Tuesday, May 31, 2011

How I became Jewish


Christian Missionaries in Brooklyn and Crown Heights

B”H

Thanks to those readers commentating and thus providing me with interesting and helpful links about Christian missionary activities in chassidic New York neighbourhoods ! Honestly, I would have never guessed that missionaries dare entering haredi areas. About a year ago, the Satmarer Kiryat Yoel in Bnei Brak had a missionary problem but, as we know Satmar, they got rid of those missionaries very fast.

Christian Missionary Mail in Brooklyn



Chabad giving out warnings about Christian missionary activities in Crown Heights



A Christian Missionary creeping around in Crown Heights / New York trying to prostelyze Jews.


Christian Missionaries making their literature look "Jewish" and thus confuse Jews.

Jews receiving missionary mail


Picture of the Day


Seen in Tel Aviv

Photo: Miriam Woelke

Monday, May 30, 2011

How vicious Christian Missionaries try to conquer Israel





B”H

The Israeli anti - missionary site "Jewish Israel" published the latest figures on Christian missionary activities in Israel:

The current figures being thrown around by numerous Jewish, Christian, and US government sources are an estimated 20,000 "Jewish believers in jesus" and 150 congregations throughout Israel.

Moreover, "Jewish Israel" is providing its readers with a link to a messianic website whose youth is organizing a trip to Israel taking place next month. I went a step further and had a look at the main site of those nutty messianics and found out that an earlier trip had already taken place last October.

Honestly, I don't care where these messianics go. And if they go to hell, I couldn't care less. However, the previous tour itinerary reveals a lot: The messianic group was obviously lodging at the Kibbutzim Ramat Rachel (Jerusalem) and En Gev (at the Sea of Galilee / Kinneret). Kibbutz Ramat Rachel is well - known for renting out its facilities, such as guest houses and lecture halls, to Christian missionaries.
Expert tour guides from the Israeli army volunteer programme SAR EL are being announced and I wonder whether the guides knew what kind of idolworship tourists they guide or whether SAR EL knows about the idolworship activities of their tour guides. 

I don't like giving the link to an idolworship and anti - Jewish website but for those who need a proof, click HERE

And here is another proof for how vicious Christian missionaries try to get Jews into their idolworship ideology:

"There are people who suffer from depression and insecurity. We treat them, and gently bring them to Christianity… Dear donors, we can ease the distress and lead people to Christianity."

This astounding confession, signed by two missionaries who operate in Israel, Sonya and Charles Reichenbrach, comes from an internal memo of the "Rea-Israel" cult that was sent to donors in Switzerland.

It was obtained by Yad L'Achim and is further proof that missionaries prey on the weakest sectors of society, taking advantage of distress to bring Jews to Christianity.

Read the whole story on YAD LE'ACHIM !

A divorced haredi woman was thrown out of her house due to modesty reasons

B"H

This week's Torah Parasha is called NASSO and it mainly teaches us about a SOTAH. In modern Hebrew, the word Sotah means "Prostitute" but in haredi circles you can also use the word for a Jewish woman who is not behaving too modestly. She doesn't necessarily have to be a prostitute and some Haredim think that a certain haredi woman wearing a shorter skirt already is a prostitute (Sotah).

The Torah, however, is telling us about the procedure taking place in Jerusalem's former Temples when a husband is suspecting his wife of betraying him with another man. First, the husband has to warn his wife and if she doesn't listen, the husband can report her. In a special procedure, the wife has to drink the "Me'i Sotah - Sotah Waters" and when she is guilty of betraying her husband, the waters do something really ugly to her stomach and the woman will die.

I was just reminded of Parashat Nasso when I read a haredi forum mentioning the case of a divorced haredi woman who apparently got thrown out of her house due to immodest behaviour. In case you have become so terrible curious of what the woman had done: There is no answer to it. At least not in the forum although everybody is dying to know what the woman did and how she got thrown out of her house.

