29 July 2016

The Ageing Process Leads to Extremism

23 Tamuz 5776
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Matot

It didn't used to be like this. In the distant past, from one generation to the next things stayed pretty much the same. For the first 5600 years of human history people got around much the same way - on foot, on the back of an animal, in a vehicle pulled by an animal or in a boat. However, in modern times, in less than one hundred years, mankind went from that to speeding down a highway in an automobile to flying in airplanes and then to blasting into space on the back of a rocket.

Like everything under its domain, time is speeding up. Things are changing so fast that each generation now seems to inhabit a vastly different reality from the one that preceded it. It is not at all uncommon to have four generations living side by side, but in many cases they are living amidst vastly different concepts and perceptions of the world around them.

I have found that given time, the older generation which simply adheres to the norms of its own era will suddenly find that society has moved on and left it behind, leaving it at the extreme edge - on the fringe - of the new one.

If you are a "senior" citizen, your views, which were considered the norm yesterday, will most likely be viewed as extreme by the younger generations today - the younger, the more "extreme". 

Who knew that the ageing process could lead to extremism? (A bit of sarcasm.)

Because of the trend for society's norms to fluctuate this way, we must tether ourselves firmly to the timeless, changeless Torah which is our only sure and solid foundation. If you want to know if you are really extreme or only appear to be extreme based on society's changing mores, look to the Torah and align yourself with the Creator's will.

~ Shabbat shalom ~

27 July 2016

"...The Valueless & Diseased Agenda Of Post-Modernism"

21 Tamuz 5776

This is a very important message which every Jew needs to hear. In the beginning, Rav Bar-Hayim focuses specifically on the homosexual issues raised by Rav Levenstein's recent speech, but when he goes on to address the main issues raised in that speech, which were overlooked by the media, it is quite an eye-opener. It is very much worth hearing and sharing as widely as possible.

Also of interest: Stop Drinking The Kool-Aid, America: Political Fiction In An Age Of Televised Lies

26 July 2016

Just Sayin'...

21 Tamuz 5776


BEWARE! History likes to repeat itself.

"...making Germany great again was a dominant theme in Nazi propaganda. The mood in 1930s Germany was dark; the country had been hit especially hard by a global economic recession, and was still stinging from a humiliating defeat during the first World War fifteen years before. Adolf Hitler's main message was one of redemption for the country."  


20 Tamuz 5776

This very public and humiliating downfall of a very prominent Jewish American is meant to communicate a message to all of American Jewry - the party is over. It's time to go home.

 What was supposed to be a morning of personal triumph for Debbie Wasserman Schultz — rallying her home-state delegation before opening the Democratic National Convention she had orchestrated — suddenly became one of humiliation.
“Shame!” people in the room jeered as the congresswoman addressed a Monday breakfast of the Florida delegation. “Shame!”

25 July 2016

Trapped in a Delusion

19 Tamuz 5776

I hear American Jews talk about the US elections and it boggles my mind that they still maintain this illusion that the election process is real - that the people voting are really the ones doing the electing - when in fact, it is rigged, probably years in advance.

Donald Trump 1988 on Oprah Show - Being President of the United States 27 years ago!

The only explanation I can think of is that their attachment to Eisav blinds them to the truth regarding this particular subject.

How any "Orthodox" Jew can listen to Donald Trump's egotistical and narcissistic pontificating about "Making America Great Again" and actually believe there is any chance of it, much less desire such an eventuality, well... The same explanation applies.

How can any "Orthodox" Jew, knowing that Israel is a nation that dwells alone and understanding that every nation on earth will turn against Israel at the End of Days, still talk about this or that candidate being "pro-Israel" as if 1) it is good for the Jews, and 2) that attitude can't change overnight. These "pro-Israel" Gentiles are supportive of the Erev Rav regime - not Torah Jews - because it is a little clone of themselves. The moment Mashiach comes forward to take the helm of state, all bets are off.

Take it from someone who knows, the very best of the Gentiles in America are antisemitic in their hearts. That's because the nicest and most moral of the lot who today wrap themselves in blue and white as well as red, white and blue have not been unaffected by New Testament theology. If you listen closely, you can even hear it in casual remarks about "ultra-Orthodox" Jews or "the rabbis" meaning those who wear black hats. 

If you find yourself on the wrong side of this and if any of my words hit home with you and you realize that what I'm telling you is true, get out! Please, get out while you still can. Many, many American Jews are going to be trapped in this delusion. And they will share Eisav's fate just like the 4/5ths who remained in Egypt. Please, don't be one of them!

24 July 2016

Events Do Not Occur in a Vacuum

18 Tamuz 5776
Tzom Shiva Asar b'Tamuz Observed

Today begins the Three Weeks - 17 Tamuz until 9 Av - when we mourn the major tragedies which have befallen our nation over millenia. On 17 Tamuz the walls of Yerushalayim were breached. It was the beginning of the end when three weeks later the Holy Temple would be set afire and destroyed. There are many books and websites you can look up which will list for you all the tragedies which followed over the course of the centuries, but the Temple's destruction - twice! - was the worst of all, not just for the Jews, but for all the people of the world. 

However, this blog post is not concerned with that subject today. What I feel heavily on my heart this morning is The Reason why these terrible things have occurred on these dates. Because, events on this scale don't occur in a vacuum without any discernible cause. Something set these dates aside for suffering on a grand scale and that "something" was (and still is) rooted in our own hearts and minds. Let's pull it out, identify it and deal with it, so we can hopefully move on past the suffering to reach the joy at The End of Days.

The Root of All Suffering - Lack of Faith and Trust in HKB"H

It goes all the way back to the first sin in Gan Eden. The Satan introduced doubt in Chavah's mind: "Did God indeed say....?"  Then he proceeded to capture her heart by explaining to Chavah that God actually had nefarious motives for denying them the experience of the Eitz Da'at Tov v'Ra: "For God knows that on the day that you eat thereof, your eyes will be opened, and you will be like gods, knowing good and evil." 

The Satan called into question God's truthfulness, integrity and reliability, thereby undermining Chavah's faith and trust in HKB"H. The shifting of her faith and trust over to the words of the Satan was a criminal act of disloyalty and rebellion against the Sovereign of the Universe. 

Yes, I think it's possible to say that this was a loyalty test imposed by HKB"H - just as His demand that Avraham Avinu offer up his only son Yitzchak was a loyalty test: "...for now I know that you are a God-fearing man...." (Perhaps it's even possible to say that all ten of Avraham Avinu's tests were testing his loyalty to HKB"H by degrees until the final, ultimate test.)

Ok, so now maybe you are wondering how this all adds up to these days - 17 Tamuz until 9 Av. The Children of Israel also needed to prove their loyalty to HKB"H. It was intended that they be tested in the wilderness, but instead they tested HKB"H's patience with their doubt about His good intentions for their future: "Is God with us or not? Why did he bring us out of Egypt to let us die in this wilderness?" The constant complaints stemmed from their nagging doubts about HKB"H's motives for bringing them out of Egypt and into the wilderness. Despite all that they had seen of the miracles in Egypt and at the Red Sea, still they questioned His truthfulness, integrity and reliability.

The worship of the Golden Calf on 17 Tamuz and the decision to forego entrance into Eretz Yisrael on 9 Av were tantamount to eating the fruit of the forbidden tree. They were criminal acts of disloyalty and rebellion against the authority of the Sovereign of the Universe. These decisions arose out of doubt in the mind and a loss of faith in the heart. They did not trust HKB"H to fulfill His word or even to have their best interests foremost. 

These crimes of doubt, lack of faith, and absence of trust in HKB"H's goodness, truthfulness, trustworthiness and reliability are at the root of all our suffering. The recognition of this fact is the beginning of all real teshuvah...

"Our G‑d and G‑d of our fathers, may our prayers come before You, and do not turn away from our supplication, for we are not so brazen and obstinate as to declare before You, Lord our G‑d and G‑d of our fathers, that we are righteous and have not sinned. Indeed, we and our fathers have sinned."
"...We have turned away from Your commandments and from Your good laws but to no avail. But You are righteous in all that has come upon us, for You have acted truthfully while we have caused wickedness."  (From the Vidui prayers)

Say it! We were wrong about You, Hashem. The fault is all ours. You meant only good for us. We doubted you. It is our failure, not Yours. Please, forgive us!

The Final Test of Loyalty is coming. Prepare for it while there is still time. And may we all be successful! Then these days  - 17 Tamuz until 9 Av - will turn to days of rejoicing. Ken, yehi ratzon!

21 July 2016

Waiting for Mashiach

16 Tamuz 5776
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parshat Pinchas

It was recently reported that Rav Berger said that Rav Kanievsky told him that all we can do now is "wait" for Mashiach.  I agree

We must not make the same mistake that Chava did when she did not wait for Adam's return before eating of the fruit of the Eitz Da'at Tov v'Ra. We must not make the same mistake as those who did not wait for Moshe Rabeinu's return from the moutain and who sympathized with the Erev Rav who created the Eigel HaZahav.

We must not make the same mistake that they did by thinking that they would bring redemption to the world through their own efforts instead of waiting for HKB"H's appointed agent to do it on our behalf. Mashiach will surely come and elevate us to the next level of existence. No mere desire or will or effort by humankind is capable of accomplishing this.

Here is a perfect example of the rebellious mindset that opposes HKB"H, his Torah and his Mashiach? Can you find all the errors that underlie it?

Torah Nations Mission Statement

Our goal is to be a ‘light unto the nations’ and unify all the ‘Righteous Among the Nations’ throughout the world, Jews and Gentiles, between all groups and within all groups, regardless of race, gender and nationality, in promoting the teachings of the Torah, with emphasis on humanism and moral values for all G-d’s children. In our kinship, we hope to create peace between the nations, fostering mutual understanding, open discourse and love for our fellow brothers and sisters as we usher in the era of redemption! We also aim to create solutions for global problems such as developing resources for food, water and ecology and hope to be able to come together during times of catastrophe in helping one another, making the world a better place for all mankind.

1) Jews and Gentiles have no common goal to be "a light to the nations." This is uniquely Am Yisrael's mission and Gentiles have no share in it.

2) There can be no "unity" between Jews and Gentiles - even those designated "righteous". Am Yisrael must be united internally around loyalty and service to our God and King.

3) "Humanism" and its "moral values" do not always align with the Creator's will as expressed in His Torah. It is based on human thought and feeling rather than on the revealed Divine will.

4) Only Mashiach can bring peace to the nations. Only when HKB"H slaughters the yetzer hara will peace reign on earth.

5) As the Ramchal explains, Jews are God's children and the Gentiles are His creations. There is a vast difference between Jews and Gentiles, which is why there can be no marriage between them. References to all mankind being God's children and there being this kinship of brotherhood between Jews and Gentiles is patently false.

6) All mankind will benefit from the final redemption, but the Gentiles have no part in bringing it about. That is uniquely Am Yisrael's mission and destiny. Am Yisrael is uniquely equiped and qualified with spiritual gifts which a Gentile does not possess.


We even find echoes of this in the parshiot of this time period  - Balak and Pinchas - which describe how Bilaam and Balak managed to induce some of Am Yisrael to sin with the Midianite women.

Tanchuma, Balak 18, tells us how it went down:

" [A Moabite girl lures an Israelite into her store.] Following that the girl says [to the Israelite], 'You are like one of the family. Sit! Choose what you like!' and a jug of Ammonite wine is sitting by her. The wine of the nations had not yet been prohibited [later on, our sages forbade their wine to prevent intermarriage, wine being a factor in generating intimacy]. The girl comes out in jewelry and perfume, and entices him, saying, 'Why do we love you but you hate us? Take this vessel for free! Surely we are all decendents of one man, Terach, father of Abraham.' "

And it is all for the purpose of mixing with us and blurring the boundaries that HKB"H established in order to ultimately assimilate us and thereby destroy us.

From Bamidbar Rabba 20:22 :

"Most of those who sinned with the Midyanite girls and worshiped the Ba'al Peor came from the airev rav. The seeds of impure desire had never been completely eradicated from their hearts. They were now weeded out from the pure stock of K'lal Yisrael through the test of Peor and the punishment that followed."

As we await the revelation of Melech HaMashiach, HKB"H is presenting us with "tests" to "weed out" those who are undeserving because of their unfaithfulness to Him. In their minds and in their hearts, they've strayed from Him. They are attached to their Christian or Muslim "friends" and to the alien culture. They refuse to slaughter the gods of the impure nations and have gone even further in calling them "kosher!"

More and More People Are Speaking Out on Behalf of Torah Truth

15 Tamuz 5776

Hundreds of rabbis support Rabbi Levinstein
300 rabbis across Israel signed a letter in solidarity with Rabbi Levinstein...

...The Rabbis penned a letter which was published on Wednesday night stating: “There is no place for legitimizing these phenomena or this behavior which celebrates a lifestyle contrary to human morality and the path of the Torah.”

“The love toward every human being from Israel and the obligation to show respect to every person cannot be used as a reason to twist the religious truth or to cut corners regarding forbidden acts,” the rabbis wrote. “It is the duty of a rabbi in Israel to deal with all religious or moral matters in a clear fashion as teachers in Israel. In this vein, we reject the attempt to shut the mouths of rabbis in Israel,” the letter continued.

...Three hundred rabbis across the country signed the declaration along with respected educators and heads of Yeshivas, Hebrew learning centers and IDF preparatory yeshivas.

“In light of the recent public discussions regarding the remarks of Rabbi Yaakov Ariel, Rabbi Yigal Levinstein and other rabbis,” read the letter, “we wish to express our support to every rabbi who expresses his rabinical opinion which stems from faith in the Torah, impartially and without apologies.”

The rabbis concluded their letter pledging that they will continue to express their religious opinion on every matter which demands it, without fear, in fulfillment of their public responsibilities, “on behalf of the silent majority - religious and nonreligious.”

The "Drums" of (Summer) War?

15 Tamuz 5776

If your attention has been redirected by the three-ring circus of Terror Attacks - Politics - Entertainment, you might have missed the really BIG news of the day...

1) N Korea vs. S Korea (and US)

North Korea says missile test simulated attack on South's airfields
North Korea said on Wednesday it had conducted a ballistic missile test that simulated preemptive strikes against South Korean ports and airfields used by the U.S. military, a likely reference to the launches of three missiles on Tuesday.

North Korea restarts coded spy radio broadcasts, South says
Isolated North Korea has restarted coded radio broadcasts, presumed to be targeted at its spies, for the first time in 16 years this month, South Korea says.

The messages, a recording of which was broadcast by South Korean TV channel KBS, were disguised as a mathematics lesson for distance learners and appeared on North Korean radio station Voice of Korea.

...It was not clear whether the signals were meant to deceive or deliver genuine instructions.

