Rav Chaim Kanievsky on Shidduchim / Matchmaking

This Sefer from Artscroll Publishers clarifies Daat Torah / the Torah Opinion on Shidduchim / Matchmaking. A person who has questions about a whether accepting a shidduch / potential match suggestion or not may be better off consulting Daat Torah from a Gadol / great Rabbi than relying on one’s own preferences. I heard many stories of people who listened to Daat Torah – over their own preferences – and they ended up in a happy marriage. May it be the will of Hash-m to help all those searching for their Bashert / destined one or Zivug / match find the right mate soon. Amen.

==

We mourn the loss of Gadol HaDor / Great Rabbi of the Generation Rav Chaim Kanievsky. We are at a loss of the words for the tremendous loss to the Jewish people as a whole and the individual families of Klal Yisrael. He was a source of Daat Torah, Wisdom, Beauty & Kindness. We will surely miss him.

The Secret Parallels in the Megillah of Esther

I Listen to a Rabbi named Rabbi Shaked Bohdana / הרב שקד בוהדנה.

Everything is accounted for in life. What goes around comes around is a Jewish concept. It is called Midah Keneged Midah / measure for measure. You are kind – the kindness comes back.

There is reward and punishment. There is a second chance. G-d allows us to do teshuva (repent).

Rabbi Bohdana says that the Ariz”l says that Mordechai was the Gilgul / reincarnation of Yaakov Avinu. Haman was the Gilgul of Esav – Yaakov’s Brother.

Yaakov erred in bowing to Esav. He bowed to Esav 7 times. His 4 wives followed his action and bowed to Esav. Each of the 11 sons of Yaakov also bowed. Yaakov caused 22 bowings to Esav. In the story of Purim Mordechai – refused to bow to Haman. He repaired the error he made. We read the word “BeOmram” as “KeOmram”. One is written with Bet. The other with a Kaf. The values of each are 2 and 20 respectively. Added together is 22.

Yaakov bought the Birthright from Esav. Esav had animosity because of this. Mordechai bought Haman as a slave. Haman had animosity because of this.

It uses the word “VaYibez” when Esav denigrated the Birthright in Bereshit / Genesis.

It uses the word “VaYibez” when Haman denigrated that it would not be proper to destroy Mordechai – because it would look like a personal vendetta.

Another Parallel is – the 10 sons of Haman are hung. In the Megillah Esther asks the King to Hang the sons of Haman again Tomorrow. When it says “The King” in the Megillah – it also refers to Hashem. She asked Hashem to kill the sons of Haman / Amalek again.

In the Megillah – the Book of Esther (9:6-10), where the 10 sons of evil Haman are killed, three Hebrew letters are written smaller than the rest. These letters [Taf (400), Shin (300), Zayin (7)] when added to 5000 (Hay”), add up to 5707. This is the Hebrew year (1946-1947 C.E.) when 10 Nazi war criminals were hung in Nuremberg, Germany (October 16, 1946) for their atrocious crimes against humanity.

Gaining Emuna in Hash-m / G-d

Faith / Emuna in G-d takes time. A person lives a more fulfilling life with Hash-m than without. He or she sees the hand of G-d. He or She is never alone. They always have Hash-m to turn to for problems, concerns or prayer.

A great book on the subject is “Living Emuna” by Rabbi David Ashear. He tells stories and gives Torah guidance on how to gain emuna.

I was recently listening to a Shiur / Lecture on the subject by Rabbi David Ichay in French. He told the following story:

Once someone asked the Hazon Ish – a Great Sage of the past generation – how can one gain emuna. He said “When you go out to buy shoes – ask Hash-m to help you find the right store. Ask Him to help you find the right pair. Ask Him to help them to have your size.” As Jews we don’t just turn to G-d when we are in desparate need – but even for the small matters as well. This is how we build belief – this is how we build a relationship.

If we put our trust in Hash-m we can overcome any concern.

What is Torah View of Russian Attack of Ukraine?

The Vilna Gaon – the Genius of Vilna / Rabbi Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, an 18th-century rabbinic sage – said that the Jewish people need to wear Shabbat clothes when the Messiah is about to arrive.

Rabbi Elya Ber Wachtfogel, of Yeshiva (seminary) Gedolah Zichron Moshe of South Fallsburg, New York donned Shabbat (Sabbath) clothing recently when he heard of Russian warships moving through the Dardanelles River. His based on the Zohar whose Kabbalistic teachings reveal that when the Russians will cross the Dardanelles River, it will trigger the start of a series of events before the Messiah comes.

18TH CENTURY PROPHECY: RUSSIA SAILING THROUGH GALLIPOLI

In an article of ADAM ELIYAHU BERKOWITZ he mentions that the Vilna Gaon, singled out Russian aggression as a precursor to the Messiah. Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch, a great-grandson of the Vilna Gaon, shared the full prophecy publicly for the first time during the holiday of Purim in 2014 – after being held as “a closely guarded secret” for over 200 years.

The text of prophecy was reported by Rabbi Lazer Brody, an American-born Hasidic rabbi from Ashdod. “When you hear that the Russians have captured the city of Crimea, you should know that the times of the Messiah have started, that his steps are being heard,” the Vilna Gaon told his followers just before his death in 1797.

“And when you hear that the Russians have reached the city of Constantinople (today’s Istanbul), you should put on your Shabbat clothes and don’t take them off, because it means that the Messiah is about to come any minute.”

The Vilna Gaon’s student, Rav Chaim of Volozhin, added, “When the ships of the kingdom of Russia cross the Dardanelles you should dress in Shabbat clothes because this means the arrival of the Moshiach is close.”

The Prophet Ezekiel hinted at Russia as being a leader in the Gog and Magog War, even though Russia did not exist in Biblical times.

O mortal, turn your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal. Prophesy against him. Ezekiel 38:2

In this verse, the Hebrew word for ‘chief’ is רֹאשׁ (Rosh), which clearly hints at ‘Russia.’

“Purim is a time when secrets are revealed,” The holiday of Purim will take place this year on March 16.

Rabbi Elya Ber recently told one of his students, “I’ve been waiting for this moment for 70 years.”

In August of last year Rabbi Matityahu Glazerson, a renowned expert in Torah codes, – who uses special software to find hidden clues in equidistant letters in the Torah in order to reveal hints that help understand current events – found an allusion that Gog will start a war in this year.   Rabbi Glazerson discovered this graph contained within the first few lines of one chapter of Genesis. Chapter ten of Genesis lists the 70 sons of Shem Ham and Japeth who were born after the flood of Noah. The subject of the graph was detailed in the second line of the chapter:

The descendants of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Media, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. Genesis 10:2

So what to do to Survive World War III?

Teshuva (Repentance) Prayer to Hash-m / G-d, Mitzvot, Learning Torah, Teaching Torah, Aligning Oneself with Torah through attitudes and deeds and acts of loving Kindness. Gentiles – should learn and observe the 7 Noahide laws from the Torah. See also Choose Life – Surviving World War III – the War of Gog u Magog.

The Language Experiment of King James IV – The Twins on the Island

King James IV of Scotland was enamored by languages. He studied them and their origins. He knew how to speak many. He watched how people speak.

Curious about if there was a central language ingrained in people – he concocted an experiment. He took a set of twins and placed them on an island with a mute nurse – entrusted with their care. As she was mute – she did not speak with them.

And when they grew up, they started talking to each other in syllables that over time became Hebrew words.

A similar story is told of Federico king of Sicily who had the same experience in the thirteenth century, and came to the same results).

In light of this, a seemingly puzzling story quoted in the words of Chazal (our sages of blessed memory) about Avraham Avinu (Abraham, Our Forefather) will be understood. Abraham was hidden as a child, because of King Nimrod who sought to kill him, without talking to anyone until the age of thirteen. When he came out he spoke the Holy Tongue of Hebrew This is because the very ability to speak is a miracle that stems from the spiritual soul. And it is inherently connected to this language which is part of the spiritual nature embedded in creation.

Rabbi Yaakov Emdin also wrote in his book “Migdal Oz”: “And they said that if the child grows up and does not hear other languages, he will begin to speak the language himself, without learning… and in a wise baby whose soul is hewn from a high source [will speak Hebrew].

The Census of the Israelites – Lift Up Your Fellow & Yourself

The Parasha / Torah reading of Ki Tisa Hash-m / G-d tells Moshe “When You count the heads of the children of Israel – you will take an atonement for their souls. And their shall not be a plague among you.” (Shemot / Exodus 30:12)

The Torah does not use the Hebrew word for “Count” it uses the Hebrew word “Tisa” which means uplift. Meaning when we encounter a person – it is up to us to uplift them. Help them reach a higher level spiritually. Say a nice word. Smile. Teach them some Torah thought.

In Pirkei Avot (1:12) it says “Be like the Disciples of Aharon HaCohen (Aaron – Brother of Moses) – Love Peace and Pursue Peace – love the creations and draw them close to the Torah.” That’s how we lift others up – by drawing them close to Torah.

Making others feel better makes you happy as well. It works both ways – we should be happy – and that will overflow to others. But also when we rejoice others it makes us happy. Why? Because doing a mitzvah (of making others happy) gives joy to the soul.

The Jews would count by means of each person giving half a Shekel coin. They would then count the coins. Thus the eye would not be focused on the people but on the coins. Something that is counted limits it and limits the blessing. When the blessing is limited the “Evil Eye” can affect it. Thus by counting coins instead of people – it prevents a plague from happening to the people.

 

 

 

Will One See Their Past Relatives Again?

Our life in this world is not our complete life. We lived before and we will live after. Where were we before we were born? In a spiritual world. The Ariz”l – Rabbi Yithak Luria – says that most people nowadays are reincarnated souls.

A person’s soul may have been in another body in the past. I know a psychologist that is versed in hypnosis. He told me stories of people he hypnotized – that he brought back to a past life. The soul remembers. The body may not.

Knowing that fact – what do we do now? The Torah says – now we came here to repair past misdeeds or to accomplish a particular purpose. We can find our purpose by learning Torah from a competent Orthodox Rabbi. (see torahanytime.com)

Those – who did achieve their purpose go on to another heavenly world. When a person in this world has a marriage – the souls of family members from the next world come to attend.

The souls of relatives also come to greet a person on the day they depart from the world. Thus the French term – Au Revoir (See You Again) is more applicable to say to a departed soul than a final goodbye.

 

The Separate Wedding – Do Good for Yourself & the Dead

A Kosher phone. Kosher food. Kosher thoughts.

In Torah we – are careful what we ingest. Vegans & Vegetarians are careful because they don’t want to hurt animals. We eat Kosher – that is careful not to hurt animals – in the sense that animals are slaughtered without feeling pain. But in Kosher food – we also refrain from hurting our souls.

We do not eat non-kosher not because it is not healthy. Non kosher food may be very healthy. We do not eat it because we are concerned with our souls. Non-kosher food is detrimental to our souls. The Torah wants us to be refined. Eating an unrefined animal may cause us to acquire some of the unrefined characteristics of that animal.

When we have a wedding we make sure the food is Kosher for the guests. But more than that we are careful to not to cause things detrimental to the soul of others. In Torah-observant weddings there is music, dancing, food and holiness.

The bride and groom are entering into holy matrimony. One of the ways we keep this wedding holy is to separate the men and the women. We hold dancing separately as to not cause promiscuity and incite improper thoughts among the guests.

The sages say that having a separate-dancing wedding helps the couple. It brings holiness to the couple’s relationship. It prevents them from having problems later in life.

If you think of it it makes sense having separate dancing at a wedding & Bar Mitzvah. For the bar mitzvah – we celebrate the boy becoming a man – being responsible to observe the Mitzvot of Hash-m. Yes dance. But to dance mixed is to turn a meaningful event into a disco. That’s inappropriate. The same applies to the wedding. Why turn a holy event into a cheap discotheque?

Torah says that the departed relatives of the bride and the groom attend a kosher wedding. Let them enjoy the wedding.

The Prince’s Gift

Featured

There was once a king. Getting older, he realized that one day he had to give over his kingdom to his successor, his son. After educating him in history, science, music, math and aspects of being a king he called in his son. ” My dear son , one day you will be king. As a king one must understand the needs of his people. Till now we gave you the best formal education. Now we want to send you out into the world to learn how to deal with all kinds of people. For one year you will travel from place to place with an assistant to go about your learning of how to deal with people. I just ask from you that you bring me a souvenir which – could be an object or a piece of information – as a momento of your voyage.”

The next day The Prince and his assistant set out to travel throughout the country. They met many people & discovered many places. Near the end of their voyage they realized soon they had to return the to the Palace and had still not found a souvenir to bring back to the king.

The prince said to his assistant “Let’s go to this County Fair and see if we can find something worthwhile to buy for the king.” They went to the fair and saw a merchant selling jewelry. The jewelry caught the prince’s eye. He said this is a great gift for the king. They asked Jeweler how much it cost. The Jeweler replied 18000 rubles. He was very interested and told his assistant quietly we have 20 thousand rubles. Let’s buy this jewelry for the king. His assistance replied “We can’t just buy jewelry without determining if it is authentic.” They asked around if there was an independent jeweler in the town.

They found that there was no Jeweler but someone mentioned that there was a very wise rabbi that’s could possibly help them. They asked where could they find him. People directed them to his house. They asked where they could find the rabbi – they had an important question for him. She said “the governor of this town does not like the Jews – so he finds false accusations to keep the rabbi in jail. The rabbi is now in jail on a false accusation.”

