30 November 2019

Motzai-Shabbat Follow-up to Parashat Toldot

3 Kislev 5780

In follow-up to the previous (Yom Shishi) post...

Commenter: "...there's also a good part of Esav. That's not my opinion, but what the sages say."

I would really love to see where the sages say that.  Til now, I just haven't seen it - anywhere.  In fact, what I read in the commentaries seems to indicate just the opposite:
...All character traits, even the basest, can be used for good.  Man must harness his nature and not let his nature harness him.  David and Esau had similar personalities, but David utilized it for good and became one of the greatest people who ever lived.  Esau let his nature run rampant, and became the eternal symbol of evil and cruelty.
Until they grew up - i.e. reached bar-mitzvah age - they were relatively similar to one another and Esau's pranks were attributed to childishness (Sifsei Chachamim).  From the age of thirteen, the essential differences became apparent, with Esau turning to idols and Jacob going to the study hall.  Esau became a hunter, but not only in the literal sense.  He became adept at trapping his father by asking questions that would make him appear to be unusually pious....  Jacob, however, was morally wholesome, saying what he thought and never being duplicitous, and spending all his time in the study tents of Shem and Eber (Rashi).
God's blessing to Abraham specified that only one of Isaac's children would be heir to the mission of Israel (see Rambam, Hilchot Melachim 10:7), meaning that the Torah would go to Jacob or Esau, but not to both.
[This would seem to negate the idea of Esau being a "fourth avot."] 
Rashi cites the Midrash:  Esau is compared to a swine that, when it lies down, stretches out its cloven hoof, as if to say, "See, I am a kosher animal!"  Similarly, the princes of Esau rob and extort while they pretend to be honorable....So it was with Esau.  Until he was forty, he had been living immorally, enticing married women from their husbands, but when he became forty, he said hypocritically that he would follow the example of his father who married at that age.
 Unlike his father, however, Esau married Hittite women; his passions were unbridled and he chose to marry into a nation that matched his evil nature.  With these marriages, Esau set the seal on his complete unfitness to carry on the mission of Abraham.....  (R' Hirsch)
...[Isaac] felt, according to some, that the two brothers should both be parts of God's nation: Jacob with the higher calling of Torah scholarship and spiritual ascendancy, and Esau with material success that he would use to support and assist Jacob.  Had Esau been worthy, this could have happened,....  Rebecca, however, guided by Divine inspiration, knew that Esau was not entitled even to this. 
...Having been told before the twins were botn that the younger would be the superior one, Rebecca knew that the blessings had to go to Jacob.  She also knew from that prophecy that the two could not coexist - because when one would rise the other would fall - so that any plan Isaac might have to enlist them in joint service of God could not succeed - but she had not been commanded to convey this knowledge to Isaac....
[When it says "Isaac trembled...", v. 27:33] Isaac perceived that Gehinnom opened beneath Esau (Rashi), which was in sharp contrast to the fragrance of Eden that had accompanied Jacob in Isaac's chamber. 
The presence of Gehinnom with Esau made Isaac realize that he had been deceived all along - Esau was truly evil.  This made Isaac fear that the vision of Gehinnom proved that he, Isaac, would be punished for having allowed himself to be so grievously misled (Pesikta d'Rav Kahana). 
["...Rebecca, mother of Jacob and Esau." v.28:5]  The verse repeats the obvious to imply that even though Esau had the same genealogy as Jacob and it would have been just as logical for his parents to ask him to seek his mate in Haran, they did not do so because the heir of Abraham was Jacob, not Esau (Ramban).  
The passage [describing Esau's marriage to the daughter of Ishmael] justifies the portrait of Esau as a selfish person, oblivious to all but his own desires.  For twenty-three years he had permitted the behavior of  his Canaanite wives to cause anguish to his parents, yet it seems to have dawned on him only now.  Instead of divorcing them, however, he merely took another unsuitable wife in addition to them.  Thus he proved that he had no feeling for the House of Abraham, and Rebecca's assessment of his complete unfitness for the future leadership of the nation was fully justified (R' Hirsch).   (Source:  Stone Edition Chumash commentary) 
In other words, Esau did not repent in his lifetime and his descendants have followed in his path for these 4000 years.  In fact, we are told that the Torah was offered to them before it was offered to us and they rejected it...
...the Holy One blessed be He offered the Torah to every nation and every tongue, but none accepted it, until He came to Israel who received it!" (Avodah Zara 2b). ... It was not G-d who chose Israel, it was the other nations that refused to accept the Torah when it was presented to them. This rejection is explained in part by the prohibitions that those nations were unable to accept - for murder is endemic to the children of Esau, adultery to the children of Ammon and Moab, and theft to the descendants of Ishmael, and "they were unable to accept even the seven commandments accepted by Bnei Noah and threw them off". (Sifre Devarim 343).
But, as is well known, any gentile from among these nations who wants to accept the Torah, can do so by conversion.  And any gentile who wants to better himself without converting is only obligated to the Sheva Mitzvot Bnei Noach; however, they are then considered as attached to the Jewish nation rather than remaining part of Esau, etc.  

28 November 2019

"THE TWINS"

1 Kislev 5780
Rosh Chodesh Bet
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Toldot
"I loved you," said Hashem, and you said, "How have you loved us?"  Was not Esau a brother of Jacob - the words of Hashem - yet I loved Jacob.  But, I hated Esau and I made his mountains a desolation, and his heritage for the desert serpents. 

