18 August 2017

Parshas Re’eh – Comfort in the Storm

Comfort in the Storm
By Roy S. Neuberger

My wife and I got married in the “old days,” before we discovered Hashem. I had not wanted a rabbi to officiate at our wedding, but my wife’s grandfather insisted, so we searched for the most reform of the reform. This person provided us with a document that contained an echo of Torah, a piece of paper on which was written, “Ani l’dodi v’dodi li … I am to my beloved and my beloved is to me.” This was his version of a kesuba

We are about to enter Chodesh Elul, the month of teshuva.  This possuk“ani l’dodi v’dodi li,” (Shir HaShirim 6:3) is understood to refer to Elul because the first letters of each word spell out the name of the month. (Vayikra Rabbah) Of course, this “shtims” perfectly with the avoda of Elul, which is all about reconciliation with the Ribono shel Olam

“Majestic, Beautiful, Radiance of the universe, my soul pines for Your love. Please, O G-d, heal her now by showing her the pleasantness of Your radiance.” (Yedid Nefesh)

Our entire existence is based on a relationship of love with Hashem. Because of that love, our relationship with Him is eternal. We have only to come back; He is waiting for us. 

Teshuva is the most upbeat process in the world. It is completely “empowering,” because teshuva is based on the knowledge that all our ills originate from our own weaknesses, and we can fix them. When apparently bad things happen, that is a sign that we have to fix something. 

It is within our power to correct everything. As the Novi says, “Where is your mother’s divorce document with which I sent her away?” (Yeshiah 50:1) We have to know that we will succeed!
We have to know that even one person can bring the Geulah. Moshe Rabbeinu brought the Geulah! Yosef Hatzaddik brought the Geulah!

My childhood was Gehenom, as I have often mentioned. Life without Torah was black as night and confusing as a maze. I could not breathe because of constant agmas nefesh. I had no idea what was wrong, which in itself was a terror. But I thank Hashem for all this, because, as a result, I knew that I needed Him. If I had not been in such pain, then I would have remained in that blackness for eternity, chas v’Shalom

My wife and I own an apartment in Yerushalayim. Recently, we had a robbery; the entire place was ransacked. One’s first reaction is shock and anger. You feel violated. You feel helpless. You desire revenge. It’s our home! How can people be so evil? 

However, you also want to say, “gam zu l’tova … it is all for the best.” (Taanis 21a) But how do you say it? What could be good about this? So I tried to think: how is this good? 

I had a thought. We tend to feel that we own this world. When things go well, we want to say that it all came about through “my strength and the might of my hand….” (Dvarim 8:17) I have a house. It is mine. I am happy there. What more do I need? This is potentially dangerous. As we read recently, “When you beget children and grandchildren and will have been long in the Land, you will grow corrupt and anger [Hashem]….” (Dvarim 4:25)

Something can easily go wrong when we become comfortable. We tend to forget that this is Hashem’s world. It exists only as a result of His willing it to exist. What would happen if He changes the way the world looks? What will happen when Moshiach ben Dovid comes? Will the world look the same? Will we live the way we do now? Maybe I’m hanging onto the old world, the world of Golus, and impeding the advent of Moshiach

Before Am Yisroel left for Har SinaiMitzraim collapsed. In order for us to leave that world and meet Hashem, we had to sever our relationship with that powerful, enticing world of Mitzraim

What will happen when Moshiach ben Dovid comes? Will the world we know today look the same? Maybe the world as we know it will collapse the way Mitzraim collapsed. Maybe we will have to be willing to give up our familiar world in order to enter a new world.

After the robbery, I thought: Hashem is training us for the world of Moshiach. Maybe He is telling us, “You have to know what it is like when your world is turned upside down. You have to learn that this apparent cataclysm is in fact ‘l’tova.’ I am going to bring you into a world that is infinitely better than the world you think is normal today.”

I have to know that the pain and the anguish are a bracha. If I know they are a bracha, then perhaps I will be able to deal with the anguish. If we can look at the chaotic events of our times in this way, then perhaps we are going to be able to accept the future that Hashem is preparing for us, a future infinitely greater than what we have seen up to now. 

It’s not easy. I’m giving a possible scenario. But because so many people are finding so much difficulty coming their way, we need to see a pathway to redemption. 

“Oh, storm-tossed, unconsoled one, behold, I shall lay your floor stones upon pearls and make your foundation of sapphires…. All your children will be students of Hashem and abundant will be your children’s peace.” (This week’s Haftarah) 

May we see that beautiful and perfect world soon in our days! 

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

© Copyright 2017 by Roy S. Neuberger

17 August 2017


WSO - Chicago Traffic Report Captures RED ORB OBJECT WITH TAIL

Zohar Prophecy of the Wars of the Future

Do Not Wait – The Time is Now

The Zohar reveals the wars of the end of time and who is going to win and be protected.

Zohar prophecy of the wars of the future. Zohar Vaerah #204, 205,206

Much of this was given to us by Reb Dov bar Leib in his blog, EndofDays. The link to this video was included as a comment on the blog, so I thought it important in any event to bring it to you. Plus how you can join the DailyZohar Lessons at https://DailyZohar.com.


