Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Where's Moshiach? - Calling All Gerim!

                                                                    Parashas Vaeira
                                                 The Hidden King and His Kingdom
                                                                   Rabbi David Katz
Parashas Vaeira can quite simply be the Torah's formal introduction to kings and non-kings. In some ways this can appear as an overt operation, while some implications can be extremely subtle; yet with the careful eye, they are all here. Whether we are to discuss Pharaoh, Moshiach [and who he is], Egypt, Moses, or the Kabbalistic slant in this domain, the evil kingdom is quite clear in the passages that lay before us, while the secrets of the eventual ultimate redemption and her king is one of the truly most blessed aspects in the whole Torah – the truth of the final Moshiach – Moshiach son of David.  Let's examine six distinct aspects of the Kingdom in (1) Hashem and His name, (2) Egypt, (3) Pharaoh, (4) Moses, (5) Ger Tzedek, (6) Messiah.

"My Name Hashem"

Perhaps the most obvious King in our Parasha is The Creator Himself. Yet it still must be stated, for all too often we tend to stare at the trees while losing site of the forest! This is and shall always remain Hashem's dynamic opening moves that will eventually be realized as an eternal bombardment. Hashem was always working His vision into our hearts, and now has come the time to fashion the Nation of Israel in an absolutely revealed way, one that will see Him as head of this new Nation, one containing Jews and Gerim. As much as this week's headlines detail Hashem and Israel-proper, the rest of the Torah, starting next week [and from where we left off in Bereishit] will intertwine the Children of Israel who stood at Sinai, alongside in countless ways with the Gerim, who are also inherently bound by a Sinai in a sublime way.  Suffice it to say, Hashem has made his formal introduction with His essential name, and the buildup will culminate with a redemption [that leaves His distinct fingerprints all over it] and Sinai revelation. For the rest of time, no idolatry will be able to stand before Sinai and Moses as the Prophet of God; all others fall short, and with proper guidance in the nature of this redemption that God orchestrates, the Path of the Ger truly does represent Sinai and redemption, for their entire tradition rightfully so begins right at the foot of Sinai.


Egypt was the empire of its day, and history teaches that it worked in tandem with the Land of Canaan [the future "Holy Land"]. This is "Kingdom" [lit.] / Malchut – "Rulership" [practical usage] at its best, and serves as the paradigm for every exile – redemption scenario. At this point in the narrative, we understand Egypt's roots through Bereishit, and onwards into Shemot, we see that Joseph's enactments of circumcision was now a [problematic] custom for the locals, along with ritual bathing for the women; this is a nice way of saying, that the future Jews were successful in the early efforts of "Making Gerim." Out of this scenario, a slew of issues will arise, such as Erev Rav [a mixed assembly of future Jews, Gerim, and enemies to God], this served as the basis of identity [through Batya – daughter of Pharaoh] for Moses, and as a symbol of the World in every empire, culminating with a similar setting towards the End of Days.  Some of the most potent prophesies that speak about sure signs of Redemption involve the falling of Egypt. One need not look too far in today's settings to see a possible Divine effort in fulfilling this symbol. To reiterate in simple terms, "we all have an Egypt to fall into, and then flee from."


Pharaoh is a character that changes shape practically every time we see "him" – from Abraham and Isaac, through Joseph, and finally at the present Exodus. Thus to focus on the most essential attributes of Pharaoh would be to look upon him as we see him in our Parasha. Pharaoh's name in Hebrew can be split into the two words "Peh – Rah" or, Mouth of Evil. In Kabbalistic literature Malchut / Rulership is depicted as the Divine Mouth, as illustrated by the two most publicized kings in Torah History – Moses and David. The Zohar's depiction of Pharaoh is one of a perversion of the Rulership in God's image, even as an anti-messiah. If the Messiah extends his head upwards towards God, Pharaoh claims to be God incarnate. If Joseph [a Messiah type figure, i.e. Messiah son of Joseph] represents the river that flows from Eden [kabbalistically], one need not think too far back to Pharaoh's claims to stand on the river; this is the setting of which Moses is told to happen upon Pharaoh in the morning, as Moses is commanded to talk to Pharaoh. It is Pharaoh that goes against God, wishes to enslave the Nation of Israel / withhold the Gerim, and he represents the power of perversion of Rulership – a distortion of what redemption is supposed to look like. A great mystery can be said of Pharaoh, for at the Exodus he did not die, and for every generation that delivers a Moses in scholarship, the power of Pharaoh still manifests to attempt to block the will and vision of heaven [this is synonymous with Erev Rav and their leader].


Moses the eventual first King of Israel is a sublime example of Rulership. Yet as we focus from Hashem, and onwards into the evil sectors of Rulership – those that oppose Hashem as King, we come upon Moses as he is at the time of redemption. The Zohar illustrates that Moses' mouth is not totally operative [as evidenced by his "uncircumcised lips"; the verse 6:12 hints through beginning and end letters with a spelling of the words, "Circumcision", "and bounty", and "crying out"] and explains that his mouth is still in exile - EXCEPT FOR AT SINAI.  Moses has almost the whole package of redemption, even the Shechinah unites with his mouth, however there is still an aspect missing from this redemption and Moses, and that are his mouth and its Rulership that will manifest in the End of Days through Messiah. King David in psalms expresses this final level of Rulership [such that David is the promised Messiah] within the Mouth, and it is found in the sanctification within one's own mind. He says that all day man makes vows in the depths of his own mind, should he bring to light that higher voice, all of God's enemies will cease to exist. Ironically Moses could hear the voice of God, yet ironically his own voice went unrecognized…"From the mouth of God I heard two, will become the salvation of Sinai.

"Ger Tzedek"

The Ger might be the most invisible character to our Parasha on a revealed level; however the Zohar again illustrates that the manner of the redemption very much so involves the Ger on an ultra-dynamic scale.  The Ger Tzedek [here explained explicitly NOT as a convert, but as a proper Ger] is involved at removing stern judgments on the Creation, by working alongside Israel, and thus perforce can't be a Jew in this sense [although at times a Ger Tzedek can be referred to a full convert]. The task of the Ger is to return to his root of soul, and refine his character. The Ger exists in a world of Derech Eretz [good character traits] and thus has a natural tendency to gravitate towards his good inclination and to avoid any negative animalistic pull [Which every human being obviously has; the nature of Jews and Gerim are their functions of how to deal with good and bad.  In their equality, we can look at this in terms of right and left, male and female], or his evil inclination- to accentuate his good.  The Ger Tzedek is unique [and thus a proper Chasid by definition – going beyond the letter of the law; pursuing more than "7"] and wishes to purify and refine the areas of his soul that he is not naturally expected to, and by doing so he confronts his natural evil, and as he succeeds, this removes judgments from Mankind. The Jewish people in general are involved with this task, and thus a Jewish "Chasid" [in the literal sense] should then be one who involves himself with the work of the Ger [non-Chasid], or more explicitly, involving himself with the Noahide Laws. In the end, both the Jews and Gerim will work both sides together, and this will constitute a repair of the Rulership, and as King David prophesies, will bring in Redemption.


…And finally the Messiah's Rulership, otherwise known as Pinchas, he who came of the "Daughters of Putiel." Pinchas the son of Elazer, came of the mysterious Daughters of Putiel, to which the Midrash, Talmud, and Kabbalah, have all identified as a double entendre representing Joseph and Jethro. To make this easier to understand on the Joseph side, we need to recall that Jacob told Joseph "Ephraim and Menasha are to Jacob" but any other progeny afterwards would belong to Joseph himself. This fact coupled with Elazar's Daughter of Putiel, reveals that likely Pinchas descended from one of Joseph's future daughters!  That would make her a prototype Ger Tzedek [Messianic type] of woman. This is not foreign to Pinchas, for he married a daughter of Rachav [and Joshua – he who personifies Moshiach ben Joseph] the Ger Tzedek! The Messiah lineage seems to travel alongside the Ger Tzedek and their women, to which the Torah says, "Daughter of Putiel" rather than daughter in the singular. Jethro is the other reference to Putiel [for this is a hint of his idolatrous days, as opposed to the Joseph hint that he defeated his evil inclination – another Ger Tzedek hint as we listed above], and Jethro is likened to a father of Ger Tzedek women! Just as his daughter married Moses and was an exemplary Ger Tzedek woman, and the Midrash calls Moses' Batyah her twin sister [in concept, relating to Jethro as the consummate Ger Tzedek], we see that the Davidic line flourishes with these women, from Tamar, to Ruth, and onwards until Moshiach is revealed and performs the redemption of the Ger. It should be noted that Pinchas is said to have received both roles of the Moshiach sons of Joseph and David, through the Brit Shalom [with the slaying of Zimri and Cozbi] – which was his own performance of the Redemption of the Ger, in keeping it in sanctity. Pinchas and the Priesthood became bonded to the Ger Tzedek woman through the enigmatic mitzvah known as the Yafa Toar – captured women of war, of which Pinchas is on record of having been present at the time of the command. For support, our Parasha has the same Gematria as Pinchas [208] and this is our first introduction to his character.

We live in a World that has never beheld true Rulership, a King, or in other words God revealed on Earth. The six listed archetypes of Kingdom listed in the Parasha [there are sure to be more, the more one delves within the micro, and perhaps can show there are less by illuminating the macro] show a range of the issues that manifest in every society at every time. We all know a Pharaoh in our Egypt, as we wish for God and a Messiah to end our problems, as we study every year about Moses while ignoring the Righteous Ger as if he does not exist. The irony is, every year we read about Pinchas, and overlook his future commitment in ushering in the redemption; whether it is through his soul, or the announcement that we have arrived through God's messenger Elijah, to whom we say, "Pinchas is Elijah." Parashas Vaeira is special, for it contains all of the necessary ingredients for a proper redemption; if we just knew that it is the Ger who lurks behind every type of Rulership, perhaps the shofar blast would erupt suddenly in our day. Only we do know, but if a tree falls in a forest with nobody there to listen, did it make a noise? [Hint; a word to the wise is sufficient]

Audio Class on Parasha Tuesday 11 P.M.

Wed 11 P.M. - We are introducing a new series along side the "Thinking Shabbos" classes; 

Now launching "The Tehillim In-Depth - Universal Torah Series!"

Look for announcements each week for updates on schedule!

***Please Note Class Times and Their Amendments!
I have an erratic schedule with house guests until February; Please God February will arrive soon :)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Yosef and the Para Adumah.

By Joe Indomenico.

