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General Category => Ask Posters Show Threads => Topic started by: muman613 on August 26, 2008, 03:45:51 AM

Title: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on August 26, 2008, 03:45:51 AM
Hey,

Anyone who wants to ask MUMAN613 a question, go ahead.

I dont guarantee that I will answer them, but I will consider it.


muman613  (http://www.asturcon3.com/emicons/KOLOBOK/new/rabbi.gif)
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: q_q_ on August 26, 2008, 05:03:03 AM
did you have the biblical hairdo before you became orthodox and glued to the bible?

ps- glad it said you're almost live.. it looked like "almost alive", I was glad to see you posted it!
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Kahane-Was-Right BT on August 26, 2008, 10:21:07 PM
This is not a question, but on the topic, I have to say your hairdo is awesome man...
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on August 27, 2008, 12:15:53 AM
Thank you very much... My hair has evolved through the ages. I used to have very long hair, but now it is short in the back with some very long peyos...

muman613
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on August 27, 2008, 12:22:10 AM
My current hairstyle...

(http://girlstalkinsmack.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/brad-pitt.jpg)

PS: I took of my kippah for the picture because I just got my hair cut...
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on September 03, 2008, 05:55:27 PM
Shalom,

I was interested in what the Rabbis had to say about hair and I found the following from Ohr Sameach site:

Quote
Bernardo Coiffman wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

What is the significance of hair? Why does Judaism seem so concerned with it? Women cover their hair, men have Payot (sidelocks), and boys have their first haircut at age three...

Thank you

Dear Bernardo,

Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch in his commentary on the Torah discusses the subject of hair and reveals some very powerful and insightful concepts. Take your face for a moment -- I sure don't want it :-). There are parts of your face which we would consider more physical and parts which represent the more intellectual. Your mouth and your eyes would be examples of the more physical parts. Your forehead would be the part which represents the intellectual. We know that both of these categories are important but the physical requires special monitoring. If you allow yourself pursuit of the physical without some mechanism for control you could slide into a pattern of self destruction. Hence the hair. It is a marker that says: "Pay attention to this area!! Monitor it so that it can be used for good. Don't allow it to run off unbridled!!"

If you think about this for a while you will get a sense of why Judaism concerns itself with issues such as the covering of a woman's hair (sensuality), Payot for a man (dividing the part of the brain that controls the sensual from that which is involved in the intellectual); and even why we cut a young boy's hair for the first time at the age we begin his education (learning how to use his intellect to control his behavior).

In short, hair [or long hair :-) ] represents sensuality control.

Sources:

    * Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch - Commentary on the Torah, Leviticus 19:27 and 21:5.

muman613
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: 2honest on September 09, 2008, 04:43:05 PM
Hi muman!

What country do you live in?
Do you answer all kinds of questions or are there any restrictions?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: MarZutra on September 09, 2008, 10:19:52 PM
Shalom Muman, Are you currently a Rabbi or studying towards it?  Are you partial to "Orthodoxy" or "ultra-Orthodoxy"?  If so which "sect"?  I use the quotes because, historically and realistically all of these "titles" are fabricated frauds anyway.
Kol tov chavar...
MarZutra
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Tzvi Ben Roshel1 on September 10, 2008, 07:42:59 PM
Thank you very much... My hair has evolved through the ages. I used to have very long hair, but now it is short in the back with some very long peyos...

muman613


   :o you serious? Your hair is huge. And anyway (furthur down you wrote about what Judaism says about hair- I would like to tell you that having a lot of hair on the head is not a good thing according to Kabbalah (Its sort of bad luck- for men. The hair on the head represent the Gevurot- Strick Judgements. The hair on the beard are the Chessedim, and the Peyot are also Gevurot, but they are good Gevorut, and everone needs some judgements. The best I heard is to connect the Chessedim (beard) with the good gevurot (Peyot), and minimize as much as possible the Gevurot of the head.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on September 24, 2008, 12:36:37 AM
Hi muman!

What country do you live in?
Do you answer all kinds of questions or are there any restrictions?

Shalom 2honest,

I live in the good old United States of America. I grew up on the east coast. Born in NY and moved to the west coast in my 20s. I now live in the Bay Area of California.

muman613
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on September 24, 2008, 12:46:15 AM
Shalom Muman, Are you currently a Rabbi or studying towards it?  Are you partial to "Orthodoxy" or "ultra-Orthodoxy"?  If so which "sect"?  I use the quotes because, historically and realistically all of these "titles" are fabricated frauds anyway.
Kol tov chavar...
MarZutra

Shalom MarZutra,

I would love to study to be a Rabbi. Actually my mom has suggested this to me on several occasions. I am what is known as a Baal Teshuva, one who repents and returns to a religious lifestyle. I was raised in a Conservative Jewish home and was Bar Mitzvahed in a Conservative shul.

About six years ago, after falling very low because of my brothers death in 9/11, I found a local 'progressive' synagogue and started to attend Shabbat services. The local Orthodox Rabbi was doing Kiruv {Outreach} to the local synagogue and I started to learn about Orthodox Judaism. It appealed to me much more than the cheap version of Judaism taught at the progressive shul. Over the years I attended more Shabbatons, more High Holidays, more Purims and Channukahs with the Orthodox minyan.

This year I am going to the Rosh Hashanah / Yom Kippur services with my local Orthodox minyan. I am not fully observant at this time. I have been adding mitzvahs each year and sometimes at Pesach. I started wearing tzit-tzits about four years ago. I have been working on keeping Kosher {no easy feat here in the bay area with only one kosher market {which burned down about a month ago}}. I am keeping Shabbat much better than I was a couple years ago. I am making changes in my life to be fully observant.

The way to approach this, I have been told by my Rabbi, is to take each mitzvah as a baby step. Once you accept some mitzvahs it becomes much easier to accept the others. It is believed that by doing the mitzvah, even without the proper intention, you get merit. In the future when you do the mitzvah again you will do it with the proper intention.

I am not involved in any 'sects' at this time. Ethnically I am a Ukrainian/Polish descent and since my last name is UMAN I have aligned myself with the Breslev sect. The Breslevers follow Rabbi Nachman of Breslev and they allow their peyos to grow very long.Rabbi Nachman is buried in Uman and his followers make a pilgrimage there on Rosh Hashana to be by his gravesite. One of these days I wish I could go to Uman to be there for the Rabbi Nachman Rosh Hashana.

I hope that answers some of the questions...

Shana Tov!

muman613
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: דוד בן זאב אריה on September 24, 2008, 03:08:23 AM
What made you get religous. Chabad helped me.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: MarZutra on September 24, 2008, 09:03:12 AM
Very good Muman.  Your history is very similar to my own.  Mine was more of a personal quest but I too am of Ukrainian/Lithuanian ancestry.  My great grandfathers fled glorious mother Russia during the 1880s.  My father's side came from Vilna to Holland and from there to England.  My mother's side from Odessa/Kiev, who walked to England, worked as a peddler to come to Canada.  Once there met another Orthodoxy Jewish fellow he worked in London England with.  Once in Canada the two made an agreement due to my great grandfather founding a little business, financed this fellows younger sister to come and be married in St. John NB. (friends to parents of Louis B. Meyer)

Personally, I found "conservative" Judaism and than found Orthodoxy, like you, but then did much self research and found the most vile Rabbi to ever represent the Jews: Rabbi Kahane Z"L.  After my research, I found that his views were in fact based on Judaism, real Judaism, to which the other Socialist "Jewish" Rats and many other deplorable "Orthodox/Ultra-Orthodox" condemned.  Found that there reasons were more of political and internal strife and not based on Judaism which is probably the reason why none would debate him openly.

So I'm, like you, a Baal Teshuva who is partial to Orthodox Judaism but a Religious Zionist which, quite sadly, most will not believe....sadly....due to political and internal conflict and not Judaism itself. imo
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Mstislav on October 07, 2008, 01:27:33 AM
How is teshuva done?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: MarZutra on October 07, 2008, 09:56:42 AM
How is teshuva done?
My advice is to take a walk into your nearest Orthodox synagogue and speak to the Rabbi... 
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: q_q_ on October 07, 2008, 10:59:23 AM
<snip>
I would love to study to be a Rabbi. Actually my mom has suggested this to me on several occasions. I am what is known as a Baal Teshuva, one who repents and returns to a religious lifestyle. I was raised in a Conservative Jewish home and was Bar Mitzvahed in a Conservative shul.

About six years ago, after falling very low because of my brothers death in 9/11, I found a local 'progressive' synagogue and started to attend Shabbat services. The local Orthodox Rabbi was doing Kiruv {Outreach} to the local synagogue and I started to learn about Orthodox Judaism.<snip>

An orthodox rabbi was doing kiruv in a progressive institution?

sounds like an interesting story there.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Shlomo on October 07, 2008, 11:04:01 AM
Shalom Muman,

How were you first introduced to Rabbi Kahane?

-Shlomo
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on October 13, 2008, 06:50:38 AM
Shalom Muman,

How were you first introduced to Rabbi Kahane?

-Shlomo

Shalom Chaver,

I am only recently becoming acquainted with the awesome Rabbi Kahane. I have always heard of him but I never formed an opinion. Since I only came to my teshuva about five years ago I have noticed a very powerful shift of my political beliefs back to the right. I have been reading the headlines of Israeli papers for several years and it was during the expulsion at Gush Katif which I felt that the leaders were making a great mistake.

I have always held a hope of moving to Israel and have actually looked {on-line} at properties in Tzfat where there is a nice Breslov community. But since the second intifada and more recently since the qassam attacks I dont think it is a good time. I also have grown fearful of the 'Bolshevic' Israeli government. Since I have taken on religious observance I feel that the Israeli government would like to make an example of me. I could see myself standing against the evil police at Ammona and it is not a pretty thought. Why is the Jewish state causing so much pain to the most religious Jews? It makes me cry late at night to Hashem because it seems so unjust. I realize that Hashem is just in all his ways and ask what we need to make Israel the Jewish land again.

It is these thoughts which bring me to the Kahanist movement. I have always felt that the unrighteous goyim are always trying to kill us. They have killed us back in Ukraine, they killed us in Poland, they exterminated us in Germany, and expelled and tortured us in Spain and Brittan. As we learn on passover, in each generation someone rises to kill us. And my brothers martyrdom in the WTC on 9/11 because he was just going to his job, the American dream, I feel this war personally. I want to see the justice of the Moshiach. I want to be lifted on wings of an eagle and taken to the holy land. I want to be there to fulfill the Ribbono Shel Olams eternal promise to Abraham that his children will inherit the land.

Rabbi Kahane had this dream foremost in his mind. He spoke Torah in all his words. I just watched three of his videos on yideoz.com and I am inspired again. Where is a man like the great Rabbi Kahane today? Nobody speaks so much truth as he did. Chaim is doing his best but nobody will replace the Rabbi Kahane who had so much charisma and love in his heart. He may have been controversial and despised by the arabs, but I have come to believe no matter what we do, we will be despised because we are Jews.

The latest violence in Acco is troubling. I have been watching it for a couple of days now but I dont know when it will be settled.

muman613
 
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Mstislav on October 28, 2008, 04:05:34 PM
How is teshuva done?
My advice is to take a walk into your nearest Orthodox synagogue and speak to the Rabbi... 

Even the Rabbi could not help me. I think the question also threw him off guard as I am a Gentile. Which Rabbi or Jew expects a Gentile to know anything at all about Judaism?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rubystars on October 31, 2008, 08:53:03 AM
What political issue is most important to you?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 01, 2008, 10:57:58 PM
What political issue is most important to you?

Shalom RS,

Well, thats a tough one... There are many political issues which concern me. At this point in time the economy is very important to me. I am sure that the economy is on everyones mind at this time because we are witnessing some very unstable times. What is most important for this country is continued economic security. I have always thought that Americas greatness came from its ability to create new products which the people would then promptly consume. This cycle is why we can create jobs for the people and by creating jobs we create more consumers.

I think that the American government should be trying to make it easier to do business in this country and not make it harder. Increasing regulations and taxes on companies only drives them further from doing business in America. This is why I seem to agree with the Republicans on the economic issues.

On social issues I am moving towards more conservative leanings. I am not big on affirmative action nor welfare and I think that both programs need to be looked at and overhauled. While it is very good to help those people who need help it is also important to help these people become self-sufficient. Once again the private sector should be able to provide jobs and health insurance to those who need them.

I think this country needs to work harder to ensure that justice is done regardless of the race, wealth, or celebrity of the judged. It seems to me that we are on a slippery slope which leads to complete immorality. This is why I think more conservative judges are needed for the supreme court of this country. Unfortunately whomever is elected this week will wield a lot of influence on the makeup of this very important court for many years.

We must all remember that regardless of the outcome next week we are still very blessed and very lucky people. We must not become bitter and turn our backs on our faith. As we read in Parasha Noach last Shabbat that Hashem wanted the people to see Noah working on the Ark and ask him why he was doing it. He wanted to give them a chance to turn back from their evil ways. But when he saw them mock Noah and continue their evil, Hashem destroyed them.

I am a man with much patients and understanding. Let me see the redemption!

muman613
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: P J C on November 02, 2008, 08:13:48 AM
Do you disagree with any of JTF's issues? If so, What issue?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rubystars on November 02, 2008, 09:56:04 AM
Great response thanks.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on September 22, 2009, 04:12:03 PM
I am still alive!

Only 5 days till Yom Kippur!

Tremble, Tremble!

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: The One and Only Mo on September 22, 2009, 04:39:09 PM
Nice hair-style.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on September 22, 2009, 04:42:34 PM
Nice hair-style.

Thank you... I don't want to let it go to my head...

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: ProudAndZionist on October 16, 2009, 11:00:57 AM
Hey Muman,

I couldn't answer to your PM. But I can answer on ICQ, now? Ok?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: ProudAndZionist on October 16, 2009, 11:27:12 AM
I had to change...I got a letter from an admin (Lisa)
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: ✡ Hindu Zionist ॐ on October 16, 2009, 12:16:38 PM
what is the wailing walls and whats does it signify? I have heard that some people broke it and all that remains is the wall. If yes, why dont they construct the remaining parts back again?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on October 18, 2009, 07:28:27 PM
what is the wailing walls and whats does it signify? I have heard that some people broke it and all that remains is the wall. If yes, why dont they construct the remaining parts back again?

Hello Hindu Zionist,

The name 'Wailing Wall' is a derogatory name used by non-Jews. The Kotel, or the Western Wall, is the remaining part of the Holy Temple which is on the Temple mount. The Romans destroyed the Temple in the year 70 CE and burned it to the ground. All that remains today is the Western Wall. In truth we do mourn for the Holy Temple to be rebuilt. The nations of the world do not permit us to rebuild it because the muslim invaders built their Al-Aqsa mosque on the site of the Holy Temple.

Here is some background information:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Wall

Quote

The Western Wall (Hebrew: הכותל המערבי‎, translit.: HaKotel HaMa'aravi) (Arabic: حائط البراق‎, translit.: Ḥā'iṭ Al-Burāq), sometimes referred to as the Wailing Wall or simply the Kotel (lit. Wall; Ashkenazic pronunciation: Kosel), and as al-Buraaq Wall by Muslims,[1] is an important Jewish religious site located in the Old City of Jerusalem. Just over half the wall, including its 17 courses located below street level, dates from the end of the Second Temple period, being constructed around 19 BCE by Herod the Great. The remaining layers were added from the 7th century onwards.

Quote
Mourning the destruction of the Temple

According to Jewish Law, one is obligated to feel grief and rend one's garment upon visiting the Western Wall and seeing the desolate site of the Temple.[82] 17th century rabbi Yoel Sirkis explicitly mentions the Kotel HaMa'aravi when expounding how one could encounter the ruins of the Temple before the ruins of Jerusalem.[83] Currently some poskim are of the view that rending one's garments is not applicable since Jerusalem is under Jewish sovereignty. Others disagree, citing that the Temple Mount itself is controlled by the Muslim Waqf and the State of Israel has no power to remove the mosques which sit upon it. Furthermore, the mosques' very existence on the site of the Temple should increase one's feeling of distress. If one hasn’t seen the Wall for over 30 days, in order to avoid tearing one's shirt, the custom is to visit on the Sabbath, including Friday afternoons, or Saturday evenings if dressed in Sabbath finery, or on festivals.[84] A person who has not seen the Wall within the last 30 days should recite:

http://english.thekotel.org/

Quote

What is the Western Wall?


We all know that the Western Wall, the Kotel, is the most significant site in the world for the Jewish people.  We know that it is the last remnant of our Temple.  We also know that Jews from around the world gather here to pray.  People write notes to G-d and place them between the ancient stones of the Wall.

But did you know that…

Many important events took place on Mount Moriah, know later as Temple Mount.

Mount Moriah, according to Jewish tradition, is the place where many pivotal events in Jewish history took place.  Traditionally, creation of the world began from the Foundation Stone at the peak of mountain.  This is also where Adam, the first human, was created.

When Abraham was commanded to prepare his son Isaac for sacrifice, the father and son went up to “the place that G-d chooses” – Mount Moriah, and to its peak – the Foundation Stone – where the binding of Isaac took place.

Also Jacob’s dream with angels going up and down a ladder is linked to this mountain.

Later on, the Holy of Holies – the core and heart of the First and Second Temple - was built around the Foundation Stone.

The Western Wall is part of a big renovation project initiated by King Herod.

In the year 37 BCE, Herod was appointed king in Jerusalem and he soon initiated a huge renovation project for the Temple.  He hired many workers who toiled to make the Temple more magnificent and to widen the area of the Temple Mount by flattening the mountain peak and building four support walls around it.

The Western Wall is the western support wall built during this widening of the Temple Mount Plaza.

What makes the Western Wall (and not one of the other three remaining support walls) the most special is its proximity to the location of the Holy of Holies in the Temple.

The Second Temple was destroyed in the year 70 CE.  Despite the destruction that took place, all four Temple Mount support walls remained standing.  Throughout the generations since the Temple’s destruction, the Western Wall was the remnant closest to the site of the Temple’s Holy of Holies that was accessible to Jews.  Therefore, it became a place of prayer and yearning for Jews around the world.  When Jews expressed their longing for Jerusalem through song, Judaica, jewelry, and prayer, the image of Jerusalem was conveyed via the image of the Western Wall.
The Old City of Jerusalem, and the Western Wall within it, was not in Jewish hands from the War of Independence in 1948 until the Six Day War in 1967.

Even before 1948, the return of the Jewish nation to its land caused tensions around the Western Wall.  The eruption of violence in 1929 was linked to a divider placed at the Wall.  As a result of the violence, a British investigative committee was created that decided to maintain the status quo at the Western Wall.  The chief rabbinate appointed a rabbi, Rabbi Orenstein, to oversee the happenings at the Wall.

In 1948, the Jewish Quarter of the Old City fell to Jordanian hands.  The Jewish homes were destroyed.  Among those killed was the Western Wall’s first rabbi who refused to leave the Wall or his home and was killed in the bombings.

During 19 long years of Jordanian rule, Jews were not able to reach the Wall and pray in front of its ancient stones.  All that possible was to climb up to Mount Zion and glance at the Wall from a distance.

During the Six Day War of 1967, paratroopers led by Motta Gur broke through to the Old City through the Lion’s Gate.  The Western Wall and Temple Mount were liberated, the city of Jerusalem was reunified, and the Jewish people were again able to come to the Western Wall to pray.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: ✡ Hindu Zionist ॐ on October 19, 2009, 01:42:21 PM
thank you muman, i feel the day the temple mount is rebuilt and stands tall, it will be the day which will signify the victory of good over evil.

my next question is,

Given that the ancient egyption civilization were bad, and did not treat the hebrew kindly. I want to know what are your thoughts about Jews going on tourist visit to egypt,and to have a look at the majestic monuments and all. Is it ok, or not?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on October 19, 2009, 07:05:53 PM
thank you muman, i feel the day the temple mount is rebuilt and stands tall, it will be the day which will signify the victory of good over evil.

my next question is,

Given that the ancient egyption civilization were bad, and did not treat the hebrew kindly. I want to know what are your thoughts about Jews going on tourist visit to egypt,and to have a look at the majestic monuments and all. Is it ok, or not?

What a great question!!!

Here at my work, in the lunchroom, they advertise for visiting a museum of Egyptian Pharoahs... I find the poster upsetting because it reminds me of the time we were slaves in Egypt. I don't have an interest in ancient Egypt and I think it is a good thing.

Our Torah teaches us that we should not remain angry at Egypt for what happened 1000s of years ago. One of our commandments requires us to treat the stranger with kindness in our land because we were strangers in a strange land ourselves in Egypt.

Also we are permitted to marry Egyptians after the third generation.


Quote
http://www.sichosinenglish.org/cgi-bin/lessons.cgi?date=20082009&d3=1
Negative Mitzvah 55: We are forbidden to reject an Egyptian if he converts to Judaism
Deuteronomy 23:8 "Do not despise an Egyptian because you were a stranger in his land"

The Torah forbids an Egyptian convert from marrying freely into the Jewish people until the third generation.

The hundreds of years of cruel slavery in Egypt affected both nations. Nevertheless, despite the hardships in Egypt, the Torah appreciates that Jacob and his sons were given refuge in Egypt. Also, it was in Egypt that the Jewish people developed into a nation to be chosen by HaShem.

Therefore, we are commanded not to totally reject an Egyptian that converts to Judaism. The third generation of such converts may marry freely among the Jewish people.

Quote

http://www.torah.org/learning/halacha-overview/chapter27.html

 It is forbidden for Jews to have sexual relations with non-Jews, as it says "You shall not intermarry with them; you shall not give your daughter to his son nor take his daughter for your son"14; the sages extended this prohibition to non-marital relations.e But if they become proselytes we are permitted to marry them. In olden times, when these nations were still identifiable, it was forbidden for a woman to marry any male descendant of an Ammonite or Moabite proselyte, as it says "An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter the congregation of Ha-Shem"15; and it was forbidden to marry Egyptian or Edomite proselytes or their children, as it says "[You shall not despise an Edomite, for he is your brother; you shall not despise an Egyptian, for you were a dweller in his land;] the children of the third generation that are born to them may enter the congregation of Ha-Shem".16 Intermarriage with descendants of the Canaanite nations (nesinim) was also rabbinically forbidden.f

As a result we should not hold the ancient Egyptian people responsible for what happened back then...

The Egypt which exists today is not really related to the Egyptians of Pharoaic times... Todays Egyptians have opened new wounds with the Jewish people. I do know some Egyptians which I work with {they are Christians} and they are nice people... But I would not visit Egypt today.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: ✡ Hindu Zionist ॐ on October 20, 2009, 12:45:42 AM
thank you muman, you make it easy to understand!

I have read that torah prohibit Jews from using/worshipping/having statues/idols or human personifications..etc
Given that children like to play with dolls, will that be against torah for a Jew to allow their child to play with such items?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on October 20, 2009, 02:29:21 AM
thank you muman, you make it easy to understand!

I have read that torah prohibit Jews from using/worshipping/having statues/idols or human personifications..etc
Given that children like to play with dolls, will that be against torah for a Jew to allow their child to play with such items?

Hello Hindu Zionist,

You have many interesting questions and I hope that I am answering them adequately. I am still learning much but there are many sources which I can access on the internet and books which I read which allow me to answer these questions. Of course I am expressing only my understanding and a competent Rabbi should be consulted with any serious questions.

Regarding Idolatry much has been written by the Jewish sages and Rabbis. Let me first bring down the first two 'commandments' of the 'ten commandments' {I put those words in quotations because we actually call them the Ten Sayings}:

Quote

2. "I am the Lord, your G-d, Who took you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

3. You shall not have the gods of others in My presence.    

4. You shall not make for yourself a graven image or any likeness which is in the heavens above, which is on the earth below, or which is in the water beneath the earth.

5. You shall neither prostrate yourself before them nor worship them, for I, the Lord, your G-d, am a zealous G-d, Who visits the iniquity of the fathers upon the sons, upon the third and the fourth generation of those who hate Me,

6. and (I) perform loving kindness to thousands [of generations], to those who love Me and to those who keep My commandments.

As you can see, the first command is "I am the L-rd G-d" and the second is "Do not make Idols and worship others".

I don't think that Jewish children today have the inclination to worship plastic or wooden dolls. Our sages have taught that the Jewish people don't understand the nature of idol worship like we did in Biblical times when we frequently engaged in worshiping wood and stone.

Some Rabbis think that Idolatry today is expressed when Jews become so angry that they forget that G-d controls the world... Here is some discussion of this...

Quote
http://www.torah.org/learning/ravfrand/5762/yisro.html

Let Us Keep Idolatry Away From Our Homes

This week's reading contains the first time that the Torah prohibits idolatry. The second of the Asseres Hadibros [Ten "Commandments"] states: "You shall have no other gods before Me. Do not represent [such gods] by any carved statue or picture of anything in the heaven above, on the earth below, or in the water below the land." [Shmos 20: 3-4] This is the first of many varieties of prohibitions in the Torah relating to Avodah Zarah [literally: foreign worship]. The Torah is replete with such warnings.

Anyone with even a superficial knowledge of Tanach is aware that the problem of 'Avodah Zarah' plagued the Jewish people throughout all of their existence -- up until the time that, as recorded in the Talmud [Sanhedrin 64a], the Men of the Great Assembly prayed for the destruction of the desire, the evil inclination (Yetzer HaRah), for Avodah Zarah. In our day and age, it is very difficult for us to contemplate how anyone could be attracted to graven images, never mind going to such extremes as burning their children for the sake of Avodah Zarah. The abominations that were performed in the name of Avodah Zarah are mind boggling to us.

If we wish to understand an inkling of the strength of the natural urge that existed in Biblical times for Avodah Zarah, we should compare it to the urge that exists today for forbidden sexual relations (Arayos). This, it is said, can be a starting point for our imagining the power of the craving for Avodah Zarah in Biblical times.

Given the fact that no such Yetzer HaRah exists today, it would seem that all of the Torah's many prohibitions relating to Avodah Zarah do not really apply to us. We never find ourselves 'tested' in this area.

In so many areas, we can find ourselves 'tested'. Sometimes we find ourselves 'tested' regarding something prohibited on Shabbos. Sometimes we find ourselves tempted with immoral acts. We are constantly tempted with the urge to gossip (Lashon HaRah). We know that we can be tempted regarding monetary prohibitions. But ostensibly, in our lifetime, we are never going to be tempted with any moral dilemma relating to idolatry.


I have actually found the answer which a Rabbi gave to a question concerning childrens dolls:

Quote
http://www.dailyhalacha.com/Display.asp?ClipDate=6/26/2006
Purchasing or Selling Toy Dolls

Is it permissible to buy or sell toy dolls? Halacha forbids making a complete, three-dimensional figure of a human being. Would this prohibition include toy dolls?

Chacham Ovadia Yosef writes in Halichot Olam (vol. 7, p. 281) that purchasing, owning or selling dolls is permissible. He explains that Halacha forbids possessing figures of human beings because they give the appearance of idolatrous articles. When it comes to toy dolls, however, it is clear to all that they serve as toys for children, and are not used as objects of worship. Furthermore, children generally use dolls in a disrespectful manner, throwing them around on the floor, stepping on them, and so on, and therefore they cannot be mistaken for articles of idolatry.

However, if a person receives a trophy with a complete image of a human being, and he wishes to place it on his mantle, this may, indeed, violate the prohibition of possessing images of a human being. One should therefore disfigure the image or remove one of the trophy's body parts, such as an arm or the nose. The Shulchan Aruch rules that the prohibition applies only to complete images of a human being, and therefore once a body part is removed from the trophy one may keep it in his home.

Summary: One may purchase, own or sell toy dolls. Trophies containing a complete image of a human being should not be kept in one's home unless it is somehow disfigured such that it is no longer a complete image.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: ✡ Hindu Zionist ॐ on October 29, 2009, 12:10:37 PM
Shalom muman,

Is veal kosher?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on October 29, 2009, 05:23:52 PM
Shalom muman,

Is veal kosher?

Off the top of my head I dont know but my Jewish sensibilities would lead me to believe that it is not Jewish. It may be Kosher because of the definition of Kosher {Animals with split hooves and chew cud}... But it involves a lot of inhumane treatment of animals.

Let me search for articles which answer this issue: (I was right!)

http://www.torahsearch.com/page.cfm/3938

Quote

 Veal and Foie Gras

Veal, the flesh of young cattle, is commonly produced (at least until recently) via methods that are shockingly cruel. The goal is to make the veal as pale in color as possible, and several means are utilized to this end. The calves are raised in pens that are too cramped for them to move, so that they should not be able to develop their muscles. They are fed a special iron-free food, which causes them to become anemic and to develop a craving for iron so strong that they will lick anything made of metal.

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (1895-1986), the great halachic authority of the United States, ruled that raising calves in this way transgresses the Biblical prohibition against cruelty to animals. He explains that although cruelty to animals is permitted for human needs, this is only for genuine needs of real importance:

"…Man is not permitted to do anything and everything that hurts animals, even if it is in order to profit from it; only something that is of genuine benefit to man, such as slaughtering animals for food, using them for labor, and suchlike." (Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, Igros Moshe, Even HaEzer vol. 4 responsa 92 part II)

Even financial benefits, argues Rabbi Feinstein, do not justify every case of inflicting suffering upon animals – only where the ultimate purpose of the animal’s death is an important one. In the case of veal, where the benefit is solely cosmetic, the cruelty involved is not justified.[1]

As I suspected it has to do with cruelty to animals... In Jewish belief we are supposed to take care of animals and not cause them undue pain and suffering. We believe that the method used to kill Kosher animals, called Shechting, is humane and doesn't cause much pain. {Schechting requires using a sharp blade to cut the windpipe and main vein of the animal}...  If the Veal is raised in humane conditions then it may be kosher...



http://www.kashrut.com/articles/shect/
http://www.aish.com/ci/s/48916842.html
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: ✡ Hindu Zionist ॐ on October 30, 2009, 02:23:07 PM
thank you muman

I have watched some Jewish people throw DJ parties for bar mitzvah ceremony, is it ok or frowned upon?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on October 30, 2009, 03:42:23 PM
thank you muman

I have watched some Jewish people throw DJ parties for bar mitzvah ceremony, is it ok or frowned upon?

There is no Jewish opinion on what kind of music to play at a party... So long as it is modest and doesnt encourage people to violate mitzvahs I don't think there would be anything wrong. Of course if this was an Orthodox Bar Mitzvah there would be seperate seating and separate dancing...

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: ✡ Hindu Zionist ॐ on November 01, 2009, 05:55:02 AM
if the music for the parties are from in-decent dance numbers? like those of madonna..etc? While everyone (Hindus as well as Christians) were welcome. Though i dont have anything against Hindus going to functions of Jews. But then it sounds absurd to invite Gentiles at a function where a Jewish person has to look deep into his Jewish roots/philosophy and take it more seriously. All this pompusness really makes it look un-mitzvah like. What do you think of this?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rubystars on November 10, 2009, 12:48:45 PM
Muman I'm so glad that you were ok after your accident. I have a question for you. Is wearing fur kosher? It involves terrible cruelty to animals.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: ✡ Hindu Zionist ॐ on November 10, 2009, 12:53:52 PM
sorry what happened to muman?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rubystars on November 10, 2009, 01:01:52 PM
sorry what happened to muman?

He got into a car accident that might have killed him but God protected him. He made a thread about it.

You can read more here:

http://jtf.org/forum_english/index.php/topic,39669.msg395535.html#msg395535
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 10, 2009, 07:09:57 PM
Shalom HZ,

Yes... I was in a very bad auto accident last Friday... Thank Hashem I am physically OK... But I am very much nervous about the outcome of the repairs on my vehicle with the insurance companies.

Thank you for your concern...

Muman613
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Irish Zionist on November 19, 2009, 06:34:44 AM


Muman would you ever think of becoming a Rabbi or a Torah scholar?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 19, 2009, 03:03:04 PM


Muman would you ever think of becoming a Rabbi or a Torah scholar?

Hello Irish Zionist,

Yes, I have certainly thought about it.... My mother has said to me that I would make a great Rabbi :)

I strive to be a good Torah scholar and I devote at least 2 hours a day to listening and reading Torah topics. I hope to be able to get myself to Israel some day and devote more time to study and possibly try to be ordained as a Rabbi. I know that I can do it if I put myself into it. The wisdom of the Jewish sages is a consuming interest of mine.

Thank you for your interest.

Bless Hashem!

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: The One and Only Mo on November 19, 2009, 05:48:32 PM
Muman, you have any sisters my age?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Irish Zionist on November 21, 2009, 05:52:30 PM
Muman can any women become religious sect leaders ie. Rabbi's. How does the Torah or Talmud approach this?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 21, 2009, 11:16:05 PM
Muman can any women become religious sect leaders ie. Rabbi's. How does the Torah or Talmud approach this?

Irish Zionist,

In Orthodox Judaism we do not have women Rabbis. This is because the Rabbi is a male teacher. Women have a role in Orthodox Judaism, but it doesn't involve being Rabbis. Men and women are viewed as two parts of a whole, yet each has different features and different roles in daily life. Men thank Hashem for not being made women, and women thank Hashem for being made the way they are made. Men do not wear womens clothing, nor are women supposed to wear mens clothing. There is a separation of the sexes in the shul for praying, and men and women often do not learn together. Women can become learned teachers of Torah and are respected for their knowledge.. After Havdalah tonight I listened to a woman scholar and learned some new insight concerning the dynamics between Essau and our father Yaakov. I have the utmost respect for women Torah scholars but I will not recognize them as Rabbis. Many are the wives of Rabbis and we call them Rebbetzin. Many great Torah scholars had daughters who learned and passed on the Torah of their great fathers.

The other 'branches' of Judaism, such as Reform and Conservative have officially accepted Women in the Rabbinate. In these places we find women wearing mens garments and men and women mingling during prayer services...


Quote
http://www.yeshiva.org.il/ask/eng/print.asp?id=2620
B’’H
SHalom, I am a Shabbat Observant Jew, so naturally I don’t recognize so-called female "rabbis". But, I am wondering, why can’t females become rabbis? I heard that it has something to do w/ them not being qualified to be witnesses? Is this true? What are the sources for this? And any and all information you can give me on this would be greatly appreciated.

Answer:
This question is more than a bit complicated. Today, certain functions that were rabbinical in nature are performed by women. There are woman Torah teachers, halachic advisors, spiritual guides. Some rabbinic functions, such as running the services, would be unthinkable for a woman in an orthodox setting.

I do not know of a program that brings women to the level of talmudic and halachic expertise that a rabbi requires. I do know individual women who are fantastically learned and could be consulted on halachic matters. I am unaware if there is a woman with such expertise on the highest levels of scholarship, but I do not find it inconceivable.

http://www.torahweb.org/torah/2004/parsha/rsch_dvorim2.html

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Irish Zionist on November 22, 2009, 04:21:01 PM
Muman why do Jews move their heads when praying, is it some sort of ritual. Why does Jewish people say G_D without the O.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 22, 2009, 09:19:04 PM
Muman why do Jews move their heads when praying, is it some sort of ritual. Why does Jewish people say G_D without the O.

Hello Irish Zionist,

I think you are referring to Shuckling, which is when we move back and forth during prayer. I myself do this too and the reason I learned to do this is based on the Psalm which says, "All of my Bones will say, Who is like you, Oh L-rd!"... What this means is that even our bones are able to praise G-d, and when we shake back and forth it is an expression of praise from our body. This is my explanation of this, but of course I will bring links and proofs of my explanation.


http://ohr.edu/ask_db/ask_main.php/142/Q1/

Quote


Burt Falkenstein wrote:

    Dear Rabbi,

    Why is it when we pray to Hashem, many people "shuckle" back and forth while others do not? Isn't it disrespectful to sway back and forth when we are "talking" in our own way to Hashem? Please explain this (I think) "custom." Is it truly disrespectful or is it something else? Thanks,


Dear Burt Falkenstein,

'Shuckling' - swaying back and forth during prayer and Torah study - is a legitimate custom. Several reasons are offered for this custom:

    * The soul is akin to a flame. Just as a flame always flickers and strives upward, so too the soul is never still, constantly moving and striving to reach upward towards Hashem.
    * Shaking allows you to pray with your whole body, as King David said "Let all my bones exclaim 'Hashem, who is like You!'"
    * When we stand before Hashem in prayer, we tremble in awe of the King of Kings.
    * The book of the Kuzari gives a historical explanation for 'shuckling.' He explains that shuckling originated during a period when there was a book shortage, and several people needed to study from the same book at the same time. To allow as many people as possible to study from one book, they would sway alternately back and forth. This allowed each person to look into the book and read a little bit, and when he swayed back, another person could sway forward and look into the book.

A valid alternative to shuckling is to stand completely still, like a soldier standing at attention in front of the king.

Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, zatzal, one of the foremost halachic authorities of our generation, was known to stand stock still during the silent prayer. He explained that, while living in Russia, he was once arrested for teaching Torah. One form of torture he experienced during his imprisonment was being forced to stand completely still facing a wall. The threat was that if he were to move he would be shot. It was on one of these occasions that Rabbi Feinstein was struck with the realization that if he could stand with such intense concentration for the sake of his captors, then he should afford at least the same respect when standing in front of Hashem.

Deciding whether to 'shuckle' or stand still depends on which one helps you concentrate better. In any case, a person shouldn't move his body or contort his face in any way that will make him look weird.

Regarding your second question... Hashem has commanded that we obliterate the names of foreign and strange gods, and never erase his name. In order to prevent the erasure of the name of Hashem, whenever we write a name {any of the primary names we use referring to the traits of Hashem} we will leave a letter out so that if anyone should ever erase it, it would not be a profanation of the name. While modern Rabbis have found that when we write on a computer screen we don't need to leave out letters because the name will not be erased... But if someone should print it out it may come to be erased, and thus it is a custom to leave off letters of any of G-ds names. Technically the word god is not a name of G-d, but it is when we refer to Hashem, so that word is often spelled with the missing O.

Here is a link which discusses the name of Hashem and the rules about not erasing it:

http://www.jewfaq.org/name.htm

Quote

Writing the Name of God

Jews do not casually write any Name of God. This practice does not come from the commandment not to take the Lord's Name in vain, as many suppose. In Jewish thought, that commandment refers solely to oath-taking, and is a prohibition against swearing by God's Name falsely or frivolously (the word normally translated as "in vain" literally means "for falsehood").

Judaism does not prohibit writing the Name of God per se; it prohibits only erasing or defacing a Name of God. However, observant Jews avoid writing any Name of God casually because of the risk that the written Name might later be defaced, obliterated or destroyed accidentally or by one who does not know better.

The commandment not to erase or deface the name of God comes from Deut. 12:3. In that passage, the people are commanded that when they take over the promised land, they should destroy all things related to the idolatrous religions of that region, and should utterly destroy the names of the local deities. Immediately afterwards, we are commanded not to do the same to our God. From this, the rabbis inferred that we are commanded not to destroy any holy thing, and not to erase or deface a Name of God.

It is worth noting that this prohibition against erasing or defacing Names of God applies only to Names that are written in some kind of permanent form, and recent rabbinical decisions have held that writing on a computer is not a permanent form, thus it is not a violation to type God's Name into a computer and then backspace over it or cut and paste it, or copy and delete files with God's Name in them. However, once you print the document out, it becomes a permanent form. That is why observant Jews avoid writing a Name of God on web sites like this one or in newsgroup messages: because there is a risk that someone else will print it out and deface it.

Normally, we avoid writing the Name by substituting letters or syllables, for example, writing "G-d" instead of "God." In addition, the number 15, which would ordinarily be written in Hebrew as Yod-Hei (10-5), is normally written as Teit-Vav (9-6), because Yod-Hei is a Name. See Hebrew Alphabet for more information about using letters as numerals.

Have a good week Irish Zionist, and may you be blessed!

MUMAN613
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: AsheDina on November 23, 2009, 11:52:21 AM
Muman; I want to tell you I apologize for my post the other day, I am not only tired of the Jew-bashing of GOOD Jews, but I am SICK and tired of really super good Christians being persecuted.  I don't like leftists, thats the way it is, I dont even believe their 'politics' are politics, I believe it is strait up evilness.  I am sorry I used bad words.  I believe that leftist Jewish people are reprobate, until they prove otherwize.

I will also explain something; I dont believe that gentiles and Christians are 'just above the animals', as you have said before, right here on this forum.  This pained me very badly.  My mom is a Jewess, by law, I am also.  But, even though, I realize that G-d has blessed me, (sometimes I see more than other people), I don't carry an attitude that I believe I am 'better' just because G-d chose our race/people.  He chose our race, because we are SMALL.  So, obviously, G-d loves humility.

So, because of that statement that you made here on this forum, I have carried animosity toward you, and I apologize for this (my animosity) 

So, my question is this;  Since I know you from when you first came to this forum, and also know that you were very close to gentiles, I will ask you if you can please always refrain from statments that would cause hurt to our members that are proven, love G-d and are good people?

thank you.
Shalom- Paulette Aishe Dina
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: The One and Only Mo on November 23, 2009, 12:15:00 PM
Muman; I want to tell you I apologize for my post the other day, I am not only tired of the Jew-bashing of GOOD Jews, but I am SICK and tired of really super good Christians being persecuted.  I don't like leftists, thats the way it is, I dont even believe their 'politics' are politics, I believe it is strait up evilness.  I am sorry I used bad words.  I believe that leftist Jewish people are reprobate, until they prove otherwize.

I will also explain something; I dont believe that gentiles and Christians are 'just above the animals', as you have said before, right here on this forum.  This pained me very badly.  My mom is a Jewess, by law, I am also.  But, even though, I realize that G-d has blessed me, (sometimes I see more than other people), I don't carry an attitude that I believe I am 'better' just because G-d chose our race/people.  He chose our race, because we are SMALL.  So, obviously, G-d loves humility.

So, because of that statement that you made here on this forum, I have carried animosity toward you, and I apologize for this (my animosity) 

So, my question is this;  Since I know you from when you first came to this forum, and also know that you were very close to gentiles, I will ask you if you can please always refrain from statments that would cause hurt to our members that are proven, love G-d and are good people?

thank you.
Shalom- Paulette Aishe Dina
I would like to point out that any of those statements you speak of all have sources.....It is not Muman making things up, he is quoting ideas from Torah.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 23, 2009, 02:25:52 PM
Thank you AsheDinah,

I value your friendship and I do remember that we had a very good relationship here when I first joined. I don't have any superior feelings over non-Jews, but I do have a tremendous amount of pride of the Jewish heritage. In order to remain Jewish we must strive to prevent influences from outside of Jewish thought. Judaism has remained Jewish despite 1000s of years of attempts to assimilate us or convert us. The Rabbis instituted methods to prevent assimilation. If only we understood the reasoning for these rules we would understand it comes not from Jews feeling superior, but from our desire to keep our customs, beliefs, and our heritage which was given at Mount Sinai.

While modern western society has caused a lot of Jews to lose their heritage it is also possible to bring some of them back. How do we do this? Why should a Jew want to be jewish? We must instill pride in them, to feel that there is something worthwhile for their spirit and body which is not offered to those who are not-jewish. Every other religion and culture has this aspect to it, the French feel superior to Americans, Americans feel superior to French, Germans feel superior to everyone, etc. etc.... There is nothing wrong with feeling that we are special, as long as the goal is to make this world a better place..

Jews do have a special mission. I believe this with the very fibre of my being. There is such a thing as a Jewish Neshamah and a religious Jew knows how to look for the special traits a Jew possesses. I believe all of humanity has sparks of the Jewish neshamah and this is why some people see fit to convert to Judaism.

I understand where you are coming from and I will always try to consider how others will perceive what I write here... I want the entire world to know that Hashem, blessed is his name, is the master of the universe, the holy one. I truly forsee the messianic age when all of humanity will know that Hashem is L-rd. It will be a time of peace, prosperity, and knowledge...

Thank you for your kind words. Baruch Hashem!

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: The One and Only Mo on November 23, 2009, 04:39:15 PM
Thank you AsheDinah,

I value your friendship and I do remember that we had a very good relationship here when I first joined. I don't have any superior feelings over non-Jews, but I do have a tremendous amount of pride of the Jewish heritage. In order to remain Jewish we must strive to prevent influences from outside of Jewish thought. Judaism has remained Jewish despite 1000s of years of attempts to assimilate us or convert us. The Rabbis instituted methods to prevent assimilation. If only we understood the reasoning for these rules we would understand it comes not from Jews feeling superior, but from our desire to keep our customs, beliefs, and our heritage which was given at Mount Sinai.

While modern western society has caused a lot of Jews to lose their heritage it is also possible to bring some of them back. How do we do this? Why should a Jew want to be jewish? We must instill pride in them, to feel that there is something worthwhile for their spirit and body which is not offered to those who are not-jewish. Every other religion and culture has this aspect to it, the French feel superior to Americans, Americans feel superior to French, Germans feel superior to everyone, etc. etc.... There is nothing wrong with feeling that we are special, as long as the goal is to make this world a better place..

Jews do have a special mission. I believe this with the very fibre of my being. There is such a thing as a Jewish Neshamah and a religious Jew knows how to look for the special traits a Jew possesses. I believe all of humanity has sparks of the Jewish neshamah and this is why some people see fit to convert to Judaism.

I understand where you are coming from and I will always try to consider how others will perceive what I write here... I want the entire world to know that Hashem, blessed is his name, is the master of the universe, the holy one. I truly forsee the messianic age when all of humanity will know that Hashem is L-rd. It will be a time of peace, prosperity, and knowledge...

Thank you for your kind words. Baruch Hashem!


:clap:
Muman, you are a source of knowledge, wisdom, and purity. I wish everybody else in this miserable, wretched universe was like you.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Irish Zionist on November 25, 2009, 06:50:29 PM
Muman what were the events around the destruction of the 1st and 2nd temple.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 26, 2009, 12:01:40 AM
Muman what were the events around the destruction of the 1st and 2nd temple.

Hello Irish Zionist,

You are asking me some very excellent questions. I appreciate the opportunity to explain Jewish thought with the world. Regarding the 'Churban' or Destruction of the two Temples it is essential to understand what the Jewish sages tell us. The Jewish people have marked the occasion of the destruction on the day of Tish B'Av {the ninth of the month Av} when our tradition teaches that Rome finally destroyed the second Beit HaMikdash. Many tragedies have befallen my people on Tisha B'Av including the destruction of the two Temples and it was the day on which the ten spies which Moses sent out came back with a slanderous report.

Our sages have explained that the Tanakh discusses four exiles which the Jewish people will go through before the final redemption. These exiles are:

    * "Nafshi" (Emotional) - Babylonian tyrant Nebechudnezzer wanted the Jewish people to emotionally submit themselves to him and his idolatry. They refused, so Nebechudnezzer destroyed the First Temple and sent the Jews packing to Babylon.

    * Gufani (Bodily) - While living under Persian domination, the Jews experienced an exile which threatened to annihilate them through the genocidal machinations of Haman, the villain of the Purim story.

    * Sichli (Intellectual) - Under the rulership of the Greeks, the Jews were subject to harsh decrees prohibiting their connection to G-d and Torah. The tide of Greek philosophy and culture -- chronicled in the Chanukah story -- threatened to extinguish Jewish intellectual thought.

    * HaKol (Combination) - The current exile began 2,000 years ago with the Roman destruction of the Second Temple and the disbursement of the Jews to four corners of the globe. During this time, Jews have been subjected to a horrific combination of all other exiles -- perpetual persecution, expulsion, humiliation, mass murder, and more.

As we know, the first Churban was the destruction of the First Beit HaMikdash by the Babylonian king Nebuchednezer. The sages have explained why the first destruction happened.  The reason the first temple was destroyed, according to our sages, was because the Jewish people had committed the three 'cardinal' sins, those being Idolatry, Sexual immorality, and Murder.

The Torah relates to us the story of the spies which returned with a slanderous report against the land of Israel. Ten of the twelve spies spoke lies to the people about the land, described by Hashem as the land of Milk and Honey. Only Joshua and Caleb did not give bad reports. But due to the majority of the spies giving a bad report the people of Israel were very depressed, so depressed they cried to Hashem, they weeped tears which were in vain.

Hashem was displeased that they weeped because of this. His displeasure was so severe that the generation which left Egypt would have to die in the desert. Hashems anger flared against the people because despite Hashems mighty hand which was displayed at the parting of the sea, his awesome power of bringing ten plagues on the mightiest nation known to man, the people were weeping like little children. Moses had to pray with all his intention, all of his heart and soul. Hashem forgave the people but he remembers the sin and will make us cry every year because we cried because of the spies. This is one explanation of why both Temples were destroyed on Tisha B'Av.

The First temple was built about the Jewish year 2928 and was destroyed in the year 3338 for a total count of 410 years.

So fast forward about 72 years later... The Jewish people are back in Israel and are starting to rebuild the Temple and resume service. The second Temple stood for 420 years before the Roman barbarian Titus finally crushed Jerusalem. Our sages explain that the second Temple was destroyed because all of Israel was full of Sinat Chinam or 'Baseless Hatred'. It is a complex issue to describe what exactly constitutes baseless hatred but as you can guess it involves hating another Jew for no particular reason other than our own reason.

On first glance it seems that the three cardinal sins of Idolatry, Sexual Immorality and Murder are far greater than hating another Jew in your heart. Yet we were only exiled from the first Temple for 72 years, and we have been exiled from the Second Temple for over 2000 years. It is hard for a religious Jew to not yearn for the rebuilding of the Temple because it is a part of our soul.

I hope I have scratched the surface of this very interesting and important topic. I have provided numerous links to pages which support the ideas I have presented here.

Thank you,
muman613

References:

Here is the portion of Torah which discusses this event of the spies:

Quote
Numbers 14
11 And the LORD said unto Moses: 'How long will this people despise Me? and how long will they not believe in Me, for all the signs which I have wrought among them?  12 I will smite them with the pestilence, and destroy them, and will make of thee a nation greater and mightier than they.'  13 And Moses said unto the LORD: 'When the Egyptians shall hear--for Thou broughtest up this people in Thy might from among them--  14 they will say to the inhabitants of this land, who have heard that Thou LORD art in the midst of this people; inasmuch as Thou LORD art seen face to face, and Thy cloud standeth over them, and Thou goest before them, in a pillar of cloud by day, and in a pillar of fire by night;  15 now if Thou shalt kill this people as one man, then the nations which have heard the fame of Thee will speak, saying:  16 Because the LORD was not able to bring this people into the land which He swore unto them, therefore He hath slain them in the wilderness.  17 And now, I pray Thee, let the power of the LORD be great, according as Thou hast spoken, saying:  18 The LORD is slow to anger, and plenteous in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and that will by no means clear the guilty; visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children, upon the third and upon the fourth generation.  19 Pardon, I pray Thee, the iniquity of this people according unto the greatness of Thy lovingkindness, and according as Thou hast forgiven this people, from Egypt even until now.'  20 And the LORD said: 'I have pardoned according to thy word.  21 But in very deed, as I live--and all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD--  22 surely all those men that have seen My glory, and My signs, which I wrought in Egypt and in the wilderness, yet have put Me to proof these ten times, and have not hearkened to My voice;  23 surely they shall not see the land which I swore unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that despised Me see it.  24 But My servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed Me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.  25 Now the Amalekite and the Canaanite dwell in the Vale; tomorrow turn ye, and get you into the wilderness by the way to the Red Sea.' {P}

http://www.aish.com/tp/b/sw/48955446.html
http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/144569/jewish/The-First-Temple.htm
http://www.chabad.org/multimedia/media_cdo/aid/540660/jewish/First-Temple-Destruction.htm
http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/953569/jewish/The-Destruction-of-the-Temple.htm
http://www.ou.org/yerushalayim/tishabav/churban.htm
http://www.aish.com/h/9av/ju/48945386.html
http://www.akhlah.com/history_tradition/torah_timeline.php
http://www.jewishmag.com/93mag/baseless/baseless.htm
http://www.torah.org/learning/jewish-values/hate3.html
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 26, 2009, 01:20:39 AM
It is a coincidence that Rabbi Schaffier talks about this very topic on his latest show on IsraelNationalNews...

Listen to this shuir to hear more about this topic...

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Radio/News.aspx/1636
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Irish Zionist on November 26, 2009, 02:30:47 AM
Thanks Muman I really learned alot there. Thank you for your wisdom and if you don't mind I will have many more questions about Judism.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 26, 2009, 01:34:01 PM
Tears play an important part in the process of prayer. It is important to try to understand the way tears can be understood as a way of connecting with Hashem. The tears which were cried in vain were tears which were not good tears but tears of fear and weakness. Tears which are brought about in knowledge that Hashem is with us are tears which are shed for good.

After the destruction all the gates to heaven were closed, except for the gate of tears.



http://www.aish.com/jw/j/48957306.html
TEARS ON TISHA B'AV
by Rabbi Shraga Simmons 

    If I forget you Jerusalem
    May I forget my right hand
    May my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth
    If I ever don't think of you
    If I don't raise up Jerusalem above my highest joy

    - Psalms 137:5,6


The first historic tragedy to occur on Tisha B'Av was when the Jews in the generation of Moses accepted the Spies' slanderous report, thereby squandering the chance to fulfill their destiny in Israel.

Upon realizing the gravity of their mistake, the people sat down to cry (Deut. 1:45). They realized that the land had been promised, but only their fears prevented them from going forward. At which point G-d responds: "Today you cried for nothing; in the future I'll give you a real reason to cry." (Talmud - Ta'anit 29a)

And we've been crying ever since. Both tears of sadness and tears of hope. The Western Wall in Jerusalem is also called the "Wailing Wall," because of all the Jewish tears Jews have shed there over the centuries.

During the 1900-year exile, Jews would travel to Jerusalem at great expense and danger, just to have the chance to pray at the Wall. There, they would pour their hearts out to G-d, beseeching him for Jewish redemption. They watered the Wall with their tears and melted the stones with their kisses.

GLASS OF TEARS

The following story is told about the Chasam Sofer, the great 19th century Hungarian rabbi:

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    One afternoon before Tisha B'Av, the Chasam Sofer, a great 19th century European sage, would neither study Torah nor write responsa. He simply closed himself in a room.

    One of his disciples could not restrain his curiosity and quietly opened the door of the room. He saw the Chasam Sofer weeping bitterly over the destruction of the Temple, his tears falling into a glass in front of him.

    At the meal before the fast, the Chasam Sofer drank from the tears collected in the glass, in fulfillment of the verse (Psalms 80:6): "You fed them with the bread of tears, and gave them tears to drink in great measure."

When the Jewish people were slaves in Egypt, the redemption did not come about until they cried out to G-d (see Exodus 3:7). So too, the future redemption will follow the same pattern: When the Jewish people cry out to the Almighty, He will hear their cry and redeem them.

Do we appreciate the loss of the Temple to the extent that it brings us to tears? This is precisely the level we strive to achieve on Tisha B'Av.

HOPE FOR REDEMPTION

We must feel the pain of exile if we have any hope of reversing it. Like orphans who never knew their parents, we go about our daily lives insensitive to the lack of a healthy spiritual world. On Tisha B'Av, we strive to understand what the loss of the Temple means -- and how we can connect with our destiny, our struggle, our mission and our identity as a people.

The story is told of Napoleon walking through the streets of Paris. As he passed by a synagogue, he heard the sound of people weeping inside. He turned to his assistant and asked, "What's going on in there?"

"Today is Tisha B'Av," came the reply, "and the Jews are mourning the loss of their Temple."

Napoleon looked toward the synagogue and said, "If the Jews are still crying after so many hundreds of years, then I am certain the Temple will one day be rebuilt!"

The Talmud (Brachot 32b) teaches that when the Temple was destroyed, all the Gates of Heaven were closed -- except for one. That is the Gate of Tears.

This Tisha B'Av, we must remember that the tears we shed for the destruction, are precisely those tears which will bring about redemption.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Christian Zionist on November 26, 2009, 02:25:27 PM
Shalom Muman!

Why do Lubavitchers believe that the late Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson as the Messiah?  He did not rebuild the temple, he dis not stop wars in the world and he did not bring all Jews back to Israel either?  Does it not violate the fundamental tenents of Judaism?


I have not heard any vociferous opposition from other Orthodox Jews to the Lubavitcher movement for calling their Rebbe as their Messiah? 

Thanks!

CZ
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 26, 2009, 03:42:09 PM
Shalom Muman!

Why do Lubavitchers believe that the late Rebbe Menachem Mendel Schneerson as the Messiah?  He did not rebuild the temple, he dis not stop wars in the world and he did not bring all Jews back to Israel either?  Does it not violate the fundamental tenents of Judaism?


I have not heard any vociferous opposition from other Orthodox Jews to the Lubavitcher movement for calling their Rebbe as their Messiah? 

Thanks!

CZ

Shalom Christian Zionist,

I happen to know many good Chabad rabbis and Chabad members from my local area. There is nothing wrong with believing that someone is Moshiach as long as that person is alive and has the potential to carry out the mission of Moshiach. I have just heard an awesome talk from a Rabbi who explained that even the greatest sage of Israel, the revered Rabbi Akiva believed for a time that Moshiach had finally come. In this case Rabbi Akiva believed that Bar Kochbah was Moshiach because he had sucessfully repelled the Roman armies for many years. But in the end Bar Kochba fell and it had to be admitted that he was not Moshiach.

There is also the belief, though the Chassidim discuss it more frequently, that there are sparks of Moshiach in every generation. We believe that Moshiach can come at any time, and he may already be here but the time is not right for it to be revealed. The Chassidim also have the concept that their Rebbe is a tzadik, or a righteous Jew, who is learned and can be learned from. The tzadik is a very integral part of Chassidic thought because every Chassidisha sect of Judaism has its tzadik. The Breslov chassidim have Rabbi Nachman of Breslov who died in the early 1800s and is still today revered as the Rebbe of Breslov. I happen to associate with this kind of Chassidism because my family is from the city where the Rebbe is buried.

Some people assume that because the Beslovers revere and love their rebbe so much that he must have thought that he was Moshiach. I have never read anything by Rabbi Nachman which suggests that he thought he was Moshiach. Rabbi Nachman, while living in exile, did make a journey to Eretz Yisroel and Breslovs Yeshiva today is in Jerusalem. And Rebbe Schnereson of the Chabad chassidim has always supported Aliyah to Eretz Yisroel while always sending agents/schliachs to the four corners of the world.

The Chabad organization is blessed and it is a blessing for the Jewish people. I have attended many Shabbat and Yom Tov functions with Chabad and often they don't even charge anything. Many times I donate money to Chabad, either my local Chabad, or the national Chabad via the telethon. I have asked my friends about this belief that the Rebbe was moshiach. Most Chabad people I know say that they believed he may have been Moshiach while he lived but realized once he died that he wasn't. I can certainly understand this.... When I watch video or even photographs of the Rebbe of Lubavitch I get shivers because I know that Hashems glory shone from his face. When Chabad would have their get togethers the spiritual energy would flow like noplace on earth. The intimate nigguns/tunes which were sung, the closeness of bodies and closeness of spirit... It is unlike any other experience and I can only watch it now on youtube.. [ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWw1PGVJAzo ]

There are some Chabdniks who still believe he was moshiach. I do not understand how they can believe this. But I will not judge them because he certainly had sparks of Moshiach within him, and he revealed many other sparks of Moshiach by sending Mitzvah patrols into the world to make sure Jews all over the world could perform the commandments of the Torah.

References:

http://universaltorah.com/programming/podpress_trac/web/1118/1/2009-17-11-LTTN-0167-The-Temple-and-Moshiach-II-30cheshvan.wmv
http://www.jewfaq.org/mashiach.htm
http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/101679/jewish/The-Personality-of-Mashiach.htm
http://www.aish.com/jl/h/48954961.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbi_nachman
http://www.613.org/hasidism/03.htm
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Why Chassidim Have Rebbes

Chassidim seek attachment with their Rebbe to strengthen their bond with the Tzadik.  The Rebbe is considered a possible foundational Tzadik - the source of life affirming good.   Therefore, the stronger one is connected to him the more life one derives directly through the Tzadik.[23]

  One can get life in other ways, evil gets life from G-d even though it is not connected to the Tzadik in a direct way, yet to receive vitality in the holiest manner,[24] there is a need for a direct channel to the Tzadik.

The world of evil is superficial. Sin is a product of externalism.  For instance, lusts tantalize with promises of pleasure yet they are rarely a path to satisfaction. Once they are realized man is left with an aching emptiness, for evil is hollow within.  A holy person is an inner person who rises above an extrinsic perspective.

 There is a superficial connection to the Tzadik, and internal attachment to the Tzadik.  Physically being a chassid, a follower, while in practice not emulating his ways is a superficial attachment.  The attendant who hovers around the Tzadik, setting the holy man’s schedule or serving him lunch is not necessarily connected to the Tzadik.  True connection, requires a relationship on an inner level, where one learns and grows from the example of the Tzadik.[25]  The quiet student who is inspired by the Tzadik’s presence or words to serve G-d with added devotion and to emulate the Tzadik has the inner bond even if he never introduces himself to the Tzadik.  The student who resembles the Tzadik is the true chassid.  The attendant is a chassid only in name.  He and the Tzadik reside in different worlds and he does not receive life directly through the Tzadik. 

Personally becoming a Tzadik Yesod Olam might seem to be an unrealistic goal for many of us.  The Tanya teaches that many souls do not have the potential of reaching the heights of Tzadikhood.  However, all souls can attain great spiritual levels.  An awareness of the different types of souls within mankind, can help each of us actualize our individual latent proclivities for holy behavior.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 26, 2009, 04:03:43 PM
Here is Chabads discussion of the concept of Moshiach in every generation:

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/101679/jewish/The-Personality-of-Mashiach.htm


B. Mashiach In Every Generation

Any time is a potential time for the coming of Mashiach.7 This does not mean, however, that at the appropriate time he will suddenly emerge from Heaven to appear on earth.8 On the contrary: Mashiach is already on earth, a human being of great saintly status (a tzadik) appearing and existing in every generation. “In every generation is born a progeny of Judah fit to be Israel’s Mashiach!”9

On the particular day that marks the end of the galut, when Mashiach will redeem Israel, the unique pre-existing soul of Mashiach ‘stored’ in Gan Eden from aforetimes will descend and be bestowed upon that tzadik.10 R. Mosheh Sofer summarizes this principle in his responsa:11

“As for the coming of the scion of David, I need to posit the following premise: Moses the first redeemer of Israel, reached the age of eighty years and did not know or sense that he would redeem Israel. Even when the Holy One, blessed be He, said to him, ‘Come and I will send you to Pharao…’ (Exodus 3:10), he declined and did not want to accept that mission. So it will be with the final redeemer.

“The very day that the Bet Hamikdash was destroyed, was born one who, by virtue of his righteousness, is fit to be the redeemer.12 At the proper time G-d will reveal Himself to him and send him, and then will dwell upon him the spirit of Mashiach which is hidden and concealed above until his coming.

“Thus we find also with Saul that the spirit of royalty and the Holy Spirit which he had not sensed at all within himself came upon him after he was anointed…

“The tzadik himself does not realize this potential. Because of our sins many such tzadikim passed away already. We did not merit that the Messianic spirit was conferred upon them. They were fit and appropriate for this, but their generations were not fit…”13

This explains why R. Akiva would consider Bar Kochba to be Mashiach (Yerushalmi, Ta’anit 4:5; see Hilchot Melachim 11:3; and cf. Yeshu’ot Meshicho, Iyun Harishon:ch.4). Furthermore, it explains a discussion in Sanhedrin 98b about the name of Mashiach, with different authorities suggesting Shiloh, Yinon, Chaninah and Menachem (cf. Yeshu’ot Meshicho, Iyun Hasheni, ch. 3, that the term Mashiach is an acronym of these four names): each school picked the name of its own master (Rashi). The implication is clear: each school regarded its own master as the most likely potential Mashiach of that generation by virtue of his saintliness and perfection; see R. Tzadok Hakohen, Peri Tzadik, Devarim:13. In later generations, too, we find the same attitude among the disciples of R. Isaac Luria, the Baal Shem Tov, the Vilna Gaon, R. Chaim David Azulay, and many other extraordinary personalities, as stated explicitly in their writings. 4
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 26, 2009, 04:22:27 PM
Here is the discussion of the machlokes/disagreement concerning whether Rebbe Nachman and his followers believed he was Moshiach...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbi_nachman
Did he believe he was the Messiah?
Secular academic view

The Encyclopedia Judaica and other secular academic sources claim that Rebbe Nachman saw himself as the Messiah. One proof that secular academics offer is that the messianic personality is expected to rectify errant souls. Rebbe Nachman did speak to his disciples about the principle of tikkun (rectification of souls), and even suggested that he was capable of rectifying souls. However, this power was also claimed by Rebbes of other Hasidic sects. The principle of tikkun is also found throughout the teachings of (Rabbi Isaac Luria), who preceded Rebbe Nachman by several hundred years.

Some secular academics postulate that Rebbe Nachman was influenced by the teachings of Sabbatai Zevi and Jacob Frank, false messiahs of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, respectively, but that he was not actually a Sabbatean or Frankist. As proof, they note that Rebbe Nachman's thinking on tikkun olam, the Kabbalistic healing of the universe, bears similarities to the teachings of Sabbatai Zevi.

In his writings, Rebbe Nachman refers to Sabbetai Zevi as SHaTZ (an acronym for his Hebrew name, SHabbetai TZvi, and concludes the reference with the expression yimach shemo (may his name be obliterated). The latter expression is generally reserved for the worst enemies of the Jewish people.

Breslov view

Rebbe Nachman never claimed that he was the Messiah. He taught the general Hasidic concept of the tzaddik ha-dor (tzadik of the generation), which is the idea that in every generation, a special, saintly person is born who could potentially become the Jewish Messiah if conditions were right in the world. Otherwise, this tzaddik lives and dies the same as any other holy man. Toward the end of his life, he said, "My light will burn until the coming of the Messiah" — indicating that the Messiah had not yet arrived. Breslover Hasidim do not believe Rebbe Nachman was the Messiah, but they do believe that the light of his teachings continues to illuminate the paths of Jews from many disparate backgrounds.

It should be noted that the Sabbateans based their teachings on the same Zohar and Lurianic kabbalah that are considered part of classical Judaism by Hasidism. Where the Sabbateans diverged from accepted teaching was in believing that Sabbatai Zevi was "the Messiah" and that the Halakha (Jewish law) was no longer binding. Rebbe Nachman did not do the same. He did not claim he was the Messiah, and when asked, "What do we do as Breslover Hasidim?" he replied, "Whatever it says in the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law)."
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Christian Zionist on November 26, 2009, 08:44:14 PM
Thank you so much Muman!

I really commend the Lubavitcher movement for supporting Zionism and for encouraging Jews to make Aliya.

But I thought Judaism  (the Talumd) teaches that the Messiah must stop all wars in the world and build the 3rd temple.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 27, 2009, 12:34:03 AM
Thank you so much Muman!

I really commend the Lubavitcher movement for supporting Zionism and for encouraging Jews to make Aliya.

But I thought Judaism  (the Talumd) teaches that the Messiah must stop all wars in the world and build the 3rd temple.

Yes, these are a part of the mission of Moshiach...

http://www.moshiach.com/topics/in-depth/the-messianic-era.php

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• Restoration of the Bet Hamikdash
• Ingathering of the Exiles of Israel
• End to Evil and Sins
• Awareness and Knowledge of G-d
• Universal Worship of G-d
• Universal Peace and Harmony
• Resurrection of the Dead
• Blissful Utopia: End to Disease and Death

So it is obvious that anyone who accomplishes these goals can be called Moshiach... Anyone who has accomplished some of them may be a candidate for moshiach...

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 27, 2009, 01:38:19 AM
Excerpt from interview from 1992:

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/2944/jewish/Belief-in-Moshiach.htm

HANDELMAN:

    Here again, one might also think of these events as just part of another cycle in history. That is, there are always periods of great reform and progressive hope, and then a regression to oppression and war. Hearing about this new emphasis on Moshiach, some people fear that you're setting yourself up for disappointment, and that it's very dangerous to read into these events some impending arrival of the Moshiach, because it hasn't happened for the last several thousand years.

FRIEDMAN:

    That's exactly true, and that's why it has to happen now. This fear of disappointment, I think, is a very invalid and insubstantial argument. There's always a chance that we might fail in the things we hope for, the things we work hard for. But that is not an argument against doing it.

HANDELMAN:

    Nevertheless, in the past in Jewish history, when Messianic movements have arisen, such as Bar-Kochba or Shabbetai Zvi, the resulting disappointment was disastrous for the Jewish people. This disappointment is not a simple thing, it's not like being disappointed in love --

FRIEDMAN:

    The stronger the virtue, the greater is the damage if it doesn't work. But we should distinguish between today and the past failures of Bar-Kochba and Shabbetai Zvi. Really the two are very different: Bar-Kochba didn't turn out to be a disaster; he just didn't accomplish the goal.

    Shabbetai Zvi turned out to be a disaster. But what they all have in common, all the past Messianic fervor, is that they happened in a time of great trouble, when people were really desperate, when they had reached the bottom of the cycle, and the only way to go was up; and it had to be Moshiach - which is understandable. When things are that dark, you have to hope for something, you have to look forward to something.

