Wednesday, November 28, 2012

TOMER DEVORAH: Better late than never...

TOMER DEVORAH: Better late than never...: 15 Kislev 5773 The following is Rabbi Nachman Kahana's parshah commentary for Parshat Toldot. Although it's late, its message is timely!
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Wednesday, November 14, 2012


“Do not become disheartened nor discouraged by the words of the antagonists, for they speak out of ignorance.”   Writes the renowned gaon, Yisrael Yehoshua of Kutno  z”l, av beit din of Kutno, in the approbations to the volume Derishat Tzion  written by R. Tzvi Kalishcher z”l in 5624/1864. R. Kalishscher was the prime advocate of rebuilding our Land.

Rabbi Sholom Gold in his article "Shall We Ascend the Mountain" quoted Reb Dovid: "Reb Dovid quoted the Yid HaKodosh who said that though every Jew must strive to fulfill all the commandments of Torah, there are commandments unique to each individual from the time of creation and for which he came to this world. How, asked the Yid HaKadosh, should one know what is the commandment destined for him? He replied, the Mitzvah toward which one feels drawn and longs to fulfill.

R. Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal, zt”l, in his book Eim Habanim Semeichah wrote that he discovered in the volume, Tiferet HaGershuni, by R. Gershon of Metz, z”l (a colleague of the Shach), that we must take the initiative to bring the complete redemption by moving to our Land*. If HaShem acts first, we cannot possibly reckon that exact moment and begin together with Him. On the other hand, if we act first, HaShem can certainly synchronize with us and begin at that very moment. Tiferet HaGershuni (Munkatch, 5663 [1903], VeZot HaBerachah, p.98
Ketubim Midrash Tehillim (Psalms) 85
I. For the leader. A Psalm of the sons of Korah. Lord, You have been favorable unto Your land, You have turned the captivity of Jacob (Ps. 85:1-3). These words are to be considered in the light of the verse A land which the Lord your God cares for; the eyes of the Lord your God are always upon it (Deut. 11:12). That is, God turns to it, and turns again to it, and regards it, and keeps His eyes upon it until such time as its deeds and the performance of precepts concerning it, which were enjoined upon Israel, will find favor with the Holy One, blessed be He. When they bring forth the tithes, and observe the years of release and of Jubilee, and observe all the other precepts which were enjoined concerning the land, in that hour the land will make its deeds find favor with the Holy One, blessed be He. As Scripture says, Then will the land make her Sabbaths find favor (Lev. 26:34). Hence, You have been favorable unto Your land.
II. You have forgiven the iniquity/lawlessness of Your people (Ps. 85:3). Can anything but the land wherein they dwell cause the iniquity/lawlessness of the people of Israel to be forgiven, since it is said The people that dwell therein will be forgiven their iniquity/lawlessness (Isa. 33:24)? Behold, the living will be forgiven. The dead, too? Yes. Since Scripture says Its earth makes expiation for His people (Deut. 32:43), we are to understand that what makes expiation for His people is its very earth.
Happy are they, they that dwell in the Land of Israel, for neither when they are alive nor when they are dead is sin or iniquity/lawlessness in them. Thus Scripture says, You have forgiven the iniquity/lawlessness of Your people, You have pardoned all their sin for ever (Ps. 85:3). And it is also written Who is a God like unto You, that pardons the iniquity/lawlessness, and passes by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? (Micah 7:18).
III. You have taken away all Your wrath; You have turned Yourself from the fierceness of Your anger (Ps. 85:4). As Ezekiel said: Thus will Mine anger spend itself (Ezek. 5:13), and as Hosea also said: I will heal their backsliding ... For Mine anger is turned away from him (Hos. 14:5). When the Sons of Korah asked: How long will You be angry with us? You did say, Return, O backsliding children (Jer. 3:14). However, when the children of Israel said to You: “Return You first,” as is said Return, O Lord; how long? (Ps. 90:13), You did reply: “No, but let Israel return first.” Since You wilt not return alone, and since we will not return alone, let the two of us return as one, as is said Return [both of] us, O God of our salvation (Ps. 85:5). And what is Your answer? Will You be angry with us for ever? (ibid. 85:6): If we repent, will You not receive us? Will You not revive us again? (Ps. 85:7), even as Ezekiel says: Behold, I will open your graves) etc. (Ezek. 37:12), and again And I will put My spirit in you, and you will live (ibid. 37:14).

