Monday, July 31, 2006

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Reflections on The Lost War

What should become clear from this war (which is not a war, which has no name and no purpose) is that the people and forces that rule here in Israel love the goyim more than than they care for the Jews. At first sight, it might seem that they are merely confused and more concerned with the goodwill of the goyim than they are with the lives of Jewish people, but it is really much deeper. It is the problem of Jewish Identity. What is a Jew, and who am I?

The children and people of Kfar Kana in Lebanon were placed in the way of Israeli attacks against Hizbullah rockets and launchers, either to stop Israel from defending its people, or to become shaheedim and in that way to serve the same purpose. The entire government and military leadership have not been able to stop themselves from apologizing and decrying the "terrible tragedy", even while they are supposedly defending Israel, like the fool who is the Israeli ambassador to the UN. None of these people, not a single one, have any apologies for those who were deported from G. Katif for no reason except to save Sharon from criminal charges, and come what may. They have no apologies to the people of northern Israel for allowing the Hizbullah to build an arsenal to drive them from their homes and kill them. They have no apologies to the families of the young, brave soldiers who were killed for no reason and no purpose. They have no apologies to the people of the south who are now under constant artillery barrage from Gaza. They have no apologies to the families of the captured soldiers for the pure laxity and incompetence of the military hierarchy. They have no apologies to the people of Israel for failing to do what was needed (such as what was done in Kfar Kana) or to prepare in time to save the people from the threat of the murderous moslem mafia. But they have plenty of apologies for the killing of poor Arabs whose death is the responsibility of Lebanon and the Hizbullah according to international law.

"Slaves have ruled over us, and there is no salvation from their hands" (Tikun Chatzot).

These rulers seem to prefer the goodwill of the goyim to the lives of their own people, but there is a deeper reason to it than the fact that they are slaves and Condoleeza's little puppets. There is a reason that they are slaves. They do not want to be Jewish. They do not want any of the responsibilities that go along with it. They are embarassed by it. They are embarassed over their brit milah and they want to hide it. They want to show off the creases between their dadim, and they don't want any jewishness that might interfere. They would rather hide their Jewishness, and destroy it altogether, rather than be encumbered by it. The State of Israel they need because it has been a hen that lays golden eggs, but the Jewish people are expendible. They have plenty of them anyway, and little use for them except for economic exploitation.

But the goyim, and the ways of the goyim - aha - that is their true love. It is not merely the goodwill of the goyim that they vainly seek, but the goyim themselves and everything they stand for that inspires their dreams at night. They love the goyim, but the Jews they would rather lock up in a museum.

The defeat of Israel in this round of war is not only a defeat for the people. It is also a resounding defeat to the ruling elite who are aligned with the goyim of Esav and considered, according to the kabbalists, as part of the kelipah of Esav. This time Esav has been sorely smitten by Yishmael. Unfortunately, Jews have been confounded into the cauldron and Israel lays prostrate before Yishmael's rockets.

Sadly, it is now up to the Jewish people to react to this military and political debacle in a normal, healthy way. Will they go back to their fantasies that Israel is still an awesome military and economic force, or will they allow themselves to suffer the agonizing insecurity of facing the fact that their leaders are all bankrupt and hopeless? In the next few months, we will see. It is too much to think that the people will suddenly awaken to follow all the positive and negative commandments of the Torah, but it is possible that they will begin to understand that we are ruled by slaves and their is no salvation from their hand, that something terrible has been happening in the Land of Israel, not only militarily, not only politically, but culturally and mentally as well. The Jew has been beaten into the ground in the Land that was supposed to be his. He has been robbed of his refuge and denuded of his birthright.

Of course, the sooner this inevitable turn around takes place, the better, but it should be kept in mind that the king (of Israel) whose decrees are worse than Haman's has seemingly not yet arisen, although it could be said that the threat of the Seluicid Greeks from which we were saved by the Channukah miracle was greater than the threat from Haman because Haman only threatened our lives in this world, but the Greeks threatened our souls, and therefore the dangers of the decrees of this foolish, libertine dictatorship already outweigh the dangers of Haman's intended holocaust. In the next few months we will see.

I must admit that it is hard to maintain emunah and bitachon in the face of what is happening, not because of the murderous intentions of the Arabs, but because of the helplessness of the Jewish people to maintain themselves in the face of the manipulators who purport to be their shepherds but only shepherd themselves. Do not be fooled. Everyone feels it. We are entirely bereft and lost at sea. In everyone cankers the doubt that maybe, God forbid, the geulah process has reached its apogee and passed it. We know, intellectually, that there will be a turn around and we will yet soar to the greatest heights ever achieved by humanity, but it is hard to face what might yet happen on the way. What can we do but pray, and talk to everyone we can. And in a few months we will see.

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Geulah Update!

Via a hebrew end-of-days site, translated by Reb Yaakov Nathan...

R' Reuven Elbaz, shlit"a, the head of the Ohr Hachayim institutions, speaking in his most recent shiur (last Thursday) the subject of the present situation and the the geulah.

Zohar, Parshas Vayera

In the year sixty-six the Messiah will appear in the land of Galilee. A star in the east will swallow seven stars in the north, and a flame of black fire will hang in the heaven for sixty days , and there shall be wars towards the north in which two kings shall perish. Then all the nations shall combine together against the daughter of Yaakov in order to drive her from the world. It is of that time that it is written: "And it is a time of trouble unto Yaakov, but out of it he shall be saved" (Jeremiah 30:7).

In the year seventy-three all the kings of the world will assemble in the great city of Rome, and the Holy One will shower on them fire and hail and meteoric stones until they are all destroyed, with the exception of those who will not yet have arrived there. These will commence anew to make other wars. From that time the Messiah will begin to declare himself, and round him there will be gathered many nations and many hosts from the uttermost ends of the earth. And all the children of Israel will assemble in their various places until the completion of the century.... The children of Ishmael will at the same time rouse all the peoples of the world to come up to war against Jerusalem, as it is written, "For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle, etc."

When R' Elbaz reached the portion in the Zohar which speaks about a flame of black fire that will hang in the heavens for 60 days (highlighted above in red), he explained that according to what he heard in the name of one of the tzaddikim (he didn't mention his name), this flame of fire is a nuclear explosion. He said that this same tzaddik brought a proof for his words from the words of the Abarbanel, who lived approximately 500 years ago in Spain, and was reknown for his greatness as well as being the King's minister of the Treasury at that time. According to the words of R' Don Yitzchak Abarbanel, in the future there will be something that will want to harm the world, which the Abarbanel refers to as "אטומתא" (atomta), and this is the flame of black fire which will hang in the sky. The Rav explained this as follows: a nuclear bomb will be launched but it will remain hanging in the sky and there will be a tremendous fear. Of course this is reminiscent of the words of the mekubal Rav Dahan (who foresaw the Tsunami), who said almost a year ago (parshas Mishpatim, 17 Marcheshvan): "The Rav hinted that there will be something in the sky, but he was very vague about what it would be, exactly, and it will be something like a horrible bomb that is launched, G-d forbid, to explode on us. He spoke only in hints, not in very clear words."

Returning to the explanation of R' Elbaz in the name of the tzaddik with the proof from the Abarbanel, the impression one gets is that he is speaking about an attempted strike with a nuclear bomb that will hang in the air in some fashion (a miracle?), that is set to fall over the course of a long time, and it will create tremendous fear . It will be remembered that in the past the mekubal Harav Daniel Zer, shlit"a, discounted any possibility of a nuclear bomb falling on the land of Israel, but according to the scenario described here, a bomb will be launched - only it won't fall in Israel, and this apparently will be the great fear, according to the scenario above, and that through this Israel will do tshuva, if not sooner.

The Rav also spoke of the other things mentioned in that passage of the Zohar: the year 66 refers to 5766 (this year), the wars towards the North and the mention of the Galil relating to current events, and that the two kings who will fall will occur shortly. He emphasized that salvation is at hand and he said explicitly: "we are close, gentlemen". He asked that every congregation should say lengthy slichot (penitential prayers) with the 13 attributes of mercy on behalf of Am Yisrael, and that everyone should add his personal prayers for Am Yisroel and our soldiers in his tefila (at "shomea tefila" or at the end of "Elokai n'tzor", according to your custom).

The Rav warned that it is forbidden to disregard the situation and to be apathetic, and he mentioned someone who had this attitude in the past and said "one or two days and we'll wipe them out", and today after more than two weeks and more than 3000 katyushas we see how difficult the situation is.

R' Elbaz explained the verse "Hashem will fight for you - and you will be silent" that it menas that it is forbidden to listen to or to speak loshon hara, and through this "we will speedily merit, with the help of G-d, to complete salvation", amen, may it be His will.

Audio of the Lecture Here - hebrew, 15 minutes.

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A Unified Moment of Prayer? Tuesday

Info here. Hebrew or English

To our brothers Sons of Israel in the Diaspora!

These days, when we are between the straits, and in these desperate hours, our brothers Sons of Israel in the State of Israel face hard and murderous times from our enemies and those who are up to destroy us.

While in the battle front our brave soldiers in the Israeli Defense Forces risk their lives in the air and sea to repel those who turn upon us, and defend our people and the cities in Israel.

I call upon our Jewish brothers in the Diaspora, wherever they are, to pray for the well-being of our soldiers and their success this Tuesday at 19:00 (Israel time, for the recovery of the wounded, and the return of the captives to the loving arms of their families all safe and sound.

Rabbi Yona Metzger
Chief Rabbi of Israel


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Tablecloths, Orthodoxy, and Kabbalah

Door to Kabbalists School
Beit Knesset Beit El
Mercaz HaMekubalim

School of the Kabbalists
The Holy Congregation
of the Pious
House of G-d

And Your eyes will look
upon us when You return to
Zion with mercy


It shows 6 of the gates of Jerusalem:
Gate of Zion, Gate of Yafo (Jaffa),
Gate of Shehem (Nablus), Lion's Gate,
Dung Gate, Flower Gate
Liorah commented: The problem with this kind of thinking is that anyone who is not the member of an ultra-orthodox community is automatically assumed to be a kabbalah-centre groupie if s/he knows anything at all about kabbalah. This kind of assumptive mindset is extremely offputting to those who are not orthodox - as if the orthodox are the only ones who know anything. Well, I suppose we can trust the kashrut of the kabbalah in a community where shidduch criteria such as what kind of tablecloth a person's mother uses and whether or not she is a plate stacker matter are the important criteria - yes, these things are surely indicative of the clarity of mind we will find there.

Ouch. It's been a while since we discussed fad kabbalah here, though this was one of the reasons I started this blog.

First to the indictment of the 'ultra-orthodox' Jewish community. The yetzer hara, the evil inclination, comes to us all. He doesn't come to the rabbi and say, 'eat pig'. Too obvious, wouldn't work. But a challenge is presented to each and every person, focused on their unique weaknesses.

Second, the specific organization that was discussed does not have a good reputation for what they do, at least outside their current followers.

The very sudden explosion of kabbalah wisdom available to the general public in our time is quite astounding, perhaps more astounding is the interest in it. It is no longer hidden wisdom. I have had some interactions with some pretty well learned students of kabbalah who were not orthodox Jews, and in one case not Jewish at all.

The fundamental differenciation is this...can one plumb the depths of wisdom of kabbalah, and perhaps utilize the techniques of kabbalah to come closer to G-d, to connect to the divine wisdom and the Infinite One, Blessed Be He, without Torah and Mitzvot? Can the Zohar HaKodesh, the Holy Book of Brilliance, be understood as it quotes the Torah and explains the Mitzvot without either?

The Zohar and Kabbalah can be learned as an indepdendent wisdom of it's own. But it isn't, just as the Torah She'bic'tav, the Written Torah, neither stands on it's own or makes sense without the Torah She'pal'be, the Oral Torah (as now recorded as the Mishnah and Gemorah, aka Talmud).

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Sunday, July 30, 2006

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Koshering

If a utensil becomes treif (not kosher), there are two was to cleans it, to be able to return it to kosher status.

The first is through water, boiling it.

The second, and more severe (and required for more severe situations), is through fire, heating it until it's red hot or throws sparks.

The Midrash describes the Mabul (the Flood) as water boiling up from below and falling from above, hot water, boiling water.

President Ahmadinejad has refused so far to respond to proposals from the U.S., EU, Russia and China on the UN Security Council to cease Iran's relentless quest for nuclear enrichment and weapons development program until August 22nd. Why August 22nd? Because August 22nd, coincides with the Islamic date of Rajab 28, the day the great Salah El-Din conquered Jerusalem.

Ahmadinejad's extremists ideology in triggering Armageddon gives great concerns to the intelligence community.
- source.

Iran's Nuke Test Success Sparks Worry - here.

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Friday, July 28, 2006

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MSM Idiocy of the Day

Suspicion: Settler murdered - Burnt corpse found Thursday evening in car trunk near West Bank village in Qalqilya area. - YNetNews

...Let's see, maybe he drove his car off the road, doused it with gasoline, lit it on fire, quickly doused himself with gasoline, lit himself on fire, let himself burn a good bit, then jumped in to the flaming trunk and quickly closed it (since as an enclosed area he wouldn't burn so well in there). Yeah, that's a possibility.

Can anyone think of any circumstance involving a burned out car and a burned body in the trunk that doesn't involve murder? What other 'suspicion' could there possibly be???

Idiot news media.

Update: The Jerusalem Post displays equal stupidity...

Apparent terror victim identified - here.

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Thursday, July 27, 2006

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Kabbalah what???

Goli commented:

The Kabbalah Centre has published a page of the Zohar (page deleted) and is asking people to scan the page every day (additional instructions deleted) to help bring down enough light to protect Israel. What do you think about this idea? Does it make sense?

Also, why is Israel sending soldiers into that village in Lebanon. Sending them into the snake's den doesn't make sense. Why isn't Israel asking Arabs to leave the village and then pour down missiles on it?


Goli, the second question is easier than the first, so lets start there. Because the politicians are as concerned with world opinion as they are with their own soldiers lives, combined with an unpreparedness for the surprise fact that this enemy has been plotting, planning, and preparing against them for 6 years, the full impact of which they've still yet to realize. Add in that Hizbollah actively prevents civilians from leaving and/or specifically locates facilities and themselves among them. In other words, it's a set up, and Israel and the world have bought it.

Now to the first. Kabbalah concepts have a valid and solid basis. But if, as the "Kabbalah Centre" states, it is a complex divine technology, then like any technology it's very dependent on exact details of implementation. The "Centre" has adjusted these details to fit their goals, sales goals, and make what they are selling reasonably obtainable by the masses. But once so adjusted, it's no longer kosher kabbalah, and therefore no longer offers the 'divine' benefit.

I see no benefit whatsoever in their suggestion, and actually see the opposite (for the individuals involved). Yet, you may actually see or hear not-to-dissimilar suggestions from very kosher sources. However, the little differences count.

Further, kabballiclly speaking (if such a thing can be verb'd), what's going on is much more complex than that.

May I suggest my kabbalah links section for kosher sources of kabbalah information? (See the blog sidebar to the right, scroll down for links.)

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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

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The Fallen are My Neighbors

(Reb Nati just called me with this information...)

Today, two of my neighbors fell in Lebanon, one a father with children, one a son starting to make his way in the world. They fell defending the land of Israel and defending the lives of untold numbers of Jewish people in Eretz Yisroel, the holy land.

As I get off the phone with Akiva, I'm walking together with my community to be with the grieved famlies. I would say we are walking to comfort them, but I do not know how to comfort a wife and children who have lost their father, and a mother, father, sisters and brothers who have lost their son and brother.

These holy neshama's, these holy souls, did not hesitate to the call to defend the Jewish people and Israel. This, while the very homes they lived in and the town they helped build were threatened just yesterday, not by evil enemies bent on killing Jews, but by the Prime Minister of Israel who does not seem to be able to learn from his mistakes.

Today is Rosh Chodesh Menachem Av, the first day of the new month of Av, the start of the 9 days when we mourn the destruction of the Beis HaMikdash, the holy Jewish temple of G-d in Jerusalem. May the ultimate sacrifice, the sacrifice of the very lives of my neighbors for their fellow Jew, as the ultimate ahavat yisroel, the ultimate love of their fellow, stand before HaKodesh Baruch Hu (the Holy One, Blessed Be He) and provide the ultimate atonement for sinat chinam, baseless hatred, for which the Beis HaMikdash was destroyed, and this Tisha B'Av (the fast day for the destruction of the Temple of G-d) may we celebrate it's rebuilding with Moshiach Tzidkaynu (our righteous redeemer)!

