Monday, August 26, 2013

Isaiah 19's Prophecy

Prophecies in the 24 holy books were not transcribed unless they also pertained to the future. Thus, although a prophecy came to pass on Egypt, for example, had it also not held its content to be applied for a future date, that prophecy would not have been inscribed.

Isaiah 19 begins by prophesying on Egypt's "Burden", one that, when it comes, will swiftly makes its way. A three-pronged onslaught is depicted. The first attack will come from infiltrators from foreign soil (Rashi 19:1). The second will result when, as God says, "I will provoke Egyptians against Egyptians" (19:2). In other words, the infiltration of foreigners will bring about the second phase of God's offensive, by causing an Egyptian civil war. The third phase will come when the Nile River shall no longer serve as the vital resource it always was.

This last attack would be especially disastrous because Egypt always depended on this river for its sustenance. Perhaps because of some association with the relatively newly-built Aswan Dam, or because of a natural disaster that will lower river's level, the river's ability to vitalize the economy will sharply decline. This last attack becomes all the more significant because 98% of the population lives on 3% of Egyptian territory - along the Nile River.

When the Jews first made their original exodus from Egypt, it happened on the 7th day that the Jews found themselves stuck between an Egyptian military onrush on one side and the sea on the other. The Jews split along 4 factions of thought as to what to do and how to react. That's when God had His plans to execute; He told Moses to tell the Jewish people that none of their opinions count. God told him to tell the Jews, "God will fight for you - and you - just stay still" (Ex.14:14).

So far, we see the same events unfolding in Egypt today. Just as back then, prior to the Jewish deliverance, Egyptians attacked their brethren (Psalms 136:10), we see the same phenomenon playing itself out in Egypt (and in Syria, in Tunisia and elsewhere in Arab sectors).

The fighting may well have started because infiltrators from foreign territory, such as Al-Queida from Afghanistan or Moslem Brotherhood terrorists from wherever, began to impose upon local policy.

The 3rd phase I suppose has yet to happen for us to recognize it.

The chapter ends with solace for the Egyptian people. It will be a time when they will finally realize the Redemption of the Jewish people is in full swing and they will then acknowledge God and acquiesce, by accepting the yoke of the 7 Noahide Laws, and peace will make its triumphant finale as the Era of Ultimate Redemption materializes in full bloom.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Fresh Air of Redemption

With clean air, you can take a deep breath of fresh air deep into your lungs, to nourish your blood with oxygen. Just as God uses ozone to clean the air after lightning strikes, so too every so often Judaism needed lightning to strike to clean the air from Reform pollutants in its environment. Thank God we're done with lightnings and the Reform elements are, on the whole, being oxidized into oblivion, leaving most Jews to breathe the fresh air of orthodoxy.

Whereas in the past such cyclic scenarios, of pollution and purification, were part of the Jewish landscape, thankfully in our recent and current days we have only the wonderful prospect of continuous elevation to the lofty Era of Redemption to anticipate. The cycles of upheaval for the Jewish people is now a relic of the past, even though it's close enough in history to still feel the singe. From here on in, only the glory of Judaism will forever shine, every day brighter than the day before.

Whereas in the past the curses we read about in the Torah portion of Ki Tavo plagued us whenever our spirits were polluted and infected with Reformism, we can now thank God wholeheartedly because, as the Rebbe told us, those rebukes are done and over with; From now on only the blessings of this Torah portion shall Jews bequeath.

That's not to say Reformism is gone and dead. But it is dying, and all those who still grab at its skirts do so out of sheer ignorance - an ignorance that shall diminish as these latecomers to genuine Judaism open their minds' eyes, especially today with the help of the internet window. Soon enough these Reformists will see they are being led astray by non-Jewish elements in their midst, pollutants that they had allowed into their breathing space. As they choke they will learn to abandon this hollowness, to seek out the hallowed, verdant Jewish lifestyle from which all Jews will soon encounter the long-awaited utopia to which God is taking us by the hand.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Nun's Rebbe Story

