Thursday, 2 July 2009

Israel Matzav: Progress: Honor killingnow punishable by two years in prison in Syria

Israel Matzav: Progress: Honor killingnow punishable by two years in prison in Syria

Israel Matzav: Chutzpa: Iran asks Interpol to arrest doctor who tried to save dying girl

Israel Matzav: Chutzpa: Iran asks Interpol to arrest doctor who tried to save dying girl

Israel Matzav: Russia: 'If you don't want us to sell the S-300 to Iran, you buy it'

Israel Matzav: Russia: 'If you don't want us to sell the S-300 to Iran, you buy it'

Israel Matzav: Hmmm: Egypt wants to buy the S-400 to defend against... Iran?

Israel Matzav: Hmmm: Egypt wants to buy the S-400 to defend against... Iran?

Israel Matzav: Barak and Mitchell: No agreement; UPDATE: Video added

Israel Matzav: Barak and Mitchell: No agreement; UPDATE: Video added

Israel Matzav: Is Obama pro-fascist ?

Israel Matzav: Is Obama pro-fascist?

Israel Matzav: Obama's bumbling his chance for peace

Israel Matzav: Obama's bumbling his chance for peace

Israel Matzav: Meridor: 'We never had a deal with a Republican administration; we had an agreement with the United States'

Israel Matzav: Meridor: 'We never had a deal with a Republican administration; we had an agreement with the United States'

Israel Matzav: Iran blows a gasket over Peres trip to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan

Israel Matzav: Iran blows a gasket over Peres trip to Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan

Israel Matzav: He's Barack Obama!

Israel Matzav: He's Barack Obama!

Israel Matzav: MK's to boycott US embassy celebration

Israel Matzav: MK's to boycott US embassy celebration

The Torah Revolution: David Miliband & Co.

The Torah Revolution: David Miliband & Co.




Obama tells Jews where they can live

Exclusive: Joseph Farah asks why U.S. supports creation of a new 'anti-Semitic hate state'

By Joseph Farah

Barack Obama is taking what he and his administration refer to as "a more balanced approach to Middle East policy."

Let me explain what that literally means in real terms.

It means the U.S. government is now using its clout with Israel to insist Jews, not Israelis, mind you, but Jews, be disallowed from living in East Jerusalem and the historically Jewish lands of Judea and Samaria, often referred to as the West Bank.

I want you to try to imagine the outrage, the horror, the outcry, the clamoring, the gnashing of teeth that would ensue if Arabs or Muslims were told they could no longer live in certain parts of Israel – let alone their own country.

Of course, that would never happen with "a more balanced approach to the Middle East."
It's the 1930s all over again. This time, it's the enlightened liberal voices of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama who are telling Jews where they can live, how they can live and how far they must bend if they want to live at all.

I know you haven't heard it put like this before. I don't really understand why. There is simply no other accurate way to explain the machinations behind the latest demands on Israel from the West and the rest of the world.

WND's Aaron Klein gets to the heart of Israel's decline in his new book, "The Late Great State of Israel: How Enemies Within and Without Threaten the Jewish Nation's Survival"

Israel is being reduced to "Auschwitz borders." Jews have already been told they can no longer live in the Gaza Strip. Now they are being told they can no longer choose to live in any of the areas being set aside by international elites for a future Palestinian state.

Again, I ask, "Why would internationalists seek to create, by definition, a racist, anti-Jewish state that doesn't even tolerate the mere presence of Jews?"

Can anyone answer that question for me?

Obama and Clinton – and, thus, by definition, you and me, the taxpayers of the United States – have determined they will yield to the racist, bigoted, anti-Semitic demands of the Palestinian Authority that no Jews be allowed to live in their new state.

I like to think that in any other part of the world, this kind of effort at ethnically cleansing a region would be roundly condemned by all civilized people. Yet, because most people simply don't understand the clear, official plan by the Arab leaders to force out all Jews from the new Palestinian state, the policies of capitulation retain a degree of sympathy, even political support, from much of the world.

Think about what I am saying: It is the official policy of the Palestinian Authority that all Jews must get off the land! Why is the United States supporting the creation of a new, racist, anti-Semitic hate state? Why is the civilized world viewing this as a prescription for peace in the region? Why is this considered an acceptable idea?

Is there any other place in the world where that kind of official policy of racism and ethnic cleansing is tolerated – even condoned?

