8 September 2011

You gotta love this guy

I will say very little about 9/11 except to post the following. I believe it speaks for itself.

911 (2001)

September 14, 2001
(2001) Dry Bones cartoon: 911,  Terrorism, America, Israel
Ten years have gone by since we in Israel were shocked by the unthinkable.

-Dry Bones- Israel’s Political Comic Strip Since 1973

Turkey Boycott

Turkey, Thanksgiving,  Shuldig,  Islamism, anti-Israel,   : Dry Bones cartoon.
The sudden anti-Israel tactics and threats by Turkey’s Islamist government is certainly no joke. But I couldn’t resist going for a laugh in today’s cartoon.

Nu? So did I get a laugh out of you?

-Dry Bones- Israel’s Political Comic Strip Since 1973

D’var Torah


Verses 1-13 in chapter 22 deal with issues of chesed involving animals: returning lost animals, relieving the burden of an overburdened animal, sending off a mother bird before taking her young, not plowing with the uneven team of a donkey and ox.

Interspersed among these verses however are other commandments involving safeguards; safeguarding a roof of a home, safeguarding against promiscuity and the separation of forbidden combinations of crops and fabrics.

At first glance, the list seems to be disjointed, disconnected. Perhaps it is meant to teach us that every act of chesed, even that done to an animal, even one which belongs to someone else, has repercussions on other mitzvos that seem to have no connection. But in fact every mitzvah connects to every other mitzvah.

You shall not plow with an ox and donkey together. You shall not wear combined fibers, wool and linen together. You shall make for yourselves twisted threads on the four corners of your garment with which you cover yourself.
(Devarim 22:10-12)

If we analyze this backwards we have the mitzvah of wearing tzitzis, which symbolizes the 613 mitzvos. On a garment that symbolizes the mitzvos, we certainly can’t have a forbidden combination of fabrics and we can’t make our clothes out of linen that was reaped by an ox and donkey, which had to toil cumbersomely to get it. Chesed not only affects others, it has implications on all the other mitzvos that we do. Everything, in one sense or another, leads to or from chesed.

Remember what Amalek did to you, on the way, when you were leaving Egypt, that he happened upon you on the way, and he struck those of you who were hindmost, all the weaklings at your rear, when you were faint and exhausted, and he did not fear G-d.
(Devarim 25: 17-18)

Amalek in gematria is 240, which spells out מר – bitter. If you invert the letters, it also spells רם – exalted. If we want to be an exalted nation, we have to do the opposite of what Amalek did; we have to take care of those who are bringing up the rear, who are weak and exhausted; those who are carrying a heavy burden, those who are in danger of falling off the roof, those who are less favored by their husbands, the needy, the destitute. If we want to do the opposite of our oppressors, we have to show chesed to those who most need it and not take advantage of their weakened state. (I thank my son Joshua Israel Geller, nero yair, for his chidush in gematria).

It is a custom to write the name of Amalek on new shoes so that we literally wipe him out. We also need to write Hashem’s name on our hearts in order to be partners with him in caring for humanity.

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