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Shabbath Shalom

Judges and Prophets are not subjects for history texts, but rather concepts particularly relevant to the present time. As a foretaste of the fulfillment of the prophecy: "And I will return your judges as in former times, and your advisers as at the beginning," in the age before Mashiach's coming, we have been granted judges and prophets to provide us with direction and guidance. And often these qualities have been personified in a single individual, as manifest in the outstanding leaders of chasidut until the present age.
These leaders have, like judges, given us a directive regarding the nature of the present time, when "all the buttons have been polished," and we are in the final moments before the Ultimate Redemption. And like advisers, they have provided us with the insight to anticipate the Redemption in our lives, and prepare a setting for this spirit to spread throughout the world at large.
Source: sichosinenglish.org



Any intelligent person who is scheduled for trial before a mortal king will surely spend sleepless nights and days preparing his case. He will seek the advice of every knowledgeable person he knows who can help him prepare his case. He will go to great lengths to attain a favorable verdict, even if all that is at stake is but a small part of his fortune, and he faces no personal risk.
Should he not do so as well when brought to judgment before the Supreme King of Kings, the Holy Blessed One, when not only he, but his children and his fortune all hang in the balance?
Rabbeinu Yitchak Abohav, “Menoras HaMeor”
The last month of the Jewish calendar is actually the most important – serving as preparation for the High Holidays.
by Rabbi Shraga Simmons

If you had an important court date scheduled , one that would determine your financial future, or even your very life, you’d be sure to prepare for weeks beforehand.
On Rosh Hashana, each individual is judged on the merit of his deeds. Whether he will live out the year or not. Whether he will have financial success or ruin. Whether he will be healthy or ill. All of these are determined on Rosh Hashana.
Elul , the month preceding Rosh Hashana ,begins a period of intensive introspection, of clarifying life’s goals, and of coming closer to G-d. It is a time for realizing purpose in life rather than perfunctorily going through the motions of living by amassing money and seeking gratification. It is a time when we step back and look at ourselves critically and honestly, as Jews have from time immemorial, with the intention of improving. The four Hebrew letters of the word Elul (aleph-lamed-vav-lamed) are the first letters of the four words Ani l’dodi v’dodi lee  “I am to my Beloved and my Beloved is to me” (Song of Songs 6:3). These words sum up the relationship between G-d and His people.
In other words, the month preceding Rosh Hashana is a time when G-d reaches out to us, in an effort to create a more spiritually-inspiring atmosphere, one that stimulates teshuva.
Beginning on Saturday night before Rosh Hashana, we recite “Slichot”, a special series of prayers that invoke G-d’s mercy. If Rosh Hashana falls at the beginning of the week, then “Slichot” begin on the Saturday night of the previous week. (Sefardim begin saying “Slichot” on Rosh Chodesh Elul.)
After the sin of the Golden Calf, Moshè asked G-d to explain His system for relating with the world. G-d’s answer, known as the “13 Attributes of Mercy,” forms the essence of the “Slichot” prayers. The “13 Attributes” speak of “G-d’s patience.” The same G-d Who created us with a clean slate and a world of opportunity, gives us another opportunity if we’ve misused the first one.
“Slichot” should be said with a minyan. If this is not possible, then “Slichot” should still be said alone, omitting the parts in Aramaic and the “13 Attributes of Mercy.”
Finally, the most important aspect of Elul is to make a plan for your life. Because when the Big Day comes, and each individual stands before the Almighty to ask for another year, we’ll want to know what we’re asking for!

One year ago ...

One year ago, a terror attack from Sinai on civilian vehicles in southern Israel killed eight people, including Staff Sgt. Moshe Naftali from Golani. We remember.


Shavua Tov!

The shofar is used during the month of Elul and on Rosh HaShanah. In fact, the shofar is such an important part of this holiday that another name for Rosh HaShanah is Yom Teruah, which means “day of the shofar blast” in Hebrew. The shofar is blown one hundred times on each of the two days of Rosh HaShanah. If one of the days of Rosh HaShanah falls on Shabbat, however, the shofar is not blown.
According to the famous Jewish philosopher Maimonides, the sound of the shofar on Rosh HaShanah is meant to wake up soul and turn its attention to the important task of repentance (teshuvah). It is a commandment to blow the shofar on Rosh HaShanah and there are four specific shofar blasts associated with this holiday:
  1. Teki’ah – An unbroken blast lasting about three seconds
  2. Shva’rim – A teki’ah broken into three segments
  3. Teruah – Nine rapid fire blasts
  4. Tekiah Gedolah – A triple teki’ah lasting at least nine seconds, though many shofar blowers will attempt to go significantly longer, which the audience loves.
The person who blows the shofar is called a Tokea (which literally means “blaster”) and it is no easy task to perform each of these sounds.


Shabbath Shalom

When the Lord your G-d will bring you to the land to which you will come in order to inherit it."
There are two parallel mountains in the Celestial Regions…
The Torah speaks of terrestrial Eretz Yisrael which is similar to its celestial counterpart. The word "ha'aretz" refers to the "earth" after one's death in which one "sleeps", i.e. refines the body through metamorphosis in order to be able to take one's place in one's original inheritance, the one intended for Adam before the sin. Just as on our earth there are two mountains, Mount Gerizim and Mount Eyval, which symbolize blessing and curse respectively, so there are two parallel mountains in the Celestial Regions.
By Rabbi Isaiah Horowitz; adapted from Shenei Luchot HaBrit by Eliyahu Munk

Chodesh Tov!

Rosh Chodesh Elul, begins at sundown on Friday, 17 August 2012

Moshe had gone up in the Month of Sivan, and returned after forty days and forty nights, on the 17th of Tammuz with the First Luchos. When Moshe observed the Jewish People sinning by creating and worshipping the Golden Calf, and participating in other sinful activities centered around the worship of that idol, he broke that first set of Luchos. He ascended Mount Sinai a second time, on the eighteenth day of Tammuz, the day after the great sin, and remained there for another forty days and forty nights, praying to G-d to spare the Jewish People and to return His full Presence among them.
At the conclusion of the second forty day and forty night period (that is, on the 29th of Av, Erev Rosh Chodesh Elul), G-d forgave the Jewish People and instructed Moshe to ascend Har Sinai yet again the next day, to receive the Second Luchos, on which would be inscribed for the second time the Ten Commandments. Moshe’s ascension to Har Sinai for the third time (which also took forty days and forty nights, ending on Yom Kippur) occurred on Rosh Chodesh Elul.
HaShem also restored His Presence to the Jewish People by authorizing the construction of the "Mishkan," the Temporary Structure which served as a "Residence," so to speak, for the Divine Presence, before the building of the First Temple in Jerusalem.


Myths and facts

"The truth may not always win, but it is always right!"
Eli E. Hertz

Myths and Facts, Palestinians, Palestine, Mandate, Middle East, Terror, Terrorism, Arab-Israeli Conflict, UN Resolutions 181, 242, 338, Reply, Territories, Jerusalem, Incitement, Children, Human Rights, Freedom of Religion.

The "Mandate for Palestine" is the Best Reply to "Occupation"
Download it here

December 23, 2009 | Eli E. Hertz

The following document was presented by Eli Hertz at the meeting of the Board of Governors of the American Association of Jewish Lawyers and Jurists on December 3, 2009 in Washington D.C.

Dear friend,

Have you ever asked yourself why during the period between 1917 and 1947 hundreds of thousands of Jews throughout the world woke up one morning and decided to leave their homes and go to Palestine? The majority did this because they heard that a future National Home for the Jewish people was being established in Palestine, on the basis of the League of Nations' obligation under the "Mandate for Palestine." This historical document laid down the Jewish legal right to settle anywhere in western Palestine, the area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, an entitlement unaltered in international law.
The "Mandate for Palestine" was not a naïve vision briefly embraced by the international community. Fifty-one member countries - the entire League of Nations - unanimously declared on July 24, 1922:
"Whereas recognition has been given to the historical connection of the Jewish people with Palestine and to the grounds for reconstituting their national home in that country."

parashah Re'eh

Blessing or Curse 
by Rabbi Mordechai Willig

Parshas Reeh opens with a stark choice offered by Hashem: blessing or curse. The same word (reeh) and a similar choice are found in Parshas Nitzovim (30:15): life and good, or death and evil. Why does the negative alternative deteriorate from curse to death?
The Meshech Chochma (30:11) attributes this change to the intervening mitzva of teshuvah (30:1-10). Violations of Torah law are punished by a curse, but are not fatal. Hashem recognizes human frailty, and does not impose a death penalty for a momentary lapse.
The mitzva of teshuvah, which offers a remarkable opportunity to eliminates one's sins, is a two-edged sword. If one fails to repent, he is punished not only for the original aveira, but also for not doing teshuvah. Since one can repent at any time, the failure to do so cannot be viewed as a momentary lapse. Therefore, the penalty for one's persistent refusal to repent is referred to as death.
On that very day, when we were given the mitzva of teshuvah (P.N. 30:11), the life and death choice was presented (30:15). Moreover, on the same day, the two contrasts- life and death, and blessing and curse - were juxtaposed (30:19). This teaches that it is the failure to do teshuvah which increases the punishment.
Remarkably, Parshas reeh is always read on the Shabbos before the beginning of Elul. At this point in time, before the month of teshuvah the negative choice is called curse. Nitzavim is always read on the last Shabbos in Elul. At this stage, after failing to do teshuvah in the month designated for it, the negative choice is called death.
One whose good and bad deeds are equal of Rosh Hashana is given a suspended sentence until Yom Kippur. If he does not repent, he is sealed in the Book of Death (Rambam Teshuvah 3:3). The Lechem Mishna asks, why does he deserve death? He answers that the failure to repent in the ten days of teshuvah is itself a sin which seals his fate.
On Yom Kippur itself, when teshuvah is more readily accepted, the failure to do teshuvah is an even greater sin. In the Meshech Chochma's formulation (30:20), one who does not repent would be better off if there was no Yom Kippur, of if he died on Erev Yom Kippur. The expression "din vecheshbon" (Avos 3:1) refer, respectively, to the original aveira and the lack of teshuvah, and the latter sin is greater.
This dual expression reflects the nature of the two sins. Hashem ultimately judges the original error of commission, often the result of a fleeting error of judgment. The more grievous error of omission, the persistent, and therefore calculated failure to do teshuvah is subject to a cheshbon (accounting) with more drastic consequences.

Shearim: ELUL is coming

Welcoming the new Elul moon

The Heavens announce G-d's majesty, prior to welcoming the new moon of Elul on Shabbat, by lighting up the Heavens with a Perseid meteor shower.
Seen by nine thousand Israelis at 3,000-foot high Mitzpeh Ramon, in the central Negev, watching more than one meteor a minute.
The spectacle in the sky began after the earliest time for the daily evening prayers, in which Jews around the world recite before the “Shema Yisrael” prayer, "by His wisdom opens the gates of heaven, with understanding makes time change and the season rotate, and by His will orders the stars in their constellations in the sky.”
The annual Perseid meteor shower occurs when the Earth passes through the dusty remains of the comet Swift-Tuttle. Its names is derived from the constellation Perseus, from where the meteor shower appears to put on its show. NASA said that this year’s show was expected to be the best of the year because many startling orbs can be seen as well as the usual shooting stars. "The brightest planets in the solar system are lining up right in the middle of the [Perseid] display," NASA said, referring to Jupiter, Venus and the crescent moon. The red giant star Aldebaran also was visible. 
Source: Arutz Sheva

Elul observances

As the last month of the Jewish year, Elul is traditionally a time of introspection and stocktaking—a time to review one’s deeds and spiritual progress over the past year, and prepare for the upcoming “Days of Awe” of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.
As the month of divine mercy and forgiveness, Elul is a most opportune time for teshuvah (“return” to G‑d), prayer, charity, and increased ahavat Yisrael (love for a fellow Jew), in the quest for self-improvement and coming closer to G‑d.

