Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Rated 'H' for Haredi

Reuters tells us about new films made for Haredim, the lastest being called "The Cry of the Dead". The article explains what this is:

There are still limitations for haredi movie-makers. Women are not allowed to be shown due to chastity laws, and abusive language, as well as violence, is prohibited.

"Within these boundaries, everything else is open and we have a lot of free rein," said Ariel Cohen, "Cry of the Dead's" director.


After other pro-film comments, the article continues:

But some in the haredi community have voiced worries the new culture could prove damaging for their traditional way of life.

"Even if the films are done with the right intentions, there is a danger that allowing our children to watch films will make such mediums more acceptable and could lead to sinning," said a leading haredi rabbi and educator, who declined to be identified.

"Family life will also be in danger as people start to watch films. The centre of haredi life is the Book," he said.



Commenters: Do you agree with this slippery slope philosophy or not?

Update: Here's a somewhat related article.

Ledavid.com browsing

Browsing Ledavid.com, I found some interesting Mashiah updates:
  • According to the Ibn Ezra's interpretation of a verse in Daniel, something big could happen by the 26th of Iyyar this year. (Read more in Hebrew)
  • A certain Kabbalist in Israel, one who actually predicted the Indian Ocean Tsunami (by saying a day before it happened that something very grave will happen either in India or California), is changing his stance on when he thinks Mashiah will come. He originally said that he thought Mashiah would come 4 years from now, but now says that he'll come in the coming year. He apparantly changed his mind after attending a Hillula of R' Shimon Bar Yohai on Lag Ba'Omer. (Read more in Hebrew)

Monday, May 30, 2005

10 Day Recap

I apologize for the light blogging for the past week and a half. My life has been busy and turned upside down in many ways.

Here's a recap of tidbits that I thought were worth noting:

  • gog1.com mentions Arutz Sheva's interview with Rav Kaduri, where he denies rumors that he is pro-disengagement, but also has this to say (translation by Yiddishkeit.org):
    Meiri: The Rav said that we need to rely on the Prime Minister [Ariel Sharon]?

    Harav Kaduri: "The heart of kings and ministers is in the hands of Hashem" and he [Sharon] is doing His will. Hashem will turn the Prime Minister away from bad counsel. The Prime Minister is a mighty warrior three times over.

    Meiri: So the Prime Minister is good?

    Harav Kaduri: Shortly the Moshiach will come, he will help the government, and Hashem will have mercy on them and make their prayers and requests successful and not turn them away empty-handed.

    Meiri: But there is a big argument among Jews ["between brothers"] and there are people who say that there is danger of a civil war and that the Prime Minister is in danger.

    Harav Kaduri: The people will rejoice, and the sick will be resuced. Such a thing [as civil war] will not occur.

    Meiri: What will happen now?

    Harav Kaduri: Hashem will have mercy on his people Israel that they will return to him and he will not turn them away empty-handed. He will nullify all the decrees instantly and peacefully. He will inspire the Prime Minister not to give all these places to the Arabs. And all the places will be for Jews. In the merit of our Holy Torah [which is learned there].

  • Rabbi Lazer Brody has a nice post here he says that Rav Chaim Kanievski (yes, the one who finishes Shas and Poskim every year) agrees that, "We are currently in the midst of the redemption process." (Hat tip: Akiva)

  • Akiva mentioned me in the latest Havail Havalim (or however it's pronounced) here. Thanks!

  • The guys at Ledavid.net started a Mashiah-related forum called Ledavid.com (in Hebrew). I need more time to check this out. This looks very interesting.

Friday, May 27, 2005

Gained a daughter, Lost a grandmother

My emotional rollercoaster called life continues:

My grandmother died today.

She was 100.

She will now share a Yahrzeit with R' Shimon Bar Yohai.

As for me, the verse that comes to mind is:

ה' נָתַן, וה' לָקָח; יְהִי שֵׁם ה' מְבֹרָךְ

Friday, May 20, 2005

New Family Member!

With gratitude to Hashem, and much thanks to my dear wife, my wife gave birth to a baby girl last night.

A picture will be forthcoming, BL"N.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Indiana Jones Gets Permission to Find Lost Ark

In an Arutz Sheva exclusive, Dr. Vendyl Jones claims to have gotten permission to find the Aron Hakodesh from a Kabbalist, and will reveal it before Tish'a B'Av.
Read the whole article.

