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30 January 2016

The Only Link non-Jews Have to Eternity

The only link non-Jews have to Eternity . . .

by Roy S. Neuberger

I had been called for jury duty. As I walked into the courthouse, I had no idea what I would hear or see. My briefcase contained holy books and some food. Who knew how long I might have to stay here? I took pains to present an appearance that would properly represent G-d. At least I could try to honor His Name in this challenging environment.

At the security line, they put my briefcase through the x-ray machine. Then I was directed toward Sergeant McDonogh. On my first pass through the metal detector, the buzzer went off. I told the sergeant that maybe the slide on my suspenders was setting it off. He looked at me with a big smile and waved me through.

“You,” he said, “we are not worried about!”

Amazing! He was saying, in effect, that, since I am a religious Jew, he himself felt secure in my presence! Then he took me by the arm and started walking with me, directing me with great respect and making sure I was headed to the right room. I thanked him and I thanked G-d for enabling me to bring His Name into esteem among the nations.

This week, the Jewish People receives the Torah from the King of the Universe. This is the greatest moment in history since the Creation of the world, the moment when the Master of the Universe speaks directly to flesh and blood.

“One of the rabbis asked Rav Kahana: ‘Have you ever heard the meaning of the name ‘Mount Sinai?’…. He told Rav Kahana that … Rav Chisda and Rabbah brai d’Rav Huna both said: ‘It means the mountain upon which G-d’s hatred – ‘sinah’ – to idolaters descended’” (Shabbos 89a). Artscroll comments: “Hatred to idolaters is also interpreted as the hatred idolaters feel towards Jews. The deep-rooted source of anti-Semitism is the Revelation at Sinai.”

Maimonides says: “By means of His Torah, G-d has distinguished us from the rest of mankind. As it says, ‘It was only with your ancestors that G-d developed a closeness. He loved them and therefore chose you, their descendants from among all nations’ (Deuteronomy 10:15) …. G-d made us special through His laws and decrees. The other nations recognize our superiority…. As a result, the nations of the world became terribly envious of us. Because of the Torah, all the kings of the earth stirred up hatred and jealousy against us. Their real intention is to make war against G-d, but no one can oppose the Al-Mighty. Ever since Mount Sinai, every non-Jewish king … has made it his first objective to destroy the Torah…” (Letter to Yemen)

Maimonides is telling us that all anti-Semitism is hatred of G-d, but it is directed against us, because the nations know that we represent G-d in this world. The descendants of Ishmael and Esau all recognize our special status. We do ourselves a terrible disservice if we believe that they are “like us.” They are not like us. They either hate us for our greatness or, in unusual cases, they value and respect us for it. Most are in the former category, as we know from the famous dictum, “Halacha hi b’yadua sh’Eisav sone l’Yaakov… It is a given fact that … Esau hates Jacob” (Rashi on Genesis 33:4).

But if we act with allegiance to Torah, the hatred of the nations will be neutralized. On the verse, “Hakol kol Yaakov … the voice is Jacob’s voice, but the hands are Esau’s hands…” (Genesis 27:22), the Midrash comments, “when the voice [i.e. religious observance] of Jacob is weak, then Esau’s hands have dominion, but … when the voice of Jacob rings out [in fulfillment of the Torah], Esau’s hands cannot overpower him” (Bereishis Rabbah 65:16).

This statement has cosmic repercussions.

“All the heathens assembled before one of their wise men and asked him, ‘Do you think that we can subjugate this people?’ He answered, ‘Go around to their synagogues and schools … If you find children with voices uplifted, you cannot subjugate them!” (ibid)

We think that we are powerless against our enemies, but we are so mistaken! We have the means to save ourselves, but we have to understand where that power lies. It is not in politics or in the sword. “The Zohar says: When a person immerses himself in Torah study for it’s own sake, it is as if he were standing at Mount Sinai receiving the Torah, as it says, ‘Today [with the giving of all the commandments] you have become a nation’ (Deuteronomy 27:9) … Just as at the giving of the Torah, Israel attached themselves to G-d’s word, so too at the present, whenever a person reflects on Torah thoughts, he attaches himself to G-d’s word, because he is learning the words G-d transmitted to Moses. Therefore, even today, when a person is learning Torah … he is considered as receiving it on Sinai” (Nefesh Hachaim, Shaar 4, Perek 14).

Sergeant McDonogh responded to the Torah he saw in a Jew. It is vital to remember that we are the only link non-Jews have to Eternity, to G-d. If we give them the opening to see holiness in our behavior, then we are honoring G-d’s Name as well as protecting ourselves and bringing hope and redemption to the world.

G-d says in this week’s Torah portion, “You shall be to Me a kingdom of ministers and a holy nation” (Exodus 19:6). If we fulfill our role as His emissaries, then the world will suddenly change, and we will soon, “for a second time, in the presence of all the living, hear the words we have all been awaiting: ‘I am G-d, your G-d!” (Shabbos Mussaf Kedusha prayer)

© Copyright 2016 by Roy S. Neuberger

added to scheduling to be posted 8pm (Israeli time) Motzei Shabbat

29 January 2016

Parshas Yisro and the Emigration from . . .


Parshas Yisro is notable for the turnabout of the High Priest of Midian who tasted all the avoda zaras in the world at the time, but nevertheless when He Heard what HaShem did for the Israelites in Mitzrayim, taking them out of slavery from the repressive Egypt, and the wonders performed for the Israelites at the Yam Suf; Yisro, came to Moses and converted to the service of HaShem. Yisro had been one of the advisors (with Bilaam and Iyov) to Pharoah, and now after his awakening, he became an advisor to Moshe, and that is why there is a whole Parsha named after Yisro.

Now thousands of years later we are witnessing a startling emigration from the faith of our Fathers, Avraham, Yizchak, and Yaakov. How could it be? Why is it? What do we do now?

Listen to Rabbi Mizrachi on Parshas Yisro and speaking of this disaster.

The world is witnessing the emigration of Islam's muslims from Syria and surrounding areas and immigrating into the countries of Western Europe. This EMIGRATION phenomenon seems to be affecting the entire world including the Jewish world; a mass movement of ideologies and frame of mind. A spiritual upheaval. We will yet witness the Divine Hand of HaShem in all of this.


*Emigration is the act of leaving one's resident country (or one's resident religion) with the intent to settle elsewhere. Conversely, immigration describes the movement of persons into one country from another. Both are acts of migration across national (or spiritual) boundaries.

28 January 2016

Whether Weather? A Change in Geography

Storming Waters along the California Coast, Storming Snow along the Eastern Seaboard, Flooding, Beach Erosion, and Coastline Erosion. And NIBIRU has not yet arrived, but may be on the way. Or are the following weather phenomena alerting us as it nears?  Menachem on NIBIRU and recent research on AbsoluteTruth613 who makes mention of the words of Daniel (link below), one of the autistics.

Pacifica Coastal Erosion Caught on Drone Video:  SHOCKING VIDEO Coastal Erosion. Pacifica is a city in San Mateo County, California, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean between San Francisco and Half Moon Bay.

Pacifica sidewalk cave in. VIDEO: Sidewalk Cave in. Watch the waters crashing against the coastline.

Ventura Calif. near Santa Barbara is also seeing flooding.

CNN MONEY: The Northeast Blizzard will cost up to $3 billion: CNN Money reports the storm that hit the East Coast over the weekend likely cost businesses and residents about $2.5 billion to $3 billion. That estimate comes from Moody's Analytics, which estimates most of the cost of the storm is from businesses that lost sales and employees that lost wages when they could not get to work. In Portland, Oregon, the December heavy rains drench northwest Oregon, causing flooding, landslides, sewer overflow.

However, the greatest impact I believe is the terrific amount of snow and its disrupting impact on the daily life of people. Imagine if NIBIRU were to slide by Earth, causing the massive changes foretold along both coastal areas of the North America and Canada, leaving miles of erosion going far inland. If this were to take place, these photos will be nothing in comparison.  More on NIBIRU Daniel on Planet X Comet

USA TODAY: Eastern Coastal Towns 'This flooding is worse than Sandy' from Snowzilla Jonah. Beach communities in New Jersey and Delaware were evaluating the aftermath from the massive winter storm as high tides washed out dunes and brought icy water into the streets. Delaware's sand-enriched beaches from Lewes to Fenwick Island took a whipping as dunes were flattened and wiped away. The ones that remained looked like a giant front-end loader came through and scooped off the face, leaving a jagged series of cliffs.

Bethany Beach, Delaware

Manasquan, New Jersey

Normandy Beach, Delaware


This was an immensely powerful storm, and it permanently changed the geography right along the edge of the water… All along the Delaware coast there was significant dune damage and areas where the ocean washed through to Delaware 1, pushing a field of crumpled, tangled sand fencing and other debris.

Changing Geography is what NIBIRU might be all about, as some have written.


Other Sources:

Messages from Autistics at Tomer Devorah.

Research Details on NIBIRU at Absolute Truth 613.

Also read the latest post comment on Astrology by Dov Bar Lieb, written 1/28/2016 1:00 AM at YearsofAwe blog under the title Is This The Dawning of the Age of the Water Bucket. I included the date/time to identify the specific comment.

26 January 2016

Blackmail of the World – thus the pressure on tiny Israel

Blackmail of the world by the Sons of Ishmael
Eisav:  and *The tents of Edom, 
and the Ishmaelites ; Moab, and the Hagarenes ;
Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek ;
Philistia, with the inhabitants of Tyre ; 
Assyria also is joined with them

יא וַיֹּאמֶר לָהּ מַלְאַךְ יְהוָה, הִנָּךְ הָרָה וְיֹלַדְתְּ בֵּן,
 וְקָרָאת שְׁמוֹ יִשְׁמָעֵאל, כִּי-שָׁמַע יְהוָה אֶל-עָנְיֵךְ.  
11  And the angel of the LORD said unto her:
'Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son;
and thou shalt call his name Ishmael,
because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
יב וְהוּא יִהְיֶה, פֶּרֶא אָדָם--יָדוֹ בַכֹּל,
 וְיַד כֹּל בּוֹ; וְעַל-פְּנֵי כָל-אֶחָיו, יִשְׁכֹּן. 
12  And he shall be a wild ass of a man:
his hand shall be against every man,
and every man's hand against him;
and he shall dwell in the face of all his brethren.'

State Department Antisemitism thus the pressure on tiny Israel

"They may champion the Palestinian cause, but they do not love Palestinians. In fact, they don’t even like them very much. Rather, they’re scared of them. They’re afraid of Palestinian terrorists hijacking their airplanes, or machine-gunning their children’s school buses, or pressuring Arab regimes to cut off oil shipments to the U.S.; Love of the Land

"That’s why Pickering and other State Department types try to bully Israel into allowing the creation of a Palestinian state — in the desperate hope that doing so will get the Palestinians to leave us alone. And, incredibly, they have the gall to accuse Israel of being “racist” for not going along. (ibid)

Who quotes Stephen M. Flatow – "The US State Department has been so pro-Palestinian for so long that it might seem startling to suggest that there is a current of anti-Palestinian racism at Foggy Bottom. But just consider: (ibid)

"The official Palestinian Authority (PA) daily newspaper, Al-Hayat Al-Jadida, published an article on Jan. 21 suggesting that the US carried out the 9/11 attacks in order to have a pretext for causing “creative anarchy” in the Arab world." (ibid)

The Fear of Islam is Upon the World –  thus the pressure on tiny Israel

“Rabbi Isaac said: Why were our forefathers infertile? Because the Holy One Blessed is He desires the prayers of the righteous” (Yevamos 64a). "Apparently, in response to the prayer of our Patriarchs and Matriarchs, G-d was actually willing to alter nature! In the words of the great personage, “We are accustomed to thinking that prayer comes on account of troubles, yet the … opposite is true: troubles come because of prayer. G-d brings troubles upon us because He wants the prayers of the righteous.” Roy Neuberger at 2020Vision

"He applies this to today’s troubles, in which we also face an “impossible” existential challenge. The Children of Ishmael (as well as the Children of Esau) are rising up against us on a worldwide scale. They have metamorphosed miraculously from nomadic desert tribes into an aggressive culture which is attempting to dominate the entire world. Not only that, but they are willing to die to accomplish their goal." (ibid)

"In ... Torah portion ... which describes the end of Ishmael’s life, there is an almost identical verse but with one crucial change. As it says, “These were the years of Ishmael’s life … he expired and he died and … al kol echav nafal … over all his brothers he fell” (Genesis 25:17-18). The Torah uses the word, “nafal … fell” instead of “dwell”. The next words (the first words in the following Torah portion), are “these are the generations of Isaac …” (Genesis 25:19), about which the Baal haTurim says that Ishmael will fall in the End of days to the Messiah, the descendant of Isaac." (ibid)  .

וְאֵלֶּה, שְׁנֵי חַיֵּי יִשְׁמָעֵאל--מְאַת שָׁנָה וּשְׁלֹשִׁים שָׁנָה,
 וְשֶׁבַע שָׁנִים; וַיִּגְוַע וַיָּמָת, וַיֵּאָסֶף אֶל-עַמָּיו. 
17. And these are the years of the life of Ishmael,
a hundred and thirty and seven years;
and he expired and died; and was gathered unto his people.
יח וַיִּשְׁכְּנוּ מֵחֲוִילָה עַד-שׁוּר, אֲשֶׁר עַל-פְּנֵי מִצְרַיִם,
 בֹּאֲכָה, אַשּׁוּרָה; עַל-פְּנֵי כָל-אֶחָיו, נָפָל. {פ}
18. And they dwelt from Havilah unto Shur
that is before Egypt, as thou goest toward Asshur:
over against all his brethren he did settle.

