Our view of the Galile

Thursday, March 23, 2017

A Priest's Dvar- Vayakhel Pikudey HaChodesh 5777 2017

Insights and Inspiration
from the
Holy Land
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz
"Your friend in Karmiel"

March 24th 2017 -Volume 7 Issue 23 26th Adar 5777
Parshat VaYakhel/ Pikudei/ Chodesh
A Priest’s ‘Dvar’
You meet some interesting people when you do Jewish educational outreach. One of the most interesting people that I developed a relationship with, when I was starting out in Kollel in Des Moines Iowa , was a priest. Well, a sort of Priest. He was a Presbyterian minister but after many years in the ministry he had begun to see many of the fallacies of Christianity. So he started to learn more intensely. His sermons were pretty much becoming isolated to only “The Old Testament”. He started keeping some Jewish holidays, lighting Chanukah candles, Shabbat dinners. He even started trying to keep a Kosher home, which he told me didn’t go over well at Priest conventions in Iowa where pork is the “chulent” of the day. We would meet regularly as he struggled to figure out what his next step in life would be.
My advice to him was of course, to leave his pulpit. I felt it would be dishonest to be in a position representing something he didn’t believe in. (Not that taking a salary was such an issue, because seemingly like rabbis- L’havdil – he pretty much wasn’t getting paid…sighL). At the same time I did not recommend conversion- as Orthodox Rabbis generally never do- but particularly for him I felt that he had a wife and children that were not on the same page as him, to whom I felt he owed his 1st responsibility to. In addition, Judaism is in fact the only religious system out there that does not believe you have to be Jewish to go to “heaven” or even more significantly to develop a meaningful relationship with God. Hashem created all of us and loves all of His Children. He created and has a plan for non-Jews and Jews. One may convert and join the Jewish people but it has to be the right decision for them and one that works for their lifestyle and family. One thing is for sure, Chosen doesn’t mean better or superior, it means leading a lifestyle that and fulfilling a mandate that one can observe.
On one of our discussions about Shabbos, I shared with him a fascinating idea that I always felt was very powerful. It is, that although there is a concept of a year in society and a month and day as well. These notions are based on solar and lunar calendars and the changes in nature. The concept of a 7 day week though really is just an arbitrary number. There is nothing in nature that would determine such a time frame and there are probably many people that wouldn’t mind a 5 day week or a 9 day week. The only reason for the 7 day week model, and in every single society around the globe there is such a concept and very few alternate ones,  is because built into the psyche of the world is the concept that God created the World in 6 days and the 7th he rested. He then shared with me something astounding that he had studied once and I share with you his ‘Dvar Torah’.
You see we were both puzzled by the question, that although all societies had 7 day weeks, yet for some reason the three major religions each had a different day for Shabbos. The Muslims celebrate it on Friday, Christians on Sunday and us Jews on… well Shabbos I guessJ. What he discovered and suggested was that the day of the celebration of Shabbos really is reflective of each ones fundamental theology; what this world is all about and what the next ones is.
Christians believe, according to what he told me, that this world is “tainted” from the first Sin of mankind. As a result all things physical are bad for you, thus Monks and asceticism, celibacy and absence of worldly delights are considered a higher form of service. The next world is all spiritual- angels and harp music. That being the case, for Christians the most spiritual day of Creation is Sunday; the day before all things physical came into the Universe.
Muslims, on the other hand, do not look down on all of the worldly pleasures. They view them as Divine gifts and the ultimate aspect of creation. The only caveat is that they are not meant to be indulged in, this world, they are meant to be enjoyed in the World-To-Come. Wine, hashish, 72 brides, they’re all great and the reward for the true believer in their ‘holy’ Prophet. You just have to wait until you get there to earn them. Thus for Muslims the greatest day of Creation is Friday when all things physical finished being created.
Now for the home team; the Jews. We believe that everything Hashem has created is for us to enjoy and to appreciate. We also believe that the World to Come is entirely spiritual, yet its rewards and our appreciation of it come from the degree with which we elevate our creation and cultivate our souls in the process. Thus in the Creation of the world, Hashem spent six days creating the world, but on the seventh he infused it with spirituality and holiness. We eat and we make a blessing and our bodies enjoy as do our souls grow closer to the Almighty. We avoid those things in the world, the non-kosher, the forbidden relationships, and the things that God has told us are not infused with that holiness because it would distance us from our ultimate purpose. Our avoidance of these things and the heeding of Hashems command brings us closer to God as well and it shows that all that we do partake in is only because of His Purpose. Jews obviously have more restrictions than non-Jews based on their functions and the roles that their meant to accomplish here.. Thus we have the day of Shabbos as our ultimate celebration of Creation. For it is the day when the physical also became spiritual.
The great Rebbe, Reb Yonasan Eibeshitz of the 18th century, points out a fascinating comment in this weeks Torah portion. As the Jews complete the Mishkan/Tabernacle Hashem commands them once again to observe the holy day of Shabbos.
Six Days a week you shall do work and on the seventh day it shall be holy for you, a Sabbath of Sabbaths for Hashem.
He notes how all the mitzvos in the Torah in one way or another can be found by the nations of the World. Yet Shabbos, ‘our Day of rest and holiness, that is only found by the Jewish people. (this was pre seventh Day Adventists- but seemingly even they don’t have it the way we do) It doesn’t make sense. Why should they switch it to Friday or Sunday? His response- because Hashem has gifted the special-ness of the day for us. We were Chosen for Shabbos. Shabbos is our bride and we are her groom. The Medrash tells us that each day of the week had a partner. Sunday and Monday Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday and Friday. But Shabbos we are her partner.
As I celebrate my anniversary this week and my parents celebrate theirs, and now my daughter and son-in-law as well- so weird even writing that still- But we love this week. I guess it’s  now the official Schwartz family marriage week. Listen it’s hard to remember a lot of dates. Birthdays are challenging enough why throw anniversaries into the pot. Anyways in honor of the occasion I can share with you something special about partners. Love grows with consistency to one another, it flourishes as you spend time enjoying each other’s presence and special-ness, and it is greatest when you know that no matter what happens your bride will always be there for you. It doesn’t make a difference what the week has wrought and what challenges you undergo. You have a place to call home and a warm, accepting and loving place to strengthen yourself and delight with.
Each year I appreciate that even more so with my incredible Rebbetzin and each week we can all appreciate that with our weekly anniversary with Shabbos and our Creator who has given this day special for us. So Happy Anniversary to all of us and of course…



“Halten shabbes iz gringer vi machen shabbes.”.- To observe the Sabbath is easier than to make it

https://youtu.be/di5Etd1iDvs   In honor of the one year Wedding Anniversary of my daughter Shani and Yaakov this week. The wedding recap video!

https://youtu.be/3TiY_DuuYUA     -Ma Nishtana funny and cute by Rabbi “K” Klatzko

https://youtu.be/lzi2G68CMiE?list=RDZTMq4tQizjs The Classic Harry and Sally old couples interview…J

RABBI SCHWARTZ'S TOUR GUIDE EXAM QUESTION OF THE WEEK                                      
answer below at end of Email
Q.  The Empress Theodora was the wife of Emperor:
A. Justinian
B. Hadrian
C. Theodosius
D. Augustus

