28 July 2016

Parshas Matos – By The Plains of Moav

The Plains of Moav
By Roy S. Neuberger

“These are the journeys of the Children of Israel ….”

High drama! This epic journey has inspired the entire world! 

The passage ends, “They encamped by the Yarden, from Bais Hayshimos until Avail Hashittim, in the Plains of Moav….” (Bamidbar 33:1-49)


How interesting that our travels in the Midbar are recounted in forty-nine possukim (Bamidbar 33:1-49), exactly the number of days it took from Mitzraim to Sinai, the number of days of Sefira, the number of days we needed to go from tumah to kedusha. Does this not tell us something? All our journeys in life are for the purpose of teshuva. May we only realize it!

My favorite road in the world is the Tishim,” Route 90, which runs the entire length of Israel, from Eilat to Lebanon, passing along the Jordan Valley from Yericho to Tiveria. From this road, one can look eastward, across the Yarden, into the Plains of Moav. There you can see – in your mind’s eye – the Children of Israel, encamped under the leadership of Moshe Rabbeinu, exactly as described in this week’s Parsha, poised to cross into the Holy Land. 

Our ancestors rebelled again and again. They tried Hashem’s patience, kaviochol, endlessly. “Thus said Hashem, ‘What did your forefathers find in Me that is wrong, that they distanced themselves from Me and went after nothingness….!” (Haftaras Masei) And yet, Hashem loves us so much that He will never abandon us! He will never annul the Bris He made with us. And He will bring us across the Yarden to the Land He promised us! “Zion will be redeemed with justice and her returnees with righteousness.” (Haftaras Devarim)

But how could a “ten-day” journey 
from Mitzraim to Eretz Yisroel take forty years? 

I made a rough calculation of the direct route from the Red Sea to the border of Israel (as defined in our Parsha) and it looks to be about 125 miles. A normal waking rate is 1.4 miles per hour, at which rate it should take a person on a straight path about 89 hours to walk from Egypt to Israel. Assuming about ten hours walking per day, that is about nine days. Even if we factor in the huge number of people with belongings, the Leviim carrying the Mishkan with all its kailim, and the fact that it was desert, the direct distance is still short. So let’s call it nine days. 

How could a nine-day walk take forty years?

My friends, this is life itself. Look back on all your important projects. Is it not true that every project involving kedusha takes a lifetime! Look at our own history: how long we have been in Golus! Look at what we have survived! Look how long it takes to make a talmid chacham! A lifetime! The Satan throws up roadblocks up at every turn. But despite all the setbacks, we go on. When it comes to kedusha, no matter how long the road, we never give up. "We run and they run. We run to the life of the World to Come, while they run to the well of destruction.” (Hadran)

“Rabos ra’os tsaddik … many are the mishaps of the righteous, but from them all Hashem rescues him….” (Tehillim 34) 

I spoke recently to a Gadol b’Torah. You would know his name. He told me that he constantly changes his method of saying brachas, because the Yetzer Hara is so incredibly tricky that, each time you think you have mastered kavana, the Yetzer Harahas a new trick to fool you. The battle is ongoing every second, because the Yetzer Hara never runs out of koach or tactics or costumes. 

Right now, we – Am Yisroel – are standing as a Nation in the Plains of Moav. Our journey is close to the finish line. Our travels through history have brought us to the brink of our goal: the peaceful settlement of Eretz Yisroel and the rebuilding of the Bais Hamikdosh.  

A few weeks ago we read a frightening prophesy from the mouth of Bilaam. “Come, I shall advise you what this people will do to your people in the End of Days…” (Bamidbar 24:14) And Bilaam continues. “Oy, mi yichye misumo Kail …Who will survive when He imposes these.” (Bamidbar 24:23) And who are “these?” Sforno ominously relates this to the Gemara in Sanhedrin (98b), “Let [Moshiach] come, but let me not see him!”

According to Pirkei deRebbe Eliezer, “these” refers to Bnai Yishmoel, the Moslem nations. “Misumo kail,” means the ones in whom the Divine Name “Kail” is placed.  There are only two nations whose name contains the Divine Name, Yisroel and Yishmoel, and the Pirkei DeRebbe Eliezer understands Bilaam’s prophesy to mean, Who will be able to survive when Yishmoel becomes dominant in the world?

I remember vividly the “Teshuva Drasha” of Rabbi Yissachar Frand Shlita”h, when he told over this frightening prophesy only a few days after the events of 9/11/01.  America was in a state of siege; military planes were streaking overhead, and the phrase “who will survive” took on real meaning. 

Rav Chaim Vital writes that the last Exile will be Golus Yishmael: “At the end of days, Israel is destined to experience the Ishmaelite exile. This fifth and last exile will be the most difficult of all. It is the exile of [the one] who is called ‘pe’re adam, a wild man.’” (Eitz Hadas Tov on Tehillim 124) My friends, let’s make no mistake. We are there, right now. Look around. Do you see what is happening in Europe? Do you think this is coincidence? Can you not hear the footsteps of Moshiach

Hashem “creates darkness” but He also “forms light.” There is a reason for everything. As we stand on the banks of the Yarden, we should know that our Final and Complete Redemption is very near. May we see it soon in our days! 

*          *          *          *
Roy Neuberger, author and public speaker, can be reached at roy@2020vision.co.il.

© Copyright 2016 by Roy S. Neuberger

27 July 2016

The Star is Coming

The Star is Coming
I read this on AbsoluteTruth (link below) and found a couple sentences that I had not read elsewhere. These were quite startling so I highlighted them here, together with other pertinent thoughts from the same post.

Only a few Jews know that the Vatican is partial owner of the land in Israel, and the owner of many holy sites.

Not only that, they also sold parts of the old city with the Temple Mount, along with David's tomb!

Did you know this? They do not show it, but it's a fact, and you will see soon that it is true.

I worry for the Jews [...] how much they do not want to believe that there is such a threat from a star approaching, even though many people have already seen it with their own eyes.

The star is very close. I just want to explain to our people that the only way to save ourselves is to have complete confidence in Hashem. Even if you move into a bunker, have weapons, food, water and everything you need for a few years, it will not help you without Hashem. And, if you do have Hashem, He will take care of you; you will have food, water, electricity and everything you need. Like the Jews who came out of Egypt, the plagues did not affect those who had Hashem.

Hashem is going to destroy two-thirds of the world. This is something that must be. People cannot do such destruction, only Hashem can do that. Do not think it will be because of a nuclear war? It could include one, but it will not be that people could destroy the world. As we have said many times: “Hashem created this world, only Hashem can destroy it.”

True, the star will come. The star belongs to Hashem; all the stars belong to Him, even the sun belongs to Him; everything belongs to him. Even the wicked belong to him, and soon they will learn it.

Our people are tiny compared to the world population; all real Jews do not take up much space. There is something like 14 million Jews around the world. Some who do not take it seriously, are not Jews at all. We do not know exactly how many Jews are real; only Hashem knows. Many Jews, who think that they are Jews, are not Jews because of all sorts of reasons. We can write all kinds of sources before Moshiach comes, but the majority of Jews would find they are Erev Rav, the mixed multitude. There are real differences between secular Jews, and it will all be clarified soon, who is what.

The big change is about to happen in this world. We live as human beings in this the first human world which is temporary. Hashem will raise us up much higher than what was in the Garden of Eden. After all wars, the star, etc, we move to another dimension; Hashem will raise us to a better, higher place, like the next higher world of Heaven where souls await after death. It will be higher with more spiritual pleasures.

26 July 2016

Community of Bat Ayin – Trailor and Episode One

Bat Ayin Trailor 
introducing the Series being created

Welcome to the first episode of Bat Ayin, our profile of a unique community in Israel.

The town of Bat Ayin lies in the hills between Jerusalem and Hebron. The population is estimated to be 85% baal teshuva, Jews who weren't born Orthodox but chose that way of life. Many of the residents are artists, farmers, and/or scholars. All of them share a sense of mission: this is their land, and their vision is essential to the future of the Jewish people.

Our goal with this film series is to show a community of Jews that doesn't get a lot of exposure beyond the political. The residents of Bat Ayin challenge many assumptions - about what it means to be Jewish, to settle in Israel, and to inhabit, physically and spiritually, the tension between worlds. In a discussion that is often divisive, we want to show you a human, living, breathing side of this one-of-a-kind place.

In our first installment, we follow Shlomo and Rina Shoshana Vile.. They first visited seven years ago, then returned to Chicago, sold their homes, and moved to Bat Ayin for good. They grow their own food, live in the nature around them, and connect their Jewish observance to the very earth they live on and that sustains them.

Episode Two expected sometime in August – Av 5776

Bat Ayin Ancient Mikvah and Winepress

B"H Bat Ayin of Gush Etzion was the location of an ancient mikvah and wine-press. It is believed that wine destined for the Beit Hamikdash came from this location in Judea, south of Jerusalem. 
Video by Ezra Ridgley וידאו על ידי עזרא רדג'לי

Bay Ayin Yeshiva

The above is part of a Series Arutz Sheva will be featuring and why:

While the Jewish communities of Judea and Samaria are widely maligned by much of the international media, some communities in particular are often singled out.