Elad is a small, mainly haredi town, near Tel Aviv and Petach Tikwah. At least two incidents have happened so far where a self - appointed "Holy Committee" decided to print Pashkevilim in order to let the wider public know other people's immodest behaviour. This, on the other hand, really reminds me of the Nazis or Iran.

Anonymous people found out about the "immodest" (whatever that means) behaviour of a certain couple living in Elad and about the above mentioned woman and announced their doings on Pashkevilim glued onto public buildings such as Synagogues. Some Elad inhabitants said that this is not the right way to do it when children read those posters and see that Mrs and Mr so - and - so behave in whatever way.

It remains unclear what the couple and the divorced woman did or didn't do but it really shocked me when I read about the public announcements asking the population to keep away from those people. I don't think that G - d has ever intended such denunciations and people participating in this are nothing but a Chilul Hashem (desecration of G - d's name). If you have a complaint or anything to say, go to a Rabbi or talk to the people in person.


Poster from the Israeli town of Elad.

American Yeshiva Students in Jerusalem and their Drug Abuse


Last Simchat Beit HaShoeva in Mea Shearim: Drunk American Yeshiva students yelling out of a window in Mea Shearim. 

All Photos Here !
 
B"H

"Hi, my name is Jacob, in Hebrew Yaakov, and I originally come from Boca Raton / Florida. Now I study at Ohr Sameach (a litvishe Yeshiva in Jerusalem) and this changed my life. Back in Boca Raton, I used to be a drug addict and was hanging around with really bad people. My parents sent me to Ohr Sameach and now I have discovered my Jewish heritage and that life offers so much more than drugs. I don't need any drugs anymore but have Torah !"

I heard this speech of a young guy in his early twenties a three or four years ago. Everyone hearing it was impressed. Forget about AISH and Ohr Sameach doing a bit of brainwashing but this guy getting away from drugs ... wow. What a story !

Only a few months later, a friend of mine and I saw the saw guy running and screaming around near Mea Shearim. Drugged again and this was the last time we saw him. Maybe Ohr Sameach kicked him out and Yaakov is back in Boca Raton where his parents have to deal with him again.

Drug problems are nothing new in Israeli Yeshivot and it is well - known that especially American youngsters studying in Israel either deal with drugs, use them or both. Not every student and I am not generalizing but many. Today almost every Israeli Yeshiva has a drug advisor or social worker. Especially since the deadly incident some years back where a young Anglo student studying in Telshe Stone (near Jerusalem) died of an overdose.

Unfortunately, many American, South African, Australian or British parents have the idea that by sending their looser children to Israel, they are getting rid of the problem. Kids using drugs at home will continue doing so  elsewhere. The same with violent kids and those getting drunk all the time. However, plenty of parents think that a Yeshiva should deal with the child and maybe the looser child turns into a normal person being able to deal to live his life. 

Those parents choose the easy way out and push all responsibility over to the Yeshiva, the Israeli police and social workers instead of dealing with the problem at home. No one is getting sober in a Yeshiva programme but only disturbing other or even trying to get others into trouble. Parents, in particular the ones with money, obviously don't see it this way and just want the kid out of the house. Even better, send the child as far away as possible. 

The results we see in Jerusalem and it doesn't matter if it is MIR, AISH or OHR SAMEACH. Young students with problems at home will always carry their problems with them and suddenly Israel has to deal with them. A very easy way of life until the kiddies are being thrown out and sent back to where they came from.

The Six - Day - War in 1967 and Yom Yerushalaim

B"H

This Wednesday, Israel and especially Jerusalem are celebrating YOM YERUSHALAIM; the reunification of Jerusalem by Israel winning the Six - Day - War in 1967. Usually the national religious Mizrachi movement is celebrating the day with the "March of the Flags" from Jerusalem's Gan Sacher (Sacher Park) to the Kotel (Western Wall). Young national religious Zionists are euphorically waving Israeli flags. Hardly any secular or haredi Jew is participating in this march. Besides some PR - trucks from the Nana - Breslovers and Chabad.

