30 November 2013

Discussion with Moishe'la: "The Only Real State of Existence"

28 Kislev 5774
4th Day of Hanukah


Discussion with Moishela (with his family)
A Handicapped child
Kislev 25 '5774 (Nov 28 '13)

The Only Real State of Existence

Mommy, you think nothing is happening in the world. But it is, right in full view. The Reshoim everywhere are becoming stronger and stronger every day and terrible new laws are put into action all over the world daily, including in the State of Israel. Some are particularly against Jews, and some are against humanity as a whole, but the evil has gone wild and is filling every crack and crevice in the world.

There are some Goyim and some Yidden that see the truth and are complaining and saying their opinion and trying to fight this tremendous evil. But most of the world is beginning to enjoy the evil ways and they are not willing in any way to fight it. So therefore I am very upset.

Here in Eretz Yisroel we are going into a time of the total destruction of the structure of the State of Israel, not by bombs but by the friction between this crook or that thief that’s part of a legal mafia or of this murderer or that murderer that is in public office. And on the other side we have the Frum community which are at each other's throats in the name of the "holy" Egel HaZahav which with its vicious Lashon Hara and sometimes physical and emotional violence is also dividing and destroying that once holy community.

Countries like Belgium have passed horrific laws. The latest one being that any person diagnosed with a terminal illness can choose to be killed, so they won't have to face the suffering. Also many laws have been passed throughout the world that legalize the lusts and the immorality of the degenerates that are trying to rule the world. In doing this they are now in a direct war with Hakodosh Boruch Hu, as they are trying to destroy the Kedusha, Chas VeSholom, and to raise up the flag of the twisted direction of the evil ones based only on lust, and love of violence and murder.

Mommy, this situation is going to explode. It has to. Most of the people of the world have become wild maniacs. And when you let them loose and give them permission they are capable of the most horrific acts of aggression like what is happening in Syria.

The world is on the verge of a complete breakdown, and when that happens there will be violence everywhere in the worst way. There is nothing that mankind can do to stop it. Well-equipped armies cannot halt this lawlessness, and not even sincere prayer can stop it because we are coming to the last moment of this diaspora and all mankind is being judged. While sincere prayer and repentance cannot help to save the whole world, it can definitely help the true Jewish Neshamas that were at Har Sinai (and righteous gentiles) get through this tremendously difficult time in an easier way and be Zoche to greet Moshiach Tzidkainu.

Therefore Mommy we are on the threshold of a terribly difficult time and only our connection with Hakodosh Boruch Hu can save us. He is One. His name is One, and being part of that Oneness must be our goal in life, because that is the only real state of existence.

29 November 2013

Parashat Mikeitz 5774

26 Kislev 5774
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
2nd Day of Hanukah

Mikkeitz/Chanukah: How (not) to bring the Redemption
by Daniel Pinner

“It happened at the end of two years to the day, that Pharaoh was dreaming: behold – he was standing over the River [Nile]” (Genesis 41:1).

Two years earlier, Joseph had accurately interpreted the dreams of Pharaoh’s Royal Butler and Royal Baker, and pleaded with the Royal Butler to remember him to Pharaoh upon his impending release. Though the Torah does not tell us how long Joseph had spent in prison before that incident with the dreams, several sources (Exodus Rabbah 7:1; Tanhuma, Vayeishev 9; Tanna de-Vey Eliyahu, Pirkei ha-Yeridot section 1; Seder Olam; Pirkei de-Rabbi Eliezer 39) record that it was ten years.

According to the Midrash, “Joseph should only have been in prison for ten years, as a punishment for having delivered evil reports about his ten brothers [Genesis 37:2]; but because he said to the Royal Butler ‘Just remember me with yourself when [Pharaoh] does good for you’ (40:14), an extra two years were added” (Exodus Rabbah 7:1).

The Tanhuma (Vayeishev 9) is starker: “He should only have been in prison for ten years, so why were two years added? – God said: You cast away your trust in Me, and instead trusted in the Royal Butler. You asked him two times to remember you – ‘Just remember me with yourself when [Pharaoh] does good for you, and please do me this kindness; remember me to Pharaoh, and get me out of this building’ (Genesis 40:14), so you will be forgotten in this prison for two years”.

This raises an obvious question. We have a principle that it is forbidden to rely on a miracle (see Shabbat 32a, Ta’anit 20b, Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 192:3, et. al.), so what did Joseph do wrong in asking the Royal Butler to remember him to Pharaoh and get him out of prison? As Rabbeinu Bechayyeh (Spain, mid-13th century to 1340) points out, it would have appeared to Joseph that God had purposely sent these two royal officials to share Joseph’s prison cell in order to provide him with the opportunity of some royal influence; so why was Joseph punished for taking the opportunity when it came along?

I suggest that the answer can be found in the Midrash, according to which the Royal Butler’s dream not only foretold his release from prison three days later, but was also a prophecy of Israel’s Redemption from Egypt: “The Royal Butler related his dream to Joseph: ‘And behold! There was a vine in front of me’ (Genesis 40:9) – this alludes to Israel…; ‘and on the vine were three tendrils’ (verse 10) – representing Moshe, Aaron, and Miriam; ‘and it was as though it was budding’ (ibid.) – the budding represents the Redemption of Israel; ‘its blossoms bloomed’ (ibid.) – representing the blossoming of Israel’s redemption” (Genesis Rabbah 88:5, Midrash Lekach Tov).

Joseph should have understood that though the individual Jew is allowed to rely on natural means to rescue him from ordinary dangers, when the Redemption of Israel is the issue it is forbidden to rely on any outside help. The Redemption of Israel is by its very definition Kiddush Hashem, sanctification of the Name of God – and this can happen solely by the hand of the Nation of God.

It is no coincidence that since the yearly cycle of Torah readings was standardised towards the end of the Second Temple era, and the fixed calendar as calculated by Hillel II (Hillel ben Yehudah, Nasi or head of the Sanhedrin) was adopted in 4119 (359 C.E.), Parashat Mikkeitz almost always coincides with Chanukah: the last time Mikkeitz did not fall during Chanukah was in 5761 (2000), and the next time will be in 5781 (2020). And the story of Chanukah, the history of the Maccabean Revolt, reinforces this immutable lesson.

The Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire began in 167 B.C.E., when Antiochus IV (who eight years earlier had become ruler of the Seleucid Empire) began a concerted campaign against Judaism throughout Judea. The Maccabees’ fight seemed absurd: twenty-five men against the world’s mightiest empire.

Tough the Maccabees may have been, but they had no military training. They did not even have any military tradition to learn from: there had been no Jewish army since King Yehoyakhin (Jehoiachin), the last king of Judea, some 420 years earlier – and that army had been defeated and conquered by Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.

The last Jewish military victory had been six kings and a century earlier yet, under King Hizkiyahu (Hezekiah), when the Assyrian army of Sanheriv (Sennacherib), 185,000 strong, all died in a single night (2 Kings 19:35, Isaiah 37:36, 2 Chronicles 32:21). Thus even that was not a military victory which the Maccabees could study to learn military stratagems.

To find a Jewish army which had been victorious on a battlefield we have to go back to King Yarav’am (Jeroboam) II of Israel, who had ascended to the throne 86 years before Hizkiyahu had ascended the throne of Judea, and who in alliance with Judea had conquered Damascus and Hamath and restored them to Israelite sovereignty (2 Kings 14:28)

So the Maccabees took up arms some six and a half centuries after the last Jewish military victory. They were untrained and unskilled tactically and strategically, as well as being hopelessly outnumbered and overpowered.

Hellenist ideology dominated the world from Greece unto Persia, and not even Rome yet dared to challenge the supremacy of the Seleucid Empire. Yet within three years, the Maccabean forces re-took Jerusalem and the Holy Temple (which had been captured by the Greeks and desecrated back in 168 B.C.E.), re-dedicating the Holy Temple on the twenty-fifth of Kislev 164 B.C.E.

