10 Adar Bet 5774 The "Enlistment Law" passed - no surprise there. Some of you already know that Bayit Yehudi MK Yoni Chetboun broke coalition protocol to vote against the law in accordance with his conscience. It cost him dearly, but Hashem will surely reward him beyond whatever loss he will suffer. This is part of what he said in his Knesset speech announcing his intent to vote against his own party's wishes: “I will not be a part of the incitement and I will not be a part of the anti-Jewish move… The initiators of the law succeeded and the split from the chareidi tzibur is complete and therefore, I will not vote for it. As a major in the IDF reserves, and as an officer and a commander, I have decided today to stand firm on my principles and to oppose this anti-religious trend. I love the Torah and love our state, and I am a big believer in our wonderful people. ואהבת לרעך כמוך”, adding “this verse does not apply just in the IDF, but for each and every Jew, left or right, Ashkenazi or Sephardi, and even the chareidi tzibur”
[He]... question[ed] when the day will come that the “Israeli secular elite” will recognize the value of limud Torah and the contribution of the chareidim. He mentions the numerous anti-religious bills that have been pushed through in this Knesset, the cuts for monthly child allowance payments, the cuts to hesder yeshivot and much more. “My friends, this is an Israeli cultural war”. (YWN) Yasher koach, MK Yoni Chetboun! Kol hakavod lecha! Now, listen to Rabbi Yosef Mizrachi on the subject...
10 Adar Bet 5774 There's an old saying: "More than the Jewish people has kept Shabbat, but Shabbat has kept the Jewish people." Never was this more true than for "Andy." Saved From Missing Flight 370 Amazing story how having Shabbos in mind while booking a flight from Malaysia to Beijing has saved a passenger's life. Read on here.
9 Adar Bet 5774 Besides its definition of "relating to citizens," the word civil has another meaning: "adequate in courtesy and politeness," as in civil discourse - something which is sadly lacking in Israeli society. For all the threats of a civil war erupting in Israel, what is happening right now is a very un-civil war. It is being expressed right now throughout cyberspace - the final frontier - on blogs, op-eds, article talkbacks and facebook comments in the most discourteous and impolite manner possible. And let me tell you, it's about as bloody as it can get out there. Just keep in mind that this is yet another battle in the war for hearts and minds. I self-identify as chareidi-leumi although a chareidi will likely deny that I am in any way chareidi because I don't dress in dark colors or wear a wig or live in a 100% religious neighborhood or listen to their rabbis and a leumi will surely deny that I am really leumi because I reject the worship of state and army and take neither pride nor pleasure in the accomplishments of either. In any case, I say that because I think that enables me to see both the right and the wrong on both sides of this conflict. I think it affords me a bit more objectivity than those who are fully committed to one side or the other. That said, I am inclined to believe that the chareidim are closer to the truth in these issues than any other group. Why? Look at who is attacking them... and why. For all their faults and erroneous ideas (who doesn't have those?), they are the ones perceived by both chilonim and goyim as the authentic representatives of Torah Judaism. Whoever hates Judaism immediately targets chareidim and just like it was always acceptable to hate Jews in foreign lands, today, God forbid, it is acceptable to hate chareidim in Israel. Today, there is a real ideological battle going on in the city of Beit Shemesh. It may even be historic. This thing has been coming on for a long, long time. I was aware of it at least in 1997 when I lived in Beit Shemesh. I was still studying for my Orthodox conversion after making aliyah as a "Conservative Jew." I was placed within a very modern Orthodox, dati leumi group and I have to tell you that I was appalled beyond belief at the snide remarks, hateful commentary and borderline antisemitic accusations I witnessed from this group against our chareidi neighbors. It wasn't so different from the anti-Orthodox sentiments the co-called "Conservatives" directed towards the Orthodox. I'm thinking of giving some examples and I can't even bring myself to write such horrible things. What would make one kind of religious Jew speak about another kind of religious Jew in terms that the goyim used in Nazi Germany about all Jews??? How can that be? Again, I say - look at who the perpetrators are and the methods they are using and it will give a clue about where all this is coming from... In Beit Shemesh, a battle for every voter Interior Ministry Checking into Mounting Complaints in Beit Shemesh Election We're all caught between the Erev Rav and the Erev Zeir - like a mouse between the paws of a snarling cat.
