"Cursed be he who misguides a blind person on the way. And all the people shall say, 'Amen!' (Deuteronomy 27:18).
"You shall not curse a deaf person. You shall not place a stumbling block before a blind person, and you shall fear your God. I am the Lord" (Leviticus 19:14). In addition to the literal meaning, one may not give bad advice to an unsuspecting person (Rashi; Sifra), or cause someone to sin (Rambam).


Israel Launches Tours in the Footsteps of Mary:
Israel's Tourism Ministry has launched a new campaign for Christian pilgrims who would like to know more about the life of Mary, mother of Jesus. Tour operators are able to plan special pilgrimages for tourists who wish to trace Mary's footsteps in the Holy Land, visiting the spots where she lived and traveled (INN, 01/12/11).


Proverbs 5:5-6 "Her (idolatry's) feet descend to death; her steps come near the grave (SHEOL, nether-world, hell). Lest you weigh the path of life (the way of the Torah), her paths have wandered off and you shall not know." This verse teaches that those who fall victim to idolatry's seductions will loose the life of this world and the next.

Proverbs 7:26-27 "For many are the dead that she (The Evil Inclination, the 'strange, evil or adulterous woman,' idolatry personified) has felled, and numerous are all her victims. Her house is the way to the nether-world (SHEOL), going down to the chambers of death."

Proverbs 24:11-12 "If you refrain from rescuing those taken to death and those on the verge of being slain will you say, "Behold, we did not know this?"  Is it not so that He Who counts hearts understands, and He Who guards your soul knows, and He will requite a man according to his deed?"

The NT says: I (Jesus) am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6). 
 

However, the Torah says: "Now therefore, ye children, hearken unto me; for happy are they that keep my ways. Hear instruction (mussar), and be wise, and refuse it not. Happy is the man that hearkeneth to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors. For whoso findeth me findeth life, and obtaineth favour of the LORD. But he that misseth me wrongeth his own soul; all they that hate me love death' (Proverbs 8:32-36, Ch. 9).

 

“Take fast hold of discipline (mussar, instruction), do not let it loose; guard it, for it is your life. My son, hearken to my words; incline your ear to my sayings. Let them not depart from your eyes; guard them within your heart, for they are life for those who find them, and for all his flesh a healing” (Proverbs 4:13,20-22).


Proverbs 10:17 "He is in the way of life that heedeth instruction ( MUSSAR , Jewish spiritual discipline); but he that forsaketh reproof erreth." Isaiah 28:26 " And He shall chasten him justly, he whose God directs him." Psalm 94:10-14 " Will He Who chastises nations not reprove? [He is] the One Who teaches man knowledge. The Lord knows man's thoughts that they are vanity.

Fortunate is the man (Israel) whom You, Yah, chastise, and from Your Torah You teach him.
To grant him peace from days of evil, while a pit is a dug for the wicked. For the Lord will not forsake His people, nor will He desert His inheritance."

A Soldier's Journey through Judaism, Christianity and Islam: Meet Korey Bronson - a young IDF soldier who was born a Jew, raised as a Christian, converted to Islam, and returned to Judaism (INN, 01/18/11).


5,000th IDF Soldier to Convert to Judaism: Since opening a program for conversion into Judaism, the IDF has become a center of Jewish learning, with thousands of soldiers who are not Jewish according to Jewish law taking part in courses on Judaism and roughly 800 per year choosing to undergo conversion (INN, 01/19/11).


Isaiah 53:5 "But he was pained because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; the chastisement of our (the gentile nations) welfare was upon him (Israel), and with his wound we were healed." For he was chastised so that there be peace for the whole world. See Leviticus 26:14-18.

Proverbs 6:23 " For a commandment is a candle, and the Torah is light, and disciplining rebukes are the way of life; to guard you from (idolatry) an evil woman, from the smoothness of the alien tongue." Verse 22 speaks of how the Torah protects one even in the grave and when one wakes up in the world to come. "When you walk, it shall lead you; when you lie down, it shall guard you, and when you awaken, it shall speak for you."

Proverbs 15:24 "The path of life goeth upward for the wise, that he may depart from the nether-world beneath." Daniel 12:3 " And the wise (who engaged in Torah and the commandments) will shine like the brightness of the sky, and those (who teach Torah) who bring the multitudes to righteousness like the stars forever and ever." "And He will reveal your righteousness like the light, and your judgments like noon" (Psalm 37:6). Isaiah 30:25-26 depict the great blessing that will come into the world when Israel will cast away their idols, and the radiant spiritual light that will shine when Israel will repent at the end of days.

Psalm 23:3 "
He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake..." Psalm 85:14 "Righteousness will go before him, and He will place it (the rigtheousness; with which He leads His sons) on the way of his steps." Ezekiel 36:32 " Not for your sake do I do it, says the Lord God, may it be known to you; be ashamed and confounded for your ways, O house of Israel."

