Friday, May 31, 2019

Kol Demama Parshas Bechukosai 5779 Vol. 2 Issue 25

 Kol Demama Parshas Bechukosai 5779 Vol. 2 Issue 25

It seems that even mosdos who refuse government funding aren’t safe from attempted meddling. A mossad that runs al taharas hakodesh – that receives no government funds – was “zoche” to a visit by Education Ministry inspectors. The menahel attempted to deny them entry: “We don’t take money from you – you have no right to enter,” he said. The inspectors were not impressed. “We don’t care whether you receive funds or not,” they answered. “We are from the ‘certification department.’ Funding is none of our business. You applied for a license, did you not?” Brushing past the menahel, the inspectors started looking around. After giving all types of “advice,” they approached the kindergarten(!) teacher. “Are you certified?” they asked. “No,” answered the teacher. “Then, I am the teacher for the day,” said the inspector. “A teacher without certification may not teach.” 

This mossad has not reapplied for a license for the coming school year. The only way, it seems, to retain educational independence in the State of Israel is by “going underground.

“Then, I am the teacher for the day,” said the inspector.  Can you imagine somebody with a personality like that imposing himself on a kindergarten? This is a dark time in Jewish history for half of Orthodox Jewry to be under the power of people like this.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

What should be our attitude toward Zionism?

What should be our attitude toward Zionism? Answer, by this time, I think that our people know the answer, but to repeat. Zionism is a substitute for Judaism. It would be as saying, if someone began a movement Sulanism or Sukiism. Everybody who emphases one thing is already under suspicion that he does not belong to the Torah Jews. Because the Torah is composed of taryag mitzvos and when one chooses a single mitzvah and makes a big fuss about it then we suspect him of intending to do away with the rest. And that’s exactly what Zionism is. It’s an attempt to substitute nationalism for everything else, for mitzvos, for Torah, and even for God Himself. (Rav Avigdor Miller “Pictures in the Mind, 040, 1:30:39)

Israel should be one nation, an entire nation that should have no other foundation for its existence, survival, activity and significance other than this Torah. It is to see the realization and devoted observance of this God-given "fiery Law" as its one contribution in world history for the edifice of human salvation. What the Phoenicians sought to bring about with the keels of their ships, what the ancient Greeks sought to achieve with their chisels and what the ancient Romans sought to attain with their swords, Israel is to accomplish with its Torah. Nay more, Israel is a nation that became a nation only through and for the Torah, a nation that once owned a land and existed as a state only through and for the Torah, and which possessed that land and that statehood only as instruments for translating the Torah into living reality. This is why Israel was a people even before it possessed land and statehood; this, too, is why Israel survived as a people even after its land was destroyed and its statehood lost, and this is why it will survive as a nation as long as it does not lose this only מורשה, this sole foundation for its survival and significance. That is the kind of nation that Israel, that all of us, should be. 

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch "The Character of the Jewish Community," Collected Writings, Vol. VI, p. 35

Monday, May 27, 2019

6-Day War - Not a Miracle

"I was surprised that Nasser decided to place his troops so close to our border. He must have known the grave danger into which he placed his forces. Having the Egyptian army so close allowed us to strike and destroy at any time we wished to do so, and there was not a single knowledgeable person who did not see that. From a military standpoint, it was not the IDF that was in danger when the Egyptian army amassed troops on the Israeli border, but the Egyptian army." Israeli General Matti Peled, in the high command during the Six-day War in  Peled, Miko. General's Son: Journey of an Israeli in Palestine (pp. 67-68). Just World Books. Kindle Edition.

“The armies were extremely ill-matched. Israelis, through their history, have tended to see themselves as the “weaker side,” their army smaller and less well armed than their Arab enemies. The truth in 1967, as at other times, was different.” Benny Morris, Righteous Victims, p. 311. Benny Morris is one of Israel’s most prominent historians

“American intelligence accurately predicted that Israel would defeat any possible Arab coalition within a few days, perhaps a week….” p. 310

“The Arab armies were mostly professional forces, relatively poorly trained, and not properly mechanized. The Egyptian army suffered from a basic weakness owing to the politicization of its command echelons, which resulted in the appointment of incompetent and inexperienced senior commanders, and structural weaknesses that were to prove fatal in wartime.” p. 312

“The Six-Day War was in all essentials, a clockwork war carried out by the IDF against three relatively passive, ineffective Arab Armies….Throughout, the initiative lay with the IDF; occasionally the Arabs ‘responded’ to an Israeli move; most often they served as rather bewildered, sluggish, punching bags.” p. 313

