30 September 2015

Binyamin Golden on Current Events

17 Tishrei 5776
2nd Day Chol HaMoed Sukkot

(Excerpted from "Yankele, Get Up! The House Is On Fire!" - 7 Tishrei 5776)

Q. We're two days before Yom Kippur - how can we 'understand the message' that Hashem wants to give us, and to change our whole life to the right direction?

A. In Israel, we feel problems much more than the Americans, the Jewish Americans. Here, we feel "the sword on our neck", it's not just that there are so many Russians in Syria, and the 'generous' Putin said in his goodness that he's ready to take responsibility for guarding the gas facilities found at sea, he'll protect this whole facility with his soldiers and he'll also want to invest in it. So what does this say? It says that he wants to take over here. And aside from this our government is together with them, but it's also, in general, not our government, as there are Jews who are already seeing and feeling. Because there are those who are simply confused, not paying attention, and now are beginning to feel that it's not just that they erred. And also, there are so many financial problems already, and all over the world - it's all shaking financially, and you don't know how hard it's going to be in the world, how difficult will be the largest financial downfall that ever was in history. So, whoever will approach to do teshuvah in a serious way, we just need to arrive to the beit knesset, or at home for women who don't go, and just open our heart, to speak with our Father, to begin to cry, to allow a possibility, to try and at the moment that we try - Hashem will open our heart for us, and then we will cry, and we will feel how the tears bring down the barriers, dissolve the barriers, and then a person can come very close to HKB"H. And He will give us this possibility this coming Yom Kippur. And by next Yom Kippur - the world will be turned upside down, it will be turned completely upside down, something else. And not by next Yom Kippur, by Kislev - let's say, I don't know exactly when, but it's another little bitty bit. It won't take much time. And we won't have many opportunities to do teshuvah like this. One of the possibilities - it's now on Yom Kippur. Afterwards, there will also be times that Hashem will accept it, but it appears to me that for the majority it's until Hoshanah Rabbah.

29 September 2015

GoguMagog on Hoshanah Rabbah?

16 Tishrei 5776
1st Day Chol Hamoed

I wanted just to kick back and enjoy the holidays. I even put up my little sukkah sign to hold the fort til I came back to blog after the holiday was finished. However, unprecedented events make me believe it's necessary to publish this as an emergency post.

You see, I'm convinced that we've been in WW3 for 14 years and that it's very possible that it could culminate in the GoguMagog invasion of Eretz Yisrael as soon as this Hoshanah Rabbah - in six days' time. 

My thanks to an anonymous commenter on Dov Bar-Leib's blog who posted this link of Rabbi Daniel Glatstein bringing all the GoguMagog sources together: Hoshana Raba: Gog U’Magog And World War Three

Contrary to what we have heard recently, but in keeping with what the Chofetz Chaim reportedly said about the three world wars being three wars of GoguMagog, I think there is ample evidence to suggest that we have already been in World War Three since Hoshanah Rabbah 5762!
"War on Terrorism"
After the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the Bush administration declared a worldwide "war on terror," involving open and covert military operations, new security legislation, efforts to block the financing of terrorism, and more. Washington called on other states to join in the fight against terrorism asserting that "either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists." Many governments joined this campaign, often adopting harsh new laws, lifting long-standing legal protections and stepping up domestic policing and intelligence work.
See video: President Bush's Declaration of War (WW3!)

It began with Al Qaeda and is now culminating with ISIS. It began with Afghanistan and has now reached the northern border of Eretz Yisrael! 
Putin warns Israel off targeting Iranian targets in Syria
Russia and Israel are on a collision course: While Israel views Gen. Azadi as a menacing adversary, Putin regards him as part of the Russian-Iranian axis in Syria and wants Israel to keep its hands off him. This point is of such paramount importance to the Russian leader’s plans for Syria that he made a big deal of it at the highest international forum - almost as a sequel to his first meeting with President Obama in more than a year.
He was signaling strongly that the arrangement for the Russian and Israeli armies to coordinate their operations in Syria is unworkable and he was losing patience with Israel’s “security concerns” in so far as they impeded his plans with Iran for Syria.
DEBKAfile’s military sources add: The Syrian rocket fire Friday and Saturday was not in fact “errant” as the IDF spokesman maintained. The rockets were fired on the orders of Iranian Brig. Azadi as a demonstration that Israel’s warning to Putin was a waste of time and he meant to go forward with his operation regardless. Netanyahu and Ya’alon conveyed their message of resistance to this operation by instructing the IDF to hit back with the Tamuz rocket, a system powerful enough to give the other side pause and present Putin with an unforeseen complication in his Syrian venture.
See also: Putin 'worried' by Israeli strikes in Syria

The situation with the Temple Mount may very well become the spark that ignites the conflagration as Prophet Zechariah warns in the haftarah of Sukkot. Arab MKs are making provocative speeches and threats from the Temple Mount itself. Arab fury over 'Al Aqsa' has resulted in not only ongoing riots on the Mount, but unprecendented attacks upon Jews in the Old City making their way to the Western Wall. And demonstrations are spreading across the country with calls to "Save Al Aqsa!"

We still have six days to go and anything can happen.

If you come across anything that seems to add to this progression towards GoguMagog, please post it in the comments section below.

~Moadim l'simchah!~

27 September 2015

Sukkot 5776

14 Tishrei 5776
Erev Chag Sukkot

Redemption On Sukkot? We're Closer Than Ever!

14 Tishrei 5776
Erev Sukkot

My table now bears 16 fresh challah rolls, a sweet noodle kugel, a basket of chocolate-chip pumpkin cookies, and a fresh peach cobbler. A chickpea-tomato-olive salad is in the fridge and I only have lamb kabobs left to cook. That's my contribution, along with a bottle of Nin'veh wine, to the holiday meals at my son's sukkah.

Here is something to listen to while you finish whatever yummies you are cooking up this afternoon!

Chag Sukkot sameach!!

Ya'akov Avinu left this world on Sukkot and what did he want to do on the last day of his life? He wanted to reveal the keitz to his sons. "It's obvious that gilui hakeitz is on Sukkos! ...The Vilna Gaon said that Milchemet Gog uMagog would happen on Hoshana Rabbah in the last three hours!"

