Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Traits of the Creator

Tomer Devorah
Rav Moshe Cordevero's 10 point system of life change and improvement.
By: Rabbi David Botton
Audio Recordings
Playlist: RealPlayer/WinMedia/MP3
TomerDevorah-01 (48:55)Real Stream/MP3 Download/MP3 Split
The 13 Attributes of Mercy - How to model our lives after the traits of the creator
TomerDevorah-02 (57:03)Real Stream/MP3 Download/MP3 Split
Keter - How to live our lives in the aspect of Keter, humility
TomerDevorah-03 (23:07)Real Stream/MP3 Download/MP3 Split
Chochmah - How to live our lives in the aspect of Chochmah, wisdom
Hebrew Text
Text in Hebrew of the first chapter of Tomer Devorah from Schechem.org
English Text of the Tomer Devorah (External Site)

Chapter 1 - The Thirteen Attributes of Mercy
o Chapter 1 - Attributes 1 & 2o Chapter 1 - Attributes 3 & 4o Chapter 1 - Attributes 5 & 6o Chapter 1 - Attributes 7 & 8o Chapter 1 - Attributes 9 & 10o Chapter 1 - Attributes 11, 12 & 13
share on: facebook

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How Does One Keep Shabbos?

It is a given that a Jew must learn the laws of Shabbath to be able to remember, keep, honor and enjoy the day of rest that G-d gave to His one and only chosen nation. I highly recommend Rav Yehoshua Y. Neuwirth’s sefer/book Shemirath Shabbath, a guide to the practical observance of Shabbath. (see excerpt below)

Psalm 147:19-20 He relates His words to Jacov, His statutes and judgments to Israel. He did not do so for any other nation; such judgments they know not. Hallelukah!

How blessed the Jews are to have the commandments of G-d. We are a holy people, chosen nation (Deut. 14:2), a light to the nations (Isaiah 60:2-3; , a royal priesthood, a peculiar people (Deut 14:2)– no other nation/religion has been chosen by G-d to be His Servant. How beautiful indeed is our heritage!

Deuteronomy 14:2For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are upon the earth.

Isaiah 60:2-3 For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and a thick darkness the nations. But G-d Will Shine upon you. Nations shall then go by your Light and kings by your radiant illumination.

Maimonides, in Mishneh Torah, Hilchoth Shabbath, broadly categorizes the laws of Shabbath in the following way: “Four commands were given regarding Shabbath, two by the Torah and two by the Rabbis, which [later] were expressed by the Prophet Isaiah,

A. Those of Torah,
1. ‘Remember [the Shabbath day’ (Exodus 20:8)] זכור and
2. ‘Keep [the Shabbath day’ (Deuteronomy 5:12)] שמור, and
B. Those which were expressed by the Prophet,
1. Honoring [Shabbath] כבוד and
2. Enjoying [Shabbath] עונג,
In the verse [Isaiah 58:13],’…call Shabbath a joy, [call] G-d’s sanctified [day] honored….’’’

A. How does one “remember” Shabbath? זכור
1. a) The verse from Exodus 20:8 reads in full, “Remember the Shabbath day to sanctify it”; that is to say, remember it in praise and sanctification.
b) This is a positive commandment to sanctify the Shabbath day in words.
2. One remembers it
a) at its commencement, with Kiddush, and,
b) at its termination, with Havdalah

A. How does one “keep” Shabbath?
1. Refraining from forbidden activities on Shabbath is a positive commandment, contained in the words, “…and on the seventh day you shall rest” (Exodus 23:12)
2. Engaging in a forbidden activity on Shabbath is prohibited by the words, “you shall not carry out any [forbidden] activity” (Exodus 20:10).
3. Thus, somebody who performs a forbidden activity on Shabbath transgresses both
a. A positive commandment and
b. A prohibitory injunction

B. “Work” – a misunderstood concept
1. Activities which are forbidden on Shabbath are by no means synonymous with what we would consider hard work.
2. This can be illustrated by the fact that
a. Someone who spends the whole day moving furniture around his house does not infringe any Torah prohibition, whereas
b. Someone who carries a sewing needle out of his house into a public thoroughfare is guilty of such and infringement

C. The Chief Activities and Derivative Activities
1. The categories of forbidden activities were revealed to Moses on Mount Sinai,
2. They consist of
a. The thirty-nine Chief Activities which were required when the Tabernacle was constructed and
b. Derivative Activities which are similar to the Chief Activities in the ways detailed in paragraph E. below
share on: facebook

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ten Tests of Abraham

1) The terrifying experience in Ur Casdim, when Nimrod cast Abraham into the fiery furnace.

2) When G-d commanded Abraham to leave his parents and his family. It was very difficult for Abraham to leave family and friends and go to a strange city, expecially since G-d had given him no indication as to his destination. Abraham was even more troubled, since he had no idea where he would end up. (Chapter 11 verse 1)

3) The great famine in the land of Canaan. The rest of the world had more than enough; only in Canaan where Abraham lived, there was a great famine. Abraham did not want to return to his father and violate G-d's commandment, so that he went to Eqypt. (chapter 11 verse 10)

4) When Abraham came to Eqypt, Pharaoh seized Sarah and had her brought to his harem (chapter 12:15)

5) The four kings came to kill him. They said, "Let's start with his nephew Lot, and when Abraham attempts to rescue him, we'll take care of him." When Lot was taken captive together with the other citizens of Sodom and Gemorah, Abraham had to wage war against four large armies (chapter 14)

6) At the "Pact Between Halves" (B'rith beyn HaBetharim), G-d showed Abraham every exile that his descendants would suffer as well as the punishments of purgatory, asking him to choose one of the two (chapter 15)

7) G-d commanded Abraham to cxircumcise himself when he was 99 years old. This was a very painful operation, expecially since he was so old and still wished to have a son. Abraham wanted to strengthen his reproductive organs; G-d was commanding him to mutilte them. (chapter 17)

8) When Abraham was in the land of the Philistines, Abimelekh had Sarah brought to his harem by force. (chapter 20)

9) When Issac grew up, Sarah saw Ishmael using him as a target to practice archery. She told Abraham to write out a will leaving everything that he owned and everything that G-d had promised him to Isaac, so that Ishmael would not share in the inheritance at all. G-d then told Sbraham to drive Hagar and Ishmael away from his house. Of all the troubles that Abraham suffered, none was worse than driving away his firstborn son. (chapter 21)

10) The tenth teast was the Akediah, under discussion here. After all that had happened, Abraham finally had a beautiful son when he was a hundred years old. Now G-d was telling him to bring the child as a sacrifice. (chapter 22)

source: The Torah Anthology Yalkut ME'AM LO'EZ Genesis-II The Patriarchs

share on: facebook

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Enduring Forever Never To Be Breached

Tehillim/Psalm 19

ח תּוֹרַת יְהוָה תְּמִימָה מְשִׁיבַת נָפֶשׁ
The Torah of HaShem is perfect restoring the soul.
עֵדוּת יְהוָה נֶאֱמָנָה מַחְכִּימַת פֶּתִי
The testimony of HaShem is trustworthy making wise the simple one
ט פִּקּוּדֵי יְהוָה יְשָׁרִים מְשַׂמְּחֵי-לֵב
The precepts of HaShem are upright gladdening the heart.
מִצְוַת יְהוָה בָּרָה מְאִירַת עֵינָיִם
the command of HaShem is clear and enlightening the eyes
י יִרְאַת יְהוָה, טְהוֹרָה--עוֹמֶדֶת לָעַד
The fear of HaShem is pure enduring forever
מִשְׁפְּטֵי-יְהוָה אֱמֶת; צָדְקוּ יַחְדָּו.
the judgments of HaShem are true, righteous altogether.
יא הַנֶּחֱמָדִים--מִזָּהָב, וּמִפַּז רָב
They are more desirable than fine gold in abundance
וּמְתוּקִים מִדְּבַשׁ, וְנֹפֶת צוּפִים.
and sweeter than honey and drippings from the combs
יב גַּם-עַבְדְּךָ, נִזְהָר בָּהֶם; בְּשָׁמְרָם, עֵקֶב רָב
Indeed, Your servant is scrupulous in them, in observing them there is great reward
share on: facebook

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Do You Honor Your Parents?

How sad if one reads but one or two and dismisses the rest of what is listed here.

1. Honor your father and your mother; that your days may be lengthened upon the land which Hashem your G-d gives you. (Shemot/Exodus 20:12)

2. And he who strikes his father, or his mother, shall be surely put to death. (Shemot/Exodus 21:15)

3. And he who curses his father, or his mother, shall surely be put to death.
(Shemot/Exodus 21:17)

4. You shall fear every man his mother and his father, and keep My Shabbats; I am Hashem your G-d. (Vayikra /Leviticus 19:3)

5. Anyone who curses his father or his mother shall be surely put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him. (Vayikra 20:9)

6. Honor your father and your mother, as Hashem your G-d has commanded you; that your days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with you, in the land which Hashem your G-d gives you. (Devarim 5:16)

7 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son, who will not obey the voice of his father or the voice of his mother and who, when they have chastened him, will not listen to them; Then shall his father and his mother lay hold of him, and bring him out to the elders of his city, and to the gate of his place; And they shall say to the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and
rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard. And all the men
of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die; so shall you put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear. (Devarim 21:18-21)

8. Cursed be he who dishonors his father or his mother. And all the people shall say Amen. (Devarim 27:16)


9. My son, hear the instruction of your father, and forsake not the Torah of your mother (Mishle 1:8)

10. My son, keep your father's commandment, and forsake not the Torah of your mother (Mishle 6:20) (Of course these verses speak to a Jew and not to a nonjew as a Jew is the one that keeps and guards Torah - when one learn and walks in the commandments of G-d - then G-d's Torah becomes as such his/her Torah)

11. The proverbs of Shlomo: A wise son makes a father glad; but a foolish son is the grief of his mother (Mishle 10:1)

12. A wise son hears his father's instruction; but a scorner does not accept rebuke. (Mishle 13:1)

13. A fool despises his father's instruction; but he who heeds reproof is prudent. (Mishle 15:5)

14. A wise son makes a father glad; but a foolish man despises his mother. (Mishle 15:20)
15. He who begets a fool does it to his sorrow; and the father of a fool has no joy. (Mishle 17:21)

16. A foolish son is a grief to his father, and bitterness to her who bore him. (Mishle 17:25)

17. A son who causes shame and brings reproach, ruins his father and chases away his mother. (Mishle 19:26)

18. Whoever curses his father or his mother, his lamp shall be put out in utter darkness. (Mishle 20:20)

19. Listen to your father who begot you, and despise not your mother when she is
old. (Mishle 23:22)

20. The father of the righteous shall greatly rejoice; and he who begets a wise child shall have joy of him (Mishle 23:24)

21. Whoever keeps the Torah is a wise son; but he who is a companion of riotous men shames his father. (Mishle 28:7)

22. He who robs his father or his mother, and says: This is no transgression; he is the companion of the destroyer. (Mishle 28:24)

23. He who loves wisdom makes his father glad; but he who keeps company with harlots wastes his wealth. (Mishle 29:3)

24. The eye that mocks at his father, and scorns to obey his mother, will be picked out by the ravens of the valley, and the young vultures shall eat it. (Mishle 30:17)


Do watch this 4 minute video how an adult child "honored" his elderly father
share on: facebook

Monday, November 9, 2009

248 Limbs in Human Body Parallel the 248 Positive Commandments

Each limb announces, "Observe a commandment with me, so that I will live long."
pg 115 The Torah Anthology / Yalukt ME'AM LO'EZ


30 bones in the sole of the foot, six in each toe = 60 ; total 60
10 in each ankle = 20 ; total 80
2 in the lower part of the each leg = 4 ; total 84
5 in each knee = 10 ; total 94
1 in each thigh = 2 ; total 96
6 in the hips ; total 102
11 pair of ribs = 22 ; total 124
30 in each hand, six in each finger = 60 ; total 184
2 in each forearm = 4 ; total 188
2 in each elbow = 4 ; total 192
1 in each upper arm = 2 ; total 194
4 in each shoulder = 8 ; total 202
18 vertebra in the spine ; total 220
9 bones in the head ; total 229
8 in the neck ; total 237
6 in the chest ; total 243
5 at the orfices ; total 248

There are also 365 prohibitions in the Torah, paralleling the 365 days of the solar year. Each day, from sunrise to sunset, a heavenly voice announces to man, "Take it upon yourself not to sin on this day, so as not to tilt the world to the side of liability. The world is in a state of equilibrium between good and evil. Even a minor sin can upset this equilibrium toward the side of evil and cause great damage.
share on: facebook

Thursday, November 5, 2009

It Ain't Over 'Till the Canibal Loses His Appetite


Side A (21:33)Side B (20:03)
It Ain't Over 'Till The Canibal Loses His Appetite - Tape 1
Side A (20:33)Side B (20:17)
When The Light Goes On, Where Will The Darkness Go? - Tape 2

Side A (34:27)Side B (34:16)
The Feminine Mystique - Tape 1
Side A (22:12)Side B (21:56)
Marriage: Thinking, Speaking, Doing - Tape 2
Side A (16:53)Side B (16:16)
Three kinds of Love - Tape 3

Days of Awe
Redemption Purim & Pesach

Side A (22:20)Side B (20:39)
The Seven Days of Creation - Tape 1
Side A (26:37)Side B (26:18)
A New Twist to an Old Story - Tape 2
Side A (28:17)Side B (23:30)
Putting First Things First - Tape 3
Side A (25:36)Side B (24:03)
The Soul of the Matter - Tape 4
Side A (25:30)Side B (24:26)
Like Mother, Like Daughter - Tape 5
Side A (28:20)Side B (26:54)
Intimacy, Modesty and Sexuality - Tape 6
Side A (28:34)Side B (23:54)
Elisha - The Rest of the Story - Tape 7
Side A (29:00)Side B (25:38)
An Appointment with G-d. - Tape 8
Side A (25:22)Side B (26:03)
Beyond the Male Ego - Tape 9
Side A (28:18)Side B (26:08)
Let's Talk Intimacy or 'Intimacy For Dummies' - Tape 10
Side A (24:36)Side B (26:35)
The Elements of Humility - Tape 11
Side A (25:16)Side B (25:20)
The Rebbe's Legacy - tape 1 of 2 - Tape 12
Side A (24:56)Side B (24:55)
The Rebbe's Legacy - tape 2 of 2 - Tape 13
Side A (19:11)Side B (18:16)
Its Good to Know - the Conclusion - Tape 14

Side A (30:03)Side B (25:57)
Two Holy Men and a Tartar - Tape 1

Side A (29:35)Side B (22:46)
The Crowns of Royalty - Tape 2

Side A (26:37)Side B (21:52)
Moshe Our Teacher - Tape 3

Side A (28:15)Side B (28:13)
Tape 4
Side A: Light and Shaddows
Side B: Live and Live Again

Side A (27:48)Side B (28:30)
Tape 5
Side A: He Would Not Bow
Side B: He Said And There Was

Side A (28:38)Side B (27:52)
Tape 6
Side A: The Man Who Stood On One Leg - Twice
Side B: Out Came A Golden Calf

Side A (27:01)Side B (27:38)
Tape 7
Side A: In The Vilage of Che
Side B: Spy vs. Spy

Side A (27:12)Side B (27:05)
The Purim Story - Tape 8

Side A (27:46)Side B (27:34)
Tape 9
Side A: Women and Torah
Side B: Joseph The Wagon Driver

Side A (27:40)Side B (27:47)
Tape 10
Side A The Story of Water
Side B Let's Talk Business

Tape 11
Side A: The Miser of the Town
Side B: Broad Shoulders

Tape 12
Side A: The Czar Visits the King
Side B: A Prince in Prison
share on: facebook

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Measure for Measure - Your Deeds are Rewarded or Punished

There are consequences to our actions -- consequences that reflect those actions. If you commit murder and drown others in a river to hide your crime, you will receive your punishment in the form of your crime. If you invent an unjust thing to benefit yourself at the expense of others, that unjust thing will ultimately be used against you. On the positive side, if you introduce something that benefits others, that thing will ultimately come to benefit you as well. In Hebrew it is called: midah k'neged midah -- measure for measure.


The Midrash also stresses that each of the plagues represented punishment for a particular wrong that the Egyptians did to the Jews:
1)'They made them drawers of water--and so their river was turned to blood;
2)they made them load their freight -- and the frogs destroyed it;
3)they had the Jews sweep the streets--and the dust turned into lice;
4)they made the Jews watch their children--and God flooded the country with wild animals that devoured the children ...'.
5)The Egyptians made them cattle-herders, whereupon the pestilence killed the herds.
6)They used them to prepare their baths--and then they developed boils which made it impossible for them to wash.
7)The Jews were made stone-cutters -- and God sent hailstones against the Egyptians.
8)They were forced to tend the vinyards and fields--and the locusts consumed all that grew.
9)The Egyptians sought to keep the Jews as prisoners--and were themselves shackled by the thick darkness that fell upon Egypt;
10)their murderous designs upon the Jews brought the killing of the firstborn-- and their drowning of Jewish children was repaid by their death in the Sea of Reeds (Tanchuma).


Hashem responds to our actions using 'midah k'neged midah'. This means that the response fits our act. Not simply a punishment but rather a means of revealing mistakes and rewarding proper acts. Let's see how this concept works through with the three advisors.

The ultimate end of Bilaam, who advised that the Jews should be killed, was that he was killed by the Jews. A clear example of midah k'neged midah. Yisro, who defended the Jews, ran for his life and settled in Midyan. There he met Moshe as he was fleeing from Paroah. Moshe married Yisro's daughter Tziporah, connecting Yisro to Klal Yisroel in a most intimate way. Once again, we see a very clear example of midah k'neged midah - the one who defended the Jews became part of the Jewish nation. However, when we come to the third advisor, Iyov, the connection is more difficult to understand. Iyov, who remained silent, suffered excruciating pain. How did that response fit his act?

Let's understand Iyov. He really had wanted to defend the Jews but, seeing the fate of Yisro, realized that his words would fall upon deaf ears. With nothing to gain by speaking, he remained silent. In order to reveal his error to him, Hashem sent 'yisurim', terrible pain. What does one do when experiencing intense pain? He screams! Even though the screams do nothing in terms of alleviating the pain, if it hurts, you scream. Hashem was teaching him that remaining silent showed that it didn't really bother him. Had Paroah's planned destruction of the Jews bothered him, he would have defended them.



Yaacov deceiving his brother Esav out of the rights of the firstborn and his paternal blessing, we also see Yaacov being deceived by his Uncle Lavan who duped him into marrying Leah.

Haman fabricated lies about Mordechai and his Jewish brethren in order to defame them in the eyes of King Achashverosh and to convince the king to annihilate them. Haman was punished measure for measure when Heavenly messengers appeared to King Achashverosh and made the false claim that they had been sent by Haman to destroy Achashverosh’s property and to kill the king.

* You lie to someone - someone will lie to you
* A cashier steals money - he/she finds that their money has been misplaced or stolen
* An uncaught killer strangles his victim - G-d will exact punishment in this world ; perhaps the killer will die from choking, from drowning
* You smile at someone - someone will smile back
* You give charity - in your time of need charity will be given to you
*You pray for a person to be healed - in your time of need if G-d's will you will be healed

get the picture? good deeds are rewarded with good deeds ; evil deeds are repayed with evil deeds (in this world or in the world to come) NO DEED GOES UNREWARDED OR UNPUNISHED

share on: facebook

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Ark of the Covenant of Hashem

In the movie Raiders Of The Lost Ark, the hero Indiana Jones, not only searches for the missing holy Ark, but actually finds it. But that takes place in the fictional world, not in the real world that we live in. Most Jews have totally forgotten that the Ark of the Convenant has been missing for nearly 3,000 years. The prophet Jeremiah saw that this would happen at this time (the days preceding Mashiach) when he proclaimed in 3(16), "In those days they will no longer say, The Ark of the Covenant of Hashem, and it will not come to mind, they will not mention it and will not recall it."

While current day archaeologists search Israel for the hidden Ark, 1,600 miles away in Ethiopia a "watchman" spends his entire days, weeks, months, years and lifetime guarding a sacred object. Ethiopia is the modern day name for Cush. Does anybody stop and think for a moment why Cush is mentioned in the 44th verse in Torah? G-d just completed creating the world, the universe, the animal and vegetable world, and Adam. Just 6 verses after the creation of man, Cush is mentioned. Let's examine several verses preceding the one mentioning Cush. In Genesis 2(8) "Hashem G-d planted a garden in Eden, to the east, and placed there the man whom He had formed. And Hashem G-d caused to sprout from the ground every tree that was pleasing to the sight and good for food; also the Tree of Life in the midst of the garden, and the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Bad. A river issues forth from Eden to water the garden, and from there it is divided and becomes 4 headwaters. The name of the first is Pishon, the one that encircles the whole land of Havilah, where the gold is. The gold of that land is good, the bedolach is there, and the shoham stone. The name of the second river is Gihon גיחון, the one that encircles the whole land of כּושׁ Cush." What is going on here? The holy waters of Gan Eden surrounds Cush and purifies it. Why Cush?

Let's turn the clock back to the Jewish year 2948 exactly 500 years after we left Egypt. King Solomon, the son of King David, had just completed building both the first Temple (which took 7 years) and his own magnificant palace (which took 13 years). It was at this time that the Queen of Sheba מלכּת שׁבא paid King Solomon a visit. She had heard of the King's great wisdom, and according to Kings 1, 10(1) she came to test him with riddles בּחידת. Most commentators discuss the content of the questions she asked the King and how he answered all of them. She was overwhelmed by the answers to all of her riddled questions. But there is a deeper, hidden secret in this episode. For the 793 gematria of Queen of Sheba, מלכּת שׁבא, is the same as חתם הספר, "Seal the Book." That is, until the Time of the End according to Daniel 12(4). There certainly was more that she searched for. There was a question that she needed to know. In Kings 1, 10(2) she came before Solomon and she spoke about all that was in her heart. What was this question or riddle that brought her from a distant nation? The answer is hidden in the word for riddles itself. This word, בּחידת, spoken by Hashem Himself in Numbers 12(8) is holy because it's gematria is 424, the same as משׁיח בּן דוד, Mashiach son of David. She believed that this great man, King Solomon, the true son of David, who had just completed the building of the Temple, who was the smartest person in the history of the world, was the Mashiach. He then answered her in Kings 1, 10(3), ויגד לה שׁלמה את כּל, "Solomon told her everything." What did he tell her? He told her that he couldn't be the Mashiach because certain events had to occur before the final redemption. Look at the first letters of these 5 words. They add up to 357 the same as בּרק אובּאמה, Barack Obama. Now look at the last letters of these same 5 words. They add up to 444. This is the atbash of ככלות נפּץ יד עם קדשׁ, "When the crushing of the power of the holy people." King Solomon explained to her that Mashiach cannot come until an evil, arrogant leader named Barack Obama causes havoc to the Jewish People and crushes the power they had attained through the course of history.

King Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines. He loved them all, as it says in Kings 1, 11(2), "Solomon clung to them for love." Before the Queen of Sheba left, she blessed Hashem. Then in Kings 1, 10(13) King Solomon gave the Queen of Sheba "whatever she desired." This word for desire חפצה, has an atbash gematria equal to הדבקים, "who cling." Whether or not the Queen of Sheba had any offspring through her relationship with King Solomon is not mentioned in the Tanach. The 700 year old Kebra Negast, an ancient compilation of Ethiopian traditions, is regarded as the final authority on the early history of Ethiopia. It claims, with explicit detail, that the Queen was pregnant when she left, and gave birth back in Ethiopia to a male child. King Solomon gave her a ring to give the child as proof that he was indeed his son. The child's name was Menelek, the son of King Solomon and the Queen of Sheba. Twenty years later Menelek visited his father and showed him the ring. King Solomon welcomed him and invited him to stay permanently with him. But he desired to return to Ethiopia and to his mother. Modern day Ethiopians claim that their rulers were all descended from Menelek, also known as "the son of the wise man." He would establish the kingdom of David in Ethiopia (Cush), a dynasty that would reign until Haile Selassie was overthrown in 1974. The Ethiopian nation would eventually convert from the worship of the sun, moon, and stars, to the "Lord G-d of Israel." The entire period covered 225 different kings, all descended without interruption from Menelek. It's no coincidence that it was 225 for it's the gematria of הטהור, "the clean." No wonder at all, since the waters of Gan Eden encircles the land of Ethiopia.

Let's now move ahead, 2800 years later. If you know anyone from Ethiopia, ask them a simple question. "Do you know where the Holy Ark is located?" You'll be amazed when they respond, "Of course I do. Everyone in Ethiopia knows that it is kept in a special treasury next to the Church of St. Mary of Zion in Axum, Ethiopia. They'll also tell you that the ark cannot be seen by anyone but the high priest of Axum, an elderly, holy monk who is charged with its care and preservation for life. He doesn't leave the premises and names his successor on his death bed. His name is Abba Tesfa Mariam. He is the 30th guardian in history who never left that same enclosure. He as well as the guardians before him, worship 13 hours a day in front of the Holy Ark. So how did the Ark wind up in Ethiopia?

When King Solomon realized that his son Menelek was determined to go back to his mother, the Queen of Sheba in Axum, Ethiopia, he gave him a replica of the Ark of the Covenant. This would constantly remind him of the real one and be a source of spiritual inspiration that he would need when he was so far away from Jerusalem. Menelek was escorted on his journey with men hand picked by his father. Before he reached Ethiopia he realized that someone, somehow had substituted the real Ark for the replica. Was it just an accident? Did one of the men do it and why? Is it possible that King Solomon himself did it? He was about to go back to Jerusalem when he interpreted the incident to be a message from G-d. He realized that it was divine providence that he had the possession of this sacred object. Everyone will seek to find it in Jerusalem. No one will ever think for a moment that this precious, holy item would be in the dark, uncivilized land of Cush.

Several months ago Abuna Pauolos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, claimed that the real Ark of the Covenant rests indeed in Axum. Most, if not all, Ethiopian churches contain replicas of the Ark in order to protect the secret location of the real one. If the replicas are removed they are considered impure. These replicas are considered extremely holy. He said, "The Ark of the Covenant is located in Axum, Ethiopia and only G-d knows for how much longer." He continued that, "the artifact is described perfectly in the Bible, and it is in good condition. After a meeting with the Pope in Italy it was decided that the time had come to reveal the sacred object to the world and to house it in a planned museum. A press conference was scheduled for the following day, and all the details would then be revealed to the world. But there was no press conference in Italy the next day. Some mysterious person must have spoken to him that night for he ran out of the country straight back to Ethiopia like a man running for his life. All he would say was that he was misquoted and that the Holy Ark must be protected from the "gaze of the public."

Some of you might be skeptical. Some might be in disbelief. But before you decide whether the above is the truth or just a good script for a movie or book, please bear in mind the following:

1. The atbash of כּושׁ Cush, is 112. This number represents the time period of Daniel's famous, "Time, Times, and a half of Time." See our blog entitled, "The Connection Between The Blessing Of The Sun And The Final Redemption."

2. The flag of Ethiopia during Haile Selassie's reign depicted a lion. Selassie referred to himself as "The Lion of Judah." King David, King Solomon, Menelek, and all the kings until Selassie were all descended from Judah. Currently the flag of Ethiopia portrays its national emblem, a 6 pointed star corresponding to the shield of King David.

3. Zipporah, the wife of Moses, is described in Numbers 12(1) as a Cushite woman. But she was a Midianite. Why was she described this way? Gemara Moed Katan addresses this question and discusses 3 additional cases where a non-Cushite is described as a Cushite. The answer for all 4 cases is that, "just as a Cushite is unusual in the aspect of their skin, so was Zipporah and the other people mentioned, unusual in the aspect of their deeds." But why not compare these people to Abraham our Father, if they were so filled with kindness and good deeds? It's perhaps because Zipporah and the others were unusual with respect to their purity. As we mentioned before, the Gihon river flows from Gan Eden and encircles the whole land of Cush. If a Cushite exemplifies one special trait, it must be that of purity, the same trait that illustrates the holiness of the Ark of the Convenant of Hashem.

4. The name Cush appears in the 44th verse in Torah corresponding to the 44th word, ולחשׁך, "And to the darkness" as well as to our 44th President. This indicates that at this current time when the 44th President became elected not because he was filled with kindness, good deeds or purity, but simply because he resembled a Cushite with respect to the aspect of his skin, know for sure that this is the time when the secret of the missing Ark of the Covenant of Hashem will be revealed to the world.


share on: facebook

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Obama and Tisha B'Av

The thing I love most about Barack Hussein Obama is that Hashem's fingerprints are all over him. How? He's a mere puppet in Hashem's hands, a puppet whose meteorical rise to power defies the normal course of American and world political history.

On July 27th, 2004 Senate candidate Barack Obama spoke to delegates during the Democratic National Convention in Boston. Some call it "The Speech", a 17 minute star-making turn. Obama walked on stage a total unknown and walked off as a superstar. Four months after the convention, Obama won the U.S. Senate seat in a landslide. Senate campaigns cost tons of money; no problem here either - Hashem gave Obama all he needed. Hashem wanted Obama in office...

Now hear this: July 27th, 2004 was the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, "Tisha B'Av." This is a perpetual day of calamity for the Jewish people when among other disasters, both Holy Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed. Tonight - Tisha B'Av 5769 - is the 5th anniversary of Obama's rise to power. Who would believe that a freshman senator who had no record and had barely completed half a term would be the world's most influential leader in 5 short years? Is there any similar precedent in history?

Adolf Shicklgruber (aka Heidler, which subsequently became Hitler on his German nationalization papers) was an Austrian-born Lance Corporal in the German Army in WWI. After the war, he became a beer-hall orator and sworn antisemite and German nationalist who unsuccessfully tried to sieze power by force in 1923 with his fellow Nazi rowdies. Within 10 short years, in 1933, he became the elected Chancellor of Germany.

Obama's rise to power has been twice as fast as Hitler's. Their common denominator is their fast tongue - Hitler was and Obama is a classic mass-swaying orator. If this does not stimulate the fear of G-d in your heart, then you need an urgent EKG.

Here's another interesting parallel - today's issue of Time Magazine lauds Obama for saying no to Israel about building in East Jerusalem. This is the same Time Magazine that voted Adolph Hitler Man of the Year in 1938.

Are you still not with me? I don't want to make the doomsday predicitions that the my esteemed friend Rabbi Amnon Yitzchak and the Sefardi Mekubalim are making about what's in store for the Jews on both sides of the ocean from Obama. Whether you believe in the autistics or not, they have blood-chilling forecasts about what's in store for America's Jews. This past week, Rav Eliezer Berland shlit'a said some hair-raising warnings about hostilities that could erupt before Rosh Hashana. We all must make urgent teshuva.

Tonight (Wednesday night, 29 July, 2009) is Tisha B'Av, commemorating the destruction of both our Holy Temples. Obama's rise to power began on Tisha B'Av - this is not a good sign.

I asked my beloved teacher and spiritual guide, Rabbi Shalom Arush, what we can do to turn the tides. He smiled his gorgeous smile, while tears filled his eyes, and said, "We must strengthen our emuna and spread emuna - fast. This and personal prayer will invoke Divine compassion."

Rav Shalom has been doing hours of hitbodedut every day. He's exhausted from pleading with Hashem, but he continues. He can't do this alone - we must help him, and thereby help ourselves.

Few of you will take me seriously. Few of you did when I said on July 24, 2008 - more than three months before the election - that Obama would win. I also predicted, "Mister V [a nickname we coined for Obama] will negotiate (and be buddies) with Iran, Syria, and everyone else, and Israel will stand alone with no one to turn to but Hashem." That has all come down, too.

Ovadiah was given the task of prophesizing about Esau and Edom since he came from Edom. Maybe Hashem is giving me the job of blowing the whistle about Obama because I was born in Washington, DC.

Hashem is doing everything for the best. Obama's job is to hasten the Geula by forcing us all to return to Hashem and return to our Holy Land of Israel. Start making plans now, because you never know when the gates will be slammed shut.

You won't be able to say that you didn't know.

Have an easy fast. May we all see the rebuilding of Jerusalem and the consolation of Zion, amen.

Important Notice - since tonight is Tisha B'av eve, our regular emuna-series lecture for today in the Chut Shel Chesed Yeshiva is cancelled for today, and G-d willing, will be resumed next week.

VISIT http://lazerbrody.typepad.com/lazer_beams/

share on: facebook

The Sick Person - A Must Read

So much of physical health depends on spiritual health. If in olden days emphasis was placed on "mens sana in corpore sano" (a sound mind in a healthy body), in our days it is a matter of general conviction that even a small defect spiritually, causes a grievous defect physically; and the healthier the spirit and the greater its preponderance over the physical body - the greater its ability to correct or overcome physical shortcomings; so much so, that in many cases even physical treatments, prescriptions and drugs are considerably more effective if they are accompanied by the patient's strong will and determination to cooperate.

Note that Rambam stresses how "having a totally healthy body is among the paths of (serving) God", a point emphasized further by the Mezritcher Maggid.

Since physical health depends on spiritual health, if a person becomes ill, G-d forbid, he should search his past deeds to try to identify what shortcoming may have caused the illness. However, this approach should be taken only regarding one's own lack of physical health. When one sees that another person is sick, one should not think that this was caused by a spiritual shortcoming, since we are told "Do not judge your fellow until you have stood in his place" (Avos 2:4, see Tanya Ch 30). One's first reaction to a sick person should be, to the contrary, that his sickness may well have been caused by spiritual health, as he may have weakened his body through fasting, in the process of doing teshuvah (see the Alter Rebbe's Shulchan Aruch).

The statement of the Zohar that "the weakness of the body is the strength of the soul" does not mean to say that a weakening of the body itself brings about spiritual growth. Rather, the intent of the Zohar is that the desire for physicality, for its own sake, is counter-productive to a person's spiritual growth.

Likutei Sichos of the Lubavitcher Rebbe

ONE SHOULD RECITE TEHILLIM/Psalms 41 FOR SOMEONE THAT IS SICK. Preferrably in Lashon Kodesh/Holy Tongue. However, G-d hears our prayers in any language. Please take the time to listen to a shiur/lesson on chapter 41. It is of utmost importance as this Rabbi explains each verse. There are some that visit the sick/injuried and say...."oh, how horrible - I feel bad for you. I pray you get well soon." And in his heart and on their lips they will whisper to others for the sick/injuried's downfall.

Do take time to feed your soul and listen to this lesson that is for everyone. I have also provided a link that has the loshon kodesh and english side by side.

Here is the audio and here is Tehillim/Psalm 41.
share on: facebook

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Get Those Midianite Whores Out of Your Home!

Do you think it coincidental that the Torah portion describing Israel’s whoring after the daughters of Midian fell during the week of the Fast of the 17th of Tammuz, which marks the beginning of Jerusalem’s destruction of yore?

The Torah portions of Balak and Pinchus which describe the calamity go something like this:
“And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit harlotry with their filterless computers. And the anger of the L-rd was kindled against Israel. And the L-rd said to Moshe, Take all the chiefs of the people, and hang them up before the L-rd against the sun, that the burning anger of the L-rd be turned away from Israel. And behold one of the Children of Israel came and brought to his brethren a filterless computer filled with photos and videos of Midianite women in the sight of Moshe, and in the sight of all the congregation of the Children of Israel. And when Pinchus saw it, he rose up from among the congregation and took a spear in his hand, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel and the computer. So the plague was stayed from the Children of Israel. And those that died in the plague were 24,000.”

