July, 2012 Archives

24
Jul

Inspiring Good

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Relationships

“And those who bring the people to do the right thing shall be as the stars, eternal (Daniel 12:3).” The Midrash comments: Just as one sees the light of the stars from one end of the world to the other, so, too, one sees the light of Good People from one end of the world to the other. Just as the stars are sometimes visible and at other times hidden, so, too, with Good People. Just as the clusters of stars are so numerous they cannot be counted, so, too, the groups of Good People are innumerable (Sifre Devarim, Eikev, 11:47).”

The righteous, or the Good People, are described by Daniel as, “those who bring the many to do the right thing.” During the Three Weeks, when we suffer the consequences of baseless hatred, perhaps we should consider Daniel’s lesson and focus on being counted among those who inspire others to do the right thing.

After the reading of Lamentations on the night of Tisha b’Av, the final Kinah, “How long must Zion cry and Jerusalem mourn,” we speak of the 12 signs of the zodiac, based on the Talmud (Chagigah 5b) which describes how, after the destruction of the Temples, even the heavenly hosts joined in mourning with Israel. Rather than mourn the weeping of the constellations, we can become, as described by Daniel and the Midrash above, as new constellations of light in the world.

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Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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24
Jul

Kinah 37: Miraculous Life

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Reflections & Observations, Spiritual Growth

Everything about Israel, when the Temple was standing, was different, even the animals:

Never did serpent or scorpion injure anyone in Jerusalem. (Yoma 21a)

The Talmud describes how some of the great Rabbis continued to live with such miracles even after the Temple was destroyed:

Rabbi Phinehas happened to come to a certain inn. They placed barley before his ass, but it would not eat. It was sifted, but the ass would not eat it. It was carefully picked; still the ass would not eat it. ‘Perhaps’, suggested R. Phinehas, ‘it is not tithed’? It was at once tithed, and the ass ate it. He, thereupon, exclaimed, ‘This poor creature is about to do the will of the Creator, and you would feed it with untithed produce’! (Chullin 7a)

However, many of those who lived during the Temple times refused to acknowledge that their existence was different:

1 Now Naaman, captain of the host of the king of Aram, was a great man with his master, and held in esteem, because by him the LORD had given victory unto Aram; he was also a mighty man of valour, but he was a leper. 2 And the Arameans had gone out in bands, and had brought away captive out of the land of Israel a little maid; and she waited on Naaman’s wife. 3 And she said unto her mistress: ‘Would that my lord were with the prophet that is in Samaria! then would he recover him of his leprosy.’ 4 And he went in, and told his lord, saying: ‘Thus and thus said the maid that is of the land of Israel.’ 5 And the king of Aram said: ‘Go now, and I will send a letter unto the king of Israel.’ And he departed, and took with him ten talents of silver, and six thousand pieces of gold, and ten changes of raiment. 6 And he brought the letter to the king of Israel, saying: ‘And now when this letter is come unto thee, behold, I have sent Naaman my servant to thee, that thou mayest recover him of his leprosy.’ 7 And it came to pass, when the king of Israel had read the letter, that he rent his clothes, and said: ‘Am I God, to kill and to make alive, that this man doth send unto me to recover a man of his leprosy? but consider, I pray you, and see how he seeketh an occasion against me.’ 8 And it was so, when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had rent his clothes, that he sent to the king, saying: ‘Wherefore hast thou rent thy clothes? let him come now to me, and he shall know that there is a prophet in Israel.’ 9 So Naaman came with his horses and with his chariots, and stood at the door of the house of Elisha. 10 And Elisha sent a messenger unto him, saying: ‘Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and thy flesh shall come back to thee, and thou shalt be clean.’ 11 But Naaman was wroth, and went away, and said: ‘Behold, I thought: He will surely come out to me, and stand, and call on the name of the LORD his God, and wave his hand over the place, and recover the leper. 12 Are not Amanah and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? may I not wash in them, and be clean?’ So he turned, and went away in a rage. 13 And his servants came near, and spoke unto him, and said: ‘My father, if the prophet had bid thee do some great thing, wouldest thou not have done it? how much rather then, when he saith to thee: Wash, and be clean?’ 14 Then went he down, and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh came back like unto the flesh of a little child, and he was clean. 15 And he returned to the man of God, he and all his company, and came, and stood before him; and he said: ‘Behold now, I know that there is no God in all the earth, but in Israel; now therefore, I pray thee, take a present of thy servant.’ 16 But he said: ‘As the LORD liveth, before whom I stand, I will receive none.’ And he urged him to take it; but he refused. 17 And Naaman said: ‘If not, yet I pray thee let there be given to thy servant two mules’ burden of earth; for thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt-offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the LORD. 18 In this thing the LORD pardon thy servant: when my master goeth into the house of Rimmon to worship there, and he leaneth on my hand, and I prostrate myself in the house of Rimmon, when I prostrate myself in the house of Rimmon, the LORD pardon thy servant in this thing.’ 19 And he said unto him: ‘Go in peace.’ So he departed from him some way. (Kings II, Chapter 5)

