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My grandfather's shofar

BS”D

I mentioned in the last blogpost that my childhood home had no Judaism in it. Nevertheless, my parents were meticulously honest, refined and disciplined people. My father, Yisrael Ber, alav hashalom, was a prosecuting attorney for Cook County, Illinois (he once prosecuted Al Capone and lost). Later, he was a municipal court judge in Chicago. My father was a marvel of discipline. He once confided to me that in the whole of his marriage to my mother, he never went to the refrigerator to see what’s inside, not once.

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Chaim Clorfene
Thoughts about Rosh Hashanah

BS”D

Shalom and blessings. I would like to mention a few things as we start moving in on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. And I must preface them by admitting that I was raised in a completely non-religious, secular Jewish home. However, both sets of grandparents were observant, and my maternal grandfather, Ze’ev Yehoshua, ben Moshe Brin, alav hashalom, was a schochet and a mohel and a baal tefillah (cantor).  

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Chaim Clorfene
Making America safe again.

BS”D

BS"D I do not want to be a doom-sayer, but I would say that America is doomed. On the face of things, the only thing that could save America is if the patriotic Americans unify and persuade the military and the police to round up all the communists and fascists and do a frontal lobotomy on the lot of them. But that is a harsh and horrible way to do anything and could result in a tragedy and sorrow. And nobody wants that. At least, nobody I know.

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Chaim Clorfene
Are quickie conversions kosher?

BS"D  

The Shulchan Arukh HaRav rules that we are not allowed to proselytize. This means that, according to halacha (Jewish Law), it is forbidden to persuade or entice or even request a non-Jew to convert and become Jewish.

In fact, if a non-Jew comes to a rabbi or any religious Jew and tells him that he or she wants to convert, the halacha is that the Jew must reject him three times.

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Chaim Clorfene
Tshuvah (Repentance) and the Noahide Ger.

BS"D We are rapidly approaching a period of the year that, most notably, stands between Galut and Geulah (Exile and Redemption). It is from the beginning of the month of Elul to Yom Kippur, a period of 40 days. And when I say Exile here, I mean the exile of the soul, spiritual exile.

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Chaim Clorfene
Meditating on the Ten Lost Tribes

BS"D  In order to meditate on the Ten Lost Tribes, we have to understand who they are, their nature as a people, and how many of them are in the world at this time.

There are two categories of Ten Lost Tribespersons:

1) Those who need us.

2) Those who are needed by us.

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Chaim Clorfene
Einstein on Ger

BS"D   Whenever we take out the Torah to read it, we recite a portion of the Zohar, called “Brich shmay.” In it are the words, “Not in any man do I put trust, nor on any angel do I rely, only on the G-d of Heaven Who is the G-d of truth, Whose Torah is truth and Whose prophets are true and who acts generously with kindness and truth.”

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Chaim Clorfene
Machievelli on Ger

BS"D

“It ought to be remembered that there is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success, than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things. Because the innovator has for enemies all those who have done well under the old conditions and lukewarm defenders in those who may do well under the new.

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Chaim Clorfene
How to save the USA in ten easy lessons

BS”D  The concealment of the Ark of the Covenant was, in essence, the destruction of the First Temple. The Ark of the Covenant is the Temple’s lifeforce, its reason for being. When the Ark was concealed, the Temple became a flashlight without a battery. The Ark was concealed 35 years before Nebuchadnezzar and the armies of Babylon destroyed Solomon’s Temple, but they

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Chaim Clorfene
Hope.

BS"D Yesterday, the 14th of Av, a bright and attentive class of young women from Machon Alte Seminary in the holy city of Tzfat heard a lecture and took a tour of our Third Temple model. We talked about Geulah, because when you are in front of any aspect of Ezekiel's Temple, even a little model, there is nothing to talk about except Geulah.

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Chaim Clorfene
Who is looking forward to next Tisha B'Av?

BS”D

One late summer Shabbat in the year 1983, the Lubavitcher Rebbe, zy”a, said in farbrengen, “The previous Rebbe had one Chasid, me. And I have none.”

When he said those words, at least two thousand Lubavitcher Chassidim heard him, and were struck dumb. No one could believe their ears.  

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Chaim Clorfene
Decoding Ezekiel's Temple

BS"D

I would like to play a little Temple trivia game. Only three questions:

Question number 1. What happened on Tisha B’Av (the 9th of Av?)

And the answer is…the First and Second Temples were both destroyed on the 9th day of the Jewish month of Av.

Question number 2. What happened on the 3rd day of the Jewish month of Adar?

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Chaim Clorfene
The Creative Zionist, vol.1, no.1

BS”D

Mankind is divided into four non-toxic categories:

1. Pre-Galutian (lost)

2. Galutian (exiled)

3. Pre-Geulian (awakened)

4. Geulian (redeemed)

Galutian and Geulian are personifications of Galut, the Hebrew word for exile and Geulah, the Hebrew word for the Final Redemption.

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Chaim Clorfene
I am entitled.

 

BS”D

To whom this may concern:

I do not like the term rabbi, particularly not for me. One of the reasons is that I do not have smicha (rabbinic ordination). About ten years ago, in chavruta with a chaver who is an authority in rabbinic kashrut laws, I learned through the body of learning one learns to get smicha, namely melika, tairuvot, and basar v’chalav – removing blood from meat, doubtful mixtures, and the laws of meat and milk.

