Monday, December 20, 2010

n korea = gog?

Korea crisis

the Juche tower in N. Korea

The Juche Idea, also called Chuch'e (Korean pronunciation: [tɕutɕʰe] approximately "joo-che") is the official state ideology of North Korea (Democratic People's Republic of Korea). It teaches that "man is the master of everything and decides everything," and that the Korean people are the masters of Korea's revolution. Juche is a component of North Korea's political system.[citation needed] Juche literally means "main body" or "subject"; it has also been translated in North Korean sources as "independent stand" and the "spirit of self-reliance". Juche cannot be completely translated into foreign languages. Its best translation would be ‘always putting Korean things first (wikipedia)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Shoresh tours

On Shabbat VeYechi, two hikers were stabbed while hiking in the forest outside of Jerusalem near Beit Shemesh.

One of the victims was a tour guide for Shoresh Tours, a Messianic Jewish tour group. According to the website of Shoresh Tours, the group's goal is:

"We want our tours to be used by God to make loving disciples of Yeshua (Jesus) – people who know God’s love for them and share it with others.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

weather and miracles

Despite the severe weather in Israel, there have been countless miracles:

A minibus carrying a group of mentally challenged adults was stuck in a flooded area in Tel Aviv. Fireman unloaded all 13 passengers unharmed.

A commercial vehicle flipped over and went up in flames. All 13 passengers of the vehicle successfully removed themselves. There were 2 injuries but no fatalities.

The number of saved passengers in both cases is 13, which is equal to Hashem's 13 qualities of compassion.

In another incident, a tree fell and severely damaged a school building in Yizhar at night, when no students were present. According to INN, "The fact that the trees collapsed into the empty buildings at night and not during school hours is a miracle," said Yitzhar's residents.

May Hashem have rachamim on all of am yisrael and keep us one and safe in these times.

joseph's pit

Is Jubb Yussef really the pit into which Joseph was cast?

Saturday, December 11, 2010

the Galil and the Golan in the time of Mashiach

HaRav Daniel Zamir reads a section from Talmud that says that before the time of Mashiach the Galil will be destroyed and the Golan will be desolate.

Video in Hebrew:

Thursday, December 9, 2010


And he looked behind him and saw them, and cursed them in the name of Hashem. And there came forth two bears out of the forest, and tore from them forty-two children.

And he went from there to Mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria.

(Kings 2 2:24-25)

The Carmel Forest fire of 2010 claimed 42 lives.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Vayigash: Parsha and Commentary

"And Judah approached him..." (44.18)

Midrash Rabbah: Said Rabbi Judah: The verb “he approached” (vayigash) implies an approach to battle, as in the verse (II Samuel 10:13), “So Joab and the people that were with him approached unto battle.” Rabbi Nechemiah said: The verb “he approached” implies a coming near for conciliation, as in the verse (Joshua 14:6), “Then the children of Judah
approached Joshua.” The Sages said: It implies coming near for prayer, as in the verse (I Kings,
18:36), “And it came to pass at the time of the evening offering, that Elijah the prophet approached...” Rabbi Eleazar combined all these views: Judah approached Joseph for all
three, saying: If it be war, I approach for war; if it be conciliation, I approach for conciliation; if it be for entreaty, I approach to entreat.


Midrash Rabbah: Regarding the encounter between Judah and Joseph it is said: “Counsel in the heart of man is like deep water; but a man of understanding will draw it out” (Proverbs 20:5). This may be compared to a deep well full of cold and excellent water, yet none could drink of it. Then came one who tied cord to cord and thread to thread, drew up its water and drank, whereupon all drew water thus and drank thereof. In the same way Judah did not cease from answering Joseph word for word until he penetrated to his very heart.

וְהַקֹּל נִשְׁמַע בֵּית פַּרְעֹה לֵאמֹר בָּאוּ אֲחֵי יוֹסֵף וַיִּיטַב בְּעֵינֵי פַרְעֹה וּבְעֵינֵי עֲבָדָיו:

וּלְאָבִיו שָׁלַח כְּזֹאת עֲשָׂרָה חֲמֹרִים נֹשְׂאִים מִטּוּב מִצְרָיִם וְעֶשֶׂר אֲתֹנֹת נֹשְׂאֹת בָּר וָלֶחֶם וּמָזוֹן לְאָבִיו לַדָּרֶךְ:
רש"י: מטוב מצרים:
מצינו בתלמוד ששלח לו יין (ישן) שדעת זקנים נוחה הימנו. ומדרש אגדה גריסין של פול:

45.23 And to his father he sent the following: ten he donkeys carrying of the best of Egypt, and ten she donkeys carrying grain, bread, and [other] food, for his father for the way.

Rashi: of the best of Egypt:
We find in the Talmud (Meg. 16b) that he sent him aged wine because elderly people find contentment with it. [I.e., the fact that wine improves with age often affords contentment to the elderly.] According to the Midrash Aggadah (Gen. Rabbah 94:2 on verse 18), however, this refers to pounded beans [which have a soothing effect on a troubled spirit].

