14 posts categorized "Chassidic thought"

Why A Tzaddik?

Dear Rabbi Lazer,

I understand we have to believe in tzadikim however is it permited to think that the only way to connect to Hashem is thru a rebbe? Without a rebbe we can't connect to Hashem? Please advise - I'm only seeking the truth. BD, NYC

Dear BD,

You don't need a rebbe with a multi-colored satin coat who gives out crumbs of his gefilte fish. But we all need a connection to a true tzaddik, a righteous and selfless individual who practices every letter of what he preaches.

Without connection to a real tzaddik, a person can walk around thinking he's perfect; that breeds arrogance, and therefore takes a person away from Hashem. A true tzaddik shows us what we must correct - we can't be arrogant compared to him, indeed, we see how much we have to learn and improve. Therefore, connecting to a true tzaddik brings a person to learn humility, and humility brings him much closer to Hashem. I'd hate to think where I'd be if it weren't for my own rabbi and spiritual guide, one of this generation's true tzadikim, Rav Shalom Arush, may Hashem bless him.

BD, our sages say, Aseh lecha rav - find yourself a rabbi and spiritual guide. It's not easy, so start praying for the right one immediately. I pray for your success.

Blessings always, LB

Thought focus

Rays 620

Simply speaking, you are where your mind is. If you focus on paradise, that's where you'll be. The choice is completely up to you. Anytime is a good time to ponder, speak to Hashem, and to put our thoughts in the right place. As soon as we think about Hashem, our minds are in paradise; when we speak to Him, our whole body and soul enter paradise too. 


"Adraba" is a segment of a prayer written by the holy Rebbe Elimelech of Lizensk, of saintly and blessed memory. We pray to see our neighbor's good points and not his faults. This is a song of "Ahavat Yisrael," one of the most important mitzvoth in the Torah.

Hezy Levy is known as Israel's troubadour - his voice surpasses a nightingale's. As a Levite, G-d willing he'll soon be singing in the rebuilt Holy Temple. The clip is filmed near his home in the Sharon Valley east of Natanya. Enjoy it.

Napolean in the Mikva

12362 My beloved teacher Rabbi Shalom Arush, may Hashem bless him always, told me the following joke:

Napolean, during his conquest of the East, arrived in the Land of Israel. He asked his intelligence officer the best way to glean information about the locals. “If you want to know what’s going on inside the Jewish community,” said the intel officer, “go to the men’s mikva; you can hear all the news there.” Napolean heeded this very sound piece of advice – an outstanding morsel of intelligence in itself – dressed up like a Jew and went to the men’s mikva the following morning. He overheard the following conversation between two Jews there:

“What’s the good news, Avraham?”

“Everybody’s saying that Napolean is somewhere in the mikva!”

* * *

A society’s humor truly reflects that society’s image. Rebbe Nachman of Breslev teaches in his famous tale “The Modest King” that we learn about the people of a given nation by listening to their humor. In that light, there’s more than a grain of truth in the Napolean joke. Even though on should refrain from talking in the mikva – undress, immerse, dress, and leave as quickly and as modestly as possible – every mikva has its notorious parliamentarians.

I was dressing one morning in the mikva when I overheard the following conversation between two married Talmudic students:

Continue reading News in the Mikva in this week's Breslev Israel web magazine.

What's easier - being rich or poor? See Fast Money by Rabbi Shalom Arush.

This week's Torah portion is Matot/Massaei with a special message for women entitled The Need to Protect. Also from this week's portion, Rebbe Natan of Breslev discusses Vows and The Power of Speech.

Pray Away is about a young woman's journey from London Yuppie to Emuna-energized Israeli.

The Melitzer Rebbetzen talks about gratitude in Appreciating the Basics.

Breslev Israel is proud to host celebrated children's author Bracha Goetz this week on Breslev Kids, with her rendition of a Maharam parable, The Three-foot Spoons.

Oded Mizrachi is one of Israel's best true-story tellers. Light at the End of the Cave is a hair-raiser.

Do not Murder is part 4 of our series on the Seven Noahide Commandments

Here's wishing you a wonderful week from Breslev Israel and the Beams.

We miss you, Erez


illustration by Rivi Reiner of Jerusalem

No, this is not an Emuna News article; it's not timely either, because Erez was killed on Sunday and buried on Monday. My brain is still numb. The lump in my throat won't go away. I can barely see the keyboard through the tears. I never did learn how to refrain from crying when the true tzaddikim leave this world, especially those that were so close to my heart.

Erez wasn't a person - he was a universe. He was the epitome of everything beautiful - the Land of Israel, the settlement of Bat Ayin, the Judean Hills, Rebbe Nachman's teachings, Judaism, Jewish outreach, brotherly love, humility, holiness, Chassidism, and the mellow strains of a sublime guitar.

Erez devoted his life to Hashem, to Rebbe Nachman, and to Jewish Outreach. He spent the last seven summers roaming the boondocks of India looking for lost Jewish souls that he could bring back to the fold with the magnetism of his ever-so-gentle personality and sweet guitar.

Words defy description of the evil that could extinguish such an exquisite candle. Erez was murdered while talking to Hashem in personal prayer, at one of his favorite spots for hitbodedut. People ask, "Why?"

Since we don't have the Holy Temple and ritual sacrifices that atone for our sins, Erez of blessed and saintly memory was undoubtedly taken as a flawless sacrifice for all of Israel. We are therefore required - wherever we may be - to mourn his death.

As a martyr who was killed in the sanctification of Hashem's name, Erez shall reach the loftiest portals of Heaven. May he intercede for all of us, amen. Baruch Dayan Emes.

Hear Lazer's mini-eulogy of Erez Levanon ob"m, to the touching background music of Erez singing his exquisite song, Lev ve'Maayan, The Heart and the Spring.