The Alabama State flag, with a few Lazer fingerprints
Something strange and exciting is brewing in the State of Alabama. Last summer, I started receiving more and more mail from Alabama. As far as the USA goes, Alabama is our #5 reader state after New York, California, Florida, and New Jersey. Almost every week, I get letters from new BT's and Bnei Noach. Candie's Story from last week brought more reader responses than any other post in the last month, most of which are from Alabama. At this rate, Alabama will soon be known as "The Emuna State". The following letters are so very characteristic of the spiritual thirst that directly precedes Moshiach; see for yourself:
Helene from Montgomery writes:
Dear Rabbi Brody,
Thank you for posting this letter from 'Candie' in Alabama. I am in central Alabama (Montgomery) and my husband and I were called to the Torah by HaShem as well, and we are slowly meeting more and more gentiles in Alabama (and online in other states Praise His Name) who are hearing the same divine Call.
I can't praise Him enough for calling us out of our pagan idolatry. He is teaching us His Torah and shattering the scales erected by generations of coming up in the Protestant churches on the USA. Like Candie, when I walked in my first Torah environment among G-d's people -- I KNEW I was 'HOME' and I heard the same words she heard in her head -- "these are My people, welcome Home".
And YES -- You can be sure that Moshiach is fast on the way. Let it be in our days!
Thank you so much for your website and all of the resources you make available -- and thank you for welcoming in the non-Jew, for being a light to the gentiles.
With praise and gratitude to HaShem, God of Israel,
Helene in Alabama
Rebbe Nachman of Breslev teaches that the further a way a person was, the greater his or her spiritual awakening sanctifies Hashem's name. If you think that Candie and Helen are happenstance, check out what JT has to say:
JT from Dadeville writes:
Dear Rabbi Lazer,
I've have a degree in education from the University of Alabama, but rather than teaching, I run a fishing rig out on the Tallapoosa river. It gives me time to think. My dad is a Southern Baptist minister, and he's always wanted me to continue in his footsteps. The whole deal never sat right with me. In other words, my soul has been ripe for change for quite a while, but I never found answers to basic questions, until...
I took a family from Montgomery on a fishing outing last July. The father and son were fishing, and the mother was just sunbathing on deck and totally absorbed in what she was reading. I saw her laugh, then a minute later she was crying. Jeez, I said to myself, she must be reading some powerful book. I asked her what it was. She said, "Go ahead, have a look for yourself," grabbed her rod and reel and joined her husband and son. A few minutes later she was screaming with joy because she caught a 3-pound smallmouth bass, but I was already hypnotized (maybe mesmerized is the better word) by your book, The Trail to Tranquility.
To fast forward three months later, I'm already a full-fledged Ben Noach that owes a world of debt to the Creator, blessed is His name, and to His true messengers, Rebbe Nachman of Breslev and his present-day disciples, like my favorite rabbi Lazer Brody. If I could tempt you with a few hours of serene personal prayer out here on the river, I'd sure like for you to come to Alabama to see and hear you in person. Meanwhile, I live on your CDs. With esteem and appreciation, JT
Let's pass the microphone over to a representative of Alabama's Baalei Tshuva, Josh M. from Birmingham, son of a Scottish father and Jewish mother:
Rav Brody, Shalom!
Its been a while since the last time I wrote you. I just read your post about the impurade, and thought that with all going on and with all the mail you get with questions, concerns and worries, I felt like sharing with you how Hashem has truly blessed me and my family this past couple of months. I was laid off 6 months ago from a large corporation (that will remain nameless). everyone asks me, how are you making it? Even in job interviews they ask me, and I tell them that Hashem provides my every need. What they don't know is how true that is. For example, on Yom Kippur, as I was spending some time in hisbodedus, I asked Hashem to provide the necessary funds so I could buy what I needed for a sukkah. I thought "$200 tops - that's it Hashem, that's what I need to complete the mitzvah."
The next morning there's a knock at the door and its one of my wife's friends and before I can say anything she hands me two one-hundred dollar bills and says, "We forgot to pay you for the consulting work you did for our business so this is for you". Later my wife talked to her on the phone, and she said that the night before neither one of them could sleep, and after discussing the dreams (she dreamt about me, and he dreamt about his boss with the same name), they decided Hashem must be telling them something and realized they never paid me. So I got to purchase my needed supplies for the sukkah, and it was the best Sukkos ever, ushpizin almost every night, plenty of food and wine, and no rain the entire week, a miracle for Alabama, B"H!
Recently , Hashem blessed us again, we had bills and a mortgage due, yet Hashem provided the money for this as well. Last week I went to the front door to go outside to talk on the phone and I open the door and there is an envelope between the screen door and front door. What's neat is that my dog barks if someone is in the street yet not a whimper from her. In the envelope, which was addressed to me, was over $2000.00. I didn't know what to do, it's hard to accept gifts of such size because I feel that I somehow fail Hashem and don't deserve such things, but then I remember what I have heard from your cds and realize that's the Yetzer, and that Hashem gives good gifts to his children. I have been dealing with struggles in my emuna, especially when a job interview doesn't end up going the way I expect it to, its hard to find work when they want you to work Shabbos, cut your beard off, no wearing of tsitsis or kippa so as to not offend others. Yet so many things have been happening where I can see that Hashem took me out of the work force for a while to help me de-assimilate quicker and in the meantime he provides me and my family's daily needs.I don't want to take up to much of your time but I especially wanted you to know that your cds have meant the world to me and have greatly helped in strengthening my emuna and understanding the importance of personal prayer, I can't say enough what a difference it makes. I have so many other examples to numerous to name that have happened but these were the ones I wanted to convey to you. I hope this brought a smile to your face. Thanks for your weekly chassidic pearls, they are quickly becoming a Shabbos tradition in my home. If I don't hear back from you in time, Good Shabbos!
just another BT in Alabama,
You can believe that Josh's letter put a smile on my fice, from ear to ear. Just another BT? No way, Josh! You're one of Hashem's favorite sons; it looks like Hashem has been hiding a lot of his favorite children in Alabama lately. With Moshiach close by, they're raising their beautiful heads like tulips in April.