Monday, June 30, 2008

Shiur on Geula


It's nice to know that these things are being discussed for non-Chabad audiences. I wonder why it takes the upcoming election year to push the issue. Could it be Obamaphobia?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Korah Will Return

Perek R' Yoshiyahu (see p. 203 of Otzar Hamidrashim - my translation):
...Eliyahu Zachur Latov will perform 7 miracles at that time [when Mashiah arrives - to prove that he was sent by Hashem]:

The first miracle - he will bring Moshe and his generation from the desert. This is alluded to from what it is written (Tehillim 50:5)אספו לי חסידי Gather My saints together unto Me.

The second miracle - he will bring up Korah and his entire congregation, as it is written (Tehillim 71:20) תשוב תחינו ומתהומות הארץ תשוב תעלני wilt quicken me again, and bring me up again from the depths of the earth.

The third miracle - he will make stand Nehemia Ben Hushiel [Mashiah Ben Yosef], who was killed in the gate of Yerushalayim.

The fourth miracle - he will reveal to them the hiding place of the Holy Ark, the jug of Manna, the Menora [המחורה?] with its 7 candles upon it, and a jug of the annointing oil.

The fifth miracle - Hakosh Baruch Hu will place a rod of strength in his [probably Mashiah's] hand, as it says (Tehillim 110:2) מטה עזך ישלח ה' מציון רדה בקרב איביך The rod of Thy strength the LORD will send out of Zion: 'Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies.'

The sixth miracle - he will pulverize all the mountains of Israel like flour, as it is written (Yeshaya 42:15) אחריב הרים וגבעות וגו I will make waste mountains and hills [and also written in] (Habakkuk 3:6)עמד וימדד ארץ [ראה ויתר גוים ויתפצצו הררי עד] וגו He standeth, and shaketh the earth, [He beholdeth, and maketh the nations to tremble; and the everlasting mountains are dashed in pieces]

The seventh miracle - he reveals to them the Sod [secret], as it is written (Yirmiyahu 31:32) כי זאת הברית אשר אכרת את בית ישראל [אחרי הימים ההם] וגו But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel [after those days] ...


Fortunate are those who see those days.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Lessons Learned from Lake Delton


Over Shavu'ot, our community experienced fearsome weather, including Kolot Uvrakim (in this case, the Kolot were heard - not seen), but the biggest shock was the news that I heard after Shavu'ot - that Lake Delton was gone. Intense rain caused an embankment to overflow, which caused Lake Delton, the lake near the popular tourist attraction of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, to drain out into the Wisconsin River, moving entire homes along the way. As the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal puts it,
the breach...looked as if a giant paw had scooped out a handful of sand and trees.
Video of the disaster


Lessons learned:

1) Jeremiah 5:22

הַאוֹתִי לֹא-תִירָאוּ נְאֻם-יְהוָה, אִם מִפָּנַי לֹא תָחִילוּ, אֲשֶׁר-שַׂמְתִּי חוֹל גְּבוּל לַיָּם, חָק-עוֹלָם וְלֹא יַעַבְרֶנְהוּ; וַיִּתְגָּעֲשׁוּ וְלֹא יוּכָלוּ, וְהָמוּ גַלָּיו וְלֹא יַעַבְרֻנְהוּ

The Pasuk tells us that we fear Hashem, Who places sand as a border for the sea. If we are to fear Hashem for when things are working correctly, how much more so should we fear Him at times that they don't.

2) Ribbi Akiva didn't know much Torah, until one day, he noticed how small drops of water can make an indentation in stone. He proved from this that Torah can penetrate anyone's mind - even his own. The water-Torah metaphor is used frequently in Midrash, with the popular quote - אין מים אלא תורה - a reference to water refers only to Torah. Just as water is so powerful that it can even wash away land and uproot homes, our Torah gives enormous power to those who learn it. The fact that this occurred over Shavu'ot is not unnoticed.

3) I've been to Wisconsin Dells and Lake Delton a few times. I've gone on the ducks and to a few other attractions. Many of the attractions that are lake-related will not be operational this summer. We know that empires come and go (like Rome and Soviet Union), we know that ideas come and go (like Hellenism, facism and communism), and now we see that even lakes come and go (even without drought) literally down the drain. The only constants are Yisrael, Oraita, Vekudsha Berich Hu.

4) אין לנו על מי להשען אלא על אבינו שבשמיים applies now more than ever.