Elisha wanted the King and all to know “That there is a prophet in Israel,” meaning that everything is different even our waters. Na’aman, understandably had difficulty accepting Elisha’s assertion, but eventually, at the urgings of his servants, tested the waters and was miraculously healed.

We lived a different sort of existence as long as the Temple stood.

Some people believed that such a miraculous existence was possible, and would try anything, without understanding, (much as many people in our times seek magical answers from Kabbalists) to bring the miracles back to the land:

Once upon a time, a man was coming to Israel from Babylonia. When he sat down to rest, he saw two birds fighting with each other in the road. One of the birds killed the other, then flew away. It brought back a certain herb, which it placed on the dead bird, and revived it.

The man said, “It would be wonderful if I could get some of that herb. I could take it with me and bring the dead of the Land of Israel back to life!”

Having found some of the herb, he continued on his way. He saw a dead fox lying by the roadside. The man said, “It would be good to test this on the dead fox,” and touching the fox with the herb, he revived it.

Continuing still further on his way, the man reached the Ladders of Tyre, near the border of Israel. At that place he saw on the road a lion that had been killed. The man said, “It would be good to try this on the lion.”

He touched the lion with the herb, and it was brought back to life.

The lion then got up and ate the man.

(Vayikra Rabbah 22:4)

The man recognized the miracles. He believed, but he did not understand that his magical herb still functioned according to some of the rules of nature; Lions eat people! He did not appreciate that the Temple level of existence was necessary to use such miracles safely. He died in his efforts.

Others refuse to believe that we ever lived at such a miraculous level, and therefore reject the possibility that we should aspire to regaining that level of miraculous existence:

“I will make… your gates of precious stones [O’ Jerusalem], your surrounding wall, of gems.” (Isaiah 54:12)

R. Yochanan [explained] when he [once] sat and gave an exposition: The Holy One, blessed be He, will in time to come bring precious stones and pearls which are thirty [cubits] by thirty and will cut out from them [openings]30 ten [cubits] by twenty, and will set them up in the gates of Jerusalem.

A certain student sneered at him: [Jewels] of the size of a dove’s egg are not to be found; are [jewels] of such a size to be found?

After a time, his ship sailed out to sea [where] he saw ministering angels engaged in cutting precious stones and pearls which were thirty [cubits] by thirty and on which were engravings of ten [cubits] by twenty.

He said unto them: ‘For whom are these?’ They replied that the Holy One, blessed be He, would in time to come set them up in the gates of Jerusalem. [When] he came [again] before R. Yochanan he said unto him: ‘Expound, O my master; it is becoming for you to expound; as you said, so have I seen.’

He replied unto him: ‘Empty one, had you not seen, would not you have believed? You are [then] sneering at the words of the Sages!’

He set his eyes on him and [the student] turned into a heap of bones. (Bava Batra 75a)

Rabbi Yochanan did not rebuke his student when he sneered; he was angry only after the student witnessed a miracle and returned a believer! Rabbi Yochanan wasn’t troubled by the students skepticism; he was furious with his students belief in the miracle without any context.

What is the most important element necessary for proper context?

That our level of miraculous existence depends on the level we have achieved in our attachment to God, as the Midrash teaches:

Rabbi Yudan said in the name of Rabbi Avin, “Six things were taken away from Adam, namely:

his radiance,

his immortality,

the extraordinary ease with which he reaped the fruits of the earth and the fruits of the trees,

and the wondrous light of Early Creation.

How do we know his radiance was taken away from him?

The verse states,

“You alter his face and send him away.” (Job 14:20)

Bereishit Rabbah 12:6

When we appreciate the possibility that it once existed, that it can exist again, that it demands a higher level of service of God, we can then share in the following blessing:

When the Rabbis took leave from the school of R. Ammi — some say, of R. Hanina — they said to him:

May you see your requirements provided in your lifetime,

And may your latter end be for the future world and your hope for many generations; May your heart meditate understanding,

Your mouth speak wisdom

And your tongue indite song;

Aay your eyelids look straight before you,

May your eyes be enlightened by the light of the Torah

And your face shine like the brightness of the firmament;

May your lips utter knowledge, your entire being rejoice in uprightness,

And your steps run to hear the words of the Ancient of Days. (Berachot 17a) Truly, a miraculous existence!

