June 27, 2005

Rabbi Frand on Parshas Korach

Excellent drash! Read it HERE.

Parshas Korach - From the Darche Noam website

The Kedushat Levi on Korach
Hagaon Rav Levi Yitzchak of Berditchov zt”l on Parshat Korach(from Kedushat Levi)

Salt and the Leviim

The Torah follows the story of Korach with a number of halakhot relating to gifts given to the Kohanim and Leviim. G-d calls His covenant with Aharon to give him teruma and the other priestly gifts a "Brit Melach Olam," "an eternal covenant of salt (Bemidbar 18:19)." Rashi comments that salt is used as an image for a covenant because it lasts, never decaying or rotting.

The Kedushat Levi notes that this image is purposely used here. Salt itself is a symbol of one of the central messages of the Korach episode.

Korach wanted to wipe out the distinction between Leviim and Kohanim, with all of the Leviim doing the service previously limited to Aharon and his sons. G-d's lesson to them and the people of Israel was that it is important to have two different levels, Kohanim and Leviim. What is the distinction between them?

The Kedushat Levi (drawing from mystical sources) explains that Kohanim are connected with the trait of chesed, lovingkindness, whereas Leviim are connected with gevura, restraint, judgement, and might. Korach wanted unbridled chesed, unchecked by the borders and discipline of gevura. G-d taught him and the people of Israel that judgement, borders, and restraint are essential for the world. Chesed must be mixed with gevura to form rachamim (the combination of the two).

Salt is the ideal image for this mix. Salt is the "fire within the water." It includes within it the characteristics of both water (chesed) and fire (gevura and din). After the Korach episode it is now appropriate to use salt as an image for the covenant.
[prepared by Eliezer Kwass]

Read the article HERE and please explore their site.

June 22, 2005

Parshas Shelach

In this weeks Torah reading we learn about the evil report brought by the spies who entered the Land of Israel.

I implore you, with all the bad going on in Israel to see the good of Israel. Buy Israeli products. Invest in Israeli companies. Give charity to Israeli charities. Help our brothers and sisters who are on the front line.

That being said, it always helps to study the laws of Lashon HaRa and this weeks parsha is a good reason to start.

Please visit the Chofetz Chaim Heritage Center to learn more.

June 21, 2005

The Priestly Dynasty and DNA

From the Temple Institute:

We would like to inform all our newsletter subscribers that this week's Temple Talk radio hour, (Tuesday, June 21, 6:00 PM Israel time - 11:00 AM Eastern time, broadcast from the Israel National Radio website), will feature an interview with Rabbi Yaakov Kleiman, director of the Center for Kohanim in Jerusalem’s Old City, and author of the book, DNA and Tradition - the Genetic Link to the Ancient Hebrews. We invite you to join Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven, as they discuss Aharon the high priest and progenitor of the kohanic (priestly) dynasty, and hear Rabbi Yaakov Kleiman describe how modern science sheds a new light of verification upon the three thousand year old priestly tradition.

We hope also to discuss the spiritual beauty embodied in the menorah, as touched upon in this past Shabbat's Torah reading, as well as the timely episode of the meraglim - the spies - who lost faith in G-d's promise of the Land of Israel, as related in the upcoming Torah portion. As always, Rabbi Richman will conclude the show with instruction for Bnei Noach - righteous Gentiles - who long to follow the path of Torah as laid out for the nations of the world.

(For more details about Temple Talk, and how to download and listen to the show after its initial broadcast, please visit our Multimedia page.)

June 16, 2005

Feelin' Safe in Europe?

From Arutz Sheva

Jewish Cemeteries Attacked in Hungary & England

Over 120 tombstones in the Kozma Street Jewish Cemetery in Budapest, Hungary, were damaged in an anti-Semitic attack local Jewish officials reported on Wednesday. Stones were smashed, knocked over and broken. The attack was apparently carried out during a holiday period during which the cemetery was closed.

Elsewhere in Europe, officials in London on Wednesday reported a Jewish cemetery in the eastern district of West Ham was attacked by vandals, damaging close to one hundred tombstones, spray painting swastikas and other hate and anti-Semitic graffiti. It was the second attack against a London Jewish cemetery in the past week local police reported.

The Priestly Blessing in the Diaspora

From Arutz Sheva

There is a very interesting difference between Eretz Israel and Chutz la'Aretz (the Diaspora) in the Shacharit prayers, recited every morning. While in most of Israel birkat kohanim, the priestly blessing, is given daily by the kohanim themselves, in the Diaspora it is the shaliach tzibbur (prayer leader) who "requests" this blessing. Only on the holidays is this beracha extended by the kohanim (according to the Ashkenazi rite).

The Rema, on Orach Chayim 128:44, explains that throughout the year, people living outside of Israel are worried about their livelihood and, therefore, not in a true state of simcha (joy), which is necessary for birkat kohanim. Only on Yom Tov, at the time of Musaf, when they are about to leave synagogue and rejoice in the day's celebrations, are the kohanim in the proper frame of mind for the beracha.