One must bring to mind that the Lucchot - Tablets of the Commandments were shattered by Moshe Rabbeinu on the day he witnessed the debauchery of the Eigel haZahav - The Golden Calf. The Sages teach quite adamantly that the Para Adumah - the Red Heifer was the rectification of the sin of the Golden Calf.
However, there is also a deep relationship between Yosef ha Tzaddik and the Parah Adumah that is more obscure that will aid us to unravel a bit more of the jigsaw puzzle. The mystery still remains but the picture is coming into sharper focus.
The cryptic puzzle begins in Bereshit 49 v 6 where it states that "they lamed the ox," and furthermore in Yeshayahu 1 v 3, it is written that "the ox knows its master." However, in Moshe's blessing of the tribe of Yosef, the analogy of the ox to Yosef becomes quite clear :
יז  בְּכוֹר שׁוֹרוֹ הָדָר לוֹ, וְקַרְנֵי רְאֵם קַרְנָיו--בָּהֶם עַמִּים יְנַגַּח יַחְדָּו, אַפְסֵי-אָרֶץ; וְהֵם רִבְבוֹת אֶפְרַיִם, וְהֵם אַלְפֵי מְנַשֶּׁה.  {ס}17 His firstling bullock, majesty is his; and his horns are the horns of the wild-ox; with them he shall gore the peoples all of them, even the ends of the earth; and they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh. Deut 33 v 17.
"The Midrash explains that the Egyptians knew that Yosef had imposed an oath on the Jewish people that, when the time came for redemption in the future, they would take his bones with them for burial in Eretz Yisroel (Devarim Rabbah 11:5). Therefore, in preparation for the possibility that the Jewish people might try to leave Egypt in the future, Pharaoh had Yosef’s body placed in a lead coffin and submerged in the Nile River beyond the reach of men. Hence, in order to fulfil the vow and leave Egypt Moshe had to use Kabbalah to raise it from the bottom of the Nile River:
It is already known that the Erev Rav, as along with the gold that they threw into the pit, also threw in the golden plate upon which was written, “Arise ox”. Moshe had thrown this very plate into the river in order to raise Yosef (with respect to whom the term “ox” is used; Bereishit 49:6). Thus, with the power of this Name, the calf emerged. Know that on this plate was written the second Name of the 72 Names of G-d, which is Yud-Lamed-Yud … (Sha’ar HaPesukim, Nevi’im Acharonim, Siman 1)."
I will now attempt, b'ezrat HaShem to tie the whole thing together.....Yosef ha Tzaddik, Eigel ha Zahav and the Para Adumah. These are my own personal musings  that I humbly offer for your consideration.
The initial thrust of Moshe's indignation after he shattered the the original tablets was to destroy the Golden Calf with fire.
כ  וַיִּקַּח אֶת-הָעֵגֶל אֲשֶׁר עָשׂוּ, וַיִּשְׂרֹף בָּאֵשׁ, וַיִּטְחַן, עַד אֲשֶׁר-דָּק; וַיִּזֶר עַל-פְּנֵי הַמַּיִם, וַיַּשְׁקְ אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.20 And he took the calf which they had made, and burnt it with fire, and ground it to powder, and strewed it upon the water, and made the children of Israel drink of it. Deut 32 v 20.
The Levites immediately put the 3000 instigators to the sword. However, the remainder were made to drink from the mixture of gold powder and water. This unusual event is later clarified by the laws of the Sotah where a jealous husband's suspicion of his wife's faithfulness was also put to the test by the wife being made to drink the bitter waters.
טז  וְהִקְרִיב אֹתָהּ, הַכֹּהֵן; וְהֶעֱמִדָהּ, לִפְנֵי יְהוָה.16 And the priest shall bring her near, and set her before the LORD.
יז  וְלָקַח הַכֹּהֵן מַיִם קְדֹשִׁים, בִּכְלִי-חָרֶשׂ; וּמִן-הֶעָפָר, אֲשֶׁר יִהְיֶה בְּקַרְקַע הַמִּשְׁכָּן, יִקַּח הַכֹּהֵן, וְנָתַן אֶל-הַמָּיִם.17 And the priest shall take holy water in an earthen vessel; and of the dust that is on the floor of the tabernacle the priest shall take, and put it into the water.
יח  וְהֶעֱמִיד הַכֹּהֵן אֶת-הָאִשָּׁה, לִפְנֵי יְהוָה, וּפָרַע אֶת-רֹאשׁ הָאִשָּׁה, וְנָתַן עַל-כַּפֶּיהָ אֵת מִנְחַת הַזִּכָּרוֹן מִנְחַת קְנָאֹת הִוא; וּבְיַד הַכֹּהֵן יִהְיוּ, מֵי הַמָּרִים הַמְאָרְרִים.18 And the priest shall set the woman before the LORD, and let the hair of the woman's head go loose, and put the meal-offering of memorial in her hands, which is the meal-offering of jealousy; and the priest shall have in his hand the water of bitterness that causeth the curse. Numbers 5 v 16-18
It is often stated by the Sages that HaShem keeps His own laws metaphorically. His suspicion of His wife Israel's unfaithfulness with the golden calf is put to the test with the fiery golden dust mixed with water to allay His jealousy. If the wife is guilty she will be cursed with the bitter waters, if not, she will conceive children. So many perished in the wilderness never to reach their destination but many conceived a new generation that entered the land of promise. This was done not for the sake of HaShem, who knows all things but for the sake of Am Yisrael who witnessed the exposure of truth for all to see.
I hope the picture is becoming a little clearer know. In the case of the Golden Calf and  its rectification by the Red Heifer, the recurring elements of  fire and water appear. The Hebrew word for Heaven is "Shamayim." Shamayim is comprised of the root words "esh - fire" and "mayin - water." Therefore, fire and water are the elements of Heaven. Cleansing by water removes the contamination of the surface whilst refining by fire removes the impurity from within. In both cases, the end result is  separation as I will explain. Please note at this point however,that both water and fire are used in koshering "set apart" objects and are actively involved in the rituals of the Temple service and its furniture.