And may my neighbors be comforted among the mourners of Zion and Yerushalayim (Jerusalem).

-- R. Nati, Shomron (West Bank), Israel

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The Year 66 and 6 Seconds

Zohar Vayera 119a :

Rebbe Shimon disclosed a verse, I will remember my convenant with Yaakov. The name of Yaakov is written with the vav...The redemption of Israel will come about through the mystic force of the letter vav, namely in the 6th millenium, more precisely, after 6 seconds and a half a time, when the 60th year shall have passed over the threshold of the 6th millenium, the G-d of Heaven will visit the daughter of Yaakov with a preliminary rememberence. Another 6 1/2 years will then elapse, and there will be a full rememberence of her. Then another 6 years, making together 72 1/2 years, in the year 66, Moshiach will appear in the Galil, and a star in the east will swallow 7 starts in the north, and the flame of black fire will hang in the heaven for 60 days, and there shall be wars towards the north, in which 2 kings shall perish, then all the nations of the world will combine together (as one) against the daughter of Yaakov to drive her from the world.

It is of that time that it is written, 'it is a time of trouble unto Yaakov, but out of it he shall be saved'.

At that time all the souls in bodies will have been used up and will need to be recreated...

At that time, the children of Yishmael will arouse all the peoples of the world to come to war against Jerusalem.

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Wild Coincidence: Psalm 83

AP - Irish archaeologists Tuesday heralded the discovery of an ancient book of psalms by a construction worker who spotted something while driving the shovel of his backhoe into a bog...The approximately 20-page book has been dated to the years 800-1000.

"This is really a miracle find," said Pat Wallace, director of the National Museum of Ireland"...

The book was found open to a page describing, in Latin script, Psalm 83, in which God hears complaints of other nations' attempts to wipe out the name of Israel. - - source.

Coincidence???

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Teshuvah Redux

Neshama commented...

Now is not the time for philosophizing on Teshuva. When the house is on fire it needs water to put it out. The Oilam (world) is going bananas in Eretz HaKodesh (the Holy Land), trying to figure out what to do. And if they are not, that's a sign of more trouble.

Israel and all Yisroel are in trouble right now. Do you think that "by the might of our hands, we will win this war"? That is kefira (heresy). Only by the might of Hashem will there be a change in the situation.

THE BEST WEAPON AGAINST THE ENEMY IS TO INCREASE YOUR DEDICATION TO HASHEM, BOTH IN RUCHNIUS (the spiritual, aka. take on an additional Mitzva or Hiddur Mitzva) AND GASHMIUS (the physical, aka. give more in Tzedaka, both monetarily and personally).

TESHUVA is returning to Hashem. What does that mean? Hashem blew from Himself into our bodies to give them Holy life. He needs us to live a Holy life - all the time.

...more here.

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Tuesday, July 25, 2006

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More on Teshuvah

Yerushalmi commented...

Sin is when we turn our backs to HaShem. In this stance, we have broken off communication since we speak face-to-face. After awhile, we can forget the One standing right behind us since we don't see Him, but He is always there, waiting for us to turn around, remember Him and start the conversation up again.

Teshuva is when we stop facing away from G-d, turn around and meet Him face-to-face (again).

Alternatively, it is to walk in the same direction with G-d, not to be walking away (or running away) from Him. To be in agreement with Him about the direction our lives should be taking.

When we have been standing a long time with our backs to HaShem, it may feel as if we have traveled far, far away from Him...too far to travel back, but in reality, He is just right behind us and all we really have to do is...turn around. That's teshuva.

Very nice, yasher koach!

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A Thought on Moshiach

It would seem a very good time to add a thought about Moshiach. Here's one from the 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe from the book HaYom Yom, entry for 1 Menachem Av...(an excerpt)

The unique quality of Mashiach is that he will be humble. Though he will be the ultimate in greatness, for he will teach Torah to the Patriarchs and to Moshe Rabeinu (Alav Hashalom), still he will be the ultimate in humility and self-nullification, for he will also teach simple folk.

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What is this Teshuvah Thing?

Teshuvah, teshuvah, what is this teshuvah thing? Everyone (well, Jewish religious everyone's anyway) are calling for teshuvah. What's a teshuvah and where do I get me one?

I've been thinking about this somewhat regularly, because of current circumstances (Israel), because of the call of the gedolim, and because of besuros hageulah (redemption happenings), and because I've got plenty of needed teshuvah to worry about. Everyone keeps calling, DO TESHUVAH, but nobody, and I mean nobody, defines what it is. What, how, and when?

Teshuvah is usually translated as repentence, or to repent. But frankly, what the heck does that mean? Here's the pure Jewish religious legal definition:

"If a person transgresses any mitzvah of the Torah, positive or negative, willingly or unintentionally, when he (feels regret) and (resolves not to transgress again), he must confess before G-d (say so in prayer)..." (Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Teshuvah, 1.1)

"Complete Teshuvah - A person who confronts the same situation in which he transgressed and has the opportunity to transgress again, but doesn't because of his teshuvah, not because of fear or lack of strength." (Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Teshuvah, 2.1)

So that's the straightforward definition. Missed a mitzvah or violated one, regret it, resolve not to repeat it, pray about it, then (the hard part), don't repeat it.

But Teshuvah is also translated as connect, or reconnect. Missing a mitzvah or committing a sin, G-d forbid, is not just 'breaking the law', it's creating a separation between you and your Father in heaven. Teshuvah is not just getting out on parole, it's reconnecting with G-d. It's being pained that there was a breech, and resolving to repair it.

In many ways, this latter concept of teshuvah is the most important.

Since we never know how much time we have left on this earth, teshuvah is appropriate every day! Yet, reality is many (including myself) get wrapped up in our daily lives. Teshuvah is not a daily thought (which perhaps is one of the great needs for Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur and the time in between).

But my friends, right now would seem to be a very very good time to make a point of it. Whether we are about the enter the time of the geulah, or are just in a dangerous time for Israel and all K'lal Yisroel, it's time to focus on teshuvah. Yom Kippur is a little early this year.

Yidden, during the high holy days we put aside, at least somewhat, our daily concerns and focus on Hashem. Now is also such a time.

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Monday, July 24, 2006

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Ball Bearings, Proof!!! War Crime.


War is a terrible business. Yet, in our day and age, Thank G-d, we consider the direct targeting of civilians to be a crime.

Specific targeting of innocents is a war crime. Use of weapons designed specifically for that purpose, to kill civilians, with no other real military value, is a war crime in and of itself (even if the weapon doesn't succeed).

The bottom of this post has a PowerPoint Presentation containing extensive pictures proving both. "The warheads used suggest a desire to maximize harm to civilians. Some of the rockets launched against Haifa over the past two days contained hundreds of metal ball bearings that are of limited use against military targets (they won't hurt an armored jeep or tank) but cause great harm to civilians and civilian property."

The Proof - PowerPoint Presentation Here

An Article discussing it.

Thank G-d, miraculously, so far they have had limited effectiveness (G-d forbid I'm not discounting the deaths that have occurred, but as the Haifa train depot hit showed, every hit of the 2,200 missles has the potential to be mass murder.)

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Besuros HaGeulah? !

July 14th - Chacham Z (via Lazer Beams)

"Hashem will do tremendous miracles. Iran is in big trouble. If Israel does a warning strike on a secondary Iranian town, such as Isfahan or Mashad, they will succeed! Achmadinejad will see the strong arm of Hashem if he doesn't back off of Israel. The Torah says we shall dwell alone - we don't need America or anybody else's help! If the Iranians persist in attacking Israel, then Tehran will be hit with a nuclear weapon. Hashem wants us to do Tshuva, so He chastises us. But, He will protect us against Iran. Let the IDF fight fearlessly and with no restraint from the nations of the world. We must support our dear soldiers with tshuva and Torah!"

July 18th - Chacham Z (via Lazer Beams)

"What happened to the Prime Minister? 'His name is Ehud; because of his choice to sanctify Hashem's name, he has received the soul of Ehud ben Gera (see Judges 3:16) who led Israel to a shining victory over her enemies. If PM Olmert continues in this manner, he'll rise to greatness; if he reverts to his old ways, the soul of Ehud ben Gera will leave him!' "

"Chacham Z claims that Iran will be hit by a major natural calamity by the 15th of Av, in three weeks. Time will tell if he's right. Chacham Z also claims that the destruction of Iran is the key to the full redemption of our people."

