Geula-Related Recent Links

Monday, December 30, 2013

American Pie - The ObamaCare Version

A long, long time ago
I can still remember how our healthcare costs didn't make me cry
And I knew if I had the will
That I could always pay the bill
It didn't seem to get too high.

But, the whole mess started in 2008
When the tea was served a bit too late
And instead of choosing McCain
The country just went Hussein 

And that gave a mandate to the one on top
To make our incomes drop and drop
And get our insurance plans to stop
The day our healthcare died

So bye bye, Miss American Pie
ACA made my taxes shoot way up through the sky
And them good old boys throughout hospitals sigh
Singin' "This'll be the day that I die, this'll be the day that I die"

The House passed the bill under duress
While the Speaker had still worn a dress
And she passed it just to know what it contains.

In due time, the Senate followed suit
When the filibuster was set to mute
How much left of my old country still remains?

And the President signed it into law
And overlooking its fatal flaw
Its last hurdle was vaulted
John Roberts could be faulted

And that's how we now have ObamaCare
whose website started in disrepair
And which brought the country to despair
The day our healthcare died

I started singin' bye bye, Miss American Pie
ACA made my taxes shoot way up through the sky
And them good old boys throughout hospitals sigh
Singin' "This'll be the day that I die"


Friday, December 27, 2013

How to Pray for Mashiah

Peninei Yaakov this week:
We all know that we are experiencing the last throws of exile as we eagerly await hearing the Shofar blast heralding the coming of Mashiach. How wonderful would it be if we would receive a Divine revelation that Mashiach is coming now and we will all merit to experience his grand arrival?


When he prays for the coming of Mashiach, he should not consider it as a luxury, that somehow it would be nice if Mashiach came, but if not, his life is still manageable. If one would only realize what the world is lacking in its present state, one would pray much more fervently for the coming of Mashiach, the ingathering of the exiles, the rebuilding of Yerushalayim and the Bais Hamikdash.  Oh, how much we are lacking - the honor of Hashem, the glory of the Bais Hamikdash, the beauty of Yerushalayim, peace in Eretz Yisroel and the self-respect of the Jewish nation. 

Life Imitates Art? A Scenario Similar to "Fill the Void" is Happening in Real Life

According to a Kikar report, it seems as if life is imitating art.

About a month after the tragic Petira of Chaya Feiga Hager A"H, the great-granddaughter of the Vishnitzer Rebbe of Monsey, in childbirth (as I noted here), her husband, Rav Yochanan Hager is now engaged to her younger sister Trana [sp?].

The film from last year Fill the Void has a very similar plot:
Shira Mendelman (Hadas Yaron), an 18-year-old Haredi girl living in Tel Aviv, is looking forward to an arranged marriage with a young man whom she likes. However, on Purim, her family suffers a tragedy when Shira's older sister Esther (Renana Raz) dies in childbirth. Shira's father subsequently delays the engagement so as not to have to deal with an empty house so soon after Esther's death. Esther's husband, Yochay (Yiftach Klein), begins to regularly bring their son, Mordechai, to the Mendelman's house, where Shira cares for him.

One day, Yochay's mother approaches Shira's mother, Rivka (Irit Sheleg), about the possibility of Yochay remarrying, believing it to be best for Mordechai. She plans to suggest an offer from a widow in Belgium. Rivka is distraught by the idea of Mordechai being taken out of the country and suggests that Yochay marry Shira instead.


Time passes, and Shira eventually grows to love Yochay of her own accord. She approaches the rabbi and asks again that she and Yochay be married, and he agrees this time. The film closes with their wedding.
Some of the comments at Kikar noted the similarity.  And "Yochanan" is similar to "Yochay" too.

Anyways, a bittersweet Mazal Tov to the new couple.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Va'era 5774

Terrorist Attacks

US Spying - Pollard Connection



True To Our Destiny

Spain Draft Law Could Grant Sephardic Jews Citizenship

Edgar Bronfman Dies

Was Bolivian Chief of Police on Same Flight as Yanky Ostreicher?

