Amalek and Confusion
- Written by Shlomo Werner
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The Gematria Hint connecting Ilhan Omar to Haman Amalek
Our good friend , Boruch Fishelowiitz, who has been sending us incredible torah words for some time now, just sent me an incredible connection between Ilhan Omar and Haman Amalek. We just posted the article and had to comment on it.
I asked myself a question. Why a woman?War is with men , no?
Today , no.Not only that , the main strength of women is in the mouth (please any lady , reading forgive ; I mean no bad).
Rashi mentions that Amalek used kishuf (' black magic '- kishuf - that which contradicts the natural divine ways) .That was the strength of the 'snake' in the garden , which 'talked' Chava into sin.The entirety of Amalek is empty.Falsehood has no base; today is the age of fake news. Everything is confusion and doubt, here and in Israel. If they can't beat us at war; confuse issues so that we 'beat each other".
If israel was thrown into exile repeatedly because of sinas chinum and bittul torah, then the refuah need be, ahavas chinum and the acceptance of torah (the only ultimate foundation for truth).
A Freilich Purim!
the Space IL Launch on Falcon X , on Washington's Birthday
- Written by Shlomo Werner
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A "Yankee " Liftoff in the week of Purim Kattan ,
Shalach Manos on Washington's Birthday
So what you say ? Why am I, an Orthodox Jew , devoted to the holy talmud,so excited?And what is this thing about Purim Kattan and Washington ?
The foundation of our faith , and of our survival through all of history against incredible odds, is that there is no such thing as ``chance.And even if we can't see clearly the hand of haShem, and all is hidden in Nature, nevertheless,it is 'haKodosh Boruch Hu' ,the 'blessed one' guiding and bringing about all that happens. This is the overriding message of Purim.When we thought all was lost and we were finished as a People, the Creator reveals Himself as our all loving "Father" , no matter how far we might have strayed.
On a leap year like this , Purim Kattan , the 14th ànd 15th of Adar Rishon, fall out in the week we read of the sin of the golden calf and which ultimately led to our dispersion amongst the Nations, and of the breaking of the luchos rishonim and rewriting of the luchos sheniim.
Our meforshim explain that Moshe received a 'thankyou' from haShem, because the breaking of the luchos and the subsequent prayers and teshuva for the new, renewed our kesher with Kudhse B'rich Hu, brought down to this world, new luchos, which through toil, love and devotion ,gave us a much deeper and everlasting connection with the torah.The same happened hundreds of years later; the second Temple,(after 70 years of exile, with the miracle of Purim) though it lacked the 5 miracles which were daily found in the first Temple, had greater honour , and actually all the ever growing body of torah she b'al peh, the oral law, as represented in the miracle of Chanuka started in the second Temple.
There is a mesora, going back to the Gaon from Vilna, that the last journey for the Jewish people in 'golus Edom'-- Esau' before we return Home, would be in America.And that , somehow, that last nation would be better than previous ones(though not completely). One of the reasons given for the name 'chazir' describing Eisav is the in the future eh will 'return ' the ingdom to Israel.The incredible symbiosys we see going on now in world history is a direct reflection of that medrash.
There is a legend (and I don't believe , I've yet seen any clear proof of its veracity), that Washington was ready to give up , just before an important battle, but then 'happened', on a yiddish soldier lighting his Chanuka light, and that was what gave him the courage to go forward to eventually win the war.It always sounded to me kind of preposterous, a 'frum yiddle' in the middle of nowhere?
Lo and behold, last week, the good people responsible for the Inyan magazine gave us a well documented article by Rabbi Menachem Levine about the Jew who saved the American Revolution - Haym Salomon, who basically single handidly financed the War effort (and died penniless as they never paid him or his heirs back).Salomon was a proud and observant Jew ,involved in the active Orthodox congregation , Mikve Israel in Philadelphia, now known as the synagogue of the American Revolution.
So you thought it was the religious Quakers made America a religious and moral country? No. It was the quiet Yidden busy, worldy and doing good, building a stable civilization , acting as always ,in every generation of golus as the Yosefs, Abarbanels, Rothchilds, and so on (and being paid so often with hate and ayin ra).
