22 July 2019

Reincarnation Personalities of History


Kabbalists give many examples of gilgulim: Adam’s soul was passed on to King David, Chava’s to Batsheva, and the serpent to Uriah the Hittite.

Cain was reincarnated as Yisro, and Hevel as Moses. To atone for his role in the Egel Hazahav, Aaron’s soul was reborn as Eli the Priest. Job was from Terach, and Rus from Tamar.

For having prostrated before Eisav, Yaakov was sent back as Mordechai who obstinately refused to bow down to Haman. Judah’s wayward sons Er and Ohan were reborn as his righteous sons Peretz and Zarach.

Elijah was from Pinchas, and for having followed Jeroboam, Ahijah the Shilonite had to spend years hiding in a cave as R. Shimon bar Yochai.

The 24,000 disciples of R Akiva who died by plague were the same 24,000 who died in Zimri’s plague in the wilderness. The Chofetz Chaim stated that the idolatrous soldiers of Gideon ben Joash were reincarnated as the Cantonists of Tsarist Russia, where they were retested and found worthy.

Joseph’s 10 brothers were reincarnated as the 10 spies and then again as the 10 martyrs murdered by the Romans.

R Chaim Ibn Attar held he possessed the soul of King David. The Berditchever Rebbe said that he had been Rabbi Akiva in a previous life, and R Yisrael of Stolin that he had once been Rashi.

The Apter Rav could recall performing the priestly service in the Temple, and the Satmar Rebbe stated he had been a sheep in Yaakov’s flocks. Even the soul of Balaam was reincarnated into the donkey of R Pinchas ben Yair!

Not just Jewish biblical personalities claim to have undergone reincarnations throughout history, but even among non-Jews: Winston Churchill held that he was a reincarnation of the world’s first democrat, Pericles, and later as Alfred the Great, the founder of the English Nation.

General DeGaulle said that he had once been Cardinal Richelieu, saviour of France, and before that Joan of Arc.

Rommel and Montgomery thought they were reincarnates Hannibal and Scipio, who both refought their battles in the African Desert.

Shakespeare felt that he had been Aeschylus, Goethe as Leonardo da Vinci, and before that as Empedocles. Dante as Sophocles, Mozart as Michaelangelo, Hitler as Klingsor of Wartburg, Goebbels as Ecbert of Meran, and General Franco as King Felipe II.

Torah scholars maintain that the 10 Nazis hanged at Nuremberg in 1946 were the 10 hanged sons of Haman, and that Herman Goering had the soul of Haman’s wife.

Saddam Hussein proclaimed that he was Nebuchadnezzar, and today . . .

. . .some rabbis speculate that President Trump is the pro-Jewish Roman Emperor Antoninus, reincarnate!

The above was submitted by Amnon Goldberg, of Safed, to the Jerusalem Post Letters section of the weekend magazine edition 7/19/19


Any errors or misspellings are mine as I retyped this from the paper.

HaKotel HaKatan Desecrated With Arabic Curses

The Three Weeks has for sure begun:

BREAKING: Arabs Graffiti “Slaughter the Jews” on the Kotel HaKatan (Little Western Wall)

The vandals spray-painted the ancient stones of the Holy Temple with Arabic graffiti curses that urged the reader to “Slaughter the Jews.”

Jerusalem City Council member Aryeh King has called for an immediate investigation into the incident.

“I call on Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan to demand that police conduct a comprehensive, thorough investigation, since access to the Western Wall is covered by the security cameras of the Jerusalem District Police,” King said.

According to a Facebook post Saturday night by Rabbi Ben Packer of the Heritage House, an Arab girl was arrested in connection to the desecration of the Jewish holy site. Update: Two Arab girls, both minors, have been identified as the suspected perpetrators, and their mother is being questioned by the police, according to a report in 0404.

The sanctity of the “small Western Wall” equals that of the regular Western Wall, and in fact this section is considered to be the second closest possible place to the Holy of Holies in the Holy Temple that is accessible to the public 24/7. The closest section of the Western Wall to the Holy of Holies is within the Western Wall Tunnels.

21 July 2019

A summary of halakhot for the Three Weeks

The halakhot presented in this article are in accordance with Ashkenazic tradition. According to Sephardic tradition, the prohibitions do not begin until either the Nine Days or the week of Tish’ah B’Av, depending on one’s custom

Halakhot of the Three Weeks[1] – 5779/2019

The three weeks – beginning with Shiv’ah Asar B’Tammuz (the seventeenth of Tammuz, this year July 21) and ending with Tish’ah B’Av, the fast of the 9th of Av (see note)[2] – are called “bein hametzarim” (between the difficult places).

During these three weeks, the Romans broke through the walls of Yerushalayim and destroyed the Beit Hamikdash. Although Chazal[3] instituted laws of aveilut (mourning) only beginning with the week of Tish’ah B’Av or with Rosh Chodesh Av (which begin the Nine Days), the Poskim (halakhic authorities) extended the aveilut and instituted many prohibitions beginning from Shiv’ah Asar B’Tammuz.

Accordingly, the Ashkenazic tradition is that three weeks of communal aveilut begin from Shiv’ah Asar B’Tammuz. According to most Poskim, the prohibitions of the Three Weeks begin on the evening of Shiv’ah Asar B’Tammuz, even though the fast does not begin until the morning.

This year, since the seventeenth of Tammuz falls onShabbos, the fast day is observed on Sunday, the eighteenth of Tammuz. According to all Poskim, when Shabbos is over, all the prohibitions of the Three Weeks begin.[4]

Note: The halakhot contained herein pertain only to the portion of the Three Weeks prior to Rosh Chodesh Av. Beginning with Rosh Chodesh Av, the more stringent prohibitions of the Nine Days apply (see note 1). Those halakhot will follow soon IY”H.[5]

The Gemara[6] says: כל המתאבל על ירושלים זוכה ורואה בשמחתה – Whoever mourns for Yerushalayim will merit witnessing her joy. Clearly, we do not mourn the destruction of Yerushalayim and the Beit Hamikdash properly as was common in previous generations. Many of us go about our lives giving little thought to the churban habayit.[7] The churban is relevant to us only through the halakhot of aveilut that we observe. Indeed, through keeping these halakhot properly we will merit to witness the geulah,[8] and the rebuilding of the Beit Hamikdash.