Does Yanky Ostreicher’s Freedom Shed Light On The Cases Of Other Jewish Prisoners?

Lawyer: ‘Virtually No Serious’ U.S. Engagement With Cuba Since Alan Gross Imprisonment

Jabotinsky in Acco prison in 1920 (video)

El-Al Receives Complaints Over Tefillas Haderech

And a men went from the house..

Homeland Security Joins Misaskim in International Drama to Prevent Autopsy in Puerto Rico
Homeland Security Joins Misaskim in International Drama to Prevent Autopsy in Puerto Rico

Supreme Court Overrules Rabbinical Supreme Court in Bris/Divorce Case

Days After the Blizzard Tzfas Remains a Catastrophe

The Voice of Torah and Tefilos Continued at Kever Rochel Throughout the Blizzard

In favor of Serach bat Asher, harpist

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Rav Shmuel Eliyahu on the Snow

Last week, we merited to have an abundance of snow after a long period of drought.  It appears that HKB"H is showing us favor.  The Gemara (Ta'anit 3b) says that the snow that falls on the mountains helps like 5 of the same quantity of rain that falls [elsewhere, and I quote].
Raba said: Snow is beneficial to the mountains as fivefold rain to the earth, as it is said, For he
saith to the snow, ‘Fall thou on the earth’; likewise to the shower of rain and to the showers of His mighty rain.
 It is possible that the reason for the diminished efficacy of rains on the mountains is because they run off them, whereas the snow's liquid is slowly absorbed therein and brings blessings to the ground.

It is not for naught that the white snow gives a feeling of purity to those who contemplate it.  The prophet Yeshaya (1:18) tells the Nation of Israel, "לְכוּ-נָא וְנִוָּכְחָה, יֹאמַר יְהוָה; אִם-יִהְיוּ חֲטָאֵיכֶם כַּשָּׁנִים כַּשֶּׁלֶג יַלְבִּינוּ, אִם-יַאְדִּימוּ כַתּוֹלָע כַּצֶּמֶר יִהְיוּ. [Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD; though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.]"  The word "שנים" is connected, of course, to תולעת שני [scarlet thread of the Mishkan and priestly garments].  That Leshon Shel Zehorit that was red like blood and turned white like snow in the Beit Hamikdash on Yom Hakippurim is a sign of the purity of Israel.

The prophet Yeshaya said these words in the years before the Destruction of the Beit Hamikdash while the Nation of Israel was already engrossed in sins and the decree of Destruction was decreed upon them.  Yeshaya said to them, "If you do Teshuva, everything will turn around to be good."  Hashem expects the Teshuva of His children and not for their destruction, Halila.

Another place where snow is mentioned in the connotation of great purity is in the vision of Daniel, who saw that the 4 Kingdoms who subjugated the Nation of Israel for so many generations leading the world.  Daniel saw a great big lion with wings and the angel who was standing there said that this was Bavel.  He saw the Kingdom of Persia as a bear.  He saw Greece as a winged leopard.  Every kingdom, according to its nature, led the world during its years of reign.

At the end of the dream, he saw the Kingdom of Edom "דְּחִילָה וְאֵימְתָנִי וְתַקִּיפָא יַתִּירָה" [dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly] - stronger than all of them.  He saw a murderous kingdom.   וְשִׁנַּיִן דִּי-פַרְזֶל לַהּ רַבְרְבָן, אָכְלָה וּמַדֱּקָה, וּשְׁאָרָא ברגליה (בְּרַגְלַהּ) רָפְסָה [and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet]   He saw that this Edomite beast was growing a small horn that spoke proud things.  It would fight with Israel and overcome them.   חָזֵה הֲוֵית--וְקַרְנָא דִכֵּן, עָבְדָא קְרָב עִם-קַדִּישִׁין; וְיָכְלָה, לְהֹן [I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them].  The Kingdom of Edom almost destroys Israel, and at that moment, HKB"H reveals Himself in His greatest revelation - Atik Yomin - and saves them.  This is a very similar situation to the one when the Nation of Israel was in when they were between the Egyptians and the Yam Suf.

