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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Thumbs Up for Mashiah

See this incredible Devar Torah on Parshat Re'eh at Shvilei Pinches.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Torah Codes on the Terrorist Release

Even for those who were for the Shalit trade, like I was apprehensively, it is totally insane to release terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands for absolutely nothing tangible in return.

See Rav Glazerson's take on all this below:

I'm Rooting for Bennett This Fall

I'm hoping that the guys named Bennett can take their team all the way.

I'm expecting lots of good moves from the guys named Bennett in leading their team to victory.

I'm pretty confident that the guys named Bennett won't drop the ball.

I know that the guys named Bennett have connected themselves with a great team.

I've seen how the guys named Bennett respectfully listen to the advice of those who are coaching them.

I am aware of how the guys named Bennett know how to block the opposition to help their teammates progress.

I can rest assured that the guys named Bennett will stand up for their teammates in their time of need.

I'm talking, of course, about Earl Bennett and Martellus Bennett, respectively the wide receiver and tight end for the Chicago Bears.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Ekev 5773

Matzav - Rav Chaim Kanievsky's Remez to Mashiah from the word עקב.  (Related, see here.)

Rav Shmueli Shlit"a - Learn Zohar and Kabbala During These Days of עקבתא דמשיחא (pages 13-18 in Hebrew)

Mashiach Is Coming - Bringing the Redemption Closer

YWN - BeOhel Hanevi'im - Ekev

Matzav - Don't Text and Pray

Matzav - Praying for the Sick

Kikar - Mazal Tov! Ba'alat Teshuva Descendant of Rav Nahman of Breslov has a baby boy (and his name will most likely NOT be named "George" - probably "Nahman")

Rabbi Yaakov Horowitz - Confronting and Eradicating Communal Abuse

Shirat Devorah - Understanding Dreams in Judaism

Torah & Horaah - All About Birkat Hagomel

YWN - The Librarian and the Bentcher

Arutz Sheva - This Upcoming Rosh Hodesh Features Conflict at the Me'arat Hamachpela too

Arutz Sheva - Chabad Rabbi Shot in Dagestan and in Serious Condition has been brought to Israel for treatment.  Acc. to YWN:
The tzibur is asked to be mispallel for הרב עובדיה בן זהבה חיה בתוך כל חולי עם ישראל
Update:  YWN - After complex emergency surgery, his condition has B"H improved to "satisfactory"

Arutz Sheva - Yaalon: Don't Cooperate with EU

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Ekev 5773

From Rav Fish's latest:
  • World Wars and Shemita
    • [On the concept that the Gog Umagog War is divided into 3 wars: WWI, WWII, & WWIII,] Rav Menahem Barhoum adds that using the words of the gemara (Sanhedrin 97a) that on the seventh year, there will be wars, and after Shevi'it, Ben David comes, all three world wars can be joined together.  This is because WWI ended in 5677, which was a Shemita year, and WWII ended in 5705, which was a Shemita year.  And now we are talking about WWIII which will [YY- speculatively] end in the year 5775, which is a Shemita year.  And after Shevi'it, Ben David comes.
  • Years Following Chapters of Tehillim
    • [After mentioning the significance of Chapter 72 of Tehillim,] Rav Manahem Barhoum adds that Chapter 72 of Tehillim completes the Tehillim for Tuesday, which started on Chapter 51.  These chapters, 51-72, symbolize the time from Hatzot (5751) until Minha Gedola (5772).  And since Tuesday symbolizes midday, therefore, its Tehillim symbolize the period of midday (Hatzot).
    • Afterwards, come the chapters of Tehillim for Wednesday - Chapter 73 until Chapter 90 - which symbolize the years 5773-5790.  The year 5790 is known to represent a more progressive stage of Redemption - that of Tehiyat Hameitim, as the Zohar (Toledot 140) brings down that the righteous will arise 210 years before the rest of the people, and 5790 is 210 years before 6000.
  • Shema and Geula
    • Rav Menahem Barhoum notes that the letters ע and ד are bigger in the first verse of Shema, hinting to the year תשע"ד.
  • A Slow Geula
    • [As the Yerushalmi, Midrash, & Kol Hator explain, the Geula comes קמעא קמעא - little by little.]  Rav Tzion David Siboni adds that קמעא קמעא with the words = 424 = משיח בן דוד.
    • Also, מעט מעט (Shemot 23:30) has the gematria of רחל, symbolizing the Shechina.
    • Also, the words בשנה אחת from the previous verse plus the letters has the gematria of תשע"ג.
  • See also his long piece about sneezing (too long to translate).

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Father-Son Chief Rabbi History

Rav Yitzhak Yosef Shlit"a, who was appointed as Rishon Letzion, is, of course, the son of Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a.  The appointment of both father and son as Rishonim Letzion is not unprecedented.  However, it hasn't happened in 94 years.