One may not play or listen to a musical instrument during the Three Weeks. This prohibition includes listening to recorded music in any form, as there is no halakhic basis to differentiate between “live” music and recorded music. Moreover, although singing and listening to singing is permitted, most contemporary Poskim rule that listening to recorded “a capella” music is not permitted.[9]

Nevertheless, one need not refrain from sitting in a waiting room or from shopping in a store in which recorded music (called muzak) is playing. However, one should not focus on the music and thereby enjoy it. Furthermore, one may listen to music while exercising if the intent is merely to provide rhythm for the exercise (see note).[10] Similarly, one who is fatigued while driving may listen to music to keep oneself alert (see previous note).

One who gives music lessons for a livelihood may do so during the Three Weeks until Rosh Chodesh Av. Similarly, one who plays in a band may perform for non-Jews (or Sephardim – see note 1) during that time.

It is questionable whether one may take music lessons during the Three Weeks. Some Poskim maintain that if one does not experience enjoyment from the practicing, it would be permitted. Also, if skipping lessons will cause one a monetary loss or cause one to lose previously acquired skills, perhaps taking lessons would be permitted. Other Poskim qualify that one may take music lessons only if the ultimate purpose is to learn a marketable trade, but not if the ultimate purpose is just for pleasure. Moreover, they hold that this allowance is applicable only until Rosh Chodesh Av.[11]

Children younger than six years of age[12] may listen to music. All children may listen to recorded stories with background music; but when the story reaches a musical interlude, older children should fast forward to the end of the song.[13]

Dancing – even without music – is prohibited (e.g., at a vort – engagement party),[14] but singing is permitted.

Reciting Shehecheyanu
During the Three Weeks, the custom is to refrain from reciting the b’rachah of shehecheyanu[15] on new clothing (see below) or on a “new” fruit.[16],[17] The prevalent custom in the Diaspora[18] is to allow reciting the brachah of shehecheyanu on Shabbos during the Three Weeks.[19]

New clothing:
As mentioned above, one should not recite the b’rachah of shehecheyanu during the Three Weeks. Thus, although one is technically allowed to purchase new clothing during the Three Weeks, one should not purchase special clothing—such as a nice suit or coat, upon which one usually recites shehecheyanu—if one plans to wear them during the Three Weeks. One may, however, purchase such items to wear after Tish’ah B’Av, at which time one should recite shehecheyanu. Also, one may (before Rosh Chodesh Av )purchase a suit and don it for the first time on Shabbos and recite the b’rachah of shehecheyanu on Shabbos. Moreover, one may don the suit on Erev Shabbos and wait until Friday night to recite the b’rachah.[20]

All types of clothing upon which one does not recite shehecheyanu may be purchased until Rosh Chodesh Av. One may also wear such clothing during the Three Weeks (see note).[21]

New items:
Similarly, one should not purchase special items that give one particular pleasure – upon which one would usually recite shehecheyanu at the time of acquisition or delivery (e.g., a special watch or a nice desk) – even for use after the Three Weeks. One may, however, purchase (before Rosh Chodesh Av) a special item to be used by more than one person—such as a new couch or a new car, since theb’rachah one recites for such items is not shehecheyanu,but hatov v’hameitiv,[22] which may be recited during the Three Weeks.[23]

Building and Decorating:
One may do decorative work on one’s house during the Three Weeks (until Rosh Chodesh Av), such as painting and installing carpets. One may also search for a new residence and even move during this time. Some refrain from such activity and avoid going to contract or closing on a house during this time, since it is not considered a time of good mazal. However, if waiting will cause one a financial loss – or if one must move due to cramped living quarters or some other pressing need, one need not refrain from going to contract or closing on a house.[24]

The minhag (custom) is that both men and women do not take haircuts, and men do not shave during the entire Three Weeks, even lichvod Shabbos (for the honor of Shabbos). A woman may cut some hair when necessary for reasons of tevilah[25] or tzni’us[26] even during the week of Tish’ah B’Av,and they may remove hair that could be considered a “blemish,” such as facial hair.

Women may shave their legs and tweeze their eyebrows – when necessary – until the week of Tish’ah B’Av. A man may trim his mustache if it interferes with his eating (see note).[27]

Even young children should not receive haircuts. Nevertheless, a child who is suffering from excessive hair[28] may have his/her hair cut.

One who feels that one must cut one’s hair or shave for business purposes should consult one’s Rav.

A sheitel (wig) is considered a garment, not hair. Thus, it may be cut, washed, and set during the Three Weeks, but not during the Nine Days.

Cutting nails is permitted during the Three Weeks. The halakhot regarding cutting nails during the Nine Days will be discussed in an upcoming article IY”H.

[1] The halakhot presented in this article are in accordance with Ashkenazic tradition. According to Sephardic tradition, the prohibitions do not begin until either the Nine Days or the week of Tish’ah B’Av, depending on one’s custom (with the possible exception of reciting Shehecheyanu – discussed below in the article – which some refrain from reciting in accordance the directive of Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim 551:17; see Kaf Hachayim 551:204-220).
[2] Included also – with regard to certain halakhot – is the night following Tish’ah B’Av and the ensuing daytime until chatzos hayom (halakhic midday), which is halfway between sunrise and sunset. This year, however, when the Ninth of Av is on Shabbos and we fast on the tenth of Av, after the fast is over most of the prohibitions no longer apply (since at that time it is already the eleventh of Av). The specific halakhot will be presented in another article IY”H (Im Yirtzeh Hashem – God Willing).
[3] Our Sages, may their memory be blessed.
[4] As alluded to earlier in the article, there is a dispute amongst the Poskim whether the prohibitions of the Three Weeks begin on the night or day of Shiv’ah Asar B’Tammuz. This year, when the seventeenth falls on Shabbos, that dispute is mostly moot since actions that are prohibited during the Three Weeks would anyway be prohibited on Shabbos (e.g., taking haircuts, playing music).
[5] Im Yirtzeh Hashem (G-d Willing).
[6] Ta’anit 30b.
[7] Destruction of the House (i.e., the Beit Hamikdash).
[8] [Final] Redemption.
[9] See Koveitz halakhot (Rav Shmuel Kamenetsky), Bein Hametzarim 4:6, with notes.
[10] If, however, one derives pleasure from the music, the music is not considered incidental, and is forbidden. It would be proper for one to play music to which one is impartial. See Koveitz halakhot, Bein Hametzarim 4:13.
[11] Igros Moshe O.C. 3:87; B’zeil Hachomchah (6:61 #15), based on Sh”ut Maharam Shick (Yoreh De’ah #368).
[12] A father is obligated in the chinuch (training) of his young children (under bar- and bas-mitzvah) to perform mitzvos that the children will be obligated to perform when they become older. (Some say a mother is also obligated in chinuch of her children; see Mishnah Berurah 343:2 and 640:5) In general, the age of chinuch is 6-7, depending on the maturity of the child. As relates to the restrictions of the Three Weeks, see M.B. 551:81 with Sha’ar Hatziyun #91.
[13] Koveitz halakhot, Bein Hametzarim 4:21.
[14] M.B. 551:16.
[15] See S.A. O.C. 551:17.
[16] I.e., a seasonal fruit that one has not yet eaten during this season.
[17] See Koveitz halakhot, Bein Hametzarim 5:8–15 for exceptions.
[18] I.e., outside of Eretz Yisrael.
[19] M.B. 551:98; see Dirshu Mishnah Berurah n.e. 551:45, note 55. Cf. Kaf Hachayim 551:205-206.
[20] M.B. 551:45; see Dirshu Mishnah Berurah n.e. 551:98, note 119.
[21] If the new clothing were worn even once [for several hours] before Rosh Chodesh Av, one may wear them during the Nine Days as well (Kaf Hachayim 551:87; Koveitz halakhot, Bein Hametzarim 11:30). If not, they are considered new and may not be worn during the Nine Days (see Rema O.C. 551:6 and M.B.551:45).
[22] He (Hashem) is Good, and He does good.... When an item will benefit more than one person, the b’rachah of hatov v’hameitiv is recited in place of shehecheyanu; see Rema O.C. 223:2.
[23] See Dirshu Mishnah Berurah n.e. 551:98, note 117; cf. Kaf Hachayim cited there.
[24] See Koveitz halakhot, Bein Hametzarim 5:16-17. Cf. Piskei Teshuvos 551:12.
[25] Ritual immersion in a mikvah.
[26] Modesty. i.e. the hair would not otherwise be covered properly.
[27] There is a dispute whether this leniency applies even during the week of Tish’ah B’Av. Many Poskim allow doing so (see Koveitz halakhot, Bein Hametzarim 6:5), but Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (122:4, per Bach) prohibits it.
[28] E.g., it is causing sensory issues to the child.

Article appeared in arutzsheva


Eliana Getting Her Medication On Friday – Message From Her Parents

YWN was asked to publish the following message:

B”H The family of Chana bas Shani (Eliana Cohen) would like to share with our greater family, the worldwide Jewish community, that due to great Siyata D’shmaya, and an unprecedented outpouring of support from all of you, the medication has arrived at the hospital and our daughter is B’ezrat HaShem, scheduled to receive this medication on Friday. We have no words to thank you for all your support and ask that you continue to Daven for the success of this treatment and continued good health for Chana Bat Shani, and all of K’lal Yisroel. YWN


UPDATE: Yitzchok Amar Out Of Jail, Spent Shabbos With Relatives; Pidyon Shevuim Successful YWN
Alert: Pidyon Shevuim

The Jewish National Period of Mourning

The Three Weeks are Upon Us; What Will We Make of It?

The "Three Weeks" between the fast days of 17th of Tammuz (July 21, 2019) and Tisha B'Av (August 11, 2019) have historically been days of misfortune and calamity for the Jewish people, in which God is so to speak more distant from His people.

On the 17th of Tammuz Moses broke the Tablets after the Sin of the Golden Calf, and the Roman breached the walls of Jerusalem, among other tragedies. On the 9th of Av, the nation of the Exodus cried as a result of the negative report of the Spies, and both Temples were destroyed, among other tragedies.

We observe various aspects of mourning during this time, such as not celebrating weddings or cutting our hair. The mourning becomes more intense as it gets closer to Tisha B’Av.

On Shabbat during the Three Weeks, the Haftorahs are taken from chapters in Isaiah and Jeremiah dealing with the Temple's destruction and the exile of the Jewish people.

Agonizing over these events is meant to help us conquer those spiritual deficiencies which brought about these tragic events. Through the process of "teshuva" – self-introspection and a commitment to improve – we have the power to transform tragedy into joy. In fact, the Talmud says that after the future redemption of Israel and the rebuilding of the Temple, these days will be re-dedicated as days of rejoicing and festivity.

The story is told of Napoleon walking through the streets of Paris one Tisha B'Av. As his passed a synagogue he heard the sounds of mourning and crying. "What’s this all about?" Napoleon asked. An aide explained that the Jews were in mourning the loss of their Temple. "When did this happen?" Napoleon asked. The aide replied, "About 1700 years ago." Napoleon said, "Certainly a people which has mourned the loss of their Temple for so long, will merit to see it rebuilt!"

Seventeenth of Tammuz

The beginning of a 3-week period of mourning is the 17th of Tammuz, a fast day commemorating the fall of Jerusalem, prior to the destruction of the Holy Temple.

On the 17th of Tammuz, no eating or drinking is permitted from the break of dawn until dusk. (Should the day coincide with Shabbat, the fast is delayed until Sunday.)

