The following letter is very special, from one of our non-Jewish friends. Emuna is for everyone, for every human being has a share in The Almighty.
Dear Rabbi Lazer,
At a very difficult time in my life, a cross-roads if you will, I seem to have been led to watch Prayer for Fortitude after just finishing Garden Of Emuna...
Due to my own selfish past I managed to hurt many that I love and that love me, as well as myself. After walking away from a great career, a family, home, all my funds, I became a drug addict and eventually ended up on the streets. By the grace of G-D, and family members who would not give up on me, I got up, dusted myself off, and turned my back on that destructive life. It has been two years now. I still have little worldly possessions to show for turning towards the "Light". It is very difficult at times, but in some way, with no worldly to hide behind, I am beginning to feel a sense of knowing and inner strength. A strength I was not aware of in the past.
I was baptized a Christian, and my Dad was a minister. For so many years I turned my back on G-D and all religion. Yet for some reason, G-D did not turn his back on me. I suppose this is what is meant by Unconditional Love. I don't see myself as a religious person, but I do know, beyond a shadow of doubt that G-D is Real, and G-D is Light and G-D is Love.
In addition to Prayer Of Fortitude, I recently finished reading Garden of Emuna. They have both given me a new focus and understanding. I now understand that the "wholeness" that I seek, can only be achieved through acts of kindness to others. It is like an echo if you will. One act of kindness for another can echo to another and another and so on.... And in return, it fills us with hope, faith, healing, gratitude and wholeness.
I simply wanted to say Thank You, Lazer Rabbi. I never would have guessed that I would be led back to our Father in Heaven through a Rabbi. Funny, I suppose G-D truly works in mysterious ways. Peace be with you. Ben from the USA
In reaction to our Deadly Dominoes post from a week ago, two of our good friends - David Dome of London and Red Bear from Wyoming - called my attention to amazingly similar things that they had heard from "Red Crow."
Floyd "Red Crow" Westerman was an elder of the Dakota Sioux, a thinker, a man of spirit, and a musician. His beliefs were so close to Jewish spirituality, lending even more credibility to what many believe that the Native Americans stem from the Ten Lost Tribes of Israel. Red Crow died in 2007 from a battle with leukemia, but before he left this earth, he recorded his legacy on film, which we are happy to share with you. Among other things, Red Crow said (italics are LB's comments):
1. There is a time for purification and a time for renewal - this concept is recurrent all through Torah.
2. A society dies when it forgets how to live on earth - the land regurgitates the morally corrupt.
3. Man's inability to live on earth in a spiritual fashion indicates his end - such is the fate of decadent societies.
4. If you're not spiritually connected, you won't survive - right out of the Torah.
5. Everything is spiritual, everything has a spirit - see Zohar, Ariza'l
6. There is One Creator - the first commandment and first tenet of emuna
7. Our time on earth is limited, then we go to the spiritual world - basic tenet of Judaism
8. The spiritual world is more real than the physical world - basic tenet of Breslever thought.
9. When the elements of the earth are corrupted, so is man - see Gemara, Midrash Raba, Breishit
10. The monkey may be your ancestor, but he's not ours - we don't believe in Darwin.
Ted Williams until a few days ago was a homeless panhandler with a great radiophonic voice. Yet, he'd spend an hour a day speaking to Hashem (see the video at 5:00). Look what Hashem did to him, overnight!
A bright Beam blessing to Yoss and to Reuven for the tipoff to this post.
Lately in my life, I have felt a spiritual hunger. I haven't gone to church since after September 11 of this year when our church, instead of talking about what happened back in 2001, simply preached a sermon I had heard from 10 years ago. The music was prerecorded, and everything had a kind of cheesy entertainment quality. To be honest with you, I haven't been happy with church for a long time. I get tired of the "new improved Bibles". I get tired of psychobabble, the emptiness of it all. When I was looking for spiritual answers, I got nothing but platitudes and performance art. So I started looking at Jewish sites online, and I started reading sermons of various rabbis, and all of the sudden, I started feeling spiritually nourished. I wonder, as a gentile, would I be unwelcome into a synagogue? I would like to attend a Sabbath service sometime, but I don't wish to intrude where I might be unwelcome or out of place. Please let me know what you think. Thank you, JA from Pennsylvania
Thanks so much for your letter. Our prophet said (Amos 8:11), "Behold, the days are coming - thus speaks the Lord Hashem - when I will send hunger on earth; not a hunger for bread nor a thirst for water, but to hear the words of Hashem." It's always a thrill to see the fulfillment of these holy prophecies as we get closer and closer to redemption time. So, in light of Amos the Prophet's above message, if you've been feeling spiritually hungry and thirsty, you obviously haven't been hearing the words of Hashem. There are growing numbers of people like you around the world; Out of the 450 people who attended my recent Emuna lecture in Melbourne, Australia a week and a half ago, nearly 50 were non-Jews. I'd also estimate that at least 35% of my readers here at the Beams are non-Jews. So, you're not alone, JA, and you're more than welcome.
Not every synagogue knows how to welcome B'nai Noah. I suggest you contact your local Orthodox rabbi, introduce yourself, and see what he says. Of the dozens of Bnai Noach whom I've introduced to Chabad rabbis all over the world, every single one has raved about the way they've been welcomed.
Although the Jewish religion in general, and yours truly in particular, do not encourage proseletyzing for numerous reasons, we do strongly recommend that all of mankind learn and accept the Seven Noahide laws.
Meanwhile, I suggest that you nurture your own personal relationship with G-d, by talking to Him for at least a half an hour a day in your own words. You'll be amazed at what that does for your soul. It's my pleasure and privilege to help any human being establish a stronger connection with G-d, and you are certainly no exception. Take care, and may all your heart's wishes be fulfilled for the very best. Yours with blessings, Lazer Brody
The Melitzer Rebbe once told that one of the reasons that Hashem is reserving a special place in the World-to-Come for B'nai Noach (Noahides), is because the Noahides elevate the Jews.
The Noahides behoove the Jews to become better; that scores big points with Hashem. With that in mind, I'd like to share a letter from Hank, a Noahide that spent several years debating with himself about converting, and decided that he'd be better off as an outstanding Noahide than as a struggling Jew. I agree. Here's what Hank writes:
Dear Rabbi Brody,
I have been studying Torah for a number of years, and had the privilege of studying with a brilliant Torah scholar (many years my senior) when I lived, well this might not come as a suprise to you at this point, up in WASPy Vermont. He was a hidden scholar that nobody paid attention to and a self-described Breslover who introduced me to the works of Rebbe Nachman (may his name be blessed). He was also a brilliant Kabbalist that spent loads of time in solitude out in the fields and woods talking to Hashem. The two most remarkable things about him was that first, he was open to all people, second, he always had a smile on his face and a kind word for everyone. Yet, I know that he was a holy man.
When I came to him some years ago, I was interested in conversion. I studied with him on a weekly basis (sometimes twice a week) and he schooled me in many aspects of the parts of Torah that I need to know, particularly the 7 Noahide Laws, and more specifically, anything that has to do with emuna. He told me that I had 2 real possibilities, convert and keep the law to the letter, or study and bring into practice the 7 laws of Noach and their observances as a spring-board to further but limited observance.
I moved to Massachusetts after studying with him for a couple of years, and was still entertaining the idea of conversion, but once again the notion came up "Do you want to be a half-observant Jew, or a gentile who goes above and beyond for Hashem?" I wanted to be a Jew, but it started to occur to me that perhaps I wanted it for the wrong reason (not the completely wrong reason, mind you, ultimately for the glory of the Holy One Blessed Be He, but because I wanted in on the Covenant). Then I started asking myself why I was born a gentile, and ultimately the answer I found was that it is Hashem who made me be born of a gentile woman and Hashem doesn't make mistakes. So, I thought that this was my opportunity to help Yisrael, not by trying to be another struggling Yid, but by elevating my gentile nature, and those of the gentiles around me. Realizing this, I know that there are certain practices that I cannot observe because they pertain to the Covenant of Mount Sinai, not the Covenant made with Noach (like wearing tzitzits, Tefillin, Tallis, Mezuzahs, etc). I have found great inspiration in the teachings of Rebbe Nachman, may he be blessed eternally, and realized that his love of mankind was so great that he spent a lot of time and effort teaching the non-Jews in his communities (which I have read raised a few eyebrows from the orthodoxy in his time).
Since I am no longer in touch with this Torah scholar I studied with so long ago unfortunately, I fear due to his age and physical condition he may no longer be with us in this realm, Heaven forbid), Having your input is of particular importance to me. Your website is amazing, and has brought both a smile to my face and tears to my eyes on many occasions. Thank you for your efforts and for your inspiration.
As a final note, keep up this current path you are on with creating your weekly video lessons, for they have even greater impact when one can hear you and see you and the fire that burns in your eyes for Hashem. I'm not sure how difficult it is for you based on resources, but this personal touch brings everything up to the next level from the perspective of one viewing these from half-way around the world. Your Emuna Film site on YouTube is awesome too. Your message of inspiration and emuna is a rare gem in this age.
The prophet Zechariah writes (ch.14, verse 9), "Hashem will be King over all the land; on that day Hashem will be One and his name will be One."
Our sages ask raise a brow at the above passage, and ask, "What, isn't Hashem already King of the earth?" Rashi, the Ramban, and the Radak answer according to an amazing translation by the holy Tanna Rabbi Yonatan ben Uziel that in the end of days, the nations of the world will scrap their false beliefs and crown Hashem over them as well; they will worship no other name but Hashem's Holy Name.
In light of the above, the growing Noahide movement all over the world is testimony to the imminent Geula, or full redemption of our people. We here at the Beams have been privileged to be in contact with some sensational people from the most unlikely places on the globe that have crowned Hashem as their G-d and unequivocally accept the truth of His Torah.
Just to show you how close the Geula is, I'd like to share with you the following letter from a remarkable teenager in Iowa:
By The Grace of G-d
Shalom Rav Brody,
I have, for quite some time, been meaning to contact you. Finally, today, I decided that enough is enough, and that I should email you. I am a 15 year old Iowan who has (Because of Hashem's great kindness and mercy) fallen in love with Torah.
I was a Lutheran and had planned to become an Air Force chaplain. But Hashem had different plans (His, of course, are always best). I knew that to be a chaplain I would have to be at least somewhat familiar with different religions, so I began my studies with Judaism. I ended up doing more than just a simple study of Judaism. I was amazed by the depth and the beauty of Judaism. More than that, it affected me in every aspect of my daily life, something xianity had never done. After a great deal of careful thought and research I realized that xianity is completely false, and that I wanted to convert to Judaism.
Of the different rabbis who have influenced me in this process, a few stick out more than the others. The Lubavitcher Rebbe zal, the Baal Shem Tov zal, the Alter Rebbe zal, and, of course, that great tzaddik, my Rebbe, Rebbe Nachman of Breslov zal.
I have no desire to remain a Noahide my entire life. I also do not desire to remain in Iowa my entire life (In fact, I want to move to Eretz Yisrael as soon as I can, G-d willing). Although I have gotten mostly negative reactions from my family (Perhaps "negative" is not the proper word, because, if anything, their reactions have only increased my emuna) I am determined to serve Hashem in the Holy Land as a Jew.
Thank you for taking the time to read my letter. Sincerely, T from Iowa
It's all comin' down folks. Emuna is spreading like wildfire. Don't be left out in the cold.