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31 December 2023

Rabbi Glatstein: Yahrzeit of the RAMBAM


Shalom Pollack – Volunteering and Tour upDATE

Shalom friends,

Once again,  Tuesday, Jan 9, together with the Hashomer Hachadash, we will spend a morning volunteering on a farm that needs hands at this crucial time. The work we will partake in will be appropriate for our group.

In the afternoon, we will have a ( very timely) special guided tour of the very moving and educational  Gush Katif Museum in Jerusalem. In the context of the current war, we will understand the historic tragedy of the destruction and expulsion of these many flourishing communities in 2005 by the Israeli government.

We will meet at 7:30 at the Inbal Hotel and end our tour around 5:00

130 shekels

Participation is limited to 17 people.

Lingering Some More …..

……..About Yosef and his offspring.  As I wrote, I find it very hard to leave Sefer Bereshith and our Avos, Imahos, and the progeny of the Tribes. They were truly our spiritual trailblazers who bequeathed to us the development of our neshomas.  I believe we are still suffering from transgressions from this period in our history.  The fascinating commentary begins with:

23. Three generations. Although Joseph was the first of the brothers to die, he lived to see Ephraim’s children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren

The point has been made that Machir’s sons were contemporaries of Moses (Numbers 26:29), and they were among the fourth generation that G-d had promised to liberate from Egypt (15:16). When they were children, they had seen Joseph, the greatest of his generation, and they would live to enter Eretz Yisrael. I am so happy to be living in and on Eretz Yisrael.

I used my iPad to photograph the commentaries w/o capturing B”H the Hebrew text. If anyone has trouble reading this, I can type it separately. Let me know.

Rambam Yahrtzeit Monday 20 Teves


Lingering A Bit Longer With Yaakov Avinu: Two Shiurim

Charity To Your Own Children - The Life Altering Insight Gleaned From Rabbeinu Bechayei


 The Gematria of the Final Words of Yaakov Avinu By Rav Yerachmiel Moshe of Kozhnitz


[Personally, I always feel sad when we finish Sefer Bereshith]

Some Interesting Quotes by ….

…..Albert Einstein (with comments)

absolutely creations of Hashem

true knowledge comes from knowing Hashem


A Slightly Different Take on Xiaomi

 Are Xiaomi cordless vacuums good?



Like most other cordless stick vacuums, you can detach its wand 

and floorhead to use it in a handheld configuration to clean tight spots. 

It delivers excellent performance on bare floors, 

but you'll probably need to make another pass or two to deal with 

messes on carpeted surfaces. Lightweight, portable design

PS a Xiaomi vacuum is on sale in Jerusalem or online at Mahsani Hashmal *5018

Rabbi Kessin: The Origin of the Nations of the World | The Middle East War & ......

The Origin of the Nations of the World | The Middle East War & The True Task of a Non Jew: Part 2

30 December 2023

Rebbetzin Tziporah

 Dear friends,

Last Friday’s fast has a message that speaks louder than words. Words can only describe things as we see them. The Chasam Sofer says that this fast tells you about a dimension of reality that none of us have seen. 

“Hashem convenes His angels and tells them that He is giving us more time before bringing destruction upon us.” In fact, in the time of the first Temple, He gave them 30 months from the 10th of Teves, which He warned Yechezkel was the beginning of the end. 

This tells you that this is the time during which you can take steps that will change things, and that if you don’t, the results will have to be faced. This is the beginning – usually we are concerned with the end. We only say Hallel when the happy ending has already taken place, not when the beginning of a new dawn can be seen.

I don’t have to tell you that over a hundred soldiers have been killed, and that many many mothers and wives don’t know what they will hear when they pick up the phone. I don’t have to tell you that the temporary evacuation of hundreds of families who were living in communities relatively near Aza isn’t easy. For the most part they were placed in hotels – some of the finest hotels in Israel were opened up for them (which is something that we can all be proud of). Nonetheless, living in a room and a half with three kids, and two unemployed parents isn’t easy by anyone’s estimate. What’s worse, is not knowing exactly when things will change. We are in a situation where it seems on the outside as though we are seeing step two – the movement towards further decline. 


When Hashem created Adam, He gave His first human a mission called ‘Tikkun Olam’ rectifying the world. They were put in Gan Eden to work it and to guard it, to have children and to conquer the earth. This was never meant to be done in the way animals do – to do whatever they need to ensure their survival and that of their pack. We people are meant to do this as humans – beings that are made in Hashem’s image. 

All humans (non-Jews as well as Jews) have a strong inner will for tikkun olam. This is why they built the tower of Bavel; it was, “To make us a name”- their desire for meaning by this time was deflected, and moved them away from Hashem – towards their open-ended desire for self-fulfillment. It took an Avraham to give this human part of us direction, and Hashem responded by promising him that his life wouldn’t end with him. 

By the time the Jews became a people at Sinai, their mission was articulated by Hashem, Who told them that they would be “A kingdom of Kohanim”, meaning leaders (the classical meaning of the word Kohen). We bring basic concepts of morality and self-transcendence with us wherever we go.  On the tenth of Tevet we saw Yerushalaim, the city that was meant to be the spiritual and moral center of the world, besieged, surrounded by Babylonians who could only have overpowered us if we were no longer strong. The translation of Torah to Greek (which is another reason for the fast) birthed a new step away from Tikkun Olam – meaning redefining spiritual and moral perfection in ways that exclude Hashem’s unity and the Torah itself. 

This paved the path for the rise of Christianity and from there the alphabet of “isms” which we know by heart on Monday, but by Tuesday there are still more…. Ezra was the prophet who is considered to be most similar to Moshe (in the eyes of chazal). Among his many accomplishments is that he reestablished the style of writing that is called Ktav Ashurit, the Hebrew letters that we use today as being used for all sacred books, such as Torah scrolls. When he died, arguably one of the most successful men in preserving the integrity of the Torah, left us, a loss commemorated on the tenth of Tevet. Tikkun Olam without Torah is inconceivable.


Hamas are perpetrating the most vicious and violent form of fighting – nothing could be further from what Tikkun Olam is meant to be. Tikkun Olam means living as a human being made in G‑d’s image. The most appalling part is that they do their evil in the name of G‑d. The Quran doesn’t sanction the wholesale abandonment of every value that is Tikkun Olam. They have created a dimension of darkness that is not only accepted, but in many circles, validated. 


Tikkun Olam is still possible. You can change the world. The Chofetz Chaim is reputed to have said that the greatest Kiddush Hashem is made by individuals who actually live according to the shulchan aruch (code of laws), meaning that being G‑dly in your priorities in life, and in how you relate to others, is within your grasp.

Much of what I wrote comes from an address made by Rav Nosson Rotman, a mashgiach in a yeshiva. You could think erroneously that he lives in a rarified environment in which Torah and mitzvot are larger than life, and you live in a world in which Real Life is larger than the ideals that are for sale cheap in the market of public opinion and lifestyle. You are mistaken. Torah lives in the real world. The tefillah you say today, the way you choose to define the word “important” in your thought, speech, and action have a far more long reaching effect than you can begin to imagine. 

These are dark days, days in which a little light leaves a strong impression. Arguably the possibility of making real changes is greater than it ever was. You have the ability to blossom by living a life in which your kesher to Hashem is what you are, not just what you say or think. 




 Suggested Donation

Our soldiers inspire me everyday with their dedication and bravery. I've witnessed their profound love for Israel and humanity.

I am a soldier too. And that is why I am not giving up. I'm turning to you to join me in fighting this war in Israel.

In December, I set out to raise $2 million to continue providing food and supplies for the soldiers, as well as to send 50 trucks of food to our people in cities under fire, and provide vouchers for those who've spent months in hotels without work.

I know you already gave, more than you have ever given. And I know you care.

I'm determined to reach our goal, drawing strength from the resilience of our soldiers, evacuees, and those affected by the war. I believe in G-d, in miracles, in the land of Israel, and in you!

With just a few days left in 2023, please join me in supporting our soldiers, evacuees, and those in war-torn cities, as they face a year of uncertainty.

I won't give up, and I invite you to stand with me. Together, let's feed a nation at war. Please give again.

Thank you and may we all see a return of the hostages and all our boys on the front lines.

Aryeh Lurie
Founder, Yad Ezra V'Shulamit
Button Red no space above

PURIM and NISSAN – הצדיק הנסתר (correction)


המשיח בא אליו חזון עשרה בטבת,,,אמר לו זמן המשיח יבוא השנה תשפ"ד
עדר סטודנטים מהרב המקובל שלום שרעבי


חשוב לחדד, ב עשרה בטבת מחריזים על הגאולה.
תשפ"ד בזמן שושן פורים

תשפ"ד עשרה בטבת, תשפ"ד

איזה רב צדיק אמר שבערב פסח תגמר המלחמה ואז ירד אור גדול , כנראה משיח ובית מקדש
אור הגאולה

נכון בניסן נגאלנו בניסן ניגאל, אז אנחנו בסוף ויהיה אור גדול, אבל רק סבלנות זה כבר לא שנים אלא ממש כמה חודשים עד ניסן, אבל האור לא מתגלה בבת אחת אלא בהדרגה, באדר נתחיל לראות את האור כי בזמן שושן פורים הייתה גאולה באהבה וההיסטוריה חוזרת על עצמה, תלמדו מגילה ופרשת שבוע הכל מדבר על הגאולה איך היא תיראה.

Google translation:

The Messiah came to him in the 10th vision of Tevet,,,He said to him that the time of the Messiah will come this year 5724 A herd of students from the Kabbalist Rabbi Mordechai Sharabi https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VII2AnQ0BPw  


It is important to refine, on 10 Tevet we rhyme the redemption. 5724 during Shoshan Purim 5724 10 Tevet, 5724 

Some righteous rabbi said that on the eve of Passover the war would end and then a great light would fall, probably the Messiah and the Temple 

The Light of Redemption 

It is true that in Nissan we were redeemed in Nissan Nigal, so we are at the end and there will be great Light, but only patience is not years but literally several months until Nissan, but the Light is not revealed all at once but gradually, 

in Adar we will begin to see the Light because during the time of Shoshan Purim there was redemption with love and history repeats itself, you will learn Megillah and Torah portion Everything talks about the redemption and what it will look like

29 December 2023

Rabbi Weissman - UPDATE NEW INFO: Exile Mentality, Failed Messiah, and the End of Days

To encourage mass aliya and Tanach study, I am giving away copies of my sefer Go Up Like a Wall at no cost, and need help distributing them in more locations. If you can pick up copies from Jerusalem in the coming days please contact me. 

*   *   *

What did Chazal say about Jews who choose to live in galus and be buried in Israel?

Why did Hashem prevent Yaacov from revealing the end of days, and what implication does this have for Jews who get all cozy in Galus?

How did Yaacov know that a great Jewish leader who fought Israel's wars couldn't possibly be Moshiach?  Funny how people who desperately cling to a yesh omrim in Rashi and contort the words of the Rambam are oblivious to this source, and won't allow it to disturb their fantasy...

What does the Angel of Death have to say about people who feel safer running to "safe rooms" and otherwise play actuary?

These questions and more are addressed in this week's Torah class, which you can find here

The link to join the classes live is here.


If you received this from someone else and want to receive future articles directly, please send a request to endthemadness@gmail.com.

VIDEO:  R&B Torah Fellowship #87 — Exile Mentality, Failed Messiahs, and the End of Days

Shas Yiden Avreichim Geonim Amaze Gedolei Torah

As Rabbi Glatstein interpreted, "the scepter shall not depart from Yehuda", means the Torah Leaders will all be from the Tribe of Yehuda; and have been throughout our long history.

121 Emmesse Shas Yiden Avreichim Geonim Amaze Gedolei Torah

by Rabbi Eliezer Sandler

* Hagaon Harav Bunim Schreiber, shlit”a: Sitting in front of me are, literally, tens of thousands of bletter gemora. Over 100 emmesse Shas Yiden, outstanding geonim, who know every place in Shas, responded clearly and without any hesitation 
* Hagaon Harav Chaim Peretz Berman, shlit”a: Aside from their amazing knowledge of Shas, the avreichim defended their knowledge throughout Tosafos and Rashi, Rishonim and Acharonim and also the Yerushalmi - it was simply remarkable 
* Hagaon Harav Aryeh Leib Shapira, shlit”a: The Shas Yiden annually complete limud of the entire Shas, which reflects every aspect of Torah, and is a shmira for Eretz Yisroel and Yiden everywhere.

The Shas Yiden Kolel network held its 15th Annual Farher & Siyum Hashas for its 121 avreichim geonim at the Pavillion Hall, Yerushalayim. 

This, a grueling farher (examination) on the entire Shas exceeded all previous farheren, as Shas Yiden has extended its scope and regimen to include all the Tosafos and Rashis, as well as Rishonim and Acharonim and the Talmud Yerushalmi. They answered with the same amazing clarity and acuity, that had, on previous occasions, left Maranan Gedolei Yisroel amazed at their incredible knowledge and recall. 

Two of the Gedolei Torah of our generation conducted the farher: Maran Hagaon Harav Chaim Peretz Berman, Rosh Yeshiva, Ponevez, and Maran Hagaon Harav Bunim Schreiber, Rosh Yeshiva, Nesiv Hadaas, who are known for their sharpness and incredible knowledge throughout Torah. They were astonished at the incredible knowledge demonstrated by all the Shas Yiden avreichim geonim who have risen to levels of Torah knowledge in a manner that has no precedent.
This full-on Shas farher was a culmination of their written tests throughout the year -  Monthly on 225 blatt, quarterly on 700 blatt, and annually on the entire Shas. Stipends awarded for the monthly, quarterly and annual tests are calculated in terms of their scores.

They Know Every ‘Nook and Cranny’ in Shas
Each year they display loftier and loftier heights, and their knowledge is even more sharpened and broader than it was in the previous year. So commented Rav Bunim. He had tested the Shas Yiden four years ago. Already, on that occasion, he was taken with their incredible knowledge. Now, he came to examine them a second time. He could not hide his amazement at the exceptional growth of knowledge and the sharpness of the Shas Yiden geonim. Just a few years earlier they had already attained great heights, and now they have overshadowed their previous accomplishments. In his letter to the Pozna Rov, founder of Shas Yiden, after the farher: “…incredible avreichim geonim who know every single place in Shas… clearly and without any hesitation.”

Similarly, Rav Chaim Peretz declared that this was the first time that he came close-up to the incredible knowledge of the Shas Yiden geonim. In his letter after the farher he wrote with great emotion: “I was so amazed to see, aside from their incredible knowledge in Shas, how they defended their knowledge in Tosafos, Rishonim and Acharonim, as well as in the Yerushalmi – it was just amazing”.

Chizuk from the Ponevez Mashgiach
The Guest Speaker at the Siyum Hashas was the Ponevez Mashgiach, Hagaon Harav Aryeh Leib Shapira, shlit”a. In a dynamic speech that captivated the audience, he spoke about the unique phenomenon in the Torah world that the Shas Yiden Kollel Network has become. The learning, the regimen and, certainly, the standard it has set has earned it a place of honor in limud Hatorah, so very beloved by the late Nasi, Maran Sar Hatorah, Hagaon Hagadol, Harav Chaim Kanievsky, zt”l. 

He then added that Shas Yiden annually completes limud of the entire Shas, which reflects every aspect of Torah and is, in fact, a shmira (protection) for Eretz Yisroel and Yiden everywhere.

At one point, Rav Shapira turned to the Shas Yiden wives and emphasized: "Each of you should know that in your homes, you are living with a lebedike (living) sefer Torah! Very few and exceptional wives merit this. Ashreichen (Praised are you all)! You ensure that your homes are conducive for such learning and your children follow your stellar examples. The Pozna Rebbetzin presented each of the wives of the Shas Yiden with a gift cash envelope as a token of the deep-felt appreciation of the Shas Yiden Hanhallah.

From The Farher – Harav Chaim Peretz Berman
Even before he manages to finish asking a question, the answers come thundering in response, and he looks out at all the avreichim and smiles.
In an instant, the amazing avreichim realize the direction of the question, and call out the answer - the masechta, the blatt, and the דיבור המתחיל of Tosafos where it is to be found! From time to time, the questions are enigmatically spiced up, such as where and concerning what is there a dispute between Reb Chaim and Reb Chaim?

To enable the farher to run smoothly, the avreichim from each of the 5 kollelin in Eretz Yisroel were sitting together and, prior to each question, it is addressed to kollel A or B etc. Even so, all the avreichim of that particular kollel will burst out with the answer. And what about the concept "תרי קלי לא משתמעי" (two voices answering simultaneously cannot be heard properly? We know ‘that which is preferred, is in fact heard above the others.’ 

The following question: What are the different shittos (approaches) regarding Kiddush & Havdalah… And the answers are given at a dizzying pace: all mnemonics - "יקנ"ה! ינה"ק! קניה! קינ"ה! נקי"ה! ניה"ק! יקזנ"ה! יקנה"ז! Don't think that this is a computer memory. Not at all. This is also not AI - artificial intelligence. Many of the questions require human reasoning, that reasons out in a way that a computer cannot. This is a result of laboring for many years, clarifying and distilling, laboring and reviewing.

From The Farher – Harav Bunim Schreiber
Rav Bunim looked at the avreichim geonim and said: “Sitting here in front of me are literally tens of thousands of ‘bletter of gemora’. He immediately begins raining down sharp and tough questions. He is well-known as someone who inspires young avreichim to study with an orderly program to acquire knowledge throughout the entire Shas. His questions are colorful and unexpected.

"What are the 18 items that they decreed?" The answers are like incessant, exploding thunder. And if one question appears to be very broad, the next is very deep. The avreichim are asked how many approaches are to be found in a particular sugya of the Talmud. To answer correctly and on the turn, one has to quickly take into account no less than eight full blatt.

“How many disputes are there between Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel in masechta Beitzah?” The answers begin flowing, but then Rav Bunim interrupts them: "Actually, what difference does it make how many? Rather, what are the disputes between Beis Shammai and Beis Hillel in masechta Beitzah? And again, the answers come gushing forth.

What are the 21 items that their Mitzvah applies only in the daytime? What are the differences applying to a mourner, one in חרם (excommunicated), and a leper? How many cases of מלקות (lashes) are there? Again, a juicy one - In the Rambam it is noted there are 207.

At the conclusion of the farher, it turned out that the number of questions put forward by Rav Bunim, was that of the number of masechtas in Shas - each corresponded to a particular masechta. Moreover, he consulted no notes of his questions – all were committed to memory! 

And when he descended from the dais, one avreich went over to him and asked for a word of chizuk about life. Rav Bunim responded on the spot, ‘learn and learn – that is the essence of real life!’ 

To watch the dynamic farheren, or for more information on Shas Yiden, or to donate, click on www.shasyiden.com or call 718-702-1528 or Mail: 1274 49th Street #562, Brooklyn, NY 11219. London: UK Registered Charity # 1191225 - 2 Timberwharf Road, London N16 6DB, England or call 0208-066-1566

Eliezer Meir Saidel: Lying for Peace – Vayechi


Lying for Peace – Vayechi  

וַיִּרְאוּ אֲחֵי יוֹסֵף כִּי מֵת אֲבִיהֶם וַיֹּאמְרוּ לוּ יִשְׂטְמֵנוּ יוֹסֵף וְהָשֵׁב יָשִׁיב לָנוּ אֵת כָּל הָרָעָה אֲשֶׁר גָּמַלְנוּ אֹתוֹ. וַיְצַוּוּ אֶל יוֹסֵף לֵאמֹר אָבִיךָ צִוָּה לִפְנֵי מוֹתוֹ לֵאמֹר. כֹּה תֹאמְרוּ לְיוֹסֵף אָנָּא שָׂא נָא פֶּשַׁע אַחֶיךָ וְחַטָּאתָם כִּי רָעָה גְמָלוּךָ וְעַתָּה שָׂא נָא לְפֶשַׁע עַבְדֵי אֱ-לֹקֵי אָבִיךָ וַיֵּבְךְּ יוֹסֵף בְּדַבְּרָם אֵלָיו. (בראשית נ, טו-יז)


The "stamp", or signature of HKB"H is אֱמֶת, truth. How do we know this? From a Midrash (Breishit Rabba 8, 5).


"R' Simon says, when HKB"H came to create Adam Harishon, the angels split into different sects, groups. Some angels said 'Don't create him' and others said 'create him'. As it says חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת נִפְגָּשׁוּ צֶדֶק וְשָׁלוֹם נָשָׁקוּ (תהילים פה, יא).


חֶסֶד said 'create him because man is גּוֹמֵל חֲסָדִים'. אֱמֶת said 'don't create him because man is כֻּלּוֹ שְׁקָרִים'. צֶדֶק said 'create him because man is עוֹשֶׂה צְדָקוֹת'. שָׁלוֹם said 'don't create him because man is כוּלֵיהּ קְטָטָה'.


What did HKB"H do? He took אֱמֶת and threw it to the ground, as it says in the passuk וְתַשְׁלֵךְ אֱמֶת אַרְצָה (דניאל ח, יב). The angels said to HKB"H ' רִבּוֹן הָעוֹלָמִים, how can You humiliate Your signature so. Raise אֱמֶת back up from the ground, as it says אֱמֶת מֵאֶרֶץ תִּצְמָח (תהילים פה, יב)'".


It is not coincidence that HKB"H's signature is אֱמֶת, truth. Truth is never polarized and one sided, instead it encompasses a wide spectrum of views, as is shown by the actual letters that make up the word אֱמֶת - one letter from the beginning of the alphabet אֱ, one letter from the middle מֶ and the third letter from the end ת. As opposed to the word שֶׁקֶר, where all the letters are on one side of the alphabet.


The word אֱמֶת also has a special connection to the number 9. The gematriya of אֱמֶת is 441. If you sum the digits of that number (gematriya ktana), 4+4+1 = 9.


The number 9 is a special, "magic" number in nature. If you take any multiple of 9 and sum its digits, you get 9. For example, 18: 1+8=9. 27: 2+7=9. 36: 3+6=9, 45: 4+5=9.  513: 5+1+3=9. 9243: 9+2+4+3=18, 1+8=9, etc.


Similarly, if you take any (positive) number above 9, no matter how large and subtract from it the sum of its digits, and finally sum the digits of the result - you get 9. For example, 613. The sum of the digits of 6+1+3=10. Subtract 10 from 613 and you get 603. 6+0+3=9. Let's try another example, the number 1,459,872. The sum of its digits is 1+4+5+9+8+7+2=36. 1,459,872 – 36 = 1,459,836. The sum of the digits of the result 1+4+5+9+8+3+6=36, 3+6 =9. Try it yourself on any other number!


The number 9 has this special property, unlike any other number, because 9, אֱמֶת, is the stamp of HKB"H (btw, this is a good argument against an אַפִּיקוֹרֶס who says that there is no G-d and everything in the world is random and by chance). Incidentally, the gematriya ktana of the word שֶׁקֶר is 300+100+200=600, 6+0+0=6. Unlike אֱמֶת which is linked to the number 9, שֶׁקֶר is always linked to the number 6. This is a good method to check if something is truth or a lie, check its gematriya ktana.


Everything about HKB"H embodies אֱמֶת. It is not surprising therefore that the Torah forbids lying מִדְּבַר שֶׁקֶר תִּרְחָק וְנָקִי וְצַדִּיק אַל תַּהֲרֹג כִּי לֹא אַצְדִּיק רָשָׁע (שמות כג, ז). The second part of the passuk also tells us not to kill. This is not by chance. It is a response to the two angels אֱמֶת וְשָׁלוֹם who advised HKB"H not to create man.


This is all straightforward and well known.


What I would like to ask then is "How is it possible that the brothers LIED to Yosef and worse, their lie is written in the Torah – right here in our parsha?!!"


The brothers said to Yosef, (בראשית נ, טז-יז) above, "Before his death Yaakov your father commanded us to say to you - כֹּה תֹאמְרוּ לְיוֹסֵף אָנָּא שָׂא נָא פֶּשַׁע אַחֶיךָ וְחַטָּאתָם כִּי רָעָה גְמָלוּךָ וכו'.  


Rashi, quoting the Gemara (Yevamot 65b), says that this was all a fabrication and that Yaakov never said any such thing! The brothers were afraid that now that Yaakov had died, Yosef was waiting for that opportunity to take his revenge on them for selling him to slavery in Egypt.


There is no question that they lied, but incredibly, the Gemara above says that they were right to lie because א"ר אִלְעָא מִשּׁוּם רַבִּי אֶלְעָזָר בְּר' שִׁמְעוֹן, מֻתָּר לוֹ לָאָדָם לְשַׁנּוֹת בִּדְבַר הַשָּׁלוֹם. There is a special circumstance when one is permitted to lie and that is to make שָּׁלוֹם, what is known in English as a "white lie" in order to preserve peace. R' Natan takes this one step further and says that not only is it permissible in such a case to lie, but it is a mitzva!


In fact, the example above in our parsha is not the first time a "white lie" appears in the Torah, there are others. Avraham and Yitzchak told a "white lie" saying that their wives Sarah and Rivka were their sisters and not their wives. Yaakov told his father a "white lie" in order to get Eisav's blessing.


Even more incredible, we have examples of HKB"H Himself telling a "white lie". When the angel Michael told Sarah she would give birth to Yitzchak aged 90, Sarah laughed and said it is impossible וַתִּצְחַק שָׂרָה בְּקִרְבָּהּ לֵאמֹר אַחֲרֵי בְלֹתִי הָיְתָה לִּי עֶדְנָה וַאדֹנִי זָקֵן (בראשית יח, יב). HKB"H, in the following passuk relates what Sarah said to Avraham וַיֹּאמֶר ה' אֶל אַבְרָהָם לָמָּה זֶּה צָחֲקָה שָׂרָה לֵאמֹר הַאַף אֻמְנָם אֵלֵד וַאֲנִי זָקַנְתִּי. But that is not what Sarah said. Sarah said וַאדֹנִי זָקֵן, that Avraham was old. When HKB"H tells Avraham what Sarah said, He tells a "white lie". HKB"H changes וַאדֹנִי זָקֵן to וַאֲנִי זָקַנְתִּי, that Sarah was saying about herself that she was old! in order to preserve shalom bayit.


There are other examples of HKB"H telling other people to lie.  


דֶּרֶךְ שְׁלֹשֶׁת יָמִים בַּמִּדְבָּר וְנִזְבְּחָה לַה' אֱ-לֹקֵינוּ (שמות ג, יח)


HKB"H tells Moshe to appear in front of Pharaoh. Instead of telling him the truth – that HKB"H demands that Pharaoh releases Am Yisrael forever – HKB"H tells Moshe to ask Pharaoh to set Am Yisrael free for only three days. HKB"H commands Moshe to tell a "white lie". But this is a real "whopper" of a lie. The Egyptians thought Am Yisrael were only taking a day trip (actually a 3-day trip) so they had no problem lending them their gold, silver and other valuables, thinking they would return with them 3 days later.


Another example from the Navi –


וַיֹּאמֶר ה' אֶל שְׁמוּאֵל עַד מָתַי אַתָּה מִתְאַבֵּל אֶל שָׁאוּל וַאֲנִי מְאַסְתִּיו מִמְּלֹךְ עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל מַלֵּא קַרְנְךָ שֶׁמֶן וְלֵךְ אֶשְׁלָחֲךָ אֶל יִשַׁי בֵּית הַלַּחְמִי כִּי רָאִיתִי בְּבָנָיו לִי מֶלֶךְ. וַיֹּאמֶר שְׁמוּאֵל אֵיךְ אֵלֵךְ וְשָׁמַע שָׁאוּל וַהֲרָגָנִי וַיֹּאמֶר ה' עֶגְלַת בָּקָר תִּקַּח בְּיָדֶךָ וְאָמַרְתָּ לִזְבֹּחַ לַה' בָּאתִי (שמואל א טז א-ב)


HKB"H tells Shmuel to go to the house of Yishai and anoint David as king. Shmuel asks "How can I do such a thing? If Shaul hears about it he will kill me?" HKB"H tells Shmuel to tell Shaul a lie – "Take a calf and if Shaul asks what you are doing in the house of Yishai, say you have come to offer a sacrifice!"


From this we see that not only is it permissible, it is actually a mitzva to לְשַׁנּוֹת בִּדְבַר הַשָּׁלוֹם and that HKB"H Himself did it and told others to do it.


Aharon HaKohen was a great proponent of this technique. The Midrash (אבות דרבי נתן, יב) says that when Aharon saw two people, Reuven and Shimon, engaging in מַחְלֹקֶת, he would go visit Reuven at his home and say "I have just been at Shimon's home and he is very distressed that the two of you are fighting and he wants to make up". Aharon would then go to Shimon's house and say the same thing to him about Reuven. It was all a fabrication. Neither Reuven nor Shimon really had remorse, but by telling this "white lie" to both sides, Aharon managed to make peace between them.


You may ask "How does this apply to the cases of Pharaoh and Shaul?" By telling them a "white lie", no peace was being made with Pharaoh nor Shaul? Quite the opposite, it was pure deception, to their detriment! The answer is that the Gemara says מֻתָּר לוֹ לָאָדָם לְשַׁנּוֹת בִּדְבַר הַשָּׁלוֹם – in order to "create peace", it doesn't say with whom! By lying to Pharaoh and to Shaul, peace was created - in the world, by the establishment of Am Yisrael, who bring peace to the world and by the establishment of מַלְכוּת בֵּית דָּוִד and the Mashiach, which also brings peace to the world. Not necessarily peace to the party that the lie is being told to.


The Rambam is posek le'halacha (הלכות גזלה ואבדה יד, יג) that this mitzva of telling a "white lie" for the purpose of creating peace also extends to telling a "white lie" to avoid unpleasantry or embarrassment. For example, if someone calls on the phone and asks to speak to a member of the family who is at that moment indisposed. It is permissible to say "I am sorry, but [x] cannot come to the phone right now", when the truth might be that they are able to come to the phone, but it is just inconvenient.


The philosophical question is "If HKB"H's stamp is אֱמֶת, absolute truth, then how can it be that He allows the world to deviate from that – for any purpose, however justified it may be?"


The Rambam in מורה נבוכים (א, ב) says that the world was different before and after the sin of Adam Harishon.


Before the sin of the עֵץ הַדַּעַת, Adam and Chava functioned according to the absolute truth. In a state of absolute truth nothing is hidden, everything is transparent and visible. Matza is called לֶחֶם הָאֱמֶת because there is nothing hidden in it, it is simple water and flour. Chametz bread, however, is called לֶחֶם הַשֶּׁקֶר because there is a hidden element in it that cannot be seen, working surreptitiously behind the scenes, far from the naked eye.


Adam and Chava before the sin lived in a reality of absolute truth, they could distinguish between truth and lies. There is a difference, according to the Rambam, of distinguishing between truth and lies and distinguishing between good and bad.


Before the sin, if someone told Adam that the world was round or flat, he could distinguish that the world being round was the truth and the world being flat was a lie. However, if someone told him that the world being round was a good thing or a bad thing, Adam could not distinguish whether it was a good thing or a bad thing. Similarly, in that state of absolute truth, the fact that Adam and Chava were unclothed, was a truth, it was not a lie. Adam and Chava in that state could not distinguish if it was a good thing or a bad thing, they did not possess that power of distinction. They could distinguish between truth and lie, עִקָּר וְטָפֵל, but not between good and bad נָאֶה וּמְגֻנֶּה.


After eating from the עֵץ הַדַּעַת טוֹב וְרַע, they acquired the ability to distinguish between good and bad. It was not that before the sin there was a veil over their eyes that they could not see that they were unclothed, but rather that that a new concept had been introduced to them that was not part of them before. In contemporary terms, we can compare it to the dilemma whether to watch the "horror film" of the Hamas atrocities or not. 

Once you see and acquire a new understanding of a concept that you did not have before, it is irreversible, you cannot unsee it. After the sin Adam and Chava sincerely regretted the fact that they could not go back to their previous state of "innocence", they could not undo what had been done.


In this new, diminished reality, the world could no longer function according to the absolute truth. In order to function in this new reality, a new set of tools was necessary. To reacquire the state of Adam and Chava before the sin requires a process of tikkun, using these tools. In order to reacquire אֱמֶת, it is necessary to raise the אֱמֶת from the low level that it had fallen to, to raise it up from the earth אֱמֶת מֵאֶרֶץ תִּצְמָח.


These two new tools are חֶסֶד and צְדָקָה, as it says חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת נִפְגָּשׁוּ צֶדֶק וְשָׁלוֹם נָשָׁקוּ (תהילים פה, יא). In order to reacquire the state of Adam and Chava before the sin, we need to reconcile, to make peace between, the angels – those who were opposed to creating man, אֱמֶת וְשָׁלוֹם and those who were in favor of creating man, חֶסֶד וָצֶדֶק. In order to reacquire אֱמֶת, we need to employ the tool of חֶסֶד and to reacquire שָׁלוֹם, we need to employ the tool of צֶדֶק/צְדָקָה. We also learn this lesson from the Shulchan Lechem Hapanim – the gematriya of שלחן (in milui format שין למד חית נון) is חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת נִפְגָּשׁוּ. Also, the regular gematriya of שלחן is שָׁלוֹם י"ב (Meir Panim, קנא; קנד).


These two realities are reflected by the methods of Beit Shamai and Beit Hillel. Chazal say they are both correct, but applicable to different realities. The method of Beit Shamai is applicable to a reality in which there is only absolute truth, that will be acquired in the time of Mashiach. The method of Beit Hillel is applicable to our current, imperfect reality of tikkun, whose purpose is achieving the idyllic state of absolute truth.


After that introduction we can now begin the shiur.


We currently find ourselves in a reality that raises certain moral questions and in order to answer these questions, I would like to apply the principles we have discussed above.


The first set of questions pertains to our "external" relationship with the goyim and the second set pertains to our "internal" relationship, within Am Yisrael.


Let us begin with the external relationship, our relationship with the goyim, those we consider our "friends" and those we consider our "enemies". If anyone has been watching TV in the last two months, a major attraction of the evening broadcast is the daily statement by the IDF spokesman (Brigadier General Daniel Hagari).


As opposed to statements by the politicians, which different sectors of Am Yisrael regard with varying degrees of mistrust and skepticism, the vast majority of Am Yisrael tend to regard the statements of the IDF as most closely approaching the absolute truth. In fact, it is a policy of the IDF to have as much transparency and strive for as much absolute truth as possible.  


It is a noble effort and in line with the idyllic view of the world as we want it to be, where only absolute truth reigns. However, the Torah tells us that in the current reality where good and bad exist in the world and that absolute truth does not reign, the immediate purpose in such a reality is not to achieve absolute truth, but rather peace. In such a reality it is permissible and more than that, it is a mitzva, we are required to לְשַׁנּוֹת בִּדְבַר הַשָּׁלוֹם in order to achieve peace.


If that is the case, the immediate purpose of the IDF is to achieve peace, not absolute truth. To achieve peace when you are fighting an evil enemy, like Amalek (yes, I am not afraid to call them what they are, even though it may not be "politically correct" for the BBC), the only way to do that is to defeat the enemy, totally defeat the enemy. Not just the ones shooting bullets, rockets and exploding bombs on our soldiers, raping, killing, beheading and burning our civilians, but also those who support and do not resist them – they too are the enemy.


If there are any "innocent" civilians in Gaza, where are they? Even in the midst of the Nazi era in Germany and Poland, there were some goyim who had mercy on Jews and sheltered them at risk to their own life. Has there been one incident of a Gazan sheltering or protecting a hostage, or helping us rescue them by telling us where they are? Not a single one! Is a 3-year-old Gazan child an "innocent" civilian? 

Not if they have been educated from birth to hate Am Yisrael and to not rest until they have killed us and eradicated us from the River to the Sea. Yahya Sinwar was once a 3-year-old child in the Khan Yunis refugee camp in Gaza and was taught from age zero to hate and kill us, which he is now doing. 

If there are any "innocent" civilians in Gaza, there may very well be a few, who do not support Hamas - they need to run and hide and when the IDF tell them to move to a specific area, they need to do it and allow us to finish the job and get rid of Hamas as quickly as possible, for their benefit as much as for ours. If they don't, it means they support Hamas.  


This is why Am Yisrael are commanded to wipe Amalek out, all of them, women, children and even their sheep. With Amalek there are no innocent civilians, they are genetically programmed to wipe out Am Yisrael and we have to preempt them. When Shaul failed to kill Agag as he was told, that night before Shmuel beheaded him, Agag slept with a maidservant and a child was born. Centuries later, from that child Haman was born. 

The Torah teaches us that the true morality is doing what HKB"H tells us to do in the Torah, not to ask questions and follow our own "intelligence" and warped sense of morality, that was derived from the goyim. The goyim themselves have no moral qualms about wiping out their enemies, including "innocent" civilians if the ultimate purpose is to save lives of their own soldiers and hasten peace. They did it in Dresden, they did it in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.


Am Yisrael and the IDF need to focus on the true morality, the morality of the Torah, not the false morality of the goyim in the US and the BBC, who do not really have our best interests at heart, however vocally they try to portray that they do. We need to focus, not on the "absolute truth" as the IDF spokesman is trying to do, but rather on the immediate purpose – achieving peace. In doing so, it is not only permissible, it is חוֹבָה to say what needs to be said to deceive the goyim. HKB"H Himself did it with Pharaoh. 

Forget the Torah, even on a common sense, practical level – how is the strategy of "absolute truth" working for the IDF? Is it getting us more support from the international community or less? The more we engage in apologetics and less focus on what we need to do, we are wasting time and achieving the entirely opposite effect that we desire.


The next set of moral questions pertain to our "internal" relationship, within Am Yisrael. The Gemara in Yevamot, in the same sugya we discussed above, adds an extra lesson –


וְאָמַר רַבִּי אִלְעָא מִשּׁוּם ר' אֶלְעָזָר בְּר' שִׁמְעוֹן כְּשֵׁם שֶׁמִּצְוָה עַל אָדָם לוֹמַר דָּבָר הַנִּשְׁמָע כָּךְ מִצְוָה עַל אָדָם שֶׁלֹּא לוֹמַר דָּבָר שֶׁאֵינוֹ נִשְׁמָע רַבִּי אַבָּא אוֹמֵר חוֹבָה שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר "אַל תּוֹכַח לֵץ פֶּן יִשְׂנָאֶךָּ הוֹכַח לְחָכָם וְיֶאֱהָבֶךָּ" (מִשְׁלֵי ט, ח).


Part of the concept of לְשַׁנּוֹת בִּדְבַר הַשָּׁלוֹם also involves knowing who you are talking to. There is an obligation for one Jew to look out for their fellow Jew and see that they do not come to any harm, physical or spiritual. Part of this concept of כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל עֲרֵבִים זֶה לָזֶה involves the mitzva of הוֹכֵחַ תּוֹכִיחַ אֶת עֲמִיתֶךָ. If you see a Jew committing an עֲבֵרָה, you are obliged to rebuke them. 

The Gemara, however, tells us that this is not carte blanche, under any circumstances. Before you rebuke your fellow Jew, you need to ascertain if they are "rebukeable". If you rebuke someone who is not in a reality where they understand and will accept the rebuke, then the rebuke will have the opposite effect, it will cause them to hate you rather than spurring them on to do teshuva.


With all due respect to many in the right wing and Charedi circles, who feel the urge to apply הוֹכֵחַ תּוֹכִיחַ אֶת עֲמִיתֶךָ blindly and without restraint, if you do not understand who is standing opposite you and what their mindset is, the chances are that you will do more harm than good. We have seen the aftermath of such careless actions in the last year. It is not sufficient to have the absolute truth on your side, in the reality we are living, the absolute truth is not the immediate purpose, peace is. From peace we get tikkun and eventually absolute truth.


The Torah teaches us that in such a reality, in order to achieve absolute truth, you need a different set of tools. חֶסֶד וֶאֱמֶת נִפְגָּשׁוּ. If you want to promote the absolute truth, the best way of achieving is not throwing it in someone's face – "I'm right and you are wrong" (even if absolutely you are right). The most effective way is to do chessed for the person you are trying to sway to your way of thinking. This is what is happening in the majority of Am Yisrael right now, a flood and outpouring of chessed and the positive results are patently obvious.


The best way to achieve peace is by employing the toolset צֶדֶק וְשָׁלוֹם נָשָׁקוּ. Justice, צֶדֶק and charity צְדָקָה are one and the same word. If you want to have justice you need charity. The best way to accomplish a "judicial reform" and bring "justice" to our courts is first to increase צְדָקָה and social responsibility in Am Yisrael, and again, this is also taking place in increasing intensity now, following October 7th.


The vast majority of Am Yisrael are on board and on track. However, it is undeniable that despite this, there is still a very small marginal minority (albeit very vocal and very well-funded) whose primary purpose is to sow discord in Am Yisrael and undo all the positive things that have come about in the aftermath of October 7th. How do we deal with them?


The answer is that if chessed fails and there is no way to convince them otherwise, we need to begin treating them as the enemy and not accept them as a fait accompli. They are our enemy because by their actions of sowing discord in Am Yisrael, they are distancing the Geulah and causing more unnecessary lives to be lost. They are just as responsible for causing loss of life as if they pulled the trigger themselves.

 They are not an enemy on the same level as Amalek in Gaza – there are enemies and there are enemies. To deal with enemies within Am Yisrael, we need to also employ the method of לְשַׁנּוֹת בִּדְבַר הַשָּׁלוֹם. When Shaul went off the deep end and became the problem instead of the solution – when he became the obstacle to peace rather than its facilitator, HKB"H employed this method to counter him – deception for the purpose of peace.


In order to preserve the newfound peace and achdut in Am Yisrael, we, the sane majority need to deal with this ticking time bomb amongst us and not ignore it, like R' Zechariya ben Avkulas ignored the self-hating Jew Bar Kamtza and did not deal with him and prevent his destructive intentions. The wise and correct way to deal with them is not chas vechalila violence or harming them physically, but disarming them and making them irrelevant. Cutting off the sources of their funding. 

Going for their main sponsors with the same intensity as they hounded the proponents of the judicial reform. Screaming in their ears with megaphones round the clock, outside their homes, in restaurants, preventing their wives from exiting the hairdresser and going about their business. We need to turn their own perverted (and highly effective) methodology on them and make their lives a living hell. We need to boycott their media channels and make their ratings plummet and put them out of business. We need to show them the door and encourage them to leave for where the pastures more fit their life philosophy.


It is no longer enough to be right, to have the absolute truth. You have to follow the Torah and apply the truth wisely and aptly in the current imperfect reality.


This secret of לְשַׁנּוֹת בִּדְבַר הַשָּׁלוֹם will work wonders both on a personal level within our own families, with our spouses, children and parents and also on a national level.


Am Yisrael is slowly coming to the realization that we don't have all the answers and all the solutions to the problems, to fix them ourselves, with our own כֹּחִי וְעֹצֶם יָדִי. To find them we need to humbly defer to the Torah, for they are all there.


I think we all instinctively know that, but have yet to overcome the change in mindset of "what the goyim will say". Ironically, by discarding our own authentic morality and "play acting" with someone else's distorted sense of morality - instead of endearing ourselves to the world, we arouse more and more antagonism and disrespect. Look at Iran, lehavdil. 

They are totally focused on their (genocidal) agenda and morality and incredibly – the world respects them. We on the other hand abandon our inherent Torah morality in deference to "international law" and the "laws of war" etc. and the rest of the world condemns us, walks all over us and ridicules us.


We need to all wake up and reboot. The Arabs know who we truly are and what our true destiny really is. It is to replace the Al Aqsa Mosque with the Beit Hamikdash. They keep screaming it ad nauseum on every podium at their disposal. They know the truth and fear it. Only we, Am Yisrael, keep denying our own true destiny on every podium at our disposal. The reason that HKB"H is making the Arabs shout it so loud is so that we will hear it and wake up!


The cogs of the wheels of the Geulah are grinding inexorably toward their imminent destination. This is the final call, to either get on board and answer the call of מִי לָה' אֵלַי, or to miss the boat like we have for the last 1953 years and be forgotten by history together with those who remained back in Egypt 3336 years ago.


It all depends on one critical pivot point which is miraculously and immediately within our grasp, more than it has ever been before – peace and achdut within Am Yisrael.



Shabbat Shalom

Eliezer Meir Saidel

Machon Lechem Hapanim


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