Five great catastrophes occurred in Jewish history on the 17th of Tammuz:

  • Moses broke the tablets at Mount Sinai – in response to the sin of the Golden Calf.
  • The daily offerings in the First Temple were suspended during the siege of Jerusalem, after the Kohanim could no longer obtain animals.
  • Jerusalem's walls were breached, prior to the destruction of the Second Temple in 70 CE.
  • Prior to the Great Revolt, the Roman general Apostamos burned a Torah scroll – setting a precedent for the horrifying burning of Jewish books throughout the centuries.
  • An idolatrous image was placed in the Sanctuary of the Holy Temple – a brazen act of blasphemy and desecration.

The Nine Days

The period commencing with Rosh Chodesh Av is called the "Nine Days." During this time, a stricter level of mourning is observed, in accordance with the Talmudic dictum (Ta'anit 26): "When the month of Av begins, we reduce our joy."

During this time the additional "signs of mourning" include abstaining from meat and wine (except on Shabbat) and from doing laundry or wearing freshly laundered clothes (except on Shabbat). We also do not bathe for pleasure, though it is permitted to bathe in cool water in order to remove dirt or perspiration. For more details, see “The Three Weeks.”

Tisha B'Av – Ninth of Av

The intensity of mourning reaches a peak on Tisha B'Av, five national calamities occurred:

During the time of Moses, Jews in the desert accepted the slanderous report of the 12 Spies, and the decree was issued forbidding them from entering the Land of Israel. (1312 BCE)

The First Temple was destroyed by the Babylonians and Nebuchadnezzar. (586 BCE)

The Second Temple was destroyed by the Romans. (70 CE)

The Bar Kochba revolt was crushed by Roman Emperor Hadrian. (135 CE)
The Temple Mount was plowed under, and Jerusalem was rebuilt as a pagan city.
Other grave misfortunes throughout Jewish history coincided with the Ninth of Av, including the expulsion from Spain in 1492, the outbreak of World War One in 1914, and the mass deportation of Jews from the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942.

During the late afternoon prior to Tisha B'Av, it is customary to eat Seudah Hamaf-seket – a meal consisting only of bread, water and a hard-boiled egg. The food is dipped in ashes, symbolic of mourning, and eaten while seated on the ground. (The rules are somewhat different when Tisha B'Av falls on Shabbat or Sunday.)

Sundown marks the commencement of Tisha B'Av, where no eating or drinking is permitted until nightfall the following evening. It is also forbidden to bathe or wash, wear leather shoes, or engage in marital relations. We also do not learn Torah, except for texts relevant to Tisha B'Av and mourning – e.g. the book of Lamentations and Job, and certain sections of the Talmud (including the story of Kamtza and Bar Kamtza).

The Book of Eicha (Lamentations), Jeremiah's poetic lament over the destruction of Jerusalem and the First Temple, is read in the synagogue as part of the evening service. Special “Kinot” (elegies) are also recited, both at night and during the day.

Other mourning practices include sitting on a low chair (after midday, a regular chair permitted; see “Laws of Shoes and Chairs”). We also minimize business and leisure activities.

Following Tisha B'Av, all normal activities may be resumed, except for the following which are delayed until midday of the 10th of Av, because the burning of the Temple continued through the 10th of Av: haircuts, washing clothes, bathing, listening to music, and eating meat and wine.

Source: AISH.com

Illuy Nishmas HaRav Yisroel Ya’akov ben Tzvi, a”h.

For some reason Google put this in my span folder and so it missed the weekly Parsha. So I am posting this now  לכבוד
This is illuy Nishmas my father, 
HaRav Yisroel Ya’akov ben Tzvi, a”h.
Good Shabbos,
Pinchas Winston

GOOD AND EVIL. Ancient concepts. FUNDAMENTAL concepts. Confusing concepts. How it is possible that one person’s idea of good can be so different from another that the other calls it “evil”? It is one thing to be a little off, but 180 degrees off? 

When Hitler ysv”z murdered SIX MILLION PLUS Jews, he called it “good” for mankind. Others called it the worst evil imaginable. Others yet only considered it to be a little extreme, and some just remained indifferent.

If good and evil are merely subjective concepts, then no questions need to be asked. No two people are alike, and many are VERY different from one another. “Good” is what works for THEM, what enhances THEIR lives. Everything else, to them, will just range from “bad” to “evil.” 
The goal then becomes to find like-minded people, and live with them, and to stay away from the people who are different. But war will be inevitable, because contrary ideologies tend to butt up against one another at some point in time and in some place. And that, in a nutshell, has been the history of mankind.
Is unity possible? 

Only if OBJECTIVE TRUTH is possible. 
“Shalom bayis” requires a SINGLE priority for ALL of mankind. Differences can remain, but they have to be secondary to some more ultimate truth to which every individual can be devoted. Otherwise, if people step out of line, friction will result, and society will go back  to Square One all over again.

If you’re a lover of war, you need a therapist. If you dream of world peace, then you are normal, human, maybe even divine. And, you agree de facto to the idea of a universal truth. You may not agree yet about what that universal truth is, but you certainly agree that there is necessity for one.

Theoretically, there are only two possible ways to live in life, with selfishness or selflessness. We’re BORN selfish. We grow up and hopefully become selfless. If a person remains selfish, and to what extent that they do, they will be offensive to others. THEY will be their own priority, and that is usually at the expense of others.

Sometimes a person has to be selfish, because it is the “right” thing to do. But when selfishness is the result of a higher truth, it stops being selfishness and becomes selflessness, as long as the person is being honest about their motivation.

Sometimes a person can APPEAR to be selfless, giving themself over to some cause. But if the cause is not ultimately truthful, then their support of it can only be self-serving, and therefore, selfish. They may be standing up for a principle, but if it is a mistaken one, then they are doing pure evil. That is when “the road to hell is paved with good intention.”

Only an objective truth can sort it out. If you only look at a shade of gray, it will be hard to determine just how gray it is. But if you hold up the sample against one of black and white, it becomes much easier to estimate the grayness, and make adjustments accordingly.
Some propose that an objective truth does not exist, or that if it exists, man cannot know it. But that has NEVER been true after an exhaustive search for it. It has certainly NEVER been true after learning Torah on the four levels of “Pardes,” after which time the idea of an objective truth becomes the most OBVIOUS truth there is. 

If this is so, then to NOT believe in objective truth is an act of SELFISHNESS. The person opts out of important realities such as world unity for personal reasons of convenience, and to the detriment of others. They are self-serving, no matter HOW much they argue to the contrary. 
After all, NOTHING in the history of man-kind has EVER claimed to be objective truth as much as Torah has. Others have claimed to speak God’s truth on His behalf, but only the Torah is God speaking on His OWN behalf, and in such explicit detail. It confidently outlines the parameters of truth like no other ideology.

As history winds down, and the polarization of society to the “right” or “left” continues, it become increasingly more important to a have a good handle on the idea of right-and-wrong. Want it or not, a person has to confirm for themselves that an objective truth not only exists, but is accessible. There are a lot of people out there doing their idea of “good,” and it is really “evil.” 
And vice-versa. A lot of people are being called “evil” because of what they fight for, when in fact, according to Objective Truth, they are really doing the best good there is. Without an objective truth, it is easy to become confused like this. 

Once I thought I knew the Truth,
Had known it ever since my youth.
Then I realized what I did not know,
That the truth I knew was just for show.

When, how hard had I tried to find it?
To REAL truth had I just become blinded?
Society feeds me what IT wants me to know,
To escort me down the path IT wishes to go.

Help! Please help! someone throw me a line,
Of OBJECTIVE TRUTH for which I truly pine.
It’s not enough to just have good intention,
If you version of truth is mere convention.

19 July 2019

Parshas Pinchas: There Can Be Peace

By Roy S. Neuberger

How does one merit “bris shalom … [the] covenant of peace?” (Bamidbar 25:12)

Every day, we end Shemoneh Esreh with the bracha of peace. Peace must be very important, because it is the culmination of our intimate conversation with the Master of the Universe.

Decades ago, in the days when my wife and I were lost in the wilderness of assimilation, we joined the “Peace Movement” during the Vietnam War. In fact, we could not have been further from peace. It was a turbulent era, in which many people broke loose from “traditional” values and the stage was being set for our current era, in which anything at all is acceptable in the world of morality. In fact, we never found peace until we found Shabbos

In this week’s Parsha, we gain insight into the life of two eternal heroes, Pinchas ben Elazar ben Aharon ha Kohain and Moshe Rabbeinu.

In regard to Moshe Rabbeinu, I am referring specifically to the passage in which Hashem says, “Go up to this mountain …. You shall see [the Land] and you shall be gathered unto your people … because you rebelled against My word in the Wilderness of Zin ….” (Bamidbar 27:12-14)

What is Moshe’s reaction? “May Hashem … appoint a man over the assembly….” (ibid 27:16)

What strength! Moshe Rabbeinu ignored his own intense desire to enter the Land and, instead, implored Hashem to provide a new leader for his beloved Nation.  He clearly had worked on himself ceaselessly to achieve this monumental madreiga

And Pinchas ben Elazar ben Aharon ha Kohain? 

Can one comprehend his madreiga? He disregarded his reputation, his very life, in order to save his People from destruction. He stood in the path of the moral tsunami that was about to engulf Am Yisroel. He stopped the flood, and he did it alone! His awesome achievement is called by the Torah “bris Shalom … the Covenant of Peace.”  

It is very difficult to take an unpopular position. “Other people will think I am a fool. What do I need it for?” Later on, with twenty-twenty hindsight, one realizes what he should have done, but then it is too late.

These two heroes brought peace to their Nation and indeed to the world because they were willing to sublimate their own reputation to the ratzon of the Master of the Universe. Their actions represent a lifetime of constant self-appraisal, constant study of Hashem’s will, constant self-training in serving Hashem rather than serving their own desires.

They showed us that it can be done. They provided an eternal derech for Am Yisroel.

Why does our world lack peace? Why are dissatisfaction, strife, anger, striking out at others, blaming others, sinas chinom … rampant? Why is there so much tzouris

My friends, we owe it to ourselves to examine the lives of Moshe Rabbeinu and Pinchas ben Elazar ben Aharon ha Kohain. There can be peace in the world. May we all soon see the day when Hashem “blesses His People Israel with peace.” (Shemoneh Esreh)

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

© Copyright 2019 by Roy S. Neuberger

HaRav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook zts"l — The Daily Sheep Offering

Parshas Pinchas: The daily sheep offering
Torah from Israel's first Chief Rabbi, Torah sage, philosopher, leader and iconic founder of Religious Zionism and Merkaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem.

HaRav Avraham Yitzchak HaCohen Kook zts"l. First Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel, revered and famed Torah sage, philosopher, writer, poet, iconic and beloved leader of religious Zionism and the return to Zion (1865-1935).

The central daily offering in the Temple service was the Tamid, an offering of two lambs. One lamb was offered just after daybreak, at the start of the day’s service; the second lamb was offered in the afternoon, at its conclusion. The sheep were purchased using half-shekel coins collected from the entire Jewish people.

Why was a small sheep used for the Tamid offering, and not a more impressive offering? And why use only young animals, less than a year old?1

Bulls and Sheep

Some Temple offerings were brought from bulls, while others from sheep. A bull is usually a peaceful animal and a productive worker. But on occasion a bull can suddenly transform itself into a terrifying force of danger and destruction. For this reason, a bull is an appropriate offering for those seeking to atone for a life that has tragically fallen into a grave state of ruin and disaster.

Sheep, on the other hand, provide a suitable offering when the problem is not one of destructive behavior, but rather a general spiritual decline and indulgence in materialism. The peaceful but mundane sheep are a fitting metaphor for our daily struggle against the negative influence of involvement in worldly matters.

With regard to the Jewish people as a whole, one cannot speak of widespread corruption and moral decay. The Tamid offering, purchased with funds from the entire nation, does not atone for the extreme vices of evil individuals. Rather, it is meant to meet the nation’s general spiritual needs: to uplift lives from the poverty of a materialistic existence and renew their aspirations for a life rich with meaning and holiness.


