Thursday, October 23, 2014

Here is an interesting explanation of the extremely long lifespan of people we read about in parshas Noach.


From my archives:

"One man may hit the mark, another blunder; but heed not these distinctions. Only from the alliance of the one, working with and through the other, are great things born."
Antoine de Saint Exupery [who THOUGHT of that name??!]
AHHHHHH UNITY! BROTHERHOOD!! SISTERHOOD!! [I always wanted to be a member of the shul's sisterhood. Seems like soooo much fun. But they always discriminate against me based on gender difference. So is life. Men will generally earn higher salaries but don't get accepted to sisterhoods and are often told to stay out of the kitchen because besides not knowing what they are doing in there - they also make a big mess.]
What a beautiful idea! Or is it?? "All of the earth was of one language and of common speech.... They said let us make a town and tower whose top is in the heavens and let us make a name for ourselves" [Noach 11, 1-4]. Same language, same speech. A language is more than the sound of words. A launguage reflects a weltanschauung [Ehrman uses fancy german word!!], a world view, a culture. They were indeed unified but G-d was less than enthused about their ideas. Self aggrandizement, ego enhancement and selfish immersion in personal empowerment are not qualities that the Good Lord advocates. So he was compelled [so to speak] to confuse their language and disperse them around the earth [11, 7-8]. 
But sweetest friends - they had the right idea. The prophetic vision of the end of days is quite similar. "For then I will turn the nations to speaking a pure language, so that they will all proclaim the name of Hashem, to worship Him with a united voice" [Tzephania 3, 9]. One unified language. But the language is not about "making a name for ourself" but making a name for Hashem. Togetherness not for selfish purposes but in order to worship the Source of all good.
Yankee fans feels unity when the Yanks win a big game. Look at them give each other "goyishe yashar koachs" [known as "high fives"]. Movie buffs feel unity when sitting in the theater and watching their favorite actors pretend to be somebody they are not [aren't we all actors sometimes..]. 
Let's unite around something real - G-d! Let's speak the same language of morals, kindness, love, compassion and joy. 
And let us all have a Shabbos of BLISS!!

The Gospel According To ....

I learned a new word:-). "Voyeurism". :(.  That is the offense [which can land a person in jail for up to six years!] of which a well known rabbi of a very prominent modern orthodox congregation is being accused. I can't say that the accusations are accurate [I wasn't there and don't know details] but he has been arrested and his computer has been confiscated [as a Rov he would have been better off without a computer besides for using the otzar hachochma]. This is "news". You and I got up this morning, learned some Torah, davened in shul and went on with our day either learning Torah or working etc. That is not news. People doing good things is almost never news. Only perversions, preferably those of an arayos nature, make news. A sad commentary on the media but so it is..... Most rabbis, nay, EVERY rabbi, with one possible exception, don't put video cameras where he is alleged to have put them. That is significant. The media, both printed and electronic, being obsessed with this repulsive story of a salacious sicko [if the allegations are true], should not blind us to the fact that the overwhelming majority of rabbis and religious figures are not involved in disgusting filth. Most are good upstanding people. Most. There are exceptions. But too many. One is too many.

Here is my take..... [The gospel according to Reb Elchonon, if you will:-)].

We have a Torah. According to our Torah, it is not only filming women without their consent when they are not properly covered which is against the law but looking and thinking about ANY women [besides one's own wife - important note] is ALSO forbidden. EVERY movie has pritzus [they did in the 80's and my spies tell me that things haven't gotten any better]. EVERY Internet site is selling arayos. They ALWAYS [with the rare exceptions such a and] have images that are designed to arouse the lust of men. PASHUT! Every news site has immodest pictures - even the Jewish ones. One "rabbi" linked to an article of his in the press about this story which I innocently went to and immediately there was a picture of a prutza jumping off the page. I quickly looked away and left the page but am amazed that the very phenomenon that they are condemn - they promote at the very the same time.

We don't need threats of a jail sentence. Shmiras einayim is a chiyuv for every Jew but today it is almost impossible to be pure. On my way back from the airport I took a bus to the city. The driver was booming this radio station. The lyrics of the songs were nothing less than pornographic. I was sick to my stomach. Song after song eroded the very foundations upon which every Torah Jew lives his life. There was no escape. There was a rainstorm, we were on the highway and putting my fingers in my ears didn't help. [I did doze off for a while due to my great fatigue and felt blessed for the refreshing sleep and the salvation from hearing the poison].

Then I got to the city [in midtown HASHEM YERACHEM!!!!]. On buses everywhere there is a picture of a prutza and it says [in English] "בתולה". More than that I didn't see [and don't want to see] because I turned away, but it is disgusting. It is not just this rabbi who is guilty [if the charges are true] but all of society. What he did was worse because he violated these women's privacy without their consent but even if the woman does agree - it is still about the worst aveira a person can do.

How apropos that this week's parsha is Noach. The mabul came [according to chazal] because people were parutz in arayos. It is well known today how many people who know of the prohibition nevertheless are motzi zera li-vatala. This brings the mabul. That is how bad it is but people do it anyway, many claiming that they just can't stop. I am not judging [I leave that to Hashem] but I feel an obligation to constantly remind people about the virtue of kedusha, shmiras einayim, shmiras ha-bris etc. etc. Our covenant with Hashem is predicated upon our vigilance in this area. Rebbe Tzadok says that before moshiach it will be the biggest nisayon. Oh-boy was he right.

I wish rabbis in shuls [particularly MO shuls but charedi ones too] would talk less about politics, what is going on in Israel, about abstract issues or even about practical one's like the heter mechira [which is a nice exciting machlokes] or whether charedim should serve in the army [ditto] and talk about things that people really need to hear. How many shuls are there where everybody has unfiltered internet and they and their kids surf freely?! A churban and yet it seems that except for an odd asifa every so often and an article here and there, the issue is not being properly addressed [particularly in the more modern world]. In the charedi world they want to ban it completely but then they would almost all have to quit their jobs which would cause other problems so that is not the answer. And how about the ever popular "gym". I obviously don't frequent them myself but something tells me that there are ladies there wearing less than is expected of a bas yisrael. Of course, it could be that she is not a bas yisrael but a bas noach so she is doing nothing wrong - but what about the "ben yisrael" who is working out on the machine next to her? Is there a heter?? 

Maggidei shiur are giving complex shiurim taking apart Ktzos Hachoshens and Rav Chaims when they don't realize [or do] that their talmidim have their minds so deeply immersed in the mud and pollution of maros assuros and machshavos assuros that the kedusha of Torah has no entry point. Sometimes I want to cry out "Enough! It is like going to a reform shul and talking about the virute of fasting shovevim. Start with the ABC'S like shabbos and kashrus. Your talmidim don't have the ABC's of being a person mekusher to HKB"H and you are talking in the heavens".      

Sweetest friends!! Please-please-please, be shomer!! Shomer einayim, shomer yadayim, shomer peh vi-shmoer oznayim. You entire spritual life depends on it. Pikuach nefesh mamesh. For you and the entire Jewish people. The gemara says that for listening to unclean words, even a good decree of 70 years is ripped to pieces. Due to a blemish in arayos matters people get sick and die. That is a basis of our faith. Hashem only guards those who are themselves guarded....[See Dvarim 23 - 15 and the chofetz chaim on that pasuk].

May we all be purified with the waters of Torah bi-iyun and merit from here on in to look only at those things which our eyes should see in which merit we will be zocheh to see עין בעין יראו בשוב השם ציון!

Love and blessings,
From the distant galus of Manhattan, waiting to return [with all of Klal Yisrael] to where we belong,

לזכות אברהם מרדכי בן נעכא גיטל לרפו"ש

New Article BS"D

Parshas Noach - here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Galus Is Nice But Israel Is Home

I am here in NY at 212 799 1124 for those interested....:-).

Jewish Guilt:-)

A man called his mother in Florida . "Mom, how are you?" Not too good," said the mother. "I've been very weak. "The son said, "Why are you so weak?" She said, "Because I haven't eaten in 38 days. "The son said, "That's terrible. Why haven't you eaten in 38 days? The mother answered, "Because, I didn't want my mouth to be full in case you should call."

Monday, October 20, 2014

Liberty - Getting Into The Spirit

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.


I am flying to the States tomorrow. Have to get into the mood. The first building I enter will be JFK.....