Yom Kippur: Genesis of Repentance

The night that changed the world forever is the night Jewish history began. Six parts of Yom Kippur to read and internalize.

Daniel Pinner , 27/09/20 11:23 Share
Yom Kippur prayers

Yom Kippur prayers צילום: מרים אלסטר, פלאש 90

First section: מַעֲרִיב – the Evening Service

It was a night that would change the world forever. It was the night when Jewish history began. It was the unforgettable night when, under the darkened heavens blazing with stars, G-d spoke to Abraham and forged His covenant with him and his descendants after him.

G-d appeared to Abraham, “and He took him outside, and He said: Gaze now towards the heavens, and count the stars if you can count them! And He said to him: Thus will be your descendants” (Genesis 15:5-6).

As a token of G-d’s Covenant with him, “He said to him: Bring Me three heifers, and three goats, and three rams, and a turtle-dove, and a young dove. So he brought Him all these, and he divided them in the centre, placing each piece opposite its matching half… And then, as the sun was setting, a deep sleep fell upon Abraham, and behold – a dread! Great darkness fell upon him. Then He said to Abraham: Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land not their own; they will serve them, and they will oppress them for four hundred years. But I will also judge the nation whom they will serve, after which they will go out with great possessions” (ibid. 9-14).

Rashi (Commentary to verse 9) based on the Midrash (Bereishit Rabbah 44:14) and the Talmud (Ta’anit 27b) expounds that these three heifers alluded to three sacrifices that Abraham’s descendants were destined one day to offer: the bull sacrificed on Yom Kippur (Numbers 29:8), the bull sacrificed to atone for a sin committed unintentionally by the entire congregation as a result of an erroneous decision by the Sanhedrin (Leviticus 4:13-14), and the heifer whose neck was to be axed in the event that a murdered corpse was found in the countryside (Deuteronomy 21:1-4).

On the night that the Jewish mission in G-d’s world was being launched, G-d already provided the capacity for atonement on Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, repentance, and forgiveness.

Second section: שַׁחֲרִית – the Morning Service

The Children of Israel had left Egypt and its slavery three months earlier, and had received the Torah at Mount Sinai seven weeks after that.

Moshe had been up on Mount Sinai for thirty-nine days, since that momentous day, and now, as the morning of fortieth day dawned, the people expected his imminent return. But their leader Moshe, the man who had defeated Egypt and led them out from slavery to freedom, across the Red Sea and into the desert to Mount Sinai, had ascended the mountain and did not return when they expected him to.

It was a tragic misunderstanding. “When Moshe ascended to Heaven, he said to them: At the end of forty days, at the beginning of the sixth hour [i.e. midday], I will return” (Shabbat 89a).

“The people had reckoned the day that he ascended as the first day; but he meant forty complete days – forty days and nights… He had ascended on the 7th of Sivan, so forty complete days would conclude on the 17th of Tammuz. But on the 16th of Tammuz the Satan confounded them by making the illusion of darkness, gloom, and chaos, convincing them that Moshe had died – particularly as the sixth hour had already come and gone” (Rashi, Commentary to Exodus 32:1, following Shabbat 89a).

And so, despairing of ever seeing Moshe again, “the nation assembled against Aaron, saying to him: Arise, make for us gods who will go before us, because this man Moshe, who brought us up out of Egypt – we don’t know what’s happened to him!” (Exodus 32:1).

And so Aaron, unable to withstand the pressure of the nation, fashioned the golden calf, “and they rose early the next day to offer up burnt-offerings and to bring peace-offerings” (Exodus 32:6), on the morning of the 17th of Tammuz.

That morning the nation committed a heinous sin. G-d immediately told Moshe to go back down from the height of Mount Sinai; and when he saw the golden calf, he smashed the Tablets of Stone and shocked the Jews out of their revelry.

The people sobered up, and the next day Moshe re-ascended Mount Sinai, where he stayed for another forty days and forty nights pleading with G-d to forgive Israel (Deuteronomy 9:18-21), returning to the Israelite camp on the 28th of Av.

The next day, the 29th of Av, he ascended Mount Sinai for the third time, where he stayed for another forty days and forty nights with G-d (Exodus 34:28, Deuteronomy 10:10).

Thus eighty-one days after the sin of the golden calf, when Moshe returned from Mount Sinai with the second set of the Tablets of Stone, the date was the 10th of Tishrei – the day that, a year later, G-d would decree as Yom ha-Kippurim, the eternal Day of Atonement.

Third section: מוּסַף – the Additional Service for Yom Kippus

The Torah commands the Yom Kippur service in Leviticus 16, which constitutes the Torah-reading for Yom Kippur morning. The Mussaf – the additional sacrificial offerings – for Yom Kippur are commanded in Numbers 29:7-11, which constitutes the Maftir for Yom Kippur morning.

The Ba’al ha-Turim (Rabbi Ya’akov ben Asher, Germany and Spain, c.1275-1343) notes a peculiarity in the Mussaf service: strangely, in the entire Mussaf section, the word לְכַפֵּר (“to atone for”) does not appear anywhere. Would one not think that the purpose of the Mussaf service of Yom Kippur is to atone for the Children of Israel? After all, the Torah explicitly states that this is the purpose of the Mussaf offerings of Pesach (Numbers 28:22), of Shavuot (v. 30), and of Rosh Hashanah (29:5). Yet in the Yom Kippur Mussaf, the word לְכַפֵּר is conspicuously absent!

The Ba’al ha-Turim (Commentary to Numbers 29:11) explains that in describing the Yom Kippur Mussaf, “the Torah says ‘a male goat as a sin-offering’, but does not say לְכַפֵּר – ‘to atone’, because Yom Kippur itself atones”.

As the Mishnah (Yoma 8:8) says, “death and Yom Kippur atone, if accompanied by repentance”.

