Friday, May 3, 2013

#174 - Will the Real Aharon Please Stand Up?

Actually, the original title of this 174th Post, had I been writing more months ago around Purim time, would have been more like "The Torah at Opposite Ends" "The Torah in Reverse" or "The Double Edged Torah".  As this post progresses, you will see why the title of this post is what it is.

Well first, let us get down right to it - the Torah.  In this case, specifically the word Torah.  The magic word of what determines the quantity and quality of eternal spiritual life.  The magic word that defines the difference between us Jews and all other nations.  No my friends, the Bible itself simply doesn't cut it for us alone.  At least if we mention this word in terms of Jews, it should be called the Jewish Bible, which excludes the New Testament, and the words Old Testament shouldn't even be part of our vocabulary in everyday usage.  And at that, the Jewish Bible that should be called the Tanach, is only the first part of our vast Torah.  It simply wouldn't be complete without the Mishna, Talmud, Halacha, Midrash, Kabbala, etc.

Oh yes, the word Torah.  It consists of four Hebrew letters: Tav=400, Vav=6, Reish=200, Hei=5.  Now, this is called regular Gematria, where the first letter Aleph equals the number one, and the last letter Tav equals 400.

Now tell me my friends, what other language than the Holy Tongue (Hebrew) has this advantage?  Oh sure, there are numerologists out there who get paid by naive people to say what they like to hear in the way of money, relationships, etc.  that will correlate the letters of the English alphabet to numbers.  Perhaps in this case, the letter A is 1 and the letter Z is 26.  However, one thing is for sure is that Gematriot are part of the Torah, even in relationship to Halacha (Jewish Law).  In fact, this is one out of many aspects of the Oral Torah that Moses received from Hashem on Mt. Sinai.

Oh yes, there is one more thing that is worthy of notable mention of what Moses learned from Hashem Himself - the Taryag Mitzvot (613 Commandments) (Talmud Makkot 23a).  And at this, they are divided into 248 Mitzvot Asei (Positive/Active Commandments), and 365 Mitzvot Lo-Ta'asei (Negative/Non-Active Commandments).

With the above said, there are in fact various form of Gematria.  One of many such forms is what is called the Atbash method (see Shulchan Aruch Orach Chaim - Siman 428), in which the first letter Aleph is substituted for the last letter Tav, the second letter Beit is substituted for the next to the last letter Shin, etc.  Hence, looking at the letters of the word Torah, let us substitute them accordingly, Tav-Aleph (1), Vav-Pei (80), Reish-Gimel (3), Hei-Tzadi (90).  The Atbash total here is 174, the number of this post.  Great, but what does this number 174 have especially to do to the Torah other than some Gematria-Atbash game?

You see, the Mitzva of learning/teaching Torah is among the 248 Mitzvot Asei.  And if you can figure it out by now, this is the 174th Mitzvat Asei of the Torah!

Now my friends, this is REAL Purim Torah, not just some made up Gematria thing by someone who is excessively drinking on Purim thinking that getting drunk to the point of barfing is fulfilling the dictum of the Sages that one should drink until one doesn't know the difference between "Cursed is Haman" and "Blessed is Mordechai".  And it is true that unlike at the time of the holiday of Shavuot (Pentacost), when the Jews received the Torah, they didn't all willingly accept it except by force.  However, as our Sages tell us, when it came to the time of the miracles of Purim, the Jews - in a state of happiness, willingly accepted the Torah.

Additionally, Purim is marked by the concept of what is written in the Megilla (Book of Esther) - V'Nahafoch; meaning, that the state of affairs were REVERSED for the Jews, for instead of their enemies murdering them in honoring the original letters that King Achashveirosh sent out upon Haman's request to murder all the Jews on one day, the Jews were allowed free reign to fight their enemies on that fateful day; and not loosing a single Jew, they took down 75,000 people.

So as you can see, the concept of Atbash, REVERSE Gematria, can at times reveal why a certain number when the Atbash method is used is connected to the concept of the given word that it was used for.


Have you ever heard of the phrase "Good Samaritan"?  Just please do the Jewish people a favor, don't ever use this phrase, unless it is done in a sarcastic way.  You see, it was the early Christians who not only vilified the good Jews, but praised non-Jews who hated Jews.  Other such examples includes calling some of their "righteous" heroes with the title Saint - for one reason: their particular mark of Anti-Semitism.  After all, especially in the Dark Ages, virtually the only ones who were literate among the non-Jews were the clergy.  So, when these "saints" wanted to charge against the Jews, all they had to do was to give a heated sermon about these "drinkers of Christian blood" Jews, especially around Passover time, the "Holiday of Matzot", and the illiterate mob then went out to finish the job, via blood libels, massacres, crusades, crucifications, inquisitions, etc.

