Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rav Hai Gaon on Mashiah from Parshat Balak

Rav Hai Gaon says:

וששאלתם לפרש לכם איך תהיה הישועה מתחלה ועד סוף
ותחית המתים ושמים חדשים? אם באתי לפרש כל דבר ודבר
עם דקדוקיו יעלה הזמן, אבל אני מגיד כללות שלכל דבר
ואומר : בהותר משני הקץ שמונה שנים הן שני תחלת
הישועה שנתנו חכמים בהן סימן ואמרו שבוע שבן דוד בא
וכו' בו בשבוע תמלוך אדום על ישראל לא פחות מט' חדשים
ולא יותר על ג' שנים, יען כי ישראל לא יקחו המלכות אלא
מיד אדום שנאמר והיה אדום ירשה וגו' וירד מיעקב, אחר
אשר לקחו אדום את המלוכה מיד אשור שנאמר וצים מיר
כתים וגו', אחרי אשר לקחו אשור את המלוכה מיד הקינים
שהם המדינים שהם הישמעאלים שנאמר כי אם יהיה לבער
קין וגו'. לפיכך כשאנו רואים ששלטה אדום בארץ ישראל
אנו מאמינים שהתחילה ישועתנו שנאמר ועלו מושיעים וגו


And that which you asked to explain to you how the salvation will occur from beginning to end and the resurrection of the dead and new heavens? If I would come to explain everything in detail, too much time will pass. However, I will tell over the generalities of each idea and say:
When 8 years are left until the Keitz, those are the years that start the salvation which the sages gave a sign and said, "The 7-year period where the son of David will come..." In that 7-year period, Edom will rule over Israel no less than 9 months and no more than 3 years - since Israel can only take away the kingdom from Edom, as it says [in Parshat Balak] "And Edom shall be a possession...And out of Jacob shall one have dominion" after we see that Edom took the kingdom away from Ashur, as it says, "But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim, [and they shall afflict Asshur]" after Ashur took the kingdom away from the Keinim who are the Midianites who are the Yishmaelites, as it says, "Nevertheless Kain shall be wasted; [How long? Asshur shall carry thee away captive]". Therefore, when we see Edom ruling over the Land of Israel, we believe that our salvation is starting, as it says, "And saviours shall come up..."

This follows the Ramban, who says that the Kittim are the Romans.
However, Rabbeinu Bahye has a variant Girsa in the Ibn Ezra who says it's possible that the Kittim refer to the evil Yishmaelite kingdom (after first saying that it refers to Yavan).

Boyaner Rebbe Segula Miracle

Ladaat.net reports that an Avreich who lives in Beitar Ilit visited the Boyaner Rebbe, and to his surprise, was offered part of the Rebbe's Arava (from Hoshana Rabba) as a Segula for Shemira without asking for it. When leaving the Rebbe's room, he met his friend who was also from Beitar, who offered the first Avreich a ride home, and he accepted.

When they were leaving Yerushalayim, and going up on Patt St., there was a multiple vehicle accident where cars both in front and in back of their car were heavily damaged, but these 2 Avreichim miraculously were saved.

The first Avreich took out the part of the Rebbe's Arava from his pocket to show what helped to save him, and much to his surprise, the second Avreich also took out a part of the Rebbe's Arava from his pocket as well.

No one remembers any other time 2 people received this segula unrequested on the same day.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Or is Aharon's Staff in Teverya?

The previous post mentions the Rambam's view that the staff of Aharon went along with the Aron.

Sefer Zerubavel, however, gives an alternative viewpoint (text in parenthesis comes from Hashem1.net):

והמטה אשר יתן ה’ לחפצי-בה, אם מנחם, משוקד הוא, והוא נטמן ב-רקת (שם של עיר מקראית), והוא מטה אהרן, ומשה, ודוד מלך ישראל. והוא המטה אשר פרח באוהל מועד, ויציץ ציץ, ויגמול שקדים. ואליהו בן אלעזר (אליהו הנביא שהיה פנחס בן אלעזר הכהן) גנזו ב-רקת, והיא טבריה, ושם גנזו משיח בן אפרים.


And the staff which Hashem will give to Heftzi-va, the mother of Menahem, is almondy, and it is hidden in Reket (the name of a Biblical city) and it is the staff of Aharon and Moshe and of David, king of Israel. And that is the staff which blossomed in the Tent of Meeting, "And it bloomed into a bud and grew almonds". And Eliyahu the son of Elazar (Eliyahu the prophet, who was Pinhas, the son of Elazar Hakohen) hid it in Reket, which is Teverya, and there they hid Mashiah ben Ephraim.

