30 April 2014

The Religion of Statism in Israel

 30 Nisan 5774
Rosh Chodesh Alef
Day 15 of the Omer

As the birur continues in preparation for the ultimate redemption, polarizing forces are pushing people to choose their side. For those who choose Israeliness over Jewishness, there is a new religion that is tailor-made just for them - Israeli Statism.  It takes on the outward trappings of Judaism and presents itself as equally holy, but internally it is rotten. (You see a lot of this kind of people in the Bayit Yehudi political party.)

Here is a prime example of what I am talking about. A "secular-religious midrasha" is proposing a new 10-day holiday which it compares to the God-given ten days of repentance (as if man invented Judaism in the first place). Of course, the new religion of Statism will establish its new holiday based on the State's invented holidays and celebration of itself - Yom HaShoah through Yom Ha'atzmaut.

Midrasha students launch initiative to establish new Jewish holiday ‘Ten Days of Thanks'

The secular-religious Midrasha Ein Prat, a post-military Jewish studies academy in the Judean Desert, announced an initiative on Tuesday to add a new holiday to the Jewish calendar: “Ten Days of Thanks.”

Beginning on Holocaust Remembrance Day and ending 10 days later on Independence Day, Ten Days of Thanks would correspond to the Ten Days of Repentance – the period between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur that, according to Jewish tradition, enables human beings to develop their relationship with God. The new holiday aims to emulate this tradition with a “secular” period to develop the relationship between Israelis and the State of Israel, as well as to highlight the significance of these historically important days...

29 April 2014

Thus Ends Kerry's Nine-Month Time-frame

29 Nisan 5774
Day 14 of the Omer

Here in Israel, we are now in the closing minutes of the final hour of US Secretary of State John Kerry's nine-month time-frame for concluding the "peace process."  Although I suppose they'll probably run the clock on out til midnight when their date changes over. 

For me though, it's Erev Rosh Chodesh Iyar Alef - another day on the Hebrew calendar full of the possibility and expectation of the ultimate redemption.

Thank G-d for Soldiers Like These!

29 Nisan 5774
Yom Kippur Katan
Day 14 of the Omer

These are the courageous young men who will fight with Mashiach Tzidkeinu! May they go from strength to strength and enjoy Hashem's favor and Divine protection!!

From Yeshiva World News...

IDF Soldiers Stand Firmly Behind the Torah HaKadosha

The Mobilizing in Faith (מתגייסים באמונה) organization continues to spread its message, that the Torah is supreme and serving in the IDF does not give one the right to chas v’sholom disobey Halacha.

The organization released a new brief video taken at the same venue where soldier Avraham Shapira announced his commitment to Torah. He has since been jailed after tried by Colonel Eliezer Ben Harush, the commander of Base 22, sentencing him to 30 days imprisonment.

Now, soldier Moshe Ochana sends the same message in light of the border police takeover of the Yitzhar yeshiva building.

Ochana emphasizes one may not obey orders that contradict Halacha. He explains it is prohibited to turn a beis medrash into a military base. Ochana states “My good friend Avraham Shapira made his clear statements here” after the beis medrash was overrun by border police.

Ochana adds that instead of jailing Shapira, he should have received a commendation for his remarks. “I will continue telling it like it is” states Ochana, who warns against anyone complying with IDF orders that contradict the Torah HaKadosha, ending “we must battle the real enemy”.


28 April 2014

Meteorites at the End of Days

29 Nisan 5774
Day 14 of the Omer

Jewish sources say that meteors falling from the sky to planet earth will be one of the major signs at the End of Days. Who hasn't heard of the widespread damage done by the explosion of a plummeting fireball near Chelyabinsk, Russia in 2013?

Consider this...

Cosmic roulette: Astronauts warn that "we are literally in a shooting gallery"

"Data obtained since the Chelyabinsk incident by Dr Peter Brown, a planetary scientist and asteroid expert at the University of Western Ontario, in Canada, reveals that since 2001 the Earth has been rocked by atomic bomb-scale asteroid impacts 26 times; 10 times more frequently than previously thought."

And this is only the opening act!
[The number twenty-six is the gematria of YKVK.] 

27 April 2014


28 Nisan 5774
Day 13 of the Omer

"And planted eternal life within us"

27 Nisan 5774
Day 12 of the Omer

Message from Binyamin 
9 Nisan 5774 in Yerushalayim

Our world today is very black, and the good times are gray... It makes us feel bad, depressed, and no one knows why... We try to be happy - but it just doesn't come... We try to cry, but that doesn't come either... We try to find a distraction from various small things, but that also doesn't work...

We're not finding ourselves... Not finding the happiness... Not feeling that we're rising via prayer... Simply feeling neither here nor there, with great fear... Because those who regularly feel some connection with Hashem are also not always feeling it. And those who are running after the 'Golden Calf' - suddenly feel that the hamburger is not so tasty... And the cola - too bitter... And the movies - not interesting... And a great fear. I just want to go over what is 'life' in general and how to look at it.

Once, we talked about how we were sent into this world for a specific period of time in order to repair, and it's like going into the army to undergo training, various exercises in order to prepare the soldier to fight, usually two months, six weeks. So it is with us, in life, this is also for a 'period.' Sometimes a fetus doesn't even become a child, shelo neda; sometimes children leave this world, shelo neda; and sometimes older adults live to be 120... Or even there are people who reach 110... in our days. And in earlier times, there were lives much longer. Methuselah lived to be 900 years old... But in the end - everybody dies. Life ends, our time in the army ends and we go home. But, people fear this. Because they think that all of life - it's the life that we're living now. And when a human being passes away from this world - we're very sad, because he will be missed by us. And this frightens us, because it's terrible to die, shelo neda; to see the body go into the earth and we cover it. Fear of the suffering of the grave - it's very great with human beings, because they don't understand that their life did not begin at their birth, and it doesn't end at their death. it's just a short time, with a lot of work to do.

And in our lives now, for the duration of life, develop relationships with friends, with the wife or the husband, with children and grandchildren, etc., etc. And if, chas v'shalom, one of them is taken away from us, then the world will end for us! But, it's not exactly like that. All of Olam Hazeh - This World - is totally an illusion. It is constructed in a way that we will understand that we have a job to do here, that it's for this that we arrived here. Because there's no other reason for us to be here. So, therefore, right, we're establishing strong relationships with all our relatives, or with part of our relatives, but we have a job to do.

Therefore, when among us we know and understand this, they could return from WWII where they lost, shelo neda, their whole families. Like the Tsanzer Rav, ztz"l, who lost all his children, his wife, and yet, despite this, he arrived in Israel and started a new family and built chasidut and a hospital, etc., etc. So, what!? Certainly, he knew what was dear to him. He understood that all of them, all of them were sent to do a job. And also, his children who were murdered al kidush Hashem - they came for this. Right, it hurt his heart, he loved them, but he was strong, and he knew: now his job - it's to build anew. So, he built. He started from scratch.

The Bobover Rav, ztz"l, went to America with his mother, and with his son, but he left his entire family who were murdered, all his children. And he had a large family that was annihilated, and also his wife. And he built a splendid, exemplary community. A community - many of whom were Jews with a joy for life! It wasn't that he didn't love his children or his wife. He knew that it was a job, a task.

And sometimes Hashem brings us various trials which are for our good, and also for the good of those who are looking at us from this world and we need to make it 'ours.' What does it mean 'ours'? That even if we fall, undergo severe suffering, we're always searching for what is our task. What is our task in this world? Our task - to be close to HKB"H, to do His will, and not to do anything except for this. That's all there is for us to do: to learn Torah and to do His will. Now - we have arrived to the most difficult period and really we are smelling the 'World of Mashiach,' feeling it in every place, in every event happening in the world. Before us stands the hardest times that ever were until now. Indeed, not in the way of the concentration camps in Germany - but, not less dangerous, also to the body, but mainly to the soul.

But, this is the end of all the suffering that has passed us from Adam HaRishon until Mashiach. The first man and his wife sinned and from that moment, we're warring with the snake and we have to constantly fight and go up higher and not to be influenced by the evil, liar snake who brings us to things against HKB"H, shelo neda. And this is the whole task: to remove him from inside and not to pay attention to him in what is outside of us. And to fight against him. That's our task.

