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"Darshening" Frank

"It's up to you...."

Frank Sinatra

What did ol' blue eyes mean when he said that? Maybe the following.

In Parshas Bo the Jewish people are called Hashem's "bechor". The first born child MAKES his father into a father. Until he came around the father was not yet a father.
Our job in this world is to be Hashem's bechor. We are to proclaim to the world [and primarily to ourselves] the Hashem exists and runs the world. [See Meshech Chochma]

There is a scary medrash. It quotes the pasuk "Atem aidai vi'ani kel" - You are my witnesses and I am G-d. The medrash comments "If you are my witnesses then I am G-d, if you are not my witnesses then ......" [logic will dictate the rest].

Big job. Kviyachol G-d NEEDS us in this world. Without us the entire purpose of creation is not fulfilled. It really is up to us!!

If you switch around the letters of the word "aid" - witness, you get "da" - know. First we must know then we can serve as witnesses. To know means to read G-d's "autobiography" - the Torah. Lots of it.

No time to watch Seinfeld.

Good Shabbos most beloved friends!!!!!!!!

Elchanan ben Henna Miraim

P.S. I was at a chavrusas house today and he had the TV on and "Seinfeld" was showing. Please don't tell anybody but I watched for about 30 seconds. IT WASN'T FUNNY AT ALL! If someone thinks that it is funny please tell me something funny that you have seen. It is not fair to judge after only 30 seconds. It was the first and most likely last time I will see the show and I would like to have a more positive impression just in case I ever run into Jerry in the Old City Mikve on erev Shabbos or at the famous Ramban shul. Then I can say "Wasn't it great when Elaine....." [I was told that the maidel's name is Elaine. Is she a daughter of Sarah, Rivka and Rochel?]

Not surprising at all.

Seinfeld isn't stand-up comedy. It's situational humor - as the show proceeds some ridiculous set of circumstances converge and unfold that makes it funny. If you see a 30-sec clip you can't discern the irony of the situation. Also, the point of the show is nothing - it's a show about nothing, so to speak. Thus, sometimes the humor stems solely from the characters, and if you are unfamiliar with them, then you are just totally lost.

Reb Ally,

Just wanted to say hi! Have a great shabbos. Say hi to my brother in law- Yehuda/Jordan Feld.

There is a false idea going around some blogs about the Alter Rebbe of Lubavitch, Rav Shneur Zalman of Liadi. Unfortunetly, like many false ideas it was started by a Jew. The idea is the first Lubavitcher Rebbe was against Jews being comfortable or wealthy. This is what the famous attorney Allen Dershowitz would have you believe. Allen Dershowitz has undoubtedly a brilliant legal mind but his critizism of the alter rebbe of lubavitch is unfair. He claims that during the time when Napoleon and the Tsar were fighting for power Rav Shneur Zalman of Liadi wrote the following in a letter supporting the Tsar: "Should Napoleon be victorious, wealth among the Jews will be abundant. . .but the hearts of Israel will be separated and distant from their father in heaven. But if our master Alexander will triumph, though poverty will be abundant. . . the heart of Israel will be bound and joined with their father in heaven." Dershowitz critizized this statement because Dershowitz believes the motivations behind it were to bolster his chasidic cause to promote suffering among Jews and to inspire asceticism. He further argues that there is no commandment in the Torah for Jews to be poor. Now in my view Deshowitz is wrong for a myriad of reasons although I think he is right about the idea that there is no commandment for Jews to be poor. How a 21st century lawyer can critizise a Torah Sage who lived in the mid 1700's and saw the situation on the ground is a more tricky situation, but Dershowitz knows how to argue I'm sure he would come up with something. My main point is that values that we see around us we always have to ask - are these Torah values. For example, a very controversial topic is women testifying in court. It is not a secret that in a Beit Din a women cannot testify. She cannot be a witness. She cannot be a judge. In Israeli secular courts women are lawyers and can testify. In America, the Judges are women. So why does the Torah not allow women to be Judges or testify? Aren't our western values good values - women should have the same jobs as men they say. Not so fast the Torah says. Each gender has a role to play. So the key is to be constantly monitering the values that society has - the values that are always changing and that are temporary - and the values that stand the test of time and are eternal.

Will - Bekius in tv also?! You know everything!

Kobi - Great hearing from you! Good shabbos to you and yours!!!!!!

N-Prophet - What an honor that a prophet reads the blog! For knowledge of Rav Schneur Zalman I recommend Tanya and Shulchan Aruch Harav and not blogs.....

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About me

  • I'm Rabbi Ally Ehrman
  • From Old City Jerusalem, Israel
  • I am a Rebbe in Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh.
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