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6 posts from September 2013

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:

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!

Tipping the Scales

Will the USA follow through on its threat to attack Syria? Will Russia oppose the USA? Will Syria, Hizbulla and Iran try to drag Israel into a war? No one knows what will happen in the coming hour, let alone in the coming year. One thing we do know - each of us has the capability in tipping the scales of judgment in our favor...

Longing for Shilo

Nothing makes one's soul feel so good as connecting to Hashem. The holy places in our beloved holy Land of Israel are most conducive for connecting to Hashem, therefore the soul feels wonderful there and yearns for more and more Divine Light. In such places, my flute plays a melody that seems to permeate the atmosphere. Join me on a visit to Shilo, in the hill country of Ephraim, the site of our Holy Tabernacle (mishkan) before it was moved to Har HaBayit in Jerusalem.