Our view of the Galile

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Manimal- Noach 5778/2018

Insights and Inspiration
from the
Holy Land
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz
"Your friend in Karmiel"
October 20th 2017 -Volume 8 Issue 1 30th Tishrei 5778
Parshat Noach

“Close the door when you walk in the house! What, where you raised in a barn or something?!” “Slow down and chew your food when you eat!! What are you an animal or something?!”
“Sit up like a mentch when you sit at a table, what are you all spread out like that for? Are you a bear?”
“When was the last time you took a shower? You smell like a zoo!”
Sound familiar to anyone out there? Come on, I can’t be the only that still has these words ringing in my ears from their childhood. OK, maybe it’s not just ringing in my ears from my childhood. Maybe because it’s mine own voice I am hearing, having just yelled that at my children five minutes ago. Ooops… I mean patiently and calmly pointed out to my children five minutes ago. Don’t want to break my New Year’s Rosh Hashana resolution the first week. But these words of wisdom and obvious, loving words of rebuke filled much of my childhood. And as Hashem’s wonderful irony and in fulfillment of my mother’s “blessing” to me that I should have children just like me, it became my responsibility to pass them on in turn to them.
We are not animals. We are human beings. We should behave like human beings. Animals don’t clean their own rooms. Animals don’t eat with a fork and knife. Animals don’t close the fridge door when they take out a soda. Animals don’t replace the toilet paper roll when they have finished the last piece, so that the next animal will not have to scream across the house to other animals who can’t hear them because they are too busy fighting and screaming and not talking nicely to each other as human beings would, to tell them to bring them another roll. Not that I would be talking about any family in particular of course. I’m just giving random examples…
Human beings are different. We have the spirit of Hashem in us; our holy neshama- soul. We are meant to be civilized. Let’s turn to this week’s parsha chock full of animals and examine this lesson. Perhaps the turning point in history where we learned this fantastic teaching.
The Torah at the end of last week’s portion concludes with Hashem pretty much fed up with mankind.
Bereshit (6:6) And Hashem regretted that he made Ha’Adam- the man in the land.
So he tells Noach the one righteous man in his generation to round up all the animals 2 of each species and 7 of the kosher ones and build an ark, as the world is about get “sponjah’ed”. You know the rest of the story. The world is wiped out raven then dove, Noach lands and he then brings a sacrifice to Hashem. The response of Hashem to that sacrifice though is bit fascinating and puzzling though.
Bereshit (8:21) And Hashem smelled the pleasing fragrance and Hashem said in His heart ‘Never again will I curse the ground because of man. For the inclination of man’s heart is evil from his youth. And I will never again smite every living thing as I have done.
Wow! It must have been a really good steak that Noach grilled up. Hashem literally turned 180 degrees from his original position. For originally the fact that ‘man was wicked and his every inclination was evil all day long’ were the reasons He washed it all away. One almost wishes Noach would have brought this sacrifice before this whole apocalypse happened. What is it about the sacrifice that changed Hashem’s mind, as the Torah is quite clear that it was when Hashem smelled that fragrance that He had this new epiphany. And why in fact did Noach not bring it beforehand. Another interesting point to ponder is why was Noach subject to b locked up in the Ark for a year with a bunch of animals. That can’t be too pleasant. You know those animals always leaving the door open when they walk out of a room and never cleaning up after themselves fuggedabout the smell… Like a yeshiva dormitory… Sorry. It’s probably not a wonder that he wanted to slaughter a few after that cruise.

The Ohr Hachaim tells us something fascinating about sacrifices. He suggests that the function of a sacrifice is that a person only sins in fact when it is nichnas bo ruach shtut- a foolish spirit comes over him. His holy soul departs and his animalistic nature takes over him. Like my mother always said. He forgets he is a person with a divine nature and he acts like lustful instinct-pleasure driven animal. The function of a sacrifice is restore the neshoma, the spiritual core of man via the act of “slaughtering the animal” within him that drove him to sin. It was never him. It was the animal that overtook me.
{Now just in case you’re feeling bad for the poor innocent animal who seemingly did nothing wrong to deserve this brutal death, the Ari”zl tells us that Hashem sends animals to the owners that died without teshuva and were reincarnated in animals in order to achieve their necessary atonement this way. Hashem’s cool that wayJ}

See Noach didn’t get this before the flood. He looked at the world and understood that people that sinned should either repent or get punished and killed. If they didn’t they were like animals. They couldn’t be saved. Truth is animals were even better, because they were never granted an elevated soul. It’s why he was never really successful in rebuking the people and getting them to give up their evil ways. One should never confuse sinners with their sins. Sins can be removed, the soul, the Adam could always be restored. One just have to separate the animal from one self to reclaim soul and see it shine once again. So Hashem sent Noach to “animal school”. He spent a year there. Spend some time with real lions, zebras, hippopotamuses, monkeys and bears and you realize that humans are really not that bad after-all.  We’re not animals. Even the worst of us has a soul that can rise above this world and has a light that can brighten the world. We can always change and come back. It’s as easy as building a little altar, taking that animal and grilling it up to Hashem.
That was the smell that Hashem loved. It was when he announced to the new world and particularly us that he will never again smite us for the sin of our yetzer hara- our animalistic physical inclinations because we will always have the power to transcend once again despite having succumbed to it. Dovid Hamelech in his Psalms notes this incredible revelation and in fact we recite it each Shabbat right after the Mincha prayer.

Misphatecha kthom rabba- your justice is like the great depths of the waters
Adam u’bheima toshiah hashem- Hashem will save the man and the beast.
The lesson of when the world was flooded in the depths is that we can separate the man, the soul the divine spirit and use it to raise our animal nature that will never again define us. We are not animals. We are Hashem’s children. Always. Now sit up straight and eat nicely J.

 Have a soul-filled Shabbos,
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz


https://youtu.be/_4ANOh26sog      -A beautiful vishntz song with word from Hafotrah Brega Katon Azavtich sung when a survivor left the camps

https://youtu.be/jfGkql17j2c   Cool new find by Kotel ancient Roman theater just as described by chazal!

https://youtu.be/henIqiaDNsM   Ari Lesser the Noach Rap!

https://youtu.be/vyzI323zFrs?list=PLXNMCMu9ajSp2zw2dMmZ93R0AXNWhdzr1    Burl Ives- Noah found Grace in the eyes of the Lord- love it…J only here boys and girls JJ


“A behaimeh hot a langen tsung un ken nisht reden; der mentsh hot a kurtseh un tor nisht reden.- Animals have long tongues but can’t speak; men have short tongues and shouldn’t speak.

New Year-New Exam This is this past summer 2017 Tour Guiding Exam-let’s see how I do…
answer below at end of Email
Q.  The Tzalmon River is in:
a. The Golan Heights
b. Lower Galile
c. The Judean Mountains
d. The Mountains of Samaria

New column!!

We’ve covered in the past few years different appreciations of the weekly Torah portion and the ways to study Torah. We’ve done Midrash of the week, Remez- allegories and Gematrios and pshat the simple understanding according to Rashi. This year will try something new. Each week our sages and Jewish custom have connected a portion of the prophets to be read with the Torah portion. In the past it’s usually the time when I best prepare my sermon that I’m about to say in shul or when many doze off or go out to Kiddush club- god forbid – This years I decided to explore the Haftora connection and perhaps a bit about the Prophet that it comes from. The custom of Haftora is our Rabbi’s and tradition ot give us some insight into our Parsha from the works of our prophets let’s discover that ancient wisdom and it’s secrets together
There are some Haftoras that have a verse here and there that connect to the theme in the Torah portion. Sometimes it may just even be a word or name. This week the portion of the prophet Yeshaya- Isaiah that was chosen has quite a few connection in the short 22 verses that it contains. Incidentally it may sound familiar to some of you that were paying attention as the first part of it Roni Akara is one of the 7 consolation haftoras that are read for parshat Ki Teitze and the second part Aniya So’ara (for Ashkenazim)  is the Haftora of Re’eh.
Yeshaya is prophesizing about the redemption the ultimate redemption that will come after our exile. He literally describes our era when he says the words
 Ki Rabim bnai ha’shomema mibnai ha’beula- The children of the desolate will outnumber the children of the inhabited one-
Meaning that he describes the ultimate redemption and return to Israel as having more people returning to Israel than the first redemption after the destruction of the first Temple when Ezra returned. When Ezra came back to Israel the majority of Jews stayed in comfortable Babylonia. Today without even the Temple being built we are at the tipping point of Israel being the largest Jewish population in the world. Pretty amazing. The connection to the portion of course being that just as Noach saw a world being destroyed but ultimately that was really the foundation for a whole new much better world. Our exile from our home was as well for the larger and ultimate better good that will come.
Yamin Usmol Tifrotzi- right and left we will burst forth
Varim Neshamos Yoshivu- and desolate cities will be settled
Another idea in the Haftora is Hashem promises amd explains the tragedy and horror endured by his people as
Brega Katan Azavtich Uvrachamim Gedolim Akabtzech- For a brief moment I forsake you and with abundant mercy I will gather you
B’Shetzef Ketzef histarti panai rega mimeich- with slight wrath have I concealed my countenance from you
 Uvchesed Olam richamitch- and with eternal kindness shall I shall you mercy
KiMey Noach Li- For the waters of Noach this shall be to me
All that we have suffered, were but a light moment of Hashem hiding himself from us. It was like the waters of Noach. But the mercy and the kindness and love with which Hashem will shine and bestow upon us will be like that rainbow of Noach that Hashem promised he would never bring again.
It is a powerful comforting Haftora. It’s worth reading again and again. We have only just started this column and I’m certainly excited. As excited as Noach perhaps when he saw the potential of whole, new, beautiful world of potential.

Each week I’ll try to give some varied and brief historical insights of the life and personality of the prophet of the haftorah from our sages in order to see how our sages viewed these great men

Yeshaya Hanavi Era of Prophecy (780-700 BC)- Yeshayahu was one of the most significant prophets of the Kingdom of Yehudah about 150 years or so before the destruction of the Temple. Yeshaya prophecized during the period of four different Kings of Judea; Uziya, Yotam, Achaz and Chizkiya. He saw the bad, the worse, the ugly and the better in the times of Chizkiya. He was alive and prophesized and rebuked the people as the ten tribes in the Northern Kingdom were exiled by Sancheirev. And it was he that told the Jews of Jerusalem that they had nothing to fear from Sancheirev when he came to Jerusalem. He was right!

New Season New column
We’ve covered- Cool places in Israel, Cool Things to do in Israel, Cool Historical events that took place each week in Israel, Types of Jews in Israel. This year I figured we’d try to do…drumroll….

We’ve got 5778 years to cover and it all took place here, I think this will last us through the year!

Creation or 3761 BC to be precise- See the math is pretty easy 5778 years from creation subtract 2017 and that’s the year on the secular calendar the world was created. To be even more precise it’s 5778 and one month. See Rosh Hashana the first of Tishrei is the day that man was created. The world was created 6 days before that incrementally over the 6 days. Created incidentally our sages with the starting point being right here in Israel and in fact right on the Temple Mount from the Even Hashesiya or as it’s known as the Foundation Stone. Jews can’t visit there of course. Even the Jews that do go up to the Temple Mount can’t get into the Golden Dome that surrounds it.
Now there are many sites in Israel where you can talk about Creation and actually experience it a bit. Remember this is a country with all types of fantastic geological formations that were all part of the 6 days. See scientists date many of the volcanos up in the Golan, the hot springs, and even the larger “big picture” Syrian African Rift to happening millions of years ago. In fact if one goes to the stalactite and stalagmite caves in the shefela they calculate that they grow one centimeter every 50 years or so and being that some of them are 20 feet tall and took hundreds of thousands of years. 
There are a few different approaches to answer the question of how to reconcile these “scientific facts” with our Torah understanding of a 5778 year old world.  My two personal favorites are that Hashem created the world pre-dated. Meaning just as we understand He created Adam not as a little baby in diapers but as an already aged handsome young man (which used to be about 25 years old but now I’m thinking more like 46 years old J). In the same way He created a world that had million year old formation and hundreds of thousands year old stalactites. Another approach of course is that the 6 days of Creation weren’t 24 hour days. This kind of make sense as the sun and moon weren’t created until the 4th day of Creation. As well we don’t really start dating time until the Creation of Adam on day 6 so technically speaking the first 6 days could have in fact been millions of years.
Regardless of which approach you like Eretz Yisrael is certainly the best place to really appreciate the wonders of Hashem’s Creation in its most pristine form. It all started here, after all.


A bear walks into a bar and says to the bartender, "I'll have a pint of beer and a.......... packet of peanuts."
The bartender asks, "Why the big pause?"

A gorilla walks into a bar and says, "A scotch on the rocks, please." The gorilla hands the bartender a $10 bill.

The bartender thinks to himself, "This gorilla doesn't know the prices of drinks," and gives him 15 cents change.

The bartender says, "You know, we don't get too many gorillas in here."

The gorilla replies, "Well, at $9.85 a drink, I ain't coming back, either."

A duck walks into a bar and asks, "Got any grapes?"

The bartender, confused, tells the duck no. The duck thanks him and leaves.

The next day, the duck returns and asks, "Got any grapes?"

Again, the bartender tells him, "No -- the bar does not serve grapes, has never served grapes and, furthermore, will never serve grapes." The duck thanks him and leaves.

The next day, the duck returns, but before he can say anything, the bartender yells, "Listen, duck! This is a bar! We do not serve grapes! If you ask for grapes again, I will nail your stupid duck beak to the bar!"

The duck is silent for a moment, and then asks, "Got any nails?"

Confused, the bartender says no.

"Good!" says the duck. "Got any grapes?"

A grasshopper walks into a bar, and the bartender says, "Hey, we have a drink named after you!"
The grasshopper looks surprised and asks, "You have a drink named Steve?"

A man and his pet giraffe walk into a bar and start drinking. As the night goes on, they get drunk, and the giraffe finally passes out. The man decides to go home.
As he's leaving, the man is approached by the barkeeper who says, "Hey, you're not gonna leave that lyin' here, are ya?"
"Hmph," says the man. "That's not a lion -- it's a giraffe."

A goat walks into a bar. Bartender says, “We don’t serve kids.”

A sheep walks into a bar. Bartender says, “Welcome to my baa. We are in Boston.”

An ox walks into a bar. Bartender says, “Off the wagon again?”

Answer is B – I’m off to a good start. Not because I know every Nachal in Israel. In fact on my oral exam one of the only questions I got wrong was when they asked me what nachal- stream brought water to Be’er Sheva and I told them I didn’t know (The answer by the way was Nachal Be’er Sheva…duhhh….). But I knew this one because it’s right up the block from me here in Karmiel. Nachal Tzalmon actually flows from the Upper Galile down to the lower Galil and ultimately down to the Kinneret. A few years ago it was pretty full of water. The past few years with the drought we have been suffering it is sadly pretty dry. Hoepefully this winter it will change. So daven hard when you say Mashiv HaRuach UMorid HGeshem OK!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Camping is for Goyim- Sukkot 2017 / 5778

Insights and Inspiration
from the
Holy Land
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz
"Your friend in Karmiel"

October 4th 2017 -Volume 7 Issue 47 14th of Tishrei 5778!
Camping is for Goyim

I like camping. I’m an outdoorsy type of guy. My wife not so much…. In her opinion camping is for Goyim/ Gentiles. It’s not a Jewish thing. She’s more of the spa, nice hotel wake up late and have room service breakfast in bed type of Lakewood girl. Don’t get me wrong I can do that also. See for Shalom Bayis I’m always ready to make compromisesJ. But my true peace and serenity is a few days out in the wilderness, sleeping under the stars, grilling up some dinner, sitting around a campfire roasting some hot dogs or some S’mores and relishing a cold brewski. Now when we lived in the States, our house was always full of guests thank God, It’s one of the pleasures of working in Jewish outreach. Our doors were wide open and we always had visitors. When the summer rolled around though, my wife insisted that we needed to get away and spend just “quality family bonding time”. You know, share special moments when everyone gets to know each other a lot better and become reminded why we don’t do this too often and prefer a house full of guests. So each year we would pack up our min van with our tenting gear, sleeping bags, three coolers that plug into the car that would be overfull with meat, and lots and lots of food. The kids would have to squeeze into the ashtray, as the food was certainly more important and we felt as parents this would help them get even closer to each other. And then we would hit the road, Jack.

Now in the States there are some really great campgrounds. We were KOA members and they even have these Yogi Bear campgrounds as well. Each site has its own electric and water, nice showers- OK, Aliza, decent showers, they would have activities, Candy Bingo at night, Yogi and his lil buddy Boo Boo would come out and visit everyone. Some had pools, Lakes, slides, and even boating. At night it was quiet time at about 10:00. We could sit out and gaze at the stars and marvel in awe at the beauty of Hashem’s universe.  We were one with nature. Our tent expanded over the years. In the beginning we first had a two person one, then we got a four person one, we ultimately got ourselves the mother of all tents with four bedrooms. Having lived in a bunch of different States we saw a lot of the US of A. When we lived in New York, we went up to Rhode Island, and Vermont and Connecticut. From Virginia we saw the Blue Ridge Mountain Range, the Smoky Mountains the Carolinas and Florida. When we were in Iowa we went to Minneapolis, Kansas, the Rocky Mountains, and Wisconsin. And out in the Pacific NW we headed down through Oregon and California coast to San Diego. We hit Montana, Yellowstone and the Canadian Rockies. We never made it to the Grand Canyon and Zion National Park, But we moved to the really Zion instead and we have Mitzpeh Ramon Craters and that’s more than enough for me.
When we first made Aliya, I was really itching to take my kids camping in this country as well. Hey we toured around and camped out in “their” country, imagine how much more meaningful it would be in Hashem’s Promised Land, right? Wrong. My kids first had off on Yom Ha’Atazmaut and I figured that would be a great day to start this adventure. After all everybody goes out and celebrates the land, campfires, tents. The great outdoors, that Hashem miraculously gave us. It can’t get much better than that.

The problem is that for some reason it didn’t hit me, that it is the day that everybody goes out and celebrates the land…makes campfires…tents… and this is Israel. I don’t know how I missed this. We arrived at the campground, I though the banks of the Kinneret would be super cool and fun, nice and rustic and there were a bunch of sites there. As I pulled into the entrance, I was pretty excited particularly when the guy at the entrance told me that it only cost 20 shek. Not bad, I thought, in the States it was at least $20 dollars. When I asked him where our site was, he smiled and told me that wherever I wanted would be fine. Hmmmm… However as I passed through the gate and looked around, I realized that was certainly not the case. It was packed. There were no sites, no water, no electric, random tents were set up all over the place, one on top of the other. Music was blasting. It wasn’t even Israeli music. Although one might argue that Israelis are really the only ones that play Pink Floyd in the 2000’s and think it’s still cool. Ouch. So we set up our tent in a little corner somewhere. I tried to make the best of it.
We put together the grill. Roasted some meat and waited patiently for “quiet time”. It never came. Israelis don’t do quiet time. Rather it turned into Hashish and even louder and more annoying music time. The mosquitos that seemingly are also Israeli and like to get on your nerves decided to start making their entrance at that point. Maybe it was the incense and smoke that were getting them high as well, or the music that was driving them mad, but they didn’t let up. It was the most miserable night of my life. Maybe this is not the country to do camping. Maybe after wandering 40 years in the wilderness the Jewish people had enough. They like houses, not tents. I now stay in hotels. My wife tried not to smile too much when we came home weary eyed, bloated and scratching the next morning. I appreciated that.
Which brings us to this time of year, when we all leave the comforts of our house and head on out for a week. There is no religion like ours that has such an incredible and strange mitzva like Sukka. We are commanded to leave our house, eat, sleep, and pretty much spend as much time as you can in a little wooden booth and with no real roof on your head. The Torah tells us the reason for this mitzva is because we are meant to remember our sojourn in wilderness.
Vayikra (23:42) “In order that your generations will know that in Sukkos-booths I caused the Children of Israel when I took them from the land of Egypt; I am Hashem your God.”
Rashi on this verse explains our verse-seemingly not as he would usually according to the simple understanding which would be the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer that we are commemorating the booths that we camped in. Rather he explains the verse according to Rabbi Akiva who understands the reference to booths in the Torah to be referring to the Clouds of Glory that were protected and ensconced in when we were in the wilderness. Perhaps Rashi, like my wife, felt that camping is for Goyim and it is certainly not something worthy of commemorating within of itself.
But yet, we still find that the opinion of Rabbi Eliezer is that the tenting experience is worthy of us celebrating this holiday. In fact according to his opinion, we are obligated to remember this as we sit in our Sukkaa, as the Torah specifically tells us that we are doing this in order “that our generations will know”. But why? Isn’t camping for goyim? Perhaps and even more interesting question is if remembering this is so significant than why on the last day of the holiday, seemingly the peak of it all, Shemini Atzeret/ Simchat Torah, do we not sit in the Sukka? {Even in America where some do, it’s only because they are in doubt whether it is the 7th day of Sukkos or not.}What is this holiday and mitzva all about?
The Tur Shulchan Aruch tells us something very interesting about the three Jewish pilgramage holidays and how they correspond to our forefathers.
Tur (OC 417) Pesach is for Avraham as it says “knead and bake cakes” and it was Passover (when the angels came to visit him). Yitzchak is Shavuot for the Shofar that was blown by the receiving of the Torah came from the ram that was by his binding. Sukkot is for Yackov -for when he left the house of Lavan it says- and for his animal he made Sukkot/ booths.
The Zohar tells us that not only does Sukkot correspond to Yackov, but the last day of Shmini Atzeret when the King is alone with his nation, and is seemingly viewed as holiday within itself, as all the guests come to rejoice with Him, Yaakov is the head of the rejoicing as it says
Devarim (33:29) “Fortunate are you Israel, who is like you”
And it says
Isaiah (49:3) “And He said you are my servant Israel with whom I am glorified with.”
The Chasam Sofer notes that Yakov really has two names; Yaakov and Yisrael. Yacko corresponds to heel when we are not perfect. In fact our only benefit is that when we are compared to Esau, we look pretty good. Yisrael on the other hand is when we have won the “Angel of Esau”. When we are at our high point. He notes that when Yackov battled and won the angel, the angel blessed him that he should no longer be called Yakov, rather only Yisrael. Yet when Hashem gave Yackov his name Yisrael and affirmed that new name He said “Shimcha Yakov- Your name is Yackov- Meaning that we should also have the name Yackov. We should have both things going for us. We are special when our merit or saving factor is how we compare to Esau, the competition. And we should also have the benefit of being Yisrael when we rise above it all and become truly righteous. Easu didn’t want us to have the benefit of being “chosen” when we weren’t worthy of it on our own merits. He therefore only called us Yisrael and said we shouldn’t be called Yaakov. Hashem felt differently.
With that understanding the Shevilei Pinchas suggests we can understand the entire process of the holidays of the month of Tishrei. Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur begins where we are judged together with the whole world.
 “All the nations pass before you in judgement. Which for war, which for peace, which for famine and which for plenty.”
Hashem in His wisdom lines us up against them. We look pretty good that way. In fact, he suggests that is the secret of the mysterious Azazel goat offering on Yom Kippur. Two goats identical, like the two brothers Yaakov and Esau who were twins. They are placed next to one another and the Divine lottery is done and Yaakov is chosen. One gets offered in the Temple and the other is flung off the mountain top as a gift to the “angel of Esau” who is screaming that we should be judged on our own merit rather than contrasting us with the other nations. It works it quiets him. There is no Satan and we are judged for life.

But like all good things it only lasts for a day or two. Esau is back again trying to attack us that we should be judged on our own merit. And you know what…? He’s right. It’s our job to light up the world. It’s our mandate to raise up Esau and every other nation. To bring them in the Temple. To connect them to Hashem. We can do this now because we have been chosen for life. But it is still a dangerous world. Esau is clamoring for us. So Hashem places his Sukka around us to protect us. We go out of our comfortable houses and we go into booths, under His shade, His protection. We bring offerings every day in the times of the Temple for each of the nations of the world. 70 of them all together less and less each day. We are Yaakov becoming Yisrael. We are slowly uplifting Esau and getting rid of the negative claims against us and becoming Yisrael where even Esau can’t claim against us anymore. That happens on Shemini Atzeret. For on that day we have completed the process. The Sukkos that we were commanded to build, ironically enough to use as a tool and protection to allow us to uplift the goyim, have served their function. We can now go back into our house. Hashem is glorified with “Yisrael”  “Who is like you Yisrael” rings out in our homes. See I told you Sukkos were for Jews.
The Beit Hamikdash, that holy Temple that we are awaiting for is called the Sukka of David that has fallen. As a tenting- albeit 7 years out of practice-expert, I can tell you that when you tent collapses, its not that big of a deal to put it back up again. Most of the pegs are still in place, the poles and canvas are just toppled. All you need to do is to raise it back up again and knock a few good shots into the pegs that got loose. After 2000 years our heavenly temple is built and ready to come down. We need to just lift it up a bit more. Firm Hashem’s place here on earth for it with a few good knocks. May our Sukkos inspire His Sukka to come join us in the heavenly campground it belongs in.

Chag Samayach and Happy camping J,
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz


“Di velt iz a hekeleh: ainer darf tsum anderen.”. The world consists of cogs: one depends on the other..


https://soundcloud.com/ephraim-schwartz/ushpizin-2   - Best Hartzig song you’ve ever heard for Sukkos by me J) Ushpizin learn it and sing it in your sukkah!

https://youtu.be/E3T9A1exLQQ    My cousin Yehuda Litki and friends and their great organization’s debut song and you tube click Yerushalyim- beautiful Kol Hakavod

https://youtu.be/NJdWKNwIT3Y       – Lior narkis Dudu Aharon the song sweeping the country Chagia V’Yisrael fun and happy

https://youtu.be/EC4IVe61p-0 Funny the Lulav Shake

answer below at end of Email

Q. Kibbutz Kerem Shalom is located in the sand dunes of:
a. Shunra
b. Kisui
c. Khalutza
d. Nitsana


Sukkos- On the holiday of Sukkos we read the sacrifices that were brought in the Temple each day. It’s not a particularly interesting Torah reading, There are cows, sheep, flour offerings, libations and the goat sin offerings among many. A peek in Rashi though is certainly going to make it more interesting as he diverges from his typical simple understanding to explain the strange changing amount of offerings each day.
Bamidbar (12:34) The bulls of the holiday are 70- this corresponds to the 70 nations and they progressively decrease. It is a sign of the annihilation for them. And in the times of the Beit Hamikdash the bulls would protect the nations from punishments and the sheep correspond to Israel, who are called “a scattered lamb” and they are a fixed number each day. The total number of sheep are 98 to eradicated them rom Israel the 98 curses that are mentioned in Devarim.
The Rebbe of Sochatchov, The Avney Nezer notes that this fits in beautifully with the idea that Sukkos we are told is the holiday of joy-Chag Simchateinu. For the last of the curses and the reason given for all the curses is tachat asher lo avadata es Hashem Elokech Bsimcha- That we did not serve Hashem out of joy. It is therefore on this holiday when we are granted and celebrate with the most joy that we can atone for this and eradicate all the curses.
May we thus merit.

Rabbi Avrohom Bornsztain- the Avney Nezer (1838 –1910), also spelled Avraham Borenstein or Bernstein, was a leading posek in late-nineteenth-century Europe and founder and first Rebbe of the Sochatchover Hasidic dynasty. He is known as the Avnei Nezer ("Stones of the Crown") after the title of his posthumously-published set of Torah responsa, which is widely acknowledged as a halakhic classic. Born in Bendin, Poland he was a descendant of the Ramah and the Shach. In his youth, Avraham was recognized as an outstanding student with a phenomenal memory. Under the tutelage of his father, who taught him the ways of pilpul, he began writing his own chidushim (new Torah thoughts) at the age of 10.
As a child he was weak and frail from his childhood. He especially suffered from lung problems. Once when he fell dangerously ill, the doctors forbade him from exerting his mind in Torah study. But the Kotzker Rebbe gave him a blessing for longevity, which was fulfilled in the fact that Bornsztain died at the age of 71.
In his teens, he became a close talmid of the Kotzker Rebbe, who chose him as his son-in-law. Reb Avraham and his wife resided in Kotzk for seven years, until the Kotzker Rebbe's death in 1859. During that time, he was known to sleep only two hours each day and dedicate the rest of his waking hours to Torah learning. His only son, Shmuel, was born in Kotzk in 1857.
After the Kotzker Rebbe's death, he became a Hasid of his uncle, Rabbi Yitzchak Meir Alter, the Chidushei HaRim of Ger. Following the latter's death in 1866, he became a hasid of Rabbi Chanoch Heynekh of Alexander.
In 1863, Bornsztain accepted his first rabbinical post as Rav of Parczew. In 1867, he left the city due to persecution by those who opposed him and accepted the position of Av Beit Din of Krushnevitz. Here he founded a yeshiva gedola which attracted many top students, including future Torah leaders. The Rav displayed tremendous devotion to his students, with whom he learned for eight hours each day, delivering several shiurim(lectures) during the course of each day. In his introduction to his book, Eglei Tal, he noted that he dedicated all his energies to teaching Torah to his students, leaving the publication of his chiddushim to his old age.
When Rabbi Chanoch Heynekh of Alexander died in 1870, Bornsztain agreed to serve as a rebbe — with one condition: his regular shiurim and learning schedule were not to be interrupted. He also insisted that only those who were well-versed in Torah scholarship should visit him at his court. After a while, his Hasidim noticed that while he answered each petitioner concisely, he did not spend much time with them. When questioned about this, he responded: "You should know that for every second that I am disrupted in my learning, they have losses at home, so it is to their advantage that I only hold brief audiences with them!"
In 1876 Bornsztain moved to the city of Nasielsk after the death of that city's rabbi. Yet here, too, he encountered opposition from those who wanted him to ease his insistence on following long-standing traditions and minhagim. When the community of Sochatchov approached him to be their Rav and Rebbe, he gladly accepted. He moved to Sochatchov in 1883 and served as its Av Beit Din until his death. Thereafter, the hasidut which he founded became known by the name of Sochatchov, and he was called the Sochatchover Rebbe.
While he wanted nothing more than to continue his regular schedule of Torah learning and teaching in Sochatchov, his fame spread quickly. Many difficult halakhic she'eilos (queries) were addressed to him by rabbis and scholars throughout Europe, and he became known as one of the era's leading poskim. To arrive at his psak (halakhic decision), he would first study the sugya in the Talmud in depth, then study the explanation of the sugya by the Rishonim, and then formulate his decision. His responsa also reflect his great humility. While others relied on his psak completely, in some cases he himself wrote that one should not rely on his psak unless another posek was found who ruled the same way.
His responsa, covering all four sections of Shulchan Aruch, were published posthumously in seven volumes by his son and grandson under the title, She'eilos U'teshuvos Avnei Nezer. He became known as the Avnei Nezer after his death.
His other works include Eglei Tal on the 39 Melachos of Shabbat, unpublished sifrei Hasidut, and many writings in manuscript form, including chiddushim on the Rambam. Many of his Torah sayings to his Hasidim appear in his son's work, Shem Mishmuel.
Rav Bornsztain suffered from a heavy cough in his later years, due to his frail lungs.
His only son, Shmuel, later known by the title of his own work, Shem Mishmuel, succeeded him as Av Beit Din of Sochatchov and as Sochatchover Rebbe..
The Sochatchover dynasty continues today under the leadership of Bornsztain's great-great-grandson. A Sochatchover Yeshiva, called Yeshivat Avnei Nezer DeSochatchov, operates in Jerusalem under the leadership of Rabbi Moshe Betzalel Weinberg, a brother-in-law of the current rebbe.
Homeless People – Sukkos we are all homeless. So it’s a good time to talk about the those that don’t have a home all year around or a dirat keva to go out from into their sukkah, Although Israel has a very low homeless persons rate, about 2300 people according to a study done in 2015 and .02% of the population, it is 2300 too many. Over a third of the homeless live in Tel Aiv, Haifa and Jerualem about 8% and Ashdod has about 5%. The majority of the homeless are Russian immigrant almost 50% amazingly and tragically enough. Is there anything sadder than moving to the land Hashem promised us and not having a home here? Although a quarter of them drug related reasons, almost 17% are because of financial challenges. As well perhaps most tragic are those that were thrown out of their houses by the Israeli government like those from Gush Katif, who have yet to find houses and live in trailers as well. There are organizations and government programs that are trying to deal with this growing problem which has increased significantly. As we sit in out Sukkos it is worthwhile to ponder, reflect, pray and consider what we may do to help this growing problem

Steps to Build a Campfire Joke
1. Split dead limb into fragments and shave one fragment into slivers.
2. Bandage left thumb.
3. Chop other fragments into smaller fragments.
4. Bandage left foot.
5. Make a structure of slivers (including those embedded in the hand).
6. Light match.
7. Light match.
8. Repeat “I’m a Happy Camper” and light match.
9. Apply match to slivers, add wood fragments, and blow gently into base of flames.
10. Apply burn ointment to nose.
11. When fire is burning, collect more wood.
12. When fire is burning well, add all remaining firewood.
13. After thunderstorm has passed, repeat the above steps.

The loaded mini-van pulled into the only remaining campsite. Four children leaped from the vehicle and began feverishly unloading gear and setting up the tent. The boys rushed to gather firewood, while the girls and their mother set up the camp stove and cooking utensils.
A nearby camper marveled to the youngsters’ father, “That, sir, is some display of teamwork.”
The father replied, “I have a system — no one goes to the bathroom until the camp is set up.”

A Yankel and son went fishing one day. While they were out in the boat, the boy suddenly became curious about the world around him. He asked his father, "How does this boat float?
Yankel replied, "Don't rightly know son." A little later, the boy looked at his father and asked, "How do fish breathe underwater?"
Once again the Yankel replied, "Don't rightly know son." A little later the boy asked his father, "Why is the sky blue?"Again, the father repied. "Don't rightly know son." Finally, the boy asked his father, "Tatty, do you mind my asking you all of these questions?"
Yankel knips his cheek and tells him "Of course not my dear child if  you don't ask questions, you never learn nothin'."

Berel and his wife Chani were on a camping and hiking trip. They had gone to bed and were lying there looking up at the sky. Chani said, "Berel, look up. What do you see? "Well, I see thousands of stars." "And what does that mean to you?" "Well, I think of the promise of Hashem to Avraham that we will be multiplied like the stars of the sky. What does it mean to you, Chan?" "To me, it means someone has stolen our tent."

Answer is C– I  have no clue, nor do I much care. I knew this Kibbutz is in South in Negev, by Gaza. Gilad Shalit was snatched near there in 2006. Although it is a secular Kibbutz, in 2008 when it was hit by mortars in the worst bombardment ever the families decided to stay and make their Pesach Seder anyways. Nothing like good Israeli secular Jews! J. That’s the type of stuff my tourists are interested in. Not whats the name of this specific sand dune. This is the last question from the 2015 winter exam next season we”ll jump to this past summers 2017 summer exam! Let’s see if we know the answers.