Our view of the Galile

Thursday, June 16, 2016

The Lovely Father-in-Law- Behaloscha 2016/5776

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

June 17th 2016 -Volume 6, Issue 37 11th Sivan 5776
Parshat Behaalotcha

The Lovely Father-in-Law
So my daughter Shani had gone out a few times with him. She called to let me know that things were looking good and perhaps I might want to come in a meet the young man who would eventually become my son-in-law. Now I come from America. In the ‘old country’ if someone wanted my daughters hand in marriage or if they even wanted to date my daughter, they would come to the house where they would pick her up. I would sit and schmooze would him for a few minutes and get a bit of a feel and then they would go out. Here in Israel it is not done that way. First of all most of the young yeshiva men do not have licenses or drive. So they young man and lady just make up to meet for their first date in a lounge where they would sit and schmooze. So the parents don’t really get a chance to meet the boy unitl later on in the game. Then to make it worse, I lived in Karmiel. They were dating in Jerusalem. For them to get up to me would be a major hassle. Since I drive and come into Jerusalem anyways regularly, why don’t I just come in and meet the boy before their 6th date in the hotel. I heard the logic. I grudgingly agreed.
The next morning I went to my shul in Karmiel and started having second thoughts. “Really… I gotta shlep in. Why can’t he just get on a bus to come here. After-all he wants to marry my daughter.” My thoughts were interrupted by my name being called out in shul. I was given an Aliya and called up to the Torah. I hate when that happens right in middle of your musings. I took a look at the scroll, made my blessings and looked inside as the chazzan read from the Torah. The words that started off the Aliya jumped out at me “And Yisro traveled to his son-in-law Moshe…” Uhhhhh…..I got the point. I’ll be quiet now. I made my after-blessings on the Torah. Thanking Hashem for giving us His Toah of eternal truth andfor its eternal life which he implanted within us. Thank You Hashem giver of the Torah…and corrector of kvetchy Rabbis and future now humbled Fathers-in-law. 2 months later I was standing under the chupa with my son-in-law and daughter and having looked back. Baruch Hashem.
I have kind of gotten attached to Yisro this past few months. This weeks Torah portion once again mentions a story about Yisro, though this week’s Torah portion Yisro has a new name. It’s really nice that this week we read on Shavuot from the Parsha of Yisro, he was after-all the introduction that most pivotal moment of the revelation at Sinai and the Ten Commandments and once again we read about him in this week’s portion of Behaalotcha. This week again we read about him at perhaps the most potentially critical moment since leaving Egypt. We have left Sinai. We have been forgiven for the sin of the golden calf. We have built our Tabernacle and we are just verses and days away from entering the Holy Land. We are almost there. The bags are all packed everyone is ready to go. We are merely awaiting the traveling of the Ark, the clouds of glory and we will finally be home. And it is precisely at this juncture the Torah tells us that there is one tent that is not packed up. That is still deciding what to do. It is the tent of Yisro, the father-in-law of Moshe, or as the Torah calls him now by his new Jewish name Chovav- the lover and the beloved. It is he for whom all are awaiting.
And he said: ‘Please don’t forsake us; forasmuch as you know how we are to encamp in the wilderness (the miraculous way that we exist-Rashi}, and you have been to us as eyes. And it shall be, if you go with us, then what ever good Hashem will do unto us, the same will we do for you.'
The Torah doesn’t tell us what Yisro’s decision was. The Torah merely continues with.
Our sages tell us that Yisro in fact returned to his country, according to some opinions to convert many of his brethren and family, however he subsequently rejoined the Jewish people and entered the land with them. He was given the incredible city of Yericho with its rich date palms and his descendants lived there for over 400 years even becoming eventually leaders amongst the Jewish people.
Who is this Yisro? Why does he appear at such critical moments? The Torah is obviously trying to send us a message with this story. Perhaps we should first examine this incredible name. Chovav- lover or beloved What an incredible name! The Midrash suggests that it was his name because he was beloved by Hashem. He loved the Torah. He was loved by the nation, being of course the first convert whom we are commanded to love repeatedly in the Torah. He was chovaiv amim- the beloved of the nations. Yisro- the father-in-law is the beloved one.
On Shavuot as well we read the story about the convert that is beloved. Who is tov, who is good ‘better then 7 sons’ as yisro is good. It seems strange that upon the giving of the Torah seemingly the most personal day for the Jewish people, the day that we alone are chosen as the nation of God that we share that stage and moment with the converts. Yet perhaps that is precisely the message the Torah is telling us. The Torah is not an elitist badge in as much as it is a message and light that we are meant to share with the world. We are certainly not a proslytising religion when it comes to converting, yet on the other hand we are a nation that should have the faith and knowledge that the light of the Torah can and is meant to shine out to the entire world. So the story of the giving of the Torah is precluded with Yisro-the high priest who according to our sages worshiped every other faith in the world. But ultimately sought out and found the truth of the Torah and Judaism. We read the story of Rus on Shavuot and again are reminded how the daughter of the king of Moab, that tribe that tried to spiritually destroy the Jewish people and quell our meassage to the world. Yet she as well comes to find our light and is ultimately the grandmother of King David and Mashiach.
As well when we arrive at this most pivotal and seemingly personal moment of our arrival to our national homeland. The country and place that was promised centuries before to our forefather Avraham. The place where we are ultimately meant to build a Temple and home for Hashem here in this world. Once again the father-in-law, the convert now called Chovav shows up. Moshe feels that it is essential that Yisro joins, In fact most fascinatingly enough. Yisro is the first person to get a portion of the land. He is promised the city of Yericho, before the land of Israel has even been divided up by the tribes. Before we even get there. For the function of Israel is not a Jewish homeland and place of refuge where we can have the freedom and ability to worship and practice our faith. That is the danger of it becoming that way, without a yisro with us. That is the danger of receiving a Torah without a Yisro with us. The function of Eretz Yisrael is to create a Bais Tefila L’Kol Ha’Amim- a House of prayer for all the nations of the world to connect with Hashem.  This is the final message the Jewish people need as they embark upon their journey home. It is irrelevant to the Torah to tell us whether he came or not. What is important is that we know that this was the final thing Moshe and the Jewish people were busy with. That’s the purpose of us coming home.
Throughout our generations our greatest leaders have been descended from converts. The great Rabbi Akiva, Rabbi Meir, the Unkelos translation of the Torah just to name a few. The words of our Torah are meant to inspire the world. The perspective of those that were not raised in the Torah world or in an observant environment are meant to serve as our greatest resource in appreciating the tremendous gift that we have. Their embracing of our holy Torah make them the beloved of Hashem and of us. Over the past generations there has been tremendous return by people who have not been raised with a connection to their Jewish roots, to the traditions of Sinai, to the faith of our ancestors. The prophet tells us in the final prophecy of Tanach that the final great day will come with Eliyahu Ha’navi and the description is that of the fathers returning the hearts of the children and the children the hearts of their fathers towards Hashem. Just as the story of our first entry into the land of Israel can only come with the entrance of Yisro-to receive that first promised portion in the land. The day is coming. The children are returning. The light is beginning to shine brighter and brighter as the world gets darker and darker. It’s time to enter Eretz Yisrael.
Have an fantastic Shabbos,
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di5Etd1iDvs  I know you’ve been waiting for this. It’s here! Shani and Yackov wedding video I made from the pictures we just got! Enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Kj3Lmnt4w4beautiful new song video from David Lowy “Abba Sheli”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cABHw5kpkys&list=PLS4mc0Fgqr8i84OirDpQXOj5PuWaUHN-W&index=9 For Hebrew speakers this is hilarious. What you always wanted to do to Israeli automated operators.