The following are some of the basic customs and practices for the month of Elul:
  • Each day of the month of Elul (except for Shabbat and the last day of Elul), we sound the shofar (ram’s horn) as a call to repentance.
  • When writing a letter or meeting one another, we bless one another by including the greeting Ketivah vachatimah tovah—which roughly translates as “May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year.”
  • Chapter 27 of the Book of Psalms is added to the daily prayers, in the morning and afternoon.
  • The Baal Shem Tov instituted the custom of reciting three additional chapters of Psalms each day, from the first of Elul until Yom Kippur. (On Yom Kippur the remaining 36 chapters are recited, thereby completing the entire book of Psalms.)
  • Elul is a good time to have one’s tefillin and mezuzot checked by an accredited scribe, to ensure that they are in good condition and fit for use.
  • During the last week of Elul, in the days leading up to Rosh Hashanah, the Selichot prayers are recited. On the first night they are recited at midnight; on the following days, in the early morning.



a little bit of music...

Gad Elbaz - Mi sheberah

new blog "The Temple Mount is Ours"

Go to the new blog "The Temple Mount is Ours" and follow the instructions there to prepare for your ascent. It will be good practice for when Hashem blesses you with a chance to do it for real. 

This blog has been established as a means of enabling all Jews who would like to claim and ascend the Temple Mount, but who are unable to do so in person, to do so virtually.
Prepare to go up!



  Former Supreme Court judge Edmond Levy, left, presenting the settlements report to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu

More than sixty-five American Jewish leaders signed a letter to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and urged him to adopt the findings of the Levy Report, which asserts that the “settlements” in Judea and Samaria are legal in accordance with international law.
The report, which was authored by a panel of renowned Israeli jurists comprised of Supreme Court justice Edmond Levy, former Foreign Ministry legal adviser Alan Baker, and former deputy president of the Tel Aviv District Court Tehiya Shapira, recommends against the future demolition of communities that had been deemed to be “illegal outposts.”
The letter endorsing the Levy Report, which was spearheaded by Rabbi Pesach Lerner, Executive Vice President, Emeritus of the National Council of Young Israel, is signed by dozens of prominent Jewish leaders from across the United States, with additional people joining in support of the letter daily.
“As the Levy Report correctly notes, Israel is not engaged in ‘military occupation’ in relation to the communities in Judea and Samaria,” the American Jewish leaders wrote in their letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu. “We believe that this conclusion vindicates the Israeli government, which has been unjustifiably vilified by many in the international community, simply because there are Jews living in this particular area of the Jewish State.”
“Like you, we recognize and respect the fact that the Jewish people have inalienable rights to the land of Israel which stem from the Bible, and we are familiar with the historic legacy of the movement of Ze’ev Jabotinsky, Menachem Begin, and Herut/Likud, which you now lead, that has long endorsed Jewish rights in the entirety of the land of Israel,” continued the Jewish leaders. “Viewing it from this perspective, the Levy Report confirms what we all know to be true and just, and it certainly warrants your support and endorsement.”
In addition to expressing their staunch support of the Levy Report, the American Jewish leaders urged Prime Minister Netanyahu to reject the claims about the report that were set forth in a recent letter organized by the Israel Policy Forum.
“In our opinion, the individuals who have urged you not to accept the findings of the Levy Report under the pretext that Israel’s status as a Jewish and democratic state could somehow be compromised by its adoption are doing a disservice to the State of Israel,” the American Jewish leaders wrote in their letter to the Prime Minister. “Despite assertions to the contrary, the conclusions of the Levy Report do not ‘place…the prestige of Israel as a democratic member of the international community, in peril.’ We categorically reject this absurd declaration and sincerely hope and pray that you do the same.”


Shavua Tov

The holy Ari, the greatest kabbalist of Zefat, explains that Rosh Chodesh, “first of the month,” can be more literally translated as the “head” of the month. Just as the head controls the body, so the head of the month controls the month. In other words, if we work to reach our highest possible potential as humans and as Jews on Rosh Chodesh, we will guarantee ourselves a more powerful and positive month.
The holy Zohar [the first textbook of Kabbala] goes further and tells us that we can even improve our ability to transform Rosh Chodesh by maximizing our energies in the Shabbat before it, this Shabbat,since, “miney misvorchin kuleyyomin” “from it (Shabbos) are blessed all the days of the week” (to come)]. This means that the entire coming month’s level of success depends on what we do during the 25+ hours of Shabbat (i.e. from sundown on Friday till you can see three medium stars on Saturday night). Making Shabbat as kodesh (‘kodesh,’ usually translated as ‘holy’, in fact means ‘separate’) as possible, meaning separating Shabbos by our thought, speech and action from the weekdays, is what draws down the most blessings.
Some Jews have the custom to say the entire book of Tehilim (Psalms) on the morning of Shabbos Mevorchim. 


Shearim: Jews in the "Muslim" Quarter of Jerusalem

Israel Matzav: Boycott of Samaria products devastating

a little bit of music

בואי בשלום - יעקב שוואקי

A lesson on Jerusalem by David Ha'Ivri

Op-ed: David Ha'ivri responds to UK parliamentarians who claim Israel's capital promotes apartheid
During my recent visit to the British Parliament, I heard concern from a number of members that Jerusalem's new light rail system was built as a "tool of Israel's apartheid.” This type of claim can leave one baffled - where do you start explaining, when an intelligent elected official hits you with a claim that is so totally off base? Aside from the issue of priorities, since people are being killed by Assad daily in Syria, it is so hypocritical for world leaders to ignore that massacre and waste their time and effort in seeking out something to pin on Israel.
The Arab-Muslim narrative / David Ha'ivri
Op-ed: Fantasy, stretching the truth very deeply embedded in mindset of Muslim and Arab culture 

Parshas Eikev

 And exactly which Mitzva is less important? by Rav Moshe Feinstein

"V'Haya Eikev Tishmi'um", Rashi famously says that this refers to the "light" mitzvos that a person treads on without care (Eikev 7:12). Rav Moshe Feinstein asks, "We know that all mitzvos must be treated equally since we do not understand their roots in Shamayim and their impact, so which mitzvos is Rashi referring to?"
He answers that Rashi is referring to a person's ignorance. "Many times," says Rav Moshe, "a person does not treat seriously the main part of the mitzva but makes a big deal about side issues (e.g. Segulos, Chumros, Hidurim). Sometimes what we make out to be a mitzva is not even a mitzva at all. This total fog that we live in, is the ingenious ploy of the Yetzer Hara."
Rashi is telling us we must learn the mitzvos and know the truth. We must be cognizant enough to at least ask a shaila. This way we will stop running over the real mitzvos and keeping our own version of the Torah. Then, we will stop wondering why we are not rewarded for our so called good deeds. We will keep the Torah that Hashem wrote and we'll be amply rewarded. 


the history of a simple jew

The amazing story of a simple jew who did know only few Alef-Bet letters and whose prayers went up higher than those of the blessed "Ari Zal"


Shavua tov!!!

What goes around, comes around is not just merely a saying. It’s a Divine Attribute because the Chovos Halevovos promises that if you met Hashem’s gaze by responding in kind to the beneficence He is bestowing upon you then Hashem will continue to shower upon you that special shefa that distinguished your lot from that of others.
And He will even add to it.


Shabbath Shalom

Takes its name from the haftarah from Isaiah in the Book of Isaiah 40:1-26 that speaks of "comforting" the Jewish people for their suffering. It the first of seven haftarahs of consolation leading up to the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

Moshè tells the people of Israel how he implored G‑d to allow him to enter the Land of Israel, but G‑d refused, instructing him instead to ascend a mountain and see the Promised Land.
Continuing his “review of the Torah,” Moshè describes the Exodus from Egypt and the Giving of the Torah, declaring them unprecedented events in human history. “Has there ever occurred this great thing, or has the likes of it ever been heard? Did ever a people hear the voice of G‑d speaking out of the midst of the fire . . . and live? . . . You were shown, to know, that the L‑rd is G‑d . . . there is none else beside Him.”
Moses predicts that, in future generations, the people will turn away from G‑d, worship idols, and be exiled from their land and scattered amongst the nations; but from there they will seek G‑d, and return to obey His commandments.
Our Parshah also includes a repetition of the Ten Commandments, and the verses of the Shema, which declare the fundamentals of the Jewish faith: the unity of G‑d (“Hear O Israel: the L‑rd our G‑d, the L‑rd is one”); the mitzvot to love G‑d, to study His Torah, and to bind “these words” as tefillin on our arms and heads, and inscribe them in the mezuzot affixed on the doorposts of our homes.


About Erez Levanon...