9 Adar Bet 5774 [Reprinted with permission] Diary of an Israeli Canine Unit by Yekutiel Ben Yaakov February 25, 2014 B"H Dear friends, Find below a small part of the diary I am writing about some of our recent missions and searches with our civilian canine unit in Israel. You can get a bit more insight into what it is we do and perhaps better understand why we have been unable to send you more regular updates in recent months. I assure you it is not due to lack of material to report back about. I may also assure you that it is not due to the lack of need. In fact, we need your help now, more than ever; we need volunteers and we are also in great need of your financial support. It is not easy to maintain the vehicles, feed and house the volunteers and dogs, pay the trainers and so much more. Having been in the field so much of the last few months, hampered and limited my ability to generate the funds needed. Please read on and consider making a significant contribution at this time, and please do consider volunteering to help us maintain the kennels, patrol and search. Finding the missing Jews, and the lost, forgotten souls of Israel- A day or two from the diary of Yekutiel (Mike) Ben Yaakov, the commander of Israel’s Civilian Canine Legion’s two units; one, engaging in security of Jewish towns with patrol dogs, the other: seeks missing people with SAR dogs: I don’t recall the exact moment when I agreed to embark upon the national mission to find and rescue missing people in Israel with the use of specially trained SAR (Search and Rescue) dogs. As if defense dogs were not enough to keep us more than occupied. It was approximately three years ago. I am not quite sure what triggered this new “mishugas” –madness which turned into a huge commitment -when I agreed to add this additional area of dog rescue work onto our already impossible schedule and strained budget. I suppose it is like so many other significant moments in a person’s life when one crosses over a border, when suddenly he realizes it is now difficult to turn back. Up until then, we had been strictly raising security dogs to answer the desperate call of many farmers and “settlers” throughout Israel who experience ongoing Arab onslaughts and pillaging. Over the past 13 plus years of our existence, our kennels based in Kfar Tapuach bred and raised hundreds of security service dogs, over 300 guard dogs were placed in “settlements” throughout Judea and Samaria from Maon in South Hebron to Mevo Dotan in Northern Shomron, and in farms and vineyards from Yavniel and Tsefat to Beersheba and Ofakim. We even have a dog on the Mount of Olives. An additional 75 high-standard patrol-dogs have been given to security personnel or volunteer handlers in different towns and farms. The patrol dogs patrol or respond to suspicious movement as partners with their human handlers. The dog and handler team increase the chance of locating and capturing a terrorist before the terrorist gains entry into a house and massacres innocent Jewish men women and children. The dog and handler translate into the mathematical equivalent of 15 soldiers, and can mean the difference of life or death for the handler as well as for an entire family. Without the dog, the terrorist might never be detected. With the dog, the success odds are multiplied a hundred fold, and the element of surprise shifts against the terrorist. In many cases, such as the massacre of the Fogel family in Itamar, several years ago, the area of penetration into Itamar was known as the terrorists were climbing the sophisticated security fence. Unfortunately the patrol that was sent to check out the suspicious movement was unable to locate the terrorists. A good dog and handler team would most-likely have detected the terrorists hiding only yards away from the patrol. What a pity that Itamar had none of our dogs or handlers at that time. Our security service dogs and volunteers prevented many terrorist attacks. Our outfit has always and continues to pride itself with our patrol-dog unit. After 13 years of experience in the field and after consultation with more than 15 dog trainers/international experts, we finally reached the working formula to best bring security to the vulnerable towns in Israel; a flexible formula and model that could work for the type of volunteer handlers we work with, who may need to respond to terrorist infiltrations and patrol with the dogs. Our greatest obstacle was and remains educating and exposing the local “settlers” - who are the ones who most need our dogs, to the culture of canines as “service-dogs” and to the priceless role a dog can play in protecting their lives and property. Then, we have to teach them how to properly maintain the dogs and get them to participate in the necessary training exercises to best ready them for the unknown. Interestingly enough, the task of training the new “settler handlers” is almost always much more difficult than the actual training of the dogs for professional response to terrorist attacks. The local “settlers” who receive our dogs and training are usually young struggling farmers, working overtime, with limited funds, large families and a hostile environment - that surrounds them on so many fronts. It is difficult enough to teach the dog-profession to our in-house volunteer handlers and staff, and another thing entirely to train a local “settler-farmer” or security chief on a far-away “settlement” the details of professional service dog maintenance and handling. In most cases our dogs and services, which include weekly or bi weekly training exercises in the areas where most needed, is offered free of charge or at a significant discount. We absorb the losses as best we can. We don’t have the luxury to fail. We understand that we have to find the customized formula that will work for every given “settlement” security chief, because it will be he, together with our dog, that will need to find and subdue the terrorist. It could take the army from 15 minutes up to an hour to locate and respond to the threat, from the time they are called for reinforcements. In that interim period the terrorists can carry out a massacre of several families, G-d forbid. Most of these folks who most need our services on the different “settlements” are in no position to foot the high cost of a dog and training on this standard. For us that means the logistics of providing payment and transport for our trainers and experts, vehicles, petrol, in addition to room, board and training for our in-house handlers and kennel staff. Our in-house volunteers are provided with food, lodging training, pocket money-(on rare occasion when we have extra money), and special customized schedules where they can help with the dogs, learn Torah or continue their academic endeavors and education. It is these noble volunteers who not only help raise the dogs in our kennels before they are passed out to “settlers” and farmers in need, and who as well, care for and respond to emergencies with the additional personal dogs they are issued. Today, that could mean feeding and caring for 15 dogs in our kennels and also responding to a terror attack, or patrolling to help prevent an infiltration in a town that has suffered many recent attacks and infiltrations. It also could mean responding to a report of a missing person, from the point where he was last seen. Naturally, that means that each of these volunteers might have two dogs, one anti-terror and another passive Search and Rescue or cadaver dog. Never a dull moment for our volunteers who never know when or where their next call will come from, and who never know for certain whether they will be sleeping in their modest “volunteer house 84”, or whether they might be sleeping in our truck or jeep somewhere on their next mission to save a life. Worst of all they have to put up with “Mike” barking at them commands to “grab that cage” and lift it on the truck and to move quicker to get their gear ready to run to the next operation. The diary below covers some of our recent incidents. It has been an incredible period on the SAR and security front, mostly SAR incidents that we responded to, rare in the nature of the calls, as well as in the excess quantity of calls. The dogs in our kennels consist largely of the personal dogs issued to the handlers, the pups we have bred and now need to raise and train for others, or other dogs that we have adopted back into our kennels to be nurtured back to health after suffering injuries, neglect or abuse. Indeed it is not easy to find and teach the volunteers and security personnel on the different farms and “settlements” to offer proper and professional care for the dogs we have given them in the past. There are times that we are forced to take back dogs that we once stationed with different “settlements”. These dogs sometimes require months of rehabilitation before they can be re-stationed in new places with better handlers. These dogs are often the biggest headaches for our in-house volunteers who have to deal with the daily vet care, medicating of dogs that they we will ultimately pass on to new owners. Nobody ever said it would be easy to run such a kennel or to pass and train the dogs, our in-house volunteers or the “settlers” and farmers to become professional dog-handlers. Our flimsy shoe-string budget does not make this already monumental task any easier. 9/11/13 (L’Minyanam) Shabbat morning 7.20 AM Dan Alon, age 26, left his home in Ashdod, never to return home again. Dan had recently left his engineering school. Dan was unable to meet his tuition payments and was not in good spirits, according to his brother who would join our dog team on the search. Family and police felt his life was in imminent danger and that he might cause harm to himself. There was a phone call signal that stopped at 8.30 PM Saturday night, and that had been in the same basic area until then. Police succeeded in graphing a radius of several Kilometers where his phone would be. The hope was that he would be in close proximity of his phone. The head officer from Ashdod’s volunteer police unit ran the make-shift command center that had been set up in the heart of the radius graphed by police. The volunteer ZAKA unit was out in force when we arrived with jeeps, motorbikes, lights and maps Sunday evening. We were told that police had a helicopter searching from above and cops on horses riding through the various orchards and fields as well as along the Lachish River-bank all within the general radius of the cell signal. The command center was buzzing as they ordinarily are in those first 5-10 hours of most searches. We arrived on the scene Sunday at approximately 7.00 PM. My truck was not in good shape and I had about 60 shekels in my pocket and our unit’s credit card that had pretty much been maxed out by then. Our muffler was kind of hanging low and the car was moving slow and making a lot of noise. The noise was getting progressively worse. I was a bit embarrassed to pull up right at the designated command center spot, so I parked across the street. We had our own generator and anyhow the dogs would need to relax away from all of the “balaagan” - commotion. I had no clue how I would feed the crew, buy gas to get back home or how I would fix the vehicle which was getting louder and louder. Why waste time worrying about trivia, every second could be life or death for Dan Alon. Israel is a small country. We have faith and we have a mission. In the end it all seems to work out usually. I went over to the head guy from Zaka and to the police officer and told them that we are an independent Canine SAR unit available to search wilderness areas and that we have 2 SAR dogs and 2 cadaver dogs on the truck and 6 volunteers at the immediate ready to search. We were greeted exceptionally well. We asked to be allocated search areas where others might be hesitant to search at night due to rough terrain and where we could be put to our best use. The directors of the search said they would map off a few areas and make sure the areas would be as “sterile” as possible, free of other volunteers so that the dogs would have the best chance to indicate if any breathing living person was there off the beaten tracks and trails. Our dogs are trained to indicate in different ways to show us a living person is nearby. Dan’s brother joined me and off we went searching two nearby fields. Dan’s brother told me that he had not told the police but he felt that maybe we should use a cadaver dog and that he feared his brother might have committed suicide. I told him that the scents of a living person would still be there and that we should hope for the best. A person can easily be alive, even if he has no water for a few days and it had only been the second day since his disappearance. We could always search these same areas with the cadaver dogs, but now let us use every available second to try and find him alive with the SAR dogs. This was not the first or the last search we would meet family members and friends of the missing person who would confide in us and provide us with valuable intelligence information. At approximately 1.00 AM all of the police and ZAKA volunteers folded up their command center. That is standard policy and we know all about that. One of the things that our unit prides itself in, is that we are there until we find the person or until we have searched under every tree and rock in the relevant area of search designated. Here, when we have the place last seen and the phone signal, we are not going anywhere, every second is vital. We have our vehicles, generator, and strength on our feet to search, we are going to find him or leave when he is reported found by others. When we had first arrived on the scene, the police told us about Daniel Wessley, another missing person, who for some reason was not being searched for to the extent Dan was being looked for. Was it his age? Is there a selection process that prefers the younger student? The second missing person went missing from merely a few kilometers away and the police gave us his photo as well, “should we happen to come across him.” I thought that it was odd, but here we were already searching so I figured we would continue some searching here, especially since we had a clear phone signal as an aid. I thought it would be easy enough, and then we could move on to the second case, and learn more about Daniel Wessley, should he not be found by time we end the Dan Alon search. The words of the police officer still ring in my ear: “Who knows you may find the second guy too, or one of the many others who have gone lost never to be found in this same area. Pay special attention near the river there are others that we never found.” Daniel Wessley, age 66. Sick with Parkinson disease and with diabetes, walks with a cane also on psychiatric medication. Not known to show signs of dementia, but can sometimes be a bit confused. Walks regularly in the general area where last seen, near a park not far from his home and not far from beach and river. Left tired, with his pajamas or clothing that he had changed into to go to sleep - Was expected back soon. He went missing Saturday afternoon, was never seen again. Family did not see any reason to suspect suicide or foul play. After 2-3 hours of searching 3 area searches with “Eisha” and “Seven” the two SAR dogs, and one search with Mia the cadaver dog, we met with police and Zaka to discuss further plans. We sized up 7-8 relevant areas within the signal radius that needed to be searched. We had covered to our satisfaction 3 of them. We had at least four more to go. At this time we were joined by a young lady who was a student in the same engineering college as Dan and she insisted upon joining us for the search. She was a great addition as she would obsessively peek behind any object, tree, hill or rock on our trail. She was magnificent and said she wanted to join our unit. Welcome aboard! After searching many of the fields between the industrial area and the cemetery, between Dan’s house and the middle of the phone signal area. It was clear we would need to return to the area and to adjacent fields. The brush was thick, there were many dogs and foreign worker’s camped in the brush and the dogs were already too tired to continue, even with regular breaks. We left the area and parked at a nearby gas station to get some coffee and some rest. At the petrol station a volunteer female municipal-police officer pulled in, told us she would go off-duty from her night shift in a few hours and that she insisted on joining us on the search, as tired as she would be. She too joined us, and would be our sponsor for food, gas, and fixing of the vehicle as the day would progress. Another wonderful volunteer had been enlisted to our unit. Welcome aboard! Say what you want about Israelis but this volunteer spirit is special. Both of the young ladies who joined us were Russian Jewish immigrants and gave us valuable and necessary support that only a local person could provide. In the morning we set out to complete some of the fields, and we split into two groups. I was with Yoel, and Suchi was with Aryeh and our new volunteer. Nina and Miera had left already. Yochanan was resting and pitching in as driver. We took another break to fix the car and get some lunch, sponsored by our new volunteer, and went to police headquarters to discuss the next areas we would search as well as the other missing person – Daniel Wessley. At approximately 1 PM, while we were showing the new police captain overseeing the searches the next location we wanted to search, and after he explained to us that we would be mistaken to waste our time in the area of our choice, that in his opinion had been more than thoroughly covered by other volunteers, we explained to him that, we don’t rely on others and that we insist upon covering that area. It was then that the police phone rang only to inform the policeman that Dan Alon appears to have been found hanging from a tree, in the very area we insisted upon searching. The policeman asked us not to notify the family yet until he verifies in person the “find” that had been made by a Breslov Hassid who was randomly looking for a quiet spot to pray. The police officer asked me to escort him to the spot. I politely declined and asked Suchi to detail the find and I decided it was smarter for me to commence searching for our second missing person. Aryeh and I went on to search for our new missing person. The police would join us together with Zaka soon enough with the police now paying special attention to our leads, after our last one proved to be correct. This time we started our own intelligence division to speak and interview the family and eye-witnesses and we decided to set up our command center, a few blocks from where ZAKA would be, searching areas we