The Grammar Rashi probably serve, to me at least as the most boring of Rashis. After-all who knows or needs grammar? In fact I heard that Rav Hutner once said that since the Maskilim- enlightenment movement hijacked biblical grammar and turned it into their main topic of study, so the yeshiva world stopped learning it. Yet Rashi was before the enlightenment movement and there is quite a number of Rashi’s where he utilizes the rules of grammar to reveal an idea in the simple pshat of the text. If you pay attention to those Rashis as well it will reveal interesting ideas that you may never have noticed before.
The Parsha begins Vayakhel Moshe es kol adas Bnai Yisrael- And Moshe _______________ the entire congregation of Israel.
Now I always assumed that Vayakhel meant and he gathered. However Rashi notes here that is is a lashon Hifi’il which is translated as a causative expression- meaning to make something happen. Vayikahel- would mean he gathered or assembled them Vayakhel means and he made them gather.
Rashi explains for one cannot gather people with their hands(directly, or by force). It means therefore that they gathered through his (Moshe’s) word.
Now this would seem obvious enough. Although it is certainly an enlightening point upon reading and understanding the basic text. But the Rebbe of Satmar Reb Yoel Teitelbaum derived an important lesson in Jewish politics from this Rashi. He felt strongly that it is impossible to unite with people or groups that do not believe in God and the Torah. The whole function of this gathering he suggests is to separate from the Eruv Rav- intermingled non-observant masses that joined the Jewish people. He said that we see that you can’t assume that people can “put aside their differences” and join together and focus on the things and issues that we both share. For, he quoted Rashi “you can’t gather them together by force” The only way that you can successfully gather them together is if they are all united in the “word of Moshe”. They are all drawn to and coming on their own with the sole motivation of the word and honor of Hashem. But each one’s individual agenda that happens to coincide with my agenda is never going to work.
All that from a grammar Rashi!
Rav Yoel Teitelbaum the Satmar Rebbe (1887 - 1979)- The Satmar Rav was recognized as a young man for his unusual lomdus, hasmadah and tzidkus – Torah scholarship, diligence and piety. By the outbreak of World War 11, he was Rav of the thriving community of Satmar and had emerged as one of the leading figures in Hungarian Jewry. From childhood, the Satmar Rebbe was a paragon of holiness and purity. At his bar mitzvah he stunned the entire assemblage by delivering a two-hour drashah, replete with deep and meaningful chiddushim From the time of his Bar Mitzvah until the outbreak of World War I1 – a period of forty years – Reb Yoel never slept on a bed, except for Shabbosos – studying Torah, on his feet, by day and by night. In the internment camp in Bergen-Belsen, not only did he eat nothing that might have been un-kosher, subsisting mostly on potatoes, but he fasted as often as four times a week.
His father, the Kedushat Yom Tov passed away when Reb Yoel was only 17 years of age. He was appointed Rav of Musza in Czechoslovakia and in 1911, when he was in his early twenties, Reb Yoel was appointed Rav of Orshiva. Thirteen years later he became Rav of Kruly, where he founded a yeshivah. In 1934, he became Rav from 1935 to 1944 and transferred his yeshivah there.
The Satmar Rebbe endured his share of suffering during the Holocaust. The Rebbe’s beard was unskillfully concealed with a kerchief on the pretext of a toothache. The Nazis nearly cut it on several occasions, but it was miraculously saved and remained intact.
He was one of 1684 Hungarian Jews saved from the Nazi killing machine as a result of the negotiations of Rav Michael Ber Weissmandl with Adolf Eichmann, ym’s. With rachamei Shamayim, Reb Yoel made it out of Hungary during the war, and after a brief stay in Switzerland he arrived in Eretz Yisrael.
In 1946, he arrived in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn and rebuilt the Satmar community
When he settled in Williamsburg shortly after arriving in the United States, he found a handful of his followers in a bais hamidrash all day, saying Tehillim, learning Chok – and spending their time in “the Rebbe’s Court”. He summoned them to him and insisted that they find jobs to support their families. He felt that he could not be oblivious to the stress on material well-being that marks American society. A viable community could only take shape if it is self-supporting on a level comparable to that of the surrounding society. By the same token, he guided his followers to give tzeddakah expansively – not to shy away from a sweeping gesture of generosity. Today, members of the Satmar community are active in all phases of business and commerce, as well as in a wide spectrum of occupations, ranging from grocers to computer programmers. And the community itself supports a host of social services, most notably its bikur-cholim program – administering to the sick, with fleets of cars and vans carrying hundreds of volunteers to hospitals all over New York, throughout the day.
The Satmar Rebbe vehemently opposed Zionism and secularism in all forms, and was a great kana’i when it came to matters of kiddush Shem Shamayim. The mainstream of the Torah leadership did not subscribe to his approach toward dealing with the Israeli government. Even those most strongly opposed to the State’s philosophy accepted its existence and, at worst, felt compelled to deal with it as they would with any government that ruled a land where Jews lived. It was not only in regard to its extreme anti-Zionism that the Satmar Rav had molded his community as “a group apart,”. He also guided it to being distinguished in its total lack of compromise in mode of dress – not yielding to American pressures, neither in style nor in lack of modesty. If anything, the newer generations have reinforced their dedication to the standards of “Jewishness in dress” that had prevailed in Satmar of old.
Reb Yoel wrote a series of sefarim on Chumash, mo’adim and various subjects in Shas, as well as she’eilot u’teshuvot entitled Divrei Yoel. He also wrote the sefer Vayoel Moshe and a kuntres, Al Hageulah Ve’al Hatemurah.
The Satmar Rebbe was niftar on 26 Menachem Av 5739/1979 and was buried in the beit hachaim in Kiryat Yoel in Monroe, New York.

Shnorrers –For those that are not familiar with term, you obviously haven’t been hanging out in Synagogues anywhere. Shnorrers are Jewish beggars. People that come over to you and ask you for money. Israel is the home, sadly, for most of these people. You can’t hide from them. They are at the Kotel and holy graves, they are in your shuls, they are on street corners. They come in all shapes and sizes, ages, genders and ethnicities. There are little kids that will come over to you while you are dining in a restaurant or filling up with gas and ask for some money for food or gas. When one goes to pray at a holy site it seems that all these people see this as a great vulnerable time for you who are seeking to have your own prayers answered get an extra merit by answering their prayers. This is a country that seems to be built on the notion that it is certainly a way of life for many to approach others and ask them to help them out. The truth is the entire country was founded on charity on a national level. UJA, Federation, Hadassah and the JNF. So it’s been engrained in our culture and history. And the truth is we are up to the task. If no one gave- nobody would be in the business. We Jews have always looked at our own wealth as something that was granted to us to help those less fortunate. As my grandfather would tell me we have to be thankful that we are on this side of the giving. Yes, someone of them can be pushy, some can act entitled. They have pride too despite their status-for they know that they are just as loved by Hashem as the next Jew. That is the chutzpa and insight of an Israeli shnorrer. So give with a smile. Give with a blessing. Generally they will also give you a big long and great blessing from the depths of their heart. They mean it. Answer Amen and be thankful that you could help another Jew out.

At a conference on religion a priest, a minister and a rabbi were all asked the same question, "What would you like people to say about you after you die?"
The priest said, "I hope that people will say that I was able to rise above the scandals that are plaguing the Catholic Church at this time. I hope that people would say that I was able to shepherd my flock through this crisis and help them to understand the absolute love that God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit have for all of them as Catholics."
The minister then said, "When I die I hope that people will say that I saved many souls by bringing them to Faith. I hope that I will be remembered as a caring, thoughtful man who always spread the Word, the love and faith everlasting in God. I hope that my preaching and converting will be carried on in my memory and to the glory of God
Finally, the rabbi was asked, "Rabbi, what do you hope people will say about you after you have died?"
Without pausing, the rabbi answered, "Look. He's breathing."

A Rabbi, a priest and a minister are discussing when life begins.
The priest says: "In our religion, life begins at conception."
The Minister says: "We disagree. We believe that life begins when the foetus is viable away from the mother's womb."
The Rabbi responds: "You both are wrong. In our religion, life begins when the kids graduate college and the dog dies."

