Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Sold to the highest bidder

50-year-old wine from the dedication of Ponovezh....

$22,000


110-year-old wild ginseng roots....

$119,400


XBox 360 on eBay....

$1,000,000


Affirming that I have no interest in owning any of them....

Priceless

Kislev - A Great Time for Ge'ula

Hashem1.net has a great post in Hebrew about how Kislev, Hanukka, and Parshat Miketz would all be a good time for the future redemption.

Yehudi Yerushalmi translated it here into English.

With Rosh Hodesh Kislev approaching, let's pray that this Rosh Hodesh will really be:
סוף וקץ לכל צרותינו - תחלה וראש לפדיון נפשינו

Update: More links between Kislev and the Ge'ula here.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Lazer Beams Clarifies Gog Umagog Statements

R' Lazer Brody, in an interview with the Karlsburger Rebbe, clarifies previous statements that were mentioned earlier about Gog Umagog having already occurred.

Check it out.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Free Pollard Now!

As an American, I'm ashamed that for the past 20 years, no US President could find it within his heart to pardon Jonathan Pollard for his crime.

All the President could pardon are a couple of turkeys.

We pray that Hashem should help Jonathan Pollard attain freedom as soon as possible.

More on this:
Here, here, and here.

Rav Ovadia's Granddaughter Marrying an Ashkenazi?

Oy! We lost another one!

Just kidding :) Mazal Tov!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Standing Tall

Batya at Shiloh Musings posts about a picture of Italian guards towering over Israeli President Katzav. Yes, we are in Galut - Galut Edom to be precise.

However, in the future, scenes like the above will be reversed. You see, the Ben Ish Hai writes that the Jewish people will be 200 Amot tall(!!!) in future times. He gets this from the verse ואולך אתכם קוממיות which he says refers to 2 komot (heights). We know that Adam Harishon was 100 Amot tall - so the double-מ of קוממיות tells us that we will be twice that height.

The Ben Ish Hai continues that this is also hinted at from Tehillim 126, where it talks about בְּשׁוּב ה' אֶת-שִׁיבַת צִיּוֹן, when we return to Zion, we were like dreamers, "we were" - meaning in the past, we were like dreamers. A dream is 1/60th of prophecy, as the Gemarrah says. The Gemarrah also says that an average person is 3 Amot tall, not counting the head, which is 2 Tefahim tall. A tefah is 1/6 of an Amah. This makes modern-age Jews 3-1/3 Amot tall. If future-age Jew will be 200 Amot tall, modern-age Jew is 1/60th the size of the Jew in the future.

Then, אָז יִמָּלֵא שְׂחוֹק פִּינוּ וּלְשׁוֹנֵנוּ רִנָּה - we will be the ones jouyous and happy.
Then, אָז יֹאמְרוּ בַגּוֹיִם הִגְדִּיל יְהוָה לַעֲשׂוֹת עִם-אֵלֶּה - the nations will say that Hashem magnified these Jews.
Then, הִגְדִּיל יְהוָה לַעֲשׂוֹת עִמָּנוּ - we will say, yes, Hashem did indeed magnify us.

So, even if the picture shows our present stature, our future stature will show us standing tall. May it come soon Bimhera Veyamenu.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Will Peretz Take Votes From Shas?

Jerusalem Post has the scoop.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Rabbi Brody: 3 Rabbis on Mashiah Preparations

From Lazer Beams:
More and more Sephardi Kabbalists are saying that Moshiach is imminent. Rabbi Raphael Abu Chatzera shlit'a of Ashdod, son of Baba Meir and grandson of Baba Sali (pictured at left), both of blessed and saintly memory, said recently that the world stage is completely set for Moshiach, and that the powerful natural disasters of this past year are simply the drumroll before his arrival.

A very inside source within the Gerrer Chassidim told me that the Rebbe shlit'a (pictured at left) said recently that "we are now so close to Moshiach that all of our current mitzvas are preparations for his imminent arrival". If that's the case, then we must all hasten to strengthen our Torah and tshuva immediately; tomorrow might be too late.

Rabbi BT has reiterated what he told me three months ago, namely, that the imminent tests of faith won't be easy. He also said that political activism is foolish, since Moshiach will establish the true borders of Eretz Yisroel, and as both the Gemorra and the Zohar state, the final redemption depends on Tshuva and Torah learning. Rabbi BT stressed the paramount importance of learning Zohar every day in preparation for Moshiach.

Let's get to work!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Sof Davar Hakol Nishma #1

Sof Davar Hakol Nishma is my own Ge'ula-based-blog roundup (yes, it's a take-off on the wonderful Havel Havalim, which it complements nicely). Will this be a regular feature? We'll see how it goes.

OK, here we go:

Iran

R' Dov Bar Leib tells us how the war between Paras (Iran) and Edom (U.S.) is taking shape, and ties it in with which nations Paras and Edom control on different days of Sukkot.

Peres' Defeat; Peretz's Victory

Lazer Beams tells us how the Gerrer Rebbe was once angered by Shimon Peres in 1981, and said that he won't win another election. Vekach Hayah (and so it was).

Hashem1.net reminds us that certain kabbalists like Rav Ben-Artzi [YY-and Rav Kaduri] have said that this current government will be the last government before Mashiah, hinted to by the victory of Peretz (son of Yehuda and ancestor of King David and the Mashiah). Also, he notes that the final Tzadik (ץ) is the letter with which we will be redeemed, according to a Midrash Yalkut on Lech Lecha, and mentioned by the Ben Ish Hai. The difference in pronunciation between פרס and פרץ is so slight, yet the ץ makes all the difference.

