Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Rosh Hashana 5772

May Hashem bless this year and bring with it the goals that we've long anticipated, but haven't yet achieved.

שנה טובה
כתיבה וחתימה טובה
תזכו לשנים רבות - נעימות וטובות

Have a good sweet new year.

Name Your 5 Top News Stories for 5771

Which 5 of these news stories would make it to your top 5 for 5771?

Please reply in the comments.
  1. Yemeni cargo headed toward Chicago
  2. Rockets from Gaza
  3. Yerushalayim bombing
  4. Syrians infiltrating
  5. Fogel massacre
  6. Daniel Viflic
  7. Bin Laden executed
  8. Leiby Kletzky
  9. Cairo embassy riot
  10. Migron destruction
  11. Terror in Eilat
  12. Rahm becomes mayor
  13. Wikileaks
  14. Rav Amsalem
  15. Minha Gedola of 6th millennium
  16. Goldstone's partial retraction
  17. Bibi speaks to congress
  18. Bibi speaks to UN
  19. Palestinians attempt statehood
  20. Blago convicted
  21. Yoel Goldstein is released
  22. US Mid-term elections
  23. Obama-care passes
  24. Blizzard in NY
  25. Blizzard in Chicago
  26. Fire in Carmel
  27. Australia floods
  28. Birds and fish dying
  29. Japan earthquake and tsunami
  30. New Zealand earthquake
  31. Grimsvotn volcano
  32. Spain earthquake
  33. Hurricane Irene
  34. Eastern US earthquake
  35. Egypt
  36. Tunisia
  37. Syria
  38. Iran
  39. Bahrain
  40. Yemen
  41. Libya
  42. Ivory Coast
  43. Turkey-Israel relations
  44. Rav Yehuda Mualem
  45. Rav Lefkowitz
  46. Rav Koppelman
  47. Rav Stein
  48. Rav Menashe Klein
  49. Baba Elazar
  50. Rav Lifshitz
  51. Spinka Rebbe of Yerushalayim
  52. Ongoing incarceration of Jonathan Pollard
  53. Ongoing incarceration of Gilad Shalit
  54. Ongoing incarceration of Sholom Rubashkin
  55. Ongoing incarceration of Alan Gross
  56. Ongoing incarceration of Jacob Ostreicher
  57. Ongoing incarceration of Yaakov Yosef Gruenwald
  58. Ongoing destruction of the Beit Hamikdash
If there is a major story that you think I missed, let me know in the comments.

תכלה שנה וקללותיה
תחל שנה וברכותיה

Piyut Yomi #24: Daily Double Hayom Harat Olam and Et Sha'arei Ratzon

Because I ran out of days, we're doing another Piyut Yomi Daily Double

(I love Ashkenazim, but my one pet-peave with them is when they say "Hayom Haras Olam".
!חס ושלום)

Today's Piyut: Hayom Harat Olam
Composed by: Unknown
Version I'm most familiar with
: this

My all-time favorite Rosh Hashana song:

Today's Piyut: Et Sha'arei Ratzon
Composed by: Ribbi Yehuda Ben Shemuel Ibn Abbas
Version I'm most familiar with
: this

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Former Chief Rabbi: 5772 Needs Special Prayers

Arutz Sheva:
Rav Bakshi Doron: This Year Requires Special Prayers


The former Chief Rabbi, Rav Eliyahu Bakshi Doron, said Tuesday in an exclusive Arutz Sheva interview that this year, 5772, requires a special effort in prayer. "This year we need to ask for ever more mercy, that G-d will hear our prayers, as we say –' Though a host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war should rise up against me, even then will I be confident' (Psalms 27).

"To our sorrow," he elucidated, "there are some who think and connive to make trouble and an intifada against the nation of Israel, but 'even then I will be confident' – by the grace of G-d, we are certain that 'For G-d will not cast off His people, nor will He forsake His inheritance' (Psalms 94). For this we must pray."

Piyut Yomi #23: Hashem Shamati

Today's Piyut: Hashem Shamati
Composed by: Unknown
Version I'm most familiar with
: this

Monday, September 26, 2011

Interesting Recent Links

Jews by the Numbers News:
Turkey and Iran News:
(BTW, Turkey joining with Iran.  Anyone remember these posts?)

Sky is Falling News:
Terrorism News:
  • CosmicX knew Asher Palmer, who, along with his infant son, were brutally killed by a rock thrown by a moving car to the window of their car at a high speed.  CosmicX also notes a similar incident that happened to him years ago, but with a much less tragic outcome.
  • No Taba for Rosh Hashana
Gedolei Yisrael News:
New Year, New World News:

Piyut Yomi #22: Hashem Bekol Shofar

BTW, this piyut is 100% Geula-related.

Today's Piyut: Hashem Bekol Shofar
Composed by: Unknown
Version I'm most familiar with
: this

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Piyut Yomi #21: Daily Double - Yedei Rashim and Shin'anim Sha'ananim

Because these songs are very similar - one for Rosh Hashana and one for Yom Kippur (and because I'm running out of days), we're doing a Piyut Yomi Daily Double

Today's Piyut: Yedei Rashim
Composed by: Ribbi Yehuda Halevi
Version I'm most familiar with
: this

Today's Piyut: Shin'anim Sha'ananim
Composed by: Ribbi Shelomo Ibn Gabirol
Version I'm most familiar with
: this

Friday, September 23, 2011

Netanyahu at the UN

Full Transcript here

Piyut Yomi #20: Hon Tahon

Today's Piyut: Hon Tahon
Composed by: Unknown
Version I'm most familiar with
: this

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Refuah Sheleima to...

Rav Elyashiv Shlit"a
Yosef Shalom Ben Chaya Musha

Rav Ovadia Shlit"a
Ovadia ben Gorgia

Yad L'Achim founder Rav Sholom DovBer Lifshitz
Shalom DovBer ben Zlata Masha
Update: he passed away today.  ברוך דין האמת.

Singer Medad Tasa's older brother who was found floating in the Mikveh
Aviel Hayim ben Varda

Please also add a family friend who needs a refuah Sheleima:
Aharon ben Gittel

 אל נא רפא נא להם, אל נא רפא נא להם

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Nitzavim/Vayelech, 5771 - Part 2

Actually, part 1 was really a special edition, but I already called it part 1, so I'll call this one part 2.  Just a few things gleaned from his latest.

  • The verse אִם יִתָּקַע שׁוֹפָר בְּעִיר וְעָם לֹא יֶחֱרָדוּ ["Shall the horn be blown in a city, and the people not tremble?"] has the gematria of כ"ה אלול ה'תשע"א.
  • [YY - Rav Fish removed the "rarity" of 25 Elul falling on Shabbat in this latest version, just adding that the same will occur in 2 years and in 3 years.]
  • The Rav who instructed people to store water and food now says that there will be no war soon as we merited to sweeten the judgement against us.
  • Perhaps, when it says וענו אשור וענו עבר, that refers to Turkey starting up with Greece and Cyprus.
  • Perhaps, after Mubarak had a personal disagreement with Erdogan [YY-is this true?], now that Mubarak is no longer in power, Erdogan went to Egypt and is now "conquering" Egypt, which is how the Ibn Ezra on Daniel 11:36-40 explains it.
  • Not only is ארדואן=ארס, but it also equals איראן.
  • Commentator Berit Olam on Sefer Hasidim (928) says that there are 424 chapters of Mishnayot, which equals the gematria of משיח בן דוד.
  • Hagaon R' Avraham Meisels from Montreal says if you count the verses from the beginning of the Torah to the 5771st verse, you get to: כִּי-אֵשׁ קָדְחָה בְאַפִּי,   וַתִּיקַד עַד-שְׁאוֹל תַּחְתִּית;    וַתֹּאכַל אֶרֶץ וִיבֻלָהּ,   וַתְּלַהֵט מוֹסְדֵי הָרִים [For a fire is kindled in My nostril, and burneth unto the depths of the nether-world, and devoureth the earth with her produce, and setteth ablaze the foundations of the mountains.], which makes sense due to all the disasters, tragedies and poverty that has befallen us lately.  Also, if you start from end going backwards toward the beginning, the 5771st verse is:  בְּזֵעַת אַפֶּיךָ, תֹּאכַל לֶחֶם, עַד שׁוּבְךָ אֶל-הָאֲדָמָה, כִּי מִמֶּנָּה לֻקָּחְתָּ:  כִּי-עָפָר אַתָּה, וְאֶל-עָפָר תָּשׁוּב [In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken; for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.]
  • In the United States, Motza'ei Shemita, 5761 was שמיטת קרקעות [Shemitta of the land - as the twin towers fell].  Motza'ei Shemita, 5768 was שמיטת כספים [Shemitta of money - as that started the economic downturn].  We hope that Motza'ei Shemita, 5775 will be the completion of the filtering of good from bad as the Ariza"l said.

