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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Baba Sali and Osirak - Torah Helps the Military Operation

This week's Pahad David (p. 2) relates how PM Menachem Begin asked great rabbis to pray for the success of the bombing of Iraq's Osirak reactor in 1981, including the Baba Sali ZT"L and Rav Shach ZT"L.  The Baba Sali asked the prime minister what time the operation was to begin.  Begin replied that the airplanes were to take off at 2:00 PM.  The Baba Sali then said that he suggests that the planes should take off at 4:00 PM instead.  Reportedly, Begin acquiesced to the Baba Sali's request and delayed the operation by 2 hours.

Later, those who were close to the Baba Sali asked him why 4:00 was preferred over 2:00.  He replied that 4:00 PM was when the Yeshiva students across the country returned from their afternoon break and started learning Torah - and it is only in the merit of the Torah learning that we are protected from those who wish to harm us.

As it turned out, the Osirak bombing was B"H very successful with all planes returning safely to base.  This is the power of Torah learning.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Shelah 5773

Rav Pinto - The Mysteries of the Sambatyon River - Part 3

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Beha'alotecha 5773

I'll translate one part from last week

It's brought down in "Yalkut Ohev Yisrael" that R' Mordechai of Slonim said in the name of the Apter Rebbe that at the End of Days, the nations of the world will want to fight against each other, but they will think and contemplate that the outcome of such fighting will only be good for Israel.  So, they will all gather together to smooth out the differences between them so that they won't need to fight.  However, this will not help them, and they will end up fighting each other until they reach their demise.  He concluded that it's permissible to say this over in his name as if one had heard it from a prophet.

Rav Shteinman's letter on the draft

Eytan Kobre: First, Understand "The Burden" (Some bloggers hated this article with silly critiques which don't hold much water.  I think the article is great.)

MK Gafni connects the fight against Yeshivot with the situation in Syria

Life in Israel: Videos from the recent Nahal Haredi ceremony

Latest updates from Chabad of Oklahoma

Matzav: Funeral for Sifrei Torah destroyed by Hurricane Sandy

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Rav Schick's Thoughts on the Belzer Wedding

Translated from Ladaat:

A Breslover Hasid posed a question to his rabbi - Rav Eliezer Shlomo Schick, the rav of the Breslov Hasidim in Yavne'el.  In the question, the Hasid wrote that he participated in the large wedding in the court of Belz and was very amazed at the holiness and joy that was there, but it bothered him that it was "a waste of money and a waste of time".

In his answer, Rav Schick went out to defend the Hasidut of Belz and rejected the claims of unnecessary waste:
In my opinion, it was an awesome and wonderful Kiddush Hashem to see so many Jews from our brothers - the children of Israel - that came with one heart to participate in the joy of the marriage of a holy lineage.  And especially to see such a large gathering of Torah-and-Mitzvot-keeping Jews who gathered together with one heart - this is the greatest Kiddush Hashem possible - that they are all coming to be joyous together and they are all coming with one intent - to participate in a strong joyous occasion.  And it also shows the great power of Torah-and-Mitzvot-keeping Hasidic Jews, and it sanctifies His name, may He be blessed.
In the continuation of the letter, Rav Schick adds that the wedding was:
a very rare sight to see how so many Torah-and-Mitzvot-keeping Jews unite together with very very great love.  And this was an awesome and wonderful Kiddush Hashem.  And even though I didn't see it, nevertheless, from what I just heard about it, it gladdens the heart very much that we see that when all is said and done, that somewhere, there is unity among Jewish souls.  Because it is enough already with all the divisions, fights, and arguments that exist among us since this only prevents the Geula ... HKBH should help that from this Hasidic sect, all Hasidic sects, all courts, all groups, and all communities that exist among the entirety of Am Yisrael will learn what true unity is and will imitate it.  And only in this way will we merit the complete Geula.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Yishmael


Click to enlarge


Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a at Belzer Rebbe's Grandson's Wedding (Video)



Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a attended the Belzer Rebbe's eldest grandson's wedding.  He spoke there, giving his wishes and praising the Rebbe for being close to the Sephardic community throughout the years.

2 nice things happened there, as you can see on the video:

  • The singers there sang the famous Sephardic song "Ashorer Shira" 
  • Rav Ovadia and the Rebbe danced together in a touching moment
Very cool!

