Current Affairs

Wiping out Amalek

This coming Shabbos is Shabbos Zchor and next Friday is Purim. Amalek, the arch-evil personification of the Sitra Achra (literally "other side", the antagonist of holiness) in every generation, has one main task - to destroy emuna and everyone who spreads it. The politically correct flow with Amalek, but a select few fight fiercely against him...

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The American-Jewish Olive

Today, an olive best categorizes the American Jew. We'll learn how and why in today's emuna-oriented analysis of current events in the USA.

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When the Eyes Can't See

Did you ever wonder why we put our hands over our eyes when we say the Shema prayer? How do we cope when something painful happens to us, especially right after we did a good deed or finished praying, when we can neither see nor understand what Hashem is doing to us and why? Today's podcast answers.

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Onions and Lame Ducks

Shavua Tov! This week's Emuna News shows how the similar pattern of politics on both sides of the Atlantic is a clear sign of the way Hashem is preparing the world for the new era of Moshiach.

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Chanukah and Iran's Nukes

The age-old struggle against Hellenism has been going on ever since the beginning of our history, when Esau became the first assimilationist and nemesis of his brother, our forefather Jacob. If Jacob could defeat Esau's angel, as he did in this week's timely Torah portion, then he can beat Esau. The miracles are still with us; just three days ago, the Iran's sinister top nuclear scientist who devoted his life to eliminating Israel, Heaven forbid, got eliminated himself. And just yesterday, the commander of the Iranian Republican Guards in Syria was terminated too. Here's something to think about when you begin lighting Chanukah candles next week...

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The Survivor

The following parable is a figment of my imagination, and it carries a message that many will not understand; out of those who understand, many will not want to heed. This post is for those who want to understand and heed:

The ship was destroyed at sea but a lone survivor miraculously swam to the shore of an island, where he found refuge. The island was blessed with abundance and the survivor was able to gather sufficient fresh fruit and nuts to satiate himself. There was one disadvantage, though. The island was dominated by the three brothers of the Canis family.

The Canis family was full of strife and bickering. The eldest brother, Canis Lupus, usurped the throne and terrified his two younger brothers. The younger twin brothers, Canis Familarus Moderari and Canis Familiarus Ductus, neither of whom had the power own their own to overcome Lupus, joined together and plotted a coordinated attack against Lupus. Familarus Moderari pounced on Lupus's throat while Familiarus Ductus dug his jaws into Lupus's thigh. Lupus was no match for his two younger brothers, although he fought with the fierceness of a wolf. Badly defeated and sorely injured, Lupus escaped their death-lock and retreated into the forest, still alive and living on hopes of revenge.

All over the island, Familarus followers rejoiced, ushering in what they thought was a new age with the downfall of the iron-fisted Lupus. Moderari, the older of the Canis Familarus twins became the leader, designating a ministerial position for his half-hour younger twin, Ductus. Ductus didn't mind being a minister just as long as Moderari would implement his policies, many of which negated the statutes of the Great Book.

Many of the birds, animals and reptiles on the island were Lupus supporters. They came together in loyal support of their dethroned leader and in the meanwhile invented a theory that eventually became a blood libel, all based on circumstantial evidence and half-truths. They told their dethroned leader, "King Lupus, did you ever notice that your downfall occurred right after the shipwrecked survivor came to the island?" Lupus nodded in the affirmative; the accusation solidified into fact in his mind. 

Meanwhile, back in the palace, a war was brewing between Moderari and Ductus. Ductus, with much power on the island especially among the Hominoids, organized demonstrations against the Moderari regime, which often led to violence, arson and looting. Strangely enough, both Moderari and Ductus supporters blamed the ills of the regime on the Survivor, just like the supporters of Lupus did.

The Survivor, unable to maintain a moment's peace of mind, was belittled, vandalized and attacked by extremists of all sides. He was the sole blame for all the island's ills, so they all thought. The Survivor yelled out in prayer to the Great Spirit (see Psalm 139:5) , "I am pursued both sides, please help me!"

The Great Spirit had mercy and compassion on the Survivor, who had endured many stormy seas. He sent the Survivor a rescue ship, shaped like the wing of an eagle. The captain of the ship sent six sailors ashore to rescue the Survivor, bring him aboard, and take him back with them to Terra Promissa, their home country.

Survivor refused. "Here I have bananas, coconuts and papaya, all I want. I have a lovely bamboo shack right on the seashore. I eat fresh sea bass for Shabbat. How shall I make a living in Terra Promissa?"

The six sailors did everything they could to convince the Survivor. "You can't stay here. There is no future here for you have no true friends - the armed Lupus followers are against you and so are the Familarus clan, especially the violent Ductus ones. This island belongs to them and not to you. Let them fight amongst themselves but you must escape, quickly, while you still can, for you will always be the scapegoat here, no matter who is in power. The Great Spirit wants you to come home, and Terra Promissa is the home of your ancestors and your homeland as well. There, the Great Spirit personally tends to all our needs, especially those of us adhere to the Great Book."

Will the Survivor listen to the six angels? Will he trust in them and get on the boat to Terra Promissa? Only you know how the story ends and we certainly hope it's a happy one.

Biden vs. Trump: The Determining Factor

Beams 6.11.20
At the time of this writing, Friday 12:30 PM (GMT+2), the unprecedented USA cliffhanger election outcome has not yet been determined with three days having transpired in the meanwhile. The pollsters and the media, from Foxnews on the right to CNN on the left and all points in between, have been pushing agendas but not truth. As we've emphasized recently on Emuna Hour, one who seeks truth must turn to Hashem and His Torah. That's exactly what we're about to do in examining from an emuna standpoint the determining factor in who will be the next POTUS, Biden or Trump.

As far as pollsters go, if we would have listened to them, not only would we never have existed as a nation, but we would never have become a nation in the first place. Each generation has its version of Foxnews, CNN, Reuters and CBS News with their respective polls and pollsters. All the polls gave 10,000-to-1 odds against Abram ever fathering a child. Comes along the "One", changes Abram's name to Abraham, and all the pollsters were proved dead wrong.

All the Nomadic pollsters in the Negev Desert gave 100,000 to 1 odds that Sari, a 90-year old woman, would ever become a mother. Comes along the "One", changes Sari's name to Sarah, and exactly 12 months later, she gives birth to a baby son.

All the pollsters and the media in the wicked and corrupt Sodom and Gomorrah district predicted excellent weather for the upcoming months. They gave million-to-one odds against a natural disaster occurring in the foreseeable future in their Shangri-La but very immoral valley. One lone spokesman of the "One" warned Lot and his wife that if they don't leave Sodom immediately, they'll be caught in a mega-disastrous storm of hellfire and brimstone. They were incredulous. That one lone spokesman of the "One", an angel, grabbed them and pulled them to safety, warning them not to look back. Lot's wife believed the pollsters - not the lone spokesman - and did look back. She saw the city burning like a fiery furnace and on the spot, she lost her life.

All the pollsters and the media around the world said that we'd never survive the Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Titus, Haman or Hitler. Same for the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Pogroms and the Holocaust. They also said that we'd be wiped off the map in the Independence War of 1948, the Six Day War of 1967 and the Yom Kippur War of 1973. All the pollsters and the media said that Sadaam Hussein's missiles would kill no less than 10,ooo Israelis in 1991. They didn't kill a single one of us.

Comes along the "One" - Hashem, for He is One and His Name is One - and determines everything.

Babylon, 26 Centuries ago, was the world's greatest superpower. It's king, Nebuchadnezzar, overran the Land of Israel and destroyed our First Holy Temple in Jerusalem, not because of his power but because of Divine Will and a decree against the people of Israel who had largely turned to the pollsters and their idolatrous beliefs rather than the "One" and His Torah, which weren't politically correct or fashionable at the time. Despite the pleadings of the "One's" messenger Jeremiah, the clung to their abominations and the rest is history, as Nebuchadnezzar and the Babylonians destroyed the First Holy Temple as Jeremiah warned that they would. Yet, the media and the pollsters of then turned Nebuchadnezzar into a deity, saying that he had defeated the "One", Heaven forbid.

Comes along the prophet Daniel, a messenger of the "One," and informs Nebuchadnezzar that he will be imminently dethroned. Not only that, but he will lose his sanity and end up like a wild animal in the field. It all came to fruition, down to the letter.

Daniel, in praising the "One" - his God and my God (I hope yours as well) - said a monumental utterance that is truth for posterity, which also happens to be the determining factor in this USA Presidential Election 2020:

The Almighty removes kings and raises them up (Daniel 2:21). Not the polls, the voters, the courts or Congress will decide who the next POTUS will be; only the "One" will make the final decision. All the surrounding factors are simply pawns on a big chess board that He is maneuvering.

On a spiritual level, there is no happenstance - everything is the product of Divine Providence. Election Day Tuesday, November 3, 2020 came out the 16th of Cheshvan, the 82nd yahrtzeit of Krystallnacht, which was the opening shot of the Holocaust. It's also the yahrtzeit of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting three years ago. What does this mean? Are the winds of a Holocaust expected in the USA? Your heart, if you give it a moment's access to the truth, will give you the answer. The Jews of pre-Inquisition Spain and pre-Holocaust Germany had even better lives that the Jews of America today...

The "One" wants to bring Moshiach, the Geula and the Holy Temple now. But, the non-emuna part of the Jewish world, both in Israel and abroad, is getting in His way. The non-emuna pollsters are predicting that life will be great under one candidate or party and miserable under the other. They are all wrong. 

American Jewry must realize that they are living in a modern-day Sodom, a Shangri-La that's beginning to burn. Why is the "One" - a loving father in Heaven - giving free reign to rioting, looting and Jew-hating? The murderers did not ask the martyrs of Pittsburgh whether they were Orthodox, Conservative or Reform. The NeoNazis, BLM and KKK, along with a growing number of anti-Semites on Capitol Hill don't care either. The heat you feel is not global warming; it's the fires that the "One" is lighting to prod you to get on a plane and come home to Israel. And, the heat we feel here in Israel from COVID19 and our own corrupt parties on both sides of the political fence are to prod us to do teshuva, learn real emuna and to stop trying to be America's 51st state. The Torah commands us to avoid walking in the ways of the nations (Leviticus 20:23), one of the statutes that our government and judiciary don't hold by.

For American Jewry, it's time to come immediately. For Israeli Jewry, it's time to strengthen emuna and do teshuva, right now, not later. Daniel said that Hashem alone dethrones and raises up Kings. King Solomon said that Hashem's counsel will prevail (Proverbs 19:21), so listen to the "One" and not to the pollsters. It is not too late to vote for Hashem - the polls of emuna and teshuva are still open, but the moment Moshiach comes, they'll be slammed shut. Since we don't know when that will be, we had better vote fast. When you vote for the "One", whoever gets elected will turn out for the good. If folks don't, then whoever gets elected will, Heaven forbid, you understand by now.

I vote for Hashem, every day, every minute. Emuna and daily teshuva are the best way to stuff your ballot box. Shabbat Shalom! 

Biden, Trump and Ushpizin

What does Ushpizin, the seven holy guests who visit our Succah every year during Succoth, have to do with Biden and Trump?

Hours after the USA Elections voting is over, there is still no clear winner. Ultimately, only one candidate - either Biden or Trump - will declared the next POTUS. 

The unique opportunity of 2020 is that every one of the 328.2 million Americans can be a winner, if they'd only listen to me.

As of now, nearly half of America is destined to be extremely, even violently disappointed, while the other half will be in a phenomenally elated.

Here's a word of comfort to the disappointed: you'll still have challa, fish, and wine on your Shabbos table, b'ezrat Hashem.

Here's a word of moderation to the elated: COVID 19 and Anti-Semitism won't be disappearing so fast.

To both groups I recommend: chill for a moment, stop and think. Either Biden or Trump will be a loser, but why should you be?

Grand Rabbi Yehudah Aryeh Leib Alter osb'm, the holy Sfas Emes of Gur (image at right), notes how previous generations of Sfas emesholy Rebbes could literally see the souls of the Ushpizin - Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph and David - walking into their Succahs. We can not, says the Sfas Emes. But although we lament that we are not on the level of previous generations, we are actually greater in the Almighty's eyes than they are. How? The great tzaddikim of yesteryear could see the Ushpizin with their own holy eyes. We cannot see them but we believe that they are there in our Succah.

Believing is a much higher level than seeing.

Brothers and sisters in America, don't be disappointed if your candidate loses. Hashem is doing everything for the best. What's best? Only Hashem knows. So even if you can't see how things will be good, believe that they'll be good and you too will elevate yourself to a lofty spiritual level, for emuna is much higher than seeing. for the believer, things will be good! What's more, many people see but they don't know what they're seeing.

I promise you, it's all for the best. This election is simply one big step closer to Moshiach. If we all smile and strengthen emuna, we're all winners.