Thursday, February 28, 2013

Dov Hikind's Masquerading as a Black Man

Here's a quote from a news site 3 days ago concerning NY Assemblyman Dov Hikind's Purim mask: "Assemblyman Karim Camara of the state Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus had called Hikind's actions at the party 'callous and repugnant'."

Karim Camara (KC) heaped derision on Dov Hikind (DH) for masquerading at a Purim festivity as a black man. Said KC, "It brings back the memories of African-Americans being reduced to buffoonery just to gain access to the entertainment industry".

KC's taking offense and denouncement of DH's capricious costume reveals a hidden truth in the offended one's psychology. It shows KC secretly believes being black is an inferiority, as if being black, of itself, is demeaning! No proud black man would have taken offense any more than would a Jew take offense of a black man masquerading as a Jew or chassid on Halloween.

Had a black man dressed up as a Nazi - a most offensive and provocative sight for a Jew to behold, the Jew would have good reason to protest. Similarly, had DH masqueraded as a Ku Klux Klan member, KC would have had good reason to be offended.

But for a white Jew to dress up as a black man - so what! At worst, KC should have been amused. At best, he could have been elated.

That KC took offense that DH dressed up as a black man tells much more about KC's psychology that meets the superficial eye. It definitely says something about the protester who "doth protest too much". Probably KC dislikes Jews and itches to pick a fight where he can - taking an opportunity to cut down a Jew from his high place.

If I'm wrong, I challenge KC (or, for that matter, any member of the Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic & Asian Legislative Caucus) to show where he really stands on this issue. If he could meet the challenge, KC would regain respect from his own circle of society as well as show he holds no malice to the Jewish element. Let him stand up for a Jew in distress so all can see. Just one small favor that could go a long way - one that will buy him fame for life, from Jews and righteous Gentiles alike; Let him go to Obama and seek reprieve for Jonathan Pollard. Or, if that's asking too much, let him just visit the man who sits in prison now for nearly 3 decades.

A small gesture of rapprochement with the Jewish people, whom he insulted by digging up some fault to initiate a new campaign of hate over some harmless whim by a well-intentioned Jew will, like nothing else, boost his feelings of self-worth too. If he fails to follow through such a simple test, and instead persists with the baseless repugnant attack, we'll know who masquerades on Purim - and who masquerades every day of his life.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Zero-Hour for Pollard Approaching

Esther - his wfe
Jews should do something for a Jew very much in need, and most especially if he sits behind bars nearly 30 years - unfairly! We should all try to do something earnestly, something worthwhile, to get Pollard out of jail.

Obama is scheduled to go to Israel. He always has his nose high. He will keep it there because he regards Jews and Israel with virulent contempt. (Don't let some of his appointments throw you to think otherwise). Have you not seen how he personally mistreated Netanyahu? Going to Israel is a political necessity he managed to avoid and now no longer can push off.

A few Knesset members already suggested Obama free Pollard. But suggestions by themselves do nothing. We must contrive something to force his hand. Bibi could easily do so - by conditioning these upcoming talks with Pollard's release. I doubt he'd think of it, much less do it.

My Jewish traffic averages less than 100 per day. Hardly a broad base or a good launchpad for an urgent appeal. Does someone have a good idea; Can we not help Pollard somehow?

At least on Mondays, Thursdays and Shabbatot let's initiate for him, יהונתן בן מלכה, a מי שברך.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Purim 5773 - Where Did It Leave Us?

Living in exile is no easy feat. We progress every day nearer to the Era of Redemption, but, as night approaches daybreak, the night only appears darker and darker. Unfortunately, unlike roosters, we cannot yet see the pending daybreak behind the darkest moment of darkness.

The holiest day of the year just passed us by. Where have we advanced therefrom? It seems we got nowhere, as if nothing changed from the day before. Still today, after almost two thousand years without the Temple and without the monarch of the House of David to connect us to Hashem, for that is his sole purpose - to facilitate our devotion to Hashem, we seem to have gained not even one step forward from where we stood before Purim.

We know in our minds we did advance, but it pains the heart to feel bereft of evidence, to soothe us as we pine for Redemption. The Jewish people today, even though they suffer nothing like their parents or grandparents suffered through the iniquities of WWII, and come nowhere near knowing the horror their forebears had to suffer, suffer nonetheless simply by seeing that nothing real seems to have changed to at least make it superficially apparent we progress to the final and ultimate Era of Redemption.

Purim, after all, is not just another holiday. In fact, even Yom Kippur only RESEMBLES Purim and cannot get close to its sanctity. The ostensibly holiest day of the year, wherein Jews cannot eat, drink or transgress Sabbath laws, have Purim to celebrate almost in any way they please WITHOUT restrictions - because this day is so holy, so over and above the holiness of Yom Kippur - that restrictions cannot even touch it or relate to it. The day, far and beyond Yom Kippur, reverberates with utter holiness.

But as long as the Jewish people remain in exile, no matter what holiness this day attains, in reality, in experiential terms, it seems, God forbid, as if nothing had been gained.

May we Jews finally and forever reach the point where all these Jewish abstractions of holiness need no longer apply and that we palpably touch and feel the reality of the Era of Redemption and that the exile finally be rendered behind us like a bad dream we are thankful to have been done with.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Organic Chabad Food in Deliverable Doses

Of all the Rebbe's campaigns, the last one he discharged proves to be the hardest to execute. Realizing the heavy burden he imposed on his emissaries, the Rebbe offered assistive advice. He told them to:
"Wrap the incredulous in digestible form!"
אורות דתהו בכלים דתיקון

The chassidim knew exactly what the "incredulous" entailed. They knew they had to persuade non-Chabad people to accept the sovereignty of the Rebbe, King Moshiach.

What they did NOT know was - to what extent this incredulity would jump in intensity. For, on the 3rd of Tammuz 1994, their burden encountered a liability they never expected. Only then did it dawn on them what the Rebbe really meant by that term (אורות דתהו). For, not only was the Rebbe's sovereignty an issue, but now, his apparent death complicated the issue one hundred-fold.

The chassidim also had understood the original requirement - to deliver a heavy message to unknowing folk - in "digestible form" (בכלים דתיקון). After all, the Jewish people would find the idea of accepting a monarch quite bizarre. Emissaries therefore would have to explain a whole chunk of information, bit by bit, making each bit by itself readily absorbable.

But suddenly, on Tammuz 3, even plenty of Chabadniks themselves would choke on what they were meant to now feed their counterparts.

Suddenly, both phrases used by the Rebbe, namely, "Mold the incredulous", "in palatable format", acquired new, prodigious proportions. The task at hand for the Rebbe's soldier now required introspection, more learning, tact - in short, a new basic training course for the infantry before they can go out and execute the Rebbe's orders.

Note, that regarding the message of Moshiach, the Rebbe said, "in digestible form" - and did NOT say, "something digestible". His emissaries have no permission to improvise their own message; Only the Rebbe's message can be delivered. The emissary has room for originality strictly in the MANNER of delivery of the message, each delivery as per his targeted "vessel".

A Chabad chassid can decide he won't open his mouth to tell someone of Moshiach's identity. However, were someone to turn the question on him, he has no right to deny the pure faith that springs forth from the Rebbe's own words. If he feels he cannot clearly and decisively declare "the incredulous", it is better he not respond at all.

The only, single authority upon whom the responsibility of Chabad rests - is the Rebbe himself. Whatever the Rebbe said or wrote to the public, a chassid may repeat and can repeat without any reservation. But he mustn't mix in his own interpretations or try to dilute "the incredulous".

Just as Hashem communicated to Jews through Moses, Hashem communicated to this Jewish generation through the Rebbe's mouth. The Rebbe leads the generation. The Rebbe's words are holy. The Rebbe's message is wholesome organic food for Jewish souls to thrive on. The Shulchan Aruch warns that good food taken in oversized measure is detrimental. So let's feed on the Rebbe's words, bit by bit, and the Jewish people will again see the glory they so much deserve - very soon, please God!

Monday, February 18, 2013

A Weird Breed of Jew Opposes Moshiach

The Rebbe Rashab
The draft of a cold wind can be felt on many Torah blogs that pay lip service to the topic of Moshiach.

Rather than bring you the warmth of this new era as it now unfolds, they seek to thwart its advance. Instead of accepting Moshiach, they chill the unsuspecting Jew. They say, "It's not him - so sit back and wait!" If it were up to these self-professed experts, they could sit back another 2,000 years before accepting Moshiach.

Meanwhile Moshiach waits behind the curtain of Nature for Jews to embrace him on faith. A Jewish king cannot become king of the Jews unless most Jews accept him. These "pundits", therefore, cast Moshiach as a contemporary irrelevance - as some far-off if not far-fetched concern. Rather than being heartened by a faith to accept, they rationalize to reject.

Like Korach, who, well-equipped with titles, pedigree, wealth, self-professed wisdom and supposed justification - attacked Moses, these prolific Torah bloggers also wage war on the Moses of our generation.

Moshiach wants to be accepted - not outwitted!

Just as Korach mocked the announcements of Moses, these bloggers mock the proclamations of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. These "Misnagdim", this new, strange breed of religious Jew, vent contempt for Moshiach, when they ought to fixate on it, it being the crux of Judaism. Instead, they take up battle lines where the earlier "Misnagdim", those supplanted by Chassidus, left off. They want to win a war of intellectual ideas rather than submit to an emancipation by a vibrant Yiddishkeit. So they fight in the name of Torah - against Torah and the purpose of Chassidus.

They dress their blogs with tons of Torah. After all, nothing is sweeter than Torah. But as sure as the delicious doughnut is bad food, they seek to entice readers with spiritual counterparts of worthless dough, adulterated sugar and toxic oil. Some Jews find nourishment in this pernicious tactic, like children who know no better drawn to sweets.

This is not so much an attack against their Torah. It is a condemnation of their hypocrisy. On the one hand, they pray and invoke Moshiach with every 5th or 6th phrase therein, then they take duck down and take cover behind highfalutin constructs uncommitted to their words of prayer. They are spiritual cowards, unwilling to submit to a higher authority.

They'll even construe the Maimonideic qualifications to deliberately misconstrue the public. They even compare the Moshiach phenomenon with a base Gentile connotation, because the Rebbe, though he invoked himself in no uncertain terms as King Moshiach, and qualifies illustriously according to all criteria enumerated by Maimonides, now cannot be seen. Suddenly the supernatural dimension that abounds in Talmud, Midrash and stories of tzaddikim can no longer permeate Jewish essence, even one that is the crux of Judaism.

What they DO NOT DO is more telling than what they do do. Knowing a man supposedly qualifies as Moshiach, knowing scores of rabbis signed a declaration that sanctions the Rebbe as Moshiach, knowing the Rebbe encouraged singing Yechi for over a year, knowing the Rebbe over 100 times referred to himself as Moshiach, knowing the entire essence of the Rebbe epitomized Moshiachism, knowing the Rebbe succeeded in bringing hundreds of thousands of Jews to Messianic orthodoxy - from a life of spiritual nudity, these antagonists will never bother to read any of the Rebbe's articles, talks or letters - even just to inspect what the Rebbe really said. They'll deal with the subject at arm's length. Once they close their prayerbooks, Moshiach remains in the pages. They wish to remain orthodox without anticipating, let alone accepting, Moshiach.

The 5th Lubavitcher Rebbe prophesied, in 1888, that two consecutive generations would precede the Era of Redemption. Both generations would unleash significant forces to try and vanquish Judaism and Chassidus. The first of the two generations, the "Maskilim", were a blatant anti-Torah force. In the next generation, a more dangerous, pernicious force would arise! The Rebbe Rashab backed his prophesy with a verse by King David (Psalm 89:52). The first part of this verse, said the Rashab, refers to the anti-Torah foe; The second clause of this verse refers to the poisonous, internecine anti-Moshiach foe.
אשר חרפו אויביך יהוה
אשר חרפו עקבות משיחך
Those who besmirch, are Your enemies God;
Those who besmirch the arrival of Your Moshiach!

To defeat these two foes, the Tomchei Temimim Lubavitch Yeshiva was deliberately established. Its students would be the counterweight against those who would deny God and Moshiach - in that order. He called these Yeshiva students "The Soldiers of the House of David" (חיילי בית דוד)(acronym = Chabad). This was not some gimic to try and retain youth. It was a divinely inspired strategy to undermine the oppressors, to preserve the survival and purity of Messianic Judaism, which Chabad Chassidus constitutes.

The European Maskilim waged the first war. Then broke out WWII and out of the inferno religious Jews trickled out to begin with a fresh, traditional resurgence. Gentiles in the Soviet Union also had their crosshairs aimed at what to them was considered "Enemy Number One" - religious Jewry. The last remnant of Jews there held tightly to their ancient tradition with utter self-sacrifice as well as devotion to the Lubavitcher Rebbeim. In the end, the Soviet Union crumbled, and the force that tried to extinguish the light of Judaism faded like a puff of smoke into oblivion.

The antagonistic Jews and Gentiles of that generation lost. Now wages the war against the next and last barrier.

Because of this aberrant phenomenon, namely, that orthodox Jews at the outset of the Era of Redemption could oppose Moshiach, even as they hinge their identity with orthodoxy, the Rebbe Rashab referred to them as "this strange breed of Jew"; An orthodox Jew who opposed emancipation.

Chassidus prevailed against the Maskilim and against the mighty Soviet Union. Soon enough Moshiach's soldiers will fly the flag of victory against this last shred of resistance.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Herman Wouk and the Rebbe

Here's a segment out of a young chassid's diary, who at the time was a "bochur" learning in 770, relating an incident that happened in 1971 (Sunday, Teves 5731).

Today, the popular, secular writer and novelist, Mr. Herman Wouk, was in yechidus [personal appearance with the Rebbe].

When he came out, we asked him if he would repeat anything he had heard from the Rebbe.

He told us the Rebbe had discussed with him the situation of the American youth, the "hippies".

The Rebbe said they are ready to hear, so we must provide them with Yiddishkeit. He told the Rebbe they would not be interested because they are impatient and only go for things which are immediate, like ‘instant coffee'.

To this the Rebbe replied, “That’s perfect! The 'Shulchan Aruch' means "a ready table"!

Mr. Wouk was very inspired by the yechidus and expressed great admiration for the Rebbe's insightful ideas.

"Do Not Steal" Examples in Torah

Picking Flowers:  In Genesis (30, 14) it reads, "And Reuven, during harvest time, went and found flowers in the field, and brought them to his mother Leah...." 

Why does the Torah bother to tell us this happened during "harvest time"? Who cares what season it fell in? Rashi explains, "To praise the tribes; For Reuven could have, at this time, returned with wheat or barley [it being harvest time]; Instead he looked for something free for the taking."

Muzzling Camels:  In Genesis (24, 10) it reads, "And the slave took 10 camels, from his master's camels, and he went...."

Why does the Torah bother to tell us whose camels they were - when their owner's identity is obvious? Rashi explains, "To tell you that Abraham's camels were immediately identifiable during travel because his camels [and only his] always wore muzzles - to keep the camels from grazing in others' properties."

Somebody know of another one?

The Bottom Line

Imaginatively, take a huge funnel, huge enough to contain all the sand that would fill the oceans, plus all the sand that would fill the earth's atmosphere. This funnel tapers to a tip that allows only one grain to fall out at a time. How long do you think it will take to empty that funnel of all that sand?

Well, the time it would take is merely a microscopic fraction of the time you yourself, as a Jew or Noahide, will live on this earth - in the Era of Redemption.

What does it take to get a ticket of entry into that world of paradise? The conditions are specific.

A Jew automatically gains entry, no matter who he is (barring a few exceptions perhaps).

For a Jew, if he receives punishment for misdeeds, gets punished in this world. The few sins he commits in this world "cost him" in this world. That's to ensure his free ticket to the eternal world-to-come.

A righteous Gentile, or one who follows the "7 Noahide Laws", also receives remuneration as does the righteous Jew. The same accounting procedure is used. He too has a present account settled here, so as to receive a future credit.

The Gentile who misbehaves is reckoned with differently. For every deed of goodness or kindness he did he is "paid for" - in this world. Paradoxically, a villain's success may give the impression he's a person of "goodness".

But G-d, Who is fair, knows better. The non-righteous Gentile is not cheated out of his merits. God "pays" this person in this world because - for this person there is no other world to go to. This world for him is a dead-end.

This is the meaning of the verse in Deuteronomy 7, 10, "And he pays his hated one the face value [in this world] in order that they forfeit [the world-to-come]."
ומשלם לשנאיו אל פניו להאבידו לא יאחר לשנאו אל פניו ישלם לו

This is also the meaning of another verse in Deuteronomy (32, 4), "He is a faithful G-d [Who will grant the righteous their due portion in the future] and He does not cheat [those criminially-behaving Gentiles from their due recompense in this world]."
הצור תמים פעלו כי כל דרכיו משפט

The world-to-be is reserved only for the dispensation of good to the righteous - who earned their destiny in the brief trial period they spent in this world.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Sacred Foolishness

On the verse (Ex.25:8), "And they should make for me a temple and I will dwell in them," our sages taught, "Since it did not say 'in it' [as expected], but rather said 'in them', God means to dwell in each and every Jew".

How do we build God's temple in the soul? We can learn how from how the original sanctuary built for God in the desert.

The walls of the sanctuary were made of Shittim-cedar wood; "And you should make the beams from Shittim-cedar trees, upright." The word "Shittim" derives from the Hebrew word "foolishness" (שטות), suggesting the sanctuary can be built with "foolishness".

The Rebbe (Likutei Sichot 1:166) explains "foolishness": It means deviating from the logical path. In Chassidus we learn of two such deviations: A deviation beneath what's sensible, and a deviation above what's sensible.

When a person transgresses, he deviates beneath the sensible way, as our sages tell us, "He who sins does so only because a foolhardy spirit possessed him".

On the other hand, the deviation beyond sensibleness also exists - a "sacred foolishness" (שטות דקדושה). This positive deviation beyond reasonableness expresses itself with an absolute devotion to God, beyond any standard boundary.

When we want to build for God a temple in our soul, so we can shake free of failures to serve Him, thereby meriting that God dwell within us, we need be positively foolish, by consecrating ourselves to God's will, whether it makes sense or not. This is how we build the walls of the tabernacle in our hearts.

Were we to adopt such a positive outlook and spurn all that the evil inclination entices us with, then God too will go measure for measure and break the boundaries of exile to launch the Era of Redemption immediately.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Miracles for Israel

In this Jeep terrorists tried for 2 days to kidnap
Jews in the Tel-Aviv area. By the grace of God
they failed and were captured. 
Do Jews believe in miracles? There is no need to "BELIEVE" in miracles if we SEE them occurring in our lives!

We need not go too far back to count several of them. In the "6-day War", by the grace of God, Israel managed to destroy 3 Arab armies, those of Egypt, Syria and Jordan.

When it comes to teaching children, the Chabad method is to teach them of two sorts of events, those that run by natural means and those that happen supernaturally. After all, in the Messianic era, events of the world will transpire in miraculous ways above the laws of nature.

In 1991, during the Persian Gulf war, we saw supernatural events. Israel was attacked with scores of huge missiles, each tipped with a war-head carrying hundreds of kilos of explosives, many of which struck buildings directly, which then collapsed, leaving, by the grace of God, practically no human damage.

Then came the lifting of the mighty Soviet Union's "iron curtain" overnight , without a bullet fired. Millions of Jews were suddenly released from captivity.

Then came the historic meeting between President Bush and the Soviet Union's Yeltsin, who signed a treaty to withdraw on the arms buildup, effectively turning "swords into plowshares". The Rebbe said this was indeed an action Moshiach was responsible for.

Then came the "Arab Spring". That string of changes across the vast expanse of the Muslim landscape is only in its initial phases. There's lots more to come - as Israel remains a spectator watching Arab countries implode or destroy the other.

It says about miracles - he to whom the miracles occur cannot discern them. Which is why the Rebbe exhorted us "open your eyes!", especially in Israel where the eyes of Hashem watch it from beginning of year to the end of the year (Deut. 11:12)
  ארץ אשר ... תמיד עיני יהוה אלהיך בה מרשית השנה ועד אחרית שנה

Wishing all of you a really great month of Adar!!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Chabad Pushes Jews Away from Judaism?

It never failed; Every time the Rebbe initiated a new campaign to reach out to Jews, to return them to the warm fold of Yiddishkeit, his agenda provoked deafening outcries from some Jewish circles. For example, when the Rebbe sent chassidim to put tefillin on yet-unreligious Jews, often in city streets among Gentiles, the backlash from Satmar was especially fierce. How could the Rebbe send young men to places where exposure to immodesty might defile the youngsters? The Rebbe, of course, had no such concerns. (See "Rescuing a Jew from the Dumps")

But, true to pattern, the end-result always turned out that the opposition melted away and, in fact, the campaign was eventually adopted by most of Jewry as second-nature. The Rebbe never went antagonistic. He just continued to project light and the light itself dissipated the darkness.

Nothing has changed. The latest campaign is the campaign to have Jews accept the kingship of the Rebbe as King Moshiach. Understandably, because this is the final and ultimate campaign, it encounters the greatest resistance and the loudest defiance - from less than sacred concerns. But the Rebbe's soldiers will not flinch from their mission. They continue to sign people up to accept the Rebbe as Moshiach and to educate Jews and Noahides.

My own blog has met such spirited opposition. More than once my blog has been removed from another bloggers list of blogs when they discovered its Messianic message. They would have no part in channeling traffic to where - as they would claim - "it turns Jews away from Judaism!"

Are my detractors really concerned I chase away Jews from Judaism? Of course not. It's a feeble excuse. Their real aim is - to push Jews away from Chabad's core belief! Chabad stands for the Rebbe as Moshiach and this for them is the bone in their throat. These "good souls" seek to distance Jews from the Rebbe.

But, like all who went against the Rebbe, in the end they succumb to his lead. Not because the Rebbe's reasoning overpower them, for they do NOT learn or read anything the Rebbe wrote. Rather, the Rebbe's light eventually strips away the darkness, so they could see for themselves.

The only thing that can turn a Jew away from Chabad/Moshichism is a Chabad Jew that talks during prayers or behaves differently from what's expected of a person who studies Chassidus. As for talk of Moshiach, with sound backing from what the Rebbe himself said or from other Torah sources - all Jews thirst for this knowledge!

Saturday, February 09, 2013

Rabbi Sherer's Change of Mind

There was a time when, no matter what the Rebbe spoke out about, Rabbi Moshe Sherer, z”l, the head of Agudas Yisrael, came out against it. That's why, when he showed up one day in 770, chassidim couldn't believe their eyes. They asked him why he came. He said, "To asked forgiveness (מחילה) from the Rebbe." They asked for an explanation and this was his story:

Rabbi Sherer's son had a friend who was married for 10 years and the couple was childless. They cared very much for each other but went along with the Jewish law to divorce because of their predicament.

Only two weeks after the divorce, however, the x-wife was found to be pregnant. This was what they had yearned for for so long. Now, it happens to be a mitzvah to remarry the divorced wife. Only in this case this new situation became a severely distressing situation because the x-husband was a Kohen and therefore he could not remarry his x-wife. Distress turned to panic. He went to many Rabbis to determine where a loophole could be found but it seemed they could find no way around the law. He was at his wits' end and didn't know what to do.

Another friend of the x-husband suggested the latter bite the bullet and, inasmuch as he was in new York now, go visit the Rebbe of Chabad because maybe he could find some way out of this mess. That a "Litvishe" Jew had to compromise his mindset to visit the Rebbe was bad enough, but, because he was desperate, the Jew decided to go ahead and take the advice he got.

He waited hours in a Sunday "dollars line" to meet the Rebbe. When his turn came, he spilled out his story to the Rebbe. The Rebbe gave him a dollar and told him, "Go talk to your mother about it."

This Jew's life was shaken to the core. If until now he felt distress, henceforth he could hardly breathe for lack of composure. Inwardly, he was laughing at the Rebbe.

He went to Israel and in Jerusalem visited Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach. He told the Rabbi his story, including his visit to the Rebbe. Rabbi Auerbach now perked up his ears and asked, "What did the Rebbe tell you?" He told him what the Rebbe said in a mocking tone. Rabbi Auerbach then told him he must do precisely as the Rebbe said because every word of the Rebbe is holy; And to further make his point, Rabbi Auerbach told him never to come see him again unless he follows the Rebbe's advice.

The young man then went to his parents' home.

He told his mother what the Rebbe's reply had been. He kept repeating it. He said he went to the Rebbe for advice how to resolve his plight. He never wanted to go in the first place and now that he did he felt extremely slighted. Not only did the Rebbe not discuss his situation or ask about details, but the answer was like that given by some unlearned person who could come up with nothing better than something that to him sounded like ridiculous advice - "Go talk to your mother!"  His mother noticed her son's agony and finally could no longer hold herself back.

The mother stayed silent a moment and then said, "If the Rebbe could see what happened then I must tell you. As you know your father, a"h, and I are holocaust survivors. As a result I could not have children. We decided, then, to adopt a child, and that was you. For some reason we withheld this from you. Because father was a Kohen, you too were raised as one, and treated by the congregation as a Kohen. But now that the Rebbe saw this, it's best that I tell you."

When Rabbi Sherer found this out, he came to 770. He realized that not only was the Rebbe a true prophet in that he, and none else, could see the truth behind this situation, but the Rebbe also had the prophetic "Moshiach's sense of smell" to know that this young man was not a Kohen even before he married, otherwise he'd not have given the fellow the said solution.

(As told to me by a good friend, a long-time, devoted chassid and talmid chochom, Reb Menachem Nissim.)

Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Arabs (And a Jew) Attack Jerusalem Boys

Surely you've all seen the recent incident (link) where two young chassidic boys, walking in Jerusalem on a snowy day, were hounded, disgraced and pelted by a large group of hateful, Arab slackers. The boys did not fight back. They managed finally to walk away from the fiends.

I personally felt I would have turned around with my fists swinging and smashed into them with such ferocity they would have been stunned. But these young boys looked rather meek. Did their meekness disturb me? Not at all. They were quite young and tender, to be sure. They may have assessed the situation in ways I could never, me sitting comfortably in an armchair watching a clip in tunnel vision. Neither did I have slippery snow beneath me.

Here are 3 remarks about the incident. The reason I post it here is - because if I could get my hands on Commenter 2, I'd just as violently punch HIM out for the way he referred to these 2 boys - our fellow Jews. There are Jews that think they can find grace in the eyes of the world if only all Jews can behave more assimilatively, like him. I cannot stomach such Jews who have no pride in their own Jewishness, let alone denouncing those who do.

I cannot help but love Commenter 3.

Commenter 1.
Please take just a few minutes to watch this alarming video. Many of us have been to this very spot in Jerusalem. It is just outside the Damascus Gate to the Old City. It is a common area for tourists. It is also the typical entrance for American students to enter the Old City from Hebrew University on Mt. Scopus, and also the common entry for Chassidic Jews coming from the Mea Sherim neighborhood. The Jews who were attacked there by the Arab mob were likely coming back from prayers ON SHABBAT at the Western Wall.
Yours, TM

Commenter 2.
I disagree, T. First, the saccharine music is way too much. Second, the dumb fucks in black were absolute wimps. Unlike Jews in the Shoah who would have been tortured and shot if they fought back, that's not the case here. Plus these boychiks were not retarded, or mentally ill, or in a wheelchair. As far as I'm concerned, they get no sympathy from me. As far as the Arabs go, of course they're predators, we all know that, but they didn't have guns  and if one of the black hats ran amuck the arab shits would have dispersed.


Commenter 3.
DS - In disagreement with PB's verbal attack on adherent Jews.

They may not have fought back in the physical realm, but the adherent Jews in this video will be the reason why there are Jews in the future.

For that reason alone, PB's attitude may be selfish, inappropriate and misaligned.

He disagrees with the music, but hasn't served up an alternative, a better or different one...

That he claims they are dumb, might be a testimony to his own naiveté. I'm thinking they may understand they are not able to defend themselves, that they may not have sufficient training to physically defend themselves and their choice to be moving forward seems to have eventually earned themselves their safety...

In PB's bloodline, I'll bet Judaism will be over within a few generations, if he himself hasn't ended it already.

It's also not impossible, because of their choice to be living in an area that has this many who hate Jews, they are actually more brave than the P's of the world by literally preventing the complete (additional) occupation of a Jerusalem neighborhood by our enemy. For that too, the P's of the world may need a dope slap.

P's possible lack of understanding of these basic principles and failure to identify the Orange plated (license plate) vehicle driver making no effort to help, or any other possible adult drivers coming to their aid, is perhaps a misdirection of his disgust of biblical portions... (In Israel and generally but not always, an orange plate is a Jew or Israeli and a white plate is a Muslim. Muslim cab drivers fought and won (from liberalist Gov officials), to get orange plates for their cabs, so this security measure has a breach...)

Those like PB and myself might fight to the death defending ourselves from this sort of reality, albeit to allow the righteous to continue, for Torah and Mitzvot... Therefore our defensive postures may be the appropriate rank and file to defend these folks. We each play critical roles. Until we all understand this we may have failed in our occupation of our bag of bones and our spirit presence here on Earth, for now...

I'll remind P that in his accusatory finger- pointing, 3 of his fingers point appropriately back on himself. Therefore my recommendation would be for PB to fully understand Torah and Mitzvot before attempting to be a conduit to the more complex Kabbalah, like you'd have to know Math to then teach calculus...

Certainly these two victims don't earn the label he has assigned to them by using a derogatory word as an adjective.

We are in a war. The war is against us. It is primarily fought in the realm of the media and supported by acts of violence, as they see fit. Allowing this sort of self hate to spew from one Jew to another and go
unanswered is taking a bullet and not firing back. In essence giving aid and comfort to our enemies...

Until we realize this - they have us.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

The Role of Every Jew

Wherever we turn we are apt to encounter moral filth. The world is drenched in lewdness, falsity, violence, corruption - all things impure.

A Jew might think God's plan actually requires this omnipresence of decadence, therefore he can hardly expect to change it; Better, he figures, he should minimize his contact with the outside presence and immerse himself entirely in prayer and study, living a religious hermit's life.

Says the Previous Rebbe, creation of the world began with an atmosphere of purity and sanctity. Decadence never was built in. Decadence resulted only as an addition, as a result of the sin involving the Tree of Knowledge. On the contrary, the very purpose of creation was so God's presence would ultimately yield maximum exposure in this human habitat. The Jew is expected to interact with the world and not withdraw therefrom, to elevate it to its ultimate purpose.

Well then, if the world began in pure form, and has as its goal a pure and even loftier purpose, we can conclude the current state of affairs, being transitory and temporary, bears no consequence on the world's ultimate state because the essence of the world - intrinsically - constitutes purity.

With this logic applied to the individual, we can turn the religious hermit's reasoning inside-out. Since the body, once a man passes away and his soul departs from it, undergoes rot and decomposition, then what good does it do, all during life, to try refine and sanctify himself, when no trace of it will remain after death?

The answer lies in the fact that God chose the Jewish people to provide for God an eternal "home" on earth. This act of "choosing", by itself, brands the target of choice with an attribute it never had before the choosing. Before the choosing, Jews and Gentiles had bodies and souls that were equivalent, on par with each other. But the moment the choosing was executed, the Jewish body gained sanctity and it also gained an extra soul that was implanted.

The purpose of creation is for God's Torah to be established on earth as the manual by which all Jews will ultimately serve God so that God can "dwell in their presence", so that God can "feel at home" among His people. It will be a time when we will have extra dimensions of perception to perceive a more revealing God Almighty. Righteous Gentiles who will participate in that world-to-come will also subserve this reality as they commit themselves to the 7 Noahide Laws that Torah dictates for them.

So the body of the Jew does NOT vanish. Those who passed away will again be reincarnated.

Well then, why bother doing the commandments, especially with eagerness and gusto, in this world if Jews receive eternal life? Says the Previous Rebbe, because every Jew plays a vital role in bringing this Era of Redemption to bear, and the sooner they accomplish them, the sooner that Era dawns.

Sunday, February 03, 2013

A Small Act of Enormous Consequence

Walking the sidewalk, a man spots an oncoming woman with a feature he finds attractive. As she walks towards him, he can avert his eyes from looking at her, or he can take a closer look at what lured him.

The intentional effort of diverting his eyes, letting the woman pass without the additional glance, has no vital import - were he a Gentile. But as a Jew, that small but purposeful effort not only rescues him from a spiritual deterioration, it also alters the spiritual state of the entire world. That's the power inherent in a Jew.

That diversionary tactic of turning his head or eyes to avoid the additional glance, however slight it may seem, achieves a transformation of spiritual darkness into a spiritual light; Because such behavior is the currency with which God and Jew negotiate reward and punishment.

God's ultimate goal in this world, which will manifest as the Era of Redemption, is "to feel at home" among His people on earth. Tiny, effortless gestures is really all God requires of His people so He can feel at home among them.

As innocent as that extra "look" might seem, it is enough to take the man down, no matter how trivial the instance can be rationalized away. In fact, that may be the evil inclination's only way to sneak his way into the psyche's domain, through that which ostensibly appears to be an insignificant crack.

Even if the man does not let his eyes "follow" her, by turning his head to "feed his eyes" a little longer, as is common in Gentile culture, or as would a dog in heat, that extra glance can begin the slide downward. A tiny submission can lead to immense deterioration, as sure as an inadvertent pornographic pop-up window on a browser that holds the eye an extra second can lead to catastrophe that may take years to recover from.

The Torah tells us this propensity for transgression is, in fact, natural and built-in, as it says,
"אשר אתם זונים אחריהם".

Nevertheless, Torah asks us to please conquer this animal-like nature by: "ולא תתורו אחרי לבבכם ואחרי עיניכם".

The eye follows the lead of the heart. The emotional, lustful heart sends a signal up to the brain, and the eye contact becomes the action that may oblige. However, the brain, as easily as it can fall prey to indulging the emotion, can just as easily consider God's will and direct his eyes elsewhere.

Averting the eyes cancels out the heart's provocation. Only the fool will feel deprived of an "opportunity". When man controls that slight urge, he slams shut the door on his evil inclination. He will feel better for it, more noble and with more fortitude, to go on his merry way. Chalk one up for that person because that small gesture converts darkness to light, by providing that much more space in which God can "feel at home". Disregarding God's wish makes God "feel" unwanted. And chalk one up for all of the world, which thereby advances another step towards the blissful, eternal Era of Redemption.

A Brush with Death - A Rebbe Story

One month ago, Rabbi Yoseph Geisinsky, the Chabad emissary in Great Neck, NY, suffered due to a previous, severe heart-attack. He was rushed to the hospital. Upon arrival he was already comatose. The doctors felt no point in attempts at revival.

One of the doctors, however, being a close friend of the family, insisted they make attempts to revive him.

After 15 minutes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, his pulse suddenly returned. The doctors, nevertheless, remained pessimistic, giving him little chance of recovery. If after 72 hours his heart continued beating, he'd stand a chance to live.

Seventy-two hours after he went comatose, his consciousness returned. His condition improved daily thereafter and soon he was up, alert, healthy - and left the hospital.

A few days later he called together his family and asked them to sing a chassidic melody because he wants to tell them something important. When they were done, he related this story:

"While in the throes of death, my soul ascended to heaven where Angel Michael greeted me. I merited to see all tzaddikim, starting from Moses, who was teaching children, until the Ba'al Shem Tov and the Admor Hazaken [1st Lubavitcher Rebbe]. The angel told me I needed to enter the heavenly courtroom for a determination on my final status, whether I remain in heaven or return to earth.

"When the heavenly court convened, the question of judging where I be arose and they asked my opinion. I answered I was a chassid of the Rebbe and, accordingly, I want to do as the Rebbe wants of me. Immediately they summoned the Rebbe. When he entered, all stood up in his honor and afforded him indescribable honor. They asked the Rebbe where I ought to be. The Rebbe answered, 'Because I am actively working to precipitate the Redemption, and he, after all, is a soldier of mine, I need him in the world to continue his work.'"

Immediately thereafter the emissary opened his eyes and regained consciousness.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Israel - A Spectator's View

For those who disagree that - as of now - we are inside the Era of Redemption, inside of Moshiach's times, just come sit with me on my cloud for one moment and let's look down to see things from this perspective.

There are those who regard the aftermath of the "Arab Spring" as inviting menacing prospects that lurk in Israel's future, that unrest among Arab countries can spill over the border.

Remember when the Jews of Egypt, under Moses, first got their respite from oppressive slave labor? It happened with the very 1st of the 10 plagues. How could an Egyptian slave overseer even think of the Jewish element when suddenly he's obsessed about finding some water to drink?

The same thing is happening all over again. Just when Syria and Egypt, two countries with huge armies and arsenals, posed a real threat to Israel, Jews can now watch these armies crumble and implode even as we speak.

If the Jews in Egypt actually found relief from slavery by the 1st plague, why did God not redeem them right then; Why keep them inside Egypt until all 10 plagues run their course? Because after so many years under slavery, Jews needed convincing from their erroneous thinking, thinking the Egyptians were strong and invincible. Jews had to see and relearn the power of God, as He tore away their myths.

Just as Israelis think America is all-powerful and a necessary partner to realistically face down her multitude of threats, wherever they might arise, God implanted an anti-Israel and anti-Jewish regime in America, to ween the Jews off this erroneous thinking that America for them is an important protectorate. If anything, America needs Israel (See "Secret of Superpower Status").

Just as the Egyptians were shaken to the core, taught that there is none else but God, so too the nations that seethe with hate against the Jewish nation are now being stricken with a plague, call it the Post-Arab Spring plague, the first of many that will strike them.

Not one word of the Rebbe ever fell by the wayside. The Rebbe said - Israel is the safest place in the world for Jews! He never changed his mind.

Syria is imploding from within. We hardly have to lift a finger. Lebanon, the other menace in the North, also begins to crumble. The language of firepower has replaced verbal differences.

The relative quiet years that pervaded the Middle East are giving way to an inferno. Jews need only sit back and watch how the Arabs deal each other the 10 plagues - as the Redemption unfolds.

In order to receive the Torah at Sinai, Jews had to be purged of their myths, had to internalize the fact that they are God's special children, that they need put their faith in Moses, the prophet and leader of the generation, and beside God - there is none!

Similarly today, before the ultimate stage of Redemption manifests, we have to internalize that the Era of Redemption has begun, and it calls for accepting the leader of the generation.

Thanks for your company. You might disagree on Israel's long-term prospects and the Redemption Era we're into, but now that you've shared the Chabad viewpoint, you'll not easily be able to dismiss it, as the events unfold.