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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Is Comet ISON Jewish and a Sign for Mashiah?

Midrash Tefillat Ribbi Shimon Bar Yohai:
ובתחלת השבוע (שמיטה) השנה הראשונה אין בו מטר ובשניה חצי רעב ובשלישית יהיה רעב גדול ולא יהיה מטר וברביעית בינונית ובחמישית יהיה שובע גדול ובששית יצמח כוכב אחד ממזרח ובראשו שבט של אש כמו רומח ואומרים אומות העולם כוכב זה לנו הוא, ואינו כן אלא משל ישראל שנאמר דרך כוכב מיעקב, ועת זריחתו באשמורת הראשונה של לילה עד ב׳ שעות ויאסף ט״ו יום במזרח וסובב למערב ועושה ט"ו ימים ואם יתר הוא טוב לישראל
Translation:
And in the beginning of the seven-year cycle, the first year has no rain.  In the second year, there is a half-famine.  In the third year, there will be a great famine and there will be no rain.  And in the fourth year, mediocre.  And in the fifth year, there will be great plenty. 
I'm interrupting the translation to bring you this chart from Israel's Water Authority showing the Kinneret level since 2004.  Notice that the first year after Shemitta in this cycle, 5769, had very little rain.  The next year, 5770, was not much better and we were still below the lower red line, causing there to be 2 years in a row of under-lower-red-line water levels, which is why it's called a "half-famine".  The next year, 5771, still kept us under the lower red line for most of the year, causing 3 years in a row of this situation, earning it the distinction of a "great famine".  The fourth year, 5772, was a good rain year, which got us out over the lower red line.  The fifth year, 5773, was B"H a very good rain year, earning it the distinction of "great plenty".
Source: Israel Water Authority

Now, back to the translation:
And in the sixth year, one star will sprout, and on its head is a staff of fire like a spear.  And the nations of the world say, "It is ours!", but it is not true - rather, it belongs to Israel, as it says, "There shall step forth a star out of Jacob".  And the time of its shining is in the first watch of the night until 2 hours.  And it will gather for 15 days in the east and turn around to the west and do 15 days. And if it lasts longer, it is good for Israel.

While I am aware that there are multiple versions of this Midrash (such as those mentioned here and on the page following), at least this version seems to be promising.  And as all these Midrashim continue, it is viewed as a sign for Mashiah.

Consider the news about the Comet ISON:


Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy
Is the fact that it will make this Sivuv on the first day of Hanukka a hint to the Or Haganuz (with אור being the 25th word in the Torah)?

Also, is this Sivuv from the east to the west referring to ISON's Sivuv around the sun after its perihelion? 

Maybe, but perhaps there is an alternate explanation.  According to this site:
Dec 5th: By now it should be worth looking for Comet ISON in the western sky after sunset, too.
...in addition to the east before dawn.  Perhaps, the Sivuv and the 15 days in the west begin Dec. 5th when it starts to be visible in the west.

And note that it's only visible in the evening right after sunset.  NBCNews reports that:
On Dec. 20, Comet ISON sets at 6:24 p.m. local time, 14 minutes after the end of evening twilight.
Is that considered the first watch of the night until 2 hours?  I guess it depends on when you calculate Tzeit Hakochavim and whether 2 hours means 2 full hours or into the 2nd hour.

Finally, all this could be a moot point if the comet breaks apart during its perihelion on the first day of Hanukka.

In any case, may we soon merit seeing amazing things both in the sky and here on earth.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Miketz 5774

Arutz Sheva - Netanyahu: Deal a Historical Mistake

Matzav - When a Headline Says It All (הן עם לבדד ישכן, said gleefully by anti-Israel reporter Robert Fisk)

Matzav - Israel Vows ‘Whatever Is Necessary’ To Stop Iran

Matzav - Dershowitz: Iran Deal ‘Cataclysmic Error of Gigantic Proportions’

Matzav - Steinitz: Agreement Liable To Bring Iran Nearer Bomb

YWN - VIDEO: Sen. Schumer Pledges To Work With GOP To Stop Iran Deal

YWN - Republicans in Congress Wary of Iran Nuclear Deal  (See also Matzav)

Matzav - Gen. Hayden: Iran Deal ‘Worst of All Possible Outcomes’

Matzav - Israeli Ministers Lambaste ‘Delusional’ Iran Nuclear Deal

Kikar - Neturei Karta on the Iran deal: "The Zionists have suffered a downfall"

Arutz Sheva - MK Moses on the Iran deal: Israeli Isolation is a Divine punishment for Haredi isolation

Lazer Beams - Kerry for Kerry

Mystical Paths - The US Doublecross of Israel

Debka - Jerusalem, Riyadh stunned: Obama makes Iran 7th world power on regional issues, including Palestinians

Kikar and Arutz Sheva - UK's Hague to Israel: Don't Interfere With Iran Deal

Debka and YWN - Canada ‘Deeply Skeptical’ Of Iran Nuke Deal

Debka and Matzav - Seven loopholes favoring a nuclear Iran in deal signed by the world powers

Matzav - Officials: Israelis In Secret Trip To Inspect Saudi Bases, Could Be Used As Staging Ground For Strikes Against Iran




YNet and Mikolot Mayim Rabim - The Jewish priest that became a Ba'al Teshuva (h/t Torah Musings)

YWN - PHOTOS: United Hatzalah: Quadriplegic on Respirator Conquers Masada with the Help of United Hatzalah Volunteers

YWN - Former Imprisoned Bochur in Japan is Married

Kikar and YWN - Rishon L’Tzion Rav Yitzhak Yosef: Yair Lapid is Worse than his Father

YWN - Government Tenacious in Effort to Dismantle Torah Lifestyle (See also Tomer Devorah)

Kikar and YWN - Labor Leader Herzog Grandfather Said Don’t Draft Chareidim

Kikar - Rav Ariel Shlit"a is against reform (even the small "r") in the Dati Le'umi sector

Kikar - MK Litzman criticizes Netanyahu for not wearing a Kippa at Moscow Jewish Museum while holding holy books

YWN - Norwegian Government Official: Jews, Muslims Circumcise Out of Ignorance


Kikar and YWN - Fanatics Verbally Assault Eida Ravaad Rav Sternbuch Shlita

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Congressional Tribute to Sephardic Jews

Arutz Sheva article

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Early Sources for Thanksgivvukah

שבת כא:
לשנה האחרת קבעום ועשאום ימים טובים בהלל והודאה

רמב"ם הלכות חנוכה פרק ד' הלכה י"ב
מצות נר חנוכה מצוה חביבה היא עד מאד וצריך אדם להזהר בה כדי להודיע הנס ולהוסיף בשבח האל והודיה לו על הנסים שעשה לנו.

רש"י שבת כד. ד"ה מה תפלה בברכת הודאה
דהא כולה מילתא דחנוכה עיקרה להודאה נתקנה

ט"ז או"ח סי' תרפ"ב ס"ק א'
דכולי מילי דחנוכה הודאה נינהו

מ"ב סי' תרפ"ב ס"ק ב'
דכולה מילתא דחנוכה עיקרה הודאה היא

כל בו הלכות חנוכה
ערבית שחרית ומנחה מזכירין חנוכה בהודאה

דרך ה' חלק ד' פרק ז' אות ה'
ואחר כך זה חנוכה ופורים, שאין בהם ביטול מלאכה אלא הודאה בחנוכה ושמחה ג"כ בפורים


Interesting Recent Links - Vayeshev 5774 III

Kikar - Rav Ovadia ZT"L's Last Quick Halacha Shiur (Video)

YWN - Video: Sen. Chuck Schumer At Sephardic Jewry Luncheon: “I Am A J-Dub”

Debka - Unusual Israeli air force activity reported over Lebanon

Debka - Saudi citizens advised to quit Lebanon at once

Kikar - Ancient Hagaddah found by accident in Britian

Arutz Sheva - Ancient Jewish Altar Found in Shilo (h/t Mashiach is Coming)

Life in Israel - Where in the world are the Temple Vessels? (Vatican's Ambassador to Israel said, "We don't have them.")

YWN - Yaakov Shwekey Sings Vehi Sheamda At Concert In Paris (I'm a sucker for this song)

YWN - Maccabeats - Burn

Kikar - Secret letter from the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZT"L will be revealed soon

Kikar - Rav Schick: It's better to drive cars than take buses for Tzeni'ut reasons - but only if one can afford it

Life in Israel - Interesting Psak: Long peyos prohibited in Beis Hamikdash

Matzav - Israel Gives $500,000 Medicine Aid for Philippines, Has Treated 999 Patients (by the time you read this, I'm sure it'll be over 1000)

Kikar - Yaakov Yosef Greenwald, who was imprisoned in Japan, gets married


Pollard Needs Ko'ah (כח) as he has been in prison for 28 years today

Hamodia - A Letter to U.S. Ambassador to Israel, Dan Shapiro, Regarding Jonathan Pollard

Lazer Beams - The Height of Hypocrisy

Kikar and Arutz Sheva - MK Azulai: "Rav Ovadia demanded Pollard's release"

Arutz Sheva - Erdan Criticizes US 'Hypocrisy' on Pollard Case

Matzav - Write To Jonathan Pollard As He Enters His 29th Year of Imprisonment

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Vayeshev 5774

I'm just going to focus on one very interesting item from Rav Fish's newsletter this week:
They wrote to me that it's possible that the four exiles concluded in the year 5674. And that's when a shortened period of the four exiles began. That is when the nations strengthened themselves before the conclusion of their purpose.

The Babylonian Exile corresponds to the first period - of World War I, where in Russia, they tried a period of Shmad similar to the idol of Nevuchadnetzar.

The Median Exile corresponds to World War II, and that which Haman did not succeed in doing, Hitler YM"S did succeed in doing.

The Greek Exile corresponds to the Zionist State [YY - It seems to me that Rav Fish here refers to the Mapai/Labor secular Zionists], and that which the Greeks did not succeed in uprooting religion, the [secular] Zionists did succeed.

The Edomite Exile corresponds to the final stage from the year 5737 [YY - when the Likud took over the government] and just like the Romans originally had a strong bond with Judea, but afterwards, gained power, destroyed the Beit Hamikdash, and decreed not to learn Torah, the same thing is happening now. Originally, there were helpful ties with the [secular Likud] Zionists, but afterwards, came a period where they're trying to destroy every remnant of holiness [along with their coalition partners].

And this entire period - from 5674 until 5774 [תרע"ד עד תשע"ד] - corresponds to the verse בִּטְחוּ בַיהוָה, עֲדֵי-עַד and the verse לְהִשָּׁמְדָם עֲדֵי-עַד. From ע"ד until ע"ד.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Rav Lior Shlit"a on the Religious Matzav in Israel and Geula

YWN:
Kiryat Arba Chief Rabbi HaGaon HaRav Dov Lior Shlita opposes separation of religion and state in Israel. “While now there is a negative trend we have yet to attain a full realization of our ambition” he stated, the rabbi remains optimistic regarding the future.

The rav was responding to a question to determine if today, a separation between religion and state might be advised in light of recent bills and laws liberalizing some religious policies.

Rabbi Lior explains one must realize that today, we are in the ‘אתחלתא דגאולה’ and we are seeing the words of the Navi come true, ושבים נדחי ישראל לארץ שניתנה לאבות האומה.

He adds that while we yearn for a nation that is run in line with Halacha, this is not yet a reality but “to our joy there are areas in which the state does operate in line with Toras Yisrael.” Examples given by the rabbi include the fact that Shabbos is the national day of rest, yomim tovim are not viewed as work days, keeping kashrus in IDF kitchens and marriage controlled by the Chief Rabbinate of Israel.

The rav admits that today it can appear bleak and the war against those seeking to dismantle Yiddishkheit is a difficult one but today’s situation is only temporary. He feels an effort must be made in the nation’s education system towards bringing the young back to a life of Torah observance and this will bring the Geula closer with Hashem’s assistance.

Marriage Between Unweddables is Now Law in Illinois

It was a slow-moving train-wreck, but the disaster finally materialized:
Gov. Pat Quinn today signed a historic measure into law making Illinois the 16th state in the nation to allow gay marriage.

