Wednesday, June 30, 2010

#74 - Gilad Shalit: WITNESS of Truth

This past Shabbat, we read Parshat Balak, of which 95 verses speak about Balak's attempt to get Bilam to curse the Jews, but Bilam wound up blessing the Jews instead.

The question is asked, how did the Jews know about this incident which eventually got to be written in the Torah? Aside from the beginning of the Torah when Hashem created the world before the existance of mankind which was not witness by any people, there were no Jews directly involved in the story of Balak & Bilam, nor were they approached by these two characters about their attempts to curse the Jews, so how else would the Jews know this whole story?

In Talmud Bava Batra 14a, where is mentioned the authorship of the different books of the Bible, it notes that Moses wrote "his book and Parshat Bilam". Of course the question can be immediately asked, how come Parshat Bilam which is part of the Five Books of Moses (which actually comes from Hashem, but it was Moses who physically wrote this down) is mentioned as a separate item among what Moses wrote down?

The explanation given is that indeed, there was no human way for Moses to know this particular story of Bilam. Hence, it was only Hashem - and no Jews beforehand - who knew that this story took place. Consequently, it was written down, unlike the other parts of the Torah - stories and transmitted laws and commandments of which the Jews were witness to - as it was Hashem who was the only witness to this story.

What we can learn from this is that the Torah, while physically written down by Moses, it was at the dictation of Hashem, thus proving that the Torah is from Heaven. In fact, a Jew who doesn't believe that the Torah is from Hashem, rather than from mankind, is considered a disbeliever in Judaism.

And speaking of Moses writing the Torah, this past Shabbat Parshat Balak was the
613rd day from when I began And aside from the uniqueness of the number 613 representing the 613 Mitzvot/Commandments of the Torah as mentioned in Talmud Makkot 23b which was learned as part of the Daf Yomi, worldwide study of the daily double folio of Talmud for 15 Tamuz, the day after this past Shabbat, it is the 613rd Mitzva of the Torah which is writing a Sefer Torah/Torah Scroll.

Let's quote the verse for this final Mitzva of the Torah - "Now write for yourselves this song and teach it to the Jews; put it in their mouths (i.e. make them memorize it) in orther that this song will be a witness for the Jews" (Deutronomy 31:19).

Before I continue, I would like to note that writing my blogspot www.gematriot.blogspot is an aspect of this final Mitzva of the Torah, as writing down Chiddushim, original Torah thoughts (though everything is actually from Hashem), is also a fulfillment of this Mitzva.

Now, this song that is mentioned in the Torah, according to some, is the song in Parshat Ha'azinu (Deutronomy 32:1-43) in which Moses forewarns the Jews of what G-d forbid could happen to them if they don't fulfill their part of their bargain - the Mitzvot of the Torah. This song was supposed to be a witness for the Jews, which would prove to them that the Torah tells the truth of the consequences that happen based on the Jews' behavior.

Note the key word here - WITNESS. The Torah, as given from Hashem, is the witness for the Jews as to what happened and what will happen. And just like the song in Parshat Ha'azinu describes the good and bad that will happen based on our actions, so too did Hashem have written in the Torah - the story of Balak & Bilam's attempt to curse the Jews, which turned out to be blessings for them instead, showing that indeed, the Torah is all from Hashem, and that when we do the right thing, even when the Anti-Semitic gentiles attempt to harm us, Hashem will intervene to make sure that nothing will happen to us - if anything, we will be even more blessed.


While there are unfortunately many issues as related to the Israeli government which is full of non-believers in the Torah, including the impending - may G-d help that it won't happen - destruction of a synagogue in the town of Yitzhar which was originally built with the blessings of this government, what perhaps is the biggest display of a lack of faith and hypocracy of this dictatorship is the captivity of Gilad Shalit in the hands of Hamas for the last four years.

After Gilad's parents - Noam & Aviva - have made their attempt to have their son returned into their loving arms to be their number one priority in their lives, they decided to have a march from their residence in the north of Israel until the residence of Bibi Netanyahu in Jerusalem, which began this past Sunday and is planned to continue for nearly two weeks. Mind you, this is following Olmert's stopping two wars short of having Gilad's return and Netanyahu's fear of what the world will say if he would threaten to kill the imprisoned Arab terrorists in Israel's arms.

Some thirty years ago, of the numerous U.S. captives in Iran, 52 of them remained in Iran for 444 days. While no doubt there was some politics going on between U.S. Presidents outgoing Jimmy Carter and the newly sworn Ronald Reagan upon which mintues after the latter was sworn into office, these 52 captives were finally released, one thing that can be said is that releasing terrorists on the part of the United States was not part of the deal.

In our situation, we are talking about four years and one captive - Gilad Shalit. As far as the Israeli government is concerned, Gilad Shalit chose to be a combat soldier, when he could have taken an easier role in the army and pat himself in the back for serving his mandatory three years in IDF service. Yet, this government has betrayed him time and again. Of course betraying its own soldiers and agents is nothing new to this government. Jonathan Pollard who has already rotted some 25 years in an American prison serving a life sentence - for which others who have done the same thing as he did do not get more than 2-4 years behind bars - following revealing secrets to Israel that the United States was obligated to reveal to Israel but didn't, was handed over from the Israeli government into the vicious hands of the FBI.

Past Prime Minister (oops, I think the word is Monster) Olmert declared two wars against the Arabs. It's one thing if he would be too afraid to fight. But since he already started these wars, stopping them short of having Gilad Shalit released from Hamas was most irresponsible and incomprehensible to say the least. And then of course present PM Bibi Netanyahu, which his track record of giving in to the Wye Agreement, letting the United States and Arabs get their way, including releasing Arab terrorists without the U.S.'s fulfillment of its promise of releasing Jonathan Pollard, among Netanyahu's other disaccomplishments, keeps discussing the release of
ONE THOUSAND Arab terrorists, claiming that it will only be on "his" terms - releasing them only to Arab countries, and not in Israel.

While I can well understand Gilad's parents wanting their son's release under any conditions, I also agree that terrorists should be used for his release. However, there is one difference. The OPPOSITE way of dealing with these terrorists should be employed, which Netanyahu will NEVER do - unless he repents, because he is afraid that the Arabs along with the rest of the world will scream at him if he dares threaten to kill terrorists who have harmed Israel. All he has to do is to either declare war which won't end without Gilad Shalit's safe return to Israel, or better yet, warn the Hamas that either he is returned back to Israeli terrority within the hour - without being harmed in the process - or ALL the terrorists in Israeli prisons will be killed - NO questions asked. As we read recently in Parshat Chukat, when the enemy took someone captive from the Jews - and according to Rashi, it was just one maidservant - the Jews immediately when out to war. It didn't matter if whom the enemy took was a lowlife in Jewish society; all it mattered is that the enemy wished to take someone or something away from the Jews, and that was sufficient reason to immediately begin war without any hesitation.

And then of course, you have the Chutzpa of both Yuval Steinmetz, Likud Knesset member, who was among the voters for the Disengagement of Gush Katif, and Danny Ayalon, Deputy Foreign Minister, who was a strong supporter of the Disengagement, who are telling the Shalit family that though they are suffering without Gilad, Israel's security must be taken into consideration. I guess that's why these two hyprocates were in favor of the Disengagement, though it would mean that the Arabs would be so much closer to attack us. Well, Hashem will one day show the true colors of these two politicians as well.

It is most ironic that while we Jews have all the answers in the Torah of how to deal with any situation, Jews who are dictators of the Holy Land of Israel do JUST the opposite of both the Torah AND logic. And while it took over a year for the United States to get back their 52 captives from Iran partly due to politics, at least the U.S. used brains to get the job done. However, when it comes to Jews, there is a Yetzer Hara/Evil Inclination which will get them to do JUST the opposite of what the Torah says, even if it totally defies logic. Hence, as long as Netanyahu doesn't repent of his sin of not fearing Hashem which he replaces with fearing everyone else but Hashem, the root of his reckless decisions which caused much bloodshed and harm to Jews, Gilad Shalit will G-d forbid waste away at best without continuing on with his life going to school, starting a career or family; or G-d forbid, a whole new wave of terrorism can happen from ONE THOUSAND terrorists who can accomplish their continued terrorism just as easily outside of Israeli terrority, if not more so.

Already, 20 female terrorists have been released just in order to see a video of Gilad being alive, though we already had evidence of this, through an Arab journalist who described in great detail as to exactly what is happening. How pathetic! And to top this off, one of several terrorists who was involved with kidnapping Gilad who was since imprisoned in Israeli hands was just released last week. How criminal! The Israeli government just keeps giving Hamas and all the other Arabs just one victory after another!

Then in the Haftara for Parshat Chukat, there's the story of how Yiftach HaGiladi, the Giladite, about whom our rabbis say that he was an ignoramous in Torah learning, faught the Ammnonite people who oppressed the Jews. The Haftara begins immediately saying that he was a mighty warrior, even before mentioning anything of his origins. The point here is that when he told the Ammonite king to lay his hands off Jewish terrority which was challenged by the king, Yiftach wasted no time explaining why this territory did not belong to the Ammonite nation, quoting Biblical history as to why this was our land. Yes, Yiftach had his faults, especially of being ignorant of Torah learning, but of the little that he did know - some basic Jewish history, he made full use of, did not buy the Ammonite king's story, and proceeded to go to war with him following this king's refusal to vacate the premises. Yiftach made NO attempt to work out some "treaty" giving away land for a worthless piece of paper with the word peace scribbled on it. Israel is OUR land, period!

And of course, in this week's Parshat Pinchas, named after Pinchas, grandson of Aaron the first Cohen Gadol/High Priest, he had no fear of killing Zimri, leader of the tribe of Shimon, who was in the midst of his orgy with the princess of Midian. To be sure, many Jews were ready to murder Pinchas who was brave enough to instantly put an end to the lewdness that Zimri was brazen to perform to spite Moses. Technically, Pinchas was not obligated according to Jewish law to kill Zimri, and had Zimri killed Pinchas in self-defense, he would not have been executed according to Jewish law. But for Pinchas' bravery - which included not being afraid of what leftist Jews would say or do to him - he was awarded with being a Cohen, something that he was not going to be otherwise, who was alive at the time that Hashem elected Aaron, his sons, and future born descendants to be Cohanim.

While my blogspot is not intended to be a forum for discussions or decisions made based on Jewish law, the Shulchan Aruch/Code of Jewish Law discusses in detail about the aspect of releasing Jewish prisoners. And while Pidyon Shevuyim/releasing captives is the greatest Tzedaka/charity done for a Jew, giving back his/her freedom to continue living his/her life to contribute to society and not be subject to the cruelness of captors, it has to be done in a way that won't encourage non-Jews to imprison more Jews. As long as money is in the way, any situation which could work both ways has to be employed in a way that while it will help people who are presently in trouble, it won't encourage evildoers to do the same thing the next time without just cause.

Right now, the Hamas are quite happy. They don't mind the march for Gilad Shalit's freedom, because they know that under the present circumstances, Bibi (can I call him Baby?) Netanyahu is still discussing the possibility of giving prized terrorists - the cream of the Hamas crop - to Hamas to continue contributing to their society which looks to do away with the "Zionist enterprise" to employ the "Palestinian" dream. You see, the Hamas would never dream of giving 1,000 Gilad Shalits back to Israel for one captured Hamas terrorist, because the Hamas are willing to sacrifice, even as Arab terrorists in prison and their immediate families receive money from their groups, because they feel that they are doing the right thing. Yet, Netanyahu is continuing his rap of releasing terrorists, only this time,
in the name of Gilad Shalit, so at least, besides without worrying about the world screaming at him, he can show himself to be the "hero" for the long awaited captured Israeli solider, since after all, it was Olmert who messed up before.

Bibi, you got it all wrong! Not only will the world, including Hamas, not respect you for showing goodwill to terrorists - instead of threatening them - if not further stab you in the back, but most Israelis won't think of you as a hero for long once they get back to their jobs and families following their efforts to have Gilad Shalit released, except of course some leftists, the Shalit family and relatives, and a few friends. G-d forbid, once a terrorist attack happens which is somehow traced to one of these future released terrorists, YOU will be blamed for it, not just by Hashem and some rabbis, but most of Israel, because frankly, the majority of the public is sick and tired of the politics which has hurt the country so much. And certainly, no committee will be rushing to give you a Nobel peace prize like was given to Rabin, Peres, Arafat and Obama.


There is a striking resemblence between two words in Hebrew that are spelled with the exact letters, but just with different vowels. This word, with the letters Gimel-Lamed-Ayin-Dalet, is mentioned 25 times in the Chumash. It's interesting to note that in this week's Parshat Pinchas, the name Gilad as grandson of Menashe and great grandson of Joseph, is mentioned three times in one verse.

The first time in the Torah that the name Gilad is mentioned in the Torah is when Jacob and his family had enough with his uncle and father-in-law Laban and his tricks up and down his sleeve, and so they finally packed their bags and left Laban's home. Meanwhile, upon Laban discovering that his daughters who were married to Jacob and their children were gone, he made a superhuman effort to catch up with them. The Torah notes that they met at Har HaGilad. Following a confrontation, Laban and Jacob made a treaty, symbolized by a heap of stones that they put together, which they called a Witness Mound. Now, here is the interesting part. Laban calls this mound in his Aramaic tongue Yegar Sahaduta, the sole mention of Aramaic in the entire Chumash; while Jacob calls it in his Hebraic tongue Gal'eid.

Laban, grandfather of Bilam, was the grandmaster in trickery. He is called by the Torah - Lavan Ha'Arami, which literally means Laban the Aramean, but this word Arami also means trickster. His name Laban means white in Hebrew, denoting the fact that while at least everyone else didn't hide that they did something wrong when they sinned, Laban had his way of showing how everything he did seemed to be right and justifiable, as the color white denotes cleaniness and purity. However, Laban was full of black magic, which in the literal sense, he practiced as part of his paganistic idol worship. (By the way, Obama in comparison is in an opposite situation - a black president in the White House).

Yes, the sole mention of Aramaic language in the Chumash is mentioned as the name that Laban gave to this mound of stones representing his "treaty", which was more like the trick and treat of Halloween. (Note: As related to Halloween, it is a holiday that became into existance SOLELY representing and celebrating the Anti-Semites hurting Jews). This treaty was the way it was - on HIS terms. However, Jacob kept things in perspective. The fact that Laban was around didn't make Jacob change a thing about himself. He stuck to his same Hebrew language, his same Jewish traditions that he observed from day one up to that day, as Rashi notes on what Jacob told Esau - Im Lavan Gartie "I lived with Laban" (Genesis 32:5), that the word Gartie "I lived" has the same letters as the number Taryag - 613, as if to say, "I lived with Laban the wicked while I kept the 613 Mitzvot without learning from Laban's evil ways". The Torah spends a whole verse mentioning the exact names that Laban & Jacob gave this Witness Mound to describe the difference between these two people - who represented opposite values by 180 degrees - not just simply "political" differences, as a right in a democratic society. Their respective name descriptions of a bunch of gathered stones wasn't just a name etched in a seemingly worthless stone; their names said it all about their own respective characters.

And as a striking resemblence, Jacob in essence used the same name for these stones as the name of the mountain that he was staying overnight at - the only difference is that instead of the pronounciation as Gilad, it was Gal'Eid. You see, both of these words are spelled exactly the same in the Sefer Torah. Not only did Jacob live as a Jew wherever he felt comfortable, he displayed his same observance in front of anyone and everyone without fear of arousing their anger. He didn't attempt to calm down Laban's hot temper displayed against him by speaking Laban's language of deceipt. Yes, a treaty that Laban and Jacob would not hurt each other, but Jacob would not swear to anything that would represent even a vestige of idolatry
as related further in this story. Anything different than what the Torah represented was not even an option for Jacob.

And as this is my 74th Post, the word witness in Hebrew is Eid, the Gematria of 74. And as a Jew who recites the daily prayers says the verse "Hear O Israel, the L-rd is our G-d, the L-rd is One" at least twice a day, the final letters of the words Shema/Hear and Echad/One spell the word Eid - the letters Ayin & Dalet respectively.
A Jew serves as a daily witness to the existance to Hashem and His being One. In turn, what Hashem writes in the Torah serves witness as to what He says. The good and bad that is mentioned as to what will happen to us Jews depending on our behavior has come very true, proving the truth of the Torah. While Jews evading their responsibility of being Jews denied the existance of Hashem following the Holocaust claiming that a G-d can't be so cruel as to allow what happened in the Holocaust, Hashem wrote crystal clear in the Torah as to what would happen, descriptions which perfectly describe the Holocaust.

Putting aside the level of religiosity in the Shalit family, all Jews are in fact one spiritual body. Few of us can claim to be doing everything right as Jews, though many of us make a sincere effort towards that. In any case, Gilad Shalit's name in fact describes what all Jews should be like. His family name Shalit means ruler or dictator.

The reason why I mentioned both words - ruler or dictator - is because in fact, these synonyms represent their respective different meanings. You see, a ruler isn't necessarily a bad, domineering person. In fact, the sole mention of the word Shalit in the Chumash is where it says that Joseph ruled the land of Egypt, living up to his responsibility to see to eat that the country would have what to eat in the upcoming years of famine. But a dictator rules his people with an iron fist, whether his decisions are right or wrong.

There is what is called kosher, and then what is called kosher style which is not genuinely kosher. There are those who live what they call a Jewish lifestyle, but it doesn't necessarily mean that they eat real kosher, keep Shabbat, or observe the laws of family purity. And so, Gilad - or Gal Eid/WITNESS Mound - is what rules a Jew. That is, just as a stone never moves on its own unless pushed beyond its control, so too, a treaty is something that is meant to be observed for all time. Certainly, the ultimate treaty - the TRUTH - that exists between Hashem and us Jews is meant to be kept for all time. And it is THIS concept that is supposed to rule us at all times, just as Joseph who didn't look to live the comfortable Egyptian lifestyle as viceroy, but remained as a Jew within his home and serve the people in honesty for which he was well paid to do; indeed a true ruler, NOT ruled by the Yetzer Hara/Evil Inclination which Joseph faught off when he was tempted some one dozen years earlier by Potifar's wife who attempted to seduce him.

However, the Yetzer Hara can be quite tricky. Using the excuse of Medinat Yisrael/State of Israel as the Biblical homeland for Jews, this Yetzer Hara has even fooled some rabbis who became traitors to Hashem and the Jewish people who ordered their students to follow the orders of the dictators of Medinat Yisrael as though this anti-Torah government is supposed to have some type of Halachic status, and throw their brothers and sisters out of their homes, even as it meant that Arabs would then be so much closer to attack us Jews, G-d forbid.

And so, what can be expected from the prime minister of a country whose sole concern is really only money, power, and politics? These are key ingredients for what is called a dictator. This is not speaking in Jacob's pure language of honesty and Torah values, but rather in Laban's tricks under his tounge of lies and deceipt. Netanyahu is forgetting or ignoring what is behind the concept of what the name Gilad as Gal Eid represents. Instead of ruling out whatever will be dangerous to Israel's security and employing a very simple method to get the physical Gilad Shalit released, he is letting his Yetzer Hara rule him without regard to the facts that will save Gilad - and all of Israel for which Gilad Shalit sacrificed himself but was betrayed by its so called leadership.

Yes, four years of Gilad Shalit in captivity. Yes, four years of presidency of the once upon a time democratic United States. Four years is ENOUGH for giving in to the demands of a nation full of lies and tricks in the name of Allah (who by the way is NOT Hashem, contrary to what Moslems will tell you). ENOUGH beating around the bush pertaining to Gilad Shalit. The "burning" George Bush who was a supposed friend of Jews but really wasn't is no longer the world leader. Obama with his clear Arab, Moslem and Palestinian ties is now the dictator. Obama has already shown mush disrespect to Netanyahu, but Netanyahu is like one who returns to his vomit. Obama, as the FORTY FOURTH - double FOUR - president of the United States, has shown far beyond his phoney words of caring for Israel that he is nothing but a farce who already has started war against Israel. And so Bibi, stop attempting to appease anyone, because Obama as the world leader - like it or not - will certainly not give a damn. You want to be a REAL hero? Just do the unthinkable, and while the leftists will first scream at you and threaten to oust you as prime minister if you ever decide to repent of your present choice of whom you fear, threatening to kill our terrorist enemies pending the continued captivity of Gilad Shalit will set a precedent, and may even start the beginning of reversing the trend of Jews fearing Arabs, when it will Arabs who will start fearing Jews once and for all.

In an expression of our desire for the redemption, many of us ask Ad Matai - "Until when"?, meaning, how much longer must we endure this bitter exile? The word Ad/until is the Gematria of 74. And as related to Gilad Shalit where the second half of his first name comprises the letters that spell the number 74, perhaps this should be a stark reminder of how the comfortable surroundings in exile, especially outside of Israel, should not feel so comfortable, especially when Jews are physically in captivity, in exile away from their immediate friends and family, if not being tortured. As part of the obligation to await the coming of Moshiach, we must eagerly await the day that all Jews who are worthy of remaining alive will be living in our Holy land, as Hashem showed the entire land of Israel and its future history to Moses at the end of his life, "Hashem showed him the entire land, the GILAD..." (Deutronomy 34:1). We must also eagerly await the day that Hashem will be the SHALIT, the ruler over the entire world, "Hashem will be king over the entire world..." (Zechariah 14:9).

When we follow our treaty in the Torah, it is then and only then that non-Jews, even some of the Anti-Semitic ones, will start respecting us. There will always be those who will scream at us; but when we show that we are not afraid of doing the right thing, then at the very least, we will no longer have to worry of impending wars, because we will instead be in the midst of conquering a different war - fighting off the Yetzer Hara. For in this world, everything is with a balance. The only question is: What will we choose for our set of circumstances in our destined fate?

19 Tamuz 5770

Thursday, June 17, 2010

#73 - Mitzvot of Wisdom

Our Rabbis in the Midrash (Eicha Raba 2) state, "If any man will say to you that there is wisdom among the gentiles, believe him. If he will say that there is Torah among the gentiles, do not believe him."

Indeed, many non-Jews have made this world a better place to live in, utililizing the wisdom that they have in the fields of science, medicine, etc. for the betterment
of mankind. In fact, some of the wisdom that they have indeed comes from the Torah.
For example, many Chinese proverbs are very similar to statements in our Torah, which no doubt for the large part coming from the wisest of all men, King Solomon, as all nationalities in his time traveled to him to hear his wisdom.

While Hashem blessed King Solomon with wisdom as per his request following 40 fasts as symbolized by the BIG Mem as the first letter of one of his three compositions in the Tanach/Bible called Mishlei/Proverbs, as Mem is the Gematria of 40, just as it took 40 days for Moses to learn the Torah, there was one thing that baffled King Solomon for which Hashem would not give him the solution that He gave to Moses.

As mentioned in other sources, it is also mentioned in the 48th Daf of Tikkunei Zohar
that I just learned for this date of 6 Tamuz being that it's the 48th day from Lag Baomer, the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (Rashbi), author of the teachings of the Zohar. This section mentions that King Solomon wasn't able to figure out a secret pertaining to the Para Aduma/Red Heifer, which we will be reading about in its entirety this coming Shabbas Parshat Chukat. Particularly, the big question is: How could the ashes of the Para Aduma purify the person impure from contact with the dead, while making impure the one who is sprinkling these ashes to purify someone else? After all, it only makes sense logically that if the ashes purified someone with impurity, than certainly the one who is helping someone else become pure should not become impure as a result of doing so.

As King Solomon writes in Kohelet, "I said that I could become wise, but it is beyond me" (Ecclesiastes 7:23). Someone reading the Bible literally without reading the Book of Kings without prior Bible knowledge would either think that either he wasn't as wise as some of his collegues in his time, or that he said this in his humility. In any case, he was referring specifically to the seemingly illogical concept of the Para Aduma.

While it seems that the Zohar gives a Kabbalistic explanation to this, before Rashbi came along, the only one who knew the answer to this was Moses. In fact, King Solomon had good reason to think that Hashem would give the answer to him also. You see, the letters of his Hebrew name Shlomo can be rearranged to spell L'Moshe - to Moshe/Moses, and so he really thought that he would be the second person in history to understand this Chok/statue, after which is the name of this week's Parshat Chukat, which is a Mitzva/Commandment that has no sounding logic as to the purpose of it.

O.K., so King Solomon may have not been on Moses' spiritual level. However, if Hashem saw fit to grant that same Torah wisdom to King Solomon, the builder of the First Temple, as He gave to Moses, why did Hashem hold this wisdom about the Para Aduma from him?

While I never saw this question answered, I believe that the answer to this is in another Midrash in Shemot Raba. There are three prohibitive Mitzvot/Commandments that a Jewish king has - not to have in excess 1)horses 2)women 3)gold & silver. The Torah gives a straight out logical answer for this - so the king's heart won't turn astray. King Solomon, as a tremendous Torah scholar and saint, felt that the reason for these Mitzvot didn't apply to him, since he believed that he wouldn't turn astray from following Hashem. Meanwhile, the letter Yud of the word Yarbeh from the three times that it says regarding these Mitzvot - Lo Yarbeh "He shall not increase" complained to Hashem that King Solomon was attempting to eliminate it. Hashem assured the letter Yud, "King Solomon and a thousand like him will be eliminated, but not even the little point of yours will be eliminated!"

Indeed, the thousand that Hashem mentioned was probably the thousand wives that King Solomon had, many whom indeed turned his heart astray, and while he himself did not become evil like some of the other kings in Judah & Israel, some of his wives who went through the conversion process of becoming Jewish didn't really forsake their idols. In any case, the letter Yud in the word Yarbeh, making it a future tense, showing that as a result of violating the above commandments, the king's heart would turn astray, is mentioned three times. And as the letter Yud is the Gematria of 10, three times this is 30 - the same Gematria as the letter Lamed in King Solomon's Hebrew name Shlomo.

Hence, while the letters of his name could be read to mean "comparable TO (the letter Lamed) Moshe/Moses", he didn't quite live up to following all the commandments in the Five Books of Moses. Thus, since King Solomon thought that he was beyond the given logic of the commandments that he violated, he wasn't worthy of understanding a commandment that didn't sound logical. After all, if he seemed to have a hard time with Mitzvot that made much sense logically, how would he be able to handle a Mitzva that does not make sense logically. Only one who is willing to follow Hashem ALL the way without questioning HIS WISDOM can be worthy of knowing the secrets to what is behind HIS COMMANDMENTS.

In recent times, many gave Judaism a second look, which resulted in the Enlightment movement, which in time became known as "Reform Judaism", which resulted in "Conservative Judaism", a supposed compromise between Reform and Orthodox (the name, which by the way, should not be used to describe Judaism, as it is actually a name used in Christian groups). The reasoning behind this is that Judaism, to these people, needed to be "logical", as the times have changed, and so rather utilizing the times to fit Judaism, they attempted to fit Judaism with the times. Without getting into all the details of the harm that this did, it is clear to many, as proven through statistics, that observant Jews have far more children than in these watered down groups of Judaism, as the very first Mitzva of the Torah is Pru Urvu -
"Be fruitful and multiply" (Genesis 1:28), which means that we have children not simply to be a continuation of ourselves, but to bear the next generation who will serve Hashem; and so, the more children, the better.

And very unfortunately, in our homeland country Israel, the same twisted logic of needing to sound logical keeps surfacing its ugly head. Regarding the IDF recently filing charges against a soldier who killed two Gaza women in Operation Cast Lead, the last war that Israel fought a year and a half ago, "Defense" Minister (or Defense Monster) Ehud Barak, a former Prime Minister (or Prime Monster) and former IDF Chief of Staff, stated that no army in the world compares with the IDF, “both from a moral standpoint as well as from a professional standpoint."

I believe that is truly Hashgacha Pratit/Divine Providence that Arutz Sheva in wrote this news item in this week of Parshat Chukat, which stresses the point that we have to follow Hashem's Mitzvot, even if they sound illogical to us.

And I have a message to relay to Ehud Barak, who has been in the forefront of bulldozing Jewish communities while allowing illegal Arab structures to remain. While the IDF may be the supreme army in the world when it comes to a moral and professional standpoint, it is far from supreme when it comes to a Torah standpoint. In fact, the United States has more respect for observant Jewish soldiers serving in its army then the Israeli government has for the observant Jewish IDF soliders. So, Mr. Barak, as far as the Torah is concerned, if an action goes against the Torah, it doesn't matter how "moral" or "professional" it may be - it is FORBIDDEN to follow it. Period! Otherwise, why bother fighting a war when an IDF soldier, who in good faith serves in the IDF saving Jewish lives instead of going ahead in his personal and professional life, has to worry about going to prison for his act of true heroism to say the least?

Yes, Mr. Barak, sometimes we have to do the so called immoral or non-professional thing of killing women and babies. After all, if you wipe off the dust of the Tanach that you probably haven't taken a glance in since your army days, you will see that following King Saul's act of mercy of allowing Amalek's king to live, he murdered the Cohen Gadol/High Priest, many Cohanim, and a town including observant Jewish women and children, even the innocent babies! So, Mr. Barak, don't you dare tell the citizens of the State of Israel what is moral or professional!

In other news in Israel this week, many sets of Ultra-Orthodox or Hasidic parents had
been ordered to report to prison today (Thursday) because they refused to send their children to a Jewish school that they felt was beneath their strict religious standards. Now, regardless of what may be the true motivation of these parents, the Supreme Court, which just announced that stipends will no longer be given to those learning in Yeshiva following marriage after 2010, once again stepped on the Torah by attempting to coerce observant Jews to compromise on the Jewish education of their children, something that the United States until today has yet to do (except maybe in individual cases, but not en masse) in its 234 years since Independence Day 1776. In fact, it was none other than the only "religious" unSupreme Court Justice Edmond Levy who declared, “It cannot be that rabbis’ rulings will take precedence over the Supreme Court.”

Well, this is nothing new. Menachem Alon (father of Rabbis Moti & Benny Alon), who was a former Israeli Supreme Court Justice, along with rabbinic ordination, was one who voted to oust the Kach Party of Rabbi Meir Kahane, may Hashem avenge his blood, from the Knesset, which very unfortunately came to pass. So, it's not surprising that the respect of the corrupt Israeli government and courts for Judaism, or whatever is left of it, is going down the tubes. Yes, there were some 100,000 Ultra-Orthodox or Hasidic Jews who demonstrated today in Jerusalem and Bnei Brak who accompanied the parents (some of them were smart enough not to report to prison, which was the right decision to do) to prison. But, far more needs to be done to overthrow a Communist regime which is stepping and stomping on the "illogical"
"immoral" and "unprofessional" Torah that it so despises.

There is far more reason to fast for what is going on today in Israel than for what happened some 766 years ago in 5004 (1244) on the Friday of Parshat Chukat. It was on that day of the week of this Parsha that 24 crates full of Jewish holy books were burned in France by the Anti-Semitic gentiles. When the rabbis of that time made a request to be answered in a dream as to why this happened, the answer given to them was the Aramaic translation of Zot Chukat HaTorah, "This is the STATUTE of the Torah" which is "This is the DECREE of the Torah". As the answer was related to the Parsha, it was decided that it would be the day of the week of the Parsha - Friday, rather than the date of 9 Tamuz that it happened on, to be the day to fast for this tragic event.

In any event, it seems significant that is was TWENTY FOUR crates of Jewish holy books that were burnt. As we know, there are TWENTY FOUR books of the Tanach/Bible.
However, the gentiles were not so concerned about the Jewish Bible, since after all, they have the same basic thing, just with a little different translation to reflect Jesus being the Messiah and a little different order of what they call 39 books of the "Old Testament". Not the only incident of Jewish books burning, their main quest
was to burn the Talmud, the crux of Jewish learning that explains the precepts of the Bible which lead to what the Halacha/Jewish Law should be.

In this 73rd Post, I wrote about wisdom, the Hebrew word for which is Chachma, which is the Gematria of 73. Twenty years ago, Artscroll began its translation of the Babylonian Talmud, starting with Tractate Makkot, the current tractate being studied as Daf Yomi, the daily study of a double side page of Talmud.
Fifteen years later, this project became complete in 73 volumes (Note: while you will see the last one being #72, one of the tractates is divided as 33a & 33b). The ultimate Chachma/Wisdom=73 of Judaism is as displayed in the Torah She'B'Al'Peh/Oral Torah, represented in the forefront as the Talmud, the explanation of the laws and how we derive them from the Bible, especially the Chumash/Penteteuch/The Five Books of Moses.

Regardless of how a Jew wants to live his life, one who takes an honest look of the Talmud will see how logical, moral and professional the Torah really is. Of course, Anti-Semitic gentiles and self hating Jews do not want the public to see the authentic picture of Judaism as displayed in the Talmud. In the Jewish sector within the last few hundred years, it began by teaching "Bible stories" to children in so called Jewish schools in lieu of how the Torah should really be taught, in the quest of having Jewish children learning to have a hatred for authentic Judaism with its "old fashioned" rabbis and Jewish laws.

In Yiddish theaters which were at one time a big thing among Jews in the States, observant Jewish life was constantly mocked. In fact, the phrase "Baba Ma'aseh" or fairytales, as a Yiddish phrase that is really a combination of Hebrew & Aramaic, was based on the three tractates of the Talmud - Baba Kama, Baba Metziah, & Baba Basra - which deal especially with the laws dealing with how Jews are supposed to treat each other in terms of damages, business transactions, and real estate. In essence, the Yiddish (which means Jewish) language was used to mock the very part of the Talmud that shows how observant Jews are supposed to honestly deal with other people; because these self hating Jews, having a guilty conscience of not observing Judaism, wanted to spread lies about observant Jews claiming that they only care about ritual while supposedly crooking others, to justify their own animalistic behaviors.

It was the ashes of an animal, though a kosher one at it, that were used to purify a person who contract a form of spiritual impurity as a result of touching or being under the same roof as a dead person. This red cow had to be without blemishes and never to have been used for work. What we can learn from this is that the only way that the Torah can remain with us without disappering from our lives is that we don't look for ways to change it since the Torah is already perfect, nor to use it as a lifestyle, misusing it for a type of work other than what the Torah is meant to be used for - to follow its laws and commandments, NOT as a way of entertainment by painting it as "Jewish" or "Kosher style" cold cuts coming from animals not ritually slaughtered according to Jewish law, along with not having its blood or forbidden fats removed.

There is one more aspect pertaining to this Para Aduma that I would like to make. The Torah calls the waters that were used with the ashes to sprinkle on the impure person as Mei Niddah. It's interesting to note that the word Niddah, the name of the last tractate of the Gemara/Talmud, is normally used to refer to a menstrous woman, as is related to separation from her husband of not even touching each other until she is purified upon going to a Mikva, a ritularium nearly two weeks after her period. Getting back to our Parsha, as noted by the translation of The Living Torah,
it means either 1)sprinkling water 2)purification water that separates man from defilement, or 3)restricted water.

It seems that the Torah can be compared to the three definitions of the word Niddah, the name of the final Talmudic tractate (Note: This is the final tractate of the Gemara, not of the Mishna).
1) The Torah, with is sprinkles of wisdom, has a most positive effect on a person if he but wishes to be affected by it.
2) Moreover, the Torah separates us from defilement - from the truly illogical, immoral, and unprofessional ways of the gentiles who clearly do not live a Torah lifestyle. This is not to say that all gentiles are evil people; indeed, there are even those Christians who are truly moral and don't look to convert Jews to their religion. But, for a Jew, he or she has a much higher standard of spiritual living, to which no man made religion or watered down Judaism for that matter can be compared to.
3) Finally, we Jews are indeed restricted by the Torah to our own holy environment. While there are times that we have to deal with non-Jews, and some make their living working in a very non-Jewish environment, we have to have a feeling at all times that the Torah is what is Supreme, and as our authentic rabbis interpret the Torah - NOT those who claim to live as a "religious" Jew, even those with the title of rabbi from an authentic Torah institution, who will sacrifice Torah principles because they work for an institution making a six-digit figure in fear of loosing their job, paycheck or position.


This Shabbat Parshat Chukat, my brother's son Mikey - Michoel Dov - will G-d willing celebrate his Bar Mitzva reading the entire Parsha from the Torah scroll. While I will unfortunately not be able to make it, as I cannot at this time travel from Israel to the States, I can say that I was the first relative besides my nephew's parents to visit him since he born in the same hospital as I was. The last I saw him was when he came with my brother to visit Israel this past summer, and after not seeing him for almost five years, I can say that he developed very maturely since I made Aliyah.

I have a message for my dear nephew. You have two Hebrew names. The first one Michoel, which means "Who is like G-d", is the name of the Guardian Angel of the Jewish people, as the other nations have their guardian angel. The second one Dov means bear, and while it may not be a kosher animal, it is a creation of Hashem which serves a function. A bear is very materialistic, which has no concern about other creatures when hungry, as this is how it was created, and if a creature is food for it, it's hot game.

Here you have complete opposites. The angel Michoel looks at every which way to exonerate the Jewish people from punishment, even as we may be well deserving of it; because if full strict justice were to be meted against us G-d forbid, we would not be able to survive. We would, G-d forbid, have to fear the "bear", which would devour us alive if it were let to be loose.

As human beings with a soul, especially as Jews with the holiness of a Neshama (soul), we have strings pulling us at opposite directions - the spiritual and the physical. Part of this involves the angels known as the Yetzer Tov - good inclination, and the Yetzer Hara - evil inclination. While, L'Havdil, Christians focus on the concept that we are born in sin and claim that they can only be saved through JC; we Jews take responsibility for our lives and face the challenges head on. True, it says that "there isn't a righteous person who does good but doesn't sin"(Kohelet 7:20), but it is precisely through this that one gets the motivation to try even harder, and never give up hope. After all, if it was so easy to do everything right, we would indeed be like angels, who though are in a high spritual level, they can't achieve further progress. On the other hand, if it was truly too hard to accomplish anything because we would be too tied to materialism, we would be no better than animals who can't help themselves by nature. However, as human beings, Hashem created us with both spiritual and physical leanings, and we ALL have the potential to create the balance between the two, using the physical in the pursuit of spiritual endeavors. Yes, we should not let the physical get the best of us, but at the same time, we need physical - food, sleep, exercise/sports, etc. to realize that "in all your ways, know Him (Hashem)" (Mishlei 3:6), but not letting the physical make us forget of why it exists in the first place - to serve Hashem.

In your Bar Mitzva Parsha, you have a clear example of this concept. The ashes of an animal - the Para Aduma - that is already dead are used to purify a person who got spiritual impure through contact with a dead person. While an animal - regardless of whether it is kosher for eating or not - is on a far lower spiritual level than a person who follows the Torah, it can be used in serving Hashem, as performed in a variety of Mitzvot, from bringing Korbanot (sacrifices) to giving them as gifts to a Cohen. When we see how an animal is slaughtered and burned, it makes us think that really it is we who deserve this when we sin, not following what Hashem tells us to do in the Torah. But, Hashem in his Infinite Mercy, would rather us do Teshuva, return to Him and learn through the animal how to better our ways; hence, making the ultimate use of what Hashem created animals for, because Hashem created the universe solely for Jews to follow the Torah, and everything else in creation is meant to be used in some way to help us accomplish our spiritual goals.

There is one more thing related to your Parsha that will be of most interest to you as a Levi, like I am. To begin with, there are 87 Pesukim (verses) in your Bar Mitzva Parsha. The number 87 is a very significant number in our Tefillot (prayers).
The Baruch Sheamar blessing, which precedes several chapters of Tehillim (Psalms) and the Shirat HaYam, Song of the Sea that Moshe & the Jewish people sang following crossing the Sea of Reeds, contains exactly 87 words. What is most unique about this prayer and blessing is that if fell as a note from Shamayim (Heaven), unlike most other compositions of prayers that were composed by people.

In the Gemara (Rosh Hashana 31a), it mentions the various songs that the Levi'im sang in the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) depending on the day of week or holiday. On Shabbat, besides the chapter of Tehillim (Perek 92), there were two kinds of songs from the Chumash that were sung - one in the morning and the other in the afternoon.
The morning one was from Parshat Ha'azinu, divided into six parts to be sung over six Shabbatot. The afternoon one was divided into three parts to be sung over three Shabbatot. The first two consisted of the Shirat HaYam that we recite daily in our Tefillot. The last one consisted of four Pesukim that are in...your Bar Mitzva Parsha, Parshat Chukat, known as Shirat Ha'Be'er, "Song of the Well":

"It was then that Israel sang this song: Rise, O well, respond to this song. A well was dug by princes, Sunk by the people's leaders, Carved out with their staffs. From the desert, the Jews went to Matanah, from Matanah to Nachaliel, and from Nachaliel to Bamoth. From Bamoth, they went to Hagai in the field of Moab. It is on the top of the cliff that overlooks the Wastelands". (Bamidbar 21:17-20)

I thought of making a parallel between Parshat Chukat consisting of 87 Pesukim and the Baruch Sheamar blessing consisting of 87 words. Being that the above four Pesukim are the 68-71 verses of Parshat Chukat, I thought of checking what are the 68-71 words of Baruch Sheamar: V'Nazkir Shimcha Malkeinu V'Elokeinu - "We will mention Your Name our King and our G-d".

Thinking of you Mikey, I was thinking of your first name Michoel over the last day, and something clicked in my mind. The beginning of the second part of the Shirat HaYam, where it begins with Mi Chohmocha B'Elim YKVK (Hashem) - "Who is compared to You among the mighty, Hashem", where the first three words each contain a syllabol of your name Michoel - MI CHOhmocha b'ELim. It is the first letters of this very phrase Mi Chohmocha B'Elim YKVK - Mem Kaf Beit Yud - that spell the famous word Maccabbe, the title given to the Maccabbes or Chashmonim (Hasmonians) who bravely fought the Syrian Greeks who forbade the Jews to keep the Mitzvot; but at the end, they entered the Beit HaMikdash once again, and following the miracle of the Menorah being lit for eight days, we celebrate eight days of Chanuka every year.

