בס׳ד

"Where does it say that you have a contract with G-d to have an easy life?"

the Lubavitcher Rebbe



"Failure is not the enemy of success; it is its prerequisite."

Rabbi Nosson Scherman



18 Aug 2017

Giving charity

Parshas Re'eh: Why Tzedaka In The Name Of Rebbi Meir Baal HaNes?

"גדולי הרבנים בבני ברק במכתב: "עוף הבראקל כשר וטהור

Day Camp Goes On Mivtzoim


16 Aug 2017

The new statement

The March for Racial Justice organizers have issued a new statement regarding the scheduling of the event on Yom Kippur.

Choosing this date, we now know, was a grave and hurtful oversight on our part. It was unintentional and we are sorry for this pain as well as for the time it has taken for us to respond.

Yesterday I read a comment from someone who wanted to participate in the march and asked if someone could organize to have Torahs, prayer books and shofars at the march. As the march is scheduled from 10AM through 1PM and the shofar is only blown at the end of the Yom Kippur fast at nightfall, I fail to understand why shofars were needed. I also thought to myself, that if Saturday, September 30th had not been Yom Kippur, many would have attended the march with blatant disregard for Shabbat.

Black, Jewish Goldman Sachs executive sues firm for discrimination, claiming bias killed her chance to land Allergan CEO as client

The date of the march

1/ Me and the Neo-Nazis: A Tale

UNRWA Seals Terror Tunnel Found Under Schools, Blasts Hamas for Putting Students at Risk

Mayim Bialik calls out March for Racial Justice over Yom Kippur date

March for Racial Justice Statement Regarding Yom Kippur

14 Aug 2017

The singular Re'eh

"Re'eh Anochi Nosein Lifneichem HaYom Bracha UKlala; Look, I place before you today, a blessing and a curse." (Re'eh 11:26). Hashem gives us the choice to choose good or evil and tells us that we will be paid back in kind. Rav Aharon Kotler asks, "Why is the word Re'eh singular, while the word lifneichem is plural?"

He answers that this teaches us that Hashem gave the Torah to all of Klal Yisrael, even if the masses reject Torah and mitzvos, it is still incumbent on every single individual to make the right choice. It is not acceptable to follow the majority if they go down the wrong path. Re'eh mean to look with your own eyes and see for yourself the right path to follow.

In the Navi Yeshaya it says, "Habitu El Avrohom Avichem... Ki Echad Karasiv; Your forefather Avrohom HaIvri was the man from the other side. He followed the righteous path even though he stood alone against a cold and cruel world." .
http://revach.net/parshas-hashavua/life-lessons/Parshas-Reeh-Rav-Aharon-Kotler-Even-If-You-Stand-Alone/3992

My Guru, Dr. Jacobs

Right-Wing Rabbis Condemn Forward For Calling Mort Klein ‘Threat’

The trip

Why I Went to Auschwitz
h/t INN

Marriage Tips For Men - Part 4

Overdue Book Returned To Nyc Library 38 Years Late

"ניצל ממחבלת ומשחזר: "חשבתי שזו זקנה שמחבקת אותי

13 Aug 2017

The reward of a mitzvah

Chazal tell us (Kidushin 39b), "Schar Mitzva B'Hai Alma Leka", there is no reward for Mitzvos in this world, only in the next. The pasuk by Tzedaka (Re'eh 15:10) seems to contradict this as it says נָתוֹן תִּתֵּן לוֹ, וְלֹא-יֵרַע לְבָבְךָ בְּתִתְּךָ לוֹ כִּי בִּגְלַל הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה, יְבָרֶכְךָ יְ-הוָ-ה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בְּכָל-מַעֲשֶׂךָ. If we give Tzedaka Hashem will give a bracha to all our work. Is there reward in this world or not?

The Ksav Sofer answers that for the mitzva itself there is no reward in this world. However for the Simcha, the joy with which you do the Mitzva, there is a reward in this world. If we look carefully at the pasuk we see that the pasuk clearly says this. נָתוֹן תִּתֵּן לוֹ, give tzedaka. וְלֹא-יֵרַע לְבָבְךָ בְּתִתְּךָ לוֹ, there should be no ill will in your heart when you give it, only joy in doing Hashem's mitzva. כִּי בִּגְלַל הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה, יְבָרֶכְךָ יְ-הוָ-ה אֱלֹהֶיךָ, בְּכָל-מַעֲשֶׂךָ, because of this aspect of the mitzva Hashem, the simcha you had, you will be rewarded in this world.
http://revach.net/parshas-hashavua/quick-vort/Parshas-Reeh-Ksav-Sofer-Why-Are-We-Rewarded-For-Giving-Tzedaka/4696

"האברך שניצל סיפר: "הרב אמר לי שמלאכים מלווים אותי

Zichron Ephraim Shimon Fund: Aims to assist new parents; Launched in memory of Monsey child struck and killed by vehicle

Al-Aqsa preacher: Muslims have 'exclusive right' to Jerusalem

11 Aug 2017

Messages from the parsha

Parshas Eikev - Wealth

Nesivos Shalom Shiur from Yerushalayim: To Fear and Love Hashem

CEO Susan Wojcicki Responds to the Google Anti-Diversity Memo by answering a question posed by her daughter.

“Mom, is it true that there are biological reasons why there are fewer women in tech and leadership?” ...“No, it’s not true.”
http://fortune.com/2017/08/09/google-diversity-memo-wojcicki/

This is the same executive who wrote a WSJ article titled Paid Maternity Leave Is Good for Business
Are there biological reasons why she did not address paternity leave?

A number of days ago, I wrote a post titled Eicha which focused on weekly demonstrations taking place in Petah Tikva. Kikar Hashabat has an article about how a Supreme Court Justice  rejected a request for an interim injunction that would prevent the demonstrations from being held and asked the police to respond to the petition by Wednesday. The attorney who filed the petition cited a number of factors for banning the demonstration. He spoke about the religious residents of the neighborhood who are hurt seeing the Sabbath desecration that takes place.
This week's parsha is full of messages about what happens if we keep the mitzvot and the consequences of not adhering to them. For a full reading of the text of the parsha in Hebrew, as well as English, click here.

The Real Story Of That Lynch-Clinton Tarmac Meeting Gets Even Stranger

8 Aug 2017

Anti-anti

Elizabeth Warren Comes Out Against Anti-BDS Bill

One click led to another and I chanced upon a presentation by Al Jazeera on YouTube about what triggered the Al-Aqsa Mosque violence. The presenter begins, "On Friday three Israeli Palestinians and two Israeli police officers died in a gun battle."

Mohammed Nuseibeh was one of the interviewees and he said, "What the Israeli authorities are doing, closing the Mosque, is, first of all, illegal and contrary to all human rights conditions. A holy place is a place should be open to all those who want to go and pray there."

At 15:17 the presenter says, "In May this year 100s of Israeli Jewish hardliners stormed the Al Aqsa Mosque."

Other YouTube videos show the importance of the Mosque including this one in which the Imam speaks about what should be done to the people blocking access to the holy site at the 22 minute mark of the video.

V'Haya Eikeiv Tishmi'um

Palestinian Propaganda Is Infiltrating US Public Schools

The Gemara (Avoda Zara 9a) says that the world is for six thousand years. The first two thousand were empty before the Torah was given, the second two thousand are for Torah, and the last two thousand are for Moshiach. The Gemara then says that Moshiach should have come then, but we are wasting time because of our aveiros.

When did these two thousand years begin? They began 172 years after the Churban Bais HaMikdash. Rav Chaim Kanievsky says that we see a remez for this in Parshas Eikev. "V'Haya Eikeiv Tishmi'um." Eikev is the letters of 172. The Torah tells us that if we listen to the Torah and do the mitzvos, all of Hashem's goodness will be bestowed upon us 172 years after the Churban.
http://www.revach.net/parshas-hashavua/numbers-amp-letters/Parshas-Eikev-Rav-Chaim-Kanievsky-When-Should-Moshiach-Come/3980

What are the FBI and DoJ hiding?

Understanding the McMaster NSC purge

WATCH: Why Is The News Fake?

6 Aug 2017

5 minutes a day

"LiDaber Bam BiShivticha BiVaysacha UvLechticha VaDerech..."

"You must learn Torah at all times - when you are sitting in your home or traveling on the road etc.

"A person once came to Rabbi Yisroel Salanter and asked him, "Rebbi, I only have 5 minutes a day to study Torah, what topic should I study during that time?" R' Yisroel answered, "Study Mussar during those 5 minutes, you will then see that you really have a lot more time than 5 minutes a day to learn Torah.
http://revach.net/parshas-hashavua/quick-vort/Parshas-Eikev-No-Time-To-Learn/710

A one-year-old Israeli child was injured Sunday when Arab stone-throwers attacked a passenger bus driving through Judea, south of Jerusalem.
Read more: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/233510

AS CONGRESS TRIES TO CRIMINALIZE BDS, THE DEMOCRATIC SOCIALISTS OF AMERICA ENDORSE IT

As reported by the JTA, the statement of action mandated by the DSA resolution begins with the following words:

Democratic Socialists of America declares itself in solidarity with Palestinian civil society's nonviolent struggle against ...
Read more: https://www.jta.org/2017/08/06/news-opinion/united-states/democratic-socialists-of-america-passes-bds-motion-against-israel-at-convention 

How did a baby get hurt by the nonviolent civil society?

Far-Left Activist Jackie Walker Gets Standing Ovation for Antisemitic Play

The Irish journalist fired for writing what critics called an anti-Semitic newspaper column apologized and acknowledged that he deserved to be sacked.
https://www.jta.org/2017/08/04/news-opinion/world/irish-writer-says-he-deserved-to-be-sacked-for-anti-semitic-column

What about Imams who preach anti-Semitic sermons?

Family Becomes Religious After Public Tragedy

In harmony

The State Department's Report on Terrorism Should Be Discredited

Time to Come Home

MAJOR GERMAN UNIVERSITY STUDENTS SAY BDS CONTINUES NAZI BOYCOTT

The Harmony in the Music

5 Aug 2017

Handing over the keys

America’s Jews have supported Muslims in the aftermath of hateful attacks. When a mosque in Texas burned down, for example, the local Jewish community handed the keys of their synagogue to enable Muslims to pray.

It is time for America’s Muslims to demonstrate that they appreciate being woven into the fabric of America’s diversity. Allowing Imams to get away with hateful comments against Jews from the pulpit will do little to demonstrate the American Muslim community’s commitment to universal values of tolerance and religious freedom.
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/muslims-must-ostracize-anti-semitic-imams_us_5985e9e2e4b0f2c7d93f562b

Terrorist Rasmea Odeh To Be Honored at Farewell Event in Chicago Ahead of Deportation

Which Palestinian do we believe? Aisha Odeh - see here and here- or Rasmea Odeh - see here?



3 Aug 2017

Talking points

Caroline Glick: General McMaster MUST GO!

