Sunday, January 27, 2013

First Criterion of a Jewish Date

I've tried in vain to locate the source of this memorable story I think is attributed to our sages, although, as I say, I have not found a source for it. (Maybe a reader can help me out here.)

A sage and his student were walking in public. The student spots a young lady across from them and asks the rabbi to mediate a meeting between them. The rabbi refuses. The student begs. The rabbi refuses. The love-sick student threatens to go on a hunger strike if the rabbi continues to refuse. The rabbi persists in denying his wish. The student becomes very ill and pleads with the sage. The rabbi tells him that even were the student on his deathbed - he would refuse.

The moral lesson here is imperative, especially for singles. That meeting between the student and the woman he craved for - had it taken place - would have failed, and therefore the rabbi refused. Why would it have failed? Because the relationship would have been launched on the element of lust. That she attracted him is fair game, but not as the prerequisite before all else. For if the relationship starts out on the basis of physical attraction, it lights the fuse for its destruction. A glaring example of such misfortune is the story of Tamar and her half-brother Amnon (Shmuel B, chpt. 13).

This warning we also find in Pirkei Avot (5:16): "Any love dependent on a specific feature, when that specific feature vanishes, the love ceases. But a love not dependent on a specific feature lasts forever." The specifc feature, in our case, that can vanish is the external feature of attraction.

On the other hand, were the meeting to take place FIRSTLY because the meeting holds potential for a sacred union, as Hashem commanded us, where this condition is yielded to as the first consideration, then the bond between the two can strengthen and endure.

If physical attraction defines the relationship's first step, all else that follows can no longer be counted on as being more important. Again, this does NOT imply physical attraction is trivial. On the contrary, our sages tell us physical attraction is mandatory otherwise they would transgress the commandment of loving another Jew!

But as a FIRST element needed for bonding, a selfish consideration, as opposed to a first consideration for Hashem's desire, betrays the value of Jewishness by trumping the spiritual with the physical, the sacred with the secular, depth with superficiality.

And who more than a religious Jewish princess cherishes her inner beauty more than her temporary outer beauty? Although, truth be told, beauty felt from within projects outward, no matter what the age.

Jewish singles who insist on making their first meeting based on an exterior impression will end up, instead of laying "golden eggs", cooking their own goose.

This is probably why singles meeting even in a kosher setting, such as at a Shabbos table, isn't a good idea. By eliminating the commitment to first give God His consideration, the relationship may well stand on shaky ground.

(As for the concept of "falling in love", a stark difference exists between the Gentile and Jewish meanings of this phrase. See here:

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Farewell Dear Michael

My young friend in Florida, one the Rebbe's many thousands of emissaries around the globe, doesn't always have it easy. He just sent me the following that I share with you.

Michael Schneider was the 1st Bar-Mitzvah on our Mitzvah Tank

He was 19 at the time.

This story will teach us the power of random acts of kindness and how they can affect so many lives. Sometimes we do good things and think to ourselves what difference does it make anyhow? Who cares? This story will change the way you look at the world and your life.

Wednesday night Michael Schneider of Seminole was riding his motorcycle north on Seminole Blvd. While he had the right of way and was turning left, someone was turning right, did not see him, crashed into him and Michael got killed on impact.

Michael was only 21 years young. He was a very pure soul.

I met Michael and his mom Susan at the Rally gas station on the corner of Bryan Dairy and Starkey in July 2010. This was the 1st time we took our new "Mitzvah Tank" to fill up on gas. I pulled into the gas station and there was Susan coming out of her SUV, smiling, to look at the Mitzvah Tank, hearing the music blaring. I asked her if she was Jewish; She said "Yes". I invited her to check out our new Mitzvah Tank. She thanked me and went into the store to buy something.

As I was filling up the Mitzvah Tank and waiting for Susan to come out of the store, I noticed a very nice young fellow filling up Susan`s SUV. It was Michael, Susan's son. I introduced myself and asked him if he was ever Bar Mitzvah`d. He said "No". When Susan came out, I told her I would Bar Mitzvah her son right on the spot, explaining that the Mitzvah Tank was in fact a mobile synagogue. She was ecstatic. She told me she really wanted her kids to have a Bar- and Bat-Mitzvah, but her ex-husband was not interested.

