"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

17 Oct 2018


"Vavorichah Mivarachekah Umikalalechah Ahor"; "And I will bless the ones that bless you and the ones who curse you I will curse" The Meforshim ask, just like the pasuk says, "I will bless the ones that bless you" - stating "I will bless" first, so too should the pasuk end, "I will curse the ones who curse you". Why does the pasuk reverse it by saying, "The ones who curse you I will curse?"

The Kli Yakar answers, "Machshava Tova HaKadosh Baruch Hu Mitzaref Limaaseh, Machshava Raah Ayn HaKadosh Baruch Hu Mitzaref Limaaseh"- Hashem considers a good thought (when one thinks about doing a Mitzvah) as if the person actually did it; but concerning an evil thought, Hashem only punishes when the thought come to fruition and the person commits the sin. That is the pshat in this pasuk. "Vavorichah Mivarachekah" - "And I will bless them even before they bless you. When they just have a thought to bless you I will consider their Machshava as if it was done. But Umikalalechah Ahor" - only after they actually curse you will I curse them, since Hashem only punishes when the thought come to fruition.

Vilna Gaon offers another explanation. He says that the blessing of a rich man is greater than that of a poor man, since the rich man knows what it means to have pleasure. He therefore will give a greater Bracha. On the other hand, a poor man's curse is greater than a rich man since he experienced pain in his life and can give a harsher curse. The Hashem is saying to Avraham, "Vavorichah Mivarachekah" - I will bless them before they bless you, therefore making it a blessing of a rich person who gives a more lavish Bracha. "Umikalalechah Ahor" - I will only curse them after they curse you. This way it won't be a curse of a poor man whose curse is harsh.

Jewish woman assaulted while protesting Labour anti-Semitism

16 Oct 2018

In a Minute

Jewish groups at UC Davis say hate incidents are ‘swept under the rug’

Feeling Alone in High School

27 Sep 2018

Good deeds

No Good Deed Goes Unnoticed!

Simchat Torah 5779 - The Knock Upon the Door

Sukkat David

The Fallen Sukkah

Program recruits Israeli girls for cyber warfare

A comment at the end of the article - Everyone must be aware of the danger of microwaves in computers, cell phones especially with 5G, microwave ovens, all 'smart' devices which have smart transmitting towers, etc. Please watch on You Tube if you haven't already 'The Truth About Mobile Phones and Wireless Radiation - Dr. Devra Davis'; 'Cell Phone Radiation Dangers, Facts To Know About Mobile Phones'; How Your Phone Affects Your Brain And Body'; 'The 10 Dangers Of Microwave Ovens'.

Dr. Davis is brilliant and has done fascinating research; of course, she is israeli!!

WATCH: The Bolt Report on Ari Fuld Murder and Eurovision Boycott Attempts

20 Sep 2018

Passing Through

Creating Mental Strength: The Power to Endure Despite Life's Challenges

Clipping from the NY Times, September 24, 1982

Without Injustice

Palestinian ministry rolls back statement that Gaza boy was killed by Israeli gunfire

The Daily Mail reported the above incident with the headline, Israeli troops 'kill three Palestinians, one of them an 11-year-old boy' during violent protests at Gaza border.

Israeli soldiers killed three protesters at the border including an 11-year-old boy, Palestinian medical officials claimed on Friday.

But the following day the Israel's military said their evidence shows the 11-year-old was hit by a rock thrown by protesters.

The Pasuk says (32:4) "HaTzur Tamim Pa'aloi Ki Chol Dirachav Mishpat, Kel Emuna V'Ein Avel; Hashem action are flawless, for all His ways are just, Hashem is faithful without any injustice." Injustice? We talk about how righteous Hashem is, it seems strange to mention that Hashem in not "unjust".

Rav Shach says from the Vilna Gaon that it is impossible for humans to take into account all surrounding circumstances and dispense perfect justice. For example, when someonr commits a crime that requires the death sentence, has the court also determined if his children deserve to be orphans or not? What about the person who he says hello to every morning, has the court figured out if they can compensate that person for the loss they are inflicting on them.

When Hashem dispenses judgement, He has accounted for everything from the most glaring consequences to the most minute nuance. This is truly a tribute that we humans can marvel at. Hashem's justice system is pure justice, without the slightest trace of injustice.

19 Sep 2018

A gift for the shadchan

I was visiting a friend on the eve of Rosh Hashana when her doorbell ring. She excused herself, and went to greet the person at the door. She came back with a beautiful platter of chocolates. In the center was the latest Maggid book. My friend explained that the gift was from someone for whom she had proposed a shidduch and she had spent a lot of time on speaking to both parties. Ultimately, the shidduch did not go forward but the family owed her a debt of gratitude, nonetheless, for all her hard effort.