If you think I am exaggerating when I write about the dangers of immodesty and harlotry, the Torah informs us that G-d was about to “consume the children of Israel in its entirety” for this transgression, until Pinchus rose up and rectified their sin before the eyes of all of the nation (BaMidbar, 25:10).
Even though only Zimri openly committed the act, 24,000 Jews were slain for bringing the immodest gentile women into their homes. The situation is no different today when filterless computers are brought into Jewish homes with their galleries of Midianite strumpets. Looking at them is a sin. Fantasizing about them is a sin. And spilling semen in vain is considered the gravest transgression in the Torah (Shulchan Aruch, Even HaEzer, 23:1).

And if you want to say that the Torah isn’t talking about Internet pornography, and that immodesty had nothing to do with the destruction of Jerusalem, then take a look at the prophesy of destruction in the Book of Isaiah:
“Moreover the L-rd says, Because the daughters of Zion are haughty, and walk with outstretched necks and ogling eyes, walking an mincing as they go, and making a tinkling with their feet, therefore the L-rd will smite with a scab the crown of the head of the daughters of Zion, and the L-rd will lay bare their secret parts… and it shall come to pass that instead of the sweet smell of their perfumes, there shall be a stench… and thy men shall fall by the sword, and thy mighty in the war, and the gates of Jerusalem shall both lament and mourn….” (Isaiah, 3:16-4:5).

Once again, to be fair, our hapless Jewish men and wonderful women are not to blame. They have been duped by modern Bilaams, the evil cultures, fashions, and mores of western society that have swept through Jewish homes around the world like swine flu. Bilaam knew that the natural trait of the Jewish People was modesty, as it says, “How goodly are your tents, O Yaakov” (BaMidbar, 24:4, see Rashi). He also knew that the G-d of Israel hates licentiousness (Sanhedrin 106A). Unable to curse us with words, or defeat us on the battlefield, his plan to draw us away from, and pollute, our unique Torah culture by infiltrating the immorality of Midian into our midst so that we would no longer be “a people that shall dwell alone and not be reckoned among the nations” (BaMidbar, 23:9). We have been repeatedly warned against this in the Torah, as is written: “Do not walk in the ways of the nations” (Vayikra, 20:23), and “Do not walk in their ways” (Ibid, 18:3), and “Take heed lest you be ensnared after them” (Devarim, 12:30.) The Jewish People are to keep themselves separated from the gentile nations, by living in our own Land and by guarding our own language, customs, and laws, as it is written. “For I have set you apart from all peoples” (Vayikra, 20:26).

Each and every one of you can help in the battle against Bilaam and his followers of today by dressing modestly, by safeguarding the sexual laws of the Torah, and by downloading an anti-porn Internet filter today

find Tzvi Fishman on http://www.israelnationalnews.com/ BLOGS
share on: facebook

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Fast of Tammuz 17 - Thursday, July 9

Moses Breaks Tablets (1313 BCE)

The Talmud (Taanit 28b) lists five tragic events in Jewish history that occurred on Tammuz 17, on account of which a fast was instituted on this day

The first of these occurred in 1313 BCE, forty days after the Giving of the Torah on Sivan 6.

1) Upon descending Mount Sinai and witnessing Israel's worship of the Golden Calf, Moses smashed the Tablets inscribed with the Ten Commandments which he was carrying down from the mountain.

2) The daily sacrificial offerings (Korban Tamid) in the Holy Temple were discontinued, three weeks before the Babylonians' destruction of the First Temple in 423 BCE.

The other three national tragedies mourned on Tammuz 17 are connected with the Roman conquest of Jerusalem and their destruction of the Second Temple in the year 69 Common Era:

3) The walls of the besieged city of Jerusalem were breached.
4) The Roman general Apostomus burned the Torah and,
5) placed an idol in the Holy Temple.

The fighting in Jerusalem continued for three weeks until the 9th of Av, when the Holy Temple was set aflame.

Links:The Destruction of the Holy TempleThe Three Weeks
Laws and Customs

Tammuz 17 is a fast day, devoted to mourning the breaching of Jerusalem's walls and the other tragic events that occurred on this day (see "Today in Jewish History") and repenting and rectifying their causes. We refrain from all food and drink from "daybreak" (about an hour before sunrise, depending on location) until nightfall. Special prayers and Torah readings are added to the day's services.

For eight hundred and thirty years there stood an edifice upon a Jerusalem hilltop which served as the point of contact between heaven and earth. So central was this edifice to the relationship between man andG-d that nearly two-thirds of the mitzvot are contingent upon its existence. Its destruction is regarded as the greatest tragedy of our history, and its rebuilding will mark the ultimate redemption-the restoration of harmony within G-d's creation and between G-d and His creation.A full three weeks of our year-the three weeks "between the strictures" of Tammuz 17 (July 9) and Av 9 (July 29-30)- are designated as a time of mourning over the destruction of the Holy Temple and the resultant galut-physical exile and spiritual displacement-in which we still find ourselves. -continue
share on: facebook

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Tehillim/Psalms - A Must Read

The book of Psalms begins with a guide to life itself. Avoid the influence of evildoers and those who ridicule good, and adopt the study and knowledge of Torah as your main goal. Then G-d will reward you with a life of joy and good fortune.

Chapter 1 verse 2

ב כִּי אִם בְּתוֹרַת יְהוָה, חֶפְצוֹ; וּבְתוֹרָתוֹ יֶהְגֶּה, יוֹמָם וָלָיְלָה.
2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night.

Chapter 19 verse 8

Contemplation of nature and study of Torah will both teach man to recognize his Creator. But it is only the Torah that can teach how to relate to G-d and how to achieve spiritual fulfilment.

ח תּוֹרַת יְהוָה תְּמִימָה, מְשִׁיבַת נָפֶשׁ; עֵדוּת יְהוָה נֶאֱמָנָה, מַחְכִּימַת פֶּתִי.
8 The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

Chapter 105 verse 45

G-d guides the course of history; seemingly unrelated events are tied together to bring about a society of all mankind governed by G-d's holy Torah.

מה בַּעֲבוּר, יִשְׁמְרוּ חֻקָּיו-- וְתוֹרֹתָיו יִנְצֹרוּ;הַלְלוּ-יָהּ.
45 That they might keep His statutes, and observe His laws. {N}Hallelujah.

Chapter 119 verse 1

An alphabetical arrangement - eight verses for each letter - that describes the ceaseless striving to faithfully live a Torah-true life regardless of time, place, circumstance or social environment.

א אַשְׁרֵי תְמִימֵי-דָרֶךְ-- הַהֹלְכִים, בְּתוֹרַת יְהוָה.
1 Happy are they that are upright in the way, who walk in the law of the LORD.

verse 44

מד וְאֶשְׁמְרָה תוֹרָתְךָ תָמִיד-- לְעוֹלָם וָעֶד.
44 So shall I observe Thy law continually for ever and ever;

verse 53

נג זַלְעָפָה אֲחָזַתְנִי, מֵרְשָׁעִים-- עֹזְבֵי, תּוֹרָתֶךָ.
53 Burning indignation hath taken hold upon me, because of the wicked that forsake Thy law.

verse 142

קמב צִדְקָתְךָ צֶדֶק לְעוֹלָם; וְתוֹרָתְךָ אֱמֶת.
142 Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and Thy law is the truth.

The Torah Prophets teach us how to seek salvation from our sins.

יט וַאֲמַרְתֶּם, מַדֻּעַ לֹא-נָשָׂא הַבֵּן בַּעֲו‍ֹן הָאָב; וְהַבֵּן מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה עָשָׂה, אֵת כָּל-חֻקּוֹתַי שָׁמַר וַיַּעֲשֶׂה אֹתָם--חָיֹה יִחְיֶה.
Ezekiel 18:19 Yet say ye: Why doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father with him? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all My statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live.

כ הַנֶּפֶשׁ הַחֹטֵאת, הִיא תָמוּת: בֵּן לֹא-יִשָּׂא בַּעֲו‍ֹן הָאָב, וְאָב לֹא יִשָּׂא בַּעֲו‍ֹן הַבֵּן--צִדְקַת הַצַּדִּיק עָלָיו תִּהְיֶה, וְרִשְׁעַת רשע (הָרָשָׁע) עָלָיו תִּהְיֶה. {ס}
20 The soul that sinneth, it shall die; the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father with him, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son with him; (Dear christian readers - this means that "J" can not bear your iniquity. You are accountable for your own sins) righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

כא וְהָרָשָׁע, כִּי יָשׁוּב מִכָּל-חַטֹּאתָו אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה, וְשָׁמַר אֶת-כָּל-חֻקוֹתַי, וְעָשָׂה מִשְׁפָּט וּצְדָקָה--חָיֹה יִחְיֶה, לֹא יָמוּת.
21 But if the wicked turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all My statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die.

