Taanis Esther 5783

“‘Think not with thyself that thou shalt escape in the king’s house, more than all the Jews.  For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then will relief and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place, but thou and thy father’s house will perish; and who knoweth whether thou art not come to royal estate for such a time as this?’”  – Esther 4:13-14, JPS 1917 Tanach

“There is no man who has not his hour, and no thing that has not its place.” – Pirkei Avos 4:3

Esther petitioned King Ahasuerus to spare her people.  She, her maidens, and the Jewish people fasted for three days, before she approached the King.  She was risking her life, in doing so, because, no one could approach the king without permission.  Yet, she was emboldened to approach him, after fasting, with all of her people in support of her. 

Queen Esther was given her moment: “who knoweth whether thou art not come to royal estate for such a time as this?”  H’Shem arranges the remedy, before the sickness (Talmud). Esther was made queen, before Haman hatched his plan to eliminate the Jewish people. Thank G-d. And, may we also see hidden remedies revealed as miracles, speedily in our days.

Ultimately, we have H’Shem to seek as a refuge, both then and now; we should not take His shield of protection for granted; our refuge and fortress in Whom we trust (Psalm 91:2).  We should seek Him in all of our trials and tribulations, keeping in mind that He is the Source of our well-being. Especially, at this time to remember our brothers and sisters in peril, is an obligation and responsibility of K’lal Yisrael.

Our Responsibility to the Next Generation

“And these words which I command thee this day, shall be upon thy heart; and thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children.”

– Deuteronomy 6:6-7

The future will be decided by the values, attitudes, and beliefs that the next generation upholds. If we permit ourselves to take a casual stance, in regard to how the younger generation is being taught in the public education system, than we consign even our own children to the whims of the zeitgeist, unless we educate them ourselves. Moreover, we should attempt to foster the moral values, that are being diminished in the eyes of the youth, by making an effort to raise awareness, and educate those who are being led astray.

The moral values that we uphold should be passed on to our children, as per the wisdom of instilling these values in them, so that they will go in the way of their heritage, and not depart from those ways (see Proverb 22:6).  Yet, the effort being made by the indoctrination of youth into Woke ideology in the educational systems, is competing for the souls of children, whose minds are pliable. Unless they are taught the morality that has shaped the bedrock of Western civilization, they will know of no other truths, other than what they are taught by a system that attempts to usurp the truth, morality, and ethics of Judeo-Christian belief, as well as classical antiquity.

The values being instilled in the current generation will shape society down the road, more readily than is already happening today, as a result of the cultural revolution. The stance of any individual concerned for the future, must not be complacent. Consider the ramifications of Vladimir Lenin’s remark, “Give me four years to teach the children, and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted.” This is what we have to contend with, before it is too late.

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Rosh Chodesh Adar 5783

Rosh Chodesh Adar 5783: 30 Shevat – 1 Adar

Reflection on the new month: Rosh Chodesh Adar 5783

This Adar will bring the globe, including, Jewish communities around the world full circle, three times over; inasmuch, that it will have been about three years since the proliferation of the coronavirus. May H’Shem have mercy on us; may He bless our lives, family, friends, and communities. May He preserve us during the days that will follow.

For the pandemic, nor the ramifications manifest in technological innovations, as well as geopolitical concerns are still in motion. How will we respond to the inherent issues that will accompany vaccine passports, Digital I.D., and eventually a social credit scoring system for individuals, as well as businesses, corporations and universities. (ESG is already in place for these latter institutions).

For myself, I have found much opportunity for reflection, writing, and kavanah (intention) throughout these past three years. I would also recomend to others, to occupy oneself with heshbon hanefesh (literally, an accounting of the soul): To examine one’s conscience in this manner, has the potential to lead to joy down the road, after rooting out unhealthy maladaptive behaviors, negative character traits, and making an effort to do better.

Personally, I count the hours of each and every day, until evening, when I hope to have fulfilled the day’s tasks, that are expected of me from Above. Yet, there is a disconnect between my quiet, reflective way of life, somewhat isolated, and removed from the changes occurring around the globe. Even so, to remain unaware of these changes will only provide a false assumption that these changes will not impact me personally.

May we all be productive in divinely inspired ways, and ask ourselves whether the future that the world is heading toward is one that we would view as ultimately of benefit to humankind. For, utopias have been promised by many movements of past history; in these cases, the promises were never realized. Why would anyone think differently in this case, where currently it may be that we are headed toward a dystopia. Regardless, trust in G-d, His will, and purpose, that His plan will be fulfilled, irrespective of any pursuit that is counter to His divine blueprint for humanity.

The Hebrew month of Adar is traditionally associated with joy (Taanis 29a).

May our joys in life increase, despite the challenges ahead. Amein.

Pray for the Peace of Jerusalem

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; may they prosper that love thee. Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces. For my brethren and companions’ sakes, I will now say: ‘Peace be within thee. For the sake of the house of HaShem our G-d I will seek thy good.”

– Psalm 122:6-9, JPS 1917 Tanach

pray for the peace of Jerusalem: gathering at the Western Wall: click here.

terror in Jerusalem on the Sabbath: click here for news article

Self Indulgence VS. Moral Restraint

Self-indulgence: Imaginative powers gone awry, subject to the yetzer hara (evil inclination).

It is written, “And G-D saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually” Genesis 6:5). Thus, it is clear that the propensity of the imagination is inclined towards evil, unless put in check through our own efforts, accompanied by the grace of G-d. Today, there is much encouragement to indulge in the fantasies of the heart. This can lead to the greater evil of distancing ourselves from our own humanity, as a result of disobedience to G-d’s directives. For, it is written, that His commandments are for our own good.

Yet, sin has the effect of distancing us from G-d. So, when we let our imaginations run free, the result is that this indulgence draws us away from G-d. The metaverse is an extreme example of what might ultimately remove those who venture there from the norms of society and the framework of reality itself. The moors of society are already loosened, like a boat no longer tethered to the dock. The increase of personal freedom to do as one wishes, irrespective of a clear moral framework will lead to nihilism. And, yet, it can be argued that a sense of meaninglessness and purpose in life elicits this drift away from social norms, into a pleasure-driven life.

Moral restraint becomes a neglected virtue, and is seen as an obstacle to the philosophical notion of proclaiming the reign of human nature, indulging in one’s passions, as key to liberation from the bonds of society. In fact, this is an underlying Marxist principle, drawn from the architects of the so-called Age of Enlightenment that followed the French revolution. Thus, the opposition to religious norms that was widespread at that time, and manifested in violence to the church, transformed itself into new philosophical beliefs that would continue to diminish and undermine remaining godly values in society. This line of thought was continued by the neoMarxists of the Frankfort School, that became the New School of Social research at Columbia University.

According to Noelle Mering, these neoMaxists knew that through the corrosion of faith in societal norms, they could eventually undermine the stability of Western culture (Mering, Awake, Not Woke). Voices of influence such as Herbert Marcuse, Saul Alinsky, and Antonio Gramsci steered the rebellious generation of the sixties and seventies into the New Left, intent on undermining the institutions of society in this country from within. The amalgamation of movements and causes transformed the culture over time, leading to the Woke movement of today.

I am so saint; however, I recognize that taming the passions within myself leads to a focus on pleasing G-d, instead of myself. And, in turn, if I follow in the ways of the commandments, then I will be blessed with G-d’s graces. He is merciful, so that if I stray from the path, I will be guided back to Him. And, teshuvah (repentance) done in a sincere manner will bring back into His graces. As is written, “The L-RD, The L-RD G-d, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth” (Exodus 34:6).






