Saturday, September 22, 2007

Where is the Rabbinic Outcry? In response to Michal Bergers post on Shemittah, Yovel and Pruzbul

This is in response to Rabbi Micha Berger's article on Shemittah.
Thank you for an excellent discussion of the history of halacha regarding Shemittah, Yovel and Pruzbul. As you can see from my email address I am now living in Brooklyn. Let me assure you however, that I also have an address in Israel, in Kiryat Arba and I made Aliya and I am an Israeli citizen. I am saying this not because it's very important in my opinion regarding this discussion but only to get you to read on. Otherwise I can perhaps hear you say, don't bother saying anything else unless you move to Israel first since the Mitzvoth don't Dorayta apply unless the majority of the people including the lost tribes live in Israel at least according to many opinions. So show that you are for real by making aliya before giving us your opinion.
My question to you is if Hashem doesn't require us to keep Shemittah from the Torah than why are we presently experiencing the curses regarding security etc. If we would keep shemittah properly than there is not doubt that there would be peace, prosperity and security.
Please read about my own personal experience of trying to keep shemittah w/o pruzbul. It was an eye opener. Yes it was far from perfect. In fact it was extremely crude. How can one girl (I was unmarried at the time) manage to keep shemittah by herself? How can she take a year sabbatical and not work and loan out money and not expect to get paid back? Well first read up why it even occurred to me to do this
Maybe my experience was amatuerish yet I believe Hashem loves me for the effort, for the yearning for the desire. Hashem knows I have limitations and there is just so much I can do as a single person. Yet Hashem promises us clearly in Devarim Perek lamed that the Torah is not too hard for us to do. Please read these Pesukim again carefully. Take them literally just as I did.
This personal experience has given me strength in conviction that is unsurpassed in the knowledge that we must proclaim Eretz Yisroel as our Bilbical Inheritance. The reason the Rabbanim are Silent regarding our rights to Eretz Yisroel come in my opinion from a failure to really desire, yearn and keep the Mitzvoth of Eretz Yisroel. They simply excuse themselves by saying it's primarily Lezecher the Mitzvoth. It's not worth getting too caught up in our day to day practice of Judaism. Is the Yom Kippur Davening regarding the Avoda relevant to today. Those that feel that it is, would not be Silent to the desecration of Har Habayis and the reality of today which includes talks between Condeleeza Rice and Olmert to give Har Habayis to the Goyim who just happen to desire to destroy all of Israel. If there was a true yearning to rebuild the Beis Hamikdash and to return the Avoda of the Kohanim at Har Habayis we would be proclaiming loud and clear that Har Habayis is only for Am Yisroel. And we are not even racists since the only person that can do the Avoda are Kohanim and the only Kohein that can do the Avoda on Yom Kippur is the Kohein Gadol. The Nation of Israel and the 12 tribes accept their role and place whether or not they are Kohanim. In fact if a member of another tribe wishes to do the Avoda they are not allowed to and face serious consequences. The Kohanim may not allow someone from another tribe to take his place or else the Kohein faces serious consequences.
Am Yisroel are the Mamlechet Kohanim Vegoy Kadosh. We are not allowed to allow the Goyim, even nice democratic ones, our Divine mandate. It would only have terrible consequences for Am Yisroel and for the Nations of the World as we are experiencing today as warnings (September 11th, Katrina, TEHRAN: Iran's conservative president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, A kabbalist predicted global floodings and that Jews should be aware and tonight on AOL there was an article about the risk of rising sea levels on many population centers in USA
What is common about all these disaster scenarios is that there is chaos followed by communal sharing. People for a short while during recovery forget about what belongs to them. Survival takes priority. Many acts of Chesed are done in these troubled times. Do we need natural and manmade disasters to bring us to the point of sharing? Perhaps the same goal can be accomplished with simply trying our hardest with our hearts and souls to keeping Shemittah D'orayta w/o Pruzbul or Heter Mechira or buying fruits and vegetables from Arabs that wish to destroy us. The Heavens and the Earth are witnesses to Hashem of our Covenant. See Parshas Haazinu. Do we really want them to testify against us? Or do we continue to enjoy a nice halachic discussion about all of this and allow more Gush Katifs expulsions, multiplied 10x in Yehuda and Shomron if the talks of Olmert and Rice succeed chas vechalila. If we continue to remain silent and turn a blind eye then why are we surprised when Hashem hides His face from us. WHERE IS THE RABBINIC OUTCRY!!!!!

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Thursday, September 06, 2007

In response to Berel Wein's articles "Disappointment" and "Pruzbul"

Sent to the Jerusalem Post.
Re:  Disappointment by Rabbi Berel Wein
Rabbi Berel Wein talks about Disappointment and I am very disappointed in Berel Wein. I liked the first 2 paragraphs of this essay. Yishayahu and Yirmiyahu are correct to be disappointed in Am Yisroel.  Yes I do expect more from Rabbi Wein and from Am Yisroel.  We can do much better and in fact in we don't get down to business, I fear we are in big trouble.  Berel Wein talks about our disappointment in the Zionist State.  Is he excusing his own unwillingness to claim Eretz Yisroel as his rightful heritage.  Zionism with the formation of the State of Israel has its failings but in fairness, did Torah Jewry at the time claim Eretz Yisroel.   Is Berel Wein not addressing and/or excusing our own unwillingness to observe the Mitzvot at face value.  Hasn't Berel Wein instead lowered his expectations from Hashem in delivering His promises if we keep the Mitzvoth and fails to accept any responsibility on the part of Rabbinic Leadership as per how Am Yisroel has properly been keeping Mitzvoth.  Let Rabbi Wein ask himself how is it possible to keep the Mitzvoth in Chumash Devarim which are primarily Mitzvoth that we are to observe in Eretz Yisroel if the mainstream Rabbanim have not even publicly declared that Eretz Yisroel is our rightful Heritage.  Rabbi Wein may answer as other Rabbinic Leaders, that if we do not have the Land then we are excused from keeping the Mitzvoth dependant on the Land.  If this is the case, should we allow our right hand  to be cut off so that we be excused from keeping tefillin. Let's say, our right hand is sick.  Should we attempt to amputate it or cure it?   How can we function properly without a right hand? No wonder Zionism was such a failure.  The majority of Shomrei Torah and Mitzvoth do not even think that Eretz Yisroel is necessary to keep the Torah.  2000 years of Galus has shown that we can properly keep Torah without Eretz Yisroel.  Ki Mitzion Tezei Torah!  Why isn't Torath Eretz Yisroel coming from Rabbi Berel Wein?  There is no outcry from the majority of mainstream Rabbinic Leaders when Bush talks about a 2 State Solution.  Only the Evangelical Christians like John Hagee quotes from Chumash Breishis and the Covenant Hashem makes with Avraham.  What is Rabbi Wein and the other Rabbinic Leaders thinking when they says in Selichos  Vayikra 26 Pasuk (42) "Vezacharti as Brisi Yaakov, Veaf as Brisi Yitzchok, Veaf es Brisi Avraham Ezkor, Vehaaretz Ezkor".  Please visit
 One can and should have great expectations from Hashem.  However, if we fail to keep our end of the bargain then Hashem doesn't keep His.   If we find that we have indeed kept all the Mitzvoth as the Torah requires then we can say that these times are Yesurim shel Ahava.  However, if we are honest, then we will clearly see that we need to raise the level of our observance and surely Hashem will raise His level of blessings.  Any other conclusions regarding the Zionist State as being disappointing is only because we fail to look inward at our own observances and find them disappointing.    It is no surprise that Rabbi Wein finds that Hillel's institution of Pruzbul as having many positive results. See It seems to me quite clear that Rabbi Wein is not connecting the dots.  Keeping Shmita properly brings security in the Land.
Rabbi Wein does not seem to see any connection between the bombardment of Sederot with the abandonment of Gush Katif.  The Abandonment of Gush Katif was clearly because Am Yisroel did not cry out against it and allowed it to happen.  Did Rabbi Wein and the mainstream Rabbanim in Eretz Yisroel (the  Gedoilim) or in America (e.g. Agudath Yisroel of America, the OU etc) at any point speak out against the destruction of beautiful communities and their means of Parnassa? Did they carefully examine the observance of Shmita and the other Mitzvoth teluyot Baaretz in Gush Katif? Doesn't Hashem promise that if we observe the Mitzva of Shmita properly than we will live securely in our Land.  Anita Tucker told me that she had in fact wish to let the Land fallow.  However, the Badatz Hashgacha begged her to follow their direction as per keeping Shmita so that they wouldn't have to do business with the Arabs.  Did it occur to Rabbi Wein that perhaps the Rabbinic dispensation were not sufficiently good enough for Hashem?  Maybe Hashem said what He meant and meant what He said.   Apparently, Hashem is not happy with how we keep or rather how we are not keeping Shmita properly.  Tosfos you mention says that indeed Shmitta was never kept properly.  However, do you really think Hashem wishes to curse us?  Lo Bashamayim hi and the Mitzvoth are in our reach to do them.  We need the desire and longing. Let's for a moment suppose that it is not sufficient for us to rely on Rabbinic dispensations such as Pruzbul. People release their loans.  People need not pay back their debts.  Okay it would cause chaos.  However, Katrina and the War in Lebanon did not result in Chaos? Let's our imagination run a bit wild.   How about a nuclear attack on Washington DC or a Hurricane in NYC.   CHAOS!  Two small planes caused chaos on 9/11. Maybe Hashem wants us to experience a bit of Chaos and if not will force us in a situation where we are forced to share our resources.  Perhaps Pruzbul gives us the illusion that we are observing Shmita properly just like the security wall gives the residents the illusion that they are protected.  In fact quite the opposite is true.  The terrorists can throw over the wall or dig under the wall and when you try to catch them, the wall is blocking you from seeing where they are..   This was the advice an army general told the residents of Efrat when the intifada began. He advised them not to build a wall.  However as soon as the general became involved in politics, pleasing the public was more important than actual security. He then agreed to building the wall because it gave the public the illusion of security and thereby satisfied their need to feel secure as opposed to actually being secure.  If you wish to know the name of this general please contact Yossi Baumol that lives in Efrat.
So does Berel Wein want  the people to have the illusion that they are keeping Mitzvoth properly or does he really want to keep Mitzvoth properly?  Does he simply want to be a historian of all of history's failures and repeat them or does he want to make history by truly living Torah and Life and learning from History's mistakes.

