Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Expelled Yeshiva Does Kiruv

Yeshivat Torat Hayim with its head Rav Shmuel Tal, along with Rav Amnon Yitzhak, started doing Kiruv work in the town of Gedeira, close to the town of Yad Binyamin, where the yeshiva is located. The Yeshiva was one that just a half year ago was expelled from Gush Katif (שייבנה במהרה בימינו).

I was very impressed with the last 2 paragraphs in the article on Shofarnews.

(my translation)
A Yeshiva student: "Honored rabbi, we're going out to work among the residents of Gadeira and to return them to our Father in Heaven. So what should we say to our brothers, the residents of Gush Katif who were uprooted - since there are also many of them that we don't talk about whose faith is wounded from what the Jewish State did to them?"

Rav [Amnon Yitzhak]: "Tell them that a person needs to know to thank [Hashem] for the bad. It could have been a lot worse. There are those [nations in the world] to whom moving from one place to another is not enough - they Heaven-forbid would move them from world to world [i.e. killing them]. You have to think of the cup half full, and to believe that in the end, in the big picture, everything will end well. In fact, you [Yeshiva boys] were uprooted from Gush Katif to Yad Binyamin, and you are already revealing a little of the goodness. Over there [in Gush Katif], you were not able to work in a nearby city to spread Judaism. Where would you work? In Gaza City? Maybe Hakadosh Baruch Hu brought you here close to Gadeira for this purpose alone? Who knows?"

Latest from Tsunami Kabbalist

The Kabbalist who predicted the Tsunami said the following in his latest Torah lesson:
Daniel reported as follows:

First the Rav repeated things that he said in the past about Jerusalem. My source missed some of the things, but he heard the Rav saying that there will be a certain stage where the Christians will decide that Jerusalem belongs only to them (I think that this means that Jerusalem will be under the rule of the UN, and not under Palestinian rule, but this is just my thought), and those who will not agree will be the Moslems, and this will cause confrontations between Moslems and Christians that will eventually drag both sides (Christians and Moslems) to a war between them. The Rav emphasized that the Jews will not be involved in this war.

Afterwards the Rav said that the final Berur (purification?) is getting closer, and he said that this Berur will be a hard one, and that it is a Berur to the whole people of Israel, no matter if we're talking on the most secular Jew inthe world, or on the most Charedi Jew. The Rav said that the major Berur will be through a hard Nisayon (test) in faith. He tried to conclude the subject and go further, but the audience tried in any way to push him to get more info, and this is more or less what they could get from him:

(a) The Berur's duration will be 72 hours.
(b) The Nisayon will be based on choice: are we choosing HaShem or not.
(c) The Rav hinted that there will be something in the sky, and he was very unclear about what exactly this will be. My source understood that this is something like a plane or an angel (he thought it reminds of what the Rav said once about the Malachim), and there will be something like a lethal bomb threatening ch"v to blow on us. These were only hints, not more than that.

The audience asked more details about the exact type of the Berur that will be, and about the kind of Nisayon that he's talking about, and the Rav again talked with unclear terms and hard to understand hints. He gave them 2 answers:

(1) He said that it's known (it wasn't known to me) that Rav Bnayahu said in the past that we should be prepared to deliver our soul and die on Kiddush HaShem,
(2) He said that the test in something similar to something that may happen if we see in our eyes as if not only that HaShem is not choosing us, and not with us, but He is actually choosing others, and helps them clearly, and the question is whether we will continue to believe in Him and in the Torah after such a situation that may hapeen. Again, only hints and nothing clear.

The Rav concluded the lesson by saying that in the help of HaShem we're going to enter the month of Adar this week, and this is a month that we should expect in it that actually every day the Geulah will come. He said that the people of Israel has already passed to many troubles, and it seems like he was hinting (or asking) that in the merit of the troubles of the people of Israel until now, all the hard things and tests will be canceled.


See the always-excellent commentary in Hebrew by Hashem1.net
Also, see more great commentary in English by R' Y. Nathan and others.

Bucharim in the News

Good News and Not Good News

First the "not good" news:
Demolition has started in the last remaining synagogue in Tajikistan.

Also, a Jewish community leader in Tashkent, Uzbekistan was murdered in an anti-semitic attack.

The good news:
100 Bucharim are making Aliyah with their rabbi from New York. (Hat tip: Pinchas)

Sunday, February 26, 2006

UN Insecurity Council

Here are the 5 permanent members of the United Nations Insecurity Council:

United States

England

France

Russia

China

The Gemara in Sotah 49b, dealing with the time before Mashiah, asks and answers:

ועל מה יש לנו להשען על אבינו שבשמים

Upon What do we have to rely?
Upon our Father in Heaven

Another Ahmadinejad - Haman Comparison

Part 1 here

Iran's president's denial of the Holocaust wasn't the first time a member of the Persian empire wanted to rewrite Jewish history with lies and half-truths of Israel as the aggressor in order to wipe Israel off the map.

