Sunday, May 31, 2009

Dog Bites Lying Store Owner

Ladaat.net reports: A store owner in Petah Tikvah cheated in Kashrut matters (having to do with possible Orlah in grapes) and then lied about it, with the Mashgiah not believing a word he said. To make himself more believable, he announced to the Mashgiah, "I promise that my story is true, and if not, I should be cut up into pieces."

Minutes later, a big dog entered his store and pounced on him and bit him so much that the store-owner suffered wounds and needed to be hospitalized.

On his way to the hospital, the store-owner later admitted that he lied, and attributed the incident to appear to being a "Kpeida from Shamayim for [the former Mara De'Atra of the city, who gave this store a "Hidur" Hechsher] Rav Solomon Zt"l because I tried to lie." He promised to be more careful with Kashrut in the future.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Old North Korea Links

Now, onto something far more serious:

North Korea is threatening once again after conducting a nuclear test and missle tests.

I've posted on North Korea before with a translation of Rav Nahmani's speech on how Korea will end up in Israel.
Hashem1.net has this speech both as a post and as a video with English subtitles.

Hashem1.net has another very interesting post on North Korea here (which I've linked to before) where he mentions the idea that North Korea's ancient name is Goguryeo (see this Wikipedia map) during the time of Bayit Sheni. Earlier, it was called Gojoseon, with Pyongyang as its capital.

All the Mefarshim seem to say that Gog is a king and Magog is his land, but is it possible to say that both Gog and Magog are nations? Perhaps, Gog is North Korea and Magog is Iran? It's hard to fit that with the Pesukim, but I'm just throwing that out there as something to think about.

There a lot of other interesting tidbits in that post from Hashem1.net, including Torah codes, a Zohar translation, and more.

We know that the North Koreans were trying to help Syria build a nuclear site before the IAF destroyed it with Hashem's mercy and we know that they are very friendly with the Iranians.

Hashem should save us from all our enemies, whether near or far.

Have a happy Shavuot!

Shidduch Crisis Over - Archie is a Hatan!!!

After decades deciding between Veronica and Betty, Archie Andrews decides to ask Veronica to be his wife.

A LeHayim will be held at Pop's Chok'lit Shoppe on Motza'ei Shabbat. Betty presumably will not attend.

Mrs. Andrews said, "I'm so happy - I've been waiting so long for this moment. As a matter of fact, it's a miracle I'm not dead by now!"

Mr. Andrews said, "Great! I can finally use the money for Archie's college fund for something. I'll use it for the wedding! That boy's never going to graduate high school." When reminded that Veronica's dad was loaded, he replied, "Oh! Never mind."

Jughead said, "There better be a big shmorg at this Hatuna or I'm not coming!"

Guys from all over have popped the question to their girlfriends due to Archie's move, prompting the question, "Is the Shidduch crisis over?"

Experts believe this to be the case. In fact, witnesses spotted Mr. Weatherbee taking Miss Grundy out to a fancy restaurant in town.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A "Rahel Imeinu Soldier" Speaks

Life In Israel, Mashiah is Coming, and Parshablog are talking about a soldier - Avner Azulai - who gave an interview about seeing Rahel Imeinu during Operation Cast Lead.

You can hear the interview here.

Notice at the 9:30 mark, the interviewer asks how the rabbis that this soldier went to talk to have related to the story.
The first thing the soldier answered was:
"אומרים שזה היה גילוי שכינה רגע לפני ביאת המשיח" "They said that this was a revelation of the Shechina a second before the coming of Mashiah..."

