Like a Vineyard

King David in Psalms compares the Nation of Israel to a vineyard and the people of Israel to a grapevine; here's the explanation, from the biblical border between the hill country of Efraim and the tribal lands of Menashe, not far from Shechem near the village of Yitzhar:

Bright Beam blessings for a beautiful week!

Thank G-d I'm a Country Boy

There's a whole lot to say for gratitude to Hashem, simplicity, innocence, and being happy with your lot in life. Not only are they precepts of Breslever thinking, but they're the basis of emuna. 

John Denver was always one of my favorite singers and composers. His "Thank G-d I'm a Country Boy" oozes with joy and simple emuna. In John's cherished memory, we here at the Beams are happy to share this with you. The lyrics appear below the video player - they too are full of good ol' values like gratitude to Hashem and appreciating your wife. And yes, John, thank G-d I'm a country boy...

Well life's on a farm is kinda laid back
Ain't much an old country boy like me can't hack
It's early to rise early in the sack
Thank G-d I'm a country boy

A simple kind of life never did me no harm
Raisin' me a family and workin' on a farm
My days are all filled with an easy country charm
Thank G-d I'm a country boy

Well I got me a fine wife I got me old fiddle
When the sun's comin' up I got cakes on the griddle
And life ain't nothin' but a funny funny riddle
Thank G-d I'm a country boy

When the work's all done and the sun is settin' low
I pull out my fiddle and I rosin' up the bow
But the kids are asleep so I keep it kinda low
Thank G-d I'm a country boy

I'd play Sally Goodin all day if I could
But the Lord and my wife wouldn't take it very good
So I fiddle when I can and I work when I should
Thank G-d I'm a country boy

Well I got me a fine wife...

Well I wouldn't trade my life for diamonds or jewels
I never was one of them money hungry fools
I'd rather have my fiddle and my farmin' tools
Thank G-d I'm a country boy

Yeah city folks drivin' in a black limousine
A lotta sad people think that's mighty keen
Well son let me tell you exactly what I mean
Thank G-d I'm a country boy

Well I got me a fine wife...

Well my fiddle was my daddy's till the day he died
And he took me by the hand and held me close to his side
He said live a good life play my fiddle with pride
And thank G-d you're a country boy

Well my daddy taught me young how to hunt and how to whittle
He taught me how to work and play a tune on the fiddle
He taught me how to love and how to give just a little
And thank G-d I'm a country boy

Well I got me a fine wife I got me old fiddle
When the sun's comin' up I got cakes on the griddle
And life ain't nothin' but a funny funny riddle
Thank G-d I'm a country boy

Emuna Kids


Check out that awesome Manta ray. So incredible, right? 

That's my little nephew in the corner. I'm convinced he's really mine because he has blonde hair and blue eyes and a super Iraqi personality. My sister's other two kids are brunettes with brown eyes (like me) but they're way too nice and calm to be mine. 

But that little boy is MINE. So hand him back, dear sister who used to steal all of my clothes and then leave them crumpled up on the floor of her room. 

Some things you just never get over.

Speaking of my kids, I love my kids. Especially when they're in school or asleep. 

But they drive me insane. Completely. In. Sane. 

Sometimes I fantasize about dropping them off at the nearest zoo or pet adoption center. But since I'm too lazy to return them to the zoo, and I have no idea where the nearest pet adoption center is, they still live at home. For the time being.

Okay, all joking aside, I'd like to share something amazing with you.

My kids are what I would call "Emuna Kids." 

For the past nearly 9 years, they've been exposed to a lot of screaming emuna. I'm far from perfect, like on the other side of the world far, but I am pretty good about bringing Hashem into the picture when relating to my kids. 

If one of them isn't feeling well, or they get hurt, upset, their brother stole their one favorite car out of the 3 million cars that are available to play with, I do my best to:

a) not scream 

b) give them a little boost of spiritual awareness

Okay, so I'm really bad at doing a, and maybe I shouldn't keep emphasizing that, but in my defense I'm awesome at b. 

And because of this, I see how, during some challenging times, suddenly one of my kids might say something on his own about Hashem and His plans. Or something along those lines. 

I make tons and tons of mistakes every day, and I have many shortcomings (please don't tell David,) but I know that the gift of emuna is the greatest gift I can ever give my kids.

I can do my best to give them good health, a good life, a good education, and G-d willing some awesome wives. But I can't control how these situations turn out.

What I can do is give them the faith that everything is in Hashem's Hands and that He loves us and does everything for our best.

I hope one day, when they face challenges that are slightly bigger than "He stole my carrrr!" the emuna and spiritual awareness that I have tried to instill in them will shine. 

Believe me, there is no greater gift we can give our kids than emuna. Imagine if you had known about emuna when you were growing up. How different would your life be? 

How much heartache, pain, and frustration would you not have experienced? 

People, emuna is all we got.

And it's the best thing we can ever give to our children.

So where to start? What if you've never spoken to your kids about Hashem?

I would say start with talking about nature. Point out the wisdom in every flower, the trees, the ocean tides. Talk about the wonder of outer space, the orbits of the planets, the different climates and environments in this beautiful world of ours. 

There are so many opportunities to see Hashem in our lives. Let's share the precious gift of emuna and spiritual awareness with our children.

Have a beautiful day! 

FYI, Rav Brody won't be giving his weekly emuna shiur and live broadcast this week, because he too is an "Emuna Kid" - he's going to visit his Mom in the USA for a few days; she just turned 92 - mazal tov! 


From the Children of Miami to the IDF on the Gaza Border

TY Soldiers
In the above image, you see love letters from the children of Miami wall-papering an IDF armored personnel carrier on the Gaza border. Here's a better look at the mail:

Who made the connection between the children of Miami and the IDF on the Gaza Border? If you guessed Emuna Outreach, you're right.

One of Emuna Outreach's objectives is to instill our children around the world with a solid faith in Hashem from an early age. And, Emuna Outreach is always trying to strengthen our soldiers in the IDF, for our very security depends on emuna. It gives us so much joy to see the two connected.

You too can partner with Rabbi Shalom Arush in all the wonderful things that Emuna Outreach does. Donate to Emuna Outreach - wait and see the blessing it invokes for you.

Self-Confidence: Triple Your Potential

People want to accomplish things, but there bodies won't let them. Why?

  1. They don't eat the proper foods in quality and quantity.
  2. They don't exercise.
  3. They're not confident in their ability to achieve what they want.

By the same token, people want to accomplish things, but there minds won't let them. Why?

  1. They lack the desire.
  2. They lack the dedication.
  3. They're not confident in their ability to achieve what they want.

We see that lack of a good diet and lack of proper exercise hold the body back, while lack of desire and lack of dedication create obstacles in the mind that prevent people from accomplishing.

We also see that lack of self-confidence is Public Enemy #1 that gets in the way of both mind and body. For the moment, let's put the subjects of  diet, exercise, desire and dedication aside, for our sages teach that if you try to grab too much, you end up grabbing nothing. Yet, once we attain self-confidence, diet, exercise, desire and dedication will all fall into place.

You'd love to have self-confidence, wouldn't you? It's simpler and easier than you think. See Self-Confidence in 5 Minutes, my feature article in this week's new issue of Breslev Israel web magazine.

Also featured this week:

Rabbi Shalom Arush - SAT's, Lean on Me

Rabbi Berel Wein - I Made My Day

Lori Steiner - Don't Push It

David Ben Horin - What They Can't Take from You

Dr. Rivka Levron - In Search of Unity

Yardena Slater - Simple and Natural

Sharon Roter - Sergeant Mom

Enjoy, and have a fantastic new week!