Fourth section: מִנְחָה – the Afternoon Service

The Torah describes the incense service by saying that the Kohen Gadol “shall take a shovelful of burning coals from on top of the Altar, from before Hashem, and his cupped hands full (וּמְלֹא) of finely-ground incense spices, and bring it unto the Curtain” (Leviticus 16:12).

The Ba’al ha-Turim (Commentary to Leviticus 16:12) notes that the word וּמְלֹא (“full”) occurs only twice in the Tanach. The only other place is when King David defeated and subjugated the Philistines and Moab: “he measured [the prisoners of war] with the rope, laying them on the ground; he measured two rope-lengths to be put to death, וּמְלֹא (‘and a full’) rope-length to be kept alive” (1 Samuel 8:2).

And the Ba’al ha-Turim infers from this that “in the merit of the Yom Kippur service they were victorious in war”.

The inference is that not only does Yom Kippur atone for sins committed in the previous year, but it also provides pre-emptive merit for the coming year.

Fifth section: נְעִילָה – the Concluding Service

Yom Kippur reaches its climax in those final hours. This is the final opportunity to beseech Hashem for forgiveness, the final opportunity to achieve the potential of Yom Kippur, before the gates of repentance close for another year.

Rabbeinu Yonah of Geronah, in his seminal work The Gates of Repentance (First Gate, Sections 10-50), enumerates twenty essential components for complete repentance:

  • regret;
  • forsaking sin;
  • sorrow;
  • active suffering (fasting, weeping, lamenting);
  • worry about the results of the sin;
  • shame;
  • whole-hearted submission to G-d and humbling oneself;
  • practical submissiveness by speaking quietly, keeping one’s eyes downcast, etc;
  • breaking physical desires;
  • improving one’s actions in the area in which one has sinned;
  • searching out one’s ways;
  • studying, knowing, and recognising the severity of the punishment;
  • regarding even minor sins as severe;
  • confession;
  • prayer;
  • righting the wrong to the best of one’s ability;
  • pursuing actions of loving-kindness and truth;
  • keeping one’s sins before oneself constantly;
  • rejecting the sin when it becomes available to one, and when one is tempted;
  • and causing as many other people as possible to turn away from sin.

Ne’ilah is the juncture when we feel the fast of Yom Kippur more powerfully than ever – both physically and spiritually. Ne’ilah, more than any other of the Yom Kippur services, is the time to arouse ourselves to tears of penitence, to the most heartfelt pleas for forgiveness.

Ne’ilah is the climax, not just of Yom Kippur, but of the Ten Days of Repentance which began with Rosh Hashanah, of the forty days which began with Rosh Chodesh Ellul.

Ne’ilah begins in the daylight while the sun is still shining, and continues through sunset, through the darkening dusk, through twilight, and into complete darkness when Yom Kippur has finished. And the final, dramatic conclusion of Ne’ilah, of Yom Kippur, of the Ten Days of Repentance, of the forty days since Rosh Chodesh Ellul, is that final shofar blast, piercing our hearts, piercing the Heavens.

After thirty days of blowing the shofar every morning during Ellul, after the shofar blast which was the most central and outstanding feature of Rosh Hashanah, this is the final shofar-blast of the season, the final reverberating reminder of Abraham’s binding of Isaac; the final reminder of our father Abraham, in whose merit G-d gave us Yom Kippur.

And this is the final reminder of the Giving of the Torah at Mount Sinai, the foundation of Judaism; the prelude to the tragedy of the golden calf forty days later, which reached its closure eighty-one days later on Yom Kippur, exactly one year before G-d gave us the commandment for the annual Yom Kippur throughout our generations.

The shofar blast is the Jewish battle-cry. The first battle that we ever fought as a nation, the battle for Jericho immediately upon entering the Land of Israel, was led by Kohanim blowing the shofarot (Joshua 6:3-16). And decades later, the judge of Israel, Ehud, after assassinating the Moabite tyrant King Eglon, rallied the Jews to battle with the shofar (Judges 3:12-30).

Such it was throughout the wars that Israel fought: the judge Gideon (Judges 7:9-25), the prince Jonathan, son of King Saul (1 Samuel 13:3), King David when he defeated the Philistines (2 Samuel 6:15) – all sounded the shofar to rally the nation. This final shofar blast at Ne’ilah seals this day in whose merit we are victorious in war.

Sixth section: After Yom Kippur

And finally there is a sixth section of Yom Kippur. This is the section that does not appear in any prayer-book, the section which has not yet been written. This is the section that every one of us – you, me, our friends and families and neighbours – will write, each one according to his or her deeds, according to his or her decisions, in the coming year. It is this final, as-yet-unwritten section, which will determine the quality of next year’s Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur.

Looking back to last Yom Kippur, we perceive – but cannot possibly comprehend – the decrees which G-d inscribed in His Heavenly ledgers a year ago. Who, on Yom Kippur of 5780, could possibly have foreseen what turmoils the year would bring?

Could anyone have dared predict the global epidemics of the Coronavirus, of social havoc, of unrestrained and undisguised Jew-hatred?

A year from now, on Yom Kippur 5782, we will be able to look back on another year, and gauge how G-d judged us this year.

G’mar chatimah tovah!

Tags: Daniel Pinner

A synagogue on the Temple Mount? Activists say let the Jews move in

Jews believe the site – venerated as holy in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam alike – is where the Beit Hamikdash used to sit.

Jpost – Israel News
By Maayan Jaffe-Hoffman
March 6, 2019 04:09

A general view of Jerusalem's old city shows the Dome of the Rock in the compound known to Muslims a

A general view of Jerusalem’s old city shows the Dome of the Rock in the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, October 25, 2015. (photo credit: AMIR COHEN/REUTERS)

A group of Israeli activists are calling on the government to establish a synagogue on the Temple Mount and open it for Jewish prayer.

