Site Meter Yehudi Yerushalmi: November 2005

Monday, November 28, 2005

The timing of the Geulah according to Rav Batzri and others

Here is my translation of a very interesting post today on

The timing of the Geulah according to Rav Batzri and others

We are not speaking about new statements, actually old statements, from several years ago when he spoke about the timing of the Geulah. The Mekubal Rav David Batzri Shlita, Rosh Yeshivat HaMekubalim "HaShalom" in Yerushalayim known by his title as "The greatest (deep study/theoretical) Mekubal in our generation". Not long ago he was quoted in the general media with a number of predictions for the year 5766, following an earthquake and a solar eclipse on Erev Rosh HaShanah.

This prediction comes from a person as close to him as possible, Rav Batzri's daughter, who said in one of the shiurim for women that she was giving in one of the shulls, how her father answered the question of when the real Geulah will start.

Her father, the honorable Mekubal HaRav David Batzri Shlita, did not evade the question, but also did not give an exact answer. Rather he simply specified a time that repeats itself every year. His answer to the question was that the real Geulah would start on Parshat Mikeitz.

As is known, Parshat Mikeitz is usually (always, it seems to me) read in the week that Chanukah occurs. (According to the secular date, this year it is the last week in December.)

In a conversation I had with Rav Yaakov Nathan from America, he told me that in Chabad they call the month of Kislev "The Month of Geulah" also (but not only) because of the "Chag HaGeulah" of Chabad, which falls on the 19th of Kislev.

But the special meaning of the month of Kislev is not only by Chabad. It is brought in many Chassidic books in the name of the Holy Baal Shem Tov, that the Chag of Chanukah is the end of the period of doing Tshuvah, before Hashem's decrees are carried out. (This was also mentioned yesterday over
satellite by Rosh Yeshivat HaMekubalim "Nahar Shalom" HaRav Benayahu Shmueli Shlita.) That is, in spite of the fact that the decrees were - as it were - signed and sealed on Yom Kippur and Hoshana Rabbah, it is still possible to correct oneself and do Tshuvah until Kislev and Chanukah.

The meaning is that the full decrees, especially if they are negative (for Israel's enemies) can be carried out in their full strength only from Kislev and from Chanukah.

Not only this, but also the prophet Chaggai, one of the last prophets of Israel, prophesized in the name of Hashem about this date and tells about great and tremendous things that will happen on it. And this is written at the end of the book of Chaggai.

10 In the four and twentieth day of the ninth month (24th of Kislev), in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying: 11 'Thus saith the LORD of hosts: Ask now the priests for instruction, saying: . . . 18 consider, I pray you, from this day and forward, from the four and twentieth day of the ninth month (24th of Kislev), even from the day that the foundation of the LORD'S temple was laid, consider it; 19 is the seed yet in the barn? yea, the vine, and the fig-tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive-tree hath not brought forth--from this day will I bless you.' {S} 20 And the word of the LORD came the second time unto Haggai in the four and twentieth day of the month, saying: 21 'Speak to Zerubbabel, governor of Judah, saying: I will shake the heavens and the earth; 22 and I will overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and I will destroy the strength of the kingdoms of the nations; and I will overthrow the chariots, and those that ride in them; and the horses and their riders shall come down, every one by the sword of his brother. 23 In that day, saith the LORD of hosts, will I take thee, O Zerubbabel, My servant, the son of Shealtiel, saith the LORD, and will make thee as a signet; for I have chosen thee, saith the LORD of hosts.' {P}

Another thing that is very easy to discern this year, and Rav Yaakov Nathan wrote this already a year ago, that Chanukah occurs around the same time as the Xtian festival at the end of December. If indeed great things do happen, like things with stars in the sky (like what Eli expects will happen) then these things will cause a great noise in the whole world and it has already been written "He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them".

But there is another thing that causes a lot of people, even non-religious, to think that something of tremendous proportions will happen in Kislev this year, and on Chanukah specifically. This is the date of the 26th of December. This date has become in recent years a supernatural date, on which terrible natural tragedies have occurred, the one worse than the previous. In 2003 a strong earthquake (6.6) occurred in Iran in the city of Bam that killed tens of thousands of people and injured tens of thousands more. A year later, exactly on the 26th of December another earthquake occurred much stronger and well known, with a strength of 9 on the Richter scale, the earthquake that caused the Tsunami in East Asia in which some 300 thousand people were killed.

