30 March 2012

Erev Shabbat Hagadol

7 Nisan 5772

One of the reasons given by Chazal for why the Shabbat just prior to Pesach is called Shabbat Hagadol is that this is the day the Hebrews brought the Passover lambs into their homes and the Egyptians did not take retribution against them.
Shemot 8:22~

Pharaoh summoned Moshe and Aharon and said, "Go - bring offerings to your God in the land." Moshe said, "It is not proper to do so, for we will offer the deity of Egypt to Hashem, our God - behold, if we were to slaughter the deity of Egypt in their sight, will they not stone us?"

As we all know, Pharaoh did not let the people go and the lambs were taken into the Hebrews' dwellings for four days until the time came to slaughter them and roast them whole over an open fire for all the world to see and know that Hashem is God over all.

Can you imagine the sound of the bleating up and down all the streets? This was quite an in-your-face insult to Egypt, but they bore it without repercussion and Chazal considered it a miracle. Hence - Shabbat Hagadol.

This is also where I point out that the "Hebrew-roots" xians, including the messianiacs (not misspelled) claim that Yeshu is their "Passover Lamb" without an inkling of what that really means. But, it's true enough - false god of spiritual Egypt.

Shabbat shalom!!

29 March 2012

Is Something Else Going On?

7 Nisan 5772

Is it just more in the news or is it because there's been a rash of events lately or is there something else going on?

6 memorable flight freak-outs

As scary as air travel may already be to some people, recent incidents have shown that turbulent behaviour from flight passengers — even cabin crew — can be an unforeseen cause of anxiety.

Take this week's mid-air incident involving JetBlue captain Clayton Osbon, who had to be forcibly restrained by passengers after reportedly running down the aisle and screaming incoherently about terrorists. Fortunately, a co-pilot had the presence of mind to take over controls in the cockpit and with the help of a pilot who happened to be on the flight, managed to land the commercial jet safely in Texas.

But the Osbon incident was far from an isolated one in the airline industry. Below are ... other recent examples of disruptive on-board meltdowns:

1. American Airlines flight attendant's 'crash' rants

A female American Airlines flight attendant was removed from a plane earlier this month after ranting about a possible crash over the public address system.

The unidentified flight attendant babbled over the system about technical problems with the plane, saying, "Captain, I can't be responsible for crashing this plane."

The incident at the Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport led the pilot to taxi back to the gate, where the flight attendant received a psychiatric evaluation.

...A pair of drunken executives with Ontario's Research in Motion, makers of the BlackBerry, reportedly caused chaos on board an Air Canada flight to Toronto from Beijing in December.

According to court documents, flight attendants said their antics included assaulting cabin crew and threatening fellow passengers. At one point, one man laid belly-down in the aisle and began kicking the floor, a crew member said.

Crew members handcuffed both men with plastic restraints and tape, which the pair "chewed their way through," according to court documents.

...Steven Slater became a folk hero to some for the attention-grabbing way he quit his job as a JetBlue flight attendant.

Slater's flight had just landed at New York's John F. Kennedy Airport when he got into an altercation with a female passenger who stood before the plane came to a halt. He used the loudspeaker to curse at the passengers, grabbed a beer and slid down the plane's emergency chute.

Slater pleaded guilty to attempted criminal mischief for the 2010 incident. He was ordered to undergo a year of counselling and treatment for substance abuse. He'd worked in the airline industry for about 20 years.

...In 2008, shocked passengers aboard an Air Canada flight bound for London from Toronto watched in horror as crew members forcibly removed, then restrained and sedated a co-pilot who had become belligerent.

The 58-year-old co-pilot had apparently suffered a nervous breakdown. A flight attendant with a flight licence took over some cockpit duties and helped to make an emergency landing in Ireland, where the co-pilot was taken for psychiatric care.

US Airways passenger who attacked crew says she 'panicked'

Illinois man gets 10 months in prison for trying to open jet door mid-flight

With all the attention given recently to increased solar activity and given that airline crew and passengers in flight are closer to the source, I looked into the effects of solar activity on human behavior and found the following:

Solar Storm Threat Analysis
There exist 50 years of scientific research linking health effects and disorders to solar storms. The threat appears to be associated with the downward vertical component of the interplanetary magnetic field. This is commonly referred to as Bz. The health effects include increased myocardial infarctions (heart attacks), increased cerebral vascular accidents (strokes), increased workplace and traffic accidents and adverse effects on human judgment and behavior.

Geomagnetic storms appear to affect human behavior, judgments and decisions about risk. Research has documented links to depression, enhanced anxiety, sleep disturbances, altered moods mainly affecting abstract judgment especially judgment of risk, overly cautious behavior, and greater incidences of psychiatric admissions. A study by Kay found a 36.2% increase in male hospital admissions diagnosed with the depressed phase of manic depressive illness correlated with the second week following geomagnetic storms compared to quiet periods. A study by Novikova and Ryvkin found geomagnetic storm correlates to psychotic outbursts in patients in a Moscow mental institution and to reports of hallucinations. Other studies showed that pilots experienced high levels of anxiety and decreased functional activity of the central nervous system resulting in a sharp decline of flying skills during geomagnetic storms. A study by Kuleshova et al. showed the daily number of hospitalizations of patients with mental disorders during geomagnetic storms nearly doubled when compared to quiet period.

Obviously some people are more affected than others which just says that some are more sensitive than others, whether due to some innate sensitivity or due to external factors which confer temporarily increased sensitivity. Either way, as this super-sun cycle continues to increase - look out!

