The virtual Kehilla of Orthodox Jewry of Greater Montreal

The blessings of living in peace with our neighbors in chutz l'aaretz

As we still live in golus, I thought the following article about Montreal's (Canada's) first chassidic politician is worth reveiwing

After 70 years of statehood Israel still has not seen peace, but here,in quiet multi cultural Quebec, Montreal, a young chassidic lady is able to forge bonds and provide benefits to many.

As much as we are personally thrilled when we see how hashgacha has brought the head of the strongest nation on earth to back and legitamize the jewish presence in Israel,yet we often ask ourselves,who is more religious, President Donald Trump or Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu?

I heard in the name of my rebbe a'h, that what the irreligious accomplished in '48, the frum never would have.

But the fact is, still no yarmulkas and no peace.

contrast that with htis article posted about our own Mindy Pollak posted last week.


 'It wasn't my intention to be a trailblazer or a role model'

Canada’s first female Hasidic politician may be bound for parliament

Trilingual Montreal borough councilor Mindy Pollak is courted by at least one federal party as a potential candidate in the next national election

ONTREAL — On a recent Monday evening on Montreal’s east side, some 100 residents gathered in a century-old white building that since 1963 has served as the Council Chamber for the borough of Outremont. They were there to attend the monthly session of the local governing body.

Before the meeting officially began, the atmosphere in the large, high-ceilinged room was more charged than usual. One month prior, tensions soared when some residents were accused of using Holocaust imagery to protest the increasing number of yellow school buses used by the neighborhood’s Hasidic residents.

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Balak Anti semitism love - hate "Pride " The 3 Weeks

A Taanis is a time for intro spection, so I thought to write a few thoughts relating to the parsha and  to recent events.

Reading parshas Balak is difficult for a mind raised in the modern world, even for someone who considers himself religious.What kind of danger and powers did this sorcerer have? And why do we care if he in the end he actually repeatedly blessed us? And at the very end,we read how walls break down, intermariage, incense, and the lowest form of idol worship??

And what lessons must we take away from all this personally in our own service?

This writer, at least, certainly doesn't have the answers.But we do believe that a person was created 'b'zelem E'- in the image of haShem. And the Creator wants us to acknowledge and reflect that Majesty in our lives, and He gives us the capacity to  'commune', supplicate, pray direct with the source of all blessings.And by that acknowledment , we have the capacity to bring the blessings upon ourselves and the whole world.What raises us above earthly needs and desires and even above angels (ie. the coming robotic revolutions?)is the holy Torah .That is what makes us intoa 'holy Nation' , a kingdom of Priests.".

And this is not something that comes to us innately;it is a gift.The world was built in such a manner that prayer helps, but ultimately even that is a  gift.If needed, even the lowest , someone who sleeps with his donkey , could get the gift.

 HaShem created a whole world. Our National purpose is to raise ourselves and the whole world to know haShem.And if there is 'Holy', there is also the opposite.And somehow, we are all (ie humanity), asked to 'connect'.Somehow it is always possible to 'connect', no matter how far away.

Before the torah  was given to Israel, there were tzaddikim and prophets by non jews.The emergence of Israel as a nation is not just a territorial challenge.It means that that possibility of that kind personal connection is no longer with 'them.'We always have recognized jealousy by the goyim.But this is deeper, it is an 'existential' fear hate.And I think this is what is happenning now with the arabs.

After the chet hegel, Moshe prayed 'v'niflenu ani v'amcha'; that there should always be a clear difference between ourselves and the goyim.And the answer given was that there would eb great miracles , never seen.

The parsha of Balak, Bilaam, is prophetic, how all the peoples of the world are to come to praise us and be elevated with our service.But this worldly praise as blessings from on High come into this world, will come only when we all, really ,in our personal, family and communal lives are uplifted together as we look forward to be in  the days of Moshiach.

But till then the praise and adulation is dangerous.on the one hand, Balak was lifted, even if for the wrong reasons to sacrifices to haShem which somehow served for praises of israel, and from him came Ruth and Dovid.But teese blessings turned into curses as we see at the end of the parsha as jewsih boys were attracted to incense and the lowest form of idol worship.

We live in a time when the leader of the most mighty country on earth stands with the modern State of Israel.We see beginings of the 'impossible' as many arab countries are ready to work with us.But as for the State itself ? Tel Aviv is aflame with 'Pride'and the knesset has yet to debate or even accept the primacy of torah to the State of Israel

We must always remember what R' Cahim V'Loshzin writes.The Babylonians and Romans did not destroy the Temples; we had destroyed the Temples long before in our own hearts and souls.