According to Wikipedia Hebrew's List of Rishonim Letzion, Rav Yaakov Sha'ul Elyashar ZT"L was Rishon Letzion from 1893-1906.  His son, Rav Hayim Moshe Elyashar ZT"L was Rishon Letzion from 1919-1921.  (According to the list in English, however, Rav Hayim Moshe Elyashar was Rishon Letzion from 1914-1915.  I would guess that the Hebrew version is more authoritative.  Also, a different Wikipedia page says "Nissim Danon—In 1917, Palestine was occupied by the British. Danon was succeeded as chief rabbi after WWI by Haim Moshe Eliashar who assumed the title of Acting Chief Rabbi.")

See an article (in Hebrew) and a video of Rav Ovadia Shlit"a praising his son, Rav Yitzhak.  He said to his son to care for the Agunot and have Ahavat Yisrael.  He concluded by saying that he is not just a rabbi of Haredim or just for the religious, but a rabbi of all of Israel.

On the Ashkenazic side, Rav David Lau Shlit"a is the son of former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau Shlit"a, the first such father-son pair for the much-more-recently-established Ashkenazic Chief Rabbinate.  See an article (in Hebrew) and a video where the elder Rav Lau also praised his son, and noted that Rav David Lau is the 39th (!!!) generation of rabbis in his lineage, but the first born in Israel.

New Chief Rabbis for Israel

The results are in.

Congratulations to Rav Yitzhak Yosef Shlit"a on becoming Rishon Letzion and Rav David Lau Shlit"a on becoming the Ashkenazic chief rabbi.

May they lead the inhabitants of Eretz Yisrael with wisdom in the coming years.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Tell a Yeshiva Boy: "Thank You For Your Service" and Other Suggestions

Today was a sad day in Israel when the Knesset passed its first reading of the "Equality of Burden" law.  Sadly, the law will only promote inequality, as those Haredim who were not fit for full-time Torah study and were considering joining the army will now be dissuaded from doing so since they're being forced into it.  So sad.  Furthermore, this law is not promoting equaling the burden of Torah study to all.  This makes things very unequal.

Some Haredi MKs handcuffed themselves to microphones, others tore Keri'a on the Knesset floor, while almost all of them said special Selihot in the halls.  And their frustration is warranted. 

How, as religious Jews, can we help persuade a secular majority and show them the importance of Torah study being on, at the very least, the same level as army service in their eyes?  The truth is, it's difficult.  There is definitely no magic bullet.  Before anything, however, we have to believe ourselves that Yeshiva boys provide a great service to Kelal Yisrael.  Unfortunately, too many religious people don't believe it and ask מאי אהני לן רבנן.  If the religious don't believe it, it's hard to convince the secular.  On that note, here are my small suggestions to help get the ball rolling:

1) Tell every Yeshiva boy you meet, "Thank you for your service".  You do it for those in the military.  Why not those in Yeshiva?  Do you not believe that they should be thanked for the service that they provide?  Of course they should be thanked!  Their service is immeasurable and goes way beyond the service the army provides.  Not only do they help protect Kelal Yisrael, but they ensure the continuation of Kelal Yisrael by learning the Torah that we all should be learning.  Of course, say it to those in the army, but all the more so, say it to Yeshiva boys.

2) The religious media of all streams should do profile pieces on the best boy in each Yeshiva and let us know: a) what he's learning each week, b) how many years he's been in the Yeshiva, c) what Haburot he gave on what subject, etc. so that the world gets to know them.  Otherwise, to the unaffiliated, they're just a bunch of moochers who accomplish nothing.  The secular world knows the big rabbis - have them know the boys themselves and what they accomplished.  Even more importantly, have the religious world know the boys themselves and what they accomplished.

3) Get the word out to secular and skeptical religious Jews that just as those who choose the army are putting their lives on the line for the whole nation of Israel, so too, Yeshiva boys are putting their lives on the line for the whole nation of Israel.  It's not the same, you say?  You're right, but not in the way you're thinking.  Sitting and learning all day is no easy task, and at the end of the day, they have no Gashmiyut to show for it.  Those in the army eventually get out, and many have job opportunities galore, while many of their Yeshiva counterparts barely get by.  So please don't tell me that they don't put their lives on the line.  עני חשוב כמת.

Lapid and company may have won the battle against Torah, but we will win the war.  Let's start the new phase of this war right now.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Rav Edelstein: We are Experiencing Hevlei Mashiah

Ladaat reports that at the 61st Yarhei Kallah of the Ponovezh Yeshiva, Rav Gershon Edelstein Shlit"a said:
We find ourselves in a time of danger since from all directions, they are standing up against us to destroy us.  Perhaps, we don't feel it, but this is our situation.  One who goes deeper understands that we are experiencing Hevlei Mashiah [the birthpangs of Mashiah], and therefore, it is requested of us to increase our Torah and acts of kindness [as prescribed in Sanhedrin 98b].

