Monday, December 29, 2008

More War Casualties - Bitul Torah

We've heard of the terrible news of people getting killed today from Kassams or Grad rockets in Ashdod and Nahal Oz. הי"ד - may Hashem avenge their blood. We've heard of the numerous injured in those attacks as well. May they have a Refu'a Sheleima soon. And may Hashem protect all the soldiers that fight to protect the land of Israel for the Jews.

In addition to physical tragedies occurring, there is also a decrease in Torah learning going on as well. Schools within a 13-mile radius of Gaza are being closed and parents of these children need to stay home with them.

Plus, it seems that 2 southern Yeshivot are making other arrangements for their Bahurim. As reports, the Belz and Gerrer Yeshivot in Ashdod told students not to come, but to rather go to other Yeshivot around the country. As I personally experienced, learning in Yeshiva during war-time is devastating to the level of Torah learning. I can only imagine that it's 100 times worse for a Yeshiva in exile.

Torah learning is extremely important even during war-time. We know this from the angel chastising Yehoshua Bin Nun for the cancellation of Torah learning (Megilla 3a) before the war. Let's try to increase our Torah learning and Hessed during this difficult time.


At Mon Dec 29, 08:37:00 PM 2008, Blogger Neshama said...

Nava posted a very interesting: "More Prophecies Unfolding: Ashdod & Ashkelon"

Chapter 2
ד כִּי עַזָּה עֲזוּבָה תִהְיֶה, וְאַשְׁקְלוֹן לִשְׁמָמָה; אַשְׁדּוֹד, בַּצָּהֳרַיִם יְגָרְשׁוּהָ, וְעֶקְרוֹן, תֵּעָקֵר.
4. For Gaza shall be forsaken, and Ashkelon a desolation; they shall drive out Ashdod at the noonday, and Ekron shall be rooted up.

At Mon Dec 29, 08:45:00 PM 2008, Blogger Neshama said...

YY: I apologize, seems you mentioned this also in your post ISRAEL AT WAR - ON THE IRAQI FRONT.
Could you please explain where/what EKRON is?

At Mon Dec 29, 10:56:00 PM 2008, Blogger yaak said...

No, I didn't mention this Pasuk, but I did see Nava's post earlier.

Ekron is one of the 5 cities of the Pelishtim, along with Ashdod, Ashkelon, Aza and Gat.

The Pasuk talks about the Pelishtim getting punished - many consider the present-day Palestinians to be the spiritual descendants of the Pelishtim.

At Mon Dec 29, 11:21:00 PM 2008, Blogger רפאל said...

I think we should consider taking fast days upon ourselves. Bli Neder, I will fast tomorrow, the fourth of Tevet.

At Tue Dec 30, 05:56:00 AM 2008, Anonymous josh waxman said...

So if you agree with Ibn Ezra and Rashi as to the meaning of this nevuah of Tzefaniah,

do you then disagree with Nava's taking the pasuk entirely out of context and claiming it was a prophecy for this particular situation? Do you think this is where Rabbi Baruch Shapira got this idea for his prophecy?

It is almost entirely clear to me that this is the case, when one reads Rabbi Shapira's words and matches details to sefer Tzefania:

"There will come a day when settlements in Gaza area will be evacuated and handed over to the enemy. After the Jews will leave, Hakadosh-Baruch-Hu will shake the sea and will make an earthquake in the sea near Gaza, and will come a very great wave that will wash the whole are that will become islands. Immediately afterwards the Jews will return to the area, and this is a great miracle that will happen."

Compare with the next psukim.

Perhaps more importantly, do you think Rabbi Shapira was indeed a *navi*? (It is perhaps testable nowadays by getting his book, except for the kvetch factor and that anyone can say that *these* particulars didn't come to pass yet.) If so, do you believe everything else he said BeTorat Nevuah? This is important because a quick Google search has the aforementioned prophecy, but also the following attributed statement:

"The Lubavitcher Rebbe is Melech HaMoshiach, only few will believe in him, and I also sinned in this matter."
Also that the Rebbe is still alive.

If this statement is correctly attributed to him, and he is not a navi sheker, and one accepts him as a navi emet, it seems that there are real repercussions...

(This is Talmud Torah, as well. ;) )


At Tue Dec 30, 07:40:00 AM 2008, Anonymous josh waxman said...

Also, what is your take on her more recent claim? Do you agree that Rav Chaim Kanievsky (or his grandson) is a *liar*, and falsely claimed that he never made the predictions about Chanukkah? (predictions which did *not* come true, IMHO, except by a kvetch.)

Also, did mashiach ben Yosef come yesterday, as per the (misinterpretation of the) Zohar?


At Tue Dec 30, 10:26:00 AM 2008, Blogger yaak said...

Josh, to whom do you direct your questions?
Are you commenting on my blog since Nava doesn't allow for comments?
Because I have defended Nava in the past?

Well, once you asked, I will answer.
Many Pesukim can be taken out of context to explain a Pshat that is not consistant with the rest of the context. אין מקרא יוצא מידי פשוטו - yes, but other explanations can be valid as well, as long as you accept the Pashut Pshat to be valid first, where it is sometimes not possible. Think of the many times Haza"l use אם אינו ענין לדבר זה תנו ענין לדבר אחר

Regarding your next point, I don't think you have to say Rav Shapira is a Navi - he could have had a special level of intuition that we call Ru'ah Hakodesh in certain matters. When the Gemara says "אין בן דוד בא עד...", is that Nevuah from the Amora'im? No, it's intuition based on their holy minds and hearts. The same is true here.
Now, I don't agree with everything he says either. I very much disagree with saying the Rebbe is the Mashiah. That doesn't take away anything from the other statement attributed to him. We can say Palginan Dibura. I would warn you against Pasuling an Adam Gadol (which you haven't done, but were close to doing).

Regarding your other 2 points in the second comment, I have no comment - you'll need to email Nava directly. I'm not here to be your sounding-board against every quibble you have with Nava. As far as I know, I haven't been hired to be her spokesman. I don't agree with everything she says either. Your best bet is emailing her to get your answers.

If I were you, I'd save your words for my next post (which hasn't been published yet). :-) It's a doozy!

At Tue Dec 30, 10:51:00 AM 2008, Anonymous josh waxman said...

1) All of the above. Because it was brought up in the comment section here, because her blog does not allow for comments, and because by posting certain things along the same lines while not mentioning others you disagree with, it leads to a false belief that everyone is in agreement with everything being put forth, leading to a type of echo chamber. I don't see anyone else arguing against these specific things, among yourselves, so I thought it would be helpful to bring these questions to the fore. Just like I asked for comments on my own blog when she attacked the "big Rav" for not telling people to rely on miracles and live in poverty in Israel.

2) Perhaps, though this is Chazal doing it. And some hedyotot have a tendency to cite *many* different sources, out of context, and misunderstanding them (I've documented a few of them in the past, if you will recall), and presenting them as the *real* meaning, such that this is the fulfillment of messianic prophecy.

3) I would also guess, until I see contrary evidence, that in terms of Rav Shapira, he was only partially quoted. That is, this particular blogger has a tendency to omit from her quotations the parts of the "prophecy" or source which do not fit, and only cite that part which does fit. Thus the quote from Tzefaniah without showing the context that it refers to the Plishtim. Or quoting rav shapira, where her quote and the quote i produced share many of the same words ("There will come a day when settlements in Gaza area will be evacuated and handed over to the enemy"), without quoting the part about the earthquake causing flooding which will make it into islands.

Bli neder, to be continued.


At Tue Dec 30, 11:05:00 AM 2008, Blogger גילוי said...


You should keep in mind that Nava copies/translates almost verbatim a lot of these more nonsensical items to her blog from Hebrew forums. The Mumbai-Zohar one, for example, was posted in a forum, and al atar people brought kushyot on it, and the person that brought it said he couldn't explain anything away. But she copied the original post without taking that in to cheshbon. And thus as well with the Imrei Binah post she had about the Yovel.

At Tue Dec 30, 03:18:00 PM 2008, Anonymous josh waxman said...

thanks, it is a good point. and it shows that i should not leap to the assumption that everyone is agreeing with it. but it does give that impression at least within the english blogosphere.

4) I do not really know who Rav Shapira was, to know that he is an adam gadol or not an adam gadol. I did not hear positive or negative about him until the other day. But when one has a name as a mekubal (who is yet a lamed-vavnik who tells people about it -- I can provide a link if you'd like), and writes a book which people are taking as nevuah, it is probably important to evaluate it critically, without paying heed to titles and honors. When the Torah tells us to evaluate a navi, it does not tell us to trust him because of his stature. Rather, we are instructed to actually evaluate his words, and see if they came true. (Though inspiration may very well be something different that nevuah. But it has been alleged that he was a navi.)

If evaluating as nevuah, I refuse to say palginan dibureih. Nevuah is true consistently, and it is consistent in its entirety. You cannot throw out a bunch of assertions as prophecy, have most of them fail, have the ones that succeed only succeed partially and with a kvetch, and then claim success as a navi.

I understand you were saying it in terms of discarding his assertion (we should see whether this is correct that he asserted it) that the Lubavitcher Rebbe is still alive and is mashiach. That is a difficult thing to separate out, especially as it touches on ikkarei emunah, and it put forth in similar way to the rest, as having some sort of inside knowledge into the facts.

i understand the need to be careful about impugning talmidei chachamim, but at the same time, i think it would be an error to give any statement made by him, or attributed to him, a pass.

By the way, how can *this* be the war of Gog UMagog (as some are asserting, or hinting)? I thought that was the war in Georgia, a few months back! And there were textual and rabbinic proofs back then, just the same as now, with people getting all excited about it.


At Tue Dec 30, 09:58:00 PM 2008, Blogger yaak said...

I don't think you should assume Shetika kehoda'a in blogs. I rarely go around criticizing other people's blog posts, and even more rarely to do so as a post on my own blog. I know you do - and you have a right to do so. But it's just not my style. Especially if comments are not allowed on the blog. I know that the no-comment rule somewhat makes that person immune from criticism on the page, and that's her choice and right, and you have a right to critique her ideas on your blog. It's just not my style.
So, don't always assume Shetika Kehoda'a.
Another point - Sometimes I defend her not because I totally agree, but because I pity her from your unending criticism. And because your rejection of Kabbala is a cause of concern for me that makes me want to defend those who accept Kabbala from those who reject it. And because I have a propensity toward trying to defend people rather than critiquing them. There, I said it.

Re: nevuah - as I said before, I don't consider it nevu'ah. Nevu'ah is a very strong word that means something that no one possesses nowadays or for the past 2400 years for that matter.

Re: his statement about the Lubavitcher Rebbe, I would not want to be someone who rejects all statements from Rabbi Akiva since he thought Bar Kochba was Mashiah. We most definitely can say he was To'eh in one thing - even something that deals with an ikar of emunah - but very right in others.

Re: Gog Umagog, no argument from me.

Kol Tuv,

At Tue Dec 30, 11:57:00 PM 2008, Blogger גילוי said...


The Hebrew forums contain much the same Moshiach-now atmosphere, regardless. For example, I was apparently one of the only ones to point out that Imrei Binah says that the Geulah would be in 5768, not 5769. I was challenged numerous times, no one admitted that I had brought sufficient proofs.

I posted my own shitah for Yovel, referring them to my blog, where I was then challenged that since there was no posek I could bring (I believe, davka, if I could get access to the 3rd krach of Kaftor va'Ferach, that I could) that states my shitah explicitly, I had no right to make a chidush, even though there is no halachah l'maaseh. This is my shitah, which puts the next Yovel many many years from now (a whole 7 years from today). Meanwhile, post after post of self-proclaimed nevi'im that claim things will happen this year receive a very honored "we shall wait and see".

Moshiach-now is indeed the religion in Hebrew as well.

At Wed Dec 31, 06:39:00 AM 2008, Anonymous josh waxman said...

re: rabbi akiva, rabbi akiva did not believe bar kochba to be the mashiach after bar kochba was killed. so it is not the same type of ikkar in emunah. and i was not talking about rejecting torah, but of rejecting the many things presented as messianic prophecies. of course, you can easily respond that these are not nevuah, but his Torah, his perushim on messianic prophecies in Tanach.

do you know anything about this rav to know he is an adam gadol, more than anyone with the title rabbi? (and that he and rabbi eliyahu mutually praise one another as legitimate?) i know nothing about him except what I've seen on the internet, together with the relevant predictions.

i see what you are saying regarding defending vs. critiquing, and i agree it is to your credit. (part of what started me on the critiquing, though, is my annoyance with people critiquing others based on their own petty perspectives while pretending that they do so with direct divine approval.)



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