בס׳ד

"Where does it say that you have a contract with G-d to have an easy life?"

the Lubavitcher Rebbe



"Failure is not the enemy of success; it is its prerequisite."

Rabbi Nosson Scherman



26 Jun 2017

The Parah Adumah

Paula Stern has written an article titled A Soldier’s Mother: CNN’s Alternate Reality after CNN posted an article with the title Israel strikes Syrian military near Golan Heights.

The Washington Post puts the incident more in context with their headline Israel hits Syrian military targets after errant fire reaches its side of the Golan Heights.

Why Have 9 Neighbors Got Cancer?


Amazon Removes Pro-Israel Book, Continues Selling Pro-Palestinian Apparel

Near tragedy in Samaria after child falls into recycling bin

The Chida explains, the first letters of the words, "LaTamai MeAfar Serayfas HaChatas" can be arranged to spell "Shlomo", and since he found an allusion to his name in the Parsha of Parah Adumah, he assumed that with proper diligence he could understand its meaning and significance. The Gemara Rosh Hashanah (21b) explains the pasuk, "Koheles (Shlomo) sought to find words of delight" to mean that Shlomo wanted to be equal in wisdom to Moshe. However, a Bas Kol responded, "VeKasuv Yashar Divrei Emes" - "What is written in Sefer Devarim (which is known as "Sefer Hayashar") are words of truth." And in Sefer Devarim it states, "Never again has there arisen in Klal Yisroel a Navi like Moshe."

The Bas Kol can be explained to mean," VeKasuv Yashar" - "That which is written in the proper order is "Divrei Emes" - "Words of truth". Therefore, while there is indeed a hint to Shlomo's name in the parsha, the letters in sequence do not spell "Shlomo", but rather "LeMoshe" - "To Moshe" - meaning that the understanding of the Parah Adumah was revealed only to Moshe and no one else.
http://revach.net/tefila/article.php?id=434

24 Jun 2017

The deleted article

A few news outlets have published about a CNN article that was later deleted, with CNN apologizing to the subject of the article.
American Lookout has posted the retraction with the article that has been deleted along with a statement, "This record will remain forever.."
It gives us pause to examine our words before we speak or write, knowing that the record will remain forever.

Will you help Rabbi Kanievsky's book be published?

How can we say that Parah Adumah is a Chok and it has no reason? Rashi says in the name of Rebbi Moshe Hadarshan that the Parah Adumah is a Kapara for the Chet HaEgel. The mother cow comes and cleans up the mess of its calf. Is cleaning up our greatest aveira not reason enough?

The answer given by the mefarshim is that the Chet HaEgel was a lapse of emunah on the part of the Bnei Yisroel. Since they could not comprehend what was happening they demanded an intermediary that can help them. They refused to rely on Hashem. They wanted to see and understand their direction. Therefore by accepting the mitzva of Parah Adumah without understanding it rectifies the Chet HaEgel. The kapara of Chet HaEgel is a by product of a mitzva without a reason and not the reason itself. 
http://www.thejewisheye.com/rev_pchukas.html

22 Jun 2017

Double standard at play?

Parashat Korah: The Flowers and the Fruit

Newsweek has published an article titled TEL AVIV DIARY: WHY IS ISRAEL SO CORRUPT?

After reading the title I asked myself whether Newsweek has the same question about any other country and I see that someone commented about that at the end of the article.

Where's his report on the corruption in all the Arab/Muslim countries, the current and former Soviet block countries, and the various dictatorships across the planet. Or this this just another case of the double standard at play, where Israel is helped to standards that are not applied to anyone else?

Below is an excerpt from another comment.

Yet according to Transparency International Israel ranks fairly low in the corruption scale - ranked the 28th least corrupt country out of 176 countries. Schulman does not reference any of the intensive studies done by Transparency International, the OECD or other credible bodies...

Extra virgin olive oil staves off Alzheimer's, preserves memory, new study shows

Science and Scientism

19 Jun 2017

Machlokes

Moral Relativism and Ethical Inversion in Gaza

Palestinians Seek To Claim Meoras Hamachpelah As World Heritage Site

Moshe Rabbeinu tells Korach that if he is right, Hashem will create a new phenomenon and the earth will open its mouth and all the sinners will be swallowed. If not, then we know that Hashem did not send Moshe. Where did Moshe get this idea from?

Rav Shimshon Pincus explains that the Torah tells us (Korach 17:5), "V'Lo Sihiyeh K'Korach ViChaAdaso", we should not engage in Machlokes like Korach. The gemara (Sanhedrin 110a) says that if you enter a Machlokes, you are oveir a Lav. This issur, says Rav Shimshon, applies to both the side that is right and the side that is wrong.

Therefore he says, if the side that is right can win the machlokes unequivocally and unanimously, then he should do so. However if the side that is wrong refuses to yield and the argument continues, then even if you are right you must be Mivater and drop the machlokes. Not doing so would constitute an issur. Unfortunately in every machlokes the latter is always the case and the side that is wrong does not yield.

