The virtual Kehilla of Orthodox Jewry of Greater Montreal

Lights Out on Learning?The Minister of Baker's Dream and the Hidden Light

The Custom of Not Learning on the Night of th 24th

The Hidden Light and the Dream of the Minister of Bakers (שׂר האופח)

Many have a custom on this night not to learn.As I've ehard the custom is absed on the fear that one's Torah  will go to those 'outside' forces - the'Klippos' who will sully the purity of the learning of Torah , which keeps the world going.I never had accepted (or received ) the custom, but somehow , we can't ignore it either.

And buttresed by the glowing lights of the 3rd candle of Chanuka and their glowing brightly in our times openly in places in past years citadels of atheism and nazis y's, I was thinking it appropriate to write the musings I had last Shabbas, parshas V'Yeshev,of how the judgement of the Saar h'ofeh reflects so much the judgement we hear was meted out to 'that' individual.But at that time, I didn't see clearly the connection with our parshios and with Chanuka.

*(This is not poshut p'shat, but nothing happens for no reason , certainly not in our holy Torah, so I thinkl the ramazim- hints I write,are close enough to simplicity, that I am allowed to share, b'ezer haShem)

Joseph became friendly and helpful (as was his nature , the Netziv explains) with the two ministers thrown into jail with him.So when he saw they were troubled with their dreams, he offered to intrepret.So, he understood that the interpretations had something to do with him ,too.

The interpretation to the Minister of Drinks  was wonderful, that for the Minister of Bakery  was dreadful.Actually if we read it more carefully,it reads like that meted very closely out to 'that person'.

Rashi writes in the name of the medrash, us that the light of Creation was 'Good' and haShem knew that it was not good for sinners to use it , so he seperated it for tzaddikim to come The simple explanation is that it is not good for the light to serve mixedup with darkness, so he seperated the light into day and night.

 Adom haRishon was created to be a tzaddik, carrying within him that inner pure light of Elokus.But the 'Original sin' caused the external evil inclination (as we know the serpent to represent/be) to become internal-- mixed up in all his actions.

Yosef, the ben zekunim of the last patriarch, Yisrael, carried within that original 'inner light.' In the passuk where he refuses temptation, there is a 'shalsheles on the word וימאן - he refused; ie the shalsheles - the Everlasting chain going back to his holy patriarchs  which reestablished  the original stature of Adom haRishon, will not be broken.And so it is followed with a 'psik',for no reason, just run away.

Yeshaya haNavi calls the Jewish people, His wineyard.Wine יין - gematria Sod (secret) סוד  70. The 'Inner light' is revealed to soemone who focuses on that purpose of Creation and carries with him through life fear of the Ribono shel Olam,the Awesome, hallowed Creator.

Yosef told eshes Potifar that he was given by Potifar all except the bread he ate , meaning (Rashi) his wife.

The saar ha'ofeh (of bread) should have seen the stone which had fallen into the batch whereas the saar hamashke was not at fault for not seeing the fly fall into the cup of wine.

The story we have of 'that individual' is that he was with his Rebbe (and undoubtedly speaking in learning) when he noticed a good looking girl, and mentioned that. to the rebbe (an enormous insult, besides being openly into tumah).

That was when his rebbe 'sent him away.'The third time he tried to do teshuva, the rebbe was ready to accept him back, but his eyes were closed saying kryas shema.

In the intepretation of the dream of the saar hofeh,his head will fall off far, but the birds will eat from his body hanging high, so that Pharoa will have pleasure seeing the body being devoured, the bodily desires which can turn a human into a beast. 

The Chazal say that Yosef almost fell, but he "saw" his father in a dream.Yosef's holding fast to kedushas Yisrael was the foundation for his own liberation and incredible rise and likewise, that was what has kept our people alive through all the many , harsh tribulations of golus.

In the first bayis we had the plague of avoda zara,The jews brough back from Bavel foreign wives but were strong enough to give them up.But in the second bayis, we have the 'misyavnim', who loved the Greeks for their wisdom, as we are lovers of wisdom.Those were the ones we had to fight the most.They took the torah they knew and defiled it , not willing to admit and understand that the inner lights of understanding of the Holy Torah are given only to those who sacrifice themselves to live with 'Elokus' down here on earth as a Holy People and a Kingdom of Priests (as given on Sinai).The Greeks had enormous jealousy for our torah Elokus, and did everything to stamp it out.In fact our chazal tell us that "choshech al pnei tahom " on the first day of Creation, refers to the Greeks who darkened our eyes with fasting from their attacks on our holy Torah.

And it was that licentscious jew's chutzpa, who went after his eyes which led to the defamy that we had sinned and lost our destiny as the chosen People, chosen to be a  "light unto the Nation," the 'new testament',and all the hate that spawned as the chazal said, the Nations are destied to say , "we are Israel."

That was why the mishna, the oral law could not be written down .It lives even today,only in the hearts and living souls of those who treasure its teachings and labour to know and live those teachings (My Rebbe, the baal Pachd Yitchok, ztzl , explains how it was finally writen in such manner that we still have to come on tothe living elucidation).

We don't want that 'inner light of Creation' be given to those not able to live with them, and one night in the year, we are cautious .But for 8 nights of Chanuka those lights, connecting us with the pure lights of theTemple keep shining brighter and brighter, chasing away the darkness more and more.


And the difficulties that the present government of Isreal has in governing , we beleive (and is clear to all) the same emergence of the pure light of Torah  which does not accept a 'National Home " for Jews which does not accept and prioritize the Holy Torah as our guide and true Constitution.

A freilich Chanuka!




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גוי וקחל גוים A Nation and a Congregation of Nations

גוי וקחל גוים   כולו הפך לבן

The son of David (Moshiach) will not come until all the leaders turn to denial of haShem

The source for this surprising and inexplilable statement is that when the blemish of leprosy turns completely white , then the blemish is purified.

When Jacob finally received his brocho from haShem, no longer as something 'stolen' with cunning, he is told that Goy (referring to Binyamin) and kahal goyim(referring to the two children of Yosef - (Ephraim and Menasshe) will come from him.The Netziv says that 'Goy' refers to the aspect of royalty, as Yehoshua, Shaul (and generations later , Mordecai) came from Binyamin.Of all the shevatim, only Binyamin was born in  Israel.He was the only one who would not/could not bow down the Esau, or in later generations to Haman.But , even if malchus was not to be lasting with Binyamin, most of the Beis haMikdash was built on his chelek.

And yet we also see another aspect to the strength of Binyamin - 'Pilegesh b'givea", a civil war, which devestated both sides, caused by an absolutely disgusting actions of a number of people witha 'yoke' from the tribe of Binyamin.Moreover, the place of 'gehinnom' is very near the bies hamkdash (in  Binyamin's territory)

When we look at what is happenning , r'l, in much of Isreal today, and paralelled by many prominent jews in the land of our biggest ally, the USA , we can't but wonder if that time is not fast coming upon us.And it is scary.

I saw an interesting observation by Gershon /burstyn in the Mishpacha magazine this week. Almost all the 'expert academics"trying to impeach the president (or for that matter, big jewish names selling the the 'liberal' gospel, running for president), are jewish.

I'm not sure , but we know that Nature hates a vacuum.The soul of a Yid is here to know, praise and proclaim the Majesty of the Creator.But when that Jew's neshema has been uprooted for generations from that source of life, and has been blemished by their aptitude for success, used for worldy self aggrandizement rather than lasting  eternal good, they turn to 'something' , some 'ism', anything , but what is genuine.

Completely tamei? No, that cannot be, not the soul of a Yid., but hopefully the changes we long for won't come with thousands of rockets reigning down on the Holy Land, or more horror stories as wqe saw last week in New Jersey. 

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הוה גביר לאחיך וישתחוולך בּני אמך


הוה גביר לאחיך וישתחוולך בּני אמך

My einkle told me tonight a gedank which I thought appropriate to share , with some small embellishments from myself.

My einkle asked , we know that the seforim explain to us that the worldly brochos which were given to us, were just so that we could dedicate ourselves properly to our learning and service of haShem.If so, what is the reason fro these brochos to actually dominate and rule the world?and , a little older ask,isn't this the real, underlying reason for hate and antisemitism?The goyim do read the bible.What does this have to do with being 'servants' of haShem?

He gave an answer (he said from the Ramchal; i didn't ask, where in the Ramchal) that to the extent we truly serve haShem, the brocho comes to us,and it is recognized by the goyim as from haSehm, and with that we can bring the whole world to its fulfillmentand tikun, which is our avoda and tikun.As the possuk says  - v'yattu sceh achod ' -They will accept  the yoke of heaven together (one shoulder) 

This is actually the words of the Mesilas Yeshorim (the Ramchal) in the coming sedra.When Yaakov was on his way to find his shidduch and build the Jewish Nation he slept in the place of the Mikdash and had his vision of the angels going up and down the ladder , and (according to Rashi), the stones argued on which he should sleep, until they all became one.

I don't have the Meslias Yeshorim (the Ramchal) in front of me, but he says it is a tremendous 'lift' to serve the tzaddik.

(If the goyim would hear the innocence of my enekle's words, they would immediately lose their hate)

When we look about the scene today , in the Golah, and in Israel, we see an incredible view ;Nations voting Yidden to  head  their countries (some with long histories of hate) and in American politics , yidden , yidden (not necessarily lovers of our faith),very visible wherever you look.and , yet on the other side, Israel the focal point of all, is paralyzed  and cannot govern itself.

We all know that there was (and is) tremendous fear and opposition by gedolei Yisrael to a  'Zionist State ' , the dream of a secular 'Jewish Homeland".That dream is crumbling today before our very eyes.

Secularism divides; service of haShem unites.The place for unity of our people is the Holy Land, -- the "Mama Land ".In all spheres of activity our people are shining.The time is fast coming for our light to shine , not only in technology and finance and in governance , but for us to fulfil our raison d^etre as a beacon , a  'Light unto the Nations", for all to know, to accept and live with the knowledge that there is a Creator, even if we don't have all the answers.

Kislev is the month of miracles.Let us pray we speedily see the dissolution of 'Hellenism' in our Holy Land, displaced with true faith and love of one Yid for another.

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Confusion ,is it a recipe for Moshiach?

Why do we read the tochechos before Rosh haShana?   So the year and its curses should end

Why must the year have curses?And this year ,in paticular, a year ending with so much confusion?We thought we had a fantastic friend in the White House, but is Israel friend with themselves?The last (it seems)   Likud PM, pushed through an enshrinement of the original  'zionist ' dream of a J'ewish State'. What will be of that dream,when the jewish academics vote with the arab bloc?

And we , living in the golah, are we  free of confusion?Growing anti semitism, our holy ways of chinuch being challenged in England  and in NY State ,bastions of torah .And where do we stand with regards the Holy Land ?Is it our land, or just a place to visit(and support)?(As my readers know, I have been 'begging', almost for years for friends to participate wih the program of with very little success). Do we truly look forward to 'Redemption"Does that word , 'Redemption', have any meaning to us? We are 'free', we are 'frum' and successful.What more could we want?

This coming year,5780, we are looking foward to the incredible bar mitzva celebration , the 13th cycle of daf Yomi ?Why , what redemption?Our world of Torah and Yiddiskeit is fantastic.

Is it so? The attack on Jewish chinuch in NY  State has been pushed by disenchanted ,originally 'frum', Jews.We have heard terrible stories of Jewish youth taking their own lives, r'l, even a special mossad opening to deal with such unhappy souls..Something is lacking in our personal connection with the Creator.Is our 'success' our undoing?

If we end this  year in confusion ,perhaps we should be investing energy in introspection, ourselves as indviduals ;ourselves as a People.And isn't that what the month of Ellul, and especailly the time before Rosh haShana all about?. And when we read of in these parshios, of "arvus", our neshamos are mixed and responsible one for the other, is it not time to wonder if we are dedicated to be a Holy Nation ,a 'light unto the Nations', in our holy land, no longer in golus, living a higher and more elevated life?

Before reading the Tochecha, we read two parshios,the bringing of Bikkurim, and 'vidui' (admission) of maaser.When you come to the Land , haShem has given, bring up to the beis hamikdash a basket of 'bikkurim' the first and best of the fruit of the land, place it before the Cohen of that time and say "I've come to the land promised to our forefathers (Rashi - 'that you do not deny the good' ), and then begins the famous parsha we read and elucidate on the seder night.Lavan arami seeked to eradicate all -our faith, and the Egyptians afflicted us heavily - our bodies, and with all the affliction we grew mightily, we cried out to Heaven and were answered.. .Leave the Bikkurim before haShem and be happy with all the good which haShem has given...     

The next parsha follows .... 'vidui maaser', admitting that we have given our maaser responsibilities properly. We usually connect the word 'vidui' to admitting one's sins (as it is used in selichos and Yom Kippur).but here we see that the root is to admit that all is from Him, and with that , we pray He should look down and bless 'your nation and the land. Our name - jew, Yehuda, comes from that characteristic.

We find in the middle of the tochcha 'tachas asher lo avadata es haShem Elokeche  b'simcha uvtuv levov merov kol' , instead of serving haShem with joy and a good heart from much good.All the curses come from the lack of joy in our service of haShem when we had it good.Our destiny is to realize that all is from Him;to internalize the joy of faith  that we cannot rely on anyone , and as a people, not on the US.

Trumps' plan ? Who is coming to the table?

Have we forgotten that Yishmael did teshuva  at the end? Are we truly a spiritual nation?

Apparently, according to a talmid ,  Rabbi Kaduri ztz'l  predicted Moshiach to come when twice the government won't be able to form a govrnmentorty years ago. Rabbi Eliyahu Merav was a young man and looked to Rabbi Kaduri as his spiritual guide. 

“It is very important to understand such things in context,” Rabbi Merav said. “Rabbi Kaduri spoke very little so it was very important to understand precisely what he intended. One day, he was taking questions and someone asked when the Moshiach (Messiah) would arrive and whether there were signs the would precede his arrival. The rabbi answered, ‘When there will be elections but there will not be a government’.”

Rabbi Merav noted that at the time, this statement was very confusing.

“It seemed contradictory,” Rabbi Merav said. “How could there be elections but no government? If there are elections, there will be a government. That is simply the way things work. No one understood him at the time but this is really how it is with prophecy; you don’t understand it until it happens.”

And there are more 'signs' from the mekubalim............

The Chazal say , there is no simcha like 'hateras hasafek', solving our questions, so theoretically , we should be in joy.However these predictions are accompanied by predictions of war too.

The Gaon from Vilna is quoted as saying "The fault is in years ,  the tikun in generations" (the loose translation is mine), that is why Avraham was told that we would be in Egypt for 400 years , but we would leave after 4 generations.

May the curses of the past leave, and may we emerge this coming year newly sanctified with our national misson to be"a light unto the Nations".

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The Kneset passes the 'Jewish State Law'

The passing of the "Jewish State Law'  coming just before Shabbas Tishe b'Av

enshrining ‘national home of the Jewish people’

must bring to us reflections.Are we to be overjoyed, sad ,or a hopeful mix?

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