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24 posts from May 2015

Gaza War, 2014: The Miracle of Shmita and Matza Shmura

Thanks so much to David Perlow for contribution to today's post:

Hamas had planned its first tunnel attack in last summer's war against Israel (Operation "Protective Edge") under cover of a field of tall green wheat, which they knew wouldn't be harvested for another 8 weeks. But, a group of ultra-Orthodox Jews from Bnei Brak needed to assure themselves of a pre-Shmitta stock of wheat for next year's matza shmura, so they paid top dollar and bought the field. The wheat was harvested early, and the Hamas terrorists got a big surprise. Here's the story as told by an IDF liason officer - pass this around tp your family and friends, for it's a tremendous sanctification of Hashem's name:

In Praise of Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai

My first two choices for the greatest leaders of the Jewish People of all times are Moses and Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai. We should only have such a leader in today's challenging times...

On Lag B'Omer, the day I flew to the USA for our recent speaking tour, I was interviewed on Arutz Sheva TV; here is the interview, which I hope you enjoy:

Welcome Home, Gaza Style

Tracers iron dome
Last night, I was having a quiet dinner with my wife when the "Red Alert" sirens started wailing at 9:02 PM. Our "cousins" from Gaza must have missed me while I was away on our recent USA speaking tour, because they greeted me with two Katyusha rockets that exploded outside of town. Hamas and ISIS are now fighting each other for control of Gaza, but I don't discriminate - thank you both for the wakeup call, reminding us all that we can't depend on anyone but Hashem.

The Brain Barometer

Brain barometer
What is the truest indication of common sense, the intelligence that one is able to apply to daily living? We find our answer in one of the three traits that characterize the Jewish People. Our sages say that the descendants of Abraham are recognized by their mercy, their compassion and their "bashfulness", which is the opposite of brazenness...

Today's shiur, entitled "The Brain Barometer," will provide us with the answers. It will take this evening (Wednesday), G-d willing, at 7:00 PM local time at our Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva, 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street, Jerusalem, in the main sanctuary. 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 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! If you are not able to view today's broadcast live, then G-d willing, you'll be able to see the video tape of it on this coming Sunday's Lazer Beams. 

Never Lose Hope!

 Shachar bris-635x357

Above image: Shmuel Shachar, 67 (left) reciting the blessings of his son's entrance into the holy covenant of Abraham, yesterday in Bnei Brak, Israel

The Beams and Breslev Israel send our heartiest Mazal Tov to Shmuel and Sara Chaya Shachar, members of the Nadvorna Chassidic community in Bnei Brak, who were blessed to have their firstborn son enter the covenant of our forefather Abraham yesterday. You might ask, what's so remarkable about another bris in Bnei Brak? Shmuel and Sara Chaya have been married for 46 years - he is 67 and she is 65. Only last week, have their 4+ decades of prayers been answered, having been blessed with their first child, a healthy baby boy, whose name is Shimon Chaim. May Shmuel and Sara Chaya merit to dance in good health at the weddings of their grandchildren...

We learn from the Shachar family's joy that Hashem can do whatever He wants whenever He wants. Never give up and never lose hope - Hashem's mercy knows no bounds.

Hashem is showing us that if 65-year-olds can give birth, then bringing Moshiach is no big deal. Hashem wants our prayers, both for Moshiach and for all of mankind to learn emuna. With emuna, one surely never loses hope.

Bibi's Coalition: A Wobbly Reed

Lean on Hashem
A young mother of five children expressed her joy with Israel's new 61-member barest-majority government. The Haredi parties have pledged to return the child subsidies that the two previous governments stripped Israel's citizens of. "Maybe now, I'll be able to finish the month," she told me, expecting an additional 500 NIS (approx. $125) per month. I'm sorry to disappoint her, but I don't expect the current government to last the hot summer. What's more, it's not the government that took anything away from us, it's Hashem. Hashem wanted and continues to want more dedication to Torah, making it tougher and tougher to learn full time in order to separate the dedicated Torah scholars from those who seek a life of convenience. Salvation will come from Hashem only and not from Bibi and his government. Wait and see.

If a member of the coalition happens to visit the washroom during an important vote, the government is liable to fall. Dangerously, there is no consensus here; yet, the defense challenges grow from minute to minute. Hezbolla has learned well from Hamas, and they're feverishly digging tunnels into the Galilee. Hamas continues to dig tunnels in Gaza, while ISIS now "graces" our borders in Sinai and in the Golan. To paraphrase the old George Harrison song, this is all happening while our guitar government gently weeps sleeps...

The current quiet before the imminent storm that many of the Kabbalists are speaking about behind closed doors is to give us yet another chance to strengthen emuna and to return to Hashem. How fortunate are those who are doing just that.

Hashem doesn't want us leaning on any wobbly reads. It's always healthier to lean on Him.

Demonstrative Deeds

Not the applause
All I can say is that it's so good to be home, thanks to Hashem...

Some people think that if they don't get public recognition for the good things they do, then their deeds aren't worth much. The opposite is true! Many folks do good deeds demonstratively so that everyone will see, “carrying” their mitzvoth on their shoulder like an officer wearing his rank. That 's not the way to fly, as you'll see in my elaboration of this week's Torah portion Nosso, Shouldering Pride, one of my two feature articles in this week's brand new issue of Breslev Israel web magazine.

Children have a keen ability to detect hypocrisy - the double standard never works in education. A parent can't teach what he or she doesn't uphold. See how in our parable of the Lion and the Fox.

Also featured this week:

Rav Shalom Arush - A True View of Yourself, The Winning Formula 

Dr. Zev Ballen - Let There Be Light

Racheli Reckles - The Kind Thief

Jennifer Woodward - Semi-Wreck

David Perlow - It Hurts, But Thanks!

Blessings for a healthy summer and a wonderful new week!