Watch: You Won’t Believe How Many Orthodox Jews Donate Their Kidneys to Strangers

"ימים טובים לישראל" - תיעוד מיוחד לקראת ט"ו באב: יום המסוגל לזיווגים במחיצת הגר"י אדלשטיין זצוק"ל

DOJ releases Obama admin talking points on shady Clinton/Lynch tarmac meeting (just 1 problem)

Nahamu Nahamu

Parashat VaEtchanan: Nahamu Nahamu

מדהים: הילד שנבחן על הש"ס אצל מרן הגר"ח קנייבסקי

Brandeis Prof Pascal Menoret

NYT Staff editor Bari Weiss writes her opinion about Linda Sarsour and other irganiwers of the Women' March in a piece titled When Progressives Embrace Hate. In the article she cites various tweets posted by Linda Sarsour as well as statements made by Louis Farrakhan over the years.

In response, Max Fisher tweeted, " The latest attempt to tear down appears to turn on the fact that she once made a joke about shariah and usury

If you read the article, you can see that there are other tweets which Mr. Fisher didn't allude to.

Harold Brackman has written an excellent article regarding his opinion of Imam Shahin's  apology over here.

If Louis Farrakhan can make his statements without any consequences, then Imam Shahin can get away with what he said.




Refuge

Parshas VaEschanan/Nachamu - Refuge

Why We Went to Chamblee, GA

First was Ilan Halimi, then came Sarah Halimi, then came Michal Halimi

2 Aug 2017

Religious faith

Family of Kansas Jewish site shootings settles gun lawsuit

One of the many troublesome trends existing in our societies is the elevation of issues that are basically political and even monetary, to the level of religious faith and practice.
Read more: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/20822

1 Aug 2017

Not pray

The New York Times reports:
Israeli police said hundreds of Jews ascended a contested Jerusalem holy site on Tuesday to mark Tisha B'av, the Jewish day of mourning over the destruction of the biblical temples.

... Muslims administer the compound, home to the Al Aqsa Mosque and Dome of the Rock, while Jews can visit but not pray there.
https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/08/01/world/middleeast/ap-ml-israel-palestinians.html


Did the police really use the word contested?
If the New York Times reports that Jews can pray there, why does it quote the director of the Waqf who says this must be stopped?

For the Imam whose comments about Jews in his sermons of July 14th and July 21 were taken out of context and mistranslated, I just wanted to notify the center which has a number of his sermons online, that the link to a sermon from 2014 doesn't seem to be working.

Plot thickens in probe of House IT contractors - reported by FoxNews in March.

Imran Awan coverage betrays media bias

31 Jul 2017

Ei Koi

Chazal say the word Eicha is two words "Ei Koi", what happened to the promise of Koi. The first Koi is the promise to Avrohom Avinu "Koi Yihiyeh Zaracha" meaning your children will be like the stars (Lech Licha 15:5). The second is "Koi Soimar L'Bais Yaakov" (Yisro 18:3) which Hashem said at Matan Torah.

The Lechem Dima (Rav Shmuel D'Uzida Talmid HaArizal) says that the word Eicha is asking, "Ei Koi", what happened to the promise of multitudes, "Yashva Badad" and why is Klal Yisroel sitting alone decimated and demoralized? The answer lies in the second Koi, as Hashem asks "Ei Koi" what happened to the promise Bnei Yisroel made at Har Sinai of Naaseh ViNishma. When we keep ours, Hashem will certainly keep his.
http://www.revach.net/tanach/eichah/Megilas-Eicha-Lechem-Dima-The-Question-And-Answer-Behind-The-Word-Eicha/4656

הערב - צום תשעה באב • כל זמני הצום

This past week, the ADL condemned the anti-Semitic sermons given by two California Imams. The sermons given by Imam Shahin can still be found on YouTube. I checked the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect twitter account to see if they condemned the speeches but they are so obsessed with POTUS that the sermons are not on their radar.

Anti-Israel activists try to shut down protests over California bakery honoring Palestinian terrorist

ערב תשעה באב: בית הכנסת נשרף כליל עם ספרי התורה

Washington Post whitewashes California Imam’s “Annihilate the Jews” sermon

30 Jul 2017

Scandals and conspiracy theories

Thought I would provide you with a few definitions this evening.

When a liberal newspaper reports on "an action or event regarded as morally or legally wrong and causing general public outrage" the word used is scandal, but only if it involves Republicans.

If it involves Democrats then the word scandal is not used but, rather, the ubiquitous 'conspiracy theorists' are at work to discredit Democrats meme is used. - Trump Fuels Intrigue Surrounding a Former I.T. Worker’s Arrest

When a right-wing newspaper reports on a scandal relating to the Democrats then the word "bombshell" or "breaking" is used.

When an organization exposes an Imam's hateful comments about Jews, the word "Islamophobia" is used.

When the same organization translates an Imam's second sermon given a week prior to the one that is capturing a slight bit of media attention, the words that are used is 'taken out of context" and "mistranslated."


Eicha

A number of weeks ago, Ynet published an article titled From a small Petah Tikva square to a nationwide protest.
I would have written the article somewhat differently perhaps titling it From a small Petah Tikva square to a neighborhood nuisance.

The protests have been growing in attendance week by week in a neighborhood that is half secular and half religious. (Don't quote me on the statistics. I am unsure of the percentage.) While religious people are quietly basking in the peace and quiet of another Sabbath, police are arriving two hours before Sabbath ends to ensure public safety during public protests which organizers deemed should take place before the Holy Sabbath ends. The protestors arrive wearing T-shirts containing verses from the Tanach from Isaiah 1:21-23. Because if the Tanach can justify the cause, then it is important to highlight Torah versus. The verses in the Torah relating to Keeping the Sabbath holy are not displayed on the T-shirts. Why the protest has to take place before Sabbath ends is a question for which I haven't received an answer. Perhaps it is because I never asked the question of those so eager to congregate every Saturday night in the town of Kfar Ganim.

Across the street, a number of protestors who live in the neighborhood who are bothered by the noise hold up signs asking to be left in peace. Some people saunter up to them not to hear their point of view but to pontificate and explain that they must suffer the noise for the good of the country. Screaming banshees protesting on bullhorns is necessary and tough luck on the residents who live next to the protest area.

On the third corner of the square a few pro-Netanyahu demonstrators congregate and hold an Israeli flag high in the air while they turn up the volume on recorded Israeli music. The fourth side stands empty, for now, but perhaps one can hope that it would be occupied by someone who would make havdalah for the crowd, after the Sabbath ends.

Tisha B'Av is fast approaching when we read from the book of Lamentations which commences with the word "Eicha." The protestors wear T-shirts which cite a verse in Isaiah that begins with the word "Eicha."

The Second Temple was destroyed because of baseless hatred. How about for this Monday evening through Tuesday night we act as if we are wearing T-shirts citing the first verse in Psalms 133, "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"

29 Jul 2017

The sermons

'I said things that were hurtful to Jews. This was unacceptable'
California imam apologizes for sermon attacking Jews for ‘desecrating’ Al Aqsa.

You would think that after an imam apologized for saying things hurtful to Jews as well as saying “I understand that speech like this can encourage others to do hateful and violent acts' that the hateful speech would be taken off YouTube.

YouTube, as of now, still has Imam Shahin's speech of July 21 over here and July 14 over here.

I must admit I was quite upset in watching the translation of the July 21 speech at MEMRI but didn't realize that there was another translated speech from July 14 at MEMRI which sounds even worse.

The Washington Post, in an article which describes the Imam's apology, makes no mention of the July 14 video and quotes Nazir Harb Michel, a senior fellow at Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding.

Personally, I take issue with the spiritualizing of political conflicts on both sides of the situation,” said Michel, who also expressed concern that MEMRI was hoping to stir up anti-Muslim sentiment at a time when Muslim Americans feel under siege.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/07/28/did-a-california-imam-call-for-violence-against-jews-faith-leaders-meet-to-calm-tensions/?utm_term=.fa6bd67f8ff3

An article titled Jewish Students React to Imam’s Serman contains the following opinion,

We stand with all Jewish students who have been impacted by Imam Shahin’s statements in this way and here to denounce anti-Semitism in all its forms. However, we also are here to recognize that the edited of Imam Shahin’s sermon was done with Islamophobic intent."

MEMRI Responds To Islamic Center Of Davis's Statement Following Exposure Of Imam Shahin's July 21 Antisemitic Sermon

28 Jul 2017

Vandalism and cremation

Historic Jewish Cemetery in Massachusetts Vandalized

Dust to Ashes - Cremation among Jews has become so popular that funeral homes now offer “Jewish-style” cremations — a rabbi for the memorial service, a decorative urn with a Magen David

Why Does Jewish Law Forbid Cremation?

I found a site which offers cremation and under a tab about myth versus reality read following.

Judaism does not allow the burning of human bodies - Wrong. When we turned to one of the Rabbis on this subject, we received a definite answer that not only does cremation not oppose Judaism, but this was even the custom during the period of the kings.  
The site posts three pesukim to justify their contention and one is in Shmuel 31:12.


"All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Bet- Shan, and they came to Yavesh, and burned them there."

Of course, the site doesn't include the next verse "And they took their bones and buried them under the tree in Jabesh, and they fasted seven days" nor was an aternative explanation of what actually happened at the burning provided. Look at footnote 9 at the end of an article over here.

Fox Airs Allegations That Awans Aided Schultz With Voice Altered Phone Calls

*VIDEOS* Ben Shapiro And Adam Carolla Testify Before House Committee About Free Speech On Campus

קיום המצוות יביא את הביטחון והצמיחה • צפו

Parshas Devarim / Shabbos Chazon - Relating To The Sin Of The Spies

New York Times Trend Story Touts ‘Jewish Parents’ Avoiding Circumcision

This past week I wrote about a poignant letter penned by one of the victims of the Halamish attack. The New York Times didn't publish her letter, to the best of my knowledge, but, rather printed the killer's message on his Facebook page.
The JPost included in an article that the killer wrote,
"You, sons of monkeys and pigs, if you do not open the gates of al-Aksa, I am sure that men will follow me and will hit you with an iron fist, I am warning you.”
http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/West-Bank-terror-A-killers-last-testament-on-Facebook-500417

No doubt due to space constraints, the New York Times didn't publish those words but instead wrote that he "signed off with emojis including hearts'."

And yet the paper has all the space in the world to write about how a baby whose mother is not Jewish is not receiving a circumcision.

27 Jul 2017

Chazon Yeshayahu

Grandson Named After Terror Victim

Rav Sprecher 20170727 Parshat Devarim and Shabbat Chazon

Parsha in Print: איש לרעהו

This week's Haftorah is Chazon Yeshayahu. Yeshayahu, says that the Devarim Rabba 2:3, was the second greatest Navi after Moshe Rabbeinu. Yeshayahu delivered early warnings to the Bnei Yisrael of the impending disaster if they do not straighten out their ways. Yeshayahu lived long before the Churban and was killed by his grandson, the wicked King of Yehuda over 100 years before the Churban.