……………“We will receive the goodness from God at the end of day, [but only] after the proper preparation.” *   Writes the great gaon, the holy Sefardic scholar, the Rishon LeTzion, R. Chayim David Chazan, z”l, in the approbations to the volume Derishat Tzion written by R. Tzvi Kalishcher z”l in 5624/1864

* R. Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal, zt”l, in his book Eim Habanim Semeichah writes “..the words of the gaon z”l are stated explicitly in Yeshayahu’s prophecy: For the increase of dominion and for peace without end upon the throne of David and upon his kingdom, to establish it and support it with justice and righteousness from now to eternity. The zeal of the Lord of Hosts performs this. (Yeshayah 9:6) This verse seems to contradict itself. At first it says that we ourselves must establish and support it with justice and righteousness. But afterwards it says, The zeal of the Lord of Hosts performs this. We can understand this based on the gaon’s idea [above]. In order to receive this great good from HaShem, we must first effect a great preparation through our deeds. Then, the zeal of the Lord of Hosts will bring our work to a successful end, for we cannot complete it with our strength alone. HaShem will only bring it to the utmost perfection after we perform some initial act which will serve as a preparation.
R. Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal, zt”l, in his book Eim Habanim Semeichah writes: The brilliant and holy Kabbalist of Greiditz and the Sefardic scholar, the Rishon LeTzion, regard the fact that the gentile kings gave us permission to build Eretz Yisrael and Jerusalem as the fulfillment of the verse My Beloved sent forth His hand through the hole (Shir HaShirim 5:4). They concur with our Sages in the Midrash on this point [see Shir HaShirim Rabbah 5:3].
Similarly, these righteous and profound gedolim are correct that today, as well, the fact that the kings of the nations permit us to come and build the Land is considered a miracle and a fulfillment of this verse [Shir HaShirim 5:4]. This is the handiwork of our God; the Holy One Blessed be He is performing miracles through them. Therefore, anyone who opposes this, opposes the will of the Almighty. We can say to him, as Moshe Rabbeinu said to Korach, Your complaints are not against us, rather against the Lord. (The verse quoted here is Shemot 16:8 which referes to the episode of the quails. It, therefore, seems that the author’s reference to Korach is a scribal error. [See, however, BeMidbar 16:11 where a similar verse can be found in reference to Korach.]
“….it is undoubtly a great mitzvah because the ingathering is the beginning of redemption, and it says, I will gather others to him, beside those already gathered to him (Yeshaya 66:8).” Also, the Talmud states that the Shechinah does not rest upon less than 20,000 Jews (Yevamot 64a). Especially, now that we have seen the great desire [for Eretz Yisrael displayed by all typed of Jews], including lowly, average, and upright people, it is almost certain that the spirit of redemption has sprouted. Fortunate is your portion, for you are among those who bring merit to the masses.  Writes the renowned gaon, Yisrael Yehoshua of Kutno  z”l, av beit din of Kutno, in Teshuvot Yeshu’ot Malko 66.
R. Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal, zt”l, in his book Eim Habanim Semeichah writes: “… the year 5660 [1900], the holy gaon, our mentor, R. Hillel of Kalamoya, published a manifesto calling and urging our Jewish brethren to buy the Land of Israel from the Ishmaelites (Arabs). It was an opportune moment, for the sultan was at war and needed money. He was willing to sell Eretz Yisrael , Transjordan, and Syria for almost nothing……….”
“Those who tremble at the word of HaShem however, stood on the side and refrained from sharing in the work [to build the land with the irreligious whose desire was to return to the Land of our forefathers]. They stood by their age-old claim, “It is preferable to sit and do nothing.” In the meantime, these “initiators” began rebuilding our Holy Land (so may it continue and prosper), while the Orthodox Jews and the tzaddikim stood aloof. It is clear that he who prepares prior to the Sabbath will eat on the Sabbath, (Avodah Zarah 3a), and since the Orthodox did not toil, they have absolutely NO INFLUENCE in the Land. Those who toil and build have the influence, and they are the masters of the Land. It is, therefore, no wonder that they are in control, for He who guards the fig tree will eat its fruit (Mishley 27:18).
“……….Now, what will the Orthodox say? I do not know if they will ever be able to vindicate themselves before the heavenly court for not participating in the movement to rebuild the Land, and for not heeding the call of these tzaddikim of the generation.
The author of Chovot HaLevavot, in his introduction, writes, “One of the components of caution is not to be overly cautious.” (Lev Tov edition vol.1, p.51) He further states that if every person who is involved in something positive would wait silently until all of his requirements are fulfilled, no one would accomplish anything.
The divine Kabbalist, R. Avraham Azulai (the grandfather of our master, the Chida), writes in his holy work, Chesed LeAvraham (Ma’ayan 3, Nahar 12):

Anyone who lives in Eretz Yisrael is considered a tzaddik even though it does not seem that way. For if he was not a tzaddik , the Land would vomit him out, as it says, “And the Land vomits out its inhabitants (VaYikra 18:25). Since the Land does not vomit him out he must be considered a tzaddik, even though he is presumed to be wicked.*

R. Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal, zt”l, in his book Eim Habanim Semeichah writes on the above: It seems to me that there is a Talmudic source for the words of this divine Kabbalist, whose every utterance was said with Ruach HaKodesh. It can be found in Avodah Zarah (26a) in the statement “Come and see the difference between the thieves of Babylonia and the highway robbers of Eretz Yisrael…” See Rashi’s comments, as well as those of the brilliant Maharshak of Brod zt”l in Avodat Avodah.
I would like to add to this. When we see from Chazal that the Omnipresent is pleased by the acts of today’s builders (as I will demonstrate at length, God willing, in chapter three), then it is certainly forbidden to slander them. Hence, he who is not careful to guard his tongue about this, does not guard his soul from troubles (Based on Mishley 21:23). He will be included in the decree And all who provoke Me shall not see it (BeMidbar 14:23), as explained by R. Moshe Chagiz (above) [see pg. 28]. May HaShem protect us from them and their associates.
When Rabbis admit their mistakes, they are praiseworthy.

R. Yisachar Shlomo Teichtal, zt”l, in his book Eim Habanim Semeichah also writes: I will not revoke my Torah opinion because of any gadol or rebbe of our generation, unless he debates the issues with me in the manner of Torah dialogue, using proofs from the words of Chazal. I will then concede to his words, if they are correct, but not if they are unfounded.
The blog writer now directs attention to the following from the Introduction of the book Song of the Soul based on Rabbi Chaim Moshe Luzatto’s “Kalach Pitchei Chochma”:
The Chazon Ish in his work Emunah U’Vitachon (Faith and Trust) writes: “If man is refined, at peace with himself, free of lustful desire, and amazed at the sight of the heavens on high and depths of the earth, he becomes excited and astounded because the world before him seems to be a hidden, wondrous enigma. This enigma captivates his intellect and heart, leaving them no ambition other than solving this puzzle. This solution absorbs his soul. He would pass through fire and water to attain it, for what is the point of this pleasant life if its purpose is concealed from him? His soul becomes disoriented, mourning and yearning to comprehend this secret and know its roots – but the gateways are locked.”
…..As noted, our purpose in this world is to transform the world into a kingdom of the Almighty. The first step toward this goal is the fulfillment of the 613 mitzvot, as specified in the Torah and Oral Law. The performance of mitzvoth inspires one to learn, expand his knowledge, and rise spiritually. Once a person decides to fulfill his obligation in this world, he cannot remain the same. There is ascent and descent, advancement and regression; he cannot stagnate. Driven by his soul, this person will search more and more. This drive fills him with yearning. As King David said, “My soul thirsts for You” (Tehillim 63), and “As a deer yearns for brooks of water, so my soul yearns for you, O God.” (ibid 42). This internal push differs from person to person. Every Jew’s neshamah (soul) is rooted in the upper worlds, and the higher the root, the stronger the push. His aspirations to unite with and devote himself to his Creator lead him to seek until his thirst is quenched.
Some are satisfied with fulfilling mitzvoth and understanding their reasons as expounded in many classical texts, such as Sefer HaChinuch. These explainations suffice for those seeking general information related to fulfilling mitzvoth. These people pray with devotion and study Torah for its own sake. In their prayers, Torah study, and mitzvoth, they serve their Creator with all their hearts and grow in Torah and fear of God, each according to the root of his soul. [blog writer directs the reader to type in the blog search on this page “your name is your essence to read about the blog writer’s soul after reading here.]
However, these reasons do not satisfy everyone. Some consider this approach is too superficial. They feel that the stories in the Torah have deeper meaning…….
The sefer Kol HaTor  writes that The Gaon of Vilna wrote much about the fact that the redemption depends on learning Kabbalism, for thus the teachings of our righteous Mashiach will be revealed gradually, which means the teachings the Tora of Eretz Israel (which is the Jerusalem Talmud). This is revealed in the words “and the gold of the land is good” (Bereshis 2:12) – blog writer [this is mentioned in the reading of my name] ………………… Mashiach ben Yosef resides within the 999 sparks of many a soul in Israel, in those who merit carrying out deeds that promote the ingathering of Israel, in those who merit carrying out deeds that promote the ingathering of exiles, etc. Whoever merits, on the basis of his deeds as well as the merits of his forefathers, carrying out deeds that are characteristic of Mashiach ben Yosef, is considered a spark from the root of the soul of Mashiach ben Yosef – each according to the level of his deeds.
This blog writer ends here for the time being.  May my deed in bringing just a “tidbit” of emes to my readers regarding the ingathering of exiles to our Land indeed give me merit to have a tidbit spark  of Mashiach ben Yosef within me. READ THE ESSENCE OF MY NAME! I have a son named Yosef – my name is GOLD - …the gold of the land is good – LET US ALL GO HOME! Please HaShem NOW! Pray for the peace of Israel.

Levi Chazan of Yeshivat Ohr Hara'ayon states in his article The Natural Miracle, "Interestingly, when it comes to finding the best doctors or running after a livelihood, we make the greatest effort. Why, then, when it comes to bringing the Redemption closer do we just sit around and wait?"

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Eating Insects

Everything we do should be done for the sake of heaven. See: 

What follows is old news but I was reminded of this situation when reading again Vayikra chapter 11. 

It is so grand to be a Jew that follows the Torah of HaShem! 

(CNN) - - A 32 year old man downed dozens of roaches and worms to win python at a Florida reptile store, then collapsed and died outside minutes later. 

Vayikra/Leviticus 11:42-45
42. Any [creature] that goes on its belly, and any [creature] that walks on four [legs] to any [creature] that has many legs, among all creeping creatures that creep on the ground, you shall not eat, for they are an abomination. 43. You shall not make yourselves abominable with any creeping creature that creeps, and you shall not defile yourselves with them, that you should become unclean through them. 44. For I am the Lord your God, and you shall sanctify yourselves and be holy, because I am holy, and you shall not defile yourselves through any creeping creature that crawls on the ground.

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