Sunday, July 20, 2008

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A Day of Pain, A Day of Hope

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

Kav HaYashar (29) quotes the Zohar on background of Parshas Pinchas from this past week...

...When the Israelites stumbled and 24,000 Israelite men fell, (the evil prophet) Bilaam came to collect his reward from Balak (king of Moav).

Later on, when Israel waged war against Midyan, Pinchas saw Bilaam flying through the air and he shouted to his soldiers, "Is there anyone who knows how to fly after that wicked one?"...

One man by the name of Tzalyah from shevet Dan responded... He knew how to subjugate the forces of impurity and to fly after him... He succeeded in overpowering the wicked Bilaam and constrained him, forcing him to come before Pinchas.

How...? Tzalyah knew how to constrain (both) aspects of the impure forces...which are caled "shefi". Bilaam...knew how to overpower (only one). Regarding Bilaam it is written, "And he went [through the power of] shefi" (Bamidbar 23:3) Whereas, regarding shevet Dan it is written, "And Dan was a snake along the road, shefifon (plural shefi) along the path" (Bereshis 49:17)

Similarly, in the future the vengeance against Hashem's enemies will also be executed by Serayah of the tribe of Dan. Thus, when Dan arises one should be on the lookout for Israel's redemption...

The holy burial place of Dan, son of Yaakov (Jacob) avinu (our forefather) is at the base of the Judean hills as one starts towards Jerusalem. In current terms, it's up the road from the Shimson junction, off the Beit Shemesh highway exit. Interestingly, the holy resting place of Shimshon HaGibor, Samson the Strong, is at the top of the mountain on which Dan's resting place is. Shimson HaGibor was from the tribe of Dan.

This resting place was an occasionally visited holy site, pretty run down, the building being 300 years old or more, just barely shored up 20 years ago to keep from having the walls literally fall off. 15 years ago or so, some tin shack extensions were added to make a little more functional space.

Approximately 2 months ago, a Breslev yeshiva in Jerusalem decided to refurbish the holy site, both physically and spiritually. Physically, construction is in progress for a kollel dormitory, a kitchen, and a mikveh. Spiritually, a group of 16 young men, along with 4 rabbinical teachers, have taken up residence full time.

Dan is rising.

* Today is the fast day of the 17th of Tammuz. On this day (text via

- Moses descended Mount Sinai and upon seeing the Golden Calf broke the first set of Tablets carrying the Ten Commandments (Shemot 32:19, Mishna Taanit 28b).

- During the First Beis HaMikdash, Holy Temple: The priests stopped offering the daily sacrifice on this day (Taanit 28b) due to the shortage of sheep during the siege and the next year 3184 (586 BCE), the walls of Jerusalem were breached after many months of siege by Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonian forces.

- In Melachim II 21:7 we find that King Menashe, one of the worst of the Jewish kings, had an idol placed in the Holy Sanctuary of the Temple, according to tradition on this date.

- The Talmud, in Masechet Taanit 28b, says that in the time of the Roman persecution, Apostomos, captain of the occupation forces, did the same, and publicly burned the Torah - both acts considered open blasphemy and desecration.

- Titus and Rome breached the walls of Jerusalem in 3760 (70 CE) during the 2nd Beis HaMikdash on this day.

- Pope Gregory IX ordered the confiscation of all manuscripts of the Talmud in 4999 (1239) on this day.

- In 1391, more than 4,000 Jews were killed in Toledo and Jaen, Spain on this day.

- In 4319 (1559) the Jewish Quarter of Prague was burned and looted on this day.

- The Kovno ghetto of Lithuania was liquidated on this day in 5704 (1944) during World War II. My father-in-law, a"h was taken during this liquidation with all the other residents from the ghetto to Dachau.

- In 5730 (1970) Libya ordered the confiscation of all Jewish property on this day.

May Hashem bless us that this day this year herald the coming of Moshiach, and turn from a fast to an eternal celebration!!!

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Liorah Lleucu said...

LOL. You just can't knock me down. A Jewithc's take on shefifon and seriyah.

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