01 August 2014

Parshat Devarim - Shabbat Chazon 5774 II

5 Av 5774
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

Parashat Devarim/Shabbat Hazon: Wars, Justice, and Redemption
by Daniel Pinner

Ever since the yearly cycle of Torah readings was standardised towards the end of the Second Temple era, and the fixed calendar as calculated by Hillel II (Hillel ben Yehudah, Nasi or head of the Sanhedrin) was adopted in 4119 (359 C.E.), Parashat Devarim invariably falls on the Shabbat which either immediately precedes or which coincides with the 9th of Av, the day of mourning our beloved Land of Israel, Jerusalem, and Holy Temple which have been wrested from us, pillaged and plundered and laid waste.

Parashat Devarim, and therefore the Book of Deuteronomy, opens with Moshe giving the Children of Israel a brief history lesson, recapping the main evens of the previous 40 years of desert wandering. And his discourse – the Torah-reading which is the preliminary to Tisha be’Av – is full of love and yearning for the Land of Israel.

Moshe begins his discourse: “Hashem our God spoke to us in Horeb, saying: You have dwelt long enough by this Mountain; turn yourselves around and travel, and come to the mountain of the Amorite and all his neighbours, in the plain, on the mountain and in the lowland, and in the Negev and on the shore of the sea – the Land of the Canaanite and the Lebanon until the great River, the River Euphrates. Behold! – I have given the Land before you! Come and inherit the Land which Hashem swore to you fathers – to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob – to give to them to their children after them” (Deuteronomy 1:6-8).

Moshe then recounts two events. The first (vs. 9-18) is the episode when Moshe established a system of courts and appointed judges so that he would no longer have to adjudicate all the people’s grievances alone, which had wearied him from morning until evening (Exodus 18:13-26). The second (vs. 19-46) is the sin of the spies (Numbers 13:1-14:45).

I suggest that both of these are intimately connected with the Nine Days in general, and with the 9th of Av in particular.

To understand the relevance of the justice system to the 9th of Av we start by turning to this week’s haftarah which, atypically, is not related to this week’s Torah-reading; rather, it relates to the 9th of Av. Indeed, all three haftarot during the Three Weeks are prophecies of castigation, and then for the next seven weeks all the haftarot are prophecies of consolation (Tosafot, Megillah 31b s.v. Rosh Chodesh Av; Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chaim 428:8).

Haftarat Devarim is the opening words of Isaiah’s prophecy as recorded in his Book (Isaiah 1:1-27): “The prophetic vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, which he prophesied about Judah and Jerusalem” (v. 1).

(The first word of the Haftarah, Hazon [prophetic vision] inspires the name by which this Shabbat is traditionally called, Shabbat Hazon.)

The prophet castigates Israel for their faithlessness to God, and exhorts them to repent. “Alas! How has she become a harlot – the faithful City that was filled with justice! Righteousness was entrenched therein, but now murderers” (v. 21).

It was the injustice (relative, that is, to the Divine standards that the Torah demands of a Jewish society) that was rampant in the late First Temple era that led to the destruction of the first Jewish Commonwealth.

Commensurate with this, Isaiah continues by quoting God’s promise that in the glorious time to come, “I will restore your judges as at first, and your councillors as in the beginning; after this you will be called City of Righteousness” (v. 26). That is to say, the restoration of genuine Jewish justice is an integral component of the Return to Zion, of the Redemption, of the transformation of the 9th of Av from a day of exile and mourning to a day of redemption and rejoicing.

And the prophet continues, “Zion will be redeemed through justice, and those who return to her [or: her penitents] through righteousness” (v. 27).

So when Moshe, at the very beginning of his discourse, reminded the nation of how he had established the system of justice all those decades earlier, appointing “men of accomplishment, fearers of God, men of truth who hate corrupt gain” (Exodus 18:21), he was in effect telling them how to lead the nation to the Land of Israel and how to govern it therein.

And by extension, this reminds us today how to bring redemption to the nation and the Land. As the Talmud (Shabbat 139a) and the Midrash (Yalkut Shimoni, Micah 551) say, “If you see a generation upon whom many troubles come – go out and check the judges of Israel; because all the suffering that comes into the world comes solely because of the judges of Israel, as the prophet said: ‘Hear this, now, O leaders of the House of Jacob, and officers of the House of Israel, who detest justice and distort all that is honest, who build Zion with blood and Jerusalem with injustice: her leaders judge for bribery, and her priests instruct for pay, and her prophets divine for silver – yet they rely on Hashem’ (Micah3:9-11)… God will not infuse His Shekhina into Israel until the evil judges and policemen cease out of Israel (Isaiah 1:25-26)”.

As for the sin of the spies – the Talmud (Ta’anit 29a) calculates the Torah’s chronology clearly: on the 20th of Iyyar we left Mount Sinai (Numbers 10:11). This was followed by a 3-day journey (v.33) concluding on 23rd Iyyar, a 30-day sojourn in Kibroth-hata'avah (ibid. 11:20, 34) concluding on 22nd Sivan, and finally seven days in Hazeroth (11:35, 12:15-16) before reaching the Paran Desert (ibid. 12:16) on 29th Sivan. Hence Moshe sent out the twelve spies on the 29th of Sivan (compare Targum Yonatan to Numbers 13:20), and they returned forty days later on the 8th of Av. The original plan was that they would be debriefed, and the next day, the ninth of Av, Israel would enter its Land in joy and holiness and take possession of its inheritance. The ninth of Av would become a celebration for the generations, a festival of redemption.

But the plan went horribly, disastrously wrong. The spies indeed returned on the 8th of Av, but gave an evil report of the Land; and when night fell and the nation cried, it was the evening of the 9th of Av.

And as a consequence, “God said: You cried this night for no reason?! – I will yet give you a reason to cry on this night throughout the generations!” (Ta’anit 29a, Sotah 35a, Sanhedrin 104b, Bamidbar Rabbah 16:20 et. al.).

On this final Shabbat before the 9th of Av, Moshe reminds us, year by year, of the reason for this most calamitous of days.

And about 2,000 years ago, when our Sages divided up the Torah into the parashiot with which we are so familiar today, they decided to conclude this parashah – the parashah which constitutes the prelude to the 9th of Av – with Moshe’s words: “At that time [when telling the Tribes of Gad and Reuben and half the Tribe of Manasseh under what conditions they could settle in Transjordan, Numbers 32] I commanded Joshua, saying: Your eyes have seen everything that Hashem your God did to these two kings [Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan]; so too will Hashem do to all the kingdoms to where you are crossing. You shall not fear them, because Hashem your God – it is He Who fights for you” (Deuteronomy 3:21-22).

As the Midrash says: “When the judges execute justice, go out to war and you will win… God is exalted in the world only through justice, as it says ‘Hashem, Master of Legions, is elevated though justice’ (Isaiah 5:16)… The world exists through three things: through justice, through truth, and through peace…, and all depend on justice, because both peace and truth are formed by justice. Therefore when Israel carry out justice, God strikes down their enemies before them” (Tanhuma, Shoftim 15).

Note here the Jewish definition of justice and of peace. They do not entail coexisting with evil, or sharing the Land of Israel with murderous enemies of Israel. Rather, justice and peace entail the defeat and destruction of our enemies.

Our Sages decreed that on this Shabbat, as we hear the menacing echoes of the disasters of Tisha be-Av approaching, we would learn, year by year, the lesson of how to turn this gloomiest of days into the most joyous of festivals, how to bring justice and redemption into the world.

Parshat Devarim - Shabbat Chazon 5774

5 Av 5774
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

Parashat Devarim - The Foundation of Torah: Emunah and Bitachon

And in the wilderness, as you have seen, Hashem bore you , as a man carries his son, on the entire way that you traveled, until you arrived at this place. Yet in this matter you do not have faith in Hashem, your G-d, Who goes before you on the way to seek out for you a place for you to encamp... (Deut. 1: 29-33)

Faith and trust (emunah ve'bitachon) in G-d are the foundation of the Torah. Our sages said (Makot 23b-24a): Six hundred thirteen mitzvot were given to Moses... David emphasized eleven of them... Isaiah emphasized six... Micah emphasized three... Isaiah returned and emphasized two... Habakuk emphasized one, as it says (Habakuk 2:4), “The righteous man shall live by his faith.”

Emunah, faith, means accepting and knowing clearly that G-d truly exists, that He created everything, and that He performed great miracles for Israel's sake. In other words, it is decisive knowledge regarding something in the past, i.e., that G-d indeed created the world and performed miracles for our ancestors in Egypt and at the Sea of Reeds, and everywhere else described in Scripture. Bitachon, on the other hand, is the direct result of emunah, and points to the future. It is the conviction that just as in the past G-d performed miracles and wonders, He will do so for us in the future, as well, as shall be discussed below.

[...] Faith, emunah, relates to the creation of the world and everything in it ; the other aspect of faith is the belief that G-d performed great signs and wonders for our ancestors. Neither aspect is based on blind or theoretical faith, but on seeing, on real testimony. In Egypt and the desert, the Jewish People were direct witnesses, because G-d's miracles were performed before the eyes of all Israel. The Torah instructs us that throughout the Exodus, the plagues that broke Egypt were performed openly, so that Israel would see the reality of G-d, would believe in Him, revere Him and cling to His attributes and commandments. The connection between the signs Israel saw and faith in G-d as Creator of the universe is alluded to in the Torah's starting out with Creation - “In the beginning G-d created the heaven and the earth” - and ending with the phrase, “all the mighty acts and great signs that Moses displayed before the eyes of all Israel” (Deut. 34:12). The mighty acts and the miracles and wonders performed before the eyes of Israel imbued them with the belief that G-d created heaven and earth, and that He is the One Supreme Power. The Torah's conclusion attests to its beginning. Such is faith.

Bitachon, trust, on the other hand, is the result of emunah. Since we believe that in the past G-d performed the things I have enumerated, we are certain that He is capable of doing so in the future as well, and that He will fulfill what He promised us. Whoever does not trust in G-d shows that he does not believe in G-d's power and ability, a sign that he does not really believe in G-d's existence. Bitachon, trust, includes also the idea that G-d is all-powerful and in charge of everything, as well as the central idea that we, lowly, weak and finite, are incapable of dealing alone with our adversaries and our troubles. Trusting in G-d means admitting that we are few and weak, that we need to raise our eyes to G-d for help. “Keep my soul and deliver me. Let me not be ashamed, for I have taken refuge in You” (Ps. 25:20); “Place your hope in the L-rd. Be strong and let your heart take courage. Yeah, place your hope in the L-rd” (27:14); and, “Be strong, and take courage, all ye that place your hope in the L-rd” (31:25). From the last two verses, we learn the secret of true bitachon: it is exceedingly hard to withstand crushing misfortune, to stand on the brink of despair, and to trust in G-d all the same. This requires enormous strengthening, and it was for this reason that King David said “Place your hope in the L-rd.” Beset by misfortune, place your hope in the L-rd and trust in Him. If you try and it is hard, then “Be strong and take courage.” Fortify yourself and you will find the strength to trust in Him, and then your trust will strengthen you on its own.The rule is this: Bitachon means a Jew's recognizing and acknowledging that he is a worm and not a man, dirt and dust, like a broken potsherd, weak and finite, and that only G-d can help him in times of trouble, because G-d is omnipotent and infinite, and none can stand against Him. The worse the situation looks, the greater the despair, the more one must strengthen himself with bitachon: “Many are the ills of the righteous man, but the L-rd delivers him from them all” (Ps. 34:20).

Rabbenu Bechaye says (Kad haKemach, entry: Bitachon), “Bitachon must not be tinged with doubt. Even if many evils befall a righteous man, he should serve G-d valiantly and truly trust in Him.” Rabbenu Bechaye adds (Ibid.): If someone has bitachon, then we know that he has emunah as well. Bitachon is like the fruit of a tree, and emunah is like the tree. Just as the fruit's existence signifies the existence of a tree or plant on which it grew, but a tree's existence does not signify the existence of fruit, as some trees, such as shade trees, produce no fruit, so too does the presence of bitachon guarantee the presence of emunah, but not vice versa.

We should reflect well on this holy man's ostensibly puzzling comment that “emunah is no guarantee of bitachon.” Surely, someone who believes that G-d performed miracles for our ancestors, created the world and everything in it, and controls, manages and directs everything, will be certain that G-d will fulfill what He promised us if we follow His path and keep His mitzvot. Surely such a person will act accordingly, despite all the difficulties. What then is the meaning of Rabbenu Bechaye's comment that emunah is no guarantee of bitachon? Is not bitachon a logical, necessary result of emunah? To our chagrin, it is not. Many fine Jews cry out heartfelt declarations of faith in G-d and in His omnipotence, yet few trust in Him and endanger themselves for the sake of His commandments and for the sake of sanctifying His name. How easy and pleasant is it to declare one's faith, to make loud speeches about G-d's power and might in the days of old! Who among the Torah-observant does not declare his faith that G-d performed miracles and wonders in Egypt, or that He appeared from Mount Paran to give Israel the Torah? Who does not recite in synagogue the psalms in morning prayers, which state (Ps. 146:3,5), “Put not your trust in princes, nor in the son of man, through whom there is no salvation... Happy is he whose help is the G-d of Jacob.” Yet how many of all those who are proud of their daily recitation immediately before the morning Shemoneh Esreh, that “G-d redeemed us from Egypt... delivered us from the house of slavery, slayed all their firstborn... divided the Sea of Reeds, drowned the arrogant but took His beloved ones across,” carry through on their faith in the past with trust in the future?

The prime blight of our day is lack of bitachon, hesitating to trust in G-d, whether due to uncertainty over His true ability to help, fear of mortal man, or fear of “reality” which destroys fear of G-d and our trust in Him. This is so both regarding the individual Jew and the whole Jewish People. It applies both as far as our fears and worries regarding our personal future and private troubles and our fear of enemies threatening the Jewish People. The same Jew who mumbles in his prayers, “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we call upon the name of the L-rd our G-d” (Ps. 20:8), cannot understand how the Jewish People and their state will be able to hold out without chariots and horses. The banner of emunah, faith, which is so easy to wave and answer Amen to, demands nothing of a person. Not so, however, bitachon, trust in G-d. 

Bitachon demands of a person that he act, accomplish, give, sacrifice, risk his life, he, himself, right now, all the while trusting that ultimately things will turn out well. Not every believer has bitachon. A person's lack of trust in G-d ultimately proves the weakness of his faith, or, G-d forbid, its falsehood.

[Tracing this back to our Parasha, we know that] both Joshua and Caleb demonstrated [...] trust in G-d. Even so, when G-d swore that Israel would not enter the Land, it says, “The only exception will be My servant Caleb, since he showed a different spirit and followed Me wholeheartedly. I will bring him to the land that he explored.” Why was Joshua's name not mentioned here, when he, too, stood firm in his bitachon? It also says, “only Caleb son of Yefuneh will see the land... since he followed the L-rd wholeheartedly” (Deut. 1:36). Why, again, was Joshua omitted? The answer is inherent in G-d's comment, in both Num. 14:24 and Deut. 1:36, that Caleb “followed him wholeheartedly.” Here we learn once more the need to have full bitachon. Our bitachon must express itself in readiness to sacrifice our lives to sanctify G-d's name, and this was evinced by Caleb but not Joshua. After the ten spies issued their bad report about Eretz Yisrael and incited the people, it says, “Caleb quieted the people for Moses and said, 'We shall surely go up and inherit it'” (Num. 13:30). He silenced them and began to express ideas which ultimately opposed those of the majority. He did not hesitate, although he knew the people's mentality and was aware of their stubbornness and what they had done to Chur [who had been killed]. He – not Joshua – was the first to rise up and try to blot out the chilul Hashem, and in doing so, he took a risk and was ready to sacrifice his life. Caleb “followed G-d wholeheartedly", thereby surpassing Joshua and meriting to be mentioned alone by G-d.
[Source: Compiled by Tzipora Liron-Pinner from "The Jewish Idea" of Rabbi Meir Kahane, HY"D]

31 July 2014

Messages from Daniel: "From Behind the Iron Curtain" (Part 2)

5 Av 5774

Communication with Daniel, 27 Tamuz 5774

Abba, Abba, I'm so angry, so angry. Chutzpah! Chutzpah! All the time talking about "Iron Dome, Iron Dome, Iron Dome"...  Like that's the thing that is saving us. Like whoever decided to develop the idea is a 'great' person and understanding. Iron Dome?!...  Is this what saved the people of Israel?!... Is this the reason that there were so few casualties from all the missiles of the Arabs?!...

Abba, I'm so afraid, Hashem gave us this trial. Until today, almost 1000 missiles have fallen on us, and these missiles are almost not injuring anyone. And today, we saw again how the blessing of the Chazon Ish ztz"l exists. The Chazon Ish promised us that there wouldn't be bombs, explosions in Bnei Braq. Do you not see?!... You don't understand?!... With every "Iron Dome" and its ability - it's not normal! How can it be that 1000 missiles have fallen on Eretz Yisrael and almost nothing happens?!... Just a little loss of property and there were some individuals that were injured.

Hashem gave this to us as a trial - in order to show us that He is the Almighty, that it's a huge, giant miracle. And we need to understand the miracle! And also, in these huge miracles there is choice. So, what is Hashem doing?... He gave us 'Iron Dome', so it could confuse us, so that we would think that really the technology - that's what is saving us, chas v'shalom...
But, every person with a little brains, every Jew with a true neshamah, understands well that only HKB"H - He's the one who saves us, and not any other power. He created us, He created the world, only He can destroy us, and only He can save us.

And we have a Prime Minister who guards his mouth that he doesn't dare to say "Baruch Hashem"..., that he doesn't dare to thank Hashem for saving us. And the government continues with its lies, continues to try to destroy Am Yisrael, to turn Am Yisrael into a people like all the peoples. Hashem protect and preserve us from these evildoers. The Prime Minister continues to try to pass laws against real conversion, against circumcision as necessary, to bring in heretics within the Chareidi schools and of course to the secular schools and etc.

We know that they are trying to break up Am Yisrael into little pieces, and to scatter us among the peoples who are already living here in Eretz Yisrael. We know that secret agreements exist with the Vatican, to allow them to control Kever-David-HaMelech, and many of our holy places. And also, they want to rule over the Land, and we have a government that apparently also wants this. And whoever does not see the evil in this, then it's doubtful if he has a Jewish soul.

Abba, I'm angry. I'm angry even though I know that this is how it has to be before Mashiach comes. There needs to arrive here someone who will rule over us nine months, and at this time I know we will suffer very strongly, and he will be much worse than Haman, and more evil than Haman, and apparently we are arriving to these times. That's how it appears.

Abba, on the one hand, I am very angry, but on the other hand, I am happy, because when it happens - it's a sign that Mashiach is already here. Because Mashiach can't get the rulership from those we call the 'Zionists'. And it shows us that we are in the final stages of the complete redemption.

Abba, be happy, be happy. I want to turn my anger for them into happiness. I want to dance from happiness - even if we have to go through gehinom before this, chas v'shalom, in any case, we are so close to the complete redemption, that I already don't have anger. The anger turned into happiness. It's clear to me that Mashiach, in just a little bit, will reveal himself, b'ezrat Hashem, and we will be redeemed, all Am Yisrael, in happiness and joy, and we will forget completely all the suffering that we went through in this long and bitter exile that's already like without end.

A False Sense of Achdut

4 Av 5774

While Israelis and Jews across the globe appear to be united like never before and seem to be anticipating good news any day now, I have the most uncomfortable feeling that something is amiss here. I read the news with a very skeptical eye and try not to trust anything I see or hear 100%. I try to fit all the pieces together to see the bigger picture and I come away feeling like a well-planned trap has been set for us and that we are just about ready to step into it. I can feel myself almost nodding off, relaxing my guard, about to get sucked in and then I jerk myself wide awake and I go through my mental exercises again...

What do I know?

That Bibi and Obama work for the same people - The Powers That Be. Yesterday, all the news was about the "leaked" phone conversation between Bibi and Obama. Nothing like that would ever be "leaked" from the White House itself.

What do I think?

They are puppets carrying out their orders. So how can they be such enemies? It's an act. They appear to be playing at good cop/bad cop with the Israeli people. To what end? To keep us off balance? To distract us from what is going on behind the scenes? To cause confusion?

What do I believe based on this?

That ultimately, they are all working towards a common goal. Our history and the words of our prophets tell me that the ultimate goal is possession of Jerusalem, so everything that is said and done should be judged in that light - how does it further their goal?

What do I know?

The Pope came here at the end of the Nine-Month 'peace' countdown to claim property at Kever David. The government has steadfastly denied giving anything to the Pope and yet they have. They are not to be trusted on this.

What do I think?

I think that the Nine-Month process was a key event and that Edom had every expectation of getting his hands on Jerusalem at this time and if not, a plan was ready to be launched that would bring the Jewish people to its knees, to beg for outside "help" that would bring the desired result in the end. I don't know who carried out the kidnapping of the three boys, but I think it was ordered from very high up the chain of command - above the heads of the talking-heads non-leadership.

What do I believe based on this?

That all this amazing achdut is a sham. That it's based on lies and misperceptions created by master mind-manipulators. That, as a naysayer, it is going to make it almost impossible to be heard. We're being lulled into a false sense of achdut. We're being set up for a big, frightening fall.

What is the proof? 

See for yourself... This happened yesterday. 

There can be no achdut with the Erev Rav or with the goyim.

Just remember, true achdut among Jews is unity around the ultimate truth - Hashem and His Torah. We want Mashiach so badly, we want so much to believe that redemption is finally here, but jumping the gun on the complete redemption is the most dangerous move a Jew can make. All of our worst troubles came as a result of getting ahead of ourselves this way.

Adam HaRishon did not wait until Shabbat; Bnei Yisrael did not wait for Moshe to come back from Har Sinai... And it's always in the final few minutes that we give in and give up - too soon!!

Hold on! Have faith! Stay awake! Stay alert! Mashiach is on the way, but he's not here yet!!

30 July 2014

Messages from Daniel: "From Behind the Iron Curtain" (Part 1)

4 Av 5774

Two messages from Daniel: A.Who kidnapped the boys? B. Who saves us from the missiles?

THE KIDNAPPERS - Message from Daniel, Tamuz 5774
(This communication was conducted a day before the notification of the discovery of the kidnapped boys.)

Abba, the poor boys, how much I cry over them. It's been over two weeks and still they haven't found them. I am very afraid for their lives, I'm very afraid for them. Abba, it's not like it appears, because, everything that happens in the world is not as it appears. How will I explain to you that it's not like you are all seeing?

For example - the IDF, historically, in 1948, from the beginning of the state, the IDF was thought to be the one who saves Am Yisrael, and it's nonsense. The IDF can be a good army, with sophisticated weapons, but everyone, from the most heretical to the most faithful knows that the first wars here in the Land, after the state arose - were only miracles. We won, B"H, only in miracles from Heaven, also in the war with Iraq, 39 scuds fell in the Land of Israel - and only one man was killed! And this person was a complete heretic. Is it not miracles...?!

The War of Independence, miracles! It wasn't the IDF. It was HKB"H. Miracles from HKB"H. The Six Days War: Every bit of it was a miracle. Everyone knows it. The Yom Kippur War - a miracle! Miracle of miracles! It started very bad, the IDF wasn't ready, more than 2,000 soldiers were killed. And, at the end of the thing - Hashem made the miracle. There are those who say because of Sharon was the victory... But, it's nonsense. It was all miracles. And miracles come only from Heaven, straight from HKB"H. All of our short history as a state - it's one big miracle. And if there wasn't an IDF - HKB"H would have saved us some other way. And the fact that the victory comes as if in a natural way, via the army - it's a deep matter of the free will that we have, but we won't go into that now.

