Thursday, October 27, 2016

Europe on War Footing

Europe on war-footing: Britain sends tanks, drones and 800 troops to Estonia as part of the biggest military build-up on Russia's borders since the Cold War - as Putin practises for nuclear war with test launch of a new missile.

  • Britain is preparing to send up to 800 troops to Estonia in the spring. 
  • Drones and Challenger 2 tanks to be sent for 'reassurance and deterrence'
  • Comes as Russia completed nuclear drills for 40 million of its citizens 
  • NATO wants allies to contribute to its biggest military build-up on Russia's borders since the Cold War 

Continue reading at Daily Mail

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

''Russia is Preparing for Nuclear War''

Across Russia, forty million civilians and military personnel just finished up emergency drills aimed at preparing the general population for nuclear or chemical weapons attacks, the Wall Street Journal’s Thomas Grove reports.

Video shows Russian civilians practicing along with officials and workers in Hazmat suits.

Read more at Business Insider

Garments of Leather

by Rabbi David Pinto Shlita

It is written “Hashem made for Adam and his wife garments of skin, and He clothed them” [Bereishit 3:21]

Why did G-d choose garments of skin to clothe Adam and his wife?

The author of Tzafnat Pa’aneach offers us a subtle explanation: When Adam discovered that he was naked and needed to be clothed, he was in a situation that required him to recite the Shecheyanu blessing, for he would be wearing a new garment. However the Halachah forbids a person from reciting a blessing if he is naked.

Adam was therefore faced with a dilemma: Should he recite a blessing for his first garment, and if so, how should he say it?

Hence the verse states, “Hashem G-d made for Adam and his wife garments of skin, and He clothed them.” It specifically mentions garments of skin because Shecheyanu is not recited over leather garments, since “His mercy extends to all His creatures” [Tehillim 145:9]. By fashioning garments of skin for Adam while he was still naked, Hashem exempted him from having to recite Shecheyanu.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Torah Codes: ''Trump Will Be Elected''

Here are some new codes from Rabbi Glazerson which show that Donald Trump will be elected President.

Of course we have also seen codes that say President Hillary.

And we know that the name of Donald Trump has the same gematria as ''Moshiach ben David'' and we know that the name Hillary Rodham Clinton has an extremely unique gematria equalling the phrase ''a time of terrible distress'' which may well hint to her time as leader of America.

And we also have the widespread conspiracy theory that there will be no elections at all.

Anyway, here is the video of the latest Trump Codes.

Why does the Diaspora still keep Two Days of YomTov?

Question of the Week from Rabbi Aron Moss

Why on earth do we still keep two days of Yomtov outside of Israel? I know the history: in ancient times people didn't have calendars on their phones, because the calendar was not set in advance, but rather month by month. When witnesses saw the new moon they reported it to the rabbis in the Temple, and the rabbis would declare that a new month had begun. It would take a couple of weeks for the message to reach outlying communities, so they could never be sure of the correct date to celebrate the festivals. So the diaspora communities kept two days to be on the safe side.

That made sense back then, but for heavens sake, we have calendars today! Why do we still keep two days in the diaspora for every festival that is one day in Israel?

For me, this is one of the most ridiculous laws. It's like the World Jewish Council of Rabbis can't be bothered to overturn it or discuss it. Or perhaps they fear a backlash from Jewish bakers, butchers and grocers around the world who like having more Jewish festivals with more meals....

Can't we update this one already?


I remember I had a teacher who had little patience. If a student missed out on what he said, he got furious and thundered, "Why can't you listen the first time? I will not repeat myself."

This is not fair. Not everyone can grasp an idea all at once. There are some gifted individuals who are sharp enough to get it the first time. But many of us need to hear something twice before it sinks in. a good teacher should no this.

G-d is the greatest teacher, and time itself is His classroom. Every festival in the Jewish calendar is like a lesson G-d teaches to the world. On Pesach we learn about freedom, and G-d beams a light of freedom into the world. On Sukkos we study the meaning of true happiness, and G-d sends the gift of joy into our hearts. Each festival and its observances are the way we receive the lesson, the light and wisdom of the day.