And the Satmar Rebbe knew it all along:

Satmar Rebbe(Divrei Yoel Behaloscha page 304): Would you even imagine that there would be empty headed fools that while they call themselves religious but the smell of heresy wafts from their mouths and they fool the whole world with their announcements about miracles [during the Six Day War] – G‑d save us. If in fact these were miracles it would have been much worse. That is because there is bitter retribution to the Jewish people when G-d does miracles from the aspect of evil as the Maharal mentioned before stated. However in truth there were no miracles here at all [concerning the Six Day War]. It was simply a natural occurrence as can readily be seen from the discussions in the newspapers that it was assumed that [Israel] would be victorious. I have already stated that I am fearful – G‑d forbid – for the time when actual miracles are done for them. If at this time when in truth there were no miracles and yet this great evil befell them, then surely if there had been miracles done for them that it would have brought about severe suffering as we mentioned above. From this we see the extreme degree of their cruelty and evil. That even though it was reasonable that [Israel] was going to win the war, nevertheless the Jewish people were in great danger. Nevertheless they placed the Jewish people in this danger for the sake of their glory and for the sake of their governing. Because it was obvious to those with understanding that [Israel] had the ability to completely prevent the war. There were a number of alternatives and circumstances regarding preventing the war, but this is not the place to go into detail. Nevertheless someone who has eyes will see that there is no doubt about this. In fact it was the filth of heresy that blinded their eyes and made them act in an irresponsible and irrational manner.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

R' Akiva Eiger's Wimpel

On Dec. 6, 2018, Inyan Magazine (of Hamodia) ran an article telling of the finding of R' Akiva Eiger's Wimpel.

I'll post one page of it. 

Also there's an article about a new CD of songs of the Chasom Sofer that have never been heard before. 

Friday, May 24, 2019

Derech Eretz? Not in the Anti-Religious, Anti-Jewish State

The latest from some brutes (one in particular) that wear Israeli police uniforms. (I have observed decent Israeli policemen.) Pounding, bloodying, and manhandling an autistic Charedi youth. Go ahead idol worshipers, try to defend this.

What's amazing about the video is how matter of fact the police go about their brutality here, even as the man screams. And his screams are heart wrenching and chilling. It's as if they have done this a thousand times before. Surely, they learned this in the army when pummeling Palestinians. Jews are supposed to have compassion. Do these people have compassion? Are they Jews?

They are Israelis now. That's what the society and the army trained them to be. That's the goal of Zionism. Be a tough guy. Harden your heart. Worship the gun and the uniform. This is Zionism.

The LORD will bring a nation from afar, from the ends of the earth, to swoop down upon you like an eagle—a nation whose language you will not understand, a ruthless nation with no respect for the old and no pity for the young. (Devarim 28:50)

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Zionist Lag B'Omer - Not Just a Rumor

For those who don't know, here's some material from Wikipedia. Kind of says it all.

Lag BaOmer (Hebrewלַ״ג בָּעוֹמֶר), also Lag B'Omer, is a Jewish holiday celebrated on the 33rd day of the Counting of the Omer, which occurs on the 18th day of the Hebrew month of Iyar.
This day marks the hillula (celebration, interpreted by some as anniversary of death) of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, a Mishnaic sage and leading disciple of Rabbi Akiva in the 2nd century, and the day on which he revealed the deepest secrets of kabbalah in the form of the Zohar (Book of Splendor), a landmark text of Jewish mysticism. This association has spawned several well-known customs and practices on Lag BaOmer, including the lighting of bonfires, pilgrimages to the tomb of Bar Yochai in the northern Israeli town of Meron, and various customs at the tomb itself.[2]
Another reason for why Jews celebrate Lag BaOmer is that it marks the day that the plague that killed Rabbi Akiva's 24,000 disciples came to an end, and for this reason the mourning period of Sefirat HaOmer concludes on Lag BaOmer for some people.[3]


Entrance to the tomb of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his son, Rabbi Eleazar
The origins of Lag BaOmer as a minor festival are unclear. The date is mentioned explicitly for the first time in the 12th century by Avraham ben Nathan in the Sefer Hamanhig (106).
 The Talmudist Meiri in his gloss to Yevamot 62b cites the Talmudic passage which states that during the time of Rabbi Akiva, 24,000 of his students died from a divinely-sent plague during the counting of the Omer. The Talmud goes on to say that this was because they did not show proper respect to one another. Meiri named Lag BaOmer as the day when, "according to a tradition of the geonim", the "plague" ended.[7]
After the death of Rabbi Akiva's 24,000 students, he was left with only five students, among them Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai. The latter went on to become the greatest teacher of Torah in his generation, and is purported to have authored the Zohar, a landmark text of Jewish mysticism. 
The Zohar calls the day of Bar Yochai's death a hillula.[7] Rabbi Chaim Vital, the main disciple of Rabbi Isaac Luria and author of Etz Chaim, was the first to name Lag BaOmer as the date of Bar Yochai's hillula.[7] According to the Zohar (III, 287b–296b), on the day of Bar Yochai's death, he revealed the deepest secrets of the Kabbalah.[8] Lag BaOmer therefore became a day of celebration of the great light (i.e., wisdom) that Bar Yochai brought into the world.[9]

Kabbalistic significance

Lag BaOmer has another significance based on the Kabbalistic custom of assigning a Sefirah to each day and week of the Omer count. The first week corresponds to Chesed, the second week to Gevurah, etc., and similarly, the first day of each week corresponds to Chesed, the second day to Gevurah, etc. Thus, the 33rd day, which is the fifth day of the fifth week, corresponds to Hod she-be-Hod (Splendor within [the week of] Splendor). As such, Lag BaOmer represents the level of spiritual manifestation or Hod that would precede the more physical manifestation of the 49th day (Malkhut she-be-Malkhut, Kingship within [the week of] Kingship), which immediately precedes the holiday of Shavuot.[citation needed]


The most well-known custom of Lag BaOmer is the lighting of bonfires throughout Israel and worldwide wherever religious Jews can be found. In Meron, the burial place of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and his son, Rabbi Eleazar, hundreds of thousands of Jews gather throughout the night and day to celebrate with bonfires, torches, song and feasting. This was a specific request by Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai of his students. Some say that as bar Yochai gave spiritual light to the world with the revelation of the Zohar, bonfires are lit to symbolize the impact of his teachings. As his passing left such a "light" behind, many candles and/or bonfires are lit.[14]
The Bnei Yissaschar cites another reason for the lighting of bonfires. On the day of his death, Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai said, "Now it is my desire to reveal secrets... The day will not go to its place like any other, for this entire day stands within my domain..." Daylight was miraculously extended until Rabbi Shimon had completed his final teaching and died. This symbolized that all light is subservient to spiritual light, and particularly to the primeval light contained within the mystical teachings of the Torah. As such, the custom of lighting fires symbolizes this revelation of powerful light.[15]


A first-grade classroom in Tel Aviv in 1973 with holiday displays; the Lag BaOmer display showing Bar Kokhba is on the left.
In modern Israel, early Zionists redefined Lag BaOmer from a rabbinic-oriented celebration to a commemoration of the Bar Kokhba revolt against the Roman Empire (132–136 CE). According to work published by Yael Zerubavel of Rutgers University, a number of Lag BaOmer traditions were reinterpreted by Zionist ideologues to focus on the victory of the Bar Kokhba rebels rather than their ultimate defeat at Betar three years later. The plague that decimated Rabbi Akiva's 24,000 disciples was explained as a veiled reference to the revolt; the 33rd day when the plague ended was explained as the day of Bar Kokhba's victory. By the late 1940s, Israeli textbooks for schoolchildren painted Bar Kokhba as the hero while Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai and Rabbi Akiva stood on the sidelines, cheering him on. This interpretation lent itself to singing and dancing around bonfires by night to celebrate Bar Kokhba's victory, and playing with bows and arrows by day to remember the actions of Bar Kokhba's rebel forces.[10]
This interpretation of the holiday reinforced the Zionist reading of Jewish history and underscored their efforts to establish an independent Jewish state. As Benjamin Lau writes in Haaretz:
This is how Lag Ba'omer became a part of the Israeli-Zionist psyche during the first years of Zionism and Israel. A clear distinction became evident between Jews and Israelis (sic) in the way the day was celebrated: The religious Jews lit torches in Rashbi's [Shimon bar Yochai's] honor and sang songs about him, while young Israelis, sitting around an alternative bonfire, sang about a hero "whom the entire nation loved" and focused on the image of a powerful hero who galloped on a lion in his charges against the Romans.[34]
In modern Israel, Lag BaOmer is "a symbol for the fighting Jewish spirit". The Palmach division of the Haganah was established on Lag BaOmer 1941, and the government order creating the Israel Defense Forces was issued on Lag BaOmer 1948.[35] Beginning in 2004, the Israeli government designated Lag BaOmer as the day for saluting the IDF reserves.[36]

Sunday, May 19, 2019

One of the most important tzedukah causes today:

Kol Demama is a newsletter that seeks to educate the Charedi public about the Israeli government's interference in Charedi education and its highly manipulative efforts to draft Charedim into their military. If you know anybody looking for a good charity, their budget is $500 a week and obviously any amount is appreciated.

Kol Demama Parshas Emor 5779 Vol. 2 Issue 24

Please note that Kol Demama is entirely non-profit; reporters, writers, editors, and distributors - all volunteers. Our sole expense is the weekly printing of thousands of color-copies which are distributed in shuls and yeshivos in Lakewood, Brooklyn, Monsey, Upstate N.Y., England and Eretz Yisroel (and an occasional graphics fee). This amounts to approximately $500 per week (which until now has been shouldered by the Kol Demama staff and volunteers). Donations of any amount will be very much appreciated. 
To donate:
MAIL: 925 Forest Ave apt. 12A Lakewood, NJ 08701. Checks should be made out to Agudas Bnei Torah of America.
PHONE: 732 360 6177 (leave a message) 
We have also set up a link through which you can donate using a credit card. CLICK HERE to donate. 
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Attack on Chinuch Update

Several weeks have already passed since the Israeli elections, but the coalition negotiations are still ongoing. These negotiations offer the smaller political parties the opportunity to capitalize on their electoral power, and the chareidi parties are no exception. 

Therefore, in an open letter to the chareidi parties and the Moetzes Gedolei HaTorah, Harav Leizerson, head of Chinuch Atzmai for the past half-century, wrote: 

“This is a fitting time, offered to us by Hashgachah Elyonah, with the increase in our representation [with 16 chareidi MKs] and influence after the recent elections, to block the continual attempts of the Ministry of Education to meddle with pedagogical matters and even our values, that were protected until recently...” 

“Until recently” refers to what happened five years ago, when the chareidi parties sat in the opposition. The Minister of Education, Shai Piron (of the Yesh Atid party), established a special “Chareidi Department” within the Ministry, and openly declared his intention to transform the chareidi educational system. 

The “Chareidi Department,” or “mechoz chareidei” as it is known, was staffed with people from the fringes of chareidi society who had the “benefit” of a secular education. They were proud of their “open-mindedness,” and were determined to impose that benefit on the rest of the community. 

Gedolei Torah were quick to see the dangers posed by the Mechoz and ruled that the Mechoz should be boycotted – none of the mosdos should cooperate with it in any way. 

When the chareidei parties entered the Netanyahu government four years ago, they were promised that the “Mechoz” would be dismantled. However, this promise was never kept. Now, Harav Leizerson wrote the chareidei representatives, is the time to use their newfound clout. They should make it clear to the Likud that this time the government will be held accountable to keep its promise. 

In his letter, Harav Leizerson writes: Chinuch Atzmai (Independent Torah Schools) “has more than a hundred thousand students, learning in close to 300 mosdos... I turn to you to make this demand an ultimatum in the coalition negotiations: to restore complete and total independence to Chinuch Atzmai, the way things were from the time of the founding of the State... The rabbanim have instructed us to fight against [the Mechoz] which currently has dozens of inspectors, whereas for decades, they only had two or three, and those focused solely on administrative matters, and never dared to interfere in the way we educate our children...” 

Even worse, it appears that the Mechoz has plans to increase its meddling in Chinuch Atzmai schools and even in the regular chadorim. A few weeks ago, menahelim of all schools received a letter from the Ministry of Education, informing them of its intention to enhance the inspections that are already a regular occurrence. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2019


Although Russian, Tchaikovksy wrote in the German classical style. As a blend of German and Russian it sort of captures the mood of a person with Chassidic leanings who keeps minhag Ashkenaz. It is possible to do both. The original Chasidei Ashkenaz (Yehuda HaChosid and the Rokayach) were something like that.

Tchaikovsky' Nutcracker Soundtrack

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Rabbi Miller's yahrzeit

Rabbi Avigdor Miller's yahrzeit (27 Nissan) Wed. night

Q: What should a person do if he feels like he’s going through a lot of difficulties raising his children?
A: If a person is bringing up children בדרך התורה, only that it turns out that it’s a difficult job to do, he should know that his reward is tremendous. The Gemara says that if a person has צער גידול בנים, if he has difficulties in raising his children, then אינו רואה פתחה של גהינים – “he won’t even have to walk past the door of Gehenim.” So when you pass out of this world, you will go straight to Olam Habah.
The mitzvah of גידול בנים, raising up children, is one of the biggest mitzvos of the Torah! You know what it means to make Jews?! You suffer from them. But the more you suffer, the greater is the reward. Now, if you have a good boy or a good girl, and they caused you no suffering because they themselves chose to do good all the time, you’ll still get reward. But not a reward like that one who suffers. צער גידול בנים makes you a wealthy person. You should know that the reward in Gan Eden is to sit on a golden throne just because you suffered in this great cause of raising up children for the service of Hashem. Because that’s the true success of a Jew in this world, to raise up a family that will serve Hashem and remain after him forever and ever.
Tape # E-218 (January 2000)

Avigdor ben Yisroel HaCohen

Please learn a Mishnah for his neshamah. Here's one:

מֵאֵימָתַי קוֹרִין אֶת שְׁמַע בְּעַרְבִית. מִשָּׁעָה שֶׁהַכֹּהֲנִים נִכְנָסִים לֶאֱכֹל בִּתְרוּמָתָן, עַד סוֹף הָאַשְׁמוּרָה הָרִאשׁוֹנָה, דִּבְרֵי רַבִּי אֱלִיעֶזֶר. וַחֲכָמִים אוֹמְרִים, עַד חֲצוֹת. רַבָּן גַּמְלִיאֵל אוֹמֵר, עַד שֶׁיַּעֲלֶה עַמּוּד הַשָּׁחַר. מַעֲשֶׂה שֶׁבָּאוּ בָנָיו מִבֵּית הַמִּשְׁתֶּה, אָמְרוּ לוֹ, לֹא קָרִינוּ אֶת שְׁמַע. אָמַר לָהֶם, אִם לֹא עָלָה עַמּוּד הַשַּׁחַר, חַיָּבִין אַתֶּם לִקְרוֹת. וְלֹא זוֹ בִּלְבַד, אֶלָּא כָּל מַה שֶּׁאָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים עַד חֲצוֹת, מִצְוָתָן עַד שֶׁיַּעֲלֶה עַמּוּד הַשָּׁחַר. הֶקְטֵר חֲלָבִים וְאֵבָרִים, מִצְוָתָן עַד שֶׁיַּעֲלֶה עַמּוּד הַשָּׁחַר. וְכָל הַנֶּאֱכָלִים לְיוֹם אֶחָד, מִצְוָתָן עַד שֶׁיַּעֲלֶה עַמּוּד הַשָּׁחַר. אִם כֵּן, לָמָּה אָמְרוּ חֲכָמִים עַד חֲצוֹת, כְּדֵי לְהַרְחִיק אֶת הָאָדָם מִן הָעֲבֵרָה:

(1) From which time are we to recite the shema in the evening? From the time when the priests return home [i.e., priests who have become impure and have immersed themselves in a mikvah, must wait until the stars have appeared in order to be considered, once again, ritually pure, enabling them to return home] to partake of the terumah [i.e., the priestly dues and one may recite the shema] up until the end of the first watch [the night is divided into three shifts, referred to by the Mishnah as “watches;” (during each watch different groups of Angels sing shirah — praise to God, Rashi 3a) thus the conclusion of the first watch would be the end of the first third of the night]. This is the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer, but the Sages say, [One may recite the shema] until midnight. Rabban Gamliel says, Until dawn [since it states “and speak of them ... when you lie down” (Deuteronomy 6:7) the intent being all night]. It once occurred that his sons returned [late] from a feast and said to him, “We have not yet recited the shema.” He told them, “If dawn has not yet broken it is your duty to recite it [even according to the view of the Sages].” And not only in this case, but in all cases [of obligations] where the Sages say, “Until midnight,” the obligation referred to may be carried out until dawn; [for instance,] the burning of fat and limbs may be performed until dawn, and all [the sacrifices] which must be eaten on the same day have their deadlines until dawn. If this is so, why then did the Sages say, “Until midnight?” In order to prevent a person from transgressing [since he may procrastinate in the fulfillment of his obligation, which may cause him to miss its deadline.