Friday, March 26, 2021

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

Forgetfulness and its Connection to Moshiach

 

by Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh

In his commentary on Sefer Hapelee’ah, Rabbi Shimshon of Ostropoli continues that there is an evil angel designated over forgetfulness. If he meets you, he causes you to forget everything you know. The name of this angel is Reev, which literally means “dispute” (רִיב). Recall (remember!) that the mitzvah of Purim is to remember; to remember what Amalek did to us and to not forget. 

Why is forgetfulness so prevalent today? Because the angel Reev is making us forget what we should remember. In other words, every time we get into an argument or a dispute, we are “meeting” the angel Reev and the result is that we forget things. Rabbi Shimshon does not write this, but the first conclusion that we can draw is that arguing is not worthwhile because the person who starts a dispute is destined to forget. Politics is all about dispute and therefore it is no wonder that politicians cannot remember any of the promises they made. 

There is another synonym in Hebrew for “dispute”: matzah (מַצָּה). According to some grammarians, the matzah that we eat on Passover is actually the same word as this word that means “dispute.” Rabbi Shimshon Rephael Hirsch (another Shimshon!) writes that the process that causes dough to leaven is called matzah, because it is as if the water and the flour are fighting, and from their fight, energy is created that causes the dough to rise. The matzah that we eat on Pesach is the opposing force to the Biblical term for “dispute” (מַצָּה וּמְרִיבָה). Eating matzah on Pesach is our first antidote against being argumentative and a remedy for our forgetfulness. 

Can a sage forget? 

The Talmud brings a truly wondrous story about one of the greatest Mishnaic sages, Rabbi Elazar ben Arach. According to Abba Shaul, Rabbi Elazar ben Arach was the greatest of Rabbi Yochanan Ben Zakai’s disciples. So great, that, “If all the sages of Israel were on one side of a scale, even with Eliezer Ben Horkanus on their side, and Elazar Ben Arach was on the other side, he would outweigh them all.”[1]  

The Talmud relates[2] that Rabbi Elazar Ben Arach went to rest at a healing resort. This resort had special, fine wine and unique, healing bathing waters—even better than the Dead Sea waters. Rabbi Elazar Ben Arach became immersed in those two pleasures. The sages say that the Ten Tribes were exiled because they sank into the pleasures of this world, the peak of which were that fine wine and bathing waters. They are not in agreement as to whether they will ever return.[3]  

The same thing happened to the great tzaddik, Rabbi Elazar Ben Arach, who went to that same healing site and sank into the pleasures of the finest wine and the healing waters. Over time, he forgot all that he had learned. When he returned to the sages, they honored him with reading from the Torah. The Torah portion of that week was Parashat Hachodesh—the special reading for the Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh Nissan. Instead of reading, “This month is for you…” (הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם), Rabbi Elazar mistakenly read: “Was their heart deaf?” (הַחֵרֵשׁ הָיָה לִבָּם). 

Rabbi Shimshon explains that this entire story is connected to numbers. According to Sefer Hapelee’ah, the angel designated over forgetting, Reev, has 605 soldiers. When Rabbi Elazar Ben Arach forgot and mistakenly read, “Was their heart deaf?” the words he confused were הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם. The letters he replaced them with were, הַחֵרֵשׁ הָיָה לִבָּם, and they spell רִיב, the name of the angel of forgetfulness, who caused Rabbi Elazar Ben Arach to forget everything he had learned! The greatest sage of Israel went up to read the Torah, and instead of saying, “This month is for you…” (הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם), he read: “Was their heart deaf?” (הַחֵרֵשׁ הָיָה לִבָּם), whose value is exactly 605—the 605 soldiers of Reev, according to Sefer Hapelee’ah. 

Remedy for Reev 

How else can we rectify Reev? Rearranging the letters of Reev (רִיב), we get Rebbe (רַבִּי)! Instead of engaging in dispute, we should be engaging with our Rebbe. Some people do have a rebbe, which causes them to argue with everyone else. This is not a genuine connection to a rebbe. We must connect with a rebbe who teaches us not to fight with anyone. The Rebbe the Rashab (the fifth Rebbe of Chabad) related that the Alter Rebbe of Chabad had chassidim who negated other chassidim and tzaddikim. Due to that, they did not manage to truly embrace the teachings of Chassidut and its lifestyle. The angel Reev made them forget the Chassidut and inner service of God that they had learned—just like Rabbi Elazar Ben Arach. Those who did not have disputes with others were able to embrace the teachings of Chassidut.  

In the previous chapter of this article, we mentioned that the word meaning “according to the law” (כַּדָּת)—an important word in the Scroll of Esther—is written on the Mashiach’s forehead. The numerical value of this word, כַּדָּת, equals twice the value of Reev (רִיב). Amazingly, the numerical value of the phrase from the Torah that Rabbi Elazar Ben Arach read incorrectly, “This month is for you…” (הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם), is exactly the same as the numerical value of this word, “according to the law” (כַּדָּת)! We mentioned that this is also the value of “Mashiach Ben David” (מָשִׁיחַ בֶּן דָּוִד)! 

In the phrase, “This month is for you…” (הַחֹדֶשׁ הַזֶּה לָכֶם), the word for “month” (הַחֹדֶשׁ) can also be pronounced, with a change of vowels, as “new” (הֶחָדָשׁ). Mashiach Ben David is the energy of renewal and innovation; innovations in Torah, innovations in reality, and renewal of love for one another. Everything must be renewed—in a way that is all according to the law. This is the energy and power of Mashiach Ben David, the power that is inscribed on his forehead.

Monday, March 22, 2021

Before Redemption, A Great Roaring of Water



Looking at the east coast of Australia right now.....it reminded me of this blog post about a great roaring of water.

Last year it was fire, this year it's water.  The great floods of 2021, which you can read about here

I'm not in a flood zone, but I feel the pain of those who are.

****************************

[originally published at Yiddishkeit.org by R. Yaakov Nathan]

The prophectic words of the Previous Lubavitcher Rebbe, from the newsletter HaKria V’HaKedusha [Tammuz, 5704/1944]
Translation from Shmais.com


Psalm 93
The Lord is King; He has garbed Himself with grandeur;
the Lord has robed Himself, He has girded Himself with strength;
He has also established the world firmly that it shall not falter.
Your throne stands firm from of old; You have existed forever.
The rivers have raised, O Lord, the rivers have raised their voice; the rivers raise their raging waves.
More than the sound of many waters, than the mighty breakers of the sea, is the Lord mighty on High.
Your testimonies are most trustworthy; Your House will be resplendent in holiness, O Lord, forever.

