20 April 2015

Will There Be a Third Miracle War in Iyyar?

1 Iyyar 5773
Rosh Chodesh
Day 16 of the Omer

In the future, all of creation is destined to ascend to the next spiritual level.  The whole world will one day attain the kedushah of Eretz Yisrael; Eretz Yisrael will rise to the kedushah of Yerushalayim; and, Yerushalayim will ascend to the level of kedushah equal to that of Har Habayit today.

I think this future reality will have been mirrored in the physical realm by our attaining access to these three in stages by virtue of three miracle wars that take place in the month of Iyyar.

First, the Land of Israel returned to us on the 5th of Iyyar.  Nineteen years later, on the 28th of Iyyar, Yerushalayim was returned to us. Now, as anyone reading today's news can attest,  Har Habayit is still not entirely under our control, but that's coming next - maybe even this Iyyar, please G-d!

The Month of Iyyar: From Darkness to Light
Iyyar is the month in which the Levites first raised the Tabernacle onto their shoulders to carry it through the desert, and it is the month in which King Solomon laid the foundations for the Holy Temple onto the bedrock of Mount Moriah.
...The month of Iyyar is known by the name "Ziv" in the Tanach, a word which means "brightness." Only during the era of the second Temple was the name Iyyar adopted. Iyyar, related to the words for light, and for air, also means brightness. The month of Iyyar doesn't merely mark the passage of time from exodus to revelation, it marks spiritual growth. The children of Israel were brought out in "haste" by G-d, but while deliverance from evil can occur in the twinkling of an eye, the spiritual maturity required to take on a life dedicated to walking in the way G-d has prescribed, requires spiritual preparation - and that's what Iyyar, which falls in the midst of this 49 day preparation - is all about.
We learn that the manna, which nourished the Israelites throughout their forty year sojourn in the desert, began to fall during the month of Iyyar. The well of Miriam, which miraculously followed the Israelites from station to station, likewise came into being during the month of Iyyar.
...The war with Amalek - the Israelites' entrance onto the stage of world history - took place during that first month of Iyyar after the exodus from Egypt. 
...Iyyar - the month of brightness, marks the passage from the darkness of slavery and exile to the brightness of revelation and the acceptance of G-d's Torah, and the yoke of heaven, by the Israelite nation....

18 April 2015

Hiding in Plain Sight

30 Nisan 5775
Day 15 of the Omer
Motzaei"sh - Rosh Chodesh I

If you are a regular visitor to alternative internet news sources, you are probably already familiar with the term Jade Helm 15 and the mystery of the five Walmarts closing across the American south - all at the same time... for the same reason... and for the same period of time. For those who aren't familiar, I will summarize.

Jade Helm 15 is being described as a “realistic military training exercise involving nine states, which will involve the Green Berets, Navy Seals, and the 82nd Airborne Division and is set to take place from July 15-September 15,...." (You can see the details here: Request to Conduct Realistic Military Training (RMT) JADE HELM 15)


Different alternative news analysts are speculating that this is a set-up for a martial law takeover of America. One source points out that "drills are always the way that operations are designed to position men and materials ahead of an operation or concurrent with planned attacks." It's like hiding in plain sight. They come in under the guise of a "drill", set everything up and then - boom! It's the real deal, but now it's too late to protest. Another source shows that the drill has been expanded to include southern states coast to coast.

The story about the Walmarts is really bizarre. Five Walmarts across this same area suddenly closed their doors this past Monday night for an announced period of six months (until September 2015) for "plumbing repairs." (See more here: Mystery surrounds Wal-Mart's bizarre cover story of closing five stores for six months due to "plumbing problems")

One source claims they are being converted to military "command and control centers" and points out the nearness of each of these Walmarts to a major military installation in its area.

I have no idea what the reshaim have planned, but I do know that nothing happens by chance. There are no coincidences. And they already know when they want to start WW3. From my perspective, these dates are the most significant portion of this report. And the lengths to which they are going indicate how significant an event this may yet turn out to be.

Just a heads up. Shavua tov! Chodesh tov!

[This blog post was written on Friday and scheduled for publication on Saturday night.]

