Tuesday, September 16, 2014

The 5775 Hope for Geula - Part 1

We are coming up to the year 5775, and I think it would be a good idea to review the relevant statements by the great rabbis of the past and present who connected this year with our coming Redemption.

Of course, I must clarify for the public that no year is a definite year and certainly no date is a definite date.  The following is a compilation of what makes the year 5775 an auspicious one for the Final Redemption and what makes it a special year.  One should continue to expect the Geula every day no matter what happens.

Thanks to A.K. and A.M. for their ideas for this post.

The Zohar mentions a sad, bitter sound that will be sounded in the End of Days at the daylight hours when the sun is shining from the 6th day - in the year that Yovel and Shemita come together, which is 274 from the 6th day.  The year 5775 is exactly 274 years from the beginning of daylight hours, which started in the year 5501.  Also, 5775 is a Shemita year, and there is a theoretical calculation made by Gilui that would make 5776 a Yovel year (see the explanation here).

(With Rav Fish's explanation - see here) The Ariza"l takes Shemot 38:28 (וְאֶת-הָאֶלֶף וּשְׁבַע הַמֵּאוֹת, וַחֲמִשָּׁה וְשִׁבְעִים, עָשָׂה וָוִים, לָעַמּוּדִים) and applies the "one thousand" in that verse to the exile of the fifth millennium.  He also explains that the sixth millennium (which is the Sod of Vavei Ha'amudim) is mixed with good and evil.  The implication is that at the year 775 of the sixth millennium, the good will separate from the evil to make a filtered world.

  • 3) The Ba'al Hatanya
As I translated here:
I heard from my grandfather, the pious, famous Rav Yehuda Aryeh Leib Tziviak ZT"L, who told over when he was living in Warsaw that he heard from the elders - the Hasidim of the Rasha"b - ZY"A, who told over about a Hasid who received an Aliya to the Torah by the rabbi, the Ba'al Hatanya ZY"A on Parshat Pekudei, and the rabbi was reading the Torah. When he reached the verse וְאֶת-הָאֶלֶף וּשְׁבַע הַמֵּאוֹת, וַחֲמִשָּׁה וְשִׁבְעִים, עָשָׂה וָוִים, לָעַמּוּדִים [And of the thousand seven hundred seventy and five shekels he made hooks for the pillars], he heard from the holy rabbi that he said in a whisper that the year [5]775 is the time that the coming of Mashiah will quickly be revealed. And afterwards, the Hasid related [to the rabbi] what he had heard from the rabbi's holy mouth. And when the Ba'al Hatanya heard this, he was insistant in the matter [and was not happy that this matter got revealed] and the other man did not finish the year [alive].
The Konanta Me'az continues (my translation):
And the year that the holy rabbi the Ba'al Hatanya talked about was the year 5775.  And this is hinted to when they say, "טהורה לתשעה חדשים וכנגדה באילן זית" [lit. "For a large animal, if it is Kosher, its gestation is for 9 months, and similar to it is the olive tree"], that means that the world will be purified from the impurity of exile in the year תשע"ה 5775 - and similar to the olive tree - as it says "And His feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives".  That is our righteous Mashiah, who will stand on the Mt. of Olives and resurrect the dead, speedily in our days, Amen Selah.

    • 3b) R' Leibel Groner - Story with the Ba'al Hatanya #2
The following comes from the Hezbos blog (also found this story here)
A discussion is brewing online within the Groner family, שיחי''ו (Rabbi Leibel Groner was one of the Rebbe's secretaries).

The story is that the Alter Rebbe was once reading from Pekudei 38:28, which mentions the sum of 1775 talents collected.

ואת האלף ושבע המאות וחמשה ושבעים

Instead of reading the "hei" of "ha-elef" (the thousand) with a "patach", he read it with a "tzeirei" (which turns the letter "hei" into 5).

When the Alter Rebbe read it as “5775” his Gabbai corrected him. The Alter Rebbe then said again “5775”, to which the Gabbai once again corrected him. This repeated itself 4 times. Thereafter the Alter Rebbe went into deep meditation. When he quit his meditation he opened his eyes and whispered to the Gabbai that “5775” had something to do with the coming of Moshiach.

Rabbi Groner verifies the authenticity of the Rebbe previously revealing this story to at least one of his secretaries.

It is believed this story's source comes from an as yet unknown "Polish" sefer.