It says in Esther Rabba Parsha 7:

יג אם על המלך טוב יכתב לאבדם אמר ר"ל בשעה שאמר המן הרשע לאחשורוש בא ונאבד את ישראל מן העולם אמר לו אחשורוש לא יכלת להון בדיל דאלההון לא שביק לון כל עיקר תא חזי מה עביד לון למלכין קמאי דהוון קומינן דהוון פשטון ידיהון עליהון דהוון מלכיא רברביא וגובריא טפי מינן וכל מאן דאתי עליהון למבדינהו מן עלמא ודיעץ עליהון מיבטל מן עלמא והוי למתל לכל דרי עלמא ואנן דלא מעלינן כותיהו עאכ"ו שביק לך מלמללא תוב בפתגמא דנא ואעפ"כ היה המן הרשע מטרד על אחשורוש על פתגמא דנא כל שעתא ושעתא ומיעצו עצות רעות על ישראל אמר לו אחשורוש הואיל וכך נמלך בחכמים ובחרטומים מיד שלח וקבץ את כל חכמי או"ה באו כולן לפניו אמר להם אחשורוש רצונכם שנאבד אומה זו מן העולם אמרו לו כולן בבת אחת מי הוא זה ואיזה הוא אשר מלאו לבו לעשות כן ורוצה להשליך בדבר זה שאם אתה מאבד ישראל מן העולם אין העולם מתקיים אלא בשביל התורה שניתנה להם לישראל הה"ד (ירמיה ל"ג) אם לא בריתי יומם ולילה חקות שמים וארץ לא שמתי ולא עוד אלא שכל העו"ג נקראו נכרים לפני הקדוש ברוך הוא (וישראל נקראים קרובים) הה"ד (מלכים א' ח') וגם אל הנכרי אשר לא מעמך ישראל הוא וישראל נקראו קרובים הה"ד (תהלים קמ"ח) לבני ישראל עם קרובו ולא עוד אלא שנקראו בנים הה"ד (שמות ד') בני בכורי ישראל (דברים י"ד) בנים אתם לה' אלהיכם והקב"ה נקרא קרוב לישראל הה"ד (תהלים קמ"ה) קרוב ה' לכל קוראיו לכל אשר יקראוהו באמת ואין אומה קרובה להקדוש ברוך הוא אלא ישראל שנאמר (דברים ד') כה' אלהינו בכל קראנו אליו ואדם שרוצה לשלוח יד בקרוביו ובבניו של הקב"ה איך ימלט לפי שהוא שליט בעליונים ותחתונים ונפש כל חי בידו להגביה ולהשפיל להמית ולהחיות לך התבונן במלכים הראשונים שעברו על שפשטו ידיהם בישראל מה עלתה בהם כמו פרעה וסנחריב מיד אמר לון המן אלוה שטבע פרעה בים ועשה לישראל נסים וגבורות ששמעתם כבר הוא זקן ואינו יכול לעשות כלום שכבר עלה נבוכדנצר והחריב ביתו ושרף את היכלו והגלה את ישראל ופזרן בין האומות והיכן כחו וגבורתו שכבר הזקין שנא' (תהלים צד) ויאמרו לא יראה יה ולא יבין אלהי יעקב כיון שאמר להם כן כענין הזה מיד קבלו דבריו והסכימה דעתם לכלות את ישראל וכתבו אגרות וחתמו וכן כתבו באותן אגרות שלום לכם עד אין חקר יודע לכם שאדם אחד יש בינינו ולא ממקומנו הוא אלא מזרע המלוכה הוא ומזרעו של עמלק ומגדולי הדור הוא והמן שמו ושאל ממנו שאלה קטנה וקלה על עם אחד אשר יש בינינו נבזה מכל העמים ודעתם גסה עליהם חפצים ברעתנו וקללת המלך שגורה בפיהם ומהו קללה שמקללין אותנו (שם י') ה' מלך עולם ועד אבדו גוים מארצו ועוד אומרים (שם קמט) לעשות נקמה בגוים תוכחות בלאומים וכופרים במי שעשה להם טובה באו וראו מאותו עני פרעה מה עשו כשירדו למצרים קבלם בסבר פנים יפות והושיבם במיטב הארץ וזן אותן בשני רעבון והאכילם כל טוב שבארצו פלטרים היו לו לבנות והיו בונין שם בכל זאת לא היה יכול להם ולא עוד אלא שבאו בעלילה ואמרו לו (שמות ה') לזבוח לאלהינו נלך דרך שלשת ימים אחר כך נשוב אם רצונך השאילנו כלי כסף וכלי זהב ושמלות והשאילום כספם וזהבם וכל הבגדים הטובים שלהם וטענו כל אחד כמה חמורים שלהם לאין מספר עד שנצלו את מצרים הה"ד (שם י"ב) וינצלו את מצרים וברחו להם כיון ששמע פרעה שהיו בורחים הלך אחריהם להשיב את ממונו מה עשו לו היה עמהם אדם אחד ושמו משה בן עמרם ובכשפיו נטל מקל אחד ולחש עליו והכה בו את הים עד שנחרב ונכנסו כולם ביבשה בתוך הים ועברו כולם ואינו יודע במה עברו ובמה יבשו המים כיון שראה פרעה נכנס אחריהם להחזיר את ממונו ואיני יודע במה דחפוהו בתוך הים ונטבע הוא וכל חילו בים ולא זכרו הטובה שעשה להם הלא תשמעו שהם כפויי טובה ועוד מה עשו לעמלק אבי אבא בשעה שבא עליהם למלחמה שנאמר (שם י"ז) ויבא