Friday, December 30, 2011

Another Yehuda - Dan Connection

Here's another connection that one can add to Rav Fish's excellent essay connecting Yehuda and Dan that I blogged recently.

Bereishit Rabba on Vayigash (93:7), talking about Yehuda's confrontation with Yosef says:

ז ד"א ויגש אליו יהודה זו היא שנאמר ברוח הקודש על ידי שלמה (קהלת ז) החכמה תעוז לחכם וגו' כנגד מי אמר שלמה המקרא הזה לא אמרו אלא כנגד יוסף הצדיק אמר רבי יוחנן בשעה שתפס יוסף הצדיק את בנימין ואמר להם לאחיו האיש אשר נמצא הגביע בידו הוא יהיה לי עבד אמר לו יהודה בנימין את תפוס ושלום בבית אבא מיד כעס יהודה ושאג בקול גדול והלך קולו ד' מאות פרסה עד ששמע חושים בן דן וקפץ מארץ כנען ובא אצל יהודה ושאגו שניהם ובקשה ארץ מצרים ליהפך עליהם אמר איוב (איוב ד) שאגת אריה וקול שחל שאגת אריה זה יהודה שכתוב בו גור אריה יהודה וקול שחל זה חושים בן דן ששניהם נמשלו כארי שנאמר (דברים לג) ולדן אמר דן גור אריה שיני כפירים נתעו אלו גבוריו של יוסף שכיון שכעס יהודה נשרו שיניהם של כולם אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי אף אחיו כיון שראו יהודה שכעס אף הם נתמלאו חמה ובעטו בארץ ועשו אותה תלמים תלמים שנאמר (איוב ד) ליש אובד מבלי טרף זה יהודה שמסר עצמו על בנימין אמר שמא ימחול הקדוש ברוך הוא על אותו עון שהטעיתי את אבא ואמרתי לו אני מביאו לך באותה שעה נתמלא חמה על יוסף כיון שראה יוסף סימנין של יהודה מיד נזדעזע ונבהל אמר אוי לי שמא יהרגני ומה הן סימנין שהיו בו ביהודה של בית שילו אמרו שני שילטונין זולגות דם ויש אומרים כמין שליטי הגבורים וחמשה לבושים היה לובש נימה אחת היתה לו בלבו כיון שהיה כועס קורע את כולם מה עשה יוסף באותה שעה אותו עמוד של אבן שהיה יושב עליו בעט בו ועשאו גל של צרורות מיד תמה יהודה ואמר זה גבור ממני באותה שעה אחז יהודה חרבו לשולפה מתערה ואינה נשלפת לו אמר יהודה ודאי זה ירא שמים הוא לכך נאמר (קהלת ז) החכמה תעוז לחכם:
The translation of the boldface part is as follows:
Immediately, Yehuda became angry and roared with a loud sound.  The sound went 400 Parsangs until Hushim, the son of Dan, heard it, whereby he jumped [Nezer Hakodesh and Etz Yosef - via Kefitzat Haderech] from the land of Canaan and came to Yehuda [in Egypt] and they both roared and wanted the Land of Egypt to be destroyed.  Upon them, Iyov says "The lion roareth, and the fierce lion howleth".  "The lion roareth" refers to Yehuda, upon whom it is written, "Judah is a lion's whelp".  "And the firece lion howleth" refers to Hushim, the son of Dan, as both of them are compared to lions, as it says, "And of Dan he said: Dan is a lion's whelp".  And the end of the verse in Iyov says, "yet the teeth of the young lions are broken."  This refers to the strongmen of Yosef - because once Yehuda became angry, everyone's teeth fell out.
We see from here how Yehuda needed Hushim to help him.

But not only that, the Nezer Hakodesh explains that the wisdom mentioned at the beginning of this Midrash is a special holy Kabbalistic wisdom that was able to allow those who use it perform wonders.  While all the Shevatim had this special wisdom, Yehuda and Dan's son Hushim had this special wisdom ten times greater than the rest of them (except Yosef, whose wisdom surpassed everyone, as the end of the Midrash explains). Yehuda roared and Hushim was able to "hear" his roar [even though he was deaf] because he had ESP of holiness.  Yehuda thought that by having Hushim on his side, since 2 is better than 1, he would be in good shape when he needed to fight the Egyptians to get Binyamin home.  This can be explained further by saying that this arrangement is exactly like the arrangement of the future.  Yehuda's descendant - the Mashiah - will have a special warrior by his side - namely, Seraya from the tribe of Dan, who will fight alongside him.

5 Tevet Rain Again

I haven't kept track every year to see if it's been holding true, but I posted 5 years ago on how the Sadigerer Rebbe's last words 51 years ago was "Am Yisrael needs rain" and it rained on his Yahrtzeit on the 5th of Tevet 5 years ago and every year before that on his Yahrtzeit.

I know that it rained 2 years ago on the 5th of Tevet.
And I know that it rained last year on the 5th of Tevet.
And the forecast calls for rain again this year on the 5th of Tevet.

יִפְתַּח יְהוָה לְךָ אֶת-אוֹצָרוֹ הַטּוֹב אֶת-הַשָּׁמַיִם, לָתֵת מְטַר-אַרְצְךָ בְּעִתּוֹ

