Monday, September 13, 2010

#82 - Calling Out from the BOTTOM

Shana Tova to all my followers and readers of my Gematriot blogspot!

As per this post's title, we say in the opening verse of Psalm 130 that is recited on the Aseret Y'mei Teshuva/The 10 Days of Repentance in the midst of Shacharit/morning prayers "...from the depths, I call out to You, Hashem."

In a very literal sense, Yonah/Jonah the Prophet indeed called out to Hashem from the bottom - he was in the innards of a big fish swimming in the depths of the sea when he called out to Hashem, as he begins his prayer (Jonah 2:3-10): "I called out in my distress to Hashem..."

In connection with the Aseret Y'mei Teshuva, we chant the section of Jonah (part of one Sefer in the Tanach/Bible called Trei Asar/The Twelve "Minor Prophets") as the Haftara for the afternoon of Yom Kippur, usually a scant two hours before the end of this most holy day of the year.

And speaking of this end period of Yom Kippur, perhaps the fact that we read this Haftara that includes Jonah's bottom of the sea experience at the BOTTOM end of the Ten Days of Repentance is to remind us that in fact, we don't have much time left at this time of day of Yom Kippur before Hashem seals our fate for the coming year - both physically and spiritually. Perhaps if we would feel at least some sort of inkling as to how it feels to reach a bottom low, and realize that we have very little to offer in terms of spiritual merits, then we would come to our senses and resolve right there and then on the spot to do something more in the way of Mitzvot/Commandments & Middot Tovot/Good Character Traits that could very well tip the Heavenly scales in our favor.

In fact, in some synagogues, this very Haftara reading is auctioned for big money as a Segula, good luck source for having Parnassa, making a good living moneywise. While I don't quite see the connection between these factors, and for I know, the stories that some claim that have happened to people financially as a result of purchasing the rights to be called for the reading of this Haftara have yet to be proven to me. In any case, it wouldn't matter to me, at least as far as purchasing this for myself. You see, I am a Levite, and bearing in mind that the Haftara is for the one who is called the third to the Torah for the Yom Kippur afternoon Torah reading, the Levite in this instance can only either be called second to the Torah, or first if there is no Cohen.

Now to note the number of this new Jewish year - 5771, the name Yonah/Jonah is the Gematria of 71, the ending part of the number of this year. And besides being the name of a prophet, the name itself means a dove, and the Jewish people is compared to a dove. As hinted with the Gematria of this word, the Jewish people is in essence the 71st nation following the formation of the 70 nations of the world.

We don't have to look far in the Bible about the existance of doves. Already in the second Parsha of the Chumash - Parshat Noach, we see Noah sending out the dove from Noah's Ark to spot for dry land. It took a couple of times until the dove returned with an olive leaf in its beak to signify that indeed there was dry land, following which Noah sent out the dove a week later, never to return back to the ark.

In comparison, Hashem sent Jonah - whose name means dove - twice to fulfill his mission to come to the city of Nineveh to warn its residents to repent or else Hashem would punish them. Following being commanded the first time, Jonah did not wash to fulfill Hashem's commandment, for he felt that if he were to do so, and the non-Jewish residents of this town would repent, then it would look bad on the Jewish people in a non-repentant state.

Now, before anyone criticizes Jonah for disobeying Hashem's orders the first time around, it must be remembered that not just anyone could become a prophet. According to the Rambam/Maimonides, it was a big spiritual process to become a prophet, which involved both fulfilling Hashem's commandments and being of high moral character. So, Hashem did not just pick anyone for this mission. While certainly, Jonah was supposed to obey Hashem to begin with, his love for his people cannot be denied. He truly felt that if the Jews, as quite often in Biblical history, were not quite up to par to say the least, then non-Jews repenting of their sins would be used as a example for the Jewish people, in which case if they wouldn't repent, then Hashem would have one more excuse to punish them A.S.A.P.

In fact, we see in contrast with another prophet named Hoshea, that when Hashem told him that he was quite dissatisfied with how the Jewish people was behaving and were deserving of punishment, Hoshea showed much indifference, telling Hashem to do what He wants with them without as much as offering even the slightest defense for them. In response, Hashem told him to marry a prostitute, and following Hashem's orders, his prostitute wife had since given birth to three children. Later, Hashem told him to get rid of the children from his home. Upon this, Hoshea questioned how Hashem could tell him to get rid of his children, following which, Hashem thundered to him, "Wait a minute! You don't even know if your prostitute wife bore these children from you, and yet you don't want to get rid of them. So, how could you tell Me to do away with MY CHILDREN?!" Realizing his error, Hoshea prayed to Hashem to reverse the original decree of punishment for the Jews, to which Hashem agreed to.

The bottom line here is that despite Jonah's original disobedience of the order of the King of Kings, we see his good side here of not wishing to do anything that could possibly make it worse for his beloved Jewish brethren down the road. As it turns out, the people of Nineveh did in fact repent, and it is from this very section
of the Tanach that the Sages in the Mishnah learn out a very key principle of repentance, "It doesn't say of the residents of Nineveh - "G-d saw their sackcloths and fasting" but "G-d saw their actions, for they returned from their evil ways"" (Jonah 3:10) (Ta'anit 2:1).

The Sefer called Sha'arei Teshuva/Gates of Repentance, authored by Rabbi Yonah of Gerondi - bearing the same name as the prophet Jonah - about whom I wrote about in my recent 80th blogspot, mentions 20 some steps in the Teshuva process. However, more than just the main part of Teshuva, THE KEY STEP OF TESHUVA IS - NOT REPEATING THE SIN. Now for many of us, this is quite easier said than done, whether because we were not raised with an observant lifestyle, or we got into a bad habit - like the obvious sin of smoking which is performed even by some Ultra-Orthodox or Hasidic people, endangering their own lives and health, as well as others' due to second hand smoking, or we have other natural base desires from food to sex.

As with any bad habit like smoking, it just won't cut it for many to tell them to immediately quit it and that's it. If it were that simple, perhaps we wouldn't have been put on this planet to begin with to earn our eternal heavenly reward. But there is a concept of starting with something small - at least some step towards that shows that we are sincere about doing the right thing. Perhaps it may take many years until we totally eradicate our bad behaviors, manners, and sins; but trying which is translated into some action towards the better is a must. And indeed, several decades back, when many former smokers found out how terrible smoking is to the body, they immediately quit smoking "cold turkey" with no turning back, despite their natural body craving for more of the same addictive habit.


With this being said, there is another evil that is out there, even among some (hopefully, not many) observant Jews of the basics of Shabbat, Kashrut, and daily prayer. Yes, homosexuality. In fact, the VERY BEGINNING of the third Aliyah of the Torah reading of Yom Kippur afternoon begins with the prohibition of this very sin. And it is the one who is called for this Aliyah who is the one who gets the read the section of JONAH for the Haftara.

The reason why I put the words VERY BEGINNING & JONAH in caps is because there is a practical connection between the two. The connection - as shown in this link, shows there is indeed hope for people to be cured of this sin of homosexuality, which by the way is also applicable to non-Jews as part of their seven Noahide Commandments. In this instance, the name JONAH is an acronym for "Jews Offering New Alternatives to Homosexuality". Now, I do want to make it clear, I am not hear to endorse this as any testimony that I know from homosexuals who have gone through this program. Perhaps the program offered by this organization may not be the answer for all homosexuals attempting to get rid of their spiritual disease. However, if this will be the answer for even one person who may be reading this, or for someone whom the reader of this post knows, it is most worthy of posting.

There is one thing that I want to get across here regarding a misconception of homosexuality. The atheist scientists who are no better than the philosopher Hypocrates who excused his behavior of sleeping with a prostitue by saying "Normally, I am Hypocrates the philosopher; today, I am Hypocrates the man", want to excuse the behavior of homosexuals by claiming that they have a gene that allows them to tend more towards this behavior. Now, it is true that quite often, homosexuals became they way that they are because they had a poor male model, such as their own dad, who either forsook them when they were young, or didn't treat them right. In response, these youngsters growing up are looking for a male model that they can feel attached to, which translates into having a sexual relationship with him. However, what the scientists claim regarding these genes is nothing short of total falsehood.

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, ZTVK"L, the leading decider of Jewish law in the previous generation, states in his Igrot Moshe that homosexuality is an abomination, and not a base sexual desire the way that it is for women. Hence, it is not the type of attraction with is a result of their nature, but basically, PURE EVIL. Yes, some may become this way as a result of the way they were raised, but NOT NATURALLY. And even if this were to be the case, Hashem gives us all curve balls for us to overcome,
and it is our job to overcome them, though it may take quite a while for this to happen, but not to even try is the ultimate evil. I also have a good friend of mine who is an observant Jewish psychologist who told me that 90% of homosexuals either have been or are presently also heterosexual. Hence, if it were to be a purely sexual thing of desire like it is for women, the high percentage of them also having some attraction to women wouldn't exist.

And addressing the gay marches of the last several years in Israel, particularly in the holiest city of the world - Jerusalem, as though they can't pick any other country to have their annual gay parade march, it is very clear as per what our rabbis tell us, where there is more holiness, there is a greater evil inclination. Besides this, the gay community, feeling that they are doing a terrible evil with their guilty conscience, living a baseless life which includes wasting their semen which could have been used instead in creating another life, feel that they have to get together to assuage their guilty feelings. It's just like the times that I have been offered a cigarette by smokers when I wasn't smoking and I didn't ask for a cigarette, but the reason that they offer one even though they know themselves that it's life and health threatening is because they feel guilty about it, so they attempt to get as many as possible to do the same evil thing to "share" the burden of their guilty conscience. I'll never forget hearing on the news that there was a dentist who advertised periodically of himself being free of AIDS - the disease having started in this world as a result of homosexuality - to ensure his patients of having a safe dentist to turn to. This resulted in making the local gay community being very angry as a result. I guess that in the homosexual version of the Bible, a dentist displaying being free of a disease which comes from homosexuals is a tremendous sin.

Several years back, there was a documentary made of observant Jews - male and female - living the double life of being homosexual or lesbian. I don't want to bring here any titles or names to bring the Jewish homosexual community, any attention that is not wanted according to the Torah. Very unfortunately, there have been at least a couple of Jewish gay temples, and in more recent years, one who claims himself to be the first - read this - Orthodox Jewish gay rabbi. Actually, the one in question here in fact may not be able to claim this title so quickly. You see, a few years ago, a single rabbi who was principal of an Orthodox Jewish school in a major Jewish area quit being principal all of a sudden on his own as he wanted to maintain or continue having a homosexual lifestyle. At least to his credit, he left being principal without continuing on his lifestyle while being caught on the job. But who is known as the first Orthodox Jewish gay rabbi obviously has no shame, as he wants to justify his position. Ultimately, the one(s) that I am after is Yeshiva University who gave him his rabbinic ordination, who not only have not removed his rabbinic ordination, but have allowed gay forums to take place on its campus. Shame on the ones who put on the mask of following G-d's commandments when they encourage the opposite of this! As far as I am concerned, an Orthodox Jew wishing to pursue a college career is far better off going to a non-Jewish university in his hometown while learning Talmud in the local Yeshiva or synagogue, instead of going to a place that promotes something that G-d most hates!


As I had mentioned in my 71st Post (May '10), the Sanhedrein as the largest Jewish court during Temple times, and the recently formed Sanhedrin which was formed over five years ago, consists of 71 Dayanim/judges. Also, the Sanhedrin is compared to the Yonah/dove - which is the Gematria of 71; since just as a dove is loyal to its mate, so is the Sanhedrin loyal to Hashem. For that matter, when the Jews are loyal to Hashem, they are also compared to a dove; as indicated by the Jews being the "71st nation" who are compared to the Yonah/dove whose Gematria is 71.

The dove isn't just another kosher bird. It also was used at times as a bird offering in the Temple, whether as an offering by a woman who had recently given birth, or as an alternative for one who could not afford to bring an animal offering.
In terms of the laws of Shabbat, one is permitted to maintain heated food on Shabbat with certain products, includes the wings of a dove. And as I wrote earlier, the Tefillin has a connection with dove's wings. Hence, we see that in major observances of Jewish law - whether with Shabbat, Tefillin, or Temple offerings - the dove seems to be a popular item; bearing in mind that the Jews are indeed compared to a dove, especially when observing Hashem's commandments.

And now back to the prophet having the dove's name, Jonah is probably the only person ever in history to have ever been in the insides of a fish and survive. In any case, the eight verses (JOnah 2:3-10) consisting of the prayer that he recited while in the fish, have a total of 82 words - and this is my 82nd Post. Technically, there are exactly 81 words to the prayer, but is introduced with the word Vayomer "He said".

Another significant thing to mention regarding this prayer is as noted in the second chapter of Mishna Ta'anit (2:4), on a communal fast day that was called for when there was no rain for a while, there used to be an additional seven blessings added into the midst of the main Shemoneh Esrei prayer. These blessings were based in order of Jewish history of different righteous people being answered when they prayed. We see that for the sixth such blessing, it's the one for Jonah's prayer -"He Who answered Jonah from the insides of the fish, may He answer you and listen to the voice of your crying out. Blessed are you Hashem, the One Who answers in a time of trouble", and the seventh and last blessing was the one for King David & King Solomon. The Talmud notes that though these kings lived in history before Jonah, Jonah is mentioned first in order to conclude these special blessings about the Land of Israel and Jerusalem which is associated with these kings.

Now, as quoted in a verse that we say in conclusion of all our prayers - the Aleinu prayer - "Hashem will be King over all the earth" - Melech Al Kol Ha'aretz. Hence, we see that the concept of land or the word is especially associated with the seventh of the Sephirot of action - Malchut/Kingship. And corresponding to the mouth part of the body, it was none other than King David himself who compiled the Psalms, praising Hashem with our mouths.

Hence, it can be said that the sixth blessing that mentions Jonah's prayer corresponds to the Sephirah of Yesod/Foundation, and corresponds to the sexual organ part of the body, part of the lower half of the body - the BOTTOM part of the body. And when Jonah prayed his prayer, it was from the BOTTOM, or the depths of the sea. And this goes hand-in-hand with the Torah reading of the afternoon of Yom Kippur which focuses on the various forbidden sexual unions.

And speaking of the SIXTH Sephirah, let us mention something about the SIX orders of the Mishna, or known as Shisha Sidrei Mishnah. Over sixty years ago, Rabbi YONAH Stencil instituted the learning of two Mishnayot a day. In a little under six years, the entire Mishnayot is able to be learnt. Upon closer observation, one will see that this comes out to virtually 71 months. This means, the name of the rabbi who instituted the daily learning of two Mishnayot that takes a total of SEVENTY ONE months to learn - YONAH - is also the Gematria of SEVENTY ONE! Amazing!

This would not be complete if I didn't mention that in the future, when Hashem will ask all the nations as to who is in possession of His Torah - all the other nations of the world will come racing to show that they have the Torah - if they are smart, they will show only the Old Testament (as opposed to the New Testament). But then we Jews - the SEVENTY FIRST nation - will show that we also have the Torah She'B'Al'Peh - the Oral Torah, of which the Mishnah is the foundation of it. It is THIS part of the Torah - which details for us how to live as Hashem's servants - in singular, the word Oveid/servant which is the Gematria of 82, and this is my 82nd Post - something that the non-Jews of the world are not in possession of, or at least hasn't made a difference in their lives as per their relationship with Hashem.

As I mentioned in my 71st Post (June '10), along the lines of the Sanhedrin being compared to a Yonah/dove=71, there are exactly SEVENTY ONE Mishnayot in the Mishnaic Tractate of Sanhedrin. As the largest body of Torah scholars that spanned thousands of years, it was the Sanhedrin who interpreted, taught, and enforced the Oral Torah, without which, we Jews - the SEVENTY-FIRST nation - outside of the realm of Halacha/Jewish law, would be no better than the other nations of the world who claim to be followers of the Bible, but for the most part, follow their base desires,
and ignore what the Bible says about Israel when it comes to Jews.


Today, the 5th of Tishrei, marks the birth of Naftali, head of one of the twelve Tribes of Israel. His name is one of the more popular names among Jews, including in Hasidic circles. In fact, speaking of birthdays, the Chasidic Master Rabbi Naftali Tzvi of Ropshitz, was born on the day that the founder of the Chasidic movement, the Ba'al Shem Tov passed away - 6 Sivan (Shavuot) 5520/1760.

Noting the letters of his name, they are the same Hebrew letters as those of the word Tefillin/phylacteries. Now noting what are in the Tefillin, there are scrolls consisting of four different sections in the Torah that mention this Mitzvah - which consist of the final two sections of Parshat Bo, and the first two paragraphs of the Shema. Kabbalistically, these correspond to the four Sephirot/spiritual emanations -Chochma/Wisdom, Bina/Understanding, Chesed/Kindness & Gevurah/Severity, respectively.

As I mentioned in my recent 80th Post, Rabbi Moshe Cordovero mentions that the Ten Sephirot correspond to the Ten Days of Repentance. Hence, today - 5 Tishrei - corresponds to the Sephirah of Gevurah/Severity. And as we know Kabbalistically of the Sephirot corresponding to the various part of the body, as mentioned in the second introduction of the Tikkunei Zohar, Gevurah corresponds to the left arm, the very arm that we wrap around the Tefillin Shel Yad/"Hand Tefillin" (by the majority of people who write with their right hand, those who are lefties put it on their right arm). Hence, Naftali, whose name has the same letters as the word Tefillin, was born on the day amidst the Ten Days of Repentance that corresponds to the Sephira of Gevurah, which in turn corresponds to the left arm on which the Tefillin Shel Yad is put on.

Now, as per the Sephira of Gevurah, the corresponding section of the Torah on the Tefillin scroll, the second paragraph of the Shema, is about the acceptance of the Mitzvot. And it was right before Shavuot (the birthday of Rabbi NAFTALI Tzvi of Ropshitz), that Hashem threatened the Jewish people to accept the Oral Torah on themselves - which are the details of the 613 Mitzvot - using the aspect of Gevurah.

And speaking of Gevurah, Naftali's very name denotes this concept - Naftulei Elokim Niftalti - "I have been twisted around with my sister through all of G-d's roundabout ways", as Rachel was saying in terms of her rival Leah who already bore for sons to Jacob while she had yet to bear any, except that the new baby boy Naftali was born by Rachel's handmaid, representing the fact that there was tension involved here, representing a sense of negativity, just like Gevurah/severity. Also, we see here that Hashem's name representing Gevurah - Elokim - is used. Besides the translation here for this phrase which is based on Rashi's meaning of the wording of the root word forming the name Naftali, the second wording in the phrase - Niftalti, is translated by Rashi as "my prayer has been accepted". Hence, the acceptance in terms of both of accepting the Oral Torah and Hashem accepting Rachel's prayers after much contention were through the aspect of Gevurah.

And as I mentioning here about Tefillin, in connection with another of today's theme about the Yonah/dove, there is a story in the Talmud (Shabbat 49a) about the time that the Romans worked on a particular campaign to prevent Jews from wearing Tefillin, threatening to smash anyone's skull caught with the Tefillin on the head.
Anyways, there was a Jew named Elisha who earned the nickname Ba'al Kenafayim (owner of wings) because of his fearless stance of wearing Tefillin in public. When seen in
a distance by a Roman officer, the latter chased after him, when in the interim, Elisha took off the Tefillin and held it in his hand. When finally approached, the officer demanded to know what was in his hand, and Elisha replied that is was dove's wings. A miracle happened, and that is indeed what appeared when Elisha open his hand for the officer. And as the Gemara asks, why particularly dove's wings? Because the Jewish people is compared to a dove; since just as its wings protect it, so too does the Mitzvot protect the Jewish people.

Now, another thing that is mentioned about the Ten Days of Repentance is that they correspond to the Ten Commandments. Hence, the 5th day of Tishrei - Naftali's birthday - corresponds to the Commandment of Kibbud Av V'Em/honoring one's father & mother. As the rabbis tell us about Naftali among Jacob's sons, he was the one whom his father sent on missions as he was a quick runner; hence, having his fill with this Mitzva of Kibbud Av. This is exemplified by the blessing that Jacob gave to his son, "Naftali is a hart that is sent, who gives words of beauty" (Genesis 49:21) (As a side note, the Hebrew number for 21 as the number of this verse is Kaf Aleph, which is the acronym for Kibbud Av.) As we see in the Midrash about his father Jacob's burial, it was Naftali who started his run towards Egypt to fetch the deed to prove to Jacob's brother Esau who challenged Jacob's rights to the burial plot, that it was indeed Jacob's. As the story ended, between Dan's son Chushim & Judah, they did away with Esau before the document could be brought to prove the facts. By the way, one of the Seforim that the Chasidic Master Rabbi NAFTALI Tzvi Ropshitz wrote was called Ayalah Shelucha "Sent hart".

Now speaking of birthdays, the daily chapter of Tanach/Bible that I read for today -
5 Tishrei - is the beginning chapter of the Book of NUMBERS/Sefer Bamidbar - my favorite chapter of the Bible, that I began learning on a daily basis, since this past Shavuot, marking exactly 1,000 years since the first complete Tanach was completed being written down with vowels and cantillation notes during the month of Sivan 4770/1010. Anyways, this first chapter of NUMBERS begins its first verse mentioning my birthday of "the first day of the second month" - 1 Iyar, and is repeated later on in this chapter. This chapter mentions the count of the number of men from 20 years up among the 12 Tribes of Israel (which in this instance includes Joseph's two sons as tribes in lieu of the "Tribe of Joseph" or the Tribe of Levi).
In any case, the bottom of the list of Tribes, both in the list of the leaders of the Tribes, and the count of the number of men in the Tribes, it is the Tribe of Naftali who is mentioned at the BOTTOM of the lists, even though it wasn't Naftali who was Jacob's youngest, but Benjamin.

Now, getting to the section of the count of men in Naftali's tribe, we see that unlike the mention of the other Tribes where it says Livnei - "For the descendants of..."; regarding the Tribe of Naftali, it says B'nei - "The descendants of..." without the prefix letter in Hebrew for the word "for". And of course, the big question is WHY?

The Ba'al HaTurim explains that unlike the other Tribes, this Tribe of Naftali had more women than men. This is hinted in Jacob's blessing to Naftali in the words - Ayala Shelucha HaNotein "Naftali is a SENT HART WHO GIVES words of beauty". Now, the first letters of the words in Hebrew - Aleph, Shin, Hei - spells the word Isha/woman.

Unfortunately in society, women have been treated as the "bottom". Despite their beauty, it's their weakness compared to women that allows men to take advantage of them, especially in the non-Jewish society. Women's rights in recent times may have seemed to have helped women gain a few more bucks, but in their personal daily lives or marital status when as a result of working out of home and feeling financially independent, it has led to many divorces in which in the long run, is a lose-lose situation. Even in very observant Jewish circles, while many do in fact treat their wives with loyalty and royalty according to what is detailed in the Talmud and Jewish Law, there are those who unfortunately treat their wives as "baby machines", who seem to be non-existant when it is the men who occupy the main Shabbat eating table. While I certainly do respect Hasidic circles where many are careful as far as not looking at other women to avoid forbidden sexual looks and feelings, I personally cannot imagine a Shabbat table for myself except where the family is supposed to be all together, even if having guests over.

And as our rabbis state - Acharon Acharon Chaviv - "The LAST is the most beloved". Without the woman who is called in Psalms by the title Akeret HaBayit - "mainstay of the home", Judaism would simply not be the same. Without the women who instill in their children basic prayers and blessings while feeding them, waking them up and putting them to sleep, the children would not have quite sufficient education to begin Yeshiva studies at the age that they do. And the word Chaviv/beloved is the Gematria of 22, and the final 22 verses of Mishlei/Proverbs is what is known as the Eishet Chayil "Woman of Valor" paragraph recited at the Shabbat table right before the nighttime Kiddush. These verses begin in order of the 22 letters of the Alef Beit. And as we see in Creation, Chava/Eve was the last creation during the week of creation, following the creation of Adam, as mentioned in the Chumash. And to note, Chava having the Gematria of 19, along with the three letters of her name, add up to 22.

