Thursday, February 28, 2013

Excerpts from Kol Tzofayich - Ki Tisa 5773

This week's Kol Tzofayich has some interesting tidbits about the Geula and a nice story at the end:
  • Ge'ula Lig'ula
    • Rav Tzadok Hakohen of Lublin (Peri Tzaddik, Shemot, Purim) says that the miracle of Pesah is a redepemption of the miracle "The peoples have heard, they tremble", whereas the redemption of Purim is hidden.  The juxtaposition of the 2 redemptions comes to teach us that they are connected with each other - that the Future Redemption will begin naturally and continue supernaturally.
    • The Or Hahayim (Bemidbar 24:17) also brings down that there are 2 types of redemption: natural and supernatural.  If the redemption comes via Israel's merit, then the matter will make an impression up Above, and the redeemer will be revealed from heaven via supernatural miracles, as it says in the Zohar (I:119), but if it comes because of a Keitz and Israel does not merit it, it will occur differently, as a pauper riding on a donkey...and on such a scenario, it says "וקם שבט מישראל" - meaning that one tribe will arise in Israel just as others arise in the world - naturally.
    • Also, the Ramban in his commentary on Shir Hashirim 8:12 explains that it will start in a natural way, since first, the Final Redemption will occur via the permission of the kingdoms, and there will be a partial ingathering of the exiles.  And afterwards, Hashem will add His hand a second time "that then the LORD thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the peoples, whither the LORD thy God hath scattered thee."
    • From where do we learn that this is the path?  From the redemption of Mordechai and Esther and the construction of the Second Beit Hamikdash that followed it.  As the Radak (Tehilim 146:3) says: "For salvation is Hashem's alone, and He will make it happen via people, just as He made the salvation from Bavel happen via Koresh.  Also, in the future, He will make the Redemption of Israel happen via the kings of the nations - that He will awaken their spirit to send them."
      • [YY - The Radak's comparison to Koresh is interesting since President Truman, who voted for the State of Israel against the advice of his advisors, is quoted as comparing himself to Koresh.]
    • [YY - See also this post with more sources for this.]
  • Preparing for salvation
    • The Hafetz Hayim wrote "Tzipita Lishu'a" explaining the importance of learning the laws of Kodashim and other aspects of the Geula for if one does not do so, it is tantamount to inviting everyone to a party, and as soon as everyone arrives, starting the preparations for the party. 
    • Learning the paths to Geula and its laws are very very important.  The Hafetz Hayim explains that the Geula progresses via 2 channels just as in the Exodus, where together with the tidings of redemption came the decree to make the burden heavier.  Also, in the Second Beit Hamikdash: together with the beginning of its construction came Haman's decree to halt its construction and the decree to wipe out the Jews.  If we know that this is the way things happen, we won't break.  Just like Mordechai, we know that then will relief and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place.  We act and don't get discouraged.  If we don't know the path to Redemption, then immediately when Par'o makes the burden heavier, we'll go crazy and scare everyone else, just as Datan and Aviram did.
    • The Hafetz Hayim explains that the same thing happens on the spiritual side.  During the period of Redemption, there is a strengthening of Torah, like it says in Nitzavim.  This implies that it will occur via Teshuva.  On the other hand, the generation of Ikveta Dimshiha has a weakening of Torah, as it says in Sotah 49b.  One who does not recognize the paths of Redemption can get confused.
    • The Hafetz Hayim was asked why he worked so hard to prepare for the Redemption.  He answered that life is like the Man (מן) that we ate in the desert.  Our rabbis told us that it tasted like whatever one wanted, but it depended on the person's will.  If he doesn't know what anything should taste like, he wouldn't be able to taste anything.  The same with our day.  Hashem is making many things happen in the world.  If you know the implications of the Geula and are expecting it, you can taste the taste of Geula in life.  However, if you never learned these tastes, you will never be able to taste the taste of Geula in these events.
    • Rav Mordechai Eliyahu ZT"L saw Geula in every fruit that grew in the Land of Israel.  This is exactly like it says in Megilla 17b: "And why was the blessing for Kibbutz Galuyot after the blessing of the years?  As it says (Yehezkel 36:8), 'But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to My people Israel; for they are at hand to come.'"  If you know that the fruits of the land are a sign for the ingathering of the exiles, then every time you see a fruit, you are tasting the taste of Geula.
      • Rav Eliyahu would constantly mention the aforementioned gemara as being a preparation for Mashiah.  He would say this gemara over to ministers and prime ministers too.  This is tasting the Geula like the Hafetz Hayim wrote.
    • Once, Rav Yehoshua Leib Diskin was a guest at a Talmid Hacham's home and he heard the whistle of a train that had started, at that time, to travel to Yerushalayim.  Not having heard this before, he asked what the noise was.  When explained what it was, he exclaimed, "Aha!  They're already clearing the paths!  It's happening already, and the time of Redemption is approaching, and we're still not ready for the coming of Mashiah!"  He was supported by what it says in Pirkei DeRibbi Eliezer that before Mashiah comes, they will clear the roads.  (Otzerot Aharit Hayamim vol. 2) 