Therefore, when the 26th of December falls this year on the first night of Chanukah, the 25th of Kislev, the date that is immediately after the 24th of Kislev that the prophet spoke of with concepts of "I will shake the heavens and the earth" (shake/noise in Biblical terms are earthquakes.) it gives additional importance to this date.

There are many other things that connect Chanukah and Kislev to the Geulah and the end of days, but they are generally known and I am a bit busy lately.

More of the same from the Eirev-Rav Injustice system

Girls Still in Prison, Despite Supreme Court Order
11:38 Nov 28, '05 / 26 Cheshvan 5766
By Hillel Fendel
Israel National News

Contrary to the best efforts - and orders - of Supreme Court Justice E. Rubenstein to free six girls from prison after two weeks, they have not yet been released.

The girls, aged 14-16, are accused of ripping open bags of olives harvested by Arabs from Sinjil, near Shilo, and with fighting with policemen who came to arrest them. Officials of the Honenu legal rights organization, which is representing them, say the evidence against them is flimsy at best - but that in any event, their place is not in prison.

Honenu founder and chairman Shmuel Medad told Arutz-7, "No one saw these girls during the incident, and everything is based on the testimony of one or two Arabs... In addition, the court already ordered them released, and even then, they were re-arrested a day later once again."

After they were first arrested on Nov. 13, at least two judges ordered them released, but the police and State Prosecution, using various legal devices, continued to keep them in prison until Nov. 17. The next day, they were brought once again to court, where the judge acceded to a police request to keep them in prison until the end of the proceedings.

Despite the above, an earlier ruling by Jerusalem District Court Judge Yosef Shapira ordered the consideration of a form of house arrest for the six - but he set the date for the hearing only for Dec. 5. The girls therefore remained in prison.

At this point, Supreme Court Elyakim Justice Rubenstein [pictured] came to the rescue - or tried to. Atty. Naftali Wurtzberger of Honenu said that Rubenstein, in yesterday's hearing, decided to put aside the legal argumentation and concentrate on the "human problem" of the girls who "are sitting in jail while waiting for a report of alternatives."

Rubenstein set facts on the ground by ordering the girls freed to their home communities - though not their own homes. He said that they should be released that very evening, even before all the paperwork, including payment of guarantees and the like, was completed. He also asked the relevant authorities to "hurry" their report on an alternative form of restriction of the girls' movement, such as house arrest.

In the event, however, once again the legal system got the better of the judges, and the girls had still not been released as of this morning (Monday). The mother of one of the girls said, "I called the prison, and they said that they knew nothing of a release, and had heard nothing from any court. I feel that they are simply toying with me."

The 16-year-old sister of one of the six is also in prison. She has been incarcerated for two months, charged with offenses related to protesting withdrawals from the Land of Israel. She refuses to agree to restrictions placed on her by a court that does not employ Jewish Law. Another of her sisters is to be married tomorrow night, and it is not clear whether she will be allowed to go to the wedding.

Another immediate problem she faces is that as of Saturday night, she has been in isolation - without even a mattress to sleep on. Her mother said, "Some girls stood outside the prison on Saturday night and called out to her and tried to encourage her, as they have been doing for several weeks. My daughter apparently called out her thanks and said she heard them - and then the jailers put her in isolation. From what the other girls report, it means that she doesn't even get a mattress. In addition, she hasn't called me, which to me is the clearest sign that she's in isolation."

Knesset Member Gila Finkelstein, who has helped out in similar situations before, has been approached regarding this problem.

Tree-Cutting "Libel" - Once Again, Jews Stand Accused

Tree-Cutting "Libel" - Once Again, Jews Stand Accused
12:49 Nov 28, '05 / 26 Cheshvan 5766
By Hillel Fendel

Once again, reports that Jewish settlers cut down Arab-owned olive trees are suspected to be a "left-wing provocation" against the Jews of Judea and Samaria.

It was widely reported Sunday, in the name of Arab sources in the Palestinian Authority-controlled areas, that Jewish settlers from the Shomron had chopped down 200 olive trees owned by Arabs. The Ynet site, for instance, wrote, "Palestinian sources reported that settlers from an outpost near Elon Moreh had cut down" the trees.

The reports were immediately followed by condemnations of the Jewish population in the Shomron and Israel's rule there. The extremist left-wing organization "Peace Now" released a statement saying that the incident was a direct result of the lack of law enforcement in the areas and the continuing "problem of the [Jewish] outposts."

However, the Yesha Council looked into the matter and said that though "we condemn all violence, including harming Palestinian property," it had found that the incident was apparently a provocation staged by extreme left-wing activists who "wish to sully their Jewish brothers, while at the same time extending their hand to terrorists."

The residents of Elon Moreh, in a statement, "wish to emphasize that we have no connection with this incident, which is based on the testimony of a single Arab."

An AFP photo of an Arab woman weeping and embracing an allegedly chopped-down tree shows that the trunk is intact, and that only the top branches are cut off - as if it had been purposely pruned. In fact, the Land of Israel Task Force says that this is exactly what happened.

"The left-wingers and Arabs pulled the same trick last year," Task Force head Aviad Visuly said, "and using the same method." Photos of the trees show that the branches were sawed in a manner that is beneficial to the trees. "Why would Jews bother sawing off each individual branch? Wouldn't they just cut down the trunk?"

The branches begin growing back 2-3 months after they are cut, and grow to full size within two years. "In the meanwhile," Visuly said, "the orchard owners receive stipends from the Saudis, via the PA."

Visuly said that left-wing activists look for trees that have been pruned, and then blame the Jews for cutting them. "They have even admitted to the police that they do this," he said, "such as in the case of Ein Avus near Hawara [south of Shechem]. In that incident, they blamed the people of [nearby] Yitzhar, because Yitzhar was a convenient media target. Two Jews were arrested for five days and were then released totally clean. Today, it's convenient for them to accuse the people of Elon Moreh. If the police had an investigator who was half-fair, he would throw the case out."

Two years ago, a similar story on Arutz-7 began as follows: "It led to anti-settler headlines, international embarrassment for the State of Israel, condemnations, and apologetics - and yet it all may have been one big bluff, or worse." At the time, international media reported as fact that Jews had destroyed the Arab trees, and President Katzav and Prime Minister Sharon issued statements implying that the Jews were responsible. Even the Yesha Council said that the tree-cutting had "defamed the entire sector of Jews living in Judea, Samaria and Gaza."

What went under-reported was that the police began to suspect that left-wing Israelis and Arabs were behind the incident. The police even asked Rabbi Arik Asherman of the Reform Movement and an Arab who filed charges against Jewish Yesha residents to submit to lie-detector tests - but it was reported at the time that the two had refused.

A Jewish National Fund expert brought in by the police concluded that no lasting damage was done to the trees, and that the tree-cutters did not "cut down" the trees, but rather "pruned" them.

Monday, November 21, 2005

An easy and powerful Mitzvah

Davening for someone is a very powerful and easy Mitzvah. It takes almost no effort and consumes only an extra 5 minutes of your time.

How simple is it to add a יהי רצון into your שמע קולנו for a sick relative or friend, an unmarried friend or childless couple? A special תפילה for Jonathan Pollard (יהונתן בן מלכה)?

No תפילה ever goes unanswered, it helps both the person you are davening for, and is extremely powerful for yourself.

Say an extra יהי רצון today in your שמע קולנו !

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Storm clouds ahead by Isi Leibler

Storm clouds ahead
Nov. 7, 2005

On the surface, the relationship between the United States and Israel has never been better.

The Bush Administration is today more understanding of Israel's position than any of its predecessors; the extent of evangelical Christian is unprecedented; and backing for Israel in opinion polls remains solid. Yet having met with a cross section of American Jewish leaders during a recent visit to New York, I fear that there are grounds for serious concern.

The deterioration on the campus continues and the demonization of Israel, frequently accompanied by anti-Semitism, now transcends all other campus political issues. Hostile campaigns are frequently spearheaded by anti-Israeli activists of Jewish origin, and the majority of Jewish students avoid involvement either because they are indifferent, or in many cases simply because they are frightened. Moreover, when these youngsters become older, a substantial proportion of them are unlikely to maintain the same level of support for Israel as their parents.

It should also be noted that anti-Jewish rhetoric is now rapidly penetrating the political mainstream. The recurring tirades against "Jewish neoconservatives" allegedly controlling the White House; Lewis Libby is already being portrayed in anti-Semitic web sites as "one more Jewish Neocon Traitor"; the outrageous behavior of the liberal Protestant denominations engaging in anti-Israel boycotts via divestment; the growing hostility against Israel being displayed in many of the antiwar demonstrations; and the increasing number of liberals, formerly our best friends, who now distance themselves from Israel - all represent grounds for serious concern.

The unprecedented indictments against senior professional AIPAC leaders, Steve Rosen and Keith Weissman, must be viewed as manifestations of ominous winds of change. It is highly disconcerting when leaders of the most powerful Jewish lobbying organization are publicly accused of having "conspired" to obtain improper access to classified information with the obvious intention of exploiting Jewish concerns about association with espionage. This is particularly bizarre in view of the fact that the indicted AIPAC officers merely did was what every journalist does every day.

And what was the nature of the "secret" information? Not classified American secrets but a sting operation based on a fabricated story about Israelis being endangered by terrorists.

Under normal circumstances, if there was a genuine concern that the lobby of an allied power was technically breaching security procedures, a firm reprimand to those involved or their superiors would have been more appropriate than an elaborately engineered trap including wiretaps. It is also disconcerting that the federal prosecutor in this case is a very senior officer and has just been nominated for the post of deputy attorney-general.

The manner in which the AIPAC Board abandoned and distanced themselves from these long standing senior employees is also problematic. Those concerns are further reinforced by the fact that at their last major AIPAC gathering even the customary singing of Hatikva at the close of proceedings was aborted.

THE OTHER burning issue is the Jonathan Pollard case which understandably remains a highly sensitive matter for most American Jews who regard the episode as a blot on their standing. They usually prefer to avoid discussing the issue despite the fact that the responsibility for the entire mess is exclusively due to Israel's bungling.

Pollard is unquestionably guilty of espionage. But even if the accusations about Pollard being his own worst enemy are valid, and even if today he still sounds shrill and hysterical - the fact remains that he has been incarcerated for 20 years for handing over secrets to an ally of the United States. It is now being bandied about that he must serve at least another 10 years before he becomes eligible for parole. Soviet spies, including traitors responsible for the death of allied agents have been treated more humanely.

There are many unanswered questions. Why is Pollard still in prison? Why has his sentence not been commuted on humanitarian grounds? Are the authorities making an example of him? If so, why? To intimidate American Jews? Because of anti-Semitism? What other explanation is there?

The ongoing confrontations with the US Defense Department over the arms deals with India and China are also problematic. While there may well have been legitimate grounds for American irritation with mistakes or heavy handed Israeli practices in the sale of sensitive defense equipment, the needlessly public stance adopted by the Defense Department in this matter was offensive and not what one would expect from an ally.

In conjunction with these negative vibes, there has of late also been a marked erosion in the relationship between Israel and the current administration. Yasser Arafat's successor Mahmoud Abbas is being portrayed by President George W. Bush as a noble partner for peace, despite the fact that to date everything he has said and done points to the contrary.

In fact, President Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have even begun employing Clintonian language of moral equivalency which fails to distinguish between killers and victims. There is renewed talk of "cycles of violence," of the "need for restraint," and continuous references to the road map without emphasis on the fact that it obligates the Palestinians to first dismantle the terrorist infrastructure.

More importantly, Israel is being urged to make further unilateral concessions including the release of more prisoners and providing greater freedom of movement to Palestinians all of which only seem to contribute toward more funerals for Israeli civilians.

Sharon's desire to satisfy Bush is understandable. But even under Labor governments, Israel did find it occasionally necessary to adopt independent positions which displeased the US administration. Today, we appear to be in the process of becoming transformed into a US satellite. That was exemplified with Ma'aleh Adumim. Prime Minister Sharon had originally promoted disengagement to Israelis largely on the basis that as a quid pro quo Bush would support Israel's retention of the major settlement blocs.

But now he has apparently capitulated to all American demands and aborted all building activity, including the construction of the road link from Ma'aleh Adumim to the capital. This suggests that Sharon is becoming totally subservient to the administration. . . .

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Important Post from Chardal

Chardal posts a very important quote for these days of inverted "morals" by the "enlightened guardians" of Israeli society. Recall the antics of Yesh Gvul!

Casualties of legitimate war

Rabbi J. David Bleich writes (Contemporary Halakhic Problems, Volume 3, Preemptive War in Jewish Law, p. 277):

"Not only does one search in vain for a ruling prohibiting military activity likely to result in the death of civilians, but, to this writer's knowledge, there exists no discussion in classical rabbinic sources that takes cognizance of the likelihood of causing civilian casualties in the course of hostilities legitimately undertaken as posing a halakhic or moral problem."

Friday, November 18, 2005

Aryeh Deri Returning to politics?

I have just heard on Radio Kol Chai that HaRav Ovadia Yosef is trying to persuade Aryeh Deri to return to politics.

Wouldn't it be interesting if he announces his return around Chanukah time.


Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Quiz Answer

The answer to the quiz bellow:

1. The expression means to make do with little and be satisfied. (giving into your yeitzer will always make you hunger for more)

2. It comes from Masechet Pesachim 114A

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Ohr Somoyach: The Human Side of the Story - Kindness Unlimited

- For the week ending 12 November 2005 / 10 Heshvan 5766
- from Ohr Somayach

Kindness Unlimited by Rabbi Mendel Weinbach

Gemillut Chassadim - acts of kindness to others - is a beautiful trait of the Jewish People everywhere. But it reaches its greatest heights in the Torah communities of Israel.

Open up the Orthodox Telephone Directory of Yerushalayim and you will find no less than 80 pages of different GeMaCh (acronym for Gemillat Chassadim) listings.

Six of these pages deal with equipment needed for brit mila (circumcision) and pidyon haben ceremonies. There are pages for meals for families stuck in a hospital for Shabbat and for housing them. There is even a full page for used clothing centers.

Consideration for both the physical and spiritual needs of the community finds expression in three pages of Gemachim for medical supplies and three pages of Gemachim for tefillin and people who will pray in your behalf.

Some of the more unusual Gemachim are the ones for pacifiers and baby bottles and for ladies' wigs and shtreimlech for men who left theirs at home.

There is no limit to the imagination displayed by people who want to help others.

Has the Biblical Goliath Been Found?

I personally don't need any archeological evidence to verify the truth of the Torah, but this, posted on IMRA is interesting none the less!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

CONTACT: Elana Oberlander, Office of the Spokesman, Bar-Ilan University

Has the Biblical Goliath Been Found?
Bar-Ilan University Archaeologists
Unearth Earliest Philistine Inscription
in Which Names Similar to Goliath Appear

Ramat Gan - A very small ceramic sherd unearthed by Bar-Ilan University archaeologists digging at Tell es-Safi, the biblical city "Gath of the Philistines", may hold a very large clue into the history of the well-known biblical figure Goliath. The sherd, which contains the earliest known Philistine inscription ever to be discovered, mentions two names that are remarkably similar to the name "Goliath". Tell es-Safi/Gath is located inthe southern coastal plain of Israel, approximately halfway between Ashkelon and Jerusalem.

The discovery is of particular importance since the Bible attributes Gath as the home town of Goliath. "Gath of the Philistines," was one of the major cities of the Philistines, the well-known arch-enemies of the Israelites in the biblical text. The archaeological find may also be seen as the first clear extra-biblical evidence that the well-known biblical story of the battle between David and Goliath (and, in particular, the very existence of a figure such as Goliath during the biblical period) may be more than just a legend, according to Prof. Aren Maeir, Chairman of Bar-Ilan University'sMartin (Szusz) Department of Land of Israel Studies and Archaeology, who has been directing the excavations since they began in 1996. Prof. Maeir will present his findings next week at the conference of the American Schools ofOriental Research in the U.S. city of Philadelphia.

Other recent findings uncovered at the recent excavations at Tell es-Safi include a large assortment of objects of various types which are linked to Philistine culture. Additional remains relating to the siege system constructed by Hazael, King of Aram Damascus around 800 BCE, were revealed, along with extensive evidence of the subsequent capture and destruction of the city by Hazael, as mentioned in Second Kings 12:18. Remains of the Crusader period fortress, Blanche Garde, built after the first Crusade in the mid-twelfth century CE, were also discovered.

Written in archaic "Proto-Canaanite" letters, the inscription found on the sherd, dating to the 10th or early 9th century BCE, contains two non-Semitic names: Alwt and Wlt. Most scholars believe the name Goliath, of non-Semitic origin, is etymologically related to various Indo-European names, such as the Lydian name Aylattes. Following intense examination of the inscription, Prof. Maeir (along with his colleagues Prof. Aaron Demsky, an expert in epigraphy at Bar-Ilan University, and Dr. Stefan Wimmer, of Munich University) has concluded that the two names which appear in the inscription are remarkably similar to the etymological parallels of Goliath.

"It can be suggested that in 10th-9th century Philistine Gath, names quite similar, and possibly identical, to Goliath were in use," says Prof. Maeir."This chronological context from which the inscription was found is only about 100 years after the time of David according to the standard biblical chronology. Thus, this appears to provide evidence that the biblical story of Goliath is, in fact, based on a clear cultural realia from, more or less, the time which is depicted in the biblical text, and recent attempts to claim that Goliath can only be understood in the context of later phases ofthe Iron Age are unwarranted."

While the letters are Semitic, the names appearing in the inscription are Indo-European (the linguistic family of ancient Greek and related languages). It is assumed by most scholars that the Philistines migrated to the Levant from somewhere in the Aegean region. On their arrival, they brought with them assorted Aegean cultural facets. With time, their culture became more and more effected by the local cultures, slowly incorporating local elements. This inscription, with Semitic script and Indo-European names, is among the earliest hard evidence showing this process.

The Tell es-Safi/Gath Archaeological Project is a long-term investigation aimed at studying the archaeology and history of one of the most important sites in Israel. Tell es-Safi is one of the largest tells (ancient ruin mounds) in Israel and was settled almost continuously from the 5th millennium BCE until modern times.

Continuous excavations of the site are planned for at least the next decade.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

More Moslem Destruction of Temple Mount Feared


13:09 Nov 09, '05 / 7 Cheshvan 5766
By Hillel Fendel

The Committee to Prevent Temple Mount Artifacts Desecration warns that Muslim Waqf construction works are once again underway - this time at the Temple entrance path taken by Jews 2,000 years ago.

The Committee sent a letter on the matter this week to the Prime Minister and to the Director of the Antiquities Authority. The letter states that new information has been received indicating the Waqf's intention to continue its "refurbishing" works on the Mount.

Yisrael Caspi, an active member of the Committee, told Arutz-7, "For some years now we have been standing guard to try to have the Waqf stop its destruction works. The Waqf is trying to take over the Mount and make it a totally Moslem site, with no Jewish presence."

"The problem is that the Prime Minister has neutralized all other elements - the Minister of Public Security, the Education Ministry, and the Antiquities Authority - and has taken full control of the situation. And the cycle is always the same: The government gives the Waqf a permit for refurbishing and the like, then the Waqf starts building and turning the area into a mosque, while destroying or hiding Jewish artifacts, and then we are not even allowed into the sites. This cycle has to be stopped!"

Caspi said that the latest information indicates that the Waqf plans to begin work at the site known as the Hatunya, adjacent to the Southern Wall excavations and the Dung Gate entrance to the Western Wall.

"A staircase leads from the Temple Mount plaza downward under the Al Aksa mosque [south of the Dome of the Rock]," he said, "to two tunnels built by King Herod 2,000 years ago. The tunnels served the Jews who entered the Holy Temple from the Hulda Gate on the Southern Wall of the Temple Mount. Today, we see the Hulda Gate, but just to the left is a building called the Hatunya, built several hundred years ago. The Waqf wants to excavate the tunnels and the Hatunya, and, based on past experience, turn it into yet another mosque - while hiding or destroying Jewish artifacts."

Click here for a "restoration drawing" of the Hulda Gate entrance.

"We firmly object to granting the Waqf a construction permit for its Temple Mount works," the Comittee's letter states, "and we demand that all work be carried out only under the supervision of the Antiquities Authority."

Caspi said, "Our past experience has shown that the Waqf does not exactly have an interest in preserving the archaeological findings there, and especially not the Jewish ones. On the contrary: They want to hide and even destroy all Jewish findings. This is our concern. We demand that the Antiquities Authority - which is not taking a strong enough position on this issue - be responsible once again for what goes on there."

"In the past," Caspi said, "the government of Israel gave a permit for Waqf renovations in the Solomon's Stables area of the Temple Mount and under the Al Aqsa mosque [just south of the Dome of the Rock]. The bottom line was that the works were done without supervision, archaeological findings are feared hidden and destroyed, new mosques were built on the Temple Mount, and Jews are prevented from visiting the most important Jewish sites in history."

Caspi said that while he and his colleagues try - so far with little success - to find MKs or others who can intervene with the Prime Minister on this issue, the public can do its part as well: "They should fax the Prime Minister's Office [at 02-670-5475 from within Israel; +9722-670-5475 from abroad] and protest the fact that his policies are allowing the Moslems to totally take over our holiest site and keep us, and our history, out."

For more information, send email to

Saturday, November 05, 2005

A Quiz

1. What is the meaning of this expression?
(Not its literal meaning!)

2. What is the origin of this expression?

Answer coming soon.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

More internet Torah links

AishDas Torah links

The struggle over Yerushalayim begins?

I wonder if this will soon lead to pressure from Washington like with the mormon temple in the '80s (leminyanam)?

See Rabbi Brody on the topic.

And here for regular updates.

The following article from Arutz7:

Mt. Zion Handover: President Denies, Reports Persist
16:57 Nov 03, '05 / 1 Cheshvan 5766
By Hillel Fendel

President Katzav's office categorically denies any intention to sign an agreement to give over parts of Mt. Zion to the Catholic Church.Arutz-7 has received a copy of the alleged agreement to do so.

The proposed contract reads as follows:
"The State of Israel hands over to the Holy See the use of the Cenacle [the room of the event known as the Last Supper, above King David's tomb - ed.], of the access path to it, and of the spaces adjacent to it... It is the Holy See's intention to inform the Bishops - and through them the world's Priests - that the Catholic Church has been given the use of the Cenacle, inviting them to visit the Holy Place together with their faithful... The Holy See hands over this use of the Cenacle to the Custody of the Holy Land [which acts on behalf of the Holy See]... [which] will keep the Cenacle open from 6 AM to 8 AM for the celebration of the Holy Mass... Official liturgical celebrations of non-Catholic Churches can take place only upon prior written permission by the Custody of the Holy Land."

The proposed agreement stipulates that the Holy See will preserve the historic character of the site and keep it open to pilgrims and tourists, and that Israel will provide for the safety of the site.

A Foreign Ministry official said, “Israel is not prepared to relinquish its jurisdiction over this area” - but he admitted that a blueprint of a possible agreement with the Vatican has been received.

At present, since shortly after the Six-Day War in 1967, the Diaspora Yeshiva is located on Mt. Zion, and warns of the catastrophic implications for Israel if the deal goes through. "This is an enormous issue that is being pushed through without any public debate whatsoever," Yeshiva Director Rabbi Shabtai Herman told
Tovia Singer on IsraelNationalRadio. He also spoke on INR's Stutz and Fleisher show.

He explained that if the Catholic Church receives control of the area, just a few hundred yards from the Temple Mount and adjacent to the Old City walls, it will turn it into "the international center for Catholics all around the world, and if the pope just gives the word, Christians will be flocking over here en masse." In addition, he noted, "there are many different religions here, and we have respect for all of them, but giving control to the Catholics will cause terrible friction."

Rabbi Mordechai Goldstein, who founded and still runs the Diaspora Yeshiva, officially known as Yeshiva Toras Yisrael. He elaborated in a follow-up discussion with Arutz-7:
"According to their bible, the land is to return to the Christians, and 144,000 Jews are to return to Mt. Zion. So their plan is for them to take control of the site, and then to announce that they are holding a mass reenactment of the Last Supper, with [all types of religious rituals], and to invite millions of Christians to come to Jerusalem and celebrate." He said that this means much tourism money for Israel, and that someone in the Israeli government is apparently very interested in making this happen.

The King David's Tomb complex is a complex of buildings of some 100,000 square feet where David, Solomon and others kings of Judea are said to be buried. "It is certainly one of the holiest spots in the Land of Israel," Rabbi Herman said. "We've already given away the Temple Mount and the Machpelah Cave, except for here and there when we're allowed in; now they want to give Mt. Zion away as well? For thousands of years, this area was almost always totally closed off to Jews. G-d gave it back to us in 1948, but parts of it were still in range and sight of Jordanian snipers and were not in full use. After 1967, Rabbi Goldstein founded the Diaspora Yeshiva here - and it became an island of holiness, the first yeshiva for baalei teshuvah [newly religious] in Israel; we were there day and night learning Torah. Rabbi Goldstein was almost prophetic in establishing this yeshiva at that time at that spot; destiny from above intertwined him with Mt. Zion."

President Katzav's office categorically denies any knowledge of plans to sign away the King David's complex, or intention to do so during his trip to the Vatican later this month. Despite this, Christian newspapers in Italy and around the world are replete with reports that such a deal is in the works. According to the reports, Israel will receive control of an 800-year-old synagogue in Toledo, Spain, known now as Santa Maria, in exchange for David's Tomb.

In an open letter to President Katzav, Shlomo Alfassa, Executive-Director of the
International Society for Sephardic Progress, ridiculed this idea: "When the Jews of Toledo prayed each morning, they faced east towards Jerusalem. It was not Toledo that they desired, but the Land of Israel, which was still unobtainable. Now, we have Jerusalem, we can go to the holy sites and we can live in the land. If those who built that synagogue knew that this abandoned building in Christian Spain was being traded for a piece of real estate in the Land of Israel, they would roll over in their graves. Today, the Santa Maria Synagogue is nothing but an empty shell, a tourist stop in a city where no Jews remain."

Rabbi Herman said that the above plan is merely the first step of a larger plan to turn all of Mt. Zion into a Christian site. He explained that the lower level of the complex, containing many chambers, rooms, passageways and the like, has long been under the control of Israeli bodies such as the Lands Authority, and that half of the area was assigned to the Diaspora Yeshiva.

Rabbis Goldstein and Herman explained that over the years, the yeshiva has used the area for classrooms, housing, and other needs. However, they said, Jerusalem Chief Engineer Ari Sheetrit has made some "threatening" visits of late, together with other city officials. The rabbis said that Sheetrit has implied very strongly that the yeshiva is "not using the area efficiently," and that the city plans to take it over.

Rabbi Herman said, "Our information, supported by many sources, is that this entire area is going to be given over to a tourism promotional company fronted by a man named David Bertoldi. Bertoldi has come with a supposed tourism project to take ownership of this area, close it off, and make it into a project that will serve Catholic tourists - and then anyone who wants to recite a chapter of Psalms will have to pay a $10 entrance fee, except for two hours in the morning. Bertoldi professes to be Jewish, but to the best of our information, he is a 'mumar,' someone who has transferred his faith elsewhere. He claims to be an independently wealthy man, but in fact is really just a straw man for -- the Pope! We have lots of information that he is in the pay of the local Francescan brothers, headed by Father Pierre Batista, and as far as we know they've already paid him $70,000, and he goes in to the various offices buying his way through the bureaucracy."

Arutz-7 phoned the Jerusalem monastery that Batista headed until a year ago, and spoke with his replacement, who said that he knew Bertoldi, though "he is not a member of our congregation." Asked if Bertoldi works for the Francescans, he said, "That is hard to say."

Rabbi Herman bemoaned the secrecy in which the entire affair and attempted buy-out is being shrouded: "Who knows if this isn't just the tip of the iceberg? Why is this not being brought up for public debate, among the Torah Sages, the Knesset, public opinion? Let it be put on hold until then! How can King David's Tomb itself, in the heart of Jerusalem, be passed along to the Pope, without even a whisper of discussion?!"

MK Benny Elon (National Union), who served twice as Minister of Tourism, told Arutz-7's Hebrew newsmagazine, "This issue was raised several years ago. When I was Tourism Minister, I made it clear to a representative of the Pope that we would allow them to use one room with a side entrance that would not bother the yeshiva. But under no circumstances would we allow the transfer of ownership. But they said they want ownership, and that the Pope sees this place as the second-holiest, after the Church of the Holy Sepulcher. We have to be very strong and not give in to the Vatican on this." He said that at present, Christian groups come in and pray there, but the "sovereignty is ours."

MK Elon said that the denial by President Katzav's office is "a major achievement, and was the result of public pressure. What has to be done now is to try to involve the Prime Minister, despite our troubled personal relations with him. He must intervene to ensure that the Vatican not gain control over such a significant site."

Rabbis Goldstein and Herman sent a letter on this issue to Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupoliansky. Arutz-7 asked the Jerusalem municipality for its reaction yesterday, but has still not received it.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Links to online Sefarim

Thanks to Yaakov Nathan these links to online Sefarim.

Sefarim Link 1

Sefarim Link 2

Sefarim Link 3

Rabbi Lazer Brody: High and Dry

From Rabbi Brody

High and Dry

Here's an interesting tidbit for this week's Torah portion, which tells of Noah and the flood:

Nearly two years ago, the London Guardian reported about a secret Pentagon report that was suppressed by President Bush, warning that imminent climatic changes and natural disasters will destroy the USA and much of the world, and that large areas will sink under rising seas. Read the entire article here, it's an eyeopener. Thanks to Tamar Yonah of Israel National Radio for the lead.

For hundreds of years, kabbalists have been saying that entire continents will disappear under water as Redemption Day approaches. Today, scientists around the world are carefully monitoring earth's rising waters. Things are changing, just as our sages have predicted.

Worried? The Talmud says (tractate Kiddushin 69a) that Israel is the highest of lands. Many nonbelievers use the above statement as "proof" to the inaccuracy of Talmud. When the rest of the world will be under water, and Israel will be high and dry, all shall see the universal and eternal truth of every letter in the Gemorra.

This time, you won't need an ark. Start thinking about moving to Israel.

The Gemorra also teaches us that the Beis HaMikdash is the highest place in Israel - that makes it the highest place on earth!

Rabbi Lazer Brody: 5766 is a T'Shuvah year

From Rabbi Brody

תשס"ו is the Hebrew lettering for this year, 5766. תשס"ו is the exact numerical equivalent of תשובה מאהבה, or "Tshuva me'ahava". G-d willing, tens of thousands of people - all longing for the immediate redemption of our people - will be returning to their roots this year, thereby hastening Moshiach's arrival, quickly and in our time, amen. Don't miss the boat.