Thursday, September 15, 2011

Interesting posts and articles #240

  1. First, Rabbi Lazer Brody posted:
    Rav Shalom said that if the war starts before Rosh Hashana, we might not be able to fly to Uman for Rosh Hashana. But, if the war is delayed, and if we do succeed in spending Rosh Hashana by the holy gravesite of Rabbenu Nachman, then there will be an amazing "sweetening" of harsh judgments.
    If I understand correctly, somehow, in the retelling, this got warped into a statement that they would (certainly) not be in Uman this Rosh HaShanah. So, he clarified to dispel the rumor:
    Some people with a problem of too much time on their hands are circulating rumors that Rav Shalom Arush and I won't be in Uman this Rosh Hashana. That is utterly untrue. Both Rav Shalom and I have ordered our tickets and paid for them. We have every intention - with Hashem's loving help - of being in Uman with this Rosh Hashana.
    What I don't understand is how R' Arush and R' Brody could go to Uman. Next, you'll tell me that Rav Eliezer Berland, who is Rav Arush's Rebbe, is planning on going there as well! As I noted back in 2010, citing Country Yossi Magazine from September 2009:
    The Gaon Rabbi Eliezer Berland, shlita, also said to his Chassidim prior to Rosh Hashanah, “This will be the last time you will be traveling to Uman.” Harav Eliezer told his Chassidim not to purchase flight tickets to Uman this year until further notice. He also said some hair-raising warnings about hostilities that could erupt in the world before Rosh Hashana.
    By the way, a lot of this sounds awfully familiar...
  2. Related, the following email went out from one of the geulah websites. I won't identify who, so I suppose he or she will have to remain a 'tzaddik nistar' :)
    There is a lot of chatter on the inter-net about a Rabbi in Israel having a dream that war in the Middle East will break out over the next two weeks.
    Needless, to say, I wouldn't be "holding my breath" on this one, if I were you!
    Judging from what I read of the report, it seems that the Rabbi in question may not know the tools of proper dream interpretation. As such, it would have been easy for him to have mistaken the nature of his dream.
    It is not for me to judge the dreams of another, BUT, there is a way to understanding dreams and if one does not follow the proper path in this, one does get lost. Think about it as if trying to translate something said in French using a Spanish dictionary! I hope you get my point.
    It is sorrowful to have to say, but the Rabbi in question and his many followers may have an agenda of their own. Claiming a disaster will soon strike, then taking measures to prevent it, makes it look like their measures had success, when in reality, nothing was going to happen in the first place.
    While I do believe war in the Middle East is imminent and unavoidable, I believe that this is always the case. There is nothing so special or dreadful about the next two weeks. Now, maybe the next 2 days may prove interesting, but beyond that, I suggest going about your business in preparing for the High Holidays to come.
    May the New Year dawn upon us in light, with blessings of prosperity, security, well being and blessings for us all.
  3. At any rate, Rav Arush now reports that the decree has been delayed. This based on reports from the lamed-vav-niks, hidden tzaddikim each, in Israel. In other news, there are a bunch of people in Israel who believe that they are the lamed-vav tzaddikim. From where I stand, there never was any decree, and so the decree has not been delayed.
  4. Palm Tree of Devorah posts some Q and A from the autistics, or rather, from the facilitators who have deluded themselves into thinking that their own communications are coming from autistics. But 'autistics' is easier to say.
    Q. It's already years that you, and the young men who are like you, are saying the same thing - that the end is near, etc. So, how do we know that now it's the time?

    A. Every fool is able to see that this is the time, because at no time was there such a severe economic situation, "security," plagues of nature, etc. Never was there a situation like this confusing the whole world - never. Maybe only when the world was beginning - "tohu v'vohu." And this is what there is now - almost complete chaos. Everyone can see it. And whoever thinks and whoever tries to continue his foolish life, in just a bit, it will be known who is right and who is not.
    From the setup and the answer, it seems that they are saying that this time is different from all the other times they have predicted the imminent apocalypse over these past years. Before, it was just coming soon, but in contrast, "this is the time". There is wiggle room, unfortunately, for gullible people to explain this away once the apocalypse, once again, does not surface. That "Every fool is able to see that this is the time, because at no time was there such a severe economic situation..." is referring to the situation in general, just as they have been saying these past years. And so, this is sidestepping the question in a misleading manner.
  5. Rabbi David Katz has a series of YouTube videos entitled 2012 Torah vs. Hawking. Here is part one of five:

    From my perspective, this seems filled with nonsense. He begins by discussing how his previous video went viral and was even seen in Pakistan. In the grand scheme of geulah, who cares what the Pakistanis are thinking and believing? They belong to a different religion, one which we should by all means not be thinking bears any relevance to our own. If you want to know whether Rabbi Katz is saying true, meaningful things, don't consult other nations. Ask talmidei chachamim and mekubalim. Then he goes on about astrology and Elenin and Nibiru for a while, which is more nonsense and not Torah or science.
    At 4:30 in the video, he speaks about the UFO AKA the angel Michael over the har habayis, impregnating the even shesiya, and says 'If you think that was a UFO, guess what you are? A moron. Look at the video. The only refutation of that UFO was a UFO is not that small. It was not a UFO. If you read up on nevuah, and what the archangel is supposed to do vis-a-vis erecting korbanos of the righteous neshamos on the mizbayach at Har Habayis, you will see that in fact that is what that could possibly have been..."
    Disregarding the tie-in into the archangel Michael, this is NOT the only refutation that it was a UFO. Who says we know what size a UFO is, that one can have a logical refutation?! Maybe this is a probe from the firefly aliens from the planet Vorlog Prime? But here is another refutation, showing how the video was formed from stock footage of the kotel, and that the same stock footage was used in more than one such hoax video. Garbage in, garbage out. If you don't know how to properly assess the world, and therefore believe in all sorts of meshugas as metzius (reality), then even if you do know Torah and kabbalah, your assessments will be meshugas rather than Torah.
    At 6:20 he talks about the Mayan prediction, "when the earth passes through the galactic center, emitting a beam from the center of the universe, directly impregnating the earth with that light, and if you read Targum Onkelos on the Chumash in the beginning of Bereishis, and you read how the world was created, you can read 'the planets were created to shine light upon earth."
    What?! Here is the likely pesukim he is referring to, Onkelos placed next to the original Hebrew:

    א,טז וַיַּעַשׂ אֱלֹהִים, אֶת-שְׁנֵי הַמְּאֹרֹת הַגְּדֹלִים:  אֶת-הַמָּאוֹר הַגָּדֹל, לְמֶמְשֶׁלֶת הַיּוֹם, וְאֶת-הַמָּאוֹר הַקָּטֹן לְמֶמְשֶׁלֶת הַלַּיְלָה, וְאֵת הַכּוֹכָבִים.וַעֲבַד יְיָ, יָת תְּרֵין נְהוֹרַיָּא רַבְרְבַיָּא:  יָת נְהוֹרָא רַבָּא, לְמִשְׁלַט בִּימָמָא, וְיָת נְהוֹרָא זְעֵירָא לְמִשְׁלַט בְּלֵילְיָא, וְיָת כּוֹכְבַיָּא.
    א,יז וַיִּתֵּן אֹתָם אֱלֹהִים, בִּרְקִיעַ הַשָּׁמָיִם, לְהָאִיר, עַל-הָאָרֶץ.וִיהַב יָתְהוֹן יְיָ, בִּרְקִיעָא דִּשְׁמַיָּא, לְאַנְהָרָא, עַל אַרְעָא.
    The word הַכּוֹכָבִים is translated as כּוֹכְבַיָּא, the Aramaic cognate. And לְהָאִיר, to shine light, is translated as לְאַנְהָרָא, to shine light. If you say kochav means planet, you can say that just as well in the Hebrew. If you say le'anhara means to shine light, you can say this just as well in the Hebrew. Just what is Rabbi Katz bringing Onkelos into this for? As far as I can tell, Onkelos does not add anything.
    Then, a bunch of things about plag hamichcha and, I think, the cosmic clock.
    See also my analysis of his Rashi / Zohar / moshiach in 2011 idea.
  6. Someone under the name Moshe Klein, with a blogger account created this month, with zero views of the profile, spammed an old post of mine to plug Rabbi Yitzchak Kimmel. (Though I asked a question on the blog as to if and where he received his semicha, and received no answer.) Rabbi Kimmel is someone who puts himself forward as a true kabbalist, though there are those who say he is a fake. Certainly the extreme self-promotion (or rather, promotion via gabbais and others) and taking money for seeing people, and multiple opportunities to donate (for a kvittel, for the siddur, for the sefer Torah campaign) should make people suspect. And a blog entitled "Rabbi Kimmel is Real", put up by his (former?) gabbai, Moshe Handler, does him no favors.
    My blogpost had nothing to do with this. It was about Shadal's fascinating approach to tithes, a Ki Tavo post from years ago. The comment left was:
    SOmetimes a person doesn't tithe properly and doesn't know it. a kabbalist such as rabbi kimmel will be able to see your neshama and tell you the tikunim you need to do.
    Nothing to do with the topic of the post, except the tie-in to tithes. Here is the linked video:

    In it, Batya tells us about how Rabbi Kimmel met a Baba Buster, meaning a skeptic who has disproved all sorts of fake kabbalists, and how the Baba Buster came away impressed.
    This video fails to impress me for a number of reasons. Who is Batya, and what is her affiliation with Rabbi Kimmel? For all I know, she could be a paid actress. But let us grant that she is legit. She does not tell us the identity of this Baba Buster. One can judge someone based on his reputation and history. We have to take Batya's word that this fellow exists, and that he is not an idiot. Which 'Babas' has he 'busted'? Perhaps he fancies himself a critical thinker and encountered a bunch of patently obvious frauds, but is unaware of the tricks that a really smooth operator can use. At the very least, we should get firsthand testimony from this Baba buster.
    Instead, the message we get is: Rabbi Kimmel is not a fraud, because someone whose identity I won't reveal to you, is a critical thinker and skeptic, and he agrees that Rabbi Kimmel is not a fraud. Such an argument works on the gullible and credulous, who will take someone's word for it, but not so much on the critical thinkers. But it may just be the gullible and credulous who are being targeted here. When a relative or friend questions whether Rabbi Kimmel is Real, they can point to this video testimony and have a rejoinder. And they don't need to convince that relative or friend, just themselves.
  7. At Hirhurim, hair covering by a bride.
  8. Here on parshablog, posts so far for parshat Ki Savo.


rabbi david katz said...

if you would like my feedback, just ask. ill explain to you anything you want to know. it would be my honor to please mr. i mean rabbi waxman.

rabbi david katz said...

a) pakistan has many implications to the muslims in their gog v magog which sheds light on what is going on in the muslim world which in turn sheds light on israel. someone had stolen a parsha segment (which i hope u did your homework and saw the original clip) and they had sent it around the world until youtube threw off the maker of the video for stealing it, as he stole many videos and made a whole balagan out of my video along with others.
b)it is my opinion that elenin is the star/comet hinted at in the zohar and in gemara berachos.
c)1/4 videos was an obvious fake josh. the other 3/4 were vintage. watch the 1 and u can easily identify the difference, and the only debunk was the size of the floatation.
d)the pshat of onkelos can have several connotations, if i remember correctly, 3. please listen to my ramban shiur on the parsha for explanation there. again, use a bit of binah in your pshatim.
e)yes plag hamincha and cosmic clock...and 5771 part 2 did u debunk my pshatim there yet? and did u remember the first pshat which stated like the zohar, 5773?
f)have a good day, see you in uman....from the loshon craftsmen, think straight.

joshwaxman said...

there is too much to reply to, so i won't even bother. (text is easier than video and audio, btw, since one can just scan for the relevant part, rather than having to sit through hours of nonsense.)

i'll just select an easy one:

"1/4 videos was an obvious fake josh. the other 3/4 were vintage. watch the 1 and u can easily identify the difference, and the only debunk was the size of the floatation."

How about this. Tell me (using URLs to youtube) which three are real and which one is the fake.

I will then point you to debunkings of the three, which have nothing to do with the size of the flotation. Because I certainly have seen debunkings of more than one of these UFO videos. If you have not, it might just be that you have not looked in the right places.


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