Thursday, March 31, 2011

Berit Mila - Comparing Religions

Our Perasha states:

וּבַיּוֹם, הַשְּׁמִינִי, יִמּוֹל, בְּשַׂר עָרְלָתוֹ
And in the eighth day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.

In Judaism, Mila is obligatory and one who purposely neglects to circumcize himself gets Karet as it says here.  Peri'a is also required.  There are no exceptions - even one whose 2 brothers died due to Mila must get a Berit Mila even if he has to wait until he gets stronger to get it.

Our cousins have a different view.  From the BBC:
Muslims are still the largest single religious group to circumcise boys. In Islam circumcision is also known as tahara, meaning purification.

Circumcision is not mentioned in the Qur'an but it is highlighted in the Sunnah (the Prophet Muhammad's recorded words and actions). In the Sunnah, Muhammad stated that circumcision was a "law for men and a preservation of honour for women."

The main reason given for the ritual is cleanliness. It is essential that every Muslim washes before praying. It is important that no urine is left on the body.

Muslims believe the removal of the foreksin makes it easier to keep the penis clean because urine can't get trapped there.

Supporters of circumcision also argue that excrements may collect under the foreskin which may lead to fatal diseases such as cancer.

Some Muslims see circumcision as a preventive measure against infection and diseases.

Belonging

For the majority of Muslims, circumcision is seen as an introduction to the Islamic faith and a sign of belonging.

In Islam there is no fixed age for circumcision. The age at which it is performed varies depending on family, region and country.

The preferred age is often seven although some Muslims are circumcised as early as the seventh day after birth and as late as puberty.

There is no equivalent of a Jewish 'mohel' in Islam. Circumcisions are usually carried out in a clinic or hospital. The circumciser is not required to be a Muslim but he must be medically trained.

In some Islamic countries circumcision is performed after Muslim boys have recited the whole of the Qur'an from start to finish.
Sorry, I have to interrupt - what a great incentive for boys to learn the Qur'an! Learn the entire Qur'an, you get a circumcision! What a deal!

Another point - it's good that the Jews don't have this requirement - if Jewish 8-day olds would recite the entire Torah before the Berit, I think that would scare most Mohelim out of the room, wouldn't you?

Sorry - back to the quote:
In Malaysia, for example, the operation is a puberty rite that separates the boy from childhood and introduces him to adulthood.

An essential practice

Circumcision is not compulsory in Islam but it is an important ritual aimed at improving cleanliness. It is strongly encouraged but not enforced.

The ritual dates back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad. According to tradition Muhammad was born without a foreskin (aposthetic). Some Muslims who practise circumcision see it as a way of being like him.

Circumcision was also practised by past prophets.

Dr Bashir Quereshi, author of Transcultural Medicine, explains: "Every Muslim is expected to follow the way and the life of the Prophet Muhammad. Therefore, all Muslims - devouts, liberals or seculars - observe this ritual. Muslim are obliged to follow not only Allah's message in the Holy Qur'an but also what the Prophet said or did, as proof of their dedication to Islam.

Traditionally, adult converts to Islam were encouraged to undergo the operation but this practice is not universally endorsed, particularly if the procedure poses a health risk.
I was surprised not to find a reference to Yishmael here, although maybe that's what was meant by "past prophets". Bottom line, it's clearly not nearly the obligation it is in Judaism.

The famous Zohar Va'era 32a considers their circumcision incomplete and therefore Hashem doesn't allow them to get close to Him, but allowed them access to the Land of Israel temporarily as a consolation prize:
רא) ות״ח, ארבע מאה שנין, קיימא ההוא ממנא דבני ישמעאל, ובעא קמי קב״ה, א״ל, מאן דאתגזר אית ליה חולקא בשמך. א״ל אין. א״ל והא ישמעאל דאתגזר, אמאי לית ליה חולקא בך כמו יצתק. א״ל, דא אתגזר כדקא יאות וכתיקונוי, ודא לאו הכי. ולא עוד, אלא דאלין מתדבקין בי כדקא יאות, לתמניא יומין, ואלין רחיקין מני עד כמה ימים. א״ל, ועם כל דא, כיון דאתגזר לא יהא ליה אגר טב בגיניה.

רב) ווי על ההוא זמנא, דאתיליד ישמעאל בעלמא, ואתגזר. מה עבד קב״ה, ארחיק להו לבני ישמעאל, מדבקותא דלעילא, ויהב להו חולקא לתתא בארעא קדישא, בגין ההוא גזירו דבהון.

רג) וזמינין בני ישמעאל, למשלט בארעא קדישא, כד איהי ריקניא מכלא, זמנא סגי, כמה דגזירו דלהון בריקניא בלא שלימו. ואינון יעכבון להון לבני ישראל אתבא לדוכתייהו, עד דאשתלים ההוא זכותא דבני ישמעאל.
Continue reading the Zohar to find out what happens to them after their Zechut is up.

Special Yom Kippur Katan at Kotel Next Week

Update: More info from Kikar here.

Arutz Sheva:
Kotel Prayer Gathering on Eve of 1st of Nissan


The Chief Rabbinate will preside over a repentance and prayer gathering at the Western Wall, next week, on Monday, the eve of the 1st of Nissan, at 17:45.

The assembly wll take place under the auspices of the Chief Rabbi of Israel, Rabbi Shlomo Amar, and with the participation the Kabbalist Rabbi Benayahu Shmueli, Rosh Yeshiva of the Nahar Shalom Yeshiva. Also attending will be Rabbis, dayanim, roshei yeshivot, as well as the relatives of the Fogel family from Itamar and family members of those wounded in the Jerusalem bombing.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Latest NBA Prediction

I predict that the Bulls, who are in first place in the East, will go all the way!

(If this is not the NBA prediction you expected, you may want to head to Kikar HaShabbat, which talks about the dollar falling and famine coming to America.)

Please Continue to Pray for Jerusalem Bombing Victims


My uncle was caught up in the middle of last week's Jerusalem bombing. 

He B"H was not hurt in the blast.

He later visited one of the wounded in the hospital - Odelia Nechama bat Michal.  He was not able to go inside the room as she was and still is in critical condition, but he talked to her father.  Her father requested that he should publicize to all to pray for a Refu'a Sheleima for his daughter as she is living solely on the Tefillot of Am Yisrael.

In fact, here is what the OneFamilyFund.org site says:
Odelia Nechama bat Michal - suffered serious head injuries and is in intensive care. Odelia had more surgery performed on March 29, and was put on a respirator. Her family is asking for increased prayers for her recovery.
Here is the full list of victims from the same page.  Please remember, even those that are released from the hospital are still in need of Refu'ot, whether they be physical or psychological:

The following information is based on updates from OneFamily case workers who are visiting the victims wounded in the most recent attacks, in hospitals and at their homes. Please credit OneFamily when forwarding this information.




