Thursday, July 20, 2017

A Very Interesting Message from Rabbi Nir Ben Artzi shlita, Parashat Mattos-Masie, 22 Tammuz 5777; and, The Jews Return to The Temple Mount

בס"ד
The Creator of this world, the Father of this world, whose world is His creation, continues to cleanse and purify the whole earth. He is going to peel off all the evil and the impurity, all the bribes and the rapists, the lecherous, the white collars and the sinners, all the killers and murderers. The Holy One, blessed be He, cleans and cleanses the whole earth and prepares it, especially the Land of Israel, for the King Messiah to be reveled in public in the near future, at every moment and every second!

He will continue strong floods worldwide, fire and sulfur, accidents of aircraft, cars and trains. Volcanoes will continue to erupt, heat and cold, harsh winds, blows and severe earthquakes, all these will continue to shake, purify, and cleanse the earth. With or without their agreement, the Creator of the Universe does not ask anyone, because the time has come, the time has come for the end of evil in the world. The Holy One, blessed be He, is making natural disasters in order to wake everyone, not only Russia, the United States, North Korea and Iran.

Natural disasters will continue throughout the world - except for Israel.

Noah was commanded to build the Ark for 120 years. Noah tried to bring the world to redeem itself for those hundred and twenty years. There were a lot of clowns and scorners - the Creator of the world brought the flood and destroyed the whole world, leaving only Noah and his family, the ark and all that was on it.

If they send atomic missiles in the world, Hashem will turn them into flour. The Holy One, Blessed be He, informs everyone that there will be no Third World War, that there will be no nuclear war and no third intifada. There will be only the revelation of King Messiah and the construction of the Third Temple!

The Israeli army and the government of Israel must not be complacent: Some of the goyim with a blue identity card are more dangerous than ones without a blue ID card, because they have a permit to go anywhere, they have hidden weapons and a hidden connection with the goyim in East Jerusalem and they are collaborating.

The IDF has to be careful and not to believe them; they come in disguises and do traps - the goyim have no shame and no faith; they want to harm every soldier in uniform. We have to expand the guard duty in the Land of Israel and to suspect them everywhere. .They have leaders who brainwash them – they need to get them.

Abu Mazen condemned what he condemned only with his lip. In his heart, he smiled and rejoiced.

The Mossad and the Shin Bet security service must look carefully at the Temple Mount, there is a lot of weapons and ammunition there, and you have to look urgently and do not believe the goyim who are masquerading as poor people.

Most of the road accidents in Israel are caused by the negligence of drivers who do nonsense, laugh and play while driving, and suddenly, in seconds, are wounded and killed. Too bad for anyone like that; it's a pity for his family and a hundred people and more. It's not war, it's just stupid mistake.

Members of Knesset, stop condemning and hurting one another. It is forbidden to speak publicly about each other, and to insult each other. There is a law to stop the slandering. It's just free hatred, if there's a problem, go to the authorities. The goyim among us see that the government behaves like in a 'kindergarten.' They are getting more power and hurting more civilians.

The Creator of the World says to the whole world: to UNESCO, to the European Union, to all the countries, prime ministers and presidents who oppose the Land of Israel, who want to harm the Land of Israel and take parts of the Holy Land, that He will give them blows, very hard blows that have never been seen in the world and that they will never recover. Most members of UNESCO are Muslims and most decisions are not clean or are illegal.

Syria continues with killing; there is no cease-fire; they are killing each other until it will be erased from the earth. Neither the United States nor Russia can make a cease-fire in Syria; this is in the hands of the King of Kings, the Holy One, blessed be He.

In Iraq, the killing will continue, and the devil's dance will begin again. Everything there is a complete mess; they are murdering each other.

ISIS will never be wiped out and will continue to kill, kill and kill in the world; and, in France, too, they will operate, in Germany they will also operate, in England they will also operate, and in the end, in all of Europe they will operate.

Africa will become ashes. Most of the refugees and the Muslims will arrive in Europe, ISIS celebrates there until they turn Europe into ashes and there will be a Muslim rule and ruler there.

Hamas and Abu Mazen are eating and will continue to eat each other. Promising each other lies. The explosion is near. May their sword pierce their hearts, and their bow be broken and they will be erased from the world. Hamas continues to dig tunnels incessantly, twenty-four hours it's their livelihood. Hamas and Abu Mazen take all the money that comes to their private pockets.

Many tunnels are coming from the Gaza Strip to Israel. The silence is fake; every moment they can surprise.

Egypt cannot take control of the Sinai desert, its soldiers are killed and this will not help Sisi at all. Sisi - keeps the laws in Egypt; he takes urgent care of the citizens of Egypt and not elsewhere and thinks how to feed them because a large part of the population is hungry. Egyptian citizens eat each other, their patience has expired. ISIS kills Egyptian soldiers because they want money and bribes; and, ISIS are tightfisted; they only love to take, they do not like to pay, so they kill the Egyptian soldiers.

Turkey is overflowing with ISIS, which controls it; Erdogan is doing the will of ISIS, and he listening to them because he is afraid of them. Explosions and major complications will continue in Turkey. Millions of Turks do not want Erdogan; they want to make a revolution.

Iran knows everyone hates Israel. They have hatred for Israel from long ago from Queen Esther and Achashverosh. They cannot hit Israel with missiles, because Israel will eat them alive. They are afraid to use nuclear missiles, because they know that on that day all of Iran will go up in flames and be destroyed. There are radars and special means; there is very strong espionage, and they know of every move of any nuclear missile in Iran and anywhere in the world. No one can surprise with nuclear missiles.