Rabbi Bloom gets on a tube train on its way to Golders Green. As soon as the doors close, a priest gets up, goes over to the rabbi and says, "Good morning rabbi. I have a question to ask you. Why is it that everybody thinks Jews are smarter than Gentiles?"
Rabbi Bloom, who is not up for an argument, says, "I’m sorry, but I am just a simple rabbi and I’m not really able to participate in such a discussion."
But the priest insists. "Look, no harm meant rabbi, but I have a theory and I need to test it out in the form of a bet. I’ll pay you $100 if you can ask me a question that I can't answer. But if I can ask you a question that you can't answer, you must pay me $100."
Rabbi Bloom replies, "But I’m a poor rabbi - I only have $10 on me."
The priest hesitates then says, "OK, rabbi, it’s my $100 against your $10."
Rabbi Bloom realizes he can't get out of this so he agrees, but on condition that he asks the first question. The priest agrees.
"OK," says Rabbi Bloom, "what animal has scaly skin, the body of a cat, the face of a squirrel, the ears of a mouse, webbed toes and swims under water?"
Surprised, the priest admits that he doesn't know and asks the rabbi for a few more minutes to think about it. The rabbi agrees.
2 minutes later, the priest takes $100 from his wallet and gives it to the rabbi. The priest then asks the rabbi, "So what animal was it?"
Rabbi Bloom replies, "How should I know?" and gives the priest $10.

A Rabbi, a minister and a priest, played cards every Wednesday for small stakes, but their problem was that they lived in a ‘no gambling allowed’ town. One day, the sheriff raided their game and took them before the judge.
After hearing the sheriff's story, the judge asked the priest, "Were you gambling, Father?"
The priest looked toward heaven, whispered, "Oh, Lord, forgive me," and then replied aloud, "No, your honour, I was not gambling."
"Were you gambling, Reverend?" the judge then asked the minister.
The minister replied, "No, your honour, I was not."
Turning to the third clergyman, the judge asked, "Were you gambling, Rabbi?"
The Rabbi eyed him coolly and replied "With whom?"

Answer is A – I got this one wrong I guesses Theodosus because I thought that would have been a cute name for a couple. I knew it wasn’t Hadrian or Augustus who were leaders and and powerful in their own right. An empress is only mentioned if there was something significant about her. Not that I really care to much. I will never mention her name to any of my tourists because after-all your not hiring Ephraim Schwartz to teach you and guide you about Byzantine era Eastern Church Empresses. That’s not what my clientele is coming to Israel to learn about. So the answer is Justinian, by the way. Thank you google.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

ADD- Aliyah Deficit Disorder- Ki Tisa /Parah 2017/5777

Insights and Inspiration
from the
Holy Land
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz
"Your friend in Karmiel"

March 17th 2017 -Volume 7 Issue 21 19h Adar 5777
Parshat Ki Tisa/ Para
A.D.D- Aliyah Deficit Disorder
So I'm back in the States. The United States that is. Although since the last elections they seem pretty divided it seems. I'm not a big fan of the country anymore either. Which seems to be the current sentiment here so it seems I'm in good company. Although my feelings about the US of A has nothing to do with politics. I just don't' seem to get it anymore. I remember when I lived in the States before moving to Israel and I would hear these- nut-jobbed, fanatical, ideologues that had make Aliya talking kind of the way I'm about to. I remember thinking how ridiculous and pathetic they sounded; how desperate they were to put-down America in order to assuage themselves that they had made the right decision. The truth of course being that it was really a ridiculous thing to do for any self-respecting American. A cold and callous insensitive thing to do to one's children and family. Listen if one wants to follow a dream, then do it when you're young and single or newly married. Or alternatively if you want to retire there with money from your savings after you made a living in the only country where that is possible, than that's alright too. That's your prerogative and I would wish them luck. Perhaps even admire some of their fortitude to not move to Florida like all the other faithful Jews. But with a family and kids?  Middle age? That's just pure irresponsibility.
But as I was thinking what I was thinking I could see this inexplicable look to me that was really almost a mirror image of what I was presenting to them. They had this look like they didn't get me at all. Like they thought I was the nut-job. I was the one that was irresponsible. I was the one that was nebbich just not getting it. It was a very weird experience. I swore to myself that even if I ever ever ended up making Aliya, I would never give anyone a look like that. I would never, could never become that clueless, be that self-delusional, ever feel the need to be that defensive to look askance at the regular people that were obviously living and doing the normal thing. I was wrong. I just don't get you guys anymore.
This morning by services here in Atlanta, the Gabbai came over to me and asked me I wanted an Aliyah. I had not yet recited the traditional blessing that is made upon traveling overseas of Gomel- thanking Hashem for all the kindness that Hashem has bequeathed me. The blessing is made when one has undergone a potentially life-threatening salvation, like after a severe surgery or operation, or being released from life-threatening incarceration, or childbirth. The blessing is recited generally upon getting called up to the Torah, so I told him that I would be happy to "get" an Aliyah. I "got" my Aliya, I made the blessing that Hashem has chosen us from all the nations and given us the Torah and then I recited the thanksgiving blessing, the crowd said Amen and it was over.
I was troubled a bit by the blessing I said. Why was I thanking Hashem for bringing me to America? For having to leave Israel. Sure I was happy, that I survived the flight, although it took some time for me to dislodge my knee from my chest. {They really don't have leg-room anymore. When I booked my ticket they had extra legroom for another $35, which I regretted not having done as I learned that extra legroom actually means room for both legs on the floor....but I'm getting distracted-Holyland ADD Insights and Inspiration.} But really I did not feel too grateful being in this really "unnatural" country for a Jew- to put it mildly. I remarked to the Gabbai as I left the Bima that I understood the difference between Israel and America. In America one can only "get" an aliya. It's a short fleeting spiritual high one feels when you bless the Torah and remember that you are chosen. In Israel, though, we make Aliya. It's permanent. It's in your heart, your blood, your soul. It's the only place that can happen. It's the only place where your Judaism and spirituality becomes truly a building block of the eternal. The Gabbai winced and looked at me unappreciatively and with that "oh-he's-one-of-those-guys". I gave it right back. Yep. It's official. I'm now one of those guys.
 It's a strange parsha that we read this week. Strange because it's kind of mixed-up it seems. It's like a chulent. Not just of laws, like Mishpatim, not just stories, not just boring facts about the Tabernacle...again. No it's just got what seems like little pieces of all of the above. Like an ADD Holyland Insights E-Mail. It starts off with the counting of the half shekel coin, which has to be given to atone for a soul so that there won't be plague. Which incidentally reminded me a bit of the gomel thanksgiving blessing I made for undergoing something that was potential danger. It jumps to the laws of the building of the water basin which seems to have gotten left out of the portion that talked about all the vessels of the Mishkan. It then goes into the various ingredients of the incense and the anointing oil. Which seems to have gotten left out as well from the priestly portions as the priests are told to be anointed with it. Oh then it mentions Shabbos, cause- hey why not? It's a covenant, between us and Hashem. 6 Days work. 7th rest. Guard it for generations in case you forgot. Getting dizzy yet? It seems like a Purim hangover with a bunch of random facts coming from all sides.

