30 April 2024

"Post-Pesach Update"

22 Nissan 5784 - Isru Chag
Day 7 (1 week) of the Omer

One of our commenters has requested a "Post-Pesach Update," so here goes.

It's still Nissan.  There is also a Second Chance Pesach in Iyyar - the month of miraculous wars.

The measure of damage caused by severe storms and chaos created by the enemies of Israel across the university campuses is likely commensurate with the amount of arm-twisting, threats and outright blackmail being used against the Israeli government in order to bring about a complete surrender to Hamas.

We have to recall how much merit America must have stored up over time from the actual good it did for Jews and what it will take to drain that cup of merit until she is completely deserving of the destruction already prophesied for her.  (See Ovadiah.)

It must be said, the righteous Jews living there do not help us.  Their presence there is a hindrance to the full punishment needed to make America let God's people in Israel go.  I don't know what it will take to remove that obstacle, but it is destined to be removed one way or another.  It's either us in Israel or the Jews of America.  We can't both be saved.  Their own merit and the kedushah they embody are likely blocking the knock-out blow, but when it becomes us or them,....  I shudder to think.  

We have reached a real turning point and an earth-shattering event is only hours away.  This will be the last attempt at a cease-fire agreement which would ensure Israel's complete capitulation.  If it is rejected, the invasion of Rafiach follows immediately and the ICC will no doubt issue arrest warrants for the entire upper echelon of the Israeli government.  If it is accepted, foreign pressure will be relaxed, but it's highly likely the government will fall from a no-confidence vote.  The majority of the country is against surrender.

Whichever way you slice it, it foretells the demise of the Erev Rav regime.  We will be at our most vulnerable and our enemies will be lured into the "Red Sea" as a result.  

HKB"H prepares the cure before the illness.  Mashiach IS here and he will come forth at the appropriate time, as surely as the sea split for our ancestors.  Never doubt it.

That's my own personal assessment.

Tornado Outbreak Still Ongoing (7 hours ago)

Columbia University Protestors Live

ICC Threatening to Issue Arrest Warrants
(12:00 - 12:30, if you can't see the whole thing)

Pressure Is On

Israel Realtime Updates...

🟡 CEASEFIRE - GAZA.. .. U.S. TO HAMAS: “You must deliver your final answer to the deal quickly, the IDF is about to enter Rafah in a few hours.”

28 April 2024

Geulah Watch

20 Nissan 5784
Day 5 of the Omer
Erev Shvi'i shel Pesach  

(It's an ongoing event.)

Note that "significant damaging hail" and some flash-flooding is also accompanying the storms producing these tornadoes.

"The Light of Redemption"

20 Nissan 5784
Day 5 of the Omer
Erev Shvi'i shel Pesach 

The First and Final Redemption

While the first night of Passover commemorates the redemption from exile in Egypt, the final day celebrates the future Redemption, which G‑d will bring about through Moshiach. 
The connection between the first and the last redemption is also gleaned from the verse: "As in the days when you left Egypt, I shall show you wonders [during the final Redemption]."
Seventh Day of Passover - The Light of Redemption

26 April 2024

Heed the Warnings

18 Nissan 5784
Day 3 of the Omer
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Chol HaMoed Pesach

All of our suffering comes about through disobedience to HKB"H's instructions to us...

Excerpt from the Torah reading for Shabbat chol hamoed (Shemot 34.11-14): 

Keep carefully what I am commanding you today:  Lo!  I will drive out from before you the Amorites and the Canaanites, the Hittites and the Perizzites, the Hivvites and the Jebusites.  Beware lest you form a covenant with the inhabitants of the land into which you are coming, lest it become a snare in your midst.  But you shall demolish their altars, shatter their monuments, and cut down their sacred trees.   For you shall not prostrate yourself before another god, because the Lord, Whose Name is "Jealous One," is a jealous God.

Rashi Commentary:  Whose Name is “Jealous One”: He is zealous to mete out retribution, and He is not indulgent.  That is [the meaning of] every expression of jealousy (קִנְאָה) [when used in connection with God]. [It] means that He is steadfast in His superiority [over other deities] and exacts retribution upon those who forsake Him.


25 April 2024

The Geulah Process Is Gaining Steam

17 Nissan 5784
Moadim l'simchah! 

[Please see my comments to the previous blogpost.]

Every media outlet in the world carried this headline yesterday: "Pelosi calls for Netanyahu’s resignation, He's an obstacle to Peace".  This demonstrates America's continued interest in removing Israel's democratically elected leader.  And the world follows suit.
Israel worries ICC could order arrest of top officials, including premier

Jerusalem is concerned that the International Criminal Court in The Hague could soon issue arrest warrants against senior officials, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, over the Israel Defense Forces operation against Hamas, Channel 12 News reported Thursday.
Jonathan Pollard: America, the Mossad
and the Frustration of Attacks on Iran

24 April 2024

Don't Give Up! We're Almost There!!

16 Nissan 5784
Moadim l'Simchah!

The 15th of Nissan has passed, but Shvi'i shel Pesach remains.  If Nissan fails, then Iyyar, the month of miraculous wars, remains.  If Iyyar fails, Shavuot in Sivan remains.  If Sivan fails, the Fast of Tammuz, which is destined to become a holiday, remains.  If Tammuz fails, the 9th of Av and the 15th of Av remain.  If they fail, every month follows with its own auspicious time and redemptive power.  

“I believe with complete faith in the coming of Mashiach. Though he tarry, nonetheless I await him every day, that he will come.”

~ ~ ~ 

A. The Obligation to Await

“The vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak and not lie. Though he tarry wait for him, for it will surely come… it will not be late!” (Habakuk 2:3)

“Therefore wait for Me, says G‑d, for the day that I rise to the prey; for My judgment is to gather nations, that I assemble kingdoms, to pour out upon them My indignation, all My fierce anger. For all the earth shall be consumed by the fire of My jealousy.” (Zephaniah 3:8)

“Happy are all those that wait for him.” (Isaiah 30:18)

Waiting for Mashiach, anticipating his coming, is not simply a virtue but a religious obligation. Rambam thus rules that whoever does not believe in and whoever does not await (eagerly looking forward to) the coming of Mashiach, in effect denies the whole Torah, all the prophets beginning with Moses. In the popular formulation of his thirteen Principles of the Faith (the hymn of Ani Ma’amin) this is put as follows:

“I believe with complete faith in the coming of Mashiach. Though he tarry, nonetheless I await him every day, that he will come.”

As stated above, some authorities view this principle as an integral part of the first of the Ten Commandments which states “Anochi I am G‑d, your G‑d, who has taken you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.” (Exodus 20:2) The connection may be seen in the fact that the initial word Anochi is linked with redemption:

“Anochi signifies the first redemption from Egypt and the last redemption through Mashiach.” Anochi is an explicit expression of compassion, consolation and comfort. Indeed, Anochi is an acronym with every one of its four letters signifying Biblical prophecies of the Messianic consolations and comfort.

In view of this legal obligation to await Mashiach, therefore, one of the first questions an individual is asked on the Day of Divine Judgment is “Tzipita liyeshu’ah did you look forward to salvation?”

To believe in the coming of Mashiach and to await it are two separate concepts. “To believe” is a doctrinal affirmation as for any other part of the Torah: affirming the principle of Mashiach who will come eventually, whenever that may be. “To await” means an active and eager anticipation of the redemption, that it occur speedily: “I await him every day…,” literally:

“In ikveta deMeshicha (on the ‘heels of Mashiach,’ i.e.,) when the time arrives for the glory of G‑d to be revealed in the world through the coming of our righteous Mashiach, there will surely be leaders of Israel… who will urge the masses of Israel to strengthen the faith and to return with teshuvah, and to arouse the people to prepare themselves with teshuvah and good deeds for the coming of Mashiach…

“In those days there will also be people of little faith who will not believe those words, even as we find that during the Egyptian exile ‘they did not listen to Moses because of anguished spirit and hard labor’ (Exodus 6:9)…

“Each one will argue that he does not question the truth of the possibility of the redemption, but merely doubts the time of the redemption as to when it will occur. Yet there is an explicit verse in Malachi (3:1) that ‘The lord whom you seek (i.e., the king Mashiach) will suddenly come to his palace, and the messenger of the covenant whom you desire (i.e., Elijah the prophet), behold he comes…’ At the very least, therefore, one is to consider every day that perhaps he will come that day. We find this reflected in the explicit ruling in the Gemara, Chafetz Chaim, Chizuk Emunah, quoted in Chafetz Chaim al Hatorah, Vayera, p. 56f., note 2. Note also Torat Ze’ev, quoted in Hagadah shel Pesach Mibet Levi [Brisk], p. 120: “It is incumbent to await the coming of Mashiach every single day, and all day long… It is not enough to believe in the coming of Mashiach, but each day one must await his coming… Furthermore, it is not enough to await his coming every day, but it is to be in the manner of our prayer ‘we await Your salvation all the day,’ that is, to await and expect it every day, and all day long, literally every moment!”

B. Kivuy: The Merit and Effect of Awaiting

“Everything is (bound up) with kivuy (hoping; awaiting).” See Targum Yehonathan, and Bereishit Rabba 98:14, on this verse.12 Shemot Rabba 30:24.

“When the Israelites enter the synagogues and houses of study, they say to the Holy One, blessed be He, ‘Redeem us!’ He responds to them: ‘Are there righteous people among you? Are there G‑d-fearing people among you?’ They reply: ‘In the past… there were… Nowadays, however, as we go from generation to generation it grows darker for us…’ The Holy One, blessed be He, then says to them: ‘Trust in My Name and I shall stand by you… for I shall save whoever trusts in My Name.’ ”  Midrash Tehilim 40:114

Though the study of Torah is ever so important, the need to await and hope for the redemption is addressed especially to the scholars and students of Torah, as G‑d rebukes them: “Though the words of the Torah are beloved unto you, you did not do right in awaiting My Torah but not (the restoration of) My Kingdom.”

“[The patriarchs] exclaimed before Him: ‘Master of the universe, maybe there is no restoration for the children?’ He said to them: ‘When there is a generation that looks forward to My Kingdom, they will be redeemed immediately,’ as it is said, ‘There is hope for your future, says G‑d, that (your) children shall return to their own boundary’ (Jeremiah 31:16).”

The daily Amidah contains the request, “Speedily cause the offspring of Your servant David to flourish and enhance his power through Your salvation, for we hope for Your salvation all the day…” The last phrase, “for we hope…,” seems strange: what kind of reasoning is that? If we justly deserve the redemption, we shall merit it even without that hope; if we do not deserve it, of what avail will that hope be? The meaning, however, is clear:

“Speedily cause the offspring of Your servant David to flourish…;” and if it should be said that we lack merit, cause it to flourish anyway “because we hope for your salvation…,” that is, because we have the kivuy (hope). By virtue of that kivuy we deserve that You redeem us!
C. Demanding Mashiach

True belief in the Messianic redemption is reflected and verified in sincere anticipation, in eagerly looking forward to the coming of Mashiach. In turn, the sincerity of this hope and awaiting is tested by what is done to achieve it. For something truly desired one will ask and beg, demand, and do everything possible to attain it. The same applies to the obligatory awaiting and anticipation of Mashiach.

G‑d insists that we prove the sincerity of our claim to want Mashiach by doing everything in our power to bring it about, including storming the Gates of Heaven with demands for the redemption:

“The children of Israel shall sit many days without king and without prince, and without sacrifice… Thereafter, the children of Israel shall return and ask for G‑d, their G‑d, and for David their king, and they shall be in fear before G‑d and (hope) for His goodness in the end of days.” (Hosea 3:4-5)

“Ask for G‑d” refers to the restoration of the Kingdom of Heaven; “David their king” the restoration of the Kingdom of the House of David, through Mashiach; “fear before G‑d… His goodness” the restoration of the Bet Hamikdash. For Israel will not see the redemption until they shall return and ask for these!

“Israel shall not be redeemed until they will confess and demand the Kingdom of Heaven, the Kingdom of the House of David, and the Bet Hamikdash!”

R. Shimon bar Yochai taught a parable of a man who punished his son. The son did not know why he was being punished, but thereafter his father said to him: “Now go and do that which I had ordered you many days ago and you ignored me.”

“Even so, all the thousands that perished in battle in the days of David, perished only because they did not demand that the Bet Hamikdash be built. This presents an a fortiori argument:

“If this happened to those in whose midst there had not been a Bet Hamikdash, which, therefore, was not destroyed in their days, yet they were punished for not demanding it, how much more so then with regards to ourselves in whose days the Bet Hamikdash is destroyed and we do not mourn it and do not seek mercy for it!”

We pray for the redemption several times every day. Even so, requesting by itself is not enough. One must demand the redemption, just as with the wages of a hired worker: the law stipulates that if the worker does not demand his wages, there is no obligation to give it to him on the very day that he completes his work. So, too, we must demand our redemption. Failure to do so shows that this matter is clearly not that urgent to us!

22 April 2024

Chag Pesach Kasher v'Sameach!

14 Nissan 5784
Erev Pesach

by Rav Zvi Leshem (Midreshet Yeud)

When Adam and Eve ate from the Eitz HaDa’at (tree of knowledge), several problems resulted, plaguing humanity ever since. All of our Avodat HaShem is designed to “fix” (Tikkun) this primordial sin, rectifying creation and preparing the way for the final redemption.

Firstly their sin caused Pgam HaDa’at-the corruption of consciousness. The curiosity that cause Adam and Eve to opt for Da’at instead of relying on Emunah (faith), damaged our ability to relate properly to HaShem, Da’at being the knowledge implied in the deepest relationship. (V’HaAdam Yada Et Chava Ishto)

Secondly the misuse of language on the part of the snake to tempt Eve, by Eve to tempt Adam, and by Adam to make excuses for himself caused Pgam HaDibbur- the corruption of language. This is especially grave in light of the fact that language distinguishes humanity from animals, as a person is called Midaber, “the speaker.” Thus the corruption of language is a severe lack of human integrity. One of the manifestations is our difficulty in avoiding prohibited speech, such as Lashon Hara (Shem MiShmuel).

Thirdly of course, is the Pgam HaAchila- the corruption of eating, caused by the sin itself. Next time you are tempted to cheat on your diet realize that the temptation to eat is a very deeply engrained human trait, dating back to the beginning of history! (This is not an excuse. It should spur you on to further self-control, the cosmos depends on it!)

According to many Chassidic sources ( Rebbe Nachman and Rav Tzaddok HaKohen), the Egyptian bondage and redemption are part of the process of rectifying this primordial sin in all of its manifestations. And since every year we as individuals and as the Jewish people re-experience this spiritual journey, our Pesach experience, and especially that of the Seder, helps us to work on these three areas, Da’at (consciousness), Dibbur (speech), and Achilah (eating).

In Lekutai Aytzot (Mo’adei HaShem, Pesach 3) Rebbe Nachman says that by reciting the Haggadah out loud, we arouse our Da’at, for speech is an external manifestation of consciousness. Through this process we merit the revelation of HaShem’s Da’at, which is the essence of the redemption. This is predicated upon the understanding that the physical exile and redemption are external manifestations of a deeper spiritual process.

The fixing of Dibbur (speech) occurs through the recital of the Haggadah. The Sod Yesharim (Pesach 23) points out that according to Rabban Gamliel it is not sufficient to perform the Mitzvot, we must also discuss them. Rav Tzaddok (Pri Tzaddik, Pesach 2) goes a step further. It is not enough to discuss—we must do so in the manner of questions and answers, for only through the process of questioning can we internalize the feeling of the lack of understanding, for which the story of the Exodus provides the answers. Through this process we experience Geulat HaDibbur, the redemption of speech, as did our ancestors upon leaving Egypt.

Our eating and drinking are perfected through the Mitzvot of Matzah, Morror, the drinking of the four cups and ideally, the Passover sacrifice. The centrality of eating at the Seder is so crucial, that this is the only time of the year that we make Birchot HaMitzvah (Asher Kiddishanu BaMitzvotav Vitzeivanu) on eating! (Rav Zaddok, Pri Zaddik, Pesach 1). Even the custom of the Karpas, a vegetable, reminds us that Adam was cursed to eat from the ground instead of from the fruit of the trees. All of this eating, says Rav Zaddok, is to correct the primordial sin in general, and Pgam HaAchilah in particular.

The Mei HaShiloach (part two, Parshat Bo) sums it up beautifully. “ ‘So that the Torah of HaShem will be in your mouth’; on the first night of Pesach, HaShem commands man to refine his mouth. Indeed, the powers of the mouth are eating, drinking, and speech. HaShem commanded the eating of Matzah and the drinking of the cups of wine, and through this one refines one’s eating and drinking of the entire year…. Regarding the power of speech HaShem commands the telling of the story of the Exodus, and this protects us all year long from speaking prohibited language. This explains the verse ‘so that the Torah of HaShem will be in your mouth’, that all of the powers of the mouth will be completely perfected and filled with the words of the Torah”.

May it be HaShem’s will that we fulfill all of the Mitzvot of this holy night properly according to Halacha and with the deepest intentions. May we merit to completely rectify the primordial sin and witness the complete redemption in this Chodesh Nissan, the month of Israel’s redemption. Chag Sameach. 

21 April 2024

From Slavery to Freedom

13 Nissan 5784 

I pinned that phrase from Tanchuma to the top of the page as a reminder...

"...and on the 15th of Nisan they will in the future be redeemed from subjugation to exile.”
When were we considered to have been redeemed from Egypt?  It wasn't after Egypt was destroyed.  It wasn't after we successfully crossed the Red Sea.  It wasn't when we entered into Eretz YisraelIt was the day we no longer needed Pharaoh's permission to leave.  The day we got up and walked out and no one could stop us - that was our redemption.  Everything else followed from that!

This quote from the Tanchuma predicts that the same will be true of our future final redemption, too - "from subjugation to the exile."  When we go free from foreign domination and oppression, everything else will follow from that.  In this situation, present-day Egypt is clearly the U.S.

The Biden administration is slated to announce sanctions against the IDF’s Netzah Yehuda battalion for alleged human rights abuses against Palestinians in the West Bank, the Axios news site reported on Saturday. It would be the first time the US has ever taken such a step.

...Israel moved the unit out of the West Bank in December 2022 — though it denied it did so due to soldiers’ behavior — and it has since served mostly in the country’s north. It has also been deployed to the Gaza Strip amid the ongoing war against Hamas.

...The expressions of surprise and anger in Israel came shortly after leaders voiced profound gratitude to the US after the US House passed a major military aid package for the Jewish state.

Citing unnamed American sources, the Axios report said the sanctions would bar the transfer of US weapons to the largely ultra-Orthodox infantry unit and prevent its soldiers from training with US forces or taking part in any activities with US funding, under the Leahy Laws.

Authored by then-senator Patrick Leahy in the late 1990s, the laws prohibit providing military assistance to individuals or security force units that commit gross violations of human rights and have not been brought to justice.

One of the sources was quoted saying that US Secretary of State Antony Blinken had decided not to sanction other military and police units that the administration was investigating, as it had seen adjustments in their conduct.

An administration official told the news site that the decision to sanction Netzah Yehuda was based on research done before October 7 that examined incidents in the West Bank.

...The report came days after ProPublica said a State Department panel recommended that Blinken sanction several Israeli units for alleged rights abuses, including Netzah Yehuda.

Blinken himself said Friday that he had made “determinations” regarding accusations that Israeli forces had violated the Leahy Laws.

Asked at a news conference in Italy about reports that the State Department has recommended cutting off of military aid to certain Israeli units over possible human rights violations in the West Bank, Blinken did not outright confirm the reports, but promised results very soon.

“I think you’re referring to the so-called Leahy Law and our work under that,” he responds. “So this is a very important law. And it’s one that we apply across the board. And when we’re doing these investigations, these inquiries, it’s something that takes time. That has to be done very carefully, both in collecting the facts and analyzing them.

“And that’s exactly what we’ve done. And I think it’s fair to say that you’ll see results very soon. I made determinations. You can expect to see them in the days ahead,” Blinken said, without elaborating.

Netzah Yehuda was created so that ultra-Orthodox and other religious soldiers can serve without feeling they are compromising their beliefs. The soldiers do not interact with female troops to the same extent as other servicemen and are given additional time for prayer and religious study.

Since the Israel-Hamas war began on October 7, the US has issued three rounds of sanctions against settler individuals for violence against Palestinians. The latest round was issued on Friday and included the leader of the far-right group Lehava, Benzi Gopstein, who is a close ally of National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir.

Ben Gvir said Saturday that imposing “sanctions on our soldiers is a red line.”

Describing the Axios report as “extremely grave,” Ben Gvir stated that he “expects Defense Minister Yoav Gallant not to submit to American dictates” and that the members of Netzah Yehuda “must be fully supported.”

“If there is not anybody at the Defense Ministry who will back up the battalion as required, I will ask to absorb them into the Israel Police and the Ministry of National Security,” continued Ben Gvir, who added that he would be willing to integrate the battalion into the Border Police.

Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said imposing sanctions “while Israel is fighting for its existence is utter madness.”

“This is part of a planned move to force the State of Israel to agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state and to forsake Israel’s security,” Smotrich charged in a post on X.
Moshe Feiglin had the following to say about this development...
On the eve of Passover, our sons and daughters are being tortured in the Hamas tunnels, a few minutes' drive from the border, and for 7 months now the IDF has not been able to save them - due to the mental dependence on the Americans.

We must internalize: The abductees are still there, only because of the dependence on the Americans. The victory evaporated, despite the supreme heroism and the terrible death toll - only because of the mental dependence that the heads of the security system and the political leadership had developed on the Americans.

As we established the country out of an American embargo, As we won the Six Day War contrary to their opinion And as we destroyed the Iraqi nuclear threat against their will - That way, and only that way, when we get rid of the Americans, we can win again and survive existential threats in the future.

The American sanctions on the Netzah Yehuda battalion are a sign of respect for the battalion and the beginning of a welcome process of a necessary separation from American "aid" and dependence on them.

The process of American "burning of the hametz" from the IDF and the security systems was started for us by the Americans themselves in the Netzah Yehuda Battalion and we must complete it.

Without removing all this "leaven", from all the veins of all our security arms, we will not be able to defeat our enemy again and go to freedom, from the 7.10 slavery.


20 April 2024

"Passover Shocker!!"

13 Nissan 5784
Motza"sh - Shavua Tov!

Note added by the Rabbi:  "Dearest friends!!  This class was from 5 years ago in the Holy apple, Tapuach.  We are reloading it now, as the message is much more relevant today, with world turmoil, then 5 years ago!!  Listen before the seder. A meaningful Passover to all."

Does Israel possess nuclear weapons?
 Passover shocker!! | Rabbi Richter

19 April 2024

Iran's Move...

11 Nissan 5784
Shabbat Shalom! 

Shabbat HaGadol: T-Minus 3 Days and Counting

11 Nissan 5784
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Metzora - Shabbat HaGadol

One of the reasons given by Chazal for why the Shabbat just prior to Pesach is called Shabbat Hagadol is that this is the day the Hebrews brought the Passover lambs into their homes and the Egyptians did not take retribution against them.
Shemot 8:22...

Pharaoh summoned Moshe and Aharon and said, "Go - bring offerings to your God in the land." Moshe said, "It is not proper to do so, for we will offer the deity of Egypt to Hashem, our God - behold, if we were to slaughter the deity of Egypt in their sight, will they not stone us?"
As we all know, Pharaoh did not let the people go and the lambs were taken into the Hebrews' dwellings for four days until the time came to slaughter them and roast them whole over an open fire for all the world to see and know that Hashem is God over all.

Can you imagine the sound of the bleating up and down all the streets? This was quite an in-your-face insult to Egypt, but they bore it without repercussion and Chazal considered it a miracle. Hence - Shabbat Hagadol.

Remember:  Faith only becomes real when it is put to the test.


For those with enough time to read, here is a very interesting and more detailed account by Daniel Pinner...
Shabbat ha-Gadol, “the Great Shabbat”, the Shabbat immediately before Pesach, commemorates our final Shabbat in Egypt, [3,336] years ago, just five days before the Exodus.

G-d had commanded the erstwhile slaves: “On the tenth of this month they will take to themselves – each man – a lamb for each father’s house…it will be for you to guard it until the fourteenth day of this month; then they will slaughter it – the entire assembly of the Congregation of Israel – at the onset of twilight.” (Exodus 12:3-6).

The Midrash expounds: “The Jews would tie [the lamb] to their bed-posts from the tenth of the month on; when the Egyptians would enter [the Jews’ houses], they would see the lambs thus, and their souls would explode in rage” (Pesikta de-Rav Kahana, Parashat ha-Chodesh s.v. dabru; Yalkut Shimoni, Bo 191).

The lamb was the Egyptian god, and for the Egyptians’ former slaves to show such contempt for their god and their religion drove them insane with impotent fury.

Obviously, the corollary was that for the Jews to openly treat their former masters’ god with such contempt took tremendous courage and faith in G-d. Keeping this god tied to a bed-post for four days was a continuous challenge to Egypt; it demanded far more dedication than a single impetuous act of bravery in a moment of excitement.

The Midrash continues: “‘Moshe called to all the elders of Israel, saying to them: Draw forth the flock and take it to yourselves’ (Exodus12:21) – every single one must drag around a god of Egypt, and slaughter it in front of them”. They had to extend this brazenness into the public squares and streets of Egypt, by slaughtering and roasting the Egyptian god in front of the Egyptians.

G-d commanded them to “eat it roasted over fire…do not eat of it raw [partially roasted], or cooked in water – only fire-roasted, its head with its legs with its innards” (Exodus 12:8-9).

Why this specific way of preparing the meat? – “Because it was an abomination for the Egyptians, slaughter it. And so that no [Jew] would say, We won’t roast it thoroughly lest it infuriate the Egyptians, it says ‘do not eat of it raw [partially roasted]’. And so that no Jew would say, We will cook it and thus conceal it in a pot, it says ‘do not eat of it …cooked in water’. And so that no Jew would say, We will cut off its head and its legs so they won’t recognise it, it says ‘its head with its legs with its innards’” (Da’at Z’keinim mi-Ba’alei Tosafot, Exodus 12:9). The Pesach sacrifice was a massive act of defiance against the idolatrous Egyptian oppressors.

The Midrash (Pesikta de-Rav Kahana ibid. and Yalkut Shimoni ibid.) further continues: “Their taking of the lamb stood by them at the River Jordan, and their eating of it stood by them in the days of Haman: they had eaten the flesh on this night– the night when ‘the king’s sleep eluded him’ (Esther 6:1)”.

The day they took the lamb, the 10th of Nisan, was the day that they would cross the River Jordan into Israel forty years later (Joshua 4:19). And the day that they ate it was the day that Achashverosh’s sleep would elude him 957 years later, in the days of Mordechai and Esther: Haman had promulgated his decree of genocide on the 13th of Nisan (Esther 3:12), so the three days of fasting that Esther decreed (4:16) were the 13th, 14th, and 15th of Nisan.

Hence the day that Esther risked her life by donning royal apparel and going to King Achashverosh (Esther 5:1) was the first day of Pesach, so the previous night, when ‘the king’s sleep eluded him’, was the night of the 14th of Nisan (see Esther Rabbah 8:7; Yalkut Shimoni, Esther 1056; Pirkei de-Rabbi Eliezer, Chapter 50; Seder Olam Rabbah, Chapter 29; Targum, Esther 5:1 et. al.).

The Talmud (Shabbat 87b) and the Midrash (Mekhilta de-Rabbi Yishma’el, Beshallach, Masechet de-Vayasa 1) record that the day of the Exodus, 15th Nisan 2448 (1312 B.C.E.), was a Thursday. “So they slaughtered their Pesach sacrifices on the Wednesday, and it was on the previous Shabbat that they had taken their Pesach lambs, because that was the tenth of the month. And it is therefore called Shabbat ha-Gadol – the Great Shabbat, because a great miracle was wrought thereon” (Tosafot, Shabbat 87b s.v. ve-oto yom).

The Shulchan Aruch cites this as practical halachah: “The Shabbat which is before Pesach is called Shabbat ha-Gadol because of the miracle that happened thereon” (Orach Chayim 430:1). The Mishnah Berurah (ad. loc.) explains: “In the year that they left Egypt, the 10th of Nisan fell on a Shabbat. Every single Jew had taken the lamb for his Pesach sacrifice and tied it to his bed-post… The Egyptians saw this, and asked them ‘Why are you doing this?’ They responded, ‘In order to slaughter it for the purpose of Pesach, as Hashem has commanded us’.

Their teeth were set on edge because they slaughtered their god, yet they were unable even to say anything to them. And because the tenth of the month then was a Shabbat, the Shabbat before Pesach was ever after to be called Shabbat ha- Gadol”.

The Haftarah reading for Shabbat ha-Gadol is the very last prophetic vision ever – the concluding 21 verses of the prophecy of Malachi, the last prophet, who prophesied during the early Second Temple era. After castigating Israel for their lack of gratitude to G-d and their defiling of the Holy Temple with their sub-standard sacrifices, Malachi portrays the Messianic era.

The Haftarah begins by contrasting the future glorious time with our past misdeeds: “Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to Hashem, as in days of old and as in former years” (Malachi 3:4). In his final message – the message which seals prophecy for all time – until the coming of the Messiah - he exhorts Israel: “Remember the Torah of Moshe My servant, which I commanded him in Horeb for all Israel, decrees and statutes. Behold! I send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome Day of Hashem comes”.

An obvious question arises: why did our Sages select just this prophecy as the Haftarah for Shabbat ha-Gadol? If they wanted to link the redemption from Egypt with the final Messianic Redemption, then why not select one of the more impressive prophetic passages from Isaiah? Or why not one of Jeremiah’s magnificent descriptions of the final Redemption, which he depicts as being even more majestic than the redemption from Egypt (for example, 16:14 onwards, or 31:30 onwards)?

I suggest the following answer:

The Targum (Malachi 1:1) identifies Malachi as Ezra, which is also the opinion of two Talmudic sages, Rabbi Yehoshua ben Korha and Rabbi Nahman (Megillah 15a; Yalkut Shimoni, Malachi 586). Later sages, however, disagree: the Radak and the Ibn Ezra (commentary to Malachi 1:1) are of the opinion that Malachi was a separate prophet. The Rambam (Introduction to the Mishneh Torah), Rashi (commentary to Sukkah 44a and Bava Batra 15a), and Rabbi Ovadiah of Bartinura (commentary to Pirkei Avot 1:1) all state that Malachi was part of Ezra’s Beit Din (the Men of the Great Assembly).

On the 15th of Nisan they were redeemed from Egypt; and on the 15th of Nisan they will in the future be redeemed from subjugation to exile” (Tanhuma, Bo 9).  What is undisputed is that the prophet Malachi lived through the second redemption – the return of the exiles from the Babylonian/Persian exile and the rebuilding of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Malachi was born during a period of exile, of destruction, when the majority of Jews were in foreign lands and the Land of Israel was under foreign occupation, with the Temple Mount in Jerusalem lying desolate.

Malachi witnessed King Cyrus’ proclamation, granting the Jews the right to return to Israel and rebuild the Holy Temple in Jerusalem (Ezra1:1-3, 2 Chronicles 36:22-23); he was part of the second redemption, the end of the Babylonian/Persian exile.

It was no coincidence that during the second redemption, the first festival that the Jews celebrated was Pesach (Ezra 6:15-22); neither was it coincidence that Ezra began his Aliyah journey on the 1st of Nisan (7:9), and led his followers from the River Ahava – the last leg of the journey to Israel – on the 12th of Nisan (8:31).

Malachi’s prophecy, then, is the synthesis between the first, second, and third redemptions, and is therefore the perfect reading for Shabbat ha-Gadol. Malachi had a unique perspective on Redemption, because he had experienced redemption in his own life. 
“On the 15th of Nisan…[G-d] spoke to Abraham our father in the Covenant between the Parts; on the 15th of Nisan the ministering angels came to announce to him that his son Isaac would be born to him; on the 15th of Nisan Isaac was born; on the 15th of Nisan they were redeemed from Egypt; and on the 15th of Nisan they will in the future be redeemed from subjugation to exile” (Tanhuma, Bo 9).

As we begin to celebrate the first redemption, it is especially relevant that the prophecy of the prophet who, during the second redemption, foretold the final and eternal Redemption, resounds in every synagogue.

18 April 2024

Aiming to Stop the Nukes?

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Don't believe the American propaganda machine.  Israel will certainly respond to the Iranian onslaught just as they've said from Day One.  Only the manner and timing are in question, but even the manner may have finally been sorted out.  This development eliminates the need for mid-flight refueling of Israeli jets which was problematic.  Might as well go all out.  There will never be another opportunity like this.

17 April 2024

"Now You Will See the Wondrous Things Which I Will Do For You"

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We traditionally remember the events beginning with the 10th of Nissan on Shabbat Hagadol - the Shabbat just prior to Pesach - because at the very first Pesach, that 10th of Nissan did fall on Shabbat.  But, I think it is worth reminding ourselves this year of what really began to happen on the first 10th of Nissan which sets the pattern for every 10th of Nissan which follows.

By Daniel Pinner (excerpt):
Dawn of a Nation 
The 10th of Nissan, 2448 (1312 B.C.E.).  For generations, the Jews have been enslaved in Egyptian exile, conditioned to accept the Egyptians as their immutable masters. They suffer slavery, humiliation, torture, the murder of their sons, in mute despair. And now, after centuries of this conditioning, Moshe arose and commanded them: Take a lamb – the god of your Egyptian masters; tie it to your bed-post for four days; at the end of that time, slaughter it in public; roast it whole, ensuring that the Egyptians will see it and smell it and identify it! Defy Egypt, the mightiest power in the world! 
Four days later, the 14th of Nissan, 2448. The Jews, smashing the conditioning of centuries, indeed slaughtered the lambs, the god of the Egyptians, in public. The next day, the 15th of Nissan, they leave Egypt with a high hand. 

It was “a night when Hashem Himself guarded them, bringing them out from the land of Egypt; and that same night Hashem Himself will guard all the Children of Israel throughout their generations”. This is the night which is fore-ordained for Israel to fight mightily against its future oppressors.  

The Book of Our Heritage by Eliyahu Kitov (excerpt):

Although the greatness of the tenth of Nisan and the commemoration of the miracles and wonders which occurred on that day were transferred to Shabbos ha-Gadol, ...nevertheless some of the importance of the day remains.  

There are reports that the Israeli "retaliation" is about to take place.  Who knows what will be?  Even the best laid plans of men go awry in unanticipated ways. 

Showing our public disdain for the Egyptian god and proving its powerlessness was a tremendous demonstration of absolute trust and faith in HKB"H.  Should we face such a test in our own time, surely it would involve trust and faith in HKB"H versus the "Democratic" State, the "Holy" IDF and Military technology.  Where do you look for help?  Who do you depend upon?

Iran Attack: Staged Production

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And if there is any "retaliation," it very likely will be, too.   

15 April 2024

Is Literally Everybody Lying About Literally Everything?

7 Nissan 5784 

Some people are asking if the missile/drone attack on Israel even actually happened.

Although we call this world The World of Lies, it is built upon a foundation of Truth.  No lie can even exist unless it is wrapped around a kernel of Truth, because only the Truth can stand on its own.  

History is filled with conspiracies.  Paro conspired to kill all the male infants born to the Hebrews in Egypt, Achashverosh and Haman conspired to annihilate the Jews, as did Hitler, y"sh and his followers after them, and on and on.  However, anybody can yell "conspiracy" and use it to deny the truth embedded in the lies which inevitably accompany conspiracy.

If you are going to talk "conspiracy" then, even if it can't be proven, you should at least be able to name the suspicions which raise the charge in your own mind.

Here is an example of what I'm talking about -  The Conspiracy of the US, Saudi Arabia and the Erev Rav in Israel - "Israel's 9/11".

The Abraham Accords were conceived by money people in order to make money.  That's by their own admission.  "Peace" is only a side benefit but one which also benefits the bottom line.  It's just the latest iteration of a decades-long attempt by the West to merge with the East in order to make a lot of money.  

Religious fanaticism is the main stumbling block to their grand scheme.  Muslim (and Jewish) "extremism" is the greatest threat to the "peace" needed to do business.  In fact, the name itself was meant to emphasize commonality in an attempt to bridge the differences:  "The agreements were named "Abraham Accords" to highlight the common belief of Judaism and Islam in the prophet Abraham."  (Wiki)

And the Abraham Accords were again figuring prominently in the news just before the Simchat Torah Massacre on October 7, 2023.

The big connection to Gaza is that the US promised Saudi Arabia that a Palestinian State would be part of this deal with Israel.  As I said back in October, I think that together they masterminded a plan that would force Israel to concede to a Palestinian State in Gaza and it required the removal of Hamas.  However, Israel had to be given a plausible reason to go to war against Hamas and clearly all three - Israel's Erev Rav regime, the US and Saudi Arabia - would benefit from such an eventuality.  

Even though I think Hamas went further even than their enablers imagined, I think they believed the world's sympathy would last long enough to get the job done,  But, when the nations started calling out "genocide," etc., the perceived need to protect civilians and increase aid slowed everything down too much.  Biden actually said early on that Israel had "until the end of the year" to finish the job and then they'd have to move on.  

Just like they underestimated the blood lust that drives Arabs, I think they also underestimated the extent of the tunnel system and the extent to which Hamas used critical infrastructure like hospitals.  Generally speaking, those driven by the desire for riches can never understand the religiously-motivated individuals.  They can't get past the idea that everyone has his price, because it simply isn't true.  Religious "extremists" can't be bought off, so they must be eliminated.

Iran was always in their sights.  (It's one of the seven countries General Wesley Clark revealed were slated for takeover.)  It's an Islamic State that hates the West, and don't think The Powers That Be plan to allow for a real Jewish State either.  To continue to exist, Israel must become a country like any other, hence the war on Torah here and the labeling of "Jewish terrorists."

What just happened on April 14th is the beginning of the next phase of what started on October 7th - The War of GoguMagog.  This was just the opening shot of "Paras will go and destroy the whole world."

That means Israel will move their next piece on the chessboard and Iran will countermove until Iran says checkmate.  It's inevitable.  It's what everything has been building up to.  But, do not be lulled into a false sense of security after what didn't happen during the missile and drone attack on Sunday.  We won't get off that easy again.  

It is entirely possible that, just like we spent that first Pesach locked inside our homes while the Angel of Death wreaked destruction to the Egyptian firstborns all around us, a similar situation may see us locked inside our homes while the Angel of Death wreaks destruction against all who would oppose Mashiach.  
...and all the nations of the world will shake and panic and fall on their faces and feel contractions like those of giving birth, and Israel will shake and panic and ask: 'Where will we go?'

Now, we know the phrase "in Nissan we were redeemed and in Nissan we will be redeemed," but there is another more specific source which actually says:   

“On the 15th of Nisan…[G-d] spoke to Abraham our father in the Covenant between the Parts; on the 15th of Nisan the ministering angels came to announce to him that his son Isaac would be born to him; on the 15th of Nisan Isaac was born; on the 15th of Nisan they were redeemed from Egypt; and on the 15th of Nisan they will in the future be redeemed from subjugation to exile” (Tanhuma, Bo 9).

"And (God) will say to them, ‘My children, do not fear, because everything I did, I did for you. Why are you afraid? Don’t be afraid. The time has come for your redemption’.” (Yalkut Shimoni on Yeshayahu 60)

13 April 2024

Iran Takes Their Best Shot

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11:00 pm IST


UAVs en route.

Takes 9 hours for them to arrive.

Jordanian and Israeli airspace closed.

Netanyahu to Jerusalem bunker.

Military leaders in Tel Aviv bunker.


PS:  Travel time for ballistic missiles - 12 mins
Travel time for cruise missiles - 2 hours
Travel time for drones - 9 hours

Word is that launches will take place so as to ensure all projectiles arrive simultaneously and overwhelm air defenses.

12 April 2024

Chill! Shabbat Is Coming!!

4 Nissan 5784
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Tazria

Predictably, the headlines all across cyberspace continue to shout "another 24-28 hrs and Iran will attack Israel!"  They've only been saying this every 24-48 hrs for the past week!  And it can be true in any 24-48 hr period throughout the year anyway, so as long as you've prepped for a couple of weeks without access to food, water and electricity, forget about it!  You've done your hishtadlut, the rest is all up to HKB"H.  

Considering the fragility of the supply line these days, you just have to treat it as though anything, whether a natural disaster or civil unrest, can leave your family vulnerable.  It's only reasonable to be proactive and take certain measures, but there is a limit and beyond those limits, we have to trust 100% in HKB"H.

When the entire nation walked out of Egypt, we carried food and water with us.  It didn't last very long, but then the well began to produce and the mann began to fall.  If it happened then, why can't it happen now?  

...behold days are coming, says the Lord, and it shall no longer be said, "As the Lord lives, Who brought up the children of Israel from the land of Egypt,"

But, "As the Lord lives, Who brought up the children of Israel from the northland and from all the lands where He had driven them," and I will restore them to their land that I gave to their forefathers. (Yirmiyahu 16.14-15) 

(Rashi) and it shall no longer be said: Our Rabbis expounded: Not that the departure from Egypt shall be uprooted from its place, but the final redemption will be the most important and the departure from Egypt secondary to it.

By the way, there is another reference to Shemini - the eighth day in this week's parashah...

On the eighth day, the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised." (Vayikra 12.3)

[Commentary]  Although the commandment of circumcision has already been given (Bereshit 17.10-14) it is repeated because of the new laws in this verse: that milah may be performed only in the daytime, since the Torah specifies bayom, on the ...day (Sifra), and that - since the Torah specifies that it be done on the eighth day - a child must be circumcised on that day, even if it falls on the Sabbath, unless, of course, the infant's health requires delay (Shabbos 132a).

Maybe it was placed here to be a reminder to us to continue to look to the number 8 which indicates the level above nature.  In reality, the physical world only goes up to 7.  There is no 8th day here.  Unless we look outside of the purely physical, it just goes back to 1.  On the musical scale, the eighth note is exactly the same note as the first one, but an octave higher.  

The times are particularly uncertain because the Master of the Universe is encouraging us to look beyond the physical, i.e., the government, elections, the IDF, the US and EU, Iran! and dare to see the number 8 - the level above nature from whence comes our redemption.


11 April 2024

Can You Connect the Dots?

3 Nissan 5784

Is it a failure of imagination or willful blindness that prevents people from being able to connect the dots?  This is mida k'neged mida.

(Man-made bombs v. God-made "bombs")

Before anyone says this is normal for this area, know that this is where I grew up.  It is "normal" once in a great while.  What is not normal is being slammed by a steady stream of storms parading across the entire country for months on end!

10 April 2024

Don't Lose Sight of the Big Picture

2 Nissan 5784

If you still have any doubts that GoguMagog broke out on Shemini Atzeret/Simchat Torah 5784, I would just direct you to the headlines of any/every global news source.  Here is the latest...

All of the nations of the world are arrayed against us and irrationally so!!  They are eager to believe every blood libel lodged against us and they completely ignore any fact that proves otherwise.  We were viciously attacked and yet the invaders and murderers who attacked us have become the victims while we are deemed the aggressors for daring to defend ourselves.  

A full two months before this war broke out, I wrote For This We Wait - awaiting the showdown with Iran.  Eight months later, that is still what we are waiting for because it is the lynchpin on which the entire messianic process hinges.  Mashiach will become recognizable during this stage of the Gogumagog War.  

But, while we await that moment, which now can be counted in days and/or hours, there is absolutely no reason to doubt that we are in the very midst of what I believe will be a one-year War of Gogumagog - half a year confronting the "Gog" West (US/Europe) and the second half confronting the "Magog" East (Russia/China).  [Recall that Daniel's Statue represents the four exiles, the final one being Rome, represented by two legs!!]

BEWARE!!!  This is the most critical period of time.  This is when the yetzer hara approaches to whisper the doubts and discouragement, tempting you to lose faith in the process; to feel like it's never going to end, never going to progress.  Every woman who ever delivered a child can attest to this experience which happens to every laboring mother right before the birth.  

The more depressed and hopeless we feel, that is the clearest sign yet of where we are - right before the birth.  It's not the time to give up.  It's the time to rally all your faith and strength to withstand the final test and forge ahead into a brilliant future.  Trust HKB"H!!!

"Will I bring to the birth stool and not cause to give birth?" says the Lord. "Am I not He who causes to give birth, now should I shut the womb?" says your God.  (Yeshayahu 66:9)

We have two Rosh Hashanahs - one in Tishrei and one in NissanTishrei commemorates Creation and it marks the New Year for the whole world, while Nissan commemorates the Exodus from Egypt and therefore, marks the New Year for Jews.

"This month shall be to you the head of the months; to you it shall be the first of the months of the year."  (Shemot 12:2)

I read recently that Tishrei is when HKB"H conceived of the Creation, but He waited until Nissan to create in actuality because Tishrei is a time of strict justice and Nissan is a time of mercy.  It makes sense then that HKB"H would take us out of Egypt at Nissan because it required an abundance of Divine mercy to take us out in our condition at that time.  And keep in mind that it didn't happen all at once, it was a year-long process Nissan to Nissan.

However, the Final Redemption is described in the prophets as the Day of the Lord's Vengeance.  We are coming to the fulfillment of HKB"H's original intent for the world and that requires justice to overcome mercy, in my view.  So, it only makes sense that the Final Redemption would take place from Tishrei to Tishrei, and so the Sages prescribed readings about the War of GoguMagog in Tishrei.

Take heart!!  We are already halfway there!!!

09 April 2024

08 April 2024

Nissan - the Month of Nissim

1 Nissan 5784
Rosh Chodesh

"In Nissan we were redeemed and
  in Nissan  we  will  be  redeemed." 

07 April 2024

Eclipse Day Today - April 8, 2024

29 Adar Bet 5784
Yom Kippur Katan

October 7th to April 8th.  (Another "Shemini"?)  Six months into the War of GoguMagog and we are no closer to winning it than when we started.  That may be all about to change.

On April 8, 2024, the premiere Eisavian nation, the United States, the one most responsible for preventing us from winning the war against Amalek, will have the ring-side seat to a full eclipse of the sun.  Chazal say that a solar eclipse is a bad sign for the nations.

On April 7-8, 2024, the moon, which Yishmael has chosen for his symbol and who lives according to a lunar calendar, will be invisible in the night sky.  It's also the last night of Ramadan.  An auspicious time for his demise?

By the time the famous eclipse of 2024 begins its trek across America, it will already be Rosh Chodesh Nissan in Eretz Yisrael.  

The moon rightfully represents Yisrael and it is we who sanctify the New Moon as commanded by God.  Its renewal symbolizes our renewal.  Just when it looks like we will disappear from the world stage, we make a comeback.  Only Yisrael is forever.

Excerpted from The Book of Our Heritage by Eliyahu Kitov:

Even though the laws of nature were given to Israel as well as the other nations, and they can choose to live naturally as do other nations and can even be more prosperous doing so, nevertheless they were also given a path of miracles and wonders which supersedes the natural order of the world - a path which is meant to be their primary objective and which is to take precedence over the natural path.  This is alluded to in the words: This month shall be the first of the months for you...of the year.  In other words, the path of renewal [the essence of chodesh, month] is to be your objective, rather than the fixed, natural order [the essence of shanah, year].  Israel's strength and virtue, and their survival throughout all generations has come about not through natural means, but rather through the miracles and wonders by which God revealed His glory to His people.

The following report says that 13 states lie in the path of totality of this solar eclipse.  Interesting, since the US started with 13 colonies which are represented on the national flag with thirteen stripes.  "Unlucky 13" according to the nations; lucky 13 for Klal Yisrael!

Adar II (or the 13th month in a leap year) is considered extra lucky because the month of Adar according to tradition is a “lucky month.”  (Source)

The eclipse falls out on the final day of Adar Bet...