The Democratic governor put pens to paper at a desk brought up from Springfield that his administration says President Abraham Lincoln used to write his first inaugural address. That speech, delivered on March 4, 1861 as the Civil War was unfolding, called on Americans to heed “the better angels of our nature.”
I'm pretty sure Lincoln would not be proud.  I'm very sure Hashem is not.

Besides the anti-Torah and morally grotesque nature of it, there are some other problems for the rest of us:
Meanwhile, opponents led by religious organizations say they fear the measure doesn’t go far enough to protect their rights. While the bill would prevent religious groups from being forced to perform or host wedding ceremonies for gay couples, they argue faith-based organizations may be forced to provide health insurance to an employee’s same-sex spouse.

Further, opponents contend the measure has little to no protections for wedding photographers, bakers or other service providers who could face legal action if they refuse to work for same-sex couples due to their religious beliefs.
And last, but not least, we have Bereishit Rabba 26:9, which tells us that such marriage documents were what sealed the fate of the Generation of the Flood.

So, thank you very much, Illinois legislature and Pat Quinn.  You have made the most bankrupt state morally so as well.  And a more dangerous one to boot.

עַל-זֶה, הָיָה דָוֶה לִבֵּנוּ--עַל-אֵלֶּה, חָשְׁכוּ עֵינֵינוּ

Interesting Recent Links - Vayeshev 5774 II

Trib - When Governor Quinn signs it into law today, Illinois will be the 16th state to allow marriages between 2 unweddable people (as it says וְהַאֲבַדְתִּי חֲכָמִים מֵאֱדוֹם, וּתְבוּנָה מֵהַר עֵשָׂו)

Matzav - Thanksgivvukah Recipes

Kikar - BD"H - Great-granddaughter of Vishnitzer Rebbe of Monsey passes away after childbirth (Funeral pictures are here)

Matzav and YWN - Chareidi Soldiers Win Award for Excellence and Are Candidates for Four More

Kikar - Netanyahu and Hollande visit the graves of the Kedoshim of Toulouse

Rabbi Gordimer - Just the Facts

Kikar - Deri: Popularity of the name "Adelle" is not because of the famous singer, but rather can be attributed to being the name of the daughters of the Ba'al Shem Tov and Rebbe Nahman of Breslov

YWN and Matzav - Prime Grill Fires Waiter Who Overcharged Chasidic Couple

Matzav - Outpouring of Well Wishes for Yaakov Yosef (Grunwald, who was imprisoned in Japan)

YWN - Bombshell: Census Bureau Allegedly ‘Fabricated’ Unemployment Rate Running up to 2012 Elections

Debka - Incredible! Beirut bombings killing 25 people were self-inflicted by Iran and Hizballah as a diversionary tactic

YWN - Iranian Jews Rally In Support Of Nuclear Program (Miskenim)

Matzav - Report: Iran Building New Nuclear Site

YWN - PHOTOS: Flooding and Serious Injuries from Rainfall in Eretz Yisrael

Matzav - Boycott Israel Websites Built Using Israeli Software

Shiloh Musings - PR and Policy Not The Same, If Only Israel Made Policy From Its PR

Life in Israel - Yaakov Shwekey Visits Hadassah Hospital (Video)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Vayishlah 5774

From Rav Fish's latest:

  • Mahloket is really bad
    • Rav Fish first addresses the Mahloket in Israel and advises people to stay away from getting involved in any way with the Mahloket between Gedolei Yisrael.  He explains that the Gedolim of the day are hinted to in the verses of the Berit Bein Habetarim [see inside starting on the bottom of page 1 how he does so], and quotes a Midrash that shows that these verses refer to the heads of the Sanhedrin.  Later, he explains that the one who gains the most from this Mahloket is Lapid and company.  The ultimate purpose of all this is so that we beseech Hashem for Mashiah, which is why the final verses of the Berit Bein Habetarim talk about how Hashem showed Avraham Avinu the Final Redemption.
    • He then quotes explanations on הוי זהיר בגחלתן "Be careful with the coals [of the sages]" with various commentaries saying to be close to the sages, but not too close that one mocks their words.  He also quotes Rebbe Nachman of Breslov ZY"A who put in his prayers not to mock any book.
    • Finally, he quotes the dreams of Benny Elbaz of Rav Ovadia ZT"L, which included the words "Kaf Zechut" 50 times.
  • More on Rav Ovadia ZT"L and Yosef
    • Rav Ovadia's wife's name was Margalit, which applies to the Sefira of Yesod.
      • As the Zohar (No'ah 60a) says [YY - I wasn't able to find this quote in the Zohar], the Yesod breaks open mountains to reveal inside them precious jewels and pearls.
      • Also, Targum Yonatan translates במאה קשיטה as במאת מרגליין - which means 100 pearls and this is about Shechem, which relates to Yosef. 
    • R' D. Hana explains that the words עובדיה יוסף has the gematria of אבנר, who had an aspect of MBY since he was part of Sha'ul's army and defected to David's.  He then coronated David over all of Israel.  And later, he was stabbed, just like MBY.
  •  More on 46
  • More on the Keli Yakar on "לבן"
    • [See this earlier post where Rav Fish quotes the Keli Yakar on Vayikra 13:7.]
    • The Keli Yakar on Devarim 32:20 says:
      "I will see what their end shall be; for they are a very froward generation, ... I will provoke them with a vile nation" - Israel is called by 3 names: Yisrael [ישראל], Yaakov [יעקב], and Yeshurun [ישורון].  The Sofei Teivot of these make לבן [white], meaning that in Yaakov's merit, Hashem will bleach their sins.  However, they turned the word לבן into נבל, as it says, "עם נבל ולא חכם" [O foolish people and unwise].  This is like Haza"l said that in the generation of Mashiah, everything will turn to apostasy, as the verse says: "It is all turned white: he is clean."  In other words, the inverse of the word "לבן" is "נבל".  This is why it says, "I will see what their end shall be" because the ends of these three names are the letters of לבן - hinting that they will bleach their ways, but they are "a very froward generation", meaning that they turned around "לבן" to "נבל".
      This means that the order should be that the righteous, who are called Yisrael [ישראל], are first, and afterwards Yaakov [יעקב] and only then, Yeshurun [ישורון], which would make the order לבן, as it should be since Hashem bleached Israel's sins.  However, if they change the order to נבל, meaning that the righteous are on the bottom and the simple people on top, this causes the continuation of the verse: בגוי נבל אכעיסם [I will provoke them with a vile nation].