Update: Arutz Sheva took down the article. I'm not sure of the reason.

Follow-up to Gog Umagog Post

Yesterday, i posted a quote from Lazer Beams that Gog Umagog is over. Today, he clarifies:
From the unfortunate experiences of nuclear explosions around the world, we've learned that post-explosion fallout is no less perilous than the explosion itself. Years after an explosion, high levels of radioactivity remain in the soil, distorting and causing sickness to flaura, fauna, and man alike.

The Melitzer Rebbe, my esteemed and beloved teacher and spiritual guide, explained to me yesterday - in the exact words that he heard from the holy Rebbe Aaron of Belz of blessed memory - that the murder of 6,000,000 Jewish martyrs in the Nazi Holocaust was the pinnacle of Gog and Magog's attack against Am Yisroel, the people of Israel. As a result, a third of the Jewish people was destroyed.

Gog and Magog are dead. The Almighty no longer hides His holy countenance from us, as He did in the Holocaust. In 1948, He helped a handful of farmers, factory workers, and concentration-camp survivors defeat the combined standing armies of Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq. In 1967, He again delivered Israel from her enemies. In 1973, when according to all military logic Israel should have been destroyed, The Almighty turned the tables around in Israel's favor. Don't be mistaken - the Syrian and Egyptian commandos are superb soldiers; at the time, their armies boasted state-of-the-art Russian weaponry. Defeating them was a major miracle.

Twice, in 1991 and again last year, The Almighty fought Israel's battles for her by removing Sadaam Hussein. Sadaam's Scud missiles could have reached all of Israel's major population centers.

The Almighty, only 14 short years ago, dismantled the USSR without firing a shot. Why? He promised long ago that before the coming of Moshiach, He'd bring all the dispersed Jews home to Israel.

Enough miracles?

In 1945, Torah and Judaism were almost dead. The renown Lithuanian and Chassidic communities of Eastern Europe were wiped out. Anyone who visits Israel, and sees what's going on in Jerusalem, BnaiBrak, Ashdod, Beitar, Kiryat Sefer, Elad, Arad, and Kiriat Gat can't believe their eyes. Torah and the communities of its faithful are alive, vibrant, and growing from day to day.

Fallout. Gog and Magog, the pograms and the Holocaust, have left a terrible aftermath. Nuclear fallout is radioactivity, which threatens bodies. Spiritual fallout is epikorsis, the denial of faith, which kills souls. Rebbe Nachman of Breslev, just about 200 years ago, warned that epikorsis would be a bigger threat to the Jewish people than any physical calamity. A large number of Jews around the world - including Israel - die spiritual deaths while falling victim to epikorsis and assimilation every day. The damage is a thousand-fold worse than the combined damages of the Intifada and world terror.

Moshiach. We are now facing the final test of faith before the coming of the Moshiach, our messiah, and the redemption of our people. The world is now like a blanket; The Almighty is giving it a tremendous shake, and only those who hold on tight - by clinging to their faith in Him - will stay aboard. Therefore, now is the time to strengthen our faith, to wash our eyes from the materialism that blinds us, and to see Hashem's miracles, which are now out in the open for everybody to see.

Bnai Noach Movement. Who would have believed that thousands of non-Jews around the world would be categorically accepting the absolute truth of Torah? These are the very bright people who have developed a keen sense of spiritual awareness, and want to share in the glory of redemption. One Ben Noach, a regular Lazer Beam reader and close friend, wrote me an email saying, "Anyone who can't smell Moshiach on the way needs an ear, nose, and throat specialist!"

Tshuva Movement. The Tshuva Movement in Israel alone has long surpassed six figures. Never - in the entire 34 centuries of Jewish history since Mount Sinai - has there been such a phenomenon of spiritual rebirth.

Faith is one of the prime garments of the soul. Blemished faith is tantamount to wearing a blemished garment. Even worse, with no faith, the soul is rendered naked, and exposed to untold ridicule and shame. The palace guards certainly won't let those with blemished garments see the King, much less someone who's unclad altogether.

Now's the time to rectify; if the world were a baseball game, then we're now in the bottom of the ninth inning. Little time remains, but mark my words, the faithful are going to be the big winners.


