Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Paraoh at the Pessach Seder




B"H

Paraoh (Barak Hussein Obama) holding his own Pessach Seder  ! What a fake !

Don't forget counting the Omer !





The counting of the Omer prepares the Jews for receiving the Torah ! Not, that they received the Torah at Har Sinai thousands of years ago but until today, we receive the Torah every Shavuot anew.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Anti - Missionary Congress

B"H

The national religious Yeshiva "Ateret Cohanim" is organizing an anti - missionary congress this Thursday. The public is invited and the event is starting at 10.00am in the morning. Speakers will be, among others, Rabbi Shlomo Aviner (Chief Rabbi of Beit El and Rosh Yeshiva of "Ateret Cohanim") and Rabbi Zephania Drori (Rosh Yeshivat Hesder in Kiryat Shmemona).

For many years, the national religious movement has accepted Millions of donations from fanatic Christians like the Evangelicals. Now the national religious are fed up and start asking themselves if the whole issue of accepting donations from Gentiles is against Halacha.

"The Missionary is our Enemy" - is the slogan of the congress. According to the Rabbis, the movement cannot agree accepting Christian donations and, at the same time, getting all this Christian missionaries into the country. The final goal of the Evangelicals is to bring as many Jews as possible to Israel, then trying to missionize them to Christianity in order to cause a second coming of the false "Meshiach" J.

Finally some parts of the national religious movement seem to come to the right conclusion: The missionaries don't just donate for nothing but come up with more and more demands. On the other hand, the movement (including national religious settlements in Israel) got used to Christian money. It actually is disgusting that settlements are being build with missionary money and haredi society has been criticizing the "Dati Le'umi" greed for a long time.

I would love to go to the congress but I am not sure if I will be in Jerusalem on Thursday, as I am having other plans. Among others, visiting the Tel Aviv Diaspora Museum.

However, the congress is taking place in the Arab Quarter of the Old City. Inside the "Ateret Cohanim" Yeshiva.
Time: 10am - 5pm.
Language: Hebrew

Moadim le'Simcha

B"H

The first Pessach holiday is over. At least in Israel.
Great sunny weather enables us doing to trips. The beach in Tel Aviv was already packed today.

Although I originally had other plans, I eventually decided spending the Seder with Chabad in Tel Aviv's posh Ramat Aviv. There, Chabad is not that posh but, nevertheless, has started a Synagogue and a small Yeshiva in the same building. The secular neighbours are not too exited about facing the Chabadnikim in the area. There have been complaints about Chabadnikim standing in front of schools and asking secular students to put on Tefillin. Whoever knows Tel Aviv wealthy northern parts is pretty aware of how the secular react when they see a Haredi walking around: A Haredi living in the neighbourhood may bring others and turn the area into a new "Mea Shearim".

I took the last local bus from cdowntown Tel Aviv to the northern neighbourhood Ramat Aviv and arrived far too early at Chabad. However, I helped them setting up the tables for the Seder. It rather reminded me of Sukkot because we were setting up tables outside. About 80 people were expected to come. The Chabad Yeshiva guys were having their Seder inside the Yeshiva.
I didn't know that the Chabadnikim in Ramat Aviv are "Meshichistim" (those who believe that the last Lubavitcher Rebbe is the Meshiach). It turned out they are and even the curtain on the Aron HaKodesh (Torah shrine) had a "Yichi Adonenu …" header.

Remark: "Yichi Adonenu Morenu veRabbenu Melech HaMeshiach Le'Olam vaEd". A Meshiach saying originally introduced by the seventh Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson z"l himself.

Today "Yichi Adonenu" is mainly used by the Meshichistim and they even scream it during their prayer service. So they did lat night during Maariv (evening prayer).

As I said, the Seder was outside. It was chilly but nice. Most participants were secular Israelis from the neighbourhood. Although Chabad has been criticized, last night the Chabadnikim helped a lot of lonely Jews celebrating a nice Seder. Nevertheless, there were complaints because the Rabbi leading the Seder took his time. Too long and with too many breaks in between. Some people got bored and started munching their Mazzot. I have to admit that I also left earlier. At 12.30am when the chicken came out. I had a long walk back to Tel Aviv and it took me 1,5 hours to finally get into bed.


Link:

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Miracles



B"H

The Jewish world is getting ready for tomorrow night, the Pessach (Passover) Seder night. However, at the moment, in a more materialistic sense because everyone is running around to get the groceries done.

But what about "Freedom" ? 
The Israelites left Egypt on the seventh day of Pessach. Did they really escape slavery by walking through the Red Sea? In a physical way "yes" because they were free to decide about their actions in life. The question comes up if this new physical freedom at the same times means "spiritual freedom" ? Kabbalistic literature considers the 40 years in the desert as a "spiritual cleansing" as well as a Tikun (soul rectification). The Israelites were free but still stuck in their slavery mentality.

Can you imagine that, for generations, your family including yourself have been told what to do ? There was no free life and for anything you had to ask for permission. Suddenly you are free. So, what do you do with your life ? Do you realize that there is a life at all and not only the whip of an Egyptian guard ?

And how about us today ? Are we free ?
We read the Haggadah in order to re - live the miracle of the Splitting of the Red Sea and that G – d took the Jews out of Egypt. How do Jews in the Diaspora (Galut) feel ? Are they ready to leave their Egypt and go to Israel ? While going through the Haggadah, we should ask ourselves how we live today and how does the Pessach event apply to us.

The Gemara (rabbinic discussions) in Talmud Pesachim 88a teaches us a saying of Rabbi Yochanan:
 
"The day of the ingathering of the exiles will be as momentous as the day when heaven and earth were created".

The Talmudic commentators Rashi and Maharsha explain:

G – d created heaven and earth out of NOTHING. Before the entire creation process there was nothing but Him. This is one of the great miracles of the creation of the entire universe and us. A creation out of nothing. The miracle of the final redemption will be so wondrous that it will be analogous to creation.

"Pessach Samech & Kascher" – A happy, healthy and kosher Passover !"



Still looking for a Seder ?



B"H

For those of you who are still looking for a Seder anywhere in the world, contact Chabad !

Doctor Toldot Aharon ?

B"H


Various people have told me to think about writing a Doctorat in order to gain an academic title about chassidic groups or the haredi world. I would write so much anyway and if I put all kinds of information and social subjects together, I could strive for a PhD or whatever it is called.


A long time ago I decided not to do so. I don't want a secular Jewish professor telling me what and how to write anything about Chassidut or haredi society. How does he know the subject and even if, an academic always considers everything from an academic point of view.


I am not a chassidic academic and don't intend to be one. What I do is trying to live this lifestyle and not researching it. A researcher works like "Give me the information so that I can sell it to the public. Provide me with the information now ! Tell me what clothes you wear and when you shave your hair (chassidic women) because I want to make money and become famous. Tell me everything and then F… Off !"


More than two years ago, I had a huge fight on the phone with a Israeli woman who had made her Doctorat in Sociology. Her name is Sima Zalcberg and she had investigated Chassidut Toldot Aharon.


I phoned her up after reading her script at a public library and asked her if she is still in touch with the Toldot Aharon families she interviewed or whether she just dumped them after finishing her PhD. How could she call the Toldot Aharon members "objects" in her manuscript ? I told her that people are people and not "objects". First she yelled at me and accused me a few times of being a Toldot Aharon member or spy. Then she admitted that, after her Doctorat, she stayed away and now she is busy with something else.


Sima Zalcberg got most of her information by not telling the full truth to the TA members and, this way, she smuggled herself into some families. Especially when she spoke to the Rebbitzen and told her that she is considering becoming religious but, at the same moment, hid from her that she is writing her PhD. about the Toldot Aharon women.


This is just a brief example of why I don't want have anything to do with academics. For them, haredi society is simply a study object and a way of becoming famous and making money. Researches and academics are not interested in chassidic lifestyle or ideologies but rather in gossip in order to impress secular Jews in some lectures. The secular are easy to impress when you list this and that group and tell them the name of the Rebbe. But what do researchers actually know ? Have they ever been part of religious or haredi society ?


In my opinion, one can only write about the subject when he or she is or has been a society member. If someone studied with Chassidim for some years. When he is breathing Chassidut and lives it. Someone has to experience it in a honest way and not with all kinds of academic thoughts and the "I want to be famous" idea in the head.


Although I have lived in haredi society and left after some years, I am still trying to find my way and some of my chassidic friends don't give up bringing me back onto the "path". I still haven't made up my mind but try to learn something from the issuesI write about. My chassidic friends are my friends and not my objects. They told me many personal things and I know their families. Private matters I would never ever write about.


As a matter of fact, I would never call myself a specialist because I am not and this is not my goal at anyway. My goal is rather to improve my religious ways and not to pull information out of people in order to publish everything behind their backs.


No one from the outside will ever be a specialist on Chassidut or chassidic society but only the Chassidim themselves !

Friday, March 26, 2010

Shabbat Shalom



B"H

I am finished !
Not only me but apparently thousands of other Jews cleaning for Pessach. Although the bakery where I work is not open on Pessach, for the past few weeks we have been cleaning those things we hardly take care of during the year. From windows until moving fridges and other things around. Organizing and washing all the trays. I am so much looking forward to the holiday itself because then we have off. Not for too long but at least a few days.

Two days ago, I walked around in Mea Shearim and the entire area is more busy than in secular Jerusalem. In the haredi Ge'ulah / Mea Shearim area, people were outside shopping, the kids played outside because their mothers obviously had thrown them out of the house so that they don't bother them cleaning. Huge deliveries of vegetables were piled in front of the grocery stores. What else is there for Ashkenazim to eat if not potatoes ?

I will be in Tel Aviv for the Seder and have a few invitations from different Chassidim. However, what I am really thinking about is the Chabad Seder in Ramat Aviv. There is a whole issue going on between Chabad in rich secular Ramat Aviv and the secular neighbours who want the religious out. It would be interesting to see how Chabad is dealing with all the disputes on Pessach.

I always prefer something extraordinary compared to sitting quietly with a family and the small circle is doing its own private thing. This is a kind of boring and I love the communal celebrations where you meet people and hear about life of others.

As a matter of fact, Pessach in Tel Aviv is a challenge, as many restaurants / cafes are not kosher for Pessach and continue selling Chametz. It is easy keeping Pessach in Jerusalem or Bnei Brak and this may be boring as well. In Tel Aviv, at least, you really have to fulfill the Mitzvah and make an effort in order to keep Pessach.

If anyone is interested, the Toldot Avraham Yitzchak are having a Tish tonight. The most eventful chassidic day during Pessach is the seventh day of the holiday. Then the Rebbes of the Avraham Yitzchak as well of the Toldot Aharon dance in their Synagogues the crossing of the Red Sea. This is a huge and beautiful event when each Rebbe is dancing alone.

"Gut Schabbes - Shabbat Shalom" to all of you !

Kashering for Pessach

B"H


Before Pessach, many religious Jews start kashering their pots and pans in order to burn out the last Chametz (forbidden grains on Pessach). No nudel no nothing should still stick somewhere in a pot. Others even prefer buying new dishes and pots. 


Here are a few pictures from Bnei Brak and Mea Shearim where the kashering process is taking place publically. In religious neighbourhoods the kashering service is being offered for a small amount of money.









All photos including a video HERE !

Rabbi Mordechai Machlis at the Mazze Factory

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ice - cream at "Sisalek"


B"H

How is "Sisalek" doing two weeks after its opening ?

I was there yesterday and the new ice - cream store was packed. Finally the haredi population in the Ge'ulah / Mea Shearim (Jerusalem, Malchei Israel Street) has the most kosher ice - cream. Kosher but expensive.

When I was there, the store was packed but mostly with wealthier Litvaks. Who from Mea Shearim can afford buying an ice - cream ball for 8 Shekels (2 Dollar) ?

"Sisalek" started off with two separate gender entrances but now has only ONE entrance for anyone. Men and women were sitting together but it looks like that many people walk in, see the price list, faint or just ask for some ice - cream to try out the flavours. This way they receive a little spoon, take a taste and then leave.

"Sisalek" has a parve and dairy (milchig) section. I chose two ice - cream balls for 14 Shekels (approx. 3 Dollar). Homemade cherry - chocolate and date ice. Parve.
Forget about the cherry flavour but the date ice - cream was delicious. Expensive and I feel sorry for haredi families whose kids drive them nuts about going to "Sisalek". However, once in a while, I will go and have an ice - cream.

Every Generation has its evil Gentile trying to destroy the Jews !



And who is the evil Gentile (Muslim) in this generation ? Besides Achmadinejad !



Passover Cooking


Mimi has the greatest recipes !

Parashat ZAV with Rabbi Mordechai Machlis

Picture of the Day


Comments

B"H

Last night, I have been flooded with comments from two people (?) and I have to say that half of those comments I did not let through.

First of all I don't see a direct connection between listing all the "sins" of Chabad Meshichistim and starting a comparison between Moshe Rabbeinu, Cohanim and the Yom Kippur prayer service.

Secondly, concerning the comments on Rabbi Mordechai Elon:
Not all Rabbis and Dayanim use the Torah for themselves and lie due to selfish purposes. One also has to differentiate between honest and great Rabbis and others who apparently chose the wrong profession.

I will not publish any comment stating that all Rabbis are fakes and just lie !

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Toldot Aharon Novel from Menashe Darash

B"H

As I said a few days ago, I surprisingly found Menashe Darash's novel on the Toldot Aharon at the National Library in Jerusalem. I ordered the book from the archives and whenever I have time I read a bit. Although the author claims that the novel is a entire fiction based on his imagination, it is very clear that the chassidic group mentioned in the book are the Toldot Aharon from Mea Shearim.

I admit that, so far, I have only read about 30 pages but ...

The book is extremely boring and Chassidim should not read it. It may be of any interest to the secular but for people dealing with chassidic society the book is simply crap. A waste of money and a waste of time reading.

Tami Hindele is a "Toldot Aharon" girl and refuses to marry a Shidduch at an early age.

I did not understand why she does so. Furthermore, she quotes all kinds of Talmudic phrases to her father in order to undermine her opinion.

Dear Menashe Darash: You seem to have studied too much with the Toldot Aharon Chassidim but you have absolutely NO idea about their women's studies. A TA woman does not constantly throw around with expressions from the Talmud !

Finally the Shadchan sends Tami Hindele to her aunt in Haifa. An aunt living in the Haifa area of Seret - Vishnitz.

I do not think that a TA girl alone would travel to an aunt in Seret - Vishnitz in order to stay with her and get a clear mind in order to agree to a Shidduch.

Then Tami Hindele gets hit by a car and then this guy of Iraqi origin shows up in the novel. I think his name is Michael, of Iraqi origin, Zionist and secular. And guess what ... the two fall in love.

I am not a psychologist but dear Menashe Darash, it seems to me that your book is entirely based on your imagination about having an affair with a Toldot Aharon woman. This is what you project in your book. Tami Hindele, okay, your imagined character, but this Iraqi guy is you, isn't he.

Actually Menashe Darash was very brave giving an e - mail address in his book and I was thinking about contacting him. But, as it looks so far, the book is just bad literature and there is no need of talking to the author. If I wasn't writing about it, I had thrown the book into the garbage right when the Iraqui guy appears.

By the way, Menashe Darash lives in Haifa and is of Iraqui origin.

Free Israeli Museums during Pessach

B"H

Israel's "Bank Hapoalim" is, as every Pessach, sponsoring cultural events. Anyone can visit the following museums or further institutions for FREE during this upcoming Pessach:

1. Israel Museum Jerusalem, 2. The Haifa Zoo, 3. Tel Aviv's Art Museum, 4. Botanical Garden in Jerusalem, 5. The Ben Gurion House in Tel Aviv, 6. The Latrun Military Museum, 7. The Bloomfield Museum in Jerusalem, 8. Museum Lochamei HaGeta'ot (Ghetto Fighters), 9. Museum Ashdod, 10. Museum Herzliya.

An entire list of 46 museum and nature parks in Hebrew only !

Mea Shearim's Gender Separation




B"H


Restaurant owners in Jerusalem's ultra - Orthodox areas such as Ge'ulah or Mea Shearim cannot complain about not making enough profits. Especially Ge'ulah's shopping street Malchei Israel is full of shops and small restaurants like falafel, shwarma, pizza, bagel, ice - cream as well as great Ashkenazi food at the "Stissel" restaurant.


Everyone seems to complain about the plans of some extreme haredi (ultra - Orthodox) groups introducing a gender separation on buses. A rather complicated subject and so far, private buses with separate seating started running.


But how about the gender separation in those small restaurants in the area ?

At least ten years ago, small Falafel shops in Mea Shearim Street / corner Kikar Shabbat as well as in Malchei Israel Street started separate seating for their customers. I remember that, once in a bagel store, I had to sit in the back and males were sitting near the entrance.
This particular bagel store closed a long time ago but separate seating does still exit.


Once I walked into "Stissel" restaurant in Malchei Israel Street, ordered shnitzel, rice, vegetables and the best Kishke I have ever even in my life and had to look for a women's table. All tables around were occupied by men and the Sephardi guy serving told some men to move to another table so that I could sit there. I am not a friend of this separation but at "Stissel" I didn't care because the food is unbelievable tasty.


I may go again today and check out if the separations are still going on. Probably YES.

108th Birthday of the Lubavitcher Rebbe

B"H

Chabad is preparing for a big event:
The seventh and last Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson z"l would celebrate his 108th birthday on 11 Nissan (26 March).


Israel's Chabad Meshichistim (those Chabadnikim who believe that the Rebbe is the Meshiach) are preparing a huge celebration in Tel Aviv's Nokia Hall. Entrance Fee: 35 Shekels (approx. 9 Dollar).


Details about the Rebbe:
Chabad.Org

Faked handmade Mazzot


B"H

No matter if Hechsherim (kosher certificates) or Mazzot for Pessach - fraud is just everywhere. People have to be very careful what to eat and from whom. Many religious Jews only buy or eat from / at places where they know the owner and his business practises.

Especially on Pessach, one has to be extremely careful and every year anew we hear from faked Mazzot.

HERE is the latest incident !

Daylight Saving in Israel



Daylight saving in Israel is starting this upcoming Friday. Clocks will be put one hour ahead from Thursday to Friday night !

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Where were the Forefathers buried ?

B"H

You may call me a heretic but, nevertheless, I don't think that every Kever (grave) of one of our forefathers is really his / her grave. I have strong doubts whether today's grave of Aharon (Moshe's brother) in Jordan, the grave of Yosef in Shechem (Nablus) or the grave of Rachel (Immenu - our foremother) are the authentic graves. How do we know the exact locations after
thousands of years ?

What if Kever Rachel (Rachel's grave) is a few kilometres further away or even many miles ? How are we supposed to know where Aharon is buried ?

I heard that a Jordanian Arab is in charge of Aharon's grave. Once you get there you have to rent a donkey and climb up a mountain. If the Arab on top is in the mood or you are willing to bribe him, he may show you Aharon's grave.

The truth we will only find out when the resurrection of the death is going to take place. 
What a surprise when some woman is jumping out of Rachel's grave and Rachel is getting up at a completely location.:-)

Rabbi Ovadiah Yosef's Decrees on Organ Donations, Kaddish and Suicide

B"H


The spiritual leader of the Shas party, Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, has declared in latest set of religious rulings that Jews who donate their bodies to science or commit suicide do not deserve to be mourned in the traditional Jewish way.


Yosef published recently a new volume in his well-known series of books under the title of Chazon Ovadia, which contains laws concerning Shabbat, medicine, burial rituals, holidays and other topics.


In the new volume, Rabbi Ovadia rules on topics focusing around mourning and burial practices relating to various irregular cases that go against the traditional Jewish law, such as donating one's organs, cremation, and suicide.
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"He who donates his body to science, to have his organs dissected, even though his intention is to advance scientific research, he is committing a serious offense, and might be relinquishing the chance of resurrection of his soul and body, and therefore we must not mourn his death," Rabbi Ovadia wrote.

Pessach Cleaning



Don't forget to make you laundry and your Streimel KASHER LE'PESSACH !


The Toldot Aharon Rebbe in Agrippas Street


Agrippas Street - Downtown Jerusalem



B"H

Yesterday, I was walking around in Agrippas Street (Jerusalem) in the late afternoon and to my biggest surprise, the van of the Toldot Aharon Rebbe stood right next to me in a traffic jam. A light brown mini van (bus) with the Rebbe in the front seat next to his driver.

By the way: No, I did not say HELLO !
The Rebbe kept the curtain next to his window a little closed but I saw him from the front.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Pushed behind the Mechitzah

B"H

There are plenty of Orthodox women who are interested in higher Jewish learning. As soon as they go to a Shiur, they become like vacuum cleaners; they shuffle in as much as they can and sometimes it doesn't even matter what subject it is. Especially when you are on the edge of becoming religious and thus trying to learn, you are interested in anything concerning Judaism. Mussar, Halacha, Torah, Jewish history, you name it.

In my national religious days, I once went to the Jerusalem men's Yeshiva "Machon Me'ir" in order to listen to a lecture. I don't remember what it was about and it turned out that the women behind the Mechitzah hardly heard anything the Rabbi was saying.

There are plenty of classes but when you take a closer look you will realize that the good and interesting classes are only for men. Let's take Chabad near Shenkin Street in Tel Aviv as an example: The men study Halachot and the chassidic Parasha whereas the women learn about Biblical women and the task as a woman.

What if I would like to learn the Parasha in a chassidic way ? Am I forced to look for a different Shiur ?

Many times it is happening that women "only" study some women's issues and the men nearby do the more interesting subjects. Even when the women try to listen to the men's side, they are told to keep their ears on their side.

Why not more classes on higher Jewish learning for women ?
A complaint I do hear a lot. From women, of course and not from the males.

International Justice System


Chassidut Gur throws tenants out of "Beit Warsha"

B"H

For a few weeks now, Mea Shearim Pashkevilim (news posters) have been warning the local population that "Beit Warsha - Warsaw House" is going to be demolished. The tenants will be thrown out of their houses and the landlord is going to build a shopping center. The entire neighbourhood would be in danger due to upcoming immodest behaviour of new people walking in from the outside.
The main concern, however, is that people are simply being thrown out of their apartments because someone wants to make money.

And who is this someone or, in other words, the landlord ?

Chassidut Gur !

From every tenant who passes away, the apartment is given to a Gerrer Chassid. This way, Chassidut Gur is, slowly slowly, taking over the apartments in "Beit Warsha". As soon as this is going to happen, the houses will be demolished and the shopping center is making its way.

A huge demonstration took place yesterday. The police showed up and the tenants made a fuss.
Don't forget that Chassidut Gur has enormous influence, as Yaakov Litzman is part of the Israeli government. It was Litzman who just won over Netanyahu and the cabinet decided to give Millions of Shekels to the Barzilai Hospital in Ashkelon. One of the hospital owners is Chassidut Gur.

As a matter of fact, Gur together with Litzman will get any governmental help they can to get the tenants out of "Beit Warsha" !










All demonstration photos here:

http://www.bhol.co.il/forum/topic.asp?cat_id=4&topic_id=2768364&forum_id=771

http://www.bhol.co.il/forum/topic.asp?whichpage=3&topic_id=2768364&forum_id=771

Robots celebrating a Passover Seder

B"H

The modern hightech way of celebrating a Seder:

Yahrzeit of the Apta Rebbe



B"H

On Shabbat, we commemorated the Yahrzeit of the famous Apta (Opatov) Rebbe, Rabbi Avraham Joshua Heshel.

Rabbi Avraham Joshua Heshel was born in 1748 and passed away on 5 Nissan 1825. He was known as the Apta Rav and remained famous until today.

He was born in Zmigrod, near Rzeszov, as the son of Rabbi Shmuel of Neustadt. In 1763, he married Chaya Sarah, the daughter of Rabbi Yaakov Titkin. In 1788, he became the Rabbi of Kolbuszov, where he lived in severe poverty. It was in there that Rabbi Moshe Leib of Sassov introduced him to Chassidut and his mentor, Rabbi Elimelech of Lizhensk.

In 1800, Rabbi Avraham Joshua became Rabbi of Opatov (Apta). After a unhappy stay in Iasi (Moldavia), he moved to Medziborz . However, it is unknown if he was the official Rabbi there.

He was survived by two sons (Rabbi Yitzchak Me'ir and Rabbi Yosef Moshe) and three daughters (Yocheved, Dinah and Rachel).

His grandson Rabbi Meshullam Zusya of Zinkov published his work OHEV ISRAEL in Zhitomir in 1863.

The Apta Rebbe was opposed to asceticism and emphasized the love for Klal Israel. He stressed that it was the purpose of the people to seek the nearness of G - d by sanctifying all their thoughts and activities.

He believed that he had lived before. That he had been a high priest (Cohen HaGadol) or a King of Israel. Thus he maintained that he had to go through various reincarnations because his love of Israel had not been perfected.
________________

Sources:

- M.E. Gutmann, Migdolei HaHasidut, pp. 172 - 233

- The Encyclopedia of Hasidism by Tzvi M. Rabinowicz


Link:

Sunday, March 21, 2010

How to bake Mazza Shemurah

Temple Institute wants to offer Pessach Sacrifice

B"H

Several halachic issues occur in this case and Jews should not offer any sacrifices (Korbanot). However, Christians and unstable Jews will go for it.

Anti - Semitism Today

B"H

Highly recommended:


Picture of the Day

Anyone making Aliyah should learn HEBREW in order to communicate in this language and become a REAL Israeli !



Relaxing

B"H


The Shabbat turned out to be sunny and warm. Not too warm but something like a European April day.


I spent the Shabbat in the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Nachlaot which is located next to the huge Sacher Park. On a sunny Shabbat, the park usually attracts countless visitors. When I arrived, several Hundred people were already sitting on the grass or walking around. Most of them were talking a walk to the nearby famous Rose Garden.


The secular made barbecues, others were banging on their bongo drums and several Haredim (Ultra - Orthodox) were laying on the grass. No one bothered anyone and everything went more than peaceful.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Shabbat Shalom

B"H

Cloudy weather and too cold for the season. This is the weather forecast for this upcoming Shabbat.

Sometimes I am in my great spiritual mood and start running to any kind of chassidic event. At other times I am just the complete opposite and I guess that so far, I am somewhere in between today.

It is wrong to judge an entire society when you hear about negative issues going on. However, this week I read about certain Takanot in a book and I was a kind of devastated. How can I, at least for the moment, look into some people's eyes knowing what they do ? 
Or to define it properly: You hear about the internal group laws and suddenly you realize how people act.

People can do whatever they like and anyone has to decide for himself if he wants to stay in a chassidic group and listen to a Rebbe or not. Nevertheless, there are times when I just need a break and get a clear mind.

But, as I said, I am not yet sure about this Shabbat.

At the moment, I am still in Tel Aviv where it is quite cold. Later on, I am going to return to Jerusalem. Pessach is right ahead of us and there is a definitely more intense holiday feeling in Jerusalem than in Tel Aviv. Nevertheless, I am going to spend most of the Pessach holiday in Tel Aviv, at the coast and I may go to Safed and Tiberias for a day or two. It is an Ashkenazi custom not to visit any cemeteries during Chol HaMoed Pessach and Sukkot (the intermediate holidays). However, I would like to go to the Rambam's grave in Tiberias and maybe to the Arizal's in Safed (Rabbi Yitzchak Luria).

I can't wait until Pessach because then it is time to relax. Freedom without running to work.

Just a short remark: I have received a few e - mails I still need to answer. This way, I am just letting those people know that I haven't forgotten about them answering their questions.

"Shabbat Shalom - Gut Schabbes" to all of you !

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Blood Libel before Pessach



B"H

It is a very sad part of Jewish history that especially during the Middle Ages, European Jewry was accused of using blood of Christian children for healing purposes. By drinking Christian blood, Jewish males would raise their sexual desires.

Sick but extremely popular ideas in those days. Responsible for spreading such rumours was the church and countless Jews were killed. The worst times were around the Passover (Pessach) holiday because Jews were also accused of using Christian blood for baking their Pessach Mazzot. Any time a Christian child disappeared, the Jewish population was instantly accused of having killed the child.

The first time the blood libel appeared was in England during the 12th century. Afterwards, the blood libel spread in other European countries such as Spain, Italy, Poland or Russia. The Nazis of the Third Reich loved to take over all those ridiculous ideas from the Middle Ages, as we can see in Julius Streicher's anti - Semitic propaganda paper "Der Stürmer".

Officially the blood libel seems to have disappeared due to modern society. However, when I was still living and working in Germany in 1999, I used to have a Polish colleague who once told me that Jews like to drink Christian blood during Pessach. I was shocked when I heard that but didn't succeed in convincing her that this is all a lie.

This Shabbat we start reading the 3rd Book of Moshe, Sefer Vayikra - Leviticus. The Parasha, also called "Vayikra", mostly deals with the sacrifices (Korbanot) in the Temple. In Vayikra 3:17 we read that G - d commanded the Jews NOT to eat any blood not forbidden fats (Chelev). Those of you dealing with Kashrut (kosher) laws know how careful meat has to be kashered in order to get all the blood out. There is even special salt we for this purpose.

The Talmud Tractate Kiddushin 37b teaches us that G - d gave us this commandment only for the times when there is a Temple. In case there was no Temple, the result would be that the law doesn’t apply anymore. However, the same Gemara further teaches and proves to us that the commandment does apply in times where there is no Temple. No matter where we live, we Jews have to refrain from consuming blood and forbidden fats. Even in the Diaspora (Galut).


Link:

Countering Anti - Semitism

"Crime Scene" - How the Church faked the Jewish Torah

Rebbe Clips

B"H

Various Youtube clips showing all kinds of chassidic Rebbes. The video collection is definitely interesting, however, the commercial ads on the blog seem slightly overdone. Especially the top advertising with the Tallitot and other Judaica is extremely confusing.


Nevertheless, the idea is very simple: Take a few Youtube videos and start earning money ! :-)

Picture of the Day

Pessach is right ahead !


 

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Updates: Toldot Aharon Book & Mea Shearim - Off - The - Derech - Girl

B"H

1. Almost two weeks ago  I found out about the real identity of the Mea Shearim girl shown in the TV report "Leaving the Fold". Shortly after, I got in touch with the production company in order to let them know that they should have published the true identity in the movie and not let the public think that she was born in Mea Shearim.
The response was that there was no response. Apparently the producers are more interested in selling / publishing the movie and a Mea Shearim girl (even when she is a fake) sells better than a Baalat Teshuva who failed.

2. I started reading Menashe Darash's book about the Toldot Aharon. In his book "The Rabbi's Daughter From Mea Shearim" (in Hebrew only), he calls Chassidut Toldot Aharon "Shomrei Torat Israel".

No wonder why the group tried its best to avoid any publication because Darash lists their internal sex Takanot concerning the wedding night. The Takanot refer to the behaviour of the groom and how he should explain the necessary details before they go to bed and start their sex Mitzvah.

I just wonder how he got hold of those Takanot. Either someone made a mistake and just gave them to him or the group must have really thought that he is planning to become a member. Otherwise no one would be allowed to know that the grooms are being taught how to have their first sex. Teaching object: A plastic doll.