illustration only
A Chabad developer buys nursing homes gone broke, turns them into multiple-unit dwellings and sells them. During the purchase of a nursing home affiliated with a church, he went into one of the church's offices to negotiate a deal. While sitting there in an office waiting, a nun in the office approached him and asked him,
"Are you Jewish?"
"Yes," he said.
"Do you know of Rabbi Schneerson?"
"Of course, I'm a chassid of his."
"Well then, let me tell you a story about him.
"I was one of our church's representatives at a convention held in Ireland. During the talk by a bishop, the bishop asked to be excused for 15 minutes to go pray, after which he'd continue his talk. Because he didn't return after 20 minutes, I walked out and began walking up and down the extensive grounds of that Irish church, just looking around to bide my time. I looked into one of the doors that happened to be ajar - and was surprised to see the bishop sitting in a prayer shawl and Phylacteries, praying.

"I walked over and asked him what he was doing. He told me he'll explain when he soon returns to continue his talk.

"When he returned, he told the audience of a dream he had that repeated itself several times. A bearded old man would appear and tell him he must pray from a Jewish prayer book because the prayers he now is accustomed to are unfitting. 'I dismissed the dreams at first', he said, 'until one time I asked the old man 'How do you know I'm praying the wrong prayers?'' The old man told him that he was a child when first placed in a foster home during WWII and because his parents never returned to take him back he remained with the foster religion - but that he was Jewish.

"The bishop did some historical research and discovered that indeed he was placed in a Catholic foster home by Jewish parents, when he was about 4 and a half. 'So I began to learn about the Jewish prayers, began to pray from a Jewish prayer-book, and I will be leaving the church soon.'

"I asked him who was that old man. He said once he saw an article in a newspaper with an old Jewish rabbi that looked exactly like the old man of the dream. His name is Rabbi Schneerson and lives in New York.

"I myself, a resident of New Jersey, did my own research into Rabbi Schneerson and found him to be the Rabbi in the House of the Jewish Messiah, in Brooklyn. I wanted to meet him. I did more research and found out I could get to see him by going on Sunday, when he hands out to all vistors a dollar bill. Of course I knew I could not wear my cross and nun's outfit so I just dressed up in usual lady's clothes.

"When my turn arrived in the dollar-line, the Rabbi gave me a dollar. I was walking away when he called me back to give me another dollar bill. 'This is for Ireland', he said. Of course I was stunned."
Moral of the story: It happens this Chabad entrepreneur doubted the veracity of the Rebbe as Moshiach. One way or another, he'll learn the truth. If a Jew doesn't get the story from the side of kedushah, he'll get it from another direction. In this case, the Lubavitcher had to get the association of the Rebbe and Moshiach from a Catholic nun.

"Where does the Rebbe say he's Moshiach?", this Chabadnik once adamantly asked. In Kuntres Bais-Rabbeinu ShebeBavel the Rebbe says that 770's gematria is "בית משיח", among scores of other such allusions.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Memorializing the Holocaust Can Be Wasteful

Rabbi Avigdor Miller (zt'l) answered this question once, at the end of his lecture:
"Is it true too much time, money and energy is spent studying the Holocaust instead of disseminating Torah and Judaism?"

Yes and No. Without reference to God, it's absolutely a waste of time; It's a waste of money! All the Holocaust memorials are almost worthless if they think they're going to change the gentiles into being more remorseful by making a big memorial, to make the gentiles ashamed and therefore they'll become kinder to the Jewish people; It's not so.

The Holocaust memorials only give some gentiles more appetite to do the same. The more they hear what Hitler did, the more they're inspired to emulate him. You have to know that; You cannot make them sorry for what they did.

However, for Jews - it's a valuable study if we'll begin to understand "What has God done to us?" (Gen.42:38) God did it. Try to understand; What was the situation in Eastern Europe and Germany before the Holocaust came? What was the situation of Jews in Holland and in Belgium, and in France?

Those Jews who were suddenly dragged from their comfortable homes and deported to the crematoria, what were they doing before this happened? Were they assimilating, were they getting lost? What were the Jews in Poland and Lithuania and Latvia doing? What were the Jews in Russia doing? Were they getting lost with Communism? Millions of Jews in Russia were trying their best to become real Russians; Very many were members of the anti-God societies.

The Yevsektsia was a Jewish organization that was devoted to the eradication of the Jewish religion - they were all Jews, by the way. And in Poland, the Tarbut school was the most popular form of school for children. All Tarbut schools were in the hands of atheists, and they were the most widespread schools for Jewish children in Poland.

So you have to look back and understand the Holocaust didn't come for nothing, otherwise it's a waste! God visited such punishments on His people, and no lessons are being learned! "For what should you be smitten?" (Isaiah 1:5). "Should you persist to get worse?", instead of getting better? And therefore, when people utilize the Holocaust as an argument against God, "Why did He do that to us?" - instead of arguing for God - certainly they're misusing it.

But it could be used properly, were it taught as one of the forms of the Rebukes (Deut.28:15-68, Lev.26:14-42), and just like you learn about the destruction of The Temple and we say, "For our sins we were exiled from our Land" (Musaf), we'll understand also from the Holocaust; There's very much to learn. And we in America have to take it to heart, because in Germany they were just as confident it can never happen there. Had you told a German in 1920 that someday his children would be murdering Jews, he'd put his hand on his children's head and swear by his god it would never happen. Even to Germans it was unthinkable they would kill people for nothing. Germany was a decent, civilized country.

And therefore the Jews of America and of all other countries where they are enjoying liberty should take the Holocaust to heart and study it like we study the Rebukes. Such a study would be valuable.

-- From the Introduction to Rabbi Miller's book, "A Divine Madness"

Saturday, August 10, 2013

70 Faces to Torah

נביא אקים להם מקרב אחיהם כמוך ונתתי דברי בפיו ודבר אליהם את כל אשר אצונו

והיה האיש אשר לא ישמע אל דברי אשר ידבר בשמי אנכי אדרש מעמו

"I'll install a prophet for them from among their brothers, like you, and I'll put My words into his mouth; And he will speak to them all I command him.

And, whoever does not hearken to My words that he speaks in My name, I will exact it of him."

The Torah has 70 faces. Here's one that jumped out at me, although Rashi gives a different understanding, but my understanding cannot be denied from the consecutive words of the Torah:

I will embed a prophet in your midst [every generation], and I will place My words in his mouth [דברי אלקים חיים], which he will speak to you ... and he who will not heed [these] My words, which the prophet vocalized, I will compel him to acquiesce.

In other words, Hashem expects every Jew to pay heed to the words spoken by Hashem's prophet, in our case, the prophet of OUR generation - the Rebbe - and if some Jews believe they can overlook the Rebbe's words, words that God placed into his mouth, where the Rebbe's throat vocalized Hashem's words, then these Jews will in the final scenario have to acquiesce for lack of no other choice.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Degenerate Political Policy

Torah tells us (Deut.19:11-13) a 1st-degree murderer of a Jew himself must face the death penalty. How much more so, therefore, if the murderer is a Gentile terrorist? Yet Israel today has this logic turned on its head; Instead of ridding the world of this Arab scum, they allow them to go free from jail after a period of incarceration. This policy is like spitting God in the eye.

-- -- --

The reason God gave Jews the Holy Land was because the Canaanite ways He found abominable (Deut.18:10-12). One such abomination was the sacrifice of children to a "higher" purpose. Nothing has changed; Today too the Arabs sacrifice their sons and daughters for a "higher" purpose, first by educating them to admire evil behavior, while brainwashing them to believe the Jew is less than human, and finally by strapping the children with suicide vests. And to be sure the violence perpetuates, they commemorate boulevards, plazas and placards for their "heroes".

-- -- --

Yet some Jews, especially the wayward, Reformist Jews, seek to find common ground with or mollify this bitter enemy, who God Himself knows is incorrigible and therefore warns us to rid the Holy Land of them.

In spite of this degenerate Israeli political policy, the Land of Israel thrives and its Jewish people will soon, hopefully very soon, dance with Moshiach and reclaim its entire landscape in the Era of Ultimate Redemption.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

A 5-minute Break for Political Talk

Here's 5 minutes of Rush. The people he admires, those who are fearless and of integrity, reflects his own qualities.