Thursday, February 29, 2024

21 Adar - Yarzheit Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk


The great Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk (1717-1786) was one of the elite disciples of Rabbi DovBer, the Maggid of Mezritch, and a colleague of Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi. He is also widely known as the No'am Elimelech, the title of the renowned chassidic work he authored.

Rabbi Elimelech attracted many thousands of chassidim, among them many who after his passing became great chassidic masters in their own right. Most notable amongst them was Rabbi Yaakov Yitzchak Horowitz, the "Seer of Lublin." Many of the current chassidic dynasties trace themselves back to Rabbi Elimelech.  Rabbi Elimelech was known as "the Rebbe of Rebbes".

More at Chabad

Kever of R' Elimelech

It happened once in the time of the Rebbe Reb Elimelech that the government had a case against a certain Jew. The courts ruled, found him guilty, and he was sentenced to death by hanging. As was the custom, the courts granted him one last request, and he asked that they notify his sons of the verdict.
The sons were notified, and they immediately set out to see their father. On the way they stopped in Lizhensk to see Rebbe Elimelech and ask his advice and guidance. When they related the whole story to the Rebbe, he answered, in his holy manner, that they had nothing to fear - their father would not be hanged. 

They left Lizhensk comforted, reassured by the words of the holy Tzaddik, believing that his promise would come true. However, when they arrived they saw that nothing had changed. On the designated day, their father was brought forth to be hanged and no-one said a word to save him. 

According to the law, before a sentence was carried out, they would read the charges and the verdict that had been pronounced. But when the officials went to retrieve the necessary documents, they could not find any of the papers relating to the judgment and could not proceed with the execution. They hastened back to the courthouse, but they found not a trace of the ruling nor even a memory of the case. The judges themselves were no longer able to recall the case, nor were they able to remember who the witnesses were or what testimony had been given. Everything was totally forgotten. After a lengthy delay and numerous searches, they reluctantly released the prisoner since they could bring no charge against him. 

On the trip back home, the sons, this time with their father, stopped once more in Lizhensk to see Rebbe Elimelech. The Rebbe told them: "I had no other alternative except to make use of the angel of forgetfulness to cause them to forget the whole matter completely." 

 [Ohel Elimelech 283] Source: Mipeninei Noam Elimelech compiled by Tal Moshe Zwecker

Rabbi Travis Talks About the Star and Moshiach's Arrival

Rabbi Daniel Travis from a shiur given on Feb 19, 2016

I have transcribed the relevant part of this shiur, which is from the 12 min mark.  He does speak about Nibiru from about the 9 min mark but I did not think it was necessary to include that here.

Please bear in mind that this shiur was given 8 years ago... but the information is extremely relevant to us right now.

To watch video at Torah Anytime click here


Rav Shimon cried "woe is the person who's going to be at the time of Moshiach and happy will they be at the time of Moshiach.... Why "oy?" Because Hashem is going to look at the world at the time that Moshiach is going to come and see that nobody is worthy, so Hashem is going to have to bring tremendous yissurim upon the world so that Moshiach can come.  It's going to be a test in Emunah.

He who remains with his emunah at that time is going to see unbelievable things - whoever is zocher to Moshiach at that time.

Have you ever seen silver being purified? They put it on a furnace and heat it up until it's very hot, and melt it and take the dirt out... and that's what has to happen. That's what the Zohar says, so that's something to think about.

There will be a 40 day period where there is a pillar of fire in the Galil and after that time Moshiach is going to reveal Himself - there'll be a certain tekufah of 40 days, all the nations of the world are going to attack klal Yisrael and there are going to be tremendous gezeirahs upon klal Yisrael.  At that time, when all these gezeiras come, Melech haMoshiach is going to reveal Himself and from the East there will be a planet or Star with seven satellites [moons or whatever] around it.  This Star which is coming is going to have an effect on this world when it's going to come into the orbit of Earth.

It says everything that's going to happen: there will be tremendous wars, and it's going to be very auspicious times, and that is the procedure which will happen AFTER Moshiach has revealed Himself.

We see that something extraordinary is going to happen - big changes in the world - Reb Moshe always said "why are people going to laugh? because there's going to be such a change in the entire planet that the only thing you can do is laugh."  It's going to be a totally new existence, a new world order you might call it, it's going to be totally different... and even though when we hear about Planet X it sounds like science fiction but the Zohar IS saying that there is something that is going to come and change the entire earth, some kind or planet or Star, so we can't say that these things are mamash crazy.

I'm not saying this will happen, but definitely things are brewing as we might say, and we have to be ready for that.  Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai says the avodah is to remain with Emunah during these times. We're going to see things happening and we have no idea what they could be. It will be things beyond belief. It says it's going to make Yetzias Mitzrayim look like nothing. Every day it's going to be worse, and we're going to forget what it was like the day before [from all the wars that will be going on].

Halevei, if Moshiach comes early we'll be zocher with rachamim. Says Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, the nisayon is that whoever has Emunah at this time will be zocher to see the End.  There's different opinions how many people are going to survive this ordeal - some say a very small amount, some say a bit larger, maybe a third or maybe more... but the nisayon is Emunah.  Emunah is with Tehilla, with mussar, with everything that happens...... everything Hashem does is good.

The avodah right now is to build our Emunah so when this happens we'll be ready for it.

When we come to that level of Emunah then we'll be ready for Moshiach.

Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

The Spiritual Ladder

I heard in the name of Rebbe Elimelech that if a person wishes to rise higher in his spiritual level, he must see to it that his character traits are whole and perfect on the lower level. This is because it is impossible to maintain a constant static level.

A person is like the angels called Chayos, which run and return, for sometimes he rises and sometimes he falls.  And if his lower levels are not perfected, how can he return to them?

The Rebbe compared this to a man climbing a ladder.  The wise and intelligent man will first test all the rungs to make sure that they are whole and intact so that if needs be he can retrace his steps and return to them.

[Tal Moshe Zwecker: Mipeninei Noam Elimelech]

Kabbalah of Music

Rabbi Efraim Palvanov

What role did music play in Creation? And what is the song of Mashiach? Which instruments did King David play? Find out in this class where we explore the mystical power of music, the divine octave, the musical notes of the Torah, and much more. 

Also discussed: where did the Breslover Hasidic “Na Nach” concept come from? Can a Jew listen to the church music of Bach? And what is the significance of the number 91?

Monday, February 26, 2024

Is This The Kabbalistic Meaning of the Israel-Hamas War? (And Will It Bring Moshiach...?)

H/t Leah

This is from Tu b'Shvat but the information in it does not date.  Apart from the obvious mentioning of fruit, Rav Doniel Katz [who is a former Australian, now living in Israel] brings down some interesting facts.  "Moshiach is a process" - "Hashem doesn't want the Geula from Above, He wants the Geula from Below".  He quotes from the Sefer Ma'amar HaGeula.

Sunday, February 25, 2024

The Final Tikkun

Written by R. Yaakov Nathan

The generation of the desert, the Dor Hamidbar, was on a very high level. They were a "dor de'ah", a generation of knowledge, on the level of Bina. Yet they committed the sin of the Golden Calf [parshas Ki Tisa]. This sin was a direct result of their own intellectualization, their miscalculation of when Moshe should have come back from his spiritual elevation on Mount Sinai. [The verse says "boshesh Moshe" and Rashi from the Gemara explains that it means "ba shesh" - that they calculated that Moshe should have been back by the 6th hour of the day.]  It was their own intellect which brought them into trouble--they wavered in their trust of Moshe and over-intellectualized the situation.

The midrash states that the Soton showed them Moshe lying on his deathbed, which opened them up to consider the reasoning that Moshe should have already come down. The Ohr Hachayim explains that what they saw was "with the eye of the intellect"--they didn't hallucinate, but rather they misinterpreted the reality.

Amidst this confusion comes the Erev Rav, the Egyptian magicians who left Egypt with the children of Israel, demanding a new leader to replace Moshe -- since they saw that the Jews were wavering, open to the suggestion that Moshe was delayed and could not descend from the spiritual heights he had ascended to. This is the cause of the Golden Calf [see the Ramban--it was a replacement for Moshe, not Hashem].

When Moshe ascended the mountain, the Arizal states that he received 1,000 lights. This is the level of Moshiach. Moshe had been elevated to Moshiach on the mountain, but the people did not withstand the test; their faith in Moshe wavered, allowing the Erev Rav to bring about the sin of the Golden Calf. This caused Hashem to say to Moshe "Go, descend" [32:7], says Rashi: "Descend from your greatness", descend from the level of Moshiach.

The Arizal writes that the final generation is a reincarnation of the Dor Hamidbar. The Lubavitcher Rebbe said explicitly that this applies to us - we are literally the souls of the generation of the desert. In Rambam's "13 Ikkarim" he writes that we believe in the coming of Moshiach "even if he delays".

Why does the Rambam feel the need to mention a delay here? What's the connection between Moshiach and a delay? The first redeemer [Moshe] is the last redeemer [Moshiach] and perhaps our situation now - waiting in the confusion - is the tikkun for the situation the first time around?

The Rambam explains in Hilchos Tshuva that "Tshuva is completed when an opportunity to commit one's original transgression again arises but one doesn't and repents instead." We are the generation of the midbar--we are rectifying our sin by waiting for Moshiach. Despite what the eye of the intellect might think, our obligation is to trust in Moshe Rabbeinu, not to seek a replacement leader. Not to let the Erev Rav within us entice us to find a "new leader" of the Jewish nation, to make a new Golden Calf [G-d forbid].

Moshe Rabbeinu doesn't need to be replaced, and we are playing our role in the final tikkun. Hold on strong with emunah that goes beyond the intellect and "even though he delays, we wait for him every day".

Friday, February 23, 2024

David and Batsheva - A Mystical Love Story

Rabbi Efraim Palvanov


What really happened with David and Batsheba? Did David sin, or were the couple true soulmates destined to be together since Creation? And what does it all have to do with Adam and Eve, the Forbidden Fruit, and the forthcoming Messianic Age? 

Find out in this class, where we also explore the mechanics of soulmates, the origins of Lilith, the battle with Goliath, and conclude with a fascinating Zohar passage where the angel Dumah, the “warden” of Gehinnom, argues with God and attempts to incriminate King David.

Eclipse and a Planetary Line-Up

Let me be totally honest from the start.... I did not come up with this myself, I found it on a conspiracy site and investigated it, but I'm not an Astrology person, so feel free to do your own investigations and leave a comment if you find out anything important that I've missed. 

Apparently it's not an official "planetary alignment" but nevertheless all the planets will be in a straight line on the day of the Eclipse, which is April 8 - Rosh Chodesh Nissan.

You know about "birth charts".... people pay big money to Astrologers to discover things about themselves from the position of the planets on the day they were born.  Basically, you give over all your information to the Astrologer: time of birth, date of birth and city of birth, and they produce a chart of the positions of the planets corresponding to all that information and then they tell you things about yourself, and what may or may not happen in your life. [Note: Jews are above the Mazalot, our destinies are shaped by our actions, not by the stars]

So.... just now I was reading about the position of the planets on April 8 - the day of the Solar Eclipse - Rosh Chodesh Nissan 5784.  [The same day we will be able to see the Comet we believe to be the Kochav Yaakov]

A generated chart for April 8, using the city of Jerusalem as the "birth place" shows NINE PLANETS LINED UP and Pluto slightly more apart from them.   They are not "aligned" as per the official Space description of an alignment, but they are all in a straight line.  Usually, birth charts show planets all over the place.  Sometimes 4 or 5 may be aligned, but to get all of these appearing just like this is very very rare.  

The symbols are, from the base to the top: Uranus, Jupiter, Mercury, Chiron, the Sun, Lunar Node, Moon, Venus, Neptune, Saturn, Mars and then Pluto over to the right. [those other two squiggles on the other side of the circle are not relevant to this]

That chart was generated by but there are many free astro chart sites out there, and you can generate your own -  if you enter in the date of April 8 2024 [time and city don't really matter, but I used Jerusalem] you will end up with something that looks like the picture above. 

Thursday, February 22, 2024

The Retribution Before the Messianic Era

New shiur from Rabbi Mendel Kessin

The Fall of Gaza and the Rise of the Third Beis Hamikdash

There was a discussion regarding the post about Moshiach coming when Gaza falls..... and I did ask a Lubavitcher to investigate it for me, and today I received the following.

H/t NK

Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Schneersohn

*The Fall of Gaza and the Rise of The Third Beis Hamikdash* [Part 2 of 2] - note, I do not have Part 1

This translation was carefully researched and prepared by Rabbi Shmuel Pollen, Shlit”A


The father of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Shneerson, makes a comment in his book “Torah of Levi Yitzchack” (page 452) that seems to imply that the fall of Gaza is a harbinger of the rebuilding of the 3rd Holy Temple and the coming of Moshiach. 

He writes that the “doors of Gaza” are 60 cubits and the sanctuary of the Beis Hamikdash is also 60 cubits. 

He further writes: “G-d created the world in such a way that, everything in the realm of good, has an opposing counterpart in the world of evil.” 

This would imply that if Gaza (the side of evil) were to be destroyed, the opposite of that would happen to the Beis Hamikdosh i.e. it would be built. And the Beis Hamikdosh will only be rebuilt with the coming of Moshiach. 

Gaza (in Hebrew: Azah) comes from the word “brazen (face)” As it says “the brazen faced go to hell.” And “dogs have a brazen soul.” Gaza corresponds to the rule of the evil side, Satan and impurity. 

The Talmud states in Tractate of Sotah 10A, “the pillars of Gaza which Samson knocked down were 60 cubits tall. This corresponds to the 60 tractates of Talmud. 

This also corresponds to the 60 mighty Jewish soldiers who guarded King Solomon. The sanctuary of the Beis Hamikdash was also 60 cubits tall. As it states: “The house that Solomon built for G-d was 60 cubits.” 

Once again, we see the fall of impurity leads to the rise of holiness. When Gaza falls, along with the 60 cubit pillars Samson knocked down, the Beis Hamikdash will be rebuilt with, G-d’s help. 

The Gaon of Vilna, peace be upon him, says, the impurity of the Philistines is preventing the Jewish people from meriting the messianic redemption today. 

*What is the connection between the Philistines and Gaza?* 

King David writes in psalm 83 that “within the Ishmalites (the Arabs today) we have mixed in, the Philistines and the Amalekites.” This means, all the evil forces, are together into Gaza: the children of Ishmael, the Amalekim, and the Philistines. 

Shortly before his death, the Philistines poked out both of Samson’s eyes. With no vision, Samson prayed to G-d for one final feat of strength to be able to knock down the columns of the building and thereby kill many Philistines. He asked for this act of revenge, in the merit of the loss of one of his eyes. Why did he ask only for one eye and not both? Many more Philistines were killed in Samson’s death than he ever killed in his lifetime. But the great Rashi tells us, that he wanted to leave the other eye so we can be rewarded with another defeat of the Philistines in the future (we have that merit on our side in our current war). 

When Gaza falls, the redemption will come. And we will build the Beis Hamikdash. And we will merit to see the face of the Moshiach, speedily in our days, with G-d’s help. Azah is related to the word “Azuvah” which means deserted, because “Gaza will be deserted.” Before the day is done, may all the enemies of G-d, be destroyed. 

*Translation by:* Shmuel Yitzchak Pollen 

Note: if anyone wants to email R' Shmuel Pollen, I do have his email address but I'm not publishing it on the internet.  Leave me a comment with your email address, which I will not publish, and I will send you his contact details.

Purim Katan

This Friday, 23 February, will be Purim Katan.

Purim Katan means “Little Purim.” Every year, the Jewish holiday of Purim is held in the Hebrew month of Adar. In Jewish leap years, a second month of Adar is added to the calendar and Purim is celebrated on the 14th of Adar II while the 14th of Adar I is acknowledged as Purim Katan. 

How do Jews Celebrate Purim Katan? 

The primary way to mark Purim Katan is to make one’s meal a little more festive. In addition, it is traditional to refrain from fasting, eulogizing or reciting Tachanun, a series of penitential prayers that are added to the Shacharit (morning) and Mincha (afternoon) prayer services. This is designed to ensure it is a happy day rather than a mournful one. [See the Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 697:1]  The major rituals of Purim — reading megillah, giving gifts, reciting Al Hanisim — are not observed on Purim Katan and are reserved for the full Purim celebration that will take place a month later in Adar II.

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Kochav Yaakov/ Comet 12P Pons-Brooks

I just happened to tune in at the right time.... this is a Live video currently being broadcast, and I tuned in right on the dot as he started to talk about the Comet.  You will need to wait until he's ended the Live broadcast, and then go to the link and fast forward to the 28 min mark to hear what he is saying.

The video link is

I have typed up some of the main points he mentioned.

On April 8 the comet will be very visible as the daylight turns to darkness due to the eclipse and the comet flies through.  Astronomers are saying that this comet is doing things they have never seen before, it is developing wings and horns.

The eclipse itself will be longer than a normal eclipse, so I'm thinking that means we will have the darkness for a longer time and the comet will be visible for enough time for us all to see it.  He said the comet will be to the left and the planet Mercury will be seen at the 7 o'clock position.

He said he finds it strange that no-one is talking about this.

The video below is something I uploaded a while ago, showing the orbit of the comet. Heads up it has loud music.  21 April is two days before Pesach.   That is date of perihelion which means it is the closest to the sun at that point. 

Monday, February 19, 2024

“You can stay here until the arrival of the Messiah”

In his memoir released in 2022, Benjamin Netanyahu shares his unforgettable encounters with the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

I went to see the Lubavitcher Rebbe. It had been more than four years since our first meeting, and I came to say good-bye. He was not happy with my decision and tried to dissuade me, while lamenting the situation in Israel.

“There are no good tidings from Israel,” the Rebbe said. “Action is key and there is no action, but maybe you can influence from here the leadership there.” 

“I intend to return to Israel and to try to influence things there,” I answered. 

The Rebbe insisted, “There is still much to influence here at the United Nations…. You know there is a Jewish mitzvah [injunction] to influence the gentiles. This is your job to do.” 

I dodged this diplomatically. 

“I haven’t forgotten our first meeting,” I said, “and I have acted as the Rebbe said, standing proud and strong. Yet I have been here for years.” 

Evidently, this length of service didn’t impress the Rebbe. “You can stay here until the arrival of the Messiah,” he said.

Source: Anash

When Gaza Falls.... Moshiach Will Come

H/t Sherry

He is talking about Rabbi Levi Yitzchak 

Sweetening Judgments

Art OceanXGoddess

from the writings of Rebbe Nachman of Breslov

When the messengers who bring suffering are despatched, they are made to take an oath: that they will neither set out nor return except on such and such a day, at such and such a time, and only [carry out their mission] by using the designated means. However, repentance, prayer and charity have the power to nullify [the enactment of] this oath.

Reciting the Torah chapters concerning the Choshen, the Breastplate [Exodus 28:15-30; 39:8-21] is a tikkun [rectification] for harsh judgments.

A person who suffers affliction should give charity. This charity will be considered as if it were a fee paid to a judge for his services, which when accepted, nullifies the verdict's validity. And through this his suffering will be alleviated.

When a person rebukes his friend for the right motives, he has a thread of loving-kindness drawn over him.

A person who does not accept rebuke will experience suffering.

To sweeten harsh judgments, recite Psalm 39 and Psalm 77.

When the nations have issued an evil decree against the Jews, Psalm 62 should be said.

A person can determine and understand his sins from the suffering which he experiences.

There are four things which abolish harsh decrees: Tzedakah [charity], crying out to G-d, changing one's name and improving one's conduct.

Crying out to G-d helps the individual only prior to the final decree.

A person's accusers are beaten off by the study of Torah.

A final decree accompanied by an oath cannot be abolished, even for the sake of an entire community.

The effects of a decree against a person apply only in a specific place. He can save himself by changing his location.

A person should tell others of his anguish so that they will pray for mercy on his behalf.

Accepting suffering with love is like bringing a sacrifice.

A person who falls down while walking should see this as a sign of a downfall on a spiritual level. Falling down while walking sometimes serves to nullify a pronouncement of death which has been issued against the person.

A person who finds himself suffering from harsh judgment should make it a habit to gaze at the Heavens.

The Holy One exonerates the person who teaches righteousness to the wicked.

A man of truth receives G-d's lovingkindness undisguised by judgments.

Trust in G-d sweetens judgment and draws down loving-kindness.

Through faith [emunah] it is possible to convince G-d to follow your will.

Friday, February 16, 2024

The Black Rainbow

For anyone who missed it in the comments yesterday, here it is

Moshiach: Exodus 2.0

"Some say the world will end in fire, some say in ice…"

by HaRav Adin Even-Israel [Steinsaltz]
Only the Final Redemption will overshadow the Exodus in its significance.  

The Exodus from Egypt was apocalyptic, not only because of the supernatural events that took place during its unfolding, but also because it sparked an extremely significant change within a relatively short amount of time – and without any warning or preparation. It is true that the events recounted in the Book of Exodus did occur over the course of a few months, but when we think about the amazing transformation that the People of Israel underwent as a result – from a loosely related ethnic group of slaves to a new nation – the redemption from Egypt does indeed seem very sudden and surprising.

While Passover is the festival of redemption, the Exodus from Egypt is commemorated on each of the Biblical festivals and all through the year. Even events in Jewish history as important as the re-establishment of sovereignty in Israel during the Second Temple era are not considered to be equal to the Exodus. Our Sages teach that only the Final Redemption will be able to overshadow its significance.

The Exodus has also become a prototype of redemption for all nations of the world, a model against which other redemptions are measured and assessed. The coming of the Messiah is a momentous event – not only for the Jewish people, but for the entire world. It is not simply a matter of national deliverance, nor even of a Jewish renaissance, but of an intrinsic change in world history. In a certain way, the Final Redemption, as its name implies, marks the "end of history," or, at least, the end of history as it has been for the last several millennia.

We know from Biblical prophecies and from the Talmud that there are two possible scenarios for the Final Redemption. The difference between them lies in a fundamental question: will it be a revolutionary event, or an evolutionary one? The first redemption, the Exodus from Egypt, was a whirlwind of supernatural events, a total revolution. Indeed, many descriptions of the Final Redemption – in Jewish and non-Jewish sources alike – depict the final redemption in a similar way. For example, this approach, "the great and terrible day of the Lord," [1] is a universal earthquake which begins with "darkness, not light" [2] and involves colossal wars between "the children of light and the children of darkness." Like the Exodus, the Final Redemption is, so to speak, a Divine tour de force vis-à-vis the world. When God wills it, all of reality will be torn to shreds, and the new day will shine, as was the case in the Exodus from Egypt – out of "blood and fire and pillars of smoke." [3]

The alternative scenario of redemption is an evolutionary one and is based on human progress – whether slow or fast – toward a higher state of existence: "For you shall not go out in haste, neither shall you go by flight; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel will follow you behind" [4]; or, in other words, "in sitting still and rest will you be saved." [5] While the Exodus from Egypt contained an element of flight, this redemption will be a slow, smooth process and, despite the enormous differences between the present and the future, it will still be possible to discern the steps that paved the way for the redemption. Even the Biblical metaphor that likens redemption to birth – a dramatic event with a clearly defined "before" and "after" – presupposes the long pregnancy that came before it.

Will the future redemption be a revolutionary event, or an evolutionary one?  The difference between these two diametrically opposed scenarios can be explained by the somewhat enigmatic Talmudic saying: "The son of David [the Messiah; in other words, the final redemption] will come only in a generation that is either altogether righteous or altogether wicked." [6] Redemption for an "altogether righteous" generation is preceded by years of preparation in which people work to better themselves. This kind of redemption is just the finale of an evolutionary process. On the other hand, the redemption of an "altogether wicked" generation cannot possibly be an extended, slow process, because such people, by their very nature, make no preparations for it. Therefore it must entail a revolutionary outburst, which, in this case, is not a grass-roots effort but a Divine one. As such, it must shatter the old patterns of existence – a painful, even tragic event.

The future redemption is, in many ways, the continuation and completion of the Exodus. We know from the Book of Exodus[7] that the redemption from Egypt occurred at midnight; the end of the Passover Haggadah includes references to the future redemption as the second half of this night of deliverance. This is not only solace and encouragement in the face of our present trials and tribulations; it is also a logical sequence. The Exodus, then, is a comma in the manuscript of world history, whereas the final redemption is a full stop. But what shape the final redemption will assume depends, to a great extent, on us as human beings. Through the totality of our actions, we will determine whether we are an "altogether wicked" or "altogether righteous" generation and, consequently, if we can expect "blood and fire and pillars of smoke" or salvation through "sitting still and rest." 

1. Malachi 3:23. 
2. Amos 5:18. 
3. Joel 3:3. 
4. Isaiah 52:12 
5. Ibid., 30:15. 
6. Tractate Sanhedrin 98a. 
7. 12:29.

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

How and When Will Israel Build The Third Temple?

Rabbi Yitzchak Breitowicz

Comet 12P Pons-Brooks [a.k.a. Kochav Yaakov]


My heart started to beat very fast when I read this article, because yesterday commenter Margolis confirmed that this Comet 12P Pons-Brooks is the Kochav Yaakov and today I read this article saying it would reach perihelion [closest to the sun] two weeks after showing up near the eclipse on April 8.

April 8 is Rosh Chodesh Nissan, and two weeks later it will be Pesach.  

I don't know why it's that blue colour, it's the same blue as the object near the Sun, which causes the blue flashes around the sun.  I thought it was supposed to be red. That issue will remain a question.

I love this blue, and it's the same blue seen here:

NASA photo - blue sunset on Mars

The sky on Mars is red and its sunsets are blue, which is exactly the opposite of Earth's.

Unlike Earth's sunset, Mars' atmosphere, primarily composed of carbon dioxide, interacts with iron-rich dust, scattering red light during the day and creating a red sky. However, during twilight, the red light disperses, revealing a cool blue hue due to the dusty haze.

I just threw that Mars stuff in because the blue is the same blue, but it's not really relevant to this post. 

You can read all about the Comet 12P appearance at The Comet vs The Eclipse

Tuesday, February 13, 2024

The Farmer's Hat

Art Walt Curlee

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein

Monday, February 12, 2024

Terumah: The Tachash and the Erev Rav

Note: The tachash is known today as "the unicorn".

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 Rav ultimately 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]

Friday, February 9, 2024

The Secret of Adar Alef

What do we know about this 13th month?

Rabbi Alon Anava

Rosh Chodesh Adar I

Chodesh Tov.  Mishenichnas Adar Marbin b'Simcha.  When Adar comes we increase our joy.

Normally, the Jewish calendar year has 12 lunar months and every few years (7 in each cycle of 19 years) we have a “pregnant/intercalated year” (שָׁנָה מְעֻבֶּרֶת) with 13 months. In these years, the first Adar is the intercalated month (חֹדֶשׁ הָעִבּוּר)—the month of ibbur/pregnancy —the 13th month that is added to the year, while the Second Adar is the original Adar that we have every year, which is why Purim waits patiently until we celebrate it during the Second Adar. 

Source Inner

Thursday, February 8, 2024

The True Nature of the Darkness Before Moshiach

Rabbi Mendel Kessin

The Limitations of Black Magic

Art Dillon Samuelson

By: Rabbi Eliyahu Haim Aboud

There was a time in history when the powers of sorcery were brought to the test and their inherent limitations were exposed, much to the humiliation of its arrogant practitioners.

The Torah relates that when Moshe and Aharon first approached Pharaoh to demand the release of the Israelite slaves, Aharon threw his wooden staff to the ground and it was miraculously transformed into a live serpent. Pharaoh then ordered his magicians to mimic the feat, and they, too, threw their staffs and turned them into serpents. Much to their surprise, however, Aharon's staff-serpent promptly devoured all the magicians’ serpents. The commentaries explain [1] that this incident was intended to prove that Moshe’s demonstration was not derived by the powers of sorcery, as Pharaoh suspected. The Egyptian magicians were not able to create real living creatures; but rather only snake-like forms which could never attack and devour other snakes. Aharon’s snake, however, which was created using the forces of kedusha (holiness), rather than the forces of impurity, was a real-live serpent which had the power to attack the others.

This distinction was reinforced during the plague of blood. When Aharon struck the waters of the Nile River with his staff, the entire river miraculously turned into real blood, such that all the fish in the river died as a result of consuming the blood. But when the Egyptian sorcerers attempted to turn water into blood, they could only make the water appear like blood, but not turn it into actual blood[2]. Likewise, during the plague of frogs, Aharon created actual frogs which rapidly reproduced and begot many others, while the magicians could only create frog-like creatures which were incapable of reproducing. During the third plague, the plague of lice, the magicians failed in their attempts to replicate Aharon’s feat of transforming dust into vermin, and were thus forced to confess that the plague was brought about by “the finger of G-d [3].” During the subsequent plagues, the magicians did not even attempt to duplicate Moshe and Aharon’s miracles.

The commentaries explain [4] that Hashem did not give the forces of impurity limitless creative capabilities because they would then be able to create entire new worlds to advance their evil agenda. Therefore, their powers are generally limited to acts of illusion and the use of demons and spirits.

Probably the greatest sorcerer of all time was the evil prophet Bilaam, who, as the Torah relates, attempted to place a curse on the Jewish people and have them annihilated. The commentaries explain [5] that Bilaam’s extraordinary powers stemmed from his mastery of sorcery and black magic, and not from his abilities as a prophet. In fact, he was not worthy of prophecy at all, and was given prophetic capabilities only for a very brief period. This is why in the Prophets he is referred to as “Bilaam Hakosem–Bilaam the Sorcerer,” with no mention of his prophetic status. According to the Midrash [6] Bilaam and his two sons were originally the most prestigious advisors and sorcerers of Pharaoh during the period of Bene Yisrael’s enslavement. And many other stories abound of ancient nations who enlisted Bilaam to reveal to them the outcome of their battles and to help them win through his extraordinary mystical powers.[7]

Bilaam acquired his great powers of sorcery directly from the evil angels Aza and Azael. Bilaam visited these two angels every day until he learned all the mystical secrets they knew. [8]

Some sources identify Bilaam with Lavan, Yaakov’s crooked father-in-law, who sought to destroy Yaakov and prevent the emergence of the Jewish people. According to this tradition, Bilaam lived well over 300 years. [9]

Bilaam was killed by Bene Yisrael during the battle of Midyan prior to their entering the land of Israel. [10]  The Midrash relates [11] that when the Jews captured Bilaam, he used sorcery to raise himself and the five kings of Midyan high in the air and disappear from sight. (Though the powers of impurity can only be summoned while standing on the ground, once the sorcery is initiated, the subject could use the powers to levitate off the ground for a period of time.) Pinhas, the grandson of Aharon, flew after him by uttering the divine name or, according to others, by directing the name of Hashem written on the tzitz (frontlet) of the kohen gadol towards the airborne Midyanites counteracting Bilaam’s powers of magic. Bilaam and the kings immediately fell to the ground and were then easily killed by Bene Yisrael. Bilaam’s decaying body and tarnished soul transformed into evil spirits, snakes and scorpions, the result of the impurity with which they had been saturated during his lifetime. [12]

Limited Time Span
The commentaries add [13] that objects created by the powers of sorcery cannot remain in existence permanently. These creations can exist for only limited periods of time, after which the laws of nature take hold and return them to their original state. This is why the frogs that descended upon Egypt during the second plague remained in the Nile River after the plague, and did not just disappear. Gd demonstrated to Pharaoh and the Egyptians that His creations can exist indefinitely, as opposed to the creations of magic, which are only temporary.

Sorcery is also subject to limited accessibility. The Zohar writes that the forces of impurity are unable to perform magic from hassot (midnight) at night [14] until midday, whereas Hashem, of course, can overturn the natural order he created anytime He wishes.

Additionally, someone born during the month of Adar II, on a leap year, cannot be affected by magic. This is because he is born in a month which doesn’t have a specific mazal and “doesn’t really exist”. Therefore the magicians have no way of dealing with him. In this vein, when Yehoshua gathered an army to fight Amalek, who came to fight Beneh Yisrael using witchcraft, he purposely chose people who were born in Adar II, to whom these forces take no affect.

Not Underground

The Midrash teaches[15]that after Pharaoh’s edict ordering the drowning of all newborn Jewish males in the Nile River, expectant Jewish mothers would go out to the fields to give birth, and would leave their infants there. Hashem sent angels to care for the newborns, and when the Egyptian patrolmen would arrive in search of the infants, Hashem would make the ground open and bring the children underground. The Egyptians, attributing this phenomenon to black magic, persisted in their efforts to capture and kill the Hebrew infants. Knowing that magic cannot be implemented deeper than one handbreadth underground, they brought plows to dig deep into the earth and expose the children. But the babies were not found no matter how deep the plows dug, demonstrating to the Egyptian sorcerers that Hashem’s supernatural powers are not bound by the limitations that apply to magic.

Only When Standing on the Ground

The Mishna tells[16]of the great sage Shimon Ben Shetah who used his knowledge of sorcery's limitations to successfully capture 80 witches who had been hiding in a cave in the town of Ashkelon. He brought 80 young men with him to the mouth of the cave, and announced to the witches that he had used magic to bring them 80 young men for their entertainment and pleasure. The witches expressed interest, and the rabbi instructed his men to quickly enter the cave and “embrace” the witches, each man lifting one witch off the ground. Since the powers of sorcery can only be summoned only while standing on the ground, the witches were rendered powerless. The young men quickly carried them to Bet Din where they were all charged with practicing forbidden acts of sorcery.

The commentaries add [17] that this was one of the reasons why the magicians of Egypt could not duplicate the plague of lice. The ground throughout Egypt had turned to lice, and thus the sorcerers were not standing directly on the ground. This rendered them powerless and unable to practice their magic.

Overturned by Fresh Water

The Talmud relates [18] that one of the sages once visited the Egyptian city of Alexandria where he purchased a donkey. When he brought the animal to a stream of water to drink, the donkey drank and immediately turned into a plank of wood. The rabbi returned to the dealer and demanded that he return the money, as he had been defrauded.

“Since you are a rabbi,” the man said, “I will give you your money back. Ordinarily, however, I would never refund a customer in such a case, because here in Egypt, everyone knows to check their merchandise by pouring fresh water on it to discern if it is merely a creation of magic, which dissolves when touched by fresh water.”

No Power of Resurrection

The Talmud tells [19] of a sage who once watched an Arab merchant slice a camel into many pieces, and then shook his bell. The camel stood up in one piece, alive and well, and the merchant thus claimed to possess the power of resurrection. The sage relayed this story to his colleagues, and they inquired as to whether he saw any remnants of blood or innards after the camel stood up. He answered in the negative, and the other rabbis saw this as proof that what he had seen was just an illusion, as the camel had never really died. The forces of impurity do not have the power of resurrection, and it was therefore impossible that the camel had died and was then returned to life.

By contrast, the prophet and great sages who were endowed with the powers of kedusha had the ability to resurrect the dead. The Navi, in Sefer Melachim, describes how the prophet Eliyahu and his student Elisha performed tehiyat hametim (resurrection) on various occasions. And a well-known tradition teaches that any sage mentioned by name in the Talmud was on the spiritual level to perform tehiyat hametim.

These powers were accessible to certain rabbis of later generations, as well. Once, in the 16thcentury, a young Arab boy was found murdered, and, as often happened, the Jews were accused of murdering the child and faced severe punitive measures. But a great rabbi named Rabbi Klonimous from Safed saved them by writing certain words on a piece of parchment which he then placed on the dead boy’s forehead. Suddenly, in full view of the large audience that had gathered, the boy rose to his feet and told the entire story of the real murder and where it took place. He then fell again to the ground, lifeless[20].

The Overpowering Forces of Kedusha

Even though the forces of impurity were given the power to perform supernatural acts, these powers pale in comparison to those of the forces of kedusha, in which Hashem invested far more strength. As the aforementioned stories from the Tanach and Talmud clearly demonstrate, the powers of kedusha can be used to subdue and triumph over the forces of sorcery. Thus, for example, Pinhas succeeded in defeating Bilaam, and many sages were able to remove magical spells through the use of the forces of sanctity[21].

[1]See commentary of Seforno Parashat Va’era chapter 7:23


[3]Parashat Va’era 8:15

[4]Maharsha in Sanhedrin 67b

[5]Ramban in Parashat Balak chapter 22:31

[6]Yalkut Shimoni Parashat Shemot, chapter 168

[7]Ibid, Sefer Hayasher Parashat Shemot

[8]Sefer Kav Hayashar chapter 28

[9]Yalkut Shimoni Parashat Shemot chapter 168

[10]Parashat Matot chapter 31:8

[11]Ibid (see Rashi and Targum Yonatan Ben Uziel)

[12]Sefer Kav Hayashar chapter 28

[13]Seforno Parashat Va’era 8:5

[14]Malbim Perashat Va’era 8:8

[15]Tractate Sota 11b and see Maharsha.

[16]Tractate Sanhedrin 45b (see Talmud Yerushalmi)

[17]Meam Loez: Parashat Va’era 8:4

[18]Tractate Sanhedrin 67b

[19]Tractate Sanhedrin 67b

[20]Sefer Simhat Haregel by The Hida, (on his commentary of Nishmat).

[21]Sefer Nefesh Hahayim chapter 3:11

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

A Kabbalistic History of the World

Rabbi Efraim Palvanov

Does the first chapter of Genesis secretly allude to the major events in the history of mankind? How do the Six Days of Creation parallel the past six thousand years of human civilization? 

Find out in this class where we review the key developments of history through the lens of Torah, Talmud, and Kabbalah, and take a peek into what’s to come in the long-awaited seventh millennium. Also: does AI have anything to do with the forthcoming Messianic Age?

Monday, February 5, 2024

Ani Ma'amin

Australian Zalman Simons - love it!

Eliyahu haNavi

 Rabb Tovia Singer speaking about Eliyahu haNavi before Moshiach - [less than 10 mins]

Sunday, February 4, 2024

The Essence of Torah in One Word


The Alter Rebbe teaches that the essence of the giving of the Torah is hidden in one strange word in the introductory verse of the Ten Commandments in parshat Yisro: 

וַיְדַבֵּר אֱלֹהִים אֵת כָּל־הַדְּבָרִים הָאֵלֶּה לֵאמֹר

And God spoke all of these words to say. [Yitro 20:1]

The last word of the verse - “leimor/to say” - has challenged the Sages throughout the generations. Without it, the verse would have read “and God spoke all of these words,” and this would have been sufficient. What does it add to indicate at the end of the verse that these words were “said/leimor” after it was already stated at the beginning of the verse that they were “spoken/vayidaber”? 

Many answers have been proposed. In other cases where this formula is employed in Torah - for example, “God spoke to Moses, saying” [Exodus 16:11] - the Sages explain that “leimor/saying” indicates that Moses was being instructed to “say” to the people publicly what God had “spoken” to him privately. Yet in the case of this opening verse at the giving of the Torah, the Alter Rebbe points out that this explanation cannot apply. For unlike the other cases where God is speaking to one person and instructing him to repeat what was being said to others who were not currently hearing it, in the case of the giving of the Torah, the entire Jewish nation (including the souls of all future generations) was there and heard the words from God Himself. 

Rashi interprets that “leimor/saying” here means that the nation answered each of the commandments, explicitly stating their agreement to them. God “spoke” the commandments, and the people “said” we will fulfill them. 

But the Alter Rebbe provides a deeper interpretation according to Chassidus and the Torah’s mystic depths. The essence of the giving of the Torah is expressed in this word “leimor/to say,” he teaches, because the entire purpose of Torah is to enable each of us “to say” what G-d “spoke.” In other words, each of us was created specifically in order to be a vessel through which G-d’s energy is expressed and manifested. Our ultimate function and purpose is to recognize that we are the instruments of Divine communication that He utilizes to reveal Himself in a world where He had initially hidden Himself. Torah is the wisdom that enables us to understand this reality and to articulate it. Torah is the practice that enables us to nullify our ego and allow the Godliness that is our ultimate essence to flow through us without obstruction. 

G-d “speaks” the world into existence every moment. We are here as His mouthpiece, to “say” what He speaks in a language that it can be understood and integrated in this physical world. Torah enables us to translate His infinite energy into something finite and tangible - to say what He spoke - and thereby to inform the entire creation of His Oneness and His eternal omnipresence.

Source: Pnei Hashem

Thursday, February 1, 2024

As Above, So Below

Looking at photos all the time, sometimes I don't even know what I'm looking at - is this Gaza or is it the sunset?  ... sometimes they all seem so similar.

"By the times of the Talmudic period, the Jewish Sages had developed a unique cosmic worldview. They saw this material world as only a reflection of the spiritual world. What happened down here reflected, in some way, much greater cosmic events that were happening in the Heavens. Thus, just as there was a Jerusalem down here on Earth, there was a Jerusalem shel ma’alah, a “Jerusalem Above” (see, for example, Ta’anit 5a)." Source: Mayim Achronim

 The World Above resembles the world below: Cf. Tractate Berachos 58a; Zohar I, 38a, 205b, 197a.

Sunset Baja Sur, Mexico


Mereweather Beach Newcastle Australia

Gaza bombing lights up the night

Cloud of unknown origins: from last week


Gaza - notice the red circle around the sun