Rosh Hashanah 5777: Unsaneh Tokef , Aleinu and Showing Kavod for the Tools of Our Tefillot

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Tuesday, September 27th, 2016 by moshe | Comments Off







Shalom Friends;

Our Rosh Hashana 5777 Vort is being sponsored by Avraham and Miriam Deutsch of Efrat who wish Zahal and Kol Am Yisrael L’Shana Tova! To the Deutsch family, many thanks for your continued kindnesses. Avraham and Miriam, may you know only simcha, success in all endeavors, good health, nachas from your children, and only good things in the year to come and in all years to at least 120!

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat HaShevua.

Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.

Best Regards,

Moshe Burt
olehchadash@yahoo.com
skype: mark.burt3
***************************************************

Rosh Hashanah 5777: Unsaneh Tokef , Aleinu and Showing Kavod for the Tools of Our Tefillot

by Moshe Burt

This Rosh Hashanah vort looks to build on an ongoing theme connecting Unsaneh Tokef and Aleinu toward extension, both of the fervor of Rabbi Amnon’s declaration of Hashem’s All-Encompassing Kingship, and of Our Duty — Aleinu to declare it thrice daily, to every aspect of our daily tefillot, including Aleinu, and to carry this spirit outside of tefillot into the interactions of our daily lives.

This author has, in previous Rosh Hashanah vorts, considered the inner-strength and courage of Rabbi Amnon of Mainz, as well as focusing on the link between our tefillah expressing our recognition of Hashem as our Creator, as expressed in the tefillah of Unsaneh Tokef, composed by Rabbi Amnon in his tortured and crippled state by the hand of Bishop or Governor (whatever the correct title was) of Mainz over his adamance in not betraying his Jewishness and Hashem, and our tefillah heralding Hashem’s Universal Kingship — as expressed by the tefillah of Aleinu.

Rabbi Amnon of Mainz, upon his refusal to convert, was carried home from the Bishop’s palace as a mutilated cripple, along with his amputated hands and feet, and composed Unsaneh Tokef on that Rosh Hashanah, reciting the tefillah with his final breaths. (Artscroll Rosh Hashanah Machzor Nusach Ashkenaz, page 481-482, Yom Kippur Machzor):

When Rosh Hashanah arrived…, R’ Amnon asked to be carried to the Ark [Aron HaKodesh]. Before the congregation recited Kedushah, he asked to be allowed to sanctify Hashem’s Name in the synagogue as he had in the bishop’s palace. He recited Unsaneh Tokef and then died. R’ Amnon’s wish was carried out, and the prayer became an integral part of the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur services. (citing from Or Zarua)

We recite R’ Amnon’s praise of Hashem during each repetition of the Mussaf tefillah of both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, followed shortly thereafter by Kedusha, our joining with the melachim (angels) as we proclaim our declaration of Hashem’s greatness. (Artscroll Rosh Hashanah Machzor Nusach Ashkenaz, pages 480-481, 486, Yom Kippur Machzor).

But while Unsaneh Tokef serves as R’Amnon’s personal expression of Kedusha: the Glory of Hashem, our Creator and Creator of All Who Fills the world with His Glory, it seems also to express Hashem’s attribute of Mercy in Kingship, just as does Aleinu. The first posukim of Unsaneh Tokef rendered to English in Artscroll Machzorim say:

Let us now relate the power of this day’s holiness, for it is awesome and frightening. On it Your Kingship will be exalted; Your Throne will be firmed with kindness and You will sit upon it in truth.

The Artscroll Machzorim comment on the posuk “Your throne will be firmed with kindness” (Artscroll Rosh Hashanah Machzor Nusach Ashkenaz, page 481):

Hashem’s greatness is confirmed when he goes beyond the bounds of judgement by showing mercy. By definition, judgement is inflexible because it depends on deeds and laws. By overriding judgement, Hashem shows that there are no limits to His power.

Now let us review excerpts from translation of Aleinu rendered by Rabbi Asher Baruch Wegbreit in his sefer, “The Power of Aleinu.” (pages 31, 36, 38, 59):

Aleinu: It is our duty to praise the Master of Everything. To ascribe greatness to the One Who formed Creation. For He did not make us like the nations of the lands…. We bow, prostrate and acknowledge our thanks to the King of Kings, the Holy One, Blessed Be He….

So we see that Aleinu, our duty to praise our Creator is NOT just a once-a-year rite, like Mother’s Day or Father’s Day. We know that Torah commands us to give honor and respect to our parents at all times, not merely once a year when the rest of society designates a day for Mothers and a day for Fathers with cards, family dinners, etc. The state of expressing perpetual honor and respect for our parents is meant, as a microcosm, to mirror our duty to praise, honor, recognize the greatness of, and have emunah (belief) in Hashem our Creator.

Rabbi Wegbreit writes in his sefer, “The Power of Aleinu.” (pages 35-36, 60):

… The World generally doesn’t apply the term “great” where it truly belongs — with Hashem.

Their reasoning begins with a flawed… assumption that the Creator of the Universe Who is lofty enough to create the universe would never “lower Himself” to become involved with the lower world that He made…. They don’t feel that the Creator relates to his creations.

We know that the Creator does relate to his creations (Rav Chaim Friedlander, Sifsei Chaim,”Aleinu.”) This recognition makes the Jewish people unique and obligates us “to ascribe greatness to the One Who formed Creation.” (Malbim on Tehillim 34:4)

There are two reasons why Jews are inspired to humble themselves… The first is an overwhelming sense of gratitude…

Hashem is referred to as the One who “made us” into a people at Mount Sinai — in order to heap blessing upon us for all eternity and make us unique.

The second reason why we are inspired to humble ourselves in the dread and awe that we feel at having the great privilege of being in the presence and service of Creator of the universe.

If one meets an eminent person… who wields vast power and authority, he feels dwarfed and intimidated. Even more so,when one meets a powerful king, one is legally required to show respect. It follows, then, that we can barely comprehend the dread and reverence warranted by a single encounter with the “King of kings, the Holy One, Blessed Be He.”

It seems to this author that if our fervor in davening a serious, melodious Aleinu tefillah on both days of Rosh Hashanah and on Yom Kippur extended to a consistent thrice daily serious, melodious recitation of Aleinu all year long, and if our internalization of R’ Amnon’s praise of Hashem was constant, throughout the entire year — both inside of Shul or Beit Medrash and outside, we would bring all of us, by dint of our fervor, much closer to the fulfillment of Hashem’s Divine Mission for Am Yehudi — showing the nations how a Holy people conducts themselves in their land — Eretz Yisrael, and thus bring us closer to the Geula Shlaima — the Ultimate Redemption.

And perhaps, if we would extend this fervor and kavanah (intent) of Aleinu to a more deliberate attentiveness to the entire body of our tefillot thrice daily, and not rush to leave the Beit Knesset/Beit Medrash immediately upon the conclusion of davening, while showing more care and respect in the way we replace our siddurm, chumashim and other s’forim back on their respective shelves, rather than haphazardly leaving gaps and creating third rows on shelves which were designed to hold two rows of siddurim, this might just “close the deal.”

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them at leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized gunpoint, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard be liberated and truly free — only upon his return home to Israel, and that Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of two years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

L’Shana Tova! May You, All of My Brothers, Sisters, be Inscribed and Sealed, for a Year of Life, Health, Simcha, Success and only good things… Now and Always!
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Moshe Burt is an Oleh, writer and commentator on news and events in Eretz Yisrael. He is the founder and director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network and lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.
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Parshat Nitzavim 5776: Jewish Collective, Unified Responsibility and Transgressions Done Secretly or Openly

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Saturday, September 24th, 2016 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parshat HaShevua; Parshat Nitzavim is being sponsored by Jonathan and Debbie Sassen and family of Ramat Beit Shemesh dedicated for their childrens’ continuing success in learning. To the Sassen family, many thanks for your sponsorship and your continued your kindnesses throughout the years.

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat HaShevua.

Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.

Best Regards,

Moshe Burt
olehchadash@yahoo.com
skype: mark.burt3
*********************************************************

Parshat Nitzavim 5776: Jewish Collective, Unified Responsibility and Transgressions Done Secretly or Openly

by Moshe Burt

Our Parsha Nitzavim opens with Moshe Rabbeinu addressing the B’nai Yisrael on the final day of his life:

“Atem Nitzavim HaYom… You are standing today, all of you, before Hashem, your G’d…. for you to pass into the covenant of Hashem, …that Hashem… seals with you today in order to establish you as a people to Him and that He be a G’d to you as He spoke to you and as He swore to your forefathers, to Avraham, to Yitzchak and to Yaakov.” (Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash, Sefer Devarim Perek 29, posukim 9-13)

But weren’t the B’nai Yisrael initiated into the Covenant back at Matan Torah when they gave this response?:

“Everything that Hashem has spoken, we will do… (Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash, Sefer Sh’mos. Perek 19, posuk 8 )

The Stone Chumash introduction to Parsha Nitzavim (page 1086) states on this question:

What is new about this Covenant was the concept of responsibility for one and another, under which every Jew is obligated to help others observe the Torah and to restrain them from violating it. This is why Moshe [as the Stone Chumash cites from Or HaChaim]… said that Hashem would not hold them [presumably the collective — the Kehal] responsible for sins that had been done secretly, but that they would be liable for transgressions committed openly. This…. explains why one may not be apathetic to the shortcomings of others and why public desecrations of the Torah are the concern of every Jew of good conscience.

