87 posts categorized "Giants of Judaism"

Israel's Task

Rav Kook-Jlem

Let's see how well you know our great leaders, of blessed memory. Who said the following quote?

The unique strength of the Jewish people is not for self-centered nationalism, for military conquests and national aggrandizement. The eternal nature of Israel must be understood within the context of their special mission, to promulgate God's Name in the world.

Here's a hint - the same tzaddik also said this quote:

I did reveal the fundamental failure of the Zionists’ entire enterprise, namely the fact that they do not place at the top of their list of priorities the sanctity of God and His great Name, which is the power that enables Israel to survive.

1. Rebbe Yoel of Satmer

2. The Lubavitcher Rebbe

3. Rav Avraham Yitchak HaCohen Kook

4. The Chazon Ish

5. Rabbi Yosef Chaim Zonnenfeld

Not a single one of my national religious friends got the above quiz right. Most answered #1, #4, or #5...

If you answered #3, you're right. Rubbing your eyes? So many things have been done and said in Rav Kook's name. But Rav Kook, like all our other spiritual luminaries, saw our task first and foremost as "light unto the nations." What's more, in light of the above, I don't think that Rav Kook zatza"l would have agreed to the Nationality Law, which, "aims to codify Israel’s status as the nation-state of the Jewish people" - the Torah already does that! Then again, do you think for a moment that Rav Kook would have tolerated pride parades in Jerusalem or female instructors in IDF combat units? No and no! Back to the textbooks, brothers and sisters.

After I wrote the above post, Hashem reminded me that today is the third of Elul, the yahrtzeit of Rav Kook, marking his passing 83 years ago. Please light a candle for HaRav Avraham Yitzchak ben Shlomo Zalman HaCohen. Rav Kook's love for Eretz Yisroel and for every single Jew knew no bounds. May his saintly and blessed memory intercede in our behalf, amen! 


Bayer and Monsanto: Axis of Evil

Block 10
Block 10
 (image, above) was the infamous hellhole in the bowels of the Auschwitz concentration camp where the epitome of evil Nazi "doctor" Josef Mengele performed his atrocious experiments on humans during the Holocaust. Block 10 leads to Mengele, Mengele leads to Bayer, Bayer leads to Monsanto and Monsanto leads to the convenience food you're eating, either at home or on vacation. Sounds surreal? We wish it were...

The closer we get to Moshiach, the more we see Divine justice settling unfinished scores. An apparently innocuous item on the international news-wire reveals an iceberg of evil that Hashem's fiery wrath will soon erase from the face of the earth. The shares of Bayer Pharmaceuticals just fell 10%, the result of  their subsidiary Monsanto's failure to warn of the cancer risks posed by its infamous weed killer, Roundup

Before I tell you who Bayer is, they bought Monsanto earlier this year for $63 Billion. Our sages teach that evil attaches itself to evil. In short, Monsanto is a conglomerate of evil that creates pesticides that destroy every type of viable seed - not only weeds - except for seeds that Monsanto genetically engineers. So, once you spray your field with Roundup, your soil is poisoned to regular seeds and you can only use Monsanto's genetically-engineered seeds. But, new types of weeds set in that are immune to conventional weed killers, which require more and newer Monsanto weed killers. With mafia-like tactics, Monsanto has gone around the world, not only impoverishing farmers, poisoning their soil and indenturing them into virtual slavery, but causing an epidemic of farmer suicides, especially in India.

Monsanto also hijacks faculties of agriculture in the world's universities, so that agronomy students will learn to use their products only. Thank goodness I majored in horticulture and deciduous orchards, where Monsanto's poisoned hands didn't yet reach my teachers. Fortunately, you can grow an apple, a peach or a plum without spraying Roundup...

Back to Bayer, who owns Monsanto. Do you know who Bayer is? Have you ever heard of IG Farben?

Both my pulse and my mind are racing much faster than I can type (chill, Lazer!) - let's take it slow.

Do you know that IG Farben was behind the Nazi's mutilation of our holy teacher, Rav Shalom Arush's spiritual guide, Rabbi Yehuda Zev Leibowitz of saintly and blessed memory? That's why he could never have children. Let me be more specific:

IG Farben financed Hitler’s electoral campaign and became a staunch supporter of the Nazis. IG Farben worked closely with the Nazi party to take over manufacturing plants when the Germans invaded other European countries. IG Farben also held stock in and was represented on the board of the company which produced the gas used in the Holocaust gas chambers. IG Farben tested its products on the concentration-camp prisoners of Auschwitz. Even more, IG Farben had its own concentration campJosef Mengele, the gruesome butcher of Auschwitz, the SS doctor (sic) and Hitler's right-hand man in the planned annihilation of European Jewry, worked with IG Farben in doing his experimentation on human guinea pigs, one of whom was our sacred and beloved teacher Rabbi Yehuda Zev Leibowitz who succeeded in surviving the Holocaust.

Bayer is the successor and continuation of IG Farben. Monsanto belongs to Bayer.

Is the GMO and GE domination of our fields, crops and foodstuffs a continuation of the Nazi conspiracy to dominate the world? You make your own conclusions.

For anyone who seeks my advice, eat natural and organic as much as possible. Steer clear of US commercially grown corn and soybeans as well as processed foods that are full of such derivatives as corn syrup solids and soy isolate. If you have a headache, don't take Bayer aspirin. Chances are that your headache - and many other ills, such as your close friend's, your relative's or your own autistic child - come from the use of Roundup in growing the food you eat.

The closer we get to Moshiach, the more we'll see evil's foundations crumble. Meanwhile, don't lose heart, because the darkest darkness is right at the end of night, before the dawn of a new day.


Rebbe Klonimus Kalman Shapira - The Aish Kodesh Rebbe of Piaseczno

Aish Kodesh Rebbe
Rebbe Klonimus Kalman Shapira (1889-1943), of saintly and martyred memory, aka the "Aish Kodesh" Rebbe of Piaseczno, Poland, is one of my all-time heroes. The beacon of light and strength in the Warsaw ghetto, he was ultimately shot to death by the Nazis in the Trawniki concentration camp in 1943, may Hashem avenge his sacred martyred blood.

The Aish Kodesh rebbe was born in the Mashevitzki county of Poland. My maternal great-great-grandfather,  whom I'm named after, was Rabbi Eliezer Mashevitzki, whose last name came from the area that he came from. I don't know if this has anything to do with the Aish Kodesh Rebbe, zatza'l, whom I always felt a special connection to, until my cherished friend Eli Levin sent me an exquisite painting of the Aish Kodesh Rebbe by Shani Levin-Weinberger (above, partial view). This floored me: look at the Chassid sitting next to the Rebbe; look familiar?

In any event, here's a special tribute to the Rebbe, which I'm sure you'll find as moving as I did:


The Lubavitcher Rebbe, Abortion and Moshiach

RebbeThis post is in loving memory of the Lubavitcher Rebbe of blessed and saintly memory, whose 24th yahrtzeit is tomorrow
on Shabbat, 3 Tammuz. The Rebbe was instrumental in bringing me close to observant Judaism way back in the beginning of my search, in the early 1980's. I even had the privilege of spending Shabbat with him, exactly 31 years ago, on Shabbat Korach, 5747 (1987). I owe him an eternal debt

The Rebbe loved life, loved everyone, and loved every mitzva of the Torah. With this in mind, he was vehemently against abortion.

There's a well-known story of a childless young couple who came to the Rebbe for a blessing. Several months later, the woman became pregnant. When she was in the advanced stages of pregnancy, a fire broke out in her home. The woman, who was alone at home, inhaled smoke and fainted from the lack of oxygen. The rescue squad and firefighters carried her out of the burning house in a state of clinical death. The doctors resuscitated her for hours before she was out of danger. Then the haed physician decided that the woman's unborn child had to be aborted, because it was certainly lifeless, and even if it does live, it won't be more than a vegetable after such prolonged deprivation of oxygen. The doctor asked the husband to sign a release form but the husband refused. He sent an urgent telegram to the Rebbe, saying what the doctors wanted to do.