The flood in the days of Noach not only cleansed the Earth of the impurity of its inhabitants but separated Noach and His family from the rest of humanity by rising to the surface of the waters in the ark whilst fallen humanity drowned in the depths of death. This concept of separation is further reinforced when Am Yisrael left Egypt and arrived at Yam Suf. This time however, Am Yisrael actually walk through the watery depths of a metaphorical death to be resurrected as a new nation on the other side whilst Pharaoh and his cohorts drown in the same waters of death. That event signalled the separation of Yisrael from Mitzrayim, the holy from the profane.
The second element of fire has a different dynamic. Whilst water comes from above and washes away, it can be filtered by the earth and lay hidden underground to be brought to the surface as a well spring.  Fire, on the other hand creates combustion that although creating heat and light leaves a residual by-product, removes impurities and ascends to the heavens as smoke.
Before we get back to the Para Adumah here are some salient points regarding Yosef Ha Tzaddik. The sefirah that represents the middle column in kabbalah is "yesod"  or foundation. Yesod corresponds with the human reproductive organ as shown in the sefirot diagramme above as is associated with Yosef Ha Tzaddik because he guarded his Brit against Potipher's wife.
Remember that during the Brit Milah a complete ” פריעה - periah" tearing away of the foreskin and revealing the opening of the organ is imperative. This ensure a proper connection to the channel of Light. It is for this reason that the Torah calls Yishmael a "Peri Adam - Wild beast of a Man." Even though he was circumsized, the "periah" was not completed. Thus he was still connected to his base animal instinct.
"The Zohar, in Tikkun thirty seven of Tikkunei Hazohar, reveals to us the process of redemption. The Creator will remember the covenant and will come to remove all negativity and death from the world. This is the secret of the foreskin and ” פריעה “, tearing and bleeding."
Now finally back to the Para Adumah. :-)
The Para or Heifer had to be red - adumah, from the same root wood "אדום Edom. It had to be without blemish and never had a yoke imposed. Could this be implying that it never had the yoke of Torah imposed as a tallit during the ceremony of Bar Mitzvah working the field of Torah? It had to be burnt full of its own dung implying the by-product of its own waste. The end product of the burning was "  אֵפֶר " Efer or ash. 
If I may put this into context, I conclude that the Para Adumah represents Yosef who rectifies the sin of the Golden Calf. The remnant of Yosef is lost and scattered in Edom - Western Christendom and have never carried the yoke of Torah. As stated by the Prophet Ovadyah who was a righteous Edomite Ger :
יח  וְהָיָה בֵית-יַעֲקֹב אֵשׁ וּבֵית יוֹסֵף לֶהָבָה, וּבֵית עֵשָׂו לְקַשׁ, וְדָלְקוּ בָהֶם, וַאֲכָלוּם; וְלֹא-יִהְיֶה שָׂרִיד לְבֵית עֵשָׂו, כִּי יְהוָה דִּבֵּר.18 And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the LORD hath spoken.
There is that combustion again and the flaming fire produces the ash from the stubble of Esav / Edom. It is also interesting to note that the son of Yosef Ha Tzaddik was אֶפְרַיִם - Efrayim, notwithstanding that his name may be rendered to fruitful from "pri" the words "Efer / Afar - ash" and "Yam - sea" are evident.
The final say goes to Chanah the mother of the Prophet Shmuel in her prayer of entreaty :
ו  יְהוָה, מֵמִית וּמְחַיֶּה; מוֹרִיד שְׁאוֹל, וַיָּעַל.6 The LORD killeth, and maketh alive; He bringeth down to the grave, and bringeth up.
ז  יְהוָה, מוֹרִישׁ וּמַעֲשִׁיר; מַשְׁפִּיל, אַף-מְרוֹמֵם.7 The LORD maketh poor, and maketh rich; He bringeth low, He also lifteth up.
ח  מֵקִים מֵעָפָר דָּל, מֵאַשְׁפֹּת יָרִים אֶבְיוֹן, לְהוֹשִׁיב עִם-נְדִיבִים, וְכִסֵּא כָבוֹד יַנְחִלֵם:  כִּי לַיהוָה מְצֻקֵי אֶרֶץ, וַיָּשֶׁת עֲלֵיהֶם תֵּבֵל.8 He raiseth up the poor out of the ash, He lifteth up the needy from the ash-hill, to make them sit with princes - Yehudim, and inherit the throne of glory; for the pillars of the earth are the LORD'S, and He hath set the world upon them.1 Samuel 2 v 6-8
The first separation of Yosef from his brothers came about from jealousy and envy. The outworking of this brought about the enslavement of Am Yisrael in Mitzrayim with the ensuing first redemption.
The second separation of Yosef from his brothers came about from his descendent Yeravam and his reconstruction of the Golden Calves at Betel and Dan. The outworking of this was the exile and loss of the northern tribes of Israel collectively known Beit Yosef.
It is interesting to note that Pinchas the grandson of both Aaron and Yitro - Jethro, (after his incident at Baal Peor with Zimri and Cozbi) inherits not only the perpetual Priesthood through HaShem's Brit Shalom - Covenant of Peace, but also inherits land through his marriage into the tribe of Yosef.
לב  וְאֶת-עַצְמוֹת יוֹסֵף אֲשֶׁר-הֶעֱלוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל מִמִּצְרַיִם, קָבְרוּ בִשְׁכֶם, בְּחֶלְקַת הַשָּׂדֶה אֲשֶׁר קָנָה יַעֲקֹב מֵאֵת בְּנֵי-חֲמוֹר אֲבִי-שְׁכֶם, בְּמֵאָה קְשִׂיטָה; וַיִּהְיוּ לִבְנֵי-יוֹסֵף, לְנַחֲלָה.32 And the bones of Joseph, which the children of Israel brought up out of Egypt, buried they in Shechem, in the parcel of ground which Jacob bought of the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money; and they became the inheritance of the children of Joseph.
לג  וְאֶלְעָזָר בֶּן-אַהֲרֹן, מֵת; וַיִּקְבְּרוּ אֹתוֹ, בְּגִבְעַת פִּינְחָס בְּנוֹ, אֲשֶׁר נִתַּן-לוֹ, בְּהַר אֶפְרָיִם.  {ש}33 And Eleazar the son of Aaron died; and they buried him in the Hill of Phinehas his son, which was given him in mount Ephraim. Joshua  24 v32-33