The Parsha then continues with the story of the Golden Calf, Hashem's fury then Moshe's fury at the people, smashing the tablets, marshaling the Levi's to kill the offenders and appeasing Hashem and gaining his forgiveness. Hashem tells the Jews that an angel will bring them to the land and get rid of our enemies, but He won't reside among us. It's too risky. He might just wipe us out if we annoy him. We mourn and cry. Moshe camps outside and his face is pretty shiny. He after-all is the only one, the Torah tells us, that actually has the heavenly Facetime account. Moshe then asks Hashem how to get totally forgiveness when he's not around anymore and Hashem hides him in a rock and shows him the back instead of the front and teaches him the 13 attributes of Mercy. Wheww... Summaries were never my strong point. But you have to admit this is really a long, strange, puzzling and even mystical spiritual story in the Torah, if not the most perplexing one.
But the Parsha is not done yet. For then the Parsha and Hashem get back into the Eretz Yisrael mode telling Moshe to tell us that we must remember our treaty with Hashem. He will take us into the land, show us wonders and How Hashem will be in our midst.  We must not make treaties with nations in the land of Israel. They will distract us from our purpose. Smash their Idols, destroy their altars, break down their churches and mosques. Oops I just added that although it really is the same point and law and message. If we don't' do that we'll end up respecting their ways. Eating with them, attending their mutual egalitarian services and ultimately marrying their children. And then the game is over.
And just in case you thought you could tie all this stuff together here's some more random laws for you to piece together. Pesaach eat matzos, first born children and animals should be redeemed, work 6 days rest and Shabbos AGAIN! Celebrate Shavuot, bring first fruits to the Temple, come visit Me three times a year in the Temple and see My face. Don't' delay bringing sacrifices. Oh and finally don't cook the goat in its mothers milk. I am truly dizzy even writing this. It must be the air here in America. I don't remember a parsha getting me so dizzy.
I believe however the connection and theme of the parsha can usually be found in the title of the portion. Ki Tisa- when you shall uplift, Or because you shall raise up the heads of the Jewish people. The portion is telling us the secrets of how to make the Jewish people great once again. It starts with the ideal. The once great that we were meant to have achieved when we stood as one united nation at Sinai and declared we would listen and fulfill the words of our Creator. It concludes with the world and a different covenant and pathway of how to get back up there again after we have sinned. It in fact concludes with a description of the Jewish people actually seeing the light of Hashem radiate from the face of Moshe as he taught us Torah, the word of God. Great once again. Let me explain.
Remember like a bunch of paragraphs ago I told you how troubled I was about thanking Hashem for bringing me to America. About how pathetic I felt being here in this country and just trying to have an Aliyah and just feeling I was merely getting one. That's what it's all about in fact. At least it is this year for me. See when I'm living in Israel. I'm just walking around and feeling good about myself. I made it. I'm here. I'm doing what I'm supposed to. I'm where I'm at, where I belong, doing what I'm supposed to be doing. But I'm wrong. I'm not here, because, you're not here yet. Hashem isn't back here yet. The Temple isn't either. I haven't brought Him back yet. Bentching Gomel reminded me this morning that I thank Hashem who performed good deeds for me, the unworthy one, the chayavim, the one who still has obligations to fulfill. He's given me life still to accomplish. He sent me overseas to realize that there are still things and people I have to visit here that aren't in Israel. I'm still obligated to accomplish more. I am still a half shekel waiting for the other half to unite with mine. I may have not only got an aliya and merited to make aliya, but ultimately it's about the Aliyah of the entire world that we are here to achieve. We're all still suffering from Aliya Deficiency Disorder And this week's entire parsha is about how to achieve that uplifting.
Pre-sin each Jew gives a half shekel and there is no plague. We understand simply that we need one another to achieve the one-ness of Hashem in this world. Without all of us the world is a fuzzy whatsapp video chat that keeps breaking up each time I call home from here. It continues with the concept of the sink where the Kohen would wash his hands and his feet. Nachmanides explains the feet is the lower world the hands represent the upper realms. The Kohen would connect the two worlds. Cleanse it, purify it, serve as the vessel to bring them all together and lift us all up. He would be anointed with oil. The one property of oil is that it rises above everything else. It lifts up. The Kohen, the vessels, the Tabernacle would all be anointed so that it would be clear that this was a place of uplifting. The holy oil, the Torah tells us can and never should be used for the mundane. It's not to stick on your pizza or put in your shampoo. It's to bring us all higher and higher. Same with the heavenly incense. It is a sweet smell for Hashem. It is the aroma of Jews that comes to Hashem and lifting us up to Him. Not me up to me. Don't use it for deodorant to smell better than your friend. You're not better than him. You all are one and have to be one for our job to be fulfilled.
 That was the pre-golden calf world. But we fell. We fell hard. We fell bad. We took the Torah. We took the commandments and figured it was just a law-book to be followed. A way to stay out of trouble, earn a place in the world to come, but ultimately live normal regular lives. Religious, regular lives that is.We lost the notion of a universal plan that we were meant to be bring forth to the world. The Divine plan and mandate for a world of Hashem got lost the second Moshe disappeared. We had turned the entire Torah into a golden calf; a means of 'serving' Hashem in the image we had created for it; one that was bereft of Hashem's universal unifying role for all of us. The Kohen had failed. The half shekel money that was meant to connect us above was replaced with gold of our own purpose and making. The sink that was meant to restore and purify the world was lost as Hashem chose to wash Himself of us. The heavenly incense was replaced with the smell of offerings of cows that Hashem never wanted or asked for. The entire first part of the parsha has been turned on its head.

 Hashem tells us we are Moshe's nation. Not His anymore. We may be people of the Book, but it is no longer His book. His book will start again with just Moshe.
But Moshe doesn't let. He screams out "Who is for Hashem?" That is the cry. We had forgotten it's not merely about the law. It's about Hashem. It's about connecting heaven and earth. It's about a nation that can and will always unite together. A nation that will do anything to connect us all. Moshe and the tribe of Levis restore that balance. They burn that not so sacred cowt like an offering, they smash the calf to earth until it's as ground as the incense was meant to be. It gets mixed with purifying waters, like the water of the basin, with the gold floating like oil above it. It's time to restart. For the first time since we got the Torah. We can begin the process of lifting us and the world up truly from the ground.
Moshe negotiates with Hashem as well. He splains it to Hashem. Heaven and Earth must come together. It's not enough to just have an angel bring us to Israel. It's not enough to just come to Israel and live like any other nation there. We need to see the face of God. We need to always know that this world, and this life has one function for the Jew. Ki Tisa. To raise it up. To bring heaven down and to shine that light out to the world.
And thus we are given the new covenant of mitzvos. The new bris. The covenant of uplifting. Hashem tells us that we will come to the land. It won't be conquered normally. It will be miraculous. It should not be like any other land. Not a melting-pot with all the other nations. For that's not what we are there to do. We aren't meant to live the normal and be satisfied with it. We are here to break free and create a land and country that screams Hashem to the world. Every Jew will do that and see that. We will live lives that will constantly be returning and uplifting that greatness. How? Pesach we will eat; we will break free. Every first born thing, the fruit of our labor. The thing that screams out 'its mine' the loudest to us or at least to those that might consider themselves 'normal people'.  Our children, our fruit, our crops, our livestock. Give it to Hashem. It's the way to ingrain this into our psyche. That it's all from Him and its all about lifting it up to Him.Three times a year by the other holidays we will do the extraordinary and leave our homes and everything to come to Yerushalayim to see Hashem. To pick up that light. Our sacrifices will be immediate. No postponing due to regular day to day delays. We are above that. We have only one priority. Yes, Shabbos again. 6 days work, but every Shabbos stop. It is the key. The stop and go, the change things up from the rest of the world. The falling down, but lifting right back up even higher.
 Last but not least the goat in its mother milk. The commentaries suggest the concept behind this mitzva. Is that the milk is the source of life for the goat. The mother is what bore him. Don't ever mix that source of life with a good piece of steak. Don't desecrate my Torah your source of life and bring it down to give some type of "spiritual" flavor to your physical earthly existence and steak. Bring your steak up to Hashem. Make it holy. Don't profane the holy by using it as a tool to give you enough of spiritual feeling that you forget the picture of what you are here and meant to achieve. I don't' need any more golden calves.
Parshat Ki Tisa this year as it does many years comes out the same week as the special reading of Para. The purity of the red heifer's ashes that is meant to cleanse us of the impurity of death, brought on by the sin of the golden calf. Last time I was in the States I was talking to my Rebbe and he asked me what It felt like being here and I told him that it was the first time that I went to a Mikva and felt just as tamei-impure coming out as when I went in. But the truth is even in Israel coming back, as incredible as it feels. As Messianic as it is, I'm still not pure. I still don't' have a place to bring a Pesach offering. Yet. I still don't have that sense that I should have of how much further I- we still have to go...to achieve... So I thank Hashem for sending me here. For obligating me to thank Him. May the entire world have that Aliyah it's waiting for.

Have an even Mooooving Shabbos,
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz

This week's Insight and Inspiration has been sponsored generously by Ruth Israel in honor of the weekly Torah insights and inspiration. Thank you so much for your kind readership and your sponsorship. May Hashem bless you with health, wealth, nachas and bracha!
Thank You!



“Bei nacht zeinen alleh ki shvarts...- At night all cows are black”


https://youtu.be/TrS2AkPHmuA    -ADHD comedian pretty funny

https://youtu.be/vbVOlF87pfI  I wasn’t sure if this was for real or not. But they tell me it is the NASI get married to an older girl advert

https://youtu.be/SuyprtLP70E  It’s my newest Purim song and Its me having fun at our sedua this year Check it out and this song will sit in your brain forever!


answer below at end of Email
Q.  Ablaq is:
a. Muhammad’s winged horse
b. A guilloche pattern made up of different colored stone masonry
c. Drop-like (stalactite) ornamentations
d. Shell-like ornamentation

Read Rashi. Read it again and again. Sometimes he says something and although he is coming ot explain a pshat in a verse. If you think about what he said and what he took for granted it can open your eye to a Torah perspective that can guide you through your life.
This week when Moshe receives the Tablets from Hashem the verse tells us
Shemot (31:18) And He gave to Moshe when he kalato-concluded speaking with him on Mount Sinat two tablets of the covenant.
Rashi there notes that the Torah uses the word kalato- which means concluded because it wants to recall to us another word kallah- like a bride
It says kallah for the Torah was given to him like a bride to a groom, for it would have been impossible for Moshe to learn the entire Torah in such a short time.
Rav Shimon Schwab notes that we see from here that a bride is given to a groom from heaven like a present. It is not possible for him to appreciate, to earn, to grasp the incredible depth and power of a woman…of his bashert. So Hashem gives it to him as a present. Take that guys!
But you see what I mean. Rashi isn’t trying to teach us this. He just says it. If we spent just a few minutes pondering what he writes we can reveal just incredible thoughts.

Rav Shimon Schwab (1908 -1995) If Rav Samson Raphael Hirsch was the powerhouse revolutionary that defined a whole new weltanschauung for the German community in the 19th century spiritual battlefield against the “enlightenment” movement, then Rav Schwab was the foot soldier who built and developed that community on those foundations on the shores of the new world in America. Rav Schwab served as the rabbi and communal leader in Germany and the United States. Educated in Frankfurt am Main and in the yeshivot of Lithuania, he was rabbi in Ichenhausen, Bavaria, after immigration to the United States in Baltimore, and from 1958 until his death at Khal Adath Jeshurun in Washington Heights, Manhattan. He was an ideologue of Agudath Israel of America, specifically defending the Torah im Derech Eretz approach to Jewish life. He wrote several popular works of Jewish though. He was one of the last students of the Chafetz Chaim who inspired him to answer the clarion call of who is for Hashem should follow me.

Security Guards –It struck me as I came to the States this week, that I can walk around the streets, go into malls, and pretty much go anywhere and not see anyone carrying a gun. OK maybe it’s different in Texas, but in most places no one I see is carrying. In Israel it is one of the most jarring things I think that newcomers see there. You pretty much can’t go anywhere without seeing a gun. There is no building, store or office that you will walk into that you won’t be asked to put your stuff into some detector and there are always security people asking if your packing. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing it just is the way it is. But the truth is security is certainly one of the major industries in Israel. It’s like working in McDonalds in the States. Being that most Israelis serve in the army they are automatically pretty qualified to carry a gun and defend their landsman. And they do. Time after time it is this great unsung heroes that stand in between your average grocery shopper and the thousands of our cousins that are trying to kill us. What’s also fascinating to me is that if I had to estimate its probably about 60-40 men to women that are in these positions as well. Which I think is pretty cool as well. That there are so many Israeli women that can scare off baddies.
 One of the nice things though generally that I experience here are as opposed to the States as well as that we do racial profiling here. Most guards won’t drive you too crazy if you don’t look like your gonna kill someone they will usually not bother you to take off your belt, your pants and shoes as they do in the States. The security guards though are really just a back-up nad inspiration to the masses that will carry guns as well; most when asked will tell you its not for self-protection. It’s to protect others. It’s to serve as deterrent. And it’s to let our enemies know that we will not be bullied or terrorized. May Hashem watch over them all.

1)      Q: Why don't cows have any money? A: Because farmers milk them dry

2)      Q: What do you get if you cross an angry sheep and a moody cow? A: An animal that's in a baaaaaaaad moooooood.

3)      Q: Why did the cow cross the road? A: To get to the udder side. Q

4)      Q: Where do cows go for lunch? A: The calf-eteria.

5)      Q: What kind of milk comes from a forgetful cow? A: Milk of Amnesia

6)      Q: Where do Russians get their milk? A: From Mos-cows

7)      Q: What do call a cow that has just had a calf? A: Decalfenated

8)      Q: What do you call a sleeping bull? A: A bull-dozer.

9)      Q: What do you call a grumpy cow? A: Moo-dy

10)  . Q: What is it when one cow spies on another cow? A: A steak out. Q:

11)  Q: What do you call an arab next to a cow? A: Milk Sheikh!

And finally a really terrible joke that someone sent me that only yeshivish people will appreciate. He said that anyone that is getting married this week didn’t really think it out well as his aufruf parsha will be
“ Ki Tisa- Parah” (when one marries a parah..Ouch!)

Answer is B – I knew this answer. I don’t know why I just did. Maybe because this stuff is all over the old city. Not that I know what guilloche is. But I know that it’s the different color tiles thing. Muhammeds horse is called burqa or something like that. I don’t know why I remember that either. I don’t know what the other two are called and I’m not even gonna check it up for you. It’s late. I’m tired and this E-Mail is long enough.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Annual Tetzave Question with an Equally Offensive Top Ten Twist- Purim 2017 / 5777

In-Spites and Provocations
from the
Only Land
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz
"Your friend-that you haven’t contributed to lately- in Karmiel"

March 10th 2017 -Volume 7 Issue 20 12th Adar 5777
Parshat Tetzave/ Zachor/ Purim
The Annual Tetzave Question with an Equally Offensive Top Ten Twist

It’s a question I ask every year when we come to Parshat Tetzave. Everybody asks it. There’s not much else to talk about on Parshat Tetzave. Unless you like to talk about the various nuances and secret, spiritual ideas about the clothing of the Kohen. In the Schwartz home clothing is not a topic we like to talk about. My wife has a clothing business and we have clothing jumping out at us from all places in the house. It’s like the frogs in Egypt.
 So we’ll talk about the question of the parsha. Wheeeeere’s…drumroll…. No not Waldo. Or Johnny. Oh I think that’s “Heeeeerrres’ Johnny…” It’s been too long ago to remember. No the question is where’s Moshe? Meaning, as faithful readers of this weekly E-Mail know-Faithful means that you read regularly. More than just the jokes on the bottom or the YouTube clips. Faithful also doesn’t mean those that have sponsored a weekly E-Mail despite my endless nudging and promises. That wouldn’t leave me with too many of you. Faithful are the ones that actually get sucked in to reading one paragraph and then another and another-even as people are banging on the bathroom door for you to get out already, smiling here and there and then being pleasantly surprisingly inspired every so often. You might even waver for a second or two on the link to sponsor one of these things. It’s the thought that counts right J.- Anyways, you guys know that the parsha of Tetzave is the only parsha since the birth of Moshe that does not contain his name. That’s the question of the week. Why not? Where’s Moshe?

Now in many previous years we have offered many brilliant answers to this question. You can click on the following link and check them out http://holylandinsights.blogspot.co.il/search?q=tetzave . While you’re at that blog you can click on the link on the top right hand corner and sponsor a weekly E-Mail or donate money to poor families in Karmiel to be distributed on Purim on our Matanot L’Evyonim Campaign. Or donate to both JJ, that why I and the poor people will be happy. (Please specify which you want it to go for). This year however being that Purim starts right after Shabbos, and I don’t have enough time to write a Dvar Torah E-Mail and a funny Purim annual Top Ten List E-mail, I decided that Purim/Funny/Top Ten takes precedence. Now I know that there is that famous Talmudic and halachic principle of ‘tadir v’she’eino tadir tadir kodem’- that when beset with two things to do and one can only do one of them than the one that comes more often takes precedence. However since on an average week about 400-500 of you open the weekly E-Mail and the Purim one usually gets me a good thousand or so opens, so the other principle of yachid vrabim halacha k’rabim- the law follows the majority- wins. So Purim E-mail wins.

That being said though I figured that this year I would offer alternate reasons why I thought that Moshe’s name was left out of this week’s Torah portion. I will attempt in the process to try to offend everybody equally. That will unite the Jewish people. It is a holy task. One that not many people are qualified to do. But because I have generally been maligned from people from all walks of Klal Yisrael. Each denomination, each political party, feminists, socialists, vegetarians, misogynists, environmentalists, Satmar, Chabad, black hats, small kipas, big ones, knitted ones, those big white ones from Bradley Cohen’s Bar Mitzva or the cardboard ones from the Kotel type of ones. All Jews deny that I have any connection or affiliation with them. Even the Na Na Nachman guys stay away from me and they’ll even dance with Israeli cats. Christians like me though, on the bright side. So basically since I’m pretty much the expert on being ostracized so that makes me the authority on being able to offend everyone equally when it comes to Purim. Welcome to the club.
So here it is with a small prayer to Hashem I stand before you humbled as I embark on giving you my annual long awaited Top Ten List of the Year….drumroll please…. Hey, welcome back all of you that haven’t read this since last Purim it’s good to see you again…oops sorry I got distracted there for a second. OK drumroll….. here it is….


10) It was banned. The name Moshe sounds too much like the female name Mashie and as those who read Charedi newspapers and magazines know it is strictly forbidden to put any pictures of any women in the magazines. This is because somebody might god-forbid come to have inappropriate thoughts about a woman. One might think about the chulent she could make for him, the laundry she could fold, Kollel Rabbis might think about the financial support she could provide for him if he would be married to her. Men would forget about the credit card bills she would rack up for him. The way that she would make him tuck in his shirt. They would forget that she would probably put him on a diet. They would have bad thoughts of solving the shidduch crisis and marrying a women they saw a picture of god-forbid in a newspaper. So it is forbidden. The Shabbat before Purim, the Torah takes Moshe’s name out of the Torah to remind us that even having a name that can be misconstrued as a women’s name can lead one to thoughts of sin. That’s why it’s not there.

9) Moshe Rabbeinu was an illegal immigrant. He was born in Egypt and had to flee the country because he was a criminal accused of killing someone. You know those illegal immigrants and what they can do. He fled to Midian and he married the leader of Midian Yitro’s daughters. Yeah those immigrants just come into countries and steal our women. He then took all the Jews out of Egypt pretty much making us a nation of refugees. Now we’re all in the same boat as him. We were able to come into the land of Israel, because anyways God knew that ultimately this would be the land of illegal immigrants and refugees. If you don’t believe me take a look at all of the criminal activity that takes place in the highest echelons of government here. Yet Moshe the ultimate illegal immigrant was not allowed in to the land. The Divine wall was put up when it came to him. The gates were closed. So his name is left out of this parsha as a commemoration for the one illegal immigrant, our great leader who didn’t make it into the land.

8) Moshe was a great leader that preformed great miracles. He split the sea, he turned the water to blood, the ground to lice, he turned the wild animal kingdom on its head. He wreaked havoc on the entire climate of Egypt by bringing down hail, darkness and plagues. It was awesome. Except as every good environmentalist knows this can cause tremendous damage to the ozone layer. Where do you think that hail came from? Some poor iceberg in Antarctica had to melt for that to happen. Do you think that there are no repercussions to splitting the Red Sea? Do you know how many humpback whales lost their mating grounds? Fuggedabout all those panda bears in the trees that didn’t have anything to hug anymore. This was a terrible thing despite the fact that it saved us from years of slavery and persecution. There is a price to be paid and that price was the removal of Moshe’s name from Parshat Tetzave. This is the portion that talks about the clothing of the High Priest. The clothing that he would wear was not environmentally approved and therefore Moshe’s name was removed from the portion.

7) The reason why Moshe’s name was not mentioned in this week’s Torah portion is really for his own safety. You see right before Moshe died- his yartzeit is always the week of this week’s parsha- he killed the evil terrorist and despot giant and king Og the giant of Bashan. Now according to reporters from CNN- the Chelm News Network- that was present at the time, Moshe who according to the midrash was about 20 feet tall jumped another 20 feet in the air and then with his 20 foot sword hit Og in the knee and felled him and chopped off his head. OK maybe I’m exaggerating a bit, but I’m a tour-guide I have a license to do that approved by the ministry of tourism. Now according to those news reports seemingly Moshe could have jumped only five feet and hit Og on his toe and neutralized him. There was no need to jump the extra 15 feet and hurt Og’s knee in the process. Certainly not to chop off his head. That was disproportionate force. Moshe was censured by all of the top Israeli military officials who were hoping that would get them the Nobel Prize or at least elected to some important government office where people would bribe them and give them free falafels. So it was decided that Moshe’s name would be removed from the Torah portion the week of his death in order to pacify the Arabs of the Bashan where Og ruled. Then they might not be so angry all the time at us…. It didn’t work

6) Moshe was a very wealthy man. It says that he got rich from the dust that the Luchot- the tablets of the Ten Commandments were carved out of. From what I understand there were many people who were willing to pay a lot of money for some of it as they that thought the dust was a big segula to become rich if you mixed it into your chulent or to get married and find your shidduch if you walked around with the dust your shoes for forty days straight and donated to the Kupat Ha’Ir. Little did they know that it was really just a segula to observe the commandments properly although some claimed that it cured athletes foot- Jews never had any desire to become athletes again. Although they did buy sports teams. Anyways Moshe knew that if he brought all that money with him into the land of Israel, the shnorrers would start lining up the second he got to the Western Wall. The government would figure out a way to tax him in on it all. Some really great platinum type of Jewish financial advisers would convince him that they would quadruple his money if they just gave it to them to invest. There would even be some E-Mail Rabbis that would try to hit him up to sponsor a weekly E-Mail. Although he loved Israel with all of his heart. He knew there was Israelis that lived there and that was dangerous. So he didn’t come into the land. As a result of that budget cuts had to be made in the printing of the Torah and Moshe’s name was taken out to save money on ink of the parsha that discusses the donations that were used to clothe the Kohein who worked in the Temple that Moshe’s money didn’t support.

5) Moshe’s burial place, the Torah tells us was never known to any man. This was a good thing and a blessing for him, as no one would ever open up some kiosk selling Moshe memorabilia. You know like bottles of whiskey, remedial oil or arak with his picture on it like they sell of the Rambam, or pictures if him with some funny turban that would ultimately find its way into every greasy shwarma shop in Israel right next to the grill blocking the outdated Kashrut certificate. Or holy incense pipes and hooka bongs that promised to get you as high as the Rebbe nachman guys selling them. It would also prevent all of the sefardim from coming there every night and making loud birthday parties or azkarot, or celebrating their government representative’s release from jail, or basically any special occasion that they save money on by not renting out a hall and just doing it graveside. If you don’t know what I’m talking about you haven’t visited any ancient rabbis’ graves in Israel. This is a problem. You are missing out and I can recommend a good tour guide that can rectify this for you- Back to our list. Anyways this was good for Moshe. But obviously men of these sefardic kiosk guys were upset by this lost opportunity. In addition Kupat Ha’Ir was pretty upset because they couldn’t disturb any great Rabbis and promise that they would go and pray there on your behalf if you just gave them some money. The Breslavers were particularly upset because frankly Uman was getting to be too expensive and a nice trip to wherever Moshe is buried would have been a lot cheaper and closer. So as a result of this Moshe’s name was left out of the Torah portion. They figured if he didn’t tell us where he’s buried so we’re not gonna put a memorial plaque for him in the Torah for at least the week that he died.

4) The truth is Moshe’s name was actually written in the Torah portion. But it seems that there was a certain female presidential candidate that needed some paper to write down the answers to the questions that she stole for her upcoming presidential debate a crib sheet we used to call it. At least that’s what they told me they called it. I wouldn’t know of course. But what happened was that she actually ripped some paper out of the Torah to write the answers on the back. Turns out it was the name of Moshe from parshat Tetzave. Now there were still some more of Moshe’s name that still remained in the parsha but when she feared she was going to be caught she deleted all of the names of Moshe from her account as well. I believe there was close to 33 thousand references initially to Moshe in this week’s Torah portion until she committed this dastardly deed and deleted them all.. I actually found this out because I heard the bugged recordings that were taken from her campaign via Russia. Also somebody tweeted it to me. Believe me. It’s the truth. Nobody tells the truth like I do. Believe me.

3) Moshe’s name was left out of the Torah portion because this week is generally the week when schools begin their registration for the upcoming year. It seems that Moshe was trying to get his kids who actually did make it into Israel in to schools here and there wasn’t one school that would accept his children Some schools heard that his cellphone service to God was actually not via Kosher phone. Somebody had said that he spoke to God face to face which obviously meant that he had Facetime which everyone knows means that he must have had Facebook which is prohibited. Also the Ashkenazi schools thought that he was sefardic and that he would be a bad influence on their children. The chasidic schools didn’t want him because they heard that he had a sister who once ran a choir by the splitting of the sea and that is obviously not modest at all. The Mizrachi and Daati Leumi schools refused to accept him because he did not make Aliya to Israel. He tried telling them that Hashem told him he wasn’t allowed to go. That he would continue to support the Jews and advocate for them from his comfortable grave in the Diaspora. But it was clear that he was not Zionistic enough for them. He tried to get his kids in Lakewood schools; he figured they learned his Torah and he would have some pull there. But it turns out that they just wanted him to donate a building for them there, but ultimately in their eyes he would always be just this guy that at one time used to watch sheep for a living. So as a result of no school wanting to accept his children his name was left out of the parsha as it was left out of the school registration logs.

2) I’m really not even sure if I should write this reason. There are lots of people that are opposed to fake news and I’m scared that if I ever did a press conference about this with my twitter account emboldened on my Kippa I might get shot down by some President. But I am here only to report the news so what can I do. This reason has actually been reported by Al Jazeera, Mein Kampf and the New York Times so it must be true. The reason why Moshe’s name not is not mentioned is because there really was nobody ever called Moshe. In fact there was never anybody that was ever called Jewish. It is a Zionist lie. The entire world was really Palestinian always. Moshe was in fact Musa and he believed in Muhammed and was a faithful Muslim. There were Hebrews that left Egypt with him, but Musa killed them all because they were persecuting Muslims, giving their women all types of rights to vote and drink and actually think. This was very dangerous and Musa left them in the desert. He then gave the land to the Palestinians Allah’s chosen people. The Israelis made up the whole Torah, but Musa came back from his grave and removed his name from this week’s Torah portion. This is true. The United Nations has even declared a resolution acknowledging this fact and condemning Israel for their obvious distortion of history.

And here we go the number one reason why Moshe’s name is not mentioned in Parshat Tetzave…..final drumroll….
1)  Ummmm…there really was nowhere to put it. It just didn’t really fit into anything that Hashem had meant to tell us in this week’s portion. The parsha was really about Aharon, his brother the Kohen and the clothing. Moshe wasn’t a Kohen so he figured he could duck out for this parsha. He decided to take a quick tour of Israel when no one is looking. I know because he called me for the tour. He heard I was lots of fun and knew where the best restaurants were. I would tell you more, but there is tour guide- tourist confidentiality clause that I have with all my clients. What happens on a Schwartz tour stays on a Schwartz tour. However for a sponsorship of my weekly E-Mail I have been known to ‘leak” information here and there. I am Israeli now and for the right price anything can happen.
So there you have it. The 2017 Top Ten list of the year. I want to apologize personally to anyone that I did not offend in this E-mail. I really tried to get everyone in here. But I’m only human. And as the saying goes you can’t offend everyone all the time. But jokes aside I do feel the need to at least share with you one real reason why Moshe’s name is not in this week’s parsha. Our sages tell us that Haman rejoiced when the date for the genocide of the Jews fell out in the month of Adar. For he knew that it was the month that Moshe died. Yet our sages tell us that he didn’t know that it was also the month he was born. One of the great Rabbis explain that it wasn’t the physical birth of Moshe that Haman didn’t know when he was born. After-al if he knew when Moshe died why wouldn’t he know when he was born? Rather what Haman didn’t realize was that when Moshe died his soul was connected to each and every one of us. We all have that little piece of Moshe within each of us, the Zohar tells us. Moshe instilled in each of us the power to be Moshe-which in Hebrew means to pull forth, to bring out. He was given his name because he was pulled out of the Nile. We each have the power to pull ourselves and the world with us out of the abyss. We each have the power to share the Torah that he taught us and gave us in a unique way that only each Jew can do.

We need to see the Moshe in each of us. The week that Moshe dies, when it looks like he is dead and no longer here the Torah portion begins with the word V’Ata Tetzave-And you shall command. The Torah portion is not just called tetzave it is called V’Ata- and you. It is us. We are the Moshe’s. Haman thought Moshe was gone but the truth is he was just being born. Where is he? In you. In us. In me and in every single one of you that made it this far in the E-mail. And even the ones who didn’t or who won’t or who aren’t even on the list. Any list. We are all Moshe. We are all commanded and have the power to share those commandments. It is our destiny. Our Eternity.  We may have to drink a little to see past all of our differences, all the walls, all the lies, the prejudices, the arguments, the fights, the hurt and the pain. But it’s already. It’s Purim. It’s a mitzva to drink. As long as the end we find the real you; The Moshe in each of us. Mishenichnat Adar Marbin B’Simcha is a great song to sing. It starts of Misha Misha Misha Misha. Here’s a tip start singing it Moshe Moshe Moshe Moshe I guarantee it will be Marbin B’Simcha

Have ecstatic joyous festive and funny Shabbos and an awesomely super Purim,
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz


“Vos bei a nichteren oif dem lung, iz beim shikker oif der tsung”.- What a sober make keep inside (his lung literally), a drunkard has on his tongue


https://youtu.be/3AmJZa6tiAs    -Each man shall be the ruler of his house song..dream…Oora!

https://youtu.be/kdbAfF1_DAA  Great Purim rap song with the whole Megilla…

https://youtu.be/nUASy-VeK-o  If Trump could be the Nasi in Hebrew funnnnnyyy..

answer below at end of Email
Q.  Why does Rabbi Schwartz feel the need to share these dumb questions with us every week?
a. His E-Mails are too short and he really wants you to work hard to get to the jokes on the bottom which is all you really want to read anyways.
b. He wants to show off how impressive his knowledge of Israel is so that you will hire him when you come here. He thinks you don’t know that he is just googling these answers.
c. He wants to help all of his tour guide readers memory of al of the stuff that we deleted from our memory the second we got our license.
d. It’s three O’Clock in the morning when he’s writing this. It’s easy cut and paste. Why not?

