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January 17, 2017 / 19 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘week’

The Story Of Chanukah (continued from last week)

Friday, December 30th, 2016

Yehudis

In armies of the powerful Greek leader Heliphornus, driven by his cruel and evil ambition, conquered city after city, plundering and looting. In addition, Heliphornus demanded that his captives accept the Greek gods as their own. The nations found no particular objection to this, since they were polytheistic anyhow, and hence worshiped a multitude of idols in any event.

The Jews, however, rejected the abominable statues that the Greeks ordered them to place in the Temple.

Heliphornus was beside himself with rage and frustration and gathered a mighty army in preparation for the march on Jerusalem – nearly 120,000 infantry men and 92,000 bow men.

Before setting off for the capital city of Judea, Heliphornus addressed some of his officers and various distinguished guests.

“As you know, the miserable race of people that I am going to destroy differs from all the others. They have brazenly refused to obey the orders of the King to bow down before the Greek gods. I have therefore determined that there is no solution for this problem than the complete destruction of the group.”

Among those listening to Heliphornus speak, was the king of a small nation who rose and declared: “l pray the King’s indulgence. I have heard his words with much misgivings, for I know of the danger involved in waging a battle against the God of the Jews. This God is mighty. He has great powers, and seems to see and know everything. Look, I pray you, at the history of those kings that attempted to struggle against Him and the Jews.

Pharoh, the mighty king of Egypt defied them and we know how his empire was humbled, humiliated, and almost destroyed. Sancherib led a mighty army against the very city that you wish to conquer today. Yet a mysterious plague felled his army. I say, that if you attack the Jews and their God, you are destined to be defeated.

Heliphornus was livid with anger at the words of this captive king.

“Who is the person to dare declare that my powerful army and force of my mighty army will be unable to destroy a weak and insignificant people? Take him and cast him into the cell. We will then chain him and deliver him to the Jews whom he seems to admire so much.”

The king was seized, chained, and led to the camp of the Jews. As he was cast into it, the Greeks shouted: “This is what is done to the man who speaks well of the Jews. Take him, so that he may suffer your fate when we have conquered and destroyed your city.

The unfortunate king, was taken in chains before the two leaders of the Jewish army, Uzziah and Carmi who were greatly surprised to see him. He told them what had transpired and of the mighty army gathered to destroy the city. When the two Jewish leaders heard this they rushed to the Bais HaMikdash, prostrated themselves and prayed: “O Lord, the God of Israel, look down from the Heaven and see what the evil Greek intends doing to your people Israel. Pour out your wrath upon this nation that knows you not and Sanctify your Name.”

 

Awaiting The Greeks

Having finished praying, the two soldiers returned to the room, where the captive king awaited them. Taking him to his home, Uzziah made him welcome and treated him as an honored guest.

He then left for a conference with the army as to the best ways to defend the city.

Many long hours were spent carefully planning for the Greek attack. Finally, all that could be done was done and the city waited tensely for the Greek hordes to come.

The following morning, the Greek army was sighted in the distance, approaching Jerusalem. The defenders of the city knew that they had one advantage in the fact that city was built on a hill. All paths and roads leading up the mountain were immediately placed under heavy guard to keep the Greeks from entering them.

When Heliphornus analyzed the situation, he saw that to attempt to dislodge the Jews from their well-fortified positions on the heights would be a very costly operation.

“My lord,” suddenly spoke up one of the officers “I think that perhaps I may have an idea that will result in a bloodless victory for us.”

“Speak up,” commanded the king.

“The supply of food,” stated the officer, “is undoubtedly good. But they must get their water from outside of the city. Let us find the pipes that carry this water and cut them.”

The Greeks quickly fanned out in search of the water pipes and before long had discovered them. Cutting them, they sat back and waited for the inevitable thirst and surrender of the Jews.

It took twenty days for the wells and cisterns to dry up, and a terrible thirst gripped the inhabitants of the city. As their thirst grew so did their desperation.

One evening a great crowd of men, women and youths marched upon the house Of Uzziah.

“May G-d judge between you and us,” they cried, “because of your actions we shall either die of thirst or a horrible death at the hand of Heliphornus whom you have angered. Far better that we live as slaves under the Greeks than that we die. We have decided that you must surrender the city immediately to the Greeks.”

 

(Continued next week)

Rabbi Sholom Klass

The History Of Chanukah (continued from last week)

Monday, December 26th, 2016

Under A Syrian Rule

More than 2,000 years ago, the land of Israel was part of the Syrian Empire. At first, Antiochus III was favorably disposed towards the Israelites and accorded them some privileges. Later on, however, when he was beaten by the Romans and compelled to pay heavy taxes, he began to tax many of the nations under his rule. When Antiochus died, his son, Seleucus IV, took over, and further oppressed the Children of Israel.

 

The “Madman”

A short time later, Seleucus was killed and his brother Antiochus 1V began his reign. He was a tyrant of a rash and impetuous nature, contemptuous of religion and of the feelings of others. He was called “Epiphanes,” meaning “the gods’ beloved.” Several of the Syrian rulers received similar titles. But a historian of his time, Polebius, gave him the epithet Epimanes (“madman”), as more suitable to the character of the harsh and cruel king.

Desiring to unify his kingdom through the medium of common religion and culture, Antiochus tried to root out the individualism of the Jews by suppressing all the Jewish customs. He removed Yochanan from his position as Kohen Gadol and replaced him with his brother, Yehoshua, who preferred his Greek name, Jason. He used his high office to spread more and more of the Greek customs among the priests.

Yehoshua was later replaced by another man, Menelaos, who promised the king more money. When Yochanan protested the spread of the Hellenists’ influence, he was murdered.

Antiochus was at that time engaged in a successful war against Egypt. But messengers from Rome arrived and commanded him to stop the war. He had to yield and call it off. Meanwhile, in Jerusalem a rumor spread that a serious accident befell Antiochus. Thinking that he was dead, the people rebelled against Menelaos. The treacherous High Priest fled together with his friends.

 

The Martyrs

Antiochus returned from Egypt enraged by Roman interference with his ambitions. When he heard what had taken place in Jerusalem, he sent his army in and thousands of Jews were killed. After that he enacted a series of harsh decrees: Jewish worship was forbidden, Torah scrolls were confiscated and burned, and Shabbat observance, brit milah and observing kashrut were prohibited under penalty of death.

Rabi Eliezer, a chacham of 90, was ordered by the king’s men to eat pork so that others would do the same. When he refused, they suggested to him that he pick up the meat to his lips to appear to be eating. When he said no to even that, he was put to death. There were thousands of others who likewise sacrificed their lives.

Antiochus’ men went from town to town and from village to village to force the inhabitants to worship pagan gods. One day they arrived in the village of Modiin where Mattisyahu, an older Kohen, lived. When the Syrian officer built an alter in the market place of the village and demanded that Mattisyahu offer sacrifices to the Greek gods, he replied, “I, my sons and my brothers are determined to remain loyal to the covenant which our G-d made with our ancestors!”

When a Hellenistic Jew approached the altar to offer a sacrifice, Mattisyahu grabbed his sword and killed him. His sons and friends fell upon the Syrian officers and killed many of them. Having chased the rest away, they destroyed the altar.

Mattisyahu knew that Antiochus would be enraged when he heard what had happened, so he and his sons fled to the Judean Hills. All loyal and courageous Jews joined them. They formed legions and from time to time left their hiding places to fell upon the enemy detachments and outposts, and to destroy the pagan altars that were built by order of Antiochus.

Before his death, Mattisyahu called his sons together and urged them to continue the fight in the defense of G-d’s Torah. He asked them to follow the counsel of their brother Shimon and the actions of their brother Yehudah who was called Macaabee, a word composed of the initial letters of four Hebrew words “Mi Kamocha Be’eilim Hashem, Who is like You, Hashem.”

Antiochus sent General Apelonius to wipe out Yehuda and his followers. Though greater in number and in equipment, the Syrians were defeated by the Maccbees. Antiochus sent out another expedition which also was defeated. He then sent an army consisting of more than 40,000 men swept the land under the leadership of two commanders, Nicanor and Gorgiash. The people assembled in Mizpeh, where Shmuel HaNavi had once davend to Hashem, and they were successful.

 

The Dedication

Now the Maccabees returned to Jerusalem and liberated it. Entering the Bais HaMikdash, they cleared it of the idols placed there by the Syrian vandals and dedicated a new one on the 25th of the month of Kislev, in the year 3622.

When they looked for oil to light the Menorah, they found only a small cruet of pure olive oil with the seal of the Yochanan Kohen Gadol. It was sufficient to light only for one day. By a miracle of G-d, it continued to burn for eight days, till new oil was made available. That miracle proved that G-d had again taken His people under His protection. In memory of this, our sages appointed these eight days for annual thanksgiving and for lighting candles.

Rabbi Sholom Klass

Walter Bingham File – The Week That Was. The Fraudulent Claims Of Private Palestinian Land [audio]

Monday, December 12th, 2016

That Was The Week That Was. The Fraudulent Claims Of Private Palestinian Land

Teaser: Hear: Why the village of Amona and the rest of Judea and Samaria are already Israeli State Land and no further legislation should be necessary.

How: Mahmoud Abbas speaks in contradictions.

And: The Jewish People’s Policy Institute’s ‘thin end of the wedge’ recommendations – to water down the definition of ‘Who is a Jew’.

Also: Modesty vs. Hypocrisy in the Charedi world, as seen by Chiddush, an Israel-Diaspora partnership for religious freedom.

The Walter Bingham File 11DEC2016 – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

Complains To The King (Continued From Last Week)

Friday, November 11th, 2016

When Terach returned home and saw the havoc that his son Avram had caused, he became very angry and complained to King Nimrod.

“I cannot control my son anymore,” he told the king. “He has destroyed my gods for the second time. I give him over to you to punish.”

The king immediately sent soldiers who captured Avram and brought him before the king.

“Why did you burn your father’s gods?” the king asked him.

“Your honor, it was not me who destroyed the gods,” Avram answered. “It was the large god standing in the rear of the store who did it.”

“Do you think me to be a fool that you tell me such stories,” the king shouted at him. “These gods are not alive; they cannot move.”

“Then why do you worship them, if they are not alive?” Avram asked the king. “Why do you fool all the people into believing that they can help you? Why don’t you worship the true God in Heaven, Hashem? Put your faith and trust in Him and He will help you. You know that it was only because of behavior such as yours that our forefathers were drowned in a terrible flood that Hashem brought upon them.

“Unless you repent you will suffer a similar fate.”

“What are you talking about!?” shouted Nimrod. “I am the true god. I created the world. There is no other god except me!”

“Very well,” answered Avram, “if you are the god then order the sun that usually rises in the East and sets in the West to reverse its order, then I will believe that you are a god.

 

Argues With The King

Realizing that he couldn’t fulfill Avram’s request, Nimrod then decided upon another line of reasoning. “I may not be an all-powerful god, but I do know who the true god is. It is fire that I bow to.”

“Then why don’t you bow to water that extinguishes the fire?” Avram asked.

“Very well, we will bow to the water,” replied Nimrod.

“Better worship the clouds that carry the water away,” Avram persisted.

“Very well, this we will do,” the king agreed.

“Better worship the winds that are able to blow the clouds away,” Avram replied.

“This too we will do,” Nimrod answered.

“But man is more powerful than the winds for he is able to withstand them,” Avram said.

“Therefore you should worship man.”

Finally, Nimrod grew exasperated and in a rage he ordered Avram imprisoned. He remained in prison for 10 days until the king decreed that Avram should be thrown into a burning fire.

