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R’ Moshe Biderman (1776-1850) Early Modern Hasidic Zionist

I don’t usually post Yartzeit announcements.  But this one, like the one of Reb Shlomo, is different.  The Lelovers had a very strong influence on me one winter when I joined them in their annual  pilgramage to the grave of Reb Dovid of Lelov.  This Shabbos is Reb Dovid’s son Moshe’s yarzteit.

Shabbos 22nd December 2007 – 13th Teves

Reb Moshe ben Dovid Biderman, the Lelover Rebbe, (1776-1850). Born in abject poverty, he married Rachel Rivka, a daughter of the Yid Hakadosh of P’shischa. After the latter’s petira in 1813, he became a chasid of Reb Simcha Bunim of P’shischa, along his close friend, Reb Yitzchok of Vorki. In 1843, he finally agreed to a leadership position, agreeing to be rav of the community of Przedborz, Poland. In the last years of his life, he decided to move to Eretz Yisroel. He and many of his Chasidim arrived at Akko on Rosh Chodesh Cheshvan. He traveled to Yerushalyim, but immediately took ill. Tragically, between the illness and the Arabs, he was never able to daven at the kosel, his life-long dream. He was succeeded by his son, Reb Elozer Mendel, and a vibrant community of Lelover Chasidim still exist in Eretz Yisroel today. Sadly, the community in Przedborz – about 4500 Jews – was liquidated at Treblin


I always consider him one of the first modern religious Zionists.  Though the word didn’t exist yet.  In 1843 they left Poland for Israel. He never made it to Yerushalayim, but paved the way for the Hasidic group to be established there, in the Holy Land.

There are many other religious Jews who made their way in the 19th century to help rebuild the spiritual life of teh Holy Land. However, the history of the period is not written by Hasidic Rabbis, and their deciplies.  The history of 19th century Palestine is taught often from a secular point of view which ignores frum Jews, or from the Arab point of view.

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West Papua donates gold for Temple

papua.pngThis story has so many layers.

West Papua Delegation Donates Gold For Holy Temple
25 Tishrei 5768, 07 October 07 07:00
by Ezra HaLevi

On Wednesday, the last day of the Sukkot festival, a 34-person delegation from West Papua presented a large amount of gold to be used in the building of the Holy Temple.

The delegation, including representatives of the nation’s government, explained that they study the Bible regularly and recently came upon a verse in Zecharia (6:16) reading “And the distant ones will come and build the Temple of G-d.” They discussed the passage among themselves and decided that their faith obligates them to fulfill the verse.

West Papua, located in the southwestern Pacific Ocean, is rich in gold mines, so the delegation thought it natural to donate gold for the Holy Temple. The Holy Temple will be built in the place where the First and Second Temples once stood – on Jerusalem’s Temple Mount.

The group heard of the Temple Institute in Israel, which deals with advancing the building of the Temple, and on Hoshana Raba – the 7th day of Sukkot – the delegation arrived at the Institute’s headquarters in Jerusalem’s Old City and presented the gold to Rabbi Yisrael Ariel, a founder of the institute, and Yehuda Glick, its director.

The group presented a kilogram of gold and a large sum of money. They requested that the gold be used to construct vessels for the Temple and that the funds be used by the institute for any purpose it sees fit….

Meanwhile if we would consider giving Trump naming rights, we could have had the thing built already.

Tip to LM

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you_dont_have_to_be_jewish.jpgUnlimited supplies of lox offered as bait to get Jews to leave Israel – nice try Mahmoud. However, your offer to move Jews to greener pastures is just the latest sign of your total lunacy.

There is more that ties Jews to Israel than could be undone by the offer of lots of lox. Granted, the Ashkenazi population will feel the tug of your proposed Loxland. But even the offer of free fish will not to get the Jews to leave their ancestral homeland, promised to them by God, inhabited by them continuously for nearly three thousand years, and defended by an army that could cook your kabob tomorrow.

Meanwhile Canada doesn’t like the idea one bit:

Canada Condemns Remarks by Iranian Tyrant

“President Ahmadinejad’s statement represents a willful distortion of history and an attempt to prevent political reconciliation between Israelis and Palestinians,” Canadian Foreign Minister Maxine Bernier said in a statement.

“It is comments like these that make Iran a country of concern for the international community,” the minister said. “Canada continues to work to focus attention on the Iranian government’s atrocious human rights record. To that end, Canada will once again be leading a resolution on Iran at the UN this autumn.”

On second thought… Perhaps the Madman from Tehran does not really hate Jews. After all, Northern Canada has only 100k some people in an area the size of Western Europe. There are diamonds, gold, coal, and lots of places for summer colonies and bungalows. Not to mention, that with recent Global Climate Change underway, most of Northern Canada will be prime beach-front property very soon.

However, the Iranians would then ship weapons to the Inuit, the native inhabitants of Northern Canada. The New Israeli-Canadians might be facing off against some harpoons tipped with more than just barbs. Imagine the Inuit Liberation Organization, the Inuit Resistance Army, Inuit Army of God, and so forth. And what would ck do? After moving himself all the way to Jerusalem, only to have to see him shipped back to Canada?

Of course this is hardly original thinking for the Iranian Despot. Israel Zangwill tried to get the Zionist Congress one hundred years ago to consider using Canada as a temporary home for Jews from Russia, but was met with opposition from within the Zionist movement and others.

What would have happened if Zangwill had triumphed and millions of Jews from Russia had been diverted across frozen seas to Alaska and Northwest Canada? It would kill the Kosher Alaska Cruise industry–who would want to hang around home on a cruise ship. And another thing, the lox plate at all simchas would be refilled continuously, without regard for cost.

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Finkelstein to fast this Yom Kippur

The professor who cannot stop his vicious self-hatred has been mothballed by DePaul. When he was denied tenure, it was only a matter of time. According to the Chicago Tribune, his name initially appeared on the class list and then was removed. DePaul placed him on paid leave for the entire year, but Norman will have nothing of it.

Finkelstein told the [Tribune] that he planned to wage his own campaign against the administration.

“I intend to go to my office on the first day of classes and, if my way is barred, to engage in civil disobedience,” Finkelstein said. “If arrested, I’ll go on a hunger strike. If released, I’ll do it all over again. I’ll fast in jail for as long as it takes.”

Classes start on September 5th. Assuming that Norman does go to his former office on Sept. 5th, he could in theory sit there the whole day until business hours are over. According to the Illinois Compiled Statues (720 ILCS 5/21-3) (from Ch. 38, par. 21-3) a person can legally enter a public building, and if not bothering anyone, can stay. Ever if he were to stay there after they close, most likely the worst offense is a class A or B criminal misdemeanor. Hardly the kind of thing that gets you locked up in jail long enough to have a hunger strike.

In order to really get locked up for a longer period of time, he would have to do something more drastic and take a bigger risk than just trespassing. He could refuse to speak, and be completely non-cooperative. If there is a court order barring him from DePaul, and he trespasses, that could put him in more hot water. If he were to break into his old office, that would be even harsher.

I don’t really see him sitting in jail for more than a few hours, since they have better things to do in Chicago than allow this dude to make a hunger strike, when they have violent criminals that need cell-space.

If Norman is serious about a hunger strike—hardly the kind of thing to do if you hope to get hired at any school—then the hunger strike will have to be at DePaul to get any attention. And figuring that the arrest and release and arrest cycle plays out a few times, it could very be that come September 21st, Norm might be fasting somewhere.

The Halacha is Norman that if a person fasts on Yom Kippur without kavanna (that is Hebrew for conscious intent) that the fast is for Yom Kippur and repentance, they still receive the benefit of the fast.

Instead of seeking vengeance — consider doing some introspection as to why you ended up in this place. Instead of continuing to blame the Zionists and Dershowitz for your troubles, try taking some responsibility for your actions. DePaul didn’t give you tenure because of your unbecoming pugilistic nature, not respecting other views, and getting into personal and vicious arguments on the national stage. (And not because you lack language skills or poor scholarship.)


As we prepare for Rosh Hashanah, the gates of repentance are open to you at every moment. It is precisely when a person has reached a critical stage, that they are sometimes able to look and see the error of their ways.