An honor-seeker is not really interested in self-improvement. He is only interested in gaining approval from others. Hence, he will disregard his faults as long as others will not notice it.
On the other hand, a person who is able to forego honor is able to focus on truth. His only thought is to do the right thing, and he is willing to sacrifice his honor for his principles. Such a person will eventually receive honor, for he will constantly work on improving himself.
Love Yehuda Lave
In a pre Ides of March ascend to the Temple Mount yesterday, I encounter no trouble and no Arabs threatening me, showing that it is all politics to keep Jews away from the Temple Mount. Many Rabbis encourage us to visit the temple mount because in Israel only the places that the Jews care about stay Jewish. Enjoy the You tube video (in two parts)
Marble Machine (music instrument using 2000 marbles)
In the midst of an Arab terror wave gripping Israel since last September, Yakhin spoke to Arutz Sheva about how he knew from his youth that one must fight their enemies - and said Israel is no longer fighting to win.
Yakhin lost many friends and acquaintances in his childhood, which he says led him to a clear understanding of what must be done.
"Since I first opened my eyes as a baby, I see and hear that the Arabs murder Jews and that continues to today. As a baby we were saved by a miracle from the massacre that took place in the Yemin Moshe neighborhood (of Jerusalem - ed.), and mother would wake up every few days with screams and nightmares," he said.
Explaining how he decided to join the Lehi Underground, Yakhin said, "this situation developed in me the desire to fight. As a child my brother explained to me about how the Maccabees fought the Greeks because they ruled Israel and we didn't, I understood that we would need a state and army to fight the Arabs because the British wouldn't do it for us."
"And that brought me the aspiration that when I would grow up, I would fight for the nation of Israel."
Yakhin expressed shock at how things have changed, saying, "today I don't see fighting against terror! The nation of Israel is not fighting terror!"
"They kill us and we aren't fighting. In war you kill the enemy, but we aren't doing that. Since the Bar Lev Line (fortifications built in the Suez Canal in 1968 - ed.) the nation of Israel stopped fighting in order to win. We put up the security barrier and stopped fighting, and since then we are just on defense and curbing the enemies."
"The leaders are to blame" The former Lehi fighter laid the blame for the situation squarely on the shoulders of Israel's leaders and government.
"The problem is in leadership and only in leadership, the nation wants to fight, the nation is disappointed every time they (the government - ed.) jump on a ceasefire," he said.
According to Yakhin the generally agreed upon theory that Iran is the primary threat to Israel's existence today is wrong, and "we need to defend ourselves a lot more from the Egyptians than we do from the Iranians - they are closer and the people there hate us more than the Iranian people."
He added that the Egyptian government, led by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, has been cooperating with Israel and improving ties only out of its own interests and not as part of any meaningful shift in relations between the two nations.
Making a suggestion as to how to deal with Israel's enemies, the veteran underground fighter said, "we are in our country and we decided to live, all those who harm us should know that they and their surroundings will pay a price."
"This is our land and all of it is our land, and those who harm any part of it or part of the nation of Israel - their blood is on their head. If you harm Jews in Europe and the Diaspora, we have no right to get involved there. They have the right to rule there and to do what they want with those who are there. Jews want to live and defend themselves - let them come to this land."
SAVE THE DATE!
Democrat Convention Schedule
Saturday, August 27, 2016
Free lunch, medical marijuana, and bus ride to the Convention.
Forms distributed for Food Stamp enrollment.
Group Voter Registration for Undocumented Immigrants.
Opening Flag Burning Ceremony
Sponsored by CNNand MSNBC
Address on "Being the Real You"
Rachel Dolezal, former Head of the Seattle NAACP andCaitlyn Jenner
"How to Bank $200 Million as a
public Servant and claim to be broke"
"How to have a successful career
without ever having a job, andstill avoid paying taxes!"