Our intent was to learn for smicha, but after about six weeks of daily learning, I decided that I would continue the learning, but not for smicha. I had come to the conclusion that what is called smicha today is a bogus smicha and I wanted no part of it, for it has no connection with receiving the tradition from Moshe at Sinai, which is the true smicha.

Smicha today is based on a certain body of rabbinic teachings that have wisdom, but no source in the Torah from Sinai, only the Torah from Babylon.

So my chavruta and I learned through the seder, primarily Shulchan Arukh with commentaries and a few Gemoras. But we did not learn for smicha. We learned for the mitzvah of learning.  

For those who are interested in the subject of smicha, the Baal HaTurim, who is the author of the Tur Shulchan Arukh which is actually the most authoritative Shulchan Arukh, says that the true smicha is the knowledge of maaseh merkava, a principle teaching of Kabbalah. And the true bestowal of smicha must come from someone who received it from someone who received it from Moshe himself. And yes, there are several people who can confer smicha. One is Eliyahu HaNavi and another is Achiya HaShiloni, who gave smicha to Eliyahu HaNavi.  Any other smicha, is borrowed terminology and should be called faux smicha.

That being said, one can understand why I – as a Levite – felt uncomfortable with the title of rabbi, and I believe that the Rabbono Shel Olam does not approve of the title of rabbi for me either.

When I was in Texas, visiting the folks at Anita Jones’ house, I met Mike Mattlage and he called me rabbi. And I said, “Call me Chaim.” And he insisted on calling me rabbi, almost as if he needed to call me rabbi.” So I said, “Okay, so call me rabbi.”

I will tell you another title that I do not like for me. When I flew from Israel to Texas three years ago, it was on a United Airlines flight. And while waiting for the flight, I signed up with one of those special privilege airlines clubs that gets me nothing but membership in a club that I have no interest in. When I filled out the information, it asked me for a title, and for some reason it would not accept the title of mister, and there was no category of rabbi. So I looked down the list and saw reverend. Now, my grandfather, Wolf Brin, alav hashalom, whose yohrzeit is the 24th of Tammuz, bore the title reverend. He was a shochet and a mohel and a baal tefillah, and he called himself Reverend Brin.

Reverend Wolf Brin was the Orthodox mohel for the city of Chicago until the mid 1940’s. And if you think G-d does not have a sense of humor, He gave my grandfather, a mohel, six daughters and no sons. I am his only Torah observant grandson. But he has Torah observant great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren. Baruch Hashem.

Anyway, back to United Airlines. So with my grandfather being a reverend, I decided to choose reverend as my title on United Airlines. I went to click on reverend, but my hand slipped, and I clicked on the title below reverend – sister. So I became Sister Chaim Clorfene. Another title I completely reject.

It seems to me that a suitable title is Saba, which means grandfather. It is more haimish and less pretentious than rabbi and certainly more appropriate than sister. I would suggest that other Jewish or Ger elders consider adopting the title Saba. I think it would help steer the ship in a better direction. Rabbi means din, strict judgment. Saba means mercy, the fewer rules the better. And from the saba’s perspective, he can go home after the visit. And you can also go home after you visit him. It is a relationship of freedom. A saba has arrived at the age where he is interested in G-d Himself rather than due process of law. Rabbis are judges, and can be dehumanizing. Judges often turn their flock into paranoid sociopaths. It is a Galutian mindset.

Saba is a title for Geulah. Saba is spelled samech – beit – alef which is gematria 63 – Shem Sag – the milui of Shem Havaye in Binah of Atzilut. Meditating on this raises one to the source of judgment, which is mercy, as King David wrote (Psalms 145:9), “Hashem is good to all, His mercies are above all His works.”

The question is: How do you get there?

And the answer is that you learn the design and meaning of the Third Temple. Scroll down and click on the image of the cover of The Messianic Temple. It will take you to amazon.com and you can buy the book and start your path in Geulah. And if you can get there before Tisha B’Av, mourning the Second Temple is a thing of the past, as it says (Zachariah 8:19), “So said the Lord of Hosts: the fast of the fourth month and the fast of the fifth month and the fast of the seventh month and the fast of the tenth month shall be for the House Judah for joy and happiness and for happy holidays, only love truth and peace.” Learn the Third Temple and make a l’chaim on Tisha B’Av. Rav Papa’s Papa is a Saba.

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Chaim Clorfene
Shituf in a nutshell

BS"D 

Shituf is the Hebrew word for partnership. In Judaism, it means belief in the G-d of Israel plus an independent will that is seen as one’s personal salvation. The rabbinic term for one who believes in shituf is a min, which, in Hebrew, means a type. Rabbi Yaakov Emden, z”l, defines a min as a member of a sect that believes in two powers. 

Now, with that foundation, one can discuss Christianity, Islam, and rabbinic Judaism. I say that all three are shituf.

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Chaim Clorfene
Understanding Creative Zionism 2, or, Buckle up, Rivky, Crown Heights is going bye-bye

The previous blogpost mentioned that the Sulam, Rabbi Yehuda Leib Ha-Levi Ashlag, zy’a, revealed two conditions for a person to be worthy of Geulah, the Final Redemption.

Condition # 1: To be worthy of Geulah, one may have no master other than G-d Himself, as it says in Isaiah 30:20, “And your Teacher will no longer be concealed from you, and your eyes shall see your Teacher.”

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Chaim Clorfene
Understanding Creative Zionism.

BS”D

It is derived from the teachings of the Arizal that Geulah is the perfection that arose in the simple will of G-d to create the worlds and emanate the emanations. Creative Zionism is a ray of light from that perfection.

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Chaim Clorfene