May this truly be our Zeman Simchateinu with the geulah shleimah!!

Have We Reached The End Of The Yishmaelite Exile?

14 Tishrei 5776
  Erev Sukkot

Commenter Elliot pointed out the following regarding Thursday's stampede during the Islamic Hajj: "Check out today's portion of Chumash with the news from Saudi Arabia; verse 35 'Yom Eidam'; incredible!"

He's referring to Devarim 32:35 of Parshat Ha'azinu...

לִי נָקָם וְשִׁלֵּם לְעֵת תָּמוּט רַגְלָם כִּי קָרוֹב יוֹם אֵידָם וְחָשׁ עֲתִדֹת לָמוֹ

"Vengeance is poised with Me, and it will pay at the time their foot stumbles. For the appointed day of their reckoning is near, and what is destined for them hastens".

Last day of Hajj shadowed by grief
What should have been a day of celebration Saturday was tempered by grief as millions of Muslims marked the final day of Hajj without hundreds of fellow worshipers.
At least 769 people were killed in a stampede in Mina, Saudi Arabia, on Thursday, according to Saudi state-run SPA news agency. Another 934 people were injured.
Saudi officials say they're investigating what caused hundreds of pilgrims to get trampled.
Their "appointed day" is called "eidam" in the Chumash and the holiday they were celebrating is one of two on their calendar called "Eid". The pasuk says "at the time their foot stumbles" and people were trampled.

I would go further. I would include the next pasuk which says...

כִּי יָדִין יְהֹוָה עַמּוֹ וְעַל עֲבָדָיו יִתְנֶחָם כִּי יִרְאֶה כִּי אָזְלַת יָד וְאֶפֶס עָצוּר וְעָזוּב:

When Hashem will have judged His people, He shall relent regarding His servants, when He sees that enemy power progresses, and none is saved or assisted.

This happened the day after Yom Kippur when Hashem had finished judging His people Israel.

I checked and although there have been similar incidents at the Hajj in the past, only one had more fatalities and none of them had taken place any time around Yom Kippur.

Let's hope this really is a reflection of where we stand in relation to the events described in Parshat Ha'azinu, because this is what is next...

"O nations - sing the praises of His people, for He will avenge the blood of His servants; He will bring retribution upon His foes, and He will appease His Land and His people."

[For a much better and more detailed presentation of this idea, please see Yeranen Yaakov's blog.]

~Ken, yehi ratzon! Chag Sukkot Sameach!~

Pushing the One-World-Religion

14 Tishrei 5776
  Erev Sukkot

The pope joined several other religious leaders inside the National
September 11 Memorial & Museum for a prayer service for the 9/11 victims
"Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove, Ph.D., began his tenure at Park Avenue Synagogue in 2008. A leading voice in the Conservative Movement,..."

Pope Francis, center, looks on as Rabbi Elliot Cosgrove, left, shakes
hands  with Imam Khalid Latif, right, during the interfaith ceremony on Friday

...In holding a multi-religious ceremony at the site, the pope said he hopes that this will send a message to the world that members of all beliefs and races can live peacefully together, despite their differences.

'For all our differences and disagreements, we can live in a world of peace.

'In the face of every attempt to make us uniform, we can and must build unity on the basis of our diversity of languages, cultures and religions, and raise our voices against anything that would stand in the way of such unity.

'Together we are called to say "no" to every attempt to make us the same, and "yes" to accepting diversity and reconciliation,' the pope said.

Pope Francis said that the only way to achieve this peace was to 'rid from our hearts all feelings of hate.'

He then called for a few moments of silence to pray for peace. (Source)


Pope Francis Assembles a Squad to Fight Religious Extremism

Two days after Yom Kippur, Pope Francis stood behind a Jewish cantor and listened to him pray. At least one priest chanted along as Azi Schwartz sang oseh shalom at the 9/11 memorial in New York City....

This was striking moment, and not because the singing sounded like a Gregorian chant, as one Catholic News Agency commentator clumsily observed several times. Though the pope’s visit clearly served as the impetus for the gathering, he wasn’t really the star; he listened solemnly as roughly a dozen Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, Jewish, and Christian leaders offered prayers and reflections in commemoration of the September 11 attacks.

...This was a memorial gathering, but it was also a protest against religious extremism. And it was all the more fascinating because of its pluralism: religious leaders who are deeply committed to their version of metaphysical truth, but who have found a common enemy in extremism.

Opposition to “fundamentalism” and “ideology” has been a consistent Francis theme, both during his trip to the United States and before. “No religion is immune from forms of individual delusion or ideological extremism,” he said during his speech to the U.S. Congress on Thursday. “Nationalistic or falsely universalist ideologies … [are] capable of perpetrating tremendous atrocities,” he said during his speech to the United Nations on Friday. This is directed inwardly as much as outwardly; Francis has warned Christians against being “rigid” in their beliefs. But it’s also clearly a sentiment specific to our time, when religion is sometimes associated with beheadings and terrorist attacks and extreme violence.

What A Target!

14 Tishrei 5776
  Erev Sukkot

The 2015 Global Citizen Festival

The lineup for the 2015 Global Citizen Festival is out! Get excited for Pearl Jam, Beyoncé, Ed Sheeran and Coldplay. On September 26th, they will be joining 60,000 global citizens on the Great Lawn in New York City’s Central Park. And you can be there.

What is this symbol? ...the outline of a "blood moon"?


Pope Francis will be off to Philadelphia from Manhattan on Saturday with his message of good will, but a small army of activists, world leaders and celebrities will be doing their part at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park.

Sixty thousand fans are expected at the free, but ticketed all-day concert with headliners Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, Beyoncé and Pearl Jam. The seven-hour extravaganza on the Great Lawn is being held to call on world leaders to establish a program that will wipe out extreme poverty by 2030. Around 8 p.m. First Lady Michelle Obama will reveal a new public engagement campaign hosted by Girl Rising, in support of the Let Girls Learn initiative, which aims to help 62 million girls around the world, half of whom are not enrolled in school.

Presenting partner Gucci and the Chime for Change campaign will make its presence known, thanks in part to the latter’s cofounder Salma Hayek Pinault. The actress will serve as a lead host with Stephen Colbert, Deborra-Lee Furness, Hugh Jackman, Kerry Washington and Olivia Wilde. (Gucci’s chief executive officer Marco Bizzarri will also make an appearance on stage.) H&M Conscious Foundation Acting Global Manager Maria Bystedt will also be representing the fashion crowd, as her employer is among GCF’s partners.

