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Monday, October 19, 2020

Coronavirus Is Shuttering Geulah Businesses and Restaurants For Good

 The Coronavirus was never only a plague that affected people medically, it is also an economic plague, and one that affects people’s sports and mental health as well in at least an indirect fashion. 

The effect that the plague has had on Israel’s economy has been monstrous. While many people talk about the effects, and the government hands out stipends or a few tax benefits to business owners, many have fallen through the cracks and not been eligible for this assistance.

The entire country has been affected by this, and one of the many places where the effects are visible is the neighborhood of Geulah in Jerusalem, as dozens of stores have put up “for sale” or “for rent” signs.

Many store owners who were interviewed by BeChadrei Charedim told the news site that the summer days where they were allowed to be open for a short time, causing them to rehire their workers, did the stores more damage than good, as many customers simply didn’t return and the cost of business stayed the same. Even stores that were considered to be “essential” and were allowed to remain open during the lockdown have suffered irrevocably.

One such store, Felafel Shlomo, was founded prior to the State of Israel. It opened its doors in 1934. The store, which has taken on a mythological presence, closed its doors for good during the current lockdown. Many of the stores received the majority of their income from the Yeshiva and Seminary students who would frequent the neighborhood to shop for Judaica items. All of those customers have disappeared and the stores are following in their path.

Geulah isn’t the only neighborhood that has dozens of stores closing but it is a vibrant one.

On Wednesday, Ynet news website reported that restaurant owners were told that according to the developing exit strategy being prepared by the government they will be able to open their businesses towards the end of November. The article interviewed a number of restaurant owners across the country who said that it simply wasn’t worth it, and if they ever open again it won’t be until April or May.

According to some experts, the economic impact of the virus will be felt in Israel for a decade or more.

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No One On Biden Staff Denying that the Emails on Hunter Bider's Computer Are Authentic

 


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Rebbetzin Malka Piotrkowski: We should Reexamine Prohibition of Touching During Nida

Rebbetzin Malka Piotrkowski

According to Orthodox teacher Rebbetzin Malka Piotrkowski, author of “Walking in her Path: the Challenges of Life in a Halachic and Values-Based Perspective,” on Saturday night said in an interview on the podcast of Dr. Michal Prince that today’s relationship between spouses includes friendship beyond a joint effort to procreate.

Rebbetzin Piotrkowski distinguishes between different types of contact, which are not only for sexual purposes but also for support or comfort.

“The laws of Nida-Menstruation were established in a time when the expectations of the spouses were completely different; not that there was no love between them, but the expectation from married life was different,” she said.

According to the Rebbetzin, the change in the perception of the marital relationship is actually welcome, and today there is “an expectation of soul friendships between the spouses.” According to the Rebbetzin, this change has become very substantial and also creates a desire for contact but for various motives, which are not necessarily sexual.

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Gerer Chusid Marries at Hadassah Hospital So His Father with Coronavirus Can Watch

 "We all teared up when the groom waved excitedly to his father from the area [where the chupa was]," said the coronavirus ward's head nurse.


A man infected with coronavirus and in critical condition was able to watch his son's wedding after Hadassah-University Medical Center staff arranged for the wedding to be outside of his window, according to the hospital spokesperson.
The 56-year-old man from Arad has been hospitalized since late September.
Earlier this week, the man's family, who are Gerrer hassidim, asked the Yad Avraham organization that often works with the hospital to hold the wedding in such a way that the man would be able to participate. The organization worked with the hospital to enable the wedding to occur under the man's window and according to Health Ministry guidelines. 
"All of the Hadassah staff, from security, logistics, communications to ward staff made it a mission to have the event," said the head nurse of the coronavirus ward in which the man is being treated. "We all teared up when the groom waved excitedly to his father from the area [where the chupa was]."
"There was not a dry eye when the family sent their father well wishes using the microphone," she went on to say. 
Director-general Prof. Zeev Rotstein said that "the possibility to give a father a chance to participate in his son's wedding – especially when he is very ill, is an unforgettable moment and a testament to the devotion and humanity of Hadassah staff."

