Our view of the Galile

Monday, April 15, 2013

Magic Eye- Tazria Metzora 2013

Insights and Inspiration
from the
Holy Land
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz
"Your friend in Karmiel"
April 11th  2013 -Volume 3, Issue 26 –1st of Iyar 5773
Parshas Tazria/Metzora
 Magic Eye

 Have you ever seen one of those books? You know the ones where you have to stare at them for minutes on end until something suddenly appears out of the blurry shapes in front of you. NO, I'm not talking about your prayer book at the end of Yom Kippur services or your Chumash at the end of Shabbat morning services when you can start to make out little pieces of Kugel and chulent beans starting to grow and appear out from out of the words. I mean one of those Magic Eye books. You know what I mean. Someone got me one of them a few years back and I pick it up from time to time and just stare and try to understand how those images that are not there one second before appear and then the next they're gone again. It's too cool how the mind's eye works. It's impressive.

 Now I believe the next step in development is to find something, like that concept, that we can put on our politicians and some of our world leaders faces that allows their real image to come out before they're elected. Or for that matter, how about having the ability to do that with anyone else, a business associate, a future partner, a wife, a friend and a teacher? Wouldn't you love to have a magic eye to see what was really there before you knew them or entered into any relationship with them

 The Gerrer Rebbe –Reb Yitzchok Meir Alter, in the early19th century suggests in this week's Torah portion that we all have that magic eye. This week's Torah portion shares with us an absolutely delightful description of the various spiritual skin diseases and afflictions known as Tzara'as that come upon a person for various sins that the Talmud elaborates upon. The process of healing and forgiveness entails a mandated period of seclusion outside the camp of Israel, sacrifices, haircuts and Mikvah- ritual immersions. The blemish itself though has to be diagnosed by the Kohen before he is considered a Metzorah. The Rebbe notes that the word repeatedly used for this affliction or blemish is NEGA in Hebrew (Nun, Gimmel, Ayin). That same word he points out has the exact same letters as another word in Hebrew-ONEG (Ayin, Nun, Gimmel) which means pleasure, enjoyment festive feast, Friday night at the Young Israel of Karmiel/Shabbos chulent with the Schwartzes J! What is the difference between these two words he asked?  The difference is where you place the AYIN. Where you put the Eye (Ayin besides being a letter also means eye). If it is at the beginning it is an Oneg a pleasure and a joy, if however it is only at the end, the here and now, than all we will see is a blemish.

I believe his idea has relevance in many areas. When we look at our fellow man and see something negative something repulsive, where is our eye? Are we just looking at what is here or perhaps we should try to understand where he's been and what he's done before as well. Maybe, just maybe, what we might first perceive as a blemish, our magic eye might be able to see it as  beauty. When things happen to us in life that seem like blemishes, like pains, like wounds and like afflictions, maybe our Magic eye can look back at the beginning to see from Who they are coming. From our loving Father who is only looking out for our best interests and giving us perhaps even lovingly the right things we need in order to grow. It could be a joy and an incredible act if only we can stare hard enough at and see it.

 And perhaps most importantly, how about when we look at ourselves? When we see our own flaws… our own faults… our own blemishes. When we become despondent and believe that they are Negaim-flaws that can never be healed or transformed. Perhaps we are missing something there as well. Hashem doesn't create bad things or blemished people. A great Chasidic Rebbe once said, Hashem creates diamonds that just needs to be polished, potential that just needs to be achieved and ONEG's that just need to be experienced. We just need to learn how to use our Divinely gifted magic Eye to see beyond what is on the surface in life. If we do than ultimately we will experience the incredible sense of seeing the beauty of what is assuredly always there.

 Have a most spectacular Shabbos,

Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz



 some amazing and moving Footage




Rabbi Schwartzes Inspiring web link of the week

The letter of Gadi Ezra who was killed in 2002 to his fiancee






 (answer below)

 With which Crusade was Richard the Lion Hearted associated?

(a) The First Crusade

(b) The Second                                                                                                               

(c) The Third

(d) The Fourth



Yechiam-When is a Crusader Fortress not really a Crusader Fortress? When it was built in the 18th century by Druze ruler of the Galile Dahr-El Ohmar, that's when The fortress at Yechiam is a great example of a Crusader fortress although it was built about 5 centuries after the Teutonic German knights were there in the 13th century. Yet Dahr the great builder of Akko, Tiverya and much of Galile saw this mountain top fortress as a great lookout point to protect his capital city of Akko. The earlier Crusader (and possibly even earlier Hasmonean) fortress was destroyed by The Mamluki general Baibars who pretty much wiped out most Crusader cities. The fortress is a great place to get a feel for the Crusader lifestyle and once can also see a film there about the heroism and tragedy of the Yehiam caravans in the independence war that was attacked and massacred by the arabs as well the story of the namesake of the kibbutz Yechiam Veitz who was killed in the "night of the bridges" attack on the British. Nearby a great hike in nachal Yechiam is also a great and beautiful water hike in the hills of the upper western Galile.



"Tel-Aviv airport is still the only airport in the world where each passenger is met by ten relatives." ~ George Mikes


Answer is C- I got this one wrong on the exam… but not because I didn't know the answer. I was just not sure what they wanted and I guessed wrong. What do I mean? It's like this… Richard did come on the third Crusade however it was really the more important one as the Second Crusade was more about reconquering Edessa and Damascus and really wasn't about retaking Israel from the Arabs, as Jerusalem was still in Crusader hands. The Thrid Crusade "which was really the second Crusade" to conquer Israel back from the arabs was the definitely the more significant one with the peace between Salaadin and Richard leading to the establishment of the 2nd Crusader Kingdom in Acre (Akko). So I thought they wanted the answer as the 2nd one in Israel but they wanted the more correct 3rd one…that’s what happens when you think too much.

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