The 50th & 51st Verses of the Double-Perasha

Rav Fish, quoting R' Y.M. Morgenshtern Shlit"a, about Nitzavim/Yayeilech:
And these [2] Parshiyot have 70 verses, and when we make a calculation and divide the aforementioned 70 verses into these 100 years, it comes out that every verse corresponds to 70% of a year, which is a bit more than two thirds of a year [YY - I think he meant to say that every year corresponds to 70% of a verse, which is a bit more than two thirds of a verse - not the other way around]. We see from here that the year 5771 is in the 50th verse: וַיְצַו מֹשֶׁה, אוֹתָם לֵאמֹר: מִקֵּץ שֶׁבַע שָׁנִים, בְּמֹעֵד שְׁנַת הַשְּׁמִטָּה--בְּחַג הַסֻּכּוֹת [And Moses commanded them, saying: 'At the end of every seven years, in the set time of the year of release, in the feast of tabernacles], and see there that Moshe Rabbeinu commanded them about the Mitzva of Hak'hel in the year after Shemitta. And it's known what Haza"l say that in the year after the seventh, Mashiah Ben David comes. Since this is the year that is coming upon us for good, despite the fact that according to the Shemitta cycle, this is not the year after Shemitta, nevertheless, according to the spiritual lights that are drawn from above, this year is considered like the year after the seventh.

We get to the 50th verse because 0.71x70=49.7 (where 0.71 corresponds to the year of our century and 70 refers to the 70 verses in Nitzavim/Vayeilech).

In the upcoming year, we get to the 51st verse:
בְּבוֹא כָל-יִשְׂרָאֵל, לֵרָאוֹת אֶת-פְּנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בַּמָּקוֹם, אֲשֶׁר יִבְחָר: תִּקְרָא אֶת-הַתּוֹרָה הַזֹּאת, נֶגֶד כָּל-יִשְׂרָאֵל--בְּאָזְנֵיהֶם

when all Israel is come to appear before the LORD thy God in the place which He shall choose, thou shalt read this law before all Israel in their hearing.

This is because 0.72x70=50.4, which is into the number 51.

I would like to focus on some other interesting aspects of the 50th and 51st verses. 

1) The word מקץ.  I remember reading in a sefer, but I don't remember where, that the word מקץ is mentioned 9 times in the Torah.  Each time, it refers to a monumental point in time - a Ketz.  I don't remember what the sefer said, so the following reasons for each verse are my own (let me know if you can find better reasons, as these were thought up quickly):
  1. Bereishit 4:3 - First case of conflict in the world
  2. Bereishit 8:6 - Beginning of new world after the flood
  3. Bereishit 16:3 - Beginning of Yishmael in the world
  4. Bereishit 41:1 - First case of individual redemption in the world
  5. Shemot 12:41 - First case of national redemption in the world
  6. Bemidbar 13:25 - First case of national mourning in the world
  7. Devarim 9:11 - Beginning of Torah in the world
  8. Devarim 15:1 - Beginning of acknowledging that all money belongs to Hashem?
  9. Devarim 31:10 - Beginning of all Jews - men, women, and children - united in the Beit Hamikdash
2) The word מועד.  This word has a very close connection with Mashiah, as in the verse אתה תקום תרחם ציון כי עת לחננה כי בא מועד.  Also, in Sefer Daniel.

3) בְּבוֹא כָל-יִשְׂרָאֵל, לֵרָאוֹת אֶת-פְּנֵי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בַּמָּקוֹם, אֲשֶׁר יִבְחָר besides the simple meaning of being Oleh Regel for Hak'hel, has another connotation of Kibbutz Galuyot.

Piyut Yomi #19: Ahot Ketana

Today's Piyut: Ahot Ketana
Composed by: Ribbi Avraham Hazan Girondi
Version I'm most familiar with
: this

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Piyut Yomi #18: Ribbono Shel Olam Etvadeh Al Aveirot

Today's Piyut: Ribbono Shel Olam Etvadeh Al Aveirot (the default tune here used on the piyut site is the using the wrong Ribbono Shel Olam - it's the Ribbono Shel Olam before blowing shofar)
Composed by: Unknown
Version I'm most familiar with: this

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Abbas, Like Arafat YM"S Before Him, Uses Unilateral Terrorism

Congressional Record Sep. 6, 2000:

Exhibit 1
US Senate
Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Washington, DC, March 31, 1999
Chairman Yasser Arafat.
President of the National Authority.
Gaza City, GAZA. Palestinian National Authority.

Dear Mr. Chairman: Thank you very much for coming to my Senate hideaway and for our very productive discussion on March 23.
Following up on that discussion, I urge that the Palestinian Authority not make a unilateral declaration of statehood on May 4 or on any subsequent date. The issue of the Palestinian state is a matter for negotiation under the terms of the Oslo Accords.
I understand your position that this issue will not be decided by you alone but will be submitted to the Palestinian Authority Council.
When I was asked at our meeting whether you and the Palestinian Authority would receive credit for refraining from the unilateral declaration of statehood, I replied that I would go to the Senate floor on May 5 or as soon thereafter as possible and compliment your action in not unilaterally declaring a Palestinian state.
I look forward to continuing discussions with you on the important issues in the Mid-East peace process.

Sincerely,

Arlen Specter.



Exhibit 2
US Senate
Committee on Veterans' Affairs
Washington, DC, August 18, 2000
Chairman Yasser Arafat.
President of the National Authority.
Gaza City, GAZA. Palestinian National Authority.

Dear Chairman Arafat: On March 23, 1999, when you visited my Senate Office in Washington, I urged you not to make a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood, which had been discussed as a possibility for May 4, 2000 [YY - should be 1999]. At that time, I told you that I would make a statement on the Senate floor on May 5, 1999, praising your decision not to declare statehood unilaterally if, in fact, you made that decision. You did not declare statehood on May 4, 1999; and, as promised, I made the statement on the Senate floor. For your re-review, I enclose a copy of that statement.
Now, again, there is talk that there may be a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood on September 13, 2000. Again, I urge you not to make such a declaration, but to continue negotiations to try to work out an overall agreement with Israel.
I know that there is a strong feeling, both in the United States Senate and the United States House of Representatives, as well as that expressed by President Clinton, that there be no such unilateral declaration of statehood.
There has been tremendous support in the Senate and House, as well as from the President, for an overall peace settlement and that Congressional support has included U.S. contributions to implement such an accord. That Congressional support would certainly be eroded by a unilateral declaration of statehood.
If you do not make such a unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood on September 13, I will again speak on the Senate floor in praise of your restraint.
Again, I urge you to renew discussions with Israel for an overall settlement.
I look forward to our next meeting when you are in Washington or I am in the Mid-east.

Sincerely,

Arlen Specter.