Yes, there is a story about this "good Samaritan" in the New Testament.  But wait a minute - let's rewind the tape; oh, I mean the Bible - O.K., I'll use the term Old Testament in this context, in case any Christians may happen to be reading this.  Let's turn to II Kings Chapter 17.  The wicked king Sancheriv, who was on a quest to conquer the world, exiled various nations as part of his campaign.  With this said, replacing the Ten Tribes in Israel whom he exiled, he brought a group of people called Cuthites to the Holy Land where he settled them in Samaria.  Before long, some of them became lunch for the local lions, and these Cuthites were in a quandary as to what to do.  It seems that this happened as a result of their continued idol worship, and the Holy Land had enough of it with the former Jews who were now exiled.  Anyways, Torah scholars were sent to teach Torah to these people, and they then went through the conversion process.  To be sure, their conversion was not out of love of Judaism to say the least, and eventually, re-introduced their pagan worship, except this time in their official temple on Mt. Gerizim, the same mountain on which there was an official ceremony when the Jews first came to Israel under the leadership of Joshua, in which the elders, Cohanim and Levites gave blessings to the Jews pending fulfillment of the Torah.  In any case, these group of people were called "Lion's Converts", for it was due to their fear of the lions who used to enjoy good lunches from their group that they converted.

Now, let us fast forward to the news of two weeks ago.  "Aharon the High Priest died".  As it turns out, the Samaritans have their set of "Cohanim" and "Cohanim Gedolim".  In fact, if one were to believe them, these Cohanim are directly descended via parental line to the first Cohen Gadol (High Priest), Aharon - Moshe's brother.  In fact, the last Samaritan Cohen Gadol from Aharon's son Itamar died nearly 400 years ago, and since then, the Cohen Gadol position is from Aharon's son Elazar.  In fact, they even refer to each Cohen Gadol by their Hebrew name, their father's name, and their grandfather's name; and at time, even up to more generations back up on the father's side.

The problem with this is that this is just like the claim of some blacks in the States who call themselves the "Lost Hebrews".  In reality, there is no verifiable proof of their claim, though they themselves might never even hurt a flee.  In fact, there is this black clergyman in Chicago who even has his own temple who is called a rabbi, where the women are singing from Artscroll prayer books on Saturday morning.  However, this does not make them any more Jewish than other non-Jews, except that one has to give credit to them for no longer believing in Christianity.

Mind you, these Samaritans are no fools.  They knew long ago that if they going to look credible as "Jews" and "Cohanim", then they had to designate certain families as "Cohanim", going so far as to label one family as "descended" from Aharon's son Elazar, and the other familly as "descended" from Aharon's son Itamar.

Now, let us do the math here.  The first real Jewish Cohen Gadol - Aharon - became High Priest in the Hebrew Year 2449.  It is now 3,324 years since that time.  And as for the Samaritans in Israel, they have been around for some 2,700 years, and with the death of "Aharon the High Priest" two weeks ago, they claim that he was the 132th Cohen Gadol.  Now, in the last 400 years, they have had 21 "High Priests".  Assuming the average amount of time per High Priest as 19 years (19.047619 to be exact), multiplying 132 with 19 point something, the total comes out to a little more than 2514(.2857), which is nearly 200 less than the amount of years they spent on our Holy Land.  So clearly, their whole clan of High Priests DID NOT begin with Aharon the Cohen Gadol, Moshe's brother; but since they first settled in Israel.  And at that, whoever or whatever they worship today, there was clearly a time that they idol worshiped even after their insincere conversion.

Of course, the Samaritans' whole claim of High Priests as descending from the original Aharon the High Priest is clearly fabricated to begin with, because at best, they would only be Jews because of conversion, and hence, aren't descended from any of the Tribes of Israel.  This is besides the trouble making that they made in the past between ratting on the Jews to the Persian government which led to halting the construction of the Second Temple and their claims of the Jews rebelling against Alexander the Great; but when Alexander the Great saw their claims as bogus thanks to meeting with Shimon HaTzadik the Cohen Gadol, the Jews then dragged these ungrateful Samaritans, tying them to the tail of horses, and driving them like that to Mt. Gerizim.  And while there are certain areas in Jewish Law in which the Sages admitted that in whatever Judaic practice they are in to, they are very strict with it, even more than authentic Jews; in the long run, the general consensus among the Sages is that they are not considered Jews, since after all, they never truly converted sincerely, and historically, didn't show signs of them wanting to be part of the Jewish people as brethren to say the least, showing their ungratefulness after we saved them from being more free lunches for the lions.  Nay, today's Samaritans themselves don't want to be identified as Israeli Jews, but rather, as a class of their own.  So much for their High Priests!

Of course, this doesn't end the story.  One of their former High Priests many years back asked for freedom of religious practices from the Israeli government.  You see, the highlight of their religious celebrations is the Pascal sacrifice, which typically takes place a month after Passover, due to their judgment as to how the Jewish months are set up, as they refuse to accept the Jewish calendar being that this comes from rabbinic sources, rather than from their Bible.  But no need to worry; every year, they openly sacrifice the Pascal animal on Mt. Gerizim for all to watch, including even Ultra-Orthodox Jews, some of whom are more thrilled about how these Samaritans go about this ceremony than being disgusted about how we are prevented from bringing the REAL Pascal sacrifice on the Temple Mount, which has been legalized by the Israeli Supreme Court in 2007.  However, when it comes to Jewish rights, especially when in involves Arab/Moslem issues, the Jewish Israeli police think that it is O.K. to violate the law, since after all, no one will tell them boo.

And so for the last few years, individual Jews attempting to fulfill a Mitzva of the Torah that hasn't been observed for nearly 2,000 years are arrested by police who are especially waiting near the Temple Mount in their great eager to pacify the Wakf.  Of course, what is expected from secular Jewish police who loathe Judaism?  However, there are policemen who work and live in Jerusalem who do observe at least the basics of Judaism; and hence, they have EVERY RESPONSIBILITY TO UPHOLD THE LAW!  That is, not only the secular law, as we can call it, coming from the Israeli Supreme Court allowing for the Pascal sacrifice to be brought, but most importantly, the Torah Law.  It's just that now there is NO EXCUSE not to enforce this most important Mitzva, of which the violation, or non-performance thereof, if one was able to do so and didn't, incurs the penalty of Karet (spiritual extinction), which is basically, being cut off from the eternal bliss in the world to come.  And so, ANY AND EVERY observant Jewish policeman who works and lives in Jerusalem (and they can't say that the live too far away since they have to be with their families for Passover) who fails to enforce the law, from speaking with their fellow irreligious fellow policeman to enforce the law to
coming to the Temple Mount to allow the Jews to bring their sacrifices will bear the eternal sin of preventing the ENTIRE Jewish people from offering this sacrifice, and will bear the punishment of Karet.

So as you can see, the State of religious affairs in Israel are in the exact REVERSE of what they should be.  You see, it doesn't bother the Torah hating Israeli government or the Arab Moslems to see several hundred Samaritans publicly offering a sacrifice once a year, and are quite tolerated, since after all, the government and the Arabs deep down know that these Samaritans aren't the real Jews and aren't doing the real thing, so they don't feel threatened by who they are or what they do, aside from the fact that there are only several hundred of them.  However, when it comes to what is really Torah, what Hashem really wants to be done, well, that's another story.  The same Yetzer Hara (Evil Inclination), which is a real angel by the way that attempts to get people to sin and then will be their accusing angel in the next world, that convinces this Israeli government to do the most irrational things, including giving land away for the sake of "peace", which is not only giving away such priceless property for a mere PIECE of paper with its vain promises of peace, but also endangers our whole country when the Arabs are then able to be so much closer to attack us; is the same Yetzer Hara that gets this government to disrespect the most holiest site in the world, the one place of the world that praying Jews wherever they are in this world turn to directionwise when speaking to Hashem, and not only forbid Jews - who aren't the tourists who will trample on every part of the Temple Mount even in violation of Jewish law that forbids a Jew with corpse impurity to step on -  from daring to even move their lips that look like they are praying when visiting the Halachicly permissible parts of the Temple Mount, but give free reign to the Moslem Arabs to do what they want on this area, including playing soccer and vandalizing archeological proofs of Jewish/Holy Temple existence.

The truth is that in the Six Day War in 1967, when we won back this most holy area in the world "The Temple Mount is in our Hands", which we will be celebrating during this coming week on 28 Iyar as Yom Yerushalayim (Jerusalem Day), this was the time that rabbis, the least the ones who permit going on certain parts of the Temple Mount, should have begun the process of having Jews bringing certain sacrifices, such as the Pascal sacrifice, which does not require a Temple standing to offer it.  However, since this was not done, realized, or whatever other way you want to word it, as Hashem's gift was not shown to be appreciated, He allowed what is called Ma'asei Satan (works of Satan) to reign, and the unhero, blinded physical and spiritual eyed Moshe Dayan, undid whatever good he did in fighting in the Six Day War, and as the ultimate traitor to the Jewish people, handed over the key of the holiest area in the world to the Wakf, not long after we Jews won the most significant victory in the last 2,100 years since the Chanuka story.