17 April 2015

Parashat Tazria-Metzora 5775

28 Nisan 5775
Day 13 of the Omer
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

Parashat Tazria-Metzora: Afflictions
by Daniel Pinner

[Note: Due to the extra day of Pesach outside of Israel which this year fell on Shabbat, Jewish communities in the countries of exile are one week behind Israel in the Torah-reading. This will continue until Shabbat 27th Iyyar (16 May), when communities in Israel will read Parashat Bechukkotay (Leviticus 26:3-27:34) and communities in the exile will catch up by reading the double parashah Behar-Bechukkotay (Leviticus 25:1-27:34). My comments until then will focus on the Torah-reading appropriate for Israel.]

The two parashot Tazria and Metzora are usually combined; only in leap years, and always in leap years (meaning seven years in every 19-year cycle), are they read separately.

Parashat Tazria starts by setting forth the rules of ritual uncleanness and subsequent purification for a woman after childbirth (Leviticus 12), then the rest of Tazria and half of Metzora give the laws of tzara’at. This is usually translated as “leprosy”, and metzora is usually translated as “leper”, but this is inaccurate. Some of the symptoms are superficially similar to leprosy, but that is where the similarity ends. Tzara’at is a spiritual affliction, not a physical one.

The Torah begins with the basic signs of tzara’at: “Hashem spoke to Moshe and to Aaron saying: A person who on the skin of his flesh has a se’eit, or a sappachat, or a baheret, which becomes a tzara’at-affliction on the skin of his flesh, is to be brought to Aaron the Kohen (Priest) or to one of his sons the Kohanim. Then the Kohen will see the affliction…” (Leviticus 13:1-3). The Kohen who sees the symptom, and only the Kohen, can declare the afflictee contaminated; and then, if and when the symptoms disappear, the purification process can begin.

The Torah uses four expressions here: se’eit, sappachat, baheret, and tzara’at. Many English translations render these respectively as “a rising” (se’eit being a cognate of נשא, “raise up”), “a scab”, “a bright spot”, and “leprosy”, but these are inaccurate approximations. There are no precise English words for these terms, which is why some translations (such as ArtScroll and Margolin) simply transliterate the words, as we have done here.

Rashi (Commentary to Leviticus 13:2) says that “these are names of afflictions, and the one is whiter than the other”.

The Mishnah (Nega’im 1:1-2 and 7:2) defines the colours of these afflictions, which the Rambam collates as halachah: “Tzara’at is when a specific place on the skin of the flesh becomes whiter than the rest of the skin… Tzara’at has four visible signs: the brightest white, when the skin looks like snow, is baheret. A slightly darker white, which looks like the clean wool of a day-old lamb, is called se’eit. White which is slightly darker than the se’eit and which looks like the plaster of the Holy Temple is a derivative of the baheret and is called sappachat. And white which is slightly darker than the plaster of the Holy Temple and which is like the membrane of an egg is a derivative of the se’eit, and it too is called sappachat” (Mishneh Torah, Laws of Tzara’at-Uncleanness 1:1-2).

The Midrash (Vayikra Rabbah 15:9) sees these four symptoms of tzara’at affliction (se’eit, sappachat, baheret, and tzara’at) as allusions to the four mighty empires which oppressed Israel:

“The se’eit represents Babylon, following ‘Raise up [nasata] this parable against the king of Babylon and say: How has the oppressor ceased! How has the arrogant one ceased! (Isaiah14:4)… The sappachat represents Media from which arose the evil Haman who incited [saph] like a snake, following [God’s curse to the snake,] ‘On your belly you will crawl’ (Genesis 3:14). The baheret represents Greece which distinguished itself [me-baheret] by its decrees against Israel, telling them: Write on the horn of the ox that you have no share in the God of Israel. And ‘the affliction of tzara’at’ represents Edom [Esau, Rome] which sprouted from the strength of the old man”.

The Matnat Kehunah (commentary on the Midrash by Rabbi Yissachar Ber Katz, Poland and Israel, 16th century) explains this last enigmatic statement. Edom was the descendant of Esau, who flourished because of the blessing that Isaac, “the old man”, conferred upon him: “By your sword you shall live, and your brother you shall serve; but it will be that when you will have a legitimate complaint, you shall overthrow his yoke from off your neck” (Genesis 27:40).

The Targum Onkelos, Targum Yonatan, Targum Yerushalmi, and Rashi all interpret this to mean that Israel legitimately rules over his older twin Esau only as long as Israel obeys the Torah. But as soon as the Jews stop keeping the mitzvot, they lose all legitimate claim to rule over Esau, who is then justified in throwing off the yoke of Israel.

And the S’forno (Rabbi Ovadyah S’forno, Italy, c.1470-1550) adds: “‘…you shall overthrow his yoke from off your neck’, because you will indeed be skilled in warfare and capable of greatness”.

Therefore – concludes the Matnat Kehunah – “he [Edom, Rome] is the hardest of all exiles, like the affliction of tzara’at”.

Another allusion to these four oppressors is in the river which flowed forth from Eden to water the Garden, splitting into four headwaters – Pishon, Gihon, Hiddekel (Tigris), and Euphrates (Genesis 2:10-14).

“The Pishon represents Babylon, following ‘Their horsemen spread [pashu] themselves forth’ (Habakkuk 1:8)… The Gihon represents Media… The Hiddekel represents Greece which was swift [kalah] and sharp [hadda] in their decrees, telling them: Write on the horn of the ox that you have no share in the God of Israel… The Euphrates represents Edom, because it broke faith with [heiphira] and distressed His children; also because it was fruitful [phara] and multiplied in accordance with the blessing of the old man [Isaac]” (Bereishit Rabbah 16:4).

The symptoms of tzara’at and the waters of the Garden of Eden: two allusions to the four oppressors of Israel.

The se’eit (Leviticus 13:2) and the Pishon river (Genesis 2:11) represent Babylon. The se’eit is the first sign that tzara’at might be present, though as yet unformed and unconfirmed. According to the Zohar (Volume 1, Chayyei Sarah 125a), Rashi (commentary to Genesis 2:11), S’adiah Gaon, and the Ramban (commentary to Genesis 3:22) the Pishon river is the Nile, the river which irrigates Egypt – the country of our primordial exile, the country to which Israel descended when they were as yet unformed, the country wherein they evolved from an amorphously defined family to a recognised nation.

The sappachat (Leviticus13:2) and the Gihon river (Genesis 2:13) represent Media. The sappachat, as we have seen, “looks like the plaster of the Holy Temple”. Media, which morphed into Persia, was the empire which both oppressed Israel and allowed them to return to their homeland. Persia was the empire which both hindered and allowed the Jews to rebuild the Holy Temple. So it is appropriate that the sappachat, representing Media, resembles the plaster of the Holy Temple.

Media (the Gihon river) was the empire which conquered and defeated Babylon (the Pishon river), which had destroyed the first Holy Temple. So it is intriguing that the Gihon river took over from the Pishon in welcoming Israel to the shores of the Red Sea: “Egypt chased after them and caught up with them when they were encamped by the Red Sea, gathering pearls and precious stones which the Pishon river swept from the Garden of Eden into the Gihon, and the Gihon took them to the Red Sea, and the Red Sea cast them to the shore” (Targum Yonatan, Exodus 14:9).

The baheret (Leviticus13:2) and the River Hiddekel (Genesis 2:14) represent Greece. Baheret is a feminine form of bahir (bright). Greece appeared to be the epitome of enlightenment with its philosophy, art, architecture, erudition, love of learning, music, legal system, and so forth; yet their rejection of holiness and their attempts at forcing to Israel to declare that they “have no share in the God of Israel” made them the epitome of darkness.

Similarly, though the word baheret denotes brightness and the baheret is indeed the whitest of the signs of tzara’at, it is nevertheless the harbinger of spiritual uncleanness. Like Greece, the dazzling pure whiteness is deceptive.

The affliction of tzara’at (Leviticus 13:3) and the River Euphrates (Genesis 2:14) represent Rome. Though the River Euphrates is the last of the four rivers to be mentioned, it has a special status: twice (Genesis 15:18 and Deuteronomy 1:7) the Torah calls it “the great river”, and both times Rashi comments: “Because it is attached to the Land of Israel it is called ‘great’, even though it is the last-mentioned of the four rivers which go forth from Eden”. By delineating the border of Israel it acquires its special status.

This follows the Midrash (Sifrei, Devarim 6): “‘Until the great river, the Euphrates River’ – this teaches that its greatness and its strength correspond to the Land of Israel”.

(Incidentally, this explains why the Torah calls the Mediterranean Sea “the Great Sea” in Numbers 34:6 – the Mediterranean Sea defines Israel’s western border.)

And then the Midrash continues (as does Rashi): “A common aphorism says, the servant of a king is a king. Cling to distinguished people and you will be considered distinguished”.

The Roman Empire and its successors indeed achieved greatness; as the S’forno (cited above) put it, “skilled in warfare and capable of greatness”. True – but sadly, Esau chose to make his greatness in evil, in opposition to Israel. Hence the Talmudic dictum: “If someone will tell you that Caesarea and Jerusalem are both in ruins – do not believe it; or that they are both populated – do not believe it. But if he tells you that Caesarea is in ruins and Jerusalem is populated, or that Jerusalem is in ruins and Caesarea is populated – believe it!” (Megillah 6a).

As much as Jerusalem symbolises Israel and Jewish independence, so Caesarea symbolises Edom and Roman domination. The one is bounded by the other. Like opposite ends of a see-saw, as the one ascends the other inevitably descends. Just as the River Euphrates defines the physical limit of Israel, which is the River Euphrates’ greatness, so Edom defines the spiritual limit of Israel.

That is Edom’s greatness.

Edom – the Roman Empire, the Roman exile – is symbolised by tzara’at. And tzara’at has two diametrically opposing characteristics: it is both a curse and a blessing.

Tzara’at can afflict both the body and the house, and a house afflicted by tzara’at has to be dismantled. This seems like a curse – but it can also eventually turn out to be a blessing. The Talmud (Horayot 10a) and the Midrash (Sifra, Metzora 5 and Vayikra Rabbah 17:6) record that when the Canaanites heard that the Israelites were approaching the Land of Israel, they concealed their wealth in the walls of their houses to deprive the Jews of it. When a house afflicted by tzara’at would be dismantled, the owner would then discover the concealed treasures.

This is the end of tzara’at: after the affliction comes the purification. The Midrash (Vayikra Rabbah 15:9) concludes its exposition on Parashat Tazria: “In this world the Kohen sees the afflictions; but in the World to Come – says God – I will purify you. Thus it is written, ‘And I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be cleansed’ (Ezekiel 36:25)”.

16 April 2015

Some Thoughts About the Weird Weather

27 Nisan 5775
Day 12 of the Omer

Jerusalem Explodes with Rain, Thunder and Lightning, even Hail
The Jerusalem area literally exploded early this morning with thunder, lightning and rain, as well as hail, which is sticking on the ground.
There has been almost constant thunder and lighting since 4:15 AM. Rain is falling at a rate of over 10mm per hour. As of 8AM, 35mm of rain has fallen.
Normally it doesn’t rain at all after the Pesach holiday.
The fire department rescued people stuck in their cars from floods inside Jerusalem.
(Experience it for yourself.)

This is not only out of season, it is highly unusual even in season. Jerusalem just does not have violent storms like this. In my 19 years here, I have never seen anything like it. While I was pondering the meaning of it, the following thoughts occured to me.

As is well-known, there are four death penalties imposed by the Jewish High Court in cases requiring a death penalty: 1) stoning, 2) burning, 3) slaying by the sword, and 4) strangling. Perhaps each of these weather phenomena corresponds to one of these four...

1) Hail - stoning, since it makes the same damage as rocks
2) Lightning - burning, since it can start fires
3) Thunder - sword, since it makes a crashing sound like iron on iron
4) Flooding rains - strangling, since a drowning person chokes on water

If so, then is this crazy weather Hashem's merciful way of carrying out the punishments we so richly deserve for our many sins or is it a last, drastic measure to warn us to do teshuvah for these sins before the actual sentence will be carried out with bombs instead of hail, with mushroom clouds, G-d forbid!, instead of lightning, with missiles instead of thunder and with gas, G-d forbid!, instead of flooding rain.

I think our situation and Hashem's judgment is much more serious than we have been imagining it until now. I hear that adage in my mind: "Think good and it will be good." That's magical thinking. It won't be "good" just because we want to think it will be. It didn't work for the Jews who saw the Temples destroyed and who were carried away into exile. It certainly didn't work for the Jews sealed up in the Warsaw Ghetto!

We have to have the courage to face the Truth - if we want to survive! And to act upon what we know to be true in order to save ourselves and as many under our influence as possible!!

Hashem is much more serious about our teshuvah than we are. We must reach the point where we are as serious with Him as He is with us!! 

Heaven is screaming at us to wake up! Time is running out. Are we ever going to listen?

15 April 2015

Holocaust Remembrance Day 5775 (2015)

27 Nisan 5775
Day 12 of the Omer

Holocaust Memorial Day 
by Daniel Pinner

1: Dawn of a nation

The 10th of Nissan, 2448 (1312 B.C.E.). For generations, the Jews have been enslaved in Egyptian exile, conditioned to accept the Egyptians as their immutable masters. They suffer slavery, humiliation, torture, the murder of their sons, in mute despair. And now, after centuries of this conditioning, Moshe arose and commanded them: Take a lamb – the god of your Egyptian masters; tie it to your bed-post for four days; at the end of that time, slaughter it in public; roast it whole, ensuring that the Egyptians will see it and smell it and identify it! Defy Egypt, the mightiest power in the world! 

Four days later, the 14th of Nissan, 2448. The Jews, smashing the conditioning of centuries, indeed slaughtered the lambs, the god of the Egyptians, in public. The next day, the 15th of Nissan, they leave Egypt with a high hand. 

It was “a night when Hashem Himself guarded them, bringing them out from the land of Egypt; and that same night Hashem Himself will guard all the Children of Israel throughout their generations”. This is the night which is fore-ordained for Israel to fight mightily against its future oppressors. 

This nation of slaves left the world’s undisputed superpower ravaged and depleted and defeated, like a fish-pond without fish, like a bird-trap without grain – useless without its bait. 

2: Eclipse of a nation
Almost a millennium later: the 13th of Nissan 3404 (356 B.C.E.). Israel lies desolate under Persian occupation. In the Persian capital, Shushan, the second most powerful man in the world, Haman, sends out directives throughout the mighty Persian Empire “to exterminate, to kill, and to destroy all the Jews, from youngest to oldest, in a single day, the thirteenth day of the twelfth month, and to plunder all their possessions”.  The situation for the Jews looks hopeless: the mightiest empire in the world has calmly and legally decided to exterminate them – and how can a defeated nation, scattered in exile, with no unified leadership and no army, even hope to resist?

The next day, the 14th of Nissan, Queen Esther – who until now had hidden her Jewish identity even from her own husband – begins her scheme to save her fellow-Jews. That night was the night of the 15th of Nissan – the night when Hashem Himself stood guard over all the Children of Israel. Three days later, on the 17th of Nissan, Haman was hanged; and eleven months later, on the day that Haman had schemed to exterminate all the Jews, “everything was overturned, that the Jews overpowered their enemies”.

3: Forging the nation’s destiny
Almost twenty-three centuries later: a bright sunlit morning of the 14th of Nissan 5703, 19th of April 1943. At 3:00 in the morning, Nazi forces had surrounded and sealed the Warsaw Ghetto, preparing to annihilate the Ghetto and all the Jews in it – almost half a million in all – in time for the Fuehrer’s birthday the following day, 20th of April.

To the Jews trapped there, the situation was hopeless: they were untrained in warfare, and the Armia Krajowa, the Home Army (the Polish resistance) refused to aid the Jews or even to recognise them as part of the Underground. Consequently, the Allies (primarily Britain) refused to supply the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto with weapons or ammunition (as they armed other underground resistance and partisan forces across occupied Europe).

Months and years of Nazi brutality have left the vast majority of the Warsaw Ghetto’s Jews desperately weakened, often without even the physical strength to stand, let alone fight: the official food ration allowed was 300 calories per person per day – perhaps one-seventh of what an adult needs to survive.

Yet in spite of all, the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto managed to cobble together a ragtag army of sorts – without uniforms, almost without weapons. They mustered some 750 fighters and another 750 non-combatants; the fighters were armed with 1 revolver, 5 grenades, and 5 Molotov cocktails each. Additionally, there were 3 rifles in each area, as well as 2 mines and 1 machine pistol in the whole Ghetto.

Attacking them was a force of well over 2,000 Nazi soldiers – highly trained, heavily armed. These included over 850 officers and men of the Waffen-SS – one of the most elite military forces in the history of warfare.

