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4 posts from March 2008

Introducing Hezy Levy

1chezileviap Several days ago, the Beams gave you a sneak preview of Hezy Levy. Today, you can read all about him in this week's new edition of BreslovWorld. Amazingly enough, Hezy is much better known in Europe than he is in the USA and in Israel. Yet, I have no doubt that he'll be a rising star all over the world, especially since the modern-day troubador made such an enormous sanctification of Hashem's Name in front of the whole world. The article also contains two high-resolution film clips of Hezy singing in the European Music Festival for Peace, and two fantastic MP3's. This is a must read, see, and hear.

Talking about must-reads, BreslovWorld was swamped with warm comments about the Melitzer Rebbetzin's cyber debut last week. She's now back with an amazing dose of Jewish woman's outlook entitled "Can You Create Angels?", which tells all about preparing for Passover.

Where do you go when you need to strengthen your emuna? To Rav Shalom Arush, of course. This week, Rav Shalom talks about emuna without doubts.

In this week's Kabbalah lesson, Rav Avraham Greenbaum explains how Hashem structured creation to assure a person's free will. Rabbi Pinchas Winston talks about will power, and Tzvi Fishman elaborates on the importance of guarding one's eyes in Windows of the Soul. Alice Jonsson ponders the aftermath of the Mercaz HaRav massacre 2 weeks ago.

On a lighter note, we have a special Passover cleaning section. Rebecca Shapiro presents Breslev Kids with part 3 of Little Nachman.

This week's Torah portion is Shmini and it's also Parshat Parah. Here's a Chassidic Pearl to embellish your Shabbat table too. Have a wonderful week!


Adraba: Unity is the Key Word

Rebbe Nachman of Breslev teaches that within every cloud, there's a silver lining. In other words, even during the darkest hours, one can find an encouraging beam of light.

The Mercaz HaRav massacre has left the world of observant Judaism with a refreshing new and strong sense of unity. Many of the greats of this generation from Chassidic, Lithuanian, and Sephardi circles paid condolence calls to Yeshivat Mercaz HaRaz and to the bereaved families. Russian and Ethiopian Jews are embracing while consoling one another. People are forgetting differences and remembering our common denominator - Hashem, His holy Torah, and His holy Land of Israel which we all cherish. A Satmer chassid from New York told me that the Satmer Rebbe shlit'a cried like a baby when he heard the bitter news of the Mercaz massacre.

Hezy Levy and I want to continue the momentum, so here we are out in the field sing Rebbe Elimelech of Lizensk's famous "Adraba", a song that teaches to look for the good in our fellow man. Unity is definitely the key word. 

This week's parsha is Vayikra and Shabbat Zchor. Here are some goodies for your Shabbat table including a Baal Shem Tov Story and a Chassidic Pearl. The Beams and Emuna Outreach wish you a wonderful week with good tidings.

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Attention Israel Residents! Don't miss the Melave Malka this Motzaei Shabbat at the Main Auditorium of Moshav Yad Binyamin, featuring Yosef Karduner and Rav Lazer Brody, 15 March, 2008, 8:15 PM


Verbal Abuse of Children

Last week, a mother's screech reverberated in our apartment building, "Rachel, you're the laziest girl I've ever seen!"

Rachel and my daughter are in the same class at Bes Yaakov seminar in Ashdod. In a panic, she asked to copy my daughter's math homework. My daughter explained that the homework is designed to practice problem-solving; the methodology is important, and the answers are only secondary. "I'm a lazy person," said Rachel, "I can't apply myself to doing math homework."

If Rachel is so lazy, I asked myself, why were she and my daughter up until midnight baking cakes for a poor girlfriend's engagement party? Rachel can be quite a dynamo if properly motivated. Yet, if her mother continues to label her "lazy", that's the exact mold her body and soul will assume. At this point - and at age 16 it's almost too late - Rachel is doomed to be an insecure, lethargic adult. Who's to blame? Her mother.

Why do parents verbally abuse children? My Hebrew book Nafshi Sidom, a guide to coping with verbal abuse, lists five main reasons:
1. The parents grew up in a home where the children were verbally abused.
2. The parent has a low self image, and tries to elevate himself or herself by trodding on the children.
3. The parents never learned the principles of educating children, especially education according to Torah guidelines.
4. The parent has exaggerated expectations from the child; when they are not realized, the parent pours his or her frustration on the child.
5. The parent has created a uniform standard for all his or her children, while ignoring King Solomon's rule (Proverbs 22:6), "Educate according to the way of the child," in other words, according to the specific spiritual and emotional needs of each child.

Onaas devorim, Hebrew for verbal abuse, is a severe transgression. Rabbi Yisroel Meir Kahan, the famed Chofetz Chaim, says that a person is better off losing every material possession in the world, rather than committing one transgression. No parent has the right to verbally abuse a child. Labels, insults, high-volume voices, and threats are not acceptable substitutes for proper parental guidance.