Saturday, February 26, 2011

Return to Zion?

Shalom Ilan, haveri! Thank you for thinking of me. We've had an ice and snow snow that came in last night and expect another tonight. My car door won't open. Frozen shut.
I would love to visit my beloved Land but probably can't for many reasons: I'm a poor white boy (I'm a poor fellow getting ready to sell my home and move with Mom and her boyfriend Doug to a nice home with my own bedroom in the country). And my AIDS doctors said I'll probably be dead and are in shock I'm not already and haven't gotten sick with infectious diseases. Blessed be God! What will be will be. I won't give up without a struggle.

Love ya Ilan,


Monday, February 21, 2011

Back to the Kibbutz

Reunion trip - Back to the Kibbutz

June 12-19, 2011

Dear Friends,

As part of the 100 year anniversary of the Israel kibbutz, the kibbutz movement has organized a special reunion trip to Israel for former volunteers. The trip will include many unique attractions, including staying at kibbutzim, traveling around the country and meeting old friends.

If you are one of the 350,000 former volunteers who stayed and worked at a Kibbutz in the past, you are invited to re-live that experience and to meet people from all over the world who share those special memories.

Former volunteers and their families are welcome to join this unique reunion trip.
For details, please see attached brochure or send an email to:

If you are just interested in attending the reunion, please see the attached link:

You are welcome to join the Kibbutz Volunteers facebook page: for more updates.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Erase Me From Your Book

"And now, if You forgive their sin, but if not, erase me now from Your book, which You have written."