This chapter of Tehillim was composed by the G-dly poet regarding Yemos Ha’Moshiach (the Messianic days). He hints briefly at the events which will take place before the geula (redemption). The central theme of the chapter is that the Jews living at that time will understand by means of these events, that the galus (exile) is over and geula (redemption) has begun.

Hashem will be king by wearing greatness! We generally think the world is run by nature and we forget entirely that there is a G-d who rules over nature. It’s only when an unnatural occurrence takes place such as a flood, earthquake, and other terrible upheavals–that we remember that there’s a ruler of the world who rules over nature; Then all will say that G-d is king! He put nature aside and showed his absolute sovereignty over nature.

The poet goes on to speak about the time when Hashem will be revealed in clothes of gevura (judgement) and the world will recognize and acknowledge that He is king. He explains that this will happen during Yemos Ha’Moshiach before the geula because "Hashem wore the gevura" which he girded Himself with in the past. Gevura refers to Torah, and Hashem girded Himself with its strength at the time of the giving of the Torah to the Jewish people at Sinai. At that time there were such strong thunder and lightning that the nations of the world thought the world was coming to an end. Bilaam explained to them that Hashem is giving might to His people–that Hashem was giving his strong Torah to His people, and it has the power to build worlds or destroy them.

Regarding this the poet says that in Yemos Ha’Moshiach, when Hashem will be king by wearing gevura, he won’t do this by wearing a new garment of gevura which is designated for a new purpose. It will be the old garment of Mattan Torah (the giving of the Torah), of Hashem's giving might to His people. Hashem will rise to fortify the Torah in the world, and just as when it was given the first time it ws accompanied with proof that He is the ruler over nature, so too the second time. The process of kabbolas ha’Torah (receiving the Torah) will include displays of gevura whose purpose is that the entire world accepts the Torah. But, continues the poet, He has also established the world firmly that it shall not falter.: many will err and think that Hashem is destroying the world. That’s why the poet writes that the world will remain fortified and it will not falter. It will only be the Jewish people and the Torah which will be elevated once again: Hashem is giving might to His people!

Your throne stands firm from of old; You have existed forever: already before the creation of the world when Hashem was alone You have existed forever – You prepared Your throne of Your kingdom. The purpose of the creation is in order to strengthen Torah and the Jewish people; the Torah –  as the Sages say: "for the sake of Torah which is called 'first,' the world was created". Already back then it was established that Hashem would come enclothed in gevura in order to fortify a place for Torah. This time it won’t be in order to destroy the world, but in order to fortify the Torah, and to bring about the realization of the promise "and Hashem will be king over all the world" through this – that the world will gain knowledge of Torah (and accept it) through the Jewish people.

The rivers have raised, O Lord, the rivers have raised their voice; the rivers raise their raging waves: the literal meaning of the verse is that the rivers will lift up Hashem; the rivers will raise their voice, the rivers will make a lot of noise! This means that the roaring and raging of the rivers will elevate Hashem. The only meaning in this is that Hashem will be uplifted by His making the oceans roar before the geula. Through this noise everybody will understand that Hashem is elevated.

The practical conclusion is that the roaring rivers will bring great changes to the world; for example: they will drown an entire nation or at least a great portion, and this natural disaster will cause a revolution in man’s perspective. They will see this as a G-dly punishment. It’s also possible that this natural disaster will change the world political map by a chain of events which will begin with that nation that drowns.

In summary: before the geula there will be a great roaring of water which will shake the world with its intensity, to the point that the world will return to elevate Hashem. That’s how we can understand the verse–that the waters will elevate Hashem by means of their noise and rage.

More than the sound of many waters, than the mighty breakers of the sea, is the Lord mighty on High: the sound of the many waters will cause the powerful ones to break, and then Hashem will be the powerful One. This means that as a result of the crashing waters, the mighty ones of the earth will be wiped out. World empires will collapse in the face of the water’s strength and then people will acknowledge and agree that Hashem is the only mighty One in heaven.

Your testimonies are most trustworthy; Your House will be resplendent in holiness, O Lord, forever: The ones who relate your testimony are very loyal; holiness suits Your house; G-d–will be forever! The G-dly poet concludes the chapter with a description of the world after all of humanity will acknowledge Hashem’s kingdom. The world will say that the prophecies about Hashem and the geula of the Jewish people were absolutely true. This means that at the time of the complete geula it will be obvious–Jews will return to Eretz Yisrael and the Beis Hamikdash (Holy Temple) will be rebuilt, and all the nations of the world will be drawn there in order to learn G-d’s ways from up close.

The nations will also say–Your House will be resplendent in holiness–holiness suits the Beis Hamikdash; i.e. holiness will return and rest in the Beis Hamikdash as in the past, and the nations will acknowledge this. You have to say that this is the intention of the poet because these promises were not fulfilled yet. Nobody can say "Your testimonies are most trustworthy", that all the prophecies have come true. And nobody can say "Your House will be resplendent in holiness" without it being actually so.

The nations will ask Hashem to continue to have His Presence rest in the Beis Hamikdash forever. This indicates the perfection of the geula of the Jewish people–that the nations won’t bother them at all, to the point that the nations themselves will ask Hashem to continue to have His Presence rest in the Beis Hamikdash.

The poet, as is his way, is brief but that leaves us with little in quantity but a lot in quality. This psalm contains everything about geula, including the eve of geula and the "end of days." The central motif of the chapter are the roaring waters which will demonstrate Hashem’s might and transform humanity entirely in a spiritual way. These roaring waters will be the sign of the beginning of the complete geula. Following it, the glory of Hashem, the Torah and the Jewish people will be elevated in the world until true peace will reign and all the prophecies will be realized in their entirety.

We can only wait for those great stormy waters which will force the nations to admit that Hashem is king–all will have to concede that this is not a natural disaster but an act of G-d.

Note: In the "HaKri’a V’hakedusha" of Tammuz 5704 (1944) which was edited under the Previous Rebbe’s supervision, this article appears under the name G. Zarchi about chapter 93 in Tehillim, based on Midrash and words of the Sages.

Thursday, March 18, 2021

The Essence of Pesach Part 1 - Audio

 Rabbi Mendel Kessin

Shiur given 3/15/21


Friday, March 12, 2021

A Flawless Mitzvah




"Every generous person shall bring it" [Vayakhel 35:5]

A benefactor donated a large plot of land for R' Meir Shapiro's yeshivah, Yeshivas Chachmei Lublin.  At the ceremony for the laying of the cornerstone of the building, the benefactor was accorded great honor and seated at the head table reserved for the distinguished guests.

Sitting next to the man was R' Yisrael of Chortkov, who turned to him and said "I do not envy you over this mitzvah because it will lead to great honor.  I do envy you, however, for the mitzvah that you performed secretly, the one that lead to this one [see Avot 4:2].  For that must have been a flawless mitzvah if it was capable of leading to a mitzvah as great as this one."

Source: Rabbi Y. Bronstein
 

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Moshiach's Current Struggle

Three new lectures by Rabbi Mendel Kessin have been uploaded, here they are: 

Moshiach's Current Struggle - given 2/8/21



The 8 Phases of Geula - given 1/8/21


The Erev Rav and the Satan's Fight for Survival - given 2/1/21

Monday, March 8, 2021

Friday, March 5, 2021

Adversity is the Clue to Your Mission

Rabbi Y. Y. Jacobson - a one minute video


Thursday, March 4, 2021

The Rebbe of Rebbes - Yarzheit 21 Adar

"Today, in our bitter exile, there are people who receive ruach hakodesh more easily than in the time of the prophets." [Noam Elimelech]

Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk was the student of Dov Ber of Mezerich, the brother of Meshulam Zushia of Anipoli. He was born in 1717, and died on 21 Adar in 1786  [ this year - Friday 4 March]

During the lifetime of Dov Ber of Mezerich he traveled widely with his brother all over Poland to spread Hassidism. After Dov Ber's death, Rebbe Elimelech settled in Lizhensk and attained great fame, thanks to his lofty life. During his lifetime, Lizhensk was turned into a center of Polish-Galician Hassidism. There, many famous Tzadikim and Hassidic activists of Galicia were educated and obtained their inspiration during the 18th century.

Rebbe Elimelech is the author of “Noam Elimelech” [Lvov 1798], a book of commentaries on the Pentateuch. In that book, the role of a Tzadik is set out and explained, and the doctrine of Hassidism is explained in greater detail. This book was subject to an intense investigation by the opponents of Hassidism. Many of his expositions are published in his work “Darche Tzedek”, and other works.

The Melitzer Rebbe shlit'a, a direct descendant of the "Noam Elimelech", stated that Rebbe Yisroel of Ruzhin said that 500 years before Rebbe Elimelech was born, the world received abundance in his merit. Now, after his death, even more so!

It is said that Rabbi Elimelech promised anyone who would visit his grave that they would not leave this world without teshuva.

Kever of Rabbi Elimelech in Lizensk, Poland [Photo: יהונתן וואקסמאן]

Ohel of Rebbe Elimelech, Lizensk Poland [Photo: יהונתן וואקסמאן]

After Rebbe Elimelech passed away, Rebbe Reb Zisha of Hanipoli was approached by his brother’s students to be their new leader. Rabbi Zisha declined and explained his reason with a parable. “The possuk in Bereshis 2:10 states “And a river went forth from Eden to water the garden and from there it split into four paths.”

The Torah is eternal and alludes to all events above and below for all generations. Eden alludes to our holy master the Baal Shem Tov. The river was his student the holy Mezitcher Maggid. The garden refers to my brother the Rebbe Elimelech.

This then is the meaning: a river flows from Eden to water the garden, the Torah flows as water from the Baal Shem Tov by way of the Mezritcher Maggid to the Rebbe Elimelech. From there it separates into four paths: they are :

1.The Holy Rebbe the Chozeh or Seer of Lublin;
2.The Holy Rebbe Avodas Yisrael the Koznitzer Maggid;
3. The Holy Rebbe Mendel Rimanover; and
4.The Holy Ohev Yisrael the Apta Rav.

Stories of Noam Elimelech

The Light of The Rebbe’s Prayer Sash
related by the Rabbi of Madin, grandson of the Ropshitzer
Rebbe Elimelech had a custom that after the afternoon Mincha service he would converse with his close followers. He would then proceed to a special private room to pray the evening Maariv service alone in seclusion, purity and sanctity.

Rabbi Naftali Ropshitzer, a student of the Rebbe always yearned to also be in that room. He constantly wished to see the deeds of his Rebbe and how he prayed at that time. Once he stole into the room unnoticed and hid beneath the bed. The holy Rebbe entered and closed the door behind him. He took his “gartel,” the traditional sash or belt used by Hassidim for prayer and preceded to fasten it about himself.

The first time he wound the sash about his waist the whole house was filled with an awesome unbelievable light. The second time he tied the gartel winding it around, the light grew in intensity until the Ropshitzer could no longer endure it. He grew weak and found himself fainting. He called out in a loud voice.

Rebbe Elimelech heard the cries of distress coming from his student and recognized their source. “Naftali my son are you here?” the Rebbe asked. “Fortunately, you did not remain here for the third and final time I wound the gartel. If you had remained your soul would have surely left your body from the intensity of the great light. Therefore leave now.”

An unusual guest for Tea
related in the name of The Shinover Rebbe

The author of the Hasidic work Maor va’Shemesh was a student of the Rebbe Elimelech. Once he asked the Rebbe Elimelech to be allowed to serve him, thereby learning directly from his Rebbe. Rebbe Elimelech conceded and asked him for a cup of tea. After preparing the tea, the student entered the room to give it to the Rebbe. Inside he saw the awesome figure of an old man sitting beside Rebbe Elimelech. He was overcome by fear, trembling and shaking so much so that he dropped the cup spilling the tea on the floor and ran out.

Later Rebbe Elimelech saw his student and asked him why he hadn’t given him the tea he requested. He answered that he had brought it but when he saw the figure of the old man he was so frightened he spilled the tea. The Rebbe then said to him in Yiddish “Oy vey iz das kind voos ken nisht kiken dem taten in poonim arayn: Woe is to the child who cannot look his own father in the face.” That old man you saw was none other than our forefather Avraham peace be upon him!

More information can be found at : JewishGen

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Holiness Flew Away

 

by Rabbi David Hanania Pinto Shlita

"He shattered them at the foot of the mountain" [Ki Tisa 32:19]

Rabbi Avraham Chizkuni in his sefer 'Shtei Yadot', explains how Moshe could break the Luchot, even though one is forbidden to break vessels out of anger. He quotes the Maharsha in his commentary on Masechet Shabbat (105b), who says that there is no prohibition to tear something insignificant and not substantial. 