According to Asaf Fried, a spokesman for an association of organizations dedicated to Jewish rights on the Temple Mount, more than 50 leaders from across the religious spectrum gathered on Sunday to discuss the situation on the Temple Mount. Participants included Rabbi Yehudah Glick (Likud), Baruch Marzel (Otzma Yehudit) and members of the rabbinate.

Jews believe the site – venerated as holy in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam alike – is where the First and Second Temples used to sit.

Riots have continuously erupted on the Temple Mount since last month, when thousands of Palestinians stormed the Golden Gate, which had been closed by a court order since 2003. Jerusalem Police arrested two senior Wakf officials – east Jerusalem Wakf chairman Sheikh Abdel Azim Salhab and deputy director of the Wakf Sheikh Najeh Bkeirat – banning them from entering the Aqsa Mosque compound for 40 days.

In response, the Muslims took over and converted a 1,500-year-old structure located near the Golden Gate (known as Shaar Harachamim in Hebrew) into a mosque. Currently, the Muslims have four other mosques on the mount, said Fried. Jews, on the other hand, “if you try to pray, you will be arrested.”

The activists argue that by opening the Golden Gate and establishing a new mosque, the Muslims have broken the status quo agreement. Israel has made attempts to shutter the gate, but the Muslims have refused, threatening increased violence.

“If the status quo is broken anyway, then Israel needs to break it, too,” said Fried, arguing that Jews should be allowed to pray on the Temple Mount. “We need a place to pray and we want that structure near the Golden Gate.”

Establishing a synagogue is not unprecedented, explained Yaacov Hayman, head of the Yishai Organization for the Establishment of Synagogues on the Temple Mount. He said in Temple times there was always a synagogue near the Temple.

“The Talmud tractate that talks about Yom Kippur clearly states there was a synagogue,” he said.

His organization has mapped the Temple Mount and created renderings for where up to four synagogues could be located on the holy site.

Marzel told The Jerusalem Post that the Temple Mount is “the holiest place for the Jewish people. Our enemies are taking it over, they are breaking the law, destroying archaeology sites and disgracing Judaism and God. We have to fight.”

Fried said the group is not asking to take over authority on the mount. Currently, the Jerusalem Wakf Islamic religious trust controls and manages the Islamic edifices on and around the Temple Mount. The east Jerusalem Wakf is controlled by Jordan.

However, they would like to see the Temple Mount divided like the way that the Cave of the Patriarchs was divided into a synagogue and a mosque in 1967.

This latest call for a synagogue on the Temple Mount is not the first.

In 2017, MK Bezalel Smotrich (Bayit Yehudi) called for the construction of a synagogue on the Temple Mount in the aftermath of the brutal Halamish (also known as Neveh Tzuf) attack, in which a Hamas terrorist infiltrated the West Bank settlement and murdered three people at their Shabbat table.

“I would set up a synagogue on the Temple Mount today, this morning,” Smotrich said then. “If someone thinks that through terrorism, violence, and the massacre of a family that he will push our sovereignty back, then – if I am the prime minister – this morning, I would close the Temple Mount to Arab prayer and establish a synagogue for Jews. And if the terrorism continues, I would close the mount to Arabs and there will be only Jews there.”

A similar demand was made in 2014, when a large group of religious-Zionist rabbis – including Rabbi Dov Lior, Rabbi Eliyahu Zinni and Rabbi Haim Cohen – penned a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu advocating the construction of a synagogue on the Temple Mount. No action was taken.

Furthermore, there have been bills raised in the Knesset calling for equal prayer rights for Jews on the Temple Mount, but they have generally been shut down, as Muslims threaten violence if the status quo is altered.

Fried said he believes that this time the goal can be accomplished because Israel is in an election period and politicians who can effect change will want to appear responsive.

On March 14, the group is arranging a massive Jewish trip to the Temple Mount. He said he expects hundreds of Jews to attend and to pray in their hearts.

Then, in late March, they will run a protest rally from City Hall to outside the Golden Gate.

“We are all angry about what is going on the Temple Mount,” said Fried. “If we will it, we think this time it will be.”

A Precious Gift

RASHI to Shmoth 38.22
Bezalel, the son of Uri… had made all that the Lord had commanded Moses: “That Moses had commanded him is not written here, but all that the Lord had commanded Moses,” [meaning that] even [in] things that his master [Moses] had not said to him, his [Bezalel’s] view coincided with what was said to Moses on Sinai. For Moses commanded Bezalel to first make the furnishings and afterwards the Mishkan. (Rashi is not referring to the command to donate [the materials for the Mishkan and its furnishings], since, on the contrary, the Holy One, blessed be He, commanded the opposite in parshath Terumah. [I.e.,] first [God commanded them to make] the furnishings: the table, the menorah, the curtains, and afterwards [He gave] the command to make the planks [i.e., the Mishkan, whereas] the command of our teacher, Moses, may he rest in peace, at the beginning of Vayakhel (Exod. 35:11-19) lists first the Mishkan and its tent, and afterwards the furnishings. Rather, Rashi is referring to the command to the worker, [i.e.,] in what order he should work. You will find in the parsha of Ki Thissa [where God commanded concerning the order of the Mishkan’s construction]: “See, I have called by name Bezalel…” (Exod. 31:2-11), that first the Tent of Meeting is mentioned and afterwards the furnishings. As far as [the command in Terumah] to donate, to prepare what they would require [for the Mishkan and its furnishings], what difference does it make what they donated first? [Thus the order of the furnishings listed there is irrelevant.] See Tosafoth in the chapter entitled הָרוֹאֶה (Ber. 55a): If you ask, how do we know that our teacher, Moses, may he rest in peace, commanded Bezalel to do the opposite [of what God had commanded him? Since it is not found in the text that Moses commanded Bezalel to construct first the furnishings and then the Mishkan], we may reply that it is written in parshath Vayakhel (Exod. 36:2): “And Moses called Bezalel and Oholiab…”. [There] the Torah is very brief in explaining what he [Moses] said to them. From this verse (38:22), which is worded, “all that the Lord commanded Moses,” we see that he [Moses] commanded them in the opposite manner. [Therefore the text here does not state “that Moses had commanded him.”] Study this well.) Bezalel responded, “It is common practice to first make a house and then to put furniture into it.” He said to him, “This is what I heard from the mouth of the Holy One, blessed is He.” Moses said to him [Bezalel], “You were in the shadow of God [בְּצֵל אֵל, which is the meaning of Bezalel’s name. I.e., you are right], for surely that is what the Holy One, blessed be He, commanded me.” And so he did: [Bezalel] first [made] the Mishkan, and afterwards he made the furnishings. -[from Ber. 55a]
YOCHANAN: The Parshah Pekudey begins:
“These are the numbers of the Mishkan, the Mishkan of the Testimony, which were counted at Moses’ command; [this was] the work of the Levites under the direction of Ithamar, the son of Aaron the Kohen.”
To what is this like?
It is like a person who wishes to store away a precious gift. First, he makes a container for the gift then he puts it away in the container, putting the container away in a safe place in his house. Here, HaShem first commanded us the Ten Sayings of the Covenant; and then gave us the Ten Commandments written on stone (the precious gift), then he commended us (25.8) to make the Miqdash (Mishkan) “after the pattern that was shown to Moshe” (25.9) “that He would dwell among them” (25.8); yet the first set of specific direction we are given concerning the Mishkan or it’s furnishings is that we are told first of the “specific directions” for the construction of the Ark of the Covenant (25.10) (the Ark of Testimony Aydooth) (38.21).

The World of Dreams

Rab Judah also said in the name of Rab: There are three things for which one should supplicate: a good king, a good year, and a good dream. ‘A good king’, as it is written: A king’s heart is in the hands of the Lord as the water-courses. ‘A good year’, as it is written: The eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year. ‘A good dream’, as it is written; Wherefore cause Thou me to dream and make me to live. Tractate Berakoth, Folio 55a
‘Sovereign of the Universe, I am Thine and my dreams are Thine. I have dreamt a dream and I do not know what it is. Whether I have dreamt about myself or my companions have dreamt about me, or I have dreamt about others, if they are good dreams, confirm them and reinforce them like the dreams of Joseph, and if they require a remedy, heal them, as the waters of Marah were healed by Moses, our teacher, and as Miriam was healed of her leprosy and Hezekiah of his sickness, and the waters of Jericho by Elisha. As thou didst turn the curse of the wicked Balaam into a blessing, so turn all my dreams into something good for me’. Berakoth 55b
A long time ago I dreamed that Rabbi David Rosenberg and I were standing before the Pargod (Veil) and I watched as the “golden threads” of the Veil, which were in the shape of the letters of the Aleph Bet in cursive script moved up and down throughout the weave of the Veil. I know there is meaning to the dream but I am unsure of it’s meaning.

 

G-D Rains Down Divine Retribution Upon Detractors of Israel

Breaking Israel News

“And if in spite of these things ye will not be corrected unto Me, but will walk contrary unto Me; then will I also walk contrary unto you; and I will smite you, even I, seven times for your sins.” Leviticus 26:23-24 (The Israel Bible™)

Margot Wallström, Sweden’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Deputy Prime Minister, has earned a reputation for Israel-bashing. The first blatant anti-Israel offense came in 2014, when she became the first European Union foreign minister to recognize the state of Palestine.

After the horrifying terror attacks in Paris last November, she came out with a statement linking Islamic anger to the lack of a two-state solution. Even worse, after months of terror in which Palestinians were attacking Israelis in the streets on an almost daily basis,  she accused Israel in January of carrying out “extrajudicial executions”.

Israel reacted through diplomatic channels, but a more powerful force stepped in. Three days after Wallström accused Israel of executing Palestinians, it was revealed that she had jumped to the head of an eight-year waiting list for apartments owned by a labor union. Stockholm is suffering from a serious shortage of housing and this was viewed by the Swedish public as an egregious misuse of her position. Anti-corruption prosecutors are investigating the case now to determine if it constitutes bribery, which carries a potential two-year prison term.

This type of instant karma is the rule and not the exception when it comes to politicians that treat Israel badly. One of the clearest examples of divine slap-down came on January 21, 1998, when US President Bill Clinton gave Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a decidedly cold reception at the White House, and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright refused to have lunch with Netanyahu. Things looked grim for Israel, but later that day, the Monica Lewinsky scandal broke out, ultimately resulting in Clinton’s impeachment.

President George H.W. Bush signed the Oslo Accords on October 30, 1991, setting the stage for the disastrous “Land for Peace” process. The very next day, a hurricane dubbed “The Perfect Storm” hit the east coast of the United States, destroying Bush’s house in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Occasionally, divine intervention can take an ironic turn. As president, Jimmy Carter was not nearly as involved with Israel as he has been since leaving office. In his book, Palestine: Peace not Apartheid, he blames Israel’s “colonization of Palestinian land” as being “the primary obstacle to a comprehensive peace agreement”.

Carter was a proponent of Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) since it seemed to produce results and bear pressure on Israel to negotiate. He has also met with many leaders of Hamas and during the 2014 war in Gaza, called for Israel to negotiate with Hamas.

One year later, he was diagnosed with cancer and melanomas were found in his brain and liver. After only a few months of treatment, the doctors  pronounced him cancer-free. Pembrolizumab, a drug developed in Israel, was a key element in his treatment. His adherence to boycotting Israeli products and innovations obviously had its limits.

