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Friday, February 28, 2014

Rebuilding the Beit Hamikdash in the Merit of Torah

In this week's "The Path to Follow" newsletter by Rav Pinto (p. 3), we find the following:


The Toldot Yaakov Yosef on Pekudei can be found here.  If you look there, he expounds on this concept further, quoting the Alishich Hakadosh.  He says that the first Beit Hamikdash was destroyed due to forsaking the Torah (Nedarim 81a) and the second Beit Hamikdash was destroyed due to baseless hatred (Yoma 9b).  In order to rectify both of these in order to build the third Beit Hamikdash, it says "Remember ye the law of Moses My servant" and corresponding to the second sin, it says "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet..." to merit peace.

How appropriate then is the upcoming prayer rally where all segments of the Torah-abiding public are coming together unified - with love - and in honor of the Torah.  May it show HKB"H that we are truly deserving the third Beit Hamikdash, Amen.

Prayer Rally Pashkevilim

Joint Councils of Aguda, Degel, & Shas

Religious Zionist Rabbanim

Edah HaHaredit

Chabad Rabbanim

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Pekudei 5774 - Part 4

From Rav Fish's latest:

Continued from Part 1Part 2 and Part 3.  (This is the final installment for this week.)
  • Unity (Continued)
    • We also find the power of Ahdut in the Zohar (Vayetze 152a):
      [It says:] "And he looked, and behold a well in the field, and, lo, three flocks of sheep lying there by it. --For out of that well they watered the flocks." These are the populations of the holy camps who all drink from that well. "And the stone upon the well's mouth was great." This refers to the stone upon which people stumble, and upon whose word, it could claim judgement to the whole world not to bring down food and goodness to the world. It says: "And thither were all the flocks gathered" It doesn't say "And thither were the flocks gathered", but "were all the flocks gathered". There were holy camps above and holy camps below. These above with songs and praises while these below with prayers and supplications. These and these together. Immediately, "and they rolled the stone from the well's mouth" - they rolled it and the judgement is removed, "and watered the sheep" - the supreme angels take above and Israel takes below.
      This tells us that when everyone is together with the power of unity, we can overcome the prosecuter and can draw the Heavenly influence from HKB"H. And the idea that Yaakov Avinu was able to roll the stone himself without help, the Zohar explains:
      And Yaakov alone needed to help, but he did it himself because Yaakov was the perfection of the forefathers - since he could best Esav in this world, he could above as well.
      This is because Yaakov is the aspect of Tiferet - right and left are encompassed within him and all 12 tribes are encompassed within him and came from him. It comes out that he unified within himself all the sides and he had the power of unity within him, and therefore, he was able to roll the ston be himself. This is why יעקב has the first and last letter י"ב [i.e. all 12 tribes].
    • In the book "Malach Haberit" by the Ben Ish Hai, he explains the power of unity as we see in numbers.  Every digit by itself is a low number, but if we place the numbers next to each other, you can get a large value.  Similarly, each member of the Jewish people by himself or herself is weak, but if we place everyone next to their friend in unity, they now have a great and strong power.
      • And we see this in the gemara (Berachot 45b) that if you are making a Zimun for Birkat Hamazon and say "Nevarech She'achalnu Mishelo" in plural form, that changes the blessing from an individual blessing to a blessing of the many, and it's considered as if they are blessing together.  It appears that the institution of Zimun - זמון, the letters of מזון - was to magnify the power of Birkat Hamazon by unifying as many Jews to bless together.  And by saying "Nevarech" in plural form, they are unifying the blessing that the Heavenly influence should be drawn much more.
    • We find in the gemara (Hagiga 3a):
      [It says:] "Assemble the people, the men and the women and the little ones." If the men come to learn and the women come to hear, why do the little ones come? To give reward to those who bring them.
      And the Torat Menahem (vol. 27, p. 66 [- by the Lubavitcher Rebbe ZT"L]) asks: Isn't the rule that one should not be like a slave who serves his master on condition of receiving a reward, while here, we see that we have a special Mitzva whose entire performance is because of the reward! It appears we could answer that the gemara is hinting here the entire reason of the Mitzva of Hakhel, and that is to enact an existence of unity among all the Jewish people who will gather to one place to hear Torah. And that matter is done in order to awaken the Heavenly influence for all the Jewish people from the power of unity, which brings down the Heavenly influence without accusations, as we saw earlier. Therefore, this is done via the king who reads the Torah since a king is the pipe that brings down the Heavenly influence to Israel and the Torah awakens the Heavenly influence to come down. And this is why this is done on the 8th year after Shemitta and they blessed 8 blessings, as is brought down in the Mishna (Sota 41a), in order to connect to "the eighth" to bring down the Heavenly influence, as we brought in "Ma'amarei Hanukka". And that which the gemara says to bring the little ones to give reward to those who bring them is because the whole purpose of the Mitzva of Hakhel is to bring down Heavenly influence and reward to Israel from the power of unity, so you also need the little ones. This is because every soul adds a great power. And the reason of "giving reward" is the reason for the entire Mitzva of Hakhel, but it was only revealed in regard to the little ones. And there is no "serving Hashem in order to receive a reward" here G-d forbid since this matter is an all-encompassing Jewish act that applies the continued existence of Kelal Yisrael that needs this Heavenly influence.
    • And it's brought down in the Ben Ish Hayil (p. 7) that the Rashei Teivot of אנשים נשים טף is טנ"א [a basket] because a basket is vessel used to cause blessing to dwell in the Beit Hamikdash just as Hakhel is the vessel for the dwelling of blessing.
    • Also, הקהל is the gematria of צאן and מלאכים telling us that the Mitzva of Hakhel gathers together Kelal Yisrael, who have the aspect of צאן [sheep] and awakens the Heavenly influence to Israel from HKB"H via the angels - since it is the angels who pass down the Heavenly influence to Israel, as was brought down in the essay "Hutei Hashmal".  And this is just as we brought down from the Zohar that unity down here awakens unity in the holy camps up above to awaken the Heavenly influence.
    • Also, הקהל is the gematria of סכין [knife], which symbolizes the Yesod, which influences Parnassa to Israel via the holy name ח-ת-ך, as brought in "Hashmal Het and "Hashmal Ot".
    • Also, the verse that hints to Hakhel (Devarim 33:5) וַיְהִי בִישֻׁרוּן, מֶלֶךְ, בְּהִתְאַסֵּף רָאשֵׁי עָם, יַחַד שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל - the Rashei Teivot spell עשיר, saying that in the merit of the Mitzva of Hakhel, we will merit wealth.
    • Also, the verse (Divrei Hayamim Bet 7:15) עַתָּה, עֵינַי יִהְיוּ פְתֻחוֹת, וְאָזְנַי, קַשֻּׁבוֹת--לִתְפִלַּת, הַמָּקוֹם הַזֶּה [Now Mine eyes shall be open, and Mine ears attent, unto the prayer that is made in this place.]have the Rashei Teivot of הקהל to hint that at a time of Hakhel, prayers are accepted and there are no prosecuting angels.
    • Also, whenever it says ויצעק משה אל ה', [like Shemot 17:4 and Bemidbar 12:13] the Sofei Teivot is הקהל since Moshe is the all-encompassing soul that includes all 600,000 souls of Israel, as the Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni Shemot 241) says:  "Moshe is equal to all of Israel ... And already Ribbi was sitting and expounding that one woman gave birth in Egypt to 600,000."  Therefore, Moshe's prayer had the aspect of Hakhel.

Hacham Harazim at the Prayer Rally

According to Kikar, Rav Yitzhak Yosef Shlit"a said that to say this special beracha of:

ברוך אתה ה' אלקינו מלך העולם חכם הרזים

1) You must be 100% certain that there are 600,000 people present and that the news reports are accurate.
2) To say it with Shem Umalchut, you must be from a high area where you can see 600,000 at once.

Rav Yosef said that if you cannot see 600,000 people at once, you should say it without Shem Umalchut (i.e., just say: ברוך חכם הרזים).

According to another Kikar article, Rav Yitzhak Zilberstein Shlit"a said that to get out of the doubt of whether there truly are 600,000 and whether you need to see them all at once, he suggests that you say the Beracha by reading it from the Halacha, e.g. from the Rambam.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Pekudei 5774 - Part 3

From Rav Fish's latest:

Continued from Part 1 and Part 2.

  • Final troubles against Torah scholars
    • It's brought down in the Gr"a (Esther 1) that the final and hardest troubles that we will have immediately preceding the coming of Mashiah will be Hutzpa and mocking Torah scholars:
      The [near-]destruction that is in this Megillat Esther hints to the end of the [near-]destruction that takes place in the footsteps of Mashiah, as it says: "And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who standeth for the children of thy people; and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time". And the idea is [like it says at the end of Sotah] that in the footsteps of Mashiah, Hutzpa will increase, youngsters will embarrass the face of the elders, and the elders will stand up for the youngsters. ... This is the intent of [Hazal in] Hagiga [14a] that Yeshaya cursed 18 curses and his mind was not calmed... This is hard to swallow. Would we think that Yeshaya hates Israel?! Rather, every trouble that is done to Israel in exile brings the Redemption closer, as is written אגרא דכלה דוחקא, and that is why all the curses toward Israel is to their benefit - to bring the Redemption closer. And nevertheless, his mind was not calmed until he said: "the child shall behave insolently against the aged" because then, definitely Mashiah will come since in the footsteps of Mashiah, Hutzpa will increase.
  • Strife vs Unity
    • Strife causes tragedies
      • We find in the Yerushalmi (Berachot 64a) "Eliyahu asked Ribbi Nehorai: Why do earthquakes come?  ... The rabbis say: Because of Mahloket.
        • It appears that in these years, we need to be worried from earthquakes that could come as a result of Mahloket more than usual.  This is because we brought down from the Gr"a that these years have the Sod of Ateret Hayesod which connects the 2 Meshihin, and this is the Sod of the soul of Binyamin.  And regarding Binyamin, we find that Yaakov was very fearful that no tragedy should befall him, as it says: "But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said: 'Lest peradventure harm [אסון] befall him.'" And it says: "And he said: 'My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he only is left; if harm [אסון] befall him by the way in which ye go".  And it says: "and if ye take this one also from me, and harm [אסון] befall him".  (The word "אסון" appears 5 times in the whole Torah and 3 of them are in relation to Binyamin.)  Yaakov worried about Binyamin more than all of them because in this point of Binyamin, who is the aspect of Ateret Hayesod within which all the Sefirot unite, we must be very careful with unity.  And if, G-d forbid, there will be dissension among the tribes or between Yosef and his brothers, this will bring about a tragedy on Binyamin who is the uniting force between them.  And as we see, the Mahloket between Yosef and his brothers, which almost led to tragedies, was specifically about Binyamin since Binyamin was the point that united them and there is where the danger of dissension exists, which can lead to tragedies.  And this is why the rabbis say in the Yerushalmi that Mahloket brings tragedies to the world - from that same reason that Yaakov was worried about a tragedy with Binyamin.
          • Also, אסון is hinted to in the verse לֵךְ כְּנוֹס אֶת-כָּל-הַיְּהוּדִים since unity is the vaccination against tragedy.
          • Also, it's brought down in the name of Rav Yitzchak Ginsburg Shlit"a that פרוד [dissension] is the same letters as רודף [pursuer].
    • Unity Protects
      • We find in the Bemidbar Rabba (Perasha 11): "Ribbi Elazar the son of Ribbi Eliezer Hakapar said: Even if Israel is worshiping idols, but there is peace among them, Kavyachol, HKB"H says that the Satan cannot touch them."
      • We also find in the Zohar (Noah 76b): Whenever people are together with one will and one heart, even if they're rebelling against HKB"H, judgement from above cannot overpower them.
      • We also find in the gemara (Pesahim 77a) that there is no Tum'a in public and a public may bring a Korban Pesah in the proper time even if the majority of the public is Tamei.  And there's a Mahloket in the gemara whether Tum'a is totally permitted in public or merely deferred in public.
        • It appears to me to explain the reason: Just as with the root of Tum'a, which is sin: if the public sins, even with idol-worship, the Satan cannot harm them if they are united, meaning that the sin has no bearing on the public, so too Tum'a which is the result of sin, when the public becomes Tamei but unites, and they're coming to bring the Korban Pesah, the Mitzva unites them and the Tum'a has no bearing on them, and this is why Tum'a is either totally permitted or deferred in public.  Even though a public requires Teshuva when they sin and a public requires purification if it becomes Tamei, still the influence and harm of the sin and Tum'a doesn't exist in public since the power of the public is stronger than them, and they have no bearing upon it.
      • We can infer from the wording of the Midrash (in Bereishit Rabba 38:6):  
        Ribbi says: Peace is so great that even if Israel is worshiping idols, but there is peace among them, Hashem says, "Kavyachol, I Am not able to overpower them - since peace is between them."
        We imply from here that really HKB"H wants to punish them, but Kavyachol is not able to.
    • Peace and Unity have other benefits
      • It's brought down in Midrash (Vayikra Rabba 9:9) 
        Ribbi Shimon Bar Yohai said: Peace is so great that all blessings are included in it. ... Peace is so great that all blessings, goodness, and consolations that HKB"H brings to Israel conclude with peace.
        This is because when there is peace, Heavenly influence comes down without barriers, and thereby all blessings, goodness, and consolations are there. [YY - also there: "The rabbis say: Peace is so great that when the King Mashiah comes, he only begins with peace as it says מה נאוו על ההרים רגלי מבשר משמיע שלום.]
      • Also, it's brought down in Sanhedrin 71b "Scattering for Tzadikkim is bad for them and bad for the world."
      • And it's brought down in the name of the Ozharover Rebbe ZT"L that there is a hint in the verse לֵךְ כְּנוֹס אֶת-כָּל-הַיְּהוּדִים ... וּבְכֵן אָבוֹא אֶל-הַמֶּלֶךְ, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-כַדָּת [Go, gather together all the Jews...and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law] that if there is unity, it's possible to come to the King HKB"H even if we are not worthy.
      • And it's brought down in the Shela (Yoma): 1 Mahloket pushes away many Parnassot.
        • And it's brought down in the book "Shevet Mussar" (37) that the one day that Manna did not fall in the desert was the day of the Mahloket of Korah.
      • And it's brought down in "Torah Or" to explain the verse "Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is what they begin to do; and now nothing will be withholden from them, which they purpose to do."  He explains that really since togetherness stems from a very high place, nothing will be withholden.
      • And it's brought in the book "Doreshei Reshumot" (p. 143)  in the name of the book "Magen Avraham" that מחלוקת is the letters חלק מות [a portion of death] since it is the root of all troubles.
      • And it's brought down in the Hatam Sofer (Derashot p. 33) that the main power of the S"M is from Mahloket.
      • And I heard from Rav Moshe Shmuel Schwartz Shlit"a on the verse "How can I myself alone bear your cumbrance, and your burden, and your strife?" that Moshe was hinting to them that alone he wasn't able to, but joining with other Tzaddikim, he would be able to.