Arafat, YM"S, used terrorism with guns and used terrorism with meetings. He threatened unilateral actions to get praised on the senate floor. Of course, we know what happened later that September - the start of the Oslo War, which we all know was supported by Arafat.

Abbas, Arafat's Talmid Muvhak, is no different. He seems to be pressing ahead with his unilateral campaign, but it may be a way of getting as many last-minute concessions as possible before Friday and then pulling out at the last minute. Either way, it's terrorism. Terrorism is terrorism is terrorism - it's all these bums knew their whole lives and it's all they'll ever know. Whether it's in a kefiyah and khakis or a suit and a tie, it's all the same. It's a way of life for them.

May Hashem help those who lead us make the right decisions.

Piyut Yomi #17: Lema'ancha Elokai

Today's Piyut: Lema'ancha Elokai
Composed by: Ribbi David Ibn Bakuda
Version I'm most familiar with: this

Monday, September 19, 2011

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Nitzavim/Vayelech, 5771

- click here and then click on "Download"

I have the beginning of this copied from here. Please read until the end.

And it's also brought down in the introduction to the book "Yam Hahochma" from the Gaon Rav Y.M. Morgenshtern Shlit"a (5771):
As the new year comes upon us - the year 5771, it's proper to start off with what is brought down in the Likutei Hagr"a, which is published at the end of Sefer Emuna VeHashgaha by Rav Shemuel Milatzan Z"L, and this is what he writes:
I heard from Harav Hagaon the Elder Moreinu Harav Yitzhak Margaliot, the Av Beit Din of Szczuczyn, Poland, who heard from the light of the diaspora Moreinu Harav Hayim Volozhin Z"L, that the Gr"a Z"L said that in the book Mishne Torah [Sefer Devarim], it is hinted in every Parsha everything that will occur in the 100 years of the sixth millennium - the 10 parshiyot correspond to the 10 centuries because Nitzavim and Vayeilech are counted as 1, as is known. [YY - see also this post.] And Moreinu Rav Hayim asked him, "Where are we hinted to in Parshat Ki Tetzei, which corresponds to the sixth century that we are currently in?" And [the Gr"a] answered him that his name is hinted to in the word "Even Shelomo" [YY - the phrase is really Even Sheleima, but has the same letters as Even Shelomo, meaning "son of Shelomo" as the Gr"a's father's name was Shlomo Zalman].
And his words are based on the words of the Gr"a in his commentary on Shir Hashirim that the Torah is made of 6 books since the story of Creation is considered a book on its own. And similarly, the Rav who authored the Avodat Hakodesh wrote, "The Written Torah contains 6 ends. And also the oral Torah has 6 Sedarim corresponding to the 6 ends..." because these 2 Torot are intertwined together and are influenced by each other... And these 6 books correspond to the 6000 years of the world, and the Mishne Torah [Sefer Devarim] corresponds to the sixth millennium and contains 10 Parshiyot - each Perasha corresponds to a century. And we already said that in Parshat Nitzavim/Vayeilech, everything that is done during this century is hinted to.
And also, the Parshiyot of Nitzavim/Vayelech hint to the fact that the century is split into 2 situations: "Nitzavim" hints to the the "Matzav" [situation] of the exile in which we are standing and anxiously waiting.  "Vayelech" hints to the Redemption that we are going away from the exile.  Also, Nitzavim is the portion in which Hashem promises the Future Redemption
that then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the peoples, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine that are dispersed be in the uttermost parts of heaven, from thence will the LORD thy God gather thee, and from thence will He fetch thee. And the LORD thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it; and He will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers. And the LORD thy God will circumcise thy heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live. And the LORD thy God will put all these curses upon thine enemies, and on them that hate thee, that persecuted thee. And thou shalt return and hearken to the voice of the LORD, and do all His commandments which I command thee this day.
We found in the Zohar (Balak 212b) that in the beginning of the process of the coming of Mashiah, the day of the 25th of Elul - which is the first day of the creation of the world - will fall out on a Shabbat. And in 5771, the 25th of Elul falls out on Shabbat. This is something very rare - especially in recent years and the ones coming up. [YY - I'm not seeing the rarity that Rav Fish is seeing, as I've seen the 25th of Elul fall on Shabbat on 5750, 5753, 5757, 5764, 5767, last year in 5770, and again in 5773 and 5774. צע"ג.] And in addition, we read this Shabbat the Parshiyot of Nitzavim/Vayelech which correspond to the current century and to Redemption. And we will bring down the wording of the Zohar from its translation [from the translation into Hebrew]:
[The verse says:]"I see him, but not now" - because these things - some of them were fulfilled at that time, some of them were fulfilled at a later date, and some at the time of the King Mashiah. We learned that in the future, HKB"H will build up Yerushalayim and will show 1 set star, shining on 70 planets [?], and it shines in the middle of the heavens in 70 directions, and 70 other stars will be swallowed up into it, and it will continue to shine for 70 days. And on the sixth day, it will be seen - on the 25th of the sixth month. And on the seventh day, it will enter the end of the 70 days. On the first day, it will appear in the city of Rome, and on that day, the 3 upper walls of the city of Rome will fall, and a great palace will fall, and the ruler of that city will die. Then, that star will spread to be seen in the world. And at that time, strong wars will be awakened in the world - in all 4 directions - and faith will not be found among them. And in the middle of the world, when that star will shine in the middle of the sky, a great king will arise and rule world, and he will be arrogant over the other rulers, and he will initiate wars on two sides, and he will overcome them. And on the day that the star will be create, the Holy Land will shake 45 miles around the place where the Beit Hamikdash was, and an underground cave will be revealed. And from that cave, a strong fire will emerge to burn the world. And from that cave, a great, supreme bird will grow that will rule over the whole world, and the rulership will be given to him. And supreme holy ones will gather to him, and then, the King Mashiah will be revealed in the entire world, and the rulership will be given to him. And the people of the world - at the time that he will be revealed - will be caught up in trouble after trouble and the enemies of Israel will become stronger. Then, the spirit of Mashiah will be awakened upon them, and will cut off the wicked Edom and the entire Land of Se'ir, he will burn with fire. [For] then, it is written "while Israel doeth valiantly". That is what is meant with what is written, "And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also, even his enemies, shall be a possession" - the enemies of Israel.

And I also heard that there is a call up of reserves in the army in the Land of Israel for all soldiers this coming Thursday. From the beginning, they decided to call them up for one day to avoid confusion and they will later decide if they are necessary to continue.

And on Friday, the Palestinians are expected to announce their state in the UN at a time when it's already Shabbat in the Land of Israel. The implication of this announcement is a declaration of war. All these things are not simple at all when Turkey and Egypt are already in a state of declaration of war. In addition, I heard that Gedolei Yisrael, Maranan VeRabanan, Hagaon Rav Elyashiv Shlit"a, Hagaon Rav Shteinman Shlit"a, and Hagaon Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlit"a expressed to those close to them that they are very very concerned about the upcoming Shabbat. All this I heard from someone who is very close to one of the aforementioned Gedolim. And he added that the loss of conciousness that happened to Rav Elyashiv this past Friday is related to this matter. (And Baruch Hashem, he returned to normal.) And it was also publicized in the newspapers at the end of last week in that name of Rav Shteinman Shlit"a that there is a dangerous situation for Am Yisrael and we need to pray.

And I also heard in the name of the Gerrer Rebbe (the source is unconfirmed) that he instructed many of his followers not to prepare yet where they will celebrate the upcoming Rosh Hashana until next week. And I also heard a few weeks ago from one of the great Mekubalim Shlit"a that it's worth storing water and food (but mainly water) because power shortages are expected, which can cause problems in providing water.

Even though it is not our normal way at all to write things similar to this, since they are coming from multiple sources which are mostly reliable, we need to be concerned, and we hope that we're proven wrong and we will merit a complete sweetening [of judgements] so that everything will be with mercy. And the main thing of the main thing is: we need to increase - during these upcoming days - learning the Zohar and the inner secrets of the Torah because through doing so, Ribbi Shimon Bar Yohai promised that it sweetens the Redemption process that it should come with mercy. And we should all merit to be written and sealed for a good, sweet new year, a year of Redemption and salvation with simple mercy.

Piyut Yomi #16: Im Afes

Today's Piyut: Im Afes
Composed by: Ribbi Efraim ben Yitzhak of Ranshberg
Version I'm most familiar with: this (Jo Amar)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Recent Interesting Links

  • Rav Shteinman Shlit"a says Tefillot should be increased, including Tehillim chapters 20, 93 83, 130, and 142 due to the matzav.  R' Adlerstein over at Cross-Currents tells us that the next week is likely to be very scary and the best way to conquer the Palestinians' request for a state and the violence that לא עלינו may arise from it is "davening up a storm".
  • Rav Ovadia Shlit"a said that right-wingers are G-d-fearing people, while left-wingers are destructive angels.  Relating to the hurricane in the U.S., Rav Ovadia said that this was decreed on Rosh Hashana, adding, "For us, Baruch Hashem, there is no Typhoon - we have Ribbi Tarfon - we sit and learn Torah."  May he continue to do so for many more years to come.
  • After Dov Bar Leib posted his thoughts that Hoshana Rabba is the last time for Teshuva for common decency, Shirat Devorah has some more info about the harsh decrees that were לא עלינו decreed upon us, saying it's delayed until Hoshana Rabba.
  • Rafi has a follow-up post and video to my post about the Israeli round-the-world bicyclist.

Piyut Yomi #15: Shomer Yisrael

Today's Piyut: Shomer Yisrael
Composed by: Unknown
Version I'm most familiar with: this

Friday, September 16, 2011

Latest Geula Update from Rav Fish - Parshat Ki Tavo, 5771

Gleaned from the PDF, which can be found here.


I similarly heard from a Jew who heard from a grandson of Harav Mendel ZT"L from Bnei Brak that Harav Mendel said after the Six Day War that we need to wait another 45 years for the coming of Mashiah because of the verses in the end of Daniel (1335-1290=45). And he also said in his name that he said dozens of years ago that before Mashiah's arrival, the United States will have a black president.

...

[After repeating what he said here]

And in a deeper sense, that which we see in the verses - the downfall of Gog Umagog will be like this - that on the road to Yerushalayim, they will fight against Egypt and will arouse a war of Edom against Yishmael. It comes out according to this that Egypt, in its war against Israel, is acting for Israel's benefit. It appears that this comes from the awakening of the root of the Exodus from Egypt to assist Am Yisrael because every light leaves an imprint in the place that it was shining, and in Egypt, the imprint remained from the Exodus from Egypt. And this root acts via the Kelipa of Egypt for Israel's benefit. And even though the roads to it enactment sometimes lead to war against Am Yisrael, the root of all this acts - when all is said and done - for Israel's benefit, as we explained, and this shows that root is for Israel's benefit.

And truthfully, this is what occurred in WWII - that their downfall was in Egypt as they didn't succeed in going up to Yerushalayim. And it is similarly told over about the Baba Sali ZT"L who did not allow the bones of his grandfather, Harav Hagaon Ribbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira ZT"L, from Egypt, and said that there is a great Sod that is connected to the Redemption why he needs to specifically be buried in Egypt.

And it's also brought down in the book "Avir Yaakov" (p. 186) that during WWII, when there was a great fear of the Germans going up to the Land of Israel, Harav Hagaon Ribbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira ZT"L appeared in a dream to Harav Hagaon Ribbi Yitzhak Alfia ZT"L - one of the great Kabbalists living in Israel at the time - and told him to come and pray at his gravesite in Egypt, and the wording in the book is that he told him in the dream, "Is it for nothing that I am buried here in Egypt?" And many miracles occurred until he was able to come. On the day that he arrived there and prayed at the gravesite, the Germans inherited their downfall in Egypt.

And Harav Hagaon R' Shimon Shapira Shlit"a that also during the destruction of the first Beit Hamikdash, Egypt tried to get involved for Israel's benefit, as it says (Yirmiya 37:7-8) "'Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel: Thus shall ye say to the king of Judah, that sent you unto Me to inquire of Me: Behold, Pharaoh's army, which is come forth to help you, shall return to Egypt into their own land. And the Chaldeans shall return, and fight against this city; and they shall take it, and burn it with fire." And it's also brought down in Rashi (Yirmiya 47:1) When Nevuchadnezar beseiged Yerushalayim in the 10th year of Tzidkiyahu, the army of Par'o went out of Egypt and the Chaldeans went up from Jerusalem. Par'o heard this and flooded Gaza and returned to his country.

And Harav Hagaon R' Moshe Levinger Shlit"a adds that we see a connection with the ships that left the land of Turkey as the beginning of the Gog Umagog War, as is brought down in [what's known as] the Targum Yonatan Ben Uziel on the last verse of Bil'am's prophecy (Bemidbar 24:24) "But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim, and they shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall come to destruction." and the Targum Yonatan says "וציצין יצטרחן במני זיינא ויפקון באכלוסין סגיאין מן למברניא ומארע אטליא ויצטרפון בלגיונין דיפקון מן קוסטנטיני ויצערון לאתוראי וישעבדון כל בנוי דעבר ברם סופהון דאיליין ואליין למיפל ביד מלכא משיחא ויהוון עד עלמא לאובדנא" [see the various ways to translate this here in which bedoheik could have meant the flotilla ships, but I'd say it's a little less doheik to say it's warships. See also this recent Shirat Devorah post.] And the Targum Yerushalmi adds there "דרומאי" [i.e. the south] which hints to Egypt which is found in the south. And it's also brought down in the Targum Yonatan there (verse 19), "And a ruler will arise from the house of Yaakov and will destroy and demolish the remnant of Constantinople - the wicked city."

And it is similarly brought down in the Ibn Ezra (Daniel 11:36) "And know that Aram is northwest of Israel and Constantinople is also north. 'And at the time of the Keitz' means when the end of the King of the North will arrive, who said and was successful until the anger was finished, then the Keitz of the Redeemer will arrive, as he will explain. And behold, he didn't mention when this will be - he just mentioned that this is the king that went out and waged war against the king of Egypt and will capture Egypt and will come to the Land [of Israel] and will be killed there, and after a known number of days from the day of his death, a Redeemer will come to Israel."

And I also heard in the name of Harav Hagaon R' Mordechai Elishar Shlit"a that the name of Turkish leader Erdogan - ארדואן is that same gematria [with the Kollel] as ארס - venom.

Piyut Yomi #14: Kah Shema Evyonecha

Today's Piyut: Kah Shema Evyonecha
Composed by: Ribbi Yehuda Halevi
Version I'm most familiar with: this

Thursday, September 15, 2011

If Only Rashi and Rashbam Would Have Seen the Zohar...

Pesahim 118b:

אמר רבי שמעון בן לקיש מאי דכתיב מושיבי עקרת הבית אמרה כנסת ישראל לפני הקב״ה רבש״ע שמוני בניך כחולדה זו הדרה בעיקרי בתים

Ribbi Shimon Ben Lakish said: What does the following verse mean: "Moshivi Akeret Habayit"?  The Kenesset Yisrael said before HKB"H, "Master of the universe, Your sons have placed me as a weasel that lives in the [cracks in the] foundations of the houses."
Rashba"m there:

אמרה כנסת ישראל. הזקנים והחשובים שבהן אמרו על שאינם חשובים כל כך כדמשמע אם הבנים שהאם צועקת על הבנים ששמוה עקרת הבית:


The Kenesset Yisrael said. The elders and important ones among them said about those who are not as important - as is implied "Eim habanim" - that the mother cries over her children who have placed her [in the cracks of the] foundation of the house.
Ben Yehoyada there:


שם אמרה כנסת ישראל לפני הקב״ה. פירש רש״י ז״ל הזקנים והחשובין שבהם אמרו על שאינן חשובין כ״כ. הנה רש״י ז״ל היה מוכרח לפרש כן אע״פ שראה את פירושו זה דחוק מאד מפני כי בימיו עדיין לא נגלית חכמת האמת של זוה״ק לכל אדם, אך עתה דתהילות לאל נגלית חכמת האמת נמצא ביאור כנסת ישראל פשוט הוא...



Ibid. The Kenesset Yisrael said before HKB"H.  Rash"i [i.e. Rashba"m] explains this to mean the elders and important people among them said this about those who are not as important. Behold, Rash"i [Rashba"m] Za"l was forced to explain this way - even though he saw his own explanation as being very forced [see also the Maharsha on this] - because, in his day, the wisdom of truth of the Holy Zohar was not revealed to everybody. However, now that - praised be G-d - the wisdom of truth was revealed, it comes out that the explanation of "Kenesset Yisrael" is simple...
His first explanation in a nutshell is that "Kenesset Yisrael" refers to the Shechina complaining that it is no longer in the Beit Hamikdash, but relegated to the Kotel Hama'aravi due to the sins of the Jewish people.

Piyut Yomi #13: Adon Haselihot

Today's Piyut: Adon Haselihot
Composed by: Unknown
Version I'm most familiar with: this

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Cairo: Where Credit Is Due and Where Blame Is Due

I have to credit President Obama.

I didn't vote for him, and I don't plan to vote for him in the future.  In most aspects, he is bad for Israel and for the U.S.

However, besides of course thanking Hashem Yitbarach, Obama must be thanked for his involvement in saving the Israelis trapped in the Israeli embassy in Cairo.

Netanyahu thanked him.  Efraim Halevy thanked him.  Hamodia thanked him.  And now I thank him.  Hashem put him in office for a reason.  Perhaps, it was for this one miracle to come about through him.


But what was the spiritual cause of the whole embassy invasion in the first place?  I don't know, but some of the commenters on this R' Lazer Brody post say it's due to the evacuation of the 3 homes in Migron.  The logic is:

Since governmental Yisrael terrorized religious Yisrael to appease Yishmael and Edom, therefore, radical Yishmael terrorized governmental Yisrael and we needed Edom to pressure moderate Yishmael to come save us.

I don't know, but it's possible.

As an addendum to this post, R' Lazer Brody just posted the following:
Amazingly also, I heard this morning from a reliable source inside the IDF that if any of our diplomats or security personnel would have been harmed this past Shabbat in Cairo, then a war would have broken out between Israel and Egypt. With that in mind, we owe Hashem a tremendous note of gratitude for the prodigious miracle of rescuing the Israeli embassy staff from the thousands of blood-thirsty rioters that broke into the Israeli Embassy in Cairo this past Friday night.

Israeli Bicyclist Concludes 4-Year Trek Around the World With Tehillim at Kotel

Ladaat reports that Roei (Jinji) Sadan is completing his world-wide trek around the world with saying Tehillim at the Kotel.

His trip took 1458 days in 42 countries in 6 continents.

See his blog here.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Piyut Yomi #12: Kel Melech Yosheiv

Today's Piyut: Kel Melech Yosheiv
Composed by: Unknown, but based on a Midrash
Version I'm most familiar with: this, but also very familiar with this

Does Rationalism Dissuade Nationalism?

Rabbi Marc D. Angel in Voices in Exile, pp. 87-88:

Piyut Yomi #11: Tamahnu Meira'ot

Today's Piyut: Tamahnu Meira'ot
Composed by: Unknown
Version I'm most familiar with: not listed on Piyut's site

Ahmadinejad and Erdogan - Hayu Tzareha Lerosh

Eicha 1:5:
הָיוּ צָרֶיהָ לְרֹאשׁ
Her adversaries are become the head

Gittin 56b:
היו צריה לראש וגו' כל המיצר לישראל נעשה ראש
"Her adversaries are become the head" - whoever oppresses Israel becomes the head.

We saw it last year when Ahmadinejad visited Lebanon and we're seeing it today when Erdogan visits Egypt - both received a hero's welcome. The people in those countries that neighbor Israel love the anti-Israel rhetoric. They eat it up.

Yes, these two have learned how to irk Israel and have become the 2 main leaders of Yishmael. But they forgot the next part of the gemara - how Titus is burned and his ashes are spread over the seven seas every day as punishment. They will one day know the cost of being the head.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Piyut Yomi #10: Anshei Emuna Avadu

Today's Piyut: Anshei Emuna Avadu
Composed by: Unknown
Version I'm most familiar with: not listed on Piyut's site

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Where I Was on 9/11

I don't know if anyone cares, but everyone seems to be asking the question, so I'll tell you where I was on 9/11.

I had just finished Shaharit at my local synagogue when I got into my car to drive to work and turned on our local news radio station 780 AM WBBM, and they were discussing a breaking news story out of New York that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center building.  They were not sure if it was deliberate or an accident.  A few minutes later they said that they have unconfirmed reports of a second plane hitting the second tower.  I'm saying to myself that this is no accident.  I specifically remember thinking to myself that this was some Tom Clancy novel coming true.

Anyways, I get to work, and no one can really concentrate on work - they're all talking about what happened in New York.  It was so shocking that the company put up a TV screen in the largest conference room so people can see the live news coverage.  It seemed like half the office was in that room watching.  It was there that I and a bunch of others saw the first tower collapse.  Later, we saw the second tower collapse.  Both produced gasps and "Oh my G-d!" reactions from the viewers in the room.  In retrospect, I should have said Tehillim, but I was shocked out of disbelief - I couldn't believe what I was seeing.  ולא יכלו אחיו לענות אתו כי נבהלו מפניו.

May Hashem avenge the blood of all who perished that day.  It took almost 10 years to get Osama.  The rest will get their due too.  If not in this world, the next, but hopefully both.  And may we soon see the day that Yishmael will fall, which the Baal Haturim says at the end of Parshat Hayei Sarah says will immediately be followed by Mashiah's arrival.  Amen.

Piyut Yomi #9: Eilecha Hashem

Today's Piyut: Eilecha Hashem
Composed by: Unknown
Version I'm most familiar with
: this

Geula Update from Rav Fish

Geula update from Rav Fish - received via email:

האם מלחמת גוג ומגוג תתחיל ממלחמה של מצרים נגד ירושלים 

מובא במלבי"ם על מלחמת גוג ומגוג (יואל ד, ט) לעתיד יתעוררו אומות אדום לכבוש את הארץ ויעשו הרג רב בבני מצרים שהם מאמונות הישמעאלים, ואז יתעוררו הישמעאלים לקחת נקמת אחיהם מיד האדומים ויהרגו בם הרג רב ואבדון, ויחזרו האדומיים שנית להלחם עם בני ישמעאל ויהרגו בם. רואים שהמלחמה תתחיל בזה שאדום בדרך לארץ ישראל ילחמו נגד מצרים, ובאמת כך היה במלחמת העולם השנייה שהגרמנים נלחמו במצרים בדרך לירושלים. ונראה לבאר מדוע המלחמה היא קודם במצרים, כי מצרים חומדת את ירושלים לעצמה, והיא תצא לראשונה למלחמה נגד ירושלים, כמובא במדרש (אוצר מדרשים אייזנשטיין מדרש רשב"י עמוד 556). רַבִּי שִׁמְעוֹן אוֹמֵר עָתִיד הקב"ה לִשְׁרוֹק לַדְּבוֹרָה אֲשֶׁר בִּקְצֵה יְאוֹרֵי מִצְרַיִם, וּבָאִים וְעוֹשִׂים מִלְחָמָה בְּתוֹךְ מִצְרַיִם, וְהַמֶּלֶךְ שֶׁמַּנְהִיג אוֹתָם הוּא עֶבֶד שֶׁמָּרַד עַל אֲדוֹנוֹ, וְכוּ', וּמִתְקַבְּצִים אֵלָיו אֲנָשִׁים שֶׁמָּרְדוּ עַל אֲדוֹנֵיהֶם, וְיוֹצְאִים בִּמְעָט וּמַחֲזִיקִים מַלְכוּת בִּגְבוּרָה. וְעַל מְרוֹם יִשְׂרָאֵל יַעֲלוּ וְכוּ'. וכיון שאדום ירצו את ירושלים לעצמם יצאו למלחמה נגד מצרים, וזה יגרור את מלחמת גוג ומגוג שהיא מלחמת ישמעאל באדום. וביתר עומק מה שרואים בפסוקים שהמפלה של גוג ומגוג תהיה בכך שבדרך לירושלים הם יריבו אחד עם השני, ויהרגו אחד את השני. המריבה הזאת מתעוררת דרך מצרים. ובאמת כך היה במלחמת העולם השניה שבמצרים היתה הנפילה שלהם שלא הצליחו לעלות לירושלים.