Carter’s miracle cure may not have been solely attributed to Israeli science. His sins against the Jewish people may have been forgiven in December 2009, when Carter published an open letter apologizing for any words or deeds that may have upset the Jewish community. In the letter, he said he was offering an Al Het, a prayer of repentance, said on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement.

Divine retribution is not restricted to non-Jews. Ariel Sharon had achieved almost legendary status in Israel. After a spectacular army career, he entered politics and, at the head of the Likud party, was elected prime minister in 2001. He endorsed the Roadmap for Peace and began plans to remove the Jewish population of Gush Katif from the Gaza Strip. The dismantling of the Jewish settlements was scheduled for August 15th, 2005, the day after Tisha b’Av, the anniversary of both Jewish Temples being destroyed.

In July, one month before the IDF dismantled Gush Katif and evicted almost 9,000 Jews from their homes, Rabbi Yosef Dayan, a member of the nascent Sanhedrin who can trace his lineage back to King David, led a group of ten rabbis in performing an obscure, ancient Kabbalistic ceremony, the Pulsa diNura, on Sharon. The Pulsa diNura invokes the angels of destruction to block heavenly forgiveness of the subject’s sins, causing all the curses named in the Bible to befall him and resulting in his death.

Sharon’s health deteriorated, and by January, he suffered a hemorrhagic stroke, entering a vegetative state from which he never recovered. Rabbi Dayan also led rabbis in the Pulsa diNura against Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin a few months before he was assassinated. Rabin was shot and killed in 1995 by Yigal Amir, an extremist who  opposed Rabin’s peace initiative and particularly the signing of the Oslo Accords.

Rabbi Dayan told Breaking Israel News that none of these events were simple coincidence, but divine justice. “Today, there isn’t prophecy. God presents circumstances for us to try to understand him, to express our belief in him,” he explained. “These aren’t things that happen by chance or coincidence. This is not just true for politics, but it is also true for politics. Politicians are, after all, simple servants of God, no less or more than the rest of us.”

Ancient Genealogical Records Prove King David’s Descendants Are Alive Today

Breaking Israel News

“Then I will establish the throne of thy kingdom over Yisrael for ever; according as I promised to David thy father, saying: There shall not fail thee a man upon the throne of Yisrael.” I Kings 9:5 (The Israel Bible™)

It might come as a shock to many to learn that hundreds of descendants of King David are alive today, with verifiable family trees dating back 90 generations, and that the royal Davidic dynasty could potentially be established today in Israel.

Though some may be skeptical of the genealogical proof, many secular researchers of genealogy have studied the line of David. The research is facilitated by the fact that a number of European monarchs throughout history have gone to great lengths to prove family ties to the Davidic Dynasty, and a solid ancestry has been established.

Within the Jewish community, genealogical studies have shown several families that can claim descent ben akhar ben (father to son) in a direct line, most notably the Dayan, Shealtiel and Charlap/Don Yechia families. Most of these families come from Aleppo, Syria.

Susan Roth (Davidic Dynasty)
Susan Roth (Davidic Dynasty)

Susan Roth founded the Davidic Dynasty organization in 2000 to gather and reunite Davidic descendants in the Holy City of Jerusalem. Roth has a personal interest as well, tracing her lineage back to King David through Rabbi Shlomo Yitzchaki, the preeminent 11th century French Torah scholar known by the acronym Rashi.

Her registry currently lists approximately 150 descendants who have verifiable descent to King David. However, efforts to introduce this reality into mainstream Judaism have met with surprising resistance.

When she first compiled her list, Roth contacted Israel’s Chief Rabbinate to inform them of her registry but, surprisingly, they expressed no interest.

“They were shocked, but they never followed up. My interest was simply to do God’s will, but they understood it as a political agenda. They don’t want King David’s dynasty and they don’t want Moshiach (Messiah),” Roth told Breaking Israel News.

“Even though it is clear Moshiach is here. He is just hiding,” she added.

Mitch Dayan claims descent from King David. (Courtesy)
Mitchell Dayan  (Courtesy)

One of her discoveries was Mitchell Dayan. In 1983, Dayan was mourning for his brother. Amazed at the number of visitors who claimed to be from his family, he began to research his genealogy. Dayan’s research led him to a book called Yashir Moshe, a commentary on Song of Songs written in 1864 by Rabbi Moshe Dayan. In the prologue to the book, the rabbi lists his genealogy, leading back to King David. In this list, Mitchell found the name of his great grandfather from Aleppo.

Another genealogic list was found in the Cairo geniza, a storehouse of over 300,000 Jewish documents discovered in the late 1800’s. The two lists were almost identical, despite the Cairo list being compiled hundreds of years earlier. Through these sources, Mitchell Dayan was able to verify his lineage back 87 generations to King David.

“The actual descendants may not know it but there are descendants of King David alive today,” Dayan told Breaking Israel News. “This was prophesied in the Bible but it is also fact. Politics are irrelevant. It is going to happen, one day or another.”

For thus saith Hashem: There shall not be cut off unto David a man to sit upon the throne of the house of YisraelJeremiah 33:17

In 2005, another Dayan, Rabbi Yosef Dayan, was recognized by the nascent Sanhedrin as a direct descendant of King David and, as such, a candidate to re-establish the Davidic Dynasty. Similar to Mitchell Dayan, his discovery came as a result of a death in the family.

Soon after he immigrated to Israel in 1968, Rabbi Dayan buried his grandfather in Jerusalem. He was surprised to see inscribed on the headstone the words “M’Bet David” (from the house of David). Rabbi Dayan discovered that this inscription was a family custom dating back to their origins in Aleppo.

Several years later, Rabbi Dayan received an antique document from a cousin which lists his genealogy, showing him to be the 89th generation from King David. This document was verified by Rabbi Mordechai Eliyahu, the former Chief Sephardi Rabbi of Israel.

“This concept of family tradition is not surprising,” Rabbi Dayan told Breaking Israel News. “The Kohanim (priests) have a family tradition that they are descended from Aaron the Priest, well before King David, and this tradition is totally accepted by the rabbis. This tradition has been proven accurate by DNA testing.”

Rabbi Dayan is disappointed by the lack of acceptance by rabbinic authorities and mainstream Judaism.

Rabbi Yosef Dayan. (Screenshot)
Rabbi Yosef Dayan. (Screenshot)

“Just as the Kohanic tradition is accepted, the same should be true for the descendants of King David, but even more so,” Rabbi Dayan said. “We have written family trees, and our tradition is engraved on gravestones for the offspring to take note of their ancestry.”

Breaking Israel News asked Rabbi Dayan why he thought there exists so much resistance to acknowledging the Davidic Dynasty.

On why there exists so much resistance to acknowledging the Davidic dynasty, Rabbi Dayan explained, “There is a basic error in understanding the Kingdom of David.

“The Moshiach is already here. Moshiach in Hebrew means ‘anointed’. It is not a miracle. The family of David exists and is waiting for Israel to choose one and anoint him.

“By claiming incorrectly that there are no living descendants of King David, the Moshiach becomes dependent upon a miracle from heaven, thereby absolving the rabbis from any responsibility for taking action to bringing the Messiah.”

False Prophets

Avodas Kochavim 5:6                                                                            

“A prophet who prophesizes in the name of idols” is one who says that a certain idol or star told him that we are commanded to do or not to do a certain thing. This is so even if he states the law accurately, such as by declaring something impure to be impure and something pure to be pure.

If a false prophet was given warning beforehand, he is liable to death by strangulation. Deuteronomy 18:20 says, “The prophet who speaks in the name of other gods shall die.” The prohibition against this appears in Exodus 23:13, “Do not mention the name of other gods.”

Avodas Kochavim 5:7

We are not allowed to engage an idolatrous prophet in discussion or debate. We may not ask him to give us a sign or to perform a wonder; if he does so on his own, we may not pay any attention to it. Whoever considers such a person’s tricks, thinking they might be a sign that he is true, violates the prohibition of “Do not listen to the words of that prophet” (Deuteronomy 13:4).

A false prophet is executed by strangulation. He is executed even though he speaks in the name of God and doesn’t add to or subtract from the mitzvos, as per Deuteronomy 18:20, “The prophet who dares to speak in My name that which I did not command him shall die.”

Daniel prophesied about Muhammad

I think Daniel prophesied about Muhammad:

“he shall think to change the law and seasons”

“he shall not honor the desire of women” and

“he shall not honor the gods of his fathers” and

“he shall honor the god of war”

“he shall speak blaspheme against the Most High”

“he shall wear out the righteous of HaShem”

“he shall put down three rulers”

Never Forget Yathrib!

Parsha VaYak’hel – “Moshe assembled….”

1 And Moses assembled all the congregation of the children of Israel, and said unto them: ‘These are the words which the L-RD hath commanded, that ye should do them. Shmoth (Exodus) 35.1

“These are the words that the L-RD commanded לַעֲשֹׂת אֹתָם [to complete, or finish] to make.”

The Parsha begins “Moshe assembled” – yet the Torah immediately warns of the “Sanctity of the Shabbat” taking precedent over הַמְּלָאכָה (the work or construction) of the Mishkan.

“These are the הַדְּבָרִים (the [prophetic] words) that the L-RD commanded to make” (to make – to finish, complete). la’Asoth לַעֲשֹׂת Make the Shabbat and the Mishkan!

First, the Torah tells us, “don’t work on Shabbat” and only after the warning not to work on Shabbat are we told of the construction of the Mishkan and it’s accoutrements.

“So what is melakhah? Rabbi Dr. Moshe Sokolow, one of my earliest teachers of parshanut and a student of Nechama Leibowitz, identifies melakhah as sharing a root with the word “malakh” or emissary. In contrast, avodah – or labor, shares a root with “eved” – slave. An emissary fulfills a mission as a free agent. A slave’s labor belongs to another. The Torah describes our labors as slaves in Egypt as “avodah.” Slaves never engage in melakhah.” Vayakhel 5774 The Mishkan and the Wide World Beyond; by Rabbi David Wolkenfeld.

The reason for all the Commandments, but specifically to rest on Shabbat is given in Parsha Tetzaveh 29.45, 46 “in order that I may dwell in their midst” –

“I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel and I will be their G-D. They will know that I, the L-RD, am their G-D, Who brought them out of the land of Egypt in order that I may dwell in their midst; I am the L-RD, their G-D.”

In the Torah there are three words which mean “make or create” – “Ba’ra, Yetzer and Ashoth” – the First, means to make, or create something from nothing, the Second means to form from something created; and the Third means to finish the created work!

In the latter case, it is connected to the finished work of the Mishkan: 39.43 “And Moses saw all the work, and, behold, they had done it; as the L-RD had commanded, even so had they done it. And Moses blessed them.”

The construction of the Mishkan parallels the Creation of the Universe:

For instance, Tehillim 104.2 says, “Who coverest Thyself with light as with a garment, who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain;”

“In Pirkei D’Rabbi Eliezer we read:

In ten sayings the world was created…and in three it was finalized. And these are they: Chochmah (Skill), Tevunah (ability), and Da’at (Knowledge); as it is stated: “The Eternal with Chochmah founded the earth, by Tevunah established the heavens, by His Da’at the depths were split asunder” (Proverbs 3:19-20). With the same three, the Mishkan was made, as it states [about Bezalel the craftsman for the Mishkan]: “I have filled him with the spirit of God, in Chochmah, Tevunah, and Da’at” (Exodus 31:3). With the same three qualities the Temple was built; “His mother was from Naftali, his father from Tyre, and he was filled with Chochmah, Tevunah, and Da’at.” (I Kings 7:14)”

Even as “HaShem blessed the Seventh Day and Sanctified it” (B’rashith 2.3), Moshe blessed them and sanctified the raising up of the Mishkan. (Shmoth 40.9)

Now where is it written that the Children of Yisrael made (past tense) the Shabbat?

Shmoth 31.16, 17:  “Wherefore the children of Israel made the Shabbat, to observe the Shabbat throughout their generations, for a perpetual covenant. 17 It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel for ever; for in six days the L-RD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day He ceased from work and rested.” {S}

35.21 Every man whose heart uplifted נָדְבָה him came, and everyone whose spirit inspired him to generosity brought the תְּרוּמַת (offering) of the L-RD for לִמְלֶאכֶת (the work) of the Tent of Meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments. 22 The men came with the women; every generous hearted person brought bracelets and earrings and rings and buckles, all kinds of golden objects, and every man who waved a waving of gold to the L-RD.

35.29 Every man and woman whose heart inspired them to generosity to bring for all הַמְּלָאכָה (the work) that the L-RD had commanded to make, through b’Yad בְּיַד (the hand – prophetic authority) of Moshe, the children of Israel brought a ne’davah נְדָבָה (gift) for the L-RD.”

In the words of the Mishneh, there are 39 types of work that are prohibited on the Shabbat and Yom Kippur:

“The principal kinds of work are forty minus one.”

Here is the list of the 39 Melachot (main activities) prohibited on the Shabbat as listed in the Mishneh Shabbat 73a:

1. Zoreah – Sowing (seeding), 2. Choresh – Plowing, 3. Kotzair – Reaping (cutting),

4. M’amair – Gathering (bundling sheaves), 5. Dush – Threshing, 6. Zoreh – Winnowing,

7. Borer – Sorting (selecting, separating), 8. Tochain – Grinding, 9. Miraked – Sifting,

10. Lush – Kneading, 11. Ofeh / (Bishul) – Baking/cooking, 12. Gozez – Shearing,

13. Melabain – Whitening (bleaching),14. Menafetz – Disentangling, Combing,

15. Tzovayah – Dyeing, 16. Toveh – Spinning, 17. Maisach – Mounting the warp (stretching threads onto loom),

18. Oseh Beit Batai Neirin – Setting two heddles (preparing to weave), 19. Oraig – Weaving

20. Potzai’ah – Separating (removing) threads (Unweaving), 21. Koshair – Tying a knot,

22. Matir – Untying a knot, 23. Tofair – Sewing, 24. Ko’reah – Tearing (unsewing – ripping)

25. Tzud – Trapping, 26. Shochet – Slaughtering (Killing), 27. Mafshit – Skinning,

28. M’abaid – Salting/tanning process, 29. Mesharteit – Tracing (scratching) lines,

30. Memacheik – Smoothing / scraping, 31. Mechateich – Cutting (to shape),

32. Kotaiv – Writing two or more letters, 33. Mochaik – Erasing two or more letters,

34. Boneh – Building, 35. Soiser – Demolishing, 36. Mechabeh – Extinguishing (putting out a flame),

37. Ma’avir – Kindling (making a fire), 38. Makeh B’Patish – Striking the final blow (Finishing an object),

39. Hotza’ah – Transferring (transporting) from domain to domain (carrying).

So where is the TORAH source for the 39 Me’lachah (39 prohibited labors of the Shabbat)?

Rabbi Dr. Yoel Bin Nun, in The Textual Source for the 39 Melachot of Shabbat 

cites Midrash HaGadol which derives the 39 Me’lachah from the items used in the construction of the Mishkan, the Kohen HaGadol’s Service Vestments and the clothing worn by Aharon’s sons:

“Rabbi Shaul Baruchi, showed me that the idea had already been anticipated by R. Menachem Mendel Kasher, who found it in the Midrash HaGadol of David bar Amram al-Adani (14th century Yemen).[19] (Although the work is late, it is an exceedingly important collection of midrash that preserves some very early midrashim that survive nowhere else.)

In truth, Midrash HaGadol does bring the list of 39 Tabernacle items, exactly as I did above, although only citing the list from Vayakhel.

The Midrash HaGadol adds the following:

These 39 commands [to create these items for the Tabernacle in Exod. 35:11-19] correlate with the 39 categories of labor forbidden on Shabbat. From where do we know that the Israelites were commanded to create these 39 items? The commands were stated earlier (in the parashiyot of Terumah and Tetzaveh).

[19] See: Torah Sheleima vol. 23, Supplements to Parashat Pekudei, pp. 118-119.”

Rabbi Dr. Yoel Bin Nun lists the following as the 39 Melachah necessary for the construction of the Mishkan, the Kohen HaGadol’s Service Vestments and the clothing worn by Aharon’s sons:

Vayakhel (35:11-19)[14]                                    Pekudei (29:33-41)
1. The Tabernacle                                                        They brought the Tabernacle to Moses
2. its tents                                                                    with the tent
3. and its coverings                                                     and all its furnishings
4. its clasps                                                                  its clasps
5. and its planks                                                          its planks
6. its bars                                                                     its bars
7. its posts                                                                    its posts
8. and its sockets                                                         and its sockets
9. the ark                                                                     the covering of tanned ram skins
10. and its poles                                                          the covering of tachash skins
11. the cover                                                               and the curtain for the screen
12. and the curtain for the screen                              the Ark of the Pact
13. the table                                                                and its poles
14. and its poles                                                          and the cover
15. and all its utensils                                                 the table
16. and the bread of display                                       and all its utensils
17. the lampstand for lighting                                   and the bread of display
18. its furnishings                                                        the pure lampstand
19. and its lamps                                                         its lamps—lamps in due order
20. and the oil for lighting                                          and all its fittings
21. the altar of incense                                                and the oil for lighting
22. and its poles                                                           the altar of gold
23. the anointing oil                                                    the oil for anointing
24. and the aromatic incense                                     the aromatic incense
25. and the entrance screen for the entrance            and the screen for the entrance
of the Tabernacle                                                        of the Tent
26. the altar of burnt offering                                    the copper altar
27. and its copper grating                                           with its copper grating
28. its poles                                                                  its poles
29. and all its furnishings                                            and all its utensils
30. the laver                                                                the laver
31. and its stand                                                          and its stand
32. the hangings of the enclosure                               the hangings of the enclosure
33. its posts                                                                  its posts
34. and its sockets                                                       and its sockets
35. and the screen for the gate                                    the screen for the gate
of the enclosure                                                           of the enclosure
36. the pegs for the Tabernacle                                   its cords
37. the pegs for the enclosure                                    and its pegs
38. and their cords                                                      all the furnishingsfor the service of the
Tabernacle, the Tent of Meeting
39. the service vestments for officiating                     the service vestments for officiating
in the sanctuary                                                     in the sanctuary

[14] All translation of biblical verses follow the NJPS translation with some adaptations.

“An Alternative Approach: Using Gematriot
The Jerusalem Talmud contains a pair of derashot that derive the number 39 from gematria. The first is the suggestion of R. Chanina of Sepphoris (j. Shabbat 7:2). He bases the derasha upon the gematria (numerical value) of the phrase (Exod. 35:1), “these are the things (אלה הדברים).” “Things” is plural, so that equals 2. “The things,” with the addition of the definite article, equals 3. The word “these (אלה)” has a numerical value of 36 (alef = 1, lamed = 30, hey = 5). 36 from “אלה”+ 3 from “הדברים” = 39 melachot.[12]  

An even more forced interpretation than the above is that of the Rabbis of Caesaria that comes as a response to R. Chanina of Sepphoris. They say that there is no need to use the extra 3 from “the things.” Instead, they say that the word אלה itself can be given a gematria of 39 since, following the Galilean pronunciation, the hey can be considered a chet. (In the Galilee, during the Talmudic period, all the gutturals were pronounced in the same manner.) Since the gematria of chet is 8, the missing 3 is made up and the number 39 reached. The Talmud then states that, “Rabbis don’t avoid treating hey like chet in derashot.” ”

[12] In Rashi’s understanding, this view appears in the Babylonian Talmud as well, once in the name of R. Nathan (Shabbat 70a) and once in the name of Rabbi [Yehudah HaNasi] (Shabbat 97b). See Rashi in both places, where he explains the Bavli’s more cryptic description along the lines of R. Chanina’s more explicit one in the Yerushalmi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The State of Israel & Redemption

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Yanky55

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In a speech delivered at New York’s Yeshiva University forty four years ago by HaRav Aharon Soloveichik Zt”l on the 18th anniversary of the State several key arguments were addressed. What follows is an excerpt of this lecture from 1966 (printed in Gesher, Vol. 4) captivating the creative message so relevant to contemporary times as well.

“Those who do not recognize the importance of the establishment of the State of Israel (????? ?????) give several reasons. The first argument raised is that non-observant Jews led the movements which culminated in the establishment of the State. They argue that the results of such leadership cannot be of great historical significance for the Jewish people. These results cannot be considered a step towards redemption (?????), but rather as a step away from redemption.

Chapter seven of II Kings has a bearing on all these arguments. Samaria (??????), the capital of the northern kingdom of Israel, was besieged by the mighty armies of Syria and was in the throes of famine. Ordinary food was unobtainable and articles of food which, under normal circumstances, would have been considered repulsive were obtainable only at fantastic prices. Samaria seemed doomed.

Desperate as the situation of the inhabitants of Samaria was, the condition of the four lepers outside the city (II Kings 7:3, above) was infinitely worse. According to our Sages, these four lepers were none other than Gechazi (????) and his three sons who were afflicted with physical leprosy as a penalty for their spiritual leprosy [described by Rambam as heretics]
[??????????? ????? ??? ??????? ??? ??? ????????? ??????? ??????? ?????? ???? ????????? ???? ??????????? ????????? ??????????? ??? ???? ???????? ??????????? ?????? ???????? ????? ????????? ??????????? ????? ?????????:] Consequently, they entered the city of Samaria and conveyed the good tidings to the inhabitants. We thus see that the miracle of deliverance of the inhabitants of Samaria was carried out through the medium of four lepers: physical lepers, yes, but above all, spiritual lepers.

The first argument as to how any relief to the Jewish people could be realized through the medium of heretics can easily be rebutted by the precedent of the deliverance accorded to the people of Samaria through the medium of the four lepers. This episode shows that no Jew can be excluded from the grace of G-d, that “????? ??”? ????, ????? ???”, and that there is an innate tendency towards altruism even in the hearts of spiritual lepers; it also shows that G-d does not exclude any Jew from salvation and He may therefore designate even spiritual lepers as the messengers of relief and deliverance for the people of Israel. Consequently, we cannot ignore the significance of the establishment of the State of Israel simply because Jews who stand a substantial distance from any form of observance of Mitzvot were in the forefront o the movements which established the State and are in the forefront of the State itself. Perhaps the fact that non-observant Jews are in the forefront today is a penalty for Orthodox Jewry’s failure to play the most important part in the formation of the State.”

In a subsequent passage, Harav Aharon Soloveichik Zt”l continues

“The State of Israel represents not the “break of dawn” (“???? ????”) of redemption, but the “appearance of the morning star” (“???? ????”) of redemption. The “???? ????” of redemption must be part of the actual day of “?????”. Unfortunately, we have not yet attained that. Perhaps, if in the course of the last fifty years all observant Jews had dedicated themselves to the up building of the land and would not have allowed spiritual lepers to take the lead, then we might have attained the “???? ???? ?? ??????” (“the dawn of redemption”) and perhaps even more.”

EDITED