Friday, May 31, 2013

Growing With The Ger

Parashas Shelach

The Ger In High Definition

Rabbi David Katz

In this week’s Parsha, we cover the three most distinct angles of the Ger [in relation to Israel] that serve as the main function of the Ger [Toshav] in the Land, setting precedent from within and throughout. The Parsha begins with the spies, and the two spies who don’t speak evil speech, [loshon harah] will go down as two of the biggest pioneers in Jewish – Ger history; none other than Caleb and Joshua. What they stand for, [spreading Seven Laws as a method of subduing idolatry as opposed to military might] shall lend itself to the next phase – a Ger in land [and his obligation/ability to sacrifice [Olah Offering], leading to the last position of the Parsha – tzitzit; religious identification/uniform in the Land – in the merit of Shem, he who founded Jerusalem, and by these means the Land itself [Canaan would then be to Shem as the Caananite Nations standing before Israel]. The three topics could easily be pinned down to three perspectives: The Jewish confronting [potential] Gerim, the Jews and Gerim facing each other, and the Ger gazing at the Jew; spies, sacrifices, and garments respectively. [The Gra identifies this as three distinct stages of daughter – sister- mother in relation to Torah]

When the decision is made to spy out the Land, twelve spies are elected from amidst the Children of Israel, highlighted in historical context by Joshua and Caleb. These two were existentially different than the rest, even for the mere fact that where the others stood to deride the Land of its harshness, Joshua and Caleb offered tunes of praise. However the key in understanding where it went right for these two [and a point of digression for the others], is to consider the path of Caleb – a destination with the Avot!

It should be very clear by now, that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were the Patriarchs of Israel, yet a Jewish People would not stand until crossing over through Sinai. That makes everyone before Sinai a Ger [Tzedek], and the standard as such, carrying on a legacy that began with Adam, was entrusted to Noah, and was perfected and influenced by Shem, who made it an eternal path of righteousness. [This follows the Zohar that explains the words of Torah were actually spoken as vessels that belonged and originated with Gerim.] Caleb, as he had “a different spirit within him” would then seek to connect not with his Jewish Brethren [and thus speak an evil report], but would cling to his forefathers who saw Judaism from the eyes of the Ger [hence the perspective point of view of this Parsha], and would, ultimately draw influence from them specifically [and perhaps it is for this reason it is said that the forefathers along with Adam sleep (w/o decay) in the Cave of Machpela; a well of inspiration for he who wishes to connect to their reservoir].

Caleb [and Joshua – who also led a life of devotion to Gerim for the sake of the truth; both Caleb and Joshua deliver their seed into the vessels of Gerim, under the lens of “The Righteous spiritual level of Elijah”] takes a different route of operation in the Land in conjunction with God’s commandments from within the Torah, concerning Derech Eretz in the Land; he chooses to fight as the Avot fought – with Torah. The other spies were limited in their view of success, as they thought in terms of bows and arrows; for that Hashem showed them [in their enemy’s hands] AK 47’s and Merkava Tanks so to speak. For Caleb and Joshua, the view was different, for they chose to fight as Samson – with the Seven Laws of Noah; Hashem then promptly and quite clearly showed them signs of victory. Where the ten evil reports of the spies cried over destruction, Joshua and Caleb were busy preparing the Land as ancestral heritage, laying the seeds of what would be conquered land in the name of God and His Torah.

The loshon hara would go down as the quintessential Tisha b’ Av the day commemorating a Temple’s destruction and a near eternity of agony for Israel. Joshua and Caleb are then essentially in stark opposition, laying foundations for even the Third and eternal Temple of God.  Joshua lays a foundation in the House of Rachav, and Caleb becomes the most recent Patriarch of Hebron [in merit of his influence there from the Avot] – to your seed, an inheritance, says Hashem.

Essentially, “the spies” chose poorly and this resulted in destruction by military might, whereas the other two saw that Hashem’s command of conquering Israel can be done through Torah and Noahide Laws, allowing for the Jewish – Shem pipeline to become once again live and well. This is seen by the Parsha closing with the command of Tzitzit – a mitzvah of the white strings in merit of Shem, while the blue string is the merit of Abraham; a true depiction of heaven and earth – the Jew- Ger pipeline.

[*The Mechilta points out, that the most effective way of securing Israel’s borders, ending idolatry, and even erasing Amalek’s memory, is best accomplished through the Noahide Laws. Jewish history would end up going down this road as its correction against the spies, an acknowledgement of Caleb and Joshua. Only as the Edomite exile intensified has this tradition become lost, amidst Israel’s Second Temple crisis [that Edom destroyed]. We can be sure that as Gerim are returning, Edom’s run is nearing its end, and this time the Jewish People are poised to return to their [Caleb /Joshua – Joseph Judah; ancestors to Messiah’s ben David and ben Joseph who complete the task] roots and bring the World to the Ger Toshav [Shem/Abraham inspired vision] position is was created to exist as.]

This concludes an introduction to a Jewish View of the World coming out of the Land of Israel, from the focal point of first contact, i.e. the spies.

