Remember , Remember , Why Remember , and who should remember ?

I asked myself today a question . We blame Shaul hamelech for allowing Agag to stay alive (and that night he beget a child).Why don't we blame Yehoshua ? He only weakened their army?

The answer obviously is that Yehoshua only had a mitzva to go to war with Amalek, not to destroy.That mitzva starts in Israel with their first king.

One talmid chochom showed me a Rashi that the army didn't actually kill the enemies , just wounded them , "al pi hadibur ", by the "words of haShem".So , what was the purpose? What was going on?

It was a lesson to be learned orally from talmid to Rav down all the generations; don't forget.We are not yet there.The war is an ongoing thing. The first 'coming" of Amalek was due to  our weakness in our attachment to the torah , and so it has been in all generations.

Our  brocho as the 'Chosen People " is contingent on our attachment to the holy torah.That was our Father Yitzchok"s brocho to Yaakov 

This year as we approach Purim with the war going on in the Ukrane, where we are all witnessing the incredible irony one on top of the other on the continent and places where we suffered so much , where somehow, a 'jude" seems to be central to fighting the new "evil " beast, a year of Shmitte,  a year of new incredible 'kibbutz golyus", we need to Remember that Moshiach is knocking loudly.

Perhaps the simplest and most basic lesson of Parshas Zechor - when it is good, Remember , we are not yet there, and when , chas v'sholom it is bad, never give up

*   After having these thoughts, I thought to myself , I don't think Putin is actually Amalek, maybe a pupil , but not more.And I have been telling people for years (and explicitly) on my wellness site  that the real leal , most dangerous Amalek today are those responsible and pushing this , so called 'Vaccine".So who is actually today amalek? Then I realized that I had most likely posted the name of the most likely candidate , who actually runs the organization responsible for 90% of the earth's wealth, and want it all , and have already published their plan for the "Great Reset".Check it out on this article about Mr Trudeau's tyranny ..


 Returning to Egypt with no Buyers


ואשׁר הרעתי    And I caused the Bad

As we move towards the New Year, in a time of utter confusion and dread,I thought it appropriate to share two thoughts I had while learning my daf last week.

The end of the Tochecha is we will return to Egypt and there will be no buyers.So when I finished those words and turned to my daily daf, I was amazed  how the gemerra recounts the imposing honor of the Jews in Alexandria so that someone who did not see their honor,never saw the honor of Jews, and it finishes recounting all their wealth and honor- and they were all killed by Alexander (Turchius ).

The  Netziv in his discussion of the tochecha, mentions that it does not have a seder,just goes on and on.And the greatest of all - "hafle upella", the loss of talmidei chochomim, the wise can't give advice, the Temple is not here, so we can't find kedushe and some knowledge and awareness of the truth, and where we stand..

Rav Moshe explains the curse of going back to Egypt meaning that we left Egypt to be a higher, spiritual people, and all that is gone.

The mefarshim explain why were the jews of Alexandria punished so harshly ? - because after the destruction they asked Yirmiyah whether to go back nad he told them not to, and they origially accepted to live by his words.

In this past year , there have been so many inexplicable tragedies to afflict our people.Anti semitism all ove the world, a government in Israel totally unrepresentative of our national purpose as a people. Where are we headed ?

The next blatt, seems to give us hope and prayer.

Four haShem laments ,Golus , the Kasdim (Taliban?), Ishmealim,and the evil inclination..

'And I caused their bad ".. and I will give them a heart of flesh, says haShem.And as we go down the blatt there is mention of the 7 shephers and 8 "princes".Of those 8, Isaac is conspicuous for his absence.Rashi says he is our "Father" and has gone to save his children from gehinnom.

As we enter this new coming Year , let us take encouragement as there has never been in all of history so much Talmud as there is now. As the famous words of the Oroch Chaim hakodosh; the reason for the great length of the golus, because Moses will not let moshiach come to a nation botul from the Torah




I was zoche to make a kiddush this past T'u b'Av and I asked a question

The first simcha of T'u B'Av was that the last generation of those who carried the curse to die on T'ishe b'Av lay down in their graves as every year, but to their astonishment and joy learned (and affirmed ) by T'u b'av that they were not to die

Wonderful; they did not die, but why was that such a simcha that we are told there were no simschas for the Jewish people as T'U Bav and Moetze Yom Kippur?

We live in a time of confusion.The world keeps being battered by what is called a "pandemic" though this writer believes it to be a terrible hoax .Israel is being governed by a coalition which has no true glue except the desire to rule and redefine Israel.And as much as we dread the chaos of war,it seems some of our enemies are themselves falling apart.And with the coming year of Shmitte, with everyones' parnassah hurt badly , what will we eat?

Everything is so murky.

This last generation who had dug themselves their graves and expected to die that last Tishe b'Av had been learning with Moshe for 40 years.Moshe pleads to haShem to enter the Land .The Chazal ask why was it so important to him? He wanted before his death to fulfill the mitzvos of the Land,The land of kedushe, where the Presence of haShem is felt ,for that is the shlemus of a Yid.

The Chazal tell us that someone who mourns the Temple merits to see it rebuilt (at least within themselves).Their mourning means they carry within the hope and beleif in it's rebuilding.What did these Yidden, talmidim of Moshe Rabbennu feel, each Tishe b'Av ?

I saw an incredible concept from the Chasam Sofer.Of the ten words for tefille, we have an Attar, a pitchfork.A tzaddik's tefille is compared to an attar becuase it turns  the midda of "Anger" to "Rachmanus" .The chasam sofer asks that when Yitzchok davened  a tefille of   עתר for Rivka to have a child, there was no midda of "anger".She couldn't "bear" because haShem wants the tefillas of the righeteous.The Chasam Sofer says everything has a "klippe", the more kedushe , the more tume.Our avoda is not to break that klippe, but to bring it into the world of kedushe.

We know that in the laws of tume, the biggest tume is death itself --"avi, avos hatume". Life" really means being close to haShem, d'vekus."When these Yidden lay down that last Tishe b'Av in their graves, how far and desolate from haShem.But that was actually the original sin of the generation who had cried for no reason.It must be then that these Yidden who had been learning from Moshe Rabbenu for so many years were zoche that their desolation had become yearning and the tume of death had been turned into the kedushe of emuna and bitachon!

And with that bitachon , they were zoche to enter the Land

Can there be a greater simcha?

(I thought later that even though the whole generation was supposed to die out, they didn't.That means the generations were not cut off from eachother, which is itself a simcha.Moreover Moshe's words to the peopel in this week's parsha, Ekev, that they had personaly been witnesses would't have been otherwise so their salvation is meaningful even today to us) 

I saw once that my Rebbe , the Pachad Yitzchok, had said the problem is our relying on the US.Today , obviously we can't, and in fact , the way the Land is being torn apart by our own people,it is obvious there is no one to rely on but haShem.Is that not the prescriptian for Moshiach?



Free Will, Choice, Curses and Blessings

My bar mitzva sedra was Chukas..Chukas and Balak are often read together.As my birthday was (in goyish and Yiddish)  just before Shabbas Chukas and I recieved a number of "Happy Birthdays" (yep , on Social Networks). someone gave a wish -- 'All my wishes should be fulfilled". I said that could be dangerous.The  fellow asked me , why?

 I said, if I have the chance to write for parshas Balak, I'll try to answer why.And maybe the thoughts I had then will be timely for us now.

(Of course this concept  כּל משׁאלות לבּנו לטובח is enshrined in the tefillos of Shabbas Mevorchim  but maybe by writing we will have more appreciation for these words, plus the actual wording of the tefilla - יחי רצון מלפניך  "let it be the "desire " before "You"...that that this Month should be a renewal.. for good and

brocho , and we should have life ....... of love of torah and fear of Heaven, a life that haShem should fulfill משׁאלות לבּנו לטובח the desires of our hearts for the good.

The seforim say that if we are filled with the love of torah and the fear of Heaven , then for sure , the desires of our hearts are in line with haShem's ultimate desires (even if so often we don't actually see those "desires" fulfilled)

Balaak, the King of Moav sent emissaries to Bilaam to come to him and curse the Jewish people who had encamped not far from his land.The emissaries came, but the Ribono shel Olam told Bilaam not to go with them, or , at least not to go with the intent to curse.In the end , Bilaam went ,with them to curse.Rashi says on this - "in the waya person wants to go, so they lead him."This is something profound.I believe it to be a key to understanding , not only this parsha, also the end of Chukas (and more) , and maybe also a way to think of and understand today's "collective " governance in Israel.

Let's go back a few sedras, to the end of B'haalosche, when Aaron and Miriam spoke bad of Moshe, the classic case of the sin of "loshon hara".There are difficulties in hte parsha becuase it seems the loshon hara was said in front of Moshe and according to the Maharal, this should not be considered actual loshon hara.

I won't attempt here to explain properly my Rebbe's explanation in his sefer "Pachad Yitzchok", but suffice it to say that sometimes charachter attack is not in what is said, but what one assumes to have happenned.Miriam and Aaron assumed that , since abstinence is not the Jewish way,then it must be that since Moshe wanted complete devotion , then  בּדרך שׁאדם רוצח ללכת  "In the Way the person wants to go, they lead him."and , this assumption about Moshe , the Ribono shel Olam declares is not possible with Moshe.

The foundation of our faith is that the torah is absolute and timeless.The Yidden were told on Har Sinai, accept the torah, fine,if not there you will be buried. In other words the purpose of our Creation is to bring all the world to the status of the Holy - above Nature.All I have created  I've created in my Glory; I did it, I formed it" . It is not possible that the one who brings the holy down into this world should not be he himself the most humble of all, to an extent that he has no free will anymore.That is why specifically at this point , Moshe's humility is mentioned. HaShem told him to seperate.

Next Parsha ,Shlach - the sending of the spies.Rashi tells us that שׁלח לך "send for you" .The Ribono shel Olam says to Moshe, "I don't command", send for your sake (ie the nation had come to Moshe wanting the spies to go out.)

We must understand, the people did not feel they could live on the high level of Moshe Rabbenu's world and teachings.It is too close to haShem, too easy to sin and be punished.Others,indeed believed they were hated by Hashem because of many sins.Going into the Land, would mean living with haShem in a worldly setting.Who says they could?Ultimately when the spies went on their mission,they did not go with Moshe's blesssings and intentions, but according to their own worries and views , -- another form of -" the way one wants to go,is he led."

And so , we live today in the 3 weeks of mourning.

Even the revolt of Korach has to be seen in such a manner.Korach was a participant at the most remarkable of events in history - the giving of the Torah to the whole Nation.haShem had told Moshe in Egypt before the ten plagues that at the giving of the Torah, they will believe you forever.But Korach ,in his jealousy , assumed that Moshe's desired that his brother should be Cohen Gadol , and that he would be king.And the ribono shel Olam listened.The torah is true,but Moshe was answered for his own desires (after all, they all heard the first two dibros, the rest is shrouded in mystery.) .Korach's  mind and soul went in the way he wanted.The possibility to err is always  with us.

My bar Mitzva sedra, Chukas starts with the mitzva of the red heifer.There are many mitzvos we do without uderstanding the reason.Why is this the epitome for them all?

At the time of the giving of the Torah, we were supposed to be free of the yetzer hera, free of the angel of death, be as Adom hoRishon before the Sin.But somehow, when Moshe seems to have disappeared,mindlessness took over and they committed the sin of the golden calf.

Purification from the sin and from the ensulting tuma of death is through the mitzva of the red heifer.It is not a korban;it does not bring us closer to haShem. The animal is beheaded outside the mikdash and its ashes sprinkled on the man in contact with the dead."Chok",which we understand as "Law" comes from "chokuk" , "inscription".

Ony when the torah is inscribed into our being (our seforim explain,through the labor of the oral law) do we find that purity we look for.Simple,fundamental emuna, faith, is the ultimate"tikun".In fact according to the Law,it could be performed by someone who  is not entirely pure.This was one of the mitzvos that the Tzeddokim , who scoffed at the oral law, attacked the most.The heifer is a beast of burden.It's child - the calf is not a g-d (unless we look for one and make it so).

A careful reading of the end of parshas Chukas and the beginning of parshas Balaak reveals something interesting.We were commanded not to fight with Moav or Amon; these lands were given to the children of Lot.Sichon took some  lands from Moav ("purifying" it for us to take), and the heads of Midyan (perhaps as a"protectorate") started a "rotation" governenment (much like today's in Israel), and that was how, the Midyanite - Balaak became "king " at that time and called to Bilaam to curse Israel.

 I am not exactly sure, but today ,we are used to the term "disruptive" technology.There truly was (and is) nothing more disruptive than the Jewish people coming home.The forces of tuma fight against its fulfillment.Tuma actually is connected with disollution, which is ultimately death.שקר "sheker", (especially with the shin written based on a point) has no base.אמת - truth , has a base  (all the letters sit on firm, extended base).

Ultimately ,the forces of tuma come to bless our people because their  tikun is though us ,when we fulfill our National raison d"etre to "to be a "Light" unto the Nations".

And that is probably why the sages originally wanted to put parshas Boluk into the reading of the daily Krias shema."haShem is One".

Bilaam asked from Boluk repeatedly to build 7 altars.Seven is the whole spread in time,just as 70 represents all the Nations, all the "faces' (ie 'understandings,viewpoints") of mankind.Those who practiced "avoda zarah",idol worship,had a whole pantheon, but we, who were blessed to accept the Torah , have "Malchus", Oneness, Unity,  Purpose.

This Shabbas was Shabbas Mevorchim.May we be zoche to a renewal as a People, a Renewal to our Mission in this world

May we see soon the coming of Moshiach.





Caleb shouted - we will go up and inherit

the spies said we cannot go up because they are stronger than us

And we were in our eyes as locusts and so too in their eyes (as worms)

All my years as we came to parshas Shlach,I have been bothered to try to understand the meaning of saying loshon hara on "land".The land doesn't hear, is not hurt.What is the damage ? And such a tremendous punishment for saying loshon hara on land ? It also has been incredible to me when so many people today, learn tanach , even who don't accept the insights and teachings of chazal, see in this parsha twice the word 'Nazi', and don't immediately realize that torah is from heaven!? (And I really  still have no answer)

"If 'ben Amram" tells us to go up even to shemayam,, and build ladders , we will go up and be successful.Were they idiots ?(Sounds like dor haflaga , who built the tower of Babel [or Eli  Musk today]) 

Don't be a small mensh,especailly in your own eyes, be a "higher being". The Netziv teaches that the reason they so easily turned on Moshe and wanted to return to Egypt, was because they believed themselves to be sinners and hated by the Ribono shel Olam.They had sinned in Mizrayim, by the the golden calf and more.To conquer the Land, you needed to be a spiritual giant, which they were incapable of being.Yes, the Land had been promised to our forefathers, but not to them, to their children and grandchildren, who would somehow survive.

Why did they look at themselves as locusts specifically (and I believe the answer to be the foundation of most if not all anti semitism throughout the ages )?

The locusts (the swarms) devour all food and sustenance.The first Rashi in chumash teaches in the name of Rav Yitzchok, that parshas Breishis teaches us that the ribono shel Olam created the world -it is His, and he gave  us the Land.It is ours by Right, we are not chalila, thieves.

Of the 3 forefathers, Yitzchok is the one who continually suffered from anti semitism.Avimelech said to Yitzchok, "go from us as you have grown stronger than ourselves (& implied,it is from us)." He built wells ,and found water , and the shepherds fought with him - "Esek", "hate' .The Netziv says something about Yitzchok's name (and therefore his essence) extremely profound -- "Yatza Chok'.-- went out "Appeared', "chok" , the source of sustenance.Avraham made a great drink fest on the day that Sarah weaned Yitzchok .The medrash says she gave  milk to other children on that day.

Since the sin of Adam and Eve, and their banishment from the Garden , the Land was cursed.It would not bring forth the blessings prepeared for Mankind.The Jewish People as a whole, the second installment of the stature of Adom harishon before the chet,have that capacity to bring forth from the Land all those blessings.And that is exactly where all the fights are.

A word bandied about today - "disruptive technology".Our existence as a People,is "disruptive"

Locusts devour.But if you are a higher mensch, you see and find the blessings that are there.Everything in this world exists to sing the praises of haShem "Everything which I created , formed , did,  was in my glory."If a Yid doesn't understand and see that, then he is saying loshon hara on the Creator,Himself , and that is the source of anti semitism and which brings the Nazis (of despised memory)to the power.









There are no "Answers" but we prepare for 'Matan Torah' as "One"


עזרא תיקן להן לישׂראל שׁיהו קורין קללות בּתורת כהנים קודם עצרת ושׁבּמשׁנה תורה קודם ר״ה מ״ט ֵֵֵ

כּדי שׁתכלה שׁנה וקללותיח

The Gemerra (Megila 31:2) that Ezra made a takana to read the "curses" in V'yikra before Shevuos and those in Devarim before Rosh haShana in order that the curses should end with the year".

Rav Moshe Shapira ztz'l says (brought in the sefer Afika Mayim) this is not to be taken to mean , chas v'sholom , that we accept the curses, and hopefully move on to a "better year." Rather, he explains,we find reference to a curse as a form of taking an oath."If this be true, let there be a curse , but it is not true". Those terrible happennings to our people the last year were an affirmation of the bris (Covenant ) between our People and haShem.In particular , he writes, the "Rosh haShana " of ilanos, Azeres) is higher than the Rosh haShana of Yom haDin.On Shevuos , the world is renewed (as all of Torah is renewal, newness, above the status quo of the natural order).We came back to the original status of Adom before the chet ha'egel,.whereas the Yom hadin of "Rosh haShana, refers to our lives here and now, after that chet .

We cannot try to give reasons,"why did it happen?"And why ,especaily on such a day, when the talmidim of R'Akiva stopped dying from their plague, and the inner "sanctums" of the Holy Torah began to be revealed, why did it happen?.But the Rambam does write that if we consider a misfortune to be just a happenning, a thing of chance, and don't daven to haShem, that is a way of "cruelty".So we must take it personally and incorporate the shared grief into our hearts, especailly those who live in Montreal, where two mishpachos m'yuchosos b'yisreal, lost two precious neshamos.

Every Pesach , at the seder, we sing a song ,a list of thankfulness, "dayenu".The famous question is asked,"Why would it have been enough if we would have been brought to har Sinai, and not have been given the Torah?"Perhaps the most simple answer is given by Rashi, " ויחן שׁם ישׂראל נגד ההר  , they encamped before the mountain, as one person, with one heart,"

I don't know if ever in modern history, or , even if in all of history  have the Jewish people been so united, as one person,with one heart.

Let this be a lasting blessing as we prepare to accept the Shechina , the presence of haShem (and there is no good as much as closeness to haShem) , this Rosh Chodesh Sivan, a time of preperation for kabbalas Torah. 

*(The meforshim; the Maharal, the Beni Yissaschar, and others) that the days of 'Sefira' are grouped in 2 ; the 32 days till lag b'Omer, are gematria kavod --honor (the honor of torah)

and for that reason ,the Maharal explains, on days set aside for growing in the honor and majesty of torah, the students of Rav Akiva died, for not ,in some ways ,honoring the torah of each other and spreading that light.The second part , till Shevuos, are 17 days - gematri Tov - good, the neemus, pleasure, the goodness of that light .R' Shimon ben Yochai , told his talmidim to learn from him because his middos were the "trumah", the refined "lifting" of the middos of r' Akiva.These neshemos yekoros who died this year in Meron, died at the inflection point ,of kovod to the holy Tanna R' Shimon and the  and beginning of the revelation of the goodness of that light,of "kirvas Elokim li tov")