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Friday, September 30, 2005

The Day is Approaching

Rosh Hashana is approaching rapidly, and there's never enough time to do Teshuva. With all the Selihot said (and I've been saying them since Rosh Hodesh), I always feel like I need more time to prepare. What criminal defendant, or defense attorney for that matter, wouldn't like more time to prepare?

In the Haftarah of Parshat Vayeshev, we find this verse:

אִם-יִתָּקַע שׁוֹפָר בְּעִיר, וְעָם לֹא יֶחֱרָדוּ

Shall a Shofar be blown in a city, and the people not tremble?
(Click here to listen to the verse)

Of course, this verse has connotations for Rosh Hashana - with the sound of the Shofar causing trembling before the Day of Judgement.

There is, however, another connotation here. The Ben Ish Hai writes that this verse can also be referring to the End of Days before the Ge'ula. We know of another verse that talks about a Shofar:

וְהָיָה בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא, יִתָּקַע בְּשׁוֹפָר גָּדוֹל, וּבָאוּ הָאֹבְדִים בְּאֶרֶץ אַשּׁוּר, וְהַנִּדָּחִים בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם; וְהִשְׁתַּחֲווּ לַיהוָה בְּהַר הַקֹּדֶשׁ, בִּירוּשָׁלִָם.

And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great Shofar shall be blown; and they shall come that were lost in the land of Assyria, and they that were dispersed in the land of Egypt; and they shall worship the LORD in the holy mountain at Jerusalem.
(Click here to listen to the verse)

The Ben Ish Hai says that when we know that the Ge'ula is so close, will we not be Hareidim Lidvar Hashem (trembling in carefulness to G-d's word)? Will we not improve our performance of Torah and Mitzvot when the Great Shofar is at our doorstep? The Ben Ish Hai wrote this over 100 years ago. We are so much closer today.

On Rosh Hashana, astronomers tell us there will be a solar eclipse over Eretz Yisrael and other parts of the world.
The Gemara in Sukkah 29a (at the end of this link) brings down Beraitot w/ differing opinions on eclipses. (See here, where R' Nosson Slifkin quotes R' Yonatan Eybeschitz, who says the Gemara is not referring to eclipses, but rather - sunspots). The Beraitot differ on whether a solar eclipse is bad for the Jews or not. Let's pray this Rosh Hashana that it is not. We have had enough troubles this past year.

Let's truly hope that this year will be a year of secrets and revelations, as Rav Kaduri said.

And finally, let's do our best to do Teshuva this New Year, and as the poet writes:

תכלה שנה וקללותיה ... תחל שנה וברכותיה

Let the year and its curses end ... Let the [new] year and its blessings begin.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Hamas Making Headlines Again

Unfortunately, Hamas is making headlines again, the latest being this:
Jerusalem Man Kidnapped and Murdered by Hamas
18:16 Sep 26, '05 / 22 Elul 5765
By Ezra HaLevi

It was released for publication Monday evening that an Israeli Jew from the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze'ev was kidnapped Wednesday and murdered by Arab terrorists.

The body of Sasson Nuriel was discovered Monday morning in the Arab village of Bituniya, west of Ramallah.

A gag order on the case was partially lifted Monday evening.

Nuriel, 55, owned a candy factory in the Mishor Adumim industrial zone, near Jerusalem. His murderers, it appears, were members of the Hamas terrorist organization.

Nuriel disappeared last Wednesday and his wife reported him missing to the police late that night. Police and Shabak (General Security Services) agents then carried out a search and investigation that led to the discovery of Nuriel’s body Monday morning and the arrest of at least one Hamas terrorist in connection with the murder. His body showed signs of extreme violence.

The Palestinian Authority did nothing to assist Israel in its search for the kidnap-murder victim.

Nuriel’s funeral is set to take place at 8 PM at the Givat Sha’ul cemetery in Jerusalem.

Hashem Yikom Damo.

Let's hope for the day Bimhera Veyamenu that Hamas will be no more, as is hinted to in this verse that we just read this past Shabbat:

לֹא-יִשָּׁמַע עוֹד חָמָס בְּאַרְצֵךְ

"Hamas" shall no more be heard in thy land

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Rav Kaduri Article Updated

Arutz Sheva updated the Rav Kaduri article with the following:
Postscript to this article.
In light of numerous questions to the editor regarding the above article, Arutz Sheva wishes to clarify the following:

Arutz Sheva show host Yehoshua Meiri takes full responsibility for the accuracy of the information in the news item above.

