Monday, December 26, 2005

High Coldness Factors

It finally got cold in Beit Shemesh.

Ah jeez...

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Shabbos In Mattisdorf

I visited my cousin Tuvia at his yeshiva on Sorotzkin Rd. Like, yeshiva as in, yeshivish (he says it's not so yeshivish, but it is). Quite yeshivish. But it was a lot of fun, I like the yeshivishe velt (yeshivish world). And not only that, the yeshiva is in a very very frum part of Yerushalayim. In fact, R Hershberg said I shouldn't wear my red sweatshirt there. I did anyway--under my red and blue coat. But I didn't get THAT many stares...
When I got off the bus I was just looking around, and BOOM! There was a rainbow in full color right in front of me, and I saw a lot of it, almost saw both ends. It was so nice, and so beautiful, and I said that bracha (Baruch...zocheir haberis, v'ne'eman b'risom, v'kayam bema'amaro). If only it wasn't God's way of saying that He would destroy the world right now if it weren't for the promise He made to Noach...
There are good guys at that yeshiva, a lot of crazy guys. It's a crayz yeshiva, but it's a lot of fun. All of Shabbos I was waiting for that one yeshivish moment, and it finally came at shaloshudes (3rd meal). For thsoe of you who don't know what I'm talking about, I'm sorry, but I will not be able to explain it, it's just one of those things:
*there was cold cuts at shaloshudes*
Dude: I think I want to be fleishig tonight, I don't want to waste money [on ice cream adn stuff].
Aryeh: I don't know if you could do that, it might be a problem of hachana.

So geshmak!

Anyway, the rebbe who was davened and ate with us, was R' Katz, Tuvia's rebbe. After the meal, there was seder for an hour. During seder we went up to ask R' Katz a question. He was looking in his sefer and Tuvia starts chuckling. I asked him why he's laughing, and he told me that whenever R' Katz opens a sefer he always opens it to the right page. Every single time (there's a gemara (I think) that says that for a real talmid chacham, HaShem will have them open to the right page every time so as to lessen bittul Torah). AND he's also a big anav (humble dude), so he'll turn a few pages in one direction, and be like, "Oh, yeah, it's somewhere around here somewhere...." but everyone knows that he knows exactly where it is, and he had it. So one time, Tuvia said to him:

Tuvia: Rebbe, it's bittul Torah.
R' Katz: No it's not, I'm chazzoring.

So when I was up there talking to him, he opened 2 or 3 sefarim, and he opened to the right page every single time. One of the times, Holland (there's a dude from Holland, so I just call him Holland) put his finger there on the page to hold it. R Katz turned 2 pages to the right, and 2 pages back to the left where his finger is and Tuvia goes, "Wow, Rebbe, back where you started! What a coincedence..." R Katz is really cool.
And I finally saw Sara Ester married. I haven't seen her in 4+ years. Wow. And Shalom Tzvi (LA dudes), that was great.
And then there was Friday night...after the meal we went to a shalom zachor, and then, walking back, we decided to see the Belz Beis HaMikdash (Belz built there building to look almost exactly like the main part of the Beis HaMikdash). We were walking toward it when Tuvia said something cute:

Tonny: So we're going to the Beis HaMikdash to see the Belzer Rebbe?
Tuvia: Well, the Kohein Gadol, but yeah...

We walk in, and it's like, woah. It quite big. I mean, it's not this big room [yet], it's all these halls and batei medrash and whatever. Holland showed us the mikvas, all the plaques of names of donors (and trust me, there's a LOT of them...), and then we're going to the Tisch.
It's a huge room with a big table in the middle. The Rebbe sits at the head, the most respected chassidim on all around the table, and everyone else on the bleachers. So first we go in, push in a little bit, and we see the Rebbe, but he's on the otehr side. So we decide to go to the front on his right side. So we're there, standing on the bottom row of those bleachers, climbing up the side of the bleachers right there, it was cool. Then we go up the bleachers on the back wall (like, 4 or 5 o'clock to the Rebbe). I get up there and look around and OH MY GOSH. Just looking at all those bleachers all around, and how many chassidim there were. There were easy, easy 1500 chassidim there. Easy. And zemiros, wow to die for. And the Rebbe gave a l'chayyim, and there was a loud, huge AMEIN booming through the room. It was amazing. I said to Tuvia, "Dude, that was ridiculous." "I know." Like, there no way to describe it. You have to see it for yourself. And not only that, they do this EVERY WEEK! It was awesome. We were there for around 2 hours. We left when the Rebbe started speaking. We couldn't hear, I was getting tired, and of standing. And the others were too, so we left. But when the Rebbe speaks, it's "SH! SH! SH!" It has to be dead silent. So we were walking out, our shoes were clicking of course, and the gabbai was walking past us and he points to our shoes, then puts his finger to his mouth and goes, "SH! SH!" And we're like, Ok, ok...

All around just your normal Shabbos.

I wish...

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Math Baby

I was going over the leining on Wedsnesday night, and I one of the things I was leining was the story of Dina and Sh'chem (Dina, Ya'akov's daughter, got raped by Sh'chem. As punishment, the brothers went through the city took everything, and Shim'on and Leivi killed everybody. Ya'akov was not pleased. Look at perek 34 for more details). I got to the passuk (verse) of "...ushinei b'nei Ya'akov Shim'on veLeivi achei Dina ish charbo vagomer--...and 2 of the sons of Ya'akov, Shim'on & Leivi, brothers of Dina, man of the sword etc." When I got to the word "ish--man" I remembered the medrash that says that Leivi was only 13 years old (that, because it would't call him a man if he wasn't even 13 yet). It's funny, I don't know about anyone else, but when I would learn Tanach, I never really thought of ages and all that in my mind. Like, when I would think of it, I'd just think of people, going through the city and killing everybody. But then this medrash says, he was only 13 years old, and you think, woah, that's young. Anyway, 2 seconds after this, I realized that Dina was only, at oldest, 5 years old.
Now you ask, wait, it's only a medrash, you don't have to believe every medrash. The Rambam says that if you do, you are a fool. Well, ladies and gentlemen, this one you can believe. Ok, math time: We know that Ya'akov was away from home for 22 years; 20 years at Lavan, and 1 1/2 - 2 years traveling (saying 22 years the commentators probably just round up). The first 7 years at Lavan's house, he was working, and only then did he marry Leah, had 7 Brachos, then after that married Rachel and worked 7 years again. But right after that, BOOM BOOM BOOM BOOM the Torah lists the births of Reu'ven, Shim'on, Leivi, and Yehuda all in a row (keep in mind, marriage is in year 7 of 22, namely, 15 years left of the 22 years). Then things happen, more kids are born, like Dan, Naftali, Gad, Asher, Yissachar and Zevulun. And only then is Dina born, then Yoseif. We have one assumtion here: that all of these birthas happen pretty much once a year--if any of the shevatim were twins we would know, either by the Torah saying so, or by the rabbis (medrash, gemara, etc. unless there is something which I've never heard before which is likely, but here I doubt it). Sh'chem rapes Dina right when they get into Eretz Yisrael, because Binyamin isn't born yet, which means Rachel is still alive; meaning that it is within those 22 years. If you do the math, one kid per year, you'd come out with the result that the oldest Dina could be is 5, which makes this episode even more disturbing.
So then why does the Torah say that Dina is a na'arah (which implies over 12 years old)earlier in the paragraph? Well, you could just say that just like Rivkah was 3 and was doing all that stuff for Eli'ezer, watering the camels and whatever, she was mature like a na'arah (which you can't say for Leivi because, again, the math works perectly. Although that would be AWESOME--a 6 year old destroying a city).

Friday, December 16, 2005

Mashi'ach Is Here...Almost

Mishnayos Sotah 9:15:

" Be'ikvos meshicha, chutzpah'arim p'nei zekeinim yalbinu...--In the steps of Mashi'ach, chutzpah (disrespect) will increase...young kids will shame their elders..."

6. Students Expelled From School System for Classroom Violence
By Hillel Fendel

Four 10th grade students who beat up a substitute teacher in a Be'er Sheva high school have been thrown out of the school system altogether, by order of the city's Deputy Mayor.

