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
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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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Parshat Ki Teitsei 5777: Wars of Hashem’s Commandment vs “Optional” Wars

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Saturday, August 26th, 2017 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

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

Moshe Burt
olehchadash@yahoo.com
skype: mark.burt3
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Parshat Ki Teitsei 5777: Wars of Hashem’s Commandment vs “Optional” Wars

by Moshe Burt

As with Parshat Shoftim, this author has penned Parshat Ki Teitsei under the heavy cloud of recent “PA” terror attacks; at Har HaBayit (The Temple Mount) where two Israeli Druze policemen were murdered, in the Shomron town of Halamish on the family in Halamish during their Shabbos dinner where three family members were brutally murdered. Subsequently, there was the event in the Embassy of Israel in Amman, Jordan where an Israeli guard apparently defended himself against an attack by two Jordanians which resulted in dangerous concessions from Israel in order that the guard and the other embassy personnel would be released by Jordan to return home, and the possible future ramifications and consequences of these concessions.

The Sapirstein Edition: Torah with Rashi’s Commentary renders translation of our Parshat’s opening posuk with Rashi’s commentary:

“When you will go out to war against your enemies, and Hashem your G’d, will deliver them into your hand, and you will capture its [people as] captives” (Sefer Devarim, Perek 21, posuk 10)

“When you will go out to war.” The verse speaks of an optional war (1) {for in the war for the Land of Israel — It cannot be said “and you will capture its [people as] captives” for it has already said (2) — “You shall not allow any person to live.”(2)}

(1) Citing Sifrei 211. That is, wars other than those such as the war of the conquest of Canaan and the war against Amalek. These wars were not optional. They are fulfillments of Hashem’s Commandments.

(2) Refers to Sefer Devarim, Perek 20, posuk 16 (Translation rendered by The Sapirstein Edition: Torah with Rashi’s Commentary):

“But from the cities of these peoples that Hashem… gives you as an inheritance, you shall not allow any person to live.”

The use of “When you will go out to war” implies a war initiated by Israel. (Rashi to Sotah 35b)

Sefer Devarim, Perek 20, posuk 17 follows the previous posuk by stating (translation rendered in the Artscroll Stone Chumash):

“Rather you should utterly destroy them: the Hittite, the Amorite, the Canaanite, the Perizzite, the Hivvite, and the Jebusite, as Hashem… has commanded you.”

So, to hearken back to Parshat Masei where “Hashem spoke to Moshe… by the Jordan, at Yericho” (Artscroll Stone Chumash, Sefer BaMidbar, Perek 33, posuk 50) telling him to speak to the B’nai Yisrael and tell them;

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

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

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

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

This author reasons that there are at least two points to be considered here.

Our modern-day sovereignty in Eretz Yisrael (Land of Israel) evolved from what we call the “war of independence” both in the run-up to statehood, in three subsequent major wars, hi-jacked planes and Arab terror attacks in-between and to this very day, the Munich Massacre, the Entebbe hi-jacking and rescue, indicates that we apparently are, or should be in a perpetual endeavor to fulfill Hashem’s Commanded war for the Land of Israel.

Bearing in mind that we ARE in a state of perpetual Divinely Mandated War, and while in our times, it seems not practical, not feasible nor “politically correct” to “not allow any person [of the enemy] to live”. There are peaceful, win-win alternatives in “driving out all of the inhabitants of the Land”, i.e. the concept of transfer: encouraging Arabs to either emigrate voluntarily and/or through providing compensation packages (arrow down to “E. Suggested Options for Individual Choice”) or, subject to vetting as to adherence to Israel’s laws and sovereignty — Israeli citizenship. Better to use future expenditures to defray compensation packages for Arabs seeking to emigrate rather than putting billions of USD$ in good money after bad in continuing a failed Olso process which props up a bogus terror-laden “PA.” But we allow these alien Arab/Islamic terrorists and terror-inclined to fester their hate and lust for Israel’s and Judaism’s destruction and eradication — “pins in our eyes and thorns in our sides.” The politicians, the media, the intellectual elites — the engrained Israeli swamp, in their self-disdain for what they are: Jews, view options such as the above as taboo.