I don't know about the Chanuka light story, but what is documented is that in 1781 the Continental Army had trapped Cornwallis and was ready to deliver the final blow, but the war chest was completely empty.
Washington told his superintendent for finance , Robert Morris ,'Send for Haym Salomon,' and so the Revolution was saved.
In our day we are seeing ,in general an incredible 'partnership' between our people and the United States of America, to the extent that the 'heads ' of the two countries seem to have their lives almost intertwined.So,it struck me that the hasgacha of this launch coming when it did speaks volumes.
I don't know if the other members of Bereshet are observant , but at least ,one ,Arile Gomez, is.What makes this really exciting is that it is in the most true 'Yankee Spirit ' of free enterprise, mixed with a little 'chutzpa and Yiddish ingenuity. What we as Yidden have taught the world in all of history, is that "Freedom' must go with 'Responsibilty'. And yes, they asked shaalos, guidance from gedolim.
if I remember the possuk , 'V'yhi Dovid maskil bchol drochov'- David was successful (ie.'used his head') in all his ways.
The launch of the Space IL as payload on Falcon X was actually a "marriage' in the finest tradition of free enterprise which made America great, and Jewish "sechel " , 'stickability,`and faith. Coming in the week where the kriah discusses the roots of our dispersion and ultimate redemption as fulfilling our `Mission `to be a `light unto the Nations``,we just have to realize , we are a People with a destiny.
Google had ,in 2007 offered a prize of $20 million to the first private company to make a lunar landing by 2015.The spacecraft had to land, travel 500 meters and beam back photos to earth.At the end of 2010 when the registration period was almost closed, 33 companies had joined , but not one Israeli.Three Big Thinking Israelis,Yariv Basch,Yonatan Weintraub,and Kfir Damari put down $50,000 3 years later than most of the others.The others had time to make a separate vehicle to travel 500 meters.Space IL had no time so, 'Passover' - the lander will take off again and hop 500 meters!
In the end (after extending the deadline a few times ) Google withdrew the offer and the other companies simply dropped out. But Space IL was in for real, and somehow the $100 million came together from many sources necessary for the trip.
So ,Space IL has become the first privately funded, non profit vehicle off to the moon to prove the strength of the human will and ingenuity , with a little (a lot , actually) of 'sechel' and faith (the first section of the talmud , dealing with agriculture is called 'Emuna' , because without emuna, a person would not plant a seed.
I saw last week divrey torah by haGoan Zev Hoberman , ztz'l ,who discusses the deep words of the Gaon from Vilna and the Maharal how the miracle of Purim comes from so high , that there is no mention of haShem .Haman cast lots for his success; in the end, that turned around and the mazal of Yidden went up.
Have we not been hearing the serious rumblings of war by the new ambitious Hamans of our times, Iran , Russia?
I heard from the gaon and tzaddik Rav Shmuel Unsdorfer, that milchemes Gog umagog already was.
I want and do to believe that this launch , the world's first privately funded mission, non profit (& is not just empty pride but will benefit society) is a lift of the Jewish star -- 'bli ayin hara.
Sinai - shesum Yarda Sinah b'olam- Int'l Remembrance Day
- Written by Shlomo Werner
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Parshas Kabbalas Torah
The International Remembrance Day
The Internastional remembrance day falls this year just after reading the parsha of kabablas torah, has so much significance to ourselves as the Chahzal say "shum yarda sineh l'olam (there hate came dowjn into the world.')
Apparently it was the day of the liberation from the camps. Hitler, y's ,is quoted in Mein Kamf as saying 2 reasons to hate the Jews.we are the conscience of the world, and we practice bris mila.
This years' commemoration is for us ominous as the news is a year of mounting denial and anti semitism.
The world marked International Holocaust Remembrance Day on Sunday amid a revival of hate-inspired violence and signs that younger generations know less and less about the genocide of Jews, Roma and others during World War II.
Read further ....
Shvat: Borod Arbeh sweet songs
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Shvat , the Staff of haShem
This year , the sweet songs returning ?
We couldn't help but love this video about how our land responds to the return of our people
Chodesh Shvat comes in with the bitter 'staff' of 'Mishpat.In last week's parsha, we read of the plague of hailstorm, which destroyed so much of Egypt's sources of food. In this week's parsha, 'Bo',we read of the life threatening plague of locusts which almost finished them off.