The attack on the Warsaw Ghetto began at 6:00 on the morning of 19th of April, with a force of 16 officers and 850 men of the Waffen-SS 7. With their heavy machine-guns, tanks, aircraft, artillery, and other machines of modern warfare, they expected the operation to be over in a day or two.

In fact, it would be almost a month before the commander of the operation, SS Brigadefuehrer (Major General) and Generalmajor der Polizei (Major General of the Police) Juergen Stroop y”sh could report on the 16th of May, “The Jewish quarter of Warsaw is no more! The grand operation terminated at 2015 hours when the Warsaw synagogue was blown up”.

Stroop’s report concludes with an almost pathetic account of the arms captured from the Jews: 9 rifles, 59 pistols, several hundred Polish and home-made hand grenades, a few hundred incendiary bottles (petrol bombs or Molotov cocktails), home-made explosives, and ammunition.

Yet with these few weapons, the Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto held the Nazis off for as long as Poland had done in September 1939, longer than Greece (which was reinforced with British Commonwealth forces).

On April 12, 1951, the Knesset proclaimed the 27th of Nisan as “Yom ha-Shoah U’Mered HaGeta’ot” (Holocaust and Ghetto Uprising Memorial Day). This was enshrined in law in 1959, when it was officially called “Yom haZikaron le-Shoah ve-liG’vurah” (Memorial Day for the Holocaust and Heroism). The 27th of Nisan has twin significance: first, it is a week before the Memorial Day for fallen Israeli soldiers, which is itself the day before Israel Independence Day. But more than this: from the start, the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was to be the focus of memorializing the Holocaust; and 27th of Nisan was the date of one of the fiercest battles of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – the battle of 2nd of May, commanded by Marek Edelman, the commander of the bunker at Franciszkanska 30.

(A week later, when Mordechai Anielewicz, the commander of the Jewish Combat Organisation, died, Edelman became commander in his place. Edelman survived the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and participated in the Polish resistance Home Army-led city-wide Warsaw Uprising against Nazi occupation in spring 1944. He remained in Warsaw after the Second World War, became a cardiologist there, and later politically resisted the Soviet-backed Communist regime. He died on 2nd October 2009, the last survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto fighters. By a curious twist of history, the revolt that Edelman led began the day before Passover, and the day he died was the day before Succot.)

The Warsaw Ghetto Uprising was fought so tenaciously, so bravely, that it inspired Jews (and others) throughout the Reich to take up arms against the seemingly invincible Nazi war machine. Over the next year, the Nazis faced uprisings in the Jewish ghettos of Brody, Lvov, Vilna, Kletzk, Cracow, Tarnow Czehstochowa, Bendin, Bialystok…the list went on.

And these inspired even Jews already in extermination camps with the determination to fight. On Rosh Chodesh Av 5703 (2nd August 1943), the Jews of Treblinka death camp revolted. On the first day of Succot, 14th of October 1943, it was the turn of Sobibor. The flame of rebellion was spreading: on 19th May 1944 the Jews of Ponary death camp fought, on 7th October the Jews of Auschwitz rebelled.

All these uprisings were arguably inspired by the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – the Jewish fight against impossible odds which began the same day that, 3,255 years earlier, the Jews of Egypt had shaken off their fear of their erstwhile slave-masters – the day that was ordained all those millennia ago as the day when Hashem Himself would infuse them with the courage to fight mightily against their oppressors.

This is the day on which, in independent Israel, we remember the Holocaust.

12 April 2015

What Happened on Pesach?

30 Nisan 5775
Day 15 of the Omer
Rosh Chodesh I

UPDATE: Here are the latest developments in the ongoing "proxy-war" between Iran and Saudi Arabia in Yemen which might turn into WW3. We will watch and see what happens there and keep you informed here, iy"H.

Iranian ship convoy moves toward Yemen, alarming US officials

U.S. military officials are concerned that Iran's support for Houthi rebels in Yemen could spark a confrontation with Saudi Arabia and plunge the region into sectarian war.

Iran is sending an armada of seven to nine ships — some with weapons — toward Yemen in a potential attempt to resupply the Shia Houthi rebels, according to two U.S. defense officials. 

Officials fear the move could lead to a showdown with the U.S. or other members of a Saudi-led coalition, which is enforcing a naval blockade of Yemen and is conducting its fourth week of airstrikes against the Houthis.

Iran sent a destroyer and another vessel to waters near Yemen last week but said it was part of a routine counter-piracy mission.

What's unusual about the new deployment, which set out this week, is that the Iranians are not trying to conceal it, officials said. Instead, they appear to be trying to "communicate it" to the U.S. and its allies in the Gulf.

...Officials fear a naval confrontation between Iran and Saudi Arabia could escalate what has become a proxy war between the two countries.


23 Nisan 5775
Day 8 of the Omer

Menachem: "...On Pesach - it's not clear to me exactly when, but there will be something very frightening on Pesach, but don't be afraid! ...Don't worry! ...On Pesach, something will happen, on Pesach - it still won't be the redemption, but something will happen that will change the whole world, the whole world will change. You'll see...." (8 Nisan 5775)

Personally, I don't know too many people who are frightened by the news, but they should be. Frankly, I don't think very many people are even paying any attention at all to what is going on. How can they be afraid of something they don't even know is happening?

Yalkut Shimoni Remez Yishayahu 499: Rabbi Yitzchak said: In the year that Melech HaMoshiach will be revealed, all the kings (leaders) of the nations will be struggling against each other. The leader of Iran will contest with the leader of Arabia, and the leader of Arabia will go to Edom to get council from them. The leader of Persia will respond and destroy the entire world. All the nations of the world will be trembling and shaking and falling on their faces. They will be seized by pains like labor pains.
The Jewish people will be trembling and quaking and saying: "Where can we go? Where can we go?" And [Hashem] will say to them: My children, do not fear! Everything I did I did only for you! Why are you frightened? Don't be afraid--the time of your redemption has arrived!"

"The leader of Persia will respond and destroy the entire world."

This is what I think happened over Pesach. It started then, but it hasn't finished yet...

8 April 2015
Report: Iran sends navy vessels near Yemen amid airstrikes

Iran dispatched a naval destroyer and another vessel Wednesday to waters near Yemen as the United States quickened weapons supply to the Saudi-led coalition striking rebels there, underlining how foreign powers are deepening their involvement in the conflict.

9 April 2015
US warns Iran on backing Yemen rebels, Tehran defiant 

Washington warned it would not stand by while Tehran supports Shiite rebels in Yemen, as Iran's supreme leader denounced Saudi-led air strikes in the country as "criminal acts".

Iran, Saudi Arabia in tense buildup opposite Yemen’s Gulf of Aden shore

Saudi-Iranian saber-rattling over Yemen has reached a dangerous peak, Thursday, April 9, the Saudi army spokesman, Brig. Gen. Ahmad Al-Assiri, warned: “Iranian ships have the right to be present in international waters, but won’t be allowed to enter Yemeni territorial waters.”

This was Riyadh’s rapid-fire riposte for the Iranian decision to deploy its navy’s 34th Flotilla, consisting of the Alborz destroyer and the Bushehr helicopter carrier warship, in the Gulf of Aden opposite the Yemeni coast.

The Saudi general noted that Iran had not evacuated any of its citizens from Yemen because, he said, “they are all involved in training and arming the Houthis.”

...Tehran decided to send its most effective naval force to the Gulf of Aden when it realized that Riyadh would not heed its warnings to back off Yemen. Its presence substantiated the threat of direct Iranian intervention in the Yemeni conflict should harm come to the elite IRGC force aiding the rebels.

...The new 13,000-ton vessel carries 12 Iranian strike helicopters, a crew of 200 and has a range of 8,000 nautical miles that reaches the US coast. There are five landing spots on its decks and four parking spots, as well as SM-1 and SAM anti-air missiles and 40-mm Fath-40 AAA anti-air cannon. Tehran invested $800 million in its first helicopter carrier.

If Tehran is not scared off by the Saudi threat and does order the Bushehr to sail into Yemeni territorial waters, its guns and missiles would be in range there to strike targets in neighboring Saudi Arabia to the north.

Yaaros Dvash - Rabbi Yonasan Eibshetz, ztvk"l -"At certain moment the time will come when Moshiach should have already arrived but the redemption has not yet come. The Moshiach will ask how it could be that the time for redemption has arrived and he still undergoes sufferings? The response that he will receive is that he must wait for nine months. Why? In order to wait for the fall of Persia at the hands of Edom, and then the final redemption will come."
Amos 1:11-12
Thus said the Lord:
For three transgressions of Edom,
For four, I will not revoke it:
Because he pursued his brother with the sword
And repressed all pity,
Because his anger raged unceasing
And his fury stormed unchecked.
I will send down fire upon Teman,
And it shall devour the fortresses of Bozrah.