In Pasuk 16, Yeshayahu tells Bnei Yisrael, "Rachatzu, Hizaku, Hasiru Ro'a Maaleichem; Cleanse yourselves, become meritorious, do away with your evil ways." The Divrei Yechezkel, Admor of Shineve, points out the order is not correct. You must do away with your evil ways before becoming meritorious.

He answers in the name of his Rebbe that it says in Zemiros of Shabbos, "Al Kein Achabes Bo Libi Kiboris; I will cleanse my heart like soap." It should say with soap not like soap. The answer is that we are saying we will cleanse ourselves so thoroughly that we will become so pure and be able to influence others as well. Therefore, we in turn will become the soap to cleanse others.

"So, too," says Yeshayahu, "we must clean ourselves so thoroughly that we will be in the position to bring merit to other people. and, therefore. help remove the bad from the entire Klal Yisrael, thereby saving the Bais Hamikdash and not only ourselves."
http://www.revach.net/parshas-hashavua/haftorah/Haftorah-Devarim-Become-Squeaky-Clean-and-Save-The-Bais-Hamikdash/594

Through unity

Tisha BeAv- Having Our Prayers Answered Through Unity

BBC Reporter Questions Temple Mount Security Measures

Trump Donates Salary to Department of Education for STEM Camp

Legal Insurrection writes about the sermons of two Imams over here.

IMRAN AWAN AND ATTORNEY CRY ISLAMOPHOBIA OVER ARREST

Cable Networks Black Out Coverage on Wasserman Schultz IT Scandal

26 Jul 2017

It still helps

The young people of Bnei Yisroel who were about to go into Eretz Yisroel. Moshe Rabbeinu in his last address to them retold the story of their parents' mistakes in the Midbar. When retelling the Cheit of the Meraglim, Moshe says that they were punished and routed by the Emori in their effort to go to Eretz Yisroel without permission. After this defeat they came back to the Machaneh and began to cry. The pasuk says (1:45) "V'Lo Shama Hashem B'Kolchem", Hashem did not listen to them. The next pasuk says that they stayed in Kadeish many years. Rashi says that they stayed there for 19 years without wandering around.

The Netziv says that we see from here that even when Hashem does not listen to our tefilos and does not grant our request, the tefila still helps. While their tefilos did not repeal the gezeira of staying in the Midbar for 40 years, it helped that they settled in one place did not need to wander for 19 years. We can't always get what we want but we always get something!
http://revach.net/tefila/article.php?id=3949

משפחת סלומון מזמינה את הציבור לברית של התינוק, שב'שלום זכר' שלו אירע הטבח

7 Fast Facts About Imran Awan, Wasserman Schultz’s Jailed IT Vendor - Where is the media coverage?

Has this man found the secret of happiness?

25 Jul 2017

Excluded

Margaret Bergmann Lambert, Jewish High Jumper Excluded From Berlin Olympics, Dies at 103

After Temple Mount ‘Victory’ Arab MKs Set Sights on Western Wall

Rising tensions

Are seeds of a new Intifada being planted amidst rising tensions at the Temple Mount?

אל תפספסו: טיפ וסגולה ליום מוצלח // ב' באב

WATCH: Rabbi Paysach Krohn Speaks At Real Clear Daf Siyum

Sinas Chinam is the most terrrible of all sins

The Kli Yakar says that Moshe's Mussar ot Bnei Yisroel when he says in Parshas Devarim, "Bein Paran U'Bein Tofel" refers to the period between 17 Tammuz and 9 Av. Tofel refers to the Chet HaEgel (tofel is from "Tifla" folly which is refers to avodah zara) which happened on 17 Tammuz and Paran refers to the Miraglim which happened on Tisha B'Av.

When Bnei Yisroel is in trouble we can survive either because the mitzvos we perform will merit Hahsem's help or if we are united and have achdus even if we do not deserve it we will be saved. With the Chet of the Egel which was against Hashem we lost His divine protection. With the Chet of the Meraglim which caused sinas chinam we lost our unity and our second possible saving grace.

The Kli Yakar further explains that the Mazal of Tammuz is Sartan, the crab. The crab walks backwards just like we turned from Hashem with the Egel. The Mazal of Av is Aryeh since on Tisha B'Av we started to devour each other like lions. This date was not coincidentally the destruction of the Bais HaMikdash which was destroyed because of Sinas Chinam.

Moshe tells Bnei Yisroel you have put yourselves in a precarious situation by losing protection from both ends and that is why we are exposed to our enemies during these three weeks as the pasuk says in Eicha "Kol Rodfeha Hisiguha Bein HaMitzarim". These are the days that we are defenseless against our mortal enemies.
http://www.revach.net/moadim/the-3-weeks/Parshas-Devarim-Kli-Yakar-3-Weeks-Between-a-Rock-and-a-Hard-Place/592

Fake and Real

Fake news: Real terror

Calling Out Linda Sarsour on Al Aqsa

CALIFORNIA FRIDAY SERMON: IMAM AMMAR SHAHIN CITES ANTISEMITIC HADITH

Jewish Legal Right to the Land Celebrates 95 Years

23 Jul 2017

Two letters

KikarHashabat published a letter written in Hebrew by Chaya Salomon, one of the victims of the Friday evening stabbing by a Palestinian. It is a letter that Chaya, a teacher, attached to her students' report cards and I have roughly translated her message to her students.

Dear student,
With the distribution of report cards at the end of the semester
I remember a different report card
Almost like in school
It is given by our heavenly Father who dwells everywhere
But instead of subjects and test results
He divides results into the following subjects.
Friendship, patience, understanding, love.
Kindness, responsibility, gratitude and humility
And that report card is important
Even more than any other report card
And not just once a year or twice
But every minute that passes
Because many times in the course of life
We forget and forget again that being a virtuous person
This is the real test in life !!!

