Friday, January 1, 2010

#54 - No Politics, Just Right

Writing today on the middle day of the month of Tevet; while many got quite excited about a "blue moon" occuring at the time that the Christian New Year began, something that doesn't occur all that often, it has to be remembered that it is the moon of the planetary system that represents the Jewish people. The full moon - occuring on the night of the 15th of the Jewish/lunar month, represents the ultimate spiritual and material living standards of the Jewish people, as it occured in the days of King Solomon, who was the 15th generation from Abraham the first Jew.

And speaking of us Jews, we are represented as the 12 Tribes of Israel, and accordingly, as mentioned in my previous post, each of the 12 Jewish months are represented by a particular Tribe. Thus, this month of Tevet is represented by the Tribe of Dan. And as significant to this post, Dan is the Gematria of 54, and this is my 54th post.

As it turns out, it is this time of year, always falling out in the month of Tevet, that we read Parshat Vayigash - as we read last Shabbat - which details the names of the children of the Tribes of Israel/sons of Jacob, and Parshat Vayechi - which we will read this coming Shabbat - in which Jacob gives his blessings to all of his sons.

In last week's Parsha of the mention of Jacob's children and grandchildren who journeyed to Egypt, Dan of all the sons of Jacob had only one son - Chushim. Even at that, we see that in Parshat Pinchas, where the ancestors of the Jewish people who were close to coming to Israel are mentioned, Dan's son's name is listed as Shucham.

What't the deal here? I have yet to come across the answer to this. However, both of these spellings, when rearranged, can spell very significant words. The letters of the name as listed in Parshat Vayigash - Chushim, can be rearranged to spell the word Moshiach, and the letters of the name as listed in Parshat Pinchas - Shucham, can be rearaanged to spell the word Chumash.

First, I will address the latter letter spelling of Dan's son's name - Shucham, which respells the word Chumash. As we know, there are 54 Parshiyot in the Chumash as read during the Sabbaths of the year. Hence, as Dan whose name is the Gematria of 54, had one son whose alternate name is Shucham, which in turn can be rearranged to spell Chumash which consists of 54 Parshiyot. How amazing!

Now, the original name of Dan's son - Chushim, respells the word Moshiach. Any special connection between Moshiach and Chumash? For one thing, the joy of Moshiach's coming, which will happen very shortly (it is known that Moshiach met with Rabbi Yitzchak Kaduri of blessed righteous memory some six years ago, and he lives somewhere in Israel), will be tremendously great. Perhaps the greatest spiritual joy that the Jewish people have as a whole is the annual celebration of completing reading the Chumash - the 54th Parsha - in the Sefer Torah on Simchat Torah, which literally means "happiness of Torah". Hence, it is through Simcha that we accomplish our greatest spiritual accomplishments.

In the order of the traveling tribes in the desert, it was the Tribe of Dan, as the last head of his division of tribes (which included Asher & Naftali) who travelled in the desert, who was Me'asef L'Chol HaMachanot (Numbers 10:25) - the one who was the gatherer of all the tribes. Rashi explains that this refers to this tribe finding lost articles of the Jews who were travelling and returning them to their rightful owners, which is one of the 613 Mitzvot/commandments of the Torah.

A couple of questions can be asked here. First of all, why was the Tribe of Dan in particular the one who merited to be in this position of fulfilling this Mitzva of returning lost articles? Secondly, why should it be of all the Tribes of Israel that Dan should be the one through whom these concepts of Moshiach & Chumash be hinted?


While the Torah/Chumash has nothing special to comment about this Bible figure, the Midrash has a whole story on Dan's son as pertaining to Jacob's funeral as it took place in this week's Parshat Vayechi. Imagine the scenario that took place. Jacob, the father of Joseph who was viceroy of Egypt for the last 26 years, passed away at the age of 147. During the course of 70 days of being embalmed and being mourned for, dignitaries of the Canaanites and the Arabic nation who heard of Jacob's passing, knowing that he was the father of the Hebrews, came in order to fight Jacob's family. While Jacob passed away in Egypt, Joseph as following his father's commands saw to it that he would buried in Israel, particularly in Hebron where he already owned a burial plot for himself and his wife Leah alongside his parents and grandparents in the Mearat HaMachpela "The Double Cave".

All of a sudden, in the middle of the funeral, right before Jacob is supposed to be buried in the plot, here comes his twin brother Esau, who is 147 year old, but not stopped by old age to attend, and contests Jacob's right to be buried in the plot. He claimed that it was his own plot, rather than Jacob's, to be buried in it, despite the fact that Jacob had already buried his wife Leah there. Mind you, this is taking place in front of the dignitaries of various Anti-Semitic nations who were ready to attack Jacob's whole family.

Surprise, surprise. Maybe if telephones, faxes, or internet would have been around in those days, at least Jacob's family would have known beforehand of Esau's complaint to be prepared for an answer, or get together the necessary documentation to prove Jacob's rights to the burial plot. But they had no awareness of Uncle or Great Uncle Esau coming to protest until the last minute, and it didn't occur to them to bring with them the deed of ownership document that Jacob wrote out when he paid Esau good money so Jacob would be the one in the last reserved spot to be buried there. This is besides the fact that Esau took Jacob's money that was given to him in lieu of the burial plot and now demanded the burial plot that now belonged to Jacob, coming to show how much of a thief this Uncle Esau was like Uncle Laban was to Jacob. Hence, there was an immediate discussion as to what to do, and the best thing that the sons/brothers came up with was for the athlete runner Naftali to run back to Egypt to fetch the document.

Meanwhile, Dan's son Chushim who was a bit hard of hearing, didn't quite know what was going on. When he asked what was happening and was told of the latest news, he would hear none of this. He wasted no time walking right up to Grand Uncle Esau, and gave a blow to Esau's head, knocking his unconscious. Following this, Judah, the strongest of Jacob's sons, drew out his sword, did the deed, rather than fetch for the deed of ownership, and Esau's head rolled to where he had asked to be buried.

Imagine what was happening here. Anti-Semitic kings and warriors ready to attack Jacob's mourning family were right by the side, who were no doubt friends with the Edomite nation that Esau founded. As it is, Pharaoh originally did not want Jacob to be buried outside of Egypt, but Joseph had to blackmail Pharaoh to get his wish (won't get into the details of this in this post). And Esau, despite his past evil behavior, was still the uncle and great uncle of the family. But none of this mattered to Chushim. All he knew was that the honor of Grandfather Jacob was being disgraced by the delay of him being buried, and that evil Esau - uncle or no uncle - had no right to interfere, certainly when he had no contractual proof to his bogus claims.

Perhaps it can be suggested that in was in spiritual terms that Chushim was a bit hard of hearing. Yes, he was hard of hearing that we have to answer the claims of an aged individual. Yes, he was hard of hearing that Jacob's son had to bring "proof" that they were in the right instead of Esau which would delay Jacob's funeral. Yes, he was hard of hearing of anything else that would sound "politically correct".

The problem with the mourning sons/brothers was that they were afraid that an attack - verbal or physical - on their uncle Esau, would bring on themselves an attack by the Anti-Semitic nations who were there ready to attack. Even Joseph and Judah, for the moment, felt paralyzed with fear of what would happen if Esau's claims were not "logically" answered. And so, they felt that the only solution would be to get the actual document that would prove who was right, even if it mean delaying the funeral for a week. At least during this time, the nations wouldn't fight them because Esau, their ally, was waiting for an answer.

And this, my friends, is what the Midrash teaches us - not just more "Bible stories", but lessons that we need to learn from this. Future leaders - Nachshon, Pinchas, Matisyahu - among others, also made an initiation that led to salvation, cessation of death, and the will to fight for religious freedom and rights. What they did didn't necessarily cause them to be so popular overnight; in fact, Pinchas for example was threatened by some Jews who were incensed with the fact that he "murdered" a leader of the Tribe of Shimon when the latter openly had sex with the Shiktza Midianite princess. But Chushim, displaying characteristics of Moshiach, having the same letters, faught for what was right - in Hashem's eyes - regardless of how UNpolitically correct it would look like. He was one who had no fear of the then UN - United Nations.

And so will it be when Moshiach will arrive shortly. He won't care about today's United Nations, their bogus claims sandwiched and bagged in chocolate covered "logical" claims of the Arab "Palestinians" of the 100 pieces of the Biblically promised Israel pie to the Jews, or how we "mistreated" the "poor" Palestinian people. He won't care of what even the modern Orthodox rabbis will say, many of whom will no doubt at first claim that he isn't Moshiach, or that we have to "wait and see" what will happen - the same ones who wasted no time denouncing Yigal Amir - the supposed assassin of Yitzchak Rabin (when it really was someone else who fired the fatal shot) - when for the most part these same high paid rabbis kept quiet about Rabin's plans of starting to dismantle parts of Israel, and not once did it ever bother them enough to complain about how Rabin murdered nearly 20 Jews who came with weapons to help their brethren fight their Arab enemies at the Altalena incident in 1948. And my message to these so called rabbi leaders is that if they will in any way, shape, or form will even doubt in public about the real Moshiach when he arrives, they will not merit to live to see the good Messianic days, and they will bask in eternal shame from purgatory to watching everyone else enjoying their well deserved rewards.

No doubt that in reward of Dan's son Chushim who displayed self-sacrifice in defiance of the watchful eyes of the Anti-Semitic leaders and possible criticism of members of his family for his attempted killing of Grand Uncle Esau, Hashem rewarded him with some descendants who would be eternally recorded in the Bible Book of Records.


While Bezalel was in fact the main architect of the Mishkan/Tabernacle, Hashem saw to it that one other person would make a permanent marking in the Torah in the same line of work. Known as Oholiab Ben-Achisamech, Rashi comments (Exodus 35:34) that as coming from the Tribe of Dan, it was this tribe that was the lowest of the tribes being that he was from one of the maids of Jacob (Bilhah), Oholiab was equated with Bezalel from the Tribe of Judah, the greatest of the Tribes, in terms of the construction of the Tabernacle.

It's interesting to note that some of the Ethiopians who emigrated to Israel claim that they are descendants of the Tribe of Dan. While their claims of being Jewish weren't quite bought by the rabbis in Israel, and they had to go through a formal conversion (a good portion of them aren't observant Jews until this day though they claim to have always been Jews) to be considered part of the Jewish people, noting their black color of skin - (though not quite with the same features that regular black Africans have), it is not so surprising why they are considered of lowly status, even from over three thousand years ago. After all, why else were the maids of
Jacob considered as such, even as they fathered one third of the Tribes of Israel? Most likely, these maids were from the Canaanite nations who were black as part of Noah's curse to his son Ham, their ancestor (see Post #48).

For all we know, all of us Jews today - including the ones with the light skin color - could be descendants of the Canaanites, at least as far as Rashi is concerned. Rashi on the verse (Genesis 50:13) mentioning of Jacob's sons being the ones carrying his bier points out that particularly it was Jacob's sons, and not his grandsons, because he ordered that no Egyptian nor one of his grandchildren who were all from his son's Canaanite wives (apparently there weren't enough members from his own family who were available as marriage partners for all of his 12 sons unlike for the Patriarchs who all found matches among their family cousins) should carry his bier, as those other nations were descendants from the accursed Ham.

Hence, the Torah wants to teach us that we should never look down at someone for what seems outwardly to be something to be looked down upon. After all, if not ourselves, we may come from someone of a similar background up the family tree. Everyone has potential for greatness in some way. It isn't necessarily the popular black singers or sports players who are good blacks. Actually, most of the good blacks can be found among simple people who work hard to feed their family and get their children to have a good college education. If we should measure people in any way, it is by their behavior. And while many Americans may go crazy about good white Christian singers and movie stars, many of these American idols and stars are truly a piece of white trash - like Jacob's trickster uncle Laban whose name means white - because their behavior between how they treat their wives while sleeping with other married women due to their fame and wealth is what truly defines them, and their devotion to the church goes only so far as to confess their sins at best.


Perhaps his name Shimshon/Samson isn't as popular as the rhyming name Shimon, but Samson from the Tribe of Dan maximized his potential as a strong physical person. Born as a Nazirite, he never cut his hair as mandated in the Torah. It was through his hair that he had supernatural strength, which he used in fighting the Philistines who were oppressing the Jews. While he had two failed marriages with Philistine women who paid lip service to Jewish conversion but still felt close with their Philistine nation and betrayed Samson, and was hated by some Jews who felt he endangered their lives by attacking the Philistines, his love for his Jewish brethren is what was his motivation behind his guirella attacks for some 20 years.

Yes, Strong Samson also had a weakness - his tempation for the Philistine women. The Mishna in Tractate Sota notes that he was punished by his eyes being gouged out by the Philistines for using his eyes looking at Philistine women when his inner spiritual strength should have matched his outer strength. Nevertheless, the Book of Judges gives him the most writing space of all the other Judges as to the record of his life. He was a fighter, warrior and hero of the Jewish people not to simply show off, but because of his great love for Jews - yes, the poor oppressed Jews who were mistreated by the Philistines.

Hence, it is not surprising that Jacob's blessing for his son Dan in this week's Parshat Vayechi, as explained by Rashi, is totally focused on his descendant Shimshon. In fact, the Midrash points out that at first, Jacob thought that Shimshon was going to be Moshiach until he saw in the end of his prophecy about him that he would be defeated by the Philistines at the end. Indeed, Shimshon was following in the footsteps of his ancestor Chushim son of Dan, whose name having the same letters of Moshiach, who in turn acted in the future Moshiach's footsteps.

And speaking of Samson and his heroic efforts in line with his ancestor Chushim, there is a website that tells the truth the way it is - criticized even by many who consider themselves "right wing" because the information that the webmaster writes doesn't sound "politically correct". While you are at it, you can check out this site's blog and download the book that is called Samson Blinded. And while I am at it, I have a rabbi friend who writes along the same lines at WWW.VAADHARABBONIM.COM.


And as we mentioned earlier in this 54th Post, Chushim's other name Shucham has the same letters as Chumash. And looking in the 54th and last Parsha of the Chumash - in comparison with the last Parsha of the first book of the Chumash - Bereishit - where Jacob gives his blessings, Moses gives his blessings to the Tribes of Israel. And the last word of the 54th Parsha, the last word of the Book of Deutronomy, the last word of the Chumash is the word Israel (the nation). Interesting to note, in Jacob's blessings, Dan - whose name is the Gematria of 54 - is one of the few sons in whose blessing the name Israel is mentioned. Then in Moses's blessing to his tribe, he mentions the phrase Gur Aryeh "lion cub", the very same phrase that Jacob used in his blessing for Judah. And as we mentioned earlier, their respective descendants were the main architects of the Tabernacle.

A closer look at Rashi on Moses' blessing for Dan reveals that it's all about the conquered territory in the Land of Israel that Dan possessed. Despite this tribe's lowliness of how they may have looked, hard of hearing, tempation of women, and to top this off with idol worship even as they were fighting the nations for more land of Israel, they had a most wonderful quality of loving the land of Israel. They weren't satisfied with what was given to them in the conquest of the land in Joshua's days. Deep down inside, they wanted more of the G-d given land, which would be theirs if they would just but conquer more of it to make it their own.

Yes, the Danites weren't afraid of world opinon. Like their ancestor Chushim and their fellow member Shimshon, they just went ahead and fought the fight, and more than earned their share of the pie. Very unfortunately, their idol worship as recounted in the Bible led to their eventual downfall when exiled among the 10 Tribes, but they had nationalistic pride, something that is very wanting today in today's generation. Note what I said - in TODAY'S generation. Two or three generations ago, the modern day Zionists as what they are known as, even as many abandoned their immediate family's religious observances, had a strong feeling of living in their own Jewish land, even at the cost of great sacrifice, some of whom got hung on the gallows by the Anti-Semitic Britians, instead of attending the universities that other Jews from religious homes turned to for the great life in Germany until the Holocaust.

Fortunately, both Rabbis Meir & Binyamin Kahane of blessed righteous memory, may Hashem avenge their blood, showed the way of nationalistic pride without regard to what they world will say. To Rabbi Meir Kahane, a Jew, regardless of skin color, was just as much of a Jew as Kahane. And in the same way, every part of Israel was part of Israel, regardless of the bogus or so called logical claims of the nations or the modern day Philistines couched as the name Palestinians or their dream land of Palestine. True, even as many of these Zionists who built what is known as the State of Israel were anti-religion and anti-religious, but as far as Kahane was concerned, we have to be thankful to Hashem that we have our own land to live on once again.

