30 May 2016

Why Do You Want Mashiach?

22 Iyyar 5776
37 Days of the Omer

It's an important question we must all ask ourselves as you'll see below...


This is what is written in the Sefer ha Brit: “And I searched and tried to find out with all my heart the reason for this long exile and even in these generations where there is Torah in Israel, the number of people increase everyday who learn Torah, Mishnayot, Gemara and even books of the Kabbalah, and even with this the redeemer doesn’t come to Zion. And there are many who pray with great fervor and they also are not answered and there are others who strive to do all types of Mitzvot to the point where they are full of Mitzvot as a Pomegranate, and even with this the redeemer has not arrived. What is there left to do, What can we do to please the face of above?


Then I said in my heart, there has to be a division and a stumbling block for all those people and also the Satan comes to weaken the strength of these groups, because one dead fly can spoil a great quantity of the finest oil. And when I strived to learn who this opponent is, I found that these three groups do not concentrate on what they do, but they only have the intention of benefiting themselves and not to remove the KUDSHA BERICH HU U SH'CHINTE MIN HA GALUT (The Holy One Blessed be He and His Shechina from the exile they are in). And everyone among the Jews only thinks in terms of his own benefit. And all the Torah and the Tefillot and the Mitzvot, he thinks of acquiring for himself a place in Gan Eden and in the World to Come and that through this he will be successful in everything he does and that his days be prolonged together with his wife and kids. And all the hope and all the desire of that Jew is that he have a good living and honor and that he will be able to build for himself a large house, according to the custom of the land where he happens to reside, that will last for many years and that his sons and grandsons will inherit after him in a foreign land, and that he will see descendants and that he prolongs his days in the Galut and that he will pass away in a good old age, and that the Rabbi of his city will give a great discourse upon his passing and this is the whole purpose of this Jew in this Galut.   (Source: The Modern Erev Rav)

29 May 2016

War by Diplomacy

21 Iyyar 5776
36 Days of the Omer

On Friday, June 3, 2016, two days before we celebrate the reunification of Jerusalem on Yom Yerushalayim, Eisav and Yishmael will join forces to try and take it away from us.

France to hold summit on Israel, Palestinians on June 3

Kerry to attend Paris meet for 20 countries as French FM warns that ‘every day the situation on the ground gets worse’

Abbas, Sissi discuss French peace push in Cairo

...The two discussed the Palestinian demand for a unified Arab front at the Paris summit on June 3, calling for an Israeli withdrawal to the pre-1967 lines and the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Abbas asks for NATO to replace IDF in West Bank as part of peace deal

27 May 2016

It's All Up to Us

19 Iyyar 5776
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
34 Days of the Omer

Parshat Bechukotai

If ye walk in My statutes, and keep My commandments, and do them;...

...then I will give your rains in their season, and the land shall yield her produce, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. And your threshing shall reach unto the vintage, and the vintage shall reach unto the sowing time; and ye shall eat your bread until ye have enough, and dwell in your land safely.

And I will give peace in the land, and ye shall lie down, and none shall make you afraid; and I will cause evil beasts to cease out of the land, neither shall the sword go through your land. And ye shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. And five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand; and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword.

And I will have respect unto you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you; and will establish My covenant with you. 

And ye shall eat old store long kept, and ye shall bring forth the old from before the new. And I will set My tabernacle among you, and My soul shall not abhor you. And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be My people.

I am the LORD your God, who brought you forth out of the land of Egypt, that ye should not be their bondmen; and I have broken the bars of your yoke, and made you go upright....

26 May 2016

Israeli Stockholm Syndrome

18 Iyyar 5776
33 Days of the Omer
(4 Weeks and 5 Days)
Hod sh'be'Hod

It has been reported that new MK Yehudah Glick, in his swearing-in ceremony at the Knesset yesterday, said the following about the so-called 'Palestinians'...

