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39 posts from August 2016

The Strength of Judah

Lion's Roar
The Torah compares Judah to a lion and the lion's roar is an indication of its great strength.

Each of us has the gift of Judean strength, as we'll learn in today's emuna lesson.

Today's emuna shiur and broadcast, entitled, "The Strength of Judah" is a jump-start on the month of Elul, which begins this coming week. It will take place, G-d willing, 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. 

Stop the Stress!

This morning, I (Racheli) was late heading out to my Zumba class. Since I joined the new gym all the way in Bet Shsmesh - which is a 10 minute drive from my mansion - I find it so much more stressful than driving up my street to work out at the gym next door. Isn't that strange? It reminds me of people like myself that try to find the closest spot to the entrance of the mall. I don't get why we do this. Aren't we spending the next three hours walking? So what difference does a better parking spot make? But, human nature is human nature. 

As I was late, I started stressing out big time when I was getting ready and trying to peel my screaming 2-year-old off my legs so I could leave. And on the way there, I was trying to pass the slowpokes driving in front of me. "Move, ya turtle!" I screamed at them through closed windows. Let's forget the fact that most of the roads here are one lane roads. That's not important.

Suddenly, halfway to the gym, an often-ignored thought popped into my little brain. What's the point of stressing about being late? It doesn't change the time, and it doesn't make you get there earlier. So I decided to let go of my stress. I threw Stressy out the window and watched in my rear view mirror as another car ran over him. I delighted in his gruesome death. So long, Stressy.

Wait a minute. Doesn't Stressy sound like a girl's name? He must be gender confused. It's so trendy these days to not be certain about your gender.

Anyhow, after I made the decision to not stress over being late, I felt so much calmer. I didn't arrive to my class a bundle of nerves, and, in fact, the class was nearly empty because of summer vacation, so I got a spot right up in front anyways. I think the ladies love watching me have a spaz attack when I dance.

I know what you're asking. What if the kids are late for school, or you're late for work? Well, that would be a great time to activate our emuna superpowers. If you're running late, that's what Hashem wants. If your boss greets you with a clenched fist and a mouthful of un-PC words, that's what Hashem wants. Who knows what harsher judgments you avoided because you didn't stress about your situation?

So I'm going to try to listen to my own words, and do my best to keep from locking myself in my room until my kids start school next week.

In case you forgot, Rav Brody was in my town on Sunday night with Blues guitarist Lazer Lloyd. It was just awesome! Here is a pic just to show you what a great time you missed. In case you're wondering who that is in the middle of these two superstars, that's my husband. King David. Did you note the slight sarcasm? What a photobomb. I couldn't figure out how to photoshop him out, but nevertheless, it's a very nice picture. Have a great week!


Eyes Beyond Time

Eyes Beyond Time
Shavua Tov! We have a wonderful new issue of Breslev Israel web magazine this week:

Rebbe Nachman says, "Don't let this world fool you." Spiritual sight and material sight conflict with one another; the more a person regards the world with a material orientation, the less he enjoys spiritual insight, as you'll see in my feature article, Eyes Beyond Time.

This week's Torah portion is Re'eh. We know that the Torah is universal and its messages are timeless. Everything in the Torah has a message for posterity. With that in mind, for a long time, I had difficulty understanding the Torah's discourse about what happens when a member of one's family or a best friend tempts a person into doing idolatry. Who does idolatry nowadays? Then, Hashem opened my eyes and here's what I saw...

Rabbi Shalom Arush gives us a jump-start on preparing for Elul in First Step to Ascent. And, while we're in Elul prepation mode, let's see Pinney Wolman's The Greatest Act of Love.

Dr. Zev Ballen hits an emotional soft spot in When People Don't Smile Back.

Racheli Reckles reveals the best-kept secret in all of Ramat Bet Shemesh in The Eye-Blink Salvation.

David Perlow tells the moving story of 1st Sergeant Michael Levin ob"m in The Humble Hero

Did you enjoy that chunk of chocolate you ate on Shabbat? Jennifer Woodward says that we're behooved to express our Chocolate Gratitude.

Shai Mor tells a really important story in Always Accountable.

Bright Beams blessings for a great new week!

Lazer and Lazer Tonight!


Happy week, everyone! It's Racheli, and I'm thrilled to announce that I'll be getting out of the house tonight! Join me in my hometown of Ramat Bet Shemesh, for an awesome night of music and emuna with Rav Brody and world-famous Blues musician, Lazer Lloyd!

I'm also super-thrilled to announce that my kids will finally be starting school next week! YESSSSS!!!!

The event will be at Ahavat Tzion Shul, on Nachal Timna at 8pm. Separate seating for men, women, and aliens from Planet X. I don't know why I can't stop with the Planet X jokes. I just can't help myself. It's my terrible sense of humor. 

Looking forward to seeing you there! 

Ein Od Milvado

If there were only three words in my lexicon, this is what I'd choose - Ein Od Milvado, there is no one but Hashem. Whenever you feel anxiety, fear, sadness or worry in the slightest - repeat these three words and see what miraculously happens to you.

Israeli singer Shlomi Shabbat sang this gorgeous melody that was composed by Tomer Hadadi with lyrics by Yossi Gispin. I get chills up my spine and tears in my eyes whenever I hear it, even if I hear it 100 times a day. Now, our special friend, one of Jewish music's brightest young stars Dudi Knopfler from Monsey, came out with a Yiddish version that's every bit as moving as the original. We're delighted to share this with you. Sing along with the chorus:

Ein od milvado, mlo kol ha'aretz kvodo, HaKadosh Baruch Hu melech, va'ani avdo...

"There is no one but Him; His glory fills the world! The Holy One Blessed be He is King, and I am His servant."

Have a lovely Shabbat! Don't ever forget that Hashem loves you, and we do too.

Toxic Texting

More and more research is piling up showing the "innocent" text messaging is not so innocent. It is a killer of marriages, of relationships between parents and children and devastating to one's physical health as well. Here are some life-saving things to think about: