Due to Blogger Format Changes
30 November 2022
In time for an aerosol attack??
Israeli Scientists Develop Invisible Facemask to Block Germs
Researchers at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology have developed a revolutionary invisible facemask to protect wearers against the transmission of COVID, MERS, influenza, and other respiratory viruses.
29 November 2022
It is entirely possible that it may have been used in ancient times, and maybe even on King David's shield. Absence of proof doesn't constitute proof of absence.
It's also true that many holy Jews assigned profound spiritual significance to this shape.
However, that does NOT justify its current-day use as a symbol of anything Jewish.
Remember that even the swastika shape was a popular Jewish design back in the second-Temple era and was found in -- if I remember correctly -- the ruins of one of the oldest synagogues ever discovered from some 2,000 years ago. A swastika shape (or mirror-image reversal of it) adorned the edges of a floor mosaic in the ancient Jewish house of worship. This does NOT mean that the swastika is a "Jewish symbol," or ever was. It just means that it expressed some sort of symmetric beauty at one time. Maybe it even had some spiritual significance too. However, once the accursed Nazis usurped it, it is IMPURE.
Perhaps an example of this phenomenon maybe be learned from the single-stone altar, called a "matzeiva" (monument)*, that was desirable in the days of the Patriarchs but became detestable generations later when the Canaanites began to favor it as pagan rite. See Deuteronomy 16:22 and Rashi's commentary there.
I am not suggesting that anyone go around destroying "Magen Davids", nor am I necessarily comparing it to the swastika or detestable matzeiva. Just pointing out a parallel.
*PS the obelisk is another odious example of the matzeiva that persists to this day
Source: Rabbi G
Rabbi G noticed and pointed out something about the Chabad Kinus Backdrop Stage. In connection with that:
“ I was dismayed to see images depicted at the Kinus Hashluchim that resemble inverted Masonic icons, including the dubious "Square and Compass" and idolatrous obelisk. Not sure who is responsible for this bizarre error. Let us hope and pray that this lapse was merely a grave oversight and not deliberate. Kinus organizers ought to know how the Rebbe firmly negated ANY use of the six-point star (i.e. the so-called "Star of David") in connection to Chabad or anything Jewish. How dare they brazenly depict what appears to be truncated "Star of David" that closely resembles the "Square and Compass" rachmono litzlan.“
Many have asked ... for some clarification with regards to the six-point star and its use as an alleged Jewish symbol.
It is well known that the Rebbe repeatedly instructed chassidim NOT to use the six-point star, called the “Magen David.” There are countless stories about instructions received by shluchim and rabbis to remove the symbol from Torah scroll mantels, from parochot (ark curtains), and from other places.
R. Yitzhak Flohr presented the Rebbe with a silver menorah decorated with a Magen David, the Rebbe broke off the Magen David and gave it back to him. When the Rebbe visited Camp Gan Israel in the Catskills and saw a sticker with a Magen David on the wall of one of the bunk houses, he instructed that it be promptly removed.
When author R. Hanoch Glitzenstein printed the book 'Or Chassidut' and printed the shape of a Magen David on the cover, the Rebbe ordered all the covers to be removed and sent to geniza. The Rebbe did NOT want the Magen David to appear on any publication, advertisement, or logo representing Chabad.
It’s clear that the Rebbe did NOT approve of the Magen David’s use as a universal Jewish symbol, in synagogues, or in connection to Chabad in any way, but there were a few cases in which he tolerated it:
1. A Magen David had been engraved on the tombstone of the saintly Rabbi Levi Yitzhak Schneerson, the Rebbe's father, who passed away in 1944. Years later, when the tombstone was renovated, the Magen David was removed, and a photo was sent to the Rebbe. The Rebbe knew that there had once been a Magen David and instructed that they put it back.
2. Some report that there was a Magen David engraved on the Rebbe's silver kiddush cup. However, it was also reported in the name of R. Berel Junik, the Rebbe’s attendant, that the Rebbe’s personal kiddush cup did NOT have a Magen David. Instead, R. Junik frequently switched the kiddush cups the Rebbe used for a new one and would give the old one to family or acquaintances, and one of these cups happened to have a Magen David.
3. In the Aron Kodesh (ark) in 770 there is an inconspicuous and hardly noticeable Magen David in the upper section.
Why was the Rebbe generally opposed to its use as a Jewish symbol?
Some speculate that it’s because the symbol was usurped by Zionists, or that it became a political icon associated with the State of Israel. Others point to its odious similarity to the iconic “square and compass,” the ubiquitous symbol of a dubious secret society called Freemasonry.
However, it must be pointed out that there is no source that the six-point star ever was used on King David’s shields, or that it was ever an authentic Jewish symbol. The earliest mention of it is from a Karaite author, Judah Hadassi, in the twelfth century CE. Hardly a reliable source.
So it’s not only the Magen David’s association with anti-Torah ideologies, secular states, or pagan societies, that would discourage its use as a Jewish symbol. It’s that it never was an authentic Jewish symbol to begin with.
In fact, the very notion of icons is discouraged in Torah thought. Illustrations of the two tablets, the menorah, or lions, for example, might be fine, but the moment an icon becomes objectified and used as a symbol of our faith in its entirety, it has no place in our religion.
Torah scrolls, mezuzos, and tefillin, are holy objects and are assigned sacred significance by Torah law, but images and icons have no symbolic significance.
That’s not to say that there aren’t deeper lessons behind certain shapes, like the six-point star, circles or hexagons, for example. In fact, the Rebbe once wrote a lengthy letter on the deeper significance of this shape to a professor who was referred to him by his father-in-law, the previous Rebbe.
However, it’s abundantly clear that the Magen David is NOT regarded as a Jewish symbol by the Rebbe and should NOT be used in any shul or Chabad institution in any noticeable way. Whoever is responsible for the Magen-David-like backdrop at the recent Kinus Hashluchim should IMMEDIATELY apologize and take full responsibility for this unacceptable breach.
And, as I mentioned in my social media post, this suspicious display also had shapes that resembled pyramids and obelisks, both of polytheistic origin and still used widely by Freemasons and other secret societies. It is unconscionable that the Rebbe's holy name and movement was associated with such impure imagery! Shomu shomayim. The organizers of the Kinus should apologize to all shluchim and to the entire Chabad community for misrepresenting the Rebbe in such a reckless way.
to view the video https://www.chabad.org/221818
A Primer on Amalek – Part 4
If studying Chumash and Rashi is beneath most Orthodox Jews once they can read a few lines of Gemara, they are unlikely to ever see the inside of Divrei Hayamim. It is as if much of Tanach – written by our greatest of prophets – has been deemed unworthy of study and unofficially banned.
This is most unfortunate, because one of the most inspiring and instructive encounters we ever had with Amalek appears only in Divrei Hayamim II chapter 20 – it does not even have a parallel in Melachim – and hence it is virtually unknown.
It was during the times of Yehoshafat, one of the righteous kings of the house of David. The chapter begins as follows: “And it was after this, the sons of Moav and the sons of Ammon came, and with them from the Ammonim, to wage war against Yehoshafat.”
Ammon and the Ammonim?
The commentaries speculate that there may have been two nations with similar names, but Chazal pull the mask off this mysterious enemy. Rashi and others quote the Midrash: “This is Amalek. And why were they called Ammonim? Because they changed their clothing and language to be like the Ammonim, and they assimilated with them, and they came to do battle against Israel.”
“And so it is evident below in the episode (20:22) 'And at the time they started with joyous songs and praises, Hashem set hidden attackers against the sons of Ammon, Moav, and Har Se'ir, etc.'. [Being that Har Se'ir is the domain of Esav] it turns out that the Ammonim that are mentioned here are Amalekites who changed their language and clothing...”
Amalek was up to their old tricks, playing dress-up, as we already saw in Parshas Chukas. On the most basic level, this should reinforce our understanding of their methods against us, for there is nothing new under the sun. The names of the nations have changed, as have the clothing and the languages, but Amalek's blueprint is the same as it was thousands of years ago. This is who they are, and this is what they do, to this very day.
What also hasn't changed is the way we suck the power from Amalek and defeat him: turning to Hashem en masse and demonstrating rock-solid faith.
When Yehoshafat heard about the massive army coming against Israel, he gathered all the Jews for prayers and a public fast. He then stood in the Beis Hamikdash and uttered a straightforward, sincere prayer to Hashem – nothing fancy or exotic required. Hashem immediately sent him a prophetic message that the Jews should have no fear of the huge enemy army, for the Jews wouldn't even have to fight. Hashem would take care of everything.
The Jews fully trusted this prophecy and began celebrating their victory with songs of praise to Hashem right then and there. More “rational” people would have believed them insane – imagine the memes if social media existed back then – but such “rational” people are not nearly as smart and clever as they think, nor close to Hashem at all.
The Jews at that time reached an extremely high level of faith and closeness to Hashem. Amalek and company didn't have a chance.
When we look closely at Rashi's words we find something very interesting. Here he writes that Amalek changed their dress and language to disguise themselves as another nation. In Chukas, back when the Jewish people faced them in the desert for the second time, Rashi writes that they kept their usual dress, and only changed their language.
According to Rashi's source, the Yalkut Shimoni, Amalek changed both their dress and their clothing back then as well. Commentaries on Rashi, such as the Maskil LeDovid, note this difficulty with Rashi and wonder about the contradiction. Perhaps Rashi had another source that is unknown to us, or a different version of the Midrash before him.
In any case, according to Rashi's words the following remarkable observation can be made. The first time Amalek disguised themselves as another nation, they didn't go all the way with it. One can wonder why they might change their language and not their dress, as the Maskil LeDovid indeed wonders, but they were still discernible for who they really were.
Centuries later, in the times of Yehoshafat, Amalek had become more sophisticated. They learned from their defeats and continued to fine-tune their methods. No longer would they neglect to disguise themselves fully when coming against Israel.
Tanach is not merely a record of Jewish history, but a study guide for the present. As it states in Shemos 17:16, at the end of our initial battle with Amalek in the desert, Hashem swears by His throne that there is a war between Him and Amalek from generation to generation. Obviously, Hashem does not need to wage a continuous war against anyone, Amalek can do nothing to Hashem, and Hashem can destroy him in an instant.
The real war from generation to generation, therefore, is between Amalek and Hashem's people. It is a proxy war. Amalek wages war on Hashem by waging war on His people and His creation. Hashem commands us to always remember and never lose sight of the fact that this war is ongoing at all times. There may be respites in the military conflict, but the war never stops, and Amalek never stops learning, planning, and preparing for the next round.
After the Holocaust we foolishly allowed ourselves to be convinced that the Nazis were defeated, evil had been destroyed, and the world would never allow something like that to happen again. The Nazis were not defeated. They inflicted incredible harm on the Jewish people and the world, and relatively few of them were ever brought to justice. While the world sought to move on from the past, preferring ceremonies and slogans to substance as they always do, Amalek never lost sight of its mission. They assimilated back into the nations of the world like the devious shape-shifters they are, changed their clothing and language, and got right back to work.
While the Jews were defiantly but mindlessly chanting “Never again”, Amalek was leering at them and muttering “You wait and see.”
The Jewish people by and large violated the Torah's commandment – and warning – never to forget what Amalek did to us, and that this war continues from generation to generation until it is finally finished. We allowed ourselves to be distracted and let our guard down against our ultimate enemy.
Just as Amalek learned to refine their methods back then, they have continued to learn throughout history. They learned a great deal during the Holocaust – lulling millions of people into a false sense of security, stripping them of all their liberty and possessions while convincing many of them it was all for their own good, and discovering both the most brutal and efficient ways for murdering them by the myriads. Amalek has some of the best doctors, the most brilliant scientists, the greatest experts, and they take their research very seriously.
The dress and language have changed, their conspiracies are more sophisticated, but at the core their methods are the same as always. So is the antidote. We have a mitzvah to always remember, to never forget, to see Amalek for what they are, and to fight the war from generation to generation until we finally merit to destroy them. We fight them by turning to Hashem en masse with sincerity, praying for Him to fight for us, and facing our enemy with rock-solid faith.
All this comes from a short story buried in Divrei Hayamim, perhaps the least-studied book of Tanach. Amalek would love for us to continue to ignore our ancient teachings or intellectualize them to the point of irrelevance.
Amalek would also love for us to remain unaware of a remarkable Midrash about Haman that lays bare even more of their tactics, which they have employed throughout the generations to this very day.
Amalek is going to be disappointed.
To be continued.
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Here is a fantastic speech by Rabbi Yitzchok Dovid Smith, who understood what was going on with the covid shenanigans way before almost everyone else, myself included.
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Imagine someone comes to you feeling down about something, and your most helpful advice is "go kill yourself". That's the message Amalekite governments, "doctors", "experts", and media shills around the world are broadcasting. The best way to deal with suffering great or small is to end your life, and they would be thrilled to assist you with that.
No need to wait for myocarditis or even turbo cancer. If you volunteer to be killed, they give you a faster-acting, less painful shot.
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If you call the suicide hotline now, do they encourage you to go ahead with it? Do they give you tips? If someone is standing on the ledge threatening to step off, do the cops try to talk him into it?
28 November 2022
This Sunday would have marked Dr. Vladimir "Zev" Zelenko's 49th birthday. This year, Zev has a gift for all of YOU for his birthday. Read below to find out more about “Zelenko: How to Decapitate the Serpent.”
Zev Passes the Torch to You With His Final Book
In his final years, Dr. Zev Zelenko had a message. He shared that message with anyone who would listen. He spoke of patriotism, faith, family, and medicine. Although we have sadly lost him, Zev has one last message to share with all of you. From his deathbed, he feverishly completed his final book. Zev was always a fighter, and fittingly, his book is called “Zelenko: How to Decapitate the Serpent.” This was his final chance to speak to all of you who have answered his call in the fight for medical freedom.
You can pre-order the book now at www.Zelenkobook.com
A Miracle to Publicize
THE BOMB FRAGMENT STOPPED AT TEHILLIM *124: “THE SNARE BROKE AND WE EXCAPED”
JERUSALEM (VINnews) — On Erev Shabbos, Professor Ofer Marin, the director of the Shaarei Tzedek hospital visited the injured people recovering from the bomb blasts in Jerusalem accompanied by hospital rabbi Moshe Peleg and Hagaon Rav Asher Weiss who is the halachic authority for the hospital.
The three visited a 62-year-old man who is recovering after undergoing a number of operations to remove fragments from his body. The man surprised the visitors by showing them a Tehillim which he had with him at the time of the bombing, as he was planning to travel to Meron.
One fragment hit the back cover of the Tehillim and tore the pages but stopped at Tehillim 124 with the verse “Our soul escaped like a bird from the hunters’ snare; the snare broke, and we escaped.”
The injured man who requested to remain anonymous allowed the picture of the torn Tehillim to be published and stressed that “this is what can help.”
*According to some commentators, this pasuk refers to Yishmael who tries to trap Jews but they succeed in escaping.
In the event you might need to do this:
27 November 2022
HaRav Mutzafi’s Mixture
In one of his lecctures, the Rav spoke about a mixture that boosts the immune system and wards off pathogens.
Grind Ginger, cardamom, cinnamon and whole cloves into a powder.
Take a tsp of the mixture and pour cup hot water over it. Wait for sediment to settle then drink the water. Its very pungent
One cup a day will give your immune system a natural boost.
A Yemenite friend drinks Ginger and Cardamom (only) every day all year.
Crystalized Ginger in hot water is also sufficient
Source: Hamodia (April 2020)
I grew up in a world that thought that family is good, women can take pride in their femininity, men in their masculinity, and both can live lives of meaning. The distortions that you may have noticed didn’t emerge out of nowhere. They are the result of having little faith in Hashem’s way of bringing order to the world. We tend to trust only ourselves, and look towards only the great Self to define right and wrong. The goal is to make yourself happy, but the result is higher and higher stats of anxiety, suicide, and unbridled anger in which random murder just generates a yawn and maybe “where did it happen?” when you hear of a shooting in a public place. We have more illusory control and less real satisfaction in life. When I began to look for the roots of the distortions that we all live with, it took me to this week’s parshah.
The Parshah begins by telling you what Rivka had to go through before the birth of Yaakov and Eisov. Rashi says that when she passed an idolatrous temple, Eisov wanted to escape the womb and enter the world, and when she passed Shem and Evver’s House of Study Yaakov wanted to leave and be there. Besides the physical discomfort that she no doubt encountered, she was left wondering about who the child she was carrying really is; does he have an inborn need to live with irresolvable conflict between the world of pagan beliefs and belief in G-d? She consulted Shem, and was told that there are two children inside of her and that their fates will be very different; they will live with constant struggle and irresolvable competition. Could that have comforted her? Would it comfort you? There are another two questions that are natural when you read the narrative. The one that hit me the first time that I learned this episode was the idea of a fetus having strong opinions. The only word that fits the question is, “huh?” The other question was that Eisov seemed doomed by no choice or fault of his own.
Not surprisingly, Maharal opens up an entirely new way of thinking. He wrote about people having inborn essential natures. The only difference between what happened in the Torah and what happens every day in every newborn’s conception is that Rivka knew what their inner drives would be, and we don’t until we watch them emerge.
Everyone has certain inborn traits that are not negotiable. It used to be fashionable to attribute everything to the environment to which you are exposed (this theory is still in style in some WOKE articles). It is now accepted that there are hereditary traits that are part of your makeup as well. You may be as driven towards music, for instance, as Eisov was to idol worship. You may need movement and activity as much as Yaakov needed truth. You aren’t accountable for your heredity per se; you are accountable for what you make of it. Eisov is the perfect example; he is described as being hairy and red-headed. The Alsheich points out that no one really cares about this sort of detail since usually the way a person looks doesn’t really give you much understanding of who the person is.
In Eisov’s case, it was different. He had the passion of a red-head, and the ability to soak up whatever was around him the same way a spool of wool absorbs every bit of pigment when dipped in ink. Yaakov is described as smooth, like a piece of glass that never absorbs color from its environment. The other person described as “red” is Dovid. He was a fighter. His battles were never for booty or driven by ego. They were about a deep-seated desire for kavod shamayim, and recognition that in order to reveal Hashem’s presence, you have to do battle with the forces that conceal them. He was a man of war, and so was Eisov. The difference between them is that Eisov’s descendants are fighting for their own glory, (think Putin. Now stop and forget him!) while Yaakov’s descendants resist being drawn into any form of long-term allegiance other than their deep allegiance to Hashem.
There is still a problem. You may very reasonably think that life’s not fair. Isn’t easier to be Yaakov than it is to be Eisov? What if your difficult stormy nature gets the best of you? What if you feel as though there is a bit of Eisov inside you?
Mesilas Yesharim offers you a bit of truth. You are only judged for the process, your efforts, and longings. Success isn’t the “product”; it’s the process. You may at times get tired of the great battle between You and You. You may occasionally lose the battle and feel disgusted with yourself. This is what happened to Eisov. On the day of Avraham’s funeral, his vicarious experience with death touched his aggressive/impulsive/pleasure-oriented self. He wanted to escape mortality and went on a vacation from moral sensibility. He womanized and ended up with physical violence. He felt profoundly weary. In fact, when he returned from his various exploits and found Yaakov making soup for the mourners who would be coming home from the funeral, Eisov says, “give me soup…because I’m weary”. Notice. Not hungry. Weary.
What can you do if you have a bit of an Eisovdic streak? You can remember that Hashem is there with you and for you in the black moments. The Sfas Emmes says something that I found fascinating. The best way to feel the surge of willingness to fight the great battle between you and you is to remember that no matter where you find yourself, there is respite on Shabbos. The day has enough holiness that when you keep the halachos you can open up a door that stays closed all week. Shabbos brings that message home to you. There is an entirely different world, beyond the one that you see as your battlefield. It is one in which instead of seeking to control everything except for yourself, you return every thought of control and mastery to the Master. This process allows you to let go of the anxiety-producing fantasy of control, which is often the cause of self-hate. Let your message to yourself be, “I don’t want to be King. I want the joy of handing over the reins to the One who created everything that I will ever know, see, or experience.”
There is a Yaakov hidden in you. It’s the part of you that can resist the outside the way a ball of glass can be thrown into an inkwell and after a brief rinse, it’s clean. You are more resilient than you know.
You may very reasonably wonder who I am to say this sort of thing. It’s the result of my hearing about a friend who just had her first child in her fifties. She did battle with despair; it was stormy and rough, and Hashem let her prevail.
26 November 2022
A Very Weird Happening
Why Are Large Groups Of Animals, Insects And Birds Suddenly Walking In Circles All Over The Globe?
25 November 2022
Temple Talk Radio: The Red Heifer Special!
A seed was planted, and soon after a remarkable "coincidence" sparked a three-year global search for a perfectly red, unblemished red heifer.
Chanan Kupietsky, the man behind the red heifer, tells the story of the search for the red heifer that he personally led, the people he met, the heifers he inspected, and how, with unceasing efforts and limitless energy, he ultimately brought five red heifers from Texas to Israel, all five being eligible candidates to be the one to bring the highest level of biblical purity back to the world.
The Chronicles of WAR AND PEACE
As war is impacting us now on a global level, we are again reviewing the chronicles of Jewish and world history in the book of Bereishit. They always seem to run parallel, world events and the story of Israel as we read again and again the portions of the Torah. There are always actors on the stage- both of now and then. Learning history enables us to wonder at the beginning. The Torah fascinates time after time, year after year with distinguishing ingredients of what seems a story, yet a knowing testimony to the world and to the Torah’s mission in it. The underlying meaning of Toldot- literally –”this history” is about the raw carnal nature of man vrs. the need to “sit in a tent”-and to learn mussar, to study about the chesed and G-dly attributes, to be a better person bring true peace.- This juxtapose is augmented in the embodiment of the two personas- Yaakov and Esau.
This is the biography of our Patriarchs and Matriarchs and crucial to understand how it all began and ultimately will end (spoiler- with Yaakov limping but overcoming and becoming Israel). This is a book of adventure, of riveting pages turning, of turmoil and despair and a knowing lesson for every single person that reads it. Abraham has a son only in old, age, Yitzchak is almost offered and saved by the skin of his teeth, Yaakov is haunted and hunted by his own twin. The word Toldot is mentioned thirteen times in the Torah, culminating in Malchut when King David is born; this is when the last piece of the puzzle reaches the ultimate picture. The Torah is the frame and the narrator of a fabulous prophecy.
After the expulsion from the Garden of Eden, ten generations later Hashem picked Noah to repopulate the world. Shem Chahm and Yapeth weathered the storm. Noah blessed Shem particularly and said: “G-d of Shem, let Him dwell in the tents of Shem.” The Shechinah would rest in a place that Shem would prepare- a Beit Midrahsh just steps away from the Temple Mount. Readers, I have been in it, an astounding find and testimony-(credit to Eli Shookroon- senior archeologist at the City of David) . Consecrating this place- the first “Yeshiva” was founded- the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever. The Priest that blesses Abraham (Malkitzedek) is identified as Shem. After the binding, Yitzchak goes to this sacred enclosure to glean Torah here. Yaakov went to learn at Shem and Ever for forteen years before he left Israel for the house of Lavan- filled up with the keylim (tools to handle)so needed . The Torah describes the house of Yaakov as- “How goodly are your tents!” All of what he learned he passed over to Yosef, who is also called “Ben Zekoonim”- the son of the elders because he learned the deep Torahs of the elders-Shem and Ever therefore had no doubt he would have his dreams come true.
In Berieshit we read about hearing G-d’s voice, erecting altars, but most of all- witnessing miracles. The paradigm for EFFORT is blatant on the side of our Patriarchs and Matriarchs. Their dedication cultivated a life of FAITH THROUGH ACTION- as we see Yaakov morphs from a Yeshiva bochur into a man of DOING. He is not ravaged by hunger, does not steal, does not make war- but he also moves out of the tent into the real world. The combination of ACTION, ACHIEVEMENT and MUSSAR is the recipe of the Torah. The blatant comparison of Yaakov and Esau teach us an important lesson today. At the time of crisis for Rivka as well as Sarah, they had a place to turn to, to receive council- the Yeshiva of Shem and Ever.
Finding Divine explanation can be found in a house of Torah study. Make it your business to get there. The Torah is vital in the long haul in life- at home, in your neighborhood, in your state, in your country- in the world!
Shabbat Shalom , Leah
BS”D Parashat Toldot 5783
by Rabbi Nachman Kahana | Nov 23, 2022
Textbooks define “inertia” as an inherent (installed by the Creator) property of matter that causes it to resist changes in speed and/or direction. According to Newton’s first law of motion, an object with a given velocity maintains that velocity unless acted upon by an external force. Meaning: an object at rest will remain at rest until an external force acts upon it to move, and an object in motion will continue to the same uniform motion until an external force acts upon it to change
All of the estimated 200 billion trillion planets and stars in our closed universe will continue to act as they do now until HaShem decides that they change.
The same applies to human beings. Had the serpent, as an external force, not enticed Adam and Chava to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, which induced in them the yei’tzer hara (evil, egotistical inclinations and vain initiatives), they and all humanity would have continued to this day to be passive, indifferent, aloof, apathetic residents of the perfect Gan Eden, resistive to change.
And had HaShem not planned out the disappointments of Yishmael and Aisav, the world would be today in another place.
How does a dry cell battery work; the kind that produces power to run our household appliances?
Every atom consists of three basic subatomic particles: protons, neutrons and electrons. Protons and neutrons form the nucleus of the atom, while the electrons encircle the nucleus. While protons and neutrons are tied together, electrons can be discharged from their positions in the atom and made to flow, as a river; this is called electricity.
A battery is a device that converts its stored chemical energy (exchange between two chemicals) to produce energy in the form of a flow of electrons.
A battery consists of three separate parts: the top (under the little cap is the cathode), at the base is the anode, and they are separated by paste material called the electrolyte. The anode at the base contains an excess amount of electrons that the anode wished to be rid of, while the cathode contains a vastly less number of electrons; so the anode has a compulsion to release its excess electrons by flowing into the cathode. However, the electrolyte serves as a barrier that retards the flow.
However, we can induce a flow of electrons by by-passing the electrolyte barrier, connecting the anode and the cathode through an external path such as a conductive wire on the outside of the battery. Now if we introduce an appliance, such as a light bulb or a heating device in the middle of the wire, the appliance will resist the flow producing heat and light.
This is very interesting but, what you ask has it to do with this week’s parsha? Everything!
HaShem influences and directs the world’s history by producing a historical, world-wide “battery”.
Last week the world’s population passed the 8 billion mark. However, the direction of humanity from time immemorial was not centered around the 10 major Chinese dynasties: Shang, Zhou, Qin, Han, Sui, Tang, Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing of today’s 1.5 billion Chinese. Nor by India’s dynasties: Haryanka, Shishunaga, Nanda, Mauryan, Indo-Scythians Kingdom (The Shaka), Kushans/ Yeuchi, and Sung dynasties. The world in the macro was developed and advanced by four individuals and their descendants: Yitzchak and Yishmael, Ya’akov and Aisav.
Yishmael was the first son of Avraham. He was a good son, God-fearing to the degree that Avraham tells the angel that he loves Yishmael. Then Yitzchak was born and Yishmael was filled with jealousy as he discovered that the spiritual and material heir to Avraham would be Yitzchak and not he.
Yishmael is the anode in our story. He became outraged by hate and jealousy, feeling the need to release his evil desire to destroy the passive, modest tzaddik, Yitzchak.
Yitzchak is the “cathode”, the target of Yishmael’s hatred. However huge, Yishmael was forced to contain his hatred in the presence of their father Avraham.
Avraham is the electrolyte in the story.
Ya’akov and Aisav were twins. Ya’akov was the learner, the talmid chacham, the tzaddik. Aisav was a man of the field, of the jungle. After Ya’akov succeeded in convincing Aisav to abdicate and transfer his rights and responsibilities as the first born over to Ya’akov, Aisav regretted it and here the profound hatred began to beat in his heart. And when years later Ya’akov received the desired blessing of their father Yitzchak, Aisav’s hate expanded exponentially until Aisav decided to murder Ya’akov after their father would pass away.
Ya’akov is the passive “cathode” in the saga, while Aisav is the active, aggressive anode that seeks to overwhelm the cathode. But Aisav is held at bay by the live presence of their parents Yitzchak and Rivka.
In time, the descendants of Yishmael, the Muslims, continued their hatred of the Jew. And the descendants of Aisav, the Christians, sought to bring to fruition the desires of Aisav.
But as stated above, Yishmael and Aisav were contained by the presence of their holy parents who acted as the electrolyte in these episodes.
As we learned above, it is possible to work around the electrolyte by connecting an external path between the cathode and the anode to produce an energy current. In our history, the connections are the sins of Am Yisrael. That by our behavior in not living up to the requirements of HaShem’s chosen nation, the overwhelming number of hatred electrons in the hearts of Islam and Christianity were able to flow freely and cause so much suffering to our people.
But just as in a battery, there is a limit to the ability of the chemicals in the battery to produce free electrons, so too one day and very soon our enemies will lose their ability to cause harm to our people in Eretz Yisrael.
Conclusion: Three thousand plus years ago, HaShem set down the direction that humanity would take. He caused the two progenitors of the world’s major “movers and shakers”- Yishmael the Muslim and Aisav the Christian – to be compulsive enemies and haters of Yitzchak and Ya’akov and their descendants – the Jews.
How many decisions – political, religious, and military – were taken by these “daughter religions” because of their animosity towards HaShem’s chosen people?!
So, in effect, at the very basic core of history, who is the dominant factor in the way the world revolves?
The Jews – of course!
Copyright © 5783/2022 Nachman Kahana
RED RED MEAT
Someone recently wrote to a Jewish website with the following question: “In light of the recent spate of high-profile antisemitic celebrity incidents … how should we respond?”
In this week’s Parsha, we meet Esav, the progenitor of the quintessential anti-Semite, the father of the Roman Empire, the destroyer of the Bais Hamikdosh, the founder of the church of Rome, about whom Rashi says, “Halacha hi … it is given fact that Esav hates Yaakov.” (Rashi on Beraishis 33:4)
Because Esav hates Yaakov, Hashem hates Esav. “‘I loved you,’ says Hashem … ‘But I hated Esav….” (Haftaras Toldos)
Don’t expect to reason with them, because hatred is ingrained in their soul. It will not work. There is no way to settle this argument, but Hashem is about to settle it forever.
The Novi tells us exactly how it will end. “The House of Yaakov will be a fire and House of Yosef a flame … and the House of Esav like straw. They will kindle … and consume them …. Then saviors will ascend Har Tzion to judge Esav’s mountain and the kingdom will be Hashem’s.” (Haftaras Vayishlach)
Our problem is that we do not want to face this. We do not want to understand. We ourselves are so deeply sunk in the culture of Esav/Edom. It is exactly like Mitzraim, where our ancestors were ensnared in that polluted culture to such an extent that they did not understand where they were. They were extricated, through the mercy of Hashem, only when the culture itself collapsed.
Even then they didn’t want to let go! The vast majority of the Children of Israel were lost in the darkness of Egypt and never left with Moshe Rabbeinu. Even Paro’s servants saw the end coming. After the eighth plague, they said to their king, “Send out [the Israelites] that they may serve … their G-d. Do you not yet know that Egypt is lost?”
But our own people had been drugged by this alien culture. When you are drowning in the slave mentality, your mind becomes polluted and you are unable to perceive the truth. They did not listen to Moshe Rabbeinu and they were lost.
This is our present danger.
That is why we have to grab onto the Torah and hold tight. That’s why we said at Har Sinai, “Na’ase v’nishma … I will do” before we said, “I will understand.” When you are drowning and someone throws the life preserver, you don’t debate. Either you grab it or you are lost.
I feel compelled to be blunt. We do not see what is happening because we are holding on to the culture of the Western World as if it will last forever. The way to save ourselves is to understand that the culture of Esav – he who opens his mouth and wants only to swallow that red, red meat – this culture is doomed.
A great Rosh Yeshiva told me, “I never ate steak in my life.”
It is permitted to eat red meat, but it’s not permitted to “live for” the red meat. This is the subtle difference between life and death. We have to escape from the fate which is even now dooming the descendants of Esav.
We are so trapped, my friends. Our Father, the Master of the World, in His mercy, is bringing these horrible anti-Semites to wake us up. Chazal tell us that, in the End of Days, Hashem will send “a king as harsh as Haman” so that we will do teshuva. (Sanhedrin 97b) These messengers of hate are here to wake us up.
The Chofetz Chaim reportedly predicted three wars before Moshiach. He cited World War I as the first war; he predicted World War II and he said that there would be a Third War, after which Moshiach ben Dovid would come. He was also reported to have said that, in the Third War – unlike the first two – those Yidden who stick like glue to Hashem and His Torah and who distance themselves from the surrounding culture will be saved and will see the Final Redemption.
I also saw the following: “In the final war before the coming of Moshiach, all the Jews who fear Hashem will survive. Hashem will say to them, ‘All those who are removed from the secular, worldly culture … you are Mine!’” (Rabbi Yechezkel Levenstein zt”l, quoted in Redemption Unfolding)
I want to cry out from the rooftops!
“For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the wicked people and all the evildoers will be like straw, and that coming day will burn them up, says Hashem, Master of Legions, so that it will not leave them a root or branch. But a sun of righteousness will shine for you who fear My Name, with healing in its rays, and you will go out and flourish like calves [fattened] in the stall.” (Malachi 3:19-20)
This is what the prophet tells us. There is so much hope!
We are standing at the door of the Great Shabbos! We have to say goodbye to the culture of Golus. As the malach told Lot, “Don’t look back!”
“Lecha Dodi … Come my beloved to greet the bride!”
Let us welcome the Great Shabbos! May we all merit to see it!
|Red Red Meat|
|The House of Yaakov will be a Fire|
|Healing in its Rays|
This week's Perceptions is dedicated for the refuah shlaimah of Chayah Yael bas Udel Basha Hadassah. May the learning of this parsha sheet be a merit for her quick and complete recovery. She is in a very serious condition and can use all the tefillos she can get.
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TWINS USUALLY HAVE a lot in common. Even though they may go in two separate directions, the basis of each is often something in common. For example, one may be a shochet (butcher) and the other might be a mohel who performs circumcisions, but it can be a common propensity to spill blood that drove each in the direction of their professions.
Seemingly, Ya’akov and Eisav were an exception. They looked nothing like each other, and they certainly acted like complete opposites. Yet, the Kehillas Ya’akov says that Eisav was supposed to have been the fourth forefather, just as there were for four foremothers. And Dovid HaMelech, ancestor of Moshiach Ben Dovid, had a lot in common with Eisav, being red and ruddy and having blood on his hands. Perhaps this is why Dovid asked G–D to make him the fourth father.
Furthermore, let’s not forget a very important fact. As the parsha says, Yitzchak loved Eisav most. He obviously loved Ya’akov very much, but he loved Eisav more. And though the Torah seems to say this was just the result of Eisav’s power of deception, Kabbalah says it is because both Yitzchak and Eisav came from same spiritual root, Gevurah. Though Yitzchak and Eisav look more like opposites to us than Ya’akov and Eisav, Yitzchak saw something of himself inside his son, and tried to bring it out.
Yitzchak was not wrong. Eisav has produced some amazingly righteous people. The prophet Ovadiah was a convert from Edom. The Roman ruler Antoninus was an admirer and supporter of Rebi Yehudah HaNasi (Avodah Zarah 10b). Many descendants of Eisav have put their own lives on the line to save Jews over the ages.
And the opposite has been true as well. Centuries of assimilation have proven just how Eisav-like Jews can be, some even “converting” to Christianity and rising up high in the Church. There are stories of Nazis being “impressed” with just how cruel Kapos could be to their own. And of course, there is this from the Gemora:
The ways and nature of these people, the Jews, are like fire. Were it not for the fact that the Torah was given to the Jewish people, whose study and observance restrains them, no nation or tongue could withstand them. This is the same as what Rebi Shimon ben Lakish said: “There are three arrogant ones: The Jewish people among the nations…” (Beitzah 25b)
POLITICS BRING OUT the worst in many societies. The more people “need” to win, the greater the chance for corruption. The more power people have and the less they believe in divine accountability, the more corrupt they will be. After all, if Kayin could kill his brother to get ahead fresh out of Paradise, and he still talked to G–D, how much more so the world after him that is not even sure G–D exists.
The most recent elections in Israel certainly got some Jewish Leftists to reveal what they think and feel. While one “donned” tefillin in a disgustingly immodest way to take a shot at the religious parties, another suggested that all Charedim hang themselves with their tefillin, an old Nazi past time. Erev Rav? Self-hating Jews? Eisav in disguise?
I was once told a story by a “nice Jewish boy.” In his High School days before he became religious, he played football. He liked offense more, but he was given a position on defense instead. He didn’t do too much until one game he got a break. Somehow he penetrated the other team’s offensive line, whose job is to protect the quarterback from being tackled.
The quarterback didn’t see him coming because he was looking for his receivers downfield. He ran as fast as he could at the quarterback, who could throw the ball at any moment and end the chance to tackle him. But not only did he reach the quarterback in time, he literally picked up the other player and threw him down to the ground like a piece of trash.
He was euphoric, especially when his teammates gathered to congratulate him for the “kill.” But within moments, he recalled, the euphoria began to dissipate and gave rise to a different, far less comfortable feeling. He tried to shake it off, at least for the rest of the game, but it was persistent, and it only went away once he realized where it came from: Shock.
“Who was that out on the field?” he uneasily asked himself. “Who manhandled that quarterback with such viciousness?” he wondered inside. It was as if he had been overcome by some inner beast that he did not recognize. By the time the game was over, he had decided he never wanted to see that side of him ever again. He quit the football team mid-season.
I recall another story from my own early years. Some children were bullying another child who was too meek to defend himself. But they pushed him too far and he snapped, probably out of fear and anger, and he became an unrecognizable terror. The bullies ended up running away from him, and they probably never bothered him again.
It is amazing what all of us have inside of us. Some of it is amazingly good while some of it is amazingly scary, and a person can go their entire life not knowing it is there, if nothing forces them to access it. This is why it comes as a great shock when it rears its head, because our self-perception never includes the quiet and hidden parts of who we are.
Did Ya’akov Avinu have to deceive anyone before Eisav made himself unworthy of the birthright? Did he have to steal before his mother sent him in to take Eisav’s blessings? Did he have to be a trickster before living with Lavan? No, no, and no, which means, perhaps, that all of that was actually part of his schooling about living in this world as a Ya’akov Avinu.
THE BOTTOM LINE here is, don’t be naive. Before all of this, Ya’akov Avinu was called tam, which can have many meanings, including naive. Ya’akov Avinu grew up sheltered because he clung to the Bais Midrash. He may have known about all the evil in the world, but until he left the Bais Midrash for the outside world in which people like Eisav lived, he never really experienced it. It is one thing to hear about Nazis. It is an entirely different thing to experience them firsthand.
But as scary as it is to meet Eisav in person, it is scarier to meet “Eisav” within ourselves. It was probably one of the things that drove Ya’akov to the Bais Midrash from an early age, and kept him there. He obviously loved Torah, but he probably hated his potential to be like Eisav even more, and he worked on expunging it from him with every word of Torah he learned. This is why he fought with the angel of Eisav before the real Eisav. He had to get the Eisav out from inside of him before he confronted the Eisav outside of him.
As the Gemora says, if you are not aware of the need for this, you certainly won’t work on it. And if you don’t work on it, you certainly won’t be able to resist it, and instead will personify Eisav as a Jew. There have always been such Jews throughout history, but today you can see them particularly in politics in the United States, and in Israel. They think they are heroes of society. But they are just worshippers of Eisav’s way of life.
That is nothing new historically, and “history” will take care of them over time. What may be new to many people, including those who do not identify with the obviously Eisav-supporting Jews, is the Eisav within them and how it manifests itself. The only way to manage it is to acknowledge it, and work on keeping it at bay with Torah values.
Ya’akov didn’t have to be born a twin. Most of history would have worked just fine had Eisav simply been his older brother even if, as in the case of Yitzchak and Yishmael, he had been born from another mother. If G–D created such a deep and intimate connection between the two brothers at such a critical point in time, we can’t dismiss it as just another quirk of Jewish history. How much more so when Ya’akov Avinu only merited the name “Yisroel” after overcoming the Eisav within him.
Ain Of Milvado, Part 27
IT IS EISAV-like to not trust in G–D, and we see this from their confrontation in Parashas Vayishlach. When Eisav refuses Ya’akov’s gift at first, he does so by bragging, “I have a lot.” When Ya’akov refuses his refusal, he humbly says, “I have all,” something Eisav could not say since he did not trust in G–D.
After all, “all”? A person can say they have a lot because it is based upon the current reality. They know what they have. They can see it, touch it. But how can you know if you have everything you need if you do not know at the moment everything you will need? There’s only one way: If you trust that G–D has your back at all times, even when it seems that He doesn’t.
Eisav didn’t want to live his life that way. The only risks Eisav wanted to have to cope with were the ones he chose to live with. Besides, he discovered at a young age that what he could not acquire through hard work he could usually get through stealing and other nefarious means. Who needs G–D when you can cheat?
So when the Jewish people were finally poised to enter Eretz Yisroel, G–D warned them about taking credit for their success. Everything they would receive in Eretz Yisroel was just like the mann in the desert, given to them directly from G–D as per their needs. Remaining on the land depended upon them realizing and accepting this.
After all, it is called Eretz Yisroel, not Eretz Eisav or Eretz Ya’akov. A Yisroel is someone who has risen above the level of a Ya’akov, and no longer has to contend with their inner Eisav. America and other western countries may be lands of, “yaish lee rav—I have a lot,” but Eretz Yisroel is the land of “yaish lee kol—I have all.”
This is why, as the Malbim states (Yirmiyahu 31:15-16), Jews in the Diaspora are called Bnei Ya’akov, but Jews who live in Eretz Yisroel are called Bnei Yisroel. It was on his way back into Eretz Yisroel that Ya’akov’s name was changed to Yisroel, a title we only really earn by doing the same thing.
The Pischei Teshuva on Yoreh De'ah 194:3 cites a responsa from Rabbi Elazar Fleckeles in Teshuva Me’ahava: עי ' בשו " ת תש...