“Their leadership convinced them and deluded them… It seems that anyone who has eyes in his head realizes that the option of a Palestinian state [no longer exists], but anyone who sees hundreds of Palestinians standing every day behind fences, or rather every night – with tense anticipation to cross and work – and does not feel a deep pinch in the heart – should go back and develop basic human sensitivity.”

My first thought upon reading this was: "He who is merciful to the cruel will become cruel to the merciful."

We know that the Gazan Arabs voted in Hamas. They got exactly what they wanted. And there are literally countless examples of the extreme cruelty of not only so-called 'Palestinian' Arabs but also so-called Israeli Arabs against Jews in Israel. As a matter of fact, on the same day as Glick's "swearing-in", the country was rocked by previously suppressed reports of a horrendous crime perpetrated by Arabs against a young, mentally-deficient Jewish woman. And already this morning, a man had to be rescued for going shopping amongst the Arab public: "A Ma’ale Adumim man entered a Palestinian Arab village in order to make some purchases. Reports indicated that locals were gathering around him and would likely harm him."

The kindest explanation I can come up with for this attitude which is strangely, and dangerously in my opinion, detached from reality is that we are suffering from some sort of mass Stockholm Syndrome...

Stockholm syndrome, or capture-bonding, is a psychological phenomenon described in 1973 in which hostages express empathy and sympathy and have positive feelings toward their captors, sometimes to the point of defending and identifying with the captors. These feelings are generally considered irrational in light of the danger or risk endured by the victims, who essentially mistake a lack of abuse from their captors for an act of kindness.

...Stockholm syndrome can be seen as a form of traumatic bonding, which does not necessarily require a hostage scenario, but which describes "strong emotional ties that develop between two persons where one person intermittently harasses, beats, threatens, abuses, or intimidates the other."  (Source)

Whatever the cause, I view such Jews as a danger and a threat to us all. They need to do teshuvah.

I have had other issues with Yehudah Glick in the past...

From "A House of Prayer for All Nations":

Is Yehuda Glick part of the plan to make a one-world religion?  Video of Yehuda Glick praying to "Allah" with Arabs on Har Habayit...

Video of Yehuda Glick with Xian missionary Christine Darg...

From Unification vs Separation:

Rabbi Yehuda Glick speaking about the Temple Mount from two months ago:

...We need to unite to get the Temple Mount opened to all people and all forms of prayer. Everyone needs to express a zero tolerance for violence on the holiest place on earth. The more people visit the Mount, the more we will strengthen its importance for all people. We need to push public opinion that the Temple Mount needs to be accessible to all. The Temple Mount Heritage Foundation uses its donations towards this goal. People should write letters to their government representatives and demand that Israel allow prayer on the Temple Mount from all religions. The Israeli government is very sensitive to world opinion and this will have an affect. Arabs will eventually learn to understand that we are united for the good.

From Politics As Usual:

So, his vision of the Third Temple is a place where adherents to false religions whose very existence denies the truth of Torah will be welcomed alongside Jews, but NOT those Jews who would forbid same. By his definition, Rabbi Kahane and the Maccabees themselves would not be welcome on the Temple Mount! 

Being the target of an assassination attempt does not make one right and surviving said attempt does not make one a hero.

25 May 2016

What's Not to Love About Lag Ba'Omer Celebrations?

18 Iyyar 5776
33 Days of the Omer
(4 Weeks and 5 Days)
Hod sh'be'Hod

As someone who could never really get into the whole public display at Lag Ba'Omer, it was gratifying to read the following...

...Yes, it is that time of the year again. Lag Ba’omer is ... here. And with it, all the hype and solicitations for trips to Meron, Chai Rotel Mashkeh donations, upsherin, bonfires, and the like.

So it is time to review what our holy Ashkenazic mesorah is about relatively recent Lag Ba’omer innovations, to avert confusion be”H, and help save people from getting swept away by all the hype generated by those with stakes in promoting such a holiday.

As the חתם סופר [Chatam Sofer] famously wrote in a teshuvoh (יורה דעה רלג, last column on bottom left of page linked to), we do not go along with the making of a new Yom Tov not mentioned in Shas and poskim. We don’t go along with making a holiday of the day a tzaddik passed away (aka hillulah), when the gemara mentions such a day as a day of fasting. In the mesorah of Ashkenaz that is called a yohrzeit, and is a day of fasting and introspection. We don’t make a small village in northern Eretz Yisroel the focus of a giant pilgrimage, more than ירושלים עיה”ק [Yerushalayim Ir HaKodesh].

...What many people don’t realize with all the Meron hype, is that many gedolim, and I am not just talking about גדולי אשכנז, but also great Chassidishe Rebbes and Sepharadic gedolim, deliberately do not participate in this event.

Rav Schach זצ”ל told his talmidim not to go to Meron (hat tip to Rafi). להבדיל בחל”ח, Rav Elyashiv שליט”א, as of a few years ago, had never gone to Meron. He stated, as was reported in the Jerusalem Post, that he feels closer to רשב”י learning a blatt gemara.

If the Chasam Sofer voiced reservations about the Meron pilgrimage close to two hundred years ago, when the attendance there was much smaller than it is nowadays, would his reservations not be much greater today? (Source)

The part I underlined above really spoke to me. It's exactly how I felt when I read this...

1000s Unable to Get Bus Tickets to Meron for Lag B’Omer

...Chairman of the Knesset Ombudsman Committee MK Yisrael Eichler is calling on the Transportation Ministry to take the necessary steps to make additional buses available. Eichler on Tuesday evening explained that in some chareidi areas, ticket sales have halted as all the available buses are full.

Eichler maintains that instead of hiring buses from private companies as was promised would be the case, the sale of tickets has stopped in some areas and people are told there is no room for this year’s trip to Meron.

After consulting with Israel Police and private bus companies, Eichler has learned that from a technical standpoint, there is no reason additional private buses cannot be charted to resume the sale of tickets.

I was in Yerushalayim today and it hurt me to see such large throngs of people in the streets and on the sides of the road preparing to leave Holy Yerushalayim to travel to Meron. I've never seen this kind of crowd preparing to go to the Kotel Hama'aravi in the same numbers.

The Plague of Darkness Will Be Repeated

17 Iyyar 5776
32 Days of the Omer
(4 Weeks and 4 Days)
Netzach sh'be'Hod

"At that same time the Holy One blessed be He will awaken his power against all the nations of the world and the King Mashiach will be known in all the world and the Kings of the world will unite to go against him and many of the evildoers of the Jewish people will unite with those nations to wage war against the King Mashiach and then the world will darken for 15 days and many of the Jews will die on those days of darkness and on this episode it is written (Isaiah 60:2) “For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the people; but the Lord shall arise upon you, and his glory shall be seen upon you”. (Zohar ha Kadosh II, 7a)"

~ The Modern Erev Rav

20 May 2016

"Bye Bye Bogey"

12 Iyyar 5776
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
27 Days of the Omer
(3 Weeks and 6 Days)

This headline made my day: "Minister Ya'alon quits"

Of course, we may be going from the frying pan into the fire with Lieberman, but meantime, the man responsible for unjustly locking up and torturing Meir Ettinger and others and falsely accusing Elor Azaria of murder has now lost all power to do similar damage to other good Jews.

Bye Bye Bogey
By Moshe Feiglin

The best thing that has resulted from the political storm churning through Israel is the ouster of current Defense Minister Bogey Ya’alon. That was not Netanyahu’s original intent. He wanted to bring the Left into the government, and it is a good thing that Labor MK Shelly Yehimovitz prevented that from happening. My assessment is that the new government will not be qualitatively different from its predecessor and except for a change of style, it will be more of the same. But all of that is behind us now. The most important thing is that Ya’alon was ousted. We can only hope that it is not too late.

Bogey Ya’alon, trumpeted as the new savior by the Right and settlers, turned out to be (surprise, surprise) a strategic disaster for Israel’s security – and no less than that – for the state of its democracy and liberty. I believe Ehud Barak’s testimony that Ya’alon was the man who tipped the scales against an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities. Such an attack – even if it had failed to achieve its tactical goal – would have restored Israel’s strategic stance according to which the State of Israel was not established to once again rely on US or British pilots. Even if an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities had failed, it would have made it crystal clear that Israel’s strategy is based on the adage of our Sages, “If someone rises to kill you, kill him first” – whether the attacker is a powerful country overseas or a knife-wielding terrorist in Hebron. But Ya’alon preferred the strategy of containment upon which he was raised in his youth on a leftist kibbutz. He upgraded Iran’s world status and opened the door for its great victory over Israel.

Two years ago, during Operation Protective Edge, Ya’alon led the strategy of containment of the Hamas. The political-security echelon, headed by Ya’alon, emitted confused orders, laden with concepts that included everything – except victory. The result was that after almost two months of goal-less fighting, the IDF had suffered 70 casualties in the tunnels and alleyways of Gaza, left two bodies of Israeli soldiers behind – and retreated. Bogey Ya’alon is leaving behind an army that has become the most sophisticated junkyard of modern arms and advanced technology that exists. He leaves behind the largest, strongest and most inflated army that Israel has ever seen. But it is an army that is incapable of winning any battle. Except for the real battle that Ya’alon introduced: the battle against the settlers.

Under the instruction and with the encouragement of Ya’alon, a new stage in Israel’s history has unfolded. Under pressure from the media and the Left, tens of minors were arrested and severely tortured (with the full support of the Jewish Home party) for no reason other than to keep the Left happy with Bogey. The absolute majority of the youth were released without an indictment – but they did suffer serious emotional damage that will likely haunt them the rest of their lives. (Apparently, the house in Duma was burned by the Arab locals, as was the case before and after the event in question).

But worst of all was Ya’alon’s participation in the quiet ‘trend’ of the military coup that was beginning to take form in Israel.

The shooting of the terrorist in Hebron presented Israeli society with a choice between two approaches: The Jewish perspective, according to which the elimination of a terrorist willing to die in order to murder Jews is ethical and imperative – and the European approach, lacking morality, seamlessly equating between good and evil: The type of approach that turns Nazis into victims and the Jews into the new Nazis.

The upper echelons of the IDF, educated and advanced over the years on the basis of loyalty to these ideas, suddenly became the great hope of the Left. The soldier from Hebron was turned into a national enemy. The Chief of Staff explained that “If someone rises to kill you, kill him first” is not the IDF’s strategy. The Deputy Chief of Staff equated those who subscribe to that value with Nazis. The radical Left Ha’aretz newspaper rather openly called for a military coup and the Defense Minister, Moshe Bogey Ya’alon, backed up and encouraged this entire process on every stage and at every ceremony.

I have no great expectations of Lieberman. Rightist ideology and power bereft of clear purpose always becomes a double-edged sword. It would behoove us all to remember former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who was no less rightist and forceful than Lieberman. But all that we can say to Ya’alon is good-bye and good riddance.

~ Shabbat shalom ~

19 May 2016

"We Are At The Start of Turbulent Processes"

11 Iyyar 5776
26 Days of the Omer
(3 Weeks and 5 Days)

So says this latest Debka article...

Israel switches defense chiefs in surprise political move

Wednesday, May 18 was one of the most intense days in Israeli politics in recent years, with countless strange headlines that Zionist Camp party chairman Yitzhak Herzog was about to become foreign minister. It became clear that Prime Minister Netanyahu decided to appoint Avigdor Lieberman the head of the right wing “Yisrael Beitenu” party as defense minister instead of Moshe Ya’alon, in exchange for the support by the small party, with just six Knesset members, for his coalition.

...Zionist Camp party leader Herzog claimed Wednesday night that Netanyahu agreed to give him the defense portfolio one year after his party joins the government. If that was true, it needs to be asked if Netanyahu has turned Israel’s security into personal political capital that can be passed within several hours from an irresponsible and extremist left-wing party (even according to Herzog’s definition) to an opportunist right-wing party.

...The defense portfolio crisis did not end with Lieberman’s appointment, it is just beginning,
The incumbent, Moshe Ya’alon, announced Wednesday night that he will not give up the portfolio and will not submit his resignation.

I'll be happy to see Ya'alon go, but I do not trust Lieberman... or Netanyahu... or any of the government for that matter. However, I do trust Hashem Yitbarach. And as Rabbi Pinchas Winston likes to point out in King David's Psalms...

"That which is wondrous in our eyes is from Hashem."

18 May 2016

"Rejoicing at the Downfall of Our Enemies" - Continued

11 Iyyar 5776
26 Days of the Omer
(3 Weeks and 5 Days)

Rav Yehuda Richter Shiur on Rejoicing at the Downfall of Our Enemies

Another Step Up

10 Iyyar 5776
25 Days of the Omer
(3 Weeks and 4 Days)

Exclusive: US warplanes intervene in Syrian war

On Tuesday, May 17, the US expanded its involvement in the war in Syria, and for the first time since the war began in 2011, US F-16 fighter-bombers bombed radical Syrian rebels fighting Iranian, Syrian and Hizballah forces near Aleppo,....

...the American airstrikes will help Syrian President Bashar Assad, just like the Russian bombings have done.

...There are now no less than ten air forces engaged in the Syrian war: those of the US, Russia, Israel, Britain, France, Belgium, Germany, Syria, Turkey and Jordan.

11 May 2016

Dependence ONLY on HKB"H Day!

4 Iyyar 5776
19 Days of the Omer
(2 weeks 5 Days)

"...I will remember you, and I will fulfill My good word toward you, to restore you to this place. For I know the thoughts that I think about you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. ...and I will return your captivity and gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the Lord, and I will return you to the place whence I exiled you." (Yirmiyahu, chapter 29)

“The government of Israel is the greatest danger to the 
State of Israel that exists today.” (Rabbi Meir Kahane, 1976)

- never truer than today

Why the Vast Majority of Xians Won't Remain

3 Iyyar 5776
18 Days of the Omer
(2 weeks 4 Days)

They won't survive what is coming because they're calling out for help to a 'god' that cannot save them. Whatever you are attached to will either remain in the new world or it will disappear. If it is destined to disappear - like all the lies - and you are spiritually attached to it, you will disappear with it!

Watch this and then tell me you still think Xianity is not idolatry!

See also: "Without Miracles - There's No Chance to Survive"

09 May 2016

Hashem's Power Is Unfathomable

2 Iyyar 5776
17 Days of the Omer
(2 weeks 3 Days)

This tornado tore through the high plains of Colorado on Shabbat.

08 May 2016

"Week Three: The Week of Tiferes"

30 Nisan 5776
Rosh Chodesh Aleph
15 Days of the Omer
(2 weeks and 1 day)

When we count the Omer, each day we work on perfecting a different character trait. These traits correspond to the seven sefirotchesed, gevurah, tiferet, netzach, hod, yesod and malchut - one for each of the seven weeks of counting up to Shavuot. Each of these sefirot also contains these seven sefirot - one for each day of the week. Last week was chesed. Today is the beginning of the third week - representing tiferet, and it's the first day of the week or chesed that is in tiferet.

Excerpt from Sefiros by Rabbi Yaacov Haber...

Tiferes is the harmony and beauty of symmetry. It is the perfect balance of elements of creation. When elements come together they become bigger than the sum of their parts. To listen to a symphony is not merely to listen to many different instruments at one time but rather to listen to a new sound. This is the sound of tiferes.
God's finished product is tiferes. Similarly, the completion of something in our lives is a moment of tiferes
Truth is tiferes. Truth is clarity that comes when disparate facts come together in resolution.
The Mishna says that the best path in life is that which is tiferes to the person and tiferes to others. It is the coming together of chesed and gevurah to create a beautiful new whole.
A poet once wrote "Nature, like a loving mother, is ever trying to keep land and sea, mountain and valley, each in its place, to hush the angry wind and waves, balance the extremes of heat and cold, of rain and drought; that peace, harmony and beauty may reign supreme."
Tiferes is personified by Yaakov Avinu. He represented the perfection of the Avos, combining the behaviors of Avraham (chesed) and Yitzchak (gevurah) to create his own unique relationship with God and the world.
Tiferes is represented by the torso, which unifies the body.
Tiferes is connected to the third day of creation, the day when the plants and vegetation were made. A plant is a combination of chesed and gevurah. It is rooted to one spot, having very limited movement, which is gevurah. Yet, it grows out of the soil to create a delightful fruit and a brand new reality.
~ Chodesh Tov! ~

"America's Fukushima"

30 Nisan 5776
Rosh Chodesh Aleph
15 Days of the Omer
(2 weeks and 1 day)

I heard about this in passing and looked it up. Very surprised that something on this scale is not being more widely reported. 

Despite the magnitude of the problem, the incident has largely gone unreported in the national media, leaving it up to local news outlets. " (Source)


See also:  America's Fukushima: Spikes In Radiation Levels at Hanford Nuclear Site

Note: According to local students interviewed in the following video, this catastrophe has a 'silver lining'. See if you can spot what it is...  Town copes with America's largest nuclear waste site - BBC News

This twisted thinking in the younger generation might be every bit as catastrophic as the environmental devastation.

05 May 2016

Yuval Ovadia: "...Amazing Revelations"

28 Nisan 5776
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parshat Kedoshim-Mevorchim
13 Days of the Omer
(1 week and 6 days)
Yesod she'be'Gevurah

Freudian Slips and Other Revealed Truths

27 Nisan 5776
12 Days of the Omer
(1 week and 5 days)
Hod she'be'Gevurah

It's Holocaust Remembrance Day. And while some choose to remember the heroes, others choose to focus on the villains, and yet still others seem intent on turning heroes into villains.

Question: Can a 'Twit' tweet or in this case does he "twit" as well?

Anyway, after so many long years of keeping their poisonous thoughts private, it does make one wonder why davka now all of the hatred and contempt are being revealed, unless... the light of redemption has grown so bright that they just can't remain hidden any longer. Everything dark is being uncovered and exposed; more often than not - willingly and proudly.

03 May 2016

01 May 2016

"Week Two: The Week of Gevurah"

23 Nisan 5776
8 Days of the Omer
(1 week and 1 day)
Chesed sh'b'Gevurah

When we count the Omer, each day we work on perfecting a different character trait. These traits correspond to the seven sefirot: chesed, gevurah, tiferet, netzach, hod, yesod and malchut - one for each of the seven weeks of counting up to Shavuot. Each of these sefirot also contains these seven sefirot - one for each day of the week. Last week was chesed. Today is the beginning of the second week - representing gevurah, and it's the first day of the week or chesed that is in gevurah.

Excerpt from Sefiros by Rabbi Yaacov Haber...
Gevurah is restraint. The Mishnah tells us that a gibor is someone who controls his natural inclinations. God is described as Gibor when he restrains his anger. We say in the Shemoneh Esrei prayer "You are Gibor (mighty) forever, God, and bring the dead to life."
Gevurah, also known as din (judgment), is associated with Yitzchak Avinu. Yitzchak was bound on the altar which symbolized the restraint he showed throughout his life.
...Gevurah sets boundaries and limits. It gives definition to the world and to a  person's life.
Day 8
Chesed she-be-gevurah is the attribute of rachamim, 'mercy'. Even though a person, according to the strict letter of the law, deserves punishment, God is merciful. The right hand represents chesed, the left hand represents gevurah. The Talmud teaches that if a person needs to rebuke someone he should push him away with his left hand while drawing him closer with his right. Sometimes we have to distance someone from our lives; this is gevurah. Yet, while doing so we should bring them closer; this is chesed she-be-gevurah. The left hand is our weaker hand, teaching us that sometimes strength should be displayed weakly.
Shavua tov!