When you live in Jerusalem, you realize how important the unification was for the city itself. I am not necessarily referring to Judaism but to the daily life. Today it sometimes seems that walls and separation fences still exist. Besides the by the government built separation wall due to Palestinian terrorism. On a daily basis, Arabs walk around in West - Jerusalem. They shop there and they work there. When we, as Jews, go to East Jerusalem and walk around in Palestinian neighbourhoods, we are not welcomed and many times cursed or being yelled at.

Despite the attempt of Palestinians faking Jewish history, here is a video about the Six - Day - War in June 1967:

THE DA VINCI CODE in Judaism


B"H

Its been a few years and Dan Brown's book "The Da Vinci Code" has lost a lot of its fame. Not only the book but the movie was famous. However, the author Dan Brown made the vital mistake of not following his old routine: Research and the courage of expressing controversial ideas despite the criticism coming from the church and Opus Dei. 

After a long time, I watched the movie again a few days ago and finally came to the conclusion that the plot is rather boring. Judaism doesn't have a problem with anyone being married and lets say that the Jew J. had a wife - so what ? All our forefathers were married and so were Moshe, King David and all the others. And, as the AISH article says, marriage makes all those famous Torah figures human. 

Okay, it is Hollywood but The Da Vinci Code doesn't give us any details about one of the two main character's Jewish background and doesn't even intent explaining anything. How does it work when a false Meshiach is married, has children and the children are getting married. Who is worthy of marrying into the false Meshiach family ? 

When the last descendant of J., in the movie it is the woman SOPHIE, discovers that she actually comes from the family tree of King David (don't forget, it is Hollywood !!!) she stays with this Prior community and lets them protect her. This is not a nice Jewish end and so I will rewrite it:

Sophie finds out about her ancestors, she decides to learn more about her heritage called Judaism and announces that she is going to Jerusalem in order to study at a women's seminary. Or she, at least, goes to Chabad in Paris or London.

This would have been a more romantic end. At least from the Jewish point of view. The descendant of the false Meshiach doing Teshuva and finding back to her roots. :-)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Kaliv visiting Belz


Just recently, the Kaliver Rebbe who lives in Jerusalem was visiting the Belzer Rebbe who also lives in Jerusalem. In fact, both main Synagogues of the two chassidic groups are not too far away from each other. 

All pictures HERE !

The Kaliver Rebbe is the only chassidic Rebbe without a beard, as he was imprisoned in Auschwitz and tortured.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Comments from Non - Jewish Sources

B"H

Gentiles are welcomed to comment on this blog but without quoting any strange sources such as the NT ! 
I received two comments with quotes from J. and deleted them. This is a Jewish blog and I won't allow any disturbing quotations.

Heavy Rain Showers in Tel Aviv


Rain in Tel Aviv. I took this photo near the Central Bus Station about two months ago.

Photo: Miriam Woelke

B”H

This morning, we woke up facing heavy rain showers in Tel Aviv. Extremely unusual for this time of the year. Usually there is no rain falling in Israel from April to October. Nevertheless, we were pleased to see rain and, at least, it cleaned up the air. Two hours later, the heat came back and the strong humidity was crawling underneath our clothes.

Friday, May 27, 2011

AISH HATORAH is washing your Brain ?


Seen in Jerusalem

Photo: Miriam Woelke

B”H

A secular Israeli colleague of mine keeps on teasing me with my religious knowledge. Now she met this young American who is studying at the beginner’s programme of the AISH HATORAH Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Actually he doesn’t seem to know himself whether he wants to stay at AISH or leave. Sometimes he escapes to Tel Aviv and then he changes his mind and runs back to Jerusalem.

My colleague asked me several times whether AISH is brainwashing its students. I know that there are different opinions going around about the AISH policy and if the programme is still the same Rabbi Noah Weinberg z"l once introduced.

My colleague, although female, went to Jerusalem and spoke to some of the students. However, she wasn’t convinced and still thought that AISH may brainwash her friend. I told her that it is everyone’s choice whether he wants to study at AISH or not. Every student has a free choice and if he doesn’t like it or doesn’t want to get involved, he is free to leave.

On the other hand, once a guy enters the real AISH programme in Jerusalem, he may be forced to wear a white shirt, black pants and a black litvishe hat after a while. Still in the beginner’s Essential Programme, you can do whatever you want and no one makes a comment on your Bob Marley Rasta look or your jeans. Things change when you stay longer and become a real student. Then the pressure starts and the Rabbi’s may push you into a certain direction. However, not only AISH is following this kind of policy but also other Yeshivot. 
________________________________

Links:



Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tel Aviv and its Luxury Apartments


My pictures show two of the three Akirov - Towers in Pinkas Street / Tel Aviv

Photo: Miriam Woelke

B”H

Tel Aviv is has been building luxury apartments for the past few years and continues doing so. Despite the fact that most inhabitants are not able to afford any luxury, the city keeps on trying to attract rich investors. Including wealthy Jews from France and the US who don't really care when they destroy our local price system and people who actually live in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem are being pushed out of some of their own neighbourhoods. 

The Belz Yeshiva in Nachlaot / Jerusalem


Photo: Miriam Woelke

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Haredi World this Week

Only 4 % of the Universe are known to us



B”H

Can you imagine that no one has an explanation for 96 % of the universe ? Only 4 % of the universe consist of galaxies, planets and stars. The other 96 % consist of “Dark Energy” and “Dark Matter”. We are neither able to feel nor to comprehend those two “existences”, "causes", “substances” or whatever you would like to call them.


Link:

Gerald Schroeder and the "Age of the Universe"

Izhar Ashdot: "Rikud Katan"

B"H

For a long time, I have been a great fan of the Israeli singer IZHAR ASHDOT and his song "Rikud Katan" (Two little souls went out for a small Dance) simply reminds me of a pub meeting with two friends here in Tel Aviv a few days ago.

Springtime in Tel Aviv



Photos: Miriam Woelke

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

On Parshat Bamidbar and People running after outside Appearances

B”H

In his commentary on this week’s Parashat Bamidbar, the Chatam Sofer (Rabbi Moshe Schreiber, 1762 – 1839) quotes from the Midrash Rabbah stating that Har Sinai and Har Hamoriah are two opposites. Both mountains are not the highest and mightiest in the world but G – d chose Har Sinai for a special purpose and after the purpose was done, Har Sinai lost its holiness and became an ordinary mountain again. Har Hamoriah, on the other hand, has never lost its special meaning and the presence of G – d’s Shechinah. Although there is no Temple at the moment. 

G – d chose Har Hamoriah for a special mission. As we know, creation took place from the Even HaShtiah (Foundation Stone) at Har Hamoriah. When Adam Harishon and Chava were thrown out of Gan Eden, G – d placed them on Har Hamoriah. Here, Avraham wanted to sacrifice Yitzchak and here, Yaakov had his dream with the ladder.

Couldn’t have G – d chosen a different mountain in Israel ? How about the highest mountain ?
As a matter of fact, being the highest and mightiest doesn’t always stand for the best. Just look at us humans. In most cases, the strongest looking is not always the most powerful, intelligent and modest (humbled) person. On the contrary, as He may even be strong, his brain and modest behaviour is far left behind. I personally prefer intellectual and academic people compared to these brainless musclemen. 

The same with Har Hamoriah. It is not the highest mountain in Israel and it doesn’t look like deserving a special honour and attention but G – d is showing us that everything in this world has its purpose; and the purpose of the lowest object, animal or person can even reach higher dimensions than the accomplishment of the greatest hero.

Unfortunately too many people today, especially women, tend to search for their personal hero. As soon as they meet a guy they project all their subconscious ideas and desires into the other person (their hero). Tell a woman a great story about your male hero life as a soldier, fighter, Rambo, Terminator, etc. and those women with low self – esteem make their dumb choice and go for it. This doesn’t necessarily work in a religious Shidduch or with people following their intellect. However, these women making the dummy choice and run after heros don’t always realize that the main goal why they are behaving like that is the fear of loneliness (according to psychological reports). 

Do we need heros today ?

My personal opinion is that I neither need a soldier nor a Hollywood hero. Having a successful relationship means work. I know that from my past and, unfortunately, I obviously never took the time for working on a falling apart relationship. 

Furthermore, a relationship has to be based on reality and a, more or less, common goal. For what do I need a military hero when he turns out to be a dummy and has no clue who Einstein was ? I am not running after short pleasures but concentrate on a serious relationship. Therefore those people running after the outside appearance of a person rather disgust me and eventually those people will turn out to be very lonely. 

Any person in this world has the potential of being a hero. There is no need for a uniform unless in order to attract some emotional disturbed women. 
I personally don't like the expression HERO but when it comes to it, your neighbour, the sick person suffering in hospital, the child taking care of her mother, the beggar in the street searching for empty bottles, the handicapped, the Rabbi helping the needy, a family providing Shabbat hospitality, a mother searching for food for her children in the garbage, all of them are heros of life.

Astronomy Lectures at Tel Aviv University

B"H

I am a crazy fan of astronomy and every scientific topic around and thus have started going to evening lectures at the Tel Aviv University. Its worth checking out their classes and programmes. 

A great class will be given next week on Wednesday, 1 June.  Here are the details: 




Some lectures are given in English but usually all space topics are being discussed in Hebrew !!!
If you want to get great and professional insights into astronomy and meet other people who share the same passion, then give it a try and come.

Israel: Dairy Products and Eggs are getting more Expensive !

Photo: Miriam Woelke

Starting today, Israelis have to pay more money for dairy products and eggs ! The price for milk will rise about 25 Agorot. 

The price increase for dairy products is about 6,5 %. 

The price for eggs is rising at about 4 %.

Dizengoff / Tel Aviv


Tel Aviv: Dizengoff Street and parts of Dizengoff Center in the background. 

Photo: Miriam Woelke

Monday, May 23, 2011

Lag Ba'Omer 5771 / 2011 in Dushinsky, Edah HaCharedit, Karlin - Pinsk, Toldot Avraham Yitzchak and Zhvil


The Toldot Avraham Yitzchak Rebbe Shmuel Yaakov Kahn lighting his bonfire in Mea Shearim / Jerusalem.



The Toldot Aharon Rebbe David Kahn (the younger brother of the TAY Rebbe Shmuel Yaakov Kahn) lighting his bonfire in Mea Shearim / Jerusalem.

All photos from Dushinsky, the Edah, Karlin - Pinsk or Zhvil HERE !

"Faulty Pedigree" - Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld on Parashat BaMidbar

B"H

The Yiddish word for "Grandson" is "Einikel.
The Yiddish word for "Great - grandson" is "Uhr - einikel".

One time someone complained to Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld about the phenomenon in which people who are totally bereft of any true Jewish content come forth and brag, "You know, I am an uhr - einikel of the Taz (or the Maggid so - and - so, the Rebbe, etc.)".

Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld then quipped, "You know, uhr also means "a watch". Now, a watch that cannot tell you the time is not really a watch at all. A broken uhr is not an uhr at all !"
__________________

Source: 

"Rabbi Yosef Chaim Sonnenfeld on the Parasha"
Compiled by Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Sonnenfeld

Blind Jewish Shidduch Dating


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Lag Ba'Omer in Tel Aviv


Lag Ba'Omer 5771 / 2011 Links


B"H

Some Lag Ba'Omer Photo Links:



Good Morning, Meron





Lag Ba'Omer in Belz / Jerusalem

All Photos HERE !

Beyond our human Understanding



B”H

Many many times I have been explaining that in Judaism we define G – d as an eternal being without form and matter. As a matter of fact, we humans don’t know who G – d really is. No one is able to describe or understand His being because He created us humans with a limited understanding. Not that we are stupid but G – d decided not to give is the ability of understanding the entire universe and everything going on. Therefore it seems totally ridiculous and unnecessary that certain people try to understand everything. Try to figure out the last mysteries of creation and the most hidden mystic sides of G – d. When our understanding is limited anyway, why bother and running after something we wouldn’t grasp ?

G – d created anything in our universe and nothing is happening without Him knowing it.
Nevertheless, there are Jews who keep on asking the question “How did everything look before creation ?” The ARIZAL, Rabbi Yitzchak Luria, taught (see SEFER ETZ CHAIM) that there was no existence besides G – d. Most of us understand this statement as follows: “There was G – d (whatever He is or however He looks) and then there must have been this darkness in a space. Space must have existed and, somehow, G – d was waving around inside this space until He created our universe”.

This understanding is wrong and we humans have a problem grasping the word / concept of NOTHINGNESS. Somehow we are unable of imagining a complete nothingness. Before creation, there was no black hole, no universe, no darkness in a space together with G – d. There was only G – d and darkness was created by Him much later. Only G – d was filling out whatever there was.

Of course, we are curious about all of this. What actually happened before creation ? Who is G – d ? Is He located within our universe or somewhere else beyond ? If G – d is beyond our universe, is there another universe beyond our universe ? Does our universe have walls or an end ? By the way, NASA could send as many spaceships and astronauts as it wants but science tells us that no human would ever make it until the end of the universe. The reason is that such a trip to the “end of the universe” would take much much longer than an astronaut’s average lifetime.

The famous Talmudic commentator Me’iri asked the question how humans can keep on asking those questions about creation when we are unable to understand the answers due to our limited human understanding. Isn’t the entire investigation a waste of time ?

The Maharal of Prague stated (in a commentary on Talmud Chagigah 11) that it is totally ridiculous investigating why G – d created us humans with two legs and not with three or four legs. Would we ever find an answer ? In order to find one we needed to interview G – d and this is impossible. The Maharal suggested that there is one thing we can do: We should appreciate our human existence on two legs !

Stones and Anti - Semitism on Nakba - Day

B”H

Last week, on 15 May, the Arab world "celebrated" its famous Nakba. Nakba stands for "Catastrophe" and is expressing the foundation of the State of Israel on May 15, 1948. 


As we all saw, different Arabs tried to march into Israel. There were attacks at the Syrian and Lebanese border. In the Golan Heights, Syrians, Palestinians and Druse (Israeli Druse participate in the Israeli army but are well - known for their settler beatings and any actions against Jews, e.g. kicking Jews out of Gush Katif and their settlements) succeeded in reaching Israeli territory. The Israeli army did basically nothing and, until today, has been criticized in the Israeli news.


The big mistake of doing nothing is already showing its consequences, as the Arab world is announcing another "storming Israel's border day" on 5 June. 


The following video shows the situation at the Syrian border on Nakba - Day last week. We see Syrians, Druse and Palestinians throwing stones and screaming anti - Jewish slogans.

Lipa Schmeltzer in Concert in Israel


Saturday, May 21, 2011

LIVE from MERON

B"H

LIVE from MERON on Lag Ba'Omer 5771 / 2011:

Lag Ba'Omer in Meron & Tish of the Boyaner Rebbe

B"H

The Ruzhin - Boyan Rebbe in Meron on Lag Ba'Omer 5770 / 2010.


Thousands of Chassidim are on the way to Meron in Northern Israel in order to celebrate Lag Ba'Omer, the 33 day of the Omer Counting. Lag Ba'Omer is also the yahrzeit of the Talmudic and Kabbalistic Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and he is buried in Meron. Hundreds of Jews will be dancing around his grave tonight and tomorrow.

Netanyahu's Response to Barak Hussein Obama


Friday, May 20, 2011

Lag Ba'Omer in Meron


The Haredi World this Week


B"H

The Jewish world is celebrating Lag Ba'Omer (the 33rd day of the Omer counting) and this Saturday night, thousands of Jews will be lighting the traditional bonfires. Especially around the grave of the Talmudic Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai in Meron / Northern Israel. The haredi world, in particular, has been reporting about Lag Ba'Omer for the past two weeks or so and for Haredim, the holiday is extremely important.



At the grave of Rabbi Shimon 



All photos from Meron 24 hours before Lag Ba'Omer HERE !

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Definition of a ZADDIK

B"H

I would like to start a discussion defining the true meaning of a ZADDIK (righteous Jew). In chassidic circles a Rebbe is mostly seen as a ZADDIK. A person who has a close relationship to G - d because this person is so terribly pious and doesn't really live in our lower physical spheres. A ZADDIK always walks in the way of G - d, Torah and anything holy you can imagine. You can believe that every Rebbe is a ZADDIK or you may not ... However, the Alter Rebbe, Rabbi Shneur Zalman of Liadi (1745 - 1812), had a slightly different understanding of what a ZADDIK is. At least, according to his famous book called TANYA
 

Already at the beginning of the first chapter, the Alter Rebbe (also called "Ba'al HaTanya"), gives his own definition of a ZADDIK: 

A ZADDIK is a person who has totally overcome his Yetzer HaRah (the negative side in each of us). Meaning that no temptation whatsoever is able to pull him down but he is able to stick to his pious way and thus, to G - d. 

Basically the Book of Tanya is teaching a Jew how to become a BENONI (an intermediate who is neither a RASHA - evil person - nor a ZADDIK). Our goal has to be striving to become a BENONI who still has his Yetzer HaRah but, in a way, is trying his best to overcome it. At least sometimes.

This definition of the Alter Rebbe seems a bit strange to me. Actually I like his definition but it simply seems to be so impossible of reaching the ZADDIK level today. Just look around and tell me who is able to withdraw himself into holiness only. I hardly see any chassidic Rebbe doing this, as they have to deal with all those worldy community matters. Let alone finances and power quarrels.

My question is how the Alter Rebbe got to his conclusion whereas other Rabbis define a ZADDIK as a righteous person but don't necessarily stress to get rid of his Yetzer HaRah. 

Virtual Visit at Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai in Meron

B"H

Thanks to a reader who provided this great link to the Kever of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai in Meron:


 
 
Or in other words, not each of us has to squeeze himself into the crowd on Lag Ba'Omer.:-)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The "Shabbat - Lag Ba'Omer - Rashbi" Dispute

B"H

The Boyaner Rebbe announced that he is planning to delay his Lag Ba'Omer bonfire and will not light the fire before midnight (Mozzaei Shabbat). Further Rabbis have been announcing the same and keep on warning the religious population not to exaggerate and start any Lag Ba'Omer preparations before Shabbat is over. 

In Israel, Lag Ba'Omer, the 33rd day of the Omer, is extremely important among the Jewish religious population. Then, thousands of people will be traveling to the grave of the RASHBI, Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, in Meron. This year, Lag Ba'Omer is starting this upcoming Mozzaei Shabbat (Saturday night, after Shabbat ends) and leading Rabbis are very concerned about religious Jews breaking Shabbat in order to get to Meron on time. There is a whole discussion going on who is coming when to Meron. Many Rabbis say that Sunday would be the best day to go and not necessarily on Mozzaei Shabbat.

Now the haredi news site KIKAR SHABBAT is reporting that the Israeli government is planning to turn the grave of Rabbi Shimon into a huge tourist attraction. In fact, our government including the Mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, have just become greedy and keep on extending tourism. Can you imagine hundreds of Christians visiting the Kever of the Rashbi ? People, who have nothing to do with Rabbi Shimon.

Furthermore, the Edah HaCharedit is giving out a warning that the Reform Movement is planning to build a "Mystic Center" near the Kever. The Tanna himself will turn around in his grave !

The Israeli government is trying to turn our entire country into a Disneyland for Gentile tourists !

The REA - ISRAEL Cult is killing Jewish Souls





B”H

As a matter of fact, the news is not new at all. There are Christian missionary organizations opening soup kitchens and offering any available help to Jews in Israel. Not because they are so full of "Chesed - Kindness" but with one vicious goal: Prostelyzing Jews and thus bring them to Christianity. 


Especially German or German speaking missionary organizations located in Israel try prostelyzing Holocaust survivors. In the past, Jews were killed in gas chambers. Today, Christian missionaries are trying to kill Jewish souls

How the German speaking "Rea - Israel" organization is trying to get Jews into Christian idol - worship

Details provided by Israel's anti - missionary organization YAD LE'ACHIM:

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

"Pessach Sheni - The Second Pessach"

B"H

There are minor Jewish holidays of whom many Jews simply don't know that they exist. First of all, those holidays are not official and secondly, you necessarily won't find them on every calendar.

During the days of the Second Temple, the Jewish had many more holidays than we have today. Minor holidays which were forgotten after the Temple destruction. Talmud Shabbat 13b, for instance, is teaching us about a scroll called "Megillath Ta'anit" listing at least another 35 holidays compared to the amount we have today.

Tomorrow, Wednesday (18 May), we celebrate "Pessach Sheni - the Second Pessach". Originally the day was thought of providing Jews who were impure during the first Pessach and thus unable to offer the Pessach sacrifice (Korban Pessach) with a second offering chance. The author of "Sha'arei HaMoadim", the third Lubavitcher Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneersohn, 1789 - 1866, said that whoever is leaving out Pessach Sheni after being impure on the first Pessach, is doing so on purpose. Furthermore, the Rebbe stated that people converting to Judaism between the first Pessach and the second Pessach are thus able to sacrifice their Korban Pessach on Pessach Sheni. They are even obligated to keep the second Pessach.

Today we mostly eat a piece of Mazza in order to commemorate Pessach Sheni. The Rambam (Maimonides, 1135 - 1214) explained that Pessach Sheni is an independent holiday from the first one.

What do we learn from having a second Pessach ?

That there is always a second chance in life. If we fail for one or the other reason and it wasn't our fault then G - d may provide us with a second chance.

Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneersohn (the third Lubavitscher Rebbe) stated that Pessach Sheni is an obligation only for those Jews who were unable of sacrificing their Korban Pessach on the first Pessach. Today it is for those who didn't have a Seder on the first night. However, you don't need to start a Seder neither have to clean the house "kasher le'Pessach".

The Chabad - book "Sha'arei HaMoadim" considers Pessach Scheni as a day of Teshuva (return to G - d). We receive the Torah on Shavuot and should therefore dig into ourselves and become aware of the purpose of our lives. How do we cause some Teshuva on Pessach Sheni ? By studying Torah !

The first Pessach is being celebrated in the Jewish month of NISSAN whereas Pessach Sheni is being celebrated in IYAR. In Nissan the upper spiritual worlds influence us in our physical world. On Pessach Sheni, however, it is us in the lower world to influence the upper worlds. Both Pessach holidays thus stand for a completion.

The Pessach sacrifice is only for Jews because the other nations were not Paraoh's slaves in Egypt (see Sha'arei HaMoadim on Pessach Sheni).

Psak Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv: "Who has to pay for the elevator !"

B”H

Another case was brought to Rabbi Yosef Shalom Eliyashiv where five people came to him in order to ask the following:

Four people stood in an elevator, as suddenly a fifth person came and asked if he can get on. The four warned him that the elevator may get stuck but the fifth person insisted on getting on.

Sure enough the elevator got stuck and a repair service had to come.

The question for Rabbi Eliyashiv:
Who actually has to pay the repair costs ? The four people who had been in the elevator first claimed that it was he fifth guy’s fault that the elevator got stuck and, therefore, he has to pay the bill. The fifth person, however, wanted to divide the bill among all five people who were in the elevator.

Rabbi Eliyashiv’s answer:

The person who actually pushed the button and started the elevator has to pay the bill and thus, it doesn’t matter whether it is the fifth or the first person. The elevator got stuck because a person pushed the button causing the elevator to carry out its job.