כב כָּל-פְּשָׁעָיו אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה, לֹא יִזָּכְרוּ לוֹ: בְּצִדְקָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה, יִחְיֶה.
22 None of his transgressions that he hath committed shall be remembered against him; for his righteousness that he hath done he shall live.

כג הֶחָפֹץ אֶחְפֹּץ מוֹת רָשָׁע, נְאֻם אֲדֹנָי יְהוִה: הֲלוֹא בְּשׁוּבוֹ מִדְּרָכָיו, וְחָיָה.{
23 Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD; and not rather that he should return from his ways, and live?

כד וּבְשׁוּב צַדִּיק מִצִּדְקָתוֹ, וְעָשָׂה עָוֶל, כְּכֹל הַתּוֹעֵבוֹת אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה הָרָשָׁע יַעֲשֶׂה, וָחָי--כָּל-צִדְקֹתָו אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה לֹא תִזָּכַרְנָה, בְּמַעֲלוֹ אֲשֶׁר-מָעַל וּבְחַטָּאתוֹ אֲשֶׁר-חָטָא בָּם יָמוּת.
24 But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? None of his righteous deeds that he hath done shall be remembered; for his trespass that he trespassed, and for his sin that he hath sinned, for them shall he die.

כה וַאֲמַרְתֶּם, לֹא יִתָּכֵן דֶּרֶךְ אֲדֹנָי: שִׁמְעוּ-נָא, בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל, הֲדַרְכִּי לֹא יִתָּכֵן, הֲלֹא דַרְכֵיכֶם לֹא יִתָּכֵנוּ.
25 Yet ye say: The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel: Is it My way that is not equal? is it not your ways that are unequal?

כו בְּשׁוּב-צַדִּיק מִצִּדְקָתוֹ וְעָשָׂה עָוֶל, וּמֵת עֲלֵיהֶם: בְּעַוְלוֹ אֲשֶׁר-עָשָׂה, יָמוּת. {ס}
26 When the righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, he shall die therefor; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. {S}

כז וּבְשׁוּב רָשָׁע, מֵרִשְׁעָתוֹ אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה, וַיַּעַשׂ מִשְׁפָּט, וּצְדָקָה--הוּא, אֶת-נַפְשׁוֹ יְחַיֶּה.
27 Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.

כח וַיִּרְאֶה וישוב (וַיָּשָׁב), מִכָּל-פְּשָׁעָיו אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה--חָיוֹ יִחְיֶה, לֹא יָמוּת.
28 Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die.
Chapter Descriptions from The Schottenstein Edition The Book of Psalms with an Interlinear Translation - Mesorah Publishers

share on: facebook

Friday, July 3, 2009

A Time of Terrible Distress

When Hillary Rodham Clinton lost the Democratic Nomination for President to Barack Hussein Obama, many thought that she would disappear from the world stage for years. But her name in Hebrew hinted that something different would happen. Our attention was gained by her unique name expressed in Hebrew letters. Never before did we see the following occur in anyone's name. Hillary הילרי, Rodham רודהם, and Clinton קלינטון each have a gematria of 255. Imagine that a person's first name, middle name and last name all have the same exact value! When the value of the entire name is calculated, the total gematria is 765 (255x3), the same value as עת צרה (Time of terrible distress). This finding indicated that Hillary would not disappear into the sunset so quickly. She would be (as she has become) an influential voice reprimanding the State of Israel.

The term עת צרה comes from the Book of Daniel 12(1) which describes the time when Michael, the guardian angel of Israel, will stand in defense of his people at this time of catastrophe. The atbash gematria of עת צרה is 106, the same value as the letter נ nun, spelled out נון.

No verse in the Ashrei prayer (Psalm 145) begins with the letter נ nun. There are 21 verses in this psalm and each verse (in order) begins with the remaining 21 letters of the Hebrew aleph bet. This is because in the verse that speaks of G-d supporting the fallen, the letter נ can be taken as an allusion to the word נפילה, Israel's future downfall, G-d forbid. King David refused to use a letter to begin a verse that could suggest such tragedy. But knowing that downfalls must take place as they have throughout our history, King David comforted Israel with the verse that begins with the letter ס samech (the letter that follows the nun in the Hebrew alphabet). The full verse beginning with the samech states "Hashem supports all the fallen ones and straightens all those who are bent." With this verse, King David made a guarantee to the Jewish People that even when a dreaded downfall occurs, the people can count on Hashem's support.

Today, the leader of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahou בּנימין נתניהו, has not one, but 4 nuns in his name, representing the 4 exiles of the Jewish People. We have gone from one exile to another, falling down and then being lifted up by Hashem. We kept falling into galus because we would not learn from our mistakes and make adjustments in our lives. The purpose of falling is to arise and lift ourselves to a higher level, not to the same plane. When G-d tests us in our personal lives and we fall down through illness, financial setbacks or person tragedy, we must pull ourselves not only back to where we were before the fall, but to greater heights.
In a previous blog that we posted on 5/25/09 dealing with The Blessing Of The Sun, we mentioned that our calculation of Daniel's famous "Time, Times and a half of Time," resulted in a time being 32, times being 64, and a half being 16. Thus, 112 represents the entire end period. Of course, no one knows whether it's 112 hours, days, weeks or years from a point in time. This will be revealed by Hashem in due course.

The question arises why 3 1/2 and not 4? Shouldn't there be a relationship between the 4 exiles and the final time period releasing us from exile permanently? If the other half (16) would be added on, the total time period would rise to 128 which would equal the word סומך, "to support." Perhaps our redemption is being held up by the imperfect 3 1/2. Perhaps our redemption will be realized when we can turn the imperfect 3 1/2 into 4 (representing all our exiles). How can we do this? When we finally push our arrogance aside and acknowledge that it wasn't because of our merits, or our actions, or the actions of our leaders or our armies that brought us out of our previous exiles, but by the HAND OF G-D that saved us over and over again. Then we can finally change the 3 1/2 time period into 4 complete periods and adjust the total value from 112 to 128. For it has always been Hashem that supports us like a parent encouraging, lifting up and supporting their child learning to walk. It has always been our Father In Heaven, and it's time to acknowledge that. The 16 (1/2 of time) that has been missing equals בּיד (by a hand). We must realize that to survive the terrible Time of Distress that the Jewish People will shortly face, we must grab and hold on to Hashem's Hand.

The letter נ is the 14th letter in the aleph bet. This is the gematria of דוד (David) whose descendant will shortly be sent by G-d to redeem us. May we all dance with joy when that wonderful moment arises.

visit the source
share on: facebook

Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Month of Tammuz

According to Sefer Yetzirah, each month of the Jewish year has a letter of the Hebrew alphabet, a zodiac sign, one of the twelve tribes of Israel, a sense, and a controlling limb of the body that correspond to it.

Tamuz is the fourth of the twelve months of the Jewish calendar. The month of Tamuz begins the "season" (tekufah) of the summer. The three months of this season, Tamuz, Av and Elul, correspond to the three tribes of the camp of Reuben--Reuben, Simeon and Gad--who were situated to the south).

Tamuz is the month of the sin of the golden calf, which resulted in the breaking of the Tablets. On that very day, the 17th of Tamuz, begins the three week period (ending on the 9th of Av) which commemorates the destruction of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

This is the month that the spies sent by Moses traveled through the land of Israel to see it and report to the people. (They returned on the eve of the 9th of Av).

Letter: chet. The form of the letter chet is composed of the two previous letters of the Hebrew alef-beit, the vav and the zayin (corresponding to the two previous months of Iyar and Sivan) connected from above by a thin "bridge."

In relation to the sense of sight, the form of the chet represents the dynamic of spiritual light being emitted from the eyes (the vav) and physical light returning from the object observed, to the eyes (the zayin).

The word Tamuz reads in Hebrew: "tam"--"connect together," "consummate"--vav zayin--the two letters that together form the chet.

Mazal: sartan (Cancer-crab)

One of the meanings of the root of sartan, seret, is a visual "strip," in general, or (as in modern Hebrew) a "film" strip in particular. The spiritual sense of sight of Tamuz is the ability to "see through" physical reality to behold its Divine source. In accordance with this thought, the word sartan is understood as being composed of two words--sar tan--which literally reads: "remove the body" (in order to reveal the soul), i.e. remove the outer "shell" of reality (by means of the power of concentrated sight) in order to reveal reality's inner "fruit" and lifeforce.

Tribe: Reuben. The name Reuben comes from the root "to see," the sense of Tamuz. The precious stone of Reuben in the breast-plate of the high priest is the odem, the ruby (from Reuben), which due to its brilliant red color (odem means red) is the most sensually visible of the stones. Red is the most seductive of all colors, implying either the fall of man (in Hebrew odem [red] has the same spelling as adam [man]), as in the sin of the golden calf, or the ultimate rise and rectification of man, with the coming of Mashiach.Sense: sight. The summer (the period of Tamuz) is the "holiday" of the eyes. It is the time that one must "guard" his eyes to see only that which is good (in the world in general and in his fellow man in particular) and modest. The ability to guard and focus one's eyesight correctly is the rectified "sense" of sight.

At the end of Moses' blessing Israel he said (Deuteronomy 33:28): "betach badad ein Yaacov--sure, alone, is the eye of Jacob." The word betach, "sure," is an acronym for three words: bracha tov chayim, blessing good and life. These are the three focus-points of rectified eyesight, as is said (Deuteronomy 11:26): "See, I give before you today blessing and curse. The blessing...," and subsequently (Deuteronomy 30:15-19): "See, I have given before you today life and good, and death and evil...and you shall chose life." In relation to these three one must train one's eyes (both spiritual and physical) to see only the inner positive dimension of reality and not to focus upon reality's outer, negative "shell." This is the meaning of "sure, alone, is the eye of Jacob." The sense of the Jewish eye ("the eye of Jacob") is to only ("alone") see that which is "sure"--G-d's blessing, good and life.

Controller: right hand
The right hand, in general, and its index finger, in particular, serves to direct and focus one's eyesight. When reading the Torah scroll, it is a custom to point at every word with a silver "finger." It is also a custom to use the right hand to make signs to indicate the cantillation nuances for the reader of the Torah. The wedding ring is placed by the groom on the index finger of the bride's right hand. This elevates the couple to the level of "my dove" (Song of Songs 5:2), the intense expression of love transmitted by the never ceasing gaze of the eyes one to the other (turning the eyes as red as a ruby)--"your eyes are as doves," (Song of Songs 5:12)

visit www.shiratdevorah.blogspot.com
share on: facebook

Friday, June 19, 2009

The First Ray of Redemption

Daniel 7(23) speaks about the 4th beast of exile (the exile of Edom and Yishmael). Whereas the majority of this exile dealt with the power and control of Edom, the final stage has shifted to Yishmael's might and their lack of concern for the lives of others. Verse 24 states that this beast of exile will have 10 horns (meaning 10 kings), and then an 11th one will arise different from the former ones.
Notice that the number 11 is once again involved. As we have mentioned in several writings, the number 11 represents the current exile of Yishmael. Verse 25 continues to speak about the 11th horn or king (the final one). He will speak words against G-d, will exhaust the strength of the Jewish People, and will try to "change" השׁניה the times and the laws.
The Jewish People will, G-d forbid, be under his rule for a certain period of time, known only to Hashem. When you study the description of this "final king" with your eyes opened, you realize that King Obama is the one that is being referred to. He is the king who will "change everything" in his kingdom, especially as it affects the Jewish People. To doubt this and say instead, "Let's give him a chance. Let's see how he does. He really means well," is to repeat the same mistakes the Jewish People made 70 years ago in Germany. But all is not bleak and grave. In fact, Obama and the darkness he has brought to the world through his arrogant mouth, has actually let in a dim light of hope. He can't see it, or understand it.
When Avrohom took his son Yitzchok to offer him up on the altar according to G-d's command, they saw the location that G-d had shown them. They were escorted by Eliezer and Yishmael, and asked them, "have you also seen what we have seen on that distant mountain?" They replied, "we do not see anything, only a mountain." Avrohom knew then that they could not go any further and told them to stay behind with the donkey.
Obama too cannot see the first ray of redemption. He can only see the darkness that he has created. How appropriate it is that the 44th word in Torah corresponding to the 44th President is ולחשׁך, (and to the darkness). The word that he has made famous השׁניה meaning "change" has the same gematria as "speedily in our days" בּמהרה בימינו. This very term which has been used by Jewish men, women, and children for thousands of years as a wish that our redemption would come suddenly, and during our lives, is a term that is connected to the "change" that Obama has brought to the world. But like Yishmael who was left behind to stay with the donkey, Obama cannot see the holy mountain that Avrohom saw. He can only see the darkness caused by his changes while the Jewish People see the first ray of redemption.

http://redemption5768.blogspot.com/ <<<< source
share on: facebook

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Sin of the Spies

We were like grasshoppers in our eyes, and so we were in their eyes. [Shelach 13:33]Rashi comments, "We heard them (the Canaanites) say, 'There are ants crawling in our vineyards.'"

Horav Ovadiah m'Bartenura wonders why Rashi adds the word "ants" when, in fact, the spies said, "We were like grasshoppers." He explains that when one views himself as a grasshopper, others will view him as something even smaller, such as an ant. A number of psychological insights may be derived from the spies' misconception of themselves and what the Canaanites thought of them, especially in light of the Bartenura's observation.

First, as noted by Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski, in all likelihood, the spies did not understand the Canaanite language. Yet, they were certain what they were talking about. This teaches us that when one feels inadequate, he is likely to conclude that others have a similar feeling about him, that they are discussing his ineptitude and are probably expanding upon it.

Second, there is a descending progression concerning feelings of low self-esteem. The spies initially felt like grasshoppers, but this feeling soon had them shrinking to the size of ants.
Last, what one feels about himself will invariably be reflected in a less positive form by others. In other words, people think less of you than what you think of yourself, because you project the perception of your own insufficiency.

Having said this, we examine the sin of the meraglim, spies, and the tragic effect it had on the entrance of the Jewish people into Eretz Yisrael, from the perspective that their low self-esteem catalyzed the problem. Indeed, the Kotzker Rebbe, zl, comments that the spies' remark was at the root of their sin. They had no right to take to heart what the Canaanites had said about them. As Jews, we are emissaries of the Almighty with a positive mission in this world. That is all that matters to us - not public opinion.

As mentioned earlier, however, it is quite possible the Jews misconceived and misconstrued the Canaanites opinion of them. In their negativity, they conjured up an opinion of themselves that was quite removed from the truth. The spies, regrettably, saw demons at every juncture in their lives. They had become victims of their own low self esteem.

How did this occur? This was the nation that had experienced the exodus from Egypt with its accompanying miracles. They had stood at Har Sinai and received the Torah amidst the greatest wonders and miracles. How could they think negatively of themselves?

We suggest that in order to affect a solution to a problem, one must first be aware that the problem exists. In other words, the solution to low self-esteem is to live a Torah life totally committed to observing all 613 mitzvos and various Rabbinic enactments and safeguards. This lifestyle rallies a person to a status of kedushah, holiness, in which every action in his life is performed to fulfill the Divine will.

While that may be a possible solution, it can correct a self esteem problem only once it has been firmly acknowledged. Most of us are either clueless in diagnosing the problem, or blind-either purposely or unknowingly-to its existence. Correcting the self-image distortion can only occur once this malady has been acknowledged.

There are two forms of low self-esteem: first, the one in which the individual has an appropriately low opinion of himself, and the second, in which the feeling of negativity is unwarranted and unsupported. Some people feel that their inadequacies are real - and they are. Others, however, have an incorrect self-perception, thus creating a low sense of self-esteem that is unjustified.

Many people see themselves as less than they really are. Some of the most successful people see themselves as failures, refusing to accept their success and finding ways to mitigate the situation. Rabbi Twerski explains that, paradoxically some of the most gifted and competent individuals develop a negative self-image as if they are looking through a trick lens in such a manner that what they perceive is actually the opposite of reality.

Let us take the example of the physician who spends his every waking moment either in his office or in the hospital attending to patients. This goes on for 365 days a year. No rest, no vacation - utter devotion to his work. Admired by his patients, revered by his colleagues, those around him think that his wife must be a shrew. Why else would a man so consistently avoid being home?

Years later, when his wife consults a therapist for severe depression, she explains that while her husband has been a wonderful person and a great material provider, he has never been home. The children have never had a father, and she has never had a husband. The emotional relationship and support that a husband and parent should provide had been non-existent. This woman is otherwise a very gentle, intelligent and compassionate person, quite unlike the perception that her husband's behavior has implied. Wherein lay the problem?

After subsequently meeting with the physician/husband, the therapist comes to understand that although the physician knows himself to be competent as a doctor, he perceives himself to be inefficacious as a person. As a human being, he has no identity, no self-worth - a total zero! He has not felt capable of providing his family with the emotional support that they have needed. He, therefore, has gravitated away from home to the hospital, the office, or wherever it has been more "comfortable" than "facing the music" at home. He has deluded himself and, thus, has been suffering the serious detrimental side effects of his self-imposed negativity.

People can convince themselves that they are unworthy. Klal Yisrael experienced an unparalleled Divine Revelation filled with wonders and miracles. This should have elevated anyone. Alas, there are those who feel that they are unworthy of Hashem's favor, of His Revelation, of His miracles. They feel their spiritual position is not exalted. Rather than allow Hashem to make the decision, they continue on with their feelings of rejection and unworthiness.
Distorted self-perception results in unwarranted loss of self-esteem, which leads to a variety of emotional distresses and behavioral maladjustments. The spies were great people with tremendous strengths, skills and capabilities, which they should have used in the service of Hashem. Had they not been, they would not have been chosen to represent the nation in scouting out the land. Regrettably, they were not cognizant of their own exalted status; thus, they allowed their own misconceptions to prevail.