(h/t Kikar)

The US Big City Jewish Mayor Club Grows Again

The 3 largest cities in the United States - at least for a few months (but maybe longer) - will have Jewish mayors.

New York has Mayor Bloomberg.

Chicago has Mayor Emanuel.

Now, L.A. has Eric Garcetti, who is Jewish by way of his Jewish mother.  He will start on July 1st.  (Mayor Bloomberg's term is over at the end of 2013.)

To what is this phenomenon attributed?

a) It's a vast Jewish conspiracy to take over the world (BWAHAHAHAHA!!!)

b) The American people are starting to learn the value of Jewish leaders.

c) Liberal/Progressive Jews appeal to large urban areas.

d) Jews are getting very comfortable in Galut.  Perhaps too comfortable.

e) בעקבתא דמשיחא חוצפא יסגא and there's no one with more Hutzpa than a Jewish mayor

f) Other __________________



Let me know what you think the reason is in the comments.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Beha'alotecha 5773

Rav Pinto: The Mysteries of the Sambatyon River - Part 1, Part 2 (more to come)

On the Main Line: Rav Chaim Auerbach ZT"L Predicted the End of Galut 80 Years after 1922

Lazer Beams: Israel In Check

The Absolute Truth: Has Pharaoh Returned?

Kikar: Segulot for Dodging the Draft (for those to whom this applies, which is not everyone.  Some of the stories quoted are quite funny!  Others, quite cool!)

Rabbi Shafran: A Piece of the Wall

Oklahoma Chabad Tornado Relief Site

VIN: 20,000 lbs of Kosher meat donated to Oklahoma

Mashiach is Coming and Emes Ve'emuna both ask separately if the next step for Reform Judaism is to ordain non-Jews as rabbis.

Rabbi Bechhoffer: Discovering Rav Elyashiv ZT"L

Zohar Predicts Groups of Jews Today

Kikar has an interesting article about how Ribbi Shimon Bar Yohai in the Zohar predicted the 3 groups of Jews at the time of the Final Redemption based on the same grouping of Jews at the time of the receiving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai.

The Zohar in Naso 125a describes the groups:
  1. The first group is those called "Yisrael", i.e., those from the side of the Tree of Life.  When it says וַחֲמֻשִׁים עָלוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל, מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם, the word וחמשים is expounded to mean "50", as in the years of Yovel.  Of them, it says: במשך היבל המה יעלו בהר, meaning that those who are Talmidei Hachamim will be able to go up on the mountain (i.e., will be redeemed).
  2. The second group are Amei Ha'aretz, who value Torah, but have desires and sometimes listen to their Yetzer Hara.  Of them, it says: וַיִּתְיַצְּבוּ, בְּתַחְתִּית הָהָר - and they stood on the bottom of the mountain.  Hashem will give those from this group a choice: if they will serve the Talmidei Hachamim like a slave before his master, then they will be redeemed as well.  If not, they will perish in the exile.
  3. The third group are the Erev Rav.  Of them, it says: וַיַּרְא הָעָם וַיָּנֻעוּ, וַיַּעַמְדוּ מֵרָחֹק - they will stand far, far away from being redeemed.  They will see the Talmidei Hachamim with such a great honor, but they will be far from it.  They may try to join in and get close to Talmidei Hachamim, but it will not be allowed, as it says: לֹא-תִגַּע בּוֹ יָד, כִּי-סָקוֹל יִסָּקֵל אוֹ-יָרֹה יִיָּרֶה.  When the Erev Rav is separated from the Jewish people, it says: יְהוָה, בָּדָד יַנְחֶנּוּ וְאֵין עִמּוֹ אֵל נֵכָר.
And what happens before the Redemption while we are still in Galut?

The Zohar continues to say that the Erev Rav will be in charge and will treat the Talmidei Hachamim with derision like a dead and decomposing dog among them as the gemara in Sotah says: וחכמת סופרים תסרח.  The Erev Rav will put the Talmidei Hachamim in חרם.  The Talmidei Hachamim will be in pain, anguish, and poverty.  The Erev Rav will only give them "a set amount".  At the same time, the Erev Rav will live in wealth, prosperity, and tranquility.

Another Zohar (Beha'alotecha 150a) mentions a twist on the commonly-known Yissachar-Zevulun relationship.  This one says that Zevulun goes out in battle while Yissachar learns Torah.  Yissachar gets a portion of Zevulun's spoils of war while Zevulun gets a portion of Yissachar's reward for Torah learning and is blessed with success in battle.  The author of the article says that this is the true "equality of burden".

Friday, May 17, 2013

Nice Things Happening

There's a lot of disturbing and scary news going around.  Russia is supplying advanced weapons to Assad, bringing warships to the Mediterranean itself, a Golan front is becoming more likely, Lapid is being Lapid, and President Obama is in real trouble for some terrible things done by his administration. 

But I'm not in the mood for the disturbing and scary news today.  Let's find the nice news:
  • Newly appointed sole Shas head Aryeh Deri bought an Aliya for ousted leader Eli Yishai for 400 Shekel over Shavu'ot.
  • Gilad Shalit said Hagomel for the first time after being released from prison. (h/t CosmicX)
  • Rav Amar and Rav Ariel "have announced they are together and speak in one voice in their desire to work to promote and protect Yiddishkheit in Eretz Yisrael."
  • Belzer Rebbe Shlit"a's son comes to invite Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a to his son's upcoming wedding.
  • Powerball!!!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Rav Amar: Bring Your Kids To Hear Aseret Hadiberot

Source: Kikar
Kol Korei

To fulfill the custom of bringing children to the reading of the Ten Commandments

Our rabbis of blessed memory said:
HKB"H said to Israel: "My children!  Read this portion every year, and I will consider it as if you were standing before Mt. Sinai and accepting the Torah." (Pesikta DeRav Kahana, Piska Bahodesh Hashelishi)
Every year, we accept the Torah anew.  Therefore, exactly for the same reason that at the time of the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai, all of Israel were present - men, women, and children - similarly, it is incumbent upon everyone to try to come to the synagogue on Shavuot in order to be present at the time of the reading of the Ten Commandments.

There is a special importance to bringing children as our sages of blessed memory tell us that before Hashem gave the Torah to the nation of Israel, He requested guarantors to guarantee the fulfillment of the Torah by the Jews.  The Jews suggested various guarantors, but only when they said, "Our children will be our guarantors," did Hashem agree to give them the Torah.

We should not forget to bring with us the "guarantors" to the acceptance of the Torah.

And may it be Hashem's will that in the merit of the unity of the nation of Israel - men, women, and children - around the Torah "like one man, like one heart", we will merit to see Hashem's returning the return of Zion in the Final and True Redemption with the coming of Mashiah Tzidkeinu.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Geula Update From Rav Fish - Behar/Behukotai and Bemidbar 5773

From Rav Fish's last week and this week rolled into one:
  • Poverty Before Geula
    • Really, there is an explicit contradiction within Haza"l regarding poverty on the eve of Redemption, as [although we previously mentioned many sources that prove that there will be poverty right before Redemption,] we found in other sources that just the opposite - there will come great plenty to Torah scholars before the Redemption, as is mentioned in the gemara (Sanhedrin 97a, Derech Eretz chapter 10, and elsewhere):
      The rabbis taught: the year in which Ben David comes, the first year ... The fourth year, plenty and not plenty.  The fifth year, great plenty when they will eat, drink, and be merry, and Torah will return to its learners.  The sixth year, sounds.  The seventh year, wars.  After the seventh year, Ben David comes.
    • To reconcile the difficulty, it appears that the decree of poverty for Torah scholars comes from HKB"H in order to awaken them to request David their king, and to truly - from the depth of one's soul - expect salvation and Redemption.  And the main thing is to connect to the inner parts of the Redemption by way of learning the inner parts of the Torah, everyone according to their abilities.  And those Torah scholars who do these things on their own, there is no need to awaken them for this.  For them, Haza"l expounded that they will merit great plenty before the Redemption since they are already connected to the light of the Redemption, and one who is connected begins to be redeemed.  And the others who are not connected as much as Hashem expects of them, the purpose of poverty will be to awaken them to this idea in order that they merit the Redemption with mercy.  
      • To further explain this, when a person desires something and he's able to taste it, if he tastes it, this is a clear sign that he indeed did desire it.  The main point of the Redemption and its purpose is learning Sod as is explained in the Gr"a and in many books.  Those who desire for the physical influences of the Redemption in order to fill their desires, the Redemption has not touched them yet at all.  And even those who desire for the Beit Hamikdash and the fulfillment of Mitzvot and for the Resurrection of the Dead, this is not the main point.  The main point is Torah learning, which is equivalent to all the rest of the Mitzvot.  And the main point of the main point is the Redemption of the Shechina, which is dependant on learning the inner parts of the Torah, as is brought down in the Zohar.  However, those who don't even try to taste and to connect show that they don't desire the main point of the Redemption.  The greater the tasting, the greater the desire.  And the matter is simple.
  • The Satmar Rebbe ZT"L's Joke
    • [YY - Please note: I don't agree with the Satmar Rebbe's views here.]
    • The Satmar Rebbe said jokingly when the State of Israel was established on Friday of Parshat Emor 5 Iyar, 5708 that the State is hinted to with the verses that apply to The blasphemer, and that is the root of the State of Israel.  This Perasha comes after all the holidays in the Perasha.  And just like the Torah mentioned hints to the Rabbinic holidays - the Perasha of the oil hints to Hanukka and the Perasha of baking the show-bread hints to the Purim meal - so too, right afterwards comes the Perasha of the blasphemer to hint to the "holiday" of the new state.  He also adds that this Perasha is the only one in the Torah that איש הישראלי is mentioned.
    • Rama"z has some hints from this Perasha to what is happening today:
      • וַיֵּצֵא, בֶּן-אִשָּׁה יִשְׂרְאֵלִית, וְהוּא בֶּן-אִישׁ מִצְרִי
        • Rashei Teivot בנימין נתניהו
        • Rashei Teivot נפתלי בנט
        • Lapid is the son of his notorious father
        • ליבני has בן in the middle
        • בן is the gematria of הליבה
      • בְּתוֹךְ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל
        • Rashei Teivot בנט נתניהו יאיר
      • וַיִּנָּצוּ בַּמַּחֲנֶה בֶּן הַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִית, וְאִישׁ הַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִי
        • Letters of ציון - the Kelipa
      • וַיִּקֹּב בֶּן-הָאִשָּׁה הַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִית אֶת-הַשֵּׁם, וַיְקַלֵּל, וַיָּבִיאוּ אֹתוֹ, אֶל-מֹשֶׁה
        • Targum is ופרש - Rashei Teivot of Rav Shai Piron
      • וְשֵׁם אִמּוֹ שְׁלֹמִית בַּת-דִּבְרִי לְמַטֵּה-דָן
        • The whole issue of the core curriculum stared with the Dovrat Commission, headed by Shlomo Dovrat שלמה דברת.
        • Also, Yair Lapid's mother's name is שולמית.
      • וַיַּנִּיחֻהוּ, בַּמִּשְׁמָר
        • They guarded this in the offices of the government
      • לִפְרֹשׁ לָהֶם, עַל-פִּי ה'
        • Again, Rashei Teivot of Rav Shai Piron
      • כגר כאזרח
      • וּמַכֵּה נֶפֶשׁ-בְּהֵמָה
        • Gematria of בן
        • Gematria of הליב"ה
        • Hints to "B.A.", "H.A.", and "M.A."
        • The Zohar calls the Erev Rav "Beheima"
