22 June 2016

Desiring Geulah Sh'lemah

16 Sivan 5776

What does it mean, that we've stepped through the Sha'ar Nun — the Fiftieth Gate? And what does it matter for most people of the world?

As Reb Dov Bear explained earlier, it has to do with the 50th Jubilee (in Hebrew, Yovel יובל) Year since Ezra (of Ezra and Nehemiah), known as the Sofer (the Scribe). We have just finished 49 years since the reunification of Yerushalayim, my beloved city, and are living in the 50th year. It also so "happens" that the Hebrew year 5727/1967 was the last Yovel year.

To take in the more full explanation, read here and here. Don't forget to come back!

During Erev Shavuoth, I attended a shiur at a friend's house by Rabbanit Esther KiTov, who teaches I believe is the widow of Rav Eliyahu KiTov, where she regaled us with her experiences as a young teenager at the time of the Six-Day War, along with our hostess' mother-in-law (sorry, no audio or video — it's not allowed on Hag). R' Pinchas Winston also tells the story in the video below. But don't sell him short; I believe this is the shiur to beat all shiurim, until now (skip to 3:30 to the beginning of the shiur).

R' Pinchas Winston helps us appreciate the wondrous times we are in! (H/T Shirat Devorah)

The main thing for us Jews now is to Desire Redemption — which includes doing something to show how much we desire it! Begin now by appreciating the times we now find ourselves in. Know that every deliverance we ever experienced only comes when there is a massive expression, through action as well as thought, of ratzon רצון (will) on the part of the contemporaneous Jewish collective (yes, the entire people alive in any given time — even if it is a small number, such as went out from Egypt/Mitzrayim. Which, if you look around, you see that the number of Jewish men in the world is similar to what it was then, if you assume a normal number of women and children.). The theme throughout is:

מֵאֵת יְהֹוָה הָיְתָה זֹּאת הִיא נִפְלָאת בְּעֵינֵינוּ:
This was from G-d; it is wondrous in our eyes! (Tehillim 118:23)

R' Winston has told us for many years that one must desire the very dust of Eretz Yisrael, as it says in Tehillim 102:14-15:

14 You will rise, You will have mercy on Zion for there is a time to favor it [her]*, for the appointed season has arrived.
יד אַתָּה תָקוּם תְּרַחֵם צִיּוֹן כִּי עֵת לְחֶנְנָהּ כִּי בָא מוֹעֵד:
15 For Your servants desired its stones and favored its [her]* dust.
טו כִּי רָצוּ עֲבָדֶיךָ אֶת אֲבָנֶיהָ וְאֶת עֲפָרָהּ יְחֹנֵנוּ:

It is no different now. As one of the audience members in the video says toward the end: "It would be fair to say that if you're not "doing your hishtadluth" [making an effort], you don't have the ratzon."

May we all get the ratzon and merit to see it through to the end.

* I inserted this word, not only because the Hebrew words call for it, but also in keeping with my belief, given many words from the Torah, that the Land has a personality and desires our return, both to her and to HaShem. -CDG

16 June 2016

At the Fiftieth Gate - By Default or by G-d's Design?

10 Sivan 5776

We're using this picture to demonstrate how Ya'aqov is above, Esav below. Credit

Well. According to Reb Dov Bear, we have arrived at the Sh’ar Nun, the Fiftieth (50th) Gate, and the stage is set for the Final Redemption, as he says there was made evident over Shavuoth, the Feast of Weeks for the Jewish People. The event, he says, was the massacre of 49 homosexuals in a “gay” bar by an ISIS jihadist, himself equally evil, and his death at the hands of police, making 50 dead. (There were also over 50 wounded; we’ll have to leave the understanding of the 3 left over for later, if ever.)

The murderer’s name, Omar Mateen, is interesting (to me, at least) from the principle that we Jews derive significance from people’s names in Hebrew: It could be said (this is a quick translation/interpretation on my part) that this name could be rendered “I will declare it suitable (omar mateem אומר מתאים).” This isn’t as far-fetched as it looks: Aramaic does the same thing as Arabic with the nun sofit (ן) — n sound — which corresponds to our mem sofit (ם) —m sound. In this case the word is singular and happens to appear to be plural (to the non-initiate). I wonder whether this means anything! A commenter on Reb Dov’s blog who wished to remain anonymous suggests that the Sefirath haOmer (Omar = Omer; 49 dead besides him = days of the sefirah) is tied into this as well. I wish I had thought of that. And according to Zero Hedge, supported by videos (h/t to DS of Israel Truth Times), there was more than one shooter. We would have to take all the shooters' names into account, if we ever learn them, for the full message.

This — my observation, so far — is obviously not a compliment. HaShem seems to be saying that all of us, collected together, are, so to speak, just a hair above the non-Jewish world. It is enough for this moment (which for me will probably last as long as this post has its day in the sun). After we catch our breath, when we —the righteous Jews and Gentiles and may I be counted among them — realize that we are permanently separated from the rest of the world by virtue of the latter getting to the bottom of the barrel first, we’d better do as my mother, may she live and be well, puts it, “get on the stick.” That is, pay attention and do what we're supposed to do.

