09 December 2016

Motherhood and Amona - R' Nachman Kahana

9 Kislev 5777
Erev Shabbat Vayetze'

BS”D Parashat Vayaitzai 5777
Rabbi Nachman Kahana

The Ultimate Joy of Motherhood

Normal people place great value on having children. But in our parasha the desire for children and the joy and delight exhibited by our grandmothers Rachel, Leah, Bilha and Zilpa upon the birth of their children go beyond the natural feeling of motherhood.
Their delight was in the knowledge that they were chosen to be a major part in the biggest saga in human history – they were to bring into this world the beginning of the 12 tribes which would comprise Am Yisrael.

Ya’akov, undoubtedly, made them aware of the dream he experienced on the Temple Mount, where HaShem promised that his children would be the chosen of all nations to receive the Torah, inherit the Land and enjoy eternal life. Each child was a world unto himself. The characteristics of Reuven were radically different than those of Shimon; and Levi was a world apart from all the others.

To this day, every halachically born Jewish child brings with him and her a holy soul from the upper realms of the spiritual world (converts are pure Jewish souls who for reasons unknown to us had to go through the conversion process).

My grandmother Leah (being a Kohen, I am from the tribe of Levi, Leah’s third son) was overwhelmed with joy when her sixth son Naftali was born, because with his birth she brought forth half of the tribes of Am Yisrael.

Rachel was devastated when Ya’akov’s other three wives gave birth to children while she was barren, until HaShem blessed her with the 11th and 12th tribes – Yosef and Binyamin. Rachel had the unique privilege of giving birth to Binyamin in Eretz Yisrael; the only one of the tribes born in the Holy Land. And while Binyamin’s soul was descending from heaven, his mother’s soul was ascending to the highest realm of the shamayim, as she passed away just after naming the boy.

Bringing Jewish Children into the World

The Jewish nation has the questionable distinction of being one of the numerically smallest in the family of nations. To number around 10 million (halachic Jews) after being in the world close to four thousand years tells the whole story of the price we have paid to survive in a world that rejected HaShem’s Torah in search of more “user friendly” religions which permit the hedonistic desires of the human race to sin and yet feel holy about it.

A Jewish child is a perfection that passed the inspection of the Almighty Himself. The Gemara (Nida) reveals that every Jewish child while being conceived is given an angel who teaches the soon to be born soul the entire Torah. At birth the knowledge of Torah is deposited in the inner recesses of the child’s consciousness – but it is not forgotten. So that in effect when we learn Torah we are not attaining new information but retrieving what we already knew from the recesses of our inner selves.

This answers a question regarding the lovely song at the end of the Pesach Seder – echad mi yodai’ah (Who is aware of the “One”).

The song contains 13 stanzas, each dealing with a number beginning with one till 13.
1 is our God
2 are the Holy Tablets
3 our fathers: Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov
4 our mothers: Sarah, Rivka, Rachel and Leah
5 books of the Torah
6 books of the Mishna
7 days of the week
8 days until a brit mila
9 months of conception
10 Commandments
11 stars in Yosef’s dream
12 tribes
13 attributes of HaShem

All the numbers in the song relate to issues which are totally Jewish except for number 9 which is universal: The nine months of conception. Why?

In fact, there is no exception. Because the author was referring to the nine months of conception of a Jewish child, which as stated above is different than all others of the human race. These are the 9 months of Torah study from an angel – one on one.

To be blessed with a Jewish child is to expand the boundaries of Gan Eden to make room for one more holy soul.

(Judaism and the concepts stated above have nothing in common with what is commonly called racism. Race is a situation one is born into and cannot change. Just as a mouse cannot turn into an elephant, a member of the black race can never turn into a Caucasian and visa versa. However, one who was born a gentile can become a Jew and attain a Jewish neshama as if he were a newborn, hence Judaism is not racist.)

An ugly practice has entered into the mainstream of many Jewish communities in the galut and has started to trickle into our holy land. People are getting married later in life – into their thirties, rather than in their early twenties, as was the norm when I was a young man. Without going into the many negative aspects from a halachic and moral viewpoint, these individuals will in the best case bring but 2 or 3 children into the world.

Sexual perverts not only sin against HaShem, for which they will be severely punished, despite all the rhetoric justifying their right and need to be accepted; they betray the future of our nation. For any such couple will not bring a Jewish child into the world.

