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Thursday, April 30, 2009

R' Elya Svei Zt"l Besheim R' Elchonon Wasserman Zt"l: Mashiah in 2009

Seen on an old thread here. So, I apologize if this is old news - it's news to me.

R' Elya Svei Zt"l (who was just niftar a month ago), talking to Yeshiva boys from Denver in 2003, told them that R' Elchonon Wasserman Zt"l predicted Mashiah's arrival in 2009.

Start at minute 36:20 and play until 44:37. Here's a link to the video.

The audio is hard to hear, so here's a transcript of the first part of what he said (done the best I could):
R' Elchonon Wasserman said...You heard of R' Elchonon Wasserman?...You heard of R' Elchonon Wasserman?...(nods) So R' Elchonon Wasserman said that the second World War...The second World War started in 1939 - the second World War started...(unintelligible) the second World War. So R' Elchonon said that then started...עקבתא דמשיחא started. This time is called עקבתא דמשיחא - time...preparation for the time of the Mashiah. Then, he said it has to take 70 years. עקבתא דמשיחא has to take 70 years. Preparation for him has to be done...for 70 years. So, 70 years is pretty soon, you know. 1939 plus 70 - it comes out that that's 2009 - that's 70 years. When another 70 years are finished, that's 2009. 2009 - that's not such a long time. We have to get ready now. Not too much...not too much are left. So, we should know from R' Elchonon Wasserman, one of our gedolim. He said that 70 years - that's when Mashiah is going to come. Mashiah...Mashiah needs preparation...Mashiah needs preparation...

He says more of the same a couple minutes later.
May it be so.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Other Swine Flu/Edom/Har Tzion Thoughts

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Tzara'at<->Hazir<->Edom Triangle

In the previous post, I showed how the fourth kingdom of Edom that we are currently in is compared to Tzara'at.

In another recent post, I alluded to how Edom is symbolized by the Hazir (although I did slightly digress from that pshat, but that is the commonly held position).

Now, to complete the triangle, I'll show the connection between tzara'at and hazir.

Gemara Kiddushin 49b:

'עשרה קבים נגעים ירדו לעולם ט' נטלו חזירים כו

10 measurements of tzara'at went down to the world: 9 of which were taken by pigs [and 1 for the rest of the world]

Gemara Shabbat 129a-b:

רב ושמואל דאמרי תרוייהו האי מאן דעביד מילתא ליטעום מידי והדר ליפוק דאי לא טעים מידי אי פגע בשכבא ירקא אפיה אי פגע במאן דקטל נפשא מית אי פגע בדבר אחר קשה לדבר אחר

Rav and Shemu'el, who both say: Someone who does this thing [of bloodletting] should taste something and then go out because if he does not taste something, if he meets up with a dead body, his face will turn green; if he meets up with someone who killed someone, he'll die; if he meets up with something else [i.e., a pig], it is bad for something else [i.e., tzara'at]

Rashi there:

בדבר אחר. חזיר: קשה לדבר אחר. צרעת שהחזירים מנוגעים הם כדאמרינן בקידושין י' קבים נגעים ירדו לעולם תשעה נטלו חזירים

Something else. pig: Bad for something else. Tzara'at since pigs have tzara'at as it says in Kiddushin "10 measurements of tzara'at went down to the world: 9 of which were taken by pigs"

See also Rashi in Ketuvot 61b ד"ה דבר אחר חזאי ביה.


Now, isn't it interesting that during Parshat Tazria/Metzora, a swine flu broke out in one of the lands of Edom?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tzara'at and the Obama Presidency

The gemara Sanhedrin 97a says:

תניא ר' נחמיה אומר דור שבן דוד בא בו העזות תרבה והיוקר יעות והגפן יתן פריו והיין ביוקר ונהפכה כל המלכות למינות ואין תוכחה מסייע ליה לר' יצחק דא"ר יצחק אין בן דוד בא עד שתתהפך כל המלכות למינות אמר רבא מאי קרא (ויקרא יג) כולו הפך לבן טהור הוא

We learned in a Beraita: R' Nehemia says: the generation that [Mashiah] ben David comes in - gall will increase and the honorable one will be a cheat and the vine will give forth its fruit, but wine will be expensive anyways and the entire kingdom will turn to heresy and there is no rebuke. This beraita is a proof to R' Yitzhak since R' Yitzhak says: [Mashiah] ben David will not come until the entire kingdom will turn to heresy. Rava said: What is the verse that supports this? (Vayikra 13:13) It entirely turned white - it is pure.

