Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Bicycles are also a menace

"So when you're crossing the street in addition to using your eyes to look both ways, even on a one way street by the way look both ways because boys with bicycles are also a menace, or girls with bicycles today, it's a menace, so look both ways, even on a one way street, but at the same time, use your ears."

Rav Avigdor Miller, "Service by Ear", Tape #231 24:33

Friday, March 19, 2021

with love even toward

 Netziv, intro to Bereishis-

The Avos conducted themselves with love even toward idol worshippers.

Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Rabbi Isaac Breuer on Rabbi SR Hirsch - Alan Brill

Rabbi Isaac Breuer on Rabbi SR Hirsch

In the discussion of Rabbi Grunfeld in a prior post, the contrasts with Rabbi Isaac Breuer were not immediately obvious to my readers. To further discussion, Rabbi Isaac Breuer wrote a 15 page essay on the importance of his grandfather Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch.  (Jewish Leaders ed. Leo Jung, pp 163-177). The essay does not claim to be Breuer’s views but those of Hirsch.

Breuer paints Hirsch as a revolutionary great man directing history to move forward.  In fact, Breuer declares every great historical personality is a revolutionary figure. True Jewish revolutionaries do not rebel against God’s law but against the material social conditions, which have to be overthrown to change. The revolutionary masters the new conditions – and then break the mold in advance of the rest of his generation.  Other nations may rebel against their religion or law but the Jewish revolution keeps the law as eternal. The law is Divine, not the will of the people. Just as one cannot rebel against the laws of nature we cannot rebel against the Divine law.


Rabbi Isaac Breuer on Rabbi SR Hirsch | The Book of Doctrines and Opinions: (

Thursday, March 11, 2021

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Subterfuge and misdirection to conceal

from Wikipedia

To achieve their purposes, all death camps used subterfuge and misdirection to conceal the truth and trick their victims into cooperating. This element had been developed in Aktion T4, when disabled and handicapped people were taken away for “special treatment” by the SS from “Gekrat” wearing white laboratory coats, thus giving the process an air of medical authenticity. After supposedly being assessed, the unsuspecting T4 patients were transported to killing centres. The same euphemism “special treatment” (Sonderbehandlung) was used in the Holocaust.[40]

The SS used a variety of ruses to move thousands of new arrivals travelling in Holocaust trains to the disguised killing sites without panic. Mass deportations were called “resettlement actions”; they were organised by special Commissioners and conducted by uniformed police battalions from Orpo and Schupo in an atmosphere of terror.[41][42] Usually, the deception was absolute; in August 1942, people of the Warsaw Ghetto lined up for several days to be “deported” to obtain bread allocated for travel.[43] Jews unable to move or attempting to flee were shot on the spot.[44] Even though death in the cattle cars from suffocation and thirst was rampant, affecting up to 20 percent of trainloads, most victims were willing to believe that the German intentions were different.[45] Once alighted, the prisoners were ordered to leave their luggage behind and march directly to the “cleaning area” where they were asked to hand over their valuables for “safekeeping”. Common tricks included the presence of a railway station with awaiting “medical personnel” and signs directing people to disinfection facilities. Treblinka also had a booking office with boards naming the connections for other camps further east.[46] (Wikipedia)[77]

The Nazis disguised their “Final Solution” as the mass “resettlement to the east”. The victims were told they were being taken to labour camps in Reichskommissariat Ukraine. In reality, from 1942 on, for most Jews, deportations meant only death at either Bełżec, Chełmno, Sobibór, Majdanek, Treblinka, or Auschwitz-Birkenau. Some trains that had already transported goods to the Eastern front on their return carried human cargo bound for extermination camps.[18] The plan was being realized in the utmost secrecy. In late 1942, during a telephone conversation, Hitler’s private secretary Martin Bormann admonished Heinrich Himmler, who was informing him about 50,000 Jews already exterminated in a concentration camp in Poland. “They were not exterminated – Bormann screamed – only evacuated, evacuated, evacuated!”, and slammed down the phone, wrote Enghelberg.[19] (Wikipedia)[78]
Sonderkommandos (in German: special unit) were work units made up of German Nazi death camp prisoners, usually Jews, who were forced, on threat of their own deaths, to aid with the disposal of gas chamber victims during the Holocaust. However, many also assisted in coaxing Jews into the gas chambers.

Auschwitz Camp Commandant Rudolf Höss reported that the first time Zyklon B pellets were used on the Jews, many suspected they were to be killed – despite having been deceived into believing they were to be deloused and then returned to the camp.[52] As a result, the Nazis identified and isolated “difficult individuals” who might alert the prisoners, and removed them from the mass – lest they incite revolt among the deceived majority of prisoners en route to the gas chambers. The “difficult” prisoners were led to a site out of view to be killed off discreetly.

A prisoner Sonderkommando (Special Detachment) effected in the processes of extermination; they encouraged the Jews to undress without a hint of what was about to happen. They accompanied them into the gas chambers outfitted to appear as shower rooms (with nonworking water nozzles, and tile walls); and remained with the victims until just before the chamber door closed. To psychologically maintain the “calming effect” of the delousing deception, an SS man stood at the door until the end. The Sonderkommando talked to the victims about life in the camp to pacify the suspicious ones, and hurried them inside; to that effect, they also assisted the aged and the very young in undressing.[53]

To further persuade the prisoners that nothing harmful was happening, the Sonderkommando deceived them with small talk about friends or relations who had arrived in earlier transports. Many young mothers hid their infants beneath their piled clothes fearing that the delousing “disinfectant” might harm them. Camp Commandant Höss reported that the “men of the Special Detachment were particularly on the look-out for this”, and encouraged the women to take their children into the “shower room”. Likewise, the Sonderkommando comforted older children who might cry “because of the strangeness of being undressed in this fashion”.[54]

Yet, not every prisoner was deceived by such psychological tactics; Commandant Höss spoke of Jews “who either guessed, or knew, what awaited them, nevertheless … [they] found the courage to joke with the children, to encourage them, despite the mortal terror visible in their own eyes”. Some women would suddenly “give the most terrible shrieks while undressing, or tear their hair, or scream like maniacs”; the Sonderkommando immediately took them away for execution by shooting.[55] In such circumstances, others, meaning to save themselves at the gas chamber’s threshold, betrayed the identities and “revealed the addresses of those members of their race still in hiding”.[56]

Once the door of the filled gas chamber was sealed, pellets of Zyklon B were dropped through special holes in the roof. Regulations required that the Camp Commandant supervise the preparations, the gassing (through a peephole), and the aftermath looting of the corpses. Commandant Höss reported that the gassed victims “showed no signs of convulsion”; the Auschwitz camp physicians attributed that to the “paralyzing effect on the lungs” of the Zyklon-B gas, which killed before the victim began suffering convulsions.[57]  Wikipedia[79]

Monday, March 8, 2021

He knows better!

"Now when a convert or a ba’al teshuva comes to the Jewish people, he has to know that he has to be a follower – he has to listen.  But sometimes a ba’al teshuva comes in and he takes over.  Right away he wants to teach all the old-time Jews how to be real Jews!  He knows better!  So what does he do?  He follows the models that he formed in the gentile world or in the non-religious world.  It happens."

Rav Avigdor Miller, TAPE # 30 (August 1973)

Saturday, March 6, 2021

The mask is the egel - the parsha says it

Shemos 32:4: 

וַיִּקַּ֣ח מִיָּדָ֗ם וַיָּ֤צַר אֹתוֹ֙ בַּחֶ֔רֶט וַיַּֽעֲשֵׂ֖הוּ עֵ֣גֶל מַסֵּכָ֑ה

And if one reads it like a goy, left to right, it says the mask is a (golden) calf. 

Monday, March 1, 2021

Not as a result of their own prowess

The people of Israel did not obtain the soil of this state, which his to be founded upon the Law of God, as a result of their own prowess. The soil was entrusted to them by God solely because they subordinated themselves obediently to His will.

This loyal obedience toward the Law of God will also be the only means of ensuring their material prosperity in the land. This thought is expressed, again and again, in terms of both the nation and its individual members, by the pilgrimages in the spring, summer and fall, and by Israel’s act of laying its first fruits at the feet of this Law.

Therefore, the people of Israel must not permit their contacts with the previous occupants of the land (which will be ceded to them only little by little) to delude them into the heathen notion, diametrically opposed to Judaism, that material prosperity is not dependent upon observance of the laws of morality, and that the forces of nature must be worshiped as sources of material prosperity. 

R' Samson Raphael Hirsch, , the Pentateuch, Shemos 23:20