Just a few thoughts on that:

  1. It may have been suitable for HaShem to signal to us via this mass murder that we were through the gate because, a few days ago, Tel Aviv had a gay pride parade: the same sort of people were involved on both sides. Fortunately we have the Land of Israel as our inheritance and heritage because she (has a personality – I’m sure another blog explains that better) protects those who strive to follow HaShem’s direction (Torah) from harm. Not so outside the Land. However, it is still necessary for us to begin rectification by stopping all public celebrations of sexuality, no matter what kind it is. How many have noticed that there is not one Jewish holiday that does this? No, not one.
  2. Both secular and religious Jews must realize that they themselves have fallen short: The seculars have fully recognized neither HaShem nor Torah sufficiently (and in some cases, not at all), while the religious have not fully recognized the Land’s equal status with the Torah. Just because we were able to survive the loss of the Land through clinging to the Torah, nowadays many feel that we don’t need the Land at all, especially when run by Jews who do not live by the Torah. This cannot be so! Since no human on earth has lived more than 969 years (Metushalah/Methuselah) and certainly no one for many generations now, I believe it would have been impossible for Jews to survive the loss of the Land at all without the Torah, if we had been long-lived to that extent normally. Both are described in the written Torah as morasha, heritage/inheritance, and the Eim haBanim Semeicha1 writes “Torah and Eretz Yisrael were said in a single utterance; they are two inseparable companions” 2, putting them on the same level. Yes, I know that when we sing Dayenu on Pesach, we sing “If He had given us the Torah and had not brought us into the land of Israel — Dayenu!” — and not the other way around (and wrong time of the year to boot! Didn’t we just do this about…50-odd days ago from this writing?). But, would we have a home to come to if Eretz Yisrael had no importance at all? And do you really think that the same Torah that says, “This is the commandment, the statutes, and the ordinances that the Lord, your God, commanded to teach you, to perform in the land into which you are about to pass, to possess it” would protect us forever while we live Outside That Very Land? Does not our G-d mean what He says??? Yes, I’m being harder on the religious, especially those who were born that way! They should know better. I think those of us “geula bloggers” in Israel hope that the opportunity afforded by recent events will not be lost on religious Jews, whether they were that way from birth or made teshuvah. Even if they are either of these and are rabbis.
  3. I believe there will likely be (or seem like) a medium-length-to-long transition period to when geula will be obvious to everyone (including the goyim who make it — really, they’ll be Noahides or people open to this basic path); and I don’t think I’m alone in this belief, due to the Jewish people’s low average level of spiritual fitness (not to mention low average morale) at the time of passage through Sh’ar haNun (the 50th Gate). Soon enough everyone will know who Mashiach is, after all the pretenders have been eliminated; but the real one will have to be watched closely to be sure he is the “real deal.” This is essentially Hezkath Mashiach, in simple terms: The presumptive candidate will go through a period of testing and will pass it in the end, the only one who will make it. (If you have an even better definition, please let me know!)

I mentioned the low levels because, after all this time away from closeness to haShem and true Jewish living, everyone is missing something; hopefully each of us will find what we’re missing soon.

An interesting development is already going on in Yerushalayim’s Old City, where the Israeli government, for once, has found that Arabs who have been stealing land and property from Jews are being kicked out of said land and property and is allowing Jews to enter and live there. I wonder what’s next in haShem’s plan to restore to our people what belongs to us, and I pray that it comes quickly. As the saying goes: When Esav goes down, Ya’aqov comes up. May we soon see how natural a law that is.
     4. Reb Dov Bear wrote the following provocative statement in the comments: B'itah [in its time, basically at the last minute], it is time to ditch the Erev Rav [people who follow the path of the original mixed multitude. See here.]. One of the advantages of the Qedushah of Yovel [holiness of the Jubilee], is that it provides an opportunity for HaShem to punish the wicked in Olam HaZeh's [this world's] inter-connective framework without causing the righteous to suffer. May we soon see how that is accomplished. Amen. I asked him the following question: So, how is ditching the Erev Rav done? Does it mean that our protests will be more effective? Voting would actually be counted correctly without corruption? Until now, every time we wanted a certain good to occur, double bad would happen.
And he came up with the following answer: Hopefully HaShem will fight that war. A derech hateva [natural] Civil War would be horribly bloody with too many good people dying. I am in agreement with my friend Dovid that as Edom and its world control and economy disintegrates, the Erev Rav will either flee, die, or go into hiding. In case they hide, Mashiach will have them executed for treason and other capital offenses. So the key to The Erev Rav's dismantlement of its power structure lies in the collapse of Western Civilization.
I would accept any help from HaShem on our behalf on this matter; He knows who should replace the ones who at first fought for our survival and ended up divesting themselves of any interest in a Jewish nation — thus encouraging Jews outside the Land as well as aiding and abetting the nations to boycott and sanction (in the sense of penalize or punish) us.

It occurs to me that the meanings of the word sanction oppose each other. I have been wondering why the BDS movement uses this word, since it also signifies authoritative permission or approval; support for a condition. Perhaps if we look hard enough, we can see HaShem winking at us, for now it is time for Him to sanction us according to its positive denotation.

