Saturday, December 28, 2013

#202 - FIGHTING 4 the MAJORITY: Is it Right?

In the number of this post - 202, you see a rather very even number, and can even be read forwards and backwards the same way.  But ironically, the number for 202 in Hebrew can either mean multitude (Rove) OR fight (Reeve, as a noun), OR many./much or rabbi (Rav) - depending on the vowels.

In life, people like to be on the winning team.  Of course, those who come from a certain area in the United States where their favorite team hails from that location, can get very upset sometimes if "G-d forbid" the opposing team winds up winning.  I bet that the ones who spent several hours watching the annual Super Bowl game only to see "their" team having lost will have no problem finding fault and so called foul plays with the "criminal" loosing team, while for all that G-d knows, the ones with these faults was the loosing team, which was the real reason why that team lost.

And so, it isn't always who is the winning team or the majority that count after all for many.  However, when it comes to something evil, or what hides the real truth, the masses have no problem relating to it.  For example, as per the Knesset elections in Israel close to a year ago, many who pat themselves in the back as "nationalists" or "right wingers" justified voting for the Jewish Home party, which had joined forces with the National Union party, the latter which started off four years earlier as pretty right wing which included a Kahane believer, Dr. Michael Ben-Ari, Shlita; in this last election, he ran his own party called Power to Israel because this now combo party Jewish Home - National Union did not have a strong stance on the true important issues as they may have claimed.  And so, a few too many chose to vote for the fake right-wing party, having all kind of excuses, attempting to fool themselves that they were helping to save Israel, when the opposite was true, as has been proven in this past year.   True, there were a couple of good nationalists on the Jewish home ballot who did get voted in, and I wish them good luck in their attempt to make things right in the Knesset.  But aside from the family and friends of the few good ones in the Jewish Home party, the rest voted either because they wanted to vote for a party headed by a finacial success tycoon Naftali Bennett, or they didn't want a nationalist party that's a little too "fanatical" like Dr. Ben-Ari's, or that is what all their other friends were voting for.  So, while Power to Israel party lacked only like 9,000 votes to receive the minimum two seats in the Knesset, the Jewish Home received a nice dozen seats  Sure enough, Naftali Bennett pretended that he cares so much about the safety in Israel, he used this merely as a front, for he was busy teaming up with the self hating Jew Yair Lapid of the Yesh Atid "There is a Future" party to take away major funding from Yeshivot not only from the Ultra Orthodox, but even from those of his own camp called the National Religious, the latter who now got paid back by Hashem for their lack of faith in Him by not voting instead for the ONLY party that stands for the truth, headed by one with the idealisms of Rabbi Kahane, that could have made a real difference in the Knesset as Dr Ben-Ari has proven in his four years in which, among other accomplishments, he got many illegal Sudanese to be kicked out of Israel.

And the proof that I am right?  Let's turn right to Parshat Mishpatim that we will be reading in a few weeks, which deals mostly with judicial cases.  The verse in our subject is Exodus 23:2 "Don't be for the majority when it comes to evil, and don't answer pertaining to an argument as being swayed to after the majority to make a mistake".  Now, in case this sounds a little too literal, rather than the "correct" meaning of this, let's see what Rashi has to say on this.  After going through a detailed analysis on this, Rashi's conclusion take on this is like this:

"Don't be for the majority when it comes to evil" - If you see wicked people perverting justice, don't say that since they are the majority, I will follow after them.

"And don't answer pertaining to an argument as being swayed to after the majority to make a mistake" - If the defendant asks you about that judgement (which was perverted), don't answer him about the dispute with a view that follows the majority to turn the judgement away from the truth, but state your opinion on the judgement just as you know it to be, and let the chain hang on the neck of the majority.

The point here is that just because a majority on the court, no matter how scholarly, may take a certain view, that doesn't necessarily determine that they are correct.  If you feel that the truth is different than what the majority of the judges are claiming, then you have to speak up your piece, regardless of how unpopular you may sound or become.  In fact, even though typically, the Halacha (Jewish Law) does follow the majority, and you know already that your words won't make a practical difference, you still have to do your part and speak up your piece.  For who knows, perhaps after you do, there will be some who will rethink their position, and it will make up the difference as to whether the defendent has to pay or not, or whether the suspect will be executed or not.

To be clear on the Hebrew in the text here, the word majority is a translation for the word Rabim, which is the basis for the words Rove and Rav ( the word dispute (fight) is a translation for the word Reeve, spelled in this instance as Reish-Beit/Veit, which also spells the Hebrew number 202; although in other instances, Reeve is spelled with the letter Yud in the middle.

So as you can see, even those who are supposed to be among the top Torah scholars can become corrupt if they let personal interests or otherwise get the better of them.  And if one thinks that this is hardly unlikely, on doesn't have to go far to see how some rabbis even in Israel who are supposedly very Zionist cave in to the so called Zionist government that basically caters to the Moslem Arabs and throws true Zionistic Jews in prison or tears down their homes, the most famous case being what is called the Disengagement (rather than the true name of something more like Destroyment) of nearly 10,000 Jews from their homes in the Gush Katif and Gaza areas.  In fact, the police had special vests prepared in advance for these traitor rabbis for them to wear with the word "Rav" written on them, so it could convince the thrown out Jews not to give a hard time about having to leave their homes, since after all, if a rabbi himself could come to tell them to leave, then who were they to say otherwise.  In addition, there were lay leaders of the Yesha Council who conspired with the police, including one of the main leaders of what is called the settler movement, who was the main man that everyone turned to for the final decision, so as when a mass amount of Jews came to Kfar Maimon like a couple of months before doomsday to try to stop this, but were prevented from doing so by being misdirected by this Yesha Council so the good Jews, including some who lost their jobs for taking off from work, would not be able to continue their true Zionistic work.  And in case some think that I am making up stories, one can turn to, and after scrolling down a bit, one can see a series of four videos on the right hand side of what can be called the biggest fiasco that has happened in the State of Israel's 65 years of existance.

And now, I will be discussing the next Sephira combination following the last 10 plus blogposts - Netzach She'B'Gevurah (Victory within Strength).  Basically, this means that the victory that was achieved shows that strength was used to make it happen, or in other words, the victory, such as in war, shows everyone the power of the winning side.

In more practical terms, the date of this Sephira combination during the Sephira period is 26 Nissan, which is the Yahrzeit of Yehoshua Bin Noon (Joshua), Moses' main student and successor.  If only the ones who call themselves Zionists today - who are loosely called religious and secular - would truly not only read the Tanach (Jewish Bible), but would actually take to heart what these true Biblical heros stood for and accomplished, we would have a few less problems today in a country that is run by a dictatorship.  For it was Joshua, the first Jewish leader, who would enter and live in Israel following the Jewish people becoming a nation.  And during the course of seven years of fighting the Canaanite nations, he conquered 31 kings, followed by seven years of helping the Jews settle on their respective tribal lands.  Then and only then, was he able to retire for a corresponding 14 years (except for lecturing Torah to the Jewish nation as we see  he did towards the end of his life) until his passing at the age of 110.  And during his seven years of fighting, he showed no signs of weekness not only physically, but also mentally, for he knew that he was fighting the "wars of Hashem", and that VICTORY in this case meant showing Hashem's STRENGTH.

Perhaps it is of no coincidence that Joshua, even though he certainly was a brilliant Torah scholar, and followed Moses as his faithful RAV, that he should be become the leader that the Jews needed to head their wars.  The reason that I say this is because it isn't enough for a Torah scholar to know Torah and have good character traits.  He also needs leadership skills to be a successful communicator and knowing how to lead.  For example, not everyone, despite their knowledge, knows how to be a successful teacher, for it isn't merely transmitting knowledge, but knowing HOW to do so, as well as being able to handle teaching a class, let's say, that includes kids who misbehave and attempt to manipulate adults to get their way.  Perhaps they would be better being writers, like me, or be on the advisory board, or something else in the way of education or transmitting Torah knowledge.