Why are the rules different in the Middle East? Why are the rules different for Arabs? Why are the rules different for Muslims?

Why are U.S. tax dollars supporting the racist, anti-Semitic entity known as the Palestinian Authority?

That's what we do when we forbid "settlement construction," repairs, natural growth, additions to existing communities.

This is "balance"? Are there any impositions upon the Arabs and Muslims suggesting they can no longer move to Israel? No. Are there any impositions on Arabs and Muslims suggesting they cannot buy homes in Israel? No. Are there any impositions on Arabs and Muslim suggesting they cannot repair their existing homes in Israel? No. Are there any impositions on Arabs or Muslims suggesting the cannot build settlements anywhere they like? No.

Now, keep in mind, there are already quite a few Arab and Muslim states in the Middle East. Many of them already forbid Jews to live in them. Some prohibit Christians as well. But now, the only Jewish state in the world, and one that has a claim on the land dating back to the days of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, is being told Jews must keep off land currently under their own control, but destined for transfer to people who hate them, despise them, want to see them dead and will not even accept living peacefully with them as neighbors.

All the while, Israel continues to hold out its naïve hand of friendship to the Arabs and the Muslims – welcoming them in their own tiny nation surrounded by hateful neighbors. Arabs and Muslims are offered full citizenship rights – and even serve in elected office. They publish newspapers and broadcast on radio and television freely.

But, conversely, Jews are one step away from eviction from homes they have sometimes occupied for generations. Gaza is about to happen all over again.

I hope my Jewish friends remember this well. Many of them voted for Barack Obama. Many of them voted for Hillary Clinton. These are not your friends. These are the same kinds of people who turned away ships of Jewish refugees from Germany in the 1940s. These are the same kinds of people who appeased Adolf Hitler at Munich. These are the same kinds of people who made the reformation of the modern state of Israel so difficult.

I say, "No more ethnic cleansing. No more official anti-Semitism accepted. No more Jew-bashing. No more telling Jews where they can live, how they can – and if they can live."
taken from B'NAI ELIM (Sons of the Mighty)

CHUKAS (Diaspora) & BALAK (Israel & Diaspora)

By Rabbi Avraham Greenbaum

Shabbat July 4 2009
Torah Reading:
Israel: BALAK Numbers 22:2-25:9 (scroll down for commentary)
Diaspora: CHUKAS Numbers 19:1-22:1 and BALAK Numbers 22:2-25:9
Haftara (all): Micah 5:6-6:8

CHUKAS (Diaspora subscribers only):


Now that we have passed the summer solstice, the days are still long but imperceptibly they are starting to get shorter, as we move inexorably closer to the end of the year and the coming New Year and Days of Awe. The Hebrew letters of the present month, Tammuz, are the initial letters of the phrase Z-MAN T-ESHUVAH M-MASHMESH U-VA, "the Time of Teshuvah is getting closer". The letters of next month, AV, are the initial letters of ELUL BA - "Elul (month of repentance) is on the way". After the month of Av comes Elul itself, and soon afterwards, Rosh HaShanah, Simchas Torah and the conclusion of the annual reading of the Torah.

In the previous parshah, KORACH, we passed the mid-point of the book of Numbers (Numbers 17:20). Korach's conspiracy is not explicitly dated in the Torah narrative, but is considered to have taken place early on during the wanderings of the Children of Israel in the wilderness. The Torah passes over the 38 years of wandering after the sin of the Spies in almost complete silence -- except for a list given later on of the stopping points on the journey, Numbers ch. 33, parshas MAS'EI. In our present parshah of CHUKAS, we move almost imperceptibly from the initial period in the wilderness following the Exodus and the Giving of the Torah, right to the end of the 40 years of wandering and the first stages of the conquest of the Land of Israel.

Parshas CHUKAS begins with the commandment of burning the Red Heiffer and using its ashes for purification from defilement from the dead. This commandment was among the first given to the Children of Israel directly after the Exodus and the Crossing of the Red Sea (Exodus 15:25, see Rashi there). The section about the Red Heiffer as we have it in CHUKAS (Numbers ch. 19) is also listed in the Midrash (Sifra) as one of those given to Moses on the 1st Nissan one year after the Exodus, the day the on which the Sanctuary was erected.

The positioning of the section of the Red Heiffer here -- as we move into the latter part of the book of Numbers and on towards the end of the Torah -- is bound up with its thematic relationship with other sections of our parshah. The commandment of the Red Heiffer, which comes to purify from defilement from contact with the dead, is followed immediately by the narrative of the death of Miriam. ("The death of Tzaddikim atones like the sacrifices" -- Rashi on Numbers 20:1). The death of Miriam took place in the last year of wandering in the wilderness, on the 10th Nissan, exactly a year before the crossing of the Jordan and the entry into the Land. This is the first clue to dating the events in this parshah. The ensuing lack of water in the wilderness caused Moses and Aaron to strike the rock, leading to the decree that they would not enter the Land but die in the wilderness. Moses takes Aaron up Mount Hor to die, while Elazar, his son succeeds him as High Priest. We suddenly have to confront the loss of the elders and leaders of the generation. How do we deal with death?

Without our even noticing the transition, the older generation are leaving one by one, having been replaced by a whole new generation. The new generation -- who are actually the old generation in new bodies -- are now moving inexorably forward to the end and the goal - the Land of Israel. The Generation of the Wilderness have passed on, and the Generation of the Conquest now begin their advance.

As the Torah directs our eyes to the end goal of the wandering in the wilderness -- entry into the Land to fulfill the Torah there -- it first focuses our eyes upon the end goal of man, which is death: "This is the Torah: when a man dies." (Numbers 19:14). For unless we come to terms with death, we cannot truly live. Death is a fact, perhaps the main fact, of life. We are forced to confront it at some time or another. In order to come to terms with it, we have to learn how to look at it.

Thus parshas CHUKAS takes its place in the series of parshas read during the bright summer months of Tammuz, time of Teshuvah, that teach us how to look at various different aspects of life in the correct perspective. BEHAALOSCHAH taught about the purity of vision in general. SHELACH LECHA taught about viewing the world -- and our own selves -- with the eyes of faith despite outward appearances. KORACH taught about how we look at others who may be better than ourselves. CHUKAS now comes to teach us how to look at our mortality, death, the end goal of life, in the right perspective -- for with the right perspective, we can transcend death.

Today, only a decade after we were promised a new order of peace, the world has been plunged before our eyes into an era of global war. Every day we are bombarded with gruesome and horrific images of bloodied, burned, mutilated bodies. It has long ceased to be surprising to hear of new daily outrages in locations far and near. We are hardly aware of how dulled our sensitivities have become to injury, death and suffering. If we were to start weeping as we should, would we have enough tears for all the suffering in the world?

Rabbi Nachman of Breslov teaches that the only way we can transcend suffering is by trying to focus our vision on the faraway, ultimate goal of the entire creation, which is surely completely good. Rabbi Nachman says we must even close our eyes to this world -- close them tight -- so as to keep focussed on this ultimate, transcendent goal, which is to bring the entire universe to perfect unity and completeness through G-d's hidden guidance and providence. (Likutey Moharan 1:65 "Garden of the Souls".)

While no-one can fathom the depths of meaning of the Red Heiffer -- any more than we can fathom the real meaning of death and of life -- we are free to search for hints of meaning in this fascinating commandment, which is the key to complete redemption. This depends upon the restoration of the ashes of the Red Heiffer, because only when we are able to be purified from impurity from contact with the dead can we go up to the Temple, source of LIFE, and carry out all its rituals in the proper way.

What causes defilement from contact with the dead is not the soul of the dead person. It is the physical remains of his or her body. The death and decomposition of the body are very repugnant: they threaten us, both as health hazards and because they undermine our pride and dignity as living human beings. They remind us of our mortality -- "You are earth, and to the earth you will return" -- but we cannot live with such intense awareness of the vanity of the physical world. We are commanded to cover the body, bury it in the earth, put it out of sight. We should not pre-occupy ourselves with the dead (as did the Egyptians). Our job is to keep living, to keep marching to the end goal -- "the Land of Israel".

Thus the priest (son of Aharon, signifying light and vision) takes the pure Red Heiffer -- its redness signifying the harshness of DIN, Strict Judgment, and GEVURAH, Might. The priest sheds the heiffer's blood -- breaking its power. The priest gazes towards the the Holy of Holies and sprinkles the blood of the heiffer towards it. This sprinkling of the blood of the Red Heiffer towards the Holy of Holies was integral to the whole ceremony, which was performed on the Mount of Olives at a spot directly aligned towards the gates of the Temple. The body of the heiffer was then burned on a woodpile and minute quantities of its ashes were mixed with water from a living source to be sprinkled with hyssop on people and utensils that had become defiled.

In breaking the power of Strict DIN, the priest had to look towards the Holy of Holies, because this is the ultimate goal of all creation, the place of complete unit, peace and perfection. Defilement from the dead is very depressing. (The chapters on this subject in Rambam's Mishneh Torah can also be somewhat depressing, as they deal in detail with different parts of the body in varying stages of decomposition, etc.) In order to live we cannot occupy ourselves with death. We must be aware of our mortality, but we must separate ourselves from physical death. The souls of the dead go on living on their plane, and so must we on ours. The seven days of purification from defilement with the dead are seven days of separation from what ought to be the abnormal -- the decaying dead body, which has to be buried and put away -- in order to return to the Land of the Living. It is necessary to be sprinkled with the ashes of the Red Heiffer on the third and seventh days of the week in order to draw renewed strength by repeatedly looking toward the Holy of Holies.

Like the priest breaking the force of severe DIN by gazing towards the Holy of Holies, we too, in order to keep living, must keep our gaze focussed on the Holy of Holies. The Holy of Holies in our lives should be our times of prayer and Torah study, and, in the family context, quality time with our dear ones and especially spouses. These are the best support through all the vicissitudes of life.

* * *

"ARISE, O WELL." (Numbers 21:17)

The living waters with which the ashes of the Red Heiffer are mixed are one of several references to water in our parshah. Notable among the other references are the "Waters of Strife" -- the waters that Moses and Aaron extracted from the Rock, which cost them the privilege of leading the Children of Israel into the Promised Land. This section of the Torah is of course no less profound than the preceding section about the Red Heiffer. Rabbi Nachman saw his explanation of Moses' striking the rock (Likutey Moharan I:20) as being the key to all of his Torah discourses. The bare essence of Rabbi Nachman's teaching is that even the saintly Moses should not have sought "water" -- Torah insight and inspiration -- "by force", i.e. in the merit of his good deeds, his "rod", as a "right". Rather, he should have wept and begged for the waters of Torah as a gift, through prayer. Thus Moses had to atone for his error with the 515 prayers that he offered in the hope of entering the Land of Israel.

It was the death of Miriam that led to the lack of water which made Moses strike the rock. For throughout the forty years of wandering, a miraculous well accompanied the Israelites in the merit of Miriam. Miriam (having the connotation of bitterness) symbolizes the soul of the suffering true Torah scholar ("eat bread with salt, drink water by measure") through whose merit Torah insight comes into the world to inspire the generation. When this soul departs the world, there is a terrible thirst for water, with no one having the power to enlighten and inspire. Each generation needs to dig for the waters of the Torah anew.

The history of Miriam's well is not written explicitly in the Torah text but only allusively. The allusions are brought out in the Aramaic Targum and in Midrashim brought by Rashi on certain verses in our parshah -- such as Numbers 20:10-11 and 21:15ff. This well of the waters of inspiration accompanied the Israelites on all their journeys in the wilderness and provided water for the camp at each of their stopping places. When Miriam died, it disappeared, but it returned in the merit of Moses and traveled with the Israelites on the last stages of their journey through the wilderness. When they entered the Land under Joshua (on 10 Nissan, anniversary of the death of Miriam), the well also entered the land. It traveled to the Kinneret (Sea of Gallilee), where it is said to be visible from mountains to the east as a kind of "sieve" on the surface of the sea. From the depths of the Kinneret, the well is said to feed the waters of Israel's most important water reserve. (The ARI is said to have taken R. Chayim Vital on a boat and given him a cup of this water to drink, after which R. Chayim Vital understood the teachings of his master.)

The final stages of the journey of the Israelites through the wilderness and the first stages in the conquest of the Land of Israel are recounted in our parshah. Their geography is somewhat obscure to many, as they took place in what is today the kingdom of Jordan, which for political reasons remains temporarily out of bounds for Torah lovers. The Israelites were headed to ARVOS MO'AV, the "plains of Moab" east of the River Jordan facing Jericho. There they assembled prior to the entry into the Land in order to hear the final discourses of Moses, which make up the book of Deuteronomy.

Our present parshah describes their journey there. From the wilderness, they advanced around Edom (S.E. of Yam HaMelach, the "Dead" Sea) and Moab (to the east of the southern part of Yam Hamelach), crossing the River Arnon, which flows into the Yam HaMelach from the east, midway from north to south. The Arnon, which meets the sea via a spectacular mountain gorge, is the boundary between Moav, which the Israelites were forbidden to conquer, and the territories to the north, which had been conquered by the Emorites. The narrative of the Israelite conquest of the latter territories begins in our parshah.