GCF host committee members like Usher, Katie Holmes, Freida Pinto, Laverne Cox, Bill Nye, Shantell Martin, Gayle King and Sophia Bush will be backstage at the Global Citizen Action Hub, using social media to encourage fans to actually act.

Attendees will hear from a lineup of speakers including Bill and Melinda Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Sir Richard Branson, Bono, Wikipedia’s Jimmy Wales, Leonardo DiCaprio and AOL’s Tim Armstrong. Also speaking will be Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, United Nations secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon, World Bank Group president Dr. Jim Yong Kim, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, Jordan’s Queen Rania Al Abdullah, the Prime Minister of Luxembourg Xavier Bettel and the Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat.

As the exclusive broadcast partner, MSNBC will have Willie Geist, Thomas Roberts, Alex Wagner, and Janet Mock camped out in Central Park for seven hours of coverage. The festival is being televised and live-streamed via MSNBC from 3 p.m. until 10 p.m.

Even though GCF focuses on giving, not receiving, attendees will be able to buy limited-edition GCF headliner T-shirts in pop-up shops in Central Park, but only 1,600 will be available. Those who miss out can also find 5,000 official festival T-shirts on-site and online. Sales of these items will benefit The Global Poverty Project. (Source)

26 September 2015

The World Just Turned Upside Down!

14 Tishrei 5776
Motzaei"sh - Erev Sukkot

Look what's happened and note how quickly it has come together. Astounding!

China joins Russian buildup in Syria, sends carrier

You just have to go there and see the whole thing. No wonder we keep being told not to be afraid!

25 September 2015

Parshat Ha'azinu 5776

12 Tishrei 5776
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

(Excerpts from the Stone Chumash Parshah commentary:)

This is the "Song" of which Moses spoke in the previous chapter. In it, Moses called heaven and earth to bear witness to the calamities that will befall Israel if it sins - and the ultimate joy that will come with the final redemption.

Since the nature of a song is to express recognition of the total harmony of Creation..., it often mixes past, present, and future, for everything is revealed to the prophet as a total reality in which there is no conflict, and in which future and past events are not only in harmony, but clarify one another. Thus everything is melded as if it were all happening at the same time (R' Gedaliah Schorr).


"When He separated the children of man... according to  the number of the Children of Israel."

After the Flood, when all people who survived lived together and tried to build the Tower of Babel..., God decided to scatter them. He divided them into seventy languages and separate nations, corresponding to the number of the Children of Israel, i.e., the seventy members of Jacob's family who would later descend to Egypt (Rashi). The connotation is that when the nations at large forfeited their opportunity to be the bearers of God's mission for humanity, He substituted Israel for them and made the number of Jewish families parallel to the number of primary national groups. This illustrates that God ordered history in consonance with the needs of Israel, for it stands to reason that if Jews were to be the ones who would carry out God's designs for history, the conditions of human experience should enable them to do so. As the next verse explains, Israel - His people - is God's portion on earth.

~Shabbat shalom~

24 September 2015

This Will Blow Your Mind

12 Tishrei 5776

A popular movie made in 1985 - "Back to the Future" - appears to predict the fall of the Twin Towers on September 11 and the destruction of the Freedom Tower that replaced them on October 4, 2015 (Hoshanah Rabbah). Here is a clip from a longer video about how the NWO encodes their plans in popular films. It's very convincing, but anyway we don't have long to wait to find out if they are right. Btw, I've seen this movie several times over the years and I never noticed these details. I'd be interested in hearing what you think about it, unless it's a complaint.

23 September 2015

Next Up - Sukkot!

11 Tishrei 5776

Mashiach must really be here if Yom Kippur at my beit knesset is anything to go by. Joy! Joy! Joy! Above and beyond anything in memory. Todah rabah Hashem!!! We love You!!!

And let the sukkah-building begin!! Sounds of Sukkot in Eretz Yisrael motzaei Yom Kippur

Motzaei Yom Kippur news: "Yom Kippur Passes Without Incident"  Baruch Hashem!!

21 September 2015

Days of Awe

9 Tishrei 5776
Erev Yom Kippur

In The End Of Days - Gog uMagog

8 Tishrei 5776

It looks more and more like Russia is going to turn out to be Magog allied with Persia, etc. and that even now they are positioning themselves for an invasion of Eretz Yisrael. Of course, they could sit there for awhile before they make that decision. But, there is no denying the implications of what is happening there right now...

Netanyahu in quick summit with Putin under cloud of Russian S-300 anti-air missiles for Syria

On Saturday, Sept. 19, just two days before Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the presidential dacha outside Moscow, troops at the Russian base outside the coastal Syrian city of Latakia were seen preparing to deploy batteries of advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missiles. Their presence in Syria will raise major questions, one of which is this: against which air power are they deployed, given the fact that the Islamic State has no air force.

...The Russians say they are building up military strength in Syria to fight ISIS. But neither ISIS nor any other regional power poses an air threat to the Russian deployment. So the state-of-the-art air defense missile delivered to Syria, to which Iran too has access, does pose a threat to Israel’s security.

Its deployment in Syria appears to signal that Putin has a long game for his military buildup in Syria - far-reaching that it would appear. Each day brings news of more Russian forces arriving in Syria.

אחרית הימים!לסרט המלא - הכרטיס לחיי הנצח!---> https://youtu.be/yLuiUiTtHqM
Posted by ‎הרב יוסי מזרחי Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi‎ on Sunday, September 20, 2015

20 September 2015

A Hidden Message in Parshat Vayeilech

7 Tishrei 5776

As shared on Mashiach Ben David's facebook page:

Dear Jews, In the parshah of the week that now passed, it is revealed explicitly that in the future to occur on the Sukkot holiday...

"At the end of seven years, at an appointed time, in the Festival of Succoth, [after] the shmittah year,...."



"Approaching Day Which Is Neither Day Nor Night"

7 Tishrei 5776

"World War III - Who Will Be Blamed?"

7 Tishrei 5776

18 September 2015

Parshat Vayeilech 5776

5 Tishrei 5776
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

Parashat Vayeilech: When leaders of Israel die...
by Daniel Pinner

Dedicated to the memory of Gershon Melech (Gary) Cooperberg z"l, resident of Kiryat Arba and a regular worshipper in the Machpelah Cave for decades, longtime fighter for the Torah and the Land of Israel, who passed away in the first few hours of the New Year 5776. “Tzaddikim, even in their deaths, are still called alive” (Berachot 18a).

This year Parashat Vayeilech is read alone, and is not combined with Parashat Nitzavim; this happens on average in about 40% of years. When Parashat Vayeilech is read alone, it is invariably on the first Shabbat of the year.

Parashat Vayeilech contains the two final mitzvot of the Torah:

The 612th mitzvah is the mitzvah of Hak’hel: every seven years, at the close of the Shmitta Year (which means this month, since the year 5775 which just finished a few days ago was a Shmitta Year), on the second day of Sukkot, when all Israel are in Jerusalem for the Pilgrimage, they assemble to hear the Torah being read (Deuteronomy 31:10-13).

And the 613th mitzvah is that every Jew must write his own Sefer Torah, which the Talmud (Sanhedrin 21b) derives from Deuteronomy 31:19, and which is brought as practical halachah by the Rambam (Mishneh Torah, Laws of Tefillin, Mezuzah and Sefer Torah 7:1), by the Shulchan Aruch (Yoré De’ah 270:1), the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (28:1), and other Halachic codifiers.

These final two mitzvot on the Torah guarantee not only that the Jewish nation as a whole will study and learn Torah; they guarantee also that they will transmit the Torah to the next generation, who will in turn study and transmit it to the next generation, and so on down all generations until the end of all generations.

With these two mitzvot, Moshe completed his mission. This was his final day in this world; he was 120 years old (Deuteronomy 31:2, 34:7), and he had enough time left – just a few final hours – to teach his final Song to the Children of Israel (Deuteronomy 32:1-43). And then he climbed Mount Nevo where he died (32:48-49, 34:1), and there God Himself buried him in an unknown grave in an unknown location (34:6).

Moshe had fully earned himself the title “Rabbeinu” – “our Master” or “our Teacher”. The Torah itself testifies that it itself is called by Moshe’s name: “The Torah which Moshe commanded us is the heritage of Congregation of Jacob” (Deuteronomy 33:4).

The Midrash (Mechilta de-Rabbi Yishma’el, Beshallach, Masechet de-Shira 1; Mechilta de-Rabbi Shimon bar Yochay 15; Tanhuma, Beshallach 10) expands this idea: “Moshe gave his very soul for the Torah, and it is called by his name, as it says ‘Remember the Torah of My servant Moshe’ (Malachi 3:22)”. And Moshe Rabbeinu, by his example and teaching, inspired countless Jews throughout the generations to give their very souls for the Torah.

The Talmud (Menachot 29b) records that “when Moshe ascended into the heights, he found God sitting and tying crowns onto the letters [the ‘crowns’ which adorn certain letters in the Torah-scroll], and he asked Him: Sovereign of the Universe! Who holds back Your hand? [i.e., Is what You have written not sufficient, that You have to add crowns? – Rashi ad. loc.]. He replied to him: There is a certain man who will be at the end of several generations, whose name is Akiva, son of Joseph, who will in the future expound mountains upon mountains of halachah on every tiniest crown. He said to Him: Sovereign of the Universe! Show him to me! He said to him: Turn around! He turned and sat behind the eighth row [of Rabbi Akiva’s students]. He did not understand what they were talking about, which threw him into turmoil. But when they reached a certain subject, his students asked him: ‘How do you know this?’, and he told them: ‘It is a halachah given to Moshe at Sinai’. And then his mind was set at ease. He returned to God, and asked Him: Sovereign of the Universe! You have a man like this – yet You give the Torah by my hand?! He said to him: Be silent, for such is My decision”. This was Rabbi Akiva who, too, gave his very soul for the Torah.

The Talmud recounts how Akiva, the ignorant, unlettered, illiterate shepherd, began his transformation into Rabbi Akiva, the Torah-giant:

“He was 40 years old, and had never learned anything. One day he stood at the mouth of a well, and he asked: Who wore away this stone? They told him: The water which constantly drips on it, day by day... Immediately, Rabbi Akiva extrapolated from this, applying the lesson to himself: If this soft [water] can carve out the hard [rock], then how much more so can words of Torah, which are hard as iron, carve out my heart which is flesh and blood! He immediately started studying Torah; he and his son went and sat with the teachers of the small children, and Rabbi Akiva said: Rabbi, teach me Torah!... He wrote the alphabet for him, and he learnt it... He went on to study the Book of Leviticus, and continued studying until he had learnt the entire Torah. He then went to Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua and said to them: My masters – introduce me to the system of the Mishnah!... And thus did Rabbi Eliezer and Rabbi Yehoshua [teach] Rabbi Akiva. Rabbi Tarfon said to him: Akiva – the Tanachic verse ‘he binds up the rivers so that they do not leak out, and that which is hidden he brings out into light’ (Job 28:11) speaks of you! Things which were hidden from people, Rabbi Akiva brought out into light... He was 40 years old when he went to learn Torah, and after 13 years he taught Torah to the masses” (Avot de-Rabbi Natan 6:2).

It was Rabbi Akiva who elucidated the words of the Shema: “A person must bless over the bad just as he blesses over the good, as it says ‘You shall love Hashem your God with all your heart’ (Deuteronomy 6:5)… ‘And with all your soul’ – even though He takes your soul” (Berachot 54a).

And later, when the Romans enacted decrees forbidding any Jew from teaching Torah, it was Rabbi Akiva who flouted those decrees and publicly taught Torah. Papos, son of Yehudah, counselled Rabbi Akiva caution: “Are you not afraid of the government?!”

Rabbi Akiva answered him with a parable: “A fox was walking along the river-bank, and he saw the fishes darting around. He said to them: What are you fleeing from? They said to him: From the fishing-nets that people cast to catch us. He said to them: Do you want to come up to dry land, and then we – I and you – will live together just as my ancestors lived together with your ancestors? They said to him: Aren’t you supposed to be the cleverest [in the sense of wiliest] of all animals? You’re not clever – you’re an idiot! If in the place wherein we live we are afraid, then in a place wherein we die how much more afraid will we be!”

And Rabbi Akiva concluded: “Thus is it with us: Now we sit and study Torah, of which it is said ‘it is your life and the length of your days’ (Deuteronomy 30:20); is we go and abandon it – how much more will our lives be in danger!” (Berachot 61b).

Sure enough, not long after this the Roman authorities arrested both Rabbi Akiva and Papos, and both were held together in a cell awaiting execution.

“Rabbi Akiva exclaimed: ‘Papos! Who brought you here?’ He replied: ‘How fortunate you are, Rabbi Akiva, that you were caught for the Torah! Woe unto Papos, who was caught for worthless matters!’” (ibid.).

Rabbi Akiva was sentenced to execution; and as the Roman executioner was raking his skin off with iron combs the sun rose, whereupon Rabbi Akiva cried out: “Shema Yisra’el – Hear O Israel, Hashem is our God, Hashem is One!”

His disciples exclaimed: “Our Rabbi! – Even now?!”
He told them: “My entire life I was troubled by the verse, ‘You shall love Hashem your God…with all your soul’, which I interpreted to mean ‘even though He takes your soul’. I said: When will I ever have the opportunity to fulfil this? And now that I have the opportunity – shall I not fulfil it?!” (ibid.).

The Seder ha-Dorot cites a tradition that he was born in 3760 (1 B.C.E.) and was martyred in 3880 (119 C.E.). The Shulchan Aruch (Orach Chaim 580:2) records a tradition that Rabbi Akiva was arrested by the Romans on the 5th of Tishrei – 1,896 years ago this Friday.

On the words “and Moshe was 120 years old at his death” (Deuteronomy 34:7), the Midrash expounds: “He was one of four people who died at 120 years of age: Moshe, Hillel the Elder, Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai, and Rabbi Akiva. Moshe was in Egypt for 40 years, and in Midian for 40 years, and sustained Israel for 40 years... Rabbi Akiva began to learn Torah at age 40 years, and ministered to the Sages for 40 years, and sustained Israel for 40 years” (Sifri, Parashat Vezot Haberachah 357:7, and compare Bereishit Rabbah 100:10).

Rabbi Akiva (whose cruel death happened at this time of the year) and Moshe (whose death we read of at this season of the year), both dedicated their very souls to the Torah. Both transmitted the Torah to their own generations and to countless future generations.

Both are our inspiration today, leading us to ever-greater heights.

~Shabbat shalom~

17 September 2015

Brachot for Mashiach

4 Tishrei 5776

Getting ready to greet Mashiach Tzidkeynu...

The six blessings to be said on seeing Mashiach:

1. Baruch Atah Hashem, Elokeynu Melech Ha'Olam ga'al Yisrael.
   (Praising Hashem for redeeming Israel.)

2. Baruch Atah Hashem, Elokeynu Melech Ha'Olam shehecheyanu v'keyemanu v'higiyanu lazeman hazeh.
   (Praising Hashem for allowing us to live to see this moment.)

3. Baruch Atah Hashem, Elokeynu Melech Ha'Olam shechalak mechoch'mato leyire'av.
   (Praising Hashem on seeing an outstanding Torah scholar.)

4. Baruch Atah Hashem, Elokeynu Melech Ha'Olam shechalak mekevodo leyire'av.
   (Praising Hashem on seeing a king.)

5. Baruch Atah Hashem, Elokeynu Melech Ha'Olam chacham harazim.
   (Praising Hashem on seeing more than 600,000 Jews gathered in one place.)

6. Baruch Atah Hashem, ELokeynu Melech Ha'Olam HaTov v'HaMetiv.
   (Praising Hashem "Who is good and Who does good".)

16 September 2015


4 Tishrei 5776

(Found on Facebook)

1. Mashiach is really, really at the door.

2. Soon there will be a sounding of the great shofar and there
 will be a great confusion from it. Don't be confused or afraid.

3. Be ready with the blessings that we say when seeing the Mashiach,
and say Shehechiyanu and Goel Yisrael.

Understanding Tzom Gedaliah

3 Tishrei 5776
Tzom Gedaliah

Sometimes it's a mitzvah to speak lashon hara. We have to learn when it's forbidden and when it's allowed. The lesson of Tzom Gedaliah is that to forbid it when it's necessary can bring horribly tragic results.

Terrible Chillul Hashem Unfolds
By Rabbi Yair Hoffman for Five Towns Jewish Times

The following is a true record of events regarding an institution that is close to our hearts. The institution was located in a community where many of our children currently reside. It is a most unfortunate story.

Read the rest HERE and have an easy, meaningful and successful fast.

13 September 2015

SPECIAL MESSAGE: "In The End You Will Repent"

29 Elul 5775
Erev Rosh Hashanah

I meant for my New Year's greeting to be the last post of the old year, but this just has to be seen asap. I'm only half way through reading it, but I knew it had to be publicized. If this is the future, there's hope for us yet. (Not that I ever doubted it.) It's like having Rabbi Kahane back! Enjoy!

Here's wishing Meir Ettinger and all the political prisoners of true Zion a year of jubilee and redemption and may all of our fondest dreams and wishes and prayers for it be answered positively and without any further delays! Amen!

Meir Ettinger’s words to the Court: In the end you will repent

(The following are the words of Meir Ettinger said during his hearing on Sep. 10th, 2015. This hearing was the third and final hearing that the court will hear before officially approving his administrative detention. It is important to note that receiving the approval of the court is a mere formality for administrative detention and does not involve an actual trial.)

I would like to speak before the court and have my words recorded in the minutes. At the same time, I reiterate that this is not because I recognize the authority of this court. I don’t recognize the validity of laws that are against the Torah and I see no reason to defend myself against accusations based on false laws that were created by man today and will be changed by him tomorrow.

Rather, because of our sins, instead of having a court based on the holy Torah, the word of G-d, we have been taken captive by false courts. These captors are the prosecution, the media, and the false courts of today that have waged war against the land of Israel, the Torah of Israel, and those who fear the G-d of Israel. Their goal is to foster the growth of a foreign culture in our midst to replace the way of the Torah and service to G-d in the land of Israel.

It is therefore a Chazakah [predetermined] what this court will decide in this hearing. One way or another, the results are known in advance and I therefore have no desire to play a part in this game. It is merely a pathetic attempt by the government to pretend that their decision is based on justice and democracy.

Nonetheless, this hearing provides me the right to speak and I will exercise the right to tell you what bothers you so much, what you are fighting, and what was the reason for my arrest.

I cannot discuss in this short time all of the ridiculous media stories. According to the media, I am somehow the number one target of the Shabak.

It should be noted that the targets of the Shabak are not established in order to preserve public safety or ensure calm, but instead are based on a political agenda and focus on protecting the culture of ‘equality’ that they force down the throats of the public.

Therefore, instead of discussing ‘public safety,’ I will explain my activism and why my actions are so upsetting to the confused establishment.

In their accusations they used the phrase, “changing the regime.” So what does that really mean? What exactly is this mysterious ‘group,’ which I supposedly lead, doing to further that goal? The truth is that we are dealing with very basic statements that were made freely available to all. Yes, I admit it - I, like many other Jews, have dreams, hopes and desires of establishing the Kingdom of Israel. The ‘group’ I am a part of, was founded during the exodus from Egypt and the receiving of the Torah on Mount Sinai. There the Jewish people were chosen to be a nation of priests and a holy people in the land of Israel.

So what is this ‘Kingdom of Israel’? For 2000 years in exile, Jews around the world said in their prayers “Let me witness the return to Zion” and concluded with the words, “blessed is He who restores His glory to Zion.” These Jews did not merely want to return to the land of Israel to build fields and buildings. They wanted more. They wanted to restore G-d’s presence in the land by creating a state that would spread the name of G-d throughout the world.

In the current ‘Jewish’ state, there is complete democratic freedom for all sorts of crazy ideas, except for Judaism alone which is declared illegal. In Israel today, the Torah’s solution to security problems is racist, the Torah’s views on international relations are incitement, and anyone who supports the Torah’s opinion over the laws of the state is an anarchist. Those who struggle with love for the land of Israel are arrested and their homes are destroyed.

In the State of Israel today we have leaders who do not understand the Torah and no one dares explain to them what a true Jewish state looks like, why the Jewish people to the land of Israel, and what right the Jewish people have to the land. Not only are we victims of this unfortunate situation, but you are too - you, the judge, and the prosecutor. All of us are captives of this reality. Each of us has a G-dly soul that wants to live a Jewish life and we all feel alone in our opposition to the state.

Administrative detention orders were issued against me and other Jews not because of a concern for the good of the public as you [the government] have claimed. It is actually you who place no value on Jewish blood and thereby harm the public. You released terrorist murderers and removed checkpoints, both of which have placed many Jews in danger. One could hardly accuse you of caring for other Jews.

We all know that the incident in Duma is merely being used as an excuse for dictatorial actions by a supposed democratic government. Fortunately for you, the public is so accustomed to your lies that they don’t bother refuting them.

Not for nothing did you gather all of the media to inform them before carrying out the orders. In truth the administrative detention orders are not meant to silence me, but to silence yourselves, to silence the Jewish voice emanating from your heart.

Your hysterical actions and discrimination against Jews in enforcing the law, your shocking neglect for the values of democracy when dealing with Jews who love the land of Israel, appears strange to many people. However it is not strange to anyone who recognizes that these actions are done in order to silence your inner, yearning Jewish voice. This is part of your general schizophrenia. It is obvious that these actions will backfire and have the opposite result. You will not manage to silence the voice inside you, anymore than you could expel your Jewish soul from your body. In the end, even you will repent for your actions and your Jewish soul will take over to help bring the redemption.

SOURCE: Kol HaYehudi English Magazine


29 Elul 5775
Erev Rosh Hashanah

Wishing all of Klal Yisrael a ketivah v'chatimah tovah, a shanah tovah umetukah and the geulah shleimah in 5776!!

11 September 2015

Are We Being Surrounded?

27 Elul 5775
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

And set up for an invasion of foreign troops to ostensibly "save us"? from whom? "ISIS"?  This would be tantamount to the fox guarding the chicken house!

To the south of us...

75 additional US troops headed to Sinai

US boosting troop presence in Sinai after bombing that wounded 4 Americans and a general deterioration of security situation in the desert peninsula.

...Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said the deployment included a light infantry platoon and forward surgical teams, as well as equipment and vehicles.

"Our concern right now, our top priority, is the safety and security of those US personnel there," Cook said.

...There are more than 700 US troops are currently based in Sinai, the majority of whom are in the southern part of the peninsula, said Pentagon spokesman Major Roger Cabiness.

The Israel Link

Major attack on Egyptian forces at Rafah by ISIS. Numerous injuries and deaths reported.

To the north of us...

First Iranian marines land in Syria, link up with newly-arrived Russian troops

Iran this week sent its first ground troops to Syria, around 1,000 marines and elite troops of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). They moved straight into Ghorin, a small military air facility just south of the port town of Latakia, and hooked up with the just-landed Russian marines at Jablah.

Aided and abetted by our illustrious 'leaders'?


It really looks to me like the set-up for the Gog uMagog invasion!

10 September 2015

Parashat Nitzavim 5775

27 Elul 5775
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

Parashat Nitzavim: Choose Life!

by Daniel Pinner
This year Parashat Nitzavim is read alone, and is not combined with Parashat Vayeilech; this happens on average in about 40% of years. In any event, Parashat Nitzavim – whether read alone or together with Parashat Vayeilech – is invariably read on the final Shabbat of the year.

Our calendar was deliberately calibrated this way: “Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar said: Ezra determined for Israel that they would read the curses in Leviticus [in Parashat Bechukkotay, Leviticus 26:14-43] before Shavuot, and those in Deuteronomy [last Shabbat in Parashat Ki Tavo, Deuteronomy 28:15-68] before Rosh HaShanah. What is the reason? – Abayye said – and some say that Reish Lakish said: So that the year together with its curses should finish” (Megillah 31b).

The Rambam cites this as practical halachah, and adds: “Thus the simple custom is that we read…Parashat Nitzavim before Rosh HaShanah” (Laws of Prayer and the Priestly Blessing 13:2). Similarly the Shulchan Aruch: “We always read…Parashat Nitzavim before Rosh HaShanah” (Orach Chaim 428:4).

Since this saying originates with Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar, we have to know who he was in order to understand the full import of his saying.

Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar was a fifth-generation Tanna (late 2nd century); he was one of the outstanding disciples of Rabbi Meir, who was in turn the closest disciple of Rabbi Akiva.

Rabbi Akiva was the spiritual leader of the Bar Kochba Revolt – the last, desperate attempt to restore Jewish sovereignty to the Land of Israel. Under the inspiration of Rabbi Akiva and the military command of Shimon Bar Kochba, the Jews in Israel achieved what no other nation in history ever managed: they kicked out the Roman Empire, and restored their own independence.

True, their victory was short-lived: the Roman Emperor Hadrian brought in the best general in the entire Empire, Julius Severus, from Britannia, and charged him with crushing the Jewish revolt. But for nigh on three years, the inspired leadership of Rabbi Akiva and Shimon Bar Kochba achieved the impossible.

Rabbi Akiva dedicated his life – and ultimately his death – to the Torah and to the Land of Israel (which topic we will delve into deeper, God willing, in next week’s D’var Torah on Parashat Vayeilech).

It was from this well-spring – Rabbi Akiva, the quintessential scholar-warrior ­– that Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar was ultimately nourished, and so it is through this prism that we should examine his saying.

The curses which we read last Shabbat in Parashat Ki Tavo are intimately connected with the Land of Israel. The punishments for not obeying the Torah begin with seemingly natural misfortunes in the Land of Israel – crop failures, disease epidemics, and droughts (Deuteronomy 28:16-24). Then come attacks by foreign hostile armies (v. 25), and the consequences of hostile military occupation (vs. 26-35). Next follows the exile of the king and part of the nation (v. 36), life in exile becoming increasingly harsh (vs. 37-39), and life for the remnant in Israel becoming increasingly miserable (vs. 40-63). And then comes the final and bitterest punishment of all – the majority of the nation flung into exile, scattered among the nations to the ends of the earth, subjected to unceasing persecution and massacres (vs. 64-68).

According to the Ramban (Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, Spain and Israel, 1195-c.1270) in his commentary to Leviticus 26:16 and Deuteronomy 28:42, the curses in Parashat Bechukkotay presage the Babylonian exile, and the curses in Parashat Ki Tavo presage the Roman exile.

In his commentary to Deuteronomy 28:42, he relates the curses to specific events at the end of the second Jewish Commonwealth. He begins with the warning that “Hashem will lead you and your king...to a nation whom you do not know” (Deuteronomy 28:36), which he says presages the subjugation of King Agrippa, who ruled Judæa from 37 to 44 C.E., to the Roman Emperors Vespasian and Titus who conquered the Land.

Stage by painful stage, the Ramban demonstrates how the Roman conquest of Judæa and the subsequent exile follow the curses in Parashat Ki Tavo with absolute precision.

Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar, the disciple who had imbibed the value of the Land of Israel from his master’s master, Rabbi Akiva, and who was living through the period in which the Land was under increasingly cruel Roman occupation, with more and more Jews being carted off daily into slavery in exile throughout the Roman Empire, understood the implications of the curses in Parashat Ki Tavo only too well.

More than anyone else, he yearned for “the year together with its curses to finish”.

And then, the following week, the final Shabbat of the year, comes Parashat Nitzavim. This parashah contains Moshe’s final parting from the Children of Israel, his farewell to the nation he had loved and cherished and nurtured and led from a slave-nation mired in the depths of slavery to idolaters, to a free nation poised on the verge of coming back home.

And in Parashat Nitzavim, Moshe continues by warning of the devastation that God will inflict upon the Land of Israel for the Children of Israel’s sins:

“The later generation – your descendants who will arise after you, and the foreigner who will come from a distant country and will see the plagues and the sicknesses of this Land with which Hashem has afflicted it...it cannot be sown...and no herbage will grow on it... – all these nations will say: Why has Hashem done thus to this Land?! What is this great burning fury?! – And they will say: It is because they abandoned the Covenant of Hashem the God of their fathers, which He forged with them upon taking them out of the land of Egypt... So Hashem’s fury flared up against that Land, bringing the entire curse that is written in this Book upon it. And Hashem exiled them from their country with anger and fury and great wrath, and flung them into another country...” (Deuteronomy 29:21-27).

This is a sobering thought with which to end the year, a clarion call to repentance at this season of repentance, in these final hours before the days of judgement are upon us.

And repentance is inextricably intertwined with our return to the Land of Israel: it is no coincidence that the Hebrew verb shav means both “repent” and “return”  “You will repent [or return] to Hashem your God...and Hashem your God will return your captives and He will have compassion on you; He will gather you from among all the peoples unto which Hashem your God scattered you. Even if your outcasts are at the very ends of the Heavens [‘the furthest from the Land of Israel’ – Ibn Ezra] – from there Hashem your God will gather you, and from there He will take you. And Hashem your God will bring you to the Land which your fathers inherited, and you will inherit it” (30:2-5).

This all gives us a truly invaluable insight into Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar’s dictum. For sure, we “read the curses...in Deuteronomy [in Parashat Ki Tavo] before Rosh HaShanah...so that the year together with its curses should finish”.

Rabbi Shimon ben Elazar speaks directly about the curses which the sins of the generation had brought upon the Land of Israel. His dictum is a passionate prayer that now, in this season of judgement, our repentance will be sufficient for God to return us to our Land.

Ezekiel, the prophet of the exile, echoed the words of Parashat Ki Tavo when he sounded out his clear warning: “As I live, says Hashem God – I will reign over you with mighty hand, and outstretched arm, and with fury poured out! I will bring you out from among the peoples, and I will gather you from the countries in which you are scattered with mighty hand, and outstretched arm, and with fury poured out!” (Ezekiel 20:33-34).

Two generations ago, we saw God’s “fury poured out” as the murderous fire raged across Europe, slaughtering Jews in numbers we had never witnessed before. If only  – if only Jews in their millions would have ascended to the Land of Israel when they had the opportunity...how different Jewish history would have been.

We missed that opportunity – missed it hideously, tragically.

And today?

