"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

30 Jun 2015

I'll have seconds

Rav Naftali Trop, the Rosh Yeshivah of the Chafetz Chaim's yeshivah in Radin, was a beloved figure known throughout the Torah world as a major talmid chacham. When he became very sick at a relatively young age, the yeshivah bachurim decided to donate time off their lives to him. Some of the boys pledged days, some pledged weeks. After all the pledges were made, they approached the Chafetz Chaim himself to ask him to donate time off of his life for the beloved Rosh Yeshivah.

The Chafetz Chaim thought about it and then told the boys that he was willing to give Rav Naftali one minute of his life. The boys couldn't believe it and asked incredulously... “Rebbe, one minute, no more?”.

Said the Chafetz Chaim, “If you knew what you could achieve in one minute of learning, you wouldn't be as careless with your time as you are”. The boys gained a new appreciation of the incredible value of time and returned to the Beis Midrash to learn. Later they said, “Never was the learning as intense as it was on the day that the Chafetz Chaim taught us the value of time”. http://www.shortvort.com/shemini-parasha/11700-parashas-shemini-journey-to-the-centre-of-the-torah

Midnight will come later tonight as for the first time in three years an extra second is added to the official time set by atomic clocks.

The "leap second" means the last minute of June will have 61 seconds in it.

An extra second - how the Chofetz Chaim would have utilized the extra second to its fullest potential. What are we going to do with it?

The 13th of Tammuz

Segulah of saying 13 times perek 13 of Tehillim

I recently read a communal notice in the Hamodia, "I said Tehillim Perek yud gimel 13 times for 13 days with the intention of publicizing and saw a great ישועה."

After reading the above notice, I resolved to get 13 people to start reciting the perek from the 13th of the month for 13 days while praying for a young woman to find her bashert. As today is the 13th of Tammuz, we have begun our effort starting from this morning.

Speaking of the 13th of Tammuz, below is a video which contains the Rebbe's words after the raid on Entebbe in July 1976. It seems from the caption under the video that the rebbe delivered his speech one week after the raid on 13 Tammuz, 5736 · July 11, 1976.

אוסף רמזים על מלחמות גוג ומגוג שעלולה לפרוץ בחודש תמוז השנה | מתוך מאמר קץ הגאולה סוד החשמל

The Rebbe's instructions

Collive writes about Rabbi Yekutiel Rapp, 66, OBM

A few years ago, Shturem.org wrote about the rabbi speaking to "the students of Mesivta Oholei Torah about rejoicing in Adar.

He spoke about the Rebbe's instructions to him regarding dancing in Adar, and what the Rebbe always asked, and always demanded that there should be true joy. He especially emphasized the Rebbe's guarantee that joy, with singing and dancing, is what will bring Moshiach closer."

Emuna daily lesson

מסר מפי הרב ניר בן ארצי שליט"א לפרשת בלק תשע"ה

צפו בפצוע: "הרגשה של חוסר אונים, רוצים להרוג אותי כי אני יהודי

Should marriage be limited to one man and one woman?

29 Jun 2015

The evil eye

Whoever possesses these three things, he is of the disciples of Abraham, our father; and [whoever possesses] three other things, he is of the disciples of Bil'am, the wicked. The disciples of Abraham, our father, [possess] a good eye, an humble spirit and a lowly soul. The disciples of Bil'am, the wicked, [possess] an evil eye, a haughty spirit and an over-ambitious soul. (Avot 5:19)

You have just returned from a date and your mother is waiting up for you.

"So nu, how did it go?"

"I'm not going out with him again. He didn't wait to see that I got inside the house. - He ordered a drink for me without consulting me. He took me to a shlocky place to have drinks....."

Let's reset the conversation.

"So nu, how did it go?"

"First of all, I admire how made the effort to travel all the way from Lakewood to Brooklyn and back without complaint. He was kind enough to drive me home but couldn't find a parking place. I saw he was waiting to make sure I got into the house but had to leave before I got safely in the house as the drive in the car behind him was honking impatiently....."

The Antidote for Balaam’s Evil Eye (Ayin Hara)

Balak(Numbers 22:2-25:9) The Evil Eye

Parshat Balak: The evil eye, how it works; how to defeat it

Parashat Chukat: The Drasha Of The Klausenberg Rebbe In Auschwitz

Shir Hamaalos

Mrs. Gila Sassoon Released From the Hospital

Video: After 29 Years, Mother’s Dying Wish Fulfilled

28 Jun 2015

The one to fear

Type B Holocaust denial is the one to fear

THOUGHTCRIME! Traditional marriage opinions BANNED by PA newspaper after Supreme Court ruling

Head to Head with the Communists

Love chesed

This weeks Haftorah is from Micha and spans two perakim and two separate topics. It starts by describing the status of Bnei Yisroel by Gog U'Magog. ...

In the second part Hashem tells Bnei Yisroel to look at the wonderful chesed he has done for us. One of the acts of chesed mentioned is how Hashem did not let Bilam destroy us, hence the connection to this week's parsha. Hashem challenges us to explain why our service is hollow and lacking in spite of his kindness. Why are all our mitzvos done just to receive honor from our peers? Hashem does not need our actions, be it korbanos or any other mitzvah.