The Aruch HaShulchan, Orach Chayim 128:64, has difficulty justifying a custom that allows one of the 613 mitzvot to be skipped over most of the year. "But what can we do," he says, "for it is as if a heavenly voice issued forth stopping us from 'lifting the hands' during the year. I have a tradition that two great Torah authorities attempted to institute it on a daily basis and... they were unable and said that so it has been decreed from Heaven.

"Denizens of the Diaspora, don't despair. Rabbi Shlomo Zalman Auerbach quotes the Shelah, who wrote from Eretz Israel to his family still in Chutz la'Aretz: "...the kohanim raise their hands every day and I keep you in mind and draw the blessing to you."

May we all merit to receive God's threefold blessing of His people.

[For the refuah sheleimah of Moshe Yitzchak ben Devorah Malka.]

June 10, 2005

Feelin' Safe in America?

From WorldNetDaily:

U.S. Muslims desecrate American flag
Video shows group on street corner declaring Islamic dominance

Have a looksie at our "partners in peace..."

Extry! Extry! Official PA Newspaper Prints Racist, Anti-Semitic Cartoons

Temple Mount Attack Against Jews Prevented

From Arutz Sheva:

Authorities are now reporting that a terror attack against Jews on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount was prevented. Two residents of Jalazoun, an Arab village neighboring Beit El are in custody.

The two, Muhmad Dar Tzalahiya and Abdullah Ramana were indicted last week in the Jerusalem District Court after admitting they planned to hurl firebombs at Jews visiting the Mount. The two were apprehended on their way to the Mount with the incendiary devices in their possession. Soldiers at the Kalandia checkpoint discovered the firebombs in the terrorists' bags.

June 09, 2005

Thank you!

We just hit 5000 visitors!

Thanks for your support and please visit often and post your thoughts.

Regards and thanks again, Judah

June 08, 2005

Descriptive Geography and Brief Historical Sketch of Palestine

By Rabbi Joseph Schwarz - Published 1850

Great site.

Tefillah for YESHA

Say it today and every day.

Hayinu K'cholmim?

Read this first
Got it?
Now read this
Wait for it...
Now read this
This Shavuos, daven for the Medina. May they have their eyes opened to what has befallen them.

Happy Rosh Chodesh Sivan!

May Hashem make this a month of Hatzlacha andKabbalas Torah for the entire Klal.

June 07, 2005

Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz Elected to Head Sanhedrin

As parades filled the streets of Jerusalem Monday - Jerusalem Day - the reestablished Sanhedrin convened in the city to elect a Nassi and representatives to lead it.

The Sanhedrin was reestablished last October in Tiberias, the place of its last meeting 1,600 years ago. Since then, it has met in Jerusalem on a monthly basis, various committees meeting more often to discuss issues ranging from determining the exact location of the Holy Temple, to the establishment of courts of non-Jews who accept the Seven Laws of Noah and to Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's plan to uproot the Jewish communities of Gaza and northern Samaria.

Read about it HERE

June 06, 2005

Remembering the Reunification of Jerusalem

Arutz Sheva reports

Happy Jerusalem Day - Arab Mobs Stone Jews on Temple Mount, Two Jews Injured

Two people were treated for injuries as hundreds of Arabs pelted Jews on the Temple Mount with stones this morning. Police restored quiet after an hour.

Click HERE

June 03, 2005

This Shabbos is the Yahrtzeit of the RaMChaL ZT"L

Reb Moshe Chaim Luzzatto, author of Mesilas Yesharim, Derech Hashem and many other amazing and holy works.

Please take this opportunity to study his classic Mesilas Yesharim found HERE

Another Kohain of note - Kahina Dariya bint Tabita ibn-Tifan

QUEEN KAHINA DARIYA When the Arabs began the conquest of what is today Tunisia,Algeria and Morocco, they were opposed by Jews and Berbers who had lived together for hundreds of years. At the time, the most powerful tribe among the Berbers was the judaised Kahina tribe of the Auresmountains. In 693, the largest Arab army ever assembled, under the command of Hassan, began the conquest. Kahina and Berber fighters led by their Jewish priestess-queen, Kahina Dariya bint Tabita ibn-Tifan, routed Hassan near Tebessa and stopped the Arab conquest for five years. -- Ainsztein, p. 23.

Check out this site

Timeline of the Kohanim and Leviim

See it here...

Bear witness to the destruction of our Holy Father's tomb

Hundreds Enter Shechem to Pray at Joseph's Tomb

Hundreds of Jewish worshippers, escorted by the IDF, entered the city of Shechem (Nablus) to pray at the tomb of the bibilical Joseph (son of Jacob) Wednesday night.

"The actual grave of Joseph looked like someone had had a go at it with a pick axe..."