Why use sheep in their first year? Unlike older beasts, who are often difficult and ornery, these young sheep do not symbolize a life that is dominated by self-centered materialism. Since the intrinsic holiness of the Jewish people does not allow worldly influences to be etched deeply into the nation’s soul, the Tamid offering is best represented by young, relatively innocuous animals.

(Sapphire from the Land of Israel. Adapted from Olat Re’iyah vol. I, p. 130, sent to Arutz Sheva by Rabbi Chanan Morrison ravkooktorah.org) and amazon

See also: Pinchas: The Tamid Offering Performed at Sinai

1 Maimonides wrote that offerings are chukim, Divine statutes for which we do not know the reason. Yet that assertion did not deter scholars throughout the ages - including Maimonides himself - from suggesting possible reasons to explain various details of the Temple service.

Rabbi Winston – Parshas Pinchas

Pinchas the son of Elazar the son of Aharon the kohen has turned My anger away from the Children of Israel by his zealously avenging Me among them…  (Bamidbar 25:11)

NO MATTER HOW many times I try to have my name spelled on official Israeli documents WITH a Yud (Peh-YUD-Nun-Ches-Samech) they spell it WITHOUT the Yud. It’s just not the way most people spell “Pinchas,” even though for the original Pinchas, the Yud meant so much. It certainly means a lot to me.
Of course, it doesn’t change the pronunciation of the name at all. The Yud was always there in sound, represented instead by a Chirik vowel under the Peh instead. But as a result of Pinchas’ great heroic act of zealousness, G–d decided to make the Yud aprominent in his name, and it was spelled that way henceforth.
What difference does it really make, besides a little extra ink? Well, it certainly made a big difference to Yehoshua’s name, actually changing it. As Rashi points out, Moshe Rabbeinu added the Yud in advance of the mission of the spies. It was to protect Hoshea from falling into the advice of the 10 bad spies. 
And it wasn’t just any Yud that Hoshea received. His Yud came from another very important name, Sarai. It had been taken from her name and swapped with a Heh to make her name “Sarah,” to indicate her changed status. She was the princess of EVERYONE, not just G–d.

According to the Midrash, the Yud didn’t like that. Why should it have? It had been part of the name of one of the most important people in world history, and now it was orphaned. However, the Yud was pacified when G–d told it that it would have a different mission in the future, when Hoshea had to become Yehoshua, to be protected from the deceit of the spies.
Is it just a grammatical thing, just something symbolic, or a lot more?
Judging from the Talmud, it seems that the Yud is the basis of a lot more than just an extra letter in a name, or a transformative one in another. According to the Talmud, the Yud is the very letter G–d used to make the World-to-Come, the place that life in this world is supposed to lead to (Menachos 29b). What does THAT mean?
To explain that, we have the Maharal. 
The Maharal says that the letter Yud is the only one from the Aleph-Bais that is not a composite of other letters. As such, it represents the sublime spiritual simplicity of the World-to-Come. Adding a Yud to a person’s name, at least in biblical times, meant adding the element of Olam HaBa—the World-to-Come to the reality of a person.
What does that mean, and how does it happen?
It’s like sap inside of a tree. It’s already there, though you can’t see it or use it. To access it, you have to stick some kind of spigot into the side of the tree that accesses the sap, and then allows it to flow to the outside. 
The same thing is true of the World-to-Come. It is already inside of us, because our souls are made of the same “material.” Every soul is not just a “package” of divine light, it is a portion of the World-to-Come inside of each person. It’s usually just hidden away and inaccessible.
Until, that is, a person sticks a spiritual spigot into themself, and accesses their soul. There are a few ways to do this, but they all amount to the same thing, the reality of the letter of Yud. That’s what Pinchas did when he rose to the occasion and stopped the evil in its track, stopping the plague at the same time.
That’s why it was so important to make the Yud visible in his name. Everyone knew it was always there, like all souls, hidden from eyesight. You can “hear” it every time a person is self-sacrificing for a higher cause. But you can also lose it when it gets smothered by the demands of the body, and for many people, that is MOST of the time. 
Every time a person reaches deep into themsef to go against that other voice that would rather do the less “noble” thing, they tap into the soul and bring it to the surface for all to see. It’s the only way to do the right thing, especially in a society that promotes just the opposite in one way or another. 
After all, it is no coincidence that it is harder to do the wrong thing in, let’s say, a synagogue. That’s a spiritual environment that talks to the soul, and makes it easier for the soul to surface. In a less spiritual environment, like a shopping mall for example, the soul has less of a say in a person’s behavior.
Pinchas was probably somebody who ALWAYS listened to his soul, but out of eyeshot of everyone else. He was a virtual nobody, a kohen who had missed the cut for the priesthood because he had been born too early. It was his heroic act of zealousness that catapulted him into the public eye.
But though G–d knows the motivations of a person, people do not. They wanted to string Pinchas up for his killing of a prince of the Jewish people. Even though he had performed the law as required, they still probably suspected he had acted for himself, as a lot of would-be zealots do…in the Name of G–d, of course.
Therefore, G–d brought the Yud of his name—a Yud that exists in ALL of our names, if not grammatically, then certainly conceptually—out into the open for all to see. It was G–d’s way of revealing to the angry public what had driven Pinchas to act as he did. It put all misgivings about Pinchas’ act out of business.
After that, Pinchas went from being rejected to being followed. He became the leader of the people who went into battle against Midian for their role in the disaster. Later he evolved into Eliyahu HaNavi, heralder of the Final Redemption, and the very symbol of G–dly zealousness. 

We all have it in us, that Yud, because we all have a soul. Great is the person who taps into and accesses their personal portion of eternity, and injects their Yud into their everyday actions. It transforms everything, especially the person who does it.

Didn’t You Know? . . .


Rosh Ha'ayin Deputy Mayor Michoel Melamed faced a storm of criticism after publishing a post on his Facebook page on Thursday evening warning parents about an event taking place next week under the auspices of the municipality, according to a Ynet report on Friday. The advertisements for the event, titled "A Colorful Summer in Rosh Ha'ayin" don't mention that it is an LGBTQ event.

Melamed wrote,

"Dear residents: Omer Shecter and Michal Sofrin are holding an event with activities for children. Guard your children. This is an event of the LGBTQ community."

The parade was initiated by fellow Deputy Mayor Omer Shecter who also heads the city's educational portfolio as well as city council member Michal Sofrin, who is responsible for the city's women and gender portfolio. The advertisements mention "information booths" but do not explain what "information" will be disseminated.

Melamed responded to the outburst of criticism by saying, "There is a community of millions of people in Israel and the world that do not want their children to be exposed to the [LGBTQ] community. It's my obligation as an elected public official to warn my voters and the residents that think like me about an event like this."

"I don't understand what the problem is," Melamed added. "Each person should live his or her life freely - but to hold a city event that is so-called innocent, with activities for children, can mislead an entire community which will find itself greatly distressed to have brought their children to an event together with the aforementioned community."

Shechter responded by saying that "the homophobic Melamed from UTJ receives a salary from the public and with this money he wants to impose his dark worldview on the residents of Rosh Ha'ayin. We will fight for equality and freedom in order to ensure that Rosh Ha'ayin will be an open and tolerant city where every resident can live and love without fear, against the anger and wrath of the dark ones."

"This is an unnecessary statement and I am opposed to it," Rosh Ha'ayin Mayor Shalom Ben Moshe responded. "Rosh HaAyin is a value-based community and it will remain so."

As of Friday morning, Melamed's posts about the event have been removed from his Facebook page.

Source: arutzsheva

Rabbi Nachman Kahana and Medinat Mashiach

Parashat Pinchas 5779
Rabbi Nachman Kahana

The Jewish State of the Mashiach

In 1948, the Chief Rabbinate of Israel published its official prayer for the State of Israel. To this day, it is said on Shabbat and holidays in synagogues the world over, by people who recognize the “hand” of HaShem in our return to Eretz Yisrael. However, there is a big story behind the prayer, as related to me by an individual who was privy to the events.
David Ben Gurion, Israel’s first prime minister, turned to the Chief Rabbi Yitzchak Herzog z”l to recommend a prayer for the Medina which would be accepted by the Israeli government as its official text.
Rav Herzog turned to Shmuel Yosef Agnon, who would eventually receive a Nobel prize for Hebrew literature, to submit a version of the prayer. After reviewing the proposal, the Chief Rabbi passed it on to the Prime Minister who rejected it off hand. The point of contention was the concluding line that Rav Herzog himself had added, which read – עד ביאת המשיח  (until the advent of the Mashiach), intimating that the political, social and religious aspects of the present Medina – as enormous and miraculous as they were – were only a stage in the final redemption of the Jewish nation but not its final destiny.
The secular Ben Gurion denied the existence of any mashiach. He believed that the secular, socialist State was the culmination of the 2000-year aspirations and prayers of the Jewish people. Because the Chief Rabbi refused to omit the final sentence, there is still no official prayer passed by any government. For some strange reason, the official file of these events is stamped with the word Shamur (restricted).
This issue is relevant because, in my view, it lies at the heart of what is now transpiring in Israel’s political system.
Despite the many discordant outlooks among the religious factions, we all agree on the basics including: Shabbat, the 613 mitzvot from Mount Sinai, and certainly on the eventual appearance of the Mashiach as stipulated by Rambam in his Thirteen Cardinal Principles of Faith and many other sources.
The eventual Jewish State of the Mashiach is vastly different than today’s liberal, democratic, progressive society whose fundamental tenet is equality among all its citizens and prohibiting discrimination based on religion, sexual orientation, color, race and political leanings.
Our political representatives are elected by popular vote, and the judges who sit on the Supreme Court are appointed by their peers and make their decisions based on their own personal views of morality and social justice.
Shabbat can be observed or desecrated in the public domain according to the majority vote in the Knesset where non-Jews participate. Same-sex marriages can be deemed legal or not based on the vote of the Knesset and without considering the 3000-year-old halachic ruling of the Jewish nation. The underpinnings of Israeli law are Ottoman and British based, while the underlying legal principles of the Torah’s jurisprudence in civil matters are largely ignored.
There is no denying that today’s Medina has progressed by giant steps. However, ethical and moral outlooks will have to change, and a new direction taken in order to prepare us for the final stage of our redemption.
In the classic Torah society, equality among different peoples is not priority. On the contrary, Jews are dominant in all segments of life. A non-Jew can live here only by fulfilling certain conditions and attaining the status of ger toshav (a resident alien) through a bet din (religious court). In times of military threat, yeshiva students are not eligible for deferment, and the Gemara becomes an essential piece of equipment when jumping out of a plane, and so much more.
Approximately two months remain before the second round of elections, the first having ended without being able to form a viable government. This second round could possibly end deadlocked, forcing another round of elections, ad nauseam.
Could this be the turning point at which HaShem will usher in a new era leading up to the long-awaited final redemption of our nation?
If the upcoming election is again inconclusive, could the resulting political chaos encourage our enemies to seize the moment of our weakness? A political vacuum cannot maintain itself for very long. As a consequence, is it reasonable to envision the army replacing a civilian government and all parameters of rule changing?
But changing into what?
The changes will not be initiated by rational decisions of learned ministers seeking resolutions to problems. They will be the inevitable outcome of new realities in our lives.
I see a militarization of our society caused by the necessity to cope with the violence and hatred of enemies within and without. Islam is fueling the religious fanaticism of our Arab population through the ongoing messages of hate being fed to them in schools and mosques and their media.
Military draft will be replaced with a law stipulating that every Jewish male citizen who has reached the age of 18 will automatically be a soldier in the IDF and serve according to the military’s needs. Those who refuse to fulfill the call to duty will be severely punished, including permanent expulsion from the country or imprisonment.
All Arab towns and neighborhoods will be under military rule.
All our educational institutions will be under the authority of the IDF with emphasis placed on pre-military training and patriotism. The Tanach will be the basis of the new-old patriotism.
Many people will choose to leave the country rather than commit to a more Jewish way of life. Aliya will increase dramatically as it becomes impossible for Jews to live in Europe and other places, and Arab towns will be expropriated for the purpose of housing the new olim.
In its first 70 years, the State of Israel strived to be Athens. The time will come for us to become Sparta.
Rambam (Hilchot Melachim) describes the actions that will determine who is the Mashiach.
He will be a Torah scholar but also knowledgeable in military strategy and tactics. He will lead the nation in miraculous military victories. He will be a charismatic individual who will return the Jews to the Torah and rebuild the Bet HaMikdash. Rambam is obviously describing a time when radical changes will occur in Eretz Yisrael.
And what will the world at large look like? What changes will humanity have to go through? What will happen to the Jewish communities in the galut?
These are all huge issues open to speculation. However, what interests me is the future of the Jewish people who have, with the help of HaShem, returned home, because only in Eretz Yisrael will the fate of the Jewish people – as well as the fate of all humanity – be decided.
In our parasha, the restrained and scholarly Pinchas saved the nation from unbridled heavenly punishment not by standing at a podium and expounding a learned drasha – which was in the realm of Moshe and Aharon – but by using a spear to end the desecration of HaShem’s name. Our tradition states that Pinchas is Eliyahu the prophet who will pave the way for the Mashiach.
Is this the message for our generation that the geula (final redemption) will be in the spirit of Pinchas-Eliyahu? I believe so! Will it be soon? Yes! but not soon enough!
Shabbat Shalom,
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5779/2019 Nachman Kahana

18 July 2019

READ UPDATE: Mi K’Amcha Yisrael – Must Listen

What Really Happened During The Search For Rabbi Bauman
What Turned into Fake News and News Spin



(I only heard the name of the Rabbis of the camp, with mention of “son of” but no personal name. Maybe I missed it, so if anyone heard childrens’ names, please leave a comment at what “minute” in the video it was heard.)

International Interference Cripples Israeli Government

Police Defy Netanyahu
Send Hundreds of Troops 
Demolish Jewish Outpost

[the tentacles of the DS must be cut; will it require Trump to intervene?]
Hundreds of police arrived Wednesday morning to demolish the Maoz Esther outpost near Kochav Hashahar in the Binyamin region, News-Pnay reported. Police appear to have acted in clear defiance of the policy change stated on July 11 by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who vowed that he would no longer allow the evacuation of any settlement – Jewish or Arab.

“Here’s a commitment, write it down,” Netanyahu said at an event in Revava, between Barkan and Karnei Shomron—five minutes from Kfar Saba—marking the 40th anniversary of the Samaria Regional Council. “I offer it under my own name, but it’s crucial to understand that it has no time limit,” the PM insisted, vowing: “No settlement can be uprooted in the Land of Israel, neither Jewish *nor Arab. We do not uproot people. We’re done with this nonsense. Under my leadership, Israel did not and will not repeat the mistakes of the past.”

*NOR ARABthis is a further capitulation; Bibi is shackled]

The outpost Maoz Esther was established some 13 years ago, in memory of Kochav Hashachar resident Etti Galya, who was murdered in a shooting attack at the nearby Rimonim Junction. A reported 10 young men and women were arrested at the outpost, when they resisted the evacuation and destruction of their dwelling structures, and were taken to the police station in Sha’ar Binyamin.

Maoz Esther is home to both families and singles who settled there in order to boost the Jewish presence in the area. It isn’t clear at this point when and how the PM intends to punish police for carrying out a demolition raid against his declared policy. Meanwhile, police appear to obey the PM’s policy regarding the illegal Bedouin shantytown of Khan al Ahmar, which is not being touched, in keeping with Netanyahu’s promise.

Source: JewishPress the only news source to tell it like it is


Netanyahu: I want to train the next generation of leadership 
[do we want more of the same “shackled leaders” to foreign anti-Israel and anti-Jewish interests?]


 Fires in Israel Looking Like the Fires of Sonoma County and Santa Rosa, California (same purpose)
Residents of Samaria Community 
Cannot Return Home 


* Will they investigate these fires to determine whether they were infact arson–started? 
Or is this caused by Shabbos desecration?

i24 news
Police ordered the evacuation of all residents of the communities of Aderet and Neve Michael, near Jerusalem, as firefighting planes sought to contain a blaze encroaching on homes in the area. i24News

Sharav: Fires Burning Out of Control in the Jerusalem, Haifa, Hadera, Beit Shemesh and Shomron Districts YWN
*Weaponizing Fire and Flame
Residents of Shavei Shomron evacuated from their homes following the large fire that broke out near the community will not be able to return to their homes tonight due to the heavy smoke that surrounds the community. It is estimated that some of them will be able to return to their homes only in a few days due to damage to vital infrastructure. Most of the residents were initially evacuated to Einav and from there they went to relatives around the country.

*The Arabs Arsonists R Driving Israelis From Their Homes?

So far, nine buildings are known to have been burned in the community, including the dorms of Homesh Yeshiva and industrial buildings. Fires have also raged in the past few hours near Moshav Aderet and Rogelit in the Beit Shemesh area. The residents were evacuated from their homes and have not yet been allowed to return. Large brush fires also took place in Barta’a in the Wadi Ara area, in Haifa and at several points in the Sharon and Shfela, and hundreds of residents were evacuated from their homes.

*The Arab Arsonists R Trying to Remove Israelis From Lands They Want to Own?

The Minister of Public Security, Gilad Erdan, held a state-of-emergency assessment with the heads of emergency forces over the fires. He stressed that the main effort is the effort to save lives, and it is this that should receive the highest priority. "In any doubt about the evacuation of residents or the blocking of roads, the strict approach must be taken, and houses must be evacuated and roads closed," Erdan said.

*The Arabs R Using Fire Bombs to Capture Lands Near Gaza

In view of the fact that efforts of firefighting planes have been harmed by the fierce winds, Minister Erdan instructed to prioritize the planes’ operation and to use them first where there is life-threatening danger. He called for close ties with local authorities and mayors in receiving mutual assistance and updates.

Map Out ALL the Areas Scorched by Arab Arsonist Fire and Flame – See A Pattern?