Something else: Perhaps it was not meant for us to be at such a high level, so that HaShem would be able to be merciful to more people. I cannot say why, but perhaps a clue can be found thinking about why He gave us more land as we were able to handle it.

Other thoughts have been flitting about and refuse to present themselves long enough for me to write them down. Maybe more later, be"H, b"n (with G-d's help, no vows or promises!).

1Rabbi Yissachar Shlomo Teichtal (1885-1945), whose last act was standing up for a fellow Jew on a train on the way to a death camp toward the end of WWII. He was murdered by the Nazis for that act. I am still reading the introductions and have not yet started the body of this work!

2Eim haBanim Semeicha, Foreword, p. 60. The verses referred to as the single utterance are Devarim (Deuteronomy) 33:4 and Shemoth (Exodus) 6:8. The text to this book used to be online, but it is no longer to be found there except for PDF copies.

05 June 2016

Nebuchadnezzar's Transformation: History Repeating on a Grand Scale?

29 Iyyar 5776

Media sources have been feeding us the notion of transformation for ages now. Picture from The 'Scope.

Over a couple of days last week I read two blog posts related to each other on Mystical Paths, and I thought I would comment there; but the thought grew...

While our attention has been directed elsewhere, at least one part of the world (confined to Xian Europe, so far) is, basically, being taken over by the cats and the dogs — not quite literally. It's more like the facsimile thereof being presented by human beings who say they feel they were animals born into human bodies. The slippery slope that began with the acceptance of gay marriage and continued with the forced relinquishment of privacy and personal modesty (by law, no less) to those who present themselves as some mixture of gender in public restrooms in America is progressing now, at least in the public eye: First, gender identity; and now animals are part of the mix.  The author of the two articles linked to above has put enough links into his first article, in particular, to confirm the facts, which is why I am not doing so myself.

It would be bad enough if it were just presentation. We have been seeing people transformed on television and in movies for decades: The Hulk, Batman, Superman, Catwoman, The Tick, et cetera: You name it: both heroes and villains. Of course, the difference here is that the actors know they are not really their transformations. They are playing a role. The problem might be some people in the audience. After a while, people with something missing could actually aspire to become transformed for real in like manner. They may actually feel that they are some animal or other creature inside, and they wish to externalize it.

In my observation, such things cannot be proven due to them being attributed to an integral part of the living essence within (certain) people. It seems we are expected to take their words, and even their actions, at face value; but we must not. The whole issue has now been taken over by political considerations, which means that not only has everything been turned upside down for the sake of a tiny minority, it all has even deeper meanings and evil intentions on the part of those who encourage this sort of self-abasement. It is a weakness of democracy that tyranny threatens at every turn, sometimes of the minority, and at other times, of the majority — as is the case now — because the voice of decency has been smothered by leadership that is no longer fettered by a moral compass. So, instead of being off in their own corner, they are now in our face and whether or not we encounter them in real life, we see them on TV/the telly — and the only alternative is pretty much not to watch at all.

I am afraid that the manifestations of these self-abasing individuals in many cases might not be mere posing, but the manifestation of spiritual invasion as a result of their opening themselves up to it over time. The New Age movement has been promoting this for decades now. This makes such people vulnerable at a time when a ruthless enemy, that thinks nothing of hunting down and killing people who offend them only a little bit, is busy taking over their countries. I don't know about you, but I find this combination of events not very appealing.

Basically, mankind has fallen through the bottom and is in free fall. The Jewish People, charged with being a light to the nations, has been kept compromised and has not been able to stop the progress of corruption throughout the world. (But, as Eliyahu haNavi found out for himself, there are, and always have been, righteous people among the children of Israel; and by their merit the entire people has always been saved and delivered. This time the whole world that remains after the coming Great Judgment — whoever remains righteous and waits for G-d to deliver us, rather than trying to take our place or wipe us out — will share in the deliverance.)

Later, during the night after I first read "Moral-Phobia," the Biblical precedent for this unseemly development came to me: The transformation of Nebuchadnezzar (henceforth Nevukhadnetzar), documented in Daniel chapter 4, from the king of the greatest empire in his day into the behavior and mentality of an ox, grazing in the fields for seven years. During this period, he took on some of the appearance of a bird, until he recognized that HaShem rules the world and that he, even though he was a king, was a mere servant like the rest of us, just one with greater responsibilities, those of running the empire he was given. He was then restored to his former self; the difference between then and our day is that Nevukhadnetzar had no intention of giving up his humanity, but was forced to do so for a time; but now, it seems some people actually choose to be the animal side of themselves, including all the adult issues that go along with this willing abdication, and to be accepted by the rest of us that way. They have accepted being taught that people are no better than animals and that they need not aspire any higher; and thus it has become, to whatever extent, for them.

Just in case some of my readers have never read this passage, or seen a Jewish translation or explanation of this perek Daniel, I have reproduced it here with Rashi — only where he explains in more depth; most of the commentary on this chapter confirms the literal understanding — and just one small comment from me. The link immediately above has all the text and Chabad translation.