It is also interesting to note that Elkanah the Priest and husband of Chanah was based in the land Inheritance of Efrayim.
א  וַיְהִי אִישׁ אֶחָד מִן-הָרָמָתַיִם, צוֹפִים--מֵהַר אֶפְרָיִם; וּשְׁמוֹ אֶלְקָנָה בֶּן-יְרֹחָם בֶּן-אֱלִיהוּא, בֶּן-תֹּחוּ בֶן-צוּף--אֶפְרָתִי.1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of the hill-country of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.
ב  וְלוֹ, שְׁתֵּי נָשִׁים--שֵׁם אַחַת חַנָּה, וְשֵׁם הַשֵּׁנִית פְּנִנָּה; וַיְהִי לִפְנִנָּה יְלָדִים, וּלְחַנָּה אֵין יְלָדִים.2 And he had two wives: the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah; and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.     1 Samuel 1 v 1-2.

As we can see the tie up the Kohen and the Tribe of Yosef continues. The outworking is the birth of Shmuel the Prophet Priest who will eventually anoint King David.
So the tribe of Yosef, the son of Rachel Immeinu (who was barren at first) is aided by the prophetic prayer of Chanah (who was barren at first) who somehow comforts the tears of Rachel crying for her children :

יד  כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה, קוֹל בְּרָמָה נִשְׁמָע נְהִי בְּכִי תַמְרוּרִים--רָחֵל, מְבַכָּה עַל-בָּנֶיהָ; מֵאֲנָה לְהִנָּחֵם עַל-בָּנֶיהָ, כִּי אֵינֶנּוּ.  {ס}14 Thus saith the LORD: A voice is heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping, Rachel weeping for her children; she refuseth to be comforted for her children, because they are not. {S}
טו  כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה, מִנְעִי קוֹלֵךְ מִבֶּכִי, וְעֵינַיִךְ, מִדִּמְעָה:  כִּי יֵשׁ שָׂכָר לִפְעֻלָּתֵךְ נְאֻם-יְהוָה, וְשָׁבוּ מֵאֶרֶץ אוֹיֵב.15 Thus saith the LORD: Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the LORD; and they shall come back from the land of the enemy.
טז  וְיֵשׁ-תִּקְוָה לְאַחֲרִיתֵךְ, נְאֻם-יְהוָה; וְשָׁבוּ בָנִים, לִגְבוּלָם.  {ס}16 And there is hope for thy future, saith the LORD; and thy children shall return to their own border. {S}
יז  שָׁמוֹעַ שָׁמַעְתִּי, אֶפְרַיִם מִתְנוֹדֵד, יִסַּרְתַּנִי וָאִוָּסֵר, כְּעֵגֶל לֹא לֻמָּד; הֲשִׁבֵנִי וְאָשׁוּבָה, כִּי אַתָּה יְהוָה אֱלֹהָי.17 I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself: 'Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a calf untrained; turn thou me, and I shall be turned, for Thou art the LORD my God.
יח  כִּי-אַחֲרֵי שׁוּבִי, נִחַמְתִּי, וְאַחֲרֵי הִוָּדְעִי, סָפַקְתִּי עַל-יָרֵךְ; בֹּשְׁתִּי וְגַם-נִכְלַמְתִּי, כִּי נָשָׂאתִי חֶרְפַּת נְעוּרָי.18 Surely after that I was turned, I repented, and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh; I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.'
יט  הֲבֵן יַקִּיר לִי אֶפְרַיִם, אִם יֶלֶד שַׁעֲשֻׁעִים--כִּי-מִדֵּי דַבְּרִי בּוֹ, זָכֹר אֶזְכְּרֶנּוּ עוֹד; עַל-כֵּן, הָמוּ מֵעַי לוֹ--רַחֵם אֲרַחֲמֶנּוּ, נְאֻם-יְהוָה.  {ס}19 Is Ephraim a darling son unto Me? Is he a child that is dandled? For as often as I speak of him, I do earnestly remember him still; therefore My heart yearneth for him, I will surely have compassion upon him, saith the LORD. Jeremiah 31 v 14-19.

It is well documented that the Gerim were exiled together with the Northern Kingdom of Israel by the Assyrians. The scarlet thread of the Parah Adumah together with the Ashes of combustion render a tantilizing climax to the End of Ages. 
As Shmuel the Prophet anointed King David so at the Ketz, Pinchas / Eliyahu will prepare the way for Mashiach.
כג  הִנֵּה אָנֹכִי שֹׁלֵחַ לָכֶם, אֵת אֵלִיָּה הַנָּבִיא--לִפְנֵי, בּוֹא יוֹם יְהוָה, הַגָּדוֹל, וְהַנּוֹרָא.23 Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the LORD.
כד  וְהֵשִׁיב לֵב-אָבוֹת עַל-בָּנִים, וְלֵב בָּנִים עַל-אֲבוֹתָם--פֶּן-אָבוֹא, וְהִכֵּיתִי אֶת-הָאָרֶץ חֵרֶם.  {ש}24 And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers; lest I come and smite the land with utter destruction. Malachi 3 v 23-24
The final refining purification of fire that will separate the sons of Yosef from Edom will be the catalyst for the ingathering and eventual unification of Yosef with his brothers.

The mystery of the Para Adumah still remains, but I pray that we at least have a deeper understanding of its mechanics and moving parts.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Creation of Man: Thinking Shabbat #2

  • Contemplating Sinai
  • Sinai IS Torah
  • The Mishcan and You
  • Shabbat Labor
  • Shabbat of Gerim
  • "My" Place in the World
  • Interactive Torah
  • etc.

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Sisterhood of Motherhood

                                                                Parashas Shemot
                                                    The Messiah's Women's Club
                                                                Rabbi David Katz

Parashas Shemot is the formal introduction to Moses after a successful build up throughout the entire Book of Genesis. Yet the most compelling part of Moses' character and subsequent development, might strike one as the most elusive secret has ever told –it may even begin to decipher as to why he in fact did hit the infamous rock, on his way to Israeli – expulsion, keeping resonance with the Torah's narrative and theme in repairing Adam, who suffered a similar fate. So what is it that Adam and Moses share in a most profound way? If we look to Adam's fateful day, we can remember that he looked to call Eve [his better half] "The Mother of all Life" (חוה) and that is just it – for as much as Eve defines Adam and all of Life, it is the women within the Life of Moses, that shape his destiny as the paradigm redeemer. Moses' greatness in historic proportion, and his ability to attain to the highest heights of Understanding [symbolized his ascension of the Mt. to gaze upon the Land, along with the rabbinic tradition that Moses gained the elusive 50th Gate of Understanding, expressing that he actually existed in the Land of Israel already, that which is on High] was a direct result of his surroundings – that of the Joy [Hedva] of Torah, or in other words, the "Mother of the Messiah [as the Zohar states] -  "The Ger Tzedek [non-Jewish convert] Women." There may not be a greater secret within the Torah as this, for as much as the women ushered in the first Redemption from slavery, the Women of the entire World [Gerim and Jewish] shall conspire again against tyranny in the End of Days, and secure eternal Liberation and Salvation.

In a short span of "page time" in Shemot, we quickly find ourselves familiar with Moses, and his four most essential [Ger -] women in Miriam [sister], Yocheved [mother], Batyah [daughter of Pharaoh – surrogate mother], and Tzipporah [wife, daughter of Jethro, and as the Midrash states, a spiritual twin sister to Batyah]. To make the linear progression clear, Moses was born to Yocheved, and was hid and nursed with the help of his sister Miriam until three months of age in seclusion had passed. The women of the House of Levi [Moses was a Levite, and his father, mother, and sister each established a house, in Priest, Levite, and Kingship] placed Moses in the Nile to see what would become of him, due to the oppression of Pharaoh, which led to his discovery by Batyah [Pharaoh's daughter]. Batyah desired to raise Moses in royalty, and commenced as such with full cooperation with Moses' family. At this point Moses would grow up under these terms, live a life of a Man discovering God, which properly found him contemplating God's ways upon a well in Midian. From there Moses arose to the challenge vested within his future wife and family in Tzippora, the daughter of the Midianite Priest / Pharaoh's advisor – Jethro.