2) Russia vs. NATO (Europe and US)

US-NATO Border Confrontation with Russia: Risking Nuclear War

... I ask a Russian employee about the mood in his working class Moscow neighborhood. The old people are buying salt, matches and gretchka [buckwheat], he tells me—the time-worn refuge for Russians stocking up on essentials in case of war.

In the past two months, I’ve traveled to the Baltic region, to Georgia, and to Russia. Talk of war is everywhere.

3) China vs. US

Chinese Admiral Warns of 'Disaster' for US Patrols in South China Sea
In recent months, the Pentagon has launched a number of provocative "freedom of navigation" patrols within the 12-mile territorial limit of China’s land-reclamation projects in the Spratly archipelago.

4) India vs. China

Mechanised Infantry, More Troops, Army's Preparedness For a China Face-Off
All along the 826-kilometre-long Line of Actual Control (LAC) - starting from the Karkoram Pass in the North - the de-facto border between India and China, the Indian military is ramping up.

Numbers of boots on ground have increased exponentially. Soldiers have been pre-positioned along the border. More are expected in the next few months. The ridge lines which often define the claim lines of the two countries are dotted bunkers and gun positions.

5) Israel - US - Iran

As secret accord is revealed, Israel complains: Iran deal ‘intensified’ nuke problem
After newly unearthed ‘add-on’ document shows key constraints will ease in 10 years, Jerusalem officials warn Tehran could ‘produce fuel for many bombs in a very short time’

6) Israel - Hezbollah - Iran

Israel’s Northern Border Heating Up Again
Ten years after the Second Lebanon War, Israel’s northern border is warming up again.

On Monday a code red alarm went off in several communities on the Golan Heights and people had to run to bomb shelters. A short time later Israel Radio Reshet Beth reported that the Israeli army had fired two Patriot missiles at a drone that had infiltrated Israeli airspace on the Golan Heights.

The missiles missed the drone for unknown reasons and so Israeli Air Force jets scrambled to intercept it. But when the warplanes arrived in the border area with Syria, the unmanned plane had disappeared.

...Hezbollah reportedly released a statement saying the unmanned aerial vehicle was “part of an operation against Israel,”....

“Israeli forces claimed that the UAV evaded three attempts at interception by helicopters and air force jets, and dodged Patriot surface-to-aircraft missiles and air-to-air missiles,....

...The reason that the drone evaded interception was that it “used advanced electronic systems from the U.S., based on an American ScanEagle drone intercepted over Iran on December 12, 2012. It’s been reported that cyber warfare specialists from China are responsible for these upgrades,”....

...On Wednesday morning, northern Israel was again attacked, this time from Lebanese territory.

Israel Strikes Back?

Israeli Army Outpost Sustains Cross-border Fire in North
IDF position near Metula fired on with light arms; none hurt, though bullet hit soldier's dog tag, but failed to cause injury.

And that's not even to mention what's happening in Turkey or the precarious situation of the world's economy!

19 July 2016

The Rabid Dogs Have Been Turned Loose

13 Tamuz 5776

And they are frothing at the mouth. What a spectacle!

In case, you don't keep up with the Israeli news, the latest uproar involves words of Torah spoken by a rabbi. Yep! That's all it takes today to get a firestorm going.

I won't link to all of the many articles that have come out over the past few days because they don't come to inform but to assassinate character, foment discord, cast aspersions on the holy Torah and those who teach it, and to further propagandize the public.

However this one puts the whole battle in a nutshell and clearly draws the line in the sand - "Mi l'Hashem elai"...

Outrage signals growing moderate religious voice


If you would like to make a public show of support for Rabbi Yigal Levenstein...

"Rabbi Levinstein was addressing an assembly of over 700 rabbonim and leaders of the dati leumi community from Israel and abroad, using the forum to blast ongoing efforts by the IDF Education Corps to diminish the authority of the IDF Chief Rabbinate and advance an agenda that accepts Reform Jewry, a to’eva lifestyle secularism over observance of Torah and Mitzvos, and female combatants; speaking out in the strongest terms against all of the above-mentioned items." (Source)

Please sign the petition HERE.
(It asks for full name and place of residence, then click the green bar.)


For the sake of the sanctification of God's name, the honor of the Holy Shechinah and the kedushah of the Holy City Yerushalayim, please join me in praying that the abominable gaivah parade will never again take place - not this year or any other year! Thank you.

18 July 2016

"Nishmat Kol Chai"

13 Tamuz 5776

It is with great pleasure that I share this latest video from Devorah Esther. Thank you Devorah Esther!

17 July 2016

What to Expect from the Transition Phase of the Messianic Era

12 Tamuz 5776

Excerpted from Redemption Unfolding by Alexander Aryeh Mandelbaum (Chapter 11, Birth pangs of the World of Mashiach):

The Pains of the Transition Process

In the writings of the Maharal [1520-1609] we find a profound insight into this issue.

He wrote (Netzach Yisrael, Chapter 36) that in nature, all transitions, from one condition to another, involve yissurim. For example, the period of transition from summer to winter, or winter to summer, often brings on physical and/or emotional ailments. Similarly, the period of transition from childhood to adulthood is known to be a very difficult time, during which the teenager and everyone around him or her are prone to tensions and misunderstandings.

So, too, wrote the Maharal, the transition to the system of the Messianic Age will involve yissurim

The Messianic Era

Many of us were brought up to think that in the Messianic era, the world will continue to exist as it exists today, albeit with a few improvements. Wealth and peace will be abundant; life will be full of happiness and contentment. However, the Maharal (Netzach Yisrael, Chapter 47) wrote, this is a superficial and unrealistic understanding of the times of Moshiach. In reality, a complete change will come over the world, to the extent that the world of Moshiach will be considered a new creation in comparison to the world as we know it.

Our Sages said (see Maharal, ibid.) that the world of Moshiach will be a spiritual world of true reality. It says in Tehillim (126:1): "...with the return of Zion [we understood that we had been] dreaming." When we witness the spiritual world of Moshiach, we will understand that our current world was superficial, unreal - a fantasy dream (Machsheves Charutz 3).


The Changeover of Systems

In that new world all the old systems will undergo regeneration.

An example of such a changeover of systems is the birth of a baby. At the exact moment of birth all of the life support systems of the fetus (respiratory, blood systems, etc.) undergo a radical change. The systems that enabled life in the womb would cause instant death outside the womb. Likewise, if the new life support systems took over inside the womb, they, too would cause death to the fetus.

Our Sages called the troubles before the coming of Moshiach, 'birth pangs of the Moshiach.' Just as birth pangs precede and actuate the changing of the life systems, so too the troubles of Ikvesa DeMashicha allow for the changeover of world systems, from our present world to the world of Moshiach.

The World of True Reality

The transition to the world of Moshiach necessitates the negation of all of the false systems which abound in our world.

In this vein, Rav Eliyahu Dessler wrote (Michtav Me'Eliyahu, Part 3, page 205): "The destruction of Edom [our last exile] will only come through the destruction of this world [as we know it]. The Holy One Blessed be He will cause the very foundations of life on earth to collapse. Tranquility will be disrupted, personal lives will be filled with worry, fear and yissurim, and the entire world will cower in dread of destruction and devastation.... Only then will the light of Moshiach be revealed - 'and the saviors shall go up to Mount Zion to judge the mountain of Eisav....' (Ovadya 1:21).

"For only by achieving nullification and obliteration of this world will mankind be able to rise up and see with a true spiritual perspective. Then the kingdom of Edom will be destroyed, and the light of Moshiach will be revealed."

All Praise and Thanks to HKB"H for His Great Mercies!

11 Tamuz 5776

Baruch Hashem and Todah l'El for such mercy as He has shown His children today! A horrible tragedy was averted in Holy Yerushalayim. Everyone I know passes through this spot on a regular basis. I can't praise and thank Hashem enough for this nes!!

Chasdei Hashem: Terrorist Armed with Multiple Bombs Apprehended in Downtown Jerusalem on Sunday Morning

Relive The Horror Every Day

11 Tamuz 5776

Worldwide media coverage makes it possible to relive the horror every day following another terrorist atrocity. As if the initial shock of hearing about it was not bad enough, now the trauma can be built upon - trauma by trauma - as we read the sickening details and view the pictures and videos.

One of the hardest things in life is to learn to control our emotions. Today, few people even try. After all, haven't the experts been telling us for at least the last fifty years to "let it all out" and not to suppress our feelings? Now, we are reaping the damage this false philosophy has caused as the entire world is being manipulated by two of the most dangerous and destructive emotions - anger and fear. 

Logic and reason can't get a handhold where anger and fear have taken over. The so-called Elites know this and created ISIS as the common enemy which they intend to use to bring the world into "unity". 

Some lessons they would like you to learn about ISIS...
  • ISIS crosses all borders - they are everywhere. They cannot be stopped.
  • They are the monster under your bed. You can never know where they will strike next.
  • Traditional means of war are ineffective against them. 
  • They are as much a threat to "moderate" Muslims as they are to Xians and Jews.
  • The world must unite in its resolve to conquer the ISIS threat - no matter what the cost.
I guess they thought this would be easier to pull off than a fake alien invasion from space.

But, we know the One Who is above all!

Just remember: The main thing is not to fear at all!
(Mi she'ma'amin lo mefached)
Whoever believes does not fear!

[Note: It's suggested to listen to the song only and not to view the video.]

15 July 2016

Strange Gathering in an Odd Place - Weird Event

9 Tamuz 5776
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parshat Balak

Severe Winds Drive Bush, Clinton, Blair From Arkansas Ceremony

It wasn't known where Bush, Clinton and Blair were taken as sirens started sounding at a graduation ceremony at Central High School in Little Rock for the Presidential Leadership Scholars.

The program is an elite educational course organized by the presidential libraries of Bush, Clinton and former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Lyndon Johnson.
That explains why Bush and Clinton were there, but Tony Blair!??? Weird.

14 July 2016

The Conversion Controversy

9 Tamuz 5776
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parshat Balak

Disingenuous headlines this week proclaimed that a Beit Din in Bnei Braq had ruled that Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka was not Jewish. Of course nothing could have been farther from the truth, but when did that ever stop the media from reporting it? 