The Ramban in his perush on chumash , brings a curious thought by Rav Hai Gaon , that since the time that Moshe Rabbenu prayed to rid Egypt of the locusts, the plague never returned.'Sichu bchol niflosuv'.. sing in all of His praises...'.
The 'mishpat of Egypt took 12 months.but 'mishpat 'is not an end to itself.The real purpose is brocho, just the King needs to wield the 'Staff' of punishment in order to bring lasting peace to his kingdom.Melech b'mishpat maamid aretz.When Sarah gave birth to Yiztchok, the 'Father' of 'din', all the barren women conceived.The Netziv teaches that the name 'Yitzchok' , means 'Chok' 'parnassah ' came forth.
And we see this happenning in our day with the beginnings of the rebirth of our people.
In this sense we looked at the breakdown of the Zionist Alliance as simon tov zionist-union-chief-gabbay-abruptly-ends-partnership-with-livni/
Yaakov lived - gather and I will tell you אספו ואג'ד לכם ויחי יעקב
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Why is the parsha V'yichi 'closed'?
(We have a 'kabbla' from Ezra that v'yichi is seperate from v'yigash , but they are written as one,without any seperation.)
Because when Yaakov died the eyes and hearts of Yidden were closed from the beginning of the tzoros of exile
As we read this parsha , which ends the sefer of creation , creation of the world, and the genesis of our holy nation, we seem to be entering a world ,literally falling apart , the jewish ," frum' , yeshiva world under attack on all fronts, and the outer political world, likewise closing.The US, partially already closing, England facing being closed, and a man in the White House ,whom many in our frum society looked to be 'our man' is isolated ,and under attack.
And this week , many , especailly in the 'chassidische ' world, will actually close their gemeras, not to give their light in a time when the 'klipas' seem to have a dominance (the little as I understand).
I've accepted that the outer swirl of events is really a reflection of what is happenning in the inner world of torah and mitzvos, and as my Rebbe , a'h, explains, the torah itself, goes hand in hand with the living history of our people.In that light , I'd try to express some of my thoughts, as I try to 'live with the parsha.'
The words of Rashi (& the medrash from where they are taken) are really difficult.What does it mean that their eyes and hearts were closed?Why did he 'want to reveal the ketz(the end)? And what was the difficulty , Avraham had already been told at the bris bein habsarim that they would be subjected for 400 years, for 4 generations?
Actually , to be honest, it seems that the prophecy to Avraham was not so accurate, as we know the actual subjection was only 210 years! And 400 years is not the same as 4 generations, either.
A very similar confusion existed with the Babylonian exile, which we knew would be 70 years. Acahshveros made his famous feast when he thought the 70 years were finished, but he was mistaken as the we saw at the miracle of Purim.And as for the present exile, no one knows anything at all.
The Ramban teaches that the genesis of the world and our people ,our roots which give birth of all to follow, are in the first sefer - sefer Breishis (Creation), the second book, the book of Geulah brings our people back to the status of the patriarchs, with the Shechina above our 'heads'as we come to our 'fulfillment ' , to be a 'light 'unto the nations.('As all that haShem created was in His honor).'
The Chazal teach us that the best years of Yaakov's life were the last 17 in Mizrayim.that was when he actually 'lived.' and so much so, that all the years of his tzoros were consumed retroactively.Just read the words of the Navi on his deathbed , without trying to undestand (try to compare with todays' picture of the deathbed with a bunch of tubes and not what and 'life support'), his incredible holy words given with his living totality for all the future , and we begin to accept the words of Chazal, the Yaakov Aveinu did not die , but lived on with his children.
While he was with us, we were connected to the Navi's kedushe, when he departed, the tzoros started .How? Our eyes and hearts were closed.We no longer connected with the Creator.
That was the first tzore, all else followed.Every generation has to refind our connection with haShem. The Geulah is inside of ourselves.If we stop longing , chas v'sholom, we find the old devils come out of hiding to haunt us.
