The virtual Kehilla of Orthodox Jewry of Greater Montreal

The Yidden settled in Goshen Yaakov lived וישב ישראל ארץ גשן ויאחזו בה ויחי יעקב

The two parshos , v'yigash , v'yichi connect without any break.The first Rashi in V'yichei tells us that when Yaakov died the eyes and hearts of the people became closed with tzoros


Last week the nation lost the last of gedolie torah who had brought the torah with purity from the past into modern Israel

Rav Steinman , z'tzal is no longer.

Yet we have been seeing good, The US fights for the legitamacy of their decision to place the embassy in Jerusalem and Sholom Rubashkin , is freed on the last day of Chanukah.

But the ugly head of anti semitisim rises, here in  here in Canada and elsewhere.

The Kli Yokor says when the Yidden settled and took 'possesion ' of the land in Goshen, that was actually to their discredit.They had come down just to 'sojourn' , not to settle.But they became successful and wealthy ; many would not even want to leave when the time came , and they would die in the 3 days of darkness.

and I see, indeed , the PM says in one breath "Next Year in Jerusalem , Merry xmas."

It scares me especailly , because even the  'chareidi' , my friends, here in Montreal seem complacent .As much as I discucss with them the work of Buy a Pieceof Israel, only a very few respond.

Our rabbis teach us that the purpose of the golus is to bring the light of our faith and brocho to the world, but eventually we have to know where our own fulfillment lies.


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George Washington Jerusalem Famine and the Inner Light

Yosef in prison The Inner Light Jerusalem the Capital

 The story is told (and they say it is a true story , check out

23507 USA 171206 Trump Jerusalem AFP 1512584191636

that a Jewish soldier's Chanukah light was the inspiration in the darkest time of the War of Independence that eventually brought victory.

And as history was made last week, with the recognition by the world's most powerful nation what has always been defacto reality by our people, we begin to see how that strength of faith that Yosef had while in the pit and in prison ,was the same strength which has kept us alive through all the challenges, hate and destruction which we have survived, and it is that faith and sense of decency and morality, which has actually been responsible for the greatness of America from it inception.

And this is really the essence of our parshios.

With Yaakov , we have the last chain of the period of the Avos, who gave us the middos of kedusha.Through Israel has to come the brochos to the world, becuase that is the meaning of being the 'bechor', "first born".The two dreams Yosef had in the beginning of the parsha relate to the blessings which come to the world because of the tzaddik and even his worldly successes and prominence.

This is really what was supposed to be the gifts of Adom haRishon for which he was created  if not for sin; 'be fruitful, multiply,and conquer the world."

That faith is not just blind faith;it comes from  purity of vision.Yosef could see what others did not.He was able to intrepret dreams - the muddled confusion of half knowledge and lies thta is htis world.The Chazal tell us that the lights of Chanukah relate to the original light of Creation which was hidden and put aside for tzaddikim.

The gemerra in avodah zara explains what seems to be the source for the pagan holiday which later became xmas.

When Adom haRishon saw the days getting sjhorter and shorter, he was afraid that the world was coming to an end because of his sins.When the light of the sun started to grow again , he was releived and rejoiced.It seems that parsha v'eshev refers to this - the day of pharoa's birthday.Our parsha always falls around Chanuka time (which is often confused by goyim with their xmas).

It may very well be that Adom lost his inner light and understanding with his sin, so when the sun strted to grow again , he rejoiced - a secular , pagan holiday.Thr goyim live by the outer calendar of the sun.We live by the reflected light also of the moon, so we rejoice with the deeper inner lights of creation.

We pray that the recognition of Yerushalayim by peoples of the world as the focal point of all jewish hearts will indeed herald the coming of Moshiach and the building of bayis shlishi.



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Avrum Revisited , Misinformation, the Balfour Declaration

 Golus , Mockery, Balfour Declaration

I saw a realy nice post left by a non Jew on the Wall of Friends of Hutchison.

Re-seeing Religious Resentment  

and we recommend you take a look;

“It does not leave a space to explain that, ‘I want to be a pious citizen. I give importance to praying, I want to raise my children with these values, and yes, dressing the way I do is not the most comfortable thing, but this is the way I most feel like myself … but I agree that I have an obligation to educate my children, and that I cannot kill my neighbour!’”

Reading these comments in a facebook group setup to for 'everyone who seeks peace, harmony, dialogue, adventure." , ie. dialogue and cooperation between the Chassidim of Outremont an their gentile neighbors, I felt that I could better understand what I , myself wrote last week in the name of the Netziv that , the name of Avrum was never really lost .It is meant for the Diaspora, where we can't truly fulfill ourselves , but where we can be appreciated as a 'pious people' and in that sense be a tikun and an elevation for the gentiles of the world - because, after all, we are part of the world, and our brocho and obligation as  the "Chosen Nation " is to be a 'Light to the World' .

We live in a time where misinformation and duplicity is becoming the default.For us, as religious jews,it is hard to accept that even 'Avrum/Avraham' twice used duplicity with regards his wife .He called her his 'sister' , both when they went to Egypt and when they lived amongst the Philistines (technically speaking , before the torah was given, marriage was only enforced when the two lived together, but obviously , this is still not what we expect from our holy patriarch).

The Netziv and my Rebbe (the Pachad Yitzchok) discuss the 'mockery' of the world at the time of Isaac's (Yitzchok) birth (Yitzchok -' tzchok' - laughter).Since she did not give birth till after being in the hands of Avimelech, even after living together for so many years (and Avraham still was old and looked old), they claimed that Isaac was illegitimate.

'Holy Matrimony' was really instituted by Sarah Imeinu.The chazal say that she commanded the angel to smite in the house of pharoah(and centuries later,in Egypt therefore,only one jewish girl was dishonored).The world needed to know that their zivvug (and in turn that of Isaac and Rivka) was from Heaven.So after Sara passed away , Avraham remarried and had many children.

(It may be that we can understand better Avraham's excuse כאאשר התעו , according to targum Onkelos --" when the nations of the world,went mistakenly after idol worship" - , in other words , the world of Avraham was a world of Misinformation.There was no other way to behave at that time)

The Netziv remarks that the sustenance of the jewish people (and ultimately of the world) is really from Divine intervention , but that is never clear, not to us, and for sure not to the peoples of the world.That reality is revealed only much later.

The Balfour Decleration is very much now in the news (as its Centennial was Nov 2).The prominent Jewish intellectual Arthur Koestler, repeating a frequent mantra, would call it “one the most improbable political documents of all time,” in which “one nation solemnly promised to a second nation the country of a third.”(taken from the Mosaic).

I had a special confusion which I think is astounding and worthy of being shared.The Malbim's commentary (written , I believe, about 50 years before), seems to predict the Decleration (Daniel 7 :25 - the date of the 'ketz'), except that he is off by 5 years! This bothered me very much,until, upon doing a little more research , I discovered that the Balfour Decleration had little real significance; it was legally impotent.It was only 5 years later , in 1922 when it was incorporated into the the League of Nations' Mandate for Palestine, and served as the beginning of mass emigration to Israel (Palestine).

It is well known that the sage and tzaddik, the Chafetz Chaim quipped that it looked the pekida (being remembered by haShem), but he was afraid the irreligious (Zionists)would take it for themselves (which is ,of course, what happened).(By the way , if anyone doubts the reality of Divine Intervention , the whole thing , according to the Haarezt was preceded and made possible by a classic ,immoral  love triangle ).

Many will say ,perhaps justifiably, that being forced upon by an Imperial and haughty colonial power is what set the stage for the growing anti semitism in Palestine, and perhaps even the rise of Hitler,y'sh.And yet, most of the religious jews did not emigrate ,until forced to by events.

It would seem that the 'ketz' has had to be  'postponed' and transmuted.



Boy , am I embarrassed!

I thought through my observations on the Malbim; I'm accounting for 5 years difference in the wrong direction!

 1911   1912   תשׁעב  תשׁעג

 I thought to delete this page so i shouldn't be liable for 'disinformation', but I've invited many to read, and I beleive most of what I've written is worthy. Our sages actually taught us not to make computations. Others have said that we are so close, that it is permissible.

In that vein, looking at the Malbim's usage of 400 years and looking at a calculation (prediction) being discussed widely (mostly in gentile messianic sites) and remarkably true (till now) ascribed to Yehuda hachasid,maybe we can share thoughts (and prayers ) worthy to be written.

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Go to Yourself for Your 'Pleasure " לך לך להנאתך

The famous question asked

The commandment was to go for one's own pleasure - where is the 'Test'

 Actually , I've hinted at what I believe to be the most simple answer by changing the traditional translation ; not go for yourself , but go to yourself , realize yourself, be the person you were born to be.Go to the Holy Land, where you will be continually tested to bring out and actualize your internal faith and belief until you become a complete and true servant of the Creator and will thereby become a source of blessing to all of Mankind.

It is not an easy task to accept to be tested continually by the Creator directly.It is much more comfortable to live as he was till then , especailly when he was having success drawing people to his world view.We all have our 'Comfort Zone'.Avraham Aveinu's comfort zone, was admittedly much greater than ours, but fighting for one's belief in the Omnipotent One, is not the  same as living with awe and humility in the palace of the King of Kings.

I saw this Shabbos a concept in the Netziv which  I didn't appreciate so well till I thought about an incident this last week in McGill (of which similar incidents happen continually worldwide).

The Netziv  writes that the name which Avraham Aveinu merited - Abraham - the Father of  multitudes of Nations , rather than just Abram - the Father of Aram , is really a name just for us, the seed of Avraham to know.This is our purpose, our 'raison d'etre' , to be a holy Nation , a kingdom of Priests and to be thereby a blessing to all of Mankind.But outside of ourslves they can't really appreciate just Avrum - Teachers of G-dliness.

There was a whole turmoil in McGill this past week for 3 Jews thrown out of the student government General Assembly.The Bnei Brith gets invovled and others, and yes, there may be a general 'cleansing ' of some sort, but we become more prominent , and that brings out even more dormant hate.

Generally speaking , the flashpoints with our gentile neighbors is not with those trying to live a holy, torah observant  life , but with those much less so.

The Daf Yomi today (Sanhedrin 104) says something incredible - when we go into golus, we become Masters to our Masters.I saw an explanation that when a Yid lives in the Holy Land, where the personal hashgacha is much greater and direct, when he is punished , at least the punishment can be a cleansing.But when living in chutz l'aaretz,where there is an 'hastores panim' (the 'face' is hidden), then punishment is not necessarily a  'cleansing'.But if we become more distinguished, at least the bad can be a 'cleansing'.

May we merit speedily as a Nation to be a holy people in the Holy Land an thereby fulfill our purpose in creation.



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Nekudos on לנו ולבנינו ע

Not "yet" responsible one for the other

I thought to share a short machsheva I had on today's readings, as we enter the last week before Rosh haShana.Hopefully it will strengthen my own resolve to improve in this coming year , and perhaps some others too, who may perhaps read these few words.

הנסתרת ל׳שם א׳ והנגלת לנו ולבנינו עד   To me, the 11 nekudos read as a flag denoting , there is something else going on , not explicit.Stop; pay attention.Think.

The baale mussar talk about thinking , taking things to heart.This is the faculty which differentiates us from all of creation , and , so , obviously ,in order to sucessfully serve haShem, we need to try to truly understand the task before us.

I saw that the Maharal explains that nekudos - points , come to uproot the simple pshat. I am not sure, but maybe that is because a nekuda has no dimension, so it doesnèt really belong here.It is, so to speak, a pointer.I once heard from a great sage that the words of the Rabbis often sound very stange.That is because they really refer ( a pointer) to a higher sphere.There it is to be taken literally.

An  individual jew  by himself cannot serve serve the Ein Sof - one without end ;only as part of that Nation which accepts the Kingdom of heaven on earth.The Shunamis said to Elisha when he wanted to bless her with a miraculous birth -  bsoch ami anochi yosheves , I dwell amongst my people - donèt make me exceptional.

The bris (Covenant ) of Arvus is more than just a means to insure our fulfillment of the mitzvos; it means that our neshemos are mixed together (basically this is clear i the gemerra in sota which discusses the bris) . Knesses Yisrael, which transcends time and place is a  second edition of what Adom haRishon , created in the image of haShem, was to be before the Sin.

If Rosh hashana is the birthday  of Adom haRishon , then the only way for us to relate, to be reborn is to accept our role as part of Hs Holy People who proclaim His majesty at the beginning of the Year.

Those eleven nekudos which uproot the words we read, mean that , really ,it is - over there.That is where we are headed, ultimately and there is our fulfillment , even now, in an imperfect, fractured world.The Land of Israel is where we are responsible one for the other, not just because the  ;Mama land  unites, but because , there we as a  People find fulfillment. spiritually.The Chasam Sofer writes that  physical work done there , even if not the mitzvos of the Land, is holy.

A Yid cannot just live within his own little sphere and say, I am doing all that behooves me in my little world.

The Ribbono shel Olam wants us to think bigger , to recognize that there is bigger world out there to which we must attach.The chazal say that Adom was created as one so that we should say - The world was created for me -My repsonsibilities as a jew can sway universes.

Today , that means as part of klall Yisrael, knesset yisrael, whose ultimate destiny is over there.

Let us pray that this coming year we see Eliyahu hanavi and bias haMoshiach.Parents return to their chidren, children to their parents, and the world learns to give up the horrors of their war instruments and turn all that technology to blessing.

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