Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Obama for a Second Term? - Torah/Bible Codes

Rabbi Glazerson video:


by Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein

''I implored Hashem'' [Va'etchanan 3:23]

The Midrash states that Moshe offered 515 prayers to Hashem in order to be allowed to enter the Land of Israel.  This is alluded to in the word ''Va'eschanan'' whose numerical value is 515.

Not only does the word ''Va'etchanan'' equal 515, noted the Chasam Sofer [R' Moshe Sofer], but so does the word ''tefillah'' [prayer].

Furthermore, if we add 26 - the numerical value of the ineffable Name of Hashem [yud, hei, vav, hei] to the number 515, we will get 541 - the numerical value of the word Yisrael.

Also see: What Happens to Unanswered Prayers

Monday, July 30, 2012

Adding the Truth

by Rabbi Daniel Travis

“There are 248 limbs in the body, and each word of Shema serves to protect one of them” [Zohar Chadash, Rus 97b]. However, when making a tally of all of the sections of Shema, one comes up with only 245 words. How do we make up for the three missing words?

“In order to make up the missing three words, the prayer leader should repeat the last three words of Shema, Hashem Elokeichem Emes [Hashem your G-d is Truth]” [Shulchan Aruch 61,3]. This is based on the halachic principle of “shome’a k’oneh,” that when one listens to words it is as if one said them personally. Therefore, these three words, in addition to the 245 words of Shema, bring us to the sum total of 248 words.

Shema in Hebrew [add the word ''Emes'' at the end]

Shema in English [note that the word ''True'' has been added at the end]

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Prayer on Tisha b'Av

The fast of Tisha b'Av this year begins Saturday night
The prayer of Eichah - [Lamentations] can be found here

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Self-Centredness: The Sad Secret of Tisha B'Av

A New Essay by Rabbi Chaim Ingram

The three weeks leading up to the fast of Tisha b’Av, and especially the nine days of Av, are replete with restrictive customs. These restrictions are intended to bring home to us our loss: the loss of the Bet haMikdash, the Holy Temple, spiritual powerhouse for the whole of the Jewish people and ultimately the world. They also reinforce the need for us to approach with renewed fervour the Assessor Supreme to make good those losses. In so doing we remind ourselves of the reasons for these losses: primarily failure in interpersonal relations, a lack of outward-directed Ahavat Yisrael, in short the kind of self-centred indifference or, worse, sin’at chinam (gratuitous hatred) that is still with us, else the Bet haMikdash would have been rebuilt already. And “any generation in which the Temple is not rebuilt is reckoned to have destroyed it” [Jer. Talmud Yoma 1:1].

One of the restrictions of this period is that we do not bless Shehecheyanu. This is essentially an inward-directed blessing, recited when we are the beneficiaries of something new intended for our personal use or benefit: a new fruit, a new dress, an inheritance of which one is the sole beneficiary. In contrast, another blessing, ha-tov ve-hametiv, is made when others also benefit. This is an outward-directed blessing. It may be said on purchasing new household silverware or on inheriting a legacy also shared by others (siblings, etc.). We do not find that the recital of this latter blessing is explicitly restricted during this period. If it were, it would convey the wrong message. The lesson is that we should at all times find pleasure in others’ pleasure. This is part of ahavat chinam (boundless love). If loving means selfless giving (as it does in the Hebrew language) then hatred is manifested in extreme self-centredness Therefore only inward-directed, selfish pleasure is to be curtailed.

The eradication of selfishness is the key to understanding Tisha b’Av. After all, what could have been more selfish than the burning by the Zealots of storehouses of wheat, barley and wood sufficient to sustain Jerusalem for 21 years, thus forcing Judea to confront Rome with disastrous consequences. Or the perfidious betrayal by Bar Kamtsa of his people to the Caesar to avenge his own hurt.

The tragic history of the ninth day of Av goes all the way back to the slanderous report of the spies and the popular uprising against taking possession of the Land ruefully recalled by Moses in this week’s sidra. This sin too had its roots in the vice of selfishness. Our midrashic commentators explain that the men (and it was only the men who complained) had lacked the courage to go up and fight for the Land of Israel preferring instead to subject their wives and children to the tyranny of renewed foreign domination.

It took forty years of intense introspection and soul-searching in the desert to mend this selfish trait. But when Am Yisrael procrastinated mentally before embarking on the final desert war against Midian, it was for a very unselfish reason – because they knew Moses would perish afterwards [see Rashi to Num 31:5]. Moses himself is alacritous to go to battle against Midian even though he knows he will die thereafter. And when the people do go to war, as Rashi [31:4, citing Sifri] explicitly tells us, they are accompanied in this milkhemet mitsva (obligatory war) by the spiritual elite of Israel, not only the Levites but also Pinchas the Kohen who understood that his presence at the battlefield was essential for the morale of the nation. Possibly it was his inspiration that helped the Bnei Yisrael over the final hurdle and into the Promised Land.

The need to rise above selfish and self-centred interests challenges all strata of our people, whether ‘religious’ or ‘secular’ (and labels are invidious). The yetzer ha-ra (evil inclination) struts around among our nation indiscriminately and with differing degrees of false piety. Ultimately only a deep and abiding cheshbon ha-nefesh (soul-searching) among religious and secular alike (there were no distinctions in the desert) will alter ingrained attitudes which threaten to split our nation into two.

Mashiach awaits us – and only an abundance of ahavat chinam (causeless love), inter-fraternal understanding and outer-directedness will push us those final furlongs to our destination ensuring we will never ever have to fast again on Tisha b’Av.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Fall of the King of the East [Damascus] - Torah Codes

This is the sign [that the redemption is imminent]: When you see the fall of the King of the East in Damascus, the Eastern Kingdom will fall, and then the Jews will experience salvation, and Moshiach Ben David will arrive, and they [the Jews] will ascend to Jerusalem and enjoy it, as it says [in Tehillim 37:11] But the humble will inherit the land and delight themselves with the abundant peace. May G-d have mercy on us and send us the redeemer speedily in our days, Amen.
[as related to Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai by an angel, while he was hiding in the cave]
See: Chabad.info

New video: Moshiach, Damascus will fall

Connecting with a Tzadik

by Rav DovBer Pinson [Iyyun.com]

This week we begin the fifth book of the Torah, Devarim, which is literally translated as ‘words.’

The Torah reading this week begins with “These are the words that Moshe/Moses spoke to all the Israelites on the east bank of the Jordan.”

Unlike the earlier four books of the Torah where the Torah is written in the third person, as in “And Hashem spoke to Moshe..,” in this book it is Moshe’s voice in first person, as in “These are the words of Moshe.”

In the earlier books, although Moshe wrote the books, he was not present as an individual. In the fifth book however, he is speaking “in his own words” [Megilah, 31b], he is fully present in his voice, even though his words are spoken through Ruach Ha’Kodesh/ Divine Inspiration. [Tosefos]

In the Zohar it is written; "the teachings… in the book of Devarim, were [written by] Moshe himself." Is it possible that even one letter that Moshe spoke came from himself? And the Zohar answers that not even one letter that emerged from the mouth of Moshe was self-generated, each letter and sound issued forth was completely precise and calculated. The words that came from the mouth of Moshe was a manifestation of a Divine voice that possessed him. [Zohar 3, 265a]

“The Shechinah – the divine presence within creation- was talking through the mouth of Moshe.”

So Devarim is Divine Wisdom the way it is revealed and unpacked by Moshe’s own individuality, his unique voice. This book thus becomes the bridge between the written dimension of Torah, which is the revelation from Above, and the oral dimension of Torah, which is the human innovation and creativity, emanating from Below. [Zohar 3, 261a] There is a merging of heaven and earth, a revelation from humanity that originates and is consistent with the Sinaic revelation from Above.

In each one of us there is an aspect of Moshe. [Tanya] There are those who fully realize their ‘inner Moshe’ and are able to channel Torah wisdom, completely laying aside their ego so that they become a pure conduit of energy. This person becomes a vessel which receives and gives the light in a continuous motion. This is the Tzadik.

The Energy of the Week

Connecting to a Tzadik
This week’s energy is our connection with the life and teachings of a Tzadik.

If there is a Tzadik that you have connected with in your past, or know of one whose teachings you have felt connected to - this is a powerful time to study their words and reconnect yourself to the Tzadik.

A true Tzadik is someone who is your perfect mirror, reflecting back to you your potential to be a Tzadik as well.

We all have the potential to be like Moshe [Rambam]. Through observing a Tzadik, or learning his or her teachings, we come in close contact with a fully realized person, one who is living their true potential and this inspires the same in ourselves. A sign of a true, great Tzadik is a person who inspires greatness in others.

This week’s energy allows us to connect ourselves to a Tzadik. It does not have to be a person that is living, for the Tzadikim in their teachings and lifetimes of giving, leave a legacy that we can continue to strongly connect with even after their passing. Study the teachings of the Tzadik and read the story of their life - in this way you begin to reflect the Tzadik and bring out your own inner Tzadik as well.

An additional energy this week connecting to the period of the Nine days which begins on Monday:

In all of our dealings, especially with children, students or employees this week, we must be sure to lessen any forms of aggression.

We need to be extra gentle and compassionate in our communications and disciplining methods during the Nine day period.

The Messianic Temple

Author Chaim Clorfene discusses the significance of studying the subject of The Third Temple, and introduces his book "The Messianic Temple, Understanding Ezekiel's Prophecy".

Read more: click here