The 70 Year Edomite Itch

Avoda Zara 11b (Daf/Text/Translation):
אמר רב יהודה אמר שמואל עוד אחרת יש [להם] ברומי אחת לשבעים שנה מביאין אדם שלם ומרכיבין אותו על אדם חיגר ומלבישין אותו בגדי אדם הראשון ומניחין לו בראשו קרקיפלו של רבי ישמעאל ותלו ליה [בצואריה] מתקל [ר'] זוזא דפיזא ומחפין את השווקים באינך ומכריזין לפניו סך קירי פלסתר אחוה דמרנא זייפנא דחמי חמי ודלא חמי לא חמי מאי אהני לרמאה ברמאותיה ולזייפנא בזייפנותיה ומסיימין בה הכי ווי לדין כד יקום דין
Said Rab Judah in the name of Samuel: They have yet another festival in Rome [which occurs] once every seventy years. Then a healthy man is brought and made to ride on a lame man; he is dressed in the attire of Adam,on his head is placed the scalp of R. Ishmael,and on his neck are hung pieces of fine gold to the weight of four zuzim,the market places [through which these pass] are paved with onyx stones, and the proclamation is made before him: ‘The reckoning of the ruler is wrong. The brother of our lord, the impostor! Let him who will see it see it; he who will not see it now will never see it. Of what avail is the treason to the traitor or deceit to the deceiver!’; and they concluded thus: Woe unto the one when the other will arise.’5
There is a fascinating זרע ברך on Parshat Toledot where, as part of a larger discussion, he explains a number of things:
  • The "attire of Adam" refers to the Bigdei Kehuna - priestly garments - as the Ba'al Haturim says on Bereishit 3:21.
  • Esav knew that these garments belonged to Avraham Avinu, but they were in the hands of Nimrod.  He therefore killed Nimrod to get these garments for his grandfather, but when he saw that his grandfather Avraham died the same day that he killed Nimrod, he went off the Derech and despised the first-born rite (at the time) of Divine service.  Yaakov Avinu took this opportunity to buy the first-born rite from Esav.
  • Rivka Imeinu took this same garment and dressed Yaakov with it so as to get Yitzhak Avinu to bless Yaakov with matters dealing with Kehuna.  This is why Haza"l say that Yitzhak smelled the smell of Gan Eden when Yaakov entered since they were actually worn by Adam Harishon briefly in Gan Eden.
  • After the destruction of the second Beit Hamikdash, the garment returned to Esav's spiritual descendants (Rome), who claimed that the garment was taken as a trick and say, "Of what avail is the treason to the traitor or deceit to the deceiver!" once every 70 years.
  • The reason for 70 years is because that is how long the Babylonian Exile lasted, so 70 years after the destruction of the Beit Hamikdash, when the Geula did not come, the Romans celebrated, saying, "If the Geula didn't come by now, it will never come."  From there, the custom arose to do this every 70 years.
  • (There is much more to this, having to do with Ahashverosh and Haman, but we'll leave it here for now.)
Even though the Romans are long gone, it is widely held that the Vatican took over the role of Edom.  Not that this custom still exists today, but it very well might in the spiritual realm.  In that case, we have gone through 27 such 70-year periods since the Hurban in the year 68CE, in the years:

138, 208, 278, 348, 418, 488, 558, 628, 698, 768, 838, 908, 978, 1048, 1118, 1188, 1258, 1328, 1398, 1468, 1538, 1608, 1678, 1748, 1818, 1888, 1958.

However, 1958 started the weakening of the Vatican.  That was the year of the contentious papal election (along with its Siri Thesis), which soon led to Vatican II:
Pope John XXIII, however, gave notice of his intention to convene the Council on 25 January 1959, less than three months after his election in October 1958.
The rise of Israel in 1948 should have had the Sar Shel Esav very worried.  I have a feeling that if the custom was practiced in the spiritual realm in 1958, the man riding on top wasn't so healthy.  And it BE"H will be the last time this practice will have been done.  "Woe unto the one when the other will arise" - indeed.

May the weakening of Edom and the rise of Israel continue to completion.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Rav Ovadia Shlit"a: Kippot Serugot are Beloved

Kikar, Ladaat, and Behadrei report that Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a clarified the remarks of Rav Shalom Cohen Shlit"a last week (the following quote is a composite of the quotes mentioned on all 3 sites):
Our Rosh Yeshiva, the Gaon Rav Shalom Cohen spoke a few words against Kippot Serugot.   However, I have no doubt that he did not mean all those who wear Kipot Serugot.  Does a Kippa testify about a man?  Rather, his intent was about certain politicians who left the Source of life and cooperated with enemies of the Torah who made decrees against the Torah.

"Everyone else are all beloved.  I had many Talmidim with Kippot Serugot, who thirstily drank my words.  How is it possible not to love my students who are like spiritual children?  ואהבת לרעך כמוך - they are all beloved, they are all flawless.  I never differentiated between a Kippa Seruga and a black Kippa - this distinction is nothing.  When I had strength, I used to give Shiurim in Yeshivot Hesder and they were happy, and I was happy that they were happy.

Also, my son, Ribbi Yitzhak, goes to Yeshivot Hesder from place to place, and they all benefit from him and his Torah.  We have to love them and honor them.  May it be Hashem's will that He increase for them wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, and they will go up higher and higher.
A partial video of this can be seen on Kikar.