Now the Parsha is meant to not only teach you lessons for your day to day life. It is like reading your horoscope and daily Divine self-help for what you need for each week. Rashi is like that deeper commentary as well that can often shed light on questions that may trouble you as well, if the parsha is not cutting it for you. Try it with Rashi and you may be surprised. Being that this week is Purim and the main question and mitzva that we prepare ourselves for on this great holiday is of course how much can I drink and what justification can I have for getting totally plastered, it was important for me to find a source in this weeks Parsha to engage in this ancient custom. Truth is it is a troubling custom for most. After-all isn’t drinking a bad thing. Perhaps Purim even more than any other time one might object to drinking. Wasn’t the whole reason why it was decreed that we should be punished because we feasted and drank at the party of Achashveirosh. We should be fasting…forget about wanton eating and drinking. And then Rashi saved me. Rashi and the MaHaral of Prague that is.
This week the Torah tell us at the end of the parsha when it discusses the inauguration of the Mishkan/tabernacle that an offering of a cow should be brought. Rashi notes on this verse that
Shemot (29:1) One cow- to atone for the sin of the golden calf which was a cow.
There is a problem with this though for the Talmud tells us that the reason why we don’t use a shofar of a cow on Rosh Hashana is because “The accuser cannot become the defender. We sinned with the golden calf so we don’t want to use a cow to seemingly invoke repentance for us. It is for this reason as well why the Kohen Gadol doesn’t wear any golden garments when he goes into the holy of Holies on Yom Kippur. Gold is bad it. It is the accuser of the golden calf. So why would we use a cow here to atone for the sin.
The Maharal of Prague explains that the accuser cannot become the defender on another case only. Meaning that on Rosh Hashana we want to king God with the Shofar. Well, the cow horn is the wrong thing to use for it will remind Hashem of the golden calf. Similarly on Yom Kippur we don’t want to use the “murder weapon” of gold while we are trying to atone for other sins. No need to bring up bad memories. On the other hand when we are coming to atone for the sin of the golden calf specifically then it is appropriate to use the tool with which we sinned with for a mitzva, thus rectifying our sin. Similarly in Parshat Chukat where we use the red heifer to purify us from the impurity of death that we incurred with the sin of the Golden Calf, Rashi notes that the mother should come and clean up the mess of her child; the calf. Here as well the Tabernacle was built to atone for the sin of the golden calf so it is only appropriate to use it to fix the problem, upon in its inauguration.
What does this have to do with drinking? It’s obvious isn’t it? We need to atone for the drinking and reveling by the party of Achashveirosh. The best and really only way to do that is by using the substance that brought us to sin, that brought us to violate the vessels of the Temple during that feast and elevate it. Use it, drink it, more and more in celebration of Hashem. In the joy of the mitzva. The joy of the teshuva. L’Chaim!

Rav Yehuda Loew –The Maharal of Prague  (1525 -1609) Rav Yehudah Loew of Prague, also known as the Maharal, was one of the outstanding Jewish minds of the sixteenth century. He wrote numerous books on Jewish law, philosophy, and morality, and developed an entirely new approach to the aggada of the Talmud. The Maharal rejected the idea that boys should begin instruction at an early age, insisting instead that children be taught in accordance with their intellectual maturity.
He was held in great esteem by his contemporaries and has had a profound impact on all streams of Judaism. Rav Kook stated that the "Maharal was the father of the approach of the Gaon of Vilna on the one hand, and of the father of Chasidut, on the other hand." Rabbi Shneur Zalman, founder of Chabad Chasidism, and a direct descendant of the Maharal, bases much of his famous work - the Tanya - on the teachings of his great grandfather.
Ironically, he is credited with the creation of a golem, an activity he would probably have opposed. A golem is a human figure created from clay and brought to life by use of the Ineffable Name of God. Since the letters of that name were considered to be the original source of life, it is thought possible for one knowledgeable in the secrets of the Divine Power to use them to create life.
The Maharal was said to have created a golem to protect the Jewish community from Blood Accusations. It was close to Easter, and a Jew-hating priest was trying to incite the Christians against the Jews. The golem protected the community from hard during the Easter season. However, the creature threatened innocent lives, so the Maharal removed the Divine Name, thus rendering the golem lifeless.
The Maharal was very active in community work. He did much to improve social ethics. He was a far-seeing educator whose many ideas for educational reform struck deep chords in many people.
His resting place in the Old Jewish Cemetery in Prague is still visited today by thousands of people.

“Iranian/ Persian Jews” –It is probably one of the oldest Jewish communities in the world. The Persians date themselves living there consecutively from the exile of the ten tribes during the first temple over 2700 years ago. Today it still has the largest Jewish population outside of Israel with over 25,000 Jews there as of 2009 although today that has dropped to less than 6,000. During the peak of the Persian Empire at the story of Purim time it was estimated that Jews were 20% of the population. To give you a sense of what that means. Jews barely make up 3% of the American population today! And we still have a koshe kitchen in the white house! Not bad. Anyways Persian Jews as they prefer to be called rather than Iranian.By the beginning of the State of Israel there were over 100,000 Jews in Iran. By 1978 over 60,000 had made Aliya emptying the country of Jews by half. Most of them were pretty poor and they struggled and got a reputation of being very cheap watching every penny or shekel. Lots’ of good jokes about them and Yemenites for that matter as well. After the revolution in Iran in 1979 about another 50,000 left half of them to the US. There they became very successful. Mostly selling carpets in Great Neck. The other half came to Israel and opened up Shwarma stores. Today Jews who once felt that had they freedom in Iran are finding it more and more difficult to survive and observe their traditions. Attempts to distance themselves from the “Zionist  Satan” are not working. It’s time for the rest of them to come home.

You will only get these if you are orthodox and know the lines in the Megilla by heart ish
Q. How do you know that Vashti had two mothers?
A. Because it says ‘Gam Vashti Hamalka Asasa “Mishteh” Nashim’ ( And Vashti made a mishteh (literally feast but also can be read shtey as in two) women.

Q. How do you know that Haman’s Jewish name was Mayer Veiss?
A. Because the King told him ‘Mayher kach es ha’lvush vei’s ha’sus’-( Quick get the horse, but pronounced Mayer)
And when they hung his sons they called them by their last names ‘Parshandasa Vi’ess , Astapsha Veiss, Adalfo Veiss…’ ( It says V’Es which means and-also read veiss if your chasidish

Q. How do you know that Achashveirosh had two mother-in laws and what were their names?
A. It says ‘v’chamato b’oara and it says vchamato shachacha (literally his wrath burned and his wrath was forgotten) Chamato also means mother-in-law so it seems he had two one called Bo’ara the other one was Shachacha

Q.Why did Mordechai care if they poisoned Achashverosh that he felt that need to snitch on Bigsan and Seresh?
A. Mordechai figured that if he snitched there would be two dead anti-semites (Bigsan and Seresh)  rather than the one dead one Achashveriosh. And a Jew can’t avoid a deal like that!

Q.The midrash tells us that Haman had 202 sons Rov Banuv it says were hung- rov is gmeatria 202) So why does it say only the names of 10?
A. We had mercy on the Baal Koreh/reader that he would have to say them all in one breath.

q. What was the first miracle of the Megilla?
A. That a Persian made a party!

Yankel was sitting at the bar and drinking. He had two cups in front of him and would down one and then the other. He would then order another two and do another two at a time. And repeat. Shmerel saw him and asked what he was doing. He said that he was drinking one for him and one for his friend in jail who couldn’t have one. A few days later he saw him again in the bar and noticed that he was only downing one at a time. He went over to him and congratulated him. “Mazel Tov”, he said “I see your only drinking one drink at a time. Was your friend let out of jail?” Yankel answered “No  He’s still there. I stopped drinking. Now I only drink for him.!”

Answer is All of the above – You really did not read all the way down here until the end to look for the answer to this question did you? Man you really don’t want to get reatdy for Purim and help out do you… You can delete now. But don’t forget to click on our link. You know what’s waiting for you there….$$$$