Monday, December 21, 2020

The Jupiter Saturn Conjunction of December 21st

I wonder if this conjunction is heralding a new era, a Messianic Era.... we can only hope and pray that it is.

The “great conjunction” of Jupiter/Tzedek and Saturn/Shabbatai, which has been in the news lately, has special meaning in Jewish astrological thought. This cosmic convergence, in which Jupiter and Saturn appear almost on top of each other in the night sky, has long been a focus of Jewish messianic speculation.  

The conjunction takes place in the zodiac sign of Aquarius/D’li on Dec. 21, 2020 (6th of Tevet, 5781), the day of the winter solstice, for the first time since the year 1405. This is significant because of the special relationship of both the planet Saturn and the constellation Aquarius to the Jewish people, and the belief that this event heralds the advent of political and social change — perhaps the emergence of a new dynasty, nation or a great prophet. There is no more important celestial event in our lifetimes, part of the inexorable movement toward an Aquarian Age. 

But is it good for the Jews?

Continue reading at JWeekly

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Confronting the Truth





Parshas VaYigash: Rav Moshe Shternbuch -

The Medrash says that when Judgement day comes, we will not be able to stand up to the "Tochacha" - the rebuke from Hashem. We learn this from the Shvatim who couldn't bear the embarrassment of learning that Yosef was alive. 

Rav Moshe Shternbuch says that we see from here that the most painful rebuke is not a good screaming at, but rather being forced to confront the truth. Yosef did not scream or threaten, rather he softly told them that he is their brother whom they tried to destroy. 

Upon seeing how wrong they were, they experienced the worst embarrassment of their lives.

Similarly says Rav Shterbuch in the name of the Baal Shem Tov HaKadosh,the pasuk in Tehilim says, "Kel Nekamos Hashem". At the end of time Hashem will avenge those who have sinned against him. How? 

The pasuk continues "Kel Nekamos Hofia". Hashem's revenge is simply to appear! 

After all of history when Hashem finally reveals Himself openly to the entire world, everyone will be be mortally embarrassed when they grasp the lowliness for each and every one of their sins.

Source: Revach

Thursday, December 17, 2020

Zot Chanukah



The final night of Chanukah [this year Thursday night] is known as Zot Chanukah, the night when all 8 candles are lit.  Maximum amount of light and maximum amount of blessings.

It is an extra special time for us:  It is a day that can bring children to the childless, is able to bring parnassa [income] and also known as the day of the signing and carrying out of judgment for the rest of the year. [Bnei Yissachar]

The Purim of the Curtains

Art Vladimir Kush


I had never heard of this 'Purim' until I looked up the date of January 6 on the Chabad calendar. [see Comments on this post] - January 6 is when Congress settles the Election

Here is the story of the Purim of the Curtains.

By Gershon Kranzler 

You probably think I am joking, and the relationship between Purim and curtains goes no further than a Purim joke. Well, you are wrong. There was really a Purim of the Curtains, originally called “Purim Vorhang,” and like the first Purim of Shushan and the other local Purims celebrated in different countries, it commemorates the miraculous salvation of a Jewish community from the hands of their enemies.

Purim of the Curtains used to be celebrated in the middle of the winter, on the twenty-second of Tevet, two months before our regular Purim. Its story happened more than 300 years ago in the once-famous large Jewish ghetto of Prague, in Bohemia (now in the Czech Republic). As far as we know, this is how it originated:

Rudolph of Wenceslav, the governor of Bohemia, was one of those who resented the rise of Jewish fortunes during the reign of Ferdinand II. He considered it a personal affront when a man like the wealthy Jacob Schmieles of the Prague ghetto was knighted and bore the noble title of Bassevi von Treuenberg. But there was little he could do to the Jews of Prague, who in those days counted more than 1,000 people, many of them rich and influential merchants and bankers. For the memory and influence of Chief Rabbi Judah Loew, famous as the Maharal, was still felt among Jews and non-Jews. Thus, despite all efforts, the governor was not able to provoke any riots or pogroms of major proportion. But one day, in the winter of 5383 (1623), providence really seemed to play into his hands.

Among the treasures of his palace were heavy gold brocade curtains, artfully woven by a famous medieval master weaver from Brussels. They were considered invaluable, and the governor was responsible to the crown for them. All through the spring, summer and fall, till the middle of winter, they were stored away so that the sun and dust would not harm their precious texture. December came, and Chamberlain Hradek, next to Rudolph of Wenceslav the mightiest man in all of Bohemia, gave orders to have all the velvet and brocade curtains and the Persian carpet taken out of storage to prepare the palace for the festival season. Everything proceeded in proper order, for each piece of the precious ornaments and furnishings had been carefully recorded and systematically stored away. At the bottom of the list were the famous gold brocade curtains of the state room. As usual, they had been placed in the huge iron chest in the cellar that held the most valuable articles of the palace.

The important day came when Hradek himself went down into the cellar to make sure that the servants treated the precious materials carefully. The heavy iron lid of the chest was opened, and the yellow glow of the candles showed—could it be possible?—nothing but the bare brown wood of the cedar-lined iron chest. Everyone present gasped, and a cry of horror passed from the cellar through the hundreds of halls and rooms of the palace, up to the battlements of the watchtower. Soon the governor himself heard the shocking news of the missing gold curtains. He ordered an immediate investigation. No one was permitted to leave or to enter the palace. Raging like a furious lion, Rudolph of Wenceslav questioned every one of the employees, from the chamberlain down to the lowest cleaning woman—but to no avail. They all staunchly denied any knowledge of, or connection with, the theft of the precious curtains.

“If they are not back here by tonight,” roared the governor at the frightened servants who were gathered in his office, “I’ll have all of you thrown into prison.” There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that he really meant it.

After a few minutes of heavy silence—interrupted only by the furious pacing of the governor from one corner of the huge office to the other, and the violent rapping of his riding crop against his boots—the chamberlain suggested that the governor order all of the city’s pawnshops and warehouses searched by his soldiers. “If your honor permits, I’d suggest keeping a special eye on the stores and shops of the Jewish dealers. They have a liking for stolen merchandise,” Hradek added maliciously.

Rudolph of Wenceslav was highly pleased with the advice of his chamberlain, and shortly afterwards, troops of his soldiers combed every store and shop of Prague that might possibly hide the golden curtains. They sealed off the ghetto, and, without telling anyone of the object of their search, they turned every house inside out, in futile search and vengeful destruction.

One troop of soldiers came also to the large house and store of Enoch Altschul, who was one of the patrician leaders of the Prague ghetto, and a scholar as well as a wealthy merchant. Without care or consideration the rough soldiers searched every closet, chest and drawer, and threw their contents all over the floor in wild disorder. Unable to find what they were looking for, they put a pistol to the breast of Enoch Altschul and threatened to shoot him if he did not reveal where he had hidden his most precious merchandise. Rather than risk his life, Enoch Altschul opened the secret vault in the back of his store. Among other precious goods stored in the plain wooden closet behind the wall covering, soldiers came upon a pile of heavy, glittering materials. With a hoarse cry of fury and satisfaction, the soldiers pounced upon the old merchant, beat him and shackled him with heavy iron chains.

The story of the theft and of the search spread like wildfire, and brought out every citizen into the streets of Prague. At the point of their sabers, the soldiers led Enoch Altschul through the silent and shocked crowds of the ghetto, and then through the wildly shouting crowds outside the ghetto. One glance at the open chest with the brocade curtains told the story; and before his guilt had been proven, Enoch Altschul was given the vilest treatment ever accorded any common thief or criminal in public. As the procession left the ghetto, the guards immediately closed the chest, for there was no telling what the wild mob would do.

Governor Rudolph of Wenceslav was still furiously pacing the floor of his office when the soldiers brought in Enoch Altschul. The sight of the recovered curtains soothed his anger, yet he was even more pleased by the sight of the patriarchal Jew led before him in heavy chains. At once he realized that here was the opportunity for which he had been waiting ever since he had been appointed to the governorship, to humiliate the Jewish merchants and courtiers, and to do some looting among the treasure of the ghetto for his own and his people’s pockets. Outwardly, Rudolph of Wenceslav kept up his rage as he shouted all kinds of vile insults at Enoch Altschul.

The old Jew faced him quietly. His inner dignity served only to increase the governor’s rage. But neither by insults nor by vicious slaps with the riding crop was Rudolph of Wenceslav able to make the old Jew betray how he had come into possession of the precious golden curtains from the governor’s palace.

“I gave my word of honor to a most noble member of your court. Unless he himself grants me permission, I am not able to explain the presence of these curtains in my house,” Enoch replied firmly.

“You thief! You have no honor, nor does your word hold any value. You are only trying to save your hide. But never mind! We shall see whether the whip can’t make you talk.”

Torture and flogging were not able to break the will of Enoch Altschul. Towards evening he was again brought, lying on a stretcher, before the governor. “Are you now ready to tell me who gave you the curtains?” the governor shouted at the limp figure. Too weak to answer, the old merchant merely shook his head feebly.

“You have time till tomorrow morning. If you don’t talk by nine o’clock, not only will you and your family hang from the highest tree that can be found in all of Prague, but my people will be given permission to storm the ghetto.”

For the first time since being seized, Enoch Altschul lost his calm. No longer was he staking only his own life on his word of honor. The horrible meaning of the governor’s threat was obvious, and it shook his determination.

All through the night he tossed back and forth on his hard bed in the dark cell of the palace dungeon, his tortured body racked by pain. His was a terrible responsibility. Desperately, Enoch Altschul implored G‑d for help and guidance. Was it more important to keep his oath to the man who had brought him the ill-fated curtains, despite the fact that he had now pretended not to notice him when he saw him carried before the governor? Or was the fate of the community too vital to be risked by his, Enoch’s, code of personal honor? Towards morning he fell into a restless sleep. Suddenly, the cell seemed illuminated. The image of his beloved teacher and friend, the sainted Rabbi Judah Loew, appeared before him and assured him that everything would turn out well in the end. Although he awoke immediately afterwards, Enoch Altschul felt deeply strengthened and encouraged by this dream. All the time until the guards came to take him before the governor, he kept on praying to G‑d for His help. As he soon was to find out, though, he had not been the only one who had been unable to sleep that night, and to whom his master had also appeared in a dream.

Rudolph of Wenceslav was impatiently rapping his riding crop on the top of his desk when Enoch was carried into the state room before the fully assembled court. Despite the tortures of the previous day, the old Jew looked calm and collected. Without a word, the governor signaled to have Enoch carried to the large plaza crowded with hundreds of heavily armed soldiers. About them milled a large crowd of wildly shouting people, all seemingly waiting for something to happen.

“At a signal from this window, they will break into every house of the ghetto,” announced Rudolph of Wenceslav. Yet before Enoch had a chance to speak, Hradek, the haughty chamberlain, threw himself between the governor and the Jewish merchant. His face as white as snow, he called excitedly to the astonished Rudolph:

“Mercy, your honor, mercy, I am the guilty one! Punish me, not this noble old man who thinks he is protecting your own personal honor!”

The governor and the entire court were shocked by the confession of the chamberlain. Incredulously they listened to his tale:

“Several months ago I was in urgent need of 25,000 ducats, which I had lost in a night of heavy gambling. I could not think of any other way to pay this debt than by taking the precious gold brocade curtains from the palace chest and pawning them to the venerable Enoch Altschul, who has helped me in many a tight spot. In order to protect myself, I wrote a note in your name, signed and sealed with your seal. In it, I had you ask for the money, and promised kind treatment for the Jews of Prague if no one found out about this transaction. At the same time, the note threatened that if Enoch betrayed the secret to any person in the world, the entire ghetto would be severely punished. Not satisfied with the note, I had Enoch swear personally by his G‑d and his honor to guard the secret as his life, for the sake of your reputation and political career.

“When you questioned us,” continued Hradek, “I advised you to have all Jewish stores and homes searched, because I knew your soldiers would recover the brocade curtains. I knew that you would not play long with the Jewish merchant in whose possession they were found, and that I could count on Enoch not to break his word of honor under any circumstances. Thus, both you and I would be helped. I almost succeeded. But during this past night I had a terrifying vision. After hours of trying vainly to quiet my guilty conscience, I fell asleep. In my dream, the famous leader of the ghetto whom they called the Chief Rabbi Loew, who died several years ago, appeared to me. He was accompanied by that terrifying monster of clay, the Golem, feared by all the citizens of Prague. No one who dared to accuse an innocent Jew of a crime ever lived to escape the Golem’s crushing fingers. The voice of the old rabbi said quietly: “You had better tell the truth tomorrow!”

“Shaken by fever and fear, I could hardly wait for the dawn of the morning, and for the hour when you had the Jew brought before you, to confess my guilt in public.”

As he spoke, the chamberlain’s hands were constantly fumbling with the collar of his coat at his throat, as if to free himself from someone’s clutches. After he had finished the tale of his shameful deceit, he fainted and slid to the ground before the governor and the members of the gathered court, terror written all over his lifeless face and figure.

Enoch Altschul was at once freed from his chains, and the soldiers dispersed the waiting mob, instead of leading it to attack the ghetto as had been their original purpose.

In commemoration of this miraculous turn of events, Enoch Altschul asked his people to celebrate “Purim of the Curtains” every twenty-second day of Tevet, the date when this incident took place. For more than one hundred years the Altschul family, and with them the entire Jewish community of Prague, observed this celebration faithfully, and commemorated their salvation from the accusation of stealing the famous gold brocade curtains from the palace of the governor of Bohemia.

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Hang On!

 Rabbi Isser Z. Weisberg, new video 

"The less likely it seems to our eyes of flesh and blood, the more the hand of God will be obvious when it actually does occur."


Wrong Place, Wrong Time?

