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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Wanted: Ahdut!

Generated here

The past few days have been the most painful ones for me to watch in Israeli politics since I can remember.  While I openly supported Eli Yishai's new party, I am not at all happy to see what has happened to the Shas party in the past few days.  I am even more disturbed by the use of a video of Rav Ovadia for political purposes to besmirch Aryeh Deri, which ultimately caused him to resign from the Knesset.

As I noted 3 years ago and again 2 years ago, the weeks of Vayigash and Vayehi which should have the highest amount of Ahdut - seem to consistently lately have the lowest.  Last year also, the Mahloket between factions in the Ashkenazi Yeshiva world was at its peak and Rav Matisyahu Solomon Shlit"a warned people against getting involved in that Mahloket during Parshat Vayigash.

This year is unfortunately no exception.

May we change our direction and display Ahdut to one another and stay far away from mahloket so that we can achieve Geula, בב"א.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Vayigash 5775

From Rav Fish's latest:
  • 32 Days After the Har Nof Massacre - The Saudi Connection
    • We saw close to Shabbat Hanukka that Saudi Arabia lowered the price of oil to half of what it was previously, which caused an immediate crushing of the Russian economy and shockwaves in the Iranian economy, which could collapse at any moment in its wake.  And if we look precisely in the words of the Zohar we brought, it does not say that after 32 days, the wars will begin to take effect.  Rather, it says that Mashiah ben Yosef will awaken the battles.  And it's very possible that we are witnesses here to the spark of the awakening of the Gog Umagog Wars that are at the doorway.
      • And the connection of Saudi Arabia to MBY are clear since Saudi Arabia (סעודיה) has the same letters as  היסוד ע' or יסוד ע"ה, hinting to the year תשע"ה.  
      • This is because Saudi Arabia is related to the Kelipa of the Yesod of the 70 nations, which is subjugated to Yosef, who is the Yesod of holiness and acts in its path.
      • And as we see that the majority of the world's energy comes from there, and energy comes from the Yesod.
      • In addition, this is the place which gathers the money from the whole world - just as Yosef did.
      • Also, the Saudis are allies with Edom, who is the left side of the Kelipa.  This shows their relationship with Yesod, which unifies all sides even though it leans toward the right, as is known [in Kabbala].
      • And all this is occurring during the days when we are reading the Parshiyot about Yosef in the Torah.
      • R' Tzion David Siboni adds that the gematria of סעודיה [Saudi Arabia, plus the Kollel] is eqivalent to the gematria of יוסף [Yosef].
    • And we find in the Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni and Pesikta Rabbati):
      Rabbi Yitzhak said: The year that King Mashiah will be revealed, all the kings of the nations will provoke each other. The king of Paras (Iran) will provoke an Arab king (Saudi Arabia) and the Arab king will go to Edom (who is understood to be by Haza"l as the Christian empire, who is in our days probably the U.S.), to take advice from them.

      Then, the King of Paras will go ahead and destroy the whole world. And all the nations of the world will tremble and be panicky and will fall on their faces. And pains like birth pangs will take hold of them.

      And Israel will tremble and be panicky and will say "Where will we come and go? Where will we come and go?"

      And He will say to them: "My children, do not be afraid! Whatever I made, I only made for your benefit! Why are you afraid?

