Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Secrets of Face and Palm Reading



I have not yet heard these lectures, but the topic is fascinating and I'm sure everyone will want to hear them.  Rabbi Alon Anava is discussing the hidden secrets of our past and reincarnations which are marked in our facial features and on the lines of our hands. What does this extraordinary information reveal to us and how can it affect our connection to G-d and the rectification of our souls?




The shape of my face and the structure of my face features are hidden secrets of my soul. Where did my soul come from, what was it's journey and where am I going...?

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Esther: Some Things You Should Know

Art: John Cox




written by Esther Bashe

Esther is a ''precious stone''.  She descended into the depths on a secret mission.  Her very name means ''hidden''.  Only when her mission was accomplished did she and Mordechai record the events on a scroll called Megillat Esther.  Written with ruach haKodesh [Divine inspiration] the contents of this scroll are read every Purim around the world, testifying to the hidden and miraculous presence of G-d in the darkest of moments.  A prototype of hidden redemption, the Purim story is especially relevant to our generation.

Sometimes there are dilemmas so enormous that the mind cannot fathom a way out.  In this case, there is only one solution to circumvent everything.  Go to the microcosmic source that holds the root of everything.  The Foundation Stone [Even HaShetiyah] in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem had this quality, lying beneath the Holy of Holies - a place radiating unparalleled spiritual symmetry and beauty of irresistible attraction.  This innermost point was hidden inside Esther, as well as other great tzaddikim and tzidkaniyot throughout history. Redemption during periods of great peril is sometimes brought about through a lone individual.  Other times it involves the interaction between a pair of redeemers, as in the case of Mordechai and Esther.

The potency of Esther's power lay in its hiddenness: it flowed from the all-inclusive good point she possessed.  It wasn't just any good point, it was the microcosmic hub found within every woman who played a redemptive role in Jewish history - for instance, the three matriarchs Sara, Rivka and Rachel, as well as Ruth, Devorah, Yael, Rabbi Meir's wife Bruria, Rabbi Akiva's wife Rachel, and many others who remain hidden.  Evil individuals seeking to harm or destroy the Jewish people often met their downfall through women who put their body and soul on the line for the sake of the Jewish people.  Esther cried out in profound distress: Hatzila M-cherev Nafshi - Save my soul from the sword!  [Psalms 22:21 This entire chapter in the Book of Psalms is attributed to Esther] The first letters of this verse spell ''Haman''.

Since Esther's innermost point included the root of every soul, she is said to have encompassed Klal Yisrael.  She was also the living spiritual paradigm of ishah yirat Hashem - the ''G-d fearing woman'' [Proverbs 31:30] spoken about extensively in our holy writings.  Her humility formed the basis for every salvation, and allowed her to resist the empty lure of fame and recognition - something that would have undermined her success entirely.

A Timeless vs Time-Bound Beauty
There is another deeper aspect to Esther's powerful influences that involves time itself. [Toras Noson on Esther]   All suffering is the result of existing in a realm bound by time. Exile in particular personifies the pain and anguish of life under the constraints of time. We are unable to see the whole picture, something reserved only for the higher timeless consciousness of the World to Come. [Berakhot 34b et al]

But at extraordinary moments in history the two realms intersect, bringing redemption.  The reality that exists above time is miraculous because it suffers no lack or damage of any kind. Everything is whole and complete, and as such, holds the key to all healing and perfection. The essence of the Purim miracle [as well as that of Chanukah] came from this timeless realm and penetrates deeply into our world every year during Chanukah and Purim.  It is the same place from where Mashiach pulls down his strength to repair a very troubled and diseased earth. Because Esther possessed this microcosmic good point in her generation, by straddling both realms, she was the conduit of salvation for the entire Jewish people during Purim.

When she descended into the depths of evil, the Other Side rejoiced, figuring it had won the biggest prize by capturing the ishah yirat Hashem, the quintessential G-d fearing woman herself. She now would be lost along with everything else she held within her.  Vi-ka asher avaditi avaditi - And if I perish, I perish - she wept [Esther 4:17].  Taken into the inner chambers of Achashverosh, she was submerged in the constraints of time - the ultimate expression of exile.  However, the profound humility and righteousness of Esther prevented the wicked Achashverosh from accessing her inner essence. [R'Chaim Vital: Etz Chaim, Sha'ar Klipat Nogah 4-5; Ma'amar Ha Nefesh 11:3].  She nullified herself entirely and remained unaffected by any contact with him.  Her purity protected her during her descent, enabling her to elevate and restore the sparks of holiness that fell into the lowest time-bound realm of evil.