A Seminar Moderated by Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson
Medals of Freedom presentation toArmy deserter Bo Berghdal
Invitation-only Autograph Session
Souvenir photographs of Hillary andChelsea dodging Sniper Fire in Bosnia
Tribute to All of the 57 States
Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
General vote on praising Baltimore rioters,and on using the terminology
"Alternative Shoppers" instead of "Looters"
Announcement of VP NomineeChris Stevens, with a quick rebuttal and
withdrawal when Hillary realizes he'ssomeone she got killed in Benghazi
The White House "Semantics Committee" Meeting
General vote on re-branding "Muslim Terrorism" as
"Random Acts of Islamic Over-Exuberance"
"Liberal Bias in Media – How we can make it work for you"
Tutorial sponsored by CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN, PBS,
the Washington Post and the New York Times
with Guest Speaker, Brian Williams
Tribute Film to the Brave Freedom Fightersstill incarcerated at GITMO
Personal Finance Seminar -"Businesses Don't Create Jobs"
Group Condemnation of Bitter Gun Owners.
Ceremonial "We Surrender" Waving of the
White Flag to Afghanistan, Russia, and ISIS.
Short film, "Setting Up Your Own Illegal
Email Server While Serving in ACabinet Post and How to Pretend
It's No Big Deal"
Hosted by Hillary Clinton
Official Nomination of Hillary
Bill Maher and Chris Matthews
Discovered: Rabbi's letter from Jerusalem 1948, under siege
Letter of first rabbi of the Western Wall, Rabbi Orenstein, and two other letters recently discovered, shed light on the reality faced by residents of the Jewish Quarter during the siege by Arab forces.
Three letters written in February 1948 in the then-besieged Old City of Jerusalem were uncovered recently at the Kedem Auction House in the city. The letters shed light on the reality faced by residents of the Jewish Quarter during the siege of Jerusalem by Arab forces in the first phase of the War of Independence.
"The three letters bring the besieged Old City back to life, along with the many struggles inside it," said Meron Eren from the Kedem Auction House. "They are further historical evidence of the dedication of those who chose to stay in the besieged city and fight for it."
The letters were written three months before British forces left the city and the Old City was conquered by Jordan. One of them is a call for help signed by the first rabbi of the Western Wall, who was killed three months later when the Old City was shelled.
"Have mercy on the men, women, and children, and take drastic measures where needed so that we don't perish, God forbid," reads the letter signed by Rabbi Yitzchak Avigdor Orenstein, the Western Wall's first rabbi. The letter was sent as a cry for help to Israel's then-Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Herzog.
"The Old City residents' lives are in grave danger. British troops have been shelling the Jewish Quarter over the last nights, harming the sanctity of the synagogue," wrote Rabbi Orenstein who signed the letter alongside Rabbi Yisrael Mintzberg, Rabbi Shalom Azoulay, and Rabbi Benzion Chazan. Orenstein, who was appointed as Chief Rabbi of the Western Wall in 1930, insisted on returning to the Old City when the siege began even though he had been visiting other parts of Jerusalem. When asked why he was endangering himself, he replied that "if someone is destined to sacrifice himself for the sake of the sanctity of ancient Jerusalem and its holy sites, I am hereby committed to do so more than anyone else." Orenstein and his wife were killed on May 23, 1948 when the city was shelled. Their deaths came about three months after the rabbi signed the now-discovered letter. The auction house also discovered another letter from February 1948, this one from Rabbi Yisrael Zeev Mintzberg. This letter, too, addressed Chief Rabbi Herzog. Mintzberg, a community rabbi, further described the difficult situation in the city. "A bitter day for the residents of the holy city, the soldiers were raging once more, shooting the residents. They continuously fired shells and mortars for several hours and destroyed several homes." In a third uncovered letter, sent four days later, a group of 25 young members of the Beitar organization asked the Jerusalem Religious Council for assistance in preparing for the upcoming Jewish festival of Passover.
Three months after the three letters were written, on May 13,1948, British forces left the Old City. Three days later, an Arab counter-offensive commenced that resulted in the conquest of positions in the city manned by the Jewish Haganah defense force. Four days later, Jordanian forces entered the city, and on May 28, the Old City surrendered to the Jordanian forces.
Jewish residents were expelled, to return only in 1967 with the city's liberation.