We see that there was the time when the Jews were complaining that they didn't have enough satisfying food, even though the manna was supposed to have accomplished this.  Anyways, it reached the point that Moses felt that he couldn't handle them all alone anymore.  Hashem agreed, and had Moses appoint 70 elders/leaders to be assistants.  This would mean that they would be granted a spirit of Hashem that Moses would accomplish by appointing them as leaders.  Meanwhile, two of these appointed were starting to say prophecy.  After Moses was informed of this, we see that Joshua gets all upset and tells Moses to stop them. Moses replies "Are you zealous for my sake?  If only all the Jews would be prophets that Hashem should place His spirit on them!" (Numbers 11:26-29)

Now, if one were to read this for the first time, without knowing what anyone had to say on this, one would wonder what was so terrible for two particular people to start saying prophecy, especially after this was supposed to be expected, so much so that Joshua would want them to be stopped.  But as our rabbis tell us, the prophecy that they were saying was bad news for Moses, and didn't sound very respectful for them to say this.  These two, Eldad and Meidad, stated that Moses was going to die in the desert, and Joshua would lead the Jews to the Holy Land.  No doubt that Joshua was quite humble, especially in following Moses who was the humblest of men to have walked the earth.  He apparently didn't feel a whole lot of pride about being the next leader after Moses, because he seemed to be rather very agitated to hear such a thing from these two, begging Moses to stop them from speaking further.  And accordingly, Moses, who certainly had reason to be upset about what they were saying, not only brushed this off as though nothing  personal, but even wished that all Jews would have this level of prophecy.

O.K., so it seems that Joshua as a younger man had a quick temper, though of course for good reasons. However, we already see his leadership skills early on, not wanting people disrepecting Moses, even in the name of prophecy.  And on Moses' part, he wanted to make sure that Joshua would not go overboard, but that sometimes, one should think things out, and to see situations at another angle before coming to a conclusion, as is especially supposed to be done in court, and most certainly in a Jewish court that follows the Torah.

Now, a year ago, I mentioned a significant word that is used rarely in the Tanach that is mentioned in this context, and the word in question is HaMekanei  "Are you zealous?", the very first word of Tractate Sota. And the connection between the two places are certainly of no coincidence, for in the Torah, it was Moses who addressed Joshua, who was a parental descendant of Joseph, and Tractate Sota is inherently connected especially with Joseph, who resisted the temptations of an adulterous affair, and this tractate is about the laws of a woman who is suspected of such an affair, and the details of how she is tested to see if she is guilty or not, along with the fact that Joseph is mentioned at the end of the first chapter of this Mishnaic tractate, and is learned by some Jews on the sixth day of Sukkot, the day that highlights Joseph, the Heavenly Guest of the day.

No doubt, Joseph was rewarded for holding himself back from temptation by having Joshua as a descendant of his, the one who would take over the leadership from Moses of all people, and be the author of the first book of the Nevi'im (Prophets) section named after himself, of which the first chapter is read on Simchat Torah, the day that we rejoice concluding the reading of the Sefer Torah, and beginning anew.  For as we know, Hashem pays back Mida Knegged Mida (Measure for Measure).  Just as Joseph, the ELEVENTH of Jacob's sons, WON over his temptation, uses the trait of Netzach (Victory) in a spiritual sense, and he was Gover (the verb based on the word Gevurah) OVERPOWERED his Evil Inclination to not sin with his master's wife who begged him to sleep with her; so accordingly, he was blessed with Joshua as his descendant who would fight the physical battles with the ultimate purpose of getting rid of the idolatrous nations and allowing the Jews to live in the Holy Land, and whose Yahrzeit is on the ELEVENTH day of the Sephira whose combination is Netzach She'B'Gevurah.

Now, the question can be asked.  We see that with everyone else in the Tanach, when it is written that one is the son of so and so, the word Ben (son) is used.  However, with Joshua, we see that the word for son is with a different vowel, and hence pronounced differently as Bin as Bin Noon.  And the question is why?

The answer given is that Bin is similar to the word Bina (understanding), and the name of Joshua's father is the name of the letter Noon which is the numerical value of 50.  It was Joshua, of everyone else, despite Moses' two children, or other great Torah scholars such as in Aaron's family, that was chosen to be the successor of Moses' who attained the 50 levels of Bina (the truth is that he attained only the first 49, and it was only right before his passing that he attained the 50th level).  And so, in showing the importance of Joshua, even though no one could truly take the place of Moses' spiritual level, he is accorded with this honor, equating him to Moses in the leadership sense, so that no one would disrepect Joshua as the leader of the Jewish people teaching them Torah.

In recent times, we see that Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, who founded the only official Hasidic movement without a dynasty of further Rebbes within the familiy, trained his faithful student Rabbi Nosson Sternhartz to take over the leadership (without being a Hasidic "Rebbe") of the Breslov movement.  But part of this were the number of hints that Rabbi Nachman alluded to their Rebbe-Talmid (teacher-student) relationship in comparison to Moses and Joshua.  Aside from this, we see something fascinating that no doubt relates to the original Rebbe-Talmid, and that is, both Rabbi Nachman's and Rabbi Nosson's names begin and end with a Noon.  Perhaps the fact that Joshua's surname, so to speak, as BIN Noon, rather than Ben Noon, hints that near the end of our exile, there would be a similar relationship as Moses-Joshua for Hasidic teachings that would guide the Jewish people as a light at the end of our exile.  For as Rabbi Nosson said, all the advice that a Jew needs are contained in Rabbi Nachman's teachings.  And of course, this advice isn't simply what Rabbi Nachman thought was logical for people, but based purely on the teachings of the Torah. Additionally, as compared with Moses, Rabbi Nachman passed away on the fourth day of Sukkot on which we especially invite the Heavenly Guest - Moses.

In this past year, I read an incredible book about the life of Rabbi Nosson called "Through Fire and Water". One cannot help but be amazed at the tremendous self-sacrifice, persistence, and leadership skills that Rabbi Nosson showed.  At one point, he had major opposition that affected him physically, including from a major Hasidic Rebbe who turned against him, along with other people, but Rabbi Nosson wouldn't give up his devotion to helping Jews become better spiritually, though he certainly didn't make any money from it, but only what his followers helped him out with when his family lost its fortune that it once had.  His hardships included being exiled from his home in Breslov for three years on orders of the government thanks to Jewish informers and was briefly imprisoned at one point.  And as time went on, Rabbi Nosson trained a Reb Nachman, who was named after Rabbi Nachman of Breslov short after the latter's passing, to take over the leadership of the movement after Rabbi Nosson's passing, which he did until his passing on the same date as Joshua's Yahrzeit - 26 Nissan.  So as we see, the first three leaders of the Breslov movement all had names that begin and end with a Noon, and as especially related to Joshua.  Coincidence?

Ultimately, it was thanks to Reb Nosson that the Breslov movement grew, despite the low amount of numbers that this movement had early on in contrast to other Hasidic movements, which comes to show that when it comes to the truth, few go for it at first.  But in time, the efforts bore major fruit, and today, Breslov - especially in Israel, is among the fastest growing Hasidic movements, even without an official Hasidic Rebbe, as evidenced by the fact that some 30,000 Jews, some from all other kinds of walks of life, make the annual Rosh Hashana pilgrimage to Uman in the Ukraine (even though efforts to have Rabbi Nachman reburied in Israel were thwarted, it doesn't take away from this fact of the attractiveness of this movement).  And in terms of the Sephira of Netzach as used in reference to Joshua who is especially connected with the concept of Noon, Rabbi Nachman's name is the same Gematria as the word Netzach.  And the enlarged form of the word Netzach is called Nitzachon, this word also begins and ends with a Noon.

Before I conclude this post, there is another aspect of fighting that is called fighting for "the same of heaven"(L'Shem Shamayim).  To give an example of what is and what is not, Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers) in the fifth chapter, tells us that "for the same of heaven" includes the arguments between Hillel and Shammai; and not for the sake of heaven includes the strife that Korach and his cronies created, complaining that his cousins Moses and Aaron took the best leadership and honors for themselves, claiming that it wasn't Hashem who told them what to do.  Well, we all know what happend to Korach at the end, swallowed up by the first earthquake that ever happened in this universe.  But as for Hillel and Shammi, since they true motive was arriving at the Torah truth, they remained good friends.

However, someone who is somewhat learned in Torah will notice something a bit peculiar.  True, there were a few disputes between Hillel and Shammai.  However, the vast majority of disputes in terms of their names were actually between their students known as Beit Hillel and Beit Shammai.  So, why are Hillel and Shammai shown as prime examples of disputes for the sake of heaven when it was mostly their disciples who had the disputes?

You see, things weren't always so rosy between the Hillel-Shammai disciples.  There were times that things got out of  hand, and in one case, Beit Shammai put their foot down to enforce some Halachot to be observed their way.  And so, if Pirkei Avot is to give a prime example of disputes for the sake of heaven, it needs to give a prime example of it without possible objections.

Now, if this is the case when it was quite common for various rabbis throughout the centuries to have Torah disputes about what the Halacha should be, then it is not too surprising when you have, let us, a Hasidic Rebbe who passes away, and then some of his followers decide that things aren't the way that they like it and they start disputes with the other followers "for the sake of heaven".  Well, there is one way to know, at least at the end, as to whether it really is for the sake of heaven.  If at the end, things are peaceful between both parties, then yes, this is exactly what Pirkei Avot is talking about.  However, if it leads to much fighting that causes their cause to become news in the non-Jewish loving media, along with vandalism, beating up, and on occasion, even murder, then obviously, something went very wrong along the way.

Politics in synagogues are nothing new, it just has spread to be an unbelievable rate, especially in the United States.  As we all really know, when it comes to elections of virtually any type, there will almost always be one party castigating the other party, when in fact, the former party is no less guilty if not of the same thing, then of something else.  But just to tell you a story that happend nearly 25 years ago back in my hometown of North Miami Beach, there was a building within a retirement community that the Jewish worshipping residents used for prayers.  While perhaps it may have not looked a synagogue from the outside, they had their president, vice-president, etc.  Anyways, there was one member who wanted a certain synagogue position, but for whatever reason, it didn't happen.  Angry at this, he decided to ruin it for all, telling the zoaning board that it didn't have the proper licensing and all.  To make a long story short, this led to an investigation, and at the end, the place was shut down for non-compliance to the zoning laws.  So here was this one guy, who instead of caring about Hashem's honor, turned it around to attack those who didn't care about his own personal honor for the few short years he had left in this world as a senior citizen, and caused a place of worship to be shut down.  I don't think any one of us would want to be in his shoes, to imagine how much holiness he prevented in this world and Jews from performing Mitzvot everyday, including answering Amen and other responses to certain prayers that can only be performed in a quorum of 10 or more adult males; one can only imagine the punishments in the next world that awaited this guy as one can see described in the Zohar for one who disgraces the honor of Hashem in a synagogue. And all for what?! In the name of righting a so called wrong?  And in this particular situation, for these old people to go to another synagogue without driving on Shabbat, it would probably take them like a good half hour to reach the main religious area with their feable legs if they could even walk without problems.  And for those who would drive on Shabbat, and decided to join another place for Saturday morning services, now they wound up violating Shabbat by driving, even if it is to a place of worship, which they weren't doing when the location of prayer services was right on the grounds of the senior citizen community.

The bottom line is, before we think we know what the truth is because there is a majority following a certain way, we have to ask ourselves if this is the real truth, just because so many people go for it or because rather few people go for it.   Hopefully, the rabbis that we turn to will not be afraid to declare the truth.  Just make sure that at the very least, without saying "Yes, but..." or "Don't be too fanatical", they are supportive of Rabbi Kahane's ideals.  Or better yet, I strongly advise getting Rabbi Kahane's magnum opus either in English "The Jewish Idea" (in two volumes), or in Hebrew "Ohr HaRayon".  Then, after reading this holy Sefer, I don't think you will have too many questions as to who to follow, or who to vote for in the next set of elections in Israel.  My rule of thumb of voting in Israel is, if the political party is not connected to Kahane, it is simply not worth voting for, nay, it is dangerous voting for; for even the so called religious parties in the Knesset have all proven at one time or another to be full of politics and will sell their souls to the devil for stuffed pockets of money "to support Yeshivot", which happened especially when it came time for our Jewish brethren to be thrown out of Gush Katif.

So if you don't have an official Rav that you can turn to for questions in Halacha or Hashkafa (Torah outlike), make sure that he is Kahane certified.  It's not so hard today, because through the internet, if he is a well known Rav, statements of his will show up, and you will be able to compare to see if this is the true Torah/Kahane truth, even if most of your other friends who claim to follow the Torah don't agree with Rabbi Kahane.  And G-d willing, over time, the question will not be "Is he right?" but rather, "When will we be able to get a MAJORITY of Jews to change their way of thinking to think the authentic Torah way of life?''

26 Tevet, 5774

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