This is a very important read to understand what is behind the most recent controversy between Eretz Yisrael and the Diaspora...

Thoughts on the Conversion Mess

by Dov Fischer

In the wake of public discussion regarding R. Haskel Lookstein’s conversions, Ivanka Trump’s halakhic status, demands by so-called “Open Orthodox” rabbis for Israel broadly to recognize their private decentralized conversions, wildcat and other outlier Orthodox rabbis who have contributed their own decadence to the process, and the delicate subject of the unity of the Jewish People — herewith thoughts on the conversion mess:....

12 July 2016

Gog and Magog: Characteristics of the End of Days

7 Tamuz 5776

Introducing a series by Rabbi Yirmiyahu Ullman. It consists of six parts - each about an hour in length - so it should keep us all busy for awhile. Enjoy!



Erev Rav Spectacle at Har Habayit

6 Tamuz 5776

All of our holy places are under assault - from Kever David to Kever Yosef, the Me'arat HaMachpelah, Kever Rachel and Har Habayit. Some of the worst Erev Rav in Eretz Yisrael gathered today to push the NWO agenda for the Temple Mount and it was live-streamed over Facebook.

Just like their predecessors who hijacked the return to Zion and turned Israel into a "democratic" state like all the others, this bunch is bound and determined to turn the Temple Mount into "a House of Prayer for all Religions".

No doubt some well-meaning Jews have been seduced into joining them out of nationalistic and political motivations, but they must be warned about the true nature of what they getting involved with. Maybe, if they had been home watching, it might have occurred to them that something was not quite right when a well-known xian missionary (resident in Eretz Yisrael) was interviewed and proclaimed to be "one of the holiest people in the world". Or, it might have raised some doubts when an apostate Jew turned "messianic" missionary (resident in Eretz Yisrael) was interviewed like a comrade-in-arms.

And once again, the talk turns to securing the rights of all mankind to this holy place.

I'm here to say that no one has any "right" to this place. It is a privilege that is bestowed, not a right to be taken. It belongs uniquely to HKB"H and He is the One who says who is allowed and who is not. If Jews are forbidden, then the police and the government are only acting at the behest of the true Master of the House. The rest of the Land can be conquered, but not Har Habayit. That's why David HaMelech bought and paid for it.

However, this is a separate issue. What I would like to impress on my readers is the importance of examining the motivations and the stated aims of any Temple Mount activist groups or events and reviewing who their spokesmen are and who they promote. 

When xian missionaries and apostate "messianic" Jews or even Druze or Muslim Arabs are praised and accepted as equals (or even superiors) in some "battle" for Har Habayit, you must recognize that something is seriously in error. When the stated end goal is to make it a place of prayer for all religions and promises are made to ensure the "rights" of xians as well as Jews to access it, then you have to know that something is seriously wrong. And stay away from it.

The birur is ongoing - make sure you are on the right side of it.

11 July 2016

Transitioning from "Phase 1" to "Phase 2" of the Geulah

6 Tamuz 5776

I found something interesting in an Aish.com article written by Rabbi Pinchas Winston back in 2001. Most of you can probably recall Rabbi Winston's explanation of the messianic timetable as follows...
  • The world is destined to exist for 6000 years.
  • Techiyat HaMeitim (resurrection of the dead) must begin no later than 210 years prior to the year 6000 or 5790. (Some say 214 years.)
  • Preceding this will be 40 years of ingathering the exiles or 5750-5790.
That year was 1990, which saw the final remaining wall barring Jews from entering Eretz Yisrael fall with the collapse of the Soviet Union. And I can attest as well, that even for converts, 1990 was a pivotal year. For my family and at least one other that I know, this was the year we actually started on the path to conversion. It was as if a switch was flipped somewhere and everything changed.

When Rabbi Winston wrote his article there were "only" 29 years left in this era, but today it is only 14 years! That does not mean 14 years until Mashiach comes, God forbid, it means 14 years to finish all that still needs to be done with as well as without Mashiach.

What really intrigued me in this article was something I don't recall ever hearing before. I quote:
The transference from Phase One of the ingathering to Phase Two signals the Final Redemption under the leadership of Moshiach ben Dovid. When exactly this will happen is the big question mark in Jewish history, and the subject of many trial calculations and controversy.
However, the Zohar (Bereishit 118a) says that just as the actual birth of a child becomes increasingly obvious with time, so, too, will Moshiach's arrival eventually become so obvious that even a school child will be able to make the calculation.
What is important to us is that as the moment of transition from Phase One to Phase Two approaches, one can expect miracles to become increasingly more obvious, free will to become increasingly reduced, and world history to become increasingly more precarious.
So, this is what we are watching for. As someone who believes that Nibiru exists and is going to pass our planet leaving catclysmic changes in its wake, this would appear to be the transition-marking event, perhaps a parallel to Yam Suf for this generation. The "Planet of Crossing" - crossing over from this reality to a new reality. On one side Mashiach is hidden and so is Hashem, but on the other side, is revelation and renewal.