And as the letter Chanuka begins with a Cheit and ends with a Hei, there is another word that begins with a Cheit and ends with a Hei - Chochma (wisdom). Shlomo HaMelech (King Solomon) who wanted to know the reason why the ashes of the Para Aduma
purified the one who was impure but made impure the one who sprinkled these ashes on the impure person, was not granted the reason for this, stating "I said that I could become wise, but it is beyond me" (Kohelet 7:23). He wasn't granted the Chochma, the wisdom behind why this Mitzva is like this. You see, we have to learn that whatever Hashem tells us to do, while it is normally important to understand the reasoning behind it to have the full effect that the Mitzva is supposed to have on us, we are supposed to have the same attitude of wanting to do the will of our King, our G-d, for a Mitzva that we do not understand why we have to do it.

As this is a Gematria post, I thought I would share with you a very fascinating thing about the word Chochma as it relates to the Mitzvot. Let's take the four letters of Chochma - Cheit, Chaf, Mem, Hei - and spell out the letters of the names of these four letters, with their corresponding numerical value. Cheit - Cheit (8), Yud (10), Tav (400) = 418; Chaf - Chaf (20), Fei Sofit (80) = 100; Mem - Mem (40), Mem Sofit (40) = 80; Hei - Hei (5), Yud (10) = 15. Now add 418+100+80+15 EQUALS
613, corresponding to the 613 or Taryag Mitzvot.

While even non-Jews have wisdom, such as science, mathematics, medicine, etc., only so long as what they teach doesn't oppose Torah, this type of wisdom could be useful for our daily lives, as this is part of Hashem's creations. However, the best creation that Hashem prepared for us is what is known as Hashem's Wisdom - the Torah which is rooted with 613 Mitzvot. The Torah is not just another fine piece of literature or history book. The word Torah comes from the word Ho'ra'ah - instruction, for it is only the Torah that instructs us with its 613 foundation laws to serve Hashem properly. The Mitzva and reward of learning & teaching Torah is equal to all the other 612 Mitzvot; while at the same time, we only get the credit for this when we uphold its other Mitzvot when we are supposed to fulfill them. We have to always remember that is is Hashem as our King and G-d who is our Guiding Force throughout life, and that whatever else exists that is outside the realm of Torah is either forbidden to deal with or useful in helping us obey the King's Commandments.

Yes, Bar Mitzva literally means "son of a Mitzva", but in a more meaningful sense, having the qualities of a Mitzva, being ready and fit to serve the King of Kings following His Mitzvot, like the Maccabbees. As in the United States Army where one addresses his commander with "Sir, yes Sir!", lehavidil, we address Hashem with the words "We will mention Your Name, our King and our G-d".

Mazel Tov, Mikey! You have gone a long way to celebrate a happy milestone in your life. Love and blessings to you, Uncle Shimon.

6 Tammuz 5770, Erev Shabbat Parshat Chukat

Monday, June 7, 2010

#72 - Lashes of Kindness

Thought of writing this post in the last day or two, but as Hashgacha Pratit/Divine Providence had it, I didn't write it until tonight. You see, I already thought of the title to this blog, but little did I know a little earlier how much of a significance this would represent. To my great sorrow, today on Monday afternoon, the world lost a most holy and beloved saint Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu ZTVK"L - may the memory of the righteous and holy be for a blessing. Thank G-d, I was fortunate to hear him speak, meet him in person and shake his hands since I made Aliyah. I found out the sad news a little too late - only via the internet, several hours after I had attended a Simcha in the Old City of Jerusalem, as he was to be buried tonight in the Har HaMenuchot cemetery on the outskirts of Jerusalem, while I live south of Jerusalem.

While I am not here to make a whole eulogy about a rabbi who made such an impact on Jews by his sense of unity of all segments of Jews in the religion pyramid, there is something that was not mentioned in the various articles that I read this evening about his passing. Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu was the one responsible for requesting Yaakov "Ketzeleh" Katz to head the National Union party in the Knesset which resulted in four seats, which is currently the ONLY party not afraid to speak the truth about what is really happening in Israel thanks to the corruption of the system - government, courts, and police. It is not all that surprising how Rabbi Eliayhu knew the good choice to make, as he already had a good track record of fighting as a pro-Israel activist which landed him in 10 months in Israeli prison in the early 1950s and had no fear declaring that soldiers were forbidden to take part in the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif, despite his close political ties, including his former post as Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel (1983-1993) which is a position that is paid by the government.

But perhaps what he was most popular for in the long run was his great kindness for Jews. Among the many such stories, it was far from beneath his dignity to visit Jonathan Pollard in a North Carolina prison for several times, and offered to the previous few U.S. presidents to be in prison in lieu of Jonathan Pollard, something that few others would dare to even think of doing. Jonathan Pollard, a hero to Israel (and yes, he is also an American hero whether the United States wants to admit it or not!) for revealing secrets of nuclear threats to Israel that the United States was obligated to reveal to Israel but didn't do so, was betrayed by the Israeli government who refused to grant him asylum and handed him over into the arms of the FBI which claimed that he revealed these secrets for "monetary gain", and the U.S. court took advantage of his plea bargain to give him a life sentence when his one count of giving classified information should have landed him in prison with no more than 2-4 years according to American law.

And as a piece of Gematria which perfectly fits with the lifestory of Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, there are 13 Midot Rachamim/Divine Attributes of Mercy of how Hashem treats the Jewish people with mercy. The sixth one (according to the count of the great Kabbalist Rabbi Isaac Luria, also known as the Arizal) is Rav Chesed - Abundant in Kindness. As mentioned in the Chasidic Sefer called Bnei Yissaschar which are Torah thoughts about Shabbat and the Jewish holidays, in reference to Mordechai of the Purim story, the name Mordechai is the Gematria of Rav Chesed - 274.
Just as Mordechai of the Purim story truly embodied this principle of how well he treated the Jewish people as related in the final verse of Megillat Esther/Book of Esther, so did today's Mordechai - HaRAV Mordechai Eliyahu emboddy this principle. In short - the rabbi (or Rav) of kindness. And indeed, as this is my 72th post, Chesed/Kindness is the Gematria of 72.

It was months ago when Rabbi Eliyahu had told family members that his suffering of sickness and pain was an atonement for the Jewish people to spare them of suffering, as the righteous suffer in this world as an atonement for Jews. Indeed, it can be said that he was willing to suffer LASHES on all of our behalf as a KINDNESS for us.

But interestingly, when I thought of writing this post with the title "Lashes of Kindess", which I had originally planned to write a couple of nights ago, but it didn't quite work out as I knew that I would have to travel early the next morning, and for some other reason, it didn't work out last night, I had in mind about the current tractate of the Babylonian Talmud studied in the program of Daf Yomi, the worldwide daily study of a double sided page of Talmud, which began starting this past Motzoei Shabbat/Saturday night, called Makkot, which means blows, referring to the lashes that was administered by a Beit Din/Jewish court to a sinner, as discussed in this tractate. Personally, I feel a special connection to this tractate, because the name of this tracatate - Makkot - is the Gematria of my first name Shimon - 466!

Anyways, whether the sinner who was granted lashes wanted to admit it or not, these lashes were actually LASHES OF KINDNESS. You see, the actual word for lashes, which is Malkut, make up the same letters that read Mavet Kal - light death. In actually, whenever anyone does a Aveira/sin, he or she technically deserves death as that sinner disobeyed the King of Kings. However, Hashem in his great kindness will quite often grant punishments in lieu of death to 1) hint to the sinner that he/she did something wrong, who will hopefully figure it out, 2) be an atonement in lieu of death or Gehinnom/Purgatory, and 3) give one a chance to do it right the coming time.

With this being said, the sinner should have considered himself very lucky that he was only granted lashes, despite the pain, blood, and torn skin that he incurred, because the Beit Din granted far heavier punishments to other types of sinners - including one of four methods of execution. In fact, one who already incurred lashes on two separate occasions by the Beit Din was put in prison on his third offense, only to be fed barley to make his stomach burst, and would die instantly. I guess you can call this instant barleymeal, similar to the instant oatmeal brand.


Tractate Makkot consists of three chapters, each of which focus on a particular subject:

Chapter One - False witnesses - in this context, called Eidim Zomemin - who attempted to have someone punished by the court, and are oftentimes granted the punishment they attempted to have granted to the innocent subject. If for certain reasons, a type of punishement could not be granted to these false witnesses as learned out from the Torah, then they were granted lashes instead.

Chapter Two - Cities of refuge that served to protect one who accidentally killed another, and remained in the city of refuge that he fled to until the death of the current Cohen Gadol/High Priest

Chapter Three - Lashes for the listed sins mentioned in the beginning of this chapter.


It seems that according to some, Tractate Makkot may have originally been part of Tractate Sanhedrin, as this brief tractate of 23 Dafim (double sided pages) in effect
mentions other punishments as related to Tractate Sanhedrin that discusses monetary cases and capital punishment. It's most interesting to note that in the second Mishna of Tractate Sanhedrin, in the midst of listing the amount of judges needed for any given type of issue to be judged by the court, it mentions that Makkot, referring to lashes, was judged by a panel of three judges, and it was quoted in Rabbi Yishmael's name that it was a panel of 23 judges. Lo and behold - Tractate Makkot consists of three chapters and 23 Dafim.

In any case, the beginning of Tractate Makkot mentions the exceptional case of false witnesses of being granted a different punishment than the one they sought to give to the innocent subject, rather than the usual case of being granted the same punishment. In this scenario, they claimed that one whose father is a Cohen has a mother who has the status of being a Gerusha/divorced woman, which is forbidden in marriage to a Cohen, and any children issuing from such a union disqualifies their children and future descendants from having the status of a Cohen. The reason for beginning the tractate or chapter with an exceptional case is because it parallels the last Mishna of the previous Tractate Sanhedrin (as listed in the Mishnayot but not the Talmud where the last two chapters are reversed) where it mentions that the daughter of a Cohen who committed adultery was subject to death by burning, but the one who slept with her was sentenced to death by strangulation as well as false witnesses who falsely claimed in court that a daughter of a Cohen committed adultery which was not true, in which they also received the strangulation death penalty which differed from the burning death penalty that she would have received had she not been saved at the last minute by witnesses who disproved these false witnesses.

Looking a little more closely, there is another parallel between the last Mishna of Sanhedrin & the first Mishna of Makkot. Both of them mention a case of one who is a child of a Cohen. Moreover - the first letters of the first three words of Tractate Makkot, of the question Keitzad HaEidim Na'asin Zomemin "How do the witnesses become plotting witnesses?" - these three letters spell the word Cohen - Caf, Hei, Noon! Is there an underlying spiritual message here?


