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10 posts from March 2011

Shepherd's Purse

An American tourist once asked a Jerusalem rabbi how religious Israelis succeed in having such large families? The rabbi answered, "It's because Shepherd's Purse grows wild by the roadside all over the Land of Israel."

Lately, I've had numerous letters from women that complain of lengthy menstrual cycles that leave them few days of purity and reduce their chances of pregnancy.

Rebbe Nachman says there's no such thing as despair. Save your money, don't run to the gynecologist, and don't fill yourself with pills. There's an easier, more natural way to become clean on the 5th day, so with hefsek tahara and 7 clean days, the unpure period is reduced to 12 days. With ritual immesion in the mikva after sundown of the 12th day, a woman's chances for pregnancy are highest, since for many women, ovulation is on the 13th day of the cycle.

Here's all you need to do (I learned this remedy from the great Rabbi Yisroel Yaacov Fisher ob"m of the Eda Haredis in Jerusalem): Gather 5 or 6 young green leaves from a shepherd's purse plant that grows all over the place here, at roadsides and on empty lots. If you live outside of Israel, ask your local herb specialist for the leaves. Wash them off in cold water and make sure they have no bugs in them. Then, boil them in a small tea kettle with water, letting the herb tea brew for about 5 minutes. It may be a bit bitter, so sweeten the tea with a teaspoon of honey. Drink a glass of this tea on the mornings of the 3rd, 4th, and 5th day of the menstrual period. Before sundown of the 5th day, you'll hopefully be clean as a whistle, so you can begin counting the 7 clean days and therefore immerse G-d willing at the end of the 12th day of the cycle.

This remedy has worked for many families in Israel. Hopefully, it will work for you too.

Read more about Shepherd's Purse here and here.


It's Good to Thank Hashem

There's so much to thank Hashem for. The Grad missiles that were aimed at Ashdod this week all fell in open lots so there were no casualties. Syrian hands are tied; Assad and his henchmen are preoccupied with killing their own people while trying to squash anti-regime demonstrations, so they're too busy to back up a Hizbulla confrontation with us. Hamas had hoped that the Hizbulla would open hostilities in the North to make Israel deal with two fronts, but Nasrulla sent his Hizbullies ran to help the tyrant Assad break skulls in Deraa, most likely on orders from big brother Achmedinejad in Tehran. So, with Hizbully hands tied, the Hamas and Jihad dreams of help from the direction of Lebanon were washed away by the blessed rainfall we've received in the last 48 hours.

Thank You, Hashem. Tov Lehodot - It's good to thank You, like King David says in Psalm 92. May we all have a peaceful and restful Shabbat, amen.


Red Crow's Legacy

In reaction to our Deadly Dominoes post from a week ago, two of our good friends - David Dome of London and Red Bear from Wyoming - called my attention to amazingly similar things that they had heard from "Red Crow."

Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman was an elder of the Dakota Sioux, a thinker, a man of spirit, and a musician. His beliefs were so close to Jewish spirituality, lending even more credibility to what many believe that the Native Americans stem from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Red Crow died in 2007 from a battle with leukemia, but before he left this earth, he recorded his legacy on film, which we are happy to share with you. Among other things, Red Crow said (italics are LB's comments):

1. There is a time for purification and a time for renewal - this concept is recurrent all through Torah.

2. A society dies when it forgets how to live on earth - the land regurgitates the morally corrupt.

3. Man's inability to live on earth in a spiritual fashion indicates his end - such is the fate of decadent societies.

4. If you're not spiritually connected, you won't survive - right out of the Torah.

5. Everything is spiritual, everything has a spirit - see Zohar, Ariza'l

6. There is One Creator - the first commandment and first tenet of emuna

7. Our time on earth is limited, then we go to the spiritual world - basic tenet of Judaism

8. The spiritual world is more real than the physical world - basic tenet of Breslever thought.

9. When the elements of the earth are corrupted, so is man - see Gemara, Midrash Raba, Breishit

10. The monkey may be your ancestor, but he's not ours - we don't believe in Darwin.

See and hear for yourself:


Chilik Frank: Kel Adon

This is a super special Shabbat coming up - Shabbat Zchor, when we wipe out the memory of Amalek. Amalek is the dark-side of sadness and depression, the worst form of spiritual impurity. Holiness is happiness - this weekend is the time to stock up on both.

As the Fast of Esther was early this year (Thursday), we enjoy the lights of Purim for a full 5 days, through this coming Monday.

Let's start partying right now. Here's Breslev's acclaimed clarinetist Chilik Frank to teach us the Breslev version of "Kel Adon," which we sing every Shabbat morning in Shacharit. Enjoy, and have a wonderful Shabbat.


Polar Shift

The US Geological Survey has reported that the recent 8.9 RS earthquake in Japan moved the entire main island 8 feet and shifted the earth's axis by 4 inches.

Severe shifts in the earth's axis is like taking a glass that's half full of water and tilting it - parts of the glass that were exposed are now under water, and parts of the glass that were under water are now exposed. That means that a shift in the earth's polarity - like tilting a glass of water, could put some coastal cities under water and in other places, expose land that is now under sea.

There are basically two types of shift in the earth's polarity, or axis:

1. A geological or axial shift - this is where the Earth's crust literally slips around its molten core, something like a loose shirt shifting on your body, so now, the buttons are no longer aliged in front. By the same token, a geological shift alters the positions of land masses with respect to the planet's rotation on its axis. This could happen by a few degrees or by many degrees. You know what that means? Panama or Miami could be the new North Pole, and Winnipeg, Manitoba or Anchorage, Alaska could be on the equator. The effects on our civilization could be devastating.

2. A Magnetic Pole Shift - science doesn't fully know how magnetic polarity effects flora and fauna. By observing birds in migration and perfect-precision swimming of fish undersea, with Hashem's loving grace, I've come to the conclusion (my own observations, undocumented, but my personal prayers and my heart tell me I'm right) that birds and fish have innate sensitivity to electromagnetic influences and use the earth's magnetic field - particular magnetic north - as a means of navigation during migration. That's how they know how to travel north and south in the fall and spring. The changes in the earth's polarity would explain the recent inexplicable death of hundreds and thousands of birds and fish in Maryland, Arkansas, Louisiana, Washington, Italy and Switzerland. They get some type of "avian vertigo," lose spatial orientation, and just fall out of the sky. Again, this is my own theory, but it fits as far as birds, bees, and fish go.

What does the Polar Shift mean? It could mean more quakes, volcanos and tsunamis. Why is it happening? King David gives the answer in Psalm 77: "You, Hashem, do wonders. You have made Your might known among the nations." How true - just look at the media clips of how the tsunami threw bridges, houses, cars and ships around like plastic toys.

All these messages are designed to put the awe of Hashem on our faces. I don't envy a person who ignores these phenomena and returns to business as usual. There's still a little bit of time to make teshuva out of love. Don't wait to make teshuva out of fear - it's worth much less. This week before Purim is a great time to come back to Hashem.

Hashem runs the world according to the ATFAT principle - a turn for a turn. If we live upright lives, the world remains upright. But if folks are crooked, the world's axis goes haywire too, then look out...

It's teshuva time folks. Teshuva is one thing that we don't want to put off until tomorrow. G-d bless.


Children Know the Score

Children, when they're still young enough, have crystal clear intellects and the ability to absorb truth. They lose it once they're contaminated with the type of garbage that TV and movies injects in their brain.

Any doubts? Here's a letter from Mrs. FSB from the Los Angeles area:

Dear Rabbi Lazer,

As my 3 year old was lying in bed - to go to sleep, he called out for a drink. When my response took longer than a few seconds, he immediately turned to ask Hashem. He told Hashem that he's only a toddler, and he needs a drink.

We have been listening to your Emuna CDs in the car and although I try not to have them on when he's in the car so that I can spend the time talking to him. Recently, the lessons have been so good that the few times that I just can't get myself to turn them off, seems to be rubbing off on him. I couldn't believe the way my 3-year old was actually doing hitbodedut and talking to Hashem! Maybe I should have him listen to the CDs more often...

Anyway, I thought it was adorable, maybe just cuz he's my son and I was there at the time. I just wanted to share and let you know that even a 3 year old is gaining Emuna from your CDs. With gratitude, FSB

Dear FSB,

Thanks for the delightful email. Yes, let your 3-year old listen to the CDs - they'll ingrain emuna on his pure little soul. Blessings and tons of joy from all your children (those here and those on the way), LB


The Big 4: The Train's Almost Here

According to the Gemara in tractate Shabbat, many folks will be in for a big surprise and a rude awakening when their time's up down here on earth. The Heavenly Court judges don't care about what most people consider important down here; they'll ask four main "make it or break it" questions:

1. Did you negotiate fairly? Were you honest and did you keep your word? Did you pay your bills on time? Did you knowingly cheat or swindle other people? Did you pay your workers fully and on time?

2. Did you set aside time for learning Torah? Did you utilize all your after-work hours for Torah? Did you waste time on the web and watching DVDs? Were you more familiar with Facebook than you were with a holy book?

3. Did you eagerly anticipate the Redemption? Did you care whether the Divine Presence (Shechina) was in exile and we didn't have a Holy Temple? Did you beg Hashem for Moshiach? Did you do your utmost to move to Eretz Yisrael with your family or did you look for more excuses to remain in exile? Did you beg Hashem for Moshiach? Did you care whether Hashem's Holy Name was exalted or not? Did you help spread emuna in the world?

4. Did you marry and have children? Did you use your body for the mitzva of marriage and raising a family, or did you use it for debauchery? Did you maintain personal holiness? Did you dress, act, and speak modestly? Were you a faithful spouse and loving parent?

Why do the Heavenly Court judges ask these particular questions? The reason is that positive responses to the above "Big 4" expedite the Geula, the full redemption of our people, while negative answers prolong the exile and delay the redemption.

When a person is more concerned about the new bathroom tiles and the brass door handles in his Diaspora home, he delays the Redemption for everyone. But, there comes a time - which the spiritual leaders of our generation say is sooner than we can imagine - when the train of Redemption will leave the station. Anyone who misses it will be sorry forever. People get ready, 'cause the train's a' comin'...

Here's an oldie but goodie - Curtis Mayfield singing "People Get Ready". This was a favorite of mine way back when. (Lyrics Below)

People Get Ready, by Curtis Mayfield

People get ready, there's a train comin'
You don't need no baggage, you just get on board
All you need is faith (emuna!) to hear the diesels hummin'
You don't need no ticket you just thank The Lord

People get ready, there's a train to Jordan
Picking up passengers coast to coast
Faith (Emuna!) is the key, open the doors and board them
There's hope for all among those loved the most

There ain't no room for the hopeless sinner whom would hurt all mankind
Just to save his own
Have pity on those whose chances grow thinner
For there is no hiding place against The Kingdom's Throne

People get ready there's a train comin'
You don't need no baggage, just get on board
All you need is faith to hear the diesels hummin'
You don't need no ticket, just thank The Lord