The Rebbe replied as follows: "Do not agree to an abortion; get a second opin­ion." The couple followed his advice, but the second doctor was equally adamant and admonished the husband for not agreeing to the abortion. "Forget about the baby; do you want to lose your wife too? The abortion must be performed im­mediately."

The husband sent another urgent telegram; the Rebbe's answer remained the same: "No abortion under any circumstances. With Hashem's help, everything will be fine." Eventually, the mother gave birth to a healthy baby girl, and later to another healthy child.

Wow, that's the Rebbe...

Why was the Rebbe so against abortion? The Gemara emphatically tells us that abortion delays the coming of Moshiach. Here's how:

The Talmud in tractate Yevamos (pg. 63b) says, "[Moshiach] Ben David won't arrive until all the souls are depleted from the body."

Rashi, our 11th Century sage from Ashkenaz (Germany-France) and the most important Talmudic commentator of all times, explains this very cryptic passage. "Body," says Rashi, "is the name of a partition that separates the Shechina (Divine presence) from the angels, which serves as the warehouse for all the souls that were created during the six days of creation, and that are destined to be given to bodies that will subsequently be created."

The above Talmudic passage teaches us that all the souls must assume bodily forms on earth before Moshiach can come. Even though unborn babies all possess divine souls (neshoma, since the unborn learn the entire Torah - oral, written, and esoteric - from an angel while in the mother's womb), the entire spiritual/soul complex that includes nefesh, ruach, and neshoma [basic vitality, spirit, and divine soul] all come together in the body momentarily before the baby is born (for further reference see Talmud in tractate Nida, pg. 30b; Tanya, first chapter; Eleph Hamagen, commentary on Mateh Efraim, intro. to laws of Rosh Hashonna; Sha'ar Hagilgulim, Seder knisas haneshoma). So, when for some reason the baby is not born, then the soul cannot leave "Body" (or 'Guf' in the original Hebrew), the heavenly warehouse for unborn souls. Until Guf is empty, Moshiach is delayed in arriving.

In light of the above Talmudic teachings, any person who performs, supports, assists, or encourages abortions is delaying the arrival of Moshiach with his or her own two hands.

I often wondered why the Talmud is so severe in its condemnation of doctors, when it says (tractate Kiddushin 82a), "the best of doctors are destined to Gehennom (purgatory)." When considering that in Israel alone, doctors perform over 20,000 abortions a year, then it's easy to understand why Moshiach is not yet being allowed to reveal himself. No, one does not receive a prize for contributing to the delay of Moshiach. Our sages in their infinite wisdom could see far into the future; that's why they said what they did about doctors.

So, if you'd like to lend a helping hand in bringing Moshiach as fast as possible, do what you can to fight against abortion in every way possible. I pray for your health, but if you ever need a doctor, I strongly suggest that you choose a physician who's opposed to abortion. A good physician recognizes the sanctity of human life.


Rav Yehuda Zev Leibowitz's Third Prediction

YZL3
If I were running for office or attempting to win a popularity contest, I wouldn't be writing this post. Many of our readers outside of Israel are not going to like this. But what can a person do if he doesn't like the weather? Bury his head in the ground? Close the curtains and say that there's no hurricane with killer winds outside? Once a person's house becomes flooded, the closed windows and curtains don't help anymore. There comes a time when one cannot escape the storm outside. Yet, once the storm is predicted, he doesn't sit with folded arms until it washes him away. He can get in the car or on a plane and move to a more amenable climate.

Don't forget that the inclement weather, as well as the inclement political climate, all come from Hashem and for a reason.

Be patient, I'm getting to the point. But first, I must preface and ask a question: Why are we so happy on Passover Seder night? Any 7-year-old will laugh and say, "What a dumb question! That's when Hashem took us out of slavery in Egypt!"

Is it such a dumb question when I show little 7-year-old Chaimk'e and his parents that in the three days that preceded our Exodus from Egypt in the Hebrew year of 2448 (1282 BCE), eight million Jews died, and that's according to the conservative figure. Some say it was 10 million. Rashi explains that only 1 out of 5 Jews left Egypt in the Exodus; the other 4 died during the three days of darkness. Since a minimum of 2 million left, that means that at least 8 million perished!

Why, therefore, do we not mourn during the three days that precede Pesach, and declare them as national Holocaust Days, when 33% more Jews died than during the entire six years of the Nazi Holocaust? Not only do we not mourn, we rejoice! What's going on?

Our sages rule that we do not mourn anyone who denies the Redemption and refuses to be a part of it, just as we don't mourn a heretic who denies the veracity of Moses's prophecy and the Torah (Rambam, Laws of Teshuva, 3:8, and other places). This notion is even anchored in The Code of Jewish Law (see Shulchan Oruch, Yora Deah 345:5; Mishna Berura on Orach Chaim 126:1, letter b). Moses, in the Name of Hashem, told the Children of Israel to arise, we must quickly leave Egypt. 80% didn't listen to him. They paid a steep price but we don't mourn for them. They had become used to Egypt and had no desire - despite what Hashem wanted - to leave Egypt. Even though they were slaves, they liked the Egyptian culture, music, pastimes and food. Moses said no, we must go to our Promised Land. Egypt is not our home.

Moses's voice saying, "We must go to our Promised Land", echoes through all of our history.

The periodic "Golden Ages" of our Diaspora have always been followed by calamity. The Golden Age of Jewry in the Iberian Peninsula culminated in 1492, when the horrendous Inquisition began. Jews were either killed, exiled or forcefully converted to Catholicism. The Golden Age of German and Eastern European Jewry ended in Hitler's Holocaust.

There is only one, true Golden Age in Judaism, and that's when our exiles return home, Moshiach comes and our Holy Temple is rebuilt.

Hashem wants to redeem His people but in the meanwhile, He won't until they come home. The sand of that "meanwhile" keeps is emptying out from the top of that 2,000 year hourglass. When a certain date comes according to Hashem's timeline, He won't wait anymore and Moshiach will come whether we like it or not or whether we're here in Israel or not.

Rav Yehuda Zev, of saintly and blessed memory, lived through the Nazi Holocaust. He witnessed the slaughter of his parents, his siblings and his fiance. He never had children because of the torture that the satanic Nazis did to his body. He did not take the word "Holocaust" lightly - he lived through it and experienced it on his own flesh and in his own heart in the most excruciatingly painful way. Though scarred, completely, inside and out, he was a tzaddik of perfect emuna and not bitter in the slightest. He knew that everything was from Hashem. Yet, with all his heart, he did everything to prevent another Holocaust. He didn't want Moshiach to come if the price would be tragic.

A tzaddik of Rav Yehuda Zev's caliber has 20/20 spiritual vision because nothing in this world can fool, sway or tempt him. No wonder he was so accurate in predicting the Arab Spring and Bibi's inability to attack Iran as we wrote on our No Go post from this past Friday.

A movie clip has now become public, where Rabbi Aharon Stern shlit'a from Bnai Brak, who was Rabbi Yehuda Zev's personal attendant, reveals the tzaddik's third prediction and says: "Before his death, Rav Leibowitz told me that the anti-Semitism in the United States is only going to continue to grow, until it gets to the point where the Jews will be forced to flee. They must come to Israel soon; if they wait too long, they'll be lucky to exit with the shirt on their backs...come soon, the Redemption will be here in the Land of Israel, not anywhere else." In case anyone doubts the veracity and authenticity of the quote, at the bottom of this post is the vid in Hebrew where you can see Rav Stern saying this (see minutes 2:48-3:40).

Hashem wants to redeem us, so He wants us all here. But what about those who for any number of reasons can't come now? What about those with joint custody on children from a previous marriage or those with an elderly parent? (Plug in your own reason...)

Rav Shalom Arush shlit'a says that even if you can't come now, you can do 2 things:

1) Pray daily for Aliya, so that you too can come home to the Land of Israel;

2) Spread emuna far and wide, in any way you can. This will protect you in the meanwhile, because the spread of emuna is also needed to expedite Geula, the full redemption of our people, speedily and in our days, amen!


The Tzaddik Decrees: No Go

No-Go
"No go" in military jargon is an abortive mission, in other words, a mission that was on the table, planned and ready-to-go but due to an insurmountable obstacle, it cannot proceed. The troops get recalled and the jet fighters make a 180 back to base.

In the case of PM Netanyahu's planned attack on Iran, the insurmountable object was the decree of the head of the 36 hidden tzaddikim, who disguised himself as a gardener and street cleaner for the Tel Aviv municipality. But, the true tzaddikim of yesteryear, such as the holy Beis Yisroel of Gur, knew exactly who he was

We are referring to the holy concealed Kabbalist, Holocaust survivor Rabbi Yehuda Zev Leibowitz osb'm, Rabbi Shalom Arush's teacher and spiritual guide, who left this physical world in September of 2o1o (Elul 27, 5770). As I wrote in Rav Yehuda Zev's Legacy over six years ago, before he died - among other things - he said that Bibi will want to attack Iran but he won't be able to, for Hashem has other plans for Iran like He did for Sadaam Hussein.

Yesterday in the Israeli media, all chaos broke loose when former Mossad head Tamir Pardo revealed that he almost resigned from his post following a serious confrontation between himself and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. What was the confrontation? Bibi ordered the IDF in 2011 to prepare the defense forces for a possible attack on a 15-day notice. Prime Minister Netanyahu wanted to attack Iran; in fact, he was dead-set on it. But, when former IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz also opposed the mission, as the media reports, Bibi backed off.

Don't be so naive for a moment to think that Pardo or Gantz had the power to stop Bibi. There are plenty of instances when the PM overrode the head of the Mossad and/or the Chief of Staff. By law, they are required to heed the PM. Sure, they can make recommendations, but the PM has the last word.

The tzaddik knew what Hashem wanted. Notice that in recent years, the IDF has not enjoyed any decisive victories. Even with all the bravado of destroying the Hamas and Islamic Jihad infrastructure in Gaza this week after over 70 rockets were fired at the south of Israel, not a single Hamas or Jihadi terrorist was killed. The unofficial ceasefire, as in all the recent Gaza campaigns, have been dictated by the terrorists for their own benefit. The snake-pits of Gaza are still active and venomous as ever.

Why no decisive victories, like in 1967? Hashem is fed up with the "might of my right hand" mentality. Hashem wants us to spread emuna, not military might. How do I know? Rabbi Yehuda Zev told Rav Shalom that only the spread of emuna will save our nation. He told Rav Shalom that he must devote all of his assets and energies to this end. That's why we do what we do.

The tzaddik decreed and Bibi's hands were tied. The PM won't be able to attack Iran. This was Rabbi Yehuda Zev's second prediction, which as we learn retroactively this week, came true.

His first prediction, Arab Spring, completely materialized, starting 3 months after he died.

I don't like to speak about his third prediction, but it's alarming. I will say two things - if you're outside of Israel, help spread emuna. Start with yourself and your family. If you are thinking about moving to Israel, move forward with your plans.

Blessings for a lovely, peaceful Shabbat.


10 Teveth: Rebbe Natan's Yahrtzeit in Pictures

Today, 10 Teveth, 5778, is Rebbe Natan of Breslev's 173rd yahrtzeit.

RN 1
Image 1, above: Praying by the holy gravesite of Rebbe Natan Sternhartz, 1780-1845, known as "Rebbe Natan (Nosson in Yiddish) of Breslev", Rebbe Nachman's prime disciple, who wrote down all of Rebbe Nachman's teachings. Today, 10 Teveth, is his "yahrtzeit", the anniversary of his passing from the physical world. The gravesite is located in Breslev, Ukraine.

RN 2
Image 2, above: Rebbe Natan's gravesite, outside view.

RN3
Image 3, above: The Bugg River and the view of the Ukrainian countryside from Rebbe Natan's gravesite in Breslev, Ukraine.

RN4
Image 4, above: Personal prayer along the banks of the Bugg River, at the same exact spot where Rebbe Natan would spend hours pouring his heart out to Hashem.

May Rebbe Natan's holy and immortal soul intervene in our behalf, amen!