Picture of the Day


Street Art in Jerusalem

Painted house in Jerusalem's Agrippas Street (near the Mahane Yehudah Market)

70 Years VISHNITZ Education


Here are the photos from the Vishnitzer celebration

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mordechai was a Jew and not a Zionist !



B"H

Just recently, I got hold of a rather weird Parashat HaShavua (Parashat Parah) published by the Mea Shearim "Neturei Karta". On the back of the page there was a little box with the title "Wake Up". Unfortunately, I haven't found out which of the two Mea Shearim Neturei Karta groups is responsible for this Parasha Daf: Rabbi Yoelish Kroisz or Rabbi Israel Hirsch.

However, among others, it said in the "Awakening Box" that "Mordechai was a Jew (see Megillath Esther) and not a Ziyoini - מרדכי היה יהודי ולא ציוני".

While reading this, I was just wondering what Mordechai would have said to this statement.:-)

"The Rebbe's Daughter" by Menashe Darash

B"H

Some years ago, the following incident took place: See article in HAARETZ !

The author of the book "בת הרה - The Rebbe's Daughter" obviously agreed not to publish the book. Although he claims that the story is a complete fiction, he may have published certain internal secrets of Chassidut Toldot Aharon.

There is a law in Israel that of any book published in the country, one copy has to be given (for free) to the National Library in Jerusalem. Obviously Menashe Darash had done so and now I am holding a "forbidden" copy of that book in my hands !

עיני הרנטגן - Rabbi Yaakov Ifergan

B"H

In Israel, the so - called "Roentgen Rabbi (X - Ray Rabbi)" YAAKOV IFERGAN is extremely famous. The Rabbi lives in Netivot, he is Morroccan and used to be, as far as I know, a student of the famous "Baba Sali" until he discovered that he can get famous as well when becoming a "freelancer". When you visit the southern Israeli town of Netivot today, you may find more Jews running to Rabbi Yaakov Ifergan than going to the grave of the Baba Sali. There has been a long dispute between Ifergan and the Baba Sali Abuchatzeira family due to competition.

Personally I am very much against money business any Rabbi does. Donations for Mosdot, okay, why not but money and political let alone economical influence and power ?
Influence and money, this is what Rabbi Ifergan stands for. Israel's famous and rich love him and donate. He would inspire them religiously or whatever.

Here is a report about Rabbi Yaakov Ifergan broadcasted on Israeli TV a few days ago. The report is in Hebrew and those of you who understand the language can watch it here:

http://www.bhol.co.il/news_read.asp?id=15859&cat_id=2

Belz Bar Mitzvah & Customs

B"H


The day before yesterday, Sunday, a huge Bar Mitzvah took place in Chassidut Belz (Jerusalem). One of the grandsons of the Belzer Rebbe named Zvi celebrated his Bar Mitzvah.




Why did the Belzer show up in white socks at the Bar Mitzvah ?

It is a Belzer custom to wear black socks on Shabbat but white socks on holidays or Smachot (Belzer simches).



Monday, March 15, 2010



B"H

Tonight (Monday) and tomorrow, the Jewish world is celebrating Rosh Chodesh Nissan - the beginning of the Jewish month of Nissan. As I have mentioned many times before, a new month can  for a new personal beginning / change in our life.


The months of Nissan marks the beginning of spring. Especially in Israel we can feel that at the moment. A heat wave took over the entire country and, unfortunately, the rain stopped. However, it is still early and we may have some more rain. Rosh Chodesh Nissan was an important date in Jewish history because Moshe eracted the Mishkan (Tabernacle) in the desert.


If we strictly follow the Torah, then the new year should with Nissan. However, according to the moon calendar, Rosh HaShana is taking place in Tishrei (approx. September / October. The Talmud Tractate Rosh HaShana lists various discussions whether the Jewish new year starts with Nissan or in Tishrei. The Torah commentatore Ohr HaChaim, however, provides a brilliant comment on this question:


"In Nissan G - d thought about creating the world and in Tishrei He made His plan come true". (symbolically speaking !)

According to the kabbalistic book Sefer Yetzirah (The Book of Creation), each month of the Jewish calendar symbolizes a letter, a tribe, a horoscope, a sense and an organ.
The letter of the months of Nissan is the Heh ה, the horoscope is Aries, the tribe is Yehudah, the sense is speaking and the organ is the right leg.

The great task of Nissan is the Pessach cleaning. Kabbalistic literature teaches us that the forbidden Chametz (wheat, barley, oats, spelt or rye) symbolizes our own Yetzer HaRah (evil side within us). By cleaning the house thouroughly, we try to get rid of our Yetzer HaRah.



Chodesh Tov - חודש טוב - A successful and healthy month of Nissan to all readers !