Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Message from Rabbi Nir Ben Artzi, shlita, Parashat Korach, 21 Sivan 5777, 18.6.17

בס"ד
The Master of this world is good, merciful, loves goodness, honesty and truth, gave laws and rules in the world in order to follow the path of truth and rightness, to correct our virtues, to turn away from evil and to do good.

The parshah of the spies describes exactly what is happening in the world today. Religious Jews or not, have to rise on their own accord, to leave the Diaspora and immigrate to the Holy Land, to leave the materialism, the wicked ways and to go to the Holy Land, urgently.

The Creator continues to destroy. He continues to destroy Europe; He continues to confuse the whole world, except for the Holy Land of Israel. Europe is threatened by nuclear bombs, the United States is threatened by nuclear bombs, but in Holy Land no atomic missile can threaten and disturb.

In Europe, it is dangerous to live because of the madness of the Koreans, the Russians, the Chinese, or the tens and hundreds of thousands of Muslim refugees who are destroying and conquering it. And in the United States all the non-Jews hate the Jews. The Jews will soon have very difficult problems there, and anyone who says, 'It will not happen to me' starts a war with the Holy One, blessed be He.

The parshah of the spies was after the Holy One, blessed be He, removed the Israelites from Egypt, redeemed them, and showed great miracles at the sea. They arrive at the Land of Israel and He asked them to enter the Holy Land of their own accord, of their own will and they did not want to enter. He killed all the old male generation in the desert during forty years. This is the first redemption, and so it will be the same in the last redemption with the Messiah. The Holy One, blessed be He, is calling upon all Jews in the world to come and live in the Holy Land of Israel. Some of them are stubborn and some do not want to. Therefore, the Holy One, blessed be He, increases anti-Semitism step by step, every day to a more difficult stage than the day before, increasing the pressure and anti-Semitism against the Jews in the world.

Europe is being wiped out and in the United States the Jews will get in trouble.

The Holy One, Blessed is He, calls upon His children: 'Please come and be under My protection, under My wings in the Holy Land of Israel!' Everything that is happening in the world, the troubles and complications of a country, the problems within a country and a state, conflicts between countries, fires, volcanic eruptions, rivers and streams flooding and earthquakes. The Creator shows the world and the Jews what He can do in the world so that people will understand that their power is not in their hands. In the Land of Israel all is good.

The Holy One, Blessed is He, is entering the minds of people in the world and confusing them among themselves - their sword will pierce their hearts and their bow will break. Everything is done in order to neutralize their thinking about giving away parts and harming the Land of Israel. Jews, immigrate to the Land of Israel!

Government of Israel, develop the Negev, the Western Galilee, the Golan Heights, Binyamin, Samaria, Judea, the Arava and the Jordan Valley.

All the places in the holy Land of Israel, from Eilat to Metulla, through Jerusalem and Ashdod, are all holy and pure. All the lands were delivered by the Israel Defense Forces and returned to the Jewish people.

Gog and Magog is only outside the Land of Israel. Gog and Magog, for those who do not know, it means complications, confusion and wars, floods and natural disasters. Nothing happens in the Land of Israel and it will never happen!

US and Russia, a cat and a mouse, want to rule the Middle East; and, if Russia makes real peace with the US, its economy will go down the drain because they live on ammunition and weapons. Because they are not in peace, Russia sells a lot of ammunition - this is its economy and therefore there is no good friendship between them. The United States has a slippery tongue and speaks obliquely, and Russia, what is in the heart is in the mouth, same thing.

Peace with the Palestinians will not be, because they are liars and because of their desire to destroy the Land of Israel. The United States loves and preserves the Jewish people in order to prevent Russia from joining to the Land of Israel, and if Russia becomes a friend of Israel, the US will weaken, fall apart, and end.

Turkey, Erdogan is acting as if he loves Qatar, because ISIS controls him, and if Erdogan does not like Qatar, ISIS will behead him.

Iran wants to show that it is a powerful country that has the power and seeks challenges to fight.

Syria is being destroyed and erased. All countries are using it to practice, dismantle it and eradicate it from the face of the earth. The media is no longer interested in Syria, interested in Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Iraq and Egypt.

In England and France severe attacks will continue. Each time a different type of attack occurs, so they will not be detected or suspected.

In the Sinai Desert, ISIS celebrates.

Egypt, keep and watch strongly at the Aswan Dam. Sisi keep your eyes open because the extremist Muslims, Hamas and ISIS are looking for you, and they will do things that will hurt Egypt and Sisi very much, and then the people will turn against Sisi.

Hamas is fighting amongst themselves, killing each other and stealing the money that comes to Palestinian citizens. They will have a great mess; their sword will pierce their hearts. Hamas continues to dig tunnels. They make openings in hiding places so that no one will know where the tunnels start.

Abu Mazen 'plays it' poorly; he lies to everyone and thinks that people believe his lies. All day long, he thinks about how to carry out attacks inside the Land of Israel. He relies on backing from the United Nations, the European Union and the BDS, where all are Muslim and draw strength from them to hurt the Jews.

Nasrallah and Hezbollah, they have neither power nor brains. They know that there is a protector of the Land of Israel, that the Holy One, Blessed be He, Who protects the Land of Israel.

Jordan, millions of refugees eat it and it is still alive, waiting for Trump.

Iraq is continuing to die.

The Holy One, Blessed be He, makes trouble for Trump to prevent him from dealing with the Palestinians and with the issue of peace with Israel. The Holy One, blessed be He, will allow him to deal with all kinds of problems until he realizes that he is one hundred percent with Israel and does not give the Palestinians an inch of the land of Israel! If he understands, this is good; if he does not understand, he will suffer and be preoccupied only with his troubles.

Government of Israel must not be afraid of anyone! Keep the borders of Israel and do not give parts of the Land of Israel, and protect the IDF!

To the people of Israel, everywhere: 'And you will protect yourself' and don’t say, 'It will not happen to me.' The Holy One, Blessed be He, does not want to hear: 'It will not happen to me.' The Holy One, Blessed be He, does not want to hear: right and left. In Heaven there is no Ashkenazi or Sephardic, Lithuanian, ultra-Orthodox, knitted or black skullcap. The Holy One, blessed be He, wants the people of Israel to be united because they have nowhere to go. No country will be prepared to accept the leftists, as long as they are against the right - they all clap their hands and love them.

Dear parents, help the daughters and the sons of Israel. Explain to them how assimilation is a serious problem, so that they will not fall into the trap. Warn them of drugs, gambling, and drinking.

Dear Jews, eat and drink only in strictly kosher restaurants! The gentiles want to harm the Jews through food and to enter restaurants (at a quarter price and for free) sick calves, sheep and birds, which cause the most severe diseases in the human body. It is part of their 'weapons' to destroy the Jews.

All the things and disasters that happen to the people of Israel, it is the responsibility of a person to not choose trouble and death, but to choose life. It's like two drivers who compete with each other; if they do not give in to each other - they get hurt badly, if they give in - they're safe and sound. Hashem gave us the Commandments so that the world would be educated and civilized. The Holy One, blessed be He, makes difficulties for the people of Israel and the world so that they ask for the Messiah.

The Messiah came to save all the people of Israel! He came to save the Jews, to unify and bind them, to solve all the problems and to make them happy. The Messiah is the father of all the Jews! The soul of the Messiah rises every night, protects all the borders of Israel and does not let Gog and Magog come close to Israel!

Getting the Messiah is difficult to achieve, so there is great value when it is difficult to achieve. If it were easy to achieve, people would not appreciate it.

The Messiah cleanses all the cities in the land of Israel. The Messiah is in the minds of all Jews. The Messiah gives blessing to crops and water, fruit and vegetables, science, economics and real estate, studies, prayers, Torah study and complete repentance.

The soul of Messiah disconnects at night from his body, in order to protect Israel - that is his job. This process continues and there is no return; there is only progress until the Holy One, Blessed be He, gives in the heaven and on the earth the long-awaited day of the people of Israel!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Tzitzit: A Tikun for the Sin of the Spies (with additional commentary by me)


by Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students, Diaspora Yeshiva

Parshat Shelach begins with the Sin of the Spies and ends with the Mitzvah of Tzitzit (the wearing of the fringes on the Tallis, the prayer shawl). Is there a link between the two? To answer this question we must ask another.

What was the sin of the Spies? It cannot be that the sin was the very fact that they were sent. On the contrary, we find the use of spies against the enemy camp in many places. For example, it says, "Moshe sent out men to spy on Ya'azer" (Bamidbar 21:32). Likewise, Yehoshua sent out two spies to see the Land and Jericho. Regarding Gideon we find that Hashem sent him to spy on the Midianite camp to hear what the Midianites were saying so as to be in a stronger position to attack them (Shoftim 7:1 1).

