Hurricane Partying
Yes, it's 9/11 Today; No, We don't Forget

Breaking the Barrel, Preserving the Wine

Break the Barrel
Our sages tell us that the most difficult job that the Satan ever had to do was to bring all the calamities upon Job, yet keep him alive. The Midrash says that Hashem told the evil angel, "Break the barrel but don't spill the wine" (Yalkut Shimoni, Job, 2:893), a task that was even challenging for an archangel to do. Yet, despite setbacks here and there, Job weathered his excruciating tribulations with faith and was subsequently rewarded with even greater abundance than he enjoyed before he was tested.

Don't ever forget that the Satan, or any other entity in the spiritual or material realm, can do nothing without Divine sanction. Everything comes from Hashem, no matter who or what the messenger is.

So many people - the vast majority - and even the so-called "observant", have been beside themselves in attempting to separate between the recent one-after-the-other natural disasters and between Hashem, Heaven forbid. They don't want to face the fact that the disasters come directly from Hashem to stimulate us to do teshuva; what's more, they're angry at me for saying so. But even though they consider themselves "observant", the holy Rishon (13th CE sage) and prime student of the Ramban, Rabbenu Bachiya, said in his classic "Kad Hakemach" (see entry "Hashgacha") that anyone who denies Hashem's personal Divine Providence over everything is a heretic.

My mission, as is our goal here at Lazer Beams and with everything we do in Breslev Israel and Emuna Outreach, is to spread emuna. We don't debate with heretics, missionaries or any others with non-emuna goals. Nor are we democratic or politically correct. We are aligned with Torah alone, via the Shulchan Aruch Code of Jewish Law and our poskim of today, the great tzaddikim and particularly Rebbe Nachman of Breslev osb"m and our esteemed teacher Rabbi Shalom Arush shlit'a, the tzaddik that Hashem has chosen to spread emuna to millions of people around the globe, both Jews and non-Jews. We don't force anyone to come here and to read our essays or listen to our shiurim. Nor do we try to force our opinions on anyone, as opposed to the massive pressure of the non-emuna media. Yet, we are the compassionate, for we're the ones who want to end the calamities, not perpetuate them as the "business-as-usual" folks do.

Don't take my word for it: see what the holy Rebbe Yonatan Eibshitz  says in his classic book of his famous teachings, Yaarot Dvash (Forests of Honey) 1:10: "If one views misfortune as an accident rather than as a Divine warning to repent, they will continue to suffer." Consequently, the greatest cruelty on earth is denying that Hashem is using the natural disasters to wake us up, especially now, a mere week before Rosh Hashanah! Why? Such an attitude only brings on more tribulations and heartache.

When a powerful earthquake hit Japan in 1923 that destroyed Tokyo and Yokohama while killing over 100,000 people, news of the disaster reached The Chofetz Chaim. Despite the fact that he was in Radin, Russia, he himself fasted and urged all Jews to repent. 

We pray that the 6.3 million Floridians who have long to return home, are able to soon. We pray that the homeless from the hurricanes of the Caribbean and the earthquakes of Mexico rebuild their homes and their lives. We pray that the folks of California, Oregon and Washington breathe clean air again with no smoke. We pray that no child on earth should ever hear the wail of missile-red-alert sirens. Yet, if we want those prayers to be answered, we have to do teshuva - each of us, whatever he or she can, to get closer to Hashem. Ignoring Hashem's wake-up calls will only trigger more fires, floods and war. Haven't we had enough?

Every human must feel responsible for the world, for he or she is literally capable to put an end to suffering. Let us all respond to Hashem in loving teshuva. Look at Hashem's love: who else could bring such record-breaking disasters yet with so few fatalities? This is Ezekiel's prophecy to the letter (Ezekiel 18:32), who says in the Name of Hashem, "I do not want the death of the dead, but that they shall return to Me and live." So once again, Hashem has ordered the Satans of disaster to to break the barrel (homes and infrastructure) but preserve the wine (human life). He loves us and He wants the best for us. Let's return to Him and call His Name. There's no time to waste.

Comments

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Deborah

Amen! Beautiful~ Thank you, Rabbi!

Dassie

Thank you so much, Rabbi Brody, for everything you and the Breslev Israel staff do, including the translations.

"Garden of Emuna" literally changed my life in a way that nothing else ever had or ever has since.

May Hashem bless you to continue giving us all these emuna-based insights.

Sheindl

Shana Toba umetuka I love your post I lost your personal email and telephone Regards from Mexico Kol Hakabod Sheindl

Billy Washburn

נכון נכון נכון

Ilya

Amen! Chazak U Baruch Rabbi Brody!!

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