Is it not high time for for us to fulfill Hashem’s intent of Israel, a state of the Jews, rather than a state of all its peoples? Only then will Israel win, Hashem Delivering Eretz Yisrael into our hands.

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, Israel.
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Parshat Shoftim 5777: Torah-True Righteousness of Judgement Applies to Police/Law Enforcement as to Judiciary

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Saturday, August 19th, 2017 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parshat HaShevua, Parshat Shoftim is sponsored by Dov and Bracha Moses of Ramat Beit Shemesh and dedicated for the aufruf this Shabbos of their son Amitai Yaakov and the upcoming chassuna of Amitai Yaakov to Yael Mayer. To the Moses family, many thanks for your sponsorship and for your continued kindnesses.

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

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

Best Regards,

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

Parshat Shoftim 5777: Torah-True Righteousness of Judgement Applies to Police/Law Enforcement as to Judiciary

by Moshe Burt

This author penned this Parshat HaShevua under the heavy cloud of recent “PA” terror attacks; at Har HaBayit (The Temple Mount) where two Israeli Druze policemen were murdered, and on the family in Halamish during their Shabbos dinner where three family members were brutally murdered.

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

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

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

But let’s return to our Parsha’s opening posuk:

“Judges and Officers shall you appoint in all of your cities — which Hashem… gives you — for your tribes…” (Translation rendered by The Artscroll Stone Chumash, Sefer Devarim, Perek 16, posuk 18)

What about those “officers of the court”?

The Artscroll Stone Chumash (page 1024) explains:

Officers of the court who… would circulate in the markets and streets to enforce standards of honesty and summon violators to the court for adjudication. (citing Rambam Hilchot Sanhedrin, and Ramban)

The Sapirstein Edition Chumash Sefer Devarim “The Torah: With Rashi’s Commentary (page 182) renders Rashi:

“Officers” who impose authority over the people following the order of [the Judges]; with stick and with strap…

In short, these explanations indicate application of righteousness of judgement to police, law enforcement. And the paradigm posuk of our Parshat: “Tzedek, Tzedek tierdof (Justice, Justice) shall you pursue” would seem to apply to law enforcement to at least the same extent as to Judges and Judicary.

Bearing the above in mind, Aharon Yaakov Greenberg, in his Sefer “Torah Gems” provides a jaw-dropping commentary citing Derashot El Ami: “Tzedek, Tzedek tierdof…”:

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

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

We observe the abovementioned fatal terror attack at Har HaBayit, with the resultant controversy and Israeli government equivocation under pressure caused by PA Arab protestations and rioting claiming “change in the status quo” concerning police installation of hi-tech metal detectors and surveillance cameras at the entrance of Har HaBayit. This so-called “change in the status quo” is used as a phony pretext for PA Arab violence, including the brutal terror slaughter of the three family members in Halamish as they sat eating their Shabbos dinner. The government succumbed to this pressure and removed the metal detectors and surveillance cameras in order to secure release by Jordanian authorities of a guard who was attacked by Arabs in the Israeli Embassy in Amman, Jordan.

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

Have we allowed the “law” to evolve into being the “law” by agenda (read leftist agenda) only, with those indoctrinated and agendized toward the socialist, leftist line — “a state of all its people”, etc. being basically above the “law”? Have we allowed the “law” and biased law enforcement to persecute those who cleave to Eretz Yisrael?

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

Can it be that the subverted or seduced city (Ir HaNidachas), which serves as the basis for the final Mishne of Perek Cheilik of Gemora Tractate Sanhedrin, relates to this and successive regimes, has a direct connection to the absence of “Tzedek, Tzedek tierdof…”:

That connection appears to be between subversion of the governed and the application of judgement and law enforcement based on subverted law, rather than Torah law.

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

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

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them 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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Parshat Re’eh 5777: The Imperative of Eradicating All Forms of Avodah Zora, Paganism From Eretz Yisrael and Striving for Closeness to Hashem

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Friday, August 11th, 2017 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parshat HaShevua, Parshat Re’eh is being co-sponsored by R’ Barak and Sarah Schecter of Ramat Beit Shemesh dedicated for a Refuah Shlaima for Yishaya Shalom ben Malka Gittel (Blass)and by an anonymous donor L’ilui Nishmas Devorah bat Yechiel Michel Of Blessed Memory. To both the Schecter family and our anonymous donor, many thanks for your sponsorship and for your continued kindnesses and good wishes.

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

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

Best Regards,

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

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

Parshat Re’eh 5777: The Imperative of Eradicating All Forms of Avodah Zora, Paganism From Eretz Yisrael and Striving for Closeness to Hashem

by Moshe Burt

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

About a third of the way into our Parsha, Torah teaches:

“[After] Hashem, your G’d, shall you follow and Him shall you fear; His commandments shall you observe and to His voice shall you hearken; Him shall you serve and to Him shall you cleave.” (As rendered to English n the Artscroll Stone Chumash, Sefer Devarim, Perek 13, posuk 5)

The Artscroll Stone Chumash (page 1008) provides this commentary on the above posuk:

“And to Him shall you cleave.” The only way a human being can cleave to Hashem is by emulating His ways.

Rabbi Zelig Pliskin, in his sefer “Growth Through Torah” (page 416) cites both The Chofetz Chayim and a story:

The first Hebrew word in this verse is “Acharei” which denotes a far distance. (Rashi)

…Regardless of how far a person feels he is from the Almighty, he should never give up hope. With all of his power he should strive to come closer to the Almighty. Therefore the Torah uses the term ["acharei"] which denotes distance. Even those who are at present far from the Almighty should seek Him and will find Him. Never allow any faults or transgressions to prevent you from coming closer to the Almighty. (Hachofetz Chayim, Vol. 3, page 1160)

Rabbi Chayim of Tzanz once said to an evildoer, “Don’t think that because you give in to your evil inclination in some areas, you therefore must do evil in all areas. Rather, in whatever ways you can, do good and overcome evil.” (Maigdolai Hachasidus Hoadmor Maitzanz)

It would seem to this author that both the imperative of eradicating all forms of avodah zora, and striving to connect to Hashem are connected and would relate to the political/ populous mindset, psyche of Israel in recent decades.

This author wonders, how much of the hate and loathing of Judaism and spirituality, as well as manifestations such as bogus “two-state solutions” and the like by secular Jews is an outward expression of subconscious feelings or perceptions that ones’ faults and transgressions are such that one is soo far from the ways of Hashem, as to feel beyond redemption, to have given up hope of ever achieving closeness to Hashem?

Back in Chuta L’Aretz, early into a Ba’al Teshuva journey, this author learned the significance of the Hebrew letter “ה” [Hei]. The space in the letter “Hei”, as distinguished from the letter “ח” [Chet] indicates that even if one sins, strays or is distant from Hashem, that space or opening in the letter “Hei” avails one, who has sinned or is distant, the ability, the opportunity to return, to renew and to come close to Hashem once again.

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. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.
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Parshat Eikev 5777: Eikev Mitzvot, Tefillot, “This Mitzvah” — Is It Shema or Shabbos?

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Saturday, August 5th, 2017 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

This week, our Parshat HaShevua, Parshat Eikev is being sponsored by Dov and Lauren Greenberg of Ramat Beit Shemesh dedicated in honor of their son Moshe Yitzchak’s birthday. To the Greenberg family, many thanks for your sponsorship and for your continued kindnesses and good wishes.

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

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

Best Regards,

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

Parshat Eikev 5777: Eikev Mitzvot, Tefillot, “This Mitzvah” — Is It Shema or Shabbos?

by Moshe Burt

Moshe continues his mussar speech to B’nei Yisrael in Parshat Eikev.

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

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

The Stone Chumash (Parshat Eikev pages 980-981) cites Rashi in explaining Eikev:

“you will hearken [listen]“ = eikev — the reward: in midrashic terms also means the “heel”, alludes to the sort of commandments that people may regard as relatively unimportant, so they tend figuratively to “tread on them with their heels.” Thus, the Torah assures Israel that if they are careful to observe even these neglected commandments, they can be certain that Hashem will reward them with His Covenant and Kindness.

Stated another way, this means being attentive to the little Mitzvot; the details, the Mitzvot that one tends to overlook, to ignore, to tread one’s heels on in life’s mad dash, but without which the Jewish people would lack the merit which sets us apart from common man. The little mitzvot are the small details, the ones epitomized by V’Ahavtah L’re’echa Komocha — caring for, and attentiveness to your fellow Jew as for yourself.

Shem Mishmuel seems to express Eikev as three means of observance: listening, guarding and doing the mishpatim (the laws). In turn, he equates listening with intellect, guarding with life’s emotions — with one’s heart, and doing with the bodily and physical performance of the Mitzvot. (ibid, Sefer Shem Mishmuel, page 386)

Rabbi Mordechai Katz, in his sefer “L’lmod U’lamed” cites expression of these three means of observance in a contemporary story during the Sho’a (Sefer “L’lmod U’lamed”, pages 165-166):

The ultimate test of one’s love of Hashem comes when forced to die for his loyalty to the Almighty. One of the many Jews who passed the test… the Radiziner Rav… [a] Tzaddik was a Jewish leader when the Nazis began their murderous rampage throughout Europe. As the butchers approached, the Radiziner Rav began planning an escape for fellow townfolk. Word of the plan leaked out… and the Rebbe was forced to flee. The Gestapo arrived in the town and demanded his return. The laid down an ultimatum: either the Radiziner came forward, or the entire town… would be killed instead.

When the town’s Gabbai heard of this, he donned his white Kittel and his Tallit, and presented himself to the Germans. The Gestapo seized him and killed him instantly, believing him to be the Rebbe. He had sacrificed his own life to save his leader.

However, the Germans were soon informed of the trick. Their anger grew, and they delivered their final set of conditions: either the Rebbe emerged from hiding within two hours, or the people of the town would be taken out one by one and shot.

The moment the Rebbe heard of this, he knew what he had to do. He left his refuge and declared, “I am the Radiziner. I am more than prepared to die in place of my fellow Jews, and to die in the service of Hashem.”

The remorseless Nazis dragged him in front of the town and murdered him on the spot. Before the final shots rang out, though, the Rabbe managed to cry out to… townfolk: “Do not surrender to these murderers! Resist! Remain loyal to Hashem! Shema Yisroel, Hashem Kelokeinu Hashem Echad! (Hear O Israel! Hashem is or L-ord!, Hashem is One!)”

With that said, these three means of observance relate to our Tefillot, intellectualizing it, taking our tefillot to heart, and physically manifesting our tefillot by our actions and Mitzvot.

This author equates the Eikev mitzvot with concentration and intent during tefillot, including Aleinu: the most oft-repeated, unchangeable prayer of all — the prayer which some scholars have understood may be the culmination of all tefillot which preceded it.

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

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

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

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

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

The primary function of reciting Shema is to accept upon oneself the yoke of the Kingdom of Heaven….

Rabbi Levi, who claimed that the Mitzvah is reciting the Shema, believed that the most fundamental aim of… Torah… was for man to connect himself to Hashem.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A distorted sense of “acting for the sake of Shemayim” by way of “…a novel, misleading ideology, that evil must be tolerated by incorporating it into the Camp of Israel…” (Studies in the Weekly Parsha, by Yehuda Nachshoni, Parsha Balak, page 1115.)

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them 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, an Oleh, is a commentator on news and events in Israel and Founder and Director of The Sefer Torah Recycling Network. He lives in Ramat Beit Shemesh.
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Parshat Va’etchanan 5777: Consolation? Maintaining Hope and Persistence After Amona and Twelve Years After Gush Katif Expulsion and Governmental Deceptions?

Filed under: Commentary & Human Interest on Friday, July 28th, 2017 by moshe | Comments Off


Shalom Friends;

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

You can celebrate a Simcha — a birth, a Bar/Bat Mitzvah, a Chassuna or other Simcha event in your life, or commemorate the 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 Va’etchanan 5777: Consolation? Maintaining Hope and Persistence After Amona and Twelve Years After Gush Katif Expulsion and Governmental Deceptions?

by Moshe Burt

The Haftorah for our Parsha begins:

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

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

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

(Note: When referring to the Gush Katif Expulsion, this author includes as well, those evicted from the four towns in the Shomron at the same time.)

Twelve years later, the disbelief and the hurt continues to be too fresh, too raw, too festering, too agonizing for those of us who acted on behalf of our Gush Katif brethren. And the pain of the past three years of the ongoing Islamic Terrorism War on Us on OUR Land — the Talmudei Chachamim murdered in the Shul in Har Nof, the young teenage girl bludgeoned as she slept in her bed in Kiryat Arba, the overturned auto of the Rabbi who was murdered and the Rebbetzin seriously injured on an Erev Shabbos on a road in Har Hevron, the Father and brothers murdered on an Erev Shabbos enroute to a venue for an Aufruf and more are all yet too freshly raw and festering, as a bellicose rhetoric by a government of equivocating and self-interested secular or so-called “religious” politicos amounts to nothing. Meanwhile, a soldier is prosecuted, persecuted, imprisoned to making sure that an fatally injured terrorist, who killed another soldier, was in fact dead.

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

R’ Zelig Pliskin, in his sefer “Growth Through Torah” (page 390), renders translation of Sefer Devarim, Perek 3, posuk 25, Moshe’s prayer to Hashem, and comments citing Ibn Ezra:

“Allow me please to go to the other side and I will see the good Land which is on the other side of the Jordan, this good mountain and the Levonon.” (Sefer Devarim, Perek 3, posuk 25)

Ibn Ezra (verse 24) writes: The purpose of this section of Torah is to enable us to cherish The Land of Israel.

If the Land of Israel will be dear to us, we will observe the Almighty’s commandments to prevent our being exiled from it.

….Failure to keep the Torah’s commandments in Eretz Yisrael implies a lack of love for the land.

R’ Pliskin also notes (“Growth Through Torah”, page 389) citing Rabbi Yeruchem Levovitz (Daas Torah: Breish’t, page 187):

…The numerical value of… Va’etchanan… amounts to 515. Moshe prayed to the Almighty, say the Sages, as many prayers as the numeric value of Va’etchanan. So strong was Moshe’s desire to enter the Holy Land.

The principle we see is that the way to elevation is persistence and stubbornness. In spiritual matters one needs to adopt the attitude, “I don’t care about anything else. This is matter is crucial and I’ll keep trying and trying.”

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

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

Later in our Parsha, Moshe Rabbeinu provides further explanation of the laws concerning the Cities of Refuge (Irei Miklat), first enunciated in parshat Masei (Sefer Bamidbar, Perek 35).

Shem Mishmuel (by R’ Shmuel Bornstein, as translated R’ Zvi Belovski, pages 380-382) indicates that the laws regarding Cities of Refuge connect with Moshe Rabbeinu’s recitation of “the decrees and… the ordinances” to express that there is hope and consolation even for the accidental murderer who has lost his life force and must stay in a City of Refuge to avoid the deceased’s avenger.

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

Shem Mishmuel notes:

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

And after the destruction of the First and Second Beit HaMikdash, the starving, the famine, the persecutions, the expulsions and inquisitions, the Sho’a: there was comfort and consolation that one day, the B’nai Yisrael would be redeemed and returned to our former state; a people in it’s land with it’s Beit HaMikdash for all time.

But it would seem that this comfort, hope and consolation would have had to be an evolution as Jewish life, in whatever venue that they resided, in whatever generation, eventually stabilized.

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

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

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

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

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

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

We must ask ourselves: Why are the gedolim taken? If Hashem wants to teach us… and not hurt us, then leave the Gedolim. We need them to lead us, to teach us. Michtav Eliyahu says that’s exactly the reason:

People do mitzvot by rote, approaching Torah superficially, without seeing the holiness of Torah and life. They rely on the Gedolim to think and feel for them. …to get a bracha from [them]…. So Hashem takes the Godol, and then we no longer have anyone to do it for us. We are forced to think for ourselves. Then there’s hope that we can be cured. You have to learn from the Godol how to be a godol yourself.

The greatness of a Godol is that he’s flesh and blood. Where are the places… we go to remember them?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May we, the B’nei Yisrael be zocha that our brethren — the refugee families from Gush Katif be permanently settled and be made totally whole — be totally restituted for all that was stolen from them 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, 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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