45.24 And he sent off his brothers, and they went, and he said to them, "Do not quarrel on the way."

Rashi: Do not engage in a halachic discussion lest the way cause you to stray. Another explanation: Do not walk with large steps, and enter the city while the sun is shining (Ta’anith 10b). According to the simple meaning of the verse, we can say that since they were ashamed, he (Joseph) was concerned that they would perhaps quarrel on the way about his being sold, debating with one another, and saying,“Because of you he was sold. You slandered him and caused us to hate him.”

וַיֹּאמֶר יִשְׂרָאֵל רַב עוֹד יוֹסֵף בְּנִי חָי אֵלְכָה וְאֶרְאֶנּוּ בְּטֶרֶם אָמוּת

And Israel said, "Enough! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die."

וַיֹּאמֶר אֱ־לֹהִים לְיִשְׂרָאֵל בְּמַרְאֹת הַלַּיְלָה וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב יַעֲקֹב וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּנִי

And God said to Israel in visions of the night, and He said, "Jacob, Jacob!" And he said, "Here I am."

אָנֹכִי אֵרֵד עִמְּךָ מִצְרַיְמָה וְאָנֹכִי אַעַלְךָ גַם עָלֹה וְיוֹסֵף יָשִׁית יָדוֹ עַל עֵינֶיךָ

I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up, and Joseph will place his hand on your eyes.

Talmud Megillah 29a: Come and see how beloved are Israel in the sight of G-d! To every place to which they were exiled, the Divine Presence went with them. They were exiled to Egypt and the Divine Presence was with them; they were exiled to Babylon, and the Divine Presence was with them; and when they will be redeemed in the future, the Divine Presence will be with them.

בָּנָיו וּבְנֵי בָנָיו אִתּוֹ בְּנֹתָיו וּבְנוֹת בָּנָיו וְכָל זַרְעוֹ הֵבִיא אִתּוֹ מִצְרָיְמָה
רש"י: ובנות בניו : סרח בת אשר, ויוכבד בת לוי

His sons and his sons' sons with him, his daughters and his sons' daughters and all his descendants he brought with him to Egypt.
Rashi: his sons’ daughters: Serah the daughter of Asher and Jochebed the daughter of Levi.

Sefer HaYashar, Tzror HaMor: When Jacob’s sons returned from Egypt with the news that Joseph is alive, they said: If we tell him straightaway, his soul will fly from his body. So they told Serach to play on her harp and sing, “Joseph lives, Joseph lives, and he is the ruler of Egypt,” so that he should absorb the message slowly. Said Jacob to her: “The mouth that informed me that Joseph lives shall not taste death.” Serach was among those who came out of Egypt and among those who entered the Land; She was the “wise woman” who handed over Sheva ben Bichri to Joab (II Samuel 20); in the end, she entered paradise alive.

Bava Batra 123a: "ALL THE SOULS OF THE HOUSE OF JACOB WHO CAME INTO EGYPT WERE SEVENTY (46:27)" But if you count them, you find only sixty-nine; the seventieth is Jocheved the daughter of Levi, who was born between the boundary walls as they
entered Egypt.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe (phrased by Yanki Tauber): In Egypt, there was one Jew who was born "between the boundary walls" as Jacob's household entered the country. A Jew who straddled the pre- and post-galut states of mind; who was neither of Egypt nor aloof from it. A Jew rooted in the past but an integral part of the present; a Jew with the power to transform Egypt without being transformed by it. This Jew was one of the two Jewish midwives (the second was her daughter, Miriam) who delivered, sheltered and raised a generation of faithful Jews under the terrible reign of Pharaoh. This Jew was Yocheved, mother of Moses.

(collected from Parsha In-Depth)

Today in Jewish History: Esther Made Queen

"And Esther was taken to King Achashverosh, to his palace, in the tenth month, which is the month of Tevet, in the seventh year of his reign. And the king loved Esther more than all the women, and she won his favor and kindness more than all the virgins; he placed the royal crown on her head and made her queen in Vashti's stead" (Book of Esther 2:16-17). This set the stage for the miracle of Purim six years later, on the 13th and 14th of Adar of the year 3405 from creation (356 BCE).


A parable for the importance of being connected to Chassidus today

A prince once fell extremely ill. The doctors diagnosed that his sickness could only be cured by grinding down certain jewels, mixing them with water, and administering this potion to him. However, these jewels were so rare that they could not even be found in the king’s treasury. The only such jewels available were in the king’s crown. In the meantime, the prince’s health deteriorated to the extent that the doctors began to doubt whether the prince would even be able to swallow the potion. The king then declared that nonetheless, it is worthwhile to grind down this jewel, the centerpiece of the king’s crown, on the chance that a drop may enter the prince’s mouth and heal him.

(from A Chassidishe Farbrengen)

Rain messages

Rav Shmuel Eliahu of Tzfat said recently that whoever does not understand that the rain sends us simple messages has not truly performed the mitzvah of Kriat Shma. We need to serve Hashem from the heart, to daven with Kavanah, to do things with joy and with awareness - including, when you say "Shalom" to a person, mean it!

מי שלא מבין שהגשם שולח לנו מסרים פשוט לא יצא ידי חובת קריאת שמע, "למען ירבו ימיכם על האדמה.. שנשבע לאבותיכם". הקב"ה אומר לנו שהוא יקיים את הברית אם גם אנחנו נמלא את חלקנו בהסכם, צריכים לעבוד את ה' מהלב, להתפלל בכוונה, לעשות את הדברים מתוך שמחה ומתוך התבוננות, גם כשאתה אומר לאדם שלום תתכוון לזה

full article (Heb) at Arutz Sheva

Zos Chanuka and Teshuva Shlema

- Chanuka is the actual final judgment period from Rosh Hashona, making the last day, called Zos Chanuka, because of the Torah reading that day, the final day of judgment.

- Reb Tzvi Elimelech of Dinov teaches based on the Zohar that Chanuka is a time of Teshuva M'Ahava, repentance out of love for Hashem.

- Reb Yisroel of Ruzhin says that a simple Jew can receive from Hashem on Zos Chanuka, what Tzadikim can on Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur.

(this and more at Zechus Avos)

Segulah for Rosh Chodesh Nissan

The Ben Ish Chai (Hilchos Chanuka 28) says: ומנהגינו להדליק שמן למאור לכבוד נשמת רבי מאיר בעל הנס זיע"א ביום ר"ח טבת - Our custom is to light oil for light in honor of the soul of Rebbe Meir Baal Hannes ZY"A on the day of Rosh Chodesh Teves.
R' Chaim Falagi of Izmir says that during Chanuka, and especially on Rosh Chodesh Teves, it's appropriate to give tzedaka in honor of Rebbe Meir Baal Hannes, and to send the money to the chachomim and rabbonim of Teveria (where Rebbe Meir is buried)...for one will see wonders from Hashem. This is tested and proven. (Moed L'kol Chai 27:76)

(from Zechus Avos)

Tzaddikim - Yartzheits - Tevet - including Reb Nosson, Rambam and Ba'al HaTanya!!

Full list at Zechus Avos

1 Teves - Avrohom Avinu (Bava Basra 91a)

5 Teves - R' Shlomo Molcho HY"D (1534), arrested by the Inquisition in Spain, he recited
Shema with great joy as he was burned at the stake. Read more about his amazing story here.

9 Teves - Ezra Hasofer (320 B.C.E.)

10 Teves - Reb Nosson of Nemirov (1844). Rebbe Nachman's student and wondrous compiler of many of Rebbe Nachman's teachings. See
Likutei Tefilos.

15 Teves - Rav Huna and Mari bar Mar Zutra, Amoraim

20 Teves - the Rambam

24 Teves - R' Shneur Zalman ben R' Boruch of Liadi (1813), first Lubavitcher Rebbe, author of the Tanya and Shulchan Aruch Harav

29 Teves - R' Yitzchok Kaduri (2006) ben R' Zev - elder mekubal of our time. well over 100 years old when he passed away.

Chodesh Tov!! Kol HaYeshuot!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Russian firefighting delegation prays at Kotel

Pictures from Arutz Sheva

Swiss firefighters at Kotel for 7th candle

The Swiss firefighting delegation participated this evening in the Hannukah candle-lighting ceremony at the Kotel. The Kotel Rabbi, Rabbi Shmuel Rabinowitz, thanked the delegation on behalf of the Jewish people for their contribution during the Carmel fire. The crowd who participated in the candle-lighting ceremony applauded and cheered along with the remarks.

Full article (in Hebrew) at Arutz Sheva

US, Israel to announce failure of freeze deal

Channel Two reports sides have come to a dead end in negotiations for Israel to renew moratorium on West Bank settlement building in exchange for US benefits package.

The US and Israel will announce on Tuesday night that negotiations to renew the moratorium on building in West Bank settlements have failed, Channel Two reported.

According to the report, Israel will not receive F-35 fighter jets or other benefits from the US in exchange for a freeze, and peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians will, in the mean time, not be renewed.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak Tuesday told the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee that a deal was never reached with the United States on a renewed settlement freeze because the US is preoccupied with the mass of documents being released by WikiLeaks.

Barak said, "At the moment, it has been completely halted" because of what he called a loss of American attention and concentration, saying they were "very busy with North Korea and the WikiLeaks releases."

The defense minister added that the "understandings the prime minister [Binyamin Netanyahu] reached [with US Secretary of State Hillary] Clinton were a gentleman's agreement and not finalized." He continued, "The US now needs to get congressional approval [for the deal]."

Netanyahu met with Clinton in New York last month in a marathon session to find a way to renew peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians, which have been stalled for several months since a 10-month settlement freeze expired. The Palestinians have refused to return to the negotiating table until Israel reinstates a West Bank building moratorium.

Netanyahu and Clinton reportedly reached an agreement whereby Israel would institute another three-month freeze in exchange for a package of incentives, including 20 F35 advanced fighter planes. Israel has delayed a security cabinet vote on the freeze pending US delivery of written assurances of the understandings agreed upon.

The letter has not yet arrived.


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