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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Emancipation Proclamation Anniversary and Geula

Take this post as Derush.

January 1st, 2013 marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, whereby President Lincoln allowed all slaves living in the United States to live as free men, no longer bound by the shackles of their masters.

The year was 1863.  The freed slaves were celebrating a Yovel, and they called it such.   From the North Dallas Gazzette:
The next day, January 1, 1863, became known as “Jubilee Day” to the newly freed African men, women and children.
Vayikra 25:10:
וְקִדַּשְׁתֶּם, אֵת שְׁנַת הַחֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה, וּקְרָאתֶם דְּרוֹר בָּאָרֶץ, לְכָל-יֹשְׁבֶיהָ; יוֹבֵל הִוא, תִּהְיֶה לָכֶם, וְשַׁבְתֶּם אִישׁ אֶל-אֲחֻזָּתוֹ, וְאִישׁ אֶל-מִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ תָּשֻׁבוּ.
And ye shall hallow the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof; it shall be a jubilee unto you; and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family.

Vayikra 25:11:
יוֹבֵל הִוא, שְׁנַת הַחֲמִשִּׁים שָׁנָה--תִּהְיֶה לָכֶם; לֹא תִזְרָעוּ--וְלֹא תִקְצְרוּ אֶת-סְפִיחֶיהָ, וְלֹא תִבְצְרוּ אֶת-נְזִרֶיהָ.
A jubilee shall that fiftieth year be unto you; ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of the undressed vines.

Vayikra 25:12:
כִּי יוֹבֵל הִוא, קֹדֶשׁ תִּהְיֶה לָכֶם; מִן-הַשָּׂדֶה--תֹּאכְלוּ, אֶת-תְּבוּאָתָהּ.
For it is a jubilee; it shall be holy unto you; ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field.

Vayikra 25:13
בִּשְׁנַת הַיּוֹבֵל, הַזֹּאת, תָּשֻׁבוּ, אִישׁ אֶל-אֲחֻזָּתוֹ.
In this year of jubilee ye shall return every man unto his possession.

After וקראתם דרור בארץ לכל ישביה - "proclaim liberty throughout the land unto all the inhabitants thereof", we have the phrase יובל הוא three times.  This tells us that after the slaves were officially freed, there is a 3-Yovel wait until we reach the Great Yovel.

After the first יובל הוא, it says וְשַׁבְתֶּם אִישׁ אֶל-אֲחֻזָּתוֹ, וְאִישׁ אֶל-מִשְׁפַּחְתּוֹ תָּשֻׁבוּ "and ye shall return every man unto his possession, and ye shall return every man unto his family".  The Emancipation Proclamation occurred in 1863.  Fifty years later is 1913, in the middle of the Second Aliya, but on a grander scale, in the middle of the entire Shivat Tzion - the return to Zion.

After the second יובל הוא, it says לֹא תִזְרָעוּ--וְלֹא תִקְצְרוּ אֶת-סְפִיחֶיהָ, וְלֹא תִבְצְרוּ אֶת-נְזִרֶיהָ "ye shall not sow, neither reap that which groweth of itself in it, nor gather the grapes in it of the undressed vines".  Fifty years after 1913 is 1963.  This was during the 19 years when the Kotel or any part of the Old City of Yerushalayim was not accessible.  We were, in a sense, a land that layeth fallow.

After the third יובל הוא, it says קֹדֶשׁ תִּהְיֶה לָכֶם; מִן-הַשָּׂדֶה--תֹּאכְלוּ, אֶת-תְּבוּאָתָהּ "it shall be holy unto you; ye shall eat the increase thereof out of the field."  Fifty years later brings us to 2013 or 5773.  We hope that this year would be fit to be called "holy".  And as opposed to 50 years ago, when the land layeth fallow, we will be able to eat from the produce of the field.  Which field?  The field that Yitzhak Avinu went לשוח בשדה - i.e., the Beit Hamikdash.

Finally, בשנת היובל הזאת, in this Yovel, every man will return to his possession.  אכי"ר.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Shemirat Einayim Stories

This week's Pahad David has some interesting Shemirat Einayim stories (stories about guarding one's eyes) on page 2 of the newsletter, based on the Midrash that says that Yosef merited greatness due to his not deriving benefit from a woman that was not his:
  • R' Tzemah Mazuz of Kisei Rahamim heard second-hand that when Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a's wife passed away in 5754, Baba Elazar ZT"L asked Rav Ovadia how he merited to have children who were all Talmidei Hachamim and Tzadikkim.

    Rav Ovadia initially said simply that Hashem give him a gift.  However, Baba Elazar was not impressed and said Hashem doesn't give gifts for nothing, so what merit did he have that allowed him to have righteous children?

    Rav Ovadia repeated again that simply Hashem gave that blessing to him. Baba Elazar pressed him and pressed him and said, "I'm not leaving here until you reveal your secret."

    Rav Ovadia finally said, "You know, dozens of years ago, I was a Dayan in a Petah Tikva Beit Din, and couples came there to get divorced. Most of the couples were not Torah-observant, so most of the women were not dressed modestly. And we, the judges, needed to investigate, ask questions, talk and try to make peace. This was not easy!

    "And never did I - Has Veshalom - lift up my eyes to see with whom I am speaking. I spoke and my eyes were looking down on the floor." In place of the holiness of the eyes, HKB"H knows to compensate properly, as Haza"l say למען ייטב לך ולבניך אחריך - theft and illicit relationships that people desire constantly, when someone stays away from them, HKB"H pays back that much more.
  • Rav Moshe Aharon Pinto ZT"L had people come to him often for blessings, including women, but everyone attested to the fact that he didn't look at the women who came to him.  His rabbanit - Rabbanit Mazal Pinto Telit"a - tried to test this on him.  She changed her clothes and head-covering and went in to her own home to get a blessing from her husband, changing her natural voice.  Her disguise was so good that no one there recognized her in her own home. 

    When she went to see him, he asked her, "What is your name?"


    "Mazal, the daughter of whom?"

    "Mazal bat Simha."

    The rav smiled and said, "You have the same name as my wife and your mother is the same as her mother." He blessed her with good wishes.

    She asked if he could also bless her children.

    "You have a husband?"


    "And what's his name?"

    "Moshe Aharon."

    "Ha, ha! Your name is like my wife's name, your mother's name is like her mother's name, and your husband's name is exactly like mine!" He blessed her again.

    Afterwards, the rabbanit mentioned the names of her children, and he said, "BeHasdei Hashem! Hashem put here a woman whose name is like my wife's, her mother's like my wife's mother's, her husband's like me, and her children like mine! Such providence!"

    Suddenly, the woman started laughing and asked her husband, "Have you forgotten me? Don't you know who I am?" Then, the rav understood that it was his wife, and asked her why she did this trick. She answered, "I wanted to test you to make sure you didn't stare at women. The whole time I mentioned the names, I thought that maybe curiosity would cause you to stare, but you never did. Now I understand that you are a true tzaddik."

    However, Rav Moshe Aharon didn't like what she did, and told her that she should not have done so. "What if I looked out of curiosity? There is a Yetzer Hara that tried to get me to look, but thank G-d, I overcame it and did not look. Even if I did look, really you are my wife, but what if you were really another woman..."
  • It says in the book Si'ah Sarfei Kodesh that once some people were praising Rav Kook ZT"L for his Shemirat Einayim in front of Rav Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld ZT"L in that whenever someone walked into the room, he would look down so as not to see something he shouldn't and that whenever he talked to women with halachic questions, he would answer them with his eyes closed. 

    Rav Sonnenfeld answered, "If so, he will have a greater portion in the next world."

    Also, Rav Yitzhak Arieli, the author of Einayim Lamishpat, learned with Rav Kook as his Havruta for many hours of the day for over 3 years and when they learned, they were in a locked door and no one left for any reason barring saving a life. Rav Arieli attested to the fact that throughout those years, Rav Kook did not see the form of a woman at all.

Quick Notes

  • I'm having writer's block on one of the great Mashiah-related Parshiyot of the year.  (I would consider Vayehi, Balak, and Nitzavim in that category.)  There's a lot to be said this week, but I can't think of anything right now.  :-(
  • I've been following the sad happenings between Rav Ovadia Yosef and Rav Amnon Yitzchak.  I'm probably following it too closely.  It's making my head spin.  Hence, the writer's block.
  • Anyone notice the beautiful new graphic on the top of my blog?  I'm sure you have.  Devorah Designs created it for me "in appreciation for all the Torah that I've learned from you".  May you be blessed with much Hatzlaha in all you do. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Rav Mordechai Eliyahu ZT"L on the Holocaust Being Gog Umagog

Translated from the Kol Tzofayich newsletter for Vayigash (very last paragraph):

Rav Eliyahu ZT"L used to say that the Holocaust was Gog Umagog, as it is written in the gemara that HKB"H could consider Hizkiya to be Mashiah and Sanheriv as Gog Umagog, but the sin caused this not to be so (Sanhedrin 94).  If so, it's possible to consider the Holocaust as Gog Umagog.  We have suffered enough.

The Rav related that someone had argued on his view and said that his words were not correct and that the War of Gog Umagog will be coming in the future, and he brought all types of proofs that it had not yet occurred.  The Rav told him: "Whoever thinks that there needs to be a War of Gog Umagog will be in this war, while those who hold that it had occurred already will be exempt from it."

And in truth, there is a difference between a statement of someone as an explanation or as an idea and someone who is deciding Halacha.  Rav Eliyahu is a Halachic decisor, and that which is decided here in this world is fulfilled in the next world.  This is especially the case if we are dealing with words of Halachic decisors who say that everything is already prepared for Redemption.

- From the book Besha'ar Hamelech

Monday, December 24, 2012

Bar Kappara and his 12 Wives

I found this tidbit fascinating.

Rav Zevihi's book Mizahav Umipaz goes on a small tangent and talks about the biography of Bar Kappara.  He quotes the book Yihusei Tana'im Va'amora'im that says that it says "in Aggada" that Bar Kappara had 12 wives who accepted upon themselves to support him due to his great wisdom.

He asks that this seems very strange for a Tanna to have so many wives, something pretty much unheard of even in those days for Talmidei Hachamim.  Furthermore, a source for this "Aggada" cannot be found anywhere.

He noticed that the book "Olelot" by R' Reuven Margoliot asked the same question and came up with a solution to both questions.

He says there that the Yerushalmi Yevamot 4:12 (Classical | Yedid Nefesh) brings down a story:
There was a story of 13 brothers and 12 died without children.  The widows who needed to do Yibum came before Ribbi (Ribbi Yehuda Hanasi) and asked that the remaining brother - the Yavam - perform Yibum to them.  Ribbi therefore instructed him to perform Yibum.  The Yavam requested to be exempt with just Halitza and not perform Yibum as he would not be able to support all of them.  Upon hearing this, each one of the widows accepted upon herself to support the entire household for 1 month of the year and since there were 12 of them, he was not responsible for supporting them.  However, the Yavam said, "Who will support the household during a leap year when there is a 13th month?"  Ribbi himself answered that he would support the household in a leap year.  Ribbi prayed for them that they should all merit having lasting children and build the house of the deceased brothers, and they left.

Three years later, it was a leap year and the 12 women came in front of Ribbi's home, each one bringing 3 children, with the number of children totaling 36. They stood in front of Ribbi's home and Ribbi's servants went up to Ribbi and told him that down below there was a village of children who want to ask how you are. Ribbi peeked out the window and saw the children and their mothers and asked them, "What do you seek here?" They told him, "We seek support for the extra month of the leap year." And he gave it to them.
Olelot comments on this by saying that the gemara Yerushalmi does not specify the name of this Yavam.  However, the Bavli in Yevamot 109a quotes Bar Kappara as someone who favors Halitza over Yibum.  And furthermore, from many places in Shas we know that Bar Kappara frequented Ribbi's home. We can therefore, says Olelot, put 2 and 2 together and say that Bar Kappara was the Yavam in the Yerushalmi story. He first refused to do Yibum to his 12 sisters-in-law and only did so at the request of Ribbi. The women refused to back down and accept Halitza due to Bar Kappara's great wisdom and accepted upon themselves to support the household for a month of the year.

Olelot continues that this sheds light on the gemara Berachot 56b where Bar Kappara had a dream that his 2 hands were cut off, and Ribbi replied that this dream meant that he would not need the work of his hands.  This interpretation was fulfilled since his 12 wives supported him.

The book later supports this theory by showing how rare it was for Tana'im to have more than 1 wife, let alone 12.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Protesting Those Who Speak Against Rav Ovadia

From Ladaat

There will be a protest in Ashdod to show support to Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a, and to protest actions and words that degrade his honor.

Unfortunately, the elections is Israel have caused some people to forget normal behavior and behave badly.  In the most troublesome of these incidents, the head of the newspaper Hapeles was stabbed next to his home.  But, the bad behavior is not limited to the Ashkenazic world.

In the Sephardic world, the rise of 2 Sephardic parties other than Shas have caused the rabbis running them to make some statements which are or have been perceived as negative toward Rav Ovadia.  Hence, the protest.  Meanwhile, Rav Shimon Ba'adani Shlit"a had met with one of the rabbis on Thursday to help ease the tensions.  It is not known what came out of that meeting.

Source: Ladaat and Kikar.  See also this post, especially the quote from Bava Metzia 84b.

The protest is a necessary evil, but it is a shame that we have all this going on - especially now.  The weeks of Vayigash and Vayehi should be the weeks of the year where Ahdut should be on everyone's mind.  And just like last year at this time, division is at its peak.  It's hard to believe.  May we find the right recipe for Ahdut in our midst in order to attain the arrival of Mashiah, speedily in our days, Amen.

Another Sandy/Sandy Hook Connection

Besides what I wrote and what Rav Lazer Brody wrote, see another very good one from D. Schonfeld over at Matzav.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Rav Shachne Zohn ZT"L


It is with great sadness that we report the passing of Rav Shalom Shachne Zohn zt”l at the age of 102. Rav Zohn was rosh kollel of Kollel Kodshim V’Taharos in Har Tzvi in Yerushalayim for nearly forty years, and before that served for 30 years as a rosh mesivta and rosh yeshiva at Yeshiva Torah Vodaas in Brooklyn.

Born in a town near Mezhibuzh, at the age of seven his family immigrated to the United States, where he grew up and was a childhood friend of Rav Chaim Pinchos Scheinberg zt”l. Rav Zohn became close to Rav Scheinberg’s father-in-law, the legendary Rav Yaakov Yosef Herman zt”l, who was instrumental in sending him to learn in the great pre-war European yeshivos.

Rav Zohn studied at the yeshivos of Mir and Kamenitz in Europe and received semichah from Rav Boruch Ber Leibowitz zt”l. He was one of the few living people to have had the privilege of spending time with the Chofetz Chaim zt”l at the Radin Yeshiva.

Rav Zohn was the author of seforim Ateres Yaakov named for his father, Rav Yitzchok Yaakov Zohn zt”l, for which he received the haskamah of Rav Boruch Ber. He also authored Chemdas Hazohar, Pirkei Teshuvah Ugeulah, and Kuntres Kavod Hatorah.

Several years ago, Rav Zohn had a remarkable dream. Here is how he described it: “I saw the Chofetz Chaim…and he said to me to make known in the world that the redemption is close, and it is necessary to be ready for the redemption.” Being humble by nature, Rav Zohn did not mention his dream publicly. Then the dream was repeated. The Chofetz Chaim came once again and repeated the message, at which time Rav Zohn revealed the dream publicly.

His wife, Rebbetzin Liba, passed away about 20 years ago. He remarried and his second wife passed away about four years ago. Rav Zohn was niftar this evening at Shaarei Tzedek Hospital in Yerushalayim.

He is survived by two sons and three daughters, as well as dozens of grandchildren and great-grandchildren following in his ways.

The levaya will be held at 9:30 p.m. at his home at 11 Rechov Even Ha’azel in Ezras Torah, Yerushalayim, followed by kevurah on Har Hazeisim.

Yehi zichro boruch.

See also the short video there and at YWN.

See also Behadrei and Kikar, which has a video of him from this past Hanukka.

I first blogged about the dream 4.5 years ago here and after he became ill about 9 months ago, I posted the Mishpacha Magazine article about the dream.

תהא נשמתו צרורה בצרור החיים and may he be a Meilitz Yosher for all of Kelal Yisrael.

What We Can Learn from Sean Penn

There were not many actors in Hollywood that I had despised more than Sean Penn.  (Maybe the 2 main stars of Lethal Weapon would top the list.)  This son of a Jewish father and Catholic mother was always on the wrong side of the argument and I couldn't find anything with which I agreed with him.

Until this year.

Haza"l say יש קונה עולמו בשעה אחת - there are those who acquire their world-to-come in one moment.

Sean has been at the forefront of helping Yanky Ostreicher regain his freedom from the prisons of repressive Bolivia.  And for that, we must give him credit where credit is due.  And the recently released-to-house-arrest Ostreicher has praised him too.

From the Miami Herald:
"This never would have happened, never in a million years ... without the help of Sean Penn. What an incredible humanitarian," Ostreicher said. He said that after Penn met the president, "everything changed from that day on."
We learn in Parshat Vayechi that after Yosef died, the brothers begged forgiveness from him.  Yosef replied:

וְאַתֶּם, חֲשַׁבְתֶּם עָלַי רָעָה; אֱלֹהִים, חֲשָׁבָהּ לְטֹבָה, לְמַעַן עֲשֹׂה כַּיּוֹם הַזֶּה, לְהַחֲיֹת עַם-רָב
And as for you, ye meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive.
Sean Penn being buddy-buddy with Hugo Chavez and Evo Morales was, in our limited minds, thought to be a bad thing.  However, Hashem meant it for good to bring about a salvation.  May the salvation be completed soon.

Meanwhile, there are other Jews who are languishing in the prison system of the United States of America because the justice system failed them and get no interference from the country's president.  Jonathan Pollard and Shalom Rubashkin, whose sentences are way beyond-the-pale in length, should be going home to their families, but alas, cannot. 

Is there no one close to President Obama that can convince him of the injustice here?  He got 78% of the Jewish vote the first time and not much less the second time around!  He must have some Jewish friends in high places, so is there no one that can speak up for these prisoners who were railroaded to jail for lengthy sentences?  We have got to do a better job here. 

We need to learn how Sean Penn got things done through his activism, and follow his example in this area.  איזהו חכם? הלומד מכל אדם (Who is wise? He who learns from all men) - it says in Pirkei Avot.  "Kol Adam", believe it or not, even includes Sean Penn.

May all unjustly sentenced Jewish prisoners be freed speedily וּפְדוּיֵי יְהוָה יְשׁוּבוּן, וּבָאוּ צִיּוֹן בְּרִנָּה.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Recent Interesting Links - Vayigash 5773

Picture from WND

Shirat Devorah quotes Rav Glazerson about the Mayans

On the other hand, Rav Aviner calls Mayan prediction: "Vanity of Vanities"

Rav Don Segel on the Matzav (in Rav Fish's newsletter):  Obama is the Arab king in famous Yalkut Shimoni

Rav Lazer Brody on the Sandy/Sandy Hook connection

Ahorei Hador Ke'ahorei Hakelev

Yanky Ostreicher is B"H released from jail, but remains on house arrest

Chicago's record 291 days w/o measurable snow will be broken Thursday IY"H

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

5 Tevet Update: No Rain Today :(

Is the Sadigerer Rebbe's merit over?

I posted in 5767 about the Sadigerer Rebbe's blessing on his yahrtzeit - 5 Tevet - the following:
Tuesday was the 5th of Tevet. It rained in Israel.
Last year, on the 5th of Tevet, it rained.

The year before, on the 5th of Tevet, it rained.

In fact, it rained every year on the 5th of Tevet - even in years of severe drought - since the passing of the Sadigerer Rebbe on the 5th of Tevet, 5721 - over 45 years ago.

The Sadigerer Rebbe's last words were, "Am Yisrael needs rain!"

The power of the righteous is greater in death than in life.

Source - [link no longer valid]
And then again in 5770, and again in 5771, and again in 5772.

Today, 5 Tevet, 5773, alas, it seems that there was no rain.

Well, perhaps, the unusual amount of rain accumulated until now makes up for it, and the blessing was for only when we really needed it.

Or, perhaps, the blessing was to last 50 years from the date of his first yahrtzeit and no more.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Sandy and Sandy Hook

More than one email arrived in my inbox asking me to comment on the seemingly strange coincidence that 2 major events in the northeastern United States within 2 months of each other both had the name "Sandy".  What message is Hashem trying to convey to us with the double-use of this word in 2 very tragic events? 

The short answer is: I don't know.

And many will be satisfied by that answer.

However, for those who are not, I will attempt to give an explanation - not one that I believe is Emet La'amito - but one that Hashem put in my head, and might help some people understand this better, for whatever it's worth.  I've already received some interesting ideas from some people, especially from those who are trying to promote Aliya, but I have a different take on it.

Hurricane Sandy's landfall on the East Coast occurred during the second week of Heshvan, a mere few days after those in Eretz Yisrael started praying for rain.  In Israel, Sephardic Jews started Bareich Aleinu and Ashkenazic Jews started Vetein Tal Umatar Livracha on 7 Heshvan, and Hurricane Sandy hit New York and vicinity on 13 Heshvan, while forming days earlier.

And the devastation from the hurricane was mainly from the water, which destroyed homes and flooded basements with irreparable damage.

The tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School occurred during Hanukka, when we were lighting candles with fire.  And the madman who caused this did so with gun-fire.

On Rosh Hashana, many Jews recite the poem called Untaneh Tokef, which includes the famous words, "Who by water? Who by fire?"  We now know part of the answer for this year.

Interestingly, there were exactly 6 weeks from Rosh Hashana until Hurricane Sandy.  And there were just over 6 weeks from landfall of Hurricane Sandy until the shooting in Sandy Hook Elementary.

The name "Sandy" connotes "sand", as I had said previously.  An interesting property of sand is that sand is something that both calms water down (see Yirmiya 5:22) and also retards fires.  That is what works when things are in their natural state.  When things are not in their natural state, the water and the fire break through the sand and destroy that which is decreed for them to destroy.

Perhaps, we can say that Hashem is saying Sand-y, i.e., the possessive - My sand - the sand is Mine, says Hashem.  Hashem is in charge of nature, and when He wants natural defense mechanisms to work, He will make them work, while when He wants natural defense mechanisms to fail, He will make them fail.  There is no purely natural defense mechanism - it all comes from Hashem.  As it says in Tehillim 127:1: "except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain".

This is why many of those who tried to sand-bag and board-up their homes during the hurricane did their Hishtadlut, but ultimately did so in vain.  And regarding Sandy Hook Elementary, we must do whatever we can to prevent such things in the future, but we are ultimately not in control.  Only Hashem is.  It is His sand.  Being a member of society will not necessarily prevent that person from becoming a madman.  In this case, the fire was not retarded by the sand.  It is Hashem's sand to remove and He did so at this time.

Why at this time?  Being that we are in the times very close to Mashiah, we are currently not in a natural state.  Perhaps, Hashem is telling us that all the natural defense mechanisms that we have taken for granted throughout our lives may not work for us any longer.  Maybe Hashem is trying to tell us that from now on, we have to rely more on prayer than on whatever Hishtadlut we may have done. 

This is my take on it.  Take it for whatever it's worth.  May Hashem comfort the families of the victims of these horrific tragedies, and may we know no more sorrow.

What Now?

Click to Enlarge

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Nero of the East - in Cartoon

Hat tip: a commenter on my last post, via Rotter:
Caption in top-right corner reads "Nero of the East"

I don't know who the cartoonist is, but I verified with an Arabic-speaking coworker of mine Meisi'ah Lefi Tumo that the caption reads "Neiron of the East".  (Nero=Neiron as we see in Gittin 56a.)

Over this past summer, the web was buzzing with the quote from Otzar Midrashim p. 556, which says that when you see the Nero of the East fall in Damascus, the Salvation will come to Israel, and Mashiah Ben David will come...

Sunday, December 09, 2012

On the New Image Added to the Blog Heading

Some of you may have noticed the new image on top of my blog. I had never changed the top part of my blog's template after almost 8 years of the blog. The image is a crude picture of a dove with a sparrow-hawk in its claws. Well, almost. I tried.

Anyways, a gold 3-D version of this picture is supposed to be what was on top of the throne of Shelomo Hamelech, according to Targum Sheni of Megillat Esther:

ועל ריש כורסיא קיימא יונה די דהבא אחידא בר נצא בידיה ואף כדין עתידין כל אומיא ולישניא יתמסרון ביד מלכא משיחא ובית ישראל
And over the head of the throne stood a golden dove holding a sparrow-hawk in its claws, and such like this, all the nations and tongues are destined to be given over in the hands of the King Mashiah and the house of Israel.
See also Wikipedia's explanation on the throne

We know that Israel is compared to a dove from Berachot 53b, Shabbat 49a & 130a, among other places.

It's very easy to find images and videos of sparrow-hawks eating doves by doing a Google search.  No such luck finding one of a dove eating a sparrow-hawk.  That's because it doesn't exist. 

Similarly, we can go throughout our history and easily find instances of Jews being subjugated by the nations.  However, we never find Jews having dominion over another nation.1   And yet, when Mashiah comes, this is just what will happen.2

May this day come soon - for the good of all mankind.

1. Anyone who thinks the Palestinians are a nation needs to read history and anyone who thinks that this is dominion needs to read history - and the news.  Israel doesn't even have real dominion over itself.  The last time that occurred was during the Hashmonaim, or perhaps Bar Kochba briefly.
2. See also the Abravanel's explanation on שעבוד מלכיות בלבד.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Yosef's Freedom and Peretz's Birth

Yosef Hatzaddik was 17 when he was sold.  He was 30 when he was freed.  A difference of 13 years.  When he revealed himself to the brothers, he was 39.

Many are bothered by the chronology of the Yehuda and Tamar story.  Rashi says that Yehuda went to marry Bat Shua right after the selling of Yosef.  This presents a difficulty since Yehuda had to have married, have children who were of marriageable age, then wait a bit, then have relations with Tamar, have Peretz, and Peretz had to have married and father 2 children all in the span of 22 years.

The Ibn Ezra answered it by disagreeing with Rashi and said that the story with Yehuda had happened earlier than the sale of Yosef, but this presents its own problems, such as why Yehuda was with the brothers during the sale.

The Seder Olam Rabba (using the Gr"a's Girsa) provides the chronology of how all the above fit into 22 years:

EventRunning Year Count
Yehuda marries Bat Shua 0
1 year later, Er is born1
7 years later, Er marries Tamar8
1 year later, Er dies and Onan performs Yibum9
1 year later, Onan dies [YY-I think this is what it means]10
1 year for Tamar to stay as a widow in her father's house (verse 11)11
1 year for "Vayirbu Hayamim" (verse 12) when Bat Shua died12
1 year later, Peretz is born13
7 years later, Peretz marries20
1 year later, Hetzron is born21
1 year later, Hamul is born22

We see that on year 13, the same year that Yosef was freed from prison (the rise of Mashiah ben Yosef), Peretz was born (the rise of Mashiah ben David).

However, it seems that somewhere, we're a year off.  Seder Olam Zuta says that Peretz and Zerah were born in 2228, while we know that Yosef was freed in 2229 since Yaakov was 91 at Yosef's birth and
Yaakov was born in 2108, and at the time of his freedom, Yosef was 30. 

Perhaps, we can say that we know from the gemara that Yosef was freed on Rosh Hashana of 2229, so it wasn't much later.  צ"ע.

But even so, it could fit well with a midrash (that I mentioned previously):

ויהי בעת ההיא וירד יהודה (ישעיה סו) בטרם תחיל ילדה קודם שלא נולד משעבד הראשון נולד גואל האחרון ויהי בעת ההיא מה כתיב למעלה מן הענין והמדנים מכרו אותו אל מצרים

Before the first oppressor was "born", the final redeemer was born.

Perhaps, we could say that Par'o was the same Par'o as the one in Shemot - and he did not care to remember Yosef - so he is considered the first oppressor.  He was "born" as the oppressor when Yosef came out of prison to be his viceroy (as that is when the oppressor and ancestor of the oppressed first met).  So, before the first oppressor was "born", the final redeemer - Peretz (the ancestor of Mashiah) - was born.

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Vayeshev, 5773

From Rav Fish's latest:
  • Ma'ale Adumim:
    • Rav Avraham Agassi says that nowadays, we see a deep disagreement between Edom and Israel regarding the area surrounding Ma'ale Adumim (E1).  Perhaps, there is a hint that this place will cause Edom (אדומים) to rise up (מעלה) for the Gog Umagog War against Yerushalayim.  
    • Also, אדמים hints to דמים (with both its meanings - money and blood) because the Gog Umagog War will break out due to an economic crisis in the world and because they will go up to Yerushalayim looking for blood.  
    • Also, in this war, it is expected that there will be the greatest bloodshed in the history of mankind.  
    • Also, אדמים is the Rashei Teivot of the verse that speaks of the beginning of redemption: מְקִימִי מֵעָפָר דָּל; מֵאַשְׁפֹּת, יָרִים אֶבְיוֹן
    • Also, אדמים is the Sofei Teivot of וְדָוִד עַבְדִּי, נָשִׂיא לָהֶם לְעוֹלָם and of וַאֲנִי יְהוָה, אֶהְיֶה לָהֶם לֵאלֹהִים, וְעַבְדִּי דָוִד, נָשִׂיא בְתוֹכָם in 2 ways.
  • He heard from one of the grandchildren of the late Shomrei Emunim Rebbe ZT"L who told him a few weeks before his death about the year 5773 that on Hanukka, there will be fire; in Adar, much wine will be poured; and in Nissan, there will be a great vengeance against the nations.  
    • It is also brought down in the book "Imrei Tzvi" (Koshkelov) that the Teshuva that precedes the Geula will start at Hanukka.
    • A Torah Codes table is brought from Rav Glazerson with "From Hanukka", "In 5773", "Teshuva", "Mashiah" - all in the Book of Devarim, which hints to the sixth millennium.
    • Another Torah Codes table is brought with "The Keitz", "Be'itah", "The Land of Israel", "5773".
  • Rav Avraham Agassi adds that the names of the Kelipot of Yishmael who surround Yerushalayim are Fatah and Hamas (פתח חמס).  Together, they have the same gematria as Yerushalayim (ירושלים) with 596.
  • Solar eclipse:
    • It is brought down in the "Davar Be'ito" calendar (Erev Rosh Hodesh Kislev, 5773) that during the Molad of Kislev, there was a total solar eclipse in Australia and surroundings.  
    • And it is brought down in the book "Yalkut Moshe" in the name of "a tradition from Ezra Hasofer, Rav Saadia Gaon, Rabbeinu Moshe Hadarshan, and the Arizal" that if there is a solar eclipse in the Molad of Kislev, there will be great pain in Egypt.  And this tradition was fulfilled since Egypt is spurred against Egypt [due to Morsi's power grab].  
    • And it is also brought down in the "Sefer Zechira" that a solar eclipse in the Molad of the month of Kislev points to [Bar Minan] an atmosphere of plagues and all types of fevers, a stormy wind, and a great war.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Rav Moshe Weinberger on the UN Vote

Via Dixie Yid:


The Rashbam explains that the angel with whom Yaakov wrestled fought with him all night to prevent him from avoiding the confrontation with Eisav. It was as if he was saying to Yaakov, “No more running! You ran away from Eisav years ago and you ran away from Lavan. Now you wish to run away from Eisav again to avoid the confrontation?!” He therefore fought with Yaakov all night so that he would be forced to fight and would not be able to run away. According to the Rashbam, the prohibition against eating the גיד הנשה, the sinew injured by the angel, is meant to serve as an eternal reminder not to run away from our battles with the side of evil. Rather, we must engage in battle with it, in whatever guise it appears.

On an outward level too, we cannot run away from the enemies who wish to destroy us. In seems that in some of our recent battles with ישמעאל, the Palestinians, we give up the battle before finishing off Hamas, or whichever group is attempting to destroy the Jewish people at any given time. While it is difficult to sit in America and advise our brothers living in the shadow of deadly missiles regarding the best course of action, a pattern of not finishing the job does seem apparent.

Just as Eisav married Yishmael’s daughter (Bereishis 28:9), the United Nation’s vote this week to give the “Palestinian Authority” observer status consummates the marriage between the descendants of Eisav, the Christians, and the descendants of Yishmael, the Arabs and Palestinians, right in the heart of Manhattan. I am told that this status has only been granted to two entities, the Vatican and now the Palestinians. It is therefore fitting that this evil unity of purpose between Eisav and Yishmael has been put on public display. The external enemy is now clear and we must not run away from the battle.

In both our internal and external battles with the side of evil, may we merit to always stand ready to engage in battle no matter what form our enemy takes and may we soon see the fulfillment of the last pasuk in this week’s haftara (Ovadia 1:21) “וְעָלוּ מוֹשִׁעִים בְּהַר צִיּוֹן לִשְׁפֹּט אֶת-הַר עֵשָׂו וְהָיְתָה לַה' הַמְּלוּכָה,” “And the saviors will ascend the mountain of Zion to judge the mountain of Eisav and kingship shall belong to Hashem.”

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Rav Moshe Shapiro on the Post-Pillar-of-Cloud Matzav

Translated from Rav Fish's special newsletter.  I received this more than a week ago, but wasn't able to post this until now:

Words of Maran Rabbeinu Hagaon Hagadol Rav Moshe Shapiro Shlit"a.
About the judgement day that is approaching.  And the lessons from Operation Pillar of Cloud, how to find a true solution to the Matzav in Eretz Yisrael.

Published in a special edition of "Sod HaHashmal".

These words were said on Thursday of Parshat Vayetze, 8 Kislev, 5773
  1. It appears pressing and required to explain, as much as possible, according to our abilities, the topic of Yishmael.  As is apparent, and I'm not going into assessments, but still with a direct mind, according to natural means, we are in a problem that has no possibility of a solution.  A solution that is similar to the "solution" - with as many double-quotes as we can put there - that we experienced, may last once or twice, but this is not a solution.  And another solution, whoever thinks of sitting and talking, to make agreements and negotiate, as I see it is an insult to the intelligence of a ten-year-old.  These are words of vanity!  The Creator of the world placed us in a situation that we are in an unsolvable problem.  Of course, I am speaking of a solution through natural means, similar to the solutions that we seek here in this world: the power of deterrence, and a stronger power of deterrence, and more power, and more power.  These are words of vanity.  As is apparent, the next time, in the middle of the "deterrence", the entire Israel will be full of this situation.  We will all live like our brothers in the South.  In short, the situation is unsolvable, and the Creator of the world pushes us more and more.  This is what is apparent.  From this day forward, we are in this situation and there is no solution.
  2. Why don't people want to know that the Torah already spoke about this long ago?  These words are explicit and written in a book that was written much more than 2000 years ago.  The words are explained in Haza"l and the direction of the solution is one and the only one - no other.  Let's read it from the Gemara (Sanhedrin 97b): 
    Ribbi Eliezer says: if Israel does Teshuva, they will be redeemed, and if not, they will not be redeemed.  Ribbi Yehoshua said to him: if they don't do Teshuva, they will not be redeemed?!  Rather, HKB"H raises up for them a king whose decrees are as harsh as Haman, and Israel will do Teshuva, and return them to doing good.
    This is also decided by the Ramba"m (Hil. Teshuva 7:5): 
    Israel will only be redeemed through Teshuva.  And the Torah already promised that eventually Israel will do Teshuva at the end of the exile and immediately, they will be redeemed.
    Through a king who is as harsh as Haman, Israel will do Teshuva.  "Harsh as Haman" means as Haman wanted (Esther 3:13) "to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish, all Jews, both young and old, little children and women, in one day".  We're looking for a king who is as harsh as Haman, but people who are harsh like Haman, apparently, there are hundreds of millions of them, each one wanting with all his heart and there is a desire where they are prepared to give up their lives for this: "to destroy, to slay, and to cause to perish".  The king who is harsh like Haman would need to bring us toward repenting with Teshuva and then, Israel is assured that immediately, they would be redeemed.  Here, we found the solution.  The definite solution!  It was here for already many years, so why did no one look in this direction?
  3. We learn from this that there is no other solution.  Any thought in the direction of another solution is stupidity!  We see how this progresses in a clear form, step after step.  We are being pushed against the wall more and more.  That's it, there is no solution.  To live like this is impossible, and to do something against it is impossible.  The solution is in one direction toward where the Creator of the world is bringing us.  Since we are the community of the nation who accepted the Torah, we are believers, the children of believers.  If we will face this and know this clearly ourselves, the matter will be easier to digest and clearer for others.  The problem is also with us:  even for us, it appears that they will construct other solutions.  Everyone suggests their own other solutions, everyone is more logical than the next guy [and it doesn't matter from which side we will look at the "next guy"...].  The tests to solve the problem with other solutions - I don't want to use harsh words - but at the very least is an insult to intelligence.  I just want to point out that in the words of Haza"l, the matter is clear.
  4. "Raise up for them a king whose decrees are harsh like Haman" - Haman himself was not a king.  However, through a king like him, Israel will do Teshuva and HKB"H will return them to doing good.  Let's look at a few things.  In Pirket DeRibbi Eliezer (beginning of chapter 32), it says:
    6 people were given names before they were born [and one of them was Yishmael.]  From where do we know this?  As it says (Bereishit 16:11) "and thou shalt call his name Ishmael".  And why was his name called "Yishmael"?  Because in the future, HKB"H will hear the sound of the cries of the [Jewish] people from what Yishmael will do in the land in the End of Days.  Therefore, his name is called "Yishmael", as it says, "יִשְׁמַע אֵל, וְיַעֲנֵם".
    Haza"l reveals here that the name "Yishmael" is so called due to the prayer that was accepted.  This is what the angel told Hagar in the continuation of the verse "because the LORD hath heard thy affliction". But still, it would have been more fit to call him "שמעאל" - why "ישמעאל", which is future tense? Therefore, Haza"l learned that this name is about the future: "in the future, HKB"H will hear the sound of the cries of the [Jewish] people from what Yishmael will do in the land in the End of Days." In other words, there is a promise here that this creation will in the future bring to the world accepted prayers, "Hashem will hear and He will answer." Yishmael came [into the world] via an answered prayer and he will bring about that prayers will be answered. "נאקת העם - the cries of the [Jewish] people" is the wording used regarding Egypt: וְגַם אֲנִי שָׁמַעְתִּי, אֶת-נַאֲקַת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל "And moreover I have heard the groaning of the children of Israel". The hint that this refers to the Final Redemption is "As in the days of thy coming forth out of the land of Egypt will I show unto him marvellous things." It is written here that this "wild beast of a man" was created in the world to reveal answered prayers to the world. This is how he was created and this is his purpose in life. Here it is written in future tense: "from what Yishmael will do in the land in the End of Days."
  5. As is apparent, we are seeing parts of this and where this is heading.  We know exactly what they will do in the future in the land in the End of Days because we already saw it.  Part of this has passed, some of it is happening in the present, and we have the ability to ensure that it does not occur in the future.  As it appears now, it will occur in the future.  Haza"l revealed that this will be the form of conduct, and this is how the Creator of the world will bring us to be redeemed.  Someone will come and force us to repent toward doing good.  Every thinking person understands that this is this one and only explanation for what is occurring here.  There is no other explanation!  What is written here are self-evident.  The Creator of the world appointed Yishmael to be that harsh king like Haman through whom we need to pray, and the prayer will be accepted.  "HKB"H will hear the sound of the cries of the [Jewish] people."
  6. It is written in Parshat Hukat (Bemidbar 20:14-16) "And Moses sent messengers from Kadesh unto the king of Edom: 'Thus saith thy brother Israel: Thou knowest all the travail that hath befallen us; how our fathers went down into Egypt, and we dwelt in Egypt a long time; and the Egyptians dealt ill with us, and our fathers; and when we cried unto the LORD, He heard our voice, and sent an angel, and brought us forth out of Egypt; and, behold, we are in Kadesh, a city in the uttermost of thy border."  Rashi says:  "He heard our voice" refers to the blessing that our father blessed us: "The voice is the voice of Jacob" - that we cry out and are answered.  An earthshaking novelty is written here: the words of Yitzhak "the voice is the voice of Jacob" were actually a blessing.  In the simple meaning of the text, this is definitely not so.  Just the opposite.  This is in the middle of his decision whether or not to bless Yaakov in the first place, and specifically because of the "merit" that the hands were the hands of Esav was the blessing given.  However, in the aforementioned Rashi, it says that it was a blessing.  "The voice is the voice of Jacob" was a blessing with which our father blessed us.  The explanation of the matter: where were we blessed that we cry out and we are answered?  This doesn't always work that way.  King Solomon, when he built the first Beit Hamikdash, specifically requested [in his prayers] for the gentile, as it says (Melachim Alef 8:43) "and do according to all that the stranger [הנכרי] calleth to Thee for".  Where is this regarding us [Jews]?  Rather, the halacha is decided in the Rambam - for an individual, no, but for a community, yes.  And this is what he writes:  "A community - whenever they do Teshuva and cry out with a complete heart - they are answered, as it says (Devarim 4:7) "as the LORD our God is whensoever we call upon Him".  Such is decided as the halacha.
  7. All the names we have as a nation are all the first names of Yaakov.  We are called "Yaakov", "Yisrael", and "Yeshurun".  Every time we sound the sound where the "Sound of Yaakov" is heard, this sound is answered immediately.  A community that cries out with a complete heart - the "Sound of Yaakov" is heard here.  It could also work for an individual, but it is not definite.  When the "Sound of Yaakov" breaks out from a community in Israel (and the advantage of a community is that it is Kelal Yisrael in miniature), it is answered immediately.  This is the blessing with which we were blessed: "The voice is the voice of Jacob".  Just like when we left Egypt, it is written, "and when we cried unto the LORD, He heard our voice" and it is also written similarly in Parshat Bikkurim (Devarim 26:7) "And we cried unto the LORD, the God of our fathers, and the LORD heard our voice, and saw our affliction, and our toil, and our oppression."  Rashi only adds that the reason for this is that when the "Sound of Yaakov" breaks out, then we are assured that when we cry out, we are answered.  Kivyachol, that which we are promised and that which is written here is that Yishmael will bring out of us he "Sound of Yaakov".  This is the explanation of the words in Pirkei DeRibbi Eliezer.
  8. Earlier [in Pirkei DeRibbi Eliezer, end of chapter 30], it is brought down:
    There are 15 things that the children of Yishmael will do in the land at the End of Days...
    Some of them require explanation and some are very clear and they already started doing them (for example, building a building over the Sanctuary). 
    ...and in their days, Tzemah Ben David will sprout, as it says (Daniel 2:44) "And in the days of those kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed."
    Tzemah is a name of the King Mashiah, as it says (Zecharia 6:12) אִישׁ צֶמַח שְׁמוֹ.  Not everything is understood there simply, but the conclusion is clear: it will occur during the days of Yishmael.  Later, it continues:
    ...The children of Yishmael are destined to make 3 panic-filled wars, and from there, Ben-David will sprout, and he will see the destruction of these and those, and he will come to the Land of Israel.
    What we learn in these words of Haza"l - where some of them are decided as Halacha - that the harsh king who will return us toward good is the same person who will press us against the wall to see that there is no other way out and then we will return to the Source - is one of them.  This occurred once before where we were pressed and we did Teshuva - by the first Haman.
  9. What do we have to do?  What obligates us from these words?  The first obligatory thing is not to read newspapers!  Do not go after any analysis.  We already read the relevant headlines that we read just now.  This will be this way until the end.  The words are clear and unambiguous - the question is how do we begin?  What should we do?  Should we sit and wait until the king as harsh as Haman will rise against us and then do Teshuva?  What?  Toward where will we bring our shame when the day will come and they will ask us, "Where were you?  Where were you when everything was so clear?"  What will we answer - that we were too busy either writing a letter to the newspaper or reading it?!  What do we need to do?  I repeat - the battle is not over.  The matter is not finished - this is something that anyone with a brain can admit.  I want to say - not only has it not finished, but it's beginning.  Beginning with much greater strength.  What should we do?  We are at the End of Days and Yishmael is doing exactly what Haza"l wrote.  It appears that they [Yishmael] read what they [Haza"l] wrote here and they [Yishmael] are fulfilling it.  And us?!  We are reading what is written here and we are not fulfilling our part...
  10. When a person is brought to Final Judgement, he is asked, "Did you expect salvation?" (Shabbat 31a)  Such a question is asked of someone who really really wants it.  The problem is that he is not sitting and expecting it, so that is why he is asked this.  I suspect that we will be asked, "Did you want salvation?"  Forget "Did you expect?".  Did you want it?  Or did you want that it should not come (that it should come, but during the lifetime of our grandchildren...).  That is the first thing.  That is Alef.  Without this, it is impossible to even begin.  The Rambam's halachic decision (Hil. Melachim 11:1) is that whoever doesn't expect his coming is called a Kofer - one who denies the Torah's truth.  This is because one who does not expectantly await [for Mashiah] - one explanation for this says - is a non-believer.  "To believe" means to understand that this is how the world was created.  There is no other existence in the world.  One who does not expectantly await his coming can only be explained by denying the truth of the words of the Torah.  The Rambam emphasizes: "Not only is he denying the [words of the] rest of the prophets, but also those of the Torah and of Moshe Rabbeinu."  This is the first thing.  We first need to enter reality - not to live in our imagination.  This is the truth.  It is very clear!  One who expects salvation will merit it.
  11. I repeat and say: Anyone who dreams today that "And the land had rest forty years" will be fulfilled, one who thinks, "It will be quiet since there is deterrence"... I don't think that there is anyone here like that - you need to be lacking intelligence to think this. The face of the matter is like we said: we are currently in a situation that began - and began a while ago, but it is easier now to pay attention - this is a process that will end only according to what is written here. Only because Israel is promised.  If, G-d forbid, one expects something different, Redemption will not reach such a person.
  12. In a verse in Habakkuk (2:3), it is written: "For the vision is yet for the appointed time, and it declareth of the end, and doth not lie; though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not delay."  This is his prophecy.  The gemara says about this verse (Sanhedrin 97b):
    Swelling should come to the bones of those who calculate the end times who would say that since their end time has arrived and Mashiah has not arrived, he will no longer arrive.  Rather, wait for him, as it says, "Though it tarry, wait for it."  You may say, "We are waiting, but He [kivyachol, the Creator of the world] is not waiting"?  The verse therefore tells us (Yeshaya 30:18) "And therefore will the LORD wait, that He may be gracious unto you, and therefore will He be exalted, that He may have compassion upon you".  So since we are waiting and He is waiting, what is preventing [Mashiah from coming]?  Hashem's attribute of unmitigated justice is preventing.
    It is explicit in the words of the gemara that it won't reach the stage of Hashem's attribute of unmitigated justice preventing Mashiah's arrival until after it reaches the stage of us waiting.  He is definitely waiting, but the question is: "Are we waiting?"  What is correct regarding us is the answer of "We are preventing."  Even Hashem's attribute of unmitigated justice has boundaries and it is possible to have It move from the throne of unmitigated justice to the throne of mercy, but it is impossible to do so as long as WE are preventing.  When the gemara answered that Hashem's attribute of unmitigated justice is preventing, this is only after it is clear that we are waiting and He is waiting.  In the meantime, as long as this is not yet true, WE are preventing!  To understand the implication a bit, WE are preventing our Redemption.  We, the ones who accepted the Torah, are preventing the revelation of His glory in the world.  We are preventing the Redemption of the entire world.  How?  By the fact that we are not waiting.  This fact makes us into murderers.  Not just murderers, but mass-murderers.
  13. I want you to understand - these words are completely clear and serious.  There is no toying around here or room for playing games.  These words are as serious as death itself.  This is the process, and if we don't see this because of ignorance, no one here is to blame.  If so, nevertheless, where are we?  We can forgo the multitude of words of encouragement and awakening and another 2 chapters of Tehillim after davening... this is not what is requested.  What is requested is that we don't prevent!  We should not prevent!  In the Zohar (Zohar Hadash, No'ah): 
    If the heads of communities repent or if one community repents, in their merit, the entire exile will be gathered in.
    One community in Israel, one synagogue, it is enough with this so that all of us will leave the exile.  Every community can sound out the "Sound of Yaakov" and cause the fulfilment of "And Hashem heard our voices."  It is enough with this in order that we fulfil "Israel is doing Teshuva and they will be redeemed."  That is "And Hashem heard our voices" from the blessing of Yitzhak Avinu.  Every time that Yaakov's voice is heard, it will be accepted. 
We are obligated to contemplate this, to live by this, and to put ourselves in this direction.  In these days, things are being clarified very clearly!  We know where this is heading.  We also know and believe that the story not yet told will be more harsh than this present story just like this present story is a lot more harsh than previously.  So why are we waiting?  Why are we waiting?  This is what we wanted to explain.  Hashem should help us that His attribute of unmitigated justice should not prevent, but this is only on condition that we do not prevent.

Hashem should help that our eyes should see Your return to Zion in mercy, Amen.

Interesting Recent Links - Vayeshev 5773

Monday, December 03, 2012

"Breslov for Shas" Started by Rav Schick

Ladaat and Kikar report that Rav Eliezer Shlomo Schick, aka the Tzaddik of Yavne'el, started a "Breslov for Shas" organization to persuade Breslovers to vote for Shas.  He wrote a letter stating his opinion, which reads (translated), in part:
You know that I don't get involved in any politics because our whole raison d'être is solely to reveal and publicize the truth of Hashem's existence, for it is only for this reason that we had descended to this world, but to mobilize for the Shas Movement is another matter completely because it is not a political party, but rather "to return the crown to its old state".  Maran Hagaon Hamufla Ribbi Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a established the Shas Movement to raise up and elevate the status of Edot Hamizrah, who were, and still are, very much downcast due to accursed racism, etc.  Therefore, it is a Mitzvah incumbent upon each and every one of our dear friends to be Moser Nefesh and to help me personally that I will succeed in this holy mission for the success of the Shas Movement.