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IDF Reconnaissance Battalion

"And [Haman's] wise men and his wife Zeresh said to him, 'If this Mordechai, before whom you have begun to fall, is of Jewish descent, you will not prevail over him, for you will certainly fall before him.'" She said to him: This nation is compared to the stars, and to the sand [cf. Genesis 13:16 and 15:5). When they fall, they fall all the way to the sand. And when they rise, they rise all the way to the sky and the stars.
– Esther 6:13; Rashi's commentary, ibid.

A little bit of music...

שיר לשבת - יום שבתון (יונה מצאה בו מנוח) - אסף נוה שלום

Shavua Tov!

Every business is the business of a tailor: to make clothes for the blessings that come your way. You can’t alter the size of your blessings by putting them in bigger clothes—on the contrary, larger clothes are just clumsier clothes.
But neither must the clothes be too small meaning, you must go out and work in the real world.
Because that is the whole purpose: that miracles and blessings should not come into the world stark naked, but be clothed in the natural world. And we are the tailors.

From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory; words and condensation by Rabbi Tzvi Freeman.


Shabbath Shalom

Spiritual highs are attainable only when one frees oneself of such human concerns as pain, anguish, anger, etc. The kind of sanctity Yaacov strove for needed to be based on the attainment of a degree of serenity in his earthly life, something that we nowadays experience only on the Shabbat, a day that G-d has imbued with the quality of rest.
Whenever Yaacov experienced the kind of spiritual serenity we are meant to experience every Shabbat, he qualified for the name "Israel". Whenever Yaacov experienced worries, etc. this serenity departed from him similar to the departure of the additional soul from every Jew at the end of the Shabbat. At such times the Torah reverts to referring to our patriarch as being merely "Yaacov"



 Listening as One
And Yaacov called to his children and said to them, "Gather together and I will reveal to you what will be your lot in the end of days." So they gathered together and they listened to their father Israel. ( 49:1-2)
What was the nature of this gathering? Rabbi Pinchas of Koretz, a student as well as a colleague of the Baal Shem Tov, suggested that this gathering can be explained by the Talmudic expression: "Make your ears like a funnel. Strain your ears to hear/listen well to what is being said." (Tractate Chullin 89a) Sometimes there is a limit to what can be accomplished by an individual Jew…
He explained in the name of his friend and fellow student of the Baal Shem Tov, Rabbi Nachman of Horodenka, that sometimes there is a limit to what can be accomplished by an individual Jew - even through prayer. A Jew's transgressions simply make it impossible for him to bridge the distance between himself and the Creator. What can be done?
The distance can be bridged only in one way: by every Jew joining together, hand in hand until this Jewish chain reaches all the way to the Throne of Glory. Then G-d surely will not be able to ignore our entreaties.
This is the meaning of "Make your ears like a funnel…": Jews need to learn from the Tribes, the sons of Jacob who gathered together to hear their revered father's final words, to consolidate their ears together until they become one enormous ear. Such an ear is surely capable of hearing everything.
Since the Talmud says, "All Jews bear ultimate responsibility one for the other" (Shavuot 39a); in this way nothing will be missed, no nuance neglected. The lessons needed to be learned will be grasped, and we will always be able to help each other go on a positive path of serving G-d.
From the teachings of Rabbi Pinchas Shapiro of Koretz 

[Based on Imrei Pinchas; first published in B'Ohel Tzaddikim, Vayechi 5759 by Binyomin Adilman]

our Jewish little place: Parashah Vayechi

our Jewish little place: Parashah Vayechi: HAMALACH HAGOEL This picture of a hand giving Yaacov's blessing of "Hamalach Hagoel" was the blessing Yaacov gave to Ephraim and Menash. And SHEVATIM SPINNER GAME



Shabbath Shalom

And Yehuda approached him... (Bereshit 44:18)

Said Rabbi Yehuda: The verb "he approached" (vayigash) implies an approach to battle, as in the verse (II Samuel 10:13), "So Joab and the people that were with him approached unto battle."
Rabbi Nechemiah said: The verb "he approached" implies a coming near for conciliation, as in the verse (Joshua 14:6), "Then the children of Yehuda approached Joshua."
The Sages said: It implies coming near for prayer, as in the verse (I Kings, 18:36), "And it came to pass at the time of the evening offering, that Elijah the prophet approached..."
Rabbi Eleazar combined all these views: Yehuda approached Joseph for all three, saying: If it be war, I approach for war; if it be conciliation, I approach for conciliation; if it be for entreaty, I approach to entreat.

(Midrash Rabbah)


our Jewish little place: parashah vaiygash

our Jewish little place: parashah vaiygash: Serach kinor

חייל: "לא אציית לפקודות תבוסתניות".

Vayigash- Anì Yosef!!

The Chofetz Chaim offered the following explanation of this verse:ANI' YOSEF
When the brothers had initially arrived in Egypt, they were treated harshly by Yosef, who accused them of being spies. The brothers were startled by what was happening to them, and they asked one another: "Why is this happening to us? Who among us is guilty of a sin that would have brought this upon us?"
On the brothers' second trip to Egypt, they once again asked one another: "What is this that Hashem has done to us?" However, continued the Chofetz Chaim, when the brothers heard but two words: "Ani Yosef" - I am Yosef - all of their questions were answered. Suddenly, everything was clear - all of their misfortune had occurred as a result of having sold Yosef. Today, as well, concluded the Chofetz Chaim, there are many people who question the way that Hashem runs His world. "Why do the righteous suffer?" they ask. "Why can the wicked prosper?" However, at the End of Days, when the entire world hears Hashem utter but two words: "Ani Hashem" - I am Hashem - all of the questions will vanish.

Source: Rabbi Yisrael Bronstein


Shabbath Shalom. Chag Sameach!

The Chanukah candles are a classic example of holiness. The number of candles grow higher night by night, providing increasingly more light to dispell the darkness and for goodness to excell over evil. The message of Chanukah is that we also are empowered to use the intellectual and emotional powers of our soul at their highest level, to be a candle dispelling darkness. Just as we light the candles to shine outwards, to be seen by others, so also each of us in our lives should also be candles shining outwards, good examples of positive action to everyone in the world. [Chassidic sources]


channukah fifth day

Channukah with Givati

The Givati Brigade lights candles for the Hanukkah holiay with bereaved families. 
Photo: IDF Spokesperson

a little bit of music..

שירי חנוכה מחרוזת נהדרת בביצועו של אביחי מליחי


channukah fourth day


Why Should I Help You?


Rosh Chodesh Tevet always falls during the holiday of Chanukah. Tevet is the tenth month of the Jewish calendar.
Chanukah, the celebration of the Jews' victory over the Greeks and the rededication of the Temple, which begins on the 25th of Kislev, carries over into the first few days of Tevet. We celebrate by lighting Chanukah Menorah beginning with one candle and then adding one each night, culminating with eight candles on the final night of Chanukah. Traditional Chanukah foods include potato pancakes, donuts, and other things fried in oil.
The Tenth of Tevet is a fast day on which the Babylonians laid siege to Jerusalem during the First Temple Period. The siege lasted for three years and was the "beginning of the end" of the destruction of Jerusalem and the exile of the Jews. In modern Israel the Tenth of Tevet has been designated as Yom haKaddish haKlali, the day on which we mourn those whose date or place of death is not known. Many people use this day to remember the victims of the Holocaust.
Women to Celebrate
Judith - The apocryphal Book of Judith is not included in the Hebrew Bible, but is mentioned in Jewish sources, some of which associate Judith with the holiday of Chanukah.
Serach bat Asher - The daughter of Asher, the son of Jacob and namesake of one of the 12 Tribes of Israel. Midrashic literature links Serach to the Exodus story and the rest of Jewish history. Serach offers a wonderful female character to incorporate into the Passover story. As her character is developed in the Midrashic sources, she also raises important questions about Jewish memory.
Dina - During Tevet we usually read the Torah portions toward the end of the Book of Genesis. One of the characters that we encounter is Dina, the daughter of Jacob and Leah. One of the most troubling stories in the Bible is the story of the rape of Dina by Shechem, and the subsequent reaction of Jacob and his other sons. This episode has recently been reexamined by Anita Diamant's popular book The Red Tent. To learn more about Dina visit archived D'var Torahs of Parshat Vayishlach.


channukah third day

Parashah Miketz - Channukah

“Pharaoh said to Joseph, I am Pharaoh, yet without you, no one shall lift up hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.” (Bereshit41:44)
This week Jews throughout the world will be spinning dreidels, little tops with letters that spell out the sentence “A great miracle happened there.” (In Israel the dreidels have slightly different letters – “A great miracle happened here.) Each night as we light Hanukkah candles, we will say a blessing thanking G-d “for doing miracles for our fathers in those days, and in our own day.” And at every service throughout the festival, we will add a paragraph al hanisim “for the miracles.”
What was this great miracle? Any Jewish child will tell the Talmudic story of lighting the menorah in the rededicated Temple. There was only enough kosher oil to last for one day, but due to a miracle G-d made the oil last for eight days. It is a wonderful story. But is it true? The original sources of Hanukkah do not mention this story. They simply talk of a military victory, and of a late celebration of the eight day Sukkot festival. Originally the Hanukkah story was about totally natural historical events. There was no story of G-d changing the laws of nature by making oil burn unnaturally.
To drive this point home, let us turn to another post-Torah festival which Jews will celebrate in a few more months – Purim. Once again we will say a blessing to G-d “for doing miracles for our fathers in those days, and in our own day.” And once again we will add a paragraph al hanisim “for the miracles” to our prayers. Where was the miracle of Purim? The book of Esther which tells the Purim story does not even mention G-d. It is a book about the heroic action of Mordecai and his cousin Esther, who became the queen. The whole story is simply history. Where was G-d’s intervention? Where was the miracle?

Channukah in Yerushalayim

The absurdity of bravery

Katif Center present a Hanukkah special project about bravery: "Banish the Darkness".
Across the eight days of the holiday, eight former Gush Katif residents will light a candle while telling their personal story and explain the symbols and persons who gave them the strength to overcome the pain and build their lives anew.
For the first candle we meet Rina Ackerman, a mother of eleven children from Neve Dkalim, who is waiting for the construction of her new home in the lahich area.
You are invited to subscribe to Katif Center's page in order to be the first to see the second candle lightning by Rabbi Yitzhak Amitai, an Azmona Talmud Torah educator who know lives in Shomria.
http://www.mkatif.org/ - https://www.facebook.com/GushkatifCenter
Project "Banish the darkness" produced by http://www.Isralife.tv
Director: Emmanuelle Adda
Producer: Dina Cohen
Camera and Editing: Jonathan Mimoun

a little bit of music...

The Yeshiva Boys Choir - "Those Were The Nights (of Chanukah)"


Channukah second day



Wishing you all a joyfull and intense Channukah

Shabbath Shalom

When two people join together in a pure and faithful love only to do good for the other, not concerned with their own needs but only focusing on the needs of the other, they are able to draw down on themselves a similar effluence from on high. G-d, in a certain sense, turns from all of His other concerns and focuses on doing good for them. But, when one of them thinks about him- or herself, even if truly fond of the other, the Almighty does not pay attention to them in that kind of special way. Therefore, the Alsheich teaches that when a person enters some kind of difficulty, there is a great advantage if he connects with someone else, or even a few people, in a loving and selfless way, pushing for their good. In this way, this person will also succeed and overcome his or her own problems.
This is what happened in the Torah portion. Yosef knew this secret. When he found himself in the dire straits of an Egyptian prison he looked for a "soul mate" who would push for his benefit. In that environment of lowly people, he chose the best that was available: a king's minister whose pride was broken under the threat of death. Yosef started by helping him and interpreting his dream for his good, and he expected a similar behavior in return. This is why he asked him to please remember him to Pharaoh. But the steward did not remember Yosef because he was only concerned with himself. And this is what the verse means. (40:23): "And the wine steward did not remember Yosef, and he forgot him." Why repeat the idea of forgetting? Because the second forgetting is referring to Yosef's. When the steward forgot Yosef, Yosef also forgot the steward, since there was no longer any benefit to be drawn down for both of them by seeking his welfare.
This power of drawing down a higher good through selfless acts on behalf of the other is what the Jews experienced during Chanukah. The few cared for the many and fought on their behalf. And because of this unity, they merited to draw down the highest miracles. May G-d Almighty help us remember the secret.