      • יְשַׁלְּמֶנָּה
        • Trying to persuade with bribes (שלמונים)
      • מִשְׁפַּט אֶחָד יִהְיֶה לָכֶם
        • Courthouses
      • כַּגֵּר כָּאֶזְרָח יִהְיֶה
        • Equality of service
    • יאיר can be an expression of cursing, like the blasphemer
    • The Perasha of the blasphemer concludes Parshat Emor, which has 124 verses, like the gematria of לפיד [Lapid].
  • More on the government of heresy
    • לברמן is the letters מר לבן.
    • לפיד is the gematria of נגע [plus the Kollel].
    • The word מינות hints to מינוס [deficit], as we see that once he started to antagonize Torah learners, he had a deficit.  And instead of introspection to further help Torah, they are cutting more from Torah learners in order to cut the deficit, and they don't understand that by doing so, they are causing the deficit to increase a lot more, Hashem should have mercy.
    • יאיר לפיד is the gematria of פירון.
  • Supreme Court Building
    • [After discussing עמלק having the gematria of רם,] R' Tzion David Siboni adds: the architects who designed the Israeli Supreme Court Building are named רם כרמי and his sister עדה.  The mother of Eliphaz, the father of Amalek, was Adah.
    • בג"ץ is the gematria of המן.
  • The Raham
    • [After bringing down the gemara in Hulin 63a that says that when the Raham will sit on the ground and hiss, Mashiah will immediately come, R' Yehoshua Bismut added that it's a non-kosher bird, hinting to the Redemption coming from the Kelipot.  He then adds:] The word רחם hints to the word רחם - womb - from which Mashiah was born, which has some leftover from the side of bad [רע], as is brought down in Sha'ar Hahakdamot by the Ariza"l (p. 132).  He says that pregnancy has the aspect of "bad" since it filters the good from the bad.  Birth is the exiting of good from the bad.  The baby symbolizes the good part that is filtered from the bad part, which is why pregnancy has 270 - רע - days.  Also, pregnancy itself - הריון - is the gematria of רע.  It's also brought down in the Otzerot Hayim by the Ariza"l (Orot Nitzotzot Vecheilim, chapter 2) that pregnancy symbolizes the filtering of the 288 sparks that fell into the "bad".  And the birth of Mashiah symbolizes the end of the filtering of the sparks, which is why it has the Sod of birth.
    • Also, the Raham is called הרחמה [with 4 Kametzes in a row] in Parshat Re'eh (Devarim 14:17), and the entire word has vowels of Kametz, which symbolizes the Sefira of Keter - Keter Malchut, with the Sod of עטרה שביסוד הנוקבה, which is from where the fetus departs.
  • More about ערב
    • The difference between the gematria of עבר [the past, and the letters of ערב, equaling 272] and the gematria of עתיד [the future, equaling 484] is the gematria of זהר [Zohar, equaling 212] because the Zohar connects between the past of the exile, which ends at the time of ערב, to the future of the Redemption.
  • Those who are not worthy still get to inherit Eretz Yisrael
    • It's brought down in וענתה השירה by Rav Nahmani ZT"L that the verses (Tehillim 69:36-37) כִּי אֱלֹהִים, יוֹשִׁיעַ צִיּוֹן, וְיִבְנֶה, עָרֵי יְהוּדָה;    וְיָשְׁבוּ שָׁם, וִירֵשׁוּהָ.  וְזֶרַע עֲבָדָיו, יִנְחָלוּהָ;    וְאֹהֲבֵי שְׁמוֹ, יִשְׁכְּנוּ-בָהּ [For God will save Zion, and build the cities of Judah; and they shall abide there, and have it in possession.  The seed also of His servants shall inherit it; and they that love His name shall dwell therein.]  The order is that first (from verse 36) everyone - even the wicked - get to inherit it.  And afterwards, (from verse 37) only the righteous will inherit it.
    • It's similarly brought down in צדקת הצדיק that before the Redemption, there will be Jews like the Ma'pilim in the Exodus who will try to capture the Land of Israel before its time.  And he inferred from the general rules of expounding of Haza"l that the Ma'pilim at the time of Moshe will not be successful, but the Ma'pilim during the Final Redemption will succeed.  Here are his words (in אות מו):
      They presumed to go up even against Hashem's will, and they didn't succeed in this because the time was not yet ripe, which was why Moshe told them, "It shall not prosper."  It appears that it was a piece of advice, but it will not prosper.  And we can infer using the word "והיא" - "and it", where in many places Haza"l expound that to mean, "It, but not others," meaning that there will be another time that it will succeed, and that is in our time, during the footsteps of Mashiah, as Haza"l said that in the footsteps of Mashiah, Hutzpah will increase, that then will be the time for this.
  • Year gematrias
    • R' David Rosoff adds: ה'תשע"ג is the gematria of גאולה העתידה בדרך אהבה [the future Redemption in the path of love].
    • The Nusah of:
      וְהוּא יוֹשִׁיעֵנוּ וְיִגְאָלֵנוּ שֵׁנִית וְיַשְׁמִיעֵנוּ בְּרַחֲמָיו שֵׁנִית לְעֵינֵי כָּל חַי לֵאמֹר. הֵן גָּאַלְתִּי אֶתְכֶם אַחֲרִית כְּרֵאשִׁית לִהְיוֹת לָכֶם לאלֹהים
      equals 5771.