Indeed, Jews especially in Israel should be absolutely appalled by the apparent double standards that take place in our Holy Land - both in terms between the way that Jews and Arabs are treated by our enemy pleasing Israeli government, as well as unlaw enforcement such as police and brainwashed solders who are supposed to be protecting us instead of hurting us, picking and choosing what court laws to enforce or not, depending on whether or not if it involves religious or nationalistic Jews who are sometimes arrested due do the "holy word of G-d", so to speak, of Arabs claiming that some Jews attacked them, when usually only the reverse is true.  And so, unless the Supreme Court in Israel actually takes steps to enforce the law, and somehow find a way to prevent the police from violating the law allowing Jews to offer the Pascal sacrifice.  And certainly, instead of being thrilled by watching the Samaritans offer their unPascal sacrifice as entertainment, Jews should be taking to the streets and attempt to take over the Temple Mount just at that time to protest the government and police doing the REVERSE of what is supposed to be happening.

Of course, this is most aggravating, and it is about time that observant ("Orthodox") rabbis from the various segments of Jews, from Hasidic to "black hat" to nationalistic, to get together in unison once and for all, put aside their "religious" differences, and discuss how at the very least, police won't be allowed to prevent Jews from offering the Pascal sacrifice if nothing else, to observe a clear cut Commandment in the Torah.

But no need to worry.  Back in the "heimishe velt" in "heilige" Boro Park, which many, though they will not admit it, think is holier than Israel, because it is terribly saturated with Jews who have more than enough in their pockets to pack their bags and move to the Biblical Holy Land, replete with references from the Talmud about the commandment of living "there" that many of them learn on a daily basis, there was recently another form of  "Jewish" entertainment, a Sheva Berachot (part of the traditional week long wedding celebration of a Jewish couple) at which a "black hat" host of such a celebration at a fancy shmancy Glatt Kosher eatery presented...President Obama!  O.K., it wasn't the REAL Obama, but a famous impersonator of him, who entertained the very religious crowd, including the "sheitlich" women who wear the wigs that may make them look very religious, but have been forbidden by virtually all the major halachic deciding rabbis in Israel.  Now, don't get me wrong, I have nothing against Afro-American people who are doing their job in life, and I wish this impersonator well as he works hard for his money, but imagine the thousands of dollars that were spent to host this guy for a mere 15 minutes of entertainment which wasn't even at a wedding, but at a Sheva Berachot which is supposed to be rather spiritual in nature.  Yes, thousands of dollars that could have been spent instead supporting poor Jews in Israel; and quite the REVERSE of what took place, the Sheva Berachot could have been a springboard to use this same money both to support charity in Israel, AND get others to do the same.  At the very least then, there perhaps would be a purpose of Jews living in Brooklyn making a good living if they would be supporting good Jews or Torah learning in Israel, just as businessmen spending time with business supporting Torah scholars as a Yissachar-Zevulun relationship that I have written about in past blogs.  Apparently, some of them quickly forgot about a major philanthropist from the Flatbush section of Brooklyn who passed away a year ago, Reb Shlomo Yehuda Gross, of blessed memory, who just became an Artscroll book on his life, who lived rather modestly below his means, but instead used much of his money to support various poor people and Torah learning centers in Israel, and was well loved by the good Jews who live in Jerusalem.

Sorry to those who live in Boro Park who feel offended by what I have written here.  Yes, it may be easy for me to write such things, being that I was born and raised in the Big Orange instead of the Big Apple, and was far from raised with a golden spoon in my mouth.  Actually, I don't apologize for what I write here, for in fact, I write the truth, and I thank Hashem that I wasn't born or raised in the "holy" Brooklyn area, though perhaps, I would have had a better shot of finding a Shidduch, though it could have been a lady who would have been raised in a family, who while pretending to be so religious, being insistent on everything being just right, being "heimishe".  As it turns out, I was brought up in sunny South Florida, which according to weather standards is paradise in stark contrast to most of the United States that is freezing during the winter.  But at least in the greater Miami area, though it has a reasonable sized Jewish and Israeli community, I knew that I was living in spiritual exile.  I wasn't fooled by whatever religious standards that exist in this town to make me think that it was holier than Israel.  Quite the contrary, between observing the Israeli community and various functions reminding us about Israel, including an event to help supported manufactured Israeli products, one could not help but think about the importance of Israel as our homeland even in sunny side up Florida.  And especially in my case, though I was raised in a religious environment, I was not fortunate like just about all of my classmates to live in a Jewish neighborhood filled with synagogues, and I had to walk for some 40 minutes to the nearest one on Shabbat morning.  In stark contrast, today in Israel, I live in a neighborhood of virtually only Jews (except for some non-Jewish Russians posing as Jews who receive far more than a few free lunches from the Israeli government, including one who called me responding to a baby-sitting flyer that I put on a bulletin, introducing herself as Chris Tina), in which I am within a few walking minutes away from several synagogues.  Oh, and by the way, I have the fortune of being the father of the first "Sabra" Israeli born baby on my side of the family in 2,000 years.