Monday, November 18, 2013

"Washington" a Prevalent Name in Sunday's Tornadoes

In those tornadoes that occurred on Sunday:

A) 2 killed in a tornado in Washington County, Illinois

B) 1 killed, 120 injured, 250-500 buildings damaged or destroyed in an EF-4 tornado in Washington, Illinois

C) 20 homes destroyed in a tornado in Washington, Indiana



Is there a message here from Shamayim for the capital of the US?

Interesting Recent Links - Vayeshev 5774

Dixie Yid - Rabbi Weinberger on Vayishlah (Edom- and Mashiah-related)

Tomer Devorah - Burn the Bridges!

Tomer Devorah - Grooming Israel for Kingship

Mashiach's Wife - The New World Order

YWN - Excerpts From ‘The Legacy of Maran Hacham Ovadia Yosef’

YWN - Congress to Host Celebration Honoring Sephardic Jewry (already mentioned, but gives more details)

Life in Israel - Kochav Meir | Uziya Tzadok (video)

Kikar - Rav Mazuz writes a letter in support of Ahdut in the Shas party, and in particular: Eli Yishai, Rav Amar and Radio Kol Berama See also YWN.

YWN - Deri Announces a New Sephardi Newspaper

YWN and Kikar - A few days after Shas took a stand in support of him, Rav Abergil was released to house arrest, and tells his followers to stop protesting and get back to the Beit Midrash. He is visited by Rav Mazuz, Aryeh Deri, Eli Yishai, and Rav Ba'adani.

Matzav - At Least 6 Dead As Tornadoes Cause Widespread Damage In Illinois (Near me, I saw one large tree branch in the middle of the street, but that's about it B"H)

Matzav - One year since Amud Anan

Kikar - Rishon Letzion Rav Yitzhak Yosef and Rav Yitzchak Dovid Grossman comfort mourners of Eden Atias, HY"D (video and pictures)

YWN and Life in Israel weigh in on the Haredi who wrote the Vatican to return the Kelei Hamikdash

Matzav - R’ Noach Muroff at Agudah Convention: “This Is Not My Kiddush Hashem, But Our Kiddush Hashem”

Matzav - NBC News Correspondent “in Awe” of Israeli Medics in Philippines

VIN - Rabbi Wallerstein Delivers Scathing Rebuke At Agudah Convention, Slamming Educational System For Apathy Of Today's Youth (h/t RYGB)

YWN - Tefilos on Behalf of Jonathan Pollard

Esser Agaroth - Shimon Peres on Jonathan Pollard; Esther Pollard Responds

Kikar - Halacha books of Rav Yitzhak Rubin were vandalized

Kikar - Boyaner Rebbe: Pray for the government to do Teshuva, and if it does so, it will protect us from our surrounding enemies

Cross Currents - Federated Blindness

which also led me to this link:

Women For the Wall - Remarks by Ronit Peskin at JFNA General Assembly

RYGB - The "Why don't you live in Israel question?"

Life in Israel - Mohels by Kol Ish

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Nissim Geluyim - Auburn Defeats Georgia

Georgia comes back from a 20-point deficit in the fourth quarter to take the lead, only to be defeated by a 4th and 18 miracle play by Auburn with 25 seconds left.

Specifically watch the last play here:

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Vayishlah 5774 III

Rabbi Lipschutz - Peace and Truth

Tomer Devorah - Look Who's Talking

Mashiach's Wife - Mashiach Thinking - Adjusting to a New Reality

Kikar - Badatz of Belz calls for a special Tefilla for rain

Ladaat - A Haredi mans writes to the pope to return the Kelei Hamikdash

YWN - Rabbi Amsallem: One Chief Rabbi Will Lead to Polarization and Machlokes

YWN - Rav Padwa Shlita of London Hospitalized After Collapsing

Kikar - Ya'alon: Mistake to prevent soldiers from going to the grave of Rav Ovadia ZT"L

YWN - Bnei Brak Shomrim: Children Must be Escorted by Adults (very sad)

YWN - Pro-Israel TV Ad: Obama’s Promises On Iran Compared To Obamacare Roll-Out

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Vayishlah 5774 II

Arutz Sheva - Eden Atias, HY"D

Tomer Devorah - The Latest Sacrifice for "Peace"

Shiloh Musings - Why All This Sympathy for an Arab Terrorist Murderer?

CosmicX - Let's Not Grab the Dog By the Ears

Kikar - Rav Yitzhak Yosef wore his gold Gelima for the first time (on the occasion of his niece's wedding, where he was Mesader Kiddushin)

Kikar - The IDF prevented soldiers from visiting Rav Ovadia's grave with Eli Yishai rightfully protesting the decision

Matzav - Wedding of Yaakov Yosef of “Japan Three” to Be Held Next Week

Matzav - Top 10 cRc Kashrut Questions for October

YWN - Oh, great! Now I have to do all the carpools! Just great!  Luckily, many rabbis are Matir and the Az Nidberu is Matir and said that Rav Wosner Shlit"a only said it as a Humra and not בתכלית האיסור. (Whew!)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Vayishlah 5774

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Vayetze 5774 (pages 5-11. Sorry, no time for translation.)

Kikar video - Moshe Feiglin - from Knesset podium - calls on the US to free Pollard and tells them that Pollard is in jail for the same crimes they did themselves (Jonathan Pollard begins his 29th year in jail. For shame on the United States.)

Update:  Tribune - Jonathan Pollard -- the 'spy' still out in the cold (h/t Matzav, and pleasantly surprising for the Trib)

Kikar, Matzav, and Akiva add their own "Nines Prayer" posts

Halacha Yomit - Accompanying a Woman Giving Birth on Shabbat (see also the story at the end)

Kikar - Rav Amar says "Rav Ovadia understood like a Rishon" and connects his passing with the recent earthquakes in Teveria

Kikar - Contest with a 20,000 Shekel prize for knowledge in Yabia Omer

Matzav - Rav Galinsky, Other Maggidim Hospitalized

Kikar and YWN - Please pray for Rav Batzri, who was hospitalized. (רב דוד שלום בן ויקטוריה)

Matzav - Quebec: Charter Would Forbid Wearing Religious Garb, Daycares Serving Kosher

Esser Agaroth - Welcome to Jerusalem's Xtian Café!

Matzav - Women of the Wall Demands that Matzav Remove Article Exposing Ties to Anti-Israel Elements

Kikar - CER banner asks "Is there a future for Jewish life in Europe?" Rav Pinchas Goldschmidt at the conference answers "Thank you for coming to remind us that Jews are still welcome in Europe."

Matzav - Strange Doings on the Sun Baffle Scientists

Matzav - Telshe Yeshiva Chicago Dinner This Sunday

Emes Ve'emunah - A Microcosm of Achdus

YWN - Willis Tower will no longer be USA's Tallest Building

Tomer Devorah - Look Out!

YWN - The IDF May Lose its Finest Combatants

YWN - Stern Offers to Lift Parliamentary Immunity to Face Off Against Rav Lior in Court


Iran Policy


Matzav - Thank Heaven for the French?


Typhoon Haiyan

Matzav - More Than 10,000 Feared Dead In Typhoon-Ravaged Philippines

YWN - Israel Search and Rescue Experts Head to the Philippines

Matzav - Israeli Organization To Send Relief Team To Philippines After Typhoon

End of Days - An Analysis of Cyclone HaiYan: The Hey in Hashem's Name

Rabbi Glazerson - The Disaster in the Philippines

YWN - Deadly Natural Disasters of the Past Decade


Kiddushei Hashem

Emes Ve'emunah - Two Jews

Life In Israel - Viral Photo of Black Man Sleeping on Jewish Subway Stranger (video)

Kikar - צפו: מצא 98 אלף דולר ומיהר להחזיר

Mashiach is Coming and CosmicX compare it to the famous story of Shimon ben Shatah

Rabbi Shafran - The Way We Are

What is Happening in the Haredi Community in Relation to its Rabbis?

Translating an opinion piece by Yoni Katz over at Kikar:

I am walking on the street today extremely absent-mindedly.  A driver almost runs me over.  He cried out toward me hysterically: "Are you blind or what?  How are you crossing the street?"  I look at him staring - he's right.  Apparently, I didn't see the street.

My heart was simply too busy and blurred my eyes.

I happen to be close to the Haredi community in Netivot, and I know from a reliable source that Harav Hagaon Yissachar Meir ZT"L commanded in his last will and testament to the heads of the Haredi community (Rav Montag) that after his death, everyone should listen to Rav Yoram Abergil and to conduct themselves according to how he decides at the time of elections - for only he will guard the Haredi community in Netivot.

And now I hear that he was brought to jail.  He is a great rabbi, unassuming and modest, for whom his whole life and all his moments are holy for learning Torah and its dissemination.  He does not give slumber to his eyelids day or night.  He carries the burden of thousands of Kollelim, worries for thousands of families, and supports thousands of Ba'alei Teshuva.  He is the one put behind bars.  And for what - because of an ugly episode of the elections???

And as I am going about, caught up in my meditations, coming up like from necromancy: the episode that occurred 2 and a half years ago - the time when a crazy Haredi murdered the Admo"r Gaon Rav Elazar Abuhatzeira ZT"L because he advised his wife to get a divorce from him.

And immediately after that old memory, came up a fresh and painful memory: the time when a crazy Avrech tried to murder Maran the Rosh Yeshiva Harav Shteinman, where his mind was confused in the wake of wild incitement during the period of the elections.

And then, I tell myself that something bad and ugly is transpiring in our community.  Even if we're talking about crazies and thugs, still, they had not done these things a decade or 2 ago.  Why?  Were there no crazies or thugs then?  Or maybe our street started to question the authority of its rabbis to argue on them in secret as in the open - to express an opposing opinion to them, to claim that they don't understand politics and the like.

Don't the "normal people" create an atmosphere that allows for the breach that is breached by the "not normal people"?

Is the period of the judges judging threatening to return to us in a big way???

One thing is certain.  Something evil is passing over us.  And it's impossible to ignore it.

I think about my children who go to Heider and every day, their pure innocence of youth is being corrupted upon them, and they no longer know what is permitted and what is forbidden to say about Gedolei Yisrael.  Or whether it is forbidden or permitted to connect with these or others because of their rabbis.

I think about my firstborn son who comes back from Yeshiva Ketana despondent.  No.  He doesn't understand what's going on.  This is a crisis that is hard to digest.  And I hug him and tell him that this is a difficult period and that we must strengthen ourselves in Emunat Hachamim in a way that doesn't cause any Mahloket.  But today, when I get home, what can I tell them???

Already, the driver is fuming after he stopped his car and threatened me in the midst of a volley of point-blank blessings.  I am humbled.  It is forbidden for someone like me to walk on the street today.  I should really close myself up in my home with my thoughts if I want to live.

The street, even the Haredi one, is very dangerous today!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Nines Prayer - Using the Rambam's Yovel

I mentioned the "Nines Prayer" in the past here in 5770 and again in 5772. In short, the Berit Menuha brings down that there is a nice Segula to pray in the ninth year after Yovel, in the ninth month (Kislev), in the ninth day of the month, and the ninth hour of the day.

It was assumed from the original Kupat Ha'ir announcement 4 years ago that the ninth year after Yovel was 5770. According to comment #1 in a Kikar article back then, the Kupat Ha'ir Rabbanim assumed so since Haza"l always consider 2 years after Shemitta "the ninth year". 5770 was 2 years after the Shemitta year of 5768.

Now, Kupat Ha'ir came out with an announcement - and as also seen on Shirat Devorah - that apparently trumps the previous announcements.  That is - that according to the Rambam, every year that ends in "15" and "65" is a Yovel year. Therefore, 5765 is a Yovel year, which makes 5774 the ninth year after Yovel.

There is a FAQ in Hebrew here and in English here.