The Maccabees’ campaign continued, winning battle after battle, campaign after campaign, fighting without any mortal allies. In the next year they defeated the Seleucid-Hellenist forces in the Galilee, Judea, Samaria, Hebron, Gilead (in Transjordan), Beth-Shean, Jaffa, and the entire coastal plain from the port in modern-day Haifa southwards down to Gaza.

Jewish forces were winning victory after victory over Seleucid forces throughout Judea, and their eventual victory seemed guaranteed.

And then in 161 B.C.E., Rome – the up-and-coming super-power – recognised Jewish sovereign independence, and Yehudah (Judah) the Maccabee, the son and successor of Matityahu who had founded the Maccabean dynasty, signed a treaty of military alliance with Rome. Shortly afterwards Yehudah was killed in battle, and his brother Yonatan was elected in his place. There followed a long period of uncertain rule in Israel – rival Jewish groups and the remnants of the Seleucids all vying for power.

In 139 B.C.E., the Roman Senate formally recognised Judæa (the Latinised spelling) as an independent country.

The Hasmoneans saw this alliance and treaty with Rome as a veritable salvation: for a small nation fighting desperately for its independence against a mighty superpower, winning the protection of another powerful country seemed the pragmatic thing to do. But the repercussions were horrendous: within a generation the Hasmoneans would become Hellenised, and Jewish infighting would effectively give Rome control over Judæa.

In 69 B.C.E. Queen Shlom-Tziyon (Salome) Alexandra died – the last monarch to reign and to die as an independent ruler of an independent Jewish state. Her two sons, Aristobulus and Hyrcanus, both claimed the Judæan throne, and a civil war broke out between the two brothers and their respective followers. Hyrcanus forged an alliance with the Roman Empire, and the Judæan civil war ended when the Roman General Gnaeus Pompeius Magnus (Pompey) entered Jerusalem in 63 B.C.E. insupport of Hyrcanus, who thereby defeated his brother Aristobolus and became High Priest and vassal king of Judæa.

Such is the result of entrusting Israel’s Redemption to human allies. God’s Name is not sanctified by Israel relying on Rome or France or America for salvation. His Name is sanctified when Israel, His Nation and His representatives in this world, fight their own wars and win their own victories in His name without mortal allies.

Joseph in his Egyptian dungeon should have realised this. When he interpreted the Royal Butler’s dream, he should have understood that his experience in prison was the paradigm of Israel’s exile, and that his release would be the paradigm of Israel’s Redemption. And the Redemption of Israel, which is pure Kiddush Hashem, can be wrought solely by Jews relying solely on God.

For failing in this test Joseph spent an extra two years in captivity. When the Maccabees failed in this same test, they descended rapidly into the very Hellenism that their grandfather had given his life to fight against, and very soon became corrupt dictators, holding power against their fellow-Jews at the point of Roman spears – and eventually, those self-same Romans with whom they had forged alliances and treaties destroyed them along with the same Holy Temple that their predecessors had fought to liberate and purify.

This is the inevitable result of trusting in human allies instead of in God for the Redemption. As with Joseph in this week’s Parashah and as with the Maccabees in the Chanukah episode, relying on foreign nations for our Redemption guarantees failure. Our salvation will come not from treaties with America or from Chinese technology, nor from deals with Arab terrorists, but solely from God and from our trust and reliance in Him.

27 November 2013

Discussion with Moishe'la: "Mi L'Hashem, Elai!"

24 Kislev 5774
Erev Hanukah


Discussion with Moishela (with his family)
A Handicapped child
Kislev 15 '5774 (Nov 17 '13)

Mi L'Hashem Elai!

In the next month we are going to realize how important that statement is for us - "Mi l'Hashem elai!". We're missing only the one to say it. In years past when the Greeks tried to take away our religion, our Yiddishkeit, things got so bad that Mattisyahu could not take it anymore, and even though he only had a few volunteers, he said, "Mi l'Hashem elai!"- whoever is for Hashem, come with me. Now we again are under the rule of the Reshaim, of the Yivanim, of Edom.

All over the world they're ruling and here in Eretz Yisroel they're also ruling. But we don’t notice it so much, not the Frum and not the Chilonim. We let it go by us without even realizing in any way that we are in terrible, terrible danger. The first Zionists created the state of Israel, designed it, built it, put it into action with Hashem's permission, of course. The state of Israel was built as a direct war against Hakodosh Boruch Hu, not against the Arabs, against Hakodosh Boruch Hu. The founders of this so-called state of Israel were Erev Rav who wanted to prove that Chas Veshalom they were stronger than Hashem and that they could be Chas Veshalom instead of Hakodosh Boruch Hu. This is compared to the Dor Haflaga that built Migdal Bovel as a direct war against Hakodosh Boruch Hu. They had the wildest idea that they had the power to win against Hakodosh Boruch Hu, and what we see now is only a bizarre continuation of these maniacs' ideas.

The people that are behind this false concept are all over the world. After many hundreds of years of plotting they are now tightening the noose, so-to-speak, around all the peoples of the world and also around the Jewish nation. But these Reshaim want Davka to make a new religion, a new religion that will encompass the whole world. That religion will be a Mish-Mash of things, but in the end it will be like the Yivanim - Avodah Zara.

The Zionists who built this country, this State of Israel wanted to be like all the other countries of the world. They wanted to be part of the Roman Empire, and now after all these years they have achieved their greatest goal and are definitely part of the Roman Empire. The proof of the pudding is that without any problem, the State of Israel is turning over to the Catholic Church the grave of the forefather of Moshiach Tzidkainu, Dovid Hamelech and that is an unbelievable act of war against Hakodosh Boruch Hu. But it's not only this. It's also all the laws that have been passed lately in Eretz Yisroel, and they're all made to water down our Yiddishkeit, or to take it away from us, whether it’s the Bris Milah, or any other Frum Jewish tradition or law. They have the Chutzpah to go inside our practices and try to outlaw them. We know that they're behind the Women of the Wall. They're behind all of the activities to weaken Yiddishkeit.

The Israeli army is full of Goyim that could easily become a fifth column. Our everyday lives are full of a Goyisha way of doing things. Israelis consider Tzahal the savior of the Medinah. This attitude is a war against Hakodosh Boruch Hu. On one side, Tzahal is considered the savior of the Medinah. On the other side, if we look at all of the wars since the State came into existence, they were won only by miracles which Tzahal cannot perform.

Therefore I must tell you now that we are going into a new and much more frightening time. We Jews have let the Greeks and the Hellenists take away our Yiddishkeit from us, and we are left alone. Hashem has taken from us our greatest Rabbonim, our greatest Gedolai Hador, and we are left with only a few Tzaddikim. However that is not enough to help Am Yisroel get out of this mess. We are orphans, but now we are even greater orphans because Hashem is taking away from us also our past Tzaddikim. If the plan to take away from Am Yisrael the Kever of Dovid Hamelech succeeds, (and it seems that other important holy places of the Jews are already being readied to be taken by the Goyim), then we will be totally in the dark, totally without guidance in this world.

I'm a bit young to remember, but when the Kosel was taken back into Jewish hands in 1967, the crying of every true Jew was heart rendering. The realization that now Am Yisroel had a place to come and cry and spill our hearts out to Hakodosh Boruch Hu and feel His presence, was a giant spiritual uplift for all Jews everywhere. But now everything has changed. The changes made at the Kosel and its surroundings sends chills up my back. It makes me cry out from sheer loneliness because it has the flavor, it has the smell, and it has the feeling of a church. It has a feeling of Atheists of non-believers altogether. And therefore a true Jew feeling such a thing has no choice but to sit down and to cry. Go to Kever Rochel or to the Rashbi. You have the feeling, the cold feeling of non- believers. You have hundreds, maybe thousands of non-Jews crowding these places. And where are we? We are not allowed to hand out any kind of Tefillos or Chizuk material or to ask for Tzeddakah. We are not allowed to feel the warmth of our Tzaddikim.

