31 December 2013

We Need Constant Reminding

28 Tevet 5774

We apparently need constant reminding that we are a separate people and a unique nation - am segulah v'goy kadosh, unlike all the others in the world.  And the world never tires of doing the job for us.

"If Algeria introduced a resolution declaring that the earth was flat and that Israel had flattened it, it would be passed by a vote of 164 to 13 with 26 abstentions." (Abba Eban)

Wake up and smell the coffee! Zeh lo stam!

The World's Deadly Obsession With Israel

...Israel is treated differently than other nations. ...The focus and disproportionate criticism on Israel is clearly not new.  It's as old as the state itself.... The first casualty of the Israel obsession is Israel's citizens, as its government is often pressured into taking actions contrary to its security needs.

"Contrary to its security needs"
- like freeing terrorist-murderers; like chopping the heart out of our homeland and making it another rocket-launching pad. It's not without a reason.

From the Song of Ha'azinu (Devarim 32):

...When the Most High gave nations their homes

And set the divisions of man,
He fixed the boundaries of peoples
In relation to Israel's numbers.
For the Lord's portion is His people,
Jacob His own allotment.
He found him in a desert region,
In an empty howling waste.
He engirded him, watched over him,
Guarded him as the pupil of His eye.
Like an eagle who rouses his nestlings,
Gliding down to his young,
So did He spread His wings and take him,
Bear him along on His pinions;
The Lord alone did guide him,
No alien god at His side.
He set him atop the highlands,
To feast on the yield of the earth;
He fed him honey from the crag,
And oil from the flinty rock,
Curd of kine and milk of flocks;
With the best of lambs,
And rams of Bashan, and he-goats;
With the very finest wheat —
And foaming grape-blood was your drink.
So Jeshurun grew fat and kicked —
You grew fat and gross and coarse —
He forsook the God who made him
And spurned the Rock of his support.
They incensed Him with alien things,
Vexed Him with abominations.
They sacrificed to demons, no-gods,
Gods they had never known,
New ones, who came but lately,
Who stirred not your fathers' fears.
You neglected the Rock that begot you,
Forgot the God who brought you forth.

The Lord saw and was vexed
And spurned His sons and His daughters.
He said:
I will hide My countenance from them,
And see how they fare in the end.
For they are a treacherous breed,
Children with no loyalty in them.
They incensed Me with no-gods,
Vexed Me with their futilities;
I'll incense them with a no-folk,

[The so-called 'Palestinian People'] 
Vex them with a nation of fools.
For a fire has flared in My wrath
And burned to the bottom of Sheol,
Has consumed the earth and its increase,
Eaten down to the base of the hills.
I will sweep misfortunes on them,
Use up My arrows on them:
Wasting famine, ravaging plague,
Deadly pestilence, and fanged beasts
Will I let loose against them,
With venomous creepers in dust.
The sword shall deal death without,
As shall the terror within,
To youth and maiden alike,
The suckling as well as the aged.
I might have reduced them to naught,
Made their memory cease among men,
But for fear of the taunts of the foe,
Their enemies who might misjudge
And say, "Our own hand has prevailed;

None of this was wrought by the Lord!"
For they are a folk void of sense,
Lacking in all discernment.
Were they wise, they would think upon this,
Gain insight into their future:

"How could one have routed a thousand,
Or two put ten thousand to flight,
Unless their Rock had sold them,
The Lord had given them up?"
For their rock is not like our Rock,
In our enemies' own estimation.

...Yea, their day of disaster is near,
And destiny rushes upon them.

"'Return to Me, ...and I will return to you,' said the Lord of Hosts."

26 December 2013

Parshat Va'eira 5774

24 Tevet 5774
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

Parashat Va'eira – Does Redemption have to be violent? - Rav Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane

"But I shall harden Pharaoh's heart and I shall multiply My signs and My wonders in the land of Egypt. Pharaoh will not heed you and I shall put My hand upon Egypt; and I shall take out My legions - My people, the Children of Israel - from the land of Egypt with great judgments. And Egypt shall know that I am Hashem when I stretch out My hand over Egypt;...."  (Ex. 7:3-5)

Throughout the episode of the Plagues and the Exodus, the concept of yad chazakah (“mighty hand”) recurs consistently. The explanation is that without proof of G-d's power, there is no way in which the Gentiles will understand the reality of His existence in the world. Nowhere in all the prophetic writings does G-d ever suggest that He will prove His existence to the nations in any way other than through His and His nation's strength. And since the purpose of the Exodus was that “Egypt shall know that I am Hashem”, He had to demonstrate His power.

[However], if the purpose of the plagues was to force Pharaoh, and Egypt, to know Hashem, then why did G-d “harden Pharaoh's heart”? Had He not done so, then perhaps Pharaoh would already have freed the Israelites after the Plague of blood. Certainly, after the Plague of hail when he already confessed, “Hashem is the righteous one, and I and my people are the wicked ones” (Exodus 9:27), Pharaoh would have released the Israelites, had G-d not hardened (i.e. strengthened) his heart – as the Torah testifies. The Sforno (on Exodus 7:3) provides a clear answer to this. He explains that Pharaoh probably would have released the Israelites far sooner – but this would have been done out of fear of the Plagues, rather than unconditional acceptance of G-d and His might. That is to say, he would have attributed the Plagues to Moses' unique witchcraft, or a thousand and one other factors – and would have released the Israelites purely in order to spare himself the terror of these dreaded Plagues. Had this happened, the entire purpose of the Plagues would have been lost. G-d therefore strengthened Pharaoh's heart, so that he would not release the Israelites merely out of fear of the Plagues. The Plagues' progression forced Pharaoh into ever-deepening realization that there could be no cause for these Plagues other than Hashem, the G-d of Israel – as Moses had said right from the start.

Rav Binyamin Ze'ev's father, Rabbi Meir Kahane, writes similarly on this in “The Jewish Idea”: Likewise, regarding the hail, it says (Ex. 9:14) “This time I am prepared to send all My plagues against your very heart. They will strike your officials and your people, so that you will know that there is none like Me in all the world.” [...] That is, they were to bring their livestock inside because of the hail. Indeed, “those of Pharaoh's subjects who feared G-d's word made their slaves and livestock flee indoors”(Ex.9:20) This was the first time G-d gave the Egyptians the chance to save themselves from a Plague. Why did He do so? Were they to heed G-d, it would constitute acknowledgment that indeed the L-rd is G-d and that He, alone, controls the laws of nature. This, in turn, would be the beginning of the collapse of his nation's abominable idolatry. The purpose of the plagues in Egypt was to sanctify G-d's name and to prove to the world that indeed Hashem is G-d, Omnipotent Creator of all. Pharaoh had shown G-d contempt by saying (Ex. 5:12), “Who is Hashem that I should hearken unto His voice to let Israel go? I know not Hashem.” Through the degradation and punishment of the idolatry of Egypt, Pharaoh was humiliated. Therefore, G-d warned the Egyptians that He was bringing the hail and that the princes and deities of Egypt would be unable to prevent it. The Egyptians would be saved only if they abandoned their faith in their abominations and subjected themselves to G-d through belief in Him, expressed by making their servants and flocks flee into the houses. Through this, their faith in idolatry would be destroyed and G-d's name sanctified, the whole purpose of the Plagues.

“With a mighty hand”. G-d had to direct His strength against the Jews, too in order to bring them out, for they did not want to leave. As Chazal[our sages of blessed memory] say, four-fifths of the Israelites died in the Plague of darkness. But even those who did eventually leave, did so unwillingly: G-d said, “For with a mighty hand shall he [Pharaoh] send them away, and with a mighty hand shall he expel them from his land.” Chazal's commentary on the verse, “They did not listen to Moses, due to anguish of spirit and hard labor” (Ex. 6:9), is truly astounding: Is there any man who receives good tidings and does not rejoice?...But they found it hard to abandon idol worship. (Mechilta, Pis'cha 5, end of first paragraph) That is, they were willing to remain in the dungeon of slavery and oppression, in order not to accept upon themselves the yoke of Heaven – that yoke which liberates man from the shackles of animalism, freeing him from bondage to those passions that dominate him. And when the children of Israel complained in the wilderness: ”We remember the fish that we ate in Egypt free” (Num. 11:5), Rashi says there: “Free from the commandments”. The truth is that the Jews were never ready to leave exile of their own free will, and when they were able to assimilate, they did. But all these attempts were to no avail. On the contrary – precisely when the Jews tried to be accepted by Gentile society by blurring their unique, separate identity, the hatred towards them only increased. Such was the case in Egypt, as the Psalmist said: ”He turned their [the Egyptians'] hearts to hate His people, to conspire against His servants. (Psalms 105:25). So too has it been throughout the generations. And even those who do eventually leave, do so only out of necessity. Slavery, pogroms and holocausts force some of them to realize, albeit grudgingly, that there is nothing for them there – and then they ascend to the Land of Israel, as witnessed in our generation. Chazal identified this mind-set in the following words: “Among the nations you will not know peace and you will not find rest for your feet” (Deut. 28:65) – had Israel found peace, they would not have returned. (Genesis Rabbah 33:6) That is to say, if the Jews will not return to the Land of Israel willingly, then G-d will inflict such troubles on them, that they will be forced to return. And in our days, in spite of all that has happened, most Jews have not learned the lesson.

“And Hashem our G-d brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand” (Deut 6:21). Since G-d secretly weeps over the lost pride of Israel, He therefore yearns to redeem them both from the actual place, as well as from the mentality of exile. Had Pharaoh given them better economic conditions, eased their enslavement slightly, flashed an occasional smile at them or the merest nod of encouragement – then they would have felt a debt of gratitude to him. Out of respect for him, they would willfully have submitted themselves to slavery, and all future generations would have effaced themselves at the mere mention of Pharaoh's name. The physical and spiritual enslavement would have been worse – our forefathers would never had left the exile of their own free will, and the exile mentality would never have left them.” (Mishna Yeshara of Rav Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane's grandfather, Rabbi Yechezkel Shraga Kahane).

Israel's redemption is not merely the story of one more people's national liberation. Israel's Exodus from Egypt ushered in a new era – a divine nation was established, as well as a purpose for the world. The mission of this liberated nation is Kiddush Hashem, and the erasing of the heresy of chillul Hashem, of [Pharaoh's words] I do not know Hashem. Therefore, had Hashem Himself not brought our forefathers out of Egypt with this intention, then even had a good king freed them, it would have been meaningless, because it would not have led to the establishment of that divine nation, and the fulfillment of its glorious destiny.

The Exodus had to be implemented, directly and unequivocally, by G-d and not through any agent, because the battle here is a paradigm of all subsequent history, the basis for Israel's faith throughout their generations – the knowledge of Hashem, versus “I do not know Hashem”. It is concerning this struggle that G-d promises, “I will execute judgement against all the gods of Egypt.”

This is a religious war: the G-d of Israel versus the gods of the nations [and, one has to add, against Israel's trust in the nations!] Just as Israel was redeemed from Egypt without having to turn to any outside party or human ally (which was precisely what the Egyptians originally feared : “If war breaks out, they will join our enemies, fight against us, and leave the country”[Ex. 1:10]), so must we understand that in our generation, too, G-d is Israel's sole Redeemer – not Lord Arthur Balfour, not the United Nations, not the U.S.A.
[Source: compiled by Tzipora Liron-Pinner from "The Haggadah of the Jewish Idea" and "The writings of Rav Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane; HY"D " and from "The Jewish Idea" of Rabbi Meir Kahane]

25 December 2013

The Valley of God's Judgment

23 Tevet 5774

"'Son of man, set your face toward Gog, [toward] the land of Magog,...And you shall say; So said the Lord God: Behold, I am against you, Gog,... I shall put hooks into your jaws and bring you forth and all your army...And you will ascend upon My people Israel like a cloud to cover the earth; at the end of days it will be, and I shall bring you upon My land in order that the nations recognize Me when I am sanctified through you before their eyes, O Gog.'" (Yechezkel 38.2-4, 16)

"I will gather all the nations and I will take them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and I will contend with them there concerning My people and My heritage, Israel, which they scattered among the nations, and My land they divided. ...The nations shall be aroused and shall go up to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, for there I will sit to judge all the nations from around. (Yoel 4.2, 12)

Kerry’s revisions for US troops on Jordan Valley border...

In the face of stiff Palestinian opposition, US Secretary of State John Kerry has stepped back from the American security plan for Israeli troops to secure the Jordan Valley border for an agreed period, in favor of deploying US forces,.... American and Israeli security experts agree that the revised Kerry security proposals would in practice enlist US soldiers out for the first time to defend Israel’s eastern border.... (Read the whole thing.  It's unbelievable.)

The Jordan Valley - where the Nation of Israel first entered the Promised Land, where the Walls of Jericho fell and where the cities of Sodom and Amorrah lie buried at the lowest spot on earth. Will this be the place of God's final judgment on the nations?

I think they have been waiting for a 'plausible' reason to invade Israel for a long, long time.

24 December 2013

Ramping It Up Another Level

22 Tevet 5774

How high (or low) can it go?

Strongest Jet Stream Ever Recorded...

A massive storm system is moving out of the United States today, which went through Canada yesterday … carries with it the strongest jet stream now ever recorded that will cause two super storms in the United Kingdom region this week.