[T]he Holy One, Blessed be He, brings redemption to the people of Israel, redeems the Jews from all over the world and brings them to the Holy Land. If we want to understand what is happening in this world, this is "Gog and Magog" – the Jews will come to the Land of Israel to settle here. If they will ignore His warnings, the Creator will continue to complicate and divide the whole world, except the Holy Land, to shake and shudder it with the elements, the floods, the volcanoes, inferno and fires, severe winds and storms. The earthquakes will continue and tsunami will not be late. All this is done by our Father in Heavens so that the Jews will flee from the lands of the Diaspora and immigrate to the Holy Land so that the Jews who live in Israel will not go abroad. It will also be that all the people who wish to disturb the Holy Land of Israel and the Jews in the Land of Israel will be preoccupied with the floods, earthquakes, fires and storms The Creator of the world confuses them and brings quarrels among them, diseases and in short: the ten plagues of Egypt.

Any country that will work with the Land of Israel, in trade and in any other fields, that will support the Land of Israel and the Jews, will immediately feel the help of the Creator of Heaven. If they will continue to deceive the Holy One, Blessed be He, the Creator will continue to strike them very hard, until all the nations and all the presidents and kings understand clearly that they must not touch the Holy Land of Israel, but praise the Holy Land and the Jews who live in the Holy Land.

The Land of Israel is flourishing and growing, all the Jews of the world must come to the Land of Israel; the Messiah is in the Land of Israel working and acting, building the Third Temple. The world will not be destroyed, nothing will happen! There will not be a third intifada, nor a Third World War, and not a nuclear war. Everything that happens, all the chaos in the world, are solely for the sake of the Jews so they will come to the Land of Israel and for all the countries that disturb them to be in 'chaos.' If they will redeem themselves, they will have only goodness.

Natural disasters will continue, as long as the Jews continue to be disturbed. The sea is raging and noisy, wanting to take over and purify the earth, and the Holy One, blessed be He, stops it for now. There is an angel in the sea waiting for the instructions of the Creator of the Universe.

All the disturbances against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are from money that came from abroad to a group of mostly non-Jews and a few left-wing Jews, to bring down the right. They have no problem with Netanyahu; they want to topple the right-wing government in order to destroy the Holy Land. They are looking for a political way to destroy the State of Israel. Netanyahu is a wise man, a wise politician who does not agree with them.

All the disturbances against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are from money that came from abroad to a group of mostly non-Jews and a few left-wing Jews, to bring down the right. They have no problem with Netanyahu; they want to topple the right-wing government in order to destroy the Holy Land. They are looking for a political way to destroy the State of Israel. Netanyahu is a wise man, a wise politician who does not agree with them.

All the signs in the world attest to the period of revelation of the Messiah, the discovery of the foundations of the First and Second Temples - in order to continue building the Third Temple! When the Messiah is revealed in public in the Land of Israel and in the world, all the goyim will flee on foot outside the borders of Israel - the time is near! Everything we've written here is all precise!

Source: From the Words of Nir ben Artzi

Parshas Re'eh: I’m Putting in Front of You Today, the Blessing and the Curse . . .

Do Not Wait – The Time is Now

I’m putting in front of you today, the blessing and the curse . . .

Rabbi Mizrachi speaks current events.

  • Rabbi Mizrachi also speaks about the marching Nazis in America, the Arabs, and why they bother the Jews. From Shamayim Hashem directs the Nazis against the Jews – The Hand of Hashem.
  • Also about the “signs” (and they were many) in Switzerland.
  • Jews are the No l tourists in Turkey.
  • Hashem is waking up the Jews all over the world.
  • In India a hospital did not pay its electric bill, so the company shut their electricity and 60 children died (who were connected to oxygen machines). (They knew about it, but because of money they did it anyway.)

“Drug Use is a Response to a Lot of Pain. . .”

After reading the below article about the children dying of drug overdose in the Brooklyn Community of Boro Park, I returned to the Mishpacha article (read previously) to find glaring instances of “moments of crisis” reflecting a community in crisis, that could/should have been flashpoints of hypocrisy that gave way to pain. 
The golus is taking its toll on our Jewish Communities (worldwide). A sure sign of the proverbial "End of Days Scenario”. History reflects the “wandering Jew” who goes from country to country seeking rest from hatred, violence and anti-semitism, only to meet it once again. The wandering Jew from the ashes of the First Beit HaMikdash, finally reaches the shores of the last anticipated resting place in the ¶Southern Hemisphere, America. And there they rebuild the nation of Jews who survived the Shoah. 
After tremendous growth came affluence and abundance. The freedom found on this stop on the Galut Train has taken its toll on the remnants of thousands of years of wandering. Freedom is not free; there are ramifications, a loss of spiritual balance.
The final test of Returning to Hashem is being played out, with devastating results. Teshuva is not just a religious experience of ‘returning’ or ‘coming closer to Hashem', but the realization that our History has a purpose. We see that purpose unfolding in the Neshomas making Aliyah to **Eretz Yisrael. 
From that fateful day when the Sages returned with a slanderous report, after scouting out Eretz Yisrael, that frightened the people, fast forward to 2017, the people are finally entering our Promised Land. History is not over yet, there remains many Jewish neshomas in Chutz L’Aretz that need to awaken to the Promise of Hashem,  that our Land is a good and fruitful Land waiting for its children to return, to return to Hashem, and the Jewish way of living in our Promised Homeland. 

