52 posts categorized "Emuna Under Fire"

One Person to the Rescue

The Torah tells us how the acts of one person, who many people ridiculed, belittled and disparaged, saved the entire Jewish People. If he could, then every person alive today is ingrained with this same power…

The 26-minute vid you're about to see is the replay of this week's live broadcast, which Hashem turned into one of the most powerful broadcasts I ever did. You'll hear about how the suicide of a lone Jewish inmate in a rough Texas state penitentiary was prevented. You'll meet a former Golani sergeant who'll tell you in his own words how someone saved his life and the life of buddies on the Gaza border. This is an absolute must-see:

Can you imagine the reward in Heaven - and one earth - from saving lives? Unfathomable! You can be one of them. Now you can understand why Rav Shalom Arush shlit'a says that there is no tzedakah - no form of charity on earth that can compare to Emuna Outreach. You too can be one of these heroes who saves lives! Donate to Emuna Outreach - you'll be glad you did!

Amen, Brother!

The distinguished and saintly Rabbi Bentzion Mutzafi, may Hashem bless him, in commenting on the increasing tensions along our northern border, suggests that we do several self-strengthening measures that will both enhance our personal safety and our national security. They are:

  1. Recite Psalm 91;
  2. Recite "Ana B'Koach," 7 times;
  3. Recite Psalm 121, 7 times;
  4. Say the "Aleinu" prayer with intent;
  5. Recite Parshat Haketoret;
  6. Recite Psalm 20, 12 times;
  7. Recite Psalms 120 through and including 134.

The above advice is powerful, all based on our sages' advice in the Gemara, Zohar and Chassidic writings. They invoke big miracles, for those who do them. Unfortunately, I don't think many people will.

Hashem opened my eyes to a equally powerful protective ploy that also invokes miracles, one that is firmly based both in the Gemara and in the Shulchan Aruch (Code of Jewish Law). And, it's much easier, as I wrote in Monday's Emuna News. Anyone can do this and it won't cost you a cent. Simply, get used to saying "amen" every time you hear a blessing recited. This is spiritual non-conventional weaponry.

Later today, G-d willing, we're going to learn about the power of one word - amen. 

Don't miss today's (Wednesday) Emuna shiur and live broadcast from Jerusalem, entitled "Amen, Brother!," will take place, G-d willing, on the ground-floor main sanctuary of the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva on 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street in Jerusalem at 7PM Israel time; 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.

Don't Forget the Lone Soldier

EO Soldier SetThere are hundreds of native English speakers who have courageously left the comforts of their homes in the USA, Canada, UK, Australia and South Africa to make aliya and serve in the IDF. Many of them are on the front lines.

Do you have any idea about the emotional challenges of being  a US soldier stationed on the other end of the earth, in Syria or in Afghanistan?

To protect our soldiers - wherever they are - and to strengthen their moral, Emuna Outreach has put together the "Soldier Set" of emuna books, pamphlets and CDs, at a special low cost subsidized by Emuna Outreach. This is an emotional care package, which without a doubt, will uplift the spirits of our soldiers and help them cope with the difficult physical conditions and emotional challenges that they must deal with, especially if they are in combat units on the front lines. The Soldier Set, which you can order here, enables you to strengthen our soldiers while performing a huge mitzva.

If you don't know any soldiers personally, but you'd like us to distribute Soldier Sets in your name, Donate to Emuna Outreach - every $30 donation enables Emuna Outreach to send a Soldier Set to one soldier. In other words, for $180, Emuna Outreach will distribute six Soldier Sets. 

May the merit of this lofty mitzva protect our nation, our families, and each of us individually, amen!

The Piaseczna Niggun

The moving and hauntingly inspiring melody you are about to hear was composed by "Derech Achim" from South Africa in memory of one of my all-time heroes and role models, the holy "Aish Kodesh" Rebbe, Grand Rabbi Kalonymus Kalman Shapira of Piaseczna, Poland. He was a formidable educator and a profound influence on his generation. He was named after his great grandfather, the holy "Maor Vashemesh" - Rav Kalonymus Kalman Epstein, osb"m - who was the Rebbe of Krakow, Poland and the prime disiple of the holy Rebbe Elimelech of Lizhensk, osb"m.

The Piaseczna Rebbe inspired thousands of people during the darkest times of the holocaust. He brought hope and light to everyone around him and inspired so many to serve Hashem even in the purgatory of the Warsaw ghetto. In 1943, he was taken to the Trawniki Concentration Camp where he returned his sacred martyred soul to Hashem.

Enjoy this rare glimpse into history and into Chassidic life of today. We're still here - our oppressors always fall. Am Yisrael Chai!

Gaza Hamas-Jihad Islami Tunnels: Hashem Sees What We Don't

We've been intending to write about the Hamas and Jihadi attack tunnels that reach deep inside Israeli territory for several weeks now, but there are many stories being told with details that needed verification.

