Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Chashmona / Chashmonaim

וַיִּסְעוּ, מִמִּתְקָה; וַיַּחֲנוּ, בְּחַשְׁמֹנָה
And they journeyed from Miskah, and pitched in Chashmonah.
וַיִּסְעוּ, מֵחַשְׁמֹנָה; וַיַּחֲנוּ, בְּמֹסֵרוֹת
And they journeyed from Chashmonah, and pitched in Moseros.

I don’t know who originally came to this realization, but I will relate it to you (someone suggested its from Maseches Shabbos 21b, but I haven’t had a chance to check) . There are naysayers who say that Chanuka is an unimportant holiday and has no basis in our Holy Torah. However amongst many other connections is this :

In Bamidbar 33 (Parshas Massey), it lists the many places that Bnei Yisroel encamped following Yetzias Mitzraim [the exodus from Egypt]. The 25th place they rested was named as Chashmona (33:29-30). As we all know ChanuKa, is the compounding of Chanu, they rested, and Ka [Kaf Hey] 25. For on the 25th day of Kislev the Maccabees/Chashmonaim [the priestly family who fought against the Hellenists ] rested from their enemies. So the 25th place Bnei Yisroel rested was named Chashmona, and the Chashmonaim rested on the 25th. The correlation is beautiful and simple.

I hope you enjoyed that small morsel, we must always remember that the significance of this holiday is the spiritual victory not the military one. In our day and age the Hellenists that we must not succumb to is the pervasive, and corruptive influences of western society. We all must search for that metaphorical bit of pure oil within ourselves and set it aflame so that it may burn until we are redeemed. If every day of Creation is equal to one millennium and the seventh millennium is the inevitable age of Moshiach, then the message of oil lasting for eight days is that we are granted a hidden stock of purity that we can magnify regardless of circumstance and it will last all the way through to Acharis HaYamim.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Gerritsen Creek - Brooklyn

Shimshon HaGibor

The story of Shimshon HaGibor in Shoftim has many parallels to the recent events in Azza [Gaza] with the expulsion of thousands of Jews from their homes. Often there are many connections that one can make between our early history as a nation and our current realities. We should seek to learn the lessons of our past, as well as seeing them as consoling guides to our future.

“for the child shall be a Nazir unto HaShem from the womb; and he shall begin to save Yisrael out of the hand of the Plishtim.”(Shoftim 13:5)

Residents of Gaza were unblemished children for HaShem coming forth from the womb of Religious Zionism and began the process through which we will be saved in Yisrael from our enemies.

“ Then Manoah entreated the HaShem, and said: 'Oh, Lord, I pray Thee, let the man of HaShem whom Thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born.” (13:8)

And when Gaza was liberated the leaders sought guidance of HaShem’s directive and felt encouraged by His Torah (the ultimate teacher) that religious communities should be built (Atzmona, Bedolah, Gadid, Ganei Tal, Gan Or, Katif, Kfar Darom, Morag, Netzarim, Netzer Hazani, and Neve Dekalim).

“ And the Malach of HaShem said unto Manoah: 'Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread; and if thou wilt make ready a burnt-offering, thou must offer it unto HaShem.' For Manoah knew not that he was the Malach of HaShem.” (13.16)

The leaders did not entirely know that they were dealing with the forces of HaShem in establishing a Jewish presence in Azza and that a sacrifice would be made in His Name, that the community would be dismantled al kiddush hashem

“Manoah said unto his wife: 'We shall surely die, because we have seen HaShem.'
But his wife said unto him: 'If HaShem were pleased to kill us, He would not have received a burnt-offering and a meal-offering at our hand.” (13:22,23)

They were both correct, the Jewish community of Azza would cease to exist because in heeding HaShem’s will they have seen Him, while not understanding His plans. He recieved the community initially, a necessary circumstance in order to fulfill his will.

“'Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Plishtim?” (14:3)

The residents unfortunately had to make use of arab workers instead of toiling in entirety with the Avoda coming of the hands of our Holy Nation.

“ But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD”(14:4)

People did not understand that this as is everything is ultimately in HaShems hands and is guiding us.

“And he scraped it out into his hands, and went on, eating as he went, and he came to his father and mother, and gave unto them, and they did eat; but he told them not that he had scraped the honey out of the body of the lion.”(14.9)

This sacrifice being made by the community of Azza on the front line against the arabs renting them that roar like lions but fall as kid-goats yielded honey, rich sustenance for Religious Zionists but they did not truly know how it was being provided.

After Shimshon posed a riddle to the Plishtim wagering his possesions, they illicitly gained the answer through coercion.
“And he said unto them: If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.”(14.18)

The arabs deal deceitfully and use our language of Shelaima, peacefulness to gain what is rightfully ours.

“And when he had set the torches on fire, he let them go into the standing corn of the Plishtim, and burnt up both the shocks and the standing corn, and also the oliveyards.” (15.5)

For when the arabs gain the land through deciet the hand of HaShem does not allow for their land to be blessed as the arabs now once again call Azza cursed land [in Gerara] being unable to bring forth cultivated crops.

“And the Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire.”(15:6)

Arabs will kill their own brothers and sisters if they even suspect them to be complicit in helping the nation of HaShem The PA even has units dedicated to this task called the mukhabarat and istikhbarat, they will often murder these people in the streets to allegedly serve as a warning to others.

“And Samson said unto them: 'Swear unto me, that ye will not fall upon me yourselves.'
And they spoke unto him, saying: 'No; but we will bind thee fast, and deliver thee into their hand; but surely we will not kill thee.'” (15:12-13)

Just as the residents of Azza beseeched their brothers that they should not be the ones who perpetrate such heinous actions just as the Arabs would but they continued to uproot holy communities and set them before our enemies nonetheless.

“When he came unto Lehi, the Plishtim shouted as they met him; and the spirit of HaShem came mightily upon him, and the ropes that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands dropped from off his hands.”(15:14)

We will merit seeing a future when even the bindings of our own brothers will not prevent HaShem from setting us free and avenging that which is ours.

After the deciept that had allowed them to capture shimshon
“And the lords of the Plishtim gathered them together to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice; for they said: 'Our god hath delivered Shimshon our enemy into our hand.'” (16.23 )

Just as the arabs rejoiced in the streets after the expulsion of the inhabitants of Azza proclaiming allahu akbar.

“And Shimshon called unto HaShem, and said: 'O HaShem, remember me, I pray Thee, and strengthen me, I pray Thee, only this once, O HaShem, that I may be this once avenged of the Plishtim for my two eyes.'” (16:28)

And we will come to realize that by following our straying eyes instead of that which is inscribed on our hearts, by appeasing the arabs through the folly of democracy we had erred, and will ask HaShem to redeem us .

“And Shimshon took fast hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house rested, and leaned upon them, the one with his right hand, and the other with his left.
And Shimshon said: 'Let me die with the Plishtim.' And he bent with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead that he slew at his death were more than they that he slew in his life.” (16:29-30)

And so the residents of Azza through their self sacrifice and personal communal annihilation will merit to be the ones that began the process of bringing down the foreign temple built on the pillars of appeasement and vain democracy.

It is very unfortunate that the residents of Azza have been expelled from their homes, however we all know the righteous adage repeated by Rav Nachum ish Gamzu of Gam Zu LeTovah - that this too is for the best. We do not fully understand HaShem’s ways as they are infinite and we are mere mortals however we know that as HaRav Avraham Yitzchak HaKohen Kook suggests, the process of Geulah, Redemption is an evolutionary one. It comes slowly through what appear to be natural social means inching closer and closer to a better world. We know that it is impossible to completely fathom HaShem’s ways ("Where were you when I laid the foundations of the world? Tell, if you know the understanding!"Iyov 38:3) but we also know Derache'cha darchei noam, her ways are ways of pleasantness (Mishlei 3:17). May we merit soon being able to perceive how these events were ultimately for our good.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Glory of the Bubble

A post first on CannabisChassidis’ take on the month of Tammuz and a McKennaian inspired theory on Migdal Bavel led to a post on WonderingJew’s musings of the incident... this in turn aroused me to do some speculating of my own.
To me Migdal Bavel revolved around the idea the we can achieve all on our own through advancement, exclamations of “we no longer need rely upon God” likely being the prevalent sentiment. Collective ability of Man becomes the object of veneration rather than a means through which to come closer to God’s Truth. This concept has re-emerged in various fashions throughout history, to me it is the ‘Cult of Man’. Perhaps they believed that by geometrically aligning their tower with the constellations they would be able to usurp the Shamayim it is symbolic of and use it too for self aggrandizement, a tribute to themselves.
According to ChaZaL, Nimrod was the motivating individual in this whole scheme, he was the son of Cush, who was the son of Cham. Perhaps by this point several pseudo languages had already developed along the migratory routes of Shem, Cham, and Yafes (proto-semitic? , proto-african? , proto-indo european? etc.) but up until now had managed to maintain enough similitude to enable proper communication harkening upon the commonalities of the language. It is only once one of the descending ethnic groups has the audacity to recognize its own potential and use it for subversion that this dispersion takes place. The inhabitants of Shinar scattered across the earth amongst their cousins of old. The Shinarites each off on their own in new geographic regions, further separating the ties of the archetypal dialect shared by Noach’s sons by means of repeating the same mistake... Self glorification of the Collective which through its advances seeks to differentiate itself against the established “other”. This newfound and developing philosophy possibly leading to the erection of many other monuments over the face of the earth. One Ziggurat begetting another, and another, and.... soon enough we have Mesopotamians/Babylonians, and Greeks with Ziggurats... Egyptians, Nubians, Meso-americans with their own incarnation via Pyramids. In the end we see that unfortunately Man seemingly never tires of this charade - one might even recall the Space Race (I personally don’t but its in the Collective memory) between the “United” States and the Soviet “Union”, a battle of egos and glorification of the Collective Self once again using the mechanisms symbolic of advanced civilization..... Anyway I’m sure any credible person in the field of linguistics or philology would easily be able to shatter these notions...but I’ve got an affinity for this bubble I built...

Monday, August 08, 2005

Neve Dekalim & Ganei Tal

Mogen Dovid shaped Shul faces destruction in expulsion plan, "he who is merciful to the merciless will in the end become merciless to the merciful"

Suffis vs. Kabbalists

Sufism, quite possibly has some connections to Kabbalus... but who knows for sure ..could there be something to Rabbi Yishmael ben Elisha being the one to put into writing the Sefer Bahir and the Pirkei Heichalos, him being called Yishmael maybe because he was in touch with mystic Suffis (or pre-suffis?)? Or maybe it was the other way around.... maybe we were the ones to "enlighten" those 'other' semites. I mean it could be that the Gemara in Gittin that refers to Rav Yishmael ben Elisha as a child in Roman captivity, is alluding to the idea of a 'tinok shenishba', that he was not in fact a child but rather is considered to be similar to one, in the sense that he was robbed of his Yiddishkeit, and was placed in a situation where it was replaced with another theology/philosophy. Or maybe we should take a second look into the pasuk in Bareishis 25:6 "but to the concubine-children who were Avraham's, Avraham gave gifts; then he sent them away from Yitzchak his son, while he was still alive, eastward to the land of the east."I have heard that some say these 'gifts' refer to spirituality, metaphysics, theosophy and things of that nature, that these concepts thrived in the east however they failed to keep it rooted in ethos and more basic forms of truth, which would be preliminary steps towards attaining the 'ultimate truth'. Perhaps this too is part of their problem.... we believe in Ein Sof, that God's knowledge is limitless, where as they believe it is finite (Sof, Suf, Sufi ?) and entirely attainable by mere mortal men. Anyway this is all conjecture, I suppose there is no way of knowing entirely wether both traditions come from the same source back during Avraham Avinus time, and that they simply developed on somewhat parallel paths, or wether Suffism was an entirely new innovation, or it arose as having been in direct contact with Kabbalus and adapted for Islam at some point. Guess we will never know for sure, but its fun to wonder.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Well, Shavuos just ended... I stayed up the first night learning the Kitzur Shulchan Aruch,Mishnah Bikurim, and Meggilas Rus. I am stuffed up to the kazoo with dairy food... it was excellent {blintzes, kisch, farmer cheese latkes, cheese cake - props to my mom}. One excellent dairy meal a year on Yuntif aint that bad.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

infamous balloon enlarged Posted by Hello

infamous balloon Posted by Hello

main stage Posted by Hello

interesting fellow decked out in orange Posted by Hello

walking towards the east meadow concert site Posted by Hello

Gush Katif - Central Park

I was somewhat disappointed with the concert supporting the residents of Gush Katif in Azza against the withdrawal. It took place in the park this past Sunday after the Israeli Day Parade. Although it was quite enjoyable and the atmosphere very festive, I felt that it was more a gathering of like minded people expressing their vague interest in solidarity as opposed to a true protest of Sharon's policies with flag waving and screaming and chanting (there was some, but minimally). Anyway I took a few photos and was trying to figure out what message was trying to be conveyed on this large yellow balloon. In Hebrew it says "Yechi HaMelech, Moshiach Muchan! U'Ma Atcha ?" ("the king lives, moshiach is ready! what about you?") this part I took to mean that Meshiachist Chabadniks believe that Moshiach is already here, then beneath that it says in English in large red letters "Giulian for PM". Now that's the part I got really confused about. Was 'Giulian' meant to be referring to former NYC mayor Rudolph Giuliani sans the I at the end ? And if so were the people who floated this balloon in favor of Giuliani becoming the Prime Minister of Israel ? of Canada ? of ? If so, why ? Would a Roman Catholic running the State of Israel really be beneficial ? Well here are some pics of the concert... and if anyone has any idea what that balloon is all about give me a shoutout.