How many of us think to show our aprreciation to the shadchan for all her endeavors, even if the shidduch doesn't come to fruition? Perhaps if we would show sincere gratitude, the shadchan would not be so quick to get discouraged. A relative recently called a shadchan to ask if she knew anyone for her daughter.

"I am taking a break," the shadchan replied. "Three shidduchim blew up in the past few months and I am too dejected to continue right now."

National Union of Students officer resigns before censure vote on tweets comparing Israel to Nazis

5 Sep 2018


Below are a few of the Rashei Teivot for the year תשעט which I came across at Collive.

תהא שנת עין טובה

תהא שנת עסקות טובות

תהא שנה על טבעית

Parashat Nitzavim - What's so special about your Teshuvah? - Rabbi Alon Anava

Nitzavim - Teshuva - Uncovering Reality (Audio)

2 Sep 2018

A city remembers

Ukrainian city remembers Jews on Holocaust anniversary

UK ex-chief rabbi warns of Jewish exodus over anti-Semitism

"Atem Nitzavim Hayom Kulchem"; you are all standing today. Rav Shamshon Refael Hirsh says that Nitzavim is from the word Matzeiva a monument, a pillar. In his last speech to Bnei Yisroel, Moshe tells them you are the foundation, the force, the future, and the eternal carriers of the flame of Torah and the banner of Hashem. I am merely a leader that will pass on and move into the annals of history. All the leaders that follow me will meet the same end.

The rise and fall of the Jews rests on your shoulders and the shoulders of your children in every generation. For Klal Yisroel to exist and to thrive, you the ordinary people that must carry on as loyal flag bearers since in you lies the strength of Am Yisroel.



"ViShav Hashem Elokecha Es Shvuscha ViRechamecha Vishav Vikibetzcha Mikal HoAmim" - "Then Hashem WILL RETURN your captivity and have mercy upon you, and he WILL RETURN and gather you from your exile among the nations." Why does the Pasuk say that Hashem "WILL RETURN" those in captivity twice? Meshech Chochmah answers, that there will be two shifts of people who are returning from exile. The first group will be those who were yearning for the holiness of Eretz Yisroel all the years in Galus. They will be the first to return. The second group will be the ones who became comfortable in the Galus. They did not miss the Kedusha of Eretz Yisroel, and will only return at a later time.

A tiny Russian village of Chabad fame dreams of becoming Jewish pilgrimage site

המועמדים לראשות י-ם בריקוד חסידי משותף

26 Aug 2018

Seeing the good

Hilchos Loshon Hora - Ba'alei Teshuva

New York Times Publishes a Rejection of Yossi Klein Halevi’s Plea for Reconciliation

"It will be when you will go over the Yarden, you will set up these 12 stones at Har Aivol, and you will build a Mizbayach and bring Korbonos and be happy there" R' Moshe Feinstein asks, why were the Mizbayach and all the festivities taking place at Har Aivol? Har Aivol was the mountain that the Levim faced when they said the curses (Rashi 27:12). It would have been more appropriate to have these festivities on Har Grizim - the mountain they faced when the Brachos were said?

R' Moshe answers, although the promise of Blessings can cause a person to head in the right direction, the Yetzer HaRa can still convince a person that the pleasure of sin will be greater than the pleasure of these blessings - causing the person to sin. This is not so concerning a curse. The power of threatening one to be cursed with terrible suffering if he sins, will overcome his desire to sin. It is therefore more appropriate to celebrate on Har Avol than Har Grizim, because the curses at Har Aivol had a greater effect on Klal Yisroel.

25 Aug 2018

Bringing the Bikurim

Upon coming to the Bais HaMikdash with Bikurim, we tell the Kohen (Ki Savo 26:3), "Higaditi Hayom Lashem Elokecha Ki Basi El HaAretz", I affirm today before Hashem, that I have arrived in the land. The Ponevezher Rov once asked when addressing a large crowd, "Is it only new immigrants who are commanded to bring Bikurim and not native born sons?"

He answered that we see from here that even people born and bred in Eretz Yisroel, or those that have been here for a very long time, must have the same excitement as a person who has newly arrived home from the galus. The feeling of coming home to Hashem's land must not dull over time. I myself, said the Ponevezher Rov, every time I return to Eretz Yisroel from abroad, it is brand new to me as if I have never been here before. (Shalal Rov)

For those of us to have made our way home, keep appreciating it and don't take it for granted. Wake up every morning and look outside and say, "Wow, I can't believe I am lucky enough to live here!"

