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8 posts from October 2009

Shlomo's Niggun

Let's start the week off joyfully, with a niggun...

G-d willing, Shlomo Katz and I will be doing an evening of song, inspiration, and emuna together next month, Monday night, November 16, 2009 in Ramat Bet Shemesh. Details forthcoming...


Mama Leah, Lenny Solomon and No Limits

My sugar-sweet friend Lenny Solomon is a Jewish Music outreach commando, the best there is. For the last twenty four years, he has played Jewish communities worldwide from all across the USA and Canada to Australia, South Africa, England and of course Israel where he lives. And while playing, he teaches Jewish concepts through his music and brings people closer to their roots,to Hashem and to their own souls. How does he do it? Lenny's happiness, smile, and energy pours through his music right into the listener's neshama.

Lenny gets our congratulations for the release of his #31 album since his band (and motif)Shlock Rock started in 1986. The album is called No Limits and consists of twelve original English songs and 51 minutes of music. Lenny sat at the piano for 4 days from Aug 5-9 and Hashem pumped him 12 new songs. He recorded them in a 5 day marathon session.

Go to his website www.shlockrock.com download his entire album and - get this - Pay What You Want! No kidding - it's for real! If you want to give $1 fine, $18 also fine, something in between - it’s up to you!

No one in Jewish music that we know of has ever marketed this way and we here at the Beams and at Emuna Outreach wish Lenny heaps of blessings in this project!

As a special treat for Beams readers, Lenny has given us one song to debut right here at the Beams. “Leah’s Song - And I Will Pray” talk’s about the power of prayer. Our matriarch Leah changed destiny twice! First when she was supposed to marry Esav (Esau) and second when she changed her seventh child from a boy to a girl so as not to embarrass her sister Rachel who was supposed to have two tribes! Every single one of us has the power of prayer! Here is the song to listen to and the lyrics as well; it takes about 4 seconds to download, so be patient. Enjoy!


Lennie Solomon: Leah's Song

I'm sitting here sadly, what can I do?

I'm supposed to marry Esau, a fate not for me or you

He's rejected Tradition he's left the Jewish Way

I don't want a life with him, there must be another way

I will cry out to Hashem ask him to help me out

I will cry out to Hashem it will leave no doubt

I will cry out to Hashem I know that He can come through

And I will pray to redirect the verdict

And I will pray to change the status quo

The powers within me – I know that He can see

And I will pray

I'm sitting here gladly, but what should I do

I'm about to give birth, this will be my seventh boy

This will mean my sister Rachel, will only have one tribe

Less than all the others, don't want to hurt her pride

I will cry out to Hashem ask him to help me out

I will cry out to Hashem it will leave no doubt

I will cry out to Hashem I know that He can come through

And I will pray to redirect the verdict

And I will pray to change the status quo

The powers within me – I know that He can see

And I will pray

There's trouble for our people everywhere we go

We need to use our power to help correct the flow

Let's learn from mother Leah – we can change it all

Let's open up our hearts and let's pray

And we must pray to redirect the verdict

And we must pray to change the status quo

The powers in all of us – in God we must have trust

And we will pray

The powers in all of us – in God we must have trust

And we will pray...

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Anybody know what Emuna is?

My very good friend Rabbi Chaim Feld has two feet solidly on the ground. As the Aish HaTorah rabbi of Cleveland, he's involved intensively in Jewish outreach. Rabbi Chaim is a scholar by anyone's yardstick, and he's the last person to go around telling tall tales. Here's the email I received from him yesterday:

...I have to share a story which just happened to me tonight. I teach at Kent State University Hillel. Before the class one of the students was sharing a problem and asked what the Jewish solution would be. I put away my prepared class and told the class that tonight's class would be the solution to all their problems - financial, health and hassles with other people.  I asked does anyone know what Emuna is?  One guy raises his hand and says, "This might sound strange but is Emunah faith?"  I said yes. He told the class that he was in a bar in Alabama the night before and the (non-Jewish) waitress had Hebrew letters tatooed on her: aleph, mem, vav, nun, heh. He asked her what the word was and she took out a piece of paper with the word "emuna" written on it.  She said it meant faith. I went on the teach the three levels of emunah from the Garden of Emuna.  I felt the holiness in the room tonight- which is pretty hard for a college campus...

In case you don't know, we here at the Beams crowned Alabama the Emuna State nearly three years ago. 'Bama rocks...

Big Beam Blessings to Rabbi Feld and regards to all our friends in Cleveland.


A taste of reincarnation

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We had just arrived at the airport in Odessa by bus from Uman after having spent Rosh Hashanna at the gravesite of our holy teacher and spiritual guide, Rebbe Nachman of Breslev, of saintly and blessed memory. The Ukrainians – both in Kiev and Odessa airports – have a custom of cordoning off the Rosh Hashanna pilgrims to some designated spot outside the terminal until the very last moment when we have to go through security, check-in, passport control, and flight boarding.

This past Rosh Hashanna, I saw something new in Odessa that I hadn’t seen previously in Kiev. Our group of about four busloads of Chassidim was surrounded by a rope cordon with armed guards and dogs. Despite my special-forces background and combat experience, I had a queasy feeling of nausea and dizziness. I never felt like this, even in my worst-case war memory. Back then, we were running, doing, fighting, firing our weapons; the adrenalin was flowing. Here, I felt like I was flashing back to some round-up operation, as if we were about to be loaded on the cattle cars and taken away.

“Is it only me?” I thought.

All of a sudden, eleven year-old Shlomy from Jerusalem started crying hysterically. He clutched his father’s pants leg with all his might and started screaming, “Abba, they’re going to take us to the trains…those terrible trains!”

Wait a second – could Shlomy be flashing back? His parents are devout Breslever Chassidim with no television or DVD at home. Furthermore, they’re Jews of Iranian descent that had nothing to do with surviving the European Holocaust of World War II. Subsequently, I learned that Shlomy’s loved to read stories about tzaddikim, but he never read any books about the Holocaust. How did he associate the guards, the dogs, and the cordoned-off area to trains and deportation to the gas chambers?

Continue reading A Taste of Reincarnation in this week's edition of Breslev Israel web magazine.

Also in this week's issue:

Rebbe Natan of Breslev explains the significance of Winter Torah Study.

Rabbi Shalom Arush tells how fortunate a person is when he makes Hashem his Loyal Partner. Don't miss the Secret of the Good Life, also by Rabbi Shalom. You'll also want to read what Rivka Levy writes about the effect that Breslev and Rabbi Shalom have had on her life in Good ol' Unconditional Love.

Batya Rosen tells us to do what's right and Don't be Sorry. Bracha Goetz helps the whole family pursue a healthier lifestyle in Hashem's Candy. Breslev Kids enjoy Part 2 of David the Shepherd Boy.

This week's Torah portion is Breishit. Don't miss Rebbetzen Siegelbaum's Without Her, Nothing and The Cave, a wonder Baal Shem Tov story for the Shabbat table.`

Have a wonderful week and a healthy winter!



Keep Your Eye on the Light

Here's something sweet for the end of Chol HaMoed, the intermediate days of Succoth, when our souls are illuminated with the enhanced reflection of the Divine Presence all around us. All you have to do is to keep your eye on the light...

Have a wonderful Shabbat and Simchat Torah!


It's Good to Thank Hashem

Baruch Hashem, we're hours away from the double joy of Shabbat and Yom Tov Succot. I look at my lovely little Succa, my four species, the smell of fresh-baked Challas in the kitchen, the privilege of living in the Land of Israel, the gift of Rebbe Nachman, Breslev, Torah, emuna, teshuva, my beloved wife and family, every moment of personal prayer and the zillion other blessings in my life, and I walk around singing Psalm 92, "Tov Lehodot" - It's good to thank Hashem - all day long. Have a wonderful Shabbat and Succot.