Thanks to Hashem, a potential major disaster was averted on Monday when the IDF destroyed an attack tunnel that the Iranian-supported Islamic Jihad dug and designed. By admission of Senior Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Khaled al-Batsh, the destroyed tunnel had been built by his group for the purpose of kidnapping Israeli soldiers. It had reached a mere 200 meters from an IDF outpost.

For years now, Hamas and the Islamic Jihad have been searching for a game-changer against Israel. As such, they have been digging assault tunnels that reach deep inside Israeli territory, as far as the Gaza-border communities. Hamas created a sinister master assault plan for an operation that would make 9-11 look like Sesame Street. They planned to send at least 200 of their best fighters through a number of the tunnels, simultaneously to at least six communities three years ago on Rosh Hashana, when everyone would be home and when surveillance and defensive alertness would be minimal. Their objective was to kill and kidnap as many people as possible, especially children, and to bring the south of Israel to its knees. This was supposed to be a terrorist attack like nothing history has ever known. To make matters worse, all the terrorists would have been wearing regulation IDF fatigues.

With the above in mind, Hamas didn't want the 2014 war. It prematurely ruined their plans. So, when Hamas said that they were not responsible for the kidnapping and murders of our three holy martyrs Eyal Yifrach, Naftali Frankel and Gilad Shaer, may Hashem avenge their holy blood, they were not lying. Our martyrs were killed by the Hevron-area Hamasniks. One source told me that the killers were operating on the initiative of their local Hevron cell without coordination with Gaza HQ and that Gaza Hamas HQ was in fact taken by surprise. Another source told me that they weren't taken by surprise, but that they were surprised by Israel's no-nonsense reaction in rounding up and re-incarcerating many of the terrorists that had been released in the Shalit deal. In either case, Hamas did not plan on a war at that time, which explains the inexplicable and eerie quiet that we had from them in the south of Israel during the six months that preceded the "Operation Protective Edge" in 2014. That was very similar to the eerie quiet in the south of Israel now, when everyone is tensely waiting to see if and how the Islamic Jihad will react to the painful setback of having their tunnel destroyed and two of their senior commanders killed.

Don't forget that the Hamas assault tunnels were used to kidnap and capture Gilead Shalit eleven years ago in June of 2006. 

Hashem, who never slumbers, foiled the Islamic Jihad plans of more abductions. Imagine dozens or even hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists infiltrating the south of Israel wearing IDF uniforms! Who knows the damage that could have been done, a million times Heaven forbid...

We thank Hashem and the IDF "Brain" Corps of Engineers for this miraculous salvation. Our guard - both spiritual and military - must not be dropped for the threat of more deadly tunnels is still very acute.

To bring the point home and give you a feel of what the tunnel threat really means to the south of Israel, have a look at the following 2-minute clip, courtesy of the "Forum Dati" of Bat Yam. Imagine that the tunnel exits into your backyard, where your children are innocently playing:

The Effectiveness of Missile Defense Systems

What many people forgot, or are not aware of, is that we in Israel have lived through repeated missile attacks, going back to the SCUD missiles that Sadaam Hussein fired at us in 1991 to the repeated Gaza Wars and the intermittent missile attacks that we suffer from Gaza here in my own cherished hometown of Ashdod on Israel's beautiful southern coast. As such, we have witnessed the US-made Patriot and the Israeli-made Iron Dome systems first hand. On more than one occasion, I witnessed with my own eyes in recent years how the Iron Dome missile defense, then stationed on the outskirts of Ashdod, intercepted Syrian/North Korean GRAD missiles that were fired at us from Gaza. 

With thanks to Hashem, the missile defense systems were 85% effective. Fortunately, the 15% that snuck past the missile defense system all landed in parking lots or in schools after hours, each with a miracle story. Hamas itself admits that Allah does miracles for us. They're right.

There are several qualifiers here;

  1. Israel's missile defense systems have never been tested under a massive barrage, like the one Nasrulla threatens us with constantly. It goes without saying that the effectiveness of the new US systems, untried in real combat conditions, is even a bigger question mark.
  2. The explosion of intercepted conventional systems can be dangerous too. A chunk of falling shrapnel from an intercepted missile fired from Gaza put a gaping hole in the 8-inch thick concrete and steel-reinforced floor of my neighbor's balcony.
  3. One of the closest-guarded secrets in the American media is that missile defense interception of a nuclear warhead may spare the country of casualties, but it will trigger an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse), which would cripple the entire electric grid, returning the country into the age of Little House on the Prairie. This is North Korea's ace in the hole.

Like it or not, there is only one conclusion, what King David teaches us: "If Hashem will not guard a city, the watchman guards in vain" (Psalm 127:1). Like everything else in Torah, every word is timeless and true. We know full well from plenty of experience.