Sefer Shem Mishmuel (Written by R’ Shmuel Bornstein, the Sochaczever Rebbe, rendered to English by R’ Zvi Belovski) further explains this Covenant (page 421):

This bris [Covenant] was the establishment of unity between all sectors of Jewish society — male and female, great and ordinary. Through this Covenant, they would be able to conquer and inherit Eretz Yisrael.

This citing from Sefer Shem Mishmuel therefore jives with Rabbi Mordechai Katz, in his sefer “L’lmod U’lamed”, citing Mesechta Shabbos 67 (page 183):

All Jews are princes (that is, all Jews have equally noble ancestry — the poor like the rich).

In other words, this “entry into the Covenant of Hashem” referred to in our parsha represents a renewal of the original Covenant of Matan Torah with an expanded definition of unity and collective responsibility which would apply for all time.

Rabbi Katz explains this expanded definition of unity and collective responsibility in his summary of our parsha in sefer “L’lmod Ulamed (pages 183-185):

A warning was issued… If the public sinned, then the land would be destroyed. When later generations would wonder about the cause of this destruction, they would be told that it had come about because of the abandonment of Hashem and His ways.

After the Jews have experienced Hashem’s blessings and curse and they have returned to His fold, Hashem would gather them from dispersion and return them to the Promised Land. Then the curse would be transferred to the enemies who had persecuted and oppressed the Jews. The Jews, on the other hand, would experience the blessings of prosperity and happiness, provided that they would accept Hashem’s commandments fully.

Therefore, the people should realize that the choice between life and death — between good and evil — is placed before them.

The heaven and earth are eternal witnesses to this offer.

R’ Katz then cites Sefer Devarim, Perek 30, posukim 11-14 (pages 183-184) with special emphasis on words like “we” and “us” and comments:

“For this commandment which I command you today is not hidden from you, nor is it far off. It is not in heaven that you could say, ‘Who will go up to heaven for us and make us hear it that we can do it?’ Nor is it beyond the sea that you could say, ‘Who will go over to the other side of the sea for us and bring it to us and make us hear it that we can do it?’ But the matter is very near to you: in your mouth and in your heart, that you can do it.”

With this passage, Torah reminds the Jewish nation that the secret of life lies not in a hidden, unreachable treasure, but directly in the Torah, accessible to all.

Rav Shimshon Rafael Hirsch z’l notes in the Hirsch Chumash, Sefer Devarim, Parsha Nitzavim page 692:

…Scripture stresses the common Responsibility of all Israel for upholding the Torah and fulfilling its commandments. According to this principle, the individual does not fulfill his role if he is faithful to his duty in his personal life alone, but does not do his utmost to promote observance of the Law throughout his community.

In the same way as R’ Hirsch explains about the common responsibility of all of Am Yisrael upholding and fulfilling Torah and its laws, Sefer Shem Mishmuel offers the following and echos R’ Hirsch (page 419-420):

Eretz Yisrael is the land given by Hashem to Klal Yisrael. It is firmly the domain and right of the nation, not the individual Jew.

Indeed, Chazal tell us:

‘The conquest [of any part of Eretz Yisrael] by an individual does not have the status of a conquest.’ (Gittin 47a)

We may suggest that the reason for this is that the unity of Eretz Yisrael is the unifying force for the nation itself. The laws of mutual responsibility [the original Covenant of Matan Torah with an expanded definition], which demand a single nation, only came into operation after they crossed the Jordan into the land, in order to relate to its special nature, must be performed by the klal, who are… unified by that act of conquest.

…Whether or not klal Yisrael are victorious in their wars is dependent on them functioning as a unified nation.

So, this author returns to a theme hit on in a number of recent Parshiyot — Bechira, as applied to observance of Shabbos and the “issue” of transportation of a significant public ridership on Shabbos by oxymoronic “private companies” for the possible sake of achieving a “cultural unity” within Am Yisrael.

We see that at least one political entity seemly justifies a latter-day version of a concept expressed in a commentary in “Studies in the Weekly Parsha,” by Yehuda Nachshoni citing R’Rafael Katzenellenbogen who referred to a citing of R’ Sonnenfeld who noted that Zimri’s distorted sense of “acting for the sake of Shemayim” evolved from;

“…a novel, misleading ideology, that evil must be tolerated by incorporating it into the Camp of Israel, to dissuade the lustful man from finding himself in the camp of idolaters.” (Studies in the Weekly Parsha, by Yehuda Nachshoni, Parsha Balak, page 1115.)

And we’ve watched the political tumult and turmoil which has resulted from the current Transportation Minister’s push to have work done on Israel’s railway system on Shabbos as well as the Mayor of Tel Aviv’s efforts to promote companies being open on Shabbos.

The Torah response to concepts of a public sinning openly in Parshat Kedoshim:

‘Hashem spoke to Moshe saying: ‘Speak to the entire assembly of B’nei Yisrael and say to them: You shall be holy, for holy am I, Hashem, your G’d. Every man,Your father and mother shall you revere and My Sabbaths shall you observe — I am Hashem, your G’d.’” (Artscroll, Stone Edition Chumash, Sefer Vayikra, Perek 19, posukim 1-3)

The Torah adds one more zinger:

“My Sabbaths shall you observe and My Sanctuary shall you revere — I am Hashem.” (Artscroll, Stone Edition Chumash, Sefer Vayikra, Perek 19, posuk 30)

This author has asked several times in other vorts: How can it be that an entity soo dedicated to Har HaBayit and the restoration of the Beit HaMikdash, to the Ma’arat HaMachpela, to our other Holy Places, to possessing Yehuda and the Shomron, can at the same time soo compromise principles regarding Shabbos observance?

Returning to Rabbi Katz’s explanation defining unity and collective responsibility in his sefer “L’lmod Ulamed (pages 183-185):

A warning was issued… If the public sinned, then the land would be destroyed. When later generations would wonder about the cause of this destruction, they would be told that it had come about because of the abandonment of Hashem and his ways.

It seems to this author that these points and more regarding our parsha are crucial both for the Kehal — the Am, as well as for Rabbanim to ponder as Rosh Hashana approaches.

Asserting and taking Mutual and unified responsibility — it may just be key to The Ge’ula!

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them at leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized gunpoint, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard be liberated and truly free — only upon his return home to Israel, and that Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of two years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos!
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Moshe Burt is an Oleh, writer and commentator on news and events in Eretz Yisrael. He is the founder and director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network and lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.
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Parshat Ki Tavo 5776: Jew’s Cheshbon in Eretz Yisrael and the Message to the Nations?

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Saturday, September 17th, 2016 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parshat HaShevua, Ki Tavo is being sponsored by Drs. David and Malka Blass and family of Ramat Beit Shemesh dedicated for Refuah Shlaima for the Cholim of Ramat Beit Shemesh. To the Blass family, many thanks for your sponsorship and for your continued kindnesses.

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat HaShevua.

Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.

Best Regards,

Moshe Burt
olehchadash@yahoo.com
skype: mark.burt3
***************************************************

Parshat Ki Tavo 5776: Jew’s Cheshbon in Eretz Yisrael and the Message to the Nations?

by Moshe Burt

In Parshat Eikev, this author cited Sefer Shem Mishmuel’s commentary on a posuk near the end of that Parsha regarding the centrality in Judaism of keeping “all of this Mitzvah [kol HaMitzvah Hazoat]… to love the Lord, your G’d, to go in His ways and to cleave to him.” (Sefer Devarim, Perek 11, posuk 22)

Shem Mishmuel’s commentary on this special loshen used by Hashem and spoken by Moshe Rabbeinu: “kol HaMitzvah Hazoat” brought out, through citing the claims of Rabbi Levi and the Rabbanim, respectively, that it represented either the recital of Shema or of Shabbos observance, points out the centrality of both in Judaism.

In our Parshat Ki Tavo, a similar loshen is used, but omitting “this” [Hazoat]:

“Moshe and the elders of Israel commanded the people saying, ‘Observe the entire Mitzvah [Kol HaMitzvah] that I command you this day. It shall be on the day that you cross the Jordan to the Land that Hashem, your G’d gives you, you shall set up great stones and you shall coat them with plaster [some renderings refer to "lime" as the coating]. You shall inscribe on them all the words of this Torah, when you cross over, so that you may enter the Land that Hashem, your G’d gives you…. It shall be that when you cross the Jordan, you shall erect these stones, of which I commanded you today, on Har [Mount] Eval, and you shall coat them with plaster. There you shall build an altar for Hashem…, and you shall not raise iron upon them. Of whole stones shall you build the altar of Hashem…, and you shall bring upon it elevation offerings to Hashem…” (Sefer Devarim, Perek 27, posukim 1-6 as rendered in the Artscroll, Stone Chumash, page 1073)

Rabbi Moshe Weissman, in his sefer “The Midrash Says” on our Parshat Ki Tavo (“The Midrash Says” on Sefer Devarim, pages 294-296) indicates that Hashem’s command which Moshe and the elders transmitted to the people required two sets of twelve huge stones each where Torah was transcribed into seventy languages in order that the nations read, learn and understand Torah, both at the border — in the land of Moav on the Eastern side of the Jordan River, and another set at Har Eval where Am Yisrael would bring korbonot (offerings to Hashem). Later, these latter stones — the altar with Torah inscribed would be broken down in order to be brought to Gilgal, the first station in Eretz Yisrael where they would stand permanently.

“The Midrash Says” also indicates that these latter twelve stones were to be taken, upon crossing the Jordan, “from the place where the water receded for B’nai Yisrael to cross.”