The Yerushalmi in Masechet Shekalim brings that when Am Yisrael made the Golden Calf, the letters flew from the Luchot. It follows then that when Moshe broke the Luchot they were already considered as 'insignificant' and not a substantial object, so there was no prohibition of shattering them in his anger.

Monday, March 1, 2021

Not Accountable

Someone close to someone close to me committed suicide last week.  I was searching on the internet for something sensible to say to one of the relatives, and to be honest, I couldn't find much there that felt right.

Until I read this:

Jewish law forbids the taking of one’s own life. It is considered a grave sin. And yet, in most cases of suicide, the law assumes a suicide victim to have been severely ill, to the point that he or she cannot be held accountable. The understanding is that if these people were healthy, if they were cognizant of the gravity of what taking their lives would mean, they would never have willingly chosen to carry out the horrific act. In cases of impaired mental health, a suicide victim is exactly that. A victim. A victim of a terrible, horrible, devastating illness that needs to be addressed head-on, without embarrassment or reprisals or stigma.  Source

That is why a ''suicide'' is always given the benefit of the doubt and permitted to be buried in a Jewish cemetary, and not on the outskirts of the cemetery.  We do not know the state of mind of the suicide, even if we may think we do.  We always say that the person was ''out of their mind''.

I think this is a very comforting thing to think, whether or not it is true, that is something we will never know.  But most of the time, it probably is true.

Friday, February 26, 2021

The Purim Codes


I used to blog this every year on Purim, here it is again after a few missing years, for those who have never seen it. It never gets old.  
Chag sameach !


[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.

Thursday, February 25, 2021

A Mysterious Guest's Purim Secret

Rav Chaim Volozhin's Purim Secret From A Mysterious Guest

One Purim an old man appeared at Rav Chaim Volozhin's Purim seuda. Rav Chaim gave him a coin for tzedaka. The old man then said that if he gives him another coin, he will tell him a Chiddush in the Megila. Rav Chaim agreed and the old man asked a question.

The Medrash says that after the gezeira of Haman, Moshe Rabbeinu told Eliyahu HaNavi to go tell Mordechai to daven on earth while they will daven in Shamayim. Eliyahu told Moshe that he already saw that the gezeira was signed and sealed in Shamayim so there was no chance of salvation. Moshe asked, was the seal made out of earth or blood. Eliyahu said it was out of earth. In that case said Moshe Rabbeinu there is still hope.

Where, asked the old man, do we see in the Megila that the seal was not from blood? Rav Chaim didn't answer and the old man continued. The Megila says that Haman plotted to destroy the Yehudim, "U'Liabdam". If you break the word U'Liabdam into two words it says "V'Lo B'Dam", the decree was not sealed in blood.

Rav Chaim was so excited about this answer that when he went to visit his Rebbi the Vilna Gaon, he repeated it to him. The Vilna Gaon also became emotional upon hearing this and told Rav Chaim that the "old man" was none other than the old man who revealed this secret over 2,000 years ago during the story of Purim. It was Eliyahu HaNavi himself.

Women's Tehillim United Teleconference

 


Wednesday, February 24, 2021

New Shiur: The Essence of Purim

 Audio from Rabbi Shimon Kessin - shiur given Feb 21, 2021


Powerful Prayer Day

Many classic sources tell us that Purim represents a special opportunity for one’s prayers to be answered.

The Sefer Kav HaYosher says the following: Taanis Esther is a day that is very auspicious for one’s prayers to be answered in the merit of Mordechai and Esther. Whoever needs mercy for any particular needs should put aside time for themselves and do the following: First, recite Chapter 22 in Tehilim. Then, pour out your heart to Hashem and ask for all your needs and mention the merit of Mordechai and Esther [whose merits saved us from Haman]. The Gates of Mercy will be opened and your prayers will be accepted beratzon. 
More segulot for Purim at Zchus Avos

The Ritv”a in his commentary to Megillah 7a quotes the Talmud Yerushalmi which explains regarding the fulfillment of the obligation to give matanos la’evyonim [gifts to the poor] on Purim, that kol ha’posheit yado leetol yitnu lo - we give to anyone who extends his hand to receive”. This is to say that on this festive day we give money to everyone who asks, without first checking to see if they truly are poor and worthy of receiving tzedakah funds. The Chasam Sofer writes that just as we are not particular if the people to whom we give charity on Purim are truly deserving, and whoever extends his hand gets helped, so, too, does G-d listen to all our prayers on this special day, and kol ha’posheit yado leetol yitnu lo – He gives to anyone who extends his hand to receive.

Also see: Purim's Golden Opportunity

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The Cosmic Symphony

 Rabbi Y. Y. Jacobson: a one minute video


The Year of the Threes


We are in the year of 3's.  It is 3,333 years since the Torah was given to the Jewish people in the year 2,448  and Purim this  year [15 Adar] falls on Shabbat which means it is a three day festival... click here to understand why.  

According to Rabbi Berland, this year is the year of Redemption.  I mention this because Rabbi Berland spoke about it many years ago, and Rabbi Glazerson now has a Torah Codes video reminding people of what he said.

You can view the video here.

The Rav Berland site is down for maintenance but a cached version can be viewed here to see exactly what he said back in 5775.

Also, we have seen a great deal of snow this year... America, Israel just to mention two countries and the gematria of snow - שֶׁלֶג -is 333.

Monday, February 22, 2021

The Torah is Light

''To light up the lamp continuously'' [Tetzaveh 27:20]

The Ner Tamid  [perpetual candle] which the Kohen Gadol kindled in the Beis HaMikdash symbolized the Torah, as the verse states: ''The Torah is light'' [Mishlei 6:23]

In the same way that the Ner Tamid was never extinguished, and its light was a constant source of illumination, so too, the radiance of the Torah will always shine upon the world and its inhabitants.

Each and every individual is commanded to fulfill the precept of ''You should contemplate it day and night'' [Yehoshua 1:8].  By upholding this commandment we ensure that the Torah's light continuously shines and illuminates the world.

**********
The Vilna Gaon's diligence in Torah study was legendary. His days were spent in his room, delving into the depths of the Torah with every ounce of strength that he possessed.

On one occasion, the Gaon's sister arrived from a distant land in order to pay him a visit.  This was by no means a minor event, as the two had not seen each other for some fifty years !

The Gaon went out to greet his sister and, as the halachah dictates, recited the blessing that is said upon seeing an acquaintance that one has not seen for a long time - ''Blessed are You, Hashem... Who resuscitates the dead.''

After concluding the blessing, the Gaon said to his sister: ''My dear sister. I know that we have not seen one another for quite some time. However, when I leave this world and am called before the Heavenly Tribune, I will be asked to give an accounting for every single second of my life.  Each moment of time will be scrutinized and judged on whether or not it was utilized studying Torah and performing Hashem's mitzvos.  How, then, can I waste away the precious time that I have been allotted, by engaging in trivial conversations?''

''I therefore beg your forgiveness, but I must return to my room and resume my Torah study.''

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Thursday, February 18, 2021

The Lesson of the Tachash

 



by Rabbi David Hanania Pinto

"Tachash skins, acacia wood" [Terumah 25:5]

Chazal say (Shabbat 28b) that the tachash was a beautiful, multi-colored animal that was created for the purpose of building the Mishkan and then disappeared and is no longer found. So the entire reason for its creation was only for a specific time. The question is, why did Hashem create a special creature at the time of the building the Mishkan and then conceal it? Seemingly He could have made it a permanent creation so that it would be ready for its use in the Mishkan. And if the goal was that it should be a rare, unique creature that would be sighted only at the time of building the Mishkan, Hashem could have hidden it away in the distant forests and revealed it only when it was needed for the Mishkan. What lies behind this special act of creation specifically for the sake of the Mishkan? 

It seems that one can derive the following lesson from the creation of the tachash. Hashem wished to teach us that just as the Mishkan required a specific item, the skin of the tachash which was unavailable in the world, and therefore Hashem fashioned a special creation, so too man who is comparable to the Mishkan, (his mind is compared to the Aron HaBrit, his eyes to the Menorah, his mouth to the Shulchan etc.), must create and form within himself renewed strength to elevate himself in his service of Hashem. Even if his strength is waning, he should not give up but should toil with his last remaining strength, as it says in Mishlei (2:4-5), "If you seek it as [if it were] silver, if you search for it as [if it were] hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of Hashem, and discover the knowledge of G-d". This implies that if a person wants to understand the extent to which he must toil to acquire Yirat Shamayim and understanding of the Torah and what strengths he possesses for this, he should try to create a visual picture of the strength he would invest to search for silver and hidden treasures. 

Let us picture an extremely tired man who is long bereft of strength and since he is overcome with tiredness he leaves everything and lays his head down to rest somewhat. It is quite clear to all that if this person would suddenly receive a phone call announcing that he had won the lottery, he would immediately jump up like a lion, forget his tiredness and run to claim his prize because he is afraid of missing the chance. How sad it is that there are people who run after money and work the entire day but when the time comes for them to immerse themselves in Torah study, suddenly their tiredness overwhelms them and they cannot keep their eyes open to learn. 

This requires much work on one's middot, to create renewed strength for the sake of studying Torah which is more precious than gold and pearls. Since Hashem wanted to teach man that he must create new strengths when it comes to Torah study, even in a situation when it seems like a truly new creation of something from nothing, He therefore, did not create the tachash during the Six Days of Creation but singled out its creation for the time of the building of the Mishkan. Man, who is like a miniature Mishkan, should know that he must cleave to Hashem's ways and renew his strength when it comes to studying the Torah and fulfilling its mitzvot.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Terumah: The Tachash and the Erev Rav


by Rabbi Chanan Morrison

The Talmud gives an account of the enigmatic Tachash, a mysterious creature whose beautiful multicolored hide was used as a covering for the Tabernacle:

“The Tachash that lived in the time of Moses was a unique species. The Sages could not determine whether it was domesticated or wild. It only appeared at that time for Moses, who used it for the Tabernacle. Then it vanished.” [Shabbat 28b] What is the significance of this unique animal? What was its special connection to Moses, that it made its appearance only during his lifetime? And why did Moses incorporate the colorful Tachash in the Tabernacle, albeit only for its outermost covering?

Mixed Blessings from Mixed Multitudes
The Tachash is said to have had one horn, this picture is
for illustrative purposes only, and not a real Tachash

In Aramaic, the Tachash is called Sasgona, for it was proud (sas) of its many vivid colors (gona). According to Rav Kook, the multihued Tachash is a metaphor, representing Moses’ desire to include as many talents and gifts as possible when building the Jewish people - even talents that, on their own, might have a negative influence upon the people. The metaphor of the Tachash specifically relates to Moses’ decision to allow the Erev Rav - “mixed multitudes” from other nations - join the Israelites as they left Egypt.

The Erev Rav were the source of much grief. They instigated the Sin of the Golden Calf and other rebellions against God in the wilderness. And their descendants throughout the generations continued to bring troubles upon Israel. Nevertheless, at the End of Days, all the troubles these difficult and diverse forces caused will be revealed as having been for the best, as the absorption of the Erev Rav served to enrich the Jewish people.

One disturbing aspect of the Erev Rav is the phenomenon of many dynamic forces abandoning the Jewish nation during its long exile among the nations. Yet this is not a true loss, since only that which was foreign to the inner spirit of Israel is cast off. These lost elements of the Erev Rav were ultimately incompatible with Knesset Yisrael, the national soul of Israel; thus they were unable to withstand the pressures and hardships of exile. It saddens us to lose that which we thought was part of Israel, but in fact, they were never truly assimilated within the nation’s soul.

This outcome benefits the world at large. As these ‘fallen leaves’ join the other nations, they bring with them much of what they absorbed from the holiness of Israel. As a result, other peoples have become more receptive to Israel’s spiritual message.

Could the Tachash be Domesticated?

The Sages were in doubt as to the ultimate fate of the multi-talented Erev Rav. Would they be truly absorbed within Israel, enriching the people and remaining forever a part of it? Or would they only serve as a positive influence on the world, outside the camp of Israel?

The Sages expressed this uncertainty by questioning whether the Tachash was a domestic creature. A wild animal cannot be trained and will not permanently join man’s home. It can only be guided indirectly. A domesticated animal, on the other hand, is completely subservient to man and is an integral part of his household. Would the Erev Ravultimately be rejected, like wild animals which can never be truly at home with humanity? Or would they be domesticated and incorporated into the house of Israel?

