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Thursday, October 31, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Toledot 5774 III

Jack R. Avital in the Jewish Press - Fatherless and Leaderless

בעקבות רבנו עובדיה יוסף

דברי התעוררות על מרן עטרת ראשנו רבנו עובדיה יוסף זיע"א

Shvilei Pinches - Yaakov, A Reincarnation of Adam Harishon, Extracted from Eisav the Letter Yud the Nachash Stole from Adam Harishon

Yated - Just When We Thought We Had Seen It All

5TJT - The Latest Rage – A Hilchos Shabbos Challenge

5TJT - Tractate Shkalim and the Chassidic/Misnagdim Divide

Kikar - Rishon Letzion Rav Yitzhak Yosef Attacks Marriage Reform Law

YWN - A Touching Story from Ichud Hatzalah

Kikar - If you were born on 1 Kislev, 5761, your Bar Mitzvah, acc. to the Mishna Berura, is 30 Heshvan, 5774

Matzav - Jonathan Tobin: No Rational Case For Keeping Pollard In Prison

YWN - Bennett and Lapid Agree to Push Ahead Chareidi Draft Law

Life in Israel - New Information on Ron Arad

Daniel Mann in Torah Musings - Keep the Beat

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Hayei Sarah 5774

From Rav Fish's newsletter last week:
  • Earthquakes in Teveria
    • We find in Yalkut Shimoni (Yeshaya 429) [and Rosh Hashana 31a-b]:
      [It says:] יַשְׁפִּילֶנָּה יַשְׁפִּילָהּ עַד-אֶרֶץ, יַגִּיעֶנָּה עַד-עָפָר [laying it low, laying it low even to the ground, bringing it even to the dust.] Ribbi Yohanan said: The Sanhedrin was exiled 10 exiles:
      1. From the Lishkat Hagazit to Hanut
      2. From Hanut to Yerushalayim
      3. From Yerushalayim to Yavneh
      4. From Yavneh to Usha
      5. From Usha to Yavneh
      6. From Yavneh to Usha
      7. From Usha to Shefar'am
      8. From Shefar'am to Beit She'arim
      9. From Beit She'arim to Tzippori
      10. From Tzippori to Teveria
      And Teveria was deepest [or lowest] of them all, as it says: וְשָׁפַלְתְּ מֵאֶרֶץ תְּדַבֵּרִי, וּמֵעָפָר תִּשַּׁח אִמְרָתֵךְ [And brought down thou shalt speak out of the ground, and thy speech shall be low out of the dust] ... Ribbi Yohanan said: And from there [Teveria], we are destined to be redeemed, as it says: הִתְנַעֲרִי מֵעָפָר קוּמִי שְּׁבִי, יְרוּשָׁלִָם [Shake thyself from the dust; arise, and sit down, O Jerusalem].  [The next verse after the first verse quoted is:] תִּרְמְסֶנָּה, רָגֶל; רַגְלֵי עָנִי, פַּעֲמֵי דַלִּים [The foot shall tread it down, even the feet of the poor, and the steps of the needy.] Ribbi said: Teveria will pay it back during the days of Mashiah, as it says תִּרְמְסֶנָּה, רָגֶל; רַגְלֵי עָנִי and it also says: וְהוּכַן בַּחֶסֶד כִּסֵּא [And a throne is established through mercy].

      We see that the future Redemption will start in Teveria, about where it says הִתְנַעֲרִי מֵעָפָר קוּמִי [Shake thyself from the dust]. And this week, Teveria felt 5 earthquakes to hint to the "shaking of the dust" in Teveria. And we also see that Teveria is connected with the return of the Sanhedrin - and the earthquakes occurred during harsh turbulence of the disagreements between Gedolei Yisrael, Hashem should have mercy.
    • We also find in Megilla 6a:
      Why was it called Teveria? Because it sits in the belly [טבור] of the Land of Israel

      And the word טבור is connected to the Sanhedrin, as the Mishna (Sanhedrin 36b) says:
      The Sanhedrin was shaped like a semi-circle.
      And the Bartenura there says:
      As the verse says: שָׁרְרֵךְ אַגַּן הַסַּהַר [Thy navel is like a round goblet] שררך אגן - this refers to the Sanhedrin, which sits in the belly of the earth and protects the entire earth.
    • And we find a connection between Teveria and the Kingdom of the House of David, as it says in the Zohar (Shelah 175b)
      The color of the Techelet comes from a fish in the Lake Kinneret ... and this Kinnor of David plays by itself...
    • Also, the Likutei Torah by the Ariza"l (Ekev p. 248) says that כנרת has the gematria of תרע"א, which is the gematria of the Milui of א-ד-נ-י, which is the aspect of Malchut.
  • Earthquakes from Tzion
    • The Zohar Hadash (Rut 76a) says that when HKB"H wants to get the world mad and shake its foundational pillars, He does it only from Tzion.  As Ribbi Shemuel says in the Yerushalmi, earthquakes come from a break in kingship (מלכות).  And since Tzion is the root of kingship in the world, when there is turbulence and a break in the kingship, and especially when there is Mahloket in the kingship, it causes a quake from Tzion.  
      • Rav Tzion David Siboni adds that the word Haza"l uses for earthquakes - זוועות is the gematria of מלכות.
  • Earthquakes due to Exile
    • We also find in the Zohar (Shemot 9a) where Ribbi Shimon Bar Yohai linked an earthquake that occurred in Teveria to Hashem's being pained due to the exile: 
      Ribbi Shimon lifted his hands in prayer to HKB"H and prayed his prayer. After he prayed, Ribbi Elazar his son and Ribbi Abba came and sat before him. Before they sat before him, they saw one light of the day turn dark and one stream of fire sink in the sea of Teveria, and that entire place shook. Ribbi Shimon said: Definitely, now is the time that HKB"H remembered His children and lowered 2 tears into the Great Sea, and when they went down, they met up with this stream of fire and they both sunk together in the sea. Ribbi Shimon cried and the rabbis cried.
  • More about Teveria
    • We also find in the Yerushalmi Shevi'it 4:7 where it says that Ribbi Hiya Bar Ba was מִתְעַגל בהֲדָא אֱלִיסוּס דטְבֶרְיָא and the Penei Moshe explains this to mean that this is an area of Teveria and he rolled himself around on the ground because of his love of the holiness of the land of Israel. [YY - Incidentally, Yedid Nefesh translates this differently - as "splashing around in the swamp of Teveria".] We see that Ribbi Hiya felt a special holiness on the land of Teveria that caused him to roll around on its land and wasn't satisfied with merely kissing the dust to show his love of the land. This can be explained according to what we said that Teveria has the aspect of Malchut, which is the aspect of "land", which is why there is special holiness to the land of Teveria.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Rav Metzger on Rav Ovadia ZT"L and יבלטו"א Jonathan Pollard

Ladaat reports that there was a Dati Leumi Hesped given for Rav Ovadia Yosef ZT"L in the Shomron.  According to the article, there were many interesting things said there, but just to highlight one, Rav Yona Metzger Shlit"a, the former Ashkenazi chief rabbi, said (my translation):
Rav Ovadia Yosef was my spiritual father.  I consulted with Rav Ovadia Yosef with almost every subject with which I dealt.  And each time that I turned to him, he acted as if he dealt with this subject already for many years.


The subject of Jonathan Pollard pained Rav Ovadia very much.  Today, we hear that the United States spied on friends and they say that it's not a big deal to spy on friends.  If it's not such a big deal, why won't they release Pollard?  All of a sudden, it's not such a big deal to spy on friends?

Interesting Recent Links - Toledot 5774 II

Rabbi Pruzansky - The Debacle (about Obamacare and more of the President's failures)

Yama Vakedma - Is the Netanyahu family the House of Nathan? (hat tip Rafi)

Cross-Currents - Non-Orthodox Orthodoxy: Playing With Fire

Rabbi Shafran - 'Open Orthodoxy' Is Not Really Orthodox At All

Women For the Wall - Women of the Wall: Keep Traditional Women away from the Western Wall!

Tomer Devorah - Deserving of Sackcloth and Ashes (the prisoner release)

Arutz Sheva - A Victory for Rav Stav
Update: Matzav - Knesset Passes Disastrous Marriage Reform Bill

Matzav - The Matzav Shmoooze: What Am I To Do? (The Parnassa Choke)

Benny Elbaz: Rav Ovadia ZT"L Came to Me in a Dream 8 Times Since His Petira

According to Kikar, Singer Benny Elbaz wrote on his facebook page that Rav Ovadia ZT"L came to him 8 times since he passed away.  Here's the image of his facebook entry.  My translation follows:

Already 8 times, I dreamed about Maran.  He was looking at me with a face of a white ball of fire and said to me, "Kaf Zechut" [favorable judgment] maybe 50 times.  Last Shabbat, he was already singing for me a really beautiful song whose words were "Kaf Zechut, Kaf Zechut, the nullification of the decree for every Jew".  And in his hand was a really big key with an extremely big light that was shaped like a crown.  We will see if anyone knows the interpretation of the dream.  This thing simply doesn't leave me. - Benny Elbaz

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Toledot 5774

In addition to the links in the previous post, here are some more:

Rabbi Grylak - The Wise Will Keep Silent

VIN - Thousands Of South Africa's Jews Join for Country-Wide Shabbos Project (video) (See also this article teaser from Mishpacha)

Yated - Rabbi Lopatin writes in and the editor responds

Ladaat - Rav Aviner responds sharply to someone who asked a halachic question which disparaged Rav Ovadia

The Tiferet Ovadia newsletter has a serialized biography of Rav Ovadia ZT"L's life (in Hebrew) - Part 1 | Part 2 (so far...)

Ohel Shalom Torah Center, whose rabbi - Rabbi Daniel Raccah - was a close Talmid for many years, is hosting a hesped for Rav Ovadia's Sheloshim in Chicago, in conjunction with the Aguda, the ATT and the cRc:

Friday, October 25, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Hayei Sarah 5774

Matzav - Reb Moshe (Paul) Reichmann z”l

Am Hasefer - Rav Ovadia's first Haskama to Another Sefer (Can be seen starting here until here.)

Kikar - Assumed Grave of Hershele Ostropoler Desecrated (See more about him from Wikipedia English and Hebrew.)

Arutz Sheva - Young Turkish Jews Flee Growing Anti-Semitism

That's all for now.  Shabbat Shalom.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Recent Earthquake Reasons Given

The ישבעו מטובך newsletter gives a couple reasons for the recent earthquakes.

It prefaces its remarks by saying:
We are not, Heaven forbid, professing to nail in reasons and rationales for the conduct of the Creator for it is closed and hidden and no one knows the Knowledge of Above.  However, our sages have already taught us from the words "בראשית ברא" that Hashem looked in the Torah and created the world, and we only have the words of Ben Amram [Moshe Rabbeinu] and Haza"l for the Shechina was speaking together with them.
It then goes on to say that the gemara in Shabbat 105b (Daf | Text | English) says:
Rab Judah said in Rab's name: He who is slothful to lament a Sage deserves to be buried alive, because it is said, And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-serah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim; on the north of the mountain of Gaash:21  this teaches that the mountain raged against them to slay them.22
And even though there were many eulogies for Rav Ovadia Yosef ZT"L, since people were too busy preparing for municipal elections, people didn't eulogize him enough.

And the Yerushalmi Berachot 9:2 (Daf | Yedid Nefesh) says:
Why do earthquakes come? ... The rabbis say they come because of Mahloket [as it says (Zecharia 14:5)] "And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azel; yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah" [and King Uzziah caused Mahloket by wanting to act like the high priest].
And the Aggadat Eliyahu on the Yerushalmi explains:
There are 2 ways to connect earthquakes to Mahloket: 1) Mahloket is the nullification of peace.  The nature of peace is to keep everything where it should be, while Mahloket is the opposite.  Therefore, when there is Mahloket, the world also shakes, and the earth isn't kept where it should be.  2) Mahloket causes separation between people, which is what earthquakes do as Midah Keneged Midah by cracking buildings in half and causing them to fall, Heaven forbid.
And due to the municipal elections, there was terrible Mahloket among even Haredi Jews in Israel, so much so that someone went to the extent of attacking Rav Shteinman Shlit"a [YY - although, from the family's statement mentioned in the previous post, it seems that the attack is unrelated to the elections, but nevertheless, there was terrible Mahloket even without this incident], woe is to the generation that this has occurred in its days.

It then mentions a story:

When the Imrei Emet of Gur visited Yerushalayim, the newspapers were predicting an earthquake, but said that "it should be a small quake and there is no room for fear and trepidation".  The Imrei Emet said, "HKB"H brings earthquakes SO THAT we should fear Him, and you're saying that there is no room for fear?!?!  You could say that danger is not expected, but we definitely need to fear - that is the purpose of the earthquake!  [As it says] 'and God hath so made it, that men should fear before Him.'"

(More about the earthquakes in the next post BE"H BL"N from Rav Fish.)

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

And You Wonder Why Mashiah Has Such a Bad Name Nowadays...

Case #1
7/29/11 - Baba Elazar ZT"L is stabbed to death by Asher Dahan

VIN: Jerusalem - Suspect In Abu Chatzeira Murder Made Reference To Moshiach Ben Yosef
According to Yediot Ahronot, Dahan’s bizarre behavior began at Shachris yesterday morning when he requested a that a misheberach be made for him. When questioned about his request by fellow daveners, Dahan is said to have replied “I need a misheberach.” Later during the day when Dahan’s credit card was refused by a local supermarket he allegedly told the cashier “you are going to be hearing about me”. He was also spotted crying in his yeshiva and when asked what was wrong he replied, “I am crying for Moshiach Ben Yosef not to die.”

Case #2
10/18/2011 - Man Claiming to be Mashiah Interrupts Rav Ovadia's Amida
From Kikar:

An apparently disturbed individual interrupted Rav Ovadia Yosef's Amida of Arvit on Hoshana Rabba, claiming "I am Mashiah Ben David. I request that Rav Ovadia annoint me as the king."

Everyone, including apparently Rav Ovadia Shlit"a himself, was afraid of the man.

He was quickly taken out of the Beit Midrash by reporter Ephraim Gilad, who described the man as extremely strong, and said that he was afraid for Rav Ovadia's safety. He told him not to return there again.

Case #3
10/23/13 - Rav Shteinman Shlit"a is attacked by an Avreich, cursing him in the process

Kikar has a statement by the family of the attacker:
Source: Kikar
We are hereby informing with this that we .... follow the light of Maran Hagaon Rav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman Shlit"a and all our actions are according to his Halachic decisions.  And our dear son - may Hashem send him a speedy recovery quickly - has worked and will work for the Yahadut Hatorah "Gimel" list, as is known to all those who know him.  And that which occurred by Maran Hagaon Rav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman Shlit"a, where he cried out about Maran that he is Mashiah - or anything else if it occurred - is only mental illness.  And we request from anyone who is able not to take the matter out of context for our honor and for the honor of Maran Hagaon Rav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shlit"a.

What is the fascination of these mentally ill Shotim with Mashiah and Gedolim? Why do they always bring Mashiah up before doing something terrible to Gedolim?

I'm open to suggestions.

Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot

Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot
Jews Should Learn Torah and Perform Mitzvot

As seen on Mystical Paths and Matzav, Googling "Jews Should" comes up with anti-semitic suggestions.  Let's try to correct it by directing the algorithm elsewhere.

Anyone want to join me?


Google modified the autocomplete function to remove the most offensive items, (but some others still remain).

Monday, October 21, 2013

Small Earthquakes Felt in Israel

Arutz Sheva:
The Home Front Defense Ministry held an assessment on Sunday evening, in the wake of several earthquakes that have been felt around Tiberias and the Galilee region in the past several days, two of them on Sunday alone.
Matzav: Second Earthquake Hits Israel In One Day, Fourth In Week
The second earthquake in one day rocked northern Israel today in the afternoon, making it the fourth in a week.

Residents of Tiveriah said they felt it, but no injuries were reported.

It was registered at a magnitude of 3.6.