This week’s Parshah tells the dramatic story of how Joseph, as an extremely handsome young man, attracted the imagination of his master’s wife. She desperately tries to engage him in a relationship, yet he steadfastly refuses her.
Then came the fateful day “when he entered the house to do his work, and none of the household staff was inside. She grabbed him by his cloak and pleaded, ‘Lie with me.’ He ran away from her, leaving his cloak in her hand, and he fled outside.”1
Humiliated and furious, she used the cloak as evidence that it was he who attempted to violate her. Her husband, Potiphar, had Joseph sent to prison, where he spent the next twelve years of his life until, through an astonishing turn of events, he was appointed viceroy of Egypt.
The question is: why was this episode recorded in detail in the Torah? The objective of these Torah chapters is to relate the story of how the first Jewish family ended up in Egypt. Thus, we read about Joseph’s sale as a slave to Egypt, his prison sentence and his encounter there with the king’s ministers. This ultimately leads to his release from prison and designation as viceroy of the country in a critical time of famine, which in turn causes his father and entire family to relocate to Egypt.
Why did the Torah find it necessary to relate the story of Joseph’s ugly struggle with his master’s wife? Why is it important to for us to know the detailed episode that caused his imprisonment?



A light into the nations

Channukah took place during the Hellenistic oppression called Golus Yavan. Golus Yavan is referred to as the "exile of darkness" because it took away the light of Torah. We call things that are negative - darkness. Evil is darkness. Chanuka expresses the victory of light over darkness. Which strategy is most successful for getting rid of darkness i.e. combatting evil - to burn away and destroy it or to create a greater light so that the darkness just vanishes? Both methods are valid. The nature of the dispute between Beis Hillel and Beis Shammai is - do we favour the burning or the illuminating aspect of a flame? What is supposed to be the main thrust of a Jew ( which we learn from what happened on Chanuka)? Beis Shammai learns that when we fight the negative corrupting aspect of the prevalent pagan world-culture e.g. through prayer, then we are steadily wiping out the influence on us. Thus, we should light the chanukia starting with 8 and reducing the number of candles each night - symbolising the destruction of evil in the world. On the other hand, Beis Hillel says we must raise ourselves spiritually and become the embodiment of morality in the world in order to battle against immorality. For this reason,(we pasken like Beis Hillel) we increase the number of candles each night to remind us to increase the light of Torah knowledge and understanding in the world, and we banish the darkness of evil by becoming "a light unto the nations". Chag Channukah Samaech! 
(apapted from Rabbi Mendel Weinbach)

הסוד על מבצע עמוד ענן

the miracle of light


In those days, at this time.

What is the miracle of Hanukkah really about?
One days' worth of olive oil lasting for 8 days, was indeed, miraculous.... but there is so much more to this holiday than meets the eye.  Hanukkah is the miraculous story of the Jewish People, and as you will see -the story never ended.  It lives today in our times, through the miracle of the State of Israel, and the modern day Maccabees who stand alongside her. Watch this short and powerful video from Jerusalem, for illuminating
insights and fascinating perspectives into the holiday of Hanukkah

Channukah is comimng...

built, Israel, built

Maale Adunim E1

We should join the area of E1 to Jerusalem without concern, despite the world pressuring us….
When the world talks about a freeze in Jerusalem, I ask a freeze of what?
The billions that we invest in the eastern side of the city? Stop building for Arabs, or Christians or Jews? Or, G-d forbid, somebody means that when an entrepreneur comes to me I must ask him what religion he is part of, in order to build in Jerusalem.
It is delusional,It is also against the law in the USA. I am not familiar with another city in the world who’s regulator is the president of the USA.."
Mayor of Jerusalem Nir Barkay

Mea Shearim on erev Shabbat


Shavua Tov

                                The land where our forefathers walked.