In the prophecy of Daniel, it says, "חָזֵה הֲוֵית, עַד דִּי כָרְסָוָן רְמִיו, וְעַתִּיק יוֹמִין, יְתִב; לְבוּשֵׁהּ כִּתְלַג חִוָּר, וּשְׂעַר רֵאשֵׁהּ כַּעֲמַר נְקֵא [I beheld till thrones were placed, and one that was ancient of days did sit: his raiment was as white snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool]  In other words, "I saw until chairs were placed there for the purpose of a judgement that is destined to take place.  Afterwards, the Atik Yomin came and sat on these chairs for judgement.  His clothes were like white snow and His hair was like pure wool."

The King of the world, Who is revealing Himself as "Atik Yomin" causes the downfall of the final horn of the Kingdom of Edom and brings the Mashiah closer. He gives rulership, honor and kingship to the Nation of Israel. וּמַלְכוּתָא וְשָׁלְטָנָא וּרְבוּתָא, דִּי מַלְכְוָת תְּחוֹת כָּל-שְׁמַיָּא, יְהִיבַת, לְעַם קַדִּישֵׁי עֶלְיוֹנִין [And the kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High]  And to them, all will listen. מַלְכוּתֵהּ, מַלְכוּת עָלַם, וְכֹל שָׁלְטָנַיָּא, לֵהּ יִפְלְחוּן וְיִשְׁתַּמְּעוּן. their kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them.'

The connotation of the white clothes of Atik Yomin is Hesed and atonement of sins.  Hashem is not going to judge us with unmitigated justice, but with a large amount of Hesed.  He bleaches our sins at this awesome time that the fourth kingdom is trying to destroy us.  This is implied from the prophet Zecharia (chapter 3) who explains the implication of the clothes as atonement of sins.

Zecharia sees the Satan prosecuting against Yehoshua the Kohen Gadol.  At that moment, HKB"H rebukes the Satan, and tells him, "How can you prosecute against a nation that has gone through so much suffering and afflictions? הֲלוֹא זֶה אוּד, מֻצָּל מֵאֵשׁ [ is not this man a brand plucked out of the fire?]"  Hashem cleans the Nation of Israel from its sins and commands His angels, "הָסִירוּ הַבְּגָדִים הַצֹּאִים, מֵעָלָיו [Take the filthy garments from off him.]"  And the implication is purity from sins, as HKB"H says, "וַיֹּאמֶר אֵלָיו, רְאֵה הֶעֱבַרְתִּי מֵעָלֶיךָ עֲו‍ֹנֶךָ, וְהַלְבֵּשׁ אֹתְךָ, מַחֲלָצוֹת [Behold, I cause thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with robes.]"

That is the moment where HKB"H sprinkles upon us pure water to purify us.  Upon this moment, it is said in Micha (7:18) מִי אֵל כָּמוֹךָ, נֹשֵׂא עָו‍ֹן וְעֹבֵר עַל פֶּשַׁע, לִשְׁאֵרִית, נַחֲלָתוֹ: לֹא הֶחֱזִיק לָעַד אַפּוֹ, כִּי חָפֵץ חֶסֶד הוּא יָשׁוּב יְרַחֲמֵנוּ, יִכְבֹּשׁ עֲו‍ֹנֹתֵינוּ; וְתַשְׁלִיךְ בִּמְצֻלוֹת יָם, כָּל חַטֹּאותָם. תִּתֵּן אֱמֶת לְיַעֲקֹב, חֶסֶד לְאַבְרָהָם, אֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּעְתָּ לַאֲבֹתֵינוּ, מִימֵי קֶדֶם. [Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth the iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger for ever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will again have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt show faithfulness to Jacob, mercy to Abraham, as Thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old.]

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Rav Shmuel Eliyahu and Rav Fish See Yerushalayim Snow as a Geula Sign

You can see Rav Eliyahu's words here.

You can see Rav Fish's words here.

BE"H BL"N, I'll post summary translations of both within the next few days.

The Great Yerushalayim Blizzard of 5547

The Yisbe'u Mituvecha newsletter brings down a couple sources from Sefarim that describe the Great Yerushalayim Blizzard of 5547 (1787).

The first can be found in Birkot Mayim.  I noticed that there was already a translation of his words at a post about this storm at the Muqata from a couple years ago so look there.

The second can be found in Mekor Yisrael, where he says the following (my translation):
It is currently the year 5547.  There was a drought and before Hanukka, they instituted 3 fasts and we fasted.  And on the 12th of Shevat, it was a Wednesday, and a stormy wind started, followed by snow.  And it snowed that entire day and Thursday and Friday - there was nothing like it.  The doorways and windows were blocked and they could not leave the doorways of their homes.  And many people were almost in a state of Piku'ah Nefesh.  And on Shabbat Kodesh, it was Tu Bishvat, and the 4 synagogues in Yerushalayim did not open, they did not pray, and they did not read the Torah at all - except for a Hasidic synagogue, where about 3 Minyanim [of people] gathered and they took out the Sefer Torah and read it.  And there were 5 Mitzvot [i.e. to bury 5 people who died] - some on Friday and some from Shabbat to Sunday - using the money of both Jews and Gentiles - until they paved a path for them to be brought to the cemetery, and they buried them in the cave that is next to Zecharia Hanavi.  And the Istambuli Synagogue was destroyed, and on the following Monday, they started to burn the snow, wood, and stones.  And on Shabbat Parshat Yitro, we did it so that they read Parshat Beshalah and Parshat Yitro in one shot.  See the book Emet LeYaakov p. 2 and p. 37 in the name of Maharikash.  And nevertheless, we read 2 Parshiyot, and I decided in my mind to read for the Kohen's Aliya - Parshat Beshalah and 3 verses from Yitro, and then the day's obligation of Parshat Yitro.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Shemot 5774 II


Shivyon Banetel- An Emunah-Based Response (I highly recommend this article)

Admorim Preparing to Travel Abroad to Enlist Support Against Chareidi Draft Law

The Message from the Moetzas Gedolei Hatorah

Moetzes of Agudah to Travel to US Due to Draft Crisis

Rav Shmuel Eliyahu Reiterates Psak Against Women Serving in the IDF

More on Yanky Ostreicher

Snow in Yerushalayim


Death of al Qaeda chief in S. Syria on Israeli border (What do Og Melech Habashan and the Chief of Al-Qaeda in Southern Syria have in common?  They both were killed in the Biblical town of Edre'i.)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Sean Penn Finished the Mitzva He Started

Sean Penn is not halachicly Jewish, but he still seems to know how to finish the Mitzva that he started, as per the dictum המתחיל במצוה אומרים לו גמור.

A year ago, I wrote a post entitled What We Can Learn from Sean Penn.  At the time, he secured the release of Jacob (Yanky) Ostreicher to house arrest.  Then, I wrote:
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.
I also wrote then (after quoting from Parshat Vayehi):
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.
Baruch Hashem that salvation has pretty much been completed, as he has been brought to the United States, and it very much seems that Sean Penn is behind it.

The Sacramento Bee, quoting AP:
LA PAZ, Bolivia -- Actor Sean Penn said Tuesday that he's with Jacob Ostreicher after the New York businessman was secretly spirited out of Bolivia, where he's been fighting for more than two years to clear his name in a money-laundering investigation.

Penn said in an email that Ostreicher is safe, doing well and receiving medical attention at an undisclosed location.

In the statement sent to The Associated Press, Penn said a "humanitarian operation" had been mounted to extract Ostreicher "from the corrupt prosecution and imprisonment he was suffering in Bolivia." He didn't provide additional details or say who was behind it, and he didn't respond to questions sent by the AP.
And from Matzav:
For now, it is clear that Mr. Penn deserves great credit for seemingly orchestrating the escape of Ostreicher from Bolivia.
So, thank you, Sean Penn for not giving up on your Mitzva and following through with it to its completion.  As I said last time, we have much to learn from you.

May Hakadosh Baruch Hu continue to bring all Jewish captives home, as it says:

וּפְדוּיֵי יְהוָה יְשׁוּבוּן וּבָאוּ צִיּוֹן בְּרִנָּה וְשִׂמְחַת עוֹלָם עַל רֹאשָׁם שָׂשׂוֹן וְשִׂמְחָה יַשִּׂיגוּן נָסוּ יָגוֹן וַאֲנָחָה
And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come with singing unto Zion, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.

Geula Update from Rav Fish - Vayehi 5774

Rav Fish put out 2 pdfs last week.  In one of them, he wrote a long, multi-chapter essay on the difference between ציון and ירושלים which contains many Geula references.  The other pdf uses his usual weekly format.  The beginning of the second one contains one chapter of the first long essay entitled "Papus Ben Yehuda was the husband of the mother of Yeshu", referencing Shabbat 104b and other sources.

And at the end of both pdfs, he has 2 additional pages - one has a prayer to speed up Mashiah's arrival and blessings to say when seeing Mashiah.  The second page talks about the importance of visiting Kever David.

From the Geula section, he says the following:

  • Delay of Mashiah
    • It says in Habakkuk (2:3) אִם-יִתְמַהְמָהּ, חַכֵּה-לוֹ [though it tarry, wait for it].  It appears that there is a hint to the delay of Mashiah in Scripture, as it says (Bereishit 19:16) וַיִּתְמַהְמָהּ--וַיַּחֲזִיקוּ הָאֲנָשִׁים בְּיָדוֹ [But he lingered; and the men laid hold upon his hand] as the soul of Mashiah was included at that time in Lot, and since Lot was about to beget the root of the soul of Mashiah at that time, there needed to be the idea of "delay" preceding it which comes before the birth of Mashiah.
    • There is another place in Tanach that the word יתמהמה [delay] is mentioned: (Bereishit 43:9-10) אָנֹכִי, אֶעֶרְבֶנּוּ--מִיָּדִי, תְּבַקְשֶׁנּוּ: אִם-לֹא הֲבִיאֹתִיו אֵלֶיךָ וְהִצַּגְתִּיו לְפָנֶיךָ, וְחָטָאתִי לְךָ כָּל-הַיָּמִים. כִּי, לוּלֵא הִתְמַהְמָהְנוּ--כִּי-עַתָּה שַׁבְנוּ, זֶה פַעֲמָיִם. [I will be surety for him; of my hand shalt thou require him; if I bring him not unto thee, and set him before thee, then let me bear the blame for ever. For except we had lingered, surely we had now returned a second time.]  We explained in the essay "Hashmal Het" that the guarantee of Yehuda on Binyamin hints to the suffereing of Mashiah that comes from Yehuda, who suffers the birthpangs of Mashiah for Am Yisrael at the time of the birthpangs of Redemption.  Therefore, Yehuda said לוּלֵא הִתְמַהְמָהְנוּ--כִּי-עַתָּה שַׁבְנוּ, זֶה פַעֲמָיִם.  If there would not have been a double-delay - once by Lot and once by Mashiah - then כי עתה שבנו - the word שבנו is the gematria of Mashiah - meaning Mashiah would have come already and I would not need to suffer the sufferings.
      • And it's brought down from the Mahara"sh of Belz on this verse of כִּי, לוּלֵא הִתְמַהְמָהְנוּ--כִּי-עַתָּה שַׁבְנוּ, זֶה פַעֲמָיִם that the word לולא is the same letters as אלול and if we delayed in Elul from doing Teshuva, then we should do Teshuva in a leap year where we have the 12th month (gematria of זה) twice (פעמים).
        • And it's brought down in the Siddur Sha'ar Hashamayim, which is attributed to the Shelah, that on a leap year, when we add ולכפרת פשע to the Musaf prayer on Rosh Hodesh, we do so since a year that has 13 months is fortunate to be atoned via the 13 attributes of mercy.
        • And it's also brought down in the Shelah in Parshat Shemot that the main Tikun Hayesod that is done during the Parshiyot of שובבי"ם is in a leap year.
        • It appears, therefore, that this is why the year תשע"ה is hinted to in the verse כִּי, לוּלֵא הִתְמַהְמָהְנוּ--כִּי-עַתָּה שַׁבְנוּ, זֶה פַעֲמָיִם to hint to the idea that the year תשע"ד, which is a leap year, is the preparation of Teshuva to the year of Redemption תשע"ה.
  • Sofei Teivot of Mashiah
    • The only Sofei Teivot of the letters משיח in Tanach in order is in Tehilim 72:5: יִירָאוּךָ עִם-שָׁמֶשׁ; וְלִפְנֵי יָרֵחַ, דּוֹר דּוֹרִים and the letters that surround these letters of the Sofei Teivot on both sides spell ע"ד.
  • The 100-Year Process
    • [As a continuation to what was said here:] It is brought down in the book "Admorei Belz" (vol 3, p. 320) that WWI broke out on Tish'a Be'av, 5674, and the Mahari"d of Belz said that the beginning of the war starting on Tish'a Be'av is a sign that the war will last until the coming of Mashiah.  And we see that he relates to the entire period from 5674 and on as one long war.
      • And it's brought down that the Admor said that same Shabbat on the verse ותשבו בקדש ימים רבים that ישיבה means lingering, meaning that we are lingering in the exile a long time.  "רבים" is Rashei Teivot for רומי בבל ישמעאל מצרים.  And we see that he hinted that then would start a period that would encompass all the exiles.
      • Also, the word ימים is the gematria of 100 to hint to the 100-year process that began then.
      • And it appears that there is a hint to the years תרע"ד and תשע"ד in the verse (Daniel 7:25עַד-עִדָּן וְעִדָּנִין וּפְלַג עִדָּן.
    • It says (Vayikra 25:29 וְאִישׁ, כִּי-יִמְכֹּר בֵּית-מוֹשַׁב עִיר חוֹמָה--וְהָיְתָה גְּאֻלָּתוֹ, עַד-תֹּם שְׁנַת מִמְכָּרוֹ: יָמִים, תִּהְיֶה גְאֻלָּתוֹ [And if a man sell a dwelling-house in a walled city, then he may redeem it within a whole year after it is sold; for a full year shall he have the right of redemption.]  And the Or Hahayim explains this verse metaphorically referring to the Final Redemption.
      • Also here, we see the expression ימים תהיה גאולתו - with ימים having a gematria of 100 - hinting to the 100-year Redemption process.
      • Also, גאולתו עד תם שנת is Rashei Teivot תשע"ג and "עד" hints to תשע"ד.
  • Geneva Deal
    • In Geneva, which in Hebrew is ז'נבה - from the expression ויזנב [which is related to Amalek] - they [in essence] gave power to the Iranians to produce nuclear weapons.
      • The letters before ז'נבה make up אדום.
      • The letters after ז'נבה make up גחון, which symbolizes the snake.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Shemot 5774

Hodu LaHashem Ki Tov Ki Le'olam Hasdo

CONFIRMED: Jacob Ostreicher Has Been Released From Bolivia and Is Back In The United States

Boruch Mattir Asurim: Yanky Ostreicher is in the United States



Snow in Eretz Yisrael

Monday Morning Storm Update from Eretz Yisrael

Good News-Bad News Re: Snow of 5744, 2013

Video of Interest: Snow in Yerushalyim

Video Of Interest: Some News Footage Of Israel’s Winter Storm

A 100 Year Blizzard in Jerusalem

Snow "Coincidences"

Snow Reasons Given

Cause of the Storm

Israeli Soldier Killed - HY"D

IDF Soldier Killed By Sniper to Be Laid to Rest
Levaya for Slain IDF Soldier HY”D

Fight Against Drafting Torah-Learners


Relative: Fake Mandela Event Signer Burned Men Alive


General Sisi 'dreamed he would rule Egypt'

Snow in Yerushalayim "Coincidences"

R' Dov Bar Leib noted in a comment on my blog a few days ago that the Daf Yomi for Asara Betevet was Yoma 35 (Daf | Text | English [pp. 101-102]), which talks about the famous story with Hillel Hazaken being covered with 3 Amot of snow after listening to Torah from the rooftop of Shemaya Ve'Avtalyon's Beit Midrash.  Subsequently, this was noted by Life in Israel and Shirat Devorah.  Mashiach is Coming explains this in more detail.

In addition, Matzav has this too, but adds another interesting source - The Targum Rav Yosef on Divrei Hayamim Alef 11:22, where ביום השלג (the day of snow) is expounded to talk about "the ten days of the month of Tevet".

Finally, Mashiach's Wife has a post called "Rumors in the Air" where she links to my translation of Rav Fish's newsletter and connects the snowstorm with a prediction that the 8th of Tevet is the end of the 9-month period of the "Government of Apostasy".

Friday, December 13, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Vayehi 5774 II

Paralyzing Snowstorm in Yerushalayim (and Elsewhere) 
(or, in the spirit of the day, Yerushalayim Under Siege)


HaGaon HaRav Yaffa Gives Chizuk to Family of Imprisoned Talmidim

Ted Cruz Walks Out Of Nelson Mandela Memorial Service In Protest

Woman Who Approved Obama’s Birth Certificate Dies in Plane Crash

VIDEO: Orthodox Jewish Family Turns To White House Petition Drive To Save Young Son’s Life
Video: Battle Continues for Rafael Elisha Cohen

OP-ED: The World Still Does Not Understand Us
On Mandela Memorial Interpeter Flap: The World Still Does Not Understand Us

A Split Between Bayit Yehudi and its Rabbonim?

Rav Kanievsky Shlit"a is Saved from Shaatnez (h/t Mashiach is Coming)

The Matzav Shmoooze: Would a Pollard Release Make Obama a Hero?

Earliest Asara Betevet Fridays in the Calendar

DateSecular YearJewish Year
Dec. 12 1823 5584
Dec. 13 1861 5622
Dec. 13 1918 5679
Dec. 13 2013 5774
Dec. 12 2070 5831

May the Tzom Ha'asiri turn into a day of joy speedily in our days, Amen.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Vayehi 5774

where I found this picture of Rav Ovadia Yosef as a snowman and 3 more like it at different angles (which, while a nice gesture, may be more halachicly problematic than a regular snowman):
גולן ברוך

Mandela Memorial


MDA Blood Drive in the Knesset Cancelled After Ethiopian MK Discouraged From Donating
Rabbi Slams 'Racism' Blood Controversy: What About the British?

Drunken Man Bursts into Maran Rav Shteinman’s Home

Spanish Duke Apologizes For Inquisition Expulsion

Brooklyn Declared ‘Toeivah Capital’ By Boro President

Yerushalayim Places 4th On Tripadvisor’s ‘Destinations On The Rise’ List

Eli Yishai Meets In Private With The Belzer Rebbe

Mossad Agents Worked to Free Agunos

Eight Years Since Sharon was Stricken with Illness

The street cleaner and his chavrusa (potd)

Israel And The Vatican: Give But No Take

Tribute to a Kollel

The Chasenah Took Place in Bnei Brak

Mayor Emanuel, Why Again Are You Fasting on Friday?

Mayor Emanuel is acting like a Marrano without persecution.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday plans to start a 24-hour fast to show support for immigration reform efforts in Washington, D.C.

The mayor and some members of the Chicago City Council's Latino Caucus plan to go without food from 7 p.m. Thursday to 7 p.m. Friday. They'll begin fasting at an evening mass in honor of the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe at St. Pius Church in the Pilsen neighborhood.

The local fast comes as activists from immigrant rights groups have taken turns fasting in the National Mall in Washington since last month to try to pressure Congress into approving a reform bill.

The Senate approved a sweeping, bipartisan immigration bill over the summer, but it has stalled in the House. Republicans who control the chamber are divided over providing a path to citizenship for immigrants who are in the U.S. without legal status. An immigration vote is not expected this month as congressional leaders focus on securing approval for a budget deal before heading home for the holidays.

In a statement, Emanuel talked about why he'll go without food for 24 hours.

“On the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we join people from all over the country who are making an incredible sacrifice to remind our leaders what is at stake in the fight for immigration reform,” he said. “We are sending a clear message to Congress that the time is now for comprehensive immigration reform, it just cannot wait any longer.”

For Emanuel, the fast also represents a way to respond to lingering criticism about his involvement on the immigration issue when he was serving as President Barack Obama's first White House chief of staff. Emanuel is viewed as steering Obama away from an immigration reform push during his first year in office because it would have been politically difficult to get a bill through Congress. The president instead focused on health care and what became the Affordable Care Act.

Ald. Danny Solis, 25th, also plans to take part in the fast.

“Every day I see how our country’s broken immigration system affects undocumented families in my ward, whether its parents taking their kids to school, entrepreneurs running their businesses, or people living their lives, no one should live in the shadows,” Solis said in a statement. “I’m proud to stand with the mayor and my fellow City Council members to let Washington know that their unacceptable inaction is tearing families apart in cities and neighborhoods across the country.”

Copyright © 2013 Chicago Tribune Company, LLC

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Interesting Recent Links - Vayigash 5774

As I hadn't posted in a while, there are lots of links.  I organized them differently than usual and due to the length, did not provide the source.  You'll have to click (or roll-over) to see the source.

Hareidi Issues

Looking for a Few Good Jewish Traitors

Before the Rain

No Rain in the Forecast, and No Substitute for Rainwater

Chief Rabbis of Israel Call for Tefilos for Rainfall

Sign of God's Displeasure?

After the Rain B"H

Rainy Days Are Here Again!

Poll on the cause of the current rain storms


Mashiach and Chanukah - 5774

An RCCS Chanukah Miracle

Vesein tal Umatar and Zot Hanukkah

Rav Dovid Feinstein: The Custom of Latkes is Not What People Think

Hanukkah lighting held at former Inquisition prison (h/t Torah Musings)

Unique Hasmonean structure uncovered in Jerusalem

Chizuk on Chanukah in Yeshivos

WoW, Open Orthodoxy, and Other Deviations from Mesorah

Protest Tefilla at the Kosel Canceled at the Behest of Rabbi Rabinowitz

Rav Aharon Feldman Urges All Women to Join Women For the Wall in Tefillah
Rav Aharon Feldman Urges All Women To Join Women For The Wall In Prayer: Protests Misuse Of Kosel For Rejection Of Our Mesorah

Open Orthodoxy’s Last Ditch Struggle for Recognition

Rabbi Yaakov Ariel Shlita Opposes Divrei Torah by Women in Shul



Tehran: Mossad and Saudi intelligence are designing super-Stuxnet to destroy Iran’s nuclear program

Iran Nuclear Deal: Saudi Arabia Warns It Will Strike Out On Its Own

DEAL WITH THE DEVIL: American Held Hostage For 444 Days In Iran Calls Nuke Deal ‘Foolishness’

Jewish Prisoners

Alan Gross Asks For Obama’s Involvement In Securing Release From Cuban Prison
Imprisoned Alan Gross Pleads To President Obama To Get Involved In Securing His Release

Esther Pollard Asks Turkey-Pardoning Obama To Have Mercy On Her Husband

The ‘Turkey Pardon’ Tradition


WE PETITION THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION TO: authorize the FDA to grant a compassionate use exemption to Refael Elisha Cohen for Antineoplaston therapy

Man Lives Days at Ocean’s Bottom (said Tehillim 54-92)

What happened to comet ISON?

Modi’in Illit: Israel’s Lowest Mortality Rate BA”H

Rav Chaim Kanievsky explains why Sefardim are healthier than Ashkenazim

Deri: Who Needs the EU? Let’s All Buy ‘Settlement’ Products

VIDEO: Moshe Holtzberg And His Nanny Five Years Later

Rav Uri Zohar Mourns His Friend and Double-Mechutan, Arik Einstein

Video Of Interest: As One MK Speaks, While Another Plays Candy Crush

$140-A-Day Fine For Refusing Bris Milah

Herzog Tells Chareidim He Won’t Join Coalition Without Them