Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Amalek

This Shabbat and Sunday marks a period where we will read about the wiping out of Amalek 5 times within 24 hours (or at least, no more than 36 hours):
  • Parshat Zachor
  • Haftara from Shemuel
  • Mikra Megilla on Saturday night
  • Parshat Amalek Sunday morning
  • Mikra Megilla Sunday morning


The destruction of Amalek, besides being a Mitzvat Aseh, is a vital part of the Ge'ula process. It is the act that will make Hashem's Name complete and His Throne complete.

Here are a list of jblogs that have discussed Amalek recently:
Rabbi Avi Shafran's view in Cross Currents
Divrei Chaim taking issue with it
Divrei Chaim on making peace with Amalek
Hirhurim on Rav Soloveitchik's view
Daf Notes on how Torah will defeat Amalek
Daf Notes on defeating Amalek only through natural means

Update - More Links
Rabbi Lazer Brody on the War Against Doubt
Rabbi Tzvi Fishman on combating Amalek's ability to cause us to sin sexually
Rabbi Dovid Gottlieb on really hating Amalek
Rafi G. on Emuna to defeat Amalek


Also, the leader of Iran may have more than deeds in common with Amalek:

If you spell his first name as מהמוד, his gematria equals המן (see Hashem1.net for an explanation having to do with the Farsi language).
If you spell his last name as אחמדיננעג'ד, his gematria equals עמלק.

Purim Torah, you say?
Perhaps.
Perhaps not.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Rav Dahan: Lubavitcher Rebbe = Mashiah...Ben Yosef

Rav Dahan said in his Shiur for Parshat Terumah that the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Zt"l, was the Mashiah ben Yosef.

He said some other interesting things too.

See it here in English   לחץ כאן לשיעורו בעברית

Monday, February 26, 2007

Erez Levanon, HY"D

A resident of the Gush Etzion region - Erez Levanon - was stabbed to death by Arab terrorists.

Arutz Sheva has a pictoral article of his funeral, with links to a couple of his songs.

You also must listen to Rav Lazer Brody's short - but moving - eulogy, with Erez's music playing in the background.

Click here to hear it.

We just read in the Haftara of Teruma:

וַיֶּאֱחֹז אֶת-הַבַּיִת, בַּעֲצֵי אֲרָזִים


Let us hope that the rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash will soon follow this tragic event.

Hashem Yikom Damo.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Mashiah 5767?

We are in the midst of 2 months of Ge'ula for the Jewish people. What an auspicious time for us! The season for redemption is upon us.

Nava summarizes the (alleged) statements of Rav Kaduri regarding Mashiah from the past few years.

I saw on another site that possibly when Rav Kaduri said that "after Sharon" will come Mashiah, perhaps he meant that Mashiah will come in the year that represents the letters that come after "שרון", which are "תשסז".

I also received an email from "Jonny" a few months back who offered this possibility (I don't do Daf Yomi, but I know that Daf Yomi is close to the page where this is mentioned in part - Megillah 17b):

7 year redemption cycle:

Year 1 - 5760 - "Rain in one city and not another"

This is a quote from the Hydrological Year Book 1999/2000 (5760)

"Depth of precipitation during the year 1999/00 was lower than average over most regions of Israel. The exception stretches over the northern and the coastal regions, where about 95 - 110% of the mean annual value were recorded. Depths reaching 85 - 90% of the mean annual values were observed in the Galilee, Golan, Yizre'el Valley and the southern coastal region; 70 - 80% of the mean were observed in the Judea Mountains and the Jordan Valley; 45-55% of the mean were observed in
the northern Negev and the Judea desert, and only 40% of the mean was observed in the central and the southern Negev. Depths higher than average were recorded at a few stations in the northern and central regions (Haifa 106%, Kefar Hess 107%), within the Yarqon and Ayyalon watersheds (Horeshim 102%, Tel-Aviv 111%) and in the Shomeron (Nablus 125%). Annual depth of precipitation over the Upper Jordan River Catchment reached only 75 - 80 % of the average."

Year 2 - 5761 - Slight Famine

After the Al Aska Intafada started the recession started in Jerusalem (5761)

Year 3 - 5762 - Great Famine

Most people I know lost their jobs by this year and many went back to Chutz La'aretz.

Year 4 - 5763 - Some satiated

The economic climate improved

Year 5 - 5764 - Great Satiation

Economy was quite good.

Year 6 -5765 - Voices

The Maharsha seems to mention that in the 6th year the "voices" are not the voices of Moshiach but:

"Ra'ash" - Earthquake.

Was this referring to the biggest earthquake to ever occur on this planet, followed by the Tsunami in Dec 2004 (5765).

Or was this voices of Moshiach impending arrival heard in in 5765.

Year 7 - 5766 - War

The Maharsha says that this is a war between the Goyim and the Jews - Hezbollah Lebanon war!

and the 8th (5767) is ....Ben David!


As the Ben Ish Hai often concludes:

יראו עינינו וישמח לבנו במשיח צדקינו במהרה בימינו אמן

Where is The Aron?

An informative article by Dr. Aryeh Hirsch in Arutz Sheva

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Zecharia's Prophecy Coming Together

Some amazing info from Mystical Paths:
by Elisheva & Akiva at Mystical Paths

Elisheva writes: "but it [Jerusalem] will... remain in its old place..." - Zechariah 14:10
Jerusalem is like a hinge, and Africa and the Arab Plate swings on it. Boom. Right into Iran!

Zechariah 14:4 (Note it says towards the east and the west...) And on that day His feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem from the east. And the Mount of Olives shall split in the midst thereof-toward the east and toward the west-a very great valley. And half the mountain shall move to the north, and half of it to the south...

14:10 The whole earth shall be changed to be like a plain, from the hill of Rimmon in the south of Jerusalem; but it [Jerusalem] will be elevated high and remain in its old place; from the gate of Benjamin to the place of the first gate, until the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananel until the king's wine-cellars.


The mosques on the Temple Mount HAVE already falled to quakes, 2 times at least that I have found (and I saw an article today where an imam said 3 times).

Akiva writes : The language in Zechariah 14:10 is quite interesting. There have never been places around Jerusalem called Sha'ar Binyomin (the Gate of Benjamin) or Givat Rimon (the Hill of Pomogranites). All the commentaries say about this is "someplace near Jerusalem". UNTIL NOW!!!

As the wall, and around Jerusalem yes it's a wall, was built around the north east of Jerusalem, a developer build on the land right outside the wall, creating a major West Bank shopping complex. Now, the area north of Jerusalem is called the Binyomin Regional Area (equivalent to Benjamin County in US english). So the developer named his shopping complex...Sha'ar Binyomin, the Gate of Benjamin!

The wall of Jerusalem extends pretty far to the south, all the way to the Jewish town of Efrat. The wall loops right around the southern end of Efrat. In Efrat, the builder named the most southern neighborhoods, of which there just happened to be 7, for the 7 fruits of the holy land. The last neighborhood is on top of a hill, and is bounded by the wall. And it's name is...Givat Rimon, Pomogranite Hill.

These names weren't planned, the namers were not looking into the prophets when they named them. It was just by chance (chance!) that the northern most place on the Jerusalem wall is the Gate of Benjamin, and the southern most is Pomogranite Hill.

Oh, and the new wall of Jerusalem increases the size of Jerusalem 100 times, meaning we can eat our Korbon Pesach in a space large enough to truly fit all of Klal Yisroel.

(Heard from the head of the Hebron Fund, raising money for the Jews living in Hebron.)

Posted at Mystical Paths. Read it elsewhere? Stop by the source.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Miracle Glasses

Some are able to recognize a Nes when they see it:

West Bank Mama:
...The article that I linked to has an interesting line. It says that the police are mystified why the terrorist just wandered around and didn’t blow himself up. I guess if one uses only his “regular brains” it is, indeed, mystifying. But if one uses his “yiddishe kop” (Jewish brains) it isn’t mystifying at all.

The missing piece of the puzzle is, of course, what we religious Jews call Ribbono Shel Olam, which is translated into English as the “Ruler of the World”. G-d is ultimately in charge of everything that happens in the world...


Zionist.com:
...It can’t be that the IDF and Shin Bet are that much better than the US military. Someone Else must be playing a big role in Israel’s defense; it just doesn’t make sense otherwise.

And it is a shame that more Israelis don’t see this. But they will.

A day is coming that the strength of their own arms will fail (we started to see this already with the debacle in Lebanon last summer), and the nation will see and understand Who it is that defends them.

Good Luck in Adar and Superstitions

Happy Adar, everyone!

Halacha Yomit discusses whether it's a problem to say that it's better to do business at a certain time or not, and how that applies to Adar. Here's my translation:
Question: Is it permissible to say that a certain time is better for business dealings because at that time there is greater Mazal [luck] - or similar statements?

Answer: This question touches upon Hilchot Me'onen [the negative commandment of Lo Te'oneinu - not to be superstitious with certain times - see the next paragraph -YY] and Mechashef [the negative commandment not to practice sorcery - YY], whose details are numerous, and we won't be able to touch upon all of them right now, but we will briefly talk about this subject.

In the Gemara in Tractate Sanhedrin (page 65b), it says: The rabbis learned: [What is a] Me'onen? Rabbi Akiva says, "This refers to someone who calculates times and hours and says, 'Today is a good day to travel.' [or] 'Tomorrow is a good day to purchase (to do business)' because at those times, the Mazal is good or bad - and similarly, anything similar to these [statements]." (Rashi explains: The word "Me'onen" is like a master of "Onot" [time periods], where he distinguishes the [good from bad] time period and says, "Today is a good day to travel on the road.")

Rabbeinu HaRambam made a similar halachic decision [by saying]: What is a "Me'onen"? These are those that give times, that they say through astrology that a certain day is good, and a certain day is bad, etc. Similarly, Maran [Rabbi Yosef Caro] in Shulhan Aruch (Y"D 179) decided: Regarding one who says, "Do not begin to collect money from me because it is morning" or "because it is Motza'ei Shabbat" or "because it is Motza'ei Rosh Hodesh" (because this person thinks that those times are not good for that matter), saying such a statement is forbidden.

From here, we can ask: If this is true, how did Haza"l establish the law (as was brought down in the previous Halacha) that regarding the court case of a Jew against a non-Jew, that he will not be successful in the month of Av, where a Jew's Mazal is not so good, and he will be successful in the month of Adar, where a Jew's Mazal is good? Isn't there a prohibition here of Me'onen, as the Rambam and Maran in Shulhan Aruch had decided?

Maran Harav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a answers that there is no prohibition here at all, according to what the Ritva wrote (his words were brought down in the previous Halacha), that even though there is no Mazal to Israel, nevertheless, it was decreed upon them that in the month of Adar, things will be good to them. It comes out, therefore, that this is part of faith, that this matter will be through Heavenly Providence [emphasis mine -YY], and has no connection to constellations or astrology at all. The Ga'on Hamufla Rabbi Shelomo Eliezer Alfandari Zt"l wrote similarly.

As a side point, in connection with this, we should point out the words of Rabbeinu Yona Gerondi, who wrote that there are some men and women, who, when they hear a raven calling, they say that Has Veshalom a decree that is not good is coming. And along those lines, they are filled with mistaken beliefs, while they claim that it's true what they see - that this is what actually happens - that whenever a raven calls out, afterwards, bad news comes or something similar. But they don't know that davka because of their mistaken beliefs, the Satan stands before them to hinder them and causes the evil to befall them as they said in order that they will continue to believe these vain [beliefs].

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Rav Dahan on the Excavations

Rav Shimon Dahan spoke about the excavations being done near the ramp to the Mughrabi gate in 2 Shiurim given in the past few days. The first is a translation from Hashem1.net's transcription of part of his Shiur:

An Urgent Subject

One subject I must bring up now that's very, very urgent.

Ladies and gentlemen, you have to hear and listen to what happened a few days ago.

A few days ago, at the end of the week, there were 2 earthquakes in Israel, on after the other. In that week, suddenly, the Muslim world (true, this is not related to the Perasha, but it is a subject that is urgent to speak about) the Muslim people rioted on the Temple Mount. The entire world is boiling around one point: the Jews, through the government, want to build a bridge on condition that they'd be able to enter - when there's a time of trouble, our security forces need to enter the Temple Mount. They went to build a bridge.

...

Good, they just started to build this bridge, and then, suddenly they made riots, then no riots - we thought that they'd stop. They stopped building the bridge, but the archeological excavations didn't stop. The archeologists continued. What happened?

The Denial of the Moslems of the Existance of the Beit Hamikdash

...Until today, the Muslims tell us, "There is no proof that you ever had a Beit Hamikdash. You don't have [proof]." Just like many Jews don't believe, don't keep Shabbat, or anything - Jews who say, "I am a Jew" don't keep Torah or anything. Why? They say, "Antiochus" - that was in those days. The same thing with the Muslims. What do the Arab Muslims say? "What kind of Beit Hamikdash did you have? Who told you that you had a Beit Hamikdash? Who said so? You're imagining it." What do they say? "This Al-Aksa was here since the creation of the world. Mohammed didn't make it, nor did any calif (Omer) make it, but rather, it was here since the creation of the world, but the Beit Hamikdash never existed."

Now, what's happening? These archeologists are not religious - they have no connection to religion - but they love - they have a "Doodah" (joke in the head) to discover hidden secrets. What a "Doodah" to search there and dig, like these excavations, only to find something that was once here. And it's true - they are discovering things. And these finds are very important to the Jewish nation - not only are they important to the Jewish nation, but it's important to the entire world to know that there was once a Jewish nation here.

The Archeological Discoveries that are Standing Before Us

I don't need this, believers don't need this, but there are many people who have no faith whatsoever at all - suddenly, they'll see the Menorah as it is written thousands of years ago when there was a Menorah. They'll see the Shulhan (table), they'll see the Mizbe'ah (alter), they'll see things that were written in the same dimensions as were written in the Torah thousands of years ago. It is so written - they will not be able to deny it. This they already cannot deny, and this is what's going to happen. This is undeniable.

Behold, here is what's happening - that what the Holy Zohar writes - that the Creator of the world will prove to the entire world that He is our Father. How will He prove this? Through the past - the past that was.

The Root of the Dispute

Behold the whole topic that we are [arguing about] today - the most important topic is religion - it is not about land. It is a mistake that we are talking about here in this world as if the "Palestinians" [are the root of the dispute]. We think that they [the Palestinians] don't care if there will be a Beit Hamikdash or not. We think that all they want is land. This is not true! They [the Arabs] have lands all over the world. There are Arabs found all over the world - in Europe, in America, in Africa, in Australia - anywhere you say, Arabs are found. Are they lacking space? Saudi Arabia is 10x, [no] 100x bigger than Israel. Is the [dispute] about this (land)? No! They have a problem about religion. Their faith is protesting here: "What if we will come and prove to them that Judaism existed this whole time? And behold, another [archeological] find and another find and another find, and slowly, slowly, they will prove that Judaism existed [here]."

This is their fear. This is why they're rioting. They're not rioting over a bridge that you are building now - how would that bother [them]? In no way. Rather, over the [archological] finds there - they know this. Their leaders know this inside, and they know that there will come a day that the Beit Hamikdash will be built. How [or where] will it be built? In the place that we will build! Their fear is that the third Beit Hamikdash will be built exactly in that place, but the Creator of the world writes so.

"How do you see the situation?"

More than once or twice, I was asked, "How do you see the situation?"

Ladies and gentleman, this will happen much quicker than we think. Much, much quicker than we think.

...



He says a lot more very interesting info. Check it out at Hashem1.net or listen to it here.

Also very interesting is his very latest Shiur from Shabbat. Nava started a new blog where she translates Rav Dahan's Shiurim. Here is the latest from Parshat Mishpatim:
Today, the Rav reminded for the second time (the first time was recorded) about the matter of digging at the Kotel and he said that there will be revelations and proof found about the Bet HaMikdash existance. This revelation will reveal the lies of the Muslims and Xtians in the world and this is their biggest fear. They are afraid that everyone will know that Am Israel are the chosen nation and the only chosen children of HKB'H and when it will become known, the Goyim (non-Jews) will have to show their fake religions. It's enough that when they dig, they will find proof such as a written document or utilities used in the Bet HaMikdash. Stupid those who think that all this digging is done because of the bridge. TO those who believe, we do not need any proof but for all so-called professors and/or intellects that betray HaShem and deny Him, this will be the winning war. All discoveries will be in a way of nature. What we are about to witness is HaShem revealing His Name and His Truth in this Olam (world).

The Rav spoke about about Shaarei Teshuva (Gates of Teshuva). Teshuva movement is decreasing and becuz of the soon to be revealed discoveries about Bet HaMikdash, those that will do Teshuva becuz of the effects of the discoveries of the truth, it has very little worth because once the truth will be publicized, it's no challenge to do Teshuva and therefore, do Teshuva NOW while we HaShem is still in the stage of Seter (hidden) - these are the last moments...

We must show HKB'H that His Home is not Hefker (ownerless), not with weapons - only with Emunah and trust in HaShem. This is the place of the Jews not the Goyim and Arabs - they have no business being in the Home of HKB'H and have nothing to search for there. We must be firm in this decision and not be 'gentle' with them. We must be clear and make a loud statement that Har HaBayit and Yerushalayim belongs to the Jews, ONLY. If we don't protest, at least pray to the Creator of the World that we identify with Him and we are not agreeing and will never agree to any kind of sovereignty except HKB'H.

HaShem is already checking our pulses to see how much we care about His Home, if we will operate, He will operate. But we must do the minumum and that is to pray to HaShem in His pain about His Home that foxes are freely wandering in His Home.

The double agents (archelogists) that are digging there places cameras in every direction in case they find something and therefore, the findings cannot be hidden. They are placing themselves in their own huge pitfall. The Rav doesn't doubt that ash from the Red Cow will be found... The problem is that we need a pure person that will sprinkle it on us because we are all impure... The Rav claims that this is not so difficult and there is a solution. Based on the Arizal HaKadosh, he used Malachim (angels). It is known that one cannot use Malachim without being pure by being sprinkled with ashes from the Red Cow and therefore, the Arizal was very Holy and HaShem revealed to him how to use the ashes from the Red Cow. This is what will happen now, too. HaShem will choose one Tzaddik that is on a very spiritual level and will reveal to this Tzaddik how to sprinkle the ashes of the Red cow, just as it was with the Arizal. We can see a clue to this from Dama ben Netina, a non-Jew who had great respect for his parents and didn't wake up his father even when he was offered megamillions. As a reward, HaShem bestowed on him a gift of the Red Cow. Dama is Adam דמא=אדם and the word (Para) Aduma אדומה contains the word אדם. This is the secret of purity of Am Israel.

A non-Jew merited in receiving a great gift because of his respect to his father. He got rewarded in this Olam. How many times over it will not be a problem for HKB'H to reveal the secret of the Para Aduma (Red Cow) to a God-fearing Tzaddik to purify Am Israel and to be able to be purified and see the Shchina (Divine Spirit). Usage of Malachim is a small reward for those who do Avodat HaShem. How will we know whom this person is that HaShem revealed the secret to? It's simple. The Rav hinted that the same as the Arizal, the Malachim are next to the Kotel (I think the Rav meant the same Malachim that are secretly trapped in the Temple when it was destroyed. There was a certain process that Malachim needed to go up to Shamayim (heavens) from the Temple, but what happened was that they didn't make it before the destruction of the Temple, and they were just "stuck" down - in the place of Even HaShtiya (אבן השתייה) (where ther Arabs stuck their obnoxious mosque). All this fits in perfectly to the timing of our generation and to the upcoming weeks, of building of the Mishkan.

This month, ADAR, awaits us many pleasant surprises and constitutes the next stage of the Final Redemption.

Till today, Am Israel were slaves to kingships but in countries outside of Israel it is a choice exile of the individual. There is a very simple explanation to this - if the Jews wanted, they could come to live in Eretz Israel in a split second**. And it will happen... It's enough that Wall Street will crush and all the Jews will arrive. But there is no dictatorship that prevents any Jew to make an Aliya to Eretz Israel. There is a very severe thing and this is the secret of the last exile and many Tzaddikim fall into this trap... The pit that the Satan (Yetzer Hara) built, all by himself and the 2 Meshichim fell inside - Moshiach ben Yosef whom is the secret of the Ox and Moshiach ben David whom is the secret of the donkey. It is the darkest and lowest pit and the maximum depth of the Klipt and they fell inside it because there, fell the strength of the Divine Spirit and they fell with the Sh'china in the Galut. There is one more remaining Galut (exile) and that is the Galut of the families. Today, in every family there is a Galut. There is a division between religious and seculars. This is the last exile and right now, there are clarifications and nothing is lower than this or harder. Despite all the bitter hardships, learn how to compromise and get along. This is an exile of individual families - Jews!

When Moshiach will be revealed, he will divide these camps, how will we accept it? Some of our own blood family members will not merit the final Geula. Even now, converts are not being easily accepted and those that will squeeze in to be converted, will be called גר גרור towed convert. The second the truth will be revealed, doing Teshuva will be worthless. The smart person understands this and will choose to do Teshuva RIGHT NOW, without waiting for proof of HaShem's existance!!!

Please, this is the time to strengthen in Emunah. These are the last moments before the great revelations of HKB'H. We must be ready...

**NK's comment: Making an Aliya is very simple and easy. Take as little materialists that you urgently need, hop on the plane and leave everything to HKB'H to take care of... Staying put or hesitating in your fancy homes and jobs will do very little to merit you entrance into Olam Haba... Don't waste another precious minute - Moshiach is very very very very close and coming to Israel before his arrival will merit you in unimaginable ways.

I can write a whole article about it to convince YOU but bottom line is - if you are serious about wanting to live in the time of Moshiach, hop on the plane ONE WAY to Eretz Israel NOW!!!

Hizki Uvirchi, Nava, for your translation of Rav Dahan's holy words.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Earthquakes and Mughrabi

Hashem1.net has a very interesting post where he mentions that 2 earthquakes hit Israel just minutes from each other over Shabbat, with the second having a magnitude of 4.5 on the Richter's scale. Multiple earthquakes can signify the birth-pangs of the earthquake mentioned in Zecharia. However, there is a further significance. These 2 earthquakes were 3 years - almost to the day - after the earthquake that damaged the bridge to the Mughrabi gate (also known as the Rambam gate), near the Kotel. He says that the following Gemara in Sanhedrin 98a may be referring to the Mughrabi gate:


שאלו תלמידיו את רבי יוסי בן קיסמא אימתי בן דוד בא אמר מתיירא אני שמא תבקשו ממני אות אמרו לו אין אנו מבקשין ממך אות א"ל לכשיפול השער הזה ויבנה ויפול ויבנה ויפול ואין מספיקין לבנותו עד שבן דוד בא


The students of R' Yosi Ben Kisma asked their rabbi, "When will the son of David come?" He answered, "I'm afraid you might request a sign from me." They said to him, "We will not request a sign from you." He told them, "When this gate will fall, and be rebuilt, and fall, and be rebuilt, and fall, and there won't be a chance to rebuild it until the son of David comes."

Hashem1.net quotes the Maharal, who says that this gate is not referring to a gate in Rome, but rather, a gate in Yerushalayim.
He says that perhaps the earthquakes that occurred over Shabbat were a heavenly sign that the earthquake of 3 years ago were more significant than at first thought. Is this why the protests were so vehement from Islamic leaders, who know all this as well from their traditions? As Hashem1.net concludes, ברוך יודע תעלומות.

Friday, February 09, 2007

The Last Prophecy

As a follow up to the last post, I had forgotten to mention that the last prophecy given before prophecy stopped was:

כב זִכְרוּ, תּוֹרַת מֹשֶׁה עַבְדִּי, אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִי אוֹתוֹ בְחֹרֵב עַל-כָּל-יִשְׂרָאֵל, חֻקִּים וּמִשְׁפָּטִים.


22 Remember ye the law of Moses My servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, even statutes and ordinances.

כג הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי שֹׁלֵחַ לָכֶם, אֵת אֵלִיָּה הַנָּבִיא--לִפְנֵי, בּוֹא יוֹם יְהוָה, הַגָּדוֹל, וְהַנּוֹרָא.


23 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.

The Metzudat David says on "Hinay Anochi Shole'ah Lachem et Eliya Hanavi":

רצונו לומר בזכות התורה



Only in the merit of the Torah will Eliyahu Hanavi come.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Speaking the Right Language

I just read an amazing news item about a Thai woman:
It was just a normal shopping trip when Jaeyana Beuraheng bade farewell to her eight children as she left to cross the border into Malaysia, but it would be 25 years before she would find her way home.

Now, at the age of 76, she has been reunited with her family and has finally told how her misfortune began when she boarded the wrong bus.

Jaeyana would almost certainly have made it home without mishap had it not been that she speaks only Yawi, a dialect spoken by Muslims in southern Thailand. But unable to write, read, or speak Thai or English she boarded a bus for Bangkok, about 800 miles north, by mistake rather than travelling back to her home in Narathiwat.

Bewildered by the noise and traffic of the capital she boarded another bus hoping it would take her home. It did not.

This one took her to Chiang Mai, close to the border with Burma and another 400 miles away. There she became lost and unable to explain her predicament. In Chiang Mai she spent five years begging and with her dark skin was taken to be a member of a hill tribe.

When police rounded up beggars in the northern capital in 1987 she was arrested on suspicion of being an illegal immigrant. Unable to determine where she came from, officials sent her to a social services hostel where she has been ever since.

Jintana Satjang, a director of the center where Jaeyana made her home, said: “We thought she was a mute.” Jaeyana was referred to as “Mrs Mon” because staff thought her mutterings sounded like Mon, a minority language in Burma.

Jaeyana would probably have spent the rest of her life at the hostel had not three students from her home province who spoke her language arrived at the centre for training last month. They struck up a friendship and she was able to tell them how she became separated from her family.

The students made inquiries and found her youngest son, Mamu, who is now 35. They sent him her picture by mobile phone.

“I was shocked and overjoyed when I saw the picture,” said Mamu. He said he and his brothers and sisters had searched for years in Thailand and Malaysia until they were told their mother had been run over by a train in Yala.

“I remembered her face even though I have not seen her for 25 years,” he said.


We've been in exile for thousands of years, and yet, we are not fully home yet. What language are we speaking? Are we able to get home using the language of Torah, Tefilla, and Mitzvot or are we stuck in a hole we dug for ourselves by not being able to speak the right language? If we are lost, do we know the right people to ask for directions? Do we even know how to ask for directions? Are we associating with the people who speak our language?

לולא תורתך שעשועי אז אבדתי בעניי



This week's portion tells about the receiving of the Torah. What an amazing gift Hashem has given us! The Torah will bring us home. The Torah is the language we need to get to the next level. This includes all of the following: ללמד וללמד לשמור ולעשות ולקיים.

As we say in the blessing before the Keriat Shema in the morning (Sephardic Nusah):


והאר עינינו בתורתך ודבק לבינו במצותך ויחד לבבינו לאהבה וליראה את שמך לא נבוש ולא נכלם ולא נכשל לעולם ועד כי בשם קדשך הגדול והנורא בטחנו נגילה ונשמחה בישועתך ורחמך ה' אלקינו וחסדך הרבים אל יעזבונו נצח סלה ועד מהר והבא עלינו ברכה ושלום מהרה מארבע כנפות כל הארץ ושבור על הגוים מעל צוארינו והוליכנו מהרה קוממיות לארצנו



The Thai woman above was able to eventually come home. She was lucky though. People who spoke her language found her. We will also eventually come home. Wouldn't it be faster if we spoke the right language?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Song vs. Song

אלה ברכב ואלה בסוסים ואנחנו בשם ה' אלקינו נזכיר

This weekend, they sing and we sing.

Bear Down, Chicago Bears.עַד שַׁקַּמְתִּי דְּבוֹרָה,
Make every play clear the way to victory!נָחִיתָ בְחַסְדְּךָ, עַם-זוּ גָּאָלְתָּ; נֵהַלְתָּ בְעָזְּךָ, אֶל-נְוֵה קָדְשֶׁךָ.
Bear Down, Chicago Bears.שַׁקַּמְתִּי אֵם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל
Put up a fight with a might so fearlessly!תִּפֹּל עֲלֵיהֶם אֵימָתָה וָפַחַד, בִּגְדֹל זְרוֹעֲךָ יִדְּמוּ כָּאָבֶן:
We'll never forget the way you thrilled the nation,עַד יַעֲבֹר עַמְּךָ יְהוָה, עַד-יַעֲבֹר עַם-זוּ קָנִיתָ.
With your T formation.מִנִּי אֶפְרַיִם, שָׁרְשָׁם בַּעֲמָלֵק, אַחֲרֶיךָ בִנְיָמִין, בַּעֲמָמֶיךָ; מִנִּי מָכִיר, יָרְדוּ מְחֹקְקִים, וּמִזְּבוּלֻן, מֹשְׁכִים בְּשֵׁבֶט סֹפֵר. וְשָׂרַי בְּיִשָּׂשכָר, עִם-דְּבֹרָה, וְיִשָּׂשכָר כֵּן בָּרָק, בָּעֵמֶק שֻׁלַּח בְּרַגְלָיו; בִּפְלַגּוֹת רְאוּבֵן, גְּדֹלִים חִקְקֵי לֵב.
Bear Down, Chicago Bears.עוּרִי עוּרִי דְּבוֹרָה, עוּרִי עוּרִי דַּבְּרִי-שִׁיר
And let them know why you're wearing the crown.יְהוָה יִמְלֹךְ, לְעֹלָם וָעֶד.
You're the pride and joy,אָשִׁירָה לַיהוָה כִּי-גָאֹה גָּאָה
of all Illinois.תְּבִאֵמוֹ, וְתִטָּעֵמוֹ בְּהַר נַחֲלָתְךָ מָכוֹן לְשִׁבְתְּךָ פָּעַלְתָּ, יְהוָה
Chicago Bears, Bear Down!קוּם בָּרָק וּשְׁבֵה שֶׁבְיְךָ, בֶּן אֲבִינֹעַם.


Full Disclosure: I am a Bears fan, and I will likely end up watching most of the game. However, I'm sick and tired of the media hype of the game, and having the Bears the first item on the news for a month straight. So, Go Bears, but let's start singing the important songs in life.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

We're in Historic Times - Can You See It?

Another gem from Levi Chazen:
Ours is the generation of the Redemption. After wandering from place to
place as unwanted guests of the nations of the world, HaShem, in His mercy,
brought us home. Yet, many of us still want to see the mud on our feet, instead
of seeing that we are walking through the sea.
The Chafetz Chaim, commenting
on the Redemption process, wondered how it was possible that two people could be
at the same place and look at the same scene, but come to two totally different
conclusions. One will see a tree, a house, a road, but nothing that connects
them, while the other fellow, looking at the same picture, will see how the
towns and villages are being rebuilt and resettled and how all are returning
home. Today, we still have too many people looking at the mud on their feet
and complaining "Oy, how muddy are my feet," and who don't see the historic
times that we are living in, how HaShem is taking us through the sea at this
very moment. In this process of Redemption, there is mud and blood, but we must
not focus on our dirty feet; instead, we must rise above and see the whole
picture before our eyes.