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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Tefilla by Rav Mordechai Eliyahu's Kever Gets Boy Back on the Derech

From this week's Kol Tzofayich (p. 4, bottom of right column), I'll translate:

A Tallit that is all Techeilet

This story we heard 2 weeks ago close to the gravesite of the Rav [Mordechai Eliyahu] ZT"L. An excited woman was standing there and she told me the following story:

I have been divorced for 5 years. Divorce is a tough thing in general, but in my case, besides the difficulty with the separation and other things, the main difficulty was with my 11-year-old son. Already for a year and a half, he was not ready to go to the synagogue, and he was continuously sliding from a religious aspect. I tried different methods, I took advice from whomever possible, but I felt that I was unsuccessful in reaching the boy - I was unsuccessful in returning him back to the proper path, and every day was turning out worse than the one before it.

With the advice of a friend, I came about a month ago to the gravesite of the Rav. When I stood there, my heart was opened in prayer. For a whole hour, I prayed and cried, mainly for my dear son, but also for myself.

That very night, the Rav appeared in my dream, and in the dream, the Rav was wrapped in a Tallit and was smiling. And behold, I saw my dear son going forward under the Tallit of the Rav, and the Rav brought him in under the wings of the Tallit.

The next day, the unbelievable happened. My son got up for Tefilla in the synagogue without me telling him a word, as if he too saw the dream. And since then, he has been going every day to the synagogue, and is only getting stronger in keeping Mitzvot.

Where Iran Has It Very Wrong but a Little Right

Arutz Sheva:

The site allegedly attacked by Israel in Syria manufactured chemical and biological weapons, according to a report in Iraqi newspaper Azzaman that appears in London.

The newspaper quoted Western diplomats who are close to the regime of Bashar al-Assad. It says that the classified installation, which is located just 12 kilometers (7 miles) from the presidential palace, was guarded by a large contingent of Iranian Revolutionary Guards, many of whom died in the attack.

A diplomatic source interviewed by the newspaper said that the attack took place 48 hours before it was first reported. He said that initial reports regarding a convoy that was attacked were meant to disguise the true target of the attack. However, the newspaper reported, some trucks were also destroyed in the attack.

The diplomatic source said that Israeli F-16 jets carried out two sorties over the installation, firing at least eight guided missiles at it as well as at least one bunker busting bomb. The installation was badly damaged and there were numerous casualties. He said that about 3,000 Iranian Revolutionary Guards were stationed at the installation, as well as several Russian experts.

He added that the operation must also have relied on good intelligence obtained by Israel from Iran.

In Iran, the government-run PressTV quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amir Abdollahian Thursday as saying the raid on Syria will have significant implications for Israel.

He called upon United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon to take operative steps against Israel following the attack, and suggested to the Israeli leadership "not to place too much trust on the Patriot batteries that are stationed in the area."

Syria's Ambassador in Lebanon, Ali Abdul-Karim Ali, told Hizbullah's al-Ahd news website that Damascus ‘‘has the option and the capacity to surprise in retaliation."

The White House meanwhile warned Syria not to "further destabilize the region" by transferring weaponry to Hizbullah.

While pretty much everything coming out of Iran nowadays is either a lie, a half-truth, or completely bonkers, I will agree with the statement made in bold. Especiallly at this critical time, Israel can only rely on its Father in Heaven.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Yitro 5773 Part 2

[YY - please note that not all that is said here necessarily conforms with my personal views]

From Rav Fish's latest:
  • We find in the gemara (Sanhedrin 97a): Ribbi Yitzhak said: Ben David will not come until the entire kingdom turns over into apostasy.  And really, we see these days that the rule of the Erav Rav together with the courts stand - at least the vast majority of them, if not totally - against Torah learners, and they want to draft them into the army.  And there is no doubt that by doing so, they are losing their merit to rule.  Hashem should have mercy and pity on His nation Israel and redeem us with mercy, Amen Ken Yehi Ratzon.  Similarly, immediately after the elections, Rav Hagaon Asher Tannenbaum ZT"L, the Va'ad Hayeshivot chairman had passed away, the one who was appointed over draft deferments.  We see from Shamayim another sign that draft deferments in this amount has ended.  And the rule of the Erav Rav, which corresponds with the period of Mashiah Ben Yosef, completes the merit in which it bases its rule - in order that a new kingdom shall arise that will bring us to the True and Complete Redemption.  (Also, טננבום (Tannenbaum) is the gematria of יוסף, and shows its connection to the period of Mashiah Ben Yosef.  And he was very close to Rav Elyashiv ZT"L, about whom we brought down that he was a spark of Mashiah Ben Yosef.)
  • It is publicized in the name of the Hazon Ish ZT"L that some of the Kana'im came to him during the establishment of the State of Israel to explain their views to him.  He answered them that their views would be correct in maybe 60 years, but until then, we have to take money from the Zionists and to vote and to influence from the inside.  And today, after a little more than 60 years, it appears that in Shamayim, it has been decided like the opinion of the Kana'im that the time has come to separate from them, as we said.
  • Also, יאיר לפיד (Ya'ir Lapid), the new fighter against Torah learners, has the gematria of משה or שילה.  This is because he is the mirror image of Moshe and Torah learners.  And therefore, he is also the gematria of אלהים אחרים or חרון אף.  (Received in the name of R' Tzvi Heshin Shlit"a.)  Also, the Sofei Teivot of the phrase "יאיר לפיד" appears only once in Tanach (Rashei Teivot and skips not included): in the downfall of the servants of [Ish Boshet, the son of] Sha'ul in front of the servants of David.  (Shemuel Bet 2:17) וַתְּהִי הַמִּלְחָמָה קָשָׁה עַד-מְאֹד, בַּיּוֹם הַהוּא; וַיִּנָּגֶף אַבְנֵר וְאַנְשֵׁי יִשְׂרָאֵל, לִפְנֵי עַבְדֵי דָוִד. And that is a sign for the transfer from the period of Mashiah Ben Yosef, which is in the Sod of Sha'ul, to the beginning of the kingdom of David.  And I also heard in the name of Rav Dov Kook Shlit"a, who said that the name of the יש עתיד (Yesh Atid) party has been designated from Heaven for this Kelipa.  This hints that the time of Redemption has come, upon which Haza"l said in the last Mishna in Seder Taharot:
    אמר רבי יהושע בן לוי עתיד הקדוש ברוך הוא להנחיל לכל צדיק וצדיק שלש מאות ועשרה עולמות שנאמר להנחיל אהבי יש ואצרתיהם אמלא
  • Rav Glazerson on Geula on Pesah, 5773

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Yitro 5773 Part 1 - Rav Shlomo Brevda ZT"L's Last Siha

From Rav Fish's latest:

This was said from his hospital bed in the U.S. being broadcast to Bnei Brak.  Rav Fish copied part of the words from the recording.  One can obtain a recording by emailing Rav Fish.

Morai VeRabbotai, I am laying down on my hospital bed, such a thing should not befall you.  And I am suffering from the dreaded disease with suffering as big as heaven.  A few years ago, they told me that one of the true Tzadikim of the generation [Hagaon Rav Shachne Zohn ZT"L] had a dream where the Hafetz Hayim came to him and told him that Mashiah was coming.  Behold, I know that Tzadik and I believe him, and I asked, "Where is Mashiah Tzidkeinu?"  The answer, Rabbotai, is that who said he didn't come?  He came, but didn't appear and wasn't revealed.  Why should he be revealed?

The community that dedicates its life to Torah - the fine flour of Kelal Yisrael - those who are G-d-fearing and whole, listen up.  The gemara in Yoma [19b] says that one who talks idle chatter transgresses a positive commandment and a negative commandment.  The question is asked: if a person speaks idle chatter and not Has Veshalom Leshon Hara, lies, or Leitzanut, what's the sin in this?

The Vilna Gaon ZT"L had a student R' Menahem Mendel of Shklov Z"L.  He had a student R' Isaac Hever Z"L, who was very great in Torah and Kabbala.  He wrote that when a Jew learns Torah, the holy words go up [heavenward] and build a world of holiness, but when he speaks idle chatter, he builds a world of "the other side".

In my youth, when I learned in Yeshivot, the worst sin was to speak idle chatter.  Today, the situation has changed from one extreme to the other - people go out of the Beit Midrash and speak foolishness - idle chatter - as if there is no sin in the matter.  So, what can I tell you?  Mashiah Tzidkenu, who should be revealed speedily in our days, to whom will he come to be revealed???  If Benei Torah build a world of "the other side" through their idle chatter, will Mashiah be revealed to the contractors of "the other side"?!  Why???

And therefore, even though I barely have the power to speak and breathe today, and I am indescribably weak, I decided to tell these words to the Tzibbur.

And from Shamayim, it is being threatened upon us via those heretical Resha'im who rule over our Holy Land.  What, is this just an ordinary threat?  This is from Shamayim to return us with Teshuva - to speak words of Torah day and night, where our environment should be words of Torah, which are "sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb". 

And speedily in our days, Mashiah Tzidkeinu will appear, and little me, from the depths of my heart, bless this holy congregation - that all of you along with your families should pass the period of Birthpangs of Mashiah with life and peace, and you should merit to greet him with a happy heart.  This is a very great blessing for in order to remain with a happy heart, you need the Noah's Ark of Torah to protect you.  Rise up and be successful. 

Rav Yisrael of Shklov's Attempt to Reinstitute Semicha

This week's Ladaat newsletters includes a very interesting summary of the Gr"a's student Rav Yisrael of Shklov's attempt to reinstitute Semicha.  The reason for him doing so was in order to hasten the Geula.

The Radvaz on the Rambam in Hil. Sanhedrin 4:11 writes that those who temporarily reinstituted Semicha in the time of Mahari Beirav and Rav Yosef Karo were mistaken in their understanding of the Rambam for a few reasons.  One of the reasons he gives was:
ותו דבני ראובן עתידים לבוא ולעשות מלחמות לפני בוא מלך המשיח ומאן לימא לן שלא יהיה בהן סמוך מפי סמוך והוא יסמוך אחרים
...And furthermore, the children of Reuven are destined to come and make wars before the King Mashiah comes, and who is to say to us that there will not be among them one who had Semicha from another who had Semicha, and he can give Semicha to others...
Only hinted to in the newsletter, but explained elsewhere, he was further supported by 2 additional sources.  The first was the testimony of Eldad Hadani that when they learn, they say, "So said Yehoshua bin Nun Mipi Moshe Mipi Hagevura."  The second source was a letter sent by the Benei Moshe to "the tribes of Yehuda and Binyamin in Yerushalayim" in the year 5406 that they judge "with Arba Mitot Beit Din based on the great elder in the Beit Hakeneset".

Based on this Radvaz and the other 2 sources, Rav Yisrael of Shklov sent a scholar - Rav Baruch of Pinsk - to search for the 10 tribes, of whom reports were coming of their existence and whereabouts.  He asked Rav Baruch to ask them if they can send one of their elders - who presumably was given Semicha from another who was given Semicha where the Semicha went back to Moshe Rabbeinu - to Israel to then give Semicha to everyone else.

Ultimately and unfortunately, his attempt failed.  You can read about what happened to Rav Baruch of Pinsk in the last section here.

(As an aside, in one of his letters to the 10 tribes, he mentions a Yalkut Shimoni Tehilim Remez 779 that when HKB"H wants to gather in Israel, He will gather half the tribe of Menashe first, as it says לי גלעד לי מנשה.)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Geula via Teshuva, At Hatzot and Today

There are 3 verses in a row in Parshat Beshalah, each of whose letter count equals 72: Shemot 14:19-21.  These verses are very important in Kabbalistic meaning (see Rav Amar's article, for example, and a Google search on "ויסע ויבא ויט" will give lots of information), but as R' Ari Goldwag points out in his latest podcast, it is mentioned in Nigleh too (Rashi Sukka 45a ד"ה אני והו).

Interestingly, if you take the gematrias of the first 2 verses (ויסע and ויבא) and add the total number of words, you get 5750, the year before Hatzot of the sixth millennium.

Also interestingly, if you take the gematria of the third verse (ויט), add it to the gematria of the next verse (וַיָּבֹאוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל בְּתוֹךְ הַיָּם, בַּיַּבָּשָׁה; וְהַמַּיִם לָהֶם חוֹמָה, מִימִינָם וּמִשְּׂמֹאלָם.) and again add the total number of words, you get 5772, the year before we are in right now.

The first 2 verses speak of Hashem's angel protecting us, but really Hashem was sitting in judgement, thus using the name Elokim. The Egyptians and the Jews both worshipped idols, says the Midrash. Hashem exonerated the Jewish people because Hashem knew that we really didn't want to worship idols and only did so due to the harsh labor.

The second 2 verses speak of Hashem Himself saving us, but only with the prerequisite אתערותא דלתתא (awakening from below) coming first.  Moshe had to stretch out his hand first before Hashem made the sea split. Also, the Benei Yisrael had to go into the sea first in order for the waters to be as a wall on their right and on their left.

Hatzot of the sixth millennium marked the end of the Iron Curtain. Both the Soviets and the Jews in the former Soviet Union (except for a few notable exceptions) were Communists who didn't believe in G-d.  So, the merits were few, but Hashem sent His messengers, including President Reagan, to start the process of breaking the Iron Curtain, which eventually allowed the Jews to emigrate - since deep down, these were tens of thousands of Neshamot waiting to break free.

Also at Hatzot was the First Gulf War. During the war, Hashem sent His angel to protect Israel and prevented the SCUD missles fired from Iraq from being a deadly force just like the angel and Pillar of Cloud did during Keri'at Yam Suf.  It's unclear whether we deserved such protection, but B"H it came and the known miracles of that war show it.

We are now in 5773, a year and a half past Minha Gedola of the sixth millennium. And this time, it's not just Iraq and Kuwait that's in turmoil - it's the entire Middle East and North Africa. Like the latter 2 verses above, we now need our sea-jumping moment, as we know that Redemption only comes via Teshuva, one way or the other. May we do the Teshuva that is required with love for Hashem and may this cause the Ultimate Redemption to come this year, Amen.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Place Where Sea Split is Still Recognizable Today

So says the Haggadah Shel Pesah "Midrash BeHiddush" (11 lines from the bottom of the page)

Hat tip: Rav Benayahu Shmueli's newsletter (p. 7)

Israeli Parties Min Hatorah Minayin?

Likud Beiteinu (Bemidbar 21:32)
וַיִּשְׁלַח מֹשֶׁה לְרַגֵּל אֶת-יַעְזֵר, וַיִּלְכְּדוּ בְּנֹתֶיהָ; ויירש (וַיּוֹרֶשׁ), אֶת-הָאֱמֹרִי אֲשֶׁר-שָׁם.

Yesh Atid: (Vayikra 16:21)
וְסָמַךְ אַהֲרֹן אֶת-שְׁתֵּי יָדָו, עַל רֹאשׁ הַשָּׂעִיר הַחַי, וְהִתְוַדָּה עָלָיו אֶת-כָּל-עֲו‍ֹנֹת בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, וְאֶת-כָּל-פִּשְׁעֵיהֶם לְכָל-חַטֹּאתָם; וְנָתַן אֹתָם עַל-רֹאשׁ הַשָּׂעִיר, וְשִׁלַּח בְּיַד-אִישׁ עִתִּי הַמִּדְבָּרָה.

Bayit Yehudi (Esther 8:7):
וַיֹּאמֶר הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲחַשְׁוֵרֹשׁ לְאֶסְתֵּר הַמַּלְכָּה, וּלְמָרְדֳּכַי הַיְּהוּדִי: הִנֵּה בֵית-הָמָן נָתַתִּי לְאֶסְתֵּר, וְאֹתוֹ תָּלוּ עַל-הָעֵץ--עַל אֲשֶׁר-שָׁלַח יָדוֹ, ביהודיים (בַּיְּהוּדִים).

Shas (Ovadia 1:20)
וְגָלֻת הַחֵל-הַזֶּה לִבְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר-כְּנַעֲנִים, עַד-צָרְפַת, וְגָלֻת יְרוּשָׁלִַם, אֲשֶׁר בִּסְפָרַד--יִרְשׁוּ, אֵת עָרֵי הַנֶּגֶב.

Yahadut Hatorah (Devarim 17:10-11)
וְעָשִׂיתָ, עַל-פִּי הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר יַגִּידוּ לְךָ, מִן-הַמָּקוֹם הַהוּא, אֲשֶׁר יִבְחַר יְהוָה; וְשָׁמַרְתָּ לַעֲשׂוֹת, כְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר יוֹרוּךָ.
עַל-פִּי הַתּוֹרָה אֲשֶׁר יוֹרוּךָ, וְעַל-הַמִּשְׁפָּט אֲשֶׁר-יֹאמְרוּ לְךָ--תַּעֲשֶׂה: לֹא תָסוּר, מִן-הַדָּבָר אֲשֶׁר-יַגִּידוּ לְךָ--יָמִין וּשְׂמֹאל.

Labor (Shemot 12:26)
וְהָיָה, כִּי-יֹאמְרוּ אֲלֵיכֶם בְּנֵיכֶם: מָה הָעֲבֹדָה הַזֹּאת, לָכֶם.

Kadima (Shemot 14:21)
וַיֵּט מֹשֶׁה אֶת-יָדוֹ, עַל-הַיָּם, וַיּוֹלֶךְ יְהוָה אֶת-הַיָּם בְּרוּחַ קָדִים עַזָּה כָּל-הַלַּיְלָה, וַיָּשֶׂם אֶת-הַיָּם לֶחָרָבָה; וַיִּבָּקְעוּ, הַמָּיִם.

Meretz (Vayikra 13:47)
וְהַבֶּגֶד, כִּי-יִהְיֶה בוֹ נֶגַע צָרָעַת: בְּבֶגֶד צֶמֶר, אוֹ בְּבֶגֶד פִּשְׁתִּים.

Hatenua (Shemot 3:9)
וְעַתָּה, הִנֵּה צַעֲקַת בְּנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל בָּאָה אֵלָי; וְגַם-רָאִיתִי, אֶת-הַלַּחַץ, אֲשֶׁר מִצְרַיִם, לֹחֲצִים אֹתָם.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Time of Geula Not Revealed from Heaven

The last question posed by the author of She'elot Utshuvot Min Hashamayim was when the Geula would come.  According to the book we have in front of us, no answer was given (as opposed to the other 69 questions).

However, in the Lev Malchus newsletter (p. 3), there is a different version.  Apparently, the following answer was given:

It says:
ובני עזיאל מישאל ואלצפן וסתרי

מי שאל - who would ask such a question?  אלצפן - Hashem has hidden the answer.  סתרי - This cannot be revealed, but must be covered and hidden.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Kibbutz Galuyot, Slowly But Surely

Yeshaya 43:5-6:

אַל-תִּירָא, כִּי אִתְּךָ-אָנִי:  מִמִּזְרָח אָבִיא זַרְעֶךָ, וּמִמַּעֲרָב אֲקַבְּצֶךָּ
 אֹמַר לַצָּפוֹן תֵּנִי, וּלְתֵימָן אַל-תִּכְלָאִי; הָבִיאִי בָנַי מֵרָחוֹק, וּבְנוֹתַי מִקְצֵה הָאָרֶץ
Fear not, for I am with thee; I will bring thy seed from the east, and gather thee from the west;
I will say to the north: 'Give up,' and to the south: 'Keep not back, bring My sons from far, and My daughters from the end of the earth;

Arutz Sheva:

Israel marked an aliyah (immigration) milestone Thursday with the arrival of the 2,000th member of the Bnei Menashe community. Eighteen-year-old Mirna Singsit arrived in Israel along with 53 other members of the community, including her parents and three siblings.

The Bnei Menashe live in the Manipur state in northeastern India. They claim descent from the Biblical tribe of Menashe, one of the ten “lost tribes” exiled when the Assyrians invaded the northern kingdom of Israel.

The community is now returning to Israel under the auspices of the Shavei Israel organization, a group that encourages communities of “lost Jews” around the world, including descendants of Jewish converts to Catholicism.

Shavei Israel director Michael Freund gave Singsit a certificate naming her the 2,000th arrival. Singsit told him that her arrival in Israel is the fulfillment of a life-long dream.

“It’s hard to express in words how excited and happy I am right now,” she said. “This isn’t just my dream from the day I was born, it’s been my community’s dream for thousands of years, and now it’s finally coming true.”

She plans to complete a degree in political science that she began in India, and then work as a teacher. Her family will start its life in Israel in an absorption center, but Singsit says she hopes to someday move to Jerusalem, “the holiest place on earth.”

The arrival of the 54 new immigrants was “unforgettable,” Freund said. “After 2,700 years, the tribe of Menashe is coming home,” he declared.

The government allowed immigration from Manipur to resume last October after a five-year freeze. Since then 275 members of the Bnei Manashe community have come to Israel as new citizens. The latest arrivals will live in an absorption center in Givat Haviva, and are then expected to move to Akko and Migdal Haemek in northern Israel.


Tel Aviv - Jewish Agency and Ministry Absorption officials are keeping mum on reports in the Arab media that Israel has brought in a group of the last remaining Yemeni Jews to Israel via Doha. According to a report from the Palestinian newspaper Al-Manar quoted by the Iranian Fars news agency, Israel is “transferring Yemeni Jews to occupied lands” and is “preparing to host more Yemeni Jews in coming months.”

This new aliyah, the Iranian outlet reported, is part of “a Judaization plot to change the identity of the region.” Most of the Jews of Yemen were “lured to the occupied territories en masse” following Israel’s establishment in 1948, Fars reported.

Spokesmen for the Ministry of Absorption and the Jewish Agency declined comment, although a Jewish Agency source did note the origin of the report in a derisive manner.

Content is provided courtesy of the Jerusalem Post

Monday, January 21, 2013

Israeli Elections - For Which Party to Vote?

For me, there are a number of issues raised in these elections that are important for the State of Israel (in no particular order):
  1. Keeping Israel a Jewish state where its Ministry of Religious Affairs and all government offices follow Halacha
  2. Keeping the Land of Israel intact
  3. Keeping Yeshiva students learning Torah - for its own sake and to help protect the country
  4. Keeping illegal infiltrators out and expelling those that already came in
  5. Keeping poverty to a minimum
  6. Keeping Iran from going nuclear
  7. Keeping Hamas and Hizbalah from attacking Jewish communities
  8. Keeping the Crown of Sephardic Glory in its rightful place
  9. Keeping the rulings of Maran Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a
These issues are the ones important to me.  There may be those who think that #9 doesn't belong there, but I disagree.  I consider it important for the integrity of the State of Israel.

Which party can one count on to fulfill all 9 issues?  Only Shas.  With #9 in there, it seems pretty obvious.  But even without #9 in there, it's true.

It is with this in mind that I take issue with the Muqata's assessment of the Shas party.  I like and respect Jameel and agree with him most of the time, but he's very wrong in his rant there.  Some of the rabbis I respect have also erred here, Bimhilat Kevodam.  There are many other rabbis who have not erred and have supported Shas.

Anyone that says that Rav Ovadia is being misled by those around him is erring, again Bimhila.  Rav Ovadia knows what's going on - and he himself explained that the same thing happened with R' Akiva Eiger.  When R' Akiva Eiger was older, people started saying that you couldn't rely on any of his Piskei Halacha since those around him manipulated him.  R' Akiva Eiger said, "I can forgive on my own Torah, but HKB"H will not forgive on His Torah."  Rav Ovadia said that the same thing applies to him, but he didn't want to say this publicly since he didn't want to compare himself to R' Akiva Eiger.

What has prompted Rav Ovadia to attack his political opponents?  Not ח"ו that he hates the members of the other parties.  G-d forbid.  It's that he loves all of Kelal Yisrael and that these parties are deceiving typical Shas voters into voting for parties that are not going to uphold the Torah values that Shas represents.  This is especially true regarding drafting Yeshiva students.  He is visibly shaken with the prospect of the loss of Torah learning that will inevitably come as a result of such a decree.  Only a strong Shas will help prevent this from occurring.

Rav Ovadia has been a target his entire life.  It comes with the territory.  When you stand up for what you believe and say what needs to be said without fearing man - only Hashem - that's what makes a Gadol.

When Torah values are respected, that is something that will help promote real Ahdut more than anything else.  Not being PC to the PC crowd.  Not compromising with Halacha.  Those planning to vote Bayit Hayehudi, in Rav Ovadia's view, are not upholding Torah values.  Now, you can argue with that, and you may have a respected rabbi to back you up, but the Gadol Hador has spoken.  Who could dare argue on it?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Aryeh Deri - Ani Ma'amin

I believe that it is virtually impossible for a Sepharadi who understands Hebrew not to be moved by this video.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Israeli Election Prayer

As seen as comment #49 here:
רבונו של עולם
תן לי כח להשפיע על עם שלם להצביע שס בכדי שיהיה
לי בית יהודי ויהיה בו ליכוד ועם ישראל יהיה כאגודה ורק כך יש עתיד .
אז קדימה במרץ לעבודה !!!!
This works much better in the Hebrew, but I'll do my best at translating this (hover over the red words to see the party name):
Master of the universe,
Give me the Power To Influence over a Complete Nation to vote for Shas in order that I will have a Jewish Home, wherein there will be a Consolidation, and the nation of Israel will be [unified] like a Bundle, and only in this way Is There A Future.  So, let's go Forward with Energy to Work!!!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Rav Ovadia Yosef on Today's Korah

I tried to avoid this topic publicly as much as possible.  I cannot any longer.  I believe that if I didn't speak up, I would be in the category of יכול למחות ולא מיחה, so I must speak up.  אוי לי אם אגיד אוי לי אם לא אגיד.

Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a, in a stinging attack on the Ko'ah Lehashpia party and its leader, via Kikar (with video):

Who will stand at the head of the party of Amnon Yitzhak? Who will stand at its head? Will he himself stand at its head? ערבך ערב צריך! (Your guarantor himself needs a guarantor!) What, is he such a Lamdan? What is he, a Talmid Hacham? He calls himself a Hacham! He considers himself higher and higher - that he is a leader. You need to know that he is being arrogant and HKB"H will lower his status! Therefore, Rabbotai, I never raised myself up or held myself high. Korah said "wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the assembly of the LORD?" This is Korah, the master of Mahaloket (argument). In every generation, "the sons of Korah did not die", i.e., there are sons of Korah making arguments and political parties.
This is in addition to what Rav Ovadia said yesterday

I wouldn't dare say such things against someone who had been Makarev so many thousands of people on my own.  However, when Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a, the Gadol Hador, says such things, when he says regarding that person "הקדיח תבשילו" (the same expression the gemara on Berachot 17b uses against Yeshu, according to the Ritva there), when a list of over 35 great Sephardic rabbis in Israel today signs a letter condemning the leader of Ko'ah Lehashpia, we know that there is a good and serious reason that these things are being said and done.  Therefore, I will register my protest as well.

May those who speak against Maran Rav Ovadia Yosef - and against his family - apologize and repent for their venomous statements and may we only see Ahdut in Kelal Yisrael.

Zerizut and Mashiah

See this week's Shvilei Pinches.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

New Kiyor

As the HaMikdash Institute prepares for a new exhibition, a large כיור נחושת was transported to the exhibit location, a delivery that required considerable care as those involved faced many logistical issues. The new kiyor is equipped with a system that eliminates fears of the Halachic inyan of ‘לינה בכלי שרת’.

According to Machon HaMikdash officials, the new kiyor is 2.5 meters high and its diameter is 2.8 meters, making a sizable heavy object, with officials pointing out it is kosher for use in the Third Beis HaMikdash and it can serve 12 kohanim simultaneously.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)

See also Srugim with a picture of it.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Daf Yomi PSA: Hesronot Hashas on Shabbat 104b

Shabbat 104b has an short sugya about Ben Sitda.  (See the Tosefta source here.)

Make sure to read Hesronot Hashas about this individual (starts on last line of the page and continues on to the next page) and the additions made to Rashi and Tosefot as well.

And here's the Seder Hadorot quoted by the Gilyon Hashas.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Recent Interesting Links - Bo 5773

B"H, Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a was released from the hospital.

Rabbi Bechhofer has Rav Shlomo Brevda ZT"L's yearbook picture.

Cute, but thought-provoking, video by the Willowbrook Community Kollel (h/t Matzav featured videos):

Disturbing video of Jews being pelted with snowballs in Yerushalayim near Sha'ar Shechem (h/t Arutz Sheva)

2 verses come to mind when I watch this: Mishlei 30:23 and Tehilim 79:4.  This video a reminder of how we are still in Galut and how the tables will soon be turned.  Just wait and see.

Please Pray for Rav Ovadia Yosef Shlit"a

Maran HaGaon HaRav Ovadia Yosef Shlita, 92, was rushed to a hospital on shabbos after suffering “a cerebral incident”. The rav was in the midst of shachris when he felt ill and according to some reports, collapsed. Ichud Hatzalah and Magen David Adom responders were on the scene in a matter of minutes.

The rav was taking part in morning tefilla in the shul in his Kablan Street home in the Har Nof section of the capital. He was taken to Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. He will remain under observation for a number of days.

On motzei Shabbos, the condition of the Gadol Hador is described as stable and the rav is conscious and alert.

The tzibur is asked to be mispallel for מרן הרב עובדיה בן גורג’יה

The following update is provided by Walla News:
Dr. Yuval Weiss, director of Hadassah Ein Kerem reported a short time ago that Rav Ovadia is alert oriented and communicating with visitors. The Gadol Hador did have a very minor stroke and since arriving earlier in the day, he has undergone a barrage of medical exams. He should be released from the hospital in the coming days.

Aryeh Deri told Channel 2 News that he walked to the hospital on Shabbos and he spoke with the rav quite a bit and he is doing well Baruch Hashem, adding “remember, he is not young and he did have a stroke, albeit a minor one but a stroke.” Deri added “doctors say the damage from the stroke was as minimal as possible based on results of the tests as well as the rav’s response to me and the other visitors.”

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)
More from Kikar here, here, here, and a scary must-read here.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Va'era 5773

From Rav Fish's latest:
  • 193 members of the UN + the gematria of UN (או"ם), which is 47 = 240, which is the gematria of Amalek (עמלק).
  • 138 members of the UN voted for a Palestinian state.  138 is the gematria of צמח and מנחם [names of Mashiah] to show that the vote is related to the Geula.
  • Chuck Hagel:
    • can be spelled in Hebrew צ'ק איגל [using a silent H].  צ'ק is the same letters as קץ, while איגל is the gematria of דם [blood]. 
    • And his father has German heritage. 
    • And he was born in North Platte, Nebraska, signifying מצפון תפתח הרעה
    • Also, this can be spelled נור ת, meaning "the fire of Tav" - the 400 men of Esav and Amalek
    • He worked at Firestone Tires, again "fire".  Also, פַיֶירְסְטוֹן is the gematria of משיח בן דוד.

Nahal Kishon Rises Again

Nahal Kishon was the guarantor for the waters since the Yam Suf spit out the Egyptians to show the Israelites that the Egyptians were dead.  Therefore, Hashem paid Nahal Kishon back 1.5 times during the time of Sisera and killed the Canaanite army (see Pesahim 118b).  It did so by miraculously strengthening its waters over its banks and drowning them (see Metzudat David on Shofetim 5:21).

Again, the Kishon River is rising due to the weather in Israel the past few days.  In some places, it became like a raging river, while in others, it went over its banks.  See Kikar with videos.

And as we know:
The Zohar says that the upcoming, final war of Gog and Magog will be similar to the war with Sisera in that it will also have tremendous miracles.

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Walmart Purim Costumes

h/t Jewish Press

Walmart is selling some cheap Jewish-themed Purim costumes:

Tuesday, January 08, 2013

President Barack Obama Picks Chuck Hagel as Defense Minister Gematria

גוג וארמילוס (עה"כ) = ברק והייגל

Take it for whatever it's worth.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Asheira Removal

Reuters/Ammar Awad / seen on Jpost
Arutz Sheva:
Earlier Monday, the winds were gusting at speeds of up to 120 kilometers per hour (74 miles per hour). Several trees fell on the Temple Mount, causing police to close the Mount to visitors for several hours, while electricity outages caused by downed power lines were reported throughout the country.

Rambam's count of negative commandments #13: Do not plant a tree in the Mikdash, as it says (Devarim 16:21) "Thou shalt not plant thee an Asherah of any kind of tree beside the altar of the LORD thy God, which thou shalt make thee."

Today, Asheira removal.  May the next step speedily be Shikutz Shomem removal (i.e., the building in the background of the picture above).

Last Rabbeinu Bahye on Parshat Shemot Explains Geula Delay and More

Rabbeinu Bahye:

... And also here, HKB"H's answer to Moshe, "Now you will see that which I will do..." means that this suffering is only to double the reward over the reward that they would have received earlier.  This is  "Now you will see."  And the success and tranquility for Par'oh is only to double his punishment over the punishment that he would have received earlier.  And this is what is meant by, "...that which I will do to Par'oh."  In other words, I already prepared the plagues for him, and because of this was the reason that the work should be more burdensome from the day that I sent you - in order to double the punishment over the punishment that they would have received earlier and to strengthen the reward for Israel when they withstand the suffering and take it with love.

And you should know that the matters of this first exile is a hint to the the matters of our final exile in which we are currently with the servitude and suffering at the hands of the Kingdom of (Aram) [Edom] and we hope for the salvation of Hashem Yitbarach, as David ע"ה said about this matter (Tehilim 130:6): "My soul waiteth for the Lord, more than watchmen for the morning; yea, more than watchmen for the morning." Waiting and waiting again. And if the Redemption will be delayed in coming, everything is to add good reward for us and to favor us in the end - and to add punishment to those who subjugated us.

And just as we find that the hour was pushed for Israel in Egypt starting at the time that the first redeemer [Moshe Rabbeinu] came before Par'oh and said to him that in the words of Hashem Yitbarach, "Let My people go, that they may hold a feast unto Me in the wilderness," and afterwards, the work was made more burdensome, and hatred was awakened against them and it was very much increased over what it was, so too in our Future Redemption, in the exile, the final redeemer will awaken hatred between the nations and Israel and will increase servitude over the servitude that existed earlier.

And the redeemer will be revealed and then be covered in order to fool the nations and to harden their hearts, as we find by the Redemption from Egypt that Moshe was revealed to them, but then was hidden again from them. And this is what Raza"l were Doreish [on the verse] "And they met Moses and Aaron" - after 6 months, HKB"H was revealed in Midyan and told [Moshe]: "Go, return into Egypt."  Moshe came from Midyan and Aharon from Egypt, and the Israelite officers met them when they were exiting Par'oh's presence.  And similarly Midrash Hazit (Shir Hashirim 2) was Doreish [on the verse] דּוֹמֶה דוֹדִי לִצְבִי: Just as a deer is seen and is covered and is seen again, so too, the first redeemer [Moshe] was seen by them, and then was covered from them, and was then seen again by them.  And how long was he covered from them?  Ribbi Tanhuma says: 3 months.  This is the meaning of the verse "And they met Moses and Aaron".  Ribbi Yehuda B"R [?] says לקריסין - in other words, an expression of once-in-a-while meetings.  And similarly, the future redeemer [Mashiah] will be revealed and then hidden again as this Redemption is destined to mimic the Redemption from Egypt in many matters.  And similarly, the prophet says (Micha 7:15), "As in the days of thy coming forth out of the land of Egypt will I show unto him marvellous things."

And when the Keitz will come closer, there will be great troubles and these will continuously intensify, and this is a sign of salvation for Israel.  And it similarly says in Midrash [and Sanhedrin 98a on the verse] (Yeshaya 59:19) "for distress will come in like a flood, which the breath of the LORD driveth" that if you see a generation where many troubles are coming upon it like a river, wait for him, as it says "for distress will come in like a flood, which the breath of the LORD driveth" and next to it, it says, "And a redeemer will come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD."

Thursday, January 03, 2013

Sanctity of Marriage in Illinois Under Attack

The Trib and SunTimes say that the Illinois Senate is planning to vote on granting two men and two women the right to "marry".  If it passes, and then passes the Illinois House, the governor said he will sign it into law. This law is immoral, vehemently anti-Torah, and just plain idiotic.

Why do I care?  Shouldn't we let people live as they choose?  Why must government intrude on people's rights?

I'm all for government not intruding on people's rights.  And that is precisely why I am against this bill.

You see, I have a right to live in a moral society and I have a right to live in a safe society.  Society is immoral enough, we need to go the extra step and legislate immorality?  The moment immorality becomes law, bad things start to happen.  It then becomes unsafe, לא עלינו.

May Hashem show the elected officials of Illinois the fallacy of the bill and may it not see the light of day on the governor's desk.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Sod on the Women of Parshat Shemot

Picture Source (no endorsement of the company implied)
  • Mahsof Halavan says that the name א-ל-ה-י-ם has 120 permutations, and Shifra and Pu'ah were able to sweeten the Dinim of that name.  The gematria of שפרה ופועה plus 4 letters plus 2 words = 758 = מאה ועשרים א-ל-ה-י-ם.  When it says ויעש להם בתים, besides what Haza"l say בתים means, the word בתים in Sefer Yetzira means "permutations".  As the gemara Sotah 11b says, Par'oh tried to have his way with Shifra and Pu'ah, but they did not accept his offer.  One could ask: How was it possible for them to be saved from him?  Granted, they gave a logical answer to how they saved the babies, but how could they themselves have been saved from Par'oh's advances since he was a powerful king?  The answer is that since they feared א-ל-ה-י-ם, Hashem made בתים - i.e. permutations of His name to save them.  For example,
    • אהלים - Hashem's Shechina was a tent of protection for them
    • לאימה - Hashem's Shechina instilled fear in Par'oh so as not to harm them
    • אמילה - Hashem cut Par'oh off from trying to harm them
    • א-ל הים - Hashem's attribute of kindness pushed the harsh Dinim onto Par'oh
    • אלם י-ה - Hashem made Par'oh mute so as not to be able to harm them
    • מליאה - Hashem's Shechina encompassed Shifra and Pu'ah in order to instill fear in Par'oh
    • להם י"א & הלם י"א - The 11 Kelipot were subdued and couldn't overpower them, causing Par'oh's power to be weakened
    [YY - one could also say מעשה אבות סימן לבנים is in effect, as Hashem saved Sarah Imeinu from Par'oh as well.]
  • From the bottom of p. 8 of Rav Shmueli's newsletter this week: Tzippora was one of the twin sisters of Hevel.  After Hevel was murdered, Kayin tried to have his way with her, but she refused his advances and tied up her opening.  It is possible that she was the girl that the fallen angels שמחזא-י and עזא-ל gazed upon, as it says, "that the sons of God saw the daughters of men that they were fair..."  She said to them, "I will not listen to you until you teach me the Shem Hameforash."  They then taught it to her, she remembered it, and she went up to heaven without sin.  And during the time of Yitro, she descended from heaven, and Yitro found her since he was a Gilgul of Kayin, and he returned her to Moshe who was a Gilgul of Hevel, so she was his soulmate since the six days of Creation.  Devorah the Prophetess was a Gilgul of Tzippora, and since Tzippora did not merit to say Shira at the Sea - since Yitro only came with her to Moshe after the splitting of the sea - therefore, Devorah, who was her Gilgul said a Shira in her stead.

Recent Interesting Links - Shemot 5773

Lazer Beams - The Sadigora Rebbe, zatza"l

Mashiach is Coming - Acts of Kindness

Life in Israel - Batman puts on Tefilin Shel Yad

Arutz Sheva - Netanyahu hints to Morsi when quoting from Parshat Shemot: ויקם מלך חדש על מצרים (see here for the meaning of the end of the verse)

On the Main Line - A Detroit family's conversion to Judaism in 1916 (due to the man's father appearing to him in a dream to do Teshuva)

Shirat Devorah: FC - No Halachic Justification? (with a lively comment section)

Wiesenthal Center - 2012 Top Ten Anti-Semitic/Anti Israel Slurs

Northwestern U. finally wins a bowl game - first since 1949.

Trib: Chicago's average temperature for 2012 is the highest on record.  Also, if there is no snowfall by this Shabbat, which could very well happen, another record of 314 days without an inch of snow in Chicago will be broken.