עמלק וילחם עם ישראל ברפידים ומהיכן בא עמלק א"ר כרוספדאי בשם ר' יוחנן שבא מאצל בלעם הרשע שבא ליטול עצה ממנו ואמר לו יודע אני שבעל עצה אתה וגם בעל מחשבות רעות וכל הנוטל עצה ממך אינו נכשל אמר לו ראה מה עשו אומה זו למצרים שעשו להם כמה טובות ומה למצרים שעשו להם כמה טובות עשו להם כך לשאר אומות עאכ"ו היאך אתה יועצני אמר לו בלעם לך ועשה עמהם מלחמה ואם אין אתה עושה עמהם מלחמה אין אתה יכול להם מפני שהן תלויין בזכותו של אברהם אביהם ואף אתה שהוא בן בנו של אברהם תלוי בזכותו של אברהם מיד בא עליהם למלחמה מה עשה אותו משה פרנס שלהם היה לו תלמיד אחד יהושע בן נון שמו והיה אכזרי עד מאד ולא היה לו רחמים אמר לו אותו משה (שם) בחר לנו אנשים וצא הלחם בעמלק איני יודע אותן אנשים שבחר אם בעלי כשפים הם או אם גבורי מלחמה מה עשה אותו משה נטל מקל בידו ואיני יודע מה עשה בו וכיון שבא עליהם איני יודע מה לחש עליהם ורפו ידיהם ונפלו לפניהם הה"ד (שם) ויחלוש יהושע את עמלק ואת עמו לפי חרב באו על סיחון ועוג גבורי ארצנו שאין כל בריה היתה יכולה לעמוד בפניהם ואיני יודע במה הרגום באו עליהם מלכי מדין ואיני יודע במה הרגן ועוד מה עשה תלמיד של אותו האיש משה הכניס את ישראל לארץ כנען ולא די שנטל את ארצם אלא שהרג מהם שלשים ואחד מלכים וחלק את ארצם לישראל ולא חמל עליהן ואותן שלא בקש להרוג היו לו לעבדים באו עליהם סיסרא והמונו ואיני יודע מה עשו לו לנחל קישון שגרפם ושטפם והשליכם לים הגדול שנאמר (שופטים ה') נחל קישון גרפם והיה להם מלך ראשון שאול שמו והלך ונלחם בארץ אבי אבא עמלק והרג מהם מאה אלפים פרשים ביום אחד וגם לא חמל על איש ועל אשה ולא על עולל ויונק ואיני יודע במה הרגם ועוד מה עשה לאגג זקני שחמלו עליו תחלה לסוף בא אדם מהם ושמו שמואל חתכו ונתן בשרו מאכל לעוף השמים כדכתיב (ש"א ט"ו) וישסף שמואל את אגג ואיני יודע במה הרגו מיתה משונה כזאת ששמעתם ואחר זאת היה להם מלך אחד דוד בן ישי שמו והיה משחית ומכלה את כל הממלכות ולא היה חומל עליהם שנאמר (שם כ"ו) ואיש ואשה לא יחיה דוד ועמד אחריו שלמה בנו ובנה להן לישראל בית אחד וקרא לו ביהמ"ק ואיני יודע מה היה להם בתוכו כשבאין למלחמה נכנסין בתוכו ומכשפים בתוכו וכשהן יוצאים ממנו הורגים ומחריבים את העולם ומרוב טובה שהיה להם מרדו באלהיהם ועוד שהזקין אותו אלוה שלהם ובא נבוכדנצר ושרף אותו בית שלהם והגלם מעל אדמתם והביאם בינינו ועדיין לא שנו מעשיהם המכוערין ואע"פ שהם בגלות בינינו מלעיגין אותנו ואת אמונת אלהינו ועכשיו הסכמנו כולנו לדעה אחת והפלנו גורלות לאבדן מן העולם ובאיזה זמן יתכן לנו לכלותם ונפל עליהם הגורל בחדש אדר בשלשה עשר בו ועכשיו כשיגיעו אליכם האגרות הללו תהיו מזומנים לאותו היום להשמיד להרוג את כל היהודים שביניכם מנער ועד זקן טף ונשים ביום אחד ולא תשארו מהם שריד ופליט ובשעה שנחתמו אותן האגרות ונתנו ביד המן ויבא שמח הוא וכל בני חבורתו ופגעו במרדכי שהוא הולך לפניהם וראה מרדכי שלשה תינוקות שהיו באים מבית הספר ורץ מרדכי אחריהם וכשראה המן וכל חבורתו שהיה רץ מרדכי אחרי התינוקות הלכו אחרי מרדכי לדעת מה ישאל מרדכי מהם כיון שהגיע מרדכי אצל התינוקות שאל לאחד מהם פסוק לי פסוקיך א"ל (משלי ג') אל תירא מפחד פתאום ומשואת רשעים כי תבוא פתח השני ואמר אני קריתי היום ובזה הפסוק עמדתי מבית הספר (ישעיה ח') עוצו עצה ותופר דברו דבר ולא יקום כי עמנו אל פתח השלישי ואמר (שם מ"ו) ועד זקנה אני הוא ועד שיבה אני אסבול אני עשיתי ואני אשא ואני אסבול ואמלט כיון ששמע מרדכי כך שחק והיה שמח שמחה גדולה אמר לו המן מה היא זאת השמחה ששמחת לדברי התינוקות הללו אמר על בשורות טובות שבשרוני שלא אפחד מן העצה הרעה שיעצת עלינו מיד כעס המן הרשע ואמר אין אני שולח ידי תחלה אלא באלו התינוקות



