Sunday, May 31, 2009
In the kabbalistic book "Shaar HaGilgulim – The Book of Reincarnations" by Rabbi Yitzchak Luria ist says:
King David was a reincarnation of Adam (HaRishon). Batsheva was a reincarnation of Chava (Eve) and Uriah, the Hittite, was a reincarnation of the snake (in Gan Eden). In those statements, the Kabbalist, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, sees the reason why King David "let" Uriah die: In order to prevent the reincarnated snake (in Uriah) leading Chava (Batsheva) astray a second time.
This kind of conclusion may sound rather off but there is also no proof for any opposing statement. The Book of Samuel II (11 – 12) lets us know about the even: One night, David was standing on the rooftop of his palace and from far away, he sees a woman bathing. He finds out that this is Batsheva, the wife of Uriah, the Hittite. But because King David wants to marry Batsheva so desperately, he sent Uriah to war where he died. Afterwards, David is marrying Batsheva. After the wedding, the Prophet Nathan let David know how terrible his plot in the eyes of G – d is. David repented and asked G – d for forgiveness.
Rashi, on the other hand, considers the whole event as a clarification for doing Teshuva (repentance). Everyone who has sinned has the chance to return to G – d, as soon as he seriously regrets his negative actions. And King David was terrible sorry of what he had done regarding Uriah.
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov gave a great explanation on why Batsheva was destined to be the wife of King David:
Rabbi Nachman of Breslov remarked that someone who does not understand why the Land of Israel had to be in the hands of the Canaanite nations before it came into the hands of the Children of Israel will also not be able to understand why Batsheva had to be married to Uriah the Hittite before she was married to David (Sichos HaRaN). From these words, we may infer that Batsheva was intended for David – for it had been prophesied to him already that he was destined to have a son who would build the Temple (II Samuel 7:12-13), and only a unique woman could mother the wisest man that ever lived. (Batsheva proved her strength of character in various ways, see I Kings 1:15ff; moreover, the Midrash says she had no compunction about chastising Solomon even after he became king.)
The greatness of the TIKKUNIM ("repairs") that were destined to result from the union of Batsheva with David was such that the two could only come together in a manner overshadowed with darkness and mystery. David's sin was not the common man's sin of going into a woman who is NIDDAH ("menstruant"), because Batsheva was purifying herself in the Mikveh ("ritual pool") at the very moment when David saw her (v 2). Nor does the fact that the text makes it appear she was married to Uriah the Hittite mean that she was simply in the category of EISHES ISH ("a man's wife"). Although on the surface it looks as if David was guilty of adultery, this is not so. In David's time it was the practice of all men prior to going out to war to give their wives a GET ("bill of divorce"). The purpose was to ensure that if the husband went missing in the war, his wife would not become an AGUNAH ("anchored women", unable to marry anyone else) and that if he was killed and left no children, she would not be subjected to the humiliation of YIBUM or HALITZAH (levirate marriage). Soldiers could thus wholly throw themselves into fighting the war without having to worry what might happen to their wives if they lost their lives. The formula of the GET followed the standard formula of a GET AL TENAI ("conditional divorce") that made the divorce retroactive to the time of the giving of the GET in the event that the husband died in the war (Rashi on v 4; Talmud Kesuvos 9b; Rambam, Laws of Divorce ch 8).
When Batsheva informed David that she had conceived, he sent for Uriah and ordered him to go into Batsheva (v 8) so that when the child was born Uriah would think it was his own, which would help cover up the scandal. It was only when Uriah refused to go into Batsheva while his brother Israelites were fighting a war that David contrived to have him killed. The death of Uriah in the war would cause his GET to Batsheva come into effect retroactively, as explained above, meaning that at the time of David's relations with her she was technically NOT a married woman.
If the sin was NOT that Batsheva was a Niddah or a married woman at the time of the relations, what was it??? Did David sin in ordering Joab to send Uriah to a battle-position in the continuing Ammonite war in which he would certainly be killed? Our rabbis teach that Uriah was indeed guilty of a capital offense in refusing to carry out David's order to go into Batsheva. This made him MOREID BE-MALCHUS ("a traitor to the kingship") the penalty for which is death.
Where David sinned was in contriving for Uriah to be killed in such a way as to make it seem that he was merely a war casualty, whereas in fact David should have taken Uriah before the Sanhedrin and had him publicly condemned to death (Shabbos 56a). However David did not want to do this as it would have drawn public attention to the questionable circumstances of his relations with Batsheva.
It was not that Batsheva was not meant for David and that he took what was not his. The sin was that having caught a glimpse from his roof-top of the mother of Solomon, he took her by force and tried to hide what he was doing instead of waiting for God to bring her to him in the course of time. In this respect there is a certain parallel between David's sin and that of Moses' impatiently striking the rock for water instead of speaking to it.
The real meaning of Nathan's reproof for David personally is not even our business. The average individual cannot expect to grasp the exact nature of David's sin. The prophet's reproof to the saintly David is directed at US, the average readers, who are to learn from it how to recognize our own sins and how to repent in order to rectify them. From verse 4, which successively refers to the rich man's visitor as a HEILECH ("passer-by"), then an ORE'AH ("visitor") and finally an ISH ("man of stature"), the rabbis learned out that the nature of the evil inclination is first to drop in casually as a passer-by, then to install himself within us as a long-term guest, until he finally takes over the entire house and acts as the BAAL HABAYIS ("owner of the house"; Succah 52b).
Nathan the prophet used the parable of the rich man's taking the poor man's lamb in order to prompt David to see for himself where his sin lay and how he should be punished. Had Nathan simply asked David to consider his behavior and ask himself if he had done anything wrong, the king may have tried to rationalize away his actions. Instead, Nathan told David a graphic story about somebody else's gross behavior and asked him to give a quite impartial evaluation of this kind of behavior that would not be colored by the need to justify himself. Rabbi Nachman (Likutey Moharan I, 113) teaches that this is the method whereby God consults sinners about how they should be punished. If He were to ask them directly about their own behavior, they would never give an impartial reply and would always judge themselves too leniently. He therefore shows them someone else's behavior which is parallel to their own and then asks them how they judge it. According to their evaluation of the other person's deeds and how they should be penalized, so God judges and penalizes their own, and this is the meaning of the rabbinic statement that "a person is punished with his knowledge (MI-DAATO) yet without his knowledge" (SHELO MI-DAATO)" (Avos 3:16). We should be very careful when looking at and judging the behavior of others in case we are unknowingly being invited to decide our own fate.
In angrily demanding that the rich man pay fourfold, David sealed his own fate: he suffered by losing four children – Batsheva's first baby, Amnon, Tamar and Absalom (Rashi on v 6).
"Why have you despised the word of God to do evil in His eye?" (v 9). As explained above, the evil was not that Batsheva was already married or that she was not intended for David. The evil was that while knowing Batsheva was intended for him, David still contrived to take her using subterfuge. If Batsheva had not been intended for David, why after punishing him with the death of the baby did God allow Batsheva to conceive and bear a child of whom our text states that "HaShem LOVED him" (v 24)? According to the Midrash based on the KSIV "HE called" and the KRI of "SHE called" in v 24, it was not Batsheva but God Himself who called the child's name SHLOMO, which is also the Name of God throughout Song of Songs. If David's relationship with Batsheva was inherently evil, how could it be that the one who built God's very Temple was born as a result?
David acknowledged that he sinned (v 13), and he fully repented: Psalm 51 is eloquent testimony to the depth and sincerity of David's repentance and his ability to turn the very sin into merit by using it to teach others the path of repentance. Whereas king Saul's sins led to his deposition from the kingship, David's kingship was not undermined by his sin, which indeed added a new dimension to David's Torah, showing that even a Tzaddik can sin and that even a Rasha (wicked person) can repent.
With the birth of Solomon (who does not enter the narrative again until the very end of David's life), the protracted war against the Ammonites came to an end with David's capture and destruction of the capital city and his cruel punishment of the Ammonites (v 31). This was particularly severe because the Ammonite god alluded to in verse 30 ("the crown of MALKOM") and in the KSIV of verse 31 (MALKON as opposed to the KRI of MALBEIN) is none other than MOLEKH, whose worship through passing children through the fire is strictly proscribed by the Torah (Leviticus 18:21, see RaDaK on II Samuel 12:1).
How David could have placed the crown of an idol on his own head when the appurtenances of idolatry are normally strictly forbidden is explained by the rabbis as having been made possible through the prior nullification of the Ammonite idol by a non-Israelite (Talmud Avodah Zarah 44a). How David could have balanced a such a heavy crown on his head (it weighed a talent of gold) is also discussed by the rabbis, some of whom say that it had a magnet in it that caused the crown to be self-suspended in the air! This is by no means the least of the weighty mysteries embedded within the fathomless allegory of these chapters.
Talmud Schabbat 56
Rashi: David didn't sin, as, at the moment when he had relations with Batsheva, she had been already divorced from Uriah. Every soldier gave his wife a GET when he went out to war. - See GITTIN 72a, Kiddushin 43a,
Obama doesn't see it but we do: The Iranian threat is getting worse and Israel wants to be prepared in case the madman Achmadinejad is completely loosing his mind.
Today, the largest military drill in Israel is starting. This Tuesday, we are all getting actively involved. At 11am, all over the country the sirens are going on and EVERYONE is required to look for the closest bomb shelter ! The army is exercising an attack on Israel and roads will be closed off.
Finally, the PIKUD HA'OREF (the HOME FRONT) put some information together:
Furthermore, brochures in Yiddish are handed out to the haredi population !
Cartoon: ARUTZ 7
What does Hillary Clinton have to do with Israeli settlements and Israel ?
She should get better informed, make up her mind and not play the silly opportunist.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
People who want to send me messages via FACEBOOK won't find me there anymore. Right before Shavuot, I deactivated my Facebook account and I am quite happy with this decision. Not, that I spent too much time wasting my time on Facebook but after a while, it just went on my nerves. Let alone the missing security.
I am going to remain on TWITTER because I prefer that site much more !
Shabbat and Shavuot are over. Due to the fact that in the Diaspora, the Jews celebrated two days of Shavuot (Friday + Shabbat), the Torah Parashot are different in Israel and abroad.
In Israel, we read Parashat Nasso and until Parashat Balak (4 July), when the Diaspora reads the two Parashot "Chukat" and "Balak" together, Israel will be one Torah Parasha ahead.
This coming Shabbat (6 Jun), in Israel, we are going to read Parashat Beha'alotcha".
Thursday, May 28, 2009
I just had arrived in Tel Aviv and now, this afternoon, I am already returning to Jerusalem. There is nothing like spending Shavuot in the Holy City.
This week, I worked on nightshift twice and last night, I participated in the secular event "Laila Lavan". Shame on me, because the result may be that tonight, after the festive Shavuot meal, I may go to bed early. If I am lucky, I can make it for one Shiur (class) but I don't see myself studying through the whole night. Not even going to the Kotel (Western Wall) in the morning.
Those of you spending Shavuot in Jerusalem as well - there are plenty of places where you can study through the night. The most popular places among English speakers are probably the "Orthodox Union (Israel Center)" in Keren HaYesod and Rabbi David Aaron (running his program near the Sephardi Center in the Old City tonight). For beginners, those two programs are interesting although, I always see the OU more for the elderly public.
I wish you all a great inspiring holiday and that we all may have the Sechut to receive the Torah. Even the participants in the "Laila Lavan".:-)
"Chag Sameach - Gut Yom Tov" and "Shabbat Shalom - Gut Schabbes" to all of you !!!
We don't only commemorate King David's Yahrzeit (day, someone passed away) on Shavuot but also the Yahrzeit of the great chassidic Master, the Baal Shem Tov.
The Baal Shem Tov died on 6 Sivan (in the year 1760, according to the worldly calendar).
The video is not of such a great quality but hopefully it will give you some impressions from last night's "Laila Lavan - White Night" in Tel Aviv.
It is not a religious video neither was the event particularly religious. Although I saw some national religious and even Haredim. However, despite all the religious life, we shouldn't forget to live !
The first time, the "Laila Lavan" took place was in 2003, and since, it has been an important part of Tel Aviv's cultural life.
It was worth going there last night although the city buses were absolutely packed. You could go to museums, the "Beit Ariella Library", listen to the Israeli pop singers Arik Einstein or Judith Ravitz, enjoy theater plays, anything.
The main part took place at the Rothschild Boulevard downtown. There, also the video was made (not by me !).
There is always a first time for almost everything and today was my first time: I found out that the "KUZARI - Al Khazari" by Rabbi Yehudah HaLevi has Hashmatot ! Someone told me that certain passages had to be taken out of the book in order not to offend the Christian population.
During the Middle Ages, many Rabbis decided (and sometimes the church put on force) taking out different Psukim from the Talmud etc.,so that the Christians (especially the clergy) would not misinterpret some concepts and start further pogroms. The collection of those passages is called "Hashmatot".
Today I briefly looked at someone's KUZARI and saw that it said on the book cover: "Including Hashamatot !"
Next week I am going to try to find out more about those KUZARI Hashmatot. Anyone has an idea in the meantime ?
Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Has anyone an idea why the self - appointed "Rachlin Rebbe" was once kicked out of Mea Shearim ? Now he lives in Nagara Street / Givat Sha'ul / Jerusalem.
The Argentinian born "Rachlin Rebbe" founded his own tiny Chassidut. He is mostly known due to his counceling and his followers claim that he sees everything. All hidden thoughts in a human being and in case you bring him a picture of your Shidduch (match) or mention his / her name, he is able to tell you if the Shidduch fits you or not.
Many secular Israelis go to him and ask for advise. I met him once because some people I know dragged me to one of his meetings. He basically didn't know what to tell me and, in the end, told me what I knew anyway.
His follower admire him but he also has many people critics. Other Chassidim even told me to stay away from him which I do because he is just not my Rebbe type and I have nothing to do with him.
I am just curious why he was thrown out of Mea Shearim. One rumour I heard is that he hit a boy.
Almost everyone in this world seems to suffer from the economy crisis, and organizations, so far relying on firm donors, are deeply in financial trouble. Suddenly all the former donors are gone because they have nothing to donate anymore; thanks to Madoff.
The Lubavitcher Chassidim need money for their institutions as well as for their Chabad - Houses all over the world and they figured out a different idea of how to support themselves. They launched their own GoogleSearch.
Every time you use CHABADSEARCH, you are helping the Lubavitchers to get some money in.
I am just waiting for SATMARSEARCH or the TOLDOTAHARONSEARCH !
Now I am stumbeling around, as I am not used to all these kinds of family relations. And I hope that I am getting it right:
One of the grandchildren of the Gerrer Rebbe Yaakov Aryeh Alter, the daughter of his oldest son Rabbi Avraham Mordechai, got engaged to the oldest great grandchild of the "Pnei Menachem". The Pnei Menachem was a former Gerrer Rebbe who passed away in 1996, and he was the uncle of the present Gerrer Rebbe.
The fiance is Rabbi Israel Berliner who is studying at a Gerrer Yeshiva in Rishon LeZion. He is still not 18 years old and there is a law in Israel that one has to be 18 years old in order to get married.
The engagement celebrations took place in Jerusalem yesterday.
Rebbe Yosef Zvi Dushinsky is visiting Melbourne. I assume that the Rebbe travelled to Australia in order to collect donations for his group and Mosdot (institutes).
Chassidut Dushinsky is rather unknown outside the chassidic world. Dushinsky is one of the very few chassidic groups being called after their founder's family name. Furthermore, Dushinsky is extremely anti - Zionist, a member of the Edah HaCharedit and their headquarter is located in Jerusalem; in Shmuel HaNavi Street.
Tuesday, May 26, 2009
The holiday of Shavuot is coming up (starting on Thursday night) and especially Shavuot is seen as the "Day of Converts to Judaism". King David was born and died on that day, and it was him being a descendant of Ruth the Moabite. Who would think that the great King David actually comes from a family of converts ? And if we go a little further it also means that Meshiach is going to be from a house of converts, too.
I found this on "Frum from Rebirth" (including an interview) and it sounds quite interesting:
See also: Yosef's Homepage
Two interesting Links:
Dr. Mordechai Kedar (Bar Ilan University) defends the Jewishness of Jerusalem.
It is a miracle that the Arab propaganda channel "Al Jazzera" invited him for an interview.
Maybe Barak Hussein Obama should watch this video as well !!!
An eye - opening article about Obama's failed policies:
Monday, May 25, 2009
Chassidut Nadvorna celebrated a new Sefer Torah (Torah Scroll) for its temporary Beit Midrash in Elad (near Petach Tikwah).
Center: The Nadvorna Rebbe
The Rebbe's Chair
All pictures can be viewed here:
Tish in Nadvorna / Bnei Brak
Parts of an article by IMRA
... Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to convey a calming message to Israel's neighboring countries during Sunday's cabinet meeting, saying that "this is a routine drill, which was planned several months ago and is held every year in order to coordinate between civil and military systems."
The "Turning Point 3" exercise will begin on May 31 and will last five days. The drill will be operated by the Defense Ministry with the assistance of the National Emergency Authority. It is aimed at training the Israeli home front, from the government level down to the plain citizen level, and will simulate a comprehensive regional war. According to the scenario, the war will involve Hamas, Hizbullah and Syria. Palestinians will carry out terror attacks, and Israel's Arabs will riot in masses.
The Political-Security Cabinet will practice the various scenarios, while the Israel Defense Forces will mobilize forces in accordance with the occurrences. The proposed scenario simulates an escalation lasting three months, reaching its peak with an overall attack on Israel.
The outline of the drill has been presented to the government ministers. The overall war scenario begins with an escalation on the Gaza front, which leads to an IDF ground offensive. After 60 days of fighting in Gaza, tensions in the north heat up. The army is forced to enlist reserve forces and launches a war on the northern front.
During the war, the Israeli home front will be hit by barrages of missiles. Simultaneously, a terror offensive will develop and extensive riots will take place across the country.
Air raid siren to sound across country. The drill will kick off on Sunday with an exercise to the ministers at the weekly cabinet meeting. Monday will see the IDF, Home Front Command, Emergency Economy, Israel Police, government ministries and local authorities take part in the drill.
On Tuesday, an air raid siren will be sounded across the country, roads will be blocked and citizens and school students will practice entering bomb shelters. The Political-Security Cabinet and national information system will take part in the drill on Wednesday. On Thursday, the last day of the drill, IDF corps will hold field exercises and the training of the Home Front Command headquarters will continue.
As part of the drill, the cooperation between organizations and the local authorities will be examined. In addition to the war scenarios, the forces will also practice a major terror attack, a natural disaster, an epidemic or an operational malfunction in a hazardous materials facility.
Last week, the Israel Air Force held a three-day drill that included various scenarios and staged fronts the force may have to handle. Pilots also practiced a number of combat maneuvers. The drill was annual, but incorporated scenarios relevant to the current threats faced by Israel. As part of the drill, members of the IAF were briefed on Iran's test-launch of its new missile, the Sajjil-2, which has been said to pose a threat to Israel's security.
PIKUD HA'OREF (Home Front)
Our Arab neighbours consider the drill as a threat andIsrael "would be up to something". However, the drill should have been taken place a while ago, as Israel is always in dangerous situations.
The Internet is the cause of terrible wars and all problems. Since the creation of the world, there has never existed such a danger.
Gehinnom is awakened and many families have been destroyed.
The Rabbi stating this is Rabbi Shmuel Wosner from Bnei Brak.
It goes without saying that there is a danger of using the Internet. However, you cannot only concentrate on the negative side. The Internet has also many many positive sides and it always depends on how you use it.
First of all, haredi society has to start dealing with the subject "Internet". Only banning it doesn't help because those Haredim who want to use it will always find a way. Even if it is an Internet Cafe or a public library.
I don't have the perfect solution (if there is one at all) but my own opinion is that some parts of haredi society are so closed / reserved concerning sex and women that countless male Haredim become curious. Curious about the outside world and what is going on. Furthermore, beyond there world is room for some of them, fulfilling there special desires they may not do with their own wives.
There is no perfect society in this world and it depends on us, our will and character traits. You can try banning everything with a negative influence but this doesn't mean that you get rid of people's desires.
Further decrees from Rabbi Wosner:
The female Voice
A Yetzer called Pornography
Sunday, May 24, 2009
Let us imagine a religious Jewish family; national religious but more on the threshold to haredi Judaism. Several children, most of them teenagers or already married. The daughters did not enjoy a great education but were married off at the age of 18 or 19. Instead of higher studies they are now delivering children and matching their destiny in religious society. They can learn a profession later or next to fulfilling the mother's duty.
The sons are studying in Yeshiva and will be or are going to be married off as well. Without earning their own income. Parents and in - laws have to support the young couple. Those children still at home decided to get a profession and do some higher learning. But what does "higher learning" mean when you finish haredi school in Israel ?
Regular universities won't accept you. Super religious girls also don't take a university into consideration but rather a haredi seminary. However, there are national religious girls going to a university or, at least, to the center of higher studies in Ariel.
Nevertheless, studying at a haredi institution for higher studies won't necessarily turn anyone into a Nobel Prize Winner. Not in science.
Last week, the Israeli media stated that there is a growth of 70% of the haredi working force. Since former Finance Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (under the Sharon government) cut down the children's money, more and more Israeli Haredim were forced to work and support themselves instead of living on the money from the government. This, however, excludes different anti - Zionist groups !
What the media doesn't seem to realize is that, even before, many Haredim did work. Most of them within their own society as rabbis, teachers, Shochet, etc.
It can be that I do not expect that the children of parents coming from certain haredi groups tend to higher / academic studies. From the national religious movement, however, I do expect much more. According to my experience, it mainly depends on the father. How open and modern is he ? There are some who send their children to become a doctor, etc., but others just want their kids to get married. After the girls finish Sherut Le'umit (social service instead of going to the army), they start looking for a Shidduch. Boys join the Hesder program and then get married.
I still cannot understand why parents and certain religious societies deny their members the right to study. The right for higher education. G - d created all of us with special capabilities and talents and this means that He wants us to use them. Doesn't all this society pressure sound like keeping the members quiet ? The less they know, the more they depend on the Rebbe ? The less women know, the more they depend on their husbands and admire him ? What if a haredi woman starts studying and finds out that her husband is not the great Talmid Chacham (wise scholar) he always pretends to be ? Isn't education a threat to society ?
There was a famous scandal in Kiryat Yoel in the early 80ies. A well - respected Satmarer Chassid, Rabbi Mendel Wechter, was teaching young Satmar Yeshiva boys about Chabad Chassidut. Some students got so excited that they started going to Lubavitch. Later, they even became Lubavitcher.
Wechter was fired and later moved to a Chabad community in Israel.
Those Satmarer who ran over to Chabad had to face severe difficulties. First of all with their parents and it says in the book by Jerome R. Mintz ("Hasidic People") that parents and children didn't break up relationships. But what if you are Satmar and your spouse is becoming Chabad ?
It further says in "Hasidic People" that especially many wives of husbands joining Chabad were excited. In Satmar they were limited in their studies whereas in Chabad they were free and could start with their higher education studies.
I am very much into education and it simply bothers me when society, it doesn't matter which one, is limiting human beings. If someone has a certain potential why not use it ? Why only sitting in Kollel when one could be a doctor ? Academic jobs and titles don't mean that one has to give up religious life and Yeshiva studies. There are plenty of examples where academics go on with their Talmud studies.
To me it seems like G - d created people with talents and they just throw them away. On the other hand, and this is important to mention, there are people who just want to get married and see their life fulfilled in raising kids and concentrating on their marriage.
This Wednesday, the traditional "Laila Lavan - White Night" is taking place in Tel Aviv.
See all cultural events here (in English):
And in Hebrew:
Setting up J. signs in Israel ?
Who, as a Diaspora Jew, would dream about such a thing ?
But it seems to be reality:
The German news magazine "DER SPIEGEL" based it's accusations, the Lebanese terror organization Hizbollah assassinated former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, on UN - documents. Hariri was killed in 2005.
Hizbollah terrorists at the border to Israel
Pictures taken from the Hizbollah Homepage !
This year, the Yom Yerushalaim parade "March of the Flags" last Thursday, was also a manifestation against the division of Jerusalem and turning our capital into an "international" city. According to Obama, France, etc, Jerusalem has to be divided and, especially Barak Hussein Obama, wants to see an INTERNATIONAL flag over Jerusalem.
But who cares what a Hussein says ?
G - d gave Israel and Jerusalem to the Jews and not to the Muslims !
Friday, May 22, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Yoelish Kroiz is the head of the Neturei Karta in Mea Shearim (Jerusalem). However, besides the Torah veYirah Synagogue, there is another center of the Neturei Karta. Not too far away and run by Israel Hirsch, the son of Moshe Hirsch.
Moshe Hirsch used to be Arafat's Minister of Jewish Affairs. Today he is suffering from Alzheimer and his son had to take over.
I found the following pictures in a haredi forum and they are actually very new. Yoelish Kroiz is celebrating the Bar Mitzwah of his son and it looks like not too many visitors showed up.
However, his son is dressed like a Toldot Aharon or Toldot Avraham Yitzchak Chassid. Is the Kroiz family a member of one of those groups or is it just the simple "Yerushalmi Dress" ?
All photos can be viewed here:
There is a discussion whether the haredi world should celebrate YOM YERUSHALAIM or rather ignore it. Wasn't it the Zionist army defeating the Arabs ? Where was G - d ? The Meshiach is not here yet and is there a reason to celebrate ?
There are many different opinions and every Haredi has to decide for himself; or listen to the Rebbe's opinion.
What bothers me, and this may sound controversial to some people, is that the day has turned into a day of the national religious. I am not that haredi haredi swinging with a baseball bat and fighting for modesty. Just the opposite when it comes to women wearing pants. However, this morning I passed Gan Sacher (Sacher Park) in Jerusalem and saw the national religious gathering for the march taking place in the afternoon.
I saw a national religious Minyan where most participants wore shorts. Some even looked like they were praying in underwear, as the shorts were a little too short.
It was strange to me seeing this and I quickly passed by looking forward to go to haredi Synagogues.
If this is the way to celebrate and, furthermore, listening to national religious girls singing and screaming, then I rather celebrate somewhere else.
This Erev Shabbat, Ruzhin - Boyan in Jerusalem is celebrating a Shalom Zachor, as one of the Rebbe's daughter gave birth to a boy.
A Tish will be taking place at the Se'udat Shlishit.
The Boyaner in Jerusalem have the custom of having a Rebbe's Tish on the Shabbat before Rosh Chodesh.
The kosher way to the grave a Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai (in Meron):
The red marking is for women and the blue marking is for men !
It seems like nothing is left out. There are ideas being raised, I would have never thought about ! I am just wondering if Avraham and Sarah also chose kosher streets ?
Inside the Second Temple
Today, Thursday, Jerusalem is celebrating it's "Yom Yerushalaim". Part of the celebration is the traditional "March of the Flags" taking place this afternoon.
42 years ago, Israel won the Six - Day - Way and re - conquered the Old City. Since 1948, the Arabs had reigned there and Jews weren't allowed access.
After the Six - Day - War, thousands of Jews from all over the world came to pray at the most holiest place in Jerusalem - the Western Wall. Not on the Temple Mount (Har HaBayit), as Moshe Dayan gave the keys back to the Arabs. His biggest mistake in life and until today, we have to suffer from his stupid decision. Let us hope that the time for Meshiach is coming soon and then we will be able of going to the Third Temple.
When Arabs claim that Jews never lived in Jerusalem and that there weren't any Jewish Temples: Here a report on the latest archeological artifacts. Is the name "Jerusalem" mentioned in the Koran once ?
The answer is NO and Mohammad never visited Jerusalem.
To be precise: According to the date, Yom Yerushalaim is only tomorrow but due to the Shabbat, it is celebrated today!
Most participants of the "March of the Flags" are the national religious. I hope that not all the Christians being in Jerusalem participate as well. As soon as they see something Jewish, they jump on it in order to get the feeling of being closer to their fake Meshiach J. Not all Christians but many of them.
The center of Jerusalem will be closed off this afternoon and buses will run through HaNevi'im Street.
Jerusalem the Golden
Today and tomorrow, Jerusalem is celebrating "Yom Yerushalaim - Jerusalem Day".
Yom Yerushalaim is the commemoration of defeating the Arab countries during the Six - Day - War (1967). Then, Jerusalem was liberated, checkpoints of the Jordanian occupation were taken down and for the first time after 1948, the Jews got free access to the Kotel (Western Wall).
Anyone calling himself Israeli and doesn't know Naomi Shemer cannot be considered being a REAL Israeli ! Naomi Shemer wrote the song "Yerushalaim shel Zahav - Jerusalem of Gold" . On May 15, 1967, one day after the Israeli Independence Day, the song was sung for the first time. The singer was the unknown Shuli Nathan and she sang it at an Israeli Music Festival.
"Yerushalaim shel Zahav" became the hymne of Jerusalem !
Shuli Nathan with her original version:
A modern version:
To some religious readers, this songs may be immodest but I am not forcing anyone to listen to them !
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
The Neturei Karta is everywhere where there may be the possibility of a destruction of the present State of Israel.
And guess what they are doing now ?
Demonstrating against the Zionist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Chassidei Chabad did just the opposite and supported Netanyahu for his resistance not letting Barak Hussein Obama take over Israel. "We are not a Banana Republic" and already had a Nevuchadnezzar and a Titus.
The result is that the Neturei Karta found a new enemy called "Chabad". The Lubavitchers are spreading around Jewish hatred and don't represent the Jews as a whole.
You may see that stated soon in black and white; in the New York Times.
By the way, Chabad announced that it doesn't see any reason for a response, as the Neturei Karta kisses Achmadinejad.
There is simply nothing to respond.
The Neturei Karta in Action
Source: Chadrei HaCharedim
The passing of Rabbi Me'ir Brandsdorfer has left a vacuum. Not only within the Toldot Avraham Yitzchak but also within the Edah HaCharedit.
Here are some pictures from the Shiva:
All pictures can be viewed here:
To me it looks like the Edah HaCharedit is facing a problem finding great Poskim among younger Rabbis. I may be wrong but I don't see a new generation moving in.
Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Honestly, it quite took me by surprise when I was asked by secular Jews from Tel Aviv if every haredi woman wearing a wig (Yiddish: Sheitel) would have a bald head. I thought that people usually know that the haredi wig is "just" a way for a married woman (as well as for divorcees and widows) to cover their hair. I have never thought about that other people may get the impression that all of them must be bald. Actually there are not too many women shaving their hair after the wedding. Furthermore, the younger generation practices this custom less and less.
The shaving of the hair of a married haredi woman is an old Hungarian / Romanian custom and many women today just put on a wig without any shaving. However, there are women keeping this custom, as the Toldot Aharon, the Toldot Avraham Yitzchak (not necessarily all women) or certain followers of the Chatam Sofer. For instance, a woman from Chassidut Dushinsky once told me that she took over the shaving custom from her mother and she even explained me how she does it. Basically the shaving is taking place every second week or so and most women put on a tight head cover over their baldness. Only on top of that cover, they place the wig. Otherwise the wig would move and people could see the baldness. The Toldot Aharon, on the other hand, don't wear any wigs at all and just place a tight head cover or a Spitz.
Remark: When I say bald, it doesn't always mean "totally bald" but also "very short hair".I was just surprised hearing such questions or prejudices and explained the secular the shaving custom etc. They, on the other hand, were very interested because they had never heard about it before. Actually one even asked me about "having sex with a sheet in the middle (between men and women).
If this is true ?
Well, I don't know but I think that most people have sex in a "normal" way and that the sheet story is basically a story and doesn't have much to do with reality.
Monday, May 18, 2009
After the Pope left Israel and the lie of the Vatican that he never never never had joined the Hitler Youth:
During the Nazi Reich, it was a law for every German Aryan Youth to join the Hitler Youth. First the children went to the "Jungvolk" and later on, as a young teenager, they automatically joined the "Hitler Youth". There was no way around unless parents were looking for severe trouble with the Nazi government.
If the Pope was never part of Hitler's youth organization, he would be the first proclaiming it proudly. Without any break, he would shout it out into the world. Instead we hear nothing but a lie about the Pope's Nazi past. It would have made a better impression if he had admitted that he once was part of the Nazi system.
The bakery where I work has the Hechsher (Kashrut Certificate) of the Belzer Chassidim (Badatz Belz). Many times I meet of one our Mashgichim (Kashrut Experts) on Wednesday nights, and we usually talk about different chassidic groups as well as about Belz.
The other night, one of the workers walked into the office, sat down and started asking the Belzer why hundreds of Chassidim enjoy watching a Rebbe eating. Isn't this against Jewish law ? And what do they gain from it ? Seeing a man stuffing himself full of food.
The person asking is absolutely secular although his grandfather was a respected Kurdish rabbi in Jerusalem.
I added that, actually, according to Halacha, it is forbidden to watch another person eating. Like "staring at someone".
The Belzer, however, responded that it is not about the food and seeing the Rebbe eating. It is all about Kedusha (Holiness) surrounding the Rebbe. He is a Zaddik (righteous person) and everyone receiving a piece of an apple or anything else, the Rebbe had made a blessing on, can be uplifted. Raising one's own level by eating the Shirayim (food the Rebbe had said a blessing on). It is about being close to a Zaddik who has the power to uplift us all.
The worker understood nothing. He just thought pragmatic and wanted to know what is there for him.
"I cannot describe it, said the Belzer. Next time I am taking you to the Rebbe's Tish". Still, the worker wasn't in his spiritual mood and sometimes I just think that either one has a special approach to Chassidut or one doesn't. Everyone of us has his own unique approach to Judaism and acts in different ways. One sees the Rebbe as a Zaddik, the next person only considers him as just another guy.
Sunday, May 17, 2009
Every year on May 15, the Palestinians celebrate their "Nakba (Nagba)". This "special" day exists since 1948 and should remind all Arabs of the "sufferings" of the Palestinian people. The foundation of the State of Israel is considered a tragedy. However, two things most people are not aware of, have to be made very clear:
1. There was no Palestinian people until the foundation of the State of Israel in 1948. Until then and even later, today's Palestinians used to refer to themselves as "Arabs". The true Palestinians were the Jews living in Palestine / Israel during the British Mandate. The Jews living there were "Jewish Palestinians" and it even said it in their passports. At the time of the British Mandate, today's Palestinians saw it as a disgrace being called a "Palestinian".
From this we see, how history can be twisted around and faked.
2. Where are the reports and memories of the JEWISH NAKBA ?
Arab countries used to terrorize, torture, kill and deport Jews; furthermore, confiscating their property. When those Jews finally reached Israel, they had nothing at all.
Usually it is said that Jews faced better life conditions under Muslim rule than under the church. This is not always true, as, among others, the author Mark R. Cohen states in his book "Under Crescent and Cross" - The Jews in the Middle Ages. Just remember the brutal murders of the fanatic Islamists Almohad in Spain throughout the 12th century. Everyone resisting them was killed; especially Jews.
In the 19th century, Arabs took over the well – known Christian anti – Semitic ideas and used them for its own purposes. Already the Rambam (Maimonides, 1135 – 1204) said that "There is no people in the world which wishes to humiliate and to degrade the Jews as the Arabs do".
When Mohammad had his visions, he tried to convince the Jews believing in him. As a matter of fact, only a few converted to Islam and the vast majority rejected Mohammed's teachings. The "prophet" lost his patience and started deporting two Jewish tribes. One tribe escaped to Khaybar but was later massacred by Mohammad. However, Islam never portrayed itself as "new Israel", as the Christians do.
