A = D

“And when Pharoah obdurately refused to let us go, the Lord slew every firstborn in the land of Egypt, the first- born of both man and beast. Therefore, I will sacrifice to the Lord every male that first opens the womb, and redeem all my firstborn sons.”

(Exodus 13.1)

SO Pharoah’s obdurance forced G-d’s hand to destroy Egypt. To destroy it’s economy, infrastructure, environment as well as it’s ‘gods’ and religion. To kill thousands of animals, wipe out crops, and immobilize daily life for hundreds of thousands. And finally killed boy children, brothers, fathers and uncles simply because they were first-born?

THEREFORE, B’nei Yisroel must sacrifice, bring sacrifices of redemption? And to keep these commandments throughout all future generations. “Therefore, I will sacrifice…” There’s a direct connection between the Egyptian catastrophes and subsequent Jewish practices. But what is it? A kind of penitence because the Jews were one of the links that led to the massive loss of life in the final plague? Or are we to identify with it, and own our part, by our eternal sacrifices to balance the divine scale of justice?

On one level it’s like a simple scenario: Our sacrifices of the firstborn, which are done by transferring the judgments placed on us to our first-born fruits, or animals prevent our own death. The first-born (Chachmah) is therefore reduced rather than eliminated. Our collective potency is reduced at the outset of the

birth of the firstborn, who is destined to be returned to his source without passing through the worldly digestion of our collective bodies. The utility is entirely spiritual and remember the link to the Egyptian’s demise, that was both physical and spiritual.

The equation remains: ‘Pharaoh refused the Jews—G-d slew every firstborn—now the Jews must sacrifice—the firstborn are redeemed. If A=B=C=D, then A=D (Pharaoh refuses=firstborn are redeemed. B=C (G-d slew—Jews sacrifice). B—D (Egyptians firstborn dies— Jewish firstborn are redeemed). All the variations can seem to equate but we have no proofs,

and we know there is more beyond our consciousness, a flowing river, a child playing, the movement of the spheres and the breath passing as we inhale again.

Last thought, Shana Tova L’chem


American Mufti

One man had a patch of ground and reigned supreme.    He planted, nourished and harvested a strain of perverse vegetation that, once took root spread like a wild-fire to near and distant territories.     He sensed his habitat fertile and ready  for his hand and persuasion and lived to see it flourish.   Like simple grasshoppers transform into locust hordes devouring everything in its wake a transformation took place.

The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem had a spectacular, ego-driven  hunger for power and a fully fueled capacity to deceive.   His ability to mimic integrity was unrivaled.    At the moment the authorities tried to stop him,  he changed gender and slipped away to the awaiting arms of his admirers.   With charisma and cunning he transplanted his viral seeds where ever he went to the delight of his like-minded cronies.

Ancient kingdoms long diminished grasped at his promises of ascendency.   To the north the head of the beast anxiously awaited the Mufti’s allegiance and was not disappointed.    He came to this monster among men as the wolves formed this growing pact.   “We will unit against our stubborn stupid opposite, the vile Jew, and eliminate all his words, once and for all.   We will merge our mutual contempt for their book of rules and cast a new creation.   This will be hidden in the chaos of battle with great powers who also want to be rid of the moral deep inside.

Like the brother’s unite,  the sons of the king, rise and slay their father but he will not die.   They’ve underestimated the binding of Isaac,  Jacob’s cunning and the True King of all creation.     No,  intoxicated with his witty successes he drove his design forward,  euphoric over his own magnificence.    The fox became a wolf once a man.    His gardens became tepid swamps steeped in blood.     The wolf-men flourished and multiplied on this plush red vegetation as they lost the sense of gravity and speech.   It appeared heaven had been submerged in the Garden of Evil.   Yes, it appeared to be so…zombies roamed the earth while the sheep awaited their own demise.

But the victory went to the descendants of the Holy.   Those who linked arms with G-d’s chosen people were fortified and the beast was overwhelmed into submission.    The vast lands of America,  the wholesome people set way for unparalleled abundance and growth but the beast was still lurking under the cover of guile.    The seeds had been sown and the tenacity of blood lust continued to seep into the aged roots of the great societies of Europe and America.

Fast forward,   a man had a patch of ground and suddenly reigned supreme.    He had suckled the breasts of men who reveled in scarlet dreams, he had risen through dark, hidden chambers to a blinding light.  The blood moon showed itself as it did through past histories.   The people were drawn to this strange fire and succumbed to his hidden plans. He ascended the throne of lies and trickery and the gridlock froze his bewildered subjects  into endless dialogue.

This man was cut from the cloth of barbarians dressed in fine suits.   An American president once rallied for the freedom of independence,  and the love of one’s neighbor.     How far away that seems,  as the enemies of our fathers inhabit our cities,  and demand our attention.     The Grand Mufti would be overjoyed to see our White House floating in the blood of innocents.    Shall we surrender to our new Grand Mufti,  shall we bring him to power again and again?



Confusion About Syria


The latest news is spreading shockwaves through Israel.   People have lined up in record numbers to acquire gas masks.    The government is forecasting shortages while the army is happy the public is finally taking it seriously.   My own children are encouraging us to get ours and stock up our bomb shelter with basic necessities.  This is all in response to threats the U.S., British and French are preparing to attack the Syrian stronghold of Bashar Assad’s government center.

From the public’s view it’s all about a few alleged attacks on rebels and collaterals with the use of toxic chemical warfare.   Some reports say 20 people were killed, and another 300 by chemical attacks.    Do I have this right?

SO after two years of extraordinary violence where upwards of 100,00 people, children, women and combatants have died in sectarian fighting the “enlightened” western trio is indignant over the less than 1% killed by chemicals.   Even the UN is putting it up to a vote.   Up until now the horrible plight of the ‘Palestinians’ has dominated that farcical body’s proclamations over the Israel’s insufficient peace process and tyrannical tactics for more than forty years.  So what has caused this brief shift in world attention?

Presumably its the “chemical” in chemical weapons that has everyone up in arms.   For two plus years rebel combatants and collaterals have been dying from gunfire, bombs, shrapnel, falling debris, mortars, rockets, lacerations, smoke and fire as well as famine and disease..   They’ve died in the street, in their homes, in the cities and in the country in every way civil war kills people.   But nothing has produced the serious proposals and threats we hear coming out of the moralistic trio and those rallying behind them.

So why has chemically induced killing, a grim and scary reaper for sure become the red line we hear so much about?   Humanitarianism?    A concern for massive annihilation of innocents?   Moral indignation?   Even to bring them up is obviously laughable hypocrisy.    Lets agree it’s not about the value of human life.   If that were the case sabers should have been rattling back at the beginning of the slaughter.

Weaponized chemical or biologic warfare is the latest red line of intolerance because of what it ostensibly represents.   Killing and risk to human life is the common denominator that can be achieved in so many ways as we know.   One difference with ‘conventional weapons’ (guns, bullets, missiles and bombs, etc.) and chemicals is the human capacity to believe there is some sort of defense against hard, fast moving objects.   Surprise chemical weapon attacks are silent and invisible.    Weaponized germs seem almost supernatural and yet are no more deadly to the individual than any other well aimed lethal force.    Individual death or injury are not about statistics, death rates, or relative risk.   Ultimately the method of lethal force matters little to the one “in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

The horror and mystique of chemical warfare is an arbitrary result of a society steeped in statistics and scientific objectivity.   Unless the risk factor is extraordinarily high, the victims are represented as statistical points on a graph rather than flesh and blood individuals. In the mathematical abstraction of statistical man
we can tolerate the loss of 80,000 entities. Something about chemical, poison gas that shifts the attitude and almost becomes intolerable and a “legitimate” reason for war.

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via Confusion About Syria.

The Art Metaphor of School Shootings

 The Art Metaphor of School Shootings

IMG_6959I spend my days evaluating and treating people with mental health problems.   As disturbing as the horrible slaughter of innocents is I like the metaphor of (murder) art because it takes the issue to a whole new level of accuracy without the simplification.
Just as one somehow finds himself in the role of an artist, often by exclusion of many other roles that don’t fit,  it is completely fruitless to seek the common denominator of artists.   It is the differences that give them notoriety, fame or popularity.    Then there are the issues of execution,  elegance and the power of expression.    This follows the earlier stages of development and formation of the artist, his media and style.
Of course there is a risk of sounding callous or unsympathetic to the victims when the brutality is compared to something as sublime as art . In reality art can seem so but actually has great power to influence and form values.   This is another aspect, the influence on the “state of the art,”  our appreciation of their craft and the horizons it may open for us (in this case the opening of evil).
Contrary to the struggling artists trying to make their mark, our murder artists get instant recognition, and “fame.”   This is the “western jihadist.”   Fame.  Yet our sensitivity to evil and its reality makes it nearly impossible to speak of these things on their own terms.    We do hear in passing the evil Austrian flunked out of art school leaving him to seek recognition in other ways.
There are many other models of violent crime being tossed around, like viral loads, and the epidemiology seems to show some promise in deepening our understanding but loathe as I am to say it,   the gun is more powerful and immediate than the brush.     There is also much less certainty of success and more competition in the creative arts.
Murder is, thanks to the widening influence of the media,  such a big seller even if the final act rapidly dwarfs once the smoke clears leaving  the survivors to grapple with their misery.    Yet the secret society of alienated and impressionable souls are waiting for the inspiration, and preparation to make their way to upstage the ones who thought they finally got it right.