My translation:

Will the Gog Umagog War Begin With a War of Egypt Against Yerushalayim?

It's brought down in the Malbim about the Gog Umagog War (Yoel 4:9):
In the future, the nations of Edom will be aroused to capture the Land [of Israel] and they will make a great massacre among the Egyptians, who are of the beliefs of the Ishmaelites, and then, the Ishmaelites will be aroused to avenge their brothers from the Edomites and they will kill among them a great massacre and destruction. And the Edomites will return again to fight against the Ishmaelites and kill them.
We see that the war will start this way - that Edom, on its way to the Land of Israel, will fight against Egypt. And this really was what happened in WWII that the Germans fought in Egypt on its way to Yerushalayim. And it appears we should explain why the war is first in Egypt: because Egypt desires Yerushalayim for itself, and it will go out first for war against Yerushalayim - as it brought down in Midrash (Otzar Midrashim Eisenstein - Midrash Ribbi Shimon Bar Yohai, p. 556):
Ribbi Shimon says: In the future, HKB"H will whistle to the bee that is on the edge of the rivers of Egypt and they will come and do battle inside Egypt, and the king that is leading them is a servant who rebelled against his master, ... and men who rebelled against their masters will gather to him and they will go out as a few and will usurp the throne by force ... And upon the heights of Israel, they will go up...
And since Edom will want Yerushalayim for itself, they will go up against Egypt, and this will cause the Gog Umagog War, which is a war of Yishmael against Edom. And in a deeper sense, that which we see in the verses - the downfall of Gog Umagog will be like this - that on the road to Yerushalayim, they will fight each other and kill each other. This fight is awakened by way of Egypt. And truthfully, this is what occurred in WWII - that their downfall was in Egypt as they didn't succeed in going up to Yerushalayim.

See also this.

Friday, September 09, 2011

Piyut Yomi #8: Mahei Umasei

Today's Piyut: Mahei Umasei
Composed by: Unknown
Version I'm most familiar with
: this

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Interesting Recent Links

  • R' Lazer Brody has 2 more posts - one is a letter from Reb Nati, who confirmed from Rav Berland that "We are there!"  The second is a follow-up to the previous post, which said war would come by Rosh Hashana.  See the clarification made there.
  • Turkey is threatening to send a warship with the next flotilla to Gaza and is not happy with the off-shore Israeli gas discovery and vowed to fight it going to Israeli hands.  See Debka and Arutz Sheva.  Shirat Devorah notes that this revisits a prophecy from 1989.  Rucho Shel Mashiach notes that Turkey is aligning with Egypt to further isolate Israel.  On the other hand, Eli Yishai had a conversation with the Egyptian ambassador today, so we don't really know which way Egypt is heading.  But relations with Turkey are in free-fall. 
  • The National Cathedral can't seem to catch a break - or maybe that's all it can catch.  First, the earthquake.  Then the crane slipped and broke 2 buildings.  And then, today, 2 more workers were injured trying to dismantle the crane.  The prayer vigil for 9/11 will now be held at Washington Hebrew Congregation.
  • The Muqata and Shiloh Musings embed a horrifying video from the destruction of Jewish homes in the Land of Israel in the middle of the night, which, besides being wrong for its own sake, terrified children from their sleep.
  • At the Ladaat forums, someone quotes the book "Sefer Haberit", who says that the reason Mashiah hasn't come yet (over 200 years ago) is because we only care about ourselves and are not concerned for the Shechina's sake.
  • The NY 9th Congressional District election has solicited an unprecedented Psak Din from a good mixture of Sephardic and Ashkenazic rabbis telling you for whom you cannot vote or support.

Looking at 9/11 Through Geula Lenses

Two of the first Geula websites was the Hebrew-language http://gog.web-site.co.il/ (also found at gog1.com)and its English companion http://magog.web-site.co.il/.  The Hebrew-language site started talking about 9/11, and later started getting into other Geula topics - e.g., the Iraq War and other current events.  The English site remained a sometimes-abbreviated translation of the Hebrew site, and almost exclusively on the topic of 9/11.  The Hebrew site stopped updating sometime in mid-to-late 2005.

If you want to know about the impact 9/11 had on our anticipation for the Final Redemption, you need look no further than those sites.  Even though many of the predictions there did not materialize, they still to this day carry valuable Torah-based information as to 9/11's place in the Geula process.  10 years after 9/11, still an interesting read.

Piyut Yomi #7: Kamti Be'ashmoret

Today's Piyut: Kamti Be'ashmoret
Composed by: Ribbi Moshe Ibn Ezra
Version I'm most familiar with: this

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

More From Rav Arush: All-Out War Before Rosh Hashana

R' Lazer Brody posts on his blog that Rav Shalom Arush's Rav, R' Yehuda Zev Leibowitz, ZT"L, came to Rav Arush in a dream, saying that a heavenly decree has been issued that all-out war will break out in the next 3 weeks.

R' Brody continues:
But, don't be afraid. Hashem does love us and wants to be with us. But, we must be worthy of the Divine Presence. Rav Shalom told me that every single Jew must begin doing serious teshuva and self-assessment while begging Hashem to delay this harsh decree. I asked Rav Shalom, "Why pray for a delay? Why not pray for a total cancellation?" Rav Shalom said the delay is to allow more people to make teshuva. A cancellation is almost impossible, because it's part of Hashem's plan to bring Moshiach, in the nearest future. Once Moshiach comes, teshuva will be worthless. Today, teshuva is still worth it's weight in diamonds. But time is running out super-fast.
R' Brody calls it "Nineveh 2011", and advocates Hitbodedut - speaking to Hashem alone - as a way to pray for its delay. 

I'll add that whatever form of Teshuva we do, this is the time of year to do it, this is the time in your life to do it, and this is the time in history to do it.  Let us return to Him even more than was done in the days of Nineveh and King Yoshiayu.  The time to do so is now.

In that merit, may Hashem save us in such a war.

Piyut Yomi #6: Atanu

Today's Piyut: Atanu
Composed by: unknown
Version I'm most familiar with: this

What's Going on With the Jews of Turkey?

There are 2 seemingly conflicting articles about the Jews of Turkey due to the deteriorating relations between Turkey and Israel.
This seems to say that all is OK, while this says that they're preparing for massive aliya from Turkey.

They both could be accurate reports - one from the Turkish perspective and one from the Israeli perspective.

What will happen remains to be seen.

Maria! I've just met a storm named Maria!

But B"H, it hasn't met me.

Yet.

Katia so far seems to be veering northward away from land, B"H.

