Wednesday, February 21, 2018

What Happens to my Soul after I Die ?

This is part of The Zohar series, from Rabbi Alon Anava.  To see previous lectures in this series, go to Rabbi Anava's You Tube page.

''There are four levels to a man, do you know which one you are?''

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Indonesian Volcano Turns Day Into Night

Mt Sinabung in Indonesia has had a mega-eruption, terrifying the locals and turning day into night.

Mount Sinabung erupts, sending pyroclastic flows and searing gases down its slopes

Running Man

Chabad Rabbi asks this running man if he would like to put on Tefillin....

Man:  I don’t have time.

Rabbi: If I run with you will that work?

Monday, February 19, 2018

Do Gentiles have Any Role At All in the Messianic Age?

Rabbi Tovia Singer Reveals End Time Prophecy

The Secret of Haman and Achashveiros

Pre-Purim lecture: Rabbi Alon Anava

Everything in this world has a spiritual source including evil. Haman and Achashverosh have a secret power that suck our energy. How can I recognise Haman and Achashverosh in my life?

I found this lesson extremely interesting, highly recommended.

The Three Keys

"Engrave on it with signet-ring [type] engraving: "Holy to Hashem"
  פִּתּוּחֵי חֹתָם קֹדֶשׁ לַי־הֹוָ־ה 
[Tetzaveh 28:36]

In Maseches Ta'anis (2a) R' Yochanan states that there are three maftechos, three keys, in Hashem's possession that He never entrusts to others:
  • the key to childbirth
  • the key to rain
  • and the key to resuscitating the dead

The Gemara derived this from three verses:

Hashem does not entrust the key to childbirth to a messenger, as the verse states: "G-d remembered Rachel; G-d hearkened to her and He opened (vayiftach) her womb" [Bereishis 30:22]

Hashem does not entrust the key of rain to a messenger, as the verse states: "Hashem shall open for you His storehouse of goodness, the heavens, to provide rain for your Land in its time" [Devarim 28:12]

And Hashem does not entrust the key of resuscitating the dead to a messenger, as the verse states: "Then you will know that I am Hashem, when I open your graves" [Yechezkel 37:13]

These three keys, remarked the Vilna Gaon, are alluded to in the verse: "Pituchei chosam kodesh laHashem" - פִּתּוּחֵי חֹתָם קֹדֶשׁ לַי־הֹוָ־ה -

The acronym of the word  חֹתָם [Ches, taf, mem] which means "seal" hints to the following words:

Ches - Chayah [a woman who has recently given birth]
Taf - Techiyas HaMeisim [the resuscitation of the dead]
Mem - Matar [rain]

The verse can therefore be read as follows:  "The keys of [pituchei] childbirth, resuscitation of the dead, and rain - ChoTaM - are designated for Hashem's use only ["kodesh laHashem"].

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein

Friday, February 16, 2018

5778 and the End of Time

The article I am linking to here starts off as an easy read, but then gets a little more complicated and deeper into Kabbalah.  Some people will not understand the Kabbalah, but will get the general idea anyway

When we overlay the spiritual maps of the Torah and the Zohar and overlay these with the spiraling and encircling mathematical constants that bridge the spiritual with the physical, and overlay that with the physical clock-like mechanism of our Solar System, a purposeful design emerges. This design is clearly built around the 5778-year time frame, but why? The simple answer is that at the end of 5778 years, Man always gives up its free choice and thus has no more need of time.

G-d Vs AI, a 5778 Year Old Race

Someone Else

[From what I can gather, the original author of this is Michael J. Nadel]

In Crown Heights, there was a Jew, Yankel, who owned a bakery. He survived the camps. He once said, “You know why it is that I’m alive today?

I was a kid, just a teenager at the time. We were on the train, in a boxcar, being taken to Auschwitz. Night came and it was freezing, deathly cold, in that boxcar. The Germans would leave the cars on the side of the tracks overnight, sometimes for days on end without any food, and of course, no blankets to keep us warm,” he said.

“Sitting next to me was an older Jew – this beloved elderly Jew - from my hometown I recognized, but I had never seen him like this. He was shivering from head to toe, and looked terrible. So I wrapped my arms around him and began rubbing him, to warm him up. I rubbed his arms, his legs, his face, his neck. I begged him to hang on.

All night long; I kept the man warm this way. I was tired, I was freezing cold myself, my fingers were numb, but I didn’t stop rubbing the heat on to this man’s body. Hours and hours went by this way.

Finally, night passed, morning came, and the sun began to shine. There was some warmth in the cabin, and then I looked around the car to see some of the other Jews in the car. To my horror, all I could see were frozen bodies, and all I could hear was a deathly silence.

Nobody else in that cabin made it through the night – they died from the frost. Only two people survived: the old man and me… The old man survived because somebody kept him warm; I survived because I was warming somebody else…”

Let me tell you the secret of Judaism. When you warm other people’s hearts, you remain warm yourself. When you seek to support, encourage and inspire others; then you discover support, encouragement and inspiration in your own life as well. That, my friends, is “Judaism 101”.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Can You Handle The Truth?

Can you handle the truth? An open discussion with Rabbi Alon Anava

"the most hardest klipah..... that's where Moshiach comes from'' - [just after the 18 min mark, but listen to it all ]

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Rebbe, Netanyahu and Moshiach

Now updated and corrected

Regarding the news that Israeli police recommend charging Prime Minister over alleged bribery 

The Lubavitcher Rebbe to Netanyahu:

 '' will have to struggle with 119 others in the Knesset but don't be intimidated by this because G-d is on this side.  Blessings and success with G-d's mission.''

And in this video, the Rebbe mentions Moshiach and tells Bibi to do something to hasten His coming:

Rabbi Glazerson adds that even in the name Netanyahu we can see the letters of G-d affirming this.

Rabbi Glazerson asks how it can be that people who don't keep all the mitzvot are leading the country before Moshiach.  The Vilna Gaon spoke about this: when Yakov met Eisav...  the children of the maidservants are the leaders of the country and this represents the process of Moshiach.

The following words and phrases were found in this Code:
  • Rosh HaMemshala [Prime Minister]
  • Israel
  • Netanyahu
  • Benyamin
  • Likud
  • 5778
  • I am G-d
  • Moshiach
  • the son of Yosef
  • David
  • the son of Yishai
  • Teshuva
  • The mitzvot which Moshe commanded to the Bnai Yisrael at Mt Sinai
  • Efraim
 I recommend listening to this video, as Rabbi Glazerson presents a lot more information.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Being Put To The Test

by Rabbi David Pinto Shlita 

The following story, which took place in the Israeli city of Holon, stuns everyone who hears it. It makes people realize that there is a G-d in Israel, that there is a Judge, a judgment, and that a person can’t do whatever he wants.

A man once hired a carpenter to do some work in his home. He was a skilled craftsman who did particularly good work, and the man gave him the keys to his house, allowing him to work even when nobody was at home.

One day, while the carpenter was still in the home, the man arrived and made a serious accusation: He said that an expensive jewel belonging to his wife had been on a table in the hallway, and that witnesses had even seen it that very same morning. “Since no one but you has been here since then,” the man said, “we suspect that you stole it and we want you to give it back.”

Despite the vehement denials of the carpenter, the man continued to accuse him of the crime. When the carpenter refused to pay the man, he brought him to court.

Although we have known for a long time that secular courts are very poor at rendering fair decisions, many people were still stunned to hear how foolish their verdict was in this case. Based on witness accounts of having seen the jewel in the hallway that morning, the carpenter was ordered to pay the man its full value, namely 70,000 NIS. The injustice done to the carpenter was actually two-fold. First, it wouldn’t be easy to find such an amount of money to pay the man, especially for a craftsman who works hard for a living; and second, once people learned of the court’s verdict, he would have no clients left, since nobody would want to hire him, a carpenter now known as a sleazy thief who had the audacity to steal a precious jewel.

The second part of this story is that the carpenter was so affected by this incident that he died. But the story doesn’t end there. In fact it’s barely begun.

A few days after the carpenter died, the man’s wife opened her jewelry box and found her precious jewel inside!

It seems that she had forgotten that she placed it there herself, which is why she and her husband had been certain that the carpenter had stolen it. Now it turned out that all the accusations brought against the carpenter had been completely baseless.

The man’s wife was shocked by what had happened, and she asked a Rav how she could rectify things according to the Torah. The Rav advised her to gather a minyan and to go to the grave of the carpenter and ask forgiveness for everything that had happened to him. The woman agreed, but her husband objected, for he was afraid that once people heard that they had gone to his grave asking for forgiveness, it would be interpreted in the wrong way. Hence he refused.