Abbas vows to walk in Arafat’s footsteps to Palestine: (JPost, 11/12/2010): The PLO arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat whose life's ambition was the destruction of the Jewish state. Abbas at Arafat memorial (YnetNews, 11/11/08): We'll continue to follow shahids' path: "The Palestinian leadership will continue to follow Yasser Arafat's path until a Palestinian state withJerusalem as its capital is established," "The path of the shahids - Arafat, George Habash (founder of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine) and (assassinated Hamas spiritual leader) Sheikh Ahmed Yassin - is the path that we cherish; it is aimed at upholding the Palestinians' nationalist and sovereign resolutions."

PA TV: 'The Rifle is Our Brother'  While Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas insists that the PA wants peace with Israel, several other senior figures in the PA have assured the public that violence remains an option. A video clip created by members of Abbas' Fatah faction and broadcast recently on PA TV declares, “We continue the struggle... We won't throw down our weapons” (INN, 01/19/11).


Psalm Ch. 1 "Happy is the man that hath not walked in the counsel of the wicked, nor stood in the way of sinners, nor sat in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in His law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by streams of water, that bringeth forth its fruit in its season, and whose leaf doth not wither; and in whatsoever he doeth he shall prosper" (See Joshua 1:8, Jeremiah 17:5-10).  

Tu B’Shevat (15 of Shevat) - New Year for the Trees: In the middle of the month of Shevat, when the winter is over and the trees are in blossom, Jews are celebrating this day to thank God for the growth of the soil in the land of Israel. The earliest-ripening fruit is the "shekadiah," the "almond," and at this time the almond trees adorn Israel with its white/pink flowers spreading its wonderful fragance everywhere.

"Not so the wicked; but they are like the chaff which the wind driveth away (See Psalm 83, Isaiah 17:12-14, 41:8-16, Daniel 2:35). Therefore the wicked shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. For the LORD regardeth the way of the righteous; but the way of the wicked shall perish."

Proverbs 4:14-19 "Enter not into the path of the wicked, and walk not in the way of evil men. Avoid it, pass not by it; turn from it, and pass on. For they sleep not, except they have done evil; and their sleep is taken away, unless they cause some to fall. For they eat the bread of wickedness, and drink the wine of violence.

But the path of the righteous is as the light of dawn, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. The way of the wicked is as darkness; they know not at what they stumble." Psalm 119:165 "Great peace have they that love Thy law (Torah); and there is no stumbling for them." See Isaiah Ch. 59.

Isaiah 55:7-8 "The wicked ( RASHA ) shall give up his way, and the man of iniquity his thoughts, and he shall return to the Lord, Who shall have mercy upon him, and to our God, for He will freely pardon. "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways," says the Lord."


Psalm 16:9-11 "Therefore, my heart rejoiced, and my soul was glad; even my flesh shall dwell in safety. For You shall not forsake my soul to the grave; You shall not allow Your pious one to see the pit. You shall let me know the way of life, the fullness of joys in Your presence. There is pleasantness in Your right hand forever."

Isaiah 12:1-2 "And you shall say on that day, "I will thank You, O Lord, for You were wroth with me; may Your wrath turn away and may You comfort me. Here is the God of my salvation, I shall trust and not fear; for the strength and praise of the Eternal the Lord was my salvation."

Vision of the almond: Jeremiah 1:11-12 "The word of HaShem then came to me, saying: 'What do you see, Jeremiah?' And I said: 'I see a staff of an almond-tree.'  Hashem said to me: 'You have seen well, for I hasten to fulfill My word.'  The almond symbolizes swift, efficient action because it blossoms well before other trees in the spring, and takes only 21 days to bring its fruits from their initial formation to ripeness. There is a play on words: The Hebrew word for 'almond' (SHAKED = to be quick) and 'hasten' (SHOKED) are linguistically related.

“T he Almond has blossomed, And the Sun is Shining Brightly... (Malachi 3:19-21). Birds from Every Roof-Top Welcome the Arrival of the Holiday” (HaShekadiah Porachat). Psalm 89:37 "...and his (David's) throne as the sun before Me."

INN Photo Essay: Tu B'Shvat Celebrates New Year of Trees: Tu B'Shvat celebrates the season in which the Land of Israel's earliest-blossoming trees awaken from their winter slumber to begin a new fruit-bearing cycle.

Jeremiah 17:10 "I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings." On this day we remember that "Man is a tree of the field" (Deut. 20:19).

 

Isaiah 55:12-13 "For ye (Israel) shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains (nations) and the hills (kingdoms) shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.

 

Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall be to the LORD for a memorial, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off." Instead of the wicked, righteous people shall arise. The wicked will be destroyed and the righteous will take their rule.

 

Psalm 98 is a song of praise for the revelation of the Final Redemption. "Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein; Let the floods (enemies are compared to rivers, raging waves) clap their hands; let the mountains sing for joy together; Before the Lord,.."


VIDEO: Gush Katif Expellees Plant Trees in Honor of Tu B'Shevat: Dror Vanunu of the Gush Katif committee, who was present at the ceremony, said that beyond the tree planting which helps build the Kisufim Forest, the ceremony also symbolizes the expellees’ hope that someday they will return to Gush Katif.

