Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Don’t Confuse Me with the Truth!

I am overwhelmed by the attention that I have gotten this past day. Between 110 comments that appeared on Shirat Devorah and many E-mails that I received, both supporting and condemning my effort to save the world.  Overall, I am extremely happy with what happened.  First of all, I never thought I could get so many people discussing and debating Moshiach.  Since I feel very strongly that we are in a time that we should be talking about and learning about Moshiach, I look at yesterday as a very gratifying Kiddush Hashem.
I also woke up this morning with a strong message from Hashem as to why it happened.  Since I believe very strongly that everything, and I mean everything, is for the good and from Hashem, I prayed yesterday for insight as to why Hashem wanted this to happen.  The message I got was to turn it into a very productive learning experience.  One topic that I have mentioned but have not really emphasized is that of Loshon Harah, the evil tongue.  I believe that Loshon Harah is one of the most misunderstood concepts in the Torah but one of the most important personality characteristics that Hashem wants us to work on.  In simple English it is the idea of talking about people, sometimes called gossip, which always has a negative effect.  It is an abomination to Hashem since he wants us to love and help each other and not hurt each other.
The Chofetz Chaim, who has written books on Loshon Harah, is considered one of the best sources of information on the subject. He teaches us that it is not just saying unfavorable statements about someone, but even praising the individual could have negative effects for that individual.  We are not even concerned whether the Loshon Harah is true or false; it is just the idea of talking about someone and the damage it could do.  One caveat is if the information that you are providing someone will save them suffering, then it is allowed.  If someone stole money from me and is offering to loan money to a fellow Jew, I am obligated to help an honest Jew from being swindled or hurt in any way.
Let me give you an example of Loshon Harah that is more subtle in nature.  You want to take a particular college course and a friend tells you "make sure you only take the course with Prof. Peloni."  One would think what is wrong with suggesting Prof. Peloni that his friend had as his teacher.  But it is actually Loshon Harah because now you have said favorable things about Prof. Peloni and hinted to negativity about the other professors teaching that course.  That may not have been intended, but yet the individual suggesting one particular professor probably doesn't know the others that available to teach the course.  They may even be better than Prof. Peloni.  The better way would be to just tell the individual "I had Prof. Peloni who I thought did a good job."  Something else that is subtle is to never disclose that a fellow Jew may be very wealthy.  Information like that tends to cause people to bother the individual for more tzedukah, loans, help with financing and who knows what else.  A wealthy Jew is judged by Hashem on his own merit as to how he uses his money and not from the pestering of others (unless that is part of the test from Hashem).  How other Jews treat a wealthy Jew is part of their test in life.
I want to interject a thought here which will disclose a deeper part of the problem that I confronted yesterday.  Many of you, looking at the example I just gave, may be saying "that is not Loshon Harah."  The fact is I got the example from a book by the Chofetz Chaim.  Much of what I had to say yesterday was misunderstood regarding my information about Moshiach.  When one makes a statement and someone else disagrees, Hashem does not want us to promote sinat chinam, baseless hatred, but to open friendly dialogue about the disagreement; respectfully listening to the other side of the argument and resolving it the Torah way with love of our fellow Jew.  All parties are being tested by Hashem as to how they handle the situation.  When someone is misinformed about the truth and is hardheaded about his or her personal opinion, it should never result in anger and name-calling.  That is some of the worst Loshon Harah, especially on a public forum.  It is totally offensive to Hashem.
Let us talk about a more severe situation and how it can cause someone permanent damage.  When I was in the Army, there was a particular sergeant who was absolutely a delightful and pleasant individual.  Everybody liked him.  One day he was exiting a building and there were two policeman and a young woman standing at the exit.  The young woman pointed to my friend and said "that's him, he is the one who raped me."  My friend was handcuffed and imprisoned awaiting his trial.  At the trial the young woman admitted that she had just had an argument with her boyfriend.  Due to a dislike she developed for all men, she decided that she would accuse the first person who walked out of the building.  Obviously, my friend was released from custody as he was completely innocent.  However, never again did anyone look at him the same way.  They always wondered whether he was really involved; and, that maybe she had just changed her mind.  People never treated him the same after that incident.  How sad to just have your entire life upset because of Loshon Harah.