We know from the source in the Zohar that the "star" is supposed to be visible for forty days. What better forty-day period than the traditional Forty Days of Awe from Rosh Chodesh Elul -the traditional month of repentance - through Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur - the traditional time of Judgment? We will then have entered into the Hebrew year 5777 - three sevens, the number of completion. Will Ben David be revealed at the very close of the "motzaei shvi'it" year so as to give mankind the longest possible opportunity for teshuvah

This is speculation on my part, but we only have eight weeks until we know for sure. Time grows very short indeed. Make the most of it!

10 July 2016

What Do We Need Do To Bring Redemption?

5 Tamuz 5776

There have been periods in our history when the events of the day brought about doubt and despair with regard to the coming of Mashiach and the arrival of the final and full redemption. At those times we were most vulnerable to making grave errors about what we should be doing. This time is another such period. And there is no end to the number of voices telling us what we should be doing to hasten the redemption and an end to our suffering.  It's a natural human reaction to want to put an end to pain.

We have to be very careful about having our focus misdirected by the Sitra Achra who at every opportunity will cause us to want to do everything but what we should be doing to bring an end to his power and existence.

In short, we need to be doing our job - faithfully - and not be distracted by extraneous demands.

I learned the following from Rabbi Mendel Kessin several years ago and it changed my life. 

He explained how, according to the teachings of the Ramchal, in Gan Eden, the Satan was external to Man and if Man (and Woman) had passed the test of faith in HKB"H and in His word and obeyed their one mitzvah - the Satan thereafter would have been no more. But, instead, when Man sinned, the Satan was internalized as the Yetzer HaRa and now, he had permanent existence. Every time man sins, the Yetzer HaRa is empowered by a transfer of kedushah from the side of good to the side of evil or it might be better expressed by calling it from the side of "loyalty and obedience" to the side of "refusal to accept God's sovereignty and rebellion against His rule". This is how I view "good" and "evil".

So, our job in this world is to collect all the kedushah that has been lost over time and bring it all to the side of "good" at which point when that is accomplished, the Satan and all "evil" will cease to exist. Rabbi Kessin goes into much more detail, but the essential thing to know, I think is that there are three ways by which we can accomplish this, through 1) performance of mitzvot, 2) doing teshuvah, and/or 3) suffering. According to Rabbi Kessin, if I remember correctly, we have re-taken perhaps 98% of the kedushah already. So, be encouraged!

The quicker and more successfully we fulfill this task, the quicker we will reach the full and final redemption. And there are no substitutes! Beware of projects and concepts which people will foist upon you that do nothing more than misdirect your energies away from these essential elements. They may mean well, but they have been deceived by the Yetzer HaRa. Remember...
  • performance of mitzvot
  • doing real teshuvah
  • accepting suffering with love
This is our job in this world and it leads to everything else - the proper functioning of society, the strengthening of our economy, safety and security, appropriate worship of HKB"H, the return of kedushah to the side of "good" so that "evil" will disappear forever.

THIS is what we must be doing to bring about redemption and the arrival, or at this point the revelation, of Mashiach Tzidkeinu.

Keep in mind that there are many laws regarding the proper performance of mitzvot which must be learned and observed in order for them to be effective. Also, teshuvah must be real and complete - meaning the aveirah is not repeated. And we need to understand that our suffering is not a punishment, but another means of accomplishing our ultimate goal. I have found that it helps to say one of the following as a means of creating the necessary kavanah for acceptance of suffering with love rather than rejecting it out of misplaced anger or self-pity. When experiencing pain or loss or any kind of physical, emotional, mental or spiritual suffering, say one of the folowing aloud...
  • Let it be a kapparah (a means of atoning for my sins)
  • Gam Zu l'tova (Even this is for "good")
  • Hakol min Shamayim (Everything comes from Above)
Train yourself to make this your first response and even if you don't mean it at first, slowly over time you will come to accept it as truth and it will be a comfort in your suffering.

When HKB"H finally dispatches Mashiach to deliver us, may he find us all busy doing our jobs to the very best of our abilities. This I believe to be the truth of the matter.

09 July 2016

Is Mashiach Coming or Isn't He?

4 Tamuz 5776
Shavua tov!

"We believe and affirm that the Messiah will come. One should not think he is detained. [Rather,] "If he should tarry, await him" (Habakkuk 2:3)

One is not to assign him a specific time of arrival, nor should one use Scripture to deduce when he is coming. For the Sages have said, "The souls of those who calculate the end will be shattered."

[One must also] believe that [the Messiah] will surpass all the kings who have ever ruled in terms of his grandeur, his greatness, and his honor. [Man should] exalt, love, and pray for him according to the prophecies prophesied about him by all the prophets from Moshe Rabbeinu to Malachi.

He who doubts or belittles [the Messiah's arrival] denies [the authority of the Torah, which explicitly promises his arrival] in the story of Bilaam and in Deuteronomy 30.

Included within this Principle is [the idea] that the king of Israel must come from the House of David and the seed of Solomon. Anyone who opposes this dynasty defies the Almighty and the words of His prophets.

-- Maimonides, 13 Principles of Faith

"Whoever doubts or minimizes his [the Messiah's] importance denies the Torah that attests to it."

-- Maimonides, Commentary to the Mishnah (Sanhedrin 10:1)

I'm hearing from a lot of people that their faith in the coming of Mashiach (along with their patience) is wearing thin. This is the most dangerous moment of the entire geulah process.

Any doubt that you harbor in your heart or mind about the coming of Mashiach can spell doom for you. Root it out NOW!

Our absolute faith in this essential event is what will elevate our souls back to Gan Eden.

Twice before in history has man stood at this precipiece.

The original man and woman started out in Gan Eden. God set up a test for them. Adam left Chava alone in the garden and the Satan came and sowed doubt in her mind. She did not wait for Adam's return to confer with him about what the Satan had told her. She acted on her own, ate of the forbidden fruit and you know the rest of the story.

At Har Sinai, those who accepted the Torah were elevated once again to the level of Adam HaRishon in Gan Eden. Moshe went up the mountain to receive the Tablets of the Law. When he failed to return exactly when expected, they began to doubt that he was ever coming back, so instead of continuing to wait, they commenced to build the Golden Calf and fell from their elevated status.

The final opportunity to rectify this error is upon us. We can see what these two previous tests had in common - doubt followed by a failure to wait - and from that we can extrapolate that these two elements will figure prominently in our final test as well.

In the little time that we have left, let us use it productively to strengthen our emunah in Hashem and His word. Know without any doubt that He will finish the work He started; that He keeps all His promises; and steadfastly wait for Him to fulfill it in His time.

Mashiach is surely coming. Wait for him!!

.אֲנִי מַאֲמִין בֶּאֱמוּנָה שְׁלֵמָה בְּבִיאַת הַמָּשִֽׁיחַ, וְאַף עַל פִּי שֶׁיִּתְמַהְמֵֽהַּ, עִם כָּל זֶה אֲחַכֶּה לּוֹ בְּכָל יוֹם שֶׁיָּבוֹא

"I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah, and, though he tarry, I will wait daily for his coming. "

08 July 2016

Chukat - An Unfortunately Appropriate Beginning to the New Month

2 Tamuz 5776
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parshat Chukat

Tamuz marks the lead-up (or down) to that dangerous period of the year when terrible things happen to us as a nation - the Three Weeks begin on 17 Tamuz and continue until 9-10 Av. There is one glimmer of hope: we won't be fasting this year on 17 Tamuz or 9 Av. Both of them fall on Shabbat this year, so the fasts are deferred until the following day in each case. I think HKB"H is as anxious as we are to finish with this business of fasting and mourning - and dying.

 This week's parshah begins with a reminder of how we fell down from the lofty level we had achieved at Har Sinai. The laws regarding the preparation and administration of the ashes of the Red Heifer, which purify one from the impurity conferred by a corpse are enumerated and described. Chazal say that it's like the mother (the Red Heifer) coming to clean up the mess her son (the Golden Calf) had made. Death could have ended then and there, but with our failure in the affair of the Golden Calf, we succeeded in ensuring its continued existence until the End of Days; hence, the need for the ashes of the Red Heifer.

As if that were not bad enough, the parshah continues to recount some of the worst events of our early days as a nation. It describes how we arrived at the Wilderness of Zin "on the first new moon" and "Miriam died there" and "there was no water". This led to the usual general outcry and recriminations directed against Moshe and Aharon who turned and fell on their faces before the Presence of Hashem at the Mishkan, whereupon HKB"H instructed them to go and "speak" to the rock to give forth water for the people and their animals. And you already know what is coming...

Moshe and Aharon err by hitting the rock instead of speaking to it. As a result of this error, neither Moshe nor Aharon will be allowed to enter the Land of Israel. What a let-down for all involved! Remember that as a result of the Golden Calf debacle and Korach's rebellion, the nation and its leadership both would already have been in an emotionally difficult place, but to add to all that the sudden loss of Miriam and her well. Is it any wonder that everyone was so upset and making regrettable mistakes? They were no longer completely focused on the mission, but on their pain and loss. That causes a breakdown - a breach - in our emunah.

And after all that, the nation was then face to face with Edom - our eternal foe - who dispassionately refused to let us cross their territory - kacha - just because. After they saw they would have to go the long way around, suddenly Aharon is taken from them. And Moshe is left alone, without his beloved brother and sister. 

The mourning for Aharon is barely finished before the King of Arad attacks. Hashem delivers the nation from this enemy, but the people again fall to complaining. And the biting serpents came killing many. 

Well, the story continues and you'll be reading it soon enough, if you haven't already.

Oh Lord, how things have not changed in 3500 years!

But, the most incredible thing that I take away from this story is that no matter how bad it got - how much pain and how much suffering and how many mistakes and how many times they had to do teshuvah for the same things over and over - they kept getting up and packing up and moving on to the next stop. They kept putting one foot in front of the other. They never quit.

Yes, Lord, how many things have not changed in 3500 years!!

~ Shabbat shalom~