      Do not be afraid! The days of your redemption has arrived!"
      The Girsa in the Pesikta is מלך ערביא [King of Arabia], which is exactly the name that the Saudis call themselves - Saudi Arabia.
    • Also, ערב הסעודית is Rashei and Sofei Teivot the word בעתה [Be'itah].
    • Also, סעודיה hints to סעודה [a meal] and Heavenly influence.
    • Also, the burst oil pipeline in Eretz Yisrael during these days hinted to the burst in the world's oil system.
    • Also, [as already mentioned here 3 years ago] an Avreich asked R' Avraham[?] Genichovsky ZT"L if the winds of war between Iran and the USA and Europe these days is what the Yalkut Shimoni is referring to. R' Genichovsky replied that indeed the first half of the Midrash has already been fulfilled, and now we are only awaiting the second half, where Am Yisrael will cry out to Hashem and request the Geula.  And what will we say today when we are witnessing a strong provocation of a direct attack on the economy between Paras and the Arab king - that there is no doubt that the words of the Midrash are being fulfilled before our very eyes in an extremely clear way.  And the continuation of the Midrash about destroying the entire world is terrifying.  "Who can say: 'I have made my heart clean...?'"
    • And it is brought down in the periodical "Mesilot" of the Sadigura Hasidim (vol. 12 from 5746, which can be seen in Otzar HaHochma [pp. 28-32]) an essay from Harav Haga'on Rav Chaim Dovber Golvsky Shlit"a that which he heard from his grandfather - who was the Av Beit Din in the Beit Din of Rav Chaim of Brisk ZT"L - Rabbi Simcha Zelig Rigger ZT"L, who was the only person Rav Chaim of Brisk brought down in his works.  And he brings down from him a number of ideas in connection with the Russian Empire where they lived.  
      • And he writes that his grandfather told him that he has a tradition from the students of the Gr"a in the Gr"a's name that the Russian government will strengthen before the coming of Mashiah and all the nations will be afraid of it.
      • He also brings down that the Russians inherited the Kelipa of Persia called "Dubiel".
        • We see in our days that the Russians are allied with Iran.
        • Also, the word "Dov" hints to Russian PM Medvedev (מדבדב), which means "bear" in Russian.
        • R' Avraham Veisfish adds that Paras has the aspect of a brown bear while Russia has the aspect of a white bear, as we see in Gashmiyut.
    • R' S. Reiskin adds that מלך ערב [Arabian king] is the same gematria as אמריקאי [American] to hint that they are allied.
    • דוביאל [Dubiel] when the letters are reversed makes לאיבוד [to waste] as we see that they [the Iranians] use suicide bombings [התאבדות] in war, as the Midrash says, they will destroy [יאבדו] the entire world.
    • Also, נפט [oil] is hinted to in פוטין [Putin].
  • Remez and Gematria
    • [Rav Fish then talks a lot about Remez in general and gematria in particular.  ע"ש.]

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Interesting Recent Links - Vayigash 5775 IV

Rav Chaim Kanievsky Miracle Story



French Terrorism



Terrorism and Anti-Semitism







Election Stuff




Miscellaneous


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Interesting Recent Links - Vayigash 5775 III

Geula-Related





French Terrorism


Terrorism and Anti-Semitism

Palestinian Terrorist Killed, Israeli Soldier Injured In Gaza Gunfight
IDF Soldier Wounded From Hamas Sniper Fire in Gaza, Army Responds
Cross Border Shooting Attack from Gaza with Injuries [UPDATED 12:29 PM IL]

Netanyahu, IDF Chief Warn of ‘Firm’ Response to Gaza Sniper Attack

'Police Didn't Help' After Cinder Block Attack in Jerusalem. Special interview: Jeff Seidel recounts harrowing attack by 15-25 Arabs youths on Mount of Olives, is told he is 'lucky to be alive.'

FBI Warns Of Alleged IS Threat To Blow Up US Bridge

Israelis Angered Over IBM Refusal to Service Computers in Territories, Jerusalem

BBC is ‘Part of the Problem’ Says UK Jewish Leader, After Leading Executive Highlights Rise in UK Anti-Semitism


Election Stuff






Miscellaneous




Is "Rahav (רהב)" an Appropriate Name for Israel's Next Sub?

Algemeiner:
By mid-2015, Israel expects to take command of its fifth Dolphin-class submarine, and integrate several unmanned surface vessels (USVs) into its littoral and blue-water defenses, Defense News said Tuesday.

The INS Rahav - one of a total of six – is considered to be one of the most advanced and cutting-edge diesel-electric submarines in the world, and possesses numerous capabilities fit for a large variety of missions.

Germany donated the first two submarines after the first Gulf War in 1991 and split the cost of the third with Israel. The fourth was received last year. In March 2012, Israel signed a contract for the sixth submarine, meaning that by the end of the decade the navy will have doubled its fleet.

The 68.6 meters, 2,400 ton submerged displacement Rahav carries ten swim-out torpedo tubes, according to Defense News, which noted that “published sources” said the craft is equipped with “DM-2A4 Seehake wire-guided torpedoes, UGM-84C Harpoon anti-ship missiles and Triton anti-helicopter missiles.”
Now, there is a reference, albeit a negative one, that might prompt the naming of a submarine as "Rahav", as per Bava Batra 74b (Daf | Text | English):

ואמר רב יהודה אמר רב בשעה שביקש הקב"ה לבראות את העולם אמר לו לשר של ים פתח פיך ובלע כל מימות שבעולם אמר לפניו רבש"ע די שאעמוד בשלי מיד בעט בו והרגו שנאמר (איוב כו) בכחו רגע הים ובתבונתו מחץ רהב אמר ר' יצחק ש"מ שרו של ים רהב שמו ואלמלא מים מכסין אותו אין כל בריה יכולה לעמוד בריחו שנאמר (ישעיהו יא) לא ירעו ולא ישחיתו בכל הר קדשי וגו' כמים לים מכסים אל תקרי לים מכסים אלא לשרה של ים מכסים
Rab Judah in the name of Rab further said: At the time when the Holy One, blessed be He, desired to create the world, he said to the angel of the sea: 'Open thy mouth and swallow all the waters of the world.' He said unto him: 'Lord of the Universe, it is enough that I remain with my own'. Thereupon, He struck him with His foot and killed him; for it is written: He stirreth up the sea with his power and by his understanding he smiteth through Rahab. R. Isaac said: From this it may be inferred that the name of the angel of the sea was Rahab. And had not the waters covered him no creature could have stood his [foul] odour; for it is written: They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My Holy mountain etc. as the waters cover the sea. Do not read: They cover the sea, but [in the sense]: 'They cover the angel of the sea.'
But why use the name if it's referenced so negatively?

In addition, the commentators on the verse in Iyov (26:12) and on Yeshaya (51:9) say that Rahav is an alias for Egypt, based on Yeshaya 30:7:
וּמִצְרַיִם, הֶבֶל וָרִיק יַעְזֹרוּ; לָכֵן קָרָאתִי לָזֹאת, רַהַב הֵם שָׁבֶת
For Egypt helpeth in vain, and to no purpose; therefore have I called her arrogancy that sitteth still.
Furthermore,  the Zohar tells us that the ministering angel of Yishma'el is named "Rahav".

Is a submarine that is named for our first oppressor or our last oppressor appropriate?

This is besides the fact that "Rahav" itself means "arrogance".  Is that the message Israel wants to portray to the world?

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Interesting Recent Links - Vayigash 5775 II

Hanukka Candle Tragedy in Beit Shemesh



French Terrorism


Terrorism and Anti-Semitism



Election Stuff





Miscellaneous



Monday, December 22, 2014

Interesting Recent Links - Vayigash 5775

North Korea



French Terrorism
(yes, it deserves its own category)














Election Stuff





Miscellaneous



New Book Uses Slapstick References to Help You Learn Hebrew ("The actor Tom SELLECK loves his BEETROOT" - hey, whatever works)

Friday, December 19, 2014

Interesting Recent Links - Miketz 5775 IV

Geula-Related

Geula Update from Rav Fish (sorry, no translation.  I found some errors in his date calculations, but still interesting.)


Mikeitz - The End of Time (audio, about 24 minutes)

(Also, 32 days after the Har Nof Massacre is this Shabbat.)


3 Cubans and Alan Gross freed, but not Pollard



Terrorism and Anti-Semitism




Election Stuff

Open Orthodoxy

Upstart Open Orthodox “Poskim” Change Geirus Requirements

What Is Chanukah?


Miscellaneous



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Alan Gross' Freedom Gematria

Alan Gross' Hebrew name is אבא חונא גרוס.  The Milui of this name is:

אלף בית אלף חית ואו נון אלף גימל ריש ואו סמך

The gematria of this Milui plus the 3 words of his name and the Kollel = 2012.

Miketz - this week's Torah reading:
וַיְרִיצֻהוּ מִן-הַבּוֹר; וַיְגַלַּח וַיְחַלֵּף שִׂמְלֹתָיו, וַיָּבֹא אֶל-פַּרְעֹה
...and they brought him hastily out of the dungeon. And he shaved himself, and changed his raiment, and came in unto Pharaoh.
Both Yosef HaTzaddik and Alan Gross were hastily brought out of prison.

President Obama is often compared to Par'oh.  One can expect such a meeting between the 2 very soon.

The gematria of this phrase from Miketz = 2012.

Interesting Recent Links - Miketz 5775 III

Alan Gross Freed!!!

OU Statement on Release of Alan Gross  (makes connection to Yosef in Miketz)



EU Hypocrisy on Hamas and Palestinians







Terrorsim and Anti-Semitism






Election Stuff


Miscellaneous

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

This year is also Thanksgivvukah!

Repost from last year

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 - Miketz 5775 II

Terrorism and Anti-Semitism




Election Stuff

Monday, December 15, 2014

My Humble Take on Eli Yishai's New Party

There is so much to say about Eli Yishai's new party I don't know where to begin.  I must say that the party looks very exciting.  This party, still in formation, and whose bylaws are still in formation, is for those religious Jews who never quite found their niche.  It appears that they will now.