See also what Rav Amar Shlit"a said last week.

As we approach the upcoming days of judgement, may we all learn to judge our fellow Jews favorably, and treat our Torah scholars with respect.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Nahamu Nahamu Ami

See R' Pinchos Lipshutz's piece this week entitled "A Flash of Comfort".

An excerpt:
I was recently discussing the current matzav in Eretz Yisroel with a leading Israeli rov. He explained the travails confronting the Torah community. “We don’t know what to make of the return of the Jewish people to Eretz Yisroel,” he said. “Some say it is ‘as’chalta d’geulah,’ the beginning of the promised ingathering of exiles in the messianic period. Others disagree and see sinister undertones in the return dominated by secular Zionists.

“Everyone, though, acknowledges that something Divine is taking place and that the founding of the state is definitely part of some type of Heavenly plan. Whatever is taking place now - all the strife - is part of that plan and process, which will ultimately prepare the world for Moshiach.”

This is the way ehrliche Yidden always viewed what has transpired and the way we ought to as well.
I don't know how his Satmar readers will take it, but I'm sure happy he said this.

And another excerpt:
This feeling is explained with a parable of a person lost at night in a forest during a blinding rainstorm. All around him it is dark, his path obscured by trees, stones and fallen branches. He cannot move without tripping and falling. Suddenly, there is a flash of lightning and for a moment the forest is illuminated.

In that moment, he sees a clear path leading out of the woods, but before he can move, it is dark again. He can’t proceed. But as the man stumbles and gropes in the darkness, he does so with the knowledge that there is a cleared path leading out of the forest. He continues his search with hope and optimism, because he knows there is an exit. After seeing the goal, the quest becomes attainable.

On Shabbos Nachamu, we see that flash.

Read the whole thing here.

Rav Chaim Kanievsky Shlit"a Completes Mesechet Berachot in His Sleep

Literally.

Kikar reports that last Wednesday, on the 3rd of Av, in the middle of the 9 days, when Rav Kanievsky Shlit"a awoke from his short afternoon nap, he asked his grandson Rav Gedalia Honigsberg Shlit"a to get him some wine.

Rav Honigsberg was surprised at this request since it was in the middle of the 9 days.  He didn't think that there would be a Siyum so soon since Rav Kanievsky makes a Siyum on Yevamot only on Erev Tish'a Be'av, which is 5 days later.  Confused, he asked his grandfather what the occasion was.

To Rav Honigsberg's astonishment, Rav Kanievsky told him that he completed Mesechet Berachot in a dream he had while sleeping.  When Rav Honigsberg asked how long it took, Rav Kanievsky replied in Yiddish, "Freg nisht tzu fil" (don't ask so much).

------

When the story was told over to Rav Shteinman Shlit"a, in the room overhearing was Rav Dov Landau Shlit"a, the Rosh Yeshiva of Slabodka, who noted that the Hazon Ish ZT"L never made a Siyum on Mesechtot.  Rav Shteinman agreed and added that once Rav Berman ZT"L told the Hazon Ish that he was about to make a Siyum on Ketubot, whereby the Hazon Ish asked him if he was able to recite all the many details of סוגיא דמומין by heart because if not, it is not considered a Siyum.  It would only be considered a Siyum if he knew all the Sugyot in the Mesechet with great Iyun, he added.

Rav Shteinman explained that for those who cannot learn with great Iyun, learning gemara and Rashi alone is considered a Siyum.  However, for Talmidei Hachamim who are able to go deeper into the gemara and learn with Iyun, it's not a Siyum until they actually learn it with Iyun.

Rav Shteinman added that there's no doubt that regarding Rav Kanievsky, everything is in the palm of his hand, and when he completed Berachot in his dream, one could be sure that it was a true Siyum for someone of his caliber, and one can be happy at this event.

------

Update: I just noticed another version of the story, posted on Ladaat:

In that version, he didn't ask for wine. Rather, the grandson asked him later if he could even use wine for such a siyum, and he replied that Lichora, it's Muttar, but nevertheless, Rav Chaim Kanievsky decided to use a שתייה ממותקת (sweet drink???) for the Siyum.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Va'et'hanan 5773

Monday, July 15, 2013

BeDavka Now

"So many Mahlokot in Kelal Yisrael, how can Mashiah come in such an environment?"

This refrain and others like it can be heard in shul social halls and read at least 100 times a month on Internet posts, tweets, comments, etc. And it truly is upsetting. But is it accurate?

Must Mashiah come only in a state of Ahdut? I know, I know, I have countless posts on the importance of Ahdut before Mashiah. But, is it Me'akeiv? Is it impossible for Mashiah to come without Ahdut? The sources seem to say no.

First of all, we know that Mashiah can come in a Dor Shekulo Hayav. Of course, this is not an ideal situation, but one of the 2 possibilities, and the scenario that seems - with our limited eyes - to be the one we're headed for.

Secondly, we know that Mashiah is supposed to come in a state of desperation.  It could mean financial desperation, military desperation, or social desperation.  When every subgroup is on-edge due to attacks from its neighboring subgroup, this is a case of social desperation. 

Finally, we know that Mashiah is supposed to come with היסח הדעת - while our minds are off the topic.  Maybe the aforementioned refrain has contributed to this היסח הדעת that has caused us to give up hope on Mashiah coming any time soon.

We see that Mashiah could come in any situation. Of course, this does not mean that we should now misbehave ח"ו to bring the Geula. (Just the opposite - we need to do our part and Hashem will do His. And both Ribbi Yehoshua and Ribbi Eliezer agree that Teshuva must come one way or another.) It just means that we should not automatically assume that if the groundhog sees its shadow, we're in for many more days of winter. עת הזמיר הגיע - spring could come much earlier than anyone expects in our current situation.

The second Beit Hamikdash was destroyed in the year 68CE (according to our tradition, כמנין חיים).  This means that we now have been missing our Beit Hamikdash for 1945 years.  (Many prayer books instruct us to insert the number of years since the Hurban in the Tish'a Be'av liturgy.)  1945 is the gematria of the following verse which describes Shelomo Hamelech blessing Israel after the completion of the Beit Hamikdash:

 וַיַּעֲמֹד וַיְבָרֶךְ אֵת כָּל-קְהַל יִשְׂרָאֵל  קוֹל גָּדוֹל לֵאמֹר

May we merit to limiting the Hurban to a long-enough 1945 years and seeing only blessing and the promised consolation, speedily in our days. Amen.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Devarim 5773

From Rav Fish's latest:

Note: the first 5 pages of this pdf are also an interesting read for Hebrew-speakers, having to do with the Kotel.  I'm only translating the Geula section of the pdf, as usual.
  • Rav Ovadia's dream: the Avreichim will be recruited
    • R' David Persitz heard from Rav Bentzion Mutzafi that Rav Ovadia told him that the Mashiah told him in the dream that:
      אֲנִי רוֹצֶה שֶׁכָּל הָאַבְרֵכִים יִתְגַּיְּסוּ לְלַמֵּד תּוֹרָה אֶת הָרְחוֹקִים לַעֲבוֹדַת ה', וְשֶׁיַּגִּיד לְכָל הַבַּחוּרִים וְהָאַבְרֵכִים שֶׁיֵּצְאוּ וִיקָרְבוּ אֶת הָאֲנָשִׁים לַעֲבוֹדַת ה'.
      I want that all the Avreichim will be recruited to teach Torah to those who are far away in order to serve Hashem, and that he will tell all the Bahurim and Avreichim to go out and bring the people closer to serving Hashem.
      • [YY - Note: the YNet article doesn't have the first part of this wording.]
      • Rav Persitz explains that the Mashiah was hinting that when there will be a decree that Avreichim will be recruited [into the IDF], that is when he will come.
      • Also האברכים יתגייסו is the same gematria as ה'תשע"ב.
  • Egypt against Egypt and Nevu'at Hayeled
    • We see the intra-Egyptian fighting during the 3 weeks - or in Hebrew, סכסוך בין מצרים בימי בין המצרים - of 5773, during 24-25 Tammuz, which are times auspicious for Redemption with the Sod of ערב and of Noah's dove who returned with the olive branch on this day. And the verse "And I will spur Egypt against Egypt" on the eve of Redemption has been fulfilled.
    • [YY - Before reading the next section, read my post from late last week first.]
    • In Egypt, they coronated a new king whose name is Mansour [מנצור], which is similar to מצרים and בין המצרים.  And see an amazing thing that Nevuat Hayeled Nahman Ketufa, 1500 years ago, mentions the name "Mansour" when speaking about the Redemption. This means that there will be a king by the name of Mansour who will rule over parts of Yishmael at the time of the Redemption. And afterwards, he mentions Persia and Turkey who will come to fight against Eretz Yisrael. [YY - See the wording in the previous post.] Also, the Malbim (Yehezkel 32:17) says:
      And first, the main downfall will be in Egypt, who are closest to Israel. They will come as the head, and they will fall. And the Assyrians and the Persians will come to avenge them, and they will both fall on both sides.
    • In the latest letters that the Mekubal Rav Moshe Aharon Hakohen Shlit"a sent to Rav Daniel Stavsky Shlit"a and were publicized, the Rav called for learning Nevu'at Hayeled Nahman Ketufa as it applies to these days. And indeed we see that these things have been immediately fulfilled.
      • The Mekubal Kohen is hidden from the eyes of the public and it is not known where he has been for close to 50 years [!]. Back in the day, he was a Havruta to the Mekubal Rav Mordechai Shar'abi ZT"L and then disappeared. According to estimations, he must be today 110 years old [!]. The sole known connection to him is the letters that he sends occasionally to Rav Daniel Stavsky Shlit"a. In the last 2 years, every time, he has written about the Redemption that is at the doorway and about the importance of praying at Kever David on Har Tzion.
      • [YY - According to this Arutz Sheva Hebrew article, he is the only person the Halban would name (in 2009) as a ל"וnik.]
    • R' Moshe Levinger adds that we also see the connection with the ships that will leave Turkey at the beginning of the Gog Umagog War as is brought down in Nevu'at Hayeled Nahman Ketufa.  As is brought down in the Targum Yonatan ben Uziel on the last verse of Bil'am's prophecy (Bemidbar 24:24) "But ships shall come from the coast of Kittim, and they shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall come to destruction." [YY - see also this post for possible translations of the T"Y.] The Targum Yonatan says
      וציצין יצטרחן במני זיינא ויפקון באכלוסין סגיאין מן למברניא ומארע אטליא ויצטרפון בלגיונין דיפקון מן קוסטנטיני ויצערון לאתוראי וישעבדון כל בנוי דעבר ברם סופהון דאיליין ואליין למיפל ביד מלכא משיחא ויהוון עד עלמא לאובדנא
      • The Targum Yerushalmi there adds the word "דרומאי", which hints to Egypt, which is on the South. From this verse, we see that Turkey will go out to war earlier against other nations: "and they shall afflict Asshur, and shall afflict Eber" and eventually, "and he also shall come to destruction" in the hands of King Mashiah.
      • Also, the Targum Yonatan on verse 19 says that a ruler will arise from the House of Yaakov and will destroy the remnants of the evil city Constantinople.
      • And it's brought down in the Ibn Ezra on Daniel 11:36:
        You should know that Aram is northwest of Israel. Also, Constantinople is north. And at the Endtimes - at the arrival of the end of the King of the North, who will have been successful until the wrath [of HKB"H] is finished [from Israel] - then will come the Endtime of the redeemer, as it will explain. And it does not mention when that will be - it just mentions that this king will go out and wage war against the King of Egypt and capture Egypt and then go to the Land [of Israel] and will then be killed. And after a known number of days from his death, a redeemer will come to Israel.
      • It's possible that there is a hint to the personal conflict between the former president of Egypt [Mubarak] and the president of Turkey [Erdogan], where Mubarak prevented Erdogan from visiting Egypt, etc.  And after Mubarak's downfall, relations improved between the 2 nations.  But now with the downfall of Morsi, the argument between them has returned.  [As the Ibn Ezra said:] "and capture Egypt and then go to the Land [of Israel]".
      • And similarly, I heard in the name of Rav Mordechai Elishar Shlit"a that the name of Turkey's leader is ארדואן [Erdogan], which is the gematria of ארס [venom].  (And this is also the gematria of אירן [Iran].)
      • Also, טורקיה [Turkey] is the gematria of שדוך [Shidduch] since before the Redemption, which has the aspect of a marriage, there is a Shadchan that makes the connection.
    • It's also brought down in the Malbim on Yoel 4:9 that:
      In the future, the nations of Edom will be awakened to capture the Land [of Israel] and they will make a large massacre against the children of Egypt, who have the faith of the Yishmaelim. And then, the Yishmaelim will be awakened to take revenge for their brothers from the Edomim, and they will kill in them a massacre and destruction. And the Edomim will again fight with the children of Yishmael and kill in them.
      We see that the Gog Umagog War will begin with Edom fighting against Egypt on the way to the Land of Israel, as it indeed was during WWII, when the Germans ימ"ש fought in Egypt on their way to Yerushalayim. And it's possible to explain that the war is first in Egypt since Egypt wants Yerushalayim for itself and will be the first to go out against Yerushalayim, as is brought down in a Midrash. And since Edom also wants Yerushalayim for itself, they too will go out to war against Yerushalayim, and this will cause the Gog Umagog War, which is a war of Edom against Yishmael.
      • Also, it says: "For I am the LORD thy God, The Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour; I have given Egypt as thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee." We see that Hashem gives the Satan the Egyptians as a ransom instead of Israel. Like we find in Midrash (Yalkut Shemot 341)
        Israel is so beloved that HKB"H gave the Egyptians as their ransom in place of their lives, as it says "I have given Egypt as thy ransom". Why? "Since thou art precious in My sight."
      • And on a deeper level, what we see in the verses that the downfall of Gog Umagog will be in this way - that on the way to Yerushalayim, they will fight with Egypt, which will awaken a war of Edom against Yishmael - it comes out according to this that Egypt's war against Israel will work to Israel's advantage.  It appears that this stems from the awakening of the root of the Exodus from Egypt to help the nation of Israel.  This is because every light leaves a mark wherever it once was shining, and in Egypt, a mark is left from the light of the Exodus from Egypt.  This root works against the Kelipa of Egypt to Israel's advantage.  And even though the means of its actions are sometimes by means of war against Israel, the root of all this works, at the end of the matter, to Israel's benefit, as we explained, and it shows that this root is to Israel's advantage.  And really, this is what happened in WWII, which is related to Gog Umagog, that they [the Germans] fell in Egypt as they were not successful to go up to Yerushalayim.  
        • R' Tzion David Siboni adds that it so occurred that the second revolution in Egypt was almost non-violent [YY - this can be disputed] and they gave it a name: מהפכת הזיקוקין [The Fireworks Revolution] where הזיקוקין is the gematria of 288 like the 288 [Kabbalistic holy] sparks, as the purpose of the Redemption is to finish the filtering of the 288 sparks that are hinted to with fireworks.  And the root of the 288 sparks was in Egypt, which is the root of all exiles, and there, they filtered 202 sparks of the 288, as is brought down in the Megaleh Amukot (Korah).  And now that all 288 have just-about finished [filtering] as we head toward the Final Redemption, it has come down to reality with the revolution of the sparks in Egypt.
        • Also, מהפכת הזיקוקין is the gematria of ארץ ישראל and מהפכת is the gematria of ישראל with the letters, both showing that the reason for the revolution is because of the Land of Israel.
      • It's also told over about the Baba Sali ZT"L that he did not allow the bones of his grandfather - Ribbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira ZT"L - to be brought up from Egypt, and he said that there is a great Sod that is tied to the Redemption [in keeping them in Egypt], and he therefore needs to be buried specifically in Egypt.
        • And similarly, it's mentioned in the book "Abir Yaakov" (p. 186) that during WWII, when there was a great fear of the Germans ימ"ש going up to the Land of Israel, Ribbi Yaakov Abuhatzeira came in a dream to Ribbi Yitzhak Alfiya ZT"L, one of the great Kabbalists in the Land of Israel, and told him to go pray at his grave in Egypt.  And the wording in the book is: "And is it for nothing that I am buried here in Egypt?!"  And many miracles occurred until he was able to arrive.  And the very day that he arrived and prayed at the grave-site, the Germans suffered their downfall in Egypt.
        • R' Shimon Shapira adds that also, during the destruction of the first Beit Hamikdash, Egypt tried to intervene for Israel's benefit, as it says, "'Thus saith the LORD, the God of Israel: Thus shall ye say to the king of Judah, that sent you unto Me to inquire of Me: Behold, Pharaoh's army, which is come forth to help you, shall return to Egypt into their own land. And the Chaldeans shall return, and fight against this city; and they shall take it, and burn it with fire."
        • It is also brought down in Rashi on Yirmiya 47:1
          that when Nevuchadnetzar besieged Yerushalayim in the 10th year of Tzidkiyahu's reign, the army of Par'oh left Egypt and the Chaldeans went up from Yerushalayim. Par'oh heard this, flooded Aza, and returned to his land.
    • Also, the verses talking about spurring Egypt against Egypt: מַשָּׂא, מִצְרָיִם: הִנֵּה יְהוָה רֹכֵב עַל-עָב קַל, וּבָא מִצְרַיִם, וְנָעוּ אֱלִילֵי מִצְרַיִם מִפָּנָיו, וּלְבַב מִצְרַיִם יִמַּס בְּקִרְבּוֹ וְסִכְסַכְתִּי מִצְרַיִם בְּמִצְרַיִם, וְנִלְחֲמוּ אִישׁ-בְּאָחִיו וְאִישׁ בְּרֵעֵהוּ, עִיר בְּעִיר, מַמְלָכָה בְּמַמְלָכָה hint to the year 5772, as the Siddur Rasha"sh says that the number 228, which is the gematria of הוי"ה ע"ב ק"ל, which is the gematria of ברוך, raises up - with the word ברוך - the Shechina from Beri'ah to Atzilut, and this is the Sod of the return of the Shechina from exile to Redemption.  And 228 is the number of years from 5772 until the end of sixth millennium.
    • [After mentioning the famous Ba'al Haturim and a Midrash on the last verse in Hayei Sarah about Yishmael, which alludes to the Redemption coming after Yishmael's downfall: "And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Asshur: over against all his brethren he did (settle)[fall].",] R' Yitzhak Ben Eliyahu adds that the verse mentions Egypt and Ashur, which is Syria, where the main revolutions are seen.
  • End of Humash Bemidbar
    • It's brought down in the book "Avodat Yisrael" that the 21 days of the 3 weeks plus the 21 nights correspond to the 42 travelings which we read in Parshat Mas'ei during the 3 weeks.  Also, Mas'ei finishes Humash Bemidbar, which symbolizes exile which is in the aspect of a desert - to hint that until here is exile, and afterwards, we are moving to Devarim, wherein we are entering the Land of Israel in the Sod of Redemption.
      • Rama"z adds that the Parshiyot of Matot/Mas'ei which we read during the 3 weeks hint to the Beit Hamikdash, which is called חֲדַר הַמִּטּוֹת [a bed-chamber], which has traveled away from us. We also find in the gemara (Yoma 9b) that the Beit Hamikdash is called a מצע, which is a bed.
  • Persia's Role in the End of Days
    • The famous Yalkut Shimoni that talks about the King of Persia מחריב את כל העולם - destroying the whole world - can also mean that at the time of the Redemption, the Persians will destroy the העלם האור - the hidden nature of the light - and will reveal the light of the Redemption.  And similarly, we see that Persia was the only Kelipa that gave permission and assisted building the second Beit Hamikdash.
  • The Danger of the Transition Period to Mashiah
    • And I also heard from Rav Aharon Shtern Shlit"a, who heard from his grandfather, Rav Zecharia Shtern ZT"L, that the Hazon Ish told him that he is concerned about the transition period between the Erev Rav regime to the kingdom of King Mashiah, which will be especially dangerous.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The World Before the Coming of Mashiah

The following is from page 80 of the July 2013 issue of Zman Magazine, copied here with permission.

Click to Enlarge

Update: A kind reader, Yisroel Killian from TorahMediaAtlanta.com, created an easier-to-read pdf:

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Devarim 5773 II

Ladaat (with pictures): שועלים הילכו בו - Har Habayit is Turned into an Islamic Theme Park See also Arutz Sheva

Women For the Wall: Don't Call it Exile

Dixie Yid: Animals for Slaughter - The Deeper Reasons for Korbanot

Life In Israel: Pictures of PM Netanyahu writing part of a Sefer Torah

Mystical Paths: Ge'ulah

Rav Pinto: Until When? (page 4) and לחוש את הצער והחסרון (page 2)

YWN Coffee Room: Something that happened at the Levaya

Arutz Sheva: Arab MK Slapped With 'Pulsa Denura' for Disrespecting Hatikvah

RCA in the past couple weeks:
  • Visit with the pope: here
  • Responding to Hamodia: here
  • Link to convention videos, including speech by Rav Stav: here
  • Public apology to Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a: ??????

Monday, July 08, 2013

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Matot/Mas'ei 5773

From Rav Fish's latest:

Kotel and Beyond

WoW was put in its place after women who actually care about proper prayer crowded the Kotel before their arrival.

Speaking about the Kotel, see some interesting historical tidbits about the Kotel from Rav Pinto's newsletter (page 4).

The Temple Institute has this nice video below, following their Shita that the Beit Hamikdash will be built by human hands (h/t Tomer Devorah).  See last year's video here.



Sunday, July 07, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Devarim 5773

Matzav - Hacham Ovadia Yosef Returns Home from Hospital

YWN - Cabinet Approves the Share the Burden Bill

Arutz Sheva: Porush: This is a Dark Day for Israel

Cross-Currents - Why Can't They Be Like Me? and Wake Up!
The bill will now be prepared for its first vote in Knesset, which is expected to take place on Monday, Rosh Chodesh Av 5773.
 Tomer Devorah - Petition Heaven for the Sake of Amona

Matzav and YWN on the tragic passing of 18-year-old Ayala Shulman of Chicago from a car accident in South Haven, Michigan

Mystical Paths - Which is Best, Chocolate of Vanilla?

Matzav - Archaeologists: We Found Mishkan Shilo

Arutz Sheva: Bursts of Extra-Terrestrial Radio Waves Discovered

Friday, July 05, 2013

Adly Mansour's Presidency - Predicted in Nevu'at Hayeled?

Morsi is out.  Adly Mansour is the new interim president of Egypt.

I received an email from someone (BPE) who noted that the name "Mansour" is mentioned as a king from Yishmael at the End of Days in Nevu'at Hayeled:

מדון ומנצור,
לאומים יעצור,
אלוף כבודה מלך
ושמו מנצור.

נסיכי קדר,
ידרוך באדר,
וביעתהון גדר,
בקוצין ודרדר.

סליקין מלכייא,
בחוקין פרסייא
ותורכייא
אתיין בחזקה
ושבין טורכייא.

Of course, Nevu'at Hayeled is very cryptic. According to the commentary that can be found here, it means the following:

A fighter and destroyer in Yishmael will rule over nations, and this honorable king will take the spoils of war in the Arab lands by killing and rebelling against the king, and his name is Mansour.

Monsour will mightily trample over the officers of Tartar.  In their houses of worship [or houses of joy], Monsour will fence them in with thorns and thistles.

Then, other kings of Yishmael will rise up against Mansour to fight against him, with the Persians helping with the supplies of war, while the Turks will capture the Yishmaeli captives who are fighting alongside Mansour.
Time will tell if this fits or not.

Meanwhile, the Sinai Desert is becoming the new Muslim Brotherhood base, says Debka:
A new Egyptian crisis arena: the Egyptian and Israeli armies Friday, July 5, raised their alert levels on either side of the Sinai border after the Muslim Brotherhood declared Sinai its center of revolt and revenge for the Egyptian army’s ouster of Mohamed Morsi as president Wednesday, July 3.

...

The ousted Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy is seen by intelligence sources as designed to transform the Sinai Peninsula into an area of revolt and a base for attacking Israel....

Proving once again that any territory Israel gives away in the name of peace becomes a terrorist base against it - even if it takes 30 years. (See this week's Torah portion.)

And affirming once again the verse וְסִכְסַכְתִּי מִצְרַיִם בְּמִצְרַיִם.