The ninth of Kislev this year falls out on Tuesday, November 12th.  The window this year is 9 minutes - between 1:44 – 1:53 PM Israel time.  Kupat Ha'ir says that Rav Wosner Shlit"a said the whole world should pray according to Israel time, so East Coast USA would be 6:44-6:53 AM and Chicago would be 5:44-5:53 AM.

As with all halachot, ask your LOR.

Friday, November 08, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Vayetze 5774 IV

Memorial for Rav Ovadia ZT"L this Sunday in Brooklyn:



Kikar - Rav Yitzhak Yosef Shlit"a, Rav Moshe Tzadka Shlit"a, Rav Shalom Cohen Shlit"a, and Rav Shimon Ba'adani Shlit"a call on people to give Shiurim on Friday nights on halacha from Rav Ovadia's books Le'ilui Nishmato

YWN - New Book Highlights the Life of Rav Ovadia Yosef zt”l

Mashiach's Wife - Which Mashiach?

KikarYWN, and Matzav - American Jewry Unites on Behalf of Torah (for Dirshu.  Kikar said they will broadcast it live and have a video of it later)

Kikar - Lieberman thanks Premishlaner Rebbe Shlit"a for his support

YWN - Lieberman Received a Number of Brachos Ahead of the Verdict

Kikar - Neturei Karta protest against Toldos Aharon Rebbe Shlit"a saying he's not anti-Zionist enough

YWN - Rav Aviner: Giyur Law Problematic Halachicly

Kikar - An amazing story how Hashem answers prayers (the story sounds familiar - I think I heard it before)

Mother Jones - Former President George W. Bush To Deliver Keynote Speech for Messianic Group (h/t Mashiach is Coming, whose blog name refers to the real Mashiah - not the one the group refers to)

Matzav - Rejoinder To Rabbi Avi Weiss: Retain Halakhic Standards

Emes Ve-Emunah - A Way Out for an Agunah

World Jewish Daily - Barack Chamberlain Obama (ברוך שכוונתי)

Arutz Sheva - Yad L'Achim Helps Woman Nab Phony Arab Boyfriend


Thursday, November 07, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Vayetze 5774 III

Shvilei Pinches - Why did "G-d's Malachim" Wish to Kill Yaakov after Seeing his Image Engraved on the Throne of Glory?

Kol Emunim newsletter (p. 1) - Yaakov Avinu prayed for the time of the Geula that it should be Rahamim for Israel and Din for the nations

Ladaat - Maybe naming a street for Rav Ovadia isn't the most respectful idea (also talks about Rebbe cards)

Cross Currents - Is WoW anti-Israel?

Cross Currents - Jonathan Sarna, Please Call Home

YWN - Sleepy Traveler Responds

YWN - MK Maklev Warns Against More Assimilation Due to Adoption Law

YWN - MK Eichler: The State is on a Suicide Path

Kikar - Someone who voted for the Bnei Torah Party was declared invalid to be a witness at a wedding (This is absolutely ridiculous and getting out of hand IMHO.)

YWN and Matzav - Thanksgiving On The First Day Of Chanukah – First Time In 125 Years – Why So Infrequent?

Shloshim for Rabbi Moshe Kushner A"H - former executive director of the cRc

Sun Times - Illinois State Rep Naomi Jakobsson (not Jewish) leaves her dying son to go vote to redefine marriage and comes back to find him already dead

Tomer Devorah - IT'S A MONSTER!

President Neville Obama Forgets What Occurred 75 Years Ago

President Obama's second inaugural address almost 10 months ago:
We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully. Not because we are naive about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear.
Unfortunately, the naivete of the President and his cohorts isn't limited solely to producing a website to support the Affordable Care Act, but extends to his foreign policy as well.  While the former is embarrassing and wasteful, the latter is downright dangerous.

His speech then continued:
Not out of mere charity, but because peace in our time requires the constant advance of those principles that our common creed describes; tolerance and opportunity, human dignity and justice.
Hmm... Peace in our time... Peace in our time... where did I hear that phrase before?

Oh, yeah:
My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honour. I believe it is peace for our time. We thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Go home and get a nice quiet sleep.
A couple months later, we got Kristallnacht - exactly 75 years ago.  What a nice quiet sleep we had.

Today, we hear the news:
A senior Iranian official claimed Thursday that a breakthrough had been made at nuclear talks in Geneva, and that Tehran's proposed plan for resolving the impasse over its atomic program has been accepted by the six world powers. At roughly the same time, Israel's prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, warned that signing an interim deal with Iran would be a mistake of “historic proportions,” but that appears to be precisely the deal being hammered out.
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.
               - George Santayana

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Vayetze II

Halacha Yomit - The Thirtieth Day Since the Passing of Maran zt”l

Halacha Yomit - Speaking Maran zt”l’s Praises on Shabbat

Kikar - Rav Ovadia Sheloshim Pictures

Lazer Beams - Hold On Tight

Tomer Devorah - Looking at the Wall

Torah Musings - May One Say "Mumbai"?

Parshablog - Yaakov, davening early maariv and hovering on Shabbos

Kikar - Pashkevilim Decrying Rabbi Berg ("Madonna's Rabbi") Being Buried in Tzefat's Cemetery, Asking for it to be Moved Elsewhere

Kikar - A Sepharadi who learned in an Ashkenazic Yeshiva asks Mehilla for the Way his Yeshiva Treated Rav Ovadia While he was Alive

Cross-Currents - Guide to the Perplexing

Going Home - Guilty! Guilty! Mankind is Guilty!

Matzav - My Family’s Terror at the NJ Garden State Mall (R' Shmuli Boteach)

End of Days - Welcome Back Avigdor

Shiloh Musings - Is it Nazi-like to Want Judea and Samaria Judenrein?

Say what you want about NYC's new mayor Bill de Blasio - yes, he's an unapologetic leftist progressive, but he handled the passing of Rav Ovadia Yosef ZT"L a thousand times better than Joe Lhota did, and for that, I give him credit.

UPDATE:

Arutz Sheva - Parshat Vayishlah Dedicated to Honoring Wounded Soldiers

Arutz Sheva - Young Israel Pres.: America Hypocritical on Pollard

Matzav - EXPOSED: Women of the Wall Linked To Rabidly Anti-Israel Groups

Matzav - Women of the Wall Threatens Jerusalem Online Over Critical Article Showing Anti-Israel Ties

Illinois Marriage for the Unweddable - May Hashem Have Mercy

Tribune

Sun Times

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

Latest Hazon Ovadia Published - Who Will Continue It?