French Riots

Hashem1.net notes that the fact that cars were being burnt in France is hinted to by this verse (Tehillim 46:10):
מַשְׁבִּית מִלְחָמוֹת, עַד-קְצֵה הָאָרֶץ קֶשֶׁת יְשַׁבֵּר, וְקִצֵּץ חֲנִית; עֲגָלוֹת, יִשְׂרֹף בָּאֵשׁ
He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth;
He breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; He burneth the chariots in the fire.
See there what he says this means, plus other amazing stuff about this.

Terror in Jordan

Again, Hashem1.net comes up with a great one when he talks about the terrorist bombings in Jordan and links it to this Midrash that talks about what will happen the year that Mashiah comes:
אמר רבי יצחק: שנה שמלך המשיח נגלה בו, כל מלכי האומות מתגרים זה בזה (מלחמות, ועימותים מזויינים ומילוליים בכל רחבי העולם). מלך פרס (איראן) מתגרה במלך הערבי ( עיראק? סעודיה? ירדן), והולך מלך הערבי לאדום (המייצגת אצל חז"ל אימפריה נוצרית, שבימינו היא ארה"ב), ליטול עצה מהם (מבקש עזרה וסיוע מארה"ב


This coming week

The Tsunami-Predicting Rabbi alerts us that "even though [Rav Kaduri's warning] was denied, you should really strengthen this week in prayer and in Tehilim".


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If I missed something, please put it in the comments.

May we be Zochim to Mashiah coming speedily in our days, Amen, Ken Yehi Ratzon!

Friday, November 11, 2005

Pres. Katzav finishes Megilla

Mazal Tov!

Ladaat.net reports that Israeli President Moshe Katzav has completed Tractate Megilla. This is apparently the third tractate that he finished (he also finished Berachot and Sanhedrin). He studied with Rav Benayahu Shmueli - the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Nehar Shalom - and Rav Mordechai Hasidim.

In light of the terrible reports (mentioned earlier) regarding handing over parts of the Kever David Hamelech, I just hope the president learned the Sugya in Megilla on page 10a, where it talks about the holiness of Yerushalayim - and whether or not:

קדושה ראשונה קידשה לשעתה וקידשה לעתיד לבא
The original holiness of Yerushalayim was created for the moment that the Beit Hamikdash was around and also for the future (after it was destroyed).

I hope that the president learned that the Rambam holds that the sanctity of Yerushalayim never leaves (see here).

As the (now old) song goes, Yerushalayim is not for sale.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Ahmedinejad = Haman?

Is Ahmedinejad a Haman-like figure? He certainly sounds like one.

Is he the Haman-like figure that is mentioned in the Gemara Sanhedrin 97b and elsewhere whom Hashem will establish against the Jewish people if we don't repent?

Is Teheran's recall of 40 moderate ambassadors to make all their emissaries tow the party line akin to Haman's evil decree that was sent throughout the world to go along with Haman's wishes?

We definitely live in scary times.

Let's take a look at a similar Hazal from the Yerushalmi in Ta'anit:

אמר לו רבי אליעזר: "הקב"ה מעמיד עליהן מלך קשה כהמן, ומיד הן עושין תשובה - והן נגאלין". מאי טעמא? ועת צרה היא ליעקב - וממנה יוושע.

The Pasuk of ועת צרה היא ליעקב - וממנה יוושע is used. עת צרה (time of trouble) has a gematria of 765. 5765 was last year - actually, the year that Ahmedinejad came to power.

This year of 5766 (or, really 766), as Rabbi Lazer Brody pointed out, has the gematria of תשובה מאהבה - repentance from love. Could this be the year that we do Teshuva based on our love of Hashem? Perhaps so.

Now, you may ask, "If we only do Teshuva based on a wicked ruler, isn't that by definition, not Teshuva from love, but rather Teshuva based on fear of punishment?"

Well, that's a good question. However, just look at what happened near the end of the Purim story. The Jews were Kiyemu VeKibelu - they accepted the Torah a second time from love of the miracle done for them (as Rashi says in Shabbat 88a). That sounds like Teshuva Me'ahava to me.

Let's hope this year will see a great renaissance of Teshuva Me'ahava and that great miracles will be done for us too, just as in the Purim story, bimhera veyamenu, amen.

Friday, November 04, 2005

New Statements from Heads of Kabbalistic Yeshivot

See it here in Hebrew.

Read a short summary in English here by poster J.

Watch Rav Shmueli here.

Watch Rav Zer here.

Tidbits from this past week

  • R' Lazer Brody scares us Hutz-La'aretz people with threats of continents being flooded.


  • Arutz Sheva updates us on the Sanhedrin (Hat tip: Akiva).


  • 2 new interesting blogs that I just discovered:


  • Of course, there's also the Kever David Vatican-swap story, which Be'ezrat Hashem looks like it's being denied by President Katzav. Apparently, the Vatican wants the Kever David building, which they too consider a holy site (which itself is highly questionable), and in exchange, they will give up the Santa Maria la Blanca former historic synagogue - now church - in Toledo, Spain. I first heard about this here a few weeks ago, but didn't think it would really go this far at the time. As someone who has been to both buildings - and as a Cub-fan, I can honestly say this would have been another Lou Brock for Ernie Broglio-deal in the making. How can you compare the Kedusha of the Kever David building, which is on Har Tziyon, on the holiest city on earth, holding the grave of our first king from Yehuda - with a structure that's at best, a nice tourist attraction for Jews??? True, Toledo was called the Jerusalem of the West, but come on - no comparison. As Rabbi Brody calls it, the struggle for Jerusalem has begun.
    Shelomo Alfasa, from the International Society For Sephardic Progress, is at the forefront of the battle against this from taking place. Here is his main page about it and here is a page where he's posting updates.


Update: The situation may not be over, according to ISFPF.org. Let's pray it's resolved soon.