      • This is what it says there: "Ribbi Yishmael says:  The children of Yishmael will do 15 things in the land in the End of Days..."  And among those listed is "Clearing the paths".  It appears that Ribbi Yishmael relies on what it says in Yeshaya (57:14) regarding the Redemption: "And He will say: cast ye up, cast ye up, clear the way, take up the stumblingblock out of the way of My people."  This is so that they will easily be able to go up to the Land of Israel.  Yeshaya repeats this also in 62:10 "clear ye the way of the people; cast up, cast up the highway, gather out the stones; lift up an ensign over the peoples."  All this was a preamble to the building of Yerushalayim and for the return of Am Yisrael to its physical and spiritual place.  If a person learns the paths of Redemption, he understands that every road that is paved in Israel is a taste of Geula.
      • Rav Yehoshua Leib Diskin knew the words of our sages, and therefore, with this train, he tasted the taste of Geula.  The same with us, who now know the words of our sages, are able to taste the taste of Geula with every new road built in the Land of Israel.  Every train, every tunnel, and every road that is paved is the taste of the Man.
    • The Hafetz Hayim wrote that if there were prophecy today, he is certain that the prophet would tell us to prepare ourselves to learn the laws of the Beit Hamikdash - exactly like it used to be - and especially Kohanim.  "And we already found the same in the time of the Babylonian Exile before the Second Beit Hamikdash that even though there were men who still rememberd the First Beit Hamikdash and did not forget the Temple Service, nevertheless, there was a prophecy from Hagai Hanavi that he should ask the Kohanim laws of holy objects and the Beit Hamikdash [to make sure that they still know the laws].  So what can we say in our day?  And it is clear to me that would we have a prophet in our day, he would definitely have a prophecy from Hashem to ask Torah questions from the Kohanim and encourage them about this."
    • The Hafetz Hayim continues and says that expecting salvation cancels decrees.  Exactly like we saw with Queen Esther, who longed for the building of the Beit Hamikdash, and eventually, her son, Darius II, built it.  With this merit, Esther had the merit of saving Kelal Yisrael from the decree of Haman Harasha.  The same applies with every time that there is a strengthening in expecting the Final Redemption, it saves us from all types of troubles that arise against us constantly.
      • Haza"l say (Midrash Tehilim 17, Midrash Shemuel 31):  "All the thousands who fell during the time of King David only fell due to their not longing for a Beit Hamikdash.  And the matter is a Kal Vahomer:  If those in his days, who never had a Beit Hamikdash built or destroyed in their days, received this punishment for not longing for a Beit Hamikdash, for us, where it is in a state of destruction in our days, and we had had it in our history, and we are not mournful and we don't ask for mercy, all the more so.  Therefore, the early sages established that Israel will pray 3 times a day, 'Please return Your Shechina to Tzion and Your service to Yerushalayim.'  And they established Boneh Yerushalayim as its own blessing in daily prayers and in Birkat Hamazon with the command of Moshe Rabbeinu." 
      • The Ramban (Bemidbar 16:21) says regarding the plague during the time of King David: "And I say by way of logic that it was a punishment for Israel for delaying the building of the Beit Hamikdash since the Aron was going from tent to tent like a stranger in the land.  And the tribes did not awaken themselves to say, 'Let us seek Hashem and build a house for His name.'  This is similar to the verse: 'unto His habitation shall ye seek, and thither thou shalt come'.  Until eventually it took a while for King David to be awakened to this, as it says, 'And it came to pass, when the king dwelt in his house, and the LORD had given him rest from all his enemies round about, that the king said unto Nathan the prophet: "See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwelleth within curtains."'"
  • Story with the Baba Sali ZT"L and Rav Mordechai Eliyahu ZT"L told over by a resident of Tzfat:
    • His wife was in her second pregnancy when [לא עלינו] she was told that she had a growth on her brain.  The doctors claimed that since the treatment necessitates radiation, she has no choice but to abort the baby.  The couple, who were Ba'alei Teshuva, were pained and confused, so they decided to go to the Baba Sali ZYA"A to request advice and a blessing.  They arrived at the place emotional and full of hope, but after a few minutes, hope was replaced by disappointment.  It was clarified that at that day, the Baba Sali was not accepting the community.  All those who were waiting were told, "He is busy."  The couple did not give up - it was hard for them to leave without receiving a blessing from the Tzaddik - so they starting going around the house.  Suddenly, they saw through a window that the Baba Sali was praying with cries for the sake of Am Yisrael, and next to him was Rav Mordechai Eliyahu praying as well.  After a certain time, when Rav Eliyahu left, they approached him to ask him for advice and a blessing.  However, Rav Eliyahu did not agree to give a blessing by the house of the Baba Sali.  After they asked him to make a blessing in the merit of the Baba Sali, he acquiesced and wanted to know what the matter was.  The couple told over the problem to Rav Eliyahu, who listened to them intently, and then declared, "The growth is canceled, and the birth will be extremely easy."  And so it was.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Belief in Impending Arrival of Mashiah Up to 44%


Photo and caption: Israel Hayom

Israel Hayom, bemoaning the loss of rationalism in Israeli society:
The number of Jews who believed in the impending arrival of the Messiah grew from 33% in 1998 to 44% last year.
See previous posts about the percentage of Israelis who believe in Mashiah's coming in general here and here.  It seems that in the survey above, they were asked if they believe in the impending arrival of Mashiah.

This is an amazing, but not altogether surprising, statistic.

Rav Benayahu Shmueli on Purim

OK, I'm a bit late on this, but some really good Divrei Torah on Purim can be found here, where Rav Shmueli talks about Amalek and Purim with a mix of Halacha, Aggada, and Kabbala.

One thing (out of many) I was unaware of is found on page 24 of the pdf file, where he says that it's good to give 287 Perutot to 2 Aniyim each for Matanot La'evyonim and to give 80 small items of one kind and 80 small items of another kind for Mishlo'ah Manot. 

(I'm thinking peanuts and raisins might be the only thing that might work, but if I would ask my wife to start counting out 80 of each even for just one container, she might have my head.)

Anyways, Kikar has pictures of Rav Shmueli celebrating Purim this year.

Dennis Rodman Goes to North Korea

USA Today:

PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Former NBA star Dennis Rodman brought his basketball skills and flamboyant style — neon-bleached hair, tattoos, nose studs and all — on Tuesday to the isolated Communist country with possibly the world's drabbest dress code: North Korea.

Arriving in Pyongyang, the American athlete and showman known as "The Worm" became an unlikely ambassador for sports diplomacy at a time of heightened tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. Or maybe not so unlikely: Young leader Kim Jong Un is said to have been a fan of the Chicago Bulls in the 1990s, when Rodman won three championships with the club.
One's a raging lunatic, while the other is the leader of North Korea

Monday, February 25, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Ki Tisa 5773

R' Lazer Brody: Et tu, Naftali?

Cross Currents: Purim: Blame it on the Rabbis

VIN: Rabbi Says Seculars Are to Blame for Wars

Hirhurim: Hat Tips in Jewish Law

Al Ahram: 'Jews of Egypt' tells story of Egypt's exiled Jewish community (hat tip: Hirhurim) :-)


The Absolute Truth: Prayer Works

Life in Israel: Will Barack Obama Ascend the Temple Mount During Visit To Region?

A7: Rabbi Lau to President Obama: Time to Free Pollard

Mashiach is Coming: A Seeing Eye

Matzav commenters noted the passing of Lieutenant Birnbaum A"H and Reb Yosef Friedenson A"H within a couple days of each other.  One helped to liberate Buchenwald while the other was liberated from Buchenwald.  May their memory be a blessing.

Trib: Big storm heading to Chicago on Tuesday

Friday, February 22, 2013

Rav Ovadia: Torah Defeats Amalek

Kikar (with video) summarizes what Rav Ovadia Shlit"a said:

לצערינו בדורינו יש לנו כמה עמלקים, האיראנים מצד אחד, החיזבאללה, הפלסטינים, צוררי ישראל, מתנכלים לנו, חושבים עלינו רעה, צריכים להתחזק בתורה, אין לך חיזוק התורה יותר טוב מזה, ואז בעז"ה וגבר ישראל.

"ואם חס ושלום מסיחים דעתם מן התורה יכולים חס ושלום להתגבר האויב. האויבים והשונאים יש גם בפנים, בתוך ישראל, יש אנשים שאין להם דעת, אין להם אמונה בתורה, לא מאמינים, ורוצים לגייס את בחורי הישיבות, אלה שלומדים ותורתם אומנותם, יום ולילה חומדים תורה, ומתנכלים להם, רוצים לעשות מכסות, כך וכך אחוז, אדם אוהב ללמוד תורה - אתה תמנע ממנו ללמוד תורה?".
Translation:
Unfortunately, in our generation, we have many Amalekites: the Iranians on one side, the Hizballah, the Palestinians, who oppress Israel, plotting against us, thinking how to harm us. We need to strengthen ourselves in Torah - there is no greater way to strenghten ourselves, and then, with Hashem's help, Israel will prevail.

But if, Heaven forbid, we take our minds off of Torah, then, Heaven forbid, the enemy can prevail. Our enemies and foes are also on the inside, within Israel. There are people that have no knowledge, they have no faith in the Torah - they do not believe - and they want to draft Yeshiva boys, those who learn and their Torah is their livelihood - they learn Torah day and night - and [these fifth-column-type people] plot against them - they want to make quotas - such and such percent. If a man loves to learn Torah, you will prevent him from learning Torah?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hilchot Double-Parking on Purim

מצות הדאבעל-פארק

 (לא להלכה ובודאי לא למעשה)

א) מה טוב ומה נעים שאחינו בני ישראל שולחים מנות איש לרעהו בחג הפורים, אבל לצערנו חיוב הדאבעל-פארק נשכח מתורת עם ישראל ר"ל ואע"פ שב"ה הרבה אנשים עושים את זה אבל מי שעושים את זה לא יודעים למה הם עושים את זה ובכלל שיש חיוב בדבר.  ולכן אני הקטן שבקטנים - ויותר קטן מזה - יאיר עיניהם של ישראל בהלכות האלו כדי שנזכה לקיים המצוה הזאת בשלמותה.

ב) מנהג ישראל תורה וישנו מנהג בכל תפוצות ישראל שכל מי שנותן משלוח מנות לחבר שלו שהוא יותר מאלף אמות מהבית שנושאים את המשלוח מנות במכונית שלו (אם יש לו) ולדאבעל-פארק את המכונית אצל חבירו כדי לשלוח לו.

ג) מקור המנהג הוא ממה שכתוב (אסתר ו:ט) וְהִרְכִּיבֻהוּ עַל-הַסּוּס, בִּרְחוֹב הָעִיר מלמד שהמכונית שלו בחג הפורים צריך להנהיג כמו סוס ברחוב העיר.  מה סוס ברחוב העיר עוצר באמצע הרחוב (כדי שלא אוכל בעשב של חבירו משום גזל) אף כל דבר צריך לעצור באמצע הרחוב ואפילו מכוניות בכלל.

ד) מי שאין לו מכונית יש אומרים שחייב לשאול מכונית כדי לקיים את המצוה גדולה הזו.  ויש מקילין ואומרים שאינו צריך.  ולענין דינא הלכה כדעת המקילין אבל המחמיר תבא עליו ברכת הדיוט.

ה) לפי רוב הפוסקים אינו יוצא ידי חובת הדאבעל-פארק עד שחוסם מכונית אחרת.  ויש מי שאומר שאינו יוצא עד שחוסם שלש מכוניות. ויש מחמירין עד עשרה.  ויש מקילין.  ויש אומרים שאינו תלוי במכוניות שחוסם אלא בזמן - שצריך לחסום את הכביש לפחות כדי אכילת פרס.  ובשעת הדחק אפילו אינו חוסם מכוניות בכלל ואפילו היה שם זמן מועט, יצא ידי חובתו, שכלל גדול יש בידינו: אחד המרבה ואחד הממעיט עד שאינו מכוון לבו לכל מי שאחריו.

ו) מי שעושה את הדאבעל-פארק בהיותו שיכור זה מצוה הבאה בעבירה, ועליו הכתוב אומר: דונט דרינק אנד דרייב!

ז) מי שיש לו ילדים ששולחים את המשלוח מנות בידיהם, צריך ליזהר לצאת את המכונית עמהם כשהוא במצב הדאבעל-פארק.  ושני טעמים לדבר: 1) כדי להרבות זמן המצוה ו2) כדי לחנך את הילדים במצוה גדולה הזו.

ח) קודם עשיית הדאבעל-פארק, אומרים נוסח הזה:

הנני מוכן ומזומן לקיים מצות הדאבעל-פארק כמו שציוונו הבלוגר המשוגע ירנן יעקב כדי לעשות נחת רוח לכל מי שאַחֲרַי.  ויהי נועם...

ט) אין מברכין על הדאבעל-פארק.  ויש מי שאומר שאחר המצוה מברכין הגומל, ואין הלכה כמותו.

י) כל מי שאחרי מי שעושה את הדאבעל פארק אסור לעשות BEEP BEEP כדי שיזוז.  וכל מי שעושה כן עובר על לפני עור לא תתן מכשול.  אע"פ שהוא המכשול.  אבל מותר לתת לו משלוח מנות של שוחד על תנאי שהוא יזוז מפני שהדאבעל-פארק של רגע אחת יצא ידי חובתו כלעיל.  אבל בלי השוחד רק שואל אותו עם דרך ארץ אסור.

יא) מי שעושה את הדאבעל-פארק על רחוב עסוק מלא מכוניות נקרא בן עולם הבא.  ולא כל אדם ראוי לזה.

יב) מי שמכונית אחרת פגע במכונית שלו בעת שהוא עושה את הדאבעל-פארק בפורים אינו חייב בניזקין.  ואע"פ שהלכה הוא (ב"ק כ.) שכל המשנה ובא אחר ושינה בו פטור, מ"מ בפורים, אם לא עושה את הדאבעל-פארק, אין שינוי גדול מזה. 

 פורים שמח!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Cool Connection of Yosef/Exodus with Purim

By Rav Fish, listing 156 (כמנין יוסף) similarities, plus some extras.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Mahatzit Hashekel this Year

Halacha Yomit tells us that Mahatzit Hashekel this year is $10.00.  This is based on the price of silver being $31.50 an ounce.  However, I see that at the time of this writing, silver went down to $29.45 an ounce. 

The calculation is always:

price of silver per ounce / 31.1 x 10.

Based on the price above, that would make Mahatzit Hashekel $9.47.

Here's the current value of silver:
1 Day Spot Silver Prices - Silver Price Chart
so one would need to do one's own math whenever the money is given.

2 years ago, it was over $10.00.

The amount to donate for Mahatzit Hashekel for small children is half the local currency (a half dollar in the US, a half shekel in Israel, etc.).

May our Shekalim precede Haman's Shekalim, as Rav Fish quoted the Halban last year:
I heard in the name of the Kabbalist Rav Hayim Cohen (the Milkman), who spoke on Friday, 24 Shevat, 5772, and said that it was clear to him that Ahmadinejad is a Gilgul of Haman Harasha, and he called to give the Mahatzit Hashekel early in order for us to have our Shekalim precede his Shekalim.

Purim Costumes Hinted To in the Gemara

Halachicly Speaking (h/t Avodah):
The custom to get dressed on Purim is not mentioned in the Gemorah, medrash, or the Geonim.
Nevertheless, there is a nice hint to it from Shabbat 66b where Rashi explains the word פרמי (a word resembling "Purim") as טלמוסא הנקשרת על הפרצוף להבעית הבנים קטנים (masks tied onto one's face to scare small children). 

ברוך שכוונתי as I see that this was mentioned in the link (footnote א - reason 8) that I mentioned previously.

Friday, February 15, 2013

More on the Meteor

Some of the more interesting parts of the Fox News article:

A meteor streaked across the sky and exploded over Russia's Ural Mountains with the power of an atomic bomb Friday, its sonic blasts shattering countless windows and injuring about 1,100 people.

The spectacle deeply frightened many Russians, with some elderly women declaring that the world was coming to an end. Many of the injured were cut by flying glass as they flocked to windows, curious about what had produced such a blinding flash of light.

...

One of the most popular jokes was that the meteorite was supposed to fall on Dec. 21 last year -- when many believed the Mayan calendar predicted the end of the world -- but was delivered late by Russia's notoriously inefficient postal service.

...

Vladimir Zhirinovsky, a nationalist leader noted for his vehement statements, blamed the Americans.
"It's not meteors falling. It's the test of a new weapon by the Americans," the RIA Novosti news agency quoted him as saying.

See also R' Dov Bar Leib, in a comment on his latest post, saying:

Hold the presses!! Why did this first meteorite shower hit the Ural Mts?? because the Urals separate the European or Meshech portion of Russia from the Western Siberian or Tubal section of Russia, to kick off the Gog UMagog judgement on the nations!! Because in the first pasuk of Yechezkel 38 it says Gog from the Land of Magog Prince of Russia or Chief Prince of Meshech and Tuval.
I personally don't remember hearing that Tuval means Siberia, and when I researched it, there were people  (not necessarily Jewish) who do say this, but it is criticised as "not supported by history". 

The closest thing that I could find to this is that according to this chart, Rav Sa'adia Gaon says that Tuval is סין (which means "China" in Modern Hebrew) while Meshech is eastern Iran until the mountains of India, so if you're willing to look further south and east, this Meshech/Tuval positioning might be accurate.  I don't think any of the other classical interpretations come close. 

On the other hand, Hevlei Mashiah Bizmanenu (which I mentioned previously) does seem to say that these places are in Russia (I don't remember if he mentioned Siberia or not for Tuval).  Then again, it was written at the height of the Cold War.  Time will tell.

Jewish Community in Chelyabinsk Hit By Meteor


fjc.ru:

“We heard a huge blast, everybody started running, there was panic,” said Rabbi Meir Kirsch, the FJC’s representative in Chelyabinsk, Russia. “Many glass windows in the Synagogue exploded; we ran outside and were told it’s a meteor from space.”

The blast that occurred early this morning happened while the Jewish community was gathered in the Synagogue for the morning services.

One of the members, who ran outside immediately, discovered when he came back that his seat had been hit and damaged by a very large shard of sharp glass. “I could have been there, it’s a true miracle” he said.

The Synagogue’s beautifully designed windows and some of the furniture were severely damaged and are in urgent need of repair in order to block the freezing wind and snow blowing in and disturbing the community’s ongoing activities.

To help restore the Synagogue press here => http://fjc.ru/donate/?city=chelyabinsk

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Terumah 5773

Ben Zygier and Bibi


The tombstone of Ben Zygier. Mr Zygier, dubbed Prisoner X by the Israeli media, was found hanging in Wing 15 of Israel's Ayalon prison after several months of solitary confinement.
Source: Telegraph

I know next to nothing about this case - the Australians have their version of what he did, the Kuwaitis have their version of what he did, the Muqata has their Top Ten list of what he did.

I'm just fascinated at the parallels between Ben Zygier and one Bibi Netanyahu:
  • Both are named Binyamin, but were much of their life called "Ben"
  • Both changed their names more than once
  • Both are Levi'im - both Netanyahu and Zygier (see picture)
  • Both performed special operation missions for Israel
Not knowing truly what was going on, I might say that that might be where the comparison ends, but at least it's interesting to compare and contrast one Binyamin Halevi with another.

(See also Rabbi Glazerson's take on why this story happened to break bedavka right now.)

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Terumah 5773

From Rav Fish's latest:
  • A wise man wrote me that Sha'ul and David reigned a total of 43 years.  Sha'ul reigned for 3 years and was then killed.  And then, David reigned in Hevron for 7 years, and there was an overlap of years between Sha'ul's descendants and David.  And afterwards, David reigned for 33 years in Yerushalayim.  If we now relate that to the years from 5708 until the end of the millennium, which are 292 years that are designated to the 2 Meshihim - as these years correspond to the 43 years that Sha'ul and David reigned - and we divide the 292 years by 43, it comes out that in [the end of] 5775, the Kingdom of David where he reigned alone for 33 years will begin.
    • [YY - The calculation is: 5708 + ((292/43) * (43-33))   ]
  • Also, the Six Day War in 5727 works out according to this to the time that David started his reign in Hevron, since Sha'ul was killed after a little less than 3 years from when he began his reign.  And in 5727, the spiritual lights of David started to glimmer when it was again possible to pray at Me'arat Hamachpela in Hevron and at the Kotel, as these places are associated with the Kingdom of the House of David.  Also, the year 5768 is mentioned in the Nahal Kedumim of the Hid"a in the name of Ariza"l as a time of Pekida.  See the Haskama of Rav Yosef Salant ZT"L to the book "Midrash Shelomo" that Rav Hagaon Rav Shlomo Rivlin ZT"L announced before Kal Nidre of the year 5708 that this year will be a great Pekida in the Geula process according to the Gr"a, and it will be a hard path, where at the end will be a great victory for Israel.  It is also brought down there that Rav Rivlin ZT"L said in the name of the Gr"a much before the establishment of the State of Israel that 5 Iyar is a date that is tied to Mashiah ben Yosef, and 27 Iyar - the time of the Six Day War - is a date that is tied to Mashiah ben David.
  • Also, from [the end of] 5775 until the end of the millennium is 224 years, which is the gematria of דָּרַךְ, which is said about Mashiah ben David: דרך כוכב מיעקב.
  • It says in Midrash (Yalkut Devarim 873): "It is written in a hidden scroll: 'אִם יוֹם תַּעַזְבֵנִ י יוֹמַיִם אֶעֶזְבֶךָּ' "If you leave me one day, I will leave you 2 days."  This phrase has the same gematria [842] as the date of the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash: ט' באב תתכ"ח [the 9th of Av, 3828].  So, just as the sind of Adam Harishon caused Hashem's face to be hidden for 1948 years until Avraham was born, similarly, the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash caused Hashem's face to be hidden for 1948 years, which will end at the end of the year 5775, which will then be the completion of the Geula process, as explained elsewhere.  [YY - this still seems off by one year since Tish'a Be'av is at the end of the year already.  Maybe מקצת שנה ככולו.]  And the reason why 1948 is considered 2 days of HKB"H is because every 1000 years is considered to be 1 day, and you subtract 26 years from each millennium, corresponding to Hashem's name which sweetens it [the judgement of the decree], which then comes to 1948.
  • [After talking about the 3 שעות before sunrise on Hoshana Rabba as being the time for Gog Umagog,] Rav Y.W. Shlit"a adds that שעות is the same letters as תשע"ו, which is the year of Motza'ei Shevi'it, whereby the Geula process should be complete, as said elsewhere.  And therefore, ביאת המשיח is the gematria of תשע"ו.
  • אֱלֹהֵ-י אַבְרָהָם. אֱלֹהֵ-י יִצְחָק. אֱלֹהֵ-י יַעֲקֹב is the gematria of תשע"ו.
  • Rav Glazerson has a couple Torah Code tables about Ya'ir Lapid, adding that שיוויון בנטל [equality in army burden] plus the Kollel is the same gematria as סטרא אחרא and the female destructive angel.  ע"ש.
  • Also from Rav Glazerson, [a Torah code and other interesting information about Jonathan Pollard that was mentioned previously], adding that he went to prison at age 30 while Yosef left prison at age 30.  Also, פולארד [Pollard] has the letters אלף דור, which symbolizes the Great Yovel of the Geula, as is brought down in Rabbeinu Bahye (Shemot 21:6).  Also, he was born in the year תשי"ד, where the שי"ד hints to Hashem's name ש-ד-י, which symbolizes Yesod.  And his birthday was 8 Av in the U.S., while it was already the 9th of Av in Israel.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Hilchot Purim Costumes

Here - from Yesodot (in Hebrew), which takes a lenient view about Beged Ish and Beged Isha on Purim. (Update: I should point out that the footnotes there show that it's not so clear to be lenient.)

