Is it possible to live a life of perfection, a life devoid of heartache and disappointment, yet full of gratification? Rebbe Nachman answers this question in the affirmative. Enjoy this week's emuna lesson and have a fantastic new week!
Two back-to-back hate crimes have rocked Israel in the last 24 hours, both the product of zealotry and hate, the same poison that destroyed our Second Temple 1947 years ago.
The Gemara tells us that there was enough water, floor and firewood to sustain the Torah-loyal community in Jerusalem for another 25 years. But the wicked zealots destroyed these reserves to force the people to fight against the Romans. The result - destruction, death and Diaspora.
Unfortunately, this poison is still in our midst.
No one has the right to take the law - religious or civil - in his own hands. Sure, we certainly don't relish public actions that violate the Torah, particularly in the Land of Israel and especially in Jerusalem. Although we take exception to actions, we nonetheless must have compassion on our fellow humans who do those actions. Indeed, the Torah commands us to love them. We therefore must vociferously condemn the actions of the frenzied zealot who stabbed six people who were participating in the pride parade that took place in Jerusalem yesterday, as well as the immoral and mind-twisted zealots who entered the Arab village of Duma northeast of Ramallah last night, setting fire to two houses, killing a baby and critically wounding several other family members. Security forces are on a massive man-hunt to nab the perpetrators, but meanwhile, Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem have turned into a volcano that has already started to erupt.
Both cowardly hate crimes are the worst form of chilul Hashem, desecration of Hashem's Holy Name. This is not the way of Judaism, for a true Jew has mercy for all of humanity. As Judaism despises zealotry and hate, it's our solemn duty to rid ourselves of this terrible poison in our midst. The sooner the better.
Moshe Rabbenu prayed 515 times for permission to enter the Land of Israel. His request was denied! What does this have to do with Shabbat Nachamu, the Sabbath of Consolation? Enjoy this week's mini-lesson, and have a joyous and lovely Shabbat!
This Shabbat is Shabbat Nachamu, the Sabbath of Consolation. We beg our loving Father in Heaven to bring us back to Him - "Tattie, Hashivenu". Here it is in a lovely new song by Yanky Ausch and performed by Avremi Lunger and child prodigy Nusi Fuchs. Enjoy, and have a fantastic Shabbat!
"Rebbe Yitzchak says, the year that our King Moshiach will be revealed, the nations will provoke one another" (Yalkut Shuimoni, Isaiah, 60).
More and more, we saw how all the preconditions for Moshiach and Geula that our sages mentioned in the Zohar, Gemara and Midrash are rapidly materializing one after the other.
No matter what you think about Vladimir Putin, in addition to being Russia's leader, he's literally a folk hero as well. He is an expert in judo and karate with an 8th-dan black belt, an outdoorsman and a Russian traditionalist who oozes national pride. While other international leaders were smoking marijuana, Putin was an officer in the no-nonsense KGB. One cannot deny the fact that Putin has nerves and a strong backbone. He is now testing the West, who are mostly much talk/little action. Outside of a few sobs and weak protests, Putin grabbed the Crimean Peninsula, a tremendous southern chunk of the Ukraine, uncontested. His antics are far from over.
On the 4th of July just 3 weeks ago, he sent two Russian bombers to skirt the California coast. They've also been maneuvering in the Caribbean, a stone's throw from Miami, and near Alaska. Putin is playing "chicken" with the USA, and meanwhile it's not him who's wearing the feathers. Anyone hear a peep from Obama or Kerry? They're busy painting the White House and State Department in rainbows...
Meanwhile, Putin is making a deadly alliance with Iran. The USA is smirking at Russia's sale of the advanced s300 missile-defense system to Iran, for the State Department thinks that will put a halter on any possible preemptive Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. But like we wrote yesterday, all the schemes against Israel will backfire in the schemers' faces. The USA won't be smirking when they discover Iranian ICBMs, which the so-called "nuclear agreement" didn't prevent, aimed at their shores. Too bad they don't listen to their own military leaders who are speaking incessantly about the Russian-Iranian threat to the USA (image above).
What does all this mean for us in Israel? We have no one to depend on but Hashem. In that sense, Mr. Obama has done us a priceless favor in showing the naïve among us that they cannot depend on him or on his administration. Both the Torah and the Prophets say that in the end of days, we'll be on our own with no one to turn to but Hashem. From an emuna standpoint, this is a best-case scenario.
Why wait for threats to turn to Hashem? Let's praise Him and thank Him for everything, the good as well as for the seemingly bad. From an emuna standpoint, an Obama in the White House and a Putin in the Kremlin is better for us than anyone else, for they're pushing us closer to Hashem and expediting the Geula, the full redemption of our people. Everything is truly for the best!
Is it possible to live a life of paradise, a life devoid of heartache and disappointment, yet full of gratification? Rebbe Nachman answers this question in the affirmative.
You can discover his answer in today's emuna shiur and broadcast, entitled "The Path to Perfection", which will take place this evening (Wednesday), G-d willing, at 7:00 PM local time at our Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva, 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street, Jerusalem, in the main sanctuary. 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
As always, the live shiur is open to the public - both men and women are welcome - so if you're anywhere near Jerusalem, come on by! 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 on this coming week on Lazer Beams.
Friend or foe? Do you know that the Obama Administration leaked Israel's plan to attack Iran from Azerbaijan in 2012 to the Iranis? Reliable pundits such as Doug Ross are not only saying that John Kerry is not telling the truth, but that the entire US-Iran nuclear agreement is for Iran's benefit, to "protect it from Israel". Sorry, but the Administration in Washington, DC doesn't exactly like us...
Back in March, we wrote, " In the world of the lie-laden lexicon, "anti-Bibi" is really "anti-Israel", and "anti-Israel" is none other than anti-Semitism."
In trying to understand why Obama loathes Israel, Erik Rush says, "Obama and his ilk are an amalgam of radicals in the ‘Sixties mold, whether Marxist-Leninists, Maoists, Structural Marxists, black and Latino nationalists, Marxist feminists, Nation of Islam, or Sunni Muslim Islamists. All of these groups are intensely hateful...So the sentiments of a Barack Obama (or an Eric Holder, Van Jones, etc.) will always lie with the Islamists..."
If Obama doesn't like Jews other than his leftist Judenrat, imagine how he despises Torah-loyal Jews in the Land of Israel. He wants us thwarted, to say it nicely...
Obama and his State Department, without asking right or wrong, forced Israel into an inopportune ceasefire with Gaza last year, before the cleanup work was done. Hamas, like a bacteria that wasn't fully eradicated, is now coming back stronger. Obama and his State Department, in pressuring Israel to refrain from building in Judea and Samaria, including Beitar Illit, Kiryat Sefer and Efrat, have worsened an already acute housing shortage in Israel. You can find young couples here living in garages and other make-shift dwellings.
From the emuna vantage point, Obama is a mere pawn in Hashem's hands. Rabbi Yehuda Zev Leibowitz said before he died that Bibi won't be allowed (from Above) to attack Iran. Obama and his underlings in the State Department have been merely Hashem's obstacle to Bibi, for Hashem - for His good reasons - doesn't want the attack on Iran. Yet, if Obama has the pipedream that he and the Ayatollas will build a new Middle East sans Israel and the Jews, he's in for a tremendous surprise:
Tosephot (tractate Avoda Zara 2b) says that before Moshiach comes, Iran will fight the USA. So, Obama's pipedream of cooperating with the Ayatollas will backfire in his face. What's more, Khumenei makes no effort to hide his hatred toward the USA and everything that the current US Administration stands for.
And talking about backfires, Obama thought that he was playing a home game when in Kenya, trying to force his anti-Hashem same-sex ideologies on the Kenyans. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta mowed him down on the spot, elegantly but with total conviction, saying: "You cannot force on Kenyans a way of life that they do not want to lead." Click on the link and hear it for yourself.
The more we strengthen ourselves in emuna, the more we can be assured that no Iranian nuke will ever fall on our holy soil. In the words of my esteemed rabbi and teacher Rabbi Yitzchak Berkowitz shlit'a who was my mentor at the Aish HaTorah Yeshiva in Jerusalem, "Hashem isn't gathering the exiles from the four corners of the earth to slaughter them here in Israel, Heaven forbid." Hashem wants to bring Moshiach - soon - but He wants us to prepare ourselves in earnest. Everything that is happening now in current events is geared to further that end. On the way, expect some interesting surprises, such as the schemes of scoundrels backfiring in their faces.
Don't think that there's nothing you can do - there's plenty:
1. Make Aliya now and claim your rightful inheritance in the Holy Land;
2. If you can't make Aliya at this time, pray daily to make Aliya, and meanwhile help spread emuna! That way, you justify whatever you're doing outside the Land of Israel. This should be done with dedication if you want it to be effective enough to protect you and your family.
3. Strengthen yourself in emuna.
4. Be very careful about the mitzvoth between man and fellow man.
Good days are in store for Israel, G-d willing - wait and see.
This morning, the day after Tisha B'Av, China's stock market suffered the biggest one-day loss in 8 years, falling 8.5%.
Could this mean trouble for the USA? Paul J. Lim says yes, explaining how this strengthens the US dollar, as the Chinese run to invest in the USA. Yet, a strong dollar backfires on the US, for it raises production costs such as salaries and renders American products abroad much less competitive. As such, companies lose profits and their stocks lose value. That spells imminent trouble - don't say that you didn't know.
Who have the nations always blamed for their economic woes? Since time immemorial, the Jews. Do you think that a millennium of historical patterns has ceased? Howard Morton says don't be so sure.
Why wait for trouble? Now's the time to come home to the Land of Emuna.
This coming Friday is "Tu B'Av", commonly known in Israel as "Love Day", what the Gemara describes as one of the very best days in the Jewish calendar. "Tu B'Av" is actually a preparation for Elul, as you can see in my feature article, "The Color of the Sky", in this week's exciting new issue of Breslev Israel web magazine.
This week's Torah portion is Parshat Va'etchanan: Our sovereignty over the Land of Israel depends on emuna, where we believe that we have the power to exist amidst a sea of hostile neighbors. Read my elaboration on the subject in The Few Against the Many.
My main lamentation on Tisha B'av 5775 is that our nation as a whole hasn't yet learned emuna and still trusts in flesh-and-blood. Israel therefore remains in the clutches of darkness, rather than meriting the leadership of the generation's true tzaddikim, the ones who lead us without any thought of personal gain and amenities. If we all really knew what we were lacking, our eyelashes would fall out from so many tears. The fact that our spiritual awareness is so dull is all the more reason for crying, for this is the result of the Holy Temple's destruction, exile, diaspora, and assimilation. Soon, G-d willing, Moshiach will end all this. The more we prepare by strengthening our spiritual lives, the easier the transition to a more spiritual world will be for each of us.
Tisha B'Av is actually a beam of light from within a dark cloud. Our lamentations are designed to connect us to Hashem in a greater bond. Just as a seed buried in the ground must rot and degenerate before it sprouts into a beautiful, fruit-bearing tree, so are we, the Jewish people; for years, our martyrs have been buried in sanctification of Hashem's name. Now, we see that any path we take other than emuna leads to national decay. Everything around us - politics, media, big business, and morality - is rotten; but G-d willing, we shall soon sprout into the People of Hashem and the generation of the the renewed Beit HaMikdash, speedily and in our time, amen.
Have an easy fast and G-d bless. I send a special hug to all my beloved brothers who wear knitted kippas and who don't wear kippas at all. May we all truly be one people with one heart, amen!
We often misconstrue things we see in current events as potential catastrophes, when they're really potential salvations and the key to our imminent redemption. Why do we keep making the same mistakes?
We don't have to wait until Moshiach comes to find out that Hashem does everything for our ultimate benefit, and Tisha B'Av is no exception, as we'll learn in today's lesson. Have an easy fast and may we all see the Geula, Moshiach and the rebuilding of our Holy Temple in Jerusalem, speedy and in our days, amen!