26 November 2016

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

26 Heshvan 5777

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hodesh tov umevorakh חודש טוב ומבורך!

More reading:

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

17 November 2016

A Good Omen for Our Nation by R' Nachman Kahana

16 Heshvan 5777

BS”D Parashat Vayaira 5777
Rabbi Nachman Kahana


Part One: Yitzchak’s Sacrifice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part Two: The Savior of Yisrael

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and concerning the super-SuperMoon:

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

13 November 2016

Assassination of Leaders and Nations - R' Nachman Kahana

12 Heshvan 5777

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

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

Assassination of Leaders and Nations

Part One

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Shabbat Shalom,
Nachman Kahana

Copyright © 5777/2016 Nachman Kahana

 R' Kahana speaks about aliyah in English...

 and in Yiddish.

11 November 2016

Kennedy v. Nixon: A Proper Presidential Debate

10 Heshvan 5777
Erev Shabbath Lekh Lekha

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

President-elect Trump, listen up!

Shabbat shalom!

10 November 2016

...But Did the American People Win?

9 Heshvan 5777

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

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

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

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

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

I have also written about it here.

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

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

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

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

More reading/listening:

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

04 November 2016

In Deep Waters by R' Nachman Kahana

3 Heshvan 5777
Parashath Noah
Shabbath shalom!

L'iluy nishmatam shel R' Ovadia Yosef v'Nehama Consuelo bat Sarah Imeinu, who passed one Hebrew day apart, the same year. I could not find R' Yosef's parents' names.

BS”D Parashat Noach 5777
Rabbi Nachman Kahana

In Deep Waters

From Noah's Ark Overview. More here.

There are two sequential verses in this week’s parasha (chapter 6:10-11) without any apparent connection.
ויולד נח שלשה בנים את-שם את-חם ואת-יפת: יא ותשחת הארץ לפני האלהים ותמלא הארץ חמס
And Noach bore three sons: Shem, Cham and Yefet: And the land (society) became corrupt before the Lord and the land was filled with thievery (deception).
Why does the verse dealing with the corrupt state of society appear adjacent to the verse informing us of Noach’s three sons?

The Torah is not the recording secretary of historians; but in its subtle way, even the very order in the verses is replete with information.

We know from the first verse in the parasha that Noach was a Tzadik (a righteous man). It is also common knowledge that in order to reach the level of “tzadik”, one must labor long and arduously away from the distractions of society – especially the hedonistic one in which Noach lived. So it would be safe to assume that Noach, at least during the latter part of his life, led a monastic existence where he focused his attention on spirituality and the study of that part of the Torah which was carried by tradition from the days of Adam.

I submit that the sequence of the verses is to inform us that Noach was unaware of how low society had fallen, but learned of the world surrounding him from what he perceived from his own children.

His first son, Shem, went in the holy ways of his father. Cham was perverted and depraved, as we learn from his conduct in the ark. Although Yefet did not reach the depths of depravity, which were the accepted standard of that generation, he was involved in the esthetic side of life more than in its moral and spiritual aspects.

Noach saw the friends Cham and Yefet “hung out” with. He smelled the alcohol on his sons’ breath when they returned home in the early hours of the morning, and felt a sense of great disillusionment when the two would bicker over who would get the car on Saturday night. He suspected them of using drugs, of viewing unsavory material on the internet and cable T.V. These two sons spoke to Noach and their mother, Na’ama, with chutzpa. All this, and more, had taught Noach that it was no longer the world of his childhood and of the moral standards upon which he had based his life, but rather a subversion of that world.

Hence the Torah writes: Three sons were born to Noach – Shem, Cham and Yefet: And the land (society) became corrupt before the Lord and the land was filled with thievery (deception).

Whenever I am present at a simcha of our children and grandchildren (engagements, weddings, etc.) I look around the table at the young personalities who are the friends of our family.