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Vayigash, 5772

  • We find in Midrash (Vayikra Rabba 10:5): [Yechonia's son is called] "She'altiel" because from him, the kingdom of the House of David was planted (Hushtela).  That is, after the destruction of the first Beit Hamikdash, only 2 remnants were left from the House of David: Tzidkiyahu and Yechonia, who were in prison for many years.  After the children of Tzidkiyahu were killed, there was a great concern in Am Yisrael that there would not be remnant left of the House of David because Yirmiyahu had cursed Yechonia that he would be childless.  However, after Yechonia repented in the prison, Hashem canceled his oath.  The Midrash (ibid 19:6) [YY- also Sanhedrin 37b-38a] relates how She'altiel was born, alowing the lineage of the House of David to continue: The people asked Nevuchadnetzar's wife, Shemir'am, to ask her husband to allow Yechonia's wife to enter the prison.  After Nevuchadnetzar agreed, they lowered Yechonia's wife down via ropes.  Originally, he did not have relations with her because she was a Niddah.  After she counted her days and became pure, they lowered her down again, and a miracle occurred that she became pregnant from him standing up, and a seedling (שתיל) for the House of David was born from her.  Therefore, they called him She'altiel like the words of the Midrash that we brought down.  It comes out that the entire identity of She'altiel which is hinted at in his name is being the seedling from which comes the Mashiah.  Rav Binyamin Eisenberger Shlit"a wrote me that She'altiel שאלתיאל is the gematria of תשע"ב, which is 772.  This means that he was planted just for the purpose of the year 5772.  The Ram"a MiPano writes (in Mayim Ganim vol. 1 - Likutim):
    Zerubavel, the son of She'altiel, will arise in the future and say, "Yitgadal Veyitkadash Shemeih Rabba" until "Keitz Meshiheih" - that is the Keitz (endtime) of which it is said about it, "To My heart, I have revealed, but to My limbs, I have not revealed."  And regarding that moment, it is said, "ה' עֹז לְעַמּוֹ יִתֵּן ה' יְבָרֵךְ אֶת עַמּוֹ בַשָּׁלוֹם  The LORD will give strength unto His people; the LORD will bless his people with peace."
    It appears, we can add that עמו בשלום is Rashei Teivot of ע"ב and the letter before עמו is ת, and the letter after the ב is ש - altogether, it hints to תשע"ב.  Also, שאלתיאל is the Rashei Teivot of the verses that speak about an oath in the 10 Commandments  "לֹא תִשָּׂא אֶת שֵׁם הויאֱלֹהֶיךָ לַשָּׁוְא" as we explained that the Sod of Redemption in the year 5772 is the Sod of an oath.  Also, She'altiel is the Rashei Teivot of the verse that hints to the Redemption in 5772 (Bereishit 17:21) וְאֶת בְּרִיתִי אָקִים אֶת יִצְחָק אֲשֶׁר תֵּלֵד לְךָ שָׂרָה לַמּוֹעֵד הַזֶּה בַּשָּׁנָה הָאַחֶרֶת.  Also, She'altiel is the Rashei Teivot of the verse in which Yirmiyahu cries, "Until when?" (Yirmiya 13:27) רָאִיתִי שִׁקּוּצָיִךְ; אוֹי לָךְ, יְרוּשָׁלִַם--לֹא תִטְהֲרִי, אַחֲרֵי מָתַי עֹד.
  • [After noting that the Hesed Le'avraham and others spoke about the greatness of 5760 as the year in which there was an awakening in the inner aspects of the Torah and the Yam HaHochma says that the purpose of the two 6.5 year periods following 5760 is to connect Mashiah Ben Yosef with Mashiah Ben David by spreading these inner aspects, he notes that] תש"ס is the gematria of the verse that symbolizes the connection of Mashiah Ben Yosef and Mashiah Ben David (Bereishit 44:18) וַיִּגַּשׁ אֵלָיו יְהוּדָה וַיֹּאמֶר בִּי אֲדֹנִי [Then Judah came near unto him, and said: 'Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee...'] with the words and letters is 760.  Rav Moshe Levinger Shlit"a adds that Yehuda hinted to Yosef "בי אדני" - meaning that the influence of Yosef is found within him and his way, he will enact in the world.
  • 2 x 386 (the gematria of לשון - tongue) is 772 (תשבע - will swear).  772 = 4 x 193 (the gematria of זוקף), which is hinted to in the blessing of מקבץ נדחי עמו ישראל, as is brought down in the book Imrei No'am (Vayehi).  It's also brought down in the Sefat Emet (Shavuot 5664):
    "Every mouth will thank You and every tongue will swear allegiance to You."  The mouth is rectified on Pesah - where it is pronounced "Peh Sah" - the mouth conversing.  This is the first rectification which is done with the cooperation of the body.  Afterwards, every tongue will swear allegiance to You with oaths which constitute the soul clinging to its root.
    We see that the tongue swearing allegiance represents the higher level of clinging to completeness.
  • It's brought down in the book "Derech Tzadikim" (about the lives of Rav Mordechai Sharabi ZT"L and Rav Hayim Sinvani ZT"L, p. 360) the words of the Kabbalist R' Hayim Sinvani ZT"L, "When there will be provocations for war between Syria and Russia, you should know that this is the beginning of the Redemption."
  • Gilad Shalit was born on 23 Av, 5746, which in Hebrew is כ"ג אב תשמ"ו, whose gematria equals תשע"ב, or 772.

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Miketz, 5772 - Part 2

(I meant to post this last week, but didn't get around to it.  The Vayigash one will be next.)

More from Rav Fish's Miketz edition:

Shimshon hinted that the second eye - עין הב' - he is saving for the future for the year of 72 - ע"ב
  • From Vayeishev's update: The Yerushalmi in Sota says that Shimshon wanted reward for his eyes - 1 for this world and 1 for the future. The 'עין הב hints to the year of ע"ב, which is 72 (i.e. 5772)
  • We found a connection between Hashem's name of ע"ב and the "clouds" that guard the eyes, as is brought down in Nehar Shalom (43a): From ע"ב, the eyelids are made, which have the aspect of the "clouds" that cover the eyes to prevent sight.  This is the sod of "עָבִים סֵתֶר לוֹ וְלֹא יִרְאֶה Thick clouds are a covering to Him, that He seeth not" and the sod of "בְּעַב הֶעָנָן in a thick cloud" which is the ע"ב of the eyelids
  • There is a connection between Shimshon and Mashiah, as Bereishit Rabba (98:14) says that Yaakov saw Shimshon in Ru'ah Hakodesh and thought him to be the Mashiah.  Once he saw that he died, he said, "Even this one will die?! I wait for Thy salvation, O LORD."  Also, Bereishit Rabba says (99:10) "Dan shall judge his people, as one of" - means as the most unique, meaning Yehuda.  Bemidbar Rabba (10:5) says that Shimshon came from both Dan and Yehuda.  Yalkut Shimoni (Vayehi 160) says "Judah is a lion's whelp" is Mashiah Ben David who came from 2 tribes - his father from Yehuda and his mother from Dan.  We see that Shimshon unified inside himself the 2 extremes of Yehuda and Dan like the Mashiah.
  • Also, Shimshon was a descendant of Hushim Ben Dan.  חשים is the same letters as משיח.  Also, Rav Tzadok Hakohen of Lublin writes in "Lekutei Amarim" about Shimshon.
    Haza"l said that Yaakov thought that Shimshon was Mashiah since his mother, Hatzelalfoni is from Yehuda from the children of Hur, from whom the lineage of the house of David comes [YY - not בן אחר בן - see Maharsha Sota 11b], and from Betzalel.  And also the Mashiah's father will be from Yehuda and his mother will be from Dan, whereas Shimshon was just the opposite.  The idea of Yehuda and Dan is that Yehuda is the head of all the tribes while Dan is the end as Haza"l say, "There is no greater tribe than Yehuda and there is no worse tribe than Dan."  And when you connect them - meaning you connect the head to the end of a straight line and bend it a little, it becomes a circle.
    We see that both David and Shimshon have the root of the same aspect.  Also, Rashi on Bereishit 38:13 [makes a comparison]: "עלה תמנתה - and by Shimshon, it says: and shimshon went down to Timna.  It must have been on the slope of a mountain.   You go up from one way and down from another."  We see a connection between the story of Yehuda and Tamar to establish a kingdom and the story of Shimshon who went to marry a woman, which is the aspect of his private kingdom.
  • The gemara (Bava Batra 91a) says that Boaz had 60 children and he made them 120 parties for their marriages, but he didn't invite Mano'ah (Shimshon's father-to-be, but at this point childless) to the parties.  Mano'ah felt hurt and as a result, all 60 children died.  Then, a son was born who was more diligent than all 60.  The Rashbam brings down 2 explanations - either it refers to Oved, the son of Boaz, or it refers to Shimshon, the son of Mano'ah.
  • The Hatam Sofer (תורת משה הפטרת נשא.  דרשות חתם סופר ח"ב רות תקצ"ד) brings down that when the Philistines blinded Shimshon and placed him in the prison, they brought their wives to become pregnant from him and give birth to boys who would grow up to be strong men.  They brought Orpah, and she became pregnant and gave birth to 6 boys who would grow up to be strong men, whose leader was Goliat - all of whom David and his men killed.  Rav Yaakov Chaim Sofer writes in his book Hadar Yaakov that he asked Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlit"a about the source for the Hatam Sofer and he showed him a manuscript of the Tosefta on the Targum Yonatan.  It appears that we could explain - according to what we were saying - why Shimshon begat Goliat.  We find in Midrash (Rut Rabbah 2:9) R' Bibi said in the name of R' Reuven: Rut and Orpah were the daughters of Eglon.  The Ariza"l's Sefer Halikutim (1:371) says that if Orpah would have gone along with Rut, she would have rectified herself and taken a portion in the building of the kingdom.  However, when they departed from each other, Rut took the good that was in Orpah and Orpah took the bad that was in Rut, which is from where Goliat was born, as Goliat is a mirror image of David.  And since Goliat was a Kelipa of Mashiah, he was born from Shimshon, who has the root of Mashiah.  We also find in Zohar Hadash (Rut 96b) that Rut's name before she converted was "Gilit" (גלית), which has the same letters as Goliat (גלית) to hint to the fact that the bad of Rut, which is hinted to in her name before she converted, entered into Goliat, as the Ariza"l says.  Goliat is also hinted to in the verse וְאַתָּה תִּהְיֶה לְנָגִיד, עַל-יִשְׂרָאֵל by skipping 2 letters backwards because he is the Kelipa that goes against David.  Rav Yosef Sofer Shlit"a adds that the gemara (Sota 42b) that talks about Goliat quotes Ribbi Yohanan as saying that Goliat tried to prevent the Jewish people from morning and evening Keriat Shema, which shows that he opposes accepting the yoke of the Kingdom of heaven.  Also Orpah ערפה has the letters of פה רע - an evil mouth, which is the adversary of the kingdom of holiness  which has the Sod of פה טוב.  
  • The gemara (Sota 10a) expounds the verse "and he did grind in the prison-house" to say that everyone brought their wives to Shimshon to become pregnent from him, etc.  Ribbi Yohanan said: Shimshon judged Israel like their Father in heaven, as it says, "Dan shall judge his people, as one of..." And Ribbi Yohanan said: Shimshon is called by Hashem's name, as it says, "כִּי שֶׁמֶשׁ, וּמָגֵן יְהוָה אֱלֹהִים".  Does this mean it cannot be erased [like Hashem's name]?  Rather, it's similar to Hashem's name.  Just like HKB"H protects the entire world, similarly Shimshon, in his generation, protected Israel.  From this gemara, we see that right after the gemara mentions all the negative aspects of Shimshon, it starts talking about all his good traits.  The explanation could be that the inner process was all for the sake of Heaven, and his downfall was only because he added his own Ta'avah to the sin that was done for the sake of Heaven.  This is because while Shimshon was still a boy, his parents told him about the angel who told them that he would save Israel from the Philistines.  Therefore, his whole life he thought to himself, "How can I save Israel from the Philistines?"  He knew that if he came as Israel's representative to fight against them, he'd be jeopardizing Israel with wars, which he didn't want.  He therefore found an excuse to have a personal war against them, as it says, "for he sought an occasion against the Philistines".  This means that he married into them, put forth riddles, etc. in order to find an excuse to fight with them and kill them and to instill fear of him into them.  Therefore, Hashem's spirit was revealed to him the entire way until he succumbed to temptation as is brought in the subsequent verses, so when he repented, his strength returned and he killed himself along with the Philistines.  The whole idea of doing a sin for the sake of heaven is found also by King David, who had relations with Bat Sheva because he saw in her the light of the Beit Hamikdash, but according to his level, it had the name of a sin.  This is a comparable level of Mesirut Nefesh that we find by both Shimshon and David, who were prepared to sin and give up even their souls in the next world for the sake of Kelal Yisrael.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Men and Women on Buses - Contemporary Rabbis' Opinions

Here are a few opinions of various Rabbanim I noticed that have to do with gender mixing on buses.  This is by no means a full and extensive list.

(Please be very careful commenting on this post.  Any comments that I believe disrespects any of these rabbis will be deleted.)
  • Rav Yaakov Ades: It would be better if there were 2 separate buses and bus stops for men and women.
  • Rav Elyashiv: There are conflicting reports as to what he said. Using gemara lingo: עסקני הוא אליבא דרב אלישיב
  • Rav Avraham Yosef: It is permissible for a man to sit next to a woman on a bus, just not to stare at her
  • Rav Amar and Rav Metzger: We cannot impose on women where to sit on public buses - Mehadrin buses for private use is fine
  • Rav Eliezer Melamed: Mehadrin buses undermine family structure
  • Rav Ovadia Yosef (per his son Rav Yitzhak Yosef): Mehadrin lines are a Hidur and something good, but only for those who want such lines of their own volition.  (Rav Yitzhak Yosef adds: To guard one's eyes, it's good to take a small sefer along and learn from it.  When my father was younger, he used to travel by bus with the Rabbanit sitting next to him, but he didn't notice as he was involved in his learning.  The Rabbanit had 2 baskets in her hands and before she got off the bus, she asked him to bring one basket home.  However, as he was so involved in his learning, he didn't even realize that she was talking to him, and he didn't bring the basket home.)
  • Rav Mutzafi was recently asked about saying Tehillim or reading Mishnayot opposite a woman who is not dressed properly on a bus.  He answered that one should place the sefer between one's eyes and the woman, and it would then be permitted.  Regarding Mehadrin lines, he refused to answer at the moment.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Signs for Ramat Beit Shemesh

I don't usually tell the ills of Jewish society on this blog.  There are a myriad of other blogs for that.  However, an exception should be made here.  At a time when Jews who claim to represent the Torah are acting contrary to it - and this news is making its way around the world - not just Israeli news - this is something that needs to be protested.  I was disgusted by the news report, which I first saw on Rafi's blog, and then on many other blogs, including Akiva's blog, where he confronted the extremists and drew a map of the area.  As we are all responsible for each other, this behavior must be protested to the fullest extent possible. 

I am also worried about the perception of all Hareidim based on the actions of the few.  Secular Israelis, who should know better, and the world at large now think that all Hareidim act this way.  Haaretz, of all places, has a pretty good article that understands that it's not all Hareidim.  However, most don't make such distinctions, so the Torah and Hashem's Holy Name are being desescrated.  We need to make it clear to everyone that although we are responsible for all Jews, they do NOT represent Torah.  The Belzer Rebbe and R' Aryeh Deri have been good here in showing what is right.  Update: I'm also glad President Peres is calling for an end to incitement against the entire Haredi community.