(Of course, I live in Hutz La'aretz, so take whatever I say with a grain of salt.  Nevertheless, I've been following Israeli politics since I can remember, which is a very long time.)

I've always been and continue to be a Rav Ovadia fan and try to follow his Halachot to the best I can.  I've always believed in his Shas party and what it stood for - and I still do to some extent.  There is still a lot of good in the Shas party - especially, its formation of institutions of Hinuch and its care for the needy.  The Israeli public owes a lot of Hakarat Hatov to the Shas party.  Especially Sepharadim should have this Hakarat Hatov because since 5744, they have had a voice in the Knesset.

Nevertheless, without the glue that kept the pieces together - namely Rav Ovadia Yosef ZT"L - things are not as they once were.  Rav Ovadia gave his lifeblood for the party - possibly literally.  He was its heart and its soul and as long as he was around directing it, I couldn't imagine voting for another party in Israel.  Even after his untimely demise, the party was the best party out there for a large group of people.

There is, however, a large subset of Shas voters who have seen and bemoaned the fact that half the party MKs lean way to the left on some issues.  It is no secret that Aryeh Deri has in the past leaned to the left on many security issues.  It was always the belief that Eli Yishai - and the Shas voters themselves - would keep a leash on the left-leaning MKs.  It was, however, becoming increasingly more difficult to do so.

At the same time, mostly the same group of Shas voters is not pleased with the makeup of the Mo'etzet Hachmei Hatorah as it stands today.  Without the presence of Rav Ovadia's leadership, they believe that its membership should be expanded to include other Sephardic Rabbanim who are equally as great as those who are currently members.  For example, Rav Shelomo Moshe Amar Shlit"a at one time long ago was slated by Rav Ovadia ZT"L himself to take the leadership position to succeed him.  That idea soured of late, and now, as current Chief Rabbi of Yerushalayim, he is now unable legally to take it, let alone be a member therein.  Many other great rabbis were considered good candidates as well.  The idea to expand the Mo'etzet was ultimately rejected to the chagrin of this group.

Meanwhile, there was a concurrent growing discontent among a subset of Bayit Hayehudi MKs and voters.  This group saw that under the leadership of Naftali Bennet, the party has shifted from a religious party to just another right-leaning party that actually hurt religion.  Its union with Yesh Atid was the first sign of this and its legislation for the draft and conversions sealed the deal.  It is not at all surprising that Yoni Chetboun, who I consider to be the hero rebel of BY, will be joining Yishai in his new party.  Speculation about Tekuma joining is a bit more surprising, but not much so in the scheme of things.  Wild speculation that Otzma LeYisrael will join them is interesting, although probably not likely, and I'm not sure if this idea will help or hurt either side.

What is being formed is a party that doesn't care what flavor of Yahadut you represent as long as you know that the Torah and its leaders are supreme.  It makes no difference if you are Haredi, Hardal, or Dati Leumi.  It makes no difference if you are Sepharadi, Ashkenazi, Teimani, or otherwise.  Everyone will be represented and taken care of.  What is the glue that will keep this group together?  Its adherence to Torah, its leaders, and right-wing views on security.  That was what was missing in the 19th Knesset on a full-party basis.

The other religious parties have their place too.  UTJ and Shas will keep fighting anti-Torah legislation.  Shas will keep fighting for the poor and for Sepharadi schools.  BY will keep fighting against the 2-state solution.  This new party, I believe, will do all of the above.  And, to top it all off, it will not have the stigma of having supported the Oslo Accords.  This is what excites me.

May Mashiah come soon, at which time we will have no need for parties in Israel since כִּי-אָז אֶהְפֹּךְ אֶל-עַמִּים, שָׂפָה בְרוּרָה, לִקְרֹא כֻלָּם בְּשֵׁם יְהוָה, לְעָבְדוֹ שְׁכֶם אֶחָד [For then will I turn to the peoples a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the LORD, to serve Him with one consent.]  Until that occurs, I believe that this new party will create the Jewish, Torah-based unity that is needed to bring about Mashiah's coming, speedily in our days, Amen.

Interesting Recent Links - Miketz 5775

Geula-Related




Terror in Sydney















Terrorism and Anti-Semitism













Election Stuff





An Open Letter to Eli Yishai (I'm not sure I agree with R' Lazer on this)







Chetboun Refuses to Sign Bennett Letter
No Agreement Reached in Meeting Between Bennett and Ariel

MK Chetboun Decides to Bid Farewell to Bayit Yehudi

Yishai Announces the Launch of his New Party

(This is very sad.)


Miscellaneous