As was the case in the two last earthquakes, no damage was recorded.
Times of Israel:
Seismologist Dov Lakovsky of the Geophysical Institute of Israel told The Times of Israel Sunday that there was no cause for alarm and that the recent quakes were just “a bit stronger than usual.” Such tremblers, he said, “happen all the time.”
Jpost: Two earthquakes in one day shake northern Israel
“They are on the same location more or less, so we assume they are acting on the same fault plane in the subsurface,” Dr. Uri Frieslander, general manager of the Israel Geophysical Institute, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday afternoon.

“We cannot say that this event will yield something in the future. We are watching carefully the results of the seismological map.”
"Either nothing will happen or there will an earthquake of much larger magnitude," said Dr. Avi Shapira, chairman of the inter-ministerial steering committee for earthquake preparation.

"A very frequent occurrence of earthquakes is rare but it's not impossible. It means that the region is unstable and in the process of rifting."

The director of the Geophysical Institute, Dr. Uri Frieslander, said that "it's impossible to completely rule out the possibility of a stronger quake, but it is possible that these smaller tremors will not precipitate anything. There have been just as many cases of small tremors preceding larger earthquakes as not."

On the other hand, Professor Amotz Agnon, a geologist and geophysicist, expressed concern that the recent earthquakes in northern Israel may indicate that a large event is ahead.

"Meanwhile, four earthquakes were felt, and four more were not, all in the area of the Kinneret. If the phenomenon keeps occurring we can definitely see it as a precedent for a big event," said Agnon.

"In the '90s there were three earthquakes felt in Israel: One in 1993 in the Eilat Bay measuring at 6 on the Richter scale, the second took place in Nairobi in 1995 and was a 7 – it resulted in deaths and destruction of buildings – and the third was in Cyprus in 1996, also registering a 7 plus. All three were preceded by the type of tremors we are currently experiencing."  
Kikar also asks:

Are the consecutive small quakes a warning for a big quake to come?  (לא עלינו)
They quote the above YNet article.

Behadrei weighs in too.

Friday, October 18, 2013

4 "Proofs" Avraham Avinu Was a Sepharadi

(Originally posted over a month ago as a comment on Rafi's blog.  It is meant as satire.)

Re: Avraham Avinu being a Sepharadi, I have 4 "proofs":

1) He was born in Ur Kasdim so he was an Iraqi

2) Terah's father Nahor was born in 1849 and he lived 148 years, which means he died in 1997. Avraham was born in 1948 and the Midrash says that his brother Nahor was born 1 year later, in 1949. If Terah were Ashkenazic, how would he be able to name his son after his own living father?!?! It must be that Terah was Sephardic so, of course, his son Avraham was Sephardic.

3) Avraham served the angels 3 tongues and mustard. And we know from Midrashim that the angels arrived at Avraham's tent on Pesah. If Avraham Avinu were Ashkenazic, how would he have been able to serve them mustard on Pesah?!?! He must not hold of Kitniyot since he was Sephardic.

4) It says כֹּל אֲשֶׁר תֹּאמַר אֵלֶיךָ שָׂרָה, שְׁמַע בְּקֹלָהּ. If Avraham Avinu were Ashkenazic, why would HKB"H need to tell him this?!?! He would have done so on his own! He must therefore be Sephardic.


See also what the Sanzer Rebbe Shlit"a said in the name of his father ZT"L to Rav Ovadia ZT"L not long ago:

Rav Mutzafi Shlit"a Eulogizes Rav Ovadia ZT"L II

For those who understand Hebrew, watch this video, where Rav Ben Tzion Mutzafi gives a very moving 90-minute Hesped for Rav Ovadia.

At the 20:27 mark, Rav Mutzafi quotes his father, Rav Salman Mutzafi ZT"L 40-50 years ago, that if we would have the merit, Rav Ovadia would be MBY, and would bring the Mashiah.  And this is why his name is "Yosef", why people were jealous of him, and why he went to Egypt to bring up the sparks of holiness from there.  (Rav Fish brings this down in his latest pdf on p. 9.)

Also, at the 1:10:50 mark, he says that there is "no doubt that he was the Gilgul of Rav Yosef Karo".

It is very worthwhile to watch the whole thing for those who understand Hebrew.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Rav Mutzafi Shlit"a Eulogizes Rav Ovadia ZT"L

Rav Ben Tzion Mutzafi Shlit"a was asked to write about Rav Ovadia Yosef ZT"L.  He then penned this rhyming eulogy.  This is what he wrote:

וכל בית ישראל יבכו את השריפה אשר שרף השם.

מה אענה ומה אומר, מה אדבר ומה אצטדק, אסון גדול פקד אותנו, הורם הנזר והוסרה העטרה, עטרת תפארת ישראל, גדול הדור, ענק הרוח, ארי במסתרים, הארז הגדול אשר בלבנון, רוח אפינו משיח השם, עמוד העולם, פוסק הדור, המנורה הטהורה, איש האשכולות, בקי בכל חדרי תורה, ראש ממשלת התורה, המאיר לארץ ולדרים, טוחן הרי הרים, דרך קשתו ויכוננה, קולע אל השערה ולא יחטיא, לבו רחב כפתחו של אולם, נשא על כתפיו את עם ישראל כולם, כתב ספרים לרוב כל ימיו, שקדן בתורה עוד מימי עלומיו.

חמש מאות שנה לא היה בהיסטוריה איש ענק כזה, אשר אגד בנשמתו את כל העול הזה, מחבר ספרים, דבריו טהורים, פוסק פסקים, עול תורה הקים, דרשן בחסד עליון, זך השכל והרעיון, בקי בכל חדרי תורה, הוא הודה והדרה, ישב ודן את עמו על מדין, דבריו קלים וחדין, בעל מתק שפתיים, לדבריו הקשיבו כל אזניים, מוכתר בנימוסים ובמידות טובות, דאג לישראל כשלשת האבות, מאור עיננו, נזר תפארתינו, ענק שבענקים, גדול שבצדיקים, מוחל על עלבונו, מתחסד עם קונו, כיתת רגליו בחוצות, מבוקר ועד חצות, ללמד תורה את העם, בשפתותיו הוצק נועם, עושה חסד לאלפים, דבריו נופת צופים.

אהה כי עלה המוות בחלונינו, כי נשבה ארון קדשינו, והאיש אשר רבים השיב מעוון, הלך מאתנו לדאבון, בא השמש בצהריים, ולקינו בכפליים, כי כף הזכות של דורינו, נחסר בעוונותינו, כי תורתו היתה מגן בעדינו, ויסוריו ומכאוביו כפרה על חטאתינו, וחשבנו כי הוא יקבל פני משיחנו, ויביאנו אל בית קדשינו, רבנו עובדיה יוסף, בבחינת משיח בן יוסף, והנה הסתלק מאתנו ונלכד בשחיתותינו, אנה נוליך את חרפתינו.

רחם עלינו אבינו מלכינו, ואל נא באפך תוכיחנו, לא ידענו כי נביא אלהים בתוכינו, ולא שמרנו עליו בטפשותינו, אהה כי חסור חסר דורנו, וכזאת עלתה בימינו, מרגלית יקרה היתה תחת ידינו, ואיבדנו אותה מתוכינו, אנא אב רחמן, קרב נא זמן, בו יבא מלך נאמן, ויטעימנו מן, ויגלה לנו קץ נטמן, אלוה יבוא מתימן.

מורנו ורבנו, עטרת ראשינו, רבנו עובדיה יוסף, לו נפשינו ורוחינו כוסף, הסתלק מאתנו, ונפל על משמרתו מול עיננו, הוא האיש אשר לחם מלחמתה של תורה זה למעלה משבעים וחמש שנה, בשקידה עצומה, וביראה יתירה, דבק בהשם יתברך בכל לבו, ואהב את ישראל בכל נפשו, רבים הרעו לו, ועוד אחרים הציקו לו, כיוסף הצדיק בשעתו, והוא מחל לכולם והכניסם לביתו, כי עבודת השם היתה לנגד עיניו, ויראתו אל מול פניו, הלך מחיל אל חיל, להפיץ תורה ממקום למקום כאיל, ריחם על בני אברהם יצחק ויעקב, והיה מישר כל לב עקוב, כמשה רבנו וכדוד מלך ישראל, אשר ראו בעוני עמם וכל דל ושואל, דאג ללמד תורה למקטון ועד גדול, וילך הלוך וגדול.

לקראתו יצאו אבות העולם, יחד עם משה ואהרן יוסף ודוד כולם, גם הנביאים רצו לקראתו, ואתם חכמי המשנה מכאן בצאתו, והאמוראים והראשונים, ואתם גם חכמי האחרונים, יען פירסם את דברי תורתם ברבים, וזיכה בהם רבים וטובים, אשריו כי זה מנת חלקו, יגיעו ולחם חוקו, אך אוי לנו כי הוא נסע למנוחות, ואותנו עזב לאנחות, אנא אל עליון מלך רחום וחנון, שלח לנו אליה וינון, פדה עמך ישראל מכל צר ואויב, ותבנה לנו בית הבחירה ואת הגאולה תקרב. תשעה לתפילתינו, מהרה עננו, כי לך נכספה נפשינו, אמור נא די לצרותינו, החיה מתינו, וקרב לנו קץ פדותינו.

This translation of Rav Mutzafi's poetic Hebrew does not do his words justice and will only capture a fraction of the concept of his written poem, but I will do so anyways to give a taste of his beautiful words:
(Vayikra 10:6) "The whole house of Israel, bewail the burning which the LORD hath kindled."

What can I answer?  What can I say?  What can I speak?  What can I justify?  A great tragedy has visited us.  The tiara has been lifted, the crown has been removed - the crown of the glory of Israel, the greatest of the generation, the giant of the spirit, a lion in the hidden places, the great cedar that is in Lebanon, the spirit of our nostrils, the anointed one of Hashem, the pillar of the world, the halachic decisor of the generation, the pure Menorah, man of the clusters [of knowledge], an expert in all compartments of the Torah, the prime minister of the Torah, who shines over the earth and its inhabitants, who ground the highest mountains [of Torah], who bent his bow and made it ready, who could sling at a hair-breadth and not miss, whose heart was as wide as a large hall, who carried on his shoulders the entire Am Yisrael, who wrote books for the majority of his days, diligent in Torah even during his youth.

For 500 years, there was no one in history such a giant of a man like this, who tied onto his soul this entire burden, who authored books, his words are pure, who made halachic decisions, who kept up the burden of Torah, an orator with the kindness of Above, his logic and ideas were pure, an expert in all compartments of the Torah, he was its splendor and glory, he sat and judged his people justly, his words were light and sharp, who had sweetness of the lips, all ears listened to his words, adorned with etiquette and good character, he worried over Israel like the three forefathers, the light of our eyes, the crown of our glory, a giant of giants, the greatest of the righteous, who forgave his being belittled,  who does kindness with his Creator, who had his feet walk to the outside from morning until midnight to teach Torah to the people, pleasantness was poured out from his lips, who did kindness to thousands, his words were as sweet as a honeycomb.

Woe to us that death has come into our windows for our holy ark has been captured, and the man who had returned the masses from sin has gone away from us to our sorrow, the sun has set in midday, and we have been stricken doubly, for what was weighing down the scale of our generation's merits is missing due to our sins, for his Torah had been a shield for us, and his suffering and pain was an atonement for our sins, and we thought that he would greet the face of our Mashiah and bring us to our Beit Hamikdash, Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef, with the aspect of Mashiah Ben Yosef, behold - he has been removed from us and captured due to our sins, where can we take our shame?

Have mercy on us, our Father, our King, and please do not rebuke us with Your anger, we did not know that a prophet of G-d was among us, and we didn't guard him in our foolishness, woe to us for our generation is sorely lacking, and like this has happened in our days: a precious pearl was in our possession and we lost it from among us.  Please, Father of mercy!  Bring close the time when the trusted king [Mashiah] will come who will feed us Manna and will reveal to us the hidden Keitz when G-d will come from Teiman.

Our teacher, our rabbi, the crown of our heads, Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef, our souls and our spirits long for him, his has been removed from us, and has fallen in his watch before our eyes, he is a man who has fought the fight of Torah for more than 75 years, with incredible diligence and extra awe, who clung to Hashem Yitbarach with all his heart and loved Israel with all his soul.  Many have done evil to him and others distressed him - like Yosef Hatzadik in his time - and he forgave everyone and brought them into his home, for the service of Hashem was opposite his eyes and fearing Him was opposite his face.  He went from strength to strength to spread Torah from place to place like a ram.  He had mercy on the children of Avraham, Yitzhak, and Yaakov, and would straighten out every deceitful heart like Moshe Rabbeinu and like David, king of Israel, who saw the poverty of their nation and every pauper and beggar.  He was concerned to teach Torah to all - from the smallest to the greatest, and he [himself] got even greater.

To greet him, the forefathers of the world went out - together with Moshe, Aharon, Yosef, and David altogether.  Also, the prophets ran to greet him, and with them were the sages of the Mishna [who ran to greet him] from here [?] when he went out.  And the Amora'im and the Rishonim and with them, also the sages of Aharonim - due to the fact that he publicized the words of their Torah in public, through which he gave merit to many people and good people.  Fortunate is he for this was his portion - his exertion and his daily bread.  However, woe to us for he traveled to his resting place and left us to our groans.  Please, supreme G-d, the merciful and gracious King, send us Eliyah and Yinon [i.e. Eliyahu and Mashiah], redeem Your people Israel from every oppressor and enemy, and build for us the Beit Hamikdash and bring the Redemption closer.  Turn toward our prayers and answer us quickly for our souls are longing for You.  Please say, "Enough!" to our troubles, resurrect our dead, and bring the Keitz of our Redemption closer for us.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Kaf Hahayim, Rav Ovadia, and the Earthquake

From the Shas website (also found similarly here and here and elsewhere):

מסופר עוד, כי באותם הימים, היה הרב לומד בבית המדרש "שושנים לדוד" בירושלים בספר תורה תמימה. ובעליית הגג של בית המדרש היה יושב הגאון המקובל רבי יעקב חיים סופר, בעל ספר "כף החיים", יושב ועורך את ספרו הגדול. ובאותו היום, היתה רעידת אדמה קשה ביותר בירושלים, ומבנים רבים קרסו מחמתה. וגם בנין ישיבת שושנים לדוד נפגע קשות מחמת רעידת האדמה. ומרן שליט"א, שהיה רק ילד רך, נבהל מאד כאשר נפלה עליו תקרת הישיבה, ולא היתה לו שום אפשרות לחלץ את עצמו. או אז, ירד הגאון רבי יעקב חיים סופר, וחילץ בעצמו את מרן שליט"א, ולקחו בידיו ומסרו לאביו, וכה אמר לו: הזהר על בנך זה, כי הוא עתיד להיות גדול בישראל.

This past week's [U.S. version of the] Yated had a very nice and very large article on Rav Ovadia, where it also mentions the story in English. Unfortunately, they got a whole bunch of things wrong regarding this story. Corrections in footnotes and links have been added below.  Here's what they wrote:
In 19261, at the age of five-and-a-half2, he was almost killed by a huge earthquake that hit Yerushalayim, destroying about 300 houses and leaving over 130 people dead.  As was his custom, young Ovadiah was reading Tanach3 in the Shoshanim L'Dovid bais medrash near his home when the earthquake struck.  Rav Yaakov Chaim Sofer, the famous author of Kaf Hachaim, was learning on a top floor.  The earthquake damaged the building and Rav Ovadiah and Rav Yaakov Chaim were extricated from the ruins by passersby who heard Rav Sofer's calls for help.4

The earthquake is mentioned in Kaf Hachaim (1916:26)5, where Rav Yaakov Chaim discusses the obligation to recite the bracha of Hatov Vehameitiv after being saved from a dangerous situation.6

1Should be "1927".
2Should be "six-and-a-half".
3More specifically, he was reading the book "Torah Temimah".
4Every other version I've seen says that the Kaf Hahayim himself extricated Rav Ovadia, took him by his hands and gave him to his father, telling him, "Be careful with this son of yours. He is destined to be a Gadol in Israel."
5This reference is invalid. It should read "(576:26)".
6This has nothing to do with Hatov Vehameitiv, but rather, has to do with declaring a fast for an earthquake and for buildings and walls falling.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Rav Ovadia's Matzeva

More Hakamat Matzeva Pictures at Kikar

It reads:

רבן של כל בני הגולה
המדוכא ביסורים
מרן הראשון לציון
רבינו עובדיה יוסף זצ"ל
בן רבי יעקב וגורג'יה ז"ל
נלב"ע ג' מרחשון ה'תשע"ד

מחבר הספרים
יביע אומר, יחוה דעת
חזון עובדיה, לוית חן
טהרת הבית, מאור ישראל
הליכות עולם, טבעת המלך
ענף עץ אבות, ועוד

ת. נ. צ. ב. ה.

"נפשו בטוב תלין
וזרעו יירש ארץ"

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Some of the Old Rav Ovadia ZT"L Posts on Yeranen Yaakov

Stories and Ideas

4th Anniversary of R' Ovadia's Mashiah Dream

Rav Ovadia and the Dove

Rav Ovadia Shlit"a's 90th Birthday Links

Pushing Ahdut in Am Yisrael

Shemirat Einayim Stories (see the first bullet point there)

Rav Ovadia Longs to Go to Kever Yehoshua Bin Nun

Rav Ovadia Shlit"a Blesses Japan Acquittee Yoel Goldstein

Great Videos

Rav Ovadia and Rav Scheinberg video

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

Rav Ovadia Updated on Security Matters

Rav Ovadia Was Updated Before and After the Strike (on Ahmed Jabari YM"S almost a year ago)

Why Can't Eli Yishai Sleep?

Why Can't Eli Yishai Sleep? - 2

Rav Ovadia and Mubarak

Rav Ovadia: They all hate us (almost)

Rav Ovadia Prays for Mubarak and Explains Why

Fighting for Kevod Hatorah and Against Detractors (partial list)

Rav Ovadia: Cancel Bein Hazmanim and Recite Avinu Malkeinu Twice Daily

Whom do You Have in Mind When Saying שיתמו?

Israeli Elections - For Which Party to Vote?

Friday, October 11, 2013

How Many Fought Against Avraham Avinu and How Many Will Fight Alongside Gog?

Sanhedrin 95b (Daf | Text | English):
אמר רב יהודה אמר רב בא עליהם סנחריב הרשע בארבעים וחמשה אלף איש בני מלכים יושבים בקרונות של זהב ועמהן שגלונות וזונות ובשמנים אלף גבורים לבושי שריון קליפה ובששים אלף אחוזי חרב רצים לפניו והשאר פרשים וכן באו על אברהם וכן עתידין לבוא עם גוג ומגוג
Rab Judah said in Rab's name: The wicked Sennacherib advanced against them13 with a force consisting of forty-five thousand princes, each enthroned in a golden chariot and accompanied by his ladies and harlots, eighty thousand warriors in coat-of-mail, and sixty thousand swordsmen of the front line, the rest cavalrymen. A similar host attacked Abraham ,14 and a like force will accompany Gog and Magog.15
The Maharsha asks on the wording "attacked Avraham", which the Torah doesn't mention - it only mentions the idea that the 4 kings attacked the 5 kings and then Avraham chased after them!  Rather, suggests the Maharsha, after that occurred, the 4 kings wanted revenge against Avraham and attacked him with a huge force of men, and still Avraham prevailed against them.

The Maharsha adds that all 3 wars are grouped together as they are very similar in that there were minuscule odds of winning as it was the very many against the very few and nevertheless Hashem made a wondrous miracle.  Avraham was only with 318 others and some say it was with just Eliezer.  The same with Hizkiya - the numbers were impossible, were it not for the angel of Hashem smiting them in one fell swoop.  And again, during the Gog Umagog War, Gog will come with extremely large numbers, and Israel will be at the epitome of lowliness, but nevertheless, Hashem will redeem Israel with amazing miracles.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

More Interesting Rav Ovadia ZT"L Links

Rav Pinchos Lipschutz - Hechzir Atarah Leyoshnah

A compilation of Hespedim (in Hebrew)

Matzav - Pictures from the Hesped in Lakewood

YWN - Yeshivat HaRashbi Siyum HaShas for Maran ZT”L

Ladaat - A Sefer Torah is being Written לע"נ Maran ZT"L

Ladaat - 300,000 Estimated for a Gathering at the End of Shiva

Kikar - 42 minutes-worth of songs made for Rav Ovadia ZT"L

CosmicX tries to pay a shiva call

Kikar and Life in Israel - Rav David Kaduri Shlit"a Receives a Dream from his Father ZT"L About Rav Ovadia's Welcome to Gan Eden

Check out this picture, found at Kikar, taken at the wedding of the parents of the author of the article there:
L-R: Rav Ovadia Yosef ZT"L, Rav Tzvi Yehuda Kook ZT"L, Rav Moshe Zvi Neria ZT"L
Seated in the back is Rav Shlomo Zalman Auerbach ZT"L talking to Rav Avraham Baharan ZT"L

Some Rav Ovadia ZT"L News Tidbits and Hespedim

'Secret Writings' - Entry to Rabbi's Library Blocked

I'd heard about these Kabbalistic writings by Rav Ovadia ZT"L from a very reliable source a few months ago too.

The RCA on the passing of Rav Ovadia

How the shiur in the Yazdim Synagogue got started (p. 3). Some nice pictures there too.

Video of his Hachtara and an image of his Psak Din on the Falashas

Looking at the Wikipedia page for "List of largest peaceful gatherings in history", I noticed that someone included Rav Ovadia's funeral at the end in the "One to two million" section.

Looking at the list, I don't think any one of the other events listed occurred with only 4½ hours notice.  To my knowledge, they all occurred with at least a day's notice, and most had several days' notice.  So, relative to the amount of notice, it should top the list.

The NY Post is vile.  I don't use that word often or lightly.  (And so is Gawker for that matter.)  There is no other word to describe it.

B"H, Matzav, YWN, and VIN all published Op Eds condemning their vile pages.

Hespedim (that I'm aware of that are online):

YUTorah - Rav Eliyahu Ben-Chaim Shlit"a (in Hebrew) and Rav Mordechai Willig Shlit"a (in English) (43-minutes)

Rav Eli Mansour Shlit"a (52 minutes)

Yeshivat Or Hatorah - Rav Eliezer Zeytouneh Shlit"a and 2 other Rabbanim (32 minutes)

Rav Yosef Mizrahi Shlit"a - Master of the Torah - The Life of Rav Ovadia Yosef ZT"L - over 2 hours:

Jroot radio 2 hrs 35 minutes on Rav Ovadia: (h/t Matzav)

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Reflections on Rav Ovadia ZT"L by His Grandson

Maran Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef ZT”L

(Translation of what was written in Hebrew by his grandson, Rav Yaakov Sasson, who compiles the halachot for the Halacha Yomit website)

Together with all our brethren of the house of Israel, we are mourning the passing of Maran our father our king – the greatest of the giants – Rabbeinu Ovadia Yosef, may the memory of the righteous be a blessing, הרינו כפרת משכבו, for besides all his great deeds, the Halacha Yomit project was established in his merit.

It is hard for us to write in this difficult hour, but nevertheless, we will write a little bit of what our heart feels after the awful day that just transpired.

Our rabbis said in the gemara (Rosh Hashana 18b) “The death of the righteous is equal to the burning of the house of our G-d.”  In other words, it is as hard for us when a righteous person passes as the day that the Beit Hamikdash was destroyed.  In the Midrash, it is brought down that it is ever harder than when the Beit Hamikdash was destroyed.

Normally, when great leaders of the generation pass away, we should try to give various explanations in order to explain the matter.  What is the great implication of the passing of the righteous?  Did we think that they would live forever?!  Especially those that already merited to live a long life and reached old age, did we think that they would live forever?!