Though Edom said, "We have become destitute, but we shall return and rebuild the ruins"; so said Hashem, Master of Legions, "They may build, but I shall tear down; they shall call them, 'the boundary of wickedness, and the people who infuriated Hashem to eternity.'  Your eyes shall see and you shall say, 'Hashem is great beyond the boundary of Israel.'"  (Haftarah Toldot, Malachi 1.2-5)
From the Stone Edition Chumash Commentary...
Through Shem, God conveyed to [Rivkah] that the unborn infants represented two nations and two conflicting ideologies - Israel and Edom - and that their struggle in the womb symbolized the future rivalries between them, which would end with the younger prevailing over the older (R' Hoffmann).  Thus, the turmoil within her was due to the irreconcilable conflict between two nations that was already taking shape (Mizrachi).
The Sages teach that the two of them will never be mighty simultaneously; when one falls, the other will rise (Megillah 6a).  History has demonstrated this prophecy in practice.  Two regimes, one espousing morality and justice and the other standing for license and barbarity, cannot long coexist.  They must always be in conflict until one comes to dominate the other, whether through victory on the battlefield or in the contest for men's minds.  
~ SHABBAT SHALOM ~

27 November 2019

Kislev - The Month of Miracles

30 Marcheshvan 5780
Rosh Chodesh Aleph

This is not recent, but it is still applicable.  CHODESH TOV!

What Do Jews Do When the "Blood-Libel" Is "True"?

29 Marcheshvan 5780
Yom Kippur Katan
Erev Rosh Chodesh Kislev

Christian TV Host Rick Wiles Calls Impeachment A “JEW-COUP”

...Wiles does not need an excuse to be the Nazi that he is. He has been saying things like this for years. It just happens to be that “Jews” are in fact running this impeachment, such as Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Chuck Schumer and others. Schiff’s Counsel Daniel Goldman is Jewish. Nadlers Counsel Barry Berke is Jewish. Of course we also have Eric Swalwell, Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper of CNN who are all Jewish. Throw in George Soros for good measure.
Not to mention that two Jews - Bernie Sanders and Michael Bloomberg - are running for President to replace Trump.  Or that other Jews have been called as witnesses against Trump - Alexander Vindman and Gordon Sondland. Or that yet others like Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas, both "Soviet-born" American citizens, both associates of Rudy Giuliani and both recently arrested, are in the middle of it, too.

Lest you think this is an aberration, think again.  Every little old lady walking the aisles of a Texas Walmart is now on to this.


(Be sure to see the video embedded in the YWN article.)

RELATEDTruNews on Israel.

26 November 2019

It's Not Over Yet (2): Stay Alert

28 Marcheshvan 5780

Iran poised to strike US/Israeli targets. US forces gear up for action. USS Lincoln carrier enters the Gulf

The US and Iran ramped up their preparations for direct military engagement on Monday, Nov. 25: A top Iranian general’s threatened to destroy the US, Israel and Saudi Arabia, and the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Force moved into position opposite central Iran’s coastline... 

23 November 2019

Indictable Offenses

26 Marcheshvan 5780
Shavua tov!

It's inescapable.  Politics!  It's consuming our world.  It would be so much easier to put our heads under the pillow and say "wake me when it's all over."  But, this is another battle in the War for Hearts and Minds, and each of us must do our part to fight the brainwashing that the World of Lies is perpetrating against humanity right now.


American-raised and educated Prime Minister of Israel Binyamin Netanyahu (70) and American-born businessman and TV star US President Donald Trump (73) are each facing their own legal issues with both supporters and detractors digging in on opposite sides of the scandals.

Words like "coup" and "witch hunt" and insults like "human garbage" are being thrown like so many rotten tomatoes at anyone who dares to substantiate the charges being brought.  Since indictments were handed down against Mr. Netanyahu, many in the public sphere have noted the similarities between his situation and that of Mr. Trump who is being investigated by a Congressional committee for possible articles of impeachment.

Mr. Netanyahu was recently lauded for serving longer than any other Prime Minister in Israel's history - thirteen years.  Last week, he made history again by being the first sitting Prime Minister to be indicted for crimes.

In the case of the US President, if he is impeached, it won't be the first time, as it has happened twice before, but it is such a rarity as to still be considered a historical event.  Mr. Trump is no stranger to making history.

His supporters would tell you that Mr. Trump made history when he recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel; moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem; recognized Israeli sovereignty over the Golan Heights, and most recently, determined that Israeli settlements in Judea and Samaria are not illegal according to international law.  And then there is the "Deal-of-the-Century-in-waiting."

As mentioned several times by various US Officials, including Mr. Trump, he did nothing more than "recognize facts on the ground."  It's true.

An undivided Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel since the Six Days War in 1967 when it was reunified at the cost of much Jewish blood.  However, Mr. Trump's bold announcement never specified Jerusalem as Israel's "unified" or" undivided" capital.  It came with the clear caveat that "West" Jerusalem would always be Israel's capital.

What about the embassy move, you may ask.  Well, each country has only one embassy, and it is much larger than the various consulates because of the nature of its responsibilities.  In Israel, the embassy building in Tel Aviv which meets those requirements is still operational, although it is now being called an embassy field office.  The Jerusalem facility is too small to operate as a full-fledged embassy.  That's why there was so much talk in the immediate aftermath of the original announcement that it would be years before a proper embassy could be built and opened.  But Mr. Trump wanted the public show to boost his ratings so they hung a plaque and said they moved the embassy to Jerusalem.  I don't have to explain to you how simple it will be for the next president to "move" it back.