Hezbollah and Nasrallah are keeping their ammunition in case of emergency, because they have a war against the citizens of Lebanon and some of the rebels in Syria. They leave the ammunition in case of emergency, because the IDF cuts off every Iranian convoy of ammunition to Hezbollah, and Nasrallah is afraid that his ammunition will end, and his soldiers will be killed like flies in Syria and in Lebanon.

All the Jews who preach to Jews abroad not to come to Israel, the Creator says to them that they use the sin of the spies and will come to a very heavy judgment, they go against the Creator directly, and they are sinners and push others to sin! To the contrary, we must call the Jews to settle the Negev, the Western Galilee, the Golan Heights, Binyamin, Shomron, the Jordan Valley and the Arava. Livelihood is in the hands of the Creator of the universe. The Jews who do not immigrate because of the money will find the situation is quite the opposite. From Egypt the children of Israel went out with great possessions and the Jews of the Diaspora, the Creator of Israel will bring them to Israel without suitcases and without one shekel in their pockets, but they will be in need of nothing.

So that all the Jews will understand: Anti-Semitism, ISIS and the Muslims in the world are going to commit suicide in Jewish public places, in order to harm the Jews, and it will not stop: Seven billion goyim are against the Jews. The Creator of the Universe tells them to immigrate to the Land of Israel urgently. If they will not, He will not protect them. If they will, they will have protection and good that they did not dream of; all from heaven above.

The Holy One, blessed be He, says to the Jewish parents: "Keep your sons and daughters from assimilation, drugs, drinking and gambling, these are things that kill a person.

The Holy One, Blessed is He, does not want to bring another Holocaust or world war. The Holy One, blessed be He, wants Messiah! He wants to crown the King Messiah, bring all the immigrants to the Land of Israel, build the Temple and realize the resurrection of the dead.

When the Messiah will be revealed in public, death will cease forever. Our righteous Messiah has clear and conspicuous signs in the world and in Israel. There are good things that are happening, some we know and some we don’t. Messiah acts and works, and no one can interfere with him. No one can deceive him, no one can hurt him. Anyone who thinks he will has opened a very heavy account with the Master of the Universe and will be severely beaten. Messiah's soul works twenty-four hours a day. Nothing will help all the clowns and those mocking redemption and Messiah. Messiah is here, this is the end of the end! Everything is ready in heaven and earth! The Holy One, Blessed is He, encompasses the entire Land of Israel. Messiah acts and works day and night and works even when he sleeps. The salvation of the people of Israel is close!


Courtesy of "Tair Neri" Website
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The Jews Return to The Temple Mount

I have been asked by several readers about the idea of the Jews returning to the Temple Mount.

Hashem controls everything in this world. He works His will around our will since He did not create us as robots, but with a free will to do the right thing on our own. The Arabs were given the Temple Mount area by Hashem, since we are considered in a state of impurity and in danger if we go to the wrong areas on the mount. This is all obvious since by international law and by the Tenach the Temple Mount and all of Israel belong to the Jews. It is even comical that the Muslims do not consider Jerusalem as a holy place, as proven by the fact that their Quran does not mention Jerusalem once, it even says that Israel belongs to the Jews, Mohammed told his followers to look away from Jerusalem which they do by facing Mecca when they pray, even on the Temple Mount (they stick their backsides towards the holiest spot in the universe when they pray).

According to Rav Ben Artzi and others Israel is being purified and getting ready for the Third Temple, B”H. We know from many sources that this is the end of the end of days, and that Moshiach will be introduced soon. Is Israel pure enough and the Jews in a pure enough state to be able to ascend the Temple Mount without danger? I don’t know, but Hashem does. Is that the reason we have returned? Is the Third and final Temple imminent enough that Hashem has sent us a message of: we may return to this most holy of places? Rav Nir Ben Artzi’s message above sure brings a curious response to that question.  I should also mention the great increase in world chaos and much more obvious proof of Nibiru's approach.

Let us hope that since Hashem is completely in control, it is time for our return and that the worldwide redemption is extremely close. We are now in the three weeks leading up to the commemoration of the loss of the Temples. Perhaps it is happening at this time to tell us that Tisha B’Av will be a feast day and a day of great celebration for the entire world, B”H.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Separated from the Nations, Undivided within Our Own

                                                                             בס"ד
Source Sheet by Mordechai Lewis

Balak tells Bila’am to curse our nation.[1] Bila’am response was, “How can I curse? - G-d has not cursed. How can I anger? - G-d is not angry…”[2] Yet, he did prophesize that, “We are a nation that dwells alone and among the nations, we will not be recognized.”[3] [4]

Where do we see that? Just look at the United Nations.[5] They have condemned us[6] more times than any other country![7] When will we experience this the most? In the period leading up to Moshiach.[8] For we see that the UN is ganging up against us. In the words of Dovid HaMelech, “All the nations surround me… they encircle me…”[9] As the Novi tells us, “I will gather the nations to Yerushalayim for war…”[10] However, this is materializing in our times! Only liberals, leftists or irreligious Jews - who have no Torah in their life[11] - can’t see that it’s the ‘hand’ of G-d running the show and not their own efforts.

Rashi[12] says, “It is a law that Eisav[13] hates Yaakov.[14] This is referring to Jew-hatred.[15] Some of our brethren just don’t seem to understand that when our Creator makes a law, we can’t fight it, only obey it. For He told us, “Amongst the nations, you will not be tranquil…[16] Yet, there are people within our nation who ‘think’ they can eliminate Jew-hatred altogether. A certain website once wrote an article in which someone (he had a username – not real name) commented - I wrote his comment as my memory recalls it:

“If we teach our children to respect non-Jews, then Hashem, will, in turn, instill into them to have mercy on us and there will be no more assaults or stabbings etc. ever again.”

The reason we must respect non-Jews and teach our children to do the same has nothing to do with acting civilized. It’s for a higher cause: to sanctify our Creator’s Name! As the Novi informs us, “You are My servant, Yisroel, through whom I am glorified!”[17] This means we have an awesome responsibility on our shoulders!

Yet, for him to say that Hashem will, in turn, instill into them to have mercy on us and there will be no more assaults or stabbings etc. ever again, is complete and utter nonsense! It’s like Theodore Herzl, who claimed that the establishment of a “Jewish” state would cure Jew-hatred.[18] When Dovid HaMelech said, “Do not rely on nobles or on a human being, for he holds no salvation,”[19] he was referring to people like “Theodore Herzl”.

Does the Torah contain a SOLUTION for Jew-hatred?

In Parshas Kedoshim, Hashem warns us, “Do not follow the traditions of the nations that I expel from before you, for they did all of these [abominations] and I was disgusted with them… I am Hashem, your G-d, Who has separated you from the peoples.”[20]

Where else do, we find similar words “do not follow the customs of the nations”? In Achrei Mos the posuk[21] says, “… do not perform the practices of the land of Canaan to which I bring you and do not follow their customs.”

On the words, “do not follow their customs,” Rashi[22] says, “… Matters that are etched for them in their ways as if they were laws, such as theaters and stadiums i.e., (days set aside for) attendance at theaters or stadiums…”

The Gemarah[23] says, “Whenever it is stated in the Torah ‘do not,’[24] it is nothing other than a negative commandment.” Rashi is telling boys, teenagers and young adults of our nation, “Do not go to a movie[25] theater or sports stadium.”

Rav Moshe Feinstein zt”l[26] says that one who goes to a movie theater or sports stadium does not violate, “do not follow their customs.”[27] Yet he states the following:

“Anyone who goes to these places transgresses the prohibitions of moshav leitzim (gatherings of frivolity and unethical behavior) and bitul Torah; not only does he transgress during the time spent in those places, but he also transgresses because these activities cause him to stop learning Torah entirely…[28] in addition, he also brings upon himself the yeitzer hara of promiscuity,[29] as most of these things entail depraved speech and turning people towards promiscuity.”[30] The only time one can attend a sports stadium is when Jews are renting it out for an event, like a Siyum HaShas etc.

The Gemarah says that a person should never bring himself to a test, i.e. one should not place himself in circumstances in which he will be tempted to sin.[31] In addition, the posuk says, “And you shall beware of any evil thing.”[32] The Gemarah derives from this posuk that a person should not think immoral thoughts by day and come thereby to tumah by night.[33] Going to a movie theater involves walking through the mall. This means passing or entering certain stores that display things which are completely immodest for one to see,[34] thereby transgressing, “…You shall guard yourself against any evil matter.”

Someone once asked Rav Yaakov Kamenetsky zt”l[35] if he was allowed take his children to a circus. He responded by citing the posuk in Hoshea[36] which states, “Yisrael do not rejoice like the rejoicing of the nations.” In the words, he was saying to the person “no”.

Had that anonymous person asked Rav Kamenetsky the same question regarding a movie theater or sports stadium, he would have responded no as well. Today’s “circuses” are a movie theater or sports stadium in which people gather for entertainment.

Our Creator signs off, “You shall be holy for Me,[37] for I, Hashem am holy and I have separated you from among the peoples to be Mine.”[38]

What does this posuk sound like? Marriage! Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan zt”l[39] says, “The groom gives his bride a circular ring, which has no beginning and no end. This parallels Hashem giving Klal Yisrael the Torah, which is endless.[40] The words the groom says, ‘…הרי את מקודשת לי’ begins with the letter hei, which has the numerical value of five, alluding to the five books of the Torah – the wedding ring of the marriage between Hashem and Klal Yisrael.’”[41]

The Even Ezra[42] says, “I took you out of Egypt only to be your G-d; if you will not be holy I will not be your G-d. If you wish that I be your G-d, be holy.”

How does one stay holy? Rashi[43] explains that the only way for us to be holy to Hashem is by separating ourselves from arayos.[44]

We need to ask ourselves, “Are we still wearing the wedding ring[45] that He gave us?[46] Have we forsaken it,[47] in exchange, to develop a relationship[48] with the nations that surround us?”

G-d ‘knows’ very well if we are living by our ‘marriage contract’: “If you are separated from [the other peoples], see, then, you are Mine. But if not, see then, you belong to Nevuchadnetzer and his colleagues, i.e. your enemies [who exiled you from the Holy Land].”[49]

For instance, Rav Chaim Volozhin used to say, “If Jews make themselves holy, then – as this posuk[50] guarantees – G-d will separate us from the nations to be His. What will happen if we do not sanctify ourselves? Then the nations will separate us from their midst – for persecution and expulsion, G-d forbid!”[51]

Dovid HaMelech says, “If only My people would heed me! If Israel would walk in My ways, in an instant I would subdue their foes and turn My hand against their tormentors!”[52] Therefore the Sifsei Chachamim[53] states, “The only way it’s possible for us to achieve holiness, is by separating ourselves from the nations,[54] with our actions. For example: wearing tzitzis, donning tefillin and doing other positive mitzvos…”[55] [56] the Ba’al HaTurim[57] says, “There are seventy mitzvos in Parshas Kedoshim, reflecting the seventy nations from whom I have separated you.”

If Albert Einstein had a theory of Jew-hatred, this is what would look like:

Separation = Holiness[58] - Assimilation ≠ Holiness - No Separation = Assimilation - Assimilation = Jew-hatred - Jew-hatred = Annihilation of our nation - Hitler = the Holocaust.

The Gemarah[59] asks, “What caused that Israel shall be scattered among the nations of the world? The friendship that [the Israelites] desired to have with them. Because the Jews desired to be friendly[60] with the nations, G-d punished them measure for measure by scattering them throughout the world to live among those very nations.”