    •  3c) Rav Yosef Berger - Story with the Ba'al Hatanya #3
Kaduri.net (my translation):
The Ba'al Hatanya ZY"A once entered his Beit Midrash and saw one of his students learning in Parshat Pekudei the verse וְאֶת הָאֶלֶף וּשְׁבַע הַמֵּאוֹת וַחֲמִשָּׁה וְשִׁבְעִים עָשָׂה וָוִים לָעַמּוּדִים וְצִפָּה רָאשֵׁיהֶם וְחִשַּׁק אֹתָם.  The Ba'al Hatanya lifted his voice and said, "Oy!  When will we merit this already!  When will we see this already!"

The student of the Ba'al Hatanya ... understood that his rabbi didn't mean the 1775 pieces of silver, but had something more important in mind.  He thought and thought and didn't understand until it was sparked in his mind that his rabbi, the Ba'al Hatanya, meant the time of the Keitz, the end of the exile, and the Complete Redemption with the coming of Mashiah.

How is this possible?

... ואת ה-אלף means 5000 years.  ושבעה מאות וחמשה ושבעים means the year 5775 - the 775th year of the 6th millennium from Creation.  Then, we will merit that there will be ווים לעמודים for the Mishkan of Hashem.

And on this, the Ba'al Hatanya groaned, "When will we merit this already..."  Will we merit to see the moment of Redemption?  Will we see the coming of Mashiah in the year 5775?!

The Ba'al Hatanya himself writes that the verse ואת האלף should be used to calculate the Keitz.  He uses the calculation to mean the year 5603, which is 1775 years from the Destruction of the Beit Hamikdash.  One may think that this calculation should be used to undermine the use of all the stories of the Ba'al Hatanya to mean this year.  Not so.   He calculates it to mean the year 5603 because he used 172 years of exile from the 4th millennium in the calculation.  However, if we start the calculation from the beginning of the 5th millennium, which start the 2000 years of ימות המשיח, as per the gemara on the bottom of Sanhedrin 97a, it comes out to 5775.

  • 4) The 278 Shemitot
I [=Rav Fish] heard from Rav Yosef Morsiano Shlit"a, based on what is brought down in Targum Yonatan on Shemot 12:40 that every Shemita is called "שנה" [lit. year] and every year is called "יום" [lit. day]. And if we calculate from the time of the Destruction of the Second Beit Hamikdash in the year 3828 until the Shemita year of 5719, there were 270 Shemitot, which hint to the 270 days of pregnancy which correspond to exile. And the year after the Shemita year of 5726 - in 5727 was the Day of Birth. Therefore, it was a Time of Acceptance of Prayers with the Six Day War. However, we had not yet been redeemed at that time since we need to add another 7 Shemitot to complete the 8 days until the Berit Mila, at which time we will connect to Hashem completely in the Sod of Redemption. And this comes out to the year 5775, when on Motza'ei Shevi'it, Ben David comes.
Or the alternative explanation:
R' R. Z. explains [it a little differently - ] that we should calculate from the time of the second Beit Hamikdash that was destroyed in 3828 until Shemita of 5726 and there are 271 Shemitot, which is the gematria of הריון [meaning pregnancy, a very famous gematria mentioned by the gemara Nidah 38b] that corresponds to exile. And Motza'ei Shemitta - in 5727 - corresponds to the day of birth. And from then begins the next 7 Shemitot, corresponding to the first 7 days of the boy, culminating in 5775, upon which it says וטמאה שבעת ימים, and Motza'ei Shevi'it of 5775 [5776] corresponds to the 8th day, when the Orla will be circumcized and Mashiah Ben David will come, speedily in our days Amen.

To be continued...

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Interesting Recent Links - Nitzavim/Vayelech 5774

Adele Biton

Terrorism and Anti-Semitism

NYPD Investigate Anti-Semitic Message Found In Crown Heights Building

Yarmulka-Clad Jew Nearly Run Down, Called ‘Cancer,’ by Passersby in Netherlands

Israeli Family Attacked En Route to Kosel

PA: Hamas Higher-Up in Gaza, Released in Shalit Deal, Pulled Trigger on Israeli Teens’ Abduction

Columnist at Erdoğan Aligned Newspaper Calls for Taxing Jews to Pay for Rebuilding Gaza

Obama’s War Rules

WATCH: U.S. Senator Ted Cruz Walks Off Stage After Being Booed For Pro-Israel Remarks
Sen. Ted Cruz Defies Hecklers, Defends Israel
Cruz Walks out After Pro-Israel Comments Draw Boos

Swastikas Painted On Kosher Butcher Shop In Northeast Philadelphia

Giyur Bill

Yosef Family


Friday, September 12, 2014

Bavel's 70 Years Redux

Are the 11 Years Between Wars in Iraq Mida Keneged Mida for 11 Years Between Babylonian Exiles?