Teman is Yemen and Bozrah is Edom's capital city. The way I'm reading it, whatever develops out of what is happening in Yemen today is going to blow back big-time on Washington, DC and then they will attack Iran and that will all result in Mashiach - changing the world forever.

See here...
Yirmiyahu 49:20-22
Hear, now the plan which the Lord has devised against Edom, and what He has purposed against the inhabitants of Teman:
Surely the shepherd boys
Shall drag them away;
Surely the pasture shall be
Aghast because of them.
At the sound of their downfall
The earth will shake;
The sound of screaming
Shall be heard at the Sea of Reeds.
See, like an eagle he flies up,
He soars and spreads his wings against Bozrah;
And the heart of Edom's warriors in that day
Shall be like the heart of a woman in travail.
And here...
Ovadiah 1:9
Your warriors shall lose heart, O Teman,
And not a man on Eisav's mount
Shall survive the slaughter.

Clearly, Teman is intimately bound up in the ultimate destruction of Edom. Could the reference to the "Sea of Reeds" be a clue to when this course will be locked in - Pesach?? As Menachem said, we'll see.

09 April 2015

The Seventh Day of Passover

20 Nisan 5775
Erev Shvi'i shel Pesach
5th Day of Chol HaMo'ed
Day 5 of the Omer

The seventh day of Pesach marks the day when many miracles were performed for our forefathers at the Red Sea. ...It was on this very date, eighty-one years before Israel stood on the banks of the Red Sea, that Moshe was cast into the river as a result of Pharaoh's edict. ...On this same date, one year before the Exodus, Moshe left Midyan at God's command to take Israel out, for on the fifteenth of Nisan, God had appeared to him from within the bush and urged him for seven days - the period of Pesach - to accept this mission.  (The Book of Our Heritage)


"And God brought a strong east wind to blow over the sea all that night."  (Shemot 14:21) - If God wanted the sea to split, He could have ordered it to do so; with one declaration. He could have transformed it into dry land. Why did He bring "a strong east wind" (...from the desert)? God sought to imbue Israel with the belief that all of the acts of Creation are dependent upon His word. The wilderness and the inhabited places, the sea and the wind, the clouds and the fire - all are the work of His hands and subject to His direction. There is no aspect of nature independent of His control. (The Book of Our Heritage)


Moishela: "On Shvii Shel Pesach we will hear the Shofar. " (Elul 5774)

Binyamin: "...in the coming weeks, there will be such surprises and such strange and difficult situations in the world that even though we understand more or less what's happening, nevertheless it will confuse everyone." (8 Nisan 5775)

Menachem: "...On Pesach - it's not clear to me exactly when, but there will be something very frightening on Pesach, but don't be afraid! ...Don't worry! ...On Pesach, something will happen, on Pesach - it still won't be the redemption, but something will happen that will change the whole world, the whole world will change. You'll see...." (8 Nisan 5775)

Chag sameach and Shabbat shalom~

08 April 2015

Baruch Hashem! I'm Home!

19 Nisan 5775
4th Day Chol HaMo'ed Pesach
Day 4 of the Omer

Today, I am celebrating 19 years since making aliyah to Eretz Yisrael. When I came, I had to leave two married daughters behind and my two boys were in their mid-teens (a terrible time to bring kids on aliyah). There was no Nefesh b'Nefesh, no bands or dignitaries to greet us. In fact, no one met us at the airport. We knew no one here. It was just us and Hashem.

Shimon Peres was Prime Minister. Buses were blowing up in Jerusalem and Israel was still at war in southern Lebanon. Our absorption center was located in Karmiel, in the Galil. Everything in the north was in Hebrew and Russian. Almost no one spoke English. 

Those were the days. Would I do it all over again? In a heartbeat!

Despite the fact that you can get the equivalent of everything the Diaspora has to offer as well as a superior alternative, Eretz Yisrael still has two things that the Diaspora doesn't - no matter how frum your small corner of it is...

Hoping to meet you here, too - Next Year in Jerusalem!