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Getting Tzedaka requests can be quite annoying. An ounce of Prevention....

The following was sent to me by Israel Kaplan:
Nursery school deals with aftermath of Kassam attack.

Israel Kaplan writes:
This evening we received a report from the new community of Nitzan that 300 families in this community will not have sufficient food for the Yom Tovim coming up.
The contact name in Nitzan is Rivka Madar.   Phone numbers and emails are available on request. Please email
My commentary:
Dear List:
Nitzan is a community of displaced Gush Katif families.
Please send this info to Kupat Hair and Vaad Harabbonim.  Their contact info is plastered all over Boro Park and Flatbush at this time of the year and before each of the important Jewish Holidays.  They put out beautiful multi page glossy circulars (In the past the circulars ran between 14 to over 20 pages and inserted in newspapers such as the Jewish Press and Yated or Hamodia.  My family in Flatbush receives at least   2 copies per circular each time either from the newspaper or from the mail).   Perhaps you can tell them that if more expulsions are scheduled in Yesha, then Bnei Brak might be affected and be a target in the future just like Sederot is today. They then will definitely be overwhelmed with requests for Tzedaka. Please ask them to ask the Gedoilim that are pictured on their brochures, to speak out forcefully regarding better security for Sederot and future expulsions Their own communities may chas veshalom be targets in the future if Yesha becomes a Palestinian/Hamas State Chas Vechalila.
Of course they must believe what they write, and we are all Areivim and it should not make a difference if the poor person is from Nitzan or from Bnei Brak and since they do such a wonderful job fundraising for poor people in Israel could they please include Nitzan. 
The biggest form of Tzedaka is not to allow someone to reach the poverty level.  The residents of Gush Katif were all productive citizens. Since we let the gov't of Israel destroy their means of Parnassa and were Silent, then we are now carrying the load of helping them in their time of need.  Sederot is now under fire.  The residents of Sederot are productive.  However, it's becoming quite difficult to make ends meet with Kassam rockets interfering on a regular basis.  Which communities are next?  Kupat Hair and Vaad Harabonim not to mention Meir Panim will be totally inundated with requests!  All of our well to do and not so well to do brothers in the Diaspora will be bombarded with Tzedakah requests.  It will get quite annoying.

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Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Dear Rav Eliashiv shlita, Rabbi Kamenetsky shlita, Rabbi Viener shlita,   info Rabbi Chaim Dovid Zwiebel shlita of Agudas Yisroel of America,  Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb of the OU and Mr. Nathan Diamant shlita of RZA  , Mishpacha magazine,  Rabbi Lerner shlita of the Young Israel, amv"sh
You are all caring Leaders of Am Yisroel, amv"sh
Are you sure you can not do anything about what is happening in Sederot? Perhaps you are doing something already, We must learn from our good friend Israel Kaplan from Toronto who sends 5-10 emails a day.   Perhaps some sort of condemnation of the Gov't of Israel for not protecting its citizens is in order.  Maybe it will embarrass them into acting.
When it's Pikuach Nefesh, one just acts and doesn't wait for others to give their Haskama (public support) (see writings of Lubavitch Rebbe When Silence is a Sin).   I know the Gedoilim don't like to go on the Internet and discourage their constituencies from doing so as well. (A side note, If some of the email addresses above are not a public official one please forgive me. I had no choice because I don't know how else to reach some of you by email since you do not have an official email address). This is a matter of Pikuach Nefesh. Please notify your constituency, almost all of whom have email addresses that they need to cry out not only to Hashem but to also  act in a manner that will put an end to this Chillul Hashem.  First we must publicly Claim that Eretz Yisroel is our rightful inheritance.  Condemning the Rocket attacks is not enough.  If Israel were occupiers as the Arabs claim then the attacks are justified. 
Please watch the video  of students and teachers running into shelters from incoming Kassam Rocket in Sederot.  Trust me it's not untzniyus (immodest) but it contains violence.  Yes it is immoral. Our Silence is also immoral. The Silence of the Government to act is immoral.  This is violence but not the violence of Fiction in the movies. It's the real thing.  Al TAAMOD AL DAM REIACHA.  Maybe by crying out we can stop this violence against Acheinu Yisroel Hametzuyim Batzara (Our Brethren in Israel that are in distress) I realize that it is the policy of the Gedoilim to discourage Internet.  BUT DO YOU KNOW AND SEE WHAT'S HAPPENING IN SEDOROT!?!?  Do your constituents know?  Before the Disengagement from Gaza those that had access to the Internet most likely knew what would happen in Sederot after the IDF  left.  I myself have many copies of the video entitled "A Stab in the Heart" that  predicts all of this.  It was produced prior to the Disengagement.  One actually needs only a CD player to play it.
Olmert wishes to give away all of YESHA.  WHAT is happening in SEDEROT can be scenario for BNEI BRAK.  Sederot is another test.  Will the Jews protest?  Will the world protest? If not enough protested the Disengagement from Gaza and now there's Silence to the outrage in Sederot... 
Which town is next?  I hope it's not yours. 
To my List:
Please email the above  Rabbinic Leaders and organizations  and voice your opinion.   Also ask the editors of the Jewish Media, the Yated, Hamodia, the Jewish Press, Arutz7, Nachum Segal etc. whose policies and editorials are dictated by these organization to please ask our Spiritual Leaders why they are choosing to be SILENT!  What is the point of Davening and begging Hashem to listen to our prayers when our brothers are crying out to us and we are SILENT!?!?  Will we repeat our mistakes of the past?  Many survivors of the Holocaust are still alive today/  They include many of our parents, who were live witnesses to the atrocities of the Holocaust.  There was silence then as well.  Yet now it is still not too late.  WAKE UP!

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

Homeless Right written post election 2006 by Elyakim Haetzni

Elyakim Haetzni writes a post a year ago after the elections called the Homeless Right calling for a new Party to represent the Right since all the other parties have failed them. 
II agree with Elyakim Haetzni and wish to take his suggestion even one step further.  Even if such a party actually was successful in winning the majority vote, I seriously doubt that the entire country would hop on board willingly. I am realistic. I don't see that the Nation is yet ready for such a strong leap even with strong education etc..  
Keeping unity among the people of Israel is the ideal and a goal we must work towards.  However, we have no choice but to consider another option. 
It is my position that a strong Right Wing Party emerge as Elyakim Haetzni suggests and I even have a good name for such a party.  I would call that party "Zocher Habrith", remembering the Covenant in order to look forward, which is precisely the opposite of Kadima who chooses to not look back.  Then let that right wing party and government,  agree to the establishment of a trial sovereign authority in Yesha that has a constitution that is based on Torah.  The rest of Israel will maintain it's secular form of government but will not be antagonistic to it's sister entity.  Since a government based on Torah and a Sanhedrin  is quite revolutionary and will be subject to many fashlas at least in the beginning, it therefore should be started small scale as a small model.  Even for the strongest believers in Hashem and His H-ly Torah, setting up and implementing such an entity will prove to be quite a challenge.  Slowly, as this small Sovereign authority gains in popularity and success and begins to prove itself, more and more people will find the courage to come aboard.  It is my belief that this small entity will bring admiration from the rest of Am Yisroel and from the Nations of the World and admiration for the brilliance of Hashem's H-ly Torah.  We will begin to lead as a Nation, act like the Lion rather than be the lamb among the wolves. 
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