Be aware that I didn't feel bad about some of the things that were said about me.  I was more concerned about how Hashem is judging the perpetrator of Loshon Harah, and what the individual has done to him or herself.  My love of my fellow Jew means I am bothered when I see someone sinning needlessly and causing suffering and hardship to come upon him or herself.  I am a very happy and contented person who was not worried about me.  I started the blog to help others and not to cause them anguish.
Let me give an example written by Mr. Anonymous that should help summarize the horror of what an individual can do to him or herself.  Anonymous said "the Rambam curses an individual who calculates the end."  Then Anonymous went on call me an idiot. What a big negative report went into Anonymous’s book that Hashem keeps on him.  Let us analyze what happened.  First of all, one must know what the Rambam really said, since he even gave a possible calculation of the end.  He gave two provisos, telling us under what conditions one can calculate.  One: if the date is far away, it is very depressing to tell people such news and it should be avoided.  If the date is very close, many Rabbis say that you should disclose such information.  If it results in people doing repentance, more mitzvot, more praying and more Torah study, what a blessing has occurred.  Hashem will even speed up the arrival due to the increased effort.  That is what is meant by "if we are deserving."
The second suggestion from the Rambam is that you say that the calculated date is your opinion.  What is interesting about this entire episode was that I never calculated a date.  I only compiled a vast amount of information from very reliable sources, such Scriptures, and reproduced what was presented on many other blogs.  I came up with none of the information, but only gathered it all into one place and offered it to my readers.  The conclusion was obvious since it repeated itself over and over again in the compiled documentation.  This is the 100 pages of evidence that I offer for anyone who wishes to review it.  That information is growing since I received new information just this morning (see the comment on yesterday's post from A Yid).
The Jewish way to disagree with someone is to ask questions and get a clarification discussion started.  How many times I have gotten E-mails from individuals who didn't agree with my postings.  Sometimes they ask what references did you get the information from (that is the Jewish way).  Sometimes they just told me you are wrong or they stated this is not the absolute truth.  What is interesting is how many times they completely misunderstood what I had written.  Unfortunately, most comments are No Reply E-mails so I can’t even get a discussion going.  Most of the close-minded and even nasty comments are from this person named Anonymous.  If people would send me a private E-mail that I could respond to, that would be the Jewish way and would prevent that individual from being negatively looked upon by Hashem.
I unfortunately cannot write everything that I wish about the subject.  Many would require a volume of details especially considering that I may have written many blog posts from information gathered from many books.  It's very difficult to summarize many subjects and cover every aspect that I would like to.  This unfortunately leaves room for questions and sometimes comments that show that the individual is not understanding what was said.  I often receive excellent comments that do enhance the topic.  In posting these comments my readers get to see the additional information.  But when something is completely misunderstood, only questions, respectively submitted, will clarify a misunderstanding.  This may come as a shock but “I am human.”  I have made some very minor mistakes and was blessed by someone intelligent enough to point them out allowing me to make a correction.  I like to consider myself a nice guy, a friendly person who loves other people and wants to help them.  All I ask is that you reciprocate in a kind manner by telling me what bothers you or what you need help with, allowing us to work together to resolve your issue.  Bringing Loshon Harah into the picture is very counterproductive for you and sad for me.
I would like to disclose something about myself that has been misunderstood from the very beginning.  I am not a Rabbi.  Using the word rav is meant as a teacher.  Wikipedia states: The term rav is also a generic term for a teacher or a personal spiritual guide.  For example, Pirkei Avot tells us that "Joshua ben Perachyah said: Provide for yourself a teacher (rav).  It doesn't diminish my level of scholarship because I was never ordained a Rabbi even though I am referred to by friends, and even when I had coworkers, as Rabbi.  In my environment, it is a very common title whether one has been ordained or not.  It is based more on the level of scholarship and above all a tremendous desire to help people.  It was comical in my last employment environment, before I retired, I worked in an office with other engineers who called me their spiritual leader.  I remember one day a woman from an adjoining office coming in to talk to me and asked me for guidance.  When I asked her why she was asking me, she said you are my spiritual adviser.  When I said to her “but you are Catholic why aren't you talking to your priest,” she answered with Loshon Harah "he is useless."
My desire to teach and help others is not out of arrogance but strictly to perform Hashem's will.  All I ask is that we work together, respect each other, learn together and do everything the way Hashem wants to see it done.  It's the best thing for both of us.