The police - we depend upon them to protect us, but they excel at giving reports... And the pension that we've been saving for our whole life, that in a little bit, it will be revealed that there isn't a pension...  We trust in the health funds and the doctors to cure us, but we never know if they are helping us to live or to die...

The State of Israel - it's not what you are seeing. You're seeing a secular state that's not doing what needs to be done. Going against HKB"H. Right, Zionists worked the land and built tall buildings and big cities, but along with it - the corruption that existed even before the establishment of the state - celebrates. And the basis of all this state is beginning to crumble because we forgot the most important thing - that it's the holy land, and HKB"H gave it to Am Yisrael for the sake of living according to the Torah and not to live like seculars. They forgot it and now, we are a country like all the countries in the world. And we're happy with the wild behavior around the golden calf just like the nations.

In the Knesset - they're passing threatening laws against circumcision, permitting all kinds of odd couples to get married and etc. There's a war against the Chareidim, an economic war, because they want the Chareidim to disappear or become like the seculars. They want them to stop having children because they won't have money to feed them. It's a war of the seculars against the Chareidim, particularly.

And within all this balagan, and maybe someone is intentionally making all this balagan, in order that it won't be felt how the country is flooding in gentiles, and the Pope himself wants to build here a second Vatican!... He's calling the Catholics to come and to find their roots in the Galil, in Eretz Yisrael! And in the world, there are millions of Catholics and if only a million Catholics come to settle here - we have a problem...

And here, within this balagan that we have here, with all the breakdown of the state - three righteous young boys were kidnapped. Kidnapped by whom?... Some are saying it's 'Hamas', and if it really is 'Hamas' - I don't know. I know one thing: - the first Zionist leaders, more before they settled here, wanted it to be a completely secular country, a country like all the countries. Only what? At first, they couldn't show it so clearly, because then - what will they tell all the nations...  - what is our right to the Land of Israel without the Torah...? But, anyway, they were very corrupt, and until today, the corruption is celebrating, like we know from the daily news.

Here, in a country like this, which is crumbling from the corruption of its leaders - suddenly, three tzadikim disappeared! The IDF goes and checks all kinds of places, arrests all kinds of Arabs, but it's all a show. I don't know where these boys are and I'm very afraid for their fate. But, it's all a show. The leaders of the country today belong to an organization much bigger than the State of Israel and they do things according to other calculations from what we think. And therefore, I feel that it won't take much time and they will allow foreign soldiers to arrive here, soldiers who supposedly will come to 'help' us. And it won't take much time after this, that they will try to remove every reminder of the Torah, of Judaism. Maybe this surprises you, but there are many who are not surprised by it.

And these boys, I am very concerned and afraid, and I believe also that here in Eretz Yisrael there were those who knew that the kidnapping was about to happen. Why did they do it?... I don't know exactly, but first thing - the popularity of the government was already going down and they needed to show that they are 'strong' and they're fighting and they're doing something - not just thieves who are sitting in jail. And the second thing - to confuse the people, because it put fear into the people. The third thing - it helped the army to uproot the Hamas who want as many of us to die as possible. 

It's a scary world today. And in one second, everything can change, in a second it's impossible to recognize our area, our Land of Israel, our region. On the one hand - Syria, who was once our great enemy, was strong and frightening, and today - Syria is almost finished after all her wars. And on the other hand - suddenly, again threatening! Some army turns up, conquering almost all of Iraq, invading Jordan, and located 60 km from Israel's border and 100 km from Eilat!... Where did this army come from?!... From where are his weapons?... His equipment?... Thus... Suddenly... A week before we hadn't heard about them at all. And they want to rule over this whole area, including Eretz Yisrael. The world is confused. It's hard to know who belongs to what, impossible to know what a day will bring forth. Within a half hour something else scary can be in the world .

These boys were kidnapped and slowly, slowly we're forgetting them. Slowly-slowly Am Yisrael are ceasing to pray for them,  and returning to daily life as usual. Becoming accustomed to them being gone, shelo neda. The news is good for a week or so, and afterwards - yes, we're forgetting. It doesn't interest anyone. I request from HKB"H to return the children home, that there should be the mercy of Heaven on their broken parents, I request that these children will merit to receive our righteous Mashiach together with All Am Yisrael.

But, I'm afraid for Am Yisrael. It's not for nothing that they were kidnapped. It's also a message to Am Yisrael that we are not the Almighty. Only Hashem is the Almighty. it's a message that we ourselves are murdering our next generation with disgusting laws that this 'Knesset' is passing, with the Core Curriculum that we are inserting into our educational institutions, and with our lack of modesty in the streets. Hashem commands "kedoshim tihiyu" - "Be holy." And we forgot.