Esther's ''capture'' and exile to the lowest time-bound realm of Haman and Achashverosh was intended to suppress all hope for redemption rooted above time.  This supra-temporal level is where the Jewish people draw their strength.  Therefore, since the dimension of time had engulfed Esther, to prevail over her meant prevailing over Israel - since they were all rooted in her soul.  Yet she overcame everything through her heroic efforts on behalf of the Jews.  In so doing, she prevailed over the time-bound astrological calculations of Haman to annihilate the entire people on the 13th of the Hebrew month of Adar [the day preceding Purim, observed as the 'Fast of Esther' today].  Instead, the tables were completely turned on Haman and his supporters when the day earmarked for the destruction of the Jews brought devastation to Israel's enemies.  The redemptive light of the timeless realm converted everything into good - all in the merit of Mordechai and Esther, the redemptive duo of Purim.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
''For the Jews there was light, gladness, joy, and honor - so may it be for us.'' [From the prefatory verses of the Havdalah ceremony recited at the conclusion of Shabbat, based on Esther 8:16]
by Rabbi Shlomo HaLevi Alkabetz From "Manos HaLevi"

Translation by R. Carmel Kehati [words in brackets are the translator's additions]

"And thus I [Esther] will approach the king." [Esther 4:16]

Rabbi Yosef Gackon writes, concerning Esther's three-day fast, that Esther [in fasting for exactly three days] had the following kabbalistic intention. Namely, that three days and nights contain seventy-two hours, and "B'chen" ["thus", in 4:16] equals seventy-two numerically [in letter-gematria], corresponding to the [exalted 72-letter] Name of G-d hinted in the three verses [that begin], "Vayisa", "Vayavo","Vayet" [Exodus 14:19, 20, 21, each of which contain seventy-two letters precisely]. It was with the power of this Name that G-d split the [Red] sea and had the Israelites cross over, and He guided them in His protection and they had no fear [of the enemy].

From that Name, [the flow of] the Divine life-force comes to Esther's supernal [corresponding]sefira; for Esther [as our Sages say] was greenish [olive skinned] in complexion [green is a color associated with the sefira Chesed, Divine kindness, as the life-flow descends through the upper worlds]. Esther, with the power of these seventy-two hours, approached [G-d], King of the world, in her prayers; for she was sure of His help [that He would answer her and save the Jews]. Then, in this [lowly physical] world, she approached King Ahasuerus.

Much more at: Secrets in the Book of Esther

Monday, February 26, 2018

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Rabbi Kessin Shiur and The Purim Codes


Rabbi Kessin's latest shiur is now up on You Tube.  The sound is not great but definitely better than the audio which was available a few days ago.  In the lecture he mentions the Purim Codes in the Torah, which you can read about and watch in the Purim Codes video below.




[The following is adapted from Keeping Posted with NCSY, Fall 1999 edition and also from Torah.org article by Rabbi Dovid Rosenfeld]


There is a famous "code" in Megillat Esther :- towards the end of the story, King Ahashveirosh allows the Jews to avenge themselves of their enemies on the 13th day of Adar. In Shushan, the capital, the Jews kill 500 men and hang Haman's ten sons on a gallows. Queen Esther then approaches the King with an additional request: "...allow the Jews who are in Shushan to do tomorrow as they did today, and let the ten sons of Haman be hanged on the gallows" [Esther 9:13]. It's curious that she would request the hanging of Haman's already slain sons. Nevertheless, the King complies.

The Hebrew word for "tomorrow" ["machar"] occasionally refers to the distant future. Further, the Sages tell us that whenever the word "king" appears in the Megillah it alludes to the King of kings as well. Thus, the verse could be understood as a request by Esther to G-d to again hang the ten sons of Haman at some point in the distant future. Now, when the Megillah lists the ten sons of Haman during their hanging [Esther 9:7-9] there are a number of unusually-sized letters. [There is a tradition to write certain letters in the Torah larger or smaller than the standard size.]

According to the most accepted tradition, there is a large 'vav' [numerical value = 6] and a small 'tav' [400], 'shin' [300] and 'zayin' [7]. The following suggestion has been made: The large vav refers to the sixth millennium [of the Hebrew calendar]; the small letters refer to year 707 of that millennium. The meaning, then, is that G-d agreed to hang Haman's ten sons again in the year 5707 = 1946-7.

When listing the ten sons of Haman who were hanged [Esther 9:6-10], three letters, namely Taf, Shin, and Zayin, are written smaller than the rest [most printed texts reflect this; if yours doesn’t, look in another]. The commentaries offer no explanation for this other than that it is a prophecy. The letters "Taf-Shin-Zayin" represent the Hebrew year 5707, corresponding to the secular year 1946-47.

On October 16, 1946 (21 Tishrei, 5707) ten convicted Nazi war criminals were hanged in Nuremberg. (An eleventh, Hermann Goering, a transvestite, committed suicide in his cell. The Midrash tells us that Haman also had a daughter who committed suicide.) As if the parallel were not obvious enough without further corroboration, Nazi Julius Streicher’s last words were: "PURIM FEST 1946!". [In case you question the accuracy of Streicher’s last words, they are are well-documented; they appeared in Newsweek, October 28, 1946]


It is fairly safe to assume that (a) Streicher did not know about the three small letters in the Megilla, (b) he did not know that these letters corresponded to the year in which he was being hanged, and (c) even had he known, he would have had no motivation to reinforce the validity of Jewish texts, traditions, or prophecies. One could not ask for a more independent confirmation of the all encompassing knowledge to be found in the Sifrei Tanach.

