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14 posts from October 2010

Moe's Story: Confessions of a Former Pot Head

We get a lot of mail here at the Beams, but the following letter from our dear friend Moe is one of the best eye-openers we've seen in a long time. Moe's candid self-evaluation is remarkable. His courage in overcoming a nasty substance habit is an example for everyone. Moe is proof of what Rebbe Nachman says (Likutei Moharan II:110) that free choice is simply desire - if you want to, you do! At any rate, Moe is our monthly hero here at the Beams. Let's pass him the microphone:

Dear Rabbi , I am a huge fan of your site, as I read it daily, and also a big fan of the Teshuva movement! Some things have been troubling me when reading some of your letters, especially the ones about substance abuse with Marijuana leading the pack.

I would like to sum up my history as quickly as possible. I am the youngest of a large family, and Hashem has blessed me with loving parents. We grew up in the conservative movement but with strong traditional values. Instead of having a childhood full of joy, I grew up in a house of sadness. My oldest sister passed away o.b.m. when I was only about 2, from an illness, and my parents and siblings grief was so overwhelming, understandably, and I had little attention. Well, years went by and all the siblings left home by the time I was 9. With both parents working, I became a latch key kid, spending many hours of solitude. By age 12, I was smoking Pot daily, drinking on the weekends and filling my void of companionship with music. Hashem blessed me with musical talent and started playing in Bands by the time I was 17. My drug use also increased, experimenting with Cocaine, LSD, and Opium while continuing To Smoke Pot daily. By the time I was in my twenties, I had seen friends pass away from Drug Overdoses. This got me to stop the hard stuff, but not the pot..It felt so good, it would relax me, get rid of the nausea I had from a chronic nervous stomach, and really let me get into my music. But the down side was, I was getting more and more introverted, a lot of sinus infections and sucked out a lot of money from my wallet.

My Father was a heavy Tobacco smoker and I visited him in the hospital after he had a third of his lung removed from smoking. Even after seeing him on a respirator, I still didn't get it! I went home and smoked more than ever. Anytime I ran into difficulty, my trusty best friend (my pot Pipe) was waiting for me. And it sure relieved my problems, at least pushed them aside for a while. But what I didn't realize was that my problems didn't get resolved, just put on the back burner. Do you know what happens when you put food on to simmer on the back burner on low...eventually it burns into a charred mess! Well, even with my monkey on my back, Hashem blessed me with a wife and 2 beautiful Kids! I still couldn't kick my Pot habit and after 3 years of marriage, I came home to find my wife and children gone. I realized that I had hit bottom and I still continued my 28 year old pot habit.

Finally, with the help of yourself, (you had told me that if I wanted true peace, I would have to come out of the fog that I was living in, that the pot was preventing Hashem's Divine Light from entering me, and that I could not get close to Hashem if I was living behind a thick fog), And I was forced to change, I went through legal troubles to be able to see my kids and the lawyer told me that now I would have to give up the weed! I cried for weeks, not only was I missing my kids, but the fear of giving up my best friend (the Pot) was overwhelming!! To my astonishment my life dramatically changed..(by the way I forgot to say that the last 6 months I smoked, I really wasn't enjoying it..I was feeling paranoid and lethargic as well as a lot of anxiety, and my creativity (especially with my music) was suffering, but with habit some things are hard to break. It was like eating fast-food and feeling nauseous when you are done but you still go back the next day and order the same thing! With a lot of prayer and starting to put only Kosher food in my system ( non- Kosher food also puts a coating on the body, not allowing Divine Light to seep through), I quit Pot cold turkey...it was hard for the first 2 weeks, mentally harsh and physically ill... Chronic Pot users go through flu- like withdrawal symptoms when quitting! (And they sat Pot is not physically addictive-yea, right!) but then it got easier! I also went through a year off old suppressed feelings coming to the surface!

I have to tell you, this made me want to pick up the pipe again, but my love for my children and my children's love for me was stronger than my cravings! To my astonishment my life dramatically changed..There was no more barrier between myself and my kids! What an overwhelming feeling! My interpersonal relationships grew stronger, and my ability to handle stress went up 1000%. I am now living a Torah observant lifestyle and Hashem has now blessed me with a new wife, I am very involved in my Kid's lives and my music career is stronger and more creative than ever! I have now been weed free for over 2 years! I Thank Hashem for giving me such inner strength and for people like you, who genuinely reach out to help others. I just want to tell those who battle substances, that Hashem took us out of slavery a long time ago, and we do not need to be slaves anymore..Life is so much better without the Monkey on your back..It's all about trust and faith..real EMUNA, and the treasure chest is waiting for you without a locked lid! Thank You, Thank You Rabbi. With much Love, Moe from the U.S.A.


The Seal of Truth

Nir's story, "The Seal of Truth", is one of the most powerful ones we ever had on the Beams. Lately, we've had several requests to show the film again, so here it is. By the way, everything you'll see and hear here is very much the real deal.

Nir Abujam grew up in a secular home in South Tel Aviv. As a young man after the army, he did everything that fun-loving young people like to do. A few years later, he went into convulsions and blacked out, dying a complete clinical death. His soul was taken to the upper worlds and to the Heavenly Court, which he describes in the following 68-minute clip that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Nir's testimony matches precisely the descriptions of life after death in the Gemara, Midrash, and Zohar. This gripping clip is not for the faint of heart or for those who wish to continue their lifestyles of Disneyland and McDonalds. But, if you watch this clip, it will change your life and help you readjust priorities. This will be an hour well-spent.

The film is in Hebrew with very good English subtitles. At one stage, Nir talks about the power of outreach and giving books and CDs to people. We sincerely thank the Chagvei HaSela organization of Tiberias for preparing this wonderful film, "The Seal of Truth."


New! The Garden of Riches in English!

13028 In medicine, they say that a good prognosis is half the cure. The same principle holds true in finances. With that in mind, as soon as you lay your hands on your new copy of The Garden of Riches, half your financial woes will be over. This is a book with loads of advice that the best advisors on Wall Street won't be able to give you. With The Garden of Riches, you tap into the unlimited financial reserves - Hashem's. Learn how a weak economy and a recessive job market have no bearing on you whatsoever. Learn how to escape from the most seemingly hopeless debt situations. Find out how to have enough for everything you need.

The Garden of Riches – A Practical Guide to Financial Success by Rabbi Shalom Arush is the English-language version of B’Gan Ha’osher, translated by Rabbi Lazer Brody. This book has already become immensely popular in Israel. It’s an amazingly enjoyable, reader-friendly and informative guidebook for attaining an adequate, stress-free income and a debt-free life; this is no small blessing in light of the global economy crumbling all around us.

Whether you’ve a professional, an independent businessperson, a salaried worker, a housewife or a student, The Garden of Riches will surely become your trusty companion and practical guide to a pleasurable, worry-free livelihood. It's now available at a special introductory price with free international airmail shipping online at Breslev Israel, or by calling:

In Israel: 02-5323339 or 052-2240696; From outside of Israel: +972-2-5323339 or +972-52-2240696. You'll be glad you did!


The Sword of Moshiach

This is the generation of Moshiach. Rebbe Nachman of Breslev says that the sword of Moshiach is prayer. That means that Moshiach will fight all of his battles against Hashem's enemies solely by spiritual means. That's exactly why I believe with all my heart that a page of Gemara, an hour of personal prayer, and a recitation of Perek Shira will work miracles, whereas politics and conventional activism will not. Why? Prayer is above the stars and therefore above the restrictions of nature. Above the stars, miracles are normal.

Let us all search deep down within our hearts: If we really believed in the power of prayer, would we resort to lobbying? Would we spend time writing to Congressmen and Knesset members when we could be writing Torah nuances?  

The personal prayers ascending to the heavens from Kansas, Oregon, Alabama, Florida, Texas, Kentucky, Hawaii, the Phillipines, Germany, Alaska and all the other faraway places are making a major impression in the Heavens. Emuna pins are quickly filling the world map.

"Some with chariots, and some with horses, but we, in the name of Hashem, our G-d, will call out (Psalms 20:8)". Hashem wants us all to learn how to skillfully use the Sword of Moshiach..


Fortitude is...

We learn fortitude from our forefather Abraham, who lived his life like a fish swimming against the strongest of currents. He's called Ivri, or Hebrew, which means literally "from the other side," for he stood on the side of justice and monotheism and the whole rest of the world stood against him. So there's nothing new under the sun...

We need a double dose of fortitude now, both on personal and national levels.

Fortitude means...

...saying no to the crowd even when they ridicule you;

...maintaining your personal holiness even when they call you a prude;

...swimming against the current of conformity to do what's right;

...standing firm on your principles.

Here's a Prayer for Fortitude. I wrote it to strengthen myself when things get tough. I'm happy to share it with you, beloved brothers and sisters. Have a great Shabbat!


Erev Shel Shoshanim: Evening of Roses

Fourty years ago, when I made Aliya to Israel, one of my favorite ballads was an Israeli love song called, "Erev Shel Shoshanim", which means "Evening of Roses." Any Israeli singer that was anybody sang it - here is the rendition by the "Parvarim". Below the video clip, I've posted the words in English. Now, 40 years later, the lyrics have taken on a completely different dimension; yes, it's a love song. The love affair is between the Neshama (the holy soul) and Hashem. This love is aroused during personal prayer out in a rose-scented field. Try humming this tune during personal prayer - it's a soul correction for the melody (which was originally sung with different intentions) and it will open up your heart with a flow of words to Hashem.

 

Evening of Roses

Evening of Roses
Let's go out to the grove
Myrrh and aromatic spices and frankincense
Are a threshold at your feet.

Evening of Roses
Let's go out to the grove.
Myrrh and aromatic spices and frankincense
Are a threshold at your feet.

Night is descending slowly
And a breeze of roses is blowing.
Come, I'll whisper you a song in secret,
A melody of love.

Night is descending slowly
And a breeze of roses is blowing.
Come, I'll whisper you a song in secret,
A melody of love.

At dawn, a dove is cooing.
Your head is full of dew.
Your mouth is a rose to the morning
That I'll pluck for myself.

At dawn, a dove is cooing.
Your head is full of dew.
Your mouth is a rose to the morning
That I'll pluck for myself.

I love You, Hashem!