Parshat No’ach 5778: How Old are You Anyway?

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Friday, October 13th, 2017 by moshe | Comments Off







Shalom Friends;

Our Parshat HaShevua, Noach is sponsored by Jack and Chana Kaminker and family of Ramat Beit Shemesh whodedicate this vort Lilui Nishmas Jack’s Father Aryeh Shlomo Leib ben Elyaqum. To the Kaminker family, many thanks for your sponsorship and 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
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Parshat No’ach 5778: How Old are You Anyway?

by Moshe Burt

In our Parshat Noach (as rendered to English in the Sapirstein Edition, “The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary”), Sefer Breish’t, Perek 8, posuk 13 portrays the Earth having dried after the Mabul (the Great Flood):

“And it came to pass in the six hundred and first year, in the first month, on the first of the month, the waters had dried from upon the earth; …”

Tractate Rosh Hashana, Daf Yud [ten], Amud Bet [second side of the Daf) (as rendered to English in the Schottenstein Edition Talmud Bavli: The Gemara] renders Sefer Breish’t, Perek 8, posuk 13:

“And it was at one and six hundred years, in the first [month], on the first of the month, the waters had dried from upon the earth…”

In “the six hundred and first year” of what?? For this answer, we need to look back in Torah to Sefer Breish’t, Perek 7, posuk 11 (as rendered to English in the Sapirstein Edition, “The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary”) which reads:

“In the six hundredth year of Noach’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all of the fountains of the great deep burst forth; and the windows of the heavens were opened.”

This vort will not deal with the learned disputes between R’ Eliezer and R’ Yehoshua as to the commencement of the Mabul, when Creation took place or the disputes concerning how long before Rosh Hashana must a tree be planted and take root. We will, however discuss R’ Meir’s p’shat (ibid.; Daf Yud, Amud Bet) regarding equation of “the first [month], on the first of the month” of “the six hundred and first year”:

R’ Meir holds that from the fact that it is still only a single day that has entered into the six hundred and first year and the verse already calls it a “year,” we learn that a single day in the year is regarded as a full year.

Notes 15 and 16 in Daf Yud, Amud Bet (ibid.,as rendered to English in the Sapirstein Edition, “The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary”) relate:

Note 15: The Flood commenced in Noach’s six hundredth year, on the seventeenth of “the second month” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 7, posuk 11) — the moment of drying recorded… took place nearly ten and one-half months later, in the “first month” of the six hundred and first year.

Note 16: The event marked by this verse [Sefer Breish't, Perek 8, posuk 13] occurred at the very beginning of the six hundred and first year, on the very first day of its first month (be it Nissan or Tishrei).

Yet, the verse refers to this date as at one and six hundred years. Clearly, the Torah regards a single day in the year as equivalent to a full year. (Rashi; cf. Tosafos)

Having learned this piece of Gemara has given this author pause and perspective to contemplate one’s age.

Example: The famous comedian Jack Benny, Mr. [Perennially] 39 years old. Benny was born on February 14, 1894 (8 Adar1 5654) and passed on December 26, 1974 (12 Tevet 5734).

Wikipedia writes of Benny:

He died on December 26, 1974 at age 80.

With the perspective of the above piece of Gemara, Jack Benny passed on (12 Tevet 5735) in his 81st year.

This author’s birthdate is 2 May, 1948 (23 Nissan 5708). Immediately upon the day turning to 24 Nissan 2017, this author began his 70th year.

May all who subscribe to these Parshat vorts live in happiness and good health to at least a full 120 years.

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 and that the expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes, at government expense; both due to alt-leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized Yassamnik gunpoint. May 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 three 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 prevent Chas V’Challila 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, 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 Breish’t 5778: How Our Torah Answers “The Big Lie” of the Nations Regarding Hashem’s Allotment of Eretz Yisrael to His Chosen Ones

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

Our Parshat HaShevua, Breish’t is sponsored by Binyamin and Barbara Lemkin and family of Ramat Beit Shemesh who dedicate this vort for for the speedy aliya of Jonathan Pollard to Eretz Yisrael, mass aliya by American Jews and to the Jewish heroes who sacrifice themselves for the cause of Torah and Eretz Yisrael. To the Lemkin family, many thanks for your sponsorship and 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 Breish’t 5778: How Our Torah Answers “The Big Lie” of the Nations Regarding Hashem’s Allotment of Eretz Yisrael to His Chosen Ones

by Moshe Burt

The Torah cycle renews itself yet again with Parshat Breish’t 5778. As in previous years, this vort on Parshat Breish’t deals with the very first posuk of Torah, you know, the one; “In the Big Inning”, but with added emphasis in connection with our connection to Eretz Yisrael:

“Breish’t bora Keilokim eit HaShemayim V’eit HaAretz” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 1, posuk 1)

“In the beginning of Hashem’s Creating the heavens and the earth” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 1, posuk 1, as rendered to English in The Sapirstein Edition The Torah: with Rashi’s Commentary).

Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, in his Sefer “Growth Through Torah” (page 18) cites Rabbi Yeruchem Levovitz (Daas Torah: Breish’t , page 3) on Sefer Breish’t, Perek 1, posuk 1:

…You become aware that there is a Creator and Ruler of the universe. This first awareness already makes a major change in you for the rest of your life. You realize that there is a reason for everything. The world has meaning and purpose.

While it may not seem politically correct in our current world of oxymoronic Western “morality(sic)” mixed with both virulent and just-beneath-the-surface anti-semitism, The Sapirstein Edition The Torah: with Rashi’s Commentary explains this first posuk of our Torah (page 2):

[Rashi asks:] “What is the reason that it [Torah] began with Sefer Breish’t?”

It began thus because it wished to convey the message… “The power of His acts He told to His people, in order to give them the estate of the nations.” So that if the nations of the world will say to Israel, “You are bandits, for you conquered the lands of the seven nations who inhabited the Land of Canaan,” [Israel] will say to them, “The whole earth belongs to the Holy One, Blessed be He. He Created it — and He Gave it to
the one found proper in His eyes. By His Wish He gave it to them, and by His Wish He Took it from them and Gave it to us.” It is to be understood as the Rabbis of blessed memory expounded it: For the Torah which is called “the beginning of His way,” and for Israel who are called, “the first of His crop.”

Rav Shimshon Rafael Hirsch, z”l, In the new Hirsch Chumash then comments (New Hirsch Chumash, pages 1-2):

Our verse, then means: “In the beginning of all existence, it was Hashem who Created”; or if we add to the predicate the two objects that follow: “From the very beginning Hashem Created the heaven and the earth.”

…”Breish’t” proclaims that nothing existed prior to Hashem’s Act of Creation, and that heaven and earth were created only through Hashem’s Word. Scripture thus teaches… that the world was brought into existence from nonexistence. This constitutes the basis of the conviction that Torah seeks to instill within us.

The opposite notion is the belief in the eternity of the world, which is the cornerstone of pagan belief until this very day. This belief is not only a metaphysical falsehood, a misrepresentation of the origin of the universe, but… it undermines all morality, and denies all freedom in both Hashem and man. If matter had antedated creation, then the Creator of the universe would have been able to fashion from the material given him NOT a world that was absolutely good, but only the best world possible within the limitations of the material…. All evil — natural and moral — would have been due to the inherent faultiness of the material, and not even Hashem would be able to save the world from evil, natural or moral. Hashem would not be master over the material of the world, and man would not be master over his body. Freedom would vanish, and the whole world, including its G’d and the men who live in it, would be propelled by a blind, immutable fate.

This bleak conception is dispelled by the light of the Torah with its very first words: “Breish’t bora Keilokim”! Everything — the matter and form of all that exists — was Created by a Free, Almighty Creator… [Who] still rules freely over the matter and form of every existing thing [meaning animate, inanimate and living, including man], over the forces that act upon matter, over the laws by which these forces operate, and over the resulting forms.

The world that was Created “Breish’t”…. — with all its seeming flaws — corresponds with the wise plan of the Creator: He could have created a different world, had such a world corresponded with His Will.

If we and, in fact, the world, are to correctly understand this last paragraph of the aforementioned citing, that “vast eternal plan” (quote from “Fiddler on the Roof”) — the wise plan of the Creator — then His original allotment of The Land was to nations who proved themselves unworthy, and so He took The Land from them and gave it to us, to Am Yisrael — His Chosen people. As such, our mission is to show how a holy nation acts in its’ land, as distinguished from the hypocritical and abominable ways and actions of the nations, to be a light unto the nations, a paradigm of Hashem’s blueprint of what the Jews are to represent — Hashem’s Kohanim — His Priestly People to the other nations of Mankind.

Rabbi Mordechai Katz in his sefer, “Lilmod U’Lamed” (page 16) cites a posuk from Iyov and comments:

“From my body, I deduce the existence of Hashem” (Iyov 19)

The question has to be; how could it be that the universe, with its myriads on myriads of systems, sub-systems and intricacies, could just be there, could just eternally exist without having been brought into existence by a Creator? How could it be that a universe which just eternally exists, without a Creator, could have within it a part, a parcel of land — Eretz Yisrael — which only flourishes when one certain nation and people inhabits it, and lays totally fallow when any and all other entities occupy it? And how could it be that this one certain nation and people — the Jewish nation which had been persecuted, pillaged, murdered, mass-murdered or expelled by every other nation and “civilization” throughout the history of man would have survived and outlived them all and returned to that one parcel of land which only flourishes in their presence? Torah teaches us that all of everything is created and re-created by Hashem in the minutest, fractions of mili-seconds.

And so this author returns to a previous Rosh Hashanah Vort where Rabbi Asher Baruch Wegbreit, in his sefer “The Power of Aleinu” (pages 35-36), cites Rav Chaim Friedlander, Sifsei Chaim on ”Aleinu” and the Malbim:

…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 [the Jewish people] 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)

The point here is that while Hashem relates to, and with each of us and with all of His Creations, we are still finite, whereas Hashem and His Torah are infinite.

And so, to understand correctly, the Obamator, or the Alt-Left or Alt-Right, the fake media, or the US state department, the UN, UNESCO, etc. can act, vote and pass whatever resolutions against us that they may wish, but they are all meaningless, powerless as nothing before the Will of Hashem, so long as we, and our national leaders strive to emulate His Way, to truly be the cream, “the first of His crop.”

We hope and pray for ultimate Ge’ula Shlaima, where our lives may no longer be finite. But in our current finite state, what we do here on earth is critical, for when we are no longer here, our Mitzvot, our kindnesses that we do, because they are needed, whether for family or for the Kehal — they live on, attached to the collective memory of the do’er by his/her friends, family, the Kehal and beyond.

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 and that the expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes, at government expense; both due to alt-leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized Yassamnik gunpoint. May 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 three 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 prevent Chas V’Challila 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!!
———————————————————
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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Simchat Torah 5778: Bonding with Hashem, V’zos HaBrachot and Attaining Balance Between Tefillah and Learning

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Saturday, October 7th, 2017 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

Our Simchat Torah vort is being sponsored by Simon and Aliza Baum and family of Ramat Beit Shemesh who dedicate this vort Lilui Nishmas in honor of Simon’s Mother: Chaya Miriam Bas Boruch. To the Baum family, many thanks for your sponsorship and 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 be in contact with me with any questions, or for further details.

Best Regards,

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

Simchat Torah 5778: Bonding with Hashem, V’zos HaBrachot and Attaining Balance Between Tefillah and Learning

by Moshe Burt

On Succot, the B’nei Yisrael, as an Am Segula (a nation apart and unique from the other nations), as Hashem’s special, chosen people; we visit, bond, and celebrate our special and unique relationship with HaKodosh Borchu.

In Chutz L’Aretz, we learn that Sh’mini Atzeres is expressed as if one’s entire family, from various venues, are all together and savoring the love, bonding and enjoyment of being together — between each of the parents and their off-spring, the siblings with each other and with their parent(s). And so when it comes time for each to leave to return to their various venues and responsibilities, the parent pleads that the offspring, that the family stay together for one more day. And so Hashem Kovei’yokhel (as He is) Calls to His loved ones — the B’nei Yisrael, whereever they reside, to stay with Him for one more day.

We learn that in Eretz Yisrael, there is one day of Succot Yom Tov, six Chol HaMo’ed days (intermediate days as with Pesach) and, Simchat Torah — the last day of Yom Tov which contains within it the attribute of Sh’mini Atzeres — is that special time of bonding and expressions of love — Am Yisrael for our Father, our Creator, our eternal and universal King, and Hashem’s special and loving connection to Am Yisrael alone.

Hashem sooo treasures the B’nei Yisrael that after Hashana Rabbah and sealing the fate of the nations in the coming year, He, so to speak, wants to bask in the love and joy of being with and bonding only with B’nei Yisrael. And so, on Simchat Torah, we joyously celebrate the spiritual harvest of our learning of Torah, both written and oral, as discussed in the vort on Succot as we follow the leyning of V’zos HaBracha and of the seven days of Breish’t in a spirit of bonding with Hashem that is the last day of Yom Tov. And when we make our home in Hashem’s special, designated Land — Eretz Yisrael, the joy of Simchat Torah increases countless-fold for we are with Him in His Very Palace.

It is in the context of Simchat Torah, with its attribute of Sh’mini Atzeres — the bonding of Am Yisrael with our Creator and Eternal King that Moshe, following the tradition which began with Yaakov just before his passing, gave individual Brachot to each of the Shevatim (tribes) of B’nei Yisrael as conveyed in Parshat V’zos HaBrachot.

The Artscroll Stone Chumash translates the opening posuk of V’zos HaBrachot and summarizes the theme of Moshe’s Brachot to the Shevatim (pages 1112-1113):

“And this is the blessing that Moshe, the man of G’d, bestowed upon the B’nei Yisrael before his death.” (Sefer Devarim, Perek 33, posuk 1)

These final words of Moshe are a combination of blessng and prophesy, in which he blesses each tribe [individually] according to its national responsibilities and individual greatness.

“And this”…. “V’zos” implies that Moshe’s blessings were a continuation of Yaakov’s [as if to say that the Tribes were blessed at the beginning of their national existence and again as they were to begin life in Eretz Yisrael]. Moshe also used the word “V’zos” when he began his summation of the Torah (Sefer Devarim, Perek 4, posuk 44 in Parshat Va’etchanon) which symbolizes that Iarael’s way to achieve the blessings of its Patriarch and Teacher is by studying and observing the Torah.

Moshe praised Hashem and recalled the merit that makes Israel worthy of his blessing.

In these introductory remarks, Moshe incorporated three outstanding merits of Israel: a) Hashem dwells among them; b) They accepted His Torah; and c) They acknowledged His sovereignty. (Ramban)

R’ Shimson Rafael Hirsch z”l provides additional insight as to the opening posuk of V’zos HaBrachot in the new Hirsch Chumash (published by Feldheim in 2005 and translated to English by Rabbi Daniel Haberman, Sefer Devarim, page 788):

“Ish HaKeilokim.” The man who stood in close relation to Hashem and did Hashem’s work as His servant and messenger.

In Torah, the designation occurs only here. In our view this blessing of Moshe [that follows] was not, like the rest of Torah, spoken to him as the Word of Hashem; rather, it originated from his [Moshe's] innermost being, and this would explain the designation “Ish HaKeilokim.”…

Rabbi Mordechai Katz comments on V’zos HaBrachot in sefer “Lilmod U’lamed” and ends with two citings (page 192):

The Torah is nothing less than the Book of Life. With its teachings to guide them, the Jews can persevere and triumph. Without it, they are lost.