Mamma Rochel where have you gone to? We can't feel you anymore. Where is the Shechina that we were told would always be at the Kosel? It's there, but it's so hard for us to concentrate when thousands and thousands of all kinds of people are crowding around there, with women who are not Tzniusdik, and people flashing their cameras in every direction, and of course the Women of the Wall who have come to challenge Hakodosh Boruch Hu. Will He let them desecrate His Makom Kodesh and do what they feel is correct in their own small minds?

Am Yisroel, if you don’t feel this, then I question your roots. If you don’t feel this, go to the Kevarim. Go to Mama Rochel. Go to the Kosel. Go to the Kever of Dovid Hamelech, and all the other places that have been invaded by these Yivanim, and tell me what you feel. If you don’t feel anything, if you think that this new Seder in all of these places is just fine, then I can only bow my head and say that you've missed the boat. You can't be a Yid. You can't have a true Yiddisha Neshoma. If you go to these places and feel the loneliness, the cold atmosphere, the feeling of great loss, then I'm sure that your Neshoma was at Har Sinai.

This is a selection. This is a Birur. The Yivanim want to sit here in Eretz Yisroel. They want to rule over the world from Eretz Yisroel. They want to take Hashem's place Chas Veshalom. Of course they cannot do it, and they're so stupid in their belief that the Ribbono Shel Olam, the ruler of the world will let them, these pitiful people destroy the world themselves. No, it won't happen. Hashem will destroy much of the world and them with it, but Am Yisroel and Eretz Yisroel will remain, and they will disappear.

We're coming to a point now that every true Jew will have to hold on to his Yiddishkeit in order to survive. We're going to be attacked, not with bombs so much, but trying to make us leave our religion. They're going to disguise their efforts with very flowery descriptions of how our way of doing things is not the most humanistic way of living, but whoever falls for that WONT GET UP. Now we are in big danger. They're not going to let us easily do what we know is right, and therefore when Moshiach appears and says "Mi l'Hashem, elai!", we will know who to follow.

Again, and again I say the same things. Please, please come back to the truth. Please, please come back to Hashem. Please, please don’t give up the only thing in the world that means anything, and that’s our Kesher with Hakodosh Boruch Hu. We are His bride. He is our Chassan. We are going to be one with Him, and now is our chance to show Him how much we care, how much we want, how much we need Him, how much we're willing to sacrifice only to do His will, and then Moshiach will be revealed and we will walk into the new world, not to the New World Order, to the new world, to the higher world that Hashem has created for us. "Mi l'Hashem, elai!" - Mesirus Nefesh. We have to sacrifice ourselves in order to live.

My Alte Zaidy knew very well that the Yivanim were taking over. He knew very well that the Gashmius of Olam Hazeh should have nothing to do with Yidden, and that especially in America it was bringing Yidden down very much. He knew that it was part of a Divine plan to separate the true Jewish Neshomas from the ones that were not true Jewish Neshomas. He knew that this almost total destruction of the world and its peoples would bring forth the greatest flowering of Yiddishkeit. That’s what my Alte Zaidy knew very well, and throughout his life he tried to make Yidden understand that the Gashmius, which includes all the things that the Egel HaZahav stands for, is the total opposite of Hashem's will and that is what is destroying mankind and the Jews also.

So again from up in Shomayim he can see what is happening. He can see that that the Frum Kehillah has been fighting one with another. They have so many conflicts that it's almost impossible to continue being Jews anymore. The Yivanim and the Misyavnim (the Hellenists) are trying to water down Yiddishkeit, which means to destroy it. My Alte Zaidy knows that this means that we are very close to the Geula.

There are many opinions of how many people will be left. I go with the opinion that only the Neshamas that were at Har Sinai will be left, besides a few Goyim, and therefore I believe that very few will be left, but whoever will be left will be the base, the base for our new and complete world where there will be no Yetzer Horah, no Satan, No Malach Hamaves.

This is a message, for our family, and for every Jew. Our Alte Zaidy wants the whole family to look into our hearts and our souls, and take out all the Gashmius and remember what Hashem wants from us. He wants us to be close to Him. How to be close to Him? To make ourselves close to Him, we have to get rid of all the extra baggage, all the wrong feelings, all the wrong desires, all the Gashmius that is forbidden, and even the Gashmius that is not forbidden, but that gets in our way. We must become spiritual, and must come closer to Hashem. Whether we learn and Daven or do Chessed, we have to do something spiritual that will push out of our minds and our hearts the Egel HaZahav.

Much of what I have said here I have said before. However once you have read and pondered my words and taken them into your heart, and try to actually separate yourselves from the Egel HaZahav and from the world of lies, then the truth will change you and the world, and we, Am Yisroel, will be ready to greet Moshiach Tzidkainu.

26 November 2013


23 Kislev 5774

"Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has shone upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and a gross darkness the kingdoms, and the Lord shall shine upon you, and His glory shall appear over you." (Yeshayahu 60.1-2)

Jerusalem, Riyadh stunned: Obama makes Iran 7th world power on regional issues, including Palestinians

...President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry secretly agreed to elevate Iran to the status of seventh world power,....

... Western sources familiar with the new US-Iranian understandings say they would not be surprised to find President Rouhani sitting in future summits on the same side of the table as the six powers who faced Iran in the Geneva negotiations.

Jerusalem and Riyadh are aghast at this development. Our Jerusalem sources report that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has kept it back from his cabinet colleagues, has been holding back-to-back confidential consultations with the heads of Israel’s security and intelligence services and the high IDF command to decide how to handle Obama’s sudden replacement of Israel with Iran as America’s No. 1 ally in the region.

Most immediately, a hostile Iran with a role in the ongoing US-sponsored negotiations with the Palestinians does not bear thinking of.

...Some of DEBKAfile’s Western and Israeli sources in the two capitals say Israel and Saudi Arabia both find Iran’s promotion to world status more shocking and deleterious even than its pretensions to a nuclear weapon. Neither had imagined the Obama administration capable of an about face so extreme.


"When [Prime Minister Netanyahu] said yesterday that “the most dangerous regime in the world took a significant step towards obtaining the world’s most dangerous weapon”, many Arabs – and an awful lot of other people in the world, including the West – will have wondered whether Israel, which long ago obtained the world’s most dangerous weapon, is now – in rejecting the Geneva deal - the world’s most dangerous government. If Mr Netanyahu and his clique in the government decide to twit the world’s major powers amid their euphoria, he may bring about – as several Israeli writers have warned – the most profound change in Israel’s relations with the US since the foundation of the Israeli state."

(The Independent)


25 November 2013

The Fight Goes On

22 Kislev 5774

Hellenism still exists, but instead of being focused on Greek culture, the focus is on Western 'values' which were inherited from Greece - democracy, pluralism, hedonism, etc.

And just as in the times of the Chashmonayim, it clashes with Torah values.  The two opposing systems cannot co-exist. So, the fight goes on and in the end, only one will be left standing.

Government Tenacious in Effort to Dismantle Torah Lifestyle

The current administration appears determined to make it impossible for one to maintain a chareidi lifestyle in Eretz Yisrael.

The bills introduced and some already passed in Knesset include;

1. The new law liberalizing marriage registration,

2. A bill to scrutinize mohelim,

3. A bill to eliminate the post of one of the chief rabbis,

4. A policy demanding the introduction of ‘core subjects’ into the chareidi curriculum or forfeit state funding.

5. Changes in IDF policy to integrate women into additional units, making it extremely difficult for religious soldiers and officers,

6. Drastic cuts in funding for yeshivos and avreichim,

7. The new chareidi draft law which Yesh Atid hopes will result in failure to report for military service a violation of the penal code,

8. The law increasing the minimum marriage age from 17 to 18.

Regarding the last point, many posit that the bill is not directed against chareidim per se as many feel 17 is too young. However, if one analyzes the law of the land one may understand just how the marriage age law is indeed directed at chareidim.

