddusha rendering the rest of the country still kadosh but not enough to give it the status of the Holy of Holies.

That "piece" of teruma is Har Habayit - the Temple Mount.

Rambam states that even if the halachic status of Eretz Yisrael in terms of the agricultural laws was changed by the destruction of the Temple, the halachic status of the Temple Mount has not changed since the time of King Solomon, and hence we may offer up sacrifices even in our times (if we can overcome several halachic obstacles such as the exact place of the altar as well as who is a real kohen etc., but these obstacles have nothing to do with the sanctity of the mount).

The Temple Mount is the holiest area in the Jewish world, and proof of this is in the words the great Ramban wrote to his son after arriving in Yerushalaim, "Whatever is more holy is more desecrated; Yehuda is more desecrated than the Galil and Yerushalayim is the most desecrated of all".

If you are shuddering at the thought of how many "karet" trangression one performs when ascending the Mount, permit me to fill you in on a little halachic geography.

Har Habayit is made up of two areas, the center is solid bed rock, which is surrounded by land fill made by Herod when he turned the Temple Mount from a square into a rectangle. The building of the Bet Hamikadash was 100 amot high (50 meters) equivalent to a 25 story building. Herod did not build with steel and aluminum but with huge stones, like those in the Kotel, so the sheer weight of the Bet Hamikdash was too heavy to be held up by land fill. Meaning, that even though we do not know the exact point of the Azara, we do know where it is not, and so we tread only on the land fill. Indeed the Kotel is no more than a supporting wall for the land fill to prevent slippage.

Were it in my power, I would close off the Kotel to the public and hang a big sign on it saying "All this because of sin'at chinam (baseless hatred)", and then direct the people to Har Habayit.

Shabbat Shalom
Nachman Kahana

28 February 2008

Effects of "Shock"

Some 35 missiles fired at Ashkelon and Sderot on second day of massive Palestinian offensive

I'm sitting here at the end of my workday, trying to make a shopping list for Shabbat when I should be cooking already instead of just planning what to make. The thought enters my mind that maybe I should make something that doesn't have to be kept on the platta since if the electric station in Ashkelon takes a big hit we might lose electricity.

In half an hour, I've written three items. Just can't concentrate on it. I keep going back to the headlines over and over and wondering where we are heading this time around. We're going in circles, but it's more of a spiral that is taking us higher and higher each time around, so that we will have just than much farther to fall when it comes to that.

Hashem have mercy on His people!

Ashkelon Under Rocket Attack

Minister Cohen: 'We're at war – let's act like it'

Funeral procession for Qassam victim Roni Yechiyah gets underway

(May his memory be a blessing and may his family be comforted among all those who mourn in Tzion and Yerushalayim)

27 February 2008

She Shines!

Part 3 is up.

Lazer Beams spotlights Eretz Yisrael. Take a look!

Part 1 and Part 2.

Just in Time for Pesach


Soaring Price of Flour To Hike Price of Matzo

(IsraelNN.com) Sharply higher prices for flour are likely to force a steep rise in the price of matzo this Passover, and the cost in the United States already has risen by more than 10-20 percent. The cost of bread in Israel the past year also has risen sharply, with major bakeries having halted baking price-regulated bread items until the government raised the subsidy.

A KosherToday survey in the United States showed that prices for matzo will reach up to $20 a pound, significantly higher than the cost last year, according to Yeshiva World News.

'Panic' wheat buying across the US

Food shortages loom as wheat crop shrinks and prices rise

Dollar's Demise

It's not a strong shekel, but a weak (and dying) dollar. There are rumors that US banks are already limiting the daily withdrawal amounts.

Shekel Strengthens Despite Interest Rate Cut

(IsraelNN.com) The shekel has strengthened against the dollar despite Monday night's surprise half a percent drop in the Bank of Israel interest rate. Bank Governor Prof. Stanley Fischer previously warned that reducing the rate will not necessarily satisfy exporters, who have said their profits are falling because of a strong shekel.

Following the interest rate reduction, the shekel-dollar rate jumped to 3.64, but the sagging American dollar sank again on world markets Wednesday, setting the shekel rate back to below 3.61.

26 February 2008

Gaza Flashpoint

It occurred to me when nothing much developed from Hamas' threat to break through the Gaza/Israel border, that maybe it was a rehearsal to test the Israeli response, or just more psychological warfare.

The same could be said of this report, but we must be ever vigilant and prepared. There is no doubt at all that an attack is coming.

Kuwaiti Paper: Mega-Attack on Israel in March
(IsraelNN.com) The Kuwaiti daily Al-Watan quoted "top Western sources" Monday saying that, "according to reliable intelligence information, Hizbullah has begun planning a large-scale attack on Israel in retaliation for its [alleged] assassination of senior Hizbullah commander Imad Mughniya."

According to the report, translated by MEMRI, the attack is being planned in coordination with Syria and Iran, and is to take place before the Arab summit next month.
It was also reported that there would be a simultaneous terrorist escalation by Hamas, Islamic Jihad, and other PA groups in Gaza.

Syria to host Arab League summit March 29-30


FINAL UPDATE (25/2, 4:10pm): Gaza rally: Siege will only make us stronger

Thousands of Palestinians form human chain in protest of Israel's blockade, 50 rioters arrested by Israeli forces near Erez Crossing. Meanwhile, two Qassam rockets fired from Beit Hanoun; one lands in Palestinian territory, the other just south of Ashkelon. No injuries reported.

...Most of the IDF forces and the 6,000-strong Israel Police and Border Guard force deployed near Gaza have remained inactive for the most part, as fears of possible attempts by protesters to infiltrate Israel have not materialized.

UPDATE (25/2, 12:35pm): Hundreds of Gazan protesters form human chain

Hard to tell right now how serious this might become, but our situation might be very different at this time tomorrow night...

Palestinians plan mass rush on Gazan-Israeli border Monday
Beefed-up Israeli military and security forces prepared to repulse thousands of Palestinians planning to crash the full length of the Gazan-Israeli border and its crossings at 10:00 a.m. IT Monday, Feb. 25.
DEBKAfile’s military sources report Hamas is engineering a “popular” protest to be much more violent than the Jan. 23 Palestinian surge into Egypt through the border wall smashed by its bulldozers.
Behind the human shield of women, children and elderly leading the assault on Monday, Hamas, Jihad Islami and Fatah are expected to shoot, send in suicide bombers and unleash a Qassam barrage. If Israeli forces are goaded into opening fire, civilian casualties may be heavy enough to draw international condemnation. If they hold back, the Palestinian terrorists will capture the border fence and knock it over.
...Israel’s military and security chiefs are conferring urgently Sunday night with chief of staff Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi.

...It looks now as though the long-delayed big confrontation between the IDF and Hamas will not take place inside the Gaza Strip but on Israeli soil.
Btw, Olmert is on his way to Japan to meet with Rice and 'Dippy' Livni is acting PM in his absence.