Below is one of the articles I read, and a selection from the second article. 

“Drug use is a response to a lot of pain,”
The following is an article (full) from JewishWeek–TimesofIsrael, about the Drug problem that is claiming young Jewish lives. And after that another article in Mishpacha Magazineabout a  the young woman, who is also one of the several women discussed below:

Five months ago, Chana Gibber, a 20-year-old recovering opioid addict, woke up in a hospital bed attached to a ventilator.

She had been hospitalized the night before after overdosing on heroin.

“I was homeless and panhandling [at the time],” recalled the Midwood native, speaking to The Jewish Week in an exclusive interview. She grew up in the Brooklyn ultra-Orthodox enclave and attended a high school for troubled girls; she has since broken with the insular community. “I overdosed and flatlined for like 13 seconds. … They Narcanned [administered Naloxone, an opioid antidote] me like six times.”

“Addiction wants us dead,” said Gibber. 

“It wants to torture our lives.”

Despite her unstable condition, she texted a friend from her hospital bed, asking for more heroin. Her friend smuggled the drugs past security and the nurse station and up to her room. Propped up on the sanitized pillows, she injected herself again.

“Addiction wants us dead,” said Gibber, today in recovery. “It wants to torture our lives. … The battle of fighting against it is so crazy.”

Gibber — today over 100 days clean, newly employed and living in Los Angeles — lost five friends to overdose in the past year. Most recently was a close high school friend, Malky Klein, who, like Gibber, had left her chasidic community. She died in Brooklyn in June. She was 20.

The national opioid crisis — a combination of doctor over-prescription and patient misuse that has contributed to an epidemic of addiction and overdose — has not spared Orthodox communities, despite strict guidelines that attempt to shelter youth from outside influences. The crisis seems to be hitting home particularly hard for those who leave the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, self-identified as “off the derech,” or path. Since the beginning of June, 13 people have died of overdoses among Orthodox and formerly Orthodox Jews under the age of 35; since January of this year, that number is over 100, experts say. While 2016 saw an alarming spike in the number of ultra-Orthodox deaths by overdose — 65 in the past Jewish calendar year, according to Zvi Gluck, director of Orthodox social service organization Amudim — this year’s death toll quickly surpassed those numbers.

While prominent members of the ultra-Orthodox community have started to weigh in on potential causes and solutions, those even closer to the tragedies — friends, family members, and individuals like Gibber who have themselves narrowly escaped tragic deaths — are starting to talk.

Since the beginning of June, 
13 people have died of overdoses 
among Orthodox and formerly Orthodox Jews 
under the age of 35 — since January of this year, 
that number is over 100

“People are dying — this is not about religion anymore,” said Mushky Zulauf, a 23-year-old college student living in Crown Heights. She was close friends with many of the young adults who recently succumbed to opioid addiction. Though she grew up in the Chabad chasidic community, today she no longer considers herself part of it.

“They rejected me,” she said, recalling that she was “kicked out” of her all-girls elementary school because the school staff did not know how to deal with her complicated problems. Though Zulauf did not use drugs, she struggled with alcohol addiction and a complicated family life. “When someone is acting out and going against the rules, people [in the religious community] step away — they are scared, they don’t want to deal with it.” The problem is that these “bad behaviors” — partying, drug use, alcohol use — are a “desperate cry for help.”

“By pushing these people away, 
the suffering only gets worse,” 
 “Open your eyes. Realize you can help someone.”

Alhough she has seen many friends struggle — and succumb — to addiction over the years, something has changed in recent months, she said.

“We’re not hiding it anymore,” said Zulauf, referring to an increasingly active — and angry — group of young people who are leaving (or have left) the Orthodox community — either by choice or systematic exclusion. “We used to hide everything we did — not keeping religious rules, partying, doing drugs — we hid that from the community, because we were ashamed, or because of negative feedback. Now, we’re showing our faces. We’re done hiding who we are.”

‘The religious community only started caring 
once we started dying.”

Perry D., a 22-year-old formerly Orthodox young woman (who requested her full name not be used for privacy reasons), recently posted on her Facebook wall: “‘The religious community only started caring once we started dying.” Her post received a flurry of comments and responses, most affirming the sentiment. (Their comment was reprinted here with permission.)

Demo M., 24, a friend of Meyer Green — an ex-Orthodox man in his early 20s who died in early June (sources close to Green requested that the circumstances surrounding his death remain private) — recalled being cast out of the upstate Monsey religious community before struggling with drug addiction.

“Many of us were cast out — [we] didn’t have family support, or community support,” Demo said. “Maybe it’s the fact that we’re addicts. There are a lot of factors [that contribute to addiction]. One of them is losing community.”

Integrating more sports and creative outlets — like art and drama — into Orthodox schools could steer frustrated youth away from drugs, Demo suggested.

Though few studies compare the rate of mental health disorders in the Jewish community to rates in the general population, there is reason to suspect that those who leave the Orthodox fold have an increased risk of mental health disorders, said Dr. Isaac Schechter, clinical psychologist and director of the Center for Applied Psychology at a 1,000-patient mental health clinic in Rockland County.