Why is the story of Bilam such a powerful reproach to the way we do mitzvos? Hashem saved us from Bilam without us ever knowing that we were in danger, not before, during, or even after. This shows that he did it out of pure love and not for any honor or thank you in return. The lesson the Navi wants us to learn from the story of Bilam is that Hashem wants us to perform mitzvos without ulterior motives. The Navi tells us the Hashem wants us to "act justly, love chesed, and serve Hashem in a modest way". It does not say perform chesed, rather love chesed. Hashem is not asking at how much or what kind of chesed we do but what he wants is for you to do it for the love of chesed, for the love of Hashem. Hashem wants us to perform mitzvos quietly and modestly not on plaques on buildings and inscriptions in newly published sefarim. Hashem wants true service. Service from the depths of our heart!

The U.S. Supreme Court does not have the authority to redefine something it did not create. Marriage was created long before the United States and our constitution came into existence. Our constitution says nothing about marriage. The majority who issued today’s ruling have simply made it up out of thin air with no constitutional authority.
Read more at http://www.wnd.com/2015/06/i-fear-judgment-befalling-america/#xMwBjpgstJ6BC6JP.99

24 Jun 2015

Giving back

Michael Oren’s New Book and the Mendacity of the Media

Gemach Recipients Give Back

Squeek squeak

Breitbart reports, "President Barack Obama hosted two radical anti-Israel activists, Riham Osman and Batoul Abuharb of Houston, Texas, on Tuesday night."
Read more: http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/06/23/obama-hosts-israel-haters-at-iftar-dinner-presidents-table/

Sen. Marco Rubio cast the deciding vote for Obamatrade on Tuesday as it squeeked through the U.S. Senate 60-37, and his Senate office is still outright refusing to answer whether he even knew what he was voting on.

Note to Breitbart - please change the spelling of "squeeked" to "squeaked."

Why Non-Jews Are Choosing Jewish Circumcision Ceremonies

מזל טוב: אלמנת הקדוש ממובאי התארסה

23 Jun 2015

Parshat Chukat

Free Beacon reports ADL Joins Obama’s War on Israel

EXCLUSIVE: Thank the New Israel Fund for United Nations Report Accusing Israel Of War Crimes

Parashat Chukat: Reviewing 101 Times

In the video below, the speaker talks about marriage. Speaking of marriage, below is a cute dating joke I recently came across in the Reader's Digest.

Jeff’s blind date with Ann was bad from the start – in short, they loathed each other. Fortunately, Jeff had asked a friend to call him so he’d have an excuse to leave if the date wasn’t going well. When his friend called, Jeff pretended to be in shock. “I have to leave,” Jeff said to Ann. “My aunt just died.” “Thank G-d,” Ann replied. “If yours hadn’t, mine would have had to.”

22 Jun 2015

The great merit

Op-Ed: Fact and Opinion: One and the Same for Israel-Haters

The Rebbe’s Advice for Life

Parashat Korach: The Chasam Sofer Identifies The Great Merit That Will Change Your Mazel

Fuzzy Math at The NY Times: A Review

Paying it forward

I caught a post at Collive.com with a caption under a photo which reads, "Hollywood Director Brett Ratner puts on Tefillin with the help of West Coast Head Shliach Rabbi Boruch Shlomo Cunin and Shliach Shalom Ber Cunin, then helps others put on Tefillin as well."

A comment under the post reads, " I think this should be the next "ice bucket challenge" to put on Tefillin (and something equivalent for the ladies) and then challenge a friend to do it too! It can be in honour or protection for the soldiers in Israel, awareness for something or just to bring Moshiach!"

YidwithLid writes, "In a unanimous Opinion issued Friday, June 19, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with and affirmed the D.C. District Court's ruling that the pro-Israel organization Z Street correctly brought a lawsuit alleging the Internal Revenue Service violated Z Street First Amendment rights by engaging in viewpoint discrimination."
Read more: http://yidwithlid.blogspot.be/2015/06/todays-z-street-court-victory-may-blow.html

21 Jun 2015

Fighting back

Emuna Daily lesson

‘When Western women stop being objectified, they can criticise us.’ Orthodox Jewish women fight back

Despite the July 4 being a Shabbat, a large number of Jews will be joining members of other faiths and those of none, to demonstrate their abhorrence of what can only be described as an “anti-Jew” rally planned for the Saturday afternoon in one of the heartlands of London Jewry, northwest London’s Golders Green area.
Read more: http://www.jpost.com/Diaspora/Jewish-community-to-counter-anti-Jew-rally-in-Golders-Green-406635

The corresponding Hebrew date of July 4th this year is the 17th of Tamuz.