    On the other hand, it is still a virtue and a compliment to the Jewish people that our faith is so strong that for 3,000 years we have been consistently confident of his arrival. And what's unique about this time around is that we're doing very well. There is no great trouble. Things are relatively good for Jews today.

HANDELMAN:

    Many people agree that the concept of Moshiach is important in Judaism, but point to passages in the Talmud which say that we mustn't speculate about these things -- that we can anticipate Moshiach, but we're not supposed to inquire into whom it is or talk about signs of the times.

FRIEDMAN:

    On the one hand, the Talmud in Sanhedrin says that the Sages were very unhappy with people who set dates and made predictions about the time of Moshiach's arrival. But on the other hand, anyone who doesn't expect Moshiach every day is a heretic. So how do we reconcile this?

HANDELMAN:

    How do we?

FRIEDMAN:

    If the average person were to start making predictions and say, "I think according to the signs, to the stars, to the this, that, and the other, that Moshiach is coming tomorrow," that is wrong. Moshiach is coming today, always today, never tomorrow, never next week or next month, because we're not supposed to rely on signs. We're supposed to believe and trust that G-d said that He's going to send Moshiach, and G-d will send him today. That's the only resolution to this kind of conflict.

    So on the one hand, yes, it's true that we shouldn't play around with predictions. But on the other hand, if somebody says, "I know Moshiach and he's alive today," that's great --

HANDELMAN:

    You just said a minute ago that it's wrong for every Tom, Dick, and Harry to start making these predictions.

FRIEDMAN:

    We're not talking about predictions. The predictions are not kosher. But if somebody says, "Moshiach is here; I know someone, and he is Moshiach," that's fine.

HANDELMAN:

    In the passage you quoted earlier, Maimonides says you can "assume" someone is Moshiach, but you don't know it for sure unless certain conditions are met.

FRIEDMAN:

    Right. Assume it, and hope it, like Rabbi Akiva did. He went and carried Bar Kochba's armor for him.

HANDELMAN:

    But as with Shabbetai Zvi, we have seen that when people do get very worked up about Moshiach and they're wrong, the consequences are bad.

FRIEDMAN:

    But how can you reconcile this fear of a false Moshiach with your belief in Moshiach? What does your belief in Moshiach consist of if you're afraid that he might be a false Moshiach?

    When the real Moshiach does come, what are we going to say? Who's going to believe him? Are we going to say, "Got to be careful -- remember Shabbetai Zvi?"

HANDELMAN:

    Still people find finger-pointing very unsettling. They feel that it's very dangerous to point to someone and claim that he is the Moshiach.

FRIEDMAN:

    If people can point a finger to someone and say, "This is Moshiach," that simply shows how alive and vibrant their faith in Moshiach is. Whether this person is or is not Moshiach is irrelevant.

HANDELMAN:

    Would you say that it is irrelevant even if, for example, we decide on the wrong person? New religions have been formed as a result of the belief that certain persons were the Moshiach, and Judaism suffered considerably when these other religions persecuted the Jews for refusing to accept these "Messiahs."

FRIEDMAN:

    The same is true of belief in G-d: The belief in G-d has been the cause of a lot of suffering, too. If you believe in the wrong god, or you start fighting over who G-d is, it also causes trouble.

    But you can't use the abuse of something as an argument against it. And the same thing holds true for attributing great powers to an individual. Just because there was a Jim Jones and a Jim Swaggart, are you going to say that you shouldn't believe in anybody? It's because we don't believe in the right people that these charlatans find their way into those positions. If we're open to the idea that somebody alive today is Moshiach, whether it's some Kabbalist in Israel or a Rosh Yeshiva in Lakewood, New Jersey, that would indicate that our belief in Moshiach is alive and healthy and well. Then when Moshiach comes, there'll be no problem.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Irish Zionist on November 28, 2009, 04:40:57 PM
Shalom Muman. Why do you think the black Hebrews have any rights to Israel and what are your thoughts on them claiming Moses was black. Is there any versus in the Talmud/Torah that dispel these claims?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 29, 2009, 03:02:12 PM
Shalom Muman. Why do you think the black Hebrews have any rights to Israel and what are your thoughts on them claiming Moses was black. Is there any versus in the Talmud/Torah that dispel these claims?

Irish Zionist,

This is a very tender topic indeed. I do not know the definitive answer so I will give you my opinion according to the understanding I have learned from a variety of Rabbis I listen to, and research which I have done. Just this week Tamar Yonah, who has a radio show on Arutz Sheva radio in Israel, just spoke with a scholar who believes that The Ark of the Covenent is in Ethiopia today. I do not fully believe this theory but there is ample evidence of a link from Israel to Ethiopia, both in Moses times and in King Solomons times.

There is Talmudic evidence that there was a Jewish presence in Ethiopia and I just learned that Moses himself was the King of Ethopia for a time.

I recognize the Ethiopian Jew as a Jew if he is true to the custom and ritual of Judaism. From what I have heard about Black Hebrews I am not so sure that they are really Jewish. I think that it is a difficult question because there are some Ethiopian Jews who do make aliyah to Israel and have to learn the laws which Ashkenazi and Sephardic Judaism have instituted via the Schulcan Aruch {code of Jewish law}. Ethiopian Jews also will not have learned as much Talmud as the other ethnicities of Judaism.

I have read some information that Black Hebrews do not keep commandments but just like to daven like Jews. I also read that they are very racist and anti-white. I don't know because the only african-american Jews I know are good people who are davening in Ashkenazi nusach.

References:
http://www.torahtots.com/jewishpress/20060803midrash.htm
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Moshe Rabeinu, King of Ethiopia

The kingdom of Ethiopia is ancient, with a civilization dating back many centuries. More than 3,000 years ago there ruled over this land a young king who was only 27 years old. This king ruled for 40 years and helped make Ethiopia a great power. His Name? Moshe Rabeinu, Moses our teacher.

No, this is not a typographical error. The same Moshe of Biblical fame, the same man who led the Jews from bondage in the land of Egypt and who gave them the Torah at Mount Sinai, was also King of Ethiopia.

How did he get there and when did it happen? Here is the story of Moses, King of Ethiopia.

http://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/811478/jewish/Interpolated-Translation.htm

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15 Pharaoh heard about the incident, for Dathan and Aviram informed on Moses.54 Pharaoh therefore sought to kill Moses. He had him tried, but although Moses had a speech impediment, he miraculously defended himself eloquently. Still, Pharaoh wanted to pronounce him guilty, but God struck him dumb. Pharaoh then tried to mumble his intentions to his ministers, but God made the ministers deaf. Pharaoh motioned to the executioners to kill Moses, but miraculously, the executioner's sword was unable to harm him.55 God made the executioners blind, and thus Moses fled from Pharaoh's presence.56 He fled to Ethiopia, where he joined the army and 9 years later was crowned king. He remained king of Ethiopia for 40 years.

In the year 2418 (while Moses was king of Ethiopia), certain families of the tribe of Ephraim, assuming that the 400 years prophesied in the Covenant between the Parts began as soon as the covenant was made (in the year 2018), concluded that they were over. Mistakenly believing that the time of their redemption had arrived, 30,000 armed men from this tribe left Egypt and set out toward the Land of Israel. They took money with them but no provisions, assuming they would either buy food from the Philistines or conquer their country. But the Philistines defeated them instead, and killed them all except for ten individuals who returned to Egypt to report the events.57

While Moses was in Ethiopia, Miriam married Caleb, son of Yefuneh, of the tribe of Judah, and they had a son whom they named Hur.58

In the year 2434, at the age of 67,59 Moses left Ethiopia and settled in the land of Midian. He thought it was time to get married, so he sat down near a well, following the example of his ancestor Jacob, who found his wife at a well (see Figure 2).

http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/241,2061383/Who-was-Moses.html

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Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Christian Zionist on November 29, 2009, 10:20:31 PM
Shalom Muman!


Is the book of Job the first one in the Tanach?  Who wrote it (under divine inspiration)?  Why is the name of God given in singular instead of Elohim unlike in other places?   Was Job a Jew or a gentile?   Some people say that the Job mentioned in Genesis 46:13 (And the sons of Issachar; Tola, and Phuvah, and Job, and Shimron) was the same Job described in the book of Job!   Probably this Job from the tribe of Issachar separated from his brothers and settled down in the land of Uz?

Thanks in advance!

CZ
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 29, 2009, 10:42:00 PM
Shalom Muman!


Is the book of Job the first one in the Tanach?  Who wrote it (under divine inspiration)?  Why is the name of G-d given in singular instead of Hashem unlike in other places?   Was Job a Jew or a gentile?   Some people say that the Job mentioned in Genesis 46:13 (And the sons of Issachar; Tola, and Phuvah, and Job, and Shimron) was the same Job described in the book of Job!   Probably this Job from the tribe of Issachar separated from his brothers and settled down in the land of Uz?

Thanks in advance!

CZ

Shalom CZ,

Very interesting question... Job is such an incredible story and one I refer to when I want to discuss the nature of HaSatan, the heavenly prosecutor. Your first question seems a bit humorous {im sorry} to me because everyone knows that Tanach, which is Torah, Naviim, and Ketuvim. The first book of Torah is Beresheit, or Genesis which starts "Before beginning creation Hashem said, "Let there be light"".

When did the story of Job take place? Our sages don't really explain whether he really existed or was only a parable. There are many references to him in Talmud, and I recall the story which places Job as one of the advisors to the Pharoah of Egypt. According to this Midrash, Pharoah had three advisors when he was trying to resolve his 'Jewish problem' and they were named , Yitro, Job, and the wicked prophet Biilam. I have provided links below which discuss these topics more intensely.

Who wrote the book of Iyyov? According to some opinions it was written by Moshe Rabbeinu himself. Was Iyyov a Jew? It is doubtful that he was. According to Jewish belief he was not Jewish but he was a righteous gentile. I will provide some evidence of this in a link below.

I hope this answers some of the questions you have...

Have a Blessed Week!
muman613

References:

http://www.torah.org/learning/yomtov/pesach/5755/vol1no10.html
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The Pasuk that the Hagada cites in reference to "Va'yareinu osanu" is "Hava nischachma lo, " the verse which discusses the advice given to Pharoah about ensalving the Jews. The Gemora in Sotah tells us that Pharaoh had three advisors: Yisro (Jethro) , Bilam and Iyov (Job). Bilam, because he gave the above advice, was punished with death. Iyov, who did not respond to the advice but kept quiet, was punished with suffering. Yisro, who fled in protest of the advice was rewarded by having his descendants serve in the Sanhedrin, the supreme Jewish court. The Gemora where this is brought down was discussing the concept of reward and punishment being Mida K'neged Mida, that the reward or punishment fits the deed. Rav Y. Z. Soloveitchik (aka the Gri"z) was puzzled by this. One can understand why Bilam, who advised persecution, was punished with death. But why was Iyov, who remained silent punished with suffering, and Yisro who fled was rewarded with his descendants serving in the Sanhedrin ?

http://www.torah.org/learning/iyov/intro.html

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Before we begin a conceptual analysis of this holy book it will be helpful to clarify four things:

   1. Who wrote it?
   2. What is its content?
   3. In what form is the material presented?
   4. What is the purpose of this book?


Let us consider each these questions:

1. Who wrote it?

From chazal (our Sages) z"l, it is clear that the authorship of this book is attributed to Moshe (Moses) Rabbeinu (our teacher). This point is discussed in the tractate Bava Bathra page14b. The Malbim explained that Moshe wrote it to console the Hebrew nation when they were enslaved and suffering under Egyptian oppression.

2. What is its content?

The book of Job (in Hebrew Iyov) is the story of an exceedingly righteous man who is afflicted with horrific suffering for no apparent reason. While the main character is obviously Iyov, it is not at all clear who this person was. In fact the Talmud ( Bava Bathra page 14b ) contains a long dispute if

Iyov was a Jew, a gentile, or indeed if he at all existed.

According to the latter opinion the book of Job is a parable. It seems that most of our sages did not accept this opinion. But even according to this minority opinion we cannot relegate this work to the realm of empty fiction or myth. We can confidently claim that it is the greatest commentary on human suffering ever written.

It is interesting to note that the Vilna Gaon offers a fascinating interpretation of this Talmudic passage. According to his approach the latter opinion does not dispute the reality of Iyov. Rather it explains the purpose of his existence. He ( Iyov ) was created to be a role model ( a "mashal" in Hebrew ) from whom everyone can learn the appropriate way to accept suffering. Accordingly, we are to take a lesson from Iyov that man has no license to sit in judgment of G-d. He ( G-d ) does not need our moral approval. Although at times some of His ways may seem to be harsh they are always based on absolute justice. Alas, the world of the absolute is often beyond our comprehension.

The tragic suffering of Iyov evokes the strong protest of all fair minded human beings: Should the righteous suffer? This question has to be one of mankind's most elusive mysteries since time immemorial. Several answers are presented and fiercely debated throughout the chapters of the book. They are forwarded by the friends of Iyov: Eliphaz, Beldad, Tzofer, and Elihu.

There is also a curiously veiled character who appears in the story; the Satan. He is the antagonist, the prosecutor, the villain (additional pejorative epithets are optional). His motivations are not clear, but his influence is clearly demonstrated. We will devote special attention to the subject of the Satan in one of our future installments.

There can be no discussion on human suffering without mention of G-d. Indeed, comprehending G-d's role in the world is essential in order to understand this book. His acquiescence to the Satan is simultaneously perplexing and disturbing. The absence of Divine intervention throughout this drama lends strong support to Iyov's contention that G-d neither scrutinizes human behavior nor concerns Himself with the human plight.

3. In what form is the material presented?

The discussions and arguments are presented in the form of a dialogue between Iyov and his friends. Each of these characters presents a unique approach to Iyov's plight. On the one hand Iyov is a believer, a man of intense faith and devout service. However, he cannot accept that a merciful, righteous G-d would consent to the dreadful suffering meted out to him at the hands of the Satan. The foundations of theology are tested in a battle field of what appears to be senseless human suffering. The issues are hotly debated between Iyov and his three friends. Finally Iyov finds balm for his wounds in the wisdom of Elihu ben Barachel.

4. What is the purpose of this book?

Moshe wrote this book as a source of consolement for his brethren who were suffering at the hands of their brutal Egyptian slave masters. They wanted to know why the righteous suffer while the wicked prosper. This was an issue with which Moshe had to struggle with his entire life time. As a young man he saw both the tranquillity of Pharaoh's palace and his brothers subjected to arduous labor and cruel torture. He felt compelled to find out if there was order and justice in the world or if man was just to suffer silently? Indeed, Moshe was so absorbed with this issue that on one momentous occasion when his intimate relationship with G-d could have secured for him whatever his heart desired, Moshe requested only two things:

1. That G-d cause His Divine Presence to dwell only amongst the Jewish nation for eternity.

2. That G-d grant him the wisdom to understand the suffering of the righteous and the prosperity of the wicked.

Our Sages tell us that although Moshe was granted his first request. The second remained concealed from him.

Our Sages reveal to us that ultimately there is an approach which can help us constructively accept our own misfortunes and suffering, however they make it clear that no absolute solution is available. Let us be patient in our investigations and all the more so in our conclusions. Let us have the humility and integrity to recognize and accept our own human limitations. After all, we have not the prophetic powers of Moshe nor the wisdom of Solomon and even they could not uncover the answer. It is crucial to realize that our limitations in understanding does not mean that suffering is without reason or plan. Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato explains in his book Daas Tevunos that part of our reward in the world to come will be that G-d will reveal to us the meaning of every bit of pain and suffering that we experienced in our life times.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Irish Zionist on November 30, 2009, 11:48:17 AM
Muman thanks for answering my hard question, I hope this one isn't that hard.
Can you tell me why there is 9 candles for Chanukah?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 30, 2009, 02:26:55 PM
Muman thanks for answering my hard question, I hope this one isn't that hard.
Can you tell me why there is 9 candles for Chanukah?

On Channukah we use a special menorah just for the Yom Tov... A normal Menorah has Six branches and one in the middle for a total of seven candles... A Chanukah Menorah has Eight branches {four on each side} and one in the middle for a total of nine candles....

The Holiday of Channukah is to remember the miracle which occured after the Maccabees defeated the Greeks and there was only enough oil to light the menorah for one day, and it miraculously burned for eight days. The sages decreed that we will forever remember this miracle by lighting one candle on each of the eight nights of Channukah. The reason there is a ninth candle is that we use this candle, the shamash, as the candle to light each of the eight other candles. We light one candle on the first night, using the Shamash, and then we light two candles on the second night, again using the Shamash as the candle to light with.... The reason for this is explained by the sages... I have provided some links with some good information about the Miraculous holiday of Channukah...


References:

http://www.torah.org/learning/yomtov/chanukah/5755/vol1no58.html
http://www.torah.org/chanukah.html

http://www.jewfaq.org/holiday7.htm

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Traditions

    Our rabbis taught the rule of Chanukkah: ... on the first day one [candle] is lit and thereafter they are progressively increased ... [because] we increase in sanctity but do not reduce. -Shabbat 21b, Babylonian Talmud

Chanukkah is not a very important religious holiday. The holiday's religious significance is far less than that of Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot, Passover, and Shavu'ot. It is roughly equivalent to Purim in significance, and you won't find many non-Jews who have even heard of Purim! Chanukkah is not mentioned in Jewish scripture; the story is related in the book of Maccabees, which Jews do not accept as scripture.

Chanukkah Menorah
(http://www.jewfaq.org/graphics/menorah.gif)The only religious observance related to the holiday is the lighting of candles. The candles are arranged in a candelabrum called a menorah (or sometimes called a chanukkiah) that holds nine candles: one for each night, plus a shammus (servant) at a different height. On the first night, one candle is placed at the far right. The shammus candle is lit and three berakhot (blessings) are recited: l'hadlik neir (a general prayer over candles), she-asah nisim (a prayer thanking G-d for performing miracles for our ancestors at this time), and she-hekhianu (a general prayer thanking G-d for allowing us to reach this time of year). See Chanukkah Candle Lighting Blessings for the full text of these blessings. After reciting the blessings, the first candle is then lit using the shammus candle, and the shammus candle is placed in its holder. The candles are allowed to burn out on their own after a minimum of 1/2 hour.

Candlelighting Procedure Each night, another candle is added from right to left (like the Hebrew language). Candles are lit from left to right (because you pay honor to the newer thing first). On the eighth night, all nine candles (the 8 Chanukkah candles and the shammus) are lit. See animation at right for the candlelighting procedure. On nights after the first, only the first two blessings are recited; the third blessing, she-hekhianu is only recited on the first night of holidays.

Why the shammus candle? The Chanukkah candles are for pleasure only; we are not allowed to use them for any productive purpose. We keep an extra one around (the shammus), so that if we need to do something useful with a candle, we don't accidentally use the Chanukkah candles. The shammus candle is at a different height so that it is easily identified as the shammus.

It is traditional to eat fried foods on Chanukkah because of the significance of oil to the holiday. Among Ashkenazic Jews, this usually includes latkes (pronounced "lot-kuhs" or "lot-keys" depending on where your grandmother comes from. Pronounced "potato pancakes" if you are a goy.) My recipe is included later in this page.

Gift-giving is not a traditional part of the holiday, but has been added in places where Jews have a lot of contact with Christians, as a way of dealing with our children's jealousy of their Christian friends. It is extremely unusual for Jews to give Chanukkah gifts to anyone other than their own young children. The only traditional gift of the holiday is "gelt," small amounts of money.

Another tradition of the holiday is playing dreidel, a gambling game played with a square top. Most people play for matchsticks, pennies, M&Ms or chocolate coins. The traditional explanation of this game is that during the time of Antiochus' oppression, those who wanted to study Torah (an illegal activity) would conceal their activity by playing gambling games with a top (a common and legal activity) whenever an official or inspector was within sight.

DreidelsA dreidel is marked with four Hebrew letters: Nun, Gimel, Hei and Shin. These letters stand for the Hebrew phrase "Nes Gadol Hayah Sham", a great miracle happened there, referring to the miracle of the oil.

The letters also stand for the Yiddish words nit (nothing), gantz (all), halb (half) and shtell (put), which are the rules of the game! There are some variations in the way people play the game, but the way I learned it, everyone puts in one coin. A person spins the dreidel. If it lands on Nun, nothing happens; on Gimel (or, as we called it as kids, "gimme!"), you get the whole pot; on Hei, you get half of the pot; and on Shin, you put one in. When the pot is empty, everybody puts one in. Keep playing until one person has everything. Then redivide it, because nobody likes a poor winner.

You can play a virtual dreidel game here! Requires JavaScript.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: ✡ Hindu Zionist ॐ on December 02, 2009, 11:53:32 AM
shalom muman,

can you tell me more about city of Jericho. Is it one of the holy city for the Jews? and what significance does the city have?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on December 06, 2009, 12:26:33 AM
shalom muman,

can you tell me more about city of Jericho. Is it one of the holy city for the Jews? and what significance does the city have?

Hindu Zionist,

I have not been ignoring your question, quite the opposite... I need to refresh my memory concerning Jericho. We have no holidays to remember it and the story is a short one. I have been doing some research and hope to come up with some good material for this topic. I should post more tomorrow...

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Every Jew AK47 on December 06, 2009, 05:40:29 AM
Shalom Muman,

My question is, do you think all people who don't like reggae music are stuck up? 

I read your posts and you seem like a great guy.   No hard feelings bro..  I just don't dig reggae..  But, you may think its crazy, the Grateful Dead does have a few good tunes, you said you were a deadhead , right?  I live in Deadhead USA.   Remember how the shows use to clog up the freeways around here.

Anyhow, shalom v'ahava.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Every Jew AK47 on December 06, 2009, 05:45:34 AM
Heres a more serious question for you Muman..

Quote
After Havdalah tonight I listened to a woman scholar and learned some new insight concerning the dynamics between Essau and our father Yaakov. I have the utmost respect for women Torah scholars but I will not recognize them as Rabbis.

If a woman Torah scholar taught you something with such deep knowledge and instructed you, how is she any different than a rabbi?  Isn't it forbidden in Orthodox Judaism to have a woman instruct a man and even read from Torah???  I never knew a halachal woman could read Torah to a Jewish man.  Some Orthodox I talk to told me it was not for a woman to study Torah at all.  That is a new age phenomenon.   If you can please explain I would appreciate it.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on December 06, 2009, 09:03:43 AM
Shalom Muman,

My question is, do you think all people who don't like reggae music are stuck up? 

I read your posts and you seem like a great guy.   No hard feelings bro..  I just don't dig reggae..  But, you may think its crazy, the Grateful Dead does have a few good tunes, you said you were a deadhead , right?  I live in Deadhead USA.   Remember how the shows use to clog up the freeways around here.

Anyhow, shalom v'ahava.

Shalom DeathToIslam,

I did not mean to be offensive though I was a bit upset when I posted that comment. I don't think you are 'stuck up' and I understand how reggae can have such a negative impression because it originated in a culture which is hostile towards the Jewish culture. But music itself is neutral and depending on the message can be quite positive and uplifting.

The Dead, The Police, Eric Clapton and other great 70-80s bands performed many songs which can be called Reggae. You know the Deads 'Fire on the Mountain' is considered Reggae.. Eric Claptons "I shot the sheriff" also...

I think I live in DeadHead USA here because I live about 30 minutes north of San Francisco, ground zero of the Dead scene. And it is true that wherever the Dead played there would be huge traffic jams because DeadHeads would travel from the four corners to attend the shows. I traveled only within California , from San Diego in the south to Oakland in the north...

I try not to be a music snob and insist that everyone like the music I like... The only music I am vocally against is Gangsta Rap which is miserable and offensive to whites and used to intimidate. I have stood against Gangsta Rap my entire adult life and have been called a racist because I think that Gangsta Rap is crap music. But I have grown to accept hip-hop, with a Jewish message... This is my personal taste and I don't expect everyone to agree..

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on December 06, 2009, 09:08:18 AM
Heres a more serious question for you Muman..

Quote
After Havdalah tonight I listened to a woman scholar and learned some new insight concerning the dynamics between Essau and our father Yaakov. I have the utmost respect for women Torah scholars but I will not recognize them as Rabbis.

If a woman Torah scholar taught you something with such deep knowledge and instructed you, how is she any different than a rabbi?  Isn't it forbidden in Orthodox Judaism to have a woman instruct a man and even read from Torah???  I never knew a halachal woman could read Torah to a Jewish man.  Some Orthodox I talk to told me it was not for a woman to study Torah at all.  That is a new age phenomenon.   If you can please explain I would appreciate it.

Shalom DeathToIslam,

It is early here and I am still half asleep... So I will not answer this question as fully as I would like at this time... But basically I have not learned that particular halacha... I will look into it.. But what I have learned is that Women can learn Torah, and there is historical precedent that Women have been Torah scholars. I don't think it is a 'new age' thing... Wasn't Deborah , a woman, a Judge and Prophet and her book is included in the Tanach?

http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/183,2116044/Deborah-the-Prophetess.html

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In Eastern countries, in the days of old, and even nowadays among the Arabs and other backward peoples, women are usually looked down upon by men, and they are often treated not much better than servants or even slaves. This has never been the case in the Jewish family, where the Jewish woman is called "the foundation of the home," because of the many duties she has in keeping a Kosher home, bringing up the children in the Jewish way of life and generally helping create the right "atmosphere" of Torah and Mitzvahs in the Jewish home. Every Friday night, when the men folk come from Shul, finding the table set for the holy Shabbath, with the candles giving a glow of light and warmth throughout the home, the father and the boys sing that well-known hymn "Eishet Chayil", to the Jewish "Woman of Worth," which was composed by King Solomon in the Proverbs. We are proud of the Mothers of our people, and are proud especially of the fact that we had seven women prophetesses, who played an important part in shaping the history, of our people, and who inspire us to this day. One of these seven prophetesses was Deborah, whose story we bring you here, and whose famous "Song of Deborah" we read on the very Shabbath when we read the famous "Song of Moses," which was recited for the first time after the miraculous crossing of the Red Sea.

http://www.torah.org/features/wperspective/greatJewishWomen.html
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BRURIAH

Bruriah was a brilliant woman who is said to have learned 300 Jewish laws a day. One of the most famous incidents concerning her is a sad one. Her two sons died on Shabbat, but she did not want to burden her husband Rabbi Meir during the joyous holy day, and so she delayed telling him. After nightfall, she asked him: "Sometime ago I was given something to enjoy, but now the one who gave it to me wants it back. Must I return it?"

Surprised by the simple question, he responded affirmatively. Bruriah showed Rabbi Meir their dead sons. He began to weep and she asked, "Did you not tell me to return what was loaned? G-d gave, and G-d has taken away, blessed is G-d."

...

THE MAID OF LUDMIR

Channa Rachel Werbermacher, who lived in the 19th century, was known as the Maid of Ludmir. She applied herself assiduously from a young age to become well educated in Torah and prayed with unusual devotion.

Once, upon visiting her mother's grave, she collapsed and fell into a coma. She explained to her father that she had visited Heaven and received a new soul. The great Reb Mordechai of Chernobyl substantiated her claim saying, "We do not know whose religious soul is dwelling in this woman." With this recognition, she took on new prominence.

She eventually moved to the Land of Israel, and, together with an elderly kabbalist, was intent on a course of action they understood would bring the Messiah. A meeting was set, but as her partner was leaving his home, a poor wayfarer came to the door asking for food and comfort. The meeting was subsequently missed. Chassidic lore explains that the wayfarer was Elijah the prophet, who interfered because the world was not yet ready for the Messiah.

More references:

http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/235,2074748/Why-dont-women-get-called-up-to-the-Torah-in-Orthodox-synagogues.html#articlepage

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/jewfaq/women.htm
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Women have held positions of respect in Judaism since biblical times.  Miriam is considered one of the liberators of the people of Israel, along with her brothers Moses and Aaron.  One of the Judges (Deborah) was a woman.  Seven of the 55 prophets of the Bible were women.

The Ten Commandments require respect for both mother and father.  Note that the father comes first in Exodus 20,11, but the mother comes first in Leviticus 19,3.

There were many learned women of note.  The Talmud and later rabbinical writings speak of the wisdom of Berurya, the wife of Rabbi Meir.  In several instances, her opinions on halakhah (Jewish Law) were accepted over those of her male contemporaries.  In the ketubah (marriage contract) of Rabbi Akiba's son, the wife is obligated to teach the husband Torah!  Many rabbis over the centuries have been known to consult their wives on matters of Jewish law relating to the woman's role, such as laws of kashrut and women's periods.  The wife of a rabbi is referred to as a rebbetzin, practically a title of her own, which should give some idea of her significance in Jewish life.

There can be no doubt, however, that the Talmud also has many negative things to say about women.  Various rabbis at various times describe women as lazy, jealous, vain and gluttonous, prone to gossip and particularly prone to the occult and witchcraft.  Men are repeatedly advised against associating with women, although that is as much because of man's lust as it is because of any shortcoming in women.  Women are discouraged from pursuing higher education or religious pursuits, but this seems to be primarily because women who engage in such pursuits might neglect their primary duties as wives and mothers.  The rabbis are not concerned that women are not spiritual enough, but rather are concerned that women might become too spiritually devoted.

The rights of women in traditional Judaism are much greater than they were in the rest of Western civilization until this century.  Women had the right to buy, sell, and own property, and make their own contracts, rights which women in Christian countries (including the USA) did not have until about 100 years ago.  In fact, Proverbs 31,10-31, which is read at Jewish weddings, speaks repeatedly of business acumen as a trait to be prized in women (v.  11, 13, 16, and 18 especially).
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Irish Zionist on December 06, 2009, 11:25:43 AM
Muman whats The Jewish forum of Hell like compared to The Christian one? Do you have a devil? Another thing, do Jews believe in Saints and if so can you name some of the most important?
Thanks.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Every Jew AK47 on December 06, 2009, 01:08:43 PM
Thanks for your response Muman..  I will have to investigate it.  The  topic on women Torah teachers/scholars has been very confusing for me. 

Shalom
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on December 06, 2009, 05:08:25 PM
Muman whats The Jewish forum of Hell like compared to The Christian one? Do you have a devil? Another thing, do Jews believe in Saints and if so can you name some of the most important?
Thanks.

This is another complex theological question.... Jewish scripture doesnt explain much about this but I will try to explain what I have learned.

Jews call 'hell' Gehinnom, or purgatory... It is a punishment for the soul, after the body has died, and it is a sentence which is commensurate with the violation of Mitzvahs we did during our lifetime. The simple understanding is that our souls are judged on the day we die and our good deeds are weighed against our bad deeds, and if our bad deeds outweigh the good then we need a 'soul correction' in Gehinnom.

For the normal Jew who only transgresses because of ignorance or because of weaknesses beyond his control will only be 'sentenced' to up to a year in Gehinnom, after which time their souls are cleansed and they are admitted to Gan Eden {Paradies or Heaven in Christianity}. There are seven levels of Gehinnom and the most wicked and vile souls are sentenced to eternal burning in the pits of Gehinnom.

But the understanding of the process of how souls are rebirthed is not entirely clear. There is also a Jewish concept which is similar to reincarnation, where souls are allowed another chance in the physical world and these souls must complete their mission in this world. This explanation is used to explain why children suffer and die, because their souls have completed their missions and they are allowed eternal rest in Paradise.

In general we refer to the other world as Olam Haba, and this world as Olam Hazeh...  Judaism has always stressed that This World is the important world, it is the world of action... The soul can do no improvement in the next world... All the work needs to be done by our own effort, to rectify our souls, and earn the reward for Olam Haba, the world of being...


References:

http://www.torah.org/qanda/seequanda.php?id=680

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Gehinnom is the name given to Hell in the Rabbinic literature. The name was borrowed from that of a real valley (see Joshua 15:2,8 and 18:16; 2 Kings 23:10; 2 Chron.28:3 and 33:6; Jeremiah 7:31-32 and 19:2,6; Nehemiah 11:30) where burnings took place. See also Isaiah 30:33; Jeremiah 19:11-13; Job 17:6. Punishment in Gehinnom lasts only for up to 12 months, except for certain major sinners. Isaiah 66:24 must be referring to it when he speaks of the fire that is not extinguished.

http://www.chabad.org/search/keyword_cdo/kid/10797/jewish/Gehinnom.htm

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Gehinnom: purgatory, the spiritual realm in which the souls are cleansed from the blemishes brought about by their conduct while on Earth

http://www.judaism.org/index.php?p=994

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Do we as Jews believe in Hell? If so what would someone do to deserve a place in hell?

Hell, yes.

Well, sort of…

...you see, it’s nothing like the images we probably have of it, fashioned from TV evangelists and B horror movies. There’s no devil, and perhaps even no recognizable physical existence.

Rather, it is a place (called “Gehinnom” in Hebrew) where the soul is exposed to the reality of everything that it did in this world, while simultaneously being shown the potential that it possessed to achieve. All the facts are laid on the table in a manner which is irrefutable and undeniable. The principal punishment of Gehinnom is the inescapable pain of regret for wasting or even abusing one’s potential and thus not achieving what one could have achieved.

Gehinnom is a cleansing process for the soul to enable it to eventually enter the World To Come. Some souls are able to enter the World To Come without experiencing Gehinnom, either because of their lofty achievements in this world or because they already experienced all their suffering there (or a combination of both). For those who have to go to Gehinnom, the cleansing process is usually completed in eleven or twelve months. On rare occasion, for people who did terrible evil in their lifetimes, causing many to suffer, Gehinnom can take much longer. For example, the Talmud states that Titus Andronicus, the Roman general who destroyed Jerusalem and the second Temple in 70 ACE, is still in Gehinnom .

Only G-d, with His infinite knowledge and wisdom, can judge who does or does not deserve Gehinnom and how long their stay there must last. But it is obvious, from our human perspective, that by studying and fulfilling the Torah as much as we can, we move ourselves away from the judgment of Gehinnom.

http://www.jewfaq.org/olamhaba.htm

Quote
Gan Eden and Gehinnom

The place of spiritual reward for the righteous is often referred to in Hebrew as Gan Eden (GAHN ehy-DEHN) (the Garden of Eden). This is not the same place where Adam and Eve were; it is a place of spiritual perfection. Specific descriptions of it vary widely from one source to another. One source says that the peace that one feels when one experiences Shabbat properly is merely one-sixtieth of the pleasure of the afterlife. Other sources compare the bliss of the afterlife to the joy of sex or the warmth of a sunny day. Ultimately, though, the living can no more understand the nature of this place than the blind can understand color.

Only the very righteous go directly to Gan Eden. The average person descends to a place of punishment and/or purification, generally referred to as Gehinnom (guh-hee-NOHM) (in Yiddish, Gehenna), but sometimes as She'ol or by other names. According to one mystical view, every sin we commit creates an angel of destruction (a demon), and after we die we are punished by the very demons that we created. Some views see Gehinnom as one of severe punishment, a bit like the Christian Hell of fire and brimstone. Other sources merely see it as a time when we can see the actions of our lives objectively, see the harm that we have done and the opportunities we missed, and experience remorse for our actions. The period of time in Gehinnom does not exceed 12 months, and then ascends to take his place on Olam Ha-Ba.

Only the utterly wicked do not ascend at the end of this period; their souls are punished for the entire 12 months. Sources differ on what happens at the end of those 12 months: some say that the wicked soul is utterly destroyed and ceases to exist while others say that the soul continues to exist in a state of consciousness of remorse.

This 12-month limit is repeated in many places in the Talmud, and it is connected to the mourning cycles and the recitation of Kaddish. See Life, Death and Mourning.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on December 06, 2009, 05:15:47 PM
This article from Chabad does a good job of explaining the Jewish view on this topic:


http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/282508/jewish/What-Happens-After-We-Die.htm

What is Heaven and Hell?

Heaven and hell is where the soul receives its punishment and reward after death. Yes, Judaism believes in, and Jewish traditional sources extensively discuss, punishment and reward in the afterlife (indeed, it is one of the "Thirteen Principles" of Judaism enumerated by Maimonides). But these are a very different "heaven" and "hell" than what one finds described in medieval Christian texts or New Yorker cartoons. Heaven is not a place of halos and harps, nor is hell populated by those red creatures with pitchforks depicted on the label of non-kosher canned meat.

After death, the soul returns to its Divine Source, together with all the G-dliness it has "extracted" from the physical world by using it for meaningful purposes. The soul now relives its experiences on another plane, and experiences the good it accomplished during its physical lifetime as incredible happiness and pleasure, and the negative as incredibly painful.

This pleasure and pain are not reward and punishment in the conventional sense--in the sense that we might punish a criminal by sending him to jail or reward a dedicated employee with a raise. It is rather that we experience our own life in its reality--a reality from which we were sheltered during our physical lifetimes. We experience the true import and effect of our actions. Turning up the volume on that TV set with that symphony orchestra can be intensely pleasurable or intensely painful,8--depending on how we played the music of our lives.

When the soul departs from the body, it stands before the Heavenly Court to give a "judgment and accounting" of its earthly life.9 But the Heavenly Court only does the "accounting" part; the "judgment" part--that only the soul itself can do.10 Only the soul can pass judgment on itself--only it can know and sense the true extent of what it accomplished, or neglected to accomplish, in the course of its physical life. Freed from the limitations and concealments of the physical state, it can now see G-dliness; it can now look back at its own life and experience what it truly was. The soul's experience of the G-dliness it brought into the world with its mitzvot and positive actions is the exquisite pleasure of Gan Eden (the "Garden of Eden"--i.e., Paradise); its experience of the destructiveness it wrought through its lapses and transgressions is the excruciating pain of Gehinom ("Gehenna" or "Purgatory").

The truth hurts. The truth also cleanses and heals. The spiritual pain of gehinom--the soul's pain in facing the truth of its life--cleanses and heals the soul of the spiritual stains and blemishes that its failings and misdeeds have attached to it. Freed of this husk of negativity, the soul is now able to fully enjoy the immeasurable good that its life engendered and "bask in the Divine radiance" emitted by the G-dliness it brought into the world.

For a G-dly soul spawns far more good in its lifetime than evil. The core of the soul is unadulterated goodness; the good we accomplish is infinite, the evil but shallow and superficial. So even the most wicked of souls, say our sages, experiences, at most, twelve months of gehinom, followed by an eternity of heaven. Furthermore, a soul's experience of gehinom can be mitigated by the action of his or her children and loved ones, here on earth. Reciting Kaddish and engaging in other good deeds "in merit of" and "for the elevation of" the departed soul means that the soul, in effect, is continuing to act positively upon the physical world, thereby adding to the goodness of its physical lifetime.11

The soul, on its part, remains involved in the lives of those it leaves behind when it departs physical life. The soul of a parent continues to watch over the lives of his/her children and grandchildren, to derive pride (or pain) from their deeds and accomplishments, and to intercede on their behalf before the Heavenly Throne; the same applies to those to whom a soul was connected with bonds of love, friendship and community. In fact, because the soul is no longer constricted by the limitations of the physical state, its relationship with its loved ones is, in many ways, even deeper and more meaningful than before.

However, while the departed soul is aware and cognizant of all that transpires in the lives of its loved ones, the souls remaining in the physical word are limited to what they can perceive via the five senses as facilitated by their physical bodies. We can impact the soul of a departed loved one through our positive actions, but we cannot communicate with it through conventional means (speech, sight, physical contact, etc.) that, prior to its passing, defined the way that we related to each other. (Indeed, the Torah expressly forbids the idolatrous practices of necromancy, mediumism and similar attempts to "make contact" with the world of the dead.) Hence the occurrence of death, while signifying an elevation for the soul of the departed, is experienced as a tragic loss for those it leaves behind.

Reincarnation: A Second Go

Each individual soul is dispatched to the physical world with its own individualized mission to accomplish. As Jews, we all have the same Torah with the same 613 mitzvot; but each of us has his or her own set of challenges, distinct talents and capabilities, and particular mitzvot which form the crux of his or her mission in life.

At times, a soul may not conclude its mission in a single lifetime. In such cases, it returns to earth for a "second go" to complete the job. This is the concept of gilgul neshamot--commonly referred to as "reincarnation"--extensively discussed in the teachings of Kabbalah.12 This is why we often find ourselves powerfully drawn to a particular mitzvah or cause and make it the focus of our lives, dedicating to it a seemingly disproportionate part of our time and energy: it is our soul gravitating to the "missing pieces" of its Divinely-ordained purpose.13

The World to Come

Just as the individual soul passes through three stages--preparation for its mission, the mission itself, and the subsequent phase of satisfaction and reward--so, too, does Creation as a whole. A chain of spiritual "worlds" precede the physical reality, to serve it as a source of Divine vitality and empowerment. Then comes the era of Olam HaZeh ("This World") in which the Divine purpose of creation is played out. Finally, once humanity as a whole has completed its mission of making the physical world a "dwelling place for G-d," comes the era of universal reward--the World to Come (Olam HaBa).

There is a major difference between a soul's individual "world of reward" in Gan Eden and the universal reward of the World to Come. Gan Eden is a spiritual world, inhabited by souls without physical bodies; the World to Come is a physical world, inhabited by souls with physical bodies14 (though the very nature of the physical will undergo a fundamental transformation, as per below).

In the World to Come, the physical reality will so perfectly "house" and reflect the Divine reality that it will transcend the finitude and temporality which define it today. Thus, while in today's imperfect world the soul can only experience "reward" after it departs from the body and physical life, in the World to Come, the soul and body will be reunited, and will together enjoy the fruits of their labor. Thus the prophets of Israel spoke of a time when all who died will be restored to life: their bodies will be regenerated15 and their souls restored to their bodies. "Death will be eradicated forever"16 and 'the world will be filled with the knowledge of G-d as the water covers the sea."17

This, of course, will spell the end of the "Era of Achievement."18 The veil of physicality, rarified to complete transparency, will no longer conceal the truth of G-d, but will rather express it and reveal it in an even more profound way than the most lofty spiritual reality. Goodness and G-dliness will cease to be something we do and achieve, for it will be what we are. Yet our experience of goodness will be absolute. Body and soul both, reunited as they were before they were separated by death, will inhabit all the good that we accomplished with our freely chosen actions in the challenges and concealments of physical life.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on December 06, 2009, 05:27:32 PM
Regarding 'Saints'.... We don't have such a concept as someone formally called a Saint...

I believe the idea for saints was taken from the Jewish idea of a Tzadik, or a completely righteous person. Many Jewish Tzadiks are 'saintly' or 'holy' individuals. There are many stories of great Jewish Tzadiks, but as I said the title is not official and there is no 'beatification' process or nomination for being a tzadik. Generally a person is a Tzadik if they live their lives according to Torah, are kind to their neighbors and treats people with respect and studies Torah.

Quote
http://www.inner.org/glossary/gloss_t.htm#Tzadik ("Righteous" (http://www.inner.org/glossary/gloss_t.htm#Tzadik ("Righteous")

Tzadik ("Righteous" person; pl. Tzadikim):
    A tzadik is someone who has succeeded in fully overcoming the evil inclination of his animal soul (and has converted its potential into good) and who dedicates himself to spiritually elevating his people.
     
    There are in general three levels of the tzadik:
     
    1. A "complete tzadik" (tzadik gamur) who not only vanquishes in full his innate evil inclination, but even transforms it into good (for which reason he is referred to as tzadik v'tov lo," a tzadik who possesses only good).
 
    2. An "incomplete tzadik" (tzadik she'eino gamur) who has not yet completed the task of vanquishing his evil inclination, though he has mineralized it in essence (for which reason he is called a tzadik v'ra lo," a tzadik who [still] possesses [a bit of] evil).
 
    3. A "relative tzadik" (tzadik b'shem hamushal, or tzadik b'din) whose merits exceed his liabilities (see Tanya, chapt. 1).

Here is an example of what a true Jewish tzadik must master before being considered a full tzadik:

Quote
http://www.613.org/hasidism/07.htm

Lesson Seven - The Soul and Body of a Tzadik

 The Tzadik first subdues and then entirely redirects his nefesh habahamis and only at the highest spiritual levels turns his body into a shining light thus uniting body and soul.

The physical soul primarily seeks selfish pleasure.  The Tzadik struggles with those desires, and develops a hatred for the hedonistic attitude.  The nefesh habahamis is said to receive its nourishment from the Sitra Achra literally the “Other side.”  The material, mundane, and sinful are all part of the non-saintly domain.  This area is called Sitra Achra because like two sides of a sharp divide, one can only stand in one side.  It is impossible to straddle the fence and place one’s feet in both areas.  Holiness is one world, material pleasure is a different one.  To achieve sanctity materialism must be eschewed.  The Tzadik is on the side of the saintly, he therefore totally rejects materialism and finds it revolting.[1]  Tzadikim completely rid themselves of the external, physical perspective.   

Rabbi Isaak of Kamarna[2] related that his entire life, starting from age nine, when he would see a woman, he would immediately see the name of G-d of aleph, dalet, nun, yud, which is the Godly manifestation that gives life to the feminine.

 Evidently, he had suppressed his nefesh habahamis, abhorred its lusts and dictates, and eventually rid himself of lustful desires and therefore constantly found Heavenly displays in all physical sights.[3]

After the Tzadik truly abhors physical pleasure his nefesh habahamis transforms and he finds Torah and Mitzvos appealing, exciting, and delightful in a physical manner.  He feels the infinite pleasure that can be accessed within the performance of Mitzvos, experience of genuine tefillah - prayer, and the joy of comprehending the Divine through Torah thought.[4]

I will give a list of some Jewish Tzadiks:

Rebbe Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev
http://www.inner.org/spiritual-masters/levi-yitzchak-berditchev/levi-yitzchak-berditchev-1.php
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The 25th of Tishrei is the yahrzeit—the day of passing and ascent into heaven—of Rebbe Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev (1740-1810). Rebbe Levi Yitzchak of Berditchev is best known as the advocate of the Jewish people (sanegoran shel Yisra'el). He is famous for his ability to find the positive point in every Jew and in advocating in favor of the Jewish people as a whole in front of the Almighty and His Heavenly tribunal.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on December 06, 2009, 05:30:56 PM
Here is more about saints...



http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/man-self-development-commitment/

5. What is the Jewish concept of the Sinner and the Saint?

    Sin & Saintliness do not exist in Judaism. These are Christian concepts. Judaism has a whole range of words to describe spiritual negativity עבירה, חטא, טומאה,  among others. For us negative and positive spirituality exist on a gradient and cannot be contained by one word. The commonly used word however is עבירה (avayra) which literally means to pass over - i.e. to pass over the opportunity to do G-d’s will. This is also called a חטא, a lack, which means that we have failed to actualize our spiritual potential either by failing to do something or by doing something positively bad.

    So too there are no saints in Judaism [3]
, although there are righteous men and women. These צדיקים are your common man who through working on their characters became holy. No titles are ever given out or awards made. In fact the surest disqualification for the name Tzadik is someone who is trying to consciously acquire the name.

    A (righteous person) צדיק, like you and me continues to struggle with himself, to work on himself, and to grow forward. His greatness lies not so much in the heroic act as in the daily standards of excellence he applies to his life. We all are capable of being heroes, we hope, when it comes to the unusual, to the little old lady who fell down in the street. But real Jewish heroism is expressed in the little act, not as Napoleon on his white horse. At first glance the Jewish righteous man appears to be doing the same thing as everyone else - he tries to give, to be friendly and warm, to pray meaningfully and to keep the mitzvos (commandments). Like the (righteous person) צדיק, we all try to smile at our fellow man and to pray to G-d. The difference between the (righteous person) צדיק and every-man is that whereas we sometimes get it right and sometimes don’t, whereas we sometimes let our moods or simply lack or awareness get in the way, the צדיק (righteous person) manages an amazing consistency. We all have that great pray now and then - the צדיק does it every day. We all occasionally access the inner essence of our souls, overcome our desire to overeat or not get out of bed - we are all heroes some of the time. The צדיק is a hero every day.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Christian Zionist on December 09, 2009, 07:10:04 PM
Shalom Muman!

How popular is Menachim Meiri's interpretation of Halacha in the Orthodox community?

Meiri was the only Halachic arbitrator who qualified Christians as righteous gentiles, didn't he?

Thanks!

CZ
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on December 09, 2009, 08:04:58 PM
Shalom Muman!

How popular is Menachim Meiri's interpretation of Halacha in the Orthodox community?

Meiri was the only Halachic arbitrator who qualified Christians as righteous gentiles, didn't he?

Thanks!

CZ

Shalom CZ,

Good question... Until you mentioned this sage I had no idea who he was.... Here is what I can find out about him:

Quote
http://www.ou.org/about/judaism/rabbis/meiri.htm
Rabbi Menachem ben Solomon Meiri
(1249-1316)

Rabbi Menachem ben Solomon Meiri was a Provincial scholar and commentator of the Talmud. He summarized the teachings of his predecessors of the previous three centuries. His literary activity covered halachic rulings, talmudic exposition, biblical thought, customs, ethics, and philosophy. Meiri summarized the subject matter of the Talmud giving both the meaning and the halacha derived from it. He utilized all the rabbinic literature available to him, so that his work may be considered a digest which gives a synoptic and comprehensive presentation of the whole expository and halachic activity up to his own time.

It appears he lived during some very interesting times for the Jewish people. He lived during the seventh through the ninth Crusades {according to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Crusades }. If what you are saying is true it would make him such a Saint I cannot imagine...

What I do see is that Rabbi Meiri says that those who obey the Seven Noachide laws are considered Righteous Gentiles which is a basic Jewish belief... The Gentile nations are considered righteous if they obey these seven basic laws...

Quote
http://www.ots.org.il/Parasha/5763/vaetchanan63.htm
Our prophets never demanded universal conversion to Judaism. Indeed, the prophet Micah describes the “end of times” as a period when “nation will not lift up sword against nation and humanity will not learn war anymore… for all the peoples will go forth each person in the name of his/her G-d, and we will walk in the name of the Lord our G-d forever”(Micha 4:3-5). What the Torah does demand of us is to influence humanity to convert to the seven Noahide commands (Not to murder, Not to steal,Not to commit adultery, Not to eat the limb of a living animal, Not to blaspheme G-d, Not to serve idols, and to establish a Judicial System -Maimonides, Laws of Kings, Chapter 8). The prohibition against idolatry,at least according to the great Sage and decisor Rav Menachem Meiri, is not a theological statement but is rather a morality statement - against the wicked, despotic and heinous actions performed by the idolaters(Jacob Katz, Exclusivism and Tolerance , Chapter on the Meiri). And so King Solomon, when he dedicates the Holy Temple, asks the Almighty to accept the offerings of the Gentile (Kings 1,8:41-43), and this is accepted Talmudic law (B.T. Menahot 73b, Hullin 13b, Zevahim 45a).

Once again Idolatry is expressly forbidden and it should be clear that from a Jewish perspective those who follow Christianity can be considered Idolators. But as I said before the Jewish view is that non-Jews who obey the Seven Noachide laws, which establish moral codes, are counted amongst the righteous of this world and have a place in the world to come...

References:

http://www.ou.org/torah/tt/5765/vaetchanan65/specialfeatures_jewishlaw.htm

Rabbi Meiris Channukah Halachic decision
Quote
http://vbm-torah.org/archive/moadim69/10-69moed.htm
The Gemara, however, refutes Ravina’s inference, and the Rishonim disagree as to whether the halakha nevertheless follows Ravina.  Many, including the Rif and the Rambam, omit this height requirement entirely.  Rabbi Menachem Meiri (Provence; 1249 –1310) goes even further, claiming that one should actually light the Chanuka candles higher than ten tefachim, in order to maximize the pirsumei nisa.  Furthermore, the Ritva (21b) observes the common practice to light above ten tefachim, possibly because people generally lit inside, and therefore the halakhic details intended to increase pirsumei nisa are not applicable (see also Mordechai, Shabbat 266).  Others, however, cite Ravina’s ruling, and hold that preferably the lights should be situated below the height of ten tefachim.


Quote
http://www.jewishideas.org/articles/how-not-make-halakhic-rulings
The third approach sees a change in the actual status of Christianity. The fourteenth century Provençal authority, R. Menachem Meiri, creates a new distinction between nations that are law abiding and those that are not, i.e. that have positive ethical values, and a legal system to enforce them, and those that do not. He describes the idolatrous nations to which he believes the Talmud is referring as follows (Beit ha-Behirah, Avodah Zarah, ed. A. Sofer, Jerusalem 1944, p.48, of pp. 3.28, 33, 46, 53):

They are polluted in their practices and disgusting in their moral traits... But the other nations which are law-abiding, and which are free of these disgusting moral traits and, moreover, punish people with these traits - there is no doubt that these laws do not apply to them at all.

Thus, while for Maimonides, for example, it is the object of worship, the theology, that defines worship as idolatrous, for Meiri it is the life style that is the deciding factor (see M. Halbertal and Avishai Margalit, Idolatry, Cambridge Mass., 1992, pp.212-213;Y. Katz, Zion 1953. pp.15-30 etc.). Hence, according to the Meiri there should be no prohibition to entering into a church, and certainly not an Episcopalian one which is virtually bereft of images.

Furthermore, there are differences of opinion among the early authorities as to whether trinitarianism is forbidden to gentiles. Clearly Jews are not permitted to believe in any form of "partnership" (shituf) between G-d and other divine entities. Our G-d is a single unitary G-d. But are gentiles permitted to believe that alongside G-d there are other (subservient ? related?) divinities? Maimonides clearly is of the opinion that this is absolutely forbidden for gentiles too, since this is real idolatry, (Hilkhot Avodah Zarah chapters 1, 2).
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Boyana on December 11, 2009, 07:26:13 AM
Shalom Muman,

What is Lashon Hara?I know it is jewish law of telling gossip?
But is it gossip,say I talk to my mother(she likes to know just everything,no escape)and I may say
something about somebody negative?
Regards
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Christian Zionist on January 11, 2010, 09:30:02 PM
Shalom Muman!

How popular is Menachim Meiri's interpretation of Halacha in the Orthodox community?

Meiri was the only Halachic arbitrator who qualified Christians as righteous gentiles, didn't he?

Thanks!

CZ

Shalom Muman!

Can you please review this website and get back to me?

http://www.talkreason.org/articles/meiri.cfm

From what I understand Menachem Meiri was the only Halachic arbitrator to give "righteous gentile"  status for Christians and stated that Christians also can go to heaven.

Thanks!

CZ
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on January 12, 2010, 01:46:30 AM
Shalom Muman!

How popular is Menachim Meiri's interpretation of Halacha in the Orthodox community?

Meiri was the only Halachic arbitrator who qualified Christians as righteous gentiles, didn't he?

Thanks!

CZ

Shalom Muman!

Can you please review this website and get back to me?

http://www.talkreason.org/articles/meiri.cfm

From what I understand Menachem Meiri was the only Halachic arbitrator to give "righteous gentile"  status for Christians and stated that Christians also can go to heaven.

Thanks!

CZ

Hello CZ,

My initial impression of that site is that it is not kosher. The whole 'mission statement' of that website is to discredit creationism, and religious apologetics {whatever that means}

Quote
TalkReason provides a forum for the publication of papers with well-thought out arguments against creationism, intelligent design, and religious apologetics.

Secondly some of the representations of the facts concerning the Mishnahs of the Talmud which I wanted to investigate were wrong. They did not properly attribute the quotations and the footnotes do not contain the tractate which it is supposedly quoted from.

I had questions about one of the supposed facts which claimed that a Jewess cannot breastfeed a gentile baby.... I have learned a Midrash which says that Sarah Immeinu {our mother} infact breastfeed many gentile babies after Yitzak was born. This is used as one explanation why non-Jews may want to convert to Judaism, because their souls descended from those who breastfed from Sarah.

I have already expressed my opinion of Rabbi Meiri's position. But I believe that in general the reasons for the Talmud discussing one opinion and another doesn't necessarily mean that this is the Halacha. Halacha is determined on a case by case basis and some of what is mentioned in that article is simply a misrepresentation of what Halachas I know {admittedly not a whole lot in the big picture}.


PS: I have never heard it said that Christians dont go to heaven... But the issue of idolatry and false worship is a major issue in the Torah... Ultimately Hashem will judge each case individually.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rubystars on January 13, 2010, 11:26:18 AM
PS: I have never heard it said that Christians dont go to heaven... But the issue of idolatry and false worship is a major issue in the Torah... Ultimately Hashem will judge each case individually.

I don't even think all "Christians" are going to heaven. There is a concept in Christianity called the visible church and invisible church. The visible church includes all people who claim Christianity, including such horrible people as Barack Hussein Obama, Bill Clinton, Al Sharpton, etc. Of course the visible church would also include all the good people who openly claim Christianity.

There is also the concept of the invisible church. The invisible church are what would be considered "true Christians", in the eyes of God. They are the ones who are true to the faith and follow God's commandments and truly love God.

It's sometimes not easy to tell who is part of this invisible church, because it's invisible, only God truly knows people's hearts. Someone who looks very pious and loving could in his or her heart totally reject God. On the other hand, sometimes it's very easy to tell when someone is not part of it.

This is what we often mean when we say that someone like Obama is not a "real Christian". He couldn't be, with his horrible beliefs.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Christian Zionist on January 14, 2010, 10:06:39 PM
Shalom Muman!    What prompted to do research in this subject is the posting by a former member of this forum - Kahaneloyalist.

He criticized Chaim for following Meiri's "liberal" interpretation and calling Christians as righteous gentiles.

On a separate note:

How do modern day Jews practice tithing?

Under the law of Moses Jews paid tithes (only in the form of food and cattle) to the Levites and the Levites in turn gave 10% of the 10% they received to the Aaronic priests.   There were other forms of tithes practiced as well, like the tithes during the festivals and the tithes of the poor.

What does the Talmud teach about tithing?

Toda Rabba!

CZ

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: pennyjangle on January 14, 2010, 11:55:56 PM
Have you ever been to Israel and or are you planning to move there?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: pennyjangle on January 19, 2010, 01:41:23 PM
Did I asked the wrong question?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on January 19, 2010, 02:29:24 PM
Did I asked the wrong question?

Hi Pennyjangle,

Of course not... I have not been answering these questions because I have been busy with things... I certainly intend on answering each and every one, as a matter of fact I have been researching some of these topics, including the story of the fall of Jericho, and the Jewish belief in Maaser {or tithing}...

I do not currently live in Israel though it is a dream of mine... One day I will be there...

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: YimachShemotoIslam on February 02, 2010, 08:41:54 PM
Dear Muman, do you yearn to see an Arab-free Israel and an Israel from the Nile to the Euprhates?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on February 02, 2010, 11:02:39 PM
Dear Muman, do you yearn to see an Arab-free Israel and an Israel from the Nile to the Euprhates?

Of course I do!

The real question is how we will accomplish this. In this complex world we live in it will be very difficult. But I have faith in Hashem, and in his promise to the Jewish people. Hashem has a long range view of history and he can wait for us to return to him. There is a belief in Judaism that the Moshiach {Annointed/Redeemer} will come either one of two ways.

The Moshiach can be sent to the world when all the Jewish people unite and set out on the mission Hashem sent us here to accomplish, i.e. to be a light unto the nations to spread righteousness and justice to the world. If we can accomplish this then we will merit the coming of Moshiach and he will bring all the Jews to the Holy Land, he will facilitate the rebuilding of the Holy Beit HaMikdash {The Temple}, and the nations will see that the Jewish people were correct about their relationship with HaKodesh Baruch Hu{The Holy One Blessed is His Name}.

The second way that this will happen is the nightmare scenario which the Christians believe in, although we call it the War of Gog And Magog { http://www.torahohr.net/gogumagog/ } and the Christians call it Armageddon {Literally the Mountain of Megiddo http://ohr.edu/tw/weinbach/loveland/lland071.htm } . In this scenario the Jewish people fall to a very low spiritual level, once again to the 49th level of impurity.... If this happens Hashem will have no other choice but to send the redeemer. There will be a mighty war and all the evil in the world will be destroyed... The righteous will merit seeing the Messianic era and the rebuilding of the Temple.

Every day I pray to Hashem, with sincere intention, that we merit the first method of bringing rectification to this world. But the cynic in me begins to think that the only way to see this promise of Hashem come to fruition will be through the second way. The march to war seems unavoidable. It is only because of the stubbornness of the nations and their contempt for righteousness and justice that Israel is not a truly Jewish nation, a nation which obeys the commands of the Torah.

So I hope this answers your question...

Thank you,
muman613
 
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Irish Zionist on February 06, 2010, 05:18:37 PM
Shalom Muman,
Why do The Jewish People not use electricity on Shabbat?
Since electricity wasn't around in the Time of Moses, who came up with this idea?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on February 07, 2010, 08:07:33 AM
Shalom Muman,
Why do The Jewish People not use electricity on Shabbat?
Since electricity wasn't around in the Time of Moses, who came up with this idea?

Good Morning IZ,

This is an easy one.... There are 39 categories of prohibited forms of labor which we refrain from doing on Shabbat. One of these prohibited labors is called 'burning'. Burning involves either lighting or extinguishing a fire. Now you mention that electricity was not around at the time of the giving of the commandments, this is true, but the prohibited forms of labor extended to anything which resembles the prohibited labor. Electricity is seen as a form of fire since it provides both heat and light like a fire does. This 'Melacha' {form of prohibited labor} is also the reason we cannot drive a car since the car 'burns' the gasoline fuel.

http://ohr.edu/ask_db/ask_main.php/283/Q2/
Quote


Matt from Teaneck, New Jersey wrote:

    Dear Rabbi,

    I live in a Jewish town and go to a Jewish school where we study Torah daily. However, I'm still not sure as to the laws of Shabbat relating to my daily life. My friend said that if you have good intentions and stay home and rest but still use electricity that is still observing the Shabbat but I have trouble accepting this because it would contradict too many other laws that I observe. I do want to keep the Shabbat but I'm not sure how.

Dear Matt,

The Torah tells us not to do "melacha" on Shabbat. Melacha is sometimes defined as "work," but that's not a good definition. What is melacha?

Melacha means "creative act." By refraining from creative acts, we recognize G-d as the Ultimate Creator.

Melacha is any act which represents the uniquely human ability to put our intellect to work and shape the environment. Thus, switching on a light is a melacha. Among other things, it can be considered "building" a circuit.

Specifically, a melacha is anything that fits into one of 39 categories of activities listed in Tractate Shabbat page 73a. This list includes activities such as seeding, uprooting, building, writing and burning.

I recommend the following books to start: Shabbos: Day of Eternity by Aryeh Kaplan.(available at http://www.artscroll.com/ohrsomayach/), The Shabbat by Dayan Isadore Grunfield, 39 Avoth Melacha of Shabbath by Rabbi Baruch Chait; illustrated by Yoni Gerstein, and The 39 Melochos by Rabbi Dovid Ribiat (all available at http://www59.hway.net/feldhe/cgi-local/affiliate.cgi?ID=OhrSomayach&URL=/), and


The 39 Melachot Prohibited on Shabbat

   In prohibiting work on the Shabbat the Torah does not use the term "avodah" (labor) as it does regarding the work of the Jews during their enslavement in Egypt. The use of the term "avodah" would imply that physical exertion is prohibited, and would be similar to the scientific definition of work (Work = Force X Displacement). The term used in the context of Shabbat is "melacha", which implies a more subtle definition of work, similar to its use in regards to the building of the Mishkan (Tabernacle), where "melacha" actually means "skillful, constructive activities".
The Torah juxtaposes the mitzvot of the Mishkan with the prohibition of work on Shabbat, four times. (Shmot 31:13 and 35 Rashi ad loc.; Vayikra 19:30 and 26:2) This juxtaposition implies that the "melachot" of Shabbat are the same activities involved in the construction of the Mishkan. The Oral Law lists 39 major categories of melacha that are forbidden on Shabbat, and points out that this number is alluded to by the fact that the word "melacha" occurs (in its meaning of "work") 39 times in the Bible. (Shabbat 49b) Based on his analysis of the 39 melachot, Rabbi S.R.Hirsch describes a melacha as "an act resulting in a significant increase in the utility of some object" and as "an act that shows human mastery over the world by a constructive exercise of intelligence". Rabbi Hirsch explains that the Torah is teaching us that we are not absolute masters over the world, by restricting our interference with the natural world for one day a week, Shabbat. The melachot all result in a significant increase in the utility of some object (e.g. cooking), thus showing our mastery over the world by a constructive exercise of our intelligence.
(Commentary on Shmot 20:10 and Horeb, also The Sabbath, by Dayan I. Grunfield)

  The following are the major categories of activities that are forbidden on Shabbat by the Torah (avot melachot). Each of the following categories includes other forbidden activities as subcategories (toldot). (The av melacha is boldfaced, and the description of the toldot follows.) For instance the prohibition of "sowing", not only prohibits actually planting a seed or a sapling, but also includes irrigation, pruning, moving a plant into the sunlight, and anything that causes the plant to grow.

1. Sowing: anything that encourages growth of plants
2. Ploughing: improving soil for agricultural purposes
3. Harvesting: removing produce from its source of sustenance or place of growth
4. Making sheaves: gathering agricultural produce from its place of growth
5. Threshing: extracting of "food" from its "husk"
6. Winnowing: separating of "food" from its "husks" using wind
7. Selecting: removing "waste" from "food"
8. Grinding: making large particles into small particles by grinding or chopping
9. Sifting: separating fine and coarse particles using a sieve
10. Kneading: combining solid particles into one mass using a liquid
11. Baking: using heat to effect a change of state
12. Shearing: removal of fur or hair from a live animal
13. Washing: laundering or cleaning of absorbent materials
14. Combing: separating tangled fibers
15. Dyeing: permanently coloring materials
16. Spinning: twisting individual fibers into one thread
17. Setting up the loom
18. Threading the loom
19. Weaving: weaving of fibers, or basket-weaving, knitting etc.
20. Unravelling woven threads
21. Tying: tying a permanent or an artisan's knot
22. Untying: untying any of the aforementioned knots
23. Sewing: permanent bonding of two materials
24. Tearing: tearing permanently bonded materials for a constructive purpose
25. Hunting: capturing or trapping animals
26. Slaughtering: killing or wounding a living creature
27. Flaying: stripping the skin from a carcass
28. Salting: preserving or hardening of a substance using salt or chemicals
29. Tanning: softening and preparing leather
30. Scraping: smoothing a surface by scraping
31. Cutting: cutting materials to a specific size or shape
32. Writing: writing, drawing or marking
33. Erasing in order to write
34. Building: constructing dwellings or making implements
35. Demolishing in order to build
36. Extinguishing: putting out or diminishing a fire
37. Burning: igniting or increasing a fire
38. Finishing touches: completing or touching-up an object
39. Carrying: carrying from a private to a public domain and vice versa, or carrying in the public domain (Mishnah, Tractate Shabbat 7:2)
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Irish Zionist on February 07, 2010, 08:32:19 AM
Also forbidden to light candles? And if yes and you where in a dark room and were reading, what would you do? Are you allowed to read, even if it's prayer?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on February 07, 2010, 10:46:58 AM
Also forbidden to light candles? And if yes and you where in a dark room and were reading, what would you do? Are you allowed to read, even if it's prayer?

On Friday evening, before Sundown, we have a ritual to light Shabbat candles. It is only forbidden to light or extinguish fire thus fire which is kindled before Shabbat starts is allowed to burn. Thus if all the candles are lit before Shabbat starts they can provide light for prayer and the evening meal. This also means we can leave electric lights on on the house, usually in the living room and in the bathrooms.... We have special coverings for the light switches which remind us either to not turn the switch on, or if it is on from before Shabbat, to not turn them off.

This way we are also allowed to have hot food for Shabbats festive meals... The use of a 'crockpot' or slow cooker is allowed. We can place the food in the slow cooker on Friday afternoon, plug it in and allow it to slow cook over night... On Saturday afternoon we can eat delicious 'Cholent' {A special stew which Ashkenazi Jews customarily eat}.


http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/722406/Rabbi_Josh_Flug/Electricity_and_Shabbat
or listen to Rabbi Flugs lecture on this topic
http://www.yutorah.org/lectures/lecture.cfm/720222/Rabbi%20Josh%20Flug/Electricity%20on%20Shabbat
http://www.daat.ac.il/daat/english/journal/broyde_1.htm
http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/208,122/What-are-the-39-melachot.html
http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/95914/jewish/Food-Preparation-on-Shabbat.htm
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Irish Zionist on February 07, 2010, 10:53:11 AM
Carrying: carrying from a private to a public domain and vice versa, or carrying in the public domain

Whats this mean?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on February 07, 2010, 11:53:20 AM
Carrying: carrying from a private to a public domain and vice versa, or carrying in the public domain

Whats this mean?

This is the prohibition of carrying an item from within your home {a private domain} to the outside {a public domain}. This prohibition doesnt allow us to carry any items, including keys, money, wallets, etc. from within our homes to the outside. There is a rabbinic ordinance which involves creating a Erev {A seperation} which is a demarcation in the public area {either a wall, or a string strung thoughout the community} which allows a Jew to carry items.

Here is what Chabads 'Ask Moses' Rabbi says about this topic:

http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/208,2104816/What-s-the-deal-with-carrying-on-Shabbat.html

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What’s the deal with carrying on Shabbat?

One word of introduction before we start: Shabbat is a day of “rest”. Not rest as in “weekly-vacation”; rather, Shabbat is a breather from the mundane things in life - to allow us to focus on our spiritual side. Accordingly, the Torah prohibits those activities that are normally associated with the everyday aspects of our lives.