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Biden Finally Responds To Hunter Scandal In Democratic Fashion, Shouts Down Reporter

 


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Someone From Monsey Tipped off Rockland Sheriff That Satmar Was Planning 10,000 People Wedding

A tip from the Hudson Valley led to a crackdown on a wedding in which 10,000 were reportedly planning to attend amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ceremony, planned for the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, was thwarted after New York State authorities got word of the wedding from the Rockland County Sheriff's Office, Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

The sheriff's office warned Rockland residents not to attend since the event was in clear violation of state guidelines.

State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Ducker then issued the order prohibiting the gathering, scheduled for Monday, Oct. 19, from being held at its planned location, reportedly a synagogue belonging to the Satmar Hasidic sect.

The New York City Sheriff's Department served the order.

Though the planned site of the wedding was outside one of the state's "cluster zones," the projected attendance far exceeded state limits.

 "Look, you can get married, you just can't have 1,000 people at your wedding," Cuomo said, using 1,000 as a relative figure, instead of the specific 10,000 figure of those planning to attend the wedding.

Under Phase 4 of New York's reopening plan, no more than 33 percent of the maximum occupancy for a particular area for services occurring indoors are permitted, with violators subject to fines.

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New York Times Op-Ed Glorifies Farrakhan

 

A former editor and writer for the New York Times editorial page, Bari Weiss, is faulting the Times for publishing an op-ed piece glorifying Louis Farrakhan’s Million Man March and failing to provide context about Farrakhan’s antisemitism.

“Today the New York Times ran an oped about the Million Man March and Louis Farrakhan. If you read the oped and knew nothing about Farrakhan, you would think he was a gentleman,” Weiss tweeted

“When The Times ran the infamous anti-Semitic cartoon, the issue was not that editors were hardened anti-Semites. It’s that they didn’t even *notice* it. This shouldn’t surprise. It’s part of a worldview in which Jew hate does not count.” Her reference was to an April 2019 cartoon that the Times eventually said it was “deeply sorry” for and acknowledged was antisemitic.

The op-ed piece appears in the New York Times under the headline “Behind the Million Woman March.” It is subheadlined, “Behind every great feat in the public record lies an untold story of the unsung foot soldiers.” It is written by Natalie Hopkinson, an associate professor in Howard University’s Department of Communication, Culture and Media Studies.

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Asteroid could strike Earth day prior to election


 That’s one way to rock the vote.

An asteroid with a diameter the size of a refrigerator could strike the Earth the day before the November election, according to celebrity scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson — but it’s not large enough to do any serious damage.

The famed astrophysicist said the space rock, known as 2018VP1, is hurtling towards Earth at a speed of 25,000 miles per hour and may clip the planet on Nov. 2.

“It may buzz-cut Earth on Nov. 2, the day before the Presidential Election,” he wrote on Instagram.

But he added that the flying object is nothing to lose sleep over since “it’s not big enough to cause harm.”⠀⠀⠀

“So if the World ends in 2020, it won’t be the fault of the Universe,” he said.

NASA had previously identified the asteroid rocketing toward Earth, but put its chances of actually striking at less than 1 percent.

“It currently has a 0.41% chance of entering our planet’s atmosphere, but if it did, it would disintegrate due to its extremely small size,” the space agency said.

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Sunday, October 18, 2020

Batel Peretz Frum Girl in Bulgarian Prison


Hi,

My name is Shimon Peretz. My daughter Batel was offered an “all expenses paid” trip to Bulgaria by a member of our community, in exchange for bringing a suitcase with items perfectly legal in Israel. Growing up sheltered, she had no idea she was being tricked. Upon arrival, she was arrested and brought to prison. 

She has been subjected to harsh conditions unheard of in the Israeli or US penal system. She is allowed only one phone call a day with us. When I visit her, I am not allowed to hug her. She cannot communicate with her jailers. Even something as simple as asking for a glass of water or letting the nurse know she is feeling ill is usually impossible. Her health and spirit is deteriorating rapidly. This young girl from a loving home is being housed together with murders and violent criminals, many of whom don’t like Jews. Her life is in grave danger and I want her to come home.

Our whole family is suffering. My son, a sensitive young boy with no history of mental illness, recently became institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital. The “unknown” regarding his sister has been too much for him to bear.

We are spending a lot on lawyers. Because of language issues, we have had to hire translators and other professionals at a high price. She is not being provided with Kosher food, so my wife and I rented an apartment in Bulgaria to cook food for her and her friends. We are being offered a plea bargain in exchange for expensive“fines”. We don’t have that kind of money, but without it, she may spend 15 years in prison and who knows if she will make it out alive.

My dear fellow Jews, I am begging you for your help. Without you, I will lose my precious daughter. While all mitzvahs are great, the Gemara singles out Pidyon Shvuyim as a “Mitzvah Rabbah”. Because the Talmud says “captivity” is worse than starving to death, the Rambam rules redeeming a captive takes precedence over charity for the poor. The Shulchon Aruch says one who delays in redeeming a captive is considered a murderer. Because Batel is a girl, halacha gives her precedence for redemption. The reward and bracha you will receive for helping is unimaginable. Hashem listens to the tefillah of the broken hearted and I daven that Hashem grant you wealth in abundance, health and nachas from your kids.

We are trying to raise money for Pidyon Shvuyim. Our goal is for 500 people to donate $390. The reward for this Mitzvah will surely stand you in good stead.

Senior PA official Saeb Erekat Transferred To Israel For Covid-19 Treatment


 

The condition of senior Palestinian Authority official Saeb Erekat, 65, who is ill with coronavirus, has deteriorated in recent hours.

The Palestinian Authority has submitted a request to Israel to transfer him for examination from Jericho to urgent care at Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Israeli territory. Israel complied with the request and will try to save his life.

Erekat is in a high risk group after having previously contracted pulmonary fibrosis and even underwent a lung transplant in the United States in 2017.

In November 2010, Erekat wrote a letter of praise to Ahmad Saadat, the planner of the murder of Minister Rehavam Zeevi, for whom a state memorial service will be held on Tuesday.

"I am writing to you my dear brother to express the most courageous feelings of solidarity and fraternity ... The occupation is pursuing a policy of defeat and humiliation towards you (the prisoners) through the abolition of your achievements. You have exhibited a great stand which has become a legend in which many shahids have fallen.”

After praising Saadat, Erekat wrote to him "Our beloved, the darkness of the prison will come to an end. We believe we will meet soon and celebrate the victory and the liberation and freedom, for all the prisoners."

In December 2015, he paid a condolence visit to the family of a terrorist who carried out a shooting attack against IDF forces and belonged to Palestinian Authority intelligence.

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In the UK.... London Charedi housing association wins landmark Supreme Court case

 A Charedi Jewish housing association has won a landmark case at the Supreme Court after its decision not to offer one of its London apartments to a non-Jewish mother was challenged through the courts.

The case concerned Agudas Israel Housing Association (AIHA), a charity based in Hackney providing housing to members of the Orthodox Jewish community which owns 470 properties across the borough – about one percent of all social housing.

Its practice of allocating social housing only to strictly-Orthodox Jews was by challenged by a single non-Jewish mother of four children, one of whom has severe autism, after she was promised the next available apartment, which at the time was AIHA property.

Despite her having been assessed by Hackney as “having the highest possible need”, she came up against AIHA’s practice of offering housing “only to members of the Orthodox Jewish community,” which Hackney Council adheres to.

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Ten iconic Holocaust films to watch now on Netflix and Amazon

 

Defiance (2008)

Directed by Edward Zwick, Defiance tells the true-life story of the Bielski partisans, a group led by Belarusian Jewish brothers, who saved and recruited Jews in Belarus during the Second World War. The film stars Daniel Craig as Tuvia Bielski, Liev Schreiber as Zus Bielski, Jamie Bell as Asael Bielski, and George MacKay as Aron Bielski. Available to rent or buy on Amazon.



Schindler’s List (1993)

One of the greatest Holocaust films of all time and recipient of seven Academy Awards, Steven Spielberg’s sweeping epic Schindler’s List follows the real-life story of Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson), a German businessman who saved the lives of more than 1,000 mostly Polish Jews by employing them in his factories during the Second World War. The stellar cast includes Ralph Fiennes as sadistic SS officer Amon Goeth and Ben Kingsley as Schindler’s Jewish accountant Itzhak Stern. Available on Netflix, and to rent or buy on Amazon

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Well-wishers hope for recovery after Rabbi Sacks announces cancer diagnosis


Messages from across the community and around wished a speedy recovery to former Chief Rabbi, Lord Jonathan Sacks, after has announced he has been diagnosed with cancer and is undergoing treatment.

In a statement posted to his Twitter feed on Thursday, Sacks’ office said he had been “recently diagnosed” with an unspecified cancer and hoped to return to work “as soon as possible.”

“He remains positive and upbeat and will now spend a period of time focused on the treatment he is receiving from his excellent medical team,” the statement said. “He is looking forward to returning to his work as soon as possible.”

Sacks, 72, has been treated for cancer twice before, in his 30s and again in his 50s, a fact that wasn’t widely known until it was disclosed in a 2012 book.

He served as chief rabbi of the British Commonwealth from 1991 until 2013 and is among the most prominent expositors of Orthodox Judaism in the world, having authored dozens of books addressing contemporary spiritual and moral issues.

A translation and commentary on a Jewish prayer book that he wrote has become enormously popular worldwide. His most recent book, “Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times,” came out last month.

Incumbent, Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis took to Twitter, saying: “To my illustrious predecessor, Rabbi Lord Sacks, may Hashem bless you with a Refuah Sheleima – a swift and complete return to good health. My heartfelt prayers are with you, Elaine and the whole family.”

Well-wishers sent support from across the community around the world, with Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin “wishing my dear friend @rabbisacks  Refuah Shlema, a full and speedy recovery. Get well soon, we need your voice now more than ever.”

The European Jewish Congress also hoped for a swift recovery, saying: “He is one of the most important and inspiring spiritual leaders and thinkers of our day. Our thoughts and prayers are with him.

Israel’s new ambassador to London, Tzipi Hotovely, hoped for his recovery, saying: “Now more than ever our world needs his remarkable wisdom, intellect and foresight.”

Meanwhile, the Board of Deputies tweeted: “Wishing you a full and speedy recovery from all of us”, and the Community Security Trust wished their “great friend and supporter” well, calling him a “tireless campaigner against antisemitism” who has “contributed so much to Jewish life in this country.” 

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Twitter Still Blocking NY Post from Tweeting Because They Told the Truth about the Bidens

 The NY Times reported on Friday that Twitter is no longer blocking the sharing of tweets by the NYPost exposing the emails of presidential candidate Joe Biden’s son, Hunter Biden. Twitter had banned the NY Post link and even went as far as blocking users who shared those links.

But, according to Georgett Roberts of the NY Post, “The Post’s Twitter account remains frozen in the wake of our exclusive report on Hunter Biden’s e-mails.” As of Sunday morning, the NY Post has not tweeted anything new on Twitter since the October 14, 2020 ban.

If that isn’t enough censorship for you, Mary Kay Linge and Jon Levine report that, “Twitter has refused to unlock The Post’s account unless the news organization deletes tweets about its own reporting on Hunter Biden’s emails.”

In another article by Jon Levine of the Post, he states that a review of tweets by senior executives and employees at Twitter indicate a “a long history of anti-Trump hatred,” and then provides a list of examples.

GOP leaders are calling Twitter’s censorship of the NY Post expose on Hunter Biden and his father Joe Biden “election interference.” The Republican National Committee filed a complain with the Federal Election Commission.

The emails have also raised new allegations about the Biden families business dealings with China.

Politically conservative news outlets, websites and bloggers have long complained of censorship, shadow-banning and outright banning by the Big Tech companies which include Google, Facebook and Twitter.

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What is a ‘moser’? The ugly, complicated history of Judaism’s most dangerous accusation


by Henry Abramson

 The intermediate days of Sukkot in the holy city of Brooklyn are normally a time of singing, prayer and communal fellowship. This year the celebrations were marred by violence. 

Egged on by a rabble-rousing individual who literally wore a political bumper sticker on his chest, a crowd of angry haredi Orthodox Jews protested coronavirus restrictions, burning masks and denouncing government authorities. Police, wary of this summer’s Black Lives Matter protests but unaccustomed to angry mobs of Hasidim in their Yom Tov finery, were unprepared for the melee. 

Scenes of the demonstrations were widely circulated on social media, including sporadic episodes of shameful violence. In one notorious bit of cellphone footage, a Yiddish-inflected curse was repeatedly thrown at Jacob Kornbluh, a Hasidic reporter for Jewish Insider. With his back to a wall and surrounded by Hasidim, the threatening crowd chanted “moser, moser, moser!” as jarring, festive holiday music blared incongruously in the background. Barely protected by a handful of police officers, Kornbluh fled the scene, chased away by a surging mass of kaftans and stiff-brimmed black hats.

Incredible.

What, exactly, is a moser? The term “snitch” was also thrown at the hapless writer, but the translation doesn’t come close. 

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The traditional Jewish prayer Gal Gadot says every day


 


As an Israeli, Gadot is very open about her Jewish identity, speaking out against anti-Semitism, sharing pictures of her family celebrating Jewish holidays, and talking about how her grandfather, an Auschwitz survivor, impacted her life. And, at the end of the Vanity Fair piece, she talks about how one Jewish prayer in particular helps keep her grounded.

“I say thank you every morning. In the Jewish culture, there’s a prayer that you’re supposed to say every time you wake up in the morning to thank God for, you know, keeping you alive and dadadada. You say “modeh ani,” which means ‘I give thanks,’” she told Vanity Fair’s Nancy Jo Sales. “So every morning I wake up and step out of bed and I say, ‘Thank you for everything, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.’ Nothing is to be taken for granted.”

Modeh Ani is, of course, the traditional Jewish prayer recited upon waking up each day. It offers thanks to God for letting us regain consciousness after a long night’s sleep.

“I thank You, living and enduring King, for You have graciously returned my soul within me. Great is Your faithfulness,” is one translation of prayer’s Hebrew text.

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France Killer Asked Pupils to Point Out Teacher Before Beheading

Samuel Paty 


The animal suspected of beheading a French history teacher who showed his students cartoons of the prophet Mohammed was identified as an 18-year-old Chechen, who had been granted a 10-year residency in France as a refugee in March. The murder was described by President Emmanuel Macron as an “Islamist terror attack.”

The attack took place late Friday afternoon near the middle school where the teacher worked in Conflans Saint-Honorine, a northwestern suburb around 30 kilometers (20 miles) from central Paris.

According to anti-terror prosecutor Jean-Francois Ricard, initial evidence suggests that the perpetrator loitered outside the school and asked pupils where he could find the victim. He then attacked teacher Samuel Paty when he was walking home from school.

Paty “had numerous wounds to the head … and he had been decapitated,” Ricard said. The weapon was discarded nearby.

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Israel, Bahrain to Establish Diplomatic Relations Today

Israel and Bahrain will officially establish diplomatic relations on Sunday at a ceremony in Manama, an Israeli official said, after the two states reached a US-brokered normalization deal last month.

A visiting delegation from Israel and officials in Bahrain will sign a "joint communique [that] is the establishment of full diplomatic relations," an Israel official in Manama told reporters.

Once the text is signed at a ceremony scheduled for Sunday evening, Israel and Bahrain will be free to open embassies in each other's countries, the official said.

The United Arab Emirates and Bahrain became the third and fourth Arab states to agree to normalize ties with Israel, following Egypt's peace deal with Israel in 1979 and a 1994 pact with Jordan.

The Palestinian Authority has condemned the Gulf deals with Israel as "a stab in the back" for their aspirations to establish an independent state of their own.

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Cuomo Stops Planned Satmar Rebbe Wedding With Thousands of Guests in Williamsburg

Satmar Rebbe Giving Cuomo a Bracha in better times.... See Ezra (the kapo) Friedlander smirking like a "chulent bundel"


A special order issued by the New York State Department of Health has banned a large Satmar wedding, an event that was expected to draw several thousand guests to Williamsburg this Monday night.

The wedding of the grandson of the Satmar Rebbe, Rabbi Zalman Leib Teitelbaum, was scheduled to be held at several locations in Williamsburg, with the chupah to be held in an outdoor courtyard. NBC News (https://bit.ly/37ei040) reported that Governor Cuomo said that it was a tip from the Rockland County Sheriff’s Department that had the state looking into the event which was expected to exceed the current restrictions limiting weddings in New York City to just 50 guests.

“You can get married,” said Cuomo. “You just can’t get a thousand people at your wedding. You get the same results at the end of the day. It’s also cheaper!”

According to CBS News (https://cbsloc.al/3klbuMk), the order to cancel or postpone the wedding if it will exceed allowable attendance was served to Congregation Yetev Lev D’Satmar on Friday evening. Beth Garvey, special counsel to Cuomo, said that the affected parties could request a hearing with New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker regarding the shutdown order.

While Williamsburg is located outside of any of the state’s color coded cluster zones, the size of the wedding, as well as the reality of guests coming from COVID hotspots, have officials worried and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office has been in touch with Albany regarding the event and the potential for big crowds.

“Large gatherings without social distancing and masks are severe public health risks and all guidance will be enforced,” said Bill Neidhardt, the mayor’s press secretary. “We are looking for community cooperation and hope to see all public health guidelines followed.” 

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Saturday, October 17, 2020

Reb Chaim Kanievsky Orders Charedi Boys Schools to Reopen Despite Continued Ban

 


Report says Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky gave order after no deal reached with government; Coronavirus czar: reopening schools in violation of rules ‘is dangerous and against the law’

I am confused since Reb Chaim last week said that everyone should follow the government rules ..

I think that R' Chaim never said last week that "everyone should follow government rules" and I don't believe the report that  R' Chaim "gave orders to reopen the schools."

Yanky Kanievsky, the grandchild of R' Chaim is in control and he is making these conflicting statements .... he is a little shnook that became powerful because he is the one that controls all "statements from R' Chaim." ....

We don't know what R' Chaim actually said last week or what he said today ....we don't know what R' Chaim is even thinking ..and we don't know what he is being told ...
Was he told that 18 Bnei-Brak residents died last week alone from the virus?
Did he rule that the schools should open despite people dropping dead like flies in his own neighborhood? I doubt it ....

R' Chaim doesn't really give two hoots what's going on all he wants to do is learn, and doesn't really want to be bothered....

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If the Snake in Bereishis Talked, Walked and was Smart ..In What Way was He Different than a Human? by DIN

 by DIN

This week the Jewish World started a New Year ....  

Jews throughout the world read from the Torah starting with Parshas Bereishes that describes how G-D created the world........

There is an interesting story in the Parsha that describes an incident between a snake and Chava (Eve) the first female created....

Much ink has been spilled in trying to understand what transpired, and what message is there for us. 

What is certain is that this incident recorded in the Torah for posterity changed the lives of all humans forever.

So what really happened? How could an animal convince a human to violate a command from Hashem? 

We know that the serpent or snake could talk.....because he had conversations with Chava ......and from the different verses it seems that the snake was born ... talking...

There is one other animal that talked that is recorded in the Torah and that was Bilam's donkey, but there the Torah tells us that this was very unusual .... 