                                            

by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh

Q: There is a statement of the Sages in Gemara Chulin that nobody bangs his finger unless it was so decreed by Heaven. Yet, there is another concept of the Sages that if a decree, God forbid, was issued against a group, if someone happens to be present who was not deserving of the decree, he may be drawn along even though he wasn’t deserving. I am wondering how to understand this concept in light of major disasters. Is it possible that there could be people who don’t make it, who find themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time? 

A: God’s Divine Providence is absolute over every person. However, there are different levels of this Divine Providence. The level of the person who bangs his finger is the revealed level of Divine Providence. If a person does some soul-searching after this type of incident, he can relatively easily understand why it happened and rectify the situation. On the other hand, there is also concealed Divine Providence, which is the situation referred to by the sages in the case of the group. This is for the rectification of the souls of all those involved, although those involved may not understand why this happened to them.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

Monday, December 14, 2020

Why the Evil around us now is not such a bad thing

 A short Chanukah video from Rabbi Mendel Simons  and his wife Rebbetzin Rachey Simons of YJP Los Angeles [Young Jewish Professionals]

 

Friday, December 11, 2020

The Dreidel

The Dreidel Players: Elena Flevora
There are four letters on the dreydel. נ - Nun, ג - Gimel, ה - Hay, and שׁ - Shin - These letters stand for "Nes Gadol Haya Sham" - "A great miracle happened there".
[In Eretz Yisrael it is a פ - Peh instead of the Shin: A great miracle happened here.]

The four letters stand for:

a) the four parts of man - Nefesh [soul], Guf [body], Seichel [intellect], HaKol [all the rest].

b) the four foundations of the world - fire, water, wind and earth

c) the four nations that put us in exile - Egypt, Persia, Greece and Rome.  The four letters on the dreydel have the gematria of Moshiach [358].  This is also the gematria of Hashem is King etc. Chanukah is the season when the possibility exists for the light of Mashiach to burst forth. Then, man and the world will be restored to harmonious relationship and the last and most bitter exile of Rome will draw to a to a close, and we will see the fulfillment of the verse that Hashem will be King forever. [Bnei Yissaschar]

Chanukah and Purim have much in common. They are two holidays which will enjoy an exalted status when Mashiach comes. They were celebrations which were decreed by the Rabbis to commemorate events that took place in their time. Since the faith of the Jewish people were instrumental in bringing these holidays about, the Holidays of the Torah will pale in comparison to them, like a flashlight shining on a sunny day.

Both days have their special instrument. Purim the gregger, Chanukah the dreydel. Their use is indicative of the nature of the holiday.

Purim's gregger we hold from below to symbolize that the great Teshuva on the Jews provided an initiative from below which caused the divine initiative to bring about the miracle.

On Chanukah we use a dreydel which we hold from above to symbolize that the principle initiative for the miracle came from above, and our actions brought it to fruition.

Source: Nishmas

Thursday, December 10, 2020

The Kabbalah of the Chanukah Candles

Candles are placed in the menorah from right to left, with the number of candles corresponding to which night of Chanukah it is. There is also one additional candle, which is usually elevated, called the “shamash,” or service candle. The shamash is lit first, and is then used to light the other candles, from left to right.

In other words, the candles are positioned from the right side of the menorah but we light from left to right. [Code of Jewish Law, Orach Chaim, 676:5]

The blessings should be said after lighting the Shamash candle and before the lighting of the rest of the candles:

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has sanctified us with His commandments, and has commanded us to kindle the Chanukah light.

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has wrought miracles for our forefathers, in those days at this season.

Note: some siddurim state the words as "Le'hadlik ner SHEL Chanukah", however this is incorrect - As noted by the Hid"a [Rav Haim Yosef David Azulai, 1724-1807], there is profound meaning and significance in this sequence of words, as the first letters of these words - "Lamed," "Nun" and "Het" - are the same letters that begin the three words "Noser Hesed La'alafim" ["He preserves kindness for thousands of generations"]. Therefore, even though some Siddurim print the text of the Beracha as "Le'hadlik Ner Shel Hanukah" one must ensure to recite the proper text - "Le'hadlik Ner Hanukah" [Rabbi Eli Mansour]

This prayer is said on the first night only:

Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, Who has kept us alive, sustained us, and brought us to this season.

The candles should be in an even row, no curves, no height variations. They should be well-spaced so their flames do not appear merged (and if candles, that they do not melt each other). No use should be made of the lights shed by the Chanukah candles, such as reading by their light. For the Friday eve of Chanukah, the lights must be kindled before sunset and before the Shabbat candles are lit. Additional oil (or larger candles) should be provided to ensure that they can burn until half an hour after nightfall.

In the Talmud, the relationship between the menorah and the mezuzah is established: "The Chanukah menorah should be outside of the door on the left side and the mezuzah should be on the right side in order that we should be surrounded by G-d's commandments."

If for some reason there is no mezuzah on the doorpost, the menorah should be placed on the right side. If lighting next to a window, the menorah should be placed on the right side of the window, however there is no point lighting at a window if your windows are so high up that no-one will see the candles.

Although today we place the Chanukah menorah indoors, in the time of the Talmud and today, in Israel, the menorah is placed outside the door.

The menorah is compared to the mezuzah. Both are on the outside. Both are near the door. Yet something deeper is alluded to when the Talmud compares the menorah to the mezuzah.

There are several differences between the two items: the mezuzah is on the outside, but it functions for the inside of the house to protect the inhabitants. The menorah is on the outside with its message for the outside world to proclaim to all the miracle of Chanukah.

In the language of the mystics of the Kabbala, the left and right have deep significance. The left is attributed to gevurah, the concept of strength. The right is associated with chesed, the act of giving. The mezuzah is on the right; it is G-d's protection of our houses so that no evil may enter. That is the chesed, the kindness - that He stands on the outside and guards our house.

The Chanukah menorah is on the left symbolizing Hashem's strength (gevurah) and control of the world and the great miracles He performed for us.

These days we do not put the menorah outside generally for practical reasons or perhaps we are afraid of the people in the street. So we light the candles inside and illuminate the house. G-d's strength and ability to do miracles and wonders are still around. However, we need the menorah inside to tell us that message. It no longer stands outside of our houses relating to the person who is in the dark, that the message of Chanukah is for him. The menorah is now inside the house, and its message is now for us.

The light of the menorah reassures us not to fear the darkness. It is a reminder that the darkest hours come before the dawn, and at a time when we had no friends, G-d helped us overcome our numerous enemies.

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Biblical prophecy of the end of days battle and the destruction of evil by G-d

 Rabbi Alon Anava, new shiur


The Trump Obsession

This was sent to me by Yosef... 

I couldn't find it on Torah Anytime so I uploaded it from my phone.  

Even though I still think Trump will be victorious after all the balagan, this video is worth a listen, to get things into perspective.  [video is only 4 mins]

Rabbi Yehoshua Zitron on the Trump obsession.

 


Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Monday, December 7, 2020

Deciphering the Dream

Art Jacek Yerka

''In three days Pharoah will remove your head'' [Vayeishev 40:19]

The dreams of the chief baker and the chief wine butler, noted the Dubno Maggid, were very similar. Why, then, did Yosef interpret the dream of the chief wine butler favorably - that Pharoah would soon reinstate him to his post - but that of the chief baker unfavorably - that he was about to meet his end?

The answer, explained the Maggid, can be understood with a parable: An artist painted a magnificent portrait of a man balancing a basket full of bread on his head. Two men came to admire the painting. While they stood there, a bird landed atop it and began to peck away at the bread, which it thought was genuine.

''Such a marvellous artist!'' said one man to the other. ''This bird actually believes that the bread is real!''

''No'' responded the other, ''he is not much of an artist at all. For while the bread may be quite realistic, the man carrying it is not, for if it was, the bird would be afraid to approach the painting.''

We are now able to understand concluded the Dubno Maggid, why Yosef interpreted the dream of the chief baker unfavorably. When the chief baker related his dream to Yosef, he said ''And the birds were eating them from the basket above my head.'' Yosef understood that if the birds were unafraid to approach him, it was an indication that he was soon to be executed by Pharoah and was already considered a ''dead man''. For had he been ''alive''', the birds would have refrained from eating the food on his head!

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Who is the Satan? What is his mission?

Who is the Satan? What is his mission?

What is the antidote?

Who are we? What is our mission?

Why did Yaakov call the place ''Pniel'' - the Face of God ?

Rabbi Aaron Dovid Poston has all the answers.


Thursday, December 3, 2020

"The Kingdom of Heaven Forever"

Rabbi Netanel ben Yeshaya was one of the great Rabbis of  Yemenite Jewry, he lived approximately 600 years ago.  In his commentary on the Torah ''From the Light of Darkness'', he wrote as follows:

"As is well known, as stated in the dream of Daniel, the fourth Kingdom is the Kingdom of Edom, and it ends in the year 5780.  Then, it seems, that the rule of the nine months will begin, as stated in the Gemara. 

And then afterwards, it will be the time of Redemption and the Kingdom of Heaven forever."


Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Where We Fall Today on the Creation Clock

 Rabbi Mendel Kessin, new upload but shiur given 15 June 2020


Tuesday, December 1, 2020

The Year of Wonders

I wanted to listen to this before I put it on the blog, and i'm only halfway through it, but already he is telling us that 5781 will be the year we see amazing things, which confirms the Lubavitcher Rebbe's prophecy from 30 years ago that this will be a year of wonders.

Rabbi Alon Anava ''Do you believe the lies?''

This is a very uplifting video.


Sunday, November 29, 2020

Purim on Chanukah? Gog u Magog?


For the past few days, I've been thinking about the connection between Chanukah and Purim.  This is due to the fact that a close relative of mine had a dream about M. [who passed away a few years ago on Purim]. In the dream, M told her that Donald Trump was still President [he'd won somehow] and showed her the TV news announcing his Presidency win.   

In the dream,  M was looking fabulous, very thin and well.  This is why I feel the dream was real... simply because the  person who had the dream had never really known M when she looked that way.... there was a 30 year age gap between them and the only way M had looked in her later years was over-weight and unwell.  This was not an image of someone recalled from the brain, because the dreamer had never even seen M when she was thin and ''fabulous''.  And I don't think she'd seen photos of her either, in fact she told me she'd never seen her look like that before.

So I started to think... why would M come in a dream to this person with this message about Trump, and is there another message that I'm supposed to find.  Is there a connection between Chanukah and Purim?  They are the only two chagim which will be celebrated after Moshiach comes [although some say only Purim].  ''To put it simply, as the famous adage goes, Purim was a fight for the Jewish body, Chanukah for the Jewish soul.''  And on Purim the body of the Jew was saved, whilst on Chanukah it was his soul.

And then over Shabbas the news came out that Iran's top nuclear scientist had been killed and Iran was irate and blaming Israel.

Suddenly the Purim/Chanukah connection became even more real.  

Is this the War of Gog u Magog starting?  Is this the War that will allow President Trump to stay in office [see Moshe's comments here about President staying in office if war breaks out during his Presidency].

For me, this just ties up the loose ends of the dream.   Trump, Presidency, Iran, Purim, Chanukah, V'Nahafoch Hu.  Turning it all upside down, having Purim on Chanukah.  

I don't know, but I am a Geula Blogger, and this what I do.

Friday, November 27, 2020

The Greatest Miracle

 Rabbi Isser Zalman Weisberg 

"The miracle of the overturned election of 2020 will go down in history!"


Tuesday, November 24, 2020

When Tzaddikim Receive Prophecy in a Dream

 


by Rabbi David Hanania Pinto

"He encountered the place and spent the night there because the sun had sent" [Vayeitze 28:11]

The Midrash says that the words "because the sun had set", teach us that Hashem made the sun set before its time, so as to speak with Ya'akov privately. 

The Midrash explains this using the mashal of the king's beloved friend who came to visit him on occasion. When he arrived, the king said, "Turn off the lights, extinguish the lamps, for I wish to speak with my beloved friend privately". So too, Hashem made the sun set before its time so as to speak to Ya'akov intimately. 

Rabbi Shmuel Florentin of Salonica, in his sefer 'Minchat Shmuel', points out the following difficulty. On the verse, "And G-d came to Avimelech in a dream by night", the Midrash says that Hashem especially reveals Himself to the nations by night, as it says, "G-d came to Bilaam at night". We also find with Lavan that Hashem came to him in a dream at night, but Hashem reveals Himself to the Jewish prophets by day, as it says, "Hashem appeared to him in the plains of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance of the tent in the heat of the day", as well as other examples. So why does the above Midrash say that Hashem made the sun set to speak to Ya'akov intimately, implying at night? 

He answers according to the Moharash Yaffe, who says that prophecy by day comes only to a prophet who is accustomed to Hashem speaking to him, while to a prophet who is unaccustomed to prophecy, Hashem only reveals Himself at night. This explanation fits in with the precise wording of the Midrash, "it can be compared to the king's beloved friend who comes to visit him on occasion".

Monday, November 23, 2020

A Time, Times, and A Half of Time

 I wasn't going to put this on the blog, but after listening to it all, I can't NOT put it on my blog.

In this video Rabbi Weisberg unlocks codes and secrets, including the famous phrase from Sefer Daniel ''A time, times and a half of time".  Fascinating lecture.


Sunday, November 22, 2020

Jonathan Pollard: "Key to Redemption"


 

The following is from an article dated July 2015 written by Rivkah Lambert Adler

One of the most prominent personalities who offered Pollard emotional and spiritual support during his decades in prison was Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu. Eliyahu served as a Chief Rabbi in Israel from 1983 to 1993 and had a close and supportive relationship with Pollard for 20 years. Eliyahu passed away June 7, 2010. 

Shortly after Eliyahu’s death, Pollard’s then-wife Esther began to speak out about the spiritual messages the rabbi shared with them. In an article published by The Yeshiva World News on June 11, 2010, Esther shared Eliyahu’s prediction that the eventual release of Jonathan Pollard from prison is connected to the final redemption. 

 “Over time, the Rav [Rabbi] shared with us and with a few others who were very close to him that Jonathan’s release is the key to the redemption of all of Am Yisrael [the Jewish people],” she wrote. “He taught us how Jonathan’s release is also the key to the release of all of Israel’s captives and MIAs. Once Jonathan is out, all the captives are all out! Once they are all out, we are all in Geula [redemption]!” 

 “Perhaps most significant of all, the Rav always referred to Jonathan as the ‘Yosef HaTzadik shel doreinu’ (The Yosef Hatzadik of our generation),” she added. 

This last reference connects Jonathan Pollard to the Biblical Joseph, who was also imprisoned. 

In August of 2010, Esther Pollard sent her husband a birthday letter which he released for publication. In it, she strengthened her husband’s spirits with the words of the recently departed Rabbi Eliyahu.

 “You are a cosmic key to the redemption of the Jewish people. Your release is synonymous with the release of the Shechinah [the Divine presence] from galut [exile]. Your release is tied up with the Moshiach Ben David’s [Messiah son of David’s] return to the Land. Your release is bound to the redemption of the land and people of Israel.”

Friday, November 20, 2020

Toldot Tikkunim


According to kabbalistic teachings, Yitzchak corrected the spiritual damage caused by Adam's sin.

Therefore, just like Adam had been led by the ingenious plot of the serpent, the correction of Adam's sin had to come through ingenious trickery: ''Your brother came ingeniously and took your blessing''.  [Toldot 27:35]

Source: Likutei Sichos Lubavitcher Rebbe


The B’nei Yissachar takes this concept one step further. A number of commentators are bothered by the fact that Yaakov had to resort to such deceit in order to receive his father’s blessings. As the legitimate inheritor of Yitzchok’s spiritual legacy, shouldn’t Yaakov have been able to receive what he deserved in a more straightforward manner? 

Citing the Zohar HaKadosh, the B’nei Yissachar explains that Yaakov represented the tikkun [refinement] of Adam and his sins. Yaakov’s arch-nemesis was his wicked twin brother Eisav, who is described by the Torah [25:27] as a “yodeah tzayid” – hunter. The Targum Onkelos renders this phrase “gevar nachshirchon,” hinting that Eisav represented the nachash – serpent. Because the serpent enticed Adam and Chava to sin through tricky, underhanded methods, Yaakov had to rectify its previous triumph by successfully taking the blessings away from Eisav using similarly devious tactics.

The Arizal teaches that Rivkah was a gilgul [reincarnation] of Chava, the first woman. One of the purposes of reincarnation is to give a soul the opportunity to rectify the sins that it committed in an earlier lifetime. In what way did Rivkah correct the sin of Chava and atone for its consequences?

After the serpent convinced Chava to eat from the forbidden fruit of the tree of knowledge, she immediately gave some to Adam to eat. Rashi explains that she did so out of a fear that after her death, Adam would remain alive and would find another mate. As a result of his sin, Adam was cursed with death and with the pain and difficulty of sustaining himself.

Because Chava ensnared Adam in sin when he listened to her, her descendant Rivkah learned from her mistakes and rectified her sins. In contrast to Chava who caused Adam to eat something forbidden, Rivkah saved Yitzchak from eating from the food that Eisav brought him which was not properly slaughtered, and according to some opinions was dog meat [Targum Yonason ben Uziel 27:31].

Source: ShemaYisrael

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Prepare to Witness Miracles

 New video from Rabbi Isser Zalman Weisberg - 

''Prepare to witness miracles! Joe will be watching the inauguration from his basement.''


Tuesday, November 17, 2020

The Solution for the World's Crisis

 

Rabbi Alon Anava 

Corona, Masks, Vaccines, Lockdowns, US elections - Now what??


The U.S. Elections 2020 in the ‘Spiritual Realm’

Tamar Yonah interviews Rabbi Mendel Kessin [audio] 

What’s going on behind the scenes of the lack of a final and official result in the US Elections 2020? Why isn’t there an ‘official’ winner yet, and is there a spiritual aspect behind this ambiguity? 

Rabbi Mendel Kessin  joins Tamar Yonah and talks about what he believes is happening in the Messianic era and why it is happening. He also makes some fascinating statements about when the Moshiach (Messiah) has to come by, as well as ‘the resurrection of the dead.


Kislev: Month of Miracles


How to receive your own miracle in Kislev: a very short video from Rabbi Anava


Monday, November 16, 2020

Calculating the Year of Moshiach


This information is generally known, however I have roughly transcribed it from Rabbi Anava's video today.

Although we are not allowed to calculate the arrival of Moshiach, as we draw nearer to our destination, we are permitted to talk about such things.

When we count the years for Moshiach's arrival, we count from Adam -  the word 'Adam' is an acronym for Adam/David/Moshiach.  David is in the middle of Adam and Moshiach, making it easy to calculate a year for Moshiach's arrival. [The soul of Moshiach appears in every generation, but so far no generation has been worthy of it's revelation]

 אדם 
  דוד 
משיח

Adam was born in the year 0. 

David HaMelech was born in 2854 and became King of Israel in the year 2891.

2854 is the middle year, multiply it by two and therefore 5708 is a year for Moshiach.  Obviously we didn't see Moshiach then but we did see the birth of the State of Israel [1948 on the Gregorian calendar].

We call David "King David'' and therefore we can count from the year he became King:  2891 - multiply it by 2... and we then get 5782.  [as everyone knows we are currently in the year 5781]

That doesn't mean Moshiach can't come before then, but this is the calculation Rabbi Anava was talking about.

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Is the End of the World Near ? Torah Secret that Reveals What's Coming

Rabbi Alon Anava, new shiur

Whoever Has Not Suffered

Art Oreshnikov and Milner


From the teachings of the Baal Shem Tov - Yitro

 
"The Jewish people were not exiled until they denied G·d and the dynasty of David." [Yalkut Shimoni, I Samuel #106]

"The only difference between the world at the present and the world at the time of the Messiah is the subjugation to the [gentile] kingdoms." [Tractate Pesachim 68a]

The Baal Shem Tov taught:

The Talmud teaches, "Whoever has not suffered for forty days has received thereby his future reward. And what is considered suffering? Even if one puts his hand into his pocket to take out a golden coin and instead takes out one of lesser value." [Tractate Erkhin 16b]

However, since suffering is only in atonement for liability, how can such minor inconvenience constitute atonement?

The explanation is that since the righteous person lives with G·d, he believes in Divine providence and knows that G·d is guiding all events in his life down to the smallest minutiae, and that all his suffering is an expression of Divine justice - DINA, which is represented by the Divine Name of ADoNaI - on account of his sins.

Hence, as soon as the righteous person suffers however slightly, he immediately [searches his soul and] regrets [any misdoing], and becomes filled with anxiety and fear of G·d. He is thus immediately forgiven, since he believes [that his suffering is from G·d], and he repents and binds his mind to G·d.

Therefore, even when one is only slightly inconvenienced by having not taken out the coin he intended, since this only happened because of his sin, and he [is aware of this and] repents, this constitutes atonement.

This concept is referred to as "David" [made from the letters daleth, vav, daleth] :-  for the Infinite One, Who is referred to as Ayin/Nothingness, is represented by the [first] daleth. "Nothingness" is then conveyed via the vav to the [second] dalet, which represents the nadir of nothingness, which is expressed by a belief that everything that happens is Divine providence from G·d.

However, when a person does not believe that everything that happens is Divine providence from G·d, but rather attributes things to his own actions, this is considered having denied G·d and the aforementioned concept of "David" for he is denying the justice [providence] of the Kingdom of G·d/ADoNaI.

But G·d's Kingdom is hidden and subservient to the kelipoth/shells that cover and conceal G·d's providence from mankind. (1) 

In the future, though, with the coming of the Messiah, who will banish the spirit of impurity from the earth, G·d's providence will be revealed even in the minutest of events.

With this we can understand, "The Jewish people were not exiled until they denied G·d and the dynasty of David" and "The only difference between the world at present and the world at the time of the Messiah is the subjugation to the [gentile] kingdoms."

Understand this well (2) for everything that a person is able to comprehend about G·d is only regarding His Malkhut/Kingdom, but above that cannot be comprehended.

1) These "shells" are the "laws" of nature, the apparent cause-and-effect, and in this case, the statistical but "chance probabilities" that seem to govern whether one picks the gold coin or the copper one from one's pocket.

2) Until here is quoted from the Toldot Yaakov Yoseph, VaYishlach #8. The conclusion is that of the compiler of the Kesser Shem Tov, and its relevance to the rest of the piece is not clear.

Thursday, November 12, 2020

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

History Repeating.....


This week's Haftorah tells how Dovid HaMelech's son Adoniyahu attempted to illegitimately seize the Kingship which was not rightfully his.

Using falsehood and deception, he caused some of the most respected and influential figures in King David's government to believe that he had been legitimately granted the Kingship.

The presence of the influential figures convinced the masses that his claim to the throne was legitimate, and he arranged a large celebration in anticipation of his ascension to be King, chanting and screaming ''Long Live our King Adoniyahu!"

Despite his brazen attempt to steal the crown - in the process convincing the masses that he was the legitimate heir to the throne - he was not successful, and David made clear who the rightful successor would be [his son Shlomo].

Adoniyahu is the same gematria as Biden  [76]

אדניהו
 
בּיידן

Hasidic Jews in New York

 

A 3 part video series, which I thought readers would find interesting.  Peter Santenello goes to Brooklyn to find out what really goes on in the Hasidic communities.  





No Revenge

 


Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Rabbi Predicts Trump Will Win... and much more

As usual, [cough] you saw Rabbi Weisberg here first.... now Tamar Yonah interviews him.  To see Rabbi Weisberg's previous lectures, click on the WEISBERG label below this post.

He predicted the last 3 US election winners, and now he says that Trump will win his 2nd term – this according to Biblical prophecies. Meet Rabbi Isser Weisberg, an educator, communal Rabbi and teacher of Judaic studies. He is widely known for his expertise on End Time prophecies and Jewish eschatology. He posts short lectures on youtube, and his latest, “A bump in Trump’s road to victory” – has gone viral. In it, he states that Vice President Joe Biden’s temporary glory will soon come crashing down. Is he right? And if so, how will the Democrats take this reversal of fate? Also, Rabbi Weisberg shares when the Messiah has to come by, and the war of Gog & Magog. A fascinating show!

 

Words of Comfort

Text by Naftali

For anyone who may be feeling the burden of these uncertain times, I would like to share some words of comfort. 

The verse states ״עֵת־צָרָה הִיא לְיַעֲקֹב וּמִמֶּנָּה יִוָּשֵׁעַ״  

“it is a time of distress for Jacob, through which he shall be saved.” [Jeremiah 30:7] 

The initial letters of the first three words in this verse spell the word ״עצה״ “Solution”. This coincides with the idea that GD puts the solution in place before the hardship. 

The initial letters of the last three words of this verse add up to the numerical value of “46” hinting at the current time where a 46th president seems to have been “elected”. 

There’s a solution in place, for our current time. Do not despair! Good things are on the horizon, from financial to health and everything you can and cannot imagine, the likes that we have never seen before.  

וְהַבּוֹטֵ֥חַ בַּֽ״ד חֶ֜֗סֶד יְסֽוֹבְבֶֽנּוּ'' “but as for him who trusts in the Lord- kindness will encompass him.” [Psalms 32:10]

See this video from Rabbi Glazerson for more. [Hebrew]



Sunday, November 8, 2020

עד - 74


I was wondering what we could gather from the fact that (1) Trump is 74 years old and (2) there are 74 days between the day of Joe Biden's seizure of the President Elect title and the day of the Inauguration.
One day for each of Trump's years on earth.

The word עד represents 74, and it is also these two specific letters, עד which are enlarged in the Torah scrolls in the passage of the Shema, the most important and well-known Hebrew prayer of all.




Interestingly, the same Hebrew root of the word Ad (A-U-D) {ע-ו-ד} also means witness and testimony. In fact one of the Hebrew names of the Ark of the Covenant is Aron Ha-Edut (ארון העדות)– literally means the Ark of the Testimony. [Source]

I believe this could be a hint to us regarding the ''witness and testimony'' in the Courts which will be taking place during these 74 days, and that we should have faith in Hashem's ability to turn it all around. V’nahafoch hu.

These are just some thoughts.... 

A Bump in Trump's Road to Victory

 Rabbi Isser Zalman Weisberg:  ''Biden's temporary glory will soon come crashing down''


Saturday, November 7, 2020

The 5,780 Year History of Joe Biden

 Rabbi Isser Weisberg, continuing his series ''Trump and the Messiah''

''This election is not about politics, but a battle of epic proportions.''

Friday, November 6, 2020

Putting the Alef into Exile = Geula


 Picture of the Rebbe by Leon Sternberg


Text by Binyamin HaLevi

The Lubavitcher Rebbe prophesied thirty years ago "that this year 5781 will be the year when I [Hashem] will surely show you Wondrous Miracles", it is appropriate that we open our eyes and bring the following quotation of the Rebbe:

 א - אלופו של עולם - גולה - גאולה 

As is known, that by bringing the Alef - א of אלופו של עולם - the commander of the world into the exile [גולה] – by our Torah activities and our Avoda throughout the period of exile, thereupon “depends the Geula” – coming from within the exile itself – the גאולה - Geula - Redemption. 

And more, since this comes because of the concealment and disguise of the exile, the revelation of the true and complete Geula will be a break-through of overwhelming strength, a Geula never to be followed by exile, “Hashem will rule for all eternity”.

More from the Rebbe on the revelation of Moshiach:

[How, moments before the appearance of the new moon - Royalty - King David [Moshiach] there will no sign in the events of the world of Moshiach's arrival. And this is immediately followed by the appearance and arrival of Moshiach. - Translator].

 ויאמר לו יהונתן מחר חודש ונפקדת כי יפקד מושבך 

And Yehonasan said to him [David] tomorrow is the first day of the new month and you will be remembered because your seat will be empty”, my father [King Saul] will be reminded of you and ask where you are?” [Shmuel 1.20.18]. 

And this is connected to מחר חודש tomorrow is the first day of the new month [moon]: before the first day of the month there is concealment - the moon is hidden, that up until the moment before birth of the moon there does not even remain a minute remnant [“the seat of David will be missing” - of Malchus - his Kingdom, the spiritual source of the moon]. And immediately thereafter comes [tomorrow -] the month, the birth of the moon appearing afresh “and you [King David] will be remembered”. 

Parshas Shemini 5752

Wednesday, November 4, 2020

"Trump and the Messiah" [updated]


In this 5 part video, Rabbi Isser Zalman Weisberg confirms some of Rabbi Kessin's theories, and adds several innovations of his own.  The videos are all very short, and he has entitled them ''Trump and the Messiah''.  He has no doubt about Trump's victory, and in this he concurs with Rabbi Kessin when he says that Hashem has given Trump a job to do and he's only half-way through it so far.  He is also in agreement that at the End of Days, Eisav does teshuva [enter Trump].

And who was the original soul of Donald Trump?   Rabbi Weisberg suggests that Trump is a gilgul [reincarnation] of  Eisav himself!






B'Hatzlacha !

 Wishing him a great success.  Im yirtze Hashem


Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Who Will Win the Election?

This is a very interesting shiur from Rabbi Anava. I'm listening to it now and thought it worth sharing.

Rabbi Anava, more than any other Rabbi on the internet, explains everything in a way that can be understood by Jews and nonJews alike.  He translates and he shows the text from the Torah in English so people can clearly see what is written there and understand that the Torah is not just a book, but in fact is a matrix which needs to be taught by a competent Rabbi.  

Listen to this shiur and see the incredible predictions from the Torah, which in hindsight we can see clearly have come about through the election of Donald Trump four years ago.  

The last half hour of this lecture may upset some people, because here Rabbi Anava talks about the destruction of America.  Whatever your personal opinion may be, bear the following in mind.... the Lubavitcher Rebbe prophesied that 5781 would be a Year of Wonders, and the Rebbe was and is a Tzaddik whose words were never incorrect.  


Sunday, November 1, 2020

Hidden Blessings



“A blessing rests only on something that is hidden from the eye.” [Taanit 5b]

"And they gave their father wine to drink on that night....."[Vayeira 19:33 ]


According to the Zohar, the dot on the word - וּבְקוּמָהּ - alludes to the fact that God was secretly assisting this event, because Moshiach was to materialize from it, since Ruth, King David's great-grandmother, was a convert from the Moabites.

The latter event between Lot and his younger daughter [19:35] is written without the letter vav, to indicate that the union did not produce such great offspring.  Rabbi  Shimon said "When the verses states that Lot wasn't aware, it means he wasn't aware that Moshiach was destined to come from this union."

Why should the beginnings of Moshiach occur in such an undignified manner?

Ramak explains that when a very lofty soul is about to descend into the world, the forces of kelipah [evil] oppose the soul's descent vehemently.  Sometimes, however, kelipah will consent to the soul's descent if it occurs amidst a particularly sinful act.  Thus we find that from this undesirable act the ancestor of Moshiach was born.

Source: Lubavitcher Rebbe

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Various Interesting News

Thank you to everyone who emailed me some of these links.

Tamar Yonah interviews Rabbi Mendel Kessin October 27 - Are we Hearing the Footsteps of Moshiach

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

The Dove's Message

Art: Charnine

"The dove came to him toward evening, and behold it had plucked an olive leaf with its beak"
[Noach 8:11]

Rashi, quoting a Midrash, recounts that the dove said to Noach: "Let my food be as bitter as an olive - as long as it is provided by the hand of HaKadosh Baruch Hu - and not as sweet as honey - if it will be provided by the hand of flesh and blood."

Why, asked the Dubno Maggid, would the dove make such a statement to Noach before taking leave of him and the ark?  Hadn't Noach so graciously provided for it and cared for all of its needs over the course of an entire year?

Rather, answered the Maggid, the dove was concerned that perhaps Noach would suspect that it had returned not because the flood had ended but because it knew that it would receive all of its food on the ark.  This is why the dove told Noach, "I have not returned for food. For I prefer to be sustained with food that is as bitter as olives, as long as it is provided by Hashem, rather than with food that is as sweet as honey but provided by man!"

Source: Rabbi Y. Bronstein

Friday, October 16, 2020

The Rescue of the Jews before the Redemption

 New Rabbi Mendel Kessin shiur


Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Garments of Leather



by Rabbi David Pinto Shlita

It is written “Hashem made for Adam and his wife garments of skin, and He clothed them” [Bereishit 3:21]

Why did G-d choose garments of skin to clothe Adam and his wife?

The author of Tzafnat Pa’aneach offers us a subtle explanation: When Adam discovered that he was naked and needed to be clothed, he was in a situation that required him to recite the Shecheyanu blessing, for he would be wearing a new garment. However the Halachah forbids a person from reciting a blessing if he is naked.

Adam was therefore faced with a dilemma: Should he recite a blessing for his first garment, and if so, how should he say it?

Hence the verse states, “Hashem G-d made for Adam and his wife garments of skin, and He clothed them.” It specifically mentions garments of skin because Shecheyanu is not recited over leather garments, since “His mercy extends to all His creatures” [Tehillim 145:9]. By fashioning garments of skin for Adam while he was still naked, Hashem exempted him from having to recite Shecheyanu.

Monday, October 12, 2020

Are We There Yet?

One of the conditions that will occur before Moshiach is that ''the pious will be despised''.

One major source describes the world-condition in those days as follows: increase in insolence and impudence; oppressing inflation; unbridled irresponsibility on the part of authorities; centers of learning will turn into bawdy houses; wars; many destitutes begging, with none to pity them; wisdom shall be putrid; the pious shall be despised; truth will be abandoned; the young will insult the old; family-breakup with mutual recriminations; impudent leadership.  Source: Chabad

A quick glance at any news outlet will show you many stories of the orthodox [Hareidi] celebrating the chagim amidst corona... whatever your opinion is, it is a fact that right now the pious are despised, accused of spreading corona. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

18 Tishrei Yahrzeit Rebbe Nachman of Breslov


Rebbe Nachman of Breslov's histalkus [ascent from the body] took place in Uman, a Ukrainian town in Kiev oblast, on the 18th of Tishrei, which is the second day of Chol HaMo'ed Succos, 5571 [Oct. 16, 1810]. According to his express wish, Rebbe Nachman was buried in the old Jewish cemetery, together with more than 20,000 martyrs of the Haidamack massacres of 5528 [1768]. His surviving family members included his second wife, who built over his grave the original Ohel [a wooden structure to accommodate those who wished to pray nearby]; his daughters Adel, Sarah, Miriam, and Chaya; and several grandchildren. According to one tradition, the Rebbe's father, Rabbi Simcha, survived him, as well. 

It is customary for Breslover Chasidim to gather together on "Chai Tishrei" in order to commemorate the Rebbe's Yahrzeit. As is commonly the case in the Breslov community, there are no special minhagim [customs] associated with this event, other than lighting a Yahrzeit candle, giving Tzedakah [charity] in Rebbe Nachman's memory, and engaging in the study of Rebbe Nachman's writings.

To read and learn Rebbe Nachman's teachings, click on the REBBE NACHMAN label below this post.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Where is the Satan on Yom Kippur?

 

Fundamentals of Repentance - Rabbi Mendel Kessin - given in 2017

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

5781: Heading for a Showdown

 by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh

…and their lifeblood is dashed against My garments and I have stained all My raiment. For the day of vengeance is in My heart and the year of My redeemed has come.” [Isaiah 63:3-4]

These two verses in the portion of Prophets read on the Shabbat before Rosh Hashanah always awaken our hopes: Perhaps this is the year that we have anticipated for so long? Perhaps this is the year of redemption?

“For the day of vengeance is in My heart.” God has a passion to take vengeance. The vengeance in this verse refers to Edom, but the essence of Edom is Israel’s age-old archenemy, Amalek. The numerical value of Amalek (עֲמָלֵק) is the same as doubt (סָפֵק), safek. Amalek represents doubt. These verses are particularly relevant this year.

The coming year is 5781 since the creation. It is customary to designate the year by discarding the thousands and thus this year is known as, תשפ”א, or 781, which is (among other important things) the numerical value of Israel-Amalek (יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲמָלֵק), together. This means that the coming year is a decisive one. We might go so far as to say that this year will see the final showdown between Israel and its archenemy, Amalek. God’s spirit will rest upon Israel “And the spirit of Havayah will rest upon him,” [the value of the words, “Israel” (יִשְׂרָאֵל) and “God’s spirit” (רוּחַ הוי’) together also equals 781] and Israel will defeat Amalek. Israel will defeat doubt.

Vengeance on Doubt

What is the doubt that we must defeat? After the Israelites in the desert asked, “Is God in our midst or not?”[1] the following verse says, “And Amalek came and made war with Israel.” Amalek attacks us with the most painful and destructive doubt of all: Is God here, present, and with us, or is He not? Amalek has the power to make us doubt the existence of that which is clearly here.

“For the day of vengeance is in My heart.” The commentators explain that “in My heart” means that the desire to take vengeance on Amalek has been in God’s heart for generations, as is written, “God’s war with Amalek from generation to generation.”[2] It is as if God has restrained Himself throughout the years, but now the time has come. The entire movie is nothing more than a backdrop for the showdown. The showdown, the climax of the movie, is upon us.

The heart is the seat of desire. “The day of vengeance in My heart” means that God has a desire for that day to arrive. If God has this desire, why does He restrain Himself? God fulfills the teaching in the holy Zohar and the holy Tanya: “The mind controls the heart.”[3] This means that the intellect controls one’s passions and desires. We generally think of passion or lust in negative terms, as the evil inclination or the animal soul. But there are also positive passions: “The cravings of the righteous are strictly good.”[4] God is the Tzaddik, the Righteous of the world, and certainly, His desires are all positive. But the mind also controls positive desires. It reins them in if the time has not yet come. The mind sees the possible outcome of the fulfillment of a particular desire and knows when the proper time has come. It controls the desire of the heart so that it will wait for the exact moment—for “the year of My redeemed has come.”

The Mind’s Inner Dimension is Pleasure

Sometimes, however, the desire is so strong that the person’s mind cannot overcome it. An example of this would be when Joseph could no longer hold himself back and revealed his identity to his brothers. It is then that the inner dimension of the heart enters the arena to control the mind. In spite of the power of the heart’s inner dimension wanting to reveal the year of redemption, the mind’s inner dimension can still exercise control over the heart’s inner dimension. So, the wait may continue until the mind’s inner dimension has decided that the time is right.

What is the difference between the mind’s inner dimension and the ‘regular’ mind that controls the heart? When we say that the mind controls the heart, we mean that the mind, which sees the potential repercussions or outcomes of a particular action, perceives that the time is not yet ripe—the mind judges that the world is not yet ready. The perfect, precise backdrop is needed for “the year of My redeemed has come.”

The inner dimension of the mind is about something entirely different. It represents the feeling of Divine pleasure—it senses the exact moment when revealing, “the year of My redeemed” will cause the most pleasure. In Kabbalistic terms, the mind’s inner dimension is described as “the inner dimension of partzuf Abba [the father principle]” and this is equated with, “the inner dimension of Atik” (פְּנִימִיּוֹת אַבָּא פְּנִימִיּוֹת עַתִּיק), which in Chassidic thought is called “pleasure.” Thus, though in His heart, God desires “a day of vengeance” upon Amalek, in the inner aspects of the mind, God’s essential pleasure dictates otherwise. The time has not yet come for the manifestation of this essential pleasure. And so, we wait… until now. The showdown is always the movie’s climax, the high point of the entire story. It is “the year of My redeemed has come.”

Amalek’s Conversion

There is an important debate between the sages as to whether it is permissible to accept converts from Amalek. Maimonides determines that it is permissible, but there are many others who say that it is forbidden and that Amalekites must literally be killed, as in the verse, “Erase the memory of Amalek from beneath the heavens, do not forget.”[5] Maimonides writes that before going to war with Amalek, we offer peace. If he is willing to fulfill the seven Noahide commandments and to be subservient to Israel, he is accepted as a ger toshav, a foreign resident who accepts the Torah’s authority and the seven Noahide laws. Some sages say that if an Amalekite is willing to accept the conditions for becoming a ger toshav, he can then proceed to full conversion.

We see from this that there is a rectification for Amalek. It is written that the descendants of Haman (the Amalekite) taught Torah in Bnai Brak.[6] If they were teaching Torah in Bnai Brak, somebody must have converted them. There are opinions that they were accepted without knowledge of their lineage, which only became known after they converted. Nonetheless, we see that something good can come of Amalek—he can even become a Jew! Interestingly, the numerical value of “an Amalekite convert (גֵּר עֲמָלֵקִי) is equal to that of “the King Mashiach” (מֶלֶךְ הַמָּשִׁיחַ)!

[1] Exodus 17:7.

[2] Exodus 17:16.

[3] Tanya A 12.

[4] Proverbs 11:23.

[5] Deuteronomy 25:19.

[6] Sanhedrin 96b.