Friday, November 28, 2008

Terror in India

I've been closely following the events in India, and with sadness, it seems that Rabbi Gavriel and Rivka Holtzberg along with others have been murdered Al Kiddush Hashem. The members of the nation whose founder is described as a Pere Adam have struck once again.

Hashem Yikom Damam.

Personal thoughts:
  • The 2-yr-old son of the Holtzbergs (today is his birthday), named Moshe, was miraculously rescued by the nanny. It reminds me of another baby named Moshe who was rescued from the Nile river by a woman. It also reminds me of Yehoash being saved by Yehosheva as the rest of his family was killed.
  • On the same day that America was eating תרנגול הודו, the land of הודו was under seige.

May we see no more of these events and may terrorists be wiped off the face of the earth. May this tragedy act as a Kappara for all of Kelal Yisrael so we can achieve the Ge'ula Sheleima.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The 1000-Year Sale

In the Perasha, Yaakov Avinu asks Eisav to sell him the first-born rights. Bereishit Rabba 63:13 adds that he also requested something else in this sale:

ויאמר יעקב מכרה כיום אמר לו זבין לי חד יום מן דידך אמר רבי אחא כל מי שהוא יודע לחשב ימי הגלות ימצא שיום אחד ישב יעקב בשלוה בצלו של עשו

And Yaakov said, "Sell like the day" - He [Yaakov] said to him [Eisav], "Sell me 1 day of yours." Ribbi Aha said, "Anyone who knows how to calculate the days of exile will find that Yaakov sat 1 day in tranquility in the shadow of Eisav."

This means that the Jewish people were at peace from Eisav for a period of "1 day".
The concept of "1 day" is undisputed - it refers to 1000 years, as we know from the verse כי אלף שנים בעיניך כיום אתמול כי יעבר. What is in dispute, however, is when these 1000 years took place.
The Eitz Yosef quotes the נזה"ק who says that you find the 1000 years from Yitziat Mitzraim until the "Shi'bud" of the 2nd Beit Hamikdash started (presumably subtracting the 70 years of Galut Bavel). The issue with this is - can you really consider this "in the shadow of Eisav"??
Other commentators seem to say that it started when Galut Edom started. The problem with this is that it's hard to find 1000-years worth of peaceful times.

According to the second opinion, Ribbi Aha is making a prediction for the future - not a statement of the past. This may even fit better with the wording of "לחשב ימי הגלות".

If anyone has any insights in this, I'd much appreciate them.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Post-Election Aliya Talk

I briefly mentioned it, but I've seen a lot more talk lately about making Aliya as things in the U.S. are changing. The U.S. may get more than it bargained for when it voted for "Change".

A commenter on an article about Obama's victory:
Aliyah - Change that We Can Really Believe In
BS"D

Today, America has experienced a fundamental change, and a substantial societal shift in electoral values, that will hopefully, do much to repair past injustices, and create new opportunities.

However, let us - B'nei Yisrael - at this time in history, begin to inaugurate the beginning of the change that will bring permanent tikkun olam, and usher in the era of Ha Mashiach.

My fellow Yehudim, living in exile, let this be our time to come home - and join our brothers and sisters in Eretz Yisrael - so that we can work together to enact the ultimate change that the entire world can believe in - and needs so very very much.

Baruch HaShem, yes we can!


Shirat Devorah
Friends tell me that some American Jews are already packing their bags, selling up and making aliya...


Joel Gallis and Dr. Robert Wolf
They predict that the economy will soon spiral down in the USA and guess who will be blamed? Jews must make preparations now to make aliyah.


The most interesting one is this statement from Rabbi Lazer Brody:
"Those who don't come to Israel while they still can may be lucky to escape from the USA with a plastic bag and a pair of pajamas." Rabbi Shalom Arush made this devastating statement in his public lecture in Hebrew several hours ago. His source is impeccable - 2 of the leading Kabbalists of this generation, whose previous predictions have been right on target. Rabbi Shalom is neither partisan nor does he care about politics, whether in Israel or overseas. Yet, he said, "The near eight[y] percent of America's Jews who voted for Obama will soon be called upon to suffer the consequence of their choice."


Wow! Very powerful stuff.

Obama and the financial crisis are not the only reasons either. A commenter on an article about the U.S. Kosher meat shortage:
Yet another call to our fellow Jews to pack up and come move to Israel...You can have meat for shabbos, AND you can be here in the King's palace for Mashiach's (be"H!) imminent arrival!


And Nava is someone who doesn't just talk the talk - she walks the walk - she's making aliya. Hatzlaha Rabba to her.

Something to think about.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Convergence of Eisav and Yishmael

Levi Chazen makes the case for Obama's rise to the Presidency to possibly be a harbinger of the Geula.

And be sure to listen to this shiur entitled "The Fall of Yishmael & Rise of Moshiach", hosted by askaudio.org.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

President-Elect Obama

The name Hussein has historically been synonymous for hatred of Jews.

  • Mohammad Amin al-Husseini, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem during WWII was a friend of Hitler ימ"ש, and it would be an understatement to call him a שונא ישראל.
  • King Hussein of Jordan was a big enemy of Israel until about 15 years ago, when his hatred diminished somewhat. His attitude of אמר אויב ארדף אשיג אחלק שלל תורישמו ידי during the Six Day War was a classic example of this hatred, but B"H, also led to his defeat.
  • Sadaam Hussein sent 39 scud missiles to Israel with intent to indiscriminately kill as many Jews as possible. He is undoubtedly one of the top Jew-haters in the last century.
  • Barack Hussein Obama has shown signs of this (his relationship with Khalidi and Wright, and willingness to talk to Ahmedinejad ימ"ש are but a few examples of this), but not quite on the level of the others yet and hopefully not ever - we'll have to wait and see. It sure makes Aliya all that more tempting.

On the positive side...

  • Jesse Jackson just lost his raison d'être so maybe he'll finally be quiet once and for all.
  • Obama just chose Rahm Emanuel, a Jew, to be his chief-of-staff. (Rahm's father was my son's pediatrician before he retired.)
  • Apparently, Obama was very nice to Illinois State Senator (and religious Jew) Ira Silverstein when they worked together in Springfield, so I hope that his niceness will be displayed on a larger scale - to the Jewish community at large
  • 'לב מלכים ושרים ביד ה - so really there's nothing to worry about if we have Bitahon - we need to pray that if Mashiah doesn't come before Obama takes office, that President Obama will be good to the Jews and Israel.
  • איזהו חכם הלומד מכל אדם - I'm not a חכם, but I strive to be one. We can learn a great מוסר השכל from Obama. "Pundits" say that Obama's greatest strength during his campaign was that he didn't lose his cool during the debates or at any time that he was faced with adversity. This reminded me of the beginning of Iggeret HaRamban:
    תִּתְנַהֵג תָּמִיד לְדַבֵּר כָּל דְּבָרֶיךָ בְּנַחַת לְכָל אָדָם וּבְכָל עֵת, וּבָזֶה תִּנָצֵל מִן הַכַּעַס, שֶׁהִיא מִדָּה רָעָה לְהַחֲטִיא בְּנֵי אָדָם.


Now, whether or not Obama is Gog, I'll leave that up to Hashem to decide.