Furthermore, Israel declared its sovereignty over the Golan Heights in 1981; however, the US recognizing that "fact on the ground" doesn't change anything for us vis-a-vis Syria or the international community.  Ditto on "settlements."  As soon as Mr. Trump made his announcement, there was a quick backtrack from the administration that it should not be taken as a license to annex or extend sovereignty or even increase building in Judea, Samaria or the Jordan Valley.  And lest we forget, there are term limits in the US.  Trump's term will eventually end and whoever takes his place could reverse it all.  That's why we have to stand up for ourselves and not depend on anyone else to fight our battles for us.  We live and survive and serve our God at HIS pleasure not any president, king or dictator.

Curious.  Why is it that everything Mr. Trump has accomplished can be seen as a favor to Israel?  Is it to please his evangelical base?  I'm sure that's a large part of it.  Or is it to boost Bibi Netanyahu's ratings at home to ensure his place in power in the hopes that the grandest real estate deal of all will be his for the taking.  I'm talking, of course, about the Deal of the Century which Mr. Trump has already warned will have some parts that the Israelis won't like.

Where are Mr. Trump's accomplishments at home?  How far has the border wall been built over the past three years?  How much has the swamp in Washington, DC been drained over the past three years?  How many "deep-state bad actors" have been jailed over the past three years?  Why isn't Hillary in jail?!  How many major companies have returned their operations to US soil over the past three years?  How much has the Federal debt been reduced over the past three years?  These are all promises Mr. Trump made during his campaign for the presidency.

In answer to the first question: "...the administration has yet to finish a single mile of barrier on a previously unfenced part of the 2,000-mile southern border...." (Source)  In answer to the second and third questions, I can't find any results.  Fourth?  Hillary is still threatening to run for president in 2020!  In answer to the fifth question: companies leaving the US still outnumber the few who have returned - an overall loss. (Source)  And in answer to the final question: instead of being reduced, the national debt has actually increased by 2 trillion more dollars under Mr. Trump.. (Source)

Do you know who has benefited the most from the Trump presidency?  Would it surprise you to learn that it is Putin's Russia? I don't need anyone else to tell me this.  It's obvious.
Trump’s Gift to Putin: The President’s Privatized Foreign Policy Is a Boon for Russia

Russia reaps windfalls of Trump’s chaos: Moscow would readily agree that US president is the best in history

In Roman times, judges would ask: cui bono — who benefits? When asked of Donald Trump’s erratic foreign policy, the answer is troubling. The biggest winner of Mr Trump’s “America First” doctrine is Russia, not the US.

...It is hard to imagine a better public relations coup for Vladimir Putin than America’s whirlwind exit from northern Syria. Russian television cameras lingered over “emergency exit” signs and half-eaten meals in the evacuated US bases. The Kurds, America’s most loyal regional ally, quickly switched their fealty to Russia. Bashar al-Assad can now cement his control over Syria, while Turkey is moving closer to Russia (and nearer to quitting Nato). In chess terms, Mr Trump has just handed Mr Putin a bishop. The Kurds are mere pawns. 

Mr Trump’s impeachment battle is a political crisis in the US. It is an existential one for Ukraine. The latter is barely an after-thought in Washington DC but is at the forefront of Russian minds. A week after “Ukrainegate” erupted, Volodymyr Zelensky, Ukraine’s president, conceded elections in the Donbass, the country’s eastern region, which is riddled with Russian proxy forces. Until now, the move was resisted by Ukraine since there could be no free elections without Russian withdrawal. The concession has tarnished Mr Zelensky’s young presidency and damaged Ukraine’s chances of thriving independently. Yet Mr Trump left Kiev with little choice. Ukraine borders Russia. It can only stand up with America’s help. In Russian eyes, Ukraine is a far bigger chess piece than Syria. 

...Taken as a whole, Mr Trump’s presidency has been a dramatic advance for Russia. In August, Mr Trump said Russia should be readmitted to the G7. Russia was kicked out in 2014 after it annexed Crimea.
(This does not even take into consideration the legitimacy given to such abhorrent tyrants as North Korea's Kim Jong Un and Turkey's Recep Erdogan, as well as offers to dialogue with Iran's Ayatollah Khamenei.)

The Mueller investigation outcome aside, these facts, taken together with the plethora of Russian connections during the campaign, as well as Mr. Trump's connections to the Russian mafia in the New York real estate world in the 80s and 90s, make me wonder what America has gotten herself into and whether she can ever extricate herself.  

My main concern, however, is that Bibi Netanyahu's obsession with remaining in power, when his own party has other worthy representatives who should be given a chance to serve, is somehow connected with unfinished business he has on behalf of the United States. Under Netanyahu's premiereship, Israel is turning into a Little America:  the gap between rich and poor has increased substantially, social programs have been cut to the bone, as well as funds for education and health care, while hi-tech, military hardware and other business interests thrive.  

Has he made promises to Mr. Trump, Mr. Kushner, Mr.Greenblatt, and Mr Friedman regarding a certain Peace Plan upon which hopes of a Nobel Peace Prize are hinged? Is it somehow connected to American involvement in our offshore natural gas fields?  How will this impact on Russia?  Is this the point at which their interests come into conflict?  All we really know for sure is that everyone is out for himself.  There is no national or world leader who places the interests of his constituency as paramount, regardless of party affiliation.

That's why it doesn't even matter whether these politicians offered or accepted bribes, because their real crimes are much, much worse.  In Bibi Netanyahu's case, he voted in favor of forcibly expelling 10,000 Jews from their homes and businesses, synagogues, schools and cemeteries of 40 years and handed them over to their mortal enemies who totally destroyed it all.  Then, they used that same land from which to launch literally thousands of missiles on the bordering communities for over 14 years with no end to it in sight. After 20 years in litigation and finally with Supreme Court approval, Bibi Netanyahu had the green light to dismantle and move illegally constructed Beduin camps, yet he refused to do it, while Jewish buildings, some still in the approval process, were bulldozed in the dead of night - on his orders.

Few people these days have very high expectations of their leaders or hold their politicians to a very high standard.  Many people think corruption is just part and parcel of politics (and business) in today's world.  Everybody does it, what's the big deal?  What's even worse, however, is how few people even think for themselves any more.  The proof of that is in the repetition of certain language - it's called parroting - parroting the party line.  If there is any hope for our future, it is in those who refuse the brainwashing, who refuse to follow the party line, who begin again to make demands upon their leaders - that they be honest and honorable people, that they clean up their language and their morals, that they recognize that they are in power to serve, not to be served.  

If we can't admit that everyone is guilty here and that everyone needs to repent of their part in the crimes, then Heaven might just indict us all.

21 November 2019

"The Netanyahu Era Is Over"

24 Marcheshvan 5780
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Chayei Sarah - Mevorchim

From the Stone Edition Chumash Commentary...
The Sages teach that the narratives of Sarah's death and the Akeidah follow one another to indicate that she died as a result of that event.  She was told by the Satan that Abraham had actually slaughtered Isaac, and she cried out in grief and died (Targum Yonasan).  This explains why Abraham and Isaac were not present at her death.
R' Yaakov Kamenetsky explained that this cannot mean that Sarah died "accidentally" before her time, because, in connection with Sarah's life span, the Sages teach that Isaac had to anticipate his own possible death when he came to within five years of the age at which she died....  This dictum could not have applied to Sarah if her death was not natural.  Rather, the sense of the Targum Yonasan is that Sarah's time had come in any case, but that the immediate cause of death was the news of the Akeidah.  Some commentators say that her last breath came with the proud knowledge that she had succeeded in raising a son who was willing to give up even his life in the service of God.
In addition, the Torah records the birth of Rebecca before the death of Sarah in line with the tradition that a righteous person is not taken from the world until his or her successor has been born, as implied by the verse (Ecclesiastes 1:5), The sun rises and the sun sets (Sforno, Baal HaTurim).
As we see from the title above quoted from the Israeli media on the night that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has been indicted for crimes that will bring him to trial, "the sun is setting" on the Netanyahu Premiereship.  May we see "the sun rise" on Mashiach Tzidkeinu!!

***

  • Rabbi Moshe Ben Tov, ztz"l:  The Lubavitcher Rebbe told Binyamin Netanyahu that he would remain in the Office of Prime Minister until Mashiach comes and then he would hand him the keys to the office. 
  • Rabbi Shmuel Shmueli: Rabbi Kaduri, ztz"l foresaw many years ago that Netanyahu would be elected and after him - Mashiach
  • Talya Caroline had a dream about Rav Dov Kook who linked the disintegration of Netanyahu's rule to the preparation for the revelation of Mashiach.
  • Ron Bornstein:  Ben Yishai will come when Netanyahu's days are over as Israeli Prime Minister.
  • Rabbi Daniel Zar:  For 25 years already they've said in the name of the Lubavitcher Rebbe that Netanyahu will pass the baton of government to Mashiach.
  • HaRabbanit Yael Shneider from Jerusalem: According to the mekubalim of Jerusalem, after Netanyahu - Mashiach!         (Source)

~ SHABBAT SHALOM ~

20 November 2019

Will Mashiach Be Revealed This Shabbat?

23 Marcheshvan 5780

Now that Benny Gantz has returned the mandate to President Rivlin tonight signaling his failure to form a government, will the purported nevua of Rabbi Sasson Chai Shoshani come true this Shabbat?
...“In the ancient sefer ‘The Bris of the Persimmon’ written by the mekubal R’ Sasson Chai Shoshani who was called the ‘the Navi from Mitzrayim,’ there’s a wonderful quote which has special meaning during these days: ‘The day will come that two ministers will win the government in Israel. The name of both will be Binyamin and neither will succeed in establishing a government. On that day, [the day when both Binyamins will have failed to form a government?] you should know and understand that Moshiach is already standing by the door and on the Shabbos afterward, he will come and reveal himself.'” (Source)
And from the same source...
...The chavrusa of R’ Kaduri, Chacham Menachem Menashe, the author of Ahavas Chaim, wrote similar things. He wrote in the name of R’ Sasson Chai Shoshani in Parshas Ki Savo, the parsha we read this past Shabbos, on what will be at the end of days, how there will be a war with the erev rav about Shabbos and how the erev rav will have the majority.”
And right on schedule...
Tel Aviv to launch Shabbat bus program on Friday
We can only hope and pray!