Today, the greatest and most secure Jewish communities in the world (in the exile, that is to say) face greater instability and uncertainty than at any time in centuries. Europe shudders and totters before our very eyes, the USA rumbles, South Africa collapses – and almost the only certainty is that when cataclysm hits, then all sides will inevitably blame the Jews for the devastation.

There is yet time for every Jew to come home in peace and safety, while the old order yet holds (even though it may be gasping its final breaths). Every Jew in exile yet has the time to make his and her leisurely way to Israel, with body and wealth intact.

For how long? – No one can tell. Maybe days, maybe decades – but the stormfront draws inevitably nearer. The maelstrom of history is forcing Jews the world over to make a choice: stay in your lands of exile, with the ever-closer looming threat of extermination – or come home to Israel. Israel, in the very heart of the tempest – yet one of the very few countries in the world which is not shaken by that tempest.

Dear Jew, look at the world in which you live. Do you think it is just coincidence that the turmoil of the Middle East is now threatening to engulf the entire world  – except for Israel? Can you still delude yourself that it is mere temporary happenstance that Syria, Lebanon, and Libya are today more of a threat to France and Britain, thousands of kilometres away, than they are to Israel, on their very borders?

The final words of Parashat Nitzavim sound the clearest tocsin of all: “See – I have given before you today the life and the good, and the death and the bad... You will live and you will multiply, and Hashem your God will bless you, in the Land to which you are coming to inherit it... I have called Heaven and earth to bear witness today: Life and death I have given before you, the blessing and the curse. So choose life! So that you will live, you and your offspring!” (Deuteronomy 30:15-19).

With these words, these warnings, these entreaties ringing in our ears, we end the year 5775 and await to see what the new year 5776 will bring.

Choose life!

Shabbat shalom~

09 September 2015

The Message of the 'Rosh Hashanah' Sandstorm

26 Elul 5775

Yesterday, in Eretz Yisrael, we all woke up to a strange orange cast to the light in our rooms. I couldn't believe my eyes, when I pulled back the curtain and looked outside. Ooooo, nasty weather! A sandstorm had drifted in and settled over us. I hoped it wouldn't last more than 24 hours, but it was still here this morning.

The air doesn't move and it's dry and hot like an oven and stings a bit on exposed skin. I went into Jerusalem today for my last-minute holiday shopping and my heart just sank at the listless look of all the trees standing still and erect and covered in a gray coat of dirt. All the bus and train benches, every exposed surface in fact, was coated with grime and kids had drawn in the dirt on bus windows.

What does this mean, Hashem? I asked. I was so looking forward to the New Year with all its promise of a fresh new start and here in the midst of our preparations, we get this dusting of filth that is even dangerous to breathe. And there's really no hope for a nice, refreshing rain to wash it all clean again before the chagim. We'll go into the holiday, most likely, with this dirty face. Why?

And now, the news is telling us that "due to the lack of strong winds and the mass of sand in the air, the current haze and heatwave are set to accompany us into the weekend and up to Rosh HaShana."
Tuesday marked the heaviest haze during the month of September in the last 75 years, and the rest of the week is not going to be any better. The heavy haze was still present Wednesday morning, suffocating all of Israel, and according to the latest forecasts, we won't be seeing blue skies until Rosh HaShana early next week.
Due to the heavy presence of pollutants in the air, the Environmental Protection Ministry has called for the cancellation of all school trips, and outdoor activities.
...Over the last day, hundreds have received medical care for breathing problems. About 70 were treated at a hospital in Safed and three were said to be in serious condition.
In addition to the continued haziness, the current heat wave is set to continue. The meteorological service has issued a heat warning for all of Israel lasting from 9am to 9pm on Wednesday and most areas are expected to experience unusually high temperatures. Areas in the east and the valleys will experience severe heat throughout the day.
Visibility is expected to be especially low. As of now, buildings are only visible within one kilometer, compared to 8-10 kilometer visibility on a normal day. These figures apply for all of Israel.
...The thousands of tons of sand particles in the air above us fall slowly, and as such the haze will remain for some time, he explained. This in contrast to sand storms during periods of seasonal change, which are often quite short.
Due to the lack of strong winds, the haze will remain for some time, and will continue to fall slowly. This is an unprecedented event.
The source of the haze is also important – it arrived from Syria and Iraq, while sand storms usually arrive from Egypt, and more specifically the Sahara. As a result, the storm will end only when the heat wave subsides as a result of a north-western wind. The wind is forecasted to arrive sometime this weekend, but the higher than normal temperatures are set to remain.
I began to think about this event as a message. For the message to be understood, it needs to have some easily identifiable commonalities with the method of communication. I thought about the words being used to describe it - "pollution, filth, dirt"; and its effects - "sickens people to breathe it, difficult to see". The Hebrew word that comes to mind is zuhamahזֻהֲמָה ) which is translated as "filth, dirt, scum ; foulness" and its relative (זֹהַם) - "to be infected, to be contaminated, to be polluted".
Sin, Impurity, and Zuhama
This is the meaning of the verse, "It is your sins that separate you from your G-d" (Isaiah 59:2); Kelipa which results from sin clothes the soul and stands between it and G-d, preventing the flow of light. This idea is hinted at in the Talmud: "We learn that the snake came upon Eve and imparted zuhama [spiritual dirt] to her."1 (Avoda Zara 22b )
This was the case for Adam as well, and all his descendants after him until the days of Moshiach, since they [their souls] were included in Adam at the time of the sin. Thus all people die "because of the bite of the snake," since all were affected by the zuhama.
...However, all sins that people perform on their own, that is, other than the one that Adam committed, draws kelipa to them, depending upon the severity of the sin committed. However, a person’s teshuvah can push away the zuhama that came to him because of his sin, even in the case of very serious sins.
So, once again, we have a repetition of the overriding message of our days, appropriate to this season and communicated to us in a visible, tangible way that cannot be ignored.

This air pollution that has settled over literally everything across our entire land and is predicted to remain with us for the rest of the time until Rosh Hashanah as a constant wake-up call, perhaps the final call, to do teshuvah!! This filthy covering of dirt that mars everything it touches is a reflection of how our filthy souls look standing before Hashem before our teshuvah has washed us clean. 

Psalm 51:3-4 - "Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your kindness; according to Your great mercies, erase my transgressions: Wash me thoroughly of my iniquity, and purify me of my sin."