However, really, regarding Maran Rabeinu ZT”L, there is no difficulty understanding the matter [of why we give explanations].  This is because we would not exaggerate if we would say that in all the generations of the world, there has never been a tragedy as great as this like the passing of Rabbeinu.  This is because in previous generations, when a great leader passes away, he left over someone who was close in stature to him.  When Moshe Rabbeinu passed away, he left Yehoshua after him, and so on and so forth.  With all the decline in stature throughout the generations, nevertheless, there was at least someone close to the greatness of the great leader who had passed.

However, in our numerous sins right now, when the light of our eyes was removed from us, being that he was the giant of the giants, we were really left as spiritual orphans, and the phrase “שוטטנו בארבע פנות תרופה לא מצאנו (we have wandered in the four corners of the earth and have not found a cure) has been fulfilled in us.  We are not merely mourning the passing of our beloved rabbi, we are pained for our general status that we are left without him and we have no trusted shepherd, a man who possesses such a strong soul like our rabbi.

Besides the unparalleled greatness of Maran in Torah, a greatness that to a certain degree was not found like it for hundreds of years (and we have now lost it, causing us to be stricken doubly), but also in his special conduct, Maran ZT”L was special in his generation.  He was great in Torah, humility, faith, and holiness.  He was strong in his diligence in Torah study – for over 85 years, he was diligent in Torah with devoutness and yearning, while sometimes, his diligence was over and above what is humanly possible.

Still before Maran ZT”L became ill with his final illness, as was publicized, he suffered a stroke which left his left hand paralyzed.  (This was caused by his concern for the public.)  And definitely, any man in this situation would sink in pain as he lost his left hand.  This is not true of Maran ZT”L, as when he returned from the hospital the day after the incident, and he was very weak, and he required various unusual treatments, he sat to learn Torah with real joy in good spirits, thankful to Hashem that the harm caused him was not more serious.  This is how he sat diligently all the days of his life, even when he lost the sight in one eye and the hearing in one ear and the feeling in one hand, nevertheless, he diligently sat and wrote more and more, and learned Torah and added insights with joy and happiness.  Fortunate is the generation that this righteous man was found in it, and woe is to the generation that his passing occurred in his days.

The Rav ZT”L was the strongest of the strong on one hand while on the other hand was as soft as a reed.  When there was a need to knock on the skull of the world’s outlook or path, Maran would stand like a roaring lion and would stand with an abundance of strength against that outlook.  And on the other hand, he would truly and completely be pained at the pain of Israel and at the pain of each individual.  Not once or twice did we see him with tough men, the simplest of the simple, and sometimes even with those who were not mentally healthy, and he listened to their pain, cried with them, joined in their pain, and prayed for them.

Many times, when we came before him to request that he bless a certain man that has a problem, he immediately answered us that he is already praying for him every day and would immediately mention the name and the mother’s name of the one needing the salvation.

Whoever merited to know Maran ZT”L immediately would feel that he’s standing before a great man.  (And as the President of Israel explained nicely on the day of the funeral in the words that he spoke that even though he wouldn’t be categorized as a “religious” man, nevertheless, he felt that Maran ZT”L was a great man.  And we also saw this with the doctors at the hospital who showed great honor for Maran and conducted themselves with him with real holy reverence even though they are not categorized as “religious”.)  This greatness is unfortunately no longer with us.

The prayers of Maran (which stemmed from a heart that loved the entirety of Israel, and that were accepted in heaven like a servant who sinned before his master), Maran’s blessings for every ill person and for every barren woman, his encouragement for the broken and downtrodden, his saving the Agunot from the chains of Iggun with Mesirut Nefesh, all these and everything like it are no longer.  We lost a beloved vessel, "וי להאי שופרא דבלי בארעא" (woe to that beauty that is worn into the ground).

Woe to us that we are broken, we are orphans without a father, our dejection is as great as the sea!  Who will heal us?

All we can do is to accept upon ourselves to continue to go in the path of Maran ZT”L – to go in his path, to increase Torah in Israel, to increase the learning of Maran’s Torah, and to keep the Halacha according to all its details as our rabbi has bequeathed to us.  And with the light of Maran that affected us, we should merit to affect great influence on the upcoming generations until Mashiah Tzidkenu and the resurrection of the dead, speedily in our days, Amen.

Monday, October 07, 2013

Rav Ovadia Yosef זצוק"ל

I was going to post a bunch of links as I often do when a great Torah leader passes away.  But there is no point as all the Jewish news sites are filled with links, pictures, and videos galore.

I called the Tehillim hotline very late last night to offer my prayers and recited many chapters of Tehillim, hoping against hope that his condition would improve.  But alas, our prayers would be used elsewhere and would not be used for Rav Ovadia ZT"L.  After reading the bitter news this morning when I awoke, I was devastated along with the rest of Am Yisrael.  Our nation has lost its captain.

I spent the last few hours listening to the funeral and crying.  There are no words to describe the enormity of the loss we have just experienced.  But the entire religious spectrum of Jews - and a good percentage of non-religious Jews -  realizes it.  This is shown by the fact that 800,000(!!!) people attended his funeral.  That is a full 10% of the country. Kol Berama and Kikar put the figure at 1,000,000. I'm sure many were turned away too due to the enormous crowd. [See update below.]

אין תמורתו - he cannot be replaced.  However, we can keep his legacy alive by doing what he loved doing: intensely learning Torah.  Torah was the love of his life.  You can see it in his Sefarim that he wrote and you can ask anyone who knew him well.

Rav Pinchos Lipschutz, in his most recent article, wrote:
Rav Ovadiah Yosef is known for his prodigious memory, yet, apparently, not everything came easily to him. When a yungerman, who was learning Maseches Bava Kama, asked him for advice on how to remember his learning, Rav Ovadiah told him to open the Gemara to daf 77a, which has only two lines of Gemara and one long Tosafos which fills the rest of the page. Rav Ovadiah proceeded to recite the Tosafos word for word by heart. The yungerman was puzzled. How was this to impart to him the secret of retentive learning? Rav Ovadiah then revealed it to him.

“I learned this Tosafos 200 times!” he declared. “Now tell me, after doing that, is there any way I could not know it by heart?”

One who constructs for himself a teivah of Torah and dedicates his life to its study and observance becomes blessed not only with unforgettable knowledge, but also with the dynamism, excellence, exuberance and leadership for which Rav Ovadiah has earned international and eternal fame as a beacon of light.
That's but one thing we can take away from his life.

Another lesson we can learn is that his concern for the less fortunate was legendary. Whether it came to his concern for the poor as the leader of Shas or his ability to free every single one of the Agunot of the Yom Kippur War, all exemplify his almost unparalleled care and concern for all of Kelal Yisrael. When his son became the current Rishon Letzion, he implored him with the task of taking care of the less fortunate, including the Agunot. At the funeral, if I understood this correctly, I believe Rav Aryeh Deri mentioned that many years ago, Rav Ovadia ZT"L didn't want to go to the hospital for chest pains since he was in the middle of writing a heter for an Aguna.  He was more concerned about the Aguna than his chest pains.

What measures of dedication!  How can we replace such a soul?  We cannot.  All we can do and should do is try to emulate him.

Many commenters have said that he is from a previous generation of Gedolim. He was given to us as a gift. We were blessed to have him in our generation.


In the YWN live blog, they note the following (emphasis mine):

10:00PM IL: While final numbers are not in, Israel Police are already calling tonight’s levaya the largest in the history of the State of Israel. Some are pointing out about 1 in every 10 residents of the nation is in attendance. YWN notes that this is the largest Levaya in Jewish recorded history.

Nafela Ateret Rosheinu - Rav Ovadia Yosef ZT"L

The Gadol Hador - Rav Ovadia Yosef ZT"L had passed away.

Arutz Sheva: Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, 'Greatest Rabbi of the Generation,' has Died

More later...

Friday, October 04, 2013

Geula Update from Rav Fish - No'ah 5774 (More on Rav Ovadia Shlit"a)

From Rav Fish's latest:  (continuation from last week)

  • Rav Ovadia Shlit"a and MBY
    • And it was also publicized already a few years ago that Rav Meir Mazuz Shlit"a said about Maran Rav Ovadia Shlit"a that he is MBY.  Similar words were also publicized in the name of Rav Ben Tzion Abba Sha'ul ZT"L. 
    • The Or Hahayim (Devarim 15:7) says that Mashiah's name is "Hayim".
    • Maran Rav Ovadia clung all his life to the book "Beit Yosef".  In a book about Rav Kaduri ZT"L's life, it's brought down that Rav Kaduri said that Rav Ovadia is a Gilgul of the Beit Yosef.
    • Rav Ovadia was a chief [????] rabbi in Egypt where Yosef Hatzaddik was viceroy.
    • Rav Ovadia's father's name was Yaakov just like Yosef Hatzaddik's father was Yaakov Avinu.
    • It was also publicized that when Rav Scheinberg ZT"L was about to meet Rav Ovadia Shlit"a, he told his associates that he was going to shake Mashiah's hand.
    • Maran Rav Ovadia is known as a lenient halachic decisor except when it comes to laws of modesty, which is related to the attribute of Yesod of Yosef, where Maran is more stringent than others.
    • Also, his message throughout the years has been "להחזיר העטרה לישנה" - to return the crown to its old prominence.  This hints to Ateret Hayesod, which is the aspect of MBY - the aspect of Malchut, i.e. the crown - in Yesod, i.e. Yosef.
    • Also, his party is Shas.  ש"ס is the gematria of שכם, where Yosef is buried.
      • Also, it's brought down in Sha'ar Hakavanot (Tefillin, Derush 4) that ש"ס is the gematria of שי"ן.  And the letter שי"ן is the symbol of the completion of Yesod with all 3 stems included in it, as the Zohar brings down (Vayakhel 204a).
    • Also, רבנו חיים עובדיה יוסף is Rashei Teivot רחע"י, whose gematria is רפ"ח.  The main purpose of MBY is to complete the filtering of the 288 sparks in order to complete the era of exile.
      • Therefore, עטרה with the letters = 288, as is brought in the book "Derech Pikudecha" (chapter 4).
      • Also, it's brought down in Sefer Hahezyonot by Rav Hayim Vital (vol. 2 no. 23) to have Kavana in the Rashei Teivot of רופא חולי עמו ישראל - which is the same רחע"י - that it is the gematria of רפ"ח [the 288 sparks].
    • Also, משיח עבד ה' is hinted to in מרן חיים עבדיה יוסף שליט"א.
    • Also, the Rashei Teivot of הרב חיים עובדיה יוסף שליט"א is the same Rashei Teivot as על חומותיך ירושלים הפקדתי שומרים.
    • Also, the prophet Ovadia prophesied on the downfall of Edom in the future, and that is the aspect of Yosef who is the archenemy of Edom, as it brought in Rashi (Bereishit 30:25)
    • And it's brought down in Midrash (Bereishit Rabba 63:8 [or 63:10]) that the vengeance against Edom will be in the merit of MBY,  about whom is the verse said, "רִאשׁוֹן לְצִיּוֹן, הִנֵּה הִנָּם". And the matter is tied to the holiday of Sukkot. And we will paraphrase some of it:
      Rabbi Haggai said in the name of Rabbi Yitzhak: With the merit of "And ye shall take you on the first day", I will punish for you the "first" - this refers to Esav, as it says, "And the first came forth ruddy", and I will bring for you the "first" - this is the King Mashiah, about whom the verse says "A [first] harbinger unto Zion will I give".
      Also, Rabbi Haggai (חגי) who is the author of this teaching, it is hinted in his name to the holiday of Sukkot, which is the time that Hashem will take His vengeance against Edom in the Gog Umagog War.
      • And we saw that in our numerous sins, Maran became very sick during Hag Hasukkot, 5774.
      • And it's also brought down in Megaleh Amukot on the Torah that when he quotes the Midrash, he says explicitly that ראשון לציון הנה הנם is Yosef, meaning MBY, who will punish Esav.
      • It's also brought down in the Sefer Halikutim by the Ariza"l regarding the vengeance against Edom (Tehillim 436):
        It says, "גְּעַר חַיַּת קָנֶה" - because it is known that there are 2 aspects: the side of spiritual uncleanliness, which is called חמץ, and the side of holiness, which is called מצה.  And when one cuts the leg of the ח, one remains with a ה.  And when one cuts the leg of the ק of קנה, one remains with הנה, with the Sod of ראשון לציון הנה הנם.  And that is the idea of גער חית קנה - meaning, rebuke the ח and the ק of קנה and cut them and make them into the letter ה, thereby making חמץ into מצה and from קנה into הנה.
        We see that the vengeance against Edom during the time of the Redemption will turn their קנה into ראשון לציון הנה הנם.
      • Also, the Rashei Teivot of רבנו חיים עובדיה יוסף is found inside the words גער חית.
      • Also, Maran symbolizes exiting all the exiles: 
        • He was in Egypt and went up to Israel from there
        • He was born in Iraq and went up to Israel from there
        • He was the chief rabbi of Tel Aviv, which symbolizes the Greek exile, and he went up from there to Yerushalayim
        • And soon he will go up from the exile of Esav, which we are still enduring, as Maran expressed in his Shiur about Obama: עבדים מושלים בנו.
      • And it's also brought down in the book "Torat Natan" that the Rashei Teivot of משיח בן יוסף is the Rashei Teivot of the exiles: בבל מדי יון.
    • [From last week:]  Also, חיים עובדיה יוסף בן גורג'יה has the gematria of 600, which hints to MBY, to whom the number שש [the number 6] applies, which has the gematria of 600.
      • This is also the gematria of יוסף הצדיק בן יעקב
    • Also, חיים עובדיה יוסף בן יעקב with the letters equals משיח בן יוסף with the letters.
    • Rav Mas'ud Abuhatzeira adds that the addition of the name "Hayim" occurred during Sukkot, 5774 to hint that Maran Shlit"a had the aspect of the spinal cord of Kelal Yisrael - with the Sod of לולב which is compared to a spine and has the same gematria as חיים.
      • And just as the Lulav symbolizes the Tzaddik Yesod, which influences life [חיים] to the entire world - in the aspect of the spiritual spinal cord which ends at the Yesod as is known - so too Maran Shlit"a suffered pains in his back in the place of the spinal cord to symbolize that the Tzaddik (spine) bears the sins of Israel.
      • [YY - I'll add that in the Piyut סוכה ולולב, Yosef is explicitly compared to a Lulav.]
      • Also, they installed a pacemaker into Maran during Sukkot, 5774 and the letters of לולב are לו לב - [to him, a heart].
        • Also, on Simhat Torah, one concludes and begins anew, the Torah whose last and first letter are ל"ב.
      • Rav Tzion David Siboni adds that the gematria of the Sofei Teivot of רב חיים עובדיה יוסף בן גורג'יה are 180, which is the Sod of the 18 vertebrae in the spine and the 18 shakes of the Lulav.
    • The Rashei Teivot of חיים עובדיה יוסף is the same Rashei Teivot as the verse עוד יוסף חי.
    • The gematria of חיים עבדיה יוסף is the same as the verse עוד יוסף בני חי.
    • Torah Code 1
      • We will bring another table within which we see in the period of the test of Yosef with the wife of Potifar, the coded words: "Maran", "Rabbeinu", "Ga'on", "Rishon Letzion" (abbreviated), "Hacham", "Rav", "Hayim", "Ovadia" (without the ו), "Yosef", "Mashiah", "Ben", "Yosef", "[5]775", and also the words "Eved Hashem" (servant of Hashem" and "Bari" (healthy). 
      • Also, the name עבדיה, which means עבד ה', appears within the words where Yosef withstood the test with the wife of Potifar "וַתִּתְפְּשֵׂהוּ בְּבִגְדוֹ לֵאמֹר שִׁכְבָה עִמִּי וַיַּעֲזֹב בִּגְדוֹ בְּיָדָהּ וַיָּנָס וַיֵּצֵא הַחוּצָה". And there are 6 letters between each letter since 6 symbolizes Yesod and withstanding the test of Yesod.
      • Also, the ח of חכם is the same ח used for חיים.
    • Torah Code 2
      • And we also found amazing discoveries within that same table that also the word מלך appears twice.  Once exactly above the word עבדיה with a 5-letter skip and once with a 3-letter skip, with the letters between each letter spelling אחישנו.  The amazing thing is that from the ך of the 3-letter-skip מלך counting backwards 90 letters (90 being the gematria of מלך), we start a backwards code of the word מושיע, which also has a 90-letter skip.  And the ע of מושיע is within the word ישמעאל.  All this is saying is that he is a king who saves from Yishmael.
      • Also, מושיע is Rashei Teivot for מורינו ורבינו עובדיה יוסף שליט"א.
      • We also see that each letter from מושיע falls in an important word: the letter מ falls in אמת, the letter ו falls in תום, which is synonymous with קץ, the letter ש falls in ישראל, the letter י falls in the שם הויה, and the letter ע falls in ישמעאל.
      • Of course, the ideas revealed in the Torah code are said on condition that we pray very hard for Maran's recovery since the life of MBY is dependant upon prayers, especially in the Boneh Yerushalayim prayer in the Amidah, as the Ariza"l writes.   
    • Torah Code 3
      • And we also found more amazing discoveries within that same table: the books authored by Maran Shlit"a appear twice: "Sefer", "Shu"t", "Yabi'a", "Omer", "Yehaveh", "Da'at", "Torah", "Ma'or", "Gadol". 
      • And we see an amazing thing that the words יחוה and יביע appear within the name עבדיה.
      • And within יביע אומר appears "בידי יוסף". 