One of the 39 weekday activities (see What are the 39 Melachot?) that the Torah bans on Shabbat is “carrying” or “transfer of objects.” “Carrying” is achieved by lifting an object from one area and placing it down in another or by throwing or dragging an article from one location to another. If you have something in your pocket, you “lift” it as you begin walking and “place it down” the moment you stand still.

This law hinges on four “domains”.1 Once you understand what each of these is, you should find it relatively easy to determine where, what and how you can carry on Shabbat.

1) Reshut HaYachid a.k.a. Private property

Your home, garden, and even your car (while parked on the street) qualify as a “private domain”. The legal definition of such a property requires that it:

    *  Has a single owner,
    * Occupies a minimum area of 4 sq. Tefachim2 (12.6 sq. in. or 32 sq. cm) AND
    * Is fenced in with a 10 Tefachim (31.5 in. or 80 cm) or higher wall.3 OR
    * Stands on a platform with four sides that are 10 Tefachim high.

On Shabbat you’re allowed to carry whatever you’d like (provided it is not muktzeh [see What is "Muktzeh"?]) - as much as you’d like - in a Reshut Hayachid. For example, you may rearrange all your furniture in your home on Shabbat (though that’s not really in line with true Shabbat spirit).

If you own two adjoining properties, you’re allowed to carry objects from one to the other. On the other hand, if you stay in a hotel (where each guest’s room is their own for the duration of their stay) or an apartment building, you may not carry anything out of your hotel room or apartment.

Tenants or hotel residents can organize an Eruv Chatzerot to allow them to carry in these areas. This procedure comprises taking some food (usually matzah) from each tenant and storing it in a central location. Alternatively, one representative can purchase a box of matzah on behalf of the other tenants. One representative makes the relevant blessing over the Eruv, followed by a declaration that this Eruv permits all tenants to carry throughout the building on Shabbat. (See What is an Eruv?)

2) Reshut HaRabim a.k.a. The Public domain

Times Square or the Autobahn might qualify for this title. To be considered a real public domain, an area must:

    * Have no roof,
    * Not have walls or partitions on three or more sides,
    * If it is in a city, pass right through the whole city,
    * Have a width of at least 16 Amot4 (25.2 ft. or 7.68m)5

Some authorities say that a Reshut HaRabim needs to handle a daily traffic flow of 600,000 people. (That’s because when the Torah introduced the concept of a Reshut HaRabim, it referred to the Jewish camp in the desert .6 The official census of that group equaled 600,000.)

The Torah stipulates that you may not transfer any object from a Reshut HaYachid to a Reshut HaRabim or vice-versa on Shabbat. You are not even allowed to carry an object for more than four Amot (6.3 ft. or 1.92 m) within a Reshut HaRabim on Shabbat.7

3) Carmelit a.k.a. what average people consider public property

From what you’ve read so far, you’re probably wondering why we may not carry our Talit, purse or baby’s bag to Shul on Shabbat. After all, our suburban streets hardly qualify for Reshut HaRabim status, so the Torah would apparently have no problem with our carrying into or through these areas.

Our Sages realized that most people refer to any public property - regardless of traffic volumes or size - as just that: Public property. So, the average person would get confused if they knew that you could carry in some public areas and not in others. People were bound to conclude that they could carry in a Reshut HaRabim, just as they did on their own street.

To avoid this issue, the Sages introduced the Carmelit principle. According to this rule, all public properties assume the same status on Shabbat.

This means that they forbade you to carry anything from your home (or any other Reshut HaYachid) into the street, shopping mall, park, or any other Carmelit. Neither may you transfer an object from a Reshut HaRabim to a Carmelit, or vice-versa. And, just like you’re not allowed to carry something for 4 Amot in a Reshut HaRabim, you may not do so in a Carmelit.

It is important to note that this Rabbinic law has the full force of a Torah law and may not be neglected.

There is one important caveat:

Since the Sages devised this law, they also devised a system to circumvent it. Remember: The Carmelit law was introduced because public areas resemble a classical Reshut HaRabim. So, if you can make the Carmelit area resemble a Reshut HaYachid, nobody will make the mistake of confusing the two - and there would be no problem carrying in the Carmelit.

So, how do you make the public domain look like it’s privately owned?

You make an Eruv.8

You create an eruv by demarcating an area or suburb with symbolic partitions (usually poles with wire strung from the top of the one to the top of the other, to represent doorways. These would typically need to be placed wherever the area has no existing walls). The residents would then leave food at a specified location to render the entire area the common property of the residents.

This way, an entire neighborhood is made to resemble a private home - with a partition all the way around, and a centralized ownership (represented by the common food).

The exact procedure for establishing such an eiruv is highly complex and a competent rabbi needs to oversee the process.

4) Mekom Petur a.k.a. no man’s land

There are certain places that, according to Jewish law do not qualify as a domain per se. Practically, this means that you are allowed to move an object from such a place to a Reshut HaYachid, Carmelit or even a Reshut HaRabim or vice-versa.

A mekom petur would include any place inside a public area that is less than 4 sq. Tefachim and higher than three Tefachim (9.45 in. or 24cm).9

So, let’s say you’re walking home from shul on Shabbat and discover a piece of paper in your pocket. The best way to avoid desecrating Shabbat would be to place it on the nearest street sign or mound of soil (or other mekom petur).

Today, many established Jewish communities have an Eruv in their neighborhoods. This makes life easier for people who live in those communities. If you live in an area with an Eruv, make sure you know the rules of carrying on Shabbat for when you spend Shabbat in a hotel, vacation resort or a community that does not have an Eruv.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Irish Zionist on February 07, 2010, 12:20:51 PM
1) Does every Jewish person in Israel that (follows Torah of course) do Shabbat. Lets say for instance there is a security situation on Shabbat, is it desecrating Gd's name by acting upon that treat.

2) What about Jewish people in Israel monitoring radar on Shabbat?

3) On Shabbat is there no vehicles driving on the roads in Israel and if there is, is it desecrating Gd's name?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on February 07, 2010, 01:22:35 PM
1) Does every Jewish person in Israel that (follows Torah of course) do Shabbat. Lets say for instance there is a security situation on Shabbat, is it desecrating Gd's name by acting upon that treat.

2) What about Jewish people in Israel monitoring radar on Shabbat?

3) On Shabbat is there no vehicles driving on the roads in Israel and if there is, is it desecrating Gd's name?

Very good questions IZ... I think I know where you are going with this...

The answer to your question is this... Shabbat is done by every Jewish person who obeys the Torah. You know that Shabbat merits one of the 10 Commandments... We just read the 10 Commandments in Shul because we read Parashat Yitro which includes the episode at Mount Sinai and the giving of the 10 Commandments.

The Fourth Commandment reads:

"Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work; but the seventh day is a Sabbath unto the Lord your G-d. On it you shall not do any manner of work -- you, your son, your daughter, your man-servant, your maid-servant, your cattle, and your stranger that is within your gates. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that in them is, and rested on the seventh day; wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath Day, and hallowed it."

Now regarding what happens when a 'security situation' occurs it is very simple... The concept known as "Pikui Nefesh" which means "Saving Lives" becomes relevant. This very important principle allows us to violate every single commandment in the Torah as long as it involves saving a Jewish life. The reason for this is the principle "Save a single life, save the world". And we also learn from Torah "Obey my commandments so that you may live" {my translations are loose and may be inaccurate}.

So it would be absolutely OK for some Jews to carry weapons and be prepared for any life threatening situation. It would be OK for some Jews to operate Radar and other high technology weaponry as long as this would result in the saving of Jewish life from a threat.

Concerning driving.... In current day Israel I believe that some Jews, obviously those who are not Torah Observant Jews, who drive on Shabbat. There is a great outcry by some Haredi Jews because somewhere there is a parking lot which offers free parking on Shabbat. Because of this it encourages Jews to violate Shabbat by driving. Of course I stand against driving in Israel on Shabbat by Jews, and especially driving in Jerusalem on Shabbat.

http://www.yutorah.org/_shiurim/Pikuach%20Nefesh%20Part%20I.html
http://www.yutorah.org/_shiurim/Pikuach%20Nefesh%20Part%20II.html

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Pikuach Nefesh: Saving a Life on Shabbat

Part I

The value of human life is so dear that the Torah mandates violation of Torah law in order to save a life (pikuach nefesh).  Although there are three exceptions to this principle (murder, idolatry and incest), violation of Shabbat is not an exception to the rule.  Therefore, if a life threatening situation arises on Shabbat, one is required to do whatever is necessary to save the life of the individual, even if it means performing a melacha that would otherwise be prohibited on Shabbat.  In fact, the Beraita (cited by the Gemara, Yoma 84b) states that one who is expeditious in saving a life on Shabbat (in a situation that involves performing a melacha) is considered praiseworthy (harei zeh meshubach).  This article will explore the source for performing melacha in a life threatening situation as well as the nature of the mandate to perform melacha.

The Source That Pikuach Nefesh Overrides Shabbat

The Gemara, ibid, quotes numerous opinions as to the source that one violates Shabbat (or other transgressions) in order to save a life.  Two sources emerge as the source that pikuach nefesh overrides Shabbat.  The first is "v'shamru b'nei yisrael et haShabbat" (Shemot 31:16) from which the Gemara derives that one should violate one Shabbat in order that someone else should be able to observe many Shabbatot.  The second source is vachai bahem (Vayikra 18:5), from which the Gemara derives that mitzvot are meant to be a source of life and not the cause of someone's death.  The Gemara then states that the second source is more encompassing than the first source.  The first source may only apply in a situation where a life will definitely be saved through the violation of Shabbat.  The second source applies even in a situation where it is questionable whether a life will be saved.  Tosafot, Yoma 85a, s.v. U'Lifake'ach, note that the second verse serves as the source for the opinion of Shmuel (Gemara, ibid) that lo halchu b’pikuach nefesh achar harov, when it comes to life and death matters statistical data is ignored.  If there is remote possibility of saving someone’s life, all means are employed to do so, even if this entails violation of a Torah prohibition.  Tosafot explain that the verse vachai bahem teaches that a mitzvah can never be a possible factor in the death of an individual.

The Differences Between the Two Sources

R. Naftali Z.Y. Berlin, Ha'Amek She'elah 1:8, and 167:17, introduces a novel difference between the two sources presented above.  As mentioned previously, the source of v'shamru b'nei yisrael et haShabbat only applies to a case where a life will definitely be saved.  R. Berlin proposes that the second source of vachai bahem is limited to a person who is considered a "live" individual.  Thus, the second source does not serve as a source to permit violating Shabbat to save an endangered fetus.  One can only violate Shabbat to save a fetus based on the first source.  However, since the first source only applies to a situation where a life will definitely be saved, R. Berlin suggests that one cannot violate Shabbat to save the life of a fetus in a situation where the life saving mission will have questionable success.

Approximately fifty years prior to the publication of R. Berlin's Ha'Amek She'elah,  Shulchan Aruch HaRav, Kuntrus Acharon 306:1, anticipated the possibility that one can argue that one may not violate Shabbat to save a fetus if the mission has questionable success (a position later to be adopted by R. Berlin).  Shulchan Aruch HaRav rejects this possibility by claiming that the verse vachai bahem encompasses all life threatening situations including the saving of a fetus.  R. Shlomo Zalman Auerbach (cited in Nishmat Avraham Vol. IV, pg 50) rules that R. Berlin's opinion is only accepted in a situation where it is known that the fetus will not survive and Shabbat is violated in order to delay the death of the fetus.  However, if there is any possibility that the fetus will survive, it is treated as a regular case of pikuach nefesh and Shabbat is violated to save the fetus.

The Gemara, Yoma 85a, states that one may even violate Shabbat in a situation where it is known that the life saving mission will only extend the individual's life for a few hours.  Me'iri, ad loc., s.v. HaMishna HaChamishit, explains that the reason why this is permitted is because in those few hours the patient has the opportunity to repent for his sins.  Mishna Berurah, Biur Halacha 329:4 s.v. Ela, notes that Me'iri is operating within the first source for saving a life on Shabbat.  According to the first source – based on the principle that one should violate one Shabbat in order that the patient may observe many more Shabbatot- the life saving mission does not necessarily have to produce the possibility that the patient will be able to observe other Shabbatot.  It is sufficient if he is able to perform other mitzvot.  Me'iri's opinion is that since one can perform the mitzvah of Teshuva in mere seconds, it is worthwhile to violate Shabbat to temporarily extend the life of the patient.  It is implicit from Me'iri's comments that if the patient's state of consciousness does not allow him to perform any mitzvah, one may not violate Shabbat to extend his life. Mishna Berurah posits that most Rishonim accept vachai bahem as the source that one violates Shabbat to save a life.  Accordingly, one would violate Shabbat to extend the life of an individual even in a situation where he will only live temporarily and his state of consciousness does not allow him to perform any mitzvah whatsoever.

Hutrah or Dechuyah

The Gemara, Yoma 83a, quotes a Beraita that if one is in a life threatening situation and his condition requires him to eat one of two types of non-kosher food, he should choose to eat the food item whose violation is less stringent.  [This principle is known as hakal hakal techilah (the lesser one comes first).] For example, if he must choose between neveilah (meat that was not slaughtered properly) and tevel (fruits that were not yet tithed), he should choose the tevel.  This is because one who wantonly eats neveilah is punished through lashes and one who eats tevel is not.

Rabbeinu Asher, Yoma 8:4, discusses a case of someone in a life threatening situation whose condition requires him to eat meat on Shabbat.  The question arises: is it preferable for him to eat neveilah meat, or is it preferable to slaughter an animal on Shabbat so that he may eat a kosher meat?  At first glance, the principle of hakal hakal techilah should dictate that the violation of neveilah, which is only punishable by lashes, should be preferable to the violation of Shabbat whose transgression is punishable by death.  Nevertheless, Rabbeinu Asher presents a few reasons why one should slaughter the animal and forgo the neveilah.  One of those reasons (Rabbeinu Asher attributes this reasoning to Maharam MiRutenberg) is because pikuach nefesh on Shabbat is hutrah (permitted).  This means that Shabbat is suspended in the face of a life threatening situation.  However, the prohibition of eating neveilah is dechuyah (pushed aside) for pikuach nefesh.  This means that the prohibition of eating neveilah remains and the life threatening situation overrides the prohibition.  Since Shabbat is suspended in the face of pikuach nefesh and neveilah is not (but is overridden), it is preferable to slaughter the animal on Shabbat.  [Rabbeinu Asher notes that this is only applicable if there will be no delay in preparing the kosher meat.]

Rashba, Teshuvot HaRashba 1:689, agrees that the question of whether to give the patient neveilah or whether to slaughter the animal on Shabbat is contingent on whether pikuach nefesh on Shabbat is hutrah or dechuyah.  However, Rashba contends that pikuach nefesh on Shabbat is dechuyah and therefore advocates feeding neveilah to the patient.

Some Poskim see the question of whether pikuach nefesh on Shabbat is hutrah or dechuyah as central to many discussions regarding pikuach nefesh on Shabbat (see for example R. Ovadia Yosef, Yechaveh Da'at 4:30).  However, R. Moshe Feinstein, Igrot Moshe, Choshen Mishpat 2:79, claims that the only practical application of the question of hutrah or dechuyah is the case of whether the patient should eat the neveilah or whether it is better to slaughter an animal on Shabbat.  Other issues that may relate to this question will be discussed in the next issue.

http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/192,2230417/From-where-does-the-saying-Save-a-life-save-a-whole-world-originate.html
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Question:

Where does the saying, "save a life, save a whole world" come from? I'm not even sure it's Jewish. Thanks, Milty N.

Answer:

The Talmud asks why the human race was created as a single human being, as opposed to creating many people at once (like the animals which were created en masse1 )?

This teaches us that just as Adam was created in the beginning, and he was the entire human population of the world, likewise we need to look at each individual as if he/she were the entire population of the world. Therefore, when you save one life it is as if you saved the entire world.

Talmud, Sanhedrin 37a states:

"FOR THIS REASON WAS MAN CREATED ALONE, TO TEACH THEE THAT WHOSOEVER DESTROYS A SINGLE SOUL... SCRIPTURE IMPUTES [GUILT] TO HIM AS THOUGH HE HAD DESTROYED A COMPLETE WORLD; AND WHOSOEVER PRESERVES A SINGLE SOUL..., SCRIPTURE ASCRIBES [MERIT] TO HIM AS THOUGH HE HAD PRESERVED A COMPLETE WORLD."

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Devarim
4:1 - So now, Yisra'el, give heed (Yisra'el Sh'ma) to the statutes and ordinances that I am teaching you to observe, so that you may live to enter and occupy the land that Hashem, the G-d of your ancestors, is giving you.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Irish Zionist on February 07, 2010, 02:02:59 PM
and your stranger that is within your gates.
Stranger as in Jewish or non Jewish?
Forgive my total ignorance but I assumed that all Jewish People are Brothers and Sisters and that they are not strangers.
If I'm correct then are "The Strangers" Gentiles?
And if so, I thought only The Jewish People are allowed to live in Israel.


Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on February 07, 2010, 02:17:00 PM
and your stranger that is within your gates.
Stranger as in Jewish or non Jewish?
Forgive my total ignorance but I assumed that all Jewish People are Brothers and Sisters and that they are not strangers.
If I'm correct then are "The Strangers" Gentiles?
And if so, I thought only The Jewish People are allowed to live in Israel.

There is the concept of the 'Ger' or the stranger, often referred to as the Proselyte. Generally these 'Strangers' or 'Proselytes' are people who live amongst the Jews but accept the Jewish ways, who are considering conversion.

These might be gentile friends who come to visit or people who are living in the land of Israel who are doing business there.

These strangers in our land should also observe Shabbat. But we cannot force conversion on them. I have lived with non-Jews and I don't insist that they observe Shabbat. I believe that when it speaks of our slaves, or our servants also observing Shabbat I think it is referring to non-Jewish slaves.

http://www.torah.org/learning/livinglaw/5768/vaera.html

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Strangers in our Midst?

The Mitzvah:

There is a commandment "You shall love the proselyte, for you [ Israel] were yourselves strangers in the land of Egypt" (Devarim 10:19 ).

The Jewish community has a Torah obligation to extend the warmest hand to someone who has converted to Judaism.

In addition to the general commandment – itself a primarily axiom of the Torah – to love one's Jewish neighbor (Vayikra 19:18), there is another precept to go the "extra mile" and to shower love upon the ger, proselyte.

He or she is, in effect, the strangers among the midst of the Jewish nation.

The Torah frames this obligation with the potent reminder that the Jewish people were themselves strangers in Egypt. In the exile, they were viciously persecuted by their host country perniciously plotting their downfall. Such intolerance of strangers or aliens, the Jewish people are reminded, did not go unchecked. G-d struck the Egyptians with the Ten Plagues before their Exodus. Similarly, the Children of Israel must be sensitive to their treatment of strangers that are either trying to adjust in a foreign climate and especially for the convert to Judaism.

The proselyte is to be unreservedly admired and respected.

He is, after all, someone who has courageously abandoned his non-Jewish background and upbringing. In the unrelenting quest for truth, with great determination, deep commitment, self-sacrifice and sincerity, the ger has made the leap to enter into the congregation of G-d.

This person is a hero and an inspiration to all his brethren. His story is of a spiritual journey, an odyssey of discovery not that dissimilar to the national experience in the Exodus.

The Jewish nation was entrapped in a web of spiritual contamination. Enslaved in an environment of godlessness, Egypt was a country whose reliance on the Nile rather than on rainfall led the pharaoh to deify himself and brazenly question: "Who is G-d that I should heed His voice?" Thus, the function of the Plagues was for Pharaoh and the Egyptian people to gradually concede the existence of G-d and His Omnipotence.

Once again your question is timely because as I said above, we just read the Portion of Yitro who is held up as the prime Torah example of a righteous gentile who wants to convert to Judaism.

http://www.shemayisrael.co.il/parsha/rosenzweig/archives/yisro63.htm
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PARSHAT YITRO
Shemot (Exodus) 18:1-20:23
Haftorah - Isaiah 6:1-7:6, 9:5-6

A RIGHTEOUS GENTILE

It goes without saying that the main subject of this week's Parsha, Yitro, Moshe's father-in-law, was an unusual man. His words of encouragement and timely advice to Moshe at the outset of the journey of the Jewish people through the wilderness set him apart as the only gentile friend of Israel after the experience of the Exodus. And according to one school of rabbinic thought, Yitro became a convert to Judaism and thus serves as the prototype of the Ger Tzedek, the righteous proselyte. Yitro's name thus becomes synonymous with conversion to Judaism, and he becomes a paradigm figure for those who throughout history have come under the wings of G-d's dominion.

And there is some discussion concerning the meaning of Yitro's name. Our Chazal explain Yitro's name as follows: "At first he was called Yeter, but when he accomplished good deeds, the letter "Vav" (O) was added to his name, and he was called Yitro" (Rashi to Exodus 18:1). Thus Yitro joins Avraham whose name was changed from Avram, and Sarah whose name was changed from Sarai. And in keeping with the biblical tradition of changing an individual's name after the performance of meritorious deeds or the experience of some apocryphal, unusual event.

The question, of course, is asked as to why the letter "Vav" was added to Yitro's name. On the most obvious level, it can be suggested that the letter "Vav" is associated with G-d's name. But it also might be stated the function of the letter "Vav" in Hebrew grammar serves to shed light on the very nature of Yitro's good deeds and his special character.

The first function of the "Vav" in Hebrew grammar, as Rashi notes in his commentary to Exodus 21:1, is to add to the past. Yitro not only provided a refuge for Moshe when he fled from Pharaoh, but he took him into his home and made Moshe his son-in-law. Now Yitro was adding to his original hospitality and warmth by coming to encourage Moshe and the Israelites at this transitional period and time in their history and nascent development.

Secondly, the "Vav" is also called the "conversive Vav," because it changes and transforms the tenses in Hebrew grammar. Yitro suggested to Moshe a far reaching change which transformed the government of the Israelite tribes. A product of the autocratic Egyptian court, Moshe had little confidence in the self-governing capacity of the former Hebrew slaves. And in a benevolent way, he modeled his government after that of Pharaoh, exercising all authority and assuming all responsibility. But Yitro pointed out to his son-in-law that one person, no matter how gifted, could not possibly shoulder the responsibility of governing so many people, and survive. He therefore suggested that Moshe delegate authority to appointed chiefs, to deputies, who must be able men, reverent, truthful and just.

The smaller matters of dispute, those issues needing clarification and resolution, the Torah tells us were judged by these chiefs or deputies. And the more complicated and more important disputes were brought to Moshe for his consideration and judgment. Thus, Yitro presented Moshe with a blueprint for a primitive democracy, for a system of delegated authority and responsibility, an ideal which penetrated the Jewish consciousness in its succeeding generations.

And finally, the "Vav" in Hebrew grammar is also a conjunctive "Vav," which unites and holds together the parts of a sentence. So that in bringing Moshe's wife and children to him at the very outset of Israel's journey through the wilderness, before the Sinaitic Revelation, Yitro was teaching his son-in-law a fundamental truth about Jewish life and leadership. Before Moshe could effectively govern the Israelites, before he could receive the Torah and impart it and teach it to the Jewish people, he had to have within his own life a modicum of family unity and harmony. Moshe had to achieve for himself a level of personal peace and tranquility. Through his action, Yitro was saying to Moshe that the family is, in fact, the undisputed fundamental unit of the Jewish people, around which so much of Jewish life is centered. If it is united, peaceful and harmonious, the unity will radiate throughout the ranks of Israel. And only as a united people Israel could face the awesome dangers of the wilderness and the great challenge and responsibility of becoming a "Kingdom of Priests and a Holy Nation."

The secret of living a long, happy and creative life lies in the realization that underneath life's diversity there is a basic unity - a oneness - in which the spiritual and the material are intertwined. The secret of Jewish survival is to identify with the one G-d, His Torah and His people. And this is what our Talmud meant when they said: "Whoever extends the word 'Echad- One,' in the recitation of the Shema (Hear Oh Israel, Hashem is our G-d, Hashem is One), his days and his years are extended" (Tractate Berachot 13b).

Shabbat Shalom,
Rabbi Yosil Rosenzweig
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Irish Zionist on February 08, 2010, 03:51:28 PM
Shalom Muman, very interesting reading but still trying to understand.

1) What's the difference between Sages, Priest's & Rabbis?
2) Is there any other holy men names I missed and can you explain the difference?
3) When King David ruled The Land of Israel (correct me if I'm wrong) was he the supreme ruler and was Israel a Kingdom or a Holy Nation or both?
4) Did The Jewish People ever have A Holy One to rule over all of Israel like (bad example The Catholic Pope) and if so what was he referred to?
5) Did Judas Judas Maccabeus ever become King of Israel? If not, why and what was he referred to?
6) Was The Land Gd gave to The Israelites Judah, Samaria and Israel all three separate regions, who united them as one and how was this done?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on February 08, 2010, 07:12:54 PM
Shalom Muman, very interesting reading but still trying to understand.

1) What's the difference between Sages, Priest's & Rabbis?
2) Is there any other holy men names I missed and can you explain the difference?
3) When King David ruled The Land of Israel (correct me if I'm wrong) was he the supreme ruler and was Israel a Kingdom or a Holy Nation or both?
4) Did The Jewish People ever have A Holy One to rule over all of Israel like (bad example The Catholic Pope) and if so what was he referred to?
5) Did Judas Judas Maccabeus ever become King of Israel? If not, why and what was he referred to?
6) Was The Land Gd gave to The Israelites Judah, Samaria and Israel all three separate regions, who united them as one and how was this done?

Ok...

Im gonna split this one into two parts... I will try to answer 1-3 then tonight or tomorrow morning I will answer 4-6....

1) What's the difference between Sages, Priest's & Rabbis?

The Torah established for the Jewish people two special tribes dedicated to the spiritual growth of the Jewish people. These two tribes are known as the Kohanim and the Levi'im. The Kohanim are the 'priests' and they perform the daily service in the Holy Temple. The Levi'im are the ones who carry the holy vessels of the Temple and perform the cleaning and maintenance on the Temple. After the temple was destroyed in 70 C.E. the service {Avodah} in the temple ceased. As a result the need for the Kohanim and Levi'im was reduced yet to this day the Jewish people still keep track of who is a Levite and who is a Kohain. When the Third Temple is rebuilt and the service in the temple is resumed the traditional Jewish tribes will resume their service.

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"Kohen" (alt. "Cohen") - (pl. "Kohanim" or "Cohanim") - Priest; Judaism is not a classless society; rather, there are three "classes" within the structure of Jewish society: Kohen, Levi and Yisrael. The Kohen is a descendant of Aharon, the High Priest, the brother of Moshe. His task is to work in the Temple, be involved with the offering of sacrifices, and with Blessing the Congregation of Israel. The Priest holds the highest status in the People of Israel, thus he is called up to the Torah first, and has first rights in leading the "Zimun" before the Birchat HaMazon. Since he did not participate in the "Goral," or Lottery, which divided the Land of Israel, he is the recipient of certain parts of some of the sacrifices, and of various "Matnot Kehunah," "Obligatory Presents to the Priests,' such as Terumah. The Kohanim are a subset of the Tribe of Levi. Thus, every Kohen is a Levi, but not every Levi is a Kohen.

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"Levi" - (pl. Leviim) - Levites; descendants of Levi, the son of Yaakov. Their task is to assist the Kohanim in matters relating to the Temple. Back in the desert, when the Jewish People carried the Mishkan from place to place, it was the task of the Leviim to carry the various components of the Mishkan, from the boards to the holy vessels from one destination to another. It is also the task of the Leviim to be the choir in the Temple; thus, for example, they would sing the "Psalm (Song of Praise) of the Day" and play the various instruments in the Temple. They were also the gatekeepers of the Temple. Since, like the Kohanim they are not given land in Israel, they are the recipients of "Maaser," one tenth the produce, or income, of each of the other tribes.

After the destruction of the Temple the Jews were sent into exile. The teachers of Torah are called Rabbis {Teachers} and during the 1st Century the Sages {Chazal} in an attempt to prevent Judaism from becoming extinct wrote down the Oral law in the form of the Talmud.

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"CHAZAL"  - an acronym, using "CH," "Z," and "L," where "CH" stands for "Chachameinu," Our Sages, and the "Z" and "L" correspond to the expression "Zichronam Livrocho," "of blessed memory;" this means basically the authoritative opinion of the Talmud.

When we refer to Sages we are referring to Chazal. But there are sages throughout the generations. We have specific names for Rabbis of various generations. The first generation of Sages we call 'Rishon':

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"Rishon"  - (m., pl. "Rishonim"); the "first" or an "early one." In Torah scholarship, the term has taken on the specific meaning of Torah scholars who lived from approximately the eleventh though the fifteenth-sixteenth centuries, who passed along the Talmudic Tradition their earliest members received from the "Geonim" to later generations, and added their own insights to the Talmudic analysis. Some of the great "Rishonim" were RASHI, Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, of France, his grand-children and great grandchildren, the "Baalei Tosafot," the RAMBAM, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimon of twelfth century Spain and later, Egypt, and the RAMBAN, Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman, of thirteenth century Spain and later, Eretz Yisrael, to name but a few.

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"Acharon"  - (m., pl. "Acharonim"); the "last" or a "later one." In Torah scholarship, the term has taken on the specific meaning of a Torah scholar who lived from approximately the sixteenth-seventeenth centuries through the nineteenth century. Some examples are Rabbi Akiva Eiger, the "Chatam Sofer" and the "Chofetz Chayim."

2) Is there any other holy men names I missed and can you explain the difference?

Well in the Chassidic circles we consider our Holy men to be Tzadiks, or righteous people...

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"Tzaddik"  - (pl. "Tzadikkim"); a righteous man (for the female equivalent, see "Tzidkanit") - based on the Hebrew word "Tzedek," or Justice. The Jewish hero is not the swashbuckling warrior, but rather the "Tzaddik," the "mighty warrior" who conquers his "evil inclinations," towards pride, power and oppression, and practices righteousness and humility, and who is, like G-d, always on "the side of the oppressed." ("Kohelet," or Ecclesiastes 3:15) Examples were the three "Avot," the forefathers of the Jewish People, Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, who exemplified what a person can be.

People often compare the Tzadik to the Christian Saint though it is not a position which one is elected to... A person can only be a Tzadik through their actions, and usually if they consider themselves a Tzadik they usually are not such a righteous person.

Chassidus is a 'sect' of Judaism which was started about 300 years ago in the Ukraine. I consider myself a Breslov Chassid :

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"Chassidut" - Movement within Judaism founded by the "Baal Shem Tov" in 1736.  It emphasized prayer, joy and "kabbalah," Jewish Mysticism.   After the debacle of Shabtai Tzvi, the false Messiah who converted to Islam, the Jewish community needed a boost in spirit.  This was provided by Chassidut.  The movement was vigorously opposed by the "Mitnagdim," the Opponents (of Chassidut),  under the leadership of the Vilna Gaon.

3) When King David ruled The Land of Israel (correct me if I'm wrong) was he the supreme ruler and was Israel a Kingdom or a Holy Nation or both?

This is a very complex story. I still have not learned everything about King Davids life. What I do know is that King David lived a very difficult life. His ups and downs in life gave him a perspective which we read whenever we read the Psalms of David.

The story which I have been interested in concerning David is the story about his son Absalom. Absalom was a wicked son who attempted to overthrow his fathers thrown. Despite the fact that his son stabbed him in the back he still mourned when Absalom was killed. It is easy to understand why David could author such intense writings as the Psalms because he knew that Hashem was with him in distress.

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/463978/jewish/Absaloms-Revolt.htm
http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/463979/jewish/Davids-Humility.htm

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Murder among Brothers

David had a number of sons, of whom four, Amnon, Absalom, Adoniah, and Solomon became conspicuous in the history of Israel.

Amnon, the son of Ahinoam of Jezreel, was David's first-born. His brother Absalom, the son of David's other wife, was famous for his splendid appearance. His long and luxuriant hair was his peculiar pride. Absalom had a sister named Tamar, who was very fair. Once Amnon deeply offended her, which exceedingly enraged Absalom. Between Absalom and his half-brother Amnon there was now kindled a terrible feud which could only be quenched in the life-blood of the offender.

Absalom had large flocks of sheep grazing in Baal-Hazor, near the frontier of Ephraim: at the time of the sheep-shearing, he invited all his brothers to the rural feast, and Amnon went among the rest. When Amnon's heart was merry with wine, the servants of Absalom slew him on a predetermined sign from their master. A general panic seized the guests. No one thought of retaliation for the bloody deed of Absalom. All sprang upon their mules and fled. Absalom, meanwhile, had fled to his mother's family in Geshur, where he dwelt for three years.

At last Absalom was, by Joab's intercession, permitted to return to Jerusalem, but for two years he was not permitted to see his father. David could not forgive him for his cruel deed of fratricide.

Absalom now hated his father and designed schemes for dethroning him and wresting the kingdom from him. The false and faithless son began, ostensibly, to seek his father's forgiveness, as otherwise he could not hope to succeed in his plans. After repeated intercession by Joab, David finally permitted his son to appear before him.

Absalom's Revolt Succeeds

Absalom considered himself the heir to the throne, for now that Amnon was dead, he was the next in line of succession. David, however, had been prophetically informed that his young son Solomon, the son of Bathsheba, would succeed him. Absalom must have suspected this from his father's attitude, and he secretly prepared a revolt. When his plans had matured, he induced the king to allow him to go to Hebron for the fulfillment of a vow which he professed to have made while living in Geshur. He went southward with two hundred unsuspecting followers. In Hebron he sounded the trumpet-call. Alas! the ungrateful people readily forgot the great king who had been anointed at that very place, and who had gloriously reigned over them for 37 years, and they came flocking to the standard of Absalom. Even Ahitophel the Gilonite, David's wise counsellor, declared for his son and gave to the rebellion the weight of his name and experience.

...

Insult to Injury

The king passed on and arrived at Bahurim, on the borders of the land of Benjamin. As the procession wound along the hill side, with the deep valley between them and the opposite hill, there came forth from his house Shimei of the family of Saul. The ravine separated him from the king, He gave vent to his burning hatred of the unhappy monarch; in his rage he cast stones at him and at his followers, heaping curse upon curse. The anger of Abishai, David's loyal general, was aroused, and he begged David's permission to go over and kill Shimei. But David would not permit him or anyone else to take up his cause saying, "Behold, my son seeks my life; how much more now may this Benjaminite do it? Let him alone and let him curse, for G-d has bidden him. It may be that G-d will look upon my afflictions and will requite me good for his cursing this day." So they passed onward on their side of the hill, while on the other side walked Shimei, throwing stones as before and casting dust and uttering loud imprecations. Sad and tired, the king and his followers rested at last after their weary and mournful day.

Absalom in Jerusalem

Meanwhile Absalom and his followers, among them his counselor Ahitophel, entered Jerusalem. Hushai was conspicuous among the men who welcomed Absalom into the city. Professing the deepest devotion to Absalom, Hushai gained his full confidence. A council of war was held, and Ahitophel proposed that an army of twelve thousand men should instantly be sent, under his leadership, in pursuit of David. Hushai heard with dismay this advice, which might have proved fatal to his royal master. Pretending to have nothing but Absalom's safety at heart, Hushai persuaded him to bide his time until his aging father would resign himself to his fate and abdicate in favor of his son. Pointing out the uncertainty of an open clash with David's men, Hushai bade Absalom remember that King David was still a powerful man, that his heart was as the heart of a lion, that he was surrounded by valiant followers, and that to attack him might mean the destruction of Absalom's army. If Absalom was determined to fight it out with his father, then he should at least recruit a huge army in order to be certain of victory. This counsel was approved of by Absalom, in preference to that of Ahitophel.

Without losing any time, Hushai at once sent two secret messengers to King David, advising him to continue his journey without delay. As the first rays of the morning sun lighted up the banks of the Jordan, the king and his sorrowing followers passed safely over the river and traveled on to Mahanaim.

News of David's escape reached Ahitophel. He realized that Divine Providence was now favoring David and that his restoration to the throne could not be long delayed. Rather than face a victorious David again, Ahitophel hastily returned home and put his house in order, then he hanged himself.

-- TO BE CONTINUED --
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: YimachShemotoIslam on February 08, 2010, 08:14:58 PM
Muman, I have a couple questions for you. Do you consider the Druze, Muslim or not? And how many of them support Israel?


Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on February 08, 2010, 11:30:56 PM
Muman, I have a couple questions for you. Do you consider the Druze, Muslim or not? And how many of them support Israel?


YimachShemotoIslam, I have no idea in this world what Druze are. Baruch Hashem that I dont know. From what I remember the Druze are considered a Christian Arab people. I do work with an Egyptian Christian at work and he is a good man. As for their support for Israel I am not sure... I live in California and only hear about Druze from IsraelNationalNews...

This is some bad information :

http://www.ou.org/torah/tt/5768/vayishlach68/specialfeatures.htm

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The Pogrom of Peki'in

The Druze community of Israel consists of 120,000 members and resides mainly in the Carmel, Galilee and Golan Heights. Since 1957 the Druze have been drafted to the IDF. Until today over 300 have been killed in active duty. It is therefore no wonder that PM Ehud Olmert announced that the recent events in the village of Peki'in were none other than crime related and not of national magnitude. No police officer or government official wants to think that the Druze-Israeli relations are dwindling.

In fact if one's knowledge of the recent events of Peki'in is based solely on Police and media reports, then he has a very faded and naive version of the situation.

What are Jews doing in a Druze village you ask?

Until these recent events, Ancient Peki'in was home to seven Jewish families who arrived in recent years in support of Margalit Zinaty, the last living member of the Zinaty family which has resided in Peki'in for the last 2000 years. Let it be understood that the village of Peki'in is not just a case of Jewish people trying to settle in an Arab village, but a right to a claim of 2000 years of Jewish settlement and rich history tracing back to the Second Beit Hamikdash. One of the most prominent places visited by tourists to Peki'in is the ancient Jewish synagogue, under the responsibility of Miss Zinaty herself. Peki'in's greatest claim to fame however is the Cave of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, located mere footsteps away from the edge of the village.

Less than five years ago, the Zigelman family moved to Peki'in, and soon to follow were the other six families. Although the Jewish-Druze relationship in Peki'in was fairly calm and decent, the Jews of Peki'in were not surprised by the recent events that unfolded. The tranquil Jewish-Druze relationship has in the last two years become passe amongst the Druze youth of the village. Just one month ago in Peki'in, a Druze teenager deliberately drove his ATV buggy at high speeds towards a group of Jewish teenagers in attempt to run them over. This is only one example of the many recent Jewish-Druze teenage confrontations.

On Motzei Shabbat, October 13, '07, the night of Id-El-Fitar, symbolizing the end of the Islamic Ramadan, a car belonging to the Zigelman family was set ablaze. Although a report was filed with the police, the media spoke not a word of the incident. The following Sunday, October 21st, a hand grenade was thrown into a Jewish home. Baruch Hashem no one was injured. The atmosphere in Peki'in became tense. Rumors of incitement against the Jews of the village began to stir. Three days later, Wednesday October 24th, the Druze youth of Peki'in raided New Peki'in, a close-by Jewish settlement, in attempt to vandalize and remove a Jewish owned cellular antenna. They returned to Old Peki'in in an uproar of howls and chants, in announcement of their success and victory.

The Jews of Peki'in instantly new that they were the next targets. They were right. Around midnight, another hand grenade was thrown into the home of the Zalicha family. Yinon, the father of the Zalicha household reports that the grenade exploded on the roof collapsing part of the ceiling just inches from where he was standing. Even this still did not interest the media.

The following Motzei Shabbat, Oct. 27th, a group of Druze teenagers returned to the home of the owner of the cellular antenna, under repair from their previous riots, killed all his chickens and torched his chicken coop. They then continued on to torch a security vehicle, vandalize several Police vehicles, and steal their valuable communication equipment.

At 2:00am yet another grenade was thrown at neighbors of the Zalicha family, exploding their household propane tanks. Miraculously no one was hurt. Nearing the break of dawn, after several policemen were injured, the Druze head of the City Counsel announced over the village speaker system, "Kol Hakavod! You are our pride!"

The next Monday, October 29th, a Police car patrolling the area was stoned. The Police began to organize themselves for entry into Peki'in. Upon realization that the Druze planned to ambush them upon entry, the Police told the Jewish families that they could not respond to their calls for help.

At 2:30am, later that same night, another hand grenade was thrown into the Zigelman house- hold. Yet again, miraculously no one was injured.

In response to the continued Druze rioting and extreme violence, smashing windows of Jewish cars and homes, the Police finally decided to enter the village. In the intense shootout between the Police and the Druze, a female Police officer was taken hostage. The Druze freed her only in exchange for their arrested accomplices.

After the Police left the village at 6:15am, the Druze stormed Jewish cars yet again. The Zigelman family managed to escape in a friend's car that they had coincidently borrowed that day. Less than fifteen minutes later, the Druze ransacked their home and set it ablaze, torching all that the Zigelman's possessed.

As you can see, the reality of the frightening events that unfolded in Peki'in on the dates of October 13th through the 29th, and the reports and claims of the Police Department and Government are two very different things.

The unfortunate Jewish families of Peki'in are in a desperate situation. They currently cannot return to their homes, or what's left of them, for that matter. Most have lost valuable possessions and in the case of the Zigelmans, all their possessions.

For more information and/or for donation details to help ease the pain of the families of Peki'in, please call Merav at 052-810-9176 or email [email protected]
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on February 09, 2010, 04:13:02 AM
Shalom Muman, very interesting reading but still trying to understand.

1) What's the difference between Sages, Priest's & Rabbis?
2) Is there any other holy men names I missed and can you explain the difference?
3) When King David ruled The Land of Israel (correct me if I'm wrong) was he the supreme ruler and was Israel a Kingdom or a Holy Nation or both?
4) Did The Jewish People ever have A Holy One to rule over all of Israel like (bad example The Catholic Pope) and if so what was he referred to?
5) Did Judas Judas Maccabeus ever become King of Israel? If not, why and what was he referred to?
6) Was The Land Gd gave to The Israelites Judah, Samaria and Israel all three separate regions, who united them as one and how was this done?

It is early in the morning here and Im still up... Thought I might as well answer #4 while I am up...

4) Did The Jewish People ever have A Holy One to rule over all of Israel like (bad example The Catholic Pope) and if so what was he referred to?

Well, the closest thing I can think of would be what we call the Kohain Gadol or the High Priest {Large/Great Priest}. This 'Big Kahuna' was responsible for the most sacred of rituals in the Torah. There is only one person who can enter the Holy of Holies in the Holy Temple, the place where the Aaron HaKodesh {The Holy Ark of the Covenant}. On Yom Kippur this ritual would occur where the priest would go in and if he was not pure or had impure thoughts, this priest can die on the spot.

The Kohain Gadol must be totally devoid of any defects, meaning that their skin, their hair, their eyes, their mouths, everything must be perfectly formed. A Kohain who has a Mumm is not permitted to perform the service.

Quote
Leviticus Chapter 21

17. Speak to Aaron, saying: Any man among your offspring throughout their generations who has a defect, shall not come near to offer up his G-d's food.
18. For any man who has a defect should not approach: A blind man or a lame one, or one with a sunken nose or with mismatching limbs;
19. or a man who has a broken leg or a broken arm;
20. or one with long eyebrows, or a cataract, or a commingling in his eye; dry lesions or weeping sores, or one with crushed testicles
21. Any man among Aaron the kohen's offspring who has a defect shall not draw near to offer up the Lord's fire offerings. There is a defect in him; he shall not draw near to offer up his G-d's food.
22. His G-d's food from the most holy and from the holy ones, he may eat.

As you can see any Kohen who has a defect is forbidden to make offerings to Hashem.

Lets see what AskMoses says that the Kohen Gadols job was:

http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/591,41053/What-were-the-duties-of-the-Kohen-Gadol.html

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What were the duties of the Kohen Gadol?

The Kohen Gadol was required to bring a special bread sacrifice every day, and only the Kohen Gadol was allowed to perform the sacred Yom Kippur service. Additionally, the Kohen Gadol had first rights to the daily lighting of the menorah, and the daily burning of the incense; if he wished to do these services, or any other service, his wish was respected.

He would wear four “royal” garments in addition to the standard four which were worn by all Kohanim. The Kohen Gadol would also hand a Torah scroll to the king to read at the octennial rally known as Hakhel (pronounced HAK-hel).

The Kohen Gadol was also commanded to wed a virgin, unlike his priestly brothers who are allowed to marry widows.

Because of his heightened status, the Kohen Gadol dedicated his life to the service of G-d. He was to spend his days on the Temple grounds, where he was provided with private chambers, serving as a living symbol of total dedication to the most spiritual things in life. He lived in Jerusalem and would go home every night.


Due to the special holiness which the Kohanim possess, they are forbidden from coming in contact with a corpse or grave. One who comes in contact with a corpse or grave contracts a spiritual impurity which lasts for at least seven days, and can only be removed through the ashes of the Red Heifer. The exception to this rule is if a member of the Kohen's immediate family passes away. In this case, out of respect for the family-member, the Kohen is obligated to attend the funeral and pay his final respects - despite the impurity which this entails.

The Kohen Gadol, who is even holier than the average Kohen, can't attend a funeral, even if it is his own next of kin.

The only time a Kohen Gadol may be involved with a corpse, is if he encounters a Mes Mitzvah (a corpse that is strewn on the road, and no one else is in the vicinity to give it a proper burial). This is because the dignity of the Jewish body supercedes all other considerations.

http://www.ou.org/chagim/yomkippur/ykavodah.htm

Here it discusses the Yom Kippur avodah...

http://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/3101/jewish/Yom-Kippur-Torah-Readings.htm

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Yom Kippur Torah Readings
Leviticus 16:1-34; 18:1-30

The Torah reading for Yom Kippur morning describes the service performed on this day by the Kohen Gadol (high priest) in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

A special feature of the Yom Kippur service was the casting of lots over two he-goats -- equal in age, size and appearance -- to determine which shall be offered to G-d in the Holy Temple, and which shall be dispatched to carry off the sins of Israel to the wilderness.

The climax of the service was when the Kohen Gadol entered the innermost chamber in the Temple, the "Holy of Holies." Wearing special garments of pure white linen, the Kohen Gadol would enter the sacred place with a pan of burning coals in his right hand, and a ladle containing an exact handful of ketoret in his left. Inside the Holy of Holies, he would place the ketoret over the coals, wait for the room to fill with its aromatic smoke, and hastily retreat from the holy place.

"This shall be an everlasting statute for you," the Torah reading concludes. "...For on this day He will forgive you, to purify you, that you be cleansed from all your sins before G-d... once a year."


During the afternoon Minchah service, we read chapter 18 of Leviticus, which details the prohibitions against incest and other deviant sexual behaviors. The Torah reading is followed by a haftorah (reading from the Prophets) which tells the story of Jonah -- the prophet who was sent to prophesy the destruction of the sinful city of Ninveh, ran away from G-d, was swallowed by a fish, and learned the power of prayer and repentance to evoke G-d's mercy and annul the harshest decrees.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Spectator on February 09, 2010, 04:22:44 AM
From what I remember the Druze are considered a Christian Arab people.

Muman, the Druze are indeed Arabs but they are not Christian. They follow some offshoot of Islam. I guess they are considered heretics by "conventional" Muslims.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Druze

Both Druzes and Arab Christians live in upper Galilee and sometimes there are conflicts between them.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Edward on February 10, 2010, 07:48:09 AM
Do you know who is Avigdor Liberman? And if you do, please tell me what you think of him.

Thanks in advance.
Eddie
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: YimachShemotoIslam on February 10, 2010, 03:16:21 PM
Dear Muman, why do Arab Christians call God Allah?

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on February 23, 2010, 10:55:20 AM
Dear Muman, why do Arab Christians call G-d Allah?



Shalom YimachShemotoIslam,

Well this is an interesting question. I just learned the answer a couple of weeks ago here at JTF. I did not accept the answer initially because for the longest time I could not understand what they meant, and my rage at Islam will never cease. I have always believed that Allah was not a name of Hashem because it seems so clear that Islam is a perverted religion and so many ideas they have stand against what Torah teaches. But after I have thought about it in light of how languages developed in the middle east over the centuries it seems that Allah may actually be an arabicized {sp?} version of one of the Hebrew names of G-d.

In Hebrew our name for G-d, the eternal judge and master of nature, is Elokim. This name is often just shortened to El and it is used in the names of Angels, such as Micha-el, Gabri-el, and Raphi-el, and the word Elokim is used for Judges and leaders.

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/638043/jewish/Why-is-Gd-Called-Elokim.htm

I was told that Allah is an arabized version of El {as in Ehl-Ah}.

I do not know if this is the truth but according to my recent investigation this may be the case.

Quote
Question

I understand that the Tetragrammaton is the G‑d's true name. So why is G‑d also referred to in the Torah as "Elokim"? Isn't one name enough?

Response

When Abraham started off, people understood that there is one original G‑d who is the essence of being. This is what we refer to with the four-letter name, the Tetragrammaton, whose code name in Kabbalah is "Havaya." That name can only be written in singular form. In fact, it is basically a conjugation of the verb "to be."

They knew of this concept of Havaya, but they considered it far too lofty an idea, seemingly inaccessible and irrelevant to their lives. Instead, they connected to the many forces of nature. They called these "Elokim"—meaning, "mighty forces."

Abraham came along and said, "You guys got it all wrong. Havaya is Elokim! It's all one! He is the essence of being and He is all the forces of nature in one big package!"

That's why, as the Biblical commentator Baal HaTurim points out, the Hebrew letters in the name Elokim have the same gematria (numerical value) as "haTeva"—which means the natural order.

For more on the relation of these two names of G‑d, see Shaar HaYichud V'ha-Emunah by Rabbi Schneur Zalman of Liadi. You can find that here.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: ✡ Hindu Zionist ॐ on February 23, 2010, 01:21:29 PM
can you explain me what is Tzelem Elokim and the concept of I am that I Am?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on February 24, 2010, 12:44:27 AM
can you explain me what is Tzelem Elokim and the concept of I am that I Am?

Shalom HZ,

You ask some very 'deep' questions of me.  Both of those questions do not have an easy answer.

I also cannot fully explain to you the deeper aspects of those questions because, as I think you are aware, we are not supposed to teach non-Jews the Torah. But I will attempt to give an adequate answer to these very challenging questions.

The definition of the Hebrew words 'Tzelem Elokim' means 'The image of G-d'. Now I realize those words may be confusing because one of the basic tenets of Judaism is the fact that Hashem has no image, no body, nor any corporal existence. If Hashem has no body nor any way of representation in the physical world then what is meant by the image of G-d?

There are two aspects to understand when contemplating this. First is the belief that Hashem breathed life into Adam, the first human being, and as a result man has the spirit of Hashem within him. A man is composed of two, often conflicting, traits. We call these the 'Animal Soul' and the 'Spiritual Soul'. We are a composite of these two elements and thusly we represent Hashems 'image' in the physical world {Olam Hazeh}. Our animal souls are responsible for our baser desires such as eating, having pleasure, breathing and bodily functions, lusts and cravings. All animal life, we believe, contains this animal soul. The animal soul also is the origin of emotions such as anger and hatred, fear and enjoyment, happiness and sadness.

Another interesting aspect is the idea that all of mankind is made in Hashems image, and we are commanded not to destroy Hashems name, one of the main reasons we do not write his proper names on the internet {in case someone should print a copy and destroy or erase the name}. The name 'Elokim' as I stated above is the name of Hashem which represents Nature and Judgment.

This excerpt from the site http://www.neveh.org/ciner/parsha58/yisro.html explains this idea in essence:

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The first five commandments apply to the relationship between man and G-d and the second five commandments apply to the relationship between man and man. The Kli Yakar explains that these groups align with one another. The first commandment aligns with the sixth, the second with the seventh, and so on. The first commandment, "Anochi Hashem Elokecha (20:2)" - I am Hashem your G-d - aligns with "lo sirtzoch" - thou shalt not murder.

"If one spills a person's blood, then his blood must be spilt because in the 'tzelem Elokim' - in the form of Elokim - man was made (Breishis 9:6)." The Mishna in Avos (3:14) teaches that Hashem showed us a special love by informing us that we were created in this 'tzelem Elokim'. When did this occur? When the heavens resonated with the words "Lo sirtzoch!" The value of a human being! A walking 'embodiment' of the Creator Himself! Anochi Hashem! Lo sirtzoch!

This, Rav Sher writes, must guide us in our dealings with ourselves, with others and with Hashem. Hillel took leave from his students explaining that he had to go perform a mitzvah. Their curiosity aroused, they followed him and watched him enter a bath house. Upon leaving the bath house he explained this mitzvah to his students. A statue of the king is constantly cleaned and shined. By doing so they honor their king. We who were created in the 'tzelem Elokim' have an even greater obligation to clean and shine this form. To keep and present ourselves properly. Lo sirtzoch! Don't sell yourself short! Recognize who you are.

When we deal with others we must be cognizant of who we are dealing with. The Talmud (Sanhedrin 58B) states that if one slaps the face of a Yisroel it's like slapping the face of the Shechinah (Divine Presence). The medrash warns us against rationalizing that if you're in an embarrassing situation you can bring others down with you. Know who you are humiliating! In the 'tzelem Elokim' man was made! Lo sirtzoch! Don't step on other's toes! Recognize the value of others.

If we were formed in the 'tzelem Elokim' then we must realize our capacity to be like Him. As He is compassionate, so too we must be compassionate. Our very selves and our actions must reflect this capacity. Lo sirtzoch! Don't murder that essential part of you! Recognize what you can become.

It applies to every moment of our days, to every facet of our lives... lo sirtzoch.

Now the other name which you ask me about is known as the unpronounced name. As it is written in the Torah we do not pronounce it, but use another name which represents Hashems Lordship. You suggest one of the translations which most read as "I am what I am" but I have learned that this translation is imprecise. The Rabbis teach that translation from Hebrew to english is often difficult because Hebrew words have more 'connotation' and 'deeper meanings' than the words mean in English {and they also convey meaning through gematria/numeric representation}. The truer translation is "I am what I will be" which conveys Hashems infinite and eternal nature. Hashem doesn't change with time, he existed before time, he exists always, and he will exist after time ceases to exist.

I will provide a link which explains this as best we can here: http://vbm-torah.org/archive/13/02middot.htm

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The Thirteen Divine Attributes of Mercy
By Rav Ezra Bick
Shiur #2: “Hashem, Hashem”


            In our introductory shiur, we established that underlying the recitation of the thirteen middot rachamim is the concept that the Shekhina’s presence in the world depends upon human recognition of its presence.  Hence, the presence of the Shekhina’s attribute of mercy depends upon the reading of the divine Names of mercy by the servants of G-d.  Chazal have transmitted to us a tradition that there are thirteen attributes of mercy, and that we should read all thirteen and thereby bring about their manifestation in the world.  It thus behooves us to begin trying to understand the precise meaning of each of these attributes.

            The first attribute – or the first divine Name – is that of Havaya (Y-H-V-H), which is known as the Shem Ha-meforash.  The verse that lists the thirteen attributes begins “Hashem, Hashem,” and the Rishonim debate the question of whether we count these two words as two attributes, a single attribute[1], or no attributes.[2]  Our discussion here will follow the position taken by Rabbenu Tam, which is the most commonly accepted view, on the basis of the Gemara’s comment in Masekhet Rosh Ha-shana (17b).  Tosefot present Rabbenu Tam’s view as follows:

Rabbenu Tam says that the first two Names are two attributes, as stated here [in the Gemara], “I am HaShem before one sins, having compassion on him, and I have compassion after one sins if he repents.”  “Hashem” as an attribute of mercy differs from Elokim, which refers to the attribute of justice.

            The Talmudic passage which Rabbenu Tam cites is the direct continuation of Rabbi Yochanan’s comment which we discussed in our previous installment:

This teaches that the Almighty wrapped Himself as a sheli’ach tzibur [leader of the public prayer service] and showed Moshe the prayer service.  He said to him, “Any time Israel sins, they shall perform this service before Me and I shall forgive them.  Hashem, Hashem – I am He before a person sins, and I am He after a person sins and repents.

Tosefot add a brief explanation of the Gemara’s comment, clarifying that the actual name of Havaya signifies the attribute of mercy, as opposed to Elokim, which refers to the attribute of strict justice.

            Clearly, one could have explained the Gemara’s comment to mean that G-d promises to continue showing compassion even after the sin, just as He treats one compassionately before he sins.  “I am G-d – I have not changed.”  Rabbenu Tam, however, understood that the Gemara speaks here of two separate attributes, a reading that leaves us with two questions.  How does the divine Name of Havaya express an ”attribute of mercy,” and, secondly, why does the continued presence of this Name despite a person’s sin constitute a separate attribute, something different from its manifestation prior to sin?  If the persistence of this attribute after sin constitutes an independent attribute, then we should seemingly add a second attribute to all the other middot, as well; thus, for example, G-d is rachum, “compassionate,” before sin and after sin, and so on.  Apparently, the fact that only the attribute of Havaya is repeated led Rabbenu Tam to conclude that specifically with regard to this attribute, its restoration through the performance of teshuva reflects a new, independent attribute, even if it is expressed with the same term.  One Name – but two attributes.  This is true only with regard to the Name of Havaya, and thus our understanding of the difference between the two attributes depends upon how we understand the meaning of the attribute represented by this divine Name.

            The explanation I would like to present here is based upon an article by Rav Yitzchak Hutner zt”l in Pachad Yitzchak (Rosh Ha-shana).

            The simple meaning of the divine Name of Havaya (literally, existence) relates to the notion that G-d gives existence to the entire universe; all of existence comes from Him.  This is true not only in the sense of a historical creation, but also in the sense presented by the Rambam in the beginning of Hilkhot Yesodei Ha-Torah, namely, that the very concept of existence is possible only on the basis of the will and power of G-d.  There is nothing besides Him; there is nothing whose existence is possible without the will of G-d.

            “Olam chesed yibaneh” (“The world is built through kindness” – Tehillim 89:3).  The world’s creation was an act of pure kindness.  What does this mean?  Once the world came into existence, G-d relates to it either with compassion or with judgment.  Once the world exists, once actions were performed and certain situations arose, there is the possibility of judgment in response to that which occurred in the world.  “Judgment” means that which a person deserves – reward or punishment.  G-d acts in response to a situation, and a system of justice dictates that response.  G-d repays each person in accordance with his conduct; a wicked man is repaid with evil.  But before the world’s creation, before any situation arose, there could be no such thing as a justified response, for there was not as yet any situation that could justify anything.  The state of absolute non-existence does not warrant or justify any response.  Hence, the world’s creation cannot be a reward or response that the world deserved due to its prior state, because it had no prior state.

Hashem asked the Jewish people, in last weeks Torah reading, to build a sanctuary and he will dwell amongst us. The Rabbis teach us that the sanctuary he will dwell in is within us, if we make a place for him. May we merit to see Moshiach come and the rebuilding of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Amen
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on February 24, 2010, 01:28:53 AM
This is very interesting stuff about when Hashem told the name to Moses:

http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/419,2107704/Free-to-Be-What-I-Will-Be.html#articlepage
Quote
It is in this sense that Moses' statement - "They will say to me, 'What is His name?'" -should be understood.

However, even if we take this verse literally, and assume that Israel will ask for the name of G-d, not the meaning of the name, this question can still be answered. We can assume that Moses anticipated that Israel will ask the "Exodus name of G-d". Moses anticipated as follows: Israel will say to me, "Aha, so you claim to be the Savior of Israel, who has come to redeem us. If you want us to believe you, first tell us the name of G-d by which He will bring about the Exodus. Surely, if you are the true Savior, you must know this name."

By "name of G-d" Israel meant the "essential order of Exodus". There is a name of G-d related to the order of all G-d's actions, including the order of Exodus. It would surely be appropriate for Moses to know this name of Exodus, if he is the true Savior of Israel.

This interpretation is borne out by the answer that G-d gave to Moses, as it is explained in the first chapter of Tractate Berachot.5 "Eh-yeh Asher Eh-yeh ", [which literally means "I will be what I will be" and is often translated "What will be, will be"]. The Holy One said to Moses, "Say to Israel, I will be with you [to redeem you] in this subjugation (corresponding to the first), and I will be with you in the subjugation of the future (corresponding to the name 'Asher Eh-yeh').

Said Moses: "Master of the world, it is enough to mention one trouble at a time. Said the Holy One: "You are right. Say to Israel, 'Eh-yeh has sent me to you'."

We thus see that we are not here concerned with finding out the regular name of G-d - everybody knew that name. Rather we are concerned with the special name of Exodus - which he used to redeem Israel out of their subjugation. This special name was not known to them.

Eh-yeh is the name of Exodus for the following reason: Eh-yeh means ultimate and total existence. Any existent being can say with certainty "I am", and "I was". However, except for G-d, no existent being can say with certainty, "I will be".

"Eh-yeh", meaning "I will be", thus means total existence, which transcends the partial existence of all other beings. Furthermore, since the name Eh-yeh is in the first person ("I will be" rather than "He will be") it means "I will be known to you as the One who exists totally, for I will convey existence to you also." Hence, the name Eh-yeh contains the order of Exodus, that is, "removing you from a nonexistent state, and granting you true and independent existence."

However, in addition to the name Eh-yeh, the name Havayah is also a name of Exodus, as the verse states: "I will be [in Hebrew, "Eh-yeh") what I will be (Asher Eheyeh), so say to the children of Israel, Eh-yeh has sent me to you."

G-d said further to Moses, So say to the children of Israel, Havayah the G-d of your fathers, the G-d of Abraham, the G-d of Isaac and the G-d of Jacob, has sent me to you, this is My name forever, and this is My memorial from generation to generation.6
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: YimachShemotoIslam on February 24, 2010, 03:25:14 PM
This is very interesting stuff about when Hashem told the name to Moses:

http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/419,2107704/Free-to-Be-What-I-Will-Be.html#articlepage
Quote
It is in this sense that Moses' statement - "They will say to me, 'What is His name?'" -should be understood.

However, even if we take this verse literally, and assume that Israel will ask for the name of G-d, not the meaning of the name, this question can still be answered. We can assume that Moses anticipated that Israel will ask the "Exodus name of G-d". Moses anticipated as follows: Israel will say to me, "Aha, so you claim to be the Savior of Israel, who has come to redeem us. If you want us to believe you, first tell us the name of G-d by which He will bring about the Exodus. Surely, if you are the true Savior, you must know this name."

By "name of G-d" Israel meant the "essential order of Exodus". There is a name of G-d related to the order of all G-d's actions, including the order of Exodus. It would surely be appropriate for Moses to know this name of Exodus, if he is the true Savior of Israel.

This interpretation is borne out by the answer that G-d gave to Moses, as it is explained in the first chapter of Tractate Berachot.5 "Eh-yeh Asher Eh-yeh ", [which literally means "I will be what I will be" and is often translated "What will be, will be"]. The Holy One said to Moses, "Say to Israel, I will be with you [to redeem you] in this subjugation (corresponding to the first), and I will be with you in the subjugation of the future (corresponding to the name 'Asher Eh-yeh').

Said Moses: "Master of the world, it is enough to mention one trouble at a time. Said the Holy One: "You are right. Say to Israel, 'Eh-yeh has sent me to you'."

We thus see that we are not here concerned with finding out the regular name of G-d - everybody knew that name. Rather we are concerned with the special name of Exodus - which he used to redeem Israel out of their subjugation. This special name was not known to them.

Eh-yeh is the name of Exodus for the following reason: Eh-yeh means ultimate and total existence. Any existent being can say with certainty "I am", and "I was". However, except for G-d, no existent being can say with certainty, "I will be".

"Eh-yeh", meaning "I will be", thus means total existence, which transcends the partial existence of all other beings. Furthermore, since the name Eh-yeh is in the first person ("I will be" rather than "He will be") it means "I will be known to you as the One who exists totally, for I will convey existence to you also." Hence, the name Eh-yeh contains the order of Exodus, that is, "removing you from a nonexistent state, and granting you true and independent existence."

However, in addition to the name Eh-yeh, the name Havayah is also a name of Exodus, as the verse states: "I will be [in Hebrew, "Eh-yeh") what I will be (Asher Eheyeh), so say to the children of Israel, Eh-yeh has sent me to you."

G-d said further to Moses, So say to the children of Israel, Havayah the G-d of your fathers, the G-d of Abraham, the G-d of Isaac and the G-d of Jacob, has sent me to you, this is My name forever, and this is My memorial from generation to generation.6

Dear Muman, if you wanted to live in Israel, where would you live?

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on February 24, 2010, 03:56:52 PM
<snip>

Dear Muman, if you wanted to live in Israel, where would you live?


Shalom YemachShemotoIslam,

I have my heart set on settling in Tzfat one of these days. It is a north Israel city which has a lot of history with the Chassidic and Kabbalistic Jews. It also has a vibrant artist and musician scene and I hear that it is very nice there...

http://ilovetorah.com/safed.htm
http://ilovetorah.com/tzaddikim.htm
http://ilovetorah.com/views.htm
http://ilovetorah.com/breslov/tsfat/
http://www.nachalnovea.com/KiryatBreslev/Shul/shul.htm
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: YimachShemotoIslam on February 24, 2010, 07:12:59 PM
Dear Muman, will there be a third war in Lebanon?

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on February 24, 2010, 07:24:03 PM
Dear Muman, will there be a third war in Lebanon?


I am not a prophet and I cannot foretell the future... But if I were a betting man I would think that the odds are pretty good that there will be another conflict with Lebanon.

Apparently my favorite city, Tzfat, was the target of 1000s of missiles from Lebanon... Read this story from Aish.com: http://www.aish.com/jw/id/48924907.html

Quote
What kind of damage would you expect from 3,870 missiles?
Excerpted from "The Miracles of the Lebanon War" by Miyanei Hayeshua.

Attack on Tzfat

The first burst of missiles on Tzfat fell in the commercial center of the city, hitting the Tzalil Center which has many stories and offices. It was 2:40 in the afternoon, an hour when the city is teeming with people.

Although other towns along the border had been previously shot at, Tzfat residents didn't believe missiles could reach them. Tzfat had been outside of range for many years. Then, without any prior warning, missiles fell in the heart of the commercial center.

Missiles usually blow up when they hit something hard. Their immense speed results in the explosion and momentum forcing the missile's propelling charge into a hole created by the explosion. For instance, when it hits a house, the missile's entire destructive charge penetrates the house and explodes into thousands of pieces.

In the first attack on Tzfat, the first missile fell on the roof of a shopping mall, making a direct hit on the large air conditioning unit positioned there. It was a relatively new building and the air conditioner set up on the roof was a huge device made of metal and tin. It was hard enough to cause the missile to explode. It shattered the air conditioner with ear-piercing noise. But not one person was injured.

A Tzfat resident relates: "We knew that a war was going on and we knew that terrorists had shot missiles on the army base in Meron the night before. Despite this, we didn't believe that missiles could fall on Tzfat. Even when we heard the first missile falling, it still didn't register. Add to this the fact that during the first time it fell, you are standing helplessly. You can't stop the missiles, you don't know what to do, where to flee, which place is protected and what else! Can a missile pulverize an entire building? Perhaps you should flee the building? Maybe you should hide inside it instead? Maybe you should go down to the shelter? Where is it? Does this building even have a shelter? These were the questions that reeled through the minds of each one of us. We understood only too soon that the next missiles might wound us, only that this realization couldn't keep up with the speed of the missiles that fell one after the other, hitting Tzfat 's commercial center time and again."

Seconds later the second missile made another direct hit on the roof of a building filled with visitors... but didn't penetrate.

I met Yaakov Shitreet, the engineer who had built the shopping mall, a few days later. I praised him for the roof he had cast for the building which was strong enough to withstand the powerful concussion of the missile.

He stared at me, laughed, and said I was making a serious mistake. This roof was made of plain blocks and bricks, but it had one strong beam in it. Because it had to support the entire ceiling, the beam was made particularly durable with reinforced cement and iron reinforcements.

The missile had hit the beam and couldn't penetrate. Its fragments scattered all around and shattered the windows of the building, but didn't cause any loss in life.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: YimachShemotoIslam on February 25, 2010, 06:56:20 AM
Dear Muman, who do some people compare blacks to apes?

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: ✡ Hindu Zionist ॐ on February 26, 2010, 06:45:37 AM
can you explain me what is Tzelem Elokim and the concept of I am that I Am?

Shalom HZ,

You ask some very 'deep' questions of me.  Both of those questions do not have an easy answer.

Hashem asked the Jewish people, in last weeks Torah reading, to build a sanctuary and he will dwell amongst us. The Rabbis teach us that the sanctuary he will dwell in is within us, if we make a place for him. May we merit to see Moshiach come and the rebuilding of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem.

Amen
thanks for the insightful information. It took me couple of days to understand the concept. The vasteness of the sea of knowledge will take time to understand for us mortals living in eastern world  :)
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Irish Zionist on March 17, 2010, 06:29:13 AM
Muman can you explain these versus:
From TEHILLIM (The Book Of Psalms)

Psalm 2   
8. Ask of me, and I will give thee the Gentiles for thy inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession.

Now by my understanding G-d is giving the Gentiles most of the earth for ther possession.

9. Thou shall rule them with a rod of iron and shalt break them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

I have no idea what this means and hope that you can explain.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on March 17, 2010, 07:46:04 PM
Muman can you explain these versus:
From TEHILLIM (The Book Of Psalms)

Psalm 2   
8. Ask of me, and I will give thee the Gentiles for thy inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession.

Now by my understanding G-d is giving the Gentiles most of the earth for ther possession.

9. Thou shall rule them with a rod of iron and shalt break them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

I have no idea what this means and hope that you can explain.


This is very interesting...

Obviously there are some translation issues in the translation you give. Chabad has these lines translated as follows:

8. Request of Me, and I will make nations your inheritance, and the ends of the earth your possession.
9. You shall break them with an iron rod; like a potter's vessel you shall shatter them.

I dont think the word Goyim means gentiles in this context. The word Goyim is translated as Nations {which is the correct translation}.

I believe what this Psalm is saying is that if the Jewish people pray earnestly to Hashem that he will hear our prayers and deliver the enemies of the Jewish people, the nations which have risen against it, into our hands.

http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/16223/showrashi/true

Rashis comments:

Quote
8. Request of Me, and I will make nations your inheritance, and the ends of the earth your possession.         ח.
Request of Me: Pray to Me whenever you come to battle your enemies.
9. You shall break them with an iron rod; like a potter's vessel you shall shatter them."         ט.
You shall break them: Heb. תרעם [like] תרוצצם.         :
with an iron rod: That is the sword.         :
you shall shatter them: Heb. תנפצם, you shall break them, and that is the expression of נפוץ throughout the Scriptures, a potsherd that is bro ken into fine pieces.

I will continue to research this question because there is possibly more to discuss about this.

http://www.sichosinenglish.org/books/bar-mitzvah/02.htm
Quote
A Day To Make A Request
The Talmud[43] relates that King David died on the festival of Shavuos. The books Tvuos Shor and Binyan Ariel state that since "the A-lmighty completes the days of the righteous exactly, from day to day" - for we find that many righteous people died on the very day that they were born - it follows that Shavuos is also the birthday of King David.

On the verse in Tehillim 2:7, "You are My son, I have begotten you this day", the Zohar[44] comments that this is the verse King David composed on the day of his Bar Mitzvah.[45]

In addition to that which at the Bris Milah the Nefesh Elokis entered the body, as the Alter Rebbe states in the beginning of his Shulchan Aruch, that is only the level of nefesh, ruach and neshamah. Thereafter, however, if one's mode of service is correct and as it should be, at the moment of Bar Mitzvah there is also drawn down the level of Atzilus.

This is the reason why Rabbi Shimon made a feast and simchah when Rabbi Elazar his son became Bar Mitzvah, a simchah similar to that of a wedding.

Since, as stated above, Shavuos is King David's birthday, it follows that the Bar Mitzvah of King David was also on Shavuos and the verse, "You are My son etc.," was spoken on Shavuos.

Since King David wrote this verse in Tehillim, a book read by every Jew, each according to his level (and particularly following the directive of my father-in-law the Previous Rebbe that one should recite the Book of Tehillim as it is divided into the days of the month - and this institution is applicable to all - and even those who recite the Tehillim in a different order should also recite them as they are divided monthly - and in fact this mode of reciting Tehillim is becoming more and more widespread), it therefore follows that all the things that King David said in Tehillim for Knesses Yisrael are openly revealed to each Jew according to his level, including this verse and its contents, "You are My son, I have begotten you this day, Only ask it of Me and I will make nations your inheritance, and the ends of the earth your possession."

The sense of the verse is: what we will ask from G-d He will fulfill - each Jew his heart's requests.[46]
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on March 17, 2010, 07:53:29 PM
More about Psalm 2 which appears to have been misinterpreted by the Christians:

http://www.oztorah.com/2010/02/david-kimchis-response-to-christianity-in-his-psalm-commentary/


...

The Hebrew text of Psalm 2, with a translation by myself, accompanies this paper. There are many problems in the text, including the relationship of Psalm 2 to Psalm 1, but we will not be examining those matters which do not appear germane to Kimchi’s anti-Christian polemics. We do, however, need to ascertain the context of the psalm.

The overall theme of the psalm is the struggle of a Divinely-appointed king to establish his authority against hostile rulers. The Hebrew calls the king’s opponents goyyim and le’umim, “nations” and “peoples” – led by melachim and roz’nim, “kings” and “princes”. One possibility is that this points to a historical event in which tribes or regimes seek to overthrow an actual king, probably David, at the beginning of his reign (see Psalm 89:21-38; II Sam. 5:17 depicts the Philistines opposing David’s assumption of the throne). Others see it as a prophecy of the problems the future Messiah will have in establishing himself. Both approaches are found in Jewish commentary, though Rashi rejects the messianic theory, saying, “Our rabbis expound it as relating to King Messiah, but according to the plain meaning it is proper to interpret it in connection with David”. Some writers see the psalm as a combination of the historical and the messianic.

A third possibility is that the psalm reflects an internal Jewish struggle between a righteous king appointed by G-d and a group of nobles whose interests are under threat. Samuel Daiches says that “no foreign nations and no foreign kings are mentioned in it. Psalm 2 is… entirely Jewish, that is, it deals only with the land and the people of the Psalmist” (Studies in the Psalms, 1930, page 38).

In considering the third theory, we need not be too concerned by words like kings and princes, since ancient modes of speech use monarchical terms for people of power and substance, e.g. Kohelet 1:1, where “king in Jerusalem” may be merely a substantial land-owner.

Similarly, goyim in verse 1 need not be “nations” but can be haughty, prominent men (cf. Psalm 7:9-10, though verses 8-9 present a problem in this respect); eretz in verse 2 need not be “the earth” but can denote “the land”, i.e. the land of Israel. The reference to world domination need not be taken literally; Gunkel (Die Psalmen, 1905) says the terminology comes from the king-talk of the ancient empires. Note that many other psalms also echo internal tension between the righteous and their opponents.

Kimchi adopts the historical theory: “Some interpret this psalm of Gog and Magog” (who wage war against the Messiah) “but the better explanation is that David uttered it concerning himself… He composed and recited this psalm at the beginning of his reign, when the nations gathered against him”. Whilst Kimchi admits that the messianic theory has support, the introduction to the book warns against regarding the psalms as prophecies. They manifest the Holy Spirit, but this differs from prophecy. Even if the psalm is messianic, Kimchi indignantly refutes the possibility that it can refer to Jesus.

In handling christological interpretations, his responses appear conventional, but we have the advantage of hindsight after many centuries in which the claims he rejects became the stock-in-trade of the conversionists whose tracts tended to be full of quotations and short on scholarship. The following are the christological issues he deals with in interpreting Psalm 2, followed by a selection of additional topics dealt with in other psalms.

Psalm 2 (translation by Raymond Apple)

1. Why do the powerful rage,
The nobles utter worthless rants?

2. The princes of the land set themselves up,
The rulers conspire together
Against the Lord and His anointed.

3. (Saying,) “Let us snap their cords
And throw off their ropes from upon us!”

4. He who sits in heaven laughs –
The Lord mocks them.

5. Then He rebukes them in His anger,
He frightens them in His wrath:

6. “It is I who established My king
On Zion, My holy mountain!”

7. I relate the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are My son:
This day I have given birth to you.

8. “Ask it of Me,
And I will make the peoples your inheritance,
The ends of the earth your possession.

9. “You shall break them with a rod of iron,
You shall shatter them like an earthern pot.”

10. Now, O princes, be sensible –
Be chastised, O judges of the land.

11. Serve the Lord with awe,
Rejoice with trembling.

12. Worship (Him) in purity,
Lest He be angry, and you perish in the way
When His anger flares up in a moment -

Happy are they who take refuge in Him!

Christological issues

1. G-d has appointed a king and calls him “My son” (verse 7). Kimchi says no-one can literally be G-d’s son. Metaphorically, whoever serves G-d is His son. Israel are called G-d’s son (Exodus 4:22). Even the stars are called sons of G-d (Job 38:7).

2. The king is begotten of G-d (verse 7). Again this cannot be true literally. G-d is not flesh and blood. “Begotten” is a metaphor and means appointed or anointed.

3. G-d says, “Ask of Me and I will give the nations for your inheritance” (verse 8). If Jesus is G-d, how can he ask anything of G-d? And if G-d gives the son power, does this not reduce the Almighty’s own power?

4. G-d intends the king to have power over the world (verse 8). If it means earthly power it cannot apply to Jesus since he was not a political figure. If it means spiritual power, even centuries after his death not all peoples accept him.

5. Even if nash’ku bar (verse 12) means “kiss the son”, the most it indicates is “pay homage (as a servant kisses his master’s hand) to the chosen one (the king)”. Bar can mean to choose, as in I Samuel 17:8. The usual word for son is ben (as in verse 7). Bar is son in Aramaic but the only Biblical instance is Proverbs 31:2. A better translation is “Pay homage in purity”, since bar is pure or clear in other places in the Psalms (e.g. 24:4, 73:1). In any case the verse tells us to worship G-d, not the son, whoever he may be.

...
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on March 17, 2010, 08:13:23 PM
Also there appears to be confusion in this Psalm where Christian translations include this line

12. Arm yourselves with purity lest He become angry and you perish in the way, for in a moment His wrath will be kindled; the praises of all who take refuge in Him.

The mistranslation is "Kiss the son"...


http://www.messiahtruth.com/psal2.html
Quote


The verse Psalms 2:12 is a significant item in the portfolio of Christian apologists and missionaries.  The rendition of the Hebrew phrase  (nashqu var), which means do homage in purity, as Kiss the Son by Christian translators is designed to line up this psalm by King David with Christian theology and messianic paradigm.

The analysis presented in this essay will demonstrate how this so-called "proof text" has been fashioned with a manipulation of Hebrew text from the Hebrew Bible that aims to "retrofit" Christianity into it.  When the Psalm is read in the Hebrew text, or in an accurate translation thereof, the true and entirely different perspective unfolds.

Excepting two revisions from the Hebrew, one obvious and the other subtle, the two translations are reasonably consistent.  The obvious revision occurs at Psalms 2:12, where the two translations disagree on the opening phrase, and where the Christian rendition imputes a heavy dose of Christology into the context of King David's words.  The subtle change is at Psalms 2:7, where the KJV translators have replaced the term "son" with "Son", an action that enhances the Christological appeal of this psalm ("Son" is also used as part of the revision in Psalms 2:12).  In addition, tenses of some verbs were changed, but these do not have a serious impact the context. 
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: YimachShemotoIslam on March 19, 2010, 07:04:22 AM
Dear Muman, have you ever eaten hummus or falafel?

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on March 19, 2010, 03:20:53 PM
Dear Muman, have you ever eaten hummus or falafel?



Thats a question?

Of course I have... Everyone I know tries to get me to eat their hummus... I am not the biggest hummus fan but I have it on occasion. I also have had Falafel on occasion also. I do not have these foods regularly though.

I suspect it may be because I am Ahskenazic in heritage and these foods are more Sephardic {I think}... I am more inclined to eat Gefilte Fish and Cholent...

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: YimachShemotoIslam on March 21, 2010, 09:41:28 AM
Dear Muman, can you explain to me exactly what a dhimmi is?

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on March 21, 2010, 12:29:38 PM
Dear Muman, can you explain to me exactly what a dhimmi is?



Well, YemachShemo, Dhimmi is the arabic word which describes a legal class for non-believers in the cult of Islam. Both Jews and Christians were allowed to live, as second class citizens albeit, instead of being killed for not converting. As a second class citizen the dhimmi had to wear distinctive clothing or else be beaten or killed. The dhimmi has no legal rights against a muslim and must always give deference to a muslim over a co-religionist. Dhmmitude is an evil system which is inherently unfair to the dhimmi. Dhimmis have slightly better treatment than animals.

Here is a review of a book on the Dhimmi:



http://www.jewishmag.com/57mag/dhimmi/dhimmi.htm

Dhimmi
Reviewed by Aviv Goldstein

The Dhimmi is the Arabic term that refers to its non-Islamic embracing population that has the ignominious dishonor of living in Islamic conquered lands. In a similar manner to the Jewish reference to a non-Jew as being a goy, so too the term dhimmi refers to non-Muslims. However unlike the Jewish term, goy, and much more important, the dhimmi is a distinctly subjugated second class non-citizen almost slave who is subjected to dictatorial deprivation of any legal and human rights since he is a non-Muslim permanent resident in a Muslim state.

Dhimmi is also the name of a book written by Bat Ye'or, a pseudonym, of a woman who grew up in Egypt as a British citizen and observed first hand the Islamic treatment of non-Muslims. Based on serious research, Dhimmi was first published in French in 1971, translated into English in 1985, later into Hebrew and Russian, Dhimmi is a must reading for anyone seriously desiring an understanding of Middle-East politics and the rationale of the Arab mentality.

The first part of the book describes the state of affairs of the dhimmi, the basis and development for dhimmitude in Islam, and the relationship of the jihad, the war to conquer territory for Islam to the status of dhimmi.

Throughout earliest Islamic history, the conquered peoples by advancing Muslim armies were given the choice of either converting, being killed, or living as a conquered people, a dhimmi. These subjugated people were suspended in time and space, for dhimmitude meant being barely tolerated in your dispossessed land.

Both Jews and Christians alike suffered the ignominious life of having their fate decided upon the whim of despotic rulers. Although a legal definition of the dhimmi exists, that they must pay various taxes and tolls, that they must live a second class life and give deference to their Muslim neighbors, much of their tragic existence depended on the whims of despotic rulers and frenzied Arab mobs who denied them even the little that was given to them through Islamic law.

In 622 CE when Muhammad began his systematic conquering of pagan Arab populations and territories in the Arab desserts and peninsulas, he set up a precedent of conversion, death or servitude. Mixing war and religion, he utilized and abrogated relationships with non-Muslims to gain political and eventual territorial gains. A shrewd politician, Muhammad took advantage of non-belligerency pacts to attack and subjugate populations. In 628, after a long siege of Khaybar, lasting a month and a half, the inhabitants surrendered under terms of a treaty known as the dhimma. According to this agreement Muhammad allowed the Jews living there to continue to cultivate the land on the condition that they cede to him half of their produce, but he reserved the right to cancel the agreement and expel them whenever he desired. This became the prototype of all future subjugations. Hence making agreements and then breaking them to gain political gains became a hallmark of Muslim armies.

As the Muslims grew more powerful, their holy wars spread out beyond Arabia. The jihad became a war of conquest subject to a code which was the elimination of infidels. Truces were allowed, but never a lasting peace.

The jihad became a concept that divided the world into two separate groups. One was the dar al harab, the territory of war, and the other was the dar al Islam, the territory of Islam, which was the Muslim land where Islamic law reigns. Jihad is a normal state of being in the dar al harab which will only end with the conversion of the entire world to Islam.

The concept of jihad was simple - conquering the world for the true religion, Islam, translated into forced conversions, killings, taking slaves, seizing properties. This method enriched the perpetrators of the jihad, paid for their armies and brought wealth to the Arab nations. Participation in jihad was obligatory, either by participation or by aiding in one of many manners.

The manner in which the rules of dhimmitude were applied varied according to the political circumstances and the disposition of the ruler. There were periods of tolerance which gave a small degree of security to the dhimmis. However the fanaticism which could be riled up by the clergy could change the situation in small time. If the local Muslim population became intolerant or jealous of the successes of the dhimmi, then a pogrom would ensue. Communities could find themselves evicted, women raped, exorbitant ransoms placed on them, children abducted and forced to convert, and in other cases mass murders of the dhimmi population was condoned.

Rules would be formulated to deny the dhimmi due process of the law. Discriminatory and restrictive dress and behavior codes would be enacted and severely enforced to reduce the dhimmi into a state of despair and poverty. Dehumanization of the dhimmi was not uncommon, and generally the rule. Various forms of physical abuse were common.

Many times distinctive dress was specified to identify a dhimmi that he would be unable to either mix with a Muslim or even walk in a Muslim area of a city. Other rules specified such demeaning dress codes as not wearing shoes or sandals, not using certain colors, wearing stars on their clothing. Dhimmis were often prohibited from working in many occupations. Even rules were made as to how a dhimmi could ride a mule to distinguish him from a Muslim.

The non-observance of these rules would entail a severe beating. Often passing a Muslim on the wrong side would begin a beating that could leave a dhimmi mortally wounded. Since the dhimmis were denied the ability to testify against a Muslim, there was absolutely no recourse

---------------------

The book is rich in sources both from Islam, from the communities subjected to dhimmitude, and from third party observations of the predicament that the restricted communities were subjected to. The author spent much time on research and documentation to produce a substantial look at the true face of Islam through the centuries in their relationship to other peoples living among them. The message is clear that Islam is not a tolerant religion; it fosters and condones belligerent and aggressive actions towards those people who choose not to embrace Islam.

This book is backed with much documentation of various dhimmi communities from all areas of Muslim rule. Included in the book are speeches of various influential Arabs, texts from various middle-age sources and reports taken from British consuls through out centuries from archives testifying to the conditions of the dhimmi communities.

Included in the book are rare pictures and photographs depicting the dhimmi and his community.

Dhimmi is easy reading and perhaps the most needed reading for the serious student of Middle Eastern politics in our time. The Dhimmi is published by Associated University Presses, 440 Forsgate Drive, Cranbury, New Jersey 08512. It can be ordered via the net, local bookstores, and should be in your local public library.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Irish Zionist on March 21, 2010, 03:32:57 PM
Muman I still do not understand what it means? Is their anywhere specific because it's very confusing.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: angryChineseKahanist on March 23, 2010, 12:54:24 PM


What is Muman and how does it relate to 613?

And what are you wearing?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on March 23, 2010, 05:29:32 PM


What is Muman and how does it relate to 613?

And what are you wearing?


I think your questions are getting funny...

MUMAN is a concatenation of my first initial and my last name... 613 is the # of commandments a Jew is supposed to observe in the Torah...

There is a connection between my name and the 613... The nicname muman613 is the connection of my internet identity and the commandments which I cherish.

What am I wearing? Well nothing out of the ordinary. I work in a high-technology office in Silicon Valley and I dress professionally... But I am distinguished in my environment... I proudly wear a Baseball cap which covers my kippah and often I wear my tzit-tzits {fringes} dangling out of my pants {sometimes I tuck them in when going to the lunchroom}.

(http://www.israeltoday.co.il/Portals/0/062006jewlexzizit.jpg)
Tzit-Tzits

PS: IZ I have not forgotten your question. I have not had time to do more research into that question. I hopefully, bizras Hashem, will address that question next week {after the 1st two days of the Holiday}.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Christian Zionist on March 23, 2010, 09:34:12 PM
Shalom Muman!

How do Jews observe tithing today?  What does Talmud say about tithing?  In the Tanach it seems there are 3 different types of tithing.

1. The tithing that should go to the Levites, 2. The Levites giving 10% of a 10% to the Priests and 3.  Deuteronomy 14:23 - festival tithe.  Am I correct?

Also it is my understanding that tithes were only food, agricultural products and cattle.  Ancient Jews never tithed money (carpenters, teachers, plumbers, soldiers etc. did not tithe).

Can you please explain?

Thanks!

CZ
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: angryChineseKahanist on March 24, 2010, 08:00:20 AM

what are ths 613 commandments and how do you memorise them?


Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: angryChineseKahanist on March 24, 2010, 08:06:23 AM
Which tech firm do you work for? Google? Microsoft?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on March 24, 2010, 10:21:51 AM
Which tech firm do you work for? Google? Microsoft?


I will not answer this fully because JTF has enemies and people may try to look for me if I give too much information...

I work about four blocks from Ciscos main campus in Silicon Valley... Google is not very far away either {I think within 5 miles}. My companies office is located amongst many well-known firms including Creative Labs, LSI, and others...

Also about 12 years ago I had an interview at Microsoft in Seattle and came very close to working for them... Those who know me know I am not a big fan of MS Windows {Ive been using Linux exclusively for almost 10 years now}.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Ron Ben Michael on March 24, 2010, 10:39:24 AM
What is worse Tom and Jerry and Courage the cowardly dog?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: angryChineseKahanist on March 24, 2010, 03:32:31 PM
Which tech firm do you work for? Google? Microsoft?


I will not answer this fully because JTF has enemies and people may try to look for me if I give too much information...

I work about four blocks from Ciscos main campus in Silicon Valley... Google is not very far away either {I think within 5 miles}. My companies office is located amongst many well-known firms including Creative Labs, LSI, and others...

Also about 12 years ago I had an interview at Microsoft in Seattle and came very close to working for them... Those who know me know I am not a big fan of MS Windows {Ive been using Linux exclusively for almost 10 years now}.




You don't have any enemies. You don't fight with anyone.

What do you do at your job?

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: YimachShemotoIslam on March 26, 2010, 04:46:43 PM
Dear Muman, can you explain why so many blacks want to name themselves after Arabic names I.E. Jamal, Kareem, Ali. etc?

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Sveta on April 13, 2010, 01:23:44 AM
Hmm linux is like the dark side to me. Plus I'm into pc gaming so I need to be hooked on Windows.
Well I have a question...what do you think about Thanksgiving for Jews?
I don't celebrate it personally but I have family and friends who do. I am never rude about them celebrating it, other than me saying how I don't understand that "holiday" or why they would want to. Honestly, I don't get it. I don't celebrate it personally because I see it as a gentile made day and to me every day is a day of thanksgiving to HaShem. Then it seems like some secular commercial day, and I don't get the appeal of sitting around a turkey and pie once a year to be thankful IF people really are thankful anyways. I have some friends who celebrate it (ok more like family) and when they do all they do is sit down and eat, not ever a word of "thanks". To me this is an awful day. All I do is just like xmas I go online, go out walking. I understand that American culture is attached to these "holidays" but to me they are not MY holidays! My holidays are Purim, Chanukah, Yom Kippur etc..

Then when people see that I don't care about things like thanksgiving (or the 4th of July etc) they act offended but ESPECIALLY for refusing to care about Thanksgiving. Everyone makes such a big deal out of it! They even act angered saying who am I to tell them if they are allowed to celebrate it. Well GO celebrate it all you want, I don't believe in it! (Ok I'm ranting now!)

My question...am I doing something wrong? When I see people celebrating it, I don't become arrogant or mean or bully them about it, I leave them alone. If they ask me I'll say that I don't agree with it. If they ask me to join I'm be polite but say I personally don't do it. Also do YOU celebrate thanksgiving yourself?
I honestly can never see myself celebrating this day, it's like a total farce to me.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on April 13, 2010, 02:10:34 AM
Hmm linux is like the dark side to me. Plus I'm into pc gaming so I need to be hooked on Windows.
Well I have a question...what do you think about Thanksgiving for Jews?
I don't celebrate it personally but I have family and friends who do. I am never rude about them celebrating it, other than me saying how I don't understand that "holiday" or why they would want to. Honestly, I don't get it. I don't celebrate it personally because I see it as a gentile made day and to me every day is a day of thanksgiving to HaShem. Then it seems like some secular commercial day, and I don't get the appeal of sitting around a turkey and pie once a year to be thankful IF people really are thankful anyways. I have some friends who celebrate it (ok more like family) and when they do all they do is sit down and eat, not ever a word of "thanks". To me this is an awful day. All I do is just like xmas I go online, go out walking. I understand that American culture is attached to these "holidays" but to me they are not MY holidays! My holidays are Purim, Chanukah, Yom Kippur etc..

Then when people see that I don't care about things like thanksgiving (or the 4th of July etc) they act offended but ESPECIALLY for refusing to care about Thanksgiving. Everyone makes such a big deal out of it! They even act angered saying who am I to tell them if they are allowed to celebrate it. Well GO celebrate it all you want, I don't believe in it! (Ok I'm ranting now!)

My question...am I doing something wrong? When I see people celebrating it, I don't become arrogant or mean or bully them about it, I leave them alone. If they ask me I'll say that I don't agree with it. If they ask me to join I'm be polite but say I personally don't do it. Also do YOU celebrate thanksgiving yourself?
I honestly can never see myself celebrating this day, it's like a total farce to me.

Shalom Zionist YY,

It sounds like you have the same issue which happened last Valentines day when my mother asked me if I did anything special for Valentines day. I told her that I did not celebrate secular {and especially days which have other religious connotations} holidays.

I will have a Turkey on Thanksgiving but without the entire Thanksgiving ritual. I have posted in some thread last year about the Jewish outlook on these holidays and whether there is a prohibition from taking part in celebrations which have religious connotations for other religions. Torah is clear that a Jew should not engage in the ways of the nations.

My mother sometimes takes it like I am trying to say that those who do so are doing something wrong. I do feel that a Jew should not become too involved in the rituals of the exile since we will become trapped by some of these customs. I have heard that some familys have problems for years because they will actually miss the Christmas season {although some scoundrels I have heard are trying to bring American Christmas to Israel}.

I will not long for any secular holidays once Moshiach comes... I only observe the Jewish yom tovim.

PS: A Jew should make every day Thanksgiving. When we say the blessings over the Bread before the meal, the blessings on the hand washing, and the blessings after the meal we make every day a day of giving thanks to Hashem...


See this article for an indepth discussion of "Is Thanksgiving Kosher?" @ http://www.tfdixie.com/special/thanksg.htm

Quote
A Halachic Analysis of Thanksgiving

Having reviewed the history of Thanksgiving, it is now necessary to turn to the question of halachic issues involved in its "celebration". The first, and most significant issue, is whether it is permissible to eat a Thanksgiving meal, with the classical foods that American tradition indicates one should eat at this meal: turkey (15) and cranberry sauce. Among the authorities of the previous generation, three different positions have been taken on this topic, and these three positions have each been accepted by various halachic authorities of the current generation.

However, before these three positions can be understood, a certain background into the nature of the prohibition to imitate Gentile customs must be understood. (16) Tosafot understands that two distinctly different types of customs are forbidden by the prohibition of imitating Gentile customs found in Leviticus 18:3. The first is idolatrous customs and the second is foolish customs found in the Gentile community, even if their origins are not idolatrous. (17) Rabbenu Nissim and Maharik disagree and rule that only customs that have a basis in idolatrous practices are prohibited. Apparently foolish -- but secular -- customs are permissible so long as they have a reasonable explanation (and are not immodest). (18) Normative halacha follows the ruling of the Ran and Maharik. As noted by Rama:

    * Those practices done as a [Gentile] custom or law with no reason one suspects that it in an idolatrous practice or that there is a taint of idolatrous origins; however, those customs which are practiced for a reason, such as the physician who wears a special garment to identify him as a doctor, can be done; the same is true for any custom done out of honor or any other reason is permissible. (19)

As will be seen later, there are authorities who favor being strict for the opinion of the Gra, who rules that the only time "secular" customs are permissible is when they have a Jewish origin. (20) According to this approach, secular customs created by Gentiles are prohibited even when their origins are not religious.

Additionally -- and independent of the halachic obligation to avoid Gentile religious customs -- Jewish law forbids a Jew from actually celebrating idolatrous religious events himself. Thus, a Jew may not attend an idolatrous "Indian" (21) office party or directly facilitate its observance. (22) So too, a Jew may not attend a birthday party for an idol worshipper if the birthday party includes worship of idols. (23)
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Sveta on April 26, 2010, 10:41:43 PM
Thank you so much for your help Muman!
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: ✡ Hindu Zionist ॐ on June 25, 2010, 01:13:39 PM
can you pls tell me what is this?

(http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/995/tefillinwornbyamanatthe.jpg)
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on June 25, 2010, 01:42:30 PM
can you pls tell me what is this?

(http://img824.imageshack.us/img824/995/tefillinwornbyamanatthe.jpg)

Shalom HZ,

You have posted a picture of a Jew donning Tefillin. Tefillin is one of the commandments of the Torah which an observant Jew is to obey.

The commandment of Tefillin comes from the verse "And you shall bind them as a sign on your arm, and they shall be as frontlets on your head between your eyes" (Deuteronomy 6:8).

Tefillin are ritual objects which consist of two black leather boxes with leather straps which a Jew will bind to his head and his arm during the process of praying. The Oral law has many halachos concerning the making of the leather boxes.

Each box also contains a parchment which contains the sections of the Torah which describe this mitzvah. This scroll contains portions of the Shema which outline the mitzvahs of Tefillin, Tzit-Tzits, and Mezuzah...

Here is some more information:

http://www.beingjewish.com/mitzvos/tefillin.html

Quote
The Torah tells us "And you shall bind them as a sign on your arm, and they shall be as frontlets on your head between your eyes" (Deuteronomy 6:8). This is the Mitzvah of Tefillin, though of course the details are much more complex than that.

The Torah tells us in four places that we should put on tefillin. (The four places are: Deut.6:4-9; Deut. 11:13-21; Exodus 13:1-10; and Exodus 13:11-16.) Each of these places is a separate chapter in the Torah (according to the original chapter and paragraph system, not according to the more popular one now in use, which was created by Christians and bears no relation or similarity to the original system).

Therefore, each of these chapters are written on small pieces of parchment and placed into leather housings, which a man places on the arm and the head, along with special leather straps.

The Rabbis say many great things about the Mitzvah of Tefillin. The Sefer Hachinuch (Book of Jewish Education) says that it is one of the Mitzvos that helps protects us against sin.

...

We put tefillin on once a day, usually for the morning prayers.

We may not wear tefillin at night.

The Laws of creating tefillin are very complex. It is impossible for a layperson to make them. They must be written with Halachically acceptable ink, on Halachically acceptable parchment. Each letter must be formed according to specific and exacting details. If only one point on one letter is slightly rounded off when it should be pointed, the entire pair of tefillin is invalid. The housings must be perfectly square when viewed from the top. Even the stitches that keep the housing closed must be square when viewed from above, and may be done only with Halachically acceptable kosher animal sinews.

The letters must all be written in order. If a letter has been written incorrectly, it cannot be fixed out of sequence. Sometimes one bad letter can invalidate an entire pair of tefillin.

Since there are so many Laws about tefillin, one should buy them only from an honest Jew who knows the Laws, and can be trusted to make them correctly. A dishonest man might find a problem, and fix it incorrectly, just to save money. Therefore we must be very careful from whom we buy our tefillin.

When you go to buy tefillin, be aware that there are various levels of quality in tefillin. This is not a scam. The more expensive ones are actually better, and they will also last longer. They are also more preferred, the Talmud says, because they are created with a greater adherence to various spiritual concepts. But you should get what you are ready, willing and able to buy.

Get your tefillin checked periodically -- at least once every four years, preferably once a year if possible. Any other time, if you see something wrong, such as the housings bending slightly, or paint chipping or cracking, get your tefillinchecked immediately.

Here are some of the Laws you should know about wearing tefillin.

If for some reason you have only one half of the set, whether it be only the one for the head, or only the one for the arm, put that one on and recite only the blessing for that one.

When putting on tefillin it is very important to have a clean body. In addition to general cleanliness, one must be especially careful to be clean after going to the bathroom.

Someone who has no control over what comes out of his body is forbidden to wear tefillin. Anyone in that situation should discuss it with his Rabbi to find out when and how he may wear tefillin.

One should go to the bathroom before putting on tefillin, or at least be absolutely sure he will not have to go while wearing the tefillin. If while wearing tefillin you feel the need to go to the bathroom, you must immediately remove the tefillin and go.

If you feel the need to pass gas while wearing tefillin, you must first remove your tefillin.

Never take tefillin or any holy item into a bathroom.

While wearing tefillin, one should think no thoughts at all except thoughts of Hashem, Torah or prayer. All the more so should he be careful about what he says out loud.

We may wear tefillin only during the day.

We do not put on tefillin on Shabbos.

Tefillin should be put on your weaker hand. If you are right-handed, use your right hand to put your tefillin on your left hand. If you are left-handed, use your left hand to put tefillin on your right hand. If you are ambidextrous, you must ask your Rabbi, because each case is different. If you are unable to contact a Rabbi for some reason, assume in the interim that the hand with which you write is your stronger hand (for this purpose, at least).

Always treat your tefillin with the greatest of respect and reverence. Do not remove them from the bag by shaking them out of the bag, for example. Always take them out carefully, and put them back carefully.

To show our love for the Mitzvah, we use our stronger hand to put the tefillin onto our weaker hand. We also use our stronger hand to put the tefillin on our head. When taking off the tefillin, we use our weaker hand, to show our reluctance to take off the Mitzvah.

Tefillin are made of leather. That means that you must keep them safe from things that hurt leather, like moisture and extreme temperatures.

Chabad has an excellent site for Jews to learn about Tefillin...

http://www.chabad.org/generic_cdo/aid/102436/jewish/Tefillin.htm
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rubystars on June 27, 2010, 12:59:50 AM
Do you think other sects of Judaism in the far past also used tefillin, or was it only the modern sect? For example did the Saducees use it? Did King David use it?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on June 27, 2010, 10:27:51 AM
Do you think other sects of Judaism in the far past also used tefillin, or was it only the modern sect? For example did the Saducees use it? Did King David use it?

It is clear that every Jew from Sinai used Tefillin. It is believed that Hashem himself 'wears' tefillin {Of course we are talking metaphorically because everyone knows that Hashem has no corporeality}... I take this from the Rashi, who takes it from the Talmud:

http://www.torah.org/learning/Parasha-insights/5761/kisisa.html

Quote
The Talmud [Brachos 7A] explains that Moshe wanted to understand why some of the righteous prosper while others suffer and why some of the wicked prosper while others suffer. Moshe wanted to fathom the seeming injustices in the world as we perceive it.

"And He (Hashem) said: You are not able to see my face, for no man can see my face and (continue to) live... and you will see the back of me. [33:20,23]"

That explains it! No more problems in understanding the world’s seeming injustices!

And just in case that doesn't do a thorough enough job of leaving us in the dark, Rashi quotes the Talmud [Brachos 7A] that teaches that Hashem showed Moshe the knot of His tefillin {phylacteries}.

Now it's perfectly clear! You see it wasn't actually Hashem’s back but rather it was the knot of His tefillin! Thanks!

The Talmud [Brachos 6A] shows the source from which we derive that Hashem wears tefillin and reveals that His parchments contain the verse: "Who is like your people, Israel, a unique nation on the earth. [Divrei Hayamim I 17]"

Since the commandment of donning tefillin is one of the 613 mitzvot from the Torah it is clear that it came straight from Sinai and Jews have been wearing them from the beginning of Jewish history...

http://www.shemayisrael.com/Parasha/kahn/archives/lech68.htm

NOTE: The stupid forum filter changes p*a*r*s*h*a to P*a*r*a*s*h*a which I think is dumb... It messes up every link to this site...

Quote
Abraham's descendants' reward

This concept is mentioned in the Midrash Tanchuma. The Midrash says: "G'd said I will bring about a war between the kings of the world in order that Abraham eventually will come and receive all the spoils." However, Abraham, in his great modesty, refused to keep what was rightfully his and returned the spoils of war to its original owners. The Talmud (Sotah 17a) explains that in this merit Abraham and his descendants were rewarded with two special mitzvot (commandments): the mitzvah of tzitzis and the mitzvah of tefillin.


http://israel613.com/books/IMPORTANCE_OF_MITZVAH_OF_TEFILLIN-E.pdf

Quote
19) Every single Jew is surrounded by seven Mitzvot. He has Tefillin on his arm and head, a Mezuzah on his door, and four Tzitzit on his garment. Thus, King David said (Psalm 119:164), "I will praise You each day with seven." Tosefta, Berachos 6:31

Obviously those 'sects' which disregard the Oral tradition will have no Tefillin because the laws of Tefillin are only in the Oral Law. The mention of them in Chumash is only that we should 'bind these words as frontlets before our eyes'... Of course I don't know for sure but this is what I believe.

http://www.messiahtruth.com/orallaw.html
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rubystars on June 28, 2010, 08:52:27 AM
Very interesting Muman.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: angryChineseKahanist on July 07, 2010, 01:38:49 PM


How's the weather where ever you're at?

What are you wearing?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on July 07, 2010, 02:45:47 PM


How's the weather where ever you're at?

What are you wearing?


Hey angrychinesekahanist,

The weather here is nice... Here in Silicon Valley it is about 80 degrees and sunny... Not too hot... Im here in the airconditioned office.

What am I wearing? Well, I wear nice navy work pants and a short-sleeve button-down shirt... I also wear an undershirt & tzittzits so it can get hot in here sometimes...


This brings up an interesting Halacha which I learned from an email I received from Torah.org... Let me reproduce it here...



Quote
http://www.torah.org/advanced/weekly-halacha/5770/matos.html?print=1

Question: Is it appropriate to remove one’s tallis katan while playing sports or engaging in strenuous activities that make one hot and sweaty?

Discussion: Some poskim write that it is not appropriate to do so.[1] While it is true that neither Biblical nor Rabbinic law obligates one to wear a tallis katan at all times[2], it has become the accepted custom that every male wears a tallis katan all day long. [3] Rav M. Feinstein rules that since it has become customary to wear a tallis katan all day long, one may no longer deviate from this practice, and one who does so transgresses the dictum of al titosh Toras imecha[4].

      What are the origins of this custom? Why did men choose to be meticulous about donning a tallis katan even when they were not required to do so? The poskim mention two basic reasons: 1) Wearing tzitzis gives us the opportunity to be constantly reminded of our obligations as a Jew, as it is written in Bamidbar (15:39), “That you may see it and remember all the commandments of Hashem and perform them.” [5] 2) The Talmud[6] tells us that wearing a tallis katan serves as protection from “Hashem’s wrath”; when He observes His children performing mitzvos — such as tzitzis — that they are not even obligated to perform, His anger is contained and He views us more favorably. [7]

      It follows, therefore, that no matter the heat or discomfort, one should still be particular not to remove his tallis katan: One constantly needs a reminder of his status as a servant of Hashem, and one should always take advantage of the protection that the tallis katan offers to those who wear it[8].

    There are, however, contemporary poskim who question this ruling. They argue that the mitzvah of tzitzis is only properly fulfilled when one is wearing a garment which benefits him in some way, e.g., it protects or warms him[9]. If, however, the garment does not benefit its wearer in any way, and on the contrary — it makes him uncomfortable or bothers him, then it is possible that the tallis katan no longer falls under the category of a “beged” (a useful garment), and one who wears a useless beged does not fulfill the mitzvah of tzitzis by wearing it[10].



1. Mahri Elgazi, quoted in Tzitz Eliezer 14:49-2; Rav B. Zilber, Yagel Yaakov, pg. 165.
2. The Torah requirement is to place tzitzis on a four-cornered garment when one is wearing such a garment. The Torah, however, does not require that one specifically put on a four-cornered garment so as to be obligated to wear tzitzis; O.C. 24:1.
3. Aruch ha-Shulchan 8:2; Tzitz Eliezer 8:4; Yechaveh Da’as 4:2.
4. Igros Moshe O.C. 4:4; O.C. 5:20-25.
5. O.C. 24:1. See Rambam, Hilchos Tzitzis 3:11.
6. Menachos 41a.
7. See Tosafos, Pesachim 113b, s.v. v’ein, and Gilyon ha-Shas; Rokeiach 331: Kesef Mishneh, Hilchos Tzitzis 3:11.
8. See Halichos Shelomo 1:3, Devar Halachah 25; Tzitz Eliezer 14:49-2.
9. See Koveitz Shiurim, vol. 2, 23:8.
10. Rav Y.S. Elyashiv and Rav C. Kanievsky, quoted in Rivevos Efrayim 7:265 and Yagel Yaakov, pg. 166. See also Ashrei ha-Ish, Tzitzis 2:23, Nezer ha-Chayim, pg. 164, and Doleh U’mashkeh, pg. 27.


And thank you for asking...

I hope that you are doing well this summer and all the blessings of sustenance come your way...

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: angryChineseKahanist on July 08, 2010, 08:41:03 AM

Wonderful. Its 103F and humid.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: angryChineseKahanist on July 08, 2010, 08:46:59 AM

What's the purpose of life?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: ✡ Hindu Zionist ॐ on July 19, 2010, 02:11:48 PM
didnt knew that u were in silicon valley. There are many indian working there.

and thanks for answering my question. Now i know what dr. dan has in his profile.

my next question, can you tell me something about the applying of ash ritual of red heifer. and Are there any red heifers in israel?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: ✡ Hindu Zionist ॐ on July 30, 2010, 12:27:13 AM
you seem very busy these days muman, but i would like to ask one more question, cud have asked someone else, but your answers are always in detail as you mention many references.

Is there any significance of Asherah or sometimes refered to as Hebrew or Mother Goddess. She is viewed in positive light by Jews?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on July 30, 2010, 01:39:20 AM
you seem very busy these days muman, but i would like to ask one more question, cud have asked someone else, but your answers are always in detail as you mention many references.

Is there any significance of Asherah or sometimes refered to as Hebrew or Mother Goddess. She is viewed in positive light by Jews?

Hindu Zionist,

I am not exactly sure what you refer to about 'mother goddess' we have no such idea in Judaism.

As far as the Jewish concept of Asherah we are forbidden to plant any tree in the courtyard of the altar for Hashem...

Here is some info:

http://www.vbm-torah.org/Parasha.62/43shoftim.htm
NOTE: Stupid filter changes *p*a*r*s*h*a to *p*a*r*a*s*h*a... I wish they would remove this stupid filter because every time I post a link to this site the filter always mangles the URL...

Quote
The Prohibitions of "Ashera" and "Matzeva"

By Rav Mordechai Sabato

 

You shall not plant for yourself an "ashera," any tree next to the altar of the Lord your G-d that you shall make for yourself.

Nor shall you erect for yourself a "matzeva" (pillar), which the Lord your G-d hates. (Devarim 16:21-22)

In this shiur we shall examine the significance of these two prohibitions and their reason. Let us first clarify the location of these verses in their broader context.

VERSES THAT SEEM OUT OF PLACE

Parashat Shoftim opens with a command to appoint judges and court officers; this topic is covered in chapter 16, verses 18-20. The subject of law and judges is discussed again in chapter 17, verses 8-13. In the first section the Torah commands that judges be appointed "in all of your gates." The second section emphasizes the role of the kohanim and the judge who are to be found "in the place that G-d will choose" as a court that rules in matters of doubt that arise "in your gates." Hence the Torah prescribes a legal system that consists of two circles. The outer circle involves the establishment of courts in "all of your gates," while the inner circle describes a court that is located in the "place that G-d will choose" (i.e. the Temple), which serves as the final arbiter in all matters of doubt arising in the courts that are "in your gates." It is this court that Chazal refer to by the name "Beit Din ha-Gadol" – the High Court.

Between these two sections, which are strongly related to one another, we find a few verses whose connection with the subject of law is unclear. These verses may be divided into three sections:

16:21-22 – the prohibitions of ashera and matzeva;

17:1 – prohibition of sacrificing a blemished animal;

17:2-7 – what is to be done with an idolater.

The location of these verses, right between two sections dealing with law and judges, requires explanation.

Moreover, these sections would seem to fit better into other locations altogether in Sefer Devarim.

a) The section on the idolater would seem better suited to chapter 13 (after verse 1), which deals with the punishments of those who instigate idolatry and a city that is wholly involved in idolatry.

b) The prohibitions of ashera and matzeva are also well suited to the concluding verses of chapter 12 and the opening of chapter 13, where the Torah forbids us to learn ways of Divine service from the other nations. For example, the Torah mentions one of their practices, child sacrifice - a form of worship that the Torah defines as something "abominable to G-d, that He hates." This expression, "that He hates," appears again in the prohibitions of the ashera and matzeva (it appears nowhere else in the Torah), and obviously the connection is that here too we are forbidden to serve G-d in the wrong way.

c) Chapter 17, verse 1 also mentions a form of service that is unacceptable: the sacrifice of a blemished animal, which is also defined as "an abomination to G-d."

Thus we find that all the verses dividing the two sections in our parasha pertaining to the legal system could be interposed between 13:1 and 13:2. The first two sections (16:21–17:1) would relate to the previous subject, forbidden forms of Divine service, while the third section (17:2-7) would begin the next section – idolatry.

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROHIBITIONS OF ASHERA AND MATZEVA

Let us leave aside for the moment the question of the location of these verses, and turn our attention to the significance of the prohibitions of ashera and matzeva.

The stylistic similarity between the wording of the two prohibitions would appear to point to a thematic similarity between them as well. I would like to propose an explanation of these two prohibitions that takes this similarity into account.

"You shall not plant for yourself an ashera, any tree next to the altar of the Lord your G-d that you shall make for yourself." What exactly is this ashera, and what is a person's intention in planting it next to the altar of G-d?

Let us first clarify the meanings of the word ashera in the Tanakh. This word is mentioned in two different contexts: in most instances it refers to a tree, as we understand from our verse. But in Melakhim I 18:19, we find the expression "prophets of the Ashera," parallel to the expression "prophets of the Ba'al," and hence we conclude that Ashera is the name of a goddess, just as Ba'al is the name of a G-d. Elsewhere (Melakhim II 23:4) we find, "And the king commanded Chilkiyahu the Kohen Gadol, and the secondary kohanim, and the gatekeepers, to remove from G-d's Temple all the vessels made for Ba'al and for Ashera and for all the host of the heavens, and he burned them outside Jerusalem…" From here, too, we learn that Ashera was the name of a goddess.

This explanation fits in with what we glean from ancient Near Eastern literature: Ashera is the name of a well-known goddess in the Canaanite pantheon, whose status in some respect is parallel to that of Ba'al.

What is the relationship between the two contexts of this name in Tanakh - the name of a Canaanite goddess, and a tree that serves as a religious object, and is planted next to the altar?

Perhaps we should adopt the view that this tree represented in Canaanite culture the presence of this goddess. Its placement next to the altar signified the goddess to whom the sacrifices were offered.

We may assume that the function of the matzeva, a pillar or monument, in Canaanite worship should be explained in a similar manner. In two places we find the expression "matzeva of the Ba'al" (Melakhim II 3:2, and 10:27). It seems, therefore, that just as the tree called ashera expressed, in idolatrous worship, the presence of the goddess Ashera, so the matzeva of the Ba'al expressed the presence of the G-d Ba'al. Both were located next to the altar to symbolize the gods to whom the sacrifices were offered.

According to the literal reading, the prohibitions of ashera and matzeva are not prohibitions of idolatry itself, but rather of imitating the ways of the nations in our service of G-d. Likewise, the wording of the verse, "that He hates," implies that there is something intrinsically wrong with these forms of worship, just as there is a moral flaw in child sacrifice, concerning which we are similarly commanded, "that He hates."

Let us now combine these observations to propose a broader interpretation of the text. The Torah addresses the Jew who wishes to worship G-d and believes that he would do well to convert the practices of the nations into a form of Divine worship, as it is written, "How do these nations serve their gods? Let me do the same." This person believes that in order to emphasize and publicize the fact that he is sacrificing to G-d, he should ensure that he has something like an ashera and a matzeva – but in a sense that is appropriate for Divine service. Thus the ashera and matzeva, which in Canaanite worship symbolized the Canaanite gods, would now symbolize the presence of G-d.

This is precisely the direction of thought that the Torah wishes to negate. These objects and this view are what are described in the Torah as what "G-d hates."

The intrinsic defect in this way of thinking lies in the effort to attach an image to G-d, even if only through imitation. The root of this prohibition is to be found in the following verse:

You shall guard your souls carefully, for you did not see any image on the day that the Lord your G-d spoke to you at Chorev from amidst the fire; lest you become corrupt and make for yourselves a sculpture, an image of any symbol. (Devarim 4:16)

Thus, we are forbidden to erect objects even if they are meant to represent only the presence of G-d, as it were, and not G-d Himself, and even if this action is meant to indicate to Whom we are offering our sacrifices. The importance of the abstract conception of G-d does not allow for any compromise in this matter.

Hence we may even propose an explafor the fact that during the period of the patriarchs Avraham, Yitzchak and Yaakov, a matzeva was beloved to G-d (as evidenced by Yaakov's erection of a matzeva at Beit El), while later on it became something hateful. In explaining this, we shall adopt a principle laid down by Rav S.R. Hirsch (Bereishit 28:18) and Rav A.Y. Kook (Iggerot 3:10, #746), namely, that there is a difference between worship of G-d during the period of the Patriarchs and His worship by their descendants. The role of the Patriarchs was to publicize the Name of G-d in the world, and to emphasize His presence. At this stage, the need of the hour was specifically to emphasize G-d's presence in the world, even utilizing objects that represented His presence symbolically. At a later stage, after the Name of G-d became known in the world, it became important that specifically the abstract dimension of the G-d of Israel be emphasized, and therefore ashera and matzeva were prohibited.

In contrast to the matzeva, we find no evidence that the Patriarchs planted an ashera. Indeed, Chazal (Sifrei, Devarim 146) mention only the matzeva that was first beloved, while the ashera was hateful even during the period of the Patriarchs. But since the Torah juxtaposes these two phenomena, it is appropriate that we clarify whether some positive phenomenon involving the ashera is not also to be found among the Patriarchs.

In this context we must consider what we are told of Avraham: "And he planted a tree ('eshel') in Be'er Sheva, and he called there in the Name of the Lord, the eternal G-d" (Bereishit 21:33). The literal meaning of the text seems to indicate a connection between the tree and the calling in G-d's Name. It is therefore likely that the planting of the tree was meant to indicate the sanctity of the place, as an expression of G-d's presence.

We may now give new significance to Rashi's comment (following the example of Chazal) that "although [the matzeva] had been beloved to Him during the time of the Patriarchs, He now hated it – because it had become a standard for idolatrous worship." During the time of the Patriarchs, the matzeva (and perhaps even also the parallel to the ashera – i.e., the "eshel") had been a beloved symbol, since its function was only to symbolize the presence of G-d in the world, and to publicize His Name. It had not been meant in any sense as an embodiment of G-d. But after the nations made it a standard for idolatrous practices – i.e., after they regarded it as an embodiment of divinity – then it became hateful to G-d.

THE LOCATION OF THE PROHIBITIONS

Let us now return to our original question. Why does the Torah locate the verses dealing with the ashera, matzeva and the blemished animal – as well as the law pertaining to the individual idolater – in between the two sections dealing with law and legal courts?

Concerning the idolater, the answer appears simple: the Torah wishes to illustrate the role of the judge in the most important task of all – obliteration of idolatry, and to emphasize the way he is to convict: "The person shall die at the word of two witnesses or three witnesses; he shall not die at the word of a single witness." Support for this view may be found in the fact that no similar verse is to be found in the three other sections in chapter 13 that deal with the laws of instigators and followers in the paths of idolatry.


What of the three prohibitions that seem out of place? What is common to the ashera, matzeva and the blemished animal is the altar. An ashera cannot be planted, nor a matzeva erected, next to the altar, and a blemished animal is not to be offered upon it. The Torah juxtaposes the laws of the court to the laws of the altar, thereby indicating that both have a single source. The G-d before Whom you stand, in approaching the altar, is the same G-d before Whom the judges and the litigants stand: "And the two people who have an argument shall both stand before G-d and before the kohanim and the judges that shall be in those days" (Devarim 19:17). A hint to this may be found in the fact that the High Court is located in the Temple complex, as well as in the fact that the Torah takes pains to note that in addition to the judge, one is also obliged to listen to "the kohen who stands to serve the Lord your G-d there." Since judgment belongs to G-d, His word may be heard via the kohen who stands serving G-d at that place. (Rav D.Z. Hoffmann also notes that in Shemot 20:24ff there appear laws related to the altar, followed by Parashat Mishpatim, relating to civil law to be applied by judges.)

This explanation may also clarify the juxtaposition of the laws of the perversion of justice with the laws of the perversion of the altar. Just as we are to maintain the purity of the altar, not involving it in elements aimed at embodying G-d and corrupting our faith, so we are to take care to maintain the purity of law, not to pervert it and turn it into injustice. The purity of law and the purity of the altar are both nourished from the same source. "Zion shall be redeemed in justice" (Yeshayahu 1:27).


Obviously the Torah abhors Idol worship and 'Ashera' is a form of idol worship...

Quote
http://www.milknhoney.co.il/torah/tazria.html

Many archeologists have noticed that ancient religions of Canaan have birth rights. These ancient religions did much more than just giving a box of chocolates to the new mother. Entire cults surrounded mysterious pagan gods who ruled over reproduction. A new mother might have been considered close to the G-d who had been instrumental in her bearing a child. Such women might be brought to the local temple dedicated to the goddess Anath or perhaps to Ashtarte - Ashtarte.

The new born child might be ritually passed through a fire as a dedication to the Molech. All this and much more were practices of the non-Jewish residents of Canaan and the whole Middle East. These pagan beliefs were active in connection to anything to do with reproduction. They designated special powers to seed, menstruation and birth.

The birth of a child was considered to have been assisted by certain gods or spirits. A favorite goddess was Ashera. This would arouse opposing gods and spirits who seek vengeance against their enemy. An opposing G-d might be Mot.

The mother and the baby alike required special magical protection from these demons. Appeasements of the gods or the demons might be required. Some might ask for protection from the deity who had been instrumental in bringing the child to its birth. If a daughter was born she would need even more protection. The reason for this is that a baby girl herself can potentially have her own children.

Needless to say all of this is totally unacceptable to the Jews who follow the monotheistic teaching of the Torah. Some might wrongly claim that our Perasha is proof that the Torah teaches us that such stupid beliefs are embraced by the Torah.

To begin with our Perasha starts out by totally excluding a woman from the Biet Hamikdash. For a period of 40 days after the birth of a boy and 60 days following the more powerful female birth the new mother may not even enter. This is a purification for the temple which excludes such pagan beliefs from walking in. After this time period has finished a woman may only enter the Beit Hamikdash after she brings a sin offering. Only after this long period has been completed can she participate in other Jewish rituals.

This whole process demonstrates opposition to polytheistic rituals. These rituals can be seen in Ugaritic mythology. The Ugurits immediately predate Avraham Avinu. They had a special affinity for fertility. Their fertility cults would have celebrations in front of idols which represented their gods and goddesses. They would demonstrate human procreation and the drama of giving birth at these celebrations.

This is totally rejected by the Torah. Since we believe that only G-d is the source of every blessing in the world. G-d is not ruled by natural processes, demons or anything else. Such ideas were the most revolutionary of the time.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: The One and Only Mo on August 02, 2010, 07:48:02 AM
Dear Muman,

    How do you deal with an angry, bitter  forum member who constantly attacks you for no reason at all and accuses you of things that he can't even provide evidence for?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: ✡ Hindu Zionist ॐ on August 02, 2010, 08:22:33 AM
great info. But still awaiting the first one to be answered
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on August 02, 2010, 10:03:36 PM
great info. But still awaiting the first one to be answered

You mean about the Red cow? Didn't I already discuss the red cow when it was the Torah portion a month or two ago? I believe what I found was that the red cow which they thought would be able to be used turned out to not be halachically usable due to the presence of more than two {or two} non-red hairs.

Otherwise I don't know of any other red cow which has been discovered which could be used for the purification from the contamination from the dead {Tumah HaMeit}.

Here is an article which does discuss some of your questions:

http://ohr.edu/ask_db/ask_main.php/156/Q1/

Quote
Topic: Cow, Red, Significance

Here are but a sample of many questions that our readers have recently sent to "Ask the Rabbi" about the apparent discovery of a Red Heifer in Israel:

B. H. Moore from Spokane Washington wrote:

    The National news media reported that a red heifer was born in Israel which has some bearing on the future Temple.
    Could you explain the significance of this?


Fábio, Alexandre, Juliano, Rafael and Mariángela from Brazil wrote:

    Please, we want to know about the red cow that was born in Kfar Hassidim, and the connection with the restoration of the Temple and the Meshiah. Thank you.

David Waysman from Australia wrote:

    We have seen reports of what may be a Para Aduma. Is there any basis to this claim, & if yes, what may be the implications of the existence of a Red Heifer.

Peter Crowson from Live Oak, California wrote:

    What is the significance of the red heifer. How was it different from all the other sacrifices?

Mitch Klausner wrote:

    In the Boston Globe a few weeks ago, on the front page of the Sunday edition was a picture of a red heifer found in Israel. Apparently it is very rare to find such an animal. The article said that some believe this means Mashiach is coming soon. Is there any reason to believe this? Thank you in advance.


Lou Brifman wrote:

    Dear Rabbi,

    Please discuss the Parah Adumah and its significance today.


The Farber Family from South Africa wrote:

    Would you please explain to us the significance of a "Red Heifer" born in Yerushalayim?

Lester from Pampa, Texas wrote:

    Dear Rabbi,

    What about the flawless Red Heifer?


Dear Readers,

As rare as it may be, the birth of a red heifer is nothing more than a curiosity. There is no source in Jewish tradition that sees the birth of a red heifer as a sign of the arrival of the Mashiach.

According to the Torah, someone who comes into contact with a dead body becomes halachically 'impure.' The Torah describes a very specific process that enables a person to purify himself. This process involves slaughtering a heifer which is completely red, burning it and mixing its ashes with water. Some of this 'purifying water' is sprinkled on the impure person twice over a seven-day period.

This had great practical importance during Temple times, because all participants in the Temple service needed to be ritually pure, and the entire nation needed to purify themselves for the Passover, Shavuot, and Sukkot festivals. It will have practical significance again when the Temple is rebuilt.

Maimonides writes that from the time of Moses until the destruction of the Second Temple, only nine red heifers have been used to prepare the 'purifying waters.' The tenth red heifer, says Maimonides, will be prepared by the Mashiach.

This can be easily misunderstood. It does not mean that there existed only nine red heifers in history, and that the tenth one to be born will be used by the Mashiach. It simply means that the ashes from each heifer lasted a long time, and there was never a need to prepare more than nine. The tenth red heifer process will take place in the times of the Mashiach.

About twenty years ago, a red heifer born in Israel caused a similar stir. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein, the noted halachic authority of the time, was unmoved. "One of the requirements of the red heifer is that it be at least two years old. What if the Mashiach were to come tomorrow? Would we have to wait two years in order to become pure? When Mashiach comes, they'll find a red heifer that's two-years old."

The reason for the commandment of the red heifer is considered the deepest secret in the Torah. So much so that even King Solomon, the wisest scholar who ever lived, was unable to fathom its deep meaning. According to the Midrash, its meaning will be revealed in the era of the Mashiach.

Sources:

    * Bamidbar (Numbers) 19
    * Mishna Parah 3:5
    * Rambam, ibid. 3:4
    * Bamidbar Rabba 19:4

There is some discussion of the red heifer in the Torah section of JTF @ http://jtf.org/forum_english/index.php/topic,47317.0.html

Also see my 'Drash' on the Parasha of Chukat @ http://jtf.org/forum_english/index.php/topic,47019.0.html
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on September 02, 2010, 01:31:36 AM
I'd like to thank everyone for a memorable year here at JTF...

Anyone whom I have offended please accept my apology, unless you are a troll in which case I meant to offend you.

Because it is less than a week till Rosh Hashanah I would like to rectify any problems which I participated in.

My prayers and my complete intention is that this coming year will be one of reversal. We should witness a reversal of the insane edicts which the leaders of the 'nations' impose on the Jewish people in our land. We should witness a reversal of the ill fortunes which have befallen America because of the sour policies of the Obama administration. May Hashem grant us the merit to witness the reversal of nature, to see the punishment of the wicked and the reward for the righteous.

And may JTF continue to grow in righteous membership, with a strong desire to see the flourishing of the Jewish people in the land which Hashem promised our forefathers. Let the toil of JTF sow the beginnings of the coming of the awaited Moshiach.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Meerkat on September 11, 2010, 11:15:12 PM
do you think israel should blast the 2 mosques on the har habayet and rebuild the temple?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on September 12, 2010, 04:50:19 PM
do you think israel should blast the 2 mosques on the har habayet and rebuild the temple?

"If I had my way, I would tear this whole building down!", Samson & Deliah (Grateful Dead) http://www.lyricsfreak.com/g/grateful+dead/samson+delilah_20062473.html

I believe that the time will come when we will have to remove the mosques on the Temple mount. I don't know if the time is right now, considering that we need to do a lot to resume the services of the Third Temple. Over Rosh Hashana we discussed this, the Temple Institute and its preparations of the utensils and the priestly garments...

I hope that the time will be right for this soon. We need more Jews who are concerned about this. The importance of the desire to rebuild the Temple is incredible. Once the desire to do this increases then Hashem will do his part and allow this to happen.

Let us merit to witness the rebuilding of the Temple and the light of Moshiach...

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: angryChineseKahanist on September 22, 2010, 01:08:26 PM
I'd like to thank everyone for a memorable year here at JTF...

Anyone whom I have offended please accept my apology, unless you are a troll in which case I meant to offend you.

Because it is less than a week till Rosh Hashanah I would like to rectify any problems which I participated in.

My prayers and my complete intention is that this coming year will be one of reversal. We should witness a reversal of the insane edicts which the leaders of the 'nations' impose on the Jewish people in our land. We should witness a reversal of the ill fortunes which have befallen America because of the sour policies of the Obama administration. May Hashem grant us the merit to witness the reversal of nature, to see the punishment of the wicked and the reward for the righteous.

And may JTF continue to grow in righteous membership, with a strong desire to see the flourishing of the Jewish people in the land which Hashem promised our forefathers. Let the toil of JTF sow the beginnings of the coming of the awaited Moshiach.



Huh? Where are you going?


Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on September 22, 2010, 05:02:55 PM
I'd like to thank everyone for a memorable year here at JTF...

Anyone whom I have offended please accept my apology, unless you are a troll in which case I meant to offend you.

Because it is less than a week till Rosh Hashanah I would like to rectify any problems which I participated in.

My prayers and my complete intention is that this coming year will be one of reversal. We should witness a reversal of the insane edicts which the leaders of the 'nations' impose on the Jewish people in our land. We should witness a reversal of the ill fortunes which have befallen America because of the sour policies of the Obama administration. May Hashem grant us the merit to witness the reversal of nature, to see the punishment of the wicked and the reward for the righteous.

And may JTF continue to grow in righteous membership, with a strong desire to see the flourishing of the Jewish people in the land which Hashem promised our forefathers. Let the toil of JTF sow the beginnings of the coming of the awaited Moshiach.



Huh? Where are you going?




Shalom ACK,

I am hopefully not going anywhere, only forward toward good things.

What I wrote there are my Rosh Hashanah/New Year wishes for the forum. For the last two weeks the Jewish people are celebrating the High Holidays. This time is a time of asking forgiveness, giving forgiveness and atoning for the sins which we committed against G-d.

The start of my year has been good so far. Even during this time of hardship in this country I am 'lucky' enough to get a call from a 'Head-Hunter' who thought I could fill a Web Developer job they were looking to fill. Unfortunately they would probably not pay what I am currently getting, and the job is out in Arizona and I live in California. But it is a good sign that my livelihood is being taken care of for me by Hashem, Blessed is He.

I hope that every JTF member has a good year, as I do for Jews and gentiles alike. Tonight we begin the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, when we eat and relax in booths which we build in our yards.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rubystars on September 26, 2010, 11:35:56 AM
How do apartment dwellers celebrate sukkot? Do they make tents inside their apartments?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on September 26, 2010, 11:43:23 AM
How do apartment dwellers celebrate sukkot? Do they make tents inside their apartments?

Shalom Rubystars,

Thank you for asking... I will tell you what my experience is, and what I understand is the halacha.

First off, one cannot construct a Sukkut inside or under any obstruction between the roof of the sukkot and the sky. One cannot build a sukkot under a tree which blocks the light from the sun. A sukkot is supposed to have a roof made of Skach, or basically plant material {like palm fronds, bamboo, etc.} which allows more light than shade into the sukkot.

What I have heard that they do in Israel is that most apartments have special balconies which don't have balconies right above them, so that there is no obstruction between the roof of the sukkot and the sky. I think that those apartments are advertised as having sukkot balconies.

Here is some important information which I found on the internet:

http://www.beingjewish.com/yomtov/sukkos/build.html

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A sukkah, to be valid according to Jewish Law, must have a minimum of two long walls and one short wall, and a doorway (either with or without an actual door) in that short wall. However, I have never seen a sukkah built that way. As I said above, every sukkah I have ever seen has always had four walls, and sometimes the fourth wall is the wall of a house. (A sukkah can also be built between two houses, where two of the sukkah walls are the walls of the houses. However, you have to be careful that there are no eaves hanging over the sukkah from the tops of the walls, or the sukkah could become invalid. See below.)

The "roofing" (called s'chach in Hebrew -- one of the more difficult words to pronounce in the Hebrew language, to be sure) of the sukkah has some very strict rules. It must be made of pieces of vegetation. Any kind of vegetation is permissible. Bamboo used to be very popular, so were bulrushes. Leaves of any tree are acceptable, as long as they have been completely severed from the ground before they are placed on top of your sukkah. I have seen some people use loose slats of wood.

Each piece of vegetation for the s'chach must not be too wide. An inch or two is fine. Some light must also be able to enter between each piece. The length of the s'chach does not matter.

The s'chach must cast more shade than sun into the sukkah, yet still leave it possible to see some sky between the pieces. In this way, we rely on Hashem, not on a roof.

These days, someone has invented a special type of mat that may be used as s'chach. Please keep in mind that not every mat is permitted. It has to be constructed according to very specific Jewish Laws. If you can get hold of those mats made properly, or if you know how to make them yourself, according to Jewish Law, I can personally testify that they are usually much easier to use.

The s'chach may not lay directly on top of metal, or on top of any wood that has been shaped into a vessel that can hold water. In other words the beams that support the s'chach, or the top of your walls that support the s'chach, may not be made of metal. The walls may be made of metal, and then covered with flat pieces of wood or with canvas or another firm material, and the pieces of s'chach may be laid on top of that. The s'chach may not touch the metal beneath it.

The s'chach may not lay directly on top of wood that has been carved into a concave shape. It may be only flat pieces of wood (or material may cover it).

The s'chach may not be tightly secured. This means that the s'chach may not be nailed down, nor tied down too tightly (and not every type of string may be used). You may pile pieces of wood that are also valid as s'chach over the s'chach to weigh it down and keep it in place. You may bang a nail at each side of the s'chach, not to support the s'chach, but to prevent the pieces of s'chach from rolling off. You may build the walls higher than the s'chach. But you may not nail the s'chach down in any way.

If you do wish to tie down the s'chach, you may use only a simple string that is not constructed of twisted strings, and you must tie it loosely. I am told that butcher's string qualifies (but I haven't checked it myself).

If you keep your sukkah intact all year-round, you must remove and replace the s'chach within thirty days before the Sukkos Holiday begins, so that the sukkah is not a permanent fixture. The sukkah must be a temporary dwelling, in which we live for the Holiday. We give up our permanent dwelling for a temporary one, to fulfill the will of Hashem. It is not necessary to comepletely remove the s'chach. It is sufficient to lift each piece up a foot or more into the air, and then put it back down. You can do this with many pieces at a time, as long as they are all replaced by hand, with the intention to fulfill the Mitzvah of Sukkah. Just before you do this, you should say, "L'shaim Mitzvas Sukkah --- For the purpose of the Commandment of Sukkah."

Some construction advice for building larger sukkos: You want the s'chach to be held up without fear of them caving in. You might lay a few two-by-fours across the width of the sukkah. Nail those two-by-fours to the walls of the sukkah, or to posts attached to the walls. (Nailing down the beams is permitted because they will not be used as the s'chach.) You would then lay the s'chach over those two-by-fours. If necessary, lay some two-by-fours across the boards, and then place the pieces of s'chach over the upper ones.

A Sukkah must be outdoors, under the sky. There can be no tree or part of a tree above the Sukkah. Any part of a Sukkah that is beneath anything else is invalid. If there is anything above the sukkah, every part underneath is not sukkah. A very common example is a tree that has branches and leaves leaning over part of a sukkah. The part underneath the leaves and branches is invalid. To eat inside the sukkah that is partly underneath a tree, you must sit in a part of the sukkah that is not underneath anything else.

It is permitted to build a sukkah under a retractable roof. Lots of people have a roof on tracks, and they just roll the roof away, which leaves the sukkah below (with its s'chach on, of course) open to the sky. Whenever it rains, they simply move the roof back over the sukkah.

Many sukkos are built against the wall of a house. But often there is an eave, or a gutter, that leans over the edge of the roof, and thus is over that side of the house. Underneath that eave or gutter the sukkoh is not kosher. This means that the sukkah actually starts a foot or two away from the wall. In that situation, the other three walls are absolutely necessary.

And if you want to build your sukkah on a balcony or porch, and there is another balcony or porch directly above yours, you cannot build a sukkah beneath that balcony, or underneath anything else.

Jewish women are not commanded to eat in a sukkah, because it is a time-bound Mitzvah. In general, with some exceptions, women are not obligated to perform most time-bound Mitzvos. (Their primary focus is on the cycles of their own personal self and how their responsibilities radiate outward, while men's focus is on factors that control them from outside themselves and attempt to make those responsibilities penetrate inwards. Of course, there is a great deal of overlap between the two necessary approaches. At any rate, this my explanation of the concept. It may be completely wrong.) A woman is therefore not obligated to eat in a sukkah. Before you email me about this, please read "On Equality," by my wife, Kressel Housman, in which she discusses women's role in the Torah's Commandments.

A woman may, if she so chooses, eat in the house during the entire Holiday of Sukkos, if she wishes. Unlike a man, she suffers no loss of personal holiness by eating outside a sukkah during Sukkos. Of course if she chooses to eat in a sukkah she receives reward in Heaven for doing so, and receives holiness from performing this Mitzvah. And if she eats in a sukkah, the Ashkenazi Custom is that she says the proper Brachah (Blessing).