With all due respect to Rabbi Brody and his rebbe, the Melitzer Rebbe, shlit"a, this interpretation doesn't help explain how all the nations will come to Yerushalayim and fight against the Jewish people. I would love to hear a good explanation on how this fits in to that known concept. I hope that he's correct, but I've unfortunately heard differently.

Here are a few sites that disagree with this interpretation:
http://aharit.com/A-05.html
http://magog.web-site.co.il/gog/e_war.shtml
http://www.gogumogog.com
http://www.shofar.net/site/ARDetile.asp?id=6392

That said, Rabbi Brody's conclusion where he calls for Teshuva is 100% correct.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Lazer Beams: Gog Umagog is Over

Rabbi Lazer Brody of Lazer Beams, who interestingly is against Mashiah speculation, writes in his latest piece:
It's true - the war we all dreaded, described in Ezekiel's prophecy (chapters 38, 39) - is over. Now, we are closer than ever to the true redemption, the coming of Moshiach, and the building of the Holy Temple. A banner headline? I only found out few hours ago - here's what happened:

Periodically, I update the Melitzer Rebbe shlit"a (Hebrew abbreviation for "may he merit long and good days") as to what's appearing on Lazer Beams. Also, I get the Rebbe's opinion on private answers I send to readers, along with his suggestions and blessing for problem-solving. For several weeks now, I've been preparing a post on the War of Gog and Magog, and how - according to the leading rabbis of the last 300 years - it will manifest itself. When I showed the Rebbe my findings, based predominantly on the works of the Vilna Gaon and Rebbe Nachman of Breslev, the Melitzer looked up from his Gemorra and said, "No need to print that article, Lazer; the war is already over!"

G-d willing, tomorrow's post will elaborate further; don't miss it!


BE"H, BL"N, I won't.

Mashiah - During Sefirah? Maybe!

gog1.com reports that Rav Mordechai Eliyahu was giving a lecture on Sefirat Ha'Omer. In the middle of the lecture, he discussed whether or not one should say that the Mitzvah of counting the Omer is based on the verse:
וּסְפַרְתֶּם לָכֶם, מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת, מִיּוֹם הֲבִיאֲכֶם, אֶת-עֹמֶר הַתְּנוּפָה: שֶׁבַע שַׁבָּתוֹת, תְּמִימֹת תִּהְיֶינָה. עַד מִמָּחֳרַת הַשַּׁבָּת הַשְּׁבִיעִת, תִּסְפְּרוּ חֲמִשִּׁים יוֹם; וְהִקְרַבְתֶּם מִנְחָה חֲדָשָׁה, לַיהוָה
in the Leshaim Yihud that one recites before saying the blessing. Mentioning the verse would imply that the obligation to count nowadays is Biblical, when there is an argument, and most, in fact, hold that the obligation nowadays is only Rabbinical.

Rav Eliyahu said the following:
We are now counting the omer. We said [that the obligation is based on] an argument.
The Mashiah will come in the middle of the time period. Then, we will tell him, "What should we say for the Leshaim Yihud?"

Notice that Rav Eliyahu did not say "If" he will come, nor did he say "May it be Hashem's will" that he will come. Rather, he simply said "He will come".

Slip of the tongue or subliminal revelation?

You decide.

Update: Here's the video if you want to see it.

Also, Yiddishkeit.org provides a translation of the video transcript among the rest of the rabbis' statements.

Top 16 Reasons to Oppose Disengagement

  1. The land is ours from Biblical times.
  2. We captured it in a defensive war.
  3. Disengagement will not improve security.
  4. Disengagement will increase the appetite of the Palestinians for more land.
  5. It will show them that terror pays.
  6. Jews should never have to be kicked out of their homes because they are Jews.
  7. The sight of our enemies taking over Jewish homes is hard to bear.
  8. The possibility of Jews fighting against other Jews is hard to bear.
  9. The Palestinians are not really disengaging - they are still planning to work in Israel.
  10. The industry of Gush Katif will be lost (including hydroponic produce).
  11. The government fooled the people who moved there. They were encouraged by the Prime Minister to move there. Now he wants them to leave??
  12. Jewish graves will have to be moved.
  13. Disengagement is dividing the country. Do we need another reason to discourage Ahdut?
  14. Relocating 9000 people would be logistics nightmare.
  15. Providing security during the disengagement will be extremely difficult.
  16. Would you kick these kids (among 4000 children) out of their homes?