Therefore, Ramban (Bamidbar 13:2) does not view the actual sending of the spies as the sin. On the contrary, he writes; "This is reasonable counsel for all occupying forces. The Torah does not advise relying on miracles in all that one does. Rather, it commands that soldiers, once dispatched, cautiously lay in ambush for the right moment to attack."

If the sin was not in the spies being sent, then what was it? Ramban further refines the question. Seemingly the spies spoke the truth and the report they issued was appropriate to what they had been commanded to find out. They had been asked to see if the soil was rich or weak (Bamidbar 13:20) and they answered that it was rich, and that it was a land flowing with milk and honey. To the question of whether the Land had trees or not, they responded by displaying its fruit, as Moshe had commanded that they do. What then was the sin of the Spies?

Ramban answers that the Spies had been commanded to provide information about the Land, and their sin was that they added their own opinion that the Conquest of the Land would be absolutely impossible to carry out. The Spies conducted themselves like some of our media personalities whose job it is to provide the public with facts and information, and who instead take advantage of the tool in their hands to weave in their own commentary, assessments and opinions. This was the sin of the Spies.

Chatam Sofer in Torat Moshe likewise holds that sending out the spies was appropriate in accordance with wartime practices, because we mustn't rely on miracles, but should conduct ourselves according to the laws of nature. He adds that the spies did not provide false information. Rather, the information they provided should have been given exclusively to Moshe, who had sent them (Bamidbar 13:3). It was for Moshe alone to decide how to use their information. Yet they did not do this. Rather, immediately on the Spies return, "…they brought their report to Moshe, Aharon and the entire Israelite community" (Bamidbar 13:26). They did this with the intention of demoralizing and weakening the Jewish People, like some of the "Spies" of today (Peace Now and J Street).

The Book of Psalms long ago revealed to us that lack of faith and an absence of love of the Land of Israel are the root cause of the sin of the Spies; "They despised the precious land, they did not believe His word" (Psalm 106:24). Therefore, the answer to the confusion and doubt amongst our generation regarding Eretz Yisroel is increased education towards love of the Land, People and Torah of Israel.

That education is to be found at the end of the Parshah of the Spies, which deals with the Mitzvah of Tzitzit. Rav Soloveitchik explains that the blue thread of Tzitzit is a symbol to view world events more deeply than the deep blue sky. The Talmud in Menachot states that the blue thread of Tzitzit reminds us to look up at the blue heavens and to admire the incredible, vast expanse of endless space leading to its source, the Ein Sof - Hashem. As Psalms 19:2 states, "The Heavens tell the glory of G-d."

Also, the Parshah of Tzitzit states, "Do not follow your own ‘spies’ of your hearts and your eyes" - to be misled into sin (Bamidbar 15:39). The Torah concludes the Parshah of the Spies with, "and you shall see Him" meaning to see Hashem in everything in nature (Bamidbar 15:40). Thus the GEMATRIA (numerical value) of the word nature in Hebrew HATEVA equals EL O HIM (G-d). We must teach ourselves to view world events as they really are, as the Torah views them, and not to be deceived by superficial appearances.

This idea applies especially to the Land of Israel. Eretz Yisroel is a land overflowing with beauty and sanctity. Some of its beautiful qualities are revealed, and others are hidden beneath the surface. In a similar sense, the righteous one among the Spies, Kalev ben Yefuneh, saw only the good in Eretz Yisroel, unlike his colleagues, who were deceived by the superficial problems they saw here. Thus, he was called KALEV, the same root as the word KELEV (dog), because a dog is always digging beneath the surface to find the buried treasure.

So too, a Jew in the Land of Israel has to plumb the depths to discover the hidden treasure, beauty and sanctity, concealed in Eretz Yisroel.
------------------------------------------------------
I would like to add a note about the righteous women in the desert. The women did not believe the report of the 10 spies, but were much more realistic about the good report of Kalev and Joshua. The men were punished with the reminder of having to wear Tzitzit, but were also told that when they pray they will have to be in a quorum of as least ten men. These punishments did not apply to women (both then and now), since women are at a higher spiritual level and didn’t see the negative but the positive of the report of the spies.

I remember about 25 years ago a Jewish woman who worked in our office. She was a member of a Conservative Synagogue and came to me one day with an announcement. She said: you probably don’t agree with this, but I just purchased my woman’s Tallis. I told her that it wasn’t me that she should worry about, but instead what Hashem had to say about her wearing a Tallis. I told her the story of the Spies and how men were punished because of their poor judgment and lack of trust in Hashem. I mentioned that Jewish women are on a higher spiritual level, and that if she wanted to lower herself to the level of a man that was her decision. I told her how hard I work to try to approach the higher level of a woman and how ironic it is that uneducated women think that Tallis and Tefillin is a privilege for men instead of a crutch to bring the man closer to the level that a woman has naturally. She was totally silent, but it didn’t make any difference. I am sure it gave her something to think about.

I had this same discussion with the leader of the Women of the Wall, who think that they are being discriminated against by not being able to wear Tallis and Tefillin. I got even less of a response from them since they are being paid by a Jew-hating organization to go to the wall and fight Hashem. It is so difficult to tell these women that the little pay that they are receiving now will be infinitely offset by the punishment later.

Hashem’s plan is perfect. People’s flawed opinion is dangerous. As I have said “Ignorance is not bliss, ignorance is very dangerous.” Whatever Hashem tells us to do, man or woman, it is for our benefit, for our growth and for our well-being. Those who think they know better than Hashem will find out the hard way exactly what they threw away.

Two additional notes.  The Women of the Wall is such a staged fiasco, that some of the women hired to go to the wall aren't even Jewish.  I guess we have to get actresses wherever we can. 

I have been asked why women are at a higher spiritual level.  Very simply: women can experience life growing within them, men can't.  We also see it manifested throughout scriptures how men make mistakes, and the women are much more rational in serving Hashem.    

Sunday, June 18, 2017

This Explains It All

בס"ד
I would like to give you some insight as to why the world is the way it is and even why history was so chaotic and full of turmoil. What I will be explaining is from Kabbalistic sources so I start off with a disclaimer: I can only give you the details as I learned them and have no idea of the deep ramifications (it is beyond human comprehension). Am I off the hook? I will only accept easy questions.

Let us talk of the beginning of humankind. All my references to Adam are for all people, men and women, since Adam and Eve were created as a single being and were later separated into two distinct individuals. What is important for our purpose is that they did not start out as human beings as is familiar to us. They were at a very high spiritual level. When Adam ate from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, he did it for a very positive reason. He was very close to Hashem but wanted to be even closer. Even though he knew everything he needed to know about the world, he had a great desire to know more. Adam saw this tree as an opportunity to possibly be at the same level as Hashem. Once again, this was out of love for Hashem, since Adam was already at a very high spiritual level. What actually changed after he ate? In Hebrew there are two words that sound the same (unless you are Israeli and can hear the subtle difference) but have one letter difference giving it a different meaning. The word is “ohr.” If spelled with the Hebrew letter alef, it means light. If spelled with an ayin it means skin. When Adam sinned his size was greatly reduced (he was a giant before and now was the size of a human being of today) and the covering of his body was changed from pure light to skin as we know it. In essence he went from being a spiritual being to a physical being. This is really when he became a human being that we can relate to. His knowledge was greatly changed since he now was aware of both good and evil. This is when he became aware of his lack of body covering as an example.

So far so good (I hope). Now we get into the spiritual change. The following explanation is an over simplification of a very difficult concept to understand (the part that is beyond our comprehension). Adam’s soul was actually the soul of all humankind. We were all part of Adam. When he sinned the sparks of his soul were shattered like a broken vessel and scattered throughout the world. This is the reason that the people are throughout the world since the perfection of the world requires the gathering of these sparks to bring the soul of Adam together again. Of course, most of the souls were placed in Heaven – also known as the World of Souls. That occurred with the plan that the souls would come to Earth throughout history to effect the perfection of the Earth and the perfection of each individual soul, us. In other words, history was a gathering of the sparks to make whole the vessel again.

A side note of interest. Where we were as individuals within Adam’s soul determined what part of the world mission for which we would be responsible. If we were the hands of Adam we would come to Earth as a skilled individual working with the hands. If we were part of his brain, we would be of high intelligence here. A soul from his heart might be a very righteous individual. I won’t cover any not so favorable parts – use your imagination. The point is we as the whole of society know why the world has the tremendous variety of skills and intelligence levels. It is interesting to ponder the individual location that you may have occupied in Adam.

What purpose is served by all this? Hashem is allowing very important and wonderful accomplishments by this scenario. One is that Adam (and all of us) had to be sent down to a very low spiritual level in order to gather the sparks. By doing this we are given the opportunity upon completion to surge upward almost like a slingshot effect to a spiritual level even higher than what Adam started with. When the redemption comes and the perfection is put into place, eventually we will experience a level that is close to Hashem beyond our comprehension. In essence, Adam’s desire to reach a much higher level will be accomplished.

There is another aspect of this plan that is not so obvious. Hashem is perfect. Within His perfection is all imperfection. Meaning, that Hashem is complete with everything. Hashem wanted to demonstrate His wholeness by creating this world and us as imperfect beings. At the same time we are being brought to a level of perfection at the end, we have been the vehicle to show that all levels of imperfection exist within Hashem’s perfection. We can glean from all this some of the very difficult concepts that we questioned at the beginning. Why has history been so chaotic full of turmoil? We can now see that the gathering of the sparks had to be done at all levels including the lowest level of our existence. The levels had to include the lowest of evil to the highest of goodness. The levels had to include all the imperfection that exists within the wholeness and perfection of Hashem. Hashem is everything, there is none else. As part of Hashem we were the vehicle to demonstrate His wholeness. The good news is all the sparks have been gathered. The history used to demonstrate His wholeness is complete. This is why I am convinced that the time of our redemption and the introducing of the Messiah are imminent. All is complete, the work is done – the future looks tremendous.

I didn’t say this was going to be simple to understand; but, my purpose in trying to explain this is to encourage everyone to gain the maximum place in the sun, so to speak. We now have the opportunity to obtain the highest spiritual level that Adam craved. It is available to each and every one of us. The last minute acts of rectification will change our eternity for the absolute best. Don’t waste the opportunity. Return to Hashem for everything. Know that everything that Hashem does He does for us and it is for the good. You and your loved ones will see a level of happiness and fulfillment that is beyond our human comprehension and that is the Absolute Truth. Accept it, live it and enjoy it.

We are very close to the worldwide redemption. The only delay is Hashem, in His infinite mercy, giving us as individuals more time to perfect ourselves, more time to do individual Teshuvah and be as perfect as possible before “the great day of Hashem.” I often have quoted Zechariah 13:8 about the 2/3rd of the population not surviving (and with great suffering) and the 1/3rd of the population who will survive and go on to the wonderful new world of truth and happiness. I have never included the next verse of Zechariah 13:9 which gives additional information for the fortunate 1/3rd group who survive. The verse reads:
9 And I will bring the third part through the fire, and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on My name, and I will answer them; I will say: 'It is My people,' and they shall say: 'The L-RD is my G-d.'
This verse is telling us that all the people who survive will be purified before they can live in this tremendous world of truth and goodness. How much purification will each of us need? The old answer of measure for measure “whatever we need.” In other words, as I have stated so many times the more we do now the less we will need to be fixed later. The more we purify our soul now with Teshuvah, Tefillah, Tzedukah, Torah study, helping others and doing the Mitzvot, the less we need later to enter the kingdom of Hashem for all eternity. I can’t stress enough the importance of each second of each day that we are living now before the great Day of Judgment. Each of us as individuals must come as close to Hashem as possible NOW!!!

The messages from Hashem are getting more intense every day, telling us that we are running out of time. The individuals who are taking this seriously are the most favored to survive and thrive and face a much better future than thought possible. The skeptics are fools who will find out soon the folly of their ways. The evil ones will be gone with great suffering for themselves and their loved ones who depend on them.

None of this is speculation; we have thousands of years of prophecies and history fulfilling those prophecies as absolute proof. The skeptics are the ones who don’t study, don’t research the truth, but just sit back with their flawed human logic and make up fantasy.

One last note: the idea of moving to Israel is one of all-of-a-sudden putting yourself and loved ones on the much higher level of purification. I have mentioned that the good people of the world will survive, but what that survival will entail is up to each individual. After the great day of Hashem, the purification that will be needed for the surviving group with either be easy or intense. Being in Israel will afford each of us a much higher level of holiness and a much easier entrance into the world of goodness. Once again, this is not speculation, but fact. The foolish skeptic will find out the hard way.

I know that I repeat myself constantly, but yet I still get many Emails telling me how little my readers are actually doing. Most have a wait-and-see attitude. Most have a “I want Moshiach now,” attitude, thinking that all their problems will just vanish. That is possible, but only for the individuals who prepare now. The “I am good to go” or the “wait and see” groups are in for a very rude awakening. I will only say this a thousand more times: 
Get to work; your entire future and the future of your loved ones depend on your actions NOW!!!!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

When is Lashon Harah a Mitzvah?

בס"ד
by Rabbi Ephraim Sprecher, Dean of Students, Diaspora Yeshiva