Friday, March 31, 2006

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Well, What Now?

So now that the election results are sinking in, I had another brief chat with Reb Dov Bar Leib, the author of the End of Days blog on the kabbalistic outlook for the future and end-of-days scenario's: (edited for brevity and presentation)

I guess now it gets ugly? The hard path.

Reb Dov: Yep! If he buys out UTJ or Shas, it is the hard path all the way.

Many pro­nounce­ments were made about Rosh Chodesh Nissan, I'm waiting but we seem to be on the com­pletely natural path. I've yet to see a single pro­nounce­ment with obvious worldly results.

Reb Dov: I think many of these will not come to fruition until Isru Chag of Pesach when the brit of Yitzkhak is fully re­membered. I do believe that we will witness apo­ca­lyptic changes over the next twelve months. Bitah may need to wait to the year of Shmini Atzeret. We will progress quickly after the big Sukkot world gath­er­ing.

Reb Dov reminds us, "I am not making any set in stone predictions because so much is dependent on free will and how many Jews do teshuva (repent/return/improve their relationship with G-d and performance of Torah and mitzvot) and when."

Rabbi Lazer Brody over at Lazer Beams (here) says it's all a high stakes test, intense, dangerous spiritually, and predicted in advance. Read the whole thing.

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A Two State Solution - Judea and Israel?

Well, I get a little shocked when some more serious voices start talking about the 2 state solution, the Jewish states of Judea and Israel. The history of this is Israel as a break away less-religious state from Judea. Is it possible we might see the reverse in our immediate future (the break away more-religious state of Judea)?

See this Dvar Torah, here.

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Taking the NY Times to Task

A good friend of mine shared this letter he wrote a few days ago to the NY Times taking them to task for a new book...

Dear New York Times Editors:

I have just been given a book, The Dictionary of Misunderstood, Misused & Mispronounced Words, put out The New York Times, edited by Laurence Urdang.

I noticed an egregious set of definitions for "pharisaic" and "pharisee", stating these refer to "hypocrits". I will presume the copiously documented history of the Jewish nation that currently exists on-line and elsewhere, depicting the Pharisees as the virtual equivalent to the Jews of the "founding fathers of America" is known by some at the NY Times. These definitions carry forward a reflection of Christian anti-Judaism and anti-Semitism from a pre-Vatican II notion of who the Pharisees were and is today officially repudiated by most mainline Protestant Churches and the Catholic Church. It is sad that a "secular" organization chooses to carry the now repudiated religious banner of anti-Judaic stereotypes. That this book may actually be used in public schools, colleges and universities is frightening, given the current spate of campus anti-semitism in the US and abroad.

The standing of the Pharisees in the Jewish community, the party representing the majority of the Jews during 2nd Temple times and as authors of the Mishna and Talmud (those bearing the high ethics of Judaism and taught to a nation and adopted by the Western world) are well known. Rabbinic Judaism as it is known today has a direct link to the Pharisees,

That the NY Times prints a book in 2002 denigrating an entire people and religion, despite it subtlely being embedded in a dictionary, is astounding. The decrying of the publishing of allegedly anti-Mohammedan cartoons in the NY Times is in stark contrast to your own standards of ethnic denigration. The anti-Jewish or anti-Israel claims made about your organization can only be supported by such gaffs as this.

It is my hope the editors of future editions of this book will make appropriate corrections. Further, it would be in the spirit of truth and fellowship, if a formal apology be made to the Jewish community. As a synagogue newletter editor I will make the effort to inform our congregants, the Orthodox Union, Rabbinical Council of America and Agudath Israel of America of this item for general advice to the Jewish community.

Alan Hoffman

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

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Interesting Sanhedrin Info

A friend noticed this somewhat hidden article on Israel National News regarding the new Sanhedrin's start-up (sorry, I don't have a source link) and I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere else (so here it is). The story and meeting discussed is about a month old...

In a dramatic speech at a special session of the developing Sanhedrin to appoint a B'nai Noah Council, Rabbi Dov Levanoni publicly revealed the steps leading up to reinstitution of Semikha – Biblical ordination, renewed through a consensus among the rabbis of a generation living in the Land of Israel.

Levanoni explained that Rabbi Moshe Halberstam, a senior rabbi on Jerusalem's Eda Hareidis, became the first samukh [ordained one] after none of the hundreds of rabbis consulted via written letters expressed objections and after receiving approval by the leading rabbis followed by most of Israel's religious Jews. These rabbis, Levanoni said, included Hareidi-Religious Rabbi Shalom Elyashiv and former Chief Sephardic Rabbi Ovadia Yosef.

"Rav Zalman Nechemia Goldberg gave his blessing as well, along with many others," Rabbi Levanoni said, "and we pray that all of Israel will join in this effort in our days."

In the past, Sanhedrin secretary Rabbi Dov Stein, has written that Former Chief Sephardic Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu endorsed the project indirectly - his son was ordained by Sanhedrin - and that former Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi and Rosh Yeshiva of Merkaz HaRav Kook Rabbi Avraham Shapira chose to abstain on the issue, but refused to discourage it.

Rabbi Levanoni's statement marked the first time Rabbis Yosef and Elyashiv have been publicly tied to the Sanhedrin project and is expected to further increase the influence of the nascent body, which was recently bolstered by Rabbi Adin Even-Israel Steinsaltz's agreement to act as its Nassi [president].

People have asked previously, what's the leading rabbi's position on the Sanhedrin, it would seem from this that they're quietly involved.

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If I Forget Thee Oh Brooklyn

DovBear commented: If Israelis want to live with it, that is their choice to make, not ours.

I disagree, we are one nation intimately tied to the holy land. We cannot divorce ourselves from our brothers in the holy land, nor from the holy land itself.

After all, "if I forget you Boro Park, let my left hand get hang nail" just doesn't sound the same.

There's a reason we Jew's direct our prayers towards Jerusalem when we pray, and our synogogue's face Jerusalem, regardless of where we are in the world.

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Wednesday, March 29, 2006

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Post Israel Election Thoughts


Israel National News, Click Graphic
I'm definately wasting more time on the filthy business of politics than is appropriate. (How much is appropriate? None!)

DovBear wrote:
Well, now that the Israelis themselves have roundly rejected the Likud, and embraced the platforms put forward by Labor and Kadima, can we finally agree that it is not "anti-Israel" to seek a two-state solution, or to encourage further disengagments? ... will it take yet another Likud defeat before comfortable, American, armchair, Zionists realize that what they desire is completely out of step with what most Israelis want?

I responded: Today in the middle of the election, an Israeli town was hit with a katusha rocket, not a little home made firecracker, from Gaza. But, everyone just ignored it, no big deal, so what if it hits a school or playground, etc. Those are the risks we take for peace. But they can't do anything, or rather they're not willing to do anything, because the world might say or do something (unlike Iran, who tells the world to stuff it).

I've had a bomb go off 2 blocks from my wife with toddler and baby, only 3 people injured (you know, injured as in limbs blown off), but no one killed so you won't hear about it. I've been in the Shomron and been 'stoned' by the peaceful arabs.

I'm not arm-chairing it, though I'm in the U.S. right now. And yes, most Israeli's I know will do anything that seems to offer any opportunity for, what to them is, generations of war, to end. Give back land, no problem, abandon all the holy sites, ok, divide Jerusalem, sure ok fine. If it actually worked it might even be worth discussion.

But it hasn't, has it? Go ahead, name the actions any Israeli government has taken that has reduced terror attacks and enemy attacks. See how many of them line up with 'agree', 'give back', 'concession' and how many line up with 'attack', 'threaten', 'defeat'.

