Aliya: Like Cleaning for Pesach
Counting the Omer

Spiritual Cause and Effect

I'm privileged to bear the name of the holy Mishnaic sage (Tanna, in Aramaic) Rebbe Eliezer ben Yaakov. His gravesite is 2 kilometers east of the Hananya crossroads, about 10 kilometers south of Meron.

Rebbe Eliezer ben Yaakov was nicknamed kav veNaki (Gemara tractate Eruvin 62b, Yevamot 49b, and other places), which literally means "grain with no chaff". The connotation is that he didn't say much, but almost everything he did say was codified into law. One of Rebbe Eliezer ben Yaakov's most well known sayings appears in the Mishna, tractate Avot, chapter 4, mishna 11. He says, "One who performs a mitzva earns a defense counsel, and one who transgresses earns a prosecutor; teshuva and good deeds are a shield against calamity."

The defense counsel that Rebbe Eliezer ben Yaakov was talking about is a defending angel, and the prosecutor is a dark-side force of evil. This mishna is the key to spiritual cause and effect, a notion that permeates all of Torah.

In light of Rebbe Eliezer ben Yaakov's teachings, we can say our enemies are born from our own misdeeds. This is the key to understanding what's going on in the world. The ATFAT law is at work here: every breach in personal holiness - especially here in our beloved homeland - brings with a breach in national security. 

We all must stand strong against the spiritual defilement of the Land of Israel if we expect to maintain true sovereignty on this tiny strip of holy real estate that the entire world is trying to take away from us. Debauchery is our worst enemy; the Hamas and Hizbulla were only created from our lack of holiness. You know what that means? Lack of modesty and lewdness ultimately manifest themselves as Kassam and Katyusha rockets. 

Personal holiness and modesty are the best defense against all of our enemies. We strengthen our holiness by guarding our speech, guarding our eyes, dressing more modestly, avoiding lewd sites and literature, and by strengthening our emuna. Emuna and prayer are our two strongest weapons. Let's pick them up right now. The more we fight for an Eretz Yisrael of kedusha (holiness), the faster the forces of impurity within our midst will crumble. Don't think for a minute that if you're outside the physical borders of Israel, you're exempt from doing your part.

For the defense of our Holy Land, let us become more holy. Holiness is our deed to this cherished piece of real estate that Hashem has entrusted to our safekeeping.

Lazer ben Yaacov 470



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Puah yiska

Hi. The spiritual cause and effect article definitely tugs on my heart strings and the point is valid. The challenge is how to modify the "foundation" that's faulty halachically wrong yet in society gay people have made a tremendous contribution to making our world a better place to live in and the ones who are Jewish are part of our nation. I was thinking over shabbos what if I was in a situation where the only human with my was exhusband and our survival was dependent on us working together. Could we pull it off or would we perish? Hashem allows divorces yet we are still two Jews who in a way can't set our egos aside for his will. Re: the homosexuals are violating halachah and they're Jews. Tricky ey?


I read the article Spiritual Cause and Effect and would recommed it to everyone. How wonderful it would be if everyone were truly able to behave kindly through words and deeds.


We have a big problem in this area in our largest city in Eretz Yisrael, Tel Aviv. Over the last week they became the city with the largest representation at a soon to be held gay pride event in Europe. They are in mishkav zakhar lala-land. There seems to be no end to the level of depravity that Gush Dan can sink to. What can we really do to stop this spiritually suicidal mode of mass behavior? In so many ways Tel Aviv is as low if not lower than San Francisco, and they keep stooping lower. What can any one of us really do?

Puah yiska

Oh my gosh, I see I commented in June of 2010 almost ten months ago on an article /post which apparently is in a similar category to today's post. For me this is opportunity to comment and reflect is a pre-pesach gift. BH thank you for posting the photograph of the holy kever. Thank you to Breslev. I have experienced significant spiritual alyiah here in the USA as a result of strengthening my commitment to woman's mitzvot and it's worth all the tremendous effort often required to overcome "challenges " to know 100% the choices I make have a ripple effect and today I chose, BH, to create holy ripples which protect my family and klal Yisroel. May Hashem bless all of you with a chag kosher v'sameach!


Following up on some of the comments, "Guarding our speech" also means to refrain from any saying that portrays another Jew in a negative way, even when what one says is true. We correct the world by correcting ourselves, and when our own light shines it sheds afar, breaking any and all darkness, and lighting the hearts of all of Bney Yisrael. The Ramban Ztzl teaches us that if I see someone who seems poorer then me (poor can mean also in Mitzvos) then I must still assume that he is better than me because he is Shogeg and I'm Meyzid. To take the Ramban's teaching a step further, if I see someone who seems to be in spiritual darkness, I must take it as Tocheycha for the fact that I've still got a way to go, for if I myself had the light that Hashem expects from me then my fellow would have been in less darkness.

The comments to this entry are closed.