The virtual Kehilla of Orthodox Jewry of Greater Montreal

Hachnassas Orchim Avraham :: Lot / Prayer for the Evil/ Moshiach

 Considering  the  dangers to Israel and to the world today from those who trace themselves to our Patriarch, Avraham Aveinu, it is worthy for us to study the sedrah in order to deepen our appreciation for his actual holy ways as handed down to us.The possuk actually tells us that in following in those ways, we merit all the brochos:

"כי ידעתיו למען אשר יצוה את בניו ןאת ביתו אחריו ושמרו דרז השם לעשות מדקה ומשפט לצען הביא השם על אברהם את אשר דבר עלון" "That haShem "knows(ie 'loves) Avraham as he will command his household after him to go in the ways of haShem , to do righteousness(Tzedeka) and law ,in order to bring upon Avraham that which was spoken(ie, that through his seed, will the peoples of the Earth be blessed)"

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Are We Dreaming?

 Are we Dreaming?

 The Pope kissing the hand of a Jewish man at Yad V'Shem?

Mideast Pope Horo 1 305x172

'Oy Lanu m'yom hadin Oy lanu m'ose bushe'

(As our Rabbis remark when Yosef reveals himself to the brothers OY , from the day of judgement , Oy, from that ultimate shame)

Not yet,quite, but the world is changing.

There aren't supposed to be Yidden living in our homeland,

nor Yidden praying in the Temple area.

But the article says

"How Jews being saved while not believing .. ..  ....can be possible remains an unfathomable mystery..."

Thankyou , no thankyou

But somehow, the world is changing !


The Parshayot of V'Yeshev and Miketz, are usually read Chanuka time.We even find the Gemerra in Mesechta Shabbas which discusses Chanuka, quoting from the posuk from V'Yeshev ,'The pit as empty' , and comments, enigmatically -' except for snakes and scorpions.Such things,especailly in the world of torah, do not 'happen' by chance.

In earler parshiyot , haShem speaks to Adom , to Noach,and to the Patriarchs, who had both prophecy and continual involvement with angels.But with Yosef,as he descends into the darkeness of golus , that direct 'connection' weakens into the confusion of dreams.We see that again later in our history.During the time of the first Temple, we had prophecy.Whereas Daniel,in a very similar situation to Yosef, interpreted dreams.

Again, the "shir hamaalos" in Tehillim which describes the redemption uses the phrase -- Hayenu k'cholmim' - we were like dreamers.

I saw an incredible discussion by the late Rosh Yeshiva of the Philidelphiyia Yeshiva., hagaon Rav Schwei.The interpretations that Yosef, saw in the dreams were not really implicit .After all, a person dreams are a reflection of what they are thinking during the day.Pharao and the winemaker and baker, ere not into high thinking.

But Yosef knew the blessings and promises and the Covenants haShem had made with his forefathers, and he remembered his own dreams.He was anticipating the redemption, so he understood that these 'dreams' had a higher import, and it was that 'Message ' that he saw and relayed.

And that is the real point; the redemption was built on his bitachon;it was the faith with which he grew up, that made him understand there was a message from Above.How much strength, thrown into a pit and sold into slavery by his brothers, and then thrown again into a pit by a libel from his master's wife, how much can one person endure!

It is this bitachon that has kept us alive through all the incredible tribulations of our long golus.There is a famous quote from R' Yonasan Eybeschutz that the greatest of all miracles is our survival amongst the 70 wolves.

So, "as the dreidle turns,'and the people who invented anti semitism and preached it and exported it, see the impossible , according to their dogma, happenning before their eyes, and see also the vengeance of the Ishmael lunatics pouring into the Europe filling the void left from the Yidden they murdered and chased for millenia, the King of Spain says to the Jews - "we miss you".

But we know that all the haShem does in this world ,he does for his Jewish children.And we see, with each disaster,Yidden coming closer together, not just out of fear, but out of love and concern , a sense of 'achdus.'

This ruach of Tahare (spirit of purity) by our people spills out and effects all of Mankind.

We are in golus because of sinas chinom (hate for no reason).

When the brothers came to Egypt , Rashi teaches that they entered seperately (Their father was afraid of ayin hare and they were looking for Yosef).Because of this Yosef was able to test his brothers with a charge of being 'spies.'The source of all the libels against our people is our being seperate.This is what the medrash means, that when they went to graze their fathers' sheep, they went to graze themselves.

This is the real fault and danger of secularism, Hellenism,or whatever may be the name in that generation.The seforim say that the Land of Israel,is what brings us together and makes of all of us a 'klall', a 'People'.We have all heard 'The whole is greater than the sum of its parts' .With Yidden it is more than that. How can one person , alone , truly connect with the 'Ein sof'(the Boundless)?A Jew alone is a half person ,which is the symbolism of the chazi shekel (half a shekel) given for the sacrifices.

When Yehuda haMaccabe said 'Me LaShem Eli!', the people rallied together, and became one people.It was that ruach of purity which won the wars and kept the lights burning for 8 days, as we are taught by the Maharal - 8 is above Nature.

It is that pure light of Torah which keeps us alive through all and above all and enables us to give thanks and praise to haShem as we look forward with bitachon to the time we will be fully 'a litght unto the Nations.'

A freilch Chanuka!









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A Simchas Tu b'Shvat!

Grow like the Trees

A Simchas Tu B'Shvat , Montreal

We are still in the midst of winter , but it is time to look forward to the blessings of the Land

 In various places, the Torah compares a person to a tree:

                                            A person is like the tree of a field... (Deut. 20:19)
                                     For as the days of a tree shall be the days of my people. (Isaiah 65:22)
                                          He will be like a tree planted near water... (Jeremiah 17:8)

The power of community is illustrated in the following Talmudic story:

An old man was planting a tree. A young person passed by and asked, What are you planting?

A carob tree, the old man replied.

Silly fool, said the youth. Don't you know that it takes 70 years for a carob tree to bear fruit?

That's okay, said the old man. Just as others planted for me, I plant for future generations.

Thanks to Aish Man is a Tree
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Is this what holds back Moshiach

I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Moshiach; and even though he may delay, nonetheless, I wait every day golden calf 2for his coming. (Rambam, 13 Principles, #12) The Chofetz Chaim was famous for his deep emunah in the coming of the Moshiach. He had a special Shabbos suit put aside to wear when the Moshiach comes. Once he was seen walking up and down the stairs. When asked about this, he replied, "I'm a Cohen. I'm practicing for the avoda in the Beis Hamikdash when the Moshiach comes." His son, Reb Leib, used to tell over that when the English announced the Balfour Declaration regarding the Jewish return to the Land of Israel, the Chofetz Chaim saw in this a sign from above that Heaven was preparing the Geula. However, he said that he was afraid that the secularists might ruin it, chas v'shalom. Many times in the past the time was ripe, but the people in the generation ruined it. (taken from

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Burning of the Red Heifer - The Burning of the Talmud - The Tragedy in Nice France

Zos Chukas haTorah Adom ki Yomus b'ohel

Ein divrey torah miskayim ela b'mi she memes atzmo alehaBook Burning Christian 300x276

אין דברי תןרה מתקים אלא במי שמימית עצמו עליה

'A man who dies in the tent ' - the words of torah can only reside in someone who totally immerses himself - ie. to be dead to the world- in the tents of torah'

How especially poignant to us are the words of the baal medrash become , when we read that when the church burnt the talmud , they did so with an official 'executioner'.Actually ,yes, the words of the living talmud are ingrained in the souls of our people and not on old parchment.

Twenty four cartloads of jewish books burnt "at the stake" in front of the Louvre in Paris June 17, 1242 ,Friday, erev shabbas, parshas Chukas (this writer's gentile birthday and bar mitzva sedra).It was the beginning of more than 500 years of such profanity (the last fire in 1757). The great sages of the time  decreed a fast on Friday erev shabbas as they understood the destruction to tie in to the parsha ,(one of the baale tosfos asked a shela b'shemayim and was answered that the day was the cause -'This is the chok (law without explanation) of the torah.

The Church was right, the ideas and sacrifice of our people for living words of haShem through the mesorah was  dangerous to them.That event signaled the end of the great Jewish presence in France.In an article attributed to Rabbi Wein's history lessons 

the ramifications were many ,including and up to the future secular Nazis and their evil ways..tammuza 300x238

          כאשר יענו אתו כן ירבה וכן יפרץ    

The more they were afflicted , the more they grew and spread

While the Church and their students continually degraded themselves , the burnings had the opposite effect on the Jews.Rabbenu Yonah connected that desecration with the burning of the Rambam's works in 1233 , also in Paris (which he himself had partially instigated ) .As a result he wrote the Shaare Teshuva -  'The Gates of Repentance' the pillar of the mussar movement.That work and others to follow would focus on building the inner sanctums of the ethical and religious jew .Our passion for the talmud just grew, and many say that the incessant burnings actually contributed to the flowering of kabbala amongst our people.

Last week's terrible sick 'attack' in Nice France , made this writer wonder.Google describes Nice as  "the city today balances old-world decadence with modern urban energy." I saw a well written article at   which impressed me.It describes the situation as a 'Clash of Civilizations".The anniversary of the storming of the Bastille was called trhe Feast of Federation,the celebration of French culture , of French ideals of "liberty, equality and fraternity".

"The revolution extolled reason; the fundamentalists worship at the alter of apocalyptic irrationality. And the revolution proclaimed (although it often failed to respect) freedom, including freedom of religion; the fundamentalists seek a caliphate in which only the laws of Islam prevail."

"But the revolution also established an enduring concept of citizenship that underpinned the French nation, “one and indivisible”. Far more than any other European country, it was open to foreigners; it demanded, however, that they join the nation on its terms. As Michael Walzer put it, “foreigners were welcomed — so long as they learned the French language, committed themselves to the republic, sent their children to state schools, and celebrated Bastille Day”.

It was equally insistent on what they were not to do: isolate themselves in ethnic enclaves that clashed with the broader community of citizens. Already in 1791, the refusal of a right to differentiate and divide was expressed in the Legislative Assembly’s debate on the emancipation of the Jews by Clermont-Tonnerre, a deputy of the centre, when he spoke for the majority (which favoured emancipation): “One must refuse everything to the Jews as a nation,” Clermont-Tonnerre declared, “and grant everything to the Jews as individuals.”

"In the country which long prided itself on being the “eldest daughter” of the church, there are more devout young Muslims than devout young Catholics and Protestants combined."


It seems somewhat ironic that the “eldest daughter of the church" who tried as much as they could to sniff out our national souls are facing today  the challenge of the end of theirs.

Perhaps this is hinted to at the end of the parsha - כי אש יצאה מחשבון להבה מקרית סיחן אכלה ער מואב בעלי במות ארנון - 'A fire went out from Cheshbon , a flame from the city of Sichon,it ate Or of Moab ,and baale bomos of Arnon.'

We were not allowed to go to war with Moab as we could not take their land ;it was given to the son of Lot.So a 'fire' went out from Sichon , the king of Emoree - from the land of Canaan, and ate up - conquered Moab.So , when Sichon went out to war with us, and we won, we were allowed to take those lands as our own.

The first Rashi in Chumash tells us that the torah as lawbook should have started with the first mitzva - the sanctification of the month.But it starts with sefer breishis , which we can't truly understand , to teach us that haShem , the Creator takes the land and gives it to whom He wishes.This is the ultimate answer to the world who will ultimately call us 'thieves.'

We  don't truly know the ways of haShem , and we certainly don't wish bad on any of haShem's creatures, but it is our deep belief that all the turmoil and horrors and fears we are going through today are a process of the ending of evil (b'ezer haShem it should be mostly by self annhilation) and ignorance and confusion and the unfolding of the blessings to mankind,as we are free to fulfill our raison detre as the 'Conscience of Mankind' and the  'Light unto the Nations.'

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