(Incidentally, while there are important reasons that a woman is not required to do many of the Commandments that a man is required to do, and they would be too complicated to go into here, it can be surmised that a woman does not need to do the Mitzvah of Sukkah because in a sense she herself is a sukkah. In many ways, a woman encompasses the Mitzvos she does. One obvious example is how she encompasses a Jewish child before it is born, and thus instills within it the inherent holiness every Jew has. A man does not have the power either to encompass and protect that way, nor to impart that same level of holiness. This is why the home is the mother's province, in shoring up and strengthening that which encompasses and protects a person, not just physically from the elements, but also spiritually. Through what the mother does, the child develops the deeper spiritual (and emotional) attachment to Judaism that he will always look back at for the rest of his life. That is the true desire of the Jew to "return to the womb." As such, the Jewish woman is herself a sort of sukkah, and does not need to fulfill the spiritual aspects of sukkah by sitting in a sukkah.)

Most people have the custom of beautifying the Mitzvah by attaching nice signs to the walls. (This is not necessary, just a way of beautifying the Mitzvah.) The signs must convey the decorum necessary for a sukkah, and should depict some holy aspect of Judaism. Generally, the signs will have words from the Torah about the Holiday, some of the prayers recited in the sukkah, pictures of Rabbis, or pictures of Jewish sites in Israel, or Jewish practices from around the year. These should be treated with respect, and packed away carefully during the rest of the year.

The most widespread practice is to hang decorations on the walls, and many also hang some from the beams supporting the s'chach, or from the s'chach itself. Pre-school and nursery-grade children will usually bring home from their Jewish dayschool or daycare center some decorations they made in school. It will make your child proud and happy if you hang them up in your sukkah. Since one of the Commandments of the Holiday is to rejoice, why not give your children an extra reason to rejoice as well?

Since a Sukkah is a holy place, we must conduct ourselves, while in the Sukkah, with an extra level of holiness and caution. And it should help us consider the value of always conducting ourselves that way. Most importantly, we must bear in mind, as we make the Blessing in the sukkah, and as we eat, that we are thanking Hashem for taking us out of Egypt and miraculously protecting our ancestors in the Sinai Desert.

http://www.akhlah.com/holidays/sukkot/sukkot_traditions.php

Quote
In Israel, many people live in apartment buildings. If you live in an apartment, where can you put your Sukkah? Well, many Israelis put theirs on their balconies. Some make a Sukkah for the entire apartment building to share. During Sukkot in Israel, you can drive around and look at the buildings-almost every one has at least one Sukkah.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rubystars on September 26, 2010, 11:52:58 AM
Thanks Muman. I was curious because I know there are many, many Jewish condo or apartment dwellers, and it's hard for me to imagine how a busy lawyer or on-call doctor or anyone else can take the time out to go to a different place where they can build the sukkot outside. I was kind of curious on how they do this.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on September 26, 2010, 02:08:09 PM
Thanks Muman. I was curious because I know there are many, many Jewish condo or apartment dwellers, and it's hard for me to imagine how a busy lawyer or on-call doctor or anyone else can take the time out to go to a different place where they can build the sukkot outside. I was kind of curious on how they do this.

I often go to my local shul, as I did this morning to shake my lulav and etrog... Every Synagogue should have a sukkot on the grounds for the members to fulfill the mitzvot of Sukkot.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rubystars on September 26, 2010, 03:37:07 PM
Thanks Muman. I was curious because I know there are many, many Jewish condo or apartment dwellers, and it's hard for me to imagine how a busy lawyer or on-call doctor or anyone else can take the time out to go to a different place where they can build the sukkot outside. I was kind of curious on how they do this.

I often go to my local shul, as I did this morning to shake my lulav and etrog... Every Synagogue should have a sukkot on the grounds for the members to fulfill the mitzvot of Sukkot.

Oh ok cool thanks for telling me.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: angryChineseKahanist on September 26, 2010, 09:44:32 PM
speaking of on-call doctors....
if a heart surgeon is an observant jew, does he get out in the middle of sukkot or sabbath?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on September 26, 2010, 11:09:12 PM
speaking of on-call doctors....
if a heart surgeon is an observant jew, does he get out in the middle of sukkot or sabbath?


Well, I guess you are talking about situations which involve saving someones life...

Yes, in all cases saving a persons life over-rides any obligation to do mitzvahs, even including violating Shabbat and Yom Tov {Holidays}.

It is called Pikuei Nefesh and it is a halachic law the says that because Torah commands us to LIVE by the mitzvot, they should never come to cause a Jew/Human to die {through trying to observe the mitzvot}.

Let me find a good reference to this topic:

Quote
http://www.mechon-mamre.org/jewfaq/death.htm
Of the 613 commandments, only the prohibitions against murder, idolatry, incest and adultery are so important that they cannot be violated to save a life.  Judaism not only permits, but often requires a person to violate the commandments if necessary to save a life.  A person who is extremely ill, for example, or a woman in labor, is not permitted to fast on Yom Kippur, because fasting at such a time would endanger the person's life.  Doctors are permitted to answer emergency calls on the Sabbath, even though this may violate many Sabbath prohibitions.  Abortions where necessary to save the life of a mother are mandatory (the unborn are not considered human life in Jewish law, thus the mother's human life overrides).

Quote
http://www.aish.com/jl/i/mn/48932567.html
Physicians' Decisions

With the exception of the three cardinal sins, one must violate any religious law to save a life, as the Torah states, "Keep My decrees and laws, since a person can [truly] live only by keeping them" (Leviticus 18:5) -- live by keeping them and not die by keeping them.

Although keeping the Sabbath is considered a foundation of our religion, it may be violated in any manner necessary to save a life. In such a case, it is a meritorious deed to violate the Sabbath, and one who hesitates is guilty of bloodshed.

Where the Sabbath is violated in a case of danger, it must be done by responsible adults, and not by children or non-Jews, even where possible. However, if it is possible to avoid violating the Sabbath without causing any delay, it is permissible to do so.

Similarly, a dangerously sick or starving person may eat any forbidden food necessary to preserve his life. In such a case, all is permitted, even pork products, and bread on Passover.

Although Yom Kippur is our most sacred Day of Atonement, one whose life may be endangered by fasting is forbidden to do so. In such a case, one obtains atonement even without fasting.

In all cases of sickness or injury, we rely upon the opinion of a physician. As soon as he says that there is even a question of danger, religious law may be violated to preserve life, even if it is not certain that a given cure will help.

In any case where there is disagreement between medical authorities, one should make the same decision that one would make if no religious prohibition were involved, since where any question of danger is concerned, all religious laws must be [largely] ignored.

If the patient himself feels that his life is in danger, his word must be taken against any number of physicians. Regarding such a case, it is written, "The heart knows its own bitterness" (Proverbs 14:10).
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rubystars on September 27, 2010, 12:36:34 AM
One of the things that filled me with a lot of anger was when a while back I saw people questioning whether or not they should save a drowning non-Jew on Shabbat. Is this kind of haughty attitude common or was it just an abberation? I can't imagine someone watching another human being drowning and not doing something to help.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: angryChineseKahanist on September 27, 2010, 09:01:59 AM

are supermarkets open on jewish holy days?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: angryChineseKahanist on September 27, 2010, 09:05:52 AM

I've asked about elevators in the past...

where does it say that jews are not allowed to use electricity on saturdays? or what does it say? or probably better what's equvalent to electricy since it wasn't available back then?

I'll just throw that at you and hope that you'll know what i'm saying.



Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Meerkat on October 09, 2010, 06:17:26 PM
how do you pronounce your screen name?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on October 09, 2010, 10:03:20 PM
how do you pronounce your screen name?

Moo-Man 613

Or it could be

Mew-Man 613

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: angryChineseKahanist on October 19, 2010, 08:48:55 AM

What's the square root of pi to the 30th digit?

What's the circumference of the Bermuda Triangle?

What's the square root of the circumference of you head at your temple?

How many milimeters does a stop sign measure?

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: angryChineseKahanist on October 20, 2010, 07:29:56 AM

You know, you really read into things too much.
Loosen up.
There's only so much that can be communicated through text.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on October 20, 2010, 01:15:28 PM

What's the square root of pi to the 30th digit?

What's the circumference of the Bermuda Triangle?

What's the square root of the circumference of you head at your temple?

How many milimeters does a stop sign measure?



I have been thinking long and hard about these intriguing questions... But I must admit that I do not know the answer to them all..

Utilizing google.com I was able to find the answer concerning Pi to the 30th decimal place : 3.141592653589793238462643383280

But the other tidbits of information are not really interesting to me and I don't have time to investigate them.

I hope you find the answers to these questions.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: angryChineseKahanist on October 20, 2010, 03:14:34 PM

I was only trying to loosen you up a bit.
C'mon, I'll buy you an elevator.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rubystars on October 24, 2010, 04:03:58 PM
There is no circumference of a triangle, that was a trick question! lol
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on June 01, 2011, 01:38:32 AM
I am still available for questions.... You don't have to be shy...

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rubystars on June 04, 2011, 09:10:06 AM
I am still available for questions.... You don't have to be shy...

What do you think is better for a society, diversity (having many different kinds of people with different cultures and languages) or homogeneity (mostly one type of people, with one dominant language).

We've discussed the legalization of drugs on the forum before and I mostly agreed with you that marijuana should probably be legal, because it's not harmful to the same degree of some other drugs. However I am concerned that some people are so brainwashed into trusting the government that they will think that if something is 'legal', then it must be safe or ok, when that's far from the truth. Belladonna consumption is also legal and that's one of the most dangerous drugs/poisons someone can take.  While most people wouldn't try that because of how dangerous it is, I think many more people would start using marijuana if IT were made legal and suffer the consequences of a lack of drive, short term memory loss, weight gain from munchies, etc. So how can we both safely deregulate this and at the same time remind people that it's still not a good idea even if it is legal?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Shlomo on June 04, 2011, 10:41:53 PM
I understand this is the Ask Muman thread, but I would like to interject.

While I, personally, think that it should be legal for those who are suffering terrible pain (as my own mother, G-d bless her, did before she went to be with Hashem), I do not agree with it's recreational use.

And even some Rabbis believe that a person who does drugs (with the exception of medical issues) has no place in the world to come and that intoxication separates a person from their soul.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Radio/News.aspx/3115
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rubystars on June 05, 2011, 08:41:30 AM
I understand this is the Ask Muman thread, but I would like to interject.

While I, personally, think that it should be legal for those who are suffering terrible pain (as my own mother, G-d bless her, did before she went to be with Hashem), I do not agree with it's recreational use.

And even some Rabbis believe that a person who does drugs (with the exception of medical issues) has no place in the world to come and that intoxication separates a person from their soul.

http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Radio/News.aspx/3115

I've never used it and I don't plan to ever use it unless I would need it for a medical reason like that, but I'd agree with you that using it recreationally is wrong. I just see the need for a smaller government.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on June 06, 2011, 08:45:16 PM
Hello RubyStars,

Thank you for these questions...

I will express my opinion on the topics which you presented to me.... I believe that diversity is good for life. Without diversity there would be only boredom. The Jewish sages state that we should learn from everyone, from the average man to the Torah scholar. Everyone has something from which we can learn something. If everyone was the same there would not be such a concept as good and evil, either we would all be good or all be evil... Because the world is full of all kinds of people we have to choose our friends wisely, and choose our activities wisely lest we make mistakes and end up lost.

I believe that the world has such diversity for an express Divine reason. Although the Torah does express the desire to keep species separate, through the concepts of Shatnez , it is only concerning certain materials and certain species of animals. The Jewish law has always allowed converts to join the Jewish people {although we have seen this to be a mistake at certain points in time} and the convert is promised that he or she will be treated well by the Jewish people {commandments to love the convert}.

But there are negative aspects to diversity also. The fact is that there is much evil in the world, and it is spreading to all corners of the world. It is best to raise children protected from the brunt of the immoral media and to try to explain things when the child is old enough. It is surely getting harder to raise children with the proper outlook in todays world. We should not say that every culture is equal. Some cultures espouse some very evil ideologies. I believe from a Jewish perspective that every world-view should be examined in light of the Torah. Those ideologies which are congruous with the Torah should be learned from, those which oppose it should be rejected.

On the question of legalizing some of the lesser drugs.... I have my own opinion on this. I too am against openly legalizing Marijuana. In my youth I used this drug and I know that it is not very dangerous {in light of some of the more dangerous drugs which I also indulged in (cocaine, methamphetamines, Pain-Pills, LSD, Mushrooms)}. But in my experience a persons reaction to THC is very subjective. Some people get lazy, some people get motivated, some people get stupid, some get intelligent. In light of this I believe that kids should not be doing it while they are learning in school. I did not start to use pot till I was 20 years old... {Pretty old compared to kids today who start as young as 12-13}.

I do support legalized Medical Marijuana as we have here in California. As you said it should be available to those in pain. I do believe that pot is effective against some kinds of pain, and it is not as bad for the body as some of the pharmacuetical pain-killers {of which I have been proscribed by Drs}...

All in all I think medical MJ should be available to those whom the doctors believe it can be helpful for.



References:

Quote
http://www.aish.com/jl/m/mm/48948976.html

Certain things go together naturally, like peas and carrots. And certain things don't, like toothpaste and orange juice.

The Torah teaches about the power of combinations and warns against mixing the wrong things together. One of these is the prohibition against wearing a mixture of wool and linen in the same piece of clothing, as it is written, "You shall not wear combined fibers, wool and linen together" (Deut. 22:11).

In Hebrew, this forbidden mixture is called "shatnez" (pronounced shot-nezz).

Shatnez is an acronym for "combed, spun and woven," which describes the stages in processing fabric: combing the raw fiber, spinning fibers into a thread, and weaving the threads into cloth.
.
.

Quote
http://www.closetotorah.com/2010/06/the-basic-halachos-of-shatnez/

Shatnez is a prohibition from the Torah. It is a Mitzvas Lo Saseh (negative commandment) meaning you fulfill this obligation by refraining from doing an action. (In this case it is refraining from wearing, or draping on oneself a garment or fabric containing a forbidden mixture of wool and linen).

There are two verses in the Torah that refer to shatnez. One in Vayikra 19:19, “Ubeged kilayim shatnez lo ya’aleh alecha.” A garment composed of a shatnez mixture should not cover you. And in Devarim 22:11 another expression of this same mitzvah, “Lo silbash shatnez tzemer uphishtim yachdav.” Do not wear shatnez, wool and linen together. The prohibition of shatnez is with wool and linen only. A garment made from any other combination of fibers is permitted to wear.

Shatnez is classified as a form of Kilayim (forbidden mixture of the Torah). There are 4 forms of Kilayim mentioned in the Torah Kilyam of animals, Kilyam of the vineyard, Kilyam of plants and Kilyam of clothes which is also called shatnez.
Our Sages teach us the word shatnez  (שעטנז) is actually an acronym of the words שוע טווי נוז to teach us that the combination is prohibited only if the wool and linen fibers have been combed, spun and woven or twined.



PS: It is clear that the Torah forbids praying and doing the service in the Temple while intoxicated.

Quote
http://www.ou.org/torah/article/mitzvah152
Kohanim were prohibited from entering the Temple after drinking a revi’is of an alcoholic beverage (about 4.5 ounces, plus or minus an ounce). Additionally, a rabbi – even a non-kohein – may not render a legal decision after drinking (see Talmud Eiruvin 64a).

The reason for this mitzvah is that it is wholly inappropriate to occupy oneself with important and holy matters, such as the Temple service and Torah study, with impaired judgment. If a kohein performed the service under the influence of alcohol, the service was not valid. (It is equally prohibited even nowadays for a person to pray while under the influence.)

These past few mitzvos – not to enter the Temple drunk, in ripped clothes, or with wild hair – also apply to non-kohanim, albeit to a lesser degree. It would not violate a Biblical injunction were a non-kohein to do so, but it was prohibited as disrespectful to the Temple.

The prohibition against entering the Temple intoxicated applied to both men and women during Temple times; the aspect of rendering a decision while under the influence continues to apply today. This mitzvah is discussed in the Talmud in the tractates of Eiruvin (64a), Kerisos (13b), Sanhedrin (22b) and Zevachim (17b). It is codified in the Mishneh Torah in the first chapter of Hilchos Biyas HaMikdash. It is #73 of the 365 negative mitzvos in the Rambam’s Sefer HaMitzvos. It is not included among the mitzvos that can be fulfilled today in the Chofetz Chaim’s Sefer HaMitzvos HaKatzar.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rubystars on June 06, 2011, 09:17:20 PM
Thanks for the answers
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on June 07, 2011, 01:17:26 AM
Someone asked me about the Movie Pi.... I found this clip from YouTube...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcN2i9GKsFQ

Watch it... It explains Gematria and some other numerological issues in Kabbalah...

Here is the movie trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQYYGwYTPuY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UlcjHDDG8dE
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on June 07, 2011, 02:04:59 AM
Thanks for the answers

Rubystars,

You are welcome. I love answering questions... (If I can answer them...)

 :o

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on June 07, 2011, 02:16:47 AM
I hope that my new signature animation is not getting anyone nauseous?!?!

I created several new logos this evening and I hope to change my signature image weekly as I change the Torah portion quotation.

Here are several of the currently completed logos:

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-iPyMFq3kKiU/Te2rhRuCYyI/AAAAAAAAApc/28muIb7j8Wg/s800/a.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-VMDBxlTWPRo/Te2rhdJGlsI/AAAAAAAAApg/_ihHOx_y5bk/s800/b.jpg)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-tCdvPwdSpp4/Te3BxmznYSI/AAAAAAAAAp8/rmYx3wlUdx8/s800/c.jpg)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-80KWVuw_Y5g/Te2rhl0e0ZI/AAAAAAAAApk/asmihzibe0c/s800/d.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-5jbq4QuyZ1I/Te2rh5MoRsI/AAAAAAAAAps/tBysOb1PXvg/s800/g.jpg)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-ElKioY5Dm6w/Te2rhz4oczI/AAAAAAAAApw/4aLtVSq7JRw/s800/f.gif)
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Irish Zionist on June 20, 2011, 06:13:26 PM
Shalom Muman, it's being a very long time since I asked you a question.

Why is one of the descendents of King David supposed to be Mashiach?
Why not one of the descendents of Moses?
Why didn't King David become Mashiach?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on June 22, 2011, 01:03:19 AM
Shalom Muman, it's being a very long time since I asked you a question.

Why is one of the descendents of King David supposed to be Mashiach?
Why not one of the descendents of Moses?
Why didn't King David become Mashiach?

IrishZionist,

Thank you for these questions. I am not ignoring them. They are some very deep questions and I need some time to think of a proper response.

Thank you,
muman613


PS: I have been doing a good deal of preparation and research to answer this question. Let me just say that King David ranks amongst the most complex characters we have, whose piety and his failings are well known. I hope to write a long exposition which tries to explain the answers to your questions... But I don't expect to have it done before Sunday night...

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Yaakov Mendel on June 28, 2011, 05:34:23 PM
Shalom Michael,

One superficial question : how do you find the time to post so much and write so many comments on JTF's forum ? (and, by the way, thank you for all your great contributions to the forum !). I mean, you have a job, a family and you are observant. How do you manage ? Do you work part-time ?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on June 28, 2011, 08:03:26 PM
Shalom Michael,

One superficial question : how do you find the time to post so much and write so many comments on JTF's forum ? (and, by the way, thank you for all your great contributions to the forum !). I mean, you have a job, a family and you are observant. How do you manage ? Do you work part-time ?

Well, Since i work on Computers I am always sitting in front of a computer.

While at work I read the news, read the boards, and when I am in between compiling {an operation which can take between 4-10 minutes at times} I find time to post.

I do not post on Shabbat or on Yom Tov {nor do I use the computer}...

My family life is not much to speak of... I spend a lot of time driving to and from work...

I enjoy posting here because I hope that my writing has a positive effect on Jews who read this forum. Since my Teshuva I have tried always to teach anyone willing to learn about Torah and Mitzvots.

I hope that answers some of these questions. I appreciate your kind words and hope to finally be able to answer Irish Zionists questions about King David. I indeed have done a great deal of thinking on this topic and am currently trying to figure out how best to express my answer.

Michael
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on June 29, 2011, 02:37:28 AM
Ok, I will split this answer across two posts. I will post the second part tomorrow night...



Question:

Shalom Muman, it's being a very long time since I asked you a question.
Why is one of the descendents of King David supposed to be Mashiach?
Why not one of the descendents of Moses?
Why didn't King David become Mashiach?


Answer:

Shalom IrishZionist, it is a pleasure to answer your questions. I just hope I am able to express the ideas which I have formed in a way which can be understood. As I said earlier King David appears to be a very complex individual from our Torah. Although it can be argued just about every great Jew is a very complex character I still propose that King David is a genuine complex case.

It is very interesting that you posed this question at this particular time. I had a profound 'miracle' moment after last Shabbat while I still was learning from the Parasha of Korach. I listened to a Rabbi who explained a very key point concerning King David which I will discuss in this post. Every time I notice parallels between the Torah portion and current events I am humbled.

One issue to understand is just what Moshiach is and what makes a person Moshiach. The simple meaning of the word Moshiach means 'Anointed'. Thus any king who is anointed in the proscribed manner is called Moshiach. But when we talk about the Moshiach we also refer to the promised redeemer who will again bring the Jewish people to do teshuva, fight the enemy of the Jewish people, and bring a knowledge of G-d to the world while eliminating all evil.

Now let us look closely at some aspects of King Davids life. He was the youngest son of Jesse who nobody had any thought to be the king, as the oldest son was supposed to be enthroned. The oldest son was the most handsome, the most clever and noble of Jesses sons. But through miraculous events all of Jesses sons were not acceptable to Hashem through his prophet Samuel. But eventually when little David was brought before the prophet it was David who would be anointed.

We should discuss the 'lineage' of King David which has been questioned due to his non-Jewish great grandmother. It is not a hidden fact in Judaism that King David sprouted from some rather questionable relations. We read the book of Ruth on Shavuot, the holiday we recall the giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai. But Ruth was a Moabite princess before she converted. The Torah expressly forbids a Jew to marry a Moabite but the sages have explained that this means only Moabite men. Not only that but Ruths great great great grandfather was Balak who was king of Moab at the time of Moses. It is clear that Ruth converted to Judaism but this is another of those questions which are raised when we discuss King David.

King David was mighty but he had flaws. One of the main reasons the Tehillim/Psalms of David are a part of the Jewish Tanach is because through Davids tough life he was able to see Hashem and his love of G-d never ceased.

Why is a descendant of King David destined to be the coming Moshiach? I am not inside Hashems will or thought but I did learn last Saturday night that Hashem made a covenant with David that the Kingship will remain with his descendants as a 'Covenant of Salt'. It is interesting to note that in last weeks Torah portion of Korach we read that one of the gifts to Aaron and his sons, the Kohen/Priests, is a covenant of salt.

The sages (Rashi) explain that Salt is a mineral which preserves food and never spoils. The Arizal points out:

The Hebrew word for salt, melach, is numerically equivalent to 78, which is 3 x 26 [3 x the divine name Havayah, which equals 26]. Similarly, the priestly blessing contains the name Havayah three times: "May Havayah bless you…May Havayah shine His countenance…May Havayah raise his countenance…." These blessings keep the world in existence and are therefore compared to salt, which sustains other items.

Another characteristic of salt is that it cuts down and destroys negative things. It has this capacity because it stems from gevura of holiness. Thus the divine name used in the verse regarding the covenant of salt is Elo-him ["brit elo-hecha"], which is the divine name that embodies gevura. It can therefore transform and "sweeten" the negative forms of severity, since severity is sweetened by its root.


The Sefer Divrei Ha-Yamim contains this quote, “Listen to me, Yerovam and all Israel: Do you not know that the Lord G-d of Israel gave the rule over Israel forever to David and his sons by a covenant of salt?”

While I know this doesn't answer why King Davids descendants should be Moshiach it does show the source for this belief.



B'ezrat Hashem {May it be His will} I will complete this tomorrow night!

See also:
http://www.chabad.org/kabbalah/article_cdo/aid/380604/jewish/The-Kabbalah-of-Salt.htm
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on June 29, 2011, 02:42:46 AM
Here is the video on Parasha Korach which discusses this covenant of salt:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0VSV23l5RM
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on June 30, 2011, 01:22:52 AM
Let us look at the second of your questions...

Why not one of the descendants of Moses?

I have done a lot of research into this aspect because I truly did not know the answer. Moses himself is the greatest prophet of all time and Hashem says there will never be another prophet on the level of Moshe again. Moses greatness is immense, his traits of humility and clear vision of Hashems laws, the ability to speak face-to-face with Hashem in a lucid state {while all other prophets only had prophecy in trances and dreams}. Moses acted as the very hand of G-d when he brought the plagues onto Egypt and led the people through the sea.

Moses was compared to the entire Jewish people, with Moses on one side of the balance and the rest of the people on the other side of the scale. When the Children of Israel sinned with the Golden Calf {which was caused by the Erev Rav who left Egypt with them} Hashems anger flared against the entire people and G-d threatened to destroy the entire nation. Through Moses heartfelt pleas to the L-rd the people were spared from certain destruction.

The Talmud says:

"No word of blessing that issued from the mouth of the Holy One, blessed be He, even if based upon a condition, was ever withdrawn by Him. How do we know this? From our teacher Moses. For it is said: "Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and blot out their name from under heaven; and I will make of thee a nation mightier and greater than they". Though Moses prayed that this might be mercifully averted and it was cancelled, [the blessing] was nevertheless fulfilled towards his children. For it is said: The sons of Moses: Gershom and Eliezer ... And the sons of Eliezer were Rehabia the chief ... and the sons of Rehabiah were very many. And R. Joseph learnt: They were more than sixty myriads." (Tractate Berachot 7a)

This indicates that Moses children survived and were prosperous. But there is also some evidence that Hashem was not pleased with their absence of Torah study. While the Torah sets out to list the generations of Moses and Aaron, it only lists the children of Aaron and leaves Moses children absent.

These are the generations of Aaron and Moses, on the day G-d spoke to Moses on Mount Sinai (3:1).
These are the sons of Aaron: the oldest Nadav, then Avihu, Elazar and Ithamar (3:2).


The sages explain that this is the verse which proves that a man can be considered a father simply by teaching another person Torah. But the question remains why weren't Moses children listed here? Moses sons were not inspired with the Torah lifestyle as the sons of Aaron were.

I found a very good explanation why the sons of Moses were not considered for being Moshiach... According to this explanation Hashem did not consider them worthy of leadership since they did not experience the Exodus nor did they cross the sea with the people, rather they were in Midian with their mother.

The Midrash Tanchuma (Pinchas 11) relates that Moses had asked Hashem to appoint his sons to be the leader of the Jewish nation but Hashem declined, and the L-rd said to Moses "Your sons sat and did not occupy themselves with Torah. Joshua, who served you, is fitting to serve Israel.”

There are many good lessons concerning Moshiach when we examine Moses. As I often like to say, according to Jewish sources it is said, "The future redemption will mirror the first redemption". This means that the Geula/Redemption will resemble the Exodus from Egypt. This is the reason we learn a lot about the character of Moshiach by examining Moses.

From Sichos in English:

Quote
http://www.sichosinenglish.org/books/highlights-of-moshiach/16.htm

Our Sages state:

"Moses was the first Redeemer and he is the final Redeemer."

This does not mean that Moses himself will be the final Redeemer, since Moses is a Levite, whereas Moshiach will come from the family of King David - from the Tribe of Judah. What, then, does this Midrashic statement mean?

Rather, our Sages teach us that through the power of Moses, who was the first Redeemer, shall come Moshiach - the final Redeemer.

The major qualification of Moshiach is assiduous Torah study. Thus, his power and merit to redeem all Jews is through Torah, which is called "the Torah of Moses" and as G-d told him: "Since you are humble it shall be called upon your name." Likewise, the power of Jews to bring the final redemption today is through increased Torah study and its observance.

In the numerical sense, we also find the connection between Moshiach and Moses, as is written, "Until Shiloh comes" - yavo Shiloh, and Moshiach is also called Shiloh.

The Hebrew words yavo Shiloh are the numerical value of Moshiach; and Shiloh is the numerical value of Moshe.

This teaches us that the merit and power for bringing Moshiach is dependent upon the ideal role of Moses - through a wholesome dedication to Torah study and mitzvos.


References:

http://www.partnersintorah.org/parsha-partner/yisro-5767
http://www.hevratpinto.org/pahad_eng/shemot/f_mishpatim_02.html
http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/662,2129999/What-do-we-know-about-the-fate-of-Moses-children.html
http://www.chabad.org/parshah/article_cdo/aid/1530929/jewish/What-Happened-to-Moses-Descendants.htm
http://www.shemayisrael.com/parsha/solomon/archives/bamidbar69.htm
http://www.sichosinenglish.org/books/highlights-of-moshiach/16.htm
http://www.sichosinenglish.org/books/highlights-of-moshiach/10.htm
http://www.chabad.org/parshah/in-depth/plainBody_cdo/AID/2119


I am looking forward to answering the final question tomorrow evening... With Divine Help!

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on June 30, 2011, 01:48:54 AM
And for anyone who wants to touch on the Kabbalah of Moses... I will post these excerpts I have found:



http://www.partnersintorah.org/parsha-partner/yisro-5767

2) Q: The Arizal, one of the greatest mystics of all time, writes in the name of the Holy Zohar that Moses was a gilgul (reincarnation) of Hevel (Abel), and Yisro was a gilgul of Cain. As all mystical teachings are alluded to in the actual text, where is this fascinating fact hinted to?

A: Rav Chaim Vital notes that this is hinted to by the letters beginning the words אני חתנך יתרו – I am your father-in-law Yisro – which spell the word אחי – my brother. Part of Yisro’s mission in this world was to atone for the sin of Cain in killing Hevel, which he did in several ways. Firstly, he gave his daughter in marriage to a gilgul of Hevel, Moses, which allowed Hevel the descendants which were denied him through his murder (see Bereishis 4:10). The sacrifice brought by Cain did not find favor in Hashem’s eyes (Bereishis 4:5), so Yisro corrected this by bringing proper sacrifices to Hashem (18:12), which were enjoyed not just by him but by Aaron and the elders of the generation. Finally, the Chida writes that while the Torah doesn’t recount the final conversation between Cain and Hevel when they were in the field prior to the murder, the Targum Yonason ben Uziel (Bereishis 4:8) records that a part of it was Cain’s blasphemous claim that there is no Divine judge or process of judgment regarding our actions in this world. He rectified this by suggesting to Moses (18:19-23) the concept of establishing a proper system of courts and judges!



http://www.hevratpinto.org/pahad_eng/shemot/f_mishpatim_02.html

Having eaten of the Tree of Knowledge, Eve brought death into the world (Yalkut Shimoni, Bereshith 32). She was reincarnated as Batiah, the daughter of Pharaoh, thanks to whom the world would survive because she “drew him [Moses] from the water” (Exodus 2:10). Thus she had the merit of bearing the name “bat Y-h” (“daughter of Hashem”), the work of His hands, like Eve. Now according to the Zohar, Eve also brought about Abel’s death (Tikkun Zohar 69:118b). Batiah, however, saved Moses. We may therefore say that it was by the merit of Batiah (the reincarnation of Eve) that Moses (the reincarnation of Abel) saved the Children of Israel from Egypt and gave them the Torah. Therefore Batiah completely atoned for the sin of Eve.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on July 01, 2011, 02:13:36 AM
Shalom Everyone!

Here I go again trying to explain concepts which are bigger than I am. Realize that I am only speaking from the perspective of a Jew who only really began studying Tanach eight years ago but I hope by now I have a grasp of the subject matter.

Why didn't King David become Mashiach?

Well I don't think that Hashem considered him worthy of that, nor were the Jewish people prepared, and it was not the right time. Of course each of those issues which I listed could have been but weren't.

As I said in my first answer, King David lived a very difficult life. He was so righteous that we cannot even compare ourselves to him, yet the Sages have explained to us that even King David failed at one of the tests which he was given. And what is even more amazing is that the test he was given was at King Davids own request. From this we learn that we should never ask Hashem for a test, lest he give us one tailor made for our weakness, and we fail that test.

King David felt so secure in his righteousness and his cleaving to Hashem that he asked him for a test. And Hashem sent Bathsheba into his life, to tempt him, and he should take her with the appearance of impropriety. I have written in the Torah section many years ago how the Sages explain how King David did not truly sin, yet the appearance of the sin is a stain on his record.

I have also written on JTF before that virtually every great character in our Torah has a weakness, and or a failing. None of our Forefathers are perfect in all traits, although they all are giants in their good traits. I just posted in the Torah section about how this Shabbats Parasha recounts Moses failure to precisely obey the word of Hashem.

Hashem deals with the Jewish people, and the world, with a trait called 'Middah Keneged Middah", which means 'Measure for Measure' or also 'trait for trait'. This is the source of all justice, that one must repay the other for any damages done. This is also similar to the concept of 'Karma' in some ways, that what you do to others will ultimately be done to you.

King David was an awesome leader and could have been Moshiach, Im pretty sure, but so could have Moses been the Moshiach, and he could have entered the land, but it was not to be.

Remember that Hashem, through his awesome and powerful name, 'Havaya' encompasses all of time and space, it means "He was, He is, He will be" and what should be the intention in mind when thinking of this name is that Hashem is not limited by time nor space. Time is only a concern to this reality we live in, and thus we cannot comprehend how free-will fits in with Hashems divine plan.

Hashem will send Moshiach in his appointed time. Through a combination of scenarios that we cannot foretell the redeemer will reveal himself. The traits of the Moshiach must be right, the people must be ready to receive him, and it must be the appointed time...

King David was not permitted to build the Beit Mikdash {Holy Temple} due to having waged too many wars and having 'blood on his hands'.

Here is the answer Rabbi Moshe Goldman from Chabad gives:



http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/625408/jewish/Was-King-David-wrong-for-waging-so-many-battles.htm

Quote
Question:

I've heard it said that King David was denied the opportunity to build the Holy Temple because he had "blood on his hands" from the many wars he waged. If this is the case, why do we hold David in such high esteem? Why was he chosen to be the progenitor of the Moshiach?

Answer:


You are correct. King David told his son Solomon:

   "But the word of G‑d was upon me, saying: 'You have shed much blood, and you have waged great wars; you shall not build a house in My Name because you have shed much blood to the ground before Me. Behold a son will be born to you. He will be a man of peace, and I shall give him peace from all his enemies around about . . . He shall build a House in My Name.'"   (I Chronicles 22:8-10.)

We always need to concern ourselves with one question only: "What does G‑d want from me right here, right now?" For David, the answer was to go to war to protect his nation against the various military threats that they faced. The fact that later on he was not allowed to build the Temple is no indication that his warfare was a black mark on his record. It was simply incompatible with the peaceful nature of the Temple.

A simple analogy: You are walking to a black tie dinner, and you pass by a muddy swamp. You notice someone sinking in the mucky water, screaming for help, so you jump in and save him. The guy you rescued thanks you profusely and goes on his way—but you won't really feel comfortable continuing on to the black tie dinner in your muddy, dripping suit. Chances are that security will escort you out if you do decide to make an appearance.

So does that mean that you now regret saving the drowning man?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on July 01, 2011, 02:28:00 AM
This article sheds a little more light on what we are talking about:



http://vbm-torah.org/archive/mikdash3/70mikdash.htm

III. HAD DAVID BUILT THE TEMPLE, IT WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN DESTROYED

            Midrash Tehillim states as follows (Midrash Shocher Tov, Psalm 62):[11]


R. Nechemya states: "'When You render to every man according to his work' (Tehillim 62:13) — what is 'according to his work'?  There is a person who considers committing a sin, but fails to do so; the Holy One, blessed be He, does not ascribe it to him unless he [actually] does it.  If, however, he intended to perform a mitzva, but because of circumstances beyond his control he fails to perform it, the Holy One, blessed be He, ascribes it to him as if he had done it.

From where do you learn this? You learn from David, who painfully wished to build the Temple…  Immediately, the Holy One, blessed be He, appeared to him through Natan, as it is stated: "And it came to pass that night that the word of the Lord came to Natan, saying… You shall build Me a house" (Shmuel II 7:4-5), and another verse states: "You shall not build Me a house wherein to dwell" (I Divrei Ha-yamim 17:4).  How can these two verses be reconciled? Rather, even though your son Shlomo will build it, it will be called by your name."

Indeed, David was worthy to build it, but the prophet Natan came and said to him: "You shall not build a house to My name, because You have shed much blood upon the earth before Me" (ibid. 22:7).  When David heard this, he was frightened and said: "Surely, I have been disqualified from building the Temple!"  R. Yehuda bar Ila'i said: The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him: "Fear not, David, by your life, all the blood that you shed is before Me like that of a gazelle or a deer, about which it is stated: 'The unclean and the clean may eat of it as they do of the gazelle and the deer.  Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it upon the earth like water' (Devarim 12:15-16)."[12]

He said to Him: "If so, why can't I build it?" The Holy One, blessed be He, said to Him: "If you build it, it will stand forever and never be destroyed." He said before Him: "Surely that is good!"  The Holy One, blessed be He, said: "It is revealed and known to Me, that in the future Israel will sin, and I will diffuse My anger by destroying [the Temple], and Israel will be spared."  This is what is written: "He has bent His bow like an enemy… He has poured out His fury like fire" (Eikha 2:4).  The Holy One, blessed be He, said to him: "Even though you will not build it, since you wanted to build it, I will ascribe it to your name."  As it is stated: "A psalm and song at the dedication of the house; of David" (Tehillim 30:1).  It does not say "of Shlomo," but rather "of David." Why?  This is because he desired to build it.  Thus we learn that whoever intends to perform a mitzva, even if, on account of circumstances beyond his control, he fails to do it, the Holy One, blessed be He, regards him as if he had performed it."[13]


            This midrash interprets the bloodshed in question not in accordance with the plain sense of the verses; it sees it as a neutral act (like the slaughter of "a gazelle or a deer") or perhaps even as a positive act (similar to sacrificial offerings — according to the reading of the Pesikta Rabbati, see note 11).  Why, then, was David barred from building the Temple?  The midrash answers that had David built the Temple, it would never have been destroyed, but rather it would have stood eternally and forever.

            The level of eternity will be attained in actual fact only in the future Temple, described in the book of Yechezkel (e.g., 43:9), but not in the two Temples that will precede it.  During the earlier stages, the Temple reflects the spiritual level of Israel, and therefore its existence is conditional upon their state: if their spiritual level is worthy, it will stand, but if not, it will be destroyed.  Had David built the Temple, it would not have been able to give expression to this idea, and therefore, according to these midrashim, David was barred from building it.  Furthermore, the potential gap between the level of Israel and the eternity of the Temple raises the danger that G-d will expend His anger on the nation of Israel directly, whereas a Temple that is not eternal can be destroyed, thereby sparing Israel.



I think this answers some of the question... As I said in my original posting...

Baruch Hashem! , I hope you find my writing pleasant and learned a thing or two from it...


Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: angryChineseKahanist on July 07, 2011, 02:21:52 PM

Do you wear festive yarmulkes
http://www.amazon.com/Hebrew-Alphabet-Embroidered-Jewish-YourHolyLandStore/dp/B0051SZW86/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1310062839&sr=8-14
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on July 07, 2011, 03:50:33 PM
Do you wear festive yarmulkes
http://www.amazon.com/Hebrew-Alphabet-Embroidered-Jewish-YourHolyLandStore/dp/B0051SZW86/ref=sr_1_14?ie=UTF8&qid=1310062839&sr=8-14


Actually... No... I always wear my standard knitted-kippah which looks somewhat like this one:

(http://i.ebayimg.com/12/!B2GZOuwB2k~$(KGrHqJ,!j!E)sBeRiMnBMhF9IcpJw~~_35.JPG)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-mDWojw2yNm8/TRZ80KG7WHI/AAAAAAAAAUY/c6leyHrQvgE/s800/Photo_090408_004cropped.jpg)
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: angryChineseKahanist on July 07, 2011, 04:54:29 PM
are the ones like I showed you over priced?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on July 07, 2011, 06:11:29 PM
are the ones like I showed you over priced?



Its been a while since I bought mine... But checking around the web it seems $8.99 for that Kippah is a good deal... The price of a knitted kippah like mine is about $14...

Although this site has many good kippot at reasonable prices...

http://www.judaicawebstore.com/kippahs-C109.aspx
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: angryChineseKahanist on July 07, 2011, 09:47:21 PM
Wow its making your glasses out of balance! Wait let me pivot my monitor two degrees.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: angryChineseKahanist on July 07, 2011, 09:49:00 PM
I just ordered this one this afternoon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0051SZW86/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&m=A3RBRBVVJWY23L
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on July 07, 2011, 10:21:40 PM
Wow its making your glasses out of balance! Wait let me pivot my monitor two degrees.



I think it is my nose which is causing that...
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on July 07, 2011, 10:24:09 PM
I just ordered this one this afternoon:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0051SZW86/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?ie=UTF8&m=A3RBRBVVJWY23L


Congratulations.... Maybe someday you will get a Knitted-Kippah.... You may not realize it but the type of Kippah you wear may reveal your political leanings...

Check out what it says on the wiki page:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kippah
Quote
Often the color and fabric of the kippah can be a sign of adherence to a specific religious movement. Knitted or crocheted kippot, known as kippot serugot, tend to be worn by Religious Zionists and the Modern Orthodox,[13] who also wear suede or leather kippot. The hit Israeli TV series, Srugim, which has been compared to the U.S. TV series Friends, takes its name from the knitted kippot worn by the main male characters.

Members of most Haredi groups usually wear black velvet or cloth kippot. In general, the larger the kippah, the more traditionalist the wearer.[14] By contrast, the smaller the kippah, the more modern and liberal the person is.[15]
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Sveta on July 10, 2011, 04:25:35 AM
I knew a rabbi who would wear a Harley Davidson kippah. He was very MO and worked with college kids, the first thing they would notice was the kippah.

Anyways, Muman, I always have many questions, I don't know where to begin.

What is it with these women who because of "equality" super feminist anarchy nonsense put on kippahs and go to the kotel and form their feminist minyan, pray Shacharit wear tallit etc...

I read that if they were to read from the Torah at the Kotel they could get arrested. Now, despite my screen name, I have not been to Israel yet, although I will. But it angers me to think, what if I go to the Kotel trying to connect and privately pray and then these women come in trying to look like men and disturbing the environment. There is pressure to give them their "equality" and let them do these things at the Kotel but what about the religious women who don't want to hear or see that? Giving them their "equality" but at the price of the women who don't want to see this. Even women who are not super religious still don't want to see this eye sore. I am not the most religious person but I feel that if I hear these woman doing this, my ears would literally burn. That's just me. I read that Mikhal bat Shaul would wear Tefillin, despite women being exempt from time related Mitzvot. Women are exempt and yet these feminists are doing what men are commanded to do. They don't do it to fulfill any commandments, they just do it to make their feminist statements. It just doesn't make sense to me.

 I don't know, I guess my question is what is your opinion of this and will Israel cave in to pressure of giving these feminists their "equality"?
Am I overreacting? Is this a minor thing or a Chillul Hashem?

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on July 10, 2011, 03:29:31 PM
I knew a rabbi who would wear a Harley Davidson kippah. He was very MO and worked with college kids, the first thing they would notice was the kippah.

Anyways, Muman, I always have many questions, I don't know where to begin.

What is it with these women who because of "equality" super feminist anarchy nonsense put on kippahs and go to the kotel and form their feminist minyan, pray Shacharit wear tallit etc...

I read that if they were to read from the Torah at the Kotel they could get arrested. Now, despite my screen name, I have not been to Israel yet, although I will. But it angers me to think, what if I go to the Kotel trying to connect and privately pray and then these women come in trying to look like men and disturbing the environment. There is pressure to give them their "equality" and let them do these things at the Kotel but what about the religious women who don't want to hear or see that? Giving them their "equality" but at the price of the women who don't want to see this. Even women who are not super religious still don't want to see this eye sore. I am not the most religious person but I feel that if I hear these woman doing this, my ears would literally burn. That's just me. I read that Mikhal bat Shaul would wear Tefillin, despite women being exempt from time related Mitzvot. Women are exempt and yet these feminists are doing what men are commanded to do. They don't do it to fulfill any commandments, they just do it to make their feminist statements. It just doesn't make sense to me.

 I don't know, I guess my question is what is your opinion of this and will Israel cave in to pressure of giving these feminists their "equality"?
Am I overreacting? Is this a minor thing or a Chillul Hashem?



Shalom IsraeliHeart,

It is good that you have many questions. Jews are supposed to ask questions, which is one reason -- I believe -- that Jews always answer questions which another question.

You too have asked a very deep question, IMHO, and one which I need some time to think about in order to give my best advice. But I do not want you to think I am ignoring your question so I will ask once again that you give me some time to answer.

But the short answer, which is what I believe I will expound upon in my longer answer, is that women should not attempt to act like men. I believe in the Orthodox concepts that men and women are different and yet we are two parts of a whole creation. This belief stems from the Torah which teaches that man and woman were created as Adam and then separated when it was clear that Adam would be lonely and so Chava was formed from Adams side. Thus man and woman are very similar and yet we are different. There are 'feminine' and 'masculine' middot/traits. While it is true that every human has both masculine and feminine traits, he or she is born with particular gender traits. Judaism doesn't believe that we are all 100% equal in all traits. Thus amongst Jews we distinguish Kohen, Levi, or Yisraeli. A Yisraeli can never be a Kohen, nor a Levi. We are born with our particular family, and that is the way we were created.

Women are such awesome creations and they hold a position of high merit in Orthodox belief. The fact that they are not bound/obligated to perform time related mitzvot should be considered a blessing by women. The commentators on the Torah mention several passages which indicate that women may actually be on a higher spiritual level than men, and they were not involved with several of the sins which occurred during the Exodus. Miriam and the women who left Egypt sang at the sea and danced, and the fact that they brought drums was meritorious.

But women who ignore the command concerning wearing articles of clothing of the opposite sex are ignoring an important concept of the Torah. Women are supposed to cover their heads with wigs or hats, but the kippah has been a tradition of men and we hold that tradition {or minhag} is very important to keep, and some minhag even rise to the level of rabbinic mitzvot.

I have read an interesting article concerning the 'myth' that Rashis daughters wore tefillin. I will see if I can find that article online and link to it in my longer response.

I realize this response may be satisfactory... But I look forward to finding references to this topic...

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on July 10, 2011, 03:38:57 PM
I would also like to add this:

I have nothing against women wanting to read Torah. I believe that they should be able to hold services where only women attend. I think it is good for women to be attracted to Torah and there is nothing impure about that aspect. If they are true to the mitzvot and have what is called Deveykus/Clinging to the Torah then they are meritorious.

But if they want to be able to lead men in davening, or hold Torah reading before men, and if the purpose is to assert 'feminist' beliefs then indeed they are committing a Chillul Hashem/Desecration of Hashems name.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Sveta on July 12, 2011, 01:05:38 AM
Thank you Muman :)
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: angryChineseKahanist on July 12, 2011, 09:08:33 AM

Looks like all the kippahs on amazon are shipped from israel.
They don't make them here? How about in Brooklyn?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on July 13, 2011, 03:36:55 AM
Looks like all the kippahs on amazon are shipped from israel.
They don't make them here? How about in Brooklyn?


Yes, you can go to any local Judaica store and buy kippahs, kippahs, and more kippahs... And tzit-tzits, and kittels, and Shabbat candles, and menorahs, and all kinds of good stuff... Havdallah Candles... Kosher Cookbooks... Dreidels...

(http://goldmenorah.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/11/assorted_kippahs-300x246.jpg) (http://njjewishnews.com/tribe/wp-content/uploads/2010/10/tzitzit.gif)

(http://levinejudaica.com/catalog/images/kittelart) (http://www.judaica-mall.com/products/candlesticks-17012m.jpg)

(http://rockofisrael.org/images/2210Menorah7LG.jpg) (http://shop.thejewishmuseum.org/jmuseum/assets/product_images/PAAAIALIPDAEHLCJ.jpg)

(http://www.becomingjewish.org/images/objects/challah_cover.jpg) (http://www.jacquelinejules.com/images/hanukkah/Dreidel.jpg)

Although some of the good stuff comes from Israel... It is easier to ship in America though... One time I ordered from Israel and it seemed like someone went through my package in shipping {like a monkey}.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on July 15, 2011, 01:48:24 AM
Quote
I have read an interesting article concerning the 'myth' that Rashis daughters wore tefillin. I will see if I can find that article online and link to it in my longer response.

I found the article and reposted it in the 'Torah & Jewish Idea' forum...

http://jtf.org/forum/index.php/topic,56291.msg511043.html#msg511043
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Sveta on July 18, 2011, 02:01:54 AM
Excellent Muman, I read it. Thanks
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Sveta on July 21, 2011, 01:12:38 AM
I'm being a pest again and asking another question. This time about marijuana and Judaism.

So, drugs are evil yes. Alcohol and tobacco are legal but are harmful drugs. So in the case of marijuana, there are some health benefits claimed such as how it may help shrink cancer cells, treat glaucoma, threat migraines, Alzheimer, Seizures, Multiple Sclerosis and much much more.

People say negative things about it, saying that it causes cancer if you smoke it (even though this is not proven) and that is a gateway drug which I do not buy this at all considering that studies have shown that tobacco and alcohol are better predictors of potential drug use.
Then there is the question about dependency. People may become "dependent" on pot...and yet I see people who stop, take long breaks without any discomfort while people who try to quit smoking go insane trying to get some smoke.

Lastly, 1 out 3 americans have tried pot at some point. Pot is not cocaine or meth or the harmful drugs and more people are seeing this.

So being all this said...what does Judaism say about it. I mean people drink alcohol, become terribly drunk but if someone does pot that's the end of the world or something.  The biggest issue I see with religion is that we should follow the law and pot is illegal (unless you're in the Netherlands or Portugal where it is indeed legal). If a Jew were to go to the Netherlands or Portugal where it is legal and get smoke some pot would this be anti-Torah? Keeping in mind that it would not be against the law and that pot is as harmful as alcohol with is legal.

On a latter not there is also hemp...which the THC is so minimal but the potential of good is huge. Hemp can be used for food, clothing, etc... even for fuel. And yet this is illegal in the US too.  Would growing hemp for industrial reasons be against the Torah?

Thanks
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on July 21, 2011, 04:06:30 AM
I'm being a pest again and asking another question. This time about marijuana and Judaism.

So, drugs are evil yes. Alcohol and tobacco are legal but are harmful drugs. So in the case of marijuana, there are some health benefits claimed such as how it may help shrink cancer cells, treat glaucoma, threat migraines, Alzheimer, Seizures, Multiple Sclerosis and much much more.

People say negative things about it, saying that it causes cancer if you smoke it (even though this is not proven) and that is a gateway drug which I do not buy this at all considering that studies have shown that tobacco and alcohol are better predictors of potential drug use.
Then there is the question about dependency. People may become "dependent" on pot...and yet I see people who stop, take long breaks without any discomfort while people who try to quit smoking go insane trying to get some smoke.

Lastly, 1 out 3 americans have tried pot at some point. Pot is not cocaine or meth or the harmful drugs and more people are seeing this.

So being all this said...what does Judaism say about it. I mean people drink alcohol, become terribly drunk but if someone does pot that's the end of the world or something.  The biggest issue I see with religion is that we should follow the law and pot is illegal (unless you're in the Netherlands or Portugal where it is indeed legal). If a Jew were to go to the Netherlands or Portugal where it is legal and get smoke some pot would this be anti-Torah? Keeping in mind that it would not be against the law and that pot is as harmful as alcohol with is legal.

On a latter not there is also hemp...which the THC is so minimal but the potential of good is huge. Hemp can be used for food, clothing, etc... even for fuel. And yet this is illegal in the US too.  Would growing hemp for industrial reasons be against the Torah?

Thanks

I have stated my opinion on this topic many times. There was an interesting discussion with a Christian who asked such a question.

The short answer is that Judaism doesn't see anything as completely good or completely bad. Now don't misunderstand what I am saying because there are things which are obviously good and obviously bad. But the point is that in everything that Hashem created there is potential for both good and bad.

I was explaining this to a friend the other day. That virtually everything in the world is a 'double-edged sword' in that it can be used for good, or conversely it can be used for evil. As such I don't believe that Marijuana is evil nor is it completely good.

I have said that there are positive things it can do medically and I hope that we can discover some of the secrets of THC. It is not a secret that I was a 'Hippie' and a 'Deadhead' about 15 years ago and I certainly have experience with the herb.

The Torah relates the story of Noach, who got drunk after the flood receded. For this episode his entire story is stained with a bad ending. What is the lesson? That drinking should not be the first priority. Our first priority should be learning about Hashem and performing the commandments. It is for these things that our father Abraham was meritorious in Hashems eyes.

There is the story of Nadav and Avihu, the sons of Aaron who performed the incense service while intoxicated {according to many commentators and sages}. From this we learn that we should not daven to Hashem while intoxicated. It is also clearly written that a Kohen cannot perform the service in the Holy of Holies while intoxicated.

But one the other hand wine is a big part of many Jewish rituals. And it is a mitzvah to drink on occasion, most notably on Purim and on Pesach. Again, it is my opinion, that the lesson is that we should do things in moderation and not over-indulge in even the acceptable things.

On the topic of Marijuana I have expressed my desire to keep it 'Medical Marijuana' which can be gotten with a competent doctors prescription here in California. I am against general 'legalization' so that it can be sold in liquor stores because I believe then it will fall into the hands of too many young kids who may be distracted from their studies. I did not start to smoke pot till I was 20 years old. Many kids today start much younger...

See this thread for the discussion I referred to at the beginning:

http://jtf.org/forum/index.php/topic,53169.0.html
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Sveta on July 21, 2011, 04:19:14 AM
Great I am reading through the thread right now.

I've always felt conflicted. Convincing myself it's not bad, then not good etc..etc.. I will read more of the thread. Thanks.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on December 26, 2011, 06:24:46 PM
I can smell it...

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Sveta on April 15, 2012, 03:10:16 PM
Muman...is it better to not say a prayer rather than to do so without kavanah? I mean if you're just not "feeling it".

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on April 17, 2012, 02:29:57 AM
Muman...is it better to not say a prayer rather than to do so without kavanah? I mean if you're just not "feeling it".

Shalom IsraelHeart,

I appreciate your question and I hope I can answer it in a good way.

Regarding Kevanah/Intention... It is very important to have the correct Kevanah during prayer. Jewish prayer can become repetitive because we read the same prayers, day after day, with minor modifications and insertions into the Siddur/{Order of prayers}.

We are instructed that prayer should feel like a face to face meeting with a good friend, our Father and our King {Avinu Malkanu}. With this intention we should attempt to speak the prayer softly, moving our mouths, loud enough to hear ourselves but not too loud so that it interferes with others prayers.

Sometimes when my mind wanders I begin to lose concentration. There are times when a thought will enter your mind while davening and it will eventually become a distraction. This is one reason we try to avoid davening near windows with views which may distract us from our prayers.

Sometimes the people in my minyan start davening faster than I can read and understand. Often I find myself a page or two behind others and then I have to either catch up, or skip some of the prayers, or I do as some do and read the beginning of the paragraph, and the end of the paragraph, so that I can respond to important parts of the davening such as Kedusha, Shemone Esre, Shema, Shira HaYam, or Kaddish. But I always attempt to contemplate the words {which I read in hebrew but comprehend in english}. Names of Hashem such as the tettragramaton , elokim, chesed, rachaman, gevurah, gadol, teferret, kadosh, Shalom, shakai, etc. I comprehend these names... I also often scan the english translation before I read the hebrew and this way I know basically what I am saying, and after doing so for many years I recognize the prayers in hebrew now.

It is said that we should comprehend the words in our more familiar language first so that we know what we are saying. But it is good to learn the hebrew and use the Holy Tongue when we daven.

These are my personal recommendations, and the way that I have been davening for ten years now. I have become more proficient at davening by doing so every day, and it becomes a part of you, and it strengthens you.



http://www.torah.org/advanced/weekly-halacha/5761/behar.html

Quote
WHAT CAN ONE DO IF HIS KAVANAH IS BEING DISTURBED?

Proper kavanah is the most important ingredient of davening. Consequently, it sometimes overrides other halachos. Therefore: If a sefer falls to the floor and that interferes with one's kavanah, he may pick it up after finishing the blessing that he is presently reciting(14). This may be done even if he needs to take a few steps in order to pick up the sefer(15). If, however, the fallen sefer does not disturb his kavanah, then he may not pick up the sefer during Shemoneh Esrei(16). Each individual needs to judge for himself if it is better for him to daven with a siddur or not, since some people concentrate better if they daven from a text, while others have better kavanah davening with their eyes closed(17). If one begins davening without a siddur and suddenly requires one in order to continue davening properly, he may go and get one if he knows its exact location. He many not, however, start searching around for a siddur(18).

If one is davening and is in doubt of a halachah concerning the Shemoneh Esrei, he may go and look up the halachah in a sefer. If he has no other choice, he may even ask another person what the halachah is(19). This should be relied upon only when not resolving his question might invalidate the Shemoneh Esrei(20).

A child [or an adult(21)] who is disturbing the davening may be signaled to with hand motions. If that does not work, one may walk away from the disruptive child [or walk over to the child to quiet him down(22)], but he may not talk to him in order to quiet him down(23). It is proper for a father to show his child where and what to daven before Shemoneh Esrei begins. Even if this will cause the father to start his Shemoneh Esrei later than the tzibur, he should still do so(24). If someone is knocking on the door or ringing the bell, or if the telephone rings during Shemoneh Esrei and it is interfering with his concentration, one may walk to the door and open it, or walk to the phone and lift the receiver off the hook. He may not speak, however(25).
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on April 17, 2012, 02:33:53 AM
Here is another good article excerpt which discusses the importance of kavanah during prayer...


http://www.shemayisrael.com/parsha/chrysler/archives/shoftim64.htm

One should Daven in a fixed place in Shul, as this adds dignity to one's Tefilah, and lends it a touch of importance. One should try to Daven facing a wall, so as not to be distracted by people passing by, or by anything else that might interfere with one's concentration. And by the same token, one should either look in a Sidur or close one's eyes during Davening, as this too, makes it more difficult to be distracted, and augments one's concentration.

One should go to Shul primarily in order to Daven, not to meet with friends, read notices or involve oneself in whatever activities are going on there. If any of these are truly necessary, then they should be performed before Davening or afterwards, but certainly not during Davening, nor is it a Mitzvah to make a mental note of every fellow Jew who enters the precincts of the Shul or who leaves it.

One should enunciate every word slowly, since every word is part of Tefilah, which is called 'Avodah', and it is not respectful to rush through an Avodah. Besides, Davening word for word is a sign of love, which explains Chazal's analogy comparing Tefilah to someone counting his money.

One should take great care to answer every 'Amen' carefully, slowly and with Kavanah, and how much more so 'Borchu' 'Kadish', 'Kedushah' and 'Yehei Sh'mei Rabo'.

One should dress respectfully, which includes wearing a jacket and socks, and it goes without saying that one's body and one's clothes should be clean. Indeed, one would be expected to appear before the King of Kings and to behave in His presence with as much respect as one would before a king of flesh and blood.

Just as one Davens with sincerity, as we already explained (like a poor man standing at the door), so too, should one bow down (four times in the course of the Amidah) with sincerity, like one would bow before a king - in total subjugation. One should familiarize oneself with the various sections of Davening (in Shachris, i.e. Birchas ha'Shachar, Pesukei de'Zimrah, Birchas Sh'ma, Sh'ma and the Amidah), and their progressive levels of Kedushah. Besides adding meaning to one's Tefilah, changing gear from one level of Tefilah to another makes one's Tefilah that much more exciting, and makes it that much easier to Daven with more Kavanah throughout.

Chazal have already pinpointed landmarks in Davening, sections in the Tefilah that require more Kavanah (such as the first Pasuk of the Sh'ma, the first B'rachah of the Amidah, the B'rachah of 'ho'Keil ha'Kodosh' and 'Modim' to mention just some of them). But it is a good idea to add landmarks of one's own, parts of the Tefilah from which one draws personal inspiration for whatever reason. Reaching that point in the Tefilah will then serve as an incentive to increase one's Kavanah.

Many of the hints that we have mentioned (such as running to Shul, Davening verbally and closing one's eyes during Davening) may well be the result of Kavanah; but they also lead to it. As the commentaries explain, a person's external actions have a profound affect on one's internal self.

Finally, it is a good idea to actually look in a Sidur whilst Davening. The G'ro already points out that doing so helps to dispel evil thoughts. In addition however, there is much to be said in using as many senses as possible in the course of our Davening. Besides the sense of smell, we even employ our sense of touch during Tefilah, as now and again, we touch our Tefilin, and when we kiss our Tzitzis. And we certainly make use of our sense of speech and of hearing as we alternate between Davening ourselves and hearing the recital of the Chazan. So why not go one step further and use our sight too, in the service of Hashem, by looking inside a Sidur?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on April 17, 2012, 02:45:30 AM
If you are interested in the source of the idea of 'moving your lips' in prayer, here is an article from Chabad:



http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/3241/jewish/What-is-Prayer.htm
What is Prayer?
By Y. Hechel Greenberg

If we are to fully appreciate what prayer means to a Jew, we should first of all get our terms straight.

The common term used for prayer for those with a Yiddish background is to daven (pronounced daa-ven) and there are various theories where the word "daven" came from. Some say that "daven" comes from the Hebrew word dovaiv, which means "to move the lips." Davening is when Jews move their lips. We don't pray silently; we pray verbally, vocalizing our prayers.

I once heard a theory from an old man in Seattle, Washington, that daven is an Aramaic word; it comes from the word d'avuhon, which means, "from our fathers." According to the Talmud, it was our forefathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, who first instituted prayer: Abraham was the first to pray the morning prayer, Isaac, the afternoon prayer, and Jacob, the evening prayer. So since prayers originate with our fathers, d'avuhon, it's called "davening".

In Hebrew, the word for prayer is tefilah. What does the word tefilah mean? There are two translations that are literal and accurate. The word tefilah comes from the word pellel which means "to judge." Tefilah is a time of self-evaluation, self-judgment, introspection, when a person takes the time to focus on himself and goes within himself to see what it is that he needs, what it is that he is all about, what are his faults, what are his qualities, what is it that he needs from G-d, and why should G-d give it to him. This self-assessment process happens through tefilah.

On another level, in another translation, tefilah means "attachment." When we daven, we create a bond between ourselves and our Creator. Prayer is a process of putting things together. When we daven there are only two things in the universe, G-d and ourselves. The problem is that there are two entities when they should be united as one. Tefilah remedies the problem and turns them into one. So tefilah is the process by which we begin looking at ourselves, focusing on ourselves, and proceed to focus on G-d and bring ourselves close to Him, raising ourselves above the whole succession of life that prevails during the rest of the day.

There is a very famous explanation from the Torah about tefilah. It deals with the incident (Genesis 28:12) when Jacob falls asleep and has a dream in which he sees a ladder standing on the ground and reaching into the heavens. Angels are going up and down the ladder. What is the allegory of the ladder? The Zohar, the primary work of Kabbalah, explains that this ladder joining heaven and earth symbolizes prayer. By means of the ladder of prayer we are capable of alighting, rising and elevating ourselves to the highest level.

Our sages tell us that Jacob's ladder had four rungs. Chassidic teaching identifies four stages in prayer, corresponding to the four parts of the morning Shacharit prayer:
1) P'sukei D'zimra ("Verses of Praise");
2) the blessings that precede the Shema;
3) the Shema;
4) the Amidah -- the "standing" prayer, also known as Shemonah Esrei ("eighteen") because of its original eighteen blessings.

These four stages form a gradual process which allows us to reach the top of the ladder. You can't get to the top in one jump; you have to take it step-by-step. The first step praising G-d.

.
.
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http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/3241/jewish/What-is-Prayer.htm
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Sveta on April 17, 2012, 11:25:46 PM
Thank you Muman that is very helpful to me :)
And thanks for taking time to add the articles!
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on April 18, 2012, 02:32:27 AM
Thank you Muman that is very helpful to me :)
And thanks for taking time to add the articles!

I just found this video which discusses what we should think when when daven:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owMfr1qNvBw
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on April 18, 2012, 02:44:46 AM
This is the kind of davening I do on Shabbat... I often just daven at home during the week because the minyan which I could attend is about 20 mins away... Anyway, here is a part of weekday morning davening...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zygNCS1OoKc

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jo1tcHbT6hQ

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5vpKoj8a93s
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on April 18, 2012, 03:00:47 AM
Here is the traditional Jewish ritual for waking up:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wUYj09whjwA

Saying the 'Modeh Ani'...
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on April 18, 2012, 03:08:04 AM
And here is a morning Amidah/Standing prayer..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hycZiDJ2N0w

One more and its 'off to bed' for me...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFCUjnuP7rg
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on April 18, 2012, 04:10:40 PM
Here is afternoon davening at the Kotel:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kEoqJB8u800

Nice video on davening in general:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ISRms9t4-Ks
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on April 18, 2012, 04:33:23 PM
Here is a little lecture on the topic of the Amidah/Shemone Esreh/Standing/18 Blessings prayer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZKUkE0ehjjs

And more from Rabbi Sutton on Amidah:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1XAXR8ucubM

And one more on Shema from Rabbi Sutton, then I have to get back to work here...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fY4RP2Csay8
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Sveta on April 19, 2012, 09:39:16 PM
Wow amazing videos Muman! I am settling in to watch them. Thanks so much.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rubystars on May 02, 2012, 07:38:59 AM
Muman my question is, what's your favorite verse from the Bible?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on May 02, 2012, 10:26:00 PM
Muman my question is, what's your favorite verse from the Bible?

I will have to think about that one... There are so many great verses in the Torah that it is a real challenge to pick a favorite..

Thanks for the question... I'll get back when I have decided...
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rubystars on May 03, 2012, 07:56:16 AM
I will have to think about that one... There are so many great verses in the Torah that it is a real challenge to pick a favorite..

Thanks for the question... I'll get back when I have decided...

That's good  :)
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on May 04, 2012, 01:53:17 AM
Shalom Rubystars,

I have had a day to consider what my favorite part of the Torah, and more specifically of the Chumash (5 Books), is. As I said previously this is a very difficult question as the entire Torah is dear and near to me. But at least I can recall one of my most favorite parts of the Torah and share it with everyone.

Overview

Everyone who is a believer in Hashem comes to the point when they ask the question, "Why do seemingly bad things happen to good people?". This question has been asked by mankind since the earliest times we can remember. It is sometimes difficult to see Divine Providence {Hashgacha Pratis} in the world today. Non-believers want us to believe everything that happens is because of random events, without purpose, and without moral consideration. When we can see the hand of Hashem in events in our lives we then feel the revelation which Hashem revealed to the Jewish people at Mount Sinai.

Today we are told that Hashem has hidden his face, this is called Hester Panim {Hidden Face}. The entire story of the book of Esther, which we read and celebrate during the Holiday of Purim, deals with this. Hashems name cannot be found in the entire Scroll of Esther {Megilah Esther}. Through the story which we read, of ordinary political intrigue, the hand of Hashem saves the Jewish people from certain annihilation.

Which brings me to my favorite part of the Torah, the revelation of Josephs identity to his brothers. The brothers who conspired to murder Joseph, threw him into a pit of scorpions and spiders, and sold him to a band of perfume traders who brought him into slavery of Egypt.

While reading the story it is difficult to understand why Joseph, who had incredible dreams, and who was a very beautiful boy, was treated so badly. There are explanations that suggest that Joseph was too proud of his status and was not appropriately concerned for his brothers jealousy {evil eye}. But the brothers acted wickedly against Joseph and they eventually realized this.

While Joseph rose to be viceroy of Egypt, after interpreting Pharoahs dreams, a famine fell upon the land of Israel and Jacob {Josephs father} and his brothers needed to journey to Egypt to try to procure food. The brothers ran into Joseph, who they did not recognize because Joseph dressed and spoke like an Egyptian, but Joseph recognized them.

Joseph wanted to find out if his brothers had indeed repented for what they did to him. So he engaged in a grand deception. He planted items on the brothers and accused them of stealing. He then asked them to leave the youngest brother to be a slave to the viceroy. The brothers refused because they could not return to their father {Jacob} without the youngest son because it would surely kill Jacob.

But then the time came when Joseph revealed himself. This was the moment of revelation when it could be seen that every event, including the brothers selling him into servitude, happened so that Joseph could be in a position to save his family and continue the Jewish people {the sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob}.

Quote

Chapter 45

1. Now Joseph could not bear all those standing beside him, and he called out, "Take everyone away from me!" So no one stood with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers.
2. And he wept out loud, so the Egyptians heard, and the house of Pharaoh heard.
3. And Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?" but his brothers could not answer him because they were startled by his presence.
4. Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Please come closer to me," and they drew closer. And he said, "I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.
5. But now do not be sad, and let it not trouble you that you sold me here, for it was to preserve life that God sent me before you.
6. For already two years of famine [have passed] in the midst of the land, and [for] another five years, there will be neither plowing nor harvest.
7. And God sent me before you to make for you a remnant in the land, and to preserve [it] for you for a great deliverance.
Here is a discussion of this in relations to the story of Job/Iyov.

http://www.torah.org/learning/iyov/iyov5.html

Quote
Verse 7

The most obvious question on this verse is why does G-d need to ask the Satan where he came from? Here too the Vilna Gaon's commentary sheds some light on the issue. The heavenly tribunal cannot begin its deliberations until given permission by G-d. This rule of court applies to the prosecution (the Satan) as well. He cannot begin to argue his case until granted permission to do so. G-d is not usually inclined to lend his ear to the condemnations of the Satan just as no parent likes to hear about the faults of his or her children. This is an expression of G-d's great love for His children. On a deeper level we can understand from this that the forces of evil are not totally free to wreak havoc upon the inhabitants of this planet. Rather, they are contained by predetermined guidelines and limitations that are established by the Master of the universe.

Let us look at one story in the Bible that demonstrates this. Most of you are probably familiar with the story of Joseph and his brothers. Briefly (and superficially), the story goes as follows. Joseph's father, Jacob, displayed favor towards Joseph which caused his brothers to become jealous. The brothers respond with hatred. They kidnap Jacob and conspire unsuccessfully to kill him. In the end they sell him as a slave to nomads with the hope that he will never again have the freedom to interfere with their lives. As things turn out Joseph becomes the second most powerful person in Egypt and facilitates the eventual salvation from famine for his father, brothers and the entire Hebrew tribe. At the momentous occasion when Jacob is reunited with his brothers and reveals himself to them he responds with the following:

"And Joseph said to his brothers come close to me and they came close, and he said I am Joseph your brother that you sold [me] to Egypt. And now do not feel sad nor should there be cause for anger in your eyes that you sold me here because G-d sent me before you to supply you with food. Because there is already two years of famine in the land and there are still five more years that will not have any plowing nor harvesting. And G-d sent me before you in order to make a remainder of you and to sustain you that you may become a great remnant. And now, it was not you who sent me here rather it was G-d, and He made me an elder to Pharaoh, a master of his entire household and the governor of the entire land of Egypt." (Genesis 45: 4-8)

The point that Joseph was conveying to his brothers is that in the final analysis G-d exploited their wickedness by inducting it as a conduit for goodness, i.e. the salvation of their entire family and future Israelite nation. Not only does their ability to chose evil not interfere with the Divine plan for universal redemption, it helps facilitate it. Let us make no mistake, their choice to perpetrate evil is in no way exonerated by the fact that G-d exploited their wickedness in fulfilling His own agenda for the benefit of all mankind.

http://torah.org/learning/drasha/5761/vayigash.html

Quote
All in a Day's Work

Revenge. Though the Torah warns us against acting on our emotions, it's hard to control the desire. In fact, a dogma of modern society preaches to us not to get mad, rather to get even.

But Yoseph discloses his real identity in this week's portion, and despite a 22-year backdrop filled with excuses for anger, revenge, and retribution, he stays calm and fulfilled. Surely, we should expect to find harsh words of criticism if not acts of payback. But we don't. After Yoseph reveals his identity, and the brothers are shocked, rather than chastising his brothers, Yoseph appeases them! "Come close to me if you please, and they came close." And he said, "I am Joseph your brother -- it is me whom you sold into Egypt. And now, be not distressed, nor reproach yourselves for having sold me here, for it was to be a provider that G-d sent me ahead of you“(Genesis 45:4-5). He explains to them that the entire scenario was not even their doing but part of a Divine plan to contend with the world-hunger. "Thus Hashem has sent me ahead of you to insure your survival in the land and to sustain you for a momentous deliverance. And now -- it was not you who sent me here, but G-d; He has made me father to Pharaoh, master of his entire household, and ruler throughout the entire land of Egypt” (ibid v6-7). What type of man has the capacity not only to ignore horrible injustice totally, but to revel in it, saying that it was all meant to be, without the slightest display of bitterness or animosity? It takes an unique attitude about life.

I hope to add more commentary on this climactic part of the story of Genesis...

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on May 04, 2012, 02:09:46 AM
http://www.aish.com/tp/b/lp/48961151.html
JOSEPH'S UNMASKING

In order not to embarrass his brothers, Joseph ordered all the Egyptians out of the room. (He was aware of the danger involved, as they could have just killed him.) The Egyptians were all listening at the door when Joseph revealed himself to his brothers. The brothers were shocked! For 22 consecutive Yom Kippurs, while confessing their sins, they had convinced themselves that they were justified in the sale of Joseph. He had been plotting to eliminate them with his many stories to their father. He dreamed about ruling over them - this was not prophecy! The pain that their father suffered was due to the fact that he had a rotten son, and all this was not their fault! This is what they had convinced themselves for 22 years.

Suddenly one day, out of the clear blue sky, they found themselves bowing on the ground before this Egyptian viceroy, when he uttered five words that shattered their entire world: "I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?" ("If you are so concerned about your father now, why not when you sold me?")

The brothers turned white as a ghost. "If you are Joseph, and we are bowing down to you, then this means your dreams were indeed prophecies, and not your own personal yearnings. (Now we understand why he saw sheaves of grain and not lambs, because they came to buy grain.) If so, you weren't trying to destroy us, and our deeds were motivated by a tinge of jealousy. That means that all the pain we caused our father was our own fault! Woe!"

The brothers had no words of justification. On this the Sages comment: "Woe is to us on the day of judgment, when the Almighty will come and confront each of us with all our deeds." All of our patiently planned excuses will wither into thin air. Now we can appreciate the self-accounting we must do in advance of that Big Day!

The Chafetz Chaim commented that just as the brothers had no clue of what was happening, and when Joseph said "I am Joseph," it all suddenly made sense, so too we have no clue of how the Almighty runs His world. But when Moshiach comes and proclaims, "I am Moshiach," and God proclaims, "I am God," everything will become crystal clear!
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on May 04, 2012, 03:06:59 AM
And here is one of my favorite Rabbis talking about this part of the Parasha...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6KqME0h6gOw
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on May 04, 2012, 03:20:08 AM
It is no coincidence that in that Rabbi Richman video he discusses the seal from the 1st Temple period.

In todays news another seal has been discovered..

I read it on FOX news @ http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2012/05/02/ancient-hebrew-seal-discovered-near-jerusalems-first-temple/

Quote
Ancient Hebrew seal discovered near Jerusalem’s First Temple
Published May 02, 2012 | FoxNews.com

A 2,000-year-old seal bearing a name similar to that of Israel’s prime minister was discovered during excavations near the Western Wall, the Israel Antiquities Authority said.

The find was made near the remains of a building dating to the end of the First Temple period, discovered below the base of an ancient drainage channel that is currently being exposed in excavations in the Jerusalem Archaeological Garden, adjacent to the Western Wall of the Temple Mount.

[pullquote]

“The name Matanyahu, like the name Netanyahu, means giving to God,” said Eli Shukron, excavation director for the Israel Antiquities Authority.

Benjamin Netanyahu, chairman of the Likud political party, was sworn in as Prime Minister of Israel in April 2009.

“These names are mentioned several times in the Bible. They are typical of the names in the Kingdom of Judah in latter part of the First Temple period – from the end of the eighth century BCE until the destruction of the Temple in 586 BCE,” he explained.

The seal was discovered on the floor of the ancient building, where pottery sherds characteristic of the period were also discovered, as well as evidence of a fire.  The seal is made of a semi-precious stone and is engraved in Hebrew with the name of its owner: “Lematanyahu Ben Ho…” meaning: “Belonging to Matanyahu Ben Ho…”).

The rest of the inscription is erased, the archaeological society said.

People used personal seals in the First Temple period for the purpose of signing letters and they were set in a signet ring. The seals served to identify their owner, just as they identify officials today.

 To find a seal from the First Temple period at the foot of the Temple Mount walls is rare and very exciting,” Shukron said.

“This is a tangible greeting of sorts from a man named Matanyahu who lived here more than 2,700 years ago.”
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rubystars on May 04, 2012, 05:21:10 PM
Muman Joseph's story was always one of my favorites too. Thanks :)
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on May 06, 2012, 07:46:28 PM
I find this explanation of the 'beauty' of Joseph to be very interesting. I hope someone who reads this can see what it is which makes the Torahs explanation of the story of Joseph so critical to our beliefs.


http://www.aish.com/tp/i/moha/48909612.html

The Torah's comments on Joseph's physical appearance are interesting:

Joseph was handsome and of fine appearance.[Genesis 39:6]

This comment is not made in Joseph's youth, or in the most logical context, the first time that he is introduced in the text. Rather, it appears only after Joseph has endured the ridicule of his brothers, sale and enslavement. The simple understanding is that the information is conveyed to explain why he attracts the attention of Potiphar's wife; in other words, it is mentioned where Joseph's physical appearance becomes relevant for the first time. However, the very verse which describes Joseph's looks is the same verse which Nachmanides alluded to above, when he pointed out the instances when Joseph would have had the ability, as head of Potiphar's household, to contact his father:

And he (Potiphar) left all that he had in the hands of Joseph ... and Joseph was handsome and of fine appearance. [Genesis 39:6]

Perhaps there is a deeper meaning to this reference to Joseph's beauty. What is the source of Joseph's good looks? The last person the Torah described as possessing beautiful looks was his mother Rachel:

And Rachel was beautiful and of fine appearance. [Genesis 29:17]

We may therefore conclude that Joseph looked like his mother. In fact both the Midrash and the Zohar allude to this connection.

Rabbi Yitzchak said, "Throw a stick to the ground, and it will land near the place you found it. For it says 'And Rachel was beautiful, and of fine appearance.' Therefore Joseph was handsome. [Midrash Rabba 86]

The Midrash is saying that "an apple doesn't fall far from the tree" and the source of Joseph's beauty was Rachel. The Zohar goes a bit further:

Whenever Joseph would walk by Jacob, he would look at Joseph, and his (Jacob's) soul would be restored, as if he was looking at the mother of Joseph, for the beauty of Joseph was similar to the beauty of Rachel. [Zohar 216b]

There seems no doubt then that Joseph's beauty was inherited from his mother. On the other hand, there are sources which indicate implicitly and explicitly that Joseph looked just like his father!

Rabbi Judah said, "His face (Joseph's) was like his (Jacob's)." [Midrash Rabba 84:8]

The Zohar, seemingly reversing itself, also stresses the resemblance between father and son:

Whoever would look at Joseph would see the image of Jacob. [Zohar 1:180a]

The similarity between father and son gives us insight to the comments of the Sages regarding Joseph's reaction to the seductive advances of the wife of Potiphar:

[When] 'she grabbed him by the clothing ...' at that moment the image of his father appeared to him in the window. [Talmud Sotah 36b]

When Joseph looks in the window he sees his own reflection, which looks just like his father. This is what strikes Joseph and saves him from temptation. If Joseph looked like his father what does it mean that his beauty was the beauty of his mother? Surely the Torah is not speaking about a trait which is only skin deep. Rachel's beauty must also represent some spiritual characteristic.

In a lengthy Midrashic discussion of the heavenly response to the destruction of the First Temple, G-d summons Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, and Jeremiah. Each of these greats offers an argument as to why the Temple should be rebuilt. G-d, however, is unmoved. Then, the Midrash relates, Rachel speaks:

At that moment, our mother Rachel broke forth into speech before the Holy One, blessed be He, and said, "Sovereign of the Universe, it is revealed before You that Your servant Jacob loved me exceedingly and toiled for my father on my behalf seven years. When those seven years were completed and the time arrived for my marriage with my husband, it came to my attention that my father was conspiring to switch my sister for me. It was very hard for me, because the plot was known to me and I disclosed it to my husband; and I gave him a sign whereby he could distinguish between me and my sister, so that my father should not be able to make the substitution. After that I relented, suppressed my desire, and had pity upon my sister that she should not be exposed to shame. In the evening they substituted my sister for me with my husband, and I delivered over to my sister all the signs which I had arranged with my husband so that he should think that she was Rachel. More than that -- I went beneath the bed upon which he lay with my sister; and when he spoke to her she remained silent and I made all the replies in order that he should not recognize my sister's voice. I was kind to her, was not jealous of her, and did not expose her to shame. And if I, a creature of flesh and blood, formed of dust and ashes, was not envious of my rival and did not expose her to shame and contempt, why should You, a King Who lives eternally and are merciful, be jealous of idolatry in which there is no reality, and exile my children and let them be slain by the sword, and their enemies have done with them as they wished!" [Eicha Rabba Intro. Sec. 24]

At that G-d's mercy is touched and He responds:

"For you Rachel I will return Israel to their place." [Ibid]

The beauty and greatness of Rachel is her ability to sacrifice her personal needs or desires for the sake of her sister. Joseph displays this same trait, but only when he is older, in Egypt. At that time he is first able to contact his father, and -- as a result of the self-sacrifice not to do so -- his beauty shines through.

In the words of the Midrash, the reward for Rachel's sacrifice was the building of the Second Temple. What was the reward for Joseph's sacrifice? We have touched upon the idea of history repeating itself through the spiritual forces unleashed by the events of our forefathers' lives. The Jews were destined to be enslaved, and their enslavement was set in motion by the sale of Joseph, by the spiritual dynamic of sinat chinam, "groundless hatred," which later turns out to be the reason for the destruction of the Second Temple. The Second Temple was built upon the foundation of the love and kindness of Rachel, and, when her children ceased to act in a similar way, when hatred became a part of their lives, the Second Temple crumbled to the ground.

Extending this idea further we see that, had the potential of groundless hatred not been created, the Second Temple would not have been destroyed. This is why once the power of groundless hatred had been unleashed on the world by his brothers, Joseph sought to create a spiritual antidote.

A closer look at the original confrontation between Joseph and the brothers will clarify this concept. In the dream, which he related to his brothers, Joseph had seen that they would one day all bow down to him. But the brothers understood that the leader among the brothers, and for that matter of the entire nation, was Judah. Therefore Joseph's claim constituted a capital offense -- treason. The brothers misinterpreted Joseph's dreams as a rejection of Judah's leadership. But Joseph understood that the brothers must rally around him, a son of Rachel, as well as around Judah, son of Leah -- that the power of unity must be established as a spiritual precedent.

When the brothers come to Egypt searching for food, Joseph confronts them. The Torah describes the scene:

Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, and he spoke to them roughly, saying, 'From where have you come?' They said: 'From the land of Canaan, to buy food.' Joseph recognized his brothers but they did not recognize him. [Genesis 42:7-8]

The text is puzzling -- why should the Torah need to tell us twice that Joseph recognized his brothers? We recall that the metamorphosis of Judah took place in Chapter 38 of the Book of Genesis [see Parshat Vayeshev] when 'Judah recognized ...' Now, again, the Torah uses the same words to indicate that Joseph acts with pure motives, that is, "for the sake of heaven".

Joseph continues to interrogate his brothers, accusing them of being spies. In their denial, they reply:

And they said, 'Your servants are twelve, we are brothers, sons of one man from the land of Canaan, the youngest is with our father, and one is missing.' Joseph responded and said, 'That is precisely what I meant when I said you are spies.' [Genesis 42:13-14]

The dialogue is quite obscure. Why is Joseph accusing them of being spies? What is he trying to get out of them? What does he hope their response will be? The answer is remarkably simple: He wants them to admit to "spying," that is, looking for their missing brother. He wants the brothers to rectify their perfidy. The truest repentance will be if they seek out Joseph, and rally around him as a brother, not as a replacement for Judah, but as a son of Rachel.

But the brothers miss their chance, so Joseph creates a second, albeit lesser, opportunity for rectification. If the brothers can rally around Benjamin, the second son of Rachel, they can be forgiven.

This is precisely what happens. Consequently, Benjamin becomes the unifying force in Israel. The Temple will stand in his territory. But this unity is incomplete -- it revolves around Benjamin and not around Joseph -- therefore later the Jewish people will once again become disunited and the Temple will fall, destroyed by groundless hatred.

The laws of repentance describe "complete" rectification as an exact repetition, that is having the same opportunity for sin arise and yet refraining from it.

How is one proved a repentant sinner? ... Rab Judah indicated: "With the same woman, at the same time, in the same place." [Yoma 86b, codified by Rambam "Laws of Teshuva" 2:1]

This did not take place. The brothers did not risk presenting themselves to the Prince of Egypt as spies, searching for their brother, wanting to find him at all costs to rectify their sin. But they did show that they were not capable of the same deed when they refused to sell out Benjamin. Repentance was there but incomplete, and therefore insufficient to eradicate their sin completely. Only repentance involving Joseph himself could have provided the complete antidote for the power of sinat chinam, the groundless hatred, the brothers had unleashed. We can now understand the comment of Rashi when Joseph and Benjamin embrace and Joseph cries on his younger brother's shoulder:

He cried ... [because] the two Temples which will stand in the portion of Binyamin will be destroyed. [Rashi, Genesis 45:14]

Joseph understood that one day the Jewish people will have to rally behind Joseph, not as a substitute for Judah, but as a preparation for the Kingdom of Judah. Apparently, Nachamides' comment that Joseph waited for fruition of his dreams before contacting his father, referred to the creation of spiritual precedents for the Jewish people.

There will be two messiahs one day -- Messiah Son of Joseph, who prepares the way for the Messiah Son of David, himself a descendent of Judah. According to tradition, the Messiah Son of Joseph will unite all Israel in preparation for the arrival of the Messiah Son of David, but will die in the process [Sukka 52a] in an act of self-sacrifice for his people. Just like his ancestor Rachel, whose self-sacrifice allowed the building of the Second Temple, his self-sacrifice will allow the building of the Third Temple. The spiritual model is Joseph, who chose not to contact his father even though it would have made for a "nicer" life.

Joseph the dreamer, the visionary, the interpreter of dreams, saw that which his brothers could not. He dedicated his life to others; he was the great provider for others. He passed on himself a sentence of loneliness, in order that others would have the chance to be redeemed. He was truly beautiful, just like his mother.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Sveta on September 03, 2012, 07:34:49 PM
Muman, do you still listen to some secular music?
I have a friend who is telling me I have to give up all the secular things that I like and grew up with. Now I am turned off from living a more observant life thanks to my friend.
To give you an example, when I was a kid I would run home to watch old reruns of the 1960s Addams family. And now as an adult I still enjoy watching things like The Simpsons. While I drive, I like to listen to music... mostly 70s classic rock music but modern "post-punk" music as well.
But now according to my friend all these things are negative things that I have to give up for ever.
I though living an observant life would be a happy joyous one but my friend has severely scared me and turned me off from it. I told him that there has to be a way I can balance everything but he says those are all negative influences that I need to stay away from because they will lead me and future children into a bad path. He says that I obviously cannot distinguish between good and bad influences and it's better to just stop liking all these things. He says what he is telling is 100% the Torah way of life and I can't do or like all the things I do and live a Torah life. Worst yet, he is telling me that I have to choose and that I am in danger of throwing everything away because of tv and music.

Am I a bad person for disagreeing with him? I am now confused and scared. How can someone make me choose just like that. I'm afraid the Torah religious way of life is not for me if it is the way my friend is painting it. I might as well go live in a cave and read all night by candlelight (or so it seems).
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on September 04, 2012, 02:04:19 AM
Muman, do you still listen to some secular music?
I have a friend who is telling me I have to give up all the secular things that I like and grew up with. Now I am turned off from living a more observant life thanks to my friend.
To give you an example, when I was a kid I would run home to watch old reruns of the 1960s Addams family. And now as an adult I still enjoy watching things like The Simpsons. While I drive, I like to listen to music... mostly 70s classic rock music but modern "post-punk" music as well.
But now according to my friend all these things are negative things that I have to give up for ever.
I though living an observant life would be a happy joyous one but my friend has severely scared me and turned me off from it. I told him that there has to be a way I can balance everything but he says those are all negative influences that I need to stay away from because they will lead me and future children into a bad path. He says that I obviously cannot distinguish between good and bad influences and it's better to just stop liking all these things. He says what he is telling is 100% the Torah way of life and I can't do or like all the things I do and live a Torah life. Worst yet, he is telling me that I have to choose and that I am in danger of throwing everything away because of tv and music.

Am I a bad person for disagreeing with him? I am now confused and scared. How can someone make me choose just like that. I'm afraid the Torah religious way of life is not for me if it is the way my friend is painting it. I might as well go live in a cave and read all night by candlelight (or so it seems).

Shalom IsraeliHeart,

I am very sorry for this situation and I am afraid that I cannot really give you the advice you need.

I do listen to secular music and by some standards it is not the most frum music to listen to. Although I have reduced a great deal the amount of secular music and video programming and movies which I watch. But from time to time I still watch some of those old shows. Like you mentioned the Addams family, etc.... I liked the old Mission Impossible and Space 1999 episodes and they are available on the internet.

But I understand that there is something which distracts us from the ultimate goal of our life. While I do study a good amount of Torah every day, and I put in a full day of work, I do find time to watch videos of movies and music I used to like.

My advice is that we should attempt to reduce the amount of secular material we consume. I don't know your relation with your friend but I would hope he could be a bit more understanding that it takes time to make these kinds of life changes, and you must really want to do it, not just to please someone else.

I know that sometimes the 'frum from birth' Jews cannot understand us Baal Teshuva, who are born in a world where Judaism is not lived, who must make these changes which seem foreign to us and our families. I know my mother doesn't quite understand why it is so important for me to observe the Jewish holidays and to identify as a proud Jew.

In a nutshell I recommend you find a good 'Modern Orthodox' Rabbi and ask him what to do. I agree with your friend that it would be optimal to be able to dedicate more of your time and focus on Jewish issues, studying Torah and doing the mitzvot, if you give up some of these entertainments. But we are also required to serve Hashem with joy, not with the feeling of dread. So you must somehow find something which gives you joy. Music is joyous, and you should be able to find some music which is 'kosher'.

I hope your emmunah remains strong no matter what your friend says or does, because I know you are a great Jewess who wants only the best...

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Sveta on September 04, 2012, 03:09:50 AM
Muman, thank you. I don't study enough Torah I admit that. But I'll put a lot of effort into studying more.

I'll talk to my friend and see what we can work out. I feel a lot better now. He's a BT. I am far from it.

Thank you so much.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Sveta on February 28, 2013, 01:18:23 AM
Muman, who are the Samaritans? On one side, I hear that they are a tribe of Israel that stayed behind and they consider themselves to be completely Jewish. On the other side, I hear that they were a nation that was transplanted into Israel and think themselves to be an ancient nation of Israel.

They have names that sound Hebrew, have their own Torah, their own temple etc..

Are they Jewish or Gentiles?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Sveta on March 02, 2013, 11:14:54 PM
My beautiful brother (I like how the rabbi in some of your video calls everyone that /sister), why are we not required to wear a kippah when sleeping? If G-d is watching over us and not slumbering, are we in his presence?

Does it have something to do with the soul traveling outside of the body when sleeping? Obviously it does no all leave the body but does part of it not get out and go somewhere else while people sleep?

As for the question about G-d not wanting someone to have a wife. The only thing I can think of is if someone was very cruel with his wife in their previous life; in the next life they are not able to find a wife or they get one who is cruel to them. But not many people may agree with this, as it involves reincarnation. But I heard it from my rabbi.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Ephraim Ben Noach on March 02, 2013, 11:35:30 PM
Does it have something to do with the soul traveling outside of the body when sleeping? Obviously it does no all leave the body but does part of it not get out and go somewhere else while people sleep?

As for the question about G-d not wanting someone to have a wife. The only thing I can think of is if someone was very cruel with his wife in their previous life; in the next life they are not able to find a wife or they get one who is cruel to them. But not many people may agree with this, as it involves reincarnation. But I heard it from my rabbi.
I don't know, but that makes alot of sense, beings while we sleep or meditate we are closer to HaShem and the Angelic Realm.

What do you think about if you were a bad person, you suffer more in the next life?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Sveta on March 02, 2013, 11:52:36 PM
Yes unless if the person actually does teshuvah. Only Hashem knows where He will send the soul. If one was very cruel to someone, he or she may come back in the next life and suffer cruelty from the person he attacked in the previous life. Sometimes this happens with children who give their parents a hard time, coming back in reversed roles of parent and child. Stealing is said to be a transgression that one comes back to the world to correct.
Sometimes the soul is just sent to be purified and is done. Sometimes it has to come back to the world. Born deaf? Ask how much lashon hara did the person listen to in a previous life? It's in this lecture about reincarnations. It really opened my eyes. The lecture covers why people are born blind, as animals, where the wicked are sent. Moshe Rabbeinu was Abel in a previous life etc.. My favorite lecture.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msWtKPtBZ_8


Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Sveta on March 03, 2013, 02:35:01 AM
I don't think we do Teshuvah in this life for something from a previous life. How could we, if we don't remember. But in this the current life, we are put through situations which may allow us to correct what we faulted in this life and the last. Sometimes those situations may hurt, may make us suffer. But who knows if in a previous life we made others to suffer and are now completing our tikun for it. That's why when something bad happens to me, I accept it and ask Hashem to forgive me and to change any harsh judgements against me.

The best thing we can do in this life and live a good life in which we love Hashem aim to get closer to Him. And follow His laws.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Binyamin Yisrael on March 03, 2013, 03:27:14 AM
Does it have something to do with the soul traveling outside of the body when sleeping? Obviously it does no all leave the body but does part of it not get out and go somewhere else while people sleep?

As for the question about G-d not wanting someone to have a wife. The only thing I can think of is if someone was very cruel with his wife in their previous life; in the next life they are not able to find a wife or they get one who is cruel to them. But not many people may agree with this, as it involves reincarnation. But heard it from my rabbi.


Sleep is considered to be 1/60th of death.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on March 03, 2013, 03:49:15 AM
Wow,

I am sorry I have not checked this forum for a few days... It looks like I missed a bunch...

Anyway, let me provide a source for Binyamins statement about sleep being 1/60 of death.

From my memory the ratio of 1 to 60 is a ratio where things become 'nullified'. For instance in kosher law if a drop of milk fell into a meat pot if it was only 1/60th of the volume then it is as if the drop of milk did not fall in, and the meat is still kosher.

The sages, as I will explain, consider sleep to be 1/60th of death...

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http://www.aish.com/print/?contentID=116153184&section=/j/as

Sleep, the Talmud tells us, is 1/60 of death. The similarity is based on the physical separation of the soul from the body. In death it no longer returns. In life, the soul comes back from its meeting with the divine to hopefully tackle the challenges of daily living with the insights and inspiration gained from its journey.

When we awake, the first thing we do is to thank God for returning our souls to us. We are now ready to face the harsh realities of life from a higher plane of understanding.

And how is divine instruction given to us during the time our souls are freed from their earthly constraints? This is where Hollywood's newly minted word "inception" may prove helpful. The idea of inception, that someone may actually be able to implant thoughts into another's subconscious, may just seem like far out science fiction if viewed as a result of human initiative. But inception is perhaps a wonderful way to describe what God does for us every night as we lie sleeping, overwhelmed by the harshness and cruelty of the real world and desperate for a vision of a better, kinder and more spiritual existence.

God teaches us by way of a gift that we call dreams. Dreams, as someone beautifully put it, are illustrations from the book your soul is writing about you. Freud is not the first to have attached importance to dreams and to recognize within them important subconscious messages. The Talmud long-ago preceded him. Just as the rabbis wrote that sleep is a 60th of death, so too they added that “Dreams are 1/60th of prophecy” (Talmud, Brachot 57b).
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on March 03, 2013, 03:50:44 AM
More on the ration 1 to 60...




http://ohr.edu/ask_db/ask_main.php/195/Q3/

Dear Rabbi,

What is the significance of the number 60? 1/60 appears in several things: "Bittel b'shishim" (halachic nullification of an item mixed with 60 times its volume of another item), a dream is 1/60 of death, a person visiting the sick takes away 1/60 of the illness, etc. Does the number 60 or 1/60 have any mystical significance?


Dear [email protected],

The Talmud and Midrash state: "Fire is 1/60 of hell, honey is 1/60 of the manna, Shabbat is 1/60 of the World to Come, sleep is 1/60 of death, and dreams are 1/60 of prophecy. Dreams are the buds of prophecy."

Some commentaries say the above are all based on the rule that non-kosher food which gets mixed into a kosher food is annulled in a ration of 1/60, assuming that it is not sour, salty, bitter or spicy. This is related to the taste threshold of the average human (see Pfieffer's Handbook of Physiology). Accordingly, something which is on the threshold of existence but not quite "there" is called "one sixtieth."

Maimonides states: "As you are aware, our Rabbis state that a dream is one sixtieth of prophecy; and you know, that it is inappropriate to make comparisons between two unrelated concepts or things...and they repeated this idea in Midrash Bereshet Rabbah and said, 'the buds of prophecy are dreams.' This is indeed a wonderful metaphor, for just as a bud is the actual fruit itself that has not yet developed fully, similarly, the power of the imagination at the time of sleep is exactly that which operates at the time of prophecy, in an incomplete and unperfected state."

There is a mystical idea behind one sixtieth (at least regarding dreams) which is based on the statement in the Zohar which states "There are six levels [each one encompassing ten sub-levels] between netzach (eternity) and ratzon (will)." Therefore dreams, which have their source in ratzon, because they are of the world of freewill, are one sixtieth of prophecy which is from the world of netzach.

Sources:

Talmud Tractate Berachot 57b
Midrash Rabbah Genesis 17:7
Maimonides, Guide for the Perplexed 2:36
Zohar Pekudei 254a
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on March 03, 2013, 03:57:17 AM
I wrote a whole thing and then erased it because I don't know, but here's the main points.

Anyways, I can't live the rest of my life without women. I have tasted the fruit, and though I could sink a ship with all my good intentions any time of the day, if I don't have exercise, cigarettes and women, my thought processes become nothing.

The guy from the bible that had everything and then G-d tested him by taking it away and giving it back after had it pretty easy, compared to this. I'm on my fourth system of morality that I wholly believe in. I don't think I've made another mistake, but there's no good time for me to look back at for anything, and I may as well go to the abyss now if that's all that's waiting.

112,

I have written to you about what I think you need to do. If you want to find a moderately righteous Jewish girl you should go to Jewish events, services for young people, asking Rabbis if they know any women your age who are looking to marry. As I said before this whole match-making business is not easy, it is one of the most complex things in this world.

As I said before, the Jewish sources say that it was as hard for Hashem to split the sea as it is for him to make a match...

Here the Chabad site explains this idea:

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/473932/jewish/Split-Your-Sea.htm

Quote
"To match couples together is as difficult as the splitting of the sea," states the Talmud.1

What is the meaning behind these words? True, the process of finding and maintaining a life partner may be challenging and difficult, nothing short of a miracle. But why, of all miracles described in the Bible, does the Talmud choose specifically the miracle of the splitting of the sea to capture the process of marriage?

A Map of the Subconscious

What is the difference between the land and the sea? Both are vibrant and action-filled enviroments populated by a myriad of creatures and a great variety of minerals and vegetation. Yet the universe of dry land is exposed and out in the open for all to see and appreciate, while the world of the sea is hidden beneath a blanket of water.

In Jewish mysticism (Kabbalah and Chassidic spirituality), these two physical planes reflect the conscious and unconscious dimensions of the human psyche.2 Both parts of the self are extremely vibrant and dynamic. The difference between them is that while our conscious self is displayed and exhibited for ourselves and others to feel and experience, our subconscious self remains hidden, not only from other people but even from ourselves. Most of us know very little of what is going on in the sub-cellars of our psyche.
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1)   Talmud, Sotah 2a. The Talmud is discussing second marriages, however, in many Jewish works, this quote is applied to all marriage (see for example Akeidas Yitzchak Parshas Vayeishev).
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Binyamin Yisrael on March 04, 2013, 12:35:29 AM
Why didn't Rabbi Nachman's son succeed him as Breslover Rebbe?

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on March 04, 2013, 12:53:15 AM
Why didn't Rabbi Nachman's son succeed him as Breslover Rebbe?

I don't know off hand... It appears several of his children did not survive childhood. Two daughters and two sons died before they reached 2 years old...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rabbi_Nachman_of_Breslov
Quote

Rebbe Nachman and his wife Sashia had six daughters and two sons. Two daughters died in infancy and the two sons (Ya'akov and Shlomo Efraim) both died within a year and a half of their births. Their surviving children were Adil, Sarah, Miriam, and Chayah.[10] Sashia died of tuberculosis on June 11, 1807, the eve of Shavuot, and was buried in Zaslov just before the festival began.[11] The following month, Rebbe Nachman became engaged to a woman from Brody whose father was the wealthy Joshua Trachtenberg. (In recent years, a descendant of the Trachtenberg family informed Rabbi Leibel Berger, formerly of the Breslov-Uman Vaad [Committee] of America, that this second wife's name was Devorah [Deborah]. However, this claim remains unverified.) Right after the engagement, Rebbe Nachman contracted tuberculosis.[12]
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on March 14, 2013, 11:25:29 PM
What's the definition of "stiff necked people"? I kind of saw it like you're not just going to go around bowing down to anyone, which is kinda good, but also kind of bad because you're not going to respect G-d as you should when you're like that. Do you know what the official one is or the consensus?

Shalom & Bracha 112,

Wow, you have posed a very interesting question. And it looks like you are already leaning toward the correct understanding.

Being 'Stiff Necked' is a double-edged sword. In some senses it is good, we are not to veer to the left or to the right, we are to continue to learn the ways of our forefathers. The Torah clearly instructs a Jew to be 'stiff' against things which seem to steer us away from following Hashems commandments. But this same trait also can make us 'arrogant' and lead us to believe we are 'great' and 'strong' and it is due to our natural abilities rather than to Hashems blessing.

This is my interpretation of the term 'stiff necked'... But of course I will bring sources which I find links to on the internet... So let us see what I can bring...

http://www.torah.org/learning/kolhakollel/5765/eikev.html

Quote
Parshas Eikev

Nothing But The Truth

By Rabbi Elly Broch

"And you should know that not because of your righteousness does G-d, your L-rd, give you this good land to possess it, for you are a stiff necked people". (Devarim/Deuteronomy 9:6)

"For it is a stiff necked people, and you shall forgive our iniquity and error, and make us your heritage". (Shemos/Exodus 34:9)

One of the criticisms persistently leveled against our ancestors was that they were stiff necked. What does it mean to be stiff necked? Moreover, if this is a criticism, why in the book of Shemos does Moshe appear to use it as a means to secure forgiveness for the nation?

Rashi (1) explains that the term stiff necked implies that the nation would turn the back of their necks toward those who attempt to rebuke them and refuse to listen. Sforno (2) further provides the etiology for this characteristic. It is caused by one attempting to follow his own mind and heart even though he has been instructed logically and convincingly that his ideas are incorrect. His stiff neck is manifest in his inability to "move his head" and listen to those attempting to guide and help him. Thus, in Shemos, Sforno understands that Moshe was pleading with G-d that although the nation was stiff necked and prone to commit infractions, nevertheless the nation wanted the Creator of the World to continue to dwell in their midst. Despite their stiff-neckedness He should forgive them.

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This stubbornness is a trait that, like many others, has destructive potential, but if channeled and used appropriately can be invaluable. Like our forefathers, we must thoroughly investigate our heritage, making Judaism integral to our beings and our identity, while maintaining a healthy skepticism of the myriad attractive yet false ideologies that prevail. We cannot simply assimilate the false philosophies that, although unsubstantiated, have engulfed our generation. We must utilize our stiff-neckedness to uncover the truth and live loyally by it.

http://www.torah.org/learning/dvartorah/5768/kisisa.html

Quote
Parshas Ki Sisa

A Stiff-Necked Nation
By Rabbi Label Lam

And HASHEM said to Moshe, “I have seen the nation and they are a stiff-necked nation.” (Shemos 32:9)

A stiff-necked nation: They turn the back of their neck to the one rebuking them and they refuse to listen. (Rashi)

A stiff-necked nation: You might think this is an insult to Israel but it is really their praise. After they accepted upon themselves the Mitzvos of the Torah, they give their lives entirely to sanctify the Name of HASHEM. Rabbi Avin says that until this very day Israel is referred to amongst the nations of the world as a “stiff-necked people” because of their devotion to the Torah without deviation. (Shemos Rabba)

Is this description of the Jewish Nation as a “stiff-necked nation” intended as an insult or a compliment? Which is the truth? If it is meant as praise, then why mention it here by the sin of the golden calf? The context would clearly tilt in favor of an unfavorable image. Why then does the Midrash choose to color it in more flattering tones?

With prophetic vision Dovid HaMelech describes “us” as follows: “All this has come upon us and we have not forgotten You, nor have we been false to Your covenant. Our heart has not turned back nor have our steps turned away from Your path. Even though You crushed us in the place of reptiles and covered us in the shadow of death. Have we forgotten forgotten the Name of our G-d and stretched out our hands to a strange g-d? Would not G- d have searched this out for he knows the secret of our hearts!? It is for Your sake that we are killed all the day, we are considered as sheep for the slaughter.” (Tehillim 44:18-22)

In the Teshuvos HaRashba 1548, he writes about our people: “Israel the inheritors of truth, the descendants of Jacob, the man of truth, seed of truth, would prefer to suffer continued exile and its horrors rather than accept something without critically and thoroughly analyzing it, step after step, to separate out any doubtful validity… even when it appears to be miraculous and absolute”

It’s recorded in a book about the Klausenberger Rebbe, The War Years: “Even during the most terrible times the Klausenberger Rebbe never lost his focus on Avodas HASHEM. Right under the noses of the Nazis, he studied and davened, and observed Mitzvos. Without regard for his personal safety he avoided the most minor transgression of the law. A survivor named Asher Brenner recalled, “In Auschwitz I was placed into the same group as the Klausenberger Rebbe. The Rebbe suffered even more than the rest of us because of his stubbornness. He refused to eat non-kosher food. He managed to bring his Tefillin into the camp with him, and he put them on every day. Notwithstanding the great danger he organized daily minyanim for prayer services. We often forgot about Shabbos but the Rebbe avoided desecrating Shabbos every week and made sure that no one else did the work that was imposed upon him. All this, of course, drew the attention of the Kapos, and they punished the Rebbe with vicious beatings. The Rebbe accepted the beating calmly, whispering to himself verses of consolation.”

Like any other trait, stubbornness can be used for good or the opposite. Therefore, for the sake of our survival, a stinging rebuke was needed, as it were, to reset the broken bone so it would not grow firm, committed to some corrupt value. So we have survived!

The historical record of the Jewish People’s enduring loyalty, under extreme duress is not less than a glorious testament to the truthfulness of that proud title The Almighty Himself draped lovingly over us as a talis-“A Stiff-Necked Nation!”
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on March 14, 2013, 11:31:56 PM
Here is a brief discussion of the idea of the Jewish forefathers establishing the idea that the descendants not veer from the path of the fathers...

Quote
http://www.aish.com/tp/i/gl/106401929.html

The most striking aspect of Isaac's actions is that they very closely followed those of his father. When there was a famine in Abraham's time he headed for Egypt; Isaac planned to do the same thing until God told him not to leave the land of Israel. Then he returned to the wells that his father had dug but were now sealed, and he dug them again, calling them the same names that his father had called them.(1) Rabbeinu Bachya states that from Isaac's actions, we derive the concept of mesoras avos, following in the traditions of our fathers for all future generations of the Jewish people.(2) Isaac did not want to veer one inch from the path trodden by his father.

Rabbi Mattisyahu Salomon explains Isaac's role among the forefathers: Abraham was the trailblazer; he set the precedents and established the guideposts. Isaac's job was to consolidate everything that his father had done, to follow precisely in his father's footsteps and thereby establish for all future generations the primacy of following the mesora (tradition). Isaac's life work was not to seek new ways and new paths but to follow faithfully on the path trodden by his father. Therefore when a famine came to the land, he immediately thought of going to Egypt because his father did so. And when he came to Gerar he dug the same wells and gave them the same names that Avraham had given them.(3)
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on March 15, 2013, 02:16:15 AM
Now I gotta plug Prodezra's 'Stiffneck' hip-hop song:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TB4viSC5LEo
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on March 15, 2013, 02:24:51 AM
Alright, I like Prodezra, here are another couple of his tunes from last years release...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UXJiaqgpViM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XorAKb_VZNo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iCSvFpekX8
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on April 01, 2013, 12:31:14 AM
If stiff necked means they don't turn easily, why was it so easy to make Jews worship other G-ds?

What is the extent of being indebted to someone? If someone saved your life, for example, what do you really owe him or what does he deserved, or if a group or person helped your family, and they may have done other things that are immoral, what is the extent to which you must support them, or give them? This is assuming of course that whatever help was given, nothing was asked in return in exchange for. What is the moral action to take when you are so helped?

Shalom 112,

Stiff-Necked also means that they will not listen to the rebuke of the prophets. As I said the sages consider it both a compliment and a liability (double-edged sword).

Regarding being Grateful for what others have done for you. It is important for a Jew to always have Hakores HaTov (Acknowledging the good) toward anyone who does good for you. This even includes those who are not of the highest moral standing. I believe this comes from the lesson learned from Moses father-in-law Yitro, who showed kindness to Moses when he saw that Moses saved his daughters. Because of Yitros kindness he merited to hear about the signs and wonders Hashem brought to Egypt and the parting of the sea, and moved him to put down all his idolatry and acknowledge the singular oneness of Hashem.

The Jewish people are commanded to not hold a grudge against the ancient Egyptians and to remember that we were strangers in their land, and they provided a place for us to live, even though they oppressed us. We were permitted to marry Egyptian women after a number of generations.

If you would like to discuss it further we can...

muman613
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Zelhar on April 04, 2013, 06:12:12 PM
Then I must show my gratitude to the Bronfman family.
For what ?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Zelhar on April 08, 2013, 12:04:52 PM
Hello Muman,

Are you a coffee lover ? Do you know if Luwak Coffee is kosher?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on April 08, 2013, 07:54:13 PM
Hello Muman,

Are you a coffee lover ? Do you know if Luwak Coffee is kosher?

Shalom Zelhar,

I am sorry but I know nothing about coffee. It is one beverage I never developed a taste for.

I can check if it is on the list of Kosher coffees...

Apparently I found a reference to this coffee which is made from beans which have been partially digested by the Luwak, a marsupial which lives on the plains of Java, but I cannot find a definitive answer as to whether it is Kosher...

http://mk.ca/pdf/38e.pdf

See also http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2010/07/of-civets-and-dinosaurs-miscellaneous.html
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Zelhar on April 09, 2013, 02:50:27 AM
Shalom Zelhar,

I am sorry but I know nothing about coffee. It is one beverage I never developed a taste for.

I can check if it is on the list of Kosher coffees...

Apparently I found a reference to this coffee which is made from beans which have been partially digested by the Luwak, a marsupial which lives on the plains of Java, but I cannot find a definitive answer as to whether it is Kosher...

http://mk.ca/pdf/38e.pdf

See also http://www.rationalistjudaism.com/2010/07/of-civets-and-dinosaurs-miscellaneous.html
Thanks Muman. It was really more of a thought experiment for me, because there is 0% chance I would ever taste Luwak Coffee- due to it coming from muslim Indonesia, and due to it coming out of the bowels of a marsupial (I am not sure in what order of precedence).

I think there are a few other Coffee brands who are supposed to be semi digested beans from some other animal, ie "black ivory" which comes out the bowels of Thai elephants.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rubystars on April 28, 2013, 07:35:10 AM
Civets aren't marsupials, they are placental mammals like most mammals we know. They are in the Carnivore group like dogs, cats, weasels, etc. in a group of carnivores known as Viverridae.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viverridae
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on April 29, 2013, 04:10:09 PM
Civets aren't marsupials, they are placental mammals like most mammals we know. They are in the Carnivore group like dogs, cats, weasels, etc. in a group of carnivores known as Viverridae.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viverridae

Thank you Rubystars for the information about the Civet. I have never heard of them before this discussion. I am a master of wildlife which appears in my backyard which includes skunks, racoons, possums, squirrels and of course domestic and feral cats...

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rubystars on April 30, 2013, 12:05:21 PM
Thank you Rubystars for the information about the Civet. I have never heard of them before this discussion. I am a master of wildlife which appears in my backyard which includes skunks, racoons, possums, squirrels and of course domestic and feral cats...

I like watching the local wildlife too. :) I think I like possums the most (those ARE marsupials) besides the cats because they look really cute to me and they don't seem intimidating like the raccoons do and they're not a rabies risk.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: YimachShemotoIslam on May 17, 2013, 09:54:21 AM
How tolerant is Kazakhstan is towards non-Muslims as opposed to other Muslim countries?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on May 29, 2013, 05:11:20 PM
How tolerant is Kazakhstan is towards non-Muslims as opposed to other Muslim countries?


Shalom PyramidHeadFan,

I have seen your question and have no idea how to answer it. My experience with that part of the world is virtually non-existent. If you would like I could research the topic...

Thank you,
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Binyamin Yisrael on May 29, 2013, 08:27:28 PM
How tolerant is Kazakhstan is towards non-Muslims as opposed to other Muslim countries?


You could ask Chaim.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on May 30, 2013, 09:09:35 PM
I found there is a Chabad in Kazakhstan:

http://www.chabad.org/centers/default_cdo/country/Kazakhstan/jewish/Chabad-Lubavitch.htm

http://www.chabad.org/centers/default_cdo/aid/249353/jewish/Jewish-Community-of-Almaty.htm

http://www.chabad.org/centers/default_cdo/aid/249356/jewish/Jewish-Community-of-Karaganda.htm

http://www.koshertravelinfo.com/forum/showthread.php?p=276&langid=2

Apparently a long time ago the previous Chabad Rebbe was exiled to Kazakhastan :

http://www.chabad.org/therebbe/livingtorah/player_cdo/aid/541734/jewish/Children-Be-Strong.htm
Quote
Children, Be Strong!
1944
In 1939, the Rebbe’s father was exiled by the Soviet government to a remote region of Kazakhstan. At the end of his sentence, he and his wife traveled to the closest large city, Almaty, Kazakhstan. Leibel Raskin and his family were there to greet and assist them upon their arrival.


Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Sveta on May 31, 2013, 02:10:22 AM
Hello, Muman.

Do you know of where I can get information (deep insightful information) about why Timna was turned away by Abraham Avinu, Isaac, and Jacob.
I know the story, she was turned away three times and because she did not want to belong to any other nation, married Esau's son and gave birth to Amalek.

People explain that this is complete proof that a convert should not be turned away. (Mainly by charlatans like asher meza). But I think there is a much deeper meaning to the story.
First, I know that nothing in the world happens without the approval of Hashem- good or bad. Timna's rejection may have meant that she simply did NOT belong to the nation, no matter how much she wanted to. Maybe her soul was just not meant to be amongst the children of Avraham, Isaac and Jacob.

To me, I see her story as the oppose of what people say. People say her story shows that Jews should be completely welcoming and accept those who want to convert or else they may turn and become harmful to the Jewish people (like Timna giving birth to Amalek). But I see it more as... "you see? She gave birth to Amalek, she was never supposed to have converted. Especially because she became the concubine of someone evil".
However, I cannot get any articles that support my view. I would have thought the Sages would have explained more about this...but maybe I am wrong?

To me, Timna represents the Gentiles who look at Judaism with admiration and want to join- yet are unwilling to follow the Torah. And we see that a lot. Just because someone wants to convert, does not mean they should..unless they really can live up to it. Because they are unwilling to work hard to convert, they take the easy way and either intermarry or do a fake and fast reform/masorti "conversions" which does more harm than good. They end up injured when they realize their "conversion" is not valid when they or their children are rejected...and then they or their children become haters of the Orthodox (like Amalek).

The story of Timna also keeps repeating itself in the Gentiles who fall in love with Jews and raise children who are not Jews but don't see themselves as Gentiles...or give birth to Jewish children who want to be Gentiles. Many of these kids grow up angry, bitter, resentful and may become hateful of the children of Israel and are either rashas or leftist anti-Israel Gentiles. Just like Timna gave birth to Amalek, so is the story repeating itself...and we are filled with a lot of Timnas today.

But without any of the Sages speaking about this, I am afraid this is all just my crazy views. Unless, if you know of any writings on the matter?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Binyamin Yisrael on May 31, 2013, 02:17:44 AM
Orpah, the sister of Ruth, when turned away by Naomi went and to an orgy and got pregnant with the ancestor of Goliath while Ruth beacme the ancestress of David.

Orpah was not meant to be Jewish so when she could, she went and slept around like a shicksa, which is permitted for Non-Jews. Maybe she also went and ate pork and beef and cheese which is fine because she was not Jewish.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Binyamin Yisrael on May 31, 2013, 02:18:47 AM
We learn from Ruth that converts have to be turned away at least 3 times. I guess Timna didn't persist after the third time and would rather stay a shicksa like Orpah.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on July 11, 2013, 12:06:28 PM
Is this true?

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/484699_380244158764791_1468436052_n.jpg)
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on July 13, 2013, 11:36:38 PM
Also, could x-ianity be really a guy that was saying we should all love each other and treat each other like sons of G-d that we are, and then the church just changed that with their kill everyone stuff and killed everyone who said otherwise, or what do you think happened?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on July 15, 2013, 06:48:59 PM
Is this true?

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/484699_380244158764791_1468436052_n.jpg)

Not according to Jewish faith. That is a Christian belief you posted. The Morning Star is הֵילֵל בֶּן שָּׁחַר (Hilel Ben Shachar) as quoted in Yeshayahu(Isaiah). I believe the Christians believe the morning star to be the so-called 'fallen angel' (which we don't believe in) and thus this somehow refers to HaSatan (the prosecutor).

According to Rashi 'the morning star' refers to the planet Venus:

http://www.chabad.org/library/bible_cdo/aid/15945/jewish/Chapter-14.htm#showrashi=true
Quote
the morning star: This is Venus, which gives light as the morning star, הֵילֵל being derived from יהל, to shed light. This is the lamentation over the heavenly prince of Babylon, who will fall from heaven.

Obviously the 'morning star' does not refer to Satan, as it is used as a metaphor for Esther of the Purim story.

http://www.shemayisrael.com/yomtov/chanukah/selections63.htm

See also :

Quote
http://www.jewishanswers.org/ask-the-rabbi-category/jewish-texts/the-prophets-and-writings/?p=3649
You mention Lucifer. You won’t find him anywhere in G-d’s Hebrew Scriptures, the name is not there. It too is a man-made invention based on Isaiah 14:12. In that Verse we read about a morning star “Hailail.” People woke up some mornings and saw all the stars had gone away except one, and the legend of the fallen angel Lucifer grew up from the one.

In actuality, Hailail was not a star at all, but the planet Venus, which sometimes remains visible in the morning hours. There is no fallen angel there and the idea of Lucifer stemming from this Verse is false. The Scriptural subject of Hailail is metaphorical and has to do with the fall of Babylon…again, not an angel – “Nebuchadnezzar, you were a bright star in the world, and see how you have fallen”

PS: It appears the 'translation' on that image is incorrect. Heilel means Star, Shachar means morning...

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on July 15, 2013, 06:59:59 PM
Also, could x-ianity be really a guy that was saying we should all love each other and treat each other like sons of G-d that we are, and then the church just changed that with their kill everyone stuff and killed everyone who said otherwise, or what do you think happened?

There are many theories about how the Christian religion came into being. I personally believe it was created by the Romans as a way to effectively destroy the Jewish faith by introducing polytheistic concepts in the guise of fulfilling the Jewish prophets and scriptures. Rome had a need to create a uniform faith which would bring all of its provinces under the control of the empire. This is why the Church of Rome became so powerful.

Here is another explanation of how Christianity grew out of the terrible time of the Roman occupation.

http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/seeds_of_christianity/

Quote
DARK TIME The Roman occupation was such a dark time in Jewish history. Some of the most brilliant of the rabbinical sages had been murdered by Herod. Corruption had crept into the Temple hierarchy. Jews had split into three major groups:

the wealthy Sadducees (many of them were Cohanim—the priestly families), who denied the authority of the Oral Law, pledging allegiance to Rome;
the fanatically religious and nationalistic Zealots ready to battle Rome to the death in a suicidal war; and
the mainstream Pharisee majority, still loyal to Torah and Oral Law, caught in between.
Out of this chaotic time—marked by virulent anti-Semitism and cruel oppression of the Jews—were born a number of splinter sects, whose members believed that the Apocalypse was at hand. Finding a receptive ear among the disfranchised, these sects preached that the ultimate battle of good versus evil would soon be fought, followed by the Messianic redemption of humanity.

The Dead Sea Sect—which became famous in modern times after the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls in Qumran, and which may or may not have been associated with the Essenes—was one such sect, but there were many others.

The teachings of these sects did not catch on in any significant way among the Jews. In the same way that the Jews usually rejected foreign religions, they also rejected attempts to tamper with the inner workings of Judaism.

Nevertheless, at this tumultuous time, the Jews were more susceptible than ever before. The countryside was alive with charismatic healers and preachers, and people flocked to them hoping to hear prophecy that the years of strife and suffering were at an end.

The one who would become most legendary, was Joshua, or Jesus, who later in history came to be called Christ, which is Greek for Messiah.

It is outside of this book to describe the beginnings of early Christianity under Jesus. Currently, there exist approximately 2,700 books in print on the subject, many of them written in recent years discussing the issue of the historical Jesus vs. the legendary Jesus, and debating what he said or did not say and what can be said of him with any certainty.

(For those interested, one good source is a highly readable book by the award-winning British biographer A. N. Wilson, Jesus: A Life, which thoroughly analyzes all the data and throws in a fair amount of fascinating speculation as well.)

Historically speaking, very little is known. The authors of the Gospel, beginning with Mark c. 60 C.E., all lived after the accepted date of Jesus’ death (c.34 C.E.) There are several references in the Talmud to various personalities of whom the rabbis disapproved and some have speculated that one or more of these references are to Jesus. The closest possibility is Yeshu HaNotzri(5), but there are several problems with this idea: First, there are at least two characters in the Talmud with the name Yeshu HaNotzri. Second, according to Jewish chronology, these two individuals lived about 300 years apart and neither lived at the time of Jesus. The first Yeshu lived at the time that Joshua Ben Perachyah led the Sanhedrin (circa 150 BCE) and, therefore, predated Jesus according to Christian chronology by at least 150 years. The second Yeshu lived sometime during the second century C.E. about 100 years after the death of Jesus. Finally, the limited narrative we do find in the Talmud(6) about Yeshu does not match anything from the Gospel.

One would expect—if Jesus was at all influential in his time - that the great Jewish historian Josephus (c. 38 - c. 100 C.E.) would have devoted considerable space to him. In all of Josephus’s writings there is but one mention of Jesus (Josephus, Antiquities, 18:3:3.) and this single reference is considered by virtually all scholars to have been an insertion into the original text-added later by Christian monks who copied such texts for church libraries.(7)
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on July 21, 2013, 03:47:18 AM
What is magic, does Hollywood promote it, and is defense against it other than killing the user also forbidden? What can it do to you? What does it have to do with music?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on July 21, 2013, 04:04:33 AM
Also, why is fascination with it wrong?

Sorry about the article bro... it's on the way.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on July 21, 2013, 02:53:18 PM
Shalom LKZ,

Magic is the attempt by mankind to control the physical world and by extension control the hand of G-d.

Hashem has made a covenant with the Jewish people as testified to in the Torah. What Hashem expects from us is to trust in his 'will' for what will happen in the future. Attempting to know the future or influence it is, in a way, showing we do not have faith that Hashem's will is the correct will.

The Torah expressly forbids speaking with the dead, ascribing unique power to the sun, moon, and stars and divination (attempting to foretell what will happen using certain methods). What the Torah does not forbid is the attempting to understand why things have happened in order to rectify ourselves. We do believe that Hashem expresses himself though natural events (such as weather, earthquakes, tough times, etc) and we are supposed to learn our lessons from these events.

But magic is forbidden because it is trying to control things which Hashem wants us to trust him to control. The rationalist Rambam denies that Magic even is a real thing (beyond tricksters and charlatans) but others do believe that it is possible to master certain forces in order to change reality. I believe that there are spiritual forces but for the most part what is called magic today is just falsehood.

Simple faith in Hashem is the best route to take for a Jew. While it may seem inviting to think we can control our world the reality is that Hashem is ultimately the one who is in control, it is better to realize it than to deny it.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on July 21, 2013, 02:55:09 PM
http://www.askmoses.com/en/article/424,2179818/What-does-Judaism-say-about-magic.html

G-d is the Force. He is One, but to give us Free Choice, He created Two: Light and Darkness. Both come from Him, but only one is His Will.
Darkness doesn’t exist. It is merely the absence of Light. In such black places can the darkness be harnessed to create what has come to be perceived as black magic.

And those are places we ought not enter.

G-d created the world. It is His. He created each thing for a reason. And the way He created it is the way it ought to remain.

Unless, He instructs us to change it.

There are ways to transcend nature, but it is impossible to circumvent G-d.

G-d instructed us to control many of our natural cravings. He gave us permission to heal. He commanded us to feed the hungry and give money to the poor. He allowed to us to work the land and develop natural resources. He taught us how to bring spiritual light into the world, and commanded us to do so through his Torah and Mitzvot.

Yet He forbade us from tapping into dark energies to create (the illusion of) black magic.1

Immediately after the section on black magic, the Torah states:2 "Be whole with G-d", meaning: black magic makes you un-whole with G-d. Filling your life with the pursuit of universe-control, attempting to supernaturally shatter the barriers of physics, experimenting with the occult and the extrasensory, is unwholesome.

And most of the time, simply foolish.3 After all, the vast majority of the time, this stuff (especially séances, tarot cards, psychics and crystal balls) is flatly bogus.

There are ways to transcend nature4, but it is impossible to circumvent G-d. G-d prohibits magic and G-d is just better at being G-d than we are, so trust Him. Let go. Leave your future and the universe in His hands, and lead your life in accordance with His will.

Footnotes

1. Deuteronomy 18:10-11
2. Deuteronomy 18:13
3. Maimonidies laws of Idol Worship 11:17-18
4. Deuteronomy 18:14-15 - the Torah continues to state that prophecy could be real, and when it is it must be abided by. But the Torah describes the criteria for authentic prophecy.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on July 21, 2013, 03:04:13 PM
You may find this article very interesting:



http://www.aish.com/sp/ph/48938547.html

Witchcraft and Judaism
by Rabbi Ahron Lopiansky

Between God and nature lies a bridge of the occult. A slip-up means falling into the abyss of spiritual perversion.

Most children are thrilled by stories of witches and devils, Harry Potter and Lord Voldemort. In an otherwise dry and rational world, those mysterious forces add an element of fun and excitement and stir the imagination. They allow a youngster to feel that there is a way to beat a merciless and insensitive system.

Born poor through no fault of your own? No problem ― a wonderful fairy will come to your doorstep and give you the fortune you so longed for. A bully is tormenting you mercilessly? A spell will be cast and he will become a squirrel for the rest of his life.

The Blair Witch Project films give teenagers a momentary shot of excitement and dread, and an ominous whiff that maybe there really is something lurking out there.

Three General Approaches

When a person matures, three general approaches towards the occult and other outside forces begin to emerge.

There are the serious, rational mindsets who laugh it all off. For them the world is rational, quantifiable and anything else is utter rubbish.

There is a second group of people, who tend to be spiritual, artistic, poetic, etc. They sense the world has a spiritual dimension to it, and that there are all sorts of forces and mysteries that reason can't comprehend. Theirs is a world of tea-leaf readings, tarot cards, crystal balls and psychic predictions.

Then there are those very deeply religious people, whose worldview is that of a great battle between the two forces in the world ― good and evil. The captain of the good team is God, assisted by a host of angels, saints, martyrs, etc. The captain of the bad team is the devil, assisted by demons, evil spirits and politicians. Their world is particularly threatened by the likes of Harry Potter books, due to a large degree to the severity with which witchcraft is dealt with in the Bible.

Not Jewish

None of these three general approaches are in keeping with Judaism. What is the Torah perspective regarding witchcraft?

The Torah takes a very negative attitude towards witchcraft in its various formats, such as:

"A sorcerer shall not be allowed to live." (Exodus 22:17)

"For you are coming into a land that God is granting to you; do not learn the ways of the abominations of the native people. There shall not be found amongst you ... a sorcerer, soothsayer or engager of witchcraft ... or one who calls up the dead. For it is an abomination before God, and it is on account of these abominations that God is giving you their land." (Deut. 18:9-12)

But why? What is the problem with it?

The so-called "devil vs. God" approach is an anathema to Judaism because of the whiff of dualism inherent in it. God is One, and only One. He acts in many different ways, but there are no "two" armies in the full sense of the word.

Judaism does speak of the "Satan/devil," but it sees Satan as an agent of God, testing the sincerity of man's deeds, the strength of his convictions, and the stamina of his moral fiber. Although this so-called devil seems to entice man to do wrong, he is not inherently an evil being. Rather, he is conducting a "sting" operation; overtly enticing to bad, but in reality working for God. A cursory reading of the beginning of Job conveys that message: God sends out Satan to test Job's righteousness.

Just as a dentist or doctor tests the firmness of a bone or flesh by probing it, just as the army tests the integrity and trustworthiness of its intelligence agents by tempting them, so too does God test man. A test reveals the inner worthiness of a person's deeds, demonstrating what they are really made of.

So, if magic and occult do exist, why are they so evil?

Good Magic, Bad Magic

We also find mention of many types of "good magic" in the Talmudic sources, such as blessings, amulets etc. How do we distinguish between the two types of spiritual forces?

The perspective most widely used is that of the Nachmanides, the great 12th century thinker. We will try to adapt and explain his perspective.

Although God was the sole creator of the universe, He created an autonomous system of "nature" that serves as an intermediate layer between God and man.

The system of nature is self-contained and has its laws and its causes and effects. Being that one can use this system without immediate recourse to God, it allows for a sort of atheism. It is easy to think that the system runs on its own, independent from God. Gravity, inertia, electro-magnetism etc. all work whether the person is a sinner or a saint. A person who buys into the phenomena of nature, without bothering to ask himself about their cause, nor being sensitive to God's manipulation of natural events, is misled by the system into disbelief in God.

Between God and this world of nature lies another bridge, which we shall call the "occult" or the quasi-spiritual. It has the ability to change and bend the rules of nature, through miracles, magic, etc. But this quasi-spiritual world, although it is more elevated than nature per se, is still not the Divine. It has its rules and laws of operation, and is perhaps more powerful than the physical world, but certainly not omnipotent.

Are we to make use of this world in the way which we are bidden to make use of the physical world?

Nachmanides says that generally speaking God does not desire that we make use of this world. God had intended for us to come to awareness of Him within the natural world, and through its phenomena. Someone who subverts the system of nature, by constantly using the supernatural world, is going against the will of God.

In those instances where holy people have used forces above nature, they've always emphasized the fact that the miracles thus generated only demonstrated God's omnipotence to override natural phenomena. This is similar to (though certainly not the same as) the miracles that God performed for Israel in Egypt with the aim of establishing certain Divine truths. When a righteous person occasionally uses Divine intervention, it bolsters those great truths.

Danger Of Wrong-Doing

It is at this point that the danger of real wrongdoing exists. A person who has realized that the laws of nature unto themselves are insufficient to explain the world, has tapped into this more spiritual world and come upon a melange of all sorts of "spiritual beings." If he understands they are agents of God, this becomes a true spiritual experience. But if he mistakenly understands them to be independent of God, then he engages in idol-worship! These forces then become a source for evil when they are viewed as an alternative power to God.

Perhaps the best illustration for this dual approach is inherent in the story of the "copper snake":

And the people spoke ill of God and Moses ... and God sent against them the burning serpents and they bit the people, and many people died ... and God told Moses: "Shape a snake [out of copper] and place it on a stick, and whoever was bitten will look at it and live." Moses then made a snake of copper and put it on a stick, and if a person was bitten by a snake, he would look at the copper snake and live. (Numbers 21:4-9)

The Mishna (Rosh Hashana 29a) puts this into perspective:

Did the serpent heal or kill? Rather, when Israel looked up heavenward, and dedicated their hearts to their Heavenly Father [they would be healed], and when not, they would waste away.

Here we have both facets of the supernatural: At first, the miraculous nature of the snake caused people to realize that the plague was God's doing, and they worked on bettering themselves. In this vein it was a positive spiritual experience.

But later things disintegrated and instead of the snake being a means to recognizing God, it became a focal point in itself, i.e. the wonderful healing snake ― separate from God's power. That is idolatry. For this reason, many hundreds of years later, King Hezekiah had this copper snake destroyed because people turned it into an idol!

Understanding Idol Worship

Idol worship is the perception that there are many forces with various powers over mankind and perhaps even over God. The idolater thinks that he can use these "powers" against God if he only knew how to wrest them away from God.

It's as if God's power were vested in a gun He holds in His hand. The idolater thinks that if could only wrest the gun from God, then he'd wield that power. He equates the spells of witchcraft with the ability to overpower God.

The prime example of this thinking is the evil prophet Bilaam, who is called a sorcerer by the Torah. He was a person very knowledgeable in this area of the universe. He kept scheming to use the world of magic against God. He thought he understood the mind of God and that with enough powerful manipulation, he would be able to outfox Him!

In a sense, this is the worst form of idolatry possible. On the one hand, the person is onto something "real." It is not a weird looking rock that a primitive mind has fantasized into a god. Rather, it is a power that works. Yet, it is utterly false, because nothing is independent of God.

For us, the litmus test of "spirituality" is morality. Any form of "spirituality" that makes no moral demands on a human being, that does not seek to bring him closer to God, or bring out the Divine potential of man, is bogus or evil spirituality.

If a person practices "occult rites" and the content thereof is a mumble of strange words, bizarre costumes, or strange rites, it is either bogus or evil. It usually is bogus, but in those cases that he has tapped into these powers, it is evil for he has divorced it from God.

The great rabbis who performed supernatural acts, were using them to bring home a message about God. They enjoined people to recognize the Creator, develop their character, be kind to others, be honest and faithful, reign in their drives, etc. Understood in the larger context of God, Torah and morality, these unusual miracles were indeed Divine revelations.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on July 21, 2013, 03:23:26 PM
Regarding your direct questions...

Q1) Does Hollywood promote it....
A1) It does seem that Hollywood has made quite a lot of money on plots which involve magic.

Q2) Defense against 'witchcraft'?
A2) There is no such thing as 'witchcraft' against those who have complete faith in Hashem. I do not worry about it aside from trying to avoid what is called the 'evil eye' which is basically causing jealousy in others by flaunting my blessings. But do not fear any magic because a Jew who places trust in Hashem is immune to any 'curse' uttered (witness the case of Bilaam).

Q3) What can it do to you?
A3) Absolutely nothing.... As I stated above, faith in Hashem is the ultimate protection against any force in the universe. Hashem is the source of all sources, the creator of all creations, there is no power which is beyond his ability. Thus 'curses' and 'black magic' are like dust to him, he can blow them away with his 'nostrils' (see the Song at the Sea).

Q4) Is there any connection between music and magic?
A4) I don't know exactly what you are asking. Music is not inherently evil and actually some music is very, very Holy. The Levites sang a most beautiful song in the Temple, and David played the most divine harp, so music can be divine. The problem is that with every force made by man, it can and is often used for evil. Black Metal and Death Rock are examples of music which has been harnessed in order to deliver darkness to the listener. So too with the gangster rap which is so popular today. But music is not the problem, the problem is that music is being used evilly.

Q5) Is there a problem being fascinated with it?
A5) If you place trust in the 'black magic' and spend time studying it then I would say you have a problem. Watching an occasional movie which contains magical plots may not be so terrible, but in my opinion it is a waste of time. There is so much great Torah books and thoughts to learn, the Talmud is a great thing to study, that spending time 'fascinated' with the occult seems like a waste to me.


Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on July 28, 2013, 09:44:49 PM
This article mentions the concept that Torah and song and music can share some things. They both are capable of inspiring the soul...

Quote
http://www.torah.org/learning/pirkei-avos/chapter6-1a.html
"Rabbi Meir (Mai-eer) said: Anyone who engages in Torah study for its own sake ('lishma') merits many things. Not only that, but the entire world is worthwhile for him alone. He is called 'friend' and 'beloved,' he loves G-d, he loves man, he brings joy to G-d, he brings joy to man. It [the Torah] clothes him in humility and fear. It enables him to be righteous, pious, upright, and faithful. It distances him from sin and brings him to merit. [Others] benefit from him advice and wisdom, understanding and strength, as it says, 'To me is advice and wisdom, I am understanding, and strength is mine' (Proverbs 8:14). It gives him kingship, dominion and analytical judgment. It reveals to him the secrets of the Torah. He becomes as an increasing stream and an unceasing river. He becomes modest, slow to anger, and forgiving of the wrongs done to him. It makes him great and exalted above all of creation."
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Further, what of Israel's great love affair with the Torah? Isn't Torah study exhilarating? Hasn't its depth and wisdom brought cheer and inspiration to generations of suffering and exiled Jews who had little else? King David exclaimed, "If not for Your Torah, my delight, I would have perished in my suffering" (Psalms 119:92). (Put to stirring music by Shlomo Carlebach; was reputedly the favorite song of R. Aharon Kotler.) David likewise referred to Torah study as "music" to him (ibid., v. 54) (although G-d faulted him for viewing the Torah as merely a source of a "high" -- see Talmud Sotah 35a). Do we not -- how could we not -- study the Torah without becoming overwhelmed with the thrilling sense of the infinite wisdom of G-d? And is that appreciation somehow less than "true" Torah study lishma?

