Sunday, July 24, 2016

Red Moon Anyone ?

Keep an eye on the moon tonight, it was red in some parts of the world for the night of 18 Tammuz.

This photo was uploaded to Facebook by Luana:

and here is a link to a photo of it on Flickr:  ''I have never seen a redder moon rise"

Friday, July 22, 2016

17th of Tammuz

by Rabbi David Hanania Pinto

This year the fast on the 17th of Tammuz falls on Shabbat. Therefore, the fast is postponed until Sunday, the 18th of Tammuz. In the Sephardic and Eastern communities, it is customary to announce the fast on Shabbat.

Chazal relate that five dreadful events occurred on the 17th of Tammuz:

The first Tablets were broken. The daily [continual] burnt-offering ceased. The city’s wall was breached. Apostimos the wicked burned the Torah. An idol was erected in the Temple.

The Tablets were Broken

On the seventh of Sivan, after the giving of the Torah, Moshe returned to ascend Mount Sinai [it was still prohibited for the nation to approach the mountain, as they were warned prior to Matan Torah]. Moshe went to learn straight from Hashem all the rules and details and laws of the Torah, and to receive the Tablets of Testimony.

When Moshe went up to Heaven, he told Am Yisrael: ''At the end of forty days, at the commencement of the sixth hour [of the day], I will come and bring you the Torah.'' They thought that the day that he ascended counted as the first day. However, Moshe had told them it would be forty full days, and a full day begins at the sunset preceding it. Thus, the day that he ascended did not count as the first day because it was not a full day beginning at the sunset prior to it. As we know, Moshe ascended on the seventh of Sivan, and accordingly the fortieth full day came out on the 17th of Tammuz.

On the 16th of Tammuz the Satan came and confused the world with images of blackness and muddle, images of cloudiness, fog and turmoil, saying, certainly Moshe died, since the sixth hour of the morning already passed and he did not return.

The Satan said to them: Moshe, your leader, where is he? They said to him: He ascended to Heaven. He said to them: The sixth [hour] has passed! – But they paid no heed to him – Died! – and they did not pay attention to him. He showed them an image of his coffin. They ran to Ahron hysterically in confusion and said to him: Make us a G-d!

The next day, Moshe came down from the mountain. When Hashem gave Moshe the Tablets, the Tablets carried themselves. However, when Moshe descended and approached the Camp and saw the Golden Calf, the letters floated out of the parchment and the Tablets became unbearably heavy in Moshe’s hands. Immediately – “Moshe’s anger flared up,” and he threw them from his hands.

Also during the destruction of the first Beit Hamikdash, the [wall of the] city was breached in Tammuz, on the ninth day of the month. However, because one cannot burden the people excessively, we do not institute two consecutive fast-days. Therefore, the fast was set on the 17th of Tammuz, since the destruction of the second Temple was harder for us.

The Daily [lit. Continual] Burnt-Offering Ceased

During the destruction of the First Temple, the following occurred. On the ninth of Tammuz, the wall surrounding Yerushalayim was breached and the enemies charged through the city and caused destruction. However, the enemies could not enter the Temple, because the Kohanim barricaded themselves within and continued performing the services until the seventh of Av. But the supply of sheep for the daily sacrifice was lacking from the thirteenth of Tammuz, since they always kept a four day supply of sheep that were checked for flaws and ready for sacrifice. From the thirteenth of Tammuz and onward they bribed the enemies who made a siege on them: They lowered silver and gold, and they sent up sheep for them. This is what they did until the 17th of Tammuz.

The [wall of the] City was Breached

This event took place during the destruction of the Second Temple when the wall surrounding Yerushalayim was breached on the 17th of Tammuz as Titus and his army invaded the city. Whereas the destruction of the First Temple in the times of Tzidkiyahu Hamelech it says [Yirmeyahu 52]: In the fourth month, on the ninth of the month, the famine in the city became critical; there was no food for the people of the land. The city was breached, and all the men of war fled and left the city during the night,” etc.

In Yerushalmi it says that also during the destruction of the First Temple the city was breached on the 17th of Tammuz, but because of the terrible suffering at the time, they were confused about the date, and they thought that it was the ninth of Tammuz.

And even though Hashem knew the date, and the navi knew it as well, He recorded through the navi Yirmeyahu that it occurred on the ninth of the month as the nation believed, in order to demonstrate that, so to say, Hashem is with them in their suffering, and so to say, even His calculations got distorted, which is something which we cannot dare utter with our mouths or allow our ears to hear.

Apostimos Burned the Torah

This event which is mentioned in the Mishnah, its description is not recorded in the earliest sources. Yerushalmi only mentions: Where did the burning take place? Rav Acha says: passage of Lud; and Rabbanan say: by the passage of Terlosa.

The later commentators speculate that this event refers to the period of the Roman commissioner Cumanus. It took place approximately sixteen years before the Great Revolt against the Romans. At that time the commissioner’s troops provoked the Jews and their service in the Temple, causing large disturbances that subsequently quieted down. Regarding that period, Josephus relates the following:

“After this calamity [when ten thousand people were killed on the Temple Mount because of the uproar caused by the Romans] a new uproar began because of highway robbers, since on the main road next to Beit Horon, bandits attacked the convoy of Stephen, a servant of the Ceasar, and robbed him. Cumanus sent members of his army to the nearby villages where the robbery took place, and commanded the arrest of the villagers and to have them brought to him, since he accused them of not chasing after the highway robbers to catch them. One of the soldiers took the sacred Torah scroll in the village and tore it up and burned it. All over the Jews were frenzied, as if the entire country before them was consumed by fire. Immediately upon hearing what happened, people fueled by their zealousness over the holy scroll, rushed like arrows flying from a sling to Caesarea to see Cumanus, so he should not delay the punishment of the man who always cursed at G-d and His Torah. The Commissioner realized that the storm would not subside until he would calm their spirits. Therefore, he ordered the soldier hung on the gallows in the midst of the throngs demonstrating against him. Thereafter, the Jews returned to their homes.

According to this account, the event took place on the 17th of Tammuz, several years prior to the destruction of the Second Temple. The name Stephen was confused with Apostimos, and such mix-ups are quite common.

An Idol was Erected in the Temple

There are those who claim that also this was performed by Apostimos the wicked on the fateful day of the 17th of Tammuz. And there are those who claim that it is referring to the idol that Menashe Hamelech erected in the Temple, which was on the very day of the 17th of Tammuz as well.

Days of Peace and Truth

In the future, so the prophet Zechariah prophesied following the destruction of the First Temple, all the fasts; Tisha B’Av, the 17th of Tammuz, Tenth of Tevet, and the Fast of Gedaliah, will become days of joy and happiness. And this is what the prophet Zechariah says: “Thus says Hashem, Master of Legions: The fast of the fourth [month], the fast of the fifth, the fast of the seventh, and the fast of the tenth will be to the House of Yehudah for joy and for gladness and for happy festivals. [Only] love truth and peace!” [Zechariah 8:19]

Nevertheless, we should know that the sages stated that not everyone will merit to live until the End of Days and to see Yerushalayim in its glory. What must we do to merit to get to these glorious days? One must grieve over the destruction of the Temple and feel the pain of the holy Shechinah, who is wailing because she is in exile, as it says [Taanit 30b]: Whoever mourns over Yerushalayim merits and sees in her joy, and whoever does not mourn over Yerushalayim will not witness her joy.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Parshat Balak and Current Events

Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi's latest shiur, he begins with his thoughts on Turkey.

A Lofty Trait

"He perceived no iniquity in Yaakov" [Balak 23:21]

R' Levi Yitzchak of Berdichev remarked: 

Hashem, to Whom everything is revealed and known, does not look at the sins of a Jew, as the verse states: "He does not look [lo hibit] at the iniquity in Yaakov".

If this is the way of Hashem, how much more so is it forbidden for us - flesh and blood - to look at the sins of another Jew!  We, too, must cling to this lofty trait of "He does not look at the iniquity in Yaakov".

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

''Rav Berland is a spark of Moshiach ben Yosef''

Rabbi Glazerson has a new video showing Torah Codes stating that anyone who harrasses Rav Berland will be punished in Gehennom.  Rabbi Glazerson goes on to say that Rav Berland is a spark of Moshiach ben Yosef.

Rabbi Berland dancing on the plane prior to arrival in Israel.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

''We Are In A Very Special Time''

Rabbi Alon Anava - Mashiach is coming and G-d is putting pressure on everyone... why? so we can scream from Mashiach to come already!

Rav Berland Returns to Israel

Video: Followers Of Rabbi Berland Block Highway 1 & Dance As His Plane Arrives

The controversy surrounding Rav Eliezer Berland continues, as he returns to Israel from his imprisonment in South Africa.  

Several gedolim have publicly proclaimed him as totally innocent of all charges, a victim of libel and a true tzaddik, and Rav Dov Kook says that his return to Israel will ''will usher in the Redemption''.    
On Sunday The Yeshiva World published a fake proclamation, advising chassidim to distance themselves from Rabbi Eliezer Berland -  If you read the comments at The Yeshiva World you can see people are calling them out on this.

You Were Sent To Earth With A Mission

Rabbi Simon Jacobson:  Your soul was sent to Earth with a purpose. Are you living up to it? If you want to change your life, start with that question. You can't get anywhere without a mission statement, and here is the basis of how to find yours.

Monday, July 18, 2016

For The Sake Of Heaven


"How goodly are your tents, O Jacob, your dwelling places, O Israel!" [Balak 24:5]

Rashi writes that Bilam was inspired by the Jewish tents "because he saw that the entrances were not opposite each other".

The arrangement of tents alludes to scholars convening together to discuss matters of Torah, each one offering his own interpretations.  Then, if their "entrances" - meaning their mouths - are "opposite each other" i.e. their intention is to show that their own ideas are superior than those of the others, then woe to them and their souls!  

But if their intentions are for the sake of Heaven, then they are certainly deserving that the Divine presence should rest with them.

Based on Ohr Torah of the Mezritcher Maggid

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Terror in France - 9 Tammuz

HT: Daniel

The Magen Avraham writes: [Orach Chaim 580:9]  it is the custom of pious individuals to fast on the Erev Shabbos preceding Parshas Chukas in observance of a tragic event which occurred on that day.   On 9 Tammuz 5004, 24 cartloads of the Gemora and other holy books were publicly burned in France due to allegations of heretical and rebellious teachings contained therein.

Rav Hillel of Verona, a student of Rabbeinu Yonah, writes that his illustrious teacher noted that just 40 days prior to this episode, the Jews had publicly burned in that very spot a number of copies of the controversial philosophical writings of the Rambam. Rabbeinu Yonah saw in this tragedy Divine punishment being meted out for their actions, and he viewed it as a Heavenly message supporting the legitimacy of the teachings of the Rambam. The Jews of the time repented their actions and prayed for Divine forgiveness, thus ending the bitter controversy over the philosophical views of the Rambam. 

Although fasts commemorating historical events are normally established on the calendar date on which they occurred – in this case 9 Tammuz – the Rabbis of the time mystically inquired regarding the nature of the decree, and received the cryptic reply “da gezeiras Oraisah” – this is the decree of the Torah. This expression is taken from Onkelos’ Aramaic translation of the second verse in Parshas Chukas. They interpreted this message as alluding that the decree was connected to the day’s proximity to the reading of Parshas Chukas, so they established the fast specifically on the Erev Shabbos preceding the reading of Parshas Chukas.  Source: Shema Yisrael

Erev Shabbos preceding Parshas Chukas 5776 - 10.30pm local time - 9 Tammuz - 84 people were killed when a truck careened through crowds of people celebrating Bastille Day in the southern French city of Nice.

So not only was it the same date - 9 Tammuz - it was also Erev Shabbat - the exact time that the fast day was decreed to be held.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Can a Disease Become a Cure?

We all have made our share of mistakes, intentional or unintentional. We all have our flaws and defects, our psychological scars and lacerations. Conventional wisdom tells us that we can heal from our wounds and grow through our pain. We may be able to erase our unwanted pasts or overshadow them with positive strength. But can our actual mistakes and deficiencies become healing agents? Can a disease become a cure?

Please join Rabbi Simon Jacobson in this Kabbalistic healing workshop and travel into the inner core of all ailments and discover surprising secrets of your soul, not the least of which is the startling truth: All disease stems from a response to correct an aberration. At the root of all afflictions -- of all negative energy -- lies tremendous potency. Learn how to tap these powerful forces which feed your pains and convert them into formidable allies.

The Day Moses' Face Turned Green and The Mystery of Death

by Rabbi Y. Y. Jacobson

The Strings of the Heart

At the funeral of my father, eleven years ago, in May 2005, Elie Wiesel spoke. Wiesel and my father, Gershon Jacobson, were old time friends. Their friendship began in the early 1960’s, when they both worked as young, ambitious Jewish and Yiddish journalists. They were both survivors, although in different ways: Wiesel survived Auschwitz; my father carried the wounds of the Stalinist purges in the Soviet Union that deprived him of a normal childhood. They shared a common language and a soulful vocabulary. They were both wise, educated, cultured, intimately familiar with the past and present traumas of the Jewish nation, and committed to telling the story and embracing the vision of “Netzach Yisroel,” the eternity of Israel. They both understood pain, but never spoke of it.

Dr. Wiesel—who died two weeks ago, on July 2, 2016, was the only speaker at my father’s funeral and his eulogy lasted for three or four minutes.

Elie Wiesel said two things that stayed with me since. First, the famed holocaust survivor said that he knew my father for almost half-a-century, and yet never heard him gossip. For an ordinary man not to gossip is an extraordinary feat; for a journalist? It would seem impossible. My father spoke a lot about people; he made his living from analyzing and writing about people. But he never gossiped. He never spoke about the “people,” only about their ideas or behaviors. And he never got petty and personal.

Second, Dr. Wiesel asked, how does one mourn for a very close friend? Jewish law dictates the laws of mourning for parents, siblings, and other relatives. But there are no laws of how to grieve for a best friend.

Yet, “the heart possesses its own set of laws,” said Elie Wiesel.

Continue reading at The