147 posts categorized "Emuna News"

V'hi She'amda: The Eternal Promise

Even though I am cold-turkey on political issues, many of my dear friends in Judea and Samaria, our biblical heartland, have been asking for my reaction to the USA's surprising (sic) backtrack on campaign promises, to the extent that President Trump is even retaining two ex-Obama very left-leaning advisers, while cooking in the White House kitchen a new (not KP) recipe for a  two-state solution.

We can't say a word about the American administration when our own political leaders should really be in the furniture business, because all they care about is the chair they sit on. Ideology? Truth? You will find neither in the current blue-and-white regime. Maybe now, our people will finally learn that there's no one to trust but Hashem. We certainly can't trust those who change their opinions as frequently as they change their socks and prefer political expediency to justice and truth. So, my Pesach-eve message to my cherished brothers and sisters in Judea and Samaria is that it's time that we all come back to Hashem in complete teshuva, asking His forgiveness for any trust we put in human beings, in Israel or abroad.

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 Megilla of Geula, 2017: Trump and Achashverosh

Megilla 2017
If you don't think that the Megilla of Geula is unfolding right before our eyes, ponder the following points:

Like Achashverosh, Donald Trump has Jewish grandchildren.

Like Achashverosh, Donald Trump did not come from a blue-blooded family or from a political background.

Like Achashverosh, Donald Trump is a fabulously wealthy and powerful businessman.

Like Achashverosh, Donald Trump is regarded by some as a total idiot and by others as a genius; this is the same as the debate about Achashverosh between our sages in the Gemara, tractate Megilla 11a. 

Achashverosh was topsy turvy: one minute, he could kill his wife in favor of his adviser, and then later turn around and kill his adviser in favor of his wife. Trump too has already proven to be a master of the ideological u-turn; just recently, his administration is backpedaling on promises he made to Israel. The same goes with his relations with Russia and China; one minute he's buddy-buddy with them, and the next minute he's preparing for war with them.

I heard recently that someone went to Rav Leib Shteinman, may Hashem keep him strong and healthy, and showed him that the Hebrew numerical equivalent of Donald Trump is 424, the exact equivalent of "Moshiach ben David": מָשִׁיחַ בֶּן־דָוִד =  דונלד טראמפ = 424 - he asked Rav Shteinman what this meant, hoping that there's a connection between Trump and the coming of Moshiach. The esteemed and holy 104-year-old sage and leader of the Yeshiva world said, "It doesn't matter what Mr. Trump does; it matters what we do!" In other words, if we don't make Torah, teshuva and emuna our top priorites, neither Trump nor anyone else will hasten the merciful redemption of our people.

Don't miss today's exciting emuna lesson and broadcast entitled "The Megilla of Geula, 2017," 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 EST); 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. 


Antisemitism, USA: The Emuna Factor

Bomb Threat USA 2017 JCC
As soon as I got off the plane at the start of my recent trip to the USA, I received a call from a family very close to me in Chicago. They told me about a chain of antisemitic crimes in their neighborhood, one very close to their home. They were visibly and understandably concerned, especially for the welfare of their children.

For Breslev Israel and yours truly, St. Louis is one of our favorite cities and a bright star of emuna on America's Midwest map. Just this week, the historic "Chesed Shel Emet" Jewish cemetery there was terribly vandalized. Meanwhile, Jewish Community Centers in a dozen different US cities have received some sixty bomb threats recently.

It certainly seems that a tidal wave of antisemitism is in our faces lately. The question is, is this a new epidemic of Jew-hating on the rise, or simply old business?

It depends who you ask.

A Jerusalem Post editorial calls this a shocking rise. The Washington Post and the Forward both say that nothing is new and that there's no need for alarm. Who is right? Who do we believe?

We don't believe any of the above sources, for they all ignore the emuna factor. 

What do I mean by the emuna factor? The emuna factor is the only key to understanding the events around us, whether on a personal scale or on a national or international scale. The emuna factor tells us three key spiritual facts that underlie every event or occurrence in the universe; they are:

  1. Everything comes from the Almighty - the Rambam says in the 1st of the 13 Principles of Faith that, "He alone did, does and will do every deed."
  2. Everything the Almighty does is all for the best - there is no exception to this rule, whether or not we understand (See both The Garden of Emuna and The Trail to Tranquility for elaborate explanations of this point).
  3. Everything the Almighty does is all for an explicit purpose - no occurrence in the universe is random, happenstance or fate; it's all the result of precision Divine Providence down to the tiniest detail.

Now, let's apply the emuna factor to the current wave of antisemitism in the USA. We see that everything is coming from the Creator; He is using the free choice of the Jew-haters as an alarm clock to make American Jews stop and think that Jews can only trust in Him and not in their host country, despite their house with the swimming pool and tennis court in Great Neck or their posh 42nd floor condo overlooking the Atlantic in Miami Beach. Intrinsically, a Jew is no more safe in Monsey or Lakewood than he is living in Sderot or Gush Etzion. Hashem is reminding American Jewry that they need Him, not the ADL or any other activist organization.

The good news is that this wake-up call has been devoid of any bodily injury, Heaven forbid. The Almighty simply wants to arouse American Jews from their spiritual slumber. Glatt-kosher delis and pastry shops aren't what He's looking for. Hashem wants all of us to strengthen emuna. When we wake up in time, He won't need to send any louder wake-up calls.

Consequently, whether antisemitism in the USA is on the rise or whether it's old business is a moot question. The real question - the one that the future of the Jewish People depends on - is whether the Jews of America - and the Jews of Israel - will cast their eyes to the Almighty for salvation and not put their trust in all types of organizations and political leaders who really could care less about anything than their own padded seats. For that reason, as long as anyone worries about strengthening him/herself in emuna, he or she has nothing else to worry about, especially antisemitism, which is no more than a stick in the Almighty's all-powerful hands.

My esteemed and beloved teacher Rabbi Shalom Arush told me emphatically to make he following promise in his name: anyone who helps us spread emuna will be guaranteed Divine protection against any calamity, including antisemitism in the USA. If you'd like to help us to spread emuna to your city, drop us a line at staff@breslev.co.il. The light of emuna will readily disperse the darkness of evil.


Who Did What in Washington?

Shavua Tov, blessings for a wonderful new week!

First of all, I'm happy to report that I arrived home safely to my beloved homeland this past Thursday night.

When our speaking tour in LA, Houston and Monsey, New York was concluded, Rav Arush continued on to Latin America with my Spanish-speaking colleague, Rabbi Yonatan Gal'ed. I boarded the Amtrac from NYC to DC, looking forward to visiting my 90-year-old Mom, may Hashem bless her, and spending some two days of cherished chill-time with my two brothers in the DC area. Hashem had different plans. As soon as I arrived in DC, I took a cab to Mom's apartment in an assisted-living facility on Connecticut Avenue. I found her choking for breath; she was suffering from pneumonia and congestive heart failure. She had to be rushed to the hospital. For 48 hours, things were touch and go but with Hashem's mercy, she bounced back.

When I wasn't with Mom in the hospital, I was spending as much time as I could out in the woods by the Northwest Branch of the Potomac, near where my brother ZZ lives. When I came back to his house after my personal prayer session (yes - Hashem is in the Washington, DC area too), we went to Mincha prayers at his synagogue. One man greeted me and said, "Hey, Rabbi Lazer - you arrived here the same day that Bibi did! Do you plan to go the White House too?"

"To tell you the truth," I said, "my only reason to go the White House would be to give Donald Trump a copy of The Garden of Emuna and The Trail to Tranquility. Other than that, Hashem has a fantastic office out on the Northeast Brach trail - I just went there to visit Him. Beats the White House anytime." The man who greeted me walked away. He looked at me as if I had nerve talking about emuna in a synagogue...

It turns out that at the same time I was talking to Hashem in the woods right outside Washington, DC, Bibi was talking to Trump in the White House. Bibi should have joined me in the woods.

Why?

When you speak to Hashem, you get results. Maybe your request isn't fulfilled on the spot, but you right away get closer to Hashem, something that's conducive to every blessing in life.

When you speak to flesh and blood, you never know what you're getting. Already, people are baffled by President Trump's confusing positions where he seems to be backing down from campaign promises. But Trump doesn't run the world - Hashem does. Rather than putting trust in him, Israel should put its entire trust in Hashem, for whatever Hashem decides, that's what will be.

Next time Bibi comes to Washington, he should include this place in his itinerary - for results, it beats the White House:


A Lesson from Amona

Amonaexpulsion

Today was a very sad day in Israel. In the tiny Shomron (Samaria) village of Amona, 40 families were forcibly expelled from their homes. Back in 2014, the Israeli Supreme Court voted to not only expel these families because the land on which they built their homes - with government grants, no less - was later claimed to have been built on private Arab land. 

The worst part? Actually, there are two. First: the Supreme Court refused to provide the families with alternative housing. It's not bad enough that they're demolishing their homes, but they're leaving them homeless, too. Second: it was a Jewish "human rights" group, Yesh Din (there is judgment,) that instigated this fiasco, claiming that the homes were built on private Arab land. It's one thing if an Arab "human rights" group wants to bring up such a claim. But a Jewish group fighting for the rights of people who hate us? 

Why aren't they fighting for the human rights of these 40 families who now have nowhere to live? What about the children's rights to grow up without suffering the trauma of losing their home and being made homeless in the freezing winter? Yesh Din, where are their human rights? 

After seething at this injustice the entire day, I realized something.

Since I have to believe that Hashem is doing everything for the best, I trust that this indeed is for the best. Okay. That's nice and vague an all, but why do I need to stand by and watch these people suffer? And then I thought, why do we need to go through any suffering at all? When things are so painful, why can't Hashem just speed things up a bit and/or make them go away altogether?

But then I realized that Hashem is trying to teach us an extremely important lesson: 

We have to be patient with the bad things, just as we are patient with the good things. 

You see, Hashem can't run this universe on a double standard. He can't separate cause and effect only when the effect is negative. He can't take away our free will only if we're going to make decisions that will hurt us later. He can't speed up the process only when it's painful for us. 

When good things happen, like when we're on vacation, we wish it could last forever. Be honest - we'd have no problem living on a cruise ship for the rest of our lives. At least, I wouldn't. But when something bad happens, we want it to go away as fast as possible. Sure, it's human nature, but I believe Hashem made us like this to teach us to have equal-opportunity patience, as opposed to selective patience. 

Now I understand what it means when Hashem is referred to as "long-suffering." He suffers along with us in our tough situations, but for our own spiritual growth and soul correction, He can't take these painful times away from us, because in the end, we will see how they really were for our ultimate good. 

So we need to learn from this example and be "long-suffering" as well. As much as we would like to not have to go through difficult times, we need to do our best to accept that this is what Hashem wants, and to try to emulate His patience to the best of our ability. 

As for this leftist group, Yesh Din, I have one thing to say to them: "יש דין ויש דיין." There is judgement, and there is a Judge. And one day, He's gonna give y'all a Heavenly smackdown that's gonna send you straight to Planet X, where you belong. 

~Racheli

Rabbi Lazer adds:

Well said, Racheli. The Gemara says that Hashem lets evil people do evil things, but ultimately, they will pay the price. Our Arab neighbors say kol calb bijh yomo - every dog will have its day. That is a message to anyone who has a hand a uprooting a Jew from his home in the Land of Israel.

There's another lesson here. Folks in Israel rejoiced when the so-called "right" was elected. But with all the politicians and their talk, the bottom line is a program than any extreme-left government would be proud of. What does that mean?

Hashem is shouting at us: Menachem Begin the far-rightist gave Sinai to the Egyptians. Ariel Sharon the far-rightist gave Gush Katif and a chunk of Northern Samaria to the PA. Now Bibi and Bennett (Yes, Bennett, a member of Bibi's government) are uprooting Jews from their home in Amona. Hashem is showing all of us a painful lesson that's recurrent all through Jewish history - we can trust no one but Him.

The only way we can strengthen our hold on all of our sacred homeland is to fulfill King David's advice as he states in the last passage of Psalm 105 - Hashem gave us this land for the sole purpose of observing the Torah ands its mitzvoth here. Hashem wants us to strengthen our dedication to Torah and especially Sabbath observance. Hashem wants an end to government-sanctioned policies and laws that negate Torah. There is no one or nothing but Hashem, and if we want to build our country on His holy land, we need His help.


Looking Up at the Same Night Sky

Night Sky
By now, you know that we here at the Beams are not politically correct. We advocate emuna correctness. What does that mean? It's my life's mission: spreading the knowledge of and belief in the One true God to all of humanity, with no regard to race, color or nationality. We pray for this three times a day, every day, all year long in the Aleinu prayer that concludes the daily services, when we yearn for the day when, "All of living flesh shall call Your Name." Rabbi Shalom Arush's and my greatest joy in life is when another human being calls out to God.

In light of the above, I congratulate US President Donald Trump for his courageous, cogent and candid inauguration speech. Surely, this will go down in history as a turning point for the USA and for the whole world as well. Mr. Trump, in a great act of faith, crowned the Almighty instead of crowning himself like his narcissistic predecessor used to do so often. He invoked the Name of God four times. In his fifth reference to our Heavenly Father, Mr. Trump said "Almighty Creator." By doing so, he created a vessel of abundance for himself and his family, his administration and all of America. We applaud you, Mr. President!

Here are President Trump's references to God from his speech (in the order he said them):

Reference #1: The Bible tells us how good and pleasant it is when God's people live together in unity...

Reference #2: And most importantly, we will be protected by God...

Reference #3: And whether a child is born in the urban sprawl of Detroit or the wind-swept plains of Nebraska, they look up at the same night sky, they will their heart with the same dreams, and they are infused with the breath of life by the same Almighty Creator...

References #4 and #5: God bless you. And God bless America!

Why is the left panicking?

Had the leftists in America won the election, you wouldn't see a single right-winger demonstrating on the streets. Yet, there is no connection between the left and democracy, whether in America or in Israel. Leftists are in the streets because they can't stand when they don't get their own way. How do we know that they are far away from Hashem? Just listen to their constant whining, complaining and distortion of the truth. People close to Hashem neither whine and complain nor distort the truth. See how the leftist mobsters rob the public to further their own hateful agenda and to pad their own pockets. Just moments before he left office, Barack Hussein Obama ripped off $221 million from US citizens - overriding a congressional holding order - and gave it to the Palestinian Authority! $221 million dollars of American money is now on its way to the Fatah terrorists. Would America want this? Did America vote for this? No way!

On a spiritual plane, the leftists do fulfill a task: they are the opposition force to the crowning of Hashem on earth, the Geula (full redemption of our people) and the coming of Moshiach. In the days of Moses, the left was spearheaded by Dothan and Aviram. In this generation, it's the corrupt, greedy global left with such financial and political leaders as Soros and Clinton. Their downfall, in Hashem's infinite mercy, has opened the door once more to the true freedom of speech, where my esteemed and honorable friend Chief Justice Roy Moore of Alabama would no longer be suspended for fighting against abomination in public and for putting the Ten Commandments on his state courthouse. Schoolchildren will once more be allowed to say The Pledge of Allegiance and pray for "One nation under God." The left is panicking because hopefully, emuna will now be spread far and wide.

Hopefully, soon, all of living flesh will call Hashem's Name.

Hopefully, soon, all the children of the world will be looking up at the same sky and calling out in praise and thanksgiving to the One Almighty Creator.

Hopefully, soon, every human on earth will realize his or her inalienable right to establish their own personal relationship with the Creator and to speak to Him whenever they choose.

Thank you, Mr. Trump, for exemplifying what a world leader should be. May Hashem give you the strength and fortitude to continue in this path. With utmost respect and heartfelt blessings,

Rabbi Lazer Brody, Ashdod, Israel


Inauguration Day!

Today is the day Donald Trump becomes the 45th President of the United States. Although there are many that won't exactly be celebrating his inauguration today, it seems like the entire world is holding its breath in anticipation of what the next four years will bring.

If I were elected President, those that know me would probably be moving to another solar system. I'm crazy, you know. Even though it will never happen, I still want to share my inauguration speech with all of our dear readers out there, because I'm overtired and can't think straight.

Dear Fellow Americans, I am honored to accept your appointment as your newest and most awesomest President in the history of the United States. I promise that there will be no new taxes, separate bathrooms for boys and girls, and the right for parents (especially in California) to refuse to vaccinate their children due to the overwhelming evidence of serious side effects. I promise that everyone will stop getting spied on by Facebook, Google, and the NSA, and will re-instate the inherent right we all have to some freakin' privacy. I will raise the level of education for our children, so they will finally learn that the correct spelling of "you are" is not "u r." 

I want all of my fellow Americans to know that we will stop instigating wars in other countries and sending our troops over for no legitimate reason. I will de-militarize the local police so they will once again dress like Starsky and Hutch, minus the outdated hairdos. I will allow all disciplines of natural healing to be practiced without fear of persecution. The American People deserve access to the most efficient and affordable medical treatments, which are, most times, based in natural, holistic approaches. I will stop spraying deadly chemtrails into the air and poisoning our land and produce with glyphosate. All produce will be organic, and cows will once again be allowed to eat grass and walk around. Chickens will no longer die of insanity due to horrible, cramped cages. All livestock will no longer be injected with hormones and antibiotics. 

I will bring back jobs to the United States and raise the minimum wage. I will stop importing illegal aliens and providing them with benefits. I will bring back traditional values to the American People, and along with that, I will bring back traditional gender roles as well. I will shut down the Federal Reserve so they can stop making crazy amounts of interest by lending money to the government. I will make tax brackets fair, so people can once again have a savings in their bank accounts.

Every year on my birthday, I will give each child $100 towards his continuing education. I will stop letting Universities become breeding grounds for the Liberal movement. I will re-instate the right to free speech, freedom to practice any religion as long as it doesn't promote violence, and freedom of expression as long as it isn't disgusting and in poor taste.

I will build apartments to house every homeless person, and provide them with three meals a day, clothing, and education, so they can work and feel human again. Widows and orphans will receive special financial benefits, and so will single working parents. No single parent should have to work two jobs and take care of her family all on her own, without any financial help.

My fellow Americans, I want to thank you for your support. I hope that the next four years will be years of blessing, of ample sustenance for all, of revolutionary, affordable health care, and peace. Most importantly, I hope that all of us can put our differences aside for the sake of working together to make this country great again. Let's minimize the name-calling, reputation-bashing, and slander, because they serve no practical purpose for the betterment of our society. Let's focus on doing positive actions for one another, and let's begin to care about each other's well-being. 

Most importantly, I hope that we all learn that God is in the picture, and that He loves each and every one of us. As my inauguration gift to you, I am sending each person a free copy of The Garden of Emuna and The Garden of Gratitude. 

I, as your President, wish all of us a bright future, and of course, world peace. 

~President Racheli Reckles ( I really like the sound of that!)