27 March 2017

Nisan: The Month That Is Redemption

1 Nisan 5777
Rosh Chodesh

From The Book of Our Heritage by Eliyahu Kitov...

The Month of Nisan: The Month that is Redemption

One who experiences redemption has emerged from darkness into light. One who has never suffered the oppression of bondage will not appreciate redemption. The very essence of redemption is the freedom which has its source in the bondage itself. Had Israel not been enslaved, they would never have experienced true freedom. Once they were enslaved, that very enslavement gave rise to their redemption. From the midst of that darkness -and from nowhere else - light burst forth. Our Sages taught: Israel said to God, "Master of the Universe, when will You redeem us?" God answered: "When you descend to the lowest level - at that moment I shall redeem you" (Yalkut Shimoni 190).


22 March 2017

Protect Your Children

24 Adar 5777
Exposé: NIF Funded School Trip Where Jewish Children Bowed in Mosque Prayer
The trip last week where Israeli Jewish children from Caesarea were made to bow in prayer during a school trip to a mosque in an Arab town just north of their city was arranged by an organization that receives its funding from the New Israel Fund, Channel 20 TV revealed on Tuesday.
Channel 20 also revealed that four Orthodox Jewish children who participated in the school trip went hungry the entire day because the only food available had been prepared by local Muslim parents and no kosher food was available.
...A member of the Caesarea parents’ steering committee told Channel 20 that no one had told them, that no one had coordinated the mosque visit with the parents.
In addition to this, there is a story out of Ma'ale Adumim about an incident in an "Orthodox" kindergarten where a Xian child is telling classmates about J----. Only one mother had the courage to complain publicly. Reportedly, other parents were concerned, but were afraid to complain openly.

What is more important than the safety of a child's neshamah? A parent must do everything in their power to protect their children from evil influences, propaganda and brainwashing.

The ideal, of course, is that they not be in an environment which challenges the truth. Even yery great people in their adult years have become confused and been mislead, but the world we live in today makes it nearly impossible to completely insulate our children. Therefore, parents must take charge of their children's education at home and not depend on the educational system to do the job.

Take time each week to sit and talk to your children about what they are doing, seeing and hearing at school. Do it in a way that's not like an interrogation, but encourages them to share what is happening in their lives. The same goes for getting them talking about what they discuss with their friends at play. Their playmates/classmates likely hear and see things in their own homes that you would not allow into yours and then they "share" this with your children without your knowledge.

By being tuned in to what your children are being exposed to, you have created an opportunity to counter the negative effects they could have on your children.

Talk to your children about your values and beliefs and explain to them, in terms that they can understand, why you reject others. Don't let them hear first from their classmates or even teachers on certain subjects. Be there first with the truth so that when the subject arises, they won't be caught off-guard, not knowing what to think about what they've heard.

Try to anticipate what hazards your child may face in his daily life outside your home and prepare him in advance with information and knowledge. Had these Jewish children from Caesaria been properly prepared by their parents at home, they might have been capable of showing the wisdom and courage of Azriel Hirsch in his boyhood. 

And never underestimate the power and protection of daily prayer on behalf of our children!

21 March 2017

Replacing Torah with The State

23 Adar 5777

Very often in Jewish writings one can read these three together "the people, land and Torah of Israel". God gave a unique book of instruction to a unique people to be expressed in a unique land. On this the world stands. When any one of the three is replaced, the world becomes destabilized. I noticed this when reading 'A THIRD OF SECULAR ISRAELI JEWS WANT TO MOVE ABROAD' this morning. 

This sentence caught my attention...
"Masa Israeli is a nonprofit organization invested in reinforcing individual, Jewish and Zionist identities while strengthening the connection and sense of belonging to the people, land and State of Israel, as well as to the communities from which they come."
I also noticed something else very interesting...
...Another finding of the poll concerns the sense of identity of Israeli Jews. Respondents were asked whether they categorize themselves as Jewish or Israeli. One hundred percent of haredim, 90.3% of religious and 82.9% of traditional respondents overwhelmingly saw themselves as Jewish first. The secular camp was divided, with 53% selecting Jewish and 43.6% Israeli (3% said they did not know ,and 4% chose neither).
One might be able to make a case for the following idea...

Hareidim - more representative of the Torah of Israel
Religious (Dati) - more representative of the Land of Israel
Traditional - more representative of the People of Israel
Secular - more representative of the State of Israel

The first three are connected to each other and see themselves as parts of the whole. But the secular are disconnected and see themselves as apart from the others, generally speaking. So, we see who it is who has the most difficulty with identity as a result and it ends with a willingness to abandon all.

20 March 2017

Strategic "Friendship"

22 Adar 5777

"Beware of Greeks bearing gifts.
Do not trust enemies who bring you presents — they could very well be playing a trick. The saying is adapted from the words of Laocoon in the story of the Trojan horse."

Beware of Eisav declaiming friendship and brotherhood.
The Pope is a genuine friend of the Jewish people
...He referred to his Jewish friendships from the time of his schooldays and said that since Christianity had grown from Judaism it was impossible to be antisemitic and remain a member of the church as the two were mutually exclusive and inconsistent.
Catholic and Papal Anti-Judaism. Rabbi Laras Sounds the Alarm
...authoritative representatives of Italian Judaism - like the chief rabbi of Rome, Riccardo Di Segni - have criticized Francis for the distorted use of the term “pharisee” or of the comparison with Moses to cast discredit on his adversaries. ...an undercurrent - with the text a bit more manifest now - of resentment, intolerance, and annoyance on the Christian side toward Judaism;....
Putin to Netanyahu: Israel, Russia 'Unconditional Allies In War Against Terror
Hizballah’s trust in Russia – strategic dilemma for Israel
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and IDF Intelligence Director Maj. Gen. Hertzl Halevi showed President Vladimir Putin in the Kremlin maps depicting the various military movements ongoing in Syria, with the accent on an armored convoy of several hundred Hizballah troops driving out of their Syrian stronghold of Zabadani towards Mt. Hermon. The convoy was clearing a path by overrunning some 30 Syrian rebel villages on the Hermon slopes, which command the Syrian Golan town of Quneitra and the Israeli border. 
This evidence demonstrated that Hizballah had developed a single military stratagem for threatening Israel-held Hermon, ruling central Golan and gearing up for battle to restore the entire Golan area to Syrian sovereignty under Hizballah control.
Netanyahu had hoped that Putin would agree to stop the Hizballah convoy and keep his promise not to let Iran and Hizballah deploy on the Israeli border. However, the Russian leader was unresponsive. Not only were Russian commanders in Syria not instructed to restrain Hizballah, they acted to persuade Syrian rebels on the Hermon and the Golan to surrender to he Lebanese Shiite invaders.
Eisav cannot be trusted. He comes either with a sword or with a kiss and even the kiss turns into a bite on the neck. Eisav feigns friendship from an ulterior motive. Anyone who trusts or depends on him is doomed for hurt.
"Now, behold you have depended upon the support of this splintered reed, upon Egypt, upon whom a man will lean and it will go into his palm and puncture it; so is Pharaoh the king of Egypt to all those who trust in him." (Melachim II 18.21, Yeshayahu 36.6)
And so it will be for all "Pharaoh's" for all times. To paraphrase Tehillim 20.8 - These trust in popes and these in presidents, but we - we mention the name of the Lord our God. 

19 March 2017

Winds of War at Gale Force

21 Adar 5777

I can't imagine that any of my regular readers are not already aware, but for those who may have been too busy to keep up, here is a rundown of what has been transpiring over Purim Week as nations position themselves for whatever they are planning for the immediate future. 

There was a lot of shuttling go on...
Reuters  March 16, 2017 - President Donald Trump's Middle East envoy [Jason Greenblatt] has spent the week shuttling between Jerusalem, Ramallah and the Jordanian capital Amman on his first official visit to the region,....
ABC  March 15, 2017 - US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will arrive in Japan today... [His] three-country tour will also take in South Korea and China,....
While in South Korea [Mar 17], SoS Tillerson (now) famously said "All options are on the table" with regard to North Korea's aggressive moves and posturing.

After just returning from a trip to Russia, Prime Minister Netanyahu is off to China today.

Other ominous movements...

Exclusive: Russia appears to deploy forces in Egypt, eyes on Libya role - sources  Reuters  March 14, 2017
Russia appears to have deployed special forces to an airbase in western Egypt near the border with Libya in recent days, U.S., Egyptian and diplomatic sources say, a move that would add to U.S. concerns about Moscow's deepening role in Libya.
Pakistan in talks with Saudi Arabia to send combat troops to protect the kingdom  The National  March 13, 2017
Plans are under way to dispatch a brigade-sized deployment following a request from Riyadh, which wants the troops as an emergency response force. A brigade is usually made up of between 1,500 and 3,500 troops.
Islamabad and Saudi Arabia have long had a close military and security relationship, with troops from Pakistan's large and combat-hardened army regularly deployed for training Saudi soldiers. Although the kingdom, like other Arab Gulf countries, does not make the numbers public, experts say there are as many as 70,000 Pakistanis serving across the Saudi military services at any one time.
But requests for Pakistani combat brigades have usually only been made during times of heightened tensions in the kingdom.
Israel launches large-scale call-up of military resources  DEBKAfile March 19, 2017
With tension escalating in southern Israel following rocket fire from the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip, the IDF Sunday declared the large-scale mobilization of military reserves, along with the start of a major home front exercise in the South. The IDF spokesman said the Southern Command exercise would simulate a variety of operational scenarios in the region. 
And outright threats...
Trump’s First War? ‘All Options Are On The Table’ As The U.S. And North Korea Prepare For The Second Korean War 
North Korea "One Step Closer To ICBM Launch" After Successful Test Of "New Type" Rocket Engine  
Israel will destroy Syria's antiaircraft system if it fires on IAF again: minister
Israeli Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman said Sunday morning that if Syria's antiaircraft weapons are fired at IAF aircraft again, as they were late last week, then the system will be destroyed "without hesitating twice". For more details on the IAF strike in Syria, the interception of a Syrian missile by Israel's Arrow air defense system, and the effect of the developments on Israel-Russia relations, see DEBKAfile's May 17 special report and May 18 exclusive report.

Sinning For the Sake of Redemption

21 Adar 5777

On the face of it, it's a very shocking idea - sinning in order to bring the redemption. But, it is an idea which underlies the most destructive false messanic movements in Jewish history and which is re-emerging in our own time.

Consider this comment which I received by email...

"...a sin for the sake of heaven is greater than a mitzvah done with bad intent."

Now compare it to this principle which is at the heart of all false messianic movements:

Antinomianism - 1) In Christianity it is the doctrine or belief that the Gospel frees Christians from required obedience to any law...and that salvation is attained solely through faith and the gift of divine grace. 2) The belief that moral laws are relative in meaning and application as opposed to fixed or universal.

With regard to Sabbateanism and Frankism, too...
...Unlike traditional Judaism, which provides a set of detailed guidelines called halakha that are scrupulously followed by observant Jews and regulate many aspects of life, Frank claimed that "all laws and teachings will fall" and following antinomianism asserted that one's most important personal obligation of every person was the transgression of every boundary.
Frankism is commonly associated with Sabbateanism, a religious movement that formed around the identification of the 17th-century Jewish rabbi Sabbatai Zevi as the Jewish messiah. Like Frankism, the earlier forms of Sabbateanism believed that at least in some circumstances, antinomianism was the correct path. Zevi himself would perform actions that violated traditional Jewish taboos, such as eating fats that were forbidden by Jewish dietary laws and celebrating former fast days as feast days.

...Frank claimed that the mixing between holy and unholy was virtuous.
It sounds just like those among us today who have gone way beyond simply accepting donations from idolaters which itself was wrong, because it was the first misstep which lead to all the rest. It has lead to providing idolaters access to Jewish children, to lone soldiers, to Holocaust survivors and other vulnerable populations in the Land of Israel. It has lead to moving Jews out in order to give the idolaters a permanent home inside the yishuv where they worship their false god in our holy land. It has lead to bringing them into Jewish homes and hosting them at meals and attending their weddings. It has even lead to "partnering" with them in spreading a distorted Torah to the world - a universalist  "Torah". And all this sin has been committed in the name of "bringing the redemption".

This idolatrous Xian woman is "partnered" with a Jew in three projects which appear to make mixing the holy and the unholy into a virtue. In fact, it was one of their associates who wrote that bolded comment you see above.

They want you to believe that these are some kind of "new" Xians - not like the ones of the past who openly persecuted Jews. These are tolerant Xians who simply want us to be the best Jews we can be. They have no designs on our souls any longer. 

Well, Ms. Jollay's email presents a different story. It would seem from her presentation of a recent Xian "prophecy" that she still harbors the 2,000-year-old Xian dream of seeing all the Jews come to faith in JC...

..I could see Jesus, with just a glance, open the eyes of their [Jews'] heart, and they could literally SEE Him as Jesus, the Messiah. I could see on the inside of them, as we walked down this path in Jerusalem, that all of a sudden the eyes of their heart were opened, and a small flame started to burn on the inside of them.
Some of the people He tipped his head to I knew had great authority, heads in the Jewish community--rabbis. I could literally see in a glance the Lord opening up their eyes; I could see the Lord appearing. He was appearing to some of the top rabbis in the land, and just with a glance and a nod, a flame of revelation started to burn on the depths of the inside, in a second the eyes of their hearts were opened.
...We followed these Rabbis up to their rooms, as they went up into the upper rooms of their houses. I watched these Rabbis fall on their knees and cry out, "This Changes EVERYTHING. This changes EVERYTHING!" I saw the Lord go over and blow on that tiny ember of revelation on the inside, and little by little, it started to burn like an unquenchable fire.
... I saw that this fire would continue to burn until the appointed day would come when these Rabbi's could hold it in no longer and they would shout it from the top of the mountains, "Yeshua is Messiah...YESHUA IS MESSIAH!" I thought about how we pray for this....
And she closes her email with this...
Jesus, Yeshua, I thank YOU that YOUR Blood has Covered and Redeemed my own sin and I plead your blood for the sins of my family, my nation, the world and as an Israel Commissioned Watchman on the Wall of Jerusalem for Jerusalem and Israel of abortion – and thank YOU Yeshua for Laying Down Your Life to Save and Redeem us all– HALLELU YAH!!!" The Bride and The Spirit cry “COME LORD JESUS, YESHUA!!! and for our Hebrew Brothers we agree “HOSANNA!!!” Baruch HaBa B'Shem Adonai - Blessed IS HE that Comes in the Name of YHWH!!!
God’s ABUNDANT Blessings and FAVOR in JESUS, YHWH Yeshua HaMashiach (LORD Jesus the Messiah in Hebrew) upon you and yours!!!
The French have a saying: plus ca change plus ca meme chose - the more things change, the more they remain the same. King Solomon said it more succinctly: Ayn chadash tachat hashemesh - there's nothing new under the sun.

Don't be fooled. Don't be mislead. If you've already fallen for this error, repent now, before it is too late.

16 March 2017

"The Revelation of the Alefs"

19 Adar 5777
Erev Shabbat Kodesh
Parashat Ki Tisa - Parah

Rabbi Mordechai Sitorsky

Parashat Ki Tisa: The Revelation of the Alefs

~ Shabbat shalom ~