Look how Hashem fights our battles. You've never seen anything like this! Watch surprise guest speaker in the UN—Mosab Hassan Yousef, the son of Hamas's founder Sheik Yousef— expose PLO lies earlier this week in the UN:
This week's Emuna News Roundup talks about the connection between Yom Kippur and the continuation of rapid-succession natural disasters around the world, the double threat of North Korea and Iran, terror in Israel and an ethics lesson from professional sports:
You guys know what that picture means. David and the boys are home! Baruch Hashem! Go ahead. Ask me how much my kids missed me. I dare you.
After they fell asleep I embarked on the exciting and slightly nauseating task of sorting their laundry.I gotta tell you, there's one thing that I really hate about laundry. I know that I'm not supposed to complain about anything having to do with laundry, but let's just pretend I never wrote that.
As I sighed and fantasized about the week before, the week of no screaming, early bedtimes, and a load of laundry every other day, I mindlessly started turning outside-in all of the shirts and socks that were inside-out. Did that make sense? Should I say inside-in, and then that would mean outside-out? I'm seriously confused. Whatever.
Whenever I reached a sock that was turned inside-out, I involuntarily tilted my head toward the ceiling and cried out, "Lord have mercy!" Unfortunately I'm not very good at holding my breath.
Sigh. Again. It's amazing what doing unappreciated household chores does to me. Especially gross unappreciated household chores. They make me feel so, um, unappreciated. It seems like such a lowly act for a spiritual guru like myself. I feel like I should be learning some Zohar or something.
But then, I remembered what a wonderful rebbetzin once said. "Your housework, the food shopping, and everything else you do to take care of your family is your avodas Hashem!" In laymen's terms, this means that I am serving Hashem in the highest way possible by turning my kids' socks inside out. Or outside out. Plus everything else that I do as a mother and wife.
Gals and guys, we're talking about seriously holy work! A woman's work is looked down upon in the Western world. She's thought to be a failure if she's not out in the working world or earning a Ph.D. in astrophysics. Nonsense, I say! No matter what your career is, the most important work you do is at home, taking care of your family.
That includes food shopping, carpooling, dragging your kids to piano lessons that they really don't want to go to, and of course, doing laundry.
To all of you fabulous ladies with the holy hampers, I have this to say:
HEY GIRL, when you're done folding your laundry, can you come over and fold mine? Then feed my kids and put them to bed? I already showered them.
Oops! I don't know who wrote that. What I meant to say was:
HEY GIRL, did you know that you're some kinda holy woman? Keep up the great work!
A heart that sings is happy, despite the challenges and difficulties of life.
A heart that sings has feeling and understanding.
A heart that sings experiences the jubilation of prayer and Torah learning.
A heart that sings tastes the holiness of Sabbath and the holidays.
So how do you get a heart that sings? My beloved teacher Rav Shalom Arush explained how in Uman during this past Rosh Hashana. Today, I'll be delighted to give this over in English.
Don't miss this evening's vital emuna lesson and broadcast, which also prepares us for Yom kippur and Succoth, entitled "A Heart that Sings", which 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.
I'm writing this to you for two reasons: first, you don't know me and I feel really embarassed talking about this to a rabbi that knows me; and second, since you too are a Baal Teshuva, I'm hoping you can understand a fellow BT that was born in the spiritual gutters far away from Torah. I became observant about five years ago, when I finished my masters degree. As a university student and a popular dude at that, I guess you can say that I did about everything and enjoyed it too. I won't go into the reasons that I made teshuva, but I became very disgusted with my lusty lifestyle. I began to learn Torah and was drawn especially to the teachings of the Zohar. I did an about face and made serious efforts in developing my personal holiness. With daily mikva, daily teshuva, and total immersion Torah, I became a new person. Two years ago, I was introduced to a young lady who after three dates became my fiance. We are blissfully married, in no small thanks to The Garden of Peace, which I live by.
So what's my problem? I thought I had deleted my naughty x-rated past from my brain. On Rosh Hashanah, the Yetzer gave me a triple whammy. During Maariv on the first night, a really raunchy image flashed before my eyes which I won't describe, but it was something from the lowest part of my past. The same thing happened during Mussaf, and the same thing happened again the second night. When I should have been crowning the King, I was watching myself in x-rated movies from my own past, the exact opposite of holiness. Why did Hashem shtup me with these terrible thoughts? What could I possibly have done wrong to be pushed away like this? I had such aspirations of clinging to Hashem with real devotion in this year's prayers, and I blew it. I feel devastated and dejected, as if I've been totally defeated. What can I do? Please help me. Thanks so very much, David from California
The Yetzer - the Evil Inclination - wants you to think that you're a loser. The exact opposite is true - this year, you have attained a lofty and admirable soul correction. You're the winner, my man; here's how:
Back in your university days, you thoroughly enjoyed doing the lewd things that so embarassingly popped into your head during this past Yom Kippur. Yet now, the forbidden acts that you once enjoyed are now a source of shame. Your shame during Yom Kippur is not only a sign of humility and holiness, but a soul correction for the past. Having done teshuva out of love (hear our CD on the subject), your past transgressions now become valuable merits to your credit. What's more, when you did those wrong things, you didn't know they were wrong. You can be proud of yourself, for Hashem is proud of the unbelievable growth that you've made in five short years. Don't ever forget that spiritual growth and serving Hashem are like football - you can't gain an inch without facing tough opposition; that's why the rewards are so great. Keep plugging away, slowly but surely, for you'll be a big winner. Remember also that as a BT, you're now playing in a championship league. Be happy, David - you're doing great. With blessings for a meaning Yom Kippur and a wonderful year, LB
Today, Israel has lost three more sacred martyrs. Two were security guards and one was a border policemen, Solomon Gavriya, may Hashem avenge his martyred blood.
Solomon was only twenty years old. He was wounded last year while preventing a terrorist attack but insisted in returning to his unit when he had barely recovered. He was the total opposite of the macho type - a quiet, humble young man from an Ethiopian Jewish family in Be'er Yaacov near Rehovot. Such are the heroes of Israel. We mourn his death as well as the death of security guards Youssef Ottman of Abu Ghosh and Or Arish of Har Adar. May their families be comforted among the other mourners of Zion and Yerushalayim, amen.