3321 Years Ago

We are approaching Shavuot 5769. We accepted the Torah 3321 years ago on Har Sinai. 3321 is also the gematria of ללכת בדרכיו לשמר חקתיו מצותיו ומשפטיו ועדותיו from this verse in Melachim I 2:3:

וְשָׁמַרְתָּ אֶת-מִשְׁמֶרֶת יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, לָלֶכֶת בִּדְרָכָיו לִשְׁמֹר חֻקֹּתָיו מִצְו‍ֹתָיו וּמִשְׁפָּטָיו וְעֵדְו‍ֹתָיו, כַּכָּתוּב, בְּתוֹרַת מֹשֶׁה--לְמַעַן תַּשְׂכִּיל, אֵת כָּל-אֲשֶׁר תַּעֲשֶׂה, וְאֵת כָּל-אֲשֶׁר תִּפְנֶה, שָׁם



and keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in His ways, to keep His statutes, and His commandments, and His ordinances, and His testimonies, according to that which is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself;


where David Hamelech, right before his death, commands Shelomo Hamelech to follow the Torah's ways. We also know that David Hamelech died on Shavuot.

Food for thought.

Nice Devar Torah on Rut

Rav Shmueli at about the 51 minute mark has a nice Devar Torah about Rut. Maybe it's famous, but I never heard it before.

There are 8 Pesukim in Rut that do not begin with the letter Vav. The letters that do begin these Pesukim are י,ש,ה,ב,א,ע,י,ל. These letters can be transposed to make a Siman that reads ישעי באהל, which means "My salvation is in the tent."

When the angels were sent to Avraham Avinu, the task of one of the angels was to save Lot. The angel was given the task, and of course, since Hashem commanded him to do so, he will do it, but he didn't understand why Lot deserved to be saved. The angel knew that Lot's descendants would not be allowed to convert, as it says לא יבא עמוני ומואבי בקהל השם - an Amonite and a Moabite many not come into the congregation of Hashem, so what purpose was there in saving Lot at all? This angel did not know the דרשה of מואבי ולא מואביה - that only male Moabites would not be allowed to enter the congregation, but female Moabites could.

But then, this angel asked Avraham Avinu "איה שרה אשתך - where is Sarah, your wife?" Avraham Avinu answered "הנה באהל - behold, she is in the tent." This answer answered the angel's original question of why to save Lot. How?

One of the reasons Moabites in general could not enter the congregation is because עַל-דְּבַר אֲשֶׁר לֹא-קִדְּמוּ אֶתְכֶם, בַּלֶּחֶם וּבַמַּיִם - since they did not meet you with bread and water when you left Egypt. However, it's normal for a man to go out and greet someone, but not normal for a woman to go out and greet someone. This is why female Moabites were excluded from the prohibition of entering the congregation.

The angel saw that Avraham Avinu went out to greet him with bread and water, and not Sarah. When he asked where Sarah was, Avraham Avinu answered that she was in the tent. This showed the angel that it is only normal for a man to go out and greet another with bread and water, and not a woman. From this, the angel figured out that since women don't go out to greet, and this is a reason why Moabites cannot enter the congregation, then Moabite women must be excluded from this prohibition. If Moabite women are excluded from this prohibition, there is a reason to save Lot for any female descendants he may have.

Of course, the most famous of these descendants was Rut, who married Bo'az and who was the ancestor of David Hamelech and of the Mashiah. Therefore, it's no coincidence that the letters of Pesukim in Rut that don't begin with a Vav that obviously teach us something spell out ישעי באהל - my salvation is in the tent. This is because the rationalization used by the angel to save Lot was because Avraham Avinu said that Sarah Imeinu was in the tent.

I thought this was beautiful.

Mabit on Geirim and Meshumadim

The Mabit, in his sefer בית אלקים, writes:

ואצלי עוד טענה בזה, כי כשחזר האל יתברך עם התורה לאומות ולא רצו לקבלה, מסתמא היו בין כל אומה ואומה מעטים אשר היו רוצים לקבלה, ולא עלה בידם כי היו בטלים ברוב, כי אין שום דבר מוסכם בכל העולם מדעת כל העולם כי אם מרובם, כי הדעות של בני אדם מתחלפות וא"א שיסכימו כולם על דבר א' אפילו יהיה דבר הגון כל שכן דבר שאינו הגון והוא סרבנות קבלת התורה, ואחר שהיה בכל אומה מיעוט הרוצים בה ולא עלה בידם רצה הקב"ה שלא לקפח שכרם ונתן מקום לזרעם אחריהם שיתנו אל לבם לקיים מחשבת אבותם אשר היה רצונם לקבלה ולא עלה בידם, וקרוב הוא כי כל המתגיירים בדורות החולפים וההווים שהם מאותם שרצו רגלי אבותם לעמוד בהר סיני ולא עלה בידם כנזכר, ובזמן העתיד אפילו זרע הבאים מאותם שלא רצו יחזרו למקור הראשון יציר כפיו של הקב"ה, כי הוא הנותן כח והכנה לכל זרעו בהיותו יציר כפיו לשיהיו ראויים כולם ומרוצים לקבלה לעבודת ה' כמו שנזכר. ובכל זה יש ראיה בביאת המשיח כי הוא מוכרח שיבואו כל העמים לרצון קבלת התורה מצד הכנתם הראשונה, ולא יתכן זה כי אם בביאת המשיח כי ע"י הנסים והנפלאות יאמינו כל העולם ויהפך לבם לעבודת ה' כמו שנזכר
וכן אפשר לומר כי אותם שיצאו מן כל ישראל לדת האומות בכל הזמנים העוברים, הוא כי באולי אבותם אשר היו בזמן נתינת התורה מיעוט ישראל לא קבלו בסבר פנים יפות עד שכפה עליהם את ההר כגיגית, ונמשכו אחר הרוב, ולכן יצאה פרי מחשבתם לפועל בדורות הבאים שיצאו מן הכלל ופרקו מעליהם עול התורה



And I have another claim about this - that when Hashem Yitbarach went around to all the nations with the Torah and they didn't want to accept it, there probably were among the nations a few people who did want to accept it, but they weren't successful since they were nullified in the majority, because there is nothing unanimously agreed upon by the whole world, but rather from a majority opinion. This is since people's opinions waver, and it's impossible that they'll all agree on one thing even if it's something proper - all the more so for something improper like the refusal to accept the Torah. And since each nation had a minority who wanted it, but weren't successful, Hashem did not want to forgo their reward, so he let there be a place for their descendants after them to set their hearts on fulfilling their forefather's intentions, who wanted to accept it, but were not successful. And it's logical to say that all the converts from the previous and present generations are descended from those whose father's feet wanted to stand on Mt. Sinai, but were not successful, as was mentioned. And in the future, even those who descended from those who did NOT want will return to the original source - the handiwork of Hashem, since He is the One Who gives strength and preparation to all His children, in that they are His handiwork, that they should all be fit and willing to accept doing the service of Hashem, as was mentioned. And in all this, there is a proof in the coming of Mashiah, since he's obligated that all the nations will come willingly to accept the Torah from their original preparation, and this is only possible with the coming of Mashiah since by way of miracles and wonders, the whole world will believe, and their hearts will turn around, as was mentioned.

And it's also possible to say that all Jews who left to the religion of the other nations in all previous eras is because perhaps, their ancestors who were there during the time of the giving of the Torah - a minority of Jews - did not accept it with a smile until [Hashem] turned over the mountain upon them like a barrel [and forced it upon them], and [then] they were drawn after the majority. And therefore, the fruits of their thoughts came to fruition in the subsequent generations for those who left the general community and removed the yoke of Torah from themselves.

Mabit on Later Geula Dates

The Mabit, in his sefer בית אלקים, writes:

האמונה בעיקר הזה אינה כאמונה בשאר העיקרים המצויין בכל זמן שיש ראיה עליהם מדברים ההווים בעולם וכפי מה שנתבאר בכל אחד מהם, אבל הוא בדבר העתיד ואין עליו ראיה כי אם באמונת התורה לבד, ולכן הזהיר עליו הרב ז"ל להאמין ולאמת שיבוא ולא יחשוב שיתאחר אם יתמהמה חכה לו, כמאמר הנביא ע"ה, כי מה שלא הוגבל זמנו יכול להיות בכל זמן בין קרוב או רחוק, והבלתי מאמין לזמן קרוב ג"כ לא יאמין לזמן רחוק, וגם אם יגביל לו זמן בעבור הזמן אשר גבל תמעט אמונתו לעתיד, וכן אם יגביל לו זמן לא יאמין ביאתו קודם הזמן ההוא ואם בזמן שהגביל לו כפי דעתו לא בא לא יאמין ביאתו לזמן שאינו מוגבל לו כפי דעתו, ולכן האמונה היא שלא יחשוב שיתאחר כי אין לו זמן מוגבל ואפשר בכל יום ביאתו, כמו שאמר הכתוב היום אם בקולו תשמעו, וגם שנתאחר הרבה מן הזמן יהיה לו יותר תקוה כי הוא קרוב יותר מהזמן שעבר, וכמו שאמר הכתוב אם יתמהמה חכה לו, כי האיחור הוא סבה לשתחכה לו יותר, ומ"ש הכתוב כי בוא יבוא ולא יאחר כי בזמן ביאתו לא יאחר ולא תהיה ביאתו באיחור וזהו כפל בוא יבוא


The belief in this main belief is not like the belief in any other one of the main beliefs which exist at all times, where there is a proof to them from current things in the world, as was explained in each one of them. Rather, it is about something in the future which has no proof - only in our belief of the Torah alone. And therefore, the Rav (the Rambam) warned about this to believe and to realize the fact that he will come and not to think that he will come late. "If he tarries, wait for him," as the saying of the prophet, peace be upon him. Because that which a time is not limited can happen at any time, whether soon or late. And one who doesn't believe in a close time will also not believe in a late time. And also, if one limits a time for him, because of the time that he limited, his faith in his coming will be decreased. And similarly, if he limits a time for him, he will not believe in his coming before that time. And if at the time that he limited for him according to his understanding, he did not arrive, he will not believe in his arriving for a time that's not limited for him, according to his understanding. And therefore, the belief is that he should not think that he will come late since he has no limited time, and it's possible for him to come any day, as the verse says, "Today, if you will listen to His voice". And also, when he delays more than the time, he should have more hope since it's closer to the time that has passed. And this is like the verse says, "If he tarries, wait for him", since the delay is a reason that you should wait for him more. And that which the verse says, "For he will surely come(בוא יבוא), he will not delay," because at the time of his arrival, he will not be late and his arrival will not come in a delayed fashion, and that is the reason for the double-expression "בוא יבוא".

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More Links of Interest

  • Cosmic X waxes poetic - Mr. Baiter - about a recent visitor to Israel
  • Speaking about Cosmic, he once had a series of posts on "The Holy City Of Tel Aviv". Now, the Jerusalem Post has followed suit. 544 active synagogues and few, if any, non-Jewish places of worship.
  • Geulah Perspectives has an awesome post on what we need to do:
    And while it is nice, and I'm sure Hashem is happy that we are looking forward to Moshiach, Hashem wants action. I'm sorry to say this, but it's not worth too much when we sit around for an hour and check every news source to see if Obama is going to be Gog. It's just not. What is worth something is actually doing something.
  • The Shelah's Tefilla for our children is a Mukdam this year. Although usually said on Erev Rosh Hodesh Sivan, it should rather be said the day before (Friday). So says Rav Shmueli in the first 10 minutes of this week's shiur and also the Mashiach Is Coming blog, quoting Rabbi Eli Mansour.
  • Speaking of Rosh Hodesh Sivan, Nava's doomsday date is fast approaching. Shirat Devorah puts it into perspective.
  • Akiva's friend considers Netanyahu to be MBY

Monday, May 18, 2009

Links of Interest



Update: Apparently, Rav Amar has clarified that he was not speaking about strawberries in particular, so even he would admit that there may still be problems with them.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

NY Times: Netanyahu: Iran = Amalek

Arutz Sheva:
Netanyahu Sees Iran as Amalek, Advisor Says

by Gil Ronen


(IsraelNN.com) An advisor to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has compared Netanyahu's attitude towards Iran to the traditional Jewish view of Amalek, the ultimate enemy which must be destroyed.

Journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, writing in the New York Times Op-Ed section Saturday, said that Netanyahu is not bluffing with regard to the possibility of Israel attacking Iran. "His preoccupation with the Iranian nuclear program seems sincere and deeply felt," Goldberg writes. "I recently asked one of his advisers to gauge for me the depth of Mr. Netanyahu’s anxiety about Iran. His answer: 'Think Amalek.'"

While Netanyahu is a non-observant Jew, the evocation of Amalek by an aide to could be a hint that some religious feeling is nonetheless coloring the Israeli government's view of the Iranian threat.


Here's a link to the op-ed piece.

While I don't know if Iran itself is Amalek, their government is sure acting like it. If Iran is Amalek, then Ahmedinejad ימ"ש is Haman, a descendant of Amalek. I just hope that Netanyahu understands the need to destroy Amalek does not require giving nationhood to a non-nation. Let's hope the pressure from Obama will be withstood. Only by withstanding such pressure will there be peace in the region במהרה בימינו.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Simple Approach to Pope's Visit

Over at Cosmic X

A Halachic Discussion of Land for Peace

Rav Gedalia Dov Schwartz Shlit"a, the Av Beit Din of the RCA and cRc gave a shiur about 21 years ago (5 years before Oslo) on whether or not "Land for Peace" is Halachicly permissible.

Click here to hear the shiur.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Decisions, Decisions...


MK Meshulam Nahari in Ladaat.net:

אני לא מתכוון ללכת לבית הנשיא, ואני לא חושב שזה נכון וראוי דווקא ביום הילולת רשב"י, לקיים טקסים עם האפיפיור


I have no intention to go to the president's house, and I don't think that this is right and proper - specifically on the day of the Hilula of Ribbi Shimon bar Yohai - to hold ceremonies with the Pope.


More on the Vatican's intentions here. Hat tip: Shirat Devorah

Sunday, May 10, 2009

The Zohar Hakadosh

If there's one thing that Rav Shmueli repeats over and over in his shiurim, it's the importance of learning the Zohar Hakadosh. Written by R' Shimon bar Yohai, whose Yahrtzeit we celebrate on Lag La'omer, it is considered so important that learning it has the power to bring the Ge'ula with Rahamim. So says R' Shimon bar Yohai himself. (Watch from 45:49 until the end of Rav Shmueli's Shiur from Emor, where he says how it's especially true for our generation). See 'רעיא מהימנא דף קכד עמוד ב where it says: ובגין דעתידין ישראל למטעם מאילנא דחיי דאיהו האי ספר הזהר יפקון ביה מן גלותא ברחמי

One great Ma'amar from the Zohar that has everything in it is the Zohar Hadash in the beginning of Ki Tavo. It has the story of R' Shimon bar Yohai and the cave, an idea of turning the Tochaha of Devarim into consolation, and Keitz Mashiah all rolled up into one Ma'amar. (Please don't ask me to translate it for you. Please ask your LOR.) A very uplifting Ma'amar indeed.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Cast Lead Miracle Videos (in Hebrew)

I found a couple of videos about the open miracles from Hashem Yitbarach that happened during Operation Cast Lead this past winter.
They seem to have gotten much of the same footage, but each video has some footage not included in the other.
The first one is about 12 minutes long, and doesn't include the Rahel Imeinu story, except for a written explanation why not during the closing credits. Apparently, they couldn't find footage of actual soldiers that this happened to, but would be happy to get more information about this. (h/t Kaduri.net)
The second is about 39 minutes long, and includes a section of soldiers telling about the Rahel Imeinu story. (h/t sodot.tv)
Both videos are excellent and highly recommended (except due to the music included in the videos, one may want to lower the volume for those parts of the videos during sefirat ha'omer).

Here's the first video






























Here's the second video: