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35 posts from March 2014


Yanush doesn't talk much. No one knows much about him. He's a Holocaust survivor and he speaks Yiddish with a Polish accent, and he's one of the needy people who hangs around the back alleys of downtown Jerusalem living off of scraps that he gleans from the back doors of restaurants. Nobody knows where Yanush lives or if he has a place to live at all. People look at him with condescending tolerance, for after all, Yanush is a part of the local scenery. But people forget - Yanush is human, and a Jewish soul. Sure, he hasn't bathed in a while and he's not the type of guest that a family would relish having at their Passover Seder. So what is he supposed to do? Have Seder in the gutter? Or in the foyer of some dilapidated building slated for demolition?

You'd be surprised that are a lot of "Yanushes" in Jerusalem. They live in places where you wouldn't allow your poodle to sleep in. They barely have bread and water, and they can't afford heat in the winter. Seder Pesach? To them, it's a dream. Matzot and wine? Are you kidding?

At the beginning of our Seder, we say kol dichfin - "Whoever is hungry, let him come and eat; whoever is in need of a Passover Seder, let him come and celebrate with us." Do you really mean that? It's no joke. Who has the gall to lie to Hashem on Passover Night at the Seder Table?

Is your home open to the Yanushes of the world? I know - there are no Yanushes in Silver Spring, Golders Green, Southfield or Bal Harbor. But there are plenty of them in Jerusalem.

Rabbi Shalom Arush, his dedicated wife Rebbetzen Miriam Arush and the Chut Shel Chesed Yeshiva and Institutions feed poor people all year long. But especially on Passover, they make sure that they'll have everything they need for not only for Seder Night but for all of Passover. Rav Shalom cares so much about the dignity of every Jew that he even buys shoes for the destitute. And, he does all this without a cent of government support. You can't imagine how much this costs. 

Rabbi Shalom invites you to be his partner in the Kimcha D'Piskha, or "Flour for Pesach" fund. By your sponsoring at least one needy person, you'll be able to say kol dichfin with truth and dignity, for your sponsorship is just like having a "Yanush" at your Seder table, or better yet, as your guest for all of Passover.

Hashem has compassion on those who have compassion for others. You can't imagine the importance and magnitude of feeding the poor on Passover. Don't miss this opportunity - please make your generous donation online here, or call 972-2-532-3339.

Who Will Survive?


The world is arming to the hilt and nations are daring one another. Just over the weekend, there has been tremendous tension between Turkey and Syria and between Iran and Turkey. Yemen is on fire. In a minute, conflict with radical Islamists can set the world on fire.

Will the West call Putin's hand in the Ukraine? Will global Jihad get its hands on dirty nukes? Will Iran use its nuclear wild card? Will a missile battle in the Middle East trigger a global conflict? Any of these are likely scenarios; with such an international backdrop, Armageddon and Gog-Magog appear to be eventual realities. Will anyone survive a push-button war?

In answer to the above questions, you'll definitely want to read Who Will Survive?, our intriguing feature article in this week's stimulating issue of Breslev Israel web magazine.

This week's Torah portion is Metzora; read about it in A Hole in the Wall.

Also featured this week:

Rabbi Shalom Arush - A New Pair of Shoes

Dr. Zev Ballen - Sophie's Kids

Rivka Levy - Bubby Got Roasted, and Better a Fool

Yaacov bar Nahman - The Fall of the Ax

Rabbi Dovid Charlop - Pure and Impure

Bright Beams blessings for a beautiful week!

Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch: We Hear the Footsteps of Moshiach

Vlad Putin - Rav Moshe Sternbuch
Last week it was the Gerrer Rebbe. More of our spiritual leaders are talking about Moshiach and Geula, especially with the new month of Nissan - the month of Geula - beginning tomorrow night.

Grand Rabbi Moshe Shternbuch of the Eda Charedit (above image, right), a great grandson of the Gaon of Vilna osb"m,  said this past week that the times of the Moshiach are here. His source is the Vilna Gaon himself.

Rav Shternbuch received a closely guarded secret that came to him from Rabbi Yitzchak Chever zatza"l, who received it from Rabbi Chaim of Volozhyn zatza"l, who received it from the Gaon of Vilna himself, who revealed it shortly before his death: “When you hear that the Russians have captured the city of Crimea, you should know that the times of the Messiah have started, that his steps are being heard. And when you hear that the Russians have reached the city of Constantinople (today’s Istanbul), you should put on your Shabbat clothes and don’t take them off, because it means that the Messiah is about to come any minute.”

According to the above, we owe a note of thanks to Russian president Vladimir Putin (above, left) for helping to bring Moshiach a step closer. 

What does all of this mean?

Rabbi Eliezer says that we shouldn't delay doing teshuva (see tractate Shabbat 153a), for one never knows if he or she will get another chance. The three commodities that we all need to stock up on today are teshuva (penitence), emuna (faith), and kedusha (holiness) - once Moshiach comes, everything else will be worthless.

And if there will be a war of Gog and Magog, who will survive? We're about to see big miracles, very soon. We live in historic times, so we must make the right choices. Without emuna, things will be really frightening. But with emuna, they'll be exciting - wait and see.

Satiating Spiritual Hunger

Rav Shalom with Lazer
Feeding a hungry body is a wonderful mitzva, but feeding a hungry soul is even greater. People around the globe suffer because they don't know that they have a loving Creator to turn to.

ImagesEmuna Outreach seeks to feed hungry souls, no matter what their race, creed or nationality is. Since this past year, my beloved Rabbi and teacher Rav Shalom Arush and I - either separate or individually - have visited almost every continent on earth - North America, South America, Asia, Europe and Australia. From South Africa to the UK, from LA to Singapore, from US Army bases (image, left) and the Cherikee Nation to Swahili tribesmen and Singapore natives, from Guangho and Hong Kong to Mexico and Panama, we've been doing our utmost to spread the light of emuna. When you look closely, this is the only chance for peace on earth.

The task is prodigious; that's why Emuna Outreach became a part of Breslev Israel last year, since I was buckling under the load. Even so, to spread more emuna and more light in the world, we need your help. Thanks to the American Friends of Emuna Outreach, your donation is US tax deductable. Your generous contribution makes you a full partner in the most important mitzva there is - bringing people closer to Hashem and satiating there spiritual hunger. The easiest way to to donate is to click on the orange "Donate" button on the top left-hand toolbar of this site. Thanks so much, and G-d bless always.

Rabbi Avraham Nachman Simcha Veitzhandler, osb"m

Rabbi Avraham Nachman Simcha WeitzhandlerWith a heavy heart, we mourn the untimely passing of one of Chassidut Breslev's greatest scholars of this generation, Rabbi Avraham Nachman Simcha Veitzhandler of saintly and blessed memory (image, left), who died of a sudden heart attack in Jerusalem yesterday. He was 57, the father of twelve, and the head of the "Meshech Hanachal" organization, who did wonders in spreading the teachings of Rabbi Nachman of Breslev. As a youth and promising young scholar, he was the favorite of many Breslever tzaddikim including Rabbi Levi Yitzchak Binder, Rabbi Zeev Cheshin and Rabbi Shmuel Shapira, all of blessed and holy memory.

Rabbi Avraham was a close personal friend and my learning partner for several years when we were neighbors in Ramot Gimel, Jerusalem. He is the one who introduced me to Breslev teachings and thought, some 24 years ago. He had a brilliant Talmudic mind and was a prolific author. His 8-volume "Siach Sarfei Kodesh" is a classic work that all of Breslev holds by. 

The loss of Rabbi Avraham Veitzhandler leaves an irreplaceable gap in Breslev as well as in the world of Torah. Words cannot express how we shall all miss him. Breslev Israel, the Beams and I personally send our heartfelt condolences to the Veitzhandler family, and pray that they will be comforted among the other mourners of Zion and Jerusalem, amen!