Lag B’Omer in Meron, 5770

Lag B’Omer in Meron, 5770

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When asked if I return to the United States for money, it occurred to me to write the following:

Returning to galut is, kind of like, for the money.   Yet, there’s another ‘level.’   The Spiritual or expanded consciousness that is available, but through the ‘Expanded Torah.’

The Zohar (Book of Splendor)is called The Expanded Torah.    It is the fundamental book of Kabbalah, written by Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai over two thousand years ago.

Last week, upon reaching the 33rd day of the omer, (explanation required) about 500,000 Jews passed through Rabbi Shimon’s grave site deep in the mountains northwest of Tzfat.

I was there, in awe of the massive, (largely unreported) pilgrimage.   This is probably the largest gathering of Jews in the world, every year.

It’s housed in an old castle type of stone building.   Every kind of Jew was there, although the majority were Hareidim and Chassidim.   Food was in abundance, and all free.   There were booths selling a myriad spiritual and Holy books or objects of observance, like candles, jewelry, shofars, hair coverings…

On the sides of the hilly entrance with paths leading up to the burial site, were entrances for men, mixed and women.   You could chose which of the two entrances allowed to you, based on your gender.

There were the same three ‘zones’ around the tombs.

Music poured out onto a constant writhing of dancers circling, almost non-stop from Saturday night until Sunday night.   As you walked from place to place, you could enter into the circle dance, and continue your walk on the other side.

There was a mood of simcha, (joy) and spiritual reverence.    And hundreds collecting for charitable organizations or for help with financial burdens by holding out hands, small and large tin cans or elegant platters.

By the way, I saw more than one platter of donations left out along the walkways, without attendants.   Who would steal of this large group?   Only those who really needed it and would be forgiven.   There was too much ‘reward’ for giving.

Many didn’t really know why they were there, but felt drawn to the high level of spirituality and the desire to do teshuvah (repentance or coming closer to G-d).

I have the lasting impression it was a gathering of the Guf Kodesh (Holy Body) of Israel to unite in dancing, prayer and repentance.

At one point a line of young men surprised me compelling me to give them Blessings.   They literally grabbed my hand, bringing it to their heads, and bowing their faces toward the ground waited while I recited prayers of blessing.   After six or seven passed I turned away, with an emotion difficult to describe.

As throughout Israel, there were huge bonfires in and around the tomb grounds.   All of these customs have very deep spiritual meanings available to learn if the time is spent.    Among the hidden meanings are great ethical teachings.   If one learns them with openness and purity, he will grow in heart, mind and action.

About three A.M. Rav Eliezer Berlan arrived from Jerusalem.   He’s a great tzadik known throughout the Jewish world.   (I sat with him three times after I arrived in Israel, and he said I should live in Yavne’el.)   He first lit a large bonfire prepared in a raised stone platform above a circle of dancing men with a radius of 25-30 deep.   He shot little ‘arrows’ into the crowds as Blessings, as is the custom, that gave those who caught them feelings of joy.

Amplified music from a large group of musicians playing rock-traditional fusion melodies filled the air.   It reminded me of Woodstock in its drama except there were twice the number, it is recurrent yearly and growing.

Here were smiles, greetings and warm embraces every where, with no discernible drunkenness, teenage fights or thievery.   Nor was there any open demonstration of personal sexuality.    Rather than “sex, drugs, and rock & roll,” it echoed the long, often obscure history of Jewish unification at the grave of a Tzadik (Righteous One).

I dream of a time you might are able to experience Israel first hand.   With G-d’s help it will happen some day.



I am overwhelmed with an oppression that sits on my flesh and heart.   It’s crept in to my life most of the last 60 years for periods of time that oppress my thoughts and emotions.    It is like a forced occupation of my simcha, huddling it to the corner as it dances it’s dark fire freely into my attention.