Dr. Ruth Westheimer: My Top Tips for a Long and Healthy Life


18 Jun 2015

Reaffirming support

The New York State Assembly passed on its last day of the legislative session a resolution rejecting the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement and reaffirming its support for Israel.
Read more: http://jpupdates.com/2015/06/18/ny-assembly-passes-resolution-rejecting-bds-against-israel/

Emuna  Daily Lesson

Click here to view sample pages of Living Shabbos by Rabbi David Sutton.

Good neighbors

Great article by Rabbi Zvi Teichman about neighbors - Parshas Korach - It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Parshas Korach - Unity

17 Jun 2015

The mouth of the Earth

Why was the mouth of the Earth used to punish Korach and his followers, couldn't a bolt of lightening or death by plague sufficed as a punishment?
Read more: http://www.shortvort.com/korah-parasha/12276-korach

Korach had many outstanding qualities. He hailed from a distinguished family, was a talmid chacham, possessed extraordinary wealth, and was a very wise man. How then could he have fallen so low to accuse Moshe of selfishly taking power and prestige for himself, especially after the Torah testifies about Moshe, “Now the man Moshe was exceedingly humble, more than any person on the face of the earth.”? How could he possibly accuse him of possessing the contemptible trait of arrogance?!
Read more: http://www.shortvort.com/korah-parasha/12134-blinded

The protest

There are 20 Jewish Families in Barbados & We are 1 of Them

The extreme right-wing organizers of a Saturday protest in a predominantly Jewish London neighborhood plan to burn Israeli flags and even a copy of the Jewish Oral Law, or Talmud, the UK’s Jewish Chronicle reported on Tuesday.
Read more: http://www.algemeiner.com/2015/06/16/fascist-demonstrators-to-burn-talmud-at-london-rally-in-jewish-neighborhood/

Study: Anti-Semitism Skyrockets in Canada

14 Jun 2015

The handwriting contest

Home of Lakewood Police Chief Burglarized

Young Shliach Wins Handwriting Contest

Are you smarter than a 6-year-old? Take this test to find out


75 years later

Teenage Boys Give Holocaust Survivor Bar Mitzvah 75 Years Later

?מי הליצן הגבוה שמאיים על העירוב באנטוורפן


Stunning photo - Rainbow over downtown Fort Worth right now.

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://revach.net/avodah/ahavas-yisroel/Parshas-Korach-Rav-Shimshon-Pincus-If-Korach-Is-Not-Completely-Swallowed-Up/4590

12 Jun 2015

The ruling

American judge rules Jewish family has NO claim to $20m painting that the Nazis took from their great-grandmother, telling her to 'give it up or go to a concentration camp'

"My servant Kalev, because he possessed in him a different spirit, and followed me fully, I shall bring him into the land to which he came, and his children will cast [its inhabitants] from it." Kalev merited receiving the city of Chevron because he did not listen to the plan of the Meraglim. Why was Kalev singled out for reward and not Yehoshua who also did not listen to the Meraglim? The Panayach Raza answers that Yehoshua had help in fighting against the Meraglim. Yehoshua was armed with Tefillah of Moshe who davened for him, "Koh Yoshiacha MayAtzas Meraglim" - "Hashem should help you against the plan of the Meraglim". However, Moshe did not daven for Kalev, therefore Kalev, who fought them on his own, merited receiving the city of Chevron.

The Ibn Ezra answers, since it was Kalev who silenced the Meraglim (as the pasuk says, "Vayahas Kalev"), he was the one to receive this gift from Hashem. 

דרכו האחרונה: הרב מיכאל ניסנוב הובא למנוחות עולם

דודי קאליש ובנו מוישי - כרחם אב על בנים | Dudi Kalish & Son Moshe Sing New Song

The parsha of Tzitzis

Undercover Reporter Reveals Irish Businesses Willing to Buy From Iran, North Korea While Refusing Israeli Products (Video)

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.

11 Jun 2015

Parshat Shelach

While I watched the short clip at Chadrei Charedim of the hachnasat sefer Torah in memory of Eyal Yifrach in which the crowds were singing, "HaKadosh Baruch Hu, Anachnu Ohavim Otcha" all I coould think was "Mi KeAmcha Yisrael."

אלעד חגגה: ספר תורה לזכר איל יפרח הי"ד

Anti-Semitic Attacks in NYC Up by 29% in First 5 Months of 2015

The Big Picture Continues: The War of Gog and Magog

2 Jun 2015

Accepting insults

WZ  has an article about Tahera Ahmad's complaint of facing discrimination on a UA flight when she asked for a can of Coke. The article contains a series of her Facebook posts which include, "I am truly dissapointed at the latest statement by United Airlines."

I am truly disappointed that the word "disappointed" was spelled incorrectly.

A comment posted on her Facebook page in response to her relating the incident included thanking Ms. Ahmad for the inspiring way in which she responded to an "ugly outburst of hatred."
"Our Rabbis taught: those who are insulted but do not insult, hear themselves reviled but do not respond, perform mitzvot out of love and rejoice in times of suffering, about them the verse says [Judges 5] “And those who love G-d are like the sun at its strongest shining.”

After googling the quote, I came across an interesting article titled HaNeelavim ve-Einam Olvim: The Value of Accepting Insults in Silence.