Let us back up a moment. Torah study lishma means studying because it is G-d's will. But what *is* G-d's will -- and why does He want us to study Torah? The answer is that G-d's ultimate will is to do good to mankind. He gave us a world in which we can serve Him and become worthy of reward -- closeness to G-d in the World to Come. (We've discussed in the past why G-d cannot reward us directly but requires us to earn it first. See for example Chapter 4, Mishna 22(b)).

Also this article on some Kabbalistic ideas comparing Torah to Water...

Quote
http://www.inner.org/torah_and_science/waters.php

Science, Music, Torah -- Worlds, Souls, Divinity

The Ba'al Shem Tov teaches that there are three dimensions of reality: Worlds, Souls and Divinity. Each has its inherent wisdom. The pure wisdom of Worlds, created reality, is mathematics; the pure wisdom of Souls is music and the wisdom of Divinity is the wisdom of Torah. The Vilna Gaon and other sources explain that the epitome of science is pure mathematics. This is verified by scientists as well. The common expression in science is that mathematics is the queen of the sciences. The expression goes on to say that pure number theory is the queen of mathematics. Thus, the epitome of knowledge vis a vis Worlds is pure mathematics or pure number theory. This is explicitly explained by great Torah scholars who also state that above mathematics is music. Music relates to the soul itself, which is above the concept of Worlds. Above all, the wisdom of God Himself is the Torah. This can be likened to a pyramid of three levels, in which the highest level is infinitely above the others. Nonetheless, there is a relationship of Torah becoming experienced in music, and then being reflected in pure mathematics, the ultimate wisdom of Worlds.

Following the disciplines closest to Torah, music and mathematics, the sciences must be clarified. This is called berur. Nowadays, as most of the sciences become more "spiritual" it is possible to clarify the sciences with the proper intention and study by those people capable of undertaking such a task. A negative aspect of science is that it gives reality a feeling of yeshus, physical existence. This yeshus is being progressively stripped, as in the theory of today's scientists that an electron is not a physical entity. This means that reality is being appreciated from a spiritual perspective. One of the most negative aspects of science was always the Greek theory of the primordial existence of the physical universe. Now science is very near the theory of continual creation of all matter and energy. Science is approaching the Unified Field Theory. Time and space have already been clarified. In Kabbalah this is called yichuda ila'ah. Matter and energy have also been unified, as represented by the equation: E equals MC squared. This is yichuda ta?ta?ah. Now it remains to unify all four forces of nature, wherein each force corresponds to one of the four letters of God's Name and to the four Worlds, etc.
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It is this concept which I believe Rabbi Mizrachi was discussing in the video I posted in the Eikev thread this week...

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on August 08, 2013, 07:29:11 PM
This always freaks me out

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/62451_559227607447811_1091628501_n.jpg)

Please, your comments.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on August 08, 2013, 07:39:42 PM
This always freaks me out

(https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/62451_559227607447811_1091628501_n.jpg)

Please, your comments.

Shalom LKZ,

Once again you are resorting to superstitions of Christianity as the # 666 has absolutely no connotation of anything evil or satanic in Judaism. I really have no idea why they consider that number to be a bad sign as I have never heard any mention of it in Judaism or Kabbalah. The closest thing I can think of, which I heard once, was that the # 6 in Kabbalah represents this world as ruled by nature (6 working days), the 7th day (#7) represents the entire spiritual and physical existance, while the # 8 represents supernatural beyond our world. So too anything repeated 3 times in Torah represents that the concept is established so repeating 6 three times represents the total limitation of nature in this world. But this has nothing to do with HaSatan (Samech Mem) any more than any other number. We do not consider this world evil...

So I don't know if there is anything Jewish-wise to learn from this coincidence.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on August 08, 2013, 07:41:40 PM
Here is basically the same answer I gave from the Rabbi at Ohr Sameyach...



http://ohr.jle.org.uk/ask_db/ask_main.php/277/Q1/

Prof. Zev bar-Lev, Dept. of Linguistics & Oriental Languages in San Diego State University wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

You recently wrote: "The numerical value of "Meah Shearim" is 666, a number which has esoteric and kabbalistic meaning in Judaism, as indicated by the Vilna Gaon in his commentary to the Zohar." Now you've got me curious: In American media, I only hear of 666 for its mystic significance in Christianity -- a negative meaning, associated with "Satan." So what is the mystic significance of 666 in Judaism?

M. Brinn in Greenville, SC wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

Could you tell us more about the kabalistic meaning of 666? I live in a community with a large conservative Christian presence. Recently there was a big uproar over a supermarket's ad campaign because they believed the numbers 666 were hidden within. Thank you.


Dear Professor Bar-Lev and M. Brinn,

Oh, I can't tell you the answer to your question....It's a mystical secret!

Just kidding. Sort of. The truth is that the key to mystical secrets are not in any book, they're in your heart. Even if someone "reveals" a "kabbalistic secret," it remains a secret as long as you are not able to understand it. (So have no fear: The secrets of Kabbala are perfectly safe with Madonna.) But I will explain as much as I know on the subject:

The number 666 has significance as the numerical value of the Hebrew verse: "Ata yigdal na koach Ado-nai -- Now, I pray, let the Power of my Lord be great." (Numbers 14:17). This was Moshe's prayer invoking Divine Mercy on behalf of the Jewish People.

"Mosad Hayesod" cites the Vilna Gaon's commentary on the Zohar that "the number 666 contains hidden within it exalted and lofty messianic potential." No other explanation is offered there.

We do know that the number six represents the physical world. The Torah describes the creation of the universe as a six part, six day, process. Our ancient sources describe the universe as emanating in six directions -- north, south, east, west, up, down -- from a central point. All physical space and all physical objects have these six dimensions.

666 is six repeated three times. Repeating a concept three times represents the affirmation and strength of that concept. The number 666 could thus represent the strength and perfection of the physical world, which Judaism teaches will occur in the messianic era, when the physical world will reach its ultimate purpose, to be a vehicle through which the created experience the Creator.

Sources:
Mosad Hayesod pp. 204-205
Rabbi Dovid Rossoff, author o "Where Heaven Touches Earth," Guardian Press
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on August 08, 2013, 07:53:31 PM
Here is basically the same answer I gave from the Rabbi at Ohr Sameyach...



http://ohr.jle.org.uk/ask_db/ask_main.php/277/Q1/

Prof. Zev bar-Lev, Dept. of Linguistics & Oriental Languages in San Diego State University wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

You recently wrote: "The numerical value of "Meah Shearim" is 666, a number which has esoteric and kabbalistic meaning in Judaism, as indicated by the Vilna Gaon in his commentary to the Zohar." Now you've got me curious: In American media, I only hear of 666 for its mystic significance in Christianity -- a negative meaning, associated with "Satan." So what is the mystic significance of 666 in Judaism?

M. Brinn in Greenville, SC wrote:

Dear Rabbi,

Could you tell us more about the kabalistic meaning of 666? I live in a community with a large conservative Christian presence. Recently there was a big uproar over a supermarket's ad campaign because they believed the numbers 666 were hidden within. Thank you.


Dear Professor Bar-Lev and M. Brinn,

Oh, I can't tell you the answer to your question....It's a mystical secret!

Just kidding. Sort of. The truth is that the key to mystical secrets are not in any book, they're in your heart. Even if someone "reveals" a "kabbalistic secret," it remains a secret as long as you are not able to understand it. (So have no fear: The secrets of Kabbala are perfectly safe with Madonna.) But I will explain as much as I know on the subject:

The number 666 has significance as the numerical value of the Hebrew verse: "Ata yigdal na koach Ado-nai -- Now, I pray, let the Power of my Lord be great." (Numbers 14:17). This was Moshe's prayer invoking Divine Mercy on behalf of the Jewish People.

"Mosad Hayesod" cites the Vilna Gaon's commentary on the Zohar that "the number 666 contains hidden within it exalted and lofty messianic potential." No other explanation is offered there.

We do know that the number six represents the physical world. The Torah describes the creation of the universe as a six part, six day, process. Our ancient sources describe the universe as emanating in six directions -- north, south, east, west, up, down -- from a central point. All physical space and all physical objects have these six dimensions.

666 is six repeated three times. Repeating a concept three times represents the affirmation and strength of that concept. The number 666 could thus represent the strength and perfection of the physical world, which Judaism teaches will occur in the messianic era, when the physical world will reach its ultimate purpose, to be a vehicle through which the created experience the Creator.

Sources:
Mosad Hayesod pp. 204-205
Rabbi Dovid Rossoff, author o "Where Heaven Touches Earth," Guardian Press

So... is this supposed to represent a failing on the part of the physical world?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Ephraim Ben Noach on August 08, 2013, 08:12:46 PM
I would say no. "  The number 666 could thus represent the strength and perfection of the physical world, which Judaism teaches will occur in the messianic era, when the physical world will reach its ultimate purpose, to be a vehicle through which the created experience the Creator."
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Ephraim Ben Noach on August 08, 2013, 09:02:18 PM
In the NT Revelations the mark of the beast is 666. Maybe there may have been a translation error from Hebrew to Latin to English... The mark of the beast is 666 in  "English" Gematria, so maybe it is really 375...

http://www.gematrix.org/?word=mark%20of%20beast
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on August 08, 2013, 09:06:13 PM
In the NT Revelations the mark of the beast is 666. Maybe there may have been a translation error from Hebrew to Latin to English... The mark of the beast is 666 in  "English" Gematria, so maybe it is really 375...

http://www.gematrix.org/?word=mark%20of%20beast

The original is Greek.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Ephraim Ben Noach on August 08, 2013, 09:15:11 PM
The original is Greek.
You're right it was.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on August 08, 2013, 09:17:44 PM
You're right, it was.

Well technically we don't know for sure, but the earliest known copies are, and Paul wrote in a letter to some odd people that he was not writing it in his language, so it's generally accepted as being originally Greek. That is from the manuscript.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Ephraim Ben Noach on August 08, 2013, 09:24:23 PM
Well technically we don't know for sure, but the earliest known copies are, and Paul wrote in a letter to some odd people that he was not writing it in his language, so it's generally accepted as being originally Greek. That is from the manuscript.
Thanks for fixing your. Just maybe the muzzies pick up on revelations and used the sign of 666 to represent their moon gd...
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on August 08, 2013, 09:51:27 PM
As I wrote in the Torah section the numerical value for the Samech-Mem (the HaSutton) is 100. I don't know what 'the beast' refers to as we have no such thing in Judaism (that I have ever heard). As explained ad-naseum the Jewish concept of the Sutton has nothing to do with evil but more specifically with the force created by Hashem to test us and challenge us, in order to see if we will succumb to our evil inclination.

There are three aspects of this force 1) The Evil Inclination (yetzer hara) 2) The Angel of Death 3) The Prosecuting Angel. None of these have any power other than the power given to it by Hashem thus there is no power-struggle as the Christians seem to indicate.

No Jew should ever fear the Sutton as he has no power over a Jew who has full faith in Hashem. Witness the story of Job for an example of how the Sutton tests Job.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on August 08, 2013, 10:27:51 PM
See the following discussion on the story of Job from the Talmud tractate Baba Basra 16a:

http://halakhah.com/rst/nezikin/33a%20-%20Baba%20Basra%20-%202a-35b.pdf

While he was yet speaking there came also another and said, The fire of God … While he was yet speaking there came also another and said, The Chaldeans made three bands … and fell upon the camels and have taken them away … While he was yet speaking there came also another and said, Thy sons and thy daughters were eating and drinking wine in their eldest brother's house, and behold there came a great wind from the wilderness and smote the four corners of the house and it fell upon the young men … Then Job arose and rent his mantle and shaved his head … and he said, Naked came I out of my mother's womb and naked shall I return thither; the Lord gave and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord. In all this Job sinned not nor charged God with foolishness. Again there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves … and the Lord said unto Satan, From whence comest thou? And Satan answered the Lord and said, From going to and fro in the earth, etc.2 He said: Sovereign of the Universe, I have traversed the whole earth, and have not found one like thy servant Abraham. For thou didst say to him, Arise, walk through the land in the length of it and the breadth of it, for to thee I will give it, and when he wanted to bury Sarah he could not find a place in which to bury her, and yet he did not complain against thy ways. Then the Lord said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, for there is none like him in the earth … and he still holdeth fast his integrity, although thou movedst me against him to destroy him without cause.3 Said R. Johanan: Were it not expressly stated in the Scripture, we would not dare to say it. [God is made to appear] like a man who allows himself to be persuaded against his better judgment. A Tanna taught: [Satan] comes down to earth and seduces, then ascends to heaven and awakens wrath; permission is granted to him and he takes away the soul.

And Satan answered the Lord and said, Skin for skin, yea, all that a man hath will he give for his life. But put forth thine hand now and touch his bone and his flesh, and he will renounce thee to thy face. And the Lord said unto Satan, Behold he is in thine hand: only spare his life. So Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord and smote Job, etc.4 R. Isaac said: Satan's torment was worse than that of Job; he was like a servant who is told by his master, 'Break the cask but do not let any of the wine spill.' Resh Lakish said: Satan, the evil prompter, and the Angel of Death are all one. He is called Satan, as it is written, And Satan went forth from the presence of the Lord.5 He is called the evil prompter:6 [we know this because] it is written in another place, [Every imagination of the thoughts of his heart] was only evil continually,7 and it is written here [in connection with Satan] 'Only upon himself put not forth thine hand.8 The same is also the Angel of Death, since it says, Only spare his life,9 which shows that Job's life belonged to him.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on August 08, 2013, 11:44:55 PM
Thanks for fixing your. Just maybe the muzzies pick up on revelations and used the sign of 666 to represent their moon gd...

That was quite insightful.

And for Muman, I didn't even think that I was bringing up "the son of the devil" thing, it was just like either islam is descendant from something that they knew about then, or they added it later, and now Ephraim proposes the mudrats could have simply done what they also do and copied it. It's a pretty big coincidence that they say that is the mark of the thing that's going to take over the world, and they really are, so maybe it was part of a prophesy that remained intact, or something too. I like to be right about everything, so I can't not have all the responses to arguments.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on August 09, 2013, 03:05:13 AM
That was quite insightful.

And for Muman, I didn't even think that I was bringing up "the son of the devil" thing, it was just like either islam is descendant from something that they knew about then, or they added it later, and now Ephraim proposes the mudrats could have simply done what they also do and copied it. It's a pretty big coincidence that they say that is the mark of the thing that's going to take over the world, and they really are, so maybe it was part of a prophesy that remained intact, or something too. I like to be right about everything, so I can't not have all the responses to arguments.

I am coming from a strictly Jewish understanding, so maybe you have something but I just can't grasp it because I don't learn about what other religions teach. So I will try to explain my understanding of your question.

So the number 666 in greek looks like the Arabic name of allah according to that image you posted. So the first question I have is 'Is the image you posted the truth?' so let us look at what the word 'allah' looks like in arabic...


(http://wpcontent.answcdn.com/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/79/Allah.svg/200px-Allah.svg.png)

(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTIhEGdX4TIVZEz4NS-gzgRm6AHAWrrZaqX5_8mgDV4MCTrsoYFpg)

(https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS-JTYeCusgYLBx7l98iwg-XvadpbpA83u_5GsSlx7EaakCUegwSQ)

Now for the greek 666...

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0b/666_greek_number_notation.svg/458px-666_greek_number_notation.svg.png)

I don't really see the connection. Although I have just come across sites which are spreading this supposed connection. But it seems that both Judaism and Islam attribute holiness to the number 666. As the excerpt I posted above explained that 666 is the gematria of the request Moses our teacher made to Hashem to beg him for mercy...

Quote
The number 666 has significance as the numerical value of the Hebrew verse: "Ata yigdal na koach Ado-nai -- Now, I pray, let the Power of my Lord be great." (Numbers 14:17). This was Moshe's prayer invoking Divine Mercy on behalf of the Jewish People.

Once again I must realize that several things about Jewish faith has been turned around by some other religions. The divine number 13 has an evil connotation in our western world, while in Judaism we praise Hashems 13 traits of Mercy every Rosh Hashana. 13 is a very special number in many ways. So too with this 666 which in Judaism has no connection to evil.It is only those who believe in the power of evil that these kinds of connections are formed.

As to whether Islam is connected with HaSatan... Not in the way that you think. I don't attribute any power to the muslim world. For the most part they are just playing the role that Hashem intends them to play. As I state many times, I am a man of full faith in Hashem, and I believe everything (including my brothers death on 9/11) is in the hands of Hashem.

HaSatan is a force in the world which tests us. His job is to get us to do wrong in our eyes, and in the eyes of Hashem. This force has no will of its own, it has no power independent of our G-d. The satan will be destroyed at the appointed time. He has no portion in the world to come.

Anyway, I hope this answers your question or at least brings you to think of more good questions...

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on August 10, 2013, 09:44:22 PM
I am coming from a strictly Jewish understanding, so maybe you have something but I just can't grasp it because I don't learn about what other religions teach. So I will try to explain my understanding of your question.

So the number 666 in greek looks like the Arabic name of allah according to that image you posted. So the first question I have is 'Is the image you posted the truth?' so let us look at what the word 'allah' looks like in arabic...


(http://wpcontent.answcdn.com/wikipedia/commons/thumb/7/79/Allah.svg/200px-Allah.svg.png)

(https://encrypted-tbn3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTIhEGdX4TIVZEz4NS-gzgRm6AHAWrrZaqX5_8mgDV4MCTrsoYFpg)

(https://encrypted-tbn1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcS-JTYeCusgYLBx7l98iwg-XvadpbpA83u_5GsSlx7EaakCUegwSQ)

Now for the greek 666...

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/0/0b/666_greek_number_notation.svg/458px-666_greek_number_notation.svg.png)

I don't really see the connection. Although I have just come across sites which are spreading this supposed connection. But it seems that both Judaism and Islam attribute holiness to the number 666. As the excerpt I posted above explained that 666 is the gematria of the request Moses our teacher made to Hashem to beg him for mercy...

Once again I must realize that several things about Jewish faith has been turned around by some other religions. The divine number 13 has an evil connotation in our western world, while in Judaism we praise Hashems 13 traits of Mercy every Rosh Hashana. 13 is a very special number in many ways. So too with this 666 which in Judaism has no connection to evil.It is only those who believe in the power of evil that these kinds of connections are formed.

As to whether Islam is connected with HaSatan... Not in the way that you think. I don't attribute any power to the muslim world. For the most part they are just playing the role that Hashem intends them to play. As I state many times, I am a man of full faith in Hashem, and I believe everything (including my brothers death on 9/11) is in the hands of Hashem.

HaSatan is a force in the world which tests us. His job is to get us to do wrong in our eyes, and in the eyes of Hashem. This force has no will of its own, it has no power independent of our G-d. The satan will be destroyed at the appointed time. He has no portion in the world to come.

Anyway, I hope this answers your question or at least brings you to think of more good questions...

I believe that the Arabic sentence that looks similar is "in the name of [mudrat idol]".

Really Mums, I'm not on the devil thing. If 666 refers to natural perfection, my theory is that G-d is trying to show us that the pinnacle of things we can come up with without G-d are horrors, and that we need him, or something along the lines. I'm not sure, and I'm still basically your pupil.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: t_h_j on October 15, 2013, 05:27:34 PM
There are many theories about how the Christian religion came into being. I personally believe it was created by the Romans as a way to effectively destroy the Jewish faith by introducing polytheistic concepts in the guise of fulfilling the Jewish prophets and scriptures. Rome had a need to create a uniform faith which would bring all of its provinces under the control of the empire. This is why the Church of Rome became so powerful.

Here is another explanation of how Christianity grew out of the terrible time of the Roman occupation.

http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/seeds_of_christianity/

if that's the case...why did rome greatly persecute Christians? why was it not the official religion until Constantine was emperor in the 3rd century, when it was already hundreds of years old?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on October 15, 2013, 06:06:49 PM
if that's the case...why did rome greatly persecute Christians? why was it not the official religion until Constantine was emperor in the 3rd century, when it was already hundreds of years old?

Shalom t_h_j,

Haven't heard from you in a while... Welcome back...

Rome persecuted the Jews long before they persecuted the 'Christians' at the time. The Romans were actively trying to destroy the Jewish faith by outlawing the basic rituals such as circumcision, Torah study, and the Sabbath. They killed so many of our Rabbis (Read the 10 Martyrs which we read during the Yom Kippur liturgy).

I believe that there may have been a sect of Jews who engaged in what Jews consider heresy (I can relate several examples from their scriptures) which did not catch on very much with the Jewish people. Remember that after the destruction of the Temple the Jewish people were willing to believe Moshiach was coming soon because they even accepted the great Bar Kochba who actually accomplished a lot of the things Moshiach must accomplish... But in the end the Romans prevailed, and we were exiled.

When the Romans needed to destroy the Jewish resistance  they adopted the Christian faith and inserted other ideologies which would be accepted by the Romans (things such as the Trinity, etc.).

Again, this is only my opinion. The history of that period was ripe for establishing a 'false messiah'. This happened at other times in Jewish history also.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on October 15, 2013, 06:11:19 PM
This article discusses the Jewish historical perspective on this period...

http://www.simpletoremember.com/articles/a/from_paul_to_constantine/

Quote
ROMAN ATTRACTION TO JUDAISM
We had previously talked about the tension in the Greco-Roman world that pitted Hellenism against Judaism. But we neglected to mention that there were Romans who were very much attracted to Judaism.

This was especially true in the 1st century CE when, under Nero, the decay of Rome began and thoughtful, intelligent people saw the empire turning into a cesspool of decadence, violence, and overall immorality. Such people were looking for stability, for a universal moral view of the world, and they were casting their eye on some more exotic forms of worship than the official state religion.

Their search brought to Rome many alien religious cults—in particular the worship of Mithra, the Persian god of light and wisdom, who became identified with Helios, the Greek sun god, as well as Sol, the Roman sun god. This cult came to be so popular that the Romans named a day of the week - “Sunday” - in honor of Mithra, and celebrated the sun god’s birthday in late December in conjunction with the Winter Solstice.

Loyalty to the state gods was further weakened by the Roman policy of stealing the gods of conquered peoples. The “captured gods” were then “owned” by Rome and incorporated into the official pantheon. As the empire grew, the number of gods multiplied wildly. According to the Roman writer Varro, at one point, Rome had in excess of 30,000 gods and 157 holidays a year(2) . Who could keep them straight, or, for that matter, take them seriously?

Another important factor was the constant threat of internal rebellion and external invasion with which they lived. The feeling that merciless fate and a cruel death lurked around the corner made one anxious and fearful. (Perhaps all those hours of watching minor criminals butchered at the Coliseum created a subconscious of “there but for the grace of one of the 30,000 gods go I.”)
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Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on October 16, 2013, 01:58:09 AM
Why did G-d make people write Torah, instead of handing it written himself?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on October 16, 2013, 07:12:51 AM
Also, how come Jews say Baruch Hashem whenever I ask "how's it going"? Every opportunity to thank G-d is wonderful, but I usually have that as an opportunity to say "I'm sick" before I shake their hand. Baruch Hashem in this context is good, or are you supposed to say that always, or is it a being separate thing?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on October 16, 2013, 02:46:22 PM
Why did G-d make people write Torah, instead of handing it written himself?

Shalom LKZ,

Interesting question... According to the Torah the first set of luchos (tablets) of the 'Ten Commandments' was actually written by the 'finger of Hashem' and they were subsequently broken by Moshe when he witnessed the incident of the Golden Calf.

Hashem commanded, in the Torah, that every Jew should write his own copy of the Torah so that he should be able to learn it. There are many commandments from Hashem which seem to teach us that this world is a world of action, requiring effort from us to complete the creation. If Hashem did everything for us there would be no merit nor reward. In order to reward someone it is necessary for them to deserve the reward, and this is why we must actively exert effort in this world. Thus we have the command to write for ourselves a Torah scroll.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on October 16, 2013, 02:52:10 PM
Also, how come Jews say Baruch Hashem whenever I ask "how's it going"? Every opportunity to thank G-d is wonderful, but I usually have that as an opportunity to say "I'm sick" before I shake their hand. Baruch Hashem in this context is good, or are you supposed to say that always, or is it a being separate thing?

Another good question...

When I ask my Rabbi how things are he ALWAYS says 'Baruch Hashem'. As I have said before there is a concept in Judaism of saying 100 blessings a day. We are supposed to praise him whether things are good, or even if they are bad. Usually when I hear this reply I think of the expression 'It could be worse but I am happy it is not'.

We should thank Hashem much more than we do. I witness so many small miracles every day that sometimes I feel like I don't even deserve this. Being Thankful when we rise in the morning and say 'Modeh Ani' (I Acknowledge) we affirm this feeling of thankfulness.

Saying 'Baruch Hashem' in reply to a question about how you are is another way of affirming our thanks to our creator for everything we have, and everything we don't have.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on October 16, 2013, 02:54:08 PM
http://www.aish.com/jw/id/48898442.html

"Mah nishma?" is the Hebrew version of "What's new?" It's an innocuous, universal greeting which needn't mean much more than a passing hello. The answer given is usually Baruch Hashem -- Thank God, which can mean anything from "Great!" to "Don't even ask. My enemies should have my troubles!" Often, upon hearing a dubious sounding Baruch Hashem, the questioner will respond with, "Gee, what's wrong?"

At one momentous point in my life, I promised myself that I would always respond with a hearty and cheerful Baruch Hashem. I'd mean it, and if I didn't, I'd say it as if I did (which I'm sure my innermost soul always does. It's just that there are so many outermost factors which factor in and influence us!) After all, even when life doesn't meet all our expectations and things are not quite perfect (how many things in life are perfect?); and even in times of great sorrow and distress, there are still countless things to be grateful for, things which deserve a hearty Baruch Hashem.

I will admit, however, that these past two years in Israel have tested my resolve, and my Baruch Hashem's have often been lacking in gusto. Not that I am not cognizant of the many miracles which accompany us every day; not that I am not thankful enough for the many blessings I enjoy. But it's difficult to be upbeat when you are surrounded with enemies, terror, hatred and death; with actual attacks and the anxiety of anticipated ones.

The funny part is that when my spirits are low, one thing that really helps is driving down to spend Shabbat with our children in Gush Katif, a bloc of eleven Jewish communities in the Gaza area. (I hesitate to say "settlements." The world has turned Jewish "settling" in the Holy Land into a sin, although America was "settled", as was Canada, as were scores of other countries around the world.) Historically, in biblical times, Gaza was part of the inheritance of the tribe of Judah. The city retained a Jewish population after the Destruction of the Temple, throughout the Middle Ages and up until the 20th century (1938) when four synagogues still functioned.

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Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: t_h_j on October 17, 2013, 01:43:23 AM
Shalom t_h_j,

Haven't heard from you in a while... Welcome back...

Rome persecuted the Jews long before they persecuted the 'Christians' at the time. The Romans were actively trying to destroy the Jewish faith by outlawing the basic rituals such as circumcision, Torah study, and the Sabbath. They killed so many of our Rabbis (Read the 10 Martyrs which we read during the Yom Kippur liturgy).

I believe that there may have been a sect of Jews who engaged in what Jews consider heresy (I can relate several examples from their scriptures) which did not catch on very much with the Jewish people. Remember that after the destruction of the Temple the Jewish people were willing to believe Moshiach was coming soon because they even accepted the great Bar Kochba who actually accomplished a lot of the things Moshiach must accomplish... But in the end the Romans prevailed, and we were exiled.

When the Romans needed to destroy the Jewish resistance  they adopted the Christian faith and inserted other ideologies which would be accepted by the Romans (things such as the Trinity, etc.).

Again, this is only my opinion. The history of that period was ripe for establishing a 'false messiah'. This happened at other times in Jewish history also.

right, they did persecute jews, but why would they persecute a christianity that spread all over the empire when it was created by the roman government just to trick jews into being more loyal? The romans were never in the business of appeasing people that were not content to accept their place in the empire. A good example of this would be the aftermath of the bar kochba revolt, the aftermath of spartacus's slave uprising, and so on. After the bar kochba revolt, they didn't try to subtly convert the jews to christianity. They did everything they could to humiliate and destroy them by expelling them and destroying religious items they could get.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on October 18, 2013, 02:28:18 AM
Since you say Shema before bed, are you supposed to put on tefillin every night before bed and then take it off?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on October 18, 2013, 04:18:06 AM
Also, if you say Shema, and then decide against going to sleep, do you have to say it again before you do?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on October 20, 2013, 07:56:28 PM
Since you say Shema before bed, are you supposed to put on tefillin every night before bed and then take it off?
Shalom,

Short answer... NO... We do not don Tefillin at night.

http://www.dailyhalacha.com/displayRead.asp?readID=1520

Wearing Tefillin After Sunset
 
Halacha forbids wearing Tefillin at nighttime. Although no Torah prohibition is entailed by donning Tefillin during the night, the Sages enacted such a prohibition out of concern that one might fall asleep while wearing Tefillin, which would be disrespectful for the special sanctity of the Tefillin. (See Shulhan Aruch, Orah Haim 30.)

The question arises, if a person did not, for whatever reason, wear Tefillin during the day until after sundown, should he put on Tefillin during Ben Ha'shemashot – the 18-minute period after sundown? The period of Ben Ha'shemashot is treated in Halacha as a period of doubt, as we are uncertain whether to consider it daytime or nighttime. Thus, in a case where one had not worn Tefillin the entire day, should he wear Tefillin during Ben Ha'shemashot, given that the day may have not yet ended, or must he refrain from wearing Tefillin, in light of the possibility that the night has already begun?

Hacham Ovadia Yosef, in his work Halichot Olam (vol. 1, p. 29; listen to audio for precise citation), rules that in such a case one should, in fact, don Tefillin during Ben Ha'shemashot, and should even recite the Beracha. He explains that in this case there are two possible reasons to allow the individual to wear Tefillin. Firstly, as mentioned, the period of Ben Ha'shemashot may have the Halachic status of daytime, in which it is permissible to wear Tefillin. Secondly, Rabbenu Tam (France, 1100-1171) was of the opinion that Ben Ha'shemashot does not begin until an hour or so after sunset. Hence, if 18 minutes have not passed since the sun set, then Ben Ha'shemashot has yet to begin according to the view of Rabbenu Tam, and thus one may certainly still wear Tefillin. Hacham Ovadia rules that since we have two possible bases for allowing wearing Tefillin during the 18 minutes after sundown, we may allow a person in such a case to do so, and he may even recite a Beracha. An exception to this rule is a case where the individual has already recited Arbit. As Hacham Ovadia cites from numerous earlier authorities, once a person recited Arbit he cannot recite the Beracha over Tefillin. He may still wear Tefillin – assuming that 18 minutes have not passed since sundown – but he may no longer recite the Beracha once he has prayed Arbit. Hacham Ovadia adds that even before sundown, one who already recited Arbit may no longer recite the Beracha over Tefillin.

Summary: It is forbidden to wear Tefillin at nighttime. If a person did not wear Tefillin the entire day until after sunset, and 18 minutes have not yet passed since sunset, he should put on his Tefillin with the Beracha, unless he had already recited Arbit, in which case he puts on Tefillin without the Beracha.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: YimachShemotoIslam on October 27, 2013, 03:00:17 PM
Are most American blacks at least part-white as opposed to African blacks?

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Ephraim Ben Noach on October 28, 2013, 11:06:21 PM
if that's the case...why did rome greatly persecute Christians? why was it not the official religion until Constantine was emperor in the 3rd century, when it was already hundreds of years old?
Sorry to jump in on your thread Muman. The Christians of that time were Rebels against Rome. They were still Jewish, but believed the Messiah had came. The original followers of Jesus were competing against a new type of follower, this new group had a agenda, and that was of Edom...
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on November 01, 2013, 12:38:34 AM
Sorry to jump in on your thread Muman. The Christians of that time were Rebels against Rome. They were still Jewish, but believed the Messiah had came. The original followers of Jesus were competing against a new type of follower, this new group had a agenda, and that was of Edom...

The fact that they said the moshiah came makes them considered like non-Jews.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on November 01, 2013, 12:39:56 AM
This can't be kosher?

http://virtualjerusalem.com/blogs.php?Itemid=11174

Is there somewhere I can find a seder online?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 01, 2013, 04:29:01 PM
This can't be kosher?

http://virtualjerusalem.com/blogs.php?Itemid=11174

Is there somewhere I can find a seder online?

Oy Vey, how they like to mock Rabbis. I think that anyone who purchased that product should be ashamed.

I am not sure what you mean by a 'seder' online. A seder is a meal and a service which must be attended in person and cannot be done (in a kosher manner) online. One must eat Matzah and Marror (one of the commandments involved with Pesach seder).

Maybe you mean is there a Passover Haggadah (the book which contains the order of the service, thus the name 'seder' which means order {similar to Siddur which is our prayerbook, containing the order of the prayers})...

Chabad has a simple Haggadah on its website..

http://www.chabad.org/holidays/passover/pesach_cdo/aid/661624/jewish/English-Haggadah.htm

So too does Mechon-Mamre have an online Pesach Haggadah:

http://www.mechon-mamre.org/phgdh.htm

In case I misunderstood you, and you are seeking an online 'siddur'/prayerbook here is another resource provided by Chabad:

http://www.chabad.org/library/siddur/default.htm#!/aid:1618653/title:Introduction%20-%20%D7%A1%D7%93%D7%95%D7%A8
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on November 05, 2013, 03:37:53 AM
If I wake up at 2:00 for whatever reason, is it too late to put on tefillin and say morning prayers? What's the latest I can do them?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 05, 2013, 04:09:33 PM
If I wake up at 2:00 for whatever reason, is it too late to put on tefillin and say morning prayers? What's the latest I can do them?

You should get for yourself a Jewish calendar which has the Zmanim (times for the various prayers) and it will tell you what times things are permitted.

I am not sure if 2AM is too early to don tefillin (as we don't do it at night).

I found this site which you can enter your location (as a zipcode) and it will tell you the current times for today...

http://www.myzmanim.com

According to this, in my location, the earliest time for Tefillin and Tallis is at 5:49AM...

Quote
Dawn       עלות השחר
72 minutes as 16.1 degrees    5:19:30   72 דקות לפי 16.1 מעלות
Earliest talis & tefillin        זמן ציצית ותפילין
Sun is 10.2 degrees below horizon   5:49:59   10.2 מעלות תחת האופק
Sunrise**       **הנץ החמה
Level region at sea level   6:39:36   מישור בגובה פני הים
Latest shema Magen Avraham       סוף זמן קריאת שמע
מגן אברהם
Using 72 minutes as 16.1 degrees   8:35:55   לפי 72 דקות במעלות
Latest shema Gra & Baal HaTanya   9:15:58   סוף זמן קריאת שמע
גר"א ובעל התניא
Latest shachris Gra & Baal HaTanya      10:08:06   סוף זמן תפילה
גר"א ובעל התניא
Midday & Midnight     11:52:21   חצות
Earliest mincha       מנחה גדולה
Lechumra   12:22:21   לחומרא
Plag hamincha       פלג המנחה
Gra & Baal HaTanya   3:59:57   גר"א ובעל התניא
Sunset**      **שקיעת החמה
Level region at sea level   5:05:08   מישור בגובה פני הים
Nightfall - 3 stars emerge       לילה - צאת ג' כוכבים
36 minutes as degrees    5:45:52   36 דקות במעלות
Nightfall - 72 minutes   6:17:08   לילה - 72 דקות
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on November 06, 2013, 01:52:16 AM
No 2pm. What's the latest that I can do morning prayers... i somehow slept 11 hours...
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 06, 2013, 02:45:26 AM
No 2pm. What's the latest that I can do morning prayers... i somehow slept 11 hours...

I would advise you to refer to the resource I posted previously. The Zmanim tell you precisely when things are supposed to be done or by when...

Oh, you wake up at 2pm.... That is late...

You could do a mincha (afternoon) prayer at that time... From 12-5PM you can do a mincha prayer (find it in your siddur)...

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Binyamin Yisrael on November 06, 2013, 02:20:23 PM
You can put on tefillin anytime during the day until Sunset.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on November 10, 2013, 02:54:49 AM
B"H I'm being kosher in most of my endeavors, I stopped eating meat at home all together, since I can't afford kosher meat, I stopped making all kinds of the sex "crimes" from the Torah, even looking, and while it's hard to work and be very normal all the time, I am doing it for the past month about. Despite that, one thing I can not seem to bring myself to do is all the prayers in my siddur. I get to shema with tefillin on, and I can't stop looking at the time, and eventually I get frustrated. It's like two hours or more. Even on shabbat, I eventually get so fustrated, I just give up. How do you manage to do all the prayers every day, how do you stay concentrated, and how do you find time for that?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on November 10, 2013, 04:47:47 AM
On the ask JTF i never got an answer to my question, "why is beastiality listed next to witchcraft [in Torah], [what is the connection], and how do you make teshuva for both [for the purposes of comparing]. Is death the only redemption? If someone did witchcraft, would it be better that he died in this life and worked to correct it in the next one ASAP, or can he do something in the life that he has now to make complete teshuva for it? From what I've heard, it's because it's all about yourself, but I don't really get it.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 10, 2013, 06:36:20 PM
B"H I'm being kosher in most of my endeavors, I stopped eating meat at home all together, since I can't afford kosher meat, I stopped making all kinds of the sex "crimes" from the Torah, even looking, and while it's hard to work and be very normal all the time, I am doing it for the past month about. Despite that, one thing I can not seem to bring myself to do is all the prayers in my siddur. I get to shema with tefillin on, and I can't stop looking at the time, and eventually I get frustrated. It's like two hours or more. Even on shabbat, I eventually get so fustrated, I just give up. How do you manage to do all the prayers every day, how do you stay concentrated, and how do you find time for that?

Shalom LKZ,

I am very impressed with how much you have progressed since we first met. It takes a lot of emmunah and bitachon to motivate a person to make so many changes in their lifestyle. I was talking about this topic with a friend of mine after the Shabbat lunch yesterday. Indeed it is very difficult for some, present company included, to keep Kosher. In my neck of the woods there are no Kosher restaurants, and very few outlets to buy Kosher meat. This is one of the tougher ones to keep for many Jews today. When I first started I first made the effort to not eat milk and cheese products, and I never liked shellfish or pork so those were not difficult for me. Again I would recommend you finding the closest thing to a Jewish community in your area. This is how I can get what I need, I ask my Chabad Rabbi who makes sure that the community can keep the mitzvot.

Regarding keeping concentration during the prayers. I have a couple of comments on this. I think two hours to complete Shachris (the morning prayer) is a little long. I am one who believes that a person should say all the words of the blessing in a way which one can understand, not just muttering the words in rapidfire succession. In the group I daven with I am one of the slower daveners, who does try to say each word in my mouth in a whisper I can hear. I sometimes fall behind by as much as a page at times, although other times I find myself ahead of the chazan (one who publicly reads (sings) before the minyan).

It usually takes me about an hour to do the entire Shachris service...


I do not know the sources but there are some who say that when time is not available to say the entire siddur, that some prayers can be skipped. I do not know the source for this but I will ask my Rabbi about it.

What is important is that you are making the effort to keep the laws, and you will improve with time. Do not become distracted that you do not do things exactly right at this time, as you desire to make the improvement, you will accomplish it.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 10, 2013, 06:38:38 PM
On the ask JTF i never got an answer to my question, "why is beastiality listed next to witchcraft [in Torah], [what is the connection], and how do you make teshuva for both [for the purposes of comparing]. Is death the only redemption? If someone did witchcraft, would it be better that he died in this life and worked to correct it in the next one ASAP, or can he do something in the life that he has now to make complete teshuva for it? From what I've heard, it's because it's all about yourself, but I don't really get it.

I will look into this question. I do not know off the top of my head...
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on November 10, 2013, 08:36:49 PM
Shalom LKZ,

I am very impressed with how much you have progressed since we first met. It takes a lot of emmunah and bitachon to motivate a person to make so many changes in their lifestyle. I was talking about this topic with a friend of mine after the Shabbat lunch yesterday. Indeed it is very difficult for some, present company included, to keep Kosher. In my neck of the woods there are no Kosher restaurants, and very few outlets to buy Kosher meat. This is one of the tougher ones to keep for many Jews today. When I first started I first made the effort to not eat milk and cheese products, and I never liked shellfish or pork so those were not difficult for me. Again I would recommend you finding the closest thing to a Jewish community in your area. This is how I can get what I need, I ask my Chabad Rabbi who makes sure that the community can keep the mitzvot.

Regarding keeping concentration during the prayers. I have a couple of comments on this. I think two hours to complete Shachris (the morning prayer) is a little long. I am one who believes that a person should say all the words of the blessing in a way which one can understand, not just muttering the words in rapidfire succession. In the group I daven with I am one of the slower daveners, who does try to say each word in my mouth in a whisper I can hear. I sometimes fall behind by as much as a page at times, although other times I find myself ahead of the chazan (one who publicly reads (sings) before the minyan).

It usually takes me about an hour to do the entire Shachris service...


I do not know the sources but there are some who say that when time is not available to say the entire siddur, that some prayers can be skipped. I do not know the source for this but I will ask my Rabbi about it.

What is important is that you are making the effort to keep the laws, and you will improve with time. Do not become distracted that you do not do things exactly right at this time, as you desire to make the improvement, you will accomplish it.

A connection with Hashem is worth more then any physical pleasure I gave up, in this life, and from what I can understand, certainly in the next.

I also have another question. All my taps in my house are one faucet that moves up and to the side, and in order to turn it on, it will be using hot water. I have to wash my hands before prayer. What can I do? Also, do i need the 2 handled cup to do ritual washing, or can i just put my hands under the water three times each?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Ephraim Ben Noach on November 10, 2013, 09:11:53 PM
A connection with Hashem is worth more then any physical pleasure I gave up, in this life, and from what I can understand, certainly in the next.

I also have another question. All my taps in my house are one faucet that moves up and to the side, and in order to turn it on, it will be using hot water. I have to wash my hands before prayer. What can I do? Also, do i need the 2 handled cup to do ritual washing, or can i just put my hands under the water three times each?
I'm really sorry if you're serious! But come on, really?

You could shut off the hot water valve, ahead of the faucet...

And I don't think if you swing the handle in the cold water direction, the hot water valve will open...
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Binyamin Yisrael on November 10, 2013, 09:51:15 PM
Is the issue for Shabbat? If I wash my hands with hot water on Shabbat, I turn on the left side in the bathroom sink. There are 2 separate switches. On the kitchen it is the same switch so putting it on warm mixes hot and cold and therefore cooks the cold water. So in the kitchen I only use cold water on Shabbat. On Yom Tov it is not an issue because you can even take hot showers on Yom Tov.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on November 10, 2013, 09:58:03 PM
Is the issue for Shabbat? If I wash my hands with hot water on Shabbat, I turn on the left side in the bathroom sink. There are 2 separate switches. On the kitchen it is the same switch so putting it on warm mixes hot and cold and therefore cooks the cold water. So in the kitchen I only use cold water on Shabbat. On Yom Tov it is not an issue because you can even take hot showers on Yom Tov.

Yeah Shabbat. There is only 1 faucet. One direction is hot, the other is cold and a millimeter makes the difference.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Ephraim Ben Noach on November 10, 2013, 10:00:30 PM
Yeah Shabbat. There is only 1 faucet. One direction is hot, the other is cold and a millimeter makes the difference.
Shut the hot water valve off under the sink!
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on November 10, 2013, 10:05:55 PM
Shut the hot water valve off under the sink!

Ypu're level 10 Ephy. Good call.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on November 21, 2013, 02:40:06 AM
I will look into this question. I do not know off the top of my head...

Did you hear something?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on November 23, 2013, 09:46:27 PM
Did you hear something?

Shalom LKZ,

I hope you had a meaningful and restful Shabbat, I had a wonderful time with my community...

I am going to offer a possible answer to the question as to why witchcraft and bestiality are mentioned together in the Torah. It is a sensible one although I do not know who said it first.

Both of these sins were sins which the inhabitants of Canaan engaged in. One of the main reasons Hashem gave the land to the descendants of Abraham is because Abraham promised that his children would avoid immorality, the things which are abominations in the 'eyes' of our G-d. These wicked Canaanites engaged in all sorts of idolatry, dark magic, talking to the dead, sexual immorality, homosexuality, and of course bestiality. They also engaged in a rather sadistic ritual of passing their babies through the fire of Molech.

The commandment to avoid engaging in these practices lists several of the sins of Caanan, forbidding them to the Jewish people.

Here is an article which discusses some of this:


http://www.torah.org/advanced/shem-meshmuel/5764/achareimos.html

Parshat Acharei Mot

Rabbi Dr. Meir Tamari

“After the doings of the land of Egypt wherein you dwelt you shall not do and after the actions of the land of Canaan to which I shall bring you, you shall not do; neither shall you walk according to their ordinances. You shall do My Judgments-mishpatim [social laws] and keep My ordinances- chukim (Vayikrah18: 3-4).

The Midrash (Vayikrah Rabbah, chapter 23) explains that the Egyptians were steeped in sexual immorality, and the land of Canaan was replete with immorality and witchcraft.

Now both countries were indeed filled with immorality and idolatry that is witchcraft. Regarding Egypt we read about the nakedness of the land (Bereishit, 42:12) while we are told that their flesh is the flesh of donkeys [a euphemism for homosexuality]; and their witchcraft was infamous so that Hashem declared that He would render judgment against their gods- sorcerers. “For in all these- [incest, homosexuality, bestiality]- the nations of that land [Canaan] are defiled which I cast out before you” (Vayikrah, 18:24). Our sages tell us that there was not a mountain nor a hill in Eretz Yisrael where the Emorites- Canaanites did not worship idols. Though the 2 nations were similarly sinful, nevertheless the Egyptians primary pull was towards immorality while the Canaanites were a stronger force leading to idolatry. The MaHaral writes (Gevurot HaShem) that the Egyptians were material [chomer] while the Canaanites were form [tzurah], both of them in a disoriented perverted way. Now the mind is the form relative to the matter, so that the idolatry was a product of their wisdom and minds albeit a perversion. “ In the days of Enosh (Bereishit, 4 26), Mankind’s idolatry was caused by their intellect and minds which judged that it was for the King’s –G-d’s honor that people should worship His servants [the forces of nature]. It was their minds that led them to this evil”(Mishneh Torah, Hilkhot Avodat Cochavim, chapter 1, halakhah1h). The Egyptians being matter were more steeped in sexual perversions and immorality, a distortion of the natural and the material; “Even as their actions are animalistic” (Sotah, 14a). [The Shem Mi Shmuel writes that he dealt extensively with this matter since he saw that others had written the opposite, yet he held that his presentation is in accordance with Chazal].

The conclusion of the verse, “You shall do My judgments and keep My ordinances”, is meant to counteract the actions of the people of Egypt and of Canaan. The Mishpatim [social laws are products of the mind and the intellect, as Rashi points out that if the Torah had not commanded them Mankind’ wisdom would have led them to these laws. Therefore, they come to cure and purify the minds that had been perverted and falsified by the Egyptian induced errors of idolatry. On the other hand sexual immorality is a question of social mores and customs of a society. This is as the Ramban explains (verse 6] that intellectually there is no such thing as proper marriage and improper laws of sexual relationships; incest, for instance would seem to be a logical way to make certain that property remained within the family. What prevents immorality are simply the social rules of that society; Hashem gave as chukim and rules that make for a moral sexuality. According to this, Israel’s observance of Hashem’s ordinances will cure and guard them from immorality in general and the perverted mores and sexual immorality in particular, of the people of Canaan.

Because of the tendency of the Egyptians to idolatry and the power of sexual immorality of Canaan, the 2 verses follow each other, with the Mishpatim, against errors of the mind [Egypt ] and then Chukim, providing against the behavior of Canaan to which they were destined to come.

When they entered Eretz Yisrael, they needed to have the means of conquering these same 2 forms of yetzer harah- idolatry and sexual immorality, propagated by the Canaanites. So Joshua was commanded to circumcise the males, mitzvah of milah, and to observe korban Pesach, that they had not been able to keep during their wanderings in the desert. These same 2 mitzvot had been given top them in Egypt, to similarly cleanse them; milah to cure them of sexual immorality and the Pesach against idolatry. The taking of the pascal lamb was an act of the mind, knowingly “draw your hands from idolatry ” while milah was a chukah to grant them correct mores and forms of behavior.

In Torat Cohanim, we read that we know that the living of Israel on the land of Egypt caused them to sin, because our verse reads, “The actions of the land of Egypt wherein you dwelt”. As the sins of Egypt multiplied they sought to infect Israel with them. However, as the Shem Mi Shmuel comments on Parshat Kedoshim [5674] that G-d watches over Israel and leads them, He alone is their yetzer. While the yetzer harah infects Cain and his descendants with evil thoughts, Hashem inserts holy and pure thoughts into Israel. Despite this, the evil ones try with all their might to infect us. For this purpose, it is not even necessary for us to be interspersed among the nations in order for us to be influenced by their actions. Even when we live separate from them and in our own closed communities, the very air that we breathe is full of their immoral practices and evil actions. In the material world, if one breathes polluted and diseased air, one contracts illness and disease. So it is with spiritual matters; breathing in air contaminated with evil, infects the heart and distorts the mind, leading to unholy behavior and immoral mores. That is why it was the settlement of Israel in the land of Egypt that made it possible for the nations to stifle the hearts and minds with impure thoughts and unholy actions. In contrast the air of Eretz Yisrael is pure cleanses the mind and makes one wise.

Shem Mi Shmuel, 5674 5673.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on November 25, 2013, 05:12:05 AM
Shalom LKZ,

I hope you had a meaningful and restful Shabbat, I had a wonderful time with my community...

I am going to offer a possible answer to the question as to why witchcraft and bestiality are mentioned together in the Torah. It is a sensible one although I do not know who said it first.

Both of these sins were sins which the inhabitants of Canaan engaged in. One of the main reasons Hashem gave the land to the descendants of Abraham is because Abraham promised that his children would avoid immorality, the things which are abominations in the 'eyes' of our G-d. These wicked Canaanites engaged in all sorts of idolatry, dark magic, talking to the dead, sexual immorality, homosexuality, and of course bestiality. They also engaged in a rather sadistic ritual of passing their babies through the fire of Molech.

The commandment to avoid engaging in these practices lists several of the sins of Caanan, forbidding them to the Jewish people.

Here is an article which discusses some of this:


http://www.torah.org/advanced/shem-meshmuel/5764/achareimos.html

Parshat Acharei Mot

Rabbi Dr. Meir Tamari

“After the doings of the land of Egypt wherein you dwelt you shall not do and after the actions of the land of Canaan to which I shall bring you, you shall not do; neither shall you walk according to their ordinances. You shall do My Judgments-mishpatim [social laws] and keep My ordinances- chukim (Vayikrah18: 3-4).

The Midrash (Vayikrah Rabbah, chapter 23) explains that the Egyptians were steeped in sexual immorality, and the land of Canaan was replete with immorality and witchcraft.

Now both countries were indeed filled with immorality and idolatry that is witchcraft. Regarding Egypt we read about the nakedness of the land (Bereishit, 42:12) while we are told that their flesh is the flesh of donkeys [a euphemism for homosexuality]; and their witchcraft was infamous so that Hashem declared that He would render judgment against their gods- sorcerers. “For in all these- [incest, homosexuality, bestiality]- the nations of that land [Canaan] are defiled which I cast out before you” (Vayikrah, 18:24). Our sages tell us that there was not a mountain nor a hill in Eretz Yisrael where the Emorites- Canaanites did not worship idols. Though the 2 nations were similarly sinful, nevertheless the Egyptians primary pull was towards immorality while the Canaanites were a stronger force leading to idolatry. The MaHaral writes (Gevurot HaShem) that the Egyptians were material [chomer] while the Canaanites were form [tzurah], both of them in a disoriented perverted way. Now the mind is the form relative to the matter, so that the idolatry was a product of their wisdom and minds albeit a perversion. “ In the days of Enosh (Bereishit, 4 26), Mankind’s idolatry was caused by their intellect and minds which judged that it was for the King’s –G-d’s honor that people should worship His servants [the forces of nature]. It was their minds that led them to this evil”(Mishneh Torah, Hilkhot Avodat Cochavim, chapter 1, halakhah1h). The Egyptians being matter were more steeped in sexual perversions and immorality, a distortion of the natural and the material; “Even as their actions are animalistic” (Sotah, 14a). [The Shem Mi Shmuel writes that he dealt extensively with this matter since he saw that others had written the opposite, yet he held that his presentation is in accordance with Chazal].

The conclusion of the verse, “You shall do My judgments and keep My ordinances”, is meant to counteract the actions of the people of Egypt and of Canaan. The Mishpatim [social laws are products of the mind and the intellect, as Rashi points out that if the Torah had not commanded them Mankind’ wisdom would have led them to these laws. Therefore, they come to cure and purify the minds that had been perverted and falsified by the Egyptian induced errors of idolatry. On the other hand sexual immorality is a question of social mores and customs of a society. This is as the Ramban explains (verse 6] that intellectually there is no such thing as proper marriage and improper laws of sexual relationships; incest, for instance would seem to be a logical way to make certain that property remained within the family. What prevents immorality are simply the social rules of that society; Hashem gave as chukim and rules that make for a moral sexuality. According to this, Israel’s observance of Hashem’s ordinances will cure and guard them from immorality in general and the perverted mores and sexual immorality in particular, of the people of Canaan.

Because of the tendency of the Egyptians to idolatry and the power of sexual immorality of Canaan, the 2 verses follow each other, with the Mishpatim, against errors of the mind [Egypt ] and then Chukim, providing against the behavior of Canaan to which they were destined to come.

When they entered Eretz Yisrael, they needed to have the means of conquering these same 2 forms of yetzer harah- idolatry and sexual immorality, propagated by the Canaanites. So Joshua was commanded to circumcise the males, mitzvah of milah, and to observe korban Pesach, that they had not been able to keep during their wanderings in the desert. These same 2 mitzvot had been given top them in Egypt, to similarly cleanse them; milah to cure them of sexual immorality and the Pesach against idolatry. The taking of the pascal lamb was an act of the mind, knowingly “draw your hands from idolatry ” while milah was a chukah to grant them correct mores and forms of behavior.

In Torat Cohanim, we read that we know that the living of Israel on the land of Egypt caused them to sin, because our verse reads, “The actions of the land of Egypt wherein you dwelt”. As the sins of Egypt multiplied they sought to infect Israel with them. However, as the Shem Mi Shmuel comments on Parshat Kedoshim [5674] that G-d watches over Israel and leads them, He alone is their yetzer. While the yetzer harah infects Cain and his descendants with evil thoughts, Hashem inserts holy and pure thoughts into Israel. Despite this, the evil ones try with all their might to infect us. For this purpose, it is not even necessary for us to be interspersed among the nations in order for us to be influenced by their actions. Even when we live separate from them and in our own closed communities, the very air that we breathe is full of their immoral practices and evil actions. In the material world, if one breathes polluted and diseased air, one contracts illness and disease. So it is with spiritual matters; breathing in air contaminated with evil, infects the heart and distorts the mind, leading to unholy behavior and immoral mores. That is why it was the settlement of Israel in the land of Egypt that made it possible for the nations to stifle the hearts and minds with impure thoughts and unholy actions. In contrast the air of Eretz Yisrael is pure cleanses the mind and makes one wise.

Shem Mi Shmuel, 5674 5673.

Maybe they both did them, but they are listed together, therefore, there is a connection. Also, could people that did this make Teshuva, or should they be destroyed?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on December 11, 2013, 05:04:19 AM
Do you have to wear shoes when saying shema at night?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on December 13, 2013, 02:03:10 AM
Do you have to wear shoes when saying shema at night?

Shalom LKZ,

I do not know the answer off hand. I do know I heard a halacha concerning davening without shoes or socks and it forbids it. I believe the reason I heard was because when we daven we are to have in our concentration (kevanah) that we are standing before the Melech (King) and we would surely wear shoes and socks when standing before the King.

But concerning the nightly Shema... I do not know...

Here is a WebYeshiva lesson on how to dress for prayer...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZKxFsRvshs
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on December 13, 2013, 02:15:45 AM
I suspect even when davening alone one should dress appropriately.

Here is an article I found which summarizes the topic...


https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.parshapages.com/Gemara/Shabbos/Proper%2520Attire.doc&sa=U&ei=UbCqUpiuJYqwygGx9oG4BA&ved=0CAcQFjAB&client=internal-uds-cse&usg=AFQjCNHlLpUEk9_ZKsUK0sin2hZVBiC7Pw

"Hakon Likras Elokecha"

PREPARING FOR DAVENING WITH PROPER ATTIRE

The Sages teach that one should prepare oneself, both physically and spiritually, for prayer. One’s appearance and attire should be appropriate for an encounter with G-d; in addition, one should mentally and spiritually prepare for such a meeting. One should also limit certain activities before praying, in order to emphasize the centrality and significance of prayer in one’s daily religious routine.

The Gemara (Shabbos 10a): Rabba son of R. Huna put on stockings and prayed, quoting, hikon likrat elokecha “Prepare to meet your G-d” [Amos 4:12]. Rabba removed his cloak, clasped his hands and prayed, saying, “[I pray] like a slave before his master.”

Similarly, the Rambam (Hilchos Tefillah 5:5) writes: How should one prepare his clothes? First, one should adjust one’s clothes, and distinguish and beautify oneself, as it says “You should prostrate yourselves to His holiness in beauty.” One should not stand for Tefillah in an undergarment, with a bare head, or with bare feet, if the local custom is to appear before important people with shoes… The ways of the wise and their students is to pray while they are wrapped [atufin] in a tallis. The Kitzur Shulchan Aruch (12:1) adds that even one who prays alone in one’s house should dress appropriately.

The Poskim discuss whether one is merely required to dress as one would dress when meeting an important person, or whether one should do something extra, such as wearing a special belt, or gartel. This question arises from different understandings of the Talmud’s position regarding wearing a belt during prayer.

On the one hand, the Gemara (Berachos 24b) teaches: R. Huna said: If a man’s garment is girded round his waist he may recite the Shema. It has been taught similarly: If his garment, whether of cloth or of leather or of sacking, is girded round his waist, he may recite the Shema, but he may not say the Tefillah [Shemoneh Esreh] until he covers his chest. Apparently, the Gemara requires that one wear a belt in order to create a demarcation between one’s chest and one’s lower body. Seemingly, standing before G-d in prayer without this demarcation is viewed as inappropriate.

Another Gemara (Shabbos 10a), however, relates: R. Sheshes demurred: Is it any trouble to remove the girdle [before prayer]! Moreover, let him stand thus [ungirdled] and pray!? — Because it is said, “Prepare to meet your G-d.” According to this source, wearing a belt is an expression of “preparing to encounter G-d in prayer.”

The above two passages seem to disagree regarding whether one wears a belt in order to separate one’s upper and lower body during prayer, or whether it serves as an additional gesture in preparation for prayer.

Subsequently, the Rishonim debate whether one who does not ordinarily wear a belt must wear one for Shemoneh Esreh. The Ran (Shabbos 4a s.v. u-meha) and the Hagahos Maimoniyyot (Hilchos Tefillah 5:8) insist that even one who wears pants must wear a belt for the Shemoneh Esreh. On the other hand, Rabbeinu Yerucham writes that only one who is accustomed to wearing a belt daily must wear a belt for Shemoneh Esreh. Seemingly, these opinions disagree as to whether one’s attire for prayer should match, or should exceed, one’s usual standard.

R. Simcha of Vitry, a student of Rashi, records that Rashi would pray without a belt. When questioned about this practice, he responded that the Amoraim’s clothing was similar to our robes, without any demarcation between the upper and lower body. Nowadays, he explained, since it is customary to wear pants, no further separation is required. Rashi, apparently, viewed this halakhah in the context of the requirement to demarcate one’s chest from one’s lower body. Apparently, Rashi did not believe that one must wear a belt to fulfill hikon, preparing to greet G-d, either because he holds that separating between the upper and lower body fulfills this obligation, or because he believes that one fulfils the obligation through other preparations, such as netilat yadayim.

The Shulchan Aruch (91:1–2) cites both reasons for wearing a belt, in order to demarcate between one’s upper and lower body, and in order to prepare properly for Tefillah. The Magen Avraham and Mishnah Berurah, however, cite Rabbeinu Yerucham, who states that only one who normally wears a belt must wear one for Tefillah, but that one who does not ordinarily wear a belt need not wear one for Tefillah. The Mishnah Berurah does add, however, that there may still be a middat chasidut in wearing a belt. In addition, the Mishnah Berurah cites the Zohar, which states that it is appropriate to cover one’s head with a tallit during Shemoneh Esreh.

In modern times, some authorities have revisited this issue, questioning the propriety of wearing short sleeves, or even shorts, during prayer (see R. Ovadyah Yosef in Yechavveh Da’at 4:8). The Shulchan Aruch (90:5), for example, writes “One should not stand up for prayer… with exposed feet, if the accepted practice is to greet important people with shoes.” The Mishnah Berurah (91:11–13) points out that in hot countries where it is customary to stand before important people barefooted, one need not be concerned even if one is wearing “short clothing through which the legs are visible.” He also writes that one should not pray in sleepwear (pajamas), or other clothing that one would not wear to greet “important people.”

The concept can be better illustrated based on the last Brisker Rav in his sefer on Parshas Bereishis. The Brisker Rav takes note of the fact that Adam and Chava tried to hide from HaShem after eating from the eitz ha'da'as. Although HaShem expresses anger at them for being eating, He never accuses them of being so foolish as to think that they can hide from G-d. This implies that the hiding was actually an appropriate behavior under the circumstances (they had no clothes). The Brisker Rav explains this based on a Rashi in Berachos 24a that one can read Shema with a cloth wrapped around their waste (when the upper part of their body isn't covered), but cannot daven that way.

Rashi explains:

דלתפלה צריך הוא להראות את עצמו כעומד לפני המלך ולעמוד באימה, אבל ק"ש אינו מדבר לפני המלך.

Davening is essentially standing before HaShem, and when one does that they need a greater level of tznius and covering. When Adam and Chava ate from the tree and realized their nakedness, they at first were able to just cover the bottom half of their bodies. But when they heard HaShem's sound passing through the garden, they were obligated to hide themselves before G-d's presence to cover the top of their body as well, just as one would when davening to HaShem.

The black belt you refer to is called a gartel in Yiddish (similar to the English word "girdle").

A. Jewish law mandates that the "heart does not see the nakedness" when one recites the Shema and other prayers. This means that the upper body (more specifically the heart) be separated from the lower half, which has a coarser function. In ancient times, when common clothing consisted of a simple, loose robe, it was necessary to tie a belt around one's waist to insure that the nether region was out of view of the heart.

B. We read in Amos, "Prepare yourself toward the L‑rd your G‑d." 3 Our sages infer from here that one must dress himself up before facing his Maker in prayer. Part of this preparation is to gird oneself with a special belt. Hence the custom of wearing the gartel even though modern clothing ensures that that the "heart does not see the nakedness."

C. The gartel is reminiscent of the belt which the priests would wear during their service in the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. It is for this reason that many are particular to wear their gartel at elbow height, just as the priests of old did.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on December 24, 2013, 06:26:54 PM
Shalom JTF Readers,

It has been 4 complete years (starting sundown today) since my father was gathered to our people (may his Neshama/soul make aliyah). Tonight is the yartzeit of my father and I am remembering him for the good. I would like to share with the readers some images I took during my visit to my fathers house the week before his death when I saw him in his hospital bed.

My father was diagnosed with a very aggressive prostate cancer. Besides suffering for several years with failed kidneys which required weekly dialysis treatments, once the cancer was discovered he was told he had a year to live. My father visited me the summer of 2009, taking a train from Los Angeles valley where he lived. He was unable to drive at that time because he usually visited me while driving from LA.

It was the summer of 2009 I spent several hours with him, discussing our lives and the mistakes we had made. Everyone has family problems, and my family was no exception. My father divorced my mother when I was eight and my brother was five. We lived on the east coast with my mother in Connecticut, my father first moved back to New York, then he took a job in Jamaica, eventually settling down in California. I remember when I was a kid visiting my father in California, and going to the sight-seeing places all along the coast of California.

It was a tough divorce on me. I realize it is a common psychological condition for the oldest son to feel some discomfort at the separation of his parents. I yearned for them to get back together at some time. My mother remarried and I, as many oldest sons do, did not get along with my step father. We often got into yelling matches, my step father the master yeller (his excuse was his mother was deaf so he had to yell). At one point my mother took me to a psychologist when they found papers I wrote where I discussed dreams of pushing my stepdad off the Empire State building.

Eventually I became a man (age 18 in America) and my mother could not put up with my rebellious behavior (although I never felt I was such a bad son) and sent me to go live with my father in California. It was all of the sudden and all my friends (all four of them) where I grew up never really knew why I suddenly disappeared. I called a couple of them and told them...

Anyway, to make a long story short I lived with my father from 1984-1989 (5 years) in a very nice Condo on the beach (Marina Del Rey). My dad drove a nice car, had a 27 ft sailboat in the marina, and was a lifelong conservative republican in the land of Los Angeles. Of course coming from my moms home (an almost-lifelong leftwing democrat) I did not share politics with my pops.

In 1989 I moved out from my dads and got a job which could sustain my lifestyle. I moved to Long Beach (45 mins from dads) and got my own place on the beach, a nice car, and a friend with a boat in the marina.

Things changed for my family drastically in the year 2001, on the event of September 11th we lost our brother, our son, our husband, our father.

I had been pursuing the path of pleasure and hedonism. I considered myself a 'Hippie-type' wearing tie-dyes, driving a VW bus, going to Grateful Dead shows and indulging in the 'substances' which deadhead engage in. I lived in 'Yuppie Heaven' among beautiful boats and beaches (and babes) just like was being portrayed on the TV screens (Baywatch). All of this came to a crashing end shortly after 9/11 when I started a period of mourning for my brother.

I was not religious at the time (although the voice of the 'bar mitzvah boy' inside me continued to speak to me) but I felt that I was responsible for my brothers death in the towers. That is another story...

We moved from Los Angeles to the San Francisco bay area in 1998. A company which hired me moved my family (me and my wife at the time) up to the Marin area. Eventually we found a house and moved in....

What the point of my long story is is this... By the year 2004 my politics had shifted far to the right, all my hippie 'peace and love' ideas had been brought down to size, and while I still believe in the ideals of 'peace and love' I see them through the vision of the Torah and Jewish thought now. My politics aligned perfectly with my fathers at this point.

When he came to visit me in 2009 we were in agreement on everything political. The failure of the Obama administration (it was only 2009) and the ill will of the administration toward Israel were issues which we discussed. We hugged and cried when we realized that we had come to forgive each other for our failings. When I lived with my father in the 80s I was not kind to him. I took advantage of his kindness, having beer and drug parties in his condo when he was out on business. Some of his valuable possessions were stolen when I had these parties.

I forgave him for leaving my mother, which he apologized greatly to me virtually begging me for forgiveness. I apologized to him for taking advantage of him while living with him those five years.

When I visited my father in the hospital it was 'New Years Eve' 2009-2010. I did not celebrate because I was driving the eight hours down to LA to see him. I took some photos of my fathers home which exhibit my fathers great patriotism and his love of country and his Jewish pride.

This photo was when he came to visit me in the SF Bay area:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-XGlR0hTmIWo/TRZq2Qxb1pI/AAAAAAAAASE/XMhsqE5hJ4I/s400/Photo_052409_002.jpg)

And this one is a flashback to when I was 10 (my brother only 7) with our family dog 'Jason':

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-GRGiT78-MEA/TU8iMM51znI/AAAAAAAAAcs/tbi2OEV2AG0/s400/DadJonathanMeJason.jpg)

When I first moved from the east coast to California (age 19) with my dad:

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-q4aVGPcxci8/TU8iMEsgPDI/AAAAAAAAAcw/PzyeEjJnFbM/s400/MeAndDad_5_20_1990.jpg)

Ok, this picture is a little 'scary' because you can see how long I let my hair go back in 1998... That is my ex-wife...

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-y-fK6wl-bvc/TU8iMSJhpqI/AAAAAAAABqk/JVJ3EU67als/s400/MeAndDadAndDebbie_1998.jpg)
(saved draft)
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on December 24, 2013, 06:57:56 PM
Now for the photos I took from my fathers home:

My fathers home was decorated with 'Coca-Cola' imagery and 'American Flags' imagery and 'Chanukah Menorah' imagery...

