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55 posts from July 2014

Sirens Strengthen Emuna

Everything Hashem does in the world is a message for us.

The current war in Gaza and the Red Alert sirens are no exception. The whole purpose of the sirens are to remind us that there's no one to trust but Hashem.

The Hebrew word for siren is azaka, אזעקה - which has a numerical value of 183. The Hebrew words for faith and trust, emuna v'bitachon, אמונה ובטחון - also equal 183. There you have it - the entire purpose of the siren us to enhance our faith and trust in Hasahem. Once we do so on our own accord, we won't need the sirens to prod us.

Sirens Strnegthen Emuna

Israel's Open Spaces

Marina rocket

The above image shows a Grad missile that sneaked past the Iron Dome missile-defense system and landed in Ashdod this past Friday afternoon. As usual, the newscasters broadcast the above news item and said, as usual, "Iron Dome intercepted three missiles over Ashdod this afternoon, but one missile fell in open spaces." For a listener who isn't familiar with Israel, it sounds like the missile landed someplace similar to the Sahara Desert or the Grand Canyon. But in tiny Israel, open spaces are parking lots and vacant sandlots adjacent to residential areas, as in the above image.

Hashem threads needles with the Hamas missiles. It's about time that we open are eyes and recognize Hashem's phenomenal providence, protection and patience. Such miracles, such as the 2000-plus missiles that have been fired at us in recent weeks that have led to such a miniscule level of casualties and damages, obligate us to understand Hashem's message, awaken from our spiritual slumber and to return to Hashem.

We don't want another war; if we all wake up and make teshuva, this war will be the last.

More Miracles: Reasons to Dance

Explosive device beitar

Image above, courtesy of Israel Police via - disassembled car-bomb explosive device from Beitar, 27 July, 2014

The ongoing war in Gaza has blurred our focus on Judea and Samaria, where a new entifada is brewing.

Yesterday morning, an alert border policeman at Beitar Illit noticed that the driver of a white west-bound Citroen Berlingo was acting weird - he pulled him over but he tried to get away. He was apprehended immediately and arrested. In the back of the Berlingo, the officers saw several prodigious cooking gas canisters, the size that would be sufficient for a month's needs for a 12-family apartment building. These propane cannisters were connected to chunks of metal and an explosive device which contained several pounds of TNT (the flesh-colored play-dough looking substance in the image above). Police sappers disassembled the car bomb, which was intended to explode in an Israeli residential area. Hashem prevented a mega-catastrophe. In the words of super-modest officer Yeshurun Zoran, a real hero who we all owe much to:

We're in the notorious "9 Days" before Tisha B'Av, and yet Hashem's miracles and loving-kindness know no bounds. We should all be singing praises and songs of gratitude all day long.

The Klausenberger Rebbe osb"m, who lost a wife and 11 children in the Holocaust, addressed the challenges of our people and taught how to regard them from the proper perspective: "A father's mercy is upon his son; it's therefore clear that our Father in Heaven doesn't want to harm us, for His love of His people Israel and even the sinners of Israel is well known."

Read all about it in Dance the Troubles Away, my feature article in this week's issue of Breslev Israel magazine.

This week's Torah portion is Devarim. Digging Up the Dirt is a very relavant elaboration on it.

Also featured this week: 

Rabbi Shalom Arush - Gift from Gaza

Dr. Zev Ballen - The Price of Peace

Racheli Reckles - A Sexist Religion? and Club Paradise

Rivka Levy - A Minute of Peace

David Perlow - War? What For? 

Important Announcement - this week, there will not be a live emuna shiur and broadcast; G-d willing, we'll be back next week, the day after Tisha B'Av. Have a great week and G-d bless!

Balance of Power

The world is chaotic now, and we especially feel the chaos in Israel. What's the underlying spiritual lesson we must learn from this? Hashem created the world with four basic elements; peace and harmony depend on the elements working in balance and in unison, for this is the key in understanding not only current events, but all of creation, as we learn in this week's emuna lesson. Don't miss it, because we also tell the story about some of the miracles that have been happening here lately. Enjoy, and let's hear good news from each other:

The Miracle Grenade

Grenade and bullet
Here's a miracle of miracles: 

Nir Dabouri of Israel's Channel Two News online (Mako), reports: an IDF infantryman was hit with an AK-47 (Kalatchnikov) bullet which hit one of the pouches in his flak jacket. The pouch held an Israeli-made assault grenade. The grenade fully absorbed the bullet, but didn't explode!

This is a magnificent triple miracle as follows:

1. The soldier was hit in the torso but the bullet did him no harm;

2. The bullet penetrated the grenade (the bullet could have easily ricocheted off the grenade and hit the soldier anywhere in his torso);

2. The grenade did not explode!

The chances of a soldier emerging unscratched from such an uncounter is one in a trillion.