It's most interesting to note that the name of Rabbi Meir Kahane's son who followed in his footsteps, Binyamin Zev, are the beginning words of the 6th Aliyah of this week's Parshat Vayechi, which is learned by some today as the 6th day of the week. It was the tribe of Binyamin whose ancestor was the only Sabra born in Israel of the 12 sons of Jacob, who merited to have a good portion of Jerusalem and the grounds of the Temple as part of the tribe's portion in the land. Noting that earlier this month was the Yahrzeit of Binyamin Kahane & his wife Talya on 5 Tevet, who were murdered by Arabs while he was driving nine years ago, he once spoke, as I heard him in person, about chasing out the Arabs from the land, and not just looking to build new settlements. In his last speech before his murder, he addressed the soldiers in the Israeli army - which is very unfortunately controlled by the present Communist run government - and told them not to obey orders of holding back from fighting the Arabs when need be. How much his words helped is hard to tell, because in the last two wars held in Olmert's dictatorship, the soldiers did only as much as they were ordered to do, and nothing more. If the soldiers - at least the religious ones - would have took matters in their own hands, and instead of stopping the war, would have increased their fight, we would have far less problems today.

Yes, the Torah is NOT about politics. It's about JUST doing the job RIGHT - nothing less and nothing more. I have not hesitated in this post or in previous posts to speak my mind, even as I am living in Israel, regardless of the Shin Bet checking on Jews writing against the current Israeli dictatorship on the internet as I know happened to a friend of mine who was denied Israeli citizenship as a result, because what I am saying is only what the Torah is saying, as Kahane worded it as best as possible to attempt to get the job done. Yes, it is Dan the "gatherer of the camps", the group who gathers the lost articles and returns them to their rightful owners, the ones who tend to a matter in Judaism that needs attention - regardless of what is popular or not, and set things aright regardless of who will boo us or fight us - whether it is neighboring Egypt, Iran, United States or United Nations.

It is Moshiach, as we note our yearning for his coming with the final verse that Jacob says in his blessing of Dan "For your salvation, do I hope for, Hashem" (Genesis 49:18) at the end of the daily recital of Ani Ma'amin - 13 principles of faith which includes in our belief in Moshiach's coming at any day - who will demonstrate and ultimate succeed with his goals of doing the deed, fighting the fight, and living the life on the land that is ours and ours forever. And it is in the last Parsha of the Chumash where basically the blessings of Moshe for the Tribes of Israel is either about their particular portion of land or events that took place on the land which included fighting their enemies until the end - not halfway battles and then talking concessions which is the popular stance of the Arab loving government and the Kapo-Nazi Jewish Israeli police throwing Israel's most devoted citizens in the dungeon and force stripping its young religious teenage girls who dared to show their love of the land like the Zionists slaved for - ending the events of Moshe's life with Hashem telling him that He will show him the land that he would not merit to enter.

While Moses and Kahane weren't able to finalize their dreams, it is up to us to complete our part in our last moments of exile before Moshiach's arrival. The end of the Chumash speaks of Moshe's accomplishments and his successor Joshua who later boldly and bravely conquered the land as per Hashem's orders. His name in Hebrew - Yehoshua - is related to the word Yeshuah/salvation and the word for the Hoshanot/salvation prayers that we recite on Succot when we circle the bima/prayer post once for the first six days and seven times on the 7th and final day called Hoshana Rabba, paralleling Joshua's encircling the first city of his conquer Jericho once for the first six days and seven times on the 7th and final day following which the city of Jericho was conquered.

This is bearing in mind that the word Hoshanot includes the letters of the number of this year - Hei Tav Shin Ayin - 5770, the real year counting from the Creation of the World, NOT based on the years counting from the birth of a failed Yeishu - the letters of which begin the words Yemach Shemo V'Zichrono - may his name and memory be erased (NOT Yeishua as nicknamed by self hating Jewish missionaries) the first of the failed Messiahs and failed salvation leaders. We are now awaiting the future Joshua - the future warrior who will fight both spiritually and physically for our rights as the Jewish nation, when we will soon once and for all, live the spiritual and physical utopian standards of living as represented by the full moon.

15 Tevet 5770

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