27 March 2012

Tanakh on Earth Changes

4 Nisan 5772

Psalms 46

2. God is for us a shelter and a strength, a help in troubles; He is very accessible.
3. Therefore we will not fear when the earth changes and when mountains totter into the heart of seas.
4. His waters shall stir and be muddied; mountains shall quake from His pride forever. .
5. 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.
6. God is in its midst that it should not totter; God shall help it as morning approaches.
7. Nations have stirred, kingdoms have tottered; He let out His voice, the earth shall melt.
8. The Lord of Hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress forever.
9. Go and see the works of the Lord, that He has wrought devastation in the earth.

Psalms 97

1. The Lord has reigned, the earth will exult; many islands will rejoice.
2. Cloud and thick darkness are around Him; righteousness and judgment are the foundation of His throne.
3. Fire will go before Him and will burn His enemies all around.
4. His lightnings illuminated the world; the earth saw and quaked.
5. Mountains melted like wax from before the Lord, from before the Master of all the earth.

Isaiah 2

1. The word that Isaiah, son of Amoz, prophesied concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
2. And it shall be at the end of the days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be firmly established at the top of the mountains, and it shall be raised above the hills, and all the nations shall stream to it.

...19. And they shall come into the caves of the rocks and into the hollows of the earth, because of the fear of the Lord and because of the splendor of His pride, when He rises to break the earth.

Isaiah 13

6. Lament, for the day of the Lord is near; like a raid from the Almighty it shall come.
7. Therefore, all hands shall grow feeble, and the heart of every mortal shall melt.
8. And they shall panic; pangs and throes shall seize them; like a woman in confinement they shall writhe; each man shall be amazed at his fellow; their faces are faces of flames.
9. Behold, the day of the Lord is coming, cruel with wrath and burning anger, to make the land desolate, and its sinners He shall destroy from it.
10. For the stars of the heavens and its constellations shall not allow their light to illuminate, the sun has become dark in its going forth, and the moon shall not shine its light.
11. And I will visit evil upon the earth, and upon the wicked their iniquity; and I will cut off the pride of the presumptuous, and the arrogance of the tyrants I will humble.
12. I will make mortal man dearer than fine gold, and man [dearer] than the collection of the gold of Ophir.
13. Therefore, I will make heaven quake, and the earth will quake out of its place, because of the anger of the Lord of Hosts, and on the day of His burning wrath.

Isaiah 24

18. …for windows from above have been opened and the foundations of the earth have trembled.
19. The earth has broken; the earth has crumbled; the earth totters.
20. The earth sways like a drunken man, and it sways like a lodge, and its transgression shall weigh down upon it, and it shall fall and not continue to rise.
21. And it shall come to pass on that day, that the Lord shall visit punishment upon the host of heaven on high and upon the kings of the earth on the earth.
22. And they shall be gathered a gathering [as] prisoners into a dungeon, and they shall be shut up in the prison, and [sins] of many days shall be visited [upon them].
23. And the moon shall be ashamed and the sun shall be abashed, for the Lord of Hosts has reigned in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, and before His elders will be glory.

Isaiah 30

25. And there shall be on every high mountain and on every raised hill, canals, rivulets of water, on the day of the great slaying, when the great ones fall.
26. And the light of the moon shall be like the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold as the light of the seven days, on the day the Lord shall bind the fracture of His people, and the stroke of their wound He shall heal.

Isaiah 34

1. Nations, come near to hear, and kingdoms, hearken. The earth and the fullness thereof, the world and all its offspring.
2. For the Lord has indignation against all the nations and wrath against all their host. He has destroyed them; He has given them to the slaughter.
3. And their slain ones shall be thrown, and their corpses-their stench shall rise, and mountains shall melt from their blood.
4. And all the host of heaven shall melt, and the heavens shall be rolled like a scroll, and all their host shall wither as a leaf withers from a vine, and as a withered [fig] from a fig tree.
5. For My sword has become sated in the heaven. Behold, it shall descend upon Edom, and upon the nation with whom I contend, for judgment.
6. The Lord's sword has become full of blood, made fat with fatness, from the blood of lambs and goats, from the fat of the kidneys of rams, for the Lord has a slaughter in Bozrah and a great slaughter in the land of Edom.
7. And wild oxen shall go down with them, and bulls with fat bulls, and their land shall be sated from blood, and their dust shall become saturated from fat.
8. For it is a day of vengeance for the Lord, a year of retribution for the plea of Zion.
9. And its streams shall turn into pitch and its dust into sulfur, and its land shall become burning pitch.
10. By night and by day, it shall not be extinguished; its smoke shall ascend forever and ever; from generation to generation it shall be waste, to eternity, no one passing through it.

Isaiah 60
19. You shall no longer have the sun for light by day, and for brightness, the moon shall not give you light, but the Lord shall be to you for an everlasting light, and your God for your glory.
20. Your sun shall no longer set, neither shall your moon be gathered in, for the Lord shall be to you for an everlasting light, and the days of your mourning shall be completed.

Jeremiah 4

23. I saw the earth, and behold, it was void and unformed, and the heavens, and they had no light.
24. I saw the mountains, and behold, they were quaking, and all the hills moved to and fro.
25. I saw, and behold, there were no people, and all the fowl of the heavens wandered away.
26. I saw, and behold, the fruitful field became a desert, and all its cities were destroyed because of the Lord, because of His fierce anger.
27. For so says the Lord: All the land shall be a desolation, but I will not make an end.
28. For this shall the earth mourn, and the heavens above shall darken, for that which I spoke as I had planned, I did not regret and I will not turn back from it.

Ezekiel 32

2. "Son of man, lift up a lamentation over Pharaoh the king of Egypt, and you shall say to him: You resembled a young lion among the nations but you are like a crocodile in the seas, and you went out with your rivers, and you sullied the water with your feet, and you trod their rivers.
3. So said the Lord God: I shall spread My net over you in the congregation of many peoples, and they will draw you up with My net.
4. And I shall scatter you on the earth; upon the face of the field I shall cast you, and I shall cause all the fowl of the heavens to rest upon you, and I shall sate the beasts of all the earth with you.
5. And I shall lay your flesh upon the mountains, and I shall fill the valleys with what is cast off from you.
6. And I shall water with your blood the land where you float, even to the mountains, and the streams will fill up from you.
7. And with your smoke I will cover the heavens, and I will darken their stars; I will cover the sun with a cloud, and the moon will not shine its light.
8. All the bright lights in the heavens-I will darken them because of you, and I will cast darkness upon your land, says the Lord God.

Ezekiel 38

20. And at My presence, the fishes of the sea and the birds of the heaven and the beasts of the field and all the creeping things that creep upon the earth and all the men who are upon the surface of the earth shall quake, and all the mountains shall be thrown down, and the cliffs shall fall to the ground.

Joel 2

1. Sound a shophar in Zion and sound an alarm in My holy mountain; all the inhabitants of the land shall quake, for the day of the Lord has come, for it is near.
2. A day of darkness and gloom, a day of cloud and thick darkness, like the dawn spread over the mountains; a numerous and mighty people, the like of which has never been, and after it there shall be no more until the years of the generations.

... 10. Before it the earth quakes, the heavens tremble; the sun and moon darken, and the stars withdraw their shining.

Joel 3

3. And I will perform signs in the heavens and on the earth: Blood, fire, and pillars of smoke.
4. The sun shall turn to darkness, and the moon to blood, prior to the coming of the great and awesome day of the Lord.

Amos 8

9. And it shall come to pass on that day, says the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to set at midday, and I will darken the land on a sunny day.

Michah 1

3. For behold, the Lord comes forth from His place, and He shall descend and tread upon the high places of the earth.
4. And the mountains shall melt under Him, and the valleys shall split-as wax before fire, as water poured down a steep place.

Michah 4

1. And it shall be at the end of the days, that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be firmly established at the top of the mountains, and it shall be raised above the hills,….

Nahum 1

3. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, but He will surely not acquit; the Lord-His way is with a tempest and with a storm? and cloud is the dust of His feet.
4. He rebukes the sea and dries it up, and He has dried up all the rivers; Bashan and Carmel are cut off, and the blossoms of the Lebanon are cut off.
5. Mountains quaked because of him and the hills melted, and the land raised up from before Him-and the inhabited earth and all who dwell thereon.
6. Who can stand before His fury and who can rise amidst His wrath? His wrath has reached [the earth] like fire, and the rocks have been broken up by Him.

Malachi 3

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

Zechariah 14

6. And it shall come to pass on that day that there shall be no light, only disappearing light and thick darkness.

10. 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;….

Tzephaniah 1

2. I will totally destroy everything from off the face of the earth, says the Lord.
3. I will totally destroy man and beast; I will totally destroy the fowl of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, and the stumbling blocks with the wicked; and I will cut off man from the face of the earth, says the Lord.

...14. The great day of the Lord is near; it is near and hastens greatly, the sound of the day of the Lord, wherein the mighty man cries bitterly.
15. That day is a day of wrath; a day of trouble and distress; a day of ruin and desolation; a day of darkness and gloom; a day of clouds and thick darkness;....

...17. And I will bring distress upon men, and they shall walk like the blind, for they have sinned against the Lord. And their blood shall be shed like dust, and their flesh like dung.
18. Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord's wrath. And with the fire of His passion the entire land shall be consumed; for an end, yea, a sudden end, He shall make of all the inhabitants of the land.

22 March 2012

Prepare Now!!

28 Adar 5772

The Book of Our Heritage by Eliyahu Kitov:

...Because of [Nisan's] significance, our obligation to sanctify it is greater than it is for other months. Hence, we announce its commencement through special readings from the Torah and haftarah in the synagogue on Shabbos when people are gathered there.

The additional Torah reading, by reminding the people that Nisan is about to begin, also served in ancient times to remind them of the approach of Pesach and of the necessity to prepare themeslves for the pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The requirement to ascend to Jerusalem on Pesach was more stringent than the similar requirement on the other Festivals, for the obligation to offer the Pesach sacrifice was fulfilled during this pilgrimage. The individual offerings brought on the other Festivals could be brought at any time within the week of the Festival, but the Pesach sacrifice could only be brought on the fourteenth of Nisan.

The esteem shown for the Beis Ha-Mikdash was greater during the Festival of Pesach than at any other time of the year, for the majority of the people---both great men and ordinary citizens---would enter its gates with song and praise. Hence, during the Festival, the people and leaders were taught their responsibilities toward each other, and toward the Beis Ha-Mikdash, with its holy objects, its services, and its sacrifices. These concepts form the subject of the haftarah portion from the book of Yechezkel which is read on this Shabbos.

The elevation after the descent starts at Rosh Chodesh. Am Yisrael is compared to the moon which constantly renews itself. And it's on Rosh Chodesh that the moon begins its renewal. Each Rosh Chodesh is a new start, but Rosh Chodesh Nisan is the beginning of a whole new reality. "This will be the beginning of months for you."

Please prepare now to observe tommorrow, 29 Adar 5772, as Yom Kippur Katan. Imagine youselves, wherever you may be, as preparing to leave Mitzrayim. Imagine yourselves, wherever you may be, as preparing to be olei regel to Holy Yerushalayim and to appear before Hashem's tangible Presence at the Beit HaMikdash.

According to Rabbi Sitorsky, we only need a week to be able to prepare to bring Korban Pesach. May we all see the beginning of the Final Redemption this Rosh Chodesh Nissan 5772 and may we all merit together to bring Korban Pesach this Pesach!! Amen! Ken, yehi ratzon!!

21 March 2012

It's not business as usual...anywhere

27 Adar 5772

In Israel, it's funerals.

In France, it's shoot outs and bombings.

In Mexico, it's earthquake and drought.

In the US, it's record heat or record snow or flooding rains and destructive winds.

Quote: Storms rattled Tulsa, Okla., Tuesday morning with thunder so strong that it registered on seismic equipment. Meteorologist Pete Snyder felt his home shake and several concerned residents called the National Weather Service to ask if there had been an earthquake.

Quote: ...Jeff Masters, founder of the website WeatherUnderground and probably the internet's most widely read meteorologist, put it from his Michigan base: "...this is not the atmosphere I grew up with. ...Never before has such an extended period of extreme and record-breaking warm temperatures affected such a large portion of the U.S. in March, going back to the beginning of record keeping in the late 1800s," Masters wrote.

In Australia, it's more floods, but this may becoming "business as usual" for them.

Damaging winds are a problem in India and New Zealand.

Heck! The whole planet is in the middle of an electron storm!

Quote: The number of energetic electrons in Earth's outer radiation belt is significantly elevated. According to analysts at the Goddard Space Weather Lab, the enhancement is caused by the aftermath of recent geomagnetic storms mixed with a high-speed solar wind stream. "Spacecraft at GEO, MEO and other orbits passing through or in the vicinity of the Earth's outer radiation belt can be impacted," they say.

Give Me a Break!!

27 Adar 5772

This morning's headline, repeated all over the internet:

Suspect in police siege over Toulouse shooting 'wanted revenge for Palestinian children'
How many thinking human beings will ask themselves this simple question?

If so, then why the murders of French paratroopers?

Allegedly, the man, an Algerian, trained with Al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan. All so he could avenge Gazan children?? Give me a break!!

I'm afraid that there are not very many thinking human beings left in this world. Very few will think past the most recent propaganda sound byte.

20 March 2012

Nisan: The Month of Redemption

27 Adar 5772

From The Book of Our Heritage by Eliyahu Kitov:

One who experiences redemption has emerged from darkness into light. One who has never suffered the oppression of bondage, will not appreciate redemption. The very essence of redemption is the freedom which has its source in the bondage itself. Had Israel not been enslaved, they would never have experienced true freedom. Once they were enslaved, that very enslavement gave rise to their redemption. From the midst of that darkness---and from nowhere else---light burst forth. Our Sages taught: Israel said to God, "Master of the Universe, when will You redeem us?" God answered: "When you descend to the lowest level---at that moment I shall redeem you."

...this is true of all the troubles and sorrows that the offspring of Ya'akov have suffered throughout history. All of them were transformed into salvation, and the greater the darkness, the greater was the light which followed. This is true of the final redemption as well---its light shall burst forth from the midst of darkness. At the very time when hearts tremble in despair, the glory of God will shine forth. And when will this be? In the month of Nisan, for God has established it as a time of redemption for all generations. Every trial or misfortune which befalls Israel during this month is but an assurance that the redemption is about to begin.

..."This month shall be for you." ...He established a month of redemption---a month in which they would be redeemed from Egypt and a month in which they are ultimately destined to be redeemed....

If redemption is coming THIS Pesach, I expect we will begin to see some very big things beginning around Rosh Chodesh Nisan.

"The Word of the Lord"

26 Adar 5772

From last week's haftarah, Yechezkel 36.20-28:

...I scattered them among the nations, and they were dispersed through the countries. According to their way and their misdeeds did I judge them. And they entered the nations where they came, and they profaned My Holy Name, inasmuch as it was said of them, 'These are the people of the Lord, and they have come out of His land.'

But I had pity on My Holy Name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they had come. Therefore, say to the house of Israel; So says the Lord God: Not for your sake do I do this, O house of Israel, but for My Holy Name, which you have profaned among the nations to which they have come. And I will sanctify My great Name, which was profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst; and the nations shall know that I am the Lord-is the declaration of the Lord God-when I will be sanctified through you before their eyes.

For I will take you from among the nations and gather you from all the countries, and I will bring you to your land. And I will sprinkle clean water upon you, and you will be clean; from all your impurities and from all your abominations will I cleanse you. And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit will I put within you, and I will take away the heart of stone out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My spirit within you and bring it about that you will walk in My statutes and you will keep My ordinances and do [them].

Then will you dwell in the land that I gave your fathers, and you will be a people to Me, and I will be to you as a God....

Warped "Judaism"

26 Adar 5772

French Jewish ‘Revenge’: Build Schools and Synagogues
French rabbis call for a “Jewish response” to the murders in Toulouse: Build more schools, synagogues and other Jewish institutions.

You won't find this concept in the Torah. It's more warped thinking from a galut Judaism. Leaving personal safety issues aside, the fact remains that it is ratzon Hashem for the exile to end and for every Jew to live in Eretz Yisrael. Therefore, those who would "strengthen" the exile are working contrary to ratzon Hashem. Think about it.

The proper "Jewish" response is to admit the error of willfully remaining behind, express regret and a willingness to change to HKB"H and help as many as possible to relocate home. That's TESHUVA! And that's the proper response!

There's only one thing worse than being martyred in Eretz Yisrael and that's being martyred on impure goyisch soil far from home.

19 March 2012


25 Adar 5772

Attack in Toulouse a 'Red Light' for Jews, says MK Danon

The murder of a Jewish teacher and three children in Toulouse flashes a “red light” for Jews in the Diaspora, says MK Danny Danon.

Their blood is not even dry yet and already the secular Zionists are shooting off their mouths, as if had the victims been in Israel, they would have been safe in the protective arms of secular Zionism.

What was the murder of George Sa'ado!? And what was the stabbing of Yehudit Aaron!? What of the thousands of Jews in southern Israel huddled in bunkers with school cancelled for a full week if not a "red light" for Jews in Eretz Yisrael!?

You secular Zionists claim to have created the State of Israel as a haven of safety and security for Jews worldwide. Well, you have failed! Jews are not safe ANYWHERE as long as safety and security is the goal!

Stop denying the reason for Jewish existence---to be ovdei Hashem. And Jews in chu"l, don't come to Eretz Yisrael for any other reason than that it is ratzon Hashem!!

ה' ינקום דמם

12 March 2012

Purim War?

18 Adar 5772

This is a picture of the iron dome anti-missile battery in operation. (In Hebrew it's "iron kipa.") I think that in a couple of weeks we will look back and realize that it all started as Purim ended in Eretz Yisrael.

Ashdod Under Attack ‘Like Never Before’

Video: Grad Missile Hitting Be'er Sheva

Video: ‘The Wise Men’ of 2005: No Rocket Threat after Gaza Exit

According to Debka...

...The Iran-backed Jihad has in its arsenal Fajr 5 missiles whose range is 110 kilometers and Fajr 3 which has a 60-kilometer reach. They bring into range Israel’s urban, commercial and population hub cities between Tel Aviv and Rehovoth, which are outside the range of the Grads and Qassams, more 110 of which were fired from Gaza since Friday.

Military sources told debkafile that the Jihad terrorists are aiming for a spectacular, multi-fatality strike in a major Israeli city before ending this round of violence on order to strut as victors in Palestinian and Middle East public eyes. This ambition has been frustrated for three days by the Israeli invention, the Iron Dome interceptor of short-range missiles, which has saved important towns like Beersheba and the ports of Ashdod and Ashkelon from casualties and serious damage by intercepting the Grads before they land.

Islami Jihad tacticians are thought to be wracking their brains for some gadget capable of disarming the Iron Dome batteries.

...Debkafile’s military sources foresee a Palestinian war of attrition stretching out into the next couple of months. Unless halted by a ceasefire, it could escalate sharply if Jihad introduces Fajr missiles to its operations and./or if Israel decides to send its army into the Gaza Strip and finally root out the missile threat Palestinian extremists have been wielding against Israeli civilians for a decade.

Stay tuned to the continuing saga of "Israel's Wars."

11 March 2012

Remembering Japan One Year On

18 Adar 5772

7 Strange Ways the Japan Quake Shook the World

7 – Cracks in the seafloor

6 – Smaller quakes triggered worldwide

5 – Antarctic ice stream sped up

4 - Antarctic iceberg broken

3 – Atmosphere was rattled

2 – Gravity altered

1 – Earth's day shortened

Read the details and explanations at Our Amazing Planet.

10 March 2012

Weather Extremes

17 Adar 5772

Weather extremes worldwide continue to increase and grow in intensity.

NSW floods: Worse to come, warns minister

Communities remain on tenterhooks as a fresh wave of rain threatens homes and property in NSW's southwest, central west and suburban Sydney.

"We have a damages bill at the moment that my guys are telling me is heading way north of $500 million,'' Mr Gay told ABC radio today.

"And sadly we're in a La Nina and the weather forecasters are telling me that April will be the worst that we've faced yet.''

No ordinary downpour, the equal wettest on record
NSW has sloshed through its equal wettest week since records were first kept after "extraordinary" weather dumped unprecedented rain across the state, forcing thousands to flee their homes.

New data from the Bureau of Meteorology released yesterday showed an average 123.9 millimetres of rain fell across the state last week - a deluge not seen since January 1974.

...The bureau described the rain as "extraordinary''.

"It is very rare to have such persistent, record-breaking rainfall over such large areas of NSW and Victoria," said the NSW Climate Manager, Aaron Coutts-Smith.

...Residents of Sydney, the Illawarra, the Hunter and on the south coast were on high alert last night on predictions of more heavy rain, thunderstorms and flash flooding.

See also From Texas to India to the Horn of Africa, Concern about Weather, Water, and Crops

06 March 2012


13 Adar 5772
Ta'anit Esther


FAST BEGINS - 4:47 am

FAST ENDS - 6:09 pm

World-Wide Prayer, Tomorrow (Fast of Esther) at 11 AM

The Beams joins our brothers and sisters worldwide who are joining together in beautiful unity at 11 AM - each person at his own local time - to say five Psalms: 28, 32, 79, 92, and 22.
(See more at Lazer Beams. )

Ever wonder why we fast before Purim?

...Whenever in peril, we are commanded to institute a fast day to repent, pray, and ask for Divine mercy. Thus the 13th of Adar, the day of battle, was a day of fasting.

Earlier in the Purim narrative, Esther risked her life by appearing before the king without permission. But first she asked the Jews to fast with her for three days.

Whenever in peril, we are commanded to institute a fast day to evoke Divine mercy. We commemorate these fasts every year by fasting on the day before Purim, a fast which is called Ta’anit Esther (the Fast of Esther).

(Courtesy Chabad.org)

Tzom kal

"Turn and Return"

12 Adar 5772

The following is an essay I wrote ten years ago which I think is very relevant to today.


When viewed in light of one's own lifespan and experiences, history appears to be linear with a point of origin, progressing from less-developed to more-developed. However, if we lift our eyes beyond this narrow focus, we will discover clues which hint at the circular nature of history.

From the myriad rotating spheres which revolve in elliptical pathways through the heavens to the orbit of electrons spinning around the nucleus of the most elemental atom, and from the never ending progression of the seasons to the daily rising and setting of the sun and the constant wax and wane of the moon, all of creation alludes to this.

We see evidence of this circularity also in the obervance of our religious festivals and with the completion and reinauguration of the yearly Torah reading. Furthermore, if we view the lifecycle accurately, we will find that rather than a linear progression from birth through death, instead it is "From dust you were created and to dust you will return"---a complete cycle.

The significance of this idea is best summed up by two well-known proverbs: "What goes around comes around." And, "He who does not learn from history is doomed to repeat it." Our grasp of this concept could be critical in shaping our response to the awesome events unfolding in our time, enabling us to make wise decisions and determining, in no small measure, not only our chances for success, but possibly our very survival in the coming days.

One example (of many) of the circular nature of history that comes immediately to mind from our Torah involves the initial attempts by the Children of Israel to enter Eretz Israel. We all know the story of how when the time came to enter and conquer the land, ten of the twelve spies returned from their foray with a negative report. Remember how the people’s acceptance of this bad report resulted in failure and delay of entry until the following generation?

Our Torah tells us how the children of that failed generation had to virtually repeat the scenario of the first, right up to the preliminary sending of scouts into the land, but with major changes that, in the end, gave them success and victory. This is the understanding of the phrase which we read in last week's sedra: "... understand the years of generation after generation...." (Devarim 32:7)

“Remember the days of the world, understand the years of generation after generation. Ask you father and he will relate it to you, your elders and they will tell you.” (Devarim 32:7)

Rashi explains:

REMEMBER THE DAYS: what He (G-d) did to previous generations who provoked Him to anger.

THE YEARS OF GENERATION: so that you become conscious of what might happen in the future, that He has the power to bestow good upon you and to make you inherit the Days of Moshiach and the World-to-Come.

This lesson is instructive for our day as well. The failure of our predecessors to establish a Torah government, expell the Arabs from Eretz Israel, and commence the rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash in the immediate aftermath of the Six Days War has resulted in another wilderness wandering while another generation expires. We may be assured by the lessons of the past that another opportunity will arise and it will be our responsibility to make that tikun. It is therefore crucial to understand where they went wrong and not to hesitate to make the corrections which will ensure success and victory for our children.

It might be possible to say that success came too quickly and too easily to the Sinai generation and as a result they were too immature (as a people) and inexperienced to handle it. The same might be said of the generation that fought the Six Days War. How many of them were thinking solely in terms of survival, with not a hint of the possibility of conquering Yehuda, Shomron, and Yerushalayim? Just as the wilderness generation doubted and feared because of their inexperience with freedom, the Six Days War generation made the same errors because of their inexperience with military power and self-government.

...A cursory reading of Shoftim reveals a sad and tragic cycle:


Our national cycle:


It makes me wonder how many more times we will have to go round and start anew - fixing one thing, only to make a new error which sends us round once again.

It's very possible that this is the last generation of the pre-messianic era. Many rabbis say that this is the last gilgul (from the word galgal meaning a wheel), or reincarnation, of the Dor Ha'Deah - the generation which left Egypt and experienced the first redemption. Now, we are back to experience the final redemption.

I'd say that's definitely coming full circle.

04 March 2012

"Wiped off the Map"

11 Adar 5772

When you hear a phrase over and over again, it bears a message deeper than what appears on the surface. With regard to Iran's nuclear program and the threat it presents to Israel's security, what we hear over and over again is Achmadinejad's threat to "wipe Israel off the map."
Now, we've got Obama asking Israeli leaders to trust him to know how to handle Iran and to give sanctions a chance even if it means letting them go beyond a point where Israel could realistically put a stop to their weapons development ability.

Do we trust him? We're not left in the dark on this matter. Heaven is showing us the way. As a result of a rash of tornados touching down across what could be considered America's Mid-West (as opposed to our Mid-East) many small communities were virtually "wiped off the map." Look at how many times the media uses the phrase:

Sydney Morning Herald
"the small Indiana town that was virtually wiped off the map by late-winter storms."

New York Times
"Harrisburg, Illinois... nearly wiped off the map"

"Marysville, Indiana...the community that was virtually wiped off the map"

New York Post
"twisters that wiped at least two towns in Indiana off the map Friday."

Unfortunately, the American people are suffering for the sins of their government vis a vis Israel. It can only be that American foreign policy is enabling Iran to be able to "wipe Israel off the map" so, mida k'neged mida, their towns are being "wiped off the map" as a warning - so they will make the appropriate connection and stop the policies that will lead to Israel's destruction.

Because, Israel will not be destroyed. America will.

According to the most recent report on Debka: "Washington sources report that no American president can be expected to tolerate Israel dictating terms, however just and pressing its case may be. Even before hearing what Israel had to say, Obama was resolved to oppose military action on Iran and not be moved on this. Now he is additionally determined to put his Israeli visitor in his place and draw a line on Jerusalem’s influence in Washington - both as a lesson to Jerusalem and an incentive for Tehran."
It is Washington who is going to be taught a lesson and be "put in its place." America can no longer afford this kind of arrogance. Her days are numbered and her judgment is hanging over her head. The whole world - the Jews included - thinks that Israel's safety and security is in America's hands. Hashem has to show the whole world - the Jews especially - that this is not true. Israel's safety and security rests in HKB"H's hands alone!

America's intelligence agencies are saying they've seen no evidence of an Iranian bomb. Well, Hashem may just shove the evidence right up their noses. In order to put America in her proper place and to remove her as Israel's source of dependence and in order to hasten the downfall of Edom/Rome so the geula can come, America and it's people may have to suffer a deadly blow from the nuke that Iran "doesn't have."

Israel will stand justified and totally dependent on HKB"H.

Michael - Our Defending Angel

10 Adar 5772

I received the following from a reader:


I knew that the Angel Gavriel is fire so it stands to reason that Michael might be snow, so I googled it and this is what I found.


At the head of the angelogical system described in rabbinic literature are four archangels, corresponding to the four divisions of the army of Israel as described in Numbers 2: "As the Holy One blessed be He created four winds (directions) and four banners (for Israel's army), so also did He make four angels to surround His Throne — Michael, Gabriel, Uriel and Raphael. Michael is on its right, corresponding to the tribe of Reuben; Uriel on its left, corresponding to the tribe of Dan, which was located in the north; Gabriel in front, corresponding to the tribe of Judah as well as Moses and Aaron who were in the east; and Raphael in the rear, corresponding to the tribe of Ephraim which was in the west."

...Michael is made up entirely of snow and Gabriel of fire, and though they stand near one another they do not injure one another, thus indicating the power of God to "make peace in His high places." According to the Aggadah, Both Michael and Gabriel will be among those who will accompany the Messiah, and they will then contend with the wicked.

Michael is considered superior to Gabriel in rank and wherever he appears, the glory of the Shekhinah, the Holy Spirit, is also bound to be found. Each nation has its guardian angel, Michael being the guardian angel of Israel. He acts as the counsel for Israel's defense when the wicked bring angels charges against them before God. According to the midrash, Michael is the angel who prevented Abraham from offering up Isaac at the Accede; informs Sarah that she will give birth to a boy; rescues Abraham from the furnace; instructs Moses; smites the army of Sanneherib; endeavors to prevent the exile by pleading on Israel's behalf to God; and defends the Jews of Persia when Haman plotted to destroy them

Pretty cool, huh?

Interestingly, this is the second time I'm hearing about Angel Michael this week as Rabbi Sitorsky also mentioned him in his shiur on Parsha Tetzaveh (9 mins in):

The siman [for the number of pasukim in a given parsha] for Parshas Tetzaveh is Michael. How many pasukim in Tetzaveh - 101. 101 pasukim equal to the word "Michael."...There are many different interpretations as to what the connection of Michael to Parshas Tetzaveh is... Last week we talked about Malach Michael who in our time is the...defense attorney of Klal Yisrael. Michael is the one who is going to defend Klal Yisrael in the last moments prior to the geula as it says in Daniel 12:1... There'll be a terrible situation like there never was since Klal Yisrael became a nation....at that time Michael will stand in defense of Klal Yisrael. ...Michael is the one who stands opposite the Sar Malchus Paras, who is today...Iran. Sar Malchus Paras is the gematria of haster astir - that's the hester panim of now, like there was a hester panim in the time of Purim.

...There's an interesting medrash in Esther Rabbah and there it says clearly that Michael was the malach at that time. The medrash says that Haman, while he was being mekatreg on Klal Yisrael, at the same time, ...Michael is defending us....So Michael was
[our defender] at that time and Michael will be [our defender] prior to the geula, where Klal Yisrael will be plunged into a hester panim like they were then, where it was Paras and now it's also Paras.

Michael is the malach who comes after the petirah of Moshe Rabeinu. While Moshe Rabeinu was alive, there was no Malach Michael. There was no need for Michael. In fact, Hashem says to Moshe Rabeinu, "I'm going to send a malach." We read that in Parshas Mishpatim... However, Moshe Rabeinu refuses. He says, "If you don't lead us, I don't allow it." Moshe Rabeinu says in Parshas KiSisa, the parsha that we always read in the week of Purim, Moshe Rabeinu says, ...(Rashi) "You want it to be with a malach. No, I want it to be You, Yourself." Hashem Himself without a malach.

...But, after Moshe Rabeinu leaves this world, as it says in Sefer Yehoshua, Yehoshua confronts the malach, ...he says, "I'm here to help you." (Rashi) He didn't come in the time of Moshe, because Moshe didn't want it, but now I am going to be your representative and Rashi quotes the pasuk from Daniel. ...Michael is our representative that comes in the time of hester panim. ...When Sar Malchus Paras wants to take over the world then...Michael steps in.

And that's the remez here, Parshas Tetzaveh - Michael siman. Moshe Rabeinu is not mentioned in Parshas Tetzaveh. When Moshe's not here, we have to come on to Michael. When there's a hester panim, this Shabbos before Purim, the nes of Purim came about because of the [defense] of Malach Michael.

And davka, it snowed on Erev Shabbat, Parsha Tetzaveh.

02 March 2012

Destroy the Amalek Within

8 Adar 5772

From Rabbi Dr. Tzvi Hersh Weinreb's Weekly Parsha Column: T'tzaveh - Zachor 5772

"The Jewish tradition condemns the scoffer and sees in cynicism a powerful destructive force."

This parsha commentary is dedicated to all the scoffers, cynics and naysayers in the blogosphere who criticize the geula-bloggers for never giving up hope of seeing Mashiach and the geula shleima in their lifetimes, no matter how many times a "rumor" is proved wrong.

Don't Rain on My Parade

...This week is one of the four special Sabbaths which precede the approach of Passover. Two weeks ago was Parshat Shekalim, which was discussed in this column. This week is Parshat Zachor, where we read the story of Amalek's treacherous attack upon the people of Israel as they marched through the wilderness (Deuteronomy 25:17-19).

Amalek's cowardly attack is to be remembered for all generations. There are many views as to what was so dastardly about his actions. Indeed, he is often portrayed in our tradition as the precursor to the genocidal murderers, the Hamans and Hitlers, of our tragic history.

But let me share with you a different view of the nature of Amalek's crime. Our Sages in the Midrash Tanchuma note that we encountered two "visitors" soon after we left Egypt, as we began our trek through the desert. One was Yitro, who ultimately joined us, and the other was Amalek who attacked us from the rear.

The Midrash Tanchuma draws upon the verse in Proverbs 19:25, which reads, "Beat the scoffer, but the simpleton will become clever." The simpleton, says the Midrash, is Yitro, who overcame his prior beliefs and became clever. The scoffer, on the other hand, Amelek, was blinded to the miracles of the Exodus by his cynicism, and his evil was unredeemable.

Amalek is the ultimate scoffer, the paradigm of cynicism. He is described as "asher karcha", usually translated as "the one who 'surprised you,' or 'happened upon you,' on the road as you left Egypt." (Deuteronomy 25:18)

But Rashi offers other explanations, one of which is quite fascinating. Rashi suggests that "asher karcha" can mean "he who cooled you off," and he offers the metaphor of a seething cauldron or tub of boiling water, which Amalek cooled off by jumping into it.

The seething cauldron can be a metaphor for either the fear with which the other witnessing nations were overcome, which was dissipated by Amalek's precedent. Alternatively, it can be a metaphor for the bubbling enthusiasm of the triumphant Jewish people, which was diminished, perhaps permanently, by the effects of Amalek's attack.

Rabbi Isaac Hutner, in his posthumously published essays on Purim, takes the latter approach. "The Jewish people," he writes, "were full of a spiritual energy and optimism that was dimmed by the scoffer Amalek." The scoffing cynic has the ability to burst the bubble of enthusiasm with a shrug and a "so what?" or "big deal!" Amalek rained on our parade.

Sensitive students of the psychology of religion know the effects of cynicism and sarcasm upon spirituality and soulful moods. One such student was the famed 18th century pietist, Rabbi Moses Chaim Luzzato, more commonly known as the Ramchal. This is what he writes in his masterpiece, Mesilat Yesharim (The Path of the Just), towards the end of the fifth chapter:

"Scoffing has a sinister and depraving effect. As a shield that is anointed with oil causes the arrows that strike it to glance off without touching the body, so scoffing renders reproof and chastisement ineffective. A single sarcasm or jest is liable to blight most of the spiritual zeal and enthusiasm which a man may have acquired from the experience that taught him to be particular and scrupulous in his actions. As a result of ridicule he is apt to cast off all that he has learned so that there is no sign of it left in him, not because it is not instructive, nor because he lacks understanding, but because mockery has the power to destroy every vestige of conscience and reverence."

When we observe Parshat Zachor and read the story of Amalek in the synagogue this Shabbat, we are commanded to forever remember what he did to our people. Of course, we will try to remember the primary lesson, namely to never forget the genocidal intentions of our enemies beginning with Amalek and continuing to this very day.

But it would also be instructive to remember Amalek as the cynical scoffer who would diminish our fervor and spirit....

01 March 2012

"Kahane Tzadak"

8 Adar 5772

"Kahane was right." About so very many things...

Arab judge, Jewish words
I just cannot understand the major assault on Supreme Court Justice Salim Joubran, who refrained from singing our national anthem, HaTikva, in an official ceremony at the courthouse earlier this week.

What do they want from him? After all, he is not Jewish, and the thing about our anthem is that its words are “blatantly Jewish.”
How can an Arab Israeli, regardless of whether he is Muslim or Christian, sing about a “Jewish soul?”
Rabbi Meir Kahane from a speech made at the National Press Conference:

...I don't hate Arabs, I love Jews! And I hate the enemies of the Jews, not because they are Arabs but because they are enemies! You think there is a single Arab living in Israel in a place that is called the Jewish State? Liberals have immense contempt for the Arabs; they believe that they can buy them. "We'll raise their living standards and then they'll be good Arabs" Good Arabs? What contempt! They think that a good Arab is one that will agree to the Jews living in what he considers to be his Palestine. You think there is one Arab who enjoys living in a State where there is a law of return that applies to Jews and not to non-Jews? You think there is one Arab who enjoys living in a State, which has a National Anthem: Hatikvah with words that say, 'nefesh yehudi omia' - the soul of the Jew yearns? You can imagine how that sits with them. You think there is one Arab who enjoys living in a State, whose Independence Day celebrates his defeat? You can't buy a person by giving him an indoor toilet. "You see, you had no toilet, now you have one." You can't come and say as the UJA says: "What do you want? We came and we turned the dessert into a garden" Let me tell you what the Arab says: "Yes it's true, but it was my dessert and now it's your garden." I respect the Arab, and that is why he has to go!

Showdown with Iran

7 Adar 5772

A couple of good articles you might enjoy.

Fears grow of Israel-Iran missile shootout

Don’t Underestimate Israel’s Capability to Strike Iran, Insiders Say