Derech HaMelech

The Weekly Raid From Galus

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The House Of Brisk Became Chassidishe When It Came To The Shineveh Rebbe

Drawing of the Shineveh Rebbe, from a visit to Yerushalayim in 1869.


One time when a number of Sanzer Chassidim came to visit the Brisker Rov, he told them that he was a Shineveh Chosid. (The Shineveh Rebbe, Rav Yechezkel Halberstam, was the son of the Divrei Chaim the founder of the Sanzer dynasty Rav Chaim Halberstam.) They all looked at him in shock. The Brisker Rov the leader of Lithuanian Jewry a Chosid?!?

The Brisker Rov them told them that when the Shineveh Rebbe came to Brisk, the people of Brisk came out to greet him carrying torches in his honor. His grandfather the Bais HaLevi was among them. The Brisker Rov said I know with certainty that absolutely nothing impressed my grandfather except for Torah and Yiras Shamayim. If he went to greet the Shineveh Rebbe it was because apparently he was head and shoulders above everyone else in those areas. Therefore I am a Shineveh Chosid!

One time when the Shineveh came to visit the Bais HaLevi he was accompanied by many Chassidim. Before the entrance to the house he told his Chassidim that they should not accompany him into the house. The Bais Halevi is a Misnaged and is opposed to Chassidim. He does not approve of our ways and he may not appreciate all of you entering with me.

Apparently the Bais HaLevi was right near the door waiting to greet his guest and overheard the conversation. He turned to the Shineveh and said, "Sholom Aleichem and Boruch Haba." Then he smiled and said, "May the Rebbe of Shineveh enter and may his Chassidim enter with him. Consider yourselves to be in a house of Chassidim!"

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Jerusalem - IDF Stops Rabbis To Assist in Reconstruction of Torched Mosque

...גם היום יש מתיונים בתוך ישראל

Oy Tate! Save the light of Chanukah for Yidden who can't see it yet! Go rebuild Kever Yosef! 20% of Yidden in Israel are poor - donate your time and money to them instead! Don't rebuild the places where they preach hatred and murder!

The IDF prevented a delegation of religious-Zionist rabbis and social activists from entering the West Bank village of Yasuf Sunday, where a mosque was torched on Friday.

(Above: R' Froman [in white kippa] speaking with the Arab governor [brown suit])

The rabbis had arrived in order to donate Koran books to the mosque, but these had to be taken into the village by a Muslim representative due to IDF fears that a conflict would break out if rabbis were allowed to enter the village.

The rabbis waited at a central West Bank junction while soldiers blocked them from proceeding into the village.

After a few hours the IDF released a statement saying the visit had been properly coordinated and that the rabbis would be allowed in within hours, but by then it was two late and the parties left the area.

Earlier the army had stated that the delegation was denied entrance by the IDF chief of staff's office due to security concerns.

Rabbi of Tekoa Menachem Froman said the halacha prohibits doing harm to religious sites. "This deed was a serious religious crime," he said, adding that mutual respect between Jews and Muslims could bring peace.

"If we keep hiding our heads in the sand and denying that the conflict (with the Palestinians) is religious, we will never get anywhere," Froman said.

Abbushi examines donated Koran books (Photo: Ido Erez)

He also condemned similar acts on the Palestinian side, such as the torching of Gush Katif synagogues and the desecration of Joseph's Tomb in Nablus

"They also do worse things such as murder Jews," he said. "I'm not saying they are pacifists but enmity exists on both sides," the rabbi added.

Governor of the Salfit region, Munir Abbushi, met with the rabbis at the junction and told them, "The torching of the mosque was a racist act. We are in favor of true peace, and I thank you for coming to identify with us on the torching I hope we can live in this country as two states."

Abbushi also criticized the IDF for failing to prevent the act. "There are people in the village calling for

revenge, but they are the minority," he said. "We are a national movement and not a religious one, and all we want is a Palestinian state."

The meeting ended with a joint song and dance by Palestinian and Jewish religious officials.

Rabbi Yehuda Gilad, who heads the yeshiva on the religious kibbutz Maale Gilboa, said, "We came to expel darkness, especially during the days of Hannukah. Light is not added by hurting our brothers, the Muslims, who are the servants of God just as we are. This is an important message to relay."

Friday, December 4, 2009

This Guy Just Moved In Our Neighborhood

It doesn't look like this guy's gotten into trouble again since he RAPED somebody in 1991, but you never know. Be careful.

Verification Date
Sex Offender

NOTE: To be compliant with verification requirements, the verification date must be within the past 12 months for sex offenders and within the past 3 months for sexually violent predators.


Zochreini Na Zochnreini Na.....

Jerusalem - Israeli police are considering charges against a Jewish settler filmed driving over a Palestinian who was lying wounded at a West Bank gas station following an incident in which the settler's wife was stabbed.

After dramatic footage of last week's events was aired by Israel's Channel 2 television, a police spokesman said on Wednesday the Palestinian was also being investigated over the wounding of two women with a knife.

The 21-year-old was still in hospital after he was first shot by a soldier, then crushed by the heavy German sedan.

The driver, who was filmed reversing over the groaning man while Israeli soldiers stood by, was ordered not to leave his settlement while investigation of last Thursday's events near the West Bank city of Hebron continued, the spokesman said.

The incident came at a period of tension between Israeli authorities, settlers and Palestinians following Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's order to freeze building on occupied land and Palestinian leaders' rejection of that measure as insufficient to meet their conditions for resuming peace talks.

Palestinians in Hebron said the man accused of stabbing the two women was not a known member of any militant group.

Note that these were Israelis who stopped the driver and pulled him out of his car. Imagine an Arab driver doing that to a Jew in Arab land... or maybe stop imagining.

Anyway, Kol Hakavod on this man taking revenge for his wife's stabbing.

Warning! Contains disturbing images. Viewer's discretion is advised.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Shabbos Kodesh?

These very sick Yidden, are not only causing a enormous Chilul Hashem, but are causing even more Chilul Shabbos by protesting. The kina is on the highest level, but so misdirected. If they would go to shul and daven for Intel to do teshuva, ...which is kina coming from a place of love and empathy, Am Yisroel would be better for it.

I invite every Yid who reads this to ask themselves the following questions:
Do you really think that people will keep Shabbos because of this?
Is this an example of "דרכיה דרכי נועם וכל נתיבותיה שלום"?
Do I want them to represent me because we wear the same clothes and speak the same language?
Is this the pshat of "אור לגויים"?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Defining Charedim and Modern Orthodox Jews by Rabbi Harry Maryles

An article in Ha’aretz really got me to thinking about how we define ourselves as Jews. The article asks the question specifically about Charedim. But I think it is fair to ask it about all of us. I will limit my remarks to two groups: Charedim and Modern Orthodox Jews. Nor should my views here be considered all inclusive. I am just expressing an impression that I have at this moment in time.

Let us first address Charedim. This was the subject of the Ha’aretz article. Who are they? What are they like? Are all Charedim equal? The answer to the last question is no. There are probably more differences among Charedim themselves than there among any other group. Ha’aretz makes these observations:

Who, in fact, is Haredi, a member of the ultra-Orthodox? Is it that fellow with the long side curls and a striped robe setting fire to trash cans, breaking reporters' bones and proudly declaring to a television camera that "every child born to me is revenge on the Zionists"? Are the Haredim those people from Beit Shemesh who a few weeks ago stoned a woman who was not modestly dressed, in their opinion, and almost killed her?

Maybe the Haredi is that thin, pale, shy young man walking in Bnei Brak, his eyes cast down, seeing nothing until he reaches the yeshiva, where he hides away until evening, poring over his books and barely remembering to eat or drink. Or maybe it's that portly Hasid walking along Tel Aviv's Rothschild Boulevard, pushing a stroller crammed with a baby and two toddlers, with a few more kids tagging along. Also on hand is his adolescent daughter wearing a long blue skirt, and at some distance, his wife, the mother of his children.

Or maybe they are the students at Kiryat Ono Academic College, who will be lawyers and accountants, or maybe the young woman who will be the treasurer of the Bnei Brak municipality, or MA students at Harvard University, or owners and staff at a Glatt kosher restaurant in Herzliya Pituah. And maybe they're the Chabadniks in their mitzvah tank, who light Shabbat candles in the heart of Tel Aviv.

What seems obvious from this is that there are light years of difference between one extreme and the other . Charedim can be virtual Taliban-like terrorists but they can be also be non violent productive participants in the broader society. So what puts these two virtual opposites in the same boat?

It is their devotion to a common singular concept. Fear of Heaven.

The word Charedi comes from the word Chareid – which means to tremble. Charedim tremble with awe before the Almighty. They therefore pay attention only to God and His Torah. That occupies their entire thinking. They tend to therefore reject modernity whenever they can.

Charedim tend to see the world in more or less black and white terms. Good and evil. So both the Meah Shearim extremist and the Charedi professional will look at a secular value in the same way. If it is not in the Torah it has no intrinsic value. To the extent that some will be involved at all in the secular world is to the extent they see it as necessary for their existence – mostly for Parnassa – or livelihood purposes.

There are of course differences in how far one will tread into the secular world for even that purpose which can in part explain why some Charedim become professionals and others do not. But the attitude is the same. Stay out of the general culture as much as possible and focus everything on the spiritual and fearing God.

The focus on the spiritual is the primary reason so many of them want to stay in learning. They see learning the word of God through His written Torah and its accompanying oral tradition as the highest calling of man. They are willing to sacrifice much of their material welfare for it. That kind of devotion results in a great number of them dedicating their entire adult lives to learning Torah.

These Charedim are perhaps the hardest working people on earth. And their work bears fruit. They know a lot of Torah. One would have to be blind, deaf, and dumb not to see the dedication of those sincere Charedim who learn full time and are doing it L’Shma. When entering the Beis HaMedrash at Yeshivas Mir one can feel that dedication. It is in the air. The level of Torah learning of the Charedi who learns there is the highest of high and has the broadest of scope.

The Hasmada – dedication to the ideal of learning Torah and the determination to know Torah is incomparable. No other stream of Orthodoxy can match it. When one experiences a Yeshiva like Mir and sees 5000 young men poring over the Talmudic texts and its commentaries, one can only experience envy. I envy their dedication and the knowledge they seek to attain - and do attain.

I have of course criticized Charedim for the vast numbers who do this for too long. There are far too many – perhaps even the majority – who should not be doing this full time for too long after marriage. But that is a separate issue. No one can deny the dedication of the vast majority of them. (Yes I know there are fakers there too – but I’m not talking about them.)

That I believe that many of them need to prepare for jobs and eventually get them is a separate issue too. So too is the poverty factor that is prevalent among them. The point here is that they are sincere and dedicated Jews who see their task in life as Godly. Their wisdom is firmly based on an awe of God. And they thus fear sin.

That is the common denominator. Charedim see only Torah and nothing else.

Modern Orthodox Jews are as completely observant as their Charedi counterparts. (Yes I know there are exceptions but Charedim have them too.)But they also believe that Torah does not forbid - and even encourages - participation in the modern world. Modern Orthodox Jews do not tremble before God. This does not mean they aren’t Yirei Shamyim or God fearing. They certainly are. But they do not focus on the trembling.

They focus on being the best Jew they can be without trembling. And to the extent they choose to participate in the general culture they do it in permissible ways that do not violate Halacha. The attitude is that God gave us a world to enjoy and told us how to do it (by following Halacha). One need not fear the world and may indeed embrace it.

Modern Orthodox Jews believe in learning Torah too. And they certainly have their share of Masmidim - people who spend the vast majority of their time learning Torah. But their dedication to Torah learning is not the same as the Charedi dedication. You will not see a Modern Orthodox Mir.

You will of course see a Yeshiva University Beis HaMedrash full of students learning diligently for many hours. The Kol Torah coming out of there is pretty strong. The Beis Hamedrash is rarely empty – just like a Charedi Beis HaMedrash. But it is not the Mir - or any other Charedi yeshiva like it. Yeshiva University believes in Torah U’Mada. That means that the entirety of the day is not spent learning Torah. A good part of it is spent on Mada.

Obviously I’m not saying that is a bad thing. Being an adherent of Torah U’Mada myself I strongly endorse this approach. I think this approach makes one a better Jew. But I fully admit that that the level of pure devotion to Torah learning is not the same as it is in a Yeshiva like the Mir. And that is something to be admired.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Breaking News!!! White House Press Release Regarding the Recent Events by Barak Hussein Obama

I want to take this opportunity to give a shout-out to my man Hasan. We're hanging in there with you, buddy. Thanks for your many years of commitment to the US Armed Forces. We, the American people, take full responsibility for your mental breakdown due to our mistreatment of you and our incorrect classification as Islam as a religion of violence, G-d forbid. We know that you must have killed all those innocent people in the name of peace and due to our failure to become culturally sensitive to Islamic Shariya and our failure to recognize the holiness and purity of honor killings, mutilation of females, pushing improperly dressed women into burning buildings, and the killing and dismembering of your ememies, not to mention the holy mission of your freedom fighters, who some mistakenly call "suicide bombers." As you have been told already by our mutual friend Rahm, no charges will be filed against you now or in the future (G-d forbid). We wish you a full and speedy recovery. When you feel up to it, I am personally inviting you to the White House to sit down with me for a beer to discuss your ideas for the future of the Middle East. Be well and as you so beautifully stated a few days ago, "Allah U'Akbar".

Your friend,

Barak Hussein Obama

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Obama Likens His Bowling Game to Special Olympics

Mary Ann Akers - Washington Post
President Obama seemed relaxed and in good cheer tonight during his appearance on "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno." But there was one misstep that surely made his advisers wince.

Leno asked the president whether the White House bowling alley had been "burned and closed down" in light of Obama's gutter ball embarrassment on the campaign trail last year.

Obama replied, "No, no. I have been practicing . . . I bowled a 129."

The audience roared with laughter, and the late-night talk show host assured Obama "that's very good, Mr. President." To which Obama interjected, "It's like -- it was like Special Olympics, or something."

The audience laughed. But the White House didn't let the comment linger without clarification.

"The president made an offhand remark making fun of his own bowling that was in no way intended to disparage the Special Olympics," White House spokesman Bill Burton told reporters flying aboard Air Force One after the taping of the show, according to a transcript released by the White House. "He thinks that the Special Olympics are a wonderful program that gives an opportunity to shine to people with disabilities from around the world."

Also on the "Tonight Show," Leno asked the president when he would finally be making good on his famous campaign promise to reward his daughters with a puppy, which so far hasn't surfaced.

"Listen, this is Washington. That was a campaign promise," the president deadpanned to much laughter.

The president said he was "teasing," and explained that as soon as he returns from the NATO summit in France in Germany early next month, the "dog will be in place."

Leno asked if the dog would be a "Portuguese Water Head," referencing first lady Michelle Obama's recent suggestion that the first family was leaning toward a Portuguese Water Dog. The president laughed and said, "It's not a 'water head.' That sounds like a scary dog. Sort of dripping around the house."

But the first dad gave absolutely no hints about what kind of dog - or puppy - it will be. "We're going to get a dog that is -- that I think the girls will have a great time -- I think I'm going to have a lot of fun with it. You know, they say if you want a friend in Washington, get a dog."

And according to the schedule the president described, his girls will have their new furry friend by Easter.

What kind of person, let alone the President of America, mocks the Special Olympics? If anyone else except for King Messiah Obama had said this, he'd be forced to step down, or fired.

The truth is, they'd probably beat him badly in a real game of bowling.

What I don't understand is how Rep. Wilson calling President Obama a liar turned into race-card pulling by at least one member of the Congressional Black Caucus, who said Wilson's outburst was a sign of disrespect of the nation's first African American president, and I quote:

"I guess we'll probably have folks putting on white hoods again,'' Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) said. "That's the logical conclusion if this kind of attitude is not rebuked.''

Soooo, its OK to make fun of people that have special needs, but disagreeing with someone's health care plan is now considered racist in need of public apology (which, BTW, will be the second time he apologized as the President already accepted his original apology, which was immediately after the incident)? Hmmmmm.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Heroin: The Enemy In Afghanistan (from NPR)

By Richard Farrell — Morning Edition
Published September 3, 2009 11:26 AM

I'm a heroin addict and I feel as if a piece of my heart is going to war in Afghanistan. I'm not using any more, but this war and my addiction are horribly intertwined.

You see, my 23-year-old son, William, is a member of the United States Navy's elite Mobile Unit 11. The unit is heading for a newly constructed base in Afghanistan. And the enemy they'll face has everything to do with heroin.

The Taliban funds terrorism with millions of dollars from the opium trade. Afghanistan supplies most of the world's heroin.

It has been 22 years since I methodically unwrapped a tiny plastic bag of heroin, tossed the white powder into a cooker and fired it into my veins. I remember sitting in detox — shaking with panic attacks, gagging, trying desperately to survive just another minute. I used to have nightmares about a 6-foot needle chasing me in and out of the shadows.

Now, because of William's mission, I feel heroin nipping at my heels again. The panic attacks are coming on strong. I do my best to forget that my boy is going to war, but the nightly news reminds me. In reports of American soldiers, young boys, killed by roadside bombs, I see William's face instead, and instantly my brain rewinds to when he was 12. I watch him run wild on a football field in Lowell, Mass. Then I see his boots hit the ground in Afghanistan.

I'm deeply troubled, wondering if my son will be trying to wipe out the crop that nearly killed me 22 years ago. Guilt rattles my brain like a BB in a metal boxcar. Back then, I was an involuntary "customer" who helped create a demand for the drug. I was the last link in a system that produced and distributed heroin — the very system my son William will be trying to break.

Last night, my detox nightmare came back. This time, though, it's not a needle full of heroin chasing me. Instead I see an AK-47 gorilla rifle's bullet, a roadside bomb tucked neatly under loose gravel, or a rocket-propelled grenade moving quickly through the air, but slow enough that I can see the trace from where it came. It's after my son William. I wake up just before it takes him out.

Some mornings, the thought of the future brings me to tears. Heroin snatched away William's childhood. Heroin's power destroyed his family. Now, 22 years later, in a very different way, heroin has another chance to break my heart. And frankly, I'm not sure if I'd recover this time around.

Some observations

Over the past few days, I have been deep in meditation about certain recent occurrences:

1. Why didn't WWII end the way that Quenten Tarantino envisioned it? What's the lesson of the Holocaust for the world in general and for Jews in particular? For those not familiar with his new movie, "Inglourious Basterds" ( However, be forewarned that this article will give away the plot, so click away at your own risk....

2. Adam Michael Goldstein AKA DJ AM, a 36 year old Jewish kid from my hometown of Philadelphia, who was making $25,000 a night spinning records at celebrity and commercial parties, was found dead in his $2 million dollar SoHo apartment of an apparent drug overdose on Friday night, after 11 years of continuous sobriety. (,2933,544579,00.html) I am reminded again that no matter how long an addict has clean, the disease of addiction never sleeps and is constantly waiting for an addict on the other side of the street, so to speak, for when he MAKES THE CONSCIOUS DECISION TO RELAPSE. Although I had never heard of DJ AM before he died, I still am saddened by his death on so many levels - as a fellow Jew, as a human being and as a drug and alcohol counselor who has seen more than my fair share of deaths in my 30 years here on earth due to the disease of addiction. I am really at a loss for words about this topic. Yet I keep on thinking about how ADDICTION IS NOT A JOKE - RECOVERY IS A GIFT FROM G-D THAT CANNOT AND SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN FOR GRANTED, as is life, for that matter.So I ask everyone please, to go home and hug your kids, your family and (if you don't do so already) learn to appreciate every moment you have on this earth and thank G-d everyday for the gift of life that He gave all of us.