In my 40th post, I had mentioned numerous similarities that shared the letter Mem, which is the Gematria of 40, when I was in my 40th year. Accordingly, I am now 40 years old, which means I have lived 40 years on Planet Earth. There are numerous words here in connection with the Sanhedrin and the various penalties that they meted out to sinners that all begin with the letter Mem.

As I began this post writing about two great Tzadikim/righteous people whose names was Mordechai, the Mordechai of the Purim story was part of the Sanhedrin in his time. All the names of the Mitzvot of Purim begin with a Mem - 1) Megillat Esther - Reading the Booking of Esther, 2) Matanot L'Evyonim - Gift of money to two poor people, 3) Mishloach Manot - Gifts of two foods to someone, 4) Ma'achal & Mishteh - Food and Drink - the festive meal eaten during the daytime of Purim. This is bearing in mind that the word Mitzva/Commandment begins with a Mem.

And so you wonder, what is the significance here of the letter Mem as it relates to Purim? Read on...

Now let's get to the punishments that the Sanhedrin or Beit Din meted out to sinners, or requirements that they obligated litigants to:
1)Mitot - The four death penalties - stoning, burning, decapitation, and strangulation, the subject of which makes up most of the latter half of Tractate Sanhedrin.
2)Malkut or Makkot - Lashes
3)Mammon - Money that one owes his opposing litigant or is levied on him as a fine
4)Miklat - Cities of refuge that one who killed someone accidentally had to flee to, which would protect him legally from being killed by a relative of the one whom he killed.

So, am I implying a connection here between the Mitzvot of Purim, and the punishments of the Jewish court?

Indeed, the bridge between these two subjects is Mordechai. The Jews in his time spritually fell prey to the assimilation of the gentiles due to which they were nearly exterminated by Haman. It was only when at his behest that upon fasting for three days with a sincere repentence did Hashem arrange things to remove the evil decree of extermination from them. In any case, instead of his usual stance as Sanhedrin member to simply punish sinners, he felt great compassion for his people.

The Talmud in Tractate Megilla tells us that the Jews in the Purim story reaffirmed what they accepted at the giving of the Torah. The meaning behind this is that originally, the Jews in the time of Moshe Rabbeinu - whose name starts with a Mem - were in fact forced to receive the Torah, which was specifically the Oral Torah which was not written down in the nice Bible book; and towards this end, Hashem lifted up Mt. Sinai on them which would kill them if they would not accept everything without exception. Whether this happened literally, or in a figurative sense, what is clear is that the Jews felt they had no choice at that time about receiving the Torah, though they were willing to accept the Torah far more than all the other nations.

The Jews in the time of Purim, following the near extermination of Haman, were more than happy afterwards to reaccept the Torah. In demonstration of this, they were granted special Mitzvot of Purim to display this great happiness, which was instituted by Mordechai - whose name starts with a Mem - & the Sanhedrin of which Mordechai was a part of, representing the Oral Torah that is handed down from rabbis from one generation to the next.

And as the direction connection of Jews with the letter Mem, a few days before they were to receive the Torah, Hashem called them Mamlechet Cohanim - a kingdom of priests. The first two letters of Mamlechet - kindgom of, spells the name of the letter Mem. Hence, with this kingly status as beginning with the word Mem, the Jews now had the power to fulfill their maximum potential by performing Mitzvot & Ma'asim Tovim/good actions, both which start with the letter Mem.

Yes, gentiles throughout the centuries have plotted against and accused Jews - the Mamlechet Cohanim - just as the plotting witnesses who give false witness such as in the case of the son or daughter of a Cohen, of all types of crimes that they themselves were guilty of, including the blood libels accusing us of murdering a Christian boy for blood in making Matzot. However, when we truly behave as a Mamlechet Cohanim, then Hashem will go out of His way so to speak to defend this title of ours and then as the verse continues V'Goy Kadosh "and a holy nation". While it may seem ironic that we are called a holy Goy, as this word Goy normally refers to non-Jews, it is we who are the true HOLY nation, while the gentiles may pretend that they are living holy lives praying to G-d and...Jesus - in whose name, did these "saints" (such as St.____) murder millions of Jews for almost two thousand years.


Last year, I wrote in Post #32 about the Mitzva of Tzitzit, wearing fringes on each corner of a FOUR cornered garment, which is at the end of the FOURTH Parsha - Shlach, of the FOURTH Sefer of the Torah - Bamidbar. Well, this year, the number four played an extra special role here.

Just as we have here the concept of the number four as it relates to Torah She'B'Tav/Written Torah; so too do we have the concept of the number four as it relates to Torah She'B'Al'Peh/Oral Torah. Would you belive it - on that same Shabbat day that we read Parshat Shlach - the FOURTH Parsha of the FOURTH Sefer of the Torah, Jews worldwide also learned the final Daf of Masechet Sanhedrin - the FOURTH tracate of Seder Nezikin - the FOURTH Seder/volume of the Talmud!

There is in fact a connection between Parshat Shlach & Masechet Sanhedrin. Near the end of Parshat Shlach, the one who gathered wood in violation of Shabbat was sentenced to death by stoning, the first and strictest of the FOUR deaths as meted out by the Sanhedrin. And in Masechet Sanhedrin, the FOURTH and final sinner listed who was slated for the FOURTH and last of the list of deaths meted out by the Sanhedrin was the Navi HaSheker - the false prophet, who either falsely claimed that Hashem told him a certain prophecy, or claimed a certain prophecy that in fact was revealed as prophecy to a different person. Where this is mentoned in Talmud Sanhedrin 89a at the beginning of the Mishna, the very end of the Mishna (Note: In the Mishnayot text, this is dealt as two Mishna paragraphs) mentions the case of the daughter of a Cohen, to which there is a parallel case in the beginning of Tractate Makkot pertaining to false witnesses who attempted to have someone's status be demoted for something that was not true. And if this was not enough, the Daf Yomi of Sanhedrin 89 was learnt on Yom Yerushalayim/Jerusalem Day of this year, which began the 44th year from the liberation of the holiest area in the world of the Temple grounds, on which there were three groups of Jewish courts, including the Sanhedrin. Yes, I mentioned here the number 44 - a number that is spelled as a double four.

Now, the word Din/Law or Justice, as well as Dayan/Judge begins with the letter Dalet, which is the Gematria of FOUR. Similarly, Hashem as the Judge of Judges makes decisions about every single human as well as the rest of the living creatures and inanimate object of our planetary system. Accordingly, of the 10 Makkot - blows or plauges that Hashem wrought on the Egyptians, the first one was Dam/blood, which begins with a Dalet=4. And the Gematria of this word is 44, a number that spells the number FOUR twice. And who is the leader of today's world power? Obama, the
44th president of the United States! As I mentioned in Post #69, it seems that, may Hashem help us, in this 44th year of the liberation of Jerusalem and the Temple grounds that Obama, the 44th president of the United States, will have all the nations of the world fight Israel, particularly Jerusalem. In fact, my prediction unfortunately has been proven true since. John O. Brennan, deputy national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism, was given orders from Obama to help make trouble for Israel with the Hamas flotillas, as I was sent an E-mail about this! You will not find this out in virtually any media outlet, but the United States has already started war with Israel, about which very few Israelis or even the politicians in Israel know about or be willing to admit to.


The one time in history that almost everyone will ask or exclaim this question is the Holocaust.

Now, before delving into this most sensitive subject, The Mishna in the last chapter of Tractate Berachot (means blessings) states that one is obligated to bless Hashem for the bad as he does for the good. The BIG question is the three letter word WHY?
For one who doesn't believe in Heaven or Hell, no answer will suffice. But one who believes in eternity and that after our short existance on earth, we will forever be rewarded or punished according to our level of good or evil deeds that we performed, the answer is very obvious, since Hashem in fact does good or kindness for us when he punishes us in this world instead of the future world. If anything, one should worry that if he "has it made", maybe Hashem is paying him off in this world for the good deeds he has done, only to find himself empty of reward in the world to come!

There is no denying that the Holocaust was virtually the worst thing perpretated on Jews and other mankind for that matter. True, there were major programs and Crusades that murdered tens of thousands of Jews as Christian mobs and crusaders were travelling from town to town, not even caring about enjoying family life and making love with their wives, as murdering Jews was the sweetest thing to them. However, the Holocaust combined modern technology to not only murder Jews in mass numbers, but the methods of murdering them - from simply shooting them with guns to burning them in the gas chambers while their screams pierced the walls of those fatal rooms.

It must be remembered that the Holocaust happened at a time that Jews were assimilated like crazy. As much as Hitler hated Jews, it was totally illogical from a business standpoint to take highly intellectual people who could boost the country's economy and instead decimate them, until it happened in Germany that one had a choice between paying a wheelbarrel of currency for a loaf of bread or shooting each other in the street due to the war.

No doubt that Hashem had a plan behind this. Yes, the gentiles in playing the roles that Hashem allowed them to perform to remind us that we are Jews went way too far. However, as even as it seems so illogical how Hashem allowed so many observant Jews and Jewish institutions to be done away with, it has to remembered that ultimately, Hashem wants quality from us, not just quantity; otherwise, we would be a billion Jews today like a billion Chinese. So, aside from all the cruel things that the Nazis did to some six million Jews, while it was a tremendous loss of teaching Torah to the next generation, this is not the first time that something of this scale took place, as when Rabbi Akiva's 24,000 students died in a short time because they had a lack of respect for each other, forcing him to teach Torah to only five students who were responsible for a good percentage of Torah learning to the next generation. Besides, Hashem warned us about the Holocaust, in the first half of Parshat Nitzavim.

Now, let's make a comparison here between the slated 6,000 years of this world's existance and the first 20 generations from Adam through Abraham, as is hinted in the
verse that states "These are the accounts of the heavens and the earth, WHEN HE (Hashem) CREATED THEM". The Hebrew word for the capitalized words here is B'Hibar'am, which when reread as letters in a different order, can be read as "through Abraham", that is, it was through his merit in particular that the world was created. With this being said, we can divide the slated 6,000 years of the world's existance into 20 parts, thus consisting of 300 years each.

Now, it states (Psalms 89:3) "The world was built through kindness". And as we mentioned here that it was in Abraham's merit that the world was created, it was Abraham who excelled in the trait of kindness.

Touching on Abraham's life, we learn in rabbinical sources that Abraham recognized Hashem at the age of three, following a stint of worshipping idols. Indeed, the Ba'al HaTurim, a commentary on the Chumash, states that where it says Eikev Asher Shama Avraham B'Koli - "Because Abraham listened to My voice" (Genesis 26:5), the word Eikev (because) is the Gematria of 172, as Abraham lived 175 years, but it was only at the age of three that he recognized Hashem, so only 172 years of his life was counted as far as spiritual progess was concerned.

Now that we mentioned that Abraham was the 20th generation from Adam & Eve, the 20th and final period of 300 years began from around the year 5700 from creation. And as we know, it was during the years 5700-5705, a most dark time in Jewish history, that the Holocaust took place.

Before explaining further, the truth is that Abraham was really supposed to live 180 years like his son Isaac was going to live. However, thanks to his evil grandson Esau, Hashem had Abraham leave this world five years earlier to avoid ending off his life being aggrevated from his grandson's behavior. Hence, the first three years of Abraham's life was 1/60th of his originally slated 180 years. Corresponding to this, the five years of the Holocaust was 1/60 and the first part of the last period of 300 years.

As the Midrash tells us, Ma'aseh Avot Siman L'Banim, "The deeds of the forefathers are a sign for their descendants". As Abraham's first three years was dark and devoid of true spirituality as coming from Hashem, so was the Holocaust period - a most dark time in the life of the Jewish people - which also wiped out much Jewish spiritualness.

As we believe in Judaism, martyrs who died as Jews go straight to Heaven in a special place that no one else can even touch. Abraham, the first Jew was also the first martyr when he was willing to rather be thrown into a burning furnace than deny Hashem's existance or worship idols. But he also represented the characteristic trait of kindness through which the world was created, which was what sustained the world until the Jews who accept the Torah in the future which would have meant that if not for this, then the world would turn back to total chaos.
In comparison to the Holocaust, as cruel as it was, the Torah does not change when it says that we thank Hashem for the bad as we do for the good. In this sense, the Holocaust was "Lashes of Kindness" - and it served as a warning for the remaining Jews among us to better our ways so we can merit eternal reward, but hopefully not in the same way as the martyrs who were turtured and murdered to reach that status.

Now, just as we find hints in the Torah, especially in the Chumash in terms of the Hidden Codes, about words being spelled in various ways - spelled backwards, spelled vertically, equidistant spelling, etc., so too, you can find words in the Talmud - the Oral Torah - that when their letters are rearranged or spelled backwards, they can hint to something. In my experience, I have already found this to work, such as in my 56th Post - "Time 4 Redemption", in which a word in Moshe's conversation with Hashem as recorded in the Talmud about not wanting to let the Jews know for how long they would suffer throughout the centuries, can be rearranged to spell "in 5770", to denote that the end of our troubles in exile is meant to end in this year! Similarly, in the very FIRST Daf of Tractate Makkot, the tractate that deals with lashes and cities of refuge to which an accident killer was exiled to for the duration of the life of the Cohen Gadol, there is a word that can be spelled backwards to also spell a Hebrew year. The word Hashata/imposition when spelled backwards - Hei Tav Shin Hei - spells the Hebrew year 5705, the year in which the Holocaust ended.

In the context of the Talmud, when one's ox gored a person to death, the Beit Din levied an amount on the owner of the ox to pay the family of the victim, which was to be the value, according to most of the rabbis, of the victim (unlike the view of Rabbi Yishmael who says that it is supposed to be the value of the owner of the ox).
This is learned out from another section in the same Parsha where a woman miscarried due to two guys fighting, in the midst of which one mistruck a blow, hitting the pregnant woman instead of his boxing fighting match. In both cases, the Torah uses a word that is the terminology of Hashatah/imposition, that is, an amount of money that the Beit Din levies on the damager, and since in the case of the pregnant woman,
the puncher pays the woman based on the value of the fetus that he caused her to loose, so too according to these rabbis, the owner of the ox pays the victim's family based on the value of the victim.

Thus, the concept of Hashata - the Beit Din levying an amount that the bully pays the victim or his/her family, represents the concept of Hashem judging the Anti-Semitic nations at the conclusion of their damage to the Jewish people. Just as the Salvation Army stepped in and Hitler committed suicide, the Holocaust was over, and the Jews were given financial support, starting with basic food supplies after being starved in the concentration camps to get back on their feet, and were given accomodations in the refuge camps until they were given the green light to travel to their ultimate country of destination, most of whom either moved to Israel or the United States. Hashem Himself, who orchestrated the Holocaust which was grossly taken advantage of by the cruel Nazis, made it up to the Jewish nation, and allowed Israel to be a country where Jews from all over the world could feel free to move to, having their own country, instead of continued rulership from the Romans to the British, the latter who were hardly better than the Nazis, and hung many Jews on the gallows in Israel, while keeping many more in prison. And in more recent years, Germany itself has been paying reparations money to Holocaust survivors.

It has been said that the 5708th verse in the Torah, as hinting to the establishment of the State of Israel, is the verse (Deutronomy 30:3): "Hashem your G-d will return your captives, and grant you mercy; He will return and gather you from all the nations where Hashem your G-d has scattered you there". Now, while it does mention about Hashem gathering us and taking us out of exile, it doesn't mention specifically about coming to Israel. And indeed, as there are 5,845 verses in the Torah, it didn't take long for me to figure out that this verse is actually the
5705th verse of the Torah, corresponding to the year 5705 (1945) when Hashem took us out of the exile of the Holocaust and started the process of gathering us to prepare us for home! As mentioned in Rashi, it's a process of redemption, which parallels the redemption from Egypt, but it would be 40 years before the Jews would enter Israel. Indeed, the Jewish captives of the Holocaust who were pajama like clothing representing their captive status, were finally freed of that status in 5705, just as this 5705th verse indicates!


While there are a few Anti-Semitic leaders of countries who are sure candidates to qualify for the Hitler title, there is one in particular that I would give the Hitler award to. But first, let's write a bit about Hitler himself.

There is a well known Torah thought about Hitler being hinted to in the Torah. When Hashem tells Moshe to bring the plague of darkness on Egypt, He says V'Yamesh Choshech "The darkness will be felt". Now, when you take the word V'Yamesh "will be felt", and you look for the Hebrew letter before the letters of this word, that is, the letters before Vav-Yud-Mem-Shin spelling V'Yamesh are Hei-Teit-Lamed-Reish which spell Hitler! Yes, the Holocaust under the control of Hitler was a most dark time in Jewish history.

I found another place in the Torah - the only such place in the entire Tanach/Bible -
where Hitler's name can be spelled. The last verse of Parshat Tazria (Leviticus 13:59), it states "This is the Torah law for a plague of Tzara'at ("leprosy") on a woolen or linen garment, the warp or the woof, or any utensils of skin, to delare it pure or impure". Now, the words in which Hitler's name can be spelled is Ohr L'Taharo "skin, to declare it pure" where Hitler's name can consecutively be spelled backwards. The connection? Hitler wanted what was called an "Aryan race", which hardly described Hitler himself, was the blond hair and light eyed type. Others who didn't fit this description weren't of the best race; but clearly to Hitler, Jews, blacks and gypsies were not of this description. Indeed, this is what was really called "ethnic cleaning", or "declaring pure" as the Aryan race only with certain skin, hair and eye features. Others who were the opposite were treated in the concentration camps like those with leprosy to be segregated from the rest of society, and were all - men and women alike - shaved of the hair of their head - just as one with Tzara'at ("leprosy") when cured of his condition in Temple times had to shave off all of his/her hair (women in Temple times had to be careful not to speak Lashon Hara/evil speech about others or be punished with Tzara'at, and risk looking beautiful by being bold, which would not look attractive to their husbands especially after being quaranteed outside of the Jewish camp for a period of time).

Now, for the Gematria, Hitler's family name equals 244. As one of the biggest bigots and hated people of all time, it seems ironic that he should have a connection in terms of numbers with the 244th Mitzva of the Torah (according to the count of the Rambam/Maimonides) which is V'Ahavta L'Reiacha Camocha - "Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself", which is also the Gematria of the word Gemara, the Talmud explanation of the Mishna.

This type of concept is nothing new. Esau, Jacob's brother who turned to evil ways and lived by the sword, ancestor of the Romans who burnt our Second Temple which resulted in our near 2,000 year exile, has his name have the same Gematria as Shalom/peace (376), the opposite trait of what Esau represented. Similarly, Nachash/snake, the creature that enticed mankind to sin which brought the world full of sin and troubles, is the same Gematria as Moshiach (358), who will rectify the damage that the snake brought about.

Indeed, everything in this world is created as opposites or corresponding aspects. Hitler ultimately represented just the opposite of the Mitzva of loving another Jew, as Hitler's biggest hatred was for Jews. And the word Gemara, having the same Gematria as Hitler, and which has a connotation of Gemira - the finish, describes exactly what Hitler wanted to do to us Jews, to finish us all, as there are Anti-Semites to this day who say that "Hitler should have finished you all!"

Along these lines, as the Gematria of Hitler's name is 244, ending with a double FOUR, as I mentioned earlier about the Egyptian first plague of Dam/blood having the Gematria of 44, Obama as the 44th president of the United States also represents the aspect of darkness, as the 44th word of the Torah is V'La'Choshech "for the darkness". What is also amazing, as you have in Gematria the concept of Mispar Katan
"small number" which is the sum of the digits of a given number, the word Choshech having the Gematria of 328, when its digits are added: 3+2+8=13, then 1+3, equals FOUR. Similarly, the 44th word V'La'Chosech, which by the way is the Gematria of HaSatan - "The Satan" (as in my 44th Post entitled "Messages in REVERSE order") - when its numerical value of 364 has its digits added: 3+6+4=13, then 1+3, also equals FOUR.

The number four, as represented by Parshat Shlach, which mentions the fate of the evil spies and the Jews wandering in the desert and dying without entering Israel and the wood gatherer on Shabbat who got stoned, & Masechet Sanhedrin which describes the FOUR deaths that it imposed on sinners, represents the concept of judgment for sinners. When Hashem needs to remind us Jews not to assimilate or feel too comfortable in exile, Hashem sends leaders who will be Anti-Semitic to us. And as I mentioned in my 69th post about Barack Obama's name being the Gematria of 356 in relationship to Pharaoh's name (which by the way is the Gematria of 355, or 3+5+5=13 then 1+3=FOUR), it is the same Gematria as the word America!

And as mentioned in the past, Obama became politically born on Tisha B'Av 5764, the English year 2004 being called '04 in short. And as for Hitler, he was born from a union who were followers of the Sabbatical sect who slept with each other's wives on the night of Tisha B'Av (Note: Don't worry, Hitler did not have a Jewish mother); hence, his conception began on Tisha B'Av. Now, in Parshat Shlach, the day on which the Jews were cry babies for not wanting to move to Israel thanks to the spies' evil report happened on Tisha B'Av. And in the last chapter of Talmud Sanhedrin, it discusses much about Moshiach - who was born on Tisha B'Av, which at least in the fugurative sense means that the potential of Moshiach coming began on Tisha B'Av, the day that the Romans burnt our Second Temple.

Rewinding to the beginning of world history, after the sin of the forbidden fruit, Adam was confronted by Hashem with the question Ayeka - "Where are you?" Now, Hashem obviously didn't have to ask Adam where he was, but He meant this question in the sense of "Where are you spiritually now that you ate from the forbidden fruit that I told you not to eat?" This word Ayeka can be spelled the same way as the word Eicha - Aleph, Yud, Chaf, Hei - the beginning word of Megillat Eicha/Book of Lamentations that is read on Tisha B'Av. And as it was the snake that enticed mankind to eat of the forbidden fruit, Moshiach - who is connected with Tisha B'Av and whose title is the same Gematria as the word Nachash/snake, will come to finish the rectification of the sin that was triggered by the snake.

And speaking of kindness as in the title of this post; just as there are seven Sephirot/Divine Emanations as related to action, so too there are seven milleniums of the world's existance - the seventh being when the world will have rest with being desolate. Anyways, the first Sephira is Chesed/Kindness corresponding to the first millenium. Originally, Adam was supposed to live forever, but after his boo-boo, he was allowed to live for only 1,000, which was this first millenium, execpt that he gave 70 years of his life to the future King David, which was an act of Chesed on Adam's part.

Now getting back to Hitler & Obama, Barack Obama's black skin would have qualified him to be a perfect candidate for Hitler's ethnic cleaning program. However, both Hitler and Obama share(d) the same goals. Both were voted by Jews who made the difference of them being the next leader; yet, both in effect said "Thank you very much, but now I will do what I want to do to you people". The only problem about giving Obama the Hitler award, is that his Nobel "peace" prize award - the fake award - for which he was nominated for only several months after starting his presidency for which there is no precedent, needs to be removed to make place for the Hitler award.


As I had made the parallel a little earlier between Abraham's slated 180 years and the last 300 years of this world's existance, having shown how Abraham's first three years of worshipping idols corresponding to the Holocaust years during 5700-5705, the remaining period of history relates to masses of Jews starting their journey to Israel (though the period of Kibbutz Guluyot - gathering of the exiles - according to Kaballah - is supposed to take place between the years 5750-5790 which started with the fall of Communism allowing massive amount of Russian Jews to leave their previously imprisoned country) and has been continuing since until eventually all Jews will be living in Israel for once and for all.

As I noted above the verse "Because Abraham has listened to my voice", we see that Hashem told this to Isaac right after telling him to remain living in Israel, promising him that He will give to his descendants this land in accordance with the oath that He had made to his father Abraham (the 20th generation). It is in relationship to this that Hashem continued "Because..." Now normally, the word for because in Hebrew is Ki, as mentioned endless of times in the Tanach. However, in this instance, the word used is Eikev. One reason for this is what I had mentioned earlier from the Ba'al HaTurim about it being the Gematria of 172 representing Abraham's 172 years of serving Hashem. But if that is the case, why not pick another word that is the same Gematria?

The normal translation of Eikev is heel, as the heel of the foot. With this being said, indeed, the LAST 295 years of the slated 6,000 years of this world's existance can be compared to the HEEL, the very BOTTOM part of a person's body. And it is precisely in this very END time of history corresponding to the END or BOTTOM of a person's body, that Jews ON THEIR OWN will be declaring Israel as home following the Holocaust - even those who are secular Jews who aren't doing so because of the Torah per se - until all Jews presently living in this world will be living there once and for all without any further exiles. This is just like the time of Purim when the Jews - ON THEIR OWN following their near extermination by Haman - willingly accepted the Torah on themselves.

One other place in the Torah where the word Eikev is used in a different context than the literal meaning of heel, is the beginning of Parshat Eikev that is named after this word. Unlike in Hashem's conversation with Isaac where Hashem said that He would be giving the land of Israel to the Jews and bless them due to Abraham's listening to Him; in the beginning of Parshat Eikev, this word means IF - "It will be IF you (Jews) will listen...", then the Torah continues about mentioning the blessings that the Jews will have - "ON THE LAND that He has sworn to your forefathers to give to you". And at the conclusion of this Parshat Eikev, it gives the same basic message, just worded in a little different context.

As our Rabbis tell us, the Torah is the Neshama/soul, and Israel is the body. True, each concept is very special, but neither the Torah or the land of Israel alone tells the full picture of Judaism. That is, who are known as Torah or Yeshivish Jews who are living outside of Israel have no right to look down on secular Jews living in Israel who aren't looking to harm anyone, because neither have the full picture of Judaism. Perhaps if more of these of what many call very observant Jews would make the big move to Israel, then many more of these secular Jews living in Israel - some of whom made the big move earlier from their comfortable surroundings in the States - perhaps would have the opportunity of seeing the full picture by being taught the beauty of Judaism by these observant Jews who have become recent immigrants in Israel, and then Israel would have so much more meaning to these secular Jews who will now appreciate Israel ever much more from learning Torah and observing its commandments.


Though what we read last Shabbat in Parshat Shlach was far from the happiest news that we read, the date of last Shabbat was 23 Sivan - the last Shabbat of Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu's life in this world - is a very significant date that observant Jews should be familiar with. In Megillat Esther, following King Achashverosh having Haman hung and placing Mordechai as the new viceroy in place of Haman, Esther asked the king to write up a new letter that would counteract the original letter that the king wrote on Haman's behest to exterminate the Jews in one day. Following this, the new letter that would allow the Jews to defend themselves, was written up on 23 Sivan, following which, the Jews were able to properly defend themselves when the gentiles came out to fight the Jews, and upon the Jews' victory, the holiday of Purim came into being. Hence, it is on this date of 23 Sivan that the events that took place directly led to the holiday of Purim being formed. And the concluding verse of Megillat Esther speaks of the praises of Mordechai, and how he "found favor with the masses of his people, he looked out for the good of his people, and spoke for the welfare of all his children (the Jewish people)."

Indeed, these final words of the Megilla might as well have been written about Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, whose funeral was attended by some 100,000 people consisting of Jews of all walks of life - Sephardic & Ashkenazic, religious & secular, Ultra Orthodox & Modern Orthodox, the same way that he lived his life to whom Jews of all walks of life felt free to come to him for advice and blessings. His full Hebrew name - Mordechai Tzemach (Note: Eliyahu is his family name) - is the Gematria of the word Bayit/home or house (412) - for is the ONLY country that Jews can call home. Indeed, as Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu lived his whole life in Israel, having been born and passed away in its capital Jerusalem, having lived through the time that Israel became a place that masses of Jews from the FOUR corners of the world called home.

It's also very significant to note that Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu passed away on Yom Sheni/the second day of the week (Monday) of Parshat Korach. The Torah tells us, "Do not behave like Korach and his cohorts" (Numbers 17:5), one of the 17 Negative Commandments involved with the prohibition of saying Lashon Hora/evil speech of other Jews. Now, the Shir Shel Yom/Song of the Day that the Levites sang in the Temple for Monday was Psalm 48, the one Psalm of the week that was composed by Korach's three Levite sons who repented from following their father's footsteps before the last moment. The reason why this Psalm is for Yom Sheni/Monday is because it was on this day that Hashem divided the lower waters from the higher waters; and the lower waters were upset that they were separated from the more spiritual higher waters; hence causing friction, disaccord, and disagreement between the waters. In fact, because of this, unlike the other days of the week, it does not mention that Hashem saw that it was good, because fighting - unless truly done for the sake of Heaven which only leads to more love and unity between two parties - only leads to disunity, the opposite of peace. Perhaps the fact that Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu passed away on this very day of all days of the year - the 2nd day of Parshat Korach - should remind us all to stop fighting over petty differences, not to be prejudiced of our brethren's level of Judaism, and realize that the ultimate way of doing justice to his memory and elevating his holy soul to an even higher level is to follow in his footsteps by following in the ways of peace and unity that will only make a Kiddush Hashem/Sanctification of Hashem's Name.

On a final note, on the weekly Parsha sheet - called Kol Tzofayich - from the teachings of Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu for this last Shabbat, from a lecture that his son Rabbi Shmuel Eliyahu, Shlita, Chief Rabbi of Safed, gave, he mentions the story of Haman leading Mordechai on a horse through the city on commands of the king. What is not mentioned in the Megillah but in the Talmud and other sources, is how Mordechai did things to make Haman feel low. For example, Mordechai told Haman that he would not ascend the horse until Haman would give him a haircut, a demeaning type of work for Haman the viceroy, while reminding Haman of his 22 years as a haircutter in some village. Next, when it actually came time to get on the horse, excusing himself saying that he was too weak to just climb on the horse, Haman had to bend down for Mordechai to climb on his back, upon which Mordechai used that opportunity to kick Haman.

So, why did Mordechai behave this way? Haman at the moment wasn't trying to kill him; on the contrary, Haman had strict orders from the king to honor Mordechai or else.

The answer is that Mordechai's purpose of demeaning Haman was to lower his morale, so that when it would be time to defeat him, Haman wouldn't feel the strength to keep standing up tall. As we see afterwards, when Haman came to the feast with the king and Esther, and Esther accused Haman of treason, not only did Haman not start making accusations back or stick to his position of innocence, but found himself begging Esther for his life, after which he was hung on the same gallows that he prepared for Mordechai.

Indeed, what timing for these words to be written up for the last Shabbat of Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu's life in this world! And the final message of this Shabbat sheet:
(Answering the question as to whether it is permitted to fight on a ship - such as the Hamas flotilla - where there are women and children). Just as the Biblical Samson - for whom Jacob prayed in his blessings to his ancestor Dan - had no fear fighting the Philistines of his day, so do we have today's Philistines - the "Palestinians" - of our day to fight, the same ones who make fun out of us and torture the family of Gilad Shalit. We too need the prayer of Jacob to help us against the "Palestinians", that we need to fight like Samson and not be confused. NOT to have mercy on terrorist families (INCLUDES women and children), so we shouldn't wind up being cruel to Jewish children, and to be able to show that we believe in "For Your salvation, do I hope for - Hashem" (Genesis 49:18 - end of Jacob's blessing to Dan).

For more on the teachings of Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, check out

Yes, the ultimate LASHES OF KINDNESS for the Jewish people. Lashes to our Anti-Semitic enemies without mercy as the Torah of Truth tells us, which is the TRUE Kindness that we will be doing for our own people.

26 Sivan 5770