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39 posts from August 2016

David's Popcorn for Dummies


My husband is getting jealous of the fact that I keep posting food that I cook. He wants to let you all know that he can cook, too. So here it is. His recipe. For popcorn. I'm serious.

-2 tablespoons popping corn

-1 air corn popping machine

-salt, fat-free pareve butter spray

Plug in the machine. Put popcorn in the machine. Turn it on. Wait. When popcorn comes out, spray it with butter spray and salt. Hubby says the magic is in spraying and salting the popcorn as it's coming out of the machine. Whatever. Eat. Enjoy. Repeat.

If you like to enjoy actual food on Shabbat, then try Sophia's Succulent Chicken Thighs:

-1 kilo boneless, skinless chicken leg and thigh

-1 onion, 2-3 cloves garlic, 1 pkg of de-stemmed parsley. Put in food processor.

-salt, pepper, 2T. soy sauce, drizzle of olive oil. 

-Pour all ingredients over chicken and marinade, preferably overnight. Grill 'em up or throw 'em in the oven at 200 degrees celcius for 45 minutes. Enjoy! 

Contact me with Uman Questions

If you have any further questions about Uman, email me at I'll be happy to help you out. Check out my post, "Women of Uman," below for a brief explanation on why it's so beneficial to go to Uman for Rosh Hashana.

And don't forget to scroll down and check out Rav Brody's info on his weekly emuna talk tonight! Look for times below.

Women of Uman

Hi All! Racheli here, and I'm thinking of designing shirts that say, "Women of Uman" on them. I'll send each brave and righteous woman a free t-shirt because she sent her husband to Uman for Rosh Hashana. I came up with this idea because a friend of mine asked me for my opinion about sending her husband to Uman for Rosh Hashana. I was like, "For sure! I don't really like the guy anyway." I know. I have a terrible sense of humor. Well, obviously I am slightly biased, since I have been sending my husband for six or seven years. My math is embarrassing and I'm so tired, so let's just round it up to seven.

Her main concern was that she would be alone for the biggest holiday of the Jewish Year. So I totally get it. It's not easy to be alone during a time when families are celebrating the new year together, enjoying 8-hour prayer marathons, eating 'til they can barely breathe, and quality time arguing with each other.

Plus, if you live in a place where you don't have family or close friends, or any kind of support system to help you get through the holiday, it can be even more lonely, and so much more difficult. I go through this every year, taking care of my five hooligans all by my lonesome self. Is it really worth all of the suffering you and your kids will have to go through, just so your husband can pray by a holy gravesite with 40,000 other men for two days?

My answer is an absolute YES.

Ladies, if you're on the fence, or even if you're adamantly against sending your husbands to Uman, consider this: Rosh Hashana is not the "New Year" in the traditional sense. It is the seed for the entire year. This means that any action done on these two days has far-reaching effects, into the coming year and beyond. It also means that any judgment passed during these two days will be realized during the following year, and the effects will manifest for the rest of your lifetime and beyond.

Rosh Hashana is a day when the Heavenly Court opens up your file and goes through it with an electron microscope. It is your two days in court, and all of your mitzvahs and transgressions will be presented as evidence. Based on all of the facts, the Heavenly Judges will decide on a verdict. You will experience their verdict over the coming year, with all of the blessings and hardships that it brings.

That is why we spend two days filled with intense prayers; so we can do our maximum to request a merciful verdict. But, let me ask you - would you ever act as your own defense attorney in court? Imagine if someone takes you to court for something you did. Would you really trust yourself to win your case? Or would you hire the best attorney you can afford?

Rebbe Nachman is promising us that he himself will act as our defense attorney on these most influential two days. In fact, he has said that his Rosh Hashana is more important than everything. To me, this means that he will go to the ends of the universe in order to secure for us a year filled with maximum blessings. The only catch is that you have to be present with him in the courtroom. Imagine a defense attorney saying, "My client is innocent of these charges, blah, blah, blah." But his client is too busy enjoying his wife's matzah ball soup to show up in court.

How many other tzaddikim are giving you such an unbelievable promise?

In life, the more valuable an item is, the more expensive it is. It's also true in spirituality. If you want tremendous blessings, they don't come for free. You have to do your maximum to earn them. So, two days alone isn't comfortable. It's not fun. But what's the payoff for your investment of two days? 363(is that right?) days of blessings above and beyond what you could have accomplished by yourself. 

Isn't that worth it? To me, it sure is.

You're Never Alone

Never Alone
You're not alone! There's a Creator of the world, a loving Father. Why break your head against a wall trying to cope on your own? The more you connect to Hashem, the greater your potential…

Today's emuna shiur and broadcast, entitled "You're Never Alone" is an intravenous injection of hope and encouragement. 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. 

Chaim Meir Erps: My Rebbe Nachman

This time of the year, we start to feel the anticipation and excitement of our upcoming Rosh Hashana in Uman. Here is a wonderful clip, full of images from Uman at Rosh Hashana time, by our sweet friend, the dynamic star of Jewish music, Chaim Meir Erps. It's in Yiddish and Hebrew, but you'll understand it. Get ready to dance...

By the way, here's some great news: our group in Uman has attained a few more rooms for Rosh Hashana. We have a fantastic English-speaking group with the best accommodations in Uman, our own private mikva, delicious food, mehadrin shechita and home-baked bread, and many more perks, such as our own private Shabbat dinner and shiur with Rav Shalom Arush and our own private davening on Shabbat. Would you like to join us? Call USA 1-786-350-3738 or Israel 054-543-2774, or write - hope to see you in Uman!

Rebbe Nachman's Violin Maker

ZZ Luthier

Above image: Luthier Zev Zalman "ZZ" Ludwick constructs a violin. (Photo by Ethan McLeod, courtesy of

ZZ, a Breslever Chassid who is connected heart and soul with Rebbe Nachman and his teachings, is a violin maker with a special talent for bringing old and broken violas, violins and cellos back to life. He patiently and empathetically listened to a woman tell him what an old moldy violin means to her. "My mother's soul is in that violin." She inherited the heirloom from her deceased mother, but in its years in the attic, the violin was virtually ruined.

"In that case," said ZZ, "with the help of the Creator, we'll do everything to bring your mama's soul back to you." He didn't see a moldy violin – he saw a soul. In short, he brought the violin back to life. The woman came to his shop and lifted the refurbished violin out of its brand new case and caressed it as if she was caressing her mother. "Oh my!" was all she could say, doing her best to catch her breath. "It's mama!" She could feel the soul…

ZZ thinks back to the Holy Temple when he says, "Tradition never goes out of style." That's his motto. For a luthier, tradition is everything. I'd love to introduce you to this remarkable individual, who if I'm not mistaken, will soon be known as The Breslever Stradivarius, as we invite you to read in this week's wonderful new issue of Breslev Israel web magazine.

This week's Torah portion is Ekev. It teaches us not to depend on our own logic, as I explain in my elaboration, The Right Recipe.

Rabbi Shalom Arush prepares us for Elul in Doing Ourselves a Favor.

In Revolution, Racheli Reckles shows how growing your spiritual awareness is like growing your muscles. You’ve got to work hard at it and be consistent, never giving up, for it's so worthwhile…

Dr. Zev Ballen says that if it weren’t for the many fears and doubts that gnaw away at peoples’ confidence, there would be so many more people fulfilling their potential and living better lives, as we learn in Hearing the Deeper Voice.

Lori Steiner shows us the fantastic benefits of being Confident in Hashem.

Sunny Levi gives us great advice in Making Room for Blessings

Jenn Woodward displays a flashing caution light in Pokémon No Go.

Enjoy and have a lovely new week!