What other lesson can we derive from the Gemarah?

Don’t desire friendship among non-Jews. Rather, desire to have friendship among Jews who live differently than you or Jews that you have never met in your life.[61]

We are in The Three Weeks. Naturally, during this time period, we think about what we are being deprived of: listening to music, getting a haircut or shaving etc. this is the work of the yeitzer hara.

Instead, let us ask ourselves, “Why did G-d destroy His abode on earth?”[62] It was simply because we couldn’t live together under the same roof.[63] [64]

When parents see their children fighting with each other it literally kills them. G-d ‘felt’ the same way with us:

“My beloved children, what do I ask of you? Only that you love one another and respect one another.”[65] As Dovid HaMelech[66] said, “Indeed, how good and how pleasant is the dwelling of brothers, moreover, in unity.”

In fact, the posuk[67] says, “And He was King over Yeshurun [Yisroel] when the leaders of the nation gathered and the tribes of Yisroel are unified. Rashi[68] explains, “When is He King over Yeshurun? Only when the tribes of Yisroel are unified and not when they are divided into separate groups.”

Rav Shimon Schwab zt”l, brings Rashi’s words in practical terms:

“During Golus, the Jewish people are split, not only physically-geographically but also ideologically. One group does not see eye to eye with the other. This disparity exists not only in that the non-religious segment of our nation does not understand those who are religious, but even the people who keep the Torah and mitzvos are divided and subdivided many times among themselves.[69]

However, over 150 years ago the disciples of the Vilna Gaon[70] and the disciples of the Baal Shem Tov[71] had made peace with each other. While both groups maintained their differences, both developed great respect and eventually a mutual love for each other.

So why should we be different today? The talmidim of our great yeshivos and kollelim who follow their Roshei HaYeshivah, and devoted Chassidim who follow their Admorim, are all united in their absolute loyalty to Hashem’s Torah. Why can’t we tell the other, ‘I am deeply convinced that my outlook is true. So are you. We honor each other’s conviction and sincerity without any yielding an inch of our own sacred territory.’”[72]

We’ve all heard light bulb jokes. For instance, how many men does it take to screw in a light bulb? Only one, but you have to nag him for a fortnight first.

Now, I ask you, “How many people does it take to bring the Final Redemption?” Hashem Himself answers this question:[73]

“I searched for someone who would stand before Me and daven on behalf of Klal Yisroel, that I should not destroy them, but I did not find anyone, so therefore I will pour out My wrath against them and consume them with the flame of My fury.”[74]

One person could have saved all of Klal Yisroel - one person could have prevented the churban. If even one person would have stood up and prayed on behalf of Klal Yisroel.

Hashem would have rescinded His decree. This is a message of Hashem which is repeated by another one of His prophets as well:

“Go in the streets of Yerushalayim… and seek in its plazas if you will find a just man if there is one who dispenses Justice and seeks emunah if you find even a lone man like this then I will forgive the whole city.”[75]

If there would have been even one person in all of Yerushalayim who was just, Hashem would have forgiven the entire city.[76]

Mesillas Yesharim states the following:[77]

Now, if a person should say, “Who am I? What is my importance that I should pray about the end of the exile of Israel and about the rebuilding of Yerushalayim, etc.? Will my prayer cause the exiles to be ingathered and the redemption to sprout forth?” The Gemarah[78] responds to a person with such a mindset: Man was created as an individual: so that each person should say to himself, “For my sake, the world was created.”

The Gemarah is teaching us that was worthwhile for Hashem to create the world for the sake of a single person! Thus, each individual is of inestimable importance and his prayers may indeed have a powerful impact.[79] Moreover, in any case, it is a source of satisfaction to [Hashem], blessed be He, that His children request and pray for this. Even if their requests are not fulfilled because the appropriate time for the Redemption has not yet arrived or for whatever other reason, they have, regardless, done their [part] by praying for it and the Holy One, blessed be He, rejoices over this concern of theirs for His honor.

With Hashem’s help, let’s put our effort into becoming united as one nation, but separated from the others. In the words of Avraham Fried,[80] let’s merit to, “Bring the House[81] down”[82] on the fifteenth of Av![83]
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[1] See Bamidbar 22:5 and 6.

[2] Ibid 23:8.

[3] See Bamidbar 23:9.

[4] See Why Us? Reflections on the Cause of Anti-Semitism by Rabbi Finkel, page 25, who explains this posuk.

[5] Roy Neuberger says, “Rabbi Yitzchak Hutner referred to the United Nations as the place where the seventy wolves were gathering to plan their strategy on how to eat up the Jewish People, G-d forbid” (http://bit.ly/1s0iQJX). As Dovid HaMelech said, “He turned their hearts to hate His nation, to plot against His servants” (Tehillim 105:25).

[6] I.e. Israel.

[7] Israel is the target of at least 77 UN Resolutions and the Palestinians are the target of 1 (http://bit.ly/1Y9MqGK).

[8] See Ba’al HaTurim to Bamidbar 23:9 “לבדד” and “לבדד ישכן”.

[9] Tehillim 118:10-11.

[10] Zechariah 14:2.

[11] As the Gemarah says, “Those who are bereft of Torah knowledge become more foolish with age” (Shabbos 152a). Conversely, “Whoever engages in Torah study, the Torah makes him great and exalts him above all things” (Avos 6:1).

[12] Bereishis 33:4 “אמר רבי שמעון”. See also Sifrei, Beha’aloscha 69; Tanchuma, Parshas Shemos #27; Bereishis Rabbah 84:6; and Igros Moshe, Choshen Mishpat 2:77. For an actual example of this, see Shemos Rabbah 1:8.

[13] I.e. the progenitor of the Western Nations.

[14] I.e. the Children of Israel.

[15] See link: http://bit.ly/1tXRVfk

[16] Devarim 28:65. See also Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash, page 1083, note 66 and Rashi to Devarim 28:66 “חייך תלאים לך”.

[17] Yeshayahu 49:3. To understand this principle, see Yuma 86a. In addition, Rav Eliyahu Dessler says, “A person should first sanctify Hashem’s Name before other Jews by teaching them the proper way and from there he should proceed to the next level, to sanctify His Name before the nations” (See Michtav Me’Eliyahu volume 3, page 118). Each one of us is an ambassador onto our fellow Jew(s) and the world at large.

[18] See link - http://bit.ly/1rWnybH

[19] Tehillim 146:3. See also 118:5-7 and 8-9.

[20] Vayikra 20:23 and 24.

[21] Ibid. 18:3.

[22] Ibid. “ובחקתיהם לא תלכו”.

[23] Sotah 5a.

[24] The words לֹא and אַל are interchangeable.

[25] Watching a movie itself is whole different issue which is beyond the scope of this article.

[26] Igros Moshe, Orach Chayim volume 2, siman 95; Yoreh Dei’ah volume 4, siman 11(1) [http://bit.ly/2tdPYkP]; volume 2, siman 33 (http://bit.ly/2uGXX7D); Even Ha’Ezer volume 2 siman 13. See also Yichaveh Da’as 4:7 by Rav Ovadia Yosef zt”l.

[27] See note 21.

[28] The Reishis Chochmah forewarns us:

“Everything that a person looks at, the image penetrates and fixes itself in his mind* and when he comes to pray or to study Torah, those material images appear in his mind, and they damage and invalidate his thoughts** and he will not be able to concentrate as required, because the eyes only see through the power that resides in the soul and the soul receives those images that come through the eyes and if the person looks at nakedness, he causes nakedness to penetrate in a high place” (see Sha’ar HaKedushah, chapter 8, “ודע”).

*Therefore, “One must guard his mind more than anything else for it produces all the results of life” (Mishlei 4:23). Why? Because that’s where the soul resides (see Rabbeinu Bachayei to Bereishis 2:7 “וצריך” and Even Ezra to Shemos 23:25 “אמר”).

**Thought conforms to the neshamah level of the soul. It is the element that gives the ability to know and understand the holy Torah. For this reason, the neshamah resides in man’s brain, the organ of thought and the neshamah being the highest of the three levels (Nefesh HaChayim 1:14).

[29] See Chagigah 11a.

[30] See Sparkling Speech by Rabbi Elysha Sandler.

[31] See Sanhedrin 107a.

[32] Devarim 23:10.

[33] see ArtScroll Avodah Zarah 20b, note 24.

[34] see note 28.

[35] See B’Mechitzos Rabbeinu by Rabbi Reuven Amar, page 92 “קרקסאות בזמננו”.

[36] 9:1.

[37] Our Creator tells us, “You are a holy nation (Shemos 19:6) and ‘a holy people… that is treasured from all the peoples that are on the face of the earth.” (Devarim 7:6)

[38] Vayikra 20:26. See also Positive Vision by Rabbi Neuberger, page 33.

[39] Made in Heaven. See also Positive Vision by Rabbi Neuberger, page 27.

[40] See Avos 5:22.

[41] As the Rebbe Shimon bar Yochai says, “Hashem, the Torah and Yisrael, are one” [(Zohar volume 3, Acharei Mos, page 73a). In addition, the Novi says, “I will set for you for a covenant to the people, for a light to the nations…” (Yeshayahu 42:6)

[42] Mikra’os Gedolos Vayikra 11:45 “וטעם כי אני ה'”.

[43] Vayikra 19:2 “קדשים תהיו” and Vayikra Rabbah 24:6.

[44] Regarding the definition of arayos, see ArtScroll Sapirstein Edition Rashi, Vayikra, page 226, note 3.

[45] As Mishlei (7:3) says, “Tie them [i.e. words of Torah] to your finger; write them on the slate of your heart.”

[46] I.e. which allows us to maintain a relationship with Him.

[47] I.e. the Torah (see Mishlei 4:2).

[48] To follow their customs, i.e. values and culture. The Novi tells us, “Do not learn from the ways of the nations.” (Yirmiyahu 10:2).

[49] Rashi to Vayikra 20:26 “ואבדל אתכם מן העמים להיות לי”.

[50] Which is, “and I have separated you from among the peoples to be Mine” (Vayikra 20:26).

[51] The Netziv says, “When a Jew claims to be “a Jew at heart” but is ashamed to practice Judaism, then the gentiles regard him with contempt and treat him like a useless vessel, to be discarded and thrown away” (see Why Us? Reflections on the Cause of Anti-Semitism by Rabbi Finkel, page 35). In the words of Rav Shamshon Raphael Hirsch zt”l, “If you are an authentic Jew, you will be respected because of this, not in spite of it.” [As for why the nations of the world hate us, see Artscroll Shabbos 89a, note 41]. Remember, “Who is like Your people Yisrael, one nation on earth” (Shmuel II 7:23).

[52] Tehillim 81:14.

[53] See Mikra’os Gedolos Vayikra 19:2 “דהא”.

[54] See Michtav Me’Eliyahu Volume 1, Kuntres HaChesed, pages 35-38.

[55] See Rabbeinu Bachayei Al HaTorah, Parshas Vayikra 20:26 “ואבדל אתכם מן העמים להיות לי”.

[56] Regarding the concept of a mitzvah, see Rav Schwab on Prayer, page 33 and Tefillin by Aryeh Kaplan, page 238.

[57] Vayikra 20:24 “אשר הבדלתי אתכם”.

[58] See Positive Vision by Rabbi Neuberger, page 22.