In short, Haman was trying to convince Ahashverosh to wipe out the Jews. Ahashverosh said that many had tried before and did not succeed. Haman nevertheless pressed on, so Aheshverosh got his advisors from all the nations involved. They basically said the same as Ahashverosh and added further reasons why Hashem would not let the Jews be destroyed - just look what happened to Pharaoh and Sanheriv. Haman retorted that Hashem got old and can't do what He did before, just as we see that Nevuchadnezzar destroyed His Beit Hamikdash and exiled His people. The advisors and Ahashverosh agreed to Haman's words and sent out letters.
Haman wrote in the letter that was sent out:
...Poor pharaoh. See what the Israelites did to him? Pharaoh accepted the Israelites into their land with open arms and gave them the best of the land. But that wasn't enough for them - they even came complaining that they wanted to go sacrifice for 3 days! What Hutzpah! Not only that, but they borrowed the Egyptians' gold, silver, and clothes! And then, ran away! The gall! Of course, pharaoh ran after them to retrieve his belongings. Then, this guy named Moshe took his staff, used sorcery by saying an incantation, hit the sea with his staff and dried it up, allowing everyone to pass through. Pharaoh followed, but I don't know what pushed him into the sea. He and all his army drowned. All the while, the Israelites showed ingratitude.
Also, what they did to my ancestor Amalek - this cruel and wicked Yehoshua, who chose men to fight - I don't know if they were strong fighters or sorcerers. What did Moshe do? He took his staff and I don't know what he did with it. When the fighting began, I don't know what incantation he said, but it worked and he weakened the Amalekites.
They then fought against Sihon and Og, and I don't know how they killed them.
They then fought against Midian, and I don't know how they killed them.
Then, this Yehoshua guy not only took the Canaanites' land, but killed 31 of their kings! He took those whom he didn't kill as slaves!
They then fought against Sisera and his multitude, and I don't know what they did to the Nahal Kishon, which threw them into the Mediterranean.
Then, their first king - Sha'ul - did not have mercy on man, woman or child. I don't know how he killed them.
And the one person he did have mercy on - Agag, my ancestor - Shemuel killed and gave his flesh to the birds.
Then, this King David guy had no mercy when destroying kingdoms.
Then, his son Shelomo built a Beit Hamikdash - I don't know what they had inside there. I know that when they went to war, they would do some sorcery inside there and when they left, they would go out and destroy the world.
And from all the goodness, they rebelled against their G-d.
And now, their G-d got old, so Nevuchadnezzar came and destroyed the Beit Hamikdash, and exiled them, and brought them to us, and they still haven't stopped their ugly actions. Now that they are among us, they mock us and our belief in our gods.
So now, we've agreed and drew lots to destroy them from the world on the 13th of Adar. So, when these letters reach you, you should be ready on that day to annihilate all the Jews among you - from young to old, children and women in that one day - and do not leave over any remnant.


When the letters were signed and given to Haman, Haman was overjoyed when he met up with Mordechai who was walking in front of him. Mordechai saw 3 children coming from school, and Mordechai ran after them. Haman and his entourage wanted to know why Mordechai was running after the schoolchildren, so they followed him. Mordechai asked the children to quote a verse.
The first one quoted:

אל תירא מפחד פתאום ומשואת רשעים כי תבוא


The second one quoted:

עוצו עצה ותופר דברו דבר ולא יקום כי עמנו אל


The third one, showing how Haman's talk about Hashem getting old was incorrect, quoted:

ועד זקנה אני הוא ועד שיבה אני אסבול אני עשיתי ואני אשא ואני אסבול ואמלט


When Mordechai heard this, he was overjoyed.
Haman asked, "Why are you overjoyed for the words of these children?"
Mordechai replied "For the good news that they told me - that I should not fear the evil advice that you advised against us."


May it be Hashem's will that these verses will apply to us today as they did to us then.

As R' Lazer Brody said recently...
Worried? Don't be. This is all part of Hashem's scheme to hasten the full redemption of our people. What should we all do? Strengthen our faith, and keep on truckin'...

