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Rabbi Pesach Lerner has come out with a call for all Torah True Jews of every stripe to come out vigorously against Israeli recognition of the Reform movement.I saw that Rabbi Grylak in the Mishpacha magazine also joined the call.I'm a simple jew and felt a need to write a few questions.I doubt that my few words will be published,

So, I'm taking the liberty to copy below what I wrote to the magazine.Maybe my thoughts will benefit someone.

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Rabbi Grylak’s joining Rabbi Lerner’s cry ‘Mi la Hashem eilai’ for torah true jews of every stripe to come out vigorously against recognition of this heretical sect, is of course, well taken. But nevertheless, with all due respect , I’d like to point out that we, still living in the Diaspora, have some fundamental

issues to deal with.

                First of all, in today’s world when Israel is a major power , we all must ,individually and collectively, wonder if Moshe Rabbenu’s anger at Bnei God and Bnei Reuven doesn’t apply to us as well. I saw in the name of Rav Finkel zt’l that Moshe compared them to the m’raglim  because if the m’raglim would have loved  the land , ‘ahava m’chase al kol pesha’, they wouldn’t have seen the problems they encountered as problems. ,and so too with Beni god and Bnei Reuven.

                It’s , after all, kind of chutzpadik for us as foreigners, and maybe ludicrous too,  to try to impress ourselves on a sectarian government , especially on their ‘supreme court’, which many of us probably consider the most heretical institution in the world , on the validity of our ‘brand of religion’. The only thing these people are really interested in is the financial impact of the Diaspora on their land.

This past Tishrey (Oct 5), Mishpacha published an article about a dear friend of mine, Yosef Busner, who needs a new kidney .You mentioned there a business he started, buyapieceofisrael. You mistakenly wrote that the business  encourages people to buy agriculture land and work it. Actually they encourage the golah to buy land and partner with Jewish sharecroppers who work it for us, thereby fulfilling the mitzvos hatluyos b’aretz, and keep the land Jewish. They also encourage the golah to buy real estate and hire jewish maintenance, strengthening the yishuv.

                Since I became a partner some years ago, I’ve been steadily pleading with my friends to join us, but very few have listened , even though , the group  has gone to great length to make this affordable to all.

                Ultimately it is the ‘Mama Land’ which unites all our people, of ‘all stripes.’ Israel is no longer so dependent on the Diaspora for support. It is the ‘Startup Nation ‘ in which goyim are rushing to invest. What would be if we, the ‘Torah True Jews’ would start to invest in the land itself and its people, would that not have a real impact not only on the government of Israel, but on ourselves too^

Perhaps that sense of unity of our People would bring all of us to truly yearn together for the Redemption which we need so much. Only then will we merit to see Moshiach bimhera b’yamenu.

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s2smodern

An Open Letter

Two troubling articles surfaced today , so much so, that I felt a need to share them with our readers, and ask for some soul searching..

Herzbollah rally in Berlin slammed

Nothing new ; Lapid slams the Berlin held Herzbollah Rally calling for the Destruction of Isael.What is especially disconcerting , at least to me, is the picture of three  chassidim marching together (Woops, just took a better look the picture is two years old!Hopefully , this is an example of fake news).

The other is the article describing the outrage of

In Unprecedented Move, Jewish Agency Slams Netanyahu for Western Wall Decision

Of course , as a religious jew, I am overjoyed that the sanctity of the kosel and ,of prayer in general, has been upheld.But the article went on to say.....

   In an unprecedented move, the Jewish Agency rebuked the government of Israel over the recent decision to cancel a plan to create an egalitarian prayer section at the Western Wall.

"We deplore the decision of the [Government of Israel] which contradicts the vision and dream of Herzl, Ben-Gurion and Jabotinsky and the spirit of the Zionist movement and Israel as a national home for the entire Jewish people and the Kotel as a unifying symbol for Jews around the world,” the Times of Israel quotes from a unanimously adopted statement from the Jewish Agency.

“We declare that we cannot and will not allow this to happen,” the statement added. “We call on the GOI to understand the gravity of its steps and accordingly reverse its course of action.”

The Agency also stated that it would dedicate its entire upcoming agenda "in order to address the ramifications of these decisions."

Rabosay , to whom do you belong?

I am serious  with this question.

Visitors to this website and my private friends,know that I have been backing for years an organization which enables those in the goleh to partner with Yidden in Eretz Yisrael, keeping the Land Jewish and productive, according to halacha.

Buy a A Piece of Israel , in the Galilee, enables us to do Rotzon haShem;-  the will of the Ribono shel Olam , in the land , much of which precedes the medina.Who gives those , so called Ultra Orthodox, the right to take that away from me?

On the other hand , the Jewish Agency claims they represent the connection with Diaspora Jewry -- and all their money.Why is it , that so many of my friends who are capable of joining me refuse to show their love for the Land and its people .If we were to show financial interest in the Land, not just as tourists, but as real stake holders, would we not be showing ,once and for all, that the Land of our forefathers belongs to those who still treasure it as the Holy Land ?

I ask you , Rabosay -- to whom do you belong ?

 

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s2smodern

The following article about 'Trump's Shul' taken from the Yated was sent to us last week by a 'Jerusalem chaver-

Dr Reuven Bruner -- the 'Fitness Doctor' from Yerushalyim.

Though it is kind of old, we thought it so fantastic , we just had to share it.

 I've heard that his father had taught Donald Trump to think of 'Greatness' (which we know the Meraglim in our parsha didn't -- we were as locusts in their eyes -- how did they know), but this article ..Trump's Shul , 

Donald Trump's zechus from his father.

 

Trump’s Shul

Even today, after Donald Trump has already been inaugurated as president of the United States, many pundits are still trying to figure out how it happened. How did the man with the smallest chance of victory manage to win this election, in complete defiance of all the predictions and assessments of the experts, and all the polls that seemed to be against him? In retrospect, there are many explanations for his astounding victory, some of which are more logical, while others are less so.

There is one man, Rabbi Shmuel Wagner, who has no background whatsoever in the media or in political commentary, but who is confident that he knows of at least one reason for Trump’s stunning victory: the zechus of his father.

In an exclusive interview, Rabbi Wagner, mashgiach ruchani of Yeshivas Ohr Yerushalayim in Moshav Beit Meir, shares the incredible story of how Donald Trump’s father, Frederick Trump, built a shul for the congregation headed by his father, Rabbi Yisroel Wagner, and went on to make annual donations of funding for the kehillah and to aid Jewish families in financial distress.

The Rabbi of Trump’s Neighborhood

After Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election, several publications featured a grainy sixty-year-old photograph that depicts Fred Trump, the new president’s father, in a shul in the neighborhood of Flatbush in Brooklyn. The photograph was accompanied by a terse caption that did little to shed light on the background to this unusual picture.

Rabbi Shmuel Wagner is a son of Rabbi Yisroel Wagner zt”l, the rov of the shul in Flatbush where the picture was taken, and he reveals that there is truly an incredible story behind it.

“To give you a little background information about Fred Trump’s generous donation and his special relationship with my father,” Rabbi Wagner says, “let me take you several years further into the past. My father was born in Galicia and was a tremendous illuy. He was a prominent bochur in Belz and was very close with Rav Aharon of Belz. He was about 18 or 19 years old when World War II began. He father was engaged at the time to a daughter of Rav Shraga Feivel Willig, the rov of the city of Buchach in Galicia. When the war began, he and his kallah were both displaced from their homes, and each of them miraculously survived the war. They were reunited after the war, also miraculously, in a displaced persons camp, and they got married in Salzburg, Austria.”

From Salzburg, Rabbi Yisroel Wagner made his way to Bolivia, where he served as the rov of a Jewish community. “At first, my parents received papers for Bolivia,” Rabbi Wagner continues his account. “After he served as a rov there for two years, they came to California, in the United States, in the year 1950. That is where I was born. My father was the rov of a shul in California, but there were no suitable schools for children there, so the family moved to New York, where there were chadarim and yeshivos.”

A few weeks after the Wagner family arrived in New York, Reb Yisroel was appointed to the rabbonus of a residential area belonging to a businessman named Fred Trump, father of Donald Trump. Reb Shmuel says, “Fred owned 31 residential buildings in the area, with many apartments for rent. It was an area on the outskirts of Flatbush, near the beach. Most of the tenants in those apartments were Jews, and almost all of them were irreligious.”

A Shul in a Parking Garage

Despite the fact that most of the local residents were not frum, they took an interest in Rabbi Wagner’s shul. “There was a minyan in the shul as soon as it opened,” Rabbi Wagner recalls. “There were Jews from Europe there, and they cared about davening in a shul. The shul operated in a parking garage of one of the buildings, and my father received the position of rov through a relative.