Now, since beginning 120 years ago, we've gone down in everything, also in our Yiddishkeit. But, also with the gentiles, there's been a hard descent. And there are very few people in this world who are 'real-Jews,' according to which their soul was at Har Sinai. Our task, the few, it's not to give more to the snake and the Golden Calf to rule over us and to overturn the Jewish religion, the life of a person who is Jewish, the life of Torah, mitzvot and good deeds, a life of true prayer with HKB"H - not to allow the possibility for this contemptible snake to enter inside our heart. 

But now, since beginning the last 100 years, the world is being ruled by gentiles and Jews, big evildoers, idolaters, the richest, who want first and foremost to finish off all the real-Jews, because they, the real ones, will not allow those who are attached to the lie of the Golden Calf, the snake, the Satan, will not permit the evildoers, those who will take off even 'ki hu zeh' from the Jewish religion, the life of Torah, and mitzvot, and good deeds, the life of love for HKB"H.

Therefore, Hitler, who was one of the guys in the group, tried to destroy and annihilate the Jews completely from the world and he failed. Indeed, there are enough antisemites left, even great ones, but he won't succeed. There has arisen today a group that is again trying to destroy us, and they belong directly to the snake, they belong to Edom, they belong to the Satan himself. And again the same war. But, on a larger scale. Very. And this time it will be the final decision! Hashem will slaughter the Satan, the evil inclination, and we will go out free men and we will be few, but upon them will be built the next world. Without memory of the evil inclination, without any memory of the Satan, without memory of all the evildoers who were born from it.

And now, good Jews, real Jews, my brothers and sisters, I just want to say to you that the time has come to say: 'Until here and no further.' Until here - we are ready. But now - it's finished. It's finished! We're not ready! We're not ready to not eat kosher; we're not ready, like we said, that a doctor will be our mohel or to  not make circumcision at all, chas v'shalom; we're not ready for your CORE program that's all gentile, Zionist-gentile; we're not ready to enlist in your army, which is not a Jewish army at all! It's an army of disrepute, spiritual filth, of thieves, etc.; we're not ready to be part of a state that is against HKB"H, not ready to be part of anything that is against HaKadsh Baruch Hu; not ready to smile upon you or to lower the head before you. You are the 'pretend Jews', so it's allowed for us to say 'until here.' And also for the gentiles we don't have to do everything. There are things that we must be killed for rather than to cross over it. So, we've reached this situation now, and all our work, it's to strengthen ourselves that we will say 'until here and no further.' The End.

[See references here. Questions and Answers to follow as time permits, b'li neder.]

25 April 2014

Parshat Kedoshim 5774

25 Nisan 5774
Day 10 of the Omer
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

Parashat Kedoshim: Holiness
by Daniel Pinner

Parashat Kedoshim begins and ends with holiness. It opens with, “Hashem spoke to Moshe saying: Speak to the entire community of the Children of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy because I, Hashem your God, am holy” (Leviticus 19:1-2). And it concludes with the admonition, “You shall be holy to Me, because I, Hashem, am holy; and I have separated you from the nations to be Mine. And any man or woman in whom there is witchcraft or divining from the dead will assuredly be put to death; they shall pelt them with stones, their blood being upon themselves” (ibid. 20:26-27).

Thus all the mitzvot in Parashat Kedoshim are bracketed between these twin admonitions that we be holy because Hashem our God is holy. According to the standard numbering (the Rambam, the Sefer ha-Chinuch, Mahara”m Chagiz, and others), Parashat Kedoshim contains fifty-one mitzvot – 13 positive and 38 negative; in fact there are far more, but many of them have already been enumerated earlier on in the Torah.

Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Hertz (Chief Rabbi of the British Empire 1913-1946) calls Parashat Kedoshim “a Manual of Moral Instruction”, and writes: “The precepts contained in this chapter may, at first sight, appear a medley of the spiritual and ceremonial – fundamental maxims and principles of justice and morality alongside of ritual laws and observances. The Torah, however, regards human life as an indivisible whole, and declines to exclude any phase thereof from its purview”.

Perhaps the most significant characteristic of Parashat Kedoshim is the wide range of the subjects included in its overall admonition to “be holy”: the Torah segues seamlessly from honouring parents to keeping Shabbat, from worshipping God to leaving harvest-gleanings for the poor and the convert, from not stealing, lying, or taking revenge to not intermingling diverse species of animals or crops, from sanctifying certain fruits in the Land of Israel to God to not engaging in sorcery, from honest business practice to shunning idolatry to sexual morality.

Showing the immense importance of this passage, the Midrash tells us that “Rabbi Hiyya taught that this Parashah was said in the assembly [of the entire nation] because most of the Torah’s essentials are dependent upon it; Rabbi Levi said, because the Ten Commandments are included in it. [The first of the Ten Commandments is] ‘I am Hashem your God’ (Exodus 20:2) – and here it says ‘I am Hashem your God’ (Leviticus 19:4 et. al.). ‘You shall have no other gods’ (Exodus 20:3) – and here it says ‘molten gods you shall not make for yourself’ (Leviticus 19:4). ‘Do not take the Name of Hashem your God in vain’ (Exodus 20:7) – and here it says ‘Do not swear falsely in My Name’ (Leviticus 19:12). ‘Remember the Shabbat day’ (Exodus 20:8) – and here it says ‘And you shall keep My Shabbatot’ (Leviticus 19:3 and 30). ‘Honour your father and mother’ (Exodus 20:12) – and here it says ‘Each man shall fear his mother and father’ (Leviticus 19:3). ‘You shall not murder’ – and here it says ‘You shall not stand idly by your brother’s blood’ (Leviticus 19:16). ‘You shall not commit adultery’ (Exodus 20:13) – and here it says ‘The adulterer and adulteress shall surely be put to death’ (Leviticus 20:3). ‘You shall not steal’ (Exodus 20:13) – and here it says ‘You shall not steal’ (Leviticus 19:11). ‘You shall not bear false witness’ (Exodus 20:13) – and here it says ‘Do not walk around as a gossipmonger’ (Leviticus 19:16). ‘Do not covet’ (Exodus 20:14) – and here it says ‘You shall love your neighbour as yourself’ (Leviticus 19:18)” (Vayikra Rabbah 24:5).

Another Midrash similarly emphasises the centrality of this passage: “‘Speak to the Children of Israel and say to them: You shall be holy’ – this teaches that this Parashah was said in the assembly [of the entire nation]. Why was it said in the assembly? – Because most of the Torah’s essentials are dependent upon it. ‘You shall be holy’ – by separating yourselves you will be holy, because I, Hashem, am holy. That is to say, if you shall sanctify yourselves, I will account it to you as though you had sanctified Me. But if you do not sanctify yourselves, I will account it to you as though you do not sanctify Me” (Sifra, Kedoshim 1).

The concluding words of the Mishnaic Tractate Sotah give us an insight into the subject of sanctification, of holiness. “Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair says: Alacrity leads to cleanliness, and cleanliness leads to purity, and purity leads to abstinence, and abstinence leads to holiness, and holiness leads to humility, and humility leads to fear of sin, and fear of sin leads to chassidut (saintliness), and chassidut leads to Divine Inspiration, and Divine Inspiration leads to the Resurrection of the Dead, and the Resurrection of the Dead is wrought by Eliyahu (Elijah) – may he be remembered for good, amen” (Sotah 9:15).

So according to Rabbi Pinchas ben Yair, holiness is one of the essential links in the chain which links alacrity with the final redemption and the Resurrection of the Dead.

This ever-ascending chain, from alacrity to the Resurrection of the Dead passing through holiness, recalls the forty-nine ascending stages through which we ascend during the forty-nine days of counting the Omer, beginning on the second night of Pesach and concluding the day before Shavuot, in time to receive the Torah at Mount Sinai.

And it is significant that the Mishnah we cited comes at the conclusion of a list of benefits which ceased from the world when the Holy Temple was destroyed, marking the beginning of exile, and when great people died: “When Yosi ben Yoezer of Tzereidah and Yosi ben Yochanan of Jerusalem died, the grape-clusters [meaning the greatest of Torah-scholars] ceased… When the Sanhedrin [the supreme Rabbinic Court] ceased, song ceased in the places of rejoicing… When the earlier Prophets [meaning all the Prophets who preceded Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi] died, the Urim and Thummim were nullified… From the day that the [second] Holy Temple was destroyed,there has not been a single day without a curse, and the dew has not fallen for a blessing, and the flavour has been taken from fruits… When Rabbi Meir died, the tellers of parables ceased. When Ben Azzai died, the devoted perpetual studiers of Torah ceased. When Ben Zoma died, the expounders of Torah ceased… When Rabbi Akiva died, the glory of the Torah ceased. When Rabbi Hanina ben Dosa died, people of [good] deeds ceased… When Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai died, the splendour of wisdom ceased…” (Sotah 9:9-15).

The destruction of the Holy Temple, and the deaths of our greatest Sages and leaders, each marked the end of an era.

This Shabbat, the 26th of Nisan, is the anniversary of the death of Joshua (Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 580:2), in the year 2516 (1244 B.C.E.), 3,258 years ago. Joshua’s death must have been terribly traumatic for the Children of Israel: they had left Egypt 68 years earlier led by Moshe, and at that formative stage of our nation’s earliest history, Joshua was already Moshe’s faithful lieutenant.

Forty years later, in Moshe’s final days in this world, he several times charged Joshua to lead the nation into the Land of Israel after his impending death (Deuteronomy 1:38, 3:28, 31:1-8), publicly conferring his own undisputed leadership onto Joshua.

And indeed “Joshua was filled with the spirit of wisdom, because Moshe had laid his hands upon him, and the Children of Israel hearkened unto him” (34:9).

The day on which Joshua died, the 26th of Nisan, is the 11thday of the Omer. The Kabbalah ascribes seven middot (best rendered into English as “emotional attributes”) to the seven weeks of the Omer, and further ascribes the same seven middot to each of the seven days of each of those seven weeks.

These seven middot are:
1) חֶסֶד, Hessed (Loving-kindness);
2) גְּבוּרָה, Gevurah (Might, connoting severity, in the sense of restraint);
3) תִּפְאֶרֶת, Tiferet (Beauty);
4) נֶצַח, Netzah, (Eternity, related to נִצָּחוֹן, victory);
5) הוֹד, Hod (Splendour);
6) יְסוֹד, Yesod (Foundation);
7) מַלְכוּת, Malkhut (Royalty).

Thus the first week of the Omer is dedicated to rectifying and improving Hessed in the world, the second week is dedicated to rectifying and improving Gevurah, the third week is dedicated to rectifying and improving Tiferet, and so forth.

Each day has its specific “attribute within the attribute”: the first day of the Omer is the day of חֶסֶד שֶׁבְּחֶסֶד (“Loving-kindness within Loving-kindness”); the second day is גְּבוּרָה שֶׁבְּחֶסֶד (“Might within Loving-kindness”) – the day for rectifying and improving Loving-kindness as expressed with Might. The third day’s attribute is תִּפְאֶרֶת שֶׁבְּחֶסֶד (“Beauty within Loving-kindness”), and so forth throughout all forty-nine days of the Omer.

The attribute of eleventh day of the Omer, the fourth day of the second week of the Omer, the day on which we memorialise Joshua, is נֶצַח שֶׁבִּגְבוּרָה (“Eternity within Might”). As we noted,the word נֶצַח (eternity) is a cognate of נִצָּחוֹן (victory). So the eleventh day of the Omer is dedicated to rectifying and improving Might as expressed through victory – surely the most appropriate of all attributes to dedicate to Joshua, the national leader who took over from Moshe and who led us into the Land of Israel and to subsequent victory overthe Canaanite nations who had occupied the Land.

As Parashat Kedoshim shows us the path to holiness, so does the counting of the Omer raise us through forty-nine levels of ever-increasing holiness. “You shall be holy because I, Hashem your God, am holy”.

24 April 2014

It's All From Hashem

24 Nisan 5774
Day 9 of the Omer

Pharaoh sent his army into the depths of the sea and Nebuchadnezar ate grass like cattle...

"The demands, conditions, stipulations and decisions pouring out of Abu Mazen’s office in the last month or so have persuaded everyone concerned that the Palestinian leader’s mind is in a total muddle. No one in Jerusalem or Washington can figure out what he wants. And even his closest aides believe that he doesn’t know his own mind and are afraid of what he may dream up next." (Peace Talks)

22 April 2014

The handwriting is on the wall

23 Nisan 5774
One week and one day of the omer


Things Are Looking Up

22 Nisan 5774
Isru Chag

Exclusive: Arab Israeli Refused Sale of Home

...Even her distinguished service in the IDF did not help her with the various agents and homeowners who refused to sell her a house. And they were not ashamed to explain that the reason was that she is an Arab.

... "I try to identify by your accent if you are a Jew or Arab. This agency will never sell Jewish land to a non-Jew."

...Alllah Fakrah, an Arab student also searched for an apartment to rent with 3 friends said, “I called 24 apartments and all gave negative answers." After signing for an apartment, the landlord reneged and tore up the contract after neighbors pressured her.

...The Ministry of Justice recently launched a campaign for equality. The caption reads, "Yesterday, they wouldn't let me sit on the bus, today, they won't rent an apartment to me."

The Jewish people are on the right track, it's the ruling regime of the Erev Rav who have got it all wrong. Perhaps it sounds cruel and unfair to our assimilated ears, but this is Torah law and the only way to keep our land Jewish, which is itself a "racist" idea according to the world. This is why pure democracy can never work for us.

20 April 2014

"The courage and faith to work redemption"

20 Nisan 5774
Fifth Day Chol Hamoed Pesach

The seventh day of Pesach: The courage and faith to work redemption
by Daniel Pinner

It is so deeply ingrained in our national consciousness that the Splitting of the Red Sea and the subsequent drowning of the Egyptian Army occurred on the seventh day of Pesach, that it often comes as something of a surprise to discover that the Torah does not record explicitly when it occurred.

The Talmud and the Midrashim, however, are consistent about this chronology, and the Seder Olam Rabbah synthesizes several sources to give a detailed account of the Exodus. “On the 14th of Nisan the Jews slaughtered their Pesach-sacrifices in Egypt [Exodus 12:3-11, 21-22]; that was a Thursday, and that night the [Egyptian] first-borns were smitten [v. 29]. The day after the Pesach-sacrifice, which was the eve of Shabbat [i.e. Friday], they travelled from Rameses… Then from Rameses they travelled to Succoth [v. 37], and from Succoth to Etham [13:20], and from Etham to Pi-hahiroth [14:1], which is three days. On the fourth day [after the Exodus] ‘it was told to the king of Egypt that the nation had escaped’ [v. 5], and on the fifth and sixth days ‘Egypt pursued after them’ [v. 9]. On the eve of the seventh day they descended into the sea, as it says ‘there was cloud and darkness which lit up the night’ [v. 20]. At daybreak Israel came up out of the Red Sea and the Egyptians were drowned. At that moment Israel sang the Song at the Sea, as it says ‘then Moshe and the children of Israel sang…’ [15:1]. That was a Thursday, and it was the final Yom Tov day of Pesach” (Seder Olam Rabbah, Chapter 5).

Naturally, this is the reason that the Talmud (Megillah 31a) decrees that the Torah-reading for the seventh day of Pesach is the section which includes the crossing of the Red Sea and the Song at the Sea – specifically Exodus 13:17-15:26, beginning with “It happened when Pharaoh sent the nation out…” and continuing until after the Song at the Red Sea, celebrating the Egyptians’ drowning in the Red Sea.

The Midrash (Sh’mot Rabbah 21:8 and Mekhilta de-Rabbi Shimon bar Yochay 14:15) cites two opinions as to how we merited the awesome, revealed miracle of the Splitting of the Red Sea.

Rabbi Benaya opined that God split the Red Sea in the merit of Abraham our father: the Torah records that when God commanded him to sacrifice his son Isaac, “he split the wood of the burnt-offering” (Genesis 22:3), using the verb “va-yevakka” for “split”; and 363 years later, when God “made the sea damp ground and the waters split”(Exodus 14:21), the Torah uses the same verb for “split”.

Rabbi Akiva opined that it was in the merit of Jacob: when Jacob slept in Beit El on his way to his uncle Laban in Haran and dreamed his famous dream of the ladder linking Heaven and earth, God promised him that “your seed will be as the dust of the earth, and you will burst forth westwards and eastwards, and northwards and southwards” (Genesis 28:14).

There are at least two different explanations for this. The Matanot Kehunah (commentary to Midrash Rabbah composed by Rabbi Yissachar Ber ha-Kohen Katz, Poland 16th century) picks up on the word God used for “burst forth” – “paratztah” – which also denotes “splitting”, portending that one day in the future the sea would split for Jacob’s descendants.