Rashi there says:

כולו הפך לבן טהור הוא. כשפשט הנגע בכל העור כך כשנהפכה כל המלכות למינות תבא גאולה

It entirely turned white - it is pure: when the affliction spread to all the skin. So too, when the entire kingdom turns to heresy, the Ge'ula will come

The Maharsha says:

עי' פרש"י והוא מבואר במדרש שאת זו בבל כו' ספחת זו מדי כו' בהרת זו יון כו' נגע צרעת זו רומי כו' והלבן שבנגע צרעת הוא סימן טומאה למלכות אדום שישראל יהיו בהסגר ומאסר הגלות במלכות הרביעית וכשיתהפך כולו ללבן הוא סימן טהרה למוסגר כמ"ש כולו הפך לבן טהור כן כשיתהפך כולו למינות הוא סימן טהרה לישראל שיצאו מתוך ההסגר ומאסר הגלות וק"ל

See Rashi's explanation. This is explained in the Midrash: Se'eit - this is Bavel...Sapahat - this is Madai...Baheret - this is Yavan...Nega Tzara'at - this is Romi... The white part of the affliction of Tzara'at is a sign of impurity to the kingdom of Edom since Israel will be in seclusion and in the prison of exile in the fourth kingdom. However, when the affliction turns entirely white, it is a sign of purity for one in seclusion, as it says: It entirely turned white - it is pure. Similarly, when the entire [kingdom] turns to heresy, it is a sign of purity for Israel that they will leave from the seclusion and prison of exile.

It's virtually impossible to find any part of the Edomite US government that is בשר חי (live flesh) nowadays. There's either corruption or ultra-liberal policies that go against the 7 Mitzvot Bnei No'ah or some kind of Antisemitism - whether it's the old fashioned kind or the new-age kind.
And this is just the US portion of Edom - Europe and Russia have it much worse.
If it's not כולו yet, it's moving in that direction. And when that happens, believe it or not, that's good news.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Links about Warnings to US Jews

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Quote of the Year about Iran's President

Dallas Morning News via Honest Reporting:
After all, giving the Holocaust-denying fruitcake Ahmadinejad a platform to lecture the world about racism is like inviting Bernie Madoff to headline a global conference on business ethics.

The הגדה של פסח says:

בכל דור ודור עומדים עלינו לכלותינו

What is עומדים? Standing. It doesn't say לוחמים נגדנו לכלותינו (fighting against us to destroy us) - but rather, עומדים עלינו - standing up against us. This must be referring to standing up to speak against עם ישראל. The speeches come first, and later comes the fighting. In the end, Hashem is מצילנו מידם - from their hand (i.e. from the fighting).
This is what Hitler ימ"ש did originally before he started to be לוחם נגדנו. He used the power of his voice against us. This is what Ahdmedinejad ימ"ש has done for the past few years, most recently at Durban II.

May הקב"ה be מצילנו מידם like He did so many times before.

Monday, April 20, 2009


My Saba passed away today.

He was 92.

A US Army veteran, who, along with (תבדלטו"א) Savta, raised 5 children, 17 grandchildren (of whom I am the eldest), and many great-grandchildren בלי עין הרע, Saba will be greatly missed.

The amazing thing about Saba is that despite his becoming a Shomer Shabbat late in life, ALL of his descendants are B"H Shomerei Torah Umitzvot. Many of his descendants have Semicha or married people who got Semicha. My Saba had a special Zechut.

My grandparents retired to Israel in the '80s because of Saba's great love of Eretz Yisrael. He and (תבדלטו"א) Savta left all their numerous friends and relatives in the US and came to settle in the land that they knew was their home, which was not an easy task. He was even an admirer of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane Z"L at a time when it was unpopular to do so.

I had the special privilege to speak with Saba over the phone just hours before his passing. He repeatedly told me, "Everything will be OK". Now that he has passed, I am not privy to know the true meaning of his words.

I have many more personal memories of Saba, but they are out of the scope of this post.

May his memory be a blessing. יהי זכרו ברוך.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Midrash Rabba on Shemini - The 4 Malchuyot

The last Midrash Rabba on Parshat Shemini has a lengthy discussion on the 4 Malchuyot, or Galuyot, if you will.
Below is a chart to keep track of them. I'm aware that there are other Midrashim that talk about other verses' connection with the 4 Malchuyot. I'm just mentioning the ones found in this midrash.
פרתחדקלגיחוןפישוןבראשית ב:יא-יד
נפלתגדולהחשכהאימהבראשית טו:יב
אימהחשכהגדולהנפלתsame acc. to יש אומרים
(צמאון אשר אין מים?)עקרבשרףנחשדברים ח:טו
חיוא רביעאה דחילא ואמתני יתיראאחרי כנמרתנינא דמיא לדבקדמיתא כאריהדניאל ז:ד-ז
כל היוצא ממנה יטרףנמר שקד על עריהםזאב ערבות ישדדםעל כן הכם אריה מיערירמיה ה:ו
החזיר*הארנבתהשפןהגמלויקרא יא:ד-ז

*Of note is the fact that the first time that the Midrash mentions the חזיר, it says "ואת החזיר - זו פרס". The מהרז"ו considers this a mistake and says צ"ל זו שעיר. The עץ יוסף and מתנות כהונה, however, say that פרס is a nickname for מלכות רביעית. Presumably, it keeps the girsa since the חזיר is "מפריס פרסה". I talked about this 2 years ago.
If it is indeed talking about present-day פרס, one can say that פרס is compared to the חזיר since it's showing the world, "Look at my split hooves - the innocent use of nuclear materials," when, in fact, its use for them is very unkosher.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Ribbi Yehoshua is LeShitato

This article makes the case of how the fact that we follow Ribbi Yehoshua regarding saying Birkat Hahama in Nissan shows how we do not need Teshuva to be redeemed in the Final Redemption.

May all the blog readers have a joyous and meaningful Pesah, and may we soon be able to eat מן הזבחים ומן הפסחים in Yerushalayim בב"א.

List of Things to do on Wednesday

This doesn't even get close to the list my wife has to do, but here goes (leaving out some things, but here are the major ones):

  1. Get up for Neitz minyan
  2. Say Shaharit
  3. Say Birkat Hahama
  4. Attend Siyum
  5. Eat a literal breakfast
  6. Burn Hametz
  7. Shave Lichvod Yom Tov
  8. Go to work (unfortunately)
  9. Lunch-time nap??
  10. Come home and help wife with tons of stuff
  11. Say this (if there's time)
  12. Shower Lichvod Yom Tov
  13. Make Eiruv Tavshilin
  14. Go to Minha/Arvit with Hallel
  15. Think of ways of getting kids involved in Seder
  16. Go to seder and get the kids who were up since 5:30 AM involved in the seder (i.e. Mission Impossible)
  17. Shir Hashirim (if I can keep my eyes open)
  18. Help wife with clean-up
  19. Plotz!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Rav Shmueli on the Targums on Leil Shimurim

Rav Shmueli recently gave a Shiur, where most of it talks about the connection of Leil HaSeder to the future Ge'ula.

This is based on the Targum Yonatan and Targum Yerushalmi on the verse ליל שמורים הוא לה' להוציאם מארץ מצרים, where both Targums talk about the "fourth night".

The Targum Yerushalmi says:

ליליא רביעאה כד ישלים עלמא קיציה למִתפרקא, חבלי רשעא ישתיצון וגירי פרזלא יתברון, משה יפוק מן גו מדברא, ומלכא משיחא מן גו רומא, דין ידבר בריש עננא, ודין ידבר בריש עננא, ומימרא דה' מדבר בין תרויהון, ואינון מהלכין כחדא, הוא ליל פסחא קדם ה' נטיר ומזמין לכל ישראל לדריהון.

Here's my "Targum" into English of the Targum Yerushalmi:
On the fourth night, when the world will complete its end to be redeemed, the ropes of evil will be cut and the arrows of iron will be broken. Moshe will come out from the middle of the desert and the King Mashiah from the middle of Rome. This one will speak from the top of a cloud and this one will speak from the top of a cloud, and the Word of Hashem will be spoken between both of them, and they will travel as one. That is the night of Pesah before Hashem, guarded and prepared for all of Israel for their generations.

Could the fact that Mashiah coming from Rome (which is an oft-mentioned concept in the Gemara and Midrashim) have anything to do with the recent earthquake near there?
Could Birkat Hahama and Leil HaSeder give Rome the one-two punch that sparks the Ge'ula?

Stay tuned...

(See also WeWantMashiah.)

Music for Birkat Hahama?

The city-wide Birkat Hahama gathering is expected to have a band playing music as part of the celebration.

But is music really appropriate for Birkat Hahama? There should be proof to say that for Birkat Hahama itself, music is not appropriate. The proof is that we still require a Siyum for Ta'anit Bechorot in order for the firstborn to break their fast. If music would be appropriate for Birkat Hahama, that would mean that we should have a Se'udat Mitzvah for it (an appropriate time for music, like a berit milah), which would be reason enough to break the fast. However, since we also require a Siyum, this shows that music is not appropriate for Birkat Hahama in and of itself.

2 possible answers:

1) אה"נ, music is not appropriate for Birkat Hahama, but it's appropriate for the Siyum itself so there's no harm to have it.

