WEEKLY TORAH PORTION (PASHA)
B'SDTORAH LECTURE PARSHAH SHEMOS
This week's portion begins with the Jewish People going to Egypt 70 souls strong, and Yosef Joseph was already a major power in Egypt second only to Pharoah himself. The Jews were allowed to have children, and they were allowed participate fully in all levels of Egyptian society. Now in Chapter 1 verse 6: "And Yosef died along with all of his brothers and that generation." The next Pasuke verse (7) says "And the Jewish People increased(here Torah uses 6 different words for increase) and the land was filled with them." Rashi the commentor explains that 6 terms are used for increase because every time a Jewish woman gave birth it was to 6 children. In Pasuk 8 it tells us "and a new king arose over Egypt that did not knowYosef." Rashi explains: "Rav and Shmuel (two Rabbis in Talmud) argue about what this means. One says that the Torah means literally a new king, while the other holds it means it was the (same king) who had made new decrees." Now for Jews today we can ask "Is it possible that a king (pharoah) who saw Yosef helped save Egypt from a terrible famine could simply forget the good Yosef did?" The answer is yes, and not just in Pharoah's time but to this day in every country Jews lived, at first they would flee persecution from another country, settle down, be treated all right by the King or whoever and do everything in gratitude to that landand then get accepted into that new society. Suddenly, that countrybe Poland or Spain, Germany or France would turn on the Jews. It happened in England, and Jews were booted out for so long it took Oliver Crowmwell to reopen the doors. In Germany no one was as assimilated as some of the German Jews. The reform movement went to the lengths of taking out the prayer Yakum Perkun asking G-D to save Jews from persecution in the 1890'sbecause "we are safe the days if the ghetto is over etc etc." The fact is that Russian Jews that very set of years had experienced some of the worst pogroms in their history. That did not concern those reformers who removed that prayer. Of course German Jews also had Orthodox people but the masses had by and large assimilated and intermarried, and they had reached the point that by the 1920's ten years before Hitler came to power over 50% of German Jews were marrying out to non-Jews. They had become part and parcel of Egypt just as the Jews in Egypt did after Yosefand his generation died out. Make no mistake Yosef was a Tsadik and his generation stayed loyal to the Torah as Rashi says he was the same righteous Yosef as a power in Egypt as when he was a sheep herder in his fathers house back in Cannaan. After all this good Yosef did Pharoah made slaves of the Jews.His Nazi like excuse? Pasuk 10 "perhaps there will be a war with our enemies and the (Jews) will fight with us and go out from the land" Rashi explains will leave..against our will.Now The Torah describes the birth of Moshe Moses, and how his sister Miriam hid him on the water of the river after the Pharoah had decreed death for all male Jewish babies that are now born there. Moshe is found by Pharoah's daughter. She fishes him (through her maid) fromthe water. At that point she arranges a Hebrew nurse maid to raise the child. As Moshe grew up in Pharoah's household nevertheless Chapter 2 Pasuk11 states: "And it was in those days and Moshe grew up, and he went amongsthis brothers (fellow Jews) and he saw their affliction and he saw anEgyptian man beating a Jew from his brothers" Pasuk 12 now says a lesson for all time: "And he turned this way and thatand saw that there was no man and he killed the Egyptian and he buried him in the sand (not deep)." Rashi says first about seeingtheir oppression that "He gave his eyes and heart to be with them" Moshe Rashi explains felt the pain of each and every Jew and unlike today's Jewish Establishment who don't on the whole feel 5 minutes of Pollard's suffering, or Crown Heights travail during thePogrom. Or the suffering of Jews shot almost to death in both Los Angeles and Chicago. No, most Jewish Establishment types sit in nice sleek offices somewhere near Park Avenue or downtown somewhere or other and don't truly go out to their fellow Jew in trouble. Those Jews in the Jewish Undergrounds be it the Irgun, Stern Group, Hagana, or Warsaw Ghetto Fighters suffered with their common fellow Jew, saw the DP camps or Aushwitz sat and starved with their fellow Jews. They learned what it was to not know if there was a meal tommorow, and living on something you would not even call a meal today. Many, in Tsahal (Israeli Army) or other such entities can understand it if they were sent to some foreign country to rescue their fellow Jews. Those Yeshiva students and Chassidim especially Chabad understood it being in Siberia and sharing their last crust of bread with other Jews.
Our job as Jewish Miltiants is to inspire the entire Jewish People with a feeling of Ahavat Yisrael Love of One's Fellow Jew so that they will put it on the line to save and defend Jews, and fight for Pollard's freedom and not be cold or cold hearted when other Jews are in trouble. So that they will rally when Israel's very safety is on the line and not make it worse by giving up G-D given land to our enemies. Last is the lesson what did Moshe do when he saw an Egyptian beating a Jew? He didn't form a committee on the study of the roots of Egyptian anti-semitism or a National Conference of Egyptians and Jews, no he beat and killed him. That is a good concept bya good Jew, Moshe, something every Jew could learn from. However he did itwith G-D Ineffable Name as a way to kill him the fact is Moshe legitimately killed an enemy of Jews whom he caught beating a Jew. Now, how will the ever confused reform Rabbi like Axelrod and his host of ever confused pascifist colleagues explain that one away?
B'SDVAYISHLACH-YAKOV CONFRONTS THE FIRST ANTI-SEMITE & JDO CHANUKAH MESSAGE
The portion Vayishlach (Genesis Chapter 32 ) describes that Yakov (Jacob) sent angels to see what his brother(who hated him) was up to. in pasuk (verse) 4 it says" And Yakov sentmessengers (Rashi says angels) to Esav his brother in the Land of Seirin Edom. In pasuk 5 it continues that he commanded them to say to mymaster Esav "so says Yakov your servant, I lived with Lavan as a stranger."The commentaries explain that Yakov is telling Esav thateven when I lived with Lavan, who was not righteous I kept all 613 Mitzvot,Commandments. This is a message of strength from Yakovthat he cannot be intimidated as he kept the Torah and had G-D on hisside. Meanwhile the angels came back and reported that Esav had 400 men with him, and as Rashi explains he is filled with hatred for you, he wants tokill you.
Now, lets see what the forefather of the Jewish People Yakov does. Pasuk 8 "And Yakov was afraid, and was fearful, and he divided the people he was with, the flocks, the herds, the camels into two camps." Rashi explains that " he was afraid, least he be killed, and he was frightened...least he would kill OTHERS" Now, in pasuk 9it says "And he said (Yakov) if esav comes to the first camp and hits itthe other camp (the second he split away) will remain for a remnant. Now,Rashi explain what Yakov really did. "Against his will if they try to fight him Yakov prepared himself with 3 things with a gift prayer, and war" Yakov first prayed, got a gift ready, (to "bribe" his brother with as to avoid war if possible) and war should it be needed. Now, the Commentaries explain Yakov's plan more, he was going to split the future Jewish Nation into two camps. One would escape,while the other with him there personally would fight! Yakov was willing togive up his very life to protect and defend the Jewish People.
The lessons are many, and through out Jewish History we had situations were we always prayed, and sometimes fought. In several days we will celebrate Chanukah, and honor those heroic Maccabees who surely did not throw flowers at the Greeks. In fact this too was a G-D given miracle, but there is no denying that they picked up a sword to defend our Holy Torah and our right to obey the Torah, and not be forced to become a Greek or a Hellenist.Let's now quote exactly what the Chanukah prayers say about the War. Ofcourse there a two miracles we celebrate on Chanukah.The first was the miraculous finding of the pure oil with the High Priest's Seal in the Holy Temple after the Greeks had virtually ransacked it and occupied it for a while. That miracle I am quite sure every appeasment and pacifist Jews would mention. But I ask do the bulkof confused Jews, like the "Jewish Peace Fellowship" of Rabbi Bentley and company ever mention the second?
These are the words of our Chanukah prayer Al Hanism "For the Miracles....In the Time of Mattityahu the son of Yochanan the High Priest, theHasmonean and his sons, when the despotic kingdom of Greece rose up against your people Yisroel (Israel) to make them forget your Law, and to lead astray from the Statues of Your Will. But Youin Your great compassion stood by them at that time of their distress. You championed their cause, DEFENDED THEIR RIGHTS, and AVENGED THEIR WRONG.You delivered the STRONG INTO THE HANDS OF THE WEAK,THE MANY INTO THE HANDS OFTHE FEW, the lawless into the hands of the just the wanton sinner into the hands of the diligent pursuers of Your Law.And For Yourself You made a Great and Holy Name in Your World,and for YOURPEOPLE Yisrael You Worked a Great Victoryand Liberation even as THIS DAY.
The message? Surely something you will not hear explainedin today's foolish and suicidal era of "talk to your Arab Nazi enemy"(Arafat) or from those who even wish to forgive Nazi War Criminals,or even Hitler's modern successors and apologists. It is timethat we honored the Irgun, Stern Group, and even Hagana who fought with Maccabee like courage to liberate the Land of Israelfrom the British in 1948. We must recreate that spirit in a modern dayeffort to guard and protect our fellow Jews right herein America. In the early 1960's in Crown Heights there was once a patrol group called the Maccabees that helped protect Jews. Isn't it timein synagogues across America we set up, G-D help us, a highly trained security team to insure neo-nazis will Never Againget the chance to try and massacre Jewish children or adults ?
It is a new JDO campaign now going on across the countryas part of a massive creating of JDO Security Teams. Do you think we should honor the Macabbees not just by eating some latkesbut fighting some Nazis? HAVE A HAPPY CHANUKAH.
TORAH PORTION "TOLDOS YITZCHAK"
"THE ROOTS OF ANTI-SEMITISM"
by National JDO Director
This weeks Torah portion Toldos tells us the lineage of Yitzchak, Issac the son of Avraham, Abraham. Yitzchak married Rivkah (Rebecca) at the age of 40. At first she was barren and Yitzchak(Issac) prayed to G-D so that he should give her the ability to have children. She then got pregnant and G-D told her Breishis (Gennesis Chapter 28 verse 23) "There are two nations in your stomach,and from you will come two (distinct) nations.
She did in fact give birth to two children, one was Esav (Esau)and he came out red, and hairy. The other was Yaakov(Jacob) which means heel as when Esav came out first Yakov tried getting out by pulling on Esav's heel.At that point Esav is considered"the first born" of Yitzchal who was supposed to get the Fistborn'sblessings. The Torah tells us though that even though both twins came fromone father, they were heading in two different directions.Yaakov learned Torah full time in the Beis Medresh (House of Torah study)of Shem and Ever. Esav the Torah says "verse 27 wasa man who knew hunting, a man of the field" but Yaakov was "a humble personwho dwelled in tents" Rashi explains that dwelling in tents is learningunder Shem and Ever Torah.
The Torah goes on to tell us that one day Esav came back home hungry,and Rashi expalins it was because he murdered someoneand was famished. Now Esav asks Yaakov ofr food. He cooks some kind of stewof a legume called "adashim" for his brother Esav. But he puts onecondition on it, Esav has to sell his birthright and all the ensuing blessings for the stew. Esav agrees.
Now, down the road Yitzchak is getting old, and he wants to blessboth his sons. First to grant the birthright blessings to Esav. Instead, while Esav goes out to hunt in the field,Yaakov puts on furon his hands and disguises himself to be like Esav.Yitzchak could not see,he was blind, but he checked Esav's hands after speaking to Yaakov indisguise he says "The voice is the voice of Yaakov, but the hands and thehands of Esav" He then proceeds to give a blessing to Yaakov that weremeant for Esav.The blessing is "G-D should give you from the dew of Heaven---and you shall have a bounty of wheat..Later Esav returns and finds out his blessing was already "given to Yaakov"and explodes in a fit of anger and jealousy, against Yaakov Jacob the father of the Jewish People.
In verse 36 Esav goes on to complain that "Yaakov tricked the fisrt born's rights from me twice". The Rabbis explain from all this that "Halacha Esav Soneh Es Yakov" thatEsav, (and all who descend from him) hate Yaakovforever. It is embedded in these people. What does this teach us? That anti-semites are not simply people "uninformed" or "misirected" like some brainashee in a cult. No, their hateis ingrained, and no "World of Difference" ADL film is going to changethem. It means that Neo-Nazi skinhead types are raisedto hate Jews, and it becomes their second nature. It means thatno trying to "bribe" Arab Nazi Arafat by giving up one inch of G-D givenland Erets Israel is going to change Arafat or the Arafat crowd.Just this week the wife of the excuse for a President went to Israelwent to Israel, and not to help. She embraced the very wife of Arafatwho gave blood libel like speech about how Israel and the Jews are poisoning the water of Arabs. Sounds like they have been readingProtocols of the Elders of Zion about as truthful as Arafatand Hillary Clinton. This is not the first time we have been accusedfalsely of poisoning wells though.In the Middle Ages(Dark Ages)there were such accusations by the mobs of superstitious ignorant fired up Jew-Haters right before a crusade, or some other pogrom.
Now the difference between Nazis and Crusaders?Many of the Nazis had college degrees and were well educatedjust like David the Nazi Klansman Duke who has a PHD! The lesson is we have enemies inspired by their hero Esav or Haman, or Hitler, that want to exterminate Jews. G-D willing we will do whatever it takes "to stop the hands of Esav from choking the throats of Jacob" Realize, you cannot "reeducate a neo-nazi"through reason or logic. Could you reason with a violent psycopath who just escaped an insane asylum ? The answer is clear what we must do to blunt the dangerous hands of Esav. We must strengthen our Torah commitment by learning more Torah, and doing more Mitzvot. We must also take proper training in all the skills that our enemies have. If they can shoot bows and arrows(like Esav) so can we. If they can shoot guns...so can we..if theyknow how to use their hands...so can we. And if some Esav inspired neo-nazis decide to go hunting for Jewish children at aJewish camp or school, then Jews can easily adeptat becoming the best of hunters, and start turing the hunters into thehunted.
THIS WEEKS'S TORAH LECTURE "CHAYEY SARAH"
from National Director
This weeks Torah portion is Chayey Sarah meaning the life of Sarah,wife of our Forefather Avraham, Abraham. This weeks portion describes thatshe lived 127 years, and then verse 2 (Gennesis Chapter 23 verse 2) "And Sarah died in Kiryat Arbahthat is Chevron(Hebron) in the Land of Cannaan.Then Avraham (her husband) came to mourn Sarah and cry for her. The next verses read "And Avraham got up from the face of his deceased one, and he spoke to theChildren of Chais saying. "I am a resident stranger with you give me a aplace make a grave, and I will bury my dead before me" Rashi explains thatwhen it says Avraham came "it was from the place of Beer Sheva". Rashi explains the words "Ger Toshav" a resident stranger as meaningthat Avraham is describing himself a stranger because he is from anotherland, who now is going to settle amongst them. Rashi based on a midrah Agadahexplains further "if you want I will be a stranger, if not I will take it by law as G-D promised me To your descendants I will give this Land"
The Torah then goes on to describe what happened "The Children of Chethanswered Hear us o Master You are G-D's Leader amongst us, take a place tobury your dead" Later Avraham answers them in verse 9 "Give me the caveof Machpelah that he (Ephron) has for much silver I will give you."
After some bargaining by the leader of these people (Ephron) itwas agreed that Avraham pays 400 silver Shekels(a currency from then). Atfirst Ephron tried to misleadingly imply he could have it for free. Avrahampaid for that site.
As the Ramban teaches "Maaseh Avot Siman le banim whatever happened to our forefathers repeats itself with their descendants"Avraham to get that cave paid a very high amount. Today in the Land of Israel, the Children of Avraham the Jewish People living in Chevron, KiryatArba, paid good money 80 and 90 years ago to those Arabs living around the area, to sell them land. By right all of Israel belonged to the Jewish People but out of a senseof not wanting to "insult" the settlers, even the modern day Zionistsreclaiming the Land of Israel in the early 20'th Century paid top inflated prices for small swamps that they would later drain and build on.
