Friday, February 2, 2018
Thursday, February 1, 2018
Wednesday, January 31, 2018
Rabbi David Walk
There have been a small number of outstanding people who used to approach young adults at the Kotel and offer them a Shabbat meal or a Yeshiva experience. This was the beginning of a Torah life style for many of these people in search, the 'backpackers of the Wall'. Besides paying homage to their untiring efforts, I want to mention one of the famous quotes they would sometimes use: You look familiar to me; I must remember you from Har Sinai. This ingenious 'pick up' line is based on a powerful Midrash that, indeed, all Jewish souls stood together at the foot of Har Sinai in the presence of God during the remarkable revelation that momentous morning 3300 years ago. So, what was so special about the incident at Sinai that we all had to be there?
First of all, the concept that every Jewish soul was present at Har Sinai is based on a Talmudic statement: When Moshe told the Jews 'but with those standing here with us today before the Lord, our God, and also with those who are not here with us, this day (Deuteronomy 29:14)' refers to the Jews physically standing at Har Sinai and to all future generations and converts (Shavuot 39a). This idea is very powerful. However, I'm not sure what it means. It could mean that since souls are not physical entities they are not bound by time, so they could have been there, too. Or, perhaps, like many Midrashim, it's not meant literally. It's a metaphor explaining to us how we are the eternal extension of our ancestors who literally stood there and accepted the covenant of Torah. Don't know. My own thinking changes and wavers over time. In reality, I have another question.
Why Har Sinai? Why did the Torah hint and the Sages state explicitly that the universally shared experience of our people should be the epiphany at Sinai? I mean, it's not a bad candidate. It is the basis for our acceptance of Torah and mitzvot, but I would have chosen another event. Last week, we read that at the splitting of the Sea the Jews proclaimed, 'THIS is my God (Exodus 15:2)!' The use of the demonstrative pronoun zeh, led the Sages to make the following unbelievable statement, quoted by Rashi, 'The lowest rungs of society saw more at the Sea than Yechekel saw when the heavens opened before him (Mechilta).' In other words, the clearest view of God ever achieved by mortals was at the shore of the Sea. Shouldn't that be the experience we all want to share? Wasn't that the pinnacle of Divine revelation? We must explore to find that unique quality of the revelation of Sinai that made it the most worthy event for universal participation.
Although we can make a case for Sinai's importance being based on our adherence to Torah and loyalty to our system of halacha, I think that we have to look elsewhere. There's a very cool verse right after the Ten Commandments, which I believe is the key to the conundrum. The text states: And all the people saw the sounds and the torches (20:15). We don't usually 'see' sounds. What's going on? Rashi says, 'They saw which was audible, which isn't possible under any other circumstances.' Okay, it's a miracle. Even though there a number of more rational authorities who go with some plausible linguistic explanations (for example: the word for sight can include all the senses), let's stick with the extraordinary approach.
But why the need for supernatural apprehension of the information at Sinai? The Sfat Emet (second Gerer Rebbe, 1847-1905) initially suggests clarity. The Rebbe explains, 'For one who sees, perceives the seen object in perfect manner as it is without any change (1875).' There's a lot to be said for that approach, because our ancestors required clarity to make their momentous commitment of 'we will do, and we will understand' which appears in next week's parsha. But a few years later the Rebbe refined his thinking on our verse, and wrote, 'There are things that cannot be uttered by the mouth, but only perceived by the eye of the mind (Pesach, 1879).' According to the Rebbe, they were 'seeing' through auspices other than the eye. The verb 'seeing' here is closer to a function of the brain than of the eye. Do you see what I mean?
The Jews at Har Sinai were short-circuiting the normal sensory flow of information. I guess you could call it Extra Sensory Perception. I recently read an article about Professor Digby Tantum of Sheffield, England, who wrote about non-verbal human communication. He believes that people are always picking up signals from each other which we are always working to interpret. He says these micro-signals are almost like a wi-fi network among human brains. He uses this hypothesis to explain many phenomena, like intuition, 'gut' feelings, and even why people avoid eye contact on public transportation, we can't handle the overload of signals. I personally believe this idea has great merit. Those of us who have stronger powers of reception are often the spiritual leaders we go to for guidance. Perhaps that's what happened at Sinai.
Presented for your consideration: The statement about seeing that which is normally heard, means that much of the information transmitted at Sinai was received directly into the brain. I believe that this is what the Gerer Rebbe meant when he said that they were using their 'mind's eye'. Why would God desire such a phenomenon at Har Sinai? The Rebbe explained that too: clarity! For one shining moment history, every Jew was in perfect harmony.
Now we can answer my original question: Why is this the moment when every Jew, past and future was standing together shoulder to shoulder in unity? Because this was only moment in history when we were all exactly on the same wave length, the ultimate same page scenario. Wow! We eagerly await the encore.
Tuesday, January 30, 2018
As you read this, I don't want you to feel sorry for me, because, I believe everyone will die someday, and am contacting you because i really do need your help, and i want you to help me with all your effort and time for just seven to Ten workings days of your time. I want you to be honest and truthful with me that you will help me with my last wish as a dying woman
My name is Mrs. AGS William, I am terminally ill and bed ridden, I have been diagnosed with Esophageal cancer Having accepted my condition I decided to entrust some money I have (US$ 4.5 Million) deposited in UBA Bank to either a philanthropic organization or devoted individual that will utilize this money for charitable activities. 30% of the money is allocated to you, to ensure that you are prepared for the task; the balance 70% of this money will be used by you in all sincerity to fund philanthropic organization, orphanages.
I am taking this decision because I don't have any child or devoted relations whose behavior has left much to be desired and above all I don't want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner, hence my bold decision to contact you, a total stranger. Since my health is regressing by the minute, you will have to tell me a little about yourself, because I got your email address from the Internet.
With the information, I will make arrangement to prepare the Authorization through an Attorney for you to get possession of the Deposit. I will give you the name and contact of the bank where the money is lodged in thereafter, so you can claim the funds.
Until I hear from you, I pray that this letter bring you and your family good tidings.
God be with you.
Mrs. AGS William
You can get back to me through this Email
With due respect to your person and much sincerity of purpose I make this
contact mail with you today been 30-01-2018 as I believe that you can be of
great assistance to me,I am from
born and bread up in Republic of Gabon, I am formal Director Central
bank of Gabon and also Financial Adviser to late richest and longest
Africa President Omar Bongo, Presently i work with UNITED BANK FOR
AFRICA (BOA) ECOWAS
as telex managing Director,
I do not know whether this is your correct email address or not because I only
used your name initials to search for your contact, In case you are not the
person I am supposed to contact, please see this as a confidential message and
do not reveal it to another person but if you are not the intended receiver, do
let me know whether you can be of assistance regarding my proposal below
because it is top secret,
I am about to retire from active Bank service to start a new life but I am
sceptical to reveal this particular secret to a stranger, You must assure me
that everything will be handled confidentially,
It has been 10 years now that most of the greedy African Politicians used our
bank to Launder money overseas through the help of their Political advisers,
Most of the funds which they transferred out of the shores of Africa was gold
and oil money that was supposed to have been used to develop the continent,
Their Political advisers always inflated the amounts before transfer to foreign
accounts so I also used the opportunity to divert part of the funds hence I am
aware that there is no official trace of how much was transferred as all the
accounts used for such transfers were being closed after transfer,
I worked as personal Bank Officer to most of the politicians and when I
discovered that they were using me to succeed in their greedy act, I also
cleaned some of their banking records from the Bank files and no one cared to
ask me because the money was too much for them to control, They laundered over
$700,000,000,00(seven hundred million) united states Dollars oil and Gold money
during the process, As I am sending this message to you, I was able to divert
FIFTEEN MILLION five hundred thousand UNITED STATE DOLLARS ($15.5m) to
an escrow account belonging to no one
in the bank, The bank is anxious now to know who is the beneficiary to the
funds because they have made a lot of profits with the funds,
It is more than Eight years now and most of the politicians are no longer using
our bank to transfer funds overseas, The FIFTEEN Million Dollars
($15.5m) has been
lying waste but I don't want to retire from the bank without transferring the
funds to a foreigner who has account, to enable me share the percentage with
the receiver, The money will be shared 60% for me and 40% for you.
There is no one coming to ask you about the funds because President Omar Bongo
is dead and i am the only person who knows about this money, I secured
everything with original document to back you up when you declare your
interest, I only want you to assist me by providing a bank account where the
funds can be transferred, as soon as i get your reply i will use my influence to
wire the fund into your account in tranches to avoid attraction from your bank
over there, You are not to face any difficulties or legal implications as I am
going to handle the transfer personally with every legitimate right which can
protect us against any breach of law between your Government and my, If you are
capable of receiving the funds, do let me know immediately to enable me give
you a detailed information on what to do,
For me, I have not stolen the money from anyone because the other people that
took the whole money did not face any problems, This is my chance also to grab
my own good but you must keep the details of the funds secret to avoid leakages
as no one in the bank knows about the rightful beneficiary,
I expect your urgent communication, Upon your response and strong assurance
that you will not let me down when this fund gets into your account, as soon as
you declare your interest I will let you know what to do and the transfer
procedures without delay,for more details.
(FILL THE FORM BELLOW AND SEND IT BACK TO ME).
1) Your Full Name:-...............
2) Your Age:-.....................
3) Your Cell Phone Number:-..................
5) Your Fax Number:-...................
6) Your Private E-mail Address:...............
7) current city.........................
8) Your passport copy ..........................
9) Your receiving account number.............
All this information needed for the transaction between you and i.
Also make sure you keep it as top secret, no one else should be awe
Thanks for your maximum co-operation,
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