Please pray for the following civilians injured in the Jerusalem bombing on March 23:



Natan Daniel ben Shulamit - a 17-year-old student who is in serious condition. He suffered massive internal injuries and has had a number of internal organs removed. He also suffered serious injuries to the neck and shoulder and will be in hospital for a while.

Leah Bracha bat Shoshana Batya - is a 19-year-old seminary student. She suffered burns to her legs and arms as well as serious shock.

Odelia Nechama bat Michal - suffered serious head injuries and is in intensive care. Odelia had more surgery performed on March 29, and was put on a respirator. Her family is asking for increased prayers for her recovery.

David ben Janette - David is the owner of the snack stand next to the bus stop. He told everyone to run away and then called the police, and was on the phone with them when the bomb exploded. He suffered injuries to his legs and feet and lower body. He is recovering in the hospital.

Sasson ben Shulamit - This is the second time Sasson has been injured in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem. He suffered lower body injuries and serious post-traumatic symptoms. He was released from the hospital the day after the attack and is slowly recovering at home.

Ad Shapira - Ad is 18 years old and just about to complete high school. She suffered light orthopedic injuries and is in good condition in hospital.

Shilo ben Zehava Ofra - Shilo is 15 years old, and suffered burns and fractures to his legs and lower abdomen. He is sedated in intensive care.

Daniel Yehuda ben Rachel Nurit - Daniel is 13 years old, and suffered lacerations and shrapnel injuries to his lower extremities, and was released from the hospital on Sunday morning.

Elchanan Ovadya ben Alona - Elchanan is 14 years old, and suffered serious injuries to his feet. One ankle and three of his toes were crushed. He has had one operation and will require more surgery. He will likely be in the hospital at least 2-3 weeks.

Netanel ben Shlomit - Netanel is 18 years old and works as a security guard at the bus station. He was injured in the abdomen had surgery. He is still in serious pain but was released from the hospital on Sunday and will remain under observation at home.

Yishai Chaim ben Bruriah

Reuven Chai ben Mala

Shaindel bat Raizel

Yisrael ben Dina

The following are victims wounded in rocket attacks in southern Israel:



Osnat bat Mamit She was woken by the warning siren at 5:30 in the morning, and while running from her room, she tripped over her baby's bed and sustained injuries to her legs and back.

Miriam bat Rubikhi is an 81-year-old women who was running in response to the siren, and tripped and fell, breaking her knee.

Was it Proper to Use Tsunami Footage in the Video to Save the Boys in Japan?

Important Update Below

The Cool Jew, VIN, and Shirat Devorah all had posted about a new video that was made to help the Yeshiva boys who are incarcerated in Japan after suitcases they were carrying for someone else contained drugs.



Let me first start out by saying that I mostly enjoyed the video, which was well-done, and brought back memories of the old Dveykus song that I like. I hope the video has an impact and I do wish the boys will be freed soon.

However, at about the 6:15 mark, tsunami footage is shown. This seems to connect the two events showing that the tsunami was due to the incarceration of the boys.

Now, I'm not here to say whether there is a connection or not. There very well may be. The gemara Berachot 59a (which says that Hashem causes earthquakes when Jews are in trouble and its sound goes from one edge of the earth to the other) was used by one of the boys himself in a recent article. Furthermore, a prominent Hasidic Rebbe said that the punishments on Japan were caused by the incarceration of the boys.

However, I'm just questioning using tsunami footage in the video. This must have been an 11th hour decision to add it. I'm not quite sure it was a good idea for a few reasons:

1) It takes away from the main message - which is to get the boys out. Adding the footage will not scare the Japanese into freeing them nor will it inspire more Jews to give to their cause. If anything, it will just confuse them into asking "Why was this put in?" which I've already seen on the VIN comments.

2) It implies that this was a definite reason for the tsunami. As I said, according to a prominent Rebbe, it is, but does everyone hold this way? Also, aren't there other Hata'im that it could be attributed to (like WWII and its brutal war against China to name a couple)?

3) It makes you feel Rahmanut for the Japanese at a time one should be feeling sorry for the boys. There's nothing wrong and everything right for having Rahmanut for them, but Ma Inyan Shemitta Eitzel Har Sinai?

Again, I enjoyed the video. I am just a bit shocked that this footage would be added.

May the boys see their freedom soon among all the imprisoned of Kelal Yisrael.


Update: The YouTube description of the song now says the following:
Please note: The Tzunami footage in the clip was implemented as a sign of solidarity with the tragedy that struck the great Japanese nation.
I'd be foolish to believe this, but I'd be cruel to not believe this.  So, I will be Dan Lechaf Zechut here against my better judgement.

I still believe that the footage should be removed to remove any appearances of the alternative reason.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

When We are Ruled Only by Xianity, the Geula Will Come

Sanhedrin 97a
דא"ר יצחק אין בן דוד בא עד שתתהפך כל המלכות למינות אמר רבא מאי קרא (ויקרא יג) כולו הפך לבן טהור הוא



2 years ago, I posted this. See the Gemara I quoted along with the Maharsha's explanation.

The Yalkut Mashiah Ug'ula (which only exists on HebrewBooks.org for Tazria, Metzora, Aharei Mot, and Kedoshim - so take advantage) quotes the צמח דוד as saying that based on this gemara, we must only be ruled by Xtian rule - and no other religion - in order to be redeemed. That's the idea of the entire kingdom of Edom turning to Minut.

Eretz Yisrael theoretically can be considered ruled by Xian countries as vitually every diplomatic step it takes is done with the authorization of the U.S. and Europe.

The Jews in Morocco, Tunisia, Yemen, India, Turkey and other smaller communities may be exceptions, although the case can be made that those countries too are supported by Xian countries.

The one country where the exception is clear is Iran.  The government of Iran is not supported by Xian countries and contains a significant amount of Jews.  It's time for them to get out.

A Kezayit of Korban Pesah Meat for 7₪

Over at KorbanPesach.org

See similar posts from previous years herehere, and here.
Hat tip Tomer Devorah

Friday, March 25, 2011

Syrians, Jordanians Protesting in Biblical Israel

Syrians are protesting in Daraa and the Syrian army is shooting at them.

I didn't realize earlier that Daraa is really Edre'i (אדרעי) from Tanach, where the Israelites defeated Og and which was later given to half of the sons of Machir Ben Menashe.