[59] ArtScroll Pesachim 118b, note 49.

[60] See Why Us? Reflections on the Cause of Anti-Semitism by Rabbi Finkel, page 25.

[61] See Kitzur Shulchan Aruch 28:12, Sanhedrin 27b and Shevuos 39a.

[62] I.e. the Beis HaMikdosh.

[63] We had hatred for no good reason against our fellow man.

[64] See Yuma 9b and Yerushalmi, Yuma 1:1.

[65] Tana D’vei Eliyahu Rabbah, chapter 28.

[66] Tehillim 133:1.

[67] Devarim 33:5.

[68] “ראשי” citing the Sifri.

[69] Rav Schwab on Prayer, page 468.

[70] I.e. Eliyahu Kremer.

[71] I.e. Yisroel ben Eliezer.

[72] Selected Speeches by Rav Shimon Schwab zt”l, pages 72-79.

[73] see Days Are Coming by Rabbi Moshe Silberstein, page 80.

[74] Metzudas Dovid on Yechezkeil 22:30-31.

[75] Metzudas Dovid on Yirmiyahu 5:1.

[76] There’s a poster which has a picture of Uncle Sam pointing his finger at you, saying, “I want YOU for U.S. army.” Similarly, our Creator says to each and every one of us, “I want YOU to have a part in hastening the redemption.” As Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz said, “Every person may change the course of history; it is in the power of every individual to shorten the exile.”

If you think Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz is exaggerating, here are the words of the Rambam:

“A person should view his life all year long as if his merits [for his mitzvos] and his guilt [for his sins] are exactly balanced, and that a single mitzvah could tilt the scales in his favor. Likewise, he should view the entire world as if it is exactly balanced in this way and that his mitzvah could tilt the entire world toward favorable judgment” (Mishnah Torah, Hilchos Teshuvah 3:4 and Kiddushin 40b).

[77] Excerpted from ArtScroll Mesillas Yesharim, pages 403-408.

[78] Sanhedrin 37a.

[79] Rav Tzadok HaKohein of Lublin writes, “Just as one must believe in Hashem, so too, one must believe in himself. Hashem wants us to BELIEVE in our strengths, capabilities, ability to overcome evil and achieve greatness” (Tzidkas HaTzadik #154).

[80] See links - http://bit.ly/2azwfkG and http://bit.ly/29XKeEP

[81] I.e. the Beis HaMikdash.

[82] See Artscroll Rosh Hashanah 30a, note 44, second paragraph. See also Rav Schwab on Prayer, page 489.

[83] See Maayan Bais Hasho’eivah by Rabbi Shimon Schwab, Parshas Emor, page 287. Regarding the significance of Tu B’Av, the fifteenth of Av, see Ta’anis 26b and 31a.
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Thank you so much Mordechai for this excellent presentation. May Hashem bless you and your loved ones.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

One of the Most Serious Sins to Repent and Correct

                                                                             בס"ד
There is a sin that is done by more good people than any other sin; yet, there is very little Teshuvah, repentance done to try to correct it. Why is this true? Because very few people really know what the sin is. So, what is this mystery sin that we all need to work on? LASHON HARAH, the evil tongue, talking about others, gossip, slander, sometimes praising others, improper speech!!!

When non-observant people talk about how difficult it is to observe Jewish law, they usually mention the difficulty of observing Shabbat or keeping kosher or other similarly detailed rituals. Yet the laws that are most difficult to keep, that are most commonly violated even by observant Jews, are the laws regarding improper speech. This is a very important area of Jewish law; entire books have been written on the subject.

What are some to the subtle ways that LASHON HARAH causes damage? One mistake is that people think if it is true it is OK. The fact is whether something is true or not can still be dangerous to say. And, we don’t realize how many people it could hurt.

There are examples that I have received as comments and even private Emails. Several readers have written to me and said that particular Rabbis that I quoted were wrong in what they said. They even quote other well-known Rabbis who have stated this information. If I put this on my blog, it would be LASHON HARAH said about the Rabbi I quoted, it would be LASHON HARAH about the Rabbis my reader used to verify the information, it would be LASHON HARAH against me for quoting this Rabbi and it would be LASHON HARAH for any reader who believed the LASHON HARAH said.

Who is punished for the sin of LASHON HARAH? The one who says the LASHON HARAH, the one who passes the information to others (like good old gossip) and the ones who hear the LASHON HARAH and believe it, ARE ALL GUITY OF THE SIN. In this case, the statement made about the Rabbi in the first place was incorrect. I didn’t quote someone without checking it thoroughly. That means that the slander would have hurt the Rabbi being quoted, who is held in high regard by many, many Jews, it hurts the Rabbis who supposedly are passing on such LASHON HARAH, who were also held in high regard and it hurt those who say the LASHON HARAH and those who believe the gossip. Nobody wins, especially if the Rabbi being slandered, who unnecessarily loses credibility. When you have Rabbis, teachers, righteous people who help many, many people to grow in Judaism and someone comes along and diminishes their credibility, everyone is hurt.

What if a Rabbi is actually hurting others with what he is saying? Someone like myself should avoid even talking about that Rabbi. If I think that I am helping by slandering that Rabbi and I turn out to be wrong, I have committed a very serious sin – LASHON HARAH that cannot be taken back. That is another problem with LASHON HARAH. Once the damage is done, the person who is being slandered is ruined. If someone recants a statement saying that he was wrong about what he said, most people would hear the recant but would still have doubts about the whether the original statement was really true or not. It is important to not read LASHON HARAH and not believe it if read. I am not allowed to believe it!!!