“If your head aches, study the Torah; if your throat aches, study the Torah; if your stomach aches, study the Torah; if your bones ache, study the Torah; the Torah is the cure for all ailments.” (Eruvin 53)

Ben Bog-Bog said: Turn it over (the Torah), and turn it over, for everything is there. And look into it, and become old and grey therein; do not budge from it…, for you have no better standard of conduct. (Avos 5:25)

But Rabbi Shimon Finkelman, in his translation of discourses on the weekly Parsha by Manchester Rosh Yeshiva Rabbi Yehudah Zev Segal, Sh lita, z”l entitled “Inspiration and Insight” explains the synthesis between Torah study and tefillah including a story summarized by this author (pages 312-314):

…The role of ameilus, diligent toil in the study of Torah, is not… to negate the role of tefillah in successful study. Tefillah must complement one’s toil in study…

…The following anecdote [as summarized by this author]… was related by R’ Sholom Schwadron, Shlita who heard it from R’ Aharon Kotler of blessed memory:

R’ Meshulam Igra, Rav of the city of Tismenitz,Galicia was a genius among Torah geniuses. The Chasam Sofer said of that his two hands were like two Torah scrolls. Among his disciples were the illustrious authors of Nesivos HaMishpat and Ketzos HaChoshen.

It happened once that two men who were visiting Tismenitz appeared before R’ Meshulam requesting that he resolve their monetary dispute. the complexity of the case forced R’ Meshulam to ask the litigants to return only the next day to hear his p’sak. The two litigants, anxious for a resolution, left that day without R’ Meshulam’s p’sak and agreed to bring the case before the Rav of their town for resolution.

Their Rav, while a Talmid Chacham, was not on a level of stature of R’ Meshulam. Yet the Rav seemed to have little trouble deciding the case. After hearing both sides, the Rav excused himself and left the room, returning minutes later with a scholarly p’sak which satisfied both parties.

Some time later, while the men were traveling, they returned Tismenitz and visited R’ Meshulam. They apologized for leaving abruptly without waiting to hear his p’sak. They explained that they brought the case to their local Rav. They then asked R’ Meshulam to relate his decision on their case. R’ Meshulam stated his p’sak and the men were pleased to hear that he had arrived at the same decision as their local Rav.

Upon hearing that the Rav had speedily given the identical p’sak as he, R’ Meshulam, as humble as he was wise said, “Only someone of incredible genius could have rendered this decision so quickly. It is obvious that your Rav, though he is unknown, is a scholar of towering stature. I must honor him with a visit!” R’ Meshulam was soon on his way.

When the Rav heard of the great R’ Meshulam Igra’s arrival, he became filled with fear as to the reason for his visit. When they were alone, R’ Meshulam related to the Rav the chain of events leading to his visit. R’ Meshulam expressed his awe and amazement that such a p’sak could have been rendered so quickly.

The local Rav then explained: “To tell you the truth, the complexity of the case was beyond me. I was at a loss as to where to even begin. Realizing that I was not capable of deciding that matter, I became fearful that, as a result, my reputation with the townspeople would be severely damaged. I therefore excused myself to the litigants and went off to another room to pray. Tearfully, I beseeched the Ribono Shel Olam to somehow grant me the ability to decide the matter. No sooner had I offered my tefillah then I suddenly had an idea to open a certain sefer. I opened it and immediately came upon this exact case and the author’s ruling. Hardly believing what had happened, I quickly returned to the litigants and informed them of my p’sak.”

The above story seems to point up to the importance of tefillah — recited clearly, distinctly, with deliberate enunciation, with intent, whether Tehillim or thrice daily tefillot, including Aleinu [as well as prayers such as recited by the Rav mentioned above] in tandem with Torah study, and not as secondary as it seems that some would indicate, i.e. to speed through via auto-pilot thrice daily in order to return to learning an extra minute or so faster, or for some other rationale.

But this synthesis between tefillah and Torah study must be diligently engrained during youth, for habits gained during youth seem difficult, if not impossible for adults to change.

As religious Jews, we understand that Hashem continuously, instantaneously creates and recreates. And so the eternality of Torah as well as the meaning, actualization and application of Jewish learning and the continuity and constancy of Hashem’s creation are inextricably linked and maximized with Am Yisrael’s connection and presence in our eternal homeland — Eretz Yisrael.

We must take the craving for real improvement, the craving expressed during the Yomim Noraim, to make things right, with a proper synthesis between Tefillah with kavanah (intent) and Torah study, as well as between our Jewish brethren and throughout Am Yehudi into the new year. And at this auspicious time, may all of us have our brother Jonathan Pollard — Yehonatan Ben Malka, and Sholom Rubashkin, both of whom continue to suffer the injustices of the US Justice System: via both an exceedingly restrictive probation and prohibition against coming home to Israel, and an extraordinarily long prison sentence, prominently in our hearts, thoughts, prayers and in mind in our actions — that Hashem see to their respective releases and return to their brethren in THIS year — sooner than later.

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 and that the expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes, at government expense; both due to alt-leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized Yassamnik gunpoint. May 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 three 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 prevent Chas V’Challila 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, Chag Same’ach — may all who read this be inscribed and completely sealed for a healthy, happy, sweet and prosperous 5778 and every year thereafter to at least 120!
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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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Succot 5778: The MItzvot of Celebrating: Both in His Shelter and the Spiritual Harvest

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Saturday, September 30th, 2017 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

Our Succot vort is being sponsored by Haim and Danit Kalb and family of Ramat Beit Shemesh Lilui Nishmas the Yahrtzeit of Haim’s Grandfather Efraim ben R’ Mordechai. To the Kalb 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
******************************************

Succot 5778: The MItzvot of Celebrating: Both in His Shelter and the Spiritual Harvest

by Moshe Burt

We recite Tehillim psalm #27: “L’David Hashem O’ri…” twice daily from Rosh Chodesh Elul through Simchat Torah night (through Shemini Atzeres in Chutz L’Aretz). The Artscroll Succot Machsor (Nusach Ashkenaz, pages 68-69) explains:

The custom to recite this psalm of repentence is based on the Midrash [Vayikra Rabbah, Perek 21, siman 4] which expounds: “Hashem is my light” on Rosh Hashanah; “and my salvation” on Yom Kippur; “He will hide me in His shelter”… an allusion to Succot. The implication is that Rosh Hashana, Hashem helps us to see the light and repent; on Yom Kippur, He provides us salvation by forgiving our sins. Once we are forgiven, He shelters us from all foes and dangers, just as He sheltered our ancestors in the wilderness.

Various commentators cite the Zohar Vayikra daf 31b which indicates that the final sealing in the Book of Life occurs on Hoshana Rabbah. Thus, one could draw a definitive spiritual connection between this final sealing of one’s future in the coming year on Hoshana Rabbah, and the recitation of Tehillim psalm #27:

“L’David Hashem O’ri…” from Rosh Chodesh Elul through Simchat Torah night.

[Again, many thanks to R' Yedidya Kramer of Ramat Beit Shemesh for his help in nailing down the exact sources: (Vayikra Rabbah, Perek 21, siman 4 and Zohar Vayikra daf 31b as noted above)]

During Succot, the B’nai Yisrael, as an Am Segula (a nation apart and unique from the other nations) — as Hashem’s special, chosen people, visit and bond with our brethren while celebrating our special and unique relationship with HaKodosh Borchu.

From the above citing (The Artscroll Succot Machsor, ibid): “He will hide me in His shelter”… an allusion to Succot; Jews recognize that Hashem has dominion over the world and that man can’t look to or have trust in the physical, such as stone, iron or steel structures, etc. to provide protection. The nations, conversely, look to tall, fortified edifices for security and protection.

The Artscroll Succot Machsor provides an overview in which the Mitzvah of Succot is discussed (page XX1):

The commandment of Succah tells Jews, leave the permanent dwelling and settle in a temporary dwelling (Succah 2a). In the context of the desert experience, even a Succah offered little security. Makeshift walls and a thatched shade could not have provided true comfort in the vast, baked wilderness where there was neither food nor water, where snakes and scorpions were a constant danger (Sefer Devarim, Perek , posuk 15). Israel’s comfortable survival for forty years in the wilderness was possible only because of Hashem’s constant mercy. Thus, when a Jew leaves his home in favor of his Succah, he realizes that his own personal survival, like that of his forefathers, ultimately depends on Hashem’s protection. Even in modern times, the threat of human destructiveness and natural disaster make plain that man has no safer refuge than his fragile Succah, and the Heavenly protection it represents.