Interesting Recent Links - Pekudei 5774

"In the 66th year...Mashiach."

A Pakistani Jew steps cautiously out of the shadows (h/t Hirhurim)

Rally-Related

Leich Kenos Es Kol HaYehudim: “Million Man Atzeres” Set for Sunday Sunday in Yerushalayim
New Date for ‘Million Man Atzeres’: Rosh Chodesh Adar II

Large Asifas Tefillah Planned for NYC
FIRST REPORT: Massive Yom Tefilla Being Scheduled In Manhattan

Rav Shteinman’s Instructions Regarding the Million Man Atzeres

Wives Of Chareidi MK’s Turn to Mrs. Netanyahu for Assistance In Gezeiros Against Bnei Yeshivos


Rav Aviner Shlita Calls on His Tzibur to Take Part in Million Man Atzeres

Belzers plan to move to the USA as refugees

Hesder Rebbi: We are All in the Same Pot


Yom Kippur Koton at the Kever of Maran HaRav Ovadia Yosef ZATZAL

Bennett’s IDF Chareidi Draft Law Dilemma

Yanukovych Meets Snowden in Moscow

Yanukovych met Snowden in a Moscow bar and complained about healthcare in Russia.

"Tell me about it," said Snowden.

Yanukovych continued, "You know, I'm taking 6 different medications and they're impossible to find here."

"You mean 7."

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Pekudei 5774 - Part 2

From Rav Fish's latest:

Continued from Part 1.
  • Seeking the Geula
    • We find in the Yalkut Shimoni (Shemuel 109):
      ...Ribbi Shimon ben Menasia said: Israel will not see a sign of Geula ever until they retract and request all three [Kingship of Heaven, kingship of the House of David, and the building of the Beit Hamikdash].  This is the idea from what it says: "afterward shall the children of Israel return, and seek the LORD their God" - this refers to the Kingship of Heaven. "And David their king" - this refers to the kingdom of the House of David. "And shall come trembling unto the LORD and to His goodness [in the end of days]" - this refers to the Beit Hamikdash.
      We see that Am Yisrael will be redeemed when they seek out David ben Yishai.
    • We also find in another Midrash (Shemot Rabba 33:3) [YY - also at Shir Hashirim Rabba 5:2]
      [It says:] I sleep, but my heart waketh. Kenesset Yisrael said: I slept from the Keitz, but HKB"H is awake ... 
      which is followed by the words: קוֹל דּוֹדִי דוֹפֵק, פִּתְחִי-לִי אֲחֹתִי רַעְיָתִי. R' Eliyahu Buhbut explains the Rashei Teivot of דופק פתחי לי spell לפד [Lapid] for via the troubles he causes, Hashem is waking us up to request the Geula.
    • There are 2 ways to cry out for Geula, as we find in the gemara (Sanhedrin 98a): If they merit, "via the clouds of the heavens".  If they don't merit, "a pauper riding on a donkey".  This means that we can either cry out for spiritual troubles which are in the aspect of "clouds of heaven" or we cry out over physical troubles, which have the aspect of "a donkey" (חמור), which symbolizes materialism (חמריות).  And now, we have been given a chance from Heaven to cry out over the draft decree which is a spiritual decree to ruin the Yeshiva boys, G-d forbid - it should never happen.  And if we merit to cry out for this properly, the Geula can come in the best manner of "clouds of the Heavens".  And if we, G-d forbid, don't cry out properly now, they will pressure us to cry out over physical matters, and then, the Redemption will come, but in the lower manner of "a pauper riding on a donkey".
    • As is brought down in the name of Yehezkel Levenshtein ZT"L that just as in the Exodus from Egypt, there was a cry before Redemption, as it says: "and they cried, and their cry came up unto God", so too, in the Future Redemption, there will be an obligation for there to be a cry before Hashem beforehand to seek the Redemption.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Pekudei 5774 - Part 1

From Rav Fish's latest:
  • Gathering of the Moatzot together
    • Zohar Vayakhel 197a:
      Ribbi Hiyya said: The Mishkan was only made by Israelites and not from the Erev Rav because those Erev Rav drew the Angel of Death to come down to the world (with the Sin of the Golden Calf). Once Moshe saw this, he threw out the Erev Rav and gathered Israelites alone. That's the idea behind "Vayakhel Moshe - And Moshe gathered"
      We see that only after Moshe threw out the Erev Rav is when he gathered the Israelites and they merited Ahdut. And also today, we see that in the merit of separation from the Erev Rav - at least from within the heart, meaning when everyone feels that he is disconnected from the final admiration that he perhaps had for one of the Erev Rav - that's when we merit the gathering of unity that we have not seen in the past.
    • Also, the date when we merited this wonderful gathering of unity was כ"ה אדר ראשון תשע"ד [i.e. 25 Adar I, 5774], which is the same gematria as כנוס את כל היהודים הנמצאים בשושן.
      • Also, the 25th of Adar [of a regular year] is first day of creation according to Ribbi Yehoshua, and regarding Geula matters, we follow Ribbi Yehoshua, as we see that we count according to the Exodus which was in Nissan and in Nissan, we are to be redeemed.
        • And according to Ribbi Yehoshua, Nissan 5774 already starts the year 5775, which is the year of the Keitz according to the Arizal, as we mentioned.
          • And the Arizal expounds the verse ואת האלף, which is in this week's Perasha.
            • And Parshat Pekudei hints to the Pekida (remembering) of Redemption. 
    • And this week is also Parshat Shekalim, which comes from Parshat Ki Tisa, which is a "Lifting of the heads" of Tzadikim, as is mentioned in the book "Ohev Yisrael" (Shekalim).
    • The Rabbanim decided to gather all the Jews at the gates of the city of Yerushalayim in the month of Adar.
      • And it's also brought down in the book "Kol Hator" [chapter 6] [YY - I mentioned this many years ago]  that the war against the Erev Rav will be at the gates of Yerushalayim.  And it's brought down there that the first step to the coming of Mashiah will be when 600,000 will be at the gates of Yerushalayim. And this is hinted to from the verse בֵּית, יַעֲקֹב--לְכוּ וְנֵלְכָה, בְּאוֹר יְהוָה, where the gematria of the Rashei Teivot of the verse is 60, and the word באור is the letters of רבוא [i.e. 10,000 so 60x10,000=600,000].  The gematria of the second letters is the same as ציון [i.e. 156], and the gematria of the Sofei Teivot is the same as לב ירושלם [i.e. 618].  The Gr"a explains that it's hinted to here that when there will be 600,000 people in Tzion in the heart of Yerushalayim, Mashiah will come.
        • And we find in Yalkut Shimoni (Hoshe'a 518): "Just like leaving Egypt was with 600,000 and entering Israel was with 600,000, so too for the days of Mashiah, with 600,000."
        • And we find in the Zohar (Introduction 1b) "[Hashem said:] I promise you that I will not go up [to Yerushalayim Shel Ma'ala] until your population [600,000] will go up [to Yerushalayim Shel Mata]."
        • Rav D. Lev adds that בעתה אחישנה with the letters is the gematria of בששים רבוא [with 600,000].
      • And it's brought down in the name of Rav Meir Mazuz Shlit"a that אחדות [unity] with the letters is the gematria of משיח בן דוד.

Netanyahu: If you like your Torah and your settlement home, you can keep your Torah and your settlement home

I used to trust Netanyahu's words, but now I trust him as much as I do President Obama with his statement on healthcare.

Netanyahu lied re: keeping the integrity of the Land of Israel and he lied regarding no criminal sanctions against those who wish to learn Torah instead of joining the army.  Should we trust him?

Here are some more interesting developments:

(Religious Zionist rabbis want to participate in the "Million Man Gathering")

New Date for ‘Million Man Atzeres’: Rosh Chodesh Adar II
Organizers feel that due to the fact the event is under the auspices of all the Moetzos Gedolei Yisrael, of Shas, Degel Hatorah and Agudas Yisrael, it is realistic to expect 600,000 participants or more. Organizers explain, as was heard in radio interviews with dati leumi rabbonim on chareidi stations in recent days, if the event is truly billed as an “atzeres tefilla”, then one may expect participation from some of the dati leumi community for many of these rabbonim are opposed to the draft of bnei yeshivos too. Removing the political addresses from the agenda will bring additional participants, they feel. This is the path that was chosen by Maran HaGaon HaRav Aaron Yehuda Leib Shteinman Shlita, who has explained the atzeres is an outcry to HKBH over the Chilul Hashem pertaining to the draft law, without concerns of how this will be received by the media or state officials.

As such, this will be an atzeres tefilla only and there will not be a bimah since there will not be any speeches, just the recitation of Tehillim. There will be a small podium for the person reciting tehillim.

("Due to the Decree of the Draft and John Kerry: Rav Meir Mazuz calls for a Fast Day")

He is calling for a fast day and Yom Kippur Katan services on Thursday before Rosh Hodesh - which is tomorrow.

UPDATE:
("Instructions of Maran Rav Aharon Leib Shteinman to the "Million Man Gathering": Women and children - only from Yerushalayim")

Rav Shteinman Shlit"a wants women and children there, but only those from Yerushalayim and only children over the age of 9.  Women from outside Yerushalayim should read Tehillim from their homes.  

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Rav Amar on the Draft Law

Translated from here:

The Rishon Letzion the Gaon Rav Shelomo Moshe Amar went out on the attack against the government's policy against learners of the holy Torah and their categorization as criminal transgressors with the passing of the clause that called for criminal sanctions, and said that the heads of the state are destroying the nation and the land.

In a Shiur that he gave over in a Beit Midrash in Yerushalayim, he attacked the authors of the law and said, "It's a shame for those who think to raise their hands against the holy Torah. They're only hurting themselves. They cannot hurt the Torah world."

Regarding reports that the authors of the law are directing their guns at the Sephardic public, the rav said, "All kinds of rumors are spread. They say, 'Maybe it won't go with the Ashkenazim - maybe the Sepharadim.' What do they think? That this is a custom of various communities? That this is their mentality? What do they think? That the Torah is a game? That it is a piece of clothing to wear? Torah is Torah!

"Our fathers and fathers' fathers gave up their lives for Torah - in poverty, in troubles, during decrees - our fathers who stood in all the sufferings and in all the untimely deaths - who could stand in such a thing? But they stood strong and gave up their souls to sanctify Hashem's name, and the Torah never ceased from them ever," added Rav Amar.

Rav Amar added and said, "Nothing in the world will help. They're coming with this provocation...with these denunciations...against Torah learners. They changed Torah learners into as if they were enemies of the people, G-d forbid. Is there any stupidity greater than this?"

In the continuation of the Shiur, Rav Shelomo Amar categorized the Haredim who are Yeshiva students, but in actuality are not so, and said that they should be drafted: "They have a status of a Rodef."

Rav Amar blamed Netanyahu and Lapid: "They want to tear the nation apart - to divide us. Is this the wisdom of leaders? This is a leader?! That he goes to tear apart his nation?! To cause divisions between one community and other?!"

Rav Amar, who was strong in his words, during the Shiur, once more attacked the leadership of the state, led by Netanyahu, Lapid, and Bennett, "They are destroying the world, destroying the nation, destroying the state, and destroying the land. They're cutting off the branch that the whole world stands upon. This is not a game."

Monday, February 24, 2014

Translation of the Statement of the 3 Moatzot

The 3 Torah councils met Monday night and issued the following statement, followed by my translation:

Statement of the 3 Moatzot
Source: Kikar and YWN

With Hashem Yitbarach's help, 25 Adar I, 5774


It is not a time to be silent when arose among the people of the ruling government in Eretz Yisrael - with the direction of the prime minister - to rebel against the Kingdom of Heaven.  And their intent is with them to decree - Rahmana Litzlan - about uprooting the Torah and to place upon Torah learners - whose trade is Torah - a criminal punishment so bad that it could cause them to be thrown into jail.

We are trembling due to the Hillul Hashem and the insult to Torah that is in this matter.  We are fearful of the result and are pained by the continued and intentional scheming against the Torah world and the unending attempts to restrict its steps every step of the way.

In light of this, we have decided the following:

1) The Councils of Torah Gedolim and Sages demand from the government to immediately cancel the decisions of the committee for the forced conscription of Yeshiva and Kollel students, and call upon all Yeshiva and Kollel students not to be drafted into the army in any way whatsoever, not to be swayed by any enticements or punishments, and not to cooperate with an army program at a Haredi classification center.  Rather, they should continue to learn their studies day and night.

2) If, G-d forbid, those chasing after religion will remove their muzzles in action and enact a law of forced conscription, the Councils of Torah Gedolim and Sages will gather for an advisory meeting against those chasing after religion and their schemes, and will weigh the possibility of forbidding going to the recruiting offices at all.

3) The Councils of Torah Gedolim and Sages demands from the government not to restrict the steps of the Torah world, but rather, to help the spread of Torah and educational institutions in the Holy Land in the path that was paved by our rabbis.

4) The Councils of Torah Gedolim and Sages turns now to the myriads of Your nation, the House of Israel with the call: "There is nothing left over for us - except this Torah".  Learning Torah and fulfilling its Mitzvot with holiness and purity are the protecting wall of Am Yisrael wherever they live from all troubles and tribulations.  And they are what will stand in the hard times that visit the House of Israel wherever they live, both in public and private matters, both in spiritual and physical matters.  We must therefore strengthen ourselves tenfold in learning Torah and fulfilling Mitzvot with purity and all minutiae of Halacha.

5) The Councils of Torah Gedolim and Sages call upon our brothers, the whole House of Israel, wherever they live - in Israel and abroad - to grab hold of the trade of our forefathers in their hands to gather all the Jews together - every tribe of Israel - men and children - to mightily call out to Hashem - to plead and supplicate toward our Father in Heaven to have mercy upon us like a father for his children.  And we are announcing with this to gather together all that fear and tremble before the word of Hashem in a gathering of prayer, outcry, and mass protest on Sunday, 7 Adar II, 5774.  There should be within it a sanctification of the Name of Heaven to counteract the desecration of the Name of Heaven that was performed by the uprooters of religion.

And Hashem Yitbarach should hear our cries and accept our prayers for mercy and acceptance, and He should hurry to redeem us and take us out from trouble to safety and from darkness to great light, speedily in our days, Amen.

JPost: Religious Zionists in US blast Bennett for Draft Bill

Jpost:
Religious Zionists in Israel may be pleased with Bayit Yehudi for enabling the advancement of the haredi (ultra-Orthodox) enlistment bill, but their counterparts in the US said late Thursday that they were upset with the party’s behavior.

Bayit Yehudi faction head Ayelet Shaked chairs the committee that is legislating the bill. While she abstained on the controversial criminal sanctions clause, she also facilitated its passage.

Religious Zionists of America chairman Martin Oliner said he and other leaders of his community were disappointed that Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett had enabled the criminalization of yeshiva students.

“The fundamentals of religious Zionism are supporting Torah and avoda (“work”), and Torah comes first,” Oliner said. “A culture cannot be changed by force. It is wrong to put arbitrary quotas that are capricious on yeshiva students.

If you can put quotas on learning Torah, tomorrow they’ll do it on Hesder students, and later on people living over the Green Line.”

Oliner noted that the British had quotas for Jews moving to the land of Israel, and he said they should not be the model for the Jewish state. He said that students who are not learning should serve, recommending a test for Torah aptitude to determine who should remain in yeshiva.

Rabbinical Council of America president Rabbi Leonard Matanky said that as a Diaspora Jew who had not served in the IDF he was limited in what he could say. Nonetheless, he expressed concern regarding the decision.

“It is difficult for me to accept that anyone would be subject to criminal punishment for learning Torah,” Matanky said. “I understand the sociological and economic challenges that went into the decision, but Torah study is paramount to our existence.”

Matanky is the principal of Ida Crown Jewish Academy, a religious-Zionist high school in Chicago that encourages excellence in Torah and secular professions, as well as aliya and serving the State of Israel.

“Defending the lives of Jews in the State of Israel is an extraordinary mitzva,” he said. “There are people who should be studying Torah, and there are people who should be serving and earning a living. There need to be opportunities for helping those who were studying and now want to enter the workforce.”

Oliner and Matanky are members of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

When Bennett met with the group last week, he pledged to use his Economy Ministry to help facilitate the employment of as many haredim as possible.

National Council of Young Israel president Farley Weiss, another American religious- Zionist leader who participated in the meeting with Bennett, said the Bayit Yehudi leader had told them that his party would not support criminal sanctions and he was surprised that the sanctions were adopted against his wishes.

"Since criminal sanctions are many years away from being implemented, the hope of NCYI is that everything will be worked out amicably and no criminal sanctions will ever be given," Weiss said. "We do not support criminal sanctions but we do support a program to incentivize an increase in haredi army service and bring more haredim into the workforce."

Weiss said the army needs to do everything it can to meet the needs of the haredi community to make them feel comfortable that their sons will remain religious when they are serving in the army.

Mishnah Berurah Tiferet



Community Magazine has a nice article (also in the magazine pages itself) on the upcoming halachic work "Mishnah Berurah Tiferet", which is a project to incorporate Sephardic Piskei Halacha into the Mishna Berura.  The first volume to be published is the Mishna Berura vol. 6, which deals with the holidays, and is scheduled to be published right before Purim.  The project was started by Yaakov Rachimi and continued by Rav Gad Yazdi Shlit"a (see the article who he is), who enlisted other scholars to help with research.

Rav Ovadia Yosef ZT"L gave a haskama to the project before he passed away.  As the article notes:
Hacham Ovadia’s gabbai (assistant) relayed that when the hacham saw the work, he placed his two hands atop it and emotionally declared, “I put my two hands on this book with full force because I so want this book to be disseminated.”
It looks like it can be very useful for those learning Halacha with Shulhan Aruch, Rama, and Mishna Berura.

I'm a bit surprised, however, that no mention was made in the article of the fact that this is not the first Sefer to do just this.  I own the 3-volume Sefat Hashulhan by ר' משה קלזאן, written in 5750-52, which takes every Psak of the Mishna Berura and other Poskim on the page in which Sepharadim argue and he writes where the Psak of the Kaf Hahayim or the Maharitz for the Teimanim differs.  Plus, he adds in Minhagei Ha'ari and the Psak of the Ben Ish Hai and that of Rav Ovadia Yosef ZT"L.  It too has Rav Ovadia's Haskama.  The drawback, perhaps, to the Sefat Hashulhan is that he mostly drew from the Kaf Hahayim and not as much from responsa and later sources.

I've also seen copies of the Mishna Berura with Sephardic Halachot on the bottom as footnotes.  I don't own this set, but it definitely exists. It was very limited in scope, but allowed the reader to see the differences in halachot within the page of the Mishna Berura itself.

The new volume of Mishnah Berurah Tiferet - as far as I can tell - doesn't seem to have the Mishna Berura Daf incorporated in the book.  However, from looking at the 6 sample pages provided by Feldheim, one can see that the elucidation is more extensive than that of the Sefat Hashulhan and the other set.  Also, it draws on many various Sephardic sources that were not mentioned by the first two books.

It looks to be a good buy for Sepharadim who want to learn halacha and for Ashkenazim who want a complete halachic picture available.  (And no, I wasn't paid to write this post.)

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Esther Pollard Pleads for her Husband at the Rally



from Arutz Sheva

Friday, February 21, 2014

Updated My Profile for my Blogoversary

My blog's 9th blogoversary will fall out on Shabbat. In honor of the blogoversary, I decided to update my profile on the right side of the blog and on the profile page.  (It took me long enough!)

It seemed that a lot of people were clicking on the profile page, trying to know who I am, but not getting any information. I added some very limited background information about myself. I hope this helps those who want to know an inkling of who I am and where I came from.

Shabbat Shalom

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Interesting Recent Links - Vayakhel 5774

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Vayakhel 5774 where he talks about:
  • remazim having to do with Iran and its nuclear weapons
  • the 4 blood moons occurring on Pesah and Sukkot and connects it to the חמשה עשר חמשה עשר Gezeira Shava
  • remazim having to do with the Shemen Hamishha and the year
  • remazim having to do with Purim and the year
  • Heftzi-Ba, the mother of Mashiah and the closed Mem of לםרבה המשרה
  • more remazim having to do with the Gross tragedy and its connection to Nadav and Avihu and Akeidat Yitzhak
Shvilei Pinches - The Shalom of Shabbas Is a Vessel that Stores Abundant Influence for All Six Weekdays (interesting, as usual.  Plus, advice to keep away Friday arguments.)

Dovid, Yosef, the sixth hour and the seventh hour

Israel: Free Pollard Rally on Sunday

The Documented Downfall of Edom

The Yovel of Yovelot (A Recap) and Other Matters

They Keep Chipping Away

Chief Rabbis Come to Hesder’s Defense

Misinformed

Rav Lior Shlita: Stop the Giyur Bill

Significant Improvement in R’ Karelitz’s Shlita Condition

Will the IDF Really Accommodate Chareidim?
Chareidi Soldiers: IDF Breaking its Promise Regarding Religious Practice

Marry Jewish - For an Ultimate Victory

Baruch Dayan Emmes: Reb Meir Schuster ZT”L ‘ The Man Of The Wall’
Rabbi Meir Schuster zt”l
Reb Meir Schuster zt”l
Rabbi Meir Schuster zt”l: Tapping the Spark
Reb Meir Schuster zt”l – An Appreciation

Gross Brothers Released from Hospital – ישועת ה’ כהרף עין
Gross Brothers Released from Schneider Hospital

Being a Posek for the Mossad ("Needless to say these rabbonim encounter some unique sheilos which are not likely to be appearing in any Shu’t in the near future.")
Another Sign of the Teshuvah Revolution?

Dr. Ferziger: ‘In The Next Generation, US Jews Will Disappear’

The Gezeirot - Purim Connections

וְהַמֶּלֶךְ וְהָמָן יָשְׁבוּ לִשְׁתּוֹת
Source: Flash 90, found here

Many have noted the various connections between the Shaked Committee's cruel decrees and those of Haman.

For example,

and

using the verse כִּי נִמְכַּרְנוּ אֲנִי וְעַמִּי.

In addition, I noticed a commenter on Kikar use the gemara in Megilla 14a:
  גדולה הסרת טבעת יותר מארבעים ושמונה נביאים ושבע נביאות שנתנבאו להן לישראל שכולן לא החזירום למוטב ואילו הסרת טבעת החזירתן למוטב

Greater is the removal of the ring [of Ahashverosh to Haman] than 48 prophets and 7 prophetesses who had prophesied for Israel - for they didn't bring them back to act in a good way, whereas the removal of the ring brought them back to act in a good way.
One could therefore also say:

Greater is Netanyahu's allowance to Lapid and Bennett and their teams "to do with them as it seemeth good to thee" than any Shabbat Shuva Derasha and Mussar Shmooze in Israel - for they didn't bring Israel to gather together, whereas Netanyahu's allowance brought Israel to gather together.

Speaking of gathering together, that too is a major Purim theme, as Esther told Mordechai: לֵךְ כְּנוֹס אֶת-כָּל-הַיְּהוּדִים.

See more about this unity in Rabbi Pinchos Lipshutz' latest article, where he notes that the unity displayed there mimics the unity at Mt. Sinai, based on קימו וקבלו - where the Jewish people accepted the Torah for the second time out of love.  In our day, we are accepting the yoke of Torah and Torah study, showing the world that it is so important for Yeshiva boys who want to learn Torah to do so that we are willing to fight for it.

Unity is also a prerequisite for Geula, as it was during the Purim story. May we only be unified to be saved from this evil decree and greet our righteous Mashiah, speedily in our days, Amen.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Approval of Law to Call Torah Learners "Criminals" Will BE"H Generate Unprecedented Ahdut (UPDATED)

The Shaked Committee has approved criminal sanctions for those who wish to learn Torah and avoid being drafted into the army.  The unintended consequence will BE"H be an unprecedented display of Ahdut among Haredim in Israel.

From Kikar:

רדיפת עולם התורה: בשעות האחרונות (רביעי) החלו מגעים לכינוס משותף של שלושת מועצות גדולי התורה - הליטאית, החסידית והספרדית, המנהיגות את הציבור החרדי. זאת לקראת עצרת הענק המתוכננת להיערך בקרוב כמחאה וזעקה בעקבות הסעיף שאושר וקובע כי יוטלו סנקציות פליליות נגד תלמידי הישיבות.

לפי המסתמן, הכינוס המשותף וההיסטורי ייערך כבר בתחילת השבוע הבא. מי שעומל על התיאום בין המועצות הוא אברהם רובינשטיין, מזכיר המועצת הליטאית שהתבקש לעשות כך על ידי מרן ראש הישיבה הגאון רבי אהרון יהודה לייב שטיינמן.

בשיחה עם 'כיכר השבת', הבהיר העיתונאי ודובר בית הרב שטיינמן בני רבינוביץ, כי מדובר במעמד היסטורי, "זו לא הפגנה אלא עצרת תפילה, כולם מתאחדים אל מול הגזירה הקשה" אמר.

My translation:
Chasing the Torah World: In the last few hours (on Wednesday) began contacts for a joint meeting of the three Councils of Torah Giants - the Lithuanian, Hasidic, and Sephardic - who lead the Haredi community.  This is due to the upcoming giant gathering that is planned to be take place soon as a protest and outcry in the wake of the clause that was approved and establishes that criminal sanctions will be placed against Yeshiva students.

According to what it seems, the historic joint meeting will take place already at the beginning of next week.  The one who is busy coordinating between the councils is Avraham Rubinstein, the secretary of the Lithuanian council, who was requested to do so by Maran the Rosh Yeshiva Hagaon Rav Aharon Yehuda Leib Shteinman.

In a conversation with "Kikar Hashabat", the reporter and spokesman for the household of Rav Shteinman - Benny Rabbinovitz - clarified that we are talking about a historic gathering.  "This is not a demonstration, but a prayer gathering.  Everyone will unite against the harsh decree," he said.

My slim hope is that the Dati Leumi rabbis who are against this decree will also be included in this somehow.

UPDATE:

Kikar reports that the gathering of the 3 Councils of Torah Sages will BE"H take place at 7:30 Monday evening in the Vizhnitz Hotel in Bnei Brak.  The representatives of each of the 3 groups organizing this event are:

  • Secretary of the Lithuanian Council - Rav Avraham Rubinstein
  • Secretary of the Hasidic Council - Rav Mordechai Stern
  • Shas head - Rav Aryeh Deri
Rav Stern reached out to an associate of Rav Shmuel Auerbach Shlit"a and invited him.  He agreed to attend.

The organizers note that this will be a Kiddush Hashem to, in a small measure, atone for the awful Hillul Hashem of calling Torah-learners "criminals"

The Gedolim from all the groups will discuss whether the giant prayer rally is prudent or if it will backfire and help Lapid's cause and political standing.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

"Jewish Home" and MK Yitzhak Cohen's Zinger

Rav Ovadia ZT"L had called the Bayit Hayehudi party a "Bayit Shel Goyim".  People were up-in-arms about it then and many never got over it.  But the unfortunate truth to his statement is still being revealed over a year later.  (Of course, he was referring to the party and its unJewish policies - not the people who voted for it.)  Two recent decisions of theirs underscore this idea.

MK Aryeh Deri mentioned this after the Shaked Committee just decided to allow criminal sanctions on Haredim who refuse to serve:
Deri criticized Bayit Yehudi, which he said was cooperating with Yesh Atid against the haredim.

“Bayit Yehudi’s behavior in the enlistment committee has proven that Rabbi Ovadia [Yosef, Shas’s late spiritual mentor] was right about the party,” said Deri during the Shas faction meeting on Monday.
In addition, after the Stern Bill to localize Giyur passed its first reading with the support of Bayit Hayehudi,
MK Eli Yishai said (my translation):
There are those who think they know better than Moshe Rabbeinu and all Gedolei Yisrael what is right to do and what is wrong.  I don't believe that they would be so brazen as to enact a health law without consulting with doctors.  But a law that's so sensitive, they pass without consulting rabbis.  Here, they breach all fences.  I want to deliver a message to the people of Bayit Hayehudi.  Bayit Hayehudi [Jewish Home] is voting for a law that uproots the true Jewish home - not the political one.
And regarding the same decision, MK Yitzhak Cohen issued this zinger (my translation):
Something evil is transpiring in the current term of the government.  There is a total erasure of the Jewish identity of the state.  There is Hutzpah here.  They ask the Palestinians and Abu Mazen to recognize us as a Jewish state at the same time that they intentionally destroy any semblance of Judaism in the state.

When Rav Ovadia said about Bayit Hayehudi, "Bayit Shel Goyim", it wasn't Bayit Hayehudi that should have been offended, but the Goyim who should have been offended!
I'm reminded of this quote from A Fish Called Wanda:
Otto West: Don't call me stupid.
Wanda: Oh, right! To call you stupid would be an insult to stupid people!
May Hashem annul these evil decrees quickly.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Interesting Recent Links - Ki Tisa 5774

Kol Tzofayich - Rav Shmuel Eliyahu Shlit"a on the Ketoret (after talking about the Pittum HaKetoret in detail, he notes on p. 4 that if people only knew how great the Ketoret is before HKB"H, they'd be taking each word and putting it as a crown on their heads.  Because of this, the Halban Shlit"a announced that it's good to recite it to cancel decrees and sweeten judgments.)

Shvilei Pinches - The Eigel Was Half Ox and Half Donkey Corresponding to the Two Klipos of Eisav and Yishmael (great stuff as usual)

Danish Law: Shooting Giraffes - Muttar; Shehita - Assur‏







The rabbis will decide which Israelis get to be Spanish, says Rabbi Amar


Thursday, February 13, 2014

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Ki Tisa 5774

I'm just going to do a high-level summary of Rav Fish's latest:

The Pope - Doves Incident

He interprets the incident exactly the opposite of how I interpreted it, but it is definitely interesting.  He said that the doves represent Xtianity, while the seagull and crow represent the Davidic Dynasty.  He goes on at length (more than 4 pages!) to support this idea.

The Beit Hamikdash in 5786 Continued

He continues his theme from last week that the Beit Hamikdash will be built in 5786 as the second stage of the Geula.  He brought a very interesting Gr"a (brought down in Lev Eliyahu, Beshalah) that says that the 28 "times" that are mentioned in Kohelet chapter 3 correspond to the 28 time periods from Creation until the year 6000.  If you divide 6000 by 28, you get approximately 214.3 years.  See the table below:

Start Year End Year Period Translation Comment by Rav Fish [or myself]
1 215 עֵת לָלֶדֶת A time to be born [Creation]
215 429 וְעֵת לָמוּת and a time to die
429 643 עֵת לָטַעַת a time to plant
643 858 וְעֵת לַעֲקוֹר נָטוּעַ and a time to pluck up that which is planted
858 1072 עֵת לַהֲרוֹג A time to kill
1072 1286 וְעֵת לִרְפּוֹא and a time to heal
1286 1501 עֵת לִפְרוֹץ a time to break down
1501 1715 וְעֵת לִבְנוֹת and a time to build up [Noah's family rebuild the world]
1715 1929 עֵת לִבְכּוֹת A time to weep [Paganism is rampant]
1929 2143 וְעֵת לִשְׂחוֹק and a time to laugh Avraham, Yitzhak (ישחק), and Yaakov born
2143 2358 עֵת סְפוֹד a time to mourn Yitzhak and Yaakov pass away, sale of Yosef, Egyptian slavery
2358 2572 וְעֵת רְקוֹד and a time to dance Exodus, Revelation at Mt. Sinai
2572 2786 עֵת לְהַשְׁלִיךְ אֲבָנִים A time to cast away stones
2786 3001 וְעֵת כְּנוֹס אֲבָנִים and a time to gather stones together
3001 3215 עֵת לַחֲבוֹק a time to embrace First Beit Hamikdash
3215 3429 וְעֵת לִרְחֹק מֵחַבֵּק and a time to refrain from embracing First Beit Hamikdash destroyed
3429 3643 עֵת לְבַקֵּשׁ A time to seek Second Beit Hamikdash
3643 3858 וְעֵת לְאַבֵּד and a time to lose Second Beit Hamikdash destroyed
3858 4072 עֵת לִשְׁמוֹר a time to keep
4072 4286 וְעֵת לְהַשְׁלִיךְ and a time to cast away
4286 4501 עֵת לִקְרוֹעַ A time to rend
4501 4715 וְעֵת לִתְפּוֹר and a time to sew
4715 4929 עֵת לַחֲשׁוֹת a time to keep silence
4929 5143 וְעֵת לְדַבֵּר and a time to speak
5143 5358 עֵת לֶאֱהֹב A time to love
5358 5572 וְעֵת לִשְׂנֹא and a time to hate
5572 5786 עֵת מִלְחָמָה a time for war Starts year of Napoleanic War (see also here)
5786 6001 וְעֵת שָׁלוֹם and a time for peace Third Beit Hamikdash?

The Gross Family Tragedy and other Tragedies

The tragedy is eerily similar to the deaths of Nadav and Avihu, where Elazar and Itamar survived despite Aharon's sin with the eigel.  He says that just like Nadav and Avihu's death atoned for all of Israel, so did the death of the Gross girls.

[He also mentions something I also saw a couple weeks ago on Kikar that] the tragedies of a few weeks ago are all connected to the letter "ג".  The gas (גז) tragedy, where Gilit (גלית) Tofan passed away in the Gilo (גילה) neighborhood.  The next day Rav Yaakov Galinsky (גלינסקי) passed away.  Also that day was when the Gross (גרוס) family tragedy occurred in the Givat Mordechai (גבעת מרדכי) neighborhood.  Rav Fish adds that all these are connected to the end of Galut (גלות) and hint to the time of Geula (גאולה).

[YY - I will add that Kikar reports that Yeshivat Hevron of Givat Mordechai has been hit with a spate of tragedies lately:

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Mashiah Clause

A Rental Contract For the End of Days over at Times of Israel (h/t my mother-in-law)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Ahdut Before (and During) Mashiah

Ahdut. We need help.  Lots of it.

The fictional - but all too real - scenarios are frightening.

First came:

Moshiach's hat - the poem

Next came:

Moshiach's hat - the poem in a video

Now came:

Tolna Rebbe: Why We Won't Be Able To Build The Third Bais Hamikdash On Our Own

Chana Cohen and Chana Cohen Each Have Twins in the Same Hospital on the Same Day

In a Kikar report by Chaya Cohen(!), 2 women by the name of Chana Cohen both gave birth to twins - one had twin boys and the other had twin girls - in Mayenei Hayeshua Medical Center in Bnei Brak on the same day.  They were originally placed next to each other, so to eliminate confusion, they moved one of the women to a different floor of the facility.

BeSiman Tov, BeSiman Tov, Mazal Tov, Mazal Tov!

Friday, February 07, 2014

Rav Dov Yaffe Shlit"a on Improper Use of Smart Phones and Mashiah

Rav Dov Yaffe Shlit"a, who is a Mashgi'ah at various Yeshivot in Israel, said the following essay, which was then put to writing by his students in a pamphlet entitled "Vetaher Libenu" - לקט עצות והדרכות בעניני טהרת העינים קדושת הגוף ועוד.  The following is an excerpt (my translation):


The Final Birur

Not everyone will merit to see the coming of the Mashiah

I want to say something very critical!  We are so much anticipating the coming of the Mashiah, but you need to know that not everyone will merit!  And just like during the Exodus, not everyone left, similarly, during the coming of the Mashiah, those that are drawn after impurity will not merit to see the coming of the Mashiah...!!!

The critical test

Man sets his fate whether when Mashiah comes, he will be one of the fortunate ones or one of the unlucky ones Has Veshalom.  And since we are close to the coming of the Mashiah, therefore, HKB"H gave the Sitra Ahara permission to test us and to select who indeed is serving Hashem honestly.  It is very important that we do not forget this - that right now is the final Birur (selection): Who is to Hashem and who Has Veshalom is not?  Therefore, it is so especially important right now to be careful not to leave the Camp of the Shechina because one who is not careful and is not paying attention could Has Veshalom lose his entire [portion in the next] world...!!!

"On the doorway of Gehinnom"

We see a scary thing - that nowadays, it is much easier to falter than in the past, since then, if someone wanted to Has Veshalom sin, he had to stay far away alone, whereas today, it is possible with a small device that can be found in the pocket to watch all the abominations of the world, Rahmana Litzlan, and by doing so, a man can find himself at the opening of Gehinnom... and lose his entire [portion in the next] world, Rahmana Litzlan.  Therefore, we need to be careful using an "extra distance" from such things!!!

"Whoever is on Hashem's side, come to me"

The idea that HKB"H gave the Sitra Ahara permission to test us so much is not a coincidence - this is the strong test and selection before the coming of Mashiah to check and clarify who is for Hashem and who is Has Veshalom for the Sitra Ahara.  Unfortunately, we already heard hair-raising stories about men and women - and even from honorable families - who have faltered in this terrible thing - Hashem should guard us.  Therefore, we need to very much stand on guard!

And choose life

It says in the Torah, "Behold, I am setting before you life... and death".  And the question is: which will man choose - HKB"H or the Sitra Ahara? Life or death?  And this is not a simple question of whether he is doing something improper or if he had faltered or not.  Rather, the question is to which camp you belong - to the Camp of the Shechina or to the Camp of Impurity, Rahmana Litzlan.  And when the man goes to look at this device, it is considered as if he's choosing the latter... and according to what we said, he will not merit to the coming of the Mashiah and the like.

One who comes to purify oneself...

And fortunate for us that we are promised that one who comes to purify oneself receives [Heavenly] assistance, but one should remember that also one who comes to make oneself impure has doors opened for him!  And one should pay attention that the Yetzer Hara is ensnaring us and wants to kill us.  And Baruch Hashem that we are promised that even if one merely "comes" to purify oneself, already Heaven is helping him out.

To withstand the test

These are very critical things, and one who falters in this Has Veshalom, it will be very difficult afterwards to get out of it.  And we must learn from Yosef Hatzadik, who, over all the impurities of Egypt, withstood the test and remained righteous.  And without a doubt, we will be able to withstand these tests!