(Exodus 32:32)
I Adar 14, 5771/February 18, 2011
Purim Katan

This week's Torah reading of Ki Tisa is sharply divided into two distinct parts. Part one continues the instruction for and description of the building of the Tabernacle and its vessels, and the service of the kohanim, the Temple priests, from the washing of their hands and feet at the brass laver, to the preparation of the incense offering and the anointing of the priests and the vessels alike. This idyllic narrative concludes with five verses concerning the sanctity and observance of the holy Shabbat. These words are spoken directly by G-d to Moshe.
Not by chance this passage mimics the opening verses of the book of Genesis which describe the six days of creation and conclude with the Sabbath, the day of rest. The mention of Shabbat here in the book of Exodus comes to express two exceedingly important ideas concerning the nature of the Tabernacle and the historical moment at which man has arrived. Our sages teach us that the mention of Shabbat following the description of all the labors involved in the construction of the Tabernacle, was to inform Israel that the work on the Tabernacle was to cease on the Sabbath, despite its own intrinsic holiness. In other words, the sanctity of the Shabbat takes preference over the sanctity of the building of the Tabernacle. But as a parallel to the verses of Genesis, the mention of Shabbat carries its own implication that the construction of the Tabernacle was an essential part of creation itself; That the world without the Tabernacle, (and subsequently, the Holy Temple), is simply incomplete. The Genesis account of the creation of the world concludes without mention of the Tabernacle. But here, in a reprise of the description of creation, creation draws to a conclusion only after the completion of the Tabernacle.
Next, in what appears on the surface to be a wholly disjointed subject, Torah describes the conclusion of Moshe's stay on Mount Sinai, his descent from the Mount, and the scene of reckless abandonment that awaited him. Having grown weary of waiting for Moshe's return, Israel, bated by the mixed multitude, has pressed Aharon into creating the infamous golden calf. Perhaps it began as an almost innocent, if misguided attempt to create a tangible sign of G-d's presence in the world, in light of Moshe's absence, to guide them through the desert. But no sooner had the golden calf emerged from the fire than the nation descended into a mad display of licentiousness, the golden calf at its center.
This painful scene is not, however, as we supposed, incongruous or detached from the contented description of the Tabernacle and the Shabbat that preceded it. On the contrary, the debacle of the golden calf is an all too familiar denouement to the completion and seeming perfection of creation. It was after the completion of creation and G-d's placement of man in the Garden of Eden, that man ate from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, the results of which are known to all. Man, by demurring from keeping G-d's sole commandment not to eat the fruit, in effect rejected G-d. So too, Israel, by attaching itself to the golden calf, likewise rejected G-d. So it would seem that man, once again, has failed G-d. Or did he?
After they ate from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, Adam and Eve hid themselves from G-d. When G-d asks of Adam point blank, "Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?" (ibid 3:11) Adam, rather than assuming the responsibility for his own transgression, points the finger at Eve. "The woman whom You gave to be with me she gave me of the tree; so I ate." (ibid 3:12) Now G-d purposely imbued man with free will, both a gift and a responsibility. A gift because it enables us to cling to G-d and to heed G-d's word of our own volition. A responsibility, because when we fail to heed G-d's word, and exile Him, as it were, from our presence, we must hold ourselves, and only ourselves, responsible. It would be foolhardy to conclude, then, that G-d, having granted man free-will, expects man's actions to be flawless. But the possession of free-will does demand that we be accountable.
When G-d's wrath was kindled against Israel concerning the golden calf, He turned to Moshe and threatened to destroy Israel and make of Moshe "a great nation." (Exodus 32:10) Moshe rejected this offer out of hand, and countered G-d's anger, reminding G-d of His covenant with Avraham, Yitzchak and Ya'akov, of His responsibility toward Israel. Moshe then went on to forcefully castigate Israel and to stamp out the evil that had spread. He was angry and disappointed with his people, but when he turned back to G-d to ask His forgiveness for Israel, his words put an end to any doubt as to where he stood on the issue: "And now, if You forgive their sin, but if not, erase me now from Your book, which You have written." (ibid 32: 32) Unlike Adam, who meekly pointed to his helpmate Eve, Moshe stood by his people and with his people. Their sin was his sin. By doing so, he became vested with the responsibility and the ability to make amends, to right the wrong.
We learn from Adam's response to G-d that it is a most basic human instinct to point the finger at others, and to hold others responsible for our own failings. It could be argued that this is what is at the root of all the world's ills today. An entire Islamicist doctrine of hatred does just this, blaming all its own failings on others, thereby threatening humanity itself. The world doesn't have to be this way. Moshe teaches us that putting oneself in harm's way and accepting upon one's shoulders the entire weight of responsibility, not just for his own actions, but for those of his people, as well, marks the beginning of change. This is the man that G-d intended. Not a perfect man, but a responsible and repentant man. The Tabernacle, the Holy Temple, the meeting place for man and G-d cannot be completed as long as man is pointing his finger, accusing the other. Only by facing G-d in a show of undivided fellowship can we complete the sacred work of creation - the building of the Holy Temple.
Temple TalkTune in to this week's Temple Talk as Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven hang on tight as parashat Ki Tisa leads us through the highs and the lows, the ups and the downs of Bnei Yisrael as the sublime work on the Holy Tabernacle is interrupted by the unbridled licentiousness of the golden calf. Moshe rabbenu - Moses our master - masterfully navigates a path fraught with cosmic cataclysmic pitfalls, as he castigates Israel and seeks their forgiveness from G-d. Rabbi Chaim Richman and Yitzchak Reuven describe Moshe's unique leadership qualities, and also the well-intentioned but colossal folly of Israel as they pursued the ill-fated "shortcut" of the golden calf. Also, righteous women and their tight connection to the Copper Laver and the Golden Lamp: Making a Choice To Bring Light Into This World!
The Golden Lamp of Queen HelenaThe Golden Lamp of Queen Helena: 1980 years ago a woman presented a precious gift to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. She brought the gift from afar. And with the gift she brought her husband and her children. The gift found its place in the Holy Temple and the woman and her family made the city of Jerusalem their new home. The woman's name was Helena and she was the queen of Adiabene, a small nation found in what is present day Iraq. Immersed in the prevailing Roman pagan culture, Queen Helena was searching for a way of life that was true and moral. She searched and she discovered the One G-d of Israel. Queen Helena and her family left their pagan ways and adopted the faith of Israel as their faith and the Torah of Israel as their truth.
We invite all who wish to play a part in the rebuilding of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem to join us in recreating the golden lamp, Queen Helena's gift to the Holy Temple. Please click here.
The Golden Lamp of Queen Helena: The Video
The Golden Lamp of Queen Helena: The Video: Watch this beautiful presentation of a dream in the making - a work in progress. To view this 2.5 minute video, please click here.
The Secret of Challah, Part IThis week features the Bat Melech video teaching with Rabbanit Rena Richman, entitled, "The Secret of Challah, Part I: Please join Rena in her special teaching for women. This lesson was originally recorded in Houston, Texas, and is being presented on UTN in four parts.
We are all created and imbued with G-d given potential to achieve many great and good things in our lives. By following the commandments given us by Torah we can learn how to discover, develop and bring to fruition the unique potential that is within us. Learn the secret of your own hidden potential and how to fulfill it by serving G-d, in this exploration of the simple commandment to take challah when preparing bread." Click here to view.
The Blessing of the TempleThis week also features the Light to the Nations teaching by Rabbi Chaim Richman, entitled, "Building the Holy Temple, Part IX: The Blessing of the Temple: Torah was given to man, not angels, and our sages tell us that one hour in this world is worth an eternity in the world to come. The Holy Temple is of this world, and it is our, and only our, responsibility to build it." (This teaching was initially posted in December 2009. Rabbi Richman will soon be recording new teachings.) Click here to view.
Parashat HashavuaIn an unprecedented confrontation with G-d, Moshe, by denying and defying G-d’s will, actually fulfills G-d’s will perfectly. Passing this test with flying colors, Moshe proves his mettle as a defender of his people and a true leader of Israel. Click here to view Rabbi Richman's short teaching on parashat Ki Tisa (Exodus 30:11-34:35).
Blessings from the holy city of Jerusalem,
  Yitzchak Reuven
  The Temple Institute

Friday, February 18, 2011

The Vatican versus the Fourth Commandment

By Wyatt Ciesielka | Saturday, February 12, 2011
On January 25, Pope Benedict XVI again proclaimed his desire "to ignite a fervent missionary movement in the Catholic Church," stating he wants to advance "the entire Catholic Church into a new missionary age" in 2011 (, January 28, 2011). While this movement will ultimately contribute to fulfilling prophecies such as Isaiah 47:8-9 and Revelation 17:2-5, an aspect of this rejuvenated "fervent missionary movement" already affects billions. This is the growing emphasis on Sunday observance. Read more Read More

Ziggy Bear

Saturday, February 05, 2011

Egyptian freedom fighters


Dear David,

Our friend, Egyptian pro-Israel activist Nabil Maikel Sanad (of Coptic
Christian origin), reports today (February 5th, 2011, 7:48 p.m. Egypt
time), that he has been tortured by Egyptian Intelligence, but has been

Please help publicize our friend's situation in his hour of need.

Thanks in advance,

Lowell (Aryeh Yosef)


Email Address:

"Nabil Maikel Sanad Message to Israel Calling for Solidarity with the
Egyptian Revolution"

"Egyptian refusenik: I'm pro-Israel - Maikel Nabil Sanad claims he's first
conscientious objector in Egypt, blames Palestinians for conflict, says
doesn't want to shoot Israeli defending his state"
by Roee Nahmias
October 25, 2010,7340,L-3974091,00.html

Message to Egyptian Freedom Fighters from an American-Israeli Jew

(Abridged Text/English - posted by Nabil Maikel, Egypt)

(Abridged Text/Arabic translation - posted by Nabil Maikel, Egypt)

(Verbatim Text/English - posted by Fazal-ur Rehman Afridi, Paris, France)
Fazal-ur Rehman Afridi, Khyber Institute for Strategic Studies

---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Date:    Fri, February 4, 2011 12:57 pm


Dear Friends,

Egyptian pro-Israel activist, Nabil Maikel Sanad , asks for our help in
publicizing his Message to Israel Calling for Solidarity with the Egyptian

Please find below reports about Nabil Maikel Sanad from Ynet in Israel,
and several other sources:,7340,L-3974091,00.html

You can also find Nabil Maikel Sanad on Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and
other sites:;jsessionid=D2D7E06902198BEF8F8F5A0B6DF311CC

Nabil posted an abridged text of my Message to Egyptian Freedom Fighters
from an American-Israeli Jew on his website, in English and Arabic:

Message to Egyptian Freedom Fighters (Abridged Text/English)

Message to Egyptian Freedom Fighters (Abridged Text/Arabic translation)

The verbatim text of my Message to Egyptian Freedom Fighters is published
by Fazal-ur Rehman Afridi, a Muslim Pathan journalist living in Paris, at
Fazal's Khyber Institute for Strategic Studies website:

Thank you very much in advance for helping to secure the widest possible
distribution for our friend Nabil Maikel Sanad's Message to Israel Calling
for Solidarity with the Egyptian Revolution.

Greetings to you from Nabil in Egypt.

I am listening to this song now, about a Scottish freedom fighter, hope
you like it too:

Shabbat Shalom,

Lowell (Aryeh Yosef) Gallin


Dear Egyptian Brothers and Sisters,

I have been watching your fight for freedom on TV this past week. This is
a message of support for your struggle.

I hope you will accept it in the spirit with which it is offered.

We read in chapter seven of the Qur'an, Sura A'raf, "The Heights", verse
137 (Ali Qur'an, pages 379-380; "Cracking the Qur'an Code", page 177):

"And We [Allah/God] made a people considered weak (and of no account)
inheritors of lands in both East and West, - lands whereon We [Allah/God]
sent down Our blessings. The fair promise of thy Lord [Allah/God] was
fulfilled for the Children of Israel, because they had patience and
constancy, and We [Allah/God] leveled to the ground the great Works and
fine Buildings which Pharaoh and his people erected (with such pride)".

Professor Abdullah Yusuf Ali comments (Note 1096 - Ali Qur'an, page 380;
"Cracking the Qur'an Code", page 177):

"Israel, which was despised, became a great and glorious nation under
Solomon. He had goodly territory and was doubly blest. His land and people
were prosperous, and He was blessed with wisdom from God. His sway and his
fame spread east and west. And thus God's promise to Israel was fulfilled.
Note that Syria and Palestine had once been under the sway of Egypt".

It seems to me that this is exactly what is happening in Egypt today. God,
through you, His Servants, is leveling "TO THE GROUND THE GREAT WORKS AND

The Pharaoh, in this case, is Pharaoh Mubarak.

In my book, "Cracking the Qur'an Code: God's Land, Torah and People
Covenants with Israel in the Qur'an and Islamic Tradition" , I include many
verses from the Qur'an about Moses and Pharaoh, and how God sent Moses to
lead the Children of Israel out of Pharaoh's bondage, and how many
Egyptians believed in God, and were persecuted and martyred by Pharaoh for
their faith in Him.

I hope that these verses, from your own Qur'an, will be a source of
comfort and inspiration to you in your fight for freedom, which I have
complete faith will be victorious.

Please know that MANY, MANY, MANY people in Israel are with you in your
fight for freedom - send your wounded to us, we have very good doctors and
hospitals. They will welcome you in and help you!

I am also sending you two songs, songs of freedom from Chanukah, our
festival of freedom, The Festival of Lights, which I hope will help
inspire you to continue on to victory, until the Pharaoh who oppresses you
now is swept away into the Red Sea, as was his predecessor of old. This
excerpt if
from Maoz Tsur (Rock of Ages), and it applies to you, today:

"Your's the message sharing,
that the time is nearing,
which will see,
all men free,
and tyrants disappearing".

Here are two versions of Maoz Tsur, one sung by a lady, for Egyptian
sisters (remember, that after God's triumph at the Red Sea over Pharaoh
and his hosts, the Daughters of Israel and Miriam, sang together,
separately, from the men). The other, sung by a man, is for Egyptian

Here they are:

For Egyptian Brothers:

For Egyptian Sisters:

The following excerpt is from the Book of Isaiah. God says, through His
Servant the Prophet Isaiah, the following (Isaiah 19:23-25):

"In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the
Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria; and the
Egyptians shall worship with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be
the third with Egypt and with Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the
earth, for that the LORD of hosts hath blessed him, saying: 'Blessed be
Egypt My people and Assyria the work of My hands, and Israel Mine

The People of Egypt lives.

The People of Assyria lives.

The People of Israel lives.

Together, with faith in God and a commitment to live according to His
Covenants, we will plant and build a truly New Middle East.


May the God of Israel watch over you in your days of trouble and trial,
until your coming victory.

Shalom from Yerushalayim,

Lowell (Aryeh Yosef) Joseph Gallin

The Arab world in crisis

By Wyatt Ciesielka | Saturday, February 05, 2011
The Arab world is undergoing a swift and increasingly violent transformation. How do these tumultuous events align with Bible prophecy? What is ahead for the Middle East? Is the stage being set for the emergence of the end-time king of the South? Read more Read More

Criticism of the Bible

By Roger Meyer (guest columnist) | Tuesday, February 01, 2011
There are many critics of the Bible. Some pass severe judgment and condemn with condescension the authenticity, origin and accuracy of the Bible. Some allege contradictions or errors in the Bible to discredit the Word of God. Is the Word of God reliable? Read more Read More

Friday, February 04, 2011

Honor your Mother

I recently returned from Florida, a trip my mother opposed for many reasons. I told Mom it would me feel alive again, on the road again...Instead I'm depressed and have been forced to face my mortality, that I can't travel like I used, that I don't have the energy I once enjoyed. I have AIDS and told I have 1-5 months to live. I don't want to die...