“Many of us were cast out"

“When someone disconnects from a community, [the person’s] identity is lost,” said Schechter. Though the data is not “clear enough” at this point to draw conclusions, “falling out of hope” can lead to depression, overdose, and suicide.

Yaacov Behrman, a program director in the Chabad-Lubavitch community in Crown Heights, directs the drug prevention group Operation Survival. He said the Orthodox community is not unique in its struggle against opioids.

“We’re not angels,” he said. “We’re affected by the outside world.” Religious communities, no matter how insular, are not immune to this national epidemic, he said.

“It’s hard for any parent to imagine that their kid is capable of overdosing,” Behrman said.

A challenge that is unique to the Orthodox community, he said, is an absence of awareness, exposure and education about these issues. The “mindset of protection” that pervades many Orthodox homes and schools is actually doing a disservice to its youth, he added.

“Parents don’t want their kids to be exposed to these ugly realities, but it is worth the exposure,” he said. Under Behrman’s leadership, Operation Survival has become the first Jewish program in New York State to register as an Opioid Overdose Prevention Training program; the program aims to provide the Jewish community of Crown Heights with prevention education and overdose response training.

“Awareness is important. It’s hard for parents to have a conversation with their kids about drugs. It’s harder not to,” he said.

Zvi Gluck, founder and director of Amudim, an organization that provides support and mental health services to those in Orthodox community, pointed to a 2016 survey by the National Institute on Drug Abuse that found that drug use among high school students is on the decline. He attributes the shift to early education and intervention programs. Orthodox schools are slowly beginning to follow suit, he said.

“I am quite pleased overall with the way our Yeshiva systems are making subtle changes in different areas such as training and education,” Gluck told The Jewish Week. “But sadly it is still lacking tremendously in the fields of addiction and abuse,” he added.

Lou Abrams, a social worker specializing in drug addiction in the Orthodox community, said the gratuitous presence of alcohol at Jewish celebrations — bar mitzvahs, “kiddush clubs,” Purim parties — and a general lack of adult supervision increases the risk of addiction, particularly for young people.

“Alcohol is still a big gateway. Rarely does someone start taking opiates before they started experimenting with alcohol or marijuana.”

“Drug use is a response to a lot of pain,”

Still, for individuals like Gibber, the problem is deeper than one too many drinks, or one too many joints.

“Drug use is a response to a lot of pain,” she said. “If you leave religion, you are branded as an outcast and a rebel…you become a ‘bad person.’ [You] ask yourself ‘Why shouldn’t I do drugs if people already assume there’s something wrong with me?’”

The thought process is cyclical and self-fulfilling, she said. It is hard to fight off the despair.

Despite losing several close friends to overdose — and despite her own volatile journey, from relapse to recovery to relapse — she plans to fight for life.

“Hope is everything,” she said.


Source Article: JewishWeek-TimesofIsrael

* * * * *
Definition of Opiods (drugs):
What are Opioids? Opioids are drugs that act on the nervous system to relieve pain. Continued use and abuse can lead to physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms. They come in tablets, capsules or liquid. DrugFreeWorld

This is the second article that appeared in the Mishpacha Magazine, entitled “Always My Malky.”

"A sparkling child growing up in Boro Park. But then difficulty in school. Shattered self-esteem. Rehab. All along Malky’s parents were with her — until it was all over. “I learned,” […] “how readily accessible the most dangerous narcotics are right here in Boro Park, how simple it is to obtain them, how there are dealers all over this neighborhood. We couldn’t do very much, because to cut off the money would have forced Malky to come up with money on her own. We knew we didn’t want that”

“It was the day of Malky’s eighth grade graduation when the message came from the one high school that had actually accepted her. Yeah, well, so that acceptance? Not really. Sorry. [Her mother] decided to take her on a trip to Europe . . . ." Also, Malky’s mother said about Malky, she “loved to dress well, Miss Fashion . . . .”

While in second grade, Malki blurted out during a Shabbos meal, “My teacher says that I really belong in the first grade.”

“… we didn’t realize then that Malky had a learning disability”

During the intervening years’ of after-school tutoring, by the sixth grade, Malky blurted out “Thats it. I’m done with tutors. I can’t anymore.”

After eighth grade the hunt for a high school endured. Finally accepted to a high school, Malky’s mother bought her a brand new brief case . . . The Principal accused Malky of “trying to buy off friends”. Malky was expelled from high school. [because of a fancy briefcase, gifts to her friends, which was a product of her upbringing, family life and her own good hearted graciousness?]

All her life, although with a ‘learning disability’ Malky was a “brilliant girl,” so said the result of a Bd of Ed evaluation. [This girl suffered all through her "growing–up” years, and was left damaged, hurt, and defeated. A clash of principles learned at home vs the community’s educational rigidity – a clash of mores.]


My comments in brackets. Does anyone see a pattern in these brief selected quotes from the article? To me It’s an indictment on the mores of the social fabric of the Brooklyn Jewish Community, one of affluence that keeps parents overly busy with evening weddings, shul kiddishes, away from the home, while children suffer with personal issues growing up. The dichotomy is glaring and shouting from the pages of the Mishpacha Magazine article. [Nothing is wrong with attending Smachot, but to be out almost every evening and not at home with the children is tearing apart the families. The “Heim” was the center of Jewish live throughout the many years of wandering; there was nothing else to drag parents away from their children.

Beware that you do not forget the Lord, your G–d, by not keeping His commandments, His ordinances, and His statutes, which I command you this day, lest you eat and be sated, and build good houses and dwell therein,and your herds and your flocks multiply, and your silver and gold increase, and all that you have increases, and your heart grows haughty, and you forget the Lord, your G–d, Who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. [Devarim 8:10-14]

‘despair' ‘alienation’ 
'non–acceptance' ‘shunning’
these are symptoms of the crisis

These children, while in their elementary years, were (are) the “Canaries in the Coal Mine,” victims of affluence, a life of entitlement expectations, and rigid codes of behavior that have lost compassion on the weakest among them. This is an existential affect of protecting from the “outside influences” that are strangling many youth. While these articles focus on the young girls, the same is happening with many young men. [Some Israeli Yeshivos are where many lost and lonely alienated youth end up, where they find acceptance, (their) self-esteem, and (their) heritage.]

Hasidic News: A Spate of Suicides Hits the OTD Community
Heroin has infiltrated the Hasidic Community

Southern Hemisphere: In Chassidic thought, America is referred to with the expression, the lower hemisphere.‘ It is stated that the Torah was not given in the lower half of the earth. Coming to the lower half of the earth‘ was one further step in a series of exiles

 **For the Lord your G–d is bringing you to a good land, a land with brooks of water, fountains and depths, that emerge in valleys and mountains, a land of wheat and barley, vines and figs and pomegranates, a land of oil producing olives and honey, a land in which you will eat bread without scarcity, you will lack nothing in it, a land whose stones are iron, and out of whose mountains you will hew copper.

Rabbi YY Jacobson: Jewish Community Tackles Drug Abuse Problem

Rabbi YY Jacobson: The Journey of a Young Woman from School Expulsion to Overdose

16 August 2017

President Trump at a News Conference on Charlottesville

President Donald Trump was in peak combative form as he addressed the media's questions about his response to the racism and violence in Charlottesville during a news conference at Trump Tower in New York.

Anomalous Earthquakes

Anomalous Earthquakes: 
North Korean Nukes or Nibiru?
[watch the following video up to 14:24 min only, plus make video mute]

15 August 2017

Charlottesville . . . . UPDATE

UPDATE: Highly recommended

Assessing #Charlottesville Culpability: Who's Responsible, Who's to Blame, Who Allowed It to Happen?

Division Deepens: Who Exactly Is to Blame for #Charlottesville?
John Hajjar, deputy director of the U.S.-Middle East Alliance to Support Donald Trump, Medea Benjamin (Co-Founder of Code Pink) and Lionel from The Lionel Nation, debate the issue on RT International Moscow live.

"George Soros funds these Antifa & BLM useful idiots. The Police stood down & let things get out of control thanx to a Democratic Mayor. Now its all the white peoples' fault; they gotta take away our freedom of speech. Problem, Reaction, Solution. Divide and Conquer…”

#Charlottesville: Soros Antifa Thugs Defile History by Comparing 'Unite the Right' to Hitler

It’s beyond comical to suggest for a moment that any of the organizers of ‘Unite the Right’ could and should in any wise be compared to Hitler or Nazis or neo-Nazis. The history simply doesn’t hold up or hold water. Herein is a bit of history that best explains the depravity and organic terror of Hitler and his acolytes. You defile history when you make it up on the run. Take notes and take notice
[the last two minutes is the summation]

What They're NOT Telling You About The Charlottesville Race Riots

The Lost World of the Wooden Pickle Barrel – A Reminiscence

"I have wonderful memories….growing up in The Bronx, in the Fifties…walking many blocks, to a deli, with my best friend…putting down a nickel…reaching into the huge barrel…choosing a crunchy and delicious pickle….asking the clerk to cut it in half…and then walking back home with my friend…enjoying the incredible flavor of that salty, spicy and incredible pickle!!!"
The Lost Magic of the 
Wooden Pickle Barrel 

For generations in America and Europe, wooden barrels were where the magic happened: the lacto-fermentation of cucumbers. At full strength, one barrel could house hundreds of specimens as salt, clean water, spices and time joined forces to transform raw vegetables into preserved food.

Blond and rather slender for its type, a pickle barrel stands by the takeout counter of the famous Washington, DC delicatessen Wagshal’s. Lined with plastic, it may satisfy a certain nostalgia but amounts to no more than a storage unit on the bulk-bin grocery aisle—a pale iteration of the big-bellied, oak casks I remember from my childhood.

For generations in America and Europe, such wooden workhorses were where the magic happened: the lacto-fermentation of cucumbers, i.e. old-school pickles. At full strength, one barrel could house hundreds of specimens as salt, clean water, spices and time joined forces to transform raw vegetables into bacteria-free, preserved food. Pickles stored in wooden barrels were prized for their flavor and their texture. The brine reacted with the cucumbers to kill harmful bacteria and extracted enough moisture to keep the resulting pickles crisp yet juicy. One unintentional benefit of these wooden pickle barrels was a kind of olfactory come-on. Their porous material emitted wondrous aromas science has identified as proven appetite stimulants. Folks would catch the waft—for example, along New York’s Lower East Side “Pickle Alley” in the 1930s—and come running.