I could have had more appropriate picture here too; however, all the ones I found of renditions to Nevukhadnetzar's animal appearance belong to Xian web sites. It seems they have dwelt a lot on this chapter, but we Jews have not. Here's a thought: A religious Jew who truly lives Torah and loves his Creator and His creation is not vulnerable to this sort of thing because real Jewish practices protect us from the negative spiritual aspects of other religions. It might be worse for a Jew who does not follow Torah than for a non-Jew if s/he is thus afflicted.

Daniel chapter 4 / דניאל פרק ד
English ארמית (Aramaic)
1)  I, Nevukhadnetzar, was tranquil in my house and flourishing in my palace. א)  אֲנָה נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר שְׁלֵה הֲוֵית בְּבֵיתִי וְרַעֲנַן בְּהֵיכְלִי:
2)  I saw a dream, and it frightened me, and the thoughts on my bed and the visions of my mind terrified me. ב)  חֵלֶם חֲזֵית וִידַחֲלִנַּנִי וְהַרְהֹרִין עַל מִשְׁכְּבִי וְחֶזְוֵי רֵאשִׁי יְבַהֲלֻנַּנִי:
3)  So I issued an order to bring in before me all the wise men of Babylon, that they should let me know the meaning of the dream. ג)  וּמִנִּי שִׂים טְעֵם לְהַנְעָלָה קֳדָמַי לְכֹל חַכִּימֵי בָבֶל דִּי פְשַׁר חֶלְמָא יְהוֹדְעֻנַּנִי:
4)  Then the necromancers, the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the demonologists entered, and I related my dream to them, but they did not tell me its meaning. ד)  בֵּאדַיִן עָלִּין (כתיב עָלִּלין) חַרְטֻמַּיָּא אָשְׁפַיָּא כַּשְׂדָּאֵי (כתיב כַּשְׂדָּיאֵ) וְגָזְרַיָּא וְחֶלְמָא אָמַר אֲנָה קֳדָמֵיהוֹן וּפִשְׁרֵהּ לָא מְהוֹדְעִין לִי:
5)  Until, at last, Daniel, whose name is Belteshatzar, like the name of my god, entered before me, in whom is the spirit of holy angels, and I told him the dream. ה)  וְעַד אָחֳרֵין עַל קֳדָמַי דָּנִיֵּאל דִּי שְׁמֵהּ בֵּלְטְשַׁאצַּר כְּשֻׁם אֱלָהִי וְדִי רוּחַ אֱלָהִין קַדִּישִׁין בֵּהּ וְחֶלְמָא קֳדָמוֹהִי אַמְרֵת:
Rashi: like the name of my god: The deity of Babylon was named Bel. Teshatzar is the name of an expression of wisdom in Aramaic.
6)  "O Belteshatzar, head of the necromancers, since I know that the spirit of holy angels is in you, and no secret is hidden from you, [this is] the vision of my dream that I saw; now tell me its interpretation. ו)  בֵּלְטְשַׁאצַּר רַב חַרְטֻמַּיָּא דִּי| אֲנָה יִדְעֵת דִּי רוּחַ אֱלָהִין קַדִּישִׁין בָּךְ וְכָל רָז לָא אָנֵס לָךְ חֶזְוֵי חֶלְמִי דִי חֲזֵית וּפִשְׁרֵהּ אֱמָר:
7)  And [these are] the visions of my mind [that I had] on my bed; I was looking, and behold [there was] a tree in the midst of the earth, and its height was tremendous. ז)  וְחֶזְוֵי רֵאשִׁי עַל מִשְׁכְּבִי חָזֵה הֲוֵית וַאֲלוּ אִילָן בְּגוֹא אַרְעָא וְרוּמֵהּ שַׂגִּיא:
8)  The tree grew and became strong, and its height reached the sky, and its appearance [was seen] to the end of all the earth. ח)  רְבָה אִילָנָא וּתְקִף וְרוּמֵהּ יִמְטֵא לִשְׁמַיָּא וַחֲזוֹתֵהּ לְסוֹף כָּל אַרְעָא:
9)  Its branches were beautiful and its fruit was plentiful, and on it was sustenance for all. Under it, the beasts of the field took shade, and in its branches dwelt the birds of the heavens, and all flesh was nourished from it. ט)  עֳפְיֵהּ שַׁפִּיר וְאִנְבֵּהּ שַׂגִּיא וּמָזוֹן לְכֹלָּא בֵהּ תְּחֹתוֹהִי תַּטְלֵל| חֵיוַת בָּרָא וּבְעַנְפוֹהִי יְדֻרָן (כתיב יְדֻרָון) צִפֲּרֵי שְׁמַיָּא וּמִנֵּהּ יִתְּזִין כָּל בִּשְׂרָא:
10)  I saw in the visions of my mind on my bed, and behold a wakeful holy one descended from the heavens.
י)  חָזֵה הֲוֵית בְּחֶזְוֵי רֵאשִׁי עַל מִשְׁכְּבִי וַאֲלוּ עִיר וְקַדִּישׁ מִן שְׁמַיָּא נָחִת:
11)  Crying out loudly, and so he said, "Cut down the tree and cut off its branches, shake off its branches and scatter its fruit; the beasts shall wander away from beneath it and the birds from its branches. יא)  קָרֵא בְחַיִל וְכֵן אָמַר גֹּדּוּ אִילָנָא וְקַצִּצוּ עַנְפוֹהִי אַתַּרוּ עֳפְיֵהּ וּבַדַּרוּ אִנְבֵּהּ תְּנֻד חֵיוְתָא מִן תַּחְתּוֹהִי וְצִפֲּרַיָּא מִן עַנְפוֹהִי:
12)  But leave its main roots in the ground, and in fetters of iron and copper in the grass of the field, and with the dew of the heavens it shall be drenched, and with the beasts shall be its lot in the grass of the earth. יב)  בְּרַם עִקַּר שָׁרְשׁוֹהִי בְּאַרְעָא שְׁבֻקוּ וּבֶאֱסוּר דִּי פַרְזֶל וּנְחָשׁ בְּדִתְאָא דִּי בָרָא וּבְטַל שְׁמַיָּא יִצְטַבַּע וְעִם חֵיוְתָא חֲלָקֵהּ בַּעֲשַׂב אַרְעָא:
Rashi: But leave its main roots in the ground: but its main roots leave over.    
and in fetters of iron and copper: i.e., place his feet in iron fetters as is done to a horse that is left in the meadow; so shall you chain him with fetters.    
in the grass: Aramaic, בְדִתְאָא in the grass of the field, i.e., in the meadow, so that he should not move from there.    
it shall be drenched: Aramaic... יִצְטַבַּע, it shall always be drenched, an expression of immersion.