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These people have angered before haShem Nazi's ? כי נאצו האנשׁים האלה את השׁם

JudeThe obvious hint to the Nazis, Y"S, in parshas Shlach -- the spies, we understand simply

But how do we define and relate the rebellion of Korach to the Nazis?

All my years I've been amazed that I never saw anyone discuss the obvious blatant hint the parshaos give us to the hated advent of the Nazis, y's.It is easier to understand the parsha of the spies who rejected the gift of the Land and spoke evil against haShem, the Land  and Moses, and so,were punished to die in the desert while we were told that we would cry for generations.

And so the day set aside to cry for all the many 'hlocausts in history is the 9th day of Av.And we knwo that the 9th of Av saw the destruction of both Temples, the exile from spain , and the beginning of WW1, which led directly to WW2 .

Look at these words , taken from Yad v'Shem........

The Rise of the Nazis to Power in Germany

Hitler and the Nazi Party rose to power due to the social and political circumstances that characterized the interwar period in Germany. Many Germans could not concede their country’s defeat in World War I, arguing that “backstabbing” and weakness in the rear had paralyzed and, eventually, caused the front to collapse. The Jews, they claimed, had done much to spread defeatism and thus destroy the German army............................

The Beginning of the Persecution of Jews in Germany

In the 1930s, Germany’s Jews – some 500,000 people – made up less than one percent (0.8%) of the German population. Most considered themselves loyal patriots, linked to the German way of life by language and culture. They excelled in science, literature, the arts, and economic enterprise. 24% of Germany’s Nobel Prize winners were Jewish. However, conversion, intermarriage, and declining birth rates, led some to believe that Jewish life was doomed to disappear from the German scene altogether.

The paradox was that Nazi ideology stemmed from Germany and the German people, among whom Jews eagerly wanted to acculturate. Indeed, there was a widespread belief amongst many Jews in the illusion that the role they played within industry and trade and their contributions to the German economy would prevent the Germans from completely excluding them.........


 But , even if intuitively we understand the connection, but it does need a little more thought.

(We know that the kabbala masters find in Korach other 'outstanding' problem people such as Kayin [and Hevel], even 'Yeshu'' - 'oso haish', whose followers for many generations spewed nothing but virulent anti semitsm ( item; Luther, y's, wrote a book hundreds of pages long of jew hating , which led directly to Hitler, y's ).

Actually , we find the concept of jealousy, diviseveness,and  'spies ' much earlier. When the brothers came to Egypt, they came via different entrances.Joseph charged them with being 'spies' , and ,indeed he didn't let them go, until he actually arranged the first 'precurser' to the the many blood libels of the generations.

Friday night , as we accept the Shabbas Queen, we talk about how haShem is enclothed as king the land is settled, not to be moved.  אף תכון תבל בּל תםוט

 This is the Kingship of haShem on earth. The Rambam writes that the whole torah was given to bring peace on earth.

Our sages say there were three different groups in the rebellion.Korach could have been a giant, and that itself was what drove him in his madness, jealousy.Nadav v'Avihu , had always been poeple who could not accept authority.And the 250 people who wanted to be priests, were truly 'burning ' with holy desires, but were not bound by the laws and directives of the torah.They all saw , somehow that Moshe and Aharon were doing what they wanted. They could not understand that their leaders, Moshe and Aharon, were simply and with humilty carrying out the decreesof Heaven.

Such were the sins of the first "Reformed" in Germany. How beautiful were some of their writings ! And ,unfortunately , there were plenty of fights between the 'kedoshim' too.

Such a people have no foundation. It can't exist,especailly when these peopel have the Divine National purpose to bring the world to its 'tikun', the Land to its' Firmament.

So it was swallowed up by the Nazi beast.

As we say in 'pirkei avos', to daven for the peace of the kingdom , for if not, one person will swallow up the other.'

and ,as we read in the parsha סורו נא מעל הרשעים האלה ואל תגעו בכל אשר להם פן תספו בכל חטאתם

 'Stay away fromthese evil doers and don't touch all that belongs to them, lest you get pulled in with them.Even the righteous and children get burnt.

I see this as being relavant today as the torah parties in Israel fight for the primacy and relevancy of Torah learning in the Holy Land as the foundation of the yishuv.

