Sunday, November 21, 2010

#88 - Rome-Hitler-U.S.A.

Beginning on a happy note, near the conclusion of today - 14 Kislev - today, I read the last chapter of the Chumash/Penteteuch/Five Books of Moses, which is Deutronomy, Chapter 34, as I began a chapter a day (in English) from the Tanach/Bible beginning from this last Shavuot, the holiday of the giving of the Torah. While this chapter mentions the passing of Moses, it also mentions his various accomplishments, as well as his worthy successor Joshua. While Moses was denied entry into the Holy Land, Hashem did show him the events that would happen to the Jewish people until the time of the Resurrection.

And speaking of last, today's post will focus on the last exile of the Jewish people.
Actually, this exile has been split into many such exiles, because Jews have been exiled from many countries over the near 2,000 years since the destruction of the Second Temple by the hands of the Romans. However, when we say that it is the last exile, we mean that it is the exile from our Holy Land, as opposed from being tossed as a pizza pie from one non-Jewish country to another. (Believe it or not, this Italian nash originally consisted of Matza, cheese, and olive oil - from the book The Jewish Connection by M. Goldberg)

Anyways, speaking of finishing reading the Chumash, the name of last week's Parsha - Vayishlach, is the Gematria of the word Chumash - 354. Accordingly, the last part of this Parshat Vayishlach mentions the details of Esav's family and the chiefs of Edom.

In fact, our current exile lasting nearly 2,000 years is called Galut Edom/Exile of Edom, as the Tanach when it mentions Edom, refers to Rome, especially in the context of our exile.

However, while Rome itself is one city, Rome as the Roman Empire consisted of a whole area of land in the greater Italy country. Why do I say this?

In the very last Pasuk/verse of Parshat Vayishlach, in the lasting of the 11 chiefs of Edom, it begins with Aluf Magdiel - Chief of Magdiel. The very last Rashi on this Parsha notes that Magdiel is Rome. And as this is my 88th Post, I will note that the name Magdiel is in fact the Gematria of 88.

But that's not all. For those who have read a bit on hate groups, especially as it pertains to Anti-Semitism, the number 88 denotes a most evil slogan "Heil Hitler", used as such because the letter H is the 8th letter of the alphabet, the first letter of these two words.

Any connection between Rome & Hitler? Well, the Vatican in Rome was at best neutral in terms of the Holocaust. But even if one were to attempt to exonerate the Vatican for remaining silent if not taking into account any possibility of it speaking behind the Jews' back, we know all too well how some Christians in the guise of being kind by saving Jews from the physical Holocaust Hell, worked on them being sent
to the eternal spiritual hell by raising them as Christians when they knew full well that the ones that they physically saved were Jews, belonging to a different religion.

In any case, it will be agreed that Hitler did work very hard to match up with the Roman Empire murdering Jews during the era of the destruction of the Second Temple, and very unfortunately, succeeded well in decimating one third of the known Jewish world population.

And what was happening in the United States during the Holocaust? Good for nothing President Franklin Roosevelt showed plenty of his lack of sympathy for the Jews and other nationalities being decimated overseas, and in fact, turned away a boatload of 900 Jews who escaped the Hell House, only to be returned and murdered there. And as for the Jews in the land of religious freedom, few gave a damn about their brethren, many who enjoyed their summers in the Catskills in upstate New York (I know this for a fact from a rabbi who gave a weekly class to old ladies who admitted what they did during the summers in the early 40s).

Now, fastforward to Obama '08. His political ties to the "Palestinian" Arabs were known, or at least heard of, by many Jews; but most Jews voting in the U.S.A. were more fixated on Obama's promises of change for their immediate surroundings than what
he would do for Israel, some of whom blatantly lied to everyone else that Obama is good for Israel, as a reason to vote for him, without needing to worry about any guilt feelings.


Yes, you will see this ONLY at one place - While Obama can get his T-shirt ready with the number 88 on the back of it to match this number that is most associated with Rome & Hitler, you will see how Tisha B'Av is related to all of these three entities. Technically, Obama is already half there - literally. You see, he is the 44th elected President of the United States (though he is in fact ineligible to be president according to the Constitution), and the 44 is half the number of 88.

But before I get into more detail about Obama, especially as connected to his Islamic ties, let's state the facts:

Rome - Destroyed the Second Temple on Tisha B'Av.
Hitler - Was born from an adulterous union who slept together especially on the night of Tisha B'Av, as part of the Shabbetai Tzvi sect (yes folks, it is still around today, centuries after Shabbetai Tzvi did his damage as a false messiah).
U.S.A. - Obama became politically born on Tisha B'Av '04, when he gave a speech endorsing past Democratic candidate John Kerry.

Now notice, I didn't write the subject of this post as Rome-Hitler-Obama, but instead ending with U.S.A. I have a good reason for this. It isn't that Obama is just this bad guy, but that almost everything else about the United States is kosher.
In fact, the United States has something in common with the Roman Empire. In fact, as the name Edom is the concluding word of Parshat Vayishlach, I should note that Edom is the Gematria of 51; and indeed, in the U.S.A., there is its capitol Washington D.C. and 50 states. As the capitol is its own domain, not in a particular state, you indeed can count FIFTY-ONE STATES!

Yes, the United States, while it may have begun as a place as a safe haven for Jews and other nationalities from religious persecution from other countries over 200 years ago, this aspect about the land of freedom is starting to go downhill. Constant threats of terrorism, over 600 prison camps ready to house millions, and...Did you know? The Southern Poverty Law Center counted 932 active hate groups in the United States in 2009. Now tell me, how many of them hate Jews? It's frightening to think what could happen next, G-d forbid.

Actually, we're not far off. Obama recently endorsed Ground Zero to be grounds for a mosque, which is being built, partly in thanks to a self-hating Jewish billionaire Michael Bloomberg, who has been mayor of New York City way too long. And this taking place - nine years since the infamous day of 9/11.

And what else? While many as of late blatantly declared in the press that Obama being Moslem is false and that he is Christian, isn't it a striking parallel that the first and last letters in Hebrew of the name of the founder of Islam - Mohammed -is Mem & Dalet, which spells the number 44, and Obama is the 44th President. It's very simple math here: 44+44=88!


In Hebrew, the word for trap, or for a can as in a trash can, is Pach, which also spells the Hebrew number 88. It's hardly surprising then that it is not mere "coincidence" that this number would be most especially associated with Hitler, and for that matter, the Biblical name for the city of Rome, which began with its physical decimation of the Jews as well as the destruction of the holiest building in the world, and ending off with spiritual destruction with its Vatican, which houses articles of the Holy Temple and myriads of Jewish books, scrolls, and writings. Perhaps the ultimate hypocrisy of Christianity, especially the Catholic sect, is that while it claims its religion to be the right religion, using our Tanach
as the "Old Testament" as a literal stepping stone to claim Jesus on the top. If Judaism is indeed not the correct religion as far as they are concerned, then why should they want our artifacts and writing?.