Rabbi Weissmandl - a great Hungararian scholar and holocaust survivor - made a number of findings concerning Megillat Esther using skip distances of 12,111 letters - the exact number of letters in Megillat Esther. If one starts with the first regular mem [as opposed to the "final mem"] in Bereishis 4:14, where the name Esther [vocalized differently] appears for the only time in the Torah, and count at intervals of 12,111 letters, one finds spelled out the phrase "Megillat Esther." Coincidence? I think not.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Remembering Amalek - Parshat Zachor



Rabbi Kessin has a new shiur, audio only : Purim Amalek and the Modern Era
[the sound quality on that audio is not great, I'll have to try and listen on another device with better sound control]


Women and Parshat Zachor by Rabbi Da'vid Sperling

There is a well-known mitzvah to remember Amalek by listening to Parshat Zachor each year on the Shabbat before Purim. We will examine the question of whether women are also obligated to listen to this Torah reading on Shabbat.

The Sefer HaChinuch [603] writes that the mitzvah to remember Amalek applies to men and not women – "for they (the men) are obligated to wage war and take vengeance on the enemy and not the women". This explanation connects the mitzvah to remember what Amalek did with the command to go to war against them. As men are obligated in the war against them, and not women, the mitzvah to remember Amalek is also limited to men. Others explain that as this mitzvah is time-bound, women are exempted under the rule of positive time-bound commandments that do not apply to them.

On the other hand, the Minchat Chinuch [ibid] disagrees completely. Firstly, the Torah command to remember Amalek could not be limited to the Shabbat reading before Purim – there was no Shabbat Zachor until after Purim was established. If so, the essential Torah mitzvah is to read the section recalling Amalek once a year – which removes it from the category of a time-bound mitzvah, and therefore women are in fact obligated. The rabbinic decree to perform the mitzvah on Parshat Zachor does not alter this fact. 

Secondly, why should we assume that the mitzvah to remember Amalek is connected to the mitzvah to wage war with them? Perhaps they are two separate commands that are not linked – and if so, women would be obligated in recalling even if they do not take part in the war against them.

Thirdly, it is not so clear that women are exempt from going to war against Amalek. The Mishna [Sotah chapter 8] states that for a milchemet mitzvah (an obligatory war), a groom leaves his wedding chamber to go out to war, and "even a bride leaves her chuppah". And the Rambam [Laws of Kings 7:4] quotes this as halacha. So, even if the Chinuch is correct in linking the mitzvah of remembering to that of waging war – again women should be obligated. 

On the other hand, others disagree with the Rambam and explain that the bride leaves her chuppah because … the chatan has gone to war, and she can't have a wedding by herself! [Radbaz ibid]. Still others understand that a woman leaves the chuppah in order to play a supporting role behind the lines – which would leave our question of whether they are obligated in remembering Amalek somewhat unresolved. If the mitzvah to recall is only required by those who need to actually take up arms against Amalek, then women (based on this understanding) would be exempt. On the other hand, if the need to remember is in order to encourage us to go to war, then perhaps women, who would play a part in the war effort, also need this encouragement.

In practice, there are women who are very particular about Parshat Zachor and make every effort to hear it. On the other hand, there are those who rely on the major halachic opinions which exempt women from this mitzvah.

Source: Nishmat 

Thursday, February 22, 2018

The Psychic Breastplate

Picture: Rabbi Mordechai Becher
"And Aaron shall carry the names of the Children of Israel in the Breastplate of Judgment over his heart, when he enters the Holy Place, as a rememberance before G·d at all times........ And you shall place the Urim and the Tumin (a parchment containing G-d's name) into the (fold of the) Breastplate of Judgment so that it will be over Aaron's heart when he comes before G·d . . "

The Breastplate of Judgment was a prophetic device, worn by the High Priest, through which questions could be asked of G·d. When the king or the High Court (Sanhedrin) would ask a question, the Priest would see various letters sparkle or bulge out. Using Divine Inspiration, he would then be able to combine the letters to spell out the answer. [See Aryeh Kaplan, Handbook of Jewish Thought, vol. 1 (New York: Moznaim, 1979), 6:36 and fn. 110, for more on this subject]

There were twelve precious stones set in the Breastplate of Judgment. They were engraved with the names of the Patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, the names of the twelve tribes, and the words "tribes of Yeshurun." Certain letters, such as the gimel or the zayin, were written only once. [Yoma 73b]

As our Sages have said, the Breastplate barely contained all twenty-two letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Therefore, when they had to ask a question that used several of the same letters, such as "Should I go to Bavel," how were they answered?

The question "Should I go to Bavel?" contains two letters beit, and three lameds. However, it is likely that the author was only using this as an example of a phrase with repeating letters, because there were at least five beits and four lameds in the Breastplate - enough to spell out these words.

There is a very great mystery in this . . . I heard from my grandfather [the Baal Shem Tov], that each of the twenty-two letters [of the Hebrew alphabet] contains within it all the other letters of the alphabet - these can be attained by spelling out each letter in full. For instance, writing out the letter aleph in full provides a lamed and a phey. Furthermore, each of these letters can be further expanded, to produce even more letters, until the entire Hebrew alphabet is reconstituted - except for the letter mem which, when written in full, will not produce any additional letters.

Since G·d commanded that all twenty-two letters be inscribed on the Breastplate, when the priest would be enwrapped in Divine inspiration, the letters would shine in their expanded forms. This enabled the priest to receive everything he needed to know. This is the meaning of "shoham stones and filling stones "avnei miluyim" for the apron and for the Breastplate" [Tetzaveh 25:7].

"Avnei miluyim" read alternatively as "stones that are filled out" - meaning that the engraved letters shone in their expanded forms. In a number of other lessons on this theme, the Baal Shem Tov explains that additional letters can be derived from a single letter by using the techniques of gematria (numerical value of the letters), or by dividing the letters into their component parts. It is possible that those approaches were originally mentioned with this lesson, since there are a number of other letters, such as the gimel, zayin, ches, tes and samech that could never be derived from the other letters, no matter how many times they are spelled out.

Source: From the writings of the Baal Shem Tov
Translation and Commentary by Rabbi Dr. Eliezer Shore

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Towards a Geula Consciousness



Before the Geula can arrive, the world needs to become a fitting vessel to receive it. 

As Shifra Hendrie describes it..... imagine a 60w lightbulb being charged with 1000w - it would explode!

To this end, Shifra has developed a transformation and healing program called The Divine Pulse. I feel like Shifra is a mid-wife during the birthpangs of Moshiach [chevlei Moshiach].

There is no level of learning required here, the program is open to everyone - male, female, Jewish or not - the only requirement is that you acknowledge the One G-d Hashem and the Torah. There is a cost involved which may prohibit some, but I hope others will take advantage of this amazing opportunity.

To learn more about The Divine Pulse, click here.  Please direct any questions about this to The Divine Pulse at the email address there [bottom of page].

What Happens to my Soul after I Die ?


This is part of The Zohar series, from Rabbi Alon Anava.  To see previous lectures in this series, go to Rabbi Anava's You Tube page.

''There are four levels to a man, do you know which one you are?''

Monday, February 19, 2018

Do Gentiles have Any Role At All in the Messianic Age?


Rabbi Tovia Singer Reveals End Time Prophecy



The Secret of Haman and Achashveiros


Pre-Purim lecture: Rabbi Alon Anava

Everything in this world has a spiritual source including evil. Haman and Achashverosh have a secret power that suck our energy. How can I recognise Haman and Achashverosh in my life?

I found this lesson extremely interesting, highly recommended.

The Three Keys




"Engrave on it with signet-ring [type] engraving: "Holy to Hashem"
  פִּתּוּחֵי חֹתָם קֹדֶשׁ לַי־הֹוָ־ה 
[Tetzaveh 28:36]



In Maseches Ta'anis (2a) R' Yochanan states that there are three maftechos, three keys, in Hashem's possession that He never entrusts to others:
  • the key to childbirth
  • the key to rain
  • and the key to resuscitating the dead

The Gemara derived this from three verses:

Hashem does not entrust the key to childbirth to a messenger, as the verse states: "G-d remembered Rachel; G-d hearkened to her and He opened (vayiftach) her womb" [Bereishis 30:22]

Hashem does not entrust the key of rain to a messenger, as the verse states: "Hashem shall open for you His storehouse of goodness, the heavens, to provide rain for your Land in its time" [Devarim 28:12]

And Hashem does not entrust the key of resuscitating the dead to a messenger, as the verse states: "Then you will know that I am Hashem, when I open your graves" [Yechezkel 37:13]

These three keys, remarked the Vilna Gaon, are alluded to in the verse: "Pituchei chosam kodesh laHashem" - פִּתּוּחֵי חֹתָם קֹדֶשׁ לַי־הֹוָ־ה -

The acronym of the word  חֹתָם [Ches, taf, mem] which means "seal" hints to the following words:

Ches - Chayah [a woman who has recently given birth]
Taf - Techiyas HaMeisim [the resuscitation of the dead]
Mem - Matar [rain]

The verse can therefore be read as follows:  "The keys of [pituchei] childbirth, resuscitation of the dead, and rain - ChoTaM - are designated for Hashem's use only ["kodesh laHashem"].

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein

Friday, February 16, 2018

5778 and the End of Time


The article I am linking to here starts off as an easy read, but then gets a little more complicated and deeper into Kabbalah.  Some people will not understand the Kabbalah, but will get the general idea anyway

When we overlay the spiritual maps of the Torah and the Zohar and overlay these with the spiraling and encircling mathematical constants that bridge the spiritual with the physical, and overlay that with the physical clock-like mechanism of our Solar System, a purposeful design emerges. This design is clearly built around the 5778-year time frame, but why? The simple answer is that at the end of 5778 years, Man always gives up its free choice and thus has no more need of time.

Source:
G-d Vs AI, a 5778 Year Old Race

Someone Else



[From what I can gather, the original author of this is Michael J. Nadel]

In Crown Heights, there was a Jew, Yankel, who owned a bakery. He survived the camps. He once said, “You know why it is that I’m alive today?

I was a kid, just a teenager at the time. We were on the train, in a boxcar, being taken to Auschwitz. Night came and it was freezing, deathly cold, in that boxcar. The Germans would leave the cars on the side of the tracks overnight, sometimes for days on end without any food, and of course, no blankets to keep us warm,” he said.

“Sitting next to me was an older Jew – this beloved elderly Jew - from my hometown I recognized, but I had never seen him like this. He was shivering from head to toe, and looked terrible. So I wrapped my arms around him and began rubbing him, to warm him up. I rubbed his arms, his legs, his face, his neck. I begged him to hang on.

All night long; I kept the man warm this way. I was tired, I was freezing cold myself, my fingers were numb, but I didn’t stop rubbing the heat on to this man’s body. Hours and hours went by this way.

Finally, night passed, morning came, and the sun began to shine. There was some warmth in the cabin, and then I looked around the car to see some of the other Jews in the car. To my horror, all I could see were frozen bodies, and all I could hear was a deathly silence.

Nobody else in that cabin made it through the night – they died from the frost. Only two people survived: the old man and me… The old man survived because somebody kept him warm; I survived because I was warming somebody else…”

Let me tell you the secret of Judaism. When you warm other people’s hearts, you remain warm yourself. When you seek to support, encourage and inspire others; then you discover support, encouragement and inspiration in your own life as well. That, my friends, is “Judaism 101”.


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Can You Handle The Truth?


Can you handle the truth? An open discussion with Rabbi Alon Anava

"the most hardest klipah..... that's where Moshiach comes from'' - [just after the 18 min mark, but listen to it all ]

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Rebbe, Netanyahu and Moshiach


Now updated and corrected

Regarding the news that Israeli police recommend charging Prime Minister over alleged bribery 


The Lubavitcher Rebbe to Netanyahu:

 '' ...you will have to struggle with 119 others in the Knesset but don't be intimidated by this because G-d is on this side.  Blessings and success with G-d's mission.''



And in this video, the Rebbe mentions Moshiach and tells Bibi to do something to hasten His coming:



Rabbi Glazerson adds that even in the name Netanyahu we can see the letters of G-d affirming this.

Rabbi Glazerson asks how it can be that people who don't keep all the mitzvot are leading the country before Moshiach.  The Vilna Gaon spoke about this: when Yakov met Eisav...  the children of the maidservants are the leaders of the country and this represents the process of Moshiach.

The following words and phrases were found in this Code:
  • Rosh HaMemshala [Prime Minister]
  • Israel
  • Netanyahu
  • Benyamin
  • Likud
  • 5778
  • I am G-d
  • Moshiach
  • the son of Yosef
  • David
  • the son of Yishai
  • Teshuva
  • The mitzvot which Moshe commanded to the Bnai Yisrael at Mt Sinai
  • Efraim
 I recommend listening to this video, as Rabbi Glazerson presents a lot more information.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Being Put To The Test


by Rabbi David Pinto Shlita 

The following story, which took place in the Israeli city of Holon, stuns everyone who hears it. It makes people realize that there is a G-d in Israel, that there is a Judge, a judgment, and that a person can’t do whatever he wants.

A man once hired a carpenter to do some work in his home. He was a skilled craftsman who did particularly good work, and the man gave him the keys to his house, allowing him to work even when nobody was at home.

One day, while the carpenter was still in the home, the man arrived and made a serious accusation: He said that an expensive jewel belonging to his wife had been on a table in the hallway, and that witnesses had even seen it that very same morning. “Since no one but you has been here since then,” the man said, “we suspect that you stole it and we want you to give it back.”

Despite the vehement denials of the carpenter, the man continued to accuse him of the crime. When the carpenter refused to pay the man, he brought him to court.

Although we have known for a long time that secular courts are very poor at rendering fair decisions, many people were still stunned to hear how foolish their verdict was in this case. Based on witness accounts of having seen the jewel in the hallway that morning, the carpenter was ordered to pay the man its full value, namely 70,000 NIS. The injustice done to the carpenter was actually two-fold. First, it wouldn’t be easy to find such an amount of money to pay the man, especially for a craftsman who works hard for a living; and second, once people learned of the court’s verdict, he would have no clients left, since nobody would want to hire him, a carpenter now known as a sleazy thief who had the audacity to steal a precious jewel.

The second part of this story is that the carpenter was so affected by this incident that he died. But the story doesn’t end there. In fact it’s barely begun.

A few days after the carpenter died, the man’s wife opened her jewelry box and found her precious jewel inside!

It seems that she had forgotten that she placed it there herself, which is why she and her husband had been certain that the carpenter had stolen it. Now it turned out that all the accusations brought against the carpenter had been completely baseless.

The man’s wife was shocked by what had happened, and she asked a Rav how she could rectify things according to the Torah. The Rav advised her to gather a minyan and to go to the grave of the carpenter and ask forgiveness for everything that had happened to him. The woman agreed, but her husband objected, for he was afraid that once people heard that they had gone to his grave asking for forgiveness, it would be interpreted in the wrong way. Hence he refused.

And now we come to the last part of the story. Barely a few days later, the family of the man who had hired the carpenter was also sitting shiva for the man himself, who suddenly died.

Other than the obvious conclusion that there is a Judge and a judgment, there is another lesson to draw from this story. The Shelah writes that when Heaven decrees that a person should die, sometimes the defenders that he created by his merits and good deeds intercede for him, and he is given another chance. In our story, defenders had intervened on the man’s behalf, and Heaven decided to give him another chance. If he used it properly, he would have been forgiven and the decree against him annulled.

If he had agreed to the Rav’s suggestion and gone to the grave of the carpenter, it would have been possible for Heaven to forgiven him. Yet since he refused, the most severe decree was enacted against him.

In general, says the Shelah, in such a case a test is sent to a person in the form of a poor man who comes to ask for tzeddakah in a very rude way, enough to infuriate anyone. Even though he has already received tzeddakah, he returns a second and a third time, not content with what he has received. This is how a man is put to the test, says the Shelah. Will he explode and get angry with the poor man, or instead – and despite the natural disdain that fills him – will he show compassion and overcome his evil inclination?

Hence when we encounter such a poor man – one who can truly exasperate the average individual – we must understand that it is very possible he may have been sent from Heaven in order to put us to the test, to see if we will control our natural tendencies and treat him with kindness, in which case the decree that may have been enacted against us will be annulled.

This is important to remember when we hear constant requests for donations being made in synagogue, when representatives of devoted charity organizations that do marvelous work go from one synagogue to the next in order to reach the public with their uplifting words, their goal being to collect funds for orphans and similar causes.

Sometimes we may think, “How many times can these people ask for money? How many? Can anyone possibly think that the wallets of bnei Torah are filled with unlimited supplies of money?”

There are cases in which, because of such thoughts, we decide that we are not going to give. In our minds, we object to the people who come to collect tzeddakah, and we come to the conclusion that enough is enough – that we can’t give any more – and that we’re not giving this time. We must realize that by making such a decision, we may be sealing our own fate.

– Barchi Nafshi

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Farmer's Hat


Torah learning for the Refuah Shleimah of Michoel ben Esther Rivka.  B"H his condition is improving, if you would like to give tzedakah to assist him in his recovery from a massive brain tumor and subsequent rehabilitation you may donate any amount no matter how small, care of my Paypal page.  All monies received will be immediately forwarded to his trust account, with an extra 10% added by me. This is an extremely urgent situation and I thank you for reading this.

Art Walt Curlee
 
"Speak to the children of Israel, and have them take for Me an offering..." [Terumah 25:2]

Why does the verse state "take for Me a portion" and not "give Me a portion"?

The Torah is showing us the greatness vested in the mitzvah of giving tzedakah.  When we fulfill the mitzvah of tzedaka, it may appear as if we are giving, but in truth we are actually taking (receiving) for ourselves a very great mitzvah.

The Midrash Rabbah elaborates on this idea: "More than what the host does for the poor man, the poor man does for the host."  The host may have given the poor person a perutah for tzedakah, but the poor person has enabled the host to earn a mitzvah that is more valuable than "thousands in gold and silver" [Tehillim 119:72]

Someone who refuses to assist a poor person, said the Chofetz Chaim, can be compared to a farmer who piled up his wagon with wheat and then travelled to a large city in order to sell it. When the farmer arrived at the city, he was immediately met by dozens of eager customers waiting to purchase his produce.  He was afraid, however, that the customers would attempt to deceive him by taking bundles of wheat without paying for them.  He therefore told them "Go ahead and fill your bags with wheat. But each time you fill up a bag, place one copper coin into my hat. When you finish filling your sacks, we will count the coins in my hat, and that way we will know how many sacks you have to pay for."

The customers agreed to the farmer's method and followed his instructions. The farmer's hat was soon full of shiny copper coins.

The farmer saw all the coins in his hat and was overcome by temptation. He quickly stole some of the coins and put them in his pocket.

How foolish is that farmer! remarked the Chofetz Chaim. He may have managed to swipe a few coins, but he will lose much more than he gained because when the time comes to pay for the wheat and the coins are counted, there will be less coins than sacks, and he will lose the payment for all those sacks. This foolish farmer will lose the payment of an entire sack of wheat for every coin that he took for himself!

This is also the case, said the Chofetz Chaim, when someone refuses to give tzedakah.  He may hold on to a coin or two, but he will lose the immense reward from a mitzvah that could have been his.

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Moshiach and Nibiru ''Planet X" -- Rabbi Yuval Ovadia





The shiur includes the following information:

  • Sources from the Torah and the Zohar
  • This Star was seen in the war of Devorah and Sisera and will also be seen at the End of Days
  • Which Rabbis have spoken about it, and why some Rabbis say it is nonsense
  • The deliberate fake news and dates given on the internet purely to confuse people and cause them to think that it is not real, when it is in fact very real -  for example Obama Warns Americans
  • It is not going to destroy the world
  • Isaiah prophecies that those who try to escape by going into bunkers will just fall into another trap - they cannot run from Hashem 
  • Rainbows, climate change, earthquakes, volcanoes, extreme weather
  • How Gog u Magog will play out
  • The government of Israel will stop functioning at the same time that Moshiach will be revealed
  • The war against Moshiach ben David
  • What kind of person Moshiach will be
  • Nibiru is just a messenger of Hashem, we must do teshuvah [repent] - the effects of Nibiru are in our hands
  • Moshiach is definitely coming soon and He will take the world into the new spiritual phase

Also see A Date With Nibiru or click on the NIBIRU label below.
 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Mishpatim and the Mystery of Reincarnation


The Maggid of Mezritch once asked The Baal Shem Tov to explain the passage in the Zohar on the opening verse of the Torah section Mishpatim, "These are the laws" as referring to "the mystery of reincarnation." The Maggid wondered: What connection is there between the esoteric meaning relating to monetary issues, the laws of torts, and the alleged esoteric one of multiple incarnations of souls?

In reply the Baal Shem Tov sent him to a forest and told him to seek out a certain tree next to a fount, and to remain there until evening.

When the Maggid arrived at his destination he saw there an armed man with a horse. The man was tired and had stopped to rest, eat and drink. When he moved on he left his wallet behind. After a while, another man came, found the wallet and took it with him.

Shortly thereafter, a third man arrived. He was obviously poor and exhausted. He sat down under the tree, ate some bread, drank from the well and lay down to sleep. Just then the armored rider returned and demanded his wallet from the poor traveler. The latter knew nothing of the wallet, but the rider, not believing him, proceeded to beat him mercilessly before moving on.

As the sun set Rabbi Dov Ber returned home and told the Baal Shem Tov what he had seen. The master now explained:

The rider, in his previous incarnation, owed the second man a sum of money equal to that in the wallet but refused to pay him. The creditor then charged him before their local rabbi - none other than the third man in his previous incarnation. But the rabbi failed to investigate the claim as thoroughly as he should have done and dismissed the charge.

That is why in their present reincarnation, the Baal Shem Tov concluded, the first man wound up 'paying' his debt to the second one and the rabbi-judge received the punishment he deserved. Now, he added, the connection between G-d’s justice and reincarnation should be clear.

Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from The Great Maggid by Rabbi J. Immanuel Schochet

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Mishpatim: Permission for Doctors to Heal



Torah learning for the Refuah Shleimah of Michoel ben Esther Rivka


Torah from Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaKohen Kook , adapted by Chanan Morrison

Amongst the various laws in the parashah of Mishpatim - nearly all of which are of a societal or interpersonal nature - the Torah sets down the laws of compensation for physical damages. When one person injures another, he must compensate the other party with five payments. He must pay for (1) any permanent loss of income due to the injury, (2) embarrassment, (3) pain incurred, (4) loss of income while the victim was recovering, and (5) medical expenses.

This last payment, that he “provide for his complete healing” [Mishpatim 21:19], i.e., that he cover any medical fees incurred, is of particular interest. The word “to heal” appears 67 times in the Torah, almost always referring to God as the Healer. Only here, as an aside to the topic of damages, does the Torah indicate that we are expected to take active measures to heal ourselves, and not just leave the healing process to nature.

This detail did not escape the keen eyes of the Sages. “From here we see that the Torah gave permission to the doctor to heal” [Berachot 60a].

Yet we need to understand: why should the Torah need to explicitly grant such permission to doctors? If anything, we should expect all medical activity to be highly commended, as doctors ease pain and save lives.

Our Limited Medical Knowledge

The human being is an organic entity. The myriad functions of body and soul are intertwined and interdependent. Which person can claim that he thoroughly understands all of these functions, how they interrelate, and how they interact with the outside world? There is a danger that when we treat a medical problem in one part of the body, we may cause harm to another part. Sometimes the side effects of a particular medical treatment are relatively mild and acceptable. And sometimes the results of treatment may be catastrophic, causing problems far worse than the initial issue. [The tragic example of birth defects as a result of treating morning sickness in pregnancy with thalidomide comes to mind.]

One could thus conclude that there may be all sorts of hidden side effects, unknown to the doctor, which are far worse than the ailment we are seeking to cure. Therefore, it would be best to let the body heal on its own, relying on its natural powers of recuperation.

Relying on Available Knowledge


The Torah, however, rejects this view. Such an approach could easily be expanded to include all aspects of life. Any effort on our part to improve our lives, to use science and technology to advance the world, could be rebuffed on the grounds that we lack knowledge of all consequences of the change.

The Sages taught: “The judge can only base his decision on what he is able to see” [Baba Batra 131a]. If the judge or doctor or engineer is a competent professional, we rely on his expertise and grasp of all available knowledge to reach the best decision possible. We do not allow concern for unknown factors to hinder our efforts to better our lives.

“The progress of human knowledge, and all of the results of human inventions - is all the work of God. These advances make their appearance in the world according to mankind’s needs, in their time and generation.”

Source: Sapphire from the Land of Israel. Adapted from Olat Re’iyah vol. I, p. 390

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Biblical Prophecy in Today's News


Tamar Yonah talks to Rabbi Mendel Kessin on Israel News Talk Radio recorded Feb 6.


Terror attacks, friction with Poland, and U.S. – Israeli relations. What does all the news we are seeing have to do with prophesy and the Messianic era? We examine some of the latest news stories with Rabbi Mendel Kessin.

Click here to listen to Podcast

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

22 Shevat: Yarzheit Chaya Mushka Schneerson

[Yes that is a wig]

Tonight [Tuesday night] is the yarzheit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushkah Schneerson [b. 1901], wife of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The Rebbetzin passed away on the 22nd of Shevat of the year 5748 [1988].

In 1950, upon the passing of her father, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, leadership of the worldwide Chabad-Lubavitch movement passed to Chaya Mushka's husband, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory. Despite the Rebbe's initial adamant refusal to accept the mantle, it was his wife, the Rebbetzin, who, notwithstanding the great personal sacrifice this would entail, finally prevailed upon him to accept the position with all its public and private hardships.

She was steadfast: It is simply unthinkable that her father's thirty years of total self-sacrifice and accomplishment should, G-d forbid, come to naught.

An erudite and wise woman, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka carried the mantle of her revered and exalted position in a most humble and unpretentious fashion. All her life she fulfilled the ideal of the psalmist: "The entire honor of a king's daughter is within." When calling the Rebbe's office at "770," or calling for a high school girl ill in her dormitory, she always referred to herself simply as: "Mrs. Schneerson from President Street."

Gentle and courteous to everyone, the Rebbetzin saw her role as one wholly devoted to the work of her husband. Even when she relayed advice to those seeking his guidance through her, she would repeat his wording with precision, making sure that it was understood exactly as the Rebbe intended.

Painting of Chaya Mushka by Cindy Michael

- notice that she is wearing a hat on top of a wig -
this was customary at that time - orthodox women wore both wigs and hats together in those days.

Milk and Meat: Gevurah and Chessed


With heartfelt prayers for a Refuah Shelaimah for Menachem ben Rivka and Michoel ben Esther Rivka.
Please add these names to your tefillos.

"You shall not cook a kid in its mother's milk." [Mishpatim 23:19]

Ramban writes that it is prohibited to eat meat cooked in milk, since it is an act of moral insensitivity.  Rashi points out that not only are we forbidden to eat milk and meat together, but even cooking the mixture is forbidden.  This renders the prohibition of milk and meat unique in that even the preparation of the prohibited mixture is also prohibited by the Torah.

From this we can learn how far we must take care to refrain from being morally insensitive.

According to the Kabbalah, milk and meat may not be mixed as this would cause the negative interaction of opposing spiritual forces.  Meat is a physical manifestation of the Divine power of Gevurah (severity), as suggested by the red color of meat.  Milk has its spiritual roots in the Divine power of Chesed (kindness), indicated by its white color. Being that these two powers have an opposite effect, they must not be mixed.

Bachaye writes that in the Messianic Era, it will become permissible to eat meat that was cooked with milk. This is because, in the spiritual realms, the mixing of Chesed and Gevurah is not counterproductive.  Each Divine power works in harmony with the other, since both powers respect the fact that they emanate from the One God.

In the physical world, this harmony does not persevere, since physical things feel their own existence as paramount, and will not coalesce to a higher purpose.  Therefore, the mixing of meat and milk in the physical world is forbidden for it will result in a "corruption" of the spiritual forces that they embody.

However, in the Messianic Era, we are promised that G-d will be felt tangibly within the physical world.  Therefore, it will become possible to mix Chesed and Gevurah - through cooking milk and meat - even in the physical world.

Source: Based on Likutei Sichos of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Gutnick Chumash

Monday, February 5, 2018

Tzedakah Brings Moshiach





by Rabbi David Hanania Pinto Shlita 

It is written, “When you lend money to any of My people” [Mishpatim 22:24]

Here we see an allusion to what our Sages have said in the Gemara: “Great is tzedakah, for it brings the Redemption closer” [Bava Batra 10a].

The expression, “When you lend money to My people” has the same gematria [numerical value] as: “I will quickly send you Mashiach the son of David.”

– Imrot Tehorot

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Who is Adam's Second Wife? What Happens When We Sin?



Rabbi Anava has a new series of shiurim on The Zohar.

You can find a list of all of them [so far] here on You Tube




Synopsis of this shiur:
The Zohar: Page 18/b - 19/a - Parashat Vayikra

When G-d created us, he created us perfect, when we sin, we damage our perfection and bring on us a spirit of impurity. When G-d created Adam and Chava they were one body. Came another female who is the mother of all demons and evil spirits and her name is Li-Li-t (We DO NOT say her name) and at that time a thousand spirits without bodies came and stood around Adams spiritless body, all wanted to enter Adams body. When Li-Li saw that it was Chava (who’s original name was Chaya) was chosen to be Adams wife (other half) she ran away and hid in the depth of the oceans and is here to harm us human beings All this and MUCH more is this class!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Choose Your Special Mitzvah

Art Letvent

If you don't already have a ''special mitzvah'' that you have made your own, now would be a good time to think about it.

"The Holy One Blessed Be He wished to reward the Jewish people. Therefore He heaped upon them Torah and mitzvos" [Makkos 3:16].

Maimonides, in his Commentary to the Mishnah on Makkos 3:16, offers a unique and fascinating interpretation when he writes that it is a fundamental tenet of the Torah to believe that when a person properly fulfills just one of the 613 commandments with no ulterior motives but entirely for the sake of Heaven and out of love for G-d, he will merit entry into Olam HaBa.

All that each of us has to do is to choose just one mitzvah in the Torah, and make it our own. Choose the mitzvah that resonates with you..... It could be the mitzvah of Tzedaka [charity], avoiding Lashon Hara [evil speech], Tzniut [modest dressing], lighting Shabbat candles, bikkur cholim [visiting the sick]..... basically any mitzvah that you choose.... but you have to make a commitment and do it consistently solely for the sake of Heaven.

[That doesn't mean you can ignore all the other mitzvot.... it means that you choose one, and do that one to the utmost degree]

Learn as much as you can about your chosen mitzvah and make sure you stick to your goals, making it a priority.

A portion of this blog post came from Torch Torah Weekly


Blood Red Moon


It was very cloudy last night where I am living, but here is a great photo by Jeremy Hui of the super moon eclipse in Singapore.



Ancient Prophecy: Convergence of Lunar Eclipse With Tu B’Shvat Signals End of Ishmael’s Reign