Sunday, March 28, 2010

Rabbi Yossi Ben Kisma on Gilad Shalit

Meira Kingberg
Yeoshua Kingberg

The Gilad Shalit story should be likened to the story in The Pesach Haggadah by the Ben Ish Chai pp.142-144. of Rabbi Yossi Ben Kisma's exchange with the Edomite officer.

The Ben Ish Chai tells the story of how the Edomite officer kidnapped the Rav's children and the Rav initially offered the officer 100 coins and bargained all the way down for no charge. The officer was afflicted with a severe stomach illness from the angel Michael sent by the Holy One, blessed be He. The illness became increasingly worse during the bargaining process until he let the children go. Furthermore, Rav Yossi demanded the children's salary be paid which totaled 80 coins. If the officer would have agreed initially to the 100 coins, he would have profited. Instead, he was afflicted with a severe aliment.

Perhaps the Israeli government should follow Rav Yossi's example in the Ben Ish Chai's parable. The Israeli government initially offers 100 prisoners in exchange for Gilad and decreases the offer by 10% every time they refuse. At the same time, our people cry out to HaKodesh Barachu just as Rav Yossi did. HaKodesh Barachu will afflict the enemy as their Edomite ancestor and unable to withstand the pain, will offer to release Gilad for the original offer. The government like Rav Yossi, must refuse their offer. This sequence of events will play out until Hamas pleads with us to take him off their hands. At this point, Israel must refuse to leave the negotiation and demand monetary compensation as did Rav Yossi. This compensation should be an amount substantial enough to cover the following: the actual pain and suffering Gilad endured, rehabilitation for as long as necessary, pain and suffering of his parents, reparations to the nation for the emotional pain of Gilad's ordeal, and finally, in the four years since his capture, Gilad would have completed his army service had he been free. He would have entered the workforce in his prime and been a contributing member of society. A formula has to be devised to determine the value of the contribution that was lost to the economy; contribution to the Gross Domestic Product as the fruit of his labor, taxes he would have paid and commerce he would have transacted in the market place. Modern methods of negotiation have not worked. We have grown too sophisticated to our good. Perhaps it's time to revert to the wisdom of our ancestors even communicated in simple parables such as this.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

Passover Minhag

Follow the hyperlink to the minhag concerning round matzahs:

Sunday, March 21, 2010



Passover, one of the three pilgrimage festivals, is soon to be upon us. Aside from cleaning and inspecting for "hametz" (anything that contains leaven), is a time of remembering when our people would bring sacrifices to the Temple for seven days. (Lev. 23:8) The sacrificial system will be reinstated once the Temple is rebuilt and the Maschiach (Messiah) returns.

Also, we are to eat matzahs for seven days to remember HaShem's deliverance for us out of Egypt. (Ex. 12:15-20) During this time, we are to contemplate whether we are returning to Egypt in our thinking and return to HaShem.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Teveria -weather update


Over the past three days, the Kinneret has risen 3 centimeters! We are thankful for everyone's prayers and that HaShem heard us!