Thursday, May 09, 2013

WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW WOW

We Often Want
What Outsiders Wield.
We Ought to Wonder
Whether the Omnipresent Wanted
Women Offended While
Weak Or Whether
Women's Order is Well-established.

Women Of the Wall,
What Obnoxious Weirdos! 
Why Oh Why
Would Objectionable Womenfolk
Want Our Wall
Wearing Objects Whose
Women's Obligation is Wanting?

Women FOr the Wall,
What Outstanding Wisdom!
While Our Wall
Would Outlast World-powers,
Women Obscurely Worshipped,
Wailing OWhispering,
Wishing Only Wholeness.

Which One Will
Win Out When
Women Of the Wall
Weaken Our Wholeness
While Offending the Wise?
Wars Over Worship
Won't Offer Winnings.

Big Prayer Day Today for All Kinds of Things

YWN:
Shas’ Rabbonim Shlita Call for a Day of Tefilos

Shas’ Moetzas Gedolei Yisrael decided in light of the harsh budgetary gezeiros facing Eretz Yisrael today, the tzibur should hold atzeres tefilos around the country. Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef Shlita is calling upon the tzibur at large to use Thursday, erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan as a day of tefilos.

The rabbonim of the Moetzas Gedolei Yisrael met by phone and decided to issue the call to the tzibur at large.

At 18:00 on Thursday, 29 Iyar 5773, an atzeres tefilla will be held in Maran’s beis medrash.
YWN:
Erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan a Global Day of Tefilla

In line with the kol korei from Gedolei Yisrael Shlita, Thursday, 29 Iyar 5773, erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan will be observed as a day of tefilos by Jews around the world. The tzibur is urged to be mispallel in light of the many difficulties facing the Torah community in Eretz HaKodesh, including efforts to draft bnei yeshivos and to impose a state curriculum on chareidi mosdos.

Gedolei Hador Shlita have urged yeshivos and the tzibur at large to take part in special tefilos on erev rosh chodesh, including the recitation of Tehillim Chapters 13, 83, 130, and 142.
MPaths:

Pray for the Children – The Sh’lah HaKadosh

The holy Sh'lah left Europe in the 17th century and made his home in Eretz Yisrael, becoming chief Rabbi of Jerusalem. He is renowned for many things, but one special is a tefilah, a special prayer, he composed for parents to say for the benefit of their children.

The most auspicious time - the time Heaven is most open to this prayer - is said to be erev Rosh Chodesh Sivan. For this year, 2013, that means Thursday, May 9.

The Sh'lah wrote, "for that is the month when G-d gave us the Torah, and when the Jewish people began to be called His Children. On that day, fathers and mothers should give charity to the poor and repent. They should even fast, if they are able to."

Religious schools throughout Israel hand out this prayer to all students to bring home to their parents this week.
See the prayer there and at many other places on the Internet.

And for those who dare to be different, a couple years ago, I linked to Rav Eliezer Papo's prayer for children.

More on True Peace vs. False Peace

As a complement to my previous post, see Rav Moshe Weinberger's Derasha on Behar/Behukotai.

Excerpt:
...So too, the Radvaz explains that in the times of Moshiach, the wild and wicked children of Yishmael who live in the land of Israel, who are called (Bereishis 16:12) “פֶּרֶא אָדָם,” animalistic men, will be removed from the land.

In actuality, however, the difference between Rabi Shimon/the Ramban/the Ra’avad on one hand and the Rambam and the Radvaz on the other, becomes less stark when one considers how the Rambam concludes his explanation of the times of Moshiach. ...

Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Using Sedom's Laws to Promote False Peace

Haza"l have a great respect for peace.  Midrashim are replete with references to how great peace is and how normal orders of conduct can be disrupted for its promotion.  We are told that we are even allowed to lie for peace, as even Hashem did to promote peace between Avraham and Sarah.

But when the peace is not real, and proven as such, then going the extra mile for it is masochistic and suicidal. 

Just from today's news, we have 2 glaring examples.

Arutz Sheva:

Israel and Turkey Close to a Compensation Deal

Turkish and Israeli officials have come "close" to a deal on compensation for the 2010 raid on a Gaza-bound flotilla after talks in Jerusalem on Monday, AFP reports.