To live without believing in the miracles that were, is to live in eternal Tisha B’Av.

To live without believing in the miracles that can be, is to live in eternal Tisha B’Av.

To believe without understanding the context of holiness and service that are necessary, is to live in eternal Tisha B’Av.

To believe in what was and what will be when we regain Beit Hamikdash existence and awareness is to live as shining examples of that original light.

Author Info:

Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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24
Jul

Kinah 24: As Angels

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Spiritual Growth

The Cherubim

This Kinah, by Rabbi Elazar KaKalir, focuses on yet another tragic aspect of the Temple’s destruction. Not only was the Temple edifice destroyed but its furnishings, adornments and holy vessels were plundered too. Each one of these components was designed to reflect the celestial Temple in the heavens above where the ministering angels offer their fiery and awesome paeans of praise to the Almighty.

Moreover, each corresponded to some particular natural phenomenon. Here we lament the fact that these very adornments and vessels were ignominiously vandalized by the vile hand of Nebuchadnezar and then sent as gifts to adorn the pagan temples of the babylonian Empire.

Here we mourn this terrible degradation that befell both the terrestrial and celestial Temples.

Here we grieve over the diminution of benefits derived from the phenomena of nature. (Artscroll Kinot: Page 264)

One of the most prolific writers of Responsa in history was Rabbi David Ibn Abi Zimra (1479-1573), known as the Radbaz. As a Kabbalist, Radbaz believed that behind the plain meaning of the Scripture there are profound mystical meanings. A questioner asked Radbaz (#256) to explain to him the narrative of Adam’s sin according to the plain meaning, not according to the Kabbalah, which, the questioner says, is not his concern.

Adam was God’s creation, the work of His hands. The Rabbis wax eloquent in describing Adam’s lofty spiritual degree. All that God commanded him was to refrain from eating of the three, a small matter surely. How, then, could he have yielded to the importunities of Eve and defy his God?

Radbaz observes that the Zohar has tremendous things to say here but he is not permitted to divulge them and, in any event, the questioner has asked for the plain, not the mystical, meaning.

Radbaz proceeds to expound the narrative in its plain meaning, as he sees it. Adam knew that he could become immortal only by eating the fruit of the Tree of life. Unless he ate of this fruit he would be subject to the law of decay to which all creatures, by their very nature, are subject.

But Adam wished to live forever so as to be able to praise God for all eternity, attaining to the degree of the angels, nay, possibly to an even higher degree. In pursuit of his aim of living forever, Adam wished to discover where in the Garden the Tree of Life was situated, for this information had not been imparted to him.

When Adam saw that Eve’s knowledge had been increased as a result of eating the forbidden fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, he realized that if he ate of the forbidden tree his knowledge too, would be increased, and that increase would endow him with the wisdom to discover the location of the Tree of Life.

He knew that it was sinful of him to eat the forbidden fruit, but justified the sin on the grounds that it was, after all, for the realization of the sublime aim of living forever to praise God. And he believed, further, that once having attained his spiritual ambition, he could erase the initial sin by repenting of it.

Thus, Adam did sin, but it was out of the highest motives and so, in no way, unworthy of his elevated degree.

Perhaps we cannot understand, appreciate, or even relate to the idea that, “Each one of these components was designed to reflect the celestial Temple in the heavens above where the ministering angels offer their fiery and awesome paeans of praise to the Almighty.” However, we can appreciate that there is a level at which a person strives to live at such elevated heights simply to be able to attach to God even more than can the highest angels. We lost much of this drive to connect heaven and earth when the Temple was destroyed.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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24
Jul

Eavesdropping

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays, Spiritual Growth

People often request copies of the recordings I made of my personal conversations with my father and Uncle Noach zt”l. Even their casual comments were filled with treasures of wisdom, insight and clarity. The recordings contain many intensely private details and I am not willing to share them.

I am currently studying two complex topics in Halacha – Jewish Law – and the books are piling up on my desk. I glanced at the stacks and realized that I have a book from practically every century since the closing of the Talmud.

In fact, what I have on my desk is a recorded conversation between the Jewish People and God over the long course of our history. These are all public dialogues, often debates, and offer powerful insights into dealing with endless issues and challenges, conflicts external and internal.