The prince and his assistant go to the jail hand speak with the Warden – ” we need to talk with this rabbi” they show that they are from the palace and the warden lets the rabbi out. They bring the rabbi to the jeweler. They ask him “Do you know anything about jewelry?” the Rabbi says a little bit. “Can you tell us if this jewelry is real?”

The rabbi took the jewelry and threw it on the floor. The jewels that appeared to be diamonds shattered into pieces. The rabbi said obviously these are not real diamonds otherwise they would not have broken.

The assistant said “Thank you so much. You saved us thousands of rubles.” The prince said “very good. send him back to jail.”

They were back to square one. They had to find a gift for the king. They found at the fair a beautiful White Arabian horse for sale. They asked the merchant the price of the horse. He replied 15000 rubles. The prince was excited to buy the horse. His assistant reason him and said we have to see if this is a worthwhile purchase. They did not find an expert in horses in the town. They decided to bring back the rabbi to validate the sale.

They brought back the rabbi. They asked “Does the rabbi know how to evaluate a horse?” He said “Not particularly, but it would make sense for someone to ride the horse before purchasing it.”

The prince told the merchant get on the horse and to ride it before him. The merchant hesitated but the prince was adamant. When he got up on the horse it was running wild, bucking up and down and standing up. He threw the merchant onto the fence. The merchant was badly bruised. The assistant was shaken that this could have happened to the king had they given the horse to the king.

The assistant thanked the rabbi very much. The prince said “okay. send him back to the prison.”

The prince was worried because he did not have a gift to take back to the king. He remembered that he could bring the king an astounding piece of information. He told this to the assistant. The assistant said “Let’s ask the rabbi. He is very wise. He can tell us astounding information.”

They went to the rabbi, asking him for information to bring back to the king. The rabbi responded – “I have astounding information but I can only tell it to the prince alone.” The assistant was reluctant, but the prince assured him that he could trust the old rabbi to stay alone with him.

Alone, the rabbi approached the prince and whispered in his ear. “Do not be shocked. The astounding information I have to tell you is that ‘you are not the actual son of the king.'” The prince was shaken. I didn’t know how to take this information.

The assistant asked him what did the rabbi tell you? The prince could not reveal it to him. He was in a rush to get back to the Palace. At the palace they made a grand reception for the return of the prince. After the festivities – the king had a private conversation with the prince. He asked him what is the souvenir you brought me? The prince was still shaking. He said “I met a rabbi and he told me that I I’m not your real son.”

The King was astounded. The prince demanded that the king tell him the truth. The King admitted that he was not his real son but an adopted son. the king didn’t know how this information leaked out. No one knew is this Secret.

They called the Rabbi and the King asked – “How is it that you knew that my son was not my real son?” The Rabbi replied “When your son called me for help to select a gift for you – the first time I saved him thousands of Rubles – afterwards he threw me back in prison. The second time I saved him from possibly causing the King to be thrown off a wild horse – afterwards he threw me back in prison. A person who has Royal blood has feelings of Gratitude towards others. He should have freed me from prison out of gratitude. The fact he did not,  I determined he was not your real son.”

Gratitude is a sign of nobility. Gratitude to family. Gratitude to others. Gratitude to G-d.

– A Story from the Riznitzer Rebbe

The 95 Million Dollar Mistake

Someone I know woke up one morning. His private bank called him. “Did you happen to make a transfer of $95 Million to your account?”

“No.” He replied. “It appears someone mistakenly sent $95 Million Dollars to your account. We don’t know the sender because it was an anonymous account.”

Four Months pass and interest in those days was high – about 15%. He accrued the interest. Lawyers for the sender of the money finally contact the bank. They say we are requesting the money back. You don’t have to return the interest. You just have to sign some papers.

The receiver man refused. He said I want to meet the sender in person. The person took a plane to Europe and they met face to face. He was an American. The receiver told him I wanted to assure myself that this was not a scam or a laundering operation. He told his lawyers to check the papers and he signed – giving the $95 Million dollars back and the interest as well.

The American thought it was foolish not to at least keep the interest. The receiver replied “It’s yours – you keep it.”

I heard it first Hand. In Torah it says “Dover Emet Bilvavo” – Speak truth in your heart.

Once Rabbi Safra was reciting the Shema Yisrael. Someone offered him to price to buy a diamond – while he was saying it. Since the rabbi didn’t / couldn’t answer the offer – the man offered a higher price. He kept on offering a higher price. When Rav Safra completed his Shema – he said – I’ll give it to you for the initial price you offered. I accepted the offer in my heart and it would be dishonest to accepat a higher price.

Torah Honesty says “Speak truth in your Heart.”