Late marriages, perverted sexual preferences and just regular non-orthodox families who have two children (and a dog) will eventually disappear, and the Jewish nation will be comprised of orthodox God-fearing families who fulfill the first mitzva in the Torah “pru u’re’vu” – multiply and be fruitful.

Part Two

The Settlement of Amona

In the parasha, Ya’akov rests for the night on Mount Moriah, the future Temple Mount. There he sees the dramatic vision of the angels who guarded him in Eretz Yisrael ascending the ladder to return to heaven, to be replaced by lesser angels who were sent to guard him in the profane galut.

And HaShem appears to Ya’akov saying:
הארץ אשר אתה שוכב עליה לך אתננה ולזרעך
The ground you are lying on I will give to you and to your descendants
The Gemara (Chulin 91b) records the explanation of this phrase by Rabbi Yitzchak:
מלמד שקפלה הקדוש ברוך הוא לכל ארץ ישראל והניחה תחת יעקב אבינו, שתהא נוחה ליכבש לבניו
This comes to teach that HaShem folded (as it would be) all the land of Yisrael placing it under Yaakov, so that it would be easy to liberate and settle the land in its time.
Rabbi Yitzchak was expressing the idea metaphorically, that in the future Yehoshua Bin Nun at the head of the Jewish army would liberate the Land without sacrifice.

I submit that the phrase is telling us that just as a human being comprises a single indivisible entity, so too will the holy land be from this moment on an indivisible entity belonging exclusively to Ya’akov’s descendants.

International law has classified the State of Israel as a “military occupier” of the West bank and the Golan.  Six UN committees have taken an even larger step towards the muck and mire of political insanity when they declared that the Jewish people have no historic or religious connections to the Temple Mount or to the Kotel.

The Israeli High Court ordered the destruction of the Amona settlement after being in place for 20 years. The court sees itself as being subordinate to international law rather than to Jewish, tradition and history.

One cannot be an occupier in one’s own land. Yehuda and Shomron are the heartland of Eretz Yisrael which was presented to the Jewish people by the Creator. However, when one denies the Torah, it is just a short ideological distance to adopting a gentile orientation and the desire to be accepted by the gentile world.

To uproot the Amona, just as was the uprooting of Gush Katif and giving the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt by Menachem Begin, is a “slap in the face” of the Creator and a denial of our own history.

The highest goal of this generation is the return of our people to the holy land. It overrides any claim to private property some gentile might have, as in the words of Eliyahu the prophet to King Achav when he murdered Naot in order to attain his vineyard:
רצחת וגם ירשת
You have murdered and then taken possession of the victim’s property.
The Romans murdered our people 2000 years ago and the gentiles who came in their wake stole our land.

Amona will be taken down, because of the High Court’s coercive police power. But let it be recorded in the protocols of the Medina, that just as we today have to accept the court’s judicial order, that when the time comes and the law of the land will be the Torah, all people in the Medina will have to comply.

Shabbat Shalom,
Nachman Kahana

Copyright © 5777/2016 Nachman Kahana
 The video below is a very rare and raw look (yes, it was very bloody and it looks like some people nearly died!) at what happened in Amona 10 years ago, from Honenu. I am afraid that by declaring that they would not oppose the government forces this time, they may have invited themselves to be punished now just as they were then (may it never be. I hope to haShem that I'm wrong!), because whether or not they opposed the evacuation, THE GOVERNMENT'S PURPOSE THEN WAS TO PUNISH THEM, PERIOD. The evacuation takes place tomorrow night, Motza'ei Shabbat.

Let us have the active emunah (אמונה) to support the villagers of Amona (עמונה) this time, however we can! HaShem is with us, especially when the world is not!

Shabbat Shalom!

Some history on Amona

02 December 2016

"We are Character Witnesses..."

2 Kislev 5777

This post is dedicated l'iluy nishmat my safta, Nazira Cohen Mizrahi, z"l. Unfortunately, I didn't know her - she passed when I was 2 years old and we were on the other side of the country from her (the US, not Israel...) - and I don't know her parents' names. She was born in Haifa in June 1900 as far as I know, and passed on 3 Kislev 5718.

I still have relatives in Haifa, but I have not had a chance to reach out for, or to, them. If anyone can help me put this puzzle together, please comment.