Wishing you success,
Your teacher Chaya

The Jerusalem Post published part of a letter the killer wrote on Facebook.

"You, sons of monkeys and pigs, if you do not open the gates of al-Aksa, I am sure that men will follow me and will hit you with an iron fist, I am warning you.”
http://www.jpost.com/Arab-Israeli-Conflict/West-Bank-terror-A-killers-last-testament-on-Facebook-500417

The New York Times referenced the Palestinian's post, as well.

“I am a young man who has not yet reached the age of 20, I have many dreams and ambitions!!” he wrote. “I loved life — to draw the smile on people’s faces. But what life is this when our women and young men are killed unjustly and our Aqsa is facing desecration.” He said he had a sharp knife, begged forgiveness from his family and signed off with emojis including hearts.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/21/world/middleeast/jerusalem-israel-protests-al-aqsa-mosque.html

If I ask the New York Times why they didn't publish the sentence containing the words, "You, sons of monkeys and pigs" I am sure they will respond by explaining that space constraints hindered them from publishing his whole post. And yet, there were no space constraints for them to write, "Three Israelis were killed in what appeared to be a terrorist attack."

The proud mother

Why Rebbe Said "Gam Zu Letova"

Sefer Devarim is Moshe's closing message to Bnei Yisrael where he gives the mussar for the aveiros they have done, reviews with them all the mitzvos, and warns them about the future. The Gemara says (Bava Basra 165a) that most people steal, a few enter illicit relationships, and everybody speaks Avak Lashon Hara.

The Vilna Gaon finds a Remez to this gemara in the opening words of the parsha. "Eileh Hadevarim Asher Diber Moshe El Kol Yisroel". Eileh (Aleph, Lamed, Hey) is for Avak Lashon Hara. That is why it says El Kol Yisrael, because we are all oveir on this.
http://www.revach.net/parshas-hashavua/numbers-amp-letters/Parshas-Devarim-Vilna-Gaon-Moshe-Rabbeinu-Opens-With-A-Stab-At-Lashon-Hara/570

Palestinian teen butchers Israeli family, his mom is proud

As I read one of the sentences posted on Facebook by the Palestinian who stabbed three Israeli family members to death on Friday night, I wondered who taught him to think in such a fashion."

"You, sons of monkeys and pigs, if you do not open the gates of al-Aksa, I am sure that men will follow me and will hit you with an iron fist, I am warning you.”

22 Jul 2017

Blaming Israel

Three Israelis were stabbed to death in a Jewish settlement in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, hours after three Palestinians were killed in violence prompted by Israel's installation of metal detectors at entry points to the Noble Sanctuary-Temple Mount compound in Jerusalem's walled Old City.
https://www.nytimes.com/reuters/2017/07/21/world/middleeast/21reuters-israel-palestine.html

Op-Ed: A Family Was Butchered During Their Shabbos Dinner – But They Will Blame Israel

The Argument Is About Jews, Not Metal Detectors

Fried Calls to Shut Phones in Shul

19 Jul 2017

The retracted article

In the space of two weeks, HonestReporting critiqued two articles (one and two) written by Tom O’Connor for Newsweek. That O’Connor was responsible for the following tweet referencing Israeli “apartheid” should have raised flags concerning his ability to report in a fair and accurate manner on Israel:
Read more: http://honestreporting.com/hr-success-newsweek-apologizes-retracts-two-biased-articles/

So, Newsweek retracted the articles but what about other sites which re-published the Newsweek articles such as this one?

Parashat Matot-Masay: The Incredible Potential of Every Jew

One of the Chashuvim of Vilna once came crying to Rav Zemeleh Volozhin that he married off his son to the wise and kind daughter of a prominent family of Vilna, but to his surprise after the Chasuna they found out that the girl was 10 years older than the boy!

Rav Zemeleh cut him off mid-sentence and answered him light heartedly. At the end of Parshas Masei (36:10), the Torah mentions the names of the Bnos Tzelafchad in a different order than previous mentioned in Parshas Pinchos (27:1). Rashi comments that previously they were mentioned in order of their wisdom, while here they were mentioned in the order of their age. Why here did the Torah mention them by age?

Rav Zemeleh explained that the gemara Bava Basra (119) says that the youngest any of them married was at the age of 40. Surely the Torah would not want to reveal their ages before they married so it listed them in order of their wisdom. Only here when the Torah says that they married their cousins, does the Torah finally reveal their true ages. Apparently the Torah felt that after their marriage, no one worried if anyone would find out how old they really were.
http://revach.net/parshas-hashavua/story/Parshas-Masei-Rav-Zemele-Volozhin-Show-No-Sympathy-For-The-Boy-Who-Is-Tricked-Into-Marrying-An-Older-Girl/4643

18 Jul 2017

A clothes call

Why Did Edward Reichmann Want to be Buried with his Socks On?

Watch: Chareidi Woman, Tzippora Nussbaum, Appear On Ted Talks – “How Clothes Tell a Story”

Family of Jewish woman murdered in Paris moving to Israel

השנה הסופרים יהיו מפוצצים לפני ראש השנה... הרב רפאל זר

So, watching the video below, do you thing Kate is going to start a tznius trend? http://realidadtora.blogspot.co.il/2017/07/blog-post_89.html

The Senate floor

Susan Rice no longer planning to testify Tuesday before House panel

An op-ed in the NYTimes about George Soros titled Israel’s War Against George Soros portrays the financier in very favorable terms, Israel not.

By the mitzvah of keeping your promise it says Moshe told the heads of each Shevet about this mitzvah. Why does the torah write this by this mitzvah? Bais Din has the obligation to enforce every mitzvah. The Netziv says that we usually make a promise under some sort of duress in the hopes that our promise will help us achieve our goal whether it is a promise to Hashem to save us or help us in some way or to another person to gain something in return from that person.

Unfortunately, he says, keeping promises is often not easy for us. Typically when the duress has passed and it is time for us to fulfill our end our enthusiasm dramatically wanes and we come up with all sorts of rationalizations why we need not keep our exactly as we promised it or even not at all. This is why Moshe told the leaders of the people that it is up to them to make sure that people keep their promise.

Using the same explanation Rav Zvi Hersh Voidaslav father of Rav Simcha Bunim MiPeshischa explains why the Torah says the seemingly superfluous words "K'Chol Hayotzeh MiPiv Yaaseh"; its deeper meaning is that you should keep your promise with exactly the same enthusiasm that you made it.
http://revach.net/article.php?id=522


צפת המומה - המקובל הזהיר מראש מהשריפה

WATCH: A Sofer Shares A Remarkable Discovery Following The Tzefas Fire

16 Jul 2017

Kashered with fire

Anti-Semitism at highest level in UK, audit finds

Knesset committee approves United Jerusalem bill

After Bnei Yisrael returned from the war with Midyan with the spoils, Moshe taught them the Halachos of Hagalas Keilim, kashering the utensils through boiling water and fire. The parsha begins with the words, "Zos Chukas HaTorah," (Matos 31:21). What is so special about the Halachos of Hagala that the Torah uses the strong words, "Chukas HaTorah?"

Rav Moshe Feinstein answers that from the ability to make treif utensils kosher by boiling them we learn that a person who sullies his neshama with aveiros, can also kasher it and cleanse it as if he never sinned. This is a pillar of the Torah, as it teaches people never to give up, no matter how far they have gone away from the Torah.

Moreover, we see that keilim used in fire need to be kashered with fire, libun. And keilim used in boiling water become kasher with boiling water. This teaches us that we must do tshuva the same way we did the aveira. If a person sinned with the burning desire of taava, so too must be the tshuva. And if the taava was less passionate, then the tshuva can be on the same scale.
http://revach.net/parshas-hashavua/quick-vort/Parshas-Matos-Rav-Moshe-Feinstein-Hagalas-Keilim-A-Pillar-of-The-Torah/5120


CLINTON FOUNDATION WITNESS FOUND DEAD

The dying veteran's wish

Texas veteran’s dying wish is for you to give him a call

How to Cure MACHLOKET

How to stop hating people

Is Tznius One's Private Business?

Watch: Hotovely demolishes fake news

14 Jul 2017

The attack

Palestinian Terrorist Admits PA Payments Encouraged Him to Attack Israelis

Parshas Pinchas - The Present Rests Upon the Past, The Future, Upon the Present

Below are the initial headlines regarding an attack on Friday morning.

3 Palestinians killed in Jerusalem al-Quds shooting - presstv.ir

Jerusalem: Palestinians killed after 'shooting attack'- Al Jazeera

Several Casualties in Shooting Near Jerusalem Holy Site: Police - NYTimes

Terror on Temple Mt. 3 Israelis shot - Debka 

Update: The Al Jazeera headline has been changed to Jerusalem: Israeli policemen killed in shooting attack

The article goes on to state, "The western wall of the compound, also known as the Wailing Wall, is considered the holiest site in Judaism."

Well, I thought the Temple Mount was the holiest site in Judaism. Do you think the editors will change the sentence if I write to them?

MaanNews has the headline, "3 Palestinian citizens of Israel, 2 police officers killed in Jerusalem shooting."

The article begins, "Three Palestinian citizens of Israel and two police officers -- also Palestinian citizens of Israel -- were killed..."

10 Jul 2017

Zealousness

Antisemitism, Terror Support:  General Nastiness At Palestine Expo, London

Blinded vet blasts Canada's $10m payout to Gitmo thug

WATCH: Binyamin Netanyahu Rips Into UN…By Quoting Torah

"Pinchas Ben Elazar Ben Aaron HaCohen Hayshiv Es Chamosi Mai'al Bnei Yisroel"; "Pinchas, son of Elazar, son of Aaron the Kohen, turned back my anger from upon the Bnei Yisroel" Instead of saying "Hayshiv"- "turned back" my anger - it should have said "Bateil"- "nullified"?

Dovid HaMelech says in Tehillim,"Pinchos arose and executed judgment and the plague stopped. It was counted to him "LiTzdakah"- as a righteous deed - for all generations forever." What does the act of Pinchas have to do with Tzdakah?

The Vilna Gaon answers, according to the Torah every Jew is obligated to give annually a Machatzis HaShekel - a half Shekel- for the purchase of Korbonos Tzibur - communal offerings. The word "Machatzis' consists of 5 letters, the middle one being a "Tzadi", the first letter of the word ‘Tzdakah". Immediately flanking the Tzadi are a "Ches " and a "Yud", which spell the word "Chai" - life - and at the outer ends are the letters "Mem" and "Tof", which spells the word "Mais" - death. This is an allusion to the adage "Utzedakah Tatzil MiMaves" - Tzedakah saves from death.

Pinchas through his zealousness removed the plague from the Bnei Yisroel, thus committing an act of Tzedakah whereby life prevailed and death was excluded.

