Shavua Tov! Don't think that Purim is some historical event from nearly 2400 years ago; it's happening right now under our own noses. Our enemy then is our enemy now and what saved us then can save us now…
We here at the Beams are delighted to feature select lessons, brief and comprehensible, from Breslev Israel's distinguished staff of English speaking rabbis. We surely hope you enjoy this, so don't let your day go by without grabbing some Torah, especially ideas that you can say over at your Shabbat table. Blessings for a lovely Shabbat!
Don't think that Purim is merely some historical event from nearly 2400 years ago; it's happening right now under our own noses. Our enemy then is our enemy now and what saved us then can save us now…
Don't miss today's (Wednesday) Emuna shiur and live broadcast from Jerusalem, entitled "Purim and the Power of Unity," will take place, G-d willing, on the ground-floor main sanctuary of the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva on 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street in Jerusalem at 7PM Israel time; the shiur is open to the public - both men and women are invited. You can see today's lesson here - the broadcast, as well as our lessons posted from now on - are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in on time. If you are not able to view today's broadcast live, then G-d willing, you'll be able to see the video tape of it later this coming week on Lazer Beams.
After the horrific mass murder of 17 innocent children in a place that was supposed to shield them from the outside world, a place where parents shouldn't have to worry about whether or not their child will return home alive from school that day, the American People are outraged.
They are outraged that people like Nikolas Cruz are able to acquire guns and simply walk into a school and start a killing spree.
I'd just like to elaborate on a question that David, one of our dear readers, asked regarding my last post: "WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE??" His point: When the Jews do something, anything to defend themselves against terrorists, the world is outraged.
We all know the story line. How dare we protect and defend our land and our People from insane terrorists whose mission in life is to run people over, blow them up, and stab them to death. How dare we even refer to them as terrorists!
WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE when the bomb-loving terrorists kill our innocent people and then hand out candies to celebrate?
Let's switch our focus back to this latest tragedy. Yes, people are outraged.
But at what?
Some are outraged at the fact that Cruz was able to acquire firearms and ammunition. So they're outraged at the Second Amendment. While I don't want to get into a debate about the Second Amendment, I'd just like to point out that making it illegal or very difficult to buy guns just makes it harder for the good people to defend themselves, which, by the way, everyone still has the right to do. We have this little thing called a Constitution, which gives Americans some rights that most people with common sense actually appreciate.
Others are outraged at President Trump, though I really don't understand why. Their outrage is so misdirected that we end up with morons telling a poor father who was looking for his murdered daughter that he had it coming to him because he wore a t-shirt that showed he was a Trump supporter.
While everyone is outraged by this absolute nightmare of a tragedy, Hashem have mercy, I have my own set of outrage questions:
WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE against Big Pharma, criminal drug pushers who are responsible for putting MILLIONS of people and children on dangerous, unproven drugs whose side effects are usually worse than the diseases themselves?
WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE against all of the pedophiles, rapists, and molesters that are allowed to hold high positions in office and run the country?
WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE against men who leave their wives and children because they couldn't control their libidos?
WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE against abusive spouses, parents, and guardians?
WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE against leaders of countries who are committing rape, child trafficking, civil war, and genocide on a mass scale?
WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE against the soul-destroying agenda of the Transgender movement, who is setting up innocent children for a lifetime of self-hate and confusion - and possible suicide?
WHERE'S THE OUTRAGE against the UN and all anti-Semitic countries who are doing everything they can to make the State of Israel go bye-bye?
I'll tell you where the outrage is.
It's in Facebook, where people are so busy insulting each other, cutting each other down, and trying to show the world that they're the wisest prophet to have ever walked the Earth. Seriously?! What is the meaning of getting into conversations, arguments, and revealing your darkest secrets with total strangers? Am I missing something here?
Is life so much more exciting when you don't know who you're talking to?
We've become so numb to reality, it seems we're living more in our phones than in real life. Even people sitting in a restaurant at dinner, in the elevator, even at home with their kids - most have their faces about 12 inches from the screen of their phones.
Instead of being outraged by nonsense, let's be outraged by the fact that we're losing precious time on social media and online activities that don't serve any constructive purpose. People, we can never get that time back!
How much time have we lost by having arguments with total strangers on social media? Time that we could have used to make our families' dinner a bit earlier, have the house straightened up by the time the kids got home, or even have all of our work finished - at work?
Stop and think...
The world is getting more insane by the minute.
What do we want to do with the precious few moments we have with our loved ones? With our lives?
Will we continue to throw them into the social media sewer?
Or will we decide to put that phone down and spend real quality time with the ones we love?
Here's everything you need to know about properly preparing for, observing and celebrating Purim this year, in a nutshell:
"Shabbat Zachor" ("Shabbat of Remembering") 9 Adar(Feb. 24, 2018)
This is the only Shabbat each year that every man and woman is obligated(according to most authorities) by Torah law to go to the synagogue. On this day, a section of the Torah, called "Zachor" (in Hebrew, "Remember") is appended to the weekly Torah reading. By hearing it read publicly on the Shabbat immediately preceding Purim, we fulfill the Torah commandment in it: "Remember what Amalek [the ancestor and inspiration of Haman, the villain of Purim] did to you". (Deut. 25:17-19)
Fast of Esther 13 Adar, Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018
The fast starts before dawn and ends after dark, and entails no eating or drinking. There are special services at synagogue both morning and afternoon. The money saved by not eating should go to charity; the time, to Torah-study and mitzva-performance.
Purim 14 Adar (Wednesday Night - Thursday, Feb. 28 - March 1, 2018)
1. Megilla - Hear a public reading of the Scroll of Esther in the evening and again during the day.
2. Matanot L’evyonim - "Gifts for the Poor":Give money to at least two needy individuals. (If you don't encounter anyone that qualifies, you can click here and Donate to Emuna Outreach and Rav Shalom Arush will perform the mitzvah in your behalf on Purim day.)
3. Mishloach Manot: Send (via a third party) a gift of two or more kinds of ready-to-eat foods and/or drink to at least one friend (not a relative).
4. Se’udat Purim: Celebrate at a festive day-time meal with bread, good food, and plenty of red wine. The Talmud and Codes of Law instruct us to drink until we can no longer differentiate between "Blessed is Mordechai" and "Cursed is Haman"! (A few authorities opine that the minimum obligation is to drink only "a bit more than what one is used to". Looking ahead to Passover night, perhaps the quantity implied is 4 cups plus!).
5. Add "Al HaNissim" to the daily Standing Prayers and to the Blessings-After-Meals. (See daily prayerbook in the Thanksgiving/Modim section of the Standing Prayer.)
Shushan Purim 15 Adar (Friday, March 2, 2018)
Inhabitants of cities that were important enough to be surrounded by walls at the time of the Jews' entrance into the Holy Land at the time of Joshua celebrate Purim one day later than everyone else (see Esther 9:17-19). The prime example is that of Jerusalem. Be careful this year to complete all the mitzvoth of Purim, including the festive meal, well before sundown and the beginning of Shabbat.
Be sure to pass this post on to whoever needs it! Happy Purim preparations!
This week is the week of Zchor, the week before Purim, when we remember what the evil Amalek and his offspring did to our people. The Torah explicitly commands us to obliterate the memory of Amalek and this is the opportune time to do so.
Contemporary Amalek is not a terrorist with a dagger between his teeth or a suicide belt of explosives. He looks innocent, actually resembling a harmless geek. Let me share a story with you:
Edward, a very techy 17-year old geek, was ridiculing his mother. "Ma, I can't believe that you're having trouble saving contacts in your new phone – kindergartners today know how to do that!"
"Young man," his mother replied, perturbed by her son's smugness, "I taught you how to say please and thank-you. I also taught you how to eat with a fork."
The above exchange seems meaningless, but is actually deeper than what we think. Here is a closer look:
Edward thinks that his mother is primitive. She's not so adept with the latest devices. By the time she learns a device, it becomes obsolete and something new replaces it.
What does Edward have to do with Amalek? The answer is everything. See my feature article Amalek LCD in this week's new issue Breslev Israel web magazine.
Shavua Tov! The only thing that interests us in current events is seeing Hashem's hand revealed in headline happenings. There's been plenty of that, lately, as we're about to see...
In light of the tense security situation, there a is powerful protective ploy that also invokes miracles, one that is firmly based both in the Gemara and in the Shulchan Aruch, and easy to do. Let's hear the Emuna News and learn what each of us can do to protect his or her family and the entire nation of Israel: