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10 posts from September 2013

Meet Emuna Outreach

By Breslev Israel Staff

Emuna Outreach has grown tremendously, so much so that Rabbi Lazer Brody could no longer handle the entire organization on his own. As such, he was forced to temporarily discontinue operations since last July, and as a result, was not accepting donations. But, as they say in Hebrew, the bitter has yielded the sweet. Emuna Outreach is now an integral part of Breslev Israel and the Chut Shel Chesed Institutions, under the auspices of Rabbi Shalom Arush shlit'a. Scroll down to read the whole story:

Emuna Outreach 580 tank

Above image: Emuna Outreach mascot, designed by Yaacov Kirschen of "Dry Bones" fame

What do the US troops in Afghanistan have in common with the First Nations of northern Ontario and the Noahides of Singapore? They're all learning about emuna...

In 2004, an American talk-show host interviewed Rabbi Lazer Brody. He thought that it was rather novel to host a Chassidic rabbi on his show who was also a special-ops combat veteran of Israel's Defense Forces. The interviewer asked, "Rabbi Brody, what's your dream in life?"

"I want to make the word emuna even more internationally well-known than Coca Cola." That same year, Rabbi Lazer Brody took the first step in realizing his dream goal by founding Emuna Outreach.

For nine years, from August of 2004 until July of 2013, Emuna Outreach was virtually a one-man operation. With the help of dedicated volunteers and supporters around the globe, Rabbi Brody did his utmost in spreading the concept of emuna - pure and simple faith in The Almighty - in places where it was needed most: in combat zones, in prisons and in hospitals.

Tirelessly, Rabbi Brody personally spent extensive time with soldiers of the IDF on all of Israel's borders, teaching them how emuna enables them to function better under extreme stress. He regularly visited the wounded in rehabilitation centers and prison inmates in the process of rebuilding their lives. To places where he couldn't be personally, such as among the US Forces in Iraq and in Afghanistan, he'd send care packages of emuna books and CDs. Emuna Outreach has also worked extensively with the Aleph Institute, spreading emuna both in the American military and in the US prison system.

If that's not enough, Emuna Outreach sponsored emuna-awareness programs for as varied segments of the population as senior-citizens, toddlers and members of the International Noahide community, reaching as varied places as the Noahide community in Singapore and the native Americans of Texas, Tennessee and northern Canada.

But the job just became too prodigious for one individual to handle. So, in July of 2013, Rabbi Brody turned to the Minister of Emuna himself, his beloved teacher and spiritual guide Rabbi Shalom Arush, and asked for help so that the spread of emuna would not stop, Heaven forbid! As a result, Breslev Israel and the Chut Shel Chesed Institutions, both under the auspices of Rabbi Arush, have now taken Emuna Outreach under their wing. No longer a one-man organization, Emuna Outreach hopes to spread emuna on an even greater scale.

Rabbi Brody today is exclusively employed by Breslev Israel and his work in Emuna Outreach is completely under the auspices of Rav Arush, Breslev Israel and the Chut Shel Chesed Institutions.

Your generous support of Emuna Outreach is IRS-recognized and tax deductible. Have a look at our scrapbook to see what happens to the money you so generously donate:

1: Encouraging IDF troops on the Gaza Border Emuna Outreach Gaza Border

2. Jewish soldiers of US Army helicopter crew in Taji, Iraq (2006) US Soldiers Iraq Taji

3. Emuna Outreach with injured IDF soldier after Cast-Lead Operation in Gaza, 2009 Emuna Outreach IDF Rehab

4. Thank-you note from Aleph Institute to Emuna Outreach Aleph-inst-thank-you

5. Distributing Emuna books and CDs to IDF soldiers on Jordan border Emuna Outreach Jordan Border

6. Emuna Outreach with senior citizens

Retirement Bar Mitzva

7. Emuna Oureach with youth Youth educ emuna outreach

You can become a partner in helping Breslev Israel spread emuna the world over by clicking on the "Support Emunah Outreach" donation button on the top right-hand toolbar of this site. As Rav Shalom Arush says, there is no greater mitzva.


The Key to National Security

Succos 580
This coming Wednesday evening is Succoth.

Our sages tell us that the Succa is the safest place on earth to be.

Jewish law requires that the Succa be a temporary dwelling. The roof of a succa must be natural material that grows from the ground, such as river canes, tree branches, palm leaves and the like. The average Succa roof can’t support the weight of a cat. A strong rain is enough to chase a family out of the Succa. A good strong wind can send one’s Succa roof into orbit around the neighborhood.

That’s security?

It sure is.

The Succa is a place to learn and acquire emuna. We leave our permanent dwellings at a time when the weather starts getting cold. We learn that the only real security we have over our heads is not the roof of our permanent dwelling, but Hashem. For seven days a year, Hashem wants us to teach us how to completely entrust ourselves to His care, as King David says (Psalm 31:6), “I place my spirit in Your hands.” The intrinsic message of the Succa is that with a Jew, the illogical is logical and the supernatural is natural. Hashem’s relationship to His chosen people is on a completely different level than His “way of the world” relationship with the nations...

Continue reading The Key to National Security in this week's stimulating issue of Breslev Israel web magazine.

Also featured this week:

A special interview with the Breslev Bar Band

Rabbi Shalom Arush - Like an Apple Seed

Rabbi Dovid Charlop - Lights That Never Dim

Dr. Zev Ballen - Chasing After G-d

Rivka Levy - Fault Lines

Yael Karni - The Succa: The Place to Be

Racheli Reckles - Luxury Slaves

Tzvi Meir Cohn - A Dry Succa

Bright Beams blessings for a wonderful New Year and joyous upcoming Succoth!

Shema Yisrael: Yaacov Shwekey

Rabbi Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman (1886-1969), The Ponovicher Rov of blessed memory, saved orphaned Jewish children from Catholic orphanages after the close of World War II. Although the priests and nuns denied that there were any Jewish children there, The Rov - accompanied by American officers - visited the orphanages at bedtime. He would call out "Shema Yisroel" and instinctly children raised their hands to cover their eyes, while crying in Yiddish, "Mama! Mama!" The holy Skolener Rebbe of blessed memory saved children in like fashion, one of whom lives in Ashdod and frequents our synagogue.

My dear and esteemed friend Yaacov Shwekey sings a moving rendition of the above story in "Shema Yisroel". In answer to all the Holocaust deniers, here is Yaacov singing with the backdrop of photos and film clips from the Holocaust. If you want to know why we need unshakable emuna and our uncompromising presence in our holy Land of Israel, see this (don't be discouraged by the first 60 seconds which tells the story of Rabbi Kahaneman in Hebrew). This is a must see:

Love Day

The Talmud makes an apparently surprising statement when it says (tractate Taanit, 26b), "There were never such wonderful days for Israel as the 15th of Av (Tu B'Av) and Yom Kippur." The 15th of Av is nicknamed "Love Day" in Israel, for it's the day when matches were traditionally made, as described in the above-cited Gemora. Several questions arise: First, what does Yom Kippur have to do with "Love Day"? Second, many people dread the fast and the ax of judgment hovering over their necks on Yom Kippur, so why would it be described as one of the two most wonderful days for Israel?

Our Talmudic sages reveal their divinely-instilled wisdom by juxtaposing Tu B'Av and Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is also a "love day", when Hashem demonstrates his limitless love for His chosen people. For the mere price of a 25-hour fast and saying we're sorry, Hashem forgives us of all of our wrongdoings against Him. Important - Yom Kippur does not atone for the sins of man against fellow man!!

Imagine that your national government declared a retroactive annual moratorium on all tax violations and unpaid debts once a year, as long as you appear in federal court, apologize in public, and fast for the day. What a deal! A wild dream? In Judaism, it's a reality. When we fast, beg Hashem's forgiveness, and promise to try our best this coming year, Hashem wipes our debt slates clean! A wonderful day, or not?

Gmar Chatima Tova!

Kol Nidre: Yitzchak Meir Helgot and Yitzchak Perlman

This coming Shabbat is Yom Kippur.

A person can't make teshuva with a clogged heart. To help us all unclog our hearts, here are two of my favorite "Yitzchaks", Cantor Yitzchak Meir Helfgot and violinist Yitzchak Perlman with their rendition of Kol Nidre. Close your eyes and listen to the melody, and you'll feel the innermost spark of your neshama yearning to return to Hashem. Enjoy it!

Kindness to All Creatures

13. A Little Happiness
One of our most important tasks during the Ten Days of Repentance - the period between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur - is to sincerely ask the forgiveness of anyone we might have harmed or insulted. If Halacha requires us to be kind to all of Hashem's creatues, we certainly must treat one another with utmost kindness and respect. Gmar Chatima Tova!