Also see Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a's strict opinion about Beged Ish and Beged Isha on Purim here (in English) and here (in Hebrew), which also includes a ruling by Rav Kook ZT"L about attending the Tel Aviv Purim Carnival.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Pope Resigns on Rosh Hodesh Adar

Trib:
VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict stunned the Roman Catholic Church on Monday when he announced he would stand down, the first pope to do so in 700 years, saying he no longer had the mental and physical strength to carry on.
Bereishit 25:30:
וַיֹּאמֶר עֵשָׂו אֶל-יַעֲקֹב, הַלְעִיטֵנִי נָא מִן-הָאָדֹם הָאָדֹם הַזֶּה--כִּי עָיֵף, אָנֹכִי; עַל-כֵּן קָרָא-שְׁמוֹ, אֱדוֹם.
And Esau said to Jacob: 'Let me swallow, I pray thee, some of this red, red pottage; for I am faint.' Therefore was his name called Edom.

The words עיף אנכי [I am faint] is the same gematria as בנדיקטוס [Benedict]. The word עיף has the Mispar Katan of 16, as in Pope Benedict XVI.

See also Soul Mazal, who quotes the Maharal who says that Edom will end when it is too tired to continue. (I couldn't find the Maharal. If someone knows where it is exactly, please let me know.)

It has been exactly 3650 years since Esav sold the Bechora to Yaakov (Avraham Avinu was born in 1948 and he died 175 years later - in 2123). That's 73 Yovels.

So we are in the year 73 of the century and 73 Yovels since the sale of the Bechora to Yaakov.

Zohar Vayeira 119a:

בְּשַׁבְעִין וּתְלָת, כָּל מַלְכֵי עָלְמָא יִתְכַּנְּשׁוּן לְגוֹ קַרְתָּא רַבְּתָא דְּרוֹמִי, וְקֻדְשָׁא בְּרִיךְ הוּא יִתְעַר עָלַיְהוּ אֶשָּׂא וּבַרְדָּא וְאַבְנֵי אֶלְגָּבִישׁ וְיִתְאַבְּדוּן מֵעָלְמָא

The trib article continues:
A new leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics could be elected as soon as Palm Sunday, on March 24, and be ready to take over by Easter a week later, Lombardi said.
Another thing happening around Pesah. First President Obama is coming to Israel and now this?

Things are looking interesting.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

And Now for Something Completely Different...

In honor of Rosh Hodesh Adar - Mishenichnas Adar Marbim BeSimha.

This video cracks me up every time I watch it.

Friday, February 08, 2013

Rav Ovadia on Praying for the Deathly Ill

There are times that it is permissible to pray for someone who is terminally ill for his/her suffering to disappear the other way.  See the Halachot of when and how to do so here in English or here in Hebrew.

Note the story in the last paragraph:
Let us now relate an incident that happened several years ago. There was a person who was unfortunately in a vegetative state for many years. His wife suffered tremendously, for she saw her life wasting away before her since her husband would not recover and she would live out her entire life without having children. When Maran Shlit”a heard about this, he arrived at the home of the ill man and proceeded to perform a “Tikun” (corrective ceremony) quoted by the works of the Mekubalim in the presence of ten men. Immediately following the Tikun, the ill man passed away in peace.


What Americans and Israelis Debate

Just a quick thought...

The biggest debates in America right now have to do with guns and drones.

The biggest debate in Israel right now has to do with the value of Torah learning on society and whether it trumps all else or not.

Hakol Kol Ya'akov, VeHayadayim Yedei Esav
Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Mishpatim 5773

From Rav Fish's latest:
  • [After quoting the Ramban on the 2 reasons he gives why the dictum תיפח רוחן של מחשבי קצין doesn't apply any longer,] one could add that within the sentence תיפח רוחן של מחשבי קצין, the Keitz is hinted.  If you take the gematria of the sentence תיפח רוחן של מחשבי קצין and add the Milui of that sentence, spelled out in the following way:
    ת"ו יו"ד פ"א ח"ת רי"ש ו"ו ח"ת נו"ן שי"ן למ"ד מ"מ ח"ת שי"ן ב"ת יו"ד קו"ף צד"י יו"ד נו"ן
    you get 5773. In other words, you need to be מפיח רוח - expand the sentence by adding the Milui of these letters in order to calculate the Keitz.
  • [Re: 5776 as being Motza'ei Shevi'it,] the word ותשכן from the Bonei Yerushalayim blessing is the gematria of 776. [YY- and also the word תשכון in the Sephardic version of this blessing.]
  • [Not so much related to Geula, but a nice Devar Torah nonetheless:] The words ואתה תחזה start the section where Yitro gives advice to Moshe Rabbeinu on appointing judges.  One important aspect of a judge is that he must be Tocho Kevaro - his inside like his outside, meaning that the way he acts privately should be the same way he acts publicly.  The gematria of the outside letters of ואתה תחזה equals the gematria of the inside letters of ואתה תחזה.
  • Rashi on Daniel 12:1 says [that in the End of Days,] the Kingdom of Aram will be destroyed and Israel will escape.  We see that Rashi is explaining that "the time of trouble" mentioned in this verse refers to Aram, which is Damascus. [YY - This is not so convincing since "Aram" is often used by censors in place of "Edom".  This is especially true here since 2 other versions of Rashi that I noticed have the word "Gog" instead of "Aram".]
  • [Referring back to what was said last week regarding Ya'ir Lapid,] his father, Tommy Lapid (יוסף טומי לפיד), has the same gematria.
  • The ultimate purpose of airplanes is for the Geula, which is why Boeing (בואינג) has the gematria of 72, a number Kabbalisticly associated with the Geula.
  • Barack Obama (ברק אובאמה) is the gematria of אלוף עמלק. 

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Sanctity of Marriage in Illinois Under Attack Again

Suntimes:

Gay marriage bill clears Senate panel, moves to full Senate

SPRINGFIELD-Legislation that would make Illinois the 10th state to legalize gay marriage cleared a Senate panel Tuesday with new language designed to offer churches greater safeguards from having to perform wedding ceremonies if they object.

The measure, sponsored by Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago), passed the Senate Executive Committee by a 9-5 vote and now heads to the Senate floor for a full vote that is expected to occur on Valentines Day.

The same panel approved similar legislation during a lame-duck legislative session in early January. But the plan stalled when backers acknowledged absences of three key votes kept them below the minimum 30-vote threshold they need to meet in the Senate to pass the legislation.

Gov. Pat Quinn praised Tuesday's development, which he said marked another step toward "providing equal rights to all people in Illinois."

"I thank the members of the Senate Executive Committee for advancing this measure today and look forward to working to pass this bill through both houses in the days to come," he said in a prepared statement.

Hashem Ya'azor.

President Obama To Visit Israel a Week Before פסח

The White House just said that it will be sometime in the spring. Israel's Channel 10 says that it will occur on March 20th. That is Nisan 9. As we read the Nesi'im during those days, the Nasi for the ninth day of Nisan is for the tribe of Binyamin.

I noticed comment #1 here is not happy about this timing since this will cause road blocks specifically during the days that people need to do their פסח shopping.

There are many Geula-related things to say about this visit, but I'll leave that for others...

Monday, February 04, 2013

Tehilim Prevents Stabbing - Literally

Arutz Sheva:
Stabbing Attempt in Jerusalem; Suspect Arrested

An Arab youth tried to stab a Jew, Monday afternoon at the corner of Hanevi'im and Haim Bar-Lev Streets in Jerusalem. The intended victim was not harmed.

The Arab fled the scene. Searches resulted in the arrest of a suspect on Sultan Suleiman Street.
Ladaat reports that the Jewish man was B"H not harmed because the knife stopped in the binding of a Sefer Tehilim that he had in his pocket. The Arab who heard the screams of the Jewish man ran away, but was apprehended later by police.

Friday, February 01, 2013

Mayor Koch and Daniel Pearl Z"L



VIN:

New York - Ed Koch Passes Away On The Same Date As Daniel Pearl

New York - Former New York City mayor Ed Koch who died Friday morning at the age of 88 said in 2008 he has engraved on his tombstone the final statement of murdered journalist Daniel Pearl.

Koch told the Associated Press in 2008:

The marker will bear the Star of David and a Hebrew prayer, “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One.” It also will be inscribed with the last words of journalist Daniel Pearl before he was murdered by terrorists in 2002: “My father is Jewish. My mother is Jewish. I am Jewish.”

Koch explained that he had been moved that Pearl chose to affirm his faith and heritage in his last moments.

The Algemeiner points out that, it is therefore noteworthy and fitting that the day of Koch’s passing, Feb 1st 2013 comes 11 years to the day after the brutal murder of Daniel Pearl, that icon of Jewish pride.
In the Hebrew date, it is off by 2 days, since in 5773, it's 21 Shevat, whereas in 5762, it was 19 Shevat.  (I'm not sure if Daniel Pearl's murder occurred after Sheki'a, in which case, it would only be 1 day off.)

With another recent event happening 11 years later - namely, the Benghazi attack 11 years after 9/11 - I can't help but wondering what the message is.  See more about the number 11 at Shirat Devorah.

Update: אדוארד קוץ' + the Kollel = דניאל פרל + the letters.