...all the way to Beis HaMikdash!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Mekubal Story

Tzvi Fishman wrote an interesting article in Arutz Sheva about a modern-day Kabbalist - Rabbi Eliahu Leon Levi.

Blogiversary Post

Yep, it's been a year since I started.

Here's my first post.

Here's a post whose image gives me hits from Moslems all over the world - googling for "Allah". (Mentioned here)

Here's my first (and only) post that's been linked to from a bunch of the "mainstream" jblogs.

And just last week, I delved into politics, and alienated 90% of my already miniscule readership. :) Oh well. Sometimes being right isn't always popular.

And then, there are the numerous Ge'ula posts. It's funny how the blog evolved. It wasn't originally intended to be a blog with a primary focus on the future Ge'ula. However, it became a subject that I was very interested in (and still am), so it took over the majority (or a large minority) of the posts. It's what makes this blog almost unique.

I'd like to hereby thank all those who linked to my blog and those who commented on it. I appreciate both a great deal.

May we merit seeing the final redemption of our people speedily in our days, Amen.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Rav Shmueli - It's very close

As reported on Hashem1.net, Ledavid.com, and Mystical Paths, Rav Benayahu Shmueli has announced that the Ge'ula that we are all waiting for is very close.

Here's the video (courtesy of Hashem1.net)

Text courtesy of R' Y. Nathan:
"Very soon the resurrection of the dead, Am Yisroel will rise again enclothed in bodies, but the body will be more spiritual, everything will be more spiritual, and the person will rise and rise and rise. You should know, the geulah is close, close, close. This is no joke. Not a joking matter. The geulah is close! We will really really see, eye to eye, eye to eye, here it is! All the goyim will gather against Israel. Hamas, Iran, joining together..."

Monday, February 20, 2006

R' P. Winston: 5766: The Year of Chizuk

Rabbi Pinchos Winston has a very nice article.

Giving Chabad a Run for their Money

The Shuva Yisrael Institutions, headed by Rav Pinto, Shlit"a, have started the worldwide "Kesher Yehudi"* campaign, which is aimed at getting more Jewish people to wear Tefillin. They do it by actually distributing pairs of Tefillin to those who don't have any. Already, hundreds of Tefillin have been distributed, and their aim is to distribute 10,000 by the end of the year. The "Kesher Yehudi" campaign is aimed at helping Jews take a first step towards a more meaningful Jewish life.

Source: Ladaat.net

*"Kesher Yehudi" has a double-meaning of "Jewish Connection" and "Jewish Knot" - referring to the knots of the Tefillin.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

45 Days

We mentioned here how Hashem1.net calculated 1290 days and 1335 days from Sefer Daniel starting from Bush's speech on a 2-state solution for the Middle East. 1290 days later, Sharon was rushed to the hospital. 1335 days later falls out on this coming Motza'ei Shabbat.

I don't know if there's anything to this or not, but don't say I didn't warn you.

אחכה לו בכל יום שיבא

Bizui Talmidei Hachamim

I'm not one to be giving Tochaha. Believe me, I'm one that needs a lot of it.

I just want to remind some of those who commented in the previous post (and the entire jblogosphere, including myself, for that matter) of a few statements of Hazal, Rishonim, and Aharonim regarding Bizui Talmidei Hachamim.


א"ר יהודה לא חרבה ירושלים אלא בשביל שביזו בה ת"ח שנאמר (דברי הימים ב לו) ויהיו מלעיבים במלאכי האלהים ובוזים דבריו ומתעתעים בנביאיו עד עלות חמת ה' בעמו עד [ל]אין מרפא מאי עד לאין מרפא אמר רב יהודה אמר רב כל המבזה ת"ח אין לו רפואה למכתו
Gemara Shabbat 119b



אפיקורוס: רבי ורבי חנינא אמרי תרוייהו זה המבזה ת"ח
Gemara Sanhedrin 99b



יומא חד חזאי ריחשא דקא נפיק מאוניה חלש דעתאי איתחזי לי בחלמא אמר לי לא מידי הוא יומא חד שמעי בזילותא דצורבא מרבנן ולא מחאי כדבעי לי
Gemara Bava Metzia 84b



...מדור הראשון בור
בהאי מדור, דנין לאותן שקוטפין מלוח עלי שיח, המפסיקים דברים שנתנו בלוחות, עלי שיחה בטילה. ואותם שאינן נוהגים כבוד בתלמידי חכמים. ואין דנין במקום הזה למבזה תלמיד חכם, כי דנין אותו בטיט היון...וגו
ובמדור הראשון מורידים ודנין המבזה ת"ח בלבו, אע"פ שכבדום לפני אחרים...וגו
המדור הרביעי, נקרא טיט היון
Zohar Hadash Midrash Rut Ma'amar Zayin Madurei Gehinnom



יג [יא] עוון גדול הוא לבזות את החכמים, או לשנוא אותן: לא חרבה ירושלים, עד שביזו בה תלמידי חכמים--שנאמר "ויהיו מלעיבים, במלאכי האלוהים, ובוזים דבריו, ומיתעתעים בנביאיו" (דברי הימים ב לו,טז), כלומר בוזים מלמדי דבריו. וכן זה שאמרה תורה, "אם בחוקותיי תמאסו" (ויקרא כו,טו)--מלמדי חוקותיי תמאסו. וכל המבזה את החכמים--אין לו חלק לעולם הבא, והרי הוא בכלל "כי דבר ה' בזה" -במדבר טו,לא

יד [יב] אף על פי שהמבזה את החכמים, אין לו חלק לעולם הבא--אם באו עדים שביזהו, אפילו בדברים--חייב נידוי, ומנדין אותו בית דין ברבים, וקונסין אותו ליטרה זהב בכל מקום, ונותנין אותה לחכם. והמבזה את החכם בדברים, אפילו לאחר מיתה--מנדין אותו בית דין, והם מתירין אותו כשיחזור בתשובה; אבל אם היה החכם חי--אין מתירין לו, עד שירצה זה שנידוהו בשבילו.
Rambam Hilchot Talmud Torah Chapter 6 Laws 13-14



המבזה תלמיד חכם, והמסור. הם מכלל ואלו שאין להם חלק לעולם הבא ואין קמים בתחית המתים
Rav Hayim Vittal in Sha'arei Kedusha Part 2 Gate 6



קיימים כל מיני תלמידי-חכמים, עם כל מיני דעות וכל מיני שיטות, ואסור לבזותם גם אם אין מסכימים אתם. אלא שמצאו תחבולה מכוערת, שקיימת גם בנוגע לאהבת ישראל. כאשר תמהים: "איך אתה מדבר כך על יהודי, איפה אהבת ישראל"? יש משיבים: "ודאי, אהבת ישראל, אך יהודי זה יצא מכלל ישראל, הוא כופר, אפיקורוס, ערב רב"! תחבולה להתיר שנאת יהודים. וכן: "למה אתה מבזה תלמיד חכם"? והתשובה: "חלילה, איני מבזה תלמידי-חכמים, אך זה אינו תלמיד-חכם"! אבל הבזיון הגדול ביותר, זה לומר עליו שאינו תלמיד-חכם. ודאי שפלוני הוא תלמיד-חכם! אך אינו תלמיד-חכם שחושב כמוך, וגם כמוני. לפעמים יש חילוקי דעות בין תלמידי-חכמים, ולפעמים גם בין גדולי עולם, אפילו בדברים חמורים מאוד. יש רב חרדי ויש רב ציוני, שונה ממני, וכי בגלל זה הוא חדל מהיות תלמיד-חכם?! כלפיו צריך חרדת קודש!
Rav Shlomo Aviner in Shu"t She'elat Shelomo



There's plenty more to add, but not much more needed to add.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Shas Confusion

I was going to write a post about how if I were Israeli, I would vote for the Shas party. There are very good reasons for voting for the Shas party - the best being that it is headed by a Gadol BeYisrael - Hacham Ovadiah Yosef, Shlit"a.

However, articles like this irk me to no end.

I'm still a Shas supporter, but hope Teshuva by some of its leadership is done quickly.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Been Thinkin About Zionism Lately

A few things going on have gotten me thinking about Zionism and the State of Israel.

First, I read this post from Chardal, which I thought was pretty accurate.

Then, I went to this event which had some interesting speakers. The RCA's Rav Gedalia Dov Schwartz, Har Nof's Rav Sholom Gold, and YU's Mashgiah Rabbi Blau were there, among others.

Next, I read Hashem1.net's take on Amona and how he says (based on the Gemara in Sanhedrin) that today's Yi'ush (giving up hope) due to events like Amona is closer to the At'halta Dige'ulata (beginning of redemption) than the creation of the State of Israel, and that Amona proves that the creation of the State is not At'halta Dige'ulata. I'm not sure I buy the second half of this argument, however.

Finally, I was in a Beit Midrash last night, and while my havruta was home sick, I happened to see a copy of the Hebrew version of Em Habanim Semeiha by Rav Teichtal, ZT"L. I've heard about the book before, but never got a chance to read it. I just read part of the introduction and I was floored. Beli Neder, I'm going to try to read more.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Tu Bishvat - A Common Misconception

Sorry - I'm a bit late on this post. Good to know for next year, though.

The first Mishna in Rosh Hashana says that Tu Bishvat is the New Year for trees, according to Beit Hillel. A common misconception is that trees are judged on Tu Bishvat just as people are judged on Rosh Hashana. Actually, trees are judged on Shavuot (says the Gemara in Rosh Hashana 16a). Rather, Tu Bishvat is considered a new year for trees (as the Gemara says on 12a) because that is when most of the rain has fallen for that year.

See more here.

"Caricature" in Hebrew Reveals Yishmael's Demise

The Tsunami Kabbalist's latest lesson revealed that the word "Cartoon" or "Caricature" in Hebrew (which is קריקטורה [see here]) holds the secret of Yishmael's demise. He said that the word can be split into 2 to make קרי קטורה (or, the discharge of Ketura). Ketura, many commentaries hold, is identified with Hagar, the mother of Yishmael.