R' Berland in court in South Africa, from the Randburg Sun. The article I linked to notes that while the charges against him are severe, he is not listed on Interpol. Hmmm.

The injustice continues in Israel at the behest of the nations, whose aim it is to destroy her, no matter how. One of their favorite targets is rabbis who manage to win secular Jews to observance. Rivka at Emunaroma.com threw down the gauntlet: "...when one of the leading Gedolei HaDor [R' Dov Kook of Tiveria] puts out a public statement clearly linking Rav Berland’s persecution by the Israeli government to these fires - no-one quoted it. No-one mentioned it."

Well, in my last post I linked to it, and now I will mention it, as fully as I can.

For the past several years the sweeping hand of Erev Rav injustice has come against Rav Eliezer Berland, loaded with invective, slander and libel (If the legal system here had proof, it would have been presented by now. They aren't known for hesitation, particularly when it comes to religious Jews. Apparently the "proof" they had previously hasn't held up to serious scrutiny; in fact, it hadn't met the burden expected of it in Holland and other places. It has gotten to the point that someone is trying to take all the Rav's videos down from YouTube based on false accusations of copyright violation. Shuvu Banim Yeshiva vouches for them on its Web site.). The news here (the voice of the Israeli government, or should I say "system"?) says one thing; some rabbis say another and other rabbis say yet other things (see this search for example). Along with all this, too many people trust the news above all else and haven't kept in mind that every report is hearsay. And a lot of people want to see him jailed until he dies, from the accusatory commentary I'm reading — which I won't link to. I would rather see real legal proceedings...if there are going to be any.

Torah basically commands that a judge not favor either a rich person or a poor one. It doesn't matter whether he is a rabbi, the prime minister or a garbage collector (and even though he could be much more): If he (whoever he is) is innocent, he shouldn't be in jail, and he shouldn't be harassed. The principle is that an innocent person should not be in prison, no matter if he (or she) is the simplest or the greatest; and there is no excuse good enough. The only way to find out is through a real trial, if there are real charges to be brought. Case closed.

The following people bear witness to the Rav's character, wholeheartedly believe he is innocent and that he should be permanently freed immediately. (I'm sorry only because I cannot compile a complete, comprehensive list.)

Apparently the government also does, since he has been freed several times, only to be put back into prison!

Absurd, right?

I am not speaking to people who uncritically believe every word out of a newspaper or TV presentation, no matter where it comes from in the world, even here in Israel. It is clear that they frequently, if not always, lie; furthermore, no matter what kind of society they live in, they mostly serve the government and ultimately the United Nations. And we know how much they love Israel, right?

Bible Code Tables (VIDEO) from R' Matityahu Glazerson:
22 Nov 2016: Rabbi Berland Admits... [to what? and why?]
  1 Aug 2016: Accusation of Rabbi Berland - Erev Rav Rule

28 Jul 2016: Detention of Rabbi Berland in 5776 in Bible code
19 Jul 2016: R' Shimon Badani's statement: "Anyone speaking Lashon Harah about Rav Berland will inherit hell!"
30 July 2015: The Plot against Rabbi Eliezer Berland

Posted 3 May 2016:
Berland-Pinto-Erev Rav (some interesting insights into the case of R' Yosef Pinto as well)
Signs of Mashiach: Persecution of Rabbis
Last Sign before Mashiach: Libel against R' Eliezer Berland (expanded from the one just above)

13 Apr 2016: Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef to Breslov students: "Your Rabbi is a great and righteous man..."

Other Articles in The Rav's Defense
  1 Dec 2016: Three lawyers plead with the Rav not to make a plea bargain

31 Oct 2016: Rav Chaim Reicher visits R' Berland in prison
  6 Apr 2016, Jerusalem Post: Setting the Record Straight about Rav Eliezer Berland

Dani18.com (the autistics)
6 Aug 2016: Rav Berland Live Shiur, 2 Adar B 5776 (Hebrew)
17 Sep 2016: a video was posted here but the original YouTube has been taken down: R' Berland is righteous, don't believe in lies! (Hebrew)

I could go on....but I think the point has been made. There's more if you care to search for it. Meanwhile, please pray for R' Eliezer ben Etya and that he, and we, will live to see justice done.