(I'm assuming the fourth-to-last word is Ganezoo - not Genazo, but let me know if you think otherwise, and can explain it.)

(Also, I'm aware that these late Midrashim like Sefer Zerubavel were written in anticipation of the Ge'ula in the 7th century, (or perhaps, the 11th century) and the Ibn Ezra was against relying on it.)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Rambam on the Aron's Location

Parshat Korah:

וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-מֹשֶׁה, הָשֵׁב אֶת-מַטֵּה אַהֲרֹן לִפְנֵי הָעֵדוּת, לְמִשְׁמֶרֶת לְאוֹת, לִבְנֵי-מֶרִי; וּתְכַל תְּלוּנֹּתָם מֵעָלַי, וְלֹא יָמֻתוּ

And the LORD said unto Moses: 'Put back the rod of Aaron before the testimony, to be kept there, for a token against the rebellious children; that there may be made an end of their murmurings against Me, that they die not.'



The Rambam (Hil. Beit Habehira 4:1-2) writes:

א אבן הייתה בקודש הקודשים במערבו, ועליה היה הארון מונח, ולפניו צנצנת המן ומטה אהרון. ובעת שבנה שלמה את הבית, וידע שסופו ליחרב, בנה מקום לגנוז בו הארון למטה, במטמונייות עמוקות ועקלקלות; ויאשייהו המלך ציווה וגנזו במקום שבנה שלמה, שנאמר "ויאמר ללויים המבינים לכל ישראל הקדושים לה', תנו את ארון הקודש בבית אשר בנה שלמה בן דויד מלך ישראל--אין לכם משא, בכתף; עתה, עבדו את ה' אלוהיכם . . ." דברי הימים ב לה,ג

ב ונגנז עימו מטה אהרון והצנצנת, ושמן המשחה; וכל אלו לא חזרו בבית שני.

1. There is a rock in the west of the Holy of Holies, and the Ark was places on it, and in front of it were the jug of Manna and Aharon's staff. And when Shelomo built the Temple, and knew that it would eventually be destroyed, he build a place to hide the Ark below, in the deep and windy hiding spots. King Yoshiyahu commanded that it should be hidden in the place that Shelomo built, as it says "And he said unto the Levites that taught all Israel, that were holy unto the LORD: 'Put the holy ark in the house which Solomon the son of David king of Israel did build; there shall no more be a burden upon your shoulders; now serve the LORD your God..."

2. And together with it were buried Aharon's staff and the jug (of Manna) and the annointing oil. All these items did not return in the Second Temple...


Also, see the Mahloket in Yoma 53b-54b as to where it went.

Erev Shabbat Ladaat Links

  • Ladaat.net has a picture and article about 2 Torah greats, who are sons of 2 Torah giants. Rav Yitzhak Yosef שליט"א, the son of Rav Ovadia Yosef שליט"א, met with Rav Shmuel Aurbach שליט"א, the son of Rav Shlomo Zalman Aurbach, זצ"ל.
  • Also on Ladaat.net, an article on how Golani soldiers went to the Kotel to give thanks to HKB"H for the miracles that happened during Operation Cast Lead.
  • Another article on Ladaat.net on how the demonstration protesting Shabbat desecration is about to begin moments before Shabbat in Israel. Pictures of Pashkevilim are strewn on the street. Arutz Sheva talked about it here. Also, see this interesting opinion piece in YNet.
  • Another article on a secret visit to the Rebbe of Shomrei Emunim Hasidim by Israeli FM Lieberman.
  • Another article showing pictures from Rav Ovadia Yosef's granddaughter's wedding with entertainment by Yaakov Shwekey.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Hashem Natan VaHashem Lakah

The Chicago Jewish community has been gripped for the past 10 days or so with the story of a toddler who contracted a rare and deadly virus and suffered (לא עלינו) damage to his brain.

Modern Uberdox has been doing a good job keeping us informed of notices about prayers on his behalf.

Unfortunately, Menashe Koppel Cohn, son of Todd and Naomi Cohn, succumbed to the virus and was Niftar on Wednesday night.

I know Todd from the Yeshiva, and as Modern Uberdox pointed out, Todd and Naomi "are an amazing couple that have devoted themselves to kiruv."

In fact, you can see how amazing they are from the letter they wrote on their Facebook group page before he was Niftar. We also see it from the Machsom L'fi Facebook group they started and continue in his memory.

This story is very tragic, but there's more to the story on a personal level. The day Koppie Cohn, A"H, was first taken to the hospital was Monday morning, June 15th. What I was told was that one of his first symptoms before being taken to the hospital was a seizure. Monday afternoon, June 15th, while at work, I got a call from my wife, who received a call from the babysitter saying that our son, who is about the same age as Koppie Cohn was, had had a seizure and an ambulance was called. I rushed to the hospital and our son did not look well at all. However, with Hashem's merciful kindness, our son recuperated quickly thereafter, Baruch Hashem, and came home the same night. We found out later that both boys were taken to the same hospital.

So, although we aren't that close to the Cohns, their tragedy has hit us very hard and has literally shaken us, as if Hashem is sending us a message. I'm sure the entire Chicago is shaken by this, but after what happened to our son, we feel it especially. Why a toddler died is not for us to know - הנסתרות לה' אלקינו. That which is לנו ולבנינו עד עולם is, "Are we getting the message?" Although the message still requires deciphering, it has been received.

May we know no more sorrow ומחה ה' דמעה מעל כל פנים.

Aron Hakodesh in Ethiopia?

Arutz Sheva:
Holy Ark Announcement Due on Friday

by Hillel Fendel


(IsraelNN.com) Ethiopian church leader says Friday, June 26, marks the right time to unveil the Biblical Ark of the Covenant, which he says has been hidden in his church for centuries.

Abuna Pauolos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, was in Rome this week to meet with Pope Benedict XVI. While there, he told reporters that the time had come to reveal before the world the Holy Ark. He said that the holy container has been in the custody of his church for hundreds of years.

Paulous said he would make the full announcement this Friday, June 26, 2 PM local time (3 PM Israel time, 8 AM New York time) at a press conference in Rome.

The claim that the Biblical Holy Ark has been kept at the Church, in the city of Axum, is an old one, but this is the first time that the Church plans to actually reveal the actual container, or news of it. It is not known whether the Church claims that the actual Tablets of the Law are inside it.

Copies of the alleged Ark are kept in many other churches in Ethiopia.

The news of the impending announcement was first reported by the Italian news agency Adnkronos. Pauolos told the news outlet, "Soon the world will be able to admire the Ark of the Covenant described in the Bible as the container of the tablets of the law that G-d delivered to Moses, and the center of searches and studies for centuries."

Pauolos said "The Ark of the Covenant has been in Ethiopia for many centuries. As Patriarch, I have seen it with my own eyes, and only a few, highly-qualified persons could do the same - until now."

Back to Earth
Stuart Munro-Hay, author of “Quest for the Ark of the Covenant: The True History of the Tablets of Moses,” concluded that the object in question is definitely not the original Holy Ark.

The building of the Ark of the Covenant – also known as the Ark of Testimony and the Ark of G-d’s Covenant – in accordance with Divine instructions is recounted in the Book of Exodus. The Ark held the Tablets of the Law, and traveled with the People of Israel, leading the way into the Promised Land. It was placed first in the Tabernacle in Shilo, and centuries later in the Holy Temple built by King Solomon. Since then, its whereabouts have been unknown, though one popular legend says it was brought to Ethiopia. Alternatively, it could be under the Temple Mount, in a cave at Mt. Nevo in Jordan, in the Vatican, a hideaway in Utah, or elsewhere.


Hideaway in Utah?????

Anyways, back to the one in Ethiopia, I don't really care if this is the real deal or not. We will know that information soon enough anyways. What I'm really wondering is: what's prompting Paulous to say "The time has come..." ?

Has the time really come? Is this a message to us?

Updates:
1) See my follow-up post on the Rambam's view.
2) No news conference occurred on Friday. See A7's article and Rafi's blog.

Further Update: Gilui points out that the latest from World Net Daily is that it was probably a misunderstanding to begin with.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Is Asher Bara Now a Rip-off of a Rip-off?

Fox News:
One's a pub classic, belted out at top volume by tipsy patrons around closing time. The other is a more dignified affair, a favorite of youth choirs and choral groups.

Now, as unlikely as it seems, the classic children's song, "Kookaburra," and the Men At Work hit, "Down Under," are set to go head-to-head in court amid accusations part of the rock anthem is a rip-off, the Daily Telegraph reports.

Music publishing company Larrikin owns the "Kookaburra" song and claims the melody that accompanies the line "Kookaburra sits in the old gum tree" is reproduced in "Down Under." The case is due to start in full within days.

News.com.au has more

It's Not Just the Media - My Computer Is Turning Liberal Too

I think Obama/Neville Chamberlain has gotten to my computer.
I got the following message in SQL Server 8. (Click the image to see it larger.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Iran Taking Lessons from Sedom

Wall Street Journal:

TEHRAN—The family, clad in black, stood at the curb of the road sobbing. A middle-aged mother slapped her cheeks, letting out piercing wails. The father, a frail man who worked as a doorman at a clinic in central Tehran, wept quietly with his head bowed.

Minutes before, an ambulance had arrived from Tehran's morgue carrying the body of their only son, 19-year-old Kaveh Alipour.

On Saturday, amid the most violent clashes between security forces and protesters, Mr. Alipour was shot in the head as he stood at an intersection in downtown Tehran. He was returning from acting class and a week shy of becoming a groom, his family said.

...

At the crack of dawn, his father began searching at police stations, then hospitals and then the morgue.

Upon learning of his son's death, the elder Mr. Alipour was told the family had to pay an equivalent of $3,000 as a "bullet fee"—a fee for the bullet used by security forces—before taking the body back, relatives said.

Mr. Alipour told officials that his entire possessions wouldn't amount to $3,000, arguing they should waive the fee because he is a veteran of the Iran-Iraq war. According to relatives, morgue officials finally agreed, but demanded that the family do no funeral or burial in Tehran. Kaveh Alipour's body was quietly transported to the city of Rasht, where there is family.


It looks like the Iranians have mimicked the justice of the 4 judges of Sedom (from Sanhedrin 109b): שקראי ושקרוראי זייפי ומצלי דינא

The Shema Yisrael site has a translation of how justice was done in Sedom (according to the Maharsha's interpretation):

(a) The MAHARSHA explains that these four judges represent the four examples of "Sedom justice" that the Gemara describes immediately afterwards. The name of the first judge, Shakra'i (which comes from the word "Sheker," or "lie," which refers to a perversion of justice) represents the judgement in the case of the person who hit his neighbor's pregnant wife, causing her to miscarry. When the judges accept the perpetrator's claim that he should not have to pay for the loss of the fetus since he can replace what he damaged by impregnating the woman, that is an injustice.
The Maharsha asserts that the name of the second judge, Shakrura'i, should actually read "Sheker Vadai" -- meaning absolute injustice. This represents the judgement in the case of a person who hit his neighbor's donkey, causing it to lose an ear. The judges would tell the victim to keep the ear until it grows back. This is absolutely unjust, because the ear of an animal cannot grow back.

The name of the third judge, Zayafei, represents the way the judges of Sedom would rule in a case in which a person hit another person, wounding him and causing him to bleed. The judges would rule that the *victim* must pay the perpetrator for causing him to bleed, because he perpetrator performed the service of bloodletting for him! This is falsified logic ("Ziyuf," or "forgery"), because the victim did not need bloodletting at the time he was wounded.

The name of the fourth judge, Matzlei Dina, corresponds to the judgement in the fourth case that the Gemara mentions. The judges of Sedom instituted a higher fee for one who crosses the river by foot than for one who crosses the river by bridge. This was a corruption of justice done for personal benefit ("Matzlei Dina," or a "bending of the law" for one's own benefit) done simply to raise revenue, fraudulently, for the city.

Our Nation Dwells Alone...

...and is once again singled out among the other nations to our detriment. And by whom? By none other than President OAliBabaBama.
This is exemplified masterfully by Yaakov Kirschen of the Dry Bones Blog

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Civil War in Iran - Geula Sign?

Something picked up from comments on this VIN article - where the article and accompanying videos show how Iran is in turmoil, and how the brutality of the Basij (the pro-government militia) is terrorizing all protesters and anyone standing in their way.

I'll quote comments 2-4 in their entirety, and let me know if you agree with the comments made.

Comment 2:
SB Says:למכה מצרים בבכוריהם כי לעולם חסדו

Lemakey Mitzrayim Bivhoireihem - Ki LeOilom Chasdoy

Comment 3:
FVNMS Says:Reply to #2 Hide Quote
SB Says:“למכה מצרים בבכוריהם כי לעולם חסדו

Lemakey Mitzrayim Bivhoireihem - Ki LeOilom Chasdoy”
Thank you from those of us who can't read Hebrew. Now what's the point you're making?

Comment 4:
The point Says:Reply to #3 Hide Quote
FVNMS Says:“Thank you from those of us who can't read Hebrew. Now what's the point you're making?”
lemake mitraim refers to a time when we were still in egypt and had the korban pesach atached to our beds and the egyptians asked from us why do we have them.
When they were told that Because Hashem will kill the first born of egypt, they went to Parho and started a civil war when parho didn't want to let the Jews go, and the firstborn being sure that they will die.
lemake mitraim means the one that hit the egyptians through their first born.
the person that wrote it meant to say that the same situation is happening in Iran, that they are fighting each other.
The Torah says that Hashem will make wonders when Moshiach will come like when we went out of mitzraim.
It seems very clear that this events are similar and a good omen

I Before E Rule Canceled in England

Fox News via AP reports:
LONDON — It's a spelling mantra that generations of schoolchildren have learned — "i before e, except after c."

But new British government guidance tells teachers not to pass on the rule to students, because there are too many exceptions.

The "Support For Spelling" document, which is being sent to thousands of primary schools, says the rule "is not worth teaching" because it doesn't account for words like 'sufficient,' 'veil' and 'their.'

Jack Bovill of the Spelling Society, which advocates simplified spelling, said Saturday he agreed with the decision.

But supporters say the ditty has value because it is one of the few language rules that most people remember.

I wonder if they just decided to cancel the rule recently because of all the SHEIKS that recently popped up in England. :-)

Friday, June 19, 2009

Moshe Rabbeinu's Descendants Will Return with 10 Tribes

Bamidbar Rabba 16:25:

אף על פי כן לא בטלה גזירתו של הקדוש ברוך הוא שאמר למשה ואעשה אותך העמיד ממנו ששים רבוא שנאמר (ד"ה א כג) ובני רחביה רבו למעלה ולעתיד לבא הקב"ה מכנסן שנאמר (ישעיה מט) הנה אלה מרחוק יבאו והנה אלה מצפון ומים ואלה מארץ סינים והגליות באים עמהם והשבטים שהם נתונים לפנים מן סמבטיון ושלפנים מן הרי חשך הם מתכנסין ובאין לירושלים אמר ישעיה (שם) לאמר לאסורים צאו אלו שנתונים לפנים מן סמבטיון ולאשר בחשך הגלו אלו שנתונים לפנים מן ענן של חשך (שם) ועל דרכים ירעו ובכל שפיים מרעיתם אלו שנתונים בדפנו של אנטוכיא אותה שעה הם נגאלים ובאו לציון בשמחה שנא' (שם נא) ופדויי ה' ישובון וגו


Even so [that Hashem said סלחתי כדברך after the sin of the spies], HKB"H's decree where He told Moshe "And I will make you [into a great nation]" was not nullified. He made stand [descendants] from him [Moshe] 600,000 [actually, more than 600,000 - see the עץ יוסף here and also, see the gemara Berachot 7a at the bottom] as it says "but the sons of Rehabiah were very many". And in the future to come, HKB"H will gather them in as it says, "Behold, these shall come from far; and, lo, these from the north and from the west, and these from the land of Sinim." [The מהרז"ו explains that it seems that the Midrash is missing the fact that the sons of Moshe were exiled to one place, the 10 tribes to another place, and the tribes of Yehuda and Binyamin to another place. He presumably says this due to the 3 words "אלה" "these" in this verse.] And the exiles will come back with them [the descendants of Moshe], and the tribes who were placed toward the inside of the Sambatyon [River] and toward the inside of the Mountains of Darkness will be gathered and come to Yerushalayim. Yeshaya said: "Saying to the prisoners: 'Go forth'" - this refers to those who were placed toward the inside of the Sambatyon [River]. "To them that are in darkness: 'Show yourselves'" - this refers to those who were placed toward the inside of the Cloud of Darkness [see עץ יוסף and מהרז"ו how they treat the change to "Cloud" from "Mountains"]. "They shall feed in the ways, and in all high hills shall be their pasture" - this refers to those who were placed in Antioch. [מהרז"ו is not sure which location the descendants of Moshe Rabbeinu were sent.] At that moment, they will be redeemed and will come to Zion with happiness, as it says, "And the ransomed of the LORD shall return..."

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Blabbering Buffoon: Bibi to Build Beit Hamikdash

YNet: Sheikh Salah: Netanyahu wants to rebuild Temple
Salah claimed that the government continued constantly to dig tunnels under the Temple Mount and the al-Aqsa Mosque, and that Netanyahu was planning to complete during his current term what he did not complete during his first one – "to dig additional tunnels under al-Aqsa and rebuild the Temple on the Temple Mount."