Let me give you another example that I personally experienced. It is so subtle and definitely with no intentions of trying to hurt anyone. I was signing up for my college courses for the next semester and there was a particular subject that was on my curriculum. A friend of mine saw that I was going to take that class, at which time he told me: “I took that class last semester, it was a great class, and you definitely want to take it with Professor Peloni; he is the best one to teach it.” It sounded like good advice, but I questioned if my friend never took the course with any other professor, how can he say that P Peloni is the best? It is LASHON HARAH since my friend is actually discrediting the other professors that he really didn’t even know. If the word got around, all the other professors teaching that course would be slandered, since gossip grows and becomes like a cancer. It wouldn’t take too long before many would believe that most of the professors are not too good. That was never the intensions of my friend, but it is what LASHON HARAH does; needlessly ruins good people.

The even sadder part of this episode is my friend could have easily worded his statement without the LASHON HARAH. Such as: I took that course last semester with Professor Peloni who I thought did a very good job teaching the material. Nothing implied about “watch out for the other professors who aren’t as good.

This example was a personal occurrence, but it happens all the time with speakers at seminars. People don’t often say: make sure you catch the lecture by Rabbi So-and-so, they say go see Rabbi So-and-So, he is the best one in the seminar – LASHON HARAH.

When I receive comments about someone, I am not allowed by Torah to believe any negative comments made about people, even other readers. It is LASHON HARAH and I can be punished for believing it. If I pass it on to my readers, the punishment is more severe, since I may have caused others to believe it.

Another statement that we hear often is: “this is not LASHON HARAH, but did you see what XXXX did?” Of course it is LASHON HARAH, and announcing it as not being LASHON HARAH doesn’t make it OK. We may not believe it, but the gravest of these sins of tale-bearing is LASHON HARAH, which involves discrediting a person or saying negative things about a person, even if those negative things are true. Indeed, true statements are even more damaging than false ones, because you can't defend yourself by disproving the negative statement if it's true! Some sources indicate that LASHON HARAH is equal in seriousness to murder, idol worship, and incest/adultery (the only three sins that we may not violate even to save a life).

Are there times that talking about others or tale-bearing are permitted?

There are a few exceptional circumstances when tale-bearing is allowed, or even required. Most notably, tale-bearing is required in a Jewish court of law, because it is a mitzvah to give testimony and that mitzvah overrides the general prohibition against tale-bearing. Thus, a person is required to reveal information, even if it is something that was explicitly told in confidence, and even if it will harm a person, in a Jewish court of law (the court is there for the purpose of determining the truth).

A person is also required to reveal information to protect a person from immediate, serious harm. For example, if a person hears that others are plotting to kill someone, he is required to reveal this information. That is another reason why the commandment not to go about as a tale-bearer is juxtaposed with "you shall not stand aside while your fellow's blood is shed."

In limited circumstances, one is also permitted to reveal information if someone is entering into a relationship that he would not enter if he knew certain information. For example, it may be permissible to tell a person that his prospective business partner is untrustworthy, or that a prospective spouse has a disease. This exception is subject to significant and complex limitations; however, if those limitations are satisfied, the person with the information is required to reveal it.

In all of these exceptions, a person is not permitted to reveal information if the same objective could be fulfilled without revealing information. For example, if you could talk a person out of marrying for reasons other than the disease, you may not reveal the disease.

Hard to believe that LASHON HARAH is that serious. Watch this video of an Autistic boy telling us why he was punished with this affliction. It is entitled “Why I Returned as a Reincarnation (English Subtitles):”


 We have heard from other Facilitated Communications individuals why they returned with such physical horrors. LASHON HARAH was a very prevalent reason. This pertains to every one of us. Death does not erase LASHON HARAH; it is often followed by the punishment for this severe sin.

It is an interesting topic that these individuals who have been giving us messages from Hashem have been the topic or LASHON HARAH. Secular professionals have denied that these messages are real since they have trouble accepting anything that could possibly be related to Hashem. We have seen in Bava Basra 12 and in Parshat Shoftim proof from Hashem telling us that the FC individuals are giving His messages. Not believing or talking against these individuals because they may defy flawed human logic is LASHON HARAH (against the individuals, against me if I present their messages on this blog and against Hashem who told us to listen to them).

LASHON HARAH is not to be messed with, especially when we are so close to the end and our final judgment is imminent. As I stated: the punishment doesn’t disappear; in fact, it will be addressed on Judgment Day.

It is forbidden to even imply or suggest negative things about a person. It is forbidden to say negative things about a person, even in jest. It is likewise considered a "shade of LASHON HARAH" to say positive things about a person in the presence of his enemies, because this will encourage his enemies to say negative things to contradict you!

If you are still of the misconception about what LASHON HARAH really is and why it is so, so dangerous, then you found an area to study until Moshiach is introduced. I have been questioned recently about what would be a good topic to study when there is little time left to do Teshuvah. Now you know. Forget what you thought LASHON HARAH is and do yourself a great advantage. Work on this, one of the greatest of sins; time is running out.

Further information on the topic of “Wronging a Person through Speech.”

Leviticus 25:17 says, "You shall not wrong one another." This has traditionally been interpreted as wronging a person with speech. It includes any statement that will embarrass, insult or deceive a person, or cause a person emotional pain or distress.

Here are some commonly-used examples of behavior that is forbidden by this mitzvah:

  • You may not call a person by a derogatory nickname, or by any other embarrassing name, even if he is used to it.
  • You may not ask an uneducated person for an opinion on a scholarly matter (that would draw attention to his lack of knowledge or education).
  • You may not ask a merchant how much he would sell something for if you have no intention of buying.
  • You may not refer someone to another person for assistance when you know the other person cannot help (in other words, it's a violation of Jewish law to give someone the run-around!).
  • You may not deceive a person, even if no harm is done by the deception; for example, you may not sell non-kosher meat to a non-Jew telling him that it is kosher, even though no harm is done to the non-Jew by this deception.
  • You may not sell a person damaged goods without identifying the damage, even if the price you give is fair for the goods in their damaged condition.
  • You may not offer a person a gift or invite a person to dinner if you know that the person will not accept.
  • You may not compliment a person if you do not mean it.
A very hidden area of LASHON HARAH is the media. There is so much LASHON HARAH in the news, on the web, YouTube, etc, etc, etc. Gossip has always been a big seller of news. Slandering people has always been financially rewarding in the media. Whether is it true or not, is totally unimportant; it is LASHON HARAH and should not have your attention. We see so much fake news these days that even adds to the slander.

If you do read such trash, you are not allowed to believe it. Once again, you can be punished for believing such nonsense – stay away from it, and definitely don’t pass it on to others no matter how insignificant it may seem. The only exception is if you are reading about someone who will bring great harm to you and your family; you are permitted to protect your interests.

I have one more story that should really drive home the importance of avoiding LASHON HARAH. The world is in such a horrible condition because of the first man, Adam, ate the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good & evil. He actually did it with good intentions since he thought it would raise his spiritual level closer to Hashem. So, why is the world so punished because of this act by Adam? When Adam was confronted by Hashem and asked: What did you do? Instead of doing Teshuvah and telling Hashem how sorry he was and then making sure he never did it again (which would have worked), Adam said: IT WAS THAT WOMAN YOU GAVE ME WHO MADE ME DO IT!!!!!! In other words, we are suffering today in this world of chaos and evil because Adam answered with “LASHON HARAH.” Instead of taking responsibility for his sin, he made an even worse sin by blaming his actions on someone else and even blaming Hashem for giving him “the-someone-else.”

LASHON HARAH IS EXTREMELY DANGEROUS; JUST ASK ADAM, THE FIRST PERSON TO USE IT.
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Yesterday I received this excellent comment from one of our dear readers Mordechai Lewis. He gave us four videos to watch that enhance our topic here. If you haven’t watched these, take some time and watch; they are very well done:
Think Before You Click!
https://youtu.be/WzgeKJMKco0
Seeing the Good in Others
https://youtu.be/KaDyj65nCZ0
40,000 words
https://chofetzchaimheritagefoundation.org/tishabav/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/40k-Words.mp4
Feathers
https://chofetzchaimheritagefoundation.org/tishabav/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/Feathers.mp4
Thank you Mordechai.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Revenge is Sweet - so why does the Torah forbid it?

                                                               בס"ד
by Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students, Diaspora Yeshiva

Sunday, July 16, 2017

How to Cure MACHLOKET

                                                                             בס"ד
by Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students, Diaspora Yeshiva

Many American Jewish Groups are now embroiled in a bitter dispute with the Prime Minister and the Government of Israel. We are witness to shocking displays of Sinat Chinam (baseless hatred). Our progressive Jewish brethren in the U.S.A. must realize that the Torah's principles are eternal, even while science, medicine, and technology evolve and progress.

How can we rid ourselves of this baseless hatred and Lashon Hara that appear to be spreading throughout the Jewish World? The Chofetz Chayim offers a profound explanation of the root of Sinat Chinom and Lashon Hara. The catalyst of discord is the focus on points of dissimilarity between us, to the exclusion of the things we have in common. Another person may have many wonderful qualities, but we don't see them because we are so zeroed in on the components of the other person's personality that we detest.

Lashon Hara results from focusing on another’s negative traits and not seeing his positive qualities. When we cannot see beyond the things that irk us about his personality, we may feel the need to share those negative feelings with others. The Torah warns that one who speaks Lashon Hara will be afflicted with Tzoraat. What is the Mida K'neged Mida here (measure for measure punishment)?

A person who has Tzoraat may be 99% healthy. There may be only one small blotch of Tzoraat on his skin. Yet that one blotch renders him a Metzora, totally unclean (TAMEI, ritually defiled). The l% of afflicted skin completely defines him, just as he defined another person by focusing only on the 1% of his personality that he dislikes.

The Hebrew Word MACHLOKET (quarrel and dispute) is derived from the word CHELEK (a part), for one involved in a dispute sees only a part of the entire picture. My Rebbe, Rabbi Avraham Pam zt”l, noted that it is our responsibility to constantly espouse the merits and virtues of Klal Yisrael. The Tanna D'vei Eliyahu speaks about the intense pleasure Hashem has when we speak kindly of our fellow Jews. Rabbi Pam bemoaned the fact that it is common to hear people speaking about the spiritual degeneration and sinfulness of our times.

However, we must realize that Hashem derives no pleasure from such negative speech about our fellow Jews. Rabbi Pam added, "Perhaps this malady is one of the causes of the delaying of Moshiach."

It is analogous to a father who has a wayward son, who causes the father much heartache and grief. If a person approaches the father and tells him about some negative behavior that the son is involved in, it will cause the father great anguish, even though the father is aware of his son's wicked behavior. However, if the person would tell the father how his son helped and acted kindly to him, the father would be extremely appreciative.

So too, Hashem waits to hear words of defense and merit on behalf of Jews, especially by other Jews. Hashem does not put any labels on Jews. For Him, there are no Orthodox, Conservative, or Reform Jews. We are ALL His Beloved Jewish People. It is not a matter of being blind to the truth of our faults but a matter of focus and perspective. What do you choose to see? Unless you have the ability to correct and rectify evils that are committed by other Jews, you should not speak negatively and derisively about ANY Jew. Rather, we must seek out our fellow Jews’ positive traits and focus on them.

There are undoubtedly many serious challenges and problems confronting the Jewish world. However, there is no shortage of merits that we all possess. It is all a matter of maintaining a proper perspective.

Let us focus on seeing the proverbial glass as half full instead of half empty. Let us learn to agree to disagree with respect and cordiality.