With blood sweat and tears Jews of all backgrounds came home and they did NOT sit around then or now dreaming of the day they could make pogroms on Arabs. If anything everyonein the Zionist camp wanted to be able to develop our G-D given Eretz Israel in safety and security. Jabotinsky, after repeated Arab terror attacks, told the Jews to create a "Jewish Army' that could defend against just such attacks, and liberate the land of Israel.
The Torah commands us "from deception stay away" (Midvar Sheker Terachak)actually means stay far away. How then, can a whole generation of youngIsraelis learn from a new texttbook written by an anti-Zionist for theirhistory classes, that we slaughtered the Arabs, a pure lie? How can a person better assigned towrite comic books dare to commissioned to writethat "in 1948 Israel's first war, the war of Independence it was Israelthat outnumbered and outgunned the Arabs"? This is againpure lies meant to demoralize Israeli youth, to put guilt and doubt inthem, so that eventually they will surrender, just as the French living ascolonists in Algeria did after being beaten by the FLN.
At one time all Israelis unless they were communist acceptedthat this was our Land, given to us by G-D, and that we would hold it and defend it. In fact the bywords of the Hagana in the 1948 War ofIndependence were "no retreat from any settlement, no matter how far" These again must become our bywords, that G-D himself gave us all of theland of Israel, and indeed the first Jewish Settlement was in Hebron over 2,000 years ago when our Forefather Abrahambought a plot of Land for his deceased wife Sarah. Today, one can visitthis very plot, and see the Cave of the Machpelah, and we must move heavenand earth to make sureno Israeli Government must give it up!
by National Director Mordechai Levy
Just last week was the portion of the Torah "Lech Lcha" in Berashsh (Genesis) Chapter 11. Avraham, (Abraham) is told byG-D "Get out of your land from where you are born, and from the houseof your fathers, to the Land I will show you." The next versestates "I will make you a great nation, and I will bless you and will makeyour name and it will be for a blessing."
Lech Lcha in Hebrew means "you should go" and the Commentary Rashiexplains "you should go...for your own benefitand your own good" Now, its an obvious question that can any Torah reader should ask.
"Why does Rashi have to even mention that when G-D is telling Avraham "you leave" it means for "your own good" ? Of courseanyone who reads the Torah would surely know that if G-D tells Avraham to leave his father's home "its for his good" What is Rash tellingus ?
To answer one has to know that anything that happened with the Avot, Forefathers mentioned in the Torah is a sign for us what to do in similar situations. The RAMBAN states "Maaseh Avot Siman LeBanim". Everything that happened to the fore fathers happens, and has happened in later generations. In every generation we have seen asituation of "get out of your land"the land you think is yours. It happened in Iran where Jews livedfor almost 1900 years, in Bukhara, in Germany, Italy, Czechoslavakia, and inevery democracy where Jews insisted the loudest it "cannot happen there" and it did. In the end there are those neo-nazis, KKK, and Farrakhan variety Jew-Haters, all who would like to make sure "it happens here". So along comesthe Jewish Establishment of 1930's Germany especially Reform Rabbis and assimilated Jews swearing how they could not leave "their home," Germany, and that Israel was not "the Land of the Jews" If only they would have listened and left to their real home Erets Israel, many would have been saved. In fact in Poland the anti-zionist socialist group the Bund printed a poster in the very years Hitler came to power in Germany saying "Poland is our Homeland". That thinking more than anything else led Europe's Jews to an early grave. Our job is to tell every Jew in America that we can "Jews, go home for your own good!"Get out, a fire is burning!
So, when Rashi says "to leave means for your own good" it is to tell us that although it seems tough to leave the country you grew up in and spoke its language, you will benefit by going home to your own country Erets Israel". Let us repeat that message even as neo-nazis go on a killing spree in Los Angles and Chicago, and try other places as well. Jews Go Home Home is to Israel!!!