Today's shiur puts us in the proper frame of mind for the Three Weeks. Ever since the Holy Temple was destroyed, the Divine Presence lacks a permanent dwelling place in this material world. It turns out that Hashem is still homeless; why?
Imagine that blue-blood and a silver spoon are major advantages from birth. Folks without those advantages certainly aren't doomed; a person who takes full-advantage of average talent can run circles around a person that relies on high IQ, good looks, money or any other advantage he or she received from birth. In fact, Hashem and Moses had a lively discussion about this very issue. Read all about it in The Little Onion, my elaboration of this week's Torah portion Pinchas on our brand new issue of Breslev Israel web magazine.
If you care about your physical and spiritual health, then Emunalogy is a must read. The article is so important that we also made a video shiur on it which you can see here if you haven't done so already.
It looks like Iran needs to have nuclear weapons in order for all of us to wake up and return to Hashem. The media here is reporting that the USA and Iran are signing today - the fast of the 17th of Tammuz - in an the biggest stroke of appeasement since Chamberlain caved in to Hitler in 1938. All sanctions against Iran are about to be lifted. Hashem says, "If you walk with Me in impurity, I will respond with impurity" (Leviticus 26:23-24). The word in Hebrew for impurity is kerry.
This is a shiur many people asked for; it's such a potential life-saver that we summarized it in an article here. Just as the body as an immune system, the soul has an immune system that has the capacity of warding off all negative emotions, the spiritual attacking organisms that upset mental, emotional and spiritual health. This is a must-see:
Since yesterday was Shabbat the 17th of Tammuz, we fast today the 18th of Tammuz, which marks the beginning of the “Three Weeks” (Bein HaMetzarim), a period of mourning marking the destruction of both the First Temple and the Second Temple in Jerusalem. During the “Three Weeks”, it is customary to spend extra time studying Torah and in personal prayer, to give extra charity and not to hold joyous celebrations, such as weddings, or wear new clothes. We also don't listen to or play musical instruments during this period.
The first Holy Temple was destroyed because of idolatry and the 70 shemitta (Sabbatical year) cycles that were not observed, both heinous transgressions in Judaism. The punishment - 70 years of exile.
The second Holy Temple was destroyed because of baseless intramural hate, seemingly a much lesser transgression than idolatry and desecration of Sabbatical years. Yet, 2000 years have gone by and we're still in exile. When will we ever learn? Hashem despises arrogance because it leads to hate; when one person or group thinks that they're better than anyone else, that's sufficient arrogance to perpetuate the exile. The result? Another Three Weeks of lamentations.
Hashem doesn't need the lamentations of those who allow themselves the luxury of condemning, hating, snobbing and/or boycotting other Jews. Thank G-d my beloved rabbi and teacher Rav Shalom Arush is a beacon of unconditional love and demands the same of his students.
Loving another Jew doesn't mean that you necessarily agree with his practices or philosophy in life. Loving the other person is a simple commandment of Torah that Hashem unconditionally requires of all of us, to respect all others and to treat them in the same manner that we would like to be treated.
Just remember - our sages in Tikkun Chatzot (Midnight Lamentations) say that every generation who fails to rebuild the Holy Temple is as if it were the generation that destroyed it. Categorically, intramural hatred is not only perpetuating the exile, but is causing Hashem to use drastic measures to wake us up and to prod us to act like brothers toward each other. Let's start being stringent about our unconditional love for each other, so that the notorious Three Weeks will turn into Three Weeks of joy and redemption, amen!
What was Bilaam's secret plan to destroy the Jewish People? Within his blessings, we find hidden curses, as our sages teach that the wine picks up the taste of the goblet... Enjoy this week's mini-lesson and have a lovely Shabbat.
Mama Chasia, you're on the other side of the ocean but you're ever so close to my heart. This post is especially for you...
Cantor Yanky Lemmer, who is gifted with a beautifully inspiring voice, sings the song of a loving son watching as his elderly mother lights the Friday night Sabbath candles, her face aglow. In this popular Yiddish/English folk song, he recalls his childhood, and the memories of his intense experience of her Jewish motherly kindness. Cantor Lemmer presents this piece together with the popular Yiddishe Mama, in a gorgeous taste of Jewish nostalgia. Enjoy it and have a wonderful Shabbat!