Now, I am not saying that Jews should not have fun or entertainment once in a while; but, it depends on the context.  For example, for a religious family from the States who move to Israel, and for fun with the kids, take them to the Golan Heights one day where they spend their time at a cowboy ranch riding horses with cowboy hats, I think that it is a wonderful experience to present to their children who are being raised in a very different environment than they are used to, to feel that Israel can be fun despite the challenges.  Yes, they indeed deserve to have fun once in a while, because at least the parents went through much sacrifice to restart their lives in the land that Hashem commands us to live in, and they have their priorities straight, with spiritualism in front of materialism.  For more on this, including videos, check this link

So, getting back to the "Aharon the High Priest", the first Samaritan High Priest in at least 400 years to bear the name Aharon, the name of the first authentic Jewish High Priest, who died two weeks ago after living a few too many years, this should be a stark reminder to us Jews that we have yet to have total religious freedom in Israel, which is far less than it is, or rather was, in the States (don't worry, the concentration camps in the States will be in full force shortly, so Jews need to start packing their bags and leave), and Jewish life is NOT complete without our Temple or animal/bird/meal offering sacrifices, despite our access to the Western Wall, while Arabs, Moslems, and others who look or claim to be Jewish but aren't receive far more than a lion's share of all types of free benefits from the government presently headed by Prime Monster Bibi Netanyahu who just forbade Moshe Feiglin of his own Likud party from ascending the Temple Mount, after the latter went there to show that Jews have every right to be on it.  Not that I voted for Likud or Moshe Feiglin, but at least he has the guts, like he had at one time when he founded the organization Zu Artzeinu "This is Our Land" getting many Jewish citizens to block the streets from traffic in the days that former Prime Monster Rabin, the murderer of some 18 Jews on the Altalena ship who came with weapons to help us fight our Arab enemies, continued his evil, this time making phony peace treaties with Arabs.

As it turns out, the date of the death of this "Aharon the High Priest" was the 9th of Iyar, which is also the 24th day of the Omer.  Now, the first Aharon the High Priest passed away on the first day of the month of Av, the month that marks the destruction of both Temples that took place on the NINTH of the month, the month whose Mazal (constellation) is Aryeh (Leo), which is translated as LION, reminding us that today's Samaritans are nothing but descendants of the "LION Converts".  And as related to the 24th day of the Omer, the Cohanim - Aharon and his descendants from father to son - are granted 24 Matnot Kehuna "priestly gifts", various food items both from Temple offerings and outside the Temple, some of which are applicable today, as well as the 24 Mishmarot "watches", who took turns each week serving in the Temple, as listed in Divrei HaYomim (Book of Chronicles), the 24th and final book of the Tanach.

And as per the death of the 132nd "High Priest", I am reminded of the 132nd Psalm in which Hashem promises King David, who wished to build the Temple, that indeed, the Temple would soon be built, in which it states Kohanecha Yilbeshu Tzedek "Your priests will wear righteousness".  And then in the next psalm, Psalm 133, it mentions the name Aharon - "the good oil that dripped on the beard of Aharon", which is referring to the anointing oil that Aharon was anointed with upon his consecration as High Priest, some of which dripped onto his beard.

So while Hashem keeps sending us reminders that things aren't exactly the way that they should be in Israel, at the very least, this should motivate us to pray for the day that we will have our Temple, sacrifices, and High Priests once again very soon, which will include Aharon HaCohen, Moshe Rabbeinu's brother, who will officiate as our High Priest once again when the greatest Tzadikim (righteous people) will be resurrected at the time of Moshiach's coming.  And since everything parallels one another in this word - good and evil, truth and falsehood - may it be Hashem's will that during the reign of the false 133rd High Priest, that Aharon, whose name is featured in the 133rd Psalm, will shortly stand up from the dead and serve Hashem in the upcoming everlasting Third Temple.  Amen!

23 Iyar 5773

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