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November 2015
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35 posts from December 2015

A Gift for the Rebbe

I have a custom that I received from an old tzaddik: he told me that when you take your 3-year old to cheder (Orthodox Jewish elementary school for boys) on the first day, give the cheder rebbe (boys' elementary school teacher) a monetary gift (like a $50 bill) and ask him to pay special attention to your son. The old tzaddik told me that the gift to the cheder rebbe invokes Divine assistance for your son's Torah learning and it makes the rebbe happy as well, for cheder rebbes never earn the money they really deserve. So, whenever I am honored with the mitzvah of being sandek at a brit, I take responsibility for the child's initial success in Torah and I give the father of the baby an envelope with money inside and tell him to pass it on to the child's rebbe when the child goes to cheder for the first time at age 3.

With the above in mind, several years ago, I had the privilege of being sandek at the brit of David Mark's son in Maale Chever south of Hevron. David wrote me this spine-chilling email earlier this month:Yaakov Litman hyd

...our son who you were sandek for, has grown up and is now in first grade.  It was his rebbe that was killed a few weeks ago along with his son.  It was hard for us as parents to go through that with him, but I saw that children really handle these things better than we do. His rebbe was an amazing person and it was to him in the beginning of the year that we gave the gift you had given us as his sandek that you told me to give to his future cheder rabbi.  Rav Yaakov Litman was a tremendous Tzaddik. I wrote a eulogy for him here.

Rabbi Yaakov Litman Hy"d (photo, above right), a beautiful human and a most wonderful cheder rebbe (elementary school teacher) was brutally murdered by Arab terrorists 6 weeks ago. 


True to Yourself

SelfAssessment
The only way to get to know yourself is to invest a daily hour in objective self-assessment. Today's shiur will tell you just how to do that; the rewards are tremendous...

Don't miss today's enlightening emuna shiur and broadcast, "True to Yourself", which takes place 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 week on Lazer Beams. 


Ending the Hostilities

No more fighting
When we're faced with a problem that looks unsolvable, we should learn how our forefathers handled similar situations. Here's something very recent with a happy ending:

Dec. 25, 2015

Shalom Rabbi Brody.

It's Mrs. F. from NYC  here. I have a question and any advice or guidance you can give me will be tremendously appreciated.

My oldest daughter Chavi is 7 years old (second grade). There is a girl in the class that she is constantly fighting with. They literally fight verbally and physically. This is going on for a few months already. The teachers tried implementing some positive reinforcements, but nothing helps. They are both tough kids and keep getting at each other's throats. Today the mother called me after school, and told me that my daughter shoved her daughter and made her fall down the steps (as a side note-my daughter came home crying that the other girl fought with her terribly today), and that something must be done; we must involve someone here. Now, it is true; my daughter - as precious and delicious as she is - is also a high-voltage child that could get aggressive when she plays or things don't go her way or highly anxious but only at home with her us and her brothers.

My question is as follows: aside from saying THANK YOU HASHEM FOR THIS WONDERFUL CHALLENGE, and  asking Hashem for guidance when I (try) to my daily hour of personal prayer, am I supposed to do any form of hishtadlus (effort - LB) here like calling a professional and or take my daughter to get evaluated and maybe get approved for some sort of therapy they will provide? (in general, she plays nicely with other children- I have never seen her acting aggressively with the neighbors and we have plenty of girls all around. somehow this girl brings out the worst in her).

How do I deal with this other mother? Do I let her involve whomever she chooses and follow a plan she will come up with?

Thank you for always being here for us. Your encouragement and guidance with Hashem's help is what keeps us going!!! Mrs. F

B"H, Dec. 25, 2015

Dear Mrs. F,

Have a three-pronged plan like our forefather Jacob did before his historic confrontation with Esau - doron, tefilla, milchoma - he prepared to appease Esau with a gift, he prayed, and he prepared himself for war. The girls have already been having the war, so now you should pray to Hashem for peace and teach your daughter to do so also. As far as the gift goes, I suggest that you buy a nice gift for the other little girl, and you and your daughter go visit the girl and her mother and give them the gift  - with Hashem's help, this will be a pleasant surprise for them that will surely make Shalom. My prayers for your success!

With blessings always, LB

Dec. 27, 2015

Rabbi Brody,  I have no words to express my gratitude to you - your words gave us such clarity and peace. We bought a nice book for the other girl, my daughter met her and gave it over (she also added an adorable written card on her own). That other girl literally lit up! Now, the girls are begging for time to play together. Things are looking up.  Thank you for your advice and for EVERYTHING! May Hashem bless you with good health and much nachas from your family until 120!! With much appreciation, Mrs. F

Fallen Apples

Fallen Apples
This week is the midpoint between Chanuka and Tu B'Shvat. Did you ever stop and wonder how the two holidays are connected? A hint is in the old folk expression that the apple never falls far from the tree; this is a metaphor that kids turn out like their parents. Pour yourself a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy reading Bad Apple, Bad Tree, one of my feature articles in this week's new issue of Breslev Israel web magazine.

If you're a BT (Baal Teshuva), and people in the community make you feel like a second-class citizen, then check out my elaboration on this week's Torah portion Shemot entitled Where the Baal Teshuva Stands.

Also featured this week:

Rabbi Shalom Arush - Motivating Children

Dr. Zev Ballen - The Drive to Oblivion

Tiferet Israel - Grasshoppers and Crocodiles

Sunny Levi - Distractions

Dovber Halevi - The Social Media Swamp

Dennis Rosen - Elevating the Mundane

Humor award of the year - this is Breslev Israel's final issue of 2015. Racheli Reckles wins the humor award of the year with her article, Pulling Weeds - it's a riot, don't miss it.

Bright Beams and Breslev blessings for a beautiful week!