SAMUEL THE PROPHET Only minutes north of Jerusalem, the tomb of Samuel the Prophet stands on a hill overlooking the Holy City. This place is vital to us; I do not see any reason why it should not be filled with worshipers at all hours. Samuel was the greatest prophet after Moses (Radak). As the verse says, "Moses and Aharon were among His priests and Samuel among those who invoke His Name" (Psalm 99). Moses's grave is at an unknown location outside Israel; Samuel the Prophet's is easily accessible.
Tomb of Samuel the Prophet at night
We need a new Prophet Samuel today, to pour the anointing oil on the son of David. We have to beg G-d for this because there is no other road to salvation and redemption.
"G-d said to Samuel … 'Malai karncha shemen … Fill your horn with oil and go forth. I shall send you to Yishai Bais Halachmi, for I have seen a king for Myself among his sons…. David was ruddy, with fair eyes and a pleasing appearance. G-d then said, 'Arise and anoint him, for this is he!' Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers, and the spirit of G-d passed over David from that day on" (Samuel I 16:1ff).
Shortly after David's anointment, we read the following: "The Philistines assembled their camps for war …. A champion went forth from the Philistine camps whose name was Goliath …. He called to the battalions of Israel and said to them … 'I have disgraced the battalions of Israel this day.' Saul (the king) and all Israel heard these words of the Philistine and they were terrified and greatly afraid" (ibid 17:1ff).
Now let us turn to this week's Torah portion, which opens with the following words, "Moses assembled the entire assembly of the Children of Israel…" (Exodus 35:1). What a contrast between this "assembly" of Moses and the "assembly" of Saul the king! One assembly is about to construct the Tabernacle; the other assembly trembles in terror before Goliath.
Our generation can be compared to the assembly of King Saul, trembling before those who are disgracing the battalions of Israel. The nations of the world attack us with impunity and mock our powerlessness. This is a monumental desecration of G-d's name!
Hear the words of David to Goliath: "You come to me with a sword, a spear and a javelin, but I come to you with the Name of G-d, Master of Legions, the G-d of the battalions of Israel that you have ridiculed" (ibid 17:45). David was not afraid to speak in the Name of G-d!
Who speaks like this today for Israel? Who speaks in the Name of G-d? No one! No voice speaks up for the G-d of Israel! No voice answers the deep disgrace of our people! We cower like terrified sheep because we have forgotten our Master!
What's wrong with us? Why don't we return to our senses? Why do we bicker and argue? Why do we go after vanities when the Master of Legions is waiting to lead us? "If only My people would heed Me, if only Israel would walk in My ways, in an instant I would subdue their foes and turn against their tormentors" (Psalm 81).
But no! We are too "sophisticated!" We want to appear acceptable in the eyes of the other nations. We act like the Spies, who said, "We are like grasshoppers!" (Numbers 13:33) How much more suffering is going to rain down upon us before we wake up? How many tears must we shed? We have caught the disease of exile. We have learned to think like the surrounding nations! We are obsessed with their toys, while they plot to destroy us, G-d forbid! They speak the language of war, the language of "a sword, a spear, and a javelin," but we have forgotten "hakol kol Yaakov - the voice is the voice of Jacob" (Genesis 27:22).
This Shabbos we read Parshas Shekalim, which commands every Jew to give a half shekel, which represents "kofer nafsho … an atonement for his soul … so that there will not be a plague among them…" (Exodus 30:12). But the plague is among us!
The tomb of Samuel the Prophet overlooks Jerusalem on the south and Ramallah on the north, a city teeming with enemies. Samuel the Prophet stands between, protecting us.
Don't you think it would be a good idea for all of us who can go up to the resting place of Samuel the Prophet to rush there and cry out to G-d? Don't you think we should implore the King of the Universe to send a new Samuel the Prophet to anoint the Son of David and bring our redeemer to end this horrible exile?
"Es Tzemach David …. We are hoping for Your salvation all day! May You speedily cause the Messiah, Your servant, to flourish … Blessed are You, G-d, who causes the keren of salvation to flourish" (Shemoneh Esreh prayer). The "horn of salvation" is the horn filled with the oil of anointment. This is what Samuel poured over David, and this is what we are waiting for.
