Pidyon Nefesh for Non-Jews

Dear Rabbi Lazer,

I don't know if you remember me, but I am one of members of Reverend Philip Banda's community in South Africa. I'll never forget the blessing you gave me. My question is this: is a non-Jew allowed to give the Pidyon Nefesh you always speak about? Would it be effective? We hope to see you soon again. In case you haven't seen, I'm enclosing a clip that someone took when you were here with us - it really strengthened our faith.

Thank you in sincerity, Robert Ogabu, Johannesburg

Dear Robert,

I'm delighted to hear from you. I presented your question to Rabbi Shalom Arush directly and he answered with a quote from the Talmud that says Judgment Day on Rosh Hashana is a day of judgment for all of mankind. As each person, Jews and non-Jews, are on trial, we all need a good lawyer to intervene on our behalf. That's where pidyon nefesh comes in. Pidyon Nefesh is literally a “liberation for the spirit,” where the donated sum of money is used by the righteous sage who performs the pidyon nefesh is used for a lofty purpose that would best invoke Divine compassion for the donator. In you choose to Donate to Emuna Outreach, Rav Shalom Arush will gladly do the pidyon for you; he uses the money for spreading emuna around the world, which brings our emuna books, CDs, and ourselves to such faraway places as China, Hong Kong, Singapore, Australia and South Africa, as well as the West. Although I am Rav Shalom's emissary to the English-speaking world, we have other rabbis roaming the globe in places that speak Russian, German, French and Spanish. As Rav Shalom wrote in his own handwriting, this is the only chance to create peace among nations. Thank you so much for the clip (see below), and I hope to see you again soon.

Warmest regards and blessings, Lazer Brody

Harry Dent: The Bubble Will Burst

Best-selling author and financial analyst Harry Dent agrees with everything we've said here on the Beams in recent weeks about Wall Street. If you're not out of the stock market already, take advantage of the temporary rally and liquidate while you still can. See for yourself:


The Equality of All Mankind

People misinterpret the Torah's meaning of "the chosen people". This is definitely not a claim of Jewish supremacy! It means that we are chosen as servants of Hashem whose task is to spread the light of emuna in the world. My beloved teacher Rav Shalom Arush stresses the equality of all mankind all the time - here it is, in his own handwriting (the translation appears below the image), which he asked me to translate as an inscription in a copy of the Universal Garden of Emuna that he gave to a visiting dignitary:

Blessing from Rav Shalom

With the Almighty's help
I wrote this book for all of mankind so that they shall know they are children of the Creator, for they are equal in His eyes and He loves them all. The emuna in the Creator is the same for all of mankind and only this emuna can create peace among all the people of the world.
With love and with blessings,
(Shalom Arush)

Geula and Finance: Best Advice for Investors

Broker and Gold
The world stock markets continue to tumble and people are looking for "safe" havens for investment. Who can they trust for advice?

At the time of this writing, Wall Street seems to be rallying. Loads of financial correspondents are calming the American public, "Don't panic - stay in the market; everything will be OK!"

Do the big investment bankers believe that everything will be OK on Wall Street? If so, why are they all hoarding gold as fast as they can?

According to securities attorney Avery Goodman, Goldman Sachs and HSBC took major positions in  physical-hold-in-your-hand gold last week, while continuing to recommend against buying gold to their clients! The gold bars were not purchased for bank clients. They were  purchased for the banks themselves. How do we know this? They are  designated by the exchange as being for delivery to the bank’s “house”  accounts at COMEX, not to client accounts.

As of August 6, before the stock-market bubble began its nose-dive, Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and HSBC (NYSE:HSBC) took delivery of a sum total of 7.1 tons of physical gold. Goodman writes, "No, I have not made any typographical errors. And no, I am not talking about electronic paper claims. I am talking about shiny yellow metal stuff that you can touch and feel."

Many people had a fit when a gave a straightforward spiritual analysis of where the market is going, both major investment banks Goldman Sachs and HSBC seem to be listening to what I wrote 9 weeks ago.

The conclusion one might make is not to do what your broker says, do what he does.

A better conclusion is not to listen to your broker at all; listen to your spiritual guide. If you don't have one, then search for one. Pick a spiritual guide who totally walks the walk and not simply talks the talk.

So what do you do with your money? Don't invest in the USDollar or in the Euro, for they are simply printed currency with no backing. Gold - solid gold - is better.

Yet, better than solid gold is real estate in Israel. The best is to buy yourself a flat (apartment in our local jargon) in Israel, make aliya and come live here. Hashem is creating all the difficulties around the world to bring His beloved children home to Israel when they wouldn't get up and do it on their own, so that they won't hold up the Geula process.

The historical pattern of financial difficulties is always followed by blaming the Jews. Don't wait for that to happen. Come home now, cherished brothers and sisters.

A tip of the kipa to Dr. Harry Hamburger for his contribution to today's post 

The Light of Moshiach

Light of Moshiach
We all know that Moshiach is fast on the way; all the signs are manifest. What do we do in the meantime? How can we find the light of Moshiach amidst all the darkness?

Today's emuna shiur and broadcast, "The Light of Moshiach", 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.

Far and Near

Today's lesson is really encouraging, especially if you're a BT (Baal Teshuva, newly observant) or an FFB ("frum from birth") who left the program and is now coming back on his/her own.

Rebbe Nachman teaches that those who think they're very far away from Hashem are really very close. What does this have to do with Elul and with contemporary times? You'll get these answers and more in today's emuna lesson; enjoy!

More Market Meltdown


Black monday

Above image, Chinese stock-market board this morning, courtesy Rolex Dela Pena/EPA via Washington Post

The Chinese stock market opened this morning and took an immediate 9% dive, as investor's panicked to dump their holdings, especially the speculative stocks. Alarm bells rang and the market closed down to prevent further plunge.

"Everything will come back," one senior financial analyst told me. "This is only correction mode." "Correction" is a negative compensative movement of at least a 10% drop in a stock, bond, commodity or index to adjust for an overvaluation. When the price gets low enough, buyers come in to pick up the stocks at bargain prices and the market comes back. But, on a recession or meltdown, the market doesn't come back so quickly. We therefore respectfully disagree with our analyst friend - the market is in meltdown mode, not correction mode.

Worst hit are the oil-rich countries - Iran and the Arab world. Last year, they were getting $100/barrel for crude. Now, they're getting only $40, with prices on the drop and yet to stabilize. They'll still purchase weapons, but they'll let their populations starve and then blame Israel and the Jews of course.

If all the above is not yet stimulating all of us to teshuva, then we should have an emergency EKG to check whether our heart's are composed of stone or not. Hashem's light is only getting brighter and brighter by the day; emuna makes us worthy spiritual receptacles of that light, which either heals the worthy or scathes the unworthy.

Update, breaking news, 6:30 PM Israel, 11:30 AM EDT - Wall Street Drops Sharply

Pre-Flight Check

Foolish Flyguy
A pilot would have to be a total dimwit to take off without making a pre-flight check, and a criminal as well! As in aviation, when we assess ourselves before doing something, we avoid all types of trouble and needless nosedives. Read all about it in Pre-Flight Check, my elaboration of this week's Torah portion Ki Tetze in this weeks stimulating new issue of Breslev Israel web magazine.

Elul is a time to make the small adjustments in life that constitute the big difference in serving Hashem. For example, saying Grace after meals with intent can save your life. See an amazing story about this in Dirt Clods and Potatoes.

Also featured this week:

Rabbi Shalom Arush - A Time for Yearning

Dr. Zev Ballen - Pedagogue or Predator?

Howard Morton - Dachau in America? 

Racheli Reckles - The Shabbat-Table Trial

Natalie Kovan - All My Helpers

Dovber Halevi - Yuppie Zionism

With the world in turmoil, we all need as much Divine protection as we can get...

This year, you can not only have Rav Shalom Arush do a pidyon nefesh for you, but you can strengthen Israel and the IDF in the process. Click here to send you pidyon nefesh to Rav Arush and Emuna Outreach; you'll create a powerful protective force for your family and invoke phenomenal Divine compassion.

Bright Beams blessings for a wonderful new week!

Strengthening our Soldiers

This post is about strengthening our soldiers and the security of Israel; by doing so, we strengthen ourselves, as you'll soon see. Let's start with this letter from Emuna Outreach's mailbox:

Dear Emuna Outreach,

Thank you so much for the emuna books and CDs you brought to our unit on the Gaza border. Thanks to the teachings of Rabbi Arush, my guard duty flies by. It used to be a long and scary night on guard or on patrol, because you never know what might hit you down here. But now, after learning emuna, I talk to Hashem all night long and my shift flies by. Even more, despite our good training, there's no such thing as a soldier who isn't tense or afraid, however you want to call it. The emuna gives me confidence for I feel that Hashem's with me. Also, the connection with Emuna Outreach and particularly with Rabbi Brody means a lot to me as a lone soldier with my family in America. As a little note of thanks, I'm enclosing some photos: The first (see photos below) is of me reading "In Forest Fields". The second is of our guys saying Selichot at 1 AM (most of them are Sefardim so they say selichot the whole month of Elul.) The third photo is our crew praying together before going on patrol. Even our commander says that we've become much more motivated. Emuna Outreach has really been a great influence on our unit. Thanks so much and Shana Tova!

Signed, D from the Golani Infantry Brigade, IDF

At Breslev Israel and Emunah Outreach, we get letters like the above one all the time. You should know that the spiritual battle and the physical battle go hand-in-hand. We need your help, but we'll help you a hundred-fold in return. How?

Pidyon Nefesh is a very special and powerful prayer and blessing that has the spiritual strength of a sacrifice in the Bet Hamikdash to atone for sin and to mitigate severe judgments. As such, families who desire to invoke Divine compassion and sweeten harsh judgments make a special effort to do a Pidyon Nefesh some time during the month of Elul in preparation for the awesome Day of Judgment on Rosh Hashana.

The bigger and more pious the tzaddik, the more effective the "pidyon", which literally means "redemption", where one's money is literally a sacrifice for one's body and soul. The pidyon money "redeems" the nefesh, or soul, in other words, "Pidyon Nefesh." What's more, when the tzaddik uses the money for saving other souls and bringing them closer to Hashem, like Rabbi Arush does with Emunah Outreach - spreading emuna all over the world and making sure that every Israeli soldier can attain emuna books and CDs - you have no idea how powerful this is. You help protect Israel and its soldiers and Hashem protects you and your loved ones - measure for measure. Rav Shalom guarantees that no form of charity in the world can come close to spreading emuna.

Rav Shalom Arush will be happy to do a pidyon nefesh for you and your loved ones. Any amount is acceptable with a recommended $180 per family or equivalent; for a Pidyon to be especially effective, one should give with dedication. One cannot hope for a major salvation without giving to the limits of one's capability. Donate to Emuna Outreach and Rav Shalom Arush will do your pidyon nefesh for you; your contribution is US tax-deductible and you'll be our full partner in spreading emuna, especially where it's needed most. Blessings for an inscription in the Book of Life for a wonderful New Year 5776.

  Gaza Emuna Outreach 1
Slichot Gaza 2
Prayer and Patrol Gaza

Moshiach's ETA


The Geula is surely gaining momentum.

Two months ago, I urged people to get out of Wall Street. Many scoffed and said that the market has never been better...

This week, world stocks had their worst week of the year. Dow-Jones fell 358 points and the US stock market tumbled across the board more than 2%. US oil is at its worst in 29 years, with supply accumulating and no one to buy.

Meanwhile, North and South Korea are on war footing. Russia and the Ukraine are on the verge of war, something that could ignite all of Europe.

Amazingly, other than Reuters, the mainstream US media has totally ignored yesterday's Wall-Street crisis. Is this the Nero syndrome, fiddle while Rome is burning?

Moshiach has an ETA - not estimated time of arrival, but Emuna, Teshuva, and Aliya. We can all strengthen ourselves in the first two; if you can't make aliya now, at least help spread emuna wherever you are. With ETA, we'll all greet Moshiach with big smiles on our faces, soon, amen!