The incident occurred on Tuesday, when a young English teacher from the nearby Negev University commented to one of the four that he should consider studying more intensively. The boy, a 10th-grader, began hitting the teacher. While the latter was defending himself against the onslaught, another three students began hitting and punching him as well. The victim was finally rescued by other teachers.

I guess this is a bracha incognito...?

And is it a coincidince that the picture they show is a black fist...?

Breishis 33:4

"Vayaratz Eisav likraso vayichabikeihu, vayyipol al tzavarav vayyishakeihu (in the Torah, there are dots over each letter in this word), vayyivku."

"And Esav ran to meet him {Ya'akov], and embraced him, and fell on his neck, and kissed him; and they wept."

Rashi on the word "vayyishakeihu:"
Rav Shim'on bar Yochai said: It is a well known tradition that Esav hates Ya'akov, but his compassion was moved at that time, and he kissed him wholeheartedly.

Only at that time his compassion was moved. Esav still hates us.

Esav turned into Rome. Rome turned into America...

Is it any wonder why everyone wants to make aliyyah? Why we should make aliyyah?? The non Jews don't like us. Maybe, maybe, maybe individuals, but as a whole, they hate us. You know what it says in the introduction to a mishnayyos printed in Germany in the early 1900's? In Maseches (tractate) Avodah Zarah, the rabbis have this understanding that the non Jews want to kill us usually. So the introduction says that even though the rabbis said it, it would never happen today.

A Rav from the Mevaseret kollel who was in the holocaust has this mishnayyos, and can show it to you. They felt that the German wouldn't hurt us at all. And then we all know what happened. All exiles have ended in Jewish persecution, why wouldn't this one? They say histoy repeats itself, right...?

Random Schimmelism

Tonight, R' Nosson Slifkin (yes, the R Slifkin who has 3 books in cheirem) came to us about Zoo Torah. He's a zoologist, so he spoke to us about the Torah and animals and the relationship and all that; identifying the animals mentioned in the Torah, etc. It was really cool. He told us that a nesher is not the eagle, but rather the griffen vulture; the tzvi is not the deer, but in fact the gazelle. In Europe, when they were translating the Tanach, they didn't have gazelles there, they didn't have the griffen vulture (all animals in Tanach are near or in Eretz Yisrael), so they translated it as close as possible. Chazal say that the tzvi doesn't have antlers, which deer CLEARLY do.
Anyway, a Schimmelism from R Slifkin (well, from the shiur at least):

R Slifkin: So what's Iyyov about? He's God's man, He's great God loves him. Then the Satan says to him, he's only good to you because he's powerful, he's rich, he has a big family. Let's see how he does when he doesn't have that. So God says, alright. So eventually Iyyov turns to God and says, "Why did you do this to me?!"
Sam: "Because I had $100 on you Iyyov!"


*Avi was recording the shiur on his digital recorder*
Roth: Rabbi, what's with those cheirem's (bans) on your books?
R Slifkin: Is this thing still on?

Ok maybe not as funny. Whatever.

R Slifkin's awesome!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Middah K'negged Middah...?

1. PA Farmers in Gaza: How Do Those Israelis Do It?
By Hillel Fendel

After years of producing bug-free lettuce and other vegetables for Jewish farmers, the sands of Gaza have reverted to their old ways. PA farmers report failure in keeping the bugs away.

The Gaza Arabs who have taken over the hothouses of what used to be Gush Katif reported to the Israel-PA Coordination Office that they have failed in raising bug-free vegetables...


How awesome is that?!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Schimmelism Of The Week XXXIII

R Wolicki: How're the Redskins doing?
R Lipman: Not good.
R Wolicki: Is [head coach] Joe Gibbs not 'the man?'
Roth: No, the Redskins team isn't, 'the men.'

And once again, one from the master himself...

Rabbi: Kiko, shut up.
Kiko: I'm not talking.
Rabbi: Good, shut up anyway.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Abba!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Schimmelism Of The Week XXXII

Mo: Max did it.
Max: DId what?
Mo: Stole Yoni's camera.
Max: No, I'm in the drug business...

Now for some old school Schimmelismage from the Master which we haven't had in a while:

Hoffman, I don't want to have to throw you out. Actually, that's not even true.