Below are a few signs I created online using says-it.com and http://www.signgeneratormaker.com/




(I know.  This was the only picture they had.)  See also R' Yaakov Horowitz


Friday, December 23, 2011

Recent Interesting Links

  • Elder of Ziyon notes the irony of how Turkey is now isolated itself after claiming last week that it was instrumental in isolating Israel.  Mida Keneged Mida.
  • And in more Mida Keneged Mida news... נתמלאה סאתם for Syria?  After decades of Syria harboring and supporting terrorists, al-Qaida has made its way to Syria via Lebanon and caused twin suicide bombings there.
  • And in still more Mida Keneged Mida news (which was emailed to me) - the Yerushalayim Arab neighborhood of Shuafat cannot get help from wild dogs because dog catchers don't feel safe in that neighborhood - from the people - not the dogs.
  • This week's Shomrei Emunim newsletter (p.1, middle column) shows how a verse in Miketz shows how instability in the world is a Geula sign.  Also, (p. 2, left column) the same verse shows how we will be redeemed due to Shabbat, Mila, and Rosh Hodesh.  Also, (p.4) an article on the dreidel.
  • Update: More Gematrias and Notrikons for Hanukka and Tevet.
  • Unbelievable story after a tragedy on Mt. Rainier.
  • R' Pinchos Lipshutz: Of Battles and Miracles- "You don’t look for Moshiach. He looks for you." (and I don't agree with comment #2's criticism there)
  • South Koreans visit Ponevezh.
  • North Koreans note the "miracles" that occurred when Kim died.
  • The United Center will now have a Kosher cart supervised by the cRc.  Go Bulls!
  • Modern Uberdox has Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel ZT"L's 8th grade picture
  • Rafi posted this picture of Gilad Shalit lighting the Hanukkiah (from nrg).  The fact that this picture exists is nothing short of a Hanukka miracle.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ben Yosef and יבדלח"ט Yehuda Livnat

Several months ago, the nephew of Limor Livnat was murdered by the PA Police while visiting Kever Yosef.  His name was Ben Yosef Livnat HY"D.  (See what I said then.)  Now, his brother was arrested as one of the perpetrators of Price Tag.  His brother's name is Yehuda Ariel Livnat.  While I don't condone and very much condemn Price Tag activities, I don't want the symbolism to be lost on my readers either.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Miketz, 5772 - Part 1

Rav Fish's updates are like AMPM: Too much good stuff.

From Rav Fish's latest (I'll post the link when available):
  • The first 5 pages relate to Hanukka and Yosef.  I'm not summarizing this, but it's also great reading.
  • As we're in the 8th decade of the 8th century of this millennium, these correspond to the Sefira of Hod, which is the lower portion of the "left" side.  The job of the left side is to bring an end to everything.  This is why we're at the end of Galut during this decade.  יצחק (who comes from the left side) is the letters קץ חי, says the Tikkunei Zohar Hadash (128b).  Also, the name of Hashem ש-ד-י, which comes from the left side, means: Hashem told His world, "Enough!" (די).  And די [with the Kollel] is the gematria of הוד.  Also, the Hida (Yosef Tehilot 47:2 2:4) quotes a Midrash saying that when the Israelites were in Egypt and Hashem wanted to hasten the Ketz, Hashem told the Avot, "If you lessen one letter from your names, I will hasten the Ketz."  Yitzhak thereby said, "Take the ש (sin) from my name [of ישחק] and replace it with a צ to get a difference of 210.  From this Midrash, we see that Yitzhak [from the left side] was the one who brought an end to the exile in Egypt.
  • R' Hayim Betzalel Loiberbaum Shlit"a adds that it's brought down in the Arizal's Etz Hayim that Malchut is built from Hod of Arich.  This explains why it's called קץ הימין since everything is considered ימין - even Hod - in the Arich.
  • Tikunei Zohar connects the 8th Sefira of Hod to the 8 days of Hanukka and to עלי זית טרף בפיה, which symbolizes a Be'itah redemption as mentioned earlier. Also, the Zohar (Vayikra 4a) connects David Hamelech to Hod.  דוד with the Kollel is the gematria of הוד.  The verse (Tehilim 110:2) מַטֵּה-עֻזְּךָ--יִשְׁלַח יְהוָה, מִצִּיּוֹן; רְדֵה, בְּקֶרֶב אֹיְבֶיךָ has Sofei-Teivot חנכה.  The Me'or Einayim connects the verse ערכתי נר למשיחי to the Hanukka candles.  The book "Peri Hayim" (Kamarna) says that שמן is Rashei Teivot for נר של משיח.  The book "Vedarashta Vehakarta" (vol. 1, p.81) says that משיח is Rashei Teivot מתגלה שמונת ימי חנכה [he will be revealed during the 8 days of Hanukka].  Also, the Rashei Teivot of מזוזה ימין חנכה שמאל.  Also, the Ben Ish Hai says that the name of Mashiah is צמח which is the Rashei Teivot of ציצית מזוזה חנוכה, since these 3 Mitzvot are connected to Hanukka, as the She'iltot says, "Mezuza on the right, Hanuka candle on the left, and Tzitzit in the middle."  The Emunot Itecha says that the Milui of משיח, which is מם שין יוד חית, is the gematria of הדלקת נר חנוכה.  The Shevilei Pinhas writes that זית is the gematria of אדם דוד משיח.
  • The Emunat Itecha (5757, p. 73) writes that we read Vayeishev close to Hanukka because this Perasha relates Yosef's descent to Egypt and Yehuda's descent to find a wife.  These 2 descents were to under 10 hand-breadths, where the Shechina does not reside.  This is because Egypt is a place of spiritual uncleanliness and Yehuda went down to a low level when he did the act with Tamar.  However, the purpose of these 2 descents was to bring to the world the root of Mashiah Ben Yosef via Yosef and Mashiah Ben David via Yehuda.  This hints to the light of Hanukka and the light of Mashiah which descend to shine in the place of darkness - under 10 handbreadths.
  • I heard from a Jew who heard from Rav Yosef Leib Zusman ZT"L, one of the hidden Kabbalists of Yerushalayim in the previous generation, who told him that he and Rav Matisyahu Davis ZT"L have traditions coming from the Gr"a about the year 5772.
  • I heard from Rav Menahem Zisman Shlit"a that תשע"ב is the letters of בתשע, meaning "in the 9th", hinting to the Sefira of Yesod, the 9th Sefira.  This tells you that in this year, Yesod will reach its purpose and completion.
  • R' Yehonatan G. adds that (Zecharia 14:7) וְהָיָה לְעֵת-עֶרֶב, יִהְיֶה-אוֹר hints to 5772 as לעת is 500 and ערב is 272, so when we reach 5772, there will be light.  Also, אור hints to the end of the 7th hour in 5792, at which time אור (gematria of 207) years will be left until the end of the millennium, at which time we enter the 8th millennium which represents the supernatural and Le'atid Lavo.
  • Rav Menahem Zisman Shlit"a adds that תשע"ב is the gematria of ליל שבת - to show that from this year, the shining of Shabbat night begins.
  • שבעת רועים is the letters of תשע"ב.
  • Ramban on Bereishit 14:1 says that the 4th exile of Edom and Romi is hinted at by Tid'al Melech Goyim.  [YY- See also this post.] The Ramban writes that he is "the king over various nations who placed him upon them as a head and leader".  R' Avraham Mordechai Safrin Shlit"a adds that the Ramban on Bereishit 36:46 according to the old Mikra'ot Gedolot version says that the 10th and final king of Edom will capture and rule of Paras.
  • An Avreich asked R' Avraham[?] Genichovsky Shlit"a if the winds of war between Iran and the USA and Europe these days is what the [famous, oft-quoted] Yalkut Shimoni (about the nations provoking each other and Paras destroying the world, and Israel asking where to go, whereby Hashem replies not to worry as the time of the Redemption has come) is referring to.  R' Genichovsky replied that indeed the first half of the Midrash has already been fulfilled, and now we are only awaiting the second half, where Am Yisrael will cry out to Hashem and request the Geula.
  • Ovadia the prophet prophecied about the downfall of Edom during the time of the Redemption: "Though thou make thy nest as high as the eagle, and though thou set it among the stars, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD. If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night--how art thou cut off!--would they not steal till they had enough? If grape-gatherers came to thee, would they not leave some gleaning grapes? How is Esau searched out! How are his hidden places sought out!"  Rashi on "how art thou cut off" explains, "How were you sleeping still until they stole all that they wanted?  Harvesters at least leave solitary grapes, but these won't leave anything for you because they will search you out and will reveal and seek your hidden things."  We see that the prophet compares the downfall of Edom in the future to a falling - like an eagle that falls from the heavens and like robbers and thieves who reveal all the secrets of Edom.  Nowadays, we see this parable in real-life, as HKB"H caused the drone of the Edom (the USA) to fall in Iran, which is a symbol of its technology and pride.  Then, the robbers and thieves [of Iran, Russia, and China] steal it and reveal the secrets of Edom.  And everything is just a hint - like a parable in reality - to what is expected for them soon.  (R' Menahem Zisman Shlit"a helped me with this explanation - says R' Fish.)
  • Shushan Sodot (288) writes that the blessing of Et Tzemah hints to Mashiah Ben Yosef - or Yesod - and Retzei hints to Mashiah Ben David - or Malchut.  It is not called "Geula" until the 2 Meshihin are joined, which joins Yesod and Malchut.
  • Rav Shmuel Aurbach Shlit"a's approbation of the book "Va'asher Tavona Yagidu" which talks about the prophecies of the End of Days and the Ketz of the "Erev" of the year 5772:
    There is no value put on the great thing to open an opening by way of the opening of the Rishonim in the words of the prophets which are said in truth, and whose prophecy is written and needed for generations.  Who can fathom the greatness of the matter in the words of the prophets in the Redemption of Israel and the freedom of our souls?  I wish all of Hashem's nation will contemplate and understand the words of the prophets.
  • Rav Tzvi Kushelevsky's approbation of this book: 
    The verse says, "Then they that feared the LORD spoke one with another; and the LORD hearkened, and heard".  The prophet speaks of the era of Ikveta Dimshiha and notes that there is a special obligation at that time to speak about the topic of strengthening our Emuna.  Because during these crazy times, we need to strengthen ourselves with pure faith since all that befalls us is only a preparation to the Final Redemption, and it is a time of trouble unto Jacob, but out of it shall he be saved.  Therefore, I bless the author of this book, who comes to fill the order of the hour to reveal from the words of the prophets and Haza"l what the interpretation of all that befalls us is, and from this that we unbelievably see comparisons to the words of Haza"l, the Geonim and Rishonim with all that befalls us, we will know that just as the earlier events were fulfilled, so too the later events will be fulfilled.
  • [YY - The following is the Satmar view of this, which is not universally accepted.]  The Vayoel Moshe of the Satmar Rebbe ZT"L says that when the gemara says that Ben David will not come until the מלכות הזלה of Israel will be destroyed, the explanation is that there will not even be left any rulership whatsoever.  We see that before Mashiah's arrival, the government will be destroyed, and there is no alternative.  This prevents the Redemption, and the Rambam writes something similar to this in Iggeret Teiman.  However, we need mercy from Heaven that the government will only be destroyed via a Supernal power and not via the nations because if it is via the nations Has Veshalom, it will be a grave danger for Israel.
  • Shir Hashirim Rabba 2:22 says קול דודי הנה זה בא refers to the King Mashiah at the time that he tells Israel, "You are being redeemed."  The Megaleh Amukot writes similarly.  I heard from R' Yehonatan G. Shlit"a that this verse hints to the process of this century.  הנה is the gematria of 60 - hinting to the first 60 years of the process.  הנה זה is the gematria of 72 because that is when the process of the coming of Mashiah begins.  When you add the word בא, you get to 75, as that is when the process is complete.  R' Moshe Levinger Shlit"a adds that בא is the letters of אב, which is the month of the birth of Mashiah.  Also, the word זה represents the Yesod with the sod of Mashiah Ben Yosef, as is brought in the book "Malach Haberit" by the Ben Ish Hai (Parshat Re'eh).

Interesting Mostly-Recent Links

  • Kikar has a whole bunch of nice Segulot for Hanukka (Hebrew).
  • Shas sets us shop in the U.S.
  • Rav Ovadia threatened again by French Arab he allowed to be released.
  • One should learn Hagai 2:10 until the end of the book on the 24th of Kislev according to the Ben Ish Hai.
  • On North Korea, see here and here for Shirat Devorah posts about it.  Also see a Rosh Yeshiva in Kfar Chabad's in a Chabad Yeshiva in Kfar Saba's take (Hebrew) on their leader's demise.  And see my old post with links here.
  • Parshablog has a nice Seforno on Vayishlah that was previously censored.
  • Hanukka will last forever

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Japanese Love Those Heilege Nigunim

Ladaat reports that the new CD by Moshe P. Weisblum called "Heartfelt Melodies" in English and "Heilege Nigunim" in Hebrew/Yiddish is selling well in Japan.  Amazon in Japan reported success in selling it, and the Japanese are dubbing it as "calming music that lifts the soul".

Who knew about this untapped market?  Next, we'll hear about Avraham Fried doing a concert in Tokyo, I guess.

Maybe it's something deep in their souls.

Friday, December 16, 2011

A Sudden Mashiah

One of the things Geula-bloggers (including myself) do is follow news events that point to Hashem's plan for the Final Redemption unfolding little-by-little.  There is ample basis for this view - most notably, Shir Hashirim Rabba 6:16.

However, there is another view out there that Mashiah will come suddenly.  Rabbi Reuven Cohen's book entitled "Livyas Chein" on Parshat Vayeshev quotes Rav Yaakov Kamenetzky ZT"L as taking this approach.  He says that it is useless and a waste of time to follow news events to show that Mashiah will be coming soon as there is absolutely no way to predict his arrival.  This is, according to him, because his arrival must be sudden - and an integral part of Mashiah coming is the suddenness of it all.

One example from the Torah that shows its suddenness is the birth of the twin baby boys of Yehuda and Tamar - Peretz and Zerah.  It was known to Yehuda and Tamar beforehand that the one to be born first would be the ancestor of Mashiah.  Zerah stuck his hand out first and at that point, everyone thought that Zerah would be the patriarch from whom the Mashiah would descend.  However, all of a sudden, Peretz came out first and the midwife said, מה פרצת עליך פרץ - as if to say, "How did that happen?"  The birth of the ancestor shows the suddenness of his descendant Mashiah's arrival as well.

Whichever way Mashiah is supposed to come, whether via a process or out of the blue, may he come speedily in our days, Amen.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Hint to Iraq War's Duration in Tanach

The Iraq War is over today.

The war started March 20, 2003.

The duration of March 20, 2003 until December 15, 2011 is 3192 days.

According to the gematria feature in GezaGeza, 3192 is the gematria of the following verse (Yeshaya 14:22):

וְקַמְתִּי עֲלֵיהֶם, נְאֻם יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת; וְהִכְרַתִּי לְבָבֶל שֵׁם וּשְׁאָר, וְנִין וָנֶכֶד--נְאֻם-יְהוָה.
And I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon name and remnant, and offshoot and offspring, saith the LORD. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Vayeishev, 5772

From Rav Fish's latest:
  • As Yaakov's ladder hints to the Keitz (as the Midrash states and as the Baal Haturim says והנה סלם = וקץ),  we can understand why וַיַּחֲלֹם וְהִנֵּה מַלְאֲכֵי אֱלֹהִים עֹלִים וְיֹרְדִים בּוֹ has the gematria of תשע"ה.
  • The 3 flocks of sheep in Bereishit 29:2, according to Ba'alei Hatosefot, refer to the 3 exiles - Mitzrayim, Bavel, and Edom.  The words from this verse "עֶדְרֵי צֹאן רֹבְצִים" equal  תשע"א, if adding the words and the Kollel.
  • Or Hahayim on Bereishit 32:3 says "עשו אחיו" refers to the time when Esav and Yaakov were brothers - until the Hurban, "ארצה שעיר" refers to the time after the Hurban when Esav was on top, and "שדה אדום" refers to when Mashiah comes when Esav will be plowed like a field.  R' Shlomo Breyer Shlit"a says that the Targum on "שדה אדום" is "לחקלי אדום" (according to more accurate versions), whose gematria is 229 - the number of years until the end of the millennium.
  • Baal Haturim on the next verse says that the words "עד עתה" refers to the 3 exiles of Mitzrayim, Bavel, and Edom. "וָאֵחַר עַד עָתָּה" is the gematria of תשע"ג with the letters
  • The Yerushalmi in Sota says that Shimshon wanted reward for his eyes - 1 for this world and 1 for the future.  The 'עין הב hints to the year of ע"ב, which is 72 (i.e. 5772)
  • R' Tzion Sivoni Shlit"a said that we need to add 1290 to 1335 and count from the destruction of the first Beit Hamikdash in 3338, which brings us to 5963.  Just like in Egypt the redemption came 190 years earlier than it was supposed to, the same will occur here, which brings us to 5773.
  • R' Yitzchak Ginsburg Shlit"a said that דַּמֶּשֶׂק בַּגְדַּד קַהִיר (Damascus, Baghdad, Cairo) equals the gematria of תשע"ב, hinting to the fact that in this year, we will merit to overpower these 3 Kelipot, and the salvation of Israel will sprout.  Like the Lubavitcher Rebbe said during the Yom Kippur War, when the IDF was close to Damascus, that they should capture it - even for one day - to subdue its Kelipa.
  • R' Tzion Sivoni Shlit"a adds that אחמדיניג'אד (Ahmedinejad) is the same gematria as אסלם (Islam) which is the same letters as the angel known as ס"מ - to hint to the fact that Ahmedinejad is bringing the entire Islam - Yishmael - toward the War of Gog Umagog, which is a war between Edom and Yishmael.
  • He also adds that תשע"ד is Notrikon of תשעת דוד and of תשובו עד ה' אלקיך. Also, תשע"ג is Notrikon for תְּשֻׁעָה גדולה.
  • R' Moshe Mizrahi Shlit"a adds that Bereishit 44:1 (וַיְצַו אֶת אֲשֶׁר עַל בֵּיתוֹ לֵאמר מַלֵּא אֶת אַמְתְּחֹת הָאֲנָשִׁים אכֶל כַּאֲשֶׁר יוּכְלוּן שְׂאֵת וְשִׂים כֶּסֶף אִישׁ בְּפִי אַמְתַּחְתּוֹ) hints to תשע"ב and חתם אמת, which refers to the Berit Milah, which is influenced by Yosef since this year, the influence of the plenty of Mashiah ben Yosef starts toward the side of holiness.  Also, חותם is hinted in a 3-letter backward interval in Bereishit 43:18 הַכֶּסֶף הַשָּׁב בְּאַמְתְּחֹתֵינוּ בַּתְּחִלָּה.
  • The Geula comes when evening turns to morning.  Bereishit Rabba 21:1 - לִכְשֶׁיַּעֲשֶׂה עִרְבָן שֶׁל יִשְׂרָאֵל בֹּקֶר.  Also, Midrash Peliah: מָתַי יָבֹא מָשִׁיחַ, אָמַר לָהֶם וַיְהִי עֶרֶב וַיְהִי בֹקֶר יוֹם הַשִּׁשִּׁי.  This obviously is referring to the sixth millennium.  R' Yosef Sheinburger Shlit"a explains that it hints to the idea that when it will be "ויהי ערב (evening)" - i.e. Minha Gedola of the sixth millennium, then we can merit "ויהי בקר (morning)".
  • The Klausenberger Rebbe ZT"L in 5735 that is brought down here.
  • R' Eliyahu Mann Shlit"a, a relative of R' Chaim Kanievsky Shlit"a, said that last Shemitta year, Rav Chaim Kanievsky told a few supporters of Keren Hashevi'it that it would be the last Shemitta that they would be able to merit in the Mitzvah.  
  • A Jew to whom a baby boy with a brain defect was born came to Rav Chaim Kanievsky downtrodden.  Rav Chaim told him that it won't take long until Mashiah comes.  
  • R' Don Segel Shlit"a spoke recently that we are presently in the time of "evening" and the Redemption is at the doorway, and he mentioned the verse "הָסִרוּ אֶת אֱלֹהֵי הַנֵּכָר אֲשֶׁר בְּתֹכֲכֶם וְהִטַּהֲרוּ".
  • Pirkei DeRibbi Eliezer (chapter 30) says that the children of Yishmael in the future will build the desolate cities in Eretz Yisrael and will clear the pathways in the End of Days.  It's worth noting a story brought down in "Otzerot Aharit Hayamim" (153) that once when R' Zerach Reuven Braverman ZT"L was by R' Yehoshua Leib Diskin ZT"L, they heard the whistling of the train that started traveling to Yerushalayim for the first time, and R' Yehoshua Leib Diskin commented, "They are already clearing the pathways and the time of the Redemption is near."  And what would we say today where there is already a light-rail inside Yerushalayim that passes the Mekom Hamikdash, and we clearly see that HKB"H is preparing the pathways for those who will be Oleh Regel soon.
  • The Baal HaTanya expounded the verse פדה בשלום נפשי when he left the prison on 19 Kislev, meaning that from that day forward, he could publicize the inner secrets of the Torah.  פדה בשלום נפשי is the gematria of י"ט כסלו תשע"ב, meaning that this year is the completion of what he started.
  • R' Yehonatan G. Shlit"a added that the birth of the Baal Shem Tov was 18 Elul, 5458, which is an hour before sunrise of the sixth millennium - i.e. Alot Hashahar.
  • Maharsha on Bava Batra 74b says that in every generation from the time that the wicked kingdom (Edom) arose, they decreed against us not to be busy with Torah and Mitzvot, etc.  Then came the kingdom of Yishmael and as we saw for the most part, in the kingdoms of Yishmael which were kingdoms of kindness, permission was granted for anyone to accept the yoke of Torah and its Mitzvot.
  • We also find in the gemara Menahot 98a with the explanation of Rabbeinu Gershom that they engraved on the eastern gate of the Beit Hamikdash the image of Shushan Habira as a sign of gratitude to the kingdom of Persia who granted them permission to build the Beit Hamikdash.  We see that the Kingdom of Persia which is related to Yishmael (as is brought in the Malbim on Yehezkel 38:5) has no opposition to the Beit Hamikdash.
  • (After quoting the Ramban who says that Tehiyat Hameitim will occur before the year 5800), the verse says קֵץ בָּא הַקֵּץ עַל אַרְבַּע כַּנְפוֹת הָאָרֶץ: עַתָּה הַקֵּץ עָלַיךְִ.  The words עַתָּה הַקֵּץ עָלַיךְִ have a gematria of 800, meaning that after "An end! the end is come upon the four corners of the land", the era of the Ketz will conclude in the year 5800.
  • The word "Eretz" doesn't appear in Megillat Esther, but rather, "Medina", which is an expression of "Din" (judgement) and a similar gematria as חצי (half), to hint to the Sod of Nesira.  Also, the word "Yisrael" doesn't appear in the Megila as "Yisrael" symbolizes the Ze'eir Anpin, which was sleeping during the entire episode of Purim with the aspect of the slumber that Hashem caused to Adam Harishon when He built Hava.  Hence, "Yisrael", if we could say such a thing, didn't exist in Megilat Esther.  This also is occurring in our days where there is a Medina via the Kelipot, which is with the Sod of Nesira, which prepares for the Geula.  And even though the Medina is given the name "Yisrael", true Yisrael is slumbering, just like during the era of Purim.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Newt and Arafat

Newt was roundly praised - and deservedly so - for calling the Palestinians an invented people.

As many before me have noted, they are the realization of the verse:
וַאֲנִי אַקְנִיאֵם בְּלֹא-עָם
and I will rouse them to jealousy with a no-people
The AP reported:
The remarks struck at the heart of Palestinian sensitivities about the righteousness of their struggle for an independent state and put him at odds not only with the international community but with all but an extremist fringe in Israel.
I am proud to be part of that "extremist fringe" that are not at odds with that statement.  And the amount of praised heaped upon Newt for his statement belies the idea that it is merely an "extremist fringe" who thinks a Palestinian state is a bad idea.

Just today, HuffPo published a picture of Newt and Arafat together. This was in 1993 when Arafat was popular with the world.  Yes, he should have known better for meeting with the scum, but it seems he learned his lesson in subsequent years, as the HuffPo article itself points out.

In fact, in 1997, the US News and World Report reported in an Op-Ed:
Newt Gingrich is on the defensive these days, yet he is one of the few who have seen what is happening and have had the courage to define the central issues: "There's a core principle here that we have forgotten ... It is extraordinarily dangerous to confuse the aggressor and the victim. It is extraordinarily dangerous to confuse the terrorist and the democracy. It is extraordinary to always impose the burden on those who are your friends, because you're too timid to tell the truth to those who are your enemies."
From that account, Newt seemed pretty pro-Israel and anti-Arafat in the late 90s. A picture during Oslo won't change that.

But Newt may have more trouble on the way - not from the Palestinians, but rather from the Paulistinians - as Ron Paul has closed in on Newt within one percentage point in Iowa in a new poll.

My Scholarly Post on Astrophysics

_________
_________
_________
_________

Ha, just kidding. I know nothing about astrophysics. Actually, asking me to write a post about astrophysics would be like...like...like asking Arab-party Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi to write an article in the Knesset newsletter on Parshat Hashavua!!! Ha! Ha! Ha!

...What?!?!...You say he did?!?!?!

I better get caught up on my Newton...

Friday, December 09, 2011

Sefer HaHinuch on Gid Hanasheh

After the last post scared everyone, here are some words of consolation.

This is the Sefer HaHinuch talking about the 3rd Mitzvah in the Torah - the Gid Hanasheh:
משרשי מצוה זו כדי שתהיה רמז לישראל שאף על פי שיסבלו צרות רבות בגליות מיד העמים ומיד בני עשו, שיהיו בטוחים שלא יאבדו, אלא לעולם יעמוד זרעם ושמם ויבוא להם גואל ויגאלם מיד צר, ובזכרם תמיד עניין זה על יד המצוה שתהיה לזכרון יעמדו באמונתם ובצדקתם לעולם. ורמז זה הוא לפי שאותו מלאך שנלחם עם יעקב אבינו שבא בקבלה שהיה שרו של עשו רצה לעקרו ליעקב מן העולם הוא וזרעו ולא יכול לו, וצערו בנגיעת הירך וכן זרע עשו מצער לזרע יעקב, ולבסוף תהיה להם ישועה מהם, כמו שמצינו באב שזרחה לו השמש לרפאתו ונושע מן הצעד כן יזרח לנו השמש של משיח וירפאנו מצערינו ויגאלנו אמן במהרה בימינו.
Among the roots of this Mitzva is in order that there be a hint to Israel that even though they suffer many tribulations in the exiles at the hands of the nations and at the hands of the sons of Esav, they should be assured that they will not be destroyed. Rather, their children and name will always endure and a redeemer will come for them and redeem them from the hands of the oppressor. And when they constantly remember this idea by way of this Mitzva, it should be a remembrance that will endure in their faith and in their uprightness forever. And this hint is [in this Mitzva] because that angel that fought with Yaakov Avinu - which tradition tells us was the angel of Esav - wanted to uproot Yaakov from the world along with his children, but could not overcome him, but [nevertheless] caused him pain in touching the thigh. And similarly, the children of Esav cause pain to the children of Yaakov, but in the end, they [the children of Yaakov] will have a salvation from them - just as we find by our father [Yaakov Avinu] where the sun rose to heal him and he was saved from the pain, similarly, the sun of Mashiah will rise for us and heal us from our pain and redeem us, speedily in our days, Amen.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Rav Shteinman: There is a Decree in Shamayim to Destroy the Jews - We Must Strengthen Ourselves to Cancel It

From Kikar:

Rav Shteinman rallied against smart phones (in Hebrew סמרטפונים, which is phonetically (no pun intended) similar to "הצפוני", an alias of the Yetzer Hara), and said that just as one who is about to die gets stronger right before he dies, so too the Satan feels and knows that his end is near so he therefore fights with all his might to have influence and the smart phones make his job easier.

Someone later asked Rav Shteinman if he meant by "his end is near" that it has to do with the threats from the leaders of Iran. Rav Shteinman paused, and the other man continued saying that it seems that we have nothing to worry about because we know that Israel is strong and able to give the Iranians their due, so we have nothing to fear.

Rav Shteinman totally rejected these words and said (my translation):
The wicked Haman in his time threatened annihilation of all the Jews in one day.  Mordechai heard this and trembled.  He gathered all the Jews for prayer and the children for learning about the tenth of an Eipha.

During the Holocaust, Hitler threatened to destroy the Jews and there were those who thought not to pay attention to his words because they thought he was crazy and insane, but Rav Elchanan Wasserman HY"D gathered his students and made it clear to them that they need to strengthen themselves against these threats.  Rav Elchanan brought the story of Haman to his students and told them that even though Haman was a mad-man, Mordechai was still terrified.

Rav Elchanan explained that if Haman is threatening, it's a sign that there is a harsh decree up in heaven to destroy the Jews and there is a chance that Haman will enact it, so Mordechai needed to work to cancel it. Rav Elchanan added to his students that the same is with them in his days - Hitler's threats meant that there was a harsh decree in heaven and everyone must strengthen themselves to cancel it. In contrast to the miracle of Purim, Rav Elchanan perished along with his students during the Holocaust.

The main thing is that someone is threatening us, even when we're talking about a mad-man. This is a clear sign from heaven that there is a decree to annihilate Israel. We must strengthen ourselves in order to cancel it.

Rav Mutzafi: Don't Worry About the Eclipse

Rav Mutzafi Shlit"a was asked if we should relate to [or be concerned about] the lunar eclipse or not.

He replied:

We, the nation of Israel, trust in Hashem Yitbarach and in His Torah and we should not be concerned about all of this. However, we all need to strengthen ourselves in guarding the Torah, modesty, holiness, and the Shabbat, and with Hashem's help, we will be redeemed soon.

Update:

Ladaat quotes books that take a different viewpoint.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Blago, Clinton, and Edom

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (pronounced "Bla GOY a vich") was just sentenced to 14 years in prison today.  Illinois will now have 2 former governors in prison at the same time.  As my Ashkenazi friends would say, "Such Nachas!"

The Sun Times reports:
The prosecutor said Blagojevich “spent seven days on the witness stands perjuring himself. He tried to lie his way out of a guilty verdict.

“He testified Lisa Madigan was his first choice for the Senate seat. That was a lie. He lied repeatedly. He is incredibly manipulative. And he knows how to be. To his credit, he is clever about it.”

Citing news accounts, Schar said he could tell that jurors saw through Blagojevich’s lies.

“Twelve people in a jury box — he caters to them to get what he wants,” Schar said. “The government caught it. I’m happy to see, based on the press reports, that jurors caught it. He managed to hit on things. ... There was a juror from Boston. Suddenly, we heard how he loved the city of Boston. “

Noting that one juror had opened a Greek restaurant and another worked in a library, Schar said: “He said he loved to study at the library and on the way there would stop by the Greek restaurant to get a cup of coffee.”

The judge laughed at that.

Schar continued: “He wanted to manipulate the audience to help himself.”
Just as the pig shows its split hooves to show how it is Kosher, so does Edom try to convince the world how it's Kosher and more moral than everyone else.  Just as Esav tricked Yitzhak into thinking how careful he was in Mitzvot by asking about tithing salt, Governor Blagojevich is a master manipulator and tricked people into liking him.  Almost 3 years ago, I talked about how the former governor was at a Simhat Beit Hasho'eva in Chicago years earlier and was dancing along.  This is another example of this. 

Another case in point: Secretary of State Clinton.  When it suited her, she was very comfortable with Orthodox Jews and their practices. However, recently, she attacked Orthodox religious practices in her speech to the Saban Forum based on her warped idea of moral values.  In response, Rabbi Adlerstein delivered a zinger

In the end, Edom and its moral values will be destroyed and will be replaced by the moral values of the Torah.

70 Years

70 years of David Hamelech
70 years of Galut Bavel
70 years of our lives

70 years since Pearl Harbor - Hebrew date 17 Kislev
70 years between WWII and Mashiah?

That Adar Sheni Gets me Every Time...

I deleted the previous post because of the obvious error in calculation (thanks Moshe Meir) of forgetting Adar Sheni.  I must have a brain freeze when it comes to Adar Sheni because this is the second time I erred with it - the first being here.

כשם שקבלתי שכר על הדרישה כך קבלתי שכר על הפרישה

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Amalek Has Not Yet Been Wiped Out

This week's Perasha introduces us to Amalek, the archenemy of Israel. Of course, we know of his shameful origins from the commentaries on the Perasha. We now know what form he will assume in his shameful last days.

It appears that as far as Amalek's spiritual descendats go, parts of Yishmael and Paras have taken over the reins from Germany.

Tamar Yonah quotes Walid Shoebat: The Shocking Arab Love For Hitler

Elder of Ziyon: "How to Wipe Out Israel" wins Iranian book award

Elder of Ziyon: Mein Kampf is recommended in Virgin Megastores in Qatar and Bahrain and a follow-up.

Monday, December 05, 2011

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Vayetze, 5772

It can be found here.

Some interesting things, but I'm not giving a full summary this time. 

He quotes from the article that quoted the Shomrei Emunim Rebbe that I mentioned earlier and says it's from BaKehila from Sukkot, 5772.

One interesting line (my partial translation):
ושמעתי ממקור מוסמך ששמע מהגר"ח גריינימן שליט"א שהמשיח עומד להגיע בקרוב. (הדברים נאמרו למשפחת מוחתנו שנפטר לאחרונה.)
And I heard from a reliable source who heard from Moreinu HaGaon Rav Chaim Greineman Shlit"a that the Mashiah is ready to come soon.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Sheloshim for Rav Nosson Tzvi Finkel ZT"L in Skokie Yeshiva

It's the Annual "Nines" Prayer Again - This Monday

See this post from 2 years ago, where I discussed the special attributes of praying on the ninth year after Yovel, in the ninth month, in the ninth day and in the ninth hour, as mentioned by the Berit Menuha.

Last year, I was a bit more cautious and suggested people consult their rabbi before doing so as a fellow blogger considers it a possible Issur De'oraita (Biblical prohibition) to specifically pray at that time.  I argued that point, but don't trust me on it - ask your rabbi to be sure.

The Bada"tz of the Edah Hahareidit is now having a prayer rally this coming Monday, the 9th of Kislev in the 9th hour of the day to beseech Hashem for mercy in the wake of tragedies such as the death of Gedolim, the bleak financial situation for Torah institutions, and to prevent certain countries legislating against Shehita and Mila.

One may be asking: if 2 years ago was 9 years after Yovel, how is this an annual event?  It should only come once in 50 years?  The only thing I can say is that perhaps since Yovel doesn't apply nowadays, each year is a Safeik (doubt) of being 9 years after Yovel.  Maybe someone has a better answer.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Recent Interesting Links - Parshat Vayetze, 5772

Site of Yaakov Avinu's Dream Discovered

R' Pinchos Lipshutz talks about Ahdut and Geula

A geula blogger makes Aliya

Shirat Devorah and Arutz Sheva talk about Rebbitzen Jungreis's warning about what lies ahead (which was very similar to what the Shomrei Emunim Rebbe said).

R' Dov Bar-Leib on the Toldot and Vayishlach Effect and the Vayetze Effect sandwiched in the middle

The heretofore unknown Segula of feeding your husband on time for 40 days straight worked

My post 6 years ago on Vayetze