Thursday, August 31, 2006

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When You Will Go Out

Thoughts on Parshat Ke Seitzei...

"When you will go out to war against your enemies, and HaShem, your G-d will deliver them into your hand, and you will capture its captivity;"

When you will go out to make war on your yetzer harah, against your tievot (your lusts).

It is curious that the parasha opens with the words "when you will go out to make war against your enemies," then goes on a seeming unrealated list of does and don'ts.

A beautiful woman, (neuv), fristborn's rights (greed), rebellious children, proper burial even for the executed crimmal, lack of concern for others, cross dressing, the sending away of the mother from the nest, a railing around a roof, TZITZIS, slander, adultery, rape, forbidden marriages... In all 31 laws all dealing with out tievot our human lust.

Then "when the camp goes out to war", when the nation is at war we are told we must GUARD AGAINST ANYTHING EVIL. The Jewish army's success is in the hands of G-d whereas other nations rely on superior numbers and weapons, our most potent weapon is righteous behavior.

, when the satan goes on the offensive. (Rashi) thus the sins that G-d might overlook in ordinary times become significant during times of warfare or our crises. (Ramban) stresses that during times of war (crises) men are under stress and are prone to anti-social behavior. At such times the Torah warns us to be more vigilant than ever not to sink in to evil.

It is at times like these, the time we are now living, we are warned to think and act very carfully, before any action as we dont know how this action will be weighed out for us.

"Remember what Amalek did to you, on the way when you were leaving Mitzraim (Egypt)", remember that as we were leaving our lusts and our sinful behavior behind, Sofek, the strongest weapon they have is DOUBT, doubt came and attacked you from behind. It only came to the rear and to the weaklings, the spiritually weak and those with lack of commitment and focus i.e. defective emmunah, when you where faint and exhusted, when you thought that there was no more zehut (merit), at times like these we all can become overwhelmed with the negative infulence of news and are G-d forbid losing our faith in the One running the world and all its events. For we see it does not take weapons of mass destruction to defeat us, all he has to achieve is to cause doubt only for a second and he's won, our most potent weapon is emmunah (faith) in HaShem."

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

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Moshiach's Alley

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08-29-Israel-- 147

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Mekubal (Kabbalist) Update

Nava of Dreaming sent this translation of the words of HaRav HaMekubal (the Rabbi and Kabbalist) Dahan, Shlita, who is known for having predicted the tsunami...the words of the Rav...

This past Shabbat, Rav Dahan Shlita said the following: It says in the Parsha תשים לך מלך, this is the Moshiach. The Moshiach is afraid to speak. Like Moshe Rabbeinu was afraid that he will not be understood and was afraid that Am Israel will twist his words. A few times the Moshiach postponed his arrival. Dovid HaMelech was also afraid to talk. Many of Am Israel were scared of him and wanted to kill him. Most of his talks were with HaShem, such as the Tehillim. Shlomo HaMelech also spoke very minimal and his popularity grew because of his wisdom.

It's better not to talk to much. When a person doesn't speak much, they don't know if you are smart or not.

He spoke about the Israel Gov't - The Israeli President and Minister of Justice (both are under indictment or threat of right now in Israel). If they would have been careful with Yichud (the mitzvah of not being in private with a member of the opposite gender), they would not have been in such a mess now, even if they are innocent. He said that this is exactly the Parsha - Shoftim and the whole country is busy with judging and courts.

The Rav said that our generation's troubles come from judges and police force that are not worthy.

He said that lately, in Achmajihad's generation, the tests are fear. It is a kind of a punishment, such as fear of elevators, germs, heights, bombs, etc. A person who fears HaShem, has no fear of "things".

He said that 1/3 will flee the country (Israel) - about 2 million. In the Zohar it says that many dig tunnels/funnels.

What is protection? There are "lights" that surrounds a person with protection, Mikveh; Tfillin, Shabbat, Succot. These lights protect the person from falling into various situations of trouble. He brought an example of during the war, a family in Tzfat and a missile was heading directly towards their home. Somehow, the missile did a weird turn, not physically logical, and hit the neighbor's home.

HaShem is bringing the nations to Lebanon. HaKodesh Baruch Hu (the Holy One, Blessed Be He) wants that all the nations should see the miracles. Something gigantic will happen and everyone will see. : והתגדלתי והתקדשתי לעיני גויים רבים

This is the month of Elul - mercy and forgiveness. It is a time to speak with HaShem directly. Other times, the angels delay but now in Elul, they cannot. It is a time to ask HaShem for forgiveness for all sins and HKB'H will say "You are forgiven".

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Tuesday, August 29, 2006

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The Schedule?

We look at the events of the world and try to match them with the events of the holy writings, the prophets, the zohar, the midrashim, and maybe get a glimpse of what's to come and how to focus. Hashem can send the geulah in a moment, yet so far we've all been a bit overzealous. (Hopefully this is because we want the geulah so badly.)

I spoke with two special individuals this week, who said the same thing from opposite sources...

Reb Dov Bar Leib of the End of Days blog says we're finishing the Year of Yitzchok. This is the last year in which the Yishmaelim have strength, but for now they have great strength. The Erev Rav were an adopted part of Klal Yisroel, and they remain so and strong as such through the Year of Yaakov, about to begin this Rosh Hashana. Yet as we enter the Year of Yaakov, the judgements of the world for the events of Israel become severe. Come the Year of Moshe, next Rosh Hashana (5768), the strength of the Erev Rav dissolves, as it requires the strength of Moshe, who adopted them, to break their hold.

Reb Meyer is a kind quiet man who everyone poo poos. He sits quietly in his beis midrash, built with his own hands, learning the secrets of the Torah. If you're fortunate, after enjoying the mitzvah of chachnasos orchim (having guests) and some of his wonderful food, he'll open up his treasury of wisdom.

Reb Meyer says, indeed, the neshama of Moshiach is with us. However, like Moshe Rabaynu when he returned from Har Sinai, the light is too great. Moshe had to conceal his face with a heavy veil, Moshiach's light is much greater. He is very heavily veiled by HaKodesh Baruch Hu, for now only to be glimpsed by those with the great wisdom to see. Yet the time for his light to shine for all is close, within the next 2 years (with next year being this Rosh Hashana).

It appears that many in Israel are beginning to wake up. Those who's eyes were closed and heads were down are starting to stand up and blink their eyes. Assumptions are starting to be challenged, questions asked, foundations are shaking. Yet, the chomer and emptiness, the Yetzer, will not let go without a fight.

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That's a Mezuzah!

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This may be the most impressive mezuzah case I've ever seen. It stands about 3 feet (yes feet) tall on the doorway to Kever Dovid HaMelek, the holy Tomb of King David in Jerusalem. Of course, it's the parchment inside, not the case that makes a mezuzah kosher. Click the picture for a larger image option.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

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Geulah Update...

The following translation was sent to me by Reb Nathan of Yiddishkeit.Org....

In the most recent lecture by the mekubal (kabbalist) Rav Bentzion Mutzafi, shlita, which took place this past Wednesday in Holon (Israel) and was transmitted over the internet, he dealt with the weekly haftarah for parshas Shoftim, which begins as follows:

I, yea I am He Who consoles you; who are you that you fear man who will die and the son of man, who shall be made [as] grass? And you forgot the Lord your Maker, Who spread out the heavens and founded the earth, and you fear constantly the whole day because of the wrath of the oppressor when he prepared to destroy. Now where is the wrath of the oppressor? What must be poured out hastened to be opened, and he shall not die of destruction, and his bread shall not be wanting. I am the Lord your God, Who wrinkles the sea and its waves stir; the Lord of Hosts is His name. And I placed My words into your mouth, and with the shadow of My hand I covered you, to plant the heavens and to found the earth and to say to Zion [that] you are My people. -- (Yeshaya 51:12-16)

War of Gog and Magog: Rebellion of the sarim of the nations of the world against the Shechina...