Any more that I missed? Feel free to add them in the comments.

Yerushalayim's Hip Mayor

Friday, May 13, 2005

Shadow Halachic Israeli Government?

Does anyone have further details on this strange, but intriguing story on a new halachic shadow government in Israel?
The story suggests that it will just be used to show people how religious governments will rule differently than the current one, and is not intended to be an actual government with enforceable rules. Or did I read this wrong?

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Friday afternoon Jewish baseball

Note to Hollywood:
This would make a nice movie, with them winning the state championship - a la Hoosiers.

I can dream, can't I?

Change the Way You Pray

I came across this article that discusses initiatives in both the OU and Agudah to change the way we pray for the better. Sounds good to me.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Yom Ha'atzma'ut

An essay by Rabbi Pinchas Winston.

Makes me feel mighty guilty for not being there.

Yom Hazikaron

http://www.all4israel.org/ is a site I go to when Lo Alenu an Israeli soldier or citizen falls at the hands of our enemies. This is one site that I hope is never updated.

New Post from R' Dov Bar-Leib

Here's an incredible new post from the End of Days blog. Summarizing it would take too long, and wouldn't do it justice. However, if I had to do it in 4 words:

5766 is the year.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Message from Mashiah returns - with Explanation

gog1.com returned its Message from Mashiah and explained why it was removed and why they restored it. They say that the Sandlar has no connection to any previous Sandlar, but is simply a Tzaddik Nistar who was connected to the gog1.com people via another Tzaddik.
They also say that what the Sandlar said - he still believes will happen - but just not as quickly as he had originally thought.
The gog1.com people believe that if something does happen, it will definitely happen before the disengagement.
Click here for the full text. (in Hebrew)

Update: It's translated into English here.

The "Milkman" Tries Again

I posted yesterday about 600,000 Jews demonstrating at the gates of Jerusalem to help bring redemption. According to Ledavid.net, which has the poster about it, it is supposed to be a demonstration of Ahdut - unity. It now has a form one can fill out for people who wish to help participate in this monumental event.

Mentioned in the poster are 2 quotes:
  1. The first is from the Vilna Gaon, who says in Kol HaTor (chapter 6) that if 600,000 Jews will gather at the gates of Jerusalem, they will have the power to bring the redemption.
  2. The second is from a Kabbalist known as the "Milkman", whose real name is Rav Hayim Ezra HaCohen Perahia. He says, according to the poster, "By way of accepting the yoke of the kingdom of Heaven, and yearning for Mashiah Ben David, in the standing presence of all the great leaders of the generation at the head of myriads of Jews, who will gather at the gates of Jersalem, it is possible - without much exaggeration at all - to cause the actualization of the revelation of Mashiah Tzidkenu!"

Who is the "Milkman"? Apparantly, he is a known Kabbalist in Israel. What I found interesting is that he was a student of the Sandlar (presumedly, the Sandlar that is mentioned at the end of this post). A picture of him is available when going through this list of great rabbis and Kabbalists.

Apparently, he tried organizing this type of event before more than 2 years ago. See here. Ledavid.net says he had many things that blocked him then. Let's hope he's successful this time.

Yeranen Trivia Contest #2 Results

And the winner is...
moshe g. g.
and listed as his website is
who correctly answered that the day of the Hebrew calendar that some years we say Tahanun and some years we say Hallel (not having to do with Yom Ha'atzma'ut) is:
3 Tevet
when some years Hanukah falls on that day and some years it does not, depending on whether there is 1 or 2 days of Rosh Hodesh Tevet. Again, the first commenter got it right. I probably need harder questions.
Now, I'm wondering, is this Moshe G. G. the same as Moshe Feiglin himself? If so, I feel extremely honored that he reads my blog. But even if it's a different Moshe, I feel honored that you read my blog, too. Please comment to let me know. Thanks.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Yeranen Trivia Contest #2

After the last contest was won by the first commenter, we'll see how everyone does on this one. As with last contest, you get a mention (with a link, if applicable) in a new post as your prize.