"The meeting was positive," Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement.

"The two teams have a project but clarifications are still needed on some issues. The two sides expect to reach an accord in the near future," it said, without giving details.

Channel 10 News also reported of a positive meeting at the foreign ministry.

"An accord has not yet been signed but most questions have been settled. The number of outstanding points is so limited that it's not sure another meeting is needed," the report said, quoting diplomatic sources.

A final deal is "very close," it said.

An initial meeting in Ankara on April 22 focused on the amount and the terms of Israel's payment of compensation to the families of nine Turkish nationals who died in the raid, which Turkey has named as a precondition for normalization of diplomatic ties.

It was the first stage of what Turkish officials have said would be a multi-step diplomatic process aimed at reinstating bilateral ties between the former close allies who fell out over the raid.
If this would be a true peace or even a peace based on cooperation to defeat common enemies, such actions might be justified.  However, the very same day that this is going on, Erdogan condemned Israel's attack in Syria!  Isn't the whole point of this truce with Turkey to, at the very least, defeat a common enemy in Syria?

The second big news item of the day is this report from Arutz Sheva:

Netanyahu Orders Judea, Samaria Construction Freeze

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has requested that the Housing Ministry freeze new construction projects in Judea and Samaria (Shomron), IDF Radio (Galei Tzahal) reports.

Netanyahu met with Housing Minister Uri Ariel and asked him to halt promotion of new projects in the region, including by no longer putting up for bids tenders on new projects.

Just days ago Ariel said that if the state budget did not include funding for promised construction in Judea and Samaria, such as the planned project in E1 in Maaleh Adumim, his party would not support the budget.

Neither Ariel’s office nor Netanyahu’s gave an official response to the IDF Radio report.

The reported freeze on new projects comes shortly after United States President Barack Obama’s visit to Israel and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s efforts to restart diplomatic talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.

Acting PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has insisted that he will not negotiate with Netanyahu unless Israel freezes construction east of the 1949 armistice line. Abbas has made other demands as well, including the release of terrorists imprisoned in Israel.
Another thing Haza"l is replete with is insistance that sinners don't get rewarded for their actions. Halachic rulings are made on the basis of שלא יהא חוטא נשכר - that sinners don't prosper. 

Mr. Abbas and his organization did nothing to deserve this "gift" - he continues to deny the Holocaust, praise terrorists, want terrorists freed, bring more terrorists into Israel, yearn for the entire Land of Israel, not officially recognize Israel, and his consituents are one phone call away from starting a third intifada.

Giving in to these thugs is not promoting peace - it's simply promoting bad behavior.  This is similar to the judges of Sedom (from Soncino's translation of Sanhedrin 109b):
There were four judges in Sodom, [named] Shakrai, Shakurai, Zayyafi, and Mazle Dina.1 Now, if a man assaulted his neighbour's wife and bruised her, they would say [to the husband], ‘Give her to him, that she may become pregnant for thee.’ If one cut off the ear of his neighbour's ass, they would order, ‘Give it to him until it grows again.’ If one wounded his neighbour they would say to him [the victim], ‘Give him a fee for bleeding thee.’ He who crossed over with the ferry had to pay four zuzim, whilst he who crossed through the water had to pay eight. On one occasion, a certain fuller happened to come there. Said they to him, ‘Give us four zuzim [for the use of the ferry].’ But, protested he, ‘I crossed through the water!’ ‘If so,’ said they, ‘thou must give eight zuzim for passing
through the water.’ He refused to give it, so they assaulted him. He went before the judge, who ordered, ‘Give them a fee for bleeding and eight zuzim for crossing through the water. Now Eliezer, Abraham's servant, happened to be there, and was attacked. When he went before the judge, he said, ‘Give them a fee for bleeding thee.’ Thereupon he took a stone and smote the judge. ‘What is this!’ he exclaimed. He replied, ‘The fee that thou owest me give to this man [who attacked me], whilst my money will remain in statu quo.’
So, if we want to achieve real peace, it's not by placating these Resha'im.  It's by making peace with Hashem, ourselves, our family, our neighbors, and our acquaintances.  That's when true peace will come, as we learned in last week's portion:

אם בחקותי תלכו ... ונתתי שלום בארץ ושכבתם ואין מחריד

Monday, May 06, 2013

3 Cleveland Women Rescued After 10 Years

This is not the usual story I'd post about on this blog, but this story was just so unbelievable, I had to post it.  It even made me cry a bit.

And the following amazing video with the rescuer is also found at YWN there:



לאמר לאסורים צאו ולאשר בחשך הגלו

Sunday, May 05, 2013

Google Palestine - The Start of a New Trend

Congratulations for the brave unilateral move by Google to finally recognize the areas formerly known as "The Occupied Palestinian Territories" as "Palestine".
I'm sure that Google will continue its courageous ways and add other separatist movements' dreams of territories to its list of search engines as well.  The following come to mind:



I also expect other fictional territories, just like Palestine is, to have their own sites, such as:

I will expect all these along with their own domains by the end of the summer.  

Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Like Haman Before Him, Iranian Leader Accuses Jews of Sorcery

Arutz Sheva:
An Iranian leader with close ties to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei recently accused the Jews of engaging in sorcery and employing it against Iran, the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reported.

“The Jews are currently subjecting us to an unprecedented trial. As you read in the Koran, [King] Solomon ruled the world… and God ordered a group of sorcerers to come out against him. The Jews have the greatest powers of sorcery, and they make use of this tool,” said Mehdi Taeb, who heads Khamenei's Ammar Base think tank.

“All the measures that have been brought against us originate with the Zionists. The U.S. is a tool in their hands. So far, they have not used the full [scope of] their sorcery against us. Sorcery was the final means to which they resorted during the Ahmadinejad era, but they were defeated,” he said. “This ability of the Jews was eliminated by Iran. Five years ago they tried to oust Ahmadinejad [by this means].”

Furthermore, the Rasanews.ir website, which is associated with the religious seminaries in Qom, posted an article in March stating that Jews cherish the knowledge of sorcery, pass it down from generation to generation, and believe that it can be used to control mankind, nature and the decisions of G-d.

“The Jews have always tended to resort to divination, [a practice] that has its roots in astronomy, astrology and sorcery, [which they picked up] when they consorted with various peoples in the course of history…” the article states, according to MEMRI.

“The [Jewish] people think that ruling over man, nature, and divine traditions can be achieved only by means of sorcery. They believe that it is possible to conquer nature and control the world, and even to control God’s decisions, by using sorcery methods,” it adds.
Of course, this accusation is nothing new for Persians. The Midrash tells us how Haman accused the Jews of performing all the miracles that occurred to them via sorcery in his diatribe to King Ahashverosh.

Esther Rabba 7:13:

כיון ששמע פרעה שהיו בורחים הלך אחריהם להשיב את ממונו מה עשו לו היה עמהם אדם אחד ושמו משה בן עמרם ובכשפיו נטל מקל אחד ולחש עליו והכה בו את הים עד שנחרב ונכנסו כולם ביבשה בתוך הים ועברו כולם ואינו יודע במה עברו ובמה יבשו המים

...

היה לו תלמיד אחד יהושע בן נון שמו והיה אכזרי עד מאד ולא היה לו רחמים אמר לו אותו משה (שם) בחר לנו אנשים וצא הלחם בעמלק איני יודע אותן אנשים שבחר אם בעלי כשפים הם או אם גבורי מלחמה מה עשה אותו משה נטל מקל בידו ואיני יודע מה עשה בו וכיון שבא עליהם איני יודע מה לחש עליהם ורפו ידיהם ונפלו לפניהם הה"ד (שם) ויחלוש יהושע את עמלק ואת עמו לפי חרב באו על סיחון ועוג גבורי ארצנו שאין כל בריה היתה יכולה לעמוד בפניהם ואיני יודע במה הרגום באו עליהם מלכי מדין ואיני יודע במה הרגן

...

ועמד אחריו שלמה בנו ובנה להן לישראל בית אחד וקרא לו ביהמ"ק ואיני יודע מה היה להם בתוכו כשבאין למלחמה נכנסין בתוכו ומכשפים בתוכו וכשהן יוצאים ממנו הורגים ומחריבים את העולם

Evyatar Borovsky, HY"D

From Arutz Sheva:



More heartwrenching video here.

May Hashem avenge his blood.