By the way, it seems to me that the Rav's parents' names, Hayim and Etya (עטיה) mean "Life" and "Pen of G-d" in Hebrew. Hmmm. May these meanings stand him in good stead.

11 Aug 2016: R' Dovid Chaim Stern testifies of R' Berland's character from a personal conversation with the Steipler Ga'on (Yaakov Yisrael Kanievsky, zz"l), with whom the middle-aged R' Berland was a Torah-learning partner.

I want to thank Rivka Levy (emunaroma and other sites) for her help with my research for this post.

Shabbat Toledoth Shalom! 

26 November 2016

By the Light (and the Heat) of the Fires of Haifa...

26 Heshvan 5777

 R' David Bar-Hayim explains the real motive behind the arson-related fires here.

The fires in Israel, which started mainly in Haifa, chasing out some 60,000 residents, and have also been set in various parts of the country, even threatening important infrastructure items such as the power station in Hadera, many by the hands of Arabs and "politically motivated" arsonists (probably one and the same, since some news services aren't being specific about who is being arrested or even caught setting fires - or even how they are occurring, but they are noting their social media reactions), should serve as a perfect example of why we Israelis — particularly the Jews — need our k'shei oref (stiff-necked) attribute when it comes to letting our government have its way with enforcing global political correctness on us.

A number of people have been arrested because they are suspect. This does not mean the problem is solved. Note the order of just a couple of related events from the Times of Israel:

A fire was also reported close to the Israel Electric Corporation’s huge coal-fired power station in coastal Hadera. Firefighters said the outbreak was under control.

The IEC has since declared a national emergency due to the large number of fires across the country.

This is serious; HaShem is waking us up from our complacency. We cannot keep holding back our voices from crying out. Fire literally means HOLOCAUST, people. Our enemies won't wait until concentration camps and ovens are built — our trees, our cities, and the physical sources of our modern lives ARE the ovens, unless we act NOW, with emunah that haShem is with us. All the firefighting from the air from all over the world is appreciated, but will not help. We cannot assume that this will be able to be stopped soon.

Israel News Online is liveblogging on Facebook (for those who have it), in addition to The Jewish Press (h/t: Devash).

 According to the BBC, the leader of Israel's Labor party, Yitzhak Herzog, "also urged restraint, warning of the dangers of rhetoric that could 'add to the flames'."

Why would that be, if no one is responding to what we say?! If the fires are lighting themselves, as is claimed about half of them are, then why bother objecting to how we speak about them?

It seems that we don't fully know what is going on. I'm not live-blogging this one, since people with more time are already doing that; but I will keep my eyes open. There may be other things happening for which the fires of Israel are, literally, a smoke screen.

We don't believe haShem is punishing us because He enjoys our pain. We need to learn our lessons. There may be many spiritual reasons this extreme trial is upon us. Some suggestions are linked to in the "more reading" below.

The Arabs have to answer at least one question as well: If the Land really belongs to them, why are they burning it?

Abba sh'baShamayim, please Give Blessed Rain on ALL the Face of Our Land!
אבא שבשמים, נא תן טל ומטר לברכה על כל פני האדמה!

All this, as the month of Kislev, a month of signs, wonders and victory for the Jewish People, stands ready to begin later this week, may haShem cause it to live up to its name.

Hodesh tov umevorakh חודש טוב ומבורך!

More reading:

Pictures of Israel Burning from BBC | R' Dov Kook: ...Because of the terrible persecution of R' Berland | ...Because of Amona (Hebrew) (h/t: Yeranen Yaakov) | Song of the Wind | Dov Bar-Leib: My Open Letter to the Residents of Red Haifa | Israel News Talk RADIO: When Arabs Burn the Land They Say They Love | Arson: A New Stage in the UNRWA War on the Jews | PA Arabs, [US] State Dept. Mourn Fidel Castro, as Miami Exiles Dance in the Streets | The "Aishtafada": Arab Arson Terror Continues | Attempted Mass Murder in Israel | SATIRE: I hope you all ignore my knee-jerk accusation of arson as I ridicule yours | Israel is Burning | Updates on Israel Fires | Arab Knesset Member is Taught Torah! | R' Shmuel Eliyahu: It is a mitzvah to break Shabbat to stop an arsonist | What lies behind the conflagration | Fire on My Mind | Al-Qaeda-linked Palestinian group "claims responsibility" for devastating Haifa fires...h/t: Neshama |

17 November 2016

A Good Omen for Our Nation by R' Nachman Kahana

16 Heshvan 5777

BS”D Parashat Vayaira 5777
Rabbi Nachman Kahana


Part One: Yitzchak’s Sacrifice

The Gemara (Shabbat 89b) records that at some unspecified time in history HaShem related or will relate to Avraham Avienu “banecha chatu’li” – your sons have sinned against me. And Avraham replied (or will reply) that they should be severely punished. HaShem is not satisfied by this reply and repeats to Ya’akov that his sons have sinned. Ya’akov, like his grandfather Avraham, replied that they should be severely punished for their sins.
HaShem is now displeased with Ya’akov.

He then informed Yitzchak of the low spiritual state of his children, to which Yitzchak defends the Jewish nation, with the major thrust of his defense being the claim that the episode of the Akeida (the binding and near sacrifice of Yitzchak) is sufficient reason for HaShem to forgive the transgressions of Am Yisrael.

What makes the episode of Akeidat Yitzchak, recorded in our parasha, so essential in our requests for forgiveness.

I submit:
The call to sacrifice Yitzchak was made by HaShem to Avraham – not to Yitzchak. So, in fact, Yitzchak had the prerogative to refuse. And had he done so, Avraham would have been exempted from his obligation due to causes beyond his control, and Yitzchak could not have been held liable, because as stated he was not commanded.

Yet Yitzchak agreed to be the sacrifice demanded by HaShem of his father Avraham, for one reason. Despite the fact that HaShem did not command Yitzchak to give up his life, Yitzchak knew that it was HaShem’s will that he be sacrificed on the altar on what was to become the Temple Mount, in Yerushalayim.

By Yitzchak bringing up the episode of the Akeida, to counter HaShem’s implicit warnings that He has taken notice of our dire sins, Yitzchak is saying to HaShem: “You did not command me to relinquish my life at 37 years old under my father’s knife. Yet I agreed for one reason – I knew that that was your wish. We, the Jewish people, also have a wish – it is to be loyal sons to You, our Father-in- Heaven. But we are human beings, make of flesh and blood, distracted and bombarded by the yetzer hara (our corporeal instincts) which seeks to drive us away from the holy Torah. So just as I yielded to what I knew was your desire, so too listen to the wishes of Your People Am Yisrael and forgive them for their sins.

A true Jew is one who not only fulfills the implicit mitzvot of the Written and Oral Torah, but carries out even the implied, tacit and silent wishes of Hashem.

The principle of doing HaShem’s silent wishes is upon us every moment. A Jew who lives only according to the letter of the Halacha while ignoring the spirit of Halacha, is an halachic robot who does not come even close to what a Jew must be. The taking of that “one more step” which we call “lifnim mei’shurat hadin” (beyond the requirements of the law) is what defines a Jew as being God fearing. The Torah says we must give tzedakah (charity). So, one can give money to a needy person like you throw a bone to a dog, or he can speak to the person and give him hope that things in life have a way of turning around.

The Zohar states that there are two kinds of Gehennom – one of fire and the other of ice.
I believe that the fire is for those who have committed a sin in heated passion and the Gehennom of ice awaits those who have fulfilled a mitzva with lack of passion.

Stairway to Heaven
I am fully aware of the pilpulistic contortions and meandering taken by some Halachic “authorities” in the galut to prove that there is no mitzva today to live in Eretz Yisrael.
Open a Chumash to any parsha – you will not be able to escape Eretz Yisrael. Most learned Jews know that it is a Torah mitzva in every generation for every Jew to live in Eretz Yisrael when the gates to the Holy land are open.

But even if you believe that the official mitzva is only when the Mashiach comes, stand in front of a mirror and ask yourself, “Is it HaShem’s desire that a Jew live in Pittsburgh or in His Holy Land of Eretz Yisrael? HaShem indeed wants every Jew to be in the Land that He chose over all others to house His holy Temple and declared the Temple Mount to be the “Stairway to Heaven”.

It is HaShem’s desire that His children be in Eretz Yisrael. Even if your learned rabbi told you that it is not an official mitzva today, it was Yitzchak’s decision to give his life because he knew that it was HaShem’s wish.

Part Two: The Savior of Yisrael

The third chapter of Birkat Hamazon (grace after meals) was authored by Kings David and Shlomo, and deals with Yerushalayim and the Bet Hamikdash (the holy temple). The Gemara (Brachot 49a) discusses the wording of its closing blessing with the conclusion that one may say “Blessed are You… the re-builder of Yerushalayim”, or “Blessed are You… the savior of Yisrael”.

Rashi explains that the phrase “the savior of Yisrael” is equivalent to saying “the re-builder of Yerushalayim” because the salvation of Am Yisrael is dependent on the re-building of Yerushalayim.

My Friend the Yerushalayim Dust-man
Where I live in the Old City of Yerushalayim, there is a dust-man (sanitation worker) who cares for our streets and plazas.

Aharon and I are friends and speak almost every day. He once told me that his wealthy grandfather came from Iran to Eretz Yisrael and established a chain of carpet stores. He gave a store to each of his sons except to Aharon’s father who preferred to be a construction worker to build up Yerushalayim with his own hands.

Aharon followed in his father’s way until he was hurt on a site and could no longer work in construction and became the dust-man of the Jewish Quarter.

A while back, Aharon and I had a heated argument. Aharon claimed that he was a simple Jew in Yerushalayim working hard to support his family. I argued that he, like his father, is a tzadik (righteous one) whose real value in heaven one cannot fathom. In order to emphasis my case, I said to Aharon: “You are, in the eyes of HaShem, more important than the most illustrious spiritual leader in the galut, for you are advancing the advent of the Mashiach, whereas the spiritual leaders in the galut with every shiur, drasha, new shul, yeshiva and mikveh repulse the Mashiach as they strengthen Jewish communities in the gentile galut.

The Perigee
Our rabbis have likened the Jewish people to the moon, because we both wane and nearly vanish but always re-appear.

The moon’s orbit has an elliptical shape, sometimes it is closer to Earth than other times. Astronomers call the closest-to-the-Earth moment the perigee. This week on November 14 the moon became full within about two hours of perigee making it an extra-supermoon, and the Earth was bathed in 30% more moonlight (learn more about this rarity of such a supermoon at NASA and EarthSky.org).

This is a good omen for our nation. What is interesting is the fact that the last time such a super-supermoon occurred was in the year 1948 – when Medinat Yisrael was established.

In conclusion: It is HaShem’s desire that His children be in Eretz Yisrael, even if your learned rabbi tells you that it is not a mitzva today. Remember, it was Yitzchak’s decision to give his life because he knew that it was HaShem’s wish. It is HaShem’s wish that the Jews leave the galut and return to the Holy Land.

Shabbat Shalom,
Nachman Kahana
Copyright © 5777/2016 Nachman Kahana
Also, you are invited to read the following featuring Yitzhak Avinu:

Concerning "Beating Yishma'el at His Own Game" by Rav Yissocher Frand part 1 | part 2 | part 3

and concerning the super-SuperMoon:

Wired.com | National Geographic | Shirat Devorah: And Now a Red Super Moon in Australia and Super Moon Photos |

13 November 2016

Assassination of Leaders and Nations - R' Nachman Kahana

12 Heshvan 5777

BS”D Parashat Lech Lecha and Vayaira 5777
Rabbi Nachman Kahana

From Abraham’s Journey from Ur to Canaan, 1850, by the Hungarian artist József Molnár. Wikiart.

Assassination of Leaders and Nations

Part One

A: Two Jewish leaders were assassinated within a period of five years. My brother Harav Meir Kahana on the 18th of Cheshvan 5751 (Nov. 5, 1990) and Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin on the 12th of Cheshvan 5756 (November 4, 1995).

B: In parashat Lech Lecha, HaShem informs Avraham that Sarah will give birth to a son, Avraham is traumatized and replies: “lu Yishmael yich’ye le’fanecha” – “May Yishmael (who was already born) live before you”.  Avraham comes to the defense of Yishmael and requests future equal rights for his son born of Hagar, the Egyptian woman.

In next week’s parasha Vayera, Yitzchak is born and Sarah perceives the unbridgeable spiritual divide between the two half-brothers. Sarah demands that Avraham send Yishmael away (Beraisheet , 21:10):  “Chase away this maidservant and her son, for this son of the maidservant will not inherit together with my son Yitzchak”

Sarah instinctively sees the evil and wildness in the soul of Yishmael, and knows that neither Yitzchak and Yishmael nor their offspring will ever be able to live together.
HaShem tells Avraham to abide by Sarah’s request, for she is correct in declaring that Yishmael’s progeny will maintain everlasting enmity towards the future descendants of Yitzchak.

C: True to parashat Lech Lecha, up until he was murdered, Rabin adopted Avraham’s mistaken belief that Yishmael has spiritual qualities which could permit him to live harmoniously with Avraham’s future Jewish descendants. Toward this end, Rabin permitted the return to the Medina of the PLO murderers living in Tunisia and gave them forty thousand weapons.

Yitzchak Rabin was murdered on Motzei Shabbat of parashat LECH LECHA.
Harav Meir, adopted Sara’s divinely affirmed position that the souls of the two are hewn from vastly different worlds – Yitzchak is the ben-Torah and worthy to be a korban (sacrifice) for God on Mount Moriah, while Yishmael is a “pereh adam” (barbarian) who prefers death over life.

Harav Meir preached and pleaded that the people of Israel should see the future and take steps to prevent the tragedies we are witnessing to this very day. Rabin wanted to give them half of Eretz Yisrael, despite the words of our mother Sarah in parashat Vayaira that “the son of this maidservant will not inherit with my son Yitzchak”. History has played out in accordance with God’s command to Avraham to abide by Sarah’s wishes.

Rav Meir was murdered in the week of parashat VAYEIRA, the week of “Chase away this maidservant and her son, for this son of the maidservant will not inherit together with my son Yitzchak”.

Part Two
Rambam (Maimonidies) in his ‘Laws of Tshuva” (repentance) based on Tractate Yoma, enumerates the various ways one can achieve atonement such as confession, Yom Kippur, Temple sacrifices and difficulties in life, dependent on the severity of the sin. However, if a sin creates a chillul HaShem – a desecration of God’ holy name, then atonement can be obtained only after the above-mentioned stages plus the day one passes away.

There are many ways one can create a chillul HaShem, such as a religious person who is found to be corrupt or even impolite behavior by a person who is noticeably Jewish.
The Book of Samuel  1 chapter 17 records that the Jewish and Philistine armies were facing each other in the Valley of Elah, south of the present city of Bet Shemesh.

For a period of 40 days and 40 nights, whenever the Jews would recite Kri’at Shema, Goliath would advance to “no man’s land” and curse the Jewish God and His nation Yisrael.
Goliath obviously had defiled the name of HaShem. However, his was not the ultimate chillul HaShem at the time, there was a more severe desecration of the Holy Name. It was the fact that until David appeared on the scene no Jew dared to silence the defiler of HaShem’s holy name.

We too are witnessing an ongoing chillul HaShem that makes the absurd declarations of UNESCO pale before it.

In Parashat Lech Lecha, HaShem promises Avraham that his Jewish descendants would be the sole possessors of Eretz Yisrael. The promise was fulfilled when Yehoshua entered the land 3500 years ago.

The powers behind UNESCO’s declaration that the Jewish people have no connection with the Temple Mount or the Kotel gains legitimacy from the thousands of rabbis and spiritual leaders of all sorts who prefer to live in the exile rather than in the holy land.

What would our father Avraham and mother Sarah say if they saw the religious communities in the States? They would experience profound feelings of failure. Avraham would probably not enter into their succot, nor would the other 6 ushpizin, they would be too busy visiting the succot of the non-observant kibbutz succot here in Eretz Yisrael who struggle and sacrifice to maintain our presence in the Land HaShem promised to Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya’akov.

Rav Meir Kahana and PM Yitzchak Rabin gave their “all” for the continued success of the Medina in the land which was promised to our forefathers; may the souls of both these men be united with the living souls in Olam Haba.

Shabbat Shalom,
Nachman Kahana

Copyright © 5777/2016 Nachman Kahana

 R' Kahana speaks about aliyah in English...

 and in Yiddish.