In the word "Chamosi" - "my anger" - it is the reverse. The middle letters are "Mem" and "Tof", which spells "Mais" - "death" - and the outer letters "Ches " and a "Yud", which spell the word "Chai" - life. Hashem was saying that Pinchas "Hayshiv Es Chamosi" - inverted the word "Chamosi " - chasing death away and bringing life.
http://revach.net/parshas-hashavua/quick-vort/Parshas-Pinchas-Vilna-Gaon-Pinchas-Turns-Around-The-Word-Chamosi/489

9 Jul 2017

The Jewish version

Ultra-Orthodox Jewish version of ‘Shark Tank’ launches online

A call to academic colleagues

3 Rabbis Endorse Tznius Rules

The Yisroel V'Hazmanim brings the Medrash (Yalkut Shimoni Bamidbar 29) that says that Hashem wanted to give a Moed to each of the summer months. Nisan He gave Pesach, Iyar Pesach Sheini, and Sivan was Matan Torah. Then came Tammuz and the Chait HaEigel, and all Yamim Tovim for Tammuz, Av, and Elul were cancelled. In Tishrei, Hashem paid them back with Rosh HaShanah, Yom Kippur, and Succos.

The Chida says that had we not done the Eigel, Rosh HaShanah would have been in Tammuz and Yom Kippur in Av. In fact, says the Chida, that is when the Avos HaKedoshim celebrated these Moadim. However after the Eigel instead of celebrating receiving the Luchos in Tammuz, and turning the three weeks of Ymei Din into Yimei Ratzon, today we mourn for twenty one days. This is made up to us in Tishrei when we have twenty one days of Ratzon in the time of Din, from Rosh HaShanah until Hoshana Rabba.

One day soon these days will once again be joyous days, as the Pasuk in Zechariah (8:19) says, "Tzom HaRevi'i V'Tzom HaChamishi V'Tzom HaShevi'i V'Tzom HaAsiri Yihiyeh L'Bais Yehuda L'Sason U'L'Simcha U'L'Moadim Tovim". Then, says the Maharal MiPrague, Shiva Asar B'Tammuz and Tisha B'Av will be Yomim Tovim and the days in between will be Chol HaMoed. But only for those who mourn today.
http://revach.net/moadim/the-3-weeks/Chida-The-Joyous-Tammuz-Av-That-Could-Have-Been/4630

4 Jul 2017

Wasted and divisive

Students for Justice in Palestine UC Irvine — Out of Control

Nikki Haley urges UNESCO against ‘wasted’ focus on Hebron vote

The New York Times had an article titled Israel Faces Uproar Abroad as Netanyahu Yields to Ultra-Orthodox Jews.

At the demonstration on Saturday night, people held placards saying “Bibi, do not divide the Jewish people,” referring to the prime minister by his nickname. Among them, Rabbi Naamah Kelman-Ezrachi, who in the early 1990s became the Reform Movement’s first female rabbi ordained in Israel and who is a descendant of 10 generations of rabbis, said, “American Jewry has finally woken up to fight for pluralism in Israel.”
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/03/world/middleeast/israel-benjamin-netanyahu-ultra-orthodox-western-wall.html

I find it ironic that the placards referred not to dividing the Jewish people, years after the Reform and Conservative had no qualms in dividing the Jewish people when they formed their 'new and improved'  movements.

Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP)

3 Jul 2017

Opening your eyes

"Vayakam Bilam Vayeilech Vayashav Limkomo V'Gam Balak Halach LiDarko." (Balak 24:25). Bilam and Balak just witnessed amazing miracles and Hashem's divine protection for his beloved nation. Bilam had a conversation with a donkey and had words put in his mouth, despite the incredible lengths he had gone through to muster up the forces of evil to back his diabolical plan.

He lost his bid, but was not moved one bit. He did not tip his hat and graciously bow out. The whole experience did not change either him or Balak one iota from their former beliefs. Bilam went and returned to the exact place in his life where he had been before the incident, and Balak went back to his old path. How can these Reshaim have been so hardened and unmoved?

The Pninim Mishulchan Gavo'a brings in the name of Rav Eliyahu Mishkovsky that we see from here the little impact that open miracles have in moving a person to tshuva. Change does not come from instant revelation. Change is about noticing the little things in life. It is about opening your eyes to a fresh new outlook. These things have a far greater impact than lightening and thunder.
http://revach.net/parshas-hashavua/life-lessons/Parshas-Balak-Rav-Eliyahu-Mishkovsky-Balak-Bilam-Lose-But-Are-Not-Impressed/4622

Aiding others

They were aided by Portugal’s ‘Schindler.’ Now these WWII refugees are trying to help others.

“I would rather stand with God against man than with man against God,” Sousa Mendes said.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/they-were-aided-by-frances-schindler-now-these-world-war-ii-refugees-are-trying-to-help-others/2017/07/01/fbe53200-5a8a-11e7-aa69-3964a7d55207_story.html?utm_term=.56fe5551995a

Trying to convert Dutch Jewish children to Christianity

Watch: Liberals Love Shalom. With Such Friends, Who Needs Enemies!

1 Jul 2017

A sense of kinship

A member of Women of the Wall has written a NYT op-ed in which she describes the first time she was arrested and had to go to the police station.

There is a plaque on the wall there commemorating the bravery of a Jewish boy who dared to defy the British by sounding the shofar on Rosh Hashana, the Jewish New Year. I felt a deep sense of kinship with that boy, who was arrested and led to the same place years before me for the same type of “crime”: worshiping according to our faith.
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/01/opinion/jewish-women-israel-western-wall.html

AUDIO: R’ Ira Zlotowitz reflects on the 2 major turning points in his father’s life

R’ Aaron Kotler to Appear on Next Headlines Radio Show