Once Gerim would become common place in the Land [or even as Ger Toshav throughout the World], the Parsha states that they have rights in performing Offerings to God. It is at this junction where the Ger and the Jew truly stand side by side. [If the previous perspective was as a mother - daughter relationship (in nurturing and education), this no doubt would be the sister-sister progression; for wisdom is called “my sister”] The Ger [who wishes to be a Ger and/or operate within Torah precincts] is encouraged to make an Olah Offering, should it be for Thanksgiving or in order to be a proper Ger for example [which today can be achieved through a Ger – Shabbat]. The Jewish – Ger shared experience would be in the learning/physical process of delivering God’s aroma.

The Ger is considered like a High Priest when he learns Torah, and it is the Olah that opens the door to his World of revelation and light. Under the catalyst of his Olah, he may now learn [with sky as the limit when done with the Wisdom of Torah; who again, is called Wisdom] to perform, invest in an expansive nature should he desire to, and he even now has cause to exist in tandem with Israel through his inheritance, the Torah. For a Ger Toshav [within or throughout Israel and the World], this would constitute his independence in the Land, and now would be able to operate with quite ease under the Seventh Noahide Law – to establish the necessary statute of  Beis Din. The Ger would be fully operative in the Land, and the Torah goes on to state, in the areas of interest, there shall be one Torah for the Jew and the Ger alike. 

Today Jewish cooperation and assistance is frail, coupling with Ger hesitation of delivering an Olah, as per the knowledge to identify the appropriate Offering [as one must know with intent the nature of the Olah, i.e. for Thanksgiving or for finalizing one’s soul as a Ger]; the Torah seeks to mend the distance and to improve both sides’ education levels for the sake of the other, through the partnership in the Olah. Should the Ger Toshav of today realize the gift of God that he possesses, the Olah, and were to take full privilege, the Offering [which literally means to draw close] would in fact have the power to draw each other close, into full eternal embrace. The Holy Temple built [and such that it was built by the inertia of Caleb and Joshua as opposed to the spies] which functions as the Divine locale of such Service to God, will forever express this union before God.

This now shows two of three perspectives: Jewish view of the Land and Ger – Jewish view together. The third and final view is the Ger who gazes upon Israel – in the name of Tzitzit.
Tzitzit come under the merit of Shem and Abraham [white and blue strings respectively] and are the article of clothing that a Jew can be seen in the Land. This obviously points to the Ger in the Land [who now is as a “Mother” in Torah, as Torah can be said in his name; having gone through the three stages of Torah – daughter, sister, and mother. The Ger is now the fourth branch of the mystical letter Shin, having expanded like the Land of Israel – into a fourth branch. The Land of Israel is said to expand like the skin of a deer, with the addition of Gerei Toshavim.] who with his gaze upon the Tzitzit, reminds the inhabitants of the Land [and throughout the World if need be] of God’s Holy Domain above and below, and in the name of the Fear of Heaven in performance of His Commandments. The Jew would then find the proper drive to reach this pre-requisite Awe through the gaze of the Ger, and Ger would benefit from a World filled with Torah [that in the relative sense always did begin with the Ger].

This constitutes a rectified society in the Land of Israel, from the starting point of the bravery of Caleb and Joshua, developing into a people of worship [not in the mold of religion or idolatry], and culminates with a proper people who are a part of the fabric within the Land’s borders as a society of God. If the Land was ever to bear fruit [and multiply] both the Jewish People and the Gerim would be delivered to full Mother [Torah expertise] status in result of the Unity that can, should, and will exist between the sons of Shem, encapsulated within the Torah command through Tzitzit, in the merit of Shem and Abraham.

As the final war of Gog V’ Magog is quite literally [after an extremely Jacob’s ladder-esque long process] an attack against Torah, through the agency of Japheth in opposition of Shem. Thus the World is, was, and will be a saga of sons of Noah. For all that Parashas Shelach stands for as an eternal reminder of Tisha’ b’ Av, B’’H, it also stands as the eternal rectification as such. The Parsha preserves and delivers the Messianic message that is contained in the sons of Shem, a path of unity, one of which is treaded upon by none other than those who inherit Shem.

The Gerim and Yehudim – who serve as the white fire agent in the Parsha, or the Tzitzit of Shem [white fire with blue flame?], contain the intensity and purification to bring Japheth back to his Noahide prophecy – of dwelling in the Tents of Shem, roots and tradition that the other spies were all too quick to forget.

In a Land that is inhabited by God’s Gerim, the Path to Moshiach is best walked in the shoes of Caleb and Joshua, the two spies who in face of military might, chose to pay visage to the Gerim who walked the same Land before them, and who are destined to walk again…for the key to unlocking David and Joseph’s door, lies within the Fourth Craftsmen [the others being sons of David and Joseph along with Elijah], he who is dressed in white – the Righteous Priest, Shem son of Noah –who in conjoined merit with Abraham, will forever remind us, as they did Caleb: You are Gerim in the Land of God.

Parashas Shelach will always then stand to remind the soul destined for Tisha B’ Av – of the soft bubbling river that pours out of the Temple in the End of Days, one that stands to reverse the destruction of the spies, and can begin to build as sons of Shem, a project that laid its foundations with Shem and Abraham. As witnessed by Caleb, the Kol Hator [the voice of the spy] will be heard in the Land, signaling a return to the voice of Caleb, echoing the Torah in its original and authentic voice as God always intended it to be, a true insight to God’s reality.

Don't Forget Class Time: 11 P.M. Motzie Shabbos [Tzfat]

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hey Naaman: Love The Ger... - God

  • Naaman: Gerim and Jews
  • Elisha and His Love
  • Naaman today
  • 7 of Creation
  • The Parsha and the Ger
  • Korban Olah - For who?
  • The temple and the Soul
  • etc.

Don't Forget Class Schedule!
  • Wed 11 P.M. - Torah of Gerim
  • Motzie Shabbos 11 P.M. Parsha
  • [classes Israel Time]
  • (article on Fri is best served with the audio shiur )
Don't miss the link to enter yeshiva:'Ever

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Danger, I See [3D Printed] Danger - Use The Torah Skywalker!

In the year 5500-5600 the World's wellsprings above and below shall open - Zohar

And they did.

It is largely acknowledged that in those years both the religious and secular World did indeed develop as predicted. In Judaism, luminaries such as Gra, Ramchal, Besh''t, Rashash, etc all came around the same time, and fashioned Torah Judaism into what it is today, and in the secular velt, Rothschild came about, closing the era with Rockefeller [industries].

Daniel predicts this as well when he says time, times, and a half, which is said to be 5500/1739.

Every Wisdom has a Messiah. Whether it is the baseball messiah in Babe Ruth, the basketball messiah in Michael messiah's such as Napoleon in France, Spain having its heyday, and even Obama claimed to be America's [false] messiah. Point being, every wisdom has its time, its moment that expresses its holy spark, regardless of the other various impurities. It lives, it rules it dies, life goes on...much like the 8 Edomite Kings.

In the Daniel prophecy, it is said that the True Messiah [as opposed to a poor man's version, based on concept fulfillment] is set to come out of this 1739 boom that lasted until 1839 - "upon the completion of the fragmenting of the hand of the Holy People."

Should this be true, then by what means would we recognize the era of the Moshiach?
Perhaps the Industrial Revolution's messiah?

Enter 3D Printing - Technologies Messiah, and quite possibly the sacred bridge that finally joins science and Torah. They are billing it as such [for better or worse; etz ha-daas tov v' rah type of balance], and this is quite possibly the fulfillment of the secular part of that era, which would then lend to a spiritual resurgence in the near future as well.

The Flood came by stealing crimes, and all other corrupt actions. This 3D printing  has the potential to utterly destroy organized civilization, aka industry's messiah can kill industry. We shoudl expect Moshiach around the corner who would do the opposite, bringing Torah back to [eternal] life, and simultaneously rectifying [rather than other other messiah programs that ruin] society; the sign of the [finally] true Moshiach.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Gerim and Old School Geulah

Don't Forget Class "Torah of The Ger" Wed 11 P.M.

[best to absorb article with shiur]

Click Link For Class Entry:

Friday, May 24, 2013

Real Life With Real Torah and Real Gerim

                                                            Parashas Beha’Aloscha
                                              Intellect [Sechel]: A Ger In This World
                                                                 Rabbi David Katz

In this week’s Parsha, one can open the doors of perception as in every Parsha, once the Ger component is plugged into the mainframe. Whether one seeks to learn about the SEVEN branched menorah and how it is the primary vessel that manifests open light, out of the Temple, for the World. This serves as a defined metaphor of Noahide Law amongst God’s countless commandments [as the basis of Hanuka and its implications to Noahide Torah that resonates with Messiah], along with potent flavors within the Parsha such as Gerim in relation to The Second Passover [when Jews are impure], Jethro and his eyes for the Nation [i.e. The Ger who sees Mazal], and ultimately, as the basis of this article: Miriam, her Tzaaras [“leprosy”], and its relationship with “Miriam the [third] Redeemer, i.e. Redemption and its Ger [Sechel – Tzaaras] attributes.

With all of the Ger inspired revelations in the Parsha, that seemingly lift the Parsha into a multi dimension high-rise of Torah based reality, it is still the story of Miriam that best expresses the Pshat [simple meaning] such that its content contains all levels of Pa’’R’’De’’S [four levels of understanding that take into account the non-verse elements as to arrive at a clear intent of the verse(s) and onwards into the Parsha] and we gain insight to Redemption’s story through Miriam’s [the third redeemer; feminine aspect] plight. Miriam represents the Spiritual World/reality out of this World, which when one considers all of the other elements in the Parsha fully realized [along with the whole Torah as such], they will resonate from beyond this World as well. This is simply called the World of the Ger, as it is said, “Sechel [Torah intellect] is a Ger out of this World, and is/has been removed from the camp; such is the fate of the Tzaaras ridden Messiah, who is named and identified [ironically, per force then, by none] as such. [As it is said, “Messiah waits alone (“with the lepers) at the gates of Rome]

The saga that we encounter Miriam in is one of family dispute, such that it’s true intent is to delve into the deepest most reality where life is simply understood by terms of a reality we all know, i.e. the reality that we know, the reality of the Ger. The nature of Man is to bury this reality, the World of truth, and to pretend that it does not exist. For this our Torah is a beacon from this mysterious place that we all fancy to keep quiet, and it is therefore branded with the nomenclature of the “Ger” – a true alien in this World, for this World is known as the World of lies [and cover-ups] of inconvenient truths and antithetical true Torah concepts. Miriam, Aaron, and Moses deal with these very issues amongst themselves, and this will have ramifications for all future study of Torah. What we have received in writing is a terse account of a family squabble that ends with loshon hara [evil speech] and Miriam banished from the camp due to her affliction.