“Fun leydike feser iz der lyarem greser..”- Empty barrels make the most noise.


I יhave seen that I have been referred to a Harav HaGaon (the Rabbi the genius) and I have been called thus because he has called me his his student. However It behooves me to tell the faithful Israel that this is a mistake for all the years that I have studied with him I have only bgun to understand the style of what learning is after much diligence”

 “This is my path from the time that Hashem has graced me with the understanding of my own path. And even if Will find in earlier sources that are different then my own or disagree with my approach. It is not my way to bring their opinions down and to contradict them. Rather he is seeking to find the truth will find it, as our eyes are only there to establish and find the path of truth. Blessed is the true God, whose guards His promise of Truth that the Torah of truth will never be forgotten from His true seed.”

“If a Jew doesn't make Kiddush (to sanctify himself by maintaining a distinctly Jewish lifestyle), then the non-Jew will make Havdalah for him (by making the Jew realize he is truly different)."”

HaRav Chaim Volozhin, - 14th of Sivan this Monday (1749 - 5581 / 1821)-Harav Chaim of Volozhin (Belarus) was born on 8 Sivan 5509 / 1749, to Harav Yitzchak, a wealthy and pious Jew, and Rebbetzin Miriam, the daughter of Harav Yisrael Rappaport, Rav of Peisk. The brilliance of the young Chaim was apparent from his earliest childhood. In his youth he studied under the Shaagat Aryeh, who was then Rav of Volozhin. His diligence and erudition were striking; by the age of twenty-two he had completed the study of Shas with all its commentaries. Rav Chaim was the most prominent student of the Vilna Gaon, who greatly influenced his way of thinking and approach to Torah study.
In 1790 he became Rav of Wilkomir, but refused to take a salary; instead he opened a factory that produced wool, thereby serving as Rav “shelo al menas lekabel pras.” Many merchants were displeased with the new Rav, especially those who dealt in wool, and eventually this drove him out of the city.
Once, during Shabbat davening, a vicious person inquired of him when the molad would be. The Rav replied that he did not know, adding that it could be checked in the luach. This reply “invoked” a storm, with some arrogant townspeople claiming, “What kind of Rav doesn’t know the time of the molad?” And so Rav Chaim returned to Volozhin where he served as a dayan, also without pay.
Eventually, in 1803, due to declining Torah study amongst the youth and the growing influence of the maskilim-‘enlightenment’ movement, Rav Chaim founded Yeshivat Eitz Chaim, the Volozhin yeshiva, which was Judaism's main Talmudic study center throughout the 19th century, with tens of thousands of students passing through its doors. The yeshivah became the prototype and mother of all yeshivot in Eastern Europe that were established during the 19th and 20th centuries. The Volozhin yeshiva remains the classic model of Lithuanian yeshivas today.
The day the cornerstone was laid for Yeshivat Volozhin, Rav Chaim fasted. He cried so profusely for the future of the yeshivah that, as his son Rav Yitzchak of Volozhin put it, “the hole for the foundation stone was ‘dug’ with Rav Chaim’s tears.”
Indeed, the yeshivah suffered much persecution due to its refusal to offer secular studies. The yeshivah was eventually closed down by the Russian authorities in 1892, but by then dozens of yeshivot that followed Volozhin’s derech had sprouted. Reb Chaim set high standards for admission to his yeshivah, insisting on extreme diligence. His students numbered in the hundreds.
The yeshivah’s ultimate accomplishment was the defiance of the various enlightenment movements that were threatening the sanctity of Klal Yisrael. With Reb Chaim at the helm, Yeshivat Volozhin restored a measure of pure, Torah-minded guidance and leadership to Klal Yisrael.
Rav Chaim's most famous work was Nefesh HaChaim, a kabbalistic work which emphasizes the importance of Torah study and mitzvah observance for coming close to Hashem. He also authored Ruach Chaim on Pirkei Avot and Nishmat Chaim, a collection of responsa. His most important responsa are found in Chut Hameshulash and in Kedushat Yom Tov.
He was niftar on 14 Sivan 5581 / 1821 at the age of 72. His son Reb “Itzele” Volozhiner, replaced him as head of the yeshivah in Volozhin. Succeeding Reb Itzele, after his petirah, were his two sons-in-law, Harav Eliezer Isaac Fried and Harav Naftali Tzvi Yehuda Berlin, the Netziv.

answer below at end of Email
Q. The first Jewish neighborhood outside Jaffa was:
A.    Ahuzat Bayit
  1. Neve Shalom
  2. Neve Tzedek
  3. Kerem haTeimanim
We know that each word in the Torah is written with precision. There ae no extra letters and certainly not words. The Torah is meant to be a concise document that was accompanied by an oral tradition that would extrapolate from it the details and nuances of the law, the lessons and the stories. So when we arrive at a verse that seems to repeat a phrase seemingly for no reason, our first question should be why. And the first place to look to explain that Pshat is of course Rashi.
In this week’s Torah protion Bamidbar 8:19 the verse is as follows-let’s see if you can pick up on the extra words.
“And I shall give the Levis to be given to Aharon and his children from amongst the Bnai Yisrael, to serve the service of the Bnai Yisrael in the Ohel Moed, and to atone for the Bnai Yisrael, and there shall not be a plague amongst the Bnai Yisrael when the Bnai Yisrael comes close to the holy.”
Got it? Bnai Yisrael, Bnai Yisrael, Bnai Yisrael..five times in one verse. Rashi notes this and explains and explains that this is in order to show the love of Hashem that their name is mentioned five times corresponding to the the five books of the Torah. Beautiful.
The Chidushei Ha’Rim notes that this does not answer neccesarily why this is mentioned over here at this particular juncture or verse though. He explains that the Torah here is describing how the Levis will be replacing the First-borns in the service of the Temple. Meaninf that until now each family had ‘their guy’ in the Temple working on their behalf. Now there will be different classes. There are Kohens, Levis and Yisrael. One might therefore think that some Jews are better then others, are greater then others. The Levis themselves might be at risk for the power going to their head. Thsu the Torah here tells us precisely here that the Jewish people are like the five books of the Torah. Just as each word, each letter, each book although is different and yet each is essential and each is beloved so too are the Jewish people. Although there are different roles we each play, each of us are no more or less beloved before Hashem.

First Lebanon War “Shalom HaGalil-Peace of the Galile”- 15 Sivan 5742 - June 6, 1982:  – The 1982 First Lebanon War, began on 6 June 1982, when the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) invaded southern Lebanon, after repeated attacks and counter-attacks between the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) operating in southern Lebanon and the IDF that had caused civilian casualties on both sides of the border. The military operation was launched after gunmen from Abu Nidal's organization-a break-off organization from the PLO- attempted to assassinate Shlomo Argov, Israel's ambassador to the United Kingdom. Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin blamed the PLO, for the incident, and treated the incident as a casus belli for the invasion.
After attacking the PLO – as well as Syrian, leftist, and Muslim Lebanese forces – the Israeli military, in cooperation with the Maronite allies and the self-proclaimed Free Lebanon State, occupied southern Lebanon, eventually surrounding the PLO and elements of the Syrian Army. Surrounded in West Beirut and subjected to heavy bombardment, the PLO forces and their allies negotiated passage from Lebanon with the aid of United States Special Envoy Philip Habib and the protection of international peacekeepers. The PLO, under the chairmanship of Yasser Arafat, had relocated its headquarters to Tripoli in June 1982. By expelling the PLO, removing Syrian influence over Lebanon, and installing a pro-Israeli Christian government led by President Bachir Gemayel, Israel hoped to sign a treaty which Menachem Begin promised would give Israel "forty years of peace".
Following the assassination of Gemayel in September 1982, Israel's position in Beirut became untenable and the signing of a peace treaty became increasingly unlikely. Outrage following Israel's role in the Phalangist-perpetrated Sabra and Shatila massacre, of mostly Palestinians and Lebanese Shiites, and Israeli popular disillusionment with the war would lead to a gradual withdrawal from Beirut to the areas claimed by the self-proclaimed Free Lebanon State in southern Lebanon. After Israeli forces withdrew from most of Lebanon, the War of the Camps broke out between Lebanese factions, the remains of the PLO and Syria, in which Syria fought its former Palestinian allies. At the same time, Shi'a militant groups began consolidating and waging a low-intensity guerrilla war over the Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon, leading to 15 years of low-scale armed conflict. The Lebanese Civil War would continue until 1990, at which point Syria had established complete dominance over Lebanon.
The war which caused the evacuation of Israel’s northern cities led to the death of over 1200 Israeli soldiers as well as civilians that died in attacks and close to 4000 wounded. The war was roundly condemned in the UN as could be expected and to a large degree was the end of Begin’s right wing rule over Israel, with the left coming back to power. That’s generally what will happen if you leave a job undone. Too bad we fail to learn the lessons of the past.

What do you call a Torah with a seat belt? A Safer Torah!
Two five year-olds are playing in a sandbox. One is Jewish, the other is Catholic. The Catholic boy says to the Jewish boy, "Our priest knows more than your rabbi!" To which the Jewish boy replies, "Of course he does, you tell him everything."

Four friends are sitting in a restaurant in Israel. For a long time, nobody says anything. Then, one man groans, "Oy." "Oy vey," says a second man. "Nu," says the third. At this, the fourth man gets up from his chair and says, "If you guys don't stop talking politics, I'm leaving!"

Sam and Joe are taking a walk, when they come upon a church. A sign says "CONVERT AND RECEIVE A THOUSAND DOLLARS". Sam says "You stay here. I'm going in to convert. "Some time later, he comes back out. Joe says, "Well, did you get the thousand dollars? "Sam says, "What's the matter? It that all you people think about?"


Answer is C – Tel Aviv- Yaffo as it is called was founded on the fifth of chol hamoed Pesach 1909 as the first official Jewish city built with the return of Jews to Israel. Unlike the other settled cities that were built on ancient cities Tel Aviv was built fresh and new on the sand dunes of the coast. It’s roots as well though is an outgrowth of the city of Yaffo. Neve Tzedek-which was originally incidentally meant to be called Neve Shalom although that name was not used ultimately, was the first neighborhood that was built 1887. It was named after the verse in Yirmiyahu “Once again they will speak this word in the land of Judah and in its cities when I restore their fortunes, 'May Hashem bless you, -Neve Tzedek -abode of righteousness, O holy hill!'. It was built after the success of the settlements in Yerushalayim that opened outside of the walls. The idea of the new neighborhood was that there would be more room nd cleaner air then the overstuffed Yaffo and it would be more affordable. The Teimanim came later as did Achuzat Bayit.

No comments:

Post a Comment