Hashem1.net further elaborates on this by saying that adultery is Yishmael's greatest sin. This is known from the Midrash that says that Hashem went to all the nations and asked them to receive the Torah and they all rejected it for one reason or another. When Hashem went to Yishmael, Yishmael rejected it because of "Thou shalt not commit adultery".
Also, the Zohar at the end of Va'era tells about Yishmael's merit to have a portion of Israel - which is Berit Milah. With their adultery and other sexual deviancies, they are spiritually lengthening their foreskins over their Berit Milah, thereby causing their merit to dissipate. So, the publicity of the cartoons (קרי קטורה) in the world reveals Yishmael's sin in the upper worlds.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Prayer Before Surfing

Rav Shmuel Eliyahu composed a prayer to be said before surfing the Internet:
"Father in heaven. Let it be your wish that I avoid sites that have prohibited sexual content and that I not open these sites accidentally or intentionally.

"Give me the strength to overcome my inclination to waste time and to refrain from correspondence with prohibited women (men) or with a person who uses foul language and that I not gaze at women (men) on the net."

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Belzer Rebbe: "Vote Shas"?

Ladaat.net reports that the Belzer Rebbe is not too happy with the arrangement between Aguda and Degel Hatorah. Speculation is that he will tell his Hasidim to vote for Shas.

Shevet Binyamin and Amona

The Gemara in Sota (36:-37.) says:

היה ר"מ אומר כשעמדו ישראל על הים היו שבטים מנצחים זה עם זה זה אומר אני יורד תחלה לים וזה אומר אני יורד תחלה לים קפץ שבטו של בנימין וירד לים תחילה שנאמר (תהילים סח) שם בנימין צעיר רודם אל תקרי רודם אלא רד ים והיו שרי יהודה רוגמים אותם שנאמר (תהילים סח) שרי יהודה רגמתם לפיכך זכה בנימין הצדיק ונעשה אושפיזכן לגבורה שנאמר (דברים לג) ובין כתפיו שכן


Rabbi Meir would say, "When Israel stood at the sea, the tribes were outdoing each other by this one saying "I will go first to the sea" and this one saying "I will go first to the sea". Thereby, the tribe of Binyamin jumped and descended to the sea first, as it says (Tehillim 68) "שם בנימין צעיר רודם" - do not read it as רודם, but rather "רד ים" (he descended in the sea). And the officers of Yehuda were stoning them, as it says (in the next verse) "שרי יהודה רגמתם". Therefore, Binyamin the righteous had the merit of being the host territory for the Al-mighty (the strip of land for the Beit Hamikdash was in the territory of Binyamin), as it says (Devarim 33) "ובין כתפיו שכן".


(The Radak on Shmuel I 15:17 has a slight variation on this.)

Binyamin started the unthinkable. Everyone wanted to jump in the sea, but Binyamin had the guts to just do it. They preceded everyone in having the Emuna in Hashem and Moshe, His servant, and took action in their beliefs.

Is it any wonder that Amona is in the Binyamin region? שם בנימין צעיר רודם - there, in the Binyamin region, were the youth doing what the tribe of Binyamin did long ago. They had the Emuna in Hashem, and were acting on that Emuna by descending into the unknown waters of protecting Amona.

In their merit, shall we see the rebuilding the third Beit Hamikdash in the portion of Binyamin, Bimhera Veyamenu, Amen.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

What Cartoon Violence Used to Mean

When I used to think of "Cartoon Violence", this is what came to mind.
Boy how things have changed.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Hashem1:Rav Kaduri=MBY

Hashem1.net has an interesting post that theorizes that Rav Kaduri was Mashiah Ben Yosef.
Check it out.

Also, check out R' Dov Bar Leib's informative interview on the Tamar Yonah Show. Additional info at his blog.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

848

I'm a big gematria fan. I was trying to see what I could come up with parts of Tanach that had the same gematria as "שרון ואולמרט", which happens to come out to 848. So I went to gezageza which was linked from yiddishkeit.org and I found some interesting phrases in Tanach. Of course, take everything you read here with a grain of salt. But, I just found it interesting.

Here's what I found:

1) ואל תעמד בכל הככר
where the angels tell Lot and his family to get out of Sedom, which saved his daughters, one of whom mothered Mo'av, from where Rut - King David's great-grandmother descends.
Kabbalists have said that Sharon will be the last prime minister before Mashiah, while Olmert is currently only "acting-"prime minister.

2) וגם אנשי המקום אמרו
which talks about Yehuda and Tamar, another part of the anscestry of Mashiah.

3) לא תתגדדו
which the rabbis gave as an additionaly meaning - do not make אגודות אגודות (i.e. different groups that cause dissention and Mahloket). It's hard to imagine more Mahloket among Jews than right now, during the reign of Sharon and Olmert.