Moses and the Tachash

Just as the Tachash only made its appearance in Moses’ time, so too, this absorption of foreign talents was only possible in Moses’ generation. No other generation could have taken it upon itself to accept alien forces into the nation. Once the contribution of the Erev Rav to Israel is complete, the nation’s spiritual restoration requires that they will be purged from the Jewish people. “I will purge your dross... and then you will be called the city of righteousness, faithful city” [Isaiah 1: 25-26].

We usually avoid destructive forces which may delay and hinder the ultimate good. However, a far-reaching vision can detect the underlying purpose of all human activity, as all actions ultimately fulfill the Divine Will. The great hour of Exodus resonated with the highest vision; the first redemption of Israel initiated the historical process that will culminate with the final redemption. Moses, the master prophet, “the most faithful of all My house,” saw fit to include those varied forces that ordinarily would be rejected. And yet, like the skins of the Tachash, they were only suitable for the most external covering.

“The new heavens and the new earth which I will make are standing before Me.” [Isaiah 66:22] All of the wonderful forces of the future - “the new heavens and the new earth” - are not really new. They already exist. Even now, they are “standing before Me.” By accepting the Erev Rav, Moses planted these diverse gifts within the Jewish people. Like seeds, they decay in the ground; but ultimately they will sprout and bring forth new life. The brilliant future light, with all of its spectacular colors and breadth, is not new; it was secreted away long ago. This resplendent light is hidden, like the multi-hued Tachash, until the time will come for it to be revealed once more. [Sapphire from the Land of Israel. Adapted from Ein Eyah vol. III, pp. 105-107]

Sunday, February 14, 2021

The Battle of the Last War....

 ...are you programmed

New shiur from Rabbi Alon Anava whose videos can now be found at Vimeo.com

Wonderful lecture, everything is explained here, highly recommend this shiur.


The battle of the last war - Are you Programmed? from Rabbi Alon Anava on Vimeo.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Egypt as the Model for Redemption

Rabbi Mendel Kessin, audio - this lecture was given in October 2020 


Thursday, February 11, 2021

Kochav Yaakov in Adar ??


Back in 2016 I published a blog post about ''Nibiru'' [the Star of Jacob] which was predicted by the Ramak to appear on the 25th day of the 6th month, which generally speaking is Elul.  See A Date with Nibiru

Another rabbi is saying that we will see the Kochav Yaakov in Adar this year: if you count the months beginning at Tishrei, then Adar IS the sixth month: see Major Kabalistic Leader predicts Star of Jacob as early as Adar

It seems to be that Adar is the month we have been waiting for, on so many levels.




Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Why the Entire World is being Attacked by CoronaVirus

 I'm re-listening to this shiur, which was given in March 2020 by Rabbi Anava who has been unwell and hopefully will return to the video scene very shortly.  Anyway, I found that the re-listening one year later was quite interesting.

Pray for Others

 


Monday, February 8, 2021

Friday, February 5, 2021

The Melave Malka and Moshiach Connection

 by Rabbi Benjy Simons

In this week’s Parsha [Yisro] we have the seminal section of the Ten Commandments together with the Sinai revelation. As last week we delved into the concept of the third meal on Shabbos, I thought it would be prudent to share some insights regarding the final meal associated with Shabbos and done after Havdalah known as the Melava Malka. According to the Rambam (Laws of Shabbos 29:1) the 4th Commandment of Remembering the Shabbos includes marking Shabbos both as it enters (which we do through Kiddush on Friday night) and when it concludes (which we do through Havdalah when Shabbos ends). 

We thus create a sense of balance of beginning the Shabbos with Kiddush with an associated meal and conclude the Shabbos with Havdalah and a light dinner. Interestingly, at both meals it is customary to wear our Shabbos clothes, light candles and even recite Shir HaMalos in Birchas HaMazon. In doing this we are symbolically honouring an important dignitary (i.e. the Shabbos) as he enters and leaves our home every Shabbos (Rashi). 

The Talmud (Shabbos 119b) mentions that having hot bread or hot water has medicinal purposes when consumed at the Melava Malka as well as long term benefits of sustaining a certain bone in the body (Luz) which is instrumental for the final resurrection. It is also encouraged to have meat at this meal, though many are lenient like the third meal on Shabbos to simply have a cooked dish or fruit together with a hot drink. 

Traditionally this meal is associated with King David as he used to make a celebratory meal each week following Shabbos. The Gemara (Shabbos 30a-b) mentions that King David implored Hashem to know when he would pass away (see Psalms 39:5 and Pesachim 54b). Although he was denied this request, he was told that he would pass away on a Shabbos and hence each Motzei Shabbos he was relieved and confident that he was protected for a following week. 

An additional reason of why this meal is connected to King David, is also connected to the Messianic redemption to which the Gemara (Eruvin 43b) mentions that Moshiach (a descendant of King David) can’t come on Shabbos and hence after Shabbos we fervently pray for the possibility that Moshiach come. It is therefore customary to sing songs associated with Eliyahu HaNavi and share stories about our righteous ancestors in the hope and merit that we should be able to usher in the final redemption, may it happen speedily in our days.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

Rabbi Yuval Asherov

I've been confused about the vaccine I must admit, but I just listened to Rabbi Yuval Asherov and I learnt so much from him.

His first video is below, and the follow up is at Israel National News, the english subtitles came up automatically for me.  


Monday, February 1, 2021

Why Tzaddikim Atone for Us All

 by Rabbi Elchanan Lewis



Question: How can the death of a Tzaddik become a Kapparah [atonement]?

Answer: The Tzadik is not a personal individual that has an impact only on himself, he is a public figure who impacts on all those around him; the loss of a Tzadik is therefore a public loss, not an individual or family one. The Tzadikim are here not for themselves, rather for others - that is how they live their lives and that is how they also die; Just as the death serves as atonement to the deceased himself, so the departure of a Tzadik does to his community.

BDE

 

What a sad day for Klal Yisrael.



Friday, January 29, 2021

Shabbat Shira Customs

 


QUESTION: What is the reason for the custom to put out food for the birds on Erev Shabbat Shirah? (Chabad) 

ANSWER: On Shabbat Shirah, when we read about the manna that Hashem provided for the Jewish people, it is customary to put out food for the birds on Erev Shabbat as a reward for the Kiddush Hashem they brought about. (ר' מאיר מפרימישלאן זצ"ל)

 * * *

Alternatively, the Maharal of Prague would instruct the teachers of young children to gather their students in the shul yard on Shabbat Shira and relate to them the story of Kriat Yam Suf — the splitting of the sea. They were also to tell the children that at that time Hashem performed a miracle and trees with beautiful fruit grew in the sea (see Midrash Rabbah 22:1). When the Jews sang the Shirah, the birds sang and danced. The Jewish children picked fruits from the trees and fed the birds. To commemorate this event, we put out food for the birds Erev Shabbat Shirah. 