Rabbi Kaduri's remarks regarding natural disasters were said in the framework of a class on Tuesday, Sept. 13th, 2005, which covered the Nevi'im (prophets) section of the book Chok l'Yisrael.

The following is a response from Yehoshua Meiri:

I am not the official spokesman for Rabbi Kaduri's court.

Anyone who needs to know, knows precisely the essence of the relationship between the Tzadik Rabbi Kaduri and myself. HaRav Baruch Avraham Rakovsky from Jerusalem and HaRav Yissachar Bergman Shach from Bnei Barak and even the Director of Channel One TV Moti Eden and many others can testify to this relationship.

Moreover, in the last national elections in Israel, all of the election commercials for Rabbi Kaduri's party Ahavat Yisrael broadcast the explicit announcement that the website, which I operate, is the official website of Rav Yitzhak Kaduri, shlita. In the website, there is an explicit letter of approbation signed by Rabbi Kaduri for the website and my activities.

Also noteworthy is the fact that when the Rabbi went on a helicopter campaign to various communities years ago, I escorted him in his travels as can be seen by clicking here. [Ed. Note: Yehoshua Meiri is seen 8 seconds into the video seated next to Rabbi Kaduri in the helicopter speaking to the camera.]

Anyone interested in clarifying the truth should make an appointment to meet the Rabbi, and I will join the meeting to hear together what the Rabbi says.

Feel free to respond to me via
End of Meiri's response

On the other hand, we still have denials, like this:
Today, Wednesday 9/21/05 I went to Rav Kaduri's Yeshivah, Yeshivot Nachalat Yitzhok, on Rechov David, between Rechov Yechezkiel and Rechov Bar Ilan,in the Bucharim section of Yerushalayim. Rav Kaduri was not there, but everyone I asked said that these quotes are not true. In the office, the director, the menahel, told me that he is getting 10s of calls every day about these quotes, and they are not true. It was true that he met with Sharon, privately, and that no one could possibly know what they said, including himself. But the unanimous voice of those in his Yeshivah regarding the call for all to return to Israel because of imminent disasters is not true. To check this out, I recommend to go there, or send someone you know to go there, and ask, you may be able to ask Rav Kaduri himself, at an opportune moment, but surely you can ask the staff, gabayim, talmidim, and people who hang out there. If he really said this someone there should know of it, or at least say its true. It is senseless for everyone to 'beleive' when you can so easily check it out yourself.
The Menahel , bevakasha, to please put this on the internet so he will stop getting calls all day. So, I'm not giving out the phone number, but it is listed. But, give him a break and send in a friend or go yourself.
Yitzhok - Yerushalayim

I'm still confused.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Should New Orleans Be Rebuilt?

I don't know.

There may, however, be a hint from the first 5 verses in Malachi.

Very interesting is the Radak on verse 4, s.v. וקראו להם גבול רשעה.

Also interesting is the Radak on verse 5, s.v. ואתם תאמרו יגדל השם, which fits in with Rav Kaduri's statement.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Rav Kaduri's Statement Confusion

By now, most, if not all of you, have heard about the "Statement of Rav Kaduri, Shlit"a" that there will be upcoming disasters in the future, and that all Jews should emigrate to Israel.

This statement has now been confirmed and unconfirmed, leaving many, including myself, utterly confused. (I've heard separate confirmations and unconfirmations as well via word-of-mouth.) As a resident of Hutz La'aretz, and one who takes the word of Hachmei HaKabbala seriously, I would like to know the real truth. If you have it, please comment.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Gaza and Katrina

With all due respect to Rabbi Gil Student, I don't know how one can't see a Middah Keneged Middah aspect of Hurrican Katrina for the Gaza Evacuation. I don't speak for Hashem, but I'm only writing what my eyes see. The comparisons and timing are clear.

Both had:

  • Massive Evacuations

  • Looting

  • Graves being moved

  • Last strongholds from rooftops

  • Beach-front homes and businesses being demolished

I'm sure commentors can think of more.

See Lazer Beams, Sultan Knish, and R' Dov Bar Leib, who agree.

(Also, see a list here of people who disagree.)

Of course, I am saddened - and not gladdened - by the loss of life and property to those in and around the New Orleans area. My heart goes out to them.
Here are a couple of places to donate:

Orthodox Union's Hurrican Katrina Relief Fund

Jewish Hurricane Relief, Chabad Lubavitch of Louisiana