Lev U'Mayan (Or BaLev CD). An Erez Levanon song.
Erez Levanon, of saintly and blessed memory, his yahrtzeit 7 Adar. Erez was a gentle and unblemished tzaddik that loved his G.d, his rebbe, his people, and his homeland. The voice and music is his, and the photos are of our gorgeous and hallowed Land of Israel. Erez, cherished brother and true tzaddik, we miss you so badly. 
Rav Lazer Brody

Erez HY"D , a resident of the Bat Ayin settlement, was murdered in 2007 in a valley near the arab village of Beit Omar , north of Hebron.
Erez, a 42 year-old father of three was stabbed to death not far from his vehicle.
He kept a routine schedule of Torah studies, and spent one hour each day at a secluded location communing with G.d. His friend, Rabbi Michi Yossefi, said that he was apparently murdered while praying at his usual spot.
Sunday the 7th of Adar 5767 towards evening the soul of the sweet singer Erez Levanon z"l was taken as he was deep in prayerful meditation in the nearby forest. He had been missing since the afternoon when his body was found by friends from Bat Ayin. They had been searching for several hours. Erez Levanon Hashem yikom Damo was brutally murdered by arabs from the village of Beit Omar. He was laid to rest Monday the 8th of Adar in the cemetery of Kfar Etzion. More than 1000 people walked up the hill from the Beit Knesset in Bat Ayin and stood for more than two hours eulogizing Erez Levanon Z"l in the heaviest rain, the tears of Heaven reflecting our tears and sobs. His eleven year old son Eder, recited the mourners kaddish with a brave voice piercing everyone's hearts.
Erez was an exemplary family man, who managed to reach a wonderful balance between his work and his home… he wasn't someone who stood out but a very modest man.Y
Ruth Rafael is the secretary of the settlement of Bat Ayin, right after the murder she organized the first of all to help his family.


Va’eschanan - love our Creator with all that we have

“Who can assure that this heart should remain theirs, to fear Me and observe all My commandments, all the days, so that it should be good for them and their children forever? Go say to them, ‘Return to your tents.’

This week's Parsha contains one of the most fundamental commandments in our religion. The Torah commands us to love Hashem our God with all our hearts, souls, and financial means. The Ibn Ezra comments on this commandment that it is the foundation for all the other Mitzvos in the Torah. However, the commentaries have three difficulties with this commandment. Firstly, how can the Torah mandate something which is based on an emotion? Human emotions cannot be forced, they can only be felt. If this is so, how can the Torah command us to "feel" an emotion? Secondly, it does not seem realistic to express emotions toward something which is so far beyond our understanding. By definition, Hashem is beyond anything we are capable of comprehending. If so, how can we love that? And finally, the Gemorah learns out from this verse that we must love and serve Hashem with our two inclinations – our good one and our bad one. This dictum seems strange as "serving" God with our evil inclination would seem to result in not serving Him.

Tal Law expires, nothing changes

The Tal Law, which governed the granting of IDF deferrals for yeshiva students, expired at Midnight last night (July 31). The Knesset has passed no law to replace it, and the Defense Minister, rather than trying to draft yeshiva students en masse, has given the IDF a month to come up with a plan. The Knesset is or soon will be on summer recess anyway. Don't expect any mass draft of Haredim in the near future.
If the yeshiva student community were to test the IDF establishment with a mass enlistment, the army would find itself overwhelmed. Although it has created the Nahal Hareidi unit for combat soldiers, it is not equipped to absorb the sudden enlistment of tens of thousands of men, and it also cannot meet all their religious needs at once.
It has created several programs to meet the needs and demands of women soldiers, criminals who are undergoing rehabilitation, new immigrants and even handicapped people.
Officially, hareidi youth could be arrested for not obtaining exemptions, but in practice, no action is expected until officials can draw up plans how to deal with the new situation.
There is a possibility, if not probability, that extreme secular elements will petition the High Court that the IDF enforce the requirement to draft yeshiva students, but the government would likely request a postponement for several months.
If the political and military establishment were to arrest all young men who do not enlist, the prison system would have the headache of trying to accommodate thousands of men preferring to sit in jail and study Torah there instead of in yeshivas.
Attempts to replace the Tal Law were virtually doomed from the beginning, when Kadima joined the government in a new national unity coalition based on the principle of a “universal draft.”