King Yehoyachin was captured by Babylonian forces and exiled in 3327 along with many Jews.  The Beit Hamikdash was destroyed by the Babylonians in the year 3338.

The US waged war against Iraq in 5763 and captured Saddam Hussein YM"S in 5764.  The US is again waging war against ISIS in 5774 going into 5775.

Just some food for thought.

(See the prophecies about Bavel's destruction: Yeshaya 13-14 and Yirmiya 50-51.)

Megila 11b says that Ahashverosh erred in calculating the 70 years of Bavel too soon.  He started his calculation from when King Yehoyachin was exiled and not from the year of the Destruction, when King Tzidkiya was exiled.

Iraq gained its independence in 5693.  The Second Gulf War occurred 70 years later in 5763 (see the gog1 website for the calculation made then).  On the other hand, since British forces remained in Iraq and controlled it until 5708, it may not be so clear.  It seems that these 70 years were also counted too soon.

Just like the real calculation then included a few years at the end in which Bavel was no longer in power (rather, Paras and Madai were in power), similarly, the new modern-day calculation includes a time when Iraq was occupied by American forces until three years ago, at which time, a pro-Western army and government was set up to work independently.  This turned out to be very weak and much of Iraq has now been taken over by ISIS and America is returning, at least somewhat.

Alternatively, now that Iraq and Syria are joined together by an ISIS land grab along the Euphrates and beyond, we have to take Syrian independence into account.  Syria was supposed to gain its independence in 5697, but the French didn't leave until a year after WWII was over - in Nissan 5706 (actually, it's the 2nd day of Pesah!).  70 years later is Nissan of the Motza'ei Shevi'it year of 5776.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Ki Tavo 5774

From Rav Fish's latest:
  • Yom Kippur on Shabbat
    • On the gemara (Shabbat 118b) that says "If Israel would keep 2 Shabbatot properly, they would immediately be redeemed," the Bnei Yissaschar says that this refers to when Yom Kippur falls out on Shabbat, and it will this year (5775).
  • More on the 25th of Elul
    • This is the Yahrtzeit of Ribbi Elazar Beribi Shimon.
    • בכ"ה אלול ה'תשע"ד is the gematria of אז ישיר משה.
  • More on the 278 Shemitot (see the previous 2 weeks)
    • R' R.Z. explains that if we add the 10 Shemitot during Galut Bavel to the 278 of Galut Edom, we get 288 Shemitot, culminating in 5775.  This hints to the 288 holy sparks that are stuck in the Kelipot and will be completely filtered in the year 5775 according to the Ariza"l.
  • More on Imrei Bina (see last week)
    • The Imrei Bina talks about the 2300 years from Minyan Shtarot completing in 5748.  This was right around the fall of the Iron Curtain.  This was a symbol of the breaking down of barriers between Israel and our Father in Heaven, as the gemara (Berachot 32b) states, "Ribbi Elazar said: From the day the Beit Hamikdash was destroyed, an iron wall intervened between Israel and their Father in Heaven."
  • Fast Days of 5775
    • R' Yehuda Schwartz adds that Tzom Gedalia, Shiv'a Asar BeTamuz, and Tish'a Be'av are all Nidhim [pushed off until Sunday].  So once they were already pushed off, they should be pushed off forever, and we should merit Redemption.  May it be Hashem's will.  
    • תשעה באב is the gematria of ה'תשע"ה.
  • Bereishit 2:4 and 5776
    • R' Yaakov Matar adds that 5776 hints to the verse that hints to the summary of Creation at the time of Redemption - when Creation will come to its culmination and purpose: (Bereishit 2:4 אֵלֶּה תוֹלְדוֹת הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ, בְּהִבָּרְאָם: בְּיוֹם, עֲשׂוֹת יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים--אֶרֶץ וְשָׁמָיִם [These are the generations of the heaven and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the LORD God made earth and heaven.]  The word עשות has the letters of תשע"ו.  And next to that word is the first occurrence of Hashem's name [שם הוי"ה] - and it is the 477th word in the Torah, which is the gematria of בעתה.
  • More on the 17th of Elul
    • According to one opinion in Rashi (see Ramban on Bereishit 8:4), Noah sent the dove on the 17th of Elul.
    • The Shulhan Aruch 580:2 brings down that the Meraglim died on the 17th of Elul.
    • Kabbalistic books bring down that HKB"H created and destroyed worlds from the 17th of Elul until the 24th of Elul.
  • Tzuk Eitan and 72
    • R' Menahem Barhoum adds that the number 72 is connected to Tzuk Eitan in many ways:
      • Twice, there was a 72-hour cease-fire
      • 72 Israelis were killed
      • The 72nd victim died from his wounds on ה' אלול, whose gematria is 72.
    • All this is a hint from Heaven that the 72 years of the birthpangs of Mashiah and the birth of Mashiah is ending - with the latest possible time being the end of 5774.
  • More 5775 Gematrias
    • R' Yosef Sheinberger adds that כי תצא למלחמה על is the gematria of תשע"ה.
    • עזה ויריחו תחלה [Gaza and Jericho First], which started the accursed Oslo process, is the gematria of תשע"ה.
  • ISIS
    • R' Shemuel Triaster adds that דעא"ש [ISIS] is hinted to in the verse (Tehilim 83:5)  אָמְרוּ--לְכוּ, וְנַכְחִידֵם מִגּוֹי; וְלֹא-יִזָּכֵר שֵׁם-יִשְׂרָאֵל עוֹד [They have said: 'Come, and let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance.']