The Maharz”u (Rabbi Ze’ev Wolf Einhorn, Grodno and Vilna, died 1862) picks up on the word God used for “westwards” – “yamah”, literally “seawards” – portending that one day in the future Jacob’s descendants would burst forth into the sea (commentary to Sh’mot Rabbah 21:8).

In any event, God split the Red Sea for us in the merit of faith and self-sacrifice, whether that of Abraham or of Jacob.

The Talmud (Sotah 37a) and the Midrash (Mekhilta de-Rabbi Yishma’el, Beshallach, Masekhet de-Vayehi 5) graphically depict the events at the shores of the Red Sea. The Twelve Tribes of Israel stood by the sea, each Tribe proclaiming: “I’m not going down into the sea first!”. While they were bickering among themselves, all frightened of taking the initiative, Nachshon son of Amminadav, a leader of the Tribe of Judah (Exodus 6:23, Numbers 1:7, Ruth 4:20, 1 Chronicles 2:10), leapt forward ahead of them all into the Red Sea.

Nachshon son of Amminadav, too, displayed unwavering courage and faith and self-sacrifice; and it was this that convinced God to split the Red Sea for Israel.

God sends us salvation and redemption in the merit of our courage and faith and self-sacrifice. But to deserve salvation and redemption, at least some of us have to jump forward, ahead of the rest of the nation, if necessary against the counsel of the leaders of the nation, in a brazen display of faith in God.

Let us return to Rabbi Akiva’s opinion that God split the Red Sea in the merit of Jacob. The Ba’al ha-Turim (Rabbi Ya’akov ben Asher, Germany and Spain, c.1275-1343) finds an unexpected connection between Jacob and the Splitting of the Red Sea: when Joseph dreamed his second dream – that the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing to him – and related his dream to his father Jacob and brothers, “his father [Jacob] castigated him” (Genesis 37:10).

The Ba’al ha-Turim notes that the word that the Torah uses here, “va-yig’ar” (“he castigated”), occurs only twice in the entire Tanach; the other occurrence is in King David’s majestically poetic depiction of the Splitting of the Red Sea: “Then He castigated the Red Sea and it became dry, and He led them through the depths as through a desert” (Psalms 106:9). The Ba’al ha-Turim concludes: “So it was in [Jacob’s] merit that it became dry; and this is the inference of ‘Israel saw the mighty hand which Hashem inflicted upon Egypt’(Exodus 14:31) – Israel their ancestor”.

Rabbi Akiva, who opined that God split the Red Sea in the merit of Jacob, was the epitome of unwavering courage and faith and self-sacrifice: it was he who interpreted the command that “you shall love Hashem your God…with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 6:5, incorpoated into the Shema) to mean, “even if He takes your soul” (Berachot 61b, Yerushalmi Berachot 9).

When the Romans forbade public teaching of Torah on pain of death, Rabbi Akiva defied this decree. He was eventually arrested and put to death by having his skin raked off his body with iron combs. While he was thus being tortured the sun rose, and he began reciting the Shema. His students were astonished: “Our master! Even this far?!”

Rabbi Akiva responded: “Throughout my life I was concerned with this verse ‘with all your soul’, which I interpreted to mean ‘even if He takes your soul’. I used to say: When will I ever have to opportunity to fulfil this? And now that I have the opportunity – should I not seize it?!” (Berachot 61b and Tanhuma, Ki Tavo 2).

When God had forged His covenant with Abraham, He promised him: “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you, and I will make your name great” (Genesis 12:2). The Talmud expounds: “‘I will make you into a great nation’ – we refer to this by saying ‘the God of Abraham’; ‘and I will bless you’ – we refer to this by saying ‘the God of Isaac; ‘and I will make your name great’ – we refer to this by saying ‘the God of Jacob’” (Pesachim 117b).

The name of Israel becomes great through our unwavering courage and faith in God and self-sacrifice for the nation and for God. Since it was Rabbi Akiva who, more than anyone else, epitomised these qualities, it is eminently appropriate that he would expound that the Splitting of the Red Sea was in the merit of Jacob, in whom was fulfilled God’s promise that “I will make your name great”.

Israel’s task in this world is to make God’s Name great in the world; “You are in our midst, O Hashem, and Your Name is called upon us” (Jeremiah 14:9). Countless times throughout the Tanach, the Prophets proclaim that Israel is called by God’s Name, and the degradation of Israel is therefore the desecration of the Name of God.

And the obvious corollary is that the glory of Israel is the sanctification of the Name of God. When He performed the magnificent miracle at the Red Sea, His Name was sanctified and glorified throughout the world. Indeed – “I will make your name great”, and He made His own Name great too.

This is the connection between Jacob and the Splitting of the Red Sea. And this is the power of the Splitting of the Red Sea. And this is the power of unwavering courage and faith and self-sacrifice. And this is the power of the seventh day of Pesach.

18 April 2014

Shabbat Chol HaMoed Pesach - 5774

18 Nisan 5774
Third Day Chol Hamoed Pesach
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

Shabbat Chol HaMoed Pesach – Torah perspective: They really must go – Rabbi Meir Kahane

“Beware of what I command you today: Behold I drive out before you the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, the Hivvite and the Jebusite. Be vigilant least you seal a covenant with the inhabitant of the land to which you come, lest it be a snare among you. Rather you shall break apart their altars, smash their pillars, and cut down its sacred trees. [...]Lest you seal a covenant with the inhabitant of the land, and they will stray after their gods and slaughter to their gods; and he will invite you and you will eat from his slaughter. And you will take their daughters for your sons, and their daughters will stray after their gods and entice your sons to stray after their gods.” (Ex.34:11-16)

G-d established the Jewish People as a holy nation, chosen, treasured and lofty, His select anointed. Their task was to accept the yoke of His kingdom, sanctify His name on earth as Supreme King and subjugate their pride, selfishness and evil impulse by accepting and preserving G-d's attributes and values, His laws, judgments and statutes. G-d knew that such a nation could not maintain its perfection unless it were set apart from the foreign culture of the nations.

G-d, therefore, established for His holy nation a holy land. It would be a vessel to house the Jewish People and their society, the Torah state G-d obligated them to create, and to separate them from the straying nations and their culture which both errs and leads others astray. After all, whatever separates between Israel and the nations necessarily separates between holiness and the non-holy. Thus, Eretz Yisrael, once Israel were chosen to be G-d's people, became the only holy place on earth, while all other lands are impure. G-d established this distinction, because He wished His people Israel to be set apart from the rest of the nations. He, therefore, established that the Divine Presence would not rest outside of Eretz Israel, that there would be no blessing for the Jewish People except in Eretz Yisrael itself, and that all holiness and all mitzvot would be confined to Eretz Yisrael. It is clear that even inside Eretz Yisrael, G-d wished Israel to be set apart from the non-Jew and from his culture and wished the Land to be free of their influence.

There are two components to this separation. On the one hand, Israel must leave the exile and live only in their special land, lest they be influenced by the nations and their culture. On the other hand, even in Eretz Yisrael itself, Israel must separate themselves from that evil culture.

Regarding Eretz Yisrael [...], non-Jews are divided up into two groups. The first is non-Jewish nations who were in the Land when Israel arrived there to conquer and occupy it. The second is all the rest of the non-Jewish nations, including idolaters, descendants of Noah, and foreigners and alien residents. The Torah saw a twofold danger in the nations who dwelt in the Land before Israel arrived to conquer it, namely the seven Canaanite nations. On the one hand, like all the nations, the Canaanites constituted a spiritual danger to Israel, who had been commanded to establish a Divine, Torah-oriented state in Eretz Yisrael, isolated and set apart from the abominations of alien cultures.

Moreover, the Canaanites posed a unique danger in that they viewed Israel as conquerors who had taken their land. They would hate Israel forever and would forever dream of revenge and seek opportunities for reconquest.

Following is the great commentator Abarbanel (on Ex. 34:11-12, see top of article): Verses 11-12 inform us that since G-d is driving out the Amorites and the other nations, it is improper for Israel to forge a covenant with them. If a nobleman helps someone by fighting his battles and banishing his enemies, it is morally inappropriate for that person to make peace with them without that nobleman's permission. So, too, with G-d driving out Israel's enemies, it is inappropriate for Israel to forge a covenant with them, for that would profane G-d's glory.