The Muslim students responded by chanting, "Allahu Akbar" (God is great).
To quote Elder of Ziyon:
That's funny - if I heard that Netanyahu was building the Third Temple on the Temple Mount, I'd also say "God is great."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Trumpets for Gog Umagog

במדבר י:ט:

וְכִי-תָבֹאוּ מִלְחָמָה בְּאַרְצְכֶם, עַל-הַצַּר הַצֹּרֵר אֶתְכֶם--וַהֲרֵעֹתֶם, בַּחֲצֹצְרֹת; וְנִזְכַּרְתֶּם, לִפְנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵיכֶם, וְנוֹשַׁעְתֶּם, מֵאֹיְבֵיכֶם

And when ye go to war in your land against the adversary that oppresseth you, then ye shall sound an alarm with the trumpets; and ye shall be remembered before the LORD your God, and ye shall be saved from your enemies.


The Sifri says:

וכי תבאו מלחמה בארצכם • (בין שאתם יוצאים עליהם ובין שהם יוצאים עליכם במלחמת גוג ומגוג הכתוב מדבר • אתה אומר במלחמת גוג ומגוג הכתוב מדבר או בכל המלחמות שבתורה) ת״ל ונושעתם באויביכם • אמרת צא וראה איזו היא מלחמה שישראל נושעים בה ואין אחריה שעבוד אין אתה מוצא אלא מלחמת גוג ומגוג וכה״א (זכרי׳ יד) ויצא ה׳ ונלחם בגוים ההם . מהו והיה ה׳ למלך על כל הארץ . [תענית יט] רבי עקיבא אומר אין לי אלא (מלחמת גוג ומגוג • מלחמת) שדפון וירקון ואשה מקשה לילד וספינה המטרפת בים מנין ת״ל על הצר הצורר אתכם • על כל צרה וצרה שלא תבוא על הצבור : והרעותם בחצוצרות וגו׳ • ר׳ עקיבא אומר וכי חצוצרות מזכירות אלא שאם יכולים להריע ולא הריעו מעלה עליהם כאלו לא הוזכרו לפני המקום: ונזכרתם ונושעתם • הא כל זמן שנזכרים ישראל אין נזכרים אלא לתשועות


This means that the trumpets will be used for the war of Gog Umagog, as it is a war that has no further subservience after it.

The משך חכמה says that the same trumpets that were hidden by Moshe Rabbeinu will be used for the war of Gog Umagog since it says "Bahatzotzerot" - meaning the known trumpets.

The נצי"ב in העמק דבר asks: Sometimes blowing the trumpets didn't work to save us from our enemies! He answers that this Sifri tells us that the only time we will be promised salvation from our enemies by blowing the trumpets is during the war of Gog Umagog.

The מגן אברהם סימן תקע"ו asks why we don't have the custom of blowing trumpets nowadays. The Netiv Hayim answered that it only applies in Israel since the verse says "בארצכם". How about nowadays when many Jews live in Israel? Rav Yaakov Emden in מור וקציעה gives another answer to the מגן אברהם and says that we don't have the "trumpets of the Torah" or a good lineage on the Kohanim that blow them nowadays to allow blowing trumpets.

Despite the משך חכמה, the Temple Institute has made the "trumpets of the Torah" to be used in the Beit Hamikdash, and perhaps for Gog Umagog too.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Netanyahu's Speech

Shirat Devorah has the full text of his speech.

Rafi and Joe Settler liked it.

On a scale of 1-10, I give it a 7.5. Many good points, but too much conceded for nothing. Plus, his offering a state in the heart of Israel contradicts the other parts of his speech which told of the Jewish rights to the land.

Anyways, Tomer Devorah has another version of his speech which I'd give a 10.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

הרבה שלוחים למקום

I'm not sure what to make of this story. It's pretty scary.

VIN News:
Kufstein, Austria - An Italian woman who arrived late for the Air France plane flight that crashed in the Atlantic last week has been killed in a car accident.

Johanna Ganthaler, a pensioner from Bolzano-Bozen province, had been on holiday in Brazil with her husband Kurt and missed Air France Flight 447 after turning up late at Rio de Janeiro airport on May 31.

All 228 people aboard lost their lives after the plane crashed into the Atlantic four hours into its flight to Paris.

The couple had managed to pick up a flight from Rio the following day. But Ms Ganthaler died when their car veered across a road in Kufstein, Austria, and swerved into an oncoming truck. Her husband was seriously injured.


Possible Lessons:
  • הרבה שלוחים למקום
  • Hashem wanted a way to keep the husband alive somehow, so He made this possible in this way
  • Be thankful and humbled for the miracles done on your behalf - you never know how soon you'll need another
  • Perhaps, this woman had a special zechut that kept her alive a bit longer and allowed for a proper burial of her body
  • When we say מי באש מי במים on ראש השנה, we should understand that these things are really determined, and she was obviously not determined to die במים

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Garu'a Shebagoyim Harag

This sub-human who shot and killed a guard at the US Holocaust Museum in Washington DC wrote a book with the worst kind of accusatory lies against Jews. Even the name of his book "Tob Shebbe Goyim Harog", which he claims in the title page and on page 34 of his book as being from Sanhedrin 59 is not there - rather, it's in Mesechet Soferim the end of פרק טו.

And of course, it doesn't mean that one should go out to kill the best of the Gentiles like JAMES W. VON BRUNN ימ"ש wants you to believe. Actually, the גירסא in this version of סופרים is הכשר שבגוים בשעת מלחמה הרוג, which tells you that it only refers to times of war. But even with the other גירסא, we can find תוס' ע"ז כו: ד"ה ולא מורידין who says in the name of the Yerushalmi that it means only times of war, although, I couldn't find the Yerushalmi (which you'd think would be in Kiddushin 4:11).

One idiom is certain - שם רשעים ירקב applies to this piece of trash.

Update: The Vicious Babushka says basically the same thing.

Wright On Cue

About the only things I share with Rev. Jeremiah Wright is city and state. Here are a couple of his latest anti-semitic diatribes:
In a racially charged interview, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright said that President Obama hasn't spoken to him since they parted ways last year, because "them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me."

He suggested White House advisers were keeping the two separate.

"Them Jews aren't going to let him talk to me. I told my baby daughter, that he'll talk to me in five years when he's a lame duck, or in eight years when he's out of office," Wright said, according to Virginia's Daily Press. "They will not let him ... talk to somebody who calls a spade what it is."

and this:

Wright sporadically has granted media interviews and made public appearances since. In the Daily Press article, he also claimed that the president did not send a delegation to the recent world racism conference in Geneva for fear of offending Jews.

"Ethnic cleansing is going on in Gaza. Ethnic cleansing of the Zionist is a sin and a crime against humanity, and they don't want Barack talking like that because that's anti-Israel," Wright said.

Another glimpse at our president's former pastor's views. Yes, he was denounced, but only when he became an inconvenience.

Update:Wright thinks he's made up for it by clarifying his remarks and replacing the word "Jews" with "Zionits". He just keeps getting more anti-semitic every time he opens his mouth.

Million-Dollar Mattress Tossed - "Gam Zu Letova"

From VIN News:

Tel Aviv, Israel - An Israeli woman threw out an old mattress - not realising it was stuffed with her mother's $1 million life-savings.

The culprit, identified only as Anat, had bought the new bedding as surprise for her elderly relative.

But her mother only told her about the hidden stash of money after the old mattress had already been thrown away. And when she went to look for the mattress, it had already been taken by binmen in Tel Aviv.

Anat's actions sparked a frantic - and so far fruitless - search through tons of rubbish at three landfill sites in Tel Aviv.

Yitzhak Borba, a manager at one of the dumps, said she appeared 'totally desperate' but the mattress was hard to find amid the 2,500 tonnes of rubbish left every day.

He said he had increased security at the site to keep would-be treasure hunters at bay.

For her part, Anat said it could be worse. 'People have to take everything in proportion and thank God for the good and the bad,' she said.


Berachot 54a:

חייב אדם לברך על הרעה כשם שמברך על הטובה
שנאמר ואהבת את ה׳ אלהיך בכל לבבך וגו׳ בכל לבבך בשני יצריך ביצר
טוב וביצר הרע ובכל נפשך אפילו הוא נוטל את נפשך ובכל מאדך בכל
ממונך ד״א בכל מאדך בכל מדה ומדה שהוא מודד לך הוי מודה לו

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Question on Mile'eil/Milera

I've been having a discussion with family members about pronunciation of certain pairs of words that have a Makaf, and the second word of the pair is either monosyllabic or is Mile'eil with 2 syllables. The rule is that the first word also becomes Mile'eil, even if it would have otherwise been Milera.

Examples:
ופני רשעים תשאו-סלה
עיני-כל אליך ישברו

That much is clear.

However, what happens when the second-to-last syllable on the first word turns out to be a שוא נע or a חטף-פתח, חטף-קמץ, etc.? I was taught long ago that an accent cannot be on a שוא or a חטף-פתח, חטף-קמץ, etc., but perhaps that doesn't apply here. Or maybe it does.

Examples:
מְשַׂמְּחֵי־לֵב (from תהילים יט)
כְמוֹ־נֵד (from אז ישיר)
כְּמוֹ־אָֽבֶן (from אז ישיר)
אֲשֶׁר־שַׂמְתִּי (from שמות טו)
כְּבֽוֹד־אֵל (from תהילים יט)
עֲלֵי־דֶשֶׁא (from שירת האזינו)
סְלַֽח־נָא (from במדבר יד)

Which of the following is the rule?

a) Keep it Mile'eil regardless of its vowel
b) Make it Milera in such cases
c) Make it Milera only when there are 2 syllables, but otherwise, put the accent on the third-to-last syllable (e.g. משמחי-לב)
d) Other rule ___________
e) No rule - you just need to know the Mesora for each instance

I'm leaning toward "C", but I'd like to hear other opinions.
(For סלח-נא, one Tikkun I saw puts the accent on the ס while one Tikkun puts it on the ל, so I'm just confused.)

Monday, June 08, 2009

How Many Mashiahs Are There?


Bamidbar Rabba 14:2 starts out (paraphrased):
On the verse לִי גִלְעָד, וְלִי מְנַשֶּׁה, וְאֶפְרַיִם, מָעוֹז רֹאשִׁי; יְהוּדָה, מְחֹקְקִי (Gilead is mine, and Manasseh is mine; Ephraim also is the defence of my head; Judah is my sceptre) Since there's a Mahloket about how many Mashiahs there are - some say that there are 7 since it says "7 shepards" and some say 8 since it says "8 princes of men". But there are really only 4, as it says "And Hashem showed me 4 craftsmen"....These four craftsmen - David Hamelech came to specify who they are. לי גלעד refers to Eliyahu who came from the inhabitants of Gil'ad [from the tribe of Binyamin], לי מנשה refers to the-Mashiah-that-will-come-from-Menashe as it says לִפְנֵי אֶפְרַיִם, וּבִנְיָמִן וּמְנַשֶּׁה--עוֹרְרָה אֶת-גְּבוּרָתֶךָ; וּלְכָה לִישֻׁעָתָה לָּנוּ Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up Thy might, and come to save us. The ואפרים מעוז ראשי refers to the Mashu'ah Milhama who comes from Ephraim, as it says בְּכוֹר שׁוֹרוֹ הָדָר לוֹ His firstling bullock, majesty is his. יהודה מחוקקי refers to the "great redeemer", who comes from the descendants of David Hamelech....

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Shiurim on Mashiah - The Person

Dixie Yid has been bringing you many shiurim from "Reb Yerachmiel" on the blessings we say for the Amida.

I had linked to one of his shiurim before, when starting the blessing of תקע בשופר.

He recently gave a great summary shiur on the Beracha that concludes with בונה ירושלים. Dixie Yid posted it here.

(Even though the text of the blessing is quite different for Sepharadim, only a small part of the shiur was not applicable for Sepharadim, such as the "vav" for Velirushalayim.)

Now, he is starting the next blessing of את צמח דוד. Here is the first shiur on the subject of Mashiah the person. Brought to you via Dixie Yid.

Update: Part 2 here via this Dixie Yid post.

Update: Part 3 here via this Dixie Yid post.

וילך עשו אל ישמעאל




With President Barack Hussein OAliBabaBama pandering to the Arab world, what will be? Who should we turn to for help?

Don't worry. לב מלכים ושרים ביד השם. It's all part of The Plan. Israel needs to be in a state of הן עם לבדד ישכון just as we were 70 years ago. It can no longer have "friends" like the USA to fund defense projects or veto UN resolutions since this "friendship" comes with a price. If the price is removing Jews from parts of our Holy Land, and to add insult to injury - giving that land to our sworn enemies, then the price is way too high.

A true friend would not use "tough love" when no toughness is warranted. A true friend would understand the needs of the friend and tell the friend's enemies to go you-know-where. This is why I use "friends" in quotes, and this is why OAliBabaBama is no friend of Israel.

We say every day אל תבטחו בנדיבים בבן אדם שאין לו תשועה - we cannot rely on people. People are limited - there's no Teshu'a in people. Rather, in עקבתא דמשיחא, there's one thing for certain: אין לנו על מי להשען אלא על אבינו שבשמים. We're certainly heading in that direction, if not there already.

And we're ready to rely on Him forever more.