But the answer to this question is that in truth, many know what the true religion and chosen people are. Yes, they are jealous of us, and make up every which thing to make us look to be the bad people, and no longer wanted by G-d. They have the nerve while claiming a Jew to be a god and messiah, to torture and murder us for not believing in one of our own; for after all, we killed him, right? So, what is this to them if they are not Jewish? All they are really doing is using religion as a cover up for what they really are.

So, one day it is Christians with the blood libels accusing us of killing Christian children to use their blood for our Matzot; and the next day, Arabs claim part of Israel - nay, all of Israel - to be Palestine; and even though no such country existed or presently exists, the Christians who hate Jews close their Bibles showing the boundaries of Israel that belongs to us, and buy in to the claims that the Israelis treat the poor "Palestinians" unfairly; and somehow, we are at fault for not giving in to Islam terror, as we caused it by not giving the Arabs all our land away, even though the United States was also hurt by Islam terror.

Yes, the word blood in Hebrew - Dam - is the Gematria of 44, spelling in Hebrew the number backwards - Mem & Dalet. The blood libels were perhaps the biggest, ridiculous set of lies about Jews; yet, in the name of anti-Semitism, millions of people wished to believe this about Jews for countless of centuries. Even in the 1900s, there was an incident of this in the United States, believe it or not, but this is beyond the scope of this post.

Yes, Hitler spoke of the Aryan race, with the blond hair and blue eyes, features that Hitler himself did not have, but this was supposed to separate the men from the boys, as you will. It is true that it wasn't only Jews who were treated as trash in the Holocaust; however, in comparison or contrast with the blacks and gypsies, we Jews were treated as "white trash," as the majority of Jews who were in the Holocaust
were of Ashkenazic origins, most of them being Caucasian.


Having mentioned earlier that I finished reading the Five Books of Moses today, which is also the conclusion of the Book of Deutronomy, I should note that the Hebrew name for this book - Devarim - is the Gematria of Rome - 256. As a matter of fact, the first Parsha of this Sefer, which is also called Devarim, is also read within a week before Tisha B'Av; and in fact in some years, is read on the 9th of Av - the date of Tisha B'Av - when it falls out on Shabbat. The very first Pasuk of this Sefer/Parsha hints to the various places that the Jews were in the wilderness where they misbehaved. Accordingly, the reason why we had terrible things happen to us on Tisha B'Av, and exiled from various lands, is because our behavior was far from desirable to say the least.

In any case, this Parshat Devarim is the 44th Parsha of the Torah. Also, the first and last letters of the name Devarim - Dalet & Mem - are the letters that spell the number 44. And so again, you have 44+44=88.

On a little brighter side, the name Devarim is also the Gematria of Aharon - 256. And as mentioned in Kohelet/Book of Ecclesiastes (7:14)- "This corresponding to the other did G-d make." And while people have free choice as to be good or evil; G-d created the concepts of good and evil in order for people to have the chance to make a free choice, and earn reward or punishment accordingly.

And so on this note, as the words of Gematria for the number 256 are both Aharon & Rome, there is also a good side to the number 88 - and not just a bad side. You see,
of the six orders of the Mishnayot, the fifth order is called Kodashim, which means holy things, which includes an array of subjects from the Temple offerings of animals
to birds, and a tractate named Middot, which literally means measures, as it is about the Temple with its various measures for how it was built. This order of the Mishnayot consists of 11 tractates, and 91 chapters. And what is the 88th chapter? The final chapter of Tractate Middot, which ends off with the qualification of Aharon's descendants serving as Cohanim in the Temple. In fact, there is a custom among some to learn a chapter of Mishnah on each of the seven days of Succot that correspond to one of the Ushpizin/Heavenly Guests of the Succah, and it is this very chapter of Mishnayot that is learned on the day of Succot which features Aharon.

And as mentioned earlier about the phrase Heil Hitler representing the number 88, as the first letters of this phrase are H, being the 8th number of the alphabet; on the side of good, we have the Chofetz Chaim, a Cohen - being a descendant of Aharon via parental line, whose nickname after the first Sefer that he wrote consists of two words that begin with the letter Cheit, which is the Gematria value of 8, hence serving as the good 88. (Note: The Chofetz Chaim, near the end of his life in 1933, was one of the few rabbis who warned Jews in Europe to leave while they were able to, as he predicted terrible times that were going to happen soon in Europe, which turned out to be the Holocaust. Too bad that very few Jews listened to him, if any).

Small wonder then, the full name of the Book of Deutronomy - Sefer Devarim - consisting of 11 Parshiyot, is the Gematria of the name of the holiest city of Yerushalayim - 596. After all, we read the first Parsha of this book right before Tisha B'Av, commemorating the destruction of the city and its Temple. And as it was the Cohanim who did the main service in the Temple, their ancestor Aharon, the first Cohen Gadol/High Priest, passed away on Rosh Chodesh Av, which begins the month in which we begin Sefer Devarim.


The final verse of the last section of Parshat Vayishlach which is about Esav's family and the chiefs of Edom, is the 43rd verse. It is this very verse that mentions the Biblical name of Rome - Magdiel=88, and concludes with the word Edom, which today refers to the United States, the last major country to house Jews at the end of our Roman exile. And as mentioned in several posts of mine by now, the events that led to Yom Yerushalayim - Jerusalem Day - in '67 when we regained the holiest area in the world, took place on the 43rd day of the Sephirah. And Aharon's Yahrzeit - Rosh Chodesh Av, the SOLE Yahrzeit mentioned in the ENTIRE Tanach, is mentioned in the 43rd Parsha of the Torah - Parshat Mas'ei, which begins with the Pasuk that like with Parshat Devarim, also begins with the word Eileh/These, and concludes with the word V'Aharon/and Aaron; hence, this first verse of the 43rd Parsha beginning with the letter Aleph, and ending with the letter Noon (Sophit), just like with Aharon's name! Moreover, these two letters - Noon & Aleph - spell the number 51, which is the Gematria of Edom.

And as today's Edom is the United States, it has been noted that the middle letters of the word Jerusalem are U.S.A.! Yes my friends, too many people forget where our real home is at, while feeling comfortable in the midst of the United States. Oh sure, Rome also had what to contribute at one time, also being the world power some 2,000 years ago. And at this time of the era of the year 2000, the United States is today's Rome. But don't worry, people can forget what it's all about - even in Jerusalem. You see, there's a hotel in Jerusalem called Ceasar's. Now, imagine if there would be a place of recreation called Hitler's. No doubt that there would be a major outrage at this, and it would have to market itself exclusively to anti-Semites to make good business. Yeah, I even saw a pizza store in Jerusalem several months ago called Obama Pizza, but it didn't last too long. Was it owned by an Arab, or some left-wing Jew? Didn't bother stopping by.


There is a custom among some who read the first 50 verses of Parshat Vayishlach on Motzoei Shabbat - at the conclusion of Shabbat, especially if they will be traveling out of town that coming week. You see, this section deals with the encounter between
the brothers Jacob & Esau, and how Jacob prepared himself to face his brother who was
ready to attack him with 400 men - through prayer, gifts, and war if necessary.

When the brothers actually met, the most unthinkable thing happened, considering Esau's jealous plans of doing away with Jacob. In Genesis 33:4, it mentions that in fact, Esau kissed Jacob - Vayishakeihu. In the Sefer Torah/Torah scroll, there is a special dot on each of the letters of this word. Rashi mentions that Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai - author of the teachings of the Zohar - says that it is Halacha/Jewish Law, that it is known that Esau hates Jacob, but his mercy was aroused at that time, and he kissed him with all his heart.

O.K., questions time. First, what does it mean here that it is a Jewish Law that Esau hates Jacob? Is it a law in the Shulchan Aruch/Code of Jewish Law, or is it a fact? Secondly, why in the present tense that Esau HATES Jacob? Even if one were to say that they are represented by their descendants, this continues mentioning what Esau himself did with Jacob, not of the Jews and non-Jew who descended from them? And finally, what caused the total turnaround, unless one were to say that when Esau actually met his brother after so many years, he really forget for the moment that he hated him earlier?

Actually, all of this is connected. I think the punchline word, or the key word - is HATES, and in the PRESENT form. You see, Esau's default mode with Jacob is that he HATES him, period. Perhaps there were in fact moments that Esau showed his "good side," but that is a side that he pretty much supressed since his youth when the brothers went their separate ways since they were age 15. And it isn't just what happened between two brothers, it is what would happen with their descendants for the next few millenniums.

Anti-Semitism is a genuine hatred, and it comes in various forms. It doesn't have to mean that all the non-Jews in town out of nowhere will start attacking Jews. They come in so many other forms today - anywhere from silence to what is happening to complaining in the media about what the Jews are doing, even as Jews in Israel get attacked a thousand times over in towns such as Sederot and Ashkelon. It doesn't really matter what is logical or not - a hate for others is a hate, and will be chocolate coated with every flavor like what you see in the ice-cream store.

Yes, there are moments when non-Jewish kings and nations have shown good will to Jews. But, this happened when Jews remembered their place in society and that their country was not Jerusalem. But, the moment that they forget - BINGO! Hashem has His ways of having the non-Jews show their true colors, and it doesn't have to be logical either.

When so called religious parties in the Knesset such as the Jewish Home & Shas even think of considering giving in to terms about stopping construction in Judea & Samaria once again for three months, or at least avoiding to vote against it, they truly forget that it is Hashem Who is running the show. No problem, we are in the latter part of November, and no rain in sight for weeks in Israel! Last week, in the midst of this political rehash, there were rain clouds one morning and it was feeling to be real cool for once, and then zap - the clouds disappeared and no rain!

Yes, Hashem is now very upset. While these parties are more concerned about taking home an annual six-digit figure for serving their time in the Knesset, their so-called compromise will not one bit impress these blood thirsty Arabs. Whatever acts of love that Arafat and Abu-Mazen may have shown with former Israeli Prime Monsters, they aren't even as real as Esau's momentary lapse of hate feelings when he kissed Jacob. You see, this was really Hashem's doing, and until the ones who know better, aside from Prime Looser Netanyahu, will be serious about this issue as a good Jew is about keeping Jewish Law, Hashem will show how illogical He can be by not bringing rain, G-d forbid, anytime soon.


Now, coming to one of my favorite three-digit numbers - 808. This number zero changes everything. The number 88 on the evil side symbolizes pride and bullying others. The number zero denotes one's nullification to Hashem, realizing that he or she is nothing compared to Hashem, despite one's accomplishments during the brief time span on this earth.

For years, I lived in my late grandmother's apartment when she was already in an old-age home. The number of her apartment was 808.

I was born on the fifth day of the week of Parshat Kedoshim, the 7th Parsha of Sefer Vayikra/Book of Leviticus, which deals primarily with the Mitzvot/commandments and laws as dealing with Cohanim, including the Temple offerings. In Hebrew, this day or date is called Yom Hey (the letter Hey) Kedoshim. Anyways, spelling this in the Hidden Codes of the Torah - this is spelled equidistantly once in the Chumash - every 808th letter (Genesis 43:10-47:3)! This is bearing in mind that the chances of spelling something with nine letters, bears low odds (in this case, less than 0.15% chance), and especially with letters that are among the least frequent in the Torah - as the letters Koof & Dalet.

Just like 10 days ago on 5 Kislev, the Daf Yomi of learning the daily double-sided page of the Babylonian Talmud of Seder Kodashim began. Shortly before this, there were special publications about learning this particular part of the Mishnayot or Talmud, as there is a special merit of learning this part of the Torah when we aren't able to actually bring the offerings in the Temple as discussed in each pages.
Hence, this part of the Torah has even greater value, as it is considered as though we bring these sacrifices when we learn about them in the Torah. This was especially emphasized by the Chofetz Chaim - Rabbi Yisrael Meir Kagan, who was a Cohen himself, and organized all kinds of programs towards this end. Anyways, in Hebrew, learning the volume of Kodashim is "Limud Seder Kodashim." And believe it or not, the Gematria of this phrase is 808! While Parshat Kedoshim, the name of which is spelled exactly the same way as the name for Seder Kodashim - just with different vowels, doesn't mention a whole lot particularly in that Parsha about Temple offerings, it is part of Sefer Vayikra which is also called Torat Cohanim, and there is also a Midrash on this Sefer with the same name with detailed laws. In a similar fashion, the Chofetz Chaim wrote a work called Likutei Halachot encompassing the laws pertaining to Seder Kodashim.

And while we are on the subject of the Chofetz Chaim, his major halachic work dealing with the laws that are applicable in every day life is called Mishna Berura, a halachic commentary and notations on the first part of the Shulchan Aruch called Orach Chaim, which includes the laws on prayers, Shabbat and Jewish holidays. And yes, the name Mishna Berura is also the Gematria of 808! And for those who are looking to learn this most essential work to live as a good Jew, the way that Hashem wants us to live. In fact, for those who are looking to learn a little Torah daily as we are supposed to learn Torah EVERY DAY, there is a website with the daily schedule of Mishna Berura learning - For those who don't know Hebrew so well, or need an English translation on this as well, Feldheim has the entire translation on this, complete in 20 volumes. In any case, one can hear the daily lesson online. The new cycle will begin this Thursday night on 19 Kislev.
(NOTE: While women do not have an obligation to learn Torah daily the way that men do, they are obligated to learn the Jewish laws in order to know how to be observant Jews. This is especially applicable when it comes to the laws of Shabbat, and most of the laws pertaining to Jewish holidays).


Right after this past Simchat Torah, I wrote a post about learning a Daf of the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch/Concise Code of Jewish Law. While most editions of this will not be set up for daily learning to be completed in a year's time as per the pages, I have a special edition of this that has this scheduled accordingly.