thought were more relevant based on our first-hand intelligence information and based on our own experience, focusing on wilderness areas where the dogs could be most useful and leaving the more populated parks for ZAKA and the regular volunteers who came out in large numbers to help with the search. I was not surprised to see the police brass visiting our command center and guiding the helicopters to focus on the areas we were searching. We had gained a reputation over the past day of more or less, non-stop searching with and without dogs. The police were most impressed with our ability and willingness to search at night after they and everyone else left. What seemed obvious and basic to us, was highly regarded by the others. Why they, too, would not join us in the dark hours of the night is unclear to me. But I am used to it. We had this problem with our own Jerusalem squad who refused to search at night and who would leave searches when they were only first getting interesting. Ironically, I called the Jerusalem squad to join us with 3 of our dogs that were in their hands, explaining to them shortly after we had arrived in Ashdod that we needed them. Not only did they not come, they made it clear that they would try their best to prevent us access to the dogs that were needed. The fire chief who they listened to supported their refusal to join the searches. Obviously we were not going to put up with that nonsense and would eventually take the dogs and equipment that we purchased back due to their refusal to search on this and other searches. Would we have covered the area that we had next slated to search and where Dan was ultimately found dead, prior to his death? Nobody will ever know. Clearly that area would have been covered with the help of the additional fresh dogs at some point during the night, perhaps 12 hours before he would be eventually found. I did not get the exact final police report and estimated time of death. I don’t want to know. I do know his hand was found in the noose, and that means he tried to save himself when it was already too late. Dan clearly had his doubts and hesitated. More likely than not, there was ample time to find Dan before he made the final decision to take his own life. Time is of the essence when embarking upon a search. The quality of the vehicles, the dogs, the volunteers are also important. Most important, though, is the heart of the searcher, and his or her commitment to saving lives. For a team member to leave such a search in the first days after reported missing, before all relevant areas were searched is like a fire-fighter leaving the scene of a fire while the building is ablaze. That we remain the only search outfit in Israel that continues the search at night and the following day, forces us to continue to build our unit strong, knowing that this is a “mitzvah” that can’t be done properly and to its fullest by anyone else. Wessley was never found. It took us more than 2 months to get the owner of a huge abandoned building close by where was last seen to allow us entry to thoroughly search. After trying to secure scuba-divers to search the river near a specific spot where our dogs gave clear indications, now three months later, I have finally decided to bring in private divers. I don’t know if there is any chance to recover the body after so long, and after the drifts into the ocean during the last storm, but if the body is indeed there and entangled under roots and rocks, there may yet be a chance. Tomorrow or the next day we may know more. Perhaps we will bring closure to this case and bring Daniel Wessley to a proper Jewish burial. His family has nowhere else to turn. WE NEED YOUR HELP –please send a generous contribution to Maginei Aretz LMaan HaZulat – POBox 6592 Jerusalem Israel 91060 or contact us ASAP
8 Adar Bet 5774 Message from Binyamin Golden on 19 Adar Alef 5774 (See the original for references.) I want very much to speak. My heart is bursting from sorrow. My insides are hurting with threatening pains. The sorrow is clutching my whole body. When I came into this world, I knew it would not be easy. I understood that I was arriving to the era 'right before Mashiach Tzidkeinu.' And I knew that falsehood would cover the world from one side to the other - penetrating deep into the ground until the central core of the earth and reaching a height in the sky until space. But, despite this, I didn't imagine for myself a situation like this and how much it would hurt and how frightening it would be. But, in any case, I know that HKB"H is with the People of Truth and it doesn't matter what will be - He'll be with us. But, either way, it will be scary. It's scary to see the difficult sights of the future that I'll talk about shortly. And I will open up the idea and the situation. We, the Jews, know that we were always a "stiff-necked people." Indeed, when we used this trait to hold on strongly to our faith and trust in God, and to hold fast to the Torah of Moshe, the Torah of Truth, and we were exacting in all our judgments, then it was a compliment to be "stiff-necked." But, in this generation, it's going exactly the opposite... We closed ourselves off completely to the Truth. And we, at least the majority of Am Yisrael, live with the falsehood, took Judaism and Yiddishkeit and turned it into something completely different. Indeed, the Chareidim, the men are still going with more-or-less Jewish dress, and in other cases, it also looks really Jewish, with long peyot and beards and long coats, etc., but the faces... the faces tell all! The style of walking in the street, the body movement says everything. And I'm talking about the men, not about the women. And this says where we're standing. And when we see our supposedly "righteous" avreichim who learn day and night and Jewish people who feel that they are really holding fast to all the laws and the whole Torah, but when you look good at them, you see that they're lacking. What's lacking? They lack sensitivity and innocence. They are without feeling for another Jew. They lack love of Hashem, love for the Torah and they lack tears. They lack a heart that is able to cry over the suffering of Am Yisrael. They lack the most important thing to be a Jew and that is : love for Hashem. What can be done? What can be done? Some might cry when reading stories of the righteous. It's so touching to the heart of a real Jew and we, without controlling it, begin to cry from the happiness that we once had like the righteous, but the tears also continue, because today, there are almost none and we are orphans. The prophecy came true, we're "a generation of orphans." A generation that plays with nonsense instead of coming closer to Hashem; who make from life one big celebration. We live seventy years, and if we have God's help - eighty years, ninety years, a hundred and twenty years, but in the end, it's finished! And what do we do with these years? From the moment we're born, so we're already almost at the end. It's over so quickly! There's no time. No time! Do you not understand!? Each time we reincarnate again and again to this world, to fix and to repair, we think and we feel that the world that we are living in - it's eternal. Despite knowing that we are going to die at some stage, we don't want to think about death because death is scary to us! But, really, we were sent for this time. it's like a person who is sent to a certain other city in order to do a special job, so at the end of the day, he has to return home. So it is with us. We have to do our job here and not come to 'another city' and instead of doing the job, going drinking and dancing and doing various nonsense, and to forget our purpose and to return home without money because we didn't do the job. No! We have to do God's will. And this is our job from morning until night and from night until morning, all the time, without a break. And if this bores you - then, I feel sorry for you. Because this should be the most interesting job in the world, the thing that gives the most satisfaction in the world. But, you want the 'Egel HaZahav' - and I'm telling you right now that according to how it looks now, there will be very few Jews who will receive Mashiach Tzidkeinu - only a few, if you don't change fast. But, the majority of Jews are Erev Rav and you can already see it. You can already see it clear enough. Because, how many Chareidi Jews are there in the world? Not many. And from all these Chareidim, there aren't so many who are really Jews who were at Har Sinai. A lot of them are Erev Rav and we see in our communities many arguments, much hatred. Informers - Informers to the gentiles and informers one about another to the Zionist Jews and this for sure is not Jewish. This is one of the worst sins there is! Oy lanu, oy lanu, oy lanu. And we look now at what is happening in the State of Israel: rule of the Erev Rav. Rule of the Erev Rav clearly. To a lot of people it wasn't so clear at the beginning of the state; but, now, even the most dense can already see this. Already, we see that their goal is to finish the Jewish religion; to finish 'the eternal Jew.' They want to make from the Land of Israel a state like Italy, England, etc. Hashem protect us! But, HKB"H will not allow it. No way will He allow it. But, the time is coming when every Jew will return to the truth. It's impossible to survive without returning to the truth and understanding it. But, I'm very sad and I cry a lot at night. I even cry in the daytime, because the real Jews - they also don't understand. I'll tell you what needs to be done in order to survive: keep a distance from the evil ones, from the evil ones among us as well as the evil ones who are a bit distant from us, and that is to say the "supposed Jews" who want to take our tradition and throw it in the trash, Hashem protect us. Also, the gentiles want to finish us. And who are we? A 'tiny' people. Minute, very small. And among all these who purport to be "Jews" - very few of them are really Jews. Except for those who converted or who didn't convert, but don't really live properly, so there are many more who are Erev Rav. So, we are a tiny people who, if you take out all the Erev Rav and those who aren't really Jews, but who think maybe they're Jewish, then what's left is very small. Regarding this very small number, they will build the next world of Mashiach Tzidkeinu. The very few! The gentiles will disappear, some will survive, a small number, but the majority will disappear. Very few will remain. I'm telling you this so that you will open up your eyes! I know that you don't want to hear these things. It's too hard for you. But, it's the truth. This is reality and if you're close to HKB"H, even this thing would be accepted with happiness, because Hashem is omnipotent. Hashem created us and everything. And Hashem only prepares and does what is good for us. And whoever believes in this with all his strength will be able to accept everything with happiness. This is not a happiness of laughing. It's a happiness of knowing that in this world or the next world - if we are with Hashem - nothing can happen to us. Even those who were in the Nazis' concentration camps, they didn't suffer when they killed them. Those who were with Hashem - they didn't suffer. They didn't feel the bullet that cracked their skull or the gas that choked them because at the last moment before it hit them - they were in Gan Eden. Those who really held fast to HKB"H, those who believed, who knew, sang and danced because before them stood a huge mitzvah - to die al kidush Hashem! This they desired and for this they waited! They didn't choose this, but if Hashem gave them this - it was a great and holy thing - a huge thing that promised them Olam Haba in one moment and they were happy. It's difficult to see a murdered child, lo aleinu, who's suffering, who doesn't have what to eat, we shouldn't know of such. But, whoever believes that Hashem is omnipotent, that He created us and that He has mercy upon us, knows also that these children - they're a whole world. They're children who were born for the sake of a special tikun. And as hard as it is for us to see it, we shouldn't know of such, there are hospitals full of sick children, Hashem should protect us. It's hard to live with this, but it's part of the job - it's part of the tikun. And whoever understand this will always be happy. He will always accept the world, life, as necessary. This is everything - all of olam hazeh - it's all an illusion! It's like being in a show! And it will disappear. And we, 'when we're not on the job,' appears suddenly another truth - something else entirely! And we know that this is true! and thus it needs to be and we need to be in agreement with it. The world will be different when Mashiach comes. We will go out to 'The World of Mashiach' with children, with husbands, with our women, but we will understand, we will comprehend things in another way and nothing will be the same. Everything will be different. Also, now, when a person goes to the next world - everything is other. Everything looks different. Sometimes, they miss those who remain here, but not for long. There's what to do there. There, even in Gehinom, we should not know of such, we're closer to Hashem than we are here. Therefore, Am Yisrael, we are on the verge of a wobbling world about to collapse. Weather - really strange and frightening. There are wars in every place. There are threats and as it appears, there will also be nuclear war. Two-thirds of the world needs to be destroyed. Don't fear! We see our planet spinning. Yes, sometimes we see pictures from space, etc. But, it - everything - is something that Hashem created. Foolish people are trying to reach the moon or Mars or various other stars. That's laughable. That's mental confusion. Purposeless waste of time. Because, it's all going to change. It's just like a movie. We think about ourselves here on Earth that if, God forbid, something will happen, who knows what, then already there won't be food, etc. Like now, a majority of the fish in the sea are already dead because of all of the pollution. So, what kind of world will be left to us if two-thirds will be destroyed!? But, it's not like that, because the whole world is a set. And the stars are a set. And we think it's real. And we're afraid. But, don't be afraid. Hashem is greater than all of space! He's greater than the sun, than everything. He goes into every single corner. The idea of eternity - we can't understand it. Our brain comprehends a little bit of something, but totally, no - we don't understand. So, when we spoil ourselves, God forbid, with immodest clothing, with all kinds of foods that maybe are kosher 'according to the law,' but not kosher according to the world, according to what Hashem wants, when we sit in restaurants and eat so that everyone sees us eating, from the window, from the street, when we're chasing after the 'Egel HaZahav' and not after Torah, when we're 'like' going after the Torah, but in actuality we're going with the 'Egel HaZahav' then we see the world through different eyes. Now, we will see the complete dismantling of the state. The state will fall part totally like Hadassah Hospital fell apart from all the murder, from all the evilness that goes on there. It's going to fall completely. Even if some kind of framework remains called "Hadassah," it won't be the place it once was. And not only this will fall apart. Each thing that is called Medinat Yisrael and the Knesset - it's going to fall apart. It'll be something else entirely. Even if the building will stand - I don't believe it will stand for long - but it will be something else. And all the founders of this country - impossible to say all - but, the majority of these leaders were completely wicked. Heartless, good-for-nothings who allowed Jews to die and didn't want to save them. People who didn't care at all about HKB"H, who thought that they could be in place of HKB"H, God forbid. But, they will learn and they will suffer and they will disappear. They're on top of the world right now. They want to pass a law that would make it a crime not to go into the army; they want to pass a law against a mohel who will make a brit milah - only a doctor, God help us. They want to pass a law so that every city rabbi can do "conversions;" they want to pass a law that already they will take over kashrut, etc, etc. And it won't help them at all. The real Jews will gather together and shut themselves up, like we said years ago, in ghettos. But, we'll be the ones building the ghettos - not the gentiles. We'll shut ourselves within the ghettos so that no impurity can enter and this will protect us. This is what will protect us. Indeed, the evildoers, the gentiles, and also Jews from various lands will build themselves giant bunkers inside the earth, very deep, with roads leading from center to center underground and they think that this will protect them. If I could laugh, I would laugh the loudest. But, we, inside our ghetto - we will be more protected than those inside their deep bunkers for this will be their grave. And we, inside the ghettos that we will establish, the ghettos that we should have remained inside when the gentiles opened before us the gate to the ghetto - we should have said "No! Thanks." But, we didn't do this. Now, we will build our ghettos - and we won't leave them except to receive Mashiach Tzidkeinu. [Q & A to follow as time permits.]
5 Adar Bet 5774 Erev Shabbat Kodesh Parashat Vayikra: From the desert to the ends of the earth by Daniel Pinner Having completed the building of the Mishkan at the end of the Book of Exodus, the Book of Leviticus continues very naturally with the functioning of the Mishkan: “When He called to Moshe, Hashem spoke to him from the Tent of Meeting…” (Leviticus 1:1). The Midrash (Sifra, Vayikra 1) notes the sequence here: God first “called to Moshe”, and then “He spoke to him”. And then the Sifra goes on to note that this is the third of three occasions when God first called to Moshe and then spoke to him. The first time was about two years earlier at the Burning Bush, when Moshe was still exiled from his nation, a humble shepherd tending the flocks of his father-in-law Yitro (Jethro). When God saw that Moshe had turned aside to behold the wonder, “God called to him from the midst of the bush, and He said, Moshe, Moshe” (Exodus 3:4). The second time was at Mount Sinai, immediately before the Giving of the Torah: “Hashem called Moshe to the peak of the Mountain, and Moshe ascended; and Hashem said to Moshe: Go down, warn the nation lest they break through to Hashem to gaze” (Exodus 19:20-21). The obvious question that arises from here is: what do these three events (the Burning Bush, the Giving of the Torah, and the beginning of the Mishkan’s functioning) have in common? The simplest and most obvious answer is that all of these were events which were intimately connected with Israel’s redemption. The process of redemption from Egypt began when God revealed Himself to Moshe at the Burning Bush; the purpose of redemption was the Giving of the Torah (1); and the building of the Mishkan was the pinnacle of the redemption (2). It is significant that Rabbi Shimon bar Yochay, one of the greatest of first-generation (mid-3rd century) Tannaim in the Land of Israel, cited these three occasions as examples of when God bestowed His glory on the Elders of Israel: “We have learned in a few places that God gave honour to the Elders. At the Burning Bush, as it is written ‘God said to Moshe…, Go and assemble the Elders of Israel’ (Exodus 3:15-16); at Sinai, as it is written ‘To Moshe He said, Go up to Hashem, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and seventy of the Elders of Israel’ (Exodus 24:1); and at the Tent of Meeting, as it is written ‘It happened on the eighth day [of the Inauguration of the Mishkan] that Moshe called Aaron and his sons and the Elders of Israel’ (Leviticus 9:1)” (Shemot Rabbah 5:12). So on the three separate occasions which were the three milestones on the road from Egyptian slavery to redemption, God first called to Moshe and then spoke to him. And on those same three occasions He gave honour to the Elders of Israel. The Midrash (Shemot Rabbah 5:12) continues: “And in the future time to come, it will be the same, as it says ‘When Hashem, Lord of Legions, will reign in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, there will be glory for His elders’ (Isaiah 24:23). Rabbi Avin said: In the future God will seat the Elders as on a threshing-floor, with Himself sitting as the head of them all as the President of the Court, and they will judge the idolaters, as it says ‘Hashem will enter into judgment with the elders of His nation and its princes’ (Isaiah 3:14). It does not say [that He will enter into judgment] 'against the elders of His nation’ but rather ‘with the elders of His nation’: He will sit with them and judge the idolaters”. We pause here to explain the somewhat cryptic reference to the Elders sitting “as on a threshing-floor”. The Mishnah records that “the Sanhedrin would sit in the shape of a semicircular threshing-floor so that they could see one another” (Sanhedrin 4:3). This refers specifically to the Great Sanhedrin, the Supreme Court of Israel, which would sit in the Chamber of Hewn Stone in the Holy Temple. (Every town and city with more than 120 adult men would have its own Minor Sanhedrin of 23 judges, and every village with fewer than 120 adult men would have a court of three judges.) Of the 71 Judges on the Great Sanhedrin, 69 would sit in three concentric semicircles of 23 each. Facing them were the Nasi (the President of the Court), and to his right the Av Beit Din (Father of the Court). The Nasi was the leader; the Av Beit Din was the second in charge (Rambam, Laws of the Sanhedrin 1:3). So the Midrash looks back on three landmark events in the first redemption, the redemption from Egypt, when God called to Moshe and then spoke to him, which were the three times when He gave honour to the Elders of Israel. Our parashah opens with the third of these occasions – when the Mishkan began to function. And the Midrash then looks forward to the time of the final redemption – may it come speedily! – when God will again give honour to the Elders of Israel. And though then, at the time of the first redemption, the Elders’ honour was manifest only to Israel, in the time to come their honour will suffuse the entire world. After all, only thus will they be able to stand with God Himself, so to speak, to judge all the idolaters in the world. And this is logical. After all, 3,325 years ago in the desert, God gave honour to the Elders of Israel in the Mishkan, which holy though it was, was but a precursor to the Holy Temple which would only be built 479 years later by King Solomon. The second Holy Temple, the one built by Ezra and Nehemiah, had a lower level of sanctity than that of King Solomon. But the third Holy Temple, the one destined to stand for all time, the Holy Temple which the prophet Ezekiel depicts so graphically in chapters 40 to 44, will be far grander and more magnificent, and have a far higher level of sanctity, than those which came before. So it is entirely fitting that in that third Holy Temple, God Himself will stand, so to speak, as the Leader of the Sanhedrin, to administer ultimate justice, not only to Israel, but to the entire world. It is then that Israel will truly be a light unto the nations. In the words of the prophet Isaiah in one of his magnificent, majestic depictions of the messianic era, “I am Hashem, I have called you with righteousness and I will strengthen your hand; I have fashioned you, and I will make you for a covenant with the nation, as a light to nations” (Isaiah 42:6). And again: “Then He said: It is not enough for you to be My servant, to establish the Tribes of Jacob and to bring back the besieged of Israel; I will also make you a light to nations, that My salvation shall be unto the ends of the earth” (Isaiah 49:6). Endnotes: (1) We expounded on this idea in detail in a previous D’var Torah on Shavuot (2) Last week, in the context of Parashat Pekudey/Shabbat Shekalim, we cited the Ramban’s Introduction to the Book of Exodus: “The [Egyptian] exile was not ended until the day of their return to their place, and when they were restored to their forefathers’ level. When they left Egypt, even though they had left the house of slavery, they were still considered exiles, because they were ‘in a land not theirs’, wandering through the desert. And when they came to Mount Sinai and built the Mishkan, and God restored His Divine Presence to their midst, then they were restored to their Forefathers’ level…and then they were considered redeemed”.
4 Adar Bet 5774 Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard hospitalized And basically, right now, that's all the information we have. Please pray for Yehonatan Ben Malka. Pray for his health and pray that PM Netanyahu will bring him home with him on the return trip from the United States. Be"H, to be updated as information becomes available.