In Israel, the minimum age that one can be viewed as a ‘consenting adult’ is 16, not 18. That means a female can consent to be with a partner from age 16 to 18 for as long as they do not try to get married before 18. This encourages promiscuity and prevents young adults from marrying.

With Chanukah days away one cannot help but to make a comparison between the Hellenists of Chanukah and the priorities of the current administration R”L.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

Hanukah is Coming!

22 Kislev 5774

As shared by Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi on his Facebook page:

Chanuka is characterized by the motif of light. These are the unique spiritual facets of light: Light is the first thing that was created after the creation of the Heavens and the Earth; A little bit of light pushes away a lot of darkness; light does not struggle against darkness; When light appears - darkness goes away on its own accord; Darkness has no reality of its own; Darkness is merely the absence of light. The same holds true in the natural order of life. Sadness, depression, devastation and despair - all exist only when there is an absence of light and when there is no joy. Once the light appears – these negative feelings fade away on their own.


When the Hasmoneans celebrated the dedication of the Temple, they passed on the Chanuka candles to the hand of every father in Israel so that he would educate his daughter to be a “Mini Temple” and the members of his family to raise a candle to the Will of Hasem (G-d). Chanuka is thus renewed every year until the dedication of the Third Holy Temple in the future. Every year every father and his family stand around the chanukia (menora) holding a candle that has been passed down to him since that first Chanuka dedication in the Temple. The children gaze upon their father as he raises the flame and lights the chanukia, and so too many more generations will also raise the flames whose fire will never be extinguished, the fire which symbolizes the Spirit. The attraction of the Greeks, of false externalities, threatens our generation and deprives our Jewish homes from the spirit of Torah which is the core of the Jewish heart and home. The “offspring” of the Greeks are trying to mislead our youth, but the flame illuminating from the glass windows of our homes is a testament that the light of Faith and Truth still reigns.

Just three more days!!

24 November 2013

It's a Deal!

21 Kislev 5774

Nuclear deal reached between Iran and six world powers in Geneva

Did you ever doubt that a deal would be struck? Are you still wondering why? It's really very simple.

1. The world reached "peak oil."

2. The US made a grab for power which took longer and cost more than they anticipated.

3. Their economy tanked before they could finish the job.

The US is broke and the only option left is appeasement and the hope that Iran will guarantee their energy supply in exchange for A) letting them keep their nuclear facilities and B) forcing a Palestinian State on Israel in April 2014.

As soon as oil was struck, the US was a dead man walking. Their fate was already sealed at that point. The addict's need for supply dictates current foreign policy.

Did you ever doubt it?

22 November 2013

Parshat Vayeshev 5774

19 Kislev 5774
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

Parashat Vayeshev - Forgetting vs. Remembering - Rabbi Meir Kahane

When a Jew is away from Israel, he must constantly acknowledge that he is a stranger in a foreign land, living among a foreign nation, like one who is with a woman whom he does not know. As Solomon expressed it: And why should you stray, my son, with an alien woman, and hug the bosom of a foreign woman (Proverbs 5:20). [...] Human nature is to forget suffering after some time has passed and one finds refuge and starts to live in peace; then the nekhar (“unknown”) and the nokhri (“foreigner, stranger”) become nikkar (“recognized”) and mukkar (“known”), and the alien land becomes homeland. And indeed, this happened even to Joseph himself:

Joseph thought: When I was in my father’s house…my brothers envied me; now that I am here [in Egypt], I thank You that I live in wealth. G-d said to him: It is so good for you here that you are rebelling. By your life! I will incite the bears against you (Genesis Rabbah 87:4). The Tanhuma says something similar: When Joseph saw himself such [so great, in Potiphar’s service], he began to eat and drink, he curled his hair, and said: Blessed be the Omnipresent Who has caused me to forget my father’s house. G-d said to him: Your father is mourning for you in sackcloth and ashes, and you eat and drink and curl your hair?! For this, your mistress [Potiphar’s wife] will seduce you and cause you grief (Tanhuma, Vayeshev 8).

This teaches that it is not enough for the tzaddik to recognize G-d’s kindness; he must also understand that the purpose of His kindness is solely in order to help him to fulfil his obligation and his destiny. Joseph was indeed obligated to thank G-d for having been saved, and for having found a good life – but he should not have celebrated and rejoiced as long as his father was mourning and suffering. We further see that even though his personal situation in Israel with his family was far worse than his current situation in exile, this feeling was considered a sin, for a Jew is forbidden to forget his true home – and far more so, is forbidden to erase the memory of his true home. And Joseph was punished for this twice over: the first time, when he was thrown into prison; and the second time, when he forgot all [the Torah knowledge] that he had learned, as the Midrash says:

And Jacob arrived unblemished (Genesis 33:18) – Rabbi Yohanan said: unblemished in his learning. But Joseph had forgotten, as he said, G-d has caused me to forget my hardship; and subsequently it is said, The toiling spirit toils for itself (Proverbs 16:26) [in the verse which speaks of toiling in the Torah].

While he was in prison, Joseph failed in his trust in G-d when he asked the chief steward to save him. As our sages said (Shemot Rabbah 7:1), “Joseph really only deserved ten years in prison...yet because he asked the chief steward, 'Remember that I was with you...Say something about me to Pharaoh' (Gen. 40:14), two years were added.”

A Jew who seeks help from a non-Jew out of despair and fear, lest G-d not help him, commits a grave sin. Had Joseph approached the steward with a demand because the steward owed him a favor , that would not have been considered a sin. Yet by petitioning him with a request, indicating that we need a favor from a non-Jew, he profaned G-d's name, showing that he did not trust in G-d but only in flesh and blood. From here we derive a major principle regarding aid from a non-Jew: If the non-Jew gives it as part of mutual aid, or payment for what he owes the Jew, that is allowed. If, however, we approach a non-Jew or a country with a request, like a pauper standing at the door, there is no more severe Chilul HaShem and lack of trust in G-d than this.It is an unatonable sin for a Jew to despair. It constitutes national denial of G-d for Israel to turn to human strength, to non-Jewish allies, and to lean on them while scorning G-d's ability to help.

On the national level, this means : [...] whoever relies on the non-Jew and his aid, and fears that without such aid the Jews and their land will be unable to survive, has been caught by lack of complete trust in G-d, bordering on denial of His existence. The individual Jew and the Jewish people as a whole will not be forgiven if they abandon their faith in G-d, the Supreme, Omnipotent King Who rules over the world and over the nations. He alone is our salvation.Even totally righteous, G-d fearing people fall prey to the terrible sin of lack of trust in G-d. As our sages said (Sotah 48b), “What is meant by 'Who has despised [baz] the day of small things?'(Zechariah 4:10)? What causes the future heavenly reward of the righteous to be squandered [yitbazbez]? Their smallness in not believing in G-d.” Had our sages not said this, we would not dare to put this thought to words.

Yet our sages established a great and frightening principle: that it is possible to be a righteous person, i.e. one who observes Torah and mitzvot, who keeps all of Torah ritual, and still be small of faith.It is appropriate to cry over this, for the signs of this terrible sin can be seen openly in this orphan generation.King David said, “He will bless them that fear the L-rd, both children and adults [lit., 'great and small']” (Ps. 115:14). This hints that some among the G-d fearing have little fear of G-d and little faith. King Solomon warned against the terrible sin of fearing mortal man when he said, “The fear of man brings a snare; but whoever puts his trust in the L-rd shall be set up on high. Many seek the ruler's favor, but a man's judgment comes from the L-rd” (Prov. 29:25-26).

This week's Parasha ends accordingly with “Yet the [non-Jewish] chief steward [whom Joseph had asked to remember him] did not remember Joseph, but he forgot him.” (Gen. 40:32)

Interestingly, at the beginning of the redemption from Egypt G-d told Moses to address the Jewish people with a reference to remembrance (although a different word for remembering is used):

“I have assuredly remembered you - pakod pakad’ti:” G-d commanded Moses to use specifically these words because the elders had a tradition that the redeemer would use these words when he would come, and they would thereby know that this was no false messiah:He [G-d] said to him [Moses]: They have a tradition from Joseph that I will redeem them with this word , pakod (“remember”). Go, address them with this sign. (Exodus Rabbah 3:18.)

This also applies to the future redemption of Israel:

Pakod pakad’ti: I have remembered you, and not forgotten you. I have remembered My promise and not forgotten it; I have not redeemed you until now – not because I have forgotten, but because the appointed time has not yet come, the number of years needed to redeem you has not yet passed.
[Source: Excerpted from Rabbi Meir Kahane's Peirush HaMaccabee – Shemot – Chapter 2 and 3 and from The Jewish Idea, Chapter 'Faith and Trust'.]

20 November 2013

It's Time to Pick a Side

18 Kislev 5774

Insults fly in U.S.-Israel showdown

...the friendship is cratering, with supporters and opponents of a White House-backed nuclear deal with Iran rhetorically at one another’s throats.

...“It’s the worst I’ve ever seen,” said Leslie Gelb, president emeritus of the Council on Foreign Relations. “The government officials on both sides aren’t going to say they’re enraged, but they are, and their supporters will tell you that. People on the fringes in Israel are saying it, supporters here are certainly saying it and Obama supporters are saying it, but not with a swipe at Israel.”

“Both sides are fighting viciously here,” said the Brookings Institution’s Ken Pollack, a National Security Council staffer under President Bill Clinton. “That same polarization that we’ve seen with health care, immigration and gun control, we’re seeing it now with Iran.”

...Despite the talk of agreement on broad goals, it’s evident that there’s now a wide U.S.-Israel gulf over potentially crucial strategy toward Iran.

...“There is something deeply disturbing about the charges being leveled by officials and journalists that people critical of the administration’s approach or terms of the Iran negotiations is a warmonger, anti-diplomacy or isn’t acting because they believe it to be in America’s interest, but because they have some ulterior motive,” said [Josh] Block, now CEO of the Israel Project.

19 November 2013

From Eisav Exposed - Don't Miss This

17 Kislev 5774

"Do these Jews care at all that while xians are giving money with one hand they are stealing Jewish souls with the other?"

Don't miss this important report on John Hagee's "A Night to Honor Israel" during which prominent frum Jews accepted thousands of dollars in donations from Hagee's CUFI organization. (This is not the first time!)

"Odd Bedfellows"

16 Kislev 5774

That is the descriptor that sprang to my mind while thinking about the new alliance between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and French President Francois Hollande. The term "odd bedfellows" means "...two people...are connected in a particular activity though they are very different and would not usually have the same opinions...."

Jews want to think that suddenly France is our "friend." Ironically, it was the former French General and President Charles DeGaulle who is credited with the famous quote: "No nation has friends, only interests."  

In fact, President Hollande lost no time proving this in yesterday's speech to the Israeli Knesset when he "demanded an end to Jewish settlement activity and told the Israeli parliament Jerusalem must one day be the capital of two states."

So, then the question is - what French interest is served by supporting Israel against an Iranian nuclear threat? I think it harks back to the same reason President Hollande was so prepared to support US President Obama's near attack on Syria.

According to an August 30, 2013 report in The Guardian:

...So what was this unfolding strategy to undermine Syria and Iran all about? According to retired NATO Secretary General Wesley Clark, a memo from the Office of the US Secretary of Defense just a few weeks after 9/11 revealed plans to "attack and destroy the governments in 7 countries in five years", starting with Iraq and moving on to "Syria, Lebanon, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Iran." In a subsequent interview, Clark argues that this strategy is fundamentally about control of the region's vast oil and gas resources.

...These strategic concerns, motivated by fear of expanding Iranian influence, impacted Syria primarily in relation to pipeline geopolitics. In 2009 - the same year former French foreign minister Dumas alleges the British began planning operations in Syria - Assad refused to sign a proposed agreement with Qatar that would run a pipeline from the latter's North field, contiguous with Iran's South Pars field, through Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria and on to Turkey, with a view to supply European markets - albeit crucially bypassing Russia. Assad's rationale was "to protect the interests of [his] Russian ally, which is Europe's top supplier of natural gas."

You'll recall that in January 2009, Europe was plunged into an energy crisis when Russia suddenly cut back its gas supply:

'Without prior warning and in clear contradiction with the reassurances given by the highest Russian and Ukrainian authorities to the European Union, gas supplies to some EU member states have been substantially cut,' the EU said in a statement.

...Around 80 per cent of the gas European Union countries receive from Russia comes through Ukraine.

While Germany and France are much more exposed, it is reckoned in some estimates that 15 per cent of Britain's supplies come from Russia through pipelines into the UK's east coast.

Given the recent Financial Times report that Israel is emerging as the new Middle East energy power, I think we are beginning to get a clearer picture. The next question is - if Israel trades support for it's war against Iran for an alternative supply of gas to France, how will Russia react to Israel becoming its market competitor?

18 November 2013

Burn the Bridges!

15 Kislev 5774

Those who engage in interfaith relations like to boast that they are "building bridges" between the communities; as if this is a good thing. The trouble with bridges is that they allow for two-way traffic. Xians can cross over to Jews, but Jews can also cross over to the xians, G-d forbid! And make no mistake about it, that is the purpose behind them.

This bridge-building is rooted in xian "love." They come to us, claiming to be our "brother" and professing undying love for us. Lately, they've been trying to convince many Jews that they are "brothers" from the ten "lost" tribes. Oh, they are our "brother" alright - no question about it - but, they are not "lost" Israelites. They are Eisav!

Excerpts from When Christian 'Love' Can Hurt Us
by Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen

… Rabbi Bornstein discusses a deeper meaning of the following words from Yaakov's prayer to be saved from the harmful plans of his brother, Eisav: "Save me, please, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Eisav." (Genesis 32:12)

…Why does Yaakov first refer to Eisav as "my brother" and then refer to him by name? Some commentators explain that Yaakov was more frightened of Eisav as a brother and friend than as Eisav - the one known for his violence. This is because Yaakov was concerned that Eisav might attempt to become close to him in order to draw him to Eisav's harmful philosophy and distorted ways. This was potentially very dangerous to Yaacov and his family, for it could lead to the end of the spiritual mission to which Yaakov had dedicated his life. We are therefore told that Yaacov primarily feared his "brother," and only then "Eisav."

... Rabbi Soloveitchik explains that Yaakov was concerned about two facets of Eisav's strategy - the hand of brotherhood and the hand of violence. He first mentions the hand of brotherhood, for he recognized the serious danger posed by the "love" of Eisav when its goal is to wean Yaakov away from the right path.

...Rabbi Soloveitchik then cites various midrashim that describe how, in a later stage of our history, these descendants of Eisav will ask us to modify our tradition so as to lessen the distance between their religion and Judaism. Rabbi Soloveitchik explains that they will even adopt certain tenets of Judaism in order to tempt us to give up some of our heritage.

...One trait of Esau that few will fail to recognize in the civilization and culture of the West is the emphasis on the image over substance, leavened with a good measure of hypocrisy.

He (Esau) was a hypocrite (Shocher Tov 14,3).

Esau would hunt him (Yitshak) and deceive him with words (Genesis Rabbah 63,10).

...The following midrash typifies the personalization of Rome and the West as Esau while not sparing his hypocrisy.

In the future Esau will wrap himself in a tallis, sit down next to Yakov and say to him, "You are my brother"....

"That was Esau's intention when he told Yakov, "Let us travel together and I will go before you (Genesis 33,12). He wanted them to join together in both this world and the world to come, to meet each other halfway,* with each modifying his conduct until they were alike (Yalkut Shimoni, Genesis 133). Indeed, Esau will even adopt certain tenets of Judaism...but only if Israel will give up some of its heritage. Similarly, according to Tanna D'Bei Eliahu Zuta(19), Esau proposed. "Give up some of the mitzvos that divide us. You will thereby enjoy this world and still have half the world to come. Isn't that enough? (Bais Halevy, Vayishlach).

Sounds like the so-called Messianic 'Jews' who wear tallit and tzitzit (but not kippa or tefillin) and the Hebrew-roots xians who claim to be "Torah-observant."

[*This is the stated goal of the "Restoration of Israel" theology - that so-called "Torah-observant" xians who identify as "lost tribes" will unite with apostate Jews who believe in the so-called "New Testament" and its image of a Messiah-god and come together as "one new man." ]

Speaking of Eisav's hypocrisy, those who build the bridges and those who cross over them are more than hypocrites, they are often outright liars - swearing that they do not proselytize anyone. Check out the website of this "Torah-observant" xian family who crossed over the bridge that Tommy Waller built. They were hand-picked by the Wallers to replace them for a period of time and what did they do while in Israel?  Exactly what they promised not to do and swore that they never do - proselytize!

See their Israel Photo Gallery and Testimony featuring the Jews and Muslims that they either tried to convert or actually did convert during they stay in G-d's Holy Land and see if you don't agree with me that these "bridges" really need to be burned.

17 November 2013

Grooming Israel for Kingship

14 Kislev 5774

Israel is being forced to finally let go of Uncle Sam's hand and learn to stand on his own. Unsteady in this new reality, he reaches out to France and Saudi Arabia, but he doesn't really need them. He simply needs to increase his confidence in HKB"H.

Ready or not, the time has come for Israel to rise up and take his rightful position as leader of the world. It can't wait any longer.

Hollande and Netanyahu to consider forming a joint French-Israeli-Arab front against Iran

...France will be given the option of aligning with the Middle East powers - Israel, Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Egypt - which challenge President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry’s race for détente with Tehran.

Israel said to be working with Saudi Arabia on Iran strike plan

Riyadh reported to give Jerusalem okay to use Saudi airspace and to cooperate on other tactical support, according to Sunday Times

As the commentary to Parshat Vayetzei says, the fact that Ya'aqov was grasping Eisav's heel when they were born indicates that Eisav's empire will barely begin to go down before Ya'aqov will wrest the leadership from him.


There Will Never Be a Palestinian State

14 Kislev 5774

There will never be a (so-called) Palestinian State because this is not what the (so-called) Palestinians want. They know who they are and why they exist and it is not to be an independent self-governing people. Their sole purpose is to be the thorns in our sides; to be an instrument of Israel's destruction.

They'll never accept an independent state because that is not their goal. They are incapable of building; only of destroying.

Our own Jewish government can give away the land, but the (so-called) Palestinians could never take it away. All they can do is turn it into chaos, destruction and failure just like they did with Gaza.

With the whole world either assisting the Arabs or standing back to watch - not one of them lifting a finger to help - the State of Israel was reborn and has thrived and prospered in spite of constant attacks from every possible direction.

On the other hand, the nations are so hell-bent on creating a (so-called) Palestinian State that they have poured millions (if not billions) of dollars into it; arming and training their "police"; offering them a seat at the "table" even up to writing them onto maps at the same time that they erase us.

You don't see them making any attempt to prepare the infrastructure for an independent state. The only preparations they are making are to launch a war against us. The whole world has been either witness to or collaborator with the ongoing training and arming of their military-terrorist force.

But, despite all of that, Israel will continue to rise to the greatest heights and there will never be a (so-called) Palestinian State.

16 November 2013

"...and the Voice of the Bride"

(Taken from this week's issue of Torah Tidbits @ ttidbits.com)
14 Kislev 5774

Why does the groom place an opaque veil over his bride's face?

The father of the first Jewish family, Yaakov, was the victim of a last minute switch on his wedding night. His father-in-law, Lavan, substituted Leah, the older of his two daughters,for Rachel, the one whom Yaakov loved and worked for. Yaakov discovered the deception only after he had consummated the marriage with Leah. Yaakov, choosing to accept his 'fate', remained with Leah and later also married Rachel, the bride of his choice.

Why did the first Jewish wedding have to take place through deception?

Why did the first Jewish family have to come into existence in such an enigmatic and strange manner? Leah represents Yaakov's mazal (fate). She is the woman whom Yaakov was destined to marry. Rachel represents choice. She is the woman whom Yaakov loved and chose to marry. The narrative portions of the Torah contain much more than simple stories.

The entire Torah is G-d's authorized living manual for today's world.

There is a profound message being taught here. When one gets married, although he thinks that he is marrying a Rachel, the one that he chose, there are bound to be unforseen surprises. One will discover, after the wedding that he has also married a Leah, who represents the unanticipated nature of one's spouse. This unforeseen nature, however, is exactly what one needs in a spouse.

When the groom veils his bride, he is stating in effect, "I will love, cherish and respect not only the 'you' which is revealed to me, but also those aspects of your personality that are hidden from me. As I am bonding with you in marriage, I am creating a space within me for the totality of your entire being, including what remains veiled."

Under the Chupa, the groom says to the bride, "You are sanctified to me with this ring …" What he means is that I can't attain my full potential of sanctity without you. However, the bride remains silent. Why does she not verbally acknowledge her groom's words and his gift? The Baal Shem Tov explains that under the Chupa the bride has reached such an exalted and unprecedented level of sanctity (k'dusha) that the world is not ready to hear her holy speech.

When the Moshiach comes, then the world will have reached its spiritual zenith, and only then the bride will speak under the Chupa. It will be as the Prophet Yirmiyahu says, "There will be heard in the cities of Yehuda and in the streets of Yerushalayim, the sound of joy and the sound of gladness, the voice of the groom and the voice of the bride."

15 November 2013

Parshat Vayishlach 5774 - Special Double Feature

12 Kislev 5774
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

As we learn how to deal with Eisav's perfidy firsthand (the US President does not act in a vacuum and no one is making a move to stop him), there are many good lessons for us in this parshah where Eisav and Ya'aqov meet again and then go their separate ways.

Keep in mind that it is Ya'aqov's destiny to rise above the status of Eisav's twin ("Great Satan, Little Satan" anyone?) and become Yisrael!

"The deeds of the fathers are signs for the children."

Parashat Vayishlach - Fearing no one but G-d - Rabbi Meir Kahane

“As a muddied fountain and a polluted spring, so is a righteous man who gives way before the wicked” (Prov. 25:26) [...] G-d said to Jacob, “Esau was walking on his way, and you sent him a message, saying, “Your servant Jacob says...” (Excerpt from Bereshit Rabbah 75,2)

G-d had promised Jacob that He would be with him, and had Jacob believed this and not feared Esau, Esau would have gone on his way. Through his fear, Jacob brought Esau upon himself by sending him messengers and by his servile use of, “Your servant Jacob.” Tanchuma Yashan (Vayishlach,4) teaches, “Jacob sent [vayishlach] messengers...to his brother Esau” (Gen. 32:4): G-d lamented: “Alas [Vai!] Jacob was sending messengers to Esau!” Likewise, regarding the verse, “So shall you say to my Lord Esau” (32:5), our sages comment (Bereshit Rabbah 75:11), “G-d said to him, 'You degraded yourself and called Esau 'my lord' eight times. I swear that I shall make eight of his offspring precede yours as kings.”

To understand the pitfall of lack of bitachon (trust in G-d), we must ponder the following verse: “He selected a 'mincha' for his brother Esau from what he had with him... These he gave to his servants... He said to his servants, “When my brother Esau encounters you, he will ask, 'To whom do you belong?'... You must reply, 'It belongs to your servant Jacob. It is a 'mincha' to my master Esau'”...Jacob said to himself, “I will win him over with the 'mincha' that is being sent ahead”... He sent the mincha ahead. (Gen. 32:4,17-19,21-22) A 'mincha' is a gift or present, but it is also the name of an offering or prayer. The offering whose specific name is mincha is brought from plants, either wheat or barley, and is called mincha because it is brought not only as a gift or present but also out of self-sacrifice and trust in G-d.

Our sages said (Menachot 104b): Why in the case of the mincha does it say "nefesh", (soul)? [“If an individual [nefesh] presents a meal-offering to the L-rd” (Lev. 2:1)], whereas regarding the olah, or burnt-offering, it says, “When one person [adam] brings an offering to the L-rd” (Lev. 1:2).] G-d said, “Who normally brings the mincha? The poor man. I shall treat him as having sacrificed his life before Me.” A poor man is unable to bring an animal, and even the flour he brings for his meal-offering involves self-sacrifice for him. Surely this is the true purpose of the korban, or sacrifice – that one sacrifice oneself and thereby bring oneself closer to G-d. The poor man, although even the meal-offering is as hard for him as sacrificing his life, still brings it, trusting in G-d to worry for him about his livelihood. This offering is called 'mincha', from the word "nach", “passed away”, as if the poor man bringing the mincha has died. For that same reason, the prayer preceding evening is called mincha.[...] It is called this because when the sun is already turning westward to rest [lanuach], to set, this is the time of mincha and of trusting in G-d. The light is dimming, darkness is approaching, and a person trusts that after the darkness of night, the sun will rise again and there will be light. The time for mincha is when sunset and darkness are approaching. This is why it is called mincha. Every mincha is tied to trust in G-d, and to poverty and humility before the One Who is Master of all. G-d will bring light and day once again. He will bring a livelihood to the poor man who brought Him his fine flour. He will save Israel from all its mighty enemies ...

[...] Jacob took the mincha, our gift to G-d, representing man's lowliness before his Maker, and his faith and trust in Him, and he transferred these sentiments to Esau. This reflected great lack of bitachon (trust in G-d), as in Rashbam's explanation of why Jacob was smitten in hist struggle with the angelic prince of Esau (on Gen. 39:29): Jacob was smitten and ended up with a limp, because G-d made a promise to him while he was fleeing. Just so, all who refuse to take G-d's path, or who take an opposing path, are punished.

In Rav Kahane's “Peirush HaMaccabee” we find: There were two people to whom G-d made promises but were afraid…: One was the choicest of the Patriarchs – this is Jacob, as it says, For Hashem chose Jacob to Himself (Psalms 135:4) [i.e. this verse testifies that Jacob was the chosen of the three Fathers]. And G-d said to him, And behold I am with you (Genesis 28:15) – and yet, eventually he was afraid, as it says, And Jacob was greatly afraid (ibid. 32:7). And the other was the choicest of the prophets – this is Moses, as it says, He said He would destroy them [the Israelites], had Moses, His chosen one, not stood in the breach before Him (Psalms 106:23). And G-d said to him, Because I will be with you – and yet, eventually he was afraid [of Og, king of Bashan], as it says, And Hashem said to Moses: Do not be afraid of him (Numbers 21:34); and one would only admonish “do not be afraid” to one who is afraid. – (Genesis Rabbah 76:1). This commandment, do not be afraid, is a difficult one to obey, and a major commandment. But the person whom G-d has sent on His mission must stand firm in his trust in Him. And if he has committed sins, he must understand that even though sins can indeed annul G-d’s promises, this will not happen as long as he is fulfilling a defined mission, according to G-d’s specific decree. [...] There is a moral here. Jacob feared Esau only because he was concerned that his own sins might have caused G-d to annul His promise to him: All these years, [Esau] was dwelling in the Land of Israel – meaning that he is coming against me with the power of having settled the Land of Israel… and meaning that he is coming against me with the power of having honored his father and mother (Genesis Rabbah 76:2). Nevertheless, he was wrong to be afraid, and was punished for having feared Esau. G-d had, after all, given him an explicit command – which entailed precisely the attributes of faith and trust in G-d – to return to the Land of Israel; and He surely would not have commanded him to endanger himself by returning to Israel had his sins been liable to annul the promise. To the contrary: this command was designed to test his trust in G-d against Esau – but he was afraid, and was therefore punished.

Faith and trust in G-d are no small matter. The Jewish People must prove their trust in G-d by difficult, frightening, and sometimes ostensibly dangerous acts, acts that demand of Israel courage, acts which by their very nature show disdain for the non-Jew, anger him and threaten to bring a confrontation between him and Israel, and all must be performed with complete faith and trust that if Israel do what is decreed upon them, then G-d, too, will fulfill what he promised His treasured nation.

Precisely this proves one's true faith and trust, for it is impossible that one who fears mortal man really believes in G-d. Real trust in G-d requires the Jew both to trust in Him and cast off all fear of mortal man and reliance on human aid. [...] Whoever accepts this principle of bitachon (trust in G-d) unreservedly, truly believes that G-d is the One Supreme Power, G-d of heaven and earth. Whoever hesitates, whoever fears the non-Jew, shows that he questions G-d's ability to help His people. It is doubtful, whether he completely believes in G-d as an Omnipotent Supreme Power.
Compiled by Tzipora Liron-Pinner from "The Jewish Idea" and "Peirush HaMaccabee on Shemot" of Rabbi Meir Kahane, HY"D


Parashat Vayishlach: Towards the final conflict
by Daniel Pinner

“[Jacob] said to [Esau]: ‘My lord knows that the children are tender, and the flock and the herd are suckling. If they will be driven hard for one day, all the flocks will die. So let my lord pass on ahead of his servant, and I will make my slow way at the walking pace of the herd before me and the pace of the children, until I will come to my lord, to Seir’. And Esau said: ‘Please – I will present to you part of the people who are with me’. And he said: ‘Why is this? Let me find favour in my lord’s eyes’. So Esau returned on his way to Seir that day, and Jacob travelled to Succoth” (Genesis 33:13-17).

Two aspects of Jacob’s behaviour here seem puzzling. Firstly, after not seeing his brother for over twenty years, he was terrified at the encounter. He made every preparation to protect himself and his family from Esau’s murderous fury – so when Esau seemed to have completely forgiven Jacob’s “usurpation” of his birthright and blessing and welcomed his twin brother back home with hugs and kisses (Genesis 33:4), why did Jacob reject his reconciliation?

Secondly, Jacob’s overriding characteristic was truth (“Grant truth to Jacob, loving-kindness to Abraham, which is what You swore to our fathers in ancient days” – Micah 7:20); so why did Jacob lie to his brother here, promising to meet him in Seir?

Jacob was returning from Paddan Aram, hundreds of miles to the north; he encountered Esau while he was passing southwards through the vicinity of the River Jabbok (Genesis 32:23) on the east bank of the River Jordan, about 60 km (36 miles) south of the Kinneret.

Seir is some 200 km (125 miles) south and slightly east of the River Jabbok in southern trans-Jordanian Israel (the region currently occupied by the Kingdom of Jordan). While “Esau settled in Mount Seir” (Genesis 36:80), Jacob headed just a few kilometres south to Succoth (Genesis 33:17) where he dwelt for a year and a half (Megillah 17a, Bereishit Rabbah 78:16), then moved to Shechem (Genesis 33:18) about 30 km (19 miles) west and slightly north of the Jabbok, then southwards from there to Beit El (35:1-7), and finally southwards via Ephrath and Beth Lehem to Hebron, there to be reunited with his father Isaac (35:16-27).