Apparently, the plaster, or lime was applied to the stones was done in order to make the stones more pliable for inscribing Torah, although “The Midrash Says” indicates that the plaster, or lime was applied so that the writing would not be erased by the rains.

“The Midrash Says” (ibid) records:

In fact, the [nations] did send their scribes to copy the Torah from these stones, but never afterwards improved their deeds.

Hashem will hold them responsible in the future, on the Great Day of Judgement.

Like the stones that Moshe set up on the Eastern side of the Jordan, these would also warn the [nations] to accept the Noachide Laws upon themselves, and would inform them that Hashem’s anger was kindled as a result of their idol worship and abominations.

These stones served as a permanent memorial to remind future generations that their ancestors crossed the Jordan on dry land.

Yehoshua erected another set of twelve stones in the Jordan itself to commemorate the miracle [of the water receding allowing B'nai Yisrael to cross].

Furthermore, the stones signified that one was about to enter the land of the Torah. Just as a Jewish home is distinguished by the Mezuza at the doorpost, so a huge monument at the border of Eretz Yisrael reminded the traveler that the purpose of living there is to keep the Torah.

Sefer Shem Mishmuel (by R’ Shmuel Bornstein, as translated by R’ Zvi Belovski, page 414) notes:

When Klal Yisrael were about to enter Eretz Yisrael, they were making a new start in a new land. They needed a tangible reminder of the correct way in which to begin their service of Hashem. Thus Hashem required them to erect stones and to write the text of the Torah upon them. This indicates that the first element of Divine service comes from the innermost, unchanging part of the personality. They were to try to arouse the Holy attachment to Torah which lay deep within them and allow it to pervade and purify the rest of their personalities.

R’ Shimson Rafael Hirsch z”l provides additional commentary on Sefer Devarim, Perek 27, posukim 1-6 in the new Hirsch Chumash (published by Feldheim in 2005 and translated to English by Rabbi Daniel Haberman, pages 643-644):

Ensuring forever that they [Mitzvot] are known and carried out, the task devolves not only the leaders and elders, but on the whole people…. Moshe… places the people under the obligation of keeping the Mitzvot.

These Mitzvot… are called here Mitzvah, one commandment, for all of the Mitzvot together form the task devolving on Israel, and to carry out this task Israel was assigned its historical “post.”

However, as much as the nations continue to commit their abominations and will be ultimately judged, B’nai Yisrael and our political “leaders” and “elders” continue to act in multitudinous ways in contradiction to the ways of Torah, as has been discussed by this author in numerous previous vorts.

This author has a friend who once recounted stories about a certain Arab UN diplomat who would disdainly address his Israeli counterpart: “Are we talking about a Jewish state which keeps the Shabbat, that keeps Kosher…???

These contradictions bring Am Yisrael into a perception of hypocrisy in the view of the nations. Jewish lives and survival have never mattered to the nations, who have persecuted us throughout these millennia. But when they disdainfully hold of us, through the doing of own political “leaders” and elites, as hypocrites, this not only runs counter to Hashem’s purpose in placing the stones at the border with Torah inscribed upon them, the boosha, the disgrace diminishes our right to Eretz Yisrael where Hashem has placed us.

As Rosh Hashana approaches, we must undertake a groundswell to bring about a Jewish nation in consonance with Hashem’s spirit in having these Torah-inscribed stones placed at our border and at Gilgal.

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them at leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized gunpoint, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard be liberated and truly free — only upon his return home to Israel, and that Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of two years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos!
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Moshe Burt is an Oleh, writer and commentator on news and events in Eretz Yisrael. He is the founder and director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network and lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.

Parshat Ki Teitsei 5776: “…And Hashem…, Will Deliver [Him] Them Into Your Hand[s]“

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Saturday, September 10th, 2016 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

Our Parshat HaShevua Ki Teitzei is being sponsored by Ari and Aliza Rosenstein and family of Ramat Beit Shemesh and dedicated Lilui Nishmas in memory of Aliza’s Mother, Anne Samson A’H: Rochel Rivka bat Mattityahu HaKohen whose Yahrtzeit is 11 Elul. To the Rosenstein family, many thanks for your sponsorship and continued kindnesses.

Moshe Burt
olehchadash@yahoo.com
skype: mark.burt3
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Parshat Ki Teitsei 5776: “…And Hashem…, Will Deliver [Him] Them Into Your Hand[s]“

by Moshe Burt

The various translations of our Pasha’s opening posuk seem puzzling.

As rendered in the Artscroll Stone Chumash:

“When you will go out to war against your enemies, and Hashem your G’d, will deliver them into your hand
…” (Sefer Devarim, Perek 21, posuk 10)

As rendered by Aharon Yaakov Greenberg in his sefer “Torah Gems”(Volume 3, page 269-270):

“When you go forth to war against your enemies, and the Lord your G’d will deliver them into your hands …”

As rendered by Rav Zelig Pliskin in his sefer, “Growth Through Torah” (pages 433-434):

“When you go out to war against your enemies, and The Almighty, your G’d, will give him into your hand
…”

As rendered by Rav Dovid Feinstein in his sefer “Kol Dodi on the Torah” (page 278):

“When you go out to war against your enemies, and Hashem your G’d will give him into your hand…”

Since neither Artscroll Stone Chumash nor “Kol Dodi” appear to give explanation for singularity or plurality of him/them in the posuk, this author will rely on commentaries from “Growth Through Torah” and “Torah Gems.”

Rav Pliskin provides two commentaries relating to his rendering. The first commentary appears to be citing sefer “Biurai Hamekablim Beniglah” which, in turn seems to be citing The Ari (Rabbi Isaac Luria) z.l.:

The verse starts off in the singular (“When you will go out to war” — singular in Hebrew). “Your enemies” is plural. … Then the Torah reverts to the singular (“give him”). The point… is that if you have unity and are as one when you go out against your enemies, then even though your enemies are very numerous [ergo, the plural] you will be victorious as easily as if they were just one.

The importance of unity… applies not only during times of war against an enemy. It is necessary during times of peace.

In his second commentary, Rav Pliskin cites sefer “Chochmah Umussar (Volume 1, page 376) which cites Rabbi Simcha Zissel of Kelm on one’s yetzer hora:

The greatest enemy that anyone has is one’s evil inclination (yetzer hora) He constantly wants to ambush… and capture you. He acts as if he were your best friend, but his goal is really to destroy you. How does one wage war against one’s yetzer hora? One must use intellect to contradict his false arguments and to see the truth when he shows illusory images of one’s gain by following him. …”When you go out to war against your enemies, and Hashem your G’d will give him into your hand…” When one is resolved to overcome the yetzer hora, one will be victorious.

Aharon Yaakov Greenberg in his sefer “Torah Gems”(Volume 3, page 269-270) reinforces Rav Pliskin’s commentary on one’s greatest enemy — yetzer hora in citings from the Ba’al Shem Tov and the Kotzker Rebbe.

On the posuk: “When you go forth to war against your enemies, and the Lord your G’d will deliver them into your hands, and you will take them captive.” (Sefer Devarim, Perek 21, posuk 10 — the complete posuk), the Ba’al Shem Tov Comments:

The Torah states “When you go forth” in the singular. Every individual Jew has no greater enemy than his yetzer hora. If one goes to war against it, “the Lord G’d will deliver them into your hands…” — the Torah promises that that one will emerge victorious, Not only that, but you will take it captive,” so that one will be able to harness the yetzer hora to serve Hashem.

“And you will take them captive” using their weapons. In the battle with the yetzer hora, learn from its tactics, the techniques it uses to snare people. One must use the same alacrity, the same vigor and the same obstinancy it uses against us.

The Kotzker Rebbe notes:

When you attack the enemy in his land, “When you go forth to war against your enemies,” you have a much better chance of succeeding, but if the enemy attacks you and you have to defend yourself, you need Hashem’s mercy in order to win. The same is true in the battle against the yetzer hora: if one has never allowed it entry in the first place, it is easy to win the battle against it. However, if the yetzer hora is already deeply rooted, and has to be repelled, it takes much greater effort.

These are great lessons to be intellectualized and learned in our generations where the yetzer hora has evolved, among many of our brethren — our political and governmental “leaders”, as well as the media, the universities, the intelligencia, into political correctness and subversive ideology.

The whole Oslo litany, debacle and it’s aftermath over the past 23 year are proofs in point of how far down the yetzer hora has taken us. These are all reflective of an immense, ongoing rap sheet of perversion, endangerment of national security and subversion of justice amongst the leftist governing elitist establishment in Israel — who never seem to let the facts and the truth regarding Eretz Yisrael’s kedusha and the security and well-being of nation stand in the way of their liberal, socialist “two state” ideology.

Regarding the leftists, this author wrote in a talk-back at this time a few years ago that the expulsion of Jews from Gush Katif was the litmus test for any future government-mandated land hand-overs. Remember how the Gaza Islamics trashed former Gush Katif Batei Knesset and how they burned and destroyed all of the dunams of growth and greenhouses handed them on a silver platter after the expulsion of our brethren from Jewish land eleven years ago, such that there is no agriculture in Gaza. And do we have such short memories that we forgot/forget, even today, the Islamic Kassam/Grad blitzkreig of two years ago? The Islamic blitzkreig of the Lebanon conflict? The Jewish blood which has flowed over the past 23 years, as exemplified by the pain of just these past two years of the ongoing Islamic Terrorism War on Us on OUR Land — the Talmudei Chachamim murdered in the Shul in Har Nof, the young teenage girl bludgeoned as she slept in her bed in Kiryat Arba, the overturned auto of the Rabbi who was murdered and the Rebbetzin seriously injured on a recent Erev Shabbos on a road in Har Hevron and more?

But then again, the left, the socialists, the politically correct politicians and governmental leaders — all victimized by their yetzer hora, never met a truth that they didn’t evade, avoid, or that they let stand in their way.

But if we all lived and were governed in accordance with the Torah, countered and were victorious over our yetzer hora in going off to war as a unity to be victorious, there would be not even thought of compromise of Jewish Land to anyone and the Obamanator, Kerry, the corrupt Clintons, “The Donald”, etc, etc, etc, would be like nothing, like mere dust before Hashem’s favored nation.

But IMHO, the current realities, such as they are, dictate that the voice of Am Yisrael, of a unified, righteous rov Jewish people take precedence over a government, media and secular institutions of yetzer hora leftist appicorsim (spelling).

Are we up to the task?? Do we go off, in unity, to a victorious war against our yetzer hora? WE HAVE TO!! Ein Breira! IY’H, With Hashem’s help and Strong Hand, the survival of Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael is in our hands. WE MUST PREVAIL!!

Are we like the Brothers when they took responsibility for Binyamin’s welfare, or are we collectively a bunch of phony apologists vanquished by our yetzer hora, who compromise central Jewish principle, i.e. benign attitude regarding Shabbos for whatever its reasons or rationale? Will we repeat the sins perpetrated by successive evil regimes, acquiescing to evil against our brethren, our fellow Jews yet again, and again and again?

In short, our Parsha emphasizes that the unity with which B’nai Yisrael is to go out to war against her enemies evolves from collective responsibility, kindness, caring and fairness for and with each other fellow Jew.

Our lives and our hopes for a good year and good things to come hang in the balance of the Cheshbon, if you will, between our Mitzvot (good deeds) and our Aveirot (sins or violations of Divine law). Once again, as 5777 approaches, it’s “Clutch time” and as that famous coach says, “Our Mitzvot aren’t everything, they’re the Only Thing.”

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them at leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized gunpoint, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard be liberated and truly free — only upon his return home to Israel, and that Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of two years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos!

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Moshe Burt is an Oleh, writer and commentator on news and events in Eretz Yisrael. He is the founder and director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network and lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh, Israel.
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Parshat Shoftim 5776: Torah-True Judicial Righteousness, vs a Contemporary “Politically-Correct”/Agendized Israeli Judiciary

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Friday, September 2nd, 2016 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parshat HaShevua, Shoftim is being sponsored by Dov and Lauren Greenberg and family of Ramat Beit Shemesh dedicated for Refuah Shlaima for Chaim ben Na’ami Malka, continued good health for Yishaya Shalom ben Malka and full and complete recovery for Chava Rachel bat Ayelet HaShachar (Rebbetzin Mark). To the Greenberg family, many thanks for your sponsorship and for your continued kindnesses.

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat HaShevua.

Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.

Best Regards,

Moshe Burt
olehchadash@yahoo.com
skype: mark.burt3
******************************

Parshat Shoftim 5776: Torah-True Judicial Righteousness, vs a Contemporary “Politically-Correct”/Agendized Israeli Judiciary

by Moshe Burt

Our Parshat Shoftim opens with the Torah requirement of appointment of judges, and officers of the court to enforce judicial decisions with righteous judgement. The third posuk of our parsha reads:

“Tzedek, Tzedek tierdof…” Righteousness, righteousness (also rendered Justice, Justice) you shall pursue that you may live and inherit the land which the Lord, your G’d gives you.” (Sefer Devarim, Perek 16, posuk 20)

Such righteousness in judgement must not be prejudiced by bribes, gifts, appearance of, or financial position of either litigant.

A jaw-dropping commentary citing Sifrei 144 and Sanhedrin 32b on the 3rd posuk of our parsha notes on: “Tzedek, Tzedek tierdof…”:

“Shall you pursue” rather than “shall you judge” indicates that the verse is addressed to litigants, rather than the judges.

Although they [litigants] may take their case to any competent court, they should make an effort to take it to a court which has the most learned and righteous judges. (Sefer Zikaron, Mesiach Ilmim, Gur Aryeh)

This righteousness extends as well to the litigants regarding their selection of Batei Dinim to adjudicate their case — that the Beit Din should be chosen based the scholarship and righteousness of the judges, not based on which Beit Din is known, or more apt to rule in favor of one or the other of the litigants.

This posuk (“Tzedek, Tzedek tierdof…”) follows immediately after the opening of our Parsha in which Moshe Rabbeinu urges the B’nai Yisrael;

“Judges and officers shall you appoint in all of your cities — which Hashem …gives you — for your tribes; and they shall judge the people with righteous judgement. You shall not pervert judgement, you shall not respect persons, neither take a bribe, for a bribe binds the eyes of the wise, and perverts the words of the righteous.” (Sefer Devarim, Perek 16, p’sukim 18-19)

The Stone Chumash (Parsha Shoftim, page 1024) cites a Rashi which indicates that the posukim emphasize that judges must be appointed who are qualified and righteous “so that they will judge honestly and correctly.” Take notice of the loshen, of the language of the phrase, “you shall not respect persons” — letting a person’s status, financial position, position of influence in the community or dress and appearance affect judgement. This author might possibly add personal prejudice to the aforementioned list of “factors of respect or disrespect” affecting judgement.

Kind, sorta sounds like Sgt. Friday (Jack Webb) of TV series “Dragnet” fame who, when investigating, would utter the line: “The Facts…, just the Facts.”

Aharon Yaakov Greenberg, in his Sefer “Torah Gems” cites Derashot El Ami:

“Justice alone is not enough, because there are many types of justice, just as there are many kinds of truth. Every regime has it’s own justice. The Torah therefore stresses ‘Justice, justice you shall pursue…’, namely the justice of justice, where both the means and the end are just.” (Torah Gems, Aharon Yaakov Greenberg, Volume 3, Parsha Shoftim page 257)

The pursuit of justice opening our parsha leads into Torah’s enunciations in numerous other areas; i.e. prohibitions against blemished offerings, robbery and extortion, as well as avodah zora. Torah also relates that any Kohen (expressed as “Levite”) could come and minister together with the Kohanim of a particular watch and share in the division of that watch’s prescribed communal offerings.

Our parsha also enunciates laws concerning criteria for when, and qualifications for appointment of a king, a head of state for Am Yisrael — the paradigm for justice, loyalty to Hashem and Torah, as well as for national unity.

However, this vort endeavors to focus on the attribute of Jewish righteousness of judgement according to Torah precepts, vs a contemporary “politically-correct”/agendized Israeli judiciary and a similar rush to agendized trial and judgement by an agendized, ideologically indoctrinating media. After all, isn’t Torah the ONE true Divinely ordained body of laws, rather than socialism, progressivism or so-called “Western morality” and “correctness”?

Check again this jaw-dropping citing from Sefer “Torah Gems”:

“Every regime has it’s own justice. The Torah therefore stresses ‘Justice, justice you shall pursue…’, namely the justice of justice, where both the means and the end are just.”

Doesn’t that “Every regime has it’s own justice” characterize an Israeli media, ministerial and judiciary in full-court press mode attempting to convict a soldier whose “crime” was insuring that an apparently mortally wounded terrorist was, in fact, dead after said terrorist carried out an attack in Hevron and “may have been attempting to activate an explosive device concealed inside his jacket” ? Or when Israel’s “supreme court” decides to partially destroy the home of the terrorist who brutally and mortally attacked and killed a 13 year old girl as she slept in her bed in Kiryat Arba? And these two citings don’t even begin to scratch the surface regarding the “justice (sic)” of the current regime.

Maybe, at this time in Medinat Yisrael, we have to add emphasis to that term “officers.” We see how the officers — Israel’s “Finest(sic)”, those who are charged with implementation and enforcement of “law”, i.e. apprehending wrong-doers, as well as the “Judges” of “law”, repeatedly pervert, subvert and bend their “law” through selective enforcement, selective apprehension, and how the “judges judge” through selective judgement — “justice” according to agenda. Such “justice” suits the needs of a regime under the control of a handful; the agendized elitists who dominate the ministerial bureaucracies, the universities, the print and electronic media and the few wealthy families where the financial wealth of the nation is concentrated. These socialist, leftist agendized elites have their tenacles in every Israeli governmental, educational, media and economic institution — Top, bottom, “upside down… inside out and round and round.” So, in the current state of Israeli governance and “justice”, these “officers” indoctrinate, brainwash and intimidate against both Torah and the spirit of Jewish justice.

Have we allowed the “law” to evolve into being the “law” for the law-abiding (read leftists) only, while law-breakers, i.e. those indoctrinated and agendized toward the socialist, leftist line get away with literal murder?

Hmm, a regime controlled by agendized elitists who dominate the ministerial bureaucracies, the universities, the print and electronic media…. and whose socialist, leftist agendized elite have their tenacles in every Israeli governmental, educational, media and economic institution? Isn’t it about time that Torah Jews got themselves unified, on the same page and took back Israel?

This author thinks a point of last week’s Parsha Re’eh; the subverted or seduced city (Ir HaNidachas), which serves as the basis for the final Mishne of Perek Cheilik of Gemora Tractate Sanhedrin, relates to this regime and has a direct connection to the absence of “Tzedek, Tzedek tierdof…”:

“Righteousness, righteousness you shall pursue that you may live and inherit the land.”

That connection is between subversion of the governed and the application of judgement based on subverted law, rather than Torah law.

The bottom-line; An honest, morally clean, straight-forward, self-respecting Jewish government would not maneuver and agendize itself into being controlled by the nations, or by the subverted within who would look after their own national legacy. Instead, Israel’s corrupt and immoral leaders subject and subordinate themselves and the nation to the follies of their own subversion and that of others at our collective, dire peril. Thus, while the penalties of the subverted city may not apply, it seems obvious that in faith-based governance, charges of treason may.

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them at leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized gunpoint, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard be liberated and truly free — only upon his return home to Israel, and that Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of two years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos!

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Moshe Burt is an Oleh, writer and commentator on news and events in Eretz Yisrael. He is the founder and director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network and lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.
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Parshat Re’eh 5776: The Importance of Eradicating the Altars of Idol Worship and Paganism From Eretz Yisrael

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Friday, August 26th, 2016 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parshat HaShevua, Re’eh is being sponsored by Steven and Debra Glanz and family of Ramat Beit Shemesh dedicated for the success of their chldren. To the Glanz family, many thanks for your sponsorship and for your continued kindnesses.

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat HaShevua.

Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.

Best Regards,

Moshe Burt
olehchadash@yahoo.com
skype: mark.burt3
******************************************************************

Parshat Re’eh 5776: The Importance of Eradicating the Altars of Idol Worship and Paganism From Eretz Yisrael

by Moshe Burt

Our Parshat Re’eh, early on, reinforces a theme discussed previously in Parshat Masei:

“When you cross the Jordan to the land of Canaan, you shall drive out all of the inhabitants of the Land before you; and you shall destroy all their prostration stones; all of their molten images….” (Artscroll Stone Chumash, Sefer BaMidbar, Perek 33, posukim 51-52 and commentary, pages 922-923)

…Apparently, …the meaning here: If you allow the pagan inhabitants to remain in the Land, they will become a hedge [a guard, a protection] around their pagan practices; the nature of these practices will be concealed from your perception and insight, and you will not find fault with them. Tolerance toward the pagan inhabitants will beget tolerance toward paganism. If you tolerate paganism and find justification for it within Hashem’s Land, you will cease to belong to Hashem alone, and… you will be deprived of your right to exist in the Land, and you will not be worthy of protection …. When Hashem removes His protection of you…, those toward whom you have been so tolerant will become your enemies and will oppress you in your own land.

R’ Shimson Rafael Hirsch z”l provides commentary on posuk 52 in the new Hirsch Chumash (published by Feldheim in 2005 and translated to English by Rabbi Daniel Haberman, pages 666- 667):

You must first make the Land fit to be your yerusha [inheritance] by removing all traces of polytheism, and only then will you be able to settle in it. You are not inheriting the Land by your own power and might; rather, Hashem’s will and Hashem’s power are giving you the Land…. Hence, you will not be able to avoid fulfilling the first basic condition on which Hashem makes the [this] gift of the Land dependent.

Sefer Shem Mishmuel (by R’ Shmuel Bornstein, as translated by R’ Zvi Belovski, page 392) provides a summary of Sefer Devarim, Perek 12, posukim 1-3:

…The sidrah describes the actions which Klal Yisrael were to take against the idols they would find in Eretz Yisrael. Hashem commanded them to utterly destroy them and to… uproot idolatry from the land.

The Artscroll Stone Chumash provides further commentary on these posukim (pages 999-1000):

…Idols must be destroyed totally (Mizrachi). This is why it is not sufficient merely to chop down an… idolatrous tree; even its roots must be removed from the ground (Rashi).

Rabbi Akiva inferred… that whenever one saw a high mountain or verdant tree, it should be assumed that an idol or an altar had been placed there (Avodah Zarah 45b). Apparently, the Canaanites set up their idols wherever the surroundings manifested the powers of nature, powers that they associated with their idols.

Not only should the idols themselves be removed, Jews are not even to refer to them by their proper names. Instead, they should use derogatory nicknames for them (Rashi).

All of this may well sound “politically incorrect”, “subversive” or “seditious” in our contemporary secular “western morality”-based governmental environment. But there seem to be lessons to be learned and applied in a Jewish State in OUR Eretz Yisrael regarding objects and texts of Avodah Zarah and their adherents, lest “those toward whom you have been so tolerant will become your enemies and will oppress you in your own land.”

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them at leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized gunpoint, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard be liberated and truly free — only upon his return home to Israel, and that Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of two years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos and Chodesh Tov!

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Moshe Burt is an Oleh, writer and commentator on news and events in Eretz Yisrael. He is the founder and director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.

Parshat Eikev 5776: Connecting the Eikev Mitzvot and “This Mitzvah” and the Centrality of Shabbos

Filed under: News Reports on Friday, August 19th, 2016 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parshat HaShevua, Parshat Eikev is being sponsored by R’ Joel and Shelly Padowitz of Ramat Beit Shemesh in thanks to Hashem for all the kindness He has bestowed upon us. To the Padowitz family, many thanks for your sponsorship and for your continued kindnesses and good wishes.

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat HaShevua.

Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.

Best Regards,

Moshe Burt
olehchadash@yahoo.com
skype: mark.burt3

***********************************************************

Parshat Eikev 5776: Connecting the Eikev Mitzvot and “This Mitzvah” and the Centrality of Shabbos

by Moshe Burt

The beginning of Parsha Eikev is equated in terms of one’s being attentive to the little Mitzvot; the details, the Mitzvot that one tends to overlook, to ignore, to tread one’s heels on in the mad dash, but without which the Jewish people would lack the merit which sets us apart from common man.

Sefer Shem Mishmuel (by R’ Shmuel Bornstein, as translated by R’ Zvi Belovski, pages 386-387) renders translation of the opening posuk of Parsha Eikev:

“And it shall come to pass, if you listen to these mishpatim (social ordinances) and you guard them and do them, that Hashem Ke’ilokecha will guard the covenant for you and the kindness which He swore to your forefathers.” (Sefer Devarim Perek 7, posuk 12)

Bearing this in mind, the Stone Chumash (Parshat Eikev pages 980-981) equates Eikev:

“You will hearken [listen]“: in midrashic terms as meaning the “heel”. That is being attentive to the little Mitzvot; the details, the Mitzvot that one tends to overlook, to ignore, to tread one’s heels on in life’s mad dash, but without which the Jewish people would lack the merit which sets us apart from common man. The little mitzvot, the small details are the ones epitomized by V’Ahavtah L’re’echa Komocha — caring for, and attentiveness to your fellow Jew as for yourself.

Shem Mishmuel seems to express Eikev as listening, guarding and doing the mishpatim (the laws). In turn, he equates listening with intellect, guarding with life’s emotions — with one’s heart, and doing with the bodily and physical performance of the Mitzvot.

With that said, in a previous vort on Parshat Eikev, this author equates the Eikev mitzvot with concentration and intent during tefillot, including Aleinu: the most oft-repeated, unchangeable prayer of all — the prayer which some scholars have understood may be the culmination of all tefillot which preceded it.

Eikev could also be understood as equated with the degree of kavod (respect) that we show in the Beit Knesset/Beit Medrash for siddurim, chumashim, other s’forim and the facility itself.

Shem Mishmuel, in another vort on our Parshat Eikev, cites a posuk near the end of our Parsha as well as a Devarim Rabbah and comments (Shem Mishmuel, pages 390-391):

“For if you will surely keep all of this Mitzvah which I command you to do it, to love the Lord, your G’d, to go in His ways and to cleave to him.” (Sefer Devarim, Perek 11, posuk 22)

The Midrash notes a difficulty with the text…, and comments:

“For if you will surely keep all of this Mitzvah”what is “all of this Mitzvah”? Said Rabbi Levi, “This is the recital of Shema.” The Rabbis say, “This is Shabbos, which is equal to all of the Mitzvot in Torah.” (Devarim Rabbah, Perek 4, posuk 4)

The primary function of reciting Shema is to accept upon oneself the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven…. Rabbi Levi, who claimed that the Mitzvah is reciting the Shema, believed that the most fundamental aim of… Torah… was for man to connect himself to Hashem.

Shabbos is described by Chazal as “fixed and established.” (Pesachim 117b) This means that man has no control as to when Shabbos occurs. It is, and always will be, every seven days, and has been so since creation. Yom Tov, in comparison, is contingent on the beis din…. Shabbos is fixed by Hashem alone, irrespective of man. The holiness of Shabbos descends from Heaven on a weekly basis. Our job is to prepare ourselves to accept it. We must focus our week’s activities toward Shabbos and as the day approaches ready ourselves for its arrival.

The Rabbis, who claimed that Shabbos is the Mitzvah believed… that the most basic purpose [of Torah] is to receive the Divine gift of spirituality. Thus Rabbi Levi finds the quintessential Mitzvah to be one which brings man to Hashem, whereas the Rabbis find it to be the one which brings Hashem to man.

The focus of the Rabbis on Shabbos observance, as The central Mitzvah seems, then, to correspond with this author’s previous expressions of Shabbos as: Judaism 101, either the embarkation point bringing one closer to Hashem, or the point of disembarkation where one moves further away.

So, one could understand our Parsha as expressing the importance Torah places on diligently performing the smallest of Mitzvot, even as we would perform THE Mitzvah.

We see from Torah that the context of “if you will surely keep all of this Mitzvah” is Am Yisrael inhabiting and possessing Eretz Yisrael and prospering in it.

All of this, once again, seems to point up the centrality of Sh’miras Shabbos, the guarding of Shabbos observance, in Jewish religious life. And it points out the peril in a Jewish State of a political attitude of benignity regarding Shabbos observance visa vi “alternative” forms of public transportation on Shabbos (via oxymoronic “private” companies), even in the name of so-called “cultural unity”, and the multiple cans of worms such an attitude opens, to our continued possession, habitation and prosperity in OUR Eretz Yisrael, as well as to our very existence.

This author again expresses mystification that lovers of our holiest places who strive for possession of the entirety of Eretz Yisrael can, at the same time, hold to such a benign position regarding Shabbos observance, via:

A distorted sense of “acting for the sake of Shemayim” by way of “…a novel, misleading ideology, that evil must be tolerated by incorporating it into the Camp of Israel.” (R’Rafael Katzenellenbogen as cited in Studies in the Weekly Parsha, by Yehuda Nachshoni referring to R’ Sonnenfeld re: Parshat Balak, page 1115)

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them at leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized gunpoint, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard be liberated and truly free — only upon his return home to Israel, and that Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of two years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos!

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Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.
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Parshat Va’etchanan 5776: Can We Really Feel Consolation, Even Over a Decade After the Expulsion; As Terrorist Murderers Attack Us on OUR Land with Impunity?

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Sunday, August 14th, 2016 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parshat HaShevua, Parshat Va’etchanan is being sponsored by David and Julie Morris of Ramat Beit Shemesh who wish Mazel Tov to their family on the birth of a new granddaughter: Roni Chemda Gilad. To the Morris family, many thanks for your sponsorship and for your continued kindnesses and good wishes.

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring (or as the case may be, co-sponsoring) a Parshat HaShevua.

Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.

Best Regards,

Moshe Burt
olehchadash@yahoo.com
skype: mark.burt3
*******************************************

Parshat Va’etchanan 5776: Can We Really Feel Consolation, Even Over a Decade After the Expulsion; As Terrorist Murderers Attack Us on OUR Land with Impunity?

by Moshe Burt

The Haftorah for our Parsha begins:

“Nachamu, Nachamu Ami yomar Elokeichem” — “Comfort, comfort my people — says your G’d.” (Yishaiya, 40:1)

This sentiment seems to be silent, but yet a theme of Parsha Va’etchanan.

But, even now, consolation: a full decade after the Expulsion — ten years after Jew expelled his fellow Jews from their homes on Divinely ordained Jewish land in easily the worst post-Sho’a pogrom of our generations? Shabbos Nachamu? One wonders how long it really took B’nai Yisrael to console ourselves after each of the destructions, the persecutions throughout our history. One could wonder whether the term Nachamu – consolation could, in reality, be a euphemism for convenient amnesia/forgetting just as the Sho’a raises memories too uncomfortable, unwelcome for those who R’ Meir Kahane z”l coined as “comfortable Jews” – comfortable Israelis.

Over a decade later, the disbelief and the hurt continues to be fresh, too raw, too festering, too agonizing for those of us who acted on behalf of our Gush Katif brethren. And the pain of the past two years of the ongoing Islamic Terrorism War on Us on OUR Land — the Talmudei Chachamim murdered in the Shul in Har Nof, the young teenage girl bludgeoned as she slept in her bed in Kiryat Arba, the overturned auto of the Rabbi who was murdered and the Rebbetzin seriously injured on a recent Erev Shabbos on a road in Har Hevron and more are all yet too freshly raw and festering, as a bellicose rhetoric by a government of equivocating secular politicos amounts to nothing.

In the beginning of Parsha, Moshe Rabbeinu recalls for the B’nai Yisrael how he entreated Hashem for permission to cross the Jordan River but that his request was denied. Instead, he was consoled by viewing the Land from Mount Pisgah. (L’lmod Ul’Lamed – Parsha Va’etchanan, page 161)

Moshe Rabbeinu then recalls for the Am the trials of B’nai Yisrael in Bamidbar and enumerates:

“…The decrees and… the ordinances that I teach you to perform, so that you may live, and you will come and possess the Land that Hashem, the G’d of your forefathers, gives you.” (Sefer Devarim, Perek 4, posuk 1)

Later in our Parsha, Moshe Rabbeinu provides further explanation of the laws concerning the Cities of Refuge (Irei Miklat), first enunciated in parshat Masei (Sefer Bamidbar, Perek 35). Shem Mishmuel (by R’ Shmuel Bornstein, as translated R’ Zvi Belovski, pages 380-382) indicates that the laws regarding Cities of Refuge connect with Moshe Rabbeinu’s recitation of “the decrees and… the ordinances” to express that there is hope and consolation even for the accidental murderer who has lost his life force and must stay in a City of Refuge to avoid the deceased’s avenger.

Shem Mishmuel expresses that the Cities of Refuge signify to B’nai Yisrael that despite whatever travails may occur in the future, they can rise above their challenges and feel consolation in their hope. This includes whatever level the generation entering Eretz Yisrael may have been on visa-vi the generation which left Mitzrayim and who were witness to Hashem’s myriad of Miracles and yet transgressed with the Golden Calf (Egel Zahav), the Spies (Miraglim) and with various rebellions in Bamidbar, that they, and succeeding generations should never despair and lose hope. This should be of significance to those who subscribe to this Parshat HaShevua list and who live in Beit Shemesh, one of the locations designated by Hashem as a City of Refuge.

Shem Mishmuel notes:

“The very existence of the Irei Miklat and the laws surrounding them have a clear implication: there is always hope for the future.”

And after the destruction of the First and Second Beit HaMikdash, the starving, the famine, the persecutions, there was comfort and consolation that one day, the B’nai Yisrael would be redeemed and returned to our former state; a people in it’s land with it’s Beit HaMikdash for all time. But it would seem that this comfort, hope and consolation would have had to be an evolution as Jewish life, in whatever venue that they resided, eventually stabilized.

Back in Philadelphia, years ago in the old country, a Holacaust story was told of how Nazis confronted a group of Chassidim:

The Nazis rousted and harrassed the Chassidim, telling them “dance Chassidim, dance and sing!” And the Chassidim were silent. Again, the Nazis accosted them, “Chassidim, dance and sing!” Then, the Nazis aimed their rifles, “Chassidim, dance and sing, or we will kill you!”

At first, slowly, muted, nervously, a niggun with words was heard faintly. The niggun and the words grew in volume as the Chassidim began to dance. “Mir Villen zei Ibber Leiben, Ibber Leiben, Ibber Leiben, Mir Villen zei Ibber Leiben…” “We will outlive you!”

Yes, we have outlived every nation, every vile personality which put upon B’nai Yisrael and so, we should, in theory, be comforted. And inevitably, B’Ezrat Hashem, history in years from now will show we will have outlived Hussein Obama and his Iranian Ayatolah buddies and Iran’s nuclear machinations, the EU, the BDS movement, as well as “The Donald”, the “extremely careless”, possibly traitorous, self-enriching Clintons etc., as well as the rashayim among us.

But we must take strength from the Torah’s enunciation of the Irei Miklat and never despair or lose hope that we can rise above contemporary challenges, despite the despots — externally or within, and feel consolation.

Rav Zev Leff provides a lesson for all Observant Jews with his citing of Michtav Eliyahu and his comments in a Machon Daniel “MD Torah Weekly” on our Parshat a number of years ago about why Gedolim are taken from us, and how this could provide hope and consolation for us after the mourning of Tisha B’Av:

We must ask ourselves: Why are the gedolim taken? If Hashem wants to teach us… and not hurt us, then leave the Gedolim. We need them to lead us, to teach us. Michtav Eliyahu says that’s exactly the reason: People do mitzvot by rote, approaching Torah superficially, without seeing the holiness of Torah and life. They rely on the Gedolim to think and feel for them. …to get a bracha from [them]…. So Hashem takes the Godol, and then we no longer have anyone to do it for us. We are forced to think for ourselves. Then there’s hope thay we can be cured. You have to learn from the Godol how to be a godol yourself.

The greatness of a Godol is that he’s flesh and blood. Where are the places… we go to remember them? …Their graves, not… their batei midrashim. Why? To know that they were flesh and blood. But that flesh and blood was a Moloch Hashem… And if I know that another human being like me became a Moloch Hashem, then why can’t I become one too? But if I make him into a superhuman, what does he have to do with me? I am not super human. I cannot apply it to my life. If the Chofetz Chayim was a human being, with the same tongue and teeth, the same mouth for speaking loshen hora that I have, and he could control it, then maybe so can I. But if he was not an ordinary human being like me, then it has nothing to do with me.

The point that Rav Leff seems to be making which is both pertinent to our Parshat Va’etchanan and to Shabbos Nachamu is that our hope and consolation must come from within our collective, unified selves. We need to do mitzvot, from the heart and with consistent fervor, as Aaron HaKohen served in lighting the Menorah daily in the Beit HaMikdash. Our tefillot need to be with intent — whether in an Aliyah b’Torah or with the thrice daily Aleinu — each and every word carefully pronounced. We need to look to Tzadikkim as a paradigm of how we must act and interact with each other — V’ahavtah L’rei’cha Komocha: wanting for our fellow Jew as we would want for ourselves, rather than looking our noses down at our fellow observant Jew as being less so because his Rabbanim and learned traditions may not be precisely like ours.

Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, in his Sefer “Growth through Torah” cites from our Parsha Sefer Devarim Perek 4, posuk 5:

“See that I have taught you statutes and laws as Hashem, My G’d, commanded me, to do so in the midst of the land.”

R’ Pliskin then adds (“Growth through Torah”, page 390-391):

That is, you should live an elevated life among other people…. True sanctity and perfection is to live among people and behave both towards Hashem and towards your fellow men in a manner consistent with Torah values. (Arvai Nachal)

…The true test… is when you have to deal with others. Only when you are in the company of other people can you fulfill all the aspects of Torah.

And so we see, just as with the Chassidim, who under Nazi duress, began to dance and sing, the Jews will yet survive the downfall of vile, corruptible post-zionist governance. The Jews will yet survive and bring the sanctity and elevation of the Beit Medrash outside, into interactions with their fellow Jews b’derech, throughout Eretz Yisrael:

“Mir Villen zei Ibber Leiben, Ibber Leiben, Ibber Leiben, Mir Villen zei Ibber Leiben…” “We will outlive you!”

However, it seems to stand to reason that nachama: consolation, hope is insufficient of itself, without acting in real, concrete Jewish ways — spiritually with kindnesses, mitzvot of intent, and as a national unity for the protection, security and preservation of the kedusha and sanctity of Jewish lives on the entirety of OUR Land, and wherever Jews reside throughout the rest of the world. Ultimately, with Hashem’s Help, the righteous will prevail.

Yes, we will outlive you, Bibi, Shimon, both evil Ehuds, Bogie, Livni-Herzog, Lapid, etc. (running the gamut of the vast majority of politicians from ALL sectors), and yeah, the Obamanater, “The Donald”, the corrupt Clintons and the Iranian Ayatolahs too! We, those Deemed (with a capital “D”) to be among the righteous, and Hashem will win out in the end. “Nachamu, Nachamu Ami yomar Elokeichem” — “Comfort, comfort my people — says your G’d.”

B’Ezrat Hashem, as we pray and hope for each year, that the Tisha B’av just past FINALLY be the last Tzom for B’nai Yisrael.

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them at leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized gunpoint, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard be liberated and truly free — only upon his return home to Israel, and that Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of two years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos!

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Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.
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Parshat Devarim 5776: Sefer Devarim, Tefillin, Unity and Distinguishing Halachot Mussar From Bias and Disdain

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Saturday, August 6th, 2016 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parshat HaShevua, Parshat Devarim is being sponsored by Dr. Ari and Rifka Stern of Ramat Beit Shemesh dedicated for the success of their children in all their endeavors. To the Stern family, many thanks for your sponsorship and for your continued kindnesses and good wishes.

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat
HaShevua.

Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.

Best Regards,

Moshe Burt
olehchadash@yahoo.com
skype: mark.burt3
*********************************************

Parshat Devarim 5776: Sefer Devarim, Tefillin, Unity and Distinguishing Halachot Mussar From Bias and Disdain

by Moshe Burt

A number of years ago, Rav Aba Wagensberg spoke out in a shiur that Sefer Devarim represents Moshe Rabbeinu’s Mussar to B’nai Yisrael as the time of his death drew near.

Rabbi Wagensberg gave over the thought that the B’nai Yisrael, after all of the rebellions, all of the contention, all of the failures which the rebellions and contention wrought, after the blatantly false accusations of nepotism hurled by segments of the Am at Moshe and Aaron HaKohen and more, Finally: came to the collective, unequivocal realization that Moshe Rabbeinu, now in his final days on earth, was indeed Hashem’s anointed — the undisputed leader and that his words are the words of Hashem.

Shem Mishmuel (Selections on the weekly parshiyot and festivals rendered to English by Rabbi Zvi Belovski) comments on our Parsha (page 373):

This book is qualitatively different from the other four. Chazal tell us (in Megillah, page 31b) that the curses in Sefer Devarim were said by Moshe himself. We may assume… that the material in Devarim, while of course presented by Hashem to Moshe, contains more human input, however slight, than the previous four books. Perhaps it can be considered an in-between stage, bridging the gap between the main Written Torah… and the Oral Torah. Devarim contains elements of both — it is the written word of Hashem…, but with an element of human content, like [oral] Torah.

R’ Wagensberg also related to Sefer Devarim, as distinguished from the previous four s’forim, in an analogy regarding the order in which one puts on and removes his tefillin. We learn that when one begins his morning tefillot, he dons the tefillin shel yad (tefillin for the arm) first, and only afterwards does he don the tefillin shel rosh (tefillin for the head). At the conclusion of davening, he removes the shel rosh first, and then the shel yad.

For forty years, Am Yisrael travelled through Bamidbar (the desert), and now they stood at the cusp of their entry into Eretz Yisrael. So just as when one begins to pray and to learn, he dons tefillin shel yad and then the tefillin shel rosh, when he leaves the Shul or Beit Medrash, he removes his shel rosh first and, only after, does he remove his shel yad so as to signify his application of the tefillot and learning of Shul and Beit Medrash to his actions and interactions with his fellows during the day-to-day living in the world outside.

The tefillin sequence equates with a person’s active learning of Jewish law (Halacha) and Jewish history in the previous four s’forim of Chumash, and then in Sefer Devarim, receiving Mussar concerning the practical, day-to-day real-time, real-life applications of what has been learned. In essence, the donning of the shel yad first, and the removal of it last equates with applying in the world outside what has been learned in Beit Knesset and/or the Beit Medrash.

Israel National News once reported that a prominent politician and member of a so-called “religious party” asserted the following:

“Any Jew who observes the Torah and commandments is for us a Jew… A Reform Jew, once he does not follow the religion of Israel – then let us say, there is a problem. I cannot allow myself to say that he is Jewish”…

The report continues:

Orthodox Jews – who strictly adhere to the laws of the Torah – view Reform and other non-Orthodox theologies as illegitimate, due to its departure from Jewish law and even rejection of the Divinity of the Torah.

Even so, [the member] comments that Jews who merely identify as “Reform” should not be considered Jewish have no basis in any interpretation of Jewish law.

[The member] did attempt to reach out to Reform Jews in the same interview, adding: “These are Jews who took a wrong turn along the road and we need to ensure that every Jew will go back into the fold of Judaism and accept everyone with love and joy… we would like for all of those Jews to go back to Judaism according to halacha [Jewish law]. That is all.”

The politician’s addition was kind of a lame caveat considering his initial statement — words which should never have been uttered in the first place. This author countered in a talk-back comment on the report:

I always learned: “Born a Jew, Always a Jew.” Reform Judaism is an oxymoron. But Reform Jews are STILL Jewish. Is [this political leader] saying that any Jew not Orthodox is not a Jew?

In the years prior to Aliyah this author and his Jewish boss back in Philadelphia had several discussions about his having encountered certain fellow Jews who would make such an inference about a non-observant Jew. This author would always respond as never hearing of such a thing and not believing in it for a second. But then again, this author became Ba’al Teshuva at age forty-two. In this author’s humble opinion, the remarks of the aforementioned member of the so-called “religious party” represent divisive sinat chinom unbridled, unchained.

The Manchester Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Yehudah Zev Segal, Shlita, z”l writes on Parshat Devarim in his sefer, “Inspiration and Insight” Discourses on the Weekly Parashah (page 252);

A prime method of uprooting this devastating trait [sinat chinom] is by striving to fulfill the mitzvah of V’Ahavta L’rei’echa Kamocha, to love one’s fellow Jew as oneself (Sefer Vayikra, Perek 19, posuk 18). Ramban (ibid) understands this commandment as instructing us to desire only good for our neighbor in all facets of his existence, just as we desire only good for ourselves, be it with regard to material needs and acquisitions, honor, or attainment of wisdom.

One who lives up to these words of Ramban, … will surely be found guiltless with regard to sinat chinom.

Every believing Jew, whatever his level, must take on day-to-day real-time, real-life reality application of his learning, and translate it into his own righteous leadership mantle within the body of B’nai Yisrael, but without the contentiousness of a million generals.

Application of this individual righteous leadership mantle and of spirituality and learning from Shul and from Beit Medrash to the world outside seems meaning to deal with one’s fellow Jews, at every level, sincerely, justly and righteously, and without bias and disdain.

But, even as we need to treat our fellow Jews sincerely, justly and righteously, without bias and disdain, thus creating a national, cultural unity among all Jews of all religious strains, as well as with secular Jews, we can’t achieve this unity through a possible benign, look-the-other-way governmental attitude which enables communal, public desecration of Shabbos, whether by way of so-called “private” companies providing transportation on Shabbos to a public, or via any other action enabling such a desecration, as a public, by any segment of the population. After all, we ARE a Jewish state.

Similarly, creating a national, cultural unity among all Jews by treating our fellows sincerely, justly and righteously, without bias and disdain does not mean governance condoning a certain group’s parade in the name of “solidarity” when that group’s appearance, actions and agenda are halachically abominable, despite what a certain ex-government minister tweets:

Ex-Minister Gidon Saar commented on the Jerusalem gay pride parade…:

“The gay pride parade in Jerusalem is a symbol of solidarity, encouragement of tolerance, and protection of the freedom of every man,” Saar tweeted.

And national, cultural unity through treating our fellow Jews sincerely, justly and righteously, without bias and disdain, is not achieved through physically or verbally abusing religious soldiers on the streets or in Beit Knesset.

These are lessons that many Jews, and particularly politicians claiming religious stripes, need to internalize and take deeply to heart if we are to indeed pray and hope for, that B’Ezrat Hashem, this Tisha B’av FINALLY be the last Tzom for B’nai Yisrael.

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them at leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized gunpoint, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard be liberated and truly free — only upon his return home to Israel, and that Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of two years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos and Daven Hard, Fast Easy on Tisha B’av!

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Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.
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Parshat Masei 5776: Consequences of Not Possessing the Entirety of Eretz Yisrael and of Permitting Terrorist Subversives to Remain/Enter the Land

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Saturday, July 30th, 2016 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parshat HaShevua Masei is dedicated lilui nishas for recent terrorism fatalities, including Hallel-Yaffa bat Amichai (Ariel) and Micha’el ben Yehuda (Mark), as well as for a full recovery for Chava Rachel bat Ayelet HaShachar (Rebbetzin Mark).

This Parshat HaShevua is also dedicated to the organization Hebrew City whose mission is the restoration of Tel Aviv as a Jewish city by ending the infiltration of Tel Aviv by migrant Africans who violently harass and endanger Jewish lives.

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate a Yahrtzeit of a loved one, or for whatever other reason by sponsoring a Parshat HaShevua.

Please forward to your relatives and friends and encourage them to sponsor a Parshat HaShevua. And please be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.

Best Regards,

Moshe Burt
olehchadash@yahoo.com
skype: mark.burt3
************************************************

Parshat Masei 5776: Consequences of Not Possessing the Entirety of Eretz Yisrael and of Permitting Terrorist Subversives to Remain/Enter the Land

by Moshe Burt

Parsha Masei opens by recapping the events of B’nai Yisrael from Yetziyat Mitzrayim (leaving Egypt), through K’riyat Yam Suf (crossing the Reed Sea) as well as their travels in Bamidbar (in the desert) over the 40 years so that the Am Yisrael will recall the
trials and, hopefully, actuate the lessons learned. Following this recap, “Hashem spoke to Moshe… by the Jordan, at Yericho” (Artscroll Stone Chumash, Sefer BaMidbar, Perek 33, posuk 50) telling him to speak to the B’nai Yisrael and tell them;

“When you cross the Jordan to the land of Canaan, you shall drive out all of the inhabitants of the Land before you; and you shall destroy all their prostration stones; all of their molten images…. You shall possess the Land as an inheritance by lot to your families…. But if you do not drive out the inhabitants of the Land before you, those of them whom you leave shall be pins in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they will harass you upon the Land in which you dwell. And it shall be that what had meant to do to them, I shall do to you.” (Artscroll Stone Chumash, Sefer BaMidbar, Perek 33, posukim 51-56, pages 922-923)

These posukim literally scream out from our Torah to this very generation!

Rabbi Artscroll (page 923) then cites the Rashbam and follows with it’s own commentary;

… If they fail to do so, they will suffer the fate Hashem had intended to impose upon the Canaanites, and be driven out.

Only in the perspective of Hashem’s wisdom can this passage be understood. No human ruler has the right to decree that an entire population is to be… exiled, but Hashem revealed that the Canaanite presence was incompatible with both the Land’s holiness and Israel’s mission on earth. History is the most conclusive proof of this, for the fact was that the Jews could not bring themselves to eliminate all of the Canaanites, with the result that the Jews were drawn to idolatry, debauchery, and were in turn periodically oppressed and finally exiled.

R’ Shimson Rafael Hirsch z”l provides additional enlightenment on the abovementioned posukim the new Hirsch Chumash (published by Feldheim in 2005 and translated to English by Rabbi Daniel Haberman) which hold important lessons not heeded by contemporary Israeli governance, institutions and political entities (pages 666-667):

On posuk 52: You must first make the Land fit to be your yerusha [inheritance] by removing all traces of polytheism, and only then will you be able to settle in it.You are not inheriting the Land by your own power and might; rather, Hashem’s will and Hashem’s power are giving you the Land. So, too, the division of the Land shall not be done according to arbitrary norms, but according to Hashem’s instruction and decision. Hence, you will not be able to avoid fulfilling the first basic condition on which Hashem makes the [this] gift of the Land dependent.

On posuk 55: …Apparently, …the meaning here: If you allow the pagan inhabitants to remain in the Land, they will become a hedge [a guard, a protection] around their pagan practices; the nature of these practices will be concealed from your perception and insight, and you will not find fault with them. Tolerance toward the pagan inhabitants will beget tolerance toward paganism. If you tolerate paganism and find justification for it within Hashem’s Land, you will cease to belong to Hashem alone, and… you will be deprived of your right to exist in the Land, and you will not be worthy of protection …. When Hashem removes His protection of you…, those toward whom you have been so tolerant will become your enemies and will oppress you in your own land.

On posuk 56: In the end, you will not be worthy of Hashem’s Land, and Hashem will expel you… as He had intended to expel the nations through you.

This author recalls a paradigm of B’nei Yisrael possessing Eretz Yisrael as discussed several years ago at this time by that kiruv legend, Jeff Seidel regarding Parsha Pinchas:

Parshat Pinchas relates a story (Sefer Bamidbar 27:1-12) about the daughters of Tzlafchad, descendants of Yosef (Joseph). These daughters wanted and loved the Land of Israel so much that they wanted a piece of it. As Rav Moshe Feinstein asks, why do they have to have a claim in the land, just because they love it? Wouldn’t entering or living in the land be fulfilling enough?

R’ Moshe thus concludes that if a person truly loves something, they’d want it to be theirs, and no one else’s. This could explain why the daughters wanted to actually own a piece of the land, rather than simply living in it. This logic applies to marriages, as well as the Torah’s preference that every Jew writes their own Torah (or a portion of it). In our terms, it’s not enough to borrow and read Jewish books. We need to love the Torah we read SO much that we feel the need to own it! …We should not only seek, read and enjoy words of Torah, but we should OWN those books, and live those words.

Suffice to say, that as this author understand’s R’Moshe, and as the title of this Parshat HaShevua implies; passionate love of Eretz Yisrael = jealously possessing it as our own, rather than nonchalantly dropping our spent cigarette butts and empty soda cans on it, or merely caring for and craving for one’s narrow personal comfort and sense of “the normal life” of the nations.

If one could express possessing Eretz Yisrael as our own in human terms: if our land were a human being, one could embrace, hung, cling, possess and squeeze hard never letting go. We understand the Land as the physical, tangible manifestation of Hashem’s being and will. So, based on Rav Moshe’s axiom, a Jew possessing his Land, as if embracing it, seems the physical manifestation on earth of the spirituality of Torah, tefillah, chesed and cleaving to Hashem. And therefore, to one who passionately loves the Land, every inch of it is important — he is jealous for every inch of it and willing to fight for all of it, not just that one piece of the Land where he and his live.

Unfortunately, in today’s Jewish State, we have become handcuffed in “political correctness” by a small, numerically insignificant number who act as if they merely reside in Israel: the intelligencia, the elitists, the college and university professors, those with the bulk of the consolidated financial wealth, the ministerial engrained bureaucracies, the so-called “justice system” and the politicians; from the prime minister, to his cabinet, to at least 118 corrupt members of Knesset, who have all become embedded in, and have consolidated their hold and power over the masses. This numerically distinct, yet seemingly all-powerful minority has managed to brainwash, indoctrinate, coerce and inculcate the masses with the shekar of “Land for peace(sic)”, inter-faith “dialogue”, the “rights” of one’s enemies — either through attempting to erode and eradicate Torah in the land,or tolerating as acceptable stonings, drive-by ambush shootings such as that which took the life of a Rabbi and seriously injured his wife and injuring his offspring in their auto in the Har Hevron area on a recent Erev Shabbos, stabbings both in the streets and of a young girl asleep in her bed in Kiryat Arba, suicide bombings, bull-dozer terror attacks and more, or through reinforcing an engrained mindset amongst Israel’s masses of “ein ma’alah sot” (there’s nothing we can do).

These same “political correct” Israeli politicians, media and corrupt Israeli institutions who don’t drive out the pagans from Our Land actually welcome with open arms tens of thousands of subversive African migrants into South Tel Aviv. They accept and enable these terrorists-in-the-making who physically attack and terrorize Jews and take over the streets of South Tel Aviv, thereby both making it unsafe for Jews to travel on foot in the area and creating an economic windfall for area employers who hire them because they can pay them below minimum wages, while denying Jews jobs with living wages.

And so, because we seem not strong enough to possess the Land and to cause the enemy thieves, murderers and temporary “inhabitants” to leave, and, in fact, welcome them in: “those of them whom you leave shall be pins in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they will harass you upon the Land in which you dwell.”

How long will this go on? Will our collective weakness bring Hashem to actuate “what… [Hashem] had meant to do to them, [He] shall do to you”?

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them at leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized gunpoint, that our dear brother Jonathan Pollard be liberated and truly free — only upon his return home to Israel, and that Sholom Rubashkin, as well as the MIAs be liberated alive and returned to us in ways befitting Al Kiddush Hashem, as should the remains of the two chayalim from the Gaza War of two years ago. May we have the courage and strength to stand up and physically prevent the possibility of Chas V’Challila any future eviction of Jews from their homes and the handing of Jewish land over to anyone, let alone to enemies sworn to Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication. May we fulfill Hashem’s blueprint of B’nai Yisrael as a Unique people — an Am Segula, not to be reckoned with as with “the nations” and may we be zocha to see the Moshiach, the Ge’ula Shlaima, as Dov Shurin sings; “Ki Karov Yom Hashem Al’Kol HaGoyim”, the Ultimate Redemption, bimhayrah b’yamainu — speedily, in our time”, — Achshav, Chik Chuk, Miyad, Etmol!!!

Good Shabbos!

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Moshe Burt, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.