Let me see: There are Responsa of the Geonim –(late sixth century to mid eleventh Iraq), Talmudic insights of the Rif – (1013 – 1103: Morocco, Tunisia and Spain), Rashi (1040 – 1105: Troyes, during the Crusade of Godfrey), the Rambam (1135 – 1204: Cordoba and Egypt, served as the court physician to Sultan Saladin), the Rosh (1250 -1328: Germany and Toledo), Rabbi Joseph Caro (1488-1575: Toledo, Salonika and Safed), Rabbi Akiva Eiger (1761 -1837: Hungary and West Prussia) the Chafetz Chaim (1838-1933: Radun), Rav Moshe Feinstein (1895 – 1986: Belarus, Russia and 20th Century America) and more.

Each book reflects the whole of Torah while offering insight into the society and struggles of each author. All the books written since Sinai are part of an ongoing conversation between God and Israel. Torah study invites us to eavesdrop on this ongoing dialogue.

We can listen in to the discussions of rabbis dealing with the threats from Karaites and Crusader. We hear them console people frightened of the Inquisition and Chmielnicki. The conversations cover Marranos and Moonies, clothing, marriage, child rearing, love, business, and God.

The Tisha B’Av Kinot – Lamentations – afford us headphones to listen into the intensely emotional talks we have had with God since the destruction of the first Temple.

It is painful, almost torturous, to listen in to these conversations, but there is great wisdom to be distilled, if only we will listen carefully.

Author Info:

Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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9
Jul

Prophet & Priest-Kinah 34-Background & Introduction

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

“As the nations that God makes perish before you, so shall you perish (Deuteronomy 8:20).” Infer that as these nations perished through priest and prophet, [referring to the overthrow of Jericho where Joshua, the prophet, ordered the priests to march round the wall and blow the shofar, Joshua 6], so will Israel be exiled through priest and prophet [referring to Jeremiah who was both priest and prophet].

As they were overthrown with the blast of the shofar and shouting, so will Israel be exiled with the blast of the shofar and shouting [Jeremiah 4:19], “My innards, my innards, I shudder; the walls of my heart, my heart murmurs within me; I cannot be silent, for you have heard the sound of the shofar (See: 613 Concepts-Chapter 116-Rosh Hashanah and Shofar Part 3-Laws of the Blowing of the Shofar), O my soul, the shofar blast of war.” [Midrash Eichah 1.1.3]

There are layers of meaning to this Midrash, which we must consider to fully apprectiate its depth:


  1. Jeremiah, prophet and priest, was a direct descendant of Joshua: “Eight prophets, who were also priests, descended from Rahab the innkeeper (of the Jericho story, who married Joshua): Neriah, Baruch, Seraiah, Mahseiah, Jeremiah… (Megillah 14b)

  2. The murder of Zechariah son of Yehoiadah, prophet and priest, by Yoash: See Biblical Personalities-Yoash & Haftarah-Shekalim-Background and Reading the Text.

  3. The story of the boiling blood of the prophet and priest: Nevuzaradan, the general of Nebuchadnezzar’s armies, saw the blood of Zechariah seething. ‘What is this?’ cried he. ‘It is the blood of sacrifices, which has been spilled,’ they answered. ‘Then,’ said he, ‘bring [some animal blood] and I will compare them, to see whether they are alike.’ So he slaughtered animals and compared them, but they were dissimilar. ‘Disclose the secret to me, or if not, I will tear your flesh with iron combs,’ he threatened. They replied: ‘This is the blood of a priest and a prophet, who foretold the destruction of Jerusalem to the Israelites, and they killed him.’ ‘I,’ said he, ‘will appease him.’ So he brought the scholars and slew them over him, yet it did not cease [to boil]. He brought schoolchildren and slew them over him, still it did not rest; he brought the young priests and slew them over him, and still it did not rest, until he had slain ninety-four thousand, and still it did not rest.


Whereupon he approached him and cried out, ‘Zechariah, Zechariah, I have                          destroyed the flower of them: do You desire me to massacre them all?’ Straightway it rested. Thoughts of repentance came into his mind: if they, who killed one person only, have been so [severely punished], what will be my fate? So he fled, sent his testament to his house, and became a proselyte. (Sanhedrin 96b)


  1. The capture of Jericho and the role of the Shofar. (See: 613 Concepts-Chapter 116-Rosh Hashanah and Shofar-Part 2-Laws of the Shofar- The Size of the Shofar):

  2. An instant eternity of evil and wrong: Before being canonized, Thomas Becket was the twelfth-century Archbishop of Canterbury; having clashed with England’s King Henry II he was stabbed by four hired assassins during a divine service. In T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral the women of Canterbury, simple women, not especially pious, already hardened by the severity of their lives bear witness to the crime. The anticipation of what is about to happen is beyond their ken, and the death of a minister of God shocks them.  They sense that something has happened that cannot be repaired, it is an “instant eternity of evil and wrong.” To efface this moment, it would be necessary to wash the wind and sweep up the sky.


Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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9
Jul

The Greatness of a Human Being-Kinah 21

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

“Terror rolls over me, pursues my path like the wind, and my rescue like a cloud passes on (Job 30:15).” You chase as the wind the men who are noble hearted and who should be the instruments of my deliverance. You scatter and make to pass as clouds the men who are noble hearted and through whom salvation should come to me; as it is said, “How has my Master covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in His anger, and cast down from heaven to earth the beauty of Israel, and remembered not His footstool in the day of His anger (Lamentations 2:1).”  [Midrash Eichah 1.1.2]

Kinah #21 describes the martyrdom of the Ten Sages who were martyred by the Romans in the middle of the second century. It is our lament that we experienced God depriving us of the very people who could have led us to salvation.

I often wonder why the Romans allowed the people such direct access to these great rabbis while they were being tortured and killed. It seems that the Romans wanted us to see our leaders as regular human beings, who when suffering, were no different from us.

What the Romans failed to understand was that it was the very humanity of these people that connected us with them. We knew that they were people, and represented what a human being could become. We do not lament the loss of leaders with extraordinary powers; we mourn the loss of great people who can teach us through example what a human being can achieve and become. A people that can remember and live with the awareness of the potential of a human being, will find the key to salvation. The cloud is the confusion that comes when we stop seeing these leaders as human beings who achieved greatness, and we begin believing that they have extraordinary powers that are inaccessible to us. The cloud is the despair we experience when we stop believing that we can find the key to salvation within ourselves.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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8
Jul

The Terror of Greatness-Kinah 29

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

“Demons turn against me; evil chases away my nobility like the wind; my salvation has drifted away like a cloud (Job 30:15).” Rabbi Chanina said, the Community of Israel spoke before the Holy One, Blessed is He, “in the past I terrorized others, as it is stated, ‘ They hastened (bahal means both to hasten and to frighten) to bring Haman (Esther 6:14),’ and another verse has, ‘ I will make you a terror, and you will be no more (Ezekiel 26:21) [this verse refers to Tyre; the midrash reads it as, ‘ I will make you, Tyre, filled with terror inspired by Israel.’] And it is also stated, ‘ Then were the chiefs of Edom terrified (Exodus 15:15).’

But now, terror is turned upon me.”

Rabbi Acha compared this to the segment of a column which rolls along in an open space until it knocks against a stone and stops by it (so too, terrors rolled through the world, and, having struck Israel, stopped by him.) Thus it is written, “Upon me Your wrath weighed down, and You have afflicted me with all Your crushing waves (Psalms 88:8).” [Midrash Eichah 1.1.1]

The introductory verse from the Book of Job, describes how Job, cast into deepest desperation, sees a fleeting vision of his hoped for rescue sailing off from him like a cloud.

The verse from Esther describes how Haman, after having experienced the great honor of being the only person other than the king invited to Esther’s parties only to suffer the shame of having to parade his archenemy Mordechai through the streets of the capital, aware that his lucky streak has ended and his end is approaching, is rushed in his confusion to attend Esther’s party. He is a man lost and confused, not knowing what to expect next. The man who was second only to the King, has lost his bearings.

This same terror is experienced by Israel as they suffer the crushing defeat by the Babylonians, still clinging to their hopes as the people who once lived with the Temple in their midst. It is the terror of someone who experience is greatness and the lowest of lows. It is the terror of someone who has no idea what to expect next.

The verse from Ezekiel describes how Israel was once perceived as such a great power that even those who were not threatened by them were terrified.

The midrash is teaching us that the exiles understood that it was their very greatness that led to their current suffering. The exiles understood that as long as they would be measured by their greatness, they would continue to suffer for having failed in living up to that greatness. They were terrorized by their own greatness.

The final verse, that from the Song of the Sea, describes how the miracles God performed for Israel terrorized all those who did not stand with them. Israel is now experiencing the same terror suffered by the Edomites when they heard of the splitting of the Sea and the drowning of the Egyptians.

The midrash is telling us that Israel acknowledged that their devastating defeat was clearly an expression of God’s Power, the same power expressed at the Splitting of the Sea, and they wondered whether there were more such expressions of His power to come against them.

“Rabbi Acha compared this to the segment of a column which rolls along in an open space until it knocks against a stone and stops by it,” a segment of a column, not the column itself. A ruling, not anything more than a memory of greatness. The people understand that the power unleashed against them is only because they are ruins of what they once were, no longer a reflection of God’s presence on the Earth.

In Kinah #29, that which laments the atrocities suffered by the Jews during the first Crusade, focuses not only on lost greatness, but the consequences of forfeiting that greatness, of not living up to our potential. We begin to experience the same devastating terror that others experienced when God took us out of Egypt, split the Sea, led us through the desert for forty years, opened up the waters the Jordan River, and empowered us to conquer Canaan.

Yet, the very fact that we are able to connect our terror to that which our enemies suffered when we stood at our highest, indicates how real that greatness still is in our minds. We experience the terror of the broken column, yet we still see the column whole and strong, standing as part of a magnificent structure. That structure still lives in our minds. Our potential as a nation is still real in our hearts. We understand that the greatness and potential are demanding. We use this Kinah to bemoan the terror we experience when we acknowledge that we are failing to live up to that potential.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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8
Jul

The Ripped Coat-Kinah 4

by Rabbi Simcha Weinberg in Holidays

Rabbi Chaninah bar Papah began his lecture on Lamentations with the verse, “As one who removes his garment in cold weather, and as vinegar upon natron, so is one who sings songs upon a sorrowful heart (Proverbs 25:20).” Rabbi Chaninah and Rabbi Yochanan both say, “What did the Ten Tribes and the tribes of Judah and Benjamin resemble? Two men who were both wrapped in the same new coat on a winter’s day; one pulled one way and on polled the other way until they ripped it. Similarly the Ten Tribes did not cease worshiping idols in Samaria and the tribes of Judah and Benjamin were shipping them in Jerusalem, Jerusalem to be destroyed until they caused Jerusalem to be destroyed. (Midrash Eichah-Introduction XII Part 1).

Both rabbis are comparing Jerusalem to the coat a person wears in the winter to protect him from the cold. Neither the Ten Tribes, nor the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, appreciated the protection that Jerusalem afforded them. Both nations were focused on ripping off their coat; both wanted to shed Jerusalem and all it represented. Little did they realize that by losing Jerusalem they were losing their protection.

The analogy describes two men sharing the same coat. We can assume that these men were too poor to afford their own coats. Poor and vulnerable, there shared code was so uncomfortable that they were willing to rip it off despite the cold winter. Each pulled at the coat forgetting that the coat was shared. The men are so close, wearing the same garment, both experiencing the same discomfort, both so bothered by, let’s imagine the itch of the material, so similar to each other, and yet, in their discomfort, each forgets that the garment will be torn unless they work together.

We are not simply describing people who forgot that Jerusalem afforded protection. We are discussing people who are incredibly similar to each other, people who share their experiences, people battling this same issues even while sharing the same coat so to speak, and yet in their rejection of the coat, they forget each other. People who shared so much, were so bothered by what Jerusalem represented, and how they experienced living in the presence of Jerusalem that they ceased to connect to each other.

Perhaps it was this break between people who shared so much that was the true cause of the loss of the protection of Jerusalem.

When we read Kinah #4 on Tisha b’Av night and speak of the debate between the Ten Tribes and Jerusalem, we are describing people who were so lost and uncomfortable and were so focused on shedding the demands of living with a Jerusalem, that they ceased to connect to each other.

We can have numerous people who share many of the same concerns, and yet when deciding how to respond to these concerns, each party is so focused on their approach that they forget the connection they share with others who are taking a different approach. When one party says, “The Internet is evil. It must be rejected!” And they determine that anyone who chooses a different approach must not share the same concerns, they too, are ripping away at the coat that all of us wraps to gather. It is the ripping of the coat, the forgetting that although we approach our problems in different ways we still share the same quote, that causes us to forfeit the protection of Jerusalem.

Author Info:
Learn & discover the Divine prophecies with Rabbi Simcha Weinberg from the holy Torah, Jewish Law, Mysticism, Kabbalah and Jewish Prophecies. The Foundation Stone™ is the ultimate resource for Jews, Judaism, Jewish Education, Jewish Spirituality & the holy Torah.

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