Coca-Cola:

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-bqqVEovin4s/TRZ1BMMZmUI/AAAAAAAAANs/jLmbK_AZssE/s400/IM000621.JPG)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Ee9PW-d5HwQ/TRZ1Btf6UkI/AAAAAAAAANw/OBIb0porKms/s400/IM000622.JPG)

American Flags:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-b0fz2ADUtI4/TRZ1CRLP8BI/AAAAAAAAAN0/6LaYdil8YfU/s400/IM000623.JPG)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-nmizD1zAq_A/TRZ1DNWYvwI/AAAAAAAAAN4/H_So53Jd32c/s400/IM000624.JPG)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-xzoYjDS9LxY/TRZ1DjqAXQI/AAAAAAAAAOA/EPJTRS1ccWw/s400/IM000625.JPG)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-6W5k5wRkClc/TRZ1EdpjWiI/AAAAAAAAAOE/vMI744bWjFc/s400/IM000627.JPG)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-Vs7pnbyjvnk/TRZ1FOoMTjI/AAAAAAAAAOI/SPcEHWg04-s/s400/IM000628.JPG)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-TFBnrCWGP74/TRZ1GZKuOpI/AAAAAAAAAOQ/WbIe1yA7j_M/s400/IM000631.JPG)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-wpB3-omoPsY/TRZ1Gx4Ir7I/AAAAAAAAAOU/_ixLe76NAL0/s400/IM000633.JPG)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-wXfRl1yuzWE/TRZ1Hu_OuGI/AAAAAAAAAOY/DF5j_yxzosE/s400/IM000634.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-UP3NoArzxs8/TRZ1IWIg2II/AAAAAAAAAOc/wXa8ZqR0guU/s400/IM000635.JPG)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-5Vj5ZiXIhks/TRZ1JhjyEEI/AAAAAAAAAOo/afsd5ftxHOc/s400/IM000639.JPG)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-5Nyoq33G2vc/TRZ1KOSK3mI/AAAAAAAAAOs/O_oVj26z4rU/s400/IM000640.JPG)

My dad had a picture of him standing amid the living republican presidents:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-sWnoGpLuu88/TRZ1K6jxMVI/AAAAAAAAAOw/y4CZIPp4S-s/s400/IM000641.JPG)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-HEn5Th4QS7g/TRZ1N6wHG-I/AAAAAAAAAO8/PAcJSuqORgc/s400/IM000648.JPG)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-LNZB3FNjG_g/TRZ1PKM4WyI/AAAAAAAAAPE/RUDwA0c-lzI/s400/IM000650.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-fT2_9KMJ_eI/TRZ1P1cOBGI/AAAAAAAAAPM/o4XhcAA175o/s400/IM000651.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-tmSRdUc8mm8/TRZ1QjYDCCI/AAAAAAAAAPQ/23AKHuAOUYc/s400/IM000652.JPG)

(https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-b676JLCHAr4/TRZ1RLknIeI/AAAAAAAAAPU/o4c7Ix1Qw7o/s400/IM000654.JPG)

In my fathers foyer were images of my brother along with the memorial which was erected before his remains were found:

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-4kbxw79vvI0/TRZ1RgT2D-I/AAAAAAAAAPY/IFbwXa59JKA/s400/IM000655.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-pZ0IdbuMytI/TRZ1SN-Rj8I/AAAAAAAAAPc/SurEg0CCTsU/s400/IM000656.JPG)

(https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-TsVFKq43nKs/TRZ1Sw_99GI/AAAAAAAAAPg/uFE40LS_WO4/s400/IM000657.JPG)

(https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-ivWQcn2EziQ/TRZ1TacYWvI/AAAAAAAAAPk/zDjOgjx6GQ8/s400/IM000659.JPG)

(https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-uJ99lVf2NTE/TRZ1UZDhdfI/AAAAAAAAAPs/v7_NYTDzhTU/s400/IM000661.JPG)
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on December 24, 2013, 07:27:36 PM
In conclusion I would like to remember my father for all the good things he did. He was a brilliant man, accomplished in his field. He worked as an executive for many large corporations in 60s-70s and gained excellent experience to start his own consulting firm. In California he was able to sustain a lifestyle which many are not able to sustain. Baruch Hashem my father was blessed with a mind which always learned. Everywhere my father lived the walls were covered with book-shelves, and every book on his shelves he read. He read many books on history, the history of nations, the history of wars, he was very brilliant when it came to history and finance.

My father wrote three books which were published (one I recall was published by the AMA)... He worked briefly as a professor of Business Finance at Pepperdine University in Malibou, CA. My father never ceased learning and he provided me with the inspiration to learn about our Jewish faith. Before my father died he told me how proud he was of my 'Teshuva/Return' to Judaism. Although he himself was not observant he grew up during a time when all Jewish kids were given a basic Jewish education. He made sure both my brother and I were Bar Mitzvahed.

I hope that those reading my story can realize what I am trying to instill in the reader. Please attempt to reconcile differences with your families. Though I know this is not always possible, the effort must be made before it is too late. My brother died before I could apologize to him, and hopefully he would want to ask forgiveness from me for the things he did to me (long story)... Like in the story of Jacob and Joseph, the reconciliation itself is meritorious.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on December 24, 2013, 07:35:59 PM
(http://cdn2-b.examiner.com/sites/default/files/styles/image_content_width/hash/f0/2d/f02d12522fe542be3f2b319144f5d4ee.jpg?itok=yKvz5j3z)

D A V I D    B E N    Y E H U D A
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Ephraim Ben Noach on December 24, 2013, 08:26:37 PM
G-D bless you Muman, all your relatives, and your past loved ones!
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: YimachShemotoIslam on December 26, 2013, 06:17:28 PM
Dear Muman, can I ask you about intermarriage. Suppose god forbid, you were born to a Muslim father and a Jewish mother. In that situation, are you considered Muslim or Jewish?

 
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on December 26, 2013, 10:08:55 PM
Dear Muman, can I ask you about intermarriage. Suppose god forbid, you were born to a Muslim father and a Jewish mother. In that situation, are you considered Muslim or Jewish?

You don't need Muman for this. Jews will consider you 100% Jewish, and mudrats will consider you to be one of them.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on December 27, 2013, 03:20:31 AM
You don't need Muman for this. Jews will consider you 100% Jewish, and mudrats will consider you to be one of them.

Yes, that is true. Judaism believes that the Jewish faith is passed through the mother. While the Muslim faith believes that the faith is passed through the father.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Binyamin Yisrael on December 28, 2013, 09:52:36 PM
Yes, that is true. Judaism believes that the Jewish faith is passed through the mother. While the Muslim faith believes that the faith is passed through the father.


They also say everyone is Muslim unless they choose otherwise. I guess that's how they can claim the people of the Bible were Muslim even though Islam didn't exist for over 1,000 years after the Biblical Era ended.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: fibrogirl on December 29, 2013, 04:33:00 PM
I just want to say how touching that was to read, Muman. Thank you.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on December 29, 2013, 05:47:37 PM
I just want to say how touching that was to read, Muman. Thank you.

You are most welcome fibrogirl...
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rational Jew on January 16, 2014, 04:50:01 AM
Dear Muman,

I would like to know what is a complete Jewish view on husbands who cheat on their wives with single women.

Thank you and May Hashem avenge souls of your father and brother. Amen!
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on January 16, 2014, 03:32:17 PM
Dear Muman,

I would like to know what is a complete Jewish view on husbands who cheat on their wives with single women.

Thank you and May Hashem avenge souls of your father and brother. Amen!

Shalom SmashIslam,

Very good question... And it seems to me that this is an issue which has been bothering you for some time. You have asked many questions about the Halachic opinions regarding adultery and other infidelities. It is something which causes a lot of confusion in non-Jews and Jews alike.

As Chaim explained the Torah was written during a time when women were not granted a lot of 'rights' and basically were at the whim of the man. Traditionally women have been the weaker of the sexes, and thus in a world where 'Might makes right' the women often was taken advantage of.

Judaism was the first religion to see womankind as partners in creation. Women were granted rights of inheritance and they also were granted certain rights in the marriage document (called the Ketubah). If a woman is not provided for according to traditional norms, she can divorce him.

While it is true that the Torah permits men to have multiple wives, as I (and others) have explained this practice (polygamy) is not permitted among Jews today. There is no Jewish law which specifically requires a man to have more than one wife, and the Torah is very clear to say that multiple wives bring more problems than a normal man can bear.

Regarding cheating there is much written on the topic...

I hope to bring more sources in a future posting... For now I will post some links which may shed some insight into your questions...

http://www.chabad.org/theJewishWoman/article_cdo/aid/1552226/jewish/Husbands-That-Cheat.htm

http://www.aish.com/f/rf/judaism_and_infidelity.html

http://www.shemayisrael.com/rabbiforsythe/shalombayis/issues.htm


And thank you for the kind words of support...

muman613
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on January 16, 2014, 03:34:30 PM
I will repost this section from the shemayisrael site...

Quote
http://www.shemayisrael.com/rabbiforsythe/shalombayis/issues.htm

1. HALACHIC GROUNDS FOR DIVORCE

Divorce is considered a tragedy in Jewish law. It is basically only justified by something that is breach of what marriage in Torah law is supposed to be. Therefore, a discussion of grounds for terminating a Jewish marriage should include some basics of what marriage requires, as well as violence or blatant violations of marital treatment rules, to give the readers a frame of reference for judging when valid grounds for divorce are present.

I'll start with a brief summary of marital obligations for husbands and wives, so that any breach can indicate possible grounds for complaint or a shaala [Jewish law question] for a rov or dayan.

We do not run right to divorce in most cases [unless there is a major and inexcusable violation such as adultery, violence or abandonment of any Torah observance, as will be discussed further on]. At the start, we examine the nature and validity of possible grounds for divorce. We proceed in all cases slowly, we deliberate carefully, and we obtain proof to validate claims - all done in the light of halacha.

Marriage is a "package" of roles, obligations, responsibilities and functioning. Each owes the other. The Jew has no mentality of "my rights," "my entitlements." Your partner has rights and entitlements... from you.

A man may not diminish provision of all the food, clothes and affection that his wife needs (Exodus 21:10). He must provide financial support (standard kesuba), even if this requires hard or foul-smelling work (Pesachim 113a) or going to the field to farm (Yevamos 63a). He should share the benefits of his life and not cause her pain (Kesubos 61a). She must not cause him pain [Evven HaEzzer 119]. He must never be angry or frightening; he must promote her feeling joyous; and as his financial or social station rises, he must give her more money and status accordingly (Rambam, Hilchos Ishus). He should love her as much as himself and honor her more than himself (Yevamos 62b), give tangible expressions of honor such as jewels and ornaments (Sanhedrin 76b). Relative to what he can afford, he should eat and drink less that he can afford, dress himself according to what he can afford, and honor his wife and children with more than he can afford (Chulin 84b). He lets her be in charge of household matters; he must be careful with her honor; and is to never cause her to cry, to hurt or to curse him (Bava Metzia 59a). He must fully acknowledge and appreciate her for all which he accomplishes as a consequence of her support, encouragement or assistance (Kesubos 62b). He must give his wife compassion and protection (Hakdoma, Tur Evven Ho'Ezzer). He must take care of her needs before his own (Beraishis Raba 39:15). He must nurture a relationship of love and closeness with his wife (Iggeress HaKodesh, attributed to Ramban). During the first year of marriage, he may not leave his wife overnight, so she may grow secure with his love for her (Chinuch #582). He must take time to speak with her, and obtain and respect her opinions (Letter by Rabbi Akiva Aiger).

The wife must cook food and provide clothing (Yevamos 63a). She is obligated to serve him, revere him like a king and honor him exceedingly much (Rambam, Hilchos Ishus), tend to matters of the home and practical daily life (Bava Metzia 59a), obey him and do his will (Nedarim 66b). Where her honor and his are in conflict, she is to defer to him (Kidushin 31a). If she hits or refuses to go to mikva, she can be subject to divorce without kesuba payment (Shulchan Oruch, Evven Ho'Ezzer). When he is angry, she should calm him; when he is hurt, she should soothe him; when he has been done bad to, she should comfort him; when he is worried, she should restore him; when he is pressured, she should minimize requests; and cancel her will for her husband (Shlaw HaKodesh). She should diminish his sadness, his worry or anything which is hard on his heart (Shaivet Mussar). She should raise her man up and she is responsible for her duties (Kesubos 61a).

One of the causes of marital trouble; with its complexity, misery and hostility; is the non-authoritative misrepresentation of mitzvos, halachos and Torah principles. Consider: since people bring to rabbis and batay din emotional and selfish (rather than halachic and authentic) agendas and claims, the cases must either be reconstituted to accord with halachic criteria for get proceedings, or the cases must be commensurately convoluted and mired (as a halachic matter) making solution and conclusive action difficult to impossible. The Torah is precise, objective and serious about divorce because marriage is holy.

Let me share with the readership some basics about grounds for divorce and how a husband's unjustifiably withholding a halachicly required get truly separates him from halacha.

A woman cannot claim that she is an "Agunah" unless her case was duly heard by a competent bais din of yoray Shomayim and expert dayanim who poskined (ruled) that the marriage is over, that the man is required in halacha to give his wife a get and he refuses to give the get ordered by that bais din. "Agunah" is a halachic status and cannot be declared by a wife unhappy with her marriage, no more than she can declare herself a prophet or rabbi or declare that a pig is kosher or that a Tuesday is shabos, just because she feels that way.

Generally, a woman cannot demand a get nor can she say it is a mitzva for her husband to give her one by claiming her marriage is dead. There is no mitzva to give a get. The only mitzva in the Torah is for a man to use the get as the exclusive means for divorcing his wife when the man wants to divorce her (Chinuch, Rambam). Technically, divorcing generally depends upon the man wanting to.

However, it is much more complex than that. There are dozens of Torah principles and requirements incumbent upon a man who can no longer live as a husband with his wife, so the woman is not discounted or abandoned by the Torah.

The gemora (Kesubos 61a) says that MARRIAGE IS FOR LIFE AND NOT FOR PAIN. By definition, when a marriage is painful, it is not a Torah marriage.

The Torah requires never paining a widow or orphan, and G-d becomes furious at and viciously punitive towards a perpetrator [Exodus 22:21]. Rashi says this is not limited to a widow or orphan; rather, it means NEVER PAINING ANYONE who is DEFENSELESS, WEAK OR VULNERABLE. Rambam (Hilchos Dayos) says that this must be fulfilled by giving such weak, vulnerable or needy individuals "rachmanuss yesaira (active and extraordinary compassion)." Since a wife is dependent upon a husband WHEN SHE IS ENTITLED IN HALACHA to a get, she is defenseless and vulnerable insofar as ending her married status is concerned. The one who is callous to her evokes G-d's fury. Chazal tell us that the way we treat another is the way G-d treats us, "measure for measure" (Sota 8b). Heaven gives compassion to each person who gives compassion to people; and Heaven withholds compassion from each person who withholds compassion from people (Shabos 151b).

The saintly Chafetz Chayim [Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kagan, 1838-1933; in a classic work, "Ahavas Chesed (The Love Of Kindness)"], wrote, "If a person in his lifetime habitually failed to forego anything of his own for another, failed to have pity on others, he reinforces the attribute of stern and strict justice in Heaven towards him. So, after he leaves this world and he is in need of such benefits [e.g. kindness, pity, etc.], Heaven pays him back with his own characteristics. G-d deals with him the same way that he dealt with people."

Torah violations for handling or terminating a marriage center around high interpersonal standards and rules imposed by the Torah upon any Jew towards another; such as prohibitions of causing physical or emotional pain, destroying another's life, being vengeful or cruel or strict at the expense of another, etc. These are rules and mitzvos that apply between any Jews. Never forget that the application of the Torah's standard interpersonal requirements totally includes Jews who are married to one another!

In the halachos relating to marriage [Evven HaEzzer 119 and 154 in Tur, Shulchan Aruch and Aruch HaShulchan] grounds for divorce are discussed. This is a brief representative summary with some classic samples. For practical law as applicable to an individual situation, contact a known and respected rov who is an expert in the laws of Evven HaEzzer and who has experience as a dayan.

In Jewish law, raising a hand in anger (even without hitting!) is evil (Sanhedrin 58b). Needless to say, hitting is NEVER an option...whether the victim would be your spouse or anyone else (except in self-defense or if provoked in certain ways). Hitting, especially if with any regularity, can be grounds for immediate divorce (Evven HaEzzer 154:3, Ramoh). If the man hit, he would be obligated to give an immediate "get" (divorce) and to pay the kesuba (marriage contract payment). If the woman hit, he would give her an immediate "get" and she will have forfeited her kesuba money. Failure to fulfill essential spousal responsibilities can be grounds for a get.

A woman can demand a get if her husband develops an unbearable odor or a repulsive illness or injury, if he abandons Torah, if he does not feed or support her, if he has an angry temper, or if he withholds requisite intimate attention.

A first wife should be divorced if she has been adulterous or immodest, refused to go to mikva without Torah justification, violated any major element of Torah or if both mutually want to end the marriage. A man should never be quick to divorce. A man only divorces when he wants the divorce. Among Ashkenazim, the woman ordinarily also has to want it. If the couple does not have a child for ten years, or if one or both spouses cause pain to the other, such is grounds for considering, but not running to, divorce.

In cases where the wife was adulterous, immodest or became unreligious (even if in only one aspect of Jewish law), it is a mitzva for the husband to divorce her. This is the only case where it is a mitzva to divorce. If he gives her a get in such a case and he cannot pay a kesuba (marriage contract payment) or nedunia (dowry), he can give a get without any payment to her and she can then take him to bais din for any payment that she claims he owes her [Tshuvos haRosh]. Otherwise, if he gives her a get, he generally must pay the kesuba.

There are certain demands for divorce which halacha says to ignore unless and until there are certain proofs or conditions. You may not assume, therefore, that a bais din is callous, aloof or "in the clouds" if it does not run to accept one spouse's claim that the other did something which is grounds for divorce. A competent bais din is compelled by halachah to ascertain, substantiate and verify that any demand for a get complies with the halachic system of justifying a get with clear proof.

The rules for ending a SECOND marriage become more lenient (there are more grounds for divorce for a SECOND marriage e.g. they are no longer attracted to each other or he can't stand her cooking).

The laws of and grounds for divorce are not simple and the Torah does not take termination of a marriage - especially a first marriage - lightly. The Torah position is to stay at any marriage and do all you can to make the marriage work, and to give enormous consideration - with objective professional and rabbinic guidance - to the impact on any children of splitting up. Whenever there are children, the couple must do all that is possible to preserve the marriage and to not harm the children psychologically or otherwise. It is a huge mitzva for the couple or others to do all they can to bring the marriage back to peace and bring their family life to normality.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on January 17, 2014, 03:18:09 AM
Not exactly answering the question but again talking about the Jewish view toward divorce, the great Rabbi Mizrachi just posted this last week.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UjTAVCQrZiI
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: YimachShemotoIslam on January 19, 2014, 09:25:22 AM
Is marijuana considered kosher? How safe is it compared to most other drugs?

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Binyamin Yisrael on January 20, 2014, 01:02:16 AM
It's also wrong to have relations outside of marriage. Is it worse for a married man to go with a single woman than for a single man to go with a single woman?

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rational Jew on January 28, 2014, 02:27:35 AM
Here is what Rabbi Shmary Brownstein wrote on the issue of adultery, responding to one of the posters:
Quote
http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/110550/jewish/Torah-Studies-Naso.htm#comments
To Rivka

One of the Torah prohibitions is that a woman may not return to her husband if she has committed adultery. A man who commits adultery may remain married to his wife. This, it would seem, is because conceptually, the woman brings the affair into the realm of her marriage, while the man goes outside his marriage to stray. For this reason the process of the Sotah waters was performed only for the woman, in order to salvage her marriage. Nevertheless, if found guilty, her paramour would die the same death she would.
You are correct that adultery and idolatry are closely related, as seen from the books of the Prophets. The Sotah waters were not a punishment for adultery in general (that was a death penalty administered by the court to both man and woman involved), but a process to prove a woman's purity so that she could return to her husband.

Rabbi Shmary Brownstein
Chabad.org

So, did I correctly understood that husband can cheat on his wife and still remain married?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on January 28, 2014, 02:55:22 AM
Here is what Rabbi Shmary Brownstein wrote on the issue of adultery, responding to one of the posters:
So, did I correctly understood that husband can cheat on his wife and still remain married?

Yes, if the woman will accept his infidelity (or they go to marriage counselors, etc.) it is possible that the marriage can be saved. But the Torah forbids the man from accepting her back once she has violated the marriage. The point is that the Torah is not saying 'he can cheat and still remain married'... You are looking for a specific answer without looking at the entire issue.

The man may not accept his wife back, he must divorce her if she is proven to have been with another man in a way which the husband forbid. Again this question and answer you posted is in relation to the law of the 'Sotah' or the unfaithful wife. The Torah proscribes a method of saving the marriage (if she is proven to have not had an affair)... If she decides to avoid taking the test of the Sotah (drinking the 'bitter water') he MUST divorce her...

But if the man 'cheats on' or violates the fidelity of the marriage, then the wife can ask for divorce or she may not. But she is not forced into divorce by the Torah law...

So in a way it 'seems' that it favors the man... But in reality the woman has the better position.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on January 28, 2014, 02:56:50 AM
This article will explain to you the reasons for the laws of Sotah...



Aish.com   http://www.aish.com/tp/i/m/48964791.html


Naso (Numbers 4:21-7:89)
Sotah

by Rabbi Noson Weisz

One of the laws discussed in Parshat Naso is known as the law of the sotah, which describes how a Jewish court is meant to deal with an adulterous woman. (Numbers 5:12-31)

If a woman is accused of adultery by her husband, and there are serious grounds for suspicion, she is given a choice: accept a divorce or stand up to a strange test. The test, if she opts for it, requires her to drink "bitter waters" into which the name of God had been dissolved. If she is guilty, she dies instantaneously.

If we could hold a contest to determine the most misunderstood commandment in the Torah, then the law of the sotah would have to be declared the hands-down winner.

The chief problem lies in the mistaken idea that this law is meant to put down women. But this is far from the case. As in everything else, the truth is in the details.

First let's set the record straight as to the facts:

 

* * *
 

SETTING THE RECORD STRAIGHT

While it is the accused woman who must actually drink the bitter waters, the waters affect her male partner in adultery identically. Just as the waters examine her, they also examine him. (Talmud, Sotah 27b)

What is more, the Torah awards the power of decision to the woman rather than to the man who must share her fate. She is not forced to drink the bitter waters at all. She can admit to adultery and accept a divorce. The truth is she doesn't even have to admit to anything. She just has to refuse to drink the bitter waters on any grounds at all. She can say she has too much anxiety; she can say she would rather lose money than cause the holy name of God to be rubbed out; she can say she can't live with such a suspicious husband anyway etc. All she loses if she chooses not to drink is her ketubah, her marriage settlement, merely a monetary loss. She is free to marry anyone, and walk away from the entire mess totally unencumbered.

The man, on the other hand, is at her mercy. If she professes her innocence and insists on drinking the waters it will avail him naught to admit to his guilt. As long as she decides to drink, if the water kills her, it will kill him too.

In general Jewish law treats both parties to adultery in precisely the same fashion. Whatever is a punishable offense for the female is the same for the male.

 

* * *
 

GOD'S COOPERATION

Nachmanides points out that of all the 613 commandments, it is only the sotah law that requires God's specific co-operation to make it work. The bitter waters can only be effective miraculously. The Torah assures guilty adulterers that their horrible deaths will follow the drinking of the waters instantaneously, and it promises the innocent woman who was wrongfully accused and elected to go through the humiliating sotah experience to demonstrate her innocence that she will conceive a child even if she is barren.

In fact, the Talmud says that Chana, the prophet Samuel's mother, and a prophetess in her own right, who was barren, threatened God that if He would not help her to conceive through her prayers she would make herself into a sotah and force Him into helping her anyway. (Brochot, 31b)

The sotah law is also the only commandment whose fulfillment requires the erasure of God's name, an act that is ordinarily forbidden and punishable by the administration of lashes. The commentators all explain that the stakes involved in Jewish family purity and the preservation of marital trust that serves as its foundation are so high, that God is willing to tolerate the erasure of His own name, as well as to depart from His ordinary policy of conducting the world according to the rules of nature in order to restore domestic trust and marital peace.

Thus, anyone who is skeptical about the existence of God or about the fact that He intervenes in human lives can safely assume that the entire sotah story as it is described in the Talmud never happened at all. On the other hand, anyone who accepts the truth of Torah as interpreted by the sages cannot fail to be moved by God's obvious concern for the sanctity of a Jewish marriage.

Every miracle is an outright violation of the Divine policy to remain hidden behind natural phenomena and stay out of man's way, so as not to disturb the unhampered exercise of free will. Yet, whereas the holiest rabbis or the greatest tragedies cannot persuade God to alter this policy of concealment, every Jewish sotah had the power to force God to come right out into the open.

The sotah law is the diametric opposite of discrimination against the Jewish woman. It emphasizes her supremacy in the all important area of family purity. When it comes to these issues the Jewish male is a mere appendage.

 

* * *
 

THE AGUNAH PROBLEM

In the modern mind, the sotah phenomenon is one chapter in what is known as the agunah problem, which is also sadly misunderstood.

Stating it as briefly as possible, the agunah problem arises from the fact that under Jewish law a divorce is not complete until the husband hands his wife the get, the bill of divorce. This allows the husband to hold his wife's freedom up for ransom when the marriage turns sour. The woman cannot remarry without obtaining a get. But to obtain the get she must obtain her husband's willing co-operation, a requirement that opens the door to all sorts of blackmail and cruel abuse.

The feeling among progressive Jews is that the rabbis could come up with a halachic solution to this problem if they so chose, and therefore the fact that they have not done so is indicative of their patronizing attitude toward women. It is this feeling -- that the rabbis are callously ignoring the suffering of the bound women -- that is chiefly responsible for the lack of esteem for the orthodox rabbinate that is typical of progressive Jews.

To set the record straight, it is worthwhile to state the dictates of Jewish law as they apply to the agunah situation as well:

According to Jewish law (Sulchan Aruch, Even Hoezer Ch. 77) every Jewish woman has the right to force her husband to give her a divorce. If she comes to court and declares that she can no longer endure cohabitation with her husband for no reason whatsoever other than the simple fact that she simply doesn't like him any more, and she is willing to forego her ketubah, he must give her a divorce.

If he refuses to give her a divorce, the court makes him give it to her by force.

In such a situation the woman takes her dowry and all the property she brought into the marriage with her, and only foregoes alimony payments, the lump sum of 200 zuz, plus whatever the husband has undertaken voluntarily to pay her in their prenuptial agreement in the eventuality of divorce.

No Jewish woman ever, under any circumstances, has an obligation to make any sort of monetary payment to her husband as part of a divorce under Jewish law.

Thus, if rabbinic courts had any temporal power the agunah problem would simply not exist. Because they are not given such power in the modern world, they are unable to enforce any Torah law and hence the rise of the agunah problem.

 

* * *
 

SPIRITUAL TREASURE

But there is much spiritual treasure buried here waiting to be uncovered.

Just as the sotah has the power to demonstrate the existence of God by forcing Him into the open, a Jewish court can make use of the agunah situation to demonstrate the residual holiness that resides in every Jewish soul.

Let us consider a passage on this subject in Maimonides' "Yad."

If Jewish law demands that a man give his wife a divorce and he does not wish to comply, it is the duty of the Jewish court in any venue and at any time to apply physical coercion until the husband openly expresses his willingness to give the divorce and then the court writes the divorce which is kosher under these circumstances.

But why isn't such a get invalid if it's obtained by coercion?

The reason is that we only consider a person to be acting under the influence of coercion if he is pressured or forced to do something that the Torah does not command him to do. But someone whose evil inclination overpowers him and forces him to violate a positive commandment or to transgress against a negative commandment is not deemed to be coerced; on the contrary, he had coerced himself into doing wrong through his evil inclination.

Thus, the husband in question who does not want to give his wife a get, as he does want to remain a Jew, he really wants to perform all the positive commandments and avoid transgressing against the negative commandments; it is only his evil inclination that is overpowering him. Therefore, when he is pressured until the grip of his evil inclination weakens and he declares his willingness to fulfill his Jewish duty he is considered to be giving the get of his own free will. (Maimonides, Yad Hachazaka, Laws of Divorce, 2,20)

The skeptic who was left unmoved by the inspiring demonstration of Divine concern that the believer perceived in the sotah law will regard these words of Maimonides with the same skepticism. But for someone who accepts the Laws of the Torah as Divine, these words of Maimonides demonstrate the ever-present inextinguishable holy spark in the Jewish soul.

There is a very poignant message in these laws that takes your breath away.

The entire phenomenon of holiness in our world rests on the dual pillars of Divine Providence and the human soul. Remarkably, these pillars can only be exposed to public view by the processes that bear on the dissolution of a Jewish marriage. Apparently such a marriage contains such a great abundance of holiness that holiness positively leaks out in all directions when the container is shattered.

Is a Jewish marriage indeed such a holy phenomenon? How can we relate to this?

 

* * *
 

TWO TYPES OF MARRIAGE

It turns out that there are two types of marriage recognized by the Torah.

Before the Torah was given, a man met a woman in the market place. If they arrived at mutual agreement to marry each other he took her to his house, had relations with her in private and she became his wife. (Maimonides, Women 1,1)

Addressing the dissolution of such a marriage Maimonides continues:

When does his colleague's wife become the equivalent of being divorced in terms of Jewish law? When he puts her out of his house and sends her to fend for herself, or when she elects to leave him and goes away. They have no need of a document of divorce, nor does the decision depend on him -- whenever he or she decide to separate, they do so. (Maimonides, Kings 9,8)

Under this system which predates Torah – and which is still practiced in the non-Jewish world today – all aspects of marriage are entirely mutual. Marriage is initiated by consensual cohabitation, and is dissolved by the decision of either party to end the state of cohabitation. Adultery is only considered adultery when it is concealed from the husband. If a woman openly decides to have relations with another man without concealing the matter from her husband, it is not considered adultery; in effect, she is telling him she wants to be free which is her absolute right. If he chooses to go along with her, she can have relations with the second man, and then return to her previous husband and resume their married life.

Let us contrast the rules of this type of marriage to the rules in the Torah which govern a Jewish marriage:

Once the Torah was given Jews were commanded that when a man wants to marry a woman, he should first make a formal marriage contract in front of witnesses and only after such an act should she be considered his wife ... Once such a formal marriage contract has taken place and the woman becomes sanctified, although he never had relations with her, and although she never entered his house, she is a married woman. Whoever has relations with her is liable to the death penalty, and if he wants to divorce her, she needs a document of divorce. (Maimonides, Women 1,3)

In other words, the Torah introduced for Jews an entirely new concept of marriage that is separate and apart from the decision to share life and cohabit with another individual.

 

* * *
 

MARRIAGE AS KIDDUSHIN

These common aspects of marriage are also recognized by Jewish law under the heading called nesuin. But the creation of the marriage bond has nothing to do with cohabitation and stems from a purely symbolic act. Married status is something separate and apart from its outward manifestation in the real world, and is primarily a spiritual bond.

Indeed the very word for this act of marriage is kidushin, meaning "holiness." Under the canopy, as the groom puts the ring on the bride's finger, he says to her, "Behold, you are consecrated to me by means of this ring, according to the ritual of Moses and Israel." The wife is consecrated – and being consecrated, she cannot be touched by another. It is in order to break this sanctity that the document of divorce is required. And the husband, being the one who consecrated her, must be the one to undo his act of consecration.

In other words, the Jewish marriage is a spiritual phenomenon, and the rules that govern its initiation and dissolution are to be regarded and studied in the light of the proper way to deal with spiritual phenomena and not in terms of the management of physical arrangements. For all the rules of a Jewish marriage fall into place without cohabitation, and without the wife even entering the husband's house. Spiritual phenomena belong to the realm of souls not bodies.

To appreciate the thinking behind this approach to the marriage relationship let us study the spiritual nature of men and women and the essence of the connection they form through marriage. A man is an ish in Hebrew, spelled aleph-yud-shin; a woman an ishah, spelled aleph-shin-heh. When they marry he contributes a yud to the union, she a heh, forming between them the holy name of God.

 

* * *
 

GOD'S NAME

We are told that this world was created with the letter heh, whereas the next world was created with the letter yud (Talmud, Menachos 39b). In the commandment to reproduce and multiply, the Jewish male, who contributes the yud, brings the new Jewish soul from the next world, and implants it in the Jewish female, who supplies the heh that gives it expression in this one.

Souls, being holy can enter this world only if they have a holy place in which to reside. But this is not a holy world. In this world all holiness is a result of consecration, dedication and hard work. The Jewish man must place his treasure -- the soul he brings down from the next world -- in a consecrated place. The only location in this world sufficiently sacred is the womb of a Jewish woman.

For this reason Jewish law dictates, that Jewish status is entirely dependent on the Jewishness of the mother. Only the tribe and family of the Jewish child are determined by his father. A good way to bring this down to earth is through our patriarchs and matriarchs. We have four matriarchs, Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel and Leah, but only three patriarchs Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. Is this mere coincidence or does it have a symbolic message?

The world is laid out in four directions -- the Torah speaks of the fringes on a four-cornered item of clothing. A chain must have at least three links. The space in which Israel lives is symbolized by the matriarchs who are therefore four. They are the ground on which we tread and it is they who delineate the limits beyond which we may not step. Within these secure confines we must construct the spiritual chain that binds us to the Almighty and this is the contribution of the patriarchs who are therefore three.

The object of the Jewish marriage is to create a spiritual union between the yud and the heh, between the holiness of this world and the holiness of the next that is so powerful, that even the yud of the next world can find its physical expression in the heh of this one. The yud alone cannot be expressed without the help of the heh.

Spiritual unions require acts of spiritual dedication. A Jewish marriage is primarily a spiritual entity and is created by a process of sanctification. The yud provides the extra degree of sanctity required to complete the full name of God in the heh. Dedication requires self-sacrifice. The way God created the world in His wisdom, the heh cannot be placed inside the yud. To find our way to the next world we must first pass through this world, the realm of the heh. Men do not bear children; the yud must be placed in the heh.

The sacrifice that is the prerequisite of spiritual dedication is thus required of the Jewish woman. But she is also the one who gains. Through her dedication, she is able to contain both the yud and the heh in her own person, the full name of God, whereas the Jewish male can only be attached to the heh when he is in actual union with her.

 

* * *
 

PROPER FRAMEWORK

The idea of the laws of the Torah is to set up the proper framework in which to express the spiritual aspects of life in the physical world. Whenever possible, the ways of the Torah always conform to the maxim Its ways are ways of pleasantness and all its paths are sweet. (Proverbs 3) But spiritual reality has its own parameters just as physical reality does.

When the world is more filled with spirituality there is a balance and harmony between the spiritual and the physical aspects of reality. As we have shown when the religious court of Jewish law has temporal power neither the law of sotah nor the laws of divorce inflict any suffering or humiliation on Jewish women.

But, whenever the physical and spiritual aspects of reality are torn asunder there is bound to be pain. Both must continue to exist within their spheres of reality which now grate against each other. The ultimate example of the sort of pain that results when the physical and spiritual are forcibly separated is death itself. The suffering caused in the modern world by the application of the Torah laws is the same sort of pain. May it be God's will that we should all live to witness the end of this sort of suffering.

This article can also be read at: http://www.aish.com/tp/i/m/48964791.html
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on May 19, 2014, 03:44:10 AM
Was there technology before the flood or not? It seems like there must have been, because even with billions of people and factories we still can barely "poison the rivers" to any extent, and it says they did that before the flood, but then also it took Noah 100 years to make a boat, which G-d had to tell him everything about, so that indicates no, but it also says they made the pyramids before the flood, and they would need some serious technology to make that, so how advanced were they, and in what disciplines?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on May 19, 2014, 03:48:20 AM
Also I heard the opinion (I forget where( that any technology we have was allowed by Hashem, and Rabbi Richman said that G-d got rid of our abilities to affect the world so much, since we were sinning, but clearly we can affect the world a lot right now, so then would have been even more, which seems to indicate along with just greater interconnectivity that there might have been some technological advances in certain sectors that allowed us mastery over nature.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on May 19, 2014, 08:23:05 PM
Is it bad to watch horror movies? Not like torture porn-style, but like the occult. I've always had this complete fascination with anything like that, and I honestly like to watch anything like that, especially with people, because not only do i get to laugh at the movie, but them too for being scared. I also don't know if this make sense or what it means, but I get nervous in half darkness with shadows, but pitch black is my element. Am I like messed up or something and is there a dvar Torah on all that. Growing up like a goy, the cult I was in (I believe you've seen info on it) was obsessed with spirits and talking to them and such, and while I never did, my youth was filled with terror, and anywhere alone I'd get the million-eyes-staring at me feeling. I don't know much about my family, but apparently my grandmother was blind and considered like a prophet in Morocco, and people would come ask her things. Am I just being a bit nutty, or is there something there, and can certain people connect with whatever it is better than others? This could be the result of brainwashing, maybe, when I was young they said I was possessed and it made me play computer all the time, and they once shut down a whole camp when I started smoking at 12, because they said I brought a tornado on them. I'm 90% saying they're nuts and 10% not sure here.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on May 19, 2014, 08:25:21 PM
Not sure if this happened, but voices from your stomach is just something I make up, right?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on May 19, 2014, 10:39:29 PM
Shalom both of you, Ephraim and LKZ...

I am finishing at work and hope to be able to address your questions when I settle down after getting home from work today...

Thank you..
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on May 19, 2014, 10:43:35 PM
Ephraim, I suspect you are referring to the period after the Mabul/Flood during the generation of the Tower of Babel. It was this generation which 'United' in a mission to ensure that Hashem could never destroy the world again... Unfortunately this 'unity' was an evil unity where the value of human life deteriorated into nothing and Hashem again was disappointed in the generation, so he destroyed the tower and confused language between people....



http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/246611/jewish/The-Tower-Of-Babel.htm

Conceit of the People

It was towards the end of Peleg’s life that something happened which changed the social life of all men on earth.

After the Flood, man had again begun to multiply and fill the earth. They all spoke one language and understood one another well. The generations of people before the Flood had been interested only in themselves; they thought of themselves as supermen and lived each one for himself alone; they used violence and force against their weaker neighbors, paying no attention to laws and rules. The new generation of mankind was different. They stressed the opposite code of living. The individual did not count for himself; he counted only as part of the community, and he had to subject his own interests to those of the group. Had they confined themselves to this kind of social life, all might have been well. But they overdid it. The tremendous strength that grew out of their organization and goodwill made them proud, and their pride made them turn against G-d.

They decided to build a tower which was to reach to heaven, to make them equal to G-d, and at the same time, to make it possible for them to stay together. This symbol of their divine strength, as they thought, was to be built in the valley of the Land of Shinear.

Their Punishment

G-d decided to destroy their arrogance by destroying their ability to understand one another. He, therefore, confused the people by splitting them up into seventy different nations and tribes, each with a language of its own, (hence the name Babel, meaning “confusion”).

When this happened, the project of the Tower had to be given up. The various groups migrated in different directions and settled in all parts of the world. The Tower itself was partly burned and partly swallowed by the earth.

Nimrod

But even this severe punishment did not bring the people back to the ways of G-d. During the time of Nimrod, who was the grandson of Ham, the wickedness of the people increased tremendously. Nimrod had inherited the clothes of Adam, made out of the skin of the Serpent, and he was unconquerable. All the animals of the world obeyed him and kings recognized his rule. He proclaimed himself god, and images of his face were shown all over the country. People had to serve him and bring him offerings.

It was in this age of idolatry that a new star appeared on the horizon-the only shining star in a dark sky.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on May 19, 2014, 10:59:13 PM
That is a totally frustrating way to end such an awesome dvar Torah. What about this star now??
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Ephraim Ben Noach on May 26, 2014, 01:15:22 PM
I just saw this. I don't now how I got into this...

http://m.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/112333/jewish/Nimrod-and-Abraham.htm
Nimrod and Abraham

The Two Rivals

By Nissan Mindel
Published and copyrighted by Kehot Publication Society

 

Nimrod was one of the sons of Kush. Kush was the son of Ham, the lowest and least important of Noah's three sons. Nimrod came from a line which was cursed by Noah: "Cursed be Canaan, a slave of slaves shall he be unto his brothers."

By birth, Nimrod had no right to be a king or ruler. But he was a mighty strong man, and sly and tricky, and a great hunter and trapper of men and animals. His followers grew in number, and soon Nimrod became the mighty king of Babylon, and his empire extended over other great cities.

As was to be expected, Nimrod did not feel very secure on his throne. He feared that one day there would appear a descendant of Noah's heir and successor,Shem, and would claim the throne. He was determined to have no challenger. Some of Shem's descendants had already been forced to leave that land and build their own cities and empires. There was only one prominent member of the Semitic family left in his country. He was Terah, the son of Nahor. Terah was the eighth generation removed, in a direct line of descendants from Shem. But Nimrod had nothing to fear from Terah, his most loyal and trusted servant. Terah had long before betrayed his family, and had become a follower of Nimrod. All of his ancestors were still living, including Shem himself, but Terah left his ancestral home and became attached to Nimrod. Terah, who should have been the master and Nimrod his slave, became the slave of Nimrod. Like the other people in that country, Terah believed that Nimrod received his kingdom as a gift from the "gods," and was himself a "god." Terah was prepared to serve Nimrod with all his heart. Indeed, he proved himself a very loyal and useful servant. Nimrod entrusted into his hands the command of his armies and made Terah the highest minister in his land.

Terah was short of nothing but a wife. So he found himself a wife, whose name was Amathlai. They looked forward to raising a large family, but they were not blessed with any children. The years flew by, and Terah still had no son. His father was only twenty-nine years old when he, Terah, was born. But Terah was getting closer to seventy than to thirty, and yet there was no son! He prayed to Nimrod and to his idols to bless him with a son, but his prayers were not answered. Little did he know that Nimrod felt happy about Terah's misfortune. For although Nimrod had nothing to fear from Terah, he could not be sure if Terah's sons would be as loyal to him as their father. Therefore, he was inwardly very pleased that his servant Terah had no children, and probably would never have any. But he could not be, sure, and Nimrod was not taking chances. He ordered his stargazers and astrologers to watch the sky for any sign of the appearance of a possible rival.

One night the star-gazers noticed , a new star rising in the East. Every night it grew brighter. They informed Nimrod.

Nimrod called together his magicians and astrologers. They all agreed that it meant that a new baby was to be born who might challenge Nimrod's power. It was decided that in order to prevent this, all new-born baby-boys would have to die, starting from the king's own palace, down to the humblest slave's hut.

And who was to be put in charge of this important task? Why, Terah, of course, the king's most trusted servant.

Terah sent out his men to round up all expectant mothers. The king's palace was turned into a gigantic maternity ward. A lucky mother gave birth to a girl, and then they were both sent home, laden with gifts. But if the baby happened to be a boy, he was put to death without mercy.

One night, Nimrod's star-gazers watching that new star, saw it grow very bright and suddenly dart across the sky, first in one direction then in another, west, east, north and south, swallowing up all other stars in its path.

Nimrod was with his star-gazers on the roof of his palace, and saw the strange display in the sky with his own eyes. "What is the meaning of this?" he demanded.

"There can be only one explanation. A son was born tonight who would challenge the king's power, and the father is none other than Terah."

"Terah?!" Nimrod roared. "My own trusted servant?"

Nimrod had never given a thought to Terah as becoming a father at the age of seventy. However, if he did become a father, he would surely be glad to offer his first-born son to his king and god! Nimrod dispatched a messenger to Terah at once, ordering him to appear together with his newly born son.

That night Terah and his wife Amathlai had indeed become the happy parents of a baby boy, who brought a great light and radiance into their home. Terah had hoped it would be a girl, and he would have no terrible decision to make. Now he could not think of giving up this lovely baby, born to him at his old age after such longing. He had managed to keep his wife's expectancy a secret. None of his servants knew about the birth of his son. There was a secret passage leading from his palace to a cave in the field. He took the baby to that cave and left it there. As he was returning to the palace, past the servants' quarters, he suddenly heard the cry of a baby. What good fortune! Terah cried. It so happened that one of his servants had given birth to a boy about the same time as his own son was born. Terah took the baby and put him in silk swaddling and handed him to his wife to nurse. Just then the king's messenger arrived.

When Terah with the baby in his arms appeared before Nimrod, Terah declared: "I was just about to bring my son to you, when your messenger came."

Nimrod thought it was mighty loyal of Terah to give up his only son, born to him in his old age. Little did he know that it was not Terah's son who was brought to die, but a servant's.

For three years little Abraham remained in the cave, where he did not know day from night. Then he came out of the cave and saw the bright sun in the sky, and thought that it was G-d, who had created the heaven and the earth, and him, too. But in the evening the sun went down, and the moon rose in the sky, surrounded by myriads of stars. "This must be G-d," Abraham decided. But the moon, too, disappeared, and the sun reappeared, and Abraham decided that there must be a G-d Who rules over the sun and the moon and the stars, and the whole world.

And so, from the age of three years and on, Abraham knew that there was only one G-d, and he was resolved to pray to Him and worship Him alone. A life full of many and great adventures began for Abraham, some of which we have already related to you in our Talks of past years.


Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Rational Jew on August 10, 2014, 11:26:56 PM
Shalom Muman,

I know my question may sound controversial, but I still want to ask it.

Why does Judaism scorn younger siblings? Why does Jewish law command parents to love their firstborn more than the other children? Why is there a firstborn preference and why does he have more rights than any of his younger siblings? Why does the firstborn inherit more than his younger brothers? Why is that the younger sibling cannot marry before older sibling?

There are cases when the oldest child is more evil and less righteous than the younger one. Did Sages ignore it? How could any religious scholar justify such cruel laws in regards to the treatment of children?

With laws like this, can we stop pretending that Judaism is the most justice-filled religion when it obviously not true is some cases?

I don't want to sound like a self-hating Jew, but brutal laws like this do bother me.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on August 12, 2014, 01:55:26 AM
Shalom Muman,

I know my question may sound controversial, but I still want to ask it.

Why does Judaism scorn younger siblings? Why does Jewish law command parents to love their firstborn more than the other children? Why is there a firstborn preference and why does he have more rights than any of his younger siblings? Why does the firstborn inherit more than his younger brothers? Why is that the younger sibling cannot marry before older sibling?

There are cases when the oldest child is more evil and less righteous than the younger one. Did Sages ignore it? How could any religious scholar justify such cruel laws in regards to the treatment of children?

With laws like this, can we stop pretending that Judaism is the most justice-filled religion when it obviously not true is some cases?

I don't want to sound like a self-hating Jew, but brutal laws like this do bother me.

Shalom,

It seems obvious to me you do not understand the blessing of the firstborn. It has nothing to do with hating those born afterwards, and the Torah obviously is against any preferential treatment of siblings. This lesson is most evident from the sad story of Josephs brothers who hated Joseph because Jacob showed preference to him. I hope it is clear to you that the lesson of Josephs brothers is to teach that all siblings should be treated equally.

The firstborn originally in the scheme of Hashems creation were intended to all be Kohenim (priests who can bring the korbanot on the altar). The firstborn lost this merit after the sin of the golden calf when the priestly class of Kohenim were created.

The only special consideration is that the older male sibling inherits the 'double portion' from the father. This has nothing to do with who is the righteous son or not, it is a fact of birth. It is no less fair than whether you are born a man or a woman, or a Israeli or a Kohen, there are facts of life which have no bearing on what our spiritual level is.

In the morning prayers we say a bunch of things which some people consider 'isms' but for a religious Jew they are 'facts of life' which we thank Hashem for. We thank him for making us a Jew and for making us a man, and from a gentile perspective this seems 'cruel' but it is a fact of life. So too with gender, we are born male and we have the responsibility which goes with being a male. Every 'fact of life' has benefits and problems alike, nobodies life is any better but rather it is different.

I myself am a 'firstborn son' and quite honestly in my family my younger brother (who was murdered on 9/11 in the WTC) was always considered the 'good son' because in my 20s I became a wild man and broke a lot of rules of my mothers home. My brother was an exceptionally well liked man and he excelled in his profession and yet he died at 33 years of age. After 9/11 I did teshuva and have studied Judaism, attending services on every Holiday (which I take off from work), and supporting my Jewish community.

I will provide some links and articles which discuss the deeper meaning of the 'bechara' or 'firstborn' status.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on August 12, 2014, 01:57:41 AM
http://www.mechon-mamre.org/jewfaq/birth.htm

Quote

Pidyon ha-Ben:  Redemption of the First Born

The first and best of all things belongs to God.  This is true even of the firstborn of children.  Originally, it was intended that the firstborn would serve as the priests and Temple functionaries of Israel; however, after the incident of the Golden Calf, in which the tribe of Levi did not participate, God chose the tribe of Levi over the firstborn for this sacred role.  This is explained in Numbers 8,14-18.  However, even though their place has been taken by the Levites, the firstborn still retain a certain degree of sanctity, and for this reason, they must be redeemed.

The ritual of redemption is referred to as pidyon ha-ben, literally, Redemption of the Son.

A firstborn son must be redeemed after he reaches 31 days of age.  Ordinarily, the ritual is performed on the 31st day (the day of birth being the first day); however, the ritual cannot be performed on Shabbat because it involves the exchange of money.  The child is redeemed by paying a small sum (five silver shekels in biblical times) to a kohein (preferably a pious one familiar with the procedure) and performing a brief ritual.  This procedure is commanded at Numbers 18,15-16.

It is important to remember that rabbis are not necessarily koheins and koheins are not necessarily rabbis.  Redemption from a rabbi is not valid unless the rabbi is also a kohein.  See Rabbis, Priests, and Other Religious Functionaries for more information about this distinction.

The ritual of pidyon ha-ben applies to a relatively small portion of the Jewish people.  It applies only to the firstborn male child if it is born by natural childbirth.  Thus, if a female is the firstborn, no child in the family is subject to the ritual.  If the first child is born by Caesarean section, the ritual does not apply to that child (nor, according to most sources, to any child born after that child).  If the first conception ends in miscarriage that qualifies for the mother to be impure as if she had born a fully developed child, it does not apply to any subsequent child.  It does not apply to members of the tribe of Levi, or children born to a daughter of a member of the tribe of Levi.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on August 12, 2014, 02:03:58 AM
Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe, who has not made me a non-Jew.

Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe, who has not made me a woman.

Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe, who has not made me a servant.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on August 12, 2014, 02:24:56 PM
Dear Muman,

I would like to know what is a complete Jewish view on husbands who cheat on their wives with single women.

Thank you and May Hashem avenge souls of your father and brother. Amen!

The Zohar on this is terrifying. Long story short from Rabbi Mizrachi, it's karet (the soul is cut out of the Jewish people), and if he cheated with a married woman, it's the hardest sin in Torah to make teshuva for.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on August 12, 2014, 02:27:31 PM
Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe, who has not made me a non-Jew.

Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe, who has not made me a woman.

Blessed are You, God, our Lord, King of the universe, who has not made me a servant.

In a Sephardic Siddur I saw, women say "blessed are you... Hashem, King of the universe, who has made me according to his will.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: kyel on August 20, 2014, 11:26:42 AM
The Zohar on this is terrifying. Long story short from Rabbi Mizrachi, it's karet (the soul is cut out of the Jewish people), and if he cheated with a married woman, it's the hardest sin in Torah to make teshuva for.

What is the punishment for a man who sleeps with a married women and she told him she wasn't married? I am guessing this would be easier to make teshuva for.

I don't think it would ever be possible to make enough teshuva without immense (10-20) years of suffering because you'll never feel the amount of tears and suffering that the husband, broken children(and the impact you will have on them for the rest of their lives and then their children), broken family. +They will never forgive you unless a long period of time has passed and you go and beg for forgiveness and you still won't know if they truly forgive you in their heart.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on August 20, 2014, 01:00:01 PM
What is the punishment for a man who sleeps with a married women and she told him she wasn't married? I am guessing this would be easier to make teshuva for.

I don't think it would ever be possible to make enough teshuva without immense (10-20) years of suffering because you'll never feel the amount of tears and suffering that the husband, broken children(and the impact you will have on them for the rest of their lives and then their children), broken family. +They will never forgive you unless a long period of time has passed and you go and beg for forgiveness and you still won't know if they truly forgive you in their heart.

There's fasting, tzedakah, and a bunch of other things involved, and yes, even then to make a complete teshuva is next to impossible.

If you violate shabbat on accident, the effect of what you did on the upper worlds remains the same, but Hashem isn't going to cut your soul out of your people. You, instead of incurring a death penalty, have to sacrifice a cow. With a married women, it's not so simple, because the act of leaning against a wall isn't a sin, but that section where you were caused the switch to flip, so there's carelessness involved, which may partially explain the kappara involved. If you were fornicating with a woman, it's a sin, but also extremely careless, because the woman may very well be married. I don't honestly know the ruling, but IMO, it still makes mamzerim and could tear a family apart, so you need kappara like with accidental shabbat violation and you need to make teshuva for trying to sin that was a lesser sin. I don't know how it all works though.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: mord on August 28, 2014, 04:25:14 PM
MUMAN613 could you shine a little light on this subject     http://forward.com/articles/204722/fighting-for-israeli-democracy-atop-a-wedding-cake/   


It's from the Forward a guy named Yitzie defending the marriage of the Israeli woman who converted to Islam and married a muslim  .The whole article is with the above link


Rather reminds me of Westboro Baptist Church picketing funerals.
Also, it's ironic that Lehava is practicing lashon hara and the sin of publicly embarrassing a fellow Jew (the bride, who is still Jewish by halacha even if she's converted out). Protesting intermarriage is one thing, harassing a specific bride and groom on their wedding day is quite another.
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Matt613 · 1 day ago
I am unclear on the Loshon Ha Ra issue. This woman's behavior is open and notorious. Generally speaking one should not disclose information that is derogatory. Ms. Malka is making no secret of either her conversion or her marriage. The horse has left the barn here, nothing is being disclosed. Its already public knowledge. As to protesting the wedding, not my thing. However if its a non violent protest, they can do it.
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Yitzie · 1 day ago
You seem to be confusing the halacha of Lashon Ha-Ra with the American law of libel and slander. Read the Chafetz Chaim's "Shemirat Ha-Lashon". Then get back to us.
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Matt613 · 1 day ago
No. I am clear that except in certain limited circumstances, true derogatory information should not be disclosed. The problem here is the Ms Malka has disclosed the information. One could argue that since is openly violating Halacha, Loshon Ha Ra does not apply at all. Libel and slander law apply to false statements. So far as I know it is absolutely true Ms. Malka converted to Islam and married a Muslim.
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Yitzie · 1 day ago
You gotta read the Chafetz Chaim. Lashon Ha-ra is Lashon Ha-ra even if it's true. In fact, the Chafetz Chaim says, it can even be lashon ha-ra if it's good.
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Matt613 · 21 hours ago
That's true, but it is not applicable. For example Leah and Rachel are rivals. Same tell Leah that Rachel is beautiful, a true statement. This generates ill will on the part of Leah towards Rachel. The statement Rachel is beautiful would be LH in this circumstance
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Yitzie · 21 hours ago
right, so your whole "open and notorious" thing is simply irrelevant when it comes to halacha. There are other standards and criteria. Zil g'mor.
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Matt613 · 21 hours ago
No. Its a different type of LH
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Babyface613 · 5 hours ago
The Shmirat HaLashon is a mussar sefer. The book to know when one's words are loshon harah is "Chofetz Chaim".

Read more: http://forward.com/articles/204722/fighting-for-israeli-democracy-atop-a-wedding-cake/#ixzz3BiiRtqnh



Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on August 28, 2014, 06:29:46 PM
Shalom Mord,

I am not clear what your question is?

A) Concerning whether it is lashon hara?
B) What do I think of the marriage between a Jewess and a muslim?

Clarify, and if I don't see an answer I just may answer both...

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: mord on August 28, 2014, 07:48:17 PM
Shalom Mord,

I am not clear what your question is?

A) Concerning whether it is lashon hara?
B) What do I think of the marriage between a Jewess and a muslim?

Clarify, and if I don't see an answer I just may answer both...
well basically i think it's absolutely wrong about the intermarriage but mainly is it Lashon hara
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on August 29, 2014, 02:07:08 AM
well basically i think it's absolutely wrong about the intermarriage but mainly is it Lashon hara

I can say that Rabbi Mizrachi was talking about this same issue and was accused of lashon hara by a member of his lecture audience, because is it not a Jewish woman? I can add to his statement that that logic would mean very silent courtrooms, but he said she's the one that publicized the sin, and if she wants to expose her sins, a Rabbi can call them sins.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on August 29, 2014, 02:42:17 AM
I did not hear Rabbi Mizrachi on this. But being a rabbi does not entitle one to engage in Lashon Hara. Should he publicize every sin which people he knows, or hears about make? I am not sure what his rationale is.

According to my understanding there are only a few cases where lashon hara is permitted. I assume everyone reading is aware what lashon hara is, the speaking about a Jew in a derogatory manner before other people. From my memory I can say that it is permitted to speak lashon hara about a Jew in order to warn someone from marrying or going into a business deal which could be fraudulent. But I also heard it said that even in this case one should not reveal more than is necessary to avoid the marriage or deal. If a rabbi knows that a Jew is going to murder or harm another Jew then he is obligated to speak up and prevent the murder or harm.

On the topic of intermarriage, which is a very serious issue, I do not know if speaking publicly about it using the names of this couple is permitted or not. Sometimes I wonder whether Rabbi Mizrachi does speak without thinking when he knocks certain Jews for some beliefs, while he has beliefs which are knocked by others. I have seen rabbi encourage marrying Jews without having to call out those who have intermarried. This topic is very upsetting to me personally as most of my family has married out. I hold out hope that some will make teshuva at some point, like I have.

So I don't know the answer to this. I myself try to avoid speaking about 'people' rather I speak about 'ideas' and 'concepts'. This relates to one bit of wisdom my dad (may his spirit go up) which went... Dumb people talk about 'things', average people talk about 'people', and intelligent people talk about 'ideas' and 'concepts'.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on August 29, 2014, 02:48:48 AM
Let me add that it is disgusting to me to think of a Jewish woman with a muslim, especially a religious one. In my understanding this is a chillul Hashem, and unless she realizes her mistake it will be a very difficult issue for her in the world to come (olam haba)... But in my heart I have hope that there is a Jewish soul inside her (if her mother was indeed Jewish) which may one day awaken from its foolish attraction. It is a hope which I personally need to have in order to avoid hating my family which, in some respects, I have had an influence on bringing some back to their Judaism.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on September 07, 2014, 12:20:44 AM
It isn't lashon hara if you say she married a muslim because she said she married a muslim. Only if he said that he was Jewish would it then become lashon hara, and in this case, saying something would prevent a life risk to her, so it should also be allowed.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on September 17, 2014, 12:49:57 AM
If I fight to be happy in a horrible torturous situation, will Hashem see that I can survive it and be happy to leave me in it? What can you do other than praying to Hashem that everything will suck less (tried, and I need another method)?
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on September 17, 2014, 02:12:57 AM
If I fight to be happy in a horrible torturous situation, will Hashem see that I can survive it and be happy to leave me in it? What can you do other than praying to Hashem that everything will suck less (tried, and I need another method)?

Shalom LKZ,

Very difficult questions you bring me lately... I hope I can help.

Why are we faced with challenges? Why does it seem sometimes that we cannot overcome them? These questions have plagued us since the beginning, and I don't expect we will get easy answers.

According to my opinion I believe that life requires two things of us... First we must have faith in Hashem, that he will assist us, that he wants to best for us, and that we are capable of appreciating his influence in our world. Our prayers are always worth it, even if they are not always answered (or answered within the time we desire them to be). I know that life sometimes sucks and believe me some mornings I wake up feeling like dirt. And yet I try to feel appreciation, saying Modeh Ani in some manner or another. I wake up to the horror of driving 1hr15min to work each morning, a long and grueling drive I have been making for over ten years now, along with the worries about wear and tear on the car, crazy drivers, accidents and construction... It causes me a lot of stress. Indeed there are times I feel that all my prayers and all my observances do not help me in my struggle to live. I suspect this is the same feeling you have, and I gotta say it is the human condition.

Second I believe that action is required just like prayer. Praying alone is not going to change the world we live in. This is the world of action, and actively seeking to change our situation is required. I have to admit I also have problems in this area as I face the unknowns of the future. In the past my efforts have been successful (in the area of parnassa/livelihood) but my company is not as stable financially as it was five years ago, and many people have been laid off or left for better opportunities. I have been exploring my opportunities but even that is daunting considering I have not interviewed or applied to any job in over 11 years. The one interview I went on where they said technically I was a fit, but my culture was not (I supposed that meant my peyos and beard were not appreciated). Am I going to face antisemitism from prospective employers, and should I shave my peyos and beard (as my mother suggests) in order to get a better job?

My only suggestion is to do an accounting of the things in your life. This is the recommended time to do this, as we are only a week before Rosh Hashana. Be honest with yourself about which character traits help you in situations, and which traits are a detriment in certain situation. Try to be honest with yourself in your assessment, you don't have to share it with anyone, so long as it doesn't depress you to do this. Pick a bad trait and resolve to change it a little bit and find a good trait and think what you can do to strengthen it. Over time you will find that some of these traits are harder to restrain but keep on trying. I have some which have been on my list for many years without even making a small change in it. I don't want to share my own accounting as it is very personal...

I hope this helped a little, otherwise I can elaborate on this.

Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on September 17, 2014, 02:18:57 AM
The concept of 'Cheshbon HaNefesh' or Accounting of the Soul is an integral part of the Rosh Hashana teshuva experience.

http://www.chabad.org/holidays/JewishNewYear/template_cdo/aid/971407/jewish/Soul-Accounting-in-5-Steps.htm
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on September 17, 2014, 02:20:47 AM
From the excellent Aish.com website @ http://www.aish.com/h/hh/gar/sa/Spiritual_Accounting_System.html

Spiritual Accounting System
by Rabbi Noah Weinberg
To be successful in business, you need a good accountant. The same principle for success applies in the game of life.

If you ask someone: Are you eating to live, or living to eat? Of course they'll tell you they're eating to live.

Now ask them: What are you living for? They won't always have a good answer, but at least you made them think about what they're doing in life. Unfortunately the majority of humanity is very busy doing and accomplishing, but they don't know for what.

Everyone has instances in life where something wakes them up and they're confronted by the question: "What has my life been all about up till now?" Momentarily they may be scared. But all too often, rather than trying to answer the question, the person escapes by turning on the TV or grabbing a newspaper.

A man I know in Jerusalem was accidentally shot, and as a result became a paraplegic. While lying in the hospital, he was faced with this question: "What is life all about? What am I living for?" Today he will tell you that God did him a great favor by paralyzing him; otherwise he may have gone through his entire life without ever asking this fundamental and crucial question.

Asking the Question

If the doctor told us we only had six months to live, we'd ask ourselves "What's life all about?" Think about it. Some day we'll only have six months to live, but then it may be too late to consider the question. So we have to start asking ourselves now.

We are very fortunate because through the Torah, God has told us what we're here for. Ultimately what we want in life is to love God. What we have to do is get in touch with this desire of our souls and then plan how to attain that love. We say this in the Shema twice daily (and it's written in the mezuzah): "To know that God is One, and to love Him with everything we have."

Use your mind to clarify if this is what you really want. If it is, then ask, "What am I doing to attain it?"

This is the process a Jew goes through on Rosh Hashana: "What am I living for?" and "What am I doing to attain it?" If we do this we're guaranteed greatness.

The biggest individual fence against wasting your life is Cheshbon Hanefesh ― Spiritual Accounting. You need a regular system to evaluate how well you performed and take stock of where you stand.

Every night before going to bed, look back at that day’s events, and evaluate where you profited or lost. Then make a plan so the next day will be more productive.

Ask yourself:

* What have I accomplished today?
* Did I accomplish what I intended?
* How am I going to improve for tomorrow?
* What are my strengths and weaknesses?
* What's my profit? What's my loss?
* How far have I come in my long-term goals?
* What's holding me back from growing?

Read over your list of mistakes and remind yourself, “This is the enemy.” It might be laziness, or envy, or bad temper. Track down your own Achilles heel, and concentrate on that. If you review your list daily, and get angry at your own stupidities, then that anger will give you the power to make changes.

Annual Review

On Rosh Hashana, we make a cheshbon covering the previous year. Figure out what you did right and what you did wrong ― and then make a plan to correct those mistakes.

On the other hand, our day-to-day actions need to be reviewed constantly. All the little steps are critically important. We can't just dream and fantasize about our goals and forget to do the steps to accomplish them, or we'll never get there. Great people started at the bottom too, and worked their way up. Without cheshbon we're lost. We have to keep track of our time management and constantly juggle our priorities. If we do this consistently ― e.g. every night ― then we'll be great!

We have to take responsibility for our lives because no one else will do it for us. We are all created in God's image and have the potential for greatness. The most important thing is to ask ourselves and clarify "What am I living for?"

In his classic book of Jewish ethics, "The Path of the Just," Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzato says: "The foundation of good action and the root of true service of God is for a person to know his goal in this world." This is our motto in Judaism. If a person has clarity on where he's going in life, he'll get there. Otherwise he'll just remain in a state of confusion all his life. This is the common denominator of "free will" available to every human being. Figure out what you're living for and you're guaranteed to be great.

The shofar blasts like an alarm clock. We can either wake up and ask the right questions, or sleep our lives away. The Almighty wants us to wake up and live.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on September 17, 2014, 02:46:54 PM
Shalom LKZ,

I read your message this morning and wanted to tell you that I am thinking about your situation. I will reply with more information after I get home from work this evening.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on September 17, 2014, 04:00:09 PM
Shalom LKZ,

I read your message this morning and wanted to tell you that I am thinking about your situation. I will reply with more information after I get home from work this evening.


Never mind. I did think about my life situation, and I know what I need to do. I organized my school and my life around work that I kept doing for next to no pay because I can help people and improve the world. It's obvious now that I'm nothing but a pathetic dreamer. I'm quitting my job and school and doing a program where they pay you to become a welder, and then I'm moving to deep in the north to work at a diamond mine, and that way I can make a little money, and maybe when I'm 40 I can open a health food store, or just retire. I'm sick of sacrificing myself for others who don't want anything to do with me. The last 2 options were 2 Jewish guys that could have made millions with the slightest effort, one has taken 6 months to get me 2 minutes of details from engineers in a gold mine, and the other gave me emails of people for me to cold call, and didn't bother talking to any of them. No one's going to help me, and none of my dreams will ever be more, and if I don't live by that, I'm going to be on the streets in a year.

It's like a cruel joke now, but I always put an extra effort into my interest in politics because I thought I would be a Canadian politician. Since I'm obviously not going to be in the knesset, and even saying Canadian politician is pathetic if it's in a sentence in my name, I need to give up working towards that and all my other impossible dreams. You know I've been fighting for more than 2 years to get a bris? Over 100 calls, 10 doctor's visits and a few tests, pants down over 5 times, and it still seems as unlikely as the first day, and G-d forbid anyone should ever return one of the messages I left. Everyone tells me how much they like talking with me me and will call me after the rare shabbat dinners I have out, and then never contact me or invite me again, and usually don't respond to messages I send after. I can't even fit into goyish communities, and I'm deluding myself that I'll be anything as a Jew, and it's a fantasy that I'll ever get integrated enough to find a Jewish wife. I'm going to have a job and live a crappy life and die like everyone else, and at least it'll be less torture than having to pray a thousand times a day and get nothing, other than hope, which has always only ever made the inevitable crappy situation hurt more when it gets crushed.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on September 17, 2014, 04:27:26 PM
LKZ,

I cannot explain why people act like this and it is disappointing to me that you are unable to get the respect that every Jew should be given. I feel that you have a Jewish neshama just from our chatting and on the forum. I do care about your condition and although I am very busy with my own problems I try so hard to be able to support others, yourself included, because we only have each other. We need a support system in order to feel good about ourselves and our world. Without friends and support we are left alone in a world which seems to work against us.

I don't know what goals and aspirations of yours are attainable and which are just dreams. We must asses our abilities and realistically set the goals of our life. I may find it hard to relate because I was blessed with knowing early in my life what I 'wanted to be' (which is a software engineer).

Please do not give up on Hashem, on the Jewish ideal of making the world a better place, of making ourselves the best we can be. I believe you have run into a phenomenon known as 'Baal Teshuva burn-out' which happens when someone returns to Judaism and tries to take on everything at once, and becomes overwhelmed with the mitzvot and feels unable to keep up with all the minutiae. I have felt this, and my unprofessional opinion is that your personal happiness is of paramount concern. If keeping commandments does not make you happy you must figure out how you can be happy with them, or back off some and keep others.

I do not recommend turning your back on Torah and Mitzvot. I hope they stay with you whatever you decide to do with your life. I know that there is a spark deep inside me that no matter how dismal the world may be, how badly I feel the world is treating me, how my family is decimated by assimilation and question the future of the Jewish people, no matter what I have a spark inside me that knows it will be OK when it is all over.

I know that even when I feel down, a sunny day or a funny word can turn my mood around, and a warm fuzzy feeling in my soul explodes. I believe my mother instilled in me this ability to feel content even in the most difficult of conditions. I hope that you can find the spark of happiness in your soul which you can draw upon when you feel depressed from lifes bad experiences.

I hope you find a career which can provide you with everything you need. I am unable to help you in that area. I am a computer expert and that is all, I don't deviate from this path as it has been what has brought in the parnassa for me since I was 17 years old...

Let us find time to chat again, hopefully with more time...
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: muman613 on September 18, 2014, 02:13:02 AM
LKZ,

I spoke with my Rabbi this evening and would like to expound on some things he told me... I will save it to post tomorrow evening.
Title: Re: Ask MUMAN613! almost live!
Post by: Israel Chai on September 30, 2014, 11:27:12 AM
I figured it out over Rosh. King David, whose words I keep connecting with on a deep level, said "my heart would have failed me if I did not believe that I would receive my reward in the land of the living. Let your heart be valiant and hope in the L-rd." That says everything to me, and I'm going to do my best to keep it up.