Eliezer Rosenfeld, father of 26-year-old Malachi Rosenfeld Hy"d who was fatally wounded in a terror attack Monday evening, delivered a heart-rending farewell to his son at his funeral yesterday in a display of phenomenal emuna. During the eulogy, the grieving father - supported by two of his remaining seven children - sang the words of Rebbe Nachman of Breslev, "Even in the most concealed of concealed moments, certainly Hashem, blessed be He, is also found there." Choked with tears, he continued, urging the tearful audience to join him, and sang, "Even behind the most difficult things that happen to you, I (Hashem) stand, I stand..." Then, Eliezer added in his own words, "And we will stand, we will stand with You, Hashem."
Our hearts break for the Rosenfeld family, who are the essence of all that's beautiful in Eretz Yisrael. They are one of the founding families of Kochav Hashachar, a village north of Jerusalem in Samaria. The Beams, Emuna Outreach and Breslev Israel convey our deepest condolences, and may Hashem comfort them among all the mouners of Zion and Jerusalem, amen.
"We oppose the redefinition of the bedrock relationship of the human family. The Torah, which forbids homosexual activity, sanctions only the union of a man and a woman in matrimony. While we do not seek to impose our religious principles on others, it is our sincere conviction that discarding the historical definition of marriage is not a positive step for civilized society. Moreover, we are deeply concerned that, as a result of today’s ruling, and as the dissenting Justices have pointed out, members and institutions of traditional communities like the Orthodox Jewish community we represent may incur moral opprobrium and risk tangible negative consequence if they refuse to transgress their beliefs, and even if they simply teach and express their religious views publicly. That prospect is chilling, and should be unacceptable to all people of good will on both sides of this debate."
We applaud the Aguda of America for their courage and candor.
There's only one way to fight such decadence, and that's to strengthen our personal holiness even more. A little light illuminates a lot of darkness. We must be strong in the face of the avalanche of public immorality, because soon - very soon - the truth will be apparent to all mankind. We are waiting patiently for that day, for it's surely on the way.
Ever since the Holy Temple was destroyed, the Divine Presence lacks a permanent dwelling place in this material world. It turns out that Hashem is still homeless; why? Couldn't He build Himself a new home in Jerusalem whenever He wants to? Then why doesn't He?
G-d willing, we'll learn the answers to the above probing questions in today's broadcast and shiur, "Still Homeless", which is a preparation for the Three Weeks, the period of mourning that commemorates many tragedies that befell our people throughout history, particularly the destruction of the First and Second Holy Temples in Jerusalem, that begins this coming Sunday.
The broadcast and shiur 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.
A person might have a PhD in nuclear physics, but when he goes against Torah, he loses all powers of judgment and common sense.
Israel became nervous over Islamic Jihad threats and agreed to release hunger-striking prisoner Khader Adnan, a move that shows just how weak the Israeli Defense Establishment is in relation to Hamastan in Gaza. Undoubtedly, this is another rock crumbling from Israel's weakening wall of deterrence.
Meanwhile, Hamas is digging more tunnels into Israel day and night. Boogie and the Defense Establishment are doing nothing. All month long, people have been complaining in the Gaza-area settlements that they hear and feel underground digging.
The Israeli Government fails to see the measure-for-measure here. While they imitate foreign debauchery and undermine Hashem's commandments, Hamas digs tunnels and undermines Israeli security.
There's definitely a hole in "de-fence" (the pun is irresistible). People have their free choices - privately, let each person live as he or she deems fit, for all of us are accountable whether we live in denial of Hashem's judgment or not. But publicly, when the Government of Israel makes the trampling of Hashem's law official policy, they're in big trouble. What's more, all this is happening before the Three Weeks. So what do we do?
The only thing we can do is to cling to Hashem and to strengthen ourselves in emuna and thank Him for everything, for it's all for the best. The closer we get to Moshiach, the more Hashem is exposing everyone's true nature and intent, so that we won't mix with or be influenced by the wrong people. Meanwhile, as always, there's no one to trust but Hashem.
In the words of Rebbe Natan of Breslev: "If everyone would only listen to the words of the true tzaddik and walk in this path believing in Hashem always, that everything is for the good and to give praise and gratitude to Him always, whether in favorable or in unfavorable situations, all troubles would certainly be nullified, Diaspora and exile would end and the Geula – the full redemption of our people – would be here already." By thanking Hashem in any situation, we'll bring the Geula; not just the Geula, but the Geula with tremendous compassion and mercy. That's just what we need right now.
In case you've forgotten, "Mister V" was our code name for then-presidential candidate Barack Hussein Obama, who became the 44th President of the USA. In July of 2008, three months before the election, we predicted that he would be elected and why. Looking at events through lenses of emuna, we also predicted that he would get close to Iran, which became true as well.
How did we know? Very simple. As we wrote in the original article from seven years ago:
On July 27th, 2004 Senate candidate Barack Obama spoke to delegates during the Democratic National Convention in Boston. Some call it "The Speech", a 17 minute star-making turn. Obama walked on stage an unknown, and walked off as a star. Four months after the convention, Obama won the U.S. Senate seat in a landslide. Hashem aroused my curiosity; I looked at a 120-year Hebrew-English calendar and discovered that July 27th, 2004 was the 9th day of the Hebrew month of Av, "Tisha B'Av." This is a perpetual day of calamity for the Jewish people when among other disasters, both Holy Temples in Jerusalem were destroyed. So if this was the day that Obama's star took a rise, then it surely wasn't good for the People of Israel...
Why is Obama so dangerous to the Jewish People? As an American who grew up with a Muslim education and orientation and who still holds the strongest affinity for Islam, he combines the power of Edom and Ishmael, who come together at the end of days in attempt to destroy Israel. This too is indicated in his name, for the gematria (numerical value) of writing Barack Hussein Obama in Hebrew, like this - בראק חוסיין אובאמה - is 502. The gematria of "Edom Ishmael", like this - אדום ישמעאל - is also 502. In Hashem's world, there's no such thing as coincidence.
Hashem is talking to us loud and clear. This year, the 239th USA Day of Independence falls on Shabbat, the 17th of Tammuz, also a perpetual day of calamity that marks the start of the historical "Three Weeks" of tragedies between then and Tisha B'Av, when the Jewish People curtail joyous activities such as playing music and holding weddings. This is the beginning of the USA's 240th year. On this very day, we will be reading the Torah's prophecy in Parshat Balak, how Amalek, Israel's arch-enemy, will become the leader of the nations. The Hebrew numerical equivalent of Amalek - עמלק - is exactly 240.
The days of hedging - straddling both sides of the fence - are over. The Jewish People, both in Israel and America, are faced with a clear choice: do you want your fake 4th of July celebrations and giving your continued homage to America, or do you yearn for Hashem's kingdom on earth and the rebuilding of His holy temple? If the Jews were punished for participating in Achashverush's celebration of his monarchy, then you certainly want to steer clear of the Amalekite celebration this Shabbat. And by the way, if you're not yet convinced what we're talking about, ארור המן, or "cursed Haman" is also gematria 502. What's the connection?
Mr. Obama came to power because Hashem put him in power. Like Haman of old, he too has and will continue to betray Israel and the non-assimilated Jewish People, but he's only a stick in Hashem's hands to prod us to teshuva - fast. Only a Haman-Amalek president would make an official celebration of legislation that tramples G-d's will.
As I wrote 3 months ago, Mister V is now fully exposed. Those Jews who have made the mistake of supporting him should sever themselves fast. As you can see in the above juxtaposed images, the veneer has completely warn off.
The world is changing by the minute. Monumental events will occur in coming months, for the time is soon coming when Moshiach will be crowned in Jerusalem. Now is the time to strengthen ourselves in teshuva and in emuna. Don't waste a moment.
Our gratitude to sod1820.co.il for the gematria information that is included in this post