Devastation of Europe –  thus the pressure on tiny Israel

The destruction of Germany – is the destruction of the EU and all of Europe.

The Kübler-Ross model of trauma describes the emotional pathway for any European with an interest in protecting the continent his forebears created from the perfidy of national leaders whose actions will breed him and his children out of existence: Denial; Organized Attacks; Bargaining; and Forced Acceptance, "dhimmi". RT Invasion of Europe

BACKLASH SWEDEN  – Swedish police warns that Stockholm's main train station has become unsafe after being ‘taken over’ by dozens (i.e. 500) of Moroccan street children. The all-male migrant teen gangs, dozens of nine-year-olds and preteenagers have effectively taken control of a major transportation hub and transformed it into their own personal crime den where [....] and security guards are assaulted on site, according to Stockholm police. ZeroHedge

Russia Claims Immigrant Crisis In Europe Orchestrated By US And UK yournewswire

Psychoanalytiker Hans-Joachim Maaz: "Angela Merkel handelt vollkommen irrational" which means: Hans-Joachim Maaz says: Merkel being dubbed the “most powerful woman in the world” has left her incapable of handling criticism and prone to hubris, with the psychiatrist adding that the German leader has, “lost touch with reality.” Refugee policy "completely irrational". Merkel is at risk of an “imminent” mental breakdown and now represents a “danger” to Germany, according to Maaz. “A psychological or psychosomatic collapse is imminent.” HuffingtonPost.de (Germany)

Islam and Muslim Arabs in Eretz Israel

In Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer, it says (without editing):

Rabbi Ishmael said : In the future the children oi
Ishmael will do fifteen things in the land (of Israel) in the
latter days, and they are : They will measure the land with
ropes ; ^ they will change a cemetery into a resting-place
for sheep (and) a dunghill ; they will measure with them
and from them upon the tops of the mountains ;
falsehood will multiply and truth will be hidden ; the
statutes will be removed far from Israel ; sins will be
multiplied in Israel ; worm-crimson will be in the wool,
and he will cover ^ with insects paper and pen ; he will hew
down the rock of the kingdom,^ and they will rebuild
the desolated cities and sweep the ways ; and they will
plant gardens and parks, and fence in the broken walls of the
Temple ; and they will build a building in the Holy Place ;
and two brothers will arise over them,' princes at the end ;
And Esau took all that his father had left, and he gave
to Jacob the land of Israel, and the Cave of Machpelah,
and they wrote a perpetual deed between them.^ Jacob
said to Esau : Go from the land of my possession, from
the land of Canaan. Esau took his wives, and his sons,
and his daughters, and all that he had, [as it is said, " And
Esau took his wives . . . and all his possessions which
he had gathered in the land of Canaan],^ and went into
a land "^ away from his brother Jacob " {ihid. xxxvi. 6).
And as a reward ^ because he removed all his belongings
on account of Jacob his brother, He gave him one hundred
provinces from Seir unto Magdiel, and Magdiel is Rome,
as it is said, " Duke Magdiel, Duke Iram " {ihid. 43).^
Rabbi Jose said : When Sennacherib came to the land
(of Israel), all the nations who were in the regions round
about the land of Israel saw the camp of Sennacherib,
and feared greatly, and every man fled from his place, as
it is said, " I have removed the bounds of the peoples,*
and have robbed their treasures " (Isa. x. 13). They went
into the wilderness, and intermixed with the children of
Ishmael," and all of them were (composed of) ten peoples,
as it is said, " *The tents of Edom, and the Ishmaelites ; ^
Moab, and the Hagarenes ; Gebal, and Ammon, and Amalek ;
Philistia, with the inhabitants of Tyre ; Assyria also is
joined with them " (Ps. Ixxxiii. 6, 7, 8).^ All of them are
destined to fall by the hand of the Son of David, as it is
said, " O my God, make them like the whirling dust "

Then Jacob dwelt safely and in peace in the land ....

* Full text of "Pirkê de Rabbi Eliezer : (the chapters of Rabbi Eliezer the Great) according to the text of the manuscript belonging to Abraham Epstein of Vienna" [http://www.islamic-awareness.org/Quran/Sources/BBpirke.html – Mohammed took portions of this Midrash, and utilized them (falsely) in the Koran]

** About Rabbi Eliezer ben Hyrkanos:  Eliezer ben Hyrcanus, Rabbi: (a) (Circa 45-117 CE) Mishnaic sage, studied under Rabbi Johanan ben Zakkai, who compared his memory to a “cemented pit, which loses not one drop of water.” Married the daughter of the Nassi, Rabbi Simeon ben Gamaliel I, established an academy in Lod, and authored the Midrashic work, Pirkei D'Rabbi Eliezer. Teacher of Rabbi Akiba. Was embroiled in a halachic dispute with the sages of his generation, and was excommunicated when he refused to accept the majority opinion. (b) A common Jewish first name. http://www.chabad.org/search/keyword_cdo/kid/2369/jewish/Eliezer-ben-Hyrcanus-Rabbi.htm

25 January 2016

In Honor of Tu B'Shvat

After tasting the delicacies that Israel has to offer, you can read about the Kabbalistic Insights of TuB'Shvat at Shirat Devorah. But first, you must taste, so at 120 when they ask if you enjoyed the Gifts that HaShem has given you in this world, you will be able to say, "not only did I taste, but I learned".

The Talmud says that one of the first questions we're asked when getting to heaven is: "Did you taste all of God's fruits?" The beauty of fruit is that it not only sustains us nutritionally, but includes many fringe benefits like taste, texture, color, and form. We will be asked, "Did you taste all the fruits?" – in other words, did you appreciate God's gifts in this world? Aish HaTorah: The 6 Constants, Method #1: Nature

"Second only to the Western Wall, Marzipan Bakery is a must-do on the list of many return tourists to Jerusalem. The chain sells all sorts of cookies and pastries – not marzipan, oddly enough – but the main reason for all that passion on the part of consumers is the bakery’s signature gooey chocolate rugelach." (Made from flour that comes from the Wheat grain. A delicious form of wheat delight.)

Marzipan Bakery's Chocolate Rugelach in Jerusalem 
(and Fruit Cake and Challah)

Marzipan Challah

The Seven Species Sheva Minim of Eretz Israel

Photo: Moshe Milner/ GPO

Glorious, red pomegranates and their Middle Eastern sister, luscious toffee-like dates, are delicious, increasingly trendy, and healthy to boot. As it turns out, when consumed together they are a winning combination in the war against heart disease. Technion


24 January 2016

First Temple Silver Scroll of the Priestly Blessing

2,800 year old scroll revealed startling content that silenced Biblical critics.