16 Aug 2018

14 Aug 2018

Shoftim and Elul

We read Parshas Shoftim in the beginning of Elul because the first step to Tshuva is to put guards at our hotspots. "Shoftim V'Shotrim Tetein Lecha B'Chol She'arecha"; place judges and policemen at all your gates. These gates allude to the gates of your body; your eyes, ears, mouth, etc., says the Bnei Yisaschar. The gemara says the eyes see and the heart desires. This is the mechanics of Aveira. We need to watch both what goes into our mouth and what comes out of it. Once we have honest judges guarding these flashpoints from evil we are on the road to tshuvah.

If we do stumble we must have a mechanism for punishing ourselves whether it is in the form of promising to give money to tzedoka or withholding something that we enjoy for every time we slip. This effective idea was popular among the Talmidim of Rav Moshe Kordevero says the Bnei Yisaschar.

Rich Returns

10 Aug 2018

The expert

Radical haredi faction to sue police over foul smelling spray - I was on a bus departing from Jerusalem when one of the people who had been sprayed got on the bus. The odor was foul and I saw a woman run off the bus with her baby after she turned to her husband complaining that she couldn't breathe and was going to throw up.
The police might want to take into account the hundreds of others who will be affected by the tactics they employ.

Interview With Rabbi Yaakov Gurwitz, Expert On Shatnez

The OU Women’s Initiative Launches Virtual Rosh Chodesh Lunch & Learn Series For Women Worldwide

5 Aug 2018

The Water Solution

This past Shabbat we read the parsha of Eikev which contains the promise from G-d that if we hearken to His commandments, "I will give the rain of your land at its time, the early rain and the latter rain, and you will gather in your grain, your wine, and your oil."

This morning I came across an article titled 5-year drought raises questions over Israel’s water strategy.

The drought “will be solved, there is no question,” Steinitz, the energy minister, said. “This area is not new for us. We simply resume our historic tradition to focus and find developing water solutions.”

How about resuming historic tradition and following the Commandments as a solution?


106 Year Old Jew Lived Rich Life

3 Aug 2018

The obligation

Emuna Daily Lesson

The lesson of the fruits of Israel

Saving Rabbi Sacks

"HaKail HaGodal ViHanorah Asher lo Yisa Fanim ViLo Yikach Shochad. Oiseh Mishpat Yosoim ViAlmanah ViOhaiv Ger Losais Lohem Lechem ViSimlah; Hashem who does not show favor and does not take bribes. Who carries out judgment to orphans and widows and loves the convert to give him bread and garments." (10:17)

The Ksav Sofer says that this pasuk is a warning to people who think that just because they are fine people "Bain Adam LaChavero" - they treat others very well, this is sufficient. They don't need to be a good Jew "Bain Adam LaMokom" - their good deeds to their brethren will wipe away their sins to Hashem. The pasuk therefore says, "Asher lo Yisa Fanim ViLo Yikach Shochad" - Hashem will not take as a bribe the fact that you are, "Oiseh Mishpat Yosoim ViAlmanah ViOhaiv Ger Losais Lohem Lechem ViSimlah" - you take care of the orphans, widows and converts. Just because you are a good Jew to others, does not relinquish you of the obligation to be a good Jew to the Ribono Shel Olam, too!

31 Jul 2018

Listening to the Rebbe

Gaza: Two PFLP terrorists killed when rocket they were firing exploded prematurely

Neurologist: The Rebbe Was Right

Egalitarian for thee

Rabbi Speaks on Ongoing Ordeal

The New Yorker has published an article titled Israel Passes a Law Stating What’s Jewish About a “Jewish and Democratic State.”

The author writes, "Successive Netanyahu coalitions failed to pass an egalitarian conscription law that puts the same burden on Orthodox youth as it does on secular youth."

If the author is so concernd about equality, why doesn't he write "an egalitarian conscription law that puts the same burden on the Arab minority youth"?

Furthermore, he writes, "Meanwhile, Orthodox ministers in charge of the Interior Ministry under Likud governments began to apply stringently Orthodox, or halachic, standards to conversion for purposes of authorizing '“Jewish nationality.”'

Is it possible that the stringently Orthodox, halachic standards were appled to conversion for the purpose of keeping halacha?

Family of Palestinian Who Killed Yotam Ovadia HY”D Expected to Receive $1,600 Grant, Monthly Salary as Reward

28 Jul 2018

For the good of the child

"Ki Kasher Yiyaser Ish Es Bino Hashem Elokecha Miyasrecha", like a man punishes his son Hashem punishes us (Eikev 8:5). Hashem punishes us out of love of a father trying to help his son and not to hurt him. The Ben Ish Chai asks, shouldn't it say the word "Av" father, instead of the word "Ish" a man? He answers that even a father, who punishes his son for the son's own good, has to a certain degree his own personal agenda. A wayward son is an embarrassment to the father who raised him. Yes he wants to help his son, but he also is angered by the way he is perceived by others as a bad parent. His punishment is tinged with a trace of bitterness for his shattered dreams of raising perfect children.

Hashem does not punish us like an insulted father. He punishes us like an "Ish", a perfectly objective observer of what is good for us, and nothing else.

When dealing with our children, it is incumbent on us to to probe deeply within ourselves and ask, what is for the good of the child, and what am I really doing for my own good.

הרב יאיר זמר טוב

No Apologies Necessary

20 Jul 2018

A Paid Day Off


הגר"ד לאו: האינטרנט כמו אש, צריך להיזהר

Senior Hamas member calls for ridding ‘Palestine of filth of the Jews’

תוכנית המחאה הגאה: שורת הפגנות ששיאן בעצרת בכיכר רבין ביום ראשון בערב

I have a question for those companies permitting their employees to take a paid day off on Sunday to join the strike and protest for same rights for the LGBT community. If I wish to take a paid day off to mourn the destruction of the two Temples and to fast on Tisha B'Av, will I be extended the same right?

17 Jul 2018

Tefila helps

'We should say 'Shehecheyanu'

The young people of Bnei Yisroel who were about to go into Eretz Yisroel. Moshe Rabbeinu in his last address to them retold the story of their parents' mistakes in the Midbar. When retelling the Cheit of the Meraglim, Moshe says that they were punished and routed by the Emori in their effort to go to Eretz Yisroel without permission. After this defeat they came back to the Machaneh and began to cry. The pasuk says (1:45) "V'Lo Shama Hashem B'Kolchem", Hashem did not listen to them. The next pasuk says that they stayed in Kadeish many years. Rashi says that they stayed there for 19 years without wandering around.

The Netziv says that we see from here that even when Hashem does not listen to our tefilos and does not grant our request, the tefila still helps. While their tefilos did not repeal the gezeira of staying in the Midbar for 40 years, it helped that they settled in one place did not need to wander for 19 years. We can't always get what we want but we always get something!

Never too late

Mashiach through the eyes of science

UPDATE: The New York Times article by Associated Press which I wrote about has had the headline changed to "Israel Places New Limitations on Cargo Crossing Into Gaza." It still appears in the previous version at Business Insider over here.

Additionally, whereas previously the article stated, "It appeared to be the first case of Gaza militant using animals to attack Israel," it now reads, "It appeared to be the first case of Gaza militants using birds to attack Israel."
Even though the original article contained the sentence, "Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Israel will cease transferring gas and fuel through the Kerem Shalom crossing until next Sunday but will allow food and essential medication to cross," various media sies had no problem publishing the headline that Israel shut down the cargo crossing.

The New York Times has published an article titled Israel Shuts Down Cargo Crossing Into Gaza to Punish Hamas.
Is it really to punish Hamas or to keep Israel safe?

The Associated Press reported in the article, "On Sunday, Israel says it discovered a falcon to which Gaza militant tied an incendiary device meant to set fires. It appeared to be the first case of Gaza militant using animals to attack Israel."

The Associated Press describes itself as being comprised of outstanding journalists. How come it took me, not an outstanding journalist, the total of 15 seconds to find this 2014 article?
Hamas deploys donkey strapped with explosives as Iron Dome defense system protects Israelis

And this article?

Donkey suicide bomb stopped by Israeli troops in Gaza

It’s never too late for a bar mitzvah

WATCH: R’ Shaya Levin Speaking At A Shidduch Meeting For 10kBatayYisroel.org

KIN'S PAIN & SEARCH GO ON - 1997 article about a search for a long lost brother taken from a Polish hospital to a convent still is relevant today as the family searches for his wherabouts to this day.

14 Jul 2018

Sitting in the living room

When My Son’s Car Broke Down Outside Kiryat Joel

'We sat in the living room, suddenly we were filled with blood'

Will the above article with the accompanying picture make its way to the J Street website?
Looking at the homepage, I found an article titled, "Tell Trump: Restore Aid for Palestinian Refugees," and a link to an article which begins with the words "J Street is outraged by the Israeli government’s dispatch of bulldozers today to prepare for the imminent demolition of the West Bank Palestinian community of Khan al-Ahmar." Additionally, there is an article by Suzanne Singer linking the daughters of Zelophehad who courageously asked to inherit a portion in the land of Israel to the just distribution of Israeli land for the Bedouins.