These young men and women are part of the greatest generation our nation has produced in over 2000 years. The boys are all talmidim in hesder yeshivot or kollels of the dati-leumi philosophy. They all served or will soon serve in Tzahal in order to perform, in total conviction, the greatest mitzva of our times – the defense of Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael.
The young women are educated in Torah as in no previous generation. Most are erudite in Halacha, Jewish thought and above all Jewish modesty and yirat shamayim.

The young people, products of the dati-leumi educational system, serve HaShem in joyful happiness. The boys are physically strong and mentally healthy. Most have traversed every centimeter of this land on foot, as did Avraham Aveinu, to let the land know that Rachel’s prayer of “the sons shall return to their borders” has been answered. Their many years in the yeshiva world have not effeminized them; you would not want to meet them in a dark alley when they are in a bad mood. In time, they will fill all the functions of a healthy Torah society: rabbis, teachers, scientists, pilots, farmers and construction workers.

You would not hear their words of Torah spoken at the table – in beautiful Ivrit of course – at similar celebrations in Lakewood, New Jersey or Manchester, England. There were no suits or ties, and the dresses of the young women were not the last word out of the Boro Park fashion shows. They did not have tent-like black hats put over their ears at the age of 13 to steal from them their beautiful years of youth, but led the natural lives of youngsters growing in mental and physical strength.

Beauty shone in their faces – the faces of people who will be the leaders in the next generation in Eretz Yisrael.

Indeed, their parents did not pay $15,000 a year in elementary school and $25,000 in high school, and after 12 years of Torah education get back a child with a diploma in Torah ignorance, barely able to read Hebrew and certainly not a page of Gemara. They did not have girlfriends at the age of 14, but met the opposite sex only after deciding that the time had come to establish their own homes.

These young men and women are the product of Torat Eretz Yisrael (the Torah of the holy land). They are like the students and soldiers of King David.

I feel so proud that my family is part of this segment in our society. And, as I do every moment of my life, I offer a prayer of thanksgiving to HaShem for having given my wife and me the courage and sense to come home 54 years ago.

The Lesson of the Deep Waters
People don’t change much. Our dress and eating habits might vary, but the basic nature of man does not.

I can imagine what transpired at the time of Noach by simple juxtaposition of our leaders today and those of Noach’s time.

Noach, who is a well-known figure, entreats the people of his society to change their corrupt ways or suffer the destruction of humanity. The serious among them go to their spiritual mentors to discuss Noach’s threats. The answers they receive probably sounded something like the following:

One gadol (highly revered rabbi) of their society says: “Rubbish. If by some chance there is a pending calamity, the gods will send us a Mashiach to carry us on the wings of eagles to high ground.”

Another gadol answers: “There is no chiyuv (obligation) to move to higher ground, although one who does can be considered to have done a meritorious act.”

And a third gadol refuses to discuss the issue, saying that it is irrelevant and he never brings up the matter in his sermons.

Then one day it began to drizzle. And the drizzle turned to light rain. Then the waters began to come down in earnest. HaShem commanded Noach to enter the ark together with his family and certain chosen of the animal kingdom, and to be sure to lock the door hermetically.

The people saw the waters rising steadily as they ran to their holy sites to seek salvation from their gods. Their gedolim (highly revered rabbis) told them not to worry, “there have been cloud bursts before and will be again,” they said.

But when the common people left the compounds of the holy places, their religious leaders were already on their way to the highest points overlooking the plains of Mesopotamia.
From their vantage point, the holy leaders saw the ark floating above the surging, scorching waters, and they begin calling out in desperation to Noach to open the ark for them.

The rest is history. But, unfortunately, it has a way of repeating itself to those who refuse to learn from history.

Shabbat Shalom,
Nachman Kahana

Copyright © 5777/2016 Nachman Kahana

Jews Outside Israel: How many ways do we have to say it? Come home now, while it is still relatively safe where you are.

 More reading:

"You Are Bandits!" | The Hidden Sin of the Flood Generation... | Bringing Israel's Supreme Court into the 21st Century | A Beacon of Truth: Noach | Lesson of Noah: Being "Socially Inept" can be Good |