Klausenberger and Gerrer Rebbes Talk Geula

Rav Fish, in his latest update, quotes the Tzanzer magazine "Betzila Dimhemnuta" (Shofetim, 5771)with a conversation between the Klausenberger Rebbe Shlit"a and the Gerrer Rebbe Shlit"a.


Klausenberger Rebbe: In this period, we've seen many revolutions throughout the world, the earth is crumbling, the world is shaking.  [My honored father], ZY"A, said in the name of his father, the holy Rav of Rudnik, ZY"A, who said around 100 years ago during WWI that just like every man, the older it gets, the more unstable it gets.  Similarly, the world is already very old and is therefore unstable.  Today, we see this more in all matters - it boggles the mind.

Gerrer Rebbe: HKB"H runs the world.

KR:  We see today things that no one has ever seen.  Many events that used to take tens of years, happen today in a very short period - and this is with all matters.  It's unbelievable.

GR: "Not by might, nor by power, but by My spirit, saith the LORD of hosts."

KR:  "I the LORD will hasten it in its time"  When the time of Be'itah comes, Hashem will turn things about so it will be Ahishena, that the events will occur quickly.  We have to hope that we are already getting close to the Complete Redemption.



Also, the Klausenberger Rebbe said in the Kehilot supplement of Hamevaser, 7 Elul, 5771:

Anyone who is not blind and deaf sees clearly that the earth is crumbling, and our eyes see that there is some process happening over the face of the world, and we were present to see that even America is shaking, and even though it already bent to fall once or twice [?], nevertheless, right now, it is actually shaking, and everyone can see with his eyes that it is moving and shaking. 

The reason for the matter is that HKB"H is looking down below and wants there to already be a rectification of the world.  This is because we have the following sign as a tradition: whenever we see that the earth begins to shake, then we know that "Behold he is coming" - that with this, Hashem Yitbarach is starting and opening our Redemption, and the salvation is already standing at the doorway, and we are already holding by "behold, he standeth behind our wall". 

And this is as what is in the Book of Daniel that before the time of Redemption, all the שרים [ministering angels?] will fall and new ones will come in their place, because the salvation will begin in a natural way and all will be hidden.

Rav Ovadia Shlit"a Blesses Japan Acquittee Yoel Goldstein

After being acquitted in Japan, Yoel Goldstein gets a beracha from Rav Ovadia Shlit"a.
He also thanked Minister of Interior Eli Yishai for expediting the final piece of bureaucracy, helping him get home to Israel.

Picture from Ladaat

Tuesday, September 06, 2011

Rav Arush: Mashiah Coming Soon So Do Teshuva Now Before Gates Close

First on Shirat Devorah and later clarified by R' Lazer Brody:

Rav Shalom Arush, the Rosh Yeshiva of the Breslover Chut Shel Chesed Yeshiva, said that a hidden tzaddik told him that Mashiah will be here soon, and as such, people should start to do Teshuva immediately in order that they will not be stuck with Mashiah coming and not having done Teshuva.  When Mashiah comes, the gates of Teshuva will be closed, he said.

(The idea of "no Teshuva after Mashiah" is a complicated concept.  It stems from the gemara in Shabbat 151b and the Maharil.  See more about it here and here [in Hebrew]).

The tzaddik nistar also told him that there is a harsh decree in heaven that 3 million unarmed Arabs will march on Yerushalayim on the 21st of Elul, which we must pray to be rescinded.

As a result of this news, Rav Arush is taking this seriously enough to have the boys in his Yeshiva doing Kiruv projects in place of afternoon seder.

(Somewhat related, see the gematria on the Muqata blog about the upcoming UN vote and the comments there.)

You Are Hereby Summoned to the Supreme Court

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Piyut Yomi #5: Aneinu

Today's Piyut: Aneinu
Composed by: unknown
Version I'm most familiar with: this

Monday, September 05, 2011

Piyut Yomi #4: Yashen Al Teradam

Today's Piyut: Yashen Al Teradam
Composed by: Ribbi Yehuda Halevi
Version I'm most familiar with: not listed on Piyut's site

Sunday, September 04, 2011

The State that the Palestinians Want to Create


Video by EoZ

Piyut Yomi #3: Bezochri Al Mishkavi

Today's PiyutBezochri Al Mishkavi
Composed by: Ribbi Yehuda Ibn Bal'am
Version I'm most familiar withthis

Friday, September 02, 2011

Tropical Storm Lee Hits Gulf Coast

Tropical Storm Lee, poorly formed while in the Carribean, and traveling at a snail's pace of 2(!) MPH, could drench the Gulf Coast with 20 inches of rain.

I'm just thinking out loud here.

This can possibly be a message of the end of Galut, as it says:
וְהָאָרֶץ, לֹא תִמָּכֵר לִצְמִתֻת--כִּי-לִי, הָאָרֶץ
And the land shall not be sold in perpetuity; for the land is Mine

Or it could be a precursor for Kibbutz Galuyot, as it says:
בַּעֲבוּר זֶה, עָשָׂה יְהוָה לִי, בְּצֵאתִי, מִמִּצְרָיִם 
It is because of that which Hashem made Tropical Storm Lee when I went out of today's version of Egypt



(P.S. Boy, it's a good thing there weren't geula bloggers around in 1967 for Hurricane Beulah hitting Corpus Christi!

Or were there?)

Malbim on the Last Verses of Haftarat Shofetim

מַה-נָּאווּ עַל-הֶהָרִים רַגְלֵי מְבַשֵּׂר, מַשְׁמִיעַ שָׁלוֹם מְבַשֵּׂר טוֹב--מַשְׁמִיעַ יְשׁוּעָה; אֹמֵר לְצִיּוֹן, מָלַךְ אֱלֹהָיִךְ.
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger of good tidings, that announceth peace, the harbinger of good tidings, that announceth salvation; that saith unto Zion: 'Thy God reigneth!'


Malbim: this verse illustrates how [at the time of the coming of Mashiah,] the messenger of good tidings will ascend to the top of the mountains, as it's written, "O thou that tellest good tidings to Zion, get thee up into the high mountain; O thou that tellest good tidings to Jerusalem".  First, he "announceth peace" from the enemy.  Then, he is a "harbinger of good tidings", which is the building of the Beit Hamikdash and the sprouting of the horn of David (that he will explain in verse 8).  And then, he will "announceth salvation", which is the ingathering of the exiles (that he will explain in verse 9).  And then, he will "saith unto Zion: 'Thy God reigneth!'", which is the revelation of the Kingdom of heaven upon the entire earth and over all nations (that he will explain in verse 10).

קוֹל צֹפַיִךְ נָשְׂאוּ קוֹל, יַחְדָּו יְרַנֵּנוּ: כִּי עַיִן בְּעַיִן יִרְאוּ, בְּשׁוּב יְהוָה צִיּוֹן.
Hark, thy watchmen! they lift up the voice, together do they sing; for they shall see, eye to eye, the LORD returning to Zion.

Malbim: The watchmen are opposite the messenger of good tidings. It illustrates how the the messenger of good tidings stands upon the mountain and the watchman stands opposite him on the other side. And at the same moment that the messenger of good tidings delivers his message, the watchman will lift up his eyes and see the actualization of the message with his own eye. He will then lift up his voice toward the messenger of good tidings when he sees the matter with his eyes, and then, both the watchman and the messenger of good tidings will "together do they sing" (meaning the prophets who deliver the good tidings and the Jews who watch).

"for they shall see, eye to eye" - meaning that until now, the prophets foresaw the return to Zion through the lens of a vision, which is the inner eye that sees prophecy, but not through the physical eye and outer sense. However, now [at the time of the Redemption], they will see it eye to eye - the eye of prophecy will see with the physical eye that senses - the return of Hashem to Zion. (And I already wrote that "Zion" illustrates kingdom, priesthood, and the Beit Hamikdash - and this is what they will see with their eye. This corresponds to "the harbinger of good tidings").