To get into the specific account of what their individual claims are/were, is something of a kabbalistic mystery, and such that with the integrity of the Torah [and its magical romance] at stake, is best left for the Messiah and his generation to deal with. Just as life went on for those three, the Torah holds no reservation of moving on for the sake of moving on, and not to dwell on speculation and personal reservations about matters that either we may never know, or are simply not prepared to hear/handle.

However, the truth of the matter is, the Talmud stresses that through Miriam’s lengthy quarantine, we clearly see how upset Hashem was with Miriam, and this was in regard to the being fruitful and multiply commandment, of which she spoke out of character with Moses her brother, seeing as she bore guilt in her soul, causing her to speak loshon hara. The exegesis of these principles in both the revealed and concealed matters of Torah are some the richest learning devices amidst the entire Torah [for Torah logic is rooted and deduced from Miriam and her punishment], and rather than to increase accusations against some of the Holiest People the World ever saw, despite their humanity [Moses, Aaron, and Miriam all received the sacred kiss of death, and their bodies knew not of worms and the way of the grave], the hidden light was actually sewn as to better know the Messiah and the era of the Redemption [in relation to the Ger on the highest level].

The Maharal of Prague, and his explanation of the Talmud Sanhedrin explains the deeper connection to Miriam’s Tzaaras on a positive note in relation to the Ger, and by reflecting upon Miriam’s inner voice from with the Torah’s verses, he offers a realistic account of the Messiah, who modestly embodies Miriam’s mission of soul, metabolizing the feminine quality of it into a masculine redeemer [of which the Maharal explains per force must be a masculine job, for neither Miriam nor Esther succeeded in their roles as Redeemer]. The properties that the Maharal works exclusively with in depicting the Messianic qualities, are that of the Tzaaras along with its deeper meaning and in relation to the Ger, his intellect, and how they all tie together into a common fabric that garments the Messiah, who like Miriam, sits outside the camp [to which the Midrash bemoans, “Messiah sits among the lepers of Rome.”]

The Talmud Sanhedrin states [98b] that Messiah suffers from Tzaaras/Metzora – “skin maladies” to which the Commentators have entertained the depths of this enigma since its inception. The Maharal perhaps was the most elected sent to explain the depths of this passage, as he explains it in terms of Miriam [the] Redeemer.

Just as Miriam [was a redeemer] was sent from the camp due to a condition [as a product of intellect] so too is the Messiah banished outside of the camp due to his intellectual malady. The Maharal couples this with the concept, that the intellect [sechel] is a Ger in this World, i.e. alien, and swims against the non-intellectual [non – sechel; counter-Torah] capacity of normative society. Under these terms we can identify the nature of Messiah, The Ger, Torah, Redemption, etc., portraying Olam HaZeh [this world] pitted against its transition into the Days of the Messiah, and onwards into the World to Come.

Society “thinks” one way [even quite literally, a “way”/”direction”] while God’s agents [Messiah, Gerim, Baalei Sechel, Torah scholars, etc.] swim against grain going upstream, in a proverbial shofar blast that we can see, much like the thunder that was seen at Sinai [all counter-logical]. This produces in the end is a society that partakes in small matters of life, and are indigenous to this World. The Ger on the other hand, along with the Messiah, etc., are like Miriam – placed outside of the camp, as if stricken in their very being. All of these concepts are the positive blend of repair that reflects the same efforts and condition of Miriam, who acted from the same principles, but in a harsher blend of [real] life. Miriam highlights from her personal life a truth that is often not told or looked over, a staple concept in Torah becoming realistically revealed before our eyes.

The Ger, intellect, and certainly, the Messiah, all work harmoniously to synchronize their message from beyond the boundary, and into a “World to Come” transition from this World. To this extent, Miriam portrays the Messiah equipped with his mind while being the Ger that he is [as King David on this point said, “I am a Ger”], for the Messianic World is spiritual, and thus in constant conflict with the mundane physical existence that we all dwell in. The task of the Torah and the manner of Creation by the Creator has been to impregnate our World with all of these variant Gerim, so as to promote Messianic growth into an otherwise stagnant society. Thus in our Parsha [even if only in the most negative [literally and figuratively], Miriam is the Ger figure that delivers at the end of the Parsha, opening a realization tunnel that spans the length of the Parsha of the Ger potential that lays latent amidst the entire Torah. It should be on record that as King David said, “I am a Ger” – King David is said to be of the offspring of Miriam specifically.

Parashas Beha’Aloscha delivers another fantastic view of the rich quality of Ger affiliation that is latent in each and every Parsha, once again showing the equality of the Ger-Jew relationship when understanding the Torah on a Pilpul level. To suggest that the Torah is only Jewish, on any terms, is to deny the usage and properties of Ger vessels to understand the Torah that exists in a World most accurately lived by none other than the Gerim. He knows his World, and it is his sacred point of view that brings a resounding Shalom to the Torah.

Miriam and her brothers encompass the essence of real life, and therefore real Torah. In today’s World, the populace has chosen to bury and ignore Truth to matters, and in a truly idolatrous universe, all hope would indeed be lost. To this extent we can thank God for keeping his minyan of Holiness, i.e. the Ger and, the Gerim – who on every level shape and form, personify the concept of Ger. The Ger is something alien to this World, for it/they serve(s) a much higher purpose of operation than the average bear and for this the Torah came into our existence. A true Ger [Torah – Sechel – other worldly descending into our world] is the Torah, a story of Gerim, redeemed by Gerim, etc. and we are commanded to know the Torah on every level to always know which aspect of Ger we are in fact in the presence of. To this extent God has stated the basic premise, “I love the Ger, so you should too.” It just happens God wasn’t kidding, and Messiah will be like Miriam; to know the End will prove to have known and loved the Ger, for at the very least, your understanding of Torah depends on it.

Parasha Class: 11 P.M. Motzie Shabbat -all classes Tzfat Time

[and every Wed 11 P.M. - Ger series]

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

Amen Yehe Shmei Rabbah!

Click Here For Download Link - Ger # 8: Gerim and The Many Mitzvot!

Don't Forget Parasha Shavua Class On Sat Night Israel 11 P.M.

  • Shem, Abraham, Amen - Yehi Shemei Rabbah
  • How many mitzvot?
  • Pshat and Pshuto...and Pardes
  • Deeper Look at 10 Commandments
  • Abraham and Noah
  • One Mazal

Monday, May 20, 2013

The Last Cup of Coffee

The Great Pacification of the Armilos Kibbutz called the Zionist dream [of exploitation of its template based on a true Moshiach ben Yosef;Kol Hator], a watered down Israel, that still holds sacred the Coca Cola t-shirts branded with Hebrew script, is coming into high gear.

Naftali Bennet-ism is coming soon, a neo-Shariah Law composed in a Prime Minister's office, to convince us all that we are brothers, partners even, in High - Tech start up groups, as we binge the dividends of over-priced [American goods] pampers.

Erev Rav are making their final move:  a Judaism we can all buy into, equality, with quiet elitism shrouded beneath elitism whispering in between the coffee stands that used to be Haredi institutions of learning; now reduced to a political juggernaut, regime de la Shas.

Sadly, this is the fight Haredim should be fighting, but they are more concerned with fighting the Land of God rather than God's enemy: false religion, and instituting false religion on those w/o religion, i..e potential Garei Toshavim.

Is it still even time to say Ad Matei? If anyone forgot that it is 5773, and the Zohar imagery that comes with it, well, there is on question - which part ISN'T true and becoming more and more revealed? It's just uncanny how Hashem attacks with Mazal [revelation] that fiends on people's own baseless bias' - for to step out into an objective Universe happens upon God's domain, and today [with internet] it's right next door.

Religious Services Minister Naftali Bennett, alongside Deputy Minister Eli Ben- Dahan, unveiled a series of reforms on Sunday, calling the proposals “revolutionary.”

The objective was to improve the professionalism of religious services and make them more accessible to the general public, Bennett said, speaking at a press conference in Jerusalem.

“This is an opportunity to sanctify God’s name and to draw people closer [to Judaism],” said Bennett, emphasizing that religious services were required by the entire population “and not just one community.”

The Bayit Yehudi chairman attributed the main push for reform to Ben-Dahan, who runs the ministry.

Although various groups expressed support for some of the planned reforms, there was also widespread criticism from both secular and religious quarters, including political parties on the Right and Left.

Notable among Bennett’s comments was his assertion that “there is no competition in Judaism, although there can be and should be [competition] for serving the Israeli public.”

Non-Orthodox movements have in recent years been increasingly lobbying for state recognition and funding, and Finance Minister Yair Lapid has said on at least three occasions that he intends to bring all Jewish streams onto an equal footing in terms of funding and state recognition, while also vowing to institute civil marriage.

Ben-Dahan has said Bayit Yehudi will veto any legislation in this regard.

Meretz MK Michal Roisin told The Jerusalem Post the reforms being advanced by Bayit Yehudi amounted to “service with a smile” but with no substantial change in addressing the needs of the public.

She pointed in particular to the demands for civil marriage and divorce registration as basic requirements “of any normative state.”

“What we have here is the exchange of a black yarmulke for a knitted yarmulke, and service with a smile,” Roisin said. “But the coercive nature of the service within an Orthodox framework remains, and this is what is divisive and what distances people from religion.”

At the same time, haredi MK Meir Porush of United Torah Judaism criticized the proposals, saying they endangered traditional Judaism.

“In matters relating to the foundations of the Jewish people, we must not make changes under the guise of simplifying bureaucracy,” said Porush.

“Today we’re talking about technical issues, tomorrow, God forbid, there will be a break with Jewish tradition.”

During the press conference, Bennett and Ben-Dahan announced three main reforms that they will seek to advance in the field of religious services, relating to local religious councils.

These bodies are a primary provider for services such as marriage registration, burial arrangements and many other life-cycle events, and have frequently been criticized as unprofessional, unapproachable and inattentive to the needs and sensitivities of the general public.

The first of the planned reforms is to abolish separate marriage registration districts, so as to allow anyone from any locale to register anywhere in the country, thereby creating competition between councils for the NIS 600 registration fee, in the hope that this will lead to improved services.

Many religious groups, such as the Tzohar rabbinical association, have voiced concerns in recent years that an unwelcoming and bureaucratic atmosphere prevails in many marriage registration offices at local religious councils, which causes many couples to chose to marry abroad in civil ceremonies.

The worry for such groups is that the downturn in ceremonial Jewish marriage will create an irrevocable split in the Jewish population in Israel, since the principal tool used to prove Jewish identity is providing the Jewish marriage certificate of a person’s parents.

Tzohar welcomed the proposal on marriage registration, pointing out that it has campaigned for several years to open up the registration jurisdictions to competition.

In a particularly bitter fight with the Religious Services Ministry back in 2011, Tzohar shut down its free marriage service in protest of what it called discriminatory restrictions placed upon it by the ministry.

This incident led to legislative efforts to abolish separate marriage registration districts, including a bill submitted by Yisrael Beytenu’s MK Faina Kirschenbaum, which passed a preliminary reading in the Knesset and was stalled following the dissolution of the Knesset ahead of January’s election.

Bennett and Ben-Dahan vowed to “disconnect politics from the provision of religious services,” by creating a professional appointments process for the position of chairman for local religious councils.

Currently, council chairmen are selected by representatives of the religious services minister, the local municipal authority and the rabbinate.

By creating a professional appointments process for the position, said Bennett, “the opportunity for cronyism and the distribution of jobs will be uprooted” from local religious councils.

This proposal came in for severe criticism from the national-religious Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah lobbying group, which argued that the proposed appointment process would be anti-democratic and would deny local municipalities the ability to determine an appropriate executive for the region’s religious council.

Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah said the idea was “an unacceptable form of centralization [which] strengthens the monopoly of religious services in Israel,” adding that it contravened proposals made by at least two public committees on the issue.

The organization argued that public tenders for professional positions, such as those that would be made for the chairmanship of religious councils, are frequently skewed to favor candidates with particular qualifications – and that such tenders would ultimately put the religious services minister in control of the process.

“Just like a mayor, the chairman of a local religious council needs to be elected by the public and not appointed by a minister, and this proposal strengthens the religious services minister in making these appointments instead of strengthening communities and the wider public,” Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah said.

Hiddush, a religious freedom lobbying group, also weighed in, welcoming recognition of the problems in the provision of religious services but arguing that the reforms dealt with marginal issues and would “perpetuate Orthodox control over religious life.”

Hiddush director Reform Rabbi Uri Regev said the only solution for the provision of religious services in a democratic state was “freedom of choice in marriage and the abolition of a coercive state-run rabbinate.”

The third reform announced by Bennett and Ben-Dahan would see the number of local religious councils reduced from 132 to 80 in order to reduce unnecessary expenditure and increase efficiency.

Ben-Dahan said that the money saved on employing clerks and supporting the bureaucracy of the extraneous councils would be used for the improvement of services.

Both the Reform and Conservative movements in Israel criticized the proposed reforms, arguing that preserving the provision of religious services within an Orthodox framework was divisive and restricted choice.

“The only revolution that can heal the crisis of religious services in Israel is the abolition of the Orthodox monopoly and allowing real choice for different Jewish communities and denominations,” director of the Israel Reform Movement Rabbi Gilad Kariv said.

“A cosmetic facelift will not solve the plight of hundreds of thousands of people ineligible for marriage, will not provide for a sane conversion process or give expression to the fact that a millions of Jews belong to non-Orthodox denominations,” Kariv said. 

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Sunday, May 19, 2013

Nasso: The Nazir The Kabbalist

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Friday, May 17, 2013

Gerim: Keeping The Holy With The Temple

                                                                     Parashas Nasso
                                                Serving God as Righteous and Holy Gerim
                                                                    Rabbi David Katz

In Parashas Nasso the Torah introduces its readers [Nasso 5:6] to a new Ger concept termed by the Talmud and Rabbinical writings, “Gezel HaGer” – the sin of trespass upon God’s Gerim. This is seen in the Torah as a very serious crime – to the extent that the proper restitution is a proper course of Torah defined repentance accompanied by confession of sin, full financial reclamation, etc. all to be in association with the Temple should the Ger become deceased. God clearly demonstrates His deep Love for the Gerim in this law, and not only does the institution of the Ger in Nasso set the tone of the entire Parsha as one with a Mazal triggered Ger-theme from beginning to end in the Parsha [as all of the topics are associated with the Ger by way of secrets and hints according to laws of Torah exegesis called, “Pardes” – simple, hint, expounding, and secret understandings in Torah], the law beckons the deep secrets of the Holy temple and Priesthood that are illuminated by God’s Gerim [i.e. the Gerim who are in nature to the Rechabites and Kenites; Holy Gerim who occupy Holy institutions amongst Israel].

The case of the Torah [as mentioned above] that sets the precedent for all such relationships with the Gerim in the mundane realm [and such that it lends its vessels by extension into the spiritual dimension of society as well] is the classically termed “Gezel HaGer” – stealing from the Ger, and as one could imagine, this obviously allows for investigating the nature of the Ger. As with any Ger [law-based] Torah, the range of Gerim can extend from the quite literal ranks of Toshavim who are “slaves”/indebted – servants, “” – to God while life’s dedication to the Temple, Gerim of the Gate, all the way northward to the Ger Tzedek, and venturing into Judaism proper as full converts. The Gezel HaGer then comes into focus in Nasso, as to provide focus and context into the nature and levels of Gerim within practical applications, such as theft.

[*Torah operates in “Mazal multi - tasking” called Pilpul (understanding the matter within the matter), thus as Chazal state that the repair of Adam/Man is rectifying theft, Gezel HaGer postures itself as a viable cog in analysis and methodology of how to perform the repair, through performance of this (Ger) opportunity under the premise of mazal and the Ger.]

The case of Gezel HaGer in its simplest form is the procedure of restitution of the Ger should he be wronged by an Israelite Jew. The standard law states that the Jew must repay the Ger in full along with other steps to assist in his repentance, and is in relation to the many cautions of the Torah that stress the guarding of the dignity and love of the Ger. 

Where the law becomes a “which – type - of - Ger - are - we - talking - about - discussion” is in relation to where the victimized Ger has passed on before the culprit was able to lend restitution. It is precisely this point that the Torah commands that the possessions shall be divvied up amongst the Priests on duty and to be considered under government of Law and gifts to the Priests and must follow the standard protocol as such. The reason for the Priest entering the discussion is that this stipulation of law is only enacted once the Ger is seen to have no kin, which is a common scene amongst all Gerim. One must deduct exactly which Ger [and in relation to the nature of kin /Gerim] has a complete association and relevancy to the law under fire, as to be precise in Torah law while avoiding a Chilul Hashem, and unnecessary backlash from misappropriated statutes emanating from carelessness and lack of astute scholarship within required practice of identifying Gerim.

Although the nature of carrying out this law to the upmost degree of accuracy would most probably require a Beit Din when ascertaining the finer points of the Ger [i.e. which exact blend of Toshav, as we conclude that the ideal Ger of the statute in a Ger Tzedek], the standard operative playing field would yield the Ger Tzedek, leaving the Ger Toshav as a possibility and subject to resolving doubt. The Ger Tzedek [Righteous Ger] is the primary agent in Nasso, as his righteousness is predicated on accepting the full and entire Torah, thus making him applicable and sensitive to Torah reality and all of the concurrent situations that come from Torah, as being in deep relation to the Jewish People and their daily government. The trigger point for the Ger Tzedek is that he is considered as absolutely having no kin, as he is technically [by his own volition] devoid of stranglehold in  both the Gentile and Jewish Worlds, making him a true by definition Ger Tzedek. The convert and Toshav are lacking in this degree namely because the Ger may have an easier acclamation process into the Jewish World while the gentile has kin, and are simply not Jewish, and not recognized under this law.

Now that we have properly identified the Torah portion’s Ger [Tzedek] and eliminated the obvious and perhaps non – relevant, we can begin to gain  ground on just who is this Ger Tzedek and perhaps begin to understand his comrades under the heading Toshav, and what is the essence that ultimately drives the Ger.

The Ger Tzedek as we mentioned before is subject to analysis in Nasso for the primary reason that he has accepted the entire Torah [and has not converted; details as to why to follow] and thus he is a practitioner of Torah on a realistic scale and way of life. This dynamic has certainly left him as a true Ger, i.e. with no real kinsmen. The gentile World is philosophically opposed to Torah ways of life, and for this, the [“Head” of] Torah itself is called a Ger by rabbinic writings. The Ger is governed by a different law, court, and ultimately a different God – for the Ger is first defined as having renounced Idolatry.

Once idolatry has been renounced, the Ger Tzedek will fall under categorical distinction as having accepted all of the commandments [as valid and true Torah as understood by Jewish Law and tradition] along with the Seven Laws of Noach as Moses instructed at Marah and Sinai along with the appropriate Oral Torah [which is the basis of authenticity of Torah and its Law]. Among other qualities of the Ger Tzedek, is that he will be keeping some extent of the Torah upwards to its near entirety – save for eating exclusively kosher meat, as is the mandate for a Ger [Toshav – Tzedek]. By doing as such, he has sanctified the mystical significance of Moses’ breaking of the Ten Commandment Tablets, in that it is the “downfall” that is actually the ascent, as the Ger who eats “trief” [non-kosher meat] is expressing that he has accepted the entire Torah as seen by the Torah command as such to the Ger Toshav [Tzedek] and thus he is and isn’t a full Torah Jew at the same time. This is called in the mystical sense “coming from the Mouth of the Almighty as ‘I heard two from one voice’ and elicits a universal repair to the World when expressed on an ultra - macro platform.

Thus the Ger Tzedek plays and operates under Torah law, and is thus connected to the Jewish Nation, the Priests, the Land, etc. as he now knows no other reality. For the Ger Tzedek can grasp on an acceptance level any statute that comes his way as the operative measure of Torah governed society; he is clearly a member of the Jewish People as a proper Ger Tzedek. The liberties he enjoys come under such distinctions as aiding with the Red Heifer and association with matters of Temple – Purity & Offerings, Shabbat observance [w/indulging in “soul food labor”], etc. 

The best way to express the Love of the Ger on this level is by observing the letter “Shin” that grace a Jewish Man’s Tefillin [of which the Talmud states that this mirrors Hashem’s Tefillin, i.e. as seen in spiritual reality terms through Jewish Mazal – a spiritual emanation trail that ultimately connects to the Creator] that mystically has Four branches [paralleling the secret of the First tablets and the letters that can be seen on both sides; the two letter Shin’s of Tefillin accentuate the white and black fire woven together] representing the Righteous Gerim.

Of final note, the reason why there exists a term of “Ger Tzedek” for this type of person under the gentile distinction as opposed to the Jewish convert [of modern conception] is that in his root and essence he may not be able to ever convert; and this is where the Ger Toshav and Ger Tzedek actually meet and become inseparable. In basic law, all sources still consider him to be a Ger Toshav on some level and yet he reveals the secrets of the Holy Temple that shall stand for eternity, for he brings light to the whole Torah and Priesthood, while echoing the Shem – Abraham union that blueprints this concept as the pattern of Creation [and ultimately making “Yichud” (one-ness) with our Parasha Nasso].

The Ger Tzedek who can’t convert, suffers from the duress of his Toshav status; simply: he can’t function beyond his call of duty. Parashas Emor brings down a lesser known law of the “Toshav-Kohen”, one who is sold to the Priest as property. It is often understood that a Ger can in fact become destitute and be sold to the Jew as a servant like any other servant of this type, although the Ger is different; this is his calling and shall not convert.

The Ger Tzedek of the Temple is such that his soul utterly rejects all that is not God. He can’t convert, for Jews are required to provide a standard of successful living in this world as a basic tenet of Jewish Survival and comes with the territory of the Jewish soul, which any convert would ultimately have to recognize from within, as a signal that he is indeed converting. On the flip side of things, he doesn’t function as a gentile either, for the basic premise of derech eretz living [living off the land; craft and ingenuity] and a world of dollars and cents/sense is simply far too mundane to be involved with. Simply put: The Ger Loves Hashem and Hashem Loves [all] Gerim. To this extent, he is not impoverished by way of being inept, rather, he simply is intoxicated for Hashem and longs for a lifestyle that is dedicated to Temple Service.

The Torah comes with an entire infrastructure for the Gerim on this level, and he is essentially the blood that circulates from within the Holy Temple that lubricates God’s Divine Machine. This is easily explained and imagined when the Torah says a Ger who learns Torah is like the High Priest; as the Priests are the Torah’s authentic and preferred “rabbis” as per their Blessings in the Torah. The commentaries explain that the natural domain for the Ger is ironically “as a Priest” [while not coming from the seed of Aaron, rather Shem], and as such he is seen to grasp and absorb the teachings of the Priest [see Malachi 2:7] to the point of a performance level.

We know that historically and in many law-based cases, the Gerim take part of the Temple services and practices. The love drawn Ger by means of his own mazal, will find himself immersed amongst the Priests, glued to Hashem and His Temple, and their scent [Vilna Gaon Shir Hashirim] will fill the halls of the Temple as the waters of intellect sweeten the bitter World beyond Israel’s boundaries. To put it in simple terms, the Ger Tzedek may very well simply be: a Ger Tzedek by every definition, and perforce his home is amongst the Priests in the Temple as opposed to being among the Judean lions. The Torah calls him [in parallel language] a Ger Toshav [implied Tzedek].

Parashas Nasso is unique in that we can find all of Israel amongst her words; as the Midrash points out in many flavors the various roots in subtle places of Torah personality amidst the Parsha. You may be a Ger, King, Prophet, Nazir, Priest, Warrior, etc. Everyone is in Nasso, and Hashem commands Moses to “Take a census of the Levites of Gershon” – a root in the Holy Tongue for marriage, while the end of the Parsha sees the Tabernacle standing erect by the hand of Moses, as the pivotal moment [of inauguration] in Creation where Hashem is fully bound to his marriage of Israel; all that came before and what will be after in the relationship were predicated on a dwelling for Hashem below in our Temple-driven/defined existence. 

How much sweeter will the anticipated Third Temple’s inauguration be, a reality built by the hands of God, as told through the additional merit of the Gerim, who properly are the underlying unified theme of Parashas Nasso. The Jewish People have never - not known the Ger Tzedek, yet it’s Parashas Nasso that aims to simply bring to light what we all intuitively know in hearts -  the Jew and the Ger are as inseparable as body and soul…which one is which, is then rendered a moot point, for on that level – [the Temple permeates] Hashem is one, and it is heard throughout ALL of Israel, and responded by Baruch Shem Kavod Malchuto Le’olam Va’ed. Amen.

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