It's Not Over Yet

22 Marcheshvan 5780

For the skeptical among us who think the 48-hr clash which started on the full moon in Gaza was NOT the start of something bigger, just hold on.  It's not over yet...
Israeli air strikes knock over dozens of Iranian Guards and Syrian army targets

Israel fighter jets early Wednesday, Nov. 20 smashed dozens of Iranian Revolutionary Guards and Syrian military targets in Syria – payback for the four-rocket volley against the Golan. They included ground-to-air missile batteries, command centers, weapons stores and bases. The IDF reported that Syrian anti-air batteries were destroyed after opening fire on the Israeli jets, although a warning was relayed to Damascus to abstain. Syrian military sources describe the Israeli fighters as shooting missiles from airspace over the Golan and Lebanon.

IDF girds for response after attacking dozens of Iranian, Assad targets in Syria

The Israel Defense Forces on Wednesday morning said it was girding for several possible Iranian responses to its overnight airstrikes on the Islamic Republic’s Quds Force in Syria, from total calm to a full-scale attack.

“We are preparing for defense and attack, and we will respond to any attempt to retaliate,” IDF Spokesperson Hidai Zilberman told reporters first thing Wednesday morning.
“We are ready for three scenarios: no response, a minor response, and a more significant response,” he said.
It would appear that our teshuvah this year was inadequate.  Three quarters of the way through November, in the waning days of Marcheshvan, instead of rains of blessing, it will be raining rockets on Eretz YisraelHashem yerachem!

It's now or never for Binyamin Netanyahu.

18 November 2019

When Are We Going to Reach Bottom?

21 Marcheshvan 5780

Here are some articles that everyone should read.  In case you missed them...
Trump said ‘frustrated’ with Netanyahu as deadlock delays peace plan

Barkat: US may adopt West Bank plan for 250,000 Palestinian jobs, Bible tourism
On the same subject, I read an unconfirmed report that Trump was considering going ahead and releasing his Deal of the Century in the belief that it might "persuade Avigdor Liberman’s Yisrael Beytenu bloc of 8 members to join Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu’s bloc of 55 members to form Israel’s next Government."

With this announcement a short time ago, we may have that confirmation...
Pompeo shifts US settlement stance, says calling them illegal won’t bring peace

In major shift, US set to rescind stance on illegality of settlements
With all his legal problems piling up, Trump has got be desperate for a big win, especially after losing two southern governorships.  Right now, he probably has dreams of Peace Prizes dancing in his head.  He really believes his own propaganda about 98% of Israelis love him, and he could come to Israel and get elected Prime Minister.  So, now he thinks Israel will give him his way out - after all, look at all he has done for us.  

But, just like his "recognition of (West) Jerusalem as Israel's capital" does not prejudice its final status vis a vis the Fakestinians, and just like the US continues to operate an embassy out of Tel Aviv at the same time there is an embassy plaque affixed to a small existing facility located on the old "seam line," recognition of (unidentified) "settlements" does not equate to Israeli sovereignty over the "West Bank."

Can't you picture Barkat's plan coming to fruition as part of Trump's Deal of the Century?  Israel - The Christian Disneyland with Fakestinian Arabs more entrenched among us than ever!  How long until the Jews are outnumbered by Christians and Muslims in "the only Jewish State?"

Who the h*ll cares whether the United States recognizes Jerusalem or the Golan or Judea and Samaria?  If Jews cared a tenth as much about HKB"H's opinions as they do about these low-life American politicians, we would not find ourselves in this fix!!

How much lower can we go?  When are we ever going to reach the bottom so we can begin the climb back up?

A Question For Every Diaspora Jew

20 Marcheshvan 5780





[DISCLAIMER: I did not see a way to embed the video. Linkage to the site is NOT an endorsement of the sponsoring organization!!]

15 November 2019

"The Contrast Between Israel and Sodom"

17 Marcheshvan 5780
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Vayeira
And Hashem said, "Shall I conceal from Abraham what I do, now that Abraham is surely to become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by him?  For I have loved him, because he commands his children and his household after him that they keep the way of Hashem, doing charity and justice, in order that Hashem might bring upon Abraham that which He had spoken of him."  (Bereishit 18.18-19)
Stone Edition Chumash Commentary...
The implication of verse 19 is that the seed of Sodom's wickedness lay in its failure to abide by the principles that Abraham would inculcate in his offspring. The cruelties of Sodom have become part of the language as the epitome of selfishness, callousness and depravity, but the root of their evil was greed. Sodom was a rich and fertile region and, as such, it was a magnet for people seeking to make their fortune, as it was for Lot. But the Sodomites wanted to maintain their own prosperity and not be encumbered by a flood of poor immigrants.  The wealthy and well-connected Lots of the world were welcome in Sodom, because they would give more to the economy than they would take.  To discourage undesirable newcomers, however, the Sodomites institutionalized state cruelty, so that it became a crime to feed a starving person or offer alms to  a beggar.  Even the sexual perversion for which Sodom is notorious was employed to keep visitors away.  According to one opinion of the Sages, this cruelty stemmed from an attitude of, "What is mine is mine and what is yours is yours (Avot 5:10), "or, in the popular idiom, "Neither a lender nor a borrower be."  Such selfishness descends to cruelty and perversion - and a metropolis that elevates such behavior to a legitimate way of life forfeits the right to exist.
*** 
WHY IT'S ILLEGAL TO FEED THE HOMELESS IN CITIES ACROSS AMERICA
Volunteers made headlines...when 12 of them were charged with misdemeanor offenses after feeding homeless people in El Cajon, California, but the ban against feeding the homeless is not unique to the city. Dozens across the United States have similar policies that ban food-sharing in public places.
After the charges in El Cajon, activists and attorneys said...that they would file a lawsuit against the city regarding the ban. Leaders called the policy unconstitutional and discriminatory, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. Similar stories have been reported across the nation. In December 2017, Adelen McLean was issued a ticket for feeding the homeless in Atlanta's Hurt Park, and in January 2017, seven people in Tampa were arrested for feeding the homeless without a permit.
...NLCHP has seen an increase in laws criminalizing homelessness. "This will continue, especially with the recent beck-pedaling of the federal Justice Department," she said.
In December 2017, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the U.S. Department of Justice pulled back on an Obama-era guidance issued to state and local courts that advocated against imposing fines and fees on poor people.
...Between 2013 and 2015, 26 cities passed food-sharing bans, according to reports from the National Coalition for the Homeless.

Citing the Bible, Federal Lawsuit Challenges Houston’s Ban on Feeding the Homeless

...Randall Kallinen, who has filed numerous civil rights lawsuits in Houston, is representing the activists. In interviews with the Observer, he described the ordinance as “totally ridiculous” and part of an effort to “get the homeless out of town.”

Cities are enacting politics to keep homeless people out of sight and uphold a social order riven by racial and economic inequality

 ~ SHABBAT SHALOM ~

13 November 2019

"The Western Wall Rabbi's Fascinating Dream About the Messiah"

16 Marcheshvan 5780

In remembrance of Rabbi Meir Kahane, ztz"l on his 29th yahrtzeit this Shabbat.



12 November 2019

NOTE THE DATE - THIS IS IT!

15 Marcheshvan 5780

GAZA WAR - LIVE BLOG

Israel's Secret Weapon

(Regarding the date, see HERE.)


Why This Time Might Be Different

Yes, we've all "been here, done this" before, as so aptly illustrated by the eight-year-old blog post linked above about the date.  However, there are some critical differences this time around.  

  1. We are eight more years closer to the revelation of Mashiach.
  2. We are already at the end of the "friendliest" US presidency in Israel's history.
  3. Iran is doubling down on its efforts to produce nuclear weapons.
  4. Netanyahu is potentially at the end of his political career, if not now, when?
It really is going to happen at some point.  The closer we are to the End, the greater the chance This will be It.



NEVER GIVE UP HOPE - God's Promises Are ALWAYS Fulfilled

10 November 2019

Your Prayers Matter

13 Marcheshvan 5780

Update on Rabbi Anava's condition via Facebook...


07 November 2019

Lechu Lechem Western Jews!

10 Marcheshvan 5780
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Lech Lecha
Hashem said to Avram, "Go for yourself from your land, from your relatives, and from your father's house to the land that I will show you."
The commentary says on the seemingly superfluous words "for yourself," that it means "go for your own benefit and for your own good."

What goes for the father, goes as well for the children.


***
As soon as Hitler, y"sh rose to power, any doubts any European Jews still harbored as to his intentions should have been put to rest.  But, surely by the time Kristallnacht happened, could anyone have still had any illusions that Jews could continue to live in Europe?

1933
January 30, 1933 - Adolf Hitler is appointed Chancellor of Germany a nation with a Jewish population of 566,000.
February 22, 1933 - 40,000 SA and SS men are sworn in as auxiliary police.
February 27, 1933 - Nazis burn Reichstag building to create crisis atmosphere.
February 28, 1933 - Emergency powers granted to Hitler as a result of the Reichstag fire.
March 22, 1933 - Nazis open Dachau concentration camp near Munich, to be followed by Buchenwald near Weimar in central Germany, Sachsenhausen near Berlin in northern Germany, and Ravensbrück for women.
March 24, 1933 - German Parliament passes Enabling Act giving Hitler dictatorial powers.
April 11, 1933 Nazis issue a Decree defining a non-Aryan as "anyone descended from non-Aryan, especially Jewish, parents or grandparents. One parent or grandparent classifies the descendant as non-Aryan...especially if one parent or grandparent was of the Jewish faith."
April 26, 1933 - The Gestapo is born, created by Hermann Göring in the German state of Prussia.
July 14, 1933 - Nazi Party is declared the only legal party in Germany; Also, Nazis pass Law to strip Jewish immigrants from Poland of their German citizenship.
In July - Nazis pass law allowing for forced sterilization of those found by a Hereditary Health Court to have genetic defects.
In September - Nazis establish Reich Chamber of Culture, then exclude Jews from the Arts.
September 29, 1933 - Nazis prohibit Jews from owning land.
October 4, 1933 - Jews are prohibited from being newspaper editors.
November 24, 1933 - Nazis pass a Law against Habitual and Dangerous Criminals, which allows beggars, the homeless, alcoholics and the unemployed to be sent to concentration camps.


1934
January 24, 1934 - Jews are banned from the German Labor Front.
May 17, 1934 - Jews not allowed national health insurance.
June 30, 1934 - The Night of Long Knives occurs as Hitler, Göring and Himmler conduct a purge of the SA (storm trooper) leadership.
July 20, 1934 - The SS (Schutzstaffel) is made an independent organization from the SA.
July 22, 1934 - Jews are prohibited from getting legal qualifications.
August 2, 1934 - German President von Hindenburg dies. Hitler becomes Führer.
August 19, 1934 Hitler receives a 90 percent 'Yes' vote from German voters approving his new powers.


1935
May 21, 1935 - Nazis ban Jews from serving in the military.
June 26, 1935 - Nazis pass law allowing forced abortions on women to prevent them from passing on hereditary diseases.
August 6, 1935 - Nazis force Jewish performers/artists to join Jewish Cultural Unions.


1936
February 10, 1936 - The German Gestapo is placed above the law.
In March - SS Deathshead division is established to guard concentration camps.
March 7, 1936 - Nazis occupy the Rhineland.
June 17, 1936 - Heinrich Himmler is appointed chief of the German Police.
August 1, 1936 - Olympic games begin in Berlin. Hitler and top Nazis seek to gain legitimacy through favorable public opinion from foreign visitors and thus, temporarily refrain from actions against Jews.
In August - Nazis set up an Office for Combating Homosexuality and Abortions (by healthy women).


1937
In January - Jews are banned from many professional occupations including teaching Germans, and from being accountants or dentists. They are also denied tax reductions and child allowances.


1938  
March 12/13, 1938 - Nazi troops enter Austria, which has a population of 200,000 Jews, mainly living in Vienna. Hitler announces Anschluss (union) with Austria.
In March After the Anschluss, the SS is placed in charge of Jewish affairs in Austria with Adolf Eichmann establishing an Office for Jewish Emigration in Vienna. Himmler then establishes Mauthausen concentration camp near Linz.
April 22, 1938 - Nazis prohibit Aryan 'front-ownership' of Jewish businesses.
April 26, 1938 - Nazis order Jews to register wealth and property.
June 14, 1938 - Nazis order Jewish-owned businesses to register.
In July - At Evian, France, the U.S. convenes a League of Nations conference with delegates from 32 countries to consider helping Jews fleeing Hitler, but results in inaction as no country will accept them.
July 6, 1938 - Nazis prohibited Jews from trading and providing a variety of specified commercial services.
July 23, 1938 - Nazis order Jews over age 15 to apply for identity cards from the police, to be shown on demand to any police officer.
July 25, 1938 - Jewish doctors prohibited by law from practicing medicine.
August 11, 1938 - Nazis destroy the synagogue in Nuremberg.
August 17, 1938 - Nazis require Jewish women to add Sarah and men to add Israel to their names on all legal documents including passports.
September 27, 1938 - Jews are prohibited from all legal practices.
October 5, 1938 - Law requires Jewish passports to be stamped with a large red "J."
October 15, 1938 - Nazi troops occupy the Sudetenland.
October 28, 1938 - Nazis arrest 17,000 Jews of Polish nationality living in Germany, then expel them back to Poland which refuses them entry, leaving them in 'No-Man's Land' near the Polish border for several months.
November 7, 1938 - Ernst vom Rath, third secretary in the German Embassy in Paris, is shot and mortally wounded by Herschel Grynszpan, the 17-year-old son of one of the deported Polish Jews. Rath dies on November 9, precipitating Kristallnacht.

Consider the situation in Eretz Yisrael over the same time period...
...in Mandatory Palestine, a growing Jewish population (174,610 in 1931, rising to 384,078 in 1936) was acquiring land and developing the structures of a future Jewish state despite opposition from the Arab population.

Hanotea (הַנּוֹטֵעַ, "the Planter") was a citrus planting company based in Netanya and established in 1929 by long-established Jewish settlers in Palestine involved in the Benei Binyamin movement. In a deal worked out with the Reich Economics Ministry, the blocked German bank accounts of prospective immigrants would be unblocked and funds from them used by Hanotea to buy agricultural German goods; these goods, along with the immigrants, would then be shipped to Palestine, and the immigrants would be granted a house or citrus plantation by the company to the same value. Hanotea's director, Sam Cohen, represented the company in direct negotiation with the Reich Economics Ministry beginning in March 1933. In May 1933 Hanotea applied for permission to transfer capital from Germany to Palestine. This pilot arrangement appeared to be operating successfully, and so paved the way for the later Haavara Agreement.

The Haavara (Transfer) Agreement, negotiated by Eliezer Hoofein, director of the Anglo-Palestine Bank, was agreed to by the Reich Economics Ministry in 1933, and continued, with declining German government support, until it was wound up in 1939. Under the agreement, Jews emigrating from Germany could use their assets to purchase German-manufactured goods for export, thus salvaging their personal assets during emigration. The agreement provided a substantial export market for German factories to British-ruled Palestine. Between November, 1933, and 31 December 1937, 77,800,000 Reichmarks, or $22,500,000, (values in 1938 currency) worth of goods were exported to Jewish businesses in Palestine under the program. By the time the program ended with the start of World War II, the total had risen to 105,000,000 marks (about $35,000,000, 1939 values).

Emigrants with capital of £1,000, (about $5,000 in 1930s currency value) could move to Palestine in spite of severe British restrictions on Jewish immigration under an immigrant investor program similar to the modern EB-5 visa. Under the Transfer Agreement, about 39% of an emigrant's funds were given to Jewish communal economic development projects, leaving individuals with about 43% of the funds.