There are also protests in Amman, Jordan where many were injured.  While much of Jordan was part of Biblical Israel, the rest of Jordan (that belonged to Ammon, Mo'av and Edom) was only promised to Israel in the days of Mashiah, may they come quickly.

Now if only they were protesting that they want to be part of Israel...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Eli Yishai Blasts Mr. Goldstone

Kikar has a letter that MK Eli Yishai sent to Judge Richard Goldstone, which criticizes him on his lack of condemnation of crimes against humanity.  I don't know if he created an English version, but here's my translation of it:

To the Honorable Judge Richard Goldstone,

Subject: Crimes Against Humanity Are Occurring These Days

Dear Sir,

For a number of days, hundreds of thousands of children, women, and ordinary citizens are found under a blind and unrelenting terror attack which came to fruition with directed rocket launches, which was done by terrorists toward the centers of cities in the State of Israel, while their purpose is sowing death and fear in the midst of innocent citizens. 

In these days, myriads of children who are scared from the fear of terror are confined to their homes, and this is instead of filling the classroom desks in schools.

All this is not occurring in disputed areas, but rather, smack in the heart of the State of Israel.

In these days, I cannot not recall the joke of the investigatory commission of the U.N. which you publicized and stood at its head.  In it, you sharply investigated the State of Israel for the actions it took in Operation Cast Lead and you brought accusations of shooting indiscriminately at the civilian population.

To no avail, our people and spokespeople tried to prove that the IDF used all actions possible to protect the civilian population, despite Israel being under attack and despite the fact that these actions put our soldiers in danger - the IDF did everything in order to prevent harm to civilians.

This report that you publicized is what gives legitimacy to terror organizations to continue the cruel and indiscriminate shooting toward civilian settlements in the areas of the state.  This report is what calms murderers without a conscience when they come to slaughter innocent children, knowing that they can always be assumed to be sacrifices afterwards.

Where is your voice now, Mr. Goldstone?  Where is your voice when Hadas, a baby girl 3 months old, Elad, 4 years old, and Yoav, 11 years old, were slaughtered in their sleep - not by accident - but in cold blood by a despicable murderer?

Where is your voice when a bus station on its street in Jerusalem exploded yesterday, claiming the life of one woman and injuring dozens?

Where is your voice when small children sit today in their homes scared from the fear of missiles that land on their heads - where is your voice for their blood?  Where is your voice for the right to living peacefully?

The State of Israel revealed unbounded restraint in the last period - patience which is not the lot of other nations of the world.  For example, England and France - if missiles would fall on Paris or London.

However, while the fear of missiles hovers over the heads of our children, we will not have any other choice but to respond harshly to these acts of terror in order to assure the most basic thing for a country to give to its citizens - personal security.

You, who have turned yourself in the eyes of the world into a symbol of the protection of human rights, need to stand today and condemn - with a clear voice - the terror organizations for their terrible crimes that they are doing today against citizens.

This is what I expect from you, first of all, as a human, and only afterwards, as a Jew.  If you seek justice, protect the rights of the children of Beer Sheva, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Sderot, and the rest of the settlements of the South to live just like all other children in the world.

Respectfully,

Eli Yishai

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Israel Under Attack

Bus bombing in Yerushalayim, rockets all over the South, body found in Revava, possibility of Syrian provocation in the North to get out of its own domestic issues.
Lybia is at war, Egypt is unstable, Bahrain, Yemen, I can go on and on.

Spring has sprung. We are Bein Ge'ula Lig'ula - between the redemption of פורים and that of פסח. War is in the air and on the streets. Yishma'el is going down fighting. Welcome to the year of Minha Gedola.

May we have no more bus bombings or rockets or babies murdered in their homes. May the suffering we have experienced be enough of a catalyst for the Ultimate Ge'ula במהרה בימינו - Amen.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Gog Umagog Scenario Becomes More Likely Due to "Gaddafi Precedent"

I was pointed to this article by Frank Gaffney Jr. over at the Center for Security Policy website which lays out the scenario how the US and coalition forces may want to attack Israel (ח"ו).  He says that the "Gaddafi Precedent" can show us that the U.S., led by President Obama and 3 female officials, who all played a role in going after the Libyan dictator, are all anti-Israel, and would have no problem setting up a scenario of the U.S. and its coalition partners attacking Israel (ח"ו).

Like I quoted in passing earlier, first comes Daniel 11:40 (which may have just been fulfilled) and then comes Daniel 11:41, where the King of the North (i.e. Gog) comes against the Land of Israel.

Hashem should protect us.

Hat tip: Batya

Monday, March 21, 2011

Recent Coalition Wars and Their Dates - the Kreplach Wars

  • In the first Gulf War, President George H. W. Bush amassed a coalition of 34 nations to fight against Sadaam Hussein (ימח שמו וזכרו)'s Iraq.  This war, where the coalition's military involvement started about 4 months after Hatzot of Friday of the Cosmic Clock, was declared over on Purim, 5751.
  • In the war against Afghanistan, President George W. Bush put together a coalition of many nations to fight the Taliban.  This war started on Hoshana Rabba, 5762.
  • In the second Gulf War, President George W. Bush amassed a smaller coalition of nations to finish off Sadaam Hussein.  This war started just after Purim, 5763.
  • A new war is taking place by a new Edom-led coalition against Qadaffi.  President Barack Hussein Obama is a major player in this coalition.  This war started on Purim, 5771.  It also started a bit more than 4 months before Minha Gedola of Friday of the Cosmic Clock.
123Holiday.net:
Kreplach - mince meat covered with dough, also triangular in shape. The reason for eating kreplach on Purim is implied in two ways, based on initials.
  • KRP - Kippur, Hoshana Rabba, Purim - these are the holidays on which we eat Kreplach, and they are connected with beating and striking (on the eve of Yom Kippur - 39 lashes that the penitents apply to themselves; Hoshana Rabba - striking the Arevot; Purim - striking Haman during the Megillah reading.
  • Based on the verse in the book of Deuteronomy (13:16): "Hakeh takeh et yoshvei ha-ir" (you will surely smite the inhabitants of that city"), and of course in relation to beating and striking: HAKEH TAKEH - Hoshana Rabba, Kippur, Haman - "Tochlu Kreplach Harbeh" (You will eat a lot of Kreplach!!!)
Between Hatzot and Minha Gedola is a time when one is forbidden to pray.  One may neither pray Shaharit nor Minha during this time.  Even Bedi'avad, while the Mishna Berura says that one need not pray again if he already prayed Shaharit during this time, many agree with the Beit Yosef that praying Shaharit during this time constitutes a Beracha Levatala - a blessing in vain.  Regarding one who mistakenly or purposely prayed Minha during this time, there are again two opinions on the matter.  The Mishna Berura quotes both opinions and concludes (in the Sha'ar Hatziyun) that the matter needs more research.  The Kaf HaHayim also quotes both opinions and comes out that it's valid since we are lenient when it comes to a doubt in blessings.  However, I reiterate that starting to pray at this time is forbidden.
 
Yishmael was born between Avraham's birth and Yitzhak's birth.  Avraham instituted Shaharit.  Yitzhak instituted Minha.  The no-man's-land time in between belongs to Yishmael.  We have seen the rise of Yishmael very prominently in the past 20 years.  On the other hand, we have also seen its being smitten by Edom many times - in the Kreplach Wars.  Yishmael's governments have been falling one by one recently.  Will they all fall by Minha Gedola?  We will soon see.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Zecher LeMahatzit HaShekel over $10.00/person - Almost Double Last Year

The amount per person for Zecher LeMahatzit Hashekel this year (I heard 9 grams of silver, but I now see this says a bit less than 10 grams of silver) has jumped to over $10.00! Last year, it was almost half that.

According to http://www.silverperounce.com/, when I enter 9 grams in, I get:

Values Entered:


Silver ounces: 0

Silver grams: 9

Purity: .999+ (pure)

Silver price: $35.24 / troy ounce

Answer:

Total silver value is $10.20.

If I enter 10 grams, it's $11.35!

According to http://silverprice.org/silver-price-history.html:



May we all have a happy Purim and help out the pur this Purim without going pur ourselves.

I tried to write Purim Torah this year, but I didn't like how it came out. Maybe I'll revise it and post it next year, as we know Purim will not be Bateil - no matter what happens.

Here are some cute Purim Torah links from the jblogosphere:

Hirhurim: נשים סומכות רשות או רשעות

Muqata: Harry Potter - the Sefer

Muqata: Goldstone Condemns World Jewry

Elder of Ziyon: Haaretz Covers Shushan

Purim Allegre/Happy Purim/Purim Same'ah to all!

The Islamic Revolution

Guest Post by Moshe Hayim Hassan


(Click the image above and then click "Download")

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Did the 10 Lost Tribes Make Their Way to Japan?

Updated

Remember this post, where I was disappointed not finding the English section of the 10 lost tribes book

Well, I found another book about the 10 lost tribes and the descendants of Moshe Rabbeinu, and this one has an English section in the back.
Anyways, on p.24 (pdf p.39) of that book, there's the following paragraph:
According to Milead's «History of Japan», 1879, he identifies
the Japanese with them; As they arrived in Japan about 2400
yr's ago; and the name of the first king was Hosea Ben 'Alo,
etc.
That's הושע בן אלה - as in the last King of Israel.

Really?

Update: Someone emailed this link to me. Interesting.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Rav Shmuel Brazil on Japan

One of the best takes I've seen so far on the Japan disaster here.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rav Mutzafi on the Fogel Massacre

Rav Mutzafi:
שאלה: על מה צריך להתפלל בעקבות רצח המשפחה, איך נבטל גזירות מהעם שלנו? מה נעשה?
תשובה: קול זעקה ויללה, קול נהי וקינה, על הריגת חמש נפשות תמימות וקדושות.

הנביא ירמיה (ט,כ) מקונן כי עלה מות בחלוננו בא בארמנותינו להכרית עולל מחוץ בחורים מרחובות. ועוד אמר (ח,כא) על שבר בת עמי השברתי, קדרתי, שמה החזיקתני.

הלילה הזאת כאשר שני הורים ושלשת תינוקיהם מוטלים טבוחים מולנו, מאנה הנחם נפשינו, איכה תנעם לנו שנתינו בלילה זה, איכה יערב לנו קול שיר וזמר, איכה נוכל לעסוק בתורה כמדי לילה ולרנן בה, בראותינו את הגזירה הנוראה שירדה עלינו ממרום, כי אש קדחה משמים בליל שבת קודש ויקרא אל משה, וחמשה בני משפחה יקרה נטבחו באכזריות נוראה על מיטותיהם בליל שבת קודש, ואש יצאה מאת השם ונלקחו נשמותיהם היקרות בסערה נוראה השמימה, איך שודדנו.

הלילה הזאת ליל שבעה באדר, יום פטירת רעיא מהימנא, הוא רועה נאמן שעמד להם לעם ישראל הקדושים, ימלאו 3283 שנים להסתלקותו מאתנו. כמה מסירות נפש ואהבה היתה לו לעם ישראל, איך שירת אותנו בנאמנה במצרים, אצל פרעה, התפלל אל השם יתברך, צעק אל השם בשעת קריעת ים סוף, העבירנו בתוכו והגיענו אל הר סיני, שם עלה והביא לנו את התורה, ולימד אותנו אותה במסירות נפש מוחלטת. וגם בנוסף 120 יום התפלל עד שחלה בגללינו, והשיב את חרון אף השם מישראל עמו, כשאמר ואם אין מחני נא מספרך.

נזכיר מה שאיתא בפתיחה דאיכה רבתי פרק כ"ד, משם נלמד כי גם אחר פטירתו הוא מתענין , מבקש, שואל ודורש על מצבינו. בזמן שנחרב בית המקדש הוא אומר לירמיהו הנביא תקח אותי ואראה את בני ישראל היוצאים לגלות ומי מניח ידו עליהם. ובמסכת סוטה יג, ב. (בעין יעקב) מובא בשם רבי חמא בר חנינא שאמר מפני מה נסתר מקום קברו של משה מעיני בשר ודם ? לפי שגלוי לפניו שעתיד בית המקדש ליחרב, וישראל גולים מארצם, שמא יבואו לקברו של משה ויבכו ויתחננו ועומד משה ומבטל את הגזירה, לפי שחביבים צדיקים במיתתם יותר מבחייהם.

ובמדרש דברים רבה ואתחנן, אמר להם ברגע פטירתו לישראל, בבקשה מכם כשתכנסו לארץ זכרו אותי ואת עצמותי ואמרו אוי לו לבן עמרם שרץ לפנינו כסוס ונפלו עצמותיו במדבר. והקדוש ברוך הוא פותח בקול בכיה מחריד וצועק מי יקום לי עם מרעים מי יתיצב לי עם פועלי און, עד שנחרדו כל מלאכי מרום ואתם נשמות הצדיקים, ובא ראש המלאכים שר הפנים של מעלה המלאך מ"ט ואמר רבונו של עולם , משה בחייו שלך ובמותו שלך, מפני מה אתה בוכה עליו ?

אמר לו הקדוש ברוך הוא אמשול לך משל, למלך שהיה לו בן, ובכל פעם היה מכעיס את אביו ומבקש להענישו, מיד היתה באה המלכה אמו שהיתה מאוד חביבה בעיני המלך ומתחננת עבור בנה, והיה מוחל לו בעבורה. לימים מתה המלכה והיה המלך זועק ובוכה ומתאבל וממאן להתנחם, באו השרים אל המלך ואמרו לו כלום חסר בבית המלך ? צוה לעבדיך ויביאו לך בת מיוחסת וטובה ממנה, אמר להם לא עליה בלבד אני בוכה ומיילל, אלא על בני, לפי שבכל שעה שהיה מכעיס וחוטא כנגדי, היתה באה ומפייסת אותי ואני מתפייס. עתה שמתה אמו מי יעמוד ויפייסני ? כך אמר לו הקב"ה למ"ט כשהיה משה בחיים בעולם הזה היה עומד ומוסר נפשו בעד ישראל ומבטל הגזירות, עתה שנפטר מי יקום לי עם מרעים ? מי יתייצב לי עם פועלי און ? ומי יעמוד בתפלה וימסור נפשו בעד ישראל ?

שאלת אותי ידיד מה נעשה ? הלכתי לארון הספרים והוצאתי את הגמרא וזאת מצאתי, במסכת כלה א, כ. רבי יהושע אומר בעון ביטול תורה שלנו מתים בנים קטנים. ובמסכת שבת לב, ב. איתא בכמה סיבות מתים קטנים בישראל, בעון נדרים , ביטול מזוזה, ציצית, שנאת חינם, וגזל. והכוונה כאשר אנחנו שותפים כולנו בתוצאות המעשה הלזה עלינו לקבל אחריות שגרמנו במעשינו שהמשחית יכל לבצע את זממו. עוד אמרו במסכת שבת לג, א. חרב באה לעולם על עינוי הדין, עיוות הדין, קלקול הדין, ועל ביטול תורה. ואמרו עוד שם בעון ניבול הפה יתומים צועקים.

נחמה אחת יש לי ואציין אותה, דע ידידי כי עתה יש עת רצון גדולה בשמים, ומי שיתחרט על מעשיו ויעשה איזה מצוה, יכול להבקיע את שערי הרחמים למעלה, כי אמרו בשם הזוהר על הפסוק כצאתי את העיר אפרוש כפי אל השם הקולות יחדלון והברד לא יהיה עוד , ופירש כי כשיוצאים צדיקים מהעולם, ואין לנו צדיקים היום יותר מאלה שנטבחו על היותם יהודים בידי אויבים אכזרים, נשמותיהם עולות לשמים, ודמויותיהם נחקקות על מעילו של השם יתברך המלא בדם החללים שלנו, והיא עת רצון לבטל הגזירות הרעות מעלינו. ומשיח צדקנו הלילה זועק מרה ומיילל, והשם יתברך נשבע לו כי בזכותם הוא ישלח את הגואל.

בואו ולא נחמיץ הלילה והיום את השעה, נשוב בתשובה ונתחזק באמונה, נצעק אל השם בעל הרחמים, והוא יראה את דמעותינו ויקבל את תפילתינו, ויושיעינו במהרה כשם שענה למשה רבנו בכל עת שעמד לפניו בתפילה, וכשם ששמע את תפלת מרדכי ואסתר ואת כל אותו הדור, ויושיעינו תשועת עולמים. בל נחמיץ את השעה.

הכותב בדמע ובתקוה , בן ציון מוצפי.

Rav Mutzafi was speaking on Adar 7 - Moshe Rabbeinu's Yahrtzeit.  It's too much to translate the whole thing, but I'll translate the last 3 paragraphs.  After being asked what we can do to cancel the decrees against us, he said:

You asked, my friend, "What can we do?" I went to the bookshelf and took out a gemara and found this in Mesechet Kallah 1:20: Ribbi Yehoshua says: For the sin of our Bittul Torah, small children die. In Mesechet Shabbat 32a, there are many reasons why children die in Israel: for the sin of vows, nullifying [the Mitzvot of] Mezuza, tzitzit, baseless hatred, and theft. The idea is that when we are all partners in the results of this incident, it is incumbant upon us to accept responsibility that we caused with our actions that The Destroyer can come to act upon his wishes.  Also, in Mesechet Shabbat 33a: a sword comes to the world for delaying justice, miscarriages of justice, haphazard justice, and Bittul Torah.  Also there: for the sin of Nivul Peh [profanity], orphans cry out.

I have one consolation, and I will point it out.  Know, my friend, that now there is a great Et Ratzon [time of acceptance] in Heaven, and one who will regret his past ways and do any Mitzva can break through the Gates of Mercy above.  For it is said in the name of the Zohar on the verse As soon as I am gone out of the city, I will spread forth my hands unto the LORD; the thunders shall cease, neither shall there be any more hail and it explains that when tzadikim leave the world - and today, we don't have tzadikim more than these who were slaughtered by the hands of cruel enemies for being Jewish - their souls go up to Heaven, and their images are engraved on the cloak of Hashem Yitbarach which is full of the blood of our corpses, and it is an Et Ratzon to nullify the evil decrees from upon us.  And Mashiah Tzidkeinu tonight is crying bitterly and wailing, and Hashem Yitbarach promises him that in their merit, He will send the redeemer.

Come, let us not waste the moment tonight and tomorrow.  Let us do Teshuva and strenghthen our Emuna.  We should cry to Hashem, who is the Master of Mercy, and He will see our tears and accept our prayers, and save us quickly just as He answered Moshe Rabbeinu at all times that he stood before Him in prayer and just as He heard the prayer of Mordechai and Esther and that entire generation, and He will save us an eternal salvation.  Let us not waste the moment.

He who writes with tears and hope, Ben Tzion Mutzafi

Rav Shteinman: We See Signs of the Geula

Behadrei Hareidim:
"אנחנו רואים בחוש סימני גאולה מגיעים, וכל דבר נוגע אלינו. לכלל ישראל. שום דבר לא מגיע בחינם", אמר הגראי"ל.
"We intensely see the signs of the Geula coming, and everything [that's been occurring in the world recently] applies to us - to Kelal Yisrael.  Nothing comes for no reason," said Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman.
See also Life In Israel.

King of the South Indeed - The United States of Africa

FoxNews: Gadhafi's pet project, US of Africa, moves forward:

JOHANNESBURG – As Libya's leader struggles to keep his grip on power, one of his pet projects appears to be moving ahead at the African Union, which took initial steps Tuesday toward creating his grand plan: the United States of Africa.

AU officials met Monday and Tuesday at the organization's Ethiopia headquarters to discuss the formation of the African Union Authority, an institution that would replace the existing AU Commission with the aim of eventually bringing Africa's countries under a single unity government.

For years, Moammar Gadhafi has touted the idea at AU summits and even canvassed West Africa to garner support. Some leaders have supported the idea. Others have urged the slow development of economic communities and allegiances that analysts say will let them cement their regional ties and position.

When eccentric Libyan leader became the union's chairman in 2009, AU members announced they would form the Authority, a plan they cemented later that year at a summit Gadhafi hosted in his hometown of Sirte.

In announcing the decision, Tanzanian president and outgoing AU head Jakaya Kikwete said of the transition: "the ultimate is the United States of Africa."

...

It is not clear whether Gadhafi's concept of a united Africa would be a democratic one. He attends the AU's annual summits flanked by a coterie of extravagantly dressed men who call themselves the "traditional kings of Africa" and describe Gadhafi as the lead king.
See my earlier post about this here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Debts Being Repayed

R' Lazer Brody explains that tragedies happen when Hashem collects debts.

I was just reading Esther Rabba 1:6, which basically says the same thing.

ר' לוי בשם ר' שמואל בר נחמן אמר כתיב (דניאל ז') ושער ראשה כעמר נקא שאין לכל בריה אצלו כלום ר' יודן בשם ר' איבו כתיב (ישעיה ס"ג) פורה דרכתי לבדי ומעמים אין איש אתי וגו' וכי לסיוען של אומות הקב"ה צריך שאמר ומעמים אין איש אתי אלא כך אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא לכשאבקר פנקסותיהן של או"ה ולא תמצא להן זכות לפני באותה שעה (שם) ואדרכם באפי וארמסם בחמתי ר' פנחס ור' חלקיה בש"ר סימון אמרי כתיב (זכריה י"ב) והיה ביום ההוא אבקש להשמיד את כל הגוים וגו' אבקש וכי מי מעכב אלא כך אמר הקב"ה לכשאבקר פנקסותיהן של או"ה ולא תמצא להן זכות לפני אותה שעה אבקש להשמיד את כל הגוים ר' סימון בש"ר יוחנן כתי' (דברי' ל"ב) לי נקם ושלם לעת תמוט רגלם וכי גבורה היא שאדם אומר לכשיתמוטטו שונאיהם של ישראל אני פורע מהם אלא כך אמר הקדוש ברוך הוא לכשיפסקו מצות הרגילות שבינותם ולא תמצא להם זכות לפני באותה שעה לי נקם ושלם ר' ברכיה בשם ר' לוי ור' הונא בשם ר' לוי ור' יודן בשם רבי לוי שלשתן אמרו פסוק אחד (תהלים כ"א) תמצא ידך לכל אויביך ימינך תמצא שונאיך תהא ידך מצויה ליפרע מאויביך תמצא להם מדת הדין תמצא להם מיעוט זכיותיהן שעשו לכך נאמר ימינך תמצא שונאיך:

Ribbi Levi says in the name of Ribbi Shemuel bar Nahman:  It is written: (Daniel 7:9) and the hair of his head like pure wool - for no creation can claim that G-d owes him anything. 

Ribbi Yudan [says] in the name of Ribbi Ayvo:  It is written: (Yeshaya 63:3I have trodden the winepress alone, and of the peoples there was no man with Me, etc.  Does HKB"H need the nations' help that He would say "and of the peoples there was no man with Me"?!?!  Rather, so said HKB"H:  When I will check the accounts of the nations and you will not find any merit for them before Me, at that moment, yea, I trod them in Mine anger, and trampled them in My fury.

Ribbi Pinhas and Ribbi Hilkiya said in the name of Ribbi Simon:  It is written: (Zecharia 12:9): And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.  I will seek?!?!  Who is stopping Him?!?!  Rather, so said HKB"H:  When I will check the accounts of the nations and you will not find any merit for them before Me, at that moment, I will seek to destroy all the nations.

Ribbi Simon [says] in the name of Ribbi Yohanan:  It is written: (Devarim 32:35): Vengeance is Mine, and recompense, against the time when their foot shall slip.  Is it considered powerful for a man to say "When Israel's enemies will slip, I will punish them"?!?!  Rather, so said HKB"H:  When the Mitzvot that they are accustomed to doing will cease and you will not find any merit for them before Me, at that moment, Vengeance is Mine, and recompense.

Ribbi Berechya in the name of Ribbi Levi, Ribbi Huna in the name of Ribbi Levi, and Ribbi Yudan in the name of Ribbi Levi all said the same verse: (Tehillim 21:9) Thy hand shall be equal to all thine enemies; thy right hand shall overtake those that hate thee.  Your hand should be available to punish your enemies - find for them the attribute of justice.  Find for them the small amount of merits that they did.  This is why it says: thy right hand shall overtake those that hate thee.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

5 Members of Family Murdered after Gush Katif Expulsion



In the video above, they talk about their moving to Itamar after being expelled from Gush Katif.

The barbarians have become לשכים בעינכם ולצנינם בצדיכם

Baruch Dayan Ha'emet.

Hashem Yikom Damam.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Some Say the Tsunami Was Predicted And More...

Kikar has an article with videos how the controversial figure R' Nir Ben Artzi predicted the tsunami.  According to this, Rav Dahan now has company as a tsunami-predicter.

You can see this prediction at Tomer Devorah's new blog - Geula Messages - from Parshat Ki Tisa (emphasis mine):
Every earthquake that passed over us was only preparation and introduction to open the big one - for the severe quake and great shaking in the world. The floods will be in places where man doesn't believe that there will be floods. Volcanic eruptions will be very severe. People will see in the media hard things that the eye of man will not be able to tolerate. Snows, rains, severe winds; the tsunami in readiness for many places; everything in stages and in it's proper time. All this HKB"H is doing for the sake of the Jews. The hatred for Jews all over the world strengthens from day to day. They won't be allowed to earn a living with honor. They will be injured in their stores, in restaurants, in coffee shops so that the Jews will come to Eretz Yisrael. The worldwide economy will go and die out in very place and Eretz Yisrael will flourish and develop without end. All of this is happening because of the redemption and revelation of Melech HaMashiach in our days.