So we boarded the Mitzvah Tank, I wrapped Michael with the Tefillin, we said the prayers, and sure enough Michael was Bar Mitzvah`d right then and there. He was only 19 at the time. Susan literally had tears in her eyes seeing Michael Bar Mitzvah`d, albeit there alone in a gas station in Pinellas County, FL.

We exchanged numbers and became very good friends. Every so often I call her asking her how she is doing, and how the kids are doing. I would ask about Michael and how things were going. She told me he is going to be an aviation mechanic. I was super happy for him since I knew it was a very good career.

Michael worked very hard in the program which is run out of the Clearwater/St. Petersburg airport. He was about to get his degree and start his career.

Yesterday morning I got the call that Michael was killed in a motorcycle accident. Yesterday my daughter, may she live eternally, Shterna Sarah, turned 4; Her Hebrew birthday is the 13th day of the Hebrew month of Shvat. Nothing is by coincidence, everything is "Bashert".

Although we met for only 5 minutes, our souls connected in a very deep, spiritual way, above the limitations of time. When I got the news, I told my wife and we were both shocked beyond words. We felt as if Michael was a part of us. It's as if G-d sent me to meet his pure soul and have him Bar-Mitzvah`d before he goes to heaven.

Ironically, the first thing my brother Akiva told me when we first arrived here 5 years ago was - to establish a Jewish biker group. Last year I got my motorcycle license and, with G-d`s help, it will come to fruition very soon. To be quite honest, I plan on riding a tricycle, not a 2-wheel motorcycle, as well as taking other safety precautions. But let me ask you, if only I had this Jewish biker group earlier, how many lives could have been positively affected, perhaps saved?

Michael was also the first Bar Mitzvah on our Mitzvah Tank.

Michael has a sister Chelsea, 16, whom he was very close with, who also never had her Bat Mitzvah. Yesterday, when I arrived at Susan's home, we spoke about everything and we also spoke about making Chelsea a Bat-Mitzvah celebration - in honor of Michael.

The culmination of Michael`s Bar Mitzvah is that yesterday I also wrapped Michael`s dad, Stan Schneider, in Tefillin for the very 1st time in his life. Although he had a Bar Mitzvah celebration, he never had the opportunity to wrap Tefillin.

Michael continues to inspire many people after his passing.

The most important feature of the Jewish faith is the eternity of the soul, as well as the eternity of the body. When Moshiach comes, there will be the resurrection of the dead. We will get to see Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, King David, King Solomon – in flesh and blood. Michael will be there too!

May we merit the complete redemption through our righteous redeemer King Moshiach speedily now!

A Mnemonic for Israel's Special Fruits

A mnemonic to know which of the 5 special fruits of Israel to bless on comes first, in case the relevant Torah verse, or the logic behind the required order, is forgotten - is simple. Years ago I saw it in a sefer written by a Sefardi Jew. Unfortunately I made no effort to remember his name (because האומר דבר בשם אומרו מביא גאולה לעולם).

This was his "formula": The closer the number of seeds comes to ONE, (as in "God in One"), that fruit precedes another.

Thus the order is thus: The OLIVE always precedes any other - because its seed is a single pit.

Next comes the DATE. Although it too has but one seed, its seed's crevice along its length gives it the resemblance of being split in two.

Next in line is the GRAPE. The grape has about 4 seeds.

Next comes the FIG; It has about 200 seeds.

Last, but not least, is the POMEGRANATE. This fruit is entirely filled with seeds.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Midrashic Riddle Solved

Torah uses an adjective that peculiarly describes the famous Jewish Exodus from Egypt. "The Israelites," it says, "left Egypt - 'penta-armed'". (Ex. 13:18)

The Midrash addresses this Hebrew word with a cryptic explanation. Says the Mechilta, "It means 'well-provisioned'. Some say 1 out of 500 left, some say 1 of 50, and some say 1 of 5".

This Midrash makes no sense. The meaning "well-provisioned" suggests 100% of the Jews were emancipated. Then there's the opinion only 0.2% made it out; Another says 2%; and finally one says 20% pulled out.

Not only are we left puzzled how many participated in the exodus, but how can four opinions differ regarding a physical fact to such a great extent? How could the disparity be so ridiculously vast, where the range shows a 500-fold difference?!

This is no small difference of head count. This could mean a difference of nearly 300 million men who remained in Egypt.

Rashi too offers two opinions, by explaining the term "penta-armed" to mean either "well-prepared" [thereby also suggesting that all Jews participated] or it may mean only one in five (20%) made it out.

Rashi could be understood to mean only 20% of Jews made the exodus, and that these Jews (600,000 men) were well-prepared.

But a similar approach cannot resolve the multiple opinions of the Midrash.

The Rebbe comes to the rescue. This midrash, he says, really refers to the future redemption, the one unfolding in our generation. He says the estimates do not represent conflicting opinions. Instead, each estimate, he says, reflects a separate stage in the drawn-out redemption process.

At first, says the Rebbe, only 1 in 500 Jews will actually want this exile to come to a close. 499 out of 500 will, at that stage, prefer that business go on as usual, rather than wish for the redemption. But the tiny few who actually desire the redemption will persist in their outreach efforts.

Their tenacity, says the Rebbe, will pay off because thereafter 1 in 50 will push for the redemption. A third stage of this process will find that about 20% now thirst for redemption. Thanks to the perseverance of the former minority, 1 in 5 will now want out.

Ultimately - the redemption will be sought by each and every Jew.

The Jewish People Live - An Auschwitz Story

This story was told in 770 tonight, during a grand "farbrengen", and, as a son of holocaust survivors, I feel obligated to retell it. The speaker was Rabbi Gershon Avtzin.
------------   ------------
During the joyful days of Sukkot, when thousands dance in the vicinity of 770 for seven straight nights, from 9:00 pm to 6:00 am, Jews from all over the tri-state area come here to dance to the music. A pair of chassidim were dancing on their own while singing the Chassidic song, "הבל הבלים‫,‬ אין עוד מלבדו". A Jew nearby, when he heard their singing, suddenly stopped, looked at them, took a step back, and watched as if frozen in his tracks, awe-struck.

Someone asked him why he reacts that way. Rabbi Avtzin, standing nearby, overheard his story. He was an outstanding student in school and was awarded to go on a trip with a group of congregants to visit Germany's concentration camps. They did this yearly to show the Germans the Jewish nation is alive and well.

When they arrived at Auschwitz, they were offered a tour guide. The young man felt it inappropriate to take a "tour" in such a place; A "guided tour" in this deathly setting didn't feel right. Instead, he went off on his own. He walked to the barracks and entered one.

It was a cold winter day. Alone in the barrack, he wondered what Jews must have felt in this gruesome place. Despite the frost in the air, he removed his fur-lined coat. All he saw were boards that served the inmates as "beds". He wanted a better experience of the imagined feeling, so he decided to lie down on one of those "beds". In so doing, he was amazed to discover 5 Hebrew words written on the wall next to him, "הבל הבלים‫,‬ אין עוד מלבדו". He looked hard at these words; Their contrast in an atmosphere of hell was overwhelming. (The words mean, everything is rather meaningless - only God exists! )

Suddenly he heard a voice, "What are you doing?" His eye spotted an old man standing in a far corner of the barrack. He got off the board and walked to the old man. "I'm trying to feel what the Jews must have felt here."

The old man told him that could never happen. Only those who actually were here, like he himself who in his youth was an inmate in this very barrack, could get a feeling like that; Only those who knew that sooner or later their number will be called, only those who suffered the despair and hopelessness could know the feeling. The young man asked, "Do you know who wrote those words on the wall?"

The old man said, "I know very well. There was a young fellow who would sing a melody to us every night, a niggun accompanied by those words. Every night, after a long day of slave labor, after a day of starvation, and after many more Jews died that day, this song he sang lifted our spirits. He did so every night before we went to sleep. It gave us strength to endure and hope that we will live it through.

"One day, a German found out. He said to the Jew 'You will die tomorrow for that', and left. The Jew, a Chabad chassid, gathered us together and said to us, 'Yidden, tomorrow I will die as a Kiddush Hashem. I want to give you a gift before I go. If ever you need inspiration and strength to live on, remember me and remember these 5 words' - which he them proceeded to write on the wall."

------------   ------------

Rabbi Avtzin compared the darkness Jews felt in that barrack to the world situation now, where the Rebbe has disappeared from our view, where the darkness before daybreak is great. But 20 years ago, for over a year, the Rebbe, within the same 4 walls, encouraged Jews to accept him as Moshiach with the 8 words that remain written today on a wall in 770, 8 words that lift our spirits by acknowledging the imminent Era of Redemption soon to brighten our landscape,
יחי אדוננו מורנו ורבינו מלך המשיח לעולם ועד

Sunday, January 20, 2013

ELECTION DAY in ISRAEL by Divine Providence

The upcoming Israeli election falls on the 11th of Shvat, the day the Rebbe officially took over the reigns as "Moses of the generation". This is a latent bulletin of divine providence for the Israeli to vote accordingly.
ביום שהוכפל בו 'כי טוב'נ
Tuesday - a day twice ordained by God as "Good"!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Stumbling into Redemption

Human nature pushes you to keep trying despite failures along the way to success. Like a child who first learns to walk, but falters as he tries to stand up or take a step - falling down only gives reason to try again.

What holds true for children applies equally to the most sublime of adult endeavors.

The Era of Moshiach depends in large measure on human effort, so much so it gives rise to the concept of "bringing Moshiach". Mankind is capable of hastening the advent of Moshiach - by fulfilling required preliminaries.

The transition period from non-Moshiach to Moshiach times incorporates the same natural, built-in template. So how does this interval manifest? How does the world transform itself into a Messianic lifestyle?

The sages tell us our merits could conceivably precipitate the transition overnight. But we mustn't rely on a miraculous turn of events. (See Extraordinarily Ordinary). So, how should we expect the changeover will happen?

The answer to another question will give us a clue.

God created the world in a way where His spirituality, through a protracted series of "contractions" and "concealments", transformed itself into a physicality, which is the world as we know it.

Why did God choose this way when He could just as easily have created a world in one single act, without all those intermediary steps?

Because this was God's way to inject into nature an inherent ability to elevate the being, a nature to reach higher levels incrementally - on our own. Otherwise, the jump to a lofty level in one high-jump would not be feasible. It's the difference between climbing a high mountain or jumping onto a high cliff, the latter being naturally impossible.

Actually that too isn't an altogether satisfying answer because God could just as well have injected nature with springboard capabilities, allowing someone to jump onto that cliff if he so chooses.

But rather, God implanted in us both a good and an evil inclination. This paradigm renders the human psyche in constant battle, continually having to determine which inclination shall receive the green light for control. This, in turn, reflects as the ups and downs we experience, as we seek to overcome our drawbacks. We climb, fall, slip back a bit, get back up, struggle further, etc.

God "enjoys" this battle of wits. The struggle of man to achieve his own elevation, therefore, seems to be the divine will.

We Jews living today straddle two generations at one time. We have one foot in the pre-Messianic era and the other in the Messianic Era. In order to have both feet in the Messianic Era, we need to improve ourselves, and, as the Rebbe pointed out, we must fulfil the preliminaries he spelled out for us (see "New Marching Orders").

In Egypt, during the Plague of Darkness, those Jews who rejected the prospect of emancipation, lost their lives. In contrast, the Rebbe said - of our generation, slated to usher in the Era of Redemption - every Jew will be included and, unlike what happened in Egypt, no Jew will be left behind.

It behooves the soldiers of the Rebbe, therefore, to do their part and persuade the Jews who do not know yet, or who continue to disbelieve, that the Rebbe is the Moses of our generation - the Moshiach. There has been a Psak-Din that confirms this declaration (e.g. "Rabbi Ahron Soloveichik's Verdict").

Even among Chabad chassidim there are those who believe "it will never happen" (see "Chabad Stragglers"). There are such Jews, included in Chabad, who base their beliefs entirely on the forces of Nature. For thousands of years Jews existed in exile. Based on a view of looking backwards, and assuming that that perspective carries momentum, some assume a reality in the future cannot transform that existentialism.

But the Rebbe kept urging, "Think good and THAT will make it good!" A positive outlook is not an empty promise to remove gloom. It promises that proactive work of a positive Jew has consequences that determine the future. The Rebbe wants Jews to do something to extract from a future eventuality available resources that NOW can hasten its occurrence. The Redemption of the future can be drawn much closer because every Jew has that power. Every Jew who lives with the past as his guide - surrenders that power!

Every Jew must be recruited for this job because every Jew is an important cog in the wheel. A dog "leads" his master by always looking backwards, in effect thereby being led by behind. A Jew mustn't be "led from behind". He must think and function proactively. The Redemption calls for an all-inclusive bandwagon and until everybody is aboard, we won't cross the finish line.

God created the world in ten utterances, instead of one, to give human nature the boost it needs to struggle forward and achieve. Just as a parent enjoys watching his baby struggle to stand up and walk, despite occasional stumbles, God enjoys seeing us prepare for the march into the Era of Redemption. Let us therefore oblige Him.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

English Words from the Hebrew Source

English dictionaries trace words back to Latin. But they go no further.

It only makes sense most languages, including Latin derivatives, derive from the first universal language ever spoken, Biblical Hebrew. The Torah explicitly tells us that until the Tower of Babylon story, the world's populace spoke - only Hebrew (Braishis 11:1).

Here are some English words that most probably have their source in Hebrew:
More examples:
"שרף" means "Serpent"(Devarim 8, 15).
Speaking of snakes,
"פתן" is "Python"  (Tehilim 91:13).

"מסתר"(as in Rashi: Shir Hashirim 1:2) means "Mystery",
a noun from the root verb "to conceal".

Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh (lecture in 2005) says the word MURDER comes from 2 Hebrew words:
"Mered Or" (מרד אור), meaning - Rebellion Against Light [as in Iyov 24, 13]. Light connotes G-d, and murder is rebelling against Him Who created all people to live.

Probably Hashem mixed up the universal language of Hebrew into 70 different languages at the Tower of Babel; The "mix-up" probably kept the original language as a sort of "parent" to the derived words; But that is my guess.

Of Women and Men

If ever you wondered how differences among Jews serve the good of the whole nation, how gender or tribal differences render a sum that is greater than its parts, listen to this great lecture, by Rabbi Majeski. That way, upon encountering Reform ladies who insist on praying with tefilin or wrapped in taleisim -- at the Kotel, instead of just (happily) doing so in their homes, you'll have more ammunition to guide them to a Torah perspective.

Monday, January 07, 2013

The Rising of the Fallen House of David

So begins the laws of Moshiach: "King Moshiach will rise and restore the Kingdom of David ...."

Precisely then, Moshiach's 1st mission is - to rise!  But why the ostensibly superfluous words "to rise"? What would we miss had it just said "King Moshiach will restore the Kingdom ...."? What means "to rise"?

The question is even more pronounced. Kingship, if anything, expresses itself by "sitting" rather than "standing"! For example, "And Solomon sat on the throne of Hashem" (Melachim 1:12:23), or, as we pray on Shabbat, "The King, who sits on a lofty, sublime throne". (המלך היושב על כסא רם ונשא)

(Later in this chapter we again find the term "to rise", where signs of Moshiach's identity are listed, but there it intuitively means Moshiach will "prove himself"; But here, where general goals of Moshiach are presented, the term remains enigmatic.)

Is there a source from our sages to support Rambam's assessment "Moshiach will rise"? He states, in fact, this "rising" must precede restoration of the Kingdom of David to its original state! So what does this "rising" mean?

Rabbi Shalom Dov Wolpo (in his sefer "יחי המלך") says Rambam's source comes from the following dialogue (Sanhedrin 96b):
"Rav Nachman said to Rav Yitzchak, 'Had you heard when arrives the son of Nefillim (of those who fell)?'
"Said he to him, 'Who is the son of Nefillim?'
"Said he, 'Moshiach'.
"'You call Moshiach son of Nefillim?!'
"'Yes, for it says, 'On that day I will raise the Sukkah of David that fell'" (Amos 9:11).
And Rashi explains "The Sukkah of David that fell" means, "because the Kingdom of David fell, Moshiach is called the son of Nefillim."

This must be why Moshiach is initially destined "to rise". Only by first reversing the prior fall will the Kingdom finally be restored!

Rabbi Wolpo probes deeper into this insight, relying on the Malbim (Amos 9:11): "The House of David (the Temple) was a permanent fixture in all its glory, passed from generation to generation. During the Second Temple, once the Kingdom of David was voided, it became a temporary structure. .. Because rulers of the seed of David sometimes ruled, the structure now resembles a temporary structure (Sukkah). Then that Sukkah too fell.. Eventually Hashem shall raise the Sukkah of David."

The Maharsha, in a similar vein, explains what Rabbi Chiya says to Rabbeinu Hakadosh (Sanhedrin 38a): "The son of David will not come until two Houses of Fathers (the position of Prince and the position of Chief of Beit Din) will be destroyed, etc. .. The intention relates to the secret of the new moon to which the Kingdom of David compares. Just as the moon after the 15th begins to lessen, so with the Kingdom of David ... On the one hand it is a good sign, for King David of Israel lives eternally ... for just as the new moon will manifest ... the Kingdom of David will again renew, as will the greatness of the rulers' families."

Both the Malbim and Maharsha speak of the nullification of the rulers (נשיאים) during the Gemora era, but thereafter the rulership of the House of David will again rise and remain steadfast, and that rising of the ancestry began when the holy Ba'al Shem Tov revealed himself, who was a spark of Moshiach - and thereby the Sukkah of David was re-established. (Rabbi Wolpo notes: "The Sukkah of David" in gematria = 494, the year in this millennium when the BS"T revealed himself.)

Our holy Rebbeim explained "The fall of the Sukkah of David" does not mean, God forbid, the nullification of the rulership ("ביטול הנשיאות"), because "David, the King of Israel, lives forever" - as an eternal king. Moreover, the Rebbe explains, and this is important to note - the "falling" is only from the aspect of the observers ("המקבלים"). The fall does not affect the eternal house of David. Every generation has a king from the House of David, but he is a concealed king. As sure as the moon always receives sunlight, the eternal status always characterizes the House of David. Only, it needs to again start shining - so WE can see it again! This illumination began its incremental emergence (= "rising"), starting with the Ba'al Shem Tov.

This is the meaning of Psalms (89:37-38): "His seed will endure forever; His throne like the sun before Me." God testifies that above, in heaven, David's throne is always complete. And if you'll ask, but below, on earth, this kingdom is not revealed, the next verse explains: "Like the moon it is ready in concealment;" Although the kingdom of David is not revealed yet below, it remains alive and existent in concealed state (בהעלם). When the moon is concealed below, it does not mean it lost any of its essence. And who testifies this is the truth? Eternal God! "And the Witness in heaven is forever faithful."

Friday, January 04, 2013

King David's Delayed Inauguration

The prophet Shmuel anointed David to be the next king over Israel. This happened at a convention that hosted all the elders of Beis Lechem, all his brothers, and before his father who was chief of the Sanhedrin.

It also happened after 28 years of being considered a bastard. His righteous father and illustrious brothers, thinking he was fathered by someone other than Yishai, though that was not the case (see here for more on this), wanted to kill him but could not for a technicality - were they to claim the boy was a bastard, then who was to deny any of the other son's illegitimacy? So they gave him the hardest job at the time, to be a shepherd where lions and bears roamed free - and hoped he'd be killed thereby.

Now, having been exalted to the highest rank among Jews by none other than God Almighty, via the greatest prophet of the generation, when he could have felt vindicated from the shame and ostracism he suffered silently for so many years, in front of the most respected people of his nation, how did David feel? He felt like a newborn baby - who has no room yet for feelings of self-worth, vindictiveness, conceit or even excitement. He remained a simple, humble Jew.

Says Maimonides, in his compendium of laws (Kings 1:7), "Once David was anointed, he merited the sovereign crown, and the sovereignty belongs to him and his ancestry eternally!"

So what happened to David after achieving royalty; Was he made king right away? Hardly! King Saul still reigned at the time. How about the elders of Israel who witnessed his anointment; Did they accept his kingship? And what about David's relatives - the Tribe of Yehudah, at least did they? No! Silently they made their way home. Otherwise, had they accepted David, they'd lose favor with or draw the ire of King Saul, who always honored them and had them over when he threw his dinner ceremonies. On account of two drops of oil, would they then lose their status and their jobs?

It took some two and a half years before he got to reign, in Chevron, over his Tribe of Yehudah. And then another 5 years, after quite a bit of fighting, bloodshed and palace intrigue, before he finally ruled in Jerusalem as King of Israel.

It took the work of the charismatic General Avner, with his expert public relations efforts, to finally persuade the elders and the heads of the other tribes for unanimous agreement to prevail. (For example, in verse Shmuel B:3:17-18, we note his verbal power of persuasion, "... In times of past you kept saying...." He also showed them how David's entourage was growing and successful, while that of the House of Binyomin [Ishboshes] was on the wane.)

There can be no king of Israel without his populace. The effort to accept the king must come from the Jewish people themselves. It is they who must accept the king before he can do his job! For example, David was saved by his wife-to-be, Avigayil, from transgression when he wanted to kill Naval who refused to feed his 600 men. Avigayil approached him and warned him he cannot yet take upon himself to punish Naval inasmuch as his kingship had not yet spread among all of Israel. His sovereignty was still encumbered so long as most of the people still haven't yet accepted him - a gesture for which David was thankful.

Similarly - acceptance of King Moshiach involves a process before most of world Jewry finally accept him.