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Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Dvar Torah for Ki Teitzei

"A woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment; for whosoever doeth these things is an abomination unto the LORD thy God" (Deuteronomy 22:5)
The prohibition seems somewhat unusual, not related to what is written before it or what follows. The Lubavitcher Rebbe gives us a novel insight into this verse, as he explains the folly of the Women's Liberation Movement, and how a Torah true house should function:

Jonathan Miller: Journalist?

Well, it sure seems that Jonathan Miller cannot be trusted to report the news objectively:

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Good Old Jews Use Blood in Their Matzahs Libel

This time from a former minister in the Jordanian government, Sheik Bassam Ammoush:

I would like to point out that the Arabic word for blood is the same as the Hebrew one, dam. Also, the word in Arabic for Matzah is FaTir, which is linguistically related to the Aramaic word, PaTira. You can see this in Targum Onkelos on the Torah portion Bo.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Mitzvah of Settling in the Land of Israel

The Holy One. blessed be He, tested our father Abraham:
Now the LORD said unto Abram: 'Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto the land that I will show thee.
It is not easy to venture out of one's comfort zone. Certainly leaving one's country is not a simple matter. However, God promissed him that this move was for his benefit, as Rashi explains:
Get thee out, lit. go to you, for your benefit and for your good, and there I will make you into a great nation, but here, you will not merit to have children. Moreover, I will make your character known in the world.
Our father Abraham, who believed in God and feared God, did as he was told.

If one wishes to make Aliyah, to fulfill the mitzvah of settling in the land of Israel, he should not do so for the hope of gaining any material benefit. He should do it simply for the love of the mitzvah, the love of fulfilling God's Will. By doing thusly he is really actualizing his own purpose for being in This World. If one's fulfillment the mitzvah of living in the land of were to be dependent on something external, for instance if one comes to live here because he was offered an exciting job, he is standing on shaky ground. For if the job were not to materialize, or if he were to be fired from it, he would probably catch the next plane back to the Diaspora. This is similar to what is written in the Mishnah:

Any love that is dependent on something--when the thing ceases, the love also ceases. But a love that is not dependent on anything never ceases. What is [an example of] a love that is dependent on something? The love of Amnon for Tamar. And one that is not dependent on anything? The love of David and Jonathan.
Our love for the land of Israel and all of the other commandments in the Torah must be like the love of David and Jonathan. The fact that the economy is healthy, and that the land is giving forth its fruit in abundance is heartening but it is in no way our reason for being here.

King David wrote:

Thou wilt arise, and have compassion upon Zion; for it is time to be gracious unto her, for the appointed time is come. For Thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and love her dust.
That means that "Jerusalem will not be built unless the Children of Israel desire her in the utmost way until they take pleasure in her stones, and love her dust." (The Kuzari).

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Plague of Intermarriage Strikes Again, God Forbid!

This invitation was posted on Facebook by the Lehava organization, whose purpose is to prevent assimilation in the land of Israel:

For those of you who do not understand Hebrew, the invitation is to the "wedding" of a Jewish Israeli girl named Moral to an Arab named Mahmud. If I am not mistaken the girl converted to Islam.

The girl's father strongly opposes the wedding, as can be seen here. Lehava has promissed to protest the wedding, which God forbid will take place at Shemesh Adumah (Red Sun) Hall in Rishon LeTzion on Sunday at 7:30 PM. Youth from the radical left Meretz party also promissed to be there to "protect" the couple from the protesters. Leftist activists also succeeded in having Lehava's Facebook page removed.

Here's a report from Tzinor Laila:

Monday, August 04, 2014

Pre 9th of Av Thoughts

I just got over reviewing the laws of the 9th of Av with my family, and in the little bit of time until we start the se'udah hamafseket I thought that I would jot down a few thoughts here.

Unless a miracle happens, we will once again be mourning the destruction of the Temple. I saw on a calendar this morning that it is 1946 years since the Temple was destroyed. The more one learns Torah, the more one realizes the depth of this tragedy. This is a wound that the passage of time does not heal.

The truth is, we mourn its destruction on a daily basis, explicitly mentioning it many times every day. We end all of our prayers with the request that God will rebuild the Temple speedily in our days. We also remember the Temple in other ways, for instance leaving a square cubit of our homes unpainted. It is always in our head and heart.

Even so, we do not live our lives in a state of depression. A healthy Jew is an optimist, always looking at the half of the glass that is full of water. I once read how Rabbi Chana Porat, who was seriously wounded in the Yom Kippur War, thought that he had lost one of his arms. At that time, he was busy thinking how grateful he was to God for the one arm that remained.

But the 9th of Av is different. The entire day is devoted to remembering the destruction of the Temple and other tragedies that have befallen our nation. We take a serious look at the half cup of water that is empty.

There is hope. With the current war and all of its horrors, we were witness to a tremendous display of Jewish unity here in Israel. To paraphrase Rabbi Kook, if the Temple was destroyed because of senseless hatred, it will be built through unbounded love. Please God, have mercy on Zion for the time has come.

That's all in the meantime. It's time to go and dine on bread and a hard boiled egg dipped in ashes. Our sages said that those who mourn for Jerusalem will merit to rejoice in its rebuilding. May it be in our days.

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