4) חכמת מצרים
The full verse is:
ותרב חכמת שלמה, מחכמת כל בני קדם, ומכל, חכמת מצרים
which talks about the wisdom of King Solomon supassing that of all the wisdom of Egypt. We know that the wisdom of the Mashiah will even surpass that of King Solomon.
Another way of looking at this is the wisdom of Egypt was the Gaza Disengagement, which benefitted Egypt and which Sharon and Olmert were heavily involved in.

5) חנם נמכרתם
which is how those who settled in Yamit, Gush Katif, and Amona feel right now.

6) ויעלו מעל ירושלם
Has Veshalom - I hope he doesn't think this way.

7) תשכח ימיני
They forgot their right-wing ways or they forgot the holiness of Yerushalayim.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Incredible Story of Yad Hashem

This past week's Parsha told us regarding Makat Dever (the plague of pestilence):

...הנה יד ה' הויה

This story that happened to my wife this past Friday is just too incredible for me not to blog about. In it, it is impossible for me not to see the Yad Hashem both in His punishment and His salvation. I call it a major slap on the wrist.

Let me preface the story by saying that like many women (shielding the tomatoes being thrown at me), my wife's sense of direction is not perfect, to put it mildly. Let me further preface it by saying that my ability to pay bills on time is also not perfect, to put it mildly.

Here's what happened. My wife and another colleague went to a conference at a major convention center to where my wife has never driven herself before. On her way home, she got directions from the convention center who told her to go on an expressway that I would not have taken, but would have gotten her home relatively fast. As my wife was headed toward that route, she called me on the cell phone to ask me if she should take it or not. I said OK, since she was headed toward it anyways. She took it - but going the wrong direction. While going the wrong direction, she managed to get into the express lanes of this particular highway (I still don't know why). She then was going under an overpass, and as soon as she got passed the overpass...

WHAM!

...a tire flew out diagonally from the sky (I'm not kidding - possibly from a passing car or truck overhead) and hit the top of my wife's car, denting the top of it and shattering the front windshield with a spider-web type breakage. There was glass all over the passenger's lap, but Baruch Hashem, no one was even slightly injured. It was a major Ness Min Hashamayim (which is where the tire seemed to come from too). All this happened while I was on the phone trying to help her get home.

So far, we have 5 weird things happening:
  1. A route that should not have been taken
  2. Going the wrong direction on that route
  3. Going in the express lanes of that route
  4. A tire coming out of nowhere that happens to hit my wife's car directly on top
  5. Not a scratch to either driver or passenger, despite considerable damage

But wait, it gets stranger.

Shaken up, my wife pulls over to the shoulder and calls the police, who say they will be there shortly. I drive out to where my wife is, which took a good 45 minutes to an hour, as I was far away, and I kept passing her up since she barely knew where she was and I couldn't believe that she was in the express lanes. When I finally got there, the police had still not arrived. We decided to just leave (the police had told my wife earlier that no police report was necessary as no other vehicle was involved - at least that she saw).

We took side streets home as the car was drivable, but we didn't want to go too fast since the wind would have knocked more glass into the car. We dropped off the other passenger at home and took the car to the body shop.

REWIND

Rewind this story to Friday, January 20th at 1:00 AM (i.e. late Thursday night). At this time, I am doing online banking. I see we have an old bill from our car insurance and a second notice saying that they will cancel the policy by a certain date if we don't pay it. I see that it's past 5 days from now, so I pay it through my online banking bill-pay feature of my bank. What I failed to realize is that since it was past midnight, the bill would not be sent out until the next business day, which was Monday, January 23rd - and from then, it takes 5 business days, so even if you include Monday, that comes out to Friday, January 27th.

The date the policy would be canceled is midnight - Thursday night.

FAST FORWARD

When we both arrived at the body shop, my wife hands me the phone. It's our insurance agent. He told me that our policy canceled last night. I couldn't believe it. (Baruch Hashem, I was later told that if the check is in the mail, it probably is still covered.)

The moral of the story is not to leave directions to men and paying bills to women (although, that's probably not a bad moral either). The moral that I got out of it is that the Yad Hashem is everywhere, and that when He wants to punish, He will find ways to do so. And, by the same token, when He wants to save, He will find ways to do so.

My wife and I are currently doing a Heshbon Hanefesh after this incident. Any moral support in the comments would be appreciated.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Nice Article and Video on Rav Kaduri ZTzVK"L

ShofarNews has a nice article (in Hebrew) on Rav Kaduri's life and on his relations with the Arab world to benefit Jews.

See also a video about him by Rav Shmueli (via hashem1.net).

I was Zoche to get a Beracha from Rav Kaduri at the Kotel when I was about 10 years old. I wish I realized then what a blessing that was.

.ת.נ.צ.ב.ה

Amona - Hashem Ya'azor

As Israeli police brutally attack Israelis trying to defend part of Eretz Yisrael, I felt I needed to at least post links about it:

Jameel
Batya
Akiva
Tzemach (and here and here)
Sultan Knish


Arutz Sheva article
Arutz Sheva photos #1
Arutz Sheva photos #2

I'm sure there are more links to this.

We need regime change now! (You know what I mean by this.)

Hashem Ya'azor.