The parshah relates that the miracles of the crossing of the Arnon were comparable with the miracles of the crossing of the Red Sea (Numbers 21:14ff.). The Emorites were waiting for the Israelites in caves in the gorge below, but the two sides of the gorge miraculously came together, allowing the Israelites to walk safely above. The Well of Miriam, which traveled with the Israelites, flushed the blood of the dead Emorites out of the gorge so that the Israelites could see the miracles performed for them.

Thus, forty years after the Generation of the Exodus had sung to G-d when they came up from the Red Sea, the Generation of the Conquest sang again as they witnessed the first miracles of the conquest. "That was the well of which HaShem said to Moses, gather the people and I will give them water. Then Israel sang (lit. WILL SING) this song: Arise, O well.!" (Numbers 21:16-17).

The conquest of the Land depends upon Miriam's well -- the well of Torah insight and inspiration. May we soon hear the song of the conquest of the Land for the Torah, for the Holy of Holies and for the glory of HaShem -- quickly in our days!

* * *

UNIVERSAL TORAH: BALAK Numbers 22:2-25:9 (Israel & Diaspora subscribers)

The story of Bilaam and his talking donkey is one of the most strangely picturesque sections of the whole Torah. It is said that one Shabbos, while the holy Rabbi Yitzhak Luria, the ARI, was taking a short nap, his attendant noticed the master's lips moving in his sleep. When he awoke, the attendant asked him: "Master, what were you studying?" "It was a lesson about Bilaam's donkey," replied the ARI. "But if I were to try to explain to you what I learned in those few minutes, the introductions alone would take hundreds of years."

Since the Torah states that "there did not arise another prophet in Israel like Moses" (Deut. 34:10), the rabbis inferred that while there never arose another prophet in Israel of the stature of Moses, there did arise a prophet of comparable stature among the other nations. This was Bilaam, who was sent to the nations so that they could not argue that if they had had a prophet like Moses, they would not have rebelled against the Torah. The Torah describes Bilaam as "knowing the knowledge of the Supreme" (Numbers 24:16). Yet instead of reproving the nations and bringing them to the service of G-d, Bilaam's advice to them was to untie the reins of chastity that had hitherto bound the Children of Noah and to let wild immorality loose on the world.

According to the ARI, Bilaam is one of three who had the same soul: Laban, the antagonist of Jacob; Bilaam, the antagonist of Moses, and Naval the antagonist of King David (Samuel I, Chapter 25). The initial letters of the three make up the name of NaVaL, who cast his evil eye on G-d's annointed, David Melech HaMashiach, just as Laban cast his evil eye on Jacob and his children and Bilaam cast his evil eye on Moses and the Children of Israel. [The three are fallen parts of the soul of Abel, whereas Moses embodies the rectified Abel.]

As the adversary of Moses, who brought the Torah to Israel, Bilaam is the chief adversary of Israel. To look at him from the outside, one might easily have been deceived, for this arch prophet of the Seventy Nations may well have appeared on the surface as a supremely pious and spiritual individual. The Torah itself testifies that he received prophecy from HaShem. Presumably Bilaam was constantly engaged in meditations and rituals, and surrounded by priests, monks and other acolytes. A turn of expression in Ethics of the Fathers explains how we find out who is the true Bilaam: not from his external piety and spirituality, but by observing the actual traits of those who are his students and followers. "Whoever has these three traits is of the students of the wicked Bilaam: an evil eye, a haughty spirit and an expansive appetite" (Avot 5:19). Rashi, in his commentary on our parshah, shows where in the narrative Bilaam exhibits these traits (Numbers ch. 22 v. 13 & 18; ch. 24 v.2).

Bilaam is the very epitome of those who choose This World, the world of extraneous splendor, glory, wealth and appetite, over the World chosen by Abraham, Jacob, Moses and the Children of Israel: the World of Truth. Having chosen This World, Bilaam cannot but look askance at the Children of Israel, whose eccentric religion appears to make no sense in terms of the visible logic of the material world. Israel's existence is such an affront to the world chosen by Bilaam that he feels compelled to "cast the evil eye on them" -- to demonize and curse them. His haughty spirit is offended that this nation of escaped slaves seeks to rein in man's material appetites and desires and elevate them in the service of G-d.