The Rav explained these words in conjunction with what the Chida wrote in connection with the verse "And it shall come to pass on that day, that the Lord shall visit punishment upon the host of heaven on high and upon the kings of the earth on the earth." (Yeshaya 24:21). He said that every place in the prophecies of the end of days where it states "on that day" means the day of the coming of Moshiach:

Quote: "On that same day the Bais Hamikdash will descend from Heaven fully built, on that same day He will gather in the pushed away of His people Israel, on that same day the dead will arise, on that same day this is the great day of the Holy One, blessed be He, and on that day He will redeem Israel. On that same day of geulah.. Then he will topple the 70 nations. How will he topple them? "And it shall come to pass on that day, that the Lord shall visit punishment upon the host of heaven on high and upon the kings of the earth on the earth." (Yeshaya 24:21)

The Rav explained the 70 sarim or governing spiritual powers Above who control the 70 nations according to the words of R' Eliezer Hagadol and R' Shimon bar Yochai, and afterwards he continued:

Quote: In the future all the 70 sarim will arise to oppose the holy shechina, "the kings of the earth will consult, "Kings of a land stand up, and nobles take counsel together against the Lord and against His anointed? 'Let us break their bands and cast off their cords from us.' He Who dwells in Heaven laughs; the Lord mocks them. Then He speaks to them in His wrath." -- (Tehillim 2). Then they will arise and rebel against the holy Shechina. How will they do this? They are the sarim Above, the nations are below. What do the nations do? They come against Yerushalayim. Like the prophet Zecharia says, and also the prophet Yechezkiel... as we read on Sukkot.

The identity of Gog: The Rav touched on the identity of Gog, and he explained that Gog will be one who will stand at the head of the 70 nations, and he explained the requirements to be Gog:

Quote: [The war of] Gog and Magog, say our Sages, is [a war of] 70 nations, only that Gog will be the head of the 70 nations.

Who will be Gog? As of now they still haven't decided if it will be Putin or George [Bush] or what's-his-name the Frenchman, and don't forget Blair as well; and there are the Chinese and the Japanese, this still isn't settled. In Heaven they decided, but [regarding] who this will be [down here] the Malbim sayd [at the time of the war of Gog and Magog]": Here, this is Gog, the one you spoke of, this is Gog."

And then "on the day that Gog comes on the soil of Israel" the Holy One, blessed be He, is happy and goes out against him, the Almighty Himself goes out to fight him. And what does the Holy One do? He topples all 70 sarim Above and sends them to fire.

War of Gog and Magog already began, although it is disguised:

The Rav brought in the name of the Abarbanel and the Malbim a broad explanation according to the words of the Holy Zohar, that the war of Gog and Magog will begin as a war between the xtians and the Muslims, and he acknowledged that these things have already begun, "this is what we see today":

Quote: Then [at the end of the war of Gog and Magog] the 70 nations come here below against Israel, because the sarim Above come against the Holy One and the shechina, 70 nations here come against the Jewish nation, and then the HOly One comes out to war against them.

The Holy One says: "You [Israel], don't be afraid."

It will be Gog and Magog, and the truth is that there are several opinions in the commentators. The Malbim and the Abarbanel and others ruled how the war of Gog and Magog will be, and there are those who wrote that it won't begin with us at all:

In the beginning the xtians will rise up against the Yishmaelim (the Muslims), and this is what we see today, the war which is constantly disguised (Afghanistan, Iraq, etc), they are pushing it off. But as much as they push it off the more the "abcess" develops.

[The commentary says that the xtians] will rise up against the Yishmaelim, and afterwards they will decide to come against Yerushalayim, and all this will be a plan of the Holy One, in order to bring an end to them.

Then [the prophet] asks, Israel will be afraid? He says: No, don't be afraid, "I, I am your comforter", because you are Mine, and I am the first and I am the last and beside Me there are no gods, so I am your comforter, and you should not be afraid."

Current Events:

Rav Mutzafi urged everyone listening to him to minimize, for at least 40 days (between Rosh Chodesh Elul and Yom Kippur), listening to the news. Amid this he mentioned the recent investigations of members of the government, and explained:

Quote: I will explain to you in brief. There is an explicit Rambam and Baal Haturim which everyone wonders what is the source for their words. In what I will say I do not imply anyone in particular, but in general: "A man is not made the head of a tribe unless he became wicked above." That means, the Soton does not give permission to make governments of tzaddikim...

So believe me, forget the news, for the 40 days and on let's give up on all the [static and reports] going around--this will give an inner peace and calm, and a person can then put a little more into Torah and Tehillim.

We see all the enemies around us going wild, see the Iranians, see the Syrians, all the peoples without names are rising up against us and they want to finish us off, and we are the ones who uphold the world! The Jewish people are connected to the Holy One in heart and soul. Our neshamot are parts of Him. So who is able to mess with the Jewish nation?

So then why is this happening? Because we are leaving the Torah. And therefore the best way is to connect with the Torah, and then if we will be connected with the Torah there is nothing to worry about, and we will come to the day of Rosh Hashana relaxed and calm.

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

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Yesh Ma'laasot

"There is something to do"

We can end the Golus! Want to know how? We are now witnessing a new phenomena, we are seeing that a few people can change the world with a little focus and determination a few can do a lot.

19 men killed 3000 and brought the mightiest nation to its knees, 5 men killed 500 and shut down London, these event are a hint to us that we too can also with just a few people effect a change for the better as these have for the worse

"Just as the exodus from Egypt began at Chatzot, so too the final Redemption will begin at Chatzot. And it will come about in the merit of those who get up for Chatzot." -- (Reb Noson of Breslov, Likutey Halakhot, Hashkamat Haboker 1:15)

The Lubavitcher Rebbe zt'l said a little over twenty years ago that He had done all that He could and now it was up to us!

G-d is now ready and waiting to rebuild our Holy Temple. For our part, we should be very careful to do nothing that might delay the rebuilding. Indeed, we ourselves should make an effort to rebuild it.

You may say to me what can I do, or worse you may say there is nothing I can do. This is a defeatist attitude and is not Jewish. For in truth there is something we can and must do. It is within the grasp of each and every Jew. What is it you ask, weÂ’ll IÂ’ll tell you.

The Shulchan Arukh opens the first section and the first halalkah is: Tikkun Chatzot

The saintly Rabbi Eliyahu Lopian (1876-1970) started getting up regularly for tikkun chatzot in his later years. When one of his students asked him why, Rabbi Lopian said '“When I leave this world and come before the Heavenly court, they will ask me if I kept the Shulchan Arukh, and presumably I'’ll say I did. They'’re sure to say, "‘let'’s check,"’ and they'’ll probably start going through the Shulchan Arukh section by section, law by law. If they catch me on some detail after about two hundred sections, I might be able to come up with an answer. But what am I going to say if they catch me on the very first section? (Aharon Stern, Mashgiach, Kaminezt Yeshiva, Yerushalayim)

By getting up at Chatzot each night to mourn over the destruction, one should say to oneself, '“Maybe in a previous incarnation I was the cause of the destruction of the Temple. And even if not, it could very well be my sins are holding back its reconstruction, and that is as bad as if I caused the actual destruction'”. One should shed tears over this at chatzot each night, and then it will be as if one were trying to rebuild the Holy Temple.

'“Tikkun Chatzot brings a person to the truth. His eyes are opened and he sees himself and his life clearly. He cleanses himself of all negative traits and comes to know and understand the Holy Name of G-d'”. (Likutey Moharan II, 67).

'If the Jewish people were careful to get up for Chatzot their enemies would be subdued and would not impose any decrees against them. All our suffering in this bitter exile is caused because of not getting up to study Torah and sing songs of praise after Chatzot' (Zohar Chai Bereshis 77).

'A person who gets up regularly for Tikkun Chatzot is a Tzaddik. A thread of mercy is stretched over him to save him from all accusers. He is considered a member of the Court of the King. His livelihood is assured. He is called '“G-d-fearing,'” a '“lover of the King,'” a '“Son of the Holy One'. No one speaks out against him. It is to him that the dictum that 'G-d is close to all who call out to Him'” applies. 'He is bound to the world to come, and the Holy one and all His tzaddikim in Gan Eden hear his voice.'

Since the Zohar writes that at midnight G-d's favor is revealed to cancel all harsh judgments, his reward is that his soul will ascend at a time of favor. (Siddur of the SheLah).

It may be true that we today have fallen to a very low level, and no one understands the full extent of what we are missing and what we have lost, what we have caused because of our sins and what the '“exile of the Shekhinah'” really means.

Our very lack of understanding and sensitivity should fill us with anguish. Even so, each person is only obliged to do what here is capable of. One should imagine how he would feel if his mother was clothed and dressed in black, and was crying bitterly and screaming, The pain in my head! The pain in my arm! I brought up children… I raised them…. And they rebelled against me!

”One should focus one'’s mind and heart on similar bitter images and pour out one'’s soul in a bitter cry, and then maybe one will be worthy of seeing the consolation of Tzion and the building of the Holy Temple in all its glory soon in our days. (Pele Yo'etz, Aleph).

The time of favor in in fact beyond earthly space and time. However, it radiates to the lower worlds at the appropriate time in each given location. (Shulchan Arukh HaRav, Hashkamat HaBoker 1:8)

The way to come to come to repentance is through Tikkun Chatzot. Someone who is unable to do this every night should still be sure to do so at the very least once a week. (Rabbi Shneuer Zalman of Ladi, Iggeret HaTeshvah #10)

With the help of Hashem I would like to ask all of you who have a heart that is willing to join in saying Tikkun Chatzot with us. There is possibly someone in every time zone who is willing an in this way we could start an unbroken chain of prayer for the return of the Shekhinah and the rebuilding of the Temple in Yerusalem. This will lead to peace in the world and prosperity for all.

Can we imagine a world where the spirit of the living G-d was present? No war, no illness, no poverty, a world of peace. It is up to US!!!

Yesh Ma'laasot, there is something to do! We truly can build the Beis HaMikdash, so come on let's get started now! "SHEYEBONNE BEIS HAMIKDASH!!!!"

If you can, join us! We are now setting up an informational web site and a special printing of Tikkun Chatzot. We're hoping, with help from above and committment from below, to start an online prayer chain and shiurrim (Torah lectures).

More info, G-d willing, soon. Be a part, email us today.

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Meah Shearim - New Style?!

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Meah Shearim, Jerusalem, Israel. Literally "100 gates", this narrow compressed ancient neighborhood of Jerusalem is exclusively and strictly extreme ultra-orthodox Jewish and very very tradition.

Recently a new style of Shabbos garment (clothing for the holy Sabbath) has been seen! Seen here on the man on the left as a special Shabbos coat, and also seen (but not pictured) as external tzitzit garments (ritual fringes worn on the outside) on boys in the same pattern (dark grey and white stripped or gold and white stripped).

This new style in an area of extreme tradition are considered begedai moshiach, garments to wear to greet Moshiach!

(Click on pictures to enlarge, pictures from this Friday.)

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Friday, August 25, 2006

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It's time for the establishment of the men of truth! The Kinesset Israel. "Judges and officers shall you appoint in all your cities -- Which HaShem , your G-d, gives you -- for your tribes; and they shall judge the people with righteous judgement. You shall not prevert judgement...." (Devarim 16:18).

Previously, the Torah implied that there had to be standing courts to resolve disputes (Shemos 21:22, 22:8), here the Torah gives the formal command that such courts be established in every city of Eretz Yisrael (within the Land of Israel), with a Sanhedrin or high court as their head. This formal charge was directed to the leaders of the nation because their conduct has a powerful influence on the rest of the people, for good or for bad, as we are all seeing today.

In addition, the Torah warns very forcefully that the decisions of the Sanhedrin must be obeyed, for G-d granted its sages the power to interpret the Torah's laws on a day to day basis. (Ramban 17:11) If there is a breakdown, Has v'Shalom, of the respect for their interpretation, the downfall of the nation could not be far behind, again as we are now seeing (may G-d help us). Such a degeneration leads to anarchy, with their interpretation being biased and the Torah being fragmented and twisted. "If the community has a hand, or lack of, in appointing unqualified judges, HaShem holds all of them / us responsible for the resultant perversions of justice (Or HaChaim).

The Vilna Goan states in Kol HaTor, "One of the main means for the survival of the nation, is the establishment of a group of people of truth 'Sanhedrin'". According to our sages of blessed memory (Shabbos 119b), Yerushalim was destroyed only because truthful men were no longer there, and so could not establish men of truth, with integrity, in our Holy city. Without that, there is no value to all our labor and our deeds, Has v'Shalom. This has to be the basis of the rules that we set up with the help of G-d.

We see in the openning words of this week parsha that if the judges, Shoftim and officers Shotrim, are not governed by the law they are but fools. The power of a judge is in his mouth (peh), "and the law shall not depart from his mouth". If you now take out the law you remove the power of the mouth. If you remove letter the peh out of the word for judge, shoftim, you end up with the word shotim, fools. Meaning if you take the law away from the mouth of the leaders you end up with fooliness.

The word for officer, who are but agents of the judges, Shotrim, if you remove the letter resh, i.e. the rosh 'the head', you again end up with the word Shotim, fools.

The authority, the strength of the judge is in his unbiased words of truth and Torah. Without those he stands as nothing but a fool. When the judge is a fool, the officers enforce foolishness and lose their authority. And then there is effectively no head. As we see today.

Devarim 17:4 - When you come in to the land that the Lord your G-d gives you, and you possess it, and settle it, and you will say 'I will set up a king over myself like the nations that are around about me', you shall surely set over yourself a king [only] whom Hashem your G-d will choose from among your brothers, you cannot place over yourself a foreign man who is not your brother.

After the nation has been established in the land, Israel (as a nation) has 3 commandments: To request a king, to eliminate the offspring of Amalek, and to build the temple (Sanhedrin 20b). Thus it was not only permitted but actually commanded that when we're established in the land (57 years ago) we request a king, and further the prophecies of the end times revolve around a king from the line of David.

Two of the saddest events after Israel arrived in the land are the idol of Michah (Judges 17:18) and the attrocity involving the concubine of Gibia (Judges 19:21) are described as having been possible only because there was no king in Israel. Had there been righteous leadership, such events would never have been permitted. Clearly kingship is a desirable condition.

Unfortunately we see that Israel didn't request a king but rather choose emulate the nations. It's key that the king's values and conduct be Jewish, not an imitation of the nations (Ramban).

A Jewish king's glory is not in his wealth, it's the glory of the nation, maintaining the dignity of the office and having to curb his appetites and make himself an example of moderation and obediance to Torah.

The footsteps of Moshiach come with disturbance and obstacles brought on by the malach of Esav (the angel of Esau) and Armilus, the leader of the mixed multitude. Finally however the angel of Esav will fall in to the hands of the angel of Yosef, with the help of Moshiach ben Dovid... G-d forbid we retreat when difficulties arise or when an obstacle appears to prevent us from continuing to work. On the contrary, we must trust that out of that obstacle, help will come to Yaakov, and from the straits we will reach the breadth of Divine help. (Kol HaTor)

Thus, Yesh Ma'laasot. Shabbat Shalom from the hills of Efraim in Israel.

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The Street of the Kabbalists

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The Old City, Jerusalem

The is the Kabbalists Street in the Old City of Jerusalem, though I don't know if any kabbalists live there today. The sticker in the middle says "I was in Uman for Rosh Hashanah", Uman being the burial place of holy tzaddik and Rebbe, Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, zt"l.

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Thursday, August 24, 2006

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Illegally Entering The Kever of a Tzaddik

Breslov Chassidim understand emunah. There are no obstacles, merely barriers to be surpassed.

Kever Yosef, the Tomb of Joseph The Righteouts, son of Jacob our forefather, is located in the city of Shechem (Nablus). Access to this very holy Jewish site is guaranteed, in theory. However, some years ago during the beginning of the current Intifada, this holy site was overrun by maurading Arabs who murdered two people, burned the holy site to the ground, and proclaimed it a mosque.

Today, there is no access to this holy burned out shrine. However, monthy, on Rosh Chodesh, groups of chassidim risk their lives walking through the city of Shechem to arrive at this holy site and pray. These chassidim walk through a town of 300,000 Arabs without weapons, with only their tzitzit and tehillim (their prayer fringers and books of psalms), without escort or army protection, on their way to the holy site.

These holy chassidim have, Baruch Hashem (Thank G-d), never been attacked or molested by the Arabs.

But today, on Rosh Chodesh Elul, they were violently and suddenly removed by...the erev rov forces of Israel. "They were charged will illegally entering the site, located in Shechem."

Today, in Israel, it is illegal for the decendents of Joseph HaTzaddik to visit his holy site.

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Tuesday, August 22, 2006

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Mekubal War Update

This update comes from an Israeli web site that has Torah lessons from Mekubalim (kabbalists), and is translated by Rabbi Natan of Yiddishkeit.Org...

Rav Dahan (mekubal/kabbalist) mentioned some things related to the parsha of Shoftim:

שופטים ושוטרים תתן לך בכל שעריך

"You shall place judges and officers in all your gates" -- a man who is careful with himself here in this world and thinks about the fact that everything he does is being examined, he will be absolved of them (judges and officers) in the world to come. He has יראת השם fear of/awareness of Hashem. After death a malach (angel) is attached to every evil-doer. If he had relations with a non-Jewess in this world then a dog guards him all the time.

