Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Sheep in Haifa, Skunks in Sacramento

Ladaat reports (with pictures) that a Hareidi neighborhood of Haifa was temporarily overrun by dozens of sheep who came to eat the greenery growing in the area.  No shephard was around to the knowledge of the residents there.

Fox News reports on hundreds more skunks than usual in Sacramento, CA looking to mate.

I was thinking of posting about the obvious contrast of the two, but I think a better lesson is showing how Hashem gives every creature exactly what it needs.

עֵינֵי-כֹל, אֵלֶיךָ יְשַׂבֵּרוּ;    וְאַתָּה נוֹתֵן-לָהֶם אֶת-אָכְלָם בְּעִתּוֹ
פּוֹתֵחַ אֶת-יָדֶךָ;    וּמַשְׂבִּיעַ לְכָל-חַי רָצוֹן
The eyes of all wait for Thee, and Thou givest them their food in due season.

Thou openest Thy hand, and satisfiest every living thing with favour.

(אכלם תרתי משמע)


So it was with the Man that Hashem made fall from Shamayim.  So, it doesn't hurt to say Parshat HaMan every day, but especially today - the Tuesday of Parshat Beshalah.

Friday, January 27, 2012

As in the Days of Your Exodus From the Land of Egypt...

The verse says:

כִּימֵי צֵאתְךָ, מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם, אַרְאֶנּוּ, נִפְלָאוֹת
'As in the days of thy coming forth out of the land of Egypt will I show unto him marvellous things.'

What is going on behind the scenes that Hashem will allow miracles to occur during the Final Redemption like what occurred during the days of Egypt, but not earlier?

The Sulam on Bereishit 53b explains that it's all due to sorcery.  If it weren't for sorcery, the righteous would have the ability to perform miracles from the upper worlds in order to bring everyone closer to Hashem, similar to what happened during the Exodus and the later prophets.  However, due to Adam's sin, the 4 worlds of אבי"ע were created on the other side - exactly corresponding to the 4 worlds of אבי"ע on the holy side - in order to distance people from Hashem, as it says in Kohelet גַּם אֶת-זֶה לְעֻמַּת-זֶה, עָשָׂה הָאֱלֹהִים [God hath made even the one as well as the other].  Sorcery has an equal power to the holy side of the righteous to make miracles occur and veto miracles that come from the side of holiness.  Therefore, only on very rare occasions does Hashem overrule the veto and allow for a miracle on the side of good to go through that brings the multitude of people closer and not be vetoed by the sorcerers - like during the Exodus and the time of the prophets.

When Mashiah comes, however, אראנו נפלאות - Hashem will show us miracles - just like when we were in Egypt because at that time, the power of Tum'ah will be nullified from the earth, and there will no longer be fear of the worlds of אבי"ע on the other side.  Therefore, the righteous will be able to create miracles and wonders just like in Egypt.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Israelis' Belief and Observance at Minha Gedola Exceeding Hatzot Levels

Source: English PDF of the report, p. 51

The third Guttman-Avi Chai Report came out and the numbers look good for Torah-based belief and observance in Israel.  Apparently, there was a decline in the 1990s until 2000, but since then, the numbers have climbed and by 2009, have exceeded the 1991 levels.

In regards to belief in the coming of Mashiah, the numbers vastly differ from another poll that I mentioned in 2006.  I wonder why such a huge discrepancy.  The 2006 number (43%) is lower than the 1999 number (45%), but then climbed way up to 55% in 2009?  It doesn't make sense unless something beyond reason is occurring.

Yeshaya 11:9:

כִּי-מָלְאָה הָאָרֶץ, דֵּעָה אֶת-יְהוָה, כַּמַּיִם, לַיָּם מְכַסִּים
for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Bo 5772

From Rav Fish's latest:
  • The verse says (Zecharia 8:19) "כֹּה-אָמַר יְהוָה צְבָאוֹת, צוֹם הָרְבִיעִי וְצוֹם הַחֲמִישִׁי וְצוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי וְצוֹם הָעֲשִׂירִי יִהְיֶה לְבֵית-יְהוּדָה לְשָׂשׂוֹן וּלְשִׂמְחָה, וּלְמֹעֲדִים, טוֹבִים ['Thus saith the LORD of hosts: The fast of the fourth month, and the fast of the fifth, and the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth, shall be to the house of Judah joy and gladness, and cheerful seasons;]"  And it's definitely hinted to within the verse when this will be fulfilled.  I heard from a young man who wishes to remain anonymous to whom an amazing dream was revealed about this verse.  He dreamt that he saw the words of this verse, and afterwards, he saw the letters תשעה באב [Tish'a Be'av], with the first letter bigger than the rest.  Then, he saw the letters שבעה עשר בתמוז [seventeenth of Tamuz], with the first letter bigger than the rest.  Next, he saw the letters עשרה בטבת [tenth of Tevet], with the first letter bigger than the rest.  Finally, he saw the letters גדליה [Gedalia], with the first letter bigger than the rest.  Together, the Rashei Teivot of the 4 fasts are תשע"ג.  This comes out according to the order of stringency of the fasts [most stringent to least stringent]:  Tish'a Be'av, Shiv'a Asar Betamuz, Asara BeTevet, Gedalia.  We should merit this year to fulfill this verse that all fasts should turn into festivals, Amen, Ken Yehi Ratzon.  Also, the Rashei Teivot and Sofei Teivot of this part of the verse"צוֹם הָרְבִיעִי וְצוֹם הַחֲמִישִׁי וְצוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי וְצוֹם הָעֲשִׂירִי יִהְיֶה לְבֵית" is the gematria of תשע"ג [which is 773].
  • Rav Shmuel Weingurt adds that we find in the Midrash (Pesikta Rabati 37):
    Ribbi Shimon ben Pazi said: At the moment that HKB"H raises the Mashiah until the heavens and spreads the glory of His honor over him because of the nations of the world, in front of the wicked Persians, He tells him, "Efraim [a nickname of Mashiah]!  Our righteous Mashiah!  Judge these people and do with them whatever you want for were it not for the mercy which overcame you in the extreme, they would have already destroyed you from the world in one second.
    We see from here, that during the Redemption, the Persians will act in one second.
  • ארז [cedar] has the same gematria as אור [light] with the Kollel.  Also, the verse (Yeshaya 40:1) נחמו נחמו עמי is the gematria of ארז.
  • תשע"ד [which is 774] is the gematria of רוח מלכנו משיחנו.
  • The verse that hints to Yihud Panim Befanim (Devarim 5:4) פָּנִים בְּפָנִים, דִּבֶּר יְהוָה עִמָּכֶם בָּהָר--מִתּוֹךְ הָאֵשׁ [The LORD spoke with you face to face in the mount out of the midst of the fire] has the gematria of תשע"ב [which is 772].
  • [After mentioning how the words in Rut 2:14 hint to parts of the Redemption process, he adds more information.] Also, the year תשל"ו [which is 5736], which is a part of the Endtime process, as mentioned earlier [by the Ariza"l], is hinted to in the continuation of the verse [verse 16]" וְגַם שֹׁל-תָּשֹׁלּוּ לָהּ, מִן-הַצְּבָתִים; וַעֲזַבְתֶּם וְלִקְּטָה [And also pull out some for her of purpose from the bundles, and leave it, and let her glean]."
  • [After talking about how חשים - Hushim, the son of Dan - has the same letters as משיח - Mashiah, he adds:]  We find in the Yerushalmi (Yevamot 48b) that the verse in Divrei Hayamim I 8:8 calls Boaz - at the time that he married Rut in order to be the father of the root of Mashiah - by the name of חושים [Hushim], because he concerned himself [חש] to learn the halacha that a Moabite man cannot enter the congregation, but a Moabite woman could.
  • [After talking about Shimshon's connection to Mashiah, he says:] שמשון ע' הב' [Shimshon - the second eye] has the gematria of תשע"ג [which is 773].
  • From last week:
    Rav Menachem Zisman adds that Tehillim chapter 72! speaks about the Mashiah "יְהִי שְׁמוֹ, לְעוֹלָם-- לִפְנֵי-שֶׁמֶשׁ, ינין (יִנּוֹן) שְׁמוֹ" [Yinon is one of the names of Mashiah.] The chapter concludes, "כָּלּוּ תְפִלּוֹת-- דָּוִד, בֶּן-יִשָׁי [The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.]" which hints to the End of Days.
    And really, this verse is difficult - why would David say about himself that his prayers were finished and ended?  Did King David finish praying?  It could be explained according to what we are saying that David is hinting to the fact that until 72, he is praying to sweeten the exile, but after 72 [meaning 5772], there is already a Redemption.  Also, the Radak explains there:
    "The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended" - when these consolations will be fulfilled, then the prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.  And it doesn't say "songs" or "praises", but rather, "prayers" - dealing with atonement, forgiveness, and salvation - because when everything is complete and the King Mashiah ben David will rule, they will no longer need atonement or salvation, and then, the prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.
  • Rav Shalom Tzur Shlit"a adds that הרב הקדוש מבעלזא [the holy rabbi from Belz] is the gematria of תשע"ב [which is 5772].
  • [After saying that slaying of Baba Elazar has the aspect of the stabbing of Mashiah ben Yosef, he adds that:] The funeral and eulogy came out from the Porat Yosef Yeshiva.
  • [After talking about the power of 9s and the 9th Sefira of Yesod, he adds that:] Also, the greatest downturn in our generation is with matters of the Yesod [guarding the Berit Mila].  And it is also brought down in the name of the Ben Ish Hai that he said that before Mashiah comes, there will be a great downturn in matters of modesty.
  • We find in the Zohar Hadash (Balak 68b):
    [On the verse אראנו ולא עתה - "Rabbi, Rabbi! How hard is the matter? How long is the time? How many troubles upon troubles are prepared for the Jewish people in exile? How many beasts will rule? How many will roar to tear Israel asunder in every era until the End of Days?" At the time that will be prepared according to the counting of years of Yovel and Shemitta together - which is 274 from the 6th day. A sound will be awakened from the highest heights of the heavens, a bitterly sad sound, that which never existed before from the day that the worlds were created. ... And that sound will be soft and quiet, with bitterness and sadness, going down and going up, going up and going down. And it also says, "A lovely impala you were to Me from the early days, but you were forgotten from Me. I had everlasting love with it. I remember that the seal of its image was sealed upon My heart and was sealed upon My arm, and its love was strong inside Me, and its flashes of flames burn inside Me." At that time, HKB"H will strengthen Himself and appease His impala with many appeasements, and will strengthen it, and will raise it from the dust - He and no one else.
    We see from here that the Zohar mentions 274 years - not like other places where the Zohar mentions 272 years. The Ziv HaZohar on the Zohar Hadash (Shir Hashirim 5) explains that there is a Redemption process that lasts 2 years - and this explanation is similar to the way we explained it in this essay.
  • Hashem's name with the מילוי ס"ג, which symbolizes the Sefira of Bina, with its simple gematria plus its Milui plus the Milui of the Milui is the gematria of 772.  Also, the year 5772 is the second of this decade, so in the matter of the indivdual year, it is the aspect of Bina.  This means that from aspects of the decade and the century, we are in the Sefirot of Hod, while from the aspect of the individual year of 5772, we are in Bina, as we have Kavana in the Siddur of the Rasha"sh for the year 5772: Bina of Hod of Hod.
  • [After mentioning that the Milui of יעקוב with the Kollel is 771, he adds that:] We also find in the Zohar (Aharei 66b) that יעקוב with the ו is the Sod of the Be'itah Redemption.
  • [After mentioning that ברק אובאמה is the gematria of נחש, which is the arch-enemy of משיח and shares its gematria, he adds:]  And also, ברק חוסיין אובמה has the gematria of סוכת דוד.
  • [After mentioning that ברק חוסיין אובאמה is the gematria of ארור המן and ברוך מרדכי, he adds:]  And also, ארור המן ברוך מרדכי is the gematria of the Milui of ה'תשע"ג as ה"י תי"ו שי"ן עי"ן גימ"ל.
  • The Sofei Teivot of the Milui of ה'תש"ע as ה"י תי"ו שי"ן עי"ן are the letters of ינון - a name of Mashiah.
  • [After quoting the Hafetz Hayim saying that the Gog Umagog War is divided into 3 parts, which is interpreted as WWI, WWII, and a war that has not yet occurred,] We will bring quotes from the newspaper "Hamevaser" (28 Tevet, 5772):
    The Mufti of Yerushalayim calls for the killing of Jews

    In an event that was arranged last week, Hussein said, "The moment of the resurrection of the dead will not come until the Muslims will not be afraid of fighting the Jews and killing them and will bring the moment of the resurrection of the dead closer."
    We see that the events that occurred before the second world war are reoccurring these days exactly the same way - Hashem should have mercy and pity on His nation Israel.  As it is known that on the eve of WWII, the Mufti of then went to strengthen the Germans YM"S and called for the destruction of the Jews.
  • Commentators ask: why on the holiday of Shavuot do Diaspora Jews add an extra day because of Sefeika DeYoma [the doubt of days in the calendar]?  Isn't the holiday set as the 50th day after Sefirat Ha'omer? So there should be no concern that the messengers will not reach [those in the Diaspora to tell them when Rosh Hodesh was]!  The Magen Avraham (494) answers that they want to also fulfil the opinion of Ribbi Yosei that the Torah was given on the seventh of Sivan.  The Hatam Sofer (Beitza 4b) asks on this: If so, why do only Diaspora Jews do so?  He answers that the Diaspora Jews, since they are in the Diaspora in exile, they add an extra day corresponding to the Future Redemption - so that they will remember that they are still in exile and were not redeemed, and they will not disrespect the other second days of holidays for those in exile.  According to what we said, that שָׁבֻעֹת is the same letters as תשע"ב, therefore, this holiday hints to the Future Redemption.
  • ה'תשע"ב is the second letter of each word in the Targum of the verse (Yeshaya 27:13) בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, יִתָּקַע בְּשׁוֹפָר גָּדוֹל [in that day, that a great horn shall be blown] which is:  בְּעִדְנָא הַהִיא יִתְקַע בְּשׁוֹפָרָא רַבָּא
  • Also תקון עולם במלכות שדי is the Rashei Teivot of תשע"ב

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

"Mashiah" in the News

2 news items from 2 women whose first name starts with an "N" and whose last name is "Mashiah".

Al Arabiya has an article from Naava Mashiah called "Are Arab Jews extinct?"
Elder of Ziyon has a guest post from Point of No Return who critiques it.

Meanwhile, Natalie Mashiach is claiming she was lynched by a band of extremist Hareidim in Beit Shemesh while putting up posters for the lottery, while she almost ended up like the victim of the short story "The Lottery".  Avreichim there are calling it a provocation since she initially refused to leave the Beit Midrash after being asked to do so (which does not at all justify the lynch, but merely shows the context).

We hope and pray to Hashem that the real Mashiah comes to save us from all those who come to harm us.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rav Chaim Kanievsky: Don't Destroy Grasshopper Miracle Wall

The well-known story of Rav Chaim Kanievsky and the grasshopper is back in the news again.

Kikar is now reporting that after doing some renovations on his apartment to connect it to his son's apartment, he woke up on a Friday night looking at one of the walls of the house, saying, "I'm concerned that they knocked down the wall upon which the grasshopper miracle happened." 

He explained, "There is a known story with the Hid"a ZT"L where a miracle occurred on the steps close to his home, and after a while, he requested that they cover the steps with pure gold as a sign and wonder about the holy event - so that Jews would be strengthened in their Emuna with this and they will see that there is a Leader to the tower."

I couldn't tell from the story whether the wall was actually knocked down or not.  Also, the story that I heard had it occurring via a window - not a wall.  If someone knows how to reconcile these issues, I'd appreciate it if you can answer in the comments.  But it is interesting nonetheless.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Moshe Feiglin on a Jewish Economy

From his website:
What is your stand on economy?

In a Jewish country the economy should be based on a triangle whose base is capitalism (the right of purchase) and whose right and left sides are faith and lovingkindness. I abhor populist socialism that essentially demands equal distribution of poverty. I believe that the state does not have the right to rob one of his possessions, and it must interfere with the economy as little as possible.

To deal with poverty we must hold district elections and develop community organizations. In doing so we will restore personal responsibility to our citizens and develop the Jewish values of loving kindness and mutual responsibility. The centralized welfare policies currently in effect in Israel have gone bankrupt long ago, and we all feel it. We must develop the traditional Jewish community structure (that the State of Israel essentially destroyed), and in this way erase the phenomenon of hungry children and forgotten elderly.

Also, on News1:
יושב-ראש מנהיגות יהודית בליכוד, משה פייגלין, דיבר על כלכלה יהודית. הוא אמר כי למרות תמיכתו במחאה החברתית מאולם לא הגיע למאהל משום שהפתרון אותו מציעים מארגני המחאה אינו יהודי. הפתרון אותו הציע לבעיית הדיור הוא העברת הקרקעות מרשות המדינה, המחזיקה ב-93% מהן, לרשות האזרחים.

פייגלין אמר כי המדיניות הכלכלית בישראל נעה במטוטלת שבין תפישה סוציאליסטית קיצונית לתפישה קפיטליסטית, ואילו התפישה היהודית אינה נמצאת בראש מעייני מעצבי הכלכלה בארץ. הוא ציטט מדברי זאב ז'בוטינסקי שאמר "אני בורגני" וגישתו לא התקבלה בעשורים הראשונים לקום המדינה, בהם ננקטה מדיניות שתקעה את כלכלת ישראל במצב רע. בהחלט יש כלכלה יהודית, אמר מבלי להסתייג מהזכאות להיות טייקונים ("אבותינו אברהם, יצחק ויעקב היו מיליארדרים"). לדבריו, עושר הוא טוב כל עוד בעליו מבין שניתן לו כפיקדן מאת הבורא כדי לסייע לאחרים. כדוגמה למודל עסקי יהודי ציין את פועלו של איש העסקים רמי לוי.
My translation:
The chairman of Manhigut Yehudit in Likud, Moshe Feiglin, spoke about a Jewish economy.  He said that despite his support for the social protests from the hall, he didn't go to the protest tent because the solution that the organizers of the protests are suggesting is not Jewish.  The solution that he suggests for the housing problem is transfering lands from the state, which owns 93% of them, to the citizens.

Feiglin said that the economic policy in Israel moved on the pendulum between an extreme socialist outlook and a capitalist outlook, whereas the Jewish outlook isn't present in the analytical head of designers of the economy in the land.  He quoted Ze'ev Jabotinsky who said, "I am Bourgeois" and his approach was not accepted in the initial decades since the founding of the state, of which policies were taken that put the Israeli economy in a bad situation.  "There is definitely a Jewish economy," he said without disapproving the right to be tycoons ("Our forefathers Avraham, Yitzhak, and Yaakov were billionaires").  According to him, wealth is good as long as its owners understand that it was given to him on loan from the Creator in order to help others.  As an example for a model of Jewish business, he noted the works of businessman Rami Levi.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Recent Interesting Links - Va'era 5772

R' Pinchos Lipshutz - Find Reasons to Sing

Going Home - Infighting the Ingathering

Tomer Devorah - Messages, Where are we now in the geulah process?, Rav Fish on Sefer Daniel, and Rav Fish on Gog Umagog

Shirat Devorah - Rumors of Moshiach: Av 5772

R' Lazer Brody - Hashem's Cop

Life in Israel - We Are the 99%

Matzav - Belz wants Shalom with Satmar...

Ladaat - ...but Satmar publication Der Yid is having none of it.  Sigh.

Matzav - Rav Yaakov Yosef Shlit"a in Need of Rachamei Shomayim

Kikar - Rav Berland Shlit"a Encourages Rav Yaakov Yosef to be Strong

Fox News - Iraq Demands Saddam's Bottom (read best w/ a George Bush inflection)
 
VIN - Jewish Billionaire Donates $7.5 Million for Washington Monument Damaged in East Coast Earthquake
 
My own views based on Kikar links - Eli Yishai speaks the truth by saying that the Lebanon War consisted of Kohi Ve'otzem Yadi, but got his words twisted and got a lot of people mad, including Frum bloggers.  He now explained how Jewish survival is based on the Torah - nothing else.  Baruch Hashem Israel has such a minister who speaks the Emet.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Va'era 5772

From Rav Fish's latest:
  • [After quoting sources that the Gog Umagog War will last 3 hours,] I heard from Rav Menachem Zisman that ג' שָׁעֹת is the same letters as תשע"ג.
  • [After quoting the Zohar that connects the verse כארז בלבנון ישגה to the final exile,] the word כארז is the gematria of 228 - the years until the end of the millennium.  Rav Moshe Levinger adds that בלבנון ישגה hints to the Beit Hamikdash, which is called לבנון.
  • Rav Menachem Zisman adds that Tehillim chapter 72! speaks about the Mashiah "יְהִי שְׁמוֹ, לְעוֹלָם--    לִפְנֵי-שֶׁמֶשׁ, ינין (יִנּוֹן) שְׁמוֹ" [Yinon is one of the names of Mashiah.]  The chapter concludes, "כָּלּוּ תְפִלּוֹת--    דָּוִד, בֶּן-יִשָׁי [The prayers of David the son of Jesse are ended.]" which hints to the End of Days.
  • I heard from Rav Menachem Zisman that תשע"ב has the letters בְּתֵשַׁע to hint to the Sefira of Yesod, which is the 9th Sefira.  This is saying that this year, the Yesod will come to its purpose and completion.  Alternatively, תשע"ב is ב [which equals 2] times תשע [which equals 9], which altogether equals Hai - 18, which hints to Yesod.  Included in all the 10 years from תש"ע [which is 5770] and on, there is a connection to Yesod since they are connected to the letters תש"ע, which is a number that represents Yesod.  It is similarly brought in many places in the book "Kol Hator" in the name of the Gr"a that the Redemption is dependant on Yesod by exchanging the letters טצ"ץ, which are interchangable in the אי"ק בכ"ר system.  And again, we see the number 9 as ט is 9, צ is 90, and ץ is 900.  It is also brought down in the Hesed Le'Avraham (Ma'ayan 1, Nehar 3):
    The exile, however, will last until these levels will descend one after the other. And one who knows how to measure and count the measurement of this downward traveling - how far we are descending every day, will be able to know how long our exile will last and will know the time of Redemption. And this is what the verse says "סֻכַּת דָּוִיד הַנֹּפֶלֶת [the tabernacle of David that is fallen]" because it is always falling until it reaches and lies in the dust, and then קוּמָה, עֶזְרָתָה לָּנוּ Arise for our help, and redeem us for Thy mercy's sake."
    We see that the Be'itah Redemption will occur when Am Yisrael will be at the epitome of descent. And the number 9 is the lowest number from 1 to 9. It's also known what the Berit Menuha writes about the 9th month, 9th day, and 9th hour - that they are extremely auspicious times to connect to HKB"H.  Also, Rav Nahman of Breslov, when he speaks about a Be'itah Redemption, he says, "קץ האמת [the endtime of truth] (see Likutei Mohara"n 186).  And אמת has the Mispar Katan of 9, as it's known that this number [9] returns to itself constantly and reveals the Sod of truth inside.  And it's also brought down in the "Sha'ar Ma'amarei Rashb"i" by the Ariza"l (p. 45) that Yesod has the aspect of the letter ט.  Also, 9x9 is the gematria of יסוד [with the Kollel].  And שבת, which influences the Yesod, has the Mispar Katan of 9 as the Sefira of Yesod is the 9th of the 10 Sefirot when you count the early Sefirot which have the root of Yesod.  We also find in the Zohar (Introduction 3a) that Yesod has the aspect of the letter ט where the Or HaGanuz was hidden therein and will be revealed in the future.  Also, the letter צ which represents Yesod is the number 90.  And also, י-ה x ו [which is 15x6] = 90 as י-ה and ו hints to the 9 Sefirot which are included in י-ה-ו, so its gematria is 90.  We also see that the numbers 6 and 9 have the same shape, but one is round on the bottom and one is round on top.  And also, we find a connection between Binyamin, who influences the Yesod and the number 9 as it says (Bemidbar 7:60) "בַּיּוֹם, הַתְּשִׁיעִי, נָשִׂיא, לִבְנֵי בִנְיָמִן [On the ninth day ..., prince of the children of Benjamin]".  And it is also publicized that there was a solar eclipse on Rosh Hodesh Av, 5769 - before the תש"ע decade began - in the Far East, and when the moon moved from the sun and the sun began to shine, it was shining like a star of David, and the matter made great noise in the world.  And Rav Menahem Zisman explained that before the world enters the decade of the Keitz, wherein Hashem returns the kingdom to the House of David to fulfil His promise to David, the following verses will be fulfilled (Tehillim 89:37-38) " זַרְעוֹ, לְעוֹלָם יִהְיֶה;    וְכִסְאוֹ כַשֶּׁמֶשׁ נֶגְדִּי.  כְּיָרֵחַ, יִכּוֹן עוֹלָם;    וְעֵד בַּשַּׁחַק, נֶאֱמָן סֶלָה. [His seed shall endure for ever, and his throne as the sun before Me.  It shall be established for ever as the moon; and be stedfast as the witness in sky.' Selah]".  And as Rashi explains there, "The sun and the moon are witnesses to it."  This means that the sun and the moon testify about the return of the kingdom to the House of David.  Therefore, during a solar eclipse, which represents the fall of the nations of the world, the sun and the moon testify about the return of the kingdom of the House of David soon, Amen, Ken Yehi Ratzon...
  • [Referring to a verse in Ha'azinu that talks about the future redemption כִּי-אֶשָּׂא אֶל-שָׁמַיִם, יָדִי [For I lift up My hand to heaven]] This verse's Rashei Teivot have the gematria of שכבי, and we find in the Zohar Hadash (Rut 107a), "And if your good deeds will testify about you to redeem you, he will redeem, and if not, I will redeemAs Hashem lives, lie down until the morning - until comes the morning and the shining of Redemption."  And it's also brought down in the Sefat Emet (Shavuot 5658) that this verse refers to a Be'itah Redemption.  And we see in 2 places the Sod of a Be'itah Redemption, which has the Sod of an oath, by way of the aspect of Hai (18) which represents Yesod.  As we already said that תשע"ב is ב x תשע [which is 2x9] which equals 18.  חַי-יְהוָה; שִׁכְבִי, עַד-הַבֹּקֶר with the letters has the gematria of 773.
  • The Milui of ה תשע"ב is הי תיו שין עין בית which, together with the 2 words = 1335 [as in Daniel 12:12].
  • The Milui of תשע"ג is תיו שין עין גימל, which is the gematria of משיח בן יוסף משיח בן דוד.
  • Rav Menachem Zisman adds that [as the verse where David tells the Mashiah to start to work in the world is חֲגוֹר-חַרְבְּךָ עַל-יָרֵךְ גִּבּוֹר [Gird thy sword upon thy thigh, O mighty one]], where both חרבך and ירך have the gematria of 230, which is the number of years from the beginning of 5771 until the end of the 6000 years.
  • Rav D. Leiv adds that ראש חודש ניסן has the gematria of תשע"ג when using the Milui of תיו שין עין גימל.
  • Rav D. Leiv adds that גוג ומגוג התשע"ג has the gematria of חייב איניש לבסומי בפוריא.
  • [After talking about the connection of No'ah sending the dove and the year 5772,] the verse עֲלֵה-זַיִת טָרָף בְּפִיהָ [in her mouth an olive-leaf freshly plucked] hints to the acceptance of the influence of food directly from Hashem, as is brought down in the gemara (Sanhedrin 108b): "In her mouth an olive-leaf freshly plucked - Ribbi Elazar said: The dove said before HKB"H:  Master of the universe!  Let my food be bitter like an olive and delivered via Your hand and not sweet like honey delivered via the hand of flesh and blood."  And we will explain that in the year 5772 will begin the influence of satiety and sustanence on the side of holiness directly from Hashem, and not like the time of the exile where it is received via the Kelipot.
  • [The verse וַיְהִי, מִקֵּץ שְׁנָתַיִם יָמִים [And it came to pass at the end of two full years] which refers to 230 years minus 2 year from the end of the millennium] tells us that the ויהי, which is an expression of trouble will end during this time.
  • [The verse  אַחֲרֵי נִמְכַּר, גְּאֻלָּה תִּהְיֶה-לּוֹ:  אֶחָד מֵאֶחָיו, יִגְאָלֶנּוּ [after that he is sold he may be redeemed; one of his brethren may redeem him], whose Rashei Teivot and Sofei Teivot add up to ה' תשע"ב] - the Hatam Sofer has a tradition that the Keitz of the Final Redemption is hinted in this verse.
  • It is brought down in the Kuntras called "Nishmatin Hadtin" from Rav Y. M. Morgenshtern Shlit"a (Vayehi 5772) that many years ago, Rav Y. M. Morgenshtern asked Rav Leib Friedman ZT"L, a student of the Hafetz Hayim, to reveal to him one of the hidden Lamed-vavniks - [the 36 righteous people upon whom the world stands].  He answered him that the righteous Rav Mendel Gafner ZT"L was one of the hidden Lamed-vavniks.  Rav Y. M. Morgenshtern went to Rav Gafner ZT"L and Rav Gafner told him that he had a custom of secluding himself every day by the Kotel - opposite the Holy of Holies - and to complete the book of Tehillim there in Hitbodedut [solitary prayer].  When the year of 5736 arrived, which was the Keitz of the Ariza"l, the Klausenberger Rebbe ZY"A sent to him at the beginning of the year that in this year, he should have concentration that all his prayers should solely be for the purpose of the Final Redemption.  This is what he did - that the chapters of Tehillim that he said every day was only for the sake of Mashiah coming in mercy.  He also founded the well-attended Birkat Kohanim for the sake of hastening the Redemption in mercy.  Well, one day during that year, the Biala Rebbe ZY"A sent him that the next day, he should gather many righteous women to the Kotel to pray for the Complete Redemption.  That day, during his recital of Tehillim in that closed room where no one else could enter, suddenly, he saw that a tall black man was standing next to him, and Rav Gafner was very much astonished, and wondered how this black man could enter the room.  The black man turned to him with a threat and a warning and told him, "Nothing you do will help!" and he disappeared from there.  Rav Gafner sent and told this to the Biala Rebbe, and he replied that it appears from this that he should not make the gathering of the women so as not to push the Keitz and not to provoke the S"M.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Milkman Predicts: US Will Strike Iran While Israel Stands By Smiling

Source (Hebrew)

The Kabbalist known as "The Milkman" predicted that the United States will strike Iran while Israel will stand on the side smiling.  The Rav did not give any timetable for this strike.

(I've mentioned the Milkman before and referred you to a VIN article that tells more about him.)

How Many Expressions of Redemption Are There? 4? 5? Try 10!

...according to R' Yitzchak Ginsburgh (Hebrew)

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rav Ovadia Prays for Mubarak and Explains Why

As a follow-up to the previous post, I've mentioned in the past how Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a had great respect for former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.  In a clip of a recent Shiur that can be read and heard on Kikar HaShabbat, Rav Ovadia explains why he respects him.

According to the Shiur, 28 years ago, the Egyptians wanted to build a road that passed through a Jewish cemetery, which included graves of great rabbis.  Rav Ovadia was then the Sephardic Chief Rabbi and wanted to stop this, so he went with R' Aryeh Deri to Cairo to see President Mubarak.  Rav Ovadia was greeted with tremendous respect and honor, he said.  He pleaded his case to President Mubarak, who granted his request to move the road despite it costing a lot more money.  There were some other secret requests that were granted as well.  Everything that was requested was granted, and he kept his promise in the end.

When they were done, President Mubarak had everyone leave the room and asked Rav Ovadia for a blessing.  Rav Ovadia blessed him with long days over his government.  The blessing was fulfilled as he ruled over 30 years.

Rav Ovadia continued and said that Mubarak brought honor to Egypt, prevented wars from occurring, and was an Oheiv Yisrael.  He concluded with a prayer for him to be found innocent in his trial and a Refuah Sheleima.

I'll just add that we now have a new interpretation of:

ויקם מלך חדש על מצרים אשר לא ידע את יוסף

Friday, January 13, 2012

Government Overthrown in Egypt: Then and Now

Shemot Rabba 1:8(9?) (text from here - also in Tanhuma):
רבנן אמרי למה קראו מלך חדש והלוא פרעה עצמו היה אלא שאמרו המצריים לפרעה בוא ונזדוג לאומה זו אמר להם שוטים אתם עד עכשיו משלהם אנו אוכלים והיאך נזדוג להם אלולי יוסף לא היינו חיים כיון שלא שמע להם הורידוהו מכסאו שלושה חדשים עד שאמר להם כל מה שאתם רוצים הריני עמכם והשיבו אותו לפיכך כתיב ויקם מלך חדש
My translation:
The Rabbis say: Why does the Torah call him "a new king"?  Is he not the same Par'o himself?  Rather, the Egyptians said to Par'o, "Come, let us engage this nation [the Israelites in battle]!"  He told them, "You fools!  Until now, we [only] ate [food] because of them - how could we engage them?  If it weren't for Yosef, we wouldn't have lived!"  Since he did not listen to them, they dethroned him for 3 months - until he finally told them, "Whatever you want, I am with you,"  so they returned him to the throne.  Therefore, it is written, "And a new king arose."
Any connection to events that had transpired in Egypt in the past 12 months are purely non-coincidental.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Rav Mordechai Eliyahu and the Netilat Yadayim Code

This week's Pahad David (p. 2) has a fascinating story about Rav Mordechai Eliyahu ZT"L that took place during the Yom Kippur War, told over by Rav Mordechai Nagari Shlit"a, Sepharadi chief rabbi of Ma'alei Adumim.  I will try to translate the story:

The war was very difficult for the Israeli soldiers who served over the Egyptian border to connect from the area of the Suez Canal inland.

One night, approaching early morning, the phone rang in the home of Rav Mordechai Eliyahu ZT"L.  On the line was the operator of troops of the South.  The female soldier/operator asked, "Are you Rav Mordechai Eliyahu?"  The rabbi answered in the affirmative and asked how he can help.  "On the line is a soldier at his post who wants to ask an emergency operational question," answered the operator.  She explained that every post has a half-hour every day to communicate, and the time for this post has arrived.  She asked if the rabbi would be able to take the call.

The rabbi, of course, answered positively and listened to the question.  The soldier started saying, "The water situation at the post is sparse and rationed out.  Due to this situation, what should I do regarding Netilat Yadayim?  Should I wash once in the morning or should I wash every time I eat and go to the bathroom?"

The rabbi answered, "You are exempt - you are in a time of war - it is Piku'ah Nefesh!"  The soldier continued and asked the rabbi, "How is it possible to refrain from Netilat Yadayim?  It is very difficult for me to think about doing so.  Is it possible to eat my sandwich with a napkin?  I don't want to be lenient - I want to know what the halacha is in the matter."

The advice of the rabbi was that in the morning, he should wash once and make a stipulation that he is not taking his mind off [the cleanliness of his hands] for the entire day.  As a result of this stipulation, he will not be required to wash before any meal.  After leaving the washroom, he should wipe his hands on anything that cleans, and this will be good enough.

During this halachic discourse, the operator who was listening in on the conversation interrupted and told the soldier, "Excuse me!  You told me that this is an operational conversation that is related to the war.  I hear that there is a regular conversation going on.  This is definitely not an operational conversation."

The soldier, without batting an eyelash, replied, "We are speaking in codes.  This is a conversation that is very important for the success of the battle..."

The rabbi, listening in on this conversation between the soldier and the operator, understood that the soldier went to great lengths in order to make this phone call to ask this halachic question, and couldn't bring himself to hang up the phone.  While the phone receiver was still in his hands, the rabbi looked upwards and said, "Master of the universe!  See what kind of soldiers You have!  In such conditions, they are careful in Mitzvot - even Rabbinic Mitzvot!  I beseech You, Hashem Yitbarach - save them from all evil!"

The operator, upon hearing the words of the rabbi, started to understand that they were speaking with a direct connection to HKB"H, and she asked the rabbi to bless her as well.  And indeed, the rabbi granted her request, and also blessed the operator who assisted with this communication with good life and peace.

Many years after this event, Rav Mordechai Eliyahu was invited to a gathering in a school in Rishon LeTzion.  One of the students asked the rabbi a question in the laws of Netilat Yadayim.  The student's question was, "What do we do when there is no water in the area we are in?"  The rabbi explained to him the laws about this: that one must go 4 Mil ahead and 1 Mil back in order to find water, etc.  After discussing the halachot, the rabbi added the story about the soldier from that post in the Suez Canal who called him at night and asked what he was to do under war conditions.

Suddenly, one of the teachers of that school approached, with a lot of emotion and teary eyes, and told the rabbi, "I was that soldier that was there and spoke to you on the other end of the line."  Afterwards, the teacher continued and described in front of the rabbi and the students who were present in the hall what occurred from the moment that telephone conversation was over.  This is what the teacher said, "Immediately after the telephone conversation began heavy shelling of the post [by the Egyptians].  I was struck with amazement when opposite my eyes, an exciting vision was revealed that looked like it was a hallucination.  The image of Rav Mordechai Eliyahu was revealed in the battlefield and every shell that came from the Egyptian side was moved over to the side by way of the hand of the rabbi...

Was this connected to the insistence of carefulness about the laws of Netilat Yadayim?

Monday, January 09, 2012

Tebow, 3:16, and Geula

Tim Tebow has done it again.  Amazingly, he defeated another team in overtime.  This time, the Steelers.

In the game, Tebow threw for 316 yards, averaging 31.6 yards per completion.

Many X-tian believers point to one of their so-called New Testament books in Chapter 3 verse 16, which talks about Oto Ha'Ish...yada yada yada.

I would say a better verse to use is one from this week's Perasha - Shemot 3:16

לֵךְ וְאָסַפְתָּ אֶת-זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְאָמַרְתָּ אֲלֵהֶם יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבֹתֵיכֶם נִרְאָה אֵלַי, אֱלֹהֵי אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב, לֵאמֹר:  פָּקֹד פָּקַדְתִּי אֶתְכֶם, וְאֶת-הֶעָשׂוּי לָכֶם בְּמִצְרָיִם

Go, and gather the elders of Israel together, and say unto them: The LORD, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, hath appeared unto me, saying: I have surely remembered you, and seen that which is done to you in Egypt.
This verse is where Moshe Rabbeinu is revealed by the secret code of פקד פקדתי to identify him as the redeemer (see this post).  If Tebow wants to be identified as a redeemer of the Broncos, he needs to attach himself with this verse, not the one in the so-called New Testament.

In the past, Moshe Rabbeinu delivered us and we scored a victory from the stealers of Jewish dignity - the Egyptians.  In the future, Mashiah will use a different code to redeem us late in overtime from deep in our own territory and bring us to the Promised Land.  May this future that awaits us occur speedily in our days.  Amen.

Again - A Daley Replaced by a Jew

When those Daley brothers have looked over their shoulders lately, all they're seeing are rising Jewish politicians.  Less than a year ago, Mayor Richard M. Daley found a Jew - Rahm Emanuel - taking over his job as mayor.  And now, his brother, William Daley, has found an Orthodox Jew, Jack Lew, taking over for him as White House Chief of Staff, a position previously held by Emanuel.

May Hashem help Mr. Lew advise Mr. Obama wisely.

Friday, January 06, 2012

US Navy Made Sure Those Iranians Aboard the Al Molei Wouldn't Need an E-l Malei

Fox News:
The U.S. Navy announced Friday it had rescued 13 Iranian fishermen being held by Somali pirates in the Arabian Sea, despite rising tensions between the U.S. and Iran.

An SH-60S Seahawk from the guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd detected the pirates while a simultaneous distress call was received from the Al Molai fishing vessel.

Video depicts a team from the Kidd boarding the ship Thursday and then detaining 15 suspected pirates who had been holding a 13-member Iranian crew hostage for several weeks.

"The Al Molai had been taken over by pirates for roughly the last 40 to 45 days," said Josh Schminky, a Navy Criminal Investigative Service agent aboard the Kidd. "They were held hostage, with limited rations, and we believe were forced against their will to assist the pirates with other piracy operations."

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Vayehi, 5772

  • Daniel 8:14: עד ערב בקר can hint to עד ע"ב - until 72.
  • Mentioned earlier:
  • It's brought in "Likutei Torah" of the Ariza"l (Miketz):
    [The verse states] וַיְהִי, מִקֵּץ שְׁנָתַיִם יָמִים [And it came to pass at the end of two full years] - behold, שְׁנָתַיִם יָמִים [two full years] has the gematria of 730 - in other words, every "year" has 365 days and 2x365=730. Plus, if you add the 6 letters of שס"ה שס"ה, you get the gematria of 736, which equals the simple and Milui gematria of א-ד-נ-י, and that is called the Keitz Hayamin up above.
    And Rav Glazerson explains that if it takes 36 years for the revelation of the Keitz Hayamin up above, we need another 36 years to reveal the Keitz Hayamin down below. And again we get 772. And it appears that we can add that the Ar"i speaks about the Keitz Hayamin up above - therefore, he gives the hint of 365+365, because 365 hints to the days of the solar year, which has a male aspect, which symbolizes the upper world. And if we would make the same gematria of the Ar"i on a leap year, which is 383 days, 2x383=766, and adding the Kollel of the 6 letters שפ"ג שפ"ג has the gematria of 772 - because a leap year connects the upper world with the lower world in the Sod of male and female that creates a fetus [עיבור, also the word for leap year], and the fetus produces the Mashiah. And also, the year 5771 is a leap year.
    Regarding the importance of the number 36, we will bring down things that we wrote in the book "Sod Hahashmal" in the essay "Hashmal Lulav".  We find in the gemara (Sukkah 45b) that there are always at least 36 tzadikim in the world that greet the face of the Shechina every day, and the world exists due to them.  There are 2 x Hai tzadikim, who have the aspect of Yesod, who influence Malchut, and the world exists due to them.  Also, a solar year is 360 days, which is 2 x Hai (x 10) besides the 5 holidays.  This is because the sun has the aspect of Yesod, which influences the number 2 x Hai.  Also, the Or Haganuz, which shone from within the sun in Gan Eden, as we explained in the essay "Hashmal Hama", shone before it was hidden for 36 hours, which is 2 x Hai, as is brought down in Midrash (Bereishit Rabba 11:2): Ribbi Levi said in the name of Ribbi Ze'eira, "That light shone for 36 hours."  It's also brought down in the book Midrash Avot that the day that the Israelites traveled from Rameses to Sukkot lasted 36 hours.  And the day of Keriat Yam Suf, the day of the Amalek War, and the day of Matan Torah all lasted 36 hours.  It's also brought down that that Moshe Rabbeinu explained the Torah to Israel 36 hours before he died.  We also find in the gemara (Sota 13a) that 36 crowns were hung on Yaakov's coffin.  The explanation is - based on the Zohar Hadash (Tikkunim 123b) וְכֻלְּהוּ תְּלַת וָוִי"ן כְּלִילָן בְּצַדִּיק חַי עָלְמִין דְּהָכִי סָלְקִין תְּלַת וָוִי"ן כְּחוּשְׁבָּן חַ"י.  We explained in the essays "Hashmal Sulam" and "Hashmal Keruvim" that there are 2 strings (spinal nerves?) that are in a person's spine, and similarly, in the worlds, where each one is made up of 3 vavs.  Therefore, the letter שי"ן, which symbolizes the 3 vavs, it's Milui has the gematria of 360, which is 2 x Hai (x 10).  We also found in the Zohar (Vayigash 211a) that in the camps of angels, there is the number 36, and it appears that this is hinted to from the verse (Yeshaya 6:2) שְׂרָפִים עֹמְדִים מִמַּעַל לוֹ and this verse refers to 2 Serafim, as is brought down in the Sefer Halikutim of the Ariza"l (Terumah p. 179).  Also, in the 18 shakings (on Sukkot), there are 2 x Hai, as each shaking requires a back and forth, corresponding to male and female.  Also, the 2 strings of the spine correspond to male and female - one corresponding to female water and one to male water, as we explained in the essay "Hashmal Sulam".  Also, לולב, which influences Yesod, is the letters לו and לב, hinting to the number 36, which influences Malchut, which has the aspect of לב.  We also find in the Zohar (Introduction 2a) that the verse מִי-בָרָא אֵלֶּה hints to Bina, which is called מי, from which Tiferet and Yesod, which are called אלה, emerge. And together, the words מי and אלה have the letters א-ל-ה-י-ם, which connects these sefirot. We see that אלה, which has the gematria of 36, symbolizes Tiferet and Yesod. Also, Rahel, who represents Malchut, lived for 36 years, which is 2 x Hai, to hint to the idea that Malchut receives influence from 2 strings, each one has the number Hai in it. Also, Rahel with the 3 letters has the gematria of 2 x עמוד.
  • The verse says (Zecharia 9:13) כִּי-דָרַכְתִּי לִי יְהוּדָה, קֶשֶׁת מִלֵּאתִי אֶפְרַיִם, וְעוֹרַרְתִּי בָנַיִךְ צִיּוֹן, עַל-בָּנַיִךְ יָוָן; וְשַׂמְתִּיךְ, כְּחֶרֶב גִּבּוֹר [For I bend Judah for Me, I fill the bow with Ephraim; and I will stir up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Javan, and will make thee as the sword of a mighty man.] The Malbim writes on this verse, "One prophecy is what will take place during the second Beit Hamikdash that the children of Yehuda will defeat the children of Greece through Hashem's salvation. And Yehuda will be like a bent bow in Hashem's hands to fight with the Greeks. A second prophecy is 'I fill the bow with Ephraim' - that in the future, during Gog Umagog, the children of Ephraim will be awakened and they will be Hashem's bow to fight against Gog Umagog. And the words correspond to each other." We see that the Malbim explained that prophecy about the Hashmona'im and about the wars of Mashiah Ben Yosef in the future. And we can explain that the period of Mashiah Ben Yosef will be wars fought naturally just as it was during the period of the Hashmona'im, where the miracles were cloaked within nature.  And just like the Hashmona'im acted during a difficult spiritual period for Am Yisrael, as there were many Hellenists, similarly, Mashiah Ben Yosef acts during a difficult spiritual period for Am Yisrael.  And perhaps, this is exactly the reason why salvations need to be cloaked within nature and we don't see open miracles because the generation is not worthy of seeing open miracles.  Unfortunately, our situation today is much worse than the situation of the Hashmona'im, as at least those who feared G-d ran the systems, which we have not merited today.
  • From last week:
  • 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.
    Also, the word אֲדֹנִי hints to Hashem's name א-ד-נ-י, which symbolizes Malchut. Rav Yosef Cohen Shlit"a adds that בי stands for בנימין יוסף, meaning that the argument between them [Yehuda and Yosef] was about Binyamin, and Yehuda was hinted to the idea that Binyamin is the connection between Yosef and himself, and the path via Binyamin is to himself. Also, the Hid"a in Midbar Kedeimot 10:26 writes in the name of Rav Shelomo Alkabetz ZT"L that Yehuda suspected that he was Yosef before he revealed himself, and that's why he said בי אדני where בי represents the 12 tribes, of which Yosef is a part of. And we can explain that Yehuda hinted to Yosef about the 12 tribes who are receiving from him.
  • The Targum of the verse that talks about the Gog Umagog War (Yehezkel 38:8) מִיָּמִים רַבִּים, תִּפָּקֵד--בְּאַחֲרִית הַשָּׁנִים תָּבוֹא אֶל-אֶרֶץ מְשׁוֹבֶבֶת is מִיוֹמִין סַגִיאִין תְּמַנִי מַשִׁרְיָתָךְ בְּסוֹף שְׁנַיָא תְהַךְ עַל אַרְעָא - the Rashei Teivot is תשע"ב.
  • The Zohar (Vayehi 213a) says:
    Ribbi Hiya opened and said:  The verse "  נִשְׁבַּע יְהוָה בִּימִינוֹ, וּבִזְרוֹעַ עֻזּוֹ [The LORD hath sworn by His right hand, and by the arm of His strength]" HKB"H swore that He will take Israel out of their exile and that He would not leave them in the lands of their enemies. The verse says, "וַיֹּאמֶר שַׁלְּחֵנִי, כִּי עָלָה הַשָּׁחַר; וַיֹּאמֶר לֹא אֲשַׁלֵּחֲךָ, כִּי אִם-בֵּרַכְתָּנִי [And he said: 'Let me go, for the day breaketh.' And he said: 'I will not let thee go, except thou bless me.'] What does ברכתני [bless me] mean? He gave them exile and promised them that they would be redeemed from it.
    From this Zohar, we see that the main oath has the aspect of Hashem's Right Hand. We already said that the year 5772 has the Sod of the Name of Hashem whose gematria is 72, which is the gematria of חסד [kindness], which represents  Hashem's Right Hand.  And the Keitz is called "Keitz Hayamin" since its main idea comes from the right side.
  • Rav D. Leiv Shlit"a adds that גאולה התשע"ב [Redemption 5772] has the gematria of ראש חודש אב [Rosh Hodesh Av].
  • Rav Moshe Levinger adds that the verse (Yeshaya 60:2) וְעָלַיִךְ יִזְרַח יְהוָה, וּכְבוֹדוֹ עָלַיִךְ יֵרָאֶה [but upon thee the LORD will arise, and His glory shall be seen upon thee.] is the gematria of ה' תשע"ב, which is 5772.
  • Rav D. Leiv Shlit"a adds that גאולה התשע"ב [Redemption 5772] has the gematria of ספירת חסד [the sefira of Hesed].
  • Rav Moshe Levinger adds that the boldface part of the verse (Daniel 12:1) וּבָעֵת הַהִיא יַעֲמֹד מִיכָאֵל הַשַּׂר הַגָּדוֹל, הָעֹמֵד עַל-בְּנֵי עַמֶּךָ, וְהָיְתָה עֵת צָרָה, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-נִהְיְתָה מִהְיוֹת גּוֹי עַד הָעֵת הַהִיא; וּבָעֵת הַהִיא יִמָּלֵט עַמְּךָ, כָּל-הַנִּמְצָא כָּתוּב בַּסֵּפֶר [And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time; and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.] has the gematria of ה' תשע"ג [which is 5773]. Also, a Be'itah Redemption is hinted to from the part of the verse וּבָעֵת הַהִיא יִמָּלֵט עַמְּךָ.
  • The year תשע"ה [which is 5775] is hinted to in the verse (Devarim 25:17) זָכוֹר, אֵת אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה לְךָ עֲמָלֵק [Remember what Amalek did unto thee] telling us that in this year, we will merit to remember and wipe out Amalek.
  • The Toldos Aharon Rebbe said during Hanukka, 5772 (brought down in the "Kehilot" insert of "Hamevaser" magazine, 8 Tevet, 5772): 
  • The Hanukka candle symbolizes the preparation of the coming of Mashiah, as the verse says ערכתי נר למשיחי [there have I ordered a lamp for Mine anointed].  We are currently standing in harsh times for the entire world in an awesome manner.  We see very clearly that nations are provoking each other, and each one is trying to connect it to Israel and the Jews.  Haza"l testified that this would be the case before Mashiah's arrival.  While the whole world is trembling and erupting, we have to know that all is for Israel.  This is especially true when things are occurring like those that have not occurred for many years.  This is because Hashem Yitbarach is sitting and expecting that Kelal Yisrael will accept upon themselves to strengthen themselves and to unify and to increase repentance.
  • Rav Fish gave his long essay [about 5772 being an important year] to Rav Shmuel Auerbach Shlit"a many months ago.  He recently met up with him and asked him his opinion.  Rav Auerbach said in Yiddish "Gut, gut" [good, good].
  • President Obama's birthday is 22 Av, 5721, which in Hebrew is כ"ב באב תשכ"א, so we again see the month of Av and the [Kabbalistic concept of] 320 judgements [is embedded in his birthday].

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Pushing Ahdut in Am Yisrael

We are currently between the 2 weeks of the year where Ahdut is stressed the most.  The Haftara of Vayigash is the quintessential Ahdut Haftara and it's one of my favorites.
טז  וְאַתָּה בֶן-אָדָם, קַח-לְךָ עֵץ אֶחָד, וּכְתֹב עָלָיו לִיהוּדָה, וְלִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל חֲבֵרָו; וּלְקַח, עֵץ אֶחָד, וּכְתוֹב עָלָיו לְיוֹסֵף עֵץ אֶפְרַיִם, וְכָל-בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל חֲבֵרָו.16 'And thou, son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it: For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions; then take another stick, and write upon it: For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and of all the house of Israel his companions;
יז  וְקָרַב אֹתָם אֶחָד אֶל-אֶחָד, לְךָ--לְעֵץ אֶחָד; וְהָיוּ לַאֲחָדִים, בְּיָדֶךָ.17 and join them for thee one to another into one stick, that they may become one in thy hand.
and then,
יט  דַּבֵּר אֲלֵהֶם, כֹּה-אָמַר אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה, הִנֵּה אֲנִי לֹקֵחַ אֶת-עֵץ יוֹסֵף אֲשֶׁר בְּיַד-אֶפְרַיִם, וְשִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל חֲבֵרָו; וְנָתַתִּי אוֹתָם עָלָיו אֶת-עֵץ יְהוּדָה, וַעֲשִׂיתִם לְעֵץ אֶחָד, וְהָיוּ אֶחָד, בְּיָדִי.19 say into them: Thus saith the Lord GOD: Behold, I will take the stick of Joseph, which is in the hand of Ephraim, and the tribes of Israel his companions; and I will put them unto him together with the stick of Judah, and make them one stick, and they shall be one in My hand.
followed by
כב  וְעָשִׂיתִי אֹתָם לְגוֹי אֶחָד בָּאָרֶץ, בְּהָרֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וּמֶלֶךְ אֶחָד יִהְיֶה לְכֻלָּם, לְמֶלֶךְ; וְלֹא יהיה- (יִהְיוּ-) עוֹד לִשְׁנֵי גוֹיִם, וְלֹא יֵחָצוּ עוֹד לִשְׁתֵּי מַמְלָכוֹת עוֹד.22 and I will make them one nation in the land, upon the mountains of Israel, and one king shall be king to them all; and they shall be no more two nations, neither shall they be divided into two kingdoms any more at all;
which is followed by
כד  וְעַבְדִּי דָוִד מֶלֶךְ עֲלֵיהֶם, וְרוֹעֶה אֶחָד יִהְיֶה לְכֻלָּם; וּבְמִשְׁפָּטַי יֵלֵכוּ, וְחֻקּוֹתַי יִשְׁמְרוּ וְעָשׂוּ אוֹתָם.24 And My servant David shall be king over them, and they all shall have one shepherd; they shall also walk in Mine ordinances, and observe My statutes, and do them.
Then, in Parshat Vayehi, we have the famous explanation on this verse:
א  וַיִּקְרָא יַעֲקֹב, אֶל-בָּנָיו; וַיֹּאמֶר, הֵאָסְפוּ וְאַגִּידָה לָכֶם, אֵת אֲשֶׁר-יִקְרָא אֶתְכֶם, בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים.1 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said: 'Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the end of days.
that tells us that in order to achieve Redemption, we need to first gather together and be united with each other.

I've blogged about Ahdut many times before, but it seems that at this moment, Bedavka within the 2 Parshiyot of Vayigash and Vayehi, the 2 Parshiyot where Ahdut is stressed the most, division in Kelal Yisrael seems the highest I have ever seen it.  Perhaps even more than during the Emanuel situation last year.

And it runs in many directions.
  • Certain segments of the Haredi population are spitting at girls not dressed according to their standards
  • Certain segments of the Haredi population use Holocaust imagery to depict their situation, despite knowing how insensitive it is
  • Certain segments of the Hiloni population write "Death to Haredim" on walls
  • Certain segments of the Hiloni population have been harassing Haredim, according to Kikar's hotline
  • Certain commenters/talkbalkers on various websites, from all streams of Judaism, have been using over-the-top language in condemning the Haredim in Beit Shemesh and Meah She'arim, in ways which most sane people would condemn Osama and Ahmedinejad.
These acts have got to stop.  Now.

Instead, we need to bring those who don't follow the Torah closer.  We need to make Baalei Teshuva out of Hilonim, and unfortunately, we also need to make Baalei Teshuva out of some Haredim.  And we need to do it with Darchei Noam - not with embarrassing the other, Has Veshalom.

Listen to 2 great speeches given in the past couple days by Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a and Rav Yitzchak Dovid Grossman Shlit"a.

Rav Ovadia's speech can be heard here and VIN has a summary:
Israel - Speaking out tonight on recent events in Israel, particularly in Beit Shemesh, R’ Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of the Shas party, made it clear that the Torah expects all Jews to love each other irrespective of their levels of observance.

“The ways of the Torah are pleasant and peaceful and loving your neighbor is equivalent to the entire Torah,” said R’ Yosef. “We are one people, sons of Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov and those who attempt to cause strife between chareidim and those who are not chareidem are causing a great chilul Hashem.”

R’ Yosef called upon the media to do its part to encourage unity between all Jews and to avoid doing anything that would create a rift between different religious groups and expressed his hope that the entire nation could come together saying, “when the nation of Israel is united, there is no one in the world who can have power over them.”
Rav Grossman's speech can be heard here.  Notable is how he talked to a woman that was not dressed modestly at all in a Haredi neighborhood.  He went over to her and told her, "I promise you that if you start dressing more modestly, I will pray for you and bless you."  She told him, "Rabbi, I am now going to run home and change clothes.  I promise you that you were the first person to speak to me in this [pleasant] manner."

What we need right now is an infusion of Ahavat Hinam to counteract the Sinat Hinam going around lately.  May this post be the catalyst for that effort so that we can gather together in Ahdut to bring the long-awaited Final Redemption, Bimhera Veyameinu, Amen.