13)  They will change his heart from a man's, and the heart of a beast will be given him, and seven periods will pass over him. יג)  לִבְבֵהּ מִן אֲנָשָׁא (כתיב אֲנָושָׁא) יְשַׁנּוֹן וּלְבַב חֵיוָא יִתְיְהִב לֵהּ וְשִׁבְעָה עִדָּנִין יַחְלְפוּן עֲלוֹהִי:
14)  By the decree of the wakeful ones is the matter and by the word of the holy ones is the edict, in order that the living should know that the Most High rules over the kingdom of man, and to whom He wishes He gives it, and the lowest of men He sets upon it.

יד)  בִּגְזֵרַת עִירִין פִּתְגָּמָא וּמֵאמַר קַדִּישִׁין שְׁאֵלְתָּא עַד דִּבְרַת דִּי יִנְדְּעוּן חַיַּיָּא דִּי שַׁלִּיט עִלָּאָה (כתיב עִלָּיאָ) בְּמַלְכוּת אֲנָשָׁא (כתיב אֲנָושָׁא) וּלְמַן דִּי יִצְבֵּא יִתְּנִנַּהּ וּשְׁפַל אֲנָשִׁים יְקִים עֲלַהּ (כתיב עֲלַיהּ) :
Rashi: the edict: a decree, but since they take counsel from the Holy One, blessed be He, before they issue the decree, he calls it a question. CDG: he calls it a question: I think "he" refers to Daniel because of the word שְׁאֵלְתָּא in the text (לשאול means to ask in Hebrew; the root is visible in the Aramaic word. If I'm wrong, someone please let me know. I find it odd that an edict would originally be called a question, unless Nebuchadnezzar's decision to remain haughty or to humble himself before G-d was the question, and therefore the key to the outcome.).

15)  This is the dream that I, King Nevukhadnetzar, have seen, and you, Belteshatzar, tell [me] its interpretation, since all the wise men of my kingdom cannot let me know the interpretation, but you can, because the spirit of holy angels is in you." טו)  דְּנָה חֶלְמָא חֲזֵית אֲנָה מַלְכָּא נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר וְאַנְתְּ (כתיב וְאַנְתְּה) בֵּלְטְשַׁאצַּר פִּשְׁרֵא| אֱמָר כָּל קֳבֵל דִּי| כָּל חַכִּימֵי מַלְכוּתִי לָא יָכְלִין פִּשְׁרָא לְהוֹדָעוּתַנִי וְאַנְתְּ (כתיב וְאַנְתְּה) כָּהֵל דִּי רוּחַ אֱלָהִין קַדִּישִׁין בָּךְ:
16)  Then Daniel, whose name is Belteshatzar, was bewildered for awhile, and his thoughts alarmed him. The king spoke up and said, "Belteshatzar, let the dream and its interpretation not alarm you." Belteshatzar answered and said, "My lord, may the dream be for your enemies and its interpretation for your foes.

טז)  אֱדַיִן דָּנִיֵּאל דִּי שְׁמֵהּ בֵּלְטְשַׁאצַּר אֶשְׁתּוֹמַם כְּשָׁעָה חֲדָה וְרַעְיוֹנֹהִי יְבַהֲלֻנֵּהּ עָנֵה מַלְכָּא וְאָמַר בֵּלְטְשַׁאצַּר חֶלְמָא וּפִשְׁרֵא אַל יְבַהֲלָךְ עָנֵה בֵּלְטְשַׁאצַּר וְאָמַר מָרִי (כתיב מָרִאי) חֶלְמָא לְשָׂנְאָךְ (כתיב לְשָׂנְאָיךְ) וּפִשְׁרֵהּ לְעָרָךְ (כתיב לְעָרָיךְ):
Rashi: My lord: Aramaic מָרִאי. Our Rabbis said (Shevu. 35b): “My Lord, may the dream be for Your enemies,” refers to God. He raised his eyes to the Holy One, blessed be He, and said, “May this dream be fulfilled upon this enemy of Yours.” But if you say that he said it to Nebuchadnezzar, was not Israel his enemy? Is it possible that he would curse them?

17)  The tree that you saw, which grew and became strong, and whose height reached the sky, and whose appearance [was seen] by the entire earth. יז)  אִילָנָא דִּי חֲזַיְתָ דִּי רְבָה וּתְקִף וְרוּמֵהּ יִמְטֵא לִשְׁמַיָּא וַחֲזוֹתֵהּ לְכָל אַרְעָא:
18)  And whose branches were beautiful, and whose fruit was plentiful, and on which was sustenance for all, under which dwelt the beasts of the field, and in whose branches dwelt the birds of the heavens. יח)  וְעָפְיֵהּ שַׁפִּיר וְאִנְבֵּהּ שַׂגִּיא וּמָזוֹן לְכֹלָּא בֵהּ תְּחֹתוֹהִי תְּדוּר חֵיוַת בָּרָא וּבְעַנְפוֹהִי יִשְׁכְּנָן צִפֲּרֵי שְׁמַיָּא:
19)  That is you, O king, for you have become great and strong, and your greatness has increased and reached the heaven and your dominion [extends] to the end of the earth. יט)  אַנְתְּ (כתיב אַנְתְּה) הוּא מַלְכָּא דִּי רְבַת (כתיב רְבַית) וּתְקֵפְתְּ וּרְבוּתָךְ רְבָת וּמְטַת לִשְׁמַיָּא וְשָׁלְטָנָךְ לְסוֹף אַרְעָא:
20)  And what the king saw-a holy wakeful one descending from heaven, and he said, 'Cut down the tree and destroy it, but leave its main roots in the ground, and [chain him] with fetters of iron and copper in the grass of the field, and with the dew of the heavens he shall be drenched, and with the beasts of the fields shall be his lot, until seven periods pass over him.' כ)  וְדִי חֲזָה מַלְכָּא עִיר וְקַדִּישׁ נָחִת| מִן שְׁמַיָּא וְאָמַר גֹּדּוּ אִילָנָא וְחַבְּלוּהִי בְּרַם עִקַּר שָׁרְשׁוֹהִי בְּאַרְעָא שְׁבֻקוּ וּבֶאֱסוּר דִּי פַרְזֶל וּנְחָשׁ בְּדִתְאָא דִּי בָרָא וּבְטַל שְׁמַיָּא יִצְטַבַּע וְעִם חֵיוַת בָּרָא חֲלָקֵהּ עַד דִּי שִׁבְעָה עִדָּנִין יַחְלְפוּן עֲלוֹהִי:
21)  This is the interpretation, O king, and it is the decree of the Most High, which befalls my lord, the king. כא)  דְּנָה פִשְׁרָא מַלְכָּא וּגְזֵרַת עִלָּאָה (כתיב עִלָּיאָ) הִיא דִּי מְטַת עַל מָרִי (כתיב מָרִאי) מַלְכָּא:
22)  And they will banish you from mankind, and your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they will feed you grass like the cattle, and with the dew of the heavens you shall be drenched, and seven periods shall pass over you until you know that the Most High rules over the kingdom of men, and to whom He wishes He gives it. כב)  וְלָךְ טָרְדִין מִן אֲנָשָׁא וְעִם חֵיוַת בָּרָא לֶהֱוֵה מְדֹרָךְ וְעִשְׂבָּא כְתוֹרִין| לָךְ יְטַעֲמוּן וּמִטַּל שְׁמַיָּא לָךְ מְצַבְּעִין וְשִׁבְעָה עִדָּנִין יַחְלְפוּן עֲלָיךְ עַד| דִּי תִנְדַּע דִּי שַׁלִּיט עִלָּאָה (כתיב עִלָּיאָ) בְּמַלְכוּת אֲנָשָׁא וּלְמַן דִּי יִצְבֵּא יִתְּנִנָּהּ:
23)  And what they said to leave, the main roots of the tree, your kingdom will remain yours, as soon as you know that Heaven rules.

כג)  וְדִי אֲמַרוּ לְמִשְׁבַּק עִקַּר שָׁרְשׁוֹהִי דִּי אִילָנָא מַלְכוּתָךְ לָךְ קַיָּמָה מִן דִּי תִנְדַּע דִּי שַׁלִּטִן שְׁמַיָּא:
Rashi: And what they said, etc.: What they said-to leave the roots of the tree-this is the interpretation: מַלְכוּתָ, your kingdom-will remain yours. Your kingdom will ultimately be restored to you.
as soon as you know that Heaven rules:
as soon as you know that the heavenly beings rule over the world.

24)  Indeed, O king, may my counsel please you, and with charity you will remove your sin and your iniquity by showing mercy to the poor; perhaps your tranquility will last."