Anyways, today's Daf of 14 Kislev is mostly on the Laws of Talmud Torah. Among these laws learnt today, it mentions (27:2) an arrangement between two people of which one learns Torah while the other one supports him, having an equal share in the Torah learning, an arrangement originally made between the brothers Yissaschar & Zevulun, sons of Jacob. Another example that is brought here is as quoted from the Mishna in the first chapter of Tractate Zevachim where it quotes a statement from Shimon Achi Azaryah - Shimon the brother of Azaryah, called as such as Shimon learned Torah and his brother Azaryah supported him. Would you believe it, in today's Daf Yomi - Zevachim 11, is the very Gemara discussion on the statement of Shimon Achi Azaryah! And this, on the day that I completed reading the Five Books of Moses in English, a chapter a day, as I began from this past Shavuot, the holiday celebrating the giving of the Torah. Additionally, in the portion of Kitzur Shulchan Aruch for this coming day of 15 Kislev, it quotes from the first chapter of Joshua, the Bible chapter that I will be learning for this day - "This Torah Scroll shall not depart from your mouth, and you shall meditate in it - day and night." Is Hashem telling me, whose first name is Shimon, any message here?


Yes, even a seemingly bad number can be a good number if channeled the right way. Anyways, G-d willing, I will be posting again, sometime during my favorite time - Chanuka, which consists of 8 days.

14 Kislev, 5771

Monday, November 8, 2010

#87 - What Type of SERVICE?

Shimon HaTzadik (Simon the Just) was one of the remaining members of the Great Assembly (Anshei Knesset HaGedolah). He used to say: "On three things does the world stand: On the Torah, on Avodah/service (prayers or Temple offerings), and on Gemilut Chasadim/ performance of benevolent acts" - Pirkei Avot/Ethics of the Fathers 1:2.

On this note, I want to mention that today - 1 Kislev - I am literally at the conclusion of 501 months since my birth on 1 Iyar. I am writing in Israel at 3:04 PM, which is seven hours later than the time according to Eastern Standard Time of 8:04 AM, as I was born at 9:04 AM as per Daylight Savings Time. And while according to Jewish law, a new day begins at night, there are Halachic authorities who hold that one who becomes Bar Mitzvah starts being a man at age 13 at the exact time of day that he was born, though for the most part, we hold that one becomes Bar Mitzvah as soon as it becomes night.

More than the fact that the one who mentioned the above quote at the beginning of this post is my namesake, it can be inferred from here that just as the justification
for the continued world's existance is based on the three things of Torah, Avodah, and Gemilut Chasadim, this is indeed the same justification for a person's purpose of living in this world. Even as non-Jews and non-human creatures do not have the commandments that Jews have, they all serve a function helping this world for the sake of the ones who do have the responsibility of performing these three items.

As this is my 87th Post, I would like to point out that the word Avodah/service which can refer either to prayers or Temple offerings, is also the Gematria of 87. But first, I want to point out to another word that is also the Gematria of 87 - Levanah/moon.

Born on Rosh Chodesh/New Moon, I found it especially fascinating that the whole past month of Cheshvan was my 501st month of life. The truth is that the normally translation given for the phrase Rosh Chodesh is New Moon, just as Rosh Hashanah is normally translated as New Year. The truth is that the literal translation, at least in these cases, is more accurate. Well, the word Chodesh means "new," and the word Hashanah is "the year," but the first word Rosh literally means head, as the head of the body, for indeed, the first day of the month or the year is the head of the month or year. And as pertaining to this past month of Cheshvan, the word Rosh/head is the Gematria of 501, and the month of Cheshvan was my 501st month since my birth. Hence, in my case, Cheshvan 5771 was "Month 501."

To commemorate such a special time in my life this past month, I learned in various holy Sefarim/books about Rosh Chodesh, including the Shulchan Aruch/Code of Jewish Law and Mishnah Berurah, a halachic commentary by the Chofetz Chaim - Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan. It was the middle month of the 13 Jewish months of my 41st year.

In relationship to this, I turned to the last Parsha of the Torah - V'Zot HaBeracha -which consists of 41 Pesukim/verses. I figured that I would check out the MIDDLE verse of this Parsha; and lo and behold in this verse, the word Rosh is not mentioned once, but twice! Actually, one of the times means first, but here is the verse, "He (the tribe of Gad) chose the (Reishit) FIRST portion for himself, for that is where the lawgiver (Moshe)'s plot is hidden; he (tribe of Gad) came at the (Rashei) HEAD of the nation, carrying out Hashem's justice and His ordinances with Israel" (Deutronomy 33:21).

To note, the birthday of Gad, father of his tribe, is in the midst of the month of Cheshvan - 10 Cheshvan, about whom I wrote about a year ago on his birthday. However, more than just a coincidence of months, or at what position of the year, there is something to be learned from Gad.

Coincidentally, using loose language, I knew of an old chap many years back who was named Moshe at his Brit/circumcision, but at one point in his life, he added the name Gad to his name - Gad Moshe - as this is the name of a tribe who represented strength, as we see that this tribe was at the forefront of fighting for the nation of Israel when they first entered the land of Israel to fight their enemies. And of all the tribes, this one merited to be the one to have Moses be buried in their portion of land.

The bottom line here is that we have to realize our purpose in life, the raison d'etre for our existance to begin with, besides the food, fun, and fancy-shancies that comes along in this materialistic world. The Torah represents us being students
of Hashem Who teaches us the right way of living. Avodah represents how we relate to Hashem - as a son to a parent, or a servant to a master - whether through prayer or Temple sacrifices. And Gemilut Chasadim represent how we relate to one another, some of which are acts of kindness for which we will never expect anything in return from another. Yes, sometimes in life, it involves sacrifices, doing things that may not exactly feel most comfortable, but they are the very reason why we are living to begin with.

Today, we will focus on the aspect of Avodah. To note, the Daf Yomi - daily Babylonian Talmud study of the tractate Avodah Zarah (translated as idol worship) was recently concluded on 21 Cheshvan, when I wanted to write this post, but it is true that it was Erev Shabbat, and being a short today before Shabbat in the winter time, I didn't have the time to start this 87th post then, as the word Avodah is the Gematria of 87. In retrospect, it seems that it was meant to be that it would be only now that I would write this post, as you will see a little later on here.

As it turns out, this tractate Avodah Zarah consists of 75 Dafim/double-sided pages, and the word Cohen, representing the ones who performed the Avodah/Temple service, is the Gematria of 75! Hence, Avodah Zarah - idolatry, represents the exact opposite of this. And as I mentioned a few months ago following the start of the study of this tractate, Avodah Zarah represents whatever the off-track way of life that we may be practicing that opposes the tenents of Judaism, even if we seem to live observant Jewish lives, if these are things that distract us and take our minds off of what really counts in life. As again, it's the literal translation that is used here, the phrase Avodah Zarah literally means, "strange service."

We see in the Torah that just because someone brings an offering/sacrifice, it doesn't automatically mean that Hashem will be pleased. And while truthfully, Hashem Himself doesn't need our sacrifices to satisfy Himself, it is WE who have to become the right type of people that is the purpose of the offering itself.

We see right from the beginning of time that brothers Kain and Abel brought their respective offerings on the altar. Though as the Midrash tells us, it was actually Kain's idea that they should bring offerings, Hashem accepted Abel's offering, but not Kain's. You see, Hashem saw Kain's inner intentions, and him bringing his offering was not done with pure intentions out of love for Hashem. Kain's purpose was to show off how great he was, even as he brought his offering from an inferior type of species of the ground, unlike Abel who brought his offering from the choicest of his sheep. And then on Tabernacle Dedication Day, Aaron's sons Nadav & Avihu brought matters in their own hands, and created a fire on the altar of their own, when they were supposed to wait for a fire from Hashem, for which they paid for their lives.

In another few days, the Daf Yomi will begin with Seder Kodashim, the volume of the Mishnah/Talmud that deals with holy things, beginning with Tractate Zevachim, which deals with the sacrifices in the Temple. In the interim, there is the smallest tractate in the Babylonian Talmud consisting of only 13 Dafim that is called Horayot, which means halachic rulings.

Is there a particular connection of this tractate Horayot that is placed particularly between the tractates of Avodah Zarah & Zevachim?

As we see, it is not enough to say that just because one is spending money on bringing a sacrifice to Hashem, that Hashem should be happy. Many of the sacrifices brought in the Temple were sin-offerings of various sorts, as a result of a sin, howbeit done accidentally, that one committed. There was no room for like we hear today from non-observant Jews, "G-d will understand", "It's not what goes inside the mouth (kosher food), but what goes outside the mouth (type of speech)."

True, one who was not careful about what came out of his mouth, such as saying Lashon Hara/evil speech about other Jews, was at one time visited with Tzara'at, a skin condition that looked like leprosy, outcasting him from Jewish society to be alone with other sinners who were affected as he (or she - and yes, she too had to have all her hair shaven when purified and atoned for at the end, even if she has a husband. So much for all the "religious" girls who say Lashon Hara about their dates or ex-boyfriends behind their backs without telling the ones they shagged about the REAL reason why she is no longer interested in him while telling everyone else). For this sin of Lashon Hara, one did not bring a sacrifice, since at the end, he/she winds up bringing quite a few after the terrible punishment they had to endure as a result of this sin. But for accidentally eating non-kosher, one was obligated to bring a sacrifice to the Temple to atone for his/her misdeed just as well.

And so, either one bringing an animal sacrifice could be affected by seeing how the animal is slaughterd, cut into all types of pieces, to make him/her feel like really he/she should have been the one to be treated as such, but Hashem, in His infinite mercy, gives one a chance to repent. bringing such a sacrifice can think of so to speak "bribe" Hashem, when the Torah tells us that Hashem isn't even bribed by one's charity donations, which will not save one from Gehinnom/Hell, as the Chofetz Chaim pointed out to one wealthy guy who donated Tzedaka/charity, but did not observe Shabbat/Sabbath. In this case, the sacrifice brought is indeed considered as Avodah Zarah, just as idol worshippers who bring sacrifices to their dead idols or to living objects who will not be able to help them.

In the present short tractate of Horayot, it involves cases where the Beit Din/Jewish court ruled on a case in Halacha/Jewish Law permitted something that was in fact forbidden. At times, one following the Beit Din's decision had to bring a sin-offering, and other times not. But the Beit Din always had to bring a sin-offering if there were others who already followed their decision.

We see from here that it was not enough to say, "Well, we meant well. We thought that this is what the Torah was telling us, but I guess we goofed up. Better luck next time." The Beit Din had to take responsibility, and realize that had they lived up to their full potential as Torah scholars, such a mistake would not have happened, as Hashem would not have allowed for a mistake to happen to those who aren't spiritually lacking, especially if it could, G-d forbid, cause other people to sin. If we truly mean well, we have to act well, and act on it. Anything less than this is indeed tantamount to Avodah Zarah - strange service that goes off the tangent of serving Hashem. Yes, there will be times that we will make mistakes, but at the very least, if it does come to bringing a sin-sacrifice in the Temple, then one has the chance to repent and be atoned for if one is truly sincere about his or her relationship with Hashem.

And the same thing goes for the other definition of Avodah - prayer. It is true that the 17th blessing in the daily Shemoneh Esrei is also called Avodah, as this is a prayer asking Hashem to return to us the service in the Beit HaMikdash/Temple that have been absent from the Jewish people for nearly 2,000 years. But the bottom line in this blessing is that we need to have the yearning for this to happen. This is not because Hashem needs our prayers any more than He needs our Temple offerings. Prayer represents how WE relate to Hashem, even when we ask for our physical needs, for which we should ask Hashem for only so that we have all the necessary tools needed to serve Hashem, like ample food, health, and financial means. It is not enough to say the words in the prayer book because our rabbis "say so." We have to feel what we are saying. We have to realize that in fact, it is a tremendous priviledge to be talking to Hashem to begin with. And to take this step one point further, there is the concept of Hitbodedut, speaking to Hashem in seclusion, to feel free to speak to Hashem whatever is on one's heart without distractions of people or other factors, as especially stressed in the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov.

Few were qualified to make the statement about what the world stands on as Shimon HaTzadik, who was not only the last of the 120 members of the Great Assembly to live, but was also the Cohen Gadol/High Priest in the Second Temple for 40 years. And as I have now lived for 40 (and a half) year, being that I have just concluded my 501th month, noting that the name Shimon is the Gematria of 466, the 466th word in the Torah is Asher "THAT G-d created to do," and this word is indeed the Gematria of 501. And as I noted earlier, I was indeed born on a Rosh Chodesh, in which the word Rosh/Head is the Gematria of 501. Anyways, the phrase here "that G-d created to do" seems a bit superfluous. Either G-d already created everything in the creation of the world, or He didn't. But yes, G-d already did His part. Now, it is up to US to do, the purpose of G-d creating this world.

And counting the words a little further in the Torah, the 501st word in the Torah is La'avod - TO WORK! In this context, the Torah is mentioning that the reason that the vegetation didn't sprout upon G-d creation is because mankind was not available yet to work the ground. Indeed, the same basic theme as in the above phrase beginning with the word - ASHER - that is the Gematria of 501! Now in this context, the Torah is actually referring to the fact that mankind was not yet available to pray for rain so that the vegetation should grow. However, after mankind's original sin, he would also have to work the ground to get physical results.

Yes, we need both physical work and spiritual work to make things happening. As this world presently doesn't work on miracles that happen beyond the daily order of nature, we need to physically work to receive Hashem's blessings. However, at the same time, we have to remember that it is ULTIMATELY Hashem's blessings, especially dependent on our spiritual behavior, that will determine not only the quantity of our efforts, but also the quality - both in physical and spiritual matters.

As Kabbalistically, the month of Kislev that we began today is represented by the letter Samech, it should be noted that there are exactly 60 letters to the Bircat Cohanim/Priestly blessing that the Cohanim bless the Jewish people with, as the letter Samech is the Gematria of 60. But more than just this, this three verse blessing (Numbers 6:24-26) included both spiritual and physical matters. The point of this is that so long we look to serve Hashem to the best of our ability, Hashem will continue granting us the materialism needed in this world to serve Him. Along these lines, the ONLY letter that is not written even once in the account of the creation of the world is the LETTER SAMECH=60, denoting the fact that Hashem created this world as such that it can only stand and continue so long as we do our part to fulfilling the purpose of its creation, and it is only for this do we merit the blessings that consist a total of 60 LETTERS. And just as the physical world is a very round circle, so is the letter Samech of Lashon HaKadosh/Holy Tongue of Hebrew the round letter denoting the fact that the Priestly blessings as denoted by the Gematria of this letter can only continue spinning around so long as we continue the purpose of the world spinning entirely around on its axis every 24 hours.

And so, we need to remember our purpose as the Jewish people as represented by the moon - Levanah, the Gematria of 87, as the word Avodah, and not worship or bow down to the pressures of Beit HaLavan - THE WHITE House, as the world HALAVAN is the same letters as Levanah. The moon is called the "small luminary" in the Torah in contrast to the sun which is called the "big luminary", as the present black U.S. president in THE WHITE House wants to do what it takes to make Israel - OUR HOUSE - SMALLER. But, it is only we Jewish people who have the concept of SMALL as compared to the "SMALL luminary," and we are a very SMALL percentage of the world's population, barely a half percent. But when it comes to our country Israel which is already physically among the smallest countries, we dare not give in to make it even smaller. In this case, we must think BIG, which in Hebrew is Gadol, the beginning of the word spelling Gad's name, the name of the Tribe who had no fear being in the forefront fighting for the survival of the Jewish people, and the whole word being the Gematria of 43, as in the 43rd day of the Sephirah, the day in 28 Iyar 5727 (1967) when we were able to reclaim the GREATEST area in holiness of the world - the Temple Mount, which in Hebrew is Har Moriyah - the same Gematria as the name Shimon - 466 (normally, it is called Har HaMoriyah, but there are times that the prefix Hey is dropped, as worded in the Tosfot commentary on the Talmudic Tractate of Ta'anit).


It's quite obvious that of the three things upon which the world stands, Abraham corresponds to Gemilut Chassadim, and that Jacob corresponds to Torah, since it is written specifically about him that he was a "sitter of tents" which our Rabbis tell us refer to him learning Torah. And for Isaac, as we see that he was the one who was bound on the altar at the area that is now the Temple Mount, as related to Temple offerings, he corresponds to Avodah. A practical application of this was that since he was sanctified at the altar, Hashem told him not to leave the Holy Land of Israel, and indeed was the only one of the Patriarchs who never stepped foot outside of this land, let along take a vacation excursion.

It is specifically during the month of Cheshvan, at least this year, that we read about Isaac in the weekly Parsha. And particularly this year, the date on which we read about the Patriarch Isaac's birth and being brought to the altar - 15 Cheshvan - is the very date of the Yahrzeit of Matisyahu ben Yochanan Cohen Gadol, grandson of Shimon HaTzadik, and patriarch of the Hasmonian Maccabbees. And just as Isaac was considered a pure offering without blemishes, so too, the holiday of Chanuka finally came into being when the Maccabbees were finally able to reach the Temple following their victory over the Syrian Greeks, and found one little pack of pure olive oil with the seal of the Cohen Gadol/High Priest, indicating that it was not touched by the spiritually impure Syrian Greeks who attempted to do away with the spirituality of the Jewish religion, denying any non-tangible spiritual aspects that would dare challenge Greek philosophy.

As another connection between Isaac and Chanuka, the Mishkan/Tabernacle was completed being built on 25 Kislev. However, Hashem wished to delay the Tabernacle dedication for a few months until the month of Nissan, for as the Midrash tells us, it was the month that Isaac was born in. To make it up to the date of 25 Kislev, Hashem awarded it for being the first of the eight days of Chanuka in the future.

In any case, a question can be asked. Why was it so crucial that the Tabernacle dedication had to take place especially in a month in which Isaac was born? Why not the month(s) in which Abraham, Jacob, or Moses was born on? As great of a righteous person as Isaac was, there seems to have been quite a few other candidates who were considered on an even higher spiritual level, especially Moses, who was born during the month before?

But as mentioned above, it was Isaac who corresponded specifically to the aspect of Avodah - being a perfect offering, just an animal brought as a sacrifice in the Temple had to be free of blemishes. When it comes to serving Hashem, there is no half job that is acceptable. While there are those who have yet to do everything right in serving Hashem, at least if they realize that they have work on themselves to do, then they are starting to be on the right track. We need to maximize our potential, just as mentioned about Isaac's physical labor of the land "Isaac sowed in that land, and he found during that year a hundred times fold, and Hashem blessed him" (Genesis 26:12) as mentioned in last week's Parshat Toldot.


Once upon a time, there was a note that came down from Heaven. And what was written in this special note? What we know today as the blessing of Baruch She'amar, the blessing that we recite before chanting the final six psalms of Tehillim/Book of Psalms, in our morning prayers following the section of prayers pertaining to the daily order of service that was performed by the Cohanim in the Beit HaMikdash/Holy Temple.

This blessing consists of 87 words. It has been noted that Pesukei D'Zimra - verses of hymns, the name of the series of prayers that include the last six psalms, spells the number 87-Pei Zayin (the letter Dalet in D'Zimra is a prefix to the word).

Anyways, bearing in mind that 87 is the Gematria of the word Avodah, the psalms represent the concept of the Levites singing in the Temple. Though the psalms that they especially recited in the Temple for the days of the week and other occasions such as Rosh Chodesh, as it is today, are recited at the end of the morning prayers, it follows in succession that the ones who are closes to serving Hashem in the Temple are the Cohanim, who are allowed entry in certain parts that are off limits to everyone else. Then you have the next highest ones in holiness - the Levites - whose specialty among others was singing in the Temple.

And here comes a fascinating Gematria. The 87th and final word of this Baruch She'amar prayer is BaTishbachot - "with praises." This word is the Gematria of
1,118. And what famous verse is also the Gematria of 1,118? Shema Yisrael Hashem Elokeinu Hashem Echad - "Here O Israel, Hashem is our G-d, Hashem is One."

To mention a key kabbalistic point about the Shacharit/morning prayers, the prayers recited until after Shemoneh Esrei can be divided into four parts, corresponding to the four worlds - Action, Formation, Creation, & Emanation - as the prayers are ascending heavenward. They are 1)Korbanot & Ketoret - Temple service, 2) Pesukei D'Zimra - Hymns and songs of praise to Hashem, 3)The Shema and its blessings, 4) Shemoneh Esrei.