 

Zephaniah 2:6-7 "And the sea-coast (Gaza) shall be pastures, even meadows for shepherds, and folds for flocks. And it shall be a portion for the remnant of the house of Judah, whereon they shall feed; in the houses of Ashkelon shall they lie down in the evening; for the LORD their God will remember them, and turn their captivity."

The future redemption from the hordes of Gog and his allies, Magog, is also described as taking place "towards the evening" (Zech. 14:7).

Resign thyself unto the LORD, and WAIT PATIENTLY for Him; fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass... For evil-doers shall be cut off; but those that WAIT FOR THE LORD, they shall inherit the land. And yet a little while, and the wicked is no more; yea, thou shalt look well at his place, and he is not. But the humble shall inherit the land, and delight themselves in the abundance of peace. Wait for the LORD, and keep His way (for the Jew; the Torah, for the gentile; the 7 Laws of Noah), and He will exalt thee to inherit the land/earth; when the wicked (RASHA) are cut off, thou shalt see it" (Psalm 37:34).


270,000 East Jerusalem Arabs Not Enthusiastic about Joining Palestine :  One of the givens of the Middle East peace process is that Palestinians are eager to be free of rule by Israel and to live in a state of their own. That's why a new poll of the Arabs of East Jerusalem is striking: It shows that more of those people actually would prefer to be citizens of Israel than of a Palestinian state.

 

The survey, designed and supervised by former State Department Middle East researcher David Pollock, found that only 30% said they would prefer to be citizens of Palestine in a two-state solution, while 35% said they would choose Israeli citizenship. (The rest said they didn't know or refused to answer.) 40% said they would consider moving to another neighborhood in order to become a citizen of Israel rather than Palestine, and 54% said that if their neighborhood were assigned to Israel, they would not move to Palestine. "Quite clearly there is a discrepancy between people's attitudes and the assumption that Palestinian neighborhoods should be part of Palestine," said Pollock. "That's not actually what the people want" (Washington Post, 01/12/2011). See also Jerusalem Palestinians Taking Israeli Citizenship (AP-Atlanta Journal-Constitution).


These verses contrast the chosen Tzaddikim to whom God grants true wisdom and joy in life as opposed to the sinner (Genesis 3:19,27:40) who "tries to make gains by force,” only to end up seeing it pass to the righteous.

Ecclesiastes 2:26 ”For to a man who is good in His sight, He has given wisdom and knowledge and joy, but to the sinner He has given an occupation to gather and to accumulate, to give to him (the righteous) who is good in God's sight; this too is vanity and frustration.”

 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-3 ”Everything has an appointed season, and there is a time for every matter under the heaven. A time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot that which is planted. A time to kill and a time to heal; a time to break and a time to build.”

25 Tons of Bombs Wipe Afghan Town Off Map: In October, a U.S.-led military unit pulverized an Afghan village in Kandahar’s Arghandab River Valley after it became overrun with Taliban insurgents. ”Sure they are pissed about the loss of their mud huts,” Broadwell wrote on Facebook, “but that is why the BUILD story is important here”  (Jan. 19, 2011, wired.com).

Isaiah 58:6-12 "Is this not the fast I will choose? To undo the fetters of wickedness, to untie the bands of perverseness, and to let out the oppressed free, and all perverseness you shall eliminate.


Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and moaning poor you shall bring home; when you see a naked one, you shall clothe him, and from your flesh you shall not hide.  Then your light shall break forth as the dawn, and your healing shall quickly sprout, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall gather you in.

Then you shall call and the Lord shall answer, you shall cry and He shall say, "Here I am," if you remove perverseness from your midst, putting forth the finger and speaking wickedness. And you draw out your soul (light, Proverbs 20:27, Psalm 18:29, Isaiah 60:1-3) to the hungry, and an afflicted soul you sate, then your light shall shine in the darkness, and your darkness shall be like noon.

And the Lord shall always lead you, and He shall satisfy your soul in drought, and strengthen your bones; and you shall be like a well-watered garden and like a spring of water whose water does not fail. And [those coming] from you shall build ancient ruins, foundations of generations you shall erect, and you shall be called the repairer of the breaches, restorer of the paths, to dwell in (restorer of the wicked to the Torah).

Isaiah 42:16 "And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not, in paths that they knew not will I lead them; I will make darkness light before them, and rugged places plain. These things will I do, and I will not leave them undone." (42:6-7, 49:1-11).

Will God Only Save The Jews? The faith of Israel proclaims that the merciful Redeemer holds out a distinct salvation program both for the Jew and the gentile. The faith of the children of Israel does not condemn the masses of non-Jewish humanity to everlasting separation from God, rather, our people hold out the path of righteousness to all of humanity - both Jew and gentile (Rabbi Tovia Singer, Outreach Judaism).

"In the road of charity (righteousness, TZEDAKAH, JUSTICE, kindness, good deeds) is life, and [on] the way of its path there is no death (Proverbs 12:28, Jeremiah 21:8, Deuteronomy 4:27-31, Ch. 30, 32:46-47).
To give tzedakah is an act of tzedek, of justly distributing what rightfully belongs to each person.