While Moses brought the knowledge of G-d to the world -- the Tree of Life -- what Bilaam embraced was the other side of knowledge: the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Bilaam demanded the right to know and experience every side of the world to the full, without boundaries or limitations. "Knowing the knowledge of the Supreme". This desire to know everything, including the innermost face and slimy underside of the material world, is expressed in the rabbinic statement that Bilaam had intercourse with his donkey (Sanhedrin 105b). The donkey is symbolic of materialism in general (HOMRIUS), as indicated by the generic Hebrew term for donkey, HAMOR. Wanting to "have it all", Bilaam was diametrically opposed to the Israelite path of self-restraint and discipline.

It is part of G-d's deep plan for man in this world that there should exist a world-view and mindset that is diametrically opposed to that of the Torah in order for man to be subjected to the test of free will. We are indeed constantly confronted with and challenged by this mindset in the predominant materialist culture that surrounds us on every side in the contemporary world. It is the mindset that tells us that we are in this world to enjoy everything it has to offer according to the way we feel, without having to be bound by the dictates of a restrictive religious code of conduct that constantly seems to be telling us what we must do next and what we must not do.

The deepest mystery of creation is that G-d gave man free will to do as he chooses, yet G-d directs man in such a way that in the end, he has no option to acknowledge that G-d is right. This mystery is contained in the story of Bilaam, who was determined to curse Israel and tried every way possible to get G-d to agree, but in the end was forced to bless Israel, even against his will.

Bilaam wanted to be completely free: to be in the driver's seat, "riding the donkey" -- going where he chose in the material world. The irony is that the donkey itself rebelled, and refused to go where Bilaam wanted. Bilaam wanted to know and enjoy the side of the world where there is no G-d, no restraint, no pangs of conscience. only the donkey, the animal. But the donkey itself opened its mouth! The term for the donkey in our parshah is AThON -- alluding to the 22 letters of the Aleph Beith, from Aleph to Thav, and to the Fifty Gates of Understanding (the final letter of AThON, Nun, has the numerical value of 50). Bilaam was forced to see that the material world itself is made up of "letters of the alphabet" -- spiritual significance and purpose. Bilaam could not escape from G-d's truth.

G-d "bridled Bilaam with a halter and put a hook in his mouth, the way a man bridles an animal to take it where he wants" (Rashi on Num. 23:16). Bilaam was forced against his will to bless the Children of Israel. The bridling of Bilaam comes to teach us the profound lesson that although it may appear on the surface that the forces of evil are riding high without control in the world, in fact G-d has evil on a leash like a dog. G-d allows evil only just as much rein as suits His deep plan for the world.

The Talmud states that "from the blessings of that wicked man you learn what was in his heart. He wanted to say that they should not have synagogues and study halls -- "How goodly are your tents, O Jacob.". The Indwelling Presence should not rest upon them -- ".and your sanctuaries, O Israel". Their kingdom should not continue -- ".like streams they extend.". They should not have olive trees and vineyards -- "like gardens by the side of a river". Their odor should not waft forth -- "Like aloe trees planted by G-d". They should not have kings of stature -- "like cedars by the side of waters". They should not have a king who is the son of a king -- "water will flow forth from his source". Their kingdom should not hold sway over the nations -- "and his seed over the many waters". His kingdom should not be daring -- "his king will be high above Agag". His kingdom should not be fearsome -- "and his kingdom will be exalted" (Sanhedrin 105a).

From this Talmudic passage we learn what gives Israel its strength: its synagoand study halls, and its kings -- the true kings who follow in the path of King David, the archetype of the true Tzaddik.

"How goodly are your tents of Jacob." Everything is founded on the sanctity and purity of Israel's "tents and habitations" -- the Torah home, where man and wife unite in holy love to bring new souls into the world and nurture them in the ways of G-d. It was precisely this sanctity that Bilaam sought to attack in advising Balak that the best way to get the better of Israel would be by promoting immorality. Thus Bilaam's advice was to ensnare the Israelite men with the Midianite girls, who would quickly persuade them to go after the god of immorality. This was diametrically opposed to the way of Moses, causing a plague that threatened the entire nation. They were saved only through the heroism of Pinchas, who zealously stood up for HaShem when everyone else was confused.

Shabbat Shalom!!!

Avraham Yehoshua Greenbaum

PO Box 50037 Jerusalem 91500 Israel

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