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Charedi Woman to Light Torch During National Yom Ha’atzmaut Ceremony

A  Challenge to the Norm

This article about Racheli Ganot, a Charedi leader in the High-Tech world of Israel, caught our attention.She has been chosen to be one of Israel’s torchlighters for the national Yom Ha’atzmaut Ceremony this year. Ganot, who is turning 40 this year, lives in Bnei Brak and has been working tirelessly over her career to increase the integration of Charedi women in the largely male-dominated and Secular-dominated field of high-tech in Israel.

Rachieli represents a significant symbol in the occupational revolution that is making waves in the Charedi world. Ganot is the Founder and CEO of Rachip, a company that works to develop hardware and software solutions for high-tech companies across the globe. She also trains and mentors other Charedi women in an effort to help them enter the workforce. She enables their entrance by building a surrounding environment for them that is appropriate for their needs.

The Ministry for Culture issued a statement that said that Ganot is a perfect combination of maintaining the traditional values that are unique to Charedi society while at the sam time embracing its innovation and involvement in the larger Israeli society. This is in addition to her monumental work of helping young women enter into the continuously changing and developing world of high-tech in Israel.


Chazal tell us that in the zechus of the women of valor in Egypt, we were redeemed (indeed the parsha of shemos begins with the bravery of the midwives.) A secular woman cannot understand how a 'liberated ' and successful lady could treasure znius and traditional values of family.And this is especailly true when so many chareidi men opt for full time learning.It 'doesn't make sense.' But this is the reality of the meaning of  עם קדוש -a "Holy Nation".

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The Falcon Heavy Moshe on the Mount the Temple

A few musings on the lift off of the Falcon Heavy

the Parshios and ourselves

 falconWhat in the world does ruminations about the Falcon heavy have to do with a frum community website?Maybe everything. It seems to me we can't deny that this is an event that can't be denied as being pivotal, and I have always looked to the parshios ("leben mit de parsha").

The last words of Mishpatim ' 'Moshe went into the anan 'Cloud', and went up to the Mountain....The purpose - to bring the word of haShem down to earth  and ultimately to build the Temple.

I was thinking about those words while watching the liftoff, the resemblance while being the total opposite in meaning.

We know that Avraham's journey to know and proclaim the Majesty of "kudshe brich hu"(His Holiness) started with the fall of the Tower of Bavel.If anything in our times would seem to resemble the Tower of Bavel, it would seem to be the launch of the Falcon Heavy.'Let us make a name for ourselves' ! And for sure , there was plenty of showmanship in that launch (and it would seem also, from a quick scan of  reviews that there has been some bad treatment of many workers).

But I don't think that is the true way for us to look at things.The tower of Bavel was out to squash the individual under the power of the city state and idol worship.That was the anthesis of the purpose of Creation 'Let us make Man in our 'image'. and He will control..And (haShem ) blessed ... be fruitful, multiply and conquer.'

If anything , I would say this launch , especially as a result of free entreprise, was a much more closely in tune with the purpose of creation and the blessings haShem gave (especially as today, our understanding of what is the world (universe) has expanded  so much.

However, there is no meaning to it all, without the Temple on earth (indeed , by the time they get to mars, probably robots will do the needed work better ) .

We know the Zohar is quoted as predicting 'The 600th year of the 6th millenium (1840), the gates of wisdom above and the wellsprings of wisdom below , will be opened.'Chassidim say it refers to the ebginning of chassidus;othrs the opening of new undertasnadings in the secrets of the zohar, and it's begnning to be (safely) dissemnated.

In secular , the time seems to relate to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution.

The Gaon from Vilna relates this to 'erev shabbas', towards the end  of the coming of Moshiach, when the world is united ; secular wisdom and the Holy, do not seem to contradict each other, the secular serves the holy.

We live in time when a gentile president of the mightiest country in the world is 'Trumpeting' our call.We would like to believe, that the time is coming quickly closer to when the real majesty of the Jewish people - a Holy Nation and Kingdom of Priests will be revealed.

Our ultimate relevancy and success is not in science or commerce but in being able to proclaim that inner light.

It is interesting , the week that rocket blasted off onto it's journey, the daf yomi learned the braisa of Pinchos ben Yair upon which the Ramchal bais his work, the mesilias Yeshorim - 'The Path of the Just', where he gives us the ladder to climb.

for us, as torah jews,it is importnat tor elaize that he says- aperson was created only to have 'oneg'(pelasure) on haShem'.


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