Israeli foreign and defense ministers pledge defense of sovereign territory
Israeli foreign minister and acting PM Tzipi Livni and defense minister Ehud Barak released a joint statement ahead of the Palestinians planned march on the Gaza-Israel border Monday. Israel will defend its territory and prevent infiltration to its sovereign borders,” the two ministers stated Sunday night.
“Hamas is directly responsible for activity which puts civilian population at jeopardy – and not for the first time,” said the statement.
DEBKAfile: On Feb. 20, Israeli chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Gaby Ashkenazi indicated Hizballah planned to seize on an Israeli ground offensive against Gazan missiles to launch a revenge attack in the north.

I suppose a confrontation with a mass Gazan offensive against the border would accomplish the same thing.

Stay tuned...

No Limit to American Chutspah

Pakistan: Musharraf dismisses exit talk

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - President Pervez Musharraf's spokesman on Monday dismissed a suggestion from three U.S. senators that the embattled leader make a "graceful exit" from power his opponents' victory in Pakistan's elections.

Musharraf was elected to a new five-year presidential term last year by Pakistani lawmakers, "not by any senator from the United States," his spokesman Rashid Qureshi told Dawn News television.
"So I don't think he needs to respond to anything that is said by these people," he said.

The three U.S. senators met Musharraf shortly after last week's parliamentary vote in which his political allies were routed. Some Pakistani political leaders have also called for him to resign.
Joe Biden, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Sunday that he would advise Musharraf to seek a dignified way to leave office.

"I firmly believe if (political parties) do not focus on old grudges — and there's plenty in Pakistan — and give him a graceful way to move," then it could happen, Biden, a Democrat, said on ABC television.

Republican Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison and Chuck Hagel also endorsed a negotiated retreat rather than a push from power for Musharraf.

For all its talk of spreading "democracy" around the world, the US sure does all it can to undermine democratic values. Your vote counts as long as you put "their guy" in power. They actually send people here to Israel to run the campaigns of their choice candidates. And it's probably all a lot worse than we even imagine.

See the video Secrets of the CIA

Read the articles The Real Story Behind Kosovo's Independence and Kosovo and Us

25 February 2008

Another Kind of Battle for Jerusalem

Holy land in escrow

East Jerusalem stands in midst of heated real estate race, as various Jewish, Arab, Christian associations bid on every available piece of property

24 February 2008

New Project

Recently, I was asked to submit a report on the subject of "Ephraimites."

EPHRAIM EXPOSED is the result. It's important that this information get out to Jews everywhere. Feel free to send a link to the homepage to anyone that you think will be interested.

Shavua tov~

22 February 2008

Shabbat Shalom

Parashat Ki Tisa 5768
(by Nachman Kahana)

Were it necessary to designate parashat Ki Tisa by one word, I would choose "embarrassment" - embarrassment caused by the avoda zara performed by many of the Jewish nation just forty days after receiving the Torah at Mount Sinai (notwithstanding this fact, I feel great pride in the conduct of my tribe of Levi, which acted with rectitude in the service of HaShem by punishing those who were guilty).

The term avoda zara - foreign worship - does not refer specifically to idolatry. It is a broad term embracing such practices as the flagrant, loathsome worship of the Baal Pe’or, the crude form of worshipping a 15-arm ista devata, the spinning of a prayer wheel, or the more subtle forms of the Christian trinity. It also includes the elusive worship of the Golden Calf, the details of which we have no knowledge.

We do know, however, that even the slightest deviation from our traditional belief in Hashem as a perfect unity falls into the category of avoda zara, which would then include many conservative and probably all reform and reconstructionist movements.

Now, if it might seem immensely exaggerated to categorize our Jewish brothers and sisters who participate in those houses of worship as partaking in avoda zara, let us go one more exaggerated step.

The Gemara in tractate Avoda Zara 8a states:

רבי ישמעאל אומר: ישראל שבחוצה לארץ עובדי עבודת כוכבים בטהרה
Rabbi Yishmael says, "Israel (Jews) in foreign lands (anywhere except Eretz Yisrael) are worshipers of avoda zara in purity

And in tractate Ketubot 110b:

כל הדר בחו"ל כאילו עובד עבודת כוכבים
Whoever resides in foreign lands is as if he worships avoda zara

According to these sources, the web of avoda zara includes every bet knesset, yeshiva, shteibel and bungalow colony outside of Eretz Yisrael.

The reply to this is, of course, that the Gemara is exaggerating. But in truth, it is quite plain that Jewish presence in foreign lands, when the gates of Eretz Yisrael are open, constitutes avoda zara.

The Jew who lives in the USA, like his gentile neighbor, feels relatively secure. To the east is the Atlantic Ocean, to the west the Pacific 0cean, Canada is to the north and Mexico to the south; with the last foreign war fought on US soil being the Battle of the Alamo against Mexico in 1836. Here in the good old USA, HaShem can protect me. But in Eretz Yisrael, with the Syrians in the north, Iran, Iraq and Jordan to the east, Saudi Arabia to the south and Egypt to the west, I don’t know how HaShem can protect me.

In the USA, I have parnasa (financial security) but I don’t know how HaShem will provide for me and my family in Israel.

Is this not avoda zara at its worst?!

Now, according to the above sources, the expulsion of our ancestors from Eretz Yisrael after the destruction of the two Temples had not only physical implications, but was an expulsion from the pure worship of HaShem. Our yeshivot and shuls in the exile gave us purity, but the air we breathed was avoda zara - much like a person immersing himself in a mikveh while holding a source of tuma.

And this is the essential meaning of Medinat Yisrael with all its shortcomings. HaShem has given us His permission to return to Eretz Yisrael in order to worship Him in purity. Now we can release the source of tuma to produce a pure immersion in HaShem’s mikveh - the Holy Land.

All the above gives rise to a sobering question: In view of the above sources equating Jewish life in chutz la’aretz to avoda zara and many other sources that I did not quote, what keeps our rabbis and leaders clinging to the avoda zara of the galut?

A possible explanation might be found in the episode of "pessel Micha" brought in the Book of Judges (Shoftim).

The man, Micha, established a sanctuary for avoda zara in the town of Gerev, in the tribal area of Binyamin. However, not being versed in its ceremonies, he required the services of a "talmid chacham" in avoda zara.

While searching for the "right" man, a Levite passed his door. One thing led to another, and Micha offered him a handsome salary if he would serve as the priest for the avoda zara.

The Levite’s name was "Yehonatan ben Gershom ben Menashe"; but in the text, the letter "nun" in Menashe is written differently in order to camouflage his true identity. If we remove the letter "nun" from the name Menashe, we are left with the name "Moshe". Yes, the Levite who dedicated himself to avoda zara was the grandson of Moshe Rabbeinu!

