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December 9, 2016 / 9 Kislev, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘redemption’

Tamar Yonah Show – Nibiru: Will this Dwarf Star Wreak Havoc on Earth? [audio]

Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

What is Nibiru? What is planet X? When do people think it will hit or affect earth? What is the best thing to do to prepare and be ready IF this should happen? …and are we in the End-Times written about in the Bible?

Join Tamar Yonah as she speaks with Rabbi Alon Anava from AlonAnava.com and Atzmut.com as he talks about Armageddon and Redemption. Which will it be, and how might it happen? This is a DON’T MISS show! PLUS: Read an article entitled: Nibiru: How to Survive the Coming World Disaster Now

Tamar Yonah Show 20Sept2016

Israel News Talk Radio

We Are At The Threshold Of Redemption

Thursday, April 14th, 2016

We are at the threshold of the time of redemption. It was during the month of Nissan that the Jewish people, after two hundred and ten years of slavery, left Egypt, the land of their persecution to begin their dramatic of the formation of the Jews as nation. This journey has lasted until the present, as even today we are found in different stages of our redemption and are asked to react to as well as overcome daily challenges that we face as a people. The strange thing about our leaving Egypt was that though we all left as one people, we comprised of twelve unique and different tribes, each with their own flag as well as no doubt their own customs and views.

The Midrash relates that when the Jews crossed the sea, it split into twelve parts, giving each of the tribes its own path to follow. One would expect that G-d would have preferred all of the tribes to proceed in unison, that there would be only one lane for everyone, as a sign of harmony and agreement, “achdut,” as Rashi states when the Jews received the Torah “keish echad b’lev echad,” as one person with one heart. Yet each tribe, according to this Midrash, was provided with its own path. Perhaps the message was that the Jewish people needn’t be all alike. We can be different! The most important characteristic, however, is that we are all pointing and going in the same direction. How we get there is of little concern, what’s important is that we all have our sights on the same goal.

A remarkable occurrence is happening in the State of Israel today. The vast majority of the people living there, whether observant or non-observant, ultra-religious or not, observe the holidays as national or religious events in their lives. Well into the eighty or ninety percent of Israeli citizens celebrate Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Purim, Sukkot, Tisha B’Av and Pesach. Whether their reasoning is based on Torah law, or on nationalistic pride doesn’t matter, the bottom line is that these holidays are being observed! I see this as a sign that we are experiencing the Messianic era. There is no doubt in my mind that over the ensuing years, those who observe these holidays due to nationalistic pride will come to understand the religious aspect of these holidays as well.

The difference between living in Israel verses outside of Israel is that in Israel, Judaism is the basis of the country’s daily operations. On the radio on Friday, they will wish you a Shabbat Shalom. On Pesach, they will wish you Chag Kasher V’sameach before informing you that all the supermarkets only sell products that are kosher for Pesach. On Purim, nearly everyone dresses in a costume, and on Sukkot, all the stores sell Succah decorations and people wish each other a Chag Sameach. The entire nation is moving in one direction, which is heartwarming.

For the first time in two thousand years, Jews are returning to Israel. Russian, French, English, and German can be heard in the streets of Israel. The prophecy that G-d promised the Jewish people, “And I will bring you from the four corners of the earth…to your land,” which we recite daily in our prayers, is coming into play. It’s such an exciting time for the Jewish people.

Outside of Israel, our Jewish lives are very often in direct conflict to our daily and business lives, creating a palpable tension. One often must make an effort often to swim against the tide, to retain one’s Judaism, it is in this environment that some of us lose direction, mixing-up goals and getting lost in this society.

Rabbi Mordechai Weiss

When This is Finally Over….

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

Today is the 17th of Tammuz; a day devoted to national self-reflection.  So let’s pause and reflect on the very intense month our nation has been through.

So many things have happened, and so much has changed.

It began on Friday morning, the 15th of Sivan (June 13) when we learned that three of our children had been kidnapped.  Within hours, Jews across the spectrum and across the world were united in worry and prayer for these boys, whom almost none of us knew personally.  Those emotions – pain, worry, faith and solidarity – followed us for the next 2-1/2 weeks until one evening we heard the dramatic and devastating news.  The national worry turned immediately to national mourning, mixed with fury as we heard the audio recordings of the evil monsters laughing as they murdered our three holy, innocent children.

From the bereaved families to the Prime Minister, cabinet members and Chief Rabbis who spoke at the funerals, down to pretty much every blogger and facebook commenter I saw, the sentiments were just about universal.  Like many others, I also wrote about this a few weeks ago: the evil is unfathomable and the tragedy is devastating, but something positive did come from all of this – we learned that in spite of our many differences, we really are one family and we can come together for the most noble of purposes.

No sooner were the boys buried, though, then we learned about the horrific murder of Muhammad Abu Khdeir, and a few days later the unthinkable was confirmed: some of our own people are capable of the exact same level of evil.  This shook us to our core and unleashed a flurry of condemnations from political leaders, rabbis and ordinary people – again with almost complete wall-to-wall unanimity.

But before we had a chance to digest that, rockets started flying, sirens began to blare, tens of thousands of our men were called up for emergency reserve duty (known as “tzav 8” here in Israel), and all Israelis found themselves constantly asking where the nearest bomb shelter would be. From our brothers and sisters abroad, the prayers resumed and expressions of genuine solidarity flowed in.

For a few hours this morning it looked like there was a cease-fire; by now it is clear that the fighting continues, and a ground operation may be just around the corner.  If so the prayers will certainly intensify, as we once again worry about the safety of our young men.  At some point, though, this round of fighting will come to an end (hopefully with a complete victory for the IDF).

And then maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to return to our normal lives for at least a while (although by now it should be clear that nothing involving Israel and the Jews is ever “normal”).  That would be a real blessing.  We all have important things to do in our personal and communal lives and it would be wonderful to be able to actually focus on those again.

And at that point, the differences, disagreements and emphatic disputes will return in all of their intensity.  The arguments will continue, and that’s actually a good thing.  Our rabbis tell us (Avot 5:17) that “an argument for the sake of Heaven is destined to prevail”.

The problem is that it might look like the unity is quickly dissolving.  But it doesn’t have to.  When we return to routine, things don’t have to go back to exactly the way they were.

In fact, that’s really what this time of year is about.  Our Rabbis also tell us (Yoma 9b) that the present exile was caused by “baseless hatred”.  Anyone who studies the history of that time understands that this is a reference to the many factions among the nation.  They were divided religiously, politically and ideologically, and they didn’t conduct those disputes as “arguments for the sake of Heaven”; instead there was civil war.

Rabbi Alan Haber

Rabbi Yaakov Weinberg zt”l: Exile and Its Egregious Effects

Tuesday, July 15th, 2014

We may not notice it as much as previous generations did due to the relative good relations with the non-Jewish world (though recent events have shaken us), but we are in exile and have been for almost 2000 years. The prolonged exile has devastated normal Jewish life in numerous ways.

 

The period of the Three Weeks of mourning the Temple’s destruction, from 17th of Tamuz until 9th of Av, is designed to remind us of all that we are mourning. While it is true that the Three Weeks have now passed and we have reverted back to our relaxing summer vacations, it is important particularly now to reflect on the growth that we were supposed to have attained.

We do this in the spirit of the Talmud in Brachot 32b, “The early pious ones would prepare for prayer for an hour, pray for an hour, and contemplate their prayers an hour afterwards”, in order to apply and bring the growth they just experienced into their regular lives. At the end of our reflections, we will see a strong link to our weekly Torah portion, Shoftim

The Three Weeks determines the “who we are and how we live” as Jews. When we mourn for the Temple, when we feel the pain of its loss and the sufferings that our ancestors experienced during this period, it is not a “pain” that we are mourning. Pains don’t last 2,000 years. The most intense and sharpest of pains dissipate. A year later they’re weak, ten years later they’re weaker, and a thousand years later they’re not felt at all. It isn’t the pain that our ancestors felt which we are mourning; it is the loss that is affecting us to this day.

This is the recognition and the statement that we make when we fast on 17th of Tamuz and keep the laws of mourning of the Three Weeks and Tisha B’av. It is a statement that not having a Temple renders us a broken people, unable to live a normal life. It means that we have been thrown to a state of spiritual disease and illness, where we cannot think correctly, feel correctly or live correctly.

We are in a state of darkness, unable to reach out and to relate to our Creator as we should to live spiritual, healthy and full lives. It is not simply that extra opportunities are lost to us, but we are crippled and we live as cripples. This is the most important and tragic effect of all. A blind man reaches the point where his blindness is so accepted that he is not aware of a sense of loss. He is not aware that he does not live a normal and full life, that he is handicapped and that there are whole areas of experience and existence that are closed to him. He starts thinking that this is life at its fullest. He doesn’t know that the inability to see colors, the inability to see the magnificence of God’s creation, is a lack and a loss. He accepts it as being the norm. That is tragic because in doing so, he reduces God’s creation.

If this is true in material matters, how much more so is the effect when it comes to accepting a spiritually crippled life as being the norm. If we come to feel that as a people without a Temple we are living a full life, think of the effect this has on our understanding of what existence is all about, of what our relationship with our Creator is all about. We accept as a normal way of living life without God’s face turned to us. Somehow it seems to us as though the way we live is perfect. It doesn’t make sense to us to go and bring animals, slaughter them in a Temple, put them on an altar and burn up the meat. As a nation, we have begun to feel that maybe sacrifices aren’t necessary after all.

Rabbi Boruch Leff

A Song of Love, a Song of Life

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

One of the more perplexing Pesach customs is the public reading of Shir HaShirim (The Song of Songs). A variety of explanations are offered from every corner of our tradition. A new idea occurred to me over the holiday and I think it might be a useful perspective on the issue, but more importantly, I think there is a broader lesson that is worth sharing.

Pesach celebrates a two step redemption from slavery to freedom. First there was the flight from Egypt. This was punctuated by the 10 plagues and a hasty escape. Almost immediately, a new challenge arose. The Reed Sea miraculously split and paved the way for complete salvation.

At that moment, we were free. For the first time in forever, we were completely free. It must have been exhilarating. The one thing every single person wanted more than anything else was freedom, and now they had it. Everything they yearned for was in their hands. The only struggle they had known was no longer a struggle. It was over.

Freedom is binary. Either one is a slave or one is free. There is no middle ground. It’s a simple on/off switch. The switch had been flipped.

A slave has a very limited capacity to worry about anything other than survival or freedom. A slaves concerns are immediate. Is there room for love? The arts? Philosophy? Personal growth? Not really. Life is very simple. It’s agonizingly simple. Survive and hope for freedom.

This was the life of the Israelites until this very moment. At present moment they were finally free. Now what?

Freedom is very different than slavery. One difference is that there is no switch. Life was no longer a binary struggle for the Israelites. From now on it would be a lifetime of tension and challenges. Slavery, for all its hardships, offers a cynical simplicity to life. Just survive the day and struggle for freedom. When the slave achieves freedom, there is no continuation of prior struggles. Everything begins anew and there is nothing from the past that illuminates the future.

The Israelites were free. They had no idea what they were supposed to do next. So they complained. A lot. But all their complaints were somewhat related. They had no idea how to be free, how to fend for themselves, how to ask for things nicely, how to carve out their own destiny. Hence, the kvetching. They saw a problem, they cried, and they expected their problems to be solved. They were looking for binary solutions to lifelong struggles. They needed food and water. They wanted a final solution to their thirst and hunger.

But real life is not like that. Reality is that hunger and thirst are lifetime struggles. There is no water lever or bread switch in the real world. In the real world, people work for their food. But this was not the life the Israelites knew. They had no idea how to live in a world of eternal struggles. Theirs had been been a world of on and off, and now they were in a brave new world that they were completely unequipped to handle.

Shir HaShirim is a love song. There is nothing more un-binary than love. No one ever says that they have enough love. No one ever asks for someone to love them less or to stop loving them. No one says they have enough love. We are in a permanent struggle with the people we love. We work so hard to give more love to our loved ones and we are in a constant state of receiving more and more love from others. Sometimes love is hard, sometimes love is easy, but love is a lifetime struggle. There is no love switch.

Rabbi Eliyahu Fink

Elissa Strauss, Are You on our Side or on the Side of our Enemies?

Tuesday, February 4th, 2014

I know it’s the Internet, so people tend to assume they already know what I’ve written, and form an opinion regardless of what’s actually in the text. So for you—and you know who you are—let me state emphatically that the purpose of this article is not to stifle debate, or opposition, or protest, or criticism of Jewish settlements, but to discourage joining with enemies of Jews to boycott Jews wherever they are. Got it? Not stifling debate – stifling open acts of economic warfare against your own people with whom you disagree.

You’re still going to comment that I’m stifling debate, aren’t you.

In her insightful and honest piece in the Forward this week, Confessions of a Disengaged Young Jew – How Birthright and Hillel Turned Me Off to Israel, Elissa Strauss is offering crucial evidence to the fact that the final smelting of the Jewish nation from all the riffraff that have attached themselves to it since the exodus is well on its way.

The people of Israel traveled from Raamses to Sukkot, some six hundred thousand men on foot, not counting children. And the riffraff also went up with them, as well as livestock in large numbers, both flocks and herds. (Ex. 12:37-38)

The Hebrew word, Erev Rav, literally means “mob of disconnected people,” synonym: Assafsuf, meaning rabble or riffraff.

The Exodus was a cleansing moment in human history, and, obviously, in Jewish history. The Midrash tells us that a full 80 percent of the Israelites were not redeemed from Egypt, because they did not slaughter the Pascal lamb and did not smear their doorposts with its blood.

So, only 20 percent of the Israelites dared embark on the road to liberation with Moses. But they didn’t leave alone. Rashi tells us that the Erev Rav were a mix of nations of converts who were swept by the rush of the Hebrew slaves to freedom.

Rashi also offers a telling commentary on Exodus 32:7, right after the orgiastic gold calf episode: God said to Moshe, “Go down! Hurry! Your people, whom you brought up from the land of Egypt, have become corrupt!” Rashi notes that the verse doesn’t say “the people” but “your people,” meaning the riffraff whom you accepted on your own, and converted them without asking me, because you said it would be a good thing for them to come close to the Divine Emanation – and they are corrupt and corrupted others.

Those two key phenomena have never ceased to be an essential part of our history. Every century or so, wherever we are, we lose about 80 percent of our people for a variety of reasons, some historical, some emotional, some economical. And throughout our existence, until the arrival of the redeemer, we will have in our midst the riffraff.

Referring to the Pew Research Center study on American Jewry, Elissa Strauss notes that more and more young American Jews “are moving in my direction, distancing themselves from Israel altogether. This isn’t so much about Zionism versus anti-Zionism as it is about not bothering at all.”

That’s the first Jewish phenomenon: as the American diaspora matures, having had a century or so of prosperity, its staggering, original high number of 6 million is plummeting rapidly to about one fifth of that. The combination of simple assimilation and mixed marriages, with the outright canonization of intermarriage by some movements, have been slicing American Jewry into roughly 20 percent observant, meaning concerned about their Jewish extended family and nation, and 80 percent everything else.

Elissa Strauss, though, also represents the other phenomenon as well. “I just couldn’t juggle the experience of Tel Aviv’s lively beaches, the serene intensity of Friday evenings at the Kotel, and the sadness and shame I feel when I hear about life in Gaza and the West Bank.”

Yori Yanover

Jewish Survival in the Face of Existential Threats: a Focus on Women

Friday, August 9th, 2013

Women have exercised their inherent gift of intuition and bravery to influence the course of Jewish history from the earliest time recorded.

The dramatic confrontation between Sarah and Avraham over the choice of successor, in effect a struggle over the survival of Judaism, was reenacted a generation later between Rivka and Yitzchak. In the face of his own preference, Rivka, just like Sarah, was intrinsically directed to choose the optimal heir to Yitzchak.

Egyptian Exile and Exodus are pivotal landmarks in the history of our people’s struggle for survival. References to Galut Mitzrayim (Exile in Egypt) and Yetziat Mitzrayim (Exodus from Egypt) are central to the entire corpus of Jewish socio-ethical teaching. Against such background, the rabbinic dictum that “It is to the credit of the righteous women that our forefathers were redeemed from Egypt” (Sotah 11) is quite remarkable. Our rabbis recognized the roles women played in making redemption possible.

The Hebrew midwives, who at the risk of their lives defied the edict of Pharaoh “and let the children live” (Sh’mot 1:17), were rewarded for their great courage, and “G-d granted a bounty for the midwives, and the nation multiplied and grew very mighty” (Sh’mot 1:20). The other women also did their share to ensure survival by keeping their appearance attractive and boosting their husbands’ morale.

Within this context the Midrash focuses on the role of Miriam whose admonishment prompted her own father to resume his marital duty. And so, the birth and survival of Moshe, the Divine instrument of Israel’s redemption, was the consequence of intuitive acts by a number of women which included, besides Miriam and Yocheved, even Pharaoh’s daughter who, by adopting Moshe and providing a Hebrew nurse for him, completed the first phase of Israel’s redemption.

Regarding the next phase of redemption, Matan Torah, the Giving of the Torah at Sinai, our rabbis claim that the women were given the Torah first because it is they who teach their children “the ways of the Torah.” The teachers of “the way” to the next generation hold the secret of a people’s survival. They are the bridge to the Jewish future.

The Biblical precedent established a pattern for women of later generations to have a historically defined role as the vanguard in the struggle of Jewish survival. At every crucial juncture women have stepped into the historical vacuum to provide roles as unseen movers based on their prophetic intuition and their ability “to tune into” the existential self of the Jewish people.

From Rebbetzin Recha Freier who spearheaded a movement which evolved into the Youth Aliyah, a major instrument of rescue for Jewish children during the Holocaust, to Rivka Gruber, teacher, librarian, and social worker, who, after her two sons fell in Israel’s War of Independence, became the founder of a string of settlements in the Sharon Valley, women have been silent movers, creating educational, social, health and welfare infrastructures for the Jewish community.

And how about the women in our present situation of surrounding existential threat, the war of terror in Israel?

That chapter is being written even as we speak. Do you remember the name Chava Shatsky? How could you? She is one among innumerable heroines whose children were murdered by Arab terrorists, one name among hundreds. Her 15 year-old daughter Keren was killed by an Arab terrorist in the Karne Shomron mall on Motzei Shabbat, February 16, 2002.

I happen to remember because of a personal connection. Reading in The Jewish Press that Karen and the other casualties were pupils in Kedumim’s Ulpana Lehava, where someone from my family taught English, I immediately contacted her to offer my emotional support. When I started to speak and my words drowned in tears, it was she who comforted me. Yes, Keren was her pupil, she said, and Keren’s mother, Chava Shatsky, was the chairman of the department at Lehava.

“You must speak to Chava,” she advised me. “Chava will give you chizuk, strength… she gave chizuk to all of us. In our grief over Keren, the faith of Keren’s mother gave us all strength,” the young teacher said. When I expressed profound amazement, she continued: “Yes, it is amazing. Yet there are many other women who react similarly. And these women are the guarantee that we will make it,” she said with pride.

The young teacher’s words helped me. They helped me cope with the grief and face the future. Indeed, these heroic mothers, like Jewish women throughout our history of confrontation with existential threats are the guarantee that we will make it.

Prof. Livia Bitton-Jackson

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/jewess-press/impact-women-history/jewish-survival-in-the-face-of-existential-threats-a-focus-on-women/2013/08/09/

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