  1. How about this one?

    I ask my eldest (5) "did you do this?" and she replies "my sister did it!"

    Or God asked Adam, "did you eat of the fruit of the tree that I forbade you?" and he replied, "that woman you made for me, it's her fault!"

    When we become the accuser instead of the mediator.

  2. Menachem,

    Thank you for your hard work to spread the valuable documents to us. May HaShem bless you!

    Very respectful,

    Tom, Deaf Noahide

    1. I continue to pray every day that the Geula happens immediately and that good people like you get everything they want.

  3. Well you know where I stand with all this.... I have your blog bookmarked and will continue to read, absorb and learn. Thank You.
    In the end, when its all said and done we all have to stand before the heavenly court. So NOW is time to worry for our relationship with HaShem and our fellow man. HaShem should be our ultimate goal working on Teshuvah everyday, working on loving ourselves and those around us even when its really hard. Moshiach is someone we hope for to solve problems we can not help now, but we must remember HaShem is the only one who is really doing....Now,before, and later. NOT moshiach HASHEM. I look and wish for Moshiach everyday but I know in the end its only HASHEM.
    P.S. I knew you were not a Rabbi you make that very plain in your profile. Your an excellent Rav with a very good heart and abundant knowledge.Unlike some educated idiots I am aware of. Sorry if that is not good to say but that the way I see it.

    1. Beautiful words. Your statement at the bottom lets us know that we must pray for those who need help and not wish them harm. As you said, all is Hashem, so even helping the misguided will come from Him.

    2. Just saying, I was not talking about any particular person. Yet it really gets tiring when someone goes on and on about their logic and actually no one else gets it. I rather have someone speak plain and simple and if I desire or feel the need to delve deeper I can ask questions, instead of someone speaking above my head and most likely everyone in the rooms head. Then feeling belittled to ask a question or to get a "how dare you even ask" attitude.

  4. Anyone know what happened to Devorah's blog today? I think all these blogs and community are part of the redemption "beita"

    Menachem, welcome to the life of a chossid. Have mesirus nefesh and let the misnagdim say what they want

    Yechi HaMelech HaMoshiach!

    1. I am a Litvak and probably by definition a misnaged. The only rhetoric that I suppress is when it is against Hashem, Jews, Torah or Israel. If someone is mean or totally disrespectful, that is not the Jewish way of conducting oneself and should not have a forum to express their filth. You wouldn't believe what I have received in the way of comments. Some of the language has taken me back to my military days, unfortunately. I am happy to be in control of my website and are more than happy to receive any opposing arguments presented -- I just ask that they be supported with good sources such as scriptures and not a feeble attempt at opinion. You will pardon me but after what I have received, I know very well why the world is suffering and Moshiach is being delayed. I do not want to add to the situation by giving free reign to reshaim on my blog.

  5. B"H Hashem gave me a few gifts, one is gauging character. From the beginning I knew you were a mentch. You have a very good heart. And you speak the truth. I know it because I sense it with my neshama. My neshama doesn't lie. So I stood by you in my anonymity and now I'll stand by you with my name. Keep doing what you're doing. Hashem knows the score. And trust, everything is being tallied - word for word, action for action. Be happy all ways.

  6. I just came across your blog, keep it up, חכם עדיף מנביא, anyone with a little honsety can sense we are living in "unique" times, we all have to think for a minute and ask ourselves why are we living! Do we think we will live forever? Are we born just to daven 3 (כמצות אנשים מלמודה) times a day eat, work, sleep, learn a little (obviosly get married, children etc..) And the drop dead! Absolutely not,there is much more to our being in this world we are just in spirtual denile, we dont want to think about these things,we want to be left alone and enjoy life. All the while our Neshamos our yearning for us to connect to Hashem in a much more sincere and deeper fashion. Please, we are all בני אברהם יצחק ויעקב I ask that we all make a tiny hishtadlus just to think about Hashem and verbalize (even if we dont feel it) that we want to be better, and then we will all have Syata Dshmaya.

  7. perhaps all this lashon hora is because of the chicken and beef that we eat (Hazak Weematz blogspot)! It is now a week that I have been detoxing my body from the meat that I have not personally seen slaughtered by a shochet and lungs checks for any lesions and then kashered.

    Yes indeed - thinking this indeed could be one of the causes of lashon hora.

    Thanks for your blog - I learn from it.

    1. Only to the extent that the chicken and beef affect the midos (which I know they do). It seems ironic that one who speaks Lashon Harah is actually beefing about someone else and is too chicken to do teshuvah. Wow! What a silly analogy that was. In the end no matter what we eat, we should never have an excuse to speak Lashon Harah.