When you live in the Holy Land, its very air makes you wise, it opens you up to spiritual wisdom. Like a gifted student, you get the lesson the first time. You need only celebrate one day of each festival, and its message hits home straight away.

In the diaspora, we just don't get it so fast. We need more time for the lesson to sink in, as the air here is not as spiritually refined as Israel air. And so we are given a second day, another chance to fully absorb the power of the festival and for the message to hit home.

Our sages prophesied that one day in the future, the holiness of Israel will cover the entire earth, and then we will all get it the first time. Until then, we in the diaspora can enjoy the extended holiness of an extra day.

Make sense? If not I am happy to repeat it...

Source: Likkutei Torah Shmini Atzeres 92c

Friday, October 21, 2016

Russians Mobilizing.....

On the yarzheit of the Vilna Gaon........

''When the Russians mobilize their fleet towards Jerusalem - GET READY FOR MASHIACH!!'' - Vilna Gaon

Quoting Rabbi Alon Anava : 

Rabbi Dov Eliach the author of the book 'Hagaon' [Chapter 2 page 765/60] says that the students of the Rebbe from Brisk confirm the Vilna Gaon said it. Also Rabbi Aryeh Levin confirmed he heard directly from Rabbi Chaim Berlin who heard it directly from Rabbi Yitzchak Itzkovitch of Volozhin who heard it directly from the Vilna Gaon.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

19 Tishrei - Yahrzeit - Vilna Gaon

Tonight and Friday is 19 Tishrei, the 219th anniversary of the passing of the Vilna Gaon.

Painting of the Vilna Gaon from Yesodei Hatorah School corridor wall

Rabbi Eliyahu of Vilna - The Vilna Gaon - Leader of Lithuanian Jewry, Torah scholar and kabbalist. Born: Vilna, Lithuania, 1720 Died: 19 Tishrei Vilna, Lithuania,1797

Popularly referred to as the Vilna Gaon, the Gra (initials of Gaon Rabbi Eliyahu), or simply as the Gaon. Considered to be the greatest Torah scholar of the past two centuries.

Even as a child Eliyahu of Vilna amazed the congregation when, at the age of 7, he delivered a learned discourse in the Great Synagogue in Vilna. By 10 years of age he had surpassed all his teachers, and, studying by himself with total concentration, he acquired knowledge of the vastness of Torah in both its revealed and mystical aspects. Every minute of his life was devoted to Torah study. He never slept more than two hours in a 24-hour period; he never accepted any rabbinic post or leadership of a yeshivah. He taught few disciples, selected from the foremost Torah scholars of his time. He also mastered astronomy, mathematics and music.

Known for fierce opposition to Chassidut, which was initiated in 1736 by the Baal Shem Tov, he and his followers in this anti-Chassidic Movement were known as "Mitnagdim," or opponents. Their opposition was based on the beliefs, vigorously denied by Chassidic leaders, that Chassidut took liberties with the Oral Law, that it substituted emotion for intellect in the Study of Torah, that its form of prayer departed too far from the traditional form of prayer, etc.

The Vilna Gaon cleared a new path to Talmud study, focusing on gaining a clear understanding through keen analysis of the principals and approaches of the early authorities. His methodology stood in sharp contrast to the pilpul system of the Polish yeshivahs, an intricate system of creating a complex framework with which a series of questions would be answered. He toiled hard on emending the the talmudic and midrashic texts. Subsequent discoveries of ancient manuscripts confirmed the soundness of his corrections, which appear in the Vilna edition of the Talmud [Haga'ot Hagra].

His works which were recorded and published by his disciples, include Aderet Eliyahu, a commentary on the Torah; a commentary on Ecclesiastes; Shenot Eliyahu, a commentary on the Mishna, Order of Zeraim; Biur Hagra, a commentary on Shulchan Aruch; a commentary on Sefer Yetzirah, a kabbalistic work; and many other works.

His commentary on the Torah is filled with interesting allusions that show the oneness of the Written Torah and the Oral Law, demonstrating their common source in Divine revelation.

The Vilna Gaon was revered in Vilna and throughout the world for his phenomental knowledge and saintly character. One of his most outstanding disciples was Rabbi Chaim of Volozhin, the founder of the yeshivah of Volozhin. Following the Gaon's approach to learning, this institution spread Torah for more than a 100 years. Today most yeshivas follow the study pattern of Volozhin, keeping alive the approach to Torah pioneered by the great Vilna Gaon.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Here Come The SuperMoons

The October full moon kicks off the first of three supermoons happening in late 2016 - [but whether it will be red or not is anyone's guess these days]

Sky-watchers are gearing up for a super-sized moon that will grace evening skies this Sunday, October 16. The so-called hunter’s supermoon kicks off a lunar triple play happening over the next three months.

The full moon on the 16th will appear 16 percent larger than average and nearly 30 percent larger than the year’s smallest full moon, which we saw back in April.

The full moons of November and December will also be supermoons. Next month’s supermoon promises to be the most impressive, as it will be the largest full moon visible in our skies so far this century.

More at National Geographic

The Sukkah and The Heavenly Hug

Wishing everyone a Chag Sameach !

Adapted from the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s teachings by Rabbi Y. Y. Jacobson

The Sukkah hut is frail and vulnerable, but its walls have basic specifications: They must be two full walls, plus a third wall of only 3.5 inches, measured in Hebrew as a ‘Tefach’ handbreadth. It’s okay to have 3 or 4 full walls; but the minimum is two plus a tiny bit of a third.

What is the spiritual significance of this tiny third handbreadth-size wall?

Anatomy of an Embrace
Two great Jewish thinkers, Rabbi Isaac Luria and Rabbi Schnuer Zalman of Liadi, turn our attention to the affectionate words uttered by the Bride in the Song of Songs: "His left arm is under my head, and His right arm embraces me."

These metaphors address two distinct moments in the relationship between G-d, the Groom, and His people, the Bride. During the Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur "days of awe," G-d's "left arm," as it were, is under the head of Israel. The left side represents introspection, strict discipline and awe.

Sukkos, on the other hand, is "the time of our joy," when “G-d's right arm embraces me."

Our arm is divided into 3 sections. The first is the arm itself, from the shoulder to the elbow; the second is the forearm, from the elbow to the wrist; and the third is from the wrist to the fingertips.

Our Sukkah walls represent the "right arm's embrace." The first full wall represents a Divine embrace from the "shoulder" to the "elbow;" the second wall reflects the "forearm," and the third tiny wall symbolizes the palm’s embrace.

Expressions of Love
There are three ways of expressing love.

The first is words. "I love you," when uttered sincerely, has impact. A second, more powerful expression of love is a kiss. A genuine kiss expresses a deep intense feeling that may not be grasped in words. Words can state, "I love you," while a kiss declares, "I love you more then I will ever be able to tell you."

An embrace is a third expression of love.

Dissecting the Hug
Which form of love do children cherish most?

Children enjoy being spoken to. They certainly take pleasure from being kissed. Yet, most children, especially infants, cherish being hugged. When our children hurt themselves or break something, they cry and come running to their parents for a hug to calm them down and to restore their confidence.

Two significant features set apart an embrace from the other "love communicators."

Affection is directed primarily toward the face of the beloved. You speak to one's face, kiss one's cheeks or lips, or gaze at one's eyes. An embrace involves the nape and back of the one being embraced.

Another feature that distinguishes an embrace is the firm physical bond of a hug. When I utter words of love, even when I kiss, I am not holding on to you. But when I embrace you, even if you wish to escape my embrace, you are "trapped" in my gripping hug; I don't let you tear yourself away from me.

Two forms of love
There is reciprocal love and unconditional love. The first is directed to the face of the beloved one; the second is directed to the back of the beloved.

I may love you because of what I receive in return for my relationship. You may be wise, deep, sensitive, kind, beautiful, humorous, challenging etc. - qualities expressed through your face, eyes, ears and mouth - and I love you because of these or other qualities that enrich my life.

This type of love is communicated in words of affection, or in a kiss, directed toward the face of the beloved, the primary location of reciprocity. Expressing my attachment in these forms shows that I cherish you because of your qualities.

This love may be deep and can bestow blessings and fulfillment. Yet it is conditional on reciprocity. As long as you are here for me, I am here for you. In essence, I love you because I love myself, and you make my "self" so much deeper and happier.

Yet there is a deeper love of an embrace, in which my arms encircle your backside. The hug represents an unconditional, unqualified and absolute love. It is not about your face, it is about your back, an area lacking meaningful reciprocity. I don't love you because of me; I love you because of you. You may not give me anything in return for my love, you may even want me out of your life, but I still love you with all my heart.

Do you embrace your children?
That’s why children need their parents to embrace them.

When children get hurt or break something, they are searching for affirmation that their validity was not compromised. They are yearning to hear that their value does not depend on them being perfect and impeccable, but that their dignity is absolute. "Show me," asks the child, "that you love me unconditionally because of who I am and not because of what I achieve."

When a child cries because their finger is bleeding, and you simply place a band aid on the wound and go away, you may have forfeited the opportunity to teach your child the most important lesson: Your dignity stems from your very being. Even when you will fall in life and bleed badly, your very being and identity is indispensable.

We also relate to G-d on these two levels.

All year around, G-d's light relates to us as a result of the choices we make. The more we rise to the higher truth, the more we hear G-d’s silent voice resonating in our souls.

Throughout the year, we experience G-d's presence only through our efforts and toil to refine our behavior. When we meditate, pray, reflect, study and live morally and holy, we catch a glimpse of G-d's love toward us. When I work against my immoral temptations and cravings, I can at times sense a reciprocal kiss from G-d.

Throughout the year, we enjoy a reciprocal relationship with G-d. G-d might talk to you, He may even kiss you or gaze at you, but You must show Him your face. If you don't turn your back on Him, He will be there for you.

But during Sukkot, G-d shares His love unconditionally and embraces us.

We eat, drink, chat, and relax in a Sukkah- all mundane activities with little spirituality. Yet when performed in the Sukkah, these acts are a Mitzvah, a medium through which we relate to Him.

The Sukkah walls are saying: I love and cherish you not because of what you do for me or because of what I gain from you. I am attached to you not because of your spiritual sophistication or because of your noble pursuits. I love you because I love you. I am one with you as you are. I am in love with your very core.

So for a real good hug, spend time in a Sukkah.

Sustaining the Embrace
Each Jewish holiday leaves us with a special energy that affects the entire year. This Divine “hug” even while we are in a physical mode, empowers and inspires us to transform our physical and mundane endeavors throughout the year into tools through which to bring Divine light into the world.


So what do you think?  Trump or Hillary?  Or will there be no election at all?

The following Wikileaks were received via email from AK, giving credence to the theory held by many that there will be a war instead of an election.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

New Kessin Video

Due to the arrival of a new baby in the family my blogging will be intermittent for a while.  [No I did not have a baby but someone very close to me did].  

Here is the latest video from Rabbi Mendel Kessin, recorded at the Ra'anana Kollel erev Yom Kippur. I have not heard the whole thing, and most of it we have already heard before, but for those people who had trouble understanding some of the concepts, he does go into more detail here.

This shiur focuses on the world and how we got to this point: with two meshuggenas running for President.  Trump vs Hillary and Hashem's Plan.

I would like to wish you all a chag sameach for Succot, and as I will be busy helping the new mother, I will not be able to update regularly until after the Chag.    Chag Sameach !   Moshiach Now !