Truth and Lies

Wokism Exposed: Part 1 – the dialectic

Wokism is a misguided “social justice movement,” that upholds a pseudo-morality opposed to godly values. Irrespective of pointing out its ideological roots, it can clearly be explained as “cultural Marxism,” based on its overarching intent to divide groups of people into the oppressed and the oppressor – a basic Marxist strategy. Wokism’s roots go back to Hegel and Marx, whereof Hegel, perhaps, the first progressive, introduced the concept of the dialectic, wherein the thesis (status quo of society) is critiqued by the antithesis, thus forming a new society, called the synthesis; yet, this process continues to repeat itself, until theoretically, a utopia, brought about by the Spirit of Man results somewhere down the road of history. Marx rejected any idea of the spirt, and founded what he referred to as “dialectical materialism,” proffering the viewpoint that through a complete upheaval of society, a utopia can come into fruition out of society’s ashes. Neither dialectical approach to history and revolution is in accord with recognizing G-d’s hand in all human affairs; so, its end result can only be antithetical to the divine plan on earth.

G-d save us from the new totalitarianism.

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Mercy Me

“Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace have kissed each other.” – Psalms 85:11, JPS 1917 Tanach

It is written that in the future, “mercy and truth” will have met, and, furthermore, that righteousness (tsedokah = justice) and peace will have kissed (Psalms 85:11). Thus, it can be understood from this verse, that these qualities will have appeared together, ushering in G-d’s Kingdom. Where are we today, in regard to this effort in our own lives? And, what of society’s take on the nature of these qualities appearing together?

Surely, divine truth and justice are qualified by the concomitant kindness, and peace that must be congruent for any effort to express truth, or bring about justice on earth. Rather, the social justice movement that has taken the world, as if by surprise overnight, fails in this regard. For, one of the means to obtain “social justice” according to the actual means through which this is being attempted is without any sense of peace, as if it is permissible from the point of view of SJW’s to use any means possible to reach their goals, thereby inferring that the means justify the ends.

However, the psalmist speaks of justice and peace existing together, implying that the means must not be in conflict with the end. Rather, the utopian vision of cultural Marxism, through the current Wokism agenda, is one is furthered through aggressive means, harshly condemning anyone not on board with Woke tenets; regrettably, this is the road towards totalitarianism.

Yet, regarding the efforts to bring about social change in a compassionate manner, have they not heard the adage echoed from the 1960’s: “If we can’t do it with a smile on our face, you know if we can’t love in our hearts, then children we ain’t got no right to do it at all” (For What It’s Worth, CSNY). Instead, their message is increasingly one of intolerance for viewpoints not in alignment with their own.

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Fire on the Mountain

AZ Pipeline Fire: 98% contained, at 26, 532 acres.

The Pipeline Fire, burning six miles north of Flagstaff, that had been upgraded to the # 1 fire resource priority in the nation on its second day, is nearly 100% contained as of June 25th. Also, the Burn Area Emergency Response (BAER) team has concluded work on the Pipeline fire.

Yom HaShoah 5782 – In Memory of

“Then he said to me: ‘Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; they say: Our bones are dried up, and our hope is lost; we are clean cut off. Therefore, prophecy, and say to them: Thus saith the L-rd G-D: Behold, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, O My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel.” – Ezekiel 37:11-12. JPS 1917 Tanach

Bolechov martyrs from my family:

Chaim ben Yaakov (Schnee):

Elka Schnee (nee Fasberg)

Gitel bas Chaim

Isaac ben Chaim

Sarah bas Chaim

Sason ben Chaim

Yaakov ben Chaim


Sosie bas Chaim

Joseph ben Melamed

Chaje Ruchel bas Chaim

~~~~~ ~~~~~

Yehoshua Mordechai ben Yaakov (Schnee):

Ziona Schnee (nee Weisbard)

Moses ben Yehoshua Mordechai

Chana Schnee (nee Turkel)

Yaakov ben Moses

Celina bas Moses

Tzila bas Moses

Israel ben Yehoshua Mordechai (Schnee)

Sorke Schnee (nee Goldfischer)

Aryeh ben Israel

Tzinah bas Israel

Basia bas Yehoshua Mordechai (Kornblitz, nee Schnee)

Gotshalk ben Basia

Hirsch Ber Tzvi Dov ben Yehoshua Mordechai

Kalman ben Yehoshua Mordechai

Esther bas Yehoshua Mordechai

Reisel bas Yehoshua Mordechai

note: Certain genealogical information set forth herein is based upon research performed on the website of Jewish Records Indexing-Poland, Inc. (www.jri-poland.org).