While I don't understand the mindset that keeps hand feeding the animal that bites you, Hashem clearly has a purpose in all of this. As Rabbi Brody wrote, "with emuna (faith), a person votes and then forgets about the outcome. It's all in Hashem's hands and all for the best - just wait and see." Amein!

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Tuesday, March 28, 2006

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Kabbalah, the Elections, and the End of Days - Part 3

As the Israeli elections are in progress, this is the wrap up of my (email) conversations with Reb Dov Bar Leib (several are put together in this post), the author of the End of Days blog on the election, the kabbalistic aspects involved, and end-of-days scenario's:

Reb Dov wrote:

The one other time this century that Amalek was approaching Eretz Yisrael, Hitler, yemach shmo (his name should be erased), was approaching from the same direction (southwest, gaiva from the heart comes from the southwest, see this post point 4). He, of course was stopped by the British at the famous battle of El Alamein. Or else he would have marched right into Eretz Yisrael by way of Gaza. Baruch HaShem (Thank G-d) he was stopped where he was stopped.

If Klal Yisrael (literally the congregation of Israel) actually chooses Armilus (end times Jewish misdirected/negative leader) after all of the signs not to, oy! By the way, I found a source that Olmert's father, Mordechai, before changing the name over to Hebrew letters upon making Aliyah spelled his last name Ohlmert not Olmert. This is interesting because Medrash Eliyahu says that the first letter can be a Hey as in H-R-M-L-T. The evidence is piling up that Olmert or should I say Ohlmert is our bad man in Gog's pocket.

I asked:

1. Given the navi (prophet(s)) speaks of the survivors coming out of the Negev (and 2/3 of Jerusalem being destroyed), rather than buying a new suit (to greet Moshiach), should we be buying a ballistic vest and tent?

2. Given the possibility on the positive side (Moshiach arrives, the world turns to immediate good, the Temple Mount becomes available), should we be lining up the materials for a korban pesach (the passover sacrifice)?

Reb Dov replied:

I believe that while the situation starts to turn around this Nissan (Hebrew month around this April, starts Wednesday night/Thursday), there will be may trials and setbacks until the worst of Gog U Magog is finished hopefully long before Hoshana Rabba of 5769. Actually Zecharia intimates that 2/3 of the world will be destroyed during this time period. Rav Amnon Yitzkhak has been saying the same thing.

The Gog U Magog gutwrenching process is typified by the apparent election of evil incarnate tomorrow albeit with a reduced number of mandates, followed quickly by something miraculous to counter this evil in the near future. The contrast between good and evil will be so stark and unmistakable, it will be a wonder how three out of every ten supposed Jews could gladly vote for it. Let us daven that only good things occur during this election and that the bird flu along with Hamas's ascent to dominance will defeat Armilus before he really begins to destroy, for whatever he destroys will lead to world destruction one hundred fold.

Amein!

Reb Dov reminds us, "I am not making any set in stone predictions because so much is dependent on free will and how many Jews do teshuva (repent/return/improve their relationship with G-d and performance of Torah and mitzvot) and when."

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Weird Religious Pre-Election Moment - UTJ vs Chabad

One of the weirder pre-election moments in the Israeli election was part of the United Torah Judaism party (United because it's made up of two separate religious mini-parties, the non-chassidic historically Lithuanian ultra-orthodox Degel HaTorah - The Flag of Torah party, and the mixed-chassidic-and-others Agudat Yisroel) coming out against a major constituency of the other part this past weekend (that constituency being Chabad Chassidim).

While the whole story is a little more twisted (it's not the party that came out but a former leading member and Knesset member, who came out with it in a about-to-be-published book he wrote which was excerpted by a newspaper associated with the party's constituency block, the pre-election Shabbos edition), what leads the left hand to shoot the right hand of the same voting party literally moments before the election is just crazy.

Sinat Chinam, hatred of your brother, in a full measure means sufficient hatred that even hurting yourself in the process doesn't matter. We have met the enemy and he is us.

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Monday, March 27, 2006

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The Elections, The Eclipse, The Geulah?


Click Graphic for Eclipse Info

Reb Dov Bar Leib of the End of Days blog previously wrote about the upcoming solar eclipse here...

...the event that is set to occur between the day of the vote and The New Moon. ...not your normal Molad where the moon passes the plane between the sun and the earth so that it can be spotted that evening a few hours later. No, that molad is scheduled to be, since the time of The Creation, an 80% solar eclipse. That’s right there will be an 80% symbolic diminution of the power of the Nations of the World vis-à-vis Yisrael. The 80% can be understood from the Zohar which says that four of the five evil husks of the mixed multitude are set to be destroyed at the End of Days. 4/5 is 80%. To understand who really gets whacked spiritually by this eclipse it is instructional to follow the path of totality.

This morning, Reb Nathan of Yiddishkeit.Org sent this out:

The Biala Rebbe says: "this week between Wednesday and Thursday something very very important for the world and Moshiach will happen"

Baba Baruch (son of the Baba Sali, ztvk"l) says: Moshiach will be here in Nissan (that's Wednesday night / Thursday).

A report of the Rabbi who went to Israel to witness the opening of Rav Kaduri's letter, who says that the geulah is imminent!

Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, shlita, is quoted on YNetNews stating that after the Israeli elections, "the country will change, everything will change."

A group went to Tzfat (Safed) to daven by the Tzaddikim (gravesites of the holy people). They went afterwards to a mekubal (kabbalist, name not disclosed) for a blessing and he told them "Be prepared for a big surprise Adar 28 - election day and be ready the following day to be at the Kotel (Western Wall, Jerusalem)."

It was posted that a certain individual in Bnei Brak (ultra-orthodox Israeli city near Tel Aviv) had a dream that "his daughter told him that this coming Thursday [Rosh Chodesh - new month] something will happen that will shake the world. And when R' Chaim Kanievsky, shlita, heard about this he requested that they buy him a new suit for this Thursday."

(Yerenan Yaakov has this notice up with source links, here.)

The eclipse will occur this Wednesday: * times updated *

4:30 AM - 7:30 AM U.S. Eastern Time
11:30 AM - 2:30 PM Israel Time (IST)


passing over Israel and the Middle East approximately from 11:37 AM IST - 2:13 PM IST, reaching a peak of 84% coverage at 12:56 PM

12:50 - 1:15 IST over peak Saudia Arabia,
1:15 - 1:30 IST over peak Iran.

(Time graphic here.)

We've heard some predictions before and haven't yet seen anything happening in this world to match them. But some extra charity and good deeds, repentence and Psalms is always a good thing. Seems like it would be an even better thing this week.

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Kabbalah, the Elections, and the End of Days - Part 2

More on my (email) conversation with Reb Dov Bar Leib, the author of the End of Days blog on the Israeli elections, the kabbalistic aspects involved, and end-of-days scenario's:

Reb Dov followed his previous note to me with a note he posted about bird flu in Israel and whether it's a kappara (an exchange sacrifice) for the lives of the erev rav in Israel (his post here, I posted about it here).

From that, I asked:

Just looking at a map I see all the locations are right around Gaza. Further, chicken is a primary food source in Israel (and therefore I'm assuming in Aza as well). Israel will take the hard step and attempt to kill off the flocks, but I can't imagine that the Arabs will either be sufficiently organized, understanding of the need, or able to (as a prime food source with limited possibilities for immediate substitutes).