As if engineered, this never before seen jet stream of 275 mph in the upper levels is exiting Canada. This jet stream will move across the Northern Atlantic and deepen a surface low that is only 1004mb at this moment. This jet stream will act as a vacuum, sucking the air from the center of the storm and dropping the pressure within it to an impressive 930mb low. This is a pressure fall over over 50mb by Monday evening and Tuesday morning for the United Kingdom region. It will cause problems, with the initial concern will be the amount of rain for Wales, Central and Southern England where over 50mm of rainfall will fall. Double that over the hills. The rain will fall on already saturated ground which will lead to flooding.

Very windy on Monday with the system, about 70 mph gusts likely in the South. On Christmas Eve expect 70-80 mph wind gusts in Northern Ireland and Western Scotland … with heavy snow in the Scottish Mountains. Weakening winds across Northern Scotland on Christmas day with winds relaxing … for the most part it looks nice on Christmas.

But we’re not done yet. This powerful jet will deepen yet another low pressure system on Friday and this warm front will sweep across Ireland with tornadic dynamics. It’s very likely that with this surface low being much further south than the first one that shear and warm air advection through Ireland will cause a tornado scenario there so be exceptionally alert.

23 December 2013

What Does HKB"H Have Against the Trees?

21 Tevet 5774

I've been hearing this question a lot lately since the snow storm that decimated the trees in Eretz Yisrael. According to an Arutz Sheva news report: "Even the hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of Christmas trees were also damaged in the storm."

Christmas trees grown in Israel?  And that's not all...

KKL-JNF Christmas Tree Distribution 2013

In keeping with its annual tradition, KKL-JNF will once again be distributing Christmas trees to local churches, monasteries, convents, embassies, foreign journalists and the general public as the holiday approaches. Distribution will take place in central and northern Israel, in accordance with lists provided by the Ministry of the Interior, the Municipality of Jerusalem and other bodies. Private individuals, too, can buy a tree for the token sum of 80 NIS.

Jerusalem Municipality to provide free Christmas trees to Christian residents

The Jerusalem Municipality, in coordination with the Jewish National Fund, will distribute free Christmas trees to Christian residents of the city on Sunday between 9:00 a.m. and noon at College Des Freres - De La Salle High School, located at 20 Bab El-Jadid Road. According to the municipality, the trees will be given on a first come, first served basis.

I mean,  don't xians in xian lands have to BUY their own trees? Leave it to the (self-hating) Jews to try and be holier than the pope.

Anyway, this is the holiday season which features a dressed-up tree as its centerpiece and here we have a LOT of damaged trees and not just in Israel.

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Our Holy Torah is called a Tree of Life. Maybe this is a reminder to abandon trees dressed like this...

And instead center our lives, every single day, around the tree dressed like this...

'It is a tree of life to those who take hold of it, 
and those who support it are fortunate'

Now's the Time to Speak Up...

20 Tevet 5774

How would you, as a Jew, like to see this statue, only a bit larger, looking out over the Holy Land? Well, if some xians have their way, it will and with the blessing of the evil regime. Tell me, what is it about the second commandment that they don't get?

“You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth;... For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God,....

Oh, right.  That religion was invented to "set us free" from the commandments. Gotcha!

Jewish Israel reports:

Cast a Giant Jesus over Israel

Plans are in the works for a giant statue of jesus to be erected on Mount Precipice (also known as "Mount of the Leap of the Lord" or “Har Hakfitsa” in Hebrew, also known in Hebrew as "Har Kedumim") near Nazareth. Israeli, international, as well as Christian news sources are reporting that the proposed monolith will be akin in scale to, or even larger than, the huge iconic statue of "christ the redeemer" which towers over the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.

Israeli Arab Christian Bishara Shlayan is behind the proposed monument and according to several news sources he has apparently received an endorsement from Minister of Tourism Uzi Landau, who reportedly told Shlayan, “start it, and we will bless it.”

Take a stand against the creeping idolatry in the Holy Land. And help spread the word to others.

Those concerned about the statue project should write to the following addresses:

The Ministry of Tourism

Uzi Landau ,Minister of Tourism: ulandau@knesset.gov.il

Minister: Sar@Tourism.gov.il

General Manager: Mankal@Tourism.gov.il

Spokesperson: shirak@tourism.gov.il

The Ministry of Religious Services

Naftali Bennett, Minister or Religious Affairs: nbenet@knesset.gov.il

Rav Eliyahu Ben Dahan is Deputy Minister: elib@dat.gov.il

General Manager: elchanang@dat.gov.il (Elchanan Glatt)

Spokesperson: danielb@dat.gov.il  (Daniel Bar)

"I will hasten it"

20 Tevet 5774

We're now counting the days. They just can't wait to see us go. But, in reality, they are hastening their own doom. They are the ones who are going. We're staying!!

Report: American Outline Agreement by Month's End

Secret Peace Talk Contents Revealed By PA Sources
US 'offensive' aims for Jan. interim agreement, Jerusalem internationally managed, Israeli withdrawals and 'earned' Jewishness.

20 December 2013

While We Were Preparing for Shabbat...

17 Tevet 5774
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

Kerry to Force Security Plan on Netanyahu

US Secretary of State John Kerry appears to be pressing a national plan, devised in Washington DC, upon Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. The proposal comes as part of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority (PA), and includes uprooting Jewish communities from the Jordan Valley.

PA: Strip Judea, Samaria Residents of Their Israeli Citizenship

...[Mohammed Shtayyeh, Member of the Central Committee of Fatah, a former Palestinian Authority (PA) cabinet minister,] threatened Jewish residents of Judea and Samaria that they would be stripped of their Israeli citizenship and pursued by the governments of the US, Britain, Russia, and the European Union, claiming that they were violating PA territory after the UN allegedly legitimized the body last year.

PA officials have claimed since 2012 that the UN granting the PA non-member status has effectively made them a full-fledged country according to international law.

I've got just one thing to say to this.  We are Jews and this is our land.  We will live here or we will die here and there is nothing they can do about it.  All is in HKB"H's hands.

PM Netanyahu Looking to Dump Lapid

But, it looks like no one wants to replace him.  Looks like the government is standing on shaky legs right now.  We can only hope that it is on its way down and out and that its demise will pave the way for Mashiach!

Shabbat shalom!

19 December 2013

Parshat Shemot 5774 - The First 'Price Tag'?

17 Tevet 5774
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

Parashat Shemot - Jeopardizing all our accomplishments - Rabbi Meir Kahane and Rav Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane

By killing the Egyptian, Moses bound himself inexorably to his nation and to his destiny. He jeopardized all his property, his glittering life-style, even his very life, if his deed would be discovered – but nevertheless, he did not hesitate. As the Mekhilta says:

[Moses] gave his soul for Israel, and they were called by his name… And where do we find that Moses gave his soul for them? – It is said…“and he went out to his brothers…and he smote the Egyptian”. So, because he gave his soul for Israel, they were called by his name (Mekhilta de-Rabbi Yishmael, Shirata 1, s.v. “et hashira hazot”).