The Mashiach is here among us. He is the final designated one from the beginning of the world and is here, existing and operating. There is no other time period that he will come, this is the period and this is the time to reveal Melech HaMashiach. HKB"H is shaking the whole world; shaking every one; shaking every Jew and Jewess in Am Yisrael and in the whole world so that everyone will declare: "His Name is One and He is One and there is nothing except for Him. He is the King of all kings, HaKadosh Baruch Hu."
Rav Binyomin Ederi, the Chabad Shliach in Japan, said:
“Today we had a major earthquake, thank G-d we are all fine. All the houses and buildings literally swung, trains are not operating, highways have been closed and phone lines down. There hasn’t been such a strong earthquake in the Tokyo area for at least 70 years. This is a very strong Tsunami.” and added “One of the signs of the Redemption is that the earth will shake and get worn out like a garment. We hope and pray that G-d will continue to protect Japan and all the people that no harm will befall anybody.

Thank you to all those that called, emailed, or prayed for us. May Hashem give you only good tidings.”
R' Harry Maryles:
The response throughout the ages among Jewish leaders to world events such as this is to first see it as obvious horror that it is and then to reflect upon our own behavior. It is a sort of ‘but for the grace of God – there go I’ feeling. We are urged to look inward and do a Cheshbon HaNefesh - an examination of our own personal lives and see what we can do as individuals - and as a people - to improve our behavior in the eyes of God.

Devorah from Mashiach Is Coming quoting from Avodah, quoting the Hafeitz Hayim:
"Several weeks ago I publicized an essay concerning the great earthquake that happened in our land. In that essay I encouraged Kelal Yisrael to do teshuva and that the earthquake was a warning to the entire world that they should repent of their evil ways and believe in Hashem Who controls all. Not for naught did all these terrifying and frightening things of this year come upon us. And now, we hear new and terrifying information about the great flood that took place in our land and the great earthquake that took place in Russia in which were killed and injured thousands of men, women and children and many livestock; many of them were buried alive. Even in our land we experienced some tremors of this earthquake. Certainly any thinking person should be gripped by fear and trembling as to what Hashem has done to us. The One who is good and does good to all and is merciful on all of His creations, and does not even desire the death of the wicked, as it says 'By My life, says Hashem, I do not desire the death of the wicked one, but rather that he repent and live'(Yechezkel 33).The understanding person will realize that Hashem is urging us to do teshuva and is showing us all that He has the power to as He pleases, and none of His creations of above or below can tell Him what to do. And it is clear to me that if we had prophets sent from Hashem, they would without doubt be standing guard to urge Jews to do teshuva to our Father in heaven. Because, with our evil deeds we have no prophets or divine messengers in our times, He is urging us through other messengers to do teshuva, as it says 'He makes winds-his messengers; burning fire-his servants."'

Devash from Tomer Devorah quotes an article that tells us that this earthquake was triggered from above in more ways than one:
A shockwave from an X-Class flare hit the earth during a 24 hour window of when Japan was hit by the quake. There have been connections to heightened solar activity being one of the many possible triggers of earthquakes. One meteorologist has studied geomagnetic field patterns in space weather since the early 2000s. "I may just be a weather guy, but solar weather has had my interest for years when I noticed the connection. Many past quakes have been connected with solar flare events, including other events such as Gamma Ray Bursts, or GRBs. I am pretty certain these have connections to triggering earthquakes, however I do not yet understand it. Japan's activity may not have happened if it was not for the solar flare activity. Others in weather laughed at me for years for what I worked on in quake triggers, however this just may help put that to rest".
One more thing:

There are those who think that Geula bloggers are all giddy when disaster strikes.  Well, that's true in a deep way, but not exactly.  It's kind of like Avraham Avinu when he was about to sacrifice Yitzhak Avinu.  The poet describes it as:

עַיִן בְּמַר בּוֹכָה וְלֵב שָׂמֵחַ
The eye cries bitterly, but the heart is joyous.

We hate seeing death and destruction as much as anyone.  It's a terrible thing.  Life is the most precious thing there is.  The loss of even one life is devastating.

On the other hand, we see it with a different lens than most.  We know that these terrible events are prophecies unfolding before us.  We know that just as the horrific prophecies have come true, so too, the positive prophecies of our Final Redemption are to come true.  This is why Ribbi Akiva laughed (at the end of Messechet Makkot) after seeing the Shu'al on Har Habayit.

In addition, there is a derasha to support this.  On the verse (Tehilim 2:11) עבדו את ה' ביראה וגילו ברעדה, the Yerushalmi (Berachot 5:1) says: א״ר אחא לכשיבא יום רעדה תגילו, and as Tosefot (Berachot 31a s.v. במקום גילה) explain: if someone prays to Hashem with fear, when a day of trembling comes, he will be happy.

That said, I beseech Hashem: May the trembling be over for Am Yisrael and may we be shown the signs that all agree are positive - at the time when Your face will no longer be hidden, Amen.

An Important Article on Geula Predictions

Here - at YWN.

Excerpt:
A friend who is a close student of the mashgiach of Yeshiva Torah Vodaas, Rav Moshe Wolfson, shlita, related to me that he spoke recently about the astonishing events of the past few weeks. He said, “The Midrash predicted the downfall of Yishmael in the days preceding the coming of Mashiach. The first step to that downfall is by the fall of Sar shelYishmael, the protective malach of Yishmael. Once the Sar shel Yishmael falls, then the entire nation will fall as well. It would seem that events of the last few weeks can be interpreted that it has started to happen. That it all started in the month of Adar, the month that we celebrate the downfall of Haman, which took place in Persia, makes it a good time to increase our davening, our limud haTorah, and acts of chesed.” That was themashgiach’s point. While it seems like things are unfolding the way the Midrash describes, we cannot say for sure, but we can and should be inspired to deepen our relationship withHaKadosh Baruch Hu at this opportune time.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Rav Ovadia Yosef Fights Back

Maran Ateret Rosheinu Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a has acquired many enemies through the years.  His enemies have come from all different camps - Hiloni, Dati Le'umi, Ashkenazi Hareidi, and even Sepharadi camps.  In fact, when Rav Ovadia was younger, defenders of the Ben Ish Hai even burned Rav Ovadia's books when he wrote Halachic decisions against the Ben Ish Hai's Pesakim.  There are many who shame, mock, and humiliate him constantly.  If they only knew the punishment they will receive for doing this...

Rav Ovadia says nary a word about those people.  The gemara Shabbat 88b applies:
 ת"ר עלובין ואינן עולבין שומעין
חרפתן ואינן משיבין עושין מאהבה ושמחין
ביסורין עליהן הכתוב אומר ואוהביו
כצאת השמש בגבורתו 

But now, a certain rabbi has decided to not perform a wedding ceremony because the food was under Badat"z Beit Yosef (the Hechsher under Rav Ovadia Yosef's son, Moshe) - and not another hechsher.  (See the comments there for my own personal history with that rabbi, which is relevant to what's going on.)