He asked how it could be that xtians and muslims use the Jewish transliteration of the name "Lebanon", like "Yaffo"? This is because internally they really know that our holy Torah is true.

The city of Tzur is the spiritual "tzir" (hinge), and the destruction of Tzur brings about the rebuilding of Yerushalayim (Jerusalem). There is a direct connection between the destruction of Lebanon and the rebuilding of the Beis Hamikdash.

Very soon the center of the country will be emptied out of its residents, this is the tikkun (rectification) of Kayin. In this generation there are many murderers, anyone who kills another in a road accident is a murderer, even if this occurs accidentally. The punishment for accidental murder is exile.

The Rav said that this is not the end of the war. Hashem purposely didn't permit two מזלטים (missles) to get to Tel Aviv because this would have turned it into a world war. There were many miracles [such as this]. If any other nation would have thousands of rockets fired at it, it would have been destroyed [but Israel was not destroyed, due to the miracles] . The next time will be the final part of the war.

The war is religious: If there will be more synagogues they won't be against us. The religious among them are against us, but most of the secular Arabs want peace.

The activity of the snake [the Satan?] began 6 years ago with the ascent to the Temple Mount [by Ariel Sharon] and now in the coming days his activity will be completed (apparently a hint to the passing of the one who went up to the Temple Mount). Even in the notices that were dropped on Lebanon was a drawing of a snake (and you will recall that [previously] the rockets were likened to flying snakes).

He says that now there are two clowns in power and that Rav Kaduri, zt"l, already said that after Sharon there will not be another (Jewish or independent) Prime Minister.

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Monday, August 21, 2006

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Indeed Waking Up

Indeed, many Israelis are Baruch Hashem waking up. Why else does Hashem send to us troubles and sorrows? A generation that is completely guilty gets a Haman to break the haughtiness that blinded us. It is a little thing, not that everyone is going to start keeping Shabbat, but a broken spirit and lowly heart. Then it becomes a generation that is completely righteous. It just flips from grotesque to beautifully holy.

There is hardly any room for despair. Either we will all die, or there will be a tremendous turn around, and it cannot be predetermined how far it will go, maybe even to Mashiach. In either case we will all wake up.

The entire top is rotten and stinking from the head -- stinking because it is dead, brought up on all the wrong ideas for the last twenty years. Certainly the head of government needs to be changed immediately, and not only the triumvirate, and not only the whole gang of thieves. Something very deep inside all of us must turn around.

It starts with each one of us, and it starts with the head. "If the head is righteous, then the people can be righteous. But if the head is not righteous, then the people cannot be righteous" (Zohar, Idra Rabbah).

We want a leader who will say in the name of all of Israel, "We are sorry for what was done in Gush Katif." It will create a change in every aspect of public life. Then we will win the next war. Indeed, it will already have been won.

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Waking Up?

This was forwarded to me with the simple "Interesting Article" title. It appears to be an opinion piece published somewhere, but the copy I received didn't identify the source, if anyone knows please let me know in comments...

The war did not go well. It's easy to point to Hizbullah's six years of preparations, its fanatic devotion to death, and an endless supply of technologically advanced Iranian and Syrian weapons. But the analysis of what went wrong must first be focused on ourselves.

Five of my sons and sons-in-law fought in this war. Now coming out of Lebanon and surviving some of the bloodiest fighting, they are filled with anger. Their short-term and long-term orders were confused and ever-changing. The emergency stocks for their reserve units were in horrible condition. One reservist special forces unit lacked basic communications equipment, they were provided guns that they had never trained on, and their rushed training was done in conditions unlike anything they would see in Lebanon.

Truly by the grace of God, one son missed his death by a few seconds and yards. Instead he had to evacuate dozens of dead and wounded under fire. The evacuation force never came, and the survivors had to carry the dead, wounded and themselves miles back to the Israeli lines.

Over the course of the war soldiers were held back for weeks when they were ready to charge. When they were finally dispatched, they were given unachievable missions in impossible time constraints. Soldiers were sent on daytime missions that should have been carried out only under the cover of darkness. Some died as a result.

My generation has failed our sons. Not because we failed to give them the proper equipment. We failed to provide them and ourselves with proper leadership. At the start of this war I never felt such a lack of confidence in our national and political leadership. At this point in the war - and I suspect it is only half-time - I feel despair.

Last week, the commander-in-chief of the IDF admitted that at the moment Israeli soldiers were chasing after their abducted comrades and engaged in fighting Hizbullah on July 12 - on the eve of the war - he was busy selling his stock portfolio. The police meanwhile charged a senior Kadima Member of Knesset, Tzahi Hanegbi, with bribery and a handful of other crimes. And today, the police announced that they would charge Minister Haim Ramon with sexual abuse.

What shame! Did we receive the leaders we deserve?

ALL OF this has been a long time coming. There was no public outcry when aides to Israeli prime ministers made fortunes in under-the-table kickback deals with Yasser Arafat and his Palestinian cronies. Why, for instance, were the Palestinians paying high prices for cement and gasoline from Israeli companies when they could have gotten the products at a fraction from Arab companies? Why were Israeli officials and their relatives involved in the Palestinian casino?

What Israeli officials profited from the disengagement from Gaza? Is there any truth to the claim by the eccentric Israeli-French billionaire, Shmuel Flatto-Sharon, that the northern Gaza Jewish settlements were demolished to make way for a Palestinian casino with a silent Israeli partner? We dismissed it then as a crank claim, but today, who knows? Palestinian rockets are now fired from those sites.

We were silent when senior IDF officials were allegedly fired and replaced by army friends of Ariel Sharon's sons and cronies. Are we paying the price today in the army's malfeasance, nonfeasance and misfeasance?

Columnists in the Hebrew press are questioning where in the war are the sons of the `branja, Israel's political, media and financial elite. Their sons don't seem to show up in the casualty lists, because, as one columnist charged, their children are overseas, do not serve, or sit at cushy office jobs in the army.

We stood quiet while the civil rights of thousands of Jews from Gaza were trampled by the police. We didn't realize that the government's abandonment of these citizens in 2005 would be a precursor to the neglect of hundreds of thousands of Israeli citizens in the bomb shelters of the north in 2006.

How much IDF and government planning, manpower and resources went into the disengagement last year that could have been expended on preparing for the Hizbullah war this summer?

I have always opposed airing Israel's dirty laundry in public, but perhaps it is time to do it. Israel's supporters are pouring out their sympathy and dollars to help rebuild Israel's north. They must make sure the millions of dollars are not going to be funneled through the companies of political cronies and party hacks.

I know of what I speak. After the December 2004 Tsunami, I was approached by American sources looking for immediate supplies of water for Asia. Water from Israel could expedite delivery considerably. I approached an Israeli minister for assistance. The call back came from a political party hack who had already figured out the percentage that would go to political purposes.

The great political sage from Okefenokee Swamp, Pogo, expressed Israel's predicament best some 30 years ago when he proclaimed, "We has met the enemy, and he is us!"

Israel has another war on its hands. In the Hizbullah war, our citizens performed unselfishly with extraordinary valor, patriotism and volunteer spirit. They reacted in ways their leaders did not deserve.

Now Israel's citizens must battle again, this time in Israel's own political arena.

The writer served as Israel's deputy chief of mission in the Washington Embassy. Today he is an international consultant to corporations and foreign governments.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

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The Slightest Repentence

Micha'el, the great guardian angel of Israel, said: "Master of the Universe, when will Israel be delivered from the Edomite exile? Did You not say that when they suffer myriad afflictions, they will be redeemed from exile?" The Holy One, Blessed Be He, replied, "Let Sama'el, the guardian of Edom, come and debate you." Sama'el came and claimed, "You [Hashem] said that the people of Israel will remain in exile until they repent, and now they are wicked".

The Holy One, Blessed Be He, said to Micha'el, "You should have looked at the beginning of the verse - 'You will return unto the Lord Your G-d,' and only afterwards, 'for G-d is merciful' (Devarim 4:30-31)" Micha'el retorted: "Master of the Universe, is it for naught that You are called a merciful G-d? You are merciful even if they are unworthy!"

The Holy One, Blessed Be He, said: "I have already sworn that I will not redeem them until they return to Me (to some small degree), even like the tip of a needle. Then, I will open for them a large opening."