“The shul began with thirty members, but it experienced tremendous growth in just a few years, to the point that it came to serve hundreds of families. Many of the mispallelim were not religious, but they were very much attracted to the shul, to my father, and to the warmth that he radiated to them. They loved the experience of the shul and listening to my father’s divrei Torah. And he, with his kindhearted manner and his trademark warmth, taught them Torah and chassidus, at least to some degree.”

At some point, the shul’s membership grew to the point that the facility was no longer large enough to house the congregation. It was understood that a shul needs to have a proper building in order to function. “My father had an idea,” Rabbi Wagner recalls. “He offered to approach Fred Trump, whom he didn’t know personally, even though Trump was his landlord. He hoped that he could use his wisdom to convince Trump to give him a building for his shul. He thought that he might influence his landlord by explaining that Jews, who were Trump’s largest group of customers, need a shul near their homes. He also knew that Fred Trump was a man of faith, and he was likely to relate to the request.

“Thus, my father’s request appealed both to Trump’s emotions and to his shrewd business mind. And it worked. My father and Fred both understood that a kehillah that revolved around a shul would be a community whose members lead a proper spiritual lifestyle, and his business would benefit from that. My father managed to reach Fred Trump’s heart. Trump was very moved by the idea my father expressed and the two became close friends. Fred proceeded to donate a piece of real estate for the shul, and he even made a very generous donation so that a magnificent shul building could be built.”

“My Rabbi”

According to Rabbi Wagner, not only did Fred Trump donate the plot of land where the shul was built and cover the expenses of the construction, but he also attended the ceremony at which the cornerstone was laid. “Fred was very moved by my father’s speech at the ceremony. He was highly impressed, and he became my father’s close friend. They met again and again, and over time they developed a close relationship. Trump viewed my father as a holy man and a great sage. He used to call him ‘my rabbi.’

“As I mentioned,” Rabbi Wagner continues, “the president’s father was very devoted to his Christian faith. So in addition to the business aspect of the shul, which he viewed as a very worthwhile move to benefit his Jewish tenants, he also put his whole heart into it. Over the years, my father had an official meeting with him once a year, in addition to the many other times they saw each other. At each of those official meetings, Fred would make a generous donation to the shul. In fact, most of the funding that maintained the shul came from Fred Trump.

Rabbi Wagner adds that over time, Fred Trump’s donations grew progressively more generous. “Sometimes, my father would tell him about various Jewish families in the area who were needy, and he would give large sums to help them as well.”

What motivated a non-Jewish businessman to make such large charitable donations to needy Jews? “He was devoted to my father,” Rabbi Wagner asserts. “He admired him deeply, and he used to ask his opinion on many things. He was very impressed by the fact that my father, a chassidishe Jew from Belz in Europe, became the rov of a more modern congregation and inspired many Jews to keep Shabbos and even to become fully religious.

“In our area, there was also a Talmud Torah, a school for Jewish studies that was held after classes were over in the public schools. Fred Trump used to donate large sums to that institution as well. He was a very pleasant person with a very kind heart. Fred was also very serene and delicate. He was responsible for the beginning of Donald’s career.”

When Donald Worked in the Laundry Room

Rabbi Wagner has vivid recollections of Fred Trump’s son, a wild, blond-haired youth. “Donald’s father left him and his brother an inheritance of over a billion dollars. In effect, Fred was the one who launched his son’s business career. I still remember going to shul with my father for Shacharis early every Sunday morning. The laundry room, where all the tenants washed their clothes in coin-operated machines, was in the basement of the building. And do you know who collected the money from those machines in the mornings? Donald Trump and his brother!

“Donald was Fred Trump’s second son. I remember him from the age of about 14 or 15, with his wild shock of blond hair and his endless reserves of energy and drive. His father used to send him to collect the money from the laundry machines. Fred taught his children from a very early age to take responsibility; he gave them no breaks. Donald may have been wild as a youth, but his father raised him well.”

Rabbi Wagner will never forget the respect that his father, Rabbi Yisroel Wagner, received from Fred Trump. “His respect for my father was incredible. He was a fine person with a generous heart. I have no doubt that that zechus helped Donald Trump, who was always very respectful of his own father and obeyed him in everything.”

The son of “Trump’s rabbi” shares another interesting anecdote, from about two years ago. “My mother, who passed away about ten months ago, was called ‘the rebbetzin’ by Fred Trump. Two years ago, we celebrated her ninetieth birthday here in Eretz Yisroel. In honor of the occasion, we sent an invitation to Donald Trump. We wrote to him about my mother, and we told him that we had known his father and we remembered him from his childhood. We asked him to write us back with a happy birthday message for my mother. To our surprise, he remembered the shul, and he sent us a very warm message, along with a picture inscribed for my mother.”

Trump’s Faith

During the election campaign in New York, Donald Trump told the Jews of the city that his father had built a shul there. He remembered the location well, and he recalled the work that his father had sent him to do in the residential buildings of the Jewish neighborhood.

Rabbi Wagner, did you ever meet Fred Trump?

“I was very close with my father, and I helped him with everything having to do with the shul. I learned in the Mirrer Yeshiva in Brooklyn, but every Sunday I davened with my father in the shul, at his request. On a few occasions, I also joined him when he went to meet with Fred Trump.”

What did Fred say?

“Well, as I said, he was a man of faith. He used to tell us over and over, ‘I believe in G-d.’ He also used to say that in his eyes, my father was the epitome of what a religious clergyman should be like. Fred was a very moral person, and he worked hard to teach his children to be responsible, moral, and hardworking.”

In terms of Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential elections, Rabbi Wagner has no doubt as to the reason. “This is certainly the reason for Donald Trump’s zechuyos,” he asserts. “This explains his shocking victory in the elections in the United States. I have no doubt of it. His father had the zechus of paying for a shul to be built and maintaining it for years. He gave money to many struggling Jewish families, and he gave great honor to the rov of the shul and to Jews in general. Donald has zechus avos, and that is what has brought him to the White House.”

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s2smodern

רעך ורע אביך אל תעזב   -     ואהבת לרעך כמך זה כלל גדל בתרה

Love your friend like yourself This is a general rule of the torah

Your friend and the friend of your father , do not forsake

We read the parshios of achare mos and kedoshim between Pesach and Shevuos.Achare mos prepares us for our  national mission to be a 'Kingdom of Priests' while Kedoshim prepares us to be a 'Holy Nation', to bring that elevated service into our worldly ways, to sanctify our daily lives.

Beginning with the service of Yom Kippur which unifies and purifies our people, we tremble remembering the sons of Aharon who were consumed with  'ahavas haShem' and came too close.We mourn them for all time.

Kedoshim is taught to us with all the people together -'b'hakhel,' a preperation for the unity we had when we accepted the torah.

Rabbi Akiva , who taught 'to love your friend as yourself is a general principle of the torah' , exemplified that attribute.While being the leader of his generation in torah, so that he was considered the 'Honour of torah', and could unearth fountains of wisdom in every line, he also was the gabbai tzedeke and collected for the poor.

Perhaps that is why the middas hadin was so severe with his talmidim who died between Peasch and Shevuos and whom we mourn in these days.We love every fellow jew whose neshema is a 'chelek eloka mimaal' - a portion of haShem above.But it is only with the torah that we can recognize this which raises above all wordly matters.With love for each other , we become one people; with honour for each other's torah and understanding we can grow in our own torah.

Israel is now going through a self searching process looking for antional identity.A new bill tabled by Likud ,according to jpost, states that “the State of Israel is the national home of the Jewish people, in which it realizes its aspirations for self-determination according to its cultural and historic traditions. The realization of national self-determination in the State of Israel is unique to the Jewish people.”

There is plenty of opposition from the left who call it apartheid and anti democratic, and ,of course, the extreme chareidi,won't accept the idea of 'self determination.'And ,we living here in the golah , can't escape the issue.How do we relate to Israel which is the focal point for all of us, who accept Sinai in our lives, and how do we relate to our fellow jew,right here.

HaShem is 'Moshel b'Goyim' - rules the nations, but Melech b'Yisrael- a king in Israel.The Gaon from Vilna explains the dfference.Kingdom is a loyalty given by the people, whereas a ruler, rules by force.

If we truly love every jew and we truly believe in our mesorah, there is no other way; it has to come from the people - after all, we lost our right to the Land twice because we didn't live there with the torah and its ideals.We believe that our people have a unique mission in this world , to bring it to its completion , and tikkun, but that can only be when we live as a holy nation , by definition , holy- seperate, in the holy land.When we merit that time, the peoples of the world will want that too.

Actually , this site reflects those ideals.We call it a 'virtual kehilla', but only because the old European style kehilla, not only unified, but also excluded certain elements.We can't do that today.So we try to fulfill many of the functions of the old kehilla, though it is open to all.

And even though , Dovid haMelech ,in the first sugya of shaas, advises the people to do business with one another in order to strengthen their parnassah,it is also, simply a mitzva , and like all mitzvos adds kedushe to our lives.In that sense , we encourage using our services and also connecting and 'partnering ' with friends i Israel, such as buyapiece of Israel

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s2smodern

 The Sanctity of the Law , not just  "The Social Compact"

Koppora - the Machazis haShekel

Prayers for the Rebuilding of the Temple in this month of geulah

Chodesh Adar, the last month of the Jewish Year,is the first of the two months of celebrating ,of 'reliving' the geulah, the Miracle of Purim, the Miracle of Pesach.This year we are at once mesmerized with a new friend in the White House arousing and renewing our faith while we are challenged and worried with the specter of growth of anti semitism around the world and warnings from the centers of evil , Iran and ISIS.

Right here in Montreal,the other day, there was a new outbreak in Mcgill as reported in the Gazette anti-semitic-vandalism-raises-concerns-at-mcgill-university .

The Parsha after Mattan Torah , 'Mishpatim', is usually understood as 'civil law'.But if it is to be understood as  such , as we usually understand that term, it is difficult to understand why does it start with the laws of the Hebrew slave,later with the holidays, and later end with numerous laws dealing with sensitivity to the weak, and even to animals (see the Sforno on the prohibition of eating meat and milk together) .

The Chazal say that Mishpatim is given close to the laws (in the last parsha) of the mizbeach (altar) to teach us that the Sanhedrin should be near the altar.The peoples of the world know that without laws and a government enforcing those laws we have anarchy and so the 'common' laws are here to enforce the social contract, and we too , the Jewish people must respect these laws.But our Torah laws are nevertheless  based on a higher calling.


Freedom from bondage in Egypt means the responsibility to serve the Creator, to go in His Ways.   עבדעי הם ולא עבדים לעבדים 

 'My servants and not servants to servants' .'Every generation in which the Temple is not rebuilt is as if it were destroyed in that generation'.

The world is filled with a tremendous amount of  'noise' and most people follow the noise and think that that is where the  'action ' is.But we, who live with the torah,especailly preparing for the reading of the megilla,know that the true 'action' is quieter and more profound.

So much , so much commotion ! So much to fear! And yet , truly ,it all hangs and centers on a tiny spot on the globe and on the relations of our own 'jews' and the  'goyim ' amongst our midst.And , maybe even it has been our apparent 'enemies' who have insured our protection and our salvation all these years.

Aheushverous was ready to give Esther everything except what divided the kingdom - the Temple.We had driven the Ribbono shel Olam out of our own 'inner sanctums' so we had no right to the Temple.Today ,there is an ongoing war circling the Beis Hamikdash,it's remains, the 'Wall'.Is it to be maintained as the center of our longings as a people,or will its holiness be defiled by the so called  'Supreme Court of Israel', giving those who have abandoned the ways of our people, the 'disappearing assimilated' jews, the capacity to defile its holiness

This is really ,as we know it, the agenda of the 'WOW' and their backers.

What seems to be happening though, is that even though these deniers , are discovering that when the League of Nations established the land and our rights to return, they also established that the Courts cannot rule on the Holy sites!This was called the 'King's Order in Council (thanks to the Hamodia for this bit of information).

The goyim of the world understood that Jerusalem and its Temple (and therefore also all the 'temples' and 'klippos'  attracted to the Center of the world) cannot be judged by profane courts - it is out of their domain!

If you trace the history of Israel,in all the years of our exile, that land has been under the Protectorate of one empire or another.Our enemies have been protecting the holiness of the Temple , just waiting for the Jewish People to do teshuva, to Return in Spirit, not only in body!

We fervently pray to see very speedily the redemption of Israel with the coming Moshiach Tzidkenu!

 

 

 

 

 

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s2smodern

Hate , Discord , Confusion

וה' ברך את אדני מאד ויגדל

 

With all our disgust , nevertheless , when we see pictures of both a US supertanker and 2 giant firefighters from Russia both rushing to Israel to help put out those flames of hatred and evil, we pray that this should be the foreshadowing of positive fulfillment of the prophecy eagle and the bear at the gates of Jerusalem

The world about us is plagued by isms , discord, jealousies, but in our parsha , the loyal servant of Avraham seeks quietly  the zivvug for Yitzchok.That zivvug is to unite heaven and earth, and is to unite thereby the whole world in peace.

This is our job as a people to breath sanity and faith in all our dealings whether it be here in open golus, or in our homeland in a much deeper golus of confusion.

We haven't  published for some time, but this is our committment  in our small online community , to be a candle of light .

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s2smodern