The facts get even more bewildering. The Yerushalmi in Berachot (chap. 9 halacha 2) relates that David Hamelech met with Yehonatan and asked him why he was serving avoda zara? Yehonatan answered that he received from his grandfather Moshe a principle that it is preferable to give yourself to avoda zara than to live off the proceeds of tzedaka. And since he had no means of making a livelihood, he accepted the position at Micha’s avoda zara.

David was shocked and explained to Yehonatan that Moshe meant that it is preferable to do work that is "zara" (strange) - if you cannot find work in your profession, then do other work that is "zara" to you; but do not accept charity. David understood that Yehonatan was a man who craved material things and appointed him to the position of Minister of Finance. After David’s son Shlomo dismissed all the ministers in David’s cabinet - including Yehonatan - the Yerushalmi tells us that they all returned to serve avoda zara.

What a bizarre man this Yehonatan ben Gershom ben Moshe was, weaving in and out of Yirat Shamayim and avoda zara with such ease. What went on in his mind? The midrash in Yalkut Shimoni opens a window of understanding into the workings of this strange man’s mind.

Rabbi Natan says that Gerev (the place of pessel Micha) was three kilometers from the holy city of Shilo, where the sacrificial service was performed for 369 years until it was destroyed in the time of the prophet Shmuel. The smoke from the holy sacrifices of Shilo and the smoke from the profane sacrifices of Yehonatan ben Gershom would meet and become intertwined while rising into the shamayim.

This merger of kodesh and chol, tahara and tuma, was the external expression of the inner thoughts of Yehonatan. His inner self was a twisted reservoir of contradictory and unclear spiritual messages. Yehonatan studied Torah under his grandfather, Moshe Rabbeinu, but he was also affected by the life styles of the goyim. His loyalties to Hashem became perverted by the merger with foreign beliefs and produced this double personality. He did not receive a clear message of what the Torah demands from a Jew, and the messages he received vied with each other for this man’s soul.

The sad episode of Yehonatan teaches us the first principle in Torah education. Transmit to your children, to your students and to your congregation clear messages, free of contradiction and compromise. To do otherwise is to invite ideological dissension and strife.

I read of Jewish communities replete with yeshivot, mikvaot, kollelim and even batei din springing up in all parts of the world. They are led by talented and conscientious rabbis, but I liken it to the case of a world-renowned surgeon who himself suffers from Hepatitis B. Would you let him operate on a loved one? On the one hand, he is the best in his field; but at the same time that he is helping the patient, he is passively killing him. The rabbis and leaders of the communities springing up all over America bring Torah to the people, but the message is mixed and contradictory - you can live in galut and still be a loyal son to Hashem. What you get is a community of Yehonatan ben Gershoms who live in two incompatible worlds.

Most bnei Torah abroad have no more than a passing interest in what happens in Eretz Yisrael. They have no concept of the spiritual opportunity afforded every Jew living in Eretz Yisrael in fulfilling our role to continue Jewish history by bonding with the personalities of the Tanach.

I shall never be able to comprehend two realities in our generation: 1) How can a religious Jew remain with a clean conscience in the galut? How can he be so oblivious to the huge historical call to return home after a galut of two thousand years? 2) Why is it that so many non-religious Jews cling and love this embattled land?

So this Shabbat, when you listen to the Torah reading and empathize with Moshe after he angrily casts down the holy tablets upon witnessing the avoda zara of his people, try to picture just how angry Moshe would be if he lived today to witness the avoda zara of his people residing in chutz la’aretz.

Shabbat Shalom
Nachman Kahana

21 February 2008

From Last Week, but Still Worth the Read

Parashat Ve’Ata Te’Tzaveh 5768
(by Rabbi Nachman Kahana)

I am writing this week’s divrei Torah in the lobby of a magnificent hotel on the shores of the Dead Sea, that ancient area of Sodom and Amora and its three sister towns, which were destroyed by HaShem because of their debased ways. (These five cities are not unique. An acquaintance of mine, on his return from a visit to San Fransisco, remarked that if God does not destroy San Francisco, He owes an apology to Sodom and Amora.)

Now, despite its bad track record, or perhaps because of it, this area was chosen by the Ariel Institutions of Yerushalayim for its bi-annual rabbinic conference. For four days, the lowest point on the planet (the Dead Sea) was launched into orbit of kedusha (holiness) by the presence of over 200 of Israel’s leading rabbis in a conference dealing with the Shoah (Holocaust).

It is a constant source of amazement to me how Hashem interlocks the practical plans of Man with His spiritual agenda: 1- The Jewish nation; 2- This week’s parasha; 3- The place which was designated for the conference; and 4- The Shoah, all meshed together in synchronization.

As I gaze at the many colored hues of the waters of the Dead Sea, two things come to mind: A- the Sea’s buoyancy and, B- its deceptiveness; because despite all its alluring colors nothing can live in its waters.

Buoyancy is a quality shared by the Dead Sea, together with the Jewish nation and our parasha, which begins:

ואתה תצוה את בני ישראל ויקחו אליך שמן זית זך כתית למאור להעלת נר תמיד
and you shall command the children of Israel that they shall take for you pure olive oil beaten for the light to raise up the eternal light

In our holy writings, there are many analogies between the Jewish people and olive oil, the most robust one being that they are both endowed with the inherent ability to rise above their surroundings: Olive oil will rise to the top when placed in any other liquid, and the Jewish people rise to the top of every society which permits us the freedom to exhibit our God given brilliance.

The Shoah, which was under discussion at the convention, is analogous to the Dead Sea in both ways. Our fellow Jews in the cursed continent of the Shoah (Europe is a Jewish cemetery, from Portugal in the west to Siberia in the east) were intoxicated with the freedom granted them to rise at will to the top echelons of Christian society; they could not sense the death awaiting them just under the surface. The placid waters of the Dead Sea are deceiving, concealing the absence of all life within its depths, as is the galut (diaspora) which sings its sweet alluring melodic phrases to deaden the Jewish sensors to approaching dangers.

I drew two conclusions from the lectures of the rabbinic Shoah conference.

1- The State of Israel forever changed the meaning of Kiddush HaShem - sanctification of God’s holy name.

Incidents of how holy Jewish men and women went to their death with "Shema Yisrael" on their lips were related at the conference, or rabbis, who could have been saved, but preferred to join their communities in certain death.

The gemara (Bava Batra 10b), which extols the acts of Jewish self sacrifice in the sanctification of HaShem and the Torah, was often quoted.

And indeed these people reached the level of Rabbi Akiva and his generation, even the level of Yitzchak at the akaida (The binding of Yitzchak on the Temple Mount).

However, and in no way to diminish an iota of their great courage and belief of the kedoshim of the Shoah, I submit that the manner of sanctifying HaShem’s holy name has changed with our return home to Eretz Yisrael.

In the galut, in all its ages and places, the cry of "Shema Yisrael" ascended to the highest realms of heaven as a Jewish soul parted from this world because of the fires of Christianity or the sword of Islam.

However, with our return to Eretz Yisrael the ultimate sanctification of HaShem is NOT to die for Him but to destroy all those who are identified with Amalek. As the Almighty Himself says in the Torah (Shemot 17,16):

ויאמר כי יד על כס י-ה מלחמה לה‘ בעמלק מדר דר
And HaShem vowed that He will do war with Amalek from generation to generation

And who is Amalek? Amalek as a person was Eisav’s grandson, but in a larger sense it includes every gentile who attempts to destroy the Jewish people or a segment of the people, including the planners of the destruction, and those who aid and abet the destruction, or even those who passively agree to or silently observe it.

The true sanctification of the Holy Name is for the Jew to LIVE for HaShem, not to die for Him. The Gemara (Moed Katan 16b) describes the great physical strength of King David, that he could kill 800 of the enemy by the shot of a single arrow; and had David not sinned in the matter of Uriah Ha’Chiti, Hashem would have permitted David to kill 1000 with each arrow.

The lesson we are taught by this Gemara is essentially what the Medina has provided us with - to become a partner with HaShem, as the verse says, "do war with Amalek from generation to generation."

King David would have long ago incinerated Iran, Hizbulla and Hamas. That is the Jewish way and let us not forget that the vehicle for fostering this mitzva is Tzva Hagana LeYisrael (Israel Defense Forces).

2- The second conclusion which I drew has to deal with the remnant of Jews still attached to the galut.

It is no secret that World War Two was a direct consequence of the First World War, just as a pressure cooker is waiting to explode. The conditions forced upon Germany by the Versailles Treaty brought to the fore all the obscure hidden evil in the German soul. But what brought about the First World War?

I submit that the First World War was brought about by HaShem as a warning to the Jewish people to leave Europe. When that warning was not heeded, the next war took center stage in all its fury and death. But the fury and death of the Second World War are themselves warnings to the Jewish people to leave the galut and return home, because World War Three will make the first two to seem as mere border clashes.

With Yishmael on the march, and when Christian nations will finally awaken to find a little Achmed under every bed, it will be too late for the Jew to leave.

The Jewish people, the eternal light, the Dead Sea and the memory of six million extinguished Jewish candles of the soul, all lead to one conclusion: HaShem has given us two paths - life or death, as the Torah states (Devarim 30,15)

ראה נתתי לפניך היום את החיים ואת הטוב ואת המות ואת הרע
Behold! I have place before you today life and goodness versus death and bad

We are blessed with the freedom to choose our destiny and future. On the one side there is the eternal Jewish nation and its eternal light, as opposed to the dead waters and extinguished candles.

If you choose correctly, you and your descendants will continue, but if folly overcomes your senses, there is still room, God forbid, for more Holocaust museums.

Shabbat Shalom
Nachman Kahana

Great Shiur

Found this extremely interesting and informative post over at the Moshiach and Geula Forum. I highly recommend listening to the shiur via the link provided.
Rabbi Sitorsky has been revealing a lot of interesting concepts dealing with the impending Geulah. Firstly, he said dont be fooled by those who think that the lunar eclipse today is bad for the yidden. All the news in Eretz Yisroel regarding possible attacks and so forth, FBI on high alert etc. A lunar eclipse is referred as a negative siman in the gemarra. However, the fact that it is occurring on Shushan Purim Katon means just the OPPOSITE. He hinted that we will start seeing more interesting revelations soon, as we have just entered into a new period in the year 5768. Rabbi Sitorsky also mentioned to keep this in mind and remember that almost every positive significant event that happened to Jews occurred in a year ending with 8. The nature of this year is even more powerful. So dont be fearful... Even the secular bas kol in the streets is about CHANGE. It just happened in Cuba, Kosvo maybe the US and all this is building up to the biggest change of all, Moshiach. I dont know if this link will work, but you can hear it better from Rabbi Sitorsky, to many points to bring down.

Yeshayahu 30 (10)

"...Speak to us with smooth talk...."
Jews are in danger. Good Jews are in danger! Terse language befits the immediacy of the situation.

A commenter wrote the following:

"We can't just get up, drive to the airport and buy a ticket to Israel. We don't have the money to pick up and leave. Who can?"

So, I'll tell you. There are hundreds of thousands of gentiles flooding this country, with and without help from the government. If they can do it, how much more so the Jews! The only difference between you and them is the yetzer hara. He helps them and opposes you. Understanding the real hindrance to your aliyah is already half the battle.

Immigration and Absorption

B'hatzlacha raba!!

20 February 2008

Another Source of Convergence

The important news of the day involves the "Haman" of the day, may his name be blotted out forever, in all its incarnations!

Ahmadinejad's unbridled attack on Israel causes foreboding. Ashkenazi sees "tough ordeal" possible soon

... increasingly belligerent statements issuing from top Iranian leaders since the death of Imad Mughniyeh in Damascus earlier this month are seen as betokening serious intent.

...Sunday, Gen. Hassan Firouz-Abadi, commander-in-chief of all Iran’s armed forces, said at a ceremony in memory of Imad Mughniyeh: “Many millions across the world will soon receive the joyous news of the Zionist entity’s destruction.”’ He did not explain how Iran intended to perform this objective, but alluded indirectly to nuclear or radioactive measures.

...in Washington and Jerusalem, these unbridled speeches are taken as an orchestrated campaign to raise Middle East temperatures up to the climax of an Iranian attack on Israel.
It is noted that Ahmadinejad’s speech was delivered on the last day of the Islamic month of Haram, during which Muslims are prohibited from embarking on attacks. The month of Safar when it is permitted to strike enemies of Islam begins Thursday, Feb. 21.
[Edit: It has been noted in the comments that Debka is in error here, but there is a good explanation if you read further to rosalie and david's comments. The month of Safar began, like Adar Alef, with the new moon, but it is davka the middle of the month that is specified, not the beginning.]
Earlier in the week, I brought a post about the convergence of Purim Katan, a total eclipse of the moon and the threat of an imminent attack in reprisal for the elimination of the Master Terrorist. Now it turns out that this is the first day Iran can initiate an attack and if that weren't already enough, now the US has chosen this 24-hr period for it's attempted shoot-down of a failing satellite.
[Update: Missile Hits Dying US Spy Satellite]

Final Message from the Autistics?

I felt it imperative to get the most recent messages from Daniel and Ben Golden on here in translation beforehand. I apologize in advance that it may leave something to be desired. It is correct to the best of my knowledge.

I left out a few things that I felt were not so relevant or things which had been stated many times before because I simply did not have the time to accomplish the entire thing.