Here we go:

This year, Yom Ha'atzma'ut is a Mukdam (the holiday is pushed up) to Thursday - the 3rd of Iyyar - because the 5th of Iyyar falls out on Shabbat. This makes the 3rd of Iyyar one day of the year that some years Tahanun is said, and others, Hallel is said (assuming your synagogue says Hallel). Name another date of the Hebrew calendar that has nothing to do with Yom Ha'atzma'ut where some years Tahanun is said, while some years Hallel is said.

V-E day - Perfect day for Mashiah

LeDavid.net says that V-E day would be a very symbolic if davka today something would happen against the Nazis and Amalekites of our day.

Other interesting tidbits found in LeDavid.net:

  • Both the Washington Post and ABC News say the Yellowstone caldera is rated high for a volcanic eruption.

  • Explaining the verse: אִם-יִתְמַהְמָהּ, חַכֵּה-לוֹ--כִּי-בֹא יָבֹא, לֹא יְאַחֵר, he asks: how can the Mashiah tarry, but yet, he will not tarry? He explains that when a person waits for another to arrive, and the other person doesn't come, he has 2 choices: either he'll give up on that person from ever coming or he'll say, "I'll wait just a few more minutes." Those who follow the latter philosophy still believe that the person is coming, but just got held up. That's what believers in Mashiah do as well - we believe Mashiah is coming - he just got held up - we'll give him some extra time.

  • A poster for 600,000 people to gather at the gates of Jerusalem to help bring the redemption:



Also:

Kaduri.net (in a comment entitled ברחובות הצדיקים הניסתרים.....) has more information on another Sandlar that the Hazon Ish considered to be one of the 36 hidden righteous men of the generation. (Although gog1.com took down the Message from Mashiah from the Sandlar, it is still interesting)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Gay Pride Parade Postponed Due to Disengagement

Arutz Sheva reports:

Jerusalem Gay Parade Postponed
22:57 May 05, '05 / 26 Nisan 5765


(IsraelNN.com) The organizers of the planned Gay Parade in Jerusalem today reversed their previous stand and announced they would postpone the event set for August 18. They said the reason was that the planned evacuation of Jews from Gaza and northern Samaria would not leave the police with enough manpower to provide security for the parade. The police had been expected to request a postponement.

Polls have shown that an overwhelming of Jews and Arabs are strongly against the parade taking place in the capital. Leaders of all three major religions, in a rare joint announcement, said they opposed the parade as immoral and a disgrace to a holy city. Reform and Conservative Jewish leaders have supported the event.



Let's hope they both keep postponing each other into oblivion.

Yom Hashoah

Here are a couple of links on the Holocaust from a Sephardic perspective to dispel the myths that Sepharadim were not affected by the Holocaust:

Salonika Jewry

Iraqi Jewry

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

More on Rabbi Wolbe

Post by Hirhurim
Article by Rabbi Nataf

Ge'ula

Mashiah has not come by Pesah, as was predicted by some that he would.
Should we be discouraged?

No.

First of all, it's still Nissan, and there's still a chance that it will happen this month. In fact, Rav Biniyahu Shmueli, even after Pesah (according to gog1.com), said that the Final Redemption is at the doorway. Also, gog1.com said earlier that the midway point of the 7-year war will happen on Pesah Sheni of this year (May 23rd, 2005). So there is still a lot to look forward to.

Why now more than any other time in history?

Well, no other time in history were there so many predictions from so many different rabbis. Also, these rabbis aren't just making up dates. There are solid Kabbalistic reasons for their predictions. Certain world events and other time-related reasons drove those predictions.

And, what will be if it still doesn't happen by the end of the year?

I will still have Emunah Shelaimah that it will happen eventually, as the greatest predictors, our Nevi'im, are always true to their word. Rabbi Akiva was absolutely convinced that Bar Kochba was the Mashiah. When it turned out not to be the case, he remained the greatest of his generation. There's never a reason to get discouraged.

Let's hope it happens soon!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Pesah Fires

  1. Williamsburg Tragedy
  2. New Square Fire

Please, everyone, be careful with stoves over Yom Tov. I hope I won't find any more of these links.

New Kosher Animals?

The Rishon Letzion, Rav Shelomo Amar, will be deciding on the Kashrut of a number of African animals.
I wonder if Rabbi Slifkin was consulted.