Hence, Naftali being listed as the last tribe, along with the omission of the prefix letter in Hebrew for the word "for", denotes that the women who are Chaviv/beloved, are the BOTTOM line - as the foundation stone which supports the building that is built on top of it - of how Jews are brought up beginning with their children's early Torah education. It is the women's prayers as they recite Tehillim/Psalms and other prayer books with tears that their children should grow up and remain living Jewish lives is what keeps Judaisim well and alive. There is a story of the Chofetz Chaim who was once brought his mother's Tehillim sometime after her passing, when he commented, "Do you know how many tears that my mother shed into this Tehillim, asking Hashem to have a G-d fearing son?" Well, we all know today the results of the Chofetz Chaim's mother's prayers and tears.

And to note, the count of the amount of men in the Tribe of Naftali in the Divine ordered census on 1 Iyar was 53,400. And in relationship to women who were more than men in this tribe more than all the others, my 53rd Post - the first post that I wrote since I got married, was about my marriage and the Gematriot related to it. In my opinion, the most significant one is the fact that my wife's full Hebrew name Yael Miriam is the same Gematria as Nashim/women - 400. Hence, the number 53,400 as per the Tribe of Naftali is a nice way to remember what my 53rd Post is about.


As I ended off my previous blog with my final thoughts on the past year of 5770, I mentioned that this year is also connected with a word that means nine.

A word that means nine - with a little twist. Basically, the Aramaic word for nine is Teshia'ah - Tav, Shin, Yud, Ayin, Alef, Hei. When moving the letter Hei from the end of this word to the beginning, aside from the letter Yud in the middle, it spells this present Hebrew year 5771 - Hey Tav Shin Ayin Alef.

So technically, this Hebrew year is also a "Nine" year. Along with this, you have the letter Yud, which is the Gematria of 10, in the middle of this number. Does this signify something? Could it be that this is the year that we will see the results - the birth - of the Chevlei Moshiach/Birthpangs of MOshiach, just as a Jewish mother after her NINE months of pregnancy finally gives birth to her little one, just as the letter Yud is the smallest of the 22 Hebrew letters. And in Yiddish, a Yid - after which the langugage Yiddish is named after - which means a Jew, is etymologically related to the letter Yud=10. And as we know, it takes 10 adult men (from Bar Mitzva age and up) to have a Minyan, a quorum gathered for prayers that allows them to recite certain prayers that they cannot recite with even one less person - nine simply does not count - which include the Kaddish and reading of the Torah. The reason for this is that these functions are only allowed to be performed in the presence of the Shechinah/Divine Presence, which only appears when there is a minimum of 10 adult men.

The Shechinah appearing is also applicable to such a minimum group of 10 who are learning Torah together. As noted in Pirkei Avot/Ethics of the Fathers 3:7, we learn this from the verse "G-d stands in the congregation of G-d", which denotes of G-d's presence in a congregation, this last word being learned out from other verses in the Torah that it refers to a group of 10 men. It should be noted that this verse quoted here is in the beginning verse of Psalm 82 - and this is my 82nd Post.

Now getting back to the Aramaic word for nine that spells this current Hebrew year, it should be noted that the Zohar, whose basic language is Aramaic, includes the Tikkunei ZOhar, the "70 Rectifications of the Zohar". So of course, the NINTH Tikkun
is called Tikkuna Teshia'ah. Unlike most of the other Tikkunim, this is only one paragraph. But one key thing here is the mention of Sarah's handmaid Hagar, princess of Pharaoh, mother of Ishmael and ancestor of the Arabic nation, who exclaimed to an angel who appeared to her following her making fun out of Sarah which resulted in her being kicked out by Sarah, "Because of Sarai (Sarah) my mistress, have I run". Before I continue father with what the Zohar says on this, her statement is most reflective of the "Palestinian" Arabs who hide or fail to mention to the world of their misdeeds against the Jews, but exclaim that it is we Jews who are the cause of them being mistreated when in fact, it is the 22 Arab countries who don't want to reclaim their own people, while the Israeli government bends backwards to give them food, shelter, electricity, education, exemption from the army, and look the other way to the 99% of these Arabs who don't pay taxes, hoping that these ingrates will be happy.

Continuing on in the Zohar, Hashem said "Although Hagar is the daughter of a wicked person (Pharaoh) who is worthy of punishment, despite the fact that Sarah chased her away from home, I will have pity on her and her son." Nevertheless, Hashem continues telling us that we shouldn't behave the same way, but eradicate the evil kingdom from the world, and there won't be happiness for Him until the wicked are eradicated from the world, and only then will there be happiness for Him, as it says "Upon the destruction of the wicked, there will be rejoicing" (Proverbs 11:10).

So there are two questions to be asked here. First, why did Hashem allow Hagar and her future son Ishmael to live if they would be nothing but trouble to the Jews and the world? Secondly, if we are supposed to follow in Hashem's ways, then why did He do one thing, and tell us to do the opposite? This is not quite typical of how Hashem instructs us in following in his ways. In fact, we know from the Torah that when we are merciful to the cruel; at the end, we wind up being cruel to the merciful, as exemplified by King Saul up to today's Israeli government who helps the Arabs in every which way, but devoted Jews to Israel are threatened, beat up, and imprisoned for daring its anti-Torah & anti-Zionist policies.

The truth is that everything that happens in this world is because of us Jews. We have to remember that as a result of Sarah not bearing any children with Abraham, Abraham eventually mated with Hagar, which resulted with the birth of Ishmael. What we find most unusual is that it was Hashem Himself (through the message of an angel)
who ordained that the ancestor of the Arab race should be named Ishmael, which means G-d will hear.

While it is true that after a wild period in his life, Ishmael in fact repented and died as a righteous person, his descendants did not follow in his eventual righteous ways. With or without Islam, or Christianity for that matter, the Arabs weren't exactly the Jews' friends, and as we see amidst the Babylonian captivity of the Jews following the destruction of the first Temple, the Arabs approached the Jews giving them salty food, and then provided them with leather containers of what the Jews thought was water inside, only to put their mouth to them and die of utter thirst as they were in fact empty.

In any case, Hashem has the nations around us to remind us of our duties to Him. If we would always be in good behavior, there wouldn't be concern about the other nations, because they would in fact help us if they knew that good bounty comes to the world when the Jews behave right. But nevertheless, evil people are just that, and while in former times, Hashem allowed the Arabs to live these thousands of years,
NOW that a good percentage of Jews are back on their own land, NOW is the time for us to put an end to their shenanigans. In this year of 5771, whose Hebrew letters form the Aramaic word nine, which in fact signifies even a greater darkness for this number, as the meaning of Aramaic is trickery, as the nationality and behavior of another cousin member of the Jews - Laban, whose Gematria by the way is 82 - and this is my 82nd Post, is when the ultimate test of what will happen between the Jews and the Arabs will take place.

As Netanyahu ended the previous Jewish year 5770 with the beginning of his official consent to give in to the Arabs, we are in the potential greatest danger that is yet to exist. You see, Abu Mazen isn't really happy making peace with Netanyahu, even though Netanyahu called him "our partner in peace". Abu Mazen wants the same thing as his predecessor Arafat wanted - ALL OF ISRAEL, which they call Palestine. Period!

Meanwhile, unlike Abu Mazen's demands, Netanyahu said that he will not continue the construction freeze, but will merely "not build as many buildings" in Judea and Samaria. And so, this is all the Arabs need to hear to advance with their next step of war. But the real reason why this will happen is simply because Netanyahu's real problem is that he doesn't fear Hashem, and not only does he say no to the Arabs, but being slow to build in Israel, especially after the damage that he did in declaring the construction freeze, as he will build not so quickly to "please" the Arabs which will not work, most angers Hashem.

The only reason why we Jews may still be victorious is because it is not so much the people who are in support of these wishy wash ways of so called placating the Arabs, because most of them realize by now that the Arabs really do not want peace; but it is Netanyahu and his cronies who think they will fool Obama and the world, none of whom will respect Netanyahu at the end anyways. We sure hope that Hashem will not allow us Jews to be endangered because of the few dictators of the Holy Land. However, we Jews as in the midst of the Chevlei Moshiach are in a most endangered position in this time - the year 5771, as indicated by the message of the Zohar in Tikkun NINE about the Arab descendants of Hagar. It will take only a full blown war now to eradicate these blood thirsty Arabs - hopefully, with not many lost Jewish lives in battle, as noted at the end of this Tikkun NINE.


In my previous post concluding 5770, but writing about Rosh Hashanah as it falls out on a Thursday as it happened at the beginning of this year 5771, I mentioned that the month of Ramadan is the NINTH month of the Arab lunar (or rather lunatic) calendar. This year's Ramadan fell out on Elul, the last month of the Jewish year.

What few people will now is that upon the conclusion of the Ramadan month, the Moslem Arabs have a three day feast, which is the beginning of the tenth month of the Moslem calendar. And when did this happen exactly this year?

Well, the Moslems weren't able to tell the world when they would be having their three day feast because you see, they follow their lunar calendar according to when they see the sighting of the new moon, as we Jews used to do it. And so, based on this, they began their new month on the second day of Rosh Hashanah. Though I didn't know myself until the other day of this three day holiday/feast, I did hear in the early morning of that day that sounded like shoutings of joy from the Arabs who live in the nearby villages. I figured that this marked the end of their Ramadan month.

Now in the Torah reading for Rosh Hashanah, the first day is about Hagar and Ishmael being kicked from the home as a result of endangering Isaac's spiritual and physical wellbeing. As the story continues, Ishmael became sick out of thirst in the desert, and Hashem miraculously saved their lives by showing them a well that they didn't see earlier.

Now, being that this year's Moslem feast fell out on the Jewish calendar beginning the second day of Rosh Hashanah, it is most significant to note the connection of Ismael as it especially relates to these very days this year.

2 Tishrei - The reading of the 2nd day of Rosh Hashanah is about the Akeidat Yitzchak, the binding of Isaac on the altar of the future Temple Mount by his father Abraham, who was stopped one step short of actually slaughtering his son. On the way to the Temple Mount, Abraham asked his son Ishmael and his servant Eliezer if they saw anything in the distance, which was what he and his son Isaac saw - the Divine Cloud. When they both answered in the negative, he replied to them that they should remain with the donkey, while he and Isaac move on. What he really was telling them is that just like the donkey can't see anything (spiritual), so neither do they". Of course, the Koran has a simple solution about denying this part of the story. It claims that it was Abraham's other son Ishmael who was the proposed offering. Makes sense.

3 Tishrei - This year, this date coincided with Shabbat Shuva/Parshat Ha'azinu, when we read in the Parsha "I (G-d) will be unfaithful to them (the Jews) with a non-nation, provoking them with a nation that is without gratitude." Indeed, the "Palestinian" Arabs are a so-called nation who claim that their country is Palestine, and since this isn't true, they are a non-nation in relationship to this. And of course, they have shown their lack of gratitude plenty - especially to the Israeli government who gives them all the nice commodities of life, while Torah scholars and large religious families in Israel don't have sufficient means to even have a decent meal a day, let alone have enough to pay the rent, electricity, etc., who turn to others for assistance, most of whom are lucky to have just enough to pay all their own bills themselves. No wonder why G-d is so upset. Another major example of this is that when the Jews of Gush Katif, some of whom hired Arabs in the past (which they shouldn't have done to begin with) were thrown out of there some five years ago, the Arabs who used to work for them didn't wish to sue the Israeli government who caused these Arabs to be out of work to begin with due to the Disengagement. Instead they decided to sue their former Jewish employers who were thrown out of self-employement beyond their control, even though these ungrateful Arabs know full well that they no longer had work thanks to the Israeli government, and not their former employers many of whom still have no work, and don't have the money to recompensate their former Arab employees for for lost wages. These ingrates would rather forgo rightfully deserved money from the Israeli government as per being laid off, just in order to make life harder for Jews who already had their lives messed up who will certainly not have what to pay to their former employees, except to have a lean put on whatever new housing they may be granted in the future if it even comes to that.

And as a connection to the solar calendar, one does not have to go far looking at the famous English date coinciding with this day of Shabbat Shuva - 9/11, a bitter taste of Moslem Arab terrorism, this year being NINE years from the fearful events of that day. And while we are at it, nearing NINE years from that fateful date, Moslem Arab Obama gave his approval for a mosque to be built in the physical shadows of Ground Zero - the BOTTOM that should remind us of calling out to Hashem in times of trouble.

4 Tishrei - In this year, we observed the fast of Tzom Gedaliah on this date. Normally, when Shabbat doesn't fall out on the day after Rosh Hashanah, we observe this fast on 3 Tishrei. The truth is that the events leading to this fast took place
on Rosh Hashanah, but since we don't fast on Rosh Hashanah, we always fast afterwards. In any case, it was a wicked Jew by the name of Ishmael ben Netanya ben Elishama who murdered Gedaliah, governor of the remaining Jews in Israel following the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonians. It seems that someone with the name Ishmael who was the one to have murdered Gedaliah, caused the remaining Jews to leave Israel, leaving this Holy Land desolate for 52 years, and causing an annual fast day for Jews to take place, is hardly short of Hashgacha Peratit/Divine Providence (though this evil person had a choice not to murder), shows that there is a connection here in relationship to the Arab race who are descendants of the first Yishmael.

By the way, as Ramadan does not always fall out during this time of the Jewish year as the Moslem calendar doesn't add time to its calendar in relationship to the solar calendar, it doesn't happen that often that the Moslem month immediately following Ramadan will begin on Rosh Hashanah, which includes its three day feast. And so noting the events of these three days of the Jewish calendar in relationship to Ishmael/Arabs with the fact that these very three days were celebrated by the Moslem Arabs this year of NINE in ARAMAIC, shows that G-d forbid, we can be in big trouble here this year, as they lie to the world about who was the one offered as a sacrifice on the Temple Mount - the mount that they claim is theirs and the world wishes to believe in, even though the Bible clearly states that King David purchased this very site. As they lie to the world about the so-called country of Palestine, which there is no such thing - not in the Old Testament, the New Testament, or the Koran. And all they wish to do is to murder us all, take over our land after throwing us into the sea.

And so, as the Moslems celebrated the first tenth of their tenth month; we Jews, as represented by the number 10, have to be ready to physically fight or be prepared for the upcoming war with the Arabs this year. The world is fooled and wishes to be fooled by these Arabs who represent the number NINE, who claim respect for their religion by their long NINTH month of daytime fasting, and then they go out attacking Jews in Israel at night following the break of their fast, something that the world wishes to avoid writing about. And hence, the Arabs claim victory with the number TEN, which in Hebrew is Eser, but when spelled backwards, is the word Rasha/wicked one, the very word that the Torah calls to one of the brothers Dathan & Abiram, when one proceeded to hit the other, when Moses asked him, "Why are you hitting your friend?"

And speaking of the first tenth of the tenth month of Islam, the Bible chapter that I read on the 4th of Tishrei, the conclusion of these three days of Moslem feasting, concludes with the Mitzva of tithing the animals by counting them - Ma'aser Beheima, in the concluding chapter of Leviticus - which is followed by the first chapter of Numbers which begins with the counting of people - specifically the Jewish people.
In any case, every tenth animal that left the animal pen was marked with red paint to identify which was the tithed animal.

I think that the Torah has a lesson to teach here about placing the sections of the Torah of counting animals and counting people - Jews, next to each other. One needs to be able to recognize his true enemies, who are certainly non-Jews who have shown long ago of their disdain for Jews and Israel. These should have been marked with the color red - which represents sin, long ago. This color also represents blood, which means that these Arabs should have been killed and done away with long ago when they challenged Israel. However, since the more current governments of Israel looked to please, placate and peace the situation instead of telling these Arabs where to go or just fight them, they unfortunately had to instead count the dead ones among Jews as a result of suicide bombings, stabbings, shootings,
and more wars.

Easing up on the amount of constructon in Judea and Samaria will simply not do it, and most Israelis will certainly not be happy with this. In fact, Netanyahu is following his last name in the opposite way - Natan Hashem, he is, so to speak, giving Hashem away, saying that it doesn't matter what Hashem says what to do in the Torah about our Holy land, or our blood-thirsty enemies. And unfortunately, he is using his first name Binyamin - which is a contraction of Ben Yamin "son of the right" as a so called right-winger when he has clear shown in more than one term of prime ministry and in between that he is nothing but a cold harded leftist who is in disguise of a right-winger.


Unlike Netanyahu who is living the opposite of his name, at least someone else who also lived an evil lifestyle was living according to his own name. His name was Naval, which means the word "disgusting", as his own righteous wife Abigail admitted.

Anyone who is familiar with the story in the Book of Samuel, will know that King David, in pursuit from his jealous father-in-law King Saul and fighting enemies at the same time, came with a group of fighting men to a place where Naval, who had much in the way of wealth, was residing. Upon King David asking Naval for assistance, Naval barely gave the starving group a morsel of bread, and refused to do anything more them. King David practically threatened to do away with Naval when at the last moment, Naval's wife Abigail arrived with a bunch of goodies for King David and the troops, convincing King David not to wreak revenge or killing Naval for his stinginess.

In fact, King David did not have to do anything to Naval, because right afterwards, Hashem struck Naval with a sickness over a period of 10 days, and then he died. Our Rabbis states that these 10 Days were in fact the Ten Days of Repentance.

It's interesting to note that Naval, spelling backwards the name of Jacob's crooked father-in-law Lavan/Laban - is the Gematria as 82, the number of this 82nd Post, which I am writing during the Ten Days of Repentance, the very period of time that Naval was stricken with a sickness. Apparently, Naval did not repent from his evil ways, and died right after Yom Kippur. Following this, David married Abigail, about whom our Rabbis say that she was one of the most beautiful women of all time.

Yes, Naval had it all - wealth, wife who was more than a model - and wickedness. But
the following question can be asked. When Abigail came with her goodies to King David, she noted that she saved him from murder of her husband. Now, King David, who was in fact a very righteous person, certainly realized that if Naval said "no", even though he had free choice, that it was from Hashem. In fact, when many years later, King David fled from Jerusalem when his son Absalom rebelled against him, there was someone with the name Shim'i who was cursing him, and while King David's men suggested to him to kill this guy, he refused to, saying that it was Hashem who told him to curse him. So, what's the difference here, and why could it have been wrong for him if he would have killed Naval?

In this case, it wasn't just King David himself involved, it was his group of men who came along to fight the enemy. Hence, even if his own honor and hunger was involved, it wasn't easy for him to wave how others were affected by Naval's selfishness with a mere wave of a hand. This was virtually a matter of life and death for lots of other people, and so it would have been most fitting for King David to be rid of Naval. However, as King David quickly came to realize, if this really was from Hashem, then he wouldn't accomplish anything more by killing Naval. The proof is that Hashem provided for him and his men from another source - Naval's own wife, whom he even married shortly afterwards.

It was during this very period of the Ten Days of Repentence, when we highlight Hashem's kingship - climaxing on Yom Kippur, which corresponds to the Sephirah of Malchut/Kingship - as exemplified by the fact that we end off the third blessing of the Shemoneh Esrei during these 10 days with the words HaMelech HaKadosh - "The Holy King" instead of HaKeil HaKadosh "The Holy G-d", that Hashem struck Naval with an illness. While King David would shortly show how he was the best representative of Hashem being the King of Kings, it was not up to King David to kill Naval. True, Naval did a most disgusting thing, but the same way as King David was supposed to believe that what happened to him was from Hashem - from being refused basic food supplies to being provided with dainties - the same way was it possible for the King of Kings to show Naval that he was living an errant lifestyle, who refused to repent even during the Ten Days of Repentance while struck with an illness, specifically during this time. Yes, some will not repent for the life of themselves, even if they were to trip over repentance with the gates of Hell being opened beneath them, as our Rabbis note in the Talmud.


Mentioning the number ten in Hebrew as Eser, this word is also the Gematria of the name of Naftali, Jacob's son - 570. And as I mentioned earlier, Naftali's birthday of 5 Tishrei corresponds to the Sephirah of Gevurah/severity. Hence, since dealing with the Arabs hadn't been done the right way for the longest time, it seems that we Jews will have to act according to the trait of Gevurah, and fight the Arabs head on.

The Rambam/Maimonides, begins his magnum opus, the Mishneh Torah, a composium of all the Halachot/laws of the Torah, begining with the section that is called Yesodei HaTorah "Foundations of the Torah", and concluding with the section that is called Melachim U'Milchamot/Kings and Wars. Now, the final two Sephirot - the NINTH and TENTH Sephirot are Yesod/Foundation & Malchut/Kingship, respectively.

So as you see, in order that the foundation of Judaism, which is the belief in Hashem, which includes believing that He could do what He wants, as when we faithfully follow what Hashem tells us to do in the Torah, remain in place, we have to believe that by following what Hashem wants, we ultimately have nothing to loose in the long run, and Hashem will fight our battles for us. However, if G-d forbid, we loose track of how things are supposed to be, and when we do things on our so called logic instead of relying on Hashem's logic, not believing that Yishma E-l -"God will listen (to us)", then we run into trouble with the nation that is called Yishmael, because at least this nation truly believes in what it is called by the Koran, except that the Koran tells them to treat infidels, especially the Jews, as vermin. Then unfortunately, we have no choice but to fight in a full blown war, which wouldn't have happened if we made it clear long ago since the Six Day War when we won virtually all the land possible that there will be no giving back of anything.

And so the year of NINE - representing Yesod, the foundation of the Torah, belief in Hashem is our ultimate protection; otherwise, we will only encounter even worse darkness. The only way then to fight this darkness is through the number TEN - representing war. If we truly trust in the King of Kings - representing the 10th Sephirah of Malchut/Kingship, then the soldiers in the IDF won't follow orders when told to ease up on fighting and not shoot at "civilian" targets, and not shoot at women and children when used as human shields. It is imperative that soldiers who may be called all of a sudden to fight realize that they are fighting Hashem's war, and that doing anything to suggest weakness to our Arab enemies will only invite more bloodshed among Jews, G-d forbid. If only they would read and internalize Binyamin Kahane - may G-d avenge his blood - 's final letter addressing soldiers in the IDF and not be afraid to fight the Arabs in war as necessary, and not be afraid of holding back their arms despite orders.

And now for the name/word Yonah. I came to realize the other day that this word Yonah - Yud, Vav, Noon, Hei - when rearranged, is the acronym of the last four Sephirot, which are Netzach/Eternity, Hod/Splendor, Yesod/Foundation & U'Malchut/ and Kingship. Now, in terms of the body, Netzach and Hod correspond to the two legs, Yesod corresponds to the sexual organ, and Malchut corresponds to the mouth.

As the title of this post - "Calling out from the BOTTOM", we are calling out to Hashem with our mouth while standing on our two feet from a low point - especially from a sense of humility and humbleness, and submit our desires, represented by the sexual organ, to Hashem, noting that the parts of the body corresponding to Netzach, Hod, and Yesod are the lower half - or BOTTOM - part of the body. And as the Haftara of Yonah is read on the afternoon of Yom Kippur when the Torah reading is about the list of forbidden sexual unions, we have to remember to be like the Yonah/dove who returned after searching for dry land for a second time, arriving with an olive leaf in its beak as if to say to Noah "I would rather be fed bitter food from Hashem, then sweet food by you." (Talmud Eruvin 17). Especially in this Hebrew year 5771 that ends with the number 71, the Gematria of Yonah, we have to follow the message of the Haftara of Yonah to REPENT NOW before it's too late, and behave like a Yonah/dove who is loyal to its mate, and accordingly be loyal to Hashem, our ultimate spiritual Mate. Then, when we do call out to Hashem, calling him from the bottom - with a spirit of lowliness and humility -we can hope that Yishma E-l, that G-d will indeed listen to us.

And remember, Yom Kippur, the last day of the Ten Days of Repentance, corresponds to the tenth and last Sephira of Malchut/Kingship. If we make a firm resolution on this holiest day of the year, especially this year when it falls out on Shabbat which also corresponds to Malchut, to have more of a conscience in our daily activities that we have to follow the orders of the King of kings, even if we can't quite get all our acts together overnight, this will be a major step in following in Hashem's ways, a sure part of the Teshuva process, starting to RETURN - the real meaning of the word Teshuva - to the way that Hashem wants us to live, without giving in to compromise to others, in a firm belief and trust in Hashem. Then, with G-d's help, we will merit to live to the day when "Hashem will be King over the entire world; on that day, Hashem will be One, and His Name will be One." Amen.

NOTE: G-d willing, will write again before the coming holiday of Succot, about the message of this coming holiday.

5 Tishrei, 5771 - Birthday of Naftali, son of Jacob

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