Here it is:

Excerpts from communication with Daniel, 12 Feb 2008:

DANIEL: I just want to say that the time is finished. Really, this is a countdown and even if large numbers of Jews and also gentiles are beginning to understand that something supernatural is occurring, even so this doesn't bring the majority to full awareness. What a pity!...

ABBA: It's been mentioned several times before about how there will be a "Great Fear." Can you add to that?
DANIEL: This fear has already begun. People don't know what to fear first---wars, money problems, bank failures. From what to fear first---many strange natural disasters, almost everyday now.

ABBA: They don't know that the banks will fail. They don't have any fear of this.
DANIEL: There are those who are afraid. Because already they are advertising this in the US because of the possibility that this will be.

ABBA: I received a letter from Mahmoud (referring to statements made against Israel by Achmadinejad) and this is his language: "Nothing can help you,..." (etc.) What do you think , Daniel?
DANIEL: That a Jew who really tries hard to do the will of Hashem, who is modest and who really works, who really waits for the complete redemption and cries over the Beit Hamikdash that hasn't risen up for over 2000 years, a Jew like this, that with all of his heart wants to do teshuva, a Jew like this doesn't need to fear from Mahmoud or from Bahmoud. He needs to fear only from HKBH.

But whoever doesn't understand the truth, who isn't so interested in the arrival of redemption. He's more interested in his vacation in Florida or Switzerland, or it doesn't matter where, a Jew like this, he has what to fear from Mahmoud, big time.

ABBA: HaRav B. said that within two months the big balagan will begin.
DANIEL: Yes, possibly. ...Abba., there really isn't much time. In the near future, wars will begin here in the land. And from this will begin all the hard things which stand before us. Abba, it's so important what we do, and doesn't matter what we say to you, or how we confuse your mind. All confusion of the mind is from the Sitra Achra that enters into every corner. Abba, in everything we need to request help from HKBH.

...Ben has a message that I believe will be the last, meantime, until something very big will happen.

Excerpts from communication with Binyamin, 12 Feb 2008:

What is there to say to Am Yisrael that we haven't said. We see clearly that the world stands to collapse. Every day, every day something happens somewhere in the world, something hard, something fearful. Sometimes it's more than one thing a day. And we, Am Yisrael, we here in Eretz Yisrael are in the hardest situation and everyone sees this. The Arabs close in upon us from every direction, from the South, from the North, from the West, and from the East. From wherever you want, they close in upon us. And these aren't the Arabs from the Six Days War who left their shoes behind as they fled....

If it were like the Hanukah story,
The few against the many,
The righteous against the wicked,
The pure against the impure, then we'd have more of a chance.

But the few are also the impure and also the wicked and also unworthy, and this is very, very sad.

I don't want to say that all Jews are unworthy, that's not correct, but in truth, today, few are worthy at this moment, but this situation is able to change in a moment, really in a moment.

(On teshuva)...but with one hand on the eigel hazahav and the other hand on the tzitzit---this is not enough. They need to pick up the eigel hazahav and break him and throw him and turn him into powder. Only then is it possible to begin to do teshuva.

Oy, Am Yisrael....what can I say to you? HKBH will take out by the root everything that is against the Torah, every building that was built by a populace of haters of Israel, every person like this, Jew or goy, all that the Erev Rav builds HKBH is taking out by the root and this will disappear. Every apostate or just regular hater of Israel will disappear from his root and this is not simple, it is very frightening....

The world is in tohu u'vohu (null and void).
Tohu u'vohu of nature.
Tohu u'vohu of politics.
Tohu u'vohu of many wars and cruelties.

And everyone begins to fear.
Only the foolish continue without fear....

I'm only going to tell you the following things and after that I don't see any reason to speak further until something will happen so...everyone will open their eyes all at once.

But still that's not to say that there will be those ready to give up on the American dream, on the rosy dream of what it is to be a successful person in this world. They will fear, they will calculate well how much time they are able to continue and they will prepare how to cross this and to return to what was, but there won't be any returning to what was and only the person that waits for Mashiach and is close to HKBH, who does real teshuva is able to live in the world that will remain after the final war.

Therefore prepare yourselves now for the new world...prepare yourselves because it won't be possible afterwards.

Again I beg you, cry and beg, Am Yisrael, prepare yourselves for the world to come this minute, there's no time!

It's not possible to say to me now like they always say all the time, the autistics always say "a little longer," but nothing happens, because everyone sees that it's really just a little bit longer. Here and there, there are people saying another seven years and such, but I'm saying to you there's not another seven years. We don't know if there's seven months or even seven weeks! Impossible to know, but when it begins, there won't even be time to do teshuva. Again, seven years it won't be. Maybe seven months, maybe seven weeks, maybe less, but when it starts, there won't be time or presence of mind to do full teshuva, partially maybe, but partially is not enough.

Again I beg you, I implore you, Am Yisrael, understand what is happening here. Open your eyes and see the Truth! Immediately fill the synagogues. Cry and put on sackcloth on your body and ashes on your head and cry with many tears.

Beg pardon from HKBH, beg from Him the strength to go against an associate who brings you down a lot, whether it's a hareidi associate or a secular associate, and return to the Truth. To return to the Truth, this is success.

Again I say, the world is at the end, the world that we've known. At the end of the matter, everyone will be alone with himself and with HKBH. Even if there will be at the end a thousand people or 10,000 or 100,000 or a million, everyone will be alone on judgment day.

Am Yisrael, the love of HKBH will return home. There's no time. The end is arriving.

End of communication.

Hashem have mercy on us!!

19 February 2008

Insights on Tehillim - A Blueprint for the End of Days?

If you want to see what's in store for this generation, see the following...

Tehillim 46 - Our present day.

...God is for us a shelter and a strength, a help in troubles; He is very accessible.
(This pasuk is for our time, the time of chevlei Mashiach.)

Therefore we will not fear when the earth changes and when mountains totter into the heart of seas. His waters shall stir and be muddied; mountains shall quake from His pride forever.
(This pasuk describes the climate change that is a major harbinger of this time period. Note that there is in fact a mountain poised to fall into the sea at this very moment which could unleash a major tsunami upon the East coast of the United States. I found the following in my files:

Source: R' Dov Bar-Leib's blog
According to Rabbi Yosef Kaduri and the Arutz-7 journalist, the Kabbalistic elder referred to a known esoteric concept of a "Struggle Between the Oceans" and said that the large oceans (HaOkeanus HaGadol) would strike the world. Rabbi Yosef Kaduri said that his grandfather's warning includes Jews of the Americas.

Source: "Daniel's Rav"
...the sign that he said will show us that Moshiach is mamash about to be revealed. He said that in a certain stage, in New York the statue of liberty will be destroyed....

Source: Global Disaster Watch
CANARY ISLANDS - CUMBRE VIEJA VOLCANO - "We may never know if we came close to Armageddon this Tuesday" when Tropical Storm Delta passed near La Palma, one of the Canary Islands off the coast of Africa. It's predicted that a future eruption there will drop a 500 billion ton chunk of rock into Atlantic waters. The initial splash will soar more than 3,000 feet high. Then the splash will form a "mega-tsunami" and ripple across the Atlantic faster than a jetliner.

The east coast of Florida and the United States will be nine hours away. Mountains of debris would be pushed 12 to 20 miles inland. All east coast cities would be obliterated. Fifty million people would die. The fear Monday was that Delta's rains might trigger an eruption. If the volcano burped a hot bubble of lava, water trapped in crevices would heat to steam and the steam pressure would create cracking, the scientists say. But heavy rains never came. Cumbre Vieja didn't even hiss as Delta passed many miles to its north.

Computer-generated, animated simulations of what will follow the Cumbre Vieja collapses. One map shows waves 160 feet high striking the Florida east coast. Although the Canary authorities are anxious to do all in their power to play the catastrophe scenario down, claiming such a slide is hypothetical and could take place a thousand or more years hence, in reality they are quietly beavering away behind the scenes, stepping up the vigilance on the mighty Cumbre Vieja. Perhaps the seriousness with which they regard the situation can be judged by two of the latest monitoring schemes to be implemented in the area which have been tellingly dubbed Alerta I and Alerta II.
The vigilance initiative includes the permanent location of three geochemical instrument stations. In the coming weeks and months two further hi-tech gadgets will be installed, described as hydrochemical stations to keep checks on the temperature, pH content and flow of subterranean water. A separate programme includes periodic scientific fact-finding missions to measure levels of carbon dioxide emissions and temperatures.

But as for the river-its rivulets shall cause the city of God, the holy place of the dwellings of the Most High, to rejoice.

This pasuk is reminiscent of the river described in Yechezkel 47 that is supposed to burst forth from under the Foundation Stone on the Temple Mount when the Third Temple will be standing.

God is in its midst that it should not totter; God shall help it as morning approaches.
"Morning" usually refers to the Redemption and Zechariah 14:10 says: "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; ...."

Nations have stirred, kingdoms have tottered;
Major action in the geopolitical realm---there are many examples from recent events, but only yesterday Kosovo declared its independence and today, Fidel Castro has stepped down.

He let out His voice, the earth shall melt.
What the world is calling "Global Warming."

The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress forever. Go and see the works of the Lord, that He has wrought devastation in the earth.
Do not fear the awesome things you see coming upon the world. All is by the hand of HKBH.

He puts a stop to wars until the end of the earth; He will break the bow and cut the spear [to pieces]; wagons He will burn with fire. Desist, and know that I am God; ...
The next war with the nations will really be the war to end all wars.

I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted upon the earth. The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress forever.
The final war will herald the time when "...Hashem will be One and His Name will be One."

(Some conclusions: If this Psalm relates events in the order of occurrence, and I 'm necessarily saying that it is, but it would seem logical... IF it is, then the next big event would be the destruction of America (and the Statue of Liberty) by a mega-tsunami and the arrival of Mashiach on our scene. After that, would come possibly an earthquake that would level the mosques, making way for the Beit Hamikdash Hashlishi and an opening for the river to run out from under the even shtiya to Yam HaMelach, which will no longer be called "Melach," because it will become matok. If the US is out of commission, then very likely it wil be a Russian GoG after all which will lead the final war on Eretz Yisrael.)
Tehillim 47 - Days of Mashiach following the War of Gog & Magog
...All peoples, clap hands; shout to God with a voice of praise.
For the Lord is Most High; yea, feared; a great King over all the earth.
He shall plague peoples in our stead and kingdoms under our feet.
He shall choose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, which He loves forever.
God shall be exalted with the trumpet blast; the Lord, with the sound of the shofar.
Sing to God, sing; sing to our King, sing.
For God is the King of all the earth; sing a song composed with wisdom.
God has reigned over nations; God has sat upon His holy throne.
The volunteers of the peoples have assembled, the people of the God of Abraham, for God has the shields of the earth; He is exceedingly exalted.

Tehillim 48
- Establishment of Jerusalem after the War of Gog & Magog
The Lord is great and very much praised, in the city of our God, the Mount of His Sanctuary.
The fairest of branches, the joy of the entire earth- Mount Zion, by the north side, the city of a great king. God is in its palaces; He is known as a stronghold.
(From the midst of rejoicing in the aftermath, the final days of the old era are recounted followed by praise for the miraculous outcome)
For behold, the kings have assembled; they have passed together.
They saw, so they wondered; they were startled, yea, they were bewildered.
A quaking seized them there, pangs like [those of] a woman in confinement.
With an east wind, [with which] You break the ships of Tarshish.
As we have heard, so have we seen in the city of the Lord of Hosts, in the city of our God; God shall establish it forever and ever.
We hoped, O Lord, for Your kindness in the midst of Your Temple.
As is Your name, O God, so is Your praise upon the ends of the earth; Your right hand is full of righteousness.
Mount Zion shall rejoice; the daughters of Judah shall exult for the sake of Your judgments.
Encompass Zion and surround it, count its towers.
Give heed to its walls, raise its palaces, in order that you may tell a later generation.
For this is God, our God forever and ever; He shall lead us as in youth.

Tehillim 68 - A Parallel to Shirat Devorah (excerpts)
A song of redemption by David~
...May God rise; His enemies scatter, and those who hate Him flee from before Him.
...O God, when You went out before Your people, when You marched through the wilderness, forever. The earth quaked, even the heavens dripped; this is Sinai, because of God, the God of Israel. Generous rain You poured down, O God; Your heritage, which was weary, You established.
...There Benjamin the youngest rules over them; the princes of Judah pelt them with stones, as do the princes of Zebulun and the princes of Naftali.
...the God of Israel-He gives strength and power to the people; blessed be God.
Maybe you can find others. Note that "Har Sinai" is identified here with Har HaMoriah. The mountain that causes hatred today, right before the complete redemption, is the Temple Mount.

16 February 2008


Newest info on Friday's 'quake...

The National Infrastructures Ministry said in a statement following Friday's 5.3-magnitude earthquake that the most recent tremors have increased fears about the possibility of a destructive earthquake taking place here.
Friday's earthquake shook open a large hole on the Temple Mount plaza, near the Dome of the Rock.

Al-Aqsa mosque officials belonging to the Islamic Movement's Northern Branch covered the hole with wooden planks following afternoon prayers.

The officials, who also said the quake caused cracks in several local residential buildings, said the hole was a meter deep, two meters long and meter and a half wide.

What's the Significance of This?

Well, you can bet there is something significant. Time will tell. By the way, March 6th is Yom Kippur Katan for Adar Bet.

US satellite to enter atmosphere around March 6

U.S. vows to pay for damage caused by satellite

Russia says U.S. may use satellite blast as test

And what is this all about???
We Shall Be Overcome"Obama has a talent for eliciting intense emotion--an ability that can be dangerous in a politician."
Obama's first coming
PAPER: Obama 'a cult figure, in the eyes of some, something akin to a messiah'...
Google... Obama messiah ...and see what comes up.

And let's not overlook this...two in one week.

Earthquake In Southern Lebanon Felt in Israel
(IsraelNN.com) A mild earthquake registering 4.2 on the Richter scale hit southern Lebanon late Monday night around the port city of Tyre and surrounding villages, according to the Lebanese Bhannes Center for Seismic and Scientific Research.

The quake, which was felt all the way south to the area just north of Jerusalem, caused panic and anxiety attacks among the Lebanese population but no injuries or damage.

Holy Land Shakes, Rattles
(IsraelNN.com) A relatively strong earthquake (5.0-5.1) shook Israel from (northern) tip to (southern) toe Friday at around 12:40 P.M. Magen David Adom reported no casualties. The tremor lasted for about 10 seconds and was felt from Nahariya to Beersheva.

Just a little over two months ago... Fourth Earthquake Shakes Israel

PS: Just visited over at Nava's blog and saw her reference to the same thing.

What a Way to Start the New Week

In a previous post "Death Comes from the Sky," I recounted a dream I had about a missile attack from Iran that occurs at the full moon. Every fifteenth of the Hebrew month since then has made me wary, but the upcoming TU b'Adar Alef even more so and I'll tell you why.

1. It's Purim Katan and Shushan Purim Katan, a date that the gilgul of Haman Harasha, Achmadinejad, may decide is ripe for our destruction.
The 14th day of the first Adar in a leap year is celebrated as a minor holiday called Purim Katan, which means "little Purim." There are no specific observances for Purim Katan; however, a person should celebrate the holiday ....The word "Purim" means "lots" and refers to the lottery that Haman used to choose the date for the massacre.
2. On that same night there is going to be an eclipse of the moon. This is usually not a good sign since the moon represents Am Yisrael. The full moon is Israel at her greatest strength. An eclipse is a shadow passing over it and diminishing its brightness, darkening its light.
"...Israel...is likened to the moon, .... When Israel is worthy of God's favor, it is like the waxing moon; when it is unworthy, it is like the waning moon." (Commentary, Artscroll Yom Kippur Katan Service)
3. The alleged assassination of the Master Terrorist Imad Mughniyeh appears to have given our enemies a spark with which to light the fuse of destruction they have planned for us.
Tehran is bent on avenging the death of its top terror tactician Imad Mughniyeh who was struck down by a bomb planted in his car in Damascus Tuesday, Feb. 13. ...Tehran, Damascus and Hizballah are determined to inflict military-terror punishment on Israel whom they accuse of liquidating their key agent, Imad Mughniyeh. ...Hizballah announced Saturday, Feb. 16, that it had placed 50,000 of its members on the ready for any eventuality (i.e. directives from Tehran). ...Two people, therefore, Ahmadinejad and Khamenei, will determine the nature and scale of Iran’s retaliation for the loss of its high-value master terrorist and strategist. ...Four days after Mughniyeh’s death, a military clash appears unavoidable.
Before we calm ourselves with the thought that the Purim connection bodes well for us, we must remember that everything turned hafukh on Purim only because Am Yisrael fasted and prayed and did massive teshuva beforehand.

If you are in Eretz Yisrael, I'd suggest restocking your two-week supply of non-perishable food and water and taking upon yourself a personal fast for Taanit Esther Katan (Tues, Feb 19) and making sure your teshuva is "topped up" as well, something we should be doing anyway on a daily basis.

The worst thing we can do is to assume that we are "ok" and in need of nothing. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best! There is always spiritual work left to be done. This job is never finished.

PS: Tracked the following back to Yaak from Hashem1.net. The Debka article referenced up above shows that it is davka these three who are threatening us even now...
...on the spiritual plane, according to what the kabbalist Rav Ben Tzion Mutzafi, Shlit"a explained, that the spiritual ministering angel of Hezbollah and Syria is the same ministering angel of Paras (Persia) in heaven, it logically follows that all these 3 will work in a unified evil track - it even seems right from a spiritual aspect.

"Onward Xian Soldiers"

It's the title of a favorite old hymn:

Onward Xian soldiers marching as to war,
with the cross of J----, going on before...

US military accused of harboring fundamentalism
WASHINGTON (AFP) — Since his last combat deployment in Iraq, Jeremy Hall has had a rough time, getting shoved and threatened by his fellow soldiers. The trouble started there when he would not pray in the mess hall.

"A senior ranking staff sergeant told me to leave and sit somewhere else because I refused to pray," Hall, a 23-year-old US army specialist, told AFP.

...former Air Force lawyer Mikey Weinstein, said he has documented 6,800 testimonies by military personnel -- nearly all of them Christians -- of sometimes punitive or humiliating attempts to make them accept a fundamentalist evangelical interpretation of Christianity.

"I am at war with those people who would create a fundamentalist Christian theocracy in the technologically most lethal organization ever created by our species, which is the United States armed forces," he said.

...He singles out one of the major Christian groups in the military, the Officers Christian Fellowship (OCF).

...OCF's aim, as stated on its website, is to achieve "a spiritually transformed military, with ambassadors for Christ in uniform, empowered by the Holy Spirit."

It professes belief in "the eternal blessedness of the saved; and the everlasting, conscious punishment of the lost."

...A former military chaplain of a prestigious US military college reported being prevented from leading worship after disagreeing with the fundamentalist stance of other officials.
According to the Associated Press, many allegations surfaced "...that evangelical Christians wield so much influence at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs that anti-Semitism and other forms of religious harassment have become pervasive....An Air Force task force concluded that some students and staff at the school have the perception that the academy favors evangelical Christians and is intolerant of those who do not share their faith."

According to the Associated Press, many allegations surfaced "...that evangelical Christians wield so much influence at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs that anti-Semitism and other forms of religious harassment have become pervasive....An Air Force task force concluded that some students and staff at the school have the perception that the academy favors evangelical Christians and is intolerant of those who do not share their faith."

Will the New Crusaders arrive to liberate the Holy Land from the Muslim Infidels? Don't be surprised! (Annoying with subtitles, but well worth the watch)

15 February 2008

Shabbat Shalom!

More thoughts in keeping with the theme of the previous two posts...
Excerpt from Rav Pinchas Winston's commentary on Parashat Tetzaveh:

...There is a lot of curiosity about Kabbalah today, what it is and what it can do to empower a person. However, the real point of Kabbalah is to provide a Jew with a glimpse of the hidden world of Creation, the inner mechanism that makes it all work, in order to better equip a person that he take responsibility for his actions, and to recognize the signs early on before things don’t go the way they ought to go. It is the true blueprint for Creation so we can see why and what can go wrong.

Armed with such knowledge, one’s vision of reality is different. It’s almost like putting on special glasses that provide x-ray vision. As a result, a person is able to get a glimpse of the hidden world of Amalek, and see what he is up to even before he brings his war to the actual battlefield. This is what gave Mordechai his ability to see what Haman was before he came into power, and the foreknowledge with how to deal with him, avoid Haman's plans to destroy him, and eventually do away with Haman himself.

This is because we are living in Amalek’s world only on the level of Pshat. Therefore, by ascending the mountain, Moshe Rabbeinu rose above the reality of Amalek, and worked to elevate the Jewish people. By holding his arms upward, the Jewish people were only victorious when their vision of reality became elevated to a higher spiritual plane, neutralizing the power of Amalek.

In this way, both Chanukah and Purim represent the same idea: victory over the enemy comes not from without, but from within. For, the process of going from Pshat to Remez, and then to Drush, and finally to Sod is the same as going from Nefesh to Ruach, and then to Neshamah, and finally to Chiyah. The deeper one penetrates Torah, the higher the level of soul they access until they become so spiritual, they move themselves out of the reach of Amalek completely.

14 February 2008

Can The Erev Rav Be "Fixed"?

I regret that the nature of blogging prevents anything more than the briefest of treatments of this subject. My hope is that something here will spark your interest to learn more in-depth from the sources.

In response to the previous post, a commenter writes:
"...that is davka one of our hardest tasks in this last generation: fixing the Erev Rav...."
I completely disagree. I reject this entire line of thought. This is precisely what has brought upon us all the trials and troubles of 3,500 years.
...Moshe Rabbeinu... because of the "Erev Rav" came to make mistakes. (Yahel Ohr, commentary on Zohar 1:28: beginning with uMoshe b'gineihu.)
All the exile, the destruction of the Temple and all the troubles - it all results from Moshe Rabbeinu having accepted the Erev Rav. (The Gaon on Tikkunei HaZohar 97, beginning v'aleihu.)
Avraham Avinu made this error with regard to Yishmael. What did Sara Imeinu do? She insisted that Yishmael must be separated from Yitzchak by being exiled from his father's home (and Hashem agreed). Yitzchak Avinu made this error concerning Eisav. What did Rivka Imeinu do? She insisted that Yaakov must be separated from Eisav and the result was that Yaakov had to endure exile from his home. (Also, Shomo HaMelekh repeated this mistake with his foreign wives.)

It is davka in a process of redemption in its time, which is exactly where we are at present, that we have no hope to rectify this klipa. Instead of unification, we need separation. And the faster we separate, the more quickly we will be redeemed. R. Hillel of Shiklov in the name of the GR"A paints an entirely different picture of what our relationship to the Erev Rav should be in these final days and hours of exile:
The general role of two Messiahs, the messiah son of Yosef and the messiah son of Dovid, throughout the generations is one of defense and war against the three leading husks - Eisav, Yishmael and Erev Rav... The Erev Rav is our greatest foe, he is what separates the two Messiahs, The Erev Rav husk operates only by deceit and indirectly. Therefore the war against the Erev Rav is the most difficult and most bitter, and we must use all our remaining forces to win this war. Whoever is not engaged in actively fighting the Erev Rav becomes an automatic partner to the husk of the Erev Rav, and whoever this may be it would be better for him had he not been created. (Kol HaTor, chapter II, part II, section II)
Lot's story might have had a happier ending had he moved to Sodom and influenced all the Sodomites to become Bnei Noach, but instead he was fortunate to escape with his own life and two daughters. Disaster was just barely held back as he was urged to separate himself from Sodom so that he would not share in their destruction. Lot's wife was still too attached to the Sodomite reality. Although she merited to escape Sodom, when she glanced back, she in essence fell back into the vale of destruction, weighted as she was with desire for that life, and did not merit to ascend the mountain with her husband and daughters.

It is each individual's job to rectify himself, no one can do it on his behalf and no one can force him to do it. When it becomes clear that one belongs to this camp---to the Erev Rav--- we must immediately erect a barrier between us and warn others away from him. He is a danger and a destroyer. Only with true and complete teshuva can one be rectified.
...there is a fourth kind: and they have mingled (in Hebrew, Vayitarvu, related to the term Erev Rav) with the nations and learned from their deeds - these are themselves Jews who adhered to the Erev Rav and became like them...and this fourth kind is the most difficult of them all, and they are our brothers who have soured - (Imre Noam, his commentary to B'rakhot 54)
It is not our job to determine who is who. Only Hashem can judge the heart. What we can do - and what we must do - is separate from and oppose whomever exhibits Erev Rav behavior, whether they be actual Erev Rav or "brothers who have soured".

When these "brothers" do teshuvah, we will quickly welcome them back among us once again.

13 February 2008

Preparing for Geula

While we have been in the process of redemption these last few years, many of us have come to view the State of Israel and all its institutions as vehicles for that redemption and therefore possessing inherent sanctity. I believe current events show this idea to be in error. It is the People, the Land and the Torah which are the vehicles for redemption. The State and it's institutions are the camouflage which prevents most of the world and the Sitra Achra from realizing this until it is too late to stop it. (See The Messianic Process by Rabbi Aryeh Carmell.)

Since until now, the process seems to be evolving naturally from one step to the next, my feeling is that most of the religious Zionist public, led by groups like Women-in-Green and Manhigut Yehudit, are erroneously expecting to reach the goal by this same route. I don't believe this is so and it is important to understand why not, so bear with me while I attempt to explain my thinking.

We appear to be well on the way to redemption in it's time, a scenario which precludes the complete rectification of the Erev Rav, in my opinion. Though it looks like we are all on the same path together, this is a necessary illusion. In fact, we are on parallel tracks. When we arrive at the end of the process, the final step will bring us into a new reality that will require a leap---an ascension, if you will and this is where the two paths diverge. The righteous and the faithful will arrive to the top of "Har Sinai" while those on the parallel path, those undeserving, who are attached to the klippot, will instead fall over a cliff, figuratively speaking.

The final step is not possible in the present reality or through the agency of any institution that belongs to this reality, so those who cling to it will prevent themselves from rising above it. This is the only guarantee we have that there will never be another Eigel Hazahav incident to mar the complete redemption. Put very simply, those who cannot get with the program doom themselves to be eliminated from it.

We have to search our minds, our hearts and our souls every minute of every day; examine our thoughts and intents, our words and actions, to know if we are attached to things which might weigh us down and prevent us from taking that leap---the final step UP.

(I hope גילוי will comment as to his understanding of the GR"A's position on the "last step" in Kol HaTor.)