July 21 - Rabbi BT (via Lazer Beams)

"Rabbi BT told me this morning that the Geula has started; the chips could fall either way. Hashem is waiting to see what we'll do - business as usual, or return to Him. The latter will invoke miracles; I don't even want to think about the former."

July 24 - Reb Dov Bar Leib (via End of Days)

The Gallilee lies in ruins, and the border cities are in a wasteland. These cities are ghost towns. Naharia and Kiryat Shmona are not habitable right now. Tsfat is not either, but Breslovers and one Chabad Yeshivah are hanging in there. They believe that Mashiach will show up there first, for the word Tsfat means, "We expected Mashiach and watched out for his coming more than any other place in Eretz Yisrael." Therefore it is worth the risks to life and limb to be there at this time near the end of 5766.

The last mishna in Sotah lists a series of conditions for the coming of Mashiach. All the conditions have now been met including the two that HaGallil Chareiv (The Gallilee will be in ruins), and the Gavlan in a wasteland (Either the border cities or the Golan Heights). Will the annointed king of Israel make an appearance in the Gallilee in the 66th year...much depends upon all of us crying out to G-d and doing teshuvah.

July 24 - The Melitzer Rebbe, shlita (via Lazer Beams)

(Rabbi Brody) The Gemorra in tractate Sota, 49b, lists a number or preconditions that indicate the imminent end of the diaspora and the coming of Moshiach. Until recently, all but two of these conditions have been fulfilled. The next to-the-last condition, namely, that residents of the borders shall roam from place to place, was fulfilled last year with the disengagement and the destruction of Gush Katif, and even more so today, as the south of Israel hosts thousands of displaced families from the Galilee. The final condition, the destruction of the Galilee, is something none of would have ever believed. Yet, it's happening before our startled eyes. Kiriat Shemona, Tzfat, and Nahariya are in shambles, and these very minutes, our beautiful Galilee continues to burn, as raging fires destroy thousands of acres of fields and forests.

(The Rebbe) I asked him point blank: "Rebbe, the list is complete; has the Geula (redemption of our people) started?"

The Melitzer looked me straight in the eye and sid, "Yes!"

There you have it, folks: The Geula has started.

The Melitzer quickly clarified, "No one knows when Moshiach will come. It could be a day, a month, a year, or even more. But, the meaning of Geula is that we all must do Tshuva very fast, for once the process accelerates, at a certain stage, one no longer will be able."

"Must everyone come to Israel now?" I asked.

"No," answered the Rebbe, "but they must all make tshuva!"

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A Banner and A Big Thank You



As some have noticed, Mystical Paths has a new banner. I hope you like it as much as I do (let me know in comments).

A very very big thank you to Sarah of Sarah's View for creating it!

At least one person has mentioned a problem with seeing it correctly. If you're having a problem as well, please let me know in comments. I've checked it with IE and Firefox, and it looks good to me. Although, if you use a small browser window, the Blogger bar will crunch down over it.

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

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Video: Explaining the Creation!

HaRav Amnon Yitzchak, shlita, explains the creation.

Excellent video, hebrew with English subtitles, 2 plus hours. From Lazer Beams.
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Friday, July 21, 2006

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Is it Time, Is it Time?

for the sounding of the great shofar? Is it time to go???

Akiva, we live each day like it was the last, but keep on doing what you're doing. When the time comes to come home to Eretz Yisroel, you'll know, and you won't need simonim. I too feel its the start of Geulah now, but we only act according to Dass Torah... - a wise rabbi and advisor

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War Quote of the Day

"12 soldiers injured in violent exchanges of fire" - Guysen

As opposed to what, calm exchanges of fire, friendly exchanges of fire, organized exchanges of fire, pleasant exchanges of fire? Aren't large groups of men firing heavy weapons at each other, by nature violent?

Oy.

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The Ox and the Donkey

...It must be known and remembered that the forces of impurity, the klipot layers of the Sitra Achra also have levels ... on the right and ... on the left as noted in the Zohar (see , p. 27). They are called “the muddy valley.”

When they reach the final levels, G-d forbid, they can attain all the power of Esau and Ishmael (the ox and donkey of impurity) together, and destroy the entire world.

However, G-d made one to counter the other: to counter the forces of impurity are the great forces of the same levels of holiness of the two meshichim--the holy ox and donkey. They have the same ... on one side and ... on the other side, as explained above.

The holy ones counterattack, etc. They stand against the impure forces like an iron wall and fortified city. These are the “horns of the ox” at the opening of the city, on the middle line in the gates of Jerusalem on the west, where the fortress of Joseph’s angel will be in the war against the angel of Esau. There, “will gore nations together, to the ends of the earth” [Deut. 33:17]. - Kol HaTor 5

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Kiddush Hashem

kiddush
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Thursday, July 20, 2006

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War Quote of The Day

Hezbollah wants a fight to the death. With flamethrowers. In a crowded old wooden orphanage. A proportionate response means you're not required to do it their way. - Callimachus

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MSM Reports: Bad Israel, Bad!

"Hi, this is your happy reporter live from Lebanon. Wedding distrupted, people fleeing, American's trapped, help help!!! Bombs falling, oh the bombs. American evacuation happening with Israeli coordination and warning. (Why not Hizbollah? After all, they have experience carrying people away.) Israeli heavy bombing destroys a civilian area that might have had a bunker but we're told and believe was a mosque. Oh the horror!"

"Hi, this is your unhappy reporter from Israel. Artillary firing, planes flying. Oh yeah, cross-border rockets still falling, but I didn't actually see any, nor any of the damage, nor people killed, nor have I stopped by any bomb shelters, nor am I aware of people trapped and practically starving in some areas. Back to you..."

What explanation is there for this? Taking the side of the perceived little guy? Running to the flashier bloodier story? Chaos makes for better news? Or blatent anti-Israel anti-Semitism?

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Jew, It's All Your Fault!

jeffrey smith commented: It apparently has not occurred to you that it is the Jews of Gush Katif who should be apologizing.

For what, for willingly acting as a buffer against this type of attack for 15 years?

Don't try to argue that the Jews of Gush Katif caused the 'anger and hatred' or some such pile of feces. Because Israel and/or the Jewish towns have been attacked and had terror attacks since the 1890's! Residents slaughterd. Schools taken over and children killed. Bus patrons murdered. Travelers killed. Residents mutilated.

It wasn't the creation of the Gush Katif towns that caused the 'anger'. It wasn't the Yom Kippur war, or the 6 Day War. It wasn't the creation of the state of Israel that caused the 'anger'.

It's the existance of Jews anywhere in Israel.

And, of course, it was the simple existance of Jews in Europe that aroused the Germans to the Holocaust.

So your only possible point is, Jews shouldn't exist because just by trying to live they 'anger' people.

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Angry, Angry!

As I travelled today with my young son, first I encountered huge advertisements on the train...

Idolitry for Jews.Org!

Come see how Shlomy the Israeli loves our idol! And Sarah the Jewish activist learned to be active for our idol!


Then, passing through some bad reception area, I tuned my radio to US NPR for the latest war news. 3 reporters in Lebanon, each with a Hizbollah minder, going on and on about the horrible disproportionate civilian impact. No reporters in Israel.

Then I got back online after being off today, check a few blogs and see a post by a formerly-interesting Lebanese blog. "My father was driven from our family home. I hate you with blind rage for not having perfect bombing intelligence. How dare you wage war back on us after we've been waging war on you for 6 years with no reason! And I'll hate you and despise you forever for being effective at it!"

Here's my response, perhaps they might even read it:

Dear Idolitry for Jews - your religion didn't even exist 200 years ago, the 'church' before that you consider idolitry, and it didn't exist 1,400 years ago. Your idol of the moment has no interest to us, who have known G-d and his Torah for over 3,000 years. Go suck an egg.

Dear NPR - the victim is not always a victim, is not always worthy of compassion and empathy just because he's the victim, and sometimes it's self inflicted. Go take off your rose colored glasses. Or am I being too nice about your motives?

