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Monday, March 30, 2015

Dayenu

Looking for some appropriate music for Pesach cleaning?

Here’s the Maccabeats’ latest video:

Happy cleaning!

Smile

Monday, March 16, 2015

Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael, and Torat Yisrael

Warning: The following post may exceed definitely exceeds the recommended daily allowance for political essays. Proceed at your own risk.

In shul this past Shabbat, our community’s Rav declared that he isn’t endorsing any particular party.

However, he stressed that each person should vote for the party that s/he believes would best protect and defend Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael v’Torat Yisrael (the People of Israel, the Land of Israel, and the Torah of Israel).

How should one determine which party best meets this criteria?

The Rav observed that the Hebrew word melech (king) is comprised of three letters:

  • Mem – which stands for mo’ach (the brain), which represents the intellect.
  • Lamed – which stands for lev (the heart), which represents the emotions.
  • Kaf – which stands for kaved (the liver), which represents ka’as, anger.

According to the Rav, it’s not coincidental that the Mem comes first, because when it comes to matters of state, the intellect must take the lead.

Similarly, the Rav continued, when deciding how to vote, one should be guided primarily by one’s intellect.

Therefore, even if one is upset or even angered by something that a certain party did or didn’t do, one should still make a rational, objective calculation about whether or not that party is nevertheless best able and most likely to protect and defend Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael, and Torat Yisrael.

As I noted above, the Rav was very careful to avoid endorsing or even recommending any particular party.

In contrast, I admit that I have much less compunction, and thus, I will state the following:

1) The would-be duumvirate known locally as “Tzippi/Bouji” has made it quite clear that Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael, and Torat Yisrael do not play prominent (or perhaps even any) roles in its members’ Leftist and post-Zionist worldviews.

2) Voting for any of the self-styled “Centrist” parties – including Yisrael Beiteinu, Kulanu, and most especially Yesh Atid – will enable Tzippi/Bouji to form and lead the next government.

My dear friends, please keep these two very important points in mind when heading to vote tomorrow.

May these elections herald besurot tovot, yeshu’ot v’nechamot (good tidings, salvation, and consolation) for Am Yisrael, Eretz Yisrael, and Torat Yisrael.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Heblishization of the Megilah V

Shamelessly neglecting one’s blog is certainly no excuse for breaking a long standing tradition, and thus, the Our Shiputzim Editorial Board once again proudly presents:

The Official Heblish Translation

of

Megilat Esther - Chapter 4

(1) And Mordechai knew everything that was made, and Mordechai tore his clothes, and he wore sack and dust. And he went out in the middle of the city, and he cried a big and bitter cry.

(2) And he came until in front of the gate of the king, because there is not to come to the gate of the king in the clothes of sack.

(3) And in every state and state, a place that the thing of the king and his religion reaches to, a big mourning to the Jews and a fast and crying and mispeid. Sack and dust were offered to a lot.

(4) And the teenagers of Esther and her sarisim came, and they told to her, and the queen titchalchal-ed a lot. And she sent clothes to dress Mordechai and to get rid of his sack from on top of him, and he did not get.

(5) And Esther called to Hatach from the sarisim of the king that stood in front of her, and she l’tzavot-ed him on Mordechai - to know what is this and on what is this.

(6) And Hatach went out to Mordechai, to the street of the city that is in front of the gate of the king.

(7) And Mordechai told to him everything that happened to him and the parsha of the money that Haman said to weigh on the treasures of the king in the Jews to lose them.

(8) And the patshegen of the writing of the religion that was given in Shushan to destroy them - he gave to him to show Esther and to tell to her, and to l’tzavot on her to come to the king to beg to him and to ask in front of him on her nation.

(9) And Hatach came, and he told to Esther the things of Mordechai.

(10) And Esther said to Hatach, and she l’tzavot-ed him to Mordechai:

(11)All the slaves of the king and the nation of the states of the king know that every man and woman that will come to the king to the inside yard that will not be called - one his religion to kill,  except from that will the king reach out to him the wand of gold, and she lives. And I have not been called to come to the king this thirty days.”

(12) And they told to Mordechai the things of Esther.

(13) And Mordechai said to give back to Esther, "Do not imagine in your nefesh to escape in the house of the king from all the Jews.

(14) Because if you hachareish tacharishi in this time, space and saving will stand to the Jews from a different place, and you and the house of your father will get lost. And who knows if to a time like this you came to the kingdom?"

(15) And Esther said to give back to Mordechai:

(16) ”Go, bring together all the Jews who are found in Shushan, and fast on me, and do not eat and do not drink three days, night and day, and I and my teenagers will fast yes. And in yes, I will come to the king that is not like the religion, and when I got lost, I got lost.”

(17) And Mordechai went over, and he did like everything that Esther l’tzavot-ed on him.

Laughing out loud

¡ɯıɹnԀ ʎddɐH

םירופ חמש!

_______________

P.S. In case you missed them, be sure to check out the Heblish translations of Esther 3, Esther 5, Esther 7, Esther 10, and Mah Nishtanah.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Netanyahu’s speech to Congress

Earlier today, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu delivered a brilliant and very effective speech to a joint session of Congress.

Like many Israelis and also many of our brothers and sisters in the Diaspora, I confess that tears came to my eyes during the speech – especially when the prime minister cited a pasuk from Sefer Devarim:

חִזְקוּ וְאִמְצוּ אַל תִּירְאוּ וְאַל תַּעַרְצוּ מִפְּנֵיהֶם כִּי ה’ אֱלֹקיךָ הוּא הַהֹלֵךְ עִמָּךְ לֹא יַרְפְּךָ וְלֹא יַעַזְבֶךָּ.

Be strong and courageous; do not be afraid and do not be dismayed of them. For Hashem, your God, is the One Who goes with you; He will not release you and He will not forsake you.”
(Devarim 31:6)

For those who missed it, here’s the full speech:

Two excerpts:

“Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve come here today to tell you we don’t have to bet the security of the world on the hope that Iran will change for the better. We don’t have to gamble with our future and with our children’s future.

“We can insist that restrictions on Iran’s nuclear program not be lifted for as long as Iran continues its aggression in the region and in the world.

“Before lifting those restrictions, the world should demand that Iran do three things. First, stop its aggression against its neighbors in the Middle East.

“Second, stop supporting terrorism around the world.

“And third, stop threatening to annihilate my country, Israel, the one and only Jewish state.”

And also:

“We are no longer scattered among the nations, powerless to defend ourselves. We restored our sovereignty in our ancient home. And the soldiers who defend our home have boundless courage. For the first time in 100 generations, we, the Jewish people, can defend ourselves.

“This is why — this is why, as a prime minister of Israel, I can promise you one more thing: Even if Israel has to stand alone, Israel will stand.

“But I know that Israel does not stand alone. I know that America stands with Israel. I know that you stand with Israel.”

As we head into Taanit Esther and then Purim, may we be privileged to witness besurot tovot, yeshu’ot v’nechamot (good tidings, salvation, and consolation) and also the fulfillment of the Megilah’s words:

כַּיָּמִים אֲשֶׁר נָחוּ בָהֶם הַיְּהוּדִים מֵאֹיְבֵיהֶם וְהַחֹדֶשׁ אֲשֶׁר נֶהְפַּךְ לָהֶם מִיָּגוֹן לְשִׂמְחָה וּמֵאֵבֶל לְיוֹם טוֹב לַעֲשׂוֹת אוֹתָם יְמֵי מִשְׁתֶּה וְשִׂמְחָה וּמִשְׁלֹחַ מָנוֹת אִישׁ לְרֵעֵהוּ וּמַתָּנוֹת לָאֶבְיֹנִים.

“As the days on which the Jews rested from their enemies and the month which was turned about for them from grief to joy and from mourning to a festival; to make them days of feasting and joy and sending portions to one another and gifts to the poor.”
(Esther 9:22)

Monday, March 2, 2015

Netanyahu’s 2015 AIPAC speech

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed AIPAC’s 2015 Policy Conference earlier today:

May the prime minister’s dedication, commitment, and efforts be blessed with success, and may they lead to besurot tovot, yeshu’ot v’nechamot (good tidings, salvation, and consolation) for Am Yisrael in Eretz Yisrael according to Torat Yisrael.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Baruch Dayan Emet

Israel mourns the terrible loss of Major Yochai Kalangel HY”D and Staff Sergeant Dor Chaim Nini HY”D, who were killed by our enemies in the North. May Hashem avenge their blood, and may their families be consoled among the other mourners of Tzion and Yerushalayim.

Seven other soldiers were wounded in the same incident, and may they all have a speedy and complete recovery.

מִי שֶׁבֵּרַךְ אֲבוֹתֵינוּ אַבְרָהָם יִצְחָק וְיַעֲקֹב הוּא יְבָרֵךְ אֶת חַיָּלֵי צְבָא ההֲגַנָּה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל, הָעוֹמְדִים עַל מִשְׁמַר אַרְצֵנוּ וְעָרֵי אֱלקינוּ מִגְּבוּל הַלְּבָנוֹן וְעַד מִדְבַּר מִצְרַיִם וּמִן הַיָּם הַגָּדוֹל עַד לְבוֹא הָעֲרָבָה בַּיַּבָּשָׁה בָּאֲוִיר וּבַיָּם. יִתֵּן ה' אֶת אוֹיְבֵינוּ הַקָּמִים עָלֵינוּ נִגָּפִים לִפְנֵיהֶם. הַקָּדוֹשׁ בָּרוּךְ הוּא יִשְׁמֹר וְיַצִּיל אֶת חַיָלֵינוּ מִכָּל צָרָה וְצוּקָה וּמִכָּל נֶגַע וּמַחְלָה וְיִשְׁלַח בְּרָכָה וְהַצְלָחָה בְּכָל מַעֲשֵׂה יְדֵיהֶם. יַדְבֵּר שׂוֹנְאֵינוּ תַּחְתֵּיהֶם וִיעַטְרֵם בְּכֶתֶר יְשׁוּעָה וּבְעֲטֶרֶת נִצָּחוֹן. וִיקֻיַּם בָּהֶם הַכָּתוּב: כִּי ה' אֱלֹקיכֶם הַהֹלֵךְ עִמָּכֶם לְהִלָּחֵם לָכֶם עִם איבֵיכֶם לְהוֹשִׁיעַ אֶתְכֶם וְנאמַר אָמֵן.

May He who blessed our fathers, Avraham, Yitzchak, and Yaakov, bless the soldiers of the Israel Defense Forces, who stand guard over our country and the cities of our God, from the Lebanese border to the Egyptian wilderness and from the Mediterranean Sea to the approach to the Aravah, whether on land, in the air, or at sea.

May Hashem deliver our enemies who rise against us stricken before them. May the Holy One, blessed be He, protect them and save them from every calamity and peril and from every affliction and illness, and may He send blessing and success to all their endeavors. May He subdue our enemies beneath them, and may He crown them with the coronet of salvation and with the crown of victory. And may the verse be fulfilled through them: "For Hashem, your God, walks with you, to fight your enemies for you, to save you." And let us say: Amen.

(The Prayer for the Welfare of the IDF)*

May we soon be privileged to witness besurot tovot, yeshu’ot v’nechamot (good tidings, salvation, and consolation) for Am Yisrael.

____________
* Special thanks to the official Our Shiputzim Hebrew-English translator for providing the above translation. For more information, please contact me at OurShiputzim at gmail dot com, and I’ll gladly forward all serious inquiries to her.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Euphonic Friday: Open Your Heart Edition

Six months after Eyal Yifrach HY”D, Gil-Ad Sha’ar HY”D, and Naftali Fraenkel HY”D were kidnapped and brutally murdered by terrorists, their classmates and families released a beautiful song in their memory.

Entitled “Ptach Libcha B’Rachamim” (“Open Your Heart With Mercy”), the song contains poetic allusions to the three boys’ names, focuses on the incredible unity that we all experienced during the summer, and serves as a heartfelt prayer that the unity be rekindled.

Noted Israeli artists David D’Or and Ilan Kenan wrote the lyrics and music, and the song was recorded by renowned singers Koby Aflalo, David Broza, Yishai Ribo, Yonatan Razel, Avraham Fried, and David D’Or.

Here are the moving lyrics:

פתח ליבך ברחמים על בניך
קולם לדורות ישמע
בשמים ניצבים לעד דבריך
ובארץ המצא לנו נחמה
איכה היו השלושה לאחד
וציוו לנו חיים
עלו לתומם כאייל נעקד
על מזבח הבנים
שמים בכו מעל לגלעד
והארץ רעשה
מתוך נפתולי הלב שרעד
חייכו בתמונה השלושה

פתח ליבך.......

ובין מייצרים בקרוב עלי מרעים
התגלו במסך האבק
שקרים שבתוך מנהרות מסתתרים
מזימות שנורו למרחק
הרוח נשבה ישנה חדשה
וקרבה לבבות רחוקים
מתוך תעצומות הנפש ביקשה
לא ליפול גם כשלא מבינים

פתח ליבך.......

ובתוך הטירוף בין מרדף לנרדף
תעלה זעקה לשלום הנכסף
והעם שעייף משינאת החינם
יתאחד בחיבוק אחים

פתח ליבך......

May the coming week be filled with besurot tovot, yeshu’ot v’nechamot (good tidings, salvation, and consolation) for Am Yisrael.

!שבת שלום ומבורך

Friday, January 9, 2015

Fine Arts Friday: 5775 Calendar Edition

Warning: The following post may exceed the recommended daily allowance for maternal boasting. Proceed at your own risk.

So, in case you were wondering – and I can’t imagine that you weren’t - here’s the thing about neglecting one’s blog:

It turns out – and yes, this came as quite a surprise for me, too - that when one allows days weeks months to go by without making time for blogging, one finds oneself with a rather extensive collection of partially-written posts.

I mean, consider the following images, which have been rattling around my Drafts folder since before Rosh Hashanah.

As veteran Our Shiputzim readers will no doubt recall, every year my mother puts together a family calendar, and the various grandchildren prepare the artwork.

Here are the Shiputzim kids’ beautiful contributions (I warned you that there would be boasting… :-)) to the 5775 calendar:

Jan2015Parshat Shmot - January 2015
(Roughly corresponding to Tevet-Shvat 5775)

May2015Bikurim (Shavuot) - May 2015
(Roughly corresponding to Iyar-Sivan 5775)

As always, please be sure to click on the pictures for a much better view.

Stay safe, warm, and dry, and have a wonderful Shabbat!
!שבת שלום ומבורך