It turns out (according to Kikar) that this rabbi is now traveling to Argentina to collect money for his Yeshiva and was scheduled to speak in a synagogue there.  The people in Argentina asked Rav Ovadia himself if they should allow him to speak in that synagogue or if they should donate to his cause.

Normally, Rav Ovadia would give a Pesak Halacha to help out rabbis who need help - even if they have come out against him.  This time, he made an exception, and told the people not to allow him to speak and not to donate to his Yeshiva.  He called this particular rabbi:

שונא תלמידי חכמים על חינם, ומחרף ומגדף על לא כלום
one who hates Torah scholars for nothing, and blasphemes [against them] for nought

Those who were there explained that this rabbi is different than others in that in his Yeshiva, he incites to degrade Torah scholars, and therefore, it is forbidden to donate to his institutions and one may not allow him to speak in the holy congregations.

May this rabbi do complete Teshuva and may we only have Ahdut in Kelal Yisrael, Amen.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Recent Links of Interest

Updated
  • Akiva mentions and repeats a Ketz date of the 17th of Iyar this year, based on some Mekubalim. Some strange non-Jewish group agrees with that date too.
  • Rucho Shel Moshiach asks if Obama dreamt his own Gog prophecy.
  • Neshama composes Goliath and David - little Israel standing strong.
  • Shirat Devorah tells us not to panic.
  • Welcome back to Judah HaKohein. We wish you well.
  • קולמוס explains how the Arab unrest brings us towards the end of slavery.
  • The Curious Jew posts on the cRc's Starbucks List.
  • What's going on with the sudden rash of cases of brazen Sepharadi Roshei Yeshiva forcing Ashkenazi customs upon Sepharadi students at their weddings?  Case 1, Case 2, and Case 3.  The imposing of these customs has been going on a long time, I feel, but I never heard of this being done at the time of their weddings or leaving the weddings (in one case with his students) because of it.  And so many in such a short time period is odd.  Maybe it was just underreported until now. (Update: How to get accepted to an Ashkenazified Sepharadi Yeshiva - at Kikar (Hebrew) is very cute and pointed.)
  • The Maccabeats have a new Purim song (reported first to me on Modern Uberdox).  Being that I was perhaps the only Jblogger on the planet who neglected to post the Maccabeat's Hanukka song, I'll post that now as well.


Meanwhile, in Ivory Coast, it's the Consonants vs. the Vowels

The guy with too many consonants in a row is trying to keep power and not let the guy with too many vowels in a row take over.

Arutz Sheva:
While attention is riveted on Libya, a renewed civil war is simmering in the Ivory Coast between President Laurent Gbagbo, who lost the November 28 elections to Alassane Ouattara, but refuses to relinquish his post claiming fraud and intimidation at the polls.

(I don't usually joke about people's names so much - it must be Adar.)

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

MB Rep - Kishmo Kach Atido

Jpost:
A prominent member of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood this week became the first member of the Islamist group to visit Iran, where he praised Tehran’s leadership and denounced Israel.

The New York Post reported that Kamal El Helbawy – a London-based Islamic scholar and Brotherhood representative widely known as the movement’s face in the West – told his hosts he wished to see Egypt become, like Iran, “a true Islamic state.”

“Egypt and the world of Islam as a whole need leaders like President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,” he said, and “should join a new world order with Iran and Venezuela, plus Hezbollah and Hamas to chase away the Americans.

“Every night when I go to bed, I pray to wake up the next day to see Israel is wiped off the map,” the Brotherhood leader reportedly said.
I love this guy's name: Helbawy.  It sounds like:

Hell Ba.  Weeeee!!!!

which is mixed Hebrew and English for:

Hell is coming!  Weeeeee!!!!!!

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Purim Then and Now

R' Pinchos Lipschutz:

...

Perhaps that is because before we read the Megillah, we acknowledge that on this day of Purim, we are celebrating the miraculous deliverance of the Jews from Haman’s evil plan. But once we finish reading the entire story from beginning to end and we roll up the scroll, we recognize that just as the Yad Hashem becomes evident when reading the entire story as it transpired, so will we begin to realize the Divine Hand in so many other happenings which we thought were merely coincidental.

Therefore, when the Megillah is rolled up, we recite the blessing in the present tense and thank Hashem for fighting our battles, exacting retribution on our enemies and saving us in our times of danger. We now realize in hindsight how so many things which happened to us were not happenstance. We see history in a different light. We see our lives differently. Things that happened to us which we thought didn’t make sense are now viewed differently. People who are living through difficult, trying experiences are given new hope as they realize that everything happens for a higher reason and purpose. They look forward to the successful culmination of the nisayon.

These thoughts came to me in the merit of Sholom Mordechai ben Rivkah Rubashkin, whom we all daven for. He called me asking for a vort and some chizuk, and Hakadosh Boruch Hu put these ideas into my head to convey to him. For now, the purpose of his extreme suffering is still unrevealed. The way he accepts his lot, with emunah and bitachon, as he awaits his private giluy and geulah, can serve as a lesson to many of us as we stumble our way through life’s trials and tribulations in periods of seeming hester.

We are living through a historic period, when events are transpiring at a rapid pace. Countries are spiraling out of control, as the rest of the world watches helplessly. For no explainable reason, a plague of revolution has taken root in Arab states and is spreading like wildfire. Entrenched monarchies, dictators, and murderous sycophants who exercised tight control over a domicile public are either gone, going, or teetering.

...

People search for answers as to how this all started and why this is happening. They wonder why Obama is so impotent in the face of a historic opportunity to spread democracy in parts of the world which have never experienced it. People fear how all this will end. Where will the street revolutions lead? Will the forces of liberty triumph or will those who seek to pull the world backwards emerge victorious?

We, who read the Megillah, know that we have to wait for the last chapter to be written to understand the inexplicable events of our day. Currently unfolding in front of our eyes is a historic drama whose outcome no one can predict. It is a time for us to do as the Jews in Shushan did, bayomim haheim bazeman hazeh, engaging in self-improvement and beseeching Heaven that the story ends positively for us and for all of humanity.


Read the whole thing.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Moshe Rabbeinu's Descendants Will Return with 10 Tribes 2

Less than 2 years ago, I posted this Midrash Rabba that talks about the descendants of Moshe Rabbeinu returning.

On HebrewBooks.org, I found this book written in 5684 (1924):

"Includes respectable reports from discoveries of faraway islands, and from all the details of the areas of the 10 tribes and the descendants of Moshe [Rabbeinu] Alav Hashalom, who live further in from the Sambatyon River..."

The book is fascinating.  The table of contents lists an English section at the end of the book, but unfortunately, it was cut out of the HebrewBooks.org version.