When he finally left Hebron, decades later, it was to go down to Egypt to escape the famine and to join his son Joseph who was viceroy of Egypt. The Talmud (Avodah Zarah 25a) makes it clear that though Jacob told his brother Esau that he would meet him in Seir, he never intended to go to there.

So why the apparent subterfuge?

In fact, Jacob was speaking absolute truth when he told Esau that “I will come to my lord, to Seir”. The Midrash (Bereishit Rabbah 78:14 and Sechel Tov, Vayishlach 14) quotes Rabbi Abahu: “We can search the entire Tanach, and we will never find that Jacob our father went to Esau in Mount Seir throughout his life… When, then, will he come to come to him? – In the future time, which is the meaning of ‘Saviours will ascend Mount Zion, to judge Mount Esau’ (Obadiah 1:21)”.

The Midrash Lekach Tov adds a few details: “‘Let my lord pass on ahead of his servant’ – this refers to temporal authority in this world; but in the World to Come, Israel will lead. [Esau] said to [Jacob]: Are you not afraid of being subjugated to other kingdoms? He replied: ‘I will make my slow way’ – I will go le-honi le-honi [either “with my possessions”, or “at my natural pace”, or “with my health and sanity intact”], slowly and calmly…‘until I will come to my lord, to Seir’. But he has not yet gone there! When will he ever go to Seir? – In the future time, as it is written ‘Saviours will ascend Mount Zion, to judge Mount Esau’ (Obadiah 1:21)”.

Yes, Jacob was telling Esau the truth when he told him that he would one day meet him – indeed, confront him – in Mount Seir. Not in his physical lifetime – but one day, Israel will yet confront Esau in Mount Seir.

Abram, Sarai, and Jacob all earned new names for themselves: Abram became Abraham and Sarai became Sarah – they both merited the extra letter heh, representing Hashem. Jacob became Israel by his courage and determination. Esau, too, earned a new name for himself: Edom, related to adom, red, because of his blood-lust (Genesis 25:30).

Esau – Edom – evolved into the nation of Rome – the nation which would destroy the Second Temple. The subjugation and exile which began with Rome has lasted until today. The Ba’al ha-Turim (Rabbi Ya’akov ben Asher, Germany and Spain, c.1275-1343) notes that the final letters of the phrase avo eladoni se’ira (“I will come to my lord, to Seir “) spell the word eleiha (“to it”), and the gematria of the word avo (“I will come”) is four: “This is a veiled reference that after the four exiles [Egypt, Greece, Babylon/Persia, and Rome], they [Israel] will come to it [Mount Seir], ‘before the coming of the great and awesome Day of Hashem’ (Malachi 3:23), and then ‘Saviours will ascend Mount Zion, to judge Mount Esau’ (Obadiah 1:21)”.

The Haftarah for Parashat Vayishlach is the entire Book of Obadiah – the shortest Book of the entire Tanakh, with just one chapter, 21 verses, 291 words, and 1,120 letters. “Obadiah was an Edomite convert, who prophesied against Edom that ‘there will be no surviving remnant of the House of Esau’ (Obadiah 1:18)” (Vayikra Rabbah 18:2). And as the Talmud expresses it, “Obadiah was an Edomite convert, which is why people say: The axe-handle that fells the forest comes from the forest” (Sanhedrin 39b).

Indeed, the subject of the Book of Obadiah is the prophecy of Edom’s downfall, how “though you arise like the eagle, and even if you place your nest among the stars, from there I will bring you down, says Hashem” (Obadiah 1:4). Edom’s – Esau’s – downfall will be the final conflict before the ultimate redemption of Israel, which is what the prophet means with his closing words, “Saviours will ascend Mount Zion, to judge Mount Esau – and then the Kingship will be Hashem’s” (Obadiah 1:21).

At the beginning of our Parashah, when Jacob sent the angels ahead of him, the message he sent with them to Esau was, “Thus said your servant Jacob: I have dwelt with Lavan, and I have delayed until now” (Genesis 32:5). The Midrash ha-Gadol interprets the word garti (“I have dwelt”) to imply that Jacob observed all the taryag (613) Mitzvot even despite the corrupting influence of Aram and Lavan (garti being an anagram of taryag). Based on this, the Ba’alha-Turim sees a coded message in Jacob’s message to his brother: “If you want to claim that you too kept the Mitzvot, then come and fight against me. ‘And I have delayed until now’ – that is to say, I must delay until atah [‘now’, spelt ayin-tav-heh]: ayin [numerical value 70] – the 70 years of Babylonian exile; tav [numerical value 400] – the 400 years of Egyptian exile; and heh [numerical value 5] – 5,000 years. But when the sixth millennium, which is the time of Mashiach, will come, then ‘Saviours will ascend Mount Zion, to judge Mount Esau’ (Obadiah 1:21)”.

We are today on the threshold of the sixth millennium, the time beyond which Mashiach and Israel’s final redemption cannot be delayed. Israel can delay no longer, and the final conflict between Israel and Esau is not far off. We are both heading swiftly towards our long-awaited final confrontation on Mount Seir, the Mountain of Esau.

When Israel and Esau met all those long centuries ago, “Esau ran towards him, and hugged him, and fell upon his neck and kissed him, and they wept” (Genesis 33:4). In every Torah-scroll, there is a dot above each of the six letters of the word vayishakehu (“and kissed him”). Dots above letters (which happens several times throughout the Torah) are always there to call our attention to something unusual, and in this case those dots are ambiguous: according to some, they denote that Esau’s kiss was insincere; according to others, they denote that despite Esau’s usual hatred for his brother, on this one occasion his kiss was pure and wholehearted and genuine (Avot de-Rabbi Natan 34; Sifrei Bamidbar, Beha’alotkha 69).

The question is as yet unresolved: did Esau kiss his brother Israel with genuine love or not? Esau – Edom – evolved into Rome, the Roman Empire, which in time evolved into western civilisation. We have all experienced the kisses which western civilisation showers upon us, from the most patently insincere to the most genuine love.

In recent decades some of the most vicious Jew-haters have explained that their murderous hatred of Israel is really love – a passionate desire to “save the Jews from Zionism” in the words of Jim Allen, who wrote a truly evil Israel-bashing play called “Perdition” (a distortion of Ben Hecht’s Perfidy).

And we know only too well the “love” of our “friends” who hate the idea of Jews living in most of Israel, lovers of Israel who express their love by forcing Israel to withdraw from our historical heartland and to set up a “Palestinian” state cleansed of Jews. We have all heard the hypocritical cant of self-appointed “protectors of Israel” who in their burning desire to “save Israel from itself” yearn to expel every last Jew from the most ancient of Jewish cities, to surround Israel in a murderous embrace of Arab weaponry.

Only last week another “friend of Israel”, John Kerry, threatened us with another Intifada and international isolation if we do not heed his loving advice and make peace.

And we have experienced the hugs and kisses of Christian missionaries, who want our souls.

And we have also experienced the genuine altruistic love of Christians who risked and often lost their lives rescuing Jews during the Nazi era, who have come to Israel to fight for the nation with nary a thought of reward, who have fought for Israel in battlefields and government offices from Israel to the USA to Kenya to Micronesia.

Our final meeting with Esau is swiftly approaching, and Esau will soon have to make his final decision. Are his kisses genuine, or do they mask his inner hatred? The answer to that may be encoded in some of the more esoteric commentaries on the Torah, the Talmud, the Midrashim, and the Kabbalah. And the answer may also be found between the lines of tomorrow’s newspapers and radio news broadcasts.