The occupier bitters and darkens me.   I am driven to break it’s hold until I am weary and suddenly it vanishes.   Music and lightness return to me briefly. “

I would call them hosts of demons, angels with tainted tasks and programed by dark forces.    They are powerless and empty and depend purely on persuasion.    They must not be underestimated.     Because their persuasion is based on trickery and deceit and really has no goal other than to battle with The Holy One through you (us).

And yet, due to their persistence we allow ourselves to be convinced we are the powerless ones. We are subject to their unrelenting domination and seek help with the burdens.    We don’t hear anyone tell us about them and we are disappointed.

They are more a mirror and echo to our own darkness.    Likely their response is a pathway to Holiness but we don’t hear it and we don’t even know it.

Why do you host so many of these little demons?  


I am passive in my suffering.   Stilled since my youngest days by oppressors I thought unquestionable.   I learned to disappear into my little world of games and fantasies but they found me anyway.
Sometimes I could see the beginnings of their torment but had no recourse.
In those days my silent, lonely tears comforted me.
Now, doctor, my tears anger me and the past appears without boundaries.
I am the child stubbornly silent as the invader probes my inner heart
and whispers the same threats.   Where is my strength if not in my G-d?
I must fight the invisible enemy of my emotions and run to do battle
only to find there’s no one there.   I am face to face with myself to ridicule
and blame without mercy.   G-d please protect me from my poisonous self
since there is no one else.    Help me find a way out of this maze and house
of mirrors.
Can I believe what they tell me?   Their counsel barely sparks my interest
yet You have sent them to my aid to dispel my crowded loneliness.   They
referee and call foul so unexpectedly I am surprised yet I am unable to benefit   their  counsel.
The occupants of my tortured heart seem to know me better and ridicule my strivings.       My only hope is the chink of Light You show me in the darkest moments.   All I have is Your pathways often hidden but always there.

Meditation on Purim

Discussing Esther’s bizarre situation that revolts every Jew whenever it comes up:
Yes, she was married to Ahasverus and went back to Mordechai, year in and year out.    

It’s clear there are many questions and levels to this problem.  She was called Hadassa because the Hadas is that plant that is identified with a particular smell.   Even the weakest Jews would come alive with the aroma. The whole chiyas of Esther is the story of each Jew.   She prayed and begged Hashem to return to her constantly, because she felt completely abandoned by Him.  

After a while she gave up.   The Jew decides to start davening.   Someone gets sick and one davens and the person dies.  It becomes harder to daven because you don’t feel the connection with Hashem or that He really hears you. .   Do you stop davening?

The tzaddik takes all the tfillas of the people. all the partial neshamas, and brings them together.  He brought out all the tfillas of the Jews, even who continue to daven even though they have no connection with Hashem.    (This is why Maschiach is associated with the nose, the sense of smell.  Each Jew davens and his tfillas bring out a different aroma.   It is said the Mashiach will be able to tell everything about someone by his aroma.  These Jews are called “bas doed,”  you’re also the Rabbenu Shel Olam’s children.   Like Esther bas Doed, who had no father or mother.   The doed that means uncle also means Beloved.

She lived with Ahasveros, to the mikvah, and back to her beloved, doed, her husband, Mordechai.    This pshat of Esther must be uncomfortable, sickening, and shocking.    To know, to realize you’re married to the foreign king and live in his house is almost too much for most people to tolerate,  especially if she is you.   The whole thing is an essential knowledge since, if you deny it and reject it, you miss the opportunity to live with Our Beloved.   The is the Chidush of Rabbenu Nachman, the dilemna of Esther is ‘our dilemna.’  

We’re married to Ahasveros, we’re married to our job, we’re married to our tivas, Chochmas and mishigos.   And we don’t want it.  But we do it anyway and wonder why we’re unsettled.  Why we feel unsatisfied?   This is the product of sitra achra’s pleasure he gets from pulling us away from Hashem.

From Rabbi Goldberger’s shiurim on Likutey Maharon.


The Mixed Multitude



June 19, 2004

There is a movement throughout the world.   It is the mixed multitude.

They knew there was something very special, but they maintained their own minds.

They went along for the ride.   They were running.  They were hiding.

They were seeking a way out of their lives.

It was personal, each with a reason.  They did it in mass, without much thought to the consequences, because they felt so many were doing the same thing.

It turned into collectivism. And over the centuries it passed stages, experiments.

Long before that they left the Jews.   Having been exposed to the Wonders of G’d,

but as if it didn’t mean that much to them.   It was passing phase in their lives.

Many of the Jews remained under the service of The Holy Laws The A-Mighty had given them.   They kept the knowledge alive though their tradition.

Meanwhile, the mixed multitude fell into the popular notions of the day.    As they reached toward their potential  other factions were stimulated to find the truth of the other’s conclusions.   There would be build-up of martial power and destructive forces.

The obvious thing they neglected was the wisdom of G’d and they met their annihilation.   The victors took on elements of the conquered and a new wave of violence and destruction would start again.

Why was this happening?   Why did the trends always lead to death, disease, poverty and failure?   Then something occurred to them.   They remembered what they had been through.   The Great Miracles of the A-mighty Creator and the Jews.

They had reached a pinnacle close to the Divine Benevolence and lived in joy and wisdom.


The Hijacking of Islam

IMG_3501The problem with the hatred, fear and opposition to Muslims is one of terminology.  The Muslim religion is far from a unified group of believers.   Sunni versus shi’ite and other such internecine conflicts are one aspect.   Another opposing assumption is there is a mainstream, integrative Muslim sector that is trying to come to terms with modern society rather than destroy it.   Can we hate them?    The traditional or cultural Muslim who simple wishes to live his life in a safe and peaceful manner is often the first victim of the other, smaller group we’ve been trying to label Radical Islamists or extremists or simply Muslim terrorists.   Yet all these labels are misleading since they fail to differentiate an important difference, that the terrorist elements are really not Muslim or Islamist at all.   I propose to give them a more descriptive tag following one of the main things they’ve become known for: hijacking airplanes, the act of taking over, by force, a vehicle designed to serve one function and converting it into a tool for their own devious purposes of murder and mayhem.

Thus these Muslim fakers with their essentially Totalitarian Nazi beliefs claim to be true Muslims or Islamists, when in actuality they hijack Islam and convert it to the terrorism we see today.

The Islam Hijackers are going to create major changes in Western Society.   The alterations in belief systems have been spreading as a massive ripple northward from the middle east through Europe, into the United States and elsewhere.  Previously held views have come under serious critique.   Beneath the rhetoric is a relentless desire to stop “the infidel.”   The only guy on the block they must kill is the Jew, Israel.   Everyone else can join the “Jihad,” if they want to, or suffer the consequences.    This is a distorted view of historic Islam and the unpoliticized Islam of daily life.

What do they gain by eliminating the Jews?  Certain periods of history were heralded as the Golden Age of Islam where Jews were able to integrate in various ways into the Muslim world to the advantage of both.

Israel seems pretty heterogenous and western.   Yet in the long term central to the the Jewish world is the Torah.  Not to say all Israelis even believe in G-d or the Torah.  It is the measure of a Jew.  And what is it about the Torah that disturbs them?   One major theme is the differentiation of good and evil.   It travels disquised in the Christian bible all over the world.   There’s a lot of agreement with the Christian world regarding basic ethical tenets.  Yet, they want to extinguish the Torah and its representatives.

It’s source is a Divine Intelligence and Creative Force, Unknowable due to it’s simplicity yet Islam Hijackers alter history, and revise its contents.   Once used to fill in the gaps of their story and their “prophet” it is deposed, and ridiculed.   Why due they despise the one source of their own holy book?

Never the less, the Islam Hijackers are devoted to the effort to kill the Jews and topple Western Society and it’s “decadence.”   Is there decadence in the west?   Would anyone disagree there is decadence in the west?    Perhaps a few but some of the Islamic targets were considered outside decent society’s bounds only a hundred years ago in the west and especially the United States.   Immodest dress, sexual impropriety, and even alcohol were considered repugnant and still are by vast numbers .    So Judaism finds much agreement with certain points of Islam outrage.

Their ultimate goal, of world domination is a dreadful thought.

The Islam Highjacker leaders are quite clever in deceit and often charismatic.   Repetition of their Third Reich propaganda lulls many into complacency and are highjacked as well.   The wagons of modernity circle to defend the “Freedom Fighters” and media men who proliferate their own spin.    The core of their banality is the hidden corruption, hatred of life and old Nazi supremism clothed in Koranic sound bites.    They don’t know it but they are set  on course to finish Adolf’s work and they’re in turn highjacked by Europe, Russia and other old enemies like puppets on a string.