כד)  לָהֵן מַלְכָּא מִלְכִּי יִשְׁפַּר עֲלָיךְ וַחֲטָאָךְ (כתיב וַחֲטָיָךְ) בְּצִדְקָה פְרֻק וַעֲוָיָתָךְ בְּמִחַן עֲנָיִן הֵן תֶּהֱוֵה אַרְכָא לִשְׁלֵוְתָךְ:
Rashi: Indeed, O king: Indeed, O king, hearken to my counsel. and with charity you will remove your sin: With charity, break your sin off your neck.
and your iniquity by showing mercy to poor: and remove your iniquities by showing mercy to the poor.    
perhaps your tranquility will last: Perhaps there will be time for your tranquility, that the evil should not come swiftly. Now what did Daniel see to give Nevukhadnetzar good advice? He saw the Jews poor and humbled by the exile, going from door to door begging for alms, and he gave him advice to deal mercifully with them. He said to him, “These poor people whom you exiled are hungry; nourish them.” And so he did. He opened his storehouses and fed them for a full twelve months.

25)  All this befell King Nevukhadnetzar. כה)  כֹּלָּא מְטָא עַל נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר מַלְכָּא:
26)  At the end of twelve months, he was walking upon the royal palace of Babylon. כו)  לִקְצַת יַרְחִין תְּרֵי עֲשַׂר עַל הֵיכַל מַלְכוּתָא דִּי בָבֶל מְהַלֵּךְ הֲוָה:
27)  The king raised his voice and said, "Is this not the great Babylon, which I built for a royal palace with the strength of my power and for the honor of my glory?"

כז)  עָנֵה מַלְכָּא וְאָמַר הֲלָא דָא הִיא בָּבֶל רַבְּתָא דִּי אֲנָה בֱנַיְתָהּ לְבֵית מַלְכוּ בִּתְקָף חִסְנִי וְלִיקַר הַדְרִי:
Rashi: Is this not: He heard poor people coming to the door and crying out. He said, “What is the sound of this multitude in my ears?” His servants said to him, “These are the poor for whom you arranged a time to feed.” He said, “Is this not the great Babylon, etc. If I had squandered my storehouses, from where would I have built all these palaces? From now on, I shall not feed them.” Rabbi Tanhuma (Mishpatim 4) explained it in this manner.

28)  The word was still in the king's mouth, [when] a voice fell from heaven, [which said] "To you they said 'O King Nevukhadnetzar, your kingdom has turned away from you. כח)  עוֹד מִלְּתָא בְּפֻם מַלְכָּא קָל מִן שְׁמַיָּא נְפַל לָךְ אָמְרִין נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר מַלְכָּא מַלְכוּתָא עֲדָת מִנָּךְ:
29)  From man they will banish you, and your dwelling will be with the beasts of the field; like cattle, they will feed you grass, and seven periods will pass over you, until you know that the Most High rules over the kingdom of man, and to whom He wishes, He gives it."' כט)  וּמִן אֲנָשָׁא לָךְ טָרְדִין וְעִם חֵיוַת בָּרָא מְדֹרָךְ עִשְׂבָּא כְתוֹרִין לָךְ יְטַעֲמוּן וְשִׁבְעָה עִדָּנִין יַחְלְפוּן עֲלָךְ (כתיב עֲלָיךְ) עַד דִּי תִנְדַּע דִּי שַׁלִּיט עִלָּאָה (כתיב עִלָּיאָ) בְּמַלְכוּת אֲנָשָׁא וּלְמַן דִּי יִצְבֵּא יִתְּנִנָּהּ:
30)  At that time, the matter was fulfilled upon Nevukhadnetzar, and he was banished from man, he ate grass like cattle, and his body was drenched with the dew of the heavens, until his hair grew like [the feathers of] eagles and his nails like [the claws of] birds. ל)  בַּהּ שַׁעֲתָּא מִלְּתָא סָפַת עַל נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר וּמִן אֲנָשָׁא טְרִיד וְעִשְׂבָּא כְתוֹרִין יֵאכֻל וּמִטַּל שְׁמַיָּא גִּשְׁמֵהּ יִצְטַבַּע עַד דִּי שַׂעְרֵהּ כְּנִשְׁרִין רְבָה וְטִפְרוֹהִי כְּצִפֲּרִין:
31)  And at the end of the days, I, Nevukhadnetzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my understanding was restored to me, and I blessed the Most High, and I praised and glorified Him Who lives to Eternity, Whose dominion is an eternal dominion, and Whose kingdom is with every generation.

לא)  וְלִקְצַת יוֹמַיָּא אֲנָה נְבוּכַדְנֶצַּר עַיְנַי| לִשְׁמַיָּא נִטְלֵת וּמַנְדְּעִי עֲלַי יְתוּב וּלְעִלָּאָה (כתיב וּלְעִלָּיאָ) בָּרְכֵת וּלְחַי עַלְמָא שַׁבְּחֵת וְהַדְּרֵת דִּי שָׁלְטָנֵהּ שָׁלְטַן עָלַם וּמַלְכוּתֵהּ עִם דָּר וְדָר:
Rashi: And at the end of the days: at the end of the days that were set for him; at the end of the seven years.