I believe that the world is at a crossroads,maybe one that is dangerously so,and we, those who consider ourselves the 'torchbearers' of the holy Torah, have become complacent and satisfied with 'success', in Israel , and in chutz l'aaretz."Olam k'minhago holech".We have become enmeshed in fund raisers and gashmayus, even with all the tzedekas , b'h .Ae we striving to grow as yidden?
Do we long to return? Return to what"? Who today hasn't been to the kosel? When returning home, have you thought that when davening East, it is to remember Zion , to remember our roots and where we are destined.Or did we just go to Israel for another tourist event?
Rabbi Grylak in last week's Mishpacha magazine has an interesting observation.European Jews, especailly in the UK, are being faced with a very real threats of anti semitism and to true 'chareidi' chinuch.Many are scouting out 'greener pastures', but only a very few consider alyah.He asks why?
I have the same question , here in our beautiful Montreal community.
Many here in Montreal know about the opportunity of buyapieceofisrael of which I've been talking for years now.Besides fulfilling actual mitzvos of Taryag,we are keeping potential murderers off our land,giving work to yidden who then pay for years from the fruits of their labours.And yet , the Morrocans who know me and of this organization, go to their yearly pilgrimages to kiverey tzaddikim, the 'chassidische' to Lishenks,the 'learners' to the annual yarchey kallah in Yerushalayim, the Chassidey Breslov to their annual Umann, and so on.
Does anyone think anymore? Or is that a forbidden subject?
My question is, if the Knesset in Israel wants to force 'charreidiche' boys to leave the yeshivas ,into the draft,is it not possible that they are simply mirroring our abandonment of love for Israel and its people?
If anti semitism and anti chinuch keep showing its ugly face,is it not possible we have become too entrenched in the Golah?
Are only the 'assimilated cut off from their roots? What about ourselves?
Mi la'Shem Elai Malchus Prepration for Golus
- Written by Shlomo Werner
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The Talmud asks what is Chanuka? Rashi explains the question being - on what miracle was it established ?
The Gemera then recites the miracle of finding the jar of uncontaminated oil
A few days ago , I received froma friend an article about the Chanukah miracle in Buchenwald ,1944.A group of prisoners in the Valley of Death, prepared a small menorah and were saved at the last moment from being discoverd by the evil
“ Dog”—that skinny little Unterschaarfuehrer....
You can read Chanukah 1944 in Nieder-Orschel slave labor camp, a Buchenwald subcamp in Germany, is an excerpt of The Yellow Star by S.B. Unsdorfer.
in a moving article as told https://www.bmorejewish.com/holidays/chanukah/article_cdo/aid/4218163/jewish/Chanukah-1944-in-Buchenwald.htm
Being fortunate to be blessed with involvement with the world of torah and some contact with holy sages from a young age, I 'answered ' somewhat too quickly and glibly.But as I started to do some writing ,moetze shabbas, I realized that I too needed a boost in my own faith.I find myself more inspired by the story of how Rabbi Shmelka, an inmate in Bergen Belson desperately searched for oil for the Chanukah lights, and 'miraculously' found some just in time for the lighting, but worried that the person who had prepared the light would go without.
“Several years later… he paid a visit to an acquaintance from the ‘old country’ — Rabbi Yoel Teitelbaum. While they reminisced, the Rebbe mentioned that he had also been a prisoner in Bergen Belsen. ‘I was there a year before you,’ said the Rebbe. ‘I was rescued four days before Chanukah… I bribed several camp officials and put together a package of oil, cups, and wicks, which I then buried in a field. I always felt badly that my little menorah was never put to use.’
“Rabbi Shmelke smiled. ‘Your menorah was used. It dispelled the darkness for hundreds of Jews and helped at least one of them survive the war.’”
When King David writes, “For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness,” I don’t envisage an actual lamp. It is a Jewish mystical idea to liken the human soul to the flame on the wick of a candle, scintillating upwards, seeking to escape the clutches of the wick to unite with its Source above. I envisage King David here showing gratitude to the One who warms, heals, and illumines his soul; the earthly king of Israel showing gratitude to the King of Heaven for His willingness to chase the darkness from within."