This says to me that they're going to be eating huge quantities of infected birds in a very human compressed space (Gaza living conditions). The chance of it making the jump to human transmission given those conditions becomes extraordinary.

Any sources specifically discussing plague in Gaza?

Reb Dov replied (comments in parens are my explanations):

1. In the years of Yitzkhak and Ya'akov, Yitzkhak made two strategic withdrawals after striving with Avimelech's shepherds from two separate wells in the vicinity of Gaza, most probably in Wadi Gerar which snakes between Ofakim and Netivot all the way to Aza and the Mediterranean Sea. The first well was called Esek, for Yitzkhak withdrew from it after a heated probably physical battle with Avimelech's shepherds. The second well was called Sitnah, for Yitzkhak withdrew from it after heated accusations. It appears that this bird flu withdrawal might correspond with Esek, to G-d help us, prevent a parallel withdrawal from Yesha (West Bank). Apparently, Kibbutz Ein HaShlosha may be completely abandoned from this financial loss along with Kassam bombardment (PA rockets/bombs). If there is to be another "withdrawal" corresponding with Sitnah, it will occur if this withdrawal does not awaken a certain level of teshuvah (repentence/return/reconnecting with G-d) in the Israeli public. Olmert, getting enough seats to press on with his evil plans, would be a sign that a Sitnah withdrawal is necessary. We will need to wait until next Tuesday (Israeli election day, March 28) to see how many Coastal Plain folk have awakened from their hedonistic stupor. If they have not awakened, Sitnah could occur any time during the Years of Yitzkhak and Ya'akov because these two withdrawals from the two wells took place when Ya'akov was already born. See Parshat Toldos. Purely B'itah (in it's time), the final destruction of Armilus (end times Jewish misdirected/negative leader) can take place as late as 5768, the year of Moshe (Moses) since it was Moshe who bequeathed upon us the Erev Rav. And it is in his merit that they will be ultimately destroyed. Let us pray that they will bite the dust in haste. Waiting another full 18 months could be very painful. I prefer b'itah achishena. If Armilus falls now, the process will surely be sped up.

2. The Medrash Eliyahu itself specifically says that the Erev Rav Republic will stretch all the way until Ashkelon, leaving out Gaza completely. Eliyahu HaNavi (Elijah the prophet) knew that the lowly Erev Rav kingdom could not hold on to Aza until Mashiach comes.

3. We learn from Chizkiyahu HaMelekh (king Hezikiya) that one of the pre-equisites to being Mashiach (the righteous redeemer) is that he must conquer Gaza until the Netzarim lighthouse. See Melachim Bet. Ultimately only Mashiach can conquer Gaza for keeps. In short, Chizkiyahu accomplished what even Yehoshua bin Nun (Joshua) could not.

4. Many years ago I drew a chart based on several sources which designated which evil force attacks from which direction around Eretz Yisrael (land of Israel). According to my chart, gayva (ego) attacks from the south and taiva (desire) from the north. The yetzer Hara (evil inclination) which comes from the inside through ones's heart attacks from the west and the yetzer hara which comes in through the eyes attacks from the east. Therefore, gaiva from the heart comes from the southwest. Gaiva through the eyes comes from the southeast. Taiva through the heart comes from the northwest. Taiva through the eyes comes from the northeast. Gaiva from the heart is associated with Amalek (first biblical attacker on Jewish people after leaving Egypt), and attacks Eretz Yisrael from the southwest. It is the most potentially lethal of these other evil force combinations, and must be destroyed before the Bet HaMikdash (Holy Jewish Temple) can be built. Any attack by Iran will be coordinated with Hamas in Gaza. Amalek will be most powerful if he attacks from the southwest. Attacks by Amalek from any other direction can be more easily repelled. Perhaps this is why Mashiach is successful in the Gallilee (north east Israel) first. A war against taiva is easier than one against gaiva.

Reb Dov reminds us, "I am not making any set in stone predictions because so much is dependent on free will and how many Jews do teshuva (repent/return/improve their relationship with G-d and performance of Torah and mitzvot) and when."

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Sanhedrin Ruling on Israeli Elections

Key Points:

A. The Sanhedrin declares that it is a mitswah to vote in the upcoming elections of the Israel Knesset for any party whose representatives keep Torah and Mitwoth.

C. The Sanhedrin declares that any political party that demands a referendum or promises to accept the results of such in any decision that relates to the commandments of the Torah, and matters of the Land of Israel in particular, will not be viewed as viewed as a religious political party (a party whose members observe the Torah).

G. With the democratic elections in the Arab entity, the Arab public has declared with one voice their intention to destroy the State of Israel. Upon us is the mitzvah [commandment] of war, in order to save Israel from the hand of persecution. Therefore, one must conduct war against the enemy and expel him from the Land of Israel.

Full English Version Here - Original Hebrew Version Here

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Things are Happening, Check Back!

After struggling for a couple of weeks for something interesting to post, since after Shabbat I find myself overwhelmed. I'm a little hesitant to over-post, yet there's a lot to get out there. Please keep checking back, lots of posts coming today and tomorrow!

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Kabbalah, the Elections, and the End of Days - Part 1

Reb Dov Bar Leib, the author of the End of Days blog and I had an email conversation about the imminent Israeli elections, the kabbalistic aspects involved, and how this ties in to end-of-days scenario's seemily being played out.

Over the next couple of days I'm going to post our conversation (with Reb Dov's permission).


I asked:

There was a news item yesterday about Rav Levanon in Elon Moreh (West Bank town near Nablus) recommending to his students to carefully consider whether to go in the IDF or not (especially if, G-d forbid, they'd end up involved in duties against Jews).

Someone commented on this that the mizrachim (religious zionists) staying away from the army would be a good thing, as it would remove the kedusah (holiness) from the klipat (evil forces), "When the holy sparks withdraw their nourishing presence, the klippot will shrivel and die."

Is it possible that the strength and success of the Israeli army and possibily the government itself is fully due to the support of the mizrachi involvement, the kedusah of that public segment literally empowering the secular government and IDF?

Reb Dov replied (comments in parens are my explanations):

Yes, but not just from the Mizrachim (religious zionists). Any Orthodox Rabbi that recommended that any party with Yorei Shamayim (Torah oriented party with 'fear of heaven') join the Sharon government has empowered the klipot (negative forces) already. UTJ (United Torah Judaism party) signed a letter of intent to join Sharon's disengagement government on the 10th of Tevet, 5765. Their reasons were ostensibly to protect Hareidi (ultra-orthodox) Educational independence and to funnel into the hands of very needy melamdim (teachers) NIS (Israeli currency) 290 million. By empowering Sharon at that critical time on that auspicious date I believe they empowered the Soton (evil inclination incarnate) to try to divide Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) by the summer of 5767, barring any miracles beforehand. It took Nebuchadnezzar (king of Babylon) 2 1/2 years from when he started his siege. It should take Gog (end times negative leader) and Armilus (end times Jewish misdirected/negative leader) about the same time. Of course, if Kol HaTor (prophetic book of the great sage known as the Vilna Gaon) is correct, Armilus will only rule until Tishrei (Hebrew month around September) this coming Rosh HaShana, and then he will fall G-d willing by a miracle that is hard to know about at this time. Otherwise the b'itah process (end times 'in it's time') will not climax until at least the following Sukkot 5768.

Armilus's apparent invincibility at this time, I believe, is a direct result of UTJ's decision last January, the week before the Tsunami. He would be nothing if Sharon's government had just died in January 2005. Why Jews in Yesha (West Bank) need to suffer for this decision to repair its horrible long term effects, only G-d can answer. I believe we will know this answer very soon either by Sukkot 5767 or Sukkot 5768. May it be Sukkot 5767 so that the people of Elon Moreh can keep their homes.

By the way, in no way do I mean to disparage any UTJ Rav that valiantly tried to stop their party's entrance in to the coalition. The Admor of Sadigura (grand rabbi of Sadigura chassidus) and the Erloier Rebbe will be leaders of the already re-established Sanhedrin very soon.

Reb Dov reminds us, "I am not making any set in stone predictions because so much is dependent on free will and how many Jews do teshuva (repent/return/improve their relationship with G-d and performance of Torah and mitzvot) and when."

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Sunday, March 26, 2006

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The Bracha of Voting, and the Jail Time

It's not only in Israel that you hear of religious leaders influencing or directing their constituents to vote either according to their principles or even for a specific party or candidate. Such leaders going to their congregations and reminding them of the impact of the government on their principles is a time honored practice.

But only in Israel do you hear of the secular government fighting back. Go away evil influencers! What right do you have to place your ideals in the minds of our voters???

Legislation passed following the 1996 elections prohibits 'lobbying to vote or not to vote via oath, curse, excommunication, promise to bless, or by giving amulets.' - Jerusalem Post, here.

So, in Israel, you may promise that your vote will provide funding of the arts will raise up your spirit in joyful celebration. But if you promise that your vote will provide funding to Torah institutions which will raise up your soul in support of G-d and his Torah, you go to jail.

Supreme Court Justice Dorit Beinisch, head of the central elections committee, instructed Shas to withdraw an ad in which Yosef (HaRav Ovadiah Yosef, shlita) offered a blessing of happiness and well-being to anyone who voted for his party.

Hey, if you vote for me I'll be happy, your son's school lights will probably still be on, which will make you happy. What's wrong with that?

The item about "amulets" is interesting also. If you give out bumper stickers that say vote for us, that's ok. If you give out pens that say your party name, that's ok. If you give out a keychain with the party name and ideals, that's ok. But if you give out a keychain with the party name and the travel's prayer (very common religious style keychain), that's illegal.

There is an Israeli fear of religion that's just astounding. They are terrified of religious influence, in many ways they consider it the most dangerous threat the secular government of Israel faces.

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The Malachim Took My Pants?

As we left for synogogue this Shabbat morning, I noticed my younger son had torn Shabbos pants on. "So, why are you wearing torn pants?", I asked, knowing that while he doesn't pay much attention to his clothes, his mother does.

My son: "Well, I couldn't find my good Shabbos pants."

Me: "That's odd, you had them on last night."

My son: "Yes I did"

Me: "So, what happened to them?"

My son: "Well, on Shabbos night I always take my pants off and put them on my bed, so I know right where they are Shabbos morning. This morning they weren't there."

Me: "That's not the first time they've disappeared, right?"

My son: "Right. I think maybe the malachim (angels) came and took them."

Me: "So there's a bunch of malachim (angels) running around in boy black-Shabbos-pants size 10 slim?"

If anyone sees some angels in my son's black Shabbos pants, can you please ask them to return them? Thank you.

My son: "No Tatti (father), don't be silly! They probably just knocked them on to the floor."

So why didn't he look and pick them up off the floor? He must have looked, which means they must have taken them. Again, if you spot an angels in boy pants, you know what to do.

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Friday, March 24, 2006

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Is allah on my hubcap???

hubcap 002 hubcap 001

I don't know Arabic, it could just be some manufacturer symbol. Or, maybe allah's on my hubcap. I just noticed it a few days ago, and today it struck me what it might be. I don't know, do you?

(Click any image for a larger view.)

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The Land or The Torah


While election speculations are often just guesses, all the Israeli news sources are basically saying this:

"It is assumed that Labor, Shas and United Torah Judaism are certain to join Kadima's coalition."

INN here
, Haaretz here

So, choose, you can have Torah, or the Holy Land, not both.

Sorry. (At least I am, they're not.)

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Election Video: Left vs. Right, Likud Jewish Faction

Video: Left vs. Right - Likud Jewish Faction leader Moshe Feiglin

Forward to 2 min, 55 seconds. Hebrew with English subtitles.

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Thursday, March 23, 2006

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Yisroel or Yaakov? Jerusalem or Yavneh?

Avraham avinu (our biblical forefather Abraham) was called Avram and renamed Avraham by (an angel of) G-d (gaining a letter of G-d's name). From then on, he is exclusively referred to as Avraham (as is also true for his wife Sorah), literally to this day.

Yaakov avinu (our biblical forefather Jacob) also is renamed by an angel of G-d, to Yisroel (Israel). Yet, both in the Torah and to this day, he is referred to sometimes as Yaakov (Jacob) and sometimes as Yisroel (Israel). When is Yaakov referred to as Yaakov and when Yisroel? When he's inside the holy land, he's at a higher level of holiness, he's Yisroel. Otherwise, he's Yaakov.

A Simple Jew asked, "Who do you support?". Israeli politics has always been a zero sum game. Each party that gets in power blocks out all the others, takes the whole pie and makes no compromises. With frequent elections (average every 2 years) and shifting results, this has been ok, being out of power for 2-4 years isn't too horrible.

But in the last 8 years or so this pattern changed. Governments have lasted longer and the large parties (Labor and Likud) have been dying. Niche parties focused on one issue used to balance out areas the large parties ignored, bringing them in to political focus as they balanced out a coalition government.

Now, however, it's a coalition of the damned. Everyone's focused on their niche, the big picture be damned.

Yaak of Yeranen Yaakov commented on my Shas post, "I see nothing wrong and everything right with the 'Mi LaHashem Eilai' slogan." Only if you select Yavneh over Jerusalem. If you're serving your niche of funding your schools (Torah true schools, yes) and your kosher community centers, are you following the path of Torah? Yes they're good schools, yes they're kosher centers. Yet you enable Eretz HaKodesh to be diminished and safety to be decreased, it's the decision of Yavneh all over again!

No one is acting for Eretz HaKodesh, the holy land, and Torah. The religious zionists (Nat. Religious Party, Herut, etc) focus on the land and the state, empowering the klippa of the Erev Rav with their support. The ultra-religious (all non-zionist) parties (Shas and United Torah) empower the secular governments by taking coalition seats for Torah funding. One empowers the klippah, the other props it up!

There is no one to turn to and no one to vote for. I do note these points however:

1. Amir Peretz of Labor seems an honest man. You know what you're going to get. You're not going to like it, but at least you won't be surprised. Of course, he'll go in to coalition with Kadima and let them do whatever they want with the land, so that's not a real choice.

2. Baruch Marzel of Hazit has been literally persecuted for years for his support of the Jews in Hebron and his committment to the holy land. Politically he's off the map and over the edge, but he's more committed to the Holy Land than anyone else in this election.

While Marzel and Hazit's electoral chances are miniscule, I can't see empowering any of the other parties with my vote. So,

a. I vote Moshiach! However, that doesn't seem to be an electoral choice at this moment.

b. I like Feiglin and what he's trying to do with Likud, but refuse to support Netanyahu.

c. Hazit and Marzel seem to me to be the only ones without a personal or organizational agenda, they're just religious Jew's committed to the Holy Land.

Hazit gets my vote, if I'm in Israel on election day (which is not currently in my plans).

Update: Sultan Knish disagrees with me on point b, thinking a stronger Likud may buy the right wing some time to save Israel. It's a thought.


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A Transfer is a Transfer

Hazit is the "National Jewish Front" party.

"HAZIT" declares that Israeli governments over the past 30 years have whetted the appetite of the enemy for Israeli land and their lust for murder. Surrendering parts of the Land of Israel, and the Jewish State's giving up on the accomplishment of its aims, is correctly perceived by the enemy as proof that terror and murder pay off, as Jews run away and close themselves into ghettos, behind concrete walls and separation fences.

So is that 'right wing' or self preservation?

Hazit is considered the right wing of the right wing of Israeli politics, as extreme as you get and still be legal (note it's legal to call for the bashing of heads of 'settlers', but the same call against those who want to kill you is racist and illegal).

Check out their web site here. (English)

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Why Israeli Election Info?

Why am I posting Israeli election info? Political party commericals, slogans and ads? Especially since most of my readers aren't Israeli (and if they are, they've already got their opinion)?

Whether you believe in the mystical predictions that I and others have been posting, or are just watching the world affecting events going on in Israel, the results of this election are going to be a big deal.

Knowing some of the politics gives some insight.

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Don't Know Kavanot?

An important thought for prayer from the book HaYom Yom in the entry of 11th of Adar:

The following is well-known and is a tradition, regarding the Kavanot (mystical "intentions") in Davening (prayer):

For those intellectually incapable of meditating on those Kavanot (either because they lack knowledge, or because they cannot remember the specific Kavanot during prayer) it is sufficient that they keep one general Kavana in mind:

That his prayer be heard by G-d, with all the Kavanot described in the Kabbalah literature.

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

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If You're For G-d, Vote for Us


Shas is the sephardic religious party, and it positions itself both as a religious party, and as a sephardic party (helping a significant Israeli ethnic segment). They also position themselves as the party focused on helping the poor.

Their religious school network is probably the best in Israel, and they also have the best community services network for the needy.

If only they didn't then turn around with slogans like, "Me l'Hashem Alei, Whoever's for G-d, to Us".

Video: Commercials Here. (Hebrew)
Music: They've got a Jingle!.

and their full web site (Hebrew only). Free tehillim (book of Psalms) for your vote (really, see ad on the left side of the site.)

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What's Far Right? Herut 2.0


Kaduri.Net sent me an email saying, Vote Herut! Why, and who do they speak for now, I don't know.

Far right in Israel means holding the land, pushing out the enemy, and strongly educating the nations young in their historical and religious heritage. Many of us would call that just sensible national preservation.

They put up pictures of a number of historical figures, some of which were associated with the old Herut (Herut 1.0), Jabotinsky, Begin, Shamir, etc, and some who I have no idea why they think they have a right, HaRav Kook, the Lubavitcher Rebbe (these figures did have similar political positions but never said vote for Herut).

They're a tiny party with a big hurdle to make it in to the Knesset. Check out their site (English) here.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

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Massive Kaparot in Progress

In a surprising and unexpected bit of news, it seems that Bird Flu has hit Israel big time. As the graphic shows, poultry farms surrounding Gaza have confirmed reports and are in the process (or supposed to be) of destroying their flocks.

Some have pointed out that the farming village (kibbutz) where this started is also the one that hosted the disengagement headquarters (with all the residents going on paid vacation), but surely that's just coincidence.

But here are some key facts to pay attention to:

1. Reports are coming from Israeli farms surrounding Gaza, and there's some confusion and lack of clarity in the situation. If that's the case in Israel (with open reporting), what's happening in Gaza?

2. Israel is a prime migratory stopover for wild fowl. It's spring, prime migration season, those birds are headed to Europe.

3. Egypt (that's the migration stop before Israel) is reporting some human cases.

Reb Dov says it's a big kapara
(chickens as a substitute for lives). It's an interesting thought.

Look at the map, watch Gaza.

Updates worth noting:

o Three crow carcasses were discovered Tuesday in Tel Aviv's Kovshim Park.
o Bird carcasses were discovered on Tuesday at the former settlement Netzarim.
. .(By who? Israelis? What are they doing in Gaza?)
o Two birds that died of avian flu were found in the homes of Kiryat Gat residents.
. .(That's a southern residential town!)
o Police set up roadblocks to prevent smuggling of poultry from affected areas.

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Bush Speaks, I Speak Back

Running a bit late this morning, I happened to catch part of the U.S. Presidential Press Conference this morning. The following points struck me:

A. The President is going to work with Congress to reduce government spending.

Ha. Haha. Hahahahahahahahaha.

B. The President is going to work with Congress to focus on America's addiction to oil and develop alternatives.

Haha. Hahahahahahahahaha. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha.

We've been hearing that second one from every president every couple of years since the early 1970's. Sadly, like most addicts, this one will keep using no matter what the damage.

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Only Labor's Worried

Only Labor's worried about a living wage, the cost of education, and retirement pensions. At least that's what they say: video here. (hebrew, ~30 seconds)

Education's what's important, video here. (hebrew, ~30 seconds)

I wouldn't disagree with any of the above, unless missles were raining down on my town or buses are blowing up.

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Monday, March 20, 2006

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Thoughts on The Israel Lobby

Big news is being made about a Harvard study 'proving' that American foreign policy is heavily directed by or controlled by, that's right, the Israel lobby.

(Short version here, Full paper here.)

Well cool! If someone could get me their phone number, I'd really appreciate it. I'm having serious trouble paying my kids religious school tuition, and since "we're" in control of everything, I'd appreciate getting my piece of the action. (In case I can't, if anyone wants to hit that little button to the right labeled Charity, Support Torah Students, I'd really appreciate it.)

Guest blogger Lee Smith on Michael Totten's blog writes about this study:

I find it a little hard to believe ... "The Israel Lobby" was written while sober. In their first sentence, the authors assert that, "For the past several decades, and especially since the Six-Day War in 1967, the centerpiece of US Middle Eastern policy has been its relationship with Israel."

Pretty much any American who has ever been in a motorized vehicle knows that the centerpiece of US Middle Eastern policy is Washington's relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and has been so since the mid-30s...

Check out his thoughts here.

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A Powerful Segulah

This segulah for protection and wisdom is attributed to the great and holy chassidic rebbe, the Kedushas Levi, Rabbi Levi Yitchok of Berdichev:

SegulahRabbiLeviYitzchok1

The Instructions Read:

1. All who see this menorah diagram every morning will find favor and be considered wise in the eyes of G-d and people.

2. If it is placed in synagogue on the Holy Ark (where the Torah is kept), it will protect the whole holy congregation from trouble.

3. All who say it every morning at sunrise, no bad will come upon him.

4. One who says it 7 times is as if he's accepting upon himself the Shechina (an aspect of G-d) and will not lack for food.

5. Dovid HaMelech (King David) had this engraved upon a sheet of gold and had it carried before him in to war, and was successful.

6. One who says this during the time of Sefiras HaOmer (the time from the second day of Passover until Shavuos), after Bircas Kohanim (unclear whether during the repetition of the Shemona Esrai prayer or during morning blessings), no harm will come to him the whole year, because it has in it 7 passages and 49 letters corresponding to the 7 weeks of the Omer (and each day of the Omer).

7. Whoever says it 7 times when going out, he will go in peace. It's good to write on the face of the menorah the passage "G-d who remembers us will bless us from the heavens to the earth."

The very top of the diagram reads:

A. Know before who you stand, before the King of Kings, the Holy One, Blessed Be He.

B. I put G-d before me at all times.

followed by 2 kabbalistic names of G-d.

Each arm of the menorah contains 1 passage of prayer.

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Sunday, March 19, 2006

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The Sparks of the Army

Rabbi Elyakim Levanon of Elon Moreh is quoted in the news today for informing his yeshiva students, "If you think the IDF will force you to evict Jews from their homes or to go against your faith – don't join the army".

First, some would say (as the news article does), Elon Moreh is in the West Bank. Those who read their bible will recognize Elon Moreh, for it's the first place Abraham stopped when he came in to Israel. It's also the first place the nation stopped with Joshua when they came in to Israel.

Now a brief story about Rabbi Levanon. About 15 years ago, the town of Elon Moreh did not have a town rabbi, though Rabbi Levanon lived there and commuted to the yeshiva where he taught. The people of the town met, decided they would like him to become the town rabbi, and sent a delegation to ask him. He met them, heard them out, and said, NO! I do not want honor such a position brings, and am not worthy of the responsibility, thanks for asking. They left, met again, and a few days later another delegation was sent. The same answer was received. This then happened a third time. Finally, all the men of the town came and sat down in his living room (and front yard), refusing to leave until he accepted the position.

That's how he became the rabbi of Elon Moreh.

A commentor on YNetNews wrote about this news item, "When the holy sparks withdraw their nourishing presence, the klippot will shrivel and die." Are the religious zionists holding together the secular state of Israel? It's very likely. Has the actions of the government broken that relationship? Definately. We're starting to see it unravel now.
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Friday, March 17, 2006

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We're Green

What would the Israeli political spectrum be without the Green Party?

They're platform: Too Many Cell Phone Towers! Protect the Ocean! Compress the People but Keep the Open Space!

War, what war? Terrorism, what terrorism?

See their ad and platform here (hebrew only), and here's a short video spot (hebrew). They're full site here, hebrew only.

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The National Union's All Right

In the Israeli election, the National Union party has a cute slogan, "We're All Right" (the cuteness is because they're a strong right wing party).

Check out their web site, here. It's available in Hebrew, English, French, and Russian (link points to the English version).

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Warning: Caffinated Drinks Contain Caffeine!

Do you drink a double coffee expresso for it's calm soothing effect? Do you buy 'energy drinks' for their good taste and relaxation effect?

If so, then this article is for you: here.

Warning!

. Starbucks Double Shot is strong, and not soothing.
. Red Bull Super Energy Drink is not relaxing.
. Sobe No Fear Extreme Energy Drink is not calming.
. Kabbalah Energy Drink isn't the least bit mystical.

Current science at it's best warning us that extreme caffinated drinks such as a double expresso and an Extreme energy drink have lots of stuff that causes one to get energized, and being that loaded with energy stuff might result in very surprising effects such as not being able to go to sleep, an increased heart rate, and could even cause a stomach ache.

Thank you science!

On a side note, it appears Kabbalah Energy Drink now has a kosher certification from KSA. Being that one of the advertised ingredients is Ox Bile (Taurine), I'm not sure how that's possible. It may be kosher, but I'm not sure it's exactly healthy, and it's certainly no more related to kabbalah than the Snapple sitting on my desk.

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Thursday, March 16, 2006

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Israel Election Video

Olmert / Kadima Election Video - Click here. (Hebrew, 1 minute)

Would you buy a used car from this man? I wouldn't.

Notice the Russian language captioning. Not Arabic, not French, not English, all significant immigrant populations in Israel. Russian (which if I remember correctly, is up to 15% of the Israeli population.)

Hmm, Peres pops up on the Kadima election list as the #2 man, more on this later.

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

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In Flux?

Shushan Purim Samayach! As I write this, the residents of Jerusalem and Shiloh (you know, that biblical town where the Mishkan sat for over 400 years, where the prophet Shmuel [Samuel] was raised by Eli the Cohen as recorded in the book of Shmuel 1 [Samuel 1] that has been declared Palestinian terroritory and is being demanded to return to it's rightful owners) have just finished their Purim celebrations.

Last night, Purim for me while trying to fulfill the mitzvah of Ad Lo Yada, I chatted briefly with the Maggid of the Shomron, who wrote:

I am here this Purim [in Israel, living in the 'West Bank']. I do not know if we will lose our home by next Purim. [He lives in one of the Jewish towns named to be destroyed and given to the Arabs.] Apparently the destruction of Jewish communities in Yesha [hebrew term for West Bank] by Gog and Armelus may be what is necessary to bring Mashiach. Everything is in flux. Armelus's successful incursion into Jericho will probably insure his election. We need mercy, but some intense strict judgement may be what is in store. A destruction of a yishuv [hebrew word for settlement] here may result in the destruction of another major city in Chutz LaAretz. [Outside of Israel.]

The mitzvah of the moment prevented me from fully grasping his words then. Now, whoa.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

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Video: Kadima & Shooting Around Corners

For a Purim joke of the day, a video commercial for the Kadima party in Israel. Would you trust these people to run your country (not!)?

It's followed by a neat video of a new Israeli anti-terror weapon, which allows viewing and shooting around corners.

Video: Here.

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Happy Purim!

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Monday, March 13, 2006

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Seriously, Charity for the Poor

While I've been on a Purim Shpiel for the last week, I would be remiss if I didn't mention the important Purim mitzvah of Matanot Le'evyonim, giving gifts (charity) to the poor.

I strongly recommend fulfilling this mitzvah via:


Yad Eliezer - Matanot Le'evyonim Campaign Here

Help them out!



Everyone says there is This World and the World to Come. We believe that the World to Come exists. It could be that This World also exists - somewhere. But here? From the suffering everyone goes through the whole time, it would appear that this is Gehenim. (Jewish purgatory a.k.a. hell, though not in the classical sense of other religions.)" - Rabbi Nachman of Breslov in Likutey Moharan 2:119.

Yad Eliezer is currently the largest anti-hunger agency in Israel. And each day it struggles to fulfill the many requests for assistance that it receives. As Yad Eliezer’s executive director, Dov Weisel describes it, “Each month is it’s own miracle.”

Exposure to the plight of the poor opens one to the almost insurmountable problems they face. Poverty is a lot more than a lack of funds to cover the budget. It is only a symptom of a whole host of layers upon layers of problems which can be called “the cycle of poverty”. By visiting the homes of those with not enough to feed their children, we find serious cases of undernourishment among children (especially babies). Children who resist going to school because they fear being laughed at by their peers because of the clothing they wear, and children who fall far behind in their studies as a result of a home environment that does not allow them to study...

I know of no other organization that is more effecient or dedicated in what they do. Yad Eliezer operates not only with the lowest overhead among the charity organizations, but often leverages donations to turn $1.00 into $5.00. They're truly an amazing organization and well worthy of your support.

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They're Stealing Our Cows???

Are aliens abducting cows across the American heartland?

Hear the vicious tale here: CowAbduction.Com

Could this be an Islamic plot against the kosher meat supply in the United States? Are the Palestinians making deals with UFO's?

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A Mystery of Creation

Stories of tzaddikim (the righteous sages) are always a treasure, sometimes bringing a smile, sometimes teaching us how close one can reach to our Creator.

Here's another hassidic story. Many miraculous stories are told about the hassidic masters, those who lead the paths of hassidus and teach that every soul has a immeasurable and special value and every person should be treasured...


Once, on the way to Liozna, a hassid of the first grand rabbi of Chabad chassidus, the Rebbe HaRav Shneur Zalman, known as Reb Shmuel Munkis, met another Jew on the road who was heading in the same direction. After exchanging friendly greetings, Reb Shmuel asked the man who he was and where he was going.

I am going to the Maggid of Liozna (as the first Rebbe of Chabad hassidus was known in his time)," the man answered, "for I have a few questions which I wish to ask him. You see, I am very knowledgeable in Kabbalah, but there are just a few points I do not completely understand. I have heard that the Maggid is very wise. I wish to ask him my questions and see if he is as brilliant as they claim."

Reb Shmuel was disturbed by the man's foolish and boastful words. How arrogant he is, thought Reb Shmuel. Does he think he can dare to test the Rebbe? The man needed to be straightened out, but Reb Shmuel knew that criticizing him or embarrassing him would serve no good.

Pretending to be very happy, he said, "What a stroke of good fortune! I am also going to Liozna. Please, tell me your questions, for I have also begun to study Kabbalah."

After listening to the questions, which the man imagined were "deep and difficult," Reb Shmuel said, "My friend, I see you are far more knowledgeable than I am in Kabbalah. Perhaps you can do me a favor. I, too, have a question in Kabbalah that has been bothering me for some time. Perhaps you could present it to the Maggid for me?

"What is your question?" the man asked.

Reb Shmuel knit his brow as if he were concentrating. "It is written in one of the books of Kabbalah: 'First it was scattered, then it became connected. Then it came to the level of a great circle. The level of three lines was then applied to it and it became the aspect of a triangle with the point in the middle. And through the combination of the foundation of water with the foundation of fire, it was finished, and it became good.'

"So it is written, but I cannot figure out its true meaning," continued Reb Shmuel.

"That's very interesting," the man replied after a few moments of concentration, "neither can I."

"Perhaps you could ask the Maggid for me," Reb Shmuel said. "You are much more knowledgeable than I, and could discuss it on a higher level than I could. Only please remember afterwards to share the answer with me."

The man immediately agreed to Reb Shmuel's suggestion. When he entered the Rebbe's room, he introduced himself in grand terms and presented his questions to the Rebbe. Then he asked Reb Shmuel's riddle.

The Alter Rebbe looked at the person and said, "The answer to your last question is a krepal (kreplach in plural)." (a triangular soup dumpling customarily eaten on the holiday of Purim and the before Yom Kippur pre-fast meal)

The man looked astonished. "Can it be so?"

"Indeed," the Rebbe went on. "First, as flour, it is scattered. Then it is kneaded and becomes connected. Then you roll the dough into a circle, cut it into a triangle, and put meat in the middle. You fold up the sides, put it in boiling water, cook it over the fire, and it is good."

The poor fellow could not help seeing how foolish he had been, to think that he was a scholar in Kabbalah. He left the Rebbe's room greatly humbled by the whole experience.

A short time later the Rebbe hinted to Reb Shmuel that it was noticeable that he was behind that question and it succeeded in helping the person without humiliating him.

Kreplach, the holy secrets of the triangular soup dumpling!

More stories of this amazing hossid with a wicked sense of humor can be found here.

Purim Samayach! A Happy Purim! May we merit to see the modern day Hamans fall this year!


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Sunday, March 12, 2006

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A Prayer for the Dead!

It's a custom to tell stories of tzaddikim (the righteous sages) during melava malka (the post-Shabbos meal). The custom among hassidim is to tell Baal Shem Tov stories or stories of other rebbaim (grand rabbi's).

So, here is a hassidic story. Many miraculous stories are told about the hassidic masters, those who lead the paths of hassidus and teach that every soul has a immeasurable and special value and every person should be treasured...


A woman once came to the Beis HaMidrash (study hall) of the first grand rabbi of Chabad chassidus, the Rebbe HaRav Shneur Zalman, looking terribly distraught. She had never actually seen the Rebbe, but she knew that he was a great tzaddik (a righteous and pious man of G-d). Anxiously, she rushed in, and "by chance" met instead of the Rebbe, one of his chassidum, Reb Shmuel Munkis.

Seeing no one else, she assumed that this dignified person must be the tzaddik and miracle worker she had heard so much about and she cried out, "Rebbe, please help my daughter! She is in great danger. She is having a child and the labor is very difficult and long! We fear for her life already! Please do something!"

Reb Shmuel knew that at that time the Rebbe was not home, but a Jew in distress must be helped. He thought for a few moments, and then he told her soothingly, "Don't worry. Go home and recite Yizkor (Jewish prayer for deceased parents) seven times. Everything will be all right."

Gratefully, the woman accepted his advice, confident that the words of "the tzaddik" would surely bear fruit in Heaven. She rushed to her daughter and said the Yizkor prayer seven times in the room where her pregnant daughter was having the troubled labor, just as she had been instructed!

Some time later that day, the woman returned to the Beis HaMidrash (study hall) carrying a tray laden with delicacies for everyone to enjoy, and asked to be admitted to the room of the tzaddik. The Rebbe had by this time returned, and she was shown in. Entering his room, she thanked him profusely for his blessing and gratefully told him that a healthy child had been born even before she had finished reciting Yizkor (the prayer for deceased parents) for the seventh time. She was so excited that she did not even realize that the person to whom she was speaking was not the same one who had advised her earlier in the day.

The Rebbe smiled graciously and blessed her, her daughter, and the newborn child.

When the woman left, the Rebbe called in Reb Shmuel. Knowing that only he would come up with such original ideas, he asked, "Reb Shmuel, tell me please, where did you discover this wonderful segulah for an easy delivery, reciting Yizkor seven times?"

Reb Shmuel answered, "When we say Yizkor in synogogue on Yom Tov (the prayer is said on Jewish holy days only), we say it only once, and all the children run out, and many adults too (only those with deceased parents stay in the synogogue during this prayer). So I thought, she would say it seven times, surely the child would come out in good health!"

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Friday, March 10, 2006

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The Path to Inner Heartburn Relief


Rabbi Levi Dodli of the Levi Jeans blog, also known as the Bloginator (due to a resemblance to Arnold Schwartzenegger), writes in his book The Path to Inner Heartburn Relief...

Spiritual meals are like physical meals, only less filling. Like a bowl of cholent, the deeper we dig spiritually, the more meat we find for ourselves and those around us. Also, bowl depth and stomach fulfillment go hand in hand. Overcoming the negative appearence of cholent, in a spiritual sense, is more gratifying than any ice cream sundae. - Chapter 1, Yitzchok the Chef

He also received this amazing letter from a Hawaiian matriach:

Dear Rabbi Dodli, I feel so close to you in our traditional spirituality and po recipies. I give you the traditional Hawaiian name Manalikiwahaha, which means ball of flaming lava that rolls down the side of the erupting volcano. This is in honor of your holy insight into the human spirit, and the explosive results of your cholent recipe. Perhaps our spirits, or at least spicy recipes, will meet someday and reach toward G-d with a spicy bowl of stew.

That's our good friend Rabbi Dodli, never a dull moment or bland recipe.

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This article is from the inner recesses of my closet at my blog, MPATHS.COM. If you're reading it somewhere else, then your not on my blog, are you?
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Smile

Smile Picture
Happy Purim Braces


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Thursday, March 09, 2006

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Spells?

Donna wrote: I was very excited to see your blog name change. I've been looking to upgrade my spells, and now I have a blog to read about it. What type of spells will you be discussing?

Donna, the title is Spiels, a Yiddish word of great secrecy (perhaps better spelled 'shpiels' in English). Unfortunately, the Torah writes 'don't suffer to let a witch live'. If you could send me your address, I'd like to have the al-Tahara il-Sheket wing of our local Chabas chapter come by and discuss it with you.

Don't worry, they're only a charitable organization. Just ask the Europeans and Condalizza Rice.