It has been called the "grasshopper syndrome." In essence, it is much more than that because the Canaanites never called them grasshoppers. It was the spies who wrongly perceived this. It was, instead, a case of misperceived self-identity. They had no clue to who they actually were.
In conclusion, perhaps the following vignette sums up the spies sin and places it and its catalysts in their proper perspective. The Kotzker Rebbe, zl, once approached a chasid who had come to his court, asking, "Why have you come here?" "I have come to find G-d," the chasid replied."It is unfortunate that you came so far and spent so much to waste your time," the Rebbe countered. "G-d is everywhere. You could have found Him just as well had you stayed at home.""If so, for what purpose should I have come?" the chasid asked."To find yourself," the Rebbe answered. "You should have come to find yourself!"

Many of us are seeking and looking for something that is right in front of us. Our problem is that we - not the object which we are seeking - are lost.More at Pure Torah

share on: facebook

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Living in the Promised Land - Video

Song sung by Willie Nelson. Beautiful.

share on: facebook

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Seafaring Converts Who Came to Zion:

My Search for the Soul of Zion – 75

The Seafaring Converts Who Came to Zion:


In the previous letter, we discussed a prayer on behalf of the gerei tzedek which appears in the weekday Shemoneh Esrei. According to an ancient midrashic work known as Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer, the sages who composed this prayer were inspired by the story of the sailors in the Book of Jonah, as our tradition teaches that these sailors went up to Jerusalem and became gerei tzedek. In this letter, we will discuss this fascinating story and some of the various commentaries, including the commentary which appears in Chapter Ten of Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer:

Dear Friends,

Within our Sacred Scriptures, we find the Book of Jonah. It tells a haunting and moving story about Jonah, the Prophet, and his encounter with a group of sailors who later become “gerei tzedek” – converts who are committed to the Torah’s path of tzedek. Jonah received a Divine call to go to Nineveh, the capital city of Assyria, which was known for its corruption and theft. Assyria was also an enemy of Israel; nevertheless, Jonah was commanded by Hashem, the Compassionate and Life-giving One, to go the capital city of the enemy, as it is written:

“And the word of Hashem came to Jonah son of Amittai saying, ‘Arise! Go to Nineveh, the great city, and call out against her, for their wickedness has ascended before Me.’ ” (Jonah 1:1,2)

As the Book of Jonah later reveals, the purpose of Jonah’s journey was to inspire them to abandon their corrupt ways and return to Hashem; moreover, the Book of Jonah records that they did repent, and Hashem therefore spared them (Jonah 3:10).

What was Jonah’s initial reaction to the Divine call to go to Nineveh? Jonah tried to flee from his mission, as it is written:

“But Jonah arose to flee to Tarshish from before Hashem’s Presence. He went down to Jaffa and found a ship bound for Tarshish; he paid its fare and boarded it to travel with them to Tarshish from before Hashem’s Presence.” (1:3)

It seems strange that he would attempt to flee from his mission; moreover, the Jerusalem Talmud (Succah 5:1) states that the Divine call came to him in Jerusalem during the Festival of Succos, when Israel brings seventy offerings of atonement on behalf of the seventy primary nations of the world. Through these seventy offerings of atonement, the nations would merit life and sustenance during the coming year. Since this is a season when Israel seeks the atonement of all the nations, why did Jonah refuse to obey a Divine mandate to call upon one of these nations to atone for its corrupt ways?

According to one answer given by our sages and cited by the commentator, Radak, in his commentary on Jonah 1:1, the prophet was concerned that the people of Nineveh might actually heed his call; in other words, he was afraid that his mission would succeed! Jonah did not want his mission to succeed, for if the people of Nineveh did repent, it would point an accusing finger at those in Israel who refused to heed the many warnings of the prophets to correct their ethical and spiritual shortcomings. Jonah therefore chose to protect the honor of Israel by fleeing from his mission. As the next passage reveals, Hashem did not allow the prophet to escape his mission:

“Then Hashem cast a mighty wind toward the sea; there was a great tempest in the sea, and the ship threatened to split. The sailors became frightened and they cried out, each to his god; they cast the wares that were on the ship into the sea to lighten it for them. But Jonah descended to the ship’s holds, and he lay down and fell fast asleep.” (1:4,5)

Rashi, in his commentary on the words, “they cried out, each to his god,” cites the following teaching from Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer: There were representatives of each of the seventy nations on Jonah’s ship. Jonah did not wish to accept a Divine mission which served as a reminder of Hashem’s concern for the seventy nations; yet, on the ship that was to help him escape, Jonah is confronted with representatives of the seventy nations! The Book of Jonah then describes the reaction of the captain and all the sailors on the ship:

“The ship’s captain approached him and said to him, ‘How can you sleep so soundly? Arise! Call to your God! Perhaps God will think of us and we will not perish.’ Then they said one to another, ‘Come let us cast lots that we may determine on whose account this misfortune is upon us.’
So they cast lots and the lot fell on Jonah. They said to him, ‘Tell us now, because of whom has this evil befallen us? What is your trade? And from where do you come? What is your land? And of what people are you?’

He said to them, ‘I am a Hebrew, and I revere Hashem, the God of the Heavens, Who made the sea and the dry land.’

The men were frightened with great fear and they said to him, ‘What is this that you have done?’ – For the men knew that it was from before Hashem that he was fleeing, for he had told them. They said to him, ‘What must we do to you so that the sea will subside from upon us? For the sea grows stormier!’

He said to them, ‘Pick me up and heave me into the sea and the sea will calm down from upon you; for I know that it is because of me that this great tempest is upon you.’ ” (1:6-12)

As the next passage indicates, the sailors were initially reluctant to fulfill his request:

“The men rowed hard to return to the shore, but they could not, because the sea was growing stormier upon them. They called out to Hashem, and said, ‘Please Hashem, let us not perish now on account of this man’s soul and do not reckon it against us as innocent blood, for You, Hashem, as You wished, so have you done.’ So they lifted Jonah and heaved him into the sea, and the sea stopped its raging.” (1:13-15)

The Boo k of Jonah adds: “Then the men felt a great awe of Hashem; they offered a sacrifice to Hashem and took vows.” (1:16)

The commentators interpret the above verse to mean that the sailors took upon themselves to bring offerings to Hashem in Jerusalem. What were the vows that they took? Rashi explains that they vowed to become converts. Rashi’s explanation is based on the commentary of Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer. According to this midrashic work, the sailors on the ship witnessed the miracles which happened to the prophet, as described in the Book of Jonah. A very large fish swallowed Jonah, and he remained alive in the fish’s innards for three days and three nights. From within the fish, he prayed to Hashem for deliverance and he was answered, as it states: “Then Hashem addressed the fish, and it spewed out Jonah onto dry land” (2:11). Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer teaches that after the sailors witnessed these miraculous events, they threw their idols into the sea, and they returned to the port of Jaffa. They then went up to Jerusalem, where they became gerei tzedek; moreover, they vowed to also bring their families to the service of the One God. According to Pirkei D’ Rabbi Eliezer, the sages who composed the prayer for gerei tzedek in the Shemoneh Esrei were inspired by the story of the sailors from the seventy nations who became gerei tzedek and others like them..

Rabbi David Luria was a leading 19th century sage who wrote a noted commentary on Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer, and he cites the tradition that Jonah was from the Tribe of Zevulun (Jerusalem Talmud, Succah 5:1). According to Rabbi David Luria, the story of Jonah and the sailors from the seventy nations who came up to Jerusalem is alluded to in the following blessing given by Moshe Rebbeinu to the seafaring Tribe of Zevulun:

“They shall call peoples to the mountain; there they shall sacrifice offerings of tzedek” (Deuteronomy 33:19).

The commentator, Rashi, in his second explanation of the above blessing, explains that Zevulun – a tribe engaged in maritime commerce – would attract merchants from other peoples to visit the Land of Israel. These merchants will then say to each other: “Since we have already taken the trouble to come this far, let us continue to Jerusalem and see what divinity is worshiped by this nation and what are the deeds of this nation.” When they come to Jerusalem, they will notice how all the diverse tribes of Israel are united through their belief in one God and through their devotion to one path; as a result, they will be inspired to convert, and they will bring offerings of tzedek on the Mountain of Hashem in Jerusalem. (Based on the midrashic commentary, Sifri)

According to the above explanation of Rashi, the seafaring Tribe of Zevulun is to attract merchants from the peoples of the earth to the Land of Israel. In this way, they will go up to Jerusalem, where they will be inspired by the spiritual example of Israel and convert. The Prophet Jonah was from the Tribe of Zevulun, and in his own way, he inspired a group of sailors from the peoples to come to Jerusalem and convert. Jonah therefore helped to fulfill the universal role of his tribe: “They shall call peoples to the mountain!”

Yosef Ben Shlomo Hakohen

Most of the letters in this series appear in the archive on our website.
Hazon – Our Universal Vision: www.shemayisrael.com/publicat/hazon
share on: facebook