Taken from A Well-Rooted Perspective” is the Internet version of a column of the same name that I write for the Religion page of my local newspaper. The following story is adapted from “Chanukah In Bergen-Belsen” by Libi Astaire, Aish.com
We are iven 8 days to sing 'Maoz Tzur Yehuosi' to express our reliance on the 'Rock' of our Nation.As we pray through all the tribulations for our place of worship to be rebuilt and then - אז
1+7 = 8 , as the Maharal teaches 7 is nature, +1 , 8 is above nature,we will sing a song at the dedication of the altar.
The 'Chassid Yaavetz' is is quoted as saying that the miracle of the survival of our Nation, a 'lamb amongst 70 wolves' is far greater than any of the miracles recorded in the bible.
But too often ,in our time,the story of Chanukah is turned upside down by those who have rejected the oral law and tradition.And today , as b'h ,more and more of our people are returing to their roots spiritually and physically, and we are starting to see a flicker of hope for the restoration of Zion, confusion ,politics and infighting seem to reign.
When Mattisyahu said 'mi la'Shem elai', it was not just a rebellion on the Greeks .Much more serious were the 'misyavnim', the Hellenized jews who had drifted away from our mesora.Our people ahve always been lovers of wisdom,so there was a natural drift to the allure of Greek culture.Actually , flowering of the Rabbinical tradition started with that cry of Mattisyhau; Maccabee games in Israel is not what it is all about.Neither does the IDF represent the Macabees as Netanyahu recently said to a group of religious soldiers, recenly enlisted, because Netanyahu , himself ,is still more or less 'Hellenized' and his vision is part of the problem, not the solution.
What about the gala event of cnadle lighting in the White House..
I don't believe that the president will be able to rid the world of the cancer of anti semitism as he says ;if anything ,it seems to be on the rise more and more.What it does mean , is that with all the sufferings of the ages our people have gone through, the pendulum is swinging back, and we are starting to be recognized as fulfilling our National raison d'essence ' to be a 'Light unto the Nations.'
Ultimately , the only ones who can rid the world of anti semitism are ourselves.I don't mean only those who have openly rejected their people and show real enmity to what we are and meant to be as a "Holy Nation" and 'Kingdom of Priests'; I mean , even amongst ourselves , the "Observant'. Do we love Yidden unconditionally? Do we love the Torah the blueprint of our lives?Do we love the Land, where we can truly fulfill ourselves as servants of hakadosh boruch hu and where we unite as one people; the land of Israel, being that land where the mitzvos of 'arvus', responsibility one for the other kicks in?
This , I think ,is very obviously , a strong message of the parshios we traditionally read in this time of Chanukah ; 'Vayeshev, Miketz, V'yigash.It was the hate betwen brothers which brought them down into exile.The libel of the 'stolen monies' and the 'stolen goblet' obviously hints to the many 'blood libels' the goyim have thrown at us through the generations (on a deeper level,it must connect to Rachel 'stealing ' her fathers' idol and hiding it with the excuse of being a 'niddah').
My Rebbe, a'h ,(the 'Pachad Yitzchok') did not accept the name 'shoa' or 'holocaust'as it denoted a breakdown of history.The horrors of the Nazis are clearly foretold in the curses of parshas ' bechukosai' and the gemerra clearly says it was due to 'sinas chinum ' , hate for no reason ,between yidden (actually the curses in bechukosai refer to the second churban as the Ramban points out.But as we consider the Rome to be Esau , and Amalek to be the illegitamate grandson,it is safe to consider the Nazis -Germany - neither holy , nor roman , nor an empire,as the finale of golus Edom.) .
We have a "kabbala" (tradition) that there are 2 Moshiachs - ben Yosef and ben Dovid.When Yosef ate ogether with his brothers, they were amazed how all were in their correct place.This is Yosef, the tzaddik, who withstands temptation and thereby prepares the people for the long years of golus, to stand together without losing their kedushe and chalile ,intermarry.
When Yehuda pleads with Yosef that he will take the place of Binyamin as a slave, he shows soemthing even greater - 'arvus' - responsibility one for the other.
We are one people, one neshema , united universally as the people who say together Shma Yisrael,haShem elokeinu , haShem echod,in all times and conditions,in this world and the other.
A little light can push away a great deal of darkness, when that light is pure.May we speedily see the Redemption as we all echo together the words 'mi Lashem Alai.'