This is the amazing story of rapper Damian (now Nissim) Black, who grew up in the very tough side of Seattle, and his phenomenal spiritual journey that brought him to Judaism, Rebbe Nachman and the Garden of Emuna. You'll love this:
Tonight marks the 28th anniversary of Jonathan Pollard's incarceration.
With recent revelations of The USA's own spying on its allies in Europe, its failure to free Pollard is a new height of hypocrisy. What's more, the USA demands that we release terrorists with gallons of Jewish blood on their hands. Yet, they continue to incarcerate Jonathan.
Do you know what his "sin" was? He told Israel that America was selling nasty weapons to Israel's enemies...
This is history's grossest act of injustice since Dreyfus. David Zwiebel writes, "First, Pollard did not stand trial for his crime. Rather, he received his life sentence after entering into a plea-bargain agreement in which the government promised not to seek a life sentence. Entering into that agreement, Pollard relinquished his right to a trial, cooperated with government investigators, pleaded guilty -- all, presumably, with the expectation that some leniency would be shown in his sentence. The expectation was reasonable, but it proved illusory. Secondly, Pollard was sentenced to life in prison despite the fact that he was never accused of delivering classified information to an enemy of the United States. Rather, he was accused of delivering such information to Israel, a close and staunch American ally. There may be no other case of a life sentence imposed for spying on behalf of a strategic ally."
Jonathan, we are with you and we never forget you for a moment - that's a solemn promise.
The following 2-minute clip will give you a small inclination of what it was like to be in Jerusalem this past Monday night for Rav Ovadia Yosef's levaya (funeral), may his sacred neshama intercede on our behalf, amen. The Jewish People are now orphaned - we've lost our spiritual father, and there's no one alive who can replace him. There are only two times in my life when I did kriya (rending of one's garment) - when my father passed away 13 years ago, and Monday evening, at Rav Ovadia's levaya. He truly was a father to all of us. I wish someone could show me a video clip of the reception that Rav Ovadia received when he arrived in Gan Eden. May Hashem have mercy on us, and send us Moshiach quickly, amen!
Every night during Chol Hamoed Succot, there're singing and dancing everywhere. This holy custom dates back to the Holy Temple, when Simchat bet Hashoeva, the "Drawing of the Water" celebration would take place nightly during Sukkot. The Sages noted that "Whoever never witnessed the Simchat Beit Hashoeva has never in his life seen true joy." They have left us wonderful descriptions of the scenes that inspire us with longing to witness it once again.
Here's what Simchat Bet Hashoeva looks like today in Israel, in the court of the Lelover Chassidim in Bet Shemesh. Enjoy, and have a wonderful Shabbat and Chol Hamoed!
Our cherished friend Ari Goldwag has outdid his normal super-talented self with this beautiful vid and song, "Am Echad" - the words are "one nation with one song, so let's come and be happy together. This is brilliant:
If your looking for the very best investment in the world, buy real estate in the Land of Israel now. The closer we get to Moshiach, the more prices will skyrocket, for with the Ingathering of the Exiles, our population will be many times greater than it is today. Those who listened to me four years ago when I said the same thing are smiling, for real estate prices hear have almost doubled since then, especially in places like Efrat and Ramat Bet Shemesh.
The prophet compares the multitude of Jewish People in the Land of Israel to "the sand on the beach" (see Kings I, 4:20). Sand has two characteristics: as a whole, it is "sand"; but as an individual, each particle is a unique crystal. What does this mean? Just like sand particles, when you take a close look at each Jew, you'll find dazzling beauty. The more we look for the good in each other, the faster we'll bring Moshiach! Check out these dazzling microscope photos of sand particles, which we received via Esther from Montrael, may Hashem bless her: