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26 posts from June 2016

The Ancient Village of Itri

Israel has breathtaking spots for personal prayer; that's natural, for it's the Land of Emuna.

Chirbit Itri (the ruins of Itri) is an ancient Judean village that was destroyed during the Bar Kochba Revolt against the Romans nearly 1900 years ago (132 -136 CE). It was a village of extremely pious Jews that has a large synagogue, four mikvas, and one of the most well-preseved winepresses from the period of the Second Temple. The village is off the beaten tourist path, quite near Elah Valley where David fought Goliath in the western Judean foothills.

Come join me for a personal guided tour of one of our priceless sites:

Double Concealment

The holy words of Rebbe Nachman are now being sung all over the world by every leading Jewish singer in dozens of variations. The niggun you'll hear below - V'Afilu B'Hastora -  comforts aching souls, as you can feel with the moving rendition by Benny Friedman and the Yedidim Choir, in a beautiful production by our esteemed friend Aaron Teitelbaum.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslev says in Likutei Moharan I:56 - "Even in a concealment within a concealment, Hashem is certainly there." This is the subject of our emuna lesson and live broadcast today, that you won't want to miss.

Today's emuna shiur and live broadcast from Jerusalem is entitled, "Double Concealment."  Based on Rebbe Nachman's above words, it's a lesson designed to show us a beacon of light amongst all the darkness of this generation. G-d willing, it will take place in the ground-floor main sanctuary of the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva on 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street in Jerusalem at 7PM Israel time (12 noon EDT); the shiur is open to the public - both men and women are invited. 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.  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 later this coming week on Lazer Beams. 

Lacking Time to Exercise? Try the Medicine-Ball Pushup

This week's emuna fitness lesson features the medicine ball pushup - an amazing whole-body exercise for the busy individual who doesn't have an hour a day to spend in the gym or on the treadmill. It engages the arms, shoulders, glutes and legs, and it especially engages the core because of the need to balance oneself in addition to the challenge of the pushup. Try this:

Get it Right!

Get it Right
The harder one challenges the body, the more critical good exercise form becomes. That's why fitness  trainers yell their war cry, “Get it right!”, anytime they see someone doing an exercise in bad form...

There's no personal trainer in the world so concerned with our emotional, spiritual and physical fitness like Hashem is. Hashem wants to bring us Geula and Moshiach; as you'll see in my feature article of this week's exciting new issue of Breslev Israel magazine, Hashem is yelling at us - lovingly - to Get it Right!

This week's Torah portion is Korach; we learn that those who fan the fires of dissension should be forewarned that in doing so, they are putting the lives of all their family members at risk. Don't go there, as we write in our elaboration, The Killer Tongue

Rav Shalom Arush says that we all must admit that we can't overcome our evil inclination without Hashem's help. Yet, some people prefer to live in denial. They hide, as we see in No More Hiding. 

Rebbe Nachman's famous tales are timeless and ever so relevant to our generation, as Racheli Reckles shows in her contemporary rendition of "The Clever Simple One".

We can continue to chase after the latest psychological fads that leave the real solution completely out of the picture, or we can choose a better method, writes Dr. Zev Ballen in The Latest Fads.

If there is one thing that living in Eretz Yisrael has taught Natalie Kovan, it’s that there is no longer any need to upgrade, once you have finally upgraded by living here, as she writes in The Olden Days.

Depressed? Well, you shouldn’t be. These seemingly negative situations will actually bring about the awakenings in the Jewish People and humanity in general, as Yael Karni concludes in Awakenings.

David Perlow shows that sometimes, to effectively raise our children in Torah, we must put aside our own spiritual priorities in order to make sure that we instill the joy of Torah living in our children. Be sure to see Your Kids and Torah.

Dovber Halevi says, "Sorry to dispel the horror stories, but bottom line: you can live just as comfortably and enjoyably here in Israel as you can in America or anywhere else for that matter". No Longer a Sacrifice means that it's high time to come home.

Join Us on a Fantastic Trip to the Holy Sites of the Ukraine!

B'Darkei Tzaddikim Flyer final2


Hashem's Fertility Secret

Watermelon Baby
Here is wonderful news for folks with fertility issues. Put aside the expensive pills and meds and try something natural from Hashem's garden - watermelon, and watermelon rind. Yup, the rind is full of fantastic fertility-fortifying amino acids citrulline and arginine as shown by conclusive USDA research. In fact, the name citrulline is derived from the Latin word citrullus, which means watermelon.

Many fertility and fertility-functional problems both in men and women can be traced to a lack of the amino acids citrulline and arginine.

In the urea cycle, citrulline combines with another acid to create arginine. Luis Pons of the USDA writes that arginine not only boosts fertility, but boosts muscle growth, improves wound healing, combats fatigue, stimulates the immune system, cures impotence and fights cancer. Pillar Health Care goes even further and says that arginine can benefit women by increasing the cervical mucous, enhancing libido, promoting a healthy environment for implantation and may even extend fertility for women over 40. Sperm health is also affected by arginine; one study showed a 250%-plus increase in sperm amounts and motility in most study participants. It also enhances male reproductive-functional problems, so much so that scientists at Texas A&M University have termed watermelon as "nature's Viagra". 

Need I add more? Start eating watermelon - it's in season now!

Here's an Emuna Fitness Fertility enhancer "smoothie" that both men and women can try: don't forget to invite us to your son's brit or your daughter's Kiddush, which will be soon, G-d willing. Just drink this smoothie two to three hours before bedtime and don't forget to ask Hashem to make it work for you:

Emuna Fitness Fertility Smoothie

2 Cups (approx. 500cc) mineral or filtered water

2 Cups watermelon rind (make sure that there are no bugs on the surface)

5 large pitted Medjool dates (or 10 small pitted dates)

26 dried almonds

1 level teaspoon of cinnamon powder

2 tablespoons dried shelled sunflower seeds

Preparation: Mix until smooth in a high-speed blender (approx. 90-120 seconds). Drink at least one big cup of the mixture. Any leftover holds up fine in the fridge for 48 hours. Enjoy!


5 Plank Variations

Today's emuna-fitness lesson shows three levels of planks - beginner, intermediate and advanced.

For the beginner, as well as for seniors and mothers after childbirth, there's the beginning form of the plank on the knees.

For the intermediate, there's the standard form of the plank in pushup position or classic elbow position.

For the advanced, there are 3 additional forms (with many more to be taught in the future, G-d willing): the side (oblique) plank, the one-leg plank and the medicine-ball plank.

All these exercises are superb for developing core strength and much preferable to situps and crunches. We hope you find them worthwhile and enjoyable, especially when you see how they help firm your midsection and enable you to wear those trousers or skirt that you haven't fit into for a long time.