We can't be a Jewish state if we're not living according to the Torah. But, the secular leadership doesn't really want it to be a Jewish state, because they are going against the Jewish religion. And these children are not guilty, they are also mitzvah observant. But, the sickness has also entered into the Dati'im as well as into the Chareidim. And they need to admit to it, because Hashem is taking the righteous boys in order that we will begin to make a personal accounting, but I am afraid that the majority won't make a personal accounting. I am afraid for Am Yisrael. I know that in the near future there will be very difficult wars in all the world, and after that we will receive our righteous Mashiach.

But, until then, we're in a test, in a trial. Hashem wants that we will depend only upon Him, because already it's impossible to depend upon anyone, upon any other framework. Only upon Him.

I request from everyone: To stick to HKB"H and don't leave Him. And trust in Him. Because we are standing before the most diffcult times. To trust in Him - because this is what will save us. When we went out from Mitzrayim there wasn't enough food, but it was enough until we got the manna. Hashem made a miracle for us - and also today Hashem will make miraculous miracles, if we believe and understand that it's miracles. But, if we don't want to believe in it - oy lanu, oy lanu.

I want very much that these three children will return because they are tzadikim, they're the korbanot of the generation. And that we will get to receive our righteous Mashiach quickly in our days together with the three children who were kidnapped.

Communication with Daniel (after the discovery of the kidnapped boys)

A short time ago we received the notification that the three boys who were kidnapped were found without a spirit of life. Baruch Dayan HaEmet. They were murdered in a violent way and died as public sacrifices. They were complete tzadikim who were murdered al kidush Hashem. One thing is clear - where they have gone, it will be better for them than what will be for us, the people who are remaining here. Because we are very near the complete redemption, and we are going through now, before the end, the most difficult period. We'll need, as Jews, to hold position, because there will be very hard confusions. But, a real-Jew, who knows the truth - won't be confused. And about the three korbanot, I can only say: what we can see with the eyes, and what they're telling us about the murder - it's all a 'question mark'. And with all my strength - I can only shout: Hashem avenge their blood.

28 July 2014

"There IS a God!"

1 Av 5774
Rosh Chodesh

The following is shared on Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi's facebook page...

A true and amazing story told by Ohad Shaked:

I received a phone call on Sunday from “A,” one of the Iron Dome commanders who was a student of mine about 6 years ago. I was glad he called. “Where can a person learn Torah in Ramat Gan?” He asked me leaving me baffled being that he was far from Torah and mitzvot. "I'm going to be released in a couple of months, and I want to learn in a Yeshiva - I saw the Almighty with my own eyes!” He said, nothing more and nothing less. “What happened?” I asked him. “A Missile was fired from Gaza. The Iron Dome can detect where the missile is going to fall within a 200 meter radius. This particular Missile was heading to the Azrieli Towers, or to the railroad tracks. Either way, hundreds could have paid with their lives!

We sent the first “dome” and it missed. Then the second as well as the third dome missed, this is a very rare occurrence. To date, only two other such cases occurred. I was in shock! We had four seconds until there is no way back and the missile would hit. We had already informed and dispatched emergency services, the police and the fire department, to the location.” Then the commander spoke excitedly as I kept on listening. "Suddenly, without any preliminary design from the Iron Dome system (which calculates the possible wind currents, etc.) a strong eastern wind blew – a wind that we have no idea where it came from and cast the missile right into the sea. We were all in shock!!! I stood up and started screaming ‘There is a G-d’! ‘There is a G-d!’ ‘There is a G-d’!!! I saw this miracle with my own eyes. No one told me about it, it was not reported to me. I saw the Hand of Hashem fling the missile into the sea!

Of course this was not reported for security reasons, but it’s enough to witness the miracles with our own eyes to know there is Hashem (G-d). I ran to one of the religious soldiers and asked him to put on tefillin. I took it upon myself to keep Shabbat, and that was the very best Shabbat I have ever had.” This is what he told me. I was so excited that it even brought a tear to my eye. "Ashrecha” (praisworthy are you) I said to him, “that you merited to witness this incident and to understand that it’s from Hashem (G-d)!”


1 Av 5774
Rosh Chodesh

YWN is reporting the following...

02:44: According to a Channel 10 poll, 87 percent of the Israeli public would like Operation Protective Edge to continue, and 69 percent want Hamas to be toppled entirely. 7 percent want an immediate ceasefire. Six percent answer that they don’t know.

09:31: The Security Cabinet met into the late hours of the night. The IDF awaits instructions as to how to proceed in Gaza. It remains unclear if the ground operation will expand to eliminate Hamas’ rocket-firing abilities or if it will wrap up with the destruction of the tunnels.

The government has the vast majority of the public's support and approval for finishing the job. The army awaits it orders. Today marks a turning point in this process, just as we all knew it would. What will be in the coming pivotal hours and how might it change all of our futures?

(See Netanyahu’s dilemma: Back Obama’s save Hamas policy, or fight for its downfall with Egypt and Saudis)

27 July 2014

"Moshiach Must Be Really, Really Close"

1 Av 5774
Rosh Chodesh Av

Guest Post by יקותיאל בן יעקב

When my dear friend Ben Caspit, formerly of the lunatic fringe extremist left wing ilk writes an op-ed piece calling upon Israel to smash the Hamas enemy without mercy, not to agree to a ceasefire, and to disregard international opinion and get the job done without risking Jewish soldiers even at the expense of killing “innocent terrorist shield civilians” then you know Moshiach must be here or very near indeed.

When Yair Lapid talks about conquering all of Gaza and about looking for his grandpa’s prayer book to pray to Hashem, you know there is something new and special in the air.

When correspondent Ben Caspit today speaks about a wonderful dream that the media would not be broadcasting their nonsense that instills hysteria and fear in the hearts of the people, we are approaching the final days of redemption.

When thousands of Jews come out to Tel Aviv’s “Rabin Square” to pray, there is revolutionary and unprecedented faith and unity in the streets.

When Ofer Winter, the Chief officer in charge of the Givaati Brigade gives a speech that could have been taken straight out of the Bible to strengthen the faith and resolve of his troops before they entered Gaza, this is something new, that we have not seen since the time of the Bible. We are not speaking of an IDF Rabbi, but rather a high ranking combat officer. He made all of the soldiers say shema Yisrael and he spoke about destroying the enemies who threaten Jews and who defile the living G-d of Israel…

Haaretz and Maariv attacked Machat Givaati Ofer Winter for turning this into a religious war as they spoke, to their great dismay of the new reality of a Jewish army filled with religious zealots who are dominating the combat units, including the ranks of the officers.

When Egypt supports Israel’s military operation…

When G-d hardens the hearts of the Hamas who despite their being clobbered continue to force Israel to continue smashing them…

When Israel continues to disregard international pressure for a ceasefire…

When 40,000 fellow Jews show up for the funeral in Haifa of a lone soldier who they never met…

When Israelis start acting nice to each other and stop cutting you off on the roads as they curse you out…

When Rabbis openly speak about driving the Arab enemy out of Israel….

When the Iron Dome miraculously intercepts most of the missiles that would land in populated areas, and 3000 rockets cause almost zero harm…

When dozens of tunnels that were meant to surprise Israel and facilitate hundreds of armed terrorists launching dozens of simultaneous raids into Israel are discovered and blown up by the Israelis who had no intention of fighting this war until they were dragged into this, 18 days ago….

Two weeks ago, the average Israeli would never have supported a ground assault on Gaza…

The Targum in Isaiah 14:29 explains the reference to flying snakes as a sign of redemption. The COBRA helicopters with their insignia of a cobra snake dropping its payloads of explosives over Gaza, and the paratroopers with their flying snake symbol are living prophecy.

The insane bombing of Daniel The Prophet’s grave two days ago by Islamic fundamentalists in Iraq can be seen as yet another divine sign to add to all of the other signs about a redemption rapidly approaching. It was Daniel who tried to discover and reveal the date of the final redemption…

Yisrael Misgav of Haaretz attacked the new era that this operation has ushered it in, “Israel has been conquered with prayers”…

This is a war that has great potential to roll into the final war of redemption. Will Israel have the faith to get the job done, disregard world opinion, destroy Hamas, rid the area of any hostile enemies, liberate all of Gaza and allow the return of Jews to Gaza? If so, then clearly Moshiach is at our doorstep. If not, we will continue to respond to Arabs murdering Jews with ceasefires and wars and more bloodshed. We have reached a decisive and critical juncture in Jewish history and there is change in the air…

Will Jews in the Exile have the faith and wisdom to understand that their time is more than limited with attacks on Jews and Jewish institutions throughout the Exile, with flights being temporarily frozen? Who is to say that Jews will have an opportunity to leave when Israel really does what they ultimately must do? As the prophet Yoel says, the only refuge will be in Zion.

See Rashi in Breishit 15:9 where Rashi speaks of the Moshiach coming when Abraham will send away the Ayit, the symbol of America…Will Israel have the faith and the courage to do that today?

Regardless, it is clear that the nation of Israel is readier than ever to do so, and that if the politicians once again buckle under American pressure, there will be sever political repercussions for Bibi. Actually in as much as bringing the redemption closer, it is a no lose situation for the good Jews. Because the nation is more ready and prepared than ever to sacrifice with faith in unity.

Let us do what we can to strengthen the resolve of the nation and the leadership of Israel to fight the war the way it should be fought and to bring decisive victory with G-d’s help. Faith in G-d, not in Obama!

Rabbi Kanyevsky, on several occasions in recent weeks, including this week speaks openly and out of character about Moshiach being close and about the possibility that we will not have to fast this 9th of Av. May it be the will of G-d, Amen.