30 June 2015

It Has Begun...

13 Tamuz 5775

16 Facts About The Tremendous Financial Devastation That We Are Seeing All Over The World

As we enter the second half of 2015, financial panic has gripped most of the globe. Stock prices are crashing in China, in Europe and in the United States. Greece is on the verge of a historic default, and now Puerto Rico and Ukraine are both threatening to default on their debts if they do not receive concessions from their creditors. Not since the financial crisis of 2008 has so much financial chaos been unleashed all at once. Could it be possible that the great financial crisis of 2015 has begun?

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28 June 2015

What Took Them So Long?

11 Tamuz 5775

It's been three days already - time enough for the whole world to go rainbows and organize massive parades with spectators numbered in the millions, literally. I'm surprised it waited three whole days...
Lutheran pastor says Jews to blame for destroying Christian values after US approves gay marriage
Mark Dankof, a Lutheran pastor and political activist, declared the Jews to blame for the Supreme Court's ruling on Friday which declared any law to ban gay marriage unconstitutional.

..."It should not be ignored that the victories for abortion on demand and LGBT rights are reflective of the disproportionate influence of Jewish power, money, and activism in the United States," he declared.
Three of the five votes in favor were cast by Jews. That's very high-profile. And then the news coverage is focusing on non-Orthodox Jewish groups out celebrating with the masses, so it leaves the Torah-observant Jewish community in a quandary.

The ground is heating up and getting a bit shaky. I hope and pray that everyone is prepared.

Significant Natural Events in Eretz Yisrael

11 Tamuz 5775

I would be remiss if I did not comment on the very strange and unusual weather occurring presently in Eretz Yisrael.

I'm twenty years here and I've never seen anything like this. For the past week, it has felt more like fall than summer. I could almost hear the shofar-practicing of Elul. Instead of the crystal clear deep blue skies of mid-summer, the sky has been so full of clouds that the direct sunlight was mostly blocked.

We commonly have high winds around my house near the edge of Wadi Qelt, but last night the wind storm that was raging around midnight sounded like it would beat down the exterior stone walls. This morning, I hear there is rain in Jerusalem and reportedly elsewhere around the country, too...

Strange summer weather hits Israeli coastline

Rain from Haifa to Ashdod, strong winds and a raging sea: inclement weather has hit Israel at the end of June.

All I can think is that it's a reflection of the turmoil in Shamayim over world events and how they are going to play out in this blessed, holy land.

Earthquakes are infrequent, but they do occur. I've felt 3 and 4 pointers. There was once even a 5.0 near the Dead Sea. But no one I know felt the one which occurred over Shabbat (5.5), even though the news reported that it was felt from far south in Eilat to as far north as Nahariya near the Lebanese border. 

That brought to mind what one of the rabbis said about the coming war - that it would start in the south and quickly move to the north. I read that it was centered in the area that some tradition says the Red Sea split for the Children of Israel. Egypt was also said to be very shaken by it. 

All I know for sure is that nothing happens by accident. Everything is by design. And therefore, everything that happens holds a message for us. Heaven is speaking. Are we listening?

The One Week Countdown to 17th of Tamuz

11 Tamuz 5775

The 4th of July is shaping up to be a firecracker of a day this year and it just happens to fall out on the 17th of Tamuz as well.

In case you missed this YWN article, here's what British Jews have to look forward to next Shabbat...

The Jewish Press is reporting tonight that...

American police forces from coast to coast are on alert from federal officials that the Islamic State (ISIS) is planning to terrorize the country during the July 4 Independence Day holiday.

In case the Israelis are feeling left out, there's something for you, too. It is being reported on the Secret Jerusalem facebook page that...

"...a great deal" of Christian Arabs living in East Jerusalem have received the following letter from ISIS threatening their lives if they do not leave Jerusalem by the end of Ramadan.

(See also here.)

Is it just me, or does it feel like everything just went up another notch (again)!

27 June 2015

America Down the Crapper

11 Tamuz 5775

Did I get your attention with that title? Are you awake now? I hope so. America is over. Done. The only question remaining is - how many American Jews are going to get flushed along with it?

Instead of standing up and saying, well, brothers and sisters, it's been a nice visit, but it's time to go home, the OU has issued the usual fence-straddling, song and dance routine for Jews living in self-imposed exile. What a chillul Hashem!

Orthodox Union Statement on Supreme Court’s Ruling

...Our religion is emphatic in defining marriage as a relationship between a man and a woman. Our beliefs in this regard are unalterable. At the same time, we note that Judaism teaches respect for others and we condemn discrimination against individuals.

We are grateful that we live in a democratic society, in which all religions are free to express their opinions about social issues and to advocate vigorously for those opinions.

...We also recognize that no religion has the right to dictate its beliefs to the entire body politic and we do not expect that secular law will always align with our viewpoint. Ultimately, decisions on social policy remain with the democratic process, and today the process has spoken and we accord the process and its result the utmost respect.

Then there's the "Orthodox rabbi" who encourages us to see the bright side. At a time when fewer and fewer people are marrying, he says, at least the law is supportive of the concept of marriage.

I am an orthodox rabbi...I celebrate today’s Supreme Court decision

...more than the notion of marriage was defended today. The most fundamental rights of conscience and religion were defended with today’s Supreme Court decision, no matter how much the leadership of some religious communities claim otherwise.

I feel like it is the night the angels arrived at Lot's home to warn him of the coming destruction. America leads the world in abominations and perversions and specializes in exporting them around the world. If Hashem continues to withhold His righteous judgment on this evil nation for the sake of the Jews who refuse to budge, it will cast doubt on His hashgachah all over the world where people are watching to see if there really is a G-d who judges mankind. What a sanctification of G-d's Name it would be if the whole Orthodox American Jewish community got up, ceremoniously shook the dust of America off their clothes and left for Israel! By the same token, remaining under the circumstances is a massive chillul Hashem. It means the Jews of America have no red lines whatsoever. 

This ruling declares the Law of G-d null and void in America. I understand the celebrating went on throughout the night, all across the country and New York City got special mention as the place where it all got started.

American Jews, the ground is burning under your feet!!!

26 June 2015

Parshat Chukat 5775

9 Tamuz 5775
Erev Shabbat Kodesh

Parashat Hukkat: New rules for a new generation
by Daniel Pinner

Having received the statute of the Red Cow (Numbers 19), the method whereby a Jew who has become ritually defiled by coming into contact with a dead body becomes purified, the generation which had grown up as slaves in Egypt completes its task.

There follows an empty 38-year period, about which the Torah is silent. In the words of Rabbi Yosef Tzvi Hertz (Chief Rabbi of the British Empire 1913-1946), “the reason is not far to seek. The men of that generation had been found wanting, and condemned to a dying life in the wilderness. Their story was, therefore, of no further spiritual value to the Israel of the future”.

The Torah records that “the Children of Israel, the entire community, came to the Zin Desert in the first month, and the nation dwelt in Kadesh” (Numbers 20:1), in the fortieth and final year of their desert wanderings, either on the 1st of Nissan (Megillat Ta’anit 17 and Seder Olam Rabbah 9) or the 10th of Nisan (Targum Yonatan to Numbers 20:1).

The very first event that happened in that final year was that “Miriam died there and was buried there” (Numbers 20:1).

Shortly afterwards the Torah records that Aaron died at Mount Hor, at the border of the land of Edom, where he was buried (vs. 23-29). Later on, when recapping the desert wanderings (33:38-39), the Torah will add the detail that Aaron died on the 1st of Av, four months after his sister Miriam.

And between the deaths of these two leaders occurred another event, the consequences of which occupy virtually all of our commentators.

“There was no water for the community, so they assembled against Moshe and Aaron, and the nation confronted Moshe, saying: If only we had died, as our brothers died before Hashem! Why have you brought Hashem’s assembly to this desert to die there – us and our animals? And why did you bring us up out of Egypt to this bad place – not a place of seeds or figs or grapes or pomegranates? There isn’t even water to drink!” (20:2-5).

Moshe and Aaron turned from the Children of Israel into the Tent of Meeting, where God instructed Moshe: “Take the Staff, and assemble the community – you and Aaron your brother – and speak to the rock before their eyes, and it will give its waters; thus you will bring water out of the rock, and you will water the community and their animals” (v. 8).

Moshe struck the rock twice with his Staff, water gushed forth, and the entire nation and their animals drank.

But then comes the puzzling riposte: “Hashem said to Moshe and Aaron: Because you did not believe in Me, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the Children of Israel – therefore you will not bring this assembly to the Land which I have given them” (v. 12).

The commentators grapple with this. What sin had Moshe and Aaron committed? How exactly did they not believe in God?

Let us recall two very similar incidents which had happened some 39 years earlier. Three days after the Splitting of the Red Sea, the Children of Israel came to Marah, where the waters were undrinkable because they were so bitter (Exodus 15:23). When they complained to Moshe, Moshe shouted out to God; He indicated a tree to Moshe, which Moshe threw into the waters, which thereupon became sweet and drinkable (v. 25).

And about a month later they camped in Rephidim, where again there was no water, and again the nation demanded that Moshe supply water. “And Hashem said to Moshe: Pass before the nation, taking some of the Elders of Israel with you; and take your Staff with which you struck the River Nile in your hand…and strike the rock; and water will flow out from it, and the nation will drink” (17:5-6).

So when Moshe struck the rock in Kadesh in the Zin Desert in the fortieth year of wandering, he was actually following the precedent which God Himself had commanded decades earlier in Rephidim.

Rashi (commentary to Numbers 20:10, 11, and 12) suggests that Moshe’s sin was both angrily reprimanding the Children of Israel for their demands for water and striking the rock instead of talking to it as God had commanded.

But as the Ramban (commentary to Numbers 20:1) notes, the fact that God commanded Moshe to “take the Staff” could have implied that he use it to strike the rock: “If He wanted him solely to speak [to the rock], then why hold the Staff in his hand?”

In his commentary to verse 3, Rashi notes their plaint – “If only we had died, as our brothers died before Hashem!” – and comments: “Death by thirst is worse than death by plague”. That is to say, when facing the horrifying prospect of a slow and tortuous death by thirst in the desert, they envied their fellow-Jews whom God had killed by plague: at least that death was mercifully quick!

Hence, Rashi seems to imply, the Children of Israel were justified in clamouring for water, and wanting it quickly.

Certainly, as the Rambam (Shmoneh Perakim, Chapter 4) points out, God was not angry with the Jews for demanding water. And so, the Rambam concludes, Moshe and Aaron’s sin lay in implying that God was angry with the Children of Israel for their demands: “Hear now, you rebels…” (v. 10) implies anger – but it was Moshe’s anger, not God’s.

I tentatively offer an idea which synthesises these commentaries:

In none of the cases when the Children of Israel demanded water was God angry with them: it was a legitimate demand. On the first two occasions, God directed Moshe to sweeten the water (in Marah) and to bring forth water from the rock (in Rephidim) through actions which connoted physical strength – throwing a tree into the bitter waters (in Marah) and physically striking the rock (in Rephidim).

For sure, these events were miraculous – and they demonstrated physical might. The same Staff which had defeated and destroyed Egypt was still as powerful as ever – albeit working for their good and not as a threat, but still a reminder of the immense force that God had unleashed against the mighty oppressor-nation.

That was appropriate for a generation which had grown up as slaves, oppressed under Egyptian whips, a generation which was destined to pass away in the desert, a generation which would be found wanting, and condemned to a dying life in the wilderness, a generation whose story was of no further spiritual value to the Israel of the future.

But this was singularly inappropriate for a new generation, a generation which had grown up free in the desert, a generation which stood on the verge of national freedom and independence in its own Land.

Brandishing the Staff and displaying its power, reminding the nation of what awaited them if they challenged God, was an appropriate and maybe necessary component of educating and re-educating the generation which was still infused with slave mentality.

The generation of Egypt needed a stern leader; they needed Moshe, whose motto was “Let the law pierce the mountain!” (Sanhedrin 6b; Yalkut Shimoni, Malachi 588).

But the generation which was to be entrusted with building a nation-state had to be imbued with the spirit of freedom. The generation of freedom needed a different leader, a different leadership.

Moshe was the perennial outsider, the Jew who had been taken from his parents’ house as a baby and raised as an Egyptian prince, who had spent his youth with a Midianite ex-minister, who only rejoined his people when he was eighty, who was never really fully one of the people whom he led.

That stern, aloof love was what the nation needed to wean them from their slave mentality, their inferiority complexes which had been bred by generations of persecution.

When Moshe struck the rock in Kadesh, he demonstrated that his leadership was not appropriate for leading the nation in the Land of Israel. In Egypt, yes; in the desert, yes; but not for a nation building its independence.

In two weeks’ time, in Parashat Pinchas, after the débâcle with the Moabite girls in which 24,000 Jews died, God reminds Moshe of this incident in the Zin Desert, reiterating that because of it he would not enter the Land of Israel.

And then God continued: “Take to yourself Joshua son of Nun…and lay your hand on him…and place some of your majesty upon him” (Numbers 27:18-20) – “‘some of your majesty’, but not all of it” (Bava Batra 75a). As befits a free and independent nation, Joshua was to rule by consent.

And such continued Jewish history in the Land of Israel: the Judges who ruled the nation for the first 370 years ruled by consent. The monarchy was established, with King Saul as first King of Israel, by popular demand (1 Samuel 8:4-10:24).

And according to this understanding, God did not punish Moshe by decreeing that he would not lead the Children of Israel into their Land. Instead, He demonstrated that Moshe was not the appropriate leader for that new generation living the new reality.

And this also explains why Miriam and Aaron both died in that same period. The three great leaders who had led Israel in the final year of slavery, who had led them in overthrowing the Egyptian tyrants, who had defeated that mighty kingdom, who had led them firmly out of Egypt, through the Red Sea, to Mount Sinai, and through the desert for nigh on 40 years – those were not the appropriate leaders for the new generation in their era of freedom and independence.

And commensurate with this, the prophet Hosea looks forward to the future time: “And it will be on that day, says Hashem, you [Israel] will call Me Ishi, and you will no longer call Me Ba’ali” (Hosea 2:18) – “Ishi”, my Husband, literally “my Man”, instead of “Ba’ali”, my Husband, literally “my Master”.

Rashi explains: “‘You will call Me Ishi’ – you will worship Me out of love and not out of fear; ‘Ishi’, an expression of ‘ishut’ [marital relationship, denoting sensual love], the love of youth; ‘Ba’ali’ – an expression of mastery”.

That is to say – if in the present time it is appropriate for us to relate to God as a Master, in the future time to come we will relate to Him as a loving bride relating to her equally loving Groom.

These are the new rules for the new generation – a generation of freedom, a generation of independence, a generation ruled by love.

25 June 2015

"Who is a Power as Great as God?"

9 Tamuz 5775

This appears to be corroborated by a report (TRANSFORMATION OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM) by a Russian geophysicist published in 1997.

His conclusion: "...Our Planet Earth is now in the process of a dramatic transformation; by altering the electromagnetic skeleton through a shift of the geomagnetic field poles, and through compositional changes in the ozone, and hydrogen, saturation levels of its gas-plasma envelopes. These changes in the Earth's physical state are being accompanied by resultant climatic/atmospheric, and biospheric, adaptation processes. These processes are becoming more and more intense, and frequent, as evidenced by the real time increase in "non-periodic transient events"; ie., catastrophes."

And just look at how it has increased in the intervening years!

In other words, all of creation is preparing for the transformation that will accompany the geulah shleimah!!

The Confederate Flag Controversy

8 Tamuz 5775

Yahoo news posted this photo with an article by some Georgetown professor which I chose not to read. Why waste my time? Until now, I have not commented on this controversy, but since it is obviously being manipulated by The Powers That Be (TPTB) - the NWO gang - I decided it was time to take a public position.

To give you a clue where I come from, the phrase "damn yankees" was often heard in the home where I grew up.

When I was still in school, revisionist history and PC language had not yet come into vogue. I actually got a good education with what I believe to be a fair and accurate view of events which at that time were only 100 years distant.

My response to this Yahoo photo is as follows:

Southerners never claimed to be a master race, never invaded another country or attempted to take over the world or exterminate an entire people. Many Southerners opposed slavery. Slavery was not the core issue of the Civil War - States Rights were. Our ancestors fought to preserve the original vision of the founding fathers where the majority of the power rested with the individual states and NOT with the federal government. The Confederacy fought to preserve the right of individual states to decide issues like slavery (and today gay marriage and abortion) at the state level and not be dictated to from the Federal level. Just think, if we'd won back then, it would have set the NWO process back a long ways. They had big plans for America - plans which required that the Union be preserved at all costs.

Today, I fly this flag on my blog in honor of my ancestors, none of whom owned slaves, but who fought a good fight for a noble cause...

Corporal William H. Branson
Company A, North Carolina
Van Buren Regiment, 2nd Infantry Battalion
Army - Confederate States of America

William Lamar Collins
Angelina, Texas
Army - Confederate States of America

Jacob A. Richardson
Company B, Simpson County, Mississippi
Speights Battalion, Heavy Artillery
Army - Confederate States of America