32)  And all the inhabitants of the earth are reckoned as nothing, and according to His will, He foes with the host of heaven and the inhabitants of the earth, and no one can stop His hand or say to Him, "What have You done?" לב)  וְכָל דָּיְרֵי (כתיב דָּאְרֵי) אַרְעָא כְּלָה חֲשִׁיבִין וּכְמִצְבְּיֵהּ עָבֵד בְּחֵיל שְׁמַיָּא וְדָיְרֵי (כתיב וְדָאְרֵי) אַרְעָא וְלָא אִיתַי דִּי יְמַחֵא בִידֵהּ וְיֵאמַר לֵהּ מָה עֲבַדְתְּ:
33)  At that time, my understanding was restored to me, and I returned to the glory of my kingdom, and my splendor was restored to me; and my leaders and my dignitaries were seeking me, and I was established upon my kingship and excessive greatness was added to me.

לג)  בֵּהּ זִמְנָא מַנְדְּעִי| יְתוּב עֲלַי וְלִיקַר מַלְכוּתִי הַדְרִי וְזִיוִי יְתוּב עֲלַי וְלִי הַדָּבְרַי וְרַבְרְבָנַי יְבָעוֹן וְעַל מַלְכוּתִי הָתְקְנַת וּרְבוּ יַתִּירָה הוּסֲפַת לִי:
Rashi: and my splendor: the features of my face.
my leaders and my dignitaries were seeking me: and My advisers and my princes were seeking me and hoping for my return.
and excessive greatness was added to me:
and more greatness than the earlier [kings] was added to me. Our Rabbis said (Shab. 150a) that he rode astride a lion and tied a serpent to its head.

34)  Now, I, Nevukhadnetzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, Whose works are all true and Whose ways are just and Who can humble those who walk with arrogance.

לד)  כְּעַן אֲנָה נְבֻכַדְנֶצַּר מְשַׁבַּח וּמְרוֹמֵם וּמְהַדַּר לְמֶלֶךְ שְׁמַיָּא דִּי כָל מַעֲבָדוֹהִי קְשׁוֹט וְאֹרְחָתֵהּ דִּין וְדִי מַהְלְכִין בְּגֵוָה יָכִל לְהַשְׁפָּלָה:
End of chapter סוף הפרק

If I were to encounter such a person today, I would have this to say to him or her: You might want to reconsider, if it isn't yet too late. We all have an animal side to ourselves; and there may come a time when you will wish you hadn't chosen to give in to your animal nature in so dramatic a fashion. Nevukhadnetzar was restored because G-d was in control from start to finish. He also took into account that a great many people depended on him, including those who worked for him, helping run the empire. You might not have the same chance to return from whence you came. How many people work for you and would pray for your return to your office day and night for seven years?

I just pray that we won't see it in Israel. If Reb Dov Bear is right, we'll be celebrating Yom Yerushalayim, and all the other days commemorating the resurgence of the nationhood of the Jewish People, with all our hearts next year and forever after. And we want everyone to be in their right mind when it happens.

Motzaei Yom Yerushalayim sameach.מוצאי יום ירושלים שמח

Just in case this post got to you too much...here's an antidote, delivered by R' Ephraim Sprecher on Yom Yerushalayim itself:
 Why is Jerusalem, D.C., Not in the Torah?
More reading:

Transgender Depravity: Have we no shame? | Is it really possible to turn into THE HULK? | Therianthropy (Wikipedia) (WARNING: immodest pictures included) | Escape into Darkness |

01 June 2016

Meir Is Free! But.

24 Iyyar 5776

Meir Ettinger left prison this morning after having been held in isolation just short of 10 months after he went in on 3 August 2015.

Meir Ettinger

 From HaKol haYehudi a few days ago:

According to an order signed by Central Commander Roni Noma, Ettinger will not be allowed in Judea and Samaria for the next year. Another order signed by Homefront General Yoel Strik banned Ettinger from Jerusalem and Yad Binyamin for six months.
Likewise, Ettinger was ordered to remain under nighttime house arrest for the next four months and is banned from communicating with 92 of his friends.

Supporters of Ettinger are planning an event in the coming days to show solidarity with Ettinger and celebrate his release.

In another order against a Jewish youth recently released from prison, the youth was banned from speaking with 87 of his friends. The order against Ettinger has now eclipsed even that one.

The administrative detention of Ettinger these past 12 [sic] months was issued without evidence and without trial. The Shabak and prisons service also refused to release Ettinger for the Bris of his first son and instead he remained in prison during the event.
  The orders still stand. What is this with incarcerating and torturing Jews with no charges against them here in Israel? It's bad enough when Jews commit crimes and get sentences above and beyond anyone else's. But Meir and the other Jewish detainees who are still in prison have committed no crimes; they are administratively detained (which by definition means no crime has been committed. In the case of other people (usually Arabs) it means they are a "ticking time bomb" getting ready to go off, whereas for the Jews this is not, and has not been, the situation.).

I have not been able to find a Web site with a list of Jews unjustly imprisoned. Meanwhile, any support for freeing all the Jewish detainees is greatly appreciated. Pidyon sh'vuyim starts with them.