Thus, even the slightest repentence, like the tip of a needle, is enough for the Holy One, Blessed be He, to bring the redemption.

- Midrash Talpiot (Erech Galut) quoting Zohar Chadash (23b), quoted by Eim HaBanim Semeicha, Ch. 2, HaRav Shlomo Teichtal, zt"l, may Hashem avenge his blood.

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Friday, August 18, 2006

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Yesh MaLa'asot!

Bob Miller asked... Akiva, assuming that you posted this because you believe it, what do you propose that we now do about it?

We live in an amazing time of world chaos, suddenly having reached the stage where the actions of the few affect the world as much as the actions of nations! We used to worry if nations went to war, then we worried about the tension of nations capable of blowing up each other and the world.

Now 10 men can seriously damage a city and stop all air travel in the world (and kill thousands). 5 men can shut down a city and send it in to chaos (and kill hundreds).

We just saw a group of a few thousand men go to war against a full country and major army, and, G-d help us, win!

We live in the time of the man, the time of the individual. Those of evil have shown us the power of a few committed people to impact nations and the world. Just a few committed people with some modern technology, communications and coordination.

If a few men committed to evil can do so much, what can a few men equally committed to good do? If a few men committed to murdering for their god can do so much damage, what can a few men committed to building and loving their fellow for Hashem do?

An idea is building, a few committed people are preparing.

Yesh Ma'laasot - There is what to do.


Thursday, August 17, 2006

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Question about The Shepherd...

My daughter asked, "Now that Sharon is very ill and appears about to die, does this mean the end of the Sharon government as Rabbi Kaduri, zt"l, said, which would be followed by the coming of Moshiach?"

If you, my dear readers, could help me. There was a pasuk talking about the "shepherd", who would 'die' but his body would lie by the gates of Jerusalem and not decompose for some period of time before being buried. While the body lay there, the enemies would be in fear and not attack. Or, something like that.

Anyone remember seeing such a pasuk and have a reference (or link) to it?

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Din of the North

In searching for something else, I came across this that came to me from Reb Dov Bar Leib of the End of Days blog on April 17th of this year, here's a critical excerpt...

From studying Bereishit, it is abundantly clear that there is a special canopy of Rachmanut that stretches from Beersheva to ancient Luz a.k.a Beth El. When Avraham stopped off in Shekhem, he built an altar and offered korbanot to HaShem, thanking him for his rachmanut in getting him safely to EY. Yet, when he gets to Beth El, he offered up offerings on another mizbeach twice,once before he went down to Egypt and again when he returned. In addition to this he called out the name of HaShem asking for a special dose of Rachmanut. One of these cries was for the battle of Ai in the days of Yehoshua which was lost because of Achan's sin. The second cry, I believe, was for our time, the years of Sukkot. Surely enough, hitnatkut 1 in the year of Avraham included Shekhem and the road to Dothan, but didn't extend further south.

This rachmanut is accentuated in the time that Ya'akov Avinu returned from Haran to Yerushalayim to daven before proceeding to the Yeshivah of Shem and Eiver. He returned as far south as BethEl and went to sleep and Yerushalayim came to greet him. He had his vision of the ladder to shamayim which stretched from Beer Sheva to over BethEl. Rashi and others refer to a canopy of Rachmanut which stretches as far north as BethEl, for it was in BethEl that HaShem was standing over him while he was sleeping. North of BethEl, when Israel is under strict judgement, the northern part of EY is judged first. In the year of Yitzkhak, before Mashiach appears, the entire land will remain under strict judgement. According to the Zohar, Mashiach will first "appear" in the Gallilee providing redemptive rachamanut there. The midat HaDin, though will extend southwards from where Avraham first arrived in EY in Elon Moreh. Yet, in the merit of Ya'akov Avinu, the midat HaRachamim will return in full force by next Pesach, for it was then that he was given a bracha of Din in Olam HaZeh but Rachmanut in Olam Haba. Since Yemot HaMashiach is the vestibule for Olam HaBa, I firmly believe that that Rachmanut will extend to when he is remembered for receiving that bracha and the promise for being the sole inheritor of EY at the end of days in the third year of Sukkot. Yet, in Avraham, Yitzkhak, and Ya'akov Avinu's merit it is unclear whether this canopy of Rachamim will extend north of Bethel to Elon Moreh during the first three years of Sukkot.

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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

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The World

via Freund

Israel Paper Prints: Israel Should Pack Up And Go.

The 'bad' aftermath has begun. Perhaps some will realize that an anti-zionist nihilistic hedonistic lifestyle is not a choice for Israel. Torah, Mitzvot, Committment to The Land are the only options, literally the only options for survival.

Oh good, Lebanese TANKS to move to the border, I feel safer already...

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A Funeral in Israel...

by the Muqata. -- Photos and video.

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40 Days of Fire?

A guest post from Nava of Dreaming, with thanks to Hashem Yisboruch and insights from R. Nati...

"Ahavat Chaim", is a sefer written by the Mekubal Rav Menachem Menashe zs'l. The sefer ties with the Zohar Vayera 119 and with the Yalkut Shimoni Yishayahu Remez 499. In the sefer, he describes every war the yet-to-be-reformed nation of Israel would experience.

Rav Menachem Menashe, the author, says "HKB'H positions on them Merciful Kingdom (malchut) but if they don't go in ways of HaShem, much trouble will come. It speaks about 40 days and nights fire rain will fall in the Galil and a war against the Erev Rav (mixed multitude). The Jews will run into the Midbar (desert) for protection. HKB'H wants to bring the Geula in peaceful and calmness but if Israel do not merit, leaves 40 spaces blank and writes, "oy, chas v'shalom".

He writes that 40 days is the equivalency of 6 1/2 seconds from Zohar Vayera 119a. 40 days prior to Rosh Hashana 5767 will be great din (judgment). When counting backwards on the solar calendar, the date is August 21/22, on the lunar calendar the date is Av 28, 5766. The moment of Din is specifically tied to very major catastrophic events.

A Rav we spoke with feels there are very limited places of safety in this scenerio, and, to quote him, there is no blood for the doorposts outside of Eretz HaKodesh.

It is firmly believed and it is quoted in numerous sources that this is a time of great danger, and only specific places in Israel will be safe at this time, mainly in the Shomron (Samaria). Shomron is also called Shomron Plada (solitary steel mountain) and also Mount Ephraim, given by Yehoshua Bin Nun, a'h, to Efraim ben Yosef HaTzaddik, a'h. Shomron is the location of Moshiach Ben Yosef.

Shechem (Nablus) is also in the Shomron. The Scriptures tell us that just before Jacob died, he gave Joseph an extra piece of the land of Israel -- the city of Shechem. It is pointed out in the Kabbala, that the first letters of each of the words Baruch Shem Kevod Malchut L'olam Va'ed,the second verse of the Shema said twice every day by Jews, spell the words, b'Shechem lamed-vav, which means, In Shechem, thirty six.”

May the merit of the tzaddik HaMekubal, Rav Menachem Menashe zs'l, protect us all, Amen.

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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

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Despite This!

When numerous troubles will befall the Jews and, despite this, they will not foresake Hashem nor their inheritance - i.e. the Holy Land (may it speedily be rebuilt), their primary repentence will be achieved. For, repentence must be performed in the same place and concerning the same act. Now, their main transgression at the time of the Beit HaMikdash was their descent to Egypt, as the verse says, 'Woe to those who go down to Egypt (Yeshayah 31:1)' This gave rise to grave sins. Therefore, their future repentence will be that they will not foresake their inheritence.

- Ahavat Yonatan (Haftarat Balak), quoted by Eim HaBanim Semeicha, Ch. 2, HaRav Shlomo Teichtal, zt"l, may Hashem avenge his blood.

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Not Even Remotely Funny

Commenter WW: Here is another video of Borat. This one is even more frightening because this American hunter wishes he could hunt and kill Jews the same way he does with animals. He also is seen here supporting what the Nazi's did.

(The 'joke' here is apparently a comedian playing a 'very' foreigner doing TV shows in the U.S. or England for his country, Khazakstan, where he does very foolish cultural stuff and always brings up the terrible Jews ruining his country, part of the joke being Khazakstan has no Jewish population. Apparently increasing the joke is that the comedian is Jewish, an English immigrant from Russia, known only to the video audience and never to the people in the video. The fact he frequently gets an anti-semitic response is the point, but scary nonetheless.)

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Monday, August 14, 2006

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This World

This is a special favorite entry of mine from the book HaYom Yom, from Day to Day, for the 13th of Av...(excerpt)

"Speak of them when you sit..." (Devarim 6:7)

Our sages explain that "speak of them" refers to words of Torah. However, in Torah-study itself there are many gradations, and all these gradations are here explained:

-- "When you sit at home," refers to the soul's occupation with Torah when it is in the trove of souls, before its descent to this lowly world.

-- "When you go on the way," refers to the time during which the soul descends from world to world, from plane to plane, until it comes below to this lowest world to be invested in a physical body. There the soul "goes in the way" of this world until the time of old age, until -

-- "When you lie down," when man's appointed time arrives. Then, too, the Torah will protect him, as explained in Chapter Six of Avot, until -

-- "When you rise up," as it is said, "When you awaken (it shall be your discourse)."

May we all maximize our time 'on the way'!

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A Prophecy of a False Peace Treaty?

All the nations are one day going to come together and start talking peace amongst themselves. This talk of peace will have one underlying goal: to destroy Israel. And their rationale shall be: because they [the Jews] established for themselves their own government; and though the Jews will be in tremendous danger at that time, nevertheless they will not be destroyed; in fact, from that very situation they will be saved.

Rabbi Moshe Cordevero (Ramak) on Zohar Bereishis, 199 - approximately 500 years ago

“It is not too late. We have fallen low, but we can rise; and when we do, we reach the heights. It is time to act as a Jew, with the pride and nobility that befits the Chosen People. The other ways have been tried, and we have tasted their bitter fruits. It is surely time to show that we are indeed the "wise and understanding people," that we are ready to submit our will to His."

The Lubavitcher Rebbe - Likutei Sichos vol. 34, p. 8

The Truth About Israel.Org - by the Lubavitch Women's Organization

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Sunday, August 13, 2006

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MSM Propaganda of the Day

(For those who don't know, MSM stands for Main Stream Media.)

Associated Press Video: "Lebanon Remains Under Attack, Despite Cease-fire"

OMG, are those terrible Israeli's violating the "Cease-fire" already? "Israel continues to strike Lebanon less than 24 hours before a UN brokered cease fire is to take effect".

Hmm, cease fire has "not taken effect". Fighting still occurring. This is odd?

It is if you work for the AP. No word or headline for 250 rockets striking Israel today, such as "Israel remains under heavy attack, kidnapped soldiers not released, despite cease-fire." But from the AP, don't expect one.

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Israel: Live from the Lebanon Front

Michael Totten is on the border with the IDF, article and pictures.

Grigory Asmolov is embedded with an IDF infantry unit in Lebanon, pictures (article is in Russian).

MentalBlog has a video of IDF infantry inside Lebanon, also from Grigory Asmolov (8 minutes, video commentary is also in Russian, soldiers speaking Hebrew).

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Friday, August 11, 2006

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Humility Brings Geula

The Ben Ish Hai writes in his book בן איש חיל:
When Moshe was asked to take the Jewish people out of Egypt, he asked Hashem what Zechut the Jewish people had to leave Egypt.

וַיֹּאמֶר מֹשֶׁה, אֶל-הָאֱלֹהִים, מִי אָנֹכִי, כִּי אֵלֵךְ אֶל-פַּרְעֹה; וְכִי אוֹצִיא אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, מִמִּצְרָיִם

Hashem answered him:

וַיֹּאמֶר, כִּי-אֶהְיֶה עִמָּךְ, וְזֶה-לְּךָ הָאוֹת, כִּי אָנֹכִי שְׁלַחְתִּיךָ: בְּהוֹצִיאֲךָ אֶת-הָעָם, מִמִּצְרַיִם, תַּעַבְדוּן אֶת-הָאֱלֹהִים, עַל הָהָר הַזֶּה

In the merit of receiving the Torah will they be redeemed. However, Hashem hinted another message by adding the words "על ההר הזה". We know that Mt. Sinai was the most humble of all the mountains. Hashem hinted to Moshe that in the merit of the Jewish people being humbled and downtrodden were they redeemed from Egypt. This is also understood from the verses in Tehillim:

שֶׁבְּשִׁפְלֵנוּ, זָכַר לָנוּ: כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ
וַיִּפְרְקֵנוּ מִצָּרֵינוּ: כִּי לְעוֹלָם חַסְדּוֹ

Because we were downtrodden, that's why Hashem redeemed us.
We know that the future redemption will also occur because of humility, as it says:

כִּי-אַתָּה, עַם-עָנִי תוֹשִׁיעַ; וְעֵינַיִם רָמוֹת תַּשְׁפִּיל

It is logical to say this too, since the greater the oppressor and the more downtrodden the oppressed, the greater honor is given to the Redeemer. This is why we plead in the Tahanunim for Hashem to look down on our low status among the nations and for the redemption to come as a result:

א-ל! הביטה דל כבודינו בגוים ושקצונו כטומאת הנדה
עד מתי עוזך בשבי ותפארתך ביד צר

We also know that the oppressors of Israel become great. We know this from the Gemara in Gittin that says

היו צריה לראש וגו' כל המיצר לישראל נעשה ראש

However, the greatness of the oppressors of Israel is another sign of the redemption, as it says:

הִרְבִּיתָ הַגּוֹי, לא (לוֹ) הִגְדַּלְתָּ הַשִּׂמְחָה

and we can be דורש both the קרי and the כתיב to say: לא לו הגדלת השמחה - when Hashem makes a nation great, He does not increase the joy for that nation; but rather the joy increased for us, the Jews.

This piece from the Ben Ish Hai has a lot of interesting ramifications for our day.
We just had the Mitz'ad Ha'anavah (Humility March) from Rav Amnon Yitzhak this past week. That's the most obvious connection.
However, perhaps there's a deeper meaning and a deeper lesson for us all. We all know that the war is not going so well on the Israeli side. Maybe Hashem needs us to be humbled and downtrodden in the eyes of the world in order to redeem us. Maybe Hashem needs to raise Nasrallah and Ahmedinejad up in the eyes of the world by achieving military parity with Israel in order to redeem us.

Let's pray to Hashem that our humility and lowliness has been enough already throughout the years. Let's hope our lowliness throughout the years will bring about our redemption sooner than planned (Ahishena). As the end of this week's Haftarah says:

כִּי-נִחַם יְהוָה צִיּוֹן, נִחַם כָּל-חָרְבֹתֶיהָ, וַיָּשֶׂם מִדְבָּרָהּ כְּעֵדֶן, וְעַרְבָתָהּ כְּגַן-יְהוָה; שָׂשׂוֹן וְשִׂמְחָה יִמָּצֵא בָהּ, תּוֹדָה וְקוֹל זִמְרָה

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I live with my wife in a kibutz somewhere in Israel. During the days of fighting IDF aircraft fly overheadon their way North. A few days agoas I was leaving my home to go to work, I noticed that the neighbours had removed several roof tiles. I thought there were probably exploiting the dry summer days to do some roof repairs.

Today upon my return home I dicerned the glow of light through the roof of their house. It only took me three seconds to comprehend what they had done! - Tvika & Ronit, Kibutz Eyan Karmel, Israel

The writing in the roof reads: B'Hatzlacha - With Success! - equivalent to Good Luck! and is faced to be read by the IDF air force pilots heading north.

(from Engage)

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The Undeclared Surrender

I know that all the "right" people want to go on with the war until we demolish the Hizbollah, and many are afraid of the terrible price we will need to pay to do it, but my opinion is a little bit different although I identify with both of the sentiments mentioned above.

In one way, there is no sense in continuing this war since it is impossible to win this war or any other war with the leaders that we have now. While the war is raging everyone is afraid to open the pandora box of public discussion. With the (undeclared) surrender, questions will be asked. Who allowed the Hizbollah to get so strong? Why was the army unprepared? Why wasn't the attack pressed with more alacrity? What were the tactical errors? Who is responsible? Perhaps there will even be a reevaluation of our general outlook on life.

Similarly, at first sight it is a horrible emotional upheaval and an astonishing blow to the pride of Israel that the arabs have suddenly attained military parity with the State of Israel. Many of us do not sleep at night when this realization settles upon us. However, the State of Israel did not do such good things when it had decisive military superiority. Maybe we will behave better from this more humble position that we find ourselves in.

Let's pray for miracles, external and internal, and hope in Hashem.
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(of the nation) not be a pious fool who is quick to find fault with Israel. Do not cause disunity among those who are united, particularly at a time when the divine attribute of justice hovers over all of Israel. It is a time of trouble for Yaakov, may the Merciful One protect us!

Behold, there are those who pray solely for the generation to repent. This, however, is not proper, for it arouses divine justice, G-d forbid. The proper approach is to evoke wonders and miracles for the sake of Israel. Then, the Jews will repent out of love for the miracles. This is what happened at the time of Mordechai and Esther, as Chazal state, "They fulfilled that which they had already accepted" (Talmud Shabbos 88a) This is also the interpretation of the verse 'As in the days of your leaving the land of Egypt, I will show him wonders. (Micha 7:15) - Sefer Divrei Emet

Thus, he claims that if we pray for the generation to repent, we may actually arouse Divine Justice, G-d forbid. Rather, we must beg for miracles, and then all will return and serve Him.

-- Eim HaBanim Semeicha, Ch. 1, HaRav Shlomo Teichtal, zt"l, may Hashem avenge his blood.

So my dear fellow yidden, it's definately a good time to do some self examination. No need to wait for Rosh Hashana this year. Yet Ahavas Yisroel and calling on Hashem to help is the way of the day!

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The Fuse?

Nava of Dreaming of Moshiach translated these words of a mekubal (kabbalist) spoken on Tu B'Av (no link, she turned off individual links?)...

HaRav HaMekubal Avraham Aba Zochovisky Shlita: I'm not a Prophet and not a son of a Prophet. But this war must kindle the whole world. It will probably happen after the Hizballa will use nuclear weapon or even atomic bomb.

The continuation of publicly desecrating Shabbat, eating non-Kosher animals and food, stealing, cheating, girls and women parading with reckless and immodest clothes, will be non-exsistent. Whomever thinks that this war will end and life will be the same, is gravely mistaken.

Something gigantic is going to happen, bigger than the imagination; it will rotate our lives in this land like a cement mixer churning the cement...

He continued and said that this war is like a match. The match will light up a cigarette, the cigarette will light up the room, the room will light up the apartment, the apartment will light up the building, etc.

This is the end. The world will never return to what it used to be.

A new world will be established wth totally new laws... Whomever will not prepare himself, will not be able to exsist in it.


Thursday, August 10, 2006

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Katyusha Damage in Detail

Here's a presentation with Katyusha rocket damage in great detail, from Haifa, Israel...

WAR_IN_HAIFA__6 Haifa Katyusha Damage.PPS -- Hosted by eSnips

Powerpoint needed to view, If you don't have the right software to view this presentation (you need Microsoft Powerpoint or Microsoft Office), you can download a free viewing program here.

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Staged Photographs

As many bloggers have been examining photos from Lebanon, they've found and pointed out a number of photoshopped pictures. Yet it's even worse than that. I'm no expert, but my wife and I just glancing at these photos with a critical eye said right away, FAKE FAKE FAKE. Or rather, STAGED STAGED STAGED.

Photo #1 - via AP from Kevin Frayer and online here at MSNBC...

Description: A photograph of a girl is seen in the rubble of a Mosque that was hit in an Israeli missle strike in the southern Lebanese village of Qana on Monday, July 31 (Click the photo for a larger image.)


Oh come on, this picture is magically sitting in a pile of concrete rubble of a collapsed structure yet just happens to be sitting ON TOP of the rubble, no dust, not even a spec on top. Compare closely to the piece of wood to the right, it's also on top but dusty and with specs of concrete rubble on it. Here's the real story: Photographer walks over to pile of rubble, carefully places girl's picture, takes photograph, posts to AP. To quote the description, the photograph is seen there because the photographer put it there.

Photo #2 - via AP from Nasser Nasser and online here at MSNBC (warning, very graphic, I've cut the graphic part below)...

Description: A civil defense worker carries the body of a Lebanese child killed in an Israeli airstrike July 30 on the village of Qana.


My wife took one look at this and said, Mr. Green Helmet is pulling bodies out of concrete rubble in a black shirt (see his arm) but is perfectly clean, no concrete dust??? Not unless someone is handing him bodies, he's standing still and handing them right back (or the bodies are miraculously clean after being pulled out of the pile of concrete rubble).

Photo #3 - via AP from Mohammed Zaatari and online here at MSNBC...

Description: Lebanese Khadijeh Saleh and her son, bottom, react after a building collapsed on their relatives, in the town of Ghassaniyeh, southern Lebanon, on Monday, Aug. 7 (click photo for larger edition)


So let me see if I can figure this one out. A woman and her adult son come along and sit down on a pile of concrete rubble, under where a photographer just happens to be standing. They're just sitting and chatting (couldn't be digging or anything, as the woman is in black, perfectly clean of concrete dusk, and the man is in blue jeans and a colorful shirt, also perfectly clean of concrete dust). Somebody (maybe the guy in black) happens by and mentions, "oh, you know the rubble you're sitting on, positioned so comfortably, Uncle Abdulah and Aunt Fatima happen to be underneath it."

At which point both scream and the photographer catches this moment of horror. Yeah. Right.

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Update from Safed

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Good Jew Bad Jew

From The Muqata.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

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August 21st/22nd - The Time of Redemption?

OpinionJournal - Islam Expert...
In Islam, as in Judaism and Christianity, there are certain beliefs concerning the cosmic struggle at the end of time--Gog and Magog, anti-Christ, Armageddon, and for Shiite Muslims, the long awaited return of the Hidden Imam, ending in the final victory of the forces of good over evil, however these may be defined. Mr. Ahmadinejad and his followers clearly believe that this time is now, and that the terminal struggle has already begun and is indeed well advanced. It may even have a date, indicated by several references by the Iranian president to giving his final answer to the U.S. about nuclear development by Aug. 22. This was at first reported as "by the end of August," but Mr. Ahmadinejad's statement was more precise.

What is the significance of Aug. 22? This year, Aug. 22 corresponds, in the Islamic calendar, to the 27th day of the month of Rajab of the year 1427. This, by tradition, is the night when many Muslims commemorate the night flight of the prophet Muhammad on the winged horse Buraq, first to "the farthest mosque," usually identified with Jerusalem, and then to heaven and back (c.f., Koran XVII.1). This might well be deemed an appropriate date for the apocalyptic ending of Israel and if necessary of the world. It is far from certain that Mr. Ahmadinejad plans any such cataclysmic events precisely for Aug. 22. But it would be wise to bear the possibility in mind.

A passage from the Ayatollah Khomeini, quoted in an 11th-grade Iranian schoolbook, is revealing. "I am decisively announcing to the whole world that if the world-devourers [i.e., the infidel powers] wish to stand against our religion, we will stand against their whole world and will not cease until the annihilation of all them. Either we all become free, or we will go to the greater freedom which is martyrdom. Either we shake one another's hands in joy at the victory of Islam in the world, or all of us will turn to eternal life and martyrdom. In both cases, victory and success are ours."

(Note the Islamic calendar is, like the Jewish calendar, lunar based, and days start at night, hence April 21 nighttime is the start of this date.)

Yalkut Shimoni - Yishiyahu Remez 499...

Rabbi Yitzhok said: ‘The year that Melech HaMoshiach will be revealed, all the nations of the world will be provoking each other. The King of Persia (Iran) will provoke the King of Arabia, and the King of Arabia will go to Edom to take counsel, but the King of Persia will in turn, destroy the entire world. The nations of the world will be outraged and panicked. They will fall on their faces, and they will experience pains like birth pangs. Israel too will be outraged and in a state of panic and ask, where do we go? But say unto them, ‘My children, do not fear, the time of your redemption has come'.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2006

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Milchemet Gush Katif - The Gush Katif War

The proper name for this war (in Israel) is the Gush Katif War (Milchemet Gush Katif). It is a revelation of God's action in this world through the characteristic of midah ke-neged midah (measure for measure) -- for every action there is a reaction. Israel made ten thousand refugees of its own people; now it has a million refugees. They destroyed their own settlements; now the Galil is being destroyed, etc.

The sin of Yedudah is that he sold his brother into slavery. He broke the bond of brotherhood.

The teshuvah and tikun of Yehudah is that he fights for his brother and he is ready to give his life to save his brother. He reunites the shattered bond.

Because of this tikun he merits to be King. The King fights for his people. That is the first of his three major functions. (The other two can be found in Guide to the Perplexed, 3:27.)

Who would ever have imagined that the punishment for the destruction of G. Katif would come around so soon, in less than a year, and at the same time of the year. At the same time that our soldiers are dying at the front and our people in their hovels the time for memorializing the destruction of G. Katif comes around to remind us that this war is the response of Midat Ha-din (God's Judgment) to that cruelty of brother to brother. It is sent by Hashem to enable a tikun for the sin.

When King Solomon dedicates the Temple he prays a long prayer (1 Kings, Ch.8) and in one place (see the commentary of the Radak on verse 32) he asks that the punishment for sin should come quickly! In that way it will be clear to everyone that the suffering is retribution for the sin. If it takes years to come, then it will not be clear and many rationalizations will be brought forth. But when it is right away -- then it is unmistakable and teshuvah can be done. (This is, by the way, another sign that the Geulah is close, since it is really a blessing that it is happening right away.)

It is known that the Charedim were hit especially hard in this war, and nearly the entire charedi populations of Tzefat, Haifa, Chatzor and other places have been sent into exile. I saw written that the Bostoner Rebbe said that it was a punishment because the charedim stood by the side when G. Katif was being destroyed.

So far I have only heard a statement along these lines from the Bostoner, and not from any other rebbes or anyone else. Although the Charedim are not the main culprits, and they themselves have been victims of the broken bond for many years, when midat ha-din comes down upon the public it does not always distinguish between tzadik and rasha'. The point here is not the charedim, but the entire Israeli and Jewish public must admit to it, like the Bostoner, and see that it is the "finger of Elohim" that has struck here. Then the disgusting deformity becomes a glorification of the Name.

In the mitzvah of teshuvah and process of tikun it is important to admit to our sins and confess. This is part of the essence of the tikun of Yehudah -- he admits, "She is more righteous than me," and it is part of his name -- hoda-ah (admission). The outer part of the tikun is that he will fight for his brother with mesirat nefesh; and the inner part of the teshuvah is that he admits to it: "...What can we say? How can we justify ourselves?" (Genesis 44:16) Then he is really a yehudi and he can become a king.

In the supernal sephirot when a unification is about to take place, that is the time when the kelipot exert all their efforts to stop it and suck all the impending shefa', illumination and light, and mochin for themselves. Then war breaks out instead of the shalom that will come from the unification. It is to be expected. At the end of the dark tunnel, there is not only light, but much light. We are being given the opportunity to ascend to a higher level than was ever attained in all of human history.

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Being Reasonable

Rocket Hits Per Day
via IsraellyCool
Lebanese blogger The Perpetual Refugee wrote, "I wonder when the world will realize that this has gone on for way too long....the moderates are now becoming radicalized."

To which I commented:

It appears to me, as Michael Totten said, Hizbollah is willing to fight Israel to the last Lebanese.

It would seem compromise together with respect is not an option. And while I don't discount Israeli attitude, somehow during times of 'peace' it's the Jews who keep dying.

As for your comment "the moderates are now becoming radicalized", I agree but that's not one sided either. While Hizbollah has made a point about the 'effectiveness' of being radical to the Arab world, they've made a point of the non-effectiveness of being reasonable to us.

(Cross posted to Mystical Paths and Dovbear.)


Monday, August 07, 2006

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Britske' Listy

For the visitors from Briske' Listy, according to the best automated translation I could find, it appears to me I've been linked as a provider of propaganda, pictures or video from the Israeli side of the war. Please note, we don't modify our pictures here, for that, go see Reuters, the MSM (Main Stream Media) and their local photographers.

Here are the links in this blog you're looking for:

123 Dead Jewish Children

Video of a Missle Strike

Specially Designed Civilian Killing Rockets

Hitting the Holy Mystical City of Safed

A Week of Attacks on Jews WorldWide

What we Gave Up in Gush Katif, Yet We're Attacked Anyway

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(via Sultan Knish)
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Impurity and the Center of Holiness

Today, in a few hours (if not already), while hundreds of thousands are refugees, while hundreds of thousands are stuck in bomb shelters, while soldiers are risking their lives in battle, a group will be neither praying, nor helping those desperately in need, nor fighting. Rather, they will be making a point of publicly displaying their anti-social and anti-Torah desires, in the most flagrant and blatant way possible.

Why now? Why this violent urge to display in Jerusalem, even in the middle of a war??? ...

When we act on behalf of redemption of Truth from below, then G-d will aid us with His imprint, and since the main center of the Sitra Achra is in the gates of Jerusalem, as it says “come to its gates; cast lots on Jerusalem” (Ovadia 1:11), and as it states: “sin crouches at the entrance” against the “entrance to the city” of Jerusalem, because all the desire of the impure force is to attach itself to the center of Holiness. It says about this: “G-d will denounce you O Satan...He who chooses Jerusalem [Zach. 3:2]. Therefore here at the gates of the holy city of Jerusalem, may it be built and established, is the site and center for the supreme force to counterattack the angel of Esau who fights to uproot the truth. - Kol Hator 5 end.

(Repugnant inappropriate news report here.)

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Things that make you go, Huh?

Haaretz Reports: Tel Aviv city's 235 public shelters have been readied by the municipality, but remain locked by order of the Home Front Command. "Based on a drill we held recently you can say that from the moment it becomes necessary, we can open the shelters in the city within two hours," Zluff said.

Colonel Yehiel Kuperstein of the Home Front Command told Haaretz this past weekend that "Tel Aviv residents will have at most a minute's warning before a rocket lands in the city."


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Sunday, August 06, 2006

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He Fought and Left, Refusing to Fight...

From Joe Settler: Ignoring that Olmert is restraining the IDF’s fighting options, Avi and Rechavam asked themselves, should they fight in a war which the Leadership of the Left explicitly plans to exploit in order to kick these same reserve soldiers out of their own homes?

At the end of the week, they each made their decision.

Very important read...

Part 1 - The Dilema
Part 2 - Speaking Out

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Up Close and Personal: Missle Hit Live

Missle strike in Haifa, Israel, up close and personal.

Please note, the video contains some very inappropriate language, though the inappropriateness is in Hebrew and Arabic.

(Video h/t Joe Settler)
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The Din of the War & The Breakting the Unity

Great, extremely great, are the merits of achdus, unity. Until Wednesday, Israel has been standing together with unusual and incredible unity. On Wednesday, PM Armilus, um, Olmert, let slip that he saw the war as a vindication of his plans to retreat from more of the Holy Land. Now, those who would be impacted are, naturally, beginning to question their service...

A Jewish soldier took a case to the Sanhedrin about doing war duty, and got this result... (excerpts below)

Determination: It is obligatory to participate in this effort, to assist in the defense of the Jewish people. One must honor [military] directives that do not contradict Torah principles [of the Bible], and any other directive must be weighed accordingly.

This special judgment does not apply to areas that are not actively engaged in combat, each situation must be considered individually.

There is a great possibility that victory over the enemies of Israel and the prestige that will be awarded to the government, will be translated into the realization of its ostensible policy of the administration to continue in its dismantling of Jewish population centers in the West Bank,

In spite of all these considerations, the judgment in this case is: One must report for duty according to this [particular military] decree [call-up].

All other consideration and sentiments must be set aside during war, and one must remove them from the heart and approach the matter in the light of halachah (Jewish Law).

Yet, I also received the following (which came via a Sanhedrin email domain)...

Bet Din of Jerusalem signed today, 9 Av, an Order that all IDF soldiers should not fight in the war against Lebanon following PM Olmert's announcement that Israel's success in Lebanon will create "new momentum" for his plan to unilaterally withdraw from most of Judea and Samaria.

This announcement is proof that he is helping and supporting the enemy and acting against the Torah and Jews.

Unless a new government is formed, a government that is not corrupt, and gives suitable guidance how to defeat the enemy, each soldier should write a letter to his commanding officer that he will not fight in a war that supports PM Olmert's plan of evacuating 100,000 Jews from their homes.

(via Nava of Dreaming)

Oh my dear Prime Minister Olmert, if Hashem has left a single working brain cell in your head, you'll rush to repair this terrible breach you've begun.

Via Email to Me: Wednesday night, at a gathering of some 15,000 Jews who marched around Jerusalem's Old City at the fast of Tisha B'Av began, Women in Green co-founder Nadia Matar called upon all those present to bring their children home from the war front in order to defend their homes in Judea and Samaria, unless Olmert announces the cancellation of his plan.

More than 10% of soldiers killed in combat in Lebanon hail from towns in Judea and Samaria - three times their proportion in the general population.

10 reserve soldiers have announced their refusal to fight.

Wake Up Olmert!

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