11 November 2016

Kennedy v. Nixon: A Proper Presidential Debate

10 Heshvan 5777
Erev Shabbath Lekh Lekha

When I wrote yesterday that I remembered the Kennedy-Nixon debates, I hadn't checked YouTube (it seems like one may find there everything since the dawn of moving pictures!). My husband found the first one and we watched it together. I had told him that I remembered the candidates sitting down; and, sure enough, in the opening shot there they are, sitting, with the moderator between them. Each one stands only to speak, at a music stand for each of them.

They don't dare do that today! No sitting onstage, and certainly no music stand; each candidate has a full-fledged podium at which to deliver his or her point of view. Then, color television had not made its appearance, and an ultra-simple set sufficed (not even a curtain around the set, called a cyclorama, or cyc - pronounced sike - for short); today, sets must be elaborate and colorful to appear proper. Even the furniture must at least look solid (unless you have high-definition TV, in which case the viewer will see all the flaws, so expensive-looking furniture must be used on the set).

More to the point, words were more important then, and had to have at least the ring of truth; sincerity was a key term and value. Today there seems to be no such concern, since "everything is relative" and only the narrative matters.

Without further ado, I present the first Kennedy-Nixon Debate (58:35, originally film), which took place on 26 September 1960, when both candidates were young and fresh. Even Nixon looks good on camera! Only his voice seems more off-putting than Kennedy's, later in his speech.

I was a couple of months shy of 5 years old. My mother and I watched it together on our black-and-white television set. I know, I'm dating myself...

They don't make debates like this anymore...more if you want to watch them.

And a bonus video: President Kennedy in the face of the Cuban Missile Crisis, complete and uncut (18:42). Democrats don't dare speak forthrightly anymore, as the President does here. And USSR Premier Nikita Khrushchev backed down. Yes, the Soviet Union had brought those missiles to Cuba, the better to threaten everyone in the Western Hemisphere within thousands of miles in all directions.

President-elect Trump, listen up!

Shabbat shalom!

10 November 2016

...But Did the American People Win?

9 Heshvan 5777

Ah. "Democracy" at its finest. -Yeah, right.

As we all know now, Donald J. Trump, otherwise known as "The Donald," won the American Presidential election that took place two days ago.

It was a knock-down, drag-out fight between him and his opponent, Hillary Rodham Clinton. As it has been for a long time, but more obviously now, the Presidential race was between bad and worse, between menuval מנוול and menuvelet b'yoter מנוולת ביותר (meaning: evil, wicked, contemptible - the "b'yoter" means the most; menuvelet b'yoter means the most evil, etc.). I did not vote.

I was small at the time, but I remember well the debates between John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Richard Milhous Nixon; so I have some basis for comparison. Those who also remember will understand.

The following audio file of Tamar Yonah's interview with Professor Francisco Gil-White should clarify why, even in the best of circumstances, with the very highest caliber candidates, a vote in an American Presidential election makes no difference whatsoever. While, as intended, there is no center of power among the three official branches of government (for those who need the reminder, they are executive, legislative and judicial), there is a hidden center of power in the American government, either unknown or ignored by most people. It is the intelligence services: mainly the FBI and CIA, but perhaps there are others as well.

I have also written about it here.

 I liked Prof. Gil-White's suggestion that if we want to change our voting system, we should boycott voting, or withhold our vote en masse. My question for him is: Is there any legislation anywhere that declares a vote invalid if too few people (too small a percentage) participate? That would be where the system itself has to check itself in order to stay relevant. Otherwise, all we're doing is letting a minuscule minority decide our future for us. And what happens if a vote gets invalidated? Do we still have to put up with the wicked government we have/the devil we know? Any peaceful way out?

I have one two suggestions for President-elect Trump: If you want to fundamentally "make America great again," you might want to start with fighting to repeal the National Security Act of 1947. But watch your back!

Furthermore, if you want to continue to be blessed by G-d, as you were in the election, you might want to help Jews who want to make aliyah to Israel, to do so, and quit insisting that Arab Muslims who want us dead should remain among us.

As for me, I would rather have Mashiach, Har haBayit, the Knesset haG'dolah (Sanhedrin)...in short, Complete Redemption. Geulah Shlemah גאולה שלימה.

More reading/listening:

Tamar Yonah: "After the Election" Special - WHAT NOW | 78th Anniversary of Kristallnacht | American Uprising | America's Scary New Direction - 8 10-part series starts here | The End of Political Correctness | Must-See Short Video about the US Elections... | More on Israel News Talk Radio |