“We’ll see how powerful his god is,” said Nimrod. “If He is stronger than our god of fire, then He should be able to rescue him.”

When the appointed day arrived, the king gathered all of his ministers and the people of his kingdom to watch the spectacle.

When the king’s ministers saw Avram, they immediately recognized him as the boy about whom they prophesied and told the king. The king became very angry, and he summoned Terach.

“Why did you fool me when I told you to give me your son?” the king shouted at him.

Terach became frightened and he began to plead, “It wasn’t my idea,” he said. “It was the idea of my oldest son Haran.”

Haran was brought before the king and asked if he was in accord with his brother Avram. “Do you believe in his god or in my god, the god of fire?” he was asked.

Haran replied, “I will wait and see the fate of my brother, Avram. If he survives the fire then I will believe in his god; otherwise I will believe in yours.”

 

Thrown Into The Fire

The king then ordered them both to be thrown into the fiery cauldron. Their hands were bound and they were heaved into a fire that had been raging for over a week.

Immediately the angels appeared before Hashem and pleaded, “Lord of the Universe!” they said, “Give us permission to rescue this holy tzaddik from the fire.”

They then began quarreling amongst themselves, each wanting to be the one to descend into the fire to rescue Avram.

But Hashem stopped them, saying, “I am One and Only in this world, and so is Avram one and only in his land. It is only befitting that I personally rescue him.”

Immediately, Hashem Himself descended into the fire and surrounded Avram with cool air that protected him from the intense heat. Only the rope binding his hands burned. His clothes, even his shoes, remained intact, untouched by the fire. His brother Haran, in the meantime, was burned.

The people saw Avram walking around in the fire and were in awe. They notified the king who approached the fire and he, too, saw Avram walking around in the intense blaze. He ordered his soldiers to take Avram out of the fire. But the soldiers could not approach as the heat was so intense that it burned their skin. But upon the king’s command the soldiers tried to enter the fire. Eight soldiers immediately died, and many more were terribly burned.

 

Believes In Avram’s God

When the king saw this he approached the fire and shouted, “Avram, servant of the true God in Heaven, come forth from the fire. I believe in your God.”

Immediately, Avram walked out. He was untouched by the fire, and when people saw this, a great shout burst forth from them.

The king and his ministers then gave Avram silver and they served Hashem. The king also gave Avram a servant who was named Og.

Hundreds of people began serving the God of Avram, and from that day onward a new religion was launched – a belief in the true God of Israel. May the day soon come when all the inhabitants of the earth shall turn their hearts to the true God in Heaven and may He enter into all of their hearts, and may all the people become as one. Amen.

Rabbi Sholom Klass

The Answer (Continued From Last Week)

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Reb Daniel Yaffee, the wealthiest man in Berlin, made a foolish bargain in his youth, whereby he promised to give his friend, David, all the money he would ever make in the future over 10,000 marks. Then David gave him a penknife as a token. His friend, a pauper, has now returned after many years to seek money for his daughter’s wedding and Reb Daniel remembers the bargain. He rushes to the great Rav Tzvi Hirsch Levin to seek some solution.

 

The Answer

Reb Daniel finished telling his story to Rav Tzvi Hirsch who looked at the shaken man who stood before him, and said: “Reb Daniel, the Almighty knows how hard you worked for your money and how honestly you obtained it. What you worked for remains yours and your friend David has no claim on it.”

Reb Daniel looked at the rav of Berlin and exclaimed in surprise: “What do you mean? It is true that David has not asked me for the money, but I am obligated to keep my word that I gave in a business deal.”

 

Future Transaction

Rav Tzvi Hirsch explained, “I tell you that, according to law, you are not obligated to give anything. There is a clear law in the Talmud that states that a man cannot sell a future interest in a thing that has not yet come into being. And even the minority that holds it is possible to do so, say that it is possible only when the object has a definite chance of coming into existence, such as selling the future crop from a tree.

“In your case, however, and in any far-fetched future transaction, the law holds that the buying party never took the bargain seriously or considered it a real transaction.

“David obviously never considered your becoming wealthy as being possible, and when he gave you the penknife, he did it as a friend and it remained only a present.

“If you want to, you can certainly give David as much money as you wish, but legally you owe him nothing.”

Reb Daniel Happy

When Reb Daniel heard these words, it was as if a stone was lifted from his heart. The sun seemed to shine brighter as he left the rav. He emptied his pockets of all his money as he rode home, giving it to the numerous poor people who stopped him along the way.

Running into his house, he told the good news to his wife and then sat down to say Tehillim in praise to the Almighty.

Then he hurried to his store and took 1,000 ducats from the safe. It was a very great sum, far in excess of the money that David had needed for his daughter’s wedding.

 

David Arrives

As Reb Daniel was seated at his afternoon meal, his friend David returned.

“Welcome, David, sit down and join me at my meal.”

“Thank you, Daniel. I am very happy that you feel better. Your color has returned to your face.”

“It was nothing, really,” said Reb Daniel. “Listen David, I have been thinking about what you asked me and I have decided not to give you 1,000 marks for your daughter’s wedding.”

David’s face fell as he heard these words, and he said, “Is there anyone else to whom I can turn for the money I so desperately need?”

Reb Daniel smiled. “You didn’t let me finish, David. I have decided to give you not 1,000 marks, but 1,000 ducats. From it, use 1,000 marks for your daughter’s dowry, 500 for wedding expenses, and the rest for a business to support yourself in your old age.”

Rabbi Sholom Klass

Syrian Bomber Kills Self, Wounds 12, in Fourth Muslim Attack in a Week in Southern Germany

Monday, July 25th, 2016

A Syrian man, 27, who had been refused asylum in Germany, killed himself on Sunday with a bomb he set off near a music festival in Ansbach, Bavaria, in southern Germany. This is the fourth violent attack by Muslims in southern Germany in less than a week. According to police, 12 people were injured in the explosion, three seriously. According to state officials, the man had been denied entry to the music festival just before the explosion.

The Syrian man was carrying a backpack filled with explosives and metal parts, in what officials are saying could have been an ISIS-inspired attack. Officials also said the man had arrived in Germany two years ago and this was his third suicide attempt.

Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told reporters early Monday that it was not yet certain whether the man had planned to “take others with him into death.”

Police evacuated more than 2,000 people from the festival after the explosion, and cordoned off a large area around the explosion site.

According to Reuters, citing a US intelligence official (The US maintains an Army base in Ansbach), investigators are focusing on the bomber’s history before he left Syria, the reasons he was denied asylum, and why he blew himself up — was it personal, political, religious, or all three.

Last week an Afghan refugee used an axe and a knife to injured a family of four on a train in southern Germany before being shot dead by police. On Friday, nine people were killed and more than 20 injured by an Iranian in Munich, also in southern Germany. Earlier on Sunday, a 21-year-old Syrian refugee was arrested after killing a pregnant woman and wounding two people with a machete in the southwestern city of Reutlingen, near Stuttgart.

David Israel

The Walter Bingham File – A Week I’d Rather Forget: Turkey, Terror, Tactics and Tyranny [audio]

Tuesday, July 19th, 2016

Now: The dust has settled on the agreement with Turkey, and an analysis of it in this programme shows that Israel drew the short straw.

And: Israel’s quiet diplomacy and trade arrangements brought results with our newfound friends – India, China and Central Africa.

Walter discusses: Why America’s Second Amendment is outdated and counter-productive.

You’ll hear: About the convulsions in UK politics.

Also: Is YouTube biased? Hear what’s going on there.

Plus: The late-breaking news of another barbaric terrorist attack in France. Walter discusses the underlying causes.

With: Much more.

The Walter Bingham File 17Jul – PODCAST

Israel News Talk Radio

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