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 www.gematriot.blogspot.com. 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.


WHAT HAS MADE NEWS IN THE LAST FOUR YEARS?

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.


GILAD & GAL'EID

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

1 comment:

at the edge said...

You wrote, "while physically written down by Moses, it was at the dictatorship of Hashem."

Not "dictatorship" but DICTATION.

I found your article quite intriguing, but after a while I get allergic to long reads. I'll have to come back and read it piecemeal.