The Haavara Agreement was thought among some German circles to be a possible way to solve the "Jewish problem." The head of the Middle Eastern division of the foreign ministry, the anti-NSDAP politician Werner Otto von Hentig, supported the policy of settling Jews in Palestine. Hentig believed that if the Jewish population was concentrated in a single foreign entity, then foreign diplomatic policy and containment of the Jews would become easier. Hitler's own support of the Haavara Agreement was unclear and varied throughout the 1930s. Initially, Hitler seemed indifferent to the economic details of the plan, but he supported it in the period from September 1937 to 1939.

After the German invasion of Poland in September 1939 the program was ended.

The agreement was controversial both within the NSDAP and in the Zionist movement. As historian Edwin Black put it, "The Transfer Agreement tore the Jewish world apart, turning leader against leader, threatening rebellion and even assassination." Opposition came in particular from the mainstream US leadership of the World Zionist Congress, in particular Abba Hillel Silver and American Jewish Congress president Rabbi Stephen Wise. Wise and other leaders of the Anti-Nazi boycott of 1933 argued against the agreement, narrowly failing to persuade the Nineteenth Zionist Congress in August 1935 to vote against it.

The right-wing Revisionist Zionists and their leader Vladimir Jabotinsky were even more vocal in their opposition. The Revisionist newspaper in Palestine, Hazit Haam published a sharp denunciation of those involved in the agreement as "betrayers", and shortly afterwards one of the negotiators, Haim Arlosoroff was assassinated.  (Source)
Clearly, Hashem provided an escape hatch, but only up until a certain point.  And that point seems to have been 1939.  Until then, immigration to Eretz Yisrael for Jews was unrestricted.
The White Paper of 1939 was a policy paper issued by the British government under Neville Chamberlain in response to the 1936–39 Arab Revolt. Following its formal approval in the House of Commons on 23 May 1939, it acted as the governing policy for Mandatory Palestine from 1939 until the British departure in 1948, the matter of the Mandate meanwhile having been referred to the United Nations.

The policy, first drafted in March 1939, was prepared by the British government unilaterally as a result of the failure of the Arab-Zionist London Conference. The paper called for the establishment of a Jewish national home in an independent Palestinian state within 10 years, rejecting the idea of partitioning Palestine. It also limited Jewish immigration to 75,000 for 5 years, and ruled that further immigration was to be determined by the Arab majority (section II). Restrictions were put on the rights of Jews to buy land from Arabs (section III).
 And the "grace" period for the Jews of Europe was over as they found themselves both locked in and locked out.

Judging by the lessons of history, the rising tide of antisemitism around the world is indicative of another wave meant to wash Jews up on the shores of their Holy Land.  The really smart ones will not wait too long.

The Western Jews of 2019 have two strikes against them: (1) they've seen what a Holocaust looks like, and (2)  it's never been so easy to make aliyah to Eretz Yisrael.

Western Jews!  Lechu Lechem!  Go for yourselves!  Go home to Eretz Yisrael!!

~ SHABBAT SHALOM ~

06 November 2019

Daniel: Conclusion - The Little Horn's Demise

9 Marcheshvan 5780

What will be the end of the little horn of the fourth empire - the end of all exiles for the Jews?

The Court assembles, the Judge sits, and the Books are opened. (Daniel 7:9-10, Paraphrased)
     ...because of the sound of the haughty words which the horn spoke, I watched until the beast [representing the fourth empire - "Rome" -] was slain and its body destroyed and consigned to a flame of fire.  (Daniel 7:11)
From A Commentary Anthologized from Talmudic, Midrashic, and Rabbinic Sources:
     Because of the sound of the haughty words.  The wrath of the Ancient of Days was aroused by the blasphemous words of the small horn (Rashi).
     The final judgment upon the fourth kingdom will not take place solely on account of its evil deeds.  Its ultimate downfall shall come as a consequence of the falsehoods perpetuated by the religions represented by the small horn (Mayenei HaYeshuah 8:8; Malbim)
     And its body destroyed - in this world ... 
     And consigned to a flame of fire ...
     ... In the world to come - Gehinom (Mayenei HaYeshuah 8:8). 
fire, refers to the flame of Jacob:  And it shall come to pass that the house of Jacob shall be a fire ... (Obadiah 1:18; Rashi)
Ovadiah 1:17-18 in full...
On Mount Zion there will be refuge, and it will be holy; and the house of Jacob will inherit those who had dispossessed them.  The house of Jacob will be fire, the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for straw; and they will ignite them and devour them.  There will be no survivor to the house of Esau, for Hashem has spoken. 
How are we to understand this?  Is it literal or maybe metaphorical? 

I can't help wondering what part some or all of these high-profile American-Jewish names may play in a metaphorical scenario...

American Jews the American Right-wing (MAGA) Republicans Love to Hate

Candidate for President Bernie Sanders
Advisor to the President Jared Kushner
Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan
Senator Joseph Lieberman
Senator Dianne Feinstein
Former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg
Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg

Notorious Sex Criminal Anthony Weiner
Notorious Sex Criminal Harvey Weinstein 
Notorious Sex Criminal Jeffrey Epstein

Leader of Presidential Impeachment Investigation, Congressman Adam Schiff
Director of European Affairs (NSC) - Turned Impeachment Witness Alexander Vindman

The Pharmaceutical Makers of Oxycodone - The Sackler Family
Wall Street Thief Bernie Madoff (no forgetting him)