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29 November 2019


By Roy S. Neuberger

As anti-Semitism heats up throughout the world, it is vital to focus on its origins, which are right here, in our Parsha“The children agitated within her, and … Hashem said …‘Two nations are in your womb, two regimes from your insides shall be separated. The might shall pass from one regime to the other and the elder shall serve the younger.’”

Who is the younger? Yaakov, who came out second. 

The archetypal war in history is our war with Esav, as signified by the fact that Yaakov Avinu’s epic battle is with the saar of Esav. According to the eminent historian, Rabbi Berel Wein, we have suffered more over the span of history from Esav than from Yishmoel. This terrible conflict foreshadows the entire Golus Edom through which we have been travelling for the past two thousand years, which continues until this very day!

It is vital to understand that the battle begins in the womb of Rivka Imeinu; from this we understand that the conflict is not only external, but internal as well. 

Our antagonist is a man who cries out, “Pour into me, now, some of that very red stuff!” (Bereishis 25:30) Esav goes “acharei levav’chem v’acharei eineichem,” after his heart and eyes, “after which you stray.” (Bamidbar 15:39) Yaakov Avinu, lehavdil, observes and contemplates the tzitzis, which represent taryag mitzvos, so he may “remember all the commandments of Hashem and perform them.”

There is a universe of difference between these two men. 

The conflict between our performance of mitzvos and our desire for gashmius is at the core of our existence and is mirrored by the conflict between Yaakov Avinu and Esav. The extraordinary agitation felt by our Mother Rivka is a premonition of the future of her children. The outer struggle mirrors the inner struggle, and if anyone doubts that this is a life-and-death battle, let him remember the events of Churban Europe and the countless tragedies which preceded it. 

We cannot run away from this struggle. We can try to pretend that it does not exist, but that attempt will not succeed, because “all the nations … encircle me, they also surround me,” (Tehillim 118) and they will not desist, because of their primordial antagonism to the children of Israel. This struggle will last all through Golus“until the break of dawn,” when the light of Moshiach will enter the world.

Esav lives with his hands, but Yaakov lives with his voice, the voice which speaks words of Torah. (Bereishis 27:22) The saar of Esav cannot prevail against us as long as we are speaking divrai Torah, and so it is that Torah is our only means of survival. We will prevail in the end, but our shield must be “magen Avraham,” the shield which protected our First Father, who discovered Hashem and His Torah.

“Then saviors will ascend Mount Tzion to judge the mountain of Esav’s mountain and the kingdom will be Hashem’s.” (Ovadiah 1:21)

May we see it soon in our days! 

Har Seir, the Mountain of Esav (on the right),
looking eastward from across Yam Hamelach

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

© Copyright 2019 by Roy S. Neuberger

Rabbi Winston – Parshas Toldos

And the first one emerged ruddy; he was completely like a coat of hair, and they named him Eisav.  (Bereishis 25:25)

MOVING RIGHT ALONG, we are already at Parashas Toldos. Every parsha is important in its own right, and so much happens that has and will impact the rest of history. But it is in this week’s parsha that the die is cast for millennia to follow, until the arrival of Moshiach. Finally, all the main characters of world history have been born. 
Actually, it’s really quite amazing. Lots of people do not believe in the Bible. However, that does not negate the fact that their history has turned out the way it was predicted long before any person could have predicted it. We have Bnei Ya’akov, that is, the Jewish people. Yishmael, the Arab world, which has become exactly what the Torah said he would become when he was but a single person. And Edom, a.k.a. Eisav, is as true to his form as he ever was, beginning with this week’s parsha. 
Yishmael is not so complicated and fools no one. Eisav, on the other hand, is a book on his own. There is Eisav the “Russian” who doesn’t care what the world thinks about him. He knows what he wants, he knows how to get it, and does it regardless of backlash, and there often is a lot of that.
Then there is Eisav the European, religious but with a lot of inconsistencies. No religion in the history of mankind has left such a trail of blood over the last couple of thousand years, all “in the name of G–D.” Of course there have been a lot of “good” Christians over the years, but the religion as a whole has a history, and it has not usually been a favorable one. 
Then there is Eisav the Westerner. Eisav in his time was a brilliant lawyer, or was that a liar…or both? The Midrash says that Eisav knew how to use the law to his advantage, or to the advantage of whoever could paid his fees. He was corporate material through and through, and his descendants are all over the world today.
As for the Jewish people, we too have followed in the footsteps of our ancestor, Ya’akov Avinu. We just haven’t done it as well as he did, or with the same honest intentions. 
For example, there was Ya’akov the talmid chacham, sitting day and night in the tents of learning. Today it’s cheder, yeshivah, and kollel. There was Ya’akov the deal-maker, something for which Jews are still known, for better or for worse. Finally, there was Ya’akov the trickster, something many Jews have DEFINITELY been known for, usually ONLY for the worse.
It’s kind of like a person. The basic psychological infrastructure of a person is built during the early years, until around age 12. Until that time, there is intellectual flexibility, and a child will tend to conform to the world around him. After that, as he grows up, he tends to try to make the world conform to his own point of view. 
Thus, though his clothing changes from period of life to period of life, including his hair style, etc., the person basically remains the same. Outward appearances and attitudes may seem different, but more than likely they can be traced back to basic characteristic from the person’s early life.
History is not much different. Modern man looks at the past only when he has to, believing that he knows more and is far better equipped to deal with life than his ancestors. Knowledge has been cumulative, so though ours may be built upon that of past generations, ours is also the most advanced and complete. The past, therefore, is just extra baggage.
No wonder we constantly misread history and make old mistakes anew. YES, there are some major differences, but NO, they aren’t as major as we think they are. History is still about Ya’akov running for his life from Eisav while looking over his shoulder for Yishmael. It’s just happening on a far more massive scale and includes countries that long ago shed their biblical names and roots.
They can shed all they want. They just can’t change the fundamental spiritual architecture of history. There are two basic roots, and each has a holy side and an impure one. These are the shor, or ox, on the side of holiness and on the side of impurity, and the chamor—the donkey, who can stand on the side of holiness, and on the side of impurity.
The GR”A explained that Moshiach Ben Yosef is the holy ox, while Eisav represents the impure one. Moshiach Ben Dovid corresponds to the chamor on the side of holiness, and Yishmael, on the side of impurity. And the Erev Rav, otherwise known as the “Mixed Multitude,” is that force in history that unifies the two impure elements, Eisav and Yishmael, against the two holy ones, Moshiach Ben Yosef and Moshiach Ben Dovid. 
The amazing thing is how well history can hide the biblical underpinnings of a current generation. People see the Arab world, but they do not see Yishmael and his Torah-defined characteristics. They see the White House, the Kremlin, the House of Commons, etc, but they do not see Eisav sitting in each of them. And they see a modern Jewish state with its disparate components, but not different facets of Ya’akov’s potential. 
And they see people, some even Jewish, uniting the Western world with the Arab world against the Jewish nation, but they don’t recognize the Erev Rav. They see courts overturning Torah values, but they don’t see the Mixed Multitude as the source of it. The people rendering those decisions certainly don’t see themselves acting as one of the most despised elements in the history of mankind. Just the opposite, they believe that they are “champions of the public.”
There is a hint to this in Sha’ar HaGilgulim, Chapter 20, which I have quoted many times before. It says that at the End-of-Days, Moshe Rabbeinu will return, as will the souls of the generation that he led in the desert, as well as the Erev Rav. It will be the curtain call of Jewish AND world history. 
What difference does it make in the end, you may ask. It is what it is, you may say. Let me ask you. Would it make a difference if the person pursuing you had randomly chosen you as a victim, or had personally targeted you? What if the plot against you was part of larger conspiracy? Wouldn’t you want to know that?

One important difference is that it points us in the direction of answers to important questions in the Torah. And it adds a whole other dimension to the events of today, a more MESSIANIC dimension. And that is the difference between just sitting back and waiting for things to happen, and proactively taking a lead to make them happen.

Rabbi Kahana — Rivka’s Great Secret

Parashat Toldot 5780
Rabbi Nachman Kahana

Rivka’s Great Secret

Rivka suffered during her pregnancy and went to obtain advice at the yeshivah of Shem and his son Ever. There she was told that, in her womb, she was carrying twins who would become the forefathers of two nations and two opposing cultures. These twins would change the course of history, and the younger would surpass the older.
Why didn’t Rivka seek advice from the greatest spiritual figure of her generation, her husband Yitzchak? And why did she act to divert her husband’s blessings?
I suggest: Even without being told, Rivka knew that she was carrying twins, for when she passed a yeshivah, one fetus would become aroused, and when she passed an idolatrous temple, the second fetus would become aroused. She knew that one of them constituted a bad seed from the moment of conception, so that nothing could change his basic nature.
Rivka concluded that her innately evil son was her fault. After all she was Betuel’s daughter and Lavan’s sister. She also concluded that the righteous son could be credited to her husband, who was Avraham’s son.
When the twins grew up, Rivka could not tell her husband about Esav’s evil deeds and just how far he had gone in his wickedness, lest he blame her for having brought that evil soul from the house of Betuel and Lavan. Rivka’s regular practice was, therefore, to praise Esav before Yitzchak.
Matters continued in that fashion until the twins reached Bar Mitzvah age. Yaakov became a righteous man devoted to his studies, whereas Esav became a man of the field engaged in absolute licentiousness.
Rivka heard that Yitzchak was about to bless Esav, thanks to her own words of praise over the years. She understood that she had to correct the warped situation that she herself had created by hiding the truth from her husband. So, she did so to the best of her ability.
Although Rivka succeeded in hiding her great secret, Yitzchak understood by himself that Esav was evil when he married Canaanite women.


Psychologists debate what is the major factor that fashions the human personality – heredity or environment. We are all composed of traits we inherited from our parents, but to what degree are we influenced by our surroundings? Which of the two is decisive? The question becomes more perplexing when dealing with twins who possess personalities that are polar opposites.
Heredity and environment, indeed, constitute primary components in fashioning the personality. However, it appears that the decisive factor is the divine soul that HaShem breathes into every human being at birth.
The end result can be compared to an artist who paints by using various media: paper, cloth, parchment, canvas and glass. Oil paint will ruin paper, while chalk will leave no imprint on glass. Likewise, an educational approach that stresses character improvement will be lost on someone inherently selfish, just as the free spirit may be repelled by an approach that emphasizes constraints.
Yitzchak and Rivka strove to influence Esav to be true to Torah values, but the call of the wild was too strong. All of his parents’ holy words of chastisement were rejected in the face of his desire to lead a life of licentiousness and immediate gratification. Esav thus remained Esav.
Rivka knew full well who Esav was, and Esav knew himself as well. Esav’s twin, Yaakov, also knew very well who his descendants would have to deal with until the end of time.
When Rivka learned of Yitzchak’s intent to bless Esav, she was left with no choice but to prevent this at any cost. She found herself in a situation that she herself had created by hiding from Yitzchak the true nature of Esav – that Esav had a soul that detested holiness. So, Rivka accepted all the consequences of her act and told Yaakov (Bereishiet 27:13):
עלי קללתך בני

“Let any curse be on me, my son.”
Rivka acted as she did because she knew that Esav was born with the soul of a pagan. Indeed, Esav became the father of Eliphaz, whose son was Amalek. And this is why the Midrash states (Sifrei on Bereishiet 33:4): “There is a well-known rule that Esav hates Yaakov.”
That hatred did not derive from anything Yaakov did or said. Rather, Esav’s soul was the total opposite of Yaakov’s, just as impurity is the opposite of purity.
Nowadays, who are Esav’s descendants?
According to tradition, most of the population of Christian Europe is linked to Esav, including those who emigrated from Europe to other places like the United States. It is interesting to note that the flags of almost all of the countries of Europe, including the United States, include the color red which is associated with Esav due to his red hair and blood-thirsty nature.
Shabbat Shalom,
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5780/2019 Nachman Kahana

28 November 2019

Rabbi Mizrachi –Today’s Reality . . .

. . . Is It Possible To Be Happy?

Superb Shiur, the Rabbi in rare form, especially the last whole hour
Non-stop situations

“Jewish Blood is Not Free”

This is exactly what Rabbi Kessin intimated could be the reason for the gezera from Shamayim on Netanyahu —  and now DM Bennett is doing what should have been done years ago under the leadership of Netanyahu:

Bennett said, "I cannot promise there won't be more terror attacks, but we must charge a heavy price for from anyone who raises his hand against an Israeli citizen. Jewish blood isn't free. arutzsheva


Also "Defense Minister Naftali Bennett, [who] ordered the defense establishment to stop returning bodies of terrorists to the Palestinian Authority.” [however not everyone agrees; but this may just get the return of Israelis kept in limbo by the terrorists] arutzsheva.

Rabbi Mizrachi – Collective Punishment According to Judaism

This is a very important shiur and has relevance in so many areas of life today.

The electric company shut the electric to 46,000 (10% of Israelis) homes (because they could not pay). But what about all of Gaza that doesn’t pay their electric and no one shuts it. The Eisavs in Europe won’t allow it??

Racism is a collective punishment

at the 18 min mark the Rabbi speaks about a 1 to 99 risk of danger.
Then he gives the example of cups of water on the table and one of them is poison. With a 1% chance to die, no one would drink.

Exactly at 19min into the video the Rabbi gives an example of medicine!

[ME:  I say this is the same argument pertaining to the vaccines that are KNOWN to damage (and/or murder) children, but the percentages are much higher = all because there is no pre-test for sensitivity or danger = and regardless of the injured such vaccines are FORCED upon everyone! That means the pharmaceutical company is committing murder, because they know that a certain percentage will be damaged or die. Now, does that make sense? And yet a group of Rabbis, knowing the Jewish halacha, made statements that all children must be subject to this “russian-roulette” medical procedure, and those who do not are not allowed in heder/school. Straight from the CDC mantra, without researching and understanding. This is actually Cruel]

27 November 2019

The First Ever “Prevention of Animal Cruelty and Torture Act"

President Trump Participates in a Signing Ceremony for the Preventing Animal Cruelty and Torture Act (H.R. 724)

The Questionable Democratic Party Of Jews

Popular conservative Christian TV Host Rick Wiles warns his followers that the effort to impeach President Donald Trump is a “Jew coup.”

Of course, he’s also part of the Deep State MSM who have been falsifying the political and environmental news since the 2016 election of Donald J. Trump.

In a wild anti-semitic rant, Wiles claimed that “Jews are deceivers” who will “do whatever they have to do to accomplish their political agenda,” while arguing that the effort to impeach Trump constitutes a “Jew coup.”

Not any different from ALL other democratic politicians

Wiles does not need an excuse to be the Nazi that he is. He has been saying things like this for years.

It just happens to be that “Jews” are in fact running this impeachment, such as Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler, Chuck Schumer and others. Schiff’s Counsel Daniel Goldman is Jewish. Nadlers Counsel Barry Berke is Jewish. Of course we also have Eric Swalwell, Wolf Blitzer and Jake Tapper of CNN who are all Jewish. Throw in George Soros for good measure.

These are the democratic socialists that want to turn America into Venezuela.

Who is actually worse, we leave that to you to decide. Is it the self-hating Jews (like Schiff, Nadler and Schumer) that are endangering the lives of Jews in America? Or Rick Wiles?

Someone should remind this neo-Nazi that Orthodox Jews just donated millions to Trump’s reelection campaign in an event attended by hundreds of Yarmulka-wearing Jews.

He will find a way to twist this into his antisemitic rage.

Shockingly, his news outlet “True News” frequently is granted Whitehouse access.

On his “True News” program Wiles said:

That’s the way the Jews work, they are deceivers, they plot, they lie, they do whatever they have to do to accomplish their political agenda. This ‘impeach Trump’ effort is a Jew coup and the American people better wake up to it really fast because this thing is moving now toward a vote in the House and then a trial in the Senate. We could have a trial before Christmas.

And what a Earth-shaking trial of biblical proportions it will be!

This country could be in civil war at Christmastime. Members of the U.S. military are going to have to take a stand just like they did in the 1860s with the Civil War. They are going to have to decide: are you fighting for the North or the South? People are going to be forced, possibly by this Christmas, to take a stand because of this Jew coup in the United States.

Yes this trial will shake up the military as well as the entire government, the people of America, and the world.

This is a coup led (only) by (Democratic and Deep State) Jews to overthrow the constitutionally elected president of the United States and it’s beyond removing Donald Trump, it’s removing you and me. That’s what’s at the heart of it. You have been taken over by a Jewish cabal.

The church of Jesus Christ, you’re next. Get it through your head! They’re coming for you. There will be a purge. That’s the next thing that happens when Jews take over a country, they kill millions.


26 November 2019

Defense Minister Bennett on Iran

IDF fighter jets attack dozens of military targets belonging to the Iranian Quds Force and the Syrian army. "In response to the rockets fired by an Iranian force from Syrian territory at Israel, IDF fighter jets struck dozens of military targets of the Iranian Quds Force and the Syrian Armed Forces, including surface-to-air missiles, headquarters, weapons warehouses and military bases, overnight Tuesday.” Cover article and map at arutzsheva

IRAN is irate infuriated over this

What Happens Next is Anyone’s Guess

Defense Minister Naftali Bennett spoke on Monday evening at a conference of New Right activists in Givat Shmuel, and discussed security concept that he intends to bring to light in his new role.

"I have been given responsibility for a subject that is so acute to us and this is our future, the existence of the Jewish people in this country," said Bennett. “The perception that we will gradually move toward is that of making a switch in our heads. It won’t happen overnight, but it also won’t take 20 years.”

“For too many years we have been accepting that they fire at us from time to time. So no, no, nobody has the right to fire a rocket, missile or bullet at the Jewish state. We have to make the switch."

Minister Bennett said that many people had asked him why the attack against Iranian targets in Syria last week was so widespread, "After all, what happened? They fired four rockets that never hit the Golan Heights. We went and attacked a long line of targets, Iranian bases in Syria, and everyone was surprised. The answer is: You don’t fire at the State of Israel and come out clean."

"Not only will they not fire on Israel, we made the heavy mistake in the 1990s and continue doing it to this day, of allowing a terrorist organization to arm and arm and import and produce thousands of rockets, tens of thousands of rockets, 140,000 rockets in Lebanon, now we are setting a goal - we do not want to see Iran in Syria. You have nothing to look for there, get out of Syria."

Bennett praised IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi and the IDF commanders, saying, "I was privileged to see that we have great commanders, excellent people in the IDF, an excellent Chief of Staff, excellent generals, and we need the right spirit and determination where we are not afraid to say ‘they won’t fire at us’, and if they fire at us then there are completely different responses than in the past.”

The Defense Minister said he did not intend to prevent economic growth from Arabs in Gaza and Judea and Samaria who are not involved in terrorism. "I also come up with an economic outlook that says I have no reason to prevent economic well-being from Arab citizens in Gaza and Judea and Samaria. I, as a person who grew up in the business world, believe in this very much. It will not bring peace but let them have it.”

"And so in this regard, too, I am not afraid to allow things that may not have been permitted in the past because I do not see why we should bother the Gazans or just make it harder for them. We will attack those who need to be attacked even more strongly than before, but those who are unrelated will be healthy. That is the concept I am promoting and even if we get a little criticism for it, I believe in it very much and we will do it.”

Bennett reiterated his position that he would not agree to the establishment of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, and hinted of his intention to fight the Palestinian takeover of Area C. "The State of Israel is in a campaign over the design its borders, over the shape of the future of Judea and Samaria, we are not in the United Nations, we are on the Israeli side. They live in Areas A and B, let them thrive there. No Palestinian state will be established anywhere.”

In conclusion, Bennett said, "On the one hand - a strong deterrent to the enemies, on the other - economic well-being for civilians and at the same time, a significant campaign for the future of Israel. With the help of God and with your help we will succeed.”


This Will Shed Some Light on . . .

The Dark Side of LED Lightbulbs
a Scientific American article

Dear EarthTalk: Are there health or environmental concerns with LED lightbulbs, which may soon replace compact fluorescents as the green-friendly light bulb of choice?—Mari-Louise, via e-mail

Indeed, LED (light emitting diode) lighting does seem to be the wave of the future right now, given the mercury content and light quality issues with the current king-of-the-hill of green bulbs, the compact fluorescent (CFL). LEDs use significantly less energy than even CFLs, and do not contain mercury. And they are becoming economically competitive with CFLs at the point of purchase while yielding superior quality lighting and energy bill savings down the line.

But LEDs do have a dark side. A study published in late 2010 in the journal Environmental Science and Technology found that LEDs contain lead, arsenic and a dozen other potentially dangerous substances. LEDs are touted as the next generation of lighting,” says Oladele Ogunseitan, one of the researchers behind the study and chair of the University of California (UC)-Irvine’s Department of Population Health & Disease Prevention. “But as we try to find better products that do not deplete energy resources or contribute to global warming, we have to be vigilant [about] toxicity hazards….”

Ogunseitan adds that while breaking open a single LED and breathing in its fumes wouldn’t likely cause cancer, our bodies hardly need more toxic substances floating around, as the combined effects could be a disease trigger. If any LEDs break at home, Ogunseitan recommends sweeping them up while wearing gloves and a mask, and disposing of the debris — and even the broom — as hazardous waste. Furthermore, crews dispatched to clean up car crashes or broken traffic lights (LEDs are used extensively for automotive and traffic lighting) should wear protective clothing and handle material as hazardous waste. LEDs are currently not considered toxic by law and can be disposed of in regular landfills.

According to Ogunseitan, LED makers could easily reduce the concentrations of heavy metals in their products or even redesign them with truly safer materials, especially if state or federal regulators required them to do so. “Every day we don’t have a law that says you cannot replace an unsafe product with another unsafe product, we’re putting people’s lives at risk,” he concludes. “And it’s a preventable risk.”

Of course, we all need some kind of lighting in our lives and, despite their flaws, LEDs may still be the best choice regarding light quality, energy use and environmental footprint. That said, researchers are busy at work on even newer lighting technologies that could render even today’s green choices obsolete.

CONTACT: UC-Irvine study pubs.acs.org.


The Truth about LED Light Sensitivity & Migraine. We know that both LEDs and fluorescent lights can cause visual, headache and migraine symptoms. ... This occurs because LEDs can only be completely on or completely off, so they have to produce the flicker in order to simulate these dimmer settings.

ScientificAmerican No similar study has yet been performed for LED lights. But because LED flickering is even more pronounced, with the light dimming by 100% rather than the roughly 35% of fluorescent lamps, there’s a chance that LEDs could be even more likely to cause headaches. At best, it’s likely to put some people off using LED bulbs because of the annoying, distracting effect of the flickering, which we know can be detected during saccades.

Quora Light-emitting diode (LED) lights may cause permanent damage to your eyes, a new research has claimed. The study found that exposure to LED lights can cause irreparable harm to the retina of the human eye.

25 November 2019

Who is Oded Ravivi

Head of the Efrat Municipal Council and Chief Foreign Envoy, YESHA Council

Oded Revivi is a statesman, orator, lawyer, mayor and prominent advocate for the Israeli communities in Judea and Samaria. He is also a staunch advocate of co-existence and fostering improved relationships with Efrat's neighboring Palestinian villages. He is a regular commentator in the international press, both broadcast and print, and is frequently called upon to participate in public debates and panels at major conferences and universities. As mayor of Efrat, the population has grown by over sixty percent, making him one of the most effective leaders in the history of the YESHA Council. The YESHA Council is the official representative organization for the 406,000 Israelis residing in Judea and Samaria. USA TODAY recently described the YESHA Council as "one of the most powerful and effective lobbying groups in Israel”.

Oded began his professional career as an attorney working in several law firms and in 2000 he opened up his own law practice, where he specialized in real estate and business law in addition to litigation.

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Revivi served for 4 and 1/2 years in the Israel Defense Forces Armored Corps as a conscript and subsequently an additional 25 years as a reserve officer attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel (Res.). Under his leadership and command, his tank regiment received the President of Israel’s Prize for Excellence.

In July 2016, Revivi was appointed Chief Foreign Envoy of the YESHA Council, heading the newly reinstated Foreign Affairs Department of the YESHA Council and acting as the official political representative of the Israeli settlement movement to the international community. Despite his new role to the international community, Revivi still serves as Mayor of Efrat after his election in November 2008 and re-election in October 2013. Following his success in Efrat, Oded was chosen to be a mentor for newly elected mayors in a special program initiated by the Ministry of the Interior in cooperation with the Center for Local Government and the Hebrew University School for Public Policy.

Revivi received his Bachelor Degree in Law at from East London Law School and Master's Degree in Social Sciences and Public Policy from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. He is a graduate of the San Francisco based Gvanim fellowship, that fosters the advancement of religious pluralism in Israel. He completed an Executive Education Program at Harvard Business School with a focus on leadership and management as a Maoz fellow.

In addition to being Chief Foreign Envoy of the YESHA Council and Mayor of Efrat, Revivi serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Local Government Services Insurance Agency of the Center for Local Government and as a board member for the National Lottery.

Source: Israel American Council

Anything But SMART . . .

Most of the biggest names in Big Tech are racing to create smart glasses that we wear everywhere and that may replace our phones.

Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Snap, Facebook Apple, Magic Leap and others are all working on some form of smart glasses or headset that will change how we view the world around us. Instead of pulling a phone out of our pockets to talk to people or interact with apps, we may do these things simply by speaking to, and looking through, a set of glasses.

So SMART They Will Control Your Mind

MK Gideon Sa'ar

This is being shown for English speakers to become familiar with MK Gideon Sa'ar

In light of the recent US Declaration about the “so-called” settlements, in this video, Gideon Sa’ar speaks about the Rebbe from Viznitz and (very interestingly) “Declarations”.
Jan 15, 2018

Sa'ar formally requests Likud primaries
Rival to Netanyahu in Likud calls for party to to quickly hold primaries to decide on replacing current PM. arutzsheva

Nov 21, 2019

May 2018

24 November 2019

Rabbi YY Jacobson . . . (part two)

[this is for those who do not understand why Jews support the President]

How Could You?
Not all my friends and students approved of my introducing and expressing abundant gratitude to President Donald Trump.

One constituent sent me this email:
I’ve always respected you and you kept me on the path of still loving Judaism despite my becoming disillusioned. But when I saw you with Trump, introducing him and singing his praises, I was saddened. Not because of any policy disagreement. That I can handle. But because of Trump’s nastiness, his bigotry, his hurtful ways. It’s not worth mortgaging one’s soul to support a policy.

When Jewish religious leaders give him a hechsher, it says, “Thank you for supporting me. Who cares what you do to other marginalized people? Sell them out for us!” It says we Jews are just as ethically narcissistic as anyone else. It says we are only a light unto ourselves. And that for our  own benefit we are willing to stand behind a person who defies most mussar books and Pirkei Avos. I am very disappointed.

Another constituent had this to say to me:
What a monster chillul Hashem on display! The idol worship of that president is embarrassing and makes me, and many others, despise Jewish leaders like yourself. With your hollow praises it is obvious that you most definitely condone his disgusting behavior. “This magnitude of a great leader,” you said. Think about what you were saying!

And yet a third email:
So hard to believe that you introduced Donald Trump; that you feel this way about a man with no morals, ethics, and who does not know the meaning of the word truth. Jews are so misled about Trump’s support and the support of the conservatives. As I said, it makes me very sad to see such an intelligent person as yourself feeling the way you do. I pray that someday you don’t experience a huge shock.

While the overwhelming majority of the feedback I received was positive, these letters express what a significant number of American Jews feel. I responded with this message:

Allow me to respectfully disagree with you. I do not condone any behavior of any president that is wrong. I do not embrace unrefined language or any actions that are wanting. Yet the facts remain that Donald Trump, notwithstanding all his flaws and shortcomings, canceled the horrific and dangerous nuclear deal with Iran, a regime yearning to create a second Auschwitz, a despicable leadership which craves to see rivers of blood flowing — Heaven forbid — from Jerusalem to Washington. He has been a staunch friend of Israel and the Jewish People. Despite radical pressure and criticism, he, in contrast to many former presidents who promised and did not deliver, relocated the US Embassy in Jerusalem. Under his leadership, the US acknowledged the Golan Heights as part of Israel. He commuted the sentence of Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin who did not deserve to sit 27 years in a prison cell. Does he not deserve a thank you?

Israel is fighting now in Gaza. In the past, the US always called on both sides to show restraint. No more. The president knows the difference between terrorists and the victims of the terrorists — and he calls a spade a spade. He knows this is not a battle of two equal sides. This is a quantum shift in US policy toward Israel. Does he not deserve a thank you?

The Palestinian Authority was giving billions of shekels a year to the families of “shahids,” suicide terrorists who murdered Jews. In 2016, the PA distributed $303 million in stipends to families of people who axed, stabbed, and gunned down Jews — money coming from US taxpayers. The shameful tradition was happening both under Republican and Democratic presidents. Trump was the first leader who said no more. He stopped it. Does he not deserve a thank you?

It is not only about the past, but also about the future. He is the president of the US, no matter if one likes it or not. We, the Jewish People, want to use our influence to influence politicians to use their power to defend the good and the innocent, to fight anti-Semitism, to support Israel, to combat terrorism, to cut down ISIS and all other Islamists who crave to see a world drenched in the blood of infidels. How can we try to yield positive influence if all we do is discuss the flaws of one leader or another, no matter whether true or false?

In all honesty, do you think as a result of my words at the luncheon, the president might be friendlier to Israel or conversely? In the book of reality, that’s what really matters: the safety and security of seven million of our brothers and sisters living in the Holy Land.

Let’s even assume for a moment that you are correct in all of your accusations concerning the president. Does that matter? In Judaism, we always show respect to the office of the presidency, no matter its leader. No other than Reb Chanina ben Tradyon states in Pirkei Avos: “You must pray for the welfare of the government” — and he was referring to the same vicious Roman Empire who tortured him to death! G-d commanded Moshe to show respect to Pharaoh and Elijah to show respect to Achav — both wicked, murderous kings.

Throughout history, Jews went to meet all types of leaders, of all shades and hues, for this exact reason: to help tip the scale to the good. Sometimes they met with leaders of very low moral standing; sometimes they met heinous and evil kings. The Talmud and Midrash are filled with these narratives. In the Tanach, Esther went to meet Achashveirosh who killed his own queen and agreed to a genocidal plan of Haman, because she knew that G-d wants us to employ the natural means to influence leaders to try to do the right thing at the right moment.

Even if you disagree, there is no need for you to box me into a primitive model just because I disagree with you on this issue. Instead of assuming abruptly that I mortgaged my soul, you can say: I disagree, but I can respect that maybe Rabbi YY was acting in good faith and trying to do the right thing, at least in his estimation. If you could not even entertain such a thought, I pray that you expand your horizons, and that your commitment to kindness, compassion, sensitivity, and decency is internalized by you even when judging someone who went to meet the president of the United States.

Regardless, life moves on. The president went back to his business, and I went back to my business. It is time to resume our study of Torah, our dedication to prayer, our celebration of mitzvos, and our work to turn our world into an abode for the Divine, a world filled with goodness, kindness, compassion, and holiness.

Respectfully, and with many warm blessings,
Rabbi YY Jacobson

Sharing the Glory
As President Trump ascended the stage, I seized the moment to tell him in person how millions of Jews were thankful for his dedication to the security of Israel and the Jewish People, that as long as he was committed to truth and goodness, he ought to fear nothing and nobody. I then took the mic and made the blessing we make upon seeing non-Jewish kings and leaders (Berachos 58a; Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 224): “Baruch Atah Hashem… shenasan mikvodo lebasar va’dam,” thanking G-d for sharing some of His glory with a human being charged with the mission to hold up the glory and dignity of all.

There is an argument among rabbinic authorities whether or not this blessing is said for an elected president, who is not a monarch. I followed the many halachic opinions (the Shevet HaLevi, Rav Shmuel Wosner; the Shearim Metzuyanim B’Halachah, Rav Shlomo Zalman Braun; Rav Dovid Yosef; and many others) that the blessing should be made even on a president if he has the authority to commute a death sentence and can declare war. In addition, as the leader of the free world, the president of the United States has a unique status that increases the validity of making such a blessing.

The blessing the Sages instituted has little to do with the actual leader, and all to do with his Divine Creator. Every king and leader, no matter his moral caliber, has a piece of G-d’s Kingship in him or her. Leadership, the capacity to rise above one’s individual image to become the heartbeat of a nation, is a Divine gift. Malchus in its truest form is a heavenly experience. How the leader uses this gift is a completely different story. Some use it to bring light to the world; others, to bring darkness to mankind. But the energy is there, even if it is misused. We are thanking Hashem for bequeathing mankind with this Divine power.

This answered a question I had for many years. Our Sages say that we make this blessing even if the king is a rasha, and they go so far as to instruct that it’s a mitzvah to go see a non-Jewish king, even if it means interrupting one’s Torah learning. But why? Why would we thank Hashem for such a king? I think the answer is clear: We are not thanking Hashem for the particular conduct of the king who may be kind or may be cruel. We are expressing gratitude for the gift of leadership, which in its truest manifestation is Divine, even if it is abused.

Another fascinating point is the textual change of the blessing when seeing a Jewish king as opposed to a non-Jewish king. For a Jewish king we say, “Shechalak mikvodo lebasar va’dam,” that Hashem “split off” part of His glory, giving it to a human person. For a non-Jewish king we say, “Shenasan mikvodo lebasar va’dam,” that He gave of his glory to a human being. Why the difference?

The Magen Avraham and the Taz (Orach Chayim 224) present a magnificent answer: A Jew is a “chelek Elokah mima’al,” meaning that a neshamah is a fragment of the Divine, a “piece” of Hashem, as it were. So we use the word “shechalak,” that Hashem “split off” part of His honor and shared it with the Jewish king. Not only did Hashem give part of his glory as a gift to a king, but rather this king is still part of Him. The Jewish soul is always completely one with Hashem.

(Originally featured in Mishpacha, Issue 786)

Rabbi YY Jacobson . . . Part One: “I will bless those who bless you.”

[this is for those who do not understand why Jews support the President]

Rabbi YY Jacobson on last week’s Salute [and blessing] to the President
as reported in Mishpacha Magazine Issue 786

Response of President Trump to Rabbi YY Jacobson’s Blessing [he was truly touched very much]

Wow was it that I was given the privilege of introducing President Trump and invoking the brachah for kings and leaders at a luncheon with American Jewish donors?

It all started some two years ago during a Shabbos Hagadol derashah in our shul in Monsey, when I shared with the kehillah how, notwithstanding our many challenges, we are living in extraordinary times. We were given a president who is a staunch friend of Israel and the Jewish people — for which we must thank our Creator and express gratitude to the president.

Never in the past 2,000 years, I said, have the opportunities been greater for us to fulfill the vision we recite thrice daily — “Lesaken olam bemalchus Shakai,” to repair the world under the sovereignty of Hashem. For the first time, we live in a milieu when Jews can serve as moral teachers of mankind, becoming beacons of light, truth, love, and hope. We have the chance to be an outstanding voice in the moral conversations of mankind, and the world is waiting for it.

I spoke of our need to create a paradigm shift in how we perceive Judaism and the Jewish people. Today we can change the world. When a Jew lives an authentic Jewish life, saturated with faith, integrity, yiras Shamayim, ahavas habriyos, joy and love, his or her impact can go viral, and that when you show gratitude to people, they embrace it with enthusiasm.

One man sitting in the audience took the words to heart. He phoned the White House and said that a group of Orthodox Jewish leaders and philanthropists would like to show gratitude to the president of the United States for his dedication to Israel, his resolve against terrorism, and his courage to do what is right even in the face of radical pressure.

This individual, noted askan and baal tzedakah Mr. Leizer Scheiner, was not searching for an “in” to the White House, nor was he seeking business or political networking opportunities. He was inspired by a vision to show hakaras hatov and say “thank you” to a president who deserved it.

And so, two years later, last Tuesday on November 12, 400 Torah observant Jewish philanthropists were gathered at the Barclay Hotel in Manhattan, expressing their appreciation through words and checkbooks.

Mr. Scheiner phoned me a few weeks before and said, “Since you inspired me to do this, I want to ask you to introduce the president.”

Two Meetings
Behind the curtain backstage, I greeted the president, who was flanked by Jared Kushner and yeshivah graduate Avi Berkowitz. As I stood there observing 400 Jews with yarmulkes singing “Ani Maamin” together, my mind traveled back to a very different time, not so long ago, when another 400 Jews with yarmulkes came to meet the president of the United States.

It was October 6, 1943, two days before Yom Kippur. Four hundred rabbis, in their black hats and beards blowing in the wind, marched from the Washington, D.C. railroad station to the White House.

The rabbis knew that two million Jews had already been killed and that millions more would be slaughtered. The knowledge that Hitler was killing the Jews of Europe by industrial extermination was known to the Allies. The rabbis came to plead with President Franklin D. Roosevelt to allow for an immigration increase to the United States and rescue their Jewish brethren from German death camps.

Yet, at the advice of the President’s Jewish aids, who suggested the protest of the rabbis would stir up anti-Semitism, and furthermore claimed that the Orthodox Jewish marchers were not representative of American Jewry, President FDR refused to meet them and left the White House by a rear door.

I couldn’t help but contrast the two scenes, which inspired my introduction to the president as he stood backstage and watched on a monitor. This is what I said:
Some 40 miles from Auschwitz there is a small polish city called Bochnia. In August 1943, the Germans conducted their final aktzia to transport Jews from Bochnia to Auschwitz.

One child, a six-year-old boy by the name of Aryeh Leib Blum, instinctively felt the need to flee. Both his parents had been murdered already, and he knew he had to escape.

Leibele Blum saw a garbage can in the street. He climbed into it, covered it with the lid, and hid in the heap of garbage.

A Gestapo officer, searching for Jews, with heavy boots and barking dogs, thought maybe someone might be hiding in the garbage. He removed the cover, and sure enough, there was a Jewish child there, Leibele Blum.

Leibele stood up in garbage can and removed from his pocket his most prized possession — a lollipop. Feigning a smile from ear to ear he presented it to the Gestapo officer as a gesture of friendship.

In return, the officer took out his pistol, put it by the head of Leibele Blum, pulled the trigger, and shot one bullet into his head. Leibele fell dead in the garbage can.
This story repeated itself one-and-a-half million times, with one-and-a-half million children, just two mortgages ago — 75 years ago.

This is what our people endured — for millennia.

But despite all odds, we never despaired. We believed with every fiber of our being that the sun will yet rise again, that goodness will prevail. Our mission statement was that verse in Psalms: “Lo amus ki echyeh — I shall not die, but I shall live, and declare the deeds of G-d.”

Thus, words cannot describe how grateful we are to G-d for the fact that today we have in the White House one of the greatest friends ever of the Jewish people!
One of the greatest friends of Israel!

Thank you, Mr. President, thank you.

Mr. President, G-d has chosen you as the leader of the free world. You are charged to stand as the guardian of the great values first articulated in the Torah 3,400 years ago — to respect the Divine image of every human being, to fight evil, and to build a world dedicated to decency and compassion.

The resistance you experience is only because your leadership is so vital and indispensable.

Thank you for not bending to the venomous rhetoric that for decades went without protest.

In Genesis, G-d promised Abraham: “I will bless those who bless you.” You, Mr. President, have blessed Abraham and his heirs. Your leadership has been a blessing to America, to the Jewish people, to Israel, and to the world.

Which is why G-d has blessed you — and will continue to bless you!

At this historic moment of gratitude, millions of G-d-fearing Jews turn to you and say: Fear not to continue to fight for the good and the just, for G-d is with you.

23 November 2019

Presentation and Interviews from the Conference on November 21 in Israel


World’s Leading Scholars and Scientists Convene for First Congress on Informed Consent in Israel; A Very Special HighWire LIVE From Tel-Aviv, Israel

Dell Bigtree in Israel for the First International Conference on Informed Consent

22 November 2019


By Roy S. Neuberger

“How did Avraham discover the Cave of Machpela? He was running after a calf, as it is written, ‘Then Avraham ran to the herd,’ (Beraishis 18:7) The calf fled into the cave [and] Avraham followed it …. Also, he used to pray every day and go out into the field, from which wafted sublime fragrances. He saw a light coming from that cave and prayed there and the Holy One Blessed is He spoke to him there. Therefore, he desired that cave….” (Zohar 1:127a)

Tzaddikim desire to be in a place of kedusha.

“The Patriarch Avraham entered [the Cave of Machpela]. He smelled the fragrance of the Garden of Eden. He heard the heavenly angels saying, ‘Adam is buried there; Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov are destined for this place.’ And he saw the candle lit…. Before Avraham came, many wanted to be buried there, but angels were guarding the place…. People saw a fire burning in it and could not enter until Avraham came, entered and acquired the place.” (Zohar Chadash, Rus 79b)

We recently davened maariv at Ma’aras Hamachpela. I thought it particularly appropriate, because the illumination emanating from this holy place is the only source of light. Here – surrounded by over a hundred thousand hostile inhabitants of Chevron – Adam and Chava, Avraham and Sarah, Yitzchak and Rivka, Yaakov and Leah rest at the entrance to Gan Eden

My friends, we are all surrounded by hostile enemies. The light emanating from Gan Eden is the only thing we have to hang onto. The perfect fragrance wafting from this place is where our desires should be directed. As Hashem says, “Fear not, Avram, I am a shield for you!” (Beraishis 15:1) Similarly, the Novi tells us, “Hashem has redeemed Yaakov and delivered him from a power mightier than he.” (Yirmiah 31:10)

This week my wife and I spoke at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, home of Rabbi Fully Eisenberger’s legendary Jewish Resource Center (JRC). There are almost 45,000 students here and I don’t have to tell you what a field day the yetzer hara has in this boiling stew of liberalism. It always amazes us that, amidst the challenges, there are still people searching for the pure light and holy aroma. This is the legacy of Avraham Avinu. It is also the legacy of those who survived mem-tes shaarei tumah in Mitzraim, Churban Bais Hamikdosh and Churban Europe. It is the legacy of those who have survived two thousand years of Golus with their souls unblemished. 

“Israel, Your people, prepares supplication because they are distressed and need to be helped. Their oppressors prolong the yoke upon them … all this has befallen them, but they bless Your Name.” (Selichos for BEHAB)

One can find the entrance to Gan Eden. We can imitate our Father Avraham.

Soon, the day will come when “ohr chadash al Tzion ta’ir … [Hashem] shines a new light on Tzion … and may we all speedily merit its light!” (Shacharis)


Surrounded by enemies: Ma’aras Hamachpela 
viewed from the site of Dovid Hamelech’s palace 
high above the City of Chevron

Davening maariv at Ma’aras Hamachpela

Rabbi Fully Eisenberger (left) with the author and a student at the University of Michigan JRC in Ann Arbor

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

© Copyright 2019 by Roy S. Neuberger

Rabbi Winston – Parshas Chaye Sarah

And Sarah died in Kiryat Arba, which is Chevron, in the land of Canaan, and Avraham came to eulogize Sarah and to cry for her. (Bereishis 22:12)

THE TORAH IS not about drama, clearly. Had this been a Hollywood production, the end of last week’s parsha and the beginning of this one would be a LOT different. Sarah didn’t just die. The Akeidah KILLED her, and the Torah says NOTHING about it.
For those who do not know, the Midrash says that Sarah had been unaware of Avraham’s mission. However, Og somehow knew, and he went and told Sarah that the son she had waited her entire life for was about to be slaughtered to G–D by her husband. He even lifted her up so she could verify his words by seeing in the distance. He was a giant so that when he raised her she was higher up.
According to some, her soul left her when she saw Avraham take the knife to slaughter Yitzchak. Some say she died when saw him abstain, not knowing that it was an angel who stopped him. But everyone agrees that she died at the climax of the Akeidah.
The Ohr HaChaim introduces a little Kabbalah to help explain the tragic and shocking death of Sarah Imeinu. It was her final tikun, and the Torah testifies to the level of personal perfection she reached, undoubtedly due also to her final moments of life. 
But imagine the shock of Avraham Avinu upon returning home and finding out what had happened in his absence, and why. It was long before the time of social media, and he probably would have had poor reception anyhow. He did not have much time to prepare for the news, if any at all.
And imagine the disappointment! He thought he had “won,” meaning that he had gone the full distance and was ready to sacrifice Yitzchak. Then he received the good news that he didn’t actually have to go that far, and that Yitzchak would survive, marry, and have children. He had had his cake, and ate it too…so he had been led to believe.
Then he came home and received the tragic news. His beloved Sarah was gone, and because of the Akeidah too. She died thinking that her only son had been slaughtered, and yet he hadn’t, or according to the other opinion, that he hadn’t been slaughtered has G–D had commanded, but only because G–D had commanded it. How could he not have felt great anguish about that?
As if to add salt to the wound, he couldn’t even just bury Sarah…even in the land destined to be his. He had to bargain for a burial spot with some of the lowlifes of the land, and pay top dollar for his OWN inheritance. And he had to do all of that without questioning G–D’s plans at all (Sanhedrin 111a).
In general, we know that one plus one equals two. Two plus two equals four. And it is so nice that it does, because it makes life so predictable and therefore, controllable. We go to bed each night with the confidence that the sun will rise again the next morning. Without that confidence, it would be difficult to relax and fall asleep, like during a war when bombs are falling all around increasing the chances of one hitting your bunker.
Then there comes a time when one plus one does NOT equal two, like it should, and the sun does NOT rise the next day as normal. We do not understand that just because Avraham followed the command of G–D and loyally brought up his son as a sacrifice, he should lose his beloved wife, and not even be there to say goodbye? Because he sacrificed his “normalcy” to follow G–D, he should have to be tested over-and-over-and-over again?
I’ll speak for myself. I have no delusions about my personal level of righteousness. False humility aside, I know I am lucky to be alive. My continued existence is a testimony to G–D’s immense mercy. Really.
Yet, like the Talmud says, I expect the reward of the righteous. I HATE when things go south in life. I REALLY hate when they go wrong after I have tried so hard to make them go right. And I really feel victimized when things go awry out of “nowhere,” when I am just thrown into what seems to be have been an impossible situation. People second-guess G–D after a lot less.
Even Moshe Rabbeinu was chastised by G–D for doubting His actions. Moshe had gone down to Egypt to free the Jewish people and ended up causing their slavery to worsen. It upset him, and he questioned G–D about it Who, the Talmud says, expressed His disappointment in Moshe (Sanhedrin 111a) though, quite frankly, it is hard not to relate to Moshe’s position.
So what was it, blind faith? Is that what separated the Avos from the rest of us? They were able to blindly follow G–D while the rest of us want, NEED to understand G–D’s method behind what we perceive to be madness. 
It was faith, but it was far from blind. It was faith in the knowledge that once you throw your lot in with G–D, He throws His lot in with you. He may make it rain on your parade, or worse, a lot worse. But it doesn’t mean He is against you, and or even just ignoring you. It means that he’s dealing with you on a level too deep for you to comprehend at the moment. 
You don’t have to. You just have to comprehend that this is the case, INTELLECTUALLY and EMOTIONALLY. In practice, we have Nachum Ish Gamzu as a great example. Whatever went wrong, he always said “This too is for the good.” 
But he didn’t just say it with his lips. 
He said it with his heart. 
This is never an overnight process. It’s one that comes from years trying to get to know G–D on the most intimate level humanly possible. It comes from becoming so familiar with His plan for Creation that hester panim, the hiding of G–D’s face, becomes impossible to you. If you know every place someone hides during hide-and-go-seek, they’re basically found before they even start.
Hester panim is only for the people who “allow” G–D to hide. By living superficially and by just “going with the flow,” taking things in stride as they happen to come up, a person can become desensitized to Divine Providence. So when it finally enters their life—in an upbeat way or the opposite—it comes as a great surprise, one that is usually not appreciated by most people for the spiritual opportunity it is meant to be. 
The military deals with this in physical combat training. They train their soldiers to become so familiar what their environment around them and how to respond to it in order to take the guess work out of their missions. Success or failure can be split seconds away from each other.
Torah is supposed to train us to do the same spiritually. I would go even so far as to say that when Avraham came home and found out that Sarah had died, and how, he had not been surprised. They had loved each other immensely, and they had been one. But he had been one with G–D the most, and that is what gave him, and can give us, the ability to deal with our challenges and disappointments without sacrificing any loyalty to G–D.

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