Verse 9
פִּצְחוּ רַנְּנוּ יַחְדָּו, חָרְבוֹת יְרוּשָׁלִָם:  כִּי-נִחַם יְהוָה עַמּוֹ, גָּאַל יְרוּשָׁלִָם.
Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem; for the LORD hath comforted His people, He hath redeemed Jerusalem.

Malbim: "Break forth" - when the watchmen will carry a sound of joy together with the messengers of good tidings, also the ruins of Yerushalayim will break forth their voices and will "sing together" with the earlier singers, who are the watchmen and the messengers of good tidings (and I already wrote that Yerushalayim notes the return of the masses and the ingathering of the exiles - "for the LORD hath comforted His people" which is the ingathering of the exiles, and through this, "He hath redeemed Jerusalem" - that it will be inhabited by its children. And this corresponds to "that announceth salvation").

Verse 10
חָשַׂף יְהוָה אֶת-זְרוֹעַ קָדְשׁוֹ, לְעֵינֵי כָּל-הַגּוֹיִם; וְרָאוּ, כָּל-אַפְסֵי-אָרֶץ, אֵת, יְשׁוּעַת אֱלֹהֵינוּ.
The LORD hath made bare His holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

Malbim: "hath mad bare" (This corresponds to "that saith unto Zion: 'Thy God reigneth!'".)  "The LORD hath made bare His holy arm" which are the great miracles which the merit and righteousness of man cannot at all fathom.  And these miracles will be seen openly by all the nations until through them, "all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God".  And through this, the Kingdom of Heaven will be revealed in the entire world, when they will see that the salvation is not happenstance or natural - it is purely the salvation of our G-d.

Verse 11
סוּרוּ סוּרוּ צְאוּ מִשָּׁם, טָמֵא אַל-תִּגָּעוּ; צְאוּ מִתּוֹכָהּ--הִבָּרוּ, נֹשְׂאֵי כְּלֵי יְהוָה.
Depart ye, depart ye, go ye out from thence, touch no unclean thing; go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean, ye that bear the vessels of the LORD.

Malbim: "Depart ye, depart ye" - it illustrates how He will command them then that they should exit a land which serves the sun and the hosts of the heavens for 2 reasons:

1) because the earth of those lands itself is unclean, and for this he said, "go ye out from thence" because "touch no unclean thing" - so you don't touch an unclean thing. And this is because of purity of the body.

2) because of purity of the ideas and thoughts because it's impossible to cleanse their thoughts toward holiness while they're still among idol-worshippers, and for this he said, "go ye out of the midst of her; be ye clean" your heart and thoughts as you are "ye that bear the vessels of the LORD".

Verse 12
 כִּי לֹא בְחִפָּזוֹן תֵּצֵאוּ, וּבִמְנוּסָה לֹא תֵלֵכוּן:  כִּי-הֹלֵךְ לִפְנֵיכֶם יְהוָה, וּמְאַסִּפְכֶם אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.
For ye shall not go out in haste, neither shall ye go by flight; for the LORD will go before you, and the God of Israel will be your rearward.

Malbim: "For not in haste" One who is hasty is hasty toward something. One who flees flees from something. Behold, during the Exodus from Egypt, the exodus itself was done in haste as it is written "for in haste didst thou come forth out of the land of Egypt" because they were hasty toward the great benefits from the revelation of the Shechina in the Pillar of Fire and of Cloud and the rest of the salvations that they didn't attain until they reached the Mountain of Hashem in Horev. [On the other hand, when they actually left,] their going on the road afterwards was in flight because afterwards, the Egyptians pursued them.

However, in the future, it will not be so. And it explains, "For ye shall not go out in haste" "for the LORD will go before you" so toward whom will you be in haste? You won't need to go after Him until the Mountain of Hashem as Hashem will go before you! And also, "you shall not go" on the road "by flight" because of an enemy that is behind you because "the God of Israel will be your rearward" - He will go behind you like a gatherer who goes behind all the camps [like the Torah describes Shevet Dan], so from whom are you fleeing?

Bnei Brak Man Refuses Summons to Beit Din and Dies

**UPDATED** - SEE BELOW

Devarim Rabba on Shofetim:
ד"א ר' אליעזר אומר במקום שיש דין אין דין ובמקום שאין דין יש דין ומהו כן אלא אמר ר"א אם נעשה הדין למטה אין הדין נעשה למעלה ואם לא נעשה הדין למטה הדין נעשה למעלה:
Another explanation: Ribbi Eliezer said: In a place where there's judgement, there is no judgement, and in a place where there's no judgement, there's judgement. And what does this mean? Rather, Ribbi Eliezer said: If judgement is enacted down here on earth, no judgement is necessary to be enacted up above in Heaven, but if judgement is not enacted down here on earth, judgement is enacted in Heaven.

Kikar reports that a man who was summoned to a Beit Din, refused summons repeatedly. Finally, Rav Wosner Shlit"a told the other litigant, "Don't worry. If he refuses judgement down here on earth, there is judgement up above."

A few days later, the store-owner who refused the summons got a heart attack and died.

Rav Shteinman Shlit"a, after verifying the story with Rav Wosner, was moved by the story. He noted that it reminded him of a story with R' Akiva Eiger, who repeatedly tried getting a man to divorce his wife, without success. R' Akiva Eiger finally told him that there are 2 ways that a marriage can be dissolved - either through a get or the death of the husband. If you don't choose the former, the latter will be chosen for you. The husband still refused, and immediately upon leaving the Beit Din, he died.

A similar story to this last story happened with Rav Gedalia Dov Schwartz Shlit"a (the Av Beit Din of the cRc and of the RCA) in Chicago a number of years ago.

Update This story has been verified false, per Kikar, says Rafi G.

Piyut Yomi #2: Ben Adam

Today's Piyut: Ben Adam
Composed by: Unknown
Version I'm most familiar with: this

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Rav Shteinman Talks About Hurricane Irene

Matzav:
Hakadosh Boruch Hu brought a mabul to the world and, after the mabul, He vowed never to bring another mabul upon the entire world, but on part of the world He would bring [a mabul]. Recently, what happened in America, that there was a large scale storm, is considered a mabul in that specific place, with torrential rains and powerful winds. In the mabul [of Noach's times], there was hot water, while in this instance there was not, but it was ‘mei’ein a mabul‘ (a small-scale mabul).

As for lemaaseh, it comes to awaken and inspire us, especially during these days, which are the days of Elul. Rav Yisroel Salanter said - I heard that Rav Naftali Amsterdam said it in his name - that if a person dies a sudden death, then for three days one need not learn mussar [because of the impact of the tragic event]. Here, that such events happened, both the powerful winds and also the tragedies in which people were murdered in Eretz Yisroel and in chutz la’aretz, this comes to awaken us to be mechzeik ourselves in preparation for the Yom Hadin. In fact, we are already in Elul, but the truth is that we view it as if the day of judgment is maybe fifty years away or so, and therefore [Hakadosh Boruch Hu] has come to arouse us that we should be mischazeik in preparation for the Yom Hadin, Rosh Hashanah, habah aleinu letovah.

Piyut Yomi #1: Ana Ke'av

Starting a new thing here at Yeranen Yaakov.

BL"N, during the Yemei HaSelihot, I will link to various Sephardic piyutim for Selihot, Rosh Hashana, and Yom HaKippurim.

Today's Piyut: Ana Ke'av
Composed by: R' Moshe Ibn Ezra
Version I'm most familiar with: this

Ki Ha'adam Etz Hasadeh

Rav Michel Yehuda Lefkowitz ZT"L's Etrog tree dries out

Irene knocked down an uncuttable irritating tree (whether it was halachicly muttar to cut it down or not was irrelevant since they were Noheig Bo Issur so Hashem showed that He wanted it down)