What do you get when you combine an archaeologist, a burial site, a tiny budget (as usual), an over-excited and annoying kid, and a hammer?

One of the oldest and smallest silver scrolls in archaeological history, containing 2,800 year old proof validating biblical scripture.

In 1979, Proffesor Gabriel Barkai decided to explore the extramural activity of Ancient Jerusalem. As the city was small, many activities, like farming, took place outside the city walls. Following extensive research, Barkai located the place with the highest probability in the Hinnom valley outside the Old City. Today, this area is located behind the Menachem Begin Center and near St. Andrew’s Scottish Church.

He named the area Ketef Hinnom (which means "shoulder of Hinnom"). There he uncovered the remains of a Byzantine church with a mosaic floor and some tombs hewn into the rock whose roofs had collapsed. The site appeared to be archaeologically sterile and it was clear that the tombs had been looted. Its last use was for storing rifles during the Ottoman period.

The Annoying Kid and the Hammer

Due to a small and insignificant budget, Barkai had 12 and 13 year old volunteers helping out, as part of a field project. Barkai recalls: "Among the thirteen-year-old diggers, there was one annoying kid named Nathan, who was always tugging at my shirt." He sent him off to clean one of the tombs from rubble. "I thought this was an ideal place to put him – he would be out of my sight. I told Nathan the repository had to be as clean as his mother’s kitchen. It had to be clean for photography".

By chance, Nathan also happened to have a hammer with him. Perhaps a bit of an oversight that occurs when one has such a small budget and not enough help to manage a bunch of overexcited "dig-for-a-day" scouts. After cleaning, he got bored and started randomly banging on the floor of one of the nooks in the repository. To his surprise, the stone floor broke and Nathan returned to Barkai with an almost completely intact piece of pottery that he found in the newly fashioned hole beneath the tomb floor. Upon further examination, Barkai discovered a whole room full of treasure! This excavation now warranted a professional team who worked under strict confidentiality.

The chamber contained 60 centimeters (two feet) of accumulation filled with over a thousand artifacts and skeletal remains. They included 125 items made of silver, 40 iron arrowheads, gold, ivory, glass, ceramics, oil lamps, bone and 150 semi-precious stones.

Judy Hadley from Toledo Ohio, a member of the team who went on to became a professor in Bible Studies at Villanova University in Philadelphia, showed Barkai a purplish-colored object that resembled a cigarette butt. After further analysis, they realized it was a tiny rolled up silver scroll.

Normally, the archaeological rubble in an excavation is sifted and examined onsite. Following this discovery, all the dirt was removed from the tombs and tranfered offsite for further examination in a labratory. The delicate sifting process revealed yet another tiny treasure: a second, smaller silver scroll, 4 cm in length.

Risky Business

The scrolls were sent to some of the most experienced restorers of ancient artifacts as well as metal experts at the University of Leeds in Britain. However, the experts felt that that the brittle nature of the scrolls made the chance of damaging the scrolls too great and refused to examine them.

The scrolls were then sent to Germany but were similarly refused, finally making their way home - untouched. The contents of the scrolls remained a secret. In an act befitting the Israeli spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship technicians at the Israel Museum decided to attempt the procedure themselves. After numerous failures and much difficulty, they finally succeeded in creating a special process allowing the scrolls to be unrolled without being destroyed. It took three intensive and challenging years for the scrolls to slowly reveal their contents - ancient script. And most rare of all, the tetragrammaton Name of God was also engraved on the scrolls.

Revolutionary Content

Once unrolled, the scroll measured 10cm long and 2.5cm wide, and was made of pure silver. Ancient Hebrew characters were etched into the silver.

It is highly probable that these scrolls were worn as amulets. Both scrolls have the Priestly Blessing from Numbers 6:24-26 engraved on the silver in proto-Hebrew script.

The Lord will bless you and protect you.
The Lord will make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you.
The Lord will turn His face towards you and give you peace.

The pottery and the script are dated to the 7th century BCE (while the First Temple was still standing), to the time of the prophet Jeremiah.

The tomb has evidently been in use for several generations from about 650 BCE, towards the end of the First Temple period, and it continued to be used after the destruction of Jerusalem in 587/6 BCE.

The scrolls are the oldest known examples of Biblical text on an archaeological artifact and precede the Dead Sea Scrolls by approximately 400 years.

A few years later, a major reexamination of the scrolls was undertaken by the University of Southern California's West Semitic Research Project, using advanced photographic and computer enhancement techniques which enabled the script to be read more easily and the paleography to be dated with better accuracy. The results confirmed a date immediately prior to the destruction of Jerusalem by the Babylonians in 586/7 BCE.

The Priestly Blessing amulet is one of the most exciting finds in modern day archaeology. Not only does it validate the Bible, but it gives us an intricate look into the life and times of Ancient Jerusalem.

The two amulets are on display in the Archaeology Wing of the Israel Museum.



I am not a legal expert nor thoroughly versed in the Talmud to venture my own opinion. Despite all the Rabbinic Dissertations on the subject; however, confusion in this area is considerable within the Israeli Government and the People of Israel. This issue is not going to go away, because it disturbs the inner fairness of the ordinary Israeli.

The lengthy investigation into the horrific Duma arson attack that killed three members of the Dawabshe family has generated great debate over the propriety of investigative torture. According to the families of detained suspects, the investigators applied various forms of physical and mental pressure – possibly reasonably classified as “torture” – which were defended by government officials who obliquely noted that all actions were under court supervision.

Jewish legal opinions regarding the use of such tactics to prevent a future crime or terror attack (whether a “ticking bomb” or otherwise) have been reviewed by this author in Tablet magazine. In this column, I will examine whether Jewish law would accept or allow such methods to investigate past actions and base convictions on them.

THE PROSPECTS of the Jewish state employing torture undoubtedly jolt any student of Jewish history who lacks knowledge of the tactics used by gentiles throughout two millennia of exile to compel Jews to issue false confessions to crimes or fake avowals toward other religions. As such, with the challenge and opportunity presented by the reemergence of Jewish power, Israel must examine carefully the tactics used to protect the nation against a range of threats, whether from gentile neighbors or rebellious Jewish citizens.

Prima facie, Jewish law does not accept any form of criminal confession, whether coerced or voluntary, under oath in a court of law or in an interrogation room. The Talmud declares that statements of self-incrimination are invalid because “a person cannot turn himself into an evil person.”

The sages base this declaration on the biblical requirement for two people to witness a criminal act, as well as the general invalidation of relatives (including the criminal, who is related to himself!) from serving as witnesses.

This rule against self-incrimination, which only applies in cases of corporal punishment, but not in monetary matters, is somewhat surprising, since one would expect Jewish law to encourage people to confess their sins and seek repentance.