ויפתח ה, את פי האתון ..... "G-d then gave the donkey the power of speech"

The donkey continued looking like a donkey even while talking and continued carrying on as a donkey .... the only one who wasn't shocked that this donkey was talking was, Bilam .... he was so obsessed with his hatred and mission to curse the Jews that he didn't take notice at all that he was having a conversation with an ass ... we the readers are in shock and surprised at this miracle ...but not Bilam ..

 But here in our parsha the Torah takes for granted that the snake spoke and no one showed any surprise..not even Chava who was chatting with him like a good neighbor ...

The snake also walked on two feet ... we know that because later when Hashem cursed him, Hashem said:
על גחנך תלך ....."On your belly you shall crawl" which indicated that up to the curse, the snake walked like the rest of us...

The snake also ate what humans ate .... like Israeli salad, or perhaps pizza. We know that,  because when Hashem cursed him ... he told him

ועפר תאכל .... "and dust you shall eat"

We also know that the snake was very smart ... besides for the fact that he was able to convince Chava to violate the only prohibition that Hashem commanded her and her husband...... the Torah itself states that the snake was smart:

והנחש היה ערום מכל חית השדה ......"the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild beasts"

 I am using R' Aryeh Kaplan's English translation of the Hebrew word ערום .... however Targum Unkelis translates the word ערום as "חכים"..meaning "smart" ..

So back to my original question .... if the serpent could talk, walk, and eat what humans eat and was smart or cunning... what made him an animal? What made him any different than a human being? 

We do know that he was a beast since the Torah itself states unequivocally that the snake was not human but an animal from the very verse we quoted above:

והנחש היה ערום מכל חית השדה ....."the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild beasts"

So in what respect was the serpent different than a human?

This question is not mine, many commentaries over the centuries have struggled with trying to understand the text and its meaning....

I found Rabbi David Fohrman's explanation in his book The Beast that Crouches at the Door to be very original ... 

He postulates an idea that we all know to be true but he highlights this in the context of "Chava and the Serpent" ... and states that the difference between an animal and a human is "Instinct" even if it's a talking animal ..... 

an animal acts by "instinct" ... Hashem embedded into each animal "instinct" ... 

to give you an example..an animal will fear a predator even if the animal never ever saw the predator in action ....but this same animal will not fear an animal that he uses as prey ....he will never confuse the two...

An animal has no choice .... he "chooses' only from "instinct"

Animals have an instinct on impending doom.... they know hours before a earthquake or tsunami will take place ... 

A human also has "Instinct" but in addition to "instinct" he has choice .... 

The job of a human is to control and try to subdue his instinct ...that's why dieting, for example is so difficult, since we all have a desire and an instinct to eat ... we try so hard to subdue this instinct since we understand that eating can also kill us... and that's why so many marriages and relationships fall apart because of the failure of one of the parties to control their desire or instinct.

Hashem embedded into each human "instinct" just like an animal but he also gave us the Torah, a book of ethics a book of laws to teach us to not give in to our "instincts" to try to subdue our animalistic instincts and use choice ובחרת בחיים to "choose life."

The snake told Chava that the very G-D that told her not to eat from the forbidden fruit also embedded in her "instinct" to eat when she saw a pretty fruit ...

the snake argued that Chava was no different than any other animal and why wouldn't she listen to the "instinct" that G-d Himself embedded in her soul.... the snake was asking .... which are you going to listen to ....the inside voice in your body.... "instinct" or are you going to listen to the outside voice of G-D?

Chava unfortunately succumbed to her inside voice ... her instinct..and by doing so she condemned everyone to death......

Which leads me to the riots in Boro-Park.... 

I don't know if masks work.... I don't even know if social distancing works.... 

And I also believe that we should open the country and the schools... absolutely ...

But we have rules .... government rules ....They want you to wear a mask they want you to do social distancing .....if you cannot abide by these rules for any reason stay the hell home ...

Why are you an animal following your "Instinct" to violate the rules??? Why are you rioting in "Chutz Le'aaretz".... this news went viral in the entire world ....causing hatred and more hatred...

Yes ... fight it in the courts ... absolutely ....

But until the courts rule differently ...follow the rules... don't be a snake!

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