Now, Moses could have thought this through carefully, and run away from the problem. He could have reasoned: Is it really worthwhile to endanger myself by killing this Egyptian? Would it not be better for me to ignore this one incident, to remain the king’s son, and thereby be able to help the Israelites in the future? More than this: perhaps it is not worth killing this Egyptian, for in any case, he has already killed the Jew, so what good will killing this Egyptian do? Will that bring the Jew back to life? And in any case, maybe it is forbidden for me to endanger myself, since this is not a case of saving a Jewish life, since this Jew is already dead? And more than this: perhaps I am not allowed to kill this Egyptian, for I am not a duly constituted court, and perhaps the verse "Neither is it good for the tzaddik to punish" (Proverbs 17:26) applies to me. (See Berakhot 7a: Rabbi Yehoshua ben Levi wanted to harness G-d’s “moment of fury,” which occurs once every day, to curse a heretic and kill him, but when the time came, he dozed off. His response was that presumably this happened because "Neither is it good for the tzaddik to punish".)

Moses, however, understood that this accounting is false. He understood that in a situation of hillul HaShem, all these arguments together carry no weight – even pikuah nefesh (saving of lives), which usually takes precedence over all other commandments, does not justify hillul HaShem (even for an individual in private, unless there is definite danger to life; in public, even if there is an absolute certainty of being killed).

Neither can one make a finely-balanced accounting, to the effect that “perhaps I can do better another way, in another time and another place”.

(In the commentary that Rav Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane wrote on Parashat Shemot, we find a similar concept that he also links to our present situation:)

At the end of “Parashat Shemot” we find a confrontation between Moses and Aaron on the one hand and the officers of the children of Israel on the other: On the one side stood Moses and Aaron who had been assigned by HaShem to carry out a seemingly suicidal mission: to enter uninvited into the house of the king, of the imperial, menacing kingdom of Egypt, and to request that he let the Jewish slaves go free. In spite of the odds, Moses and Aaron, with faith in HaShem, went and fulfilled their mission completely. (According to our sages, all the elders that accompanied them dropped out along the way because of tremendous fear, until Moses and Aaron alone remained to face Pharaoh). And certainly Pharaoh rejected their request out of hand. [The officers then accused them:]“May HaShem look upon you and judge, for you have brought us into foul odor in the eyes of Pharaoh, and in the eyes of his servants, to place a sword into their hands to kill us!”.(Shemot 5:21).And truthfully, reality proves the officers were correct.

Seemingly, just after Moses and Aaron leave Pharaoh's presence, a harsh decree is put upon the nation. And with all this...the officers were not right! The reason (and also the lesson from this) is that there is almost never a revolution or change where the first stages do not involve a loss of accomplishment!

...And sometimes, even in the case of true accomplishments, we must know that in order to bring change, there is no choice but to lose real accomplishments, at least temporarily. Because there will always be one Pharaoh or another who will threaten that if we don't sit quietly he will nullify our achievements, “and you will lose out because of this.” But if we give in to his threats, we will remain captives in the hand of Pharaoh, we, our children and our children's children ... until the end of the generations....Whoever wants change needs to warmly thank the “existing officers” for their accomplishments, but say to them: now we are going further, we are going to progress.

It is possible that part of your accomplishments or some of your accomplishments will be lost, either temporarily or permanently. But this is the price to pay for reaching the greater and ultimate goal. We were not born in order to be slaves with improved conditions in Egypt; we were born to be redeemed. We were not born to live in villas in settlements surrounded by fences, like ghettos [...], we were born to conquer and rule all of the land of Israel. [...] And if the price, more or less temporarily, is the loss of status...due to lack of participation on the part of the existing regime, or the necessity to gather our own straw to make bricks for a while, the price is worth it. For we were not born to live with the status quo, after the fact. We were born to establish an ideal world, as it was at the beginning!

Rabbi Meir Kahane continues in Peirush HaMaccabee on Shemot: And he smote the Egyptian, measure for measure. He killed the Hebrew, and Moses killed him. Samson expressed this same sentiment to the Jews who were afraid when they came to hand him over to the Philistines after he smote them: And they said to Samson: Do you not know that the Philistines rule over us? What have you done to us?! And he said to them: As they did to me, so I did to them (Judges 15:11).

This is a Jewish response – not to let the Gentile smite with impunity, for every single blow desecrates the Children of Israel and is blasphemy against G-d’s Name. Anyone who smites a Jew must be smitten in return. More than this: Moses’ smiting the Egyptian was the Children of Israel’s first response ever to the blows they had received, and foreshadowed all the blows, all the plagues, that G-d would yet inflict upon Egypt.
And buried him in the sand. This symbolizes the humiliation of the arrogant Gentile who, in his self-pride, thinks that he can reach the very heavens. The prophet said, "Take up a lament for Pharaoh, king of Egypt, and say to him: You likened yourself to a young lion among the nations, but you are like a crocodile of the seas… With the swords of the mighty I will bring down your multitudes…and they will despoil the glory of Egypt" (Ezekiel 32:2, 12). But now, instead of ascending to heaven, the Egyptian whom Moses killed was buried in the sand, in the ground – as low as possible – foreshadowing the humiliation of the whole of Egypt. And such will be in the future, too, when G-d will destroy the nations’ pride and show the glory of His might. "Enter the rock, and bury yourself in the dust because of the fear of HaShem and the glory of His greatness. Man’s arrogant eyes will be humiliated, and people’s haughtiness will be humbled, and HaShem alone will be exalted on that day" (Isaiah 2:10-11).
[Source: Compiled by Tzipora Liron-Pinner from Rav Meir Kahane's “Peirush HaMaccabee” on Shemot (translation into English by Daniel Pinner) and “The Writings of Rav Binyamin Ze'ev Kahane, HY”D " – commentary on Parashat Shemot]


16 Tevet 5774

US, Germany Threaten IDF Not to Move Academies to Mt. Scopus

The United States and Germany have issued an ultimatum to the IDF, a report Thursday said: No American or German army officers will work with IDF training academies if the army goes ahead with plans to relocate them to Mount Scopus in Jerusalem.

...The IDF ... runs courses for soldiers from a number of foreign armies at its three academic institutions. It is estimated that some 15% of the students at the academies who attend programs each year are from outside Israel. IDF officials said that if the U.S. and Germany, among the most prominent and frequent visitors to the academies pull out, other governments will follow suit.

It should be noted that Mt. Scopus is under complete Israeli sovereignty, and has been since the state was declared in 1948. Mt. Scopus was assigned to the Jewish state as part of the 1947 UN Partition Plan, but was occupied by Jordan until the 1967 Six Day War, when it was liberated by Israel.

Maariv quoted a senior German official as saying that “our stance on structures over the Green Line is well-known.” U.S. officials declined to comment,....

How does Germany even dare to open its mouth to us!? 

Every concession invites another demand, every surrender invites another threat.  Put an end to this foreign involvement in our internal affairs NOW!  Get some real Jewish leadership in power. MASHIACH NOW!

Forget about the "Green Line." The world will only be happen once we have reached the Blue Line!

17 December 2013

Discussion with Moishe'la: "I Looked Out the Window…."

14 Tevet 5774


Discussion with Moishela (with his family)
A Handicapped child
Teves 13 '5774 (Dec 16 '13)

I Looked Out the Window….

I have for the last four days felt such a longing, such a longing to be close to Hashem. I felt not only longing, but the actual closeness to Hakodosh Boruch Hu. As I looked out the window, and saw the wind and the snow and the trees falling, I felt that this world of lies is coming apart, is falling apart, is disappearing in front of our very eyes. I felt that all the lies are coming to the surface, that this illusion called Olam Hazeh is becoming clearly nothingness. We are looking for truth. At least I am, but I don’t have to look for truth, because I see it, feel it. I feel close to Hashem, and that is truth, and I look out the window and watch a mini destruction. This mini destruction is brought to us in order to bring us to the truth.

Here we are, all of Israel, the State of Israel, dependent on electricity. We are dependent on electricity, for all of our materialistic needs, for everything. Isn't it strange that in such an advanced world people are so foolish to depend on one thing to keep them alive, and the more they depend on it the more they build what to depend on. Everything is based on electricity, and now so many people are without electricity, which is putting their very lives in danger, their lives and their children's lives. There are many places without water or any kind of heating in this terrible cold, without the ability to get out to buy anything, and of course very few people are coming to the rescue to help them. This electricity that we live on is all an illusion. Whoever controls the electricity, controls humanity.

I look out the window and I see that Hashem is sending us a message. This snow that appeared so suddenly on the Israeli scene with such devastation, is a terrible warning about the future. Hashem is trying to pull us close to Him in every way, and one of the ways is to show us that only He can save us. Only He can give us sustenance. Only He can bring us our Parnasa (livelihood). Only He can keep us alive.

Rulers have always wanted to control the water and the food. Water and food keeps people alive, and once you've controlled that, their Cheshbon (intention) is you control people. But they forget one thing, the Ribbono Shel Olam is the one that controls everything. They can die of starvation even if they're surrounded by every type of food, and they can die from thirst even in a swimming pool. Hakodosh Boruch Hu decides all, and those villains that are trying to be instead of Hakodosh Boruch Hu, Chas Vesholom, still haven’t learned their lesson from all these generations. Very soon however, they will learn their lesson, and whether they learn it or not, they will disappear from existence.

I am longing for Moshiach, to be together with Hakodosh Boruch Hu without Mechitzas (barriers); to bask in the light of the Kedusha. I feel it coming. I feel it coming very soon, and with it the longing to see that day is becoming stronger and stronger, until I can almost not bear it. I feel the Geula so strongly coming closer to us that I cry. I cry out in pain and longing. In pain, in pain because it's so distressing to me not to be there yet. I look out the window, see the trees fall, see people falling in the snow, and I cry. I cry for this world of illusions that so many believe in. I cry for what's going to be when they realize their big mistake. I cry because we still have so much suffering to go through, and what has happened here in Eretz Yisroel with the snow is not by chance. It's to bring all the true Jews to that realization. True that once the danger is over, many people will go back to their silliness, but we will have more trials very soon, whether weather, or fear of war, or whatever it will be. However Hashem will do it, it will be meant to bring us close to Him. It will be meant to take away the Mechitzas so we can be very close to our Creator. This winter is still going to be very eventful and very difficult. I beg every Yid when you get into big trouble, remember Hakodosh Boruch Hu is the only Hakol Yachol. He is everything. Hold on to Him, and He will save you in every situation. Just be close to Him, and do His will. It's not enough to try to use Him for your own needs. No, you have to be one with Him. You have to do His Mitzvos, do His Ratzon. I look out the window and I see my own reflection, and I'm so glad that at least I know the truth, but I'm so sad that so many do not.

I cry at night because I'm afraid for the suffering we still have to go through. If this snow storm was difficult, we are going to be tested and taught in even more difficult ways. Each Jew that has grasped the truth from stage one of our difficulties and our trials will suffer less from stages two, three, four, etc. For those that quickly understand and accept the truth, each stage will be progressively easier. However those who ignore the tests that Hashem is going to give us, and refuse to learn the right attitude and the right direction, will only suffer more and more at every stage.

I look out of the window into the cold snowy night and see clearly that what I am seeing is very depressing, but I can also visualize beyond this scene the light of Moshiach Tzidkeinu.

16 December 2013

Responding to YWN Mailbag

13 Tevet 5774

In response to: YWN Mailbag: ‘The Prime Minister is Out of Touch’

I wrote the following...

I understand that you were very worried and uncomfortable when you wrote this, but surely you know, at some level, that this storm and the resulting damage was not the handiwork of the Prime Minister. You found a good excuse - his being "out of touch" - to throw all your frustrations onto the Prime Minister, but seriously, your litany of complaints were nothing he could have done anything about. There are two who were responsible for your situation being what it was - HKB"H and YOU.

Take this experience as a hard wake-up call (the softer ones had all gone unheeded). Stop thinking it's someone else's responsibility to take care of you and your family. Don't fall into the trap of thinking things will always be nice and comfortable and business as usual. Sure, the weather has never been like this in our lifetimes, but we are under constant threat of war. Did you never imagine that public services could be disrupted by a full-scale war? Did you never imagine that Iran might explode an EMP weapon over our heads and send us back to the stone age?

This is perhaps your last warning to take responsibility for your own and your family's welfare and prepare for the worst that could happen. Be prepared to live in this land as our forefathers did for the past 4,000 years before the modern era. This was their daily norm!

Having accustomed ourselves to so much ease and comfort, it will be difficult, but HKB"H will see us through.

15 December 2013

Discussion with Moishela: "No One Can Enslave Us"

13 Tevet 5774


Discussion with Moishela (with his family)
A Handicapped child
Teves 8 '5774 (Dec 10 '13)

No One Can Enslave Us

Yes, I see very dark clouds on the horizon, very dark. I see great chaos everywhere. It is beginning. It is coming. It is coming from up. It is coming from down. It is coming from the left. It is coming from the right. It will come from the east, from the west, from the north, and from the south.

We are in the end of times. We are at the point of no return. There will be no extra time given from Shomayim. There will be no softening of the Din. Whatever has to be, will be because now is the very end of times. We are going into the most difficult period that the prophecies, the Nevuas, have warned us about. It will be very frightening indeed, but Be'ezras Hashem those Neshomas that were at Har Sinai will be saved, as I have said before, but know it is getting worse and worse.

The world in the past twelve years has changed not only politically but also in its natural shape. Islands have disappeared under the water. Terrible storms and earthquakes have changed our world completely. The terrible tsunami that hit Japan and destroyed the Fukushima atomic power plant has poisoned the Pacific Ocean, and the air above it with its radioactivity. Poisoning the Pacific Ocean and the air above it means poisoning humanity. We have suffered from Hurricanes like Sandy, hundreds of deadly tornedoes and all kinds of typhoons, and other types of terrible storms which have killed thousands, tens of thousands and even more. We have suffered from all kinds of terrible diseases which the medical profession doesn’t seem to be able to control. We have suffered from droughts, and from many unusual volcanic eruptions.

Besides all that, we have been plagued by lies, the lies of the rich the ones controlling the monies of the world. We have actually become the victims of thievery in the greatest way. "Just take whatever you want from our bank accounts whenever you feel like it, Mr. President of the bank!"

We have lost our so called democracy and we have become slaves. And if you think you're not a slave, I'm telling you that you are, unless you hold on tightly to our Torah and all that has to do with Yiddishkeit. If we hold tightly to Hakodosh Boruch Hu, we will never be slaves. If we will be only with Hakodosh Boruch Hu, no one will be able to enslave us, and that’s what I'm telling you. That’s what this message wants to tell you - that most of the world has been enslaved. You can feel the ropes tightening around your wrists, around your legs, around your neck. You are slowly being put into a prison, a prison that will control every part of your life. However, if you hold onto Hashem and do His Ratzon, you will never be a prisoner. You will always be free. Even though these Reshaim are slowly but surely controlling the world, you will not be a slave if you hold on to Hakodosh Boruch Hu. Then when the right moment comes, Hakodosh Boruch Hu will wipe the Reshaim out of existence and leave us in peace. And we will continue throughout all eternity together with our Hakodosh Boruch Hu, who is our Creator, our Father, our everything.

Disconnect to Reconnect

12 Tevet 5774

Do you ever get the feeling that we are living in a very temporary environment? That's what it feels like to me, especially when these big storms - like Sandy and this weekend's snow storm in Israel - take down the electric grid. Maybe I've seen too many shows and videos (Jericho, Revolution, Grid Down, Solar Storm, EMP Attack). But, it almost seems like a warning from Shamayim to us to not let ourselves be so dependent on it or at least to think about how we'd survive without it.

Seeing how the whole planet is turning into one big prison under 24-hr surveillance, it make me wonder if the only way out is to turn off the power - permanently. As with everything in this beautiful world that the Creator made for us, electric power has it's good side and it's down side. But, sometimes, I can almost hear a little unspoken voice saying "Enjoy it while you have it, but don't depend on it. It's just a temporary experiment."

I mean for all of mankind's existence in this world until only about 130 years ago, no one was wired or ever had been wired to a grid. Just look how fast it took over the entire planet until today mankind feels it cannot even exist without it.

It is debatable whether our quality of life really has benefited from the introduction of this technology into human existence. Take this news item from NaturalNews.com, for example:

Plants won't grow near Wi-Fi routers, experiment finds

...The girls placed six trays of Lepidium sativum seeds (a garden cress grown commercially throughout Europe) in a room without radiation, and an equal amount in a room next to two Wi-Fi routers. Over a 12-day period, they observed, measured, weighed and photographed the results. Even before the 12th day arrived, however, the end results were obvious: The cress seeds placed near the routers either hadn't grown or were completely dead, while the seeds placed in the radiation-free room had blossomed into healthy plants.

I've done a lot of research on the effects of electromagnetic radiation on organic systems because I am very sensitive to it. No one knows what the long-term effects will be because the studies are still in their infancy. The technology just has not been around long enough.

The social implications of new technology can be debated but the adverse health effects cannot. The natural resources which are used to power this technology are not infinite, but, considering that the greatest scientific minds in the world right now are talking very seriously about "merging" human beings with machines as the next step in human evolution by 2030 - 2045, that's not going to help us in the short-term.

Futurist Ray Kurzweil on Melding Man and Machine

(Interesting in light of the fact that they are still learning new things about the human body: Scientists Find Second, 'Hidden' Language in Human Genetic Code)

So, considering the implications of unfettered technological advance, maybe a giant EMP would solve more problems than it creates. However, there is a big difference between our generation and previous ones. They didn't know what they were missing! It's not difficult to live without something you've never known in the first place. I can imagine some people going stark, raving mad if they are suddenly disconnected and have the real fear that the power will never come back. I think, unfortunately, that many people would consider suicide a better alternative than living in the new (old) reality.

There is, however, another option. And it is described in a book entitled Spiritual Technology by Rabbi Avraham Sutton.

If I've understood Rav Avraham Sutton's ideas correctly, this temporary stage of technological advance is meant to prepare mankind for a different evolutionary leap (a return to Eden, if you will) which will replace "outer technology" with "inner technology" or "spiritual" technology. We won't need social media or cell phones because we will communicate telepathically and understand prophetically.  And we won't need vehicles or heavy equipment because we will be able to fly and to move objects by telekinesis.

The world, as it is today, is upside down and looks about as sane as the underside of an embroidered tapestry, but very soon now, HKB"H is going to turn it right side up and then we will see the order and beauty that existed all along.  

What the unbelieving world sees is a great darkness descending on the world, but those who are expecting Mashiach and the final redemption can see the light shining through.

What we all have to understand and keep in mind is a very important saying of our sages which is both a comfort and a warning - the final redemption will mirror the redemption from Egypt.

Parallels Between the Exodus from Egypt and the Final Redemption

Will The Final Redemption Parallel The Exodus?

If so, then we need to take a serious look at the period of time between leaving Egypt, when their 'grid' went down (so to speak), and arriving at Har Sinai where we actually attained the level of access to spiritual technology (which was quickly lost because of the golden calf event).  It might give us some clues as to how HKB"H expects us to prepare ourselves. And we shouldn't waste any time about it.  It could be closer than you think...

"This is an experience that's about to happen - this Sinai at the end of history...."
                         ---Rabbi Avraham Sutton

14 December 2013


12 Tevet 5774

Anticipation requires imagination, thereby identifying it as a trait of the mind or soul (spiritual) not the brain (physical). Our Sages have told us that one of the questions we will be asked upon our arrival to heavenly judgment is: "Did you anticipate redemption?"

According to Rashi, anticipating redemption means "one should look forward to the fulfillment of the visions of the prophets." To do that, you have to have enough imagination to 'see' the visions of the prophets. But, it's even more than that.

Anticipation involves more than a looking forward to an event. It involves using the imagination to see something coming before it happens as in, for instance, a mother removing a full glass from her baby's reach, anticipating what could possibly happen if she did not intervene.

R' Chanan Morrison, writing on Rav Kook, says:

...It is instructive to note that the heavenly tribunal does not ask about our hopes (tikvah) for redemption, but rather our anticipation (tzipiyah) of redemption. The word tzipiyah indicates a constant watchfulness, like a soldier posted to the lookout (tatzpit), serving at his observation post for days and even years. The sentry may not abandon his watch, even though he observes no changes.

We, too, are on the lookout. We should examine every incident that occurs in the world. With each new development, we should consider whether this is perhaps something that will advance the redemption of Israel and the entire world.

However, tzipiyah leyeshu'ah is not merely passive observation. Woe to the army whose sentries perceive a threat but fail to take action. The moment there is some development in the field, the soldiers must respond swiftly, to defend or retreat. Our tzipiyah also includes the readiness to act promptly. While these two traits — constant watchfulness and rapid response — may appear contradictory, they are both included in the obligation of tzipiyah leyeshu'ah.

My thoughts on this subject have been inspired by the varying reactions to this historic snowstorm in Israel and the resulting consequences, especially as we see that the unfolding redemption is bringing with it previously unimagined situations worldwide.  It can serve as a valuable object lesson for the future.

Proper anticipation should lead to proper preparation, but the reason it has not, in so many cases is due, I think, to a lack of imagination on our part.  Who imagined last Sunday what would be this Sunday?  And because we could not imagine it, we did not anticipate the needs we might have and that led to lack of preparation for the unimaginable and the misery of being without things that we need.

I firmly believe that this has come as a huge wake-up call to Am Yisrael. If you want to weather (pun intended) this next phase of the redemption process as easily as possible, we must begin to excel at anticipation. While our enemies, especially those who live among us, are undergoing judgment, we, the faithful, will still be affected by it, but if we are properly anticipating what is coming, we can minimize the adverse effects.

Very early in the week, the government website of the Israel Meterological Service forecast this storm. Although the eventual severity was not foreseen, they did predict snow, beginning after midnight Wednesday to last possibly through Shabbat morning, and freezing temperatures.  Knowing how any amount of snow shuts down Jerusalem and how often the electricity fails in my area, I started imaging what the situation could turn into and began anticipating possible needs - extra candles and matches, bottled water if pipes freeze, extra warm clothing out of storage, Shabbat foods that did not necessarily require a plata.  

With those preparations in place, although it was annoying not to be able to get out and around at will and to have the electricity going off and on, we had everything we needed and were fairly comfortable. 

Tonight, I'm anticipating that this might not be a one-off event, but the beginning of a new trend and I am putting my imagination to work making a list of supplies that need to be restocked and new boots that need to be bought.  I suggest that all of you do the same - wherever you are.

13 December 2013


10 Tevet 5774
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Tzom Asara b'Tevet

UPDATE! Kerry extends Jerusalem visit due to weather
S Secretary of State John Kerry extended his stay at a Jerusalem hotel because of weather conditions. Kerry is likely to use the extension to hold a number of additional meetings at the hotel with representatives of the Israeli government.

'Biggest' snowstorm of the year threatens Northeast this weekend
Another round of wintry weather will slug the eastern half of the United States starting Friday, threatening to leave as much as a foot of snow by Sunday.


Last Sunday, December 8th, the top two leaders in the Israeli government coalition made these remarks...

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu: “I’m ready for a historic compromise that ends the conflict between us once and for all,”....

Finance Minister Yair Lapid: "...the only solution on the table is the implementation of the principle of two states for two peoples. I sincerely hope that [the Prime Minister] exhibits the kind of historic courage required to pay this price,"....

Comes HKB"H and says: " 'Historic'? 'Historic'? I'll give you historic."

'Historic' Israeli Snowstorm

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat: "We are battling a storm of rare ferocity."

And then HKB"H threw in a couple of earthquakes so no one should misunderstand.

Earthquake Felt in the Dead Sea Area
An earthquake measuring 3.2 on the Richter scale was felt in the vicinity of the Dead Sea on Thursday night.

Earthquake in Arad...
An earthquake measuring 3.4 on the Richter scale was felt in Arad, a southern Negev city, and in the area surrounding the Mount Hevron region. There have been no reports of damage or injuries.

But are those responsible listening??? Apparently not.

Kerry and Netanyahu to Meet in Jerusalem
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry will meet Friday morning with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon will be in attendance as well.


Snow Shuts Down Tzfat

Predictions of Unprecedented Snowfall

At least 50 centimeters of snow have fallen on Jerusalem by late Friday morning. Weather forecasts predict continuous snowfall through Saturday, with up to a meter (approximately 3 feet) predicted for the Jerusalem area.

On the very day that we remember the beginning of the siege on Jerusalem and mourn the coming destruction, Archangel Micha'el - the snow angel - the guardian and defending angel of Am Israel - is "standing up" as Prophet Daniel foretold, to say that the siege which the nations are preparing to wage on Holy Yerushalayim today will not result in a third destruction, but in a Third Beit Hamikdash! But, woe to the nations who are preparing today's siege on Jerusalem:

"At that time Michael will stand, the great heavenly prince who stands in support of the members of your people, and there will be a time of trouble such as there had never been since there was a nation until that time...." (Daniel 12:1)

Is this 'historic' snowfall a result of Micha'el "standing up"?  Time will tell. Funny that aside from the snowman, the snow angel is what children most love to make in the fresh fallen snow.

May this finally be the last of the fast days.  Shabbat shalom!

From My Perspective

10 Tevet 5774
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Tzom Asara b'Tevet

I took this picture a few minutes ago looking from my home westwards towards Har Hazeitim. As you can tell from the immediate foreground, there's no snow at my elevation (yet), but I can see it from here.

Storm warnings were given and those who heeded and prepared are sitting comfortably right now.  This is in itself a lesson for bigger things to come.

Shabbat shalom!

Parshat Vayechi 5774

10 Tevet 5774
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Tzom Asara b'Tevet

Parashat Vayechi: A preview of Mashiach
by Daniel Pinner

[In memory of Tzvi Dov ben Chaim Pesach (Herb Sunshine), a proud Jew who was uncompromisingly dedicated to Torah, to the Jewish nation and to Eretz Yisrael, whose neshamah returned to Gan Eden on Wednesday 8th Tevet, 11thDecember. I was honoured to have been a close friend of his for a quarter of a century. Yehi zichro baruch.]

“Jacob called to his sons and said: Assemble, and I will tell you that which will befall you in the end of days. Gather together and hearken, O sons of Jacob – hearken to Israel your father” (Genesis 49:1-2).

As Jacob lay on his death-bed he called his twelve sons to him to reveal the distant future – the end of the nation – to them. “He spoke to them prophesying the future. And those who say that these are blessings are mistaken, because at the end [of this section, the Torah] says ‘and he blessed them’ (v.28); yet where are Reuben’s and Simeon’s and Levi’s blessings? Rather, all that their father said to them were prophecies; afterwards he blessed them, but the Torah does not mention the blessings” (Ibn Ezra on verse 1).

In these prophecies Jacob had initially intended to tell his sons precise details of the final redemption: “Jacob called to his sons and said to them: Purify yourselves of all spiritual impurities, and I will show you sealed-up secrets and hidden mysteries of the final times, and the reward that will be give to the tzaddikim and the punishment of the wicked, and the delights of Eden. The dozen tribes of Israel gathered around the golden bed upon which he lay; and when the glory of Hashem’s Shekhinah was revealed, the final time of the future King Mashiach was hidden from him. So he said: Come, and I will tell you that which will befall you in the end of days” (Targum Yonatan to verse 1).

Or, in the terse comment of Rashi, quoting Rabbi Shimon ben Lakish (Reish Lakish) in Pesachim 56a: “He wanted to reveal to them the final time but the Shekhinah abruptly departed from him, so he began to speak of other matters”.

So Jacob, on his death-bed, gave each of his twelve sons a prophecy of what was awaiting their progeny, the Twelve Tribes of Israel. And while most of these prophecies are parochial (in the sense of relating solely to the specific Tribe to which they are addressed), there is one exception.

“Dan”, Jacob prophesies, “will judge his nation, the Tribes of Israel will be as one. May Dan be a snake along the way, a viper along the path, which bites the heels of the horse so its rider falls backwards” (Genesis 49:16-17). And then, uniquely among these prophecies, Jacob gives voice to a prayer: “For Your salvation I have hoped, O Hashem” (verse 18).

Clearly, salvation is for the entire nation of Israel, all twelve Tribes, not only for the Tribe of Dan. Yet this prayer, “For Your salvation I have hoped, O Hashem”, is either a part of Jacob’s prophecy for Dan’s future or its epilogue.

It is of course significant that in this series of prophecies, it is the Tribe of Dan which unites the twelve Tribes of Israel: “Dan will judge his nation, the Tribes of Israel will be as one”. This is the literal translation of דָּן יָדִין עַמּוֹ, though Targum Onkelos, Targum Yonatan, Rashi, Rashbam and Ramban, all understand יָדִין to mean “will avenge” in this context: “Dan will avenge his nation – all the tribes of Israel as one”. The entire nation will yet be united, any attack on any one Tribe will constitute an attack on the entire nation, and Dan will accept the challenge of avenging any such attack.

The Malbim writes: “Dan was the gatherer [i.e. the rearguard] of all the camps [Numbers 10:25], and the children of Gad went at the head of all the camps. Dan had to defend them from the enemies who would approach from behind the camp and attack all the weakest ones; so [Jacob] said that Dan would take up their cause and fight the nation’s battles like all the Tribes, even though they went last”.

A picture emerges of Dan as a unifier, bringing the twelve Tribes together as a single nation, making all the Tribes aware of their mutual responsibility for one another.

I suggest that the Torah points to this attribute of Dan very subtly, with an exquisite detail embodied in the text. In the word עִקְּבֵי, ikvei (“the heels of”, in the phrase “…a viper along the path, which bites the heels of the horse…”), there is a peculiarity: there is a dagesh (a dot) in the letter ק, even though there is no grammatical reason for this.

There are just three other places in the Torah where a ק has a dagesh for no grammatical reason. The first is ten verses earlier, in Jacob’s prophecy to Judah: “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah nor a law-interpreter from among his descendants, until Shiloh shall come, and his will be an assemblage of nations” (Genesis 49:10). Here, in the word יִקְּהַת, yik’hat (“assemblage”), the ק has an unwarranted dagesh.

The next case is the ק in the word מִקְּדָשׁ, Mikdash (“Sanctuary”), in the Song at the Red Sea: “You will bring them and implant them on the Mountain of Your Inheritance, the foundation of Your dwelling-place that You have wrought, O Hashem – the Sanctuary, my Lord, that Your hands established” (Exodus 15:17).

And the final time is the ק inthe word קְּעָרֹתָיו, ke’arotav (“its dishes”), in describing the accoutrements of the Tabernacle in the desert: “You will make its dishes and its spoons…” (Exodus 25:29).

On the word מִקְּדָשׁ (“Sanctuary”) in the Song at the Red Sea (Exodus 15:17), the Minchat Shai says simply: “The ק has a dagesh to glorify it”.

Extrapolating from the Minchat Shai’s comment, just as the dagesh in the ק in the word מִקְּדָשׁ (“Sanctuary”) glorifies it, so too does each unwarranted dagesh in each ק in the Torah.

In Genesis 49:10, the dagesh in the ק in the word יִקְּהַת (“assemblage”) glorifies Judah’s kingship. In Exodus 15:17, the dagesh in the ק in the word מִקְּדָשׁ (“Sanctuary”) glorifies the Sanctuary. In Exodus 25:29, the ק in the word קְּעָרֹתָיו (“its dishes”) glorifies the accoutrements of the Tabernacle in the desert.

So returning to the prophecy concerning Dan, the dagesh in the ק in the word עִקְּבֵי (“the heels of”) glorifies Dan’s task of uniting the nation.

The Book of Psalms parallels the Torah: “Moshe gave [Israel] the Five Books of the Torah, and corresponding to them King David gave them the Book of Psalms which comprises five Books” (Midrash Shocher Tov 1, s.v. אשרי). And in the Book of Psalms there is just one ק which has an unwarranted dagesh – the ק in the word בְּיִקְּרוֹתֶיךָ, bikrotekha (“visit you”): “Daughters of kings visit you, the queen stands erect at your right hand in the golden jewellery of Ophir” (Psalms 45:10).

Psalm 45 is a paean of praise either to the Sages of the Sanhedrin (Targum, Rashi) or to the Mashiach (Radak). Commenting on verse 10, both Rashi and Radak note the unwarranted dagesh in the ק in the word בְּיִקְּרוֹתֶיךָ, and explain that this dagesh suggests that the word בְּיִקְּרוֹתֶיךָ can be derived not only from the root בקר (“visit”), but also from the root יקר (“glory”): not just that “daughters of kings visit you”, but also that “daughters of kings glorify you”.

As with the four times that the Torah adds an unwarranted dagesh into a ק for glorification, so too the Book of Psalms adds this unwarranted dagesh into a ק for glorification. Whether referring to Torah sages or to the King Mashiach, the dagesh in the ק glorifies the leaders of the nation.

And the Tribe of Dan glorifies Israel by uniting them, and unites them by bringing true justice to the nation and by avenging them on their enemies who attack them. And so it is in this context that, uniquely in all Jacob’s prophecies of the nation’s future, he infuses the prayer: “For Your salvation I have hoped, O Hashem”.