Among them is Bat Ayin, a village of some 200 families nestled in the ancient hills of Judea, between two of the Jewish people's holiest and most historically important cities, Jerusalem and Hevron.

Often cast as a hotbed of extremism - particularly since the uncovering of a Jewish underground cell there who planned revenge attacks against Arabs during the Second Intifada - the community's human side, like that of the "settlers" in general, are rarely portrayed. That's something which Elad Nehorai - better known as founder of the Pop Chassid blog - set out to change, with a remarkable series opening a window into the lives of several families in this unique community.

As those familiar with the wider Gush Etzion area will know, Bat Ayin is a particularly unique place, offering a unique fusion of powerful Jewish identity on the one hand, and a deep - borderline "hippyish" - sense of spirituality and connection with nature. It's a character which comes out particularly strongly in the first episode of "Bat Ayin," released earlier this month, which features Shlomo and Rina Shoshana Vile - two olim from Chicago who sold everything and left for Israel after becoming enchanted with their current hometown.

In a statement posted along with the video, the directors what motivated them to launch the crowd-funded project:
"Our goal with this film series is to show a community of Jews that doesn't get a lot of exposure beyond the political.

"The residents of Bat Ayin challenge many assumptions - about what it means to be Jewish, to settle in Israel, and to inhabit, physically and spiritually, the tension between worlds.

"In a discussion that is often divisive, we want to show you a human, living, breathing side of this one-of-a-kind place."

Midreshet B'erot Bat Ayin Promo

Midreshet B'erot Bat Ayin is a unique seminary in Israel that approaches Torah study from a holistic perspective, combining intensive textual learning with creative arts, holistic health and healing, and working the Land of Israel - all within the framework of Jewish law. Our weekly schedule includes classes in the Bible (Torah, Prophets, Writings), Chassidut, Jewish faith, prayer, Jewish law (halacha), and much more. Hear from our students, alumnae and teachers about our special learning program, and enjoy the breathtaking view that awaits you in Bat Ayin!

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


Letter from a Jewis Termite

Those Who Live On The Land
Elad Nehorai interviews a Bat Ayin Resident

25 July 2016

Could Be Headed Toward US!

Explanation of Magnetosphere Reversal 
plus other interesting photos and data
[skip over or ignore his religious comment (not long) and cautioning at end of Video, otherwise very informative]

Slow leak from NASA about “Brown Dwarf”
Magnetosphere is Struggling with 2 Suns
Planets not in regular alignment - Moon possibly off by 45 degree SW
[This is what I commented about on a fellow blogger – that I witnessed]

Some interesting photos:

Big Orb Little Orb
(with the Sun’s rays covering left side of Big Orb)

Constant Halo

What could be headed toward us!?

24 July 2016

How Do We Know About Gan Eden and Gehinnom?

How Do We Know About Gan Eden and Gehinnom?

From Defending the Honor of Hashem (#E-328)
by Rabbi Avigdor Miller

Q: How do we know that the tzaddik (righteous person) is going to Gan Eden and the rasha (evil person) is going to Gehinnom?

A: We know it because the Torah tells us that. That's the source of all knowledge. All that you can say is what you know, you know nothing at all. We listen to the Torah. Hashem spoke to our nation at Har Sinai, and He said that Moshe Rabbeinu is My spokesman. You hear that? Moshe will speak for Me.

Moshe Rabbeinu wrote in the Torah, “vayishkav im avosov,” Avraham Avinu “lay down with his fathers." Where were his fathers?

Avraham wasn’t buried with his fathers. Terach was in Canaan, in Aram, in Choron. Avraham is buried in Mearas Hamachpeilah. It says he’s lying with his fathers?
The answer is, he joined his fathers in the World to Come.

About Aharon it states that he was “gathered in to his fathers." Aharon wasn’t buried with his fathers, Aharon’s father was buried in Mitzrayim. Aharon was buried not in Mitzrayim. Moshe Rabbeinu was buried in Har Hohar; it says also he went to lie down with his fathers. So the Torah, Moshe says openly, when a person dies, he’ll go to his fathers, this is the World to Come.

When Bilaam stated “tomus nafshi mois yeshorim — let me die the death of these righteous people [meaning Am Yisroel]." What's the death of Am Yisroel, what does it mean, “usehi acharissi kamohu — and my afterward, should be like his [afterward].” What did Bilaam want, to be buried in the Jewish cemetery? Bilaam meant, if I could die and have an afterlife like they have an afterlife: an open statement in the Torah…

Therefore, there’s no question at all, we have an open demonstration of the truth of the World to Come, from the mouth of Moshe Rabbeinu. There are many other proofs in the Torah. Therefore, how do we know?

We know from Torah.