Maimonides asserted that the principle was meant to prevent false confessions by unstable people with a penchant for self-destruction. Rabbi David Ibn Zimra alternatively offered a spiritual explanation: A person may not surrender his body for punishment since his body (as opposed to his money) ultimately belongs to God.

As such, one cannot inflict harm on himself, including through self-incrimination.

More recently, Prof. Moshe Halbertal suggested that through the analogy of the invalidation of relatives from testifying, the Talmud might indicate that this principle stems from a general respect for the individual not to undermine his own autonomy through the law. Whatever its rationale,it was accepted as a bona fide principle.

Yet as Prof. Aaron Kirschenbaum has documented, medieval and modern Jewish communities that retained semi-autonomous penal systems would regularly convict criminals based in part on confessions. Scholars such as Rabbi Shlomo Ibn Adret and Rabbenu Nissim of Geronda asserted that Jewish law recognized the right of a king or government to administer a justice system according to societal needs.

As the Talmud states, sometimes the court can punish in spite of the (biblical) law. Otherwise, it would be impossible to convict any criminals if we required two witnesses, an immediate warning before the crime was committed, and a ban on any form of self-incrimination. As proof for this power, many cited the example of King David, who performed executions on two occasions early in his reign based on the admissions of the offenders. To obviate some of the fears regarding confessions, however, many scholars required that there be additional proof or evidence that the confessor in fact violated the law.


Given this development, could confessions be accepted even if coerced from the defendant? As Kirschenbaum notes, talmudic evidence remains somewhat contradictory.

On the one hand, there is recognition that coerced admissions cannot be taken seriously.

On the other hand, there seem to be cases in which force is used to confirm the guilt of certain suspects.

Commentators debate whether in these cases actual physical violence was used or if mere threats or other forms of intimidation were employed. In any case, within medieval rabbinic literature, there are sporadic sources that indicate use of physical force, with some figures explicitly asserting that such abilities remain within a judge’s purview. As such, at the beginning of the 20th century, the famed R. Yisrael Meir Kagan summated that an authorized court could cautiously employ force to confirm well-founded suspicions of the accused’s guilt.

That said, many scholars raised grave reservations about these tactics. Some worried about their overuse by unscrupulous judges, while others fretted whether excessive force would be used and whether such tactics were actually effective. In the 18th century, Rabbi Yehezkel Landau asserted that such coercions were inadmissible, which, in Kirschenbaum’s assessment, remains the dominant position within Jewish history. That said, it remains difficult to dismiss the major decisors who allowed such coercive tactics, provided that it was performed by an authorized court that acted with great discretion, and only when absolutely necessary.

SURELY QUESTIONABLE:  "authorized court"  "that acted with great discretion" "only when absolutely necessary" THIS IS WHERE I GOT STUCK.

Indeed, beyond the ethics of such tactics, others continue to question whether such means are more effective than more conventional methods of interrogation.

That, of course, is a pragmatic question that only security experts, not Jewish ethicists, can try to answer. One hopes, however, that the dilemmas raised within Jewish legal sources can provide a framework for helping Israel confront this issue. ■


The author directs the Tikvah Overseas Student Institute, serves as a junior research scholar at the Israel Democracy Institute, and is a presidential doctoral fellow at Bar-Ilan University Law School. His first book, A Guide to the Complex, received a 2014 National Jewish Book Award.

Meir Ettinger on Hunger Strike

Snow and HaShem's Blessings


A very interesting item concerning the Blizzard, being now called SNOWZILLA,  that has covered a major portion of US Eastern Seaboard:

"The stormed dumped nearly two feet (60 cm) of snow on the Washington area overnight, and then unexpectedly gathered strength as it spun northward and headed into the New York metropolitan area, according to Reuters."

While this could spell hidden messages, 
we should look positively on the SNOW 
as will be elucidated below.

"With the storm persisting through the night, accumulations of between 24 and 28 inches (60 to 71 cm) of snow are expected in New York City, northern New Jersey and western Long Island, with winds gusting to 45 mph (72 kmh), the National Weather Service said. Snowzilla."

Officials said Central Park had 26.8 inches of snow by midnight, making the storm the city’s second-biggest since 1869.

Shoveling Snow thru the Decades is a very cute video from the 1800's to now. [the first of the series of videos is recommended.]


VIDEO: Gallery of Snow Storms Since 1880s

Public transportation in New York Metro Area has been put on hold, and the NY Police say they will arrest anyone out on the roads during the MARSHAL LAW enacted in the NY area. zero hedge and NY and Brooklyn under travel ban lockdown under 26 inches of snow.


Snow a good sign from G–D: Prominent kabbalist Rabbi David Batzri says white flakes falling on Israel are a message to Jewish people that their sins have been forgiven. [...] Rabbis specializing in Kabbalah say that the white flakes of snow have a special meaning as a message from above to the Jewish people that their sins have been forgiven.

Rabbi Yitzhak Batzri, the son of prominent kabbalist Rabbi David Batzri, said [...] on behalf of his father that the snow falling on Israel was "a good sign sent from God."

He explained that while red signifies offenses, white signifies atonement. In the words of Prophet Isaiah, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool."

Opportunity for rectification

Rabbi Batzri added that the timing of the snowfall strengthens the matter even more. When synagogues read the "Shemot" Torah portion, began the days of the Shovevim (an acronym for the weekly Torah portions of "Shemot", "Va'era", "Bo", B'Shallach", "Yitro" and "Mishpatim").

During these six weeks, according to Kabbalah, it is customary to torture oneself twice a week (on Mondays and Thursdays) for atonement purposes. The kabbalists torment themselves and pray for snow, which is a sign that the Jewish people's sins are being forgiven and erased," Batzri explained.

"Just like in the Temple, when the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies and pray for the people of Israel's sins to be forgiven, the sign for forgiveness was the scarlet cord that would turn white. The same applies for kabbalists, who after the beginning of the fasting period wait for snow as a sign that God has forgiven the people's sins."

“Who gives snow like flakes of wool, 
Who scatters frost like ashes. … 
Who casts forth His ice like lumps — 
who can stand before His cold?” 
(Psalms 147:16-17)

Another take can be gleaned from Rabbi Avigdor Miller, of blessed memory, from his classic work, “Awake My Glory,” as cited in the Artscroll commentary on the psalms, explaining “that the comparison is not merely for poetic effect; wool and snow have significant similarities. Wool is noteworthy for its quality of insulation, due to the kinky fiber that imprisons the air; thus woolen garments prevent the body’s heat from escaping. The snowflakes are also shaped in such a way that air spaces are created between them when they fall. The enclosed air is an insulation that acts as a blanket to keep the soil warm, so that the frost does not kill insects, earthworms, bacteria, and fungi that cultivate and enrich the soil. Also, the roots and seeds that are to grow in the spring are protected from the freezing temperatures by the snow.”

Rabbi Miller concludes his unique spiritualization of the snow phenomenon by stating the following observation:

“In addition, the white color of the snow has a very specific function, identical with the function of the white wool. Since white reflects the sun’s rays, the whiteness of the snow slows the melting process, thereby benefiting the plants.” [Pages 286--288]

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch [The Hirsch Tehillim Revised Edition, 2014, Feldheim Publishers], in his commentary on this verse, teaches us the following:

“This psalm cites the natural phenomenon of water as an outstanding example to show us how the Law of G-d governs and works within the realm of nature, and to demonstrate the unconditional obedience which all things existing on earth give to that Law simply because they are G-d’s creatures. In order that we may see the swift, devoted obedience with which the water submits to the will and Law of its Creator, we are given here a description of the visible changes through which water goes, ready to fulfill His behest in the form of snow, then frost, then ice, and finally again to its original liquid form.” (Pages 1168-1169)

We should also be cognizant that the next psalm, 148;8 also makes reference to snow, and that both these two psalms are recited every single day of the year, without exception.

22 January 2016

Bitachon, Trust in G–D

Rabbi Pinchas Winston Shlit"a on Parshat, Beshalach
Am Yisrael at the Sea:  

The Jewish people could not defend themselves against the Egyptian army, and they could not cross the sea on a wing and a prayer. What was left?

Bitachon. Trust in God. According to the midrash, by walking into the sea until they could go no further without drowning, the sea split. Thus is the power of bitachon, as the Leshem says:

In truth, nothing stands in the way of bitachon, as it says . . . 
  • “One who trusts in God will be surrounded by kindness” (Tehillim 32:10). (Drushei Olam HaTohu, Chelek 2, Drush 5, Anaf 4, Siman 3)
At the sea, this was certainly the case. The explicit trust of the Jewish people to enter the sea until they could go no further accomplished what the prayer of the great Moshe Rabbeinu could not. The Nefesh HaChaim continues:

This is the meaning of the verse, 
  • “To a steed in Pharaoh’s chariot, I have compared you, My beloved” (Shir HaShirim 1:9). 
In other words, Pharaoh’s horse represented a reversal of the natural order, since normally the driver leads the horse. With respect to Pharaoh and his army however, the horse led the driver, as the rabbis have taught (Shemos Rabbah 23; Shir HaShirim Rabbah 1:50). It is to this [unnatural state of existence] that My beloved is compared and likened. (Nefesh HaChaim, Sha’ar 1, Ch. 9)

As the Nefesh HaChaim explains, the bitachon of the Jewish people at the sea is what created an unnatural occurrence. It is so valuable to God that it can “pay” for miracles far beyond the merit of the person to invoke. It is like asking for $1 million, and having a wealthy person all of sudden offer to guarantee the loan.

Bitachon and calm. The two words go together. Perfectly. There is no true and lasting sense of calm except for that which results from trusting God. Even a disbeliever has to agree that if there is a God, and He is Who He says He is, then He is also the most reliable source of success and security there is.

It’s simple. Man is limited. He can barely control himself. How can he be expected to control the universe and the destiny of people? He tries, and some fool themselves into believing that they have more control in life than they actually do. In the end, it becomes clear that they were wrong.

Sometimes, even deadly wrong.

God, on the other hand, is unlimited. This is part of what makes Him God.
The moment God would be limited in any way He would become like us. He might be a superhuman but a human nonetheless, and less than 100 percent reliable because like us, He too would have weaknesses.

There have been times when those who challenged God at least believed in Him. The sorcerer Bilaam tried to curse God’s people, but he still believed in God.1 Much later in history, the Babylonian king Nebuchadnetzar destroyed God’s Temple and exiled His people, but he too still believed in the Jewish God. 

Even Pharaoh, who at first refused to free the Jewish people, still believed in God. He just didn’t realize at first the extent to which God was prepared to intervene in human history on behalf of the Jewish people. He learned this from the 10 plagues that destroyed his country and the splitting of the sea that washed away his army.

Everything began to change when prophecy ended in the year 3448 from Creation, or 313 BCE. If man is not going to listen to God, then God is not going to talk to man, at least directly. It is a tremendous merit to be able to communicate with God.

Today, so far down the road and so distant from all forms of direct Divine communication, is it even possible to know God that well, well enough to trust in Him? Is it possible to achieve the peace of mind that trust in God is supposed to provide? It says:
  • Trust in God forever, for in God, God is the strength of the worlds. (Yeshayahu 26:4)
  • Those knowing Your Name will trust in You, and You do not forsake those Who seek You. (Tehillim 9:11)
This says that trust in God is supposed to be forever, in every generation and at any time. It says that if a person endeavors to make the effort to achieve bitachon, God will answer him, take care of him, provide for him and grant him peace of mind. As it says,
  • In truth, nothing stands in the way of bitachon, as it says . . . “One who trusts in God will be surrounded by kindness” (Tehillim 32:10). (Drushei Olam HaTohu, Chelek 2, Drush 5, Anaf 4, Siman 3)

From Parshat Beshalach by Rabbi Pinchas Winston Shlit"a

See Bitachon and Emunah from Parshas Bo, last week's Parsha.

21 January 2016

Blizzard to Unload Immobilizing Snow on US NorthEast

Its being called, 

Megalopolis Blizzard audio on USA Today

A snowstorm that the National Weather Service calls 'perhaps crippling' is aiming for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast states. Washington DC is preparing for two feet of snow, while areas near Philadelphia could get one foot. (Jan. 21) AP

What to look forward to:

For some maybe?

19 January 2016

Dear Dafna ... (update)

DEAR DAFNA, you may not have grown up in your biological home, but you have managed to attract thousands of new family members in Am Yisrael who have come to recognize the kindness and specialness that you have left us.

  "Atarah [Dafna's adoptive mother] recounted how Dafna had made the decision to foster children at the same time that she decided to get married to Natan. “Dafna told us that when Natan had proposed she said she only had one condition, ‘no matter how many children we have, we will also foster children in addition to our own.’ And that is indeed what happened. They accepted Yaniv and Yair when they were three and the other was one and a half. It wasn’t simply to find an adoptive family that would accept two brothers together. The invested so much in both of those children and in the children of their own.” “We lost little Dafna. Little Dafna from whom emerged a woman who knew how to give back to others.”

NATAN MEIR: “My Dafna, she was one in a million. One in a million who grew up in a home that wasn’t a home and succeeded at growing and rehabilitating herself. Dafna was determined to return loving kindness to the world, and she did!”   

Dafna Meir leaves us with some thoughts that should be read by every Knesset Member and Government Member:

“I have been thinking a great deal lately, thinking about why, what should be done or shouldn’t be or can’t be, how to behave, especially on the road, but not only. The fears, for my husband and children, my friends and family. The situation isn’t easy. I sometimes have a feeling of [being in a game of] Russian roulette. And I can’t sleep.”

“There is a lot of sadness in my work. I have a hard time falling asleep after shifts. I wander around dazed in the house for at least two hours,”

she feared for emergency medical crews from Otniel who rush out to help those who are hurt nearby.

“Maybe there are traps” waiting for the rescue teams, she worries. “It’s frightening! And when they go out, in the first minutes before they arrive, maybe they have time to think, ‘Who will I meet this time? Maybe a neighbor, a friend, a wife?’ That’s the horrible reality.



 “I’m thankful for every minute I had with Dafna,” he said tearfully.
“I loved her from the minute we met when we were both soldiers until her very last day,” he said. “I’ll always remember her curly hair peeking out from under her winter hat.”

“When I walked in, she was already on the ground, I saw them struggling and I screamed in panic,” Renana told the Srugim news website on Wednesday.

“He was trying to get the knife out of her body to attack us, but she wouldn’t let him,” Renana said. “She wouldn’t let him take the knife out of her, she didn’t let him hurt us,”

“She was still breathing,” Renana said of her mother. “I asked her to keep breathing and not to stop no matter what, but already I knew that it was over,” she told Srugim. “My mom tried to keep breathing, and I felt like she heard me talking to her even though she didn’t respond.”

“I really hope that she didn’t hear all my screaming,” Renana said. “First I called the paramedics, and then I called my father.”

“She really was like a best friend to me; we didn’t have the regular mother-daughter relationship,” Renana said of her mother. “We talked about everything; she was always there for me. Our family, us, her children were her entire world.”

[Dear Dafna: If you can see us down here, know that you are loved, you are a special neshoma.]


VIDEO: Our boys captured one of their boys! What a difference in the education of a ‘boy’ makes:

"Education Minister and Jewish Home Chairman Naftali Bennett delivered an emotional eulogy Monday at the funeral of Dafna Meir ... He cited the week's Torah portion which tells how the Israelites were surrounded by light, wherever they were, while the Egyptians were afflicted with darkness. "In the great darkness, Dafna, you lit up your surroundings. You took your light with you everywhere".  INN

COMMENTS to above excerpts from TimesofIsrael article:

A beautiful Jewish soul has been extinguished by yet another savage hate filled Islamic terrorist.

Ale-ha Ha-sholom. May the Almighty comfort Dafna's husband and children among the mourners of Zion and Jerusalem.


SHE WAS A HEALER.  Dafna Meir was 38 when they came for her. She was the ideal Israeli, a daughter of Judea from the line of Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah. She was a loving wife to her husband Natan, a loving and doting Jewish mother to her six children. She was a woman of valor, choosing to live in Otniel, the Biblical heartland of the Jewish State; the Bible Belt scorned by the world. She was a nurturer. Two of her children were adopted. She was a healer. At the Soroka Hospital in Be’er Sheva, she served as a nurse. INN:

"She had so much more to give."

SHILOH MUSINGS: Arab Teens in Forefront of Deadly Terrorism with VIDEO. “Concerning the young age of the terrorists, both the PMW-Palestinian Media Watch  and David Bedein's Israel Behind the News have been writing about the education/indoctrination, all supported by the United Nations and innumerable foreign supported NGOs.” There go those NGOs again.

ALSO:  Israel Behind the News with VIDEO. “Dafna Meir, Mother of 6, Butchered by an Arab While Protecting Her Children” “Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) on Sunday presented the weekly Cabinet meeting with an index of Palestinian Authority (PA) incitement, including incitement to terrorism seen on children’s programs on official PA TV, in which children called for the murder of Jews. He also presented his plan to expose the complicity in fueling terror to the international community.” There goes the EU again.

NAFTALI BENNETT:  Real threat to Israel is leaders' complacency. ”Israeli history teaches us dear lessons on the danger of falling under the spell of 'Conceptions,'" Bennett told his audience at an Institute for National Securities Studies conference…"It's not the murderers who attack our civilians in Israeli streets and bring their concrete blocks into the heart of Jerusalem - but rather our mental blocks. Instead of shaping our future with our own hands, Israel is dragged into an existing reality. This, in my opinion, is the greatest threat to our security.”

Dana, "You were a family of six, but you had room to give more, and you opened your home to two more children. You were a happy woman, joyous, optimistic, responsible and loving. You were a unique soul. You brought life everywhere." Bennett noted that Dafna combined conventional medicine, in her work as a nurse at Soroka Hospital, and work as a natural therapist, specializing in matters of fertility.

"In addition, you guided brides – because wherever light can be added and new life begun, that is where you said'I am here.'

If only our leaders'  words would come to action. Naftali Bennett knows how to speak endearing words. "Our love is greater than your hatred. A nation whose heroes murder mothers in front of their children, will not be accepted into the family of nations, ever. A nation like that will never have a state. Quite simply, because hatred has no state."

Bennett noted that soon, we will be celebrating the 50th year since the liberation of Israel's biblical heartland in 1967. "From a desolate countryside, we turned the magical tracts of Hevron, Yehuda, Samaria, Binyamin, Jerusalem and the Golan into areas teeming with 500,000 Jews who have returned to their homeland," he said, and promised: "We will be 700,000, then we will reach 900 thousand, and celebrate the million, and then we will reach two million Jews in Samaria, Hevron, the Etzion Bloc, Jerusalem, the Bik'a and Yehuda."

"We shall continue. And we shall win through life," he vowed. Halevai!

Contributing to the Redemption L’Maaseh

David Mark of Israel Rising has given us Jewish Israelis something we can do to help the Redemption along. The history of our Nation cannot be ignored. The Torah gives us the parameters with which to view the world and our future in our promised Land of Eretz Yisrael. Each step to the future needs a beginning.

Listen to David's very interesting interview of Rabbi Dov Avraham Ben Shor (audio) of the Sanhedrin, that covers much of the current topics misunderstood and  creating hysterical criticism in the headlines (including the courts, laws, government and security measures. Listen here:

We Must Take the Exile Out of Israel

He speaks of the future impact of the Sanhedrin and on exilic Judaism versus one that focuses on the Redemption. If one wants to help Take the Exile Out of Israel this is a good place to begin doing something practical (l'maasei).

 What is the Sanhedrin:

The Sanhedrin is the name given in the mishna to the council of seventy-one Jewish sages who constituted the supreme court and legislative body in Judea during the Roman period. It continued to function for more than four hundred years after the destruction of the Temple and there have been several orthodox attempts to re-establish it since that time. The current attempt to re-establish the Sanhedrin is generally referred to as the "nascent Sanhedrin", or the "developing Sanhedrin".

Volunteers are needed by the Friends of the Sanhedrin to help with –

The two Sanhedrin related websites, thesanhedrin.org and thesanhedrin.net require your help. We have many articles, research and position papers that need to be organized, translated, and uploaded to help make these websites the go-to location on the internet for all things related to the Sanhedrin and the future courts of the Jewish people. Without your help, most people will not be aware of the near weekly meetings being held, and the over 200 issues currently being discussed and debated within the various Sanhedrin related committees.

Currently, our websites are set up as restricted wikis. You can start to help immediately by creating a user account on both the English and Hebrew version of each websites, and getting it approved. Even before approval, you can edit your own personal talk page to start uploading or translating Sanhedrin related material.

For a detailed list of things that you can start helping with now, see the following:

List of projects that need volunteers

NOTE:  About our Redemption, Reb Dov Bar Leib's latest post, Is This the Dawning of the Age of the Water Bucket?, in his inimical way,  feeds us his perspective of hope.

18 January 2016

Ptolemy's Map of 140 CE ... Rashi's Maps of Eretz Yisrael ... Our Land of Israel

Ptolemy's Map from 140 CE

Astronomer, mathematician, and geographer, Ptolemy played a key part in laying out history and cartography as we know it. It was Ptolemy who realized the earth was round, who corrected the Greeks' geocentric view of the universe (that the earth was at the center of everything, and rationalized the motions of the planets) prevalent in his time. Ptolemy lived from around 87 to 150 AD. He spent much of his life in Alexandria (Egypt), but it seems that he originally came from Greece.

A map created by Greek astronomer and cartographer Claudius Ptolemy, from around 140 AD, is considered to be the oldest surviving representation of Ireland. Included among his treatise “Geographia,” Ptolemy provided a set of coordinates showing different geographical features of the island, from which maps were later created in the 15th and 16th centuries. Ptolemy’s Roman era “map” looks much like today’s Ireland, save a few discrepancies. [...]  Even up to the time of Christopher Columbus Ptolemy's eight volume "Guide to Geography" remained the principal work on the subject.

Rashi's Maps of Eretz Israel

From an article in Haaretz:  The earliest Jewish maps of the Holy Land, unearthed and collected by Rubin (Prof. Rehav “Buni” Rubin’s “The Shape of the Land”), were sketches made by Rashi (Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, 1105–1040) in the 11th century. In these maps, the greatest Torah exegesist schematically presented the regions of Israel through which the Children of Israel passed after the exodus from Egypt, as well as the borders of the Promised Land as described in Numbers 33-34. The maps also contain simpler sketches by Rashi. These sketches served as an aid in Rashi’s seminary, and their role was mainly an interpretive one.

   33 בְּמִדְבַּר    Parshas Masei
These are the stages of the children of Israel, 
by which they went forth out of the land of Egypt 
by their hosts under the hand of Moses and Aaron.
 And Moses wrote their goings forth, stage by stage, 
by the commandment of the LORD; 
and these are their stages at their goings forth.
  And they journeyed from Rameses in the first month, 
on the fifteenth day of the first month; 
on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel 
went out with a high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians,

The Land of Israel portrayed in them is more a talmudic concept than a real place. Rubin suggests that these sketches express the fondness Rashi felt for the Holy Land[...]. The efforts made by Rashi to define the relative positioning of each site described in the Bible, as well as his writings, place the interpretation of the holy text at the maps’ center, rather than attempting to describe a real geographic entity.

Thus, for example, there is an illustration of Jacob’s Ladder leaning over several locations – Jerusalem, Be’er Sheva and Beit El. The difficult-to-interpret associated verse with which Rashi was contending (Bereshis 28:10-19) refers to the words of Jacob relating to Beit El (“Surely the Lord is in this place”).

Maps based on Rashi’s sketches were improved during the Renaissance, acquiring illustrations of cities, mountains and ships – as was customary in that period. However, they still remained icons of the Holy Land, whose sanctified status relied on the stature of Rashi. This article,  Of Biblical Proportions: How Maps of the Land of Israel Never Lost Their Roots, surprisingly, comes from Haaretz, once well respected for its interesting Israel research articles.

The sixth chapter* is devoted to holy site lists that were published in the 19th century. The sites depicted often followed the pilgrimage route of Jews in the 19th century, restricting the notations to the Four Holy Cities [Jerusalem, Hebron, Tiberias, Safed] and the tombs of Jewish [holy sages]. Here, too, the land is a pilgrimage destination rather than a regular geographic space.

Our Current Map of Israel

I would think that Rashi when he created his (spiritual biblical) maps would be astonished to find how the current map of Israel is being eaten up by the enemy of the Jewish People in Israel. One organization is concerned with our Land:  the map of Israel. Regavim. The mission of Regavim is to ensure responsible, legal, accountable & environmentally friendly use of Israel’s national lands and the return of the rule of law to all areas and aspects of the land and its preservation. Please view this video.

Ever so quietly, without the roar of battle and clamor of war, the Jewish People is being robbed of the Land of Israel. On this battlefield cement mixers have replaced tanks, plows replace cannons and innocent-looking civilians replace uniformed soldiers. Only the goal remains the same – Dis-inheriting the Jews of their land; today the EU sponsors illegal Palestinian roads and Arab building to help PA annex Area C. More: Position Papers and Maps.

The conquest and settling of the Land of Israel. Acre after acre, house after house, buying, squatting, illegally cultivating the soil that is not theirs, sometimes with guile, other times with violence, with huge sums of money and firmly backed by anti-Zionist organizations in Israel and abroad –

Israel is losing its hold on the Jewish people’s lands, and the legacy of Rashi's Maps.


*Prof. Rehav “Buni” Rubin’s “The Shape of the Land”

See Also, Book: Portraying the Land: Hebrew Maps of the Land of Israel from Rashi to the Early Twentieth Century, Published by Yad Ben-Zvi, Jerusalem, 2014

17 January 2016

Miracle of Torah Learning Prevented Terror Attack at K. Moshe Yeshiva

In the Merit of Rabbi Eliyahu זצ״ל The Yeshiva Bochurim were spared a terrorist attack this morning.

Listen to the Bochur describe the miracle and how he Blesses Hashem!

Three Israeli Arabs were stopped outside of a Jerusalem synagogue on Sunday morning carrying large knives.

The suspects were approaching the Heichal Yaakov synagogue in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Kiryat Moshe that was full of worshipers who were praying their morning prayers.

The three are suspected of attempting to carry out a large attack on worshipers, they have been brought in for questioning and the investigation is ongoing. Arutz7

Overturning the Decree of October 7th Until Chanukah - The Earthshattering Remez of the Bas Ayin

  Rabbi Daniel Glatstein Remez at 10:46 Comments : “I also heard that Teshuva can be done until 8th day of Hannukah? Ba’al Shem Tov??? Not ...