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This article is from the Path of the Holy M blog, MPATHS.COM. If you're reading it somewhere else, they're a freakin word gonif, so click here!
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Jewish Jihad Beginning in Mawah, New Jersey

Ramapo College in Mawah, New Jersey is currently running an art exhibit which includes a piece of artwork hanging up in the Berrie Center for the Performing and Visual Arts as part of African Ancestry Month. This 'art' is entitled "The Old and New Testament" and is a picture of a religious Jew holding up a holy Torah scroll (the hagba ceremony), with a swastika on the Torah! (News report here.)

Jewish congregations throughout the area are up in arms and are unwilling to take this insult to the holy Torah sitting down. Jihad squads are actively forming as you're reading this, both to remove this desecration and to introduce the artist, a Ms. Grant, to the Jewish response to insulting the Torah.

Calmer rabbinic authorities are trying to limit the response to protest marches and a simple burning down of the buildings, but more radical groups are calling for beheadings of the college president (who has rejected calls for removal of this insult) as well as the center manager and, of course, the artist herself.

Mystical Spiels will keep you fully informed and perhaps be able to get live pictures of the groups in action. Hashem-hu Akbar! G-d is Great!

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This article is from the Path of the Holy M blog, MPATHS.COM. If you're reading it somewhere else, they're a freakin word gonif, so click here!
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Wednesday, March 08, 2006

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Purim Spiel

The Muqata's been running a great series of Purim Jewish blog parodies. Check out his Purim parody blogroll (see the right hand side).

But, since I haven't reached the great merit of parodied, and frankly I've been much too serious and, dare it be said, downright sad, since Rosh Chodesh Adar, I hereby declare this blog to be in Purim Spiel mode.

Nothing written after this through next Tuesday should be taken seriously!

Seriously though, I came across an ancient kabbalah sefer newly republished at my local seforim (book) store by Gilgul Publishers, titled Kedushat Magen Chut Adom, the ancient and holy sefer (book) of the Holy Shield of the Red String. From this ancient book of the mystical secrets of kabbalah I have finally learned why the red strings being sold don't work. It seems the problem is that they must be made from pure white wool and be relatively thick, some opinions say practically fluffy. This would seem to indicate they actually should be more of a red armband or sweatband than a red string.

G-d willing, after Purim I'll be in touch with R. Nati and see if we can start offering these holy red sweatbands for your protection.

No, seriously.

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This article is from the Path of the Holy M blog, MPATHS.COM. If you're reading it somewhere else, they're a freakin word gonif, so click here!
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The Cossacks of Israel

When I first moved to Israel I attended Ulpan, intense Hebrew language training classes for new immigrants. I was in a class of 24, 1 American (me), 1 French, 1 Argentinian, and 21 Russians / Ukranians. Of the class, 12 were Jewish. (How do I know? Well, the crosses were a giveaway in some cases, in others when discussing Jewish holidays they would clearly state it wasn't their holiday.)

Today, Sultan Knish writes from collected news reports about the 'investigation' of Amona...

Knesset Member Ilan Shalgi said in response that it sounded as if "the Cossacks took over town."

Well, yes, who do you think the black clad storm troopers are? Who do you think the Jewish Agency imported over the last 10 years to Israel, and why? After all, as Nefesh b'Nefesh has shown, if you really want to bring the Western Jewish community over, you can. They didn't.

Read Sultan Knish's review of Amona testimony here. But don't think the government will pay any attention to it.

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This article is from the Mystical Paths blog, MPATHS.COM. If you're reading it somewhere else, check it out at the source, Click Here!
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Unable to Pray

Do not say: "I will pray when I am able to do so with hitlahavut (fervor), but otherwise I will not force myself to pray." On the contrary! It is comparable to a king who changes his garmets when fighting a battle. Those who are familiar with the king recognize him by his mannerisms. Those who are not note that people guard a certain place more than others, thus it may be assumed the king is there.

So, too, if you are unable to pray, it means the King (of Kings) is guarded from being manifest to you. Thus, strengthen yourself so much more, for the King is there but He is hidden from you!


- Tzava'at HaRivash 86 - The Testament of the Baal Shem Tov

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Tuesday, March 07, 2006

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Olmert and 80,000 Souls

Neshama commented: How many Black Riders will they have to import for this?

and BrooklynHabiru added: If chas v'chalila such a plan is attempted to be implemented by Olmert - the residents of Yehudah and Shomron will not sit down and just take it. The hugging and crying of the Azza expulsion would not be the same vision. It would be Amona times a hundred.

I'm sorry my dear friends but you're wrong. The k'lal (people) has been divided. The charedim (ultra-orthodox) won't stand up for what is perceived as the religious-zionists, and have for the most part disassociated with the love of the land (Chardal wrote about this beautifully here). The Jewish towns of the Shomron (West Bank), where half of the religious-zionist k'lal live, are easily isolated (the whole security point of the West Bank for Israel is exactly that, chokepoints).

Further, will they really stand up? Lose their jobs, drivers license, risk prison, even be threatend with having their children taken?

One town per week, isolated, blockaded, bulldozed.

Many will sacrifice, many will stand up, but as long as we stand apart, not enough.

Yet, like Rabbi Akiva looking at the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash and laughing, and as Dov Bar Leib of the End of Days blog wrote, our people may be sitting in a sukkah by Pesach (in a tent by Passover), but these are signs that the geulah (redemption) is at hand.

A brief related note, R. Nati tells me there's a pasuk in navi (in the prophets) that describes the "Jews from the border villages being expelled with no place to go", G-d willing I'll call him tomorrow and get the reference. His own home is one of those on the top of the expulsion list, yet he's calling on me and all of us to go to Israel and greet the geulah (redemption).

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This article is from the Mystical Paths blog, MPATHS.COM. If you're reading it somewhere else, check it out at the source, Click Here!
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The Cold Intellect

The 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe (Grand Rabbi of Chabad Chassidus) wrote for the daily lesson book, HaYom Yom (from Day to Day) for the 12 of Shevat...

Intellect and excitement are two separate worlds.

Intellect - a world cold and settled; excitement - a world seething and impetuous.

Man's Avoda (service/work/effort) is to combine them, unite them.

The impetuousness then becomes transformed into a longing, and the intellect into the guide in a life of Avoda and action.

yet he also wrote, for the 16th of Shevat...

My father said (referring to the 5th Lubavitcher Rebbe): Coldness and heresy are separated by so slender a barrier!

It is said, "For the Eternal your G-d is a consuming fire."

G-dliness is a flame of fire. Learning Torah and Davening must be with a blazing heart, that "all my bones may utter" the words of G-d in Torah and prayer.

This would seem to teach us that the intellect, left to itself to regard Torah, is in danger of falling in to heresy! Prayer, emunah (faith), bitachon (trust in G-d), these warm us with the fire of Torah, keep us connected with HaKodesh Baruch Hu (the Holy One, Blessed Be He) and protect us from stumbling intellectually.

How? When we encounter a Torah concept which is difficult to understand, or perhaps even beyond our grasp, does the ego, as an agent of the Yetzer HaRa (the evil inclination), have us thinking "since this doesn't make sense, Torah itself doesn't make sense???" (G-d forbid!). Then our emunah must step in and push that thought away, "if I don't understand it, I'm the one lacking, not the Torah G-d forbid, by working harder in my learning and asking Hashem to give me insight, I'm sure I'll come to understand".


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This article is from the Mystical Paths blog, MPATHS.COM. If you're reading it somewhere else, check it out at the source, Click Here!
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