Please continue to pray for Rav Hayim Ovadia Yosef ben Gorgia.

Thursday, October 03, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - No'ah 5774 III

A building at the entrance of Yerushalayim.  Source: Kikar

Kikar and YWN - B"H, Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a is reported to now be breathing on his own, but late word from Kikar is that the infection returned.  Please pray for Rav Hayim Ovadia Yosef Ben Gorgia.

Kikar - Rishon Letzion Rav Yitzhak Yosef Shlit"a prays for his father at the Hilula of Shimon Hatzadik

Kikar - Giant Tefilah gathering for Rav Ovadia Shlit"a in Beitar Illit

Kikar and Matzav - Rav Shmuel Auerbach to Chacham Ovadiah: “I Am Davening for You Non-Stop”

Kikar - Singer Avi Ben Yisrael Sings New Song "Refa Tziri" Composed for Rav Ovadia's recovery

YWN - WoW returns for Rosh Hodesh  (According to the article, Rabbi Rabinowitz does not want a large amount of girls sent there in order to prevent confrontations, but Kikar notes that a large gathering of women and girls will be on hand to pray for Rav Ovadia's full recovery.)

Kikar and YWN - Toldos Avraham Yitzchak Rebbe's car stoned at Har Hazeitim

Matzav - Melitzer Rebbe of Boro Park's home destroyed by a fire

Matzav and Kikar - Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe calls Berit Milah a "violation of the physical integrity of children"

Tomer Devorah - Mesirut Nefesh is our Answer

YWN - Judge: Rubashkin's Appeal Will Take Time - I have the same question as the first commenter there

Shiloh Musings - What would Rav Kook and Jabotinsky say?

Shiloh Musings - Bibi's UN Speech Could have been Better

Cross Currents - The Zinger in the Pew Report

Tribune - Tropical Storm Karen Aims for US Gulf Coast
  • Shemuel Alef 2:10  יְהוָה יֵחַתּוּ מְרִיבָו, עָלָו בַּשָּׁמַיִם יַרְעֵם--יְהוָה, יָדִין אַפְסֵי-אָרֶץ; וְיִתֶּן-עֹז לְמַלְכּוֹ, וְיָרֵם קֶרֶן מְשִׁיחוֹ
  • Yehezkel 29:21  בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, אַצְמִיחַ קֶרֶן לְבֵית יִשְׂרָאֵל, וּלְךָ אֶתֵּן פִּתְחוֹן-פֶּה, בְּתוֹכָם; וְיָדְעוּ, כִּי-אֲנִי יְהוָה
  • Tehillim 132:17  שָׁם אַצְמִיחַ קֶרֶן לְדָוִד;    עָרַכְתִּי נֵר, לִמְשִׁיחִי 
  • Tehillim 148:14  וַיָּרֶם קֶרֶן לְעַמּוֹ, תְּהִלָּה לְכָל-חֲסִידָיו--לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, עַם קְרֹבוֹ: הַלְלוּ-יָהּ

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Kibbutz Galuyot from the South - Pretty Much Done

Yeshaya 43:5-6
אַל-תִּירָא, כִּי אִתְּךָ-אָנִי:  מִמִּזְרָח אָבִיא זַרְעֶךָ, וּמִמַּעֲרָב אֲקַבְּצֶךָּ.  אֹמַר לַצָּפוֹן תֵּנִי, וּלְתֵימָן אַל-תִּכְלָאִי; הָבִיאִי בָנַי מֵרָחוֹק, וּבְנוֹתַי מִקְצֵה הָאָרֶץ.
Fear not, for I am with thee; I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west; I will say to the north: 'Give up,' and to the south: 'Keep not back, bring My sons from far, and My daughters from the end of the earth;
Wikisource concludes from this verse that there are 5 categories of Olim, and by extension, of Diaspora Jews still remaining:
אם כך, אפשר להבחין בכמה קבוצות של עדות:

  • עדות המזרח - כל מי שמוצאו ממזרח לארץ ישראל, מעיראק ועד הודו.
  • עדות המערב - יוצאי צפון אפריקה, ממצרים עד מרוקו.
  • עדות הצפון - יוצאי רוסיה ואירופה ("אשכנזים").
  • עדות הדרום - יוצאי אתיופיה ותימן.
  • עדות קצה הארץ - מהצד השני של כדור הארץ - יוצאי אמריקה.
If so, it's possible to distinguish between the many groups of communities:
  • The communities of the east - those whose origin is from east of the Land of Israel - from Iraq to India
  • The communities of the west - those who left North Africa, from Egypt to Morocco
  • The communities of the north - those who left Russia and Europe ("Ashkenazim")
  • The communities of the south - those who left Ethiopia and Yemen
  • The communities of the end of the earth - on the other side of the globe - those who left America
(One could also possibly distinguish between "far" and "the end of the earth" by including South America and/or Australia, or possibly even South Africa, which all have sizable amounts of Jews.)

The development of late to note is that the communities of the south - Ethiopia and Yemen - have all but completed their journey home.  The last of the Ethiopian Falashas were brought to Israel in August, while according to the recent Time Magazine article, most of the 90 Jews remaining in Yemen will leave soon.

1 direction down - 4 or 5 more to go...

Interesting Recent Links - No'ah 5774 II

Hodu LaHashem Ki Tov - The power of prayer - Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a's condition continues to improve:
More Tefillot and other good deeds are still needed:
YWN - 20-year-old documentary about Rav Ovadia Shlit"a

Cross-Currents and Matzav - The Open Orthodox Race to the Edge and Beyond: When Will It Stop?

Matzav - Even Safek Abduction of Kids on Shabbat Should be treated as Vadai Piku'ah Nefesh

Pew Research Report on American Jews - see commentary by CosmicX and Emes Ve'emunah

Matzav - Lakewood Schools: "We're Broke and Short $4M", Blame is on Influx of Private (Yeshiva) Students - Double(!!!) the students that they expected

Hezbos - The Mountains of Kardu

Kikar and Matzav - Gafni: Religious Zionist-Chareidi Rift Now Like Chareidi-Secular Gap

Kikar - Video of Rav Shteinman Shlit"a saying "Yimah Shemo" about Lapid

Dixie Yid recommends an Internet filter in addition to the Yirat Shamayim Filter

Netanyahu's UNGA Speech - Full Text | Video

Matzav - The Sukkah Fiasco at the Rye Town Hilton

Debka - Russian embassy in Libya under attack

Kikar - Video of rabbit being snatched up moments after being freed

The Path to Follow - You Made a Golem of Clay Part 1 | Part 2 (p. 4 on both.  See also p. 3 on both.)