This is especially so considering that this friendship and this covenant will not succeed. With Israel having taken their land, there is no doubt that they will constantly seek Israel's downfall. This is why it is said, “[the land] where you are coming.” Since Israel came to the land and took it from its inhabitants, and they feel that is has been stolen from them, how will they make a covenant of friendship with you? Rather the opposite will occur. “They will be a fatal trap for you.” When war strikes you, they will join your enemies and fight you.

How exalted and true are Abarbanel's words! This is the real reason for the approach taken by Halachah to the seven nations. G-d understood the mentality of these nations. He knew that they would view Israel as conquerors and thieves and would forever relate to them with resentment and hatred. The Torah explicitly commanded, at least regarding driving out the Land's inhabitants, because if they remains via a peace treaty, they will become “barbs in your eyes... causing you troubles in the Land.” (Num. 33:55. Not in vain are the words “yerushah” - inheritance, and “horashah”- driving out, so similar in Hebrew. G-d knew that without driving out the nations of the Land, the Land would not be an inheritance for them. Rashi explained the same way: (on Num, 33:52-53): “Vehorashtem”: Drive them out. “Vehorashtem et ha'aretz”: If you first “clear out the Land of its inhabitants”, then - “viyeshavtem bah” - you will be able to survive in it.

Otherwise, you will be unable to survive in it. And Or HaChaim writes (Ibid., v. 55): “They shall cause you troubles in the land” (Num. 33:55): Not only will they hold on to the part of the land that you have not taken, but the part which you have taken and settled as well. “They shall cause you trouble” regarding the part that you live in, saying, “Get up and leave it.”

Here is the plain truth before us, and it will defeat those who warp and distort the Torah. The Torah commanded us not to hesitate about annihilating the nations in the Land, lest they harbor enmity and seek revenge for Israel's taking the land they viewed as their own. Certainly, Israel did take it from them, but that has no importance, because G-d, Master of all the earth, promised the Jewish People – and them alone – the Land. G-d “uproots some inhabitants and brings in others” (Pesikta deRav Kahana, page 123). G-d uprooted the Canaanites and brought in Israel, “that they might keep His statutes and observe His laws. Praise the L-rd!” (Ps. 105:45).

It follows that those same laws that applied to the seven nations apply to all the nations that live in Eretz Yisrael in every age. This includes those of our day, who view Eretz Yisrael as their own land and soil, and who view the Jewish People as a nation of conquerors, robbers and thieves. That same danger looms over the Jewish People and its control over Eretz Yisrael in our time as then.

After all, what difference is there as far as G-d's warning that “those who remain shall be barbs in your eyes and thorns in your sides, causing you troubles in the Land” (Num. 33:55), between the seven nations and between any nation that dwells in the Land, views it as its own, and then Israel come and conquer it from them? Surely, it will feel that same hatred and that same fierce will for revenge as did the seven nations, as explained by Abarbanel (quoted above).

This logic appears already in Or HaChaim (on Num. 33:52): “You must drive out”: Although the verse said of the seven nations, “You shall not allow any people to remain alive” (Deut. 20:16), here, the Torah is talking about other nations found there besides the seven. It therefore was careful to say, “all the Land's inhabitants,” meaning, even those not of the seven.

Any fair and honest person, who has accepted G-d's yoke upon himself, knows from simple logic that this is the truth, that today's Ishmaelites – as far as their dwelling in the Land – are considered like the seven nations (and in this regard, lacking any reason to distinguish between the seven nations and others, the same laws apply).

As far as the seven nations, inhabitants of the Land, we learn (Jerusalem Talmud, Shevi'it 6:1): Joshua sent three proclamations to Eretz Yisrael before Israel entered the Land: “Whoever wishes to leave, should leave; to make peace, should make peace; to make war, should make war.”

Joshua gave the seven nations three choices: to leave the Land, to fight – and if so, to be killed – or to make
peace, via absolute surrender, with taxes, slavery and abandonment of idolatry, steps constituting an admission that the L-rd is G-d, Supreme King of Kings, that He has given their land, the Land of Canaan, to His people Israel, and that henceforth it is Eretz Yisrael. It seems clear that the possibility of “making peace” was given to these nations only before Israel entered the Land.

After all, if they agreed to peace only after Israel entered and began to be victorious and conquer the Land, then their overture was obviously insincere and motivated only by fear. We must then suspect that they are only waiting for the right moment to revolt.

Tosafot adds: The option to “make peace” must have only been available before Joshua began his first war. Rahab, too, accepted Judaism upon herself before they started the war. R. Yehuda and R. Shimon argued only about whether Canaanites outside the borders could be accepted afterwards.

Yet those within the Land could not be accepted once Joshua had started the war, and “You shall not allow any people to remain alive” applied to them. Their options were either to fight and die or to flee the Land. Once again, this was for the simple reason that we do not believe them, due to the clear, reasonable suspicion that those who fought and only after defeat proclaimed their desire to make peace, are not sincere. They are doing it only out of fear, because they have no choice. It is patently clear that for that same reason, we cannot tolerate the Ishmaelites' presence today in Eretz Yisrael. Not only did they not submit before the war began in which they were defeated, but they murdered, burnt and tried to wipe out the Jews who arrived in Eretz Yisrael years and decades beforehand. In this way they are no different form the seven nations.

Clearly, the Ishmaelites, too, think that Israel, who arrived in the Land and wished to establish a Jewish state there, are thieves. They, too, will always harbor resentment against Israel and will never resign themselves to us, but will await the “right moment” to rebel. As for their ostensibly having submitted nowadays, that is only out of fear and the inability to claim victory for the time being. Moreover, their “submission” lacks legal force, because according to G-d's decree, any non-Jew given the right to ask to live in Eretz Yisrael must accept hard and fast conditions in accordance with the Halachah, namely tribute and servitude.

This applies whether he is actually from the seven nations or classed as such (i.e. those in the Land before Israel arrived to take it from them), and assumes that he asks before war breaks out. It also applies where he is from another nation, i.e. from outside the Land. The reason for these conditions is both because of the danger he poses to Israel's security and the danger of his influencing Israel with his alien culture.

The conditions are as follows: 1) acceptance of the status of ger toshav, resident alien, with abandonment of idolatry and acceptance of the seven Noahide laws; 2) tribute 3) servitude. Because an argument has arisen among medieval scholars regarding [the status of] ger toshav, let us leave it aside until we explain the two others, tribute and servitude, regarding which all agree that without these, a non-Jew cannot live in Eretz Yisrael.

As the Torah explains, these two conditions are the main ones applying to the non-Jew who wishes to dwell in Eretz Yisrael, because these serve to ensure in advance the security of the Jewish commonwealth. Thus, either the enemy is banished or annihilated, or subjugated through tribute and servitude. This is why in Deuteronomy 20, where the Torah discusses the laws of conquest, it first sets forth these two conditions. If there is no security, Israel will be unable to establish a stable regime as a center of Torah and holiness. The question of peace in the Middle East is a question of the Arabs and the world acknowledging the total sovereignty of the Almighty. There can be no compromise on this. It is only a peace that comes with Arabs submitting to the yoke of the heavenly kingdom that will be a permanent one and the Jew who gives up part of his land as a compromise, violates the entire purpose of the rise of the Jewish State and the demand of the Almighty that the nations acknowledge Him as King. There can be no retreat from land because that is in essence a retreat also from the Kingship of the L-rd. No, not hatred of the other nations, but an understanding and deep assurance of belief that the Jews are indeed the blessed recipients of Divine truth; that that truth is a thing to be studied and acted upon and lived every moment of the Jew's life and that he and his children and theirs must live in a society of Divine holiness that is unique and untouched or influenced by the profanity and commonness of the other nations. Not hatred for others, but deep pride and thanksgiving that we are the Chosen.
Compiled by Tzipora Liron-Pinner from “The Jewish Idea” of Rabbi Meir Kahane, HY”D, last two paragraphs excerpted from an article (couldn't identify which) from Barbara Ginsberg's blog "Rabbi Meir Kahane's writings" and from Rabbi Kahane's "Uncomfortable questions for comfortable Jews".

17 April 2014

Shir HaShirim

18 Nisan 5774
Third Day of Chol Hamoed
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

With great thanks to G-d in honor of my "chai" year of aliyah on "chai" Nisan 5756.

"I am my Beloved's and my Beloved is mine."

Megilat Shir HaShirim is traditionally read on Shabbat chol hamoed Pesach. This is what the Artscroll Pesach Machzor says about it...

"Without question, King Solomon's Song of Songs, Shir HaShirim, is one of the most difficult books of Scripture - not because it is so hard to understand, but because it is so easy to misunderstand. Not only is it a love song, it is a love song of uncommon passion. No other book seems to be so out of place among the twenty-four books of prophecy and sacred spirit. Nevertheless, one of the greatest and holiest of all the Sages of the Talmud, Rabbi Akiva, said: 'All of the songs [of Scripture] are holy, but Shir HaShirim is holy of holies.' "

It is an allegory of the love between G-d and His people Israel.

14 April 2014

13 April 2014

"Seder Night: The Invitation"

13 Nisan 5774

Seder Night: the invitation
by Daniel Pinner

As befits a Jewish celebration, the master of the house introduces the Seder Night with an invitation: Ha lachma anya… This is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt; all who are hungry – let them come and eat!

This seems appropriate enough. After all, the Rambam defines how a Jew is supposed to celebrate a Festival – any Festival: “There is no rejoicing without meat and there is no rejoicing without wine. And when he eats and drinks he is obligated to feed ‘the convert and the orphan and the widow (Deuteronomy 16:11) together with other poor and unfortunate people. And he who locks the doors of his courtyard and eats and drinks, he and his sons and his wife, and does not give food or drink to the poor and the desperate – this is not the celebration of a mitzvah, but rather the celebration of his stomach. And about people like this, the Prophet said ‘their sacrifices will be like the bread of mourners for them, all who eat it are defiled, because their bread is only for themselves’ (Hosea 9:4). And a celebration like this is a disgrace for them, as the Prophet said: ‘I will scatter filth – the filth of your festive celebrations – on your faces’ (Malachi 2:3)” (Laws of Festivals 6:18).

The Mishnah Berurah (529:17), the Shulchan Aruch ha-Rav (Orach Chayim, Laws of Festivals 529:11), and the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (103:9) all say much the same as the Rambam.

So on the Seder Night, as on all Festivals, one is obligated to invite and feed the poor and indigent. So the invitation “all who are hungry – let them come and eat!” seems highly appropriate.

Yet there is something extremely strange about this invitation. Have you ever looked closely at the words and their inference? “This is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt; all who are hungry – let them come and eat!”. Doesn’t this sound like a somewhat meagre, stingy, even grudging invitation? The master of the house is saying: I’ve got a miserable piece of bread – but if you’re hungry it might do.

This is a serious invitation? Why not be a bit more generous? Why not, Soon we’re going to have a veritable feast: all who are hungry – let them come and eat! Wouldn’t that be a more generous, a more appropriate, a more welcoming invitation?

I suggest two answers here.

The first is that this “bread of affliction”, this miserable piece of bread that the Haggadah (and therefore the master of the house) mentions in this invitation, is the entire reason for this celebration. Without this humble matzah, without this flat, uninspiring, somewhat tasteless bread of affliction, there would be no festival and therefore no celebration to which to invite the poor and the lonely, no beautifully arranged table at which “the convert and the orphan and the widow” could recline and feast.

Let us see the context in which the Torah commands this. After commanding us to celebrate Pesach and Shavuot, the Torah continues: “You shall rejoice before Hashem your God – you and your son and your daughter, and your slave and your maidservant, and the Levite who is within your city gates, and the convert and the orphan and the widow who are in your midst, in the place wherein Hashem your God will choose to rest His Name; and you shall remember that you were a slave in Egypt, and you will keep and do these decrees” (Deuteronomy 16:11-12).

That is to say, this “bread of affliction” which is the remembrance “that you were a slave in Egypt”, is the sole reason that we celebrate, is the sole reason that we invite the convert and the orphan and the widow. Hence it is supremely appropriate that the Haggadah (and therefore the master of the house) begins the invitation, “This is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt; all who are hungry – let them come and eat!”.

The second answer is rooted in our earliest history. On the 15th of Nisan 2047, exactly 3,727 years ago, “Hashem appeared to [Abraham] in the pains of Mamre, when he was sitting at the entrance of the tent in the heat of the day” (Genesis 18:1). That was the day when three angels passed by Abraham’s tent, and Abraham invited them in to show them hospitality.

The chronology is simple enough: the angel promised Sarah that she would bear her son Isaac exactly one year hence (18:10), and the 400 years of Abraham’s seed living as “strangers in a land not their own” (15:13) began with the birth of Isaac and finished with the Exodus from Egypt. Since the Exodus occurred on the fifteenth of Nisan, Isaac was born 400 years to the day earlier, i.e. also on the fifteenth of Nisan. And since the angelic prophecy to Sarah was one year to the day before Isaac was born, this episode also happened on the fifteenth of Nisan.

We note however that according to the Midrashic commentary Yefeh Toar (Rabbi Shmuel Yaffe Ashkenazi, Turkey, 1525-1595), this happened on the 14th of Nisan: he interprets the phrase “pros ha-Pesach” (Bereishit Rabbah 48:12) to mean not “the season of Pesach” (the 15th of Nisan) but rather the second half of Pesach-eve (the 14th of Nisan), at the time when chametz is already forbidden.

Abraham invited the three men (whom he did not yet know to be angels) into his tent with the very modest words, “Let a little water be brought now for you to wash your feet, and rest under the tree; and I will bring bread for you to eat – and then pass on” (Genesis 18:4-5). In the event, Abraham told his wife Sarah to make cakes from three se’ah of flour; three se’ah is equivalent to about 25 litres (6½ US gallons), which gives an idea of the size of the feast that Abraham prepared. And this was just the appetizer! He also prepared an entire calf – a veritable feast fit for a king.

This is the paradigm for Shammai’s famous dictum, “say little and do much” (Pirkei Avot 1:15). Or, in the words of Rabbi Elazar, “From here we learn that tzaddikim say little and do much” (Bava Metzi’a 87a).

The Alshich ha-Kadosh (Rabbi Moshe Alshich, Israel, 1508–1593), following the idea that this was the day of Pesach, suggests that when Abraham told Sarah “Hasten – knead three se’ahs of meal, fine flour and make cake cakes” (Genesis 18:6), he was instructing her to hasten to complete the baking within 18 minutes, to prevent the dough from leavening. This was also the reason that he did not entrust the cooking to any of his servants.

Two of these angels in the form of men continued on their way to Sodom, there to warn Lot and his family of the impending annihilation of the metropolis. And that evening, in Sodom, Lot invited the two men into his house with an even more modest invitation than his uncle Abraham had extended earlier that day: “Behold now, my lords, turn aside please to your servant’s house; rest, wash your feet, get up early and go on your way” (Genesis 19:2).

Lot did not mention so much as a slice of bread or a cup of water. But when they reached his house, “he made a feast for them, and he baked matzot, and they ate” (verse 3).

And on the phrase “he baked matzot,” Rashi simply says: “it was Pesach”. (According to most understandings, it was the second night of Pesach; according to the Yefeh Toar cited above, it was the Seder Night.) This is an incredible tribute to Lot, putting him on the level of the Forefathers: just as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob kept the mitzvot before the Torah was yet given, so did Lot. And the fact is that Lot and his family merited to be saved from the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Both Abraham and Lot demonstrated tremendous self-sacrifice by inviting those men (who only later would be revealed as angels) into their respective homes, as Abraham was just recovering from his circumcision three days earlier, and Lot risked severe punishment for hosting foreign guests which was forbidden by Sodomite law. And both invited them in with very modest invitations, but later treated them to feasts.

So it is appropriate that we, year by year, begin our Seder service with a similarly modest invitation: “This is the bread of affliction which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt; all who are hungry – let them come and eat!”.

We begin with this modest, meagre, stingy, even grudging invitation. But like Abraham and Lot 3,727 years ago this night, we “say little and do much”. A veritable feast awaits.

11 April 2014

To The Holy Warriors of Yitzhar - Chazak!!

11 Nisan 5774
Erev Shabbat Hagadol

I intended to respond to a horrible op-ed regarding the horrendous events in Yitzhar this past week, but the more I thought about it, the more depressed I got, so I'm not going to do that. Hashem does not want to be hearing complaints from us: "Why are you crying out to me? Speak to the Children of Israel and let them journey forth." (Shemot 14:15)

Know that this, too, is all part of the plan and the process to bring the geulah shleimah. I want to encourage the Holy Warriors of Yitzhar to hold fast to Hashem and to each other and know that you have brothers and sisters all over the Land of Israel who empathize with your pain and who support your holy battle against the Erev Rav wholeheartedly.  Just continue to be strong and courageous and the Holy One, Blessed Be He, will rescue you and reward you for your faithfulness.  

We will rise up and they will be defeated!!
Shabbat Shalom~


11 Nisan 5774
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

Shabbat Hagadol - Before Redemption - Rabbi Meir Kahane

For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the wicked people and all the evildoers will be like straw... (Malachi 3:19) Behold, I send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and awesome Day of Hashem. And he will turn back [to G-d] the hearts of fathers with [their] sons and the hearts of sons with their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with utter destruction. (Malachi 3:23,24)

Then you will return and see the difference between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves G-d and one who does not serve Him. (Malachi 3:18) Before us, then, there is a fundamental principle regarding the future of the Jewish People:

Redemption can come by one of two ways. If we merit it, through repentance and deeds worthy of it – especially faith and trust in G-d, without fear of the non-Jew – it can come through G-d hastening it, quickly, immediately, “today, if we hearken to His voice”. Not only will it come quickly, but with glory and majesty, without the suffering or Messianic birth pangs of which both Ula and Rabbah said (Sanhedrin 98b), “Let it come without my seeing it”. If we do not merit this, however, then the Messiah will certainly come and the Redemption with him, but only later on, “in its time”. This redemption will be accompanied, G-d forbid, by the terrible suffering of Chevlei Mashiach, Messianic birthpangs.

We seem to have two contradictory redemption processes before us; [...] but there is no contradiction. Rather, both are possibilities. That is, either can happen, but not both. As for which it will be, that depends on the Jewish People and their deeds. If they prove worthy, they will merit redemption “in haste”, glorious and majestic, without Messianic birth pangs.

Otherwise, a different process will occur, a process that does not have to be – complete redemption through unparalleled suffering, and all because of our sins and our stubbornness. Only the blind and those who refuse to see will fail to understand that today we are right at the very heart of the Ikveta DeMeshicha, “the footsteps of the Messiah”, the beginning of the redemption. This State of Israel is the beginning of G-d's wrath against the nations who do not know Him and who have profaned His name with scorn and derision.

Yet, it is clear that a redemption whose beginning is based exclusively on redemption “in its time”, on, “I do not do this for your sake, O house of Israel” (Ezek. 36:22), on, “Not for your sake do I do this, says the L-rd G-d. Be it known unto you. Be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel (Ezek. 36:32) has concealed within it tragedies and Messianic suffering from the Supreme King of Kings; and whoever says that G-d concedes shall concede his life (Bava Kamma 50a).

There will be no “hasty” redemption (Isaiah 60:22), glorious and majestic, devoid of dreadful suffering, unless the Jewish people return to their Father in Heaven, accept His yoke, and chiefly, unless they trust in Him completely and are ready to sanctify His name through self-sacrifice. The redemption which began despite our sins in order to sanctify G-d's name before the nations in might and splendor, has, in the hands of an “ungrateful, unwise nation” (Deut. 32:6), turned into a profanation and a blasphemy carried out precisely by those whom G-d sought to redeem. If the beginning of the redemption and the state served to sanctify G-d's name, then the only way to move on to “hasty” redemption is to continue reinforcing the Kiddush Hashem which the state's very establishment constituted.

The Divine imperative is continued Kiddush Hashem through trusting in G-d, and liquidating the Chilul Hashem without fear of the non-Jew, without fear of flesh and blood. Every retreat, every submission, every concession to the non-Jew, every hand raised against the Jew, every attack, let alone murder, of a Jew in the Land, every taunt and curse by a non-Jew in the Land is a Chilul Hashem. Now, instead of continuing to reinforce the Kiddush Hashem process, the Jewish people retreat and profane G-d's name.

Whoever does not allow Jews to live everywhere in the Land, whoever ties their hands and prevents their taking the revenge of G-d and Israel against the nations who curse and revile G-d, profanes G-d's name and profanes the great miracle and the powerful dream realized by G-d at the start of the redemption.

A time will come when G-d sees that to the nations and most of Israel, it seems that “His power is gone” - He is impotent. He will see that for many Jews and non-Jews, He is “nothing”, non-existent, Heaven forbid. For many others who pay lip service to His existence, He will appear “hindered”, powerless to act, a king “caught in tresses” (Song of Songs, 7:7), without connection or relevance to the world. He will see that there are masses of Jews who keep rituals, who keep the practical mitzvot by rote, yet who in times of danger, at the moment of truth, abandon their faith and trust in G-d. For them, G-d will become like one “abandoned”, and no Chilul Hashem could be greater. G-d will then wish to sanctify His great name, transformed by faithless heretics to “nothing, hindered, and abandoned.”

Listen well, my friend, to a great axiom of redemption. Ostensibly, those who ridiculed the mourners of Zion, who mocked those who believed in redemption, were the nations. Clearly this is so, yet also countless Jews do not believe, and they ridicule those who look forward to redemption, and, in general, the whole concept of redemption and the Messiah.

Do not let your brother, friend or the rabbi to whom you feel closest lead you astray by saying that redemption will come without suffering or tragedy, for that is impossible without repentance and trust in G-d through bold deeds without fear of the nations.

Redak's quotation from Isaiah is part of the following (Isaiah 26:20-21):

Come, My people, enter your chambers and shut your doors behind you. Hide yourself for a brief moment until the wrath is past. For the L-rd shall leave His abode to punish the earth's inhabitants for their sin.

With this, G-d informs Israel that before redemption comes, before G-d leaves His abode to punish the nations for their sin, there will be a moment of wrath; that is, a period of wrath and suffering. This clearly is referring to the war of Gog and Magog.

Although it says, “Hide yourself for a brief moment”, and Redak commented that they would “suffer briefly”, woe to us for that brief moment, for it will include Jerusalem's conquest and accompanying atrocities, [...] and the nations' conquest of Eretz Israel for nine months, and in G-d's eyes, that, too will constitute just a “brief moment”. Who can measure the suffering and anguish which that moment will generate, if it comes through redemption “in its time”? All the same G-d, Who has control over time and place, has the power to transform that “moment” into a very short time, if redemption comes “in haste”. This is a major principle regarding the Messianic birthpangs, and we must not forget it. If Israel heed G-d's voice and follow in His ways, He will subdue Gog and Israel's enemies “kim'at”, like the kim'at rega, the “brief moment” of Isaiah 26:20. Then, redemption will come quickly and “forever”.

Return unto Me, and I will return unto you, says Hashem, Master of Legions… (Malachi 3:7) And this is a repetition of the same promise that is given in Zechariah 1:3, in a tremendous oath! The redemption will come to the extent that we long for it and demand it.

[Source: compiled by Tzipora Liron-Pinner from "The Jewish Idea" of Rabbi Meir Kahane HY"D]

10 April 2014

The Legacy of 'American Exceptionalism'

10 Nissan 5774

"[T]he marriage of young girls in Iraq became prevalent in the aftermath of the American invasion in 2003 when the American Occupation Authority suspended the Iraqi constitution and laws that set the legal punishment for the fathers and the bridegroom of young girls as long as life term in prison."

Iraq wants to lower marriage age to 9, legalize marital rape, ban women from leaving home

08 April 2014


9 Nisan 5774

Due to the crushing time constraints of cleaning and preparing for the holiday, I will not be posting on the regular schedule from now until the conclusion of Pesach.

Wishing all my readers a chag kasher v'sameach!

04 April 2014

Discussion with Moishela: "Stand Up And Say No"

4 Nisan 5774
Erev Shabbat Kodesh


Discussion with Moishela (with his family)
A Handicapped child
22 Adar 2 5774 (March 24, '14)

Stand Up And Say No

I want to tell you right here and now that between now and Pesach the world again will change somewhere around one hundred and eighty degrees. I know that if the human race has until now not paid too much attention to what is happening their eyes will open up and they will be scratching their heads or pulling their hair out and crying, depending where they live, and saying to themselves what has happened to this world? Are we living in a dream? Are we living in a Hollywood horror movie? What are we doing? What is happening? It is very thrilling to tell these predictions, these gruesome, terrible predictions, and then see them coming true, but it is not going to help us just to be afraid and to look at what is happening with wide eyes, not letting our minds try to understand, not letting our eyes give to our brains the understanding of the great complexity and depth of the destruction of this world that is happening now.

I know that only fear itself cannot bring a person to Teshuva, so let me explain to those of you who are real Jews, Jews with Jewish Neshomas that said Na'aseh Venishma under the mountain that Hashem raised over our heads at Har Sinai, I want to help you to come back to Hakodosh Boruch Hu, to trust Him that He is the Hakol Yachol, and that He will save us if we are with Him. It says in the Nevuas that two thirds of the world will be destroyed, one third completely, and one third will be in very bad condition, and one third will not be touched. Boruch Hashem, in that third that won't be touched is Eretz Yisroel. But we have to know how to understand all the amazingly horrific frightening things we are about to witness and we have to know when to rejoice upon seeing Moshiach, because if we do not know how to do Teshuva we will never be able to recognize Moshiach. Therefore, I want to give you some guidelines about how we have to live from this moment onwards and really we should have been living this way all the time and maybe we could have greeted Moshiach with more joy, with more happiness and without suffering so much.

Know, and believe, deeply that only Hashem is Hakol Yachol. No one, no Koach in the whole world, in all of existence can take His place, not our doctors and not our lawyers and not Social Security and not anyone can take His place. If we want a drink, it is not the grocery that is going to sell us a drink that is going to give us a drink. It's Hashem that gives us a drink. If we want to eat. The money that we earned isn't what gives us food. It's Hashem that gives us the money that gives us the food, and when we don’t have money, we beg Hashem to give us what to eat and He is also going to give us food. Do not worry. He is going to always be with us if we are with Him. You have to have total trust in Him in order to get by this next time in history. So trust in Hashem is the most important thing that we have to have in order to survive and greet Moshiach Tzidkainu.

Now we come to another aspect that we have to consider very seriously at this point in history and that is here in Eretz Yisroel, also in the world, but it's very pronounced now in Eretz Yisroel, there is a campaign going on to force the Frum Yidden to give up their Yiddishkeit. It's an evil consistent plan. The Knesset is passing one law after another that’s going to tell us that to be law abiding citizens we will have to agree to go to the Treif army where the lack of Kedusha is rampant. We're going to have to agree, Chas Vesholom, to let the Chilonim be in charge of Giur and Kedusha and Kashrus, Chas Vesholom. We are going to have to agree, Chas Vesholom, to all kinds of Gezairas they are going to try to force us to do to destroy our Yiddishkeit.

Their leaders are in a war against Hakodosh Boruch Hu which they can never win Be'ezras Hashem, but in order for us to survive we have to say "No we're not willing!" We're not willing for doctors to do the Bris Mila. We're not willing to eat from a Chiloni Hechsher etc. We are going to have to say no even if it endangers us. We are going to have to say no and we don’t have to be quiet about it and we are going to have to build our ghettoes and close ourselves in and make our own world where Torah rules, not a group of Edomim, Amalekim, and Erev Rav. We are Hashem's people. We must keep our Torah.

There are no compromises, not with the Goyim and not with the Erev Rav. We must say no and we must have Achdus. We don’t have to accept everybody for what they are. True we do on a certain level, but we don’t have to accept everybody that’s called a Jew and goes against Torah. We have to accept our brethren who are keeping Torah and not cause Machlokes between the Torah abiding Jews. We must not speak Loshon Hora or Rechilus or Motzi Shem Ra against Jews that probably were at Har Sinai, but when it comes to Jews who are going against the Torah and trying to force us to go against the Torah we have to treat them as total enemies because they are the enemies of Hashem and that makes them automatically our enemies and therefore we are going to have to trust Hashem and stand up and say no. And we know that by saying no all this nonsensical Gashmiusdik life we've been living here in the last thirty years is going to fall by the way and then we will have to trust only Hakodosh Boruch Hu which will be so hard for many people, but we are going to have to do it.

We are going to have to be willing to give up everything for our Torah. Many Jews have done this before us but we are a particularly spoiled generation and the idea of dying Al Kiddush Hashem, Shelo Naida, or living Al Kiddush Hashem which is more what Hashem is asking of us now, is very foreign. But the true Jew in one split second when he's put to the wall and they say to him "Eat Treif or we'll beat you," I am sure he will not eat Treif. If they take him and try to force him to do something against the Torah, I am sure he will take his beating, be put in jail, but will not go against the Torah. This will show who is a real Jew and who is an Erev Rav, who is willing to give up his regular life of what he thinks is security and a good Gashmiusdik level of life, willing to give it up for his Yiddishkeit. We're going to be asked to live Al Kiddush Hashem and therefore I'm telling you prepare yourselves. Also the Jews in Chutz Laaretz, you are also going to be asked to do that, only the Goyim will be even more vicious because the Goyim by nature are killers and Reshoim when it comes to Jews, not that we don’t have our share of Goyim, Erev Rav, and Amalaikim in Eretz Yisroel. We do have more than our share.

So, Am Yisroel, we are in a very difficult position, and this is the last time, the last time that we will be able to prove to Hashem that we are His Am Yisroel, and no one else will be so loyal to Him as we, and we will never, never ever even consider leaving His way.

When Moshiach comes Be'ezras Hashem life will be so totally different. Yes it's written that life will continue as usual. However I want you all to sit and think, think about it for a while, what would be life like without the Yetzer Hora and that’s what it's going to be, a life without the Yetzer Hora. Just imagine all the things during the day that you do that the Yetzer Hora pushes you to do because of your weaknesses and your fears, all kinds of things you say, all kinds of things you wish for, all kinds of things you think about without people knowing your thoughts. We do all kinds of things during our lives that are not up to our great standard and it's all from the Yetzer Hora pushing us, pushing us all the time, knowing our weak points and pushing us. Just think, just think very deeply what it will be like a life without the Yetzer Hora. When Moshiach comes, when the Geula arrives, Hashem is going to slaughter the Yetzer Hora and once you just think about this life without the Yetzer Hora then you will only begin to know what paradise we are going into. And as we live during the time of Moshiach we are going to go higher and higher spiritually, all our lives are going to be around growing spiritually because the higher we go the more Hana'ah (spiritual pleasure) we feel, the closer we get to our source and that is the greatest pleasure in the world.

Do you realize that Olam Habah, Gan Eden, Gehenom, Shelo Naida, is very very close to us. We just can't see it. It's not one hundred miles away or a thousand miles away or a million miles away. It's here, close to us. When we leave this world, we just slide into the other world. Some people have a hard time because they are so attached to this world, so it's hard for them to schlep themselves from this world to that world, but once we get there we are not far away. We're never far away from this world.

The way the next world is going to be I can only tell you in a very small way. We have millions of dimensions. We know three dimensions, but we know there are millions and millions of dimensions that Hashem has created. As we move from this world to the world of Moshiach, we are going to go into a new dimension because this world that we are in now is also only an illusion. The stars the moon the planets etc., they are creations of Hakodosh Boruch Hu for our benefit during these thousands of years that we exist as human beings upon this earth, and when we are finished with this world that we know now, this part of this creation, we will go into another realm, another dimension. It still will be a familiar dimension because still it will be something close to where we were.

But if you only think about it, the human beings of today with what happened in Japan with the nuclear explosion in Fukushima that’s poisoning the whole Pacific Ocean and beyond, how can we live in a world that will probably have some kind of nuclear war and all kinds of destruction that we can't control? Even if Eretz Yisroel is not touched, still it will affect the whole entire world. I laugh at all the countries that want to send space ships to mars and all these places. What are they doing? They are just building a Migdal Bavel. It's ridiculous. There's nowhere they can go. It's only a backdrop. Its only scenery that Hashem created in our world, so this play that we are acting in can go on and be understood and get to its point and get to its Tikkun, but now we are going to move into a new dimension a dimension of spirituality above materialism and in this world we're going to revel in the heat the warmth of the Or Hakodosh. We're going to rise and rise higher and higher and closer and closer to our source, but that’s only the beginning and it's going to go on and on for eternity, continual pleasure. It certainly will be better than the suffering that we have suffered throughout the Golus, and also throughout even the better times from Avrohom Ovinu till the Churban of the second Bais Hamikdosh. It wasn’t easy ever and this won't be easy either, but it will be without suffering. We'll want to go higher. We will desire to go higher, and we will go higher.

I am so longing for that time, longing to finally achieve that closeness with Hashem.