Sunday, March 9, 2014

#214 - Bringing DOWN the Torah

To Hashem, no location in the heavenly spheres or the planetary system is limited.  Regardless of the type of spiritual or physical life in any given place, Hashem is equally there.  The only practical difference is regarding to us - whether we will feel spirtuality.  You see, in the spiritual world, both the righteous and the wicked know very well that it is the world of truth where they feel Hashem's presence - the only variable being to what degree and through which medium.  But in this physical world, the Shechina (Divine Presence) isn't just felt anywhere, but mainly either in Israel or in a place of Torah learning/prayer.  Chances are is that one who lives a holy life will feel Hashem's presence far more than one who doesn't live such a life.  But even without this, one who lives a holy life will nonetheless feel Hashem's presence to some degree, via love and fear of Him.

Based on this, the number one person who walked on this planet to have this type of feeling was Moses, whose birthday/Yahrzeit is today - 7 Adar.  Unlike all the other prophets who had to make spiritual preparations but even at this were not guaranteed to receive prophecy, Moses was called by Hashem without prior preparations, as he was already spiritually ready for this.

Regardless, this did not prevent Moses from interacting with this physical, mundane world.  For although Moses had his times when he was virtually only spiritual, such as the three times of 40 day periods when he spent time in the heavens, and as attested to in the Torah, he didn't eat or drink during this time, he was able to demonstrate his greatness specifically by being the leader of the Jewish people, of whom, not all of them were always appreciative of Moses, and hence, Moses had to spend some time dealing with their materialistic issues.

Indeed, following the sin of the Jews at the Golden Calf, which was at the end of the first period of 40 days for Moses in the heavens, Hashem tells him - Lech Reid "Go down..." (Exodus 32:7), and as Rashi explains, Hashem was telling Moses that he should lower himself from his position as the leader since the only reason that he was leader to begin with was because of the Jewish people; however, now that they have sinned, he wouldn't be of service anymore (with the original assumption that Hashem was going to kill the nation until Moses begged for mercy).

Now wait a minute.  You may have noticed a contradiction here.  First I implied here that by Moses interacting with the people as per their materialistic issues, he was in essence lowering himself, since after all, here he was a tremendous Torah scholar who knows that the Torah is the most valuable thing, but he had to deal with some for whom Torah obviously didn't mean the most precious thing to them to say the least.  But then, I quote from the context of Hashem telling Moses to "go down from his position", which implies that beforehand, he was in a high spiritual state in the leadership position that he was in.

Let us turn to the Talmud (Megilla 13a) which quotes a verse in Divrei HaYomim: "Yehudiya gave birth to Yered the father of Gedor, Chever the father of Socho, and Yekutiel the father of Zanoach, and these are the sons of Bithya the daughter of Pharaoh" (I Chronicles 4:18).  From the literal meaning of this verse, you would think that there are two or more families involved here; but believe it or not, there are only two people here - Bithya, the Egyptian princess who converted to Judaism, and Moses, whom Bithya discovered as Baby Moses in a reed basket on the Nile River, who was left by his family due to fears of the Egyptians finding and drowning him due to a prediction of astrologers who were saying that the redeemer of Israel would be born around that time.  As it turns out, the basis of their prediction in the stars was referring to none other than Moses himself.

As the Talmud notes, Yehudiya, which literally means Jewess, refers to Bithya because she converted to Judaism, and the other names inbetween are in fact all names of Moses; for as our rabbis tell us, he was given a total of 10 names as everyone gave him a different name.  However, the ONLY name that the Chumash, which is known in English as the Five Books of Moses, even mentions is Moshe, named by Bithya herself, based on the phrase Ki Min HaMayim MESHITIHU "For I DREW him out of the water".  And being that Bithya both rescued Moses and raised him in her father's palace, she is given credit as if she actually gave birth to him.

As the Talmud continues, she is named here Yehudiya because she negated idol worship, as the verse states, "She went down to bathe by the river".  And in case anyone thought it was because it was a nice or hot summer day to do so (and it was in fact the beginning of the summer because our rabbis tell us that this incident occured on the future holiday of Shavuot that occurs in this time of the year), Rabbi Yochanan has news for us "She went down to bathe herself from the idolatry of her father's house", the same way that one who converts to Judaism does so by using the Mikva (ritualarium) as part of the conversion process.

Anyways, beginning the analysis of Moses' various names here, the first one mentioned is Yered, which has the same letters as the Hebrew number for 214 - the number of this post.  Incidentally, this is the same name as Yered, the great-great-great grandson of Adam and great-great grandfather of Noah; in short, the sixth generation in parental line from Adam and Eve.  The Talmud notes that the reason why he was named as such was to hint to the future time when it would be in his merit that the Jews would receive the manna, for as per the meaning of this word, which has the meaning of coming down, it implies that the manna CAME DOWN for the Jews in his days.

Now, a most astonishing thing is brought by the Artscroll translation and commentary on the Talmud.  It brings the Vilna Gaon who says that the correct reading of the text, in lieu of the manna being brought down for the Jews, is "because he (Moses) BROUGHT DOWN THE TORAH to the Jews".

Having said this, it is true that throughout the Mishna, Talmud and Zohar, among other texts, there are variant readings of many words, where usually, the variant reading is a similar word being suggested.  The reason that this is so is because in the old days, writing was either not so eligible as it is nowadays, so it could have been misread, or the word could have been mixed up with another similar word when copied over.   Other instances of changes happened thanks to censureship, usually due to non-Jews who were printers, and may have not liked certain words or phrases, including in prayers, that either would seem to refer to non-Jews in a bad light, or to the false Christian god for that matter.  In fact, there is even a compilation of texts that were part of the original Talmud, but were left out due to Christian censureship.

In any case, we see that this type of alternative reading from the Vilna Gaon to be very unusual.  Well first, the text of the Talmud as we have it uses the word Yarad (came down), which is in essence the same word as Moses' earlier name Yered, except for the vowels, while in the Vilna Gaon's reading, it should be Horid (brought down).  But the main point that is quite unusual is that a totally different word or subject is offered here - Torah instead of manna, as not even one letter is shared between these two words.  So the question begs to be asked - Is the Vilna Gaon suggesting to change the wording of the Talmud, because he prefers to see the reason as related to the most important thing which is the Torah?  This is true, but does this justify deciding to change what the rabbis wrote?  It can't be just a simple mistake in copying something over, because the only real common denominator in the different phrases is that the name Yisrael, referring to the Jewish nation, is mentioned.

I say that yes, the Vilna Gaon is actually saying that the reason that should be given for the name Yered should be about the Torah, which is the main thing, rather than the manna, though it was a spiritual food, and in fact, the Talmud even tells us in Tractate Yoma that the Torah was given specifically to those who ate the manna.  In other words, he is begging to differ, and he seems to actually to be arguing about what the reason should be given, the same way that in numerous occasions, both in Halacha and Aggada, various rabbis each give a different reason for a certain thing.  Now in case one will wonder how anyone, since the writing of the Talmud some 1,500 years later, can dare have the Chutzpa to contradict what any rabbi says in the Talmud because he feels that it should be different; the Vilna Gaon, though not among the Talmudic rabbis, with his supreme knowledge of the Torah that far few attained clearly within the last 1,000 years at least, could talk, and ESPECIALLY, when it comes to emphasing what the most important thing is in life, as it was most important in his own life.  For while it is true, as the Talmud notes in Tractate Ta'anit, the manna came to the Jews especially in the merit of Moses; Moses brought down from the heavens something so far more important, that everything else pales in significance.  And so, even though normally, with what is called the Yerida - the spiritual going DOWN or decline - of the generations, we are on a much lower level of Torah learning, the Vilna Gaon is one of the few who didn't fit this criteria; and so, if it were the Vilna Gaon who would have been among the Talmudic rabbis, no doubt that his opinion about the name of Moses' name Yered would have been mentioned, because after all, what rabbi would disagree about what the most important thing is that that he is supposed to represent?

In fact, the Talmud in Tractate Shabbat records the dialogue between Moses and the angels when he attempted to bring the Torah down to the Jewish people, since after all, as the angels argued, how could Moses, a man of flesh and blood, have the nerve to take down a Torah that is most spiritual from a most spiritual place up above to a coarse, materialistic world.  It was only because Moses showed the angels how the Torah was not practical for them, being that they are not human beings who have materialistic needs, that they were convinced that he was right, and they even wound up giving him gifts at the end, including the Angel of Death himself.

Accordingly, we see a direct connection between the going down of Bithia to bathe herself from idolatry and the Torah being brought down.  For how it works in this world is that a descent - at least a physical descent, and sometimes a spiritual descent too - in order to have a spiritual elevation.  And as for the Torah, though it would now be brought down to a materialistic plane, this is in fact the ultimate purpose of the Torah, for though it is Hashem's Wisdom, part of this wisdom is that the Jews would observe its commandments in this finite world, including many commandments that involve materialistic items that are used in serving Hashem. In fact, the very last Mitzva of the Torah is writing a Torah scroll, and guess what the scroll is made up of - animal hide! Imagine, using an animal, howbeit a kosher one, to be the very medium that makes up the holiest item in Judaism!  And as for the first Mitzva of the Torah, this is the commandments to have children, involving using our most pleasurable base desire in order to be able to fulfill this Mitzva.  For in fact, parents are partners with Hashem in bringing down a person to this materialistic world, as mentioned in the Talmudic tractate of Nidda.

Now, the reason why Hashem takes an unblemished, untained soul from the heavens and brings it down to this lowly, materialistic world which is full of sin to begin with, is in order to earn its reward, via using the materialism to become spiritual, rather than falling prey to our base desires for the sake of the desires themselves.  So while it is in fact a tremendous spiritual downfall for a holy soul to be surrounded by such materialism, one can ultimately become even higher than the angels who are always near the Shechina (Divine Presence) by channeling our G-d given talents in the right direction.  And so in essence, the soul of a righteous person (that is, who will become a righteous person for in fact, everyone has free choice) benefits not only himself at the end, but everyone else around him who are willing to follow the correct spiritual path.

Another major example of this concept is illustrated via the next Sephira combination of Gevurah She'B'Netzach, the 23rd one, corresponding to the week in the Jewish calendar from Rosh Hashana which is either in the week of the Torah reading about the various items of the Mishkan (Tabernable) involving all sorts of materialistic items from gold and silver to animal hide, as well as the various materials used for the making of the priestly garments or last week's Parshat Vayikra which is all about offering various sacrifices, which were usually animals.  Very interestingly, where the sinner needs to bring an animal to make atonement, it is the animal being slaughtered and all that makes the person who brought it to the Temple to do Teshuva (repentence); and hence, the animal being slaughtered - though it may sound quite barbaric to some in today's world, including non-observant Jews who look at the Torah as an old fashioned man-made book - served its purpose in getting a person, who before sinned but is now looking to rectify the spiritual blemisht that he created - to be a better servant of Hashem and be worthy of eternal reward.  Indeed, this very Sephira - Gevurah She'B'Netzach - represents this very concept.  For this world is in fact a finite, limited world, which is the concept of Gevurah, judgment and limitation, as opposed to Chesed (kindness) which is open even to those who aren't worthy of it, being granted good sometimes even without the qualification, or limitation, to being a goody-good.  And so, it is precisely through the concept of Gevurah in this world, limiting ourselves in materialism only to the extent that is needed to serve Hashem, that one can achieve Netzach (eternity), which is in fact, the very Sephira that corresponds to Moshe Rabbeinu (Moses). And it was Moshe Rabbeinu who used his spiritual strength to be able to bring down the Torah to this world, having achieved Netzach (victory) over the complaints of the angels, which would ulimately benefit the Jewish people to cause them to be worthy of Netzach, the world of eternity.

On a personal note, my Brit Mila (circumcison) took place on the same date as the corresponding Sephira of Gevurah She'B'Netzach (8 Iyar).  And as we see with the Brit, a piece of foreskin, which represents our base desires, is cut off.  For in effect, Hashem created something - the foreskin, and it is we the Jewish people, as commanded by Hashem, who are supposed to limit the amount of skin that there is with the male member, which by doing so will prevent the soul of the baby boy from being spiritually cut off from, and the act of doing this is compared to bringing a sacrifice in the Temple.

Oh, as for Moses' name Yered which is the same name as the original Biblical Yered, perhaps it isn't so "incidentally".  To note, the original Yered was the SIXTH generation in parental line from Adam.  Accordingly, the manna that Hashem brought down to the Jews took place only in the SIX days of the week, except for Shabbat, and at that, it was on the SIXTH day that the Jews received a double portion of manna, so the extra portion of manna could be eaten on Shabbat.   And as for the Torah, aside from Torah She'B'Al Peh (Oral Torah) whose root is the Mishna which consists of SIX volumes; it is interesting to note another thing from the Vilna Gaon here is that the Chumash in a way consists of SIX books; for each of the books of the Chumash correspond to another millenium of the slated 6,000 years of the world's existance. Now, how it this possible if there are in fact five books of the Chumash?  You see, the Vilna Gaon notes that the story of the Creation of the World is considered like a book in itself.

Hence, according to this, being that each Parsha of Deutronomy, which in this context, is considered the sixth book with corresponds with our current sixth millenium, corresponds to 100 years, noting that though there are technically 11 Parshiyot in this book, the Parshiyot of Nitzavim and Vayeilech are often combined, and hence, are considered a total of 10 Parshiyot - the Parsha of this eighth century of the sixth millenium (5701-5800) is the combined Parshiyot of Nitzavim-Vayeilech.  And noting that there are a total of 70 verses from Nitzavim-Vayeilech, dividing 70 by 100 yields 0.7; and hence, multiplying 73 (as per last year 5773) by 0.7, which yields 51.1, and 74, as per this current year 5774, by 0.7, which yields 51.8, we can see that this Hebrew year 5774 clearly corresponds to the 52nd verse from the beginning of Parshat Nitzavim that is found in Parshat Vayeilech, which is "Gather the people, the men, women, children, and your convert that is found at your gates, in order that they should listen, learn and fear Hashem your G-d, and observe to do all the words of this Torah" (Deutronomy 31:12).  This is the very verse that is the source of the 612nd Mitzva of the Torah, next to the last Mitzva of the Torah, which was for the Jews to gather at the Temple once every seven years on the Succoth holiday following the Shemita (Sabbatical year), and hear portions of Deutronomy, THIS VERY BOOK THAT IS THE SUBJECT OF DISCUSSION HERE, being read from the king.  This is the Mitzva that is known as Hakhel (gather), for the entire Jewish people, even the women and children who were normally exempt from being at the Temple during the holidays, were obligated to be at this event, being compared to Matan Torah (Giving of the Torah).  Moreover, the Hebrew number of this Mitzva - 612, consisting of the letters Tav-Reish-Yud-Beit, has the same letters as the word Brit (covenant) which is used both in referring to the Torah, and even more commonly used, for the Mitzva of Brit Mila, which is the second to the first Mitzva of the Torah.

And on a separate note, there is another Biblical personage with a name that is also the Gematria of 214 - Chur, a nephew of Moses, who was the son of Moses' sister Miriam and Caleb - whose other wife was Bithia.  We first see mention of Chur in the end of Parshat Beshalach in the context of the Jews having its first national war with Amalek.  In the midst of this, both Moses' brother Aaron and Chur supported his arms as Moses lifted his hands up in prayer to Hashem that the Jews should be victorious.  Later on, when Moses was about to leave for Mt. Sinai for his first period of 40 days away, he left the Jewish people under the leadership of Aaron and Chur.  However, on the day before Moses returned to the Jewish people, the Jews were confused, miscalculating the day that they thought Moses said as to when he was going to return, (they thought that the 40 day period was supposed to end on 16 Tammuz, the 40th day from when Moses left, but Moses said he was going to be away for 40 days, which were 40 complete days)  which led to some of them feeling desperate for an alternate leader, which was the Golden Calf idol.  Upon seeing this, Chur protested, and subsequently, was murdered by the idolatrous crowd.  Significantly, perhaps it can be said that since they saw that Moses did not "COME DOWN" when they thought he was supposed to, and Chur protested the result of this, they squashed the challenge to their erronous and devious thinking by murdering Chur.  You see, just as Chur's name is the Gematria of 214, this number is also the Gematria of the word Yarad (came down); for since they didn't see that Moses was going to "come down", and Chur challenged the result of their thinking this way which was their worship of the Golden Calf, they thought that they can solve the problem of their guilty conscience by silencing the one who was attempting to stop their wrong way of thinking and actions.


Moshe Rabbeinu and Rabbi Moshe Feinstein - 7 Adar

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, the greatest decider of Halacha (Jewish Law) of the previous generation and the Rosh Yeshiva of Mesivta Tiferet Yerusalayim in Manhattan for nearly half a century - having the same name as Moshe Rabbeinu, and passed away in 5746 (1986), was born on 7 Adar 5655 (1895) - the same birthdate as that of Moshe Rabbeinu - which was also on the first day of the week as it is this year (Note: When there are two months of Adar, unless one was born on the first Adar, the birthday is celebrated on the second Adar).  But what I want to point out especially here, is that today marks THE BEGINNING OF THE 120th YEAR from the birth of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein.  And as we know in the Torah, starting from the midst of Parshat Chukat in Sefer Bamidbar (Numbers), the events beginning from the passing of Moshe Rabbeinu's sister Miriam (on 10 Nissan) until the end of the Chumash took place in the last year of Moshe Rabbeinu's life.  Hence, we are currently on a 354 day COUNTDOWN (speaking of the concept of going down in this post) until there will be exactly 120 years from the birth of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein on 7 Adar, 5775 ('15), having the same name and birthdate as Moshe Rabbeinu who passed away on his birthday of 7 Adar when he became 120 years old (2368-2488), as noted already in the beginning of Parshat Vayeilech. In fact, it has been said that the passing of Rabbi Moshe Feinstein in 5746 is hinted in the Torah, for the 5746th verse in the Torah - in Parshat Yayeilech - is "It was when Moshe finished writing the words of this Torah until their completion", and as we know, Rabbi Feinstein was a prolific writer, especially noted for the several volumes of the Igrot Moshe, a compilation of his letters of correspondence to those with Halachic queries, as well as Dibrot Moshe, a collection of his words of Torah on various tractates of the Talmud. And since his passing, the Sefer that is entitled Darash Moshe, which consists largely of his words of Torah on the Chumash as well as various sermons that he delivered over the years, has been published (Artscroll has an English translation of this Sefer).  Indeed, it will be very interesting to see what this coming year, as we are now nearing the Redemption as we know based on various prophecies, will be like, for as we also know, it was a month and three days following the passing of Moshe Rabbeinu that Joshua, Moshe's successor, led the entire Jewish nation to Israel (on 10 Nissan).

It should be noted that while many other great rabbis didn't want to make a big deal of their birthdays, since after all, one who is born doesn't necessarily have reason to celebrate if he will not accomplish what he is supposed to in his lifetime, for this world at best is a preparatory state for the world of eternity; Rabbi Moshe Feinstein didn't take his birthday for granted, noting that the fact that he had the same name and birthdate as Moshe Rabbeinu had an influence on him to become what he became, and his family members wished each other a happy birthday on their corresponding birthdays.  And as we see in the Torah, it states that when Moshe Rabbeinu, who was to become the greatest Tzadik (righteous person) who would walk this planet was born, his mother (Yocheved) saw that it was good, and as Rashi notes, their house was filled with (spiritual) light.

And on a final note, as another connection to the number of this post - 214, as well as the Gematria of Moses' name Yered, the Gematria of the birthday of Moshe Rabbeinu - as Zayin (the letter, which is the numerical value of 7) B'Adar (207) - is 214.  (Note: Based on this, today's date Zayin Adar Beit, without the prefix to the month Adar, is also the Gematria of 214, the only difference is the shift of the letter Beit having the meaning of being the second Adar).  And without the prefix of the letter Beit as in B'Adar, just as Zayin Adar, it is the Gematria of 212, the Hebrew number that has the same letters as the word Rebbe (Rabbi), for indeed, Moshe Rabbeinu was the first rabbi, ordained by Hashem Himself.


7 Adar II, 5774

P.S.  The timing of this post - 5:11 AM, can serve as a way to remember that the 5th and final book of the Chumash (The FIVE Books of MOSES) - Sefer Devarim (Deutronomy), which contains 11 Parshiyot, ends with the passing of Moshe Rabbeinu which took place on today's date - 7 Adar.

Friday, March 7, 2014

#213 - "Behold, Days Are Coming..."

The title of this post, which is a familiar phrase in Tanach (Jewish Bible), is the title of this Sefer - Hinei Yomim Bah'im - that I have, which is a collection of sources on the Messianic Era, the Resurrection of the Dead, and the future Eternal World.  While the author of this book did not bring the reason for naming the title of his book as such in his preface, I did notice where he quotes a verse "Behold, days are coming, says Hashem, and I will make a new covenant with the House of Israel and the House of Judah", bringing a commentator known as the Radak (Rabbi David Kimchi) who notes that the new covenant with the Jewish people in the future won't be like the covenant that the Jews nullified by sinning following the giving of the Torah on Mt. Sinai which became annulled, since this future new covenant will be an everlasting one; however, there will not be a new Torah - only what was given on Mt. Sinai.

Now, the Hebrew for new covenant is Brit Chadasha, which is the terminology that Christian missionary groups who attempt to convert Jews to the idol worshipping religion use for the New Testament.  And after all, the Torah is in fact called Brit, for there were three covenants made over the Torah.  However, the term Brit is not exclusive to the concept of Torah; for in fact, when this word is normally used in everyday talk, it typically refers to Brit Mila (circumcision), about which 13 mentions of the word Brit is written in the Torah pertaining to this Mitzva.  And so, if Hashem would have ever meant for us to change to a different religion, it would have been crystal clear to us long ago.

Another misnomer about the concept of the Messiah that the Christians have is that, aside from the wrong candidate, the Messiah already came and that he is going to come once again, or as put, "the second coming of..."  But as we know, the real Messiah is going to come once, or if even according to some sources who say that he will first appear and then disappear for a little while until reappearance, it won't be like thousands of years apart.  For when the Messiah does for appear, it will be at a time that it will be obvious according to the prophecies that it is high time that he shows up, and it will just be a matter of time until things come into place preparing for a new world order that will not only not be threatening, but will be the utopian setting that the world has been waiting for since the sin of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

Now, while the Chumash (Penteteuch or the Five Books of Moses), what the Sefer Torah (Torah scroll), the holiest object in Judaism consists of, does not seem to mention anything about a Messiah except in perhaps some poetic form in Parshat Balak, stated ironically by none other than Bilaam, an evil magician who attempted to curse the Jews, but was forced by Hashem to bless them instead; in contrast in the lesser holy parts of the Tanach where much more mention is made of the Messiah, everything is hinted to in the Chumash.

Actually, what I wrote is not entirely true, for in fact, the Torah (Chumash) mentions about "the Messiah" very clearly in another part of the Torah.  As it turns out, this is found quite a few times in this week's Parshat Vayikra, and once in this coming week's Parshat Tzav.  However, as is clearly evident in the context of the verse, "the Messiah" is not referring to whom we normally refer to as Moshiach who is a descendant of the Davidic dynasty, but rather, the Cohen Gadol (High Priest).  Now mind you, the word Messiah, or Moshiach in Hebrew, means annointed, which refers to being annointed on the head with olive oil, which was how the Cohen Gadol was sanctified for his position.  And so, just as the head of the Davidic dynasty, King David, was annointed by Shmuel HaNavi (Samuel the Prophet),so will this be the case in the near future for Moshiach, King David's descendant, who will be annointed by Eliyahu HaNavi (Elijah the Prophet).

This is all very nice, but there must be a reason why it is the olive, of all fruits, aside from being among the Shiv'at HaMinim (Seven Species) of Eretz Yisrael (the country Israel), should have the merit of having a part, via its oil, in anointing some of our holiest people; noting that we always refer to Moshiach as this title.  And, why do we always refer to Moshiach as such?

As we all know, the lighting of the Menorah in the Beit HaMikdash (Temple) was performed with olive oil. And I write that we all know, because this is exactly how the holiday of Chanukah got started, being that there was one cruise of olive oil found that wasn't spiritually contaminated by the Syrian-Greeks, and with this oil, the Menorah was lit without interruption for eight days until new Kosher oil was able to be used for it.  Also, the oil used for the Menorah has to be of the physically purest oil without any sediments, unlike for the Mincha (flour offering), or Menachot in plural, where the olive oil didn't have to be of the highest grade.

With this said, the light of the Menorah is especially representative of the light of Torah, for as our rabbis tell us, one who wishes to have wisdom (of Torah) should pray facing southward, as the Menorah in the Temple was on the south side.  And as we see, this light is thanks to the oil of the olive, which has also been used for the longest time for those learning Torah at night.  And so, it is specifically olive oil that is used to annoint the Cohen Gadol, Jewish kings, and Moshiach, for it is only with the light of the Torah can they serve effectively in their position.  And so, we refer to Moshiach especially by this title, for even as a great Tzadik (righteous person) and Talmid Chacham (Torah scholar) as he will be, and he will in fact teach us Torah in the future, his calling to fame is due ultimately to the Torah, Hashem's wisdom.  For after all, it is Hashem who decided in the first place that there should be a Moshiach, and who it should be, and not one who is elected by the Jewish people, or even by a select group of the greatest Torah scholars, though normally in Halacha (Jewish law), what the rabbis (unless obviously politically motivated as we see many today who are) issue as Halacha has the upper hand even over a Heavenly voice, as the Torah was given to us to study and discern.

And now, for the Messiah in this week's Parshat Vayikra, we see that the Cohen Gadol is referred to this title specifically in the context of him having committed a sin in error and requiring to bring one or more Korbanot (offering or sacrifices) as a result.  But the question begs to be asked, why is it specifically in THIS context that he is called HaMoshiach, since after all, Hashem knew ahead of time that we would be using this very phrase or title for the future Moshiach in a most positive sense?

Well, as I mentioned above, the whole concept of being annointed, as done by olive oil, is related to the light of the Torah.  Now note, I write here the LIGHT of Torah.  You see, as we see most unfortunately today, both in the physical exile and in Israel, there are those rabbis, who while they may have an encyclopediac knowledge of what is supposed to be Hashem's Wisdom, they use it to twist it for their benefit.  In the latest scandal, as I call it, there were those Zionist rabbis who decried and denounced the upcoming gathering of the Ultra-Orthodox groups this past Sunday in Jerusalem protesting the evil attempt happening within the Knesset  attempting to pass criminal sanctions against the cream of the crop youth studying Torah if they don't join the army, as well as praying to Hashem, as we are supposed to do in a time of trouble, to annul the evil decree.  Now, it is only like an hour before Shabbat, and I have a lot more to write on this subject, but this will be two posts later, as I plan to write another post this coming Motzoei Shabbat (Saturday night) on a timely theme, but suffice it to say, the above Zionist rabbis who have Sinat Chinam (baseless hatred) of the Ultra-Orthodox apparently don't have the LIGHT of Torah, and are attempting to present what they want others to see as Torah in spiritual darkness.

In sharp contrast, the Cohen Gadol, at least the ones in the times of the first Temple, and a handful of them in the times of the second Temple, were guided by the light of Torah.  Yes, we all are human, and we see that even Moses and Aaron the first Cohen Gadol made mistakes.  However, the practical difference here is that they weren't motivated by politics, money, power, or fame.  If they indeed made a mistake, such as an improper Halachic decision, it was just that - a mistake.  It wasn't because they had a warped sense of what the Torah wants as some of the Zionist rabbis have, but simply an honest misinterpretation of what the Torah says.  Indeed, as in this week's Parsha states - Asher Nasi Yecheta "WHEN a leader will sin", referring to the head of the Sanhedrin, the authentic Jewish Supreme Court, on which Rashi notes that the word Asher (when) is used, unlike the usual Torah wording of Im (if), hinting to the similar word of Ashrei (fortunate), noting that fortunate is the generation who merits such a leader, who when he sins, he admits his mistake. True, it is not enough for the Cohen Gadol or Sanhedrin head to simply confess their mistake, howbeit well intentioned, but must offer atonement offerings as other Jews do when they commit certain sins.

But the main point here is that IT IS SPECIFICALLY WHEN THEY MAKE A MISTAKE/SIN, when we see the true strength of our spiritual leaders.  For on a day to day basis, it is easy to take for granted that they do a fine job, and as long as they teach Torah or perform some spiritual service, or do a kind act, that they are just the type of rabbi that one needs.  However, when something happens out of the ordinary that makes us think, especially when such a leader is put to the test so to speak, that we see if such a leader takes responsibility for his actions.  O.K., there are certain types of actions or weaknesses that have hurt the community, as performed by hopefully very few rabbis, such as sexual molestation, that can't be brushed aside even after confession.  However, when it is the type of mistake that was truly unintended, or thought of to be the right thing, that taking a step backwards instead of attempting to justify the wrong thing is what shows one to be a true mentsch, and someone who can always be relied upon; for after all, if even a Torah scholar can make an error, certainly the rest of the people aren't any less prone to it.  And in fact, there are certain cases, where both the Sanhedrin leader and the people, or at least representatives of their specific tribes who commited the error/sin based on the mistaken Halachic decision, had to bring atonement sacrifices.  True, it was a sin, howbeit an accidental sin that was performed, but in the long run, such a leader is on the right track, guided by the light of Torah, and we have every obligation to continue following such a leader.

Anyways, what does all this have to do with Gematriot?  Oh, you see, the phrase Hinei Yomim Bah'im (Behold, days are coming...) is the Gematria of 213, the number of this post.  Other than this, the important thing here is today's Torah lesson that we must all learn in knowing how to pick our Torah leaders guided by the true spiritual light.

Shabbat Shalom!


5 Adar II, 5774

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

#212 - Kosher RABBI

When Rabbi Shmuley Boteach came out with his book Kosher Jesus a couple of years ago, there were many who were with an uproar about the title of his latest book.  Regardless of what this rabbi himself thinks about the false Christian god who was the cause of millions of Jews being murdered in his name in the last nearly 2,000 years, no doubt that he thought of this title as a good advertising gimick to make more sales, especially among Christians.  But whatever I personally think of Rabbi Boteach, two things that I will note off the bat is that Jesus was not kosher in terms of Jewish observance - including encouraging his followers to eat ham, and certainly, he was not a rabbi.

The truth is, regardless of how the dictionary may define the word rabbi, aside from whether it may coincide with the Torah definition of it or not, not everyone has the same way of defining who a rabbi is.  You see, a rabbi in the literal sense is one who teaches Torah to others.  However, it is clear that when we say an ordained rabbi, even though it may at first sound redundant, it makes it clear that one was actually ordanined as a rabbi, which is usually confirmed with a certificate, which in Hebrew is called Semicha, based on the wording used when Moses ordained Joshua, which was not done in writing, but rather, Moses LEANED his hands on Joshua; the word in caps which means Samach in Hebrew

You see, these days, there are all kinds of religious looking Jews who pose as rabbis, which begins usually with some sort of black attire, in order to collect money and/or receive fame, honor, and power. Technically, anyone who wants to be listed in the phonebook as a rabbi, at least in the States, can just inform the phone company before its next edition of the book list of residences and businesses, that they have the title of rabbi, and no one at the phone company will even question it.

Today, many have the title of rabbi that they rightfully earned, but don't practice a rabbinical position usually because they make a living some other way.   However, there was a time in Jewish history when the title of rabbi was worth a lot more.  You see, at one time, you had to know the teachings of the entire Talmud and Jewish laws to legally qualify for the title; otherwise, you were just a student in training.  But at one point, mastering the entire Talmud was either not attainable at a relatively young age, or making a living somehow couldn't wait forever until one could quality as a rabbi since one already had several mouths to feed as most in those days got married at a relatively young age.  And so today, even without knowing all the Talmud and all, one who is learning in Yeshiva for so many years can qualify for the title by studying a particular part of the Talmud and Jewish laws, mostly in the laws of Kashrut (kosher food and related laws), which is the basic level of the title of rabbi, which is dubbed with the title Yoreh Yoreh.  And then, there are advanced rabbinical degrees, such as the laws of courts, judging, etc. which qualifies one to be a rabbinical judge, which is dubbed with the title Yadin Yadin.  And nowadays in Israel, there is the Semicha what is known as the Rabbanut Reishit which involves learning like half the Talmud and half the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law) to qualify for this title, which allows one to be paid well as a rabbi of a synagogue, neighborhood, city, etc. who is appointed by the Israeli government.

And in more recent times, there are what are called private Semichot (plural for Semicha) which are given by rabbis who may or may not necessarily be the rabbi of a synagogue or Yeshiva, but the ones who typically receive this Semicha, which is the same basic Yoreh Yoreh one, are quite often those who already have either left Yeshiva, never had the chance to learn in Yeshiva, or is presently working for a living   Personally, I received Semicha from such a rabbi, Rabbi Mordechai Friedman, Shlita, who is a very talented rabbi by the way, but if you or someone you know might consider studying to be an ordained rabbi,  you can check out details on his Semicha program, or contact him via his website at http://www.vaadharabbonim.com/

In any case, one who has Semicha does not necessarily become more holy because of it.  If anything, one who has this title has to be ever more careful with how he behaves, or he will G-d forbid profane himself, and most certainly, Hashem's name.  But typically, I think it's safe to say that many if not most who have rabbinic ordination are those with fine characters, as Torah learning does have a positive influence on people who study Torah for the right reasons, or those who study it day and night, since after all, part of the Torah relates to both how we relate in our interpersonal relationships, as well as our character or behavior traits.  However, one thing that is certain is that rabbinic ordination is no guarantee as to how an individual will behave.

And this is where I come in.  Yes, there are some rabbis who aren't exactly the nicest people in the world, but then again, most of us have our days when we wake on the wrong side of the bed.  But in other ways, there are those who have gotten into trouble with the law - which can be either with the Torah Law and/or the legal system, which can vary from money fraud to inappropriate sexual advances.  Now mind you, while there have been quite a few rabbis with rabbinical positions who have been in trouble with law enforcement and/or fired by the institution that they worked for; one needs to know that not all of them were necessarily who are labeled as Orthodox (title for Jews who observe Shabbat, Kosher, and laws of family purity), but some who were Conservative or Reform (who are rather lax in some of the main laws of the Torah).  In fact, there was a Reform rabbi who was the very first one featured in a television program in which sexual predators are caught meeting with whom they think is a minor following chatting online, which has had hundreds since coming for the same purpose, and mind you, he came to meet with whom he thought was a boy, showing himself to also be homosexual, or wishing to have a homosexual relationship.  Oh yes, there is even an ordained Orthodox rabbi who is public about being homosexual, and believe it or not, he even went to far as to officiate at a Jewish gay "marriage ceremony".  What fifty years ago would have been at least shameful for an Orthodox rabbi to be public of such matters, is today being public about this without shame of openly violating one of the 613 Commandments of the Torah, which is the prohibition of a male having sex with another male.

Now, the part that bothers me more is not necessarily the rabbi who is the crook or predator himself, but rather at times, the ones protecting him, such as his comrades or school in which he works.  Regardless of the particular rabbi's accomplishments in terms of good deeds, some of his victim children down the road either leave the fold of Judaism or commit suicide as a result of feeling their whole life shattered, which is thanks due in part to the ones protecting the rabbi in question.  While some may feel that it will be a greater Chilul Hashem (desecration of Hashem's name) with everyone knowing that a particular rabbi did certain crimes that will either have people look down at Jews or increase anti-Semitism, or that it is forbidden by Jewish law to report these type of crimes to the police without first speaking to a rabbi, nothing could be further from the truth.  For in fact, these childrens' lives were greatly endangered - physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually; and ultimately, if these predators aren't reported, chances are (which is virtually 100%, pending strength of age) is that they will continue wrecking the lives of more Jewish children, which has already been agreed upon by some notable rabbis.

Now, there are other types of rabbis, while they may not necessarily be crooks or predators, preach teachings that go clearly against the Torah, which is especially felt in Israel, though there are also sentiments of Modern Orthodox rabbis in the States whose words are nothing short of politics in the guise of some Torah teaching.  You see, the Torah does tell us about us being kind and nice not just to Jews, but even at times with non-Jews, at least for the reason of "ways of peace", such as greeting him in the street even before the non-Jew greets us, as one rabbi in the Talmud did, or providing non-Jewish poor people with money at the same time as we provide our own poor Jewish brethren.  However, in a national situation in which non-Jews are clearly out to get at us, or steal parts of our Holy Land, that is another story.

And neither is everything a black or white issue, or at least on the surface.  You see, you have the teachings of Rabbis Meir and Binyamin Kahane, HY'D,  may Hashem avenge their blood, who clearly show from the Torah that we have to throw out the non-Jewish elements (excepting non-Jews who accept certain laws on themselves and agree to pay taxes) from the Holy Land, or "they will be snares in your eyes"; and no government, run by Jews or non-Jews, are to be listened to when it gives orders violating what the Torah says.  And then, you have other rabbis on the other end of the spectrum who, while they won't necessarily deny what the Torah says, but somehow, they want to convince everyone that we are forbidden to disobey orders from the Israeli government, even if it seems that these orders contradict the Torah.  Now, please bear in mind that typically, the rabbis who do say these things are politically motivated, because after all, if they are being paid by the government, then what are chances that they will speak against it?  And while when the Torah states that bribery "blinds the eyes of the wise, and twists the words of the righteous" is a scenario that seems to be referring to the judge, it is quite logical to say that one receiving money from a source that is providing his income will most likely feel indebted to that source, and find ways to at least not criticize, if not openly praise it.

To be sure, Rabbi Meir Kahane was a member of the Knesset at one time.  And while such a position gets him or her to be paid by the government, Kahane was never swayed by blood money; for after all, his interest was for the people who voted him into power to begin with to intercede and help pass legislation on their behalf; while in stark contrast, most politicians "forget" their promises they made to the public who voted them into office begin with, since some of their promises are simply not politically correct, showing that they used, or rather misused, the votes of the people to get themselves to be above them, and then pretend that they are doing something that will benefit the people, when quite the opposite is happening.  And also, unlike Kahane who wasn't afraid to say the Torah truth even on pain of imprisonment, being locked away from family, these other government paid rabbis have no such worries, if not paid a bonus from the Israeli government allowing it to continue its pro-Arab/anti-Jewish stances.

And then, there is what is called, or so called, a gray area here.  You see, there are many rabbis who are thought of being right-wing.  However, if these older rabbis have had no connections with Rabbi Kahane at a time that he needed rabbinical support, especially in Israel, then chances are, these rabbis, including some in the "settlement" movement, wanted nothing to do with someone who was branded a fanatic or racist. Sooner or later, the truth comes out from these rabbis.  A classic example of this just happened recently, when over a 100 Zionist rabbis signed a letter criticizing Jews who supposedly sought revenge against Arabs in the form of what is called "price tags", or a similar letter several years ago after the Jews were thrown out of Gush Katif, that settlers shouldn't use violence against soldiers or police if something similar happens again.  Now, after seeing how the Jews from Gush Katif suffering immensely from lack of care, including housing and employment, from the government, where is the mercy for Jews suffering from this tragedy, or from similar tragedies in the future, that these rabbis go out of their way to defend the rights of a dictatorship who are clearly against the Torah?  And what is perhaps most ironic here is that for the most part, it is the Arabs who pretended to make it look like that we Jews did these price tags attacks by burning trees, and even doing the grafetti thing writing the words "price tag" in Hebrew.  However, this was totally ignored by these rabbis, ever so afraid of looking like they have some connection with a few fanatic Jews who may have done such things. Yes, they may technically be rabbis, but they are certainly not righteous people to say the least, who are more concerned that their pockets don't dry out of tainted government money.

How fortunate was it that Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, Shlita, who was a paratrooper in the Six Day War who had the great merit of taking part in making the holiest spot in the world, which includes the Temple Mount and the Western Wall, be available to Jews once again, who criticized the above rabbis pertaining to the price tag incidents, when at the same time, discussions from the government are being made about dividing Jerusalem to give parts of it away to other nations, which these rabbis were not criticizing.  This is stark contrast to another rabbi-paratrooper in the Six Day War, who declared a Jew who killed an Arab on the Temple Mount as being no longer considered a part of the Jewish people for doing such a shameful thing.  O.K., let us say for a moment that this was not the proper manner of asserting our rights and ownership of our holiest piece of real estate in Israel.  But if a lone Jew does such a thing that can cost him his freedom or life, at worst scenario, this rabbi could have at least given him the benefit of the doubt, as the Torah mandates, of having some kind of mental condition, which would not brand such a person as someone "who no longer belongs to the Jewish people".  However, what about Jews who murder other Jews - why aren't they considered as such in the same category - because this didn't arouse Arab or world anger?  So as almost anyone can see, there are quite a few double standards employed by these political rabbis.

The truth is that this is nothing new.  We see in the Talmud (Shabbat 33a) that there were a few rabbis who were having a discussion about the Romans, the leading rulers of the Jews following the destruction of the Temple by this nation, of the day.  One rabbi praised the Romans' physical contributions, another rabbi who didn't say anything, and then a third - who openly criticized the Romans, stating that whatever they accomplished was only for their own selves, or do sins with them.  In short, after the Roman government was informed of the details of this conversation, the first rabbi got a speaking engagement promotion with a rule that he was supposed to be the first to speak among other rabbis, the second rabbi was exiled for keeping his mouth shut from similarly praising them, and the third rabbi - well, he was on Rome's Most Wanted.  This led to this rabbi and his son hiding in a cave for some 12-13 years until it was safe to be out in the world again.

O.K., I will let you know in a minute who this third rabbi is.  But first, in case you were wondering what this post has to do with Gematriot, the Hebrew word for rabbi - Rebbe, the subject of this post, has the same letters as the Hebrew number for 212, the number of this post.  Now, there is another famous Hebrew word that has the same Gematria - the word Zohar, which literally means brightness, but is usually used within the context naming the secrets of the Torah which is the collection of teachings of Rabbi Shimon ben Yochai, also known as Rashbi (acronym of his name) who is the third rabbi in the above story of the Talmud, who obviously wasn't afraid of stating the Torah truth about these evil Romans.  Indeed, we see a connection here, that the one who wasn't afraid to reveal the Torah truth, even taking a chance of being imprisoned or killed by the ruling enemy nation, was the very rabbi to merit to learn and reveal these Kabbalistic secrets of the Torah, whose Yahrzeit on Lag B'Omer, the 33rd day of the Omer, is celebrated by observant Jews worldwide as a day of happiness as per this rabbi's last wishes, even by the ones who don't learn the Zohar. In fact, I have heard that the grounds of Rashbi's gravesite is the second most visited place in Israel, being topped only the place of the Temple Mount/Western Wall.  And by the way, it has been pointed out that the about story about Rashbi, who passed away on the 33rd day of the Omer, is on Daf 33 of Tractate Shabbat of the Talmud.  Moreover, there is a rule that whenever it states Rabbi Shimon in the Mishna, without mentioning the father's name or titles, refers to Rashbi, who was one of the main students of Rabbi Akiva, who in turn was among the greatest scholars of all time.

And in the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslov, the letters of the word Rebbe - Reish, Beit, Yud - can begin two phrases that are diametrically opposite to one another.  The one that refers to Tzadikim (righteous people) are the words Rosh Bnei Yisrael (Head of the Children of Israel), this phrase taken from the beginning of Parshat Ki Tisa, where it states Ki Tisa Et Rosh Bnei Yisrael "When you will take a census of the heads of the Jewish people..." which by the way, will be read this coming Shabbat Shekalim as the special Maftir about donating coins to the Sanctuary which was typically done in the month of Adar before Nissan (Note: This year, being that there are two months of Adar, it is for the second Adar that this is read for).  Now, for the phrase that refers to Reshaim (wicked people), it states Reshaim BaChoshech Yedamu "the wicked are stilled in darkness",  which seems to hint to the fact that those who pretend to be righteous as a rabbi, but say or do things against the Torah, will eventually be silenced forevermore, for Hashem doesn't want his Torah to be misrepresented, especially by those who are perceived or supposed to be perceived by others as being a good example or need to be a good example in the position that he is in. (See Likutei Moharan I:111)

Now, the following may seem to be an interruption of thought here, but in a minute, you will see the connection with the theme of this post.  We are presently up to the 21st Sephira combination - Malchut She'B'Tiferert (Kingship within Beauty).  Now, in our present Jewish calendar, this falls out on the 6th of Iyar, which is the Yahrzeit of a dear rabbi-friend of mine, as he was to thousands, especially in the South Florida area - Rabbi Dovid Bryn, ZT'L of blessed memory,  Despite an illness that he had for the latter half of his 40 year life, it was precisely during these years that he worked with outreach, having had a most positive effect on thousands of Jews, many who came closer to Judaism as a result.  The truth is that originally, he had in mind to do only outreach, but circumstances led to him founding a synagogue in an area which needed one, and a good spiritual leader such as himself.  Fortunately, he met his wife after many years of being single due to his illness, being married for the last two and a half years of his life, though leaving this world without physical children.  However, he has left here hundreds, if not thousands, of spiritual children, whose lives will never be the same without this special rabbi.  Indeed, he was meant to live in this world for only so long, and accomplished far more in this short time, despite the weakness of his illness, than most rabbis do in their long, comfortable lifetime - at least in the area of outreach to other Jews.

And as per the Sephira combination of the day of his passing, Rabbi Bryn treated Jews - regardless of religious, financial, or cultural standing - as kings or princesses, aside from the fact that he had the same Hebrew name as King David who especially represents the Sephira of Malchut (Kingship), bearing in mind the statement of Rabbi Shimon (who is Rashbi) at the end of the 14th chapter of the Tractate Shabbat of the Mishna (bearing in mind that the Hebrew name David is the Gematria of 14) that "all Jews are the sons of kings (princes)" stating his opinion on a halachic issue pertaining to the laws of Shabbat.  And even though in this case, the Halacha does not follow Rabbi Shimon, his statement about Jews is certainly not for naught, for indeed, we are all considered sons of the King of kings as His chosen nation.  And so, Rabbi Bryn's mission in life was to relate to Jews in a kingly manner, bringing out the best from them, showing them their good points in encouraging them to come closer to Judaism, or in other words, showing them their Jewish beauty (Tiferet) and presenting to them the beauty of Judaism - indeed, Malchut She'B'Tiferet, Kingship within Beauty.  For more information on the life of this most special rabbi - HaRav Chayim Dovid ben HaRav Nachman - whose love for Jews was unconditional, untainted by money or politics, please check out this following website www.rabbidovidbryn.org

Now, relating the Sephirot combinations to the weeks of the Jewish calendar beginning from Rosh Hashana, the corresponding week to the 21st Sephira of Tiferet She'B'Malchut is approximately the week that includes the date of 7 Adar, the birthday and Yahrzeit of the first rabbi - Moshe Rabbeinu, who is called Moses our Rebbe/Teacher, being that he wasn't the teacher of just his immediate generation, but of all future generations.

And so, it isn't enough to be a rabbi to declare food kosher or not, the typical type of cases that rabbis in the times of Jews living in Europe received, when a chicken which may have had a problem with its body that could possibly disqualify it from being kosher to eat was brought to him for inspection.  Most importantly, a rabbi needs to make sure that his words are all kosher talk, without twisting the words of the Torah.  And as we ask Hashem in our daily morning prayers (in the blessing immediately preceding the Shema) "Enlighten our eyes in Your Torah, and attach our hearts to Your Commandments, and unite our hearts to love and fear Your name, so that we won't be ashamed forever. For we have trusted in Your holy, great, awesome Name, may we be glad and rejoice in Your salvation." Amen!


26 Adar I, 5774


Thursday, February 20, 2014

#211 - Blessed is the Brave One

Purim 5754 (1994) in Hebron.  It was the day and place which was meant by Heaven for Jewish blood to be sacrificed.  However, the only question or variable would be - would Jews sit around silent and let it happen, or would one take "matters into his own hands" and have to sacrifice himself in lieu of many other Jews.

Perhaps if enough Jews would have known of a planned attack on Jews in Hebron on that fateful day on the Moslem Sabbath (Friday) in the month of Ramadan, massive prayer by Jews worldwide could have possibly averted this.  But for Dr. Baruch Kappel Goldstein, ZT'L HY'D (May Hashem avenge his blood), time was of the essence, and as a resident of the general area, he knew what was being planned, including flyers for the Moslem Arab community informing everyone to stock up on food and supplies for an upcoming curfew from the Israeli government following their planned attack.  But, he didn't just simply enter the Me'arat HaMachpela, the burial place of our Patriarchs and Matriarchs in Hebron, to gun down 29 Moslem worshippers who were chanting "Slaughter the Jews" without telling anyone first.  He informed the Shin Bet, the secret service agency in Israel, of what was being planned, but no one else wanted to do anything themselves.  So, realizing that time was of the essence, and he didn't wish to see what would happen next, G-d forbid, he took the ultimate step of killing human life, or in this particular case, sub-human life; knowing full well that for all that he knew, he would either be killed or at best, be imprisoned by the pro-Arab Israeli government for life.

In fact, Dr. Goldstein had everything to live for.  An observant Jew who believed in living life in this world to serve Hashem, a married man with six children, an accomplished doctor who was very good in saving lives, especially Jewish lives (though he also had to treat Arabs in his hired position, which comes to show the lack of gratitude from these Arab beasts).  And in case anyone thought that he was simply a Kahane follower and lover, which he was; following his medical studies in the States from where he was born and raised, he moved to Israel, and though he was only obligated to serve in the Israeli army (IDF) for a year and a half instead of the standard three years for born Israelis, he insisted on serving three full years. Of course, especially in his position, being a doctor would be quite useful in an army in which most of its beginners have just finished high school.

If there was any one person who could have justified not taking matters in their hands in an attempt from preventing Jews from being murdered, it was Dr. Baruch Goldstein, who could have instead sit back and lived on afterwards and continue using his skills to save many more Jews in the future.  However, first of all, we don't know what the future holds, as it is Hashem who decides what will be, as none of us know how long we will live, or how our lives will end.  Secondly, according to the Torah perspective, which I heard from one of Kahane's close followers known to some as Yekutiel ben Yaakov, we learn a lesson about the urgency of helping our fellow Jew(s) from Moshe Rabbeinu who took matters in his hands in slaying the Egyptian taskmaster for beating up a Jew.  Now, Moshe could have easily justified not doing so to avoid taking chances of being imprisoned or killed, since after all, looking long term, he could possibly help many more Jews in the future in the midst of their slavery.  However, we see from the greatest Tzadik (righteous person) who ever walked the planet and lover of Jews - whom we call Moses our Teacher, as he is our teacher too - that when it comes to helping and saving Jewish lives, there is no accounting to be done as to what the "preferred way of doing things", what will be best long term, etc.  If we see a Jew who is suffering NOW, then NOW is the time to do something about it - and without any personal or political agendas - because after this short frame of time, it could be too late, and we don't know what the future will hold in terms of helping other Jews.  True, Moshe saved only one Jew from being beaten to death, following which, he was himself nearly executed by Pharaoh, and subsequently fled to Midian, but the Torah in the form of the Chumash (Penteteuch or the Five Books of Moses) doesn't just pick any story to write about in the Torah.  For indeed, there are numerous stories about our Biblical figures in the Midrashim.  However, if the Torah writes only about certain incidents, there is a reason for this, and of course, the general reason is for us to learn a lesson from these incidents.

In fact, this is the very concept of what is called Kiddush Hashem (Sanctification of Hashem's Name), which is one of the 613 Mitzvot (Commandments) of the Torah.  An aspect of this is for a Jew to give up his life when threatened to violate the prohibitions of idolatry, adultery, and murder, or any commandment under certain circumstances.  Now, one can rationalize that if he does give in to the threat, his sin won't be so bad since he is only doing it to avoid being murdered and not because he wants to do it, and then afterwards, he will be able to live long afterwards to perform many more Mitzvot.  However, if this Mitzva of Kiddush Hashem would be left for us to decide how to go about this, no doubt that many more Jews in history would have converted to other religions and would have died that way without repenting of leaving the fold of Judaism.  But even if were to know in advance that we would be able to live henceforth with religious freedom, it would still be a violation of this Mitzva, as well as a violation of the prohibition of Chillul Hashem (Desecration of Hashem's Name), another Mitzva of the Torah, if we would be obligated to give up our lives or be tortured for that matter.  That is why if a Jew is murdered as a Kiddush Hashem, he is granted a special place in Heaven where most other Jews, even the greatest righteous ones, aren't permitted to enter. Now, this is not to say that we are permitted to purposely place ourselves in such a position to die under these circumstances to be rewarded as such in Heaven, as this may very well be considered as committing suicide, which is forbidden from the Torah, and one is not able to repent for such a sin since repentence only works to our benefit as long as we are living in this temporary world.  But, if we serve Hashem in earnest, then ultimately, we don't need to worry about how Hashem will take care of us in terms of Heavenly reward, but rather, we do things for the sake of Hashem because He says so, and then we will get our just reward.

Now, while the Torah clearly defines what is called a Kiddush Hashem or a Chillul Hashem, some who have agendas have their views of what these terms refer to.  To illustrate here, if a Jew, G-d forbid, does something that is not very appropriate, which results in people looking down on Judaism and Jews, then generally, this is what the Torah calls a Chillul Hashem, which by the way, Rabbi Meir Kahane, ZT'L HY'D (May Hashem avenge his blood) defines as Challal, a hollow, an area which has, so to speak, emptiness of Hashem, as for example, when Jews are derided and defamed by non-Jews believing that Hashem isn't in the picture.  However, if a Jew does perform a Mitzva the way that it is supposed to be performed, then even if it doesn't look good in some people's eyes, then not only is it not a Chillul Hashem, but it is a Kiddush Hashem, for Hashem's will was being performed, and the only problem is with the ones who don't believe in keeping Judaism the right way, being that they have a twisted sense of what the Torah wants, because of their political agendas.

To this day, there are even a few among the observant Jewish community, including one Modern Orthodox rabbi who writes a blog online (I don't want to say what it is so he won't get attention) who still think that what Dr. Goldstein did on that Purim morning 20 years ago was nothing short of a Chillul Hashem, and for all that they are concerned, Dr. Goldstein went to Hell for this.  After all, we are not supposed to take human life of those who didn't hurt us.  True, but obviously, these few who think they have learned the Torah conveniently forget a statement that our Talmudic rabbis have made "Someone who comes to kill you, arise up and kill him".

This is sure in sharp contrast to the standards of the ones running the Israeli army (which by the way, was praised by another Modern Orthodox rabbi for their humane treatment of our avowed enemies) who give orders not to start attacking Arab kids who are throwing rocks at them, and it is only permitted in other circumstances to actually attack ONLY AFTER our army starts gettting attack; otherwise, as far as the pro-Arab Israeli government, this is nothing short of murder.  So basically, according to this, soldiers who are being trained to fight in war, are supposed to take a chance being murdered before fighting back, and if what is hurled at them isn't necessarily deadly, then at best, our soldiers are only allowed to shoot in the air, and if G-d forbid, they shoot in the air before the first rock is hurled at them, they could face army trial and imprisonment.  Now, the only problem with this is that WE ARE IN A WAR WITH OUR ARAB ENEMIES.

In fact, this war hasn't stopped in many years.  The only practical difference is that at times, there is a lot of more action that goes on.  But as long as there is daily news of Arabs attacking Jews somewhere in our country, then we have every obligation at the very least to feel that something is very wrong here, especially since the dictatorship in our country looks to literally turn the other cheek in appeasing the Arabs, appeasing the so called ally the United States who have kept Jonathan Pollard in prison for over 28 years, when his actions should not have warranted prison for more than a few years maximum according to the U.S. law, appeasing the United Nations who sole reason of being formed to begin with, under the guise of world peace, was to hate Jews and do its best to allow us Jews to have the least amount of land possible, with the possibility of eventually the Arabs taking it over from us and driving us to the sea.

Actually, this is hardly surprising.  You see, in the film Herzel and Zionism, which you can see on Youtube, it was the very founding Zionist leaders of the new State of Israel who were in the position to save MILLIONS OF JEWS from the Holocaust, but because of their political agenda in terms of who could help the Zionist entity, they even turned down an offer, via the Jewish Agency, from the Nazi leader Eichmann himself who offered them Jews in return for barter of tea and coffee.  And so, if the present Israeli government, who is continuing the work of their fathers and grandfathers whose turning the other cheek literally caused millions of more Jews to die in the Holocaust, has the nerve to critcize Dr. Goldstein's heroic actions, then this clearly shows who are the true murderers here.  In fact, if the government would have given a damn to Dr. Goldstein's warnings to begin with, his own blood would not have neither be needed to be shed to say the least.  And what actually happend is that the Shin Bet wanted this issue to be taken care of, but didn't want to look as the ones responsible for the "terrible crime" of gunning down the Arabs shouting "Slaughter the Jews!", and so, the Shin Bet (which should be called the Sin Bad) let Baruch Goldstein in the door with the praying Arabs - and then locked the door behind him so Goldstein wouldn't be able to escape, hence not making it "look bad" on the Shin Bet as per this pro-Arab Israeli government, pretending that it was strictly the doings of Dr. Goldstein (which was the case for he was the one who actually shot the Arabs, it's just that the Shin Bet accompanied him to the door of the room that it locked on him).

And so, after all is said and done, if anyone wants to still criticize Baruch Goldstein, they need to also criticize the whole political Israeli government scene, but not because of its "poor treatment" of our Arab enemies, which the media wishes for everyone to believe; for if anything, it's quite the opposite; even as our Arab enemies are laughing at this government who are begging on its knees for the world to accept us, but typically has the world laughting at it instead.

With this all said, with an ever greater appreciation of Dr. Goldstein's heroic deed that clearly saved Jewish lives, who could have otherwise be a "good Jewish doctor" somewhere in the good ol' U.S.A., buy himself a big beautiful home with the money as a physician, have his spouse and three children as many if not most in the Modern Orthodox world have as the maximum amount of children, and being a doctor would have been just something that he could make a good living with without making any special mark in Jewish history, I will now get into some Gematriot pertaining to this most special Jew who is still being written about 20 years later - for the better or worse.

To be clear, the timing of Dr. Goldstein's heroic act was on Purim in a regular Jewish year.  However, in some years when there are two months of Adar, like this year, the Yarhzeit - at least according to Ashkenazic rite, and Dr. Goldstein was Ashkenazic - is observed on the first Adar, as noted by the Rama (Rabbi Moshe Isserleis) on the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law).  Hence, it was last week on Purim Katan, the date of 14 Adar I, which was his Yahrzeit, which happened to fall out on the sixth day of the week, the same day of the week as that fateful day that cost Dr Goldstein his life - but only in this temporary world, but earning himself tremendous eternal reward that even most of the greatest righteous Jews don't merit.

His full Hebrew name is Baruch Kappel, the second name actually being Yiddish for believe it or not - what is called Kipa in Hebrew, Yarmulke in Yiddish, or beanie in English.  The reason that I mention this is that his second name is the Gematria of 211, and this is the number of this post.  But part of my point here is the meaning of the word Yarmulke, which is based on the Hebrew phrase Yarei M'Elokim "having fear of G-d", and the word Yarei "having fear" is also the Gematria of 211.  So, what observant Jews typically wear on their heads is named after the Mitzva of the Torah to fear Hashem.  Indeed, Reb Baruch Kappel Goldstein's life was based on what the one Above, as what we wear on our heads is supposed to remind us of, wants us to do, and being a physician wasn't just a means for Dr. Goldstein to make a living, for he could have made far more money in the States, than in the medical system in Israel, in which most doctors working in the system from which they get paid either make peanuts, or have to work their butt off tons of hours to make half decent money.  Rather, Dr. Goldstein chose a profession that he was able to use to help Jews in the best way possible as his top priority, and then whatever money he could make from it would justify him continuing on working in the same field to continue his holy work.

This is in stark contrast to some doctors who take on as many patients as legally permitted. let's say in a hospital, and since they don't have much time to spend on each patient, some of the patients aren't treated right, such as receiving an infection as a result of let's say an I.V. being placed in the armpit which is full of bacteria, leading to the patient's death, which happened to a young Jewish woman of 32 years of age whom I knew. Or, a seemingly observant Jewish dentist who carelessly or purposely takes out a tooth from one side of the mouth of a patient that didn't need to be removed, while on the other side of the mouth, there was an infection which needed to be tended to, and then after being summoned to a Beit Din (Jewish court) and told to pay back the money to the patient and doesn't pay it anytime soon, the patient has to pressure the Beit Din to have him pay it.  Oh yes, the patient in this case was my mom, but ultimately, what angers me most is that these professionals in the Orthodox Jewish community who crook others or look down on others who don't begin to compare to their financial standing, make themselves look like the biggest Tzadikim (righteous people) of town (except maybe for the rabbi) by giving lots of Tzedaka (charity) within their community as a cover up for what they do wrong, which is no less evil in terms of intent as far as I am concerned, than an owner of what is supposed to be a kosher plant who sneaks in non-kosher meat who gives lots of Tzedaka in the Jewish community so that even the rabbis won't open up their mouths.

Now, another word that is the Gematria of 211 is Gibor "strong one".  Now, the true definition of a Gibor is what the Torah defines as such, particularly in the first Mishna of the fourth chapter of Pirkei Avot (Ethics of the Fathers): "Who is a Gibor? One who conquers his (evil) inclination."  Perhaps in more practical terms, it is one who has excessive desires when it comes to food, sex, etc., but uses self control to not let himself go overboard; and at times, not only when it comes to non-kosher food or forbidden sex, but even when it comes to things that are permitted, he doesn't let himself get mentally consumed with the desire at hand, but rather, uses it in serving Hashem without benefiting from it any more than necessary.  For after all, the ultimate spiritual pleasure is what we receive from doing Torah and Mitzvot, and so, if one is focused on what Hashem wants rather than thinking of his own pleasures and desires, this is a person who can truly be called a Gibor.  In fact, in a way, he is imitating Hashem who is also called a Gibor.  Interestingly, the FIRST word of the FIRST blessing of the main prayer called Shemoneh Esrei is Baruch (Blessed), and the SECOND word of the SECOND blessing of Shemoneh Esrei is the word Gibor - in the context stating "You are forever a Gibor, my Master" - which is the Gematria of Baruch Goldstein's second Hebrew name Kappel.

In fact, there was a Sefer that was published commemorating Dr. Goldstein's life with Divrei Torah (words of Torah) on various subjects including Kiddush Hashem and Mesirut Nefesh (giving up one's own life) which is called Baruch HaGever, the word Gever being etymologically related to the word Gibor .  This phrase is taken from the text from Sefer Yirmiyahu (Jeremiah 17:7) "Blessed is the man (Gever) who trusts in Hashem, and Hashem will be his trust", which is recited both in our daily morning prayers and in Bircat HaMazon (Grace after Meals). But perhaps what is a little less known, as that this verse is also mentioned in Perek Shira, a compilation of verses of praise of Hashem that the various forces of creation recite.  In this case, it is the lucky goose, which is the wild goose, that recites this verse when it finds food.  Now in Hebrew, it is called Avaz HaBar.  Most amazingly, these two words has the respective Gematriot of the two words in the Hebrew date of Baruch Goldstein's Yarhzeit Yud-Dalet B'Adar (14th of Adar), as the word Avaz (goose) is the same Gematria as the Hebrew number Yud-Dalet (14) and the word HaBar (of the wild) is the same Gematria as the word B'Adar (of Adar) - 207.  Coincidence?!

Based on this, what seems to be the ultimate lesson that we can learn from Baruch Goldstein's life is the trait of Bitachon (trust in Hashem).  This may seem to be similar or the same as Emuna (faith).  However, there is a vast difference between the two.  And the best explanation that I have come across as to the difference between the two is again from the above Yekutiel ben Yaakov.  You see, almost anyone can have Emuna in Hashem, even Prime Monster Bibi Netanyahu, behaving indifferently towards Jews, though ironically, saying just the opposite of Pharaoh, for while the latter refused to "Let My people go", Bibi has done just this when he voted for Jews to be thrown out of Gush Katif and when he allows (oops, I made a mistake, I mean which he authorizes) Jews to be thrown out of their homes or have their homes destroyed which just happened a couple of weeks back to one who is in the forefront of helping prevent this happening to other Jews in the "settlements".  You see, even someone who is cruel to good Jews as Bibi while pocketing good money will believe enough in having a Seder on Passover night, say a few good words to the Jewish nation wishing us a Happy Passover, and then it's back to business, literally, with our sworn enemies who naturally refuse to even recognize Israel as our state, which includes construction freezes, releasing terrorists, and his ultimate long-term project of throwing out more Jews from homes in areas that he plans to eventually hand over to the Arabs, just as he handed autonomy of Hebron, Israel's second holiest city, to the Arabs, perhaps in due part in revenge for what Dr. Goldstein did to the Arabs in this town a few short years earlier, to appease the rest of the Arabs.

However, Bitachon involves far more in relating ourselves to Hashem.  This is the ultimate trust in Him with doing the right thing, even if it is not popular, not appreciated, or makes us far less financially than doing something different.  Such a person can truly be called a Gibor, or a Gever; in short a man/person who reports to a Higher Authority, who has the self control even with matters that are permitted to one.  In fact, even in the secular Jewish world, we have had people like Joel Brand, who desperately attempted to save Jews from Eichmann when the latter gave him a proposal, but flatly turned down by the Jewish Agency, and then Mr. Brand scrambled from one office to another in Jerusalem in an attempt to find even one agency who would prevent Jews from being murdered but to no avail, and subsequently had no better luck finding work, being branded as one who was working against the best interests of the Zionist movement, and later on, even turned down an offer from the evil Teddy Kollek (a former major of Jerusalem who seethed with hatred of observant Jews) which would have been a prestigious position in the Weizman Institute in lieu of going ahead with his book to write exactly what happened in the events of the Zionists as per the Holocaust, and was even threatened to be put in an insane asylum.


THE CONCEPT OF THE LETTER KAF AND THE NUMBER 20

Noting that this has been 20 years since a most holy Jew has left us physically, while the lesson of his heroic life remains with us, or at least with the ones who are truly interested in Torah truth, this number 20 is most associated with the concepts of Kiddush Hashem and Mesirut Nefesh.  For details on this, one can check my past post "Letter of SELF SACRIFICE" (March '09).  But for today, I will be adding a detail or two pertaining especially to Baruch Goldstein as per this, as well as a short recap of what I wrote then.

Well first, the last letter of his first name Baruch is a Chaf Sophit, which in simple Gematria (in contrast to the upgraded numerical value of the five "final" letters) is the numerical value of twenty.

From the beginning of Jewish history, the number twenty has played a crucial theme.  You see, Abraham the first Jew, was the 20th generation in parental line from Adam and Eve, but was not only the first Jew, but the first one who have self sacrifice for the right principles; in his case, in the belief in one G-d, in opposition to the idols of his day, for which he was thrown into a fiery furnace, which is hinted to in the Torah as Ur Casdim, the "light" or "fire" of the Casdim, the name of the nation in the area that Abraham lived in, which begins with the letter Caf.

Next, we see with Moses that when he saw how angry Hashem was with the Jewish people for the sin of the Golden Calf, he offered himself to be totally erased from the Torah if Hashem would not otherwise forgive the Jewish people.  And while Hashem did eventually forgive us, at least in terms of not destroying the Jewish nation which He initially said that He was going to do, since even a conditional statement of a Tzadik (righteous person) has to be fulfilled in some way, Moses' name doesn't appear in Parshat Tetzaveh, the 20th Parsha of the Torah.  In fact, the story of the Golden Calf in which Moses offered of himself is in the following Parsha that is named Ki Tisa, this name which begins with the letter Kaf.

The following year, Moses sends 12 spies to the Land of Israel in request of the Jewish people, which showed their lack of Bitachon in Hashem after promising them to bring them to a "land flowing with milk and honey".  Now, while 10 of the 12 spies came back with a slanderous report which landed up the Jewish male adults outside of the Tribe of Levi crying their faces off which earned them wandering in the desert up to nearly 40 years, only to die before making it to Israel, two of these two spies - Joshua and Caleb - refused to join the evil club, and were nearly stoned for speaking words of encouragement to the Jews.  Now, while both of them were rewarded - Joshua who became Moses' successor and led the Jews to Israel, and Caleb who was awarded a peace of Israel in the environs of Hebron; the Torah seems to especially praise Caleb for "having a different spirit".

Now, why does the Torah focus on Caleb and not also on Joshua, other than mentioning that these were the only two of all the Jewish male adults (of the older generation who did the crying) who remained alive to come to Israel?  You see, Joshua already received his blessing from Moses in advance which made it easier for him not to give in to the tempation of the journalism of the evil spies.  However, Caleb had to work on his own to behave the same as Joshua, having prayed especially at the Me'arat HaMachpela for Divine Assistance so he wouldn't sin.  So, it was hardly surprising that he should get a piece of Hebron land in the environs of the place at which he prayed that he should remain a good Jew who has Bitachon on Hashem. But perhaps what is most interesting here is that first, his name Caleb begins with a Caf, and when it was time for the land to be apportioned following the Jewish people under the leadership of Joshua fighting the nations in Israel for a good seven years, we see that Caleb requested Joshua of the piece of land that he wanted, stating Ke'Chochi Az U'CheChochi Atah "Just as my strength was then (in the time of the Spies), so is my strength now for war" (Joshua 14:11).  Now, the word for strength in Hebrew is Ko'ach, which also begins with the letter Koach.  But the most intriguing part here is that in the text, the letter Kaf in the word Ke'Kochi - JUST as my strength - is ENLARGED.  No doubt, this is another MAJOR hint as the letter that represents Mesirut Nefesh, which in Caleb's case, was going against the trend of the Spies, who while may have first been as Rashi called them Kesheirim (Kosher ones), this word which also begins with the letter Kaf, they eventually turned sour.  And it seems that as part of Caleb's reward, he had the same strength at the age of 85 when he received his just reward of land following his own participation in fighting the enemies at his advanced age, as he had at the age of 40 when he went with the Spies - both in physical strength and spiritual strength (actually more, for the righteous increase in greatness in serving Hashem), with no less spiritual strength as when he started off with "JUST as my strength was then", not ever wavering in his trust in Hashem.

Now, this is not the only time in Tanach (Jewish Bible) in which the letter Kaf is enlarged.  In Tehillim, the verse states V'Chana Asher Nat'ah Yeminecha V'Al Ben Imatzta Lach "The foundation that Your right hand planted, and for the son that you made strong for Yourself" (Psalms 80:16).  In  the word (V')Chana "Foundation", the letter Caf/Chaf is ENLARGED.   Now, for an appreciaton of what this verse is saying, we have to turn to the Metzudat David commentary "Place your Divine Watch on the Land of Israel, and on the Jewish people whom You have strengthened".  So as we see here, the word Ben (son) refers to the Jewish people.  Now, in terms of Gematria, this word has the same numerical value as Caleb's name, and in this context, is also mentioned the concept of strength, howbeit using a different word.  But in Caleb's case, whose name begins with the letter Kaf, the word for strength that he used was Ko'ach which also begins with the letter Kaf.  As a side note, when Baruch Marzel, a resident of Hebron, one of Kahane's close followers who headed the Kach movement at one time - this word Kach (SO shall it be) which consists of the letters Kaf and Kaf Sophit - ran to be a member of Knesset in 2006, the letter that represented him/his party was the letter Kaf, though unfortunately, he wasn't able to succeed to even have one seat in the Knesset, but I am proud to say that this was the first time that I voted in Israel, having voted for the one party, based on Kahane ideals, that is not full of politics.

Then, in the Mishna, the 20th tractate is called Ta'anit, refering to the various fasts of the Jewish calendar.  Now, when we fast, we are diminishing some physical strength, as we don't have the food, the fuel, to continue on very well.  However, the idea of fasting in Judaism is more than this, for generally, one needs strength to serve Hashem.  But when we are obligated to fast, the idea is to pick up some more spiritual strength.  Most notably, this is felt with the 24/25 hours of  the fast of Yom Kippur, and as many have attested, they don't even feel the need to eat on this day, unlike with other fast days even with far less hours of fasting that aren't mandated from the Torah but from the rabbis, as they feel a special spiritual strength. Now, the full name of Yom Kippur is Yom HaKippurim.  In any case, the base of this word Kippur or Kapara (atonement), begins with the letter Kaf.  And with the word Kippurim, we see that it can read as K'Purim - which literally means "just as Purim".  Now as we know, the story of Purim had yet to take place, and so is not mentioned as a holiday in the Chumash.  However, everything is hinted in the Torah, and most amazingly, not only is the name of a future holiday hinted in a name of a holiday in the Torah, but ironically, this reads that Yom Kippur is like Purim, and NOT vice versea, as if to say, that Purim may have been a holiday before Yom Kippur.

Perhaps the ultimate lesson that we can learn here is that in truth, the ultimate level in reaching spiritually really should be elevating the physical world to spirituality, including the food that we eat, giving us the strength to serve Hashem in this physical world.  In fact, this was Hashem's intention with Adam and Eve, with the proviso not to eat from one particular tree, but failed the test.  And so, this world became a world full of troubles and sins, and so, we need a holiday like Yom Kippur to cleanse ourselves of the base desires of this world that we may have benefited from not in the service of Hashem, and so, with this holiday, we are supposed to accomplish the same spirituality as we can do with Purim which involves a special Mitzva of eating a festive meal, which includes feasting with wine and happiness, the spiritual state that Hashem meant for us to begin with to attain without the need of fasting.  But when we do fast in accordance with Hashem's wishes not only with the fasting itself, but to accomplish the ultimate purpose of the fasting in bettering ourselves, we are performing a form of Mesirut Nefesh that is related to the letter Kaf/the number 20, just as Tractate Ta'anit, about the laws of fasting, is the 20th tractate of the Mishna, as well as the concept of Kiddush Hashem, which means making Hashem's name holy (so to speak, but we are in effect advertising His holiness to the world), and it was only on Yom Kippur that the Cohen Gadol entered the Kodesh Kodoshim "Holy of Holies" room in the Temple.  And as we see in the last Mishna of Tractate Ta'anit, the two days of the year that are mentioned as the happiest days of the year, in which the young ladies danced in hope for a Shidduch (matchmate), are Tu B'Av - the words of this date being the total Gematria of 20 (Tu is 15 and B'Av is 5), and Yom Kippur.

Also, the fifth of the six volumes of the Mishna, called Seder Kodoshim (Holy Things), begins with Tractate Zevachim, which can be translated as offerings or sacrifices.  And what does this tractate, beginning the fifth volume of the Mishna, start with? Kol HaZevachim "All sacrifices...", which begins with the letter Kaf. Coincidence?

And along these lines, in the series of the combination of Sephirot, we are up to the 20th, which is Yesod She'B'Tiferet "Foundation within Beauty".  Most interesting, both the words Yesod and Chana (made up of the letters Chaf, Noon, Hei; not to be confused with the Hebrew name Chana that begins with the letter Cheit) are synonyms of the meaning of foundation, just as there are synonyms in Hebrew for the meaning of strength or power.  And as per the Yahzeit date of Baruch Goldstein, the 14th of Adar, the first and last letters of the word Yesod - Yud and Dalet - spell the Hebrew number 14.  Also, as the seven active Sephirot correspond with the seven days of the week, Yesod corresponds to the sixth day of the week, and it was on this day of the week that Baruch Goldstein gave up his life on behalf of the Jewish people "the FOUNDATION that Your RIGHT hand has planted", noting that it is only the views of Kahane - whose last name starts with the letter Kaf - which Goldstein followed, that can truly be called RIGHT-wing, the terminology that is used today to refer to our full rights to Israel in contrast to the Arabs; and all the other Knesset factions that are thought of as right wing are actually the fake right, as hinted to in another verse in Tehillim "Their mouths speak falsehood, and their right hand is a right hand of falsehood" (Psalms 144:8). How true today! This is especially noting that just days ago, the Shaked Commission, named after Ayelet Shaked, a secular Jewess within the "Jewish Home" party that was endorsed for voting by Zionist rabbis who despised Kahane and the Kahane based party "Power to Israel" whom they should have endorsed instead to vote for,  is about to endorse a bill to punish, nay criminalize, young Ultra-Orthodox Jews who wish to learn in Yeshiva full time as they have done until now, instead of entering an army that is self-defeating, the only such insane army in the world that is extra careful with not hurting its enemies, nay, even running away from them at times, instead of showing the true strength that Israel is fully capable of showing in knocking our avowed Arab enemies to the ground once and for all.

Now, the name of the Sephira called Tiferet in this Yesod She'B'Tiferet combination, begins and ends with the letter Tav, the numerical value of 400, and the square root of 400 is 20.  How fitting then, after what I have wrote, that the 20th Sephira of the 49 Sephirot combinations should be so closely related to the number 20.

It's interesting how I mentioned the documentary "Herzl and Zionism" earlier on in this post.  You see, the date in the Sephira period to which corresponds Yesod She'B'Tiferet is 5 Iyar, the famous, or as far as some are concerned, the infamous date, of the signing of the Declaration of Independence for Israel, penning this day as Yom Ha'Atzmaut "Independence Day".  This declaration was pronounced by non-other than David Ben-Gurion, who was among the Zionists who believed that we shouldn't mess with saving most of the Jews perishing in the Holocaust, but only the young ones who could be an asset to the Zionist dream, as he didn't want a bunch of loafers consisting of old people, or in his opinion, a bunch of observant Jews, just taking instead of providing.  Perhaps if this rule of thumb would have been applied to his own parents or grandparents, he would have felt a little differently, but after watching this film, you will see that the State of Israel was built not only on the blood of the Jews who directly fought for our rights to our land, but bloodstained with the blood of Jews who perished in the Holocaust because David Ben-Gurion and his fellow gang members who felt that these murdered Jews, especially the old timer religious ones with the long black coats and beards, would not serve a purpose in his view of what the Zionist dream should be about. And then, everyone wonders why non-Jews pretend not to be anti-Semitic when they claim that they are just against Zionism, believed to be a ploy to take over land that was once occupied by who are called Palestinians.  Indeed, Hashem works this world as a two way street, because if we don't have mercy on our own, why should others have mercy on us?

In conclusion, I would like to quote from Psalm 20, which is based on the concept of relying on Hashem, even when it seems that everything else is helpless, especially in wartime.  Let me quote here the final verses, "Some are with chariots, others are with horses, but we will mention the name of Hashem our G-d. They kneel and fall, but we will arise and be refreshed.  O Hashem, save us, the King will answer us on the day that we call".  In this LAST verse of Psalm 20, we refer to Hashem as King, which in Hebrew is Melech, ending with the LAST letter of Chaf Sophit, just as the LAST letter of Baruch Goldstein's first name is a Chaf Sophit.  For ultimately, it is the King of Kings that we have to worry about serving, and not the interests of world opinon, the so called Torah opinion of some Modern Orthodox rabbis who live quite confortably with six digit figures who dare criticize righteous people as Goldstein, the true BRAVE Jew, or the opinion of some so called Zionist rabbis who claim that we have to obey the orders of the Israeli government or the heads of the IDF, even if it means throwing out Jews from their homes.  Ultimately, there will come a time when everyone will see the truth, when it will be too late for the anti-Semites and rabbis who use Judaism for their self interest to repent, that "Hashem will be King over the entire world.  On that day, Hashem will be One, and His name will be One".  Amen!


20 Adar I, 5774