2) Birkat Hahama on Erev Pesah is a prelude to the Ge'ula Sheleima, so, just as Miriam and the women took out drums and cymbols from Egypt to play music in their belief of the upcoming Ge'ula, we can do so too, and even start playing for Birkat Hahama.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

A New Pshat in Tehilim 92:3

I'm sure someone has said this before, and if so, ברוך שכוונתי, but I thought of this over Shabbat.

Tehilim 92:3 says:

לְהַגִּיד בַּבֹּקֶר חַסְדֶּךָ; וֶאֱמוּנָתְךָ, בַּלֵּילוֹת

To declare Thy lovingkindness in the morning, and Thy faithfulness in the night seasons

This year, we can say that this verse can be referring to this coming Wednesday.

In the morning, we are declaring Hashem's lovingkindness by saying Birkat Hahama. We know that the sun is a symbol of Hesed to those who fear Hashem from the Haftara of Shabbat Hagadol that we just read:

וְזָרְחָה לָכֶם יִרְאֵי שְׁמִי, שֶׁמֶשׁ צְדָקָה, וּמַרְפֵּא, בִּכְנָפֶיהָ

But even simpler than that, the sun is the tool Hashem uses to provide us with light and warmth - what greater Hesed is there than that!

At night, we declare our Emunah in Hashem, Who had taken out of Egypt, and continues to be Mashgi'ah over us today and we instill this into our children via a הגדה because of והגדת לבנך - thus the word להגיד is used for the seifa of the Pasuk too.

(The plural of לילות can either refer to the 2 sedarim of the diaspora or the second night can refer to the seventh of Pesah where ויאמינו בה' ובמשה עבדו.)


Another idea:

The prayers for Shabbat are divided into three parts:
Shabbat Bereishit - this is said Shabbat Arvit
Shabbat Matan Torah - this is said Shabbat Shaharit
Shabbat Le'atid Lavo - this is said Shabbat Minha

Wednesday morning, we'll be declaring our Emuna in Ma'asei Bereishit.
Wednesday night, we'll be declaring our Emuna in Yetzi'at Mitzrayim which culminated in Matan Torah
Fast forward a week until Thursday morning, we (in the diaspora) will be declaring our Emuna in Mashiah by reciting my favorite Haftara of the year.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Blago Indicted, Video Shows Better Times

Even though the former Illinois governor has just been indicted on federal corruption charges, and deservedly so, here's a video that shows him in better times. Brought to you by Rabbi Doug. He speaks at a Simhat Beit Hasho'eiva 2.5 years ago, and then starts dancing. It's quite funny, I think.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Birkat Hahama Weather Forecast

So far so good, if the report holds true. Rain likely for Leil HaSeder.

Keri'at Atlantic

Someone emailed me this picture (click on it to enlarge), which is meant to be humorous, but I couldn't help but think about Yeshaya 11:15-16 :

וְהֶחֱרִים יְהוָה, אֵת לְשׁוֹן יָם-מִצְרַיִם, וְהֵנִיף יָדוֹ עַל-הַנָּהָר, בַּעְיָם רוּחוֹ; וְהִכָּהוּ לְשִׁבְעָה נְחָלִים, וְהִדְרִיךְ בַּנְּעָלִים.

And the LORD will utterly destroy the tongue of the Egyptian sea; and with His scorching wind will He shake His hand over the River, and will smite it into seven streams, and cause men to march over dry-shod.

וְהָיְתָה מְסִלָּה--לִשְׁאָר עַמּוֹ, אֲשֶׁר יִשָּׁאֵר מֵאַשּׁוּר: כַּאֲשֶׁר הָיְתָה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּיוֹם עֲלֹתוֹ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם.

And there shall be a highway for the remnant of His people, that shall remain from Assyria, like as there was for Israel in the day that he came up out of the land of Egypt.

Then, see the Peirushim on these verses.
Rashi ד"ה לשבעה נחלים seems to imply that it's not only for Ashur and Mitzrayim.

This may be an accurate portrayal of one day in the future! May it be soon!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Rav Shmueli: Buy 2 suits to greet Mashiah

Rav Shmueli, in his weekly shiur, talks a lot about how one must prepare for the seder night. It's worth listening to the whole thing for those who understand Hebrew.

Here's a clip of that shiur, to which I added subtitles, where he mentions that one should buy 2 new suits - 1 for Birkat Hahama and 1 for Pesah - so that we can say shehehiyanu on them, so we perhaps can merit to greet Mashiah.

Sorry for the "static" in the video. It was in the original.

Tefillah For the Seventh of Nissan (an interesting one!)

May it be Your will, Hashem, our G-d, and the G-d of our fathers, that our reading in the Torah of the order of the sacrifice of the Prince Elishama Ben Amihud from the tribe of Ephraim, who is sealed with the attribute of Ateret Hayesod of Ze'eir Anpin, should be considered important and accepted as his sacrifice, which he has brought for the dedication of Your holy altar. And it should be considered upon us as if we understood all the secrets and all the holy names that come out from the beginning of words and ends of words of these holy verses, and our lips should supplement bulls. And upon us and upon the entire house of Israel should shine all the holy sparks and all the holy lights that are included this the holiness of this tribe. And let us be enclothed in the holiness of this tribe in order to understand and be wise in Your Torah and in Your awe - awe of Your loftiness - to do Your will as You will it all the days of our lives - this goes for us, our children, and our children's children.יהי רצון מלפניך ה' אלקינו ואלקי אבותינו שיהא חשוב ומרוצה קריאתנו בתורה סדר קרבן נשיא אלישמע בן עמיהוד משבט אפרים החתום בעטרת היסוד דזעיר אנפין, קרבנו אשר הקריב לחנכת מזבחך הקדוש. ותעלה עלינו כאלו השגנו כל הסודות וכל שמות הקדש היוצאים מראשי תיבות וסופי תיבות מקראי קדש אלה ונשלמה פרים שפתינו. ויאירו נא עלינו ועל כל בית ישראל אחינו כל נצוצות הקדשה וכל האורות הקדושות הכלולות בקדשת זה השבט, ונהיה מלבשים בקדשת זה השבט, להבין ולהשכיל בתורתך וביראתך יראת הרוממות, לעשות רצונך כרצונך כל ימי חיינו, אנחנו וזרענו וזרע זרענו
The Lofty One, turn toward Your nation, who remembers Your holiness. Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up Thy might, and come to save us. And the throne of the kingdom of Mashiah Ben Ephraim inside Yerushalayim, establish quickly. And there should not be troubles or sorrow in our redemption - that Mashiah Ben Ephraim, who will begin to console us and to raise our flag over the nations, should not be killed by way of Armilos The Wicked. He asked life of Thee, Thou gavest it him; even length of days for ever and ever. according to his blessing he blessed him, His firstling bullock, majesty is his; and his horns are the horns of the wild-ox; with them he shall gore the peoples all of them, even the ends of the earth; and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.יחיד גאה לעמך פנה זוכרי קדשתך. לפני אפרים ובנימין ומנשה עוררה את גבורתך ולכה לישועתה לנו. וכסא מלכות משיח בן אפרים בתוך ירושלים מהרה תכין. ואל תהי צרה ויגון בגאלתנו, שלא יהרג משיח בן אפרים, אשר יתחיל לנחמנו ולהרים דגלנו על הגוים, על ידי ארמילוס הרשע. חיים שאל ממך נתתה לו ארך ימים עולם ועד, אשר כברכתו ברך אותו, בכור שורו הדר לו וקרני ראם קרניו בהם עמים ינגח יחדו אפסי ארץ והם רבבות אפרים והם אלפי מנשה
And in the merit of Ephraim, who is sealed with Ateret Yesod Ze'eir Anpin, Remember, Hashem, against the children of Edom the day of Jerusalem; who said: 'Rase it, rase it, even to the foundation thereof.' All the horns of the wicked also will I cut off; but the horns of the righteous shall be lifted up. For Thou dost bless the righteous; Hashem, Thou dost encompass him with favour as with a shield. Thou wilt arise, and have compassion upon Zion; for it is time to be gracious unto her, for the appointed time is come. And He Who redeemed the fathers when Israel left Egypt, Hashem should add a second time to redeem the children. Let Israel rejoice in his Maker; let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and they that harass Judah shall be cut off; Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptible before You, Hashem, my Rock and my Redeemer. ובזכות אפרים החתום בעטרת יסוד זעיר אנפין, זכור ה' לבני אדום האומרים ערו ערו עד היסוד בה. וכל קרני רשעים אגדע תרוממנה קרנות צדיק. כי אתה תברך צדיק ה' כצנה רצון תעטרהו. אתה תקום תרחם ציון כי עת לחננה כי בא מועד. ומי שגאל את האבות בצאת ישראל ממצרים, יוסיף ה' שנית לגאול את הבנים. ישמח ישראל בעשיו בני ציון יגילו במלכם. וסרה קנאת אפרים, וצררי יהודה יכרתו. אפרים לא יקנא את יהודה ויהודה לא יצר את אפרים. יהיו לרצון אמרי פי והגיון לבי לפניך ה' צורי וגאלי