Of course, the salt-involved preservation of food (and pickles in particular) has gone on for thousands of years. Mesopotamians did it in 2400 BCE. Pickling was also practiced in early Asia, ancient Greece and medieval Italy, with reputable sources citing aficionados as wide-ranging as Aristotle, Napoleon and Cleopatra, who credited pickles for her beauty. Some 350 years ago, the Dutch brought their pickling practices (including the use of salt, spices and vinegar) and old oak barrels to New York (then New Amsterdam) and planted small cucumbers where Brooklyn now thrives.

Present-day pickle aficionados 
can no longer pick their pickles 
from wooden barrels.

When Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe arrived in New York, they too were familiar with pickles. Their ancestors had fermented cucumbers, beets and cabbage for generations, relying on these preserved vegetables to get them through the winter and spice up their otherwise bland diets. The immigrants snapped up the cheap and plentiful cucumbers to process and sell on the streets. They peddled their pickles in pushcarts and, eventually, sold them in delis. At one time Essex Street—the heart of New York’s Jewish enclave—featured as many as 80 pickle merchants. Their most famous product was the kosher dill, a.k.a. the Jewish pickle. (A Jewish pickle is just one that includes raw garlic in the brining process.)

But food-safety regulations in the 1970s forever altered commercial pickle production in this country. The New York health department prohibited the use of wooden barrels because they could not be properly disinfected (between wooden seams) and were not airtight against outside pathogens. Ziggy Gruber, a third-generation deli man with Cordon Bleu training and co-owner of Kenny & Ziggy’s New York Delicatessen in Houston, has a word for the officials’ work: narishkeit, Yiddish for “foolishness.” “I have never known anyone to get sick from them,” says Gruber, who grew up on the Lower East Side in the days of wooden barrels and stainless-steel bowls of pickles and tomatoes on deli tables.

For generations in America and Europe, wooden barrels were where the magic happened: the lacto-fermentation of cucumbers. At full strength, one barrel could house hundreds of specimens as salt, clean water, spices and time joined forces to transform raw vegetables into preserved food

These days, most artisan pickles are cured in plastic buckets and barrels. Some say that hasn’t affected the quality of the product. Alan Kaufman of the Pickle Guys on Essex Street, a Queens native who has been fermenting pickles since 1981, says good flavor can develop in a plastic barrel, but a wooden one can yield pickles almost a week faster.

Wagshal’s proprietor Bill Fuchs recalls similar regulations that were introduced in Washington, DC in the mid-1990s. “We had to get rid of our original barrels,” he says. The “faux barrels,” as he calls them, don’t draw the same attention as the wooden ones.

Pickles’ popularity in modern-day America has waxed and waned. Fuchs sees less of an appetite for them these days. “Lots of people don’t even want them anymore,” he says of the one-sixth pickle spear customers receive wrapped in with their sandwich orders. One reason may be that the modern pickle universe has been populated with cucumbers that are not brined, but rather are vinegarized and pasteurized. The heat involved in the latter would kill the lactobacilli in a true fermented pickle. The process often comes at a cost—a less crunchy, less-than-stellar pickle. And certainly a far cry from what would have been drawn from a wooden barrel.

Source article/photos: Moment Magazine, Current Issue, Friday, August 4, 2017

14 August 2017

Metal Detectors – Hoax Protectors?

Metal Detectors – Hoax Protectors?
by Eytan Kobre
Why does this sound so familiar?

[. . .] seeing connections between disparate events taking place in the world and mining those for potential significance. Indeed, the very fact that Hashem interacts with His world by means of middah k’neged middah facilitates discovery of the meaning embedded in current events and enables us to make use of it in our lives.

A very current example: What follows swiftly on the heels of the Great Heterodox Prayer Site Hoax? Another fraud of equal magnitude, involving a site just yards away — the Great Temple Mount Metal Detectors Hoax. Just days after the heterodox movements and their Jewish media allies tried creating an international uproar over the Israeli government’s cancellation of the Kosel agreement, the Arabs embroiled Israel in another worldwide crisis, one that hasn’t abated even with the removal of the detectors.

Walter Russell Mead, writing in The American Prospect, notes that “the Palestinian response is being driven by unsubstantiated paranoia about Jewish conspiracies to overturn the Temple Mount status quo.” “Overturn the Temple Mount status quo” — now, where have we heard of people trying to do something like that?

Mead writes that

it would be difficult to imagine a less sympathetic grievance to attract Western support to the Palestinian cause. In fact, the Palestinian response will appear contemptible to anyone who bothers to read even the basic facts of the matter. Israelis can’t go into shopping malls and bus stations, let alone visit the Western Wall, without passing through a metal detector.

He’s right, of course; the whole Palestinian fuss over the installation of metal detectors makes no sense, until one understands that it’s a make-believe claim dressed up as a religious plaint, serving as a convenient smokescreen for a political agenda seeking exclusive control of Har Habayis.

Hmm. A controversy over the entranceway to a religious site that’s really not about religion — because no one’s religious freedom is being curtailed — but about larger political ambitions and exclusive control… Why does that sound so familiar?

As I wrote several weeks ago, the Israeli cabinet’s cancellation of the agreement did nothing to deprive the heterodox of access to their prayer site. All it did was a) scuttle the plan to change the entranceway to the Kosel so that all Jews, whether going to daven at the Kosel or to do their thing at the other site, would enter through the same entrance; and b) cancel the plan to give a committee of heterodox and secular Jews exclusive decision-making power over their site. Both would have advanced the heterodox political agenda of full official recognition.