Jethro and Moses would quickly become the best of mates, developing "Ger Theory" [and Torah revelation, for Jethro was a great inspiration to Moses, and vice versa] while at the same time Moses' love for Tzippora would erupt and culminate with the birth of their two young men Eliezer and Gershom. From the House of Jethro, Moses would be called to meet God at Sinai, and receive command to redeem Israel from Egyptian bondage. All would go moderately well [aside form Moses' shock to happen upon God, where he refused to gaze at the intensity of God – for better or worse] for Moses and his new task; soon he would find himself put into motion, and he sought to bring his wife and children along for the Divine Mission that he was now in charge of.  Yet before we meet up with Moses and his wife Tzippora on their journey into exile's land, it is most appropriate to reveal the first part of the saga of Moses, one dominated by women. Women will become a sort of definition for Moses, and a key to the future final redemption, one that his soul is heavily involved in, to which Messiah is called "Nishmat Moshe / Moshe Moshiach." [The soul of Moses / Moses – Messiah]
If Moses found God in the burning bush, then this was certainly a message for Moses' soul! 

Just as the fire burned yet did not consume the material, Moses' life was the proverbial matter amidst the flames [Moses' allusion in the Torah (Genesis 6:3) suggests this point – Rashi]; the reality of this was seen that Moses could handle the wrath of God and the wrath of Israel and Gerim. Moses was able to withstand the pressures of Life and Torah through his upbringing and association with women; more specifically Ger Tzedek women…and dare I say Ger Tzedek, God Fearing – Levite women. [Levites are historically known to contain the passion for God; and God Servant according to the Rambam is called a Levite] Moses was destined to stand in the fire and not be consumed, and this could easily define his entire existence. For that which is termed "Nishmat Moshe" [soul of Moses] and is synonymous with the Tree of Life above, we now have an idea how to envision the Cherubim of which take hold of the flame of the sword that turns! …and when Moses was born, they saw that he was Good; Moses was born circumcised, and was thus thought to be the prophesied redeemer due to his radiance and apparent exalted stature.

Yocheved gave birth to Moses after her husband Amram returned to his wife, no longer in fear of Pharaoh's threat to slaughter new born males; this was a result of the piercing wisdom of Miriam, sister of Moses, who was herself a keen prophetess. The Hebrew women were different than the Egyptian women, for they performed miraculous pregnancy and delivery, took the risk of ritual bath [which became a custom in Egypt, to the dismay of the dignitaries of the land], and as we shall see with Moses, the women were versed in the art of circumcision. [A practice that was even among the Egyptians due to Joseph incorporating the act in his day as a tool to ease the pending exile] Moses would ultimately spend three sacred and holy months with his mother and sister in seclusion [for he was born three months ahead of schedule], and although knowledge of exact details are scant of the nature of his upbringing [even as a baby Moses had a profound awareness that was likened to a youth], the Midrash [along with Torah definition of the art of nursing, to which this was a mark of distinction by Moses, for his mouth would speak with The Creator – that which was pure from its inception] details that Moses' time with Yocheved was so profound on a soul level, Moses never lost his identity. Yocheved, the Levite, successfully lit the fire known as Moses, a fire that never found darkness; on the contrary, Moses' face would eventually glow with the fire of his youth.

Yocheved and Miriam kept their promise to Batyah, and after three months and Batyah's finding of Moses which led to the hire of Yocheved to raise Moses further, Batyah the Ger Tzedek [as evidenced by her Mikvah] received Moses, and brought him into the fires of Egypt. The Zohar proclaims that Batyah [on of the righteous who walked into the Garden of Eden while alive] represents harsh judgments of soul. This is the DNA of a righteous woman, and Batyah not only named Moses thus defining his existence and the Torah through her prophetic action, but she shaped Moses into the man that he was destined to become, both to God, and to his future wife; all the while sanctifying the opening efforts of the righteous Yocheved, wife of Amram the Levite. Moses would soon be ready to meet his match in his chance meeting with daughters of Jethro.

Moses quickly fell in love with Tzippora, Jethro's daughter, and her remaining role within the Torah comes across as largely irrelevant, and even to a point of gross disrespect, for Moses eventually and suddenly divorces her, upon which we will eventually meet Miriam in full detail over this matter, as she contests Moses in a most compelling fashion. Once the Torah moves towards its end game and Moses' exile / hitting the rock, the episodes known with Tzippora, his righteous Ger Tzedek – Levite – like bride, will provide the inside track as to who she was, and more importantly what he role was to Moses, the man who withstood the fire.

Quickly after Moses takes command of the journey ahead of him to Egypt to redeem Israel, Moses saddles up his youth and wife, and thinks to commence on his way. The Midrash informs us that he and Jethro had a Torah debate as to the nature of the circumcision needed [or not needed] for his two young men; the point of contention is what is perhaps the Torah's biggest conundrum that exists – "the status of a child born of a Jewish man and a Ger Tzedek woman" – for Moses was destined to stand at Sinai, while Tzippora sought to be strangely absent. All throughout the Torah's Messianic characters, this theme plays out accordingly with such luminaries as Moses, Joshua, Pinchas, David, etc. The relationship between Gerim and Jews has always baffled the mind, enticed souls, and even has served as the impetus of frustrated outburst of anti-Semitism [on both sides]; The Ger Tzedek is simply the greatest riddle ever told, and any offshoot of it has baffled every mind that has come upon it. This is the arena of Jethro and Moses concerning circumcision, and now there is an audience – Hashem Himself, and Moses was destined to meet up with his odd fate.

The Torah states that God sought to kill Moses over his delaying to circumcise his son; Moses was in doubt and confusion over the matter, and not surprisingly, his blunder put his life in danger with an attack of the evil inclination who overstepped his boundary as the angel of death by God's command. Moses and Tzippora would commence to argue in an out of character expression of anger, leading Moses halfway to his demise, before Tzippora would perform one of the greatest actions in history. She blazed over Moses, reducing him to ashes of a proverbial Red Heifer, for she understood the Mazal of her name: Tzippora contains the two words within it "rock" and Mouth"; she know knew her role of destiny, and acted as a savior to the soul of Moses.

Tzippora understood that this was a matter of circumcision as an action of representing the entire Torah, and that Hashem was judging Moses according to this principle. By Tzippora circumcising her son while Moses was overcome by a state of confused anger, she saved not only her son and Moses, but avoided a desecration of God, thereby saving the whole Torah in a way that Eve did before Adam, through the performance of tremendous "Binah" – the power of understanding within the soul of every woman. As soon as she knew and saw, she quickly grabbed a rock to perform not only the cut itself, for the salvation came within the awareness that she had to perform an entire and complete mini ritual to the Torah standard of the mitzvah as well. 

One would think that this also was enough to satisfy God, yet the most daring leg of the micro journey was yet ahead, and due to the dangers of the action, the child [as with every child] would need sterilization to survive. It is precisely here that the mention of "mouth" within her name would manifest, and Tzippora completed one of the most profound actions in history, by orally sanitizing the young child, according to Torah law, and in accordance to the way the mitzvah has been done from the days of Abraham until this very day. In victory and salvation of Moses, Tzippora "reached the blood to his feet, and said, my husband's blood was because of circumcision."  Tzippora withstood God, Moses, and the baby's blood, and sanctified herself in accordance with Yocheved and Batyah before her, entering her into a proper sisterhood of Righteous Ger Women in the Torah's illustrious motherhood.

Tzippora may have saved Moses, and merited to bring him to that final level of fire capacity to withstand the fire of Sinai, but it did not come without a paying a price. Moses received the Torah and Tzippora was not there to see it; he would achieve greatness and understanding, yet he would not merit containing the fire that became of Tzippora and the imposed definition within him of the state of the Ger tzedek. Later in the Torah, Moses divorced Tzippora, and he remained exiled from Israel and building the Temple due to his shortcomings. A opportunity arrived later to wed the daughters of Tzlafchad who had inherited land in Israel, but Moses chose to reveal the Torah of the women, this time from the side of the Get – the divorce contract. This is where Moses met the Messiah within him in Miriam.

Miriam and Aaron spoke poorly of Moses over the matter of the divorce, and although Miriam would receive "the spit in the face by God" [showing the severity of the matter, and reinforcing that Miriam was a prophet in her own right] by rebuking Moses, she did ignite the final flame in Moses. Miriam was right in that she knew that Moses wrong to divorce Tzippora over matters such as the status of the Ger Tzeddek in Am Yisrael. Yet Moses could only go so far at this time, he was reduced to ashes [even literally over the exile from the land] and the fiery sting of Miriam was all that Moses could take. He achieved his understanding, but he would have to wait for his prophetic return to enter the land, as the Torah states in regards to the soul of Moses, "then Moses will sing" [the Torah's hidden wisdom, i.e. Binah / understanding – Zohar]

Moses is said to be a part of the Messiah team, one that is invested as Messiah sons of Joseph and David, to which his soul is enjoyed within this task. It is on this point, that the Zohar says that Messiah rests in the Birds Nest Above [etymology is as Tzippora – Kan Tzippor] to which the Zohar says the souls of the Righteous Ger Tzedek Women Above nurture the Messiah in the location of the Soul of Moses, and this nurturing is called, "the mother of the Messiah."

Suffice it to say, the Temple and the Messianic redemption is slated to descend built from Above amidst the great fire that will wipe away evil. It shall be the presence of the "map" in place of the territory that held back the redemption; but the cooperation of the World's righteous women culminating in the End of Days that will provide the fire to destroy the way people thought in exile that led to our proverbial exiles and even demise of Moses over matters of the heart. When we begin to realize how the Torah thinks instead of baselessly asking why and what does the Torah think of things, then and only then will the territory of Hedvah – supreme joy "fun" of the Torah reveal itself, invested within the hearts and smiles of the world's redeemed women. The final showdown in history led by Moses Messiah and his song of wisdom, shall finally express the Mother of all Living, Eve as she was, expressed among the sacred Jewish women, …and with Gerim who hold with one hand, and like Miriam, contain the drum in the other, who simply did what Adam and Moses simply could not do: be themselves.

Like the fire of Tamar and the passion of Ruth, were they out of line, or just buring the fire of the Ger, "singing the song while understanding the lyrics."

Class Thurs. Dec. 26th 11 P.M. Tzfat Time

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Nega-tivity to Oneg-tivity.

By Joe Indomenico.
I found great solace in pondering that Geulah - Redemption has already happened.........it is just that we have not arrived there in time and space.........but occurred, it certainly has.  
What do you see ..... The destruction and ruins of temples, the ashes of crematoria, the dust of wilderness or do you see the vibrant light of the rebuilt Beit haMikdash, and the industrious labour of love of G-d fearing Yehudim reclaiming the ancient sites and barren sands? We must see with clarity. The blind negativity of the left eye must be transformed by the light of the right eye. And it has.........just open the eyes. 
Jewish Mysticism teaches that different Hebrew words that contain the same letters, but in a different order, are intrinsically related to each other.
Rabbi Yehonatan Eyebeschutz zt”l, in his famous work Yaarot Devash, explains that Lashon HaKodesh (lit. the “Holy Tongue” or Biblical Hebrew) reflects a basic aspect of life: Just as the situation of an individual or society can change from good to bad, so too the meanings of the Hebrew letters and words can change from positive to negative ones (through changes in the letter sequence).
In Vayikra - Leviticus 13 v 1-46, the Torah discusses the laws of a person whose skin is afflicted with נגע - nega, a Hebrew word meaning “plague” or “affliction”. The same letters, in different order, spell ענג - oneg, which means “pleasure” or “delight” – the very opposite of nega.
Chassidut  explains that the only difference between the words oneg and nega is the placement of the Hebrew letter ע- ayin (which literally means “eye” - how one views the world). Whether a person will experience oneg and pleasure in life or only nega and “plagues” all depends on his perspective – where one chooses to place one's ayin - does one want to see all the good that there is or just focus on what one sees that is bad ?
How do we learn from the spiritual afflictions of tzara’at and nega as written in the Torah?.
These afflictions appeared on the skin of a person. In Hebrew, the word “skin,” ohr, is written with an ayin עור. If the ayin is substituted by an aleph, the rendered word is  אור “light.” These two words are pronounced almost identically. In other words, the “skin” of the world, the way the world looks from the outside, is that it seems as though things just run by themselves devoid of an Unseen Hand. The “skin” of the world obstructs the Light. Nature is like a skin that obstructs the perception that everything in the world is miraculous, that everything is a manifestation of the Light.
If you take the spiritual affliction that manifests itself in the skin that is called nega and re-arrange the letters, you can form the word oneg, meaning, “pleasure.” By rearranging our view of the world, we can turn nega into the oneg of experiencing the Light. Similarly, if you rearrange the letters of tzara’at, you can form the word Atzeret, another name for Yom Tov, the holy festivals of the Jewish People, which afford yet another unique glimpse of the Light.
Every week, we are afforded an opportunity to make the “skin of the world” transparent, to see beyond to that Light. This opportunity is called Shabbat. G-d called Shabbat “pleasure.” 
יא  וְנָחֲךָ יְהוָה, תָּמִיד, וְהִשְׂבִּיעַ בְּצַחְצָחוֹת נַפְשֶׁךָ, וְעַצְמֹתֶיךָ יַחֲלִיץ; וְהָיִיתָ, כְּגַן רָוֶה, וּכְמוֹצָא מַיִם, אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יְכַזְּבוּ מֵימָיו.11 And the LORD will guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought, and make strong thy bones; and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
יב  וּבָנוּ מִמְּךָ חָרְבוֹת עוֹלָם, מוֹסְדֵי דוֹר-וָדוֹר תְּקוֹמֵם; וְקֹרָא לְךָ גֹּדֵר פֶּרֶץ, מְשֹׁבֵב נְתִיבוֹת לָשָׁבֶת.12 And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places, thou shalt raise up the foundations of many generations; and thou shalt be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of paths to dwell in.
יג  אִם-תָּשִׁיב מִשַּׁבָּת רַגְלֶךָ, עֲשׂוֹת חֲפָצֶךָ בְּיוֹם קָדְשִׁי; וְקָרָאתָ לַשַּׁבָּת עֹנֶג, לִקְדוֹשׁ יְהוָה מְכֻבָּד, וְכִבַּדְתּוֹ מֵעֲשׂוֹת דְּרָכֶיךָ, מִמְּצוֹא חֶפְצְךָ וְדַבֵּר דָּבָר.13 If thou turn away thy foot because of the sabbath, from pursuing thy business on My holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, and the holy of the LORD honourable; and shalt honour it, not doing thy wonted ways, nor pursuing thy business, nor speaking thereof;
יד  אָז, תִּתְעַנַּג עַל-יְהוָה, וְהִרְכַּבְתִּיךָ, עַל-במותי (בָּמֳתֵי) אָרֶץ; וְהַאֲכַלְתִּיךָ, נַחֲלַת יַעֲקֹב אָבִיךָ--כִּי פִּי יְהוָה, דִּבֵּר.  {פ}14 Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD, and I will make thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and I will feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father; for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it. Isaiah 58 v 11-14 
The real pleasure of Shabbat is the opportunity to re-orient our world-view,
to see the Light. The Light of Shabbat is the Messianic Age with the rebuilt Temple in Yerushalayim enveloped in the glory cloud of Shechinah drawing down the well springs of the Etz Chaim - The Tree of Life  and Ohr haGanuz- the hidden Light of creation.

Do you see it ?.....................just open your עיניים eyes.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Shabbat Shalom : Shemot.

ט  וַיֹּאמֶר, אֶל-עַמּוֹ:  הִנֵּה, עַם בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל--רַב וְעָצוּם, מִמֶּנּוּ.9 And he said unto his people: 'Behold, the people of the children of Israel are too many and too mighty for us;
י  הָבָה נִתְחַכְּמָה, לוֹ:  פֶּן-יִרְבֶּה, וְהָיָה כִּי-תִקְרֶאנָה מִלְחָמָה וְנוֹסַף גַּם-הוּא עַל-שֹׂנְאֵינוּ, וְנִלְחַם-בָּנוּ, וְעָלָה מִן-הָאָרֶץ.10 come, let us deal wisely with them, lest they multiply, and it come to pass, that, when there befalleth us any war, they also join themselves unto our enemies, and fight against us, and get them up out of the land.'
יא  וַיָּשִׂימוּ עָלָיו שָׂרֵי מִסִּים, לְמַעַן עַנֹּתוֹ בְּסִבְלֹתָם; וַיִּבֶן עָרֵי מִסְכְּנוֹת, לְפַרְעֹה--אֶת-פִּתֹם, וְאֶת-רַעַמְסֵס.11 Therefore they did set over them taskmasters to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh store-cities, Pithom and Raamses.
יב  וְכַאֲשֶׁר יְעַנּוּ אֹתוֹ, כֵּן יִרְבֶּה וְכֵן יִפְרֹץ; וַיָּקֻצוּ, מִפְּנֵי בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.12 But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread abroad. And they were adread because of the children of Israel.
יג  וַיַּעֲבִדוּ מִצְרַיִם אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל, בְּפָרֶךְ.13 And the Egyptians made the children of Israel to serve with rigour.
יד  וַיְמָרְרוּ אֶת-חַיֵּיהֶם בַּעֲבֹדָה קָשָׁה, בְּחֹמֶר וּבִלְבֵנִים, וּבְכָל-עֲבֹדָה, בַּשָּׂדֶה--אֵת, כָּל-עֲבֹדָתָם, אֲשֶׁר-עָבְדוּ בָהֶם, בְּפָרֶךְ.14 And they made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field; in all their service, wherein they made them serve with rigour. Exodus 1 v 9-14

"Vehi She’amda, La’avotainu Velanu Shelo Echad Bilvad, Amad AleinuLechaloteinu Ela Sheb’chol Dor VaDor Omdim Aleinu Lechaloteinu V’HaKadosh Baruch Hu Matzilenu Miyadam."

"And this (Hashem’s blessings and the Torah) is what kept our fathers and what keeps us surviving. For, not only one arose and tried to destroy us, rather in every generation they try to destroy us, and Hashem saves us from their hands."

From the cool crisp mountain air (and snow) of Tzfat and the balmy sub-tropical breezes of the South Pacific, Rav Katz and I wish you a Shabbat Shalom.

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes |