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21 posts from January 2014

If I Forget Thee...

All the silly talk about splitting Jerusalem is surfacing again, but G-d willing, it won't happen.

Our answer to the politicians is Psalm 137: "If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, may my right hand wither...if I don't ascend to Jerusalem at the head of my joy." Israeli singer Ben Snof has the voice of an angel - let's pass the microphone to him:

This Week's Live Broadcast - "Jumping for Joy"

With Hashem's loving grace, our weekly emuna lesson and live broadcast will take place as usual this Wednesday evening at 7:00 PM local time, at our Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva, 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street, Jerusalem, in the main sanctuary. This week's shiur is entitled, "Jumping for Joy", and it will give some wonderful guidelines on how to be truly happy.

As always, the live shiur is open to the public - both men and women are welcome - so if you're anywhere near Jerusalem, come on by! You can see today's lesson here - the broadcast, as well as our lessons posted from now on - are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in on time as follows: 

9:00 AM in LA and the West Coast, 10:00 AM Denver, 11:00 AM Mexico and Central, 12:00 PM NYC (EST), 5:00 PM in the UK, 7:00 PM Johannesburg and Capetown, 7:00 PM Israel. As soon as we can, G-d willing, we'll post a link to the lesson for all those who couldn't see it live. If you can't see the broadcast, you might need to download a new version of Flash Media player, which you can do here. We hope you enjoy the broadcast.

Jews Boycotting Jews

My dear friend Gamlieli from the Pri Hagefen blog asked me to address a painful subject - Jews boycotting Jews. He told me the story about the very special people at Psagot Winery, north of Jerusalem. They are known to produce some of the finest wines in Israel, and in that case, in the world. Yet, many left-leaning establishments in Tel Aviv refuse to buy and serve Psagot wine because the winery is on the other side of the so-called "Green Line", the 1967 border. As such, Psagot is being boycotted by certain Jews in Tel Aviv. 

If Jews boycott Jews, then what can we expect from the nations of the world?

Hashem and the Torah tell us what the borders of Israel should be. Judea and Samaria are the heartland of the Holy Land. I have no doubt that such over-the-Green-Line companies as Psagot, Tanya and Shiloh will thrive, boycott or not. It's a tough test, but with emuna, they'll see Hashem do miracles for them. The prophet Jeremiah promised (see Ch. 31) that this area would flourish with vineyards. They're here to stay.

Tell your local wine store that if they don't start stocking Judea and Samaria wines, you'll find a store that does. My answer to the boycott will be by gracing my Shabbat table with a bottle of wine from our beloved brothers in Judea and Samaria. We pray for their success.

Avi Silver, of blessed memory

Two years ago when I was in Toronto, I spent an hour at the bedside of a courageous young man who was fighting for his life against the nasty "big C" disease. He had all the "Garden" books by his bedside and knew them well. Avi Silver was an emuna-inspiration to all of us. I just found out today that he left the physical world a week ago, on Sunday the 18th of Shvat (Jan. 19, 2014). Breslev Israel, the Beams, and I personally mourn his passing, and convey our heartfelt condolences to our cherished friends the Silver family.

Abie Rotenberg wrote a song in Avi's honor; Avi chose the words, "Hashem, shma bekoli", Hashem listen unto my voice, may Your ears be attentive to the voice of my supplications. In Avi's loving memory, we'd like to share this with you.

Please say Tehillim and/or recite mishnayot in memory of Chaim Avraham Zalman ben Yitzchok Zev, ob"m.

May the Silvers be comforted among the other mourners of Zion and Yerushalayim, amen.

Tale of Two Shidduchim

Fishing for a mateSometimes you hear amazing stories. Other times, you live them...

In the course of my work as a rabbi and spiritual guide, Hashem enables me to see phenomenal things - the type of things that one never forgets. Nothing is so profound and educational as life and personal experience.

Over the years, many people of sought my advice in seeking their bashert, their intended soul-mate. Some have listened and some have not. I have seen people choose partners and get married with all different types of motives. Some have sought the amenities of this world, and others have opted for next world. Hashem has shown me the outcomes too.

I want to share an amazing story with you, about two totally different shidduchim (matches) that I witnessed first hand and can personally attest to the details (even though the names of those involved are changed to protect their privacy). If you are looking for a soul-mate, or if you have a child, relative or close friend in shidduchim, you must read this Tale of Two Shidduchim, my feature article in this week's amazing issue of Breslev Israel web magazine. 

Also featured this week:

Rabbi Shalom Arush - The Price of a Lollipop

Dr. Zev Ballen - One Size Fits All

Racheli Reckles - Choose Love

Rivka Levy - In Search of Real Rabbis

Rabbi Dovid Charlop - Holy Components

Natalie Kovan - The Wagon Master

Dennis Rosen - My First Rosh Hashana in Uman

Orit Riter - Afraid of the Truth


David Perlow - Rising in Unity

Have a wonderful new week with every single blessing!