Monday, October 7, 2013

Light Up he Word

The word "teiva"  means not only Noah''s ark but also means "word". The Baal Shem Tov said tzohar la teiva mean that we must light up the word with prayers and torah learning.Every letter contains worlds of spiritual and divine content and when they come together they create new spiritual worlds. This is the tzohar (light) lateiva (word). Then a person can rejoice in the new  entities that he has created

                                                                                                           Baal Shem Tov, Amud HaTefilla,

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Obligation of Living in Israel

                                           Based on shiur given by HRHG Shmuel  Eliyahu
In many passages in the Torah the land of Israel is related to in three ways.
1-The fulfillment of the covenant between Hashem  and the patriarchs..
2-The commandment to obey the mitzvot when you come to possess the land
3-The commandment to conquer the land and settle it
 There is a commandment to conquer the land and to conquer its inhabitants..
Dev.1:5See I have set before you the Land, the Land which was sworn by Hashem to your fathers,....
Baidbar 33:51-And you will disposess all the inhabitants thereof.

On this commandment the RMBN wrote(lacunae to Sefer Ha mitzvot laRMBM 5)
"We are commanded to possess(inherit)  the Land....not to leave it to anyone else or a wasteland as it  is written "possess the Land and settle it for I have given it to you as an inheritance.

The commandment of  conquest and settlement and the promise of the land are one and the  same.While there can be some interpretation of the individual passages, taken together the promise and the commandment are clear.

The obligation of settling the Land of Israel is also clear in Halacha.
The source is the Mishna
which states Ketubot 13-11 "all are brought up(to Israel) and none are taken away and why? Elsewhere the Gemarra states that he who dwells outside of Israeli is as if he 
has no G-d.Both the RIF and the ROSH Write this in the halacha.
The RMBM paskens in Hil. Melachim3,4That one should always live in Eretz Yisrael even in a city of mostly Gentiles.Because he who goes abroad is  likened to an idolater
The ShulchanAruch (Even HaEzer 75-3,4)rules according to the RMBM..The Pitchei Tshuva explains that the RMBN  counted this mitzvah as a positive Torah commandment which according to the Sifri is worth all of the  mitzvot together.RMBM doesn't disagree, but  since the mitzvah is so all encompassing he did  
 notlist it seperately.

Here I rest my case.A simple one really no chiddushim. If Shabbat is important to you or tefillin or tzizit,or any of the mitzvot,then Aliya and living in Israel should be just as important


Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Tzohar Shoah and Geulah

Based on a sicha given by Rav Uri Sherky

How can we begin to understand the national catastrophe perpetrated on our people by the Nazis and their collaborators YmSh ? First of all we must understand that this was not the first Shoah in Jewish history. That took place in Pharo's Egypt where Hebrew children were thrown into the Nile and according to one peirush only20% of the Hebrews left Egypt in the Exodus while 80% were annihilated. Another Shoah was planned and almost carried out by Haman averted only by the mesirut nefesh of Esther and Mordechai and the Jews who defended their communities in Shushan and throughout the Persian Empire

What do we learn from this? Whenever Galut precedes Geulah there is an intermediate time which is the time of Amalek The Ramchal put it this way-During the Galut the divine light comes to Israel through a Tzohar, a narrow aperture or window.In the time of Geula, the gates of redemption are open tolGeulah in the divine light. But in the cusp between Galut and Geulah there is a time when darkness reigns and Amalek rules.

This happened in the Exodus from Egypt before the conquest of Yehoshuah. And again in the time of Haman  between the Babylonian Exile and the return to Zion and the second Temple.

And lastly at the end of Galut Edom and before the Geulah of the State of IsraelsThis perspective might help us understand-But in the end the Shoah is beyond understanding.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

God Bless America

We recenly returned from a short trip to the US to visit my parents who live in an assisted living community in Pennsylvania and especially to be with Risa's mother who is housebound and lives alone in her home in the  neighborhood of  Hilcrest  in Queens NY.

As always when I visit the US i am frustrated by seeing the affluent self satisfied .Jewish community which is completely indifferent  to the idea of Aliyah to Israel This community is exemplified by the Young Israel Synagogue of Hillcrest located not far from my Mother-inLaw's home. It is a big Modern Orthodox "shule" that has four active minyanim, three daf yomi shiurim, a young charismatic Rabbi (who gave a nice Pro Israel drasha on Shabbat.In short they seem to have everything. And yet I felt like getting up and shouting Jews WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE??  Can it really be that these religious comitted Jews are content to sit on the sidelines and watch as the divine march of Redemption continues in Eretz Yisrael? (see my post in Hebrew from two years ago "The golden Galut")

Speaking of sidelines, I happened to be in America during "Super Bowl Week" and Super Bowl  Sunday, a festival where the entire country is caught up in the ultimate violent sport-American Football. Ironically before the game a choir made up of children from the school in Conneticut that was the place of the massacre of over twenty children a few weeks ago. They sung GD Bless America. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. An interesting phenomena was that instead of the bawdy halftime show, Yeshiva University put up a special program on You Tube telling us about Yiddishkeit and football. Team play, Rambam praising physical fitness yadda yadda yadda. Really strange.

So GD bless America, far far away from us.