The Israeli daily MAARIV published an interesting article last Friday. MAARIV asked the question why the Jews have never started making such a big fuss about their suffering in Arab countries. Jews were expelled from Iraq or Iran, arrived in Israel and started a new life in a new country. This was it – Pulling oneself together in order to go on in life. Without continuously crying and letting the world know about their great sorrow. Without any propaganda, as the Palestinians do.
Palestinians have never made an attempt getting their life in order. Until today, many of them sit in their refugee camps and wait for the world to help them financially. It obviously pays off spending a life in a refugee camp because every day, foreign tourists are coming to leave some cash.
Only hours after the foundation of the State of Israel was announced, the Arab countries attacked Israel. Fact is that they lost and the looser has to take the consequences and pay the price.
According to the Muslims, Jews are allowed to live in Israel but only under Islam.
A brief list of Jewish suffering under the Crescent:
- In 1011, Muslims killed several hundred Jews in the town of Cordoba / Spain.
- Granada in 1066: 4000 - 6000 Jews were massacred by Muslims.
- The Morrocan town of Fez in 1033: 6000 Jews were massacred. The same happened in 1465. Later, pogroms took place in the years 1790, 1792, 1864 - 1880, 1903, 1907 as well as in 1912.
- Algeria and Libya didn't behave any different.
- Libya in 1785: Hundreds of Jews were killed by Muslims. The same happened in 1945, and the New York Times reported about terrible scenes. Jewish children and elderly people were beaten to death. Altogether 140 victims.
- Iran in 1839: A pogrom took place where 40 Jews were killed. The same happened again in 1910.
As early as in 1173, Yemen introduced anti – Semitic laws making the Jews suffer. In 1947, 82 Jews were killed. Not to forget about Egypt where Jews were prosecuted as well. In 1956, Egyptian Jews had to leave the country but leave their belongings behind.
Even after the foundation of the State of Israel, Jews were massacred in their own country. 39 Jews workers were killed in Haifa, 50 Jews died at in a car bomb in Jerusalem, 79 doctors and nurses were killed on their way to work at the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital. During the Old Yishuv, when Jews still used to live in the Arab Quarter, pogroms took place and many people got killed. Especially the Neturei Karta claiming differently should learn Jewish history and not believe that the Arabs are so friendly towards the Jews. History teaches us different.
These facts are, unfortunately, not too well – known.
The above listed figures and dates were published by Ben – Dror Yemini (MAARIV).
Friday, May 15, 2009
After the sad event happening this week (Rabbi Brandsdorfer passed away), Shabbat is right ahead and we are supposed to be joyful.
This Shabbat I am spending in Tel Aviv and hopefully catch up with some more sleep. Therefore I am not making any plans and won't promise anything.
Someone asked me on Facebook yesterday, if I went to Rabbi Brandsdorfer's funeral. I was in Jerusalem at that time and actually thought about going. However, I changed my mind because of the unbearable heat and the knowledge that most people there are going to be men.
My problem is always taking into consideration that I may be the very last in line. Like standing behind a small corner and seeing nothing.
If I am in the area on Sunday, I may go to the Shiva.
Have a great Shabbat everyone ! "Shabbat Shalom - Gut Schabbes !"
One of the leading Rabbis of the Edah HaCharedit and famous member of the Toldot Avraham Yitzchak, Rabbi Me'ir Brandsdorfer, passed away on Wednesday night.
His funeral started at Supnik in Mea Shearim / Ge'ulah. The Rabbi was buried on the Mount of Olives (Har HaZe'itim).
All pictures can be viewed here:
Who wants to have anything to do with a messianic Jew ?
Idol - worship is, according to the Torah, one or even the severest sin a Jew can possibly do.
Here is a great example of the vicious messianic activities in Israel. Hopefully all Israelis reject and throw them out of our streets.
Haredim clash with messianics in Rehovot
Pope left Israel
Best Message to the Pope
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Last night, Rabbi Me'ir Brandsdorfer passed away at the age of 74. At 10pm, he suddenly fainted in his home in Shivtei Israel Street in Jerusalem. Doctors and ambulance arrived immediately but no one could save the famous Rabbi's life anymore. He died due to a cardiac arrest.
Rabbi Me'ir Brandsdorfer was born in Belgium and later in his life moved to Israel. Before the split of the Toldot Aharon about twelve years ago, he used to be a member there. When the previous Rebbe Avraham Yitzchak Kahn died and his two sons fought about leadership, Rabbi Brandsdorfer favoured the older son, Rebbe Shmuel Yaakov Kahn. Rebbe Shmuel Yaakov then founded his own group, the Toldot Avraham Yitzchak. Despite all disputes, Rabbi Brandsdorfer sometimes still took part in the Tish of the Toldot Aharon. Already a few months ago, I wrote about seeing the Rabbi at one of the Toldot Aharon Tishes.
Rabbi Brandsdorfer was an important member of the Edah HaCharedit and a Shochet. Several times a week, he received all kinds of people answering halachic questions.
The funeral is going to take place this morning (Thursday, May 14); starting at Kikar Supnik (Dushinsky school - Kikar Shabbat).
Rabbi Me'ir Brandsdorfer at a Mitzwe Tanz
Last night: People waiting in front of the Rabbi's house.
All pictures can be viewed here: