128 posts categorized "Emuna News"

V'hi She'amda: The Eternal Promise

Even though I am cold-turkey on political issues, there are still those who are asking for my reaction to the USA's venomous criticism of Israel: I'm delighted. Maybe now, our people will finally learn that there's no one to trust but Hashem. We certainly can't trust our own elected leaders, who prefer political expediency to justice and truth and who brazenly declare in the media that they refuse to heed Hashem's laws. I pray that we all come back to Him in complete teshuva; this would be the finest response to both our so-called friends abroad, to our enemies and to our own elected officials, none of whom surprise us in the least.

The Gemara (tractate Sanhedrin 97b) says that the Nation of Israel (aka the Jewish People) will be redeemed as soon as they make teshuva, in other words, return to Hashem and the ways of His Torah. The Gemara then asks, what happens if the Nation of Israel doesn't make teshuva? Rebbe Yehoshua answers that if Israel doesn't make teshuva, then Hashem places them under the influence of a wicked king whose evil decrees are as severe as Haman's, and then they make teshuva.

We cannot fathom The Almighty's love for us and His infinite mercy. Despite the fact that we haven't made Teshuva from Love, which is what we need to do in order to be redeemed, and despite the fact that our own misdeeds put us under the boot of each generation's wicked kings, Hashem has made an eternal promise to deliver us from their hands. That's the V'hi She'amda prayer that we recite each year in the Haggada.

Let me share with you something additional about Hashem's love for His people: The Heavenly Altar and Throne is known as Upper Jerusalem; it is situated directly above Mount Moriah, the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which is known in the Zohar, Midrash, and Gemara as Lower Jerusalem. Hashem refuses to dwell in Upper Jerusalem until His permanent dwelling on earth - the Holy Temple - will be rebuilt in Lower Jerusalem (see Gemara tractate Taanit 5a, Midrash Tehillim 122, Vilna Gaon's elaboration of Zohar, Safra DeTzniuta, ist Chapter). Many evil world leaders are denying our right to the area of our own Holy Temple. Once again, we have no cause to be angry at them, for as soon as we make real teshuva, they will crumble. But, until we make teshuva, those evil leaders should be forewarned that by disenfranchising Israel from what they call East Jerusalem, they are in effect trying to disenfranchise The Almighty. Cherished brothers and sisters, that won't happen, period.

Hashem has no gratification by forcing us to make teshuva. When we strengthen our emuna and seek Hashem on our own accord, we sanctify His Holy Name. Let's wake up, beloved brothers and sisters. It's either nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles or emuna books and CDs; the choice is ours. Now you can understand why Emuna Outreach is working so hard to spread emuna around the globe - Rav Shalom Arush says that every emuna book or CD neutralizes one ballistic missile. When Moshiach comes, he'll show us all how emuna saved lives; the Gemara says that anyone who saves one life is considered as if he or she saved an entire world.

V'hi She'amda is a Passover song whose words come from the Haggada. It conveys a very timely message for the Jewish people: He who stood by our forefathers stands by us to deliver us from the hands of our enemies in every generation.

One of Jewish music's favorite sons, my dear friend Yonatan Razel, wrote a beautiful melody for this song, which he sings here with the king of Jewish singers, my very special friend Yaacov Shwekey. You'll get shivers up your spine and tears in your eyes listening to them. We're sure you'll enjoy this musical treat as much as we do. Enjoy it and have a wonderful Shabbat, Seder night and Passover holiday!

The Big Winner

Emuna Ball
Add up the winning numbers in the $1.5 Billion Power Ball Lottery this week and you get 102, the exact gematria (numerical value) of emuna. Do you realize what Hashem's message is here? If you have emuna, you're a billionaire, much better off than if you won the lottery. Why? I guarantee you that the lottery winners have lost their peace of mind - their worries are only beginning. Wait and see how many long-lost friends and relatives come out of the woodwork with extended palms. But with emuna, you go through life with a smile on your face, no matter what. So if you have emuna, congratulations! You're the big winner. Blessings for a wonderful Shabbat!

Tremendous thanks to our cherished friend Nachum Kligman of Ramat Bet Shemesh Aleph for initiating this post.

Rabbi Reuven Birmacher, HY"D

RBirmacherWith broken hearts, we mourn the death of a most special soul, Rabbi Reuven Birmacher, HY"D (may Hashem avenge his martyred blood). Rabbi Reuven was 45, a Baal Teshuva who was born in Argentina and made aliya to Israel. He learned in the Torah v'Emuna Yeshiva in Jerusalem and later in Rabbi Shaul Yitzchak Frankel's Kollel together with my oldest son, Rabbi BenTzion. They were best friends.

Yesterday at about noon, we heard sirens after sirens outside our Breslev Israel and Chut Shel Chesed office windows in Jerusalem - the mixture of police cars and ambulances rushing in the direction of the Old City, a few minutes walking distance from our yeshiva, told us that something serious was happening. We soon found out that two Arab terrorists armed with knives had attacked several people at the Jaffa Gate, one of whom was Rabbi Reuven, of martyred and blessed memory. Seven hours later, he died of his wounds, leaving a wife and seven children.

In recent years, Rabbi Reuven taught at the Spanish division of the Aish Hatora Yeshiva in Jerusalem. He was killed when he was on the way to teaching Torah.

The second victim of yesterday's terrorist attack was Ofer Ben Ari, 46, who left behind a widow and two children.

May Hashem have mercy on the widows and orphans, may He uproot sorrow from our midst and bring us a merciful redemption. May we all come back to Him in real teshuva, very soon, amen! 

Jihad and an Isolated Israel

Yael Negev Ibex
The U.S. State Department, the White House and the European Union have been doing their utmost this past year to isolate Israel; we owe them our sincere our gratitude for their unrelenting efforts, for an isolated Israel is great news.

Why does the President of the United States and the State Department repeatedly deny the presence of Jihadi forces in America? Simply because they support Jihad. Obama's best friend Erdogan is the world's #1 consumer of ISIS oil; the revenue Turkey pays ISIS keeps the Jihad alive. As far as the White House and the State Department are concerned, Turkey is a valuable ally while Israel is expendable. There's therefore no way to trust the current USA administration.

If anyone in Israel entertained the thought of leaving a hostile Obama-Kerry administration and turning to Putin, Hashem put a veto on that. While fighting ISIS, Putin is solidly aligned with Iran and Hezbulla, Israel's sworn enemies.

The seemingly confusing world situation (but crystal clear according to emuna) is that the USA is backing the Sunni Moslems while Russia is behind the Shiite Moslems. Both Sunnis and Shiites are bent on destroying Israel. The result is that we're totally isolated. "Thank You, Hashem, for isolating us; everything that happens in the world is Your doing, and it's all for the best!"

Moses blessed the People of Israel before he died, "And Israel shall dwell in security isolated." This is one of the best blessings of Torah, if only we'd heed it...

In the south of Israel in the Negev Desert, lives an amazing creature, the Yael - the Ibex, or Israeli mountain goat (see photo, above). You won't find a more sure-footed animal in creation. It's breathtaking to see the Yael walk along steep and narrow mountain ledges, where the slightest slip means plunging down hundreds of meters to the canyon below. But the fact that the Yael lives in such rugged and treacherous terrain is also his protection. He dwells alone, where no predator or enemy can reach him.

When we the people of Israel dwell on a spiritual high of unshakable emuna, no predator or enemy can reach us either. Perhaps one of the reasons that the Shofar is made from the horn of a Yael is to teach us to be like him. When we put all our trust in Hashem, we too are surefooted and never fall.

The important news is that Chanuka reminds us to rid ourselves of any and all foreign influence and dependence. Thank goodness, we lead lives of Torah and emuna, and we don't lead two-faced and immoral governments.

Any person with emuna should be delighted that the administration in Washington, DC has blatantly betrayed Israel. Any occasion in our history when Israel depended on a foreign power led to submission and tragedy. It's about time we did what Hashem wants us to do and not what foreign governments want us to do. For example, the cowardly building freeze in Israel during the last six years as a capitulation to the White House did not bring peace; it only created a shortage of at least 20,000 housing units and drove apartment prices here through the roof. The 3,000 units that the Israeli Government is currently planning are certainly welcome, but still a drop in the bucket.

Don't be afraid as the nations of the world isolate us - Hashem is doing this for our very best and as preparation for the imminent redemption of our people - the Geula. You'd like to be part of the Geula, wouldn't you? Or do you prefer to continue hiding your kippa in your pocket and wearing a baseball hat or a beret so that your hostile neighbors won't know that you're Jewish?

Live like a Yael, with no fear of anyone but Hashem. Vayishkon Yisrael betach badad - "And Israel shall dwell in security isolated." Happy Chanuka from the Land of Emuna.

Europe Died in Auschwitz

Gas Chambers Auschwitz
In light of current events, the following essay - written in 2004 by a Spaniard using the pen-name of Sebastián Vilar Rodrigez - is especially timely. It tells a truth that few people want to hear:

I walked down the street in Barcelona, and suddenly discovered a terrible truth – Europe died in Auschwitz.

We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they produced great and wonderful people who changed the world. The contribution of this people is felt in all areas of life: science, art, international trade, and above all, as the conscience of the world.

These are the people we burned. And under the pretense of tolerance, and because we wanted to prove to ourselves that we were cured of the disease of racism, we opened our gates to 20 million Muslims, who brought us stupidity and ignorance, religious extremism and lack of tolerance, crime and poverty due to an unwillingness to work and support their families with pride.

They have turned our beautiful Spanish cities into the third world, drowning in filth and crime. Shut up in the apartments they receive free from the government, they plan the murder and destruction of their naïve hosts. And thus, in our misery, we have exchanged culture for fanatical hatred, creative skill for destructive skill, intelligence for backwardness and superstition.

We have exchanged the pursuit of peace of the Jews of Europe and their talent for hoping for a better future for their children, their determined clinging to life because life is holy, for those who pursue death, for people consumed by the desire for death for themselves and others, for our children and theirs.

What a terrible mistake was made by miserable Europe.

If you don't think that the USA is already making the same mistake, see this from ABC News.


The National Wave of Terror

Malchei Yisrael 13.10

Above image, credit AFP via Jerusalem Post: Malchei Yisrael Street in Geula, Jerusalem, scene of one of Tuesday's heinous terrorist attacks where Rabbi Shaya Krishevsky Hy"d was brutally murdered

I have been in Israel for 45 years and I don't remember a security crisis like the present. Even during the wars of 1973 and 1982, families of soldiers were under pressure but there was no fighting in the streets of Israel. As far as the rocket attacks we get in the south of Israel, you get a warning siren and 30 seconds to run for cover. But, when a terrorist attacks from behind on a crowded street with a knife, there's no siren and no time - one must react in less than a second.

There have been terrible, excruciatingly painful terrorist atrocities in our recent history. Yet, there has never been a situation where people all over the country feel the tension.

Yesterday (Tuesday) was a rough day. The 5 terrorist hits were all perpetrated by Arabs with Israeli IDs, those who received good salaries from Jewish employers, such as the cursed Alaa Abu Jamal who worked for the Bezeq phone company and killed our beloved friend Rabbi Yeshayahu (Shaya) Krishevsky, 59, a Pinsk-Karliner Chassid, a Torah scholar and the nicest most gentle person you'd ever want to meet. I don't want to be too graphic, but Abu Jamal split Shaya's skull open with an ax. Words cannot express such barbarians. Yesterday here on the Beams, we gave you a glimpse of their spiritual leaders (sic) who incite them.

We must do our hishtadlut (effort) to protect ourselves. Those who have weapons and know how to use them should carry them. Learn the basics of how to protect yourself against different types of knife attacks and increase peripheral awareness while walking down the street. Try to anticipate trouble before it happens.

This is probably the hardest national test of emuna yet, for the enemy is within our midst. Yet despite the losses, big miracles have been happening also. We must be strong and know that Hashem is with us, and nothing provides the inner strength that emuna does. Spreading emuna is therefore critical at this time; so is Jewish unity. We must put all the petty differences and intramural bickering aside, immediately.

The root treatment to terror is prayer, teshuva and like we said - emuna. G-d willing, I'll elaborate much more on my shiur and broadcast this evening. One thing is sure - everything comes from Hashem and it's all for the best. Our current wave of troubles is definitely paving the way to Moshiach and Geula. By the way, the neighborhood where Shay Krishevsky was so brutally martyred yesterday is Geula - that's where we're heading, soon, amen!