This explains what Moshe Rabbeinu told Korach. If Hashem creates an unprecedented Miracle and the argument will become null and void through the absolute demise of the other side, then it will be clear that I am right and you are wrong. But if you are still around in any shape or form and continue to argue, then I will need to concede and end the machlokes even though I am right. And so it was. The earth opened up and the machlokes disappeared!

We should not expect any such miracles in our own lives. We should make our point and move on, even if we are 100% right and the other side is 100% wrong, which is never the case.
http://www.revach.net/avodah/ahavas-yisroel/Parshas-Korach-Rav-Shimshon-Pincus-If-Korach-Is-Not-Completely-Swallowed-Up/4590

Defending and banning

Defending Israel and Fighting Anti-Semitism

U.S. Ambassador Gets New Mezuzos

Ban Smartphones For Kids? Colorado Says Yes

11 Jun 2017

Doom and gloom

Al-Aqsa imam: Western Wall belongs to Muslims

The quest for honesty about Jews and Israel

The spies were tasked with going to the Promised Land and bringing back fruit and a report, which they did. Weren’t they just being honest, sharing their findings in good faith?

The key to understanding this story is that Moses did not tell them to provide an assessment as to whether or not the people would be able to enter the land. If G‑d willed it, surely there would be a way. He asked them only to report the facts, leaving the interpretation open.

The chassidic masters tell us that we are like spies in our own lives. When we encounter challenges and difficulties, we need to hold back from becoming prophets of doom and gloom. We have G‑d on our side, and we can surely succeed.
http://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/3700062/jewish/The-Meraglim-Spies-The-Full-Story.htm

10 Jun 2017

39 Avos Melachos

ISRAEL DEMANDS UN RESPONSE FOLLOWING GAZA TUNNEL DISCOVERY

The Vanishing American Adult

היום תאמצנו | שלומי גרטנר  ;יונתן רזאל

At the end of the Parsha we find the MiKoshes Eitzin being Michalel Shabbos and then immediately following this is the Parsha of Tzitzis. The Vilna Gaon offers an explanation for the connection.

On our Tzitzis we make five knots. In the four gaps between these knots we wrap one of the strings around the others. The number of times we wrap the other strings in these four gaps are 7,8,11,13 for a total of 39.

Similarly on Shabbos there are 39 Avos Melachos, which are categorized into four groups. The process of baking bread consists of 13 Melachos, making clothing 11, preparing parchment and writing 8, and the remaining Melachos 7.
http://revach.net/parshas-hashavua/numbers-letters/Parshas-Shelach-Vilna-Gaon-What-Is-The-Connection-Between-Tzitzis-and-Shabbos/2361

7 Jun 2017

50 levels of understanding

Kicking for Peace

Silicon Valley’s Dangerous Double Standard

The Washington Post fails to recognize what Israel's Six-Day War was really about

The pasuk says that Moshe made the Menora like Hashem showed him. Rashi points out that the menorah was one of the 3 things that Moshe could not understand. Why was this particular Keili so difficult for Moshe.

There are 50 levels of understanding (Chamishim Shaarei Bina), of which Moshe only reached the 49th level. The menora is the keili that represents wisdom. The Vilna Gaon says this is hinted the makeup of the menora. It was decorated with 7 lamps, 11 buttons, 9 flowers, and 22 goblets for a grand total of 49. The number 50 represents the actual menorah itself. Since Moshe did not reach the 50th gate of understanding he could not understand the Menora and Hashem needed to show it to him.

PS: The passuk says in Tehilim "Pesach Devarecha Yair"; the beginning of your words light up. This is a remez to the menora which lights up, from the first pasuk in each Chumash (Pesach Devarecha). The first pasuk in Bereishis has 7 words like the lamps; Shmos 11, buttons; Vayikra 9, flowers; Bamidbar 18, the height of the menorah in Tefachim; Devarim 22, goblets. http://www.thejewisheye.com/rev_pbahalo.html

Life is short

TORCH Jewish History Series: False Messiahs with Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe

Labour Chief Jeremy Corbyn Sought to Remove Hamas From UK’s List of Terror Groups

"הגאון רבי בן ציון מוצפי קובע: "הרמח"ל לא נקבר בטבריה

Surprising Jewish Origins of Six Common Sayings

The Telegraph describes Australian nurse, Kirsty Boden, who died in the terror attack in Lodon this week.

A keen traveller, she ran a blog in which she called The Time Poor Traveller. In one poignant post, she had written: "I am not a nomad, vagabond or wanderer.

..."At risk of sounding cliche, life is short and we should all use the time we have wisely."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/06/06/loved-adored-australian-nurse-kirsty-boden-died-running-help/


Toxic New Details About Seth Rich’s Murder Emerge

6 Jun 2017

A great desire

Get Your Grandparents to Talk

'The Western Wall belongs only to Muslims'

The Wedding Plan with No Groom

The commandment of Pesach Sheini was taught only after the Timei'ei Meisim complained that they didn't want to lose out on the Mitzva of Korban Pesach. Rashi says (9:7) that really Moshe should have taught the mitzva of Pesach Sheni earlier, but these timei'im were Zocheh to have the mitzva taught because of their complaint, since they showed a great desire to do the mitzva.

Rav Moshe Feinstein asks, "Why does the Torah not mention the names of the Timei'ei Meisim like it does when the Halachos of inheritance are taught through the complaints of Bnos Tzelafchad? If the whole point was to give the Timei'ei Meisim schar for their desire to serve Hashem, shouldn't they be rewarded with honorable mention of their names?

Rav Moshe answers that the Torah wanted to teach us the great reward for anyone who truly desires to do a mitzva out of a love to serve Hashem, even if circumstances exempt them. The Bnos Tzelafchad were zocheh because of their personal greatness and therefore each one's name is mentioned. However here the Torah is teaching each and every one of us that the Torah can be given through us, if we truly love to serve Hashem. Mentioning the names of the Timei'ei Meisim could only have detracted from the message the Torah is teaching, because we would then attribute this zechus to the personal greatness of the Timei'ei Meisim, which we surely cannot measure up to. http://revach.net/article.php?id=4562


4 Jun 2017

Cravings

After travelling a few days in the midbar, certain elements of Bnei Yisrael got a craving for meat and complained to Moshe. Moshe spoke to Hashem and Hashem sends them an abundance of meat with which they stuff themselves with and die. However, right in middle of this narrative, Hashem tells Moshe to gather seventy men whom Hashem will grace with the spirit of Moshe. Why do these pasukim interrupt right in middle of this seemingly non related story?

Rav Shamshom Rephael Hirsch answers that Bnei Yisrael were complaining about their physical conditions and their hunger for materialism. To this Hashem told Moshe that it is not meat that they lack that is causing them to revolt, it is their lack of spirituality. They feel empty but don't understand the true cause. Gather seventy representatives and feed their starving souls with Torah and Mitzvos. Then their appetites will be satiated with the true pleasure of dveykus in Hashem and they will no longer riot over food.
http://revach.net/parshas-hashavua/quick-vort/Parshas-Bahaloscha-Rav-Shamshom-Rephael-Hirsch-Rioting-Over-Food/5085

New York Times Drops Its Public Editor Weeks After Palestinian Terrorist’s Op-Ed

Danny Danon exposes UNRWA's lies

The caregiver

Foreign Worker Who Cared For Rav Shach Became A Giyur

Miraculous Recovery of a Shliach

Senior Labour figures fear party's Jewish vote may have collapsed

29 May 2017

Immortal truth

Mortal Etiquette vs. Immortal Truth

In Parshas Emor when the Torah discusses the Yom Tov of Shavuos, it makes no mention at all that we are celebrating the day that we received the Torah. All it talks about is the completion of the Sefira and the special Korban we bring that day. Why is this, asks the Kli Yakar?

He answers that Chazal tell us that Kabalas HaTorah should be daily event. Each day we should open up our Gemara, and we should learn with the enthusiasm of receiving a present for the first time and playing with it, "כאילו אותו היום קיבלה מהר סיני", as if that day we received it from Har Sinai.

The Kli Yakar says that although the Torah doesn't talk about Kabbalas HaTorah explicitly, the entire Korban of the day is all about this concept of Kabalas HaTorah. The Torah refers to the Korban Shtei HaLechem as "Mincha Chadasha", a new present, referring to the idea that the Torah is to be regarded as a new present each day.

Furthermore, says the Kli Yakar, although Chametz represents the Yetzer Hara, the Shtei HaLechem is made of Chametz. The reason is that when Moshe wanted to bring the Torah down to Am Yisroel, the Malachim did not let him. Moshe's winning argument was that since the Torah is the antidote to the Yetzer Hara as Chazal say, "בראתי יצר הרע בראתי לו תבלין", I created a Yetzer Hara and I created a remedy to protect people, therefore the place for the Torah is in this world where the Yetzer roams free, and not in Shamayim which is totally pure. So in essence, says the Kli Yakar, by not referring to Kabbalas HaTorah on Shavuos, the Torah is imbuing in us the real Kabalas HaTorah and the purpose of Kabbalas HaTorah.
http://www.revach.net/moadim/shavuos/Kli-Yakar-Isnt-Shavuos-The-Day-of-Kabalas-HaTorah/5320

Jewish family pelted with stones on Kent beach

Bridging denominations, this Jewish musician puts the ‘soul’ in music

Rejoice and be joyous

Canadian PM: Multiculturalism is the answer to terror

Jewish Student Driven Out of Berlin School by Threats and Violence from Muslim Classmates

“I loved the fact that the school was multicultural . . . the kids and teachers were so cool,” Ferdinand said.
http://www.breitbart.com/jerusalem/2017/05/28/jewish-student-driven-berlin-school-threats-violence-muslim-classmates/

Legal Insurrection posts Jewish Voice for Peace internet ad supported failed Palestinian terrorist hunger strike.

ממקסיקו סיטי תצא תורה לירושלים • וידאו וגלריה

The video in the above link contains footage of a dedication of a Torah. A rabbi who spoke during the ceremony provided an interesting insight into the words below.

Sisu vesimchu Besimchat Torah Ut'nu kavod laTorah - Rejoice and be joyous on Simchat Torah and honour the Torah.

It is not enough that we are rejoicing with the Torah; We have to be concerned that the Torah will rejoice from us.

The placement request

Jewish Ryerson student 'felt targeted' over placement request 
 

Non-Jews Following the Torah in the Andes




28 May 2017

A Shavuot shiur

The Custom to Read Megilat Rut on Shabuot

France: From Ilan to Sarah Halimi: shameful France

The all encompassing blessing

The last words of Birchas Kohanim are "V'Yaseim Licha Sholom". The Medrash says, "Sholom B'Knisasech, Sholom B'Yitziasech, Sholom Im Kol Adam," peace in your coming, your going, and peace with every man.

The Iturei Torah brings the Ksav Sofer who explains this Medrash. The Gemara in Brachos (59) tells us the interpretation of many different dreams. Among these dreams, three of them tell of peace; the kettle, the river, and the bird. The Ksav Sofer says that these represent three different kinds of peace. The kettle represents peace in your home, where all the household members use the same kettle. The river means peace in your country, where all the citizens share the water and benefits of the country's river. The bird symbolizes world peace, like a bird who is not limited to any specific local and can fly wherever its wings take it.

When Hashem gives us a bracha of peace it is all encompassing. The Medrash says, "Sholom B'Knisasech," you will have peace in your coming, meaning within the confines of your home. "Sholom B'Yitziasech," peace when you go outside and interact with your countrymen. "Sholom Im Kol Adam," no matter where and no matter with whom, peace will reign supreme!
http://www.revach.net/parshas-hashavua/medrash/Medrash-Naso-Ksav-Sofer-Three-Dreams-Of-Peace/3828

"מארק צוקרברג: לפני אתגרים, אני אומר "מי שברך

25 May 2017

A special prayer

A Special Prayer for Ereb Rosh Hodesh Sivan

This morning I came across two journalists who were speaking about Jerusalem and I, for one, was not amused.

In an interview with James Zogby on HardBall, Chris Mathews opines about President Trump in the Middle East.

"In the campaign he promised the pro-Israeli hawks, 'I'm going to put the US Embassy in Jerusalem.' Now the people who paid attention to this over 50 years have noticed both parties know if you do that just blows everything up over there because it looks like we're saying Jerusalem, all of it, belongs to Israel, not a piece of it, all of it, right? And you're never even going to get your holy places back. It's a scary predicament."

Mr. Mathews continues, "You know what they’re destroying? I’ve been there. When you go over there to the Palestinian territories, sure, there are terrorists, and they should be punished — by the people over there, that’s where I think they’ve gotta act. But then you have these Palestinian business guys, regular guys like us, just regular people, they’re peaceful, they are being bothered every day of their life to run their business. They have to sit there with some Israeli soldier pointing his gun at them, for three or four hours at every checkpoint. They’re humiliating those people. When’s that cauldron gonna blow?”

Click here to listen to the NBC journalist.

Click here to listen to Jeremy Bowen's take on Jerusalem. In the last minute of the transcript, he does a disservice to the beautiful city by describing it in less than glowing terms, to say the least.

 

21 May 2017

26 Iyar

26 Iyar

Rabbeinu Sa'adia Gaon (942)
Ramchal, R' Moshe Chaim Luzzato ben R' Yaakov Chai (1747), wrote many seforim, including Mesilas Yeshorom, Derech Hashem and Daas Tevunos. Died at age 39, which the Magid of Mezerich said was because the generation was not worthy of such a great tzadik. The Vilna Gaon said he did not find one extra word in the first 8 chapters of Mesilas Yesorim and that if he were still alive he would walk from Vilna to Italy to learn from him.
R' Yitzchok ben R' Chaim of Volozhin
R' Shlomo ben R' Mordechai of Zvhil (1945) See Reb Shlomke's Miraculous Cholent
R' Shmuel Eliyahu of Zvolin, son of R' Yecheskel of Kuzmir and father of the first Modzhiter Rebbe
R' Yitzchok Issac Epstein of Homil (1857), See: Reb Aizel Homiler Does a Jew a Favor
http://zchusavos.blogspot.be/2011/05/iyar-yartzeits.html

One time, when it became known that he was providing wine, meat and challahs to needy families for Shabbos, he attempted to claim that a certain Jew was covering the costs.

R' Shlomke of Zvhil was famed for his remarkable chesed (lovingkindness).
http://www.rebbe.org/rebbes.html


New York Times Excoriated For Counterfactual Reporting (2 Videos)

More negative than positive

News Coverage of Donald Trump’s First 100 Days

Trump has received unsparing coverage for most weeks of his presidency, without a single major topic where Trump’s coverage, on balance, was more positive than negative, setting a new standard for unfavorable press coverage of a president.

 ...Although journalists are accused of having a liberal bias, their real bias is a preference for the negative.[22] News reporting turned sour during the Vietnam and Watergate era and has stayed that way.[23] Journalists’ incentives, everything from getting their stories on the air to acquiring a reputation as a hard-hitting reporter, encourage journalists to focus on what’s wrong with politicians rather than what’s right.[24] 
https://shorensteincenter.org/news-coverage-donald-trumps-first-100-days/


They Said Thank You to the Rebbe

The diploma

Holocaust survivor gets high school diploma in Minnesota

A Sabbath meal of fruit and crackers

He Raced To Help Another Jew

15 May 2017

The Fidget Spinner call

Monsey Hatzolah Has Call For Fidget Spinner Stuck On Finger

Ambassador Friedman Davens Mincha For Amud At Kosel [VIDEO & PHOTOS]

Historic Chuppah in Times Square

Open Season on the Orthodox

Who owns it?

The Torah states in no uncertain terms that we must return the land by Yovel, "Ki Li Kol HaAretz; Hashem owns all the land." (Behar 25:23) Rav Yeruchom Levovitz, the Mirrer Mashgiach, writes (see also MiShulchan Gavoa), that the whole point of Shmitta and Yovel is to make people understand that everything they have is only temporarily, and they are not the real owner. No one will live forever.

Rav Yeruchom tells of a Din Torah before Rav Chaim Volozhin where two people were fighting over a piece of land. They were both stubborn, and neither one was willing to listen to any compromise.

Rav Chaim then turned his ear down to the ground as if her were listening to what the ground was saying. He then turned to the Baalei Din and said after hearing both your arguments. "I wanted to hear what the land in dispute has to say. And do you know what it said? It said, 'Why are they both fighting who owns me? At the end, the two of them will both belong to me!"
http://www.revach.net/parshas-hashavua/story/Parshas-Behar-Rav-Chaim-Volozhin-Takes-Testimony-From-A-Surprise-Witness/5052

אל תפספסו: טיפ וסגולה ליום מוצלח // י"ט באייר

The Torah Discourses of the Holy Tzaddik Reb Menachem Mendel of Rimanov

The Polish-Catholic Count and the Rebbe-an anecdote about Rabbi Menachem Mendel of Rimanov whose yarzheit is today.

14 May 2017

Praying intensely

The Nachlas Avos tells that the Tana Yochai (Reb Shimon’s father) was married for many years, and didn’t have any children. Yochai told his wife that he wants to divorce and marry someone else, so he can keep the mitzvah of bearing children. His wife didn’t want a divorce and she cried and prayed intensely for children.
Continue reading: https://emunadaily.com/2016/05/28/bar-yochai/

Linda Sarsour’s CUNY Speech: A Moral Disaster

I24 reports Bin Laden's son calls for attacks on Jewish targets

Lev Tov

Trump at Liberty University: “We don’t worship government; we worship God”

UC Irvine: What Happened to the Regents' Statement of Principles/Chancellor's Implementation?

Rebbi Yochanan Ben Zakai asked his five talmidim to go find the “good way a person should attach himself to” (Avos 2:8-9). The answer Rebbi Yochanan Ben Zakai liked best came from Rebbi Elazar Ben Arach who said “Lev Tov”. The Bnei Yisaschar explains that the talmidim were supposed to base their answer on the Torah’s first use of the word “Tov”. Rebbi Elazar Ben Arach said Lev Tov because the first time the Torah mentions the word Tov is after thirty-two words, the numerical equivalent of Lev.

This answer found the most favor in the eyes of Rebbi Yochanan Ben Zakai because it was the most general and included all the other answers within it. The key is Lev Tov. Lev Tov says the Bnei Yisaschar is 49 in gematria. Working on your Lev Tov is the best way to prepare for Matan Torah.

Chazal tell us the word Tov refer to the Torah. Sefiras HaOmer can be divided into two parts the first part Lev, 32 days and the second part Tov, 17 days. Lag BaOmer the 33rd day is the first day and the earliest sign of the light of Torah emanating from Matan Torah. It is the first day of Tov. On Lag BaOmer, through the teachings of Rebbi Shimon Bar Yochai, the light of the Torah is revealed to us. It shines brighter each day leading up to the day we eagerly await, the day of Kabalas HaTorah.
http://www.revach.net/moadim/lag-baomer/Bnei-Yisaschar-Lag-BaOmer-the-Magic-Number/2262

12 May 2017

Could be lurking

Parasites could be lurking in your sushi, doctors warn - Venishmartem lenafshotechem

On the one hand there is a beautiful Torah thought about connecting to Hashem in an article titled Parshas Emor - Our Father In Heaven.
On the other hand, there is this.

Parents of U.S. teen killed by Hamas to sue Palestinian charity group

Master of Cambridge college admits causing 'hurt' to Jewish students over misleading anti-Semitism inquiry

Let Linda Sarsour Air Delusional Views at CUNY

The New York Times has published an obituary titled William G. Bowen, Princeton Educator Who Championed Poor and Minority Students, Dies at 83.

He opposed politically motivated boycotts by academic groups — against Israeli speakers or institutions, for instance.

10 May 2017

Mothers and brothers

What Worked for Us (in Shidduchim)

"יאיר לפיד כתב אות בספר התורה: "אחים אנחנו

My First Mother’s Day without My Mother

The power of the Yarmulka: Jackson woman insists on paying for Frum man’s coffee

Kosher style

Rabbi Wein - The Old New Anti Semitism, From the Crusades to Toulouse

Rabbi Yair Hoffman writes about what type of food will be served at the 92nd St Y Gala Dinner in an op-ed titled A Grave Threat to Judaism.

If you click on the gala dinner page, you will see that your dinner experience will be kosher style. What does that mean exactly?

"Ayin Tachas Ayin Kasher Yitein Moom BaAdam Kein Yinasein Bo; An eye for an eye when you maim your friend the same should be done to you." (Emor 24:20) The Halacha L'Moshe MiSinai tells us that despite what the words appear to say, the Torah means that the perpetrator pays for the injury rather than Bais Din maiming him. If so why does the Torah clearly say that we avenge him in kind?

The Iturei Torah brings from Rav Yosef Dov Soloveitchik that had the Torah told us the halacha explicitly, we would become less sensitive to the value of a person's limb. We would see it as a price tag. We would get the feeling that you can injure someone, if the math added up, and it was worth your while. When the victim will be angry, the perpetrator will ask him why he is so angry since he will compensate him for the full value.

The Rambam clearly says that a person who maims his friend deserves to lose his limb but the Torah allows him to pay Kofer. The Torah is teaching us that Min HaDin, if someone takes from his friend the incredible gift of sight that Hashem bestowed upon him, justice demands that his ability to see be taken away as well. Even though the Torah limited the punishment to a monetary value, surely it is not a fair trade.
http://revach.net/parshas-hashavua/quick-vort/Parshas-Emor-Rav-Yosef-Dov-Soloveitchik-The-Torah-Means-An-Eye-For-Eye/4539

6 May 2017

Emor

In the first pasuk of Emor it says twice to tell the Kohanim, Emor and V'Amarta. Rashi quotes the gemara in Yevamos that says the double language is, "L'Hazhir Gedolim Al HaKetanim", to tell the adults to caution the children. How do Chazal see this from the fact that is says twice to tell them, asks Rav Moshe Shmuel Shapiro?

He answers that the Dubno Magid once asked the Vilna Gaon what is the most effective way to influence children. The Vilna Gaon answered with a Mashal. He said to take a large cup and surround it with smaller cups. Then pour into the large cup and keep pouring until it spills over the top right into the little cups. To have children absorb the lessons, you must fill yourself with an overdose of whatever traits you want to teach them. They will become filled from the overflow.

The Kohanim were implored twice, to give them a double measure of Kedushas Kohen. The reason for this is obviously in order for it to spill over to the children.
http://www.revach.net/parshas-hashavua/mashal/Parshas-Emor-Rav-Moshe-Shmuel-Shapiro-The-Vilna-Gaons-Overflowing-Cups/3713

UC Santa Cruz Students Occupy Building, Shout Anti-Semitic Slurs, Admin Caves In to Demands

A friend posted, "Instead of saying 'Sorry so late, say 'Thanks for your patience' Using positive language in a negative situation can have a big impact on how you're remembered!"

4 May 2017

Friends indeed

Our View: Friends in Need

VIDEO: 60 Seconds of Inspiration: How to Test Your Level of Bitachon

Questions for Linda Sarsour from Assemblyman Dov Hikind

Parshas Acharei Mos/Kedoshim - Love is More than the Negative of a Negative; The Lesson of The Kedoshim

The right way

Parashat Kedoshim: The Right Way to Criticize

UK’S TOP ANGLICAN CLERIC, RABBI HAIL JEWISH TIES TO JERUSALEM

A Nochri came to Hillel telling he wanted to learn the Torah very easily and quickly. Hillel told him "D'Alach Sani L'Chavrach Lo Sevid" whatever he doesn't like, he should not do to his friend. (Shabbos 31a). The Chidushei HaRim asks why didn't Hillel tell him what the Torah says, "V'Ahavta L'Rei'acha Kamocha" (Kedoshim 19:18).

He answers that the highest level of righteousness towards another that the human mind an fathom, is not to harm your neighbor. To understand that there is an obligation to "love" each and every person no matter what, is beyond human comprehension, unless you live Tachas Kanfei HaShechina. In order to draw this Nochri near to Hashem, Hillel needed to start with a concept that he was able to grasp. Once he did that and was drawn Tachas Kanfei HaShechina then Hillel could teach him the superhuman obligation of V'Ahavta L'Reiacha Kamocha.

The Mitzva of V'Ahavta is not simple and doesn't make any logical sense. However we live Tachas Kanfei HaShechina and therefore we have the capability to grasp it. Now its just a matter of mustering up the will and strength to actually do it.
http://www.revach.net/avodah/ahavas-yisroel/Parshas-Kedoshim-Chiddushei-HaRim-Did-Hillel-Forget-VAhavta-LReiacha-Kamocha/4523

3 May 2017

Mundane acts

The Tamar Yonah Show – Who is the Messiah and When Will He Come? [audio]

While we don’t understand the impact and the reward of one mitzva versus another, there are some mitzvos that are put on pedestals by Chazal. From the many mitzvos, certain ones are associated with Kedusha, holiness. Off the top of most people's heads comes the Mitzva of Shabbos. “Kedushas Shabbos,” is a familiar term. When Shabbos comes around the atmosphere is tangibly different. We bask in the glow of Shabbos. We are uplifted by our honored guest, the holy Shabbos HaMalka.

Kibbud Av V’Eim, on the other hand, can sometimes be a test of endurance and tolerance. We know we must honor our parents, but the demands are trivial, and we are not always enthusiastic to accommodate. But we know it is a great mitzva, if not always a spiritual lift. Do we ever think of the mundane acts we do to please our parents as “holy”?

It seems that the pasuk in Kedoshim (19:2) is coming to correct this serious miscalculation. The pasuk tells us, “Kedoshim Tihiyu; Be holy." Immediately after that is says, “Ish Imo V’Aviv Tira’u; Fear your mother and father." Only after that does it say, “V’Es Shabsosai Tishmoru; Keep Shabbos."
http://revach.net/parshas-hashavua/quick-vort/Parshas-Kedoshim-Do-You-Want-to-Know-What-Real-Holiness-Is/2169 <

No one is assigned to Jewish outreach at the DNC. Who ya gonna call?

1 May 2017

The travel ban

WATCH: “Dear Jewish People”

It’s Our Fault

אל תפספסו: טיפ וסגולה ליום מוצלח // ה' באייר

תהילים יחד

Below are excerpts from J Street and AIPAC home pages of their respective websites,

J STREET
J Street U is grateful for the Union for Reform Judaism’s recent letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu, which raises serious questions about Israel’s deeply troubling travel ban. The ban blocks anyone advocating for any kind of boycott, divestment or sanctions against Israel or Israeli settlements from entering the country....

We write as leaders of J Street U Princeton to update you on our decision to move forward with an event hosting an exhibition on Princeton’s campus by the Israeli anti-occupation organization Breaking the Silence....
http://jstreet.org/

AIPAC
RETWEET THIS and thank your senators for demanding an end to anti-Israel bias at the @UN → http://fal.cn/ThankSenatorsUN

VIDEO: Combating BDS
http://www.aipac.org/


FoxNews published an article a while back titled Dozens of letters from Anne Frank's father for sale.

One of Otto Frank’s top priorities: keeping the Anne Frank Foundation fully funded so that future generations could continue to learn her story. “I cannot continue to carry the burden principally alone and we have to find a way to be able to go on. I never want to accost Jewish people for this purpose, as I think they should give as much as possible for Israel, therefore I have to choose other sources,” he wrote.
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2016/11/14/dozens-letters-from-anne-franks-father-for-sale.html

The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect tweeted, "We are proud to follow Otto Frank's vision."

Seeing Otto Frank.s concern for Israel, I wonder why the center didn't tweet a thank you to the senators as AIPAC did. The center found time to thank former President Obama a number of months ago, Why not thank the senators, as well?

Parashat Acharei - Focus on the small details - Rabbi Alon Anava

27 Apr 2017

Words

Our Words Define Us

Why must one go specifically to a Kohen when he sees a potential Tzoraas? Why can he not go to any Talmid Chochom who has mastered the halachos of Nega'im?

Rav Itzele Volozhin says that the five kinds of tzoraas is a result of five fundamental sins. Tzoraas on one's body comes from overindulging in bodily desires. Tzoraas of Begadim is a result being obsessed with external beauty and constantly running after new clothing. Tzoraas of the head is caused by bad character, corrupt thinking, and haughtiness. Tzoraas in the beard is for sins of the mouth such as Lashon Hara and mockery. Lastly Tzoraas on the walls of one's home, where one is required to remove all his possessions, and ultimately destroy the house, is a punishment for chasing after wealth and possessions.

A person afflicted with tzoraas does not need someone to treat his nega, he needs someone who can heal his mind and soul. While any expert can distinguish a tamei nega from a tahor one, only a Kohen, the Ish HaChesed and the embodiment of Ahavas Yisroel, can get into the head of the Mitzora and help him climb out of his misery and make him whole again.
http://www.revach.net/parshas-hashavua/quick-vort/Parshas-Tazria-Rav-Itzele-Volozhin-Behind-the-Different-Forms-Tzoraas/5336

TORCH Jewish History Series: Christian Antisemitism - Part 1 by Rabbi Yaakov Wolbe

VIDEO: Terror victim’s brother says Rasmea Odeh supporters “have to eat their words”

Reclaiming the word

Reclaiming ‘Jew’

There's No Need to Reclaim the Word “Jew”

Parashat Tazria-Mesora: The Way to Ruin Your Children’s Future

NYU Official Compares College ‘Snowflakes’ to Holocaust Survivors

"בגלל הלימודים"; האדמו"ר ידליק את המדורה ביום ראשון

A friend posted on Facebook an anecdote relating to an individual named Reb Yosef Friedenson, z”l, who was niftar four years ago.

As Reb Yossel and his wife were returning from a vacation in German, they flew by Lufthansa and found that their seats were mistakenly assigned a distance apart. Reb Yossel refused to board the plane despite the threats of the chief administer. He pulled up his sleeve and displayed the numbers tattooed on his arm. He said, “This is the last time we were separated. It will not happen again.”

The executive left for a few minutes and returned to tell them that they had adjoining seats, in first class.

Read more: http://hamodia.com/2013/02/26/farewell-to-reb-yosef-friedenson-zl/

26 Apr 2017

Two words

Emma Green wrote a scathing article a few days ago in the Atlantic about the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect.
'Rapaport, the organization’s new board chair, said it is neither a Jewish organization nor a Holocaust organization.'

Today I was reading the about page of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect and came across the following sentences.

'Anne Frank for Mutual Respect is a Jewish voice for social justice dedicated to the Jewish principle of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world. For us, that means advocating on behalf of all communities, Jewish and non-Jewish alike.'
http://annefrank.com/about-the-center/ 

The April 16th version of the about page did not have those sentences which means they were added recently.

I am sick of this overused phrase of Tikkun Olam and don't have plans to donate to any organization that uses these words to justify its existence. The twitter page of the center is replete with tweets calling out President Trump and his administration while a Facebook posting in January thanked President Obama for advancing mutual respect.

“Tikkun olam” has become such a commonly used term in liberal Jewish circles that it is the basis for a joke, in which an American Jew visiting Israel asks her guide, “How do you say tikkun olam in Hebrew?”
http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/tikkun-olam-repairing-the-world/

Where does the concept of tikkun olam (repairing the world) originate, and is it a mitzvah (commandment) or does it hold the same level of importance as a mitzvah?

For Jews those Mitzvos include not simply socially or politically correct precepts such as giving charity and engaging in political action, but also observance of the Sabbath, dietary restrictions (Kashrus), daily prayer, and other commandments which seem to have fallen out of favor and are ignored, if not openly denigrated and violated, in some segments of the community, as they substitute the false panacea of something they call Tikkun Olam for the authenticity of true Judaism, clinging desperately to Tikkun Olam to avoid their actual responsibilities as Jews to observe the Torah and the commandments.
Read more of this excellent article at http://www.jns.org/latest-articles/2013/6/3/the-fallacy-delusion-and-myth-of-tikkun-olam#.WQDp0YiGPIU=

In our lives for a reason

Fabulous daily emunah lesson over here.


The other day I came across a Facebook post about a special mother and was ready to remind MIC readers to appreciate parents and let them know that they are valued before it is too late. No sooner had the idea popped into my head when I came across another Facebook post about reaching out to children and giving them a hug.
So, let us appreciate both parents and children. Let us say a nice word to our spouse and give a compliment to a friend. These people are in our lives for a reason and we should be grateful for their presence.

Below are the two posts.

Today would have been my Moms Birthday. She has been gone a few years now, and I miss her very much. She was such a great lady, and she was beautiful inside and out. She was a very proud Jew that loved Yiddishkeit, Torah and Israel, and she taught her children how important these things are in our lives. I wish I could tell her how much I appreciate what a wonderful Mother she was, and how much I love her and miss her. I try to be the Mench that she lovingly tried to teach me to be. May she be remembered for Brachas (blessings).

Heard some very sad news about the daughter of a friend who I have not seen in many years. While we have been mostly out of touch (except for Facebook), this news still hit me very very hard. To all of my friends with children - please do me a favor: Give your kids a hug today (and every day, when possible). If you aren't able to see them today, call them or text them to tell them that you love them. You never know if that might be the difference between darkness and light.