* * * 

The teachers would give them kasha (buckwheat) to throw to the birds. And afterward the Maharal would bless the children and also the parents that they should merit to see their children embark on Torah, marriage and good deeds. (ספר השיחות תש"ב ע' 73 - לקוטי שיחות ח"ב ע' 522)

* * * 

Some have the custom to feed wheat to the birds on Shabbat Shirah. 
 (מגן אברהם שכ"ד, ז' וספר תוספת שבת מר' רפאל ז"ל מייזליש) 

It is the custom of Chabad to eat kasha on Shabbat Shirah. (היום יום י"ז שבט) This custom is based on the pasuk: “Hasam gevuleich shalom cheilev chitim yasbi’eich” — “He has made peace within your borders; He satiated you with the finest of wheat” (Psalms 147:14). Thus, on Shabbat Shirah, when we read that Hashem emancipated the Jewish people from Egyptian bondage and prepared them to be in their own geographical boundaries and also the boundaries of Torah, it is customary to eat wheat (buckwheat). 

The word “beshalach” (בשלח) is an acronym for the words "בשבת שירה לאכל חטים" — “On Shabbat Shirah to eat wheat (buckwheat).” (עוללות אפרים)

Thursday, January 28, 2021

The Essence of Tu B'Shvat

Rabbi Mendel Kessin, new audio

The Essence of Tu b'Shvat  click here to listen


Another interesting link at Daf Yomi Review  Torah Numerology The Final Frontier



Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Miriam's Tambourine

"Miriam's Tambourine" - Michoel Muchnik


Miriam, the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women came out after her with tambourines and with dances [Beshalach 15:20]

The righteous women did not delegate their responsibilities to their leader, Miriam the prophetess. Rather, each and every woman made for herself a tambourine, in a personal effort to trust in G-d's redemption and rejoice in it when it comes.

There is always a temptation to leave the responsibility of inspiring the people to Jewish leaders. However, we can learn from the righteous women in Egypt that it is every single person's obligation to inspire his or herself and all of the people that he or she comes into contact with.

Source: Sichas Shabbos Parshas Beshalach 5752, Lubavitcher Rebbe

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

The Stages of the Geulah and The Pandemic

Two new audios from Rabbi Mendel Kessin given 8/10/2020

The Stages of the Geulah

The Pandemic

Monday, January 25, 2021

Parshat HaMon

Art: Heidi Malott

Rebbe Menachem Mendel of Riminov [1745-1815], a disciple of the Holy Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk, instructed everyone to read "Parshat HaMann" specifically on the Yom Shlishi [Tuesday] of Parshat Beshalach in the "Shnayim Mikra v'Echad Targum" format, i.e. reading the Hebrew verses twice and the Aramaic translation of Onkelos once.   This year it will occur today Tuesday 26 January.

Not to be confused with the evil villain of the Purim story, Parshat haMann [The Chapter of the Manna] is found in the 16th Chapter of the Book of Exodus: verses 4-36. This Chapter details the episode of the miraculous "Manna" [bread from heaven] that sustained the Children of Israel during their 40-year journey in the desert.

Rav Yosef Caaro, the "mechaber" [compiler] of the monumental Halachic text, the Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 1:5, instructs us to recite it daily. Other giants of Halacha also point to the importance of reciting it daily: The Tur 1; Aruch Hashulchan 1:22; Shulchan Aruch HaRav 1:9.

By so doing, every Jew acknowledges that his/her livelihood comes from only from Hashem. Reciting the Parshat HaMann daily strengthens one's Emuna and Bitachon [belief and trust] in HASHEM, and is a "Segula for Parnassa" [auspicious for having a healthy income].

To read Parshat haMann in Hebrew [with the Aramaic translation of Onkelos], please visit: Tefillos.com

English version here: Ou.org

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Trust in Hashem

It's a relief that all the waiting is over now.  Now we can get back to the normality of trusting Hashem above all else.  And in that vein, this new video from Rabbi Zitron seems appropriate: "What Happens if you trust in people vs Hashem".  I guess this is what it's all about.  We cannot put our faith in one person.  Not that we abandoned Hashem, chas v'shalom, we just thought Hashem was using Trump to get to a certain place.  Seems we got it wrong.  What happens next.... I do not know.  Speak your mind in the comments if you need to vent some steam.


Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Monday, January 18, 2021

The Difficulty Hidden in Moshe's Name

Art: Lucy Campbell

"HaCHodesh Hazeh Lachem - הַחֹ֧דֶשׁ הַזֶּ֛ה לָכֶ֖ם - This new month is for you..."[Bo 12:2]. Rashi tells us the pasuk uses the word Zeh because Moshe could not properly grasp Kiddush HaChodesh, so Hashem showed it to him, using the word Zeh. We find the words Zeh two other times where Chazal says the same thing. Moshe could not grasp the inner depth of the Shekalim or the Menorah.

The Vilna Gaon says that these three Mitzvot are hidden in the name Moshe twice. If you take the Roshei Teivot [first letters] of the words Menorah, Shekalim, and HaChodesh, it spells Moshe. "Also," says the Gra, "if you take the last letters of those same words they also spell Moshe."

Source: Revach.net

Friday, January 15, 2021

World Wide Moshiach Event

On 21 February there will be a World Wide prayer to bring Moshiach. Thanks to Leah for sending me the info.


 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

The World of Lies

George Orwell's 1984 has surged to the top of the list of Best Selling Books. [Source]


“Every record has been destroyed or falsified, every book rewritten, every picture has been repainted, every statue and street building has been renamed, every date has been altered. And the process is continuing day by day and minute by minute. History has stopped. Nothing exists except an endless present in which the Party is always right.” — GEORGE ORWELL, “1984”

Why is Dissension Compared to the Plague of Frogs?

by Rabbi David Hanania Pinto

The Maggid, HaGaon HaTzadik Rabbi Aryeh Shechter zt"l, in his sefer 'Aryeh Sha'ag', imparts a wonderful lesson concerning the plague of Frogs. 

As we know, the plague of Frogs began with one gigantic frog that slowly emerged from the river. 

The Egyptians wished to kill this huge frog that had infiltrated their land and began hitting it forcefully. But every strike caused more frogs to emerge from it and filled the land of Egypt with their multitudes.

Seemingly, if a rational person would be standing at the side viewing the actions of the Egyptians, he would turn to them with the following question: "What do you think you are doing? Have you gone crazy?! Can you not see that with every strike more and more frogs emerge? The blows are not helping at all, leave the frog alone and the plague will diminish!" 

But this is the nature of man. When he acts out of anger and an intoxication of senses, he loses his discretion and hits everywhere without a trace of logic or benefit. 

Maran the Steipler, the 'Kehilot Ya'akov' zt"l, explains that a similar reality sets in with every fight and argument. When a person sees that his friend acted against him, he does not sit by idly but repays him twofold. After that, his friend pays him back and so it goes on until the two sides are left with only 'a tooth and an eye', with the fire of dissension growing hotter and being prolonged. 

Turning to one of the rivals and trying to inject some logic into him by saying: "Keep quiet, don't respond, why do you need more mud-slinging and disgrace?" will result in him replying with blind anger: "No, he started, I'll show him business!" 

So, for every blow that one strikes one's friend, loads of new 'frogs' emerge, and the fire of argument intensifies and increases infinitely. 

Therefore, any time one is faced with a dispute, friction or quarrel, it is important to remember the verse: "You shall love your fellow as yourself for I am Hashem." Indeed, it is not easy to swallow one's words when someone else is spreading false reports about you and publicly degrading you, but if you keep in mind that "I am Hashem", that Hashem is looking at all that is taking place and sees how you are not responding to all the degradation and slander, it is easier to guard one's tongue and count oneself among those who are insulted but do not insult. 

If a person understands that all the suffering and distress he endures in This World is not happenstance but set in motion by an intentional Heavenly hand, he will realize that anyone who humiliates him is simply a messenger of Divine Providence, a means of afflicting him for his sins. Then automatically there is no reason at all to return battle, rather it is in place to search one's deeds and understand why this evil befell him.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Trump's New Video

Like you, I have no idea what is actually going on.  Apparently this is a new video released on Trump's new social media platform.  Why it is available on You Tube, I do not know.  Nevertheless, here it is, for what it's worth.  Apologies for the Xtian prayer at the end, but you get the drift.... skip the last minute if you don't want to hear it.   

Update: this is just a video someone has spliced together.  Trump's official words can be found at the new social media platform link above.


Monday, January 11, 2021

Choosing A Spouse

Art Ari Gradus
 

Text by Rabbi Benjy Simons

"Congratulations, Moshe," said the groom's uncle. "I'm sure you'll look back on this day and remember it as the happiest day of your life.'' "But I'm not getting married until tomorrow," replied Moshe. "I know," replied his uncle… 

Choosing a soulmate can be a daunting task, especially with the understanding that it is a life commitment. In our Parsha the Torah mentions that Aharon marries Elisheva which according to Rashi and the Rashbam, was partly based on the stature of his future brother-in-law Nachshon who was the tribal leader of Yehuda. 

This concept of examining a potential match based on the character of her brothers is sourced in the Talmud (Bava Basra 110a), with the rationale that often children can resemble one’s maternal uncles. Therefore, the Gemara concludes, if one would like to gain insight into the potential nature of his children from a prospective wife, he should investigate his future brothers-in-law. While the commentators discuss whether this is based on a genetic link (Maharal) or simply due to a common upbringing, it now becomes clearer how Rivkah had a son like Esav, when she had a brother like Lavan.

While the Talmud (Pesachim 49b, Kiddushin 70a and Yevamos 64b) gives a number of suggestions as what to look for when getting married, narrowing it down to a single quality, the Gemara (Ta’anis 24a) mentions that one should look for a spouse with good eyes. This doesn’t mean that one looks for a spouse that doesn’t wear glasses, but rather as the Kli Yakar explains, a good eye is symbolic of generosity, which indicates an overall positive nature (hence the test of Eliezer when looking for a wife for Yitzchak). 

May we merit to have lots of Shidduchim in our community and the ultimate marriage between the Jewish people and Hashem with the coming of Moshiach. 

To subscribe for the full weekly newsletter - http://rabbi.jewishpod.com/benjysimons/

Sunday, January 10, 2021

The Cure before the Disease



Art: Dena Ackerman


Rashi explains the simple reason why the Torah begins to speak of Yehudah in the middle of the story of Yosef.  ''To teach us that [Yehudah's] brothers demoted him from his high position.''

However, Rashi does not explain why the entire account of Yehudah and Tamar was recorded here, leading up to the birth of Peretz and Zarach.

However, according to the explanation of the Midrash, we can understand that the account of Yehudah and Tamar was included here to explain the reason why Yosef was sold : because G-d was paving the way for Moshiach.

Thus, before we read of Yosef's enslavement, and the ensuing Egyptian exile, the Torah prefaces ''the cure before the disease'' informing us of G-d's inner intent.

Based on Sichos Shabbos Parshat Vayeishev 5751 Lubavitcher Rebbe


Friday, January 8, 2021

5781 - Gematria ''Civil War''

The number 781 is the gematria of the words "civil war" as discovered by Rabbi Glazerson in the video below,


Stormy Times

 

This photo was taken a couple of nights ago, during a huge storm.  We have had so much rain lately, a total opposite to this time last year when we had massive bushfires.  Israel is wondering where it's winter has gone.... and Sydney is wondering where it's summer has gone.... I guess we've swapped seasons this year.

I don't know what will happen in America, whether there will be a last minute V' nahafoch hu, or whether we are really stuck with Biden.  Whatever the case, Hashem has a Plan and we must trust that it's all from Shamayim.

I read that Donald Trump is not only banned from Twitter but also banned from FB, he's in good company as so is this blog. 

Thursday, January 7, 2021

Mr. President, the Ball is in Your Court!

 Rabbi Isser Z. Weisberg, new shiur


Is January 6, 2021 the Watershed Moment which will lead us to the Final Redemption?

 

Rabbi Mendel Kessin interviewed by Josh Wander, yesterday


Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Welcome Back


Hi everyone, I didn't expect to be away so long, had a short spell in hospital but I'm happy to say all is well again.

The latest Rabbi Kessin video, which you've no doubt already heard, is below, and the summary of it can be found here ''The Turnoil that surrounds the coming of Moshiach''.

Also a video from Rabbi Weisberg which you've also probably seen but here is the link to it: It's Time to Celebrate