Monday, April 30, 2018

The Third Error of President Donald Trump



Rabbi Kessin's latest shiur                           

 

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Rabbi Meir Ba'al ha Ness - Master of the Miracle


Yarzheit: 14 Iyar

Ohel of Rabbi Meir Ba'al HaNess

By simply saying the phrase אלהא דמאיר ענני "Eloka d'Meir aneini" three times , which means "the G-d of Meir Answer me !", a person will be saved from trouble, if they promise to give charity to the poor and needy in the memory of the soul of Rebbe Meir Baal Haness . Donations can be made at Rabbi Meir Baal HaNeis.com

The Chida says that the source for this custom is the Gemara [Avodah Zara 18a-b] where Rebbi Meir bribed a guard to release his imprisoned sister-in-law. The guard asked what happens if he's caught and Rebbi Meir told him to say ''G-d of Meir answer me'' and he would be saved, and that's what happened. From there comes the custom of donating money or oil for the neshama of Rebbi Meir, saying Eloka D'Meir Aneini, three times.

Rebbi Meir Baal HaNess said he would help those that gave to the poor of Eretz Yisroel, for the sake of his neshama.

Reb Dovid of Dinov points out a fascinating allusion: 

Mishlei 12:25 says דְּאָגָה בְלֶב-אִישׁ יַשְׁחֶנָּה - if one has worry in his heart, he should suppress it.

Mesechta Sanhedrin 100b explains this as ישיחנה לאחרים, tell it over to others. Mesechta Horios 13b says אחרים refers to Rebbi Meir. Putting it all together – if one is in a time of trouble give tzedaka for the neshama of Rebbi Meir Baal HaNess.  [Source: Tzemach Dovid]

Anytime, and especially on the yahrzeit, it is a big zechus to give tzedaka or light a candle li'luy nishmas Rebbi Meir Baal HaNess. 

There is a custom that when something is lost, a person immediately promises to give some money to the Tzedakah of Rebbe Meir Baal Haness in the merit of finding what was lost, and say the following [red text in picture below]

Friday, April 27, 2018

Geneivat Da'at: Theft of the Mind

Art Mike Worrall


Text by Rabbi Eli Mansour

The Torah in parshas Mishpatim denounces as a thief not only one who steals property but also someone who acts in a deceptive manner towards others.

Trickery, lying, and deceiving, are forms of stealing.

The Tosefta in Masechet Bava Batra lists seven categories of theft, and mentions at the top of the list, as the most grievous form of thievery, the sin of "Geneivat Da'at," which literally means "theft of the mind," referring to deception.

The Ritva (Rabbi Yom Tov Ashbili, Spain, 1250-1330), in his commentary to Masechet Chulin, writes that deceiving another person transgresses a Torah violation. According to the Ritva, the verse "Lo Tignovu" ("Do not steal" – Vayikra 19:11) refers specifically to this form of "theft," and thus a person who deceives another violates this Torah prohibition. This is also the position of the Yerei'im (by Rabbi Eliezer of Metz, France, 1115-1198), in Siman 124. Others, however, maintain that deception transgresses a Rabbinic edict, and not a Torah violation.

We present here a number of practical examples of Geneivat Da'at.

The Gemara mentions the example of somebody who invites his fellow to join him for a holiday, fully aware that this person had already made plans to spend the holiday elsewhere. He deceives his fellow into thinking that he sincerely wishes to host him, whereas in reality he has no actual intention to extend the invitation. Even though no practical harm results from this disingenuous invitation, it nevertheless violates the prohibition of Geneivat Da'at, insofar as the individual has deceived his fellow.

In the context of business operation, the issue of Geneivat Da'at arises quite frequently. For example, a proprietor may not announce a 50% price reduction and then raise the prices so that the sale price will amount to the item's actual price. Even though he in the end receives a fair price for the merchandise, he has nevertheless transgressed the prohibition of Geneivat Da'at because he has deceived the consumers.

The Poskim (Halachic authorities) discuss the question of whether a person who purchased a gift for his fellow at a discount price may leave the original price-tag on the package, so that the recipient will think he paid the price listed on the tag. Would this be considered Geneivat Da'at, in that the giver deceives the recipient into thinking that he paid a higher price for the gift? The Poskim generally conclude that one may leave the price-tag on the package, since the price on the tag is, after all, the true value of the item purchased.

Another question addressed by the Poskim concerns a case of one who wishes to give a gift. For example, it is forbidden to gift a set of Zohar that has several pages missing. The person giving the gift assumes that the recipient will never actually study the Zohar and will thus never realize that the set is missing pages. The Poskim write that it is forbidden to give this set as a gift, since one thereby deceives the recipient into thinking that he has received a perfect set of Zohar, whereas in reality it is defective.

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (Russia-New York, 1895-1986) records in his work Iggerot Moshe a question he was asked as to whether Yeshiva High School students may be shown the answers to the Regents' Exams before the tests, so that they will not have to study the material and could use the extra time for Torah study. Rabbi Feinstein responds by expressing his astonishment over the very posing of such a question. Cheating is a clear violation of Geneivat Da'at, and it cannot possibly be allowed even for the purpose of facilitating additional time for Torah study.

Rabbenu Yona of Gerona, Spain (1180-1263), in his work Sha'arei Teshuva, compares one who steals property committing a sin with his hands to sins involving deceit. A person's soul, he explains, is a part of the Almighty Himself, the embodiment of perfect, unadulterated truth. Engaging in deceitful conduct contaminates this Godly quality of the soul, and thus constitutes a most grievous sin, more severe than the theft of property.

Summary: Geneivat Da'at, deception, is deemed by Halacha as the most grievous form of theft.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

Facilitated Communication Exposed



This is a must read:  Facilitated Communication: Who Is Really Doing The Talking 

For everyone who has been sucked in to the FC whirlpool, and believes the nonsense that is brought down.   A huge thank you to Rivka for once again giving us truth and reality on the internet.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Components of Creation


Rabbi Kessin elaborates on the different parts of creation as set forth by the Ramchal. Parts 1 and 2.


Monday, April 23, 2018

The Power Behind the Redemption - Addendum


A three minute follow-up to last week's shiur.



Judge Well


Source: – Rabbi Yehoshua Leib Diskin

It is written, “With righteousness shall you judge your fellow” [Kedoshim 19:15].

The Sages interpret this to mean, “Judge your fellow favorably” [Shevuot 30b]. 

How can we apparently lie to ourselves by judging people favorably in every case, when in certain cases we can see them doing the very opposite of something favorable? What is the meaning of this mitzvah in that case? 

The Sages have said, “Any man who is insolent will in the end stumble into sin” [Taanith 7b]. This means that shame serves as a barrier and an obstacle to sin. Once a person has breached the barriers of modesty and shame, there is nothing to prevent him from sinning, as it is written: “It is a good sign if a man is shamefaced. … No man who experiences shame will easily sin” [Nedarim 20a]. 

The same applies to a person’s influence on others. The first one who sins completely breaches the barriers of shame. The one who follows him does not require as much insolence to sin, and the third person needs even less, once these barriers have been broken down. 

This is why the sin of desecrating Hashem’s Name is so grave. A person who openly sins diminishes the intensity of the fear and shame that are engraved in man with regards to committing a sin, thereby prompting others to sin as well.

We can now understand how the advice given to us by the Sages, to judge others favorably, is designed to help us. It is meant to ensure that the barriers of shame are not breached within our own hearts, for once we are certain that everyone is righteous, how could we dare to be the first ones to sin? However if a person tries to find fault with everyone, he will be more likely to sin at a time of weakness.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Absence of Truth


I would like to direct you all to a new post at Emunaroma which exposes the fake video confession of Rav Berland.  Please click here to read.

Rabbi Kessin, in his latest shiur, told us that all the news today is manipulated and not worth watching.  It's all fake news, only telling us the things they want us to know.  Say what you like about Donald Trump, but when he invented the term ''fake news''  he was right on the ball.

Truth is absent.  That is just one major sign that Moshiach is imminent.  


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Tazria: Following Your Destiny

The Angel in charge of conception is called לילה / Leila. When Hashem wishes a human being to be born, He bids the Angel Leila "Bring me this neshama from Gan Eden". The neshama, though, resents being uprooted from its Divine source, and complains to the Almighty "I am pure and holy, linked to Your Glory. Why should I be degraded by having to enter a human body?" Hashem responds: "The world where you will live surpasses in beauty the one from whence you emanated. You were fashioned for the sole purpose of becoming part of a human being and being elevated by his deeds."

The meaning of this is that although in Olam Haba the soul enjoys undisturbed tranquility and bliss, nevertheless the present world, despite all its tribulations, is of greater beauty. Only as long as a person lives on earth does he have the opportunity to study Torah and fulfill the mitzvos, thus accumulating merits.

Hashem subsequently compels the soul to merge with the seed for which it was destined. Even before the fetus is formed, the angel inquires of Hashem "What shall be its fate?"

At that point, the entire future of the unborn child is preordained. Hashem determines whether it is to be male or female, whether he or she shall be healthy or suffer from some sickness or handicap, his appearance, the degree of his intelligence, as well as all his mental and physical capabilities. Moreover, all particulars of his circumstances are already decided - whether wealthy or poor, what shall he possess, and who will be his future spouse.

We see that all details of a person's life are predestined. However, there is one exception. Hashem does not decree whether someone will become a tzaddik or a rasha. Each one decides how to fashion himself by means of the faculties and capabilities that were pre-ordained for him.

A person should not feel pride in his intelligence, strength or money, for these qualities are not of his own achievement, rather they were Divinely decreed for him before birth. There is only one field of endeavour in which accomplishment results from the individual's effort - whether and to what extent he will study Hashem's greatness by delving into His Torah and emulating His ways. To the degree in which he succeeds in this endeavour, he has actually accomplished something for himself.

While still in the mother's womb, the child is taught the entire Torah. He is shown a vision of both Gan Eden and Gehinnom, and the angel in charge of him entreats him "Become a tzaddik! Do not become a rasha!" When the child enters the world, the angel strikes his lips, causing all the Torah knowledge previously imparted to him to be forgotten. [Nevertheless, that knowledge was absorbed by his subconscious mind, enabling him to retrieve it during his lifetime].

Source: The Midrash Says

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

We Have the Geula Backwards


THE WORLD HAS IT ALL WRONG. We have come to believe – whether from our teachers, or from our books that The Geula – the Final Redemption – will cause all of our pain and suffering to go away. How many times in history have Jews, individually and collectively longed for Moshiach (The Messiah) to come to alleviate us from our pain and suffering. From the hurbans – destructions of the two Holy Temples in Jerusalem, the expulsions, the massacres, the inquisitions. the false messiahs, the pograms, and the Shoah (Holocaust) came the cries for Moshiach, the wailing for the better times of the Geula. We sat there, longer for, cried for the expected healing of our problems that Moshiach would bring.

The World has it all wrong. It has it backwards. It is NOT that the Geula will bring the Healing. It is that the Healing will bring the Geula.

Continue reading at ChaimDavid.org

Sunday, April 15, 2018

And This is Your Sign



And this is your sign [that the Redemption is close]: When you see that the Nero of the East who is in Damascus has fallen, the kingdom of the children of the East [Yishmael] will fall, and then the salvation for Israel will sprout.

 נרון מזרחי [Nero of the East] is the same gematria as בשאר אסאד [Bashar Assad] - plus the words.

See: Yeranen Yaakov

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

How To Prepare for the Final Redemption


This post is the latest from the Rav Ofer Erez site by Avraham B.

Rav Ofer explains what we need to do in order to prepare for the final redemption. 

As the redemption nears, G-d is preparing each and every one us in very deep spiritual ways. One of the most important aspects of preparing for the final redemption is coming to an understanding that we are unable to bring upon the redemption on our own but rather Hashem Himself, alone will do it all for us. 

This aspect of the final redemption is called “Yeush d’Kdusha” Holy Despair. It is when we realize and understands that we cannot do anything without one hundred percent divine assistance, not ninety-nine percent but a hundred! 

Click the clip below to play: “Holy Despair – State of Redemption” [If you can’t see the English subtitles, go to the YouTube page directly, and click on the square-shaped icon in the bottom right of the screen, to switch on subtitles/captions for this clip].

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Nirtza



Apologies for my absence, I was unwell over Pesach, but have made a miraculous recovery since it ended..... I am accepting this illness with gratitude, even more so because it has gone away now.   I have learned that suffering is a tikkun, so I thank Hashem for the opportunity !

Which brings me to this video, which I found in one of the comments of a rather controversial post at Emunaroma ''Thank G-d for Anti Semites''.  The post upset a few readers, you can leave a comment there if you feel the need to.  Rivka at Emunaroma is a wonderful friend of mine, who I've never met in person, but I feel like I've known her forever.   I'm not sure if I agree with everything written in her post, but it's out there and you can comment if you want to.... I don't have the mental strength right now to think too hard about it, but I do want to share this video below, where Rabbi Mizrachi is talking about how great it is to receive an insult, and how we should appreciate our suffering and accept it for what it really is.  It reminded me of something Rav Berland said : Every word is a diamond!


Thursday, April 5, 2018

Moshiach's Seudah

Acharon Shel Pesach, the last day of Pesach has a special connection to the coming of Moshiach and is celebrated accordingly, by partaking of Moshiach's Seudah [the meal of Moshiach..... sometimes known as the Third Seder]

The last day of Pesach  is celebrated by eating a special, festive banquet called Moshiach's seudah, a custom initiated by the Baal Shem Tov. The connection between the last day of Pesach and Moshiach is explained by the Tzemach Tzedek: "The last day of Pesach is the conclusion of that which began on the first night of Pesach. The first night of Pesach is our festival commemorating our redemption from Egypt by the Holy One, Blessed be He. It was the first redemption, carried out through Moshe Rabbeinu, who was the first redeemer; it was the beginning. The last day of Pesach is our festival commemorating the final redemption, when the Holy One, Blessed be He, will redeem us from the last exile through our righteous Moshiach, who is the final redeemer. The first day of Pesach is Moshe Rabbeinu's festival; the last day of Pesach is Moshiach's festival."

Pesach is the festival which celebrates freedom. The first day celebrates the redemption from the first exile; the last day celebrates the future redemption from the final exile. The two are intimately connected, the beginning and end of one process with G-d in the future redemption showing wonders "as in the days of your exodus from Egypt."

That Moshiach's festival is celebrated specifically on the last day of Pesach is not merely because Moshiach will redeem us from the last exile. Being last has a significance beyond mere numerical order, for that which is last performs a unique function. When the Jews journeyed in the desert after leaving Egypt, they marched in a specific order, divided into four camps. The last to march was the camp of Dan, which is described by Torah as "ma'asaf l'chol hamachanos" - "gatherer of all the camps." Rashi explains this as meaning that "The tribe of Dan...would journey last, and whoever would lose anything, it would be restored to him."

The concept of "gatherer of all the camps" - restoring lost property and making sure that nothing is missing - may be applied to various situations. The Baal Shem Tov, for example, taught that just as the Jews in the desert made forty-two journeys before they reached their final destination, Eretz Yisroel, so there are forty-two journeys in each Jew's individual life. The birth of a person corresponds to the initial journey when the Jews left the land of Egypt, and at each stage of life a Jew is somewhere in the middle of one of the forty-two journeys he must experience before he enters the next world.

Not only a person's entire life, but also every individual service to G-d has various stages or "journeys." In particular, the conclusion of a specific service acts as the "gatherer of all the camps" - to make sure that nothing is missing from that service. Pesach, it was noted earlier, is associated with the concept of redemption, and our service on Pesach is correspondingly directed towards hastening the arrival of the final redemption. But even if service on Pesach was deficient, if opportunities were missed, not all is lost: the last day of Pesach acts as "gatherer of all the camps" for the entire festival. Just as the tribe of Dan restored lost articles to their owners, so the last day of Pesach provides a Jew with the opportunity to rectify omissions in the service of Pesach, and thereby regain what is rightfully his.

Because Pesach is associated with the redemption through Moshiach and the last day of Pesach is the finish to and completion of Pesach, the last day of Pesach accordingly emphasizes the coming of Moshiach.

The notion of "gatherer of all the camps" applies not only to each individual Jew's life and service, but also to Jewry in general. The forty-two journeys between leaving Egypt and entering Eretz Yisroel took place in the desert, the "wilderness of the nations," which is an allusion to the period of exile when Jews sojourn amongst the nations of the earth. The forty-two journeys in the desert served as the means wherewith Jews left the limitations of Egypt.  Thus all the journeys undertaken until the Jews actually entered Eretz Yisroel may be viewed as part of the exodus from Egypt. So too with the journeys in the exile: until Jews merit the final redemption, they are still journeying to reach Eretz Yisroel.  In every generation, Jews are somewhere in the middle of one of those forty-two journeys.

As in the journeys in the desert, there is a "gatherer of all the camps" in the generations-long journey of Jews to the Messianic Era. Our present generation is that of "the footsteps of Moshiach," the last generation of exile. It is the "gatherer of all the camps" of all generations of Jews.

That this generation of exile is the "gatherer of all the camps" of all generations is not just because it is the last. Exile is not just punishment for sin.

The mission of Jews is to elevate and refine this corporeal world, to reveal G-dliness and to transform the physical into a dwelling place for G-d. Dispersed throughout the world in exile, Jews have been given the opportunity and the means to carry out this mission in all parts of the world.

This has been the Jews' task throughout their history. "Gatherer of all the camps" in this context means that if any portion of that task is missing, it now can be rectified. Thus the era of "gatherer of all the camps" is the era when the world will have been fully refined and G-dliness revealed: the Era of Moshiach.

It is for this reason that it is our generation which is that of "the footsteps of Moshiach" and "gatherer of all the camps." For the service of Jews throughout the generations has been all but completed, and only the finishing touches - "gatherer of all the camps" - is needed. We stand ready and prepared to greet Moshiach.

Moshiach, of course, could have come in previous generations. The Talmud, for example, relates that at the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash, a cow lowed twice. The first time meant that the Beis HaMikdash was destroyed; the second time meant that Moshiach was born. In other words, the potential Moshiach was born immediately after the destruction and had the Jews merited it then, he would have been the actual Moshiach.

Although Moshiach could have come in previous generations, the future redemption nevertheless has a greater connection to our generation - just as the idea of Moshiach is emphasized on the last day of Pesach,  although the whole of Pesach is associated with the future redemption. For both are the concept of "gatherer of all the camps" and we accordingly celebrate Moshiach's seudah specifically on the last day of Pesach.

There is still more to the connection between the last day of Pesach and Moshiach. The prophet Yechezkel describes the exodus from Egypt - which took place on the first day of Pesach - as the birth of the Jewish nation.

The last day of Pesach, the eighth day, is therefore the day of the circumcision, which is "the beginning of the entry of the holy soul." Moshiach is the yechidah - the most sublime level of the soul - of the Jewish people. Until the body of Jewry has undergone circumcision it is not whole; its holy soul is missing. Moreover, the Alter Rebbe writes, the highest level of circumcision will take place in the future, when "The L-rd will circumcise your heart."

The Haftorah read on the last day of Pesach is also connected with the Messianic Era. It states: "The wolf will lie down with the lamb...He will raise a banner for the return...the earth will be full of the knowledge of the L-rd." All of these verses refer to the Messianic Era.

Thus the relationship between the last day of Pesach and Moshiach. But why do we mark this relationship by eating a meal?

Belief in Moshiach is a cardinal tenet of the Jewish faith, enshrined as one of Rambam's thirteen principles of belief: "I believe with perfect faith in the coming of Moshiach; and although he may tarry, I will wait for him every day that he shall come." But abstract belief is not enough. Our intellectual awareness must be translated into concrete action - by eating of Moshiach's seudah. Moreover, the food from Moshiach's seudah becomes part of our flesh and blood, and our faith in, and yearning for Moshiach permeates not just the soul's faculties but also the physical body.

Moshiach's seudah was initiated by the Baal Shem Tov, and there is good reason why it was by him specifically. In a famous letter to his brother in law, R. Gershon of Kitov, the Baal Shem Tov tells of the time he experienced an elevation of the soul to the highest spheres. When he came to the abode of Moshiach, he asked, "When will the Master come?" to which Moshiach replied, "When your wellsprings shall spread forth to the outside." In other words, it is the Baal Shem Tov's teachings - Chassidus - which will bring Moshiach, and it is therefore particularly appropriate that it was the Baal Shem Tov who initiated Moshiach's seudah on the last day of Pesach.

In the time of the Baal Shem Tov, the principal element of the seudah was matzah. The Rebbe Rashab, fifth Rebbe of Chabad, added the custom of drinking four cups of wine. Matzah is poor man's bread, flat and tasteless. Wine, in contrast, not only possesses taste, but induces joy and delight, to the extent that our Sages say, "Shirah (song) is said only over wine."

Chabad Chassidus conveys the concepts of Chassidus, first propounded by the Baal Shem Tov, in an intellectual framework, enabling them to be understood by a person's Chochmah (wisdom), Binah (knowledge), and Da'as (understanding) - ChaBaD. And when a person understands something - in this case the concepts of Chassidus - he enjoys it that much more. Chabad, in other words, introduced "taste" and "delight" into Chassidic doctrines, which until then were accepted primarily on faith alone.

The four cups of wine also allude to the Messianic Age, for which the dissemination of Chassidus - especially Chabad Chassidus - is the preparation. The four cups symbolize: the four expressions of redemption; the four cups of retribution G-d will force the nations of the world to drink; the four cups of comfort G-d will bestow upon the Jews; the four letters of G-d's Name which will be revealed; the four general levels of repentance.

[Source: Sichah of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Acharon Shel Pesach, 5742]