Friday, December 30, 2005

Friday, December 23, 2005

Rabbanim ages 20-60 need to Speak out on Behalf of Eretz Yisroel

A very disturbing article about Pioneer Youth who were violently attacked by police and then condemned by their own leaders appears in Arutz7.

The Youth under age 20 have courageously been fighting this war for Eretz Yisroel. They are too young to be soldiers. Soldiers in Tanach are between ages 20 and 60.

Let us go back to the sin of the Miraglim. The Miraglim were the leaders of Am Yisroel in the desert. They did not crave the Land of Israel. The commentators suggest that they were satisfied with their spirituality in the desert. Aside from Yehoshua bin Nun and Calev Ben Yefuneh, they melted the hearts of the people and did not speak out for Eretz Yisroel. All the men of that generation ages 20 thru 60, who were the soldiers of that generation, died out as a result (except for Yehoshua and Calev).

I hope and pray and believe that there is still time to rectify the situation in our day.

The Rabbinic Leaders have yet to openly declare (Kupat Hair does an excellent Job in public relations and getting their message across) that Eretz Yisroel is promised to Am Yisroel and that it is fundamental to the Torah.

Am Yisroel is obligated in turn to keep the Mitzvoth in order to bring Kedushah to the Land and blessings to the world.

The Roadmap is in direct opposition to G-d's Covenant in the Bible with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Here is the proof. The boundaries of the Roadmap, the land to be given to an independent Palestinian State fall in the boundaries of Judea and Samaria and Gaza. Judea, Samaria and Gaza are part of the Covenant promised exclusively to the Nation of Israel and this is spelled out in the Torah in several places.

Al Queida has mentioned the failure on our part to claim the Land promised to the Nation of Israel.

Unless a public proclamation is made by our Rabbinic Leaders, how can we dispute the claim that we don't desire the gift that Hashem has bestowed upon us.

It is not too late for the Rabbanim to take a stand and claim Eretz Yisroel for the Nation of Israel. Our claim to Eretz Yisroel is clearly linked with obligations which are the Mitzvoth.

Taking such a stand will be a tremendous Kiddush Hashem and the key to our redemption!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The Deportees

Yesterday I toured some of the Disengagement deportee homes. Here's my report.

Monday, December 12, 2005

I Confess....


Batya from got me into this. So now I have to confess.

So I confess that:

I hate confessing about anything...

I always think I'm write and never wrong... (forget about spelling)

I hate washing my dirty laundry in public and in private well .... (I'm lucky I have a husband who enjoys doing laundry at all hours of the night...while I'm blogging ...)

but I confess that I complain afterwards that the colors ran...

I confess that sometimes I'm on overload and my brain starts acting a little strange like when my computers memory got overload and nothing seemed to work right and all I got were a bunch of errors that made no sense at all...

So when all this blogging gets me on overload and whose paying much attention to my blog anyway? and the kids can't find clothes to wear in the morning and and supper is ready at bedtime and I can't walk in my basement anymore because the clutter has taken over and my house is begging for my attention, I confess that my new occupation is now "home organization".

Stay tuned for a new blog on that subject....

And my last confession is that I can't think of anyone to tag who has a blog. I can think of people that should have a blog but don't, like Evelyn Haze and my husband...

I confess that I'm new to blogging and I don't know many bloggers yet who I can tag and I'm a bit slow at playing catch but when I catch one, I'll post it. Robin..

And my very last confession is that my last confession wasn't quite my last...

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Yishai and Malka Fleisher - INN Beit El and ITamar


For a connection to Shemittah please see end of this post.

I just finished listening to a fabulous program on Arutz7 - Yishai and MAlka Fleisher. Their first guest was Yossi Maimon who spoke about Beit El also the home of Yishai and Malka Fleisher. Yossi mentioned that in Parshas Vayetzei this past weeks Parsha, Yaakov Avinu left his father's house and was confronted by Elifaz who was instructed by his father Eisav to kill him. Yaakov Avinu suggested to Elifaz that instead of killing him, that he give Elifaz all that he owned and Elifaz should spare his life. Elifaz agreed. It was in this penniless state that Yaakov Avinu laid down to rest with only rocks as his pillow. Yossi Maimon said that Yaakov Avinu was the first refugee. It was in this state, owning nothing of his own, Yaakov Avinu had a dream where Hashem appeared to him and promised him that He will be with him and that once again he will return him to this Land. Breishis Perek 28 Pasuck 13 "And behold! Hashem was standing over him , and He said "I am Hashem, G-d of Abraham your father and G-d of Isaac, the ground upon which you are lying, to you will I give it and to your descendants. Your offspring shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out powerfully westward, eastward northward and southward, and all the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you and your offspring. Behold, I am with you; I will guard you wherever you go and I will return you to this soil; for I will not forsake you until I will have done what I have spoken about you."

Yossi mentioned that if you go on top of the water tower in Beit El there is a magnificent view of all of Israel. On a clear day you can see the hills of Moav to the East and the Ocean to the West.

Yaakov Avinu returns 23 years later to the same place loaded down with posessions. In Perek 31 Pasuk 17 it says "Yaakov arose and lifted his children and his wives onto the camels. He led away all his livestock and all the wealth which he had amassed - his purchased property which he had amassed in Paddam-aram - to go to his father Isaac, to the land of Canaan."

Yaakov Avinu then prays to Hashem " Perek 32 Pasuk 10 "Then Jacob said "G-d of my father Abraham and G-d of my father Isaac; Hashem Who said to me "Return to your land and to your relatives and I will do good with you - "I have been diminished by all the kindnesses and by all the truth that You have done Your servant; for with my staff I crossed this Jordan and now I have become two camps. Rescue me, please from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau, for I fear him lest he come and strike me down, mother and children. And you had said "I will surely do good with you and I will make your offspring like the sand of the sea which is too numerous to count."

Yaakov Avinu recognizes the miracle that has happened and that G-d has been true to His word. Yaakov Avinu has returned with much blessings, far from his original state at this site when he davened from Beit El with just his staff.

In Parshat Vayishlach, Yaakov Avinu fights with the Sar of Eisov and is victorious. At this point his name is changed to Yisrael. Yishai Fleisher pointed out that before, the name Yaakov represents someone that knows of his worth but has to somehow subversively keep claim to it. Now Yaakaov Avinu has earned the name that symbolizes dignity and self worth. Embedded in the name Yisroel is the word Sar which means prince. Yakov Avinu deals with Eisav and goes to settle in Shechem.

How fortunate are Yishai and Malkah Fleisher to live in Beit El constantly being reminded of the fulfillment of Hashem's promise to Yaakov Avinu . In fact Yishai Fleisher invited Yossi Maimon to a Hachnasas Sefer Torah on the hill of Beit El near the water tower, I believe today.

Yaakov Avinu settles in Shechem. How fitting that the program's next guest was Leah Goldshmidt of Itamar, a settlement facing Har Grizim and Har Eival overlooking Shechem. Leah mentioned that there is a very strong connection with the residents of Itamar and to Yosef Hatzadik. She discussed the Moshiach Ben Yosef and Moshiach Ben David. Yosef symbolizes material wealth. She said that ISrael today with it's many choices of leben have reached material wealth. It is now the time to bring Moshiach Ben David. The forces are out trying to prevent Moshiach Ben David's arrival. If I understood correctly, she said that the destruction of Yosef's tomb symbolizes the end of an era where Yosef(materialism) is the primary ruler.

She quoted Breishit Perek 48 Pasuk 22 "And as for me, I have given you Shechem - one portion more than your brothers, which I took from the hand of the Emorite with my sword and with my bow". Leah said the Achad means that we, Am Yisroel must be united as one and even if many of our brethren do not see eye to eye. I am not sure I understand what Leah was suggesting by this.

My understanding is that according to Rashi, Yaakov Avinu says that he is giving to Yosef Hatsadik the extra Chelek portion that he received from Eisav. True, Beit David(from Shevet Yehudah) and Beit Yosef(from Shevet Efraim) must be united as one. The time has come for the Calev's of our generation(Calev was from Shevet Yehudah) to take a stand for our covenant and say that G-d has promised us the Land of Israel. In Yehoshua, Perek 14, Calev is not humble or timid. He is quite upfront and came with all the elders of Shevet Yehuda, with dignity to Yehoshua the Leader of Am Yisroel 7 years after the conquering of Eretz Canaan and the time when the Land was being portioned out to all the Shevatim.

In Yehoshua Perek 14 Pasuk 6) "The Children of Judah approached Joshua in Gilgal, and Caleb son of Yefuneh the Kenizzite said to him, "You are aware of the matter that Hashem told Moses, the man of G-d, concerning me and concerning you in Kadesh-barnea. 7)I was forty years old when Moses, the servant of Hashem, sent me from Kadesh-barnea to spy out the land, and I brought him back a report as was in my heart. 8)My brethren who went up with me melted the heart of the people, but I fulfilled [the will of] Hashem, my G-d. 9)Moses swore on that day saying 'Surely the land on which your foot trod will be to you as a heritage, and to your children forever, because you fulfilled [the will of] Hashem, my G-d. 10)And now behold - Hashem has kept me alive as He had spoken, these forty five years, from the time HASHEM spoke this word to Moses when Israel went in the Wilderness; and now, behold, I am eighty five years old today. 11) I am still as strong today as I was on the day that Moses sent me. As my strength was then, so my strength is now for war - to go out and to come in. 12)So now, give me this mountain of which HASHEM spoke on that day, because you heard on that day that the Anakim were there and that the cities were large and fortified. Perhaps Hashem will be with me, and I will drive them out, as Hashem had spoken."

Calev was extremely upfront. He did not sound very humble when he talked about his strength and asked to conquer Hebron, a strong and fortified city, single handedly. His intention was to show that Hashem will fulfill the promise that He had made because Calev fulfilled the will of Hashem. Calev was so convinced that Hashem was with him because why else would Calev have retained his strength if not to single handedly take Hebron. What just came to mind was that in 1967, Hebron surrendered to a single chief Rabbi at the time).

How is this connected to Shmita? Hashem has promised us via our Avot, via the Covenant, Eretz Yisroel. This is fundamental to our Torah. Just like Calev spoke up for Eretz Yisroel we too must speak up for the Covenant and for the Mitzvot of the Torah. Yaakov Avinu was penniless when he had the dream of Beit El. Hashem promised that his offspring will inherit the Land. Yaakov Avinu knew that the promise Hashem made to him 23 years prior was becoming a reality. Now he actually had offspring and posessions while before he was single and penniless. Yaakov Avinu says Breishis, perek 32, pasuk 11 "Katonti Mikol Hachosadim".

Yishai Fleisher quoted from Vayikra Perek 26 Pasuk 13 the word Komemiyut anad translated it as dignity.

Komemiyut comes hand in hand with "following My decrees and observe My commandments" (Pasuk 1). This dependance is repeated again and again. In Parshas Behar when it talks about Shemittah and Yoveil it talks about security. Shemittah is the key for Kommeyut together with Yoveil. But for Yoveil we need to know who the tribes are and what their Nachala is. If we knew exactly what our nachala was, then we would all be displaced. If we found out that we were living in a Nachala that was not ours we would need to return it to the rightful owner in the Yoveil year. However, I am sure it would not be another disengagement void of dignity and pride. It would be with love, knowing that we are simply returning to the place we can best actualize our purpose on this earth. For this to actually happen, we need to first identify all the tribes and then act in unity.

How did Efraim rise to power to begin with? They stood up to Rechavim from the House of David when the Kingdom of David began to stray from the mitzvot and the Laws of Hashem Unfortunately, Efraim and the rest of the ten tribes also worshipped idols and strayed from the proper path. (See the Haftorah of Parshat Vayetzei) Hashem promises that He will not forsake Efraim.

Like Karbonot and all the other Mitzvot we can not do until we have a Beis Hamikdash, we yearn for Moshiach to come so that he can reveal to us our ancestral heritage.

How else can we keep the Mitzvah of Yoveil?

Yes we want to be disposessed.. but only by keeping the Mitzvot and not Chas Vesholom from other outside forces.

(translations from the Stone Edition of Chumash and the Rubin Edition of Yehoshua).

Adopt a Gush Katif Family Program

You probably already recieved this but...just in case
Shavua Tov.
----- Original Message -----
From: Ruthi
To: Rochelle Sassen Schaffer
Sent: Saturday, December 03, 2005 8:21 PM
Subject: Fw: [OhaveiEretzYisrael] Adopt a Gush Katif Family Program

----- Original Message -----
From: Lee Caplan
Sent: Friday, December 02, 2005 12:09 AM
Subject: [OhaveiEretzYisrael] Adopt a Gush Katif Family Program

Shalom everyone. The following idea proposed by Naomi Ragen sounds like a terrific idea, and it is just in time for Chanukah. As we celebrate the chanukas hamizbeach of the Chashmonaim, how appropos it would be to help our brethren make a chanukas habayis as they try to rebuild their lives. If you have any doubts as to whether or not they really need our help, one look at the orange bulletin below should dispel those doubts. They truly need our help. Please consider getting involved in this wonderful idea and getting others in your community to join in that effort. We must take steps that will really help our brethren, and this seems to me to be that kind of opportunity. I hope you will agree. If you do, please contact Naomi. at:

----- Original Message -----
From: "Naomi Ragen"
Sent: Thursday, December 01, 2005 10:34 PM
Subject: Adopting a Gush Katif Family

> Dear Friends,
> I woke up this morning with the following idea on how to
> help the precious families of Gush Katif. I would like to discuss it
> with all of you. What if synagogue congregations, and(why not?)
> pro-Israel Christian congregations all over the world adopt one
> family from Gush Katif and become responsible for their needs until
> they are back on their feet. This would include writing and speaking
> to family members either personally, or through a volunteer
> interpreter. It would include having the entire congregation
> write letters on behalf of the family to the Israeli
> bureaucrats. It would include being active in pursuing the
> Israeli politicians overseeing this (remember, this is an
> election year. Politicians are fundraising among the Jews
> of the world. You have leverage). It would involve sending
> care packages of clothing. And yes, cash. But it wouldn't
> be overwhelming, because it would be one family helped by
> hundreds of families.
> I would prepare an application and put it on my website for any
> congregation interested in participating. You could fill it out and
> e-mail it to me, and I would then ask local volunteers to find
> suitable families interested in participating.
> If we can make a "shidduch" between the congregations and
> the families that will lead to each congregation (and thousands and
> thousands of people all over the world) being intimately involved with
> the difficulties each family faces materially, politically and
> bureacratically, so that the powers that be will not be able to claim
> that all is well, that alone will be worthwhile. This is a way to
> give immediate help, to personalize and publicize the plight of
> families.
> If you think your congregation would participate, please let me know.
> Naomi

Moshe Finberg wrote:
Help Us Help Them, Please donate generously.

Are you capable of sitting silently and patiently another day?
English Orange November 28, 2005 / 26 Cheshvan 5766,

100 days later: 426 Families still living in hotels and their possessions are held in an army base Uprooted in one week, abandoned already for 3 months
· approx.1700 families lost their homes this past summer
· about 10,000 people were ripped out of their homes and lives in seven days
· 100 days have elapsed since the forceful relocation
· 2200 people are currently unemployed
· 50% of the 'caravillas' promised by the Sel"a Authority are still not ready
65% of the uprooted remain in "immediate solution" quarters intended for the first week only
105 families presently live in tents
dozens of youth have yet to find suitable educational solutions
approximately 700 families live in various temporary quarters such as caravillas, caravans and other temporary structures
size of a caravilla is between 60 to 120 square meters. (646 sq. ft. to 130 sq. feet)
some families with 12 members are housed in a single caravilla
$500 is the average rental fee for a caravilla
caravillas can hold, at best, up to 50% of the family's belongings
24 containers holding entire family possessions have totally disappeared
4 homes were totally destroyed together with the house contents
the majority of the families are not permitted access to their storage containers and have to buy new basic supplies to the amount of tens of thousands of shekels
over the summer some expensive furniture was irreparably damaged by the extreme temperatures without proper storage conditions.
more than 300 agricultural farms were wiped off the face of the earth
only 20 have been relocated
0 residents received the promised severance pay
merely 13% were deemed eligible to receive a temporary advance of living allowance.
families that were living in rented homes in Gush Katif/Northern Shomron, according to the expulsion- reparation law are NOT eligible for any monetary assistance
Singles living in the expelled areas are not eligible for any reparations
about 600 families are today living in hotel rooms and educational institutions
the hotel dwellers are not entitled to basic rights like hosting guests in their rooms, internet access, telephone use...
3 washing machines are available for the use of the Moshav Katif people and 3 washing machines are allocated for Netzer Chazani people (several hundred people!)
2 telephone lines on average available for the use of the refugees in the various hotels. At some hotel no personal calls are allowed at all
35% of the evacuees are still living in hotels
hundreds of children above age 7 have started wetting their beds (nearly 45% of all children)
many heart attacks have occurred as a result of the expulsion crisis
many suicide attempts as a result of the disengagement
4 girls between ages 16-19 are in a locked hospital ward because of their extreme emotional state
10 youth are in clinical depression and do not leave their rooms
thousands of children who returned to the classrooms have dramatically dropped their grades
many families are still charged to pay back mortgages on their non-existent houses
Homesh expellees have been billed by the electric company for cutting off the electricity
Only within the past two weeks has the disengagement authority been willing to give recognition to communities rather than to individuals
Only within the past two weeks has the disengagement authority been willing to give recognition to communities rather than to individuals
about 400 families have gone off on their own, spread throughout the country, cut off from their communities and their support system
Neveh Dekalim alone has been forced to split up into 13 different locations around the country against their explicit request to remain together, long before the expulsion.
Evacuation of the Northern Shomron communities allows for a territorial contiguity of the Arabs from Schem (Nablus) through to Jenin, a distance of tens of kilometers.
28% of Israel's land has, in effect, been abandoned by her citizens
3000 coats intended for the evacuees were stolen from the warehouses.
Ministry of Education does not subsidize the temporary schools that have been established around the country
75% of the Expellees are still without jobs
Students who missed the summer exams are being barred from taking make-up exams.
0 refugees have been moved of their own free will
25 thriving and flourishing communities have been totally wiped out
38 bodies were removed from their graves. Their families had to go through the trauma of reburial and sitting Shiva AGAIN
Synagogues were destroyed
ten thousand citizens are thrown out of their homes, without their possessions, ignored totally by the government
There has been NOT one solution for any single citizen!!!

LeMaan Acheinu - assistance and counseling: 02- 5090111,
Legal Aid Chonenu- 1-599-504-020
Justice Forum- (till 5:00 pm) 02 5022202
Legal assistance- 08-971-6676 (till 7:00 pm) Law office experienced in the laws and dealing with the disengagement authority.
Employment- 08-6727703 (job offers and placement)
JobKatif website-
Modiin Bulletin Board- (assistance)
Paamonim-Financial Advice and Assistance-1-800- 351-012 or 02-9975577
Lev Achim- 1-800-550-300 (National Education Hotline)
Open Line- Hotline for emotional and faith issues 02-6518388
Aliyat HaNoar- 036898738
Minhelet Selah, Jerusalem- 02-531-1144, 88 Northern area- 04-624 7393 Southern area- 086610050
Shame Page-
Please foward this Email

Never Again to indifference.
Never Again to silence.
Never Again to Ethnic Cleansing.
Never Again to the deportation of Jews.
"I will plant them upon their land, and they will never again be uprooted from their land which I have given them, said HaShem, your G_d." Amos 9:15.
To make a donation, please go to our website.
Maalat HaGeula
Moshe Finberg Chairman
Phone: 303.442.1276
Ascendant Redemption has been determined by the I.R.S. to be an organization described in Section 501 (c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions to it are fully deductible as provided by law. Its taxpayer identification number is 68-0522194. Maalat HaGeula
Shelly Sar
Maalat HaGeula
Robert Turk
Phone: 860.379.2912
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Friday, December 09, 2005

The Orange Revolution

Orange Revolution

In the same way that documented all aspects of the "Disengagement" process, I hope and pray that we will merit to document the "Engagement", one I call "The Orange Revolution".

Please visit and subscribe to the site. We'll post every article and news item we feel is part of the grassroots movement to "reconnect" the Jewish People to the Torah and the Land of Israel.

Yoel Ben-Avraham

Sunday, December 04, 2005

The Covenant - The Muslim sees what we fail to see


Tashbh Sayyed understands that the Covenant means that both parties accept upon themselves duties and obligations. It's time for the Nation of Israel to stand up and finally accept upon themselves their willingness to keep the commandments and thereby be worthy of G-d's gift to us. How come we have yet to acknowledge that the Land of Israel is fundamental to the Covenant and that we dare not betray our mission and role as the Nation of Israel among the Nations of the World.

Opinion Arutz7

A Muslim in a Jewish Land
Part I
by Tashbih Sayyed
Dec 01, '05 / 29 Cheshvan 5766

...I was confident that Israel cannot be racist or discriminatory since it is based on the idea of the covenant between God and the Israelites, in which both parties accepted upon themselves duties and obligations, underlining the fact that power is established through the consent of both sides, rather than through tyranny by the more powerful party.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Inspiration - When It Seems Too Much to Bear


This article appeared in Country Yossi Family Magazine November 2005 page 39.

A man was sleeping at night in his cabin when suddenly his room filled with light and G-d appeared. Hashem told the man He had work for him to do and showed him a large rock in front of his cabin.

G-d explained that the man was to push against the rock with all his might. So, this the man did, day after day. For many weeks he toiled from sun up to sun down, his shoulders set squarely against the cold, massive surface of the unmoving rock, pushing with all of his might.

Each night the man returned to his cabin sore and worn out, feeling that his whole day had been spent in vain.

Since the man was showing discouragement, the Satan decided to place adverse thouhts into his weary mind. "You have been pushing against that rock for a long time, and it hasn't moved."

Thus he gave the man the impression that the task was impossible and that he was a failure. These thoughts discouraged and disheartened the man.

Satan said, "Why kill yourself over this? Just put in your time giving the minimum effort, and that will be good enough."

That's what the weary man planned to do; but decided to make it a matter of prayer and take his troubled thoughts to G-d. "Hashem" he said, "I have labored long and hard in your service, putting all my strength to do that which you have asked. Yet, after all this time, I have not even budged that rock by half a millimeter. What is wrong? Why am I failing?"

Hashem responded compassionately, "My child, when I asked you to serve Me and you accepted, I told you that your task was to push against the rock with all of your strength, which you have done. Ner once did I mention that I expected you to move it. Your task was to push. And now you come to Me with your strength spent, thinking that you have failed. Is that really so?

Look at yourself.

"Your arms are strong and muscled, your back sinewy and brown, your hands are callused from constant pressure, your legs have become massive and hard. Through opposition you have grown much, and your abilities now surpass those which you used to have.

"True, you haven't moved the rock. But your calling was to be obedient and to push and to exercise your faith and trust in My wisdom. That you have done. Now I, my child, will move the rock."

At times, when we hear a word from G-d, we tend to use our own intellect to decipher what He wants, when actually what G-d wants is just simple obedience and faith in Him. By all means, excercise the faith that moves mountains, but know that it is still Hashem who moves the mountains.

When everything seems to go wrong...just P.U.S.H.!

When people don't act the way you think they should ... just P.U.S.H.

When the money is "gone" and the bills are due...just P.U.S.H.!

When people just don't understand you... just P.U.S.H.

P - Pray
U - Until
S - Something
H - Happens.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Agudah Convention - Activism for Eretz Yisroel


This past Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend I attended the Agudah Convention together with Evelyn Haies of Rachel's Children Reclamation Foundation. From past years we knew that the sessions and speakers are of high quality. We suspected that advocacy on behalf of the people of Gush Katif, or against the Roadmap would be on the back burner. We were hoping to at least raise awareness.

We sat in the activism session. Other sessions included infertility, shiduchim, kiruv etc. We got a chance to speak up. Evelyn spoke up about Kever Rochel and about her work for Rachel's Children Reclamation Foundation. I spoke about how impressed I was of the Organization Agudath Yisroel and how powerful a voice they would be if Rav Shteinman and Rav Eliashiv would make a statement (Kol Korei) that Eretz Yisroel is promised exclusively to the seed of Avrahom Yitzchok and Yaakov and we in turn must keep the commandments. This Covenant is in direct conflict with the Roadmap Plan. The Covenant and the Roadmap are mutually exclusive. When I went over to Chaim Dovid Zwiebel who was one of the chairs of the session he pretty much said that unless the Rabbanim in Eretz Yisroel speak up, they are paralyzed to do anything.

After the session we passed around literature to the attendees. I passed around a letter which I wrote to the Rabbanim of Agudath Yisroel.


An open letter to the Rabbanim of Agudas Yisroel,

G-d in his Covenant with Avraham Yitzchok and Yaakov says that the Land is for the people of Israel exclusively. Am Yisroel in turn is obligated in the Mitzvot.

Tachlis. Can the Agudah make a public statement (Kol Korei) supporting this statement?

Interesting Proofs for those of you who enjoy Geometry:

Hypotheses: The Roadmap Plan and the Covenant are mutually exclusive.

1. Given: The Covenant says that G-d gives the Land of Israel to the Nation of Israel as an eternal inheritance exclusively.
2. Given: The boundaries of the Land of Israel are promised to Abraham and then promised to Moshe and Yehoshua and is spelled out in Tanach.
3. Given: The Roadmap calls for an Independent Palestinian State within the recognized territorial boundaries of the Land of Israel including Judea, Samaria and Gaza which are a subset of the boundaries intersected by the various boundaries spelled out in Tanach
4. The Roadmap Plan and the Covenant are mutually exclusive

Either the Roadmap is the way to go or the Covenant is the way to go. If we choose the Covenant we must oppose the Roadmap. If we choose the Roadmap then by extension we oppose the Covenant. What do our Rabbi's or Jewish Leaders choose? I would first ask Rav Shteinman and Rav Eliashiv. I would also ask the Rebbe of Belz, the Gerrer Rebbe, the Vishnitz Rebbe and all the Chasidic Rebbe's.

No protest to the Roadmap is implicit agreement with the Roadmap or interpreted by the hundreds of thousands of followers as such.


Robin Ticker

Another Hypothesis: The Blessings on the world can only come about when Israel has rights to the Land.

Given A: The Land of Israel is promised in a Covenant between G-d and Avraham Yitzchok and Yakov as an eternal inheritance of their seed.
Given B: Am Yisroel are obligated to keep the Mitzvoth of the Torah
Given C: Many Mitzvoth can only be done on the Land of Israel.
Given D: Only Am Yisroel is obligated to keep the Mitzvoth that can only be done on the Land of Israel
Given E: The Nations of the world will be blessed via Am Yisroel when they keep the Mitzvoth of the Torah

1. Only Am Yisroel are obligated to keep these Mitzvoth. (given D)
2. Am Yisroel must have the Land in order to keep these Mitzvoth and by extension if Am Yisroel does not have access to the Land then they are unable to keep these Mitzvoth(Given C)
3. The Blessings of the World can only come when Am Yisroel keep the Mitzvot. (given E)
4, Therefore, the only way Blessings can come to the world is if the Land of Israel is in the hands of Am Yisroel.

Once we have the Land of Israel then potentially we can bring Blessings to the world.

Once we have the Land of Israel and keep the Mitzvoth then the world will be blessed.

The next question is:

When we owned the Land how do we keep the Mitzvoth that are pertaining to the Land as prescribed by the Torah.

How do we follow the Mitzvoth pertaining to the 7 year Shmita cycle as best as possible?

Bikurim - What do we do when there is no Beis Hamikdash and the Kohanim are dispersed?
Leket Shikcha and Peeh? Do the poor (Ger Yasom and Almonah)have easy access to the fields
Year 1 and Year 2 Maaser Rishon and Maaser Sheni. Maaser Rishon. What do we do when we do not have a Beis Hamikdash and the Leviyim are not exactly working their shifts? Support Torah Institutions? Also, for Maaser Sheni should we opt for trips to Israel/Jerusalem in these years rather than support orphanages and widows and strangers?
Year 3 Maaaser Rishon and Maaser Ani
Year 4 Vidui Maaser
Year 4 and Year 5 Maaser Rishon and Maaser Sheni,
Year 6 Maaser Rishon Maaser Ani
Year 7 Shmita without Pruzbul and Heter Mechira, Vidui Maaser
Hakhel (Sukkot following Shmita year)
Yovel May Moshiach come and tell us which tribes we belong to. Then we will all be displaced.
I am in the middle of reading Worldstorm by Roy S. Neuberger. I am finding it fascinating.

In this book he says, that it is G-d that makes the rules. When man chooses to make up his own rules that circumvent or defy G-d's rules he gets into deep trouble.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Parshas Toldos - Yitzchok in Gerar, Eretz Pelishtim - Isn't that Gush Katif?


This post comes from my evening Chavrusa with my 7 year old son. We read Little Midrash Says on the Parsha of the Week. There was a famine in the Land of Israel. Yitzchok wanted to go to Mitzraim like his father had done but Hashem says not to. Yitzchok has a special Kedusha because of the Akeida he was an Olah Temima (Rashi) and can not leave Eretz Yisroel. Hashem reiterates to Yitzchok the covenant that he gave to Avraham Aveinu after the Akeida and again reiterates that the gift of the Land is attributed to Avraham's loyalty in obeying the word of Hashem. He is sent to Gerar which I believe is Gush Katif. Therefore it must be part of Eretz Yisroel. The Parsha discusses how Avimelech realizes that indeed Yitchok is married to Rivka and restrains himself from taking Rivka knowing from the former Avimelech's experience what the consequences of such an action would be. He puts forth a warning for all not to do anything to hurt Yitzchok and Rivka or else they will die. Yitzcok plants and is blessed hundred fold. Rashi says he was scrupulous in keeping meticulous records in order to tithe properly (Maaser). Yitzchok digs wells in the valley of Gerrar that were originally built by his father Avraham and were closed up (Breishis Perek 26 Pasuk 18). The were fights between the shepherds of Yitzchok and the Pelishtim over the wells. Yitzchok's servents dug and the Pelishtim stole it. The wells dried up for the Pelishtim. The Pelishtim gave it back to Yitzchok. Here we see a foreshadowing of future history. In Avraham's time, wells that were built were closed up. Wells Yitzchok built were stolen, again to be given back to their rightful owner. The wells didn't produce for the Pelishtim and they were useless. They only produced for Yitzchok.

Here, once again the Torah is very explicit in tying the gift of the Land with Avarham's loyalty in obeying the word of Hashem. Perek 26 Pasuck 5. "Because Abraham obeyed my voice, observed my safeguards, my commandments, my decrees, My Torah's".

May Hashem give us the courage and fotitude to follow in the footsteps of our forefathers to keep the Mitzvoth of the Torah so that we too will merit al the blessings.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

My daugther's Bat Mitzvah

This Blog is primarily about a personal connection with the Mitzvah of Shemittah. Posts here may seem irrevelant to the Mitzvah of Shemittah. They are not. At the end of the post I will try to tie in the connection.


On Sunday was my daughter's Bat Mitzva. It was in Prospect Park yeshiva and there were around 100 women and girls of all ages. The Bat Mitzvah was in solidarity with the people of Gush Katif. There was the usual singing, dancing and fun but there was also solidarity with the people of Gush Katif.The girls really got into writing letters and including 99Cent items in their packages to Gush Katif. You can see the intensity in their expressions and their understanding that this chesed is real. They really wanted those girls from Gush Katif to in some way know them that they care. They won tickets from dancing etc and with their tickets they bought prizes which they could keep or send to the people of Gush Katif. It was l'ilui Nishmas my Father z"l Yosef Zeev ben Moshe who in his lifetimes had many startovers. His first family was wiped out in the Holocaust. He remarried my Mother and had us. He tried various businesses until he became a zipper manufacturer. At age 65 he liquidated because selling the business wasn't an option because of the competition from the East. He started a the bottom this time as an employee and worked his way up. 15 years later at the age of 80 he suffered a stroke and once again, started over with OT and PT his new job. He relearned to walk and do steps and went to shul twice a day and wrote Tzedaka checks as well as bookkeeping. For 8 years he was productive in this way. His last year it was downhill but he really gave it all he had. The Bat Mitzva was also Li'lui my mother-in-law who was 15 years old at the time Nazi Germany took over Poland and was in the Warsaw Ghetto and Concentrations camps for 4 years at least. She too started over always with a love of life and full of hope.

I rewatch the TV video of the expulsion of Neve Dekalim and I cry. "Al Tastir Paneicha Mimeni". We pray that once again we will be zocheh that Hashem will shine his face upon us and we will be saved. - Vehair Panecha venivashea" as we say after lichtbenching.

Connection to Shemittah: The expulsion of Gush Katif resulted in the destruction of personal property. People lost their material possessions. Now everyone is in the process of sharing their wealth. The shemittah year is a year when ownership of produce in the field is shared by all.(shemitas karka). We are asked to give poor people whatever they need and they don't have to pay back. (shemittas kesafim). The girls at the Bat Mitzvah shared what they had.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Monday, October 17, 2005

Shemittah and this blog


This blog is dedicated to learning more about what Shemittah is all about in our time. Shemittah and Eretz Yisroel are so intertwined that one can not separate one from the other. The Shemittah year is basically one that can be best described as a socialist commune. All agriculture produce is collectively owned. Actually, it is owned by our Creater who commands us to share it. All debts are to be concelled at the end of the year thereby cancelling any feeling of ownership. The idea of Shemittah which is synonomous with the number 7 and Shabbat all point to the Creator of the World as the ultimate King. We, the Nation of Israel are His loyal subjects. Many posts here relate to how tragic recent events have given way to a Shemittah like lifestyle. There are posts referring to the importance of keeping the Commandments, Shemittah included, which gives us the right to the Land of Israel. Shemittah, like learning Torah, like Shabbat is basically a Mitzvah that is Keneged (equal) to all the other Mitzvoth. It is Shemittah and Shabbat that gives us a better understanding of the importance of keeping all the Mitzvoth of the Torah
Please read all the posts including the original posts written in September if you wish to hear a very personal yet powerful experience regarding the Shemittah year in recent years that is unlike the typical Shemittah current experience which includes Pruzbul and Heter Mechirah and buying produce from non Jewish sources.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Sefer Yehoshua - Conquest of Yericho


I know I should be preparing for the Bas Mitzva but I can't seem to stop blogging...

Neighbors on my block (Brooklyn) have started learning Sefer Yehoshua. Learning Sefer Yehoshua has really been wonderful. We've been getting material from Meam Loez and has wonderful material on Sefer Yehoshua, pasuk by pasuk. Each week the group meets at a different house on my block (we are around 9 participating women and kids play nearby). The hostess prepares a Perek in Yehoshua (as well as nosh of course). I prepared Perek Vav this week. This week was about the conquering of Yericho. There were 7 Shofars with 7 Kohanim in front of the Aron and for 7 days each day the warriors of the 12 tribes surrounded Yericho. Then they circled it 1 time each day. On the 7th day however, they circled Yericho 7 times. The Seventh day was Shabbat. There's something special about the number 7 and Eretz Yisroel. (There are parallels of encircling Yericho to the Hakofot on Sukkot in the time of the Beis Hamikdash. Please enlighten me about the Minhag in Yerushalyim nowadays. In shuls on Sukkot, we circle around the Bima each day and on Hoshana Rabba 7 times. I understand there are very significant kabbalistic meanings of this practice that complement the significance of Am Yisroel encircling Yericho)

In the procession of Yehoshua, the Shofars proclaimed Hashem King. The Shofar proclaims Hashem as King on Rosh Hashana as well. The conquest of Yericho was primarily to demonstrate the Kingship of Hashem. The city was conquered via a blatent miracle from Hashem. When the Tekia sounded and the people shouted, the walls sunk. As Yericho was the first conquest in Eretz Canaan, it was especially important that there be a proclamation that G-d is King and He created the world and decides who to give the Land of Israel. He showed via miracles that He is giving it to Am Yisroel. The entire city was cherem LaHashem. (Appropriate that on Shabbos one should not enjoy any benefit from Chillul Shabbat, even though Shabbat was precisely when Hashem wanted Yehoshua to conquer Yericho) The metals, gold, silver, copper brass were cherem for the treasurehouse of the Mishkan and the rest of the city was totally destroyed. Men, women, children, young, old were slain by the sword except for Rahav and her house. The idolatry was so terrible that what was done to them compares to what is to be done with Amalek so that the evil ways of the people would not adversely affect Am Yisroel. Rahav's possessions were saved with her even though the rest of the items in the city destroyed completely, so that she shouldn't be left homeless. She and members of her family turned over a new leaf and accepted to be part of Am Yisroel and married the elite of Am Yisroel The city was burnt and Yehoshua swore that it should never to be rebuilt so that the world is witness to the power of Hashem and His decision to give the Land to Am Yisroel. Yehoshua wrote Aleinu, proclaiming G-d as King and recited it backwards and frontwards during the conquest. This was then put into the Rosh Hashana davening.

At the group meeting, I noted the email from Rachel Saperstein (Operation Bandaid) and the email from Dr. Temkin about the airlift. I also brought up the teenager still in prison.

Lester and Jeannette Goldsmith from my shul (in laws of Chaim Richman) came back from Israel this week. He was at the funerals of the disenterred from Gush Katif at Har Hazeitim. He said that 12 of the bodies did not decompose. A sign that these were truly tzadikim.

He described a scene where he was on the bus in Bet El and one of the people on the bus was a refugee of Gush Katif a former farmer of 30 years and he was crying that he had a house, a farm and now he didn't even know where to get off...

There are those that believe, myself included that the time has come to be like the warriors in the time of Yehoshua who were willing to defend the right of the Land of Israel. We are Bnei Brisecho, the Children of the Covenant. The State of Israel may not see the need to defend our claim to the Land. Let those warriors (age 20 and up) that wish to defend our claim to the Land come forth and unite and may Hashem be with us.

As I was performing Kaporot Erev Yom Kippur designating the money for Operation Bandaid, I received a phone call telling me about a young women age 42 who passed away suddenly a week ago Friday night I thought to myself, now I know why I'm doing Kapparot. On Yom Kippur when we were all walking to shul in our rubber sandels and slippers in the drenching rain, my thoughts were on the people of Gush Katif and their open sandels...

It's tragic...
Shavua Tov!

Im taamin sheefshar lekalkel taamin sheefshar letaken. (Rabbi Nachman of Breslev) If you believe, that one can destroy believe one can repair.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Seal for Life the People of Your Covenant


A thought after Yom Kippur.

Are we the Children of the Covenant?

At Neila we cry out "Uchsom LeChaim Tovim Kol Bnei Brisecha". Seal for Life the Children of Your Covenant.

Let us focus on the Covenant!

Eretz Yisroel is promised as an inheritance to the seed of our forefathers. This has to be proclaimed loud and clear for all to hear. The Nation of Israel are obligated to keep the Mitzvoth specific to the Land.

Mitzvoth such as Shemittah, Maaser Rishon , Maaser Sheni, Bikurim etc those Mitzvoth that are read during Hakhel (see blog on Hakhel) should be a subject of intense discussion and review to see whether we have indeed been the People of the Covenant.

May that day be eminent and may we all be zocheh to Moshiach speedily in our days.

Shabbat Shalom!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

A Succot Memory

This isn't the most pleasant memory of the kotel, but it's a true story.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Expect no new posts till after Succoth from Robin


Because of the upcoming Simcha of my daughter's Bat Mitzvah, I will be putting a hold on blogging till the week after Succoth.

Wishing you all an easy fast, may we all be zocheh to be sealed in the Book of Life! Chag Sameach! A very joyous Succoth to all!

Al Na Tastir Paneicha Mimeni, Beyom Tzar Li


This was the song sung by the people of Gush Katif as the expulsion was taking place in Neve Dekalim. The people gathered in the Shul and parts of the service from Yom Kippur davening were recited by the Rav. There was the declaration of Shma Yisroel and Hashem Hu Haelokim seven times. This service was then followed by the Bracha of a mourner, Baruch Dayan Haemes. This was followed by Kria (the tearing of the garment of a mourner). After Kria there was a heartrending painful crying out to Hashem not to hide His face - Al Na Tastir Paneicha Mimeni, Beyom Tzar Li - Please don't conceal Your Face on the day of my suffering!

In Parshat Vayelech it describes a painfully similar scenario. In Devarim Perek 31 Pasukim 17-18 it says "My anger will flare against it on that day and I will forsake them; and I will conceal My face from them and they will become prey, and many evils and distresses will encounter it. It will say on that day 'Is it not because my G-d is not in my midst that these evils have come upon me?' But I will surely have concealed My face on that day because of all the evil that it did, for it had turned to gods of others.

In the Stone Chumash commentary it says "These two verses begin with G-d's wrath and the concealment of His countenance because of Israel's sins. Then, after Israel acknowledges that its suffering was caused because G-d removed Himself from their midst - which would seem to be the sort of repentance that should inspire G-d's mercy - strangely, G-d says again that He will conceal Himself from them. In fact Rashi (Isaiah 8:17) says that this is the harshest of all prophecies; it is softened only by verse 21, which promises that, no matter what, the Torah will not be forgotten by Israel.

The question remains however: Why will G-d continue to conceal Himself after Israel has repented? Ramban explains that Israel's declaration of verse 17 falls short of genuine repentance, because even though they acknowledge their guilt, they are not ready to confess and repent wholeheartedly. Nevertheless, G-d will respond favorably, because verse 18 does not speak of new suffering; however, He will conceal Himself in the sense that He will not reveal the impending redemption, and Israel will have to have strong faith that G-d will never reject them entirely (see Leviticus 26:44) The complete redemption must await confession and complete repentance, as in 30:2.

On Rosh Hashana in shul we said in the Zichronos Vayikra 26 Pasuk (42) "Vezacharti as Brisi Yaakov, Veaf as Brisi Yitzchok, Veaf es Brisi Avraham Ezkor, Vehaaretz Ezkor". I will remember My Covenant with Jacob and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My Covenant with Abraham will I remember, and I will remember the Land. "

If you look in the Chumash in Vayikra following this Pasuk it says:
(43)The Land will be bereft of them; and it will be appeased for its sabbaticals having become desolate of them; and they must gain appeasement for their iniquity, because they were revolted by My ordinances and because their spirit rejected My decrees.

What was the covenant promised individually to each of our Forefathers? The Covenant of Yaakov is in Breishis Perek 28 Pasukim 13-16.

"And behold! Hashem was standing over him, and He said, "I am Hashem, G-d of Abraham your father and G-d of Isaac; the ground upon which you are lying, to you will I give it and to your descendants. Your offspring shall be as the dust of the earth, and you shall spread out powerfully westward, eastward, northward and southward; and all the families of the earth shall bless themselves by you and by your offspring. Behold. I am with you; I will guard you wherever you go, and I will return you to this soil; for I will not forsake you until I will have done what I have spoken about you."

The Covenant to Yitzchok is Breishis Perek 26 Pesukim 2-6.

"Hashem appeared to him and said, "Do not descend to Egypt; dwell in the land that I shall indicate to you. Sojourn in this land I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your offspring will I give all these lands, and establish the oath that I swore to Abraham your father; I will increase your offspring like the stars of the heavens; and will give to your offspring all these lands; and all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your offspring. Because Abraham obeyed My voice, and observed My safeguards, My commandments, My decrees, and my Torahs.

The Covenant with Avraham is Breishis Perek 15 Pesukim 18-21.

On that day Hashem made a covenant with Abram saying; "To your descendants have I given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the Euphrates River, the Kennite, the Kenizzite, and the Kadmonite, the Hittite, the Perizzite, and the Rephaim; the Amorite, the Cananite, the Girgashite and the Jebusite"

Then again in Parshas Lech Lecha before Hashem commands Avraham and his household to do Bris Mila (circumcision) Hashem says Perek 17, Pasuk 2 "I will set My covenant between Me and you and I will increase you most exceedingly". After Hashem changes Avrams name to Avraham He says Pasuk 7 "I will ratify My covenant between Me and you and between your offspring after you, throughout their generations, as an everlasting covenant, to be a G-d to you and to your offspring after you, and I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojourns - the whole of the land of Canaan -as an everlasting possession; and I shall be a G-d to them." Then Hashem describes the covenant that Avraham should keep - the Bris Milah. Pasuk 13 "Thus, My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant."

In Parshas Vayera when Hashem decides to inform Avraham of his decision to wipe out Sodom and Gomorrah, Perek 18 Pasuk 18 "And Hashem said, 'Shall I conceal from Abraham what I do, now that Abraham is surely to become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by him? For I have loved him, because he commands his children and the household after him that they keep the way of Hashem, doing charity and justice, in order that Hashem might then bring upon Abraham that which He had spoken of him."

Following the Akeida in Breishis 22 Pasuk 15 it says "The angel of Hashem called to Abraham, a second time from heaven. And he said, "By Myself I swear - the word of Hashem - that because you have done this thing, and have not withheld your son, your only one, that I shall surely bless you and greatly increase your offspring like the stars of the heavens and like the sand on the seashore; and your offspring shall inherit the gate of its enemy. And all the nations of the earth shall bless themselves by your offspring, because you have listened to My voice."

The Covenants and promises to the forefathers share some of the following points.
  1. Land is promised to them and to their children afterwards
  2. They will multiply as the dust or sand of the earth and as the stars
  3. The Nations of the world are blessed through them
  4. The children must keep the commandments in order to be worthy of the Land.

The Torah in Nitzavim Perek 29 Pasuk 23 says And all the nations will say, "For what reason did Hashem do so to this Land; why this wrathfulness of great anger?" (24)And they will say, "Because they forsook the Covenant of Hashem, the G-d of their forefathers, that He sealed with them when He took them out of the Land of Egypt, and they went and served the gods of others and prostrated themselves to them, gods that they knew not and He did not apportion to them. So G-d's anger flared against that Land to bring upon the entire curse that is written in this Book; and Hashem removed them from upon their soil with anger, with wrath, and with fury and He cast them to another land as this very day! The hidden[sins] are for Hashem, our G-d but the revealed [sins] are for us and our children forever, to carry out all the words of this Torah.

B"h we were not expelled by a foreign country. We were expelled in Gush Katif by our loving brothers. (Tears were flowing on both sides) We are not yet expelled out of our entire Land. We still have a chance of Teshuva. A chance to reclaim our Land. Let us delve into studying the Mitzvoth and may Hashem do as He promises at the end of this Parsha Perek 30 Pasukim 7-10
"Hashem, your G-d will place all these imprecations upon your enemies and those who hate you, who pursued you. You shall return and listen to the voice of Hashem, and perform all His commandments that I command you today. Hashem will make you abundant in all your handiwork - in the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your animals, and the fruit of your Land - for good, when Hashem will return to rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your forefathers, when you listen to the voice of Hashem your G-d, to observe His commandments and His decrees, that are written in this Book of the Torah, when you shall return to Hashem your G-d, with all your heart and all your soul.

The first step is to declare that Eretz Yisroel is promised as an inheritance to the seed of our forefathers. Let us lobby each and every Rav Chareidi, CHasidish, in Eretz Yisroel and in the Diaspora to proclaim the right of our inheritance. That must be a given. That is our Covenant. Without that given every other argument does not have a base to stand on. Was this done? This can be done. Lo Bashamayim Hi!

The second step is to emphasize that the Nations of the world will bless themselves through the Nation of Israel.

The third and most difficult step is to focus on the Mitzvoth such as Shemittah, Maaser Rishon , Maaser Sheni, Bikurim etc those Mitzvoth that are read during Hakhel (see blog on Hakhel).

May that day be eminent and may we all be zocheh to Moshiach speedily in our days.
Gmar Chasima Tova!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Ketiva Vechatima Tova!


Let me take this opportunity to wish you all a very Kesiva Vechasima Tova. May we all be inscribed in the Book of Life! Thank you for blogging in.


A Pessimistic Outlook for Am Yisroel? Chas Veshalom!


Reading the second part of Parshat Vayelech was somewhat depressing.

First Hashem tells Moshe, Perek 31 Pesukim 16-19. "Hashem said to Moses, "Behold, you will lie with your forefathers, but this people will rise up and stray after the gods of the foreigners of the Land, in whose midst it is coming, and it will forsake Me and annul My covenant that I have sealed with it. May anger will flare against it on that day and I will forsake them, and I will conceal My face from them and they will become prey, and many evils and distresses will encounter it. It will say on that day, Is it not because my G-d is not in my midst that these evils have come upon me? But I will surely have concealed My face on that day because of all the evil that it did, for it had turned to gods of others."

Here is the last talk Moshe gave the people before his death.

"So it was that when Moses finished writing the works of this Torah into a book, until their conclusion. Moses commanded the Levites, the bearers of the Ark of the Covenant of Hashem, your G-d and it shall be there for you as a witness. For I know your rebelliousness and your stiff neck, Behold while I am still alive, with you today, you have been rebels, against Hashem - and surely after my death. Gather to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers and I shall speak these words in to their ears and call heaven and earth to bear witness against them. For I know that after my death, you will surely act corruptly, and you will stray from the path that I have commanded you, and evil shall befall you at the end of days . If you do what is evil in the eyes of Hashem to anger him through your handiwork."

The heavens and earth are called upon as witnesses. Perek 32 pasuk 1. "Haazinu Hashamayim VeAdabera, Vesishma Haretz Imrai Fi". Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak; and may the earth hear the words of my mouth.

Perek 31 Pasukim 19-21. Heaven and earth are witnesses to the fact that G-d brought us to the Land promised to our forefathers and heaven and earth are witnesses when we have annulled the Covenant.

May G-d save us from natural disasters. Can we prove Moshe wrong? Please G-d, You are a righteous judge. It's not really fair if our rebelliousness is pre ordained. Let us really focus on the Mitzvoth and let these lessons come via the Mitzvoth such as Shemittah and Maaser and not through curses. Curses are in fact also for our ultimate good. The whole picture is hidden to us. We don't see the silver lining. We bless G-d for the good and for the bad. Curses however, are very painful. For an example on how we learn lessons by keeping Shemittah that is equivalent to lessons learned from a "curse" such as the expulsion of Gush Katif, please read previous blog on the Mitzvah of Hakhel and the blog about how pooling our resources to help the people of Gush Katif is similar to the Shemittah year.

G-d is a fair judge and gives us free choice. He asks us to choose life. We have had a taste of the curse from the expulsion of Gush Katif. That's enough. Let us focus on the Mitzvoth and reap the blessings!

Vayelech - Mitzva of Hakhel


This weeks parsha talks about the Mitzvah of Hakhel.

Devarim Perek 31 Pasuk 9

"Moses wrote this Torah and gave it to all the Kohanim, the sons of Levi, the bearers of the Ark of the covenant of Hashem, and to all the elders of Israel.

Moses commanded them saying, "At the end of seven years, at the time of the Sabbatical year, during the Succos festival, when all Israel comes to appear before Hashem, your G-d, in the place that He will choose, you shall read this Torah before all Israel, in their ears, Gather together the people - the men, the women, and the small children, and your stranger who is in your cities - so that they will hear and so that they will learn, and they shall fear Hashem, your G-d, and be careful to perform all the words of this Torah. And their children who do not know - they shall hear and they shall learn to fear Hashem, your G-d, all the days that you live on the land to which you are crossing the Jordan, to possess it."

The Rambam [Hilchos Chagiga 3:3] lists the sequence of the chapters in Devorim that were read at Hakhel: Read "From the beginning of the book of Devorim until the end of the parsha of 'Shma' [Hear Oh Israel]. Then read 'V-haya im Shamoa' [And it will be if you will listen], followed by 'aser t- aser' [You shall surely tithe]. Then, continue in sequence until the end of the 'Blessings and Curses' until the words 'besides the Covenant which He entered into with them at Chorev' and then stop (u'posek).

Once every seven years - on the first day of Chol HaMoed of Succos that followed the Sabbatical Year - the entire nation was commanded to come together at the Temple to listen to the king read to them from Deuteronomy. He read from the beginning of the Book to the end of the first paragraph of the Shema (6:9), the second paragraph of the Shema (11:13-21), and 14:22-28:69.

Many ask the question "Why davka after the Shemittah year are these passages read?" I can tell you my own personal revelation. During the Shemittah year, many of the Mitzvoth of the Torah were suspended. There is no Maaser, there is no Maaser Sheni or Maaser Ani. There is no Bikurim. There is no Leket Shikcha and Peah. In the Shemittah year we are all equal and the the fields are open for all to take. All fruits are hefker. It is a year where all our established givens of property, mine vs yours are suspended because all belongs to Hashem. For a year it was great. It was fun. But frankly after a year we've had enough. We appreciate the Mitzvoth of mine and yours and setting aside for the Leviim a tithe. These passages that the king reads are precisely the passages that relate to private ownership of those that own property and those that don't. These are the laws of tithes and gifts to the Cohaninim, Leviim, converts, widow and orphans. The Torah takes on a whole new meaning because we now have first hand knowledge of what it's like when all property rights are in limbo and fused under everything belonging ultimately to the Rebbono Shel Olam. These Mitzvoth of the Torah are not relevant in the Shemittah year. Our appreciation of the Torah is now magnified many times over because we've experienced living life without these Mitzvoth. We are like a Baal Teshuva whose love of Torah is so great because he/she knows what it's like to live without certain Mitzvoth and the chaos that results. We are born again at Har Sinai and are mekabel the Torah again with love. When we keep Shemittah properly G-d would not have to send the Goyim to force us to assimilate only to perhaps generations later make us alive once again as a Baal Teshuva. Being a Baal Teshuva is a direct consequence of keeping Shemitta.

Why are all men, women and children told to come? My experience gave me the understanding that all men, women and children experienced life without certain Mitzvoth.

My father A"h used to say "You'll learn the hard way".

So don't clean your knapsack. You'll see what happens. Sometimes it takes a really, really messy knapsack to appreciate an orderly one. G-d kivyachol gives us a year reprieve to have that messy knapsack to the point when we will crave for the orderly one. And that ultra neat kid who is obsessed with an orderly knapsack will find true freedom to simply let loose and for the sake of the Mitzva loosen up. Now that's freedom as well. It's a topsy turvy year. There will be first hand knowledge of Torah by even very small children who were allowed to pick fruits without asking permission. Now they will need to relearn the correct way to live when it's not a shemittah year.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Shannah Tovah

I'd like to wish all of you a wonderful year, lots better than the last one. Read about the last days of mine.

Gmar Chatima Tovah!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

List of Organizations Helping Gush Katif People


You may ask what is the connection between helping Gush Katif People and Shemittah. The answer is that just like in Shemittah we give with an open hand (Patoach Tiftach ) not worrying that we may never get paid back, helping the Gush Katif people with an open hand, and seeing to it that all their needs are met is what now needs to be done.

This Beatle song sums it up.

"Is there anything that you want? Is there anything I can do? Just call on me and I'll send it along, with love from me to you".

I received the following list from Marvin Belsky who heads a Coalition to Help the People of Gush Katif.


Here is a (partial) list of some of the most active volunteer organizations and individuals helping the displaced people of Gush Katif. There is also an active email list at for up-to-date postings in English of offers and requests for help.

Many of the requests are for cash, since hundreds of families have still not received any compensation at all and still have to pay for food, travel, clothing, tuition, medicine etc. (Please remember that these families were formerly independent and themselves very charitable. They are very uncomfortable at having been placed in a situation where they are temporarily reliant upon the goodwill of others.)

1) The Council of Gush Katif Settlers - is the central umbrella organization representing and assisting the evacuees and headed by Rabbi Yigal Kaminetsky (Chief Rabbi of Gush Katif) in conjunction with Lemaan Acheinu.

Lemaan Acheinu is responsible for coordinating volunteer activities and distributing practical aid throughout the country. To volunteer or donate, call 02-509-0111 between 9:00 AM and 11:00 PM. Fax 509-0110. Donation hotline: 1599-55-77-78. Direct deposit: Bank Account: Bank Mizrachi, Branch 491, Account number 11296

2) Keren HaTzaddik (in memory of Rabbi Aryeh Levin):

Food distribution to tent cities and other evacuee groups around the country. To donate, telephone: 02-6513111 or 1800-203-320 .

3) Lemaan Achai Ramat Bet Shemesh - Establishing a free-loan fund for evacuees from all communities, plus counseling and other activities. Currently assisting evacuees from Atzmona housed in Shaalvim dormitories through provision of food and practical supplies. Also, Israel Tax Deductible Donations should be made out to "Lema'an Achai", earmarked "Gush Katif Fund", and sent to: Lema'an Achai (RBS), 40/7 Nachal Lachish, Ramat Beit Shemesh 99093, ISRAEL.

US Tax Deductible checks to: "American Friends of Lema'an Achai"; on Memo Line indicate: "Gush Katif Fund" c/o Simon Fleischer,35 West 96th St #1F, New York, NY 10025 and 24hr Credit Card donations through (9722)999-9933 or Contact Yehudit Shaulzon (+9722)999-1553.

4) One of the main problems is unemployment. A list has been set up to try to find new employment for evacuees.

To post a job vacancy, email or call 08-6727703 .

5) Rachel Sapperstein (ex-Neveh Dekalim and currently in the Jerusalem Gold Hotel) has established a"Band-Aid" Fund to provide anonymous cash donations of 500-1000 shekels to meet immediate expenses of evacuee families: To contribute, send checks to: The Central Fund of Israel, Jay Marcus, Rehov Hagoel 13, Efrat, Israel 90435; earmarked for Rachel-Operation Band-Aid.

6) Ruthi Brenner is seeking sponsors for evacuee university students who were unable to work this summer to put themselves through college and may have to forfeit their studies as a result. Brenner says that $5,000 paid directly to the university would cover a full year of college tuition and she would be happy to put sponsors in contact with their "adopted" students. Contact her at: or telephone: 972-2-561-1962

7) Bracha Jaffe is helping the mostly secular families who were or still are housed in the Green Beach Hotel, near Netanya. She can been contacted for offers of help and donations for the families, at (054) 761-7988 or

8) Katherine (Gita) Weiner is helping those in for the City of Faith - a tent/trailer city set up by 35 Atzmona families, needs help with construction and caravan repairs, microwaves and or toasters to give at least some independence to families as far as food is concerned,equipment for preschool/kindergarten and monetary donations. Contact Katherine Gita Weiner at

9) Barbara Silverman (02) 623-2548 and attorney Jan Sokolsky (02)566-6388 are raising funds for new winter coats for evacuees in Jerusalem (so far they have purchased 275), plus more winter clothing, winter shoes and prayer books for the upcoming Jewish holidays. They also need volunteers to take groups of children away from confining hotel rooms and to parks.

10) Sarah Alpert is working together with Anita Tucker to provide financial help for the families of Netzer Chazani in the Golan and elsewhere, for the purchase of winter clothing, travel expenses and other practical needs. She can be contacted at

11) Seeking used (but working) laptops, preferably with word, excel and wireless ability to assist community leaders in their administrative work and enable the physically scattered evacuees to reconnect and coordinate with one another through virtual communities. Please contact

12) In the US, Rabbi Pesach Lerner, Executive Director of the National Council of Young Israel has agreed to assist in this effort and made a recent trip to Israel in order to see the situation for himself. Checks can be make out to YOUNG ISRAEL CHARITY FUND. Gush Katif Fund, NCYI, 3 West 16th Street, New York, NY 10011.

Monday, September 26, 2005

a few things

There's lots going on here in Israel. As bad as things seem, sometimes I notice ruach, spirit, faith in the strangest places. And yes, there are some very important discussions going on especially about how to relate to the state and the army. Here's an email discussion between two blogging Israeli mothers.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Up to my nose


Rabbi Schachter who is quite entertaining, had more to say about the nose. Someone once asked a Tzaddik. People suffer so much with Shidduchim. What can we do to shorten the process. The Tzaddik answered as follows. Shidduchim is Kasheh Kekriat Yam Suf (As difficult as crossing of the Red Sea) What happened at the red sea? Nachshon ben Aminadav jumped in. The water came to his knees, then it came to his waist, then to his neck and finally to his nose. At this point he said Rebono Shel Olam I can't continue anymore. A human being needs air to breathe. It is now up to you. When he put his entire being into Hashem's hands that's when the water split. the Tzaddik said if you want the shidduch to go quickly keep your nose down. Think that you are grateful to settle with someone who is willing to put up with your shortcomings. If your nose is up it will take much longer for the water to get up there.

On a personal note, I jumped into the Shemittah experience like one jumps into water. I had no idea where it would lead me. The revelations were many. What was my driving force? It was the words of this weeks Parsha in Nitzavim. "For this commandment that I command you today - it is not hidden from you and it is not distant. It is not in heaven [for you] to say "Who can ascend to the heaven for us and take it for us, so that we can listen to it and perform it? Nor is it across the sea for [you] to say, "Who can cross to the other side of the sea for us and take it for us, so that we can listen to it and perform it? Rather, the matter is very near to you - in your mouth and your heart - to perform it."

The Torah speaks to each and every Jew. Here I am basically a nobody. If the Torah assures me that it is doable than it must be so. It is Emunah Peshuta, like one of a small child. So in my own naive way I attempted to keep Shemittah. Now I am telling Hakadosh Baruch Hu that it's up to my nose. It's time for Him to reveal the Moshiach! Moshiach who will guide us in the ways of Torah and in the Mitzvoth so that we will be worthy of all the Brachoth.

A Kesiva Vechasima Tova to all.



I just came back from a Selichos Drasha in our shul given by Rav Fischel Shachter a well known speaker and Magid Shiur in Torah Vedaas. Among his many topics he touched upon the proclamation that the farmer makes at the end of the 3 year cycle that he has fullfilled the commandments of Maaser Rishon and Maaser Sheni and Maaser Ani as Hashem has commanded. Rav Schachter then brings the question why is this proclamation called Vidui Maaser? The Farmer talks about all the Mitzvos that he has fulfilled. Not his Aveiros. He answered that question by talking about the nose. He mentioned that Titus demise was through his nose. Why his nose? Apparently Titus, came into the Kodesh Kedashim and pierced the Paroches and blood spilled out. Titus then said, Now I am dead. Why did the blood spill out. Rav Schachter said that the blood is the lifeline of the human being. When a vein is cut and blood starts to leave the body externally then the person expires if the outflow of blood is not checked. As long as the blood stays within the body this is still a chance of life. When blood spilled out from the Paroches it was a sign that the Jews themselves were split by not caring for one another and not showing respect for one another. When Titus entered the Holy of Holies and performed this desecration he was demonstrating that there was no G-d in the picture. Up till that point he was simply a messenger of G-d doing G-d's will and perhaps there was still value to his life. Once he disengaged from G-d and put G-d out of the picture and took all the power to himself that was the beginning of his downfall. So why the nose. Rav Shachter says that the nose did not have any part in the Chait of the Aitz Haddaas. All the other senses did. The eyes, the ears, touch, the mouth all were part of the chait. Not the nose. This gives the nose extra spirituality and the power to be the one to act as the medium for Titus' downfall. What happened to Titus? He went by sea back to his country and there was a terrible storm. He was told by his crewmen that there was no chance of survival. He concluded that G-d of the Jews only had power over the water since the water was the medium that defeated Pharoh. Hashem then let him get to dry land. The smallest of insects went into his nose and that ultimately resulted in his death. His Gaava, conceit, which is reflected in the nose (the expression stuck up nose etc) was his downfall. Coming back to Vidui (Confession) Maaser we still have the question so what is the confession. Rav Shachter answers that the confession is that perhaps the farmer had a stuck up nose, a feeling of arrogance about his generosity for all his gifts to the Kohanim the Leviim and to the poor. In this declaration he proclaims his recognition that his wealth comes only from Hashem. The tables could turn on him in an instant and his success is because he kept these commandments carefully and not because of his own strength and power.

Tonight, I wore the T shirt Yehudi Lo Megaresh Yehudi. Is it still appropriate to wear it after the fact. I believe it is. Because as believing Jews we have to believe that the Sharon's gov't were messengers of G-d. G-d allowed it to happen. Yehudi lo Megaresh Yehudi Aval Hashem ken Megaresh Yehudi. But why did G-d disengage us? This is the question I am struggling with. I watched the video crying of the young girls and boys crying so bitterly "Al na Tastir Panecha, Beyom Tzar Li...". These young girls and boys for sure were not guilty of anything. Adam Yefashfesh Bemaasav.

Did we bring Bikurim, as a communal act, with rejoicing and with Simcha? Did we do Maaser Rishon and Maaser Sheni and Maaser Ani not only symbolically but as close as possible to the actual Mitzva given the reality that we have Richmana Litzlan no Beith Hamikdash. And did we say Vidui Maaser with the proper intent and with Simcha.

The Brachoth and the Kelaloth are contingent with the performance of Mitzvoth.

This concept is repeated in Parsha Kisavo again and again, Devarim Perek 26 Pesukim 16-19 and again Perek 28 Pasukim 45-47, again Pasuk 58, again Pasuk 62 and again Perek 29 Pasuk 8. Hashem must know how hard it would be for us to get the message.

In this weeks Parsha, Parshath Nitzavim Hashem says Devarim 29 Pasuk 13 "Not with you alone do I seal this covenant and this curse, but with whoever is here standing with us today before Hashem, our G-d , and with whoever is not here with us today. " (that means us)

Tonight in Selichos we said Vayikra 26 Pasuk (42) "Vezacharti as Brisi Yaakov, Veaf as Brisi Yitzchok, Veaf es Brisi Avraham Ezkor, Vehaaretz Ezkor". I will remember My Covenant with Jacob and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham will I remember, and I will remember the Land. (43)The Land will be bereft of them; and it will be appeased for its sabbaticals having become desolate of them; and they must gain appeasement for their iniquity, because they were revolted by My ordinances and because their spirit rejected My decrees.

What was the covenant promised individually to each of our Forefathers? The Covenant of Yaakov is in Breishis Perek 28 Pasukim 13-16. The Covenant to Yitzchok is Breishis Perek 26 Pesukim 2-6. The Covenant with Avraham is Breishis Perek 15 Pesukim 18-21. The Covenants and promises to the forefathers share three points. 1. Land is promised to them and to their children afterwards 2. The Nations of the world are blessed through them and 3. the children must keep the commandments in order to be worthy of the Land.

The Torah in Nitzavim Perek 29 Pasuk 23 says And all the nations will say, "For what reason did Hashem do so to this Land; why this wrathfulness of great anger?" (24)And they will say, "Because they forsook the Covenant of Hashem, the G-d of their forefathers, that He sealed with them when He took them out of the Land of Egypt, and they went and served the gods of others and prostrated themselves to them, gods that they knew not and He did not apportion to them. So G-d's anger flared against that Land to bring upon the entire curse that is written in this Book; and Hashem removed them from upon their soil with anger, with wrath, and with fury and He cast them to another land as this very day! The hidden[sins] are for Hashem, our G-d but the revealed [sins] are for us and our children forever, to carry out all the words of this Torah.

B"h we were expelled in Gush Katif by our loving brothers. (Tears were flowing on both sides) We are not yet expelled out of our entire Land. We still have a chance of Teshuva. A chance to reclaim our Land. Let us delve into studying the Mitzvoth and may Hashem do as He promises at the end of this Parsha Perek 30 Pasukim 7-10

"Hashem, your G-d will place all these imprecations upon your enemies and those who hate you, who pursued you. You shall return and listen to the voice of Hashem, and perform all His commandments that I command you today. Hashem will make you abundant in all your handiwork - in the fruit of your womb, the fruit of your animals, and the fruit of your Land - for good, when Hashem will return to rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your forefathers, when you listen to the voice of Hashem your G-d, to observe His commandments and His decrees, that are written in this Book of the Torah, when you shall return to Hashem your G-d, with all your heart and all your soul.

May that day be eminant and may we all be zocheh to Moshiach speedily in our days.

Shavua Tov!

Friday, September 23, 2005

Sovereignty of Land is a function of keeping Mitzvoth. Being supreme and not the underdog.


The silence on behalf of Eretz Yisroel has been deafening.

How come no one is proclaiming that Eretz Yisroel is our Land. This weeks Parsha is not so silent.

It's pretty obvious that Eretz Yisroel was given to Am Yisroel. Moshe repeats it and repeats it again and again in this weeks Parsha. Moshe even sounds like a broken record.

Wouldn't once or twice be enough? I started going through the Parsha looking simply at pshat for sentences that mention "Eretz Shehinchalta laavoseinu" or "Eretz Shehinchalta Lanu" etc. I'm only in the middle. So far in Perek 26, it is mentioned independently in pasukim 1,3, 9,15. In Perek 27 in Pasuk 2,13. That is 6 times alone in a Perek and a half. It's like a father trying to drum something important into a child's deaf ears.

But the Parsha is also very clear on our obligations in the Land. I also started tracking the various Mitzvot that the Bnei Yisroel are required to do in the Land. The Brachos and the Klalos are contingent on the performance of Mitzvoth. That concept is drummed in again and again in the Parsha as well.

Here is a list of Mitzvoth that we are to do in the Land. The list is only in the beginning.

Pesukim 1-11 - Mitzva of Bikurim
Mitzva to be Happy with all the good that Hashem gave us

Pesukim 12 it mentions Maaser Rishon
Pasuk 12 mentions Maaser Ani.

In the Stone Chumash Commentary it says "By the day before Pesach of the year after each three year cycle, an owner must make sure that he has delivered all tithes to their proper destination and then on the last day of Pesach of the fourth and seventh year, he recites the confession in this passage (vs 13-15)."

This is the fourth year of the Shemittah cycle. Can anyone see if there is any connection between Pesach of this year and the decision to go through with the disengagement? Can we focus and evaluate on how well we fulfilled the Mitzvot of Maaser Rishon and Maaser Sheni or should we simply say it's not relevant to our day and age and let us not make any connection to the performance of Mitzvoth and to events that occurred.

Before you continue reading this I want to make it perfectly clear that I am not putting the blame on the people of Gush Katif and say that they deserved what happened to them because they did not keep the Mitzvoth. It is very painful to hear this especially in their current pain and grief. This is like pouring salt on a fresh wound. Let me preface my remarks by saying that the people of Gush Katif are the creme de la Creme. G-d expects alot from them. He knows what they are capable of doing. However we must get to the root cause of the problem. If we don't, more expulsions are scheduled to occur Chas Veshalom. New settlements like Ir Emunah are to be built. How can we prevent another expulsion? We can blame Sharon for carrying out the decree but still G-d allowed it to happen.

Every night I have a Chavrusa with my seven year old son. Before going to sleep I try to read to him and translate a portion of Parashat Hashavua. So this week I am reading from Shlishi to Revei to him. It says in Pasuk 16 "This day, Hashem, your G-d commands you to perform these decrees and the statutes, and you shall observe and perform them with all your heart and with all your soul, You have distinguished Hashem today to be a G-d for you, and to walk in His ways and to observe His decrees, His commandments, and His statutes, and to hearken to His voice. And Hashem has distinguished you today to be for Him a treasured people, as He spoke to you, and to observe all His commandments, and to make you supreme over all the nations that He made, for praise, for renown, and for splendor, and so that you will be a holy people to Hashem, your G-d as He spoke."

So how can I explain to my seven year old son the desecrations of the synagogues in Gush Katif following the expulsion. If we were keeping all the Mitzvot (the ones previously mentioned before this passage about bikurim and Maaser Rishon and Maaser Sheni) would G-d have allowed such a desecration?

G-d is very explicit in this weeks Parsha that the blessings are a function and contingent on the performance of Mitzvoth. If that is the case, are the farmers of Gush Katif examining their performance of these Mitzvoth. Did they in fact recite the declaration in vs. 13-15 on Pesach this year? Did the poor people (Ger, Yasom and Elmana and Leviim get extra from Maaser sheni?) I cry when I even mention this because the precious Jews of Gush Katif are more worthy than I. Who am I to bring up a possible fault on their part? Yet it is a collective reckoning that is required. All those of us that are not farmers have we declared that Eretz Yisroel was given to us and that we in turn are required to keep the commandments or else we forfeit our right to sovereignty.

It is a time to review our actions. It is the time for Teshuva. Let us be circumspect.

Maybe this is all Hashem is waiting for. When we focus on the Mizvoth, and in our desire to keep them, Hashem will make us supreme rather than the underdog.

Let us break the silence.....

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Helping Disengagement Victims

We can't help the victims of Disengagement until we figure out what the government was really trying to do. This is what I think.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Ir Emunah - Socialism or Shemittah?


It is my belief that the kibbutz lifestyle, the lifestyle that allows growth from almost nothing, the lifestyle that built up Eretz Yisroel after the Holocaust has its roots from the Torah, from the Shemittah year. Shemittah predates socialism. It is no wonder that Karl Marx was a Jew. Capitalism also has its roots from the Torah. The Torah economic and political model is a union of Socialism and Capitalism.

Stay tuned for an elaboration.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Read about a Gush Katif Refugee Camp

A friend of mine wrote of her experiences visiting a Gush Katif refugee camp. Read it. It's amazing.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Nice to meet you

I'd like to take this opportunity to say hell and thank Shmitta Rediscovered for inviting me to post here.
In the interum, just look at me. I have some other blogs, too.

Shavua tov

Hebrew Law - Manhigut Yisroel (Not the Party)

Please note that all mention of Manhigut Yisroel in this blog is referring to the concept of Manhigut Yisroel and not the political party of Moshe Feiglin.

The reader might be interested in an article in Azure, a publication of ideas for the Jewish Nation, no. 13, Summer 5762/2002 called "The Jewish Roots of the Modern Republic" by Fania Oz-Salzberger. She describes "political Hebraism in the 17th century and the abandonment of biblical and post biblical sources of political thought by Enlightenment and post-Enlightenment thinkers - in particular modern liberals". She talks about John Selden , who lived in the 1600's , who was an English jurist who devoted his entire life to the study of ancient Hebrew law. She writes that it is likely that Selden never met a Jew in his lifetime.

The reason I refer you to this article is because it blew my mind. Today it is not politically correct to talk about Manhigut Yisroel, a gov't based on Torah and Mitzvoth. It sounds "too Messianic". But here is a very respectable, very academic written article that shows that in the 17th century the Bible was used as a political text. She suggests that even modern liberalism may "well have some of its strongest roots in the books of Exodus. Judges, Samuel, and Kings, in the Talmud and in Maimonides: Tangible roots though tightly coiled around the other, non Hebraic sources of Western ideas about liberty."

Perhaps, articles such as these, would help raise the consciousness of our own people that the Torah has been a source of political and economic systems of today. A government based on Torah and Mitzvoth sounds revolutionary. It sounds like an idea for religious fanatics. Perhaps an effort is required on our part to make the concept more palatable for people in politics, academics, philosophers, economists, and the like. It requires education and much research and discussion not only in the Yeshivas but among academics, philosophers, economists. The proper presentation can make the difference in selling the idea of Manhigut Yisroel. More than that, the combined input of all this brain power is required in order to work out the details (or shall we say halachos) of a true Manhigut Yisroel.

Let us not be hard on our political leaders, religious leaders or law makers. This is a revolutionary form of gov't. It is scary for people. Change must come carefully and with thought and discussion, unifying all people. Each person has what to contribute. If we can find how each person can contribute, regardless of their political or religious orientation, that is a step in the right direction. The religious need to really start thinking in terms of "Mamlechet Kohanim". This comes with deep Emunah that the Mitzvot are indeed the answer.

Keeping the Shmitta year as specified in the Torah is truly revolutionizing. It requires an upheaval in the way government is run for that year. The truly observant and believing Jew will find that even though he would like to be modest in his observance, and not bother anyone to be religious like him, or keep the Mitzvot like him, will find it impossible to do so in the Shmitta year. Because Shmitta requires everyone to participate. It is socialism for one year. The Rosh Yeshiva and the typical Yeshiva student is not involved with the day to day running of the government. They would be required to consult with people who do run the government, about how such a system could be put into place. Even if the discussion is theoretical it is a start. The act of doing, will bring about unbelievable revelations. It will bring about the necessary confidence that is required for a Mamlechet Kohanim. it will convince us and the world that the Torah is indeed Emes and the nation of Israel is "Am Chachom Venavon".

Here is a scenario. If a person knows that he is required to loan money and not receive his loan back he will say to himself, "What is the point of me working like a dog, just to give my hard earned money to someone else that needs it (like the farmer). Hey, I need a break too. I'm going to take a Sabbatical this year and work on a project of my hearts desire. I and my family won't starve since we'll get food from the farms. I'll share my money with others and I'll ask around for loans to get my idea up and running. I'll approach my colleagues and convince them to take a Sabbatical as well. We'll share our resources and come up with some innovative ideas. My wife has a break since everyone is sharing their food so she doesn't spend that much time in the kitchen (only if she enjoys it). She'll be creative and start to clean out our basement. She finds junk that others find are treasures. There will be one big flea market so that everyone can give to the others whatever they need and take what they need in return. Lots of people will take Sabbaticals. Now there will be the time to fix all those broken radios and computers and give them away to people who need them or simply junk them. In fact there will be so much stuff that it might get to be overwhelming. So we start selling it all to the non Jews as specified in the Torah. Best of all we'll finally clean out our clutter. Talk about freedom! Picture the scenario?

Please keep the dialogue going!

Taking off work to help Jews of Gush Katif. Reminds me of Shemittah

A Daily Dose of Kindness
Wednesday, September 14, 2005

* A local charity organization in Ramat Beit Shemesh has been helping to organize volunteers to help our brothers who were recently evicted from their homes in Gush Katif, Gaza. It has been amazing to hear of professionals taking time off from work to spend full days helping these people. Psychologists and social workers have gone to counsel both adults and children. People have gone to a variety of locations to assist in any way possible – packing, unpacking, schlepping, entertaining displaced children, etc., etc.

A handyman recently apologized on a local e-mail list to any customers who had been trying to reach him – he was temporarily unavailable as he was in Atzmona in Gush Katif, helping former residents dismantle their hothouses so that they could salvage as much as possible to try to rebuild their livelihoods.

The residents of Gush Katif are not used to being on the receiving end. The director of the aforementioned charity organization, which until now has serviced only local, Ramat Beit Shemesh residents, said a couple of weeks ago that he asked the truck driver who delivers donated vegetables why that week he only had cucumbers and potatoes when he usually brought so much more than that. The driver replied, "All the other donations used to come from Gush Katif. Tons and tons. Literally ten trucks a day…"

If anyone is able to contribute to help the former residents of Gush Katif, who until now, had been helping to feed the poor across Israel, donations can be made through Lema’an Achai, as follows:

Israel Tax Deductible Donations should be made out to "Lema'an Achai", earmarked "Gush Katif Fund", and sent to:

Lema'an Achai (RBS), 40/7 Nachal Lachish, Ramat Beit Shemesh 99093, ISRAEL.

Secure Online Donations: Go to:

Credit Card Donations: Call (+972-2) 999.99.33 for Credit Card Donations 24 hours a day

US Dollar Check requiring US Tax Deduction:
Please make checks payable to:
"American Friends of Lema’an Achai"; on Memo Line indicate: "Gush Katif Fund"
c/o Simon Fleischer
35 West 96th St #1F
New York, NY 10025

UK Tax Deductible Donations: should be made payable to "The Jewish Aid Committee" and mailed to Lema'an Achai (RBS) in Israel.

Canadian Tax Deductible Donations: should be made payable to "Shaarei Tefillah" and mailed to Lema'an Achai (RBS) in Israel.