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Interesting Recent Links - Ki Tavo 5774 II

Photos: Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman Being Menachem Avel Rav Chaim Kanievsky Upon the Petirah of Rebbetzin Chana Shteinman a”h

Rav Chaim Kanievsky Dreamt of His Daughter’s Petirah

Anti-Missionary Conference

Conversion Law

Jerusalem Chief Rabbinate Elections

(Rav Ovadia's son-in-law - Rav Mordechai Toledano Shlit"a - entering the race, signed by many rabbis)

Terrorism and Anti-Semitism


The Only Jewish Boy at a Jewish Day School (everything about this article is a Busha VeHerpa)

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Rav Na'im Ben Eliyahu ZT"L Stories

This week's Kol Tzofayich contains more stories about Rav Na'im Ben Eliyahu, the brother of Rav Mordechai Eliyahu ZT"L, who just passed away last week.  There are some very interesting stories there not including the one I mentioned last week.

One in particular I found very interesting was the following (my translation):
Rav Shelomo Ben Eliyahu, the Rav of Matei Asher, related the following:
The halachot that a rabbi needs to know, I learned in the Beit Midrash.  The Shimush [practical apprenticeship], I learned from Hacham Na'im.  I could tell over many stories about his wisdom and his cleverness - I will tell over some of them.

Once, an Avreich [Kollel student] came to us and asked "a difficult question". His wife bought meat with the Hechsher of the Rabbanut and cooked it. What did he need to do? Rav Na'im told him, "Throw it all out and Kasher the pots."

I didn't come to teach, but to learn. I was astonished at this answer, but I heard it and internalized it. Two days later, a young groom came to Hacham Na'im's home, and weakly knocked on the door. It was apparent that this was the first time after the wedding that he was asking a halachic question. I opened the door for him and brought him to Hacham Na'im. And he asked the exact same question.  His wife bought meat with the Rabbanut Hechsher and cooked it. What should he do now? Hacham Na'im told me: "You definitely know the answer. Answer him." I told him that he must throw away the meat and Kasher the pot.

At that moment, Hacham Na'im looked at me quizzically and asked, "Is this how you answer a young groom?" Hacham Na'im joined the conversation and told the young groom, "It's Kosher Lemehadrin. You may eat what your wife cooked, and you and me can eat it together." The groom left Hacham Na'im's house and went home happy, calmed, and reassured. Everything is Kosher.

When Hacham Na'im sensed my astonishment, he told me, "You don't understand the difference between that person who asked the first question and the one who asked this question? The first guy already threw out the meat that his wife bought. He was just looking to justify his own Humrot. If you would have told him that the meat of the Rabbanut is Kosher, he would have said that you are Reform. This groom, on the other hand, came to really ask. If you would have told him to throw out the meat, he might have ended up throwing out his wife!"

From Tifsah until Aza

As the verse tells us, Shelomo Hamelech had full control from Tifsah until Aza.

It is not 100% clear where these places are.  Let's start with "Aza".  It is most likely what we call Gaza.  However, the Rada"k says that it, along with Tifsah, are cities on the other side of the Euphrates.  Tifsah itself can be one of many places, as we'll see below.

The gemara in Megilla (11a) cites an argument between Rav and Shemuel about these 2 cities.  One says that Tifsah is on one end of the earth while Aza is on the other.  The other says that Tisfah and Aza are right next to each other, and just as Shelomo Hamelech ruled over these 2 cities, he ruled over the entire world.  (Interestingly, the Rif in Ein Yaakov quotes the Rishonim who say that both opinions are not arguing in geography - both agree that they are right next to each other - but according to the first opinion, since the world is round, he ruled from Tifsah - going all the way around the world - to Aza.)

All that is according to Derush.  According to Peshat, however, it is telling us the exact borders of Shelomo Hamelech's reign as we know it.  And when it says twice in the verse "בכל עבר הנהר" and "בכל מלכי עבר הנהר", Mechon Mamre translates that as "over all the region on this side the River" and "over all the kings on this side the River".  This refers to only south and west of the Euphrates.

Source: Wikipedia
Click to Enlarge

Wikipedia gives us a few possibilities where Tifsah is (I'm not going to critique these identifications.  Let's assume all are a possibility):
  1. Deir ez-Zor (on Euphrates, about 2 hours east of Raqqah, Syria - the capital of ISIS)
  2. Khirbat Tafsah (a village 6 miles west of Shechem, Israel)
  3. Carchemish (on Euphrates, on the Syrian-Turkish border, near Jarabulus, about 2.5 hours northwest of Raqqah, Syria, mentioned in Yirmiyahu 46:2 and Divrei Hayamim Bet 35:20)
  4. Dibsi Faraj (on Euphrates, about 1.5 hours west of Raqqah, Syria)
  5. Balis, or Barbalisos (on Euphrates, about 1.5 hours west of Raqqah, Syria)

Let's take a look at what's going on now at these locations:

2) As the Sesame Street song goes, "One of these things is not like the others" - namely #2 above.  This village is currently under control of the PA.  And it is near Shechem, the Shomron city that has given Israel the most trouble (as Rashi on Bereishit 37:14 points out, it's a city that was made to give  trouble to the Jewish people).

3) Carchemish is within Turkey proper, but its close southern neighbor - Jarabulus, Syria - is controlled by ISIS.  One source mentioned by Wikipedia says that Tifsah is "near Jarâblos".

4 and 5) Dibsi and Balis are both in on the Lake Assad/Euphrates coast, which seems to squarely be under ISIS control.

Aza, assuming it means "Gaza", as we are most-recently painfully aware, is under Hamas control.

So, all these cities that could comprise Tifsah along with the city of Aza are all cities that are not only not under Israeli control, but they are under an authority that is openly hostile to Jews and Israel.  Futhermore, the final status of all these cities is up in the air right now, as wars and conflicts inflict each and every one of them.

During the time of Shelomo Hamelech, on the other hand, he ruled over these lands peacefully, as the same verse states explicitly: וְשָׁלוֹם, הָיָה לוֹ מִכָּל-עֲבָרָיו--מִסָּבִיב [and he had peace on all sides round about him].

Why is this happening?  Perhaps, Hashem wants us to see the contrast between what Tifsah and Aza are today and what Tifsah and Aza will be when Mashiah comes.  At that time, Israel's borders will reach until the Euphrates River and will encompass each of these cities, just like in the time of Shelomo Hamelech.  In addition, we will be given the land of Keini, Kenizi and Kadmoni.  And, in due time, peace will return when we beat our swords into plowshares

May that day come speedily in our days, Amen.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Interesting Recent Links - Ki Tavo 5774

Rabbanit Chana Shteinman A"H
(daughter of Yblt"v Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlit"a and daughter-in-law of Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman Shlit"a)

(Rav Chaim Kanievsky dreamed that his daughter was going to pass away)