And to those who cannot ascend to the tomb at this time, let us all pray to the Master of the Universe. Let's wake up! One simply has to open one's eyes and imagine what could be. Why should we tremble in fear? There is no reason for it! Why should we cower like sheep? G-d gave us hearts to love Him and brains to know Him! Why should we cling to vanity when we could live in Reality?
Looking south toward the Holy City
It was night when we ascended to the tomb. We looked southward toward the lights of Jerusalem and northward toward our enemies. Soon, we will look eastward and see a new dawn, in which "a sun of righteousness will shine for you who fear My Name, with healing in its rays…" (Malachi 3:20).
This week's parshah continues detailing the different vessels that are needed in the Mishkan and BeisHamikdash.
The Rambam writes in the beginning of Hilchos Melachim that when KlalYisrael entered EretzYisrael they were obligated to fulfill three mitzvos: appoint a king, destroy Amalek, and build a Beis Hamikdash. Acharonim derive from this passage that they were obligated to fulfill these three mitzvos even before they conquered and settled the land. They also note that the Rambam implies that only a king can build the Beis Hamikdash (and wage war against Amalek).
Rashi (on Sanhedrin 20b) and the Ramban (on Devarim 17:14) disagree and state that the mitzvos only applied after Eretz Yisrael was conquered and divided.
The Ramban also disagrees with the notion that only a king can build the Beis Hamikdash. On Bamidbar 16:21, he writes that the reason there was a "charon af" against Klal Yisrael at one point in David Hamelech's reign (Shmuel Beis 24:1) is because they delayed in building the Beis Hamikdash until David Hamelech said, "I am sitting in a grand palace and the Aron has no place."
David Hamelech desired to build the Beis Hamikdash and, as a result, it was built. Says the Ramban: "If Klal Yisrael would have wanted and been nis'orer for the Beis Hamikdash earlier, it would have been built earlier by KlalYisrael or by one of the shoftim, not David and Shlomo, and there would not have been anger against them and they would not have suffered those tzaros."
We see from this comment that the Rambam maintains that the Beis Hamikdash need not have been built by a king. He also says that David Hamelech could have built it. Although Hashem told David that he couldn't build the Beis Hamikdash because he shed much blood, had Klal Yisraelnis'orer for the Beis Hamikdash earlier they would have been considered the "builders" and it could have taken place in David Hamelech's reign.
This argument is perplexing, though. Why would determination alone render the Bnei Yisrael the "builders"? Shouldn't we attribute the title of builders on those who actually oversee and build? Why should the Bnei Yisrael's desire to build the Beis Hamikdash have given them the title of builders, removing the title from David Hamelech who would have undoubtedly overseen the project, and permit him to "build" the Beis Hamikdash?
To understand this, we must first look at the mitzvah to build the Beis Hamikdash. In the beginning of Parshas Terumah the Torah states, "V'asu li mikdash v'shachanti besocha – And build for Me a Mikdash and I will dwell inside it." In Sefer Devarim the Torah states, "Leshichno sidreshu u'vasa shama – And you shall seek out the Shechinah and come there." A prerequisite for building the Beis Hamikdash is the will to do so. It is more than a mere necessary requirement; the will to build is part of the mitzvah itself. In other words, if someone had built the Mikdash without intending it to be a Beis Hamikdash he could not have consecrated it afterwards since it was lacking the bikush for it to be a Beis Hamikdash where Hashem would rest His Shechina.
It is for this reason that had Bnei Yisrael desired to build the BeisHamikdash, they could have built it even in David Hamelech's time, despite his being disqualified, because the building would have been defined by those who had the bikush. However, since it was David who had the bikush, it would have been defined by him, which is why it was necessary to wait for Shlomo for the Beis Hamikdash to be built.
We currently live in a similar time period: before the building of the Beis Hamikdash. Once again, Jews are living in Eretz Yisrael and the Beis Hamikdash is yet to be built. According to the Ramban, all that's lacking is our true yearning and desire to build it. Once we reach that bikush we will be zocheh to build it ourselves. Amen ken yehi ratzon.