Our view of the Galile

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Election 2016 The Return of the PurimTop Ten- 2016/5776

InTights and Infirmation
from the
 Hairy Land
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz
"Your Composter, Arthour, s-collar, chulent aficionado, Bore-guide and Rubble and fund-raising friend in Karmiel"

March 23rd 2014 -Volume highest 10, Tissue 3 Ply  -12th of Adar 5776
Rabbi Schwartz's annual Top Ten List...
Purim 2016 Shushan Take II
It’s been a crazy year. Last year at this time of year Israel was in election mode. As everybody was running around clamoring to find the clown-didate and party that would bring our country peace and prosperity, security fences. Party being the key word it seems. Of course that most important-pressing issue whether black hatted-yeshiva guys go to the army or not. Because that is certainly the biggest impediment to peace in the Mid-East. I mean we all know what great soldiers these guys would make. These guys can certainly out-learn any of those predators that are running around our streets.
 The United States at that time was of course busy with much more important issues as well. At the forefront was whether it should be a crime or not to beat up innocent African American drivers while the Secretary of State is blowing up US embassies from her private E-Mails. On the side that they were permitted to beat them up the next question was whether they should be entitled to free universal health care or not that doctors and other rich people should pay for. After all their ancestors centuries ago enslaved these people. And only the Jews should be enslaved without any entitlement or right to a land of their own.
This year has been a bit of V’Nahapoch Hu- A switch around. The United States is the one in full election mode dealing with important issues such as security fences around their borders that would prevent people the ability from visiting their hubcaps every once in a while (Jackie Mason’s line- I can’t take credit). As well the Unites States is grappling how different the next president should be from the previous one. It seems that at this point everyone seems to feel that he should be white, although Trump looks a bit orange around the edges. Some feel the time has come for them to elect a woman, but since Bill Clinton is not running, they figured they should perhaps go with the next closest thing to a woman, his sometimes wife Hillary. Others however feel that since the whole country seems to be following the footsteps of Israel with its insane politics already, they might as well just vote for a Jew already. They have a point in that. I mean the only real world leader left today is Putin who pretty much wipes out anyone he wants to. Americans admire that. The US/Russia competitive thing has been going on for a long time. So many Americans figure the best way to beat them is if we put our own communist in office. Karl Marx wasn’t available so we’ve got another good yeedle, with a nice Jewish name like Boinie. The question of course is will that mean there will be chulent in the White House?
Israel this year though is dealing with its own significant issues. It’s a hard time for our country. You can see that by opening up the daily newspapers. Most headlines the past few months in the secular newspapers are talking about how the Kotel should allow prayer services for women with Torahs and pink Tallits-which is certainly better then pink Torahs. This is a significant issue, because there are like ten of these women in Israel and they feel kind of left out. In addition there might be more soon, because if Trump wins, who knows how many American pink Jews might come to the Holy land. Canada is too busy taking Syrian refugees, there may not be enough room there for the mass exodus from the States.
Another key issue is that religious soldiers should have to shave off their beards, this makes sense as well, because to a large degree the soldier’s job is to merely point out the offending terrorist to a civilian security guard so that he may kill him, as the Soupcreme Crud has ruled that no soldiers should do that themselves. Sweden might get upset by that, and we know how important not offending the Swedes is. They might even sic Bork-de Bork that chef from the Muppets on us. Now if the soldier has a beard, the civilian may have a hard time making out what he is saying. And anyways they might naturally be hesitant taking orders from a religious soldier. Who knows what he might tell him next, maybe to vote for Gimmel or shutdown his Facebook account. Along the same lines there is also major concern in this country about the outbreak of violence when Jews try to defend themselves against knife attacks, whether they should read the offending terrorist his Miranda rights in Arabic before he puts a bullet in his or her head. Perhaps the arab is just trying to give the Israeli a haircut, or cut his falafel for him. These are things that we should find out before we shoot them. Haircuts are expensive in this country. Unless you’re a former Prime Minister, President, Chief Rabbi or mayor of Jerusalem who receive theirs for free when they go to prison.
 The religious newspapers on the other hand are very concerned with rumors that there are people that are using iPhones and are part of illegal whatsapp groups that are not Glatt Kosher certified and Chalav Yisrael. This is a problem, because obviously if they have I-phones they should not be allowed into any schools nor should they be allowed to marry off their children. And there is certainly not enough money to start new schools for all of these children or marriages for the trayf phone-holders; only America has 7 foot tall philanthropists that sing songs favored by Ukranian choirs that can pay for this. The religious sefardic newpapers have their hands full as well as they seek to determine who the real representative of Sefardic Jewry should be. Personally I think they should just have a matbucha making contest or an Araq drinking match. The Ashkenazic Jewish community, so as not be left out of the fun have their own major fights going on as well; Jerusalem or Bnai Brak which is the real holy city? Which Rabbi and Rosh Yeshiva should be the true Daas Torah for Klal Yisrael-as only Ashkenazim truly have the right to this title, obviously. Again I think this could be resolved with a simple Shtender throwing contest, or a poster hanging contest-which team can plaster a wall with excommunications the quickest. But no one seems to be asking me. Probably because of my phone...
And Hashem? He’s pretty much just crying about the whole state of affairs. Don’t my children realize that they are being killed in the streets daily? Don’t they see that these animals that are loose in their cities are not discriminating based on Kippa size, head or hat covering, religious or political affiliation or party, region of the country or even the world that we are living in? When are we going to wake up, when will the world wake up and realize that there’s a problem that will only be eradicated if we can see beyond our differences and unite to destroy the descendants of Haman? Hello-oh is anyone home down there?
Which brings us to this year’s Top Ten list. Hashem has decided to try to wake up and convince the Jewish people to get our act together, by orchestrating that world events should pretty much be similar to what they were 2300 years ago back in the times of Mordechai Esther Achashverosh, Haman and of course Charvona Zachur LaTov; that last pre-Temple return and building era. It’s Purim 2016 today. Not everybody has the incredible deep and penetrating Kabbalistically oriented and Chullently inspired insight that your “friend in Karmiel” has. So this year I have dedicated my annual Top Ten List to reveal and share with you the.....drumroll....
1)       Evil king of Persia threatens to wipe Jews off the face of the earth....Anyone paying attention to Bibi Netanyahu’s nuclear Iran red lines, besides a Bibi-happy congress. Persia is Iran for those that don’t know. That was pretty easy.
2)      Haman, the guy who gets elected to Achashverosh’s palace, and who hopes one day to usurp him, had a thing for throwing the dice, lotteries and gambling. Ummm anyone out there know of anyone who made a lot of money in the casino business? I’ll give you a hint. He’s got the same letters as PURIM in his name if you replace the ‘I’ with a ‘T’.
3)      Next up, you’ve got this woman out there with an “ee” sound at the end of her name whose husband who is the king likes to party and orgy a lot. She only sticks with him because she’s pretty sure that she’s better than him. Her day will come. She is a pretty big feminist and feels the need to stand up for women around the world, let them know that just because their husband cheats on them with every intern, doesn’t mean that you should leave him if there is a chance that you will one day be able to have your head held high. Yeah, she got her wish all right. Her head was strung up pretty high. Vashti I was talking about, why who did you think I was referring to?
4)      Now after the King knocks off his wife, he needs a new one. Who better to go to then this Casino-magnate adviser that he has. After-all he’s been through a few wives and models before. He advises the King to do the other thing that he is good at, Reality TV shows where you ‘interview’ the candidates until you narrow it down the one that will make the best ‘Apprentice’ to you.
5)      The next scene of course is that it seems that there are a lot of people that are rallying around these new leaders, some of them even turn quite violent. Even the Jews join the parties. Some of them for 180 days or more. Some of them (The Newer-and smaller State of- Israel Fund) willing to even sell out the Temple mount, the place where the Temple once stood in the process, by “eating off” the politically correct vessels we were merely occupying. Yet there’s one Jew associated with tribe of Benjamin, or Bibi as his brothers didn’t call him. Who decides the party is not for him. He’s not bowing down, unless of course they offer him a Nobel peace prize or his wife can get some recycling bottles she collects. He stares at a lot of people silently in the UN. He draws these graffiti like red lines all over the place-erasing all the previous Na Nach Nachman scribblings that were there previously. And he raises the prices of cottage cheese. But nobody really seems to care He’s Bibi and we love him....everyone that is but the Dark Lord in Washington. (I had to get in some Star Wars mention here...)
6)      This Benjaminite wants to get an appointment with the leader of the not- so-free World back then, Achashverosh- who interestingly enough according to the Midrash had a spurious and suspicious lineage. It seems that he was a stable boy (in Nigeria?) for Nevuchadnezzar. Anyways it seems that the King refuses to meet with him. Although the press secretary reassured everyone that there was no personal animosity between the two.  Hmmmm...sounds familiar? Seems like the Amalekites have no problem meeting with this King/President. Maybe he just loves Persia/Iran too much...
7)      So the King pretty much sells out the Jews to the entire world, and all the NATIONs seem pretty UNITED on the notion that there will be no more Jews left. It’s a pain in the neck for them to keep passing these resolutions all the time against the Jews. It’s time to get back to the important business of....ummm what else do they do? So their knives start sharpening, their scissors are snapping, and they are stock piling their rocks and nuclear weapons. And private E-Mails that describe the ultimate destruction of the Jewish people and a mass collaboration with our enemies went out rapidly from the Secretary of State Departments private E-Mail. You’ve heard this story before right? Now what?
8)      Now there’s one Jew, a former Kibbutznik, who felt that the only solution for the Jewish people was to marry a nice Catholic girl who kind of looks like Zeresh and then take all the money away from the wealthy people and give it to the poor people. This didn’t really have anything to do with the global threat of terror facing our nation, but it just sounded like a fun idea that would distract everyone from the looming threat. Lots of poor people agreed with him. After-all charity is an important Jewish solution to up-coming attempted Genocide. He didn’t realize of course that there were a lot of rich Jews as well and that it would pretty much be stealing from them. Now he figured if he spoke in his native Russian language, they wouldn’t recognize his plan. Little did he know the rich Jews knew Yiddish and pretty much figured it out. The plot was revealed and it was recorded in the Books that were National Best Sellers “The Audacity of Dope” and “It Takes a Pillage”.
9)      So finally a Jewish woman gets up. Her name is Esther. Esther her second name, known only to those of us who were her children in Detroit was Baila. She is a very inspiring person and has an interesting way of ‘motivating her progeny. I still have a hard time sitting down. She decides that the only solution is if we all join together and pray.  We should fast on her behalf and she’ll take care of all the problems as Hashem will help us. Now Esther, wasn’t generally known for encouraging fasting. She serves huge meals with lots of healthy foo like chicken livers, schmaltz soup, and hot dogs with scrambled eggs called Lecho- which is the sound some people made an hour later. The only time we didn’t eat was when we were sent to bed without dinner- the ultimate Schwartz threat. Despite that fact that there were starving people in Ethopia that would appreciate our food more then we would. But I’ve gotten distracted down nostalgia lane. Unfortunately, the people start to debate, where they should pray. Some suggest Robinson’s arch, others say that’s not really the Kotel. Other people say let’s go to our forefathers graves in Hebron and of course all the anti-settlers as well as the frightened American tourists refuse to go there. The Bnai Brak people all refuse to come to Jerusalem, the Jerusalem people refuse to go to Bnai Brak. The next debate is who should lead the services. Should he be allowed to own an I-Phone, what newspapers does he subscribe to? Who did he vote for in the elections? How could he have voted? What Nusach should be prayed; Ashkenaz, Sefard, Ar”I, maybe Carlebach? Also the concept of fasting for three days isn’t really selling well. After-all many stores are complaining that although they are opened on Shabbat and holidays, they are already closed on Yom Kippur and that is devastating enough for their businesses. The Chasidim are concerned with what they will eat after the fast. Things are not going well...How will this Purim story end?
So here we are. We are up to the 10th similarity between Purim 2300 years ago and today
10)   There the story of the salvation of the Jewish people started when the Non-Jewish wicked King married Queen Esther. This year the salvation of the Jewish people will as well begin with a wedding. This time it is a wedding of Shoshana to Yaakov- both are Jewish incidentally. At this wedding Jews of all stripes will come from all over the world to celebrate. For the night we will forget all of our differences and just party and celebrate the creation of a new holy family in Israel. The wedding will take place-B’Chutzot Yerushalayim- as that great prophecy of Isaiah was about the time of redemption- Od Yeshoma bi’arei Yehudah u’vchutzot Yerushalayim- It will be heard once again in the cities of Judah and the outskirts of Jerusalem- Kol sason v’kol simcha kol chatan vkol kalla- the sound of happiness and rejoicing the sound of the bride and the groom. Hashem looks down on this joyous festive occasion and smiles and celebrates with us. He even gets a big kick that there’s chulent there as well. He says, Y’see I knew you could get this right. I knew that my children could come home. You could all get along. You could sing songs to My name. Let’s go build the Temple. I’m ready to come home.
The Jews sing Shoshanat Yaakov, after the finish reading Megilas Schwartz-which is pretty long-although there are some that just skip down to the jokes and others that leave early and make an early Minyan before the speech. It’s the first time that they understood that this song was always about that ultimate wedding of Shoshana and Yaakov. Our sages tell us that when Mashiach comes all of the other holidays will become null. Only the holiday of Purim will remain. A Jewish wedding is forever. This is the holiday when we all become one with another. The wealthy, the poor, our friends and our neighbors we are all giving gifts and exchanging packages. We are all dressed up because the externalities don’t make a difference any more. We are wedded to our Father in Heaven as we receive and accept His Torah once again. This love if forever and thsu Purim is forever. May Hashem see to it that this Purim is the first as Jews redeemed once again in our Temple.
Have an exuberantly joyous Purim,
Rabbi Ephraim ben Esther Baila Schwartz
(PS For previous years funny Purim Rabbi Schwartz's Top Ten List click on the link below
(Top ten reasons to use Rabbi Schwartz as a tour guide)
(Top ten reasons to use Rabbi Schwartz as a tour guide)
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Send shalach manos to our brave Neturie Karta and Shalom Achshav Breaking wind and Silence soldiers who put their lives on the line daily meeting with enemies of the state of Israel
in order to achieve everlasting peace and terror in the new Jewish state of Uganda. Your shalach manos may even make them smile although that is very not common. It is made out of 100% pashkivilim recyclable paper and no products are made in the West Bank occupied Israel instead we have found some poor Palestinians to steal the food, and include a picture of some martyr inside each one. We will inclide shovels so they may dig their tunnels to Gehenom with. And we have included a copy of  Terrorism for Dummies and that Gaza best seller “when 69 virgins just isn’t enough”  Each Shalach Manos will be packed in a katyusha shell to give them the full simcha experience. Every few Katyushas will still be live ammo which will also give our dear friends an extra boom during megilla reading for haman.
"Az ikh nem a trink bronfn vert ich an andereh mentsh, un der anderer vil oych a trik bronfn."- When I take a drink I become another person, and the other person wants a drink too.
“So how’s it hanging?”
“Bet you can’t say all of our names in one breath”
“Why does Dad smell like garbage?”
Parshandatha, Dalphon, Aspatha, Poratha, Adalia, Aridatha, Parmashta, Arisai, Aridai, and Vajezatha the ten sons of Haman (boooooo...) 14th   of Adar this Thursday-So these miserable little kids, who spent years in therapy dealing with the bizarre nature of their names. They had a father who pretty much had them bow down to him every morning and a mother who pretty much was their fathers number one fan club until she wasn’t. These kids had pretty high aspirations in life, 50 cubits high to be precise. They were always head above shoulders of everyone else in their class until the very end. They hung out quite a bit and ironically Esther thought it would be cute if they hungover for another day on the 15th of Adar as well. Hey Jerusalem needed an excuse for another day of party.
Now I’m sure there are some bleeding heart Jews that feel bad for these 10 little dopplegangsters. So our sages assure us that they were pretty much as bad as their father Haman was. Just take a look at the some of the clues in their names and the way that three of them have small letters written in the Megilla
PARSHANDAtA (spelled with a small tav). He tried to destroy the Torah by stopping the reading and the learning of the Torah. The Torah is spelled with a small taf for Torah tht he would minimize.
PARMAshTA (a small shin). He tried to destroy the observance of Shabbos.
VAYzATA (a small zayin). He tried to destroy the observance of the major Jewish holidays which are celebrated on seven days.
Here’s my interpretation of the rest of their sins based on their names-
DALPHON- probably killed dolphins
ASPATHA- made fun asmathics- he would actually say his name is gasp-atha the g is not pronounced in Persian
PORATHA- He was a socialist Democrat his slogan being poor for others- the New yawk accent made it Otha’s
ARIData- Yeah like you guessed, horrible armpit smell, for not using arid antiperspirant
ADALIA- He was the worst offender. There was a mitzva of Ad Dlo yoda to drink until you do not know anymore between blessed and cursed and he would stop everyone and say Ad Dalia distorting the text and making people think they should only drink until Dalia- the bartender stopped pouring.
ARISAI- his name was actually a self-fulfilling prophecy. He would stop people on the corner and pick them up and hold them above the ground and say “Are we this high?” Maybe this high? Mida Kneged Mida he was actually hung the highest of all of his brothers.
AriDai- similar to his older brother he would just Are we die? Are we die? To the Jews before he would kill them. Yeah English wasn’t their first language. It was kind of like Persiabonics. Alternatively all of these names are various types of Pasta and Chinese dishes that these children enjoyed eating. Which is why Jews to get back at them eat and love Chinese. “I’ll have your hot and sour arisai soup with dalphon noodles please”. Or “I’ll have some Parmashtana cheese in my Adalia shaped Pasta with a sprinkling of aspatha
May their bones rot in hell forever.
So Rashi comes home one day and his wife asks him what he thinks of her new dress. Rash takes a look at it and points out that although it is a beautiful color it seems that sleeves are slightly long and narrow. In addition he tells her that the truth is the dress is somewhat redundant as in her closet there is a similar dress already that she had recently purchased that was just as pretty. Finally he notes that there is a store not too far away that seems to have the same style clothing at a better price.
Rashi’s wife throws up her hands in frustration. “Do you really have to comment on everything?!!”
It was Purim 1986 Long Beach New York. I was junior in High School. It was my first Purim in yeshiva. Only “the out-of-towners” were allowed to stay. The highlight of a Long Beach Purim was collecting. The Israel Purim Fund (IPF) conceived in Ling Beach was charged with raising money for Pesach and Sukkos for needy families in Israel. We had our lists, our cars and our costumes already and we headed out on the road, with our deignated driver of course, to do our duty for the families in Israel. Things weren’t going that great for us. After a few hours of knocking on doors, we were still quite short of our goal. Then we came to one guys house, who made us an offer that he would give the strongest-or stupidest one of us $50 for every shot we took of his finest Arak. Not one to shirk from a challenge, and having had a few shots already. I turned to him and asked him if we would give us $500 for the rest of the bottle. He looked a little taken aback and asked what I meant. Rather then going through the tedious process of explaining I just grabbed the bottle and glug glug glugged it down. It was a better night from then on in. It pretty much culminated a few houses later, when I couldn’t see out of the beak of this smelly chicken costume I was wearing and I asked this really 7 foot tall friend of mine-some of you might know him... to lead me into the house. He did. Right over the side of the couch, after which our rather shocked host’s children promptly jumped up and down on my chicken costume. After which my guts started to turn... It was a memorable evening. The first time Rabbi Schwartz got drunk on Purim. Truly a historic event that has been repeated over time and time again-although not in front of my mother- by my children.
Donald Trump and HaRabi Mi Lubavitch...almost... great song!
A ‘Gevalt’Purim story by the’ holiest of the holies’ Reb Shlomo Carlebach
Non-Jews do Purim...
New York Boys Choir Marbin BSimcha

Mix of Jewish Purim Songs
1) Why are the currency exchange rates in the hotels such rip-offs?
2) Why are the lights to the bathrooms outside of the bathroom? Part B to this question why are the bathroom doors the only ones with windows.
3) If this is a Jewish State, why are there so many churches here? Mosques? Don’t we Jews believe that its kind of like idolatry?
4) Why do Jewish sites in the State of Israel make such a big deal and romanticize the Crusaders-weren’t they kind of like the Nazi’s of the middle ages? Didn’t they like decimate all your Jewish communities in Europe an Israel?
5) Is there a reason why your national parks close like in middle of the afternoon at 4:00 or 5:00 PM times when tourists would like to come visit them, particularly during high seasons. I mean no one is really coming at 8:00 or 8:30 AM when you open, so why not just stay open later so people can actually come there and eat lunch in the same day.
6) It is very nice that you guys write signs for your tourists in English, but does it cost that more to actually get someone that speaks and writes English to write them for you? Part B to this question: what is it with the letter Q. Quiryat Arba, Quiryat Shmona, Bnai Braq Quarmiel-ok at least you didn’t get that one wrong. Part C: how many ways can you spell the city of Tzfat, Safed, Safad, Sfat, Tsfat, Tzefat, Can’t somebody figure this out already?
7) Finally, why are you letting bad people kill your people in your streets, that scare us off from coming to your country. You all have guns. Isn’t the point of them to use them to get rid of them?
There are three Amalekite women, one is a blonde one is a brunette and one is a red head. They are all standing before their Jewish firing squad Purim morning. The guard brings the brunette up to the executioner. He asks do you have any last words? She says No. Then the executioner shouts ready...aim... EARTHQUAKE! screams the brunette, Everyone looks around and she escapes.
Then the angry guard gets the red head. The executioner asks her the same thing. She says ‘No’. The the executioner yells ready...aim...and then the red head shouts TORNADO! Everyone looks around and she escapes too.
By then the blonde understands why the two other women were screaming. When the executioner asks the same question she as well responds not. The guard then yells ready...aim...and the blonde yells FIRE!
How is an Amalekite like an apple? They both look good hanging from a tree.
So Haman’s dumb blonde Amalekite daughter decides to kill herself after puring garbage on him by mistake. She goes to the park and finds a tree and strings herself up.
A few days later, a man was walking his dog and spotted her hanging from the tree. He asks the blonde what she is doing and she replies, "I'm hanging myself."
"You're supposed to put the noose around your neck, not your waist," said the onlooker. "I tried that," replied the blonde, "but I couldn't breathe."
Haman’s grandson comes running into the kitchen and says, "Mommy, mommy! Grandpa hanged himself in the living room!"
His mother runs into the living room, and sees no one there. Angrily, she says, "Listen. You should never lie like that to me again, do you understand!?!"
"I'm sorry," says the boy. "I was just kidding. He’s hanging in the backyard."
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Thursday, March 17, 2016

Two Names one People- Vayikra/ Zachor 2016/5776

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

March 17th 2016 -Volume 6, Issue 24 7th Adar II 5776
Parshat Vayikra/Zachor

Two Names One People

Mazel Tov it was a boy! The Rosen family were overjoyed. Another addition to their family another child to add to Hashem’s precious family. As they were getting ready for the Bris though they began to undertake the process of coming up with a name for their little yingeleh. All the arrangements had been made, they had the Mohel, the bagels and lox had already been ordered, yet they were still struggling with what they should call him. They had talked to their Rabbi about some ideas and their Rabbi had told them that every Jewish parent is blessed with divine inspiration when it comes to naming their child. A Jewish name is not just a moniker by which you call someone. It is a holy soul that comes down from heaven with a specific purpose and mission in this world and the names that we bear based describe our essence and by which we draw our inspiration to fulfill that lifelong aspiration. Yet they were struggling and praying to find that inspiration to “name him right”.
Mrs. Rosen spoke to her father the Thursday evening before their Sunday bris and he mentioned to her that he had a grandfather who was a very special person who had yet to have someone named after him. His name was David Chai and if they would name their child after him it would certainly be a merit for his soul as well as role model for their young son. Sunday came along and as they got up to name the baby the name that they both had came up with that somehow seemed to be just right was…Netanel Yaakov. They weren’t sure where it came from but for some reason it just struck them as being a great name. A great name…
Later that day Mrs. Rosen’s mother called her up and said the she had received a phone call from a friend who told her how meaningful it was that her daughter had chosen to name her child Netanel Yaakov after the father and son Netanel and Yaakov Litman who had been killed on the Friday before the Bris in a terrorist attack that one of our local loose Arab animals perpetuated targeting this family that were driving to the Shabbat Chatan-the Shabbat before the wedding of their daughter. Yaakov age 44 and his son Netanel were murdered in that attack. Now since the attack took place on Friday afternoon here in Israel, after it was already Shabbos in America, the Rosens didn’t have any clue about the attack, let alon the names of the victims. The name to them certainly seemed like a true Divine inspiration and something very meaningful.
The story itself seemed fascinating enough, yet as they started to do research into the family and the names that had been Divinely chosen for their son, they were absolutely blown away. For as they read articles about the special people that they had named their son after they were shocked to find out that each of the two Kedoshim/holy martyrs that were killed for the mere fact that they were Jewish and lived and loved Eretz Yisrael, had a second name. Yackov’s full name was Yackov Dovid and Netanel’s name was Netanel Chai. It was as if the grandfather Dovid Chai that they had thought about naming their son after had chosen these names of these two holy martyrs for them. The living and the dead, the murdered and the newly born, the generations past and the future generations of the Jewish people were all connected. Despite being separated by time zones, oceans, and worlds the Jewish soul is one and can feel and connect with one another; both in their time of joy and tragedy.
This week, the week before the holiday of Purim, we begin reading Parshat Vayikra. Last week we concluded the book of Shemos; the book of the names of the Jewish people. The progression of our nation as one that came down as a family to Egypt in the last book to becoming “one nation, under God, indivisible”- with holiness and sanctity for all, takes place in this week’s Parsha and in its opening commandment to a book that delineates the laws of sacrifices and offerings- the Jewish means of raising up the mundane in this world to the highest of highs. The book begins with Hashem calling to Moshe and commanding him to speak to Bnai Yisrael (Vayikra 1:2)
And you shall say to them –
Adam ki yakriv mikem korban la’Hashem min Ha’beheima,min ha’bakar umin ha’tzon takirvu es korbanchem- A man when he shall bring from you an offering to Hashem from the cattle, the cows and from the sheep they shall bring their sacrifices.
The Torah, which as we know is always specific in the terms that it uses, utilizes the word Adam- man to present this mitzva and in fact to introduce the entire concept of sacrifices. The Talmud tells us in the name of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai (Yevamos 61a)
You are are called Adam-man, and gentiles are not referred to as Adam”
Now this would seem strange as the utilization of the name Adam, which as Rashi notes is a reference to the first Man of the world, Adam, and a reference to the first sacrifice that was brought in the world which he brought, was before there was even a Jewish people. Adam was the father of all mankind including our dear gentile neighbors. In addition Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch notes that the sacrifices of the Temple were meant to be brought by all the nations of the world. “For my house is a house of worship for all the nations-says Hashem”, in the ultimate description of the Temple to be built and the role of the Jewish people to build it. Yet at the same time Rav Hirsch notes that the mitzvah here is specifically given to the Jewish people, the Bnai Yisrael.
It is also interesting to note that the Torah keeps switching from the plural to the singular form in this portion of sacrifices. Adam-A man, singular, that brings Mikem-from you plural, they shall bring their sacrifices. There is something strange going on here. Something that our Divine editor wishes us to note.
There is a story of the great Rebbe Yonasan Eibishutz who once met a priest on a train who asked him to explain this statement of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai. Is the Talmud truly making that rather sounding statement that non-Jews are not considered Adam- people. It seems that the idea that anyone besides the Jews are allowed to be de-humanized, troubled him. Reb Yonasan explained to him that there are many words for man in the Torah. The word Ish is certainly the most common, when it is pluralized it becomes Anashim-men. Similarly the word for soul- Neshoma, which we believe that every human possesses regardless of the fallacies and ludicrousness of the mistaken faiths that they may practice-OK maybe he didn’t say it exactly like that- what can I say I’m not Rebbe Yonasan- can also be pluralized as Neshamot- souls. The word Adam however is a unique word that cannot be pluralized. Adam is a single man and also can be utilized as the plural men. This is a term that is unique to the Jewish people who share one common soul, are connected one to the other, something that each nation in the world which has its distinct identity and for whom each individual that may even join together to form one nation do not possess.
The great Frankfort leader of the 18th century Rav Pinchas Horowitz known as the Baal Hafla’ah after the wondrous work that he wrote, notes that the Talmud states (Yoma 86B)
“That an individual who does Teshuva and repents from having sinned is forgiven and the entire world is forgiven with him”
The reason he suggests why the entire world necessitates forgiveness, when one person sins is because when a Jews sins there is a law of responsibility and connection that each Jew has for one another. The sin and the disgrace of it all is upon all of us. We know this. Is there not a time that we open up a newspaper and read some scandal that a Jew causes-god forbid, that we do not feel mortified about and even somewhat culpable for. It’s not just Jewish guilt. It’s that our souls feel connected to that Jew. It’s as if our own arm stole, our leg wouldn’t feel any less guilty. At the same time when a tragedy occurs, or when a Jew is in danger we all unite as if it is our own. The opposite is true as well. When a Jew preforms an act of Kiddush Hashem- that sanctifies Gods name n this world. When a Jew celebrates a Simcha, a happy occasion a Bar mtizva, a wedding, a birth, it’s the nations Simcha. Go to the Kotel on any Monday or Thursday and watch how many people join in and feel the joy of the celebrations that are taking place there. We are one. The ‘I’ and the ‘we’, the Adam and the “their” sacrifices and offering are one and the same. The individual atonement is one that is for all of us.
That is our introduction to the book of Vayikra. That is the transition from the book when we were a family that became a nation as one, to the next stage when we recognize that ultimately are nation that will create a house of Hashem for the entire world to come close to Hashem, is Adam- a man, one man, one that will always appreciate the connection that no matter how diverse and scattered we are, we are always one.
This week we celebrate the holiday of Purim-stay tuned for the annual Rabbi Schwartz upcoming traditional Purim E-Mail- and the essence of Purim the entire destruction of the Jewish people almost came about because the wicked Haman (boooo…) accused us before Achashverosh as being a nation that is scattered and divided amongst the nations. On face value, that certainly seems to be the case. We are everywhere. We’ve been everywhere. We speak different languages, we have different customs, we dress differently and we raise our families differently. Yet Haman missed the boat. The story of the Megilla shifts when Esther gives that command to the Jews all around the world to gather and unite and pray for her before she enters into the King to beseech for her people. And we did. Because the Jew in Persia, Russia, Iran, Syria, China, Yemen, Africa, India, Timbuktu and the good old US of A are all one people. We share one soul and as such we are eternal. We are invincible and as Divine as the soul that we all share. That is the essence of the Jew. The name Netanel Yaakov means that God has given to Yaakov. David Chai is that the house of King David lives. May Hashem give to the children of Yaakov, who shall sing the song of Shoshanat Yaakov this Purim, the ability to finally see the house of David once again restored as we celebrate our redemption once again together.
  Have a memorable amalek Smashingly joyous Shabbos,
Rabbi Ephraim Schwartz



https://youtu.be/-EbHfje2WlQ   –The name heard around the world video of the story above.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlV0h4JPid0 – Song I’m loving this week Mahpecha Shel Simcha-revolution of Joy (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k_vKTzGQi-A) with subtitles but not the most dressed of audience at this concert)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aqt-WpIao3g#t=0   Haman HaRasha by my dear friend and the best arranger in the world Yitzy Berry!

“Besser ain freint mit gekechts aider hundert mit a krechts”- “Better one friend with a cooked dish than a hundred with a sigh”


“I really don’t know the answer to your question. All I know is that people who come to me with questions of Jewish Law once, often return a second time, with something else to ask. So I imagine they are satisfied with the answers they receive.”- in response to a Seattle judge who questioned how and why he was declared the greatest authority on Jewish law in his time.

“The best response to personal attacks is no response”

“In Europe one would never say the wagon is here rather the ‘Baal Agala’- the wagon-driver has arrived. In America they say ‘the car is here’ and individual is not given the proper respect he is due”

Tell your son, the Moshe Feinstien knows some short people that know how to learn quite well”-to a father whose son was getting made fun of because of his shortness.”

Rav Moshe Feinstien 13th   of Adar this Friday (1895 – 1986)-I remember his funeral as if it was yesterday. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in the lower East Side to pay our last respects and to cry and mourn together the tremendous loss of the Jewish people of one of its greatest leaders. It was raining and it covered up the tears that many shed for the Gadol Ha’Dor. It was a strange Purim that year rejoicing after such a devastating loss to the Jewish people. What would we do without him?
Reb Moshe, as the Torah world fondly called him was perhaps the greatest Halachic decisor of the generation of Jews that came to replant our nation on the new foreign shores of America. He dealt expertly and sensitively with all of the questions that faced our people. The first question in his classic work Igrot Moshe the compendium of the various responsa he gave on halachic questions to the hundreds of thousands of Jews including the greatest leaders and Rabbi of the world, is whether a Jew is obligated wear a Yarmulka-head covering if it would mean giving up a job back in the early discriminatory American work place. He addresses issues that include issues as significant and detailed as organ transplantation, “time of death”, Marriages and Divorces performed by individuals that were not Torah observant, permissibility of a husband to ride with his wife in labor on Shabbat in a car, plastic surgery for cosmetic purposes, a seeing eye dog ina  synagogue, the status of commercially sold milk that was not observed by a Jewish Mashgiach, the halachic status of a corporation in regards to interest and the status of Eruvs in metropolitan communities. There wasn’t an area of knowledge or a medical or technological development that he didn’t explore and examine in how it would impact the Jewish world.
 At the same time, though, he was a man of the people. There was a woman that knocked on his door one day while he was old and sick towards the end of his life who demanded to see him. When Rav Moshe’s son asked what was so urgent she explained that she had a letter from her sister in Russia that she needed translating. When the son asked incredulously, why she felt that this was something that was worthy of troubling the great sage with. She told him that for the past 30 years he had always translated her letters for her. He was someone that knew the name of every nurse and doctor that helped him as well as the garbage collectors and the postman. He once directed his student who was going through one of the automatic toll booths on the Garden State Parkway that he should always use the booth with an attendant that way he can express his appreciation to the person for being there and his service.
Reb Moshe personified someone who’s Torah was the greatest passion of his life. Any spare moment he had was dedicated to its study and his writing. His daughter recalls how she was once waiting outside of his office to speak to him for him to look up from his studying and his books…it never happened. Finally her mother told her that if she is waiting for him to stop learning that was not going to happen if she needed something she should just ask. His students all describe how he encouraged them to go all over the United States and build communities. He would very easily give semicha/Rabbinic ordination to them, writing his phone number on each letter of approbation telling them that they could and should call him with any question that they had.
Rav Moshe was taken from this world in the yar 5746 and someone noted that the 5746th verse in the Torah (Devarim 31:24) is “And it came to pass after Moshe had finished writing down the words of this Torah in a book to the very end.” The books and stories and inspiration of Reb Moshe lives on amongst Klal Yisrael. May his merit continue to serve as well.

answer below at end of Email
Q. An archaeological finding from the Second Temple period in the Israel Museum is:
A.    The Shiloah Inscription
B.  Anthropoid
C.  The Theodotos Inscription 
D.  The Wadi Mishmar (Nahal Mishmar) treasure

The principles of the Torah and its incredible depth and relevant can be found in even the seemingly most minute details of the wording and laws that tragically we seem to feel are so not relevant and perhaps therefore mot interesting to us. The laws of the sacrifices that were brought in the book of Vayikra are perhaps the area where we find it the most challenging to find relevant messages for our daily lives from. That is until we look at Rashi who gives us insights and understandings that are truly the essense of what it means to be a Jew.
In the third verse of this weeks portion the Torah tells us
IF one brings a Olah (fully burnt sacrifice) as his offering from a pure male cow he shall bring it to the entrance of the Ohel Moed (the tent of gathering), bring him close according to his will before Hashem”
Rashi noting the superfluous bringing it according to his will and the repetition of the bringing of the offering teaches us that they would force him to bring it even by force, however you might think Rashi tells us, that one might think that this means even against his will. Therefore the Torah teaches us that it must be according to his will. “We force him until he says “I am willing”
The Chatam Sofer notes the incredible insight of this verse and law brought down by Rashi, by noting that is says He shall bring it-even by force only until the entrance to the Ohel Moed, however once he enters the Ohel Moed however it will all change in his great words
“That Jew that lives in afar out village and is busy and overwhelmed head and shoulders in his livelihood and working the earth, eventually becoming so used to and completely accustomed to only the material world, to the point that if you tell him that he should go and study some Torah or involve himself in some Divine service it would seem like a punishment for him, However when he comes to the holy city whose beauty is the ‘song of the land and the nation’s and he sees people who have wealth and abundance and yet their main desire and pursuit is spirituality, Torah and the service of Hashem. He sees the holy work of the Temple and the Kohanim, the servants of Hashem all cleaving to Hashem and His Torah. As well the sanctity of the place will cause enthusiasm and feelings of inspiration and awakening for Hashem. Then his heart will sing like a harp to get close to Hashem, his Torah, His service, to serve Him with a complete heart and a desirous spirit and to be as dust under the heels of the feet of the scholars and their students and the children of Aharon the anointed priests, the teachers of Torah Then the sacrifice he will bring will be according to his will; he will have an offering with great joy.”
Many times we are obligated and we are engaged in doing outreach work or even in-reach work to those that don’t have as inspired Judaism as we all should. We are obligated to “force’ someone to come close, to bring them closer to that inspiration. Yet at the end of the day, we have to recognize and appreciate that ultimately it is only to the front door. The Torah and its wisdom and teachings have the power to inspire themselves. The Torah tells us that if we get them to the door, they will ultimately come close according to their own will. They will say Rotzeh Ani- I am willing. May all of us make it to that doorway soon.


Mivtza Uvda liberation of Eilat/ Conclusion of the War of Independence War10th Adar 1949- Since November 29th 1947 when the United Nations voted on the two State Solution for “Palestine” a Jewish State and Arab State, when the Jews said “Hooray!” and the Arabs said “No Way” The War of independence started getting hot. In May of 1948 when the British concluded their pullout from the country the fighting was fierce between the fledgling Haganah Israel Defense Force and the 8 Arab countries that sought to push us into the sea. The last action before the end of the war was to conquer the country all the way down through the Negev to Eilat and the Red Sea giving us access to that the strategic port. Two forces the Golani and the Negev brigades raced down opposite ends of the country and the Negev Desert to be the first to achieve the success of the mission and to be the first down. The winners were the Golani brigade and they didn’t even have a flag with them to raise to mark off Israeli conquered territory which would remain ours as agreed upon in our ceasefire agreements that was meant to take place that evening. So they drew the beautiful two blue stripes and star on a white sheet that they had and hung it up until the Negev brigade arrived and it was replaced with a regular Israeli flag. Right after that conquest the agreement was finalized and the interim government of Ben Gurion officially became the first government of the newly born State of Israel. Mazel Tov! Talk about a happy Purim !


So the congregation was getting offended that their Rabbi was using the pulpit as a forum to discuss politics. The president had a long talk with the Rabbi and for quite a few weeks the Rabbi struggled and pretty much cut out all jokes from his weekly sermons. If there wasn’t going to be political jokes then there weren’t going to be any jokes.  Finally it was Parshat Zachor- the portion that discussed the Mitzva to wipe out that evil nation of Amalek. The Rabbi couldn’t resist so he discussed it with his president and before getting up told him that he would start reintroducing jokes into his weekly Drashot, yet he was going to stick to the Parsha at hand. This week for instance he was going to share with them the only Amalekite joke in his arsenal. The president was quite relieved, that was until the Rabbi got up and began his sermon with “There were these two Amalekites that walked into the bar, Barak and Hillary…”

Haman’s Report Card
Dear Parents of Haman,
I must inform you that although the school year is fresh, your boy is already failing miserably.
Here are a few points to consider.
Frankly, it would make things a lot easier for everyone here – i.e. our teachers, students and the ‘Royal Baker’ who decorates your son’s birthday cake, if we could abbreviate your son’s name from:
Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, son of Agag, grandson of of Amalek, son of the concubine of Eliphaz, the firstborn son of Esau…
Morning attendance takes forever. By the time we finish reading his name, the class is over.
More to the point; your son is a mess. I blame the ADD for his obsession with woodwork. His attention to detail is excessive. I just can’t get him to put down the wood.
And just what is going on over at your house anyway? What are you… a family of woodpeckers? What are you guys building over at your place? God forbid the kid sees a termite and goes insane.
Shifting gears, I’d like to focus on character development for a moment. Would you not agree that a person’s character is best reflected by the company he keeps? Your boy only talks to people who bow down to him. What does that say?
Although I’m pleased with the exceptional pride he derives from carpentry, I’m not happy with his overall attitude. Specifically, his predilection to play hangman and the lotteries to the exclusion of everything else.
And while we’re on the subject, I find his obsession with astrology and his fondness for gallows humor a little more than slightly disturbing.
I worry that given enough rope, he just might hang himself. Because like the song says: “when Haman loves a woman…”
P.S. Please stop sending 3-cornered pastries for lunch. Your son refuses to share.

Yankel decided he wanted to join the Hancock country club, run by the local “Amalikite New England anti-semites that had instituted a policy that no Jews were permitted in the club. So he changed his name to Haman Aggagi the Third a nice gentile name thought. He retained a plastic surgeon to change his appearance to an anglo-saxon dignified look. And took tutoring lessons to alter his lower East Side Yiddish accent to the honorable  upper-class linguistics of Martha’s Vineyard.
The big day comes and he shows up for his interview before the membership committee.
“Please state your name” asks the distinguished WASPy chairman.
“Haman Aggagi the Third” he responded
“And where were you educated Mr. Aggagi?”
“Oh the usual places Eton Oxford, Yale…”
And your religion?”
Yankeleh hesitated and then answered confidently, “Goy”

An Amalekite is drinking in a bar. He notices a Jew sitting at a table nearby and doesn't like it.
"Bartender!" he says, nodding at the Jew, "A round of the good stuff for everyone except him!"
Everyone happily receives a glass of premium scotch.
The Amalekite looks over at the Jew with a smug grin.
The Jew smiles back.
The Amalekite loses his satisfied expression.
"Bartender! Give everyone a drink of your finest, plus an appetizer!"
He looks directly at the Jew and adds, "Everyone except the Jew."
The Jewish man looks at the Amaleki, and smiles again.
Furious, he says, "Is that Jew just stupid or pretending to be?"
"Oh no, sir, he's the owner."

Answer is C – I liked this question. Not that archeology is my favorite topic but it’s a good one because it makes you think about the different finds and their periods. The Shiloah inscription as everyone who has toured Hezkiah’s tunnel knows was found in the water tunnel which marked where the two groups of diggers/engineers who quqrried out the tunnel to connect the water from the pool to the city of David. Hezkiah’s tunnel was from the period of King Hezkiah obviously in the first Temple period. An anthropoid is a coffin or mummy form the Egyptian period even before Abraham and our forefathers. We have found some in the Jezre’el valley. The Wadi Mishmar treasure found near Ein Gedi was a cave that contained all types of copper and stone vessels and items that date back to the Calcolithic period- you know what that is right? The copper period for those that have forgotten what we mentined here quite a few times. Which of course leaves the correct answer as being the Thodotus inscription found in the synagogue in the City of David one of the oldest synagogues in the world, as the entire concept of the synagogue only starts at the end of the period of the 2nd Temple. The inscription states that Theodotus, who dedicated the synagogue for people from abroad as a place to study Torah and learn about the commandments and even had bathouses as well. Back then synagogues were not places of prayer as we had the sacrifices in the Temple then. Rather they were places of community gathering which is why they are called Beit Knesset not Beit Tefila; JCC’s rather then shuls. And there you have it.