All of these four parts relate to the concept of Avodah. The first part about the Temple service is obvious, as it was the Cohanim who performed the Avodah of the Temple service, as one of the definitions of Avodah. The second part begins with its introductory blessing of Baruch She'amar that consists of 87 words, and the word Avodah is the Gematria of 87. The highlight of the third part is the verse of Shema Yisrael which is the Gematria of the 87th and final word of the Baruch She'amar blessing, noting that the word Avodah is the Gematria of 87. And it is the fourth and final part of these four - the Shemoneh Esrei - that is called Tefilla/prayer, as
this is the prayer in which we face Hashem directly as with a direct audience with Him in contrast to the other prayers that aren't in the same high spiritual level; and as noted above, Avodah also refers to Tefilla. And in the Shemoneh Esrei, the
17th blessing is called Avodah, asking Hashem to return to us the Temple service.

Yes, this verse of Shema Yisrael declaring Hashem's existence and being One is the foundation of the Torah. But, in order to fully understand this, we need the prepare for this in the from of praising Hashem. Even if we first don't fully understand everything we are saying, by praising Hashem out of love, we will eventually come to the realization that indeed, it is ONLY Hashem who is worthy of all these praises. And then, we continue in the paragraph of the Shema with "You shall love Hashem your G-d with all your heart, with all your soul, and all your might." And what does with all your soul mean? As the Mishnah (Berachot 9:5) explains, even if Hashem takes your soul, meaning, your life away, as a decree from Hashem, you are still supposed to love Him just the same. For some, this means a life of giving over of oneself, as I will proceed with an example of people who have done just that.


This most aptly describes the life of Rabbi Meir Kahane of righteous memory for a blessing, may Hashem avenge his blood, whose 20th Yarhzeit of 18 Cheshvan recently occurred. As he once attested to someone who asked him about how he is able to go around taking a chance with his life being shot by the enemy, Rabbi Kahane responded that he lives every day knowing that it could very well be his last.

Indeed, this is how all of us should be thinking. We think that since normally, many people live to an old age, Hashem will give us time for us to get all of our act together. The problem with this way of thinking is that this is how people in the first and a half millennium were also thinking until the Great Flood in the times of Noah when some lived up to almost 1,000 years. However, not everyone is given such luxury to even live up to age 70 or 80. And even if we will live a long life compared to many others, who says that we will have the strength to serve Hashem later on the way we have now in better health, for if we will not step up to the plate in our younger, healthier, and more active years, then what will be with us when we know and feel that we are sagging away in the wheelchair with the black, Hispanic, or Phillipino caretaker, when it will be only a matter of time when it will be all over in this world if we will even have a part of our mental senses with the constant overdose of medications.

In commemoration of Rabbi Kahane's 20th Yahrzeit, I should note that the first letter of his last name is Kaf - the Gematria of 20, and he was a Cohen, part of the group of the Jewish people who performed the Avodah - Divine Service, in the Temple.
Moreover, he founded the Kach party that had one term in the Knesset, and was banned shortly before a second round in the Knesset having won 12 seats. In any case, the name of his party - "Kach", as if to say "SO shall it be", that is, the Torah way, is spelled as the letters Kaf & Kaf Sofit. And as the 17th blessing of Shemoneh Esrei is the theme of Avodah in this context, so too, let us turn to the 17th chapter of Rabbi Kahane's magnum opus Ohr HaRahyon "The Jewish Idea", the chapter being named Mesirut Nefesh.

Near the beginning of this chapter, he mentioned the first Jewish biblical hero - of course, it is none other than Avraham Avinu - Abraham our Forefather. As I mentioned in the past, the letter Kaf represents the concept of Mesirut Nefesh - giving of one's self, or one's life, as Abraham - who was the 20th generation from Adam & Eve - did, and Moses, who was willing have his name erased from the Torah if Hashem would not forgive the Jewish people for the sin of the Eigel HaZahav/Golden Calf, as a result of which, though Hashem did forgive the Jews, at least in terms of not killing them off as He orignally said He was going to, by removing Moses' name from the 20th Parsha of the Torah - Parshat Tetzveh.

With the above said, let us now proceed to Rabbi Kahane's words:

"When Abraham our forefather was thrown into the fiery furnace, and when he stood in a war that is considered a war that Hashem has ordered to fight (Milchemet Mitzvah) to save his nephew Lot, he went with trust in Hashem for so was he obligated to do this, not because he knew or was assured that he would be saved, but because of trust in Hashem. Meaning, if Hashem has set for a commandment to be fulfilled and made a certain decree, there is no doubt that this is truth, and we are obligated to fulfill it despite the danger. Should one fall (such as dying in war) G-d forbid, he will fall, but he will fall in the faith and Mesirut Nefesh of Kiddush Hashem/Sanctification of Hashem's Name, as in the case with Chananya, Mishael, and Azarya (who risked their lives being thrown into a fiery furnace for refusal to bow down to an idol). This is the wording of Chazal/our Sages of blessed memory (Bereishit Rabba 43:2): "Abraham turned green in front of them (the ones who looked to throw him into the fiery furnace). He said, "I will go out and fall for the sanctification of the name of the Omnipresent".""

"And so too about the verse "The wordworker would encourage the goldsmith" (Isaiah 41:7), Chazal state (Bereishit Rabba 44:7): "This is Abraham whom the Holy One Blessed Be He refined (like gold) in the fiery furnace.""

"Furthermore, they (Chazal) state (Bereishit Rabbah 44:1): "The G-d, His way is perfect" (Psalms 18:31) "This is Abraham, as it states (Nehemiah 9:8): "You have found his (Abraham's) heart to be faithful in front of You" "The saying of Hashem is refined" (Psalms 18:31) - that Hashem refined him in the fiery furnace. "He is a shield for all those who place their trust in Him" (Psalms 18:31). "Don't be afraid, Abram, I am your shield" (Genesis 15:1)."

"Such is the true trust - a strong passionate love of Hashem and complete Mesirut Nefesh."

There is one part of this paragraph that reads in the original (Hebrew) as KACH Haya
Chayav La'asot "he (Abraham) went with trust in Hashem, for SO was he obligated to do." It seems that Rabbi Kahane had the vision and the idea to name his Knesset party as Kach, to drive this very point to everyone, that even if we don't always want or understand what Hashem tells us to do, there is simply no two ways about it if we consider ourselves religious. Just as a servant does not have the audacity to tell the king "Well, everything else you told me makes sense, except for one thing, which I won't do unless you can show me why it is necessary," so in the same way, regardless of our seasoned opinions that make it to various publications from the New York Times to the left wing Israeli papers of Ma'ariv or Yediot Acharonot, it is Hashem's command that we must obey, regardless of the circumstances, for SO this is what Hashem commanded us.

And speaking of Abraham, I want to note the Gematria of Rabbi Kahane's Hebrew name - Meir David, which is 265. Abraham's name - Avraham - is 248. The difference of the two number - 17, and indeed, the 17th chapter of Rabbi Kahane's magnum opus is the chapter that is called Mesirut Nefesh, in which he writes about Abraham; meaning,
248+17=265. I don't think that Rabbi Kahane intended it to be this way, but I truly believe that this is nothing short of Hashgacha Peratit - Divine Providence, as Rabbi Kahane in this chapter was indeed describing his own life, who not only talked the talk, but walked the walk.


This 27 Cheshvan marked the Yahrzeit of Rabbi Jacob ibn Chabib, author of what is called Ein Ya'akov, the compilation of the Aggadic (or non-Halachic) parts of the Talmud, who passed away 501years ago. Especially noting the fact that this past month of Cheshvan was the 501st month of my life, this month in this year included the 501th Yarhzeit of this rabbi. And if the connection of these two 501s wasn't enough, as the Ein Yaakov includes the very first Mishna of the Talmud, it begins with the word Me'ei'matai - "FROM WHEN do we read the Shema in the evening"? And indeed, this very first word - of the Mishna, Talmud, and Ein Ya'akov - is the Gematria of 501!

Owning my own set of Ein Ya'akov, I began learning a page of this on this Yahrzeit of the author of the Ein Ya'akov. In my version being a total of 1,130 pages, I hope to conclude this in a little over three years.

It's interesting also to note that the Yahrzeit of this Rabbi Jacob always falls out in or around the week of Parshat Toldot, as it fell out this year, which speaks of the birth of the biblical Jacob. Indeed, as this date this year fell out on a Thursday, one of the days of the week that we read from the Torah, the beginning of this Parsha was read. As I lucked out, I was in synagogue this past Thursday morning where I was called up for the Levite Aliyah, of which the concluding verse mentions the birth of Jacob! It seems that Hashem really had a encourage message for me to go ahead to learn a daily page of the Ein Ya'akov.

Anyways, the phrase Ein Ya'akov, taken from a verse (Deutronomy 33:28) in the last Parsha of the Torah - V'Zot HaBeracha which consists of 41 verses - and I am in my 41st year - is the Gematria of 312. And yes indeed, the word Chodesh/month is also the Gematria of 312. And as I mentioned the word Rosh in the context of Rosh Chodesh
as above as being the Gematria of 501, the name of this work Ein Yaakov being the Geamtria of 312 being authored by the one whose 501th Yarhzeit fell out this year in the 501st Chodesh/month=312 of my life, I found this to be something of paramount Hashgacha Peratit/Divine Providence in my life, part of which is discovering this of course, and the main thing - is to act on this, and learn a daily page of this, Bli Neder (without making a vow).

I already mentioned about this work in a previous post, so I won't go into all kinds of further details about this. But let it suffice to say that this is a work that is the bridge between the scholars who are versed in the entire Talmud, and the laymen who while may not know much Gemara/Talmud, some of whom don't even learn the popular Daf Yomi, many of them will attened a class on Ein Ya'akov material without feeling threatened with the high intellectual part of the Torah, and yet, through the concentrated material of this part of the Gemara, can develop much more of a love and fear of Hashem, and perhaps will be encouraged to learn even more Torah after learning different things about the virtues of learning Torah and the praises of Torah scholars. Indeed, of the three Patriarchs - Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, it is Jacob who is considered the "Chosen One" of the Patriarchs, because he excelled in learning Torah, even more than his father and grandfather, as Talmud Torah Kneged Kulam "The learning/teaching of Torah is equal to all the other Mitzvot/commandments combined."


Last night, on the night of Rosh Chodesh Kislev, a monumental moment in Jewish history took place in the holiest city in the world - Jerusalem. While I wasn't able to successfully download it on my laptop to watch it live, it should already be available to watch the recording of it. In any case, Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz, Shlita, head of today's Sanhedrin, and prolific genius and writer, concluded his Hebrew translation of the Aramaic Babylonian Talmud last night with the concluding words of tractate Chulin, a tractate that deals with slaughtering non-consecrated animals to the Temple.

The concluding chapter of this chapter deals with the Mitzvah of Shiluach HaKein - sending away the mother bird and keeping its young upon finding their nest. As related at virtually the end of this tractate, there was an actual story of someone whose father told him to perform this Mitzvah, and on the way back from doing this Mitzvah, the son fell down and died.

Now, it is particularly about these very two Mitzvot - Kibbud Av V'Em/honoring one's parents and Shiluach HaKein, that the Torah mentions the reward for these Mitzvot, the lengthening of one's days (years). So, how ironic that the son should immediately die after doing these two Mitzvot simultaneously. Could it be that if performed together, a different reward results instead?

Actually, as the Gemara/Talmud concludes, the lengthening of days does not refer to physical life. True, one needs to physically live in order to do Mitzvot. However, in terms of reward, it cannot be the mere few years that mankind is alloted compared to the eternal life that the Torah refers to as THE REWARD. Why the son died immediately as if to spite what he did, that's another story. Only Hashem has all the answers to why certain strange things happen.

Before I conclude this post with the concluding words of this tractate, perhaps the reason why this concept is mentioned particularly in this tractate, which is called Chulin, literally meaning secular (in plural) is that even non-holy animals can be used for Hashem's purposes if employed the right way. Not all kosher animals merit to ascend the altar. However, if they have are properly slaughtered and there aren't defects inside their bodies, then they are permitted to be eaten, following the draining of their blood, forbidden fats, and sciatic nerve. And so too, benefit can be used from the baby chicks, if performed the proper way by sending away the mother bird. Why it may seem to be cruel on one hand to do this, Hashem has other ideas in mind. Certainly, Hashem wants all creatures to continue being "fruitful and multiply"; and hence, the mother bird will afterwards start another family of baby chicks. Despite Hashem allowing us to consume kosher animals (and being vegetarian because one is "kind" to animals, is going against the Torah, as it is Hashem - the creator of the animals and birds - who is the Kind Being of all beings),
we see that there is hardly a shortage of animals and birds because of this. On the contrary, the creatures on the world's endangered species list are usually the ones that are hunted by people for fun, as the evil Esav in this last week's Parshat Toldot performed.

And so, if there is a purpose of being blessed with long life in this world - it is only in order to serve Hashem which will cause us merit to live eternally in the next world. Living in this world as a means in itself is no blessing otherwise. And so, with this being said, here are the concluding words of this tractate Chulin,
quoting from the Torah in reference to the Mitzva of Shiluach HaKein:

"The phrase "so that it will be good for you" refers to life in a world that is entirely good; and the phrase, "so that your days will be prolonged" refers to a life
in a world that is entirely long."

P.S. The time logged for this post is exactly 5:00 AM. As this post was focusing on serving Hashem IN THIS WORLD, it's most noteworthy to note that it was the letter Hei - the Gematria of FIVE - that Hashem used in creating this physical world. And as spelling the time as 500, the distance of the spiritual worlds from the highest to lowest are described kabbalistically as being the distance of 500 years between one and another. And using the five letters of the Alef Beit which are known as the "final" letters in terms of higher Gematria of 500, 600, 700, 800, & 900, it is the letter Kaf Sofit, concluding the word Kach, the name of Kahane's party, that is the Gematria of 500.

NOTE: Hope to post again, G-d willing, before the end of next week, to address the issue of Anti-Semitism. Stay tuned.

Rosh Chodesh Kislev - 1 Kislev, 5771