When the great and holy commentator Rashi passed away, as noted in Bava Batra 29a, his grandson the Rashba"m's commentary took its place.

When the great Rav Yaakov Chuli ZT"L passed away, as noted in Me'am Lo'ez, Teruma, chapter 7, Rav Yitzhak Magriso and others completed the work.

When the great Rav Yaakov Hayim Sofer ZT"L passed away, as noted in Kaf Hahayim Y"D 117:12 and in the introduction to that volume, Rav Ovadia Yosef took over the task and completed the volume of Kaf Hahayim Y"D vol. 2.


When the great Rav Ovadia Yosef ZT"L passed away, his students just finished publishing his latest volume of Hazon Ovadia on Hilchot Shabbat in time for the Sheloshim.  In its final page, Kikar reports, it says the following:

Source: Kikar
My very loose translation: 
Here, the pen stopped in its place and the author went up to his home in the next world - on the very bitter day of 3 MarHeshvan, 5774.  May his soul be bound in the bond of life.  Alas for what we have lost and is no longer found.

Who will continue his work?  חבל על דאבדין ולא משתכחין indeed.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Vayetze 5774

Community Magazine Special Commemorative Section on Hacham Ovadia Yosef ZT"L (Hat tip to the anonymous commenter on the previous post)

Included is this amazing picture and caption:
Source: Community Magazine

And a luncheon in the US Capitol honoring Sephardic Jewry in America and commemorating the life of  Rav Ovadia:
Source: Community Magazine

Kikar - Rav Ovadia's Last Psak

Kikar - Memorial for Rav Ovadia in London (pictures)

Kikar - Shloshim for Rav Ovadia at Nehar Shalom (pictures)

Muqata - Return to the 1187 lines - a look at Crusader history

Matzav - 200,000 Rockets Aimed at Israel

Matzav - 30,000 Global Jihadists in Countries Bordering Israel

Arutz Sheva - US 'Will Force' Israel-PA Deal

Debka - Russia’s “aircraft carrier killer” vessel Varyag in Mediterranean

YWN - Rav Simcha Hakohen Kook: Tzohar Law Will Increase Mamzerus

YWN - Ketzaleh On The Civil Marriage Bill

YWN - Eida Rabbonim Call for Sifrei Yuchasin

Kikar - A secular Jew removed Mezuzot from their cases and replaced them with pictures of a pig

Tomer Devorah - Unconstitutional

Rabbi Shafran in Cross Currents - Times are Strange

Friday, November 01, 2013

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Toledot 5774

From Rav Fish's latest:

  • Rav Ovadia Yosef, Heshvan, the Ruzhiner Rebbe, and MBY
    • Rav Ovadia passed away in חשון - the same gematria as משיח ו', which is the Sod of MBY, who is connected to the letter ו
    • Also,מרחשון hints to Mashiah, who is called מר (as in "לאימת אתי מר")
    • Heshvan is also the month that the third Beit Hamikdash is to be dedicated, as is brought down in Midrash (Pesikta Rabbati 6:7)
    • And it's also brought down in the book Aspaklaria Hame'ira (about Rav Meir of Premishlan - vol. 2, p. 133) that Rav Meir of Premishlan said about the Ruzhiner Rebbe that he was MBY.  
      • And as is known, the Ruzhiner Rebbe conducted his Hasidut as royalty.
      • And the Ruzhiner Rebbe's Yahrtzeit is the same as Rav Ovadia's - 3 Heshvan, 5611.
      • And the Otzar Pitgamim Vesihot (vol 2, p. 172) brings down that the Ruzhiner Rebbe said - 2 hours before he passed away - that before Mashiah comes, people will be used to having plenty, but then, will be thrown into a state of lacking which cannot be withstood, and that will be Hevlei Mashiah.  He said further that Judaism will be hanging in the balance.  And unfortunately, these ideas have been fulfilled nowadays exactly.
      • And in the Har Nof neighborhood in Yerushalayim, the street where Rav Ovadia ZT"L lived - Hakablan Street - which may soon be changed to Rav Ovadia Yosef Street - is parallel to HaAdmor Mi-Ruzhin Street.
        Pre-edited Source: Google Maps
      • And the Porat Yosef Yeshiva in the Old City - where Rav Ovadia studied in his youth - is a 2 minute walk from the destroyed, but soon-to-be-rebuilt Tiferet Yisrael Synagogue, which was funded by and named for the Ruzhiner Rebbe.
    • And it's brought down in Oseri Lagefen (vol. 10, p. 193) that Heshvan is the month that MBY is revealed since Rosh Hodesh Heshvan is the Yom Tov of Menashe ben Yosef and Yeravam ben Nevat - who was supposed to be MBY - made up a holiday for this month.
    • Rav Ovadia learned in Porat Yosef - and Rav Ezra Attiya said that it would have been worth the entire Yeshiva just for Maran.
    • It is brought down in the name of Rav Nissim Dayan Shlit"a that the verse said about Yosef כִּי לְמִחְיָה, שְׁלָחַנִי אֱלֹהִים לִפְנֵיכֶם - the word למחיה contains Rav Ovadia's works: לוית חן, מאור ישראל, חזון עובדיה, יביע אומר, יחוה דעת, הליכות עולם).  
      • The Or Hai newsletter notes that 2 verses later, the word ולהחיות is the gematria of רבי עובדיה יוסף.
    • It was also recently publicized that they once asked Maran what the source of his great memory was [YY - which is perhaps another version of this story] and he replied that it is due to his great insistence on guarding his eyes, as it says וְלֹא-תָתוּרוּ אַחֲרֵי לְבַבְכֶם, וְאַחֲרֵי עֵינֵיכֶם ... לְמַעַן תִּזְכְּרוּ [and that ye go not about after your own heart and your own eyes ... that ye may remember].
    • It is also related that when Maran was a judge for 40 years, women would come before him and he would pretend to be writing down their claims in order not to need to look at them.
    • R' Tzion David Siboni adds that עובדיה יוסף בן גורג'יה is the Rashei Teivot of גביע, which symbolizes the Yesod of Yosef, as it says in Likutei Torah of the Ariza"l (Miketz) "גביע is the gematria of מילה, which is the gematira of היסוד".
      • It's also brought down in the name of the Tzemah Tzedek that the גביע of Yosef represents a large jug of Yesod that pours into Malchut, which is a small cup, and this is why Yosef told the brothers that he saw everything with the גביע.
  • 45, 46, and Rav Ovadia ZT"L
    • It's brought down in Rabbeinu Ephraim on Vayehi [YY - I couldn't find it in the Rabbeinu Ephraim, but an addendum to a Devar Torah by Rav Amar Shlit"a quotes it too]:
      The reason Vayehi is closed is because it's connected to the previous words in Vayigash - ויפרו וירבו מאד and מאד is the gematria of 45, which represents the 45 days between MBY and MBD.  And after the 45 (מאד) days after the death of MBY, then Vayehi Yaakov - i.e., Yaakov will be alive again with MBD.  And that's the idea of the verse in Habakkuk (2:3) אִם-יִתְמַהְמָהּ, חַכֵּה-לוֹ - if יתמה he tarries מ"ה - for 45 days, wait for him, and the next day - on day 46, MBD will come. And that is the idea of the verse: יְהוּדָה, אַתָּה יוֹדוּךָ אַחֶיךָ [Judah, thee shall thy brethren praise] with יודוך having the gematria of 46. This is why we say 46 blessings every morning and why there are 46 letters in between each word "יהודה" in his blessing.
      • Rav ד' הנה adds that this is why the word גאולה has the gematria of 45, representing MBY, but adding the Kollel, it's 46, representing MBD, and it's now called גאולה שלמה.
      • Rav Tzion David Siboni adds that the 45 days are explicitly written at the end of Daniel by subtracting the 1290 days from the 1335 days.
    • If we add 46 days to the day of the passing of Rav Ovadia ZT"L, we get to 19 Kislev, 5774, 19 Kislev being the day which the Ba'al Hatanya called "The Holiday of Redemption" and said that "this is the day on which myriads of Jews will be awakened to repentance and service of the heart". And really, the Rishonim already told about the greatness of this date, as is found in Responsa From Heaven [YY - I couldn't find it there] and other places.
    • And it was also publicized that many Rabbaniot said that Maran came to them in a dream, telling them to strengthen the community as we approach the month of Kislev, within which are expected great things for Am Yisrael - and especially during Hanukka, when miracles are expected.  May our eyes see and may our hearts be gladdened. Amen - may it be His will.
    • And it's brought down in the Imrei Tzvi (Kozhiklov) that the repentance that Am Yisrael will do before the Final Redemption will begin on Hanukka.
  • 8 Tevet, 5774
    • Similarly, immediately after Hanukka, we will have reached the 9-month point after the "Government of Apostasy" which will rule before Mashiah comes.  This government began on 7 Nissan, 5773.  9 months later is 8 Tevet, 5774.  
    • Rav Yosef Sheinberger adds that if you take the Yalkut Shimoni on Zecharia - Remez 585, which says:
      [It says:] "But it shall come to pass, that at evening time there shall be light." Ribbi Elazar says: The rulership of the 4 kingdoms will only last 1 day of HKB"H's days. Where do you learn this from? As it says: "And the birds of prey came down upon the carcasses, and Abram drove them away. And it came to pass, that, when the sun was going down..." Ribbi Elazar Ben Arach said: It is surely as you said, as it says: "faint all the day". Except for 2 Yadot of an hour (two-thirds of the day). I'll prove to you that this is so: come and see that when the sun leans two-thirds of an hour toward the west, its light dims and doesn't shine. Similarly, before the evening comes, the light of Israel will sprout, as it says: "But it shall come to pass, that at evening time there shall be light." 
      And if we calculate as we had counted in the past without the "Year of Tohu", and subtract 56 years, which is 2/3 of an hour as the Midrash says, we get to the same date of 8 Tevet, 5774.
      • [YY - I did not merit to understand this calculation.  The closest I came is 28 Tevet, 5774.  And my assumption to make this calculation is that the Hurban occurred in the year 3829 (69 CE), even though I prefer 3828 (68 CE).  The day of HKB"H is 2000 years when we include both day and night (see Abravanel on this Midrash).  We also need to add approx. .86 of the year to get to 9 Av, so 3829.86 + 2000 = 5829.86.  If an hour is 83.33333 years (2000 / 24), then two-thirds of an hour is 55.55555 years.  5829.86 - 55.55555 = 5774.30444.  This year being a long leap year of 385 days, 385 * .30444 = 117.2094.  Add 117 days to Rosh Hashana this year and you get 28 Tevet, 5774.  I must be missing something in Rav Fish's calculation.  If someone understands it, please let me know.  Thanks.]
    • Also, ח' טבת תשע"ד is the gematria of עטרה שבברית, which is the Sod of the connection of the 2 Meshihin.
      • This concurs with what we brought earlier from the Zohar that the Gog Umagog War that connects the 2 Meshihin is expected to be in the year 73, which is our 5774 since the Zohar count did not include "The year of Tohu".
      • And it's brought down in Shulhan Aruch (O"H 580:2)
        On the 8th of Tevet, the Torah was written in Greek during the days of King Ptolmey, and there was darkness in the world for 3 days.
  • This past month - attacks on Malchut
    • Regarding earthquakes, רועדת [quaking] has the gematria of כינרת, the place of Malchut.
    • We saw that during Heshvan, 5774, there were earthquakes by the Kinneret.  
    • In addition, there were large crises in the kingdom of holiness - the Rishon Letzion Maran Rav Ovadia Yosef ZT"L passed away (and he was born in תרפ"א, which is כינרת plus the Kollel), leaving hundreds of thousands without a leader.  
    • Also, there were harsh Mahlokot between Gedolei Yisrael.
    • Also, during this time, Netanyahu went to Italy to speak to the Vatican about handing over Kever David, such a thing should not occur, as we brought down recently that כנרת is related to כנור דוד.