Dear (Unnamed) Lebanese Blogger - Your culture values honor over humanity. You perceived the humane response, not fighting back when Jews were shot at for 6 years from civilian areas, as weakness. Now that you're getting the honor response, you demand the humane response. Too late. Sorry your family is in the middle, so is mine. But my army is not specifically and exclusively going after civilians, yours is. Take your rage and direct it to building and controlling your country instead of attacking your neighbors. That would be humane and honorable, however I now believe that you truly understand neither.

Now I'm going to go off and do what I should have been doing instead of spending time on any of this...Hakol Kol Yaakov "the voice is the voice of Jacob" - Torah and prayer - which G-d himself has shown us to be the first effective action to nullify the power of yedei Eisov "the hands of Esau" - in whatever shape or form they are raised against us.

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Wednesday, July 19, 2006

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Measure for Measure

Midah Ce'Negged Midah - Measure for Measure.

Last year they made 10,000 refugees, and they wanted to make more. This year the Blessed Holy One made tens of thousands of refugees. And those that are not in exile from their homes are under house arrest!

What is amazing is that this time many, many Israelis feel the pain and suffering of the other people. Perhaps because the forced exile and house arrest effects so many more people, perhaps because it is not a threat to "mere" mitnachalim who are hardly considered human and have no human rights. (Even yesterday, special police beat R' David Dudokovitch in Yitzhar, the man who was trying to protect the rights of mitnachalim was placed in administrative detention, and three 14 year old girls have been in prison for over a month.) Perhaps because finally so many perceive that the threat that hangs over the north can reach them as well, even in Tel Aviv.

(When Shaul [Saul] is crowned king, no one takes him too seriously because he is such a simple, farmer-type person. However, when he goes through the night from the Yerushalayim area to the land of Menashe to save the people of Gil'ad Yavaish, then all the tribes become united under his rule, and that is the beginning of kingship in Israel.)

Thus, in whatever way the practical causes might be construed, the Blessed Holy One is teaching us a lesson and giving us an antitdote to the indifference and sinat chinom (senseless hatred) that governed Israel last year.

It should be noted that this lesson would not be possbile if the Israeli government had reacted to the kidnappings as everyone expected them to do -- to make a little noise with the army, kill a few people, and succumb to the urgent bidding of concerned humanity to surrender further to blackmail and come out again with that stuff that G. Bush talks about -- with it all over our face.

It is amazing that suddenly the same G. Bush perceived his own interests in such a way that he gave the green light to Israel, and even the hypocritical, anti-semetic Europeans cannot tire of permitting israel to defend itself. Jumping on the chance, another unexpected development, Hizbullah is reeling in shock by the tremendous display of power.

Unfortunately, many will be getting very nervous soon because Israel cannot win this war without becoming a little bit more Jewish, without making a little bit of a return to its jewish identity and roots. (Even now, for example, almost no one gives a "stuff that G. Bush talks about" about poor "innocent" arabs, and media attempts to play this card have not been successful. Too many people are personally threatened.)

Nevertheless, yesterday morning the media here began pushing peace negotiations to save the Hizbullah, but it seems that Bush is not ready for them yet.

You should know that "Erev Rav" is a very deep concept. We are all Erev Rav! But the head of the Erev Rav, whose name I will not mention here, will try to save Hizbullah,. But, this time it is not entirely up to him, but to Condoleeza, and that is amazing. As long as she and Bush see it as their own interest to let the Israeli army go, then the war will go on even if it involves Syria, and that may very well be their hope.

However, there is absolutely no talk about last year's deportation, as if it never happened. Until someone stands up for this whole nation and apologizes for what was done to those Jews in Gush Katif, then the moral blemish on the whole generation will still burn. It is hard to imagine that we will be allowed to make a victory celebration (se'udat levy-ten) with that burden hanging over us.

To close let me remind those readers-who-pray of a famous Ba'al Shem Tov story. He saw a bad tzairuf (combination of letters) coming from the mouth of the Blessed Holy One. He prayed to rearragne the order, to change nega'-plague into o'neg-bliss, etc. Thus, it seems that Katyusha is changing into Katisha -- the Hebrew and Aramaic word for "pounding". And may it be that this Change of Direction goes all the way to turn Katyusha into Kedushah (holiness). It takes a bit longer than Katisha, but it is a permanent change of the highest order.

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Hardware or Emunah?

Yerushalmi commented: You seem to be implying that the Israeli chayalim are those who "rely on chariots and horses." Ask Rabbi Brody how true that is. Look at any of the many pictures featuring chayalim praying in tallit and teffilin by their tanks. Say what you want, prayer alone did not prevent Aushwitz and the like. Yehoshua did not conquer the land nor did David establish his kingdom without both Torah in their hearts and a weapon in their hands.

It takes BOTH. Do you go to work? Why not just daven for your needs and increase Torah and mitzvot instead? Because in the Diaspora world you know that you must rely on Hashem while going out to physically make your living.

In Israel, we understand that this extends to the workings of a nation as well as a family. Thank G-D for those who both go into battle and rely upon the Holy One of Israel. May Hashem bless and protect them!


Yerushalmi, don't misunderstand. The IDF is great, the soldiers are dedicated, and it's incredibly professional and powerful, especially given the size of Israel.

Yet, 'does 1 chase a thousand, and 2 ten-thousand', and not know this is from Hashem? Israel is being battered, 1/5 of the population is refugee's, major economic areas shut down, by people with limited training and poor quality weapons.

The greatest weapons and training do not guarantee success, if HaKodesh Baruch Hu says failure, poor decisions or mistaken intelligence will flush it all. And, as Israel showed in 1948, poor weapons do not guarantee failure, if HaKodesh Baruch Hu says success, great decisions and luck will win it all.

May the Riboni Shel Olam grant Israel great success, and protect it's soldiers and people, and bless us with the ultimate success, Moshiach Tzidkaynu and the geulah, mamash, now!

On a side note, who's spotting for the missle strikes? They keep getting more accurate.

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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

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Horses and Chariots

This nice video of IDF training is going around. Very impressive, yet, 'some rely upon chariots and some upon horses, but we invoke the name of the Lord our G-d.' (Tehillim/Psalms 20)

Adonoi Hoshea HaMelech Ya'a'naynu vYom Karaynu!

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3rd Front of the War - Xian Attack on NY Jews!

I've been writing about the spiritual side of this war. As several gedolim (Jewish religious leaders) have now said and the words of the Lubavitcher Rebbe: hakol kol Yaakov "the voice is the voice of Jacob" - Torah and prayer - which G-d himself has shown us to be the first effective action to nullify the power of yedei Eisov "the hands of Esau".

However, overshadowed by the events in Israel, there's a 3rd front in this war. Literally simultaneously with the physical attacks in Israel, there's a spiritual attack going on in New York City and the surrounding tri-state area. Xian Missionaries masquarading as orthodox Jews, Jews for Yoshka, and others are in 'their largest missionary campaign ever'.

  • Unsolicited CD's on 'Moshiach and the Geulah' have been distributed to tens of thousands of religious Jewish households.

  • Unsolicited written materials have been distributed to tens of thousands of religious Jewish households as well.

  • House to house, door to door, street corner by street corner, the attack is in progress in major Jewish neighborhoods.

  • All the major New York radio stations with a Jewish listening demographic (especially an orthodox demographic such as talk radio and news radio) have very Jewish sounding ads offering a free book, DVD, or materials on 'the truth about the Moshiach'.


On the last item, I heard this ad and didn't even realize until the end what it was. Now I have to protect my children from news radio???

As I've said before, there are no coincidences. The timing of this 'campaign', while announced far in advance, just happens to fall during the 3 weeks and during Israel's fight for survival?

We're being spirituallt counter-attacked! Fight back, spirtually, here. Don't, for a moment, let the Voice of Yaakov fall silent!

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Going to Israel?

(Shared by a friend.)

THE STORY OF ELKANA

During the times of the Plishtim (indiginous Arabs who dwelled in Gaza, commonly translated as Philistines), the mitzva of Oleh LeRegel (going up to G-d's Tabernacle 3 times a year) became botel (nullified) due to the fear of the murderous and robbing Plishtim.

Elkana took his family and would take a different route each chag (holiday) and would camp in the middle of the Jewish city or village. The people would ask him where are you going. He replied "to the Mishkan (the holy Tabernacle) (where G-d's Shechina dwelled) in Shiloh." He showed such courage that Elkana by himself encouraged the entire Klal Yisrael (Jewish people) to do the Mitzva of Oleh LeRegel.

HIS REWARD. A son was born to him, Shmuel HaNavi (Samuel the Prophet).

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Bomb Shelter For The Last War


Israeli Bomb Shelter


Israeli Bomb Shelter
Synogogue, Inside
It's not unusual for an army to be equiped and trained for the last war. In Israel, the same is true of the civilian bomb shelters.

In the past, Israel build neighborhood bomb shelters (or miklot in Hebrew). These are medium sized buildings (see picture) that are very thick concrete and steel reinforced structures, with multiple thick steel doors, plated emergency exits, and multiple heavily reinforced air intakes. They are equiped with bathrooms (well, toilets), regular lights and battery powered lights. Not being a country to leave resources lying around, they are often repurposed as a neighborhood synogogue (see picture) or day care center or other small community facility. Some are more above ground (as in the picture), some are semi-buried, some are completely underground. In larger apartment buildings, they're usually in the basement. Being a kind of general community thing, if they aren't repurposed they're usually locked (so no kids make trouble in there) and not well kept, or in large buildings used as storage space.

This type of bomb shelter has the advantage of being (relatively) large and reasonably equiped. When not in use for it's primary purpose, it's large enough to use for other purposes. But, it may be a block or two (or more) away. If you're waiting to be bombed by plane and have an air raid warning, that's not a problem. If you've got 30 seconds to duck an incoming missle, this could be a problem. Further, it's not air tight, meaning it's absolutely useless for a gas attack (G-d forbid!). Even worse, many gas attacks sink, meaning not only does it have no gas defense, but the ones in basements and underground become natural gas draws.

After the threat of gas attacks during the Gulf War, the sealed individual bomb shelter was mandated. All new residences (home or apartment) and offices were built with a 'sealed reinforced room'. So instead of having a building bomb shelter (and certainly not a neighborhood bomb shelter), now each home as a bomb-shelter-room. Again, it's a thick concrete steel reinforced room. But now it's about the size of a walk-in closet or jail cell, the air intakes, emergency escape exit and primary entry door (a heavy reinforced steel layered door) all have rubber gaskets to seal against gas (and/or fresh air!).

This type of bomb shelter has the advantage of full gas attack defense (at least for a short time), very close location (in the home and/or office), definate sufficient capacity (if a neighborhood grows, the neighborhood bomb shelter doesn't, but every new residence gets it's own protection this way). It has the disadvantage of limited duel purpose (basically only big enough for use as a closet/storage), limited space (6 or 8 people are going to feel pretty cramped after a short time in there), and no facilities (bring your own bucket). Oh, and if a missle strikes the building, it could take a direct hit (G-d forbid), and it would be of questionable value in a building collapse (G-d forbid). After all, if your bomb shelter is on the 12th floor, it's probably not the best place to be for a non-WMD rocket strike.

Consider that Israel is probably the only country in the modern world that has bomb shelter mandates as part of their construction standards, which include standards for WMD attacks. Is Israel paranoid? Is it paranoid when everyone really is out to get you?

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Hints from the Milkman!

Translated by Nava, here.

Read it!


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Monday, July 17, 2006

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Proportionate Link

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MSM Idiots & The Israel War


Missle Hit in Haifa
I've been avoiding the Main Stream Media during this war, both on the advice of a wise rabbi and for my own sanity.  Being back at work this morning, with a variety of office web filters in place, I made the mistake of browsing to CNN.

"Several suspected Hezbollah rockets hit the norther Israeli city of Haifa"

Suspected??? Is this a court case? 'Your honor, let me remind you this Katyusha rocket is innocent until proven guilty.'

How about this one...

"Rescue workers rush to a building in Haifa, Israel, apparently hit by a rocket fired from Lebanon.

Apparently??? Are buildings currently spontaneously bursting into rubble and collapsing throughout northern Israel with no 'apparent' cause?

Are these guys insane, just got out of a court room where they've been locked for 20 years, so used to identifying with the barbarians and giving the bad guys every possible benefit of the doubt, or just completely anti-Jew?

We report, you vomit.
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War Quote of the Day

"Two other rockets landed in open fields in Kibbutz Karmiya and Moshav Mavki'im. Later Sderot was hit by three Qassams, one landing in a baby clinic, which caused some people to suffer anxiety." - Geez! Ya' freakin' s'pose?! - - - Israel at Ground Level

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Dis-Unity, Emunah, Listening to a Hit in Haifa

A short time ago we were on the phone with a cousin in Haifa. We've been worried as we haven't been able to get through to her, at home or at work, for several days. She answered thinking we were her work, she works at a hospital and thought she was being called back to deal with casualties.

While we were speaking a siren wailed, followed by a distant BOOM. Our cousin paused for a moment and said, "we hear the siren, we wait, then we say ToeDa l'Ail! (Thanks Be to G-d!)". She's not religious.

She told us not to worry, have faith. Not to worry? We're not the ones ducking missles!

She grew up without G-d, in the Soviet Union, where her parents couldn't teach her the slightest thing about Judaism for fear she'd speak of it in school.

---

A brief time later I stopped by some regular blogs I read and they were going about their normal business. However, sometimes their normal business is arguments, sometimes to actually get a deeper understanding, but sometimes for the joy of the argument itself. Practically with tears in my eyes after talking to Haifa and then moving to that, this is the comment I left...

My dear brother and fellow Jewish bloggers and commentors...

Given current events in Eretz Yisroel, and so many Jews now injured, homeless, and refugees, and so many more at risk of life and death at this very moment...

PLEASE, it's not the time for machlokes (dis-unity)!

There's always so much to disagree on, yet now it's life and death, literally. Use your forums to strengthen our achdus (unity), not, G-d forbid, the opposite.

G-d willing, there will be plenty of time for our minor family squabbles when this time has passed.


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New York Rally Monday

New York Rally for Israel

Monday, July 17th
12:00 Noon

Opposite the United Nations at First Ave & 42nd Street


Say some tehillim while you're there, I recommend k'pitil 20 (Psalm 20).

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Sunday, July 16, 2006

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Spiritual Battle Plans

My dear friends and readers. The situation in Israel is serious and getting more so. Reb Nati reports that 3 families from Safed are evacuating to his house tonight and tomorrow. While not all of us can be on the front lines, and not all of us are there in Israel...

We must never overlook - indeed, rather greatly emphasize the so-called "small and unsophisticated" things which each modest congregation, or even each individual, can and must do - beginning with the old, yet ever-new Jewish way, collectively as one people and also as individuals. This is the action of hakol kol Yaakov "the voice is the voice of Jacob" - Torah and prayer - which G-d himself has shown us to be the first effective action to nullify the power of yedei Eisov "the hands of Esau" - in whatever shape or form they are raised against us. - The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Letters 5th Teves, 5736

  • As Rabbi Brody said, every little mitzvah can make a difference. Arm up over at Lazer Beams.

  • For those looking for heavier spiritual weaponry, it's time to start Perek Shirah again! "Rebbi said, anyone who involves himself with Perek Shirah...he is saved from...all types of enemies and from the birth pangs of Moshiach". Download it here, free to share. The custom is to say it daily for 40 days.

  • For those looking for a stealth attack and are prepared to deal with the secrets of G-d, KosherTorah.Com has a kabbalistic prayer for battle. Download it here.

  • The Lubavitcher Rebbe wrote the following:

    "In view of the situation in and around Eretz Yisroel...expressly for the zechus (sake) of the security and strengthening of Eretz Yisroel, materially and spiritually, a special effort should be made in the spirit of 'Old Israel' - in the areas of Torah, Tefillah (Prayer) and Tzedakah (Charity). Specifically:

    After davening (prayer) (both in the morning and at Mincha, afternoon), to learn (or to add) a subject in Torah, including halacha pesukah (final ruling).

    Immediately following the davening (prayer), even before learning, to say several chapter of Tehillim (Psalms) (in addition to the regular portion).

    Before and after davning (prayer) - to give tzedakah (charity) (in addition to the regular donation), including tzedakah for a sacred cause or institution in Eretz Yisroel, Eretz haChayim ("Land of Living").

    Needless to say, one who repeats the above again and again in the course of the day, is to be praised, and each time - the more one does it (in quantity and quality), is to be praised all the more. And, as in all matters of Kedushah (holiness), it is desirable that all the above be done b'Tzibbur (in public) (with at least a Minyan).

    May Hashem accept, and He will accept, the prayers and supplications of Jews wherever they are, and soon, in our very own days, may teh Promise be fulfilled that "These days will be transformed into days of rejoicing and gladness,"

    With the true and complete Geulah (Redemption) through our righteous Moshiach. -- The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Letters 5th Teves, 5736


    Chabad.Org has a page up with a list of practical mitzvot you can begin right now that your local Chabad house will help with, including Tefillin and Mezuzot, which offer special assistance at a time like this. See their info here.

Here are Israeli charities that can make a difference right now:

Magen Dovid Adom - Israeli Ambulance Corp.
Yad Sarah - Medical Equipment Free Loan Service
Zaka - Caring for the Wounded and Dead

Any part of this email, information or links, may be freely reused, shared, or posted on any blog, web site, email, or flyer.

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A Mother Visiting Israel

(An update from our friend from NJ who's in Israel right now...)

As you have no doubt read, they now believe that Hizbollah has rockets than can reach Tel Aviv. They said an alarm will sound if they think an attack is coming.

Apparently the rockets that hit Haifa this morning are more sophisticated and longer range Iranian rockets than the Katuyshas that they continue to fire.

As a matter of fact, (I hate to say this) I don't have too much faith in the Israeli military since they allowed their most advanced missile ship to be rocketed by not having their anti-missile defenses up. That is one big "Duh," even for a non-military strategist like me.

I called the airlines today to confirm my flight and they are still scheduled to fly out. I won't see my son before I leave -- he needed to go to Tel Aviv for something & I will be leaving for the airport too early tomorrow morning. It's just as well, as it would be too difficult for me to say goodbye as things stand now.

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Picture - Patriots Up

(via Chabad.Info)

Patriot anti-missle batteries have been set up in Haifa. However, they cannot be used against Katyusha's.

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Safed Impact News

damaged building
(via Chabad.Info)

War impact from Friday to the holy city of Tzfat (Safed), Israel, city of mystics and artists in the mountains...

Missiles: 22 122mm Katyushas
Civilians Killed hy"d: 2
Civilians Injured Critically: 2
Civilians Injured Moderately: 6
Civilians Injured Lightly: 25

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Israel Rocket Hit Strike Map

katyushas_strike_map
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This map, from here at ConceptWizard, shows the flight paths and major strike points of the rocket barrage hitting Israel.

Reports are that over 800 rockets and missles have been fired directly and almost exclusively at Israeli civilians and population centers so far.

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War Quote of the Day

"The dictators in the region have always been happy to fight the Israelis to the last Palestinian. Now it looks like they're happy to fight the Israelis to the last Lebanese, too." - Michael Totten

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Chief Rabbi's Message

Rabbi Shlomo Amar is the Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi of Israel. Here is his message from the day before the 17th of Tammuz (Wednesday)...

Due to events happening now in Eretz Israel, Chief Rabbi Shlomo Amar, shlita, announced that this is a time of trouble for Yaakov (Israel) and it each one's responsibility to daven and beg HaShem to have mercy on Am Yisrael, on the soldiers and our holy land. It is time to look at our doings and to return to HaShem with all our hearts, to have Achdut (unity) and remove materialist needs.

This is the time to beg for our lives and the hostages and Israel army that are in the air, water and land. Tomorrow is the fast of 17 Tammuz, the Jews will gather in shuls to read Tehillim and Slichot as ONE - one person one heart. And HaShem will accept our tfillot with mercy and will see our suffering and distress and will send the Geula Achishena (the redemption in the quick way) with mercy.

Amen Ve'Amen


(Via Yeranen Yaakov)
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Friday, July 14, 2006

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For Erev Shabbat and the Spiritual War Effort


Injured Chabad Rabbi
of Safed
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for More Info
I'm told that:

Harav Eliyahu Mordechia, shlita has just came out with an announcement and he's pleading with every woman and daughter, after candle lighting, to say 3 additional Pirkei Tehillim (Psalms):

פרק קמב - Chapter 142
פרק קמג - Chapter 143
פרק קמד - Chapter 144

In addition, the Chabad Summer Yeshiva of Safed has evacuated south. The yeshiva is now refugees.

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A Segulah for Success, For After Shabbat

Segulah Image
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(It reads)... This (segulah) is found in the holy writings of the Kedushas Levi, the great tzaddik Rabbi Levi Yitzchok of Berdichev, zt"l, and it says:

Men, women and children should say this request (prayer) every Motzie Shabbat (Saturday night) before Havdalah (the separation ceremony), repeating it 3 times, and (the tzaddik writes) he is certain they will be successful, with G-d's help.

The bottom reads: For healing and success for all the nation of Israel, especially those give charity and help Hashem help those in need from the heart, for good, Amein, followed by the names of those who helped subsidize it's printing.

The very top states, distributed free, in the merit of many.

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Reality Check

Yesterday mid-day, I was on the phone with my friend who lives in the old city of Tzfat (Safed). All of a sudden there was an explosion and the line went dead. Instant fear, not the right response. "Emmuna check!"

I called my rav (my rabbi and teacher) to ask the news. He said he'd get back to me.

A few minutes later my friend back and said a Katyusha rocket had just hit 150 meters away. We deceided cancel Shabbos this week. I was going, now I'm staying as the buses aren't running and everyone is being told to stay home. And I'm part of our local security at such a time.

A very uptight day. I turned on Radio Breslev and sang and danced back to feeling at ease. Went to bed, ring ring, my havruta (learning partner) and fellow friend from Safed called to tell me he was ok (as I tried several times to contact him during the day).

Well here's a story! The gabbai of the kehilla (synogogue coordinator) where we all daven in Safed (pray when I'm there) had just a few days ago changed apartments. The very house that was hit in the old city was his old apartment. Everyone was at shul (synogogue) saying Tikun Chatzos, as many say it at midnight and at midday during the three weeks. So no one was there when the rocket hit. What a nes (miracle)!

Rabbi Nachman says that if you want to increase your level of Emmuna (faith), you must speak only with Emmuna and you will raise not only your's but everyone's who hears you.

Good Shabbos! - Reb Nati

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Katyusha's, First Hand from Safed

Seven missiles slammed into Tzfat this afternoon. Three came screeching over our house in quick succession...

At mentalblog, click here
.

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Israel at War - The Spiritual Side

Aug-18 041
Aug-18 007
Haifa, Israel
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First a thought on Haifa, "Haifa is a dangerous escalation; no Katyusha missile can reach Haifa from even the closest point in Lebanon. This is a clear sign that the Hizbollah possesses the Iranian version of the Russian Scuds, which puts an additional chunk of the Holy Land within terrorist artillery range." I'd add further, since Hizbollah claims they didn't shoot it, then Iranian Guards in Lebanon did. Now on to the spiritual side...

Reb Dov Bar Leib writes, "I just returned from the States and the War of Gog U'Magog has been thrust upon us. The first sign on the last Mishnah in Tractate Sotah is that the Gallilee will become Chareiv (destroyed). The first is always the most important. It is therefore the sign that immediately triggers the onset of the Redemption. No wonder that the Zohar tells us that Mashiach will first appear in the Galilee in the 66th year after crossing the threshold of the 6th millennium. We will soon see if that is this year."

and Rabbi Brody writes, "Scenario #1 - the USA wants to draw Iran and Syria into the war with Israel to give the USA an excuse to level Iran...

Scenario #2 - the EU wants to use NATO and the war as a pretext to invading Israel, according to Professor Emanuel Winston and in line with everything that's been said in recent weeks...

Scenario #3 - The people of Israel make teshuva and see tremendous miracles.

No matter what the scenario, this war looks to me like the War for Redemption and the beginning of the Geula..."

Two other interesting items to note. On the day after Tisha B'Av (the 9th of Av fast day on the Jewish calendar), Israel started the retreat from Gush Katif. A day before the 17th of Tammuz (the fast day that starts the 3-week mouring period) in under a year, war starts. As Rabby Brody wrote, "the current breach of Israel's borders , including the unprecedented attacks on Haifa and Tzfat, has been the 17th of Tammuz, the exact same day when the city of Jerusalem was breached before the destruction of the Second Temple."

Hashgacha Pratit, Divine Providence, there are no coincidences. We await the signs and events to know if this really is that time. Regardless, it's a good time for Teshuvah, reconnecting with G-d, Tefillah, prayer, and Tzedakah, charity and helping others.

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Thursday, July 13, 2006

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A Message from Rechovot

An American friend of ours is currently visiting Israel, here's what she has to say...

Akiva & (Spouse):

I find myself in Israel now. I've been here for two weeks & am now staying in Rehovot. It is rather scary here now. The newspapers are all screaming, "WAR," in big letters & the regular programming is off the air with just the war news on. Some Katyusha rockets just fell in Safed. My son was in Eilat the last couple of days & is on his way back from there as we speak. He is going to Tel Aviv & from there to Ofra (Jewish town in the West Bank).

We have had a great visit until, of course, all of this started happening. First the kidnapping and killing of that teenager from Itamar was awful. My son has promised me to stop taking rides since the boy was killed. He was taken from right outside the gate of Ofra at about 10:00PM at night. There was also a car shot up outside of Ofra last week but thank G-d, no one was injured (that kind of thing that doesn't even make the news).

My father told me today for me and my son to take any plane we can out of Israel & he would pay for the tickets. I'm going to wait until my flight on ... & hope I can get out by then. I'm not willing to send that kind of message to my friends and family. I'm still an Israeli citizen and I'm not running out of here, even though I am certainly somewhat scared.

Take care & be well.

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Wake Up Call in the AM

All of the news this morning is grave, we are practically in a state of emergency.

I was heading to Tzfat (Safed) for Shabbos but decided to stop. Then it hit me, we need to all go to the north, to Rashbi (the kever of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai) maybe? To celebrate Shabbos B'Simcha and show them the fear of Hashem.

And make a statment of faith!!!!

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17th of Tammuz and The Sign of Times

So I awoke to barking dogs and sonic booms, jets flying over head, as if to say get up and say tikkun chatzot:

“Our G-d and G-d of our fathers: ………………;

The First Lament, By Rabbi Moshe Alshikh

Gather and listen, all you children of Yaakov. Tear your hearts and not you clothes! Because of your/our sins your/our mother (the Holy Shekhinah) has been cast out. Give honor to HaShem you Elohim.

Who is the man who wants life? Who wants to enjoy the taste of his food? How can anyone think about enjoying his home (or his comfort or entertainment) while G-d Himself allows strangers to dwell in His Holy Sanctuary, aliens whom He did not struggle to raise?

“Where has your beloved gone? Can you fly with him to the heavens?” “I have sinned, and He is bound in chains. And for this, grieve and wail; go lie in sackcloth in the streets and marketplaces.”

What does the Shekhinah say? “Ay my head! The greatness, might and glory have departed from My head. Gone are the triumph and the splendor. No-one is concerned with my soul. My soul is despised and finds no peace.

“For this I mourn and wail. I am feverish with dread. I scream like a woman in labor from the agonizing pain in my belly. Because of you I was banished to bavel, and am deep in exile. (concealment)s

“Your sins and wrongdoing caused all of this. Together we were exiled that I may torment you. G-d was enraged with me because of you, and sent me ahead of you.

“I have seen something shameful in the house of Israel: nobody takes to heart that I am forced to wander. (the place of the hollow sling) I am like a tottering wall, a fence about to collapse. Was I a desert or a dark waste land to Israel?”

O G-d, we/I acknowledge our/my wickedness and the sin of our fathers. We/I hereby repent HaShem, our Elohim. Return for the sake of your servants and forgive our transgressions. Return! Have pity on us and pay no attention to our sins.

G-d says: “I love you. My sole intent, My only desire is to return from My anger and have compassion on you. (1st)Return to Me (we have to initiate) (2nd) and I will return to you. I, only I, am your consoler.” Tell the daughter of Tzion, thus says your master: “Instead of being abandoned like a widow any more, your sons will now return to you. And as a groom delights in his bride, so will your G-d delight in you. And you will be a crown of glory in the hand of G-d and a royal diadem in the palm of G-d.”

Chapter 121 Kitzur Shulchan Oruch - Communal Fast Days

1. It is a positive commandment ordained by our sages to fast on the days when calamities occurred to our ancestors. The purpose of these fasts is to arouse one’s heart and motivate us [to pursue] the paths of repentance. In this manner, we recall our wicked conduct and that of our ancestors which resembles our own and which caused them and us these difficulties. The recollection of these matters should inspire us to repent and improve our conduct, as (Leviticus 26:40) states: “they shall confess their sins and the sins of their fathers.”

Therefore, on these days, a person is obligated to examine his behavior and repent for any undesirable activities. This, and not the fasting per se, is the fundamental intent. Thus in regard to the people of Nineveh, (Yona 3:10) “And G-d saw their deeds….” (Tannis 16a) The prophet does not say, G-d saw their sackcloth and fasting, but rather, “And G-d saw their deeds, that they had turned from the wickedness.

Fasting is only preparatory step for repentance. Therefore, those people who fast, but go on pleasure stroll and spend their entire day involved in wasteful activity, have only accepted the secondary purpose of the day, while ignoring its primary intent.
...
4. The 17th of Tammuz; five catastrophes happened on this date:

a. the tablets of the Law were broken by Moshe. (exodus 32:19)
b. the sacrifice of the daily offering was interrupted.
c. the walls of city of Yerusalem were beached before the second destruction of the temple. [This day] is commemorated because we consider the destruction of the second temple to be more severe. Furthermore, the Talmud yerushalmi states that, before the destruction of the first temple as well that the walls of the city were destroyed on this date.
d. Apostumus, the wicked, burned a Torah scroll;
e. wicked Jewish people set up an idol in the temple sanctuary. This led to the temple’s destruction and our present exile

By our unwillingness to return to the land of Israel we prolong our torment.

TESHUVAH!!!! For unwillingness to return to the land is the same as idol worship, for it is the ultimate statement of disbelief, and obvious desecration of G-d's name!
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Katyusha Strike Report!

Israel At Ground Level reports this from Israel Channel 2 News...

A volley of at least five Katyusha rockets hit downtown Nahariya near a main avenue Thursday morning just after 7:00 AM. One woman was killed in the strike, and several other residents are being treated for wounds in the attack, according to Channel 2 News.

Nahariya is a coastal city several kilometers south of the border with Lebanon (and north of Haifa).

Dozens of similar attacks are being reported along much of the northern border, including Mt. Meron near Safed and Kiryat Shmoneh in the Galilee panhandle.

A little more here.

Hashem YeRachem!

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Rabbi Brody - Invasion, Rockets

Another update from Rabbi Brody...

A full scale invasion of Lebanon has started. This is really tricky; Katyushas (Russian rockets) just fell in Kiryat Shemonah (northern Israel town near Safed); word is that the Hizbolla has missiles that can reach Haifa and even Hadera (south of Haifa nearer Netanya).

No Jew can afford to take this lightly; this is really serious and Israel is vulnerable.

Teshuvah (repentence/reconnect with G-d), Kedushah (increasing in personal holiness), and prayer is what everyone must contribute!

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Breaking Update from Rabbi Brody

Breaking updates from Rabbi Brody:

There's non-step jet fighter traffic over Ashdod in both directions, north and south. The whole north (of Israel) including Nahariya are sleeping in shelters tonight.

Air Force and Infantry reserves are being called up.

I've been on the phone with Rav Shalom Arush, Rav Amnon Yitzchak, and the Melitzer Rebbe - we're doing all sorts of things like giving pep talks to soldiers, free tehillim, etc.

All the tzaddikim say that this is a zero-hour for klal Yisroel.


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War Message from Rabbi Lazer Brody

(Rabbi Brody writes...) Just when all is breaking loose and there's war on 2 fronts, my blog host (of Lazer Beams) is down for maintenance.

What tefilot (prayers) or specific actions of tzedakah (charity) or teshuva (repentence) can be done given the current situation in Israel?

The Melitzer Rebbe, shlita, says that if each Jew takes one small thing and decides to be better, it will make a tremendous impression in shamayim (heaven); this is also something that everyone can do. Rav Shalom Arush, shlita says that the heavy artillery is one hour of teshuva (repentence/reconnecting with Hashem) a day.

Amein! And may we hear only good news for all Klal Yisroel, and especially the safety of our soldiers.

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