Of course, no one is comparing heterodox leaders, wayward Jewish brethren, to Palestinians. But it just may be — and this is just a personal musing — that when Jews turn a place from which the Shechinah has never departed into their personal battleground to further political goals in the guise of religious passion and try to rile the world in the process, what results is the sight of Palestinians riling the world against Israel in the very same way and in the very same place.

Source:  Mishpacha Magazine, Wednesday, August 02, 2017

13 August 2017


Researcher Gives Seal of Approval to 53 Biblical Characters’ Existence

Thanks to a researcher’s unique system, 53 individuals in the Hebrew Bible have been proven as genuine historical characters through material evidence of their existence. The system’s creator, Lawrence Mykytiuk, an associate professor of library science at Purdue University, calls it “a way to develop historicity.”

Biblical characters that Lawrence Mykytiuk claims to have verified. Clockwise, from left: Sargon II; Cuneiform prism describing the restoration of Babylon by Esarhaddon; a relief of King Sennacherib from his palace in Nineveh; Tiglath-pileser III from the palace at Nimrud. (Public domain)

It sounds like an unlikely project: a professor in the Midwest verifying ancient names from the Mideast. Yet Mykytiuk’s training as a librarian and interest in the Bible help him do what he says on-the-scene archaeologists are too busy to — pore through journals and books, scrutinize inscriptions discovered on digs and attempt to match names in the historical record with names in the Bible.

Mykytiuk’s system relies on three criteria: A biblical name must match the name on an authentic inscription, with no possibility of a forgery (thus ruling out items from the antiquities market, he said). The names — in the Bible and on the inscription — must match in terms of setting and time period. And, in perhaps the most exacting category, Mykytiuk looks for matches of at least three specific details identifying an individual, such as name, father’s name and title.

“If it matches the same three mentions in Scripture, it’s a virtual certainty,” Mykytiuk said. “There might be a few people with the same name, father’s name,” he added, “but same title? That’s stretching it. I consider it a virtual certainty, either a dead ringer or virtual certainty.”

Mykytiuk’s oldest verification is another sovereign — King David himself, from 1000 BCE. He found a match between the protagonist of Samuel I and the “House of David” wall inscription at the Tel Dan excavations in northern Israel.

“‘King of Israel’ was in one line,” Mykytiuk said. “The next line read ‘Melech Beit David.’ It was in Aramaic, by the enemies, the Arameans, who conquered Tel Dan and indicated a victory monument, a stele, a big sign in stone. The Israelites reconquered it, and smashed [the stele] to pieces that they used to make a wall.”

“David is so important in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament… If you want to verify anybody, he’s the guy,” he added.

Full interesting article can be found at TimesofIsrael

124 Year Old Books with Parallels to Trump

Just Plain Bizarre! - 124 Year Old Books 
with VERY Weird Parallels to 2016-17

"August 9, 2017: Books surface from over 124 years ago, entered at the Library of Congress with many uncanny references pertaining to todays world....links below…"





UPDATE BELOW: YELLOWSTONE and Strange Giant Energy Spiral Over Pacific Ocean

Strange Giant Energy Spiral Spans Entire Pacific Ocean - Antarctica to Arctic Circle
August 7, 2017: A giant energy spiral spans the entire Pacific Ocean from S to N yet once again. Starting at approximately 18:00 UTC it appears to originate from Antarctica spanning to the N slightly NW. I have a new theory, its going to require some research but I think I may know why this is appearing. Thanks

Yellowstone Supervolcano SWARM - 1600 earthquakes and climbing
August 7, 2017: Super Volcano at Yellowstone update on the earthquake swarm. The quakes showing no signs of letting up and is at 56 days straight of continuous activity.

Yellowstone Volcanic Alert-Elevated Earthquake Activity-Heatwave and Wildfire Chaos
Published on Aug 9, 2017
A Newsweek article published an alarming report that observers had recorded more than 1,500 earthquakes on the western edge of Yellowstone National Park as part of an ongoing “swarm” currently in its seventh week. The swarm began on June 12 and as of August 2 a whopping 1562 events have been registered by the University of Utah's seismograph station.

 (corroborating David Dobbs’ model prediction)

WSO - Dobbs PX Model Proves Correct Again~! 
Dave comes on to Discuss


Dual Sky Light at Sunset from Fort Worth, Texas - East AND West Sky
August 12, 2017: This observation was made yesterday evening at sunset from Fort Worth, Texas. She is a long time resident of this area and has never before noticed this phenomenon, in fact said prior to seeing it with her own eyes was a little skeptical of dual light vids at sunset....she said she is no longer skeptical. Thanks Deserea

Weather WRATH flattens 1000's of trees - 
Entire forest looks eerily similar to Tunguska Event!
Another severe thunderstorm has shown extraordinary strength this time wiping nearly an entire forest of trees off of the face of the Earth. Looks incredibly similar to the Tunguska Event of 1908.

The Tunguska Event (Wikipedia)
The Tunguska event is the largest impact event on Earth in recorded history. Studies have yielded different estimates of the meteoroid's size, on the order of 60 to 190 metres (200 to 620 feet), depending on whether the body was a comet or a denser asteroid.
Since the 1908 event, there have been an estimated 1,000 scholarly papers (most in Russian) published on the Tunguska explosion. In 2013, a team of researchers published analysis results of micro-samples from a peat bog near the center of the affected area showing fragments that may be of meteoritic origin.

11 August 2017

Parshas Eikev – WHY WE DON’T BELIEVE IT?

By Roy S. Neuberger

Now we are in the blessed days after Tisha B’Av. They are blessed simply because we have survived. I don’t mean only “survived” the Three Weeks, but we have survived all the events of the past thousands of years of Golus. That in itself is nechama. Hashem intends that we should live!

The events we remember on Tisha B’Av tear away at one’s insides. The niggun of Eichah itself evokes tears. The Kinnos are unbearable. How did we endure until now? Truly, we need the bracha of techias hamaisim every day in Shemoneh Esreh, because our life is one constant techias hamaisim. It seems that every day, without exaggeration, we need Hashem to revive us. 

“Blessed are You, Hashem, Who restores souls to dead bodies!”

This year, the Three Weeks were extremely painful. The incident in Chalamish hit every Yid in the most sensitive place. We could all imagine ourselves there, in a Shabbos home: the neros are shining; there is peace and tranquility, “ma’ain olam Ha Ba;” a family is immersed in the most kadosh activity. Nothing could be further from savagery than this. What was their sin? 

Only primordial bestiality that springs from deep wells of hatred caused this. A hatred of kedusha, of Torah … a hatred against our closeness to the Source of Life, a closeness which they cannot attain. That is why they hate us: because our essence is kedusha

Several weeks ago, those who study Daf Yomi learned the story of Rabbi Yehuda ben Bava. The Romans “pierced his body with three hundred iron spears and made him like a sieve.” What was his “crime?” He dared to confer semicha on his disciples. For this he sacrificed his life. He called to his students, “Run, my sons!” And they ran to transmit Torah to the next generation, which is why we have it today!(Sanhedrin 14a)

I want to know: how did this hurt the Romans? “Farkert!” Exactly the contrary! 

“If the nations of the world had realized how important the Bais Hamikdosh was to them, they would have surrounded it with walls to protect it!” (Medrash Rabba Vaykra 1:11; see Book of Our Heritage page 983; thanks to Rabbi Shaul Geller)

Their only bracha is through us. Clearly, the nations of the world have a death wish and that is why they keep trying to destroy us. As Hashem said to Avraham Avinu, “I will bless those who bless you.” (Beraishis  12:3)

What can we do, my friends? How do we save ourselves? This is the season of teshuvaChodesh Elul is around the corner. What can we do? 

I want to say that we have to adjust our perspective very much. I saw a shocking ad prominently displayed in a “frum” magazine. It said, “Experience the ultimate.” Do you know what the “ultimate” was? The “ultimate” was a certain place to go for summer vacation. Are we crazy? Have we been eaten alive by goyishe values? There is only one “ultimate” in this world, my friends, and that is the Bais Hamikdosh and Moshiach ben Dovid. There is no other “ultimate.” 

In the Land of Israel today, there is a terrible chillul Hashem, and I believe that we have to confront this right now. The Chillul Hashem is that fact that there is a government in the Holy Land that does not embrace Torah. Some might want to say that I should face reality, but I have to inform you that I am facing reality. This is reality, my friends, and there is no other. The plain reason that we are suffering so much is that we do not believe the Torah. We do not believe the most basic facts of our entire history, and so we are condemned to repeat it.

Listen to this week’s Parsha!

“This shall be the reward when you hearken to these ordinances and you observe and perform them… Perhaps you will say…. ‘these nations are more numerous than I; how will I be able to drive them out?’ Do not fear them! …. You shall not be broken before them, for Hashem your 
G-d is among you, a great and awesome G-d. …. Hashem, your G-d, will deliver them before you, and will confound them with great confusion, until their destruction….” (Dvarim 7:12ff)

Why don’t we believe it? We keep making the same mistake! In every generation, we say to ourselves, “I can improve on Hashem’s plan,” and in every generation we suffer tragedy after tragedy! Why are we so blind! Why are we so obstinate! How much pain and tragedy do we have to endure before we see that which is right in front of our eyes? 

“The entire commandment that I command you today you shall observe to perform so that you may live and increase and come and possess the Land that Hashem swore to your forefathers….” (Dvarim 8:1) What is so difficult about this? What is so obscure? 

“For this commandment that I command you today: it is not hidden from you and it is not distant. It is not in Heaven, for you to say, ‘Let us ascend.’ …. Rather the matter is very near to you, in your mouth and in your heart to perform it.” (Dvarim 30:11-14)

If we want the Geulah Shelemah, we can bring it now! We are not smarter than Hashem. Torah is in front of us. “Look to the Rock from which you were hewn …. For Hashem shall comfort Zion. He shall comfort all her ruins. He shall make her wilderness like Eden and her wasteland like a Garden of Hashem. Joy and gladness shall be found there, thanksgiving and the sound of music.” (Haftaras Eikev, Yeshiah 51:1ff)

May we see it soon in our days!

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

© Copyright 2017 by Roy S. Neuberger