And now we come to the last part of the story. Barely a few days later, the family of the man who had hired the carpenter was also sitting shiva for the man himself, who suddenly died.

Other than the obvious conclusion that there is a Judge and a judgment, there is another lesson to draw from this story. The Shelah writes that when Heaven decrees that a person should die, sometimes the defenders that he created by his merits and good deeds intercede for him, and he is given another chance. In our story, defenders had intervened on the man’s behalf, and Heaven decided to give him another chance. If he used it properly, he would have been forgiven and the decree against him annulled.

If he had agreed to the Rav’s suggestion and gone to the grave of the carpenter, it would have been possible for Heaven to forgiven him. Yet since he refused, the most severe decree was enacted against him.

In general, says the Shelah, in such a case a test is sent to a person in the form of a poor man who comes to ask for tzeddakah in a very rude way, enough to infuriate anyone. Even though he has already received tzeddakah, he returns a second and a third time, not content with what he has received. This is how a man is put to the test, says the Shelah. Will he explode and get angry with the poor man, or instead – and despite the natural disdain that fills him – will he show compassion and overcome his evil inclination?

Hence when we encounter such a poor man – one who can truly exasperate the average individual – we must understand that it is very possible he may have been sent from Heaven in order to put us to the test, to see if we will control our natural tendencies and treat him with kindness, in which case the decree that may have been enacted against us will be annulled.

This is important to remember when we hear constant requests for donations being made in synagogue, when representatives of devoted charity organizations that do marvelous work go from one synagogue to the next in order to reach the public with their uplifting words, their goal being to collect funds for orphans and similar causes.

Sometimes we may think, “How many times can these people ask for money? How many? Can anyone possibly think that the wallets of bnei Torah are filled with unlimited supplies of money?”

There are cases in which, because of such thoughts, we decide that we are not going to give. In our minds, we object to the people who come to collect tzeddakah, and we come to the conclusion that enough is enough – that we can’t give any more – and that we’re not giving this time. We must realize that by making such a decision, we may be sealing our own fate.

– Barchi Nafshi

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Farmer's Hat

Torah learning for the Refuah Shleimah of Michoel ben Esther Rivka.  B"H his condition is improving, if you would like to give tzedakah to assist him in his recovery from a massive brain tumor and subsequent rehabilitation you may donate any amount no matter how small, care of my Paypal page.  All monies received will be immediately forwarded to his trust account, with an extra 10% added by me. This is an extremely urgent situation and I thank you for reading this.

Art Walt Curlee
"Speak to the children of Israel, and have them take for Me an offering..." [Terumah 25:2]

Why does the verse state "take for Me a portion" and not "give Me a portion"?

The Torah is showing us the greatness vested in the mitzvah of giving tzedakah.  When we fulfill the mitzvah of tzedaka, it may appear as if we are giving, but in truth we are actually taking (receiving) for ourselves a very great mitzvah.

The Midrash Rabbah elaborates on this idea: "More than what the host does for the poor man, the poor man does for the host."  The host may have given the poor person a perutah for tzedakah, but the poor person has enabled the host to earn a mitzvah that is more valuable than "thousands in gold and silver" [Tehillim 119:72]

Someone who refuses to assist a poor person, said the Chofetz Chaim, can be compared to a farmer who piled up his wagon with wheat and then travelled to a large city in order to sell it. When the farmer arrived at the city, he was immediately met by dozens of eager customers waiting to purchase his produce.  He was afraid, however, that the customers would attempt to deceive him by taking bundles of wheat without paying for them.  He therefore told them "Go ahead and fill your bags with wheat. But each time you fill up a bag, place one copper coin into my hat. When you finish filling your sacks, we will count the coins in my hat, and that way we will know how many sacks you have to pay for."

The customers agreed to the farmer's method and followed his instructions. The farmer's hat was soon full of shiny copper coins.

The farmer saw all the coins in his hat and was overcome by temptation. He quickly stole some of the coins and put them in his pocket.

How foolish is that farmer! remarked the Chofetz Chaim. He may have managed to swipe a few coins, but he will lose much more than he gained because when the time comes to pay for the wheat and the coins are counted, there will be less coins than sacks, and he will lose the payment for all those sacks. This foolish farmer will lose the payment of an entire sack of wheat for every coin that he took for himself!

This is also the case, said the Chofetz Chaim, when someone refuses to give tzedakah.  He may hold on to a coin or two, but he will lose the immense reward from a mitzvah that could have been his.

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Moshiach and Nibiru ''Planet X" -- Rabbi Yuval Ovadia

The shiur includes the following information:

  • Sources from the Torah and the Zohar
  • This Star was seen in the war of Devorah and Sisera and will also be seen at the End of Days
  • Which Rabbis have spoken about it, and why some Rabbis say it is nonsense
  • The deliberate fake news and dates given on the internet purely to confuse people and cause them to think that it is not real, when it is in fact very real -  for example Obama Warns Americans
  • It is not going to destroy the world
  • Isaiah prophecies that those who try to escape by going into bunkers will just fall into another trap - they cannot run from Hashem 
  • Rainbows, climate change, earthquakes, volcanoes, extreme weather
  • How Gog u Magog will play out
  • The government of Israel will stop functioning at the same time that Moshiach will be revealed
  • The war against Moshiach ben David
  • What kind of person Moshiach will be
  • Nibiru is just a messenger of Hashem, we must do teshuvah [repent] - the effects of Nibiru are in our hands
  • Moshiach is definitely coming soon and He will take the world into the new spiritual phase

Also see A Date With Nibiru or click on the NIBIRU label below.

Friday, February 9, 2018

Mishpatim and the Mystery of Reincarnation

The Maggid of Mezritch once asked The Baal Shem Tov to explain the passage in the Zohar on the opening verse of the Torah section Mishpatim, "These are the laws" as referring to "the mystery of reincarnation." The Maggid wondered: What connection is there between the esoteric meaning relating to monetary issues, the laws of torts, and the alleged esoteric one of multiple incarnations of souls?

In reply the Baal Shem Tov sent him to a forest and told him to seek out a certain tree next to a fount, and to remain there until evening.

When the Maggid arrived at his destination he saw there an armed man with a horse. The man was tired and had stopped to rest, eat and drink. When he moved on he left his wallet behind. After a while, another man came, found the wallet and took it with him.

Shortly thereafter, a third man arrived. He was obviously poor and exhausted. He sat down under the tree, ate some bread, drank from the well and lay down to sleep. Just then the armored rider returned and demanded his wallet from the poor traveler. The latter knew nothing of the wallet, but the rider, not believing him, proceeded to beat him mercilessly before moving on.

As the sun set Rabbi Dov Ber returned home and told the Baal Shem Tov what he had seen. The master now explained:

The rider, in his previous incarnation, owed the second man a sum of money equal to that in the wallet but refused to pay him. The creditor then charged him before their local rabbi - none other than the third man in his previous incarnation. But the rabbi failed to investigate the claim as thoroughly as he should have done and dismissed the charge.

That is why in their present reincarnation, the Baal Shem Tov concluded, the first man wound up 'paying' his debt to the second one and the rabbi-judge received the punishment he deserved. Now, he added, the connection between G-d’s justice and reincarnation should be clear.

Adapted by Yerachmiel Tilles from The Great Maggid by Rabbi J. Immanuel Schochet

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Mishpatim: Permission for Doctors to Heal

Torah learning for the Refuah Shleimah of Michoel ben Esther Rivka

Torah from Rabbi Abraham Isaac HaKohen Kook , adapted by Chanan Morrison

Amongst the various laws in the parashah of Mishpatim - nearly all of which are of a societal or interpersonal nature - the Torah sets down the laws of compensation for physical damages. When one person injures another, he must compensate the other party with five payments. He must pay for (1) any permanent loss of income due to the injury, (2) embarrassment, (3) pain incurred, (4) loss of income while the victim was recovering, and (5) medical expenses.

This last payment, that he “provide for his complete healing” [Mishpatim 21:19], i.e., that he cover any medical fees incurred, is of particular interest. The word “to heal” appears 67 times in the Torah, almost always referring to God as the Healer. Only here, as an aside to the topic of damages, does the Torah indicate that we are expected to take active measures to heal ourselves, and not just leave the healing process to nature.

This detail did not escape the keen eyes of the Sages. “From here we see that the Torah gave permission to the doctor to heal” [Berachot 60a].

Yet we need to understand: why should the Torah need to explicitly grant such permission to doctors? If anything, we should expect all medical activity to be highly commended, as doctors ease pain and save lives.

Our Limited Medical Knowledge

The human being is an organic entity. The myriad functions of body and soul are intertwined and interdependent. Which person can claim that he thoroughly understands all of these functions, how they interrelate, and how they interact with the outside world? There is a danger that when we treat a medical problem in one part of the body, we may cause harm to another part. Sometimes the side effects of a particular medical treatment are relatively mild and acceptable. And sometimes the results of treatment may be catastrophic, causing problems far worse than the initial issue. [The tragic example of birth defects as a result of treating morning sickness in pregnancy with thalidomide comes to mind.]

One could thus conclude that there may be all sorts of hidden side effects, unknown to the doctor, which are far worse than the ailment we are seeking to cure. Therefore, it would be best to let the body heal on its own, relying on its natural powers of recuperation.

Relying on Available Knowledge

The Torah, however, rejects this view. Such an approach could easily be expanded to include all aspects of life. Any effort on our part to improve our lives, to use science and technology to advance the world, could be rebuffed on the grounds that we lack knowledge of all consequences of the change.

The Sages taught: “The judge can only base his decision on what he is able to see” [Baba Batra 131a]. If the judge or doctor or engineer is a competent professional, we rely on his expertise and grasp of all available knowledge to reach the best decision possible. We do not allow concern for unknown factors to hinder our efforts to better our lives.

“The progress of human knowledge, and all of the results of human inventions - is all the work of God. These advances make their appearance in the world according to mankind’s needs, in their time and generation.”

Source: Sapphire from the Land of Israel. Adapted from Olat Re’iyah vol. I, p. 390

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Biblical Prophecy in Today's News

Tamar Yonah talks to Rabbi Mendel Kessin on Israel News Talk Radio recorded Feb 6.

Terror attacks, friction with Poland, and U.S. – Israeli relations. What does all the news we are seeing have to do with prophesy and the Messianic era? We examine some of the latest news stories with Rabbi Mendel Kessin.

Click here to listen to Podcast

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

22 Shevat: Yarzheit Chaya Mushka Schneerson

[Yes that is a wig]

Tonight [Tuesday night] is the yarzheit of Rebbetzin Chaya Mushkah Schneerson [b. 1901], wife of the Lubavitcher Rebbe. The Rebbetzin passed away on the 22nd of Shevat of the year 5748 [1988].

In 1950, upon the passing of her father, Rabbi Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn, leadership of the worldwide Chabad-Lubavitch movement passed to Chaya Mushka's husband, Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson, of righteous memory. Despite the Rebbe's initial adamant refusal to accept the mantle, it was his wife, the Rebbetzin, who, notwithstanding the great personal sacrifice this would entail, finally prevailed upon him to accept the position with all its public and private hardships.

She was steadfast: It is simply unthinkable that her father's thirty years of total self-sacrifice and accomplishment should, G-d forbid, come to naught.

An erudite and wise woman, Rebbetzin Chaya Mushka carried the mantle of her revered and exalted position in a most humble and unpretentious fashion. All her life she fulfilled the ideal of the psalmist: "The entire honor of a king's daughter is within." When calling the Rebbe's office at "770," or calling for a high school girl ill in her dormitory, she always referred to herself simply as: "Mrs. Schneerson from President Street."

Gentle and courteous to everyone, the Rebbetzin saw her role as one wholly devoted to the work of her husband. Even when she relayed advice to those seeking his guidance through her, she would repeat his wording with precision, making sure that it was understood exactly as the Rebbe intended.

Painting of Chaya Mushka by Cindy Michael

- notice that she is wearing a hat on top of a wig -
this was customary at that time - orthodox women wore both wigs and hats together in those days.

Milk and Meat: Gevurah and Chessed

With heartfelt prayers for a Refuah Shelaimah for Menachem ben Rivka and Michoel ben Esther Rivka.
Please add these names to your tefillos.

"You shall not cook a kid in its mother's milk." [Mishpatim 23:19]

Ramban writes that it is prohibited to eat meat cooked in milk, since it is an act of moral insensitivity.  Rashi points out that not only are we forbidden to eat milk and meat together, but even cooking the mixture is forbidden.  This renders the prohibition of milk and meat unique in that even the preparation of the prohibited mixture is also prohibited by the Torah.

From this we can learn how far we must take care to refrain from being morally insensitive.

According to the Kabbalah, milk and meat may not be mixed as this would cause the negative interaction of opposing spiritual forces.  Meat is a physical manifestation of the Divine power of Gevurah (severity), as suggested by the red color of meat.  Milk has its spiritual roots in the Divine power of Chesed (kindness), indicated by its white color. Being that these two powers have an opposite effect, they must not be mixed.

Bachaye writes that in the Messianic Era, it will become permissible to eat meat that was cooked with milk. This is because, in the spiritual realms, the mixing of Chesed and Gevurah is not counterproductive.  Each Divine power works in harmony with the other, since both powers respect the fact that they emanate from the One God.

In the physical world, this harmony does not persevere, since physical things feel their own existence as paramount, and will not coalesce to a higher purpose.  Therefore, the mixing of meat and milk in the physical world is forbidden for it will result in a "corruption" of the spiritual forces that they embody.

However, in the Messianic Era, we are promised that G-d will be felt tangibly within the physical world.  Therefore, it will become possible to mix Chesed and Gevurah - through cooking milk and meat - even in the physical world.

Source: Based on Likutei Sichos of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Gutnick Chumash

Monday, February 5, 2018

Tzedakah Brings Moshiach

by Rabbi David Hanania Pinto Shlita 

It is written, “When you lend money to any of My people” [Mishpatim 22:24]

Here we see an allusion to what our Sages have said in the Gemara: “Great is tzedakah, for it brings the Redemption closer” [Bava Batra 10a].

The expression, “When you lend money to My people” has the same gematria [numerical value] as: “I will quickly send you Mashiach the son of David.”

– Imrot Tehorot

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Who is Adam's Second Wife? What Happens When We Sin?

Rabbi Anava has a new series of shiurim on The Zohar.

You can find a list of all of them [so far] here on You Tube

Synopsis of this shiur:
The Zohar: Page 18/b - 19/a - Parashat Vayikra

When G-d created us, he created us perfect, when we sin, we damage our perfection and bring on us a spirit of impurity. When G-d created Adam and Chava they were one body. Came another female who is the mother of all demons and evil spirits and her name is Li-Li-t (We DO NOT say her name) and at that time a thousand spirits without bodies came and stood around Adams spiritless body, all wanted to enter Adams body. When Li-Li saw that it was Chava (who’s original name was Chaya) was chosen to be Adams wife (other half) she ran away and hid in the depth of the oceans and is here to harm us human beings All this and MUCH more is this class!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Seventy Years, Birth Pangs and Redemption

by Rabbi Mordechai Lewis - originally published at Sefaria

The Haggadah says, “For the Holy One, Blessed is He, calculated the end of the exile.

The Geulas Avraham – the Vilna Gaon’s son – says that the numerical value of קֵץ, [end], is 190. Of the 400 years of exile decreed at the Covenant Between the Parts, 210 were spent in the bondage to Egypt, while the other 190 comprised the years of the sojourns of our forefathers in lands not their own.

Hashem did not tell Avraham Avinu at the Covenant Between the Parts how the 400 years of exile would be divided between slavery and wandering. The Holy One, Blessed is He, calculated the end can thus be interpreted as the Holy One, Blessed is He, calculated the 190; He made a calculation for our benefit, allowing 190 of the 400 years to be spent in sojourning rather than slavery.[1]

Nowadays, can we figure out the end of our exile? Surprisingly, the answer is yes.

Seifer Chasdei Avraham says, “Today, we are living ‘Chevlei Moshiach’ - the birth pangs of Moshiach, this is neither the beginning nor middle of the period but rather the last chapter of the Chevlei Moshiach.”

In our current exile, where did we suffer the most the ‘birth pangs’ of Moshiach? Approximately 48 years ago, the Steipler Gaon said, “We are very close to the coming of Moshiach since we underwent most of the ‘birth pangs’ of Moshiach during World War II with its dreadful suffering...”[2]

How many years is Chevlei Moshiach?

Between אַשְׁרֵי and וּבָא לְצִיּוֹן during Shacharis, we say, “לַמְנַצֵּחַ... יַעַנְךָ ה' בְּיוֹם צָרָה, Hashem should answer us in our day of pain.”[3] The Vilna Gaon[4] says that there are 70 words in this chapter corresponding to the 70 years of the suffering the Jews will experience before Moshiach reveals himself. This period is called ‘Chevlei Moshiach’ - the birth pangs of Moshiach.

“We are told that the seven years before Moshiach is introduced will be with very definite events. It is worded as: in the first year…, in the second year…, etc. Then it says that in the eighth year, the year following this seven-year period, the Moshiach will be introduced. All modern Rabbis talk of this revealing page of the Talmud as the 7-year Shemittah cycle that we observe. It is the most defined information which has been watched for decades. It also was the biggest reason that the end of the last Shemittah cycle in 5775 appeared to be the cycle and the year 5776 would definitely be the year Moshiach would be introduced. There were Rabbis during World War 2 who said that after 10 Shemittah cycles Moshiach would come. With the war ending in 5705, 1945, the 10 cycles or 70 years brought us to 5775, which was totally consistent with Moshiach being introduced in 5776 after the last Shemittah cycle.

When it didn’t happen, many Torah scholars were scratching their heads asking what went wrong…

I figured out what went wrong. In reviewing the page 97 in Sanhedrin, I noticed that there was not one mention of Shemittah. Even in the commentary by the great sages there was talk of the 7-year cycle, but no mention of it being in conjunction with the 7-year Shemittah cycle. It was only commentary from modern Rabbis that insisted that the 7-year cycles were congruent.

The actual wording in the Talmud is: ‘In the seven-year cycle when the son of David will come: In the first year…, in the second year…, etc. In the aftermath of the seventh year (the eighth year), the son of David will come.’ Not only is there no reference to the Shemittah but alluding to the eighth year means ‘the next year after the 7-year period.’ Otherwise it should say in the first year of the next Shemittah cycle, since the eighth year of a Shemittah cycle is meaningless.

It even makes more sense to talk about ten 7-year cycles or 70 years, not after WW2 but the establishment of the State of Israel. 5708 to 5778 is much more believable.”

The Maharal[6] says the following:

“The Gemara teaches that Moshiach will come in the year after a Shemittah because that is the number appropriate for him; that number reflects sublime character of Moshiach. For this world is a world of sevens and the concept of Moshiach is beyond this world; thus, he comes in the eighth year.”

On January 15, 2018, Rabbi Kessin said in a shiur the following:[7]

There was a special code words given by Moshe Rabbeinu that identified him as their savior sent by Hashem to take the Jews out of Mitzrayim. Those words are פָּקֹד פָּקַדְתִּי, I have surely remembered you. As the posuk states, “Go and assemble the elders of Israel, and say to them, ‘The L-rd G-d of your forefathers has appeared to me, the G-d of Avraham, Isaac, and Jacob,’ saying, “I have surely remembered you and what is being done to you in Egypt.”

These are the words used by the Redeemers: Moshe and Moshiach.

Now Rabbi Kessin gives us some extra information.

The gematria of פָּקֹד פָּקַדְתִּי is 778. This may represent the year 778… but how do we know that this could actually be the year 5778? Because there is a Vav missing from the word פָּקֹד and Vav is the number 6, representing the sixth millennium - 5778. So those words are quite possibly hinting to the fact that when the Moshiach arrives with these special code words, it could very well be this year 5778.

On January 11, 2018, Rav Eliezer Berland, shlita, spoke at Rechovot and said that 5778 is the year of the coming of Moshiach.[8] [9]

Who exactly is Rav Eliezer Berland?

On August 11, 2016, Rav Dovid Chaim Stern shlit”a said the following:[10]

I was approached with regards to the great Gaon and holy Tzaddik, R Eliezer ben Etya Berland shlit”a. I know this Tzaddik for more than 50 years. We speak with each other and we’ve spoken a lot in the past. He was the chavrusa of the Steipler for many years. He was then a young man, so I asked the Steipler what he says about him – I wanted to know.

So he said to me, “You should know, he is an expert in the entire Torah, a holy man and Tzaddik!”

This is the testimony from the mouth of the Gadol Hador, and it is clear as day that the Steipler had true Ruach Hakodesh (a sort of prophecy), there is no one who argues about this.

I knew Rav Berland, we had a strong connection, he is an exalted Jew who stands above all others. There is no man who is completely kindness and mercy, whenever he had money he immediately distributed everything to charity. It is clear to us that person who distributes so much charity and kindness, Hashem imbues his Shechina on him, “He who has mercy on creation, they have mercy on him from Heaven”.

And therefore, Hashem imbues his Shechina onto him and Hashem will guide him as He sees fit.

And it is clear to all of us, we are hoping and praying, that the Good Name will do miracles and wonders.

Other people don’t know Rav Berland like I know him, and they didn’t ask the Steipler what I asked about him. He was a young man while the Steipler was the Gadol Hador and much older than him. They were study partners learning many hours together each day, so I was interested in finding out what he says about him.

He’s holy and pure – that’s it!

They want to make a mass rally

That’s obvious! We need to wake up the masses!

Everyone must come!

A holy Tzaddik who is suffering in prison.

I’m willing to participate to the rally, because I believe that every single action is the greatest mitzvah, to save this Tzaddik as quickly as possible.

He’s not guilty – He didn’t do anything! [Note: He was released from prison on April 6 2017].

Didn’t the Rambam[11] forbid attempts to figure an exact date for the arrival of Moshiach? Yes. However, the Ramban[12] says that the prohibition of the Gemara[13] only applied to earlier generations; now that we are on the eve of redemption, there is no prohibition.


[1] Vilna Gaon Haggadah by Rabbi Yisrael Herczeg, pages 37 and 39.

[2] Redemption Unfolding by Alexander Aryeh Mandelbaum, page 83.

[3] Tehillim 20:2.

[4] Siddur HaGra, Lamnatze’ach, Likutei HaGra and Yahel Ohr 2:119:2.


[6] Chiddushei Aggados to Sanhedrin 97a “[ובמוצאי שביעית בן דוד [בא”. See also Jewish Wisdom In The Numbers by Rabbi Yehoshua Hartman and Rabbi Osher Chaim Levene, page 128



[9] Ezra Meiliken says, “Avraham was born in the Hebrew year 1948, while the State of Israel was created in the secular year of 1948. G‐d’s Covenant with Avraham happened in the Hebrew year 2018. 2018 – 1948 = 70 years [(The Divine Calendar, page 22). Regarding the number 70, see Yirmiyahu 29:10]. Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag also known as Baal HaSulam wrote a commentary on the Zohar and determined that the year of 5778 as the time of the Moshiach’s revelation” (


[11] see Mishnah Torah, Hilchos Malachim 12:5 and Rambam on Mishnah Sanhedrin 10:1.

[12] Sefer HaGeulah, Ma’amer 4.

[13] see Sanhedrin 97b.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Choose Your Special Mitzvah

Art Letvent

If you don't already have a ''special mitzvah'' that you have made your own, now would be a good time to think about it.

"The Holy One Blessed Be He wished to reward the Jewish people. Therefore He heaped upon them Torah and mitzvos" [Makkos 3:16].

Maimonides, in his Commentary to the Mishnah on Makkos 3:16, offers a unique and fascinating interpretation when he writes that it is a fundamental tenet of the Torah to believe that when a person properly fulfills just one of the 613 commandments with no ulterior motives but entirely for the sake of Heaven and out of love for G-d, he will merit entry into Olam HaBa.

All that each of us has to do is to choose just one mitzvah in the Torah, and make it our own. Choose the mitzvah that resonates with you..... It could be the mitzvah of Tzedaka [charity], avoiding Lashon Hara [evil speech], Tzniut [modest dressing], lighting Shabbat candles, bikkur cholim [visiting the sick]..... basically any mitzvah that you choose.... but you have to make a commitment and do it consistently solely for the sake of Heaven.

[That doesn't mean you can ignore all the other mitzvot.... it means that you choose one, and do that one to the utmost degree]

Learn as much as you can about your chosen mitzvah and make sure you stick to your goals, making it a priority.

A portion of this blog post came from Torch Torah Weekly

Blood Red Moon

It was very cloudy last night where I am living, but here is a great photo by Jeremy Hui of the super moon eclipse in Singapore.

Ancient Prophecy: Convergence of Lunar Eclipse With Tu B’Shvat Signals End of Ishmael’s Reign