One need wonder; what motivation of the nations could be behind their seeking reward and favor with Hashem? Would the nations perceive Succot as “an easy Mitzvah”, “a free pass” courtesy of HaKadosh Borchu? Gemura Mesechet Avodah Zora, daf gimmel blows such a perception out of the water in relating that while the head of state of the nations sat in the Succah, an unbearable heatwave came whereupon he and and his party bid a hasty retreat from the Succah kicking down the door with disdain as they left.

The Artscroll Succot Machsor’s overview also discusses the Mitzvah to celebrate Succot and expresses the symbolism of B’nei Ysrael’s Spiritual Harvest (pages XX11-XX111):

Only once does the Torah command Israel to rejoice on Shavuot (Sefer Devarim Perek 16, posuk 11) — but no less than three times is Israel enjoined to celebrate Succot (Sefer Vayikra Perek 23, posuk 40 and Sefer Devarim Perek 16, posukim 14-15). The implication is plain.

The greatest cause for celebration is the attainment of a goal. Succot symbolizes the successful completion and in-gathering of Israel’s spiritual harvest; that is surely ample reason for Torah to stress three times, and for the Sages to incorporate into the days’ tefillot, that Succot is the season of our gladness (citing S’fas Emes).

And so we ponder the War of Gog and Magog:

“When Gog, all his army and all of the nations attack Israel, even in a redemption ‘in haste,’ Israel will tremble with fear. Afterward, G’d will rise up and destroy the nations in the final redemption, as in the first one.” (”The Jewish Idea”, by Rabbi Meir Kahane, Z’l, Vol. 2, page 984)

“Our sages said (Tanchuma, Re’eh, 9); “…In the future, Gog and Magog will attack Israel, and they too will be burnt up with one fire, as it says, ‘I will punish him with pestilence, blood and torrential rain […fire and brimstone]. At that moment, I will magnify and sanctify Myself, and make Myself known to many nations.’” (Yecheskel, 38:22-23 in part, as quoted from ”The Jewish Idea”, by Rabbi Meir Kahane, Z’l, Vol. 2, page 984)

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 and that the expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes, at government expense; both due to alt-leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized Yassamnik gunpoint. May 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 three 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 prevent Chas V’Challila 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, Chag Same’ach and Good Shabbos! — may all who read this enjoy healthy, happy, sweet and prosperous 5778 and every year thereafter to at least 120!
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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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Yom Kippur 5778: Annulment of Vows and Kol Nidrei

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Saturday, September 23rd, 2017 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

Our Yom Kippur vort is being sponsored by Yossie and Elisheva Schulman of Ramat Beit Shemesh dedicated for refuah shlaima for both Yishaya Shalom ben Malka Gittel (Blass) and Shlomo Chaim ben Chaya (Scholnick). To Yossie, Elisheva and the Schulman family, may you all be inscribed and sealed for only simcha, success, good health, nachas from your children, and only good things in the year to come and to at least 120 years. Many thanks for your sponsorship and your continued multitude of kindnesses.

Friends, 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
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Yom Kippur 5778: Annulment of Vows and Kol Nidrei

By Moshe Burt

In considering this year’s vort for Yom Kippur, a question arises: Why the need for Kol Nidrei once the Kehilla gathers in groups of four to say “Annulment of Vows” after the final Shacharit before Rosh Hashana? Or the inverse question: Why do we say “Annulment of Vows” when we know that Kol Nidrei is recited by the Shaliach Tzibbor on Yom Kippur night??

One possible answer could be to equate the public recital of Kol Nidrei with the morning Brachot and Shema which are recited individually, or in groups in Shul as men don their Talit and Tefillin availing them the opportunity to say “amen” to the Brachot several times before the Shaliach Tzibbor recites the Brachot for the benefit of the Kehilla which answers “amen” to each in unison.

But it would seem more likely that the answer resides in the different settings in which “Annulment of Vows” and Kol Nidrei are recited.

As stated previously, members of the Kehilla recite “Annulment of Vows” in groups of four with each person in each group reciting the verses before three of their peers acting as a Beit Din.

But on Yom Kippur, there are many people assembled in Shul who are not members of the Kehilla. There are out-of-towners, non-observant people and there are or could be people who have seriously transgressed and who, themselves, seek to do Teshuvah.

There is a declaration recited by the Shaliach Tzibbor just before he begins Kol Nidrei which is referred to as “Permission to Transgressors/With the Approval of the Omnipresent”:

With the approval of the Omnipresent and with the approval of the congregation; in the convocation of the Court above and in the convocation of the Court below, we sanction prayer with the transgressors. (The Artscroll Yom Kippur Machsor, page 59)

The Artscroll Yom Kippur Machsor provides a commentary on the Permission and Kol Nidrei:

With the approval of the Omnipresent. This is a formal declaration through which the elders of the congregation invite the participation even of the transgressors who may have been excluded from the Shul. On Yom Kippur, all Jews must join together to pray and repent. (The Artscroll Yom Kippur Machsor, page 58)

There is a d’var Torah by the Shem Mishmuel (Sefer Shem Mishmuel, Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein, translated to English by Rabbi Zvi Belovski, pages 440-441). The thoughts expressed by the Shem Mishmuel seem particularly pertinent to understanding the reasoning for the special recitation of Kol Nidrei on Yom Kippur night.

Shem Mishmuel cites Moshe Rabbeinu’s final address to the B’nei Yisrael (Devarim, Perek 29, posukim 9-10):

You are all standing here today, before the Lord, your G’d — your heads, your tribes, your elders, and your officers, every Jewish man. Your children, your women, the outsider who is in your camp, from your woodcutter to your water-drawer.

Shem Mishmuel then explains that:

These divisions of people represent the whole gamut of the nation, from young to old, the powerful and the ordinary — in short, everyone of every type.

He explains that the ketores (incense) was a component of the daily korbonot (offerings), but that on Yom Kippur it would play a primary role.

He continues:

The Kohen Gadol took a shovel-full of incense into the Holy of Holies and waited there until the cloud of spices filled the room. This incense contained eleven spices, ten of which were pleasant-smelling, but one of which had a foul odor. We may suggest that the ten sweet-smelling spices corresponded to the ten groups within the Jewish people noted above.

…Ketores… is etymologically linked to kesher, which means “connection.” The spices were pounded together to make a single compound. This illustrates that each group within Israel must recognize that it has value only as part of a larger entity. When this occurs [the pounding and grinding together of all ten spices into a single compound - MB] , it is possible to add the eleventh, malodorous spice, which represents the bad elements within Yisrael. Only when these eleven spices are pounded into indistinguishable dust, that is completely mingled, can they be brought to the Holy of Holies on Yom Kippur. In the same way, only when everyone, good or bad, acts for a single purpose, nullifying his individuality to the benefit of the community, can the “compound” of the Jewish people be presented to G’d for His scrutiny… However, if dissonance exists within the various elements of the klal, then the weaker, eleventh group cannot join. Since there is already disharmony among the people, adding the sinful element will not produce a completely unified Yisrael and…. will cause additional strife, as the weaker group will join one side or the other of the rift, strengthening the divide.

…To achieve real unity in the community, and throughout Am Yisrael, a sort of “grinding” of the personality is needed. It is arrogance which leads to disunity, the feeling that one is special and in some way above everyone else. One must pound this arrogance out of one’s character to effect the realization that one’s whole existence depends on the community.

There is another citing which amplifies the above. Gemara Mesechta Megillah, page 25a1 (Shottenstein edition) cites Mishnah Perek 4, posuk 9:

One who says [about Hashem - MB]: “Good men shall bless You” — this is the way of heresy.

The footnote in the Gemara on this Mishnah reads:

For he does not include the wicked among those who praise G’d, and the Sages teach us (Kereisos 6b) that any public fast that does not include the transgressors of Israel is not accepted, They derive this from the inclusion of galbunim, which emits a foul odor, among the ingredients of the incense offered in the Beit HaMikdash. Similarly, the wicked must be considered as part of the congregation of Israel. (Attributions to Rashi; cf. Ran, Meiri)

And consider this profound citing written by Yehoshua Starrett, the translator and editor of the Sefer “To Heal the Soul” authored by the Aish Kodesh, the Rebbe Piazecna, R’ Kalonymus Kalman Shapira as a journal (pages xvii-xviii):

In Warsaw he was confronted with the Sabbath desecration epidemic of the 1920s by the irreligious Jewish socialists. In this too, Rebbe Kalonymous accomplished with his love and understanding what others were unable to do with their campaigning.

He used to say that in every single Jew, even the most belligerently anti-religious, is a spark of Jewish soul that needs only to be reached, opened and ignited in the right way. Rebbe Kalonymous knew how to do this. After several meetings with him, these hard socialist leaders admitted their difficulty arguing with him…

Rebbe Kalonymous was indeed a most devoted leader, both in the spiritual and material sense. “A rebbe who is not willing to enter Gehennom to save a follower is not a rebbe,” he used to say….

In other words, the Aish Kodesh too held that every Jew has that “spark of Jewish Soul,” The pintele Yid, that every Jew was integral in making up the total Ketores, the scent that rises to Shemayim.

Sefer “Inspiration and Insight”, Volume 2; Discourses on the Holidays and Other Themes, by the Manchester Rosh Yeshiva, Rabbi Yehudah Zev Segal, z”l (translated and arranged by Rabbi Shimon Finkelman, pages 91) comments:

From Hashem’s love for us, we should learn how to love one another. In essence, all Jews are one. Our souls are united and in each soul there is a portion of all the others. This concept is the basis of the principle “all Jews are responsible for one another (Shavuot 39a).” Since each Jewish soul possesses a portion of all the others, when a Jew sins, his wrong affects not only his own soul, but also the collective soul of Israel.

Accepting that even though other sectors may not meet certain standards in the minds of some, and may represent to these — the galbanum, WE ARE, STILL AND ALL JEWS?. And we are one — a unity.

May we pour our hearts out to Hashem this Yom Kippur with purity, complete unity and deep sincerity leaving “nothing in the locker room” on a national level as well as locally and as individuals. May Hashem grant us a happy, healthy and sweet new year, a new year where a Jewish governance of national pride and self-image replaces the current shameful state of Israeli governance. As Rabbi Moshe Ungar would always say before a fast, back in Philly — back in the “old country”, “Daven hard, fast easy” — Tefillah Kasher V’Tzom Kal!

But as we daven, we need all keep in mind the the words of this golden oldie:

Private Eyes are watchin’ you… watchin’ you, watchin’ you, watchin’ you! Private Eyes!

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 and that the expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes, at government expense; both due to alt-leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized Yassamnik gunpoint. May 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 three 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 prevent Chas V’Challila 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!!!

Daven Hard, Fast Easy! May You, All of My Brothers, Sisters, be Sealed, for another Year of Life… 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 Ha’azinu 5778: Shabbos Shuva and False Ideologies and Abominations Vs Our Obligations and Responsibilities

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Wednesday, September 13th, 2017 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parshat HaShevua Ha’azinu is being sponsored by Dr. Eliyahu and Shuli Gherman of Ramat Beit Shemesh to commemorate Eliyahu’s Bar Mitzvah parsha — Ha’azinu. To Mishpochat Gherman, many thanks for your sponsorship and 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
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Parshat Ha’azinu 5778: Shabbos Shuva and False Ideologies and Abominations Vs Our Obligations and Responsibilities

By Moshe Burt

Parshat Ha’azinu falls out this year on Shabbos Shuvah, before Yom Kippur.

Our Parshat begins with Moshe’s words at the beginning of his final address to B’nei Yisrael:

“Ha’azinu HaShemayim V’adabeirah…”

“Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; and may the earth hear the words of my mouth.” (Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash, Sefer Devarim, Perek 32, posuk 1)

Rav Shimshon Rafael Hirsch z’l, in the Hirsch Chumash (Sefer Devarim, Perek 32, posuk 1, pages 742-743) renders Moshe’s statement “Ha’azinu HaShemayim V’adabeirah…” and comments:

“Incline your ear, O Heaven, I would speak, And let the earth hear the words of my mouth.” (Sefer Devarim, Perek 32, posukim 1-2)

“V’adabeirah — I wish to speak, I have something to say. This is the request addressed to heaven. Moshe is willing to speak only after heaven [perhaps euphemistically meaning Hashem?, although the "h" of heaven is not capitalized in R' Hirsch's English rendering -- MB] has inclined its ear to listen to his words.”

Ha’azinu: This is appointment of the heaven and earth as witnesses and guarantors of Hashem’s Covenant with Israel and of what will be said regarding Israel’s future.

Ha’azin is to be distinguished from Shema. Ha’azin means to incline one’s ear; the Ma’azin [the one asked to incline -- MB] turns to the speaker in order to listen to his words. By contrast, one can hear (L’shmo’ah) without wishing to do so.

Heaven and earth are called upon to represent Hashem’s Covenant, and this representation is carried out primarily by Heaven, and only indirectly by the earth. Heaven is active; the earth is essentially passive, because all of the blessing and curse in the physical development of the earth… results from the cosmic changes that occur outside the earth, and these are included in the concept of HaShemayim [Heaven].

In the service of the purposes of Hashem’s rule, heaven is active, dispensing its gifts, whereas the earth is essentially passive, a receiver.

Shem Mishmuel describes Ha’azinu as;

A poem which Moshe Rabbeinu recited to Klal Yisrael… It discusses the uniqueness of Klal Yisrael, their future, how they should conduct themselves, how they will stray, and how Hashem will treat them mercifully. (Shem Mishmuel, translated to English, Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein, Parsha Ha’azinu, pge 433)

Moshe continues and the Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash provides commentary (Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash pages 1100-1101):

“May my teaching drop like the rain, my utterance flow like the dew; like storm winds upon vegetation and like the raindrops upon the blades of grass. (Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash, Sefer Devarim, Perek 32, posuk 2)

Moshe called upon heaven and earth to bear witness to the calamities that will befall Israel if it sins — and the ultimate joy that will come with the final redemption [Ge’ula Shlaima]

Rabbi Artscroll (Artscroll Stone Chumash, Commentary on Sefer Devarim, Perek 32, posukim 7-9, pages 1101-1102) cites S’forno recalling from history that Hashem created the world so that all of the nations would join together in achieving Hashem’s goal of righteousness. But when they failed, He chose B’nai Yisrael as the paradigm of that goal. Hashem gave them a Land where they could serve Him according to Torah’s laws with simcha, success and prosperity. But when the B’nai Yisrael rebelled, forgot and forsook Hashem for other counsel and avodah zora, they deserved destruction. But to avoid Chillul Hashem — desecration of His Name, Hashem, in His mercy, only exiled them in order that they be redeemed in times of Moshiach and the Ge’ula Shlaima.

In our times, this rebellion seems to take the shape of fake and false “morality”; abomination and perceived dependence on a so-called super-power, on third-party nations and their leaders other than The Almighty.

Tehillim Psalm 81 clearly expresses the point of Hashem’s mercy where B’nai Yisrael rebelled, forgot and strayed from Hashem and Torah (Artscroll Nusach Ashkenaz siddur, page 169):

“I am Hashem, your G’d, who elevated you from the land of Mitzrayim, open wide your mouth and I will fill it. But My people did not heed My voice and Israel did not desire Me. So I let them follow their heart’s fantasies, they follow their own counsels. If only My people would heed Me, if Israel would walk in My ways. In an instant, I would subdue their foes, and against their tormentors turn My hand…. He would feed him with the cream of wheat, and with honey from a rock sate you.”

There are two posukim in our Parshat which bring to mind today’s malaise — the new “normal”, today’s so-called western “morality, so-called “human rights”:

“…They would anger Him with abominations. They would slaughter to demons without power, gods whom they knew not, newcomers recently arrived, whom your ancestors did not dread.” (Sefer Devarim, Perek 32, posukim 16-17, as rendered in the Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash)

Rabbi Artscroll (Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash, page 1105) briefly comments on this posuk:

Israel will anger Hashem by… performing such acts as… Hashem regards as abominable. They will bring offerings… to newly invented gods that their ancestors never knew…

Rav Zelig Pliskin, in his sefer “Growth Through Torah” (pages 467-468) goes much further in discussing the abovementioned posuk (Sefer Devarim, Perek 32, posuk 17). He first renders the end of the posuk slightly different and then comments:

“…Newcomers recently arrived, whom your forefathers did not know.”

“The process of new false ideologies,” commented Rabbi Avigdor Miller (in his sefer “Rejoice O Youth,” page 25), “is part of the constant test of virtue which living men must endure all of their lives. But the Torah and the Torah people are an old and established firm, which has been in business for few thousand years and has weathered many crises and outlived many competitors. We view the opponents, physical or ideological, who rise up against us in every generation…; and we know that they will go down into oblivion as did all the upstarts who preceded them.”

So, what about the government of Israel’s seeming total preoccupation with abandoning and handing over Jewish Lands, including Jerusalem to avowed Arab enemies implacably bent upon our destruction, in the bogus name and ideology of “land for peace/piece” or “two states for two peoples (sic)”? What of our government’s concern for the well-being of adversarial civilians who are caught in the enemy’s “human shields” strategic tactics, at the expense of the lives of our military brethren for what the nations will say?

What of the hesitation to act against terrorists’ families such as who kill a teenage girl as she slept, or who ambush Jewish families in their cars on the roads of Yehudah and the Shomron, or who invade and slaughter Jews in their home during their Shabbos dinner? And under whose sovereignty does Har HaBayit belong anyway that an equivocal, negativist Israeli government is not permitted to install electronic detectors, surveillance cameras and other protections to insure the lives of Israeli personnel stationed there?

What of the concern for treating a wounded terrorist before treating and saving the life of that terrorist’s Jewish victim(s) or the terror enabler, the slanderer of Israel who is on a list awaiting an Israeli lung transplant? Yet they imprison a soldier for the “crime” of making sure a mortally wounded terrorist was indeed dead, thus removing the danger of further Jewish casualties? What of same-genderism? Civil marriage? Mixed prayer at the Kotel with the neo-progressive “Women of the Wall” and their chutzpadik haphazard donning of Tefillin, particularly the Shel Rosh and their fixation with dancing with Sifrei Torah and their other ossur customs?

Do we see all of these playing out as a result of the complacency and preoccupation of the masses, each individual, each sector with their own individual and group issues and matzavim while Israel’s governance plots, based on the direction the air of public opinion blows and on principles of divide and conquer, the eradication of all vestiges of Torah — its principles, its standards of morality, as well as Yiddishkiet and spirituality from its population?

We are, after nearly 2,000 years, a national sovereignty, in OUR OWN Land, Eretz Yisrael. We who live in Eretz Yisrael are no longer in cities, towns, nations dominated by other religions who would demand that we renounce the Almighty, as was the case of the Jews of Mainz where the Bishop demanded that R’ Amnon convert with the implied perilous threat to the Jews of Mainz should he refuse. Instead, we suffer governance by groups who, by and large, at heart, seek to turn Jews into Israelis who are devoid of Torah spirituality.

As Jews in OUR LAND, we have the responsibility to behave as Jews — both in words and actions — between the governing and the governed, between our brethren in all sectors and, on battlefields of mandatory wars for Torah, for our survival, versus adversaries who seek nothing less than our total annihilation.

Can it be said, despite the evolvement in our national governance of foresaking Hashem, our roots, our heritage for other counsels and avodah zora, that Hashem continues to protect us with his Clouds of Glory? What of the appointment of the heaven and earth as witnesses and guarantors of Hashem’s Covenant with Israel? We must all collectively ponder and internalize our responsibilities in living up to our obligations to this Covenant with Hashem with the approach of Yom Kippur and going forward to Succot and to the years ahead.

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 and that the expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes, at government expense; both due to alt-leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized Yassamnik gunpoint. May 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 three 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 prevent Chas V’Challila 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!!!
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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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Rosh Hashanah 5778: Tishrei — The New Year of Years

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Wednesday, September 13th, 2017 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

Our Rosh Hashana 5778 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
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Rosh Hashanah 5778: Tishrei — The New Year of Years

by Moshe Burt

Sefer Breish’t of Torah begins:

“In the beginning of G’d’s [loshen: Kelokim's] creating the heavens and the earth” (as rendered to English in both the Artscroll “Stone Edition Chumash” and “The Sapirstein Edition, The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary”, Sefer Breish’t, Perek 1, posuk 1)

The Shottenstein Edition of Gemara Tractate Rosh Hashana relates (Chapter 1, Page 2A Mishnah, this Mishnah is repeated Chapter 1, Page 8A Mishnah):

“…R’ Elazar and R’ Shimon say: ‘…On the first of Tishrei is the New Year for reckoning the years.’”

[Author's note: Substituting of Hashem, rather that G'd, Use of Kelokim. Yetziyat Mitzrayim rather than Exodus from Egypt.]

The Sapirstein Edition, The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary on Sefer Breish’t, Perek 1, posuk 1 states:

R’ Yitzchak said: “[Hashem] need not have begun the Torah… ‘This month shall be for you [the beginning of the months, ‘because it is the first commandment whch Israel was commanded. What is the reason that it began with Sefer Breish’t? It began thus because it wished to convey the message of the verse, “The power of His Acts He told His people in order to give them the estate of the nations. So that if the nations of the world will say to Israel, ” You are bandits, for you conquered the lands of the seven nations who inhabited the Land of Canaan,” [Israel] will say to them, “The whole earth belongs to the Holy One, Blessed is He. He Created it and He gave it to the one found proper in His eyes. By His wish He gave it to them, and by His wish He took it from them and gave it to us.”

“In the beginning of [G'd's] [loshen: Kelokim] creating.” ….It is to be understood as the Rabbis of blessed memory expounded it: For the Torah which is called “the beginning of His way,” and for Israel who are called, “the first of His crop.”

Sefer Shem Mishmuel (Written by R’ Shmuel Bornstein, the Sochaczever Rebbe, rendered to English by R’ Zvi Belovski) relates the dispute between Rabbi Eliezer {R’ Elazar?) and Rabbi Yehoshua (pages 426, 428) citing Rashi and providing commentary:

It is taught: Rabbi Eliezer said, “The world was created in Tishrei.” Rabbi Yehoshua said, “”The world was created in Nissan.” (Gemara Tractate Rosh Hashana 10b)

This seems to be a most fundamental dispute. Nevertheless, the Tosafos commentaries attempt a resolution:

Rabbeinu Tam says, “Both views are ‘the words of the living G’d’ [both are true]. One may say that in Tishrei it occurred to Hashem to create the world, but He di not actually do so until Nissan.” (Tosafos, Rosh Hashana 27a, s.v. K’matzlinan)

This is comparable to a view espoused by Rashi:

“In the beginning Kelokim Created the heaven and the earth.” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 1, posuk 1)

Kelokim Created — It does not say G’d [the four-letter Divine name] created. For initially, it arose in G’d’s thought to create it with the Divine characteristic of strict justice [indicated by the name Kelokim], but when He saw that the world could not endure in this mode, He preceded the characteristic of Divine mercy [indicated by the four-letter name (Hashem) and twinned it with strict justice. This is as the verse says: “On the day on which Hashem Kelokim [both names] made earth and heaven.” (Sefer Breish’t, Perek 2, posuk 4) (Rashi cit.)

We may suggest that this is the same concept as that mentioned by the Tosafos. Hashem, as it were, decided to create the world in Tishrei. The mazal, or astrological sign, of Tishrei is scales, which symbolizes the atmosphere of din (judgement) which prevails during this month. The world could never have survived the Divine scrutiny which this implies, so the actual creation was postponed until Nissan, a month in which mercy [rachamim] prevails. Nissan would be the month in which Hashem would eventually enact the Yetziyat Mitzrayim.

But this author asks, how does Rabbi Yehoshua’s argument for creation in Nissan relate to the sixth day of creation when Hashem Formed man?

The Shottenstein Edition of Gemara Tractate Rosh Hashana (Chapter 1, page 10b) relates:

The Gemara cites a Baraisa:

It is taught in a Baraisa: R’ Eleizer says: “The world was created in the month of Tishrei.” The Patriarchs (i.e. Avraham and Yaakov) were born in the month of Tishrei. The Patriarchs died in the month of Tishrei. Our forefather Yitzchak was born during the festival of Pesach. On Rosh Hashana, the Matriarchs Sarah and Rachel and the prophetess Hannah were remembered by the Almighty, and it was decreed that they would bare children. On Rosh Hashana, Yosef went out of the Mitzri prison.

Note 25 to Chapter 1, page 10b of Gemara Tractate Rosh Hashana:

["The world was created in the month of Tishrei."] This refers to the sixth day of creation, upon which Man was formed. Since the focal point and purpose of all Creation is Man, the world was not deemed complete until he was made. Hence, the Baraisa equates the Creation of Man with the creation of all the world. The day Man came into being was the first of Tishrei. (see Ran to Gemara Tractate Rosh Hashana (Chapter 1, page 16a, folio 3a of the Rif; Tosafos 8a; Rabbeinu Bachy, Breish’t 1:3, 31; see Maharsha).

Sefer Shem Mishmuel concludes his vort on the Creation of the world:

Yehoshua comes from the word moshia meaning savior.

Hashem has made His help essential to the running of the world. This means that everyone, even the greatest Tzaddik, must have help from Hashem to succeed. As such, one my merit the quality of din even when Hashem helps, but only if one starts by helping oneself. Thus Rabbi Eliezer promotes the din thesis about the word — that Hashem Created it in Tishrei. In contrast, when Hashem helps a person entirely, He acts as a moshia, a cmplete savior. This is an act of profound chesed and mercy… We now see why it is Yehoshua who claims that the world was created in Nissan, the month when Hashem’s Chesed is most evident to mankind. (Sefer Shem Mishmuel, pages 427-428)

Based on the above, this author offers a final thought: Could it be that there is a connection between Nissan’s attributes of chesed and rachamim and what we learn in Gemara Tractate Rosh Hashana (Chapter 1, pages 2-3) that Nissan is the New Year of Israel’s Malchut (Kingship) vs Kingship of the nations for which the New Year occurs in month of Tishrei, the month of strict din?

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 and that the expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes, at government expense; both due to alt-leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized Yassamnik gunpoint. May 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 three 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 prevent Chas V’Challila 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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Zehut Party in Israel and the First Ever Home/Office Computer/Cellular International Primary Vote

Filed under: News Reports on Tuesday, September 12th, 2017 by moshe | Comments Off


This morning, Tuesday (Yom Shlishi), 12 September, 2017 (21 Elul, 5777) is a landmark, historic date, for today the Zehut political party in Israel held the first-ever home/office computer/cellular international primary vote. Jews who are members of Zehut, both in Israel and internationally have voting privilege.

Another first: Jews from outside of Israel also have a chance to choose a representative in Zehut’s Knesset list. Zehut believes that the land of Israel belongs to all Jews, regardless of where they leave. ZEHUT International (www.zehutinternational.com) membership enables all Jews to participate.

For my part, at least, the vote went flawlessly.

I tweeted this note on the vote:

Mark Burt‏ @BloggerFool

2day the Zehut party https://zehut.org.il/ members in Israel/Intn’l held the 1st ever, anywhere, home/off computer/cellular primary vote.

The Zehut party, with its party leader Moshe Feiglin, emerged as a political party in its own right following the 2016 elections. Previously, they were the Manhigut Yehudit faction within the Likud party since the year 2000.

Click here for a brief history leading up to forming Zehut, as well as a summary of Zehut’s Party Platform.

Moshe Feiglin, with his co-founder Shmuel Sackett have been activists for at least twenty-five years dating back to the days leading up to the signing of the Oslo Agreement when they and their organization Zo Artzeinu (This is Our Land) advocated and practiced non-violent civil disobedience as a means of opposition to the Oslo Accords and led massive street demonstrations, blocking traffic numerous times in protest of the horrendous Oslo Accords. The Oslo Agreements legitimized, in the eyes of the world, arch-terrorist Yassir Arafat and his terrorist PLO as well as giving “Palestinians ” credibility and legitimization (fake and bogus as it is) as a national entity before the world — leading to their absurd demands for a state on historical, Biblical Eretz Yisrael. These demands are but camouflage for their true goals — the eradication of Israel and the Jews.

This Zehut party member primary vote today is but the first step in determining which candidates will make the party’s list and their numerical place on the list.

In the next step in the process, Zehut will hold an unprecedented open primary vote in which any Israeli citizen, regardless of sector or party affiliation would be able to vote for the Zehut candidate(s) of their choice.

The results of both today’s Zehut party member primary vote, as well as the upcoming open primary vote will determine which candidates will make Zehut’s party list, and in what order they will be placed for upcoming national elections.

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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/Vayeilech 5777: Collective, Unified Jewish Responsibility and the Message of Hakhel

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Saturday, September 9th, 2017 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parshat HaShevua, Parshiyot Nitzavim/Vayeilech is co-sponsored by Reuven and Leah Goldman and Mordechai and Gila Bernstein of Ramat Beit Shemesh and dedicated for a total, complete Refuah Shlaima and good health for Yishaya Shalom ben Malka Gittel Blass. To the Goldman and Bernstein families, 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 Nitzavim/Vayeilech 5777: Collective, Unified Jewish Responsibility and the Message of Hakhel

by Moshe Burt

As the Chaggim rapidly approach, we find ourselves with another doubleheader Parshat.

Our Parshat Nitzavim opens with Moshe Rabbeinu’s final address address to the B’nei Yisrael, on the final day of his life. And Parshat Vayeilech teaches about the Mitzvah of Hakhel — the communal gathering which took place every seven years; that is at the beginning of the year following the end of the Sh’mittah year. As with other Parshiyot or Twin Parshiyot, Nitzavim and Vayeilech seem as extensions of each other.

In Parshat Nitzavim, Torah relates:

“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.” (as rendered to English in the 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 desecration of the Torah is 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.

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.

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.

The Artscroll Stone Chumash provides explanation of the Hakhel (page 1095):

The mitzvah of Hakhel is where Sefer Devarim is read by the [reigning] Jewish king through to the end of Shema (Sefer Devarim, Perek 6, posuk 9), the second paragraph of the Shema (Perek 11, posukim 13-21) and from Perek 14, posuk 22 through to Perek 28, posuk 69 which concludes in Parshat Ki Tavo.

The Hakhel is a Mitzvah dating back to Moshe Rabbeinu’s mussar talk on the last day of his life when he convened the entire nation; men, women and children — from the wealthiest to the most itinerant woodchopper, to the Ger:

…So that they may hear and so that they may learn and fear Hashem and guard to do all the words of Torah. (Sefer Devarim, Perek 31, posuk 12)

Sefer Shem Mishmuel, written by Rabbi Shmuel Bornstein, z”l, the Rebbe of Sochaczev, as rendered into English by Rabbi Zvi Belovski beautifully explains why Israel’s reigning king’s role in reading Hakhel is crucial (page 425):

The Rambam notes that the king is a central focus for Klal Yisrael, a product of their communal needs — like the heart within a body:

His heart is the heart of all Klal Yisrael… (Rambam, Yad, Hilchos Melachim 3:6)

Since the king is the heart of the people, it must be he who reads from the Torah at Hakhel. For Hakhel… is a very special moment in Jewish national observance. It is the time when Klal Yisrael re-connects to their source by internalizing the most basic messages of the Torah. It is therefore fitting that the “heart” of the people should activate this re-connection, for just as the physical heart pumps blood through the whole body, so too does the spiritual heart — the king –infuse his entire nation with the ideas of the Torah.

The Artscroll Stone Chumash notes on Hakhel (Commentary on Sefer Devarim, Perek 31, posuk 12):

The time to inculcate values in children is from their earliest youth, and especially by the example of the parents and others who sincerely strive for the ideals they preach…. Thus, for bringing their children to Hakhel, parents deserved to be rewarded, for they demonstrated that the Torah was precious to them.

So we learn from Torah, with the added clarity of the above citings, that an insightful Torah, Mussar atmosphere and surroundings insures the growth of a Torah-rooted generation and of Torah-grounded leaders rather than a self-affectionated, self-aggrandized, self-serving, corruption-laden political, governmental “leadership” of intrigue.

We learn in our Parsha (Sefer Devarim, Perek 31, posuk 16 as rendered to English by both The Artscroll Stone Chumash and by The Sapirstein Edition The Torah: with Rashi’s Commentary);

“Hashem said to Moshe. ‘Behold, you will lie with your ancestors, but this people will rise up and stray after the gods [false deities] of the foreigners in whose midst it is coming, and it will forsake Me and annul My covenant that I have sealed with it.’”

Torah Gems, by Aharon Yaakov Greenberg (page 314) cites a Mikra MeForash which notes;

Torah refers to this as “rising up”, when it would seem more proper to use a verb such as “to descend.” Rather, what this teaches us is that the people will rise up. They, rather than their leaders, will be the rulers, and that will result in their falling to the lowest depths.

The “people”, rather than their [Torah] leaders, will be the rulers resulting in the nation’s fall to the depths?

Then, in the very next posuk (Sefer Devarim, Perek 31, posuk 17 as rendered to English by both The Artscroll Stone Chumash and by The Sapirstein Edition The Torah: with Rashi’s Commentary):

“My anger will flare against it on that day, and I will forsake them, and I will conceal My face from them, and they will become prey, and many evils and distresses will encounter it…”

How very much does the above Torah Gems citing sound like modern-day self-affectionated, self-
aggrandizing, corrupt Israeli Torah-devoid governance? And how very much does this citing sound like the great rhetorical noise, i.e., which Israel’s so-called “leaders” make — about the advent of Iranian nukes, or after countless terror attacks with resultant Jewish injuries and fatalities — rhetorical noise (boasts) which translate into far less than total victory in a compulsory War for Torah? The extent of their empty boasts, bluster and equivocation is such that their enemy now turns their very words against them, i.e. their empty demands, now lacking the credibility of decisiveness, for Arab recognition of Israel as a Jewish State have now been mimicked by PA officials who demand that Israel “recognize a Palestinian State (sic)” [Israel National News has apparently deleted it's link regarding the PA demand] as precondition for Netanyahu’s absurd “land swap (sic)” proposal.

These same so-called “leaders,” these big, brave Shotrim who show mercy to the cruel, arrest and persecute Jews who fight for Eretz Yisrael and for the Torah way against internal ruling subversion?

How very much these so-called big, brave “leaders” and their Shabaknikim and Yassamnikim “Shotrim” fit the descriptions of the above citings, i.e. the “people”, rather than their [Torah] leaders, will be the rulers resulting in the nation’s fall to the depths, as they smash Jewish heads and abuse women and babies in the dead of night and on Shabbos in countless venues? And how very much does this anti-Torah mercy to the cruel translate in the mindset of Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the PLO, ISIL, Iran, etc. as weakness and lack of resolve of the Jewish nation and her leaders, rendering Israel as weak, hypocritical and illegitimate in the perception of the nations?

Oh, that the Netanyahus, Bennetts, Lapids, Baraks, Livnis and a host of other wimp, Torah-lacking politicians, with their fingers in the air to see which way the populous wind blows, would come to realize and internalize Jewish values, as well as the rest of the above posuk (Sefer Devarim, Perek 31, posuk 17):

“They will say on that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because Hashem is not within me?’”

Thus, it seems clear that the Hakhel of Parshat Vayeilech connects with Parshat Nitzavim and Moshe

Rabbeinu’s final address to B’nei Yisrael as Hakhel would re-instill, reinvigorate and rejuvenate Torah, halacha and spirituality in our hearts, minds and subconsciousness, as well as to inculcate and nurture Torah values in children is from their earliest youth.

It seems to this author that these questions, points and more regarding both Parshat Nitzavim and Vayeilech are crucial for the Kehal — the Am, today’s political governmental leaders, as well as for Rabbanim to internalize and ponder long and hard during Rosh Hashana and the Asseret Yomei Teshuva (Ten Days of Repentence before Yom Kippur).

To repeat the point this author made in the past, Asserting and taking Mutual 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 and that the expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes, at government expense; both due to alt-leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized Yassamnik gunpoint. May 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 three 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 prevent Chas V’Challila 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! May You, All of My Brothers, Sisters, be Inscribed and Sealed, for another Year of Life… 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 Ki Tavo 5777: Slandering of the Jews by the Nations Throughout History, and Today

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Saturday, September 2nd, 2017 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parshat HaShevua, Ki Tavo is dedicated for a total, complete Refuah Shlaima and good health, happiness and success in all ways and endeavors to at least 120 years for Yishaya Shalom ben Malka Gittel Blass.

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 5777: Slandering of the Jews by the Nations Throughout History, and Today

by Moshe Burt

Torah outlines, at the beginning of our Parshat, the ceremony in which farmers were to take their first fruits, the Bikkorim, to the Beit HaMikdash and present them to the Kohen in a ritual which included expression of gratitude to Hashem for all that He had done for them.

The Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash (pages 1068-1069) explains:

The Jew’s gift of the first fruits… to the Kohen symbolizes that he dedicates everything he has to the service of Hashem. For a Jew to say that his every accomplishment… is a gift from Hashem, is one of the goals of Creation.

Part of this expression of gratitude to Hashem by the farmers states:

“The Egyptians mistreated us and placed hard work upon us.” (Sefer Devarim, Perek 26, posuk 6 as rendered to English by both The Artscroll Stone Edition Chumash and The Sapirstein Edition: The Torah with Rashi’s Commentary)

Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, in his sefer “Growth Through Torah” (pages 444-445) cites Rabbi Mordechai Gifter, from his sefer. “Pirkei Torah” (Vol. 1, page 30):

The verse is telling us… that before the Egyptians afflicted our forefathers they first mounted a slander campaign against them and made them appear evil in the eyes of others. Only after they had everyone thinking that the Israelites were evil and not worthy of standard human rights could they make their decrees against them, and the rest of the people accepted this otherwise unacceptable behavior. In recent history, this was the strategy of the Nazis and their propaganda vilifying us as a prelude to their actual oppression of our people.

We see these slanders by the nations even today by way of the countless cases where the world’s print and electronic media, including the internet, equate a parity between an Israeli response to a terror attack or a Hamas or Hezbollah rocket where the terrorists are terminated or neutralized, with the terrorist attack or rocket which claims Jewish injured or fatalities; i.e.the killing of Islamic terrorists who smuggled weapons onto Har HaBayit and murdered Israeli policemen, or the off-duty Chayal who neutralized the terrorist who stabbed and killed three members of a family in Halamish in their home as they ate the Shabbos night meal, among numerous such instances.

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.”

“The Midrash Says” (ibid) records:

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.

Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, in his sefer “Growth Through Torah” (Ibid) goes on to explain:

This too [dehumanizing and then afflicting] is the strategy of people who want to rationalize their mistreatment of others or their lack of helping others. They try to justify their cruelty or apathy by claiming that the other person has done much or serious wrong. Before accepting these negative reports, it is incumbent upon those hearing them to clarify if they are really true. Ask [one's self], “What might be motivating this person to relate this negative material?…. Even if the negative information is true, one must ascertain if the behavior it supposedly comes to condone [which is being justified] is proper according to
Torah principles.

This measurement of whether such action is proper according to Torah principles would seem to apply on a national level among the politicians and among the sectors of Jews here in Israel, as viewed by the nations. 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 the the actions of our own political “leaders”, even among some of the religious politicos, and so-called elites feed the disdain with which the nations hold of us, 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 of such actions 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 and that the expelled families of Amona be restored to their rebuilt homes, at government expense; both due to alt-leftist-agendized, supreme court legalized Yassamnik gunpoint. May 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 three 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 prevent Chas V’Challila 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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