69 posts categorized "Jewish World"

Smartphone Blind

My dear friend and Emuna Therapist Rebbetzin Yehudit Channen shared this video with me. It took me three times of watching this video to understand what was going on. In the end, I finally got it and laughed at my own stupidity and the humor of the video. While certainly funny, it's also painfully true. We've become so addicted to our phones that we can't even walk down the street without staring into it and typing. 

Even in the elevator nearly everyone I see is checking their phones. What exactly are they checking for? Do they need to be plugged in to the virtual world at every moment? What about connecting with the real world that they're actually a real part of?

Thank G-d we have Shabbat, a chance to disconnect from the social media time-sucker. We can focus on connecting with real people and developing real relationships instead of virtual ones. This Shabbat, weather permitting, go for a nice walk outside. Focus on the beautiful trees. Listen to the birds if they haven't flown South. Look at the gorgeous blue or grey sky. Enjoy breathing in the fresh or polluted air.

In other words, be present.

Shabbat Shalom! For something great to discuss with the family at the Shabbat table, see Rav Brody's mini-lesson on this week's Torah portion in the post directly below. With big smiles,


The Shmirat Eynayim Torah Scroll

Shmiras Eynayim Sefer Torah
I love this: some special people in Far Rockaway are getting together to write a special Torah scroll. You can offer them the whole sum, which at today's prices could be anywhere between $35,000 to $70,000 for an Ashkenzi Torah scroll, depending on the scribe's reputation and quality of his writing, but they won't take it. They only accept donations of $1 a time, which you can donate every time you successfully weathered a challenge in guarding your eyes (shmirat eynayim). So, if you were tempted twenty times today and succeeded in guarding your eyes, the Far Rockaway group will happily accept your donation of $20. That will be some magnificent Sefer Torah!

Tip of the kippa to Rabbi Chaim Feld of Cleveland for sharing this with us

We R 1

We may not all look the same, live in the same place or engage in the same level of religious observance, but deep down inside, the Jewish nation shares a common bond that unites us, that transcends distance and breaks boundaries. WeR1 shatters the differences that divide us, focusing on the unshakeable connection shared by members of the Jewish nation all across the globe.

“So many choose to focus on what sets people apart, but the truth is that our commonalities are far greater than our differences,” observed director Daniel Finkelman.

WeR1 follows the story of two characters who could be every man or every woman. Located in Israel and New York each leads a vastly different life, yet feels an inexorable pull that drives them ever higher, an unidentified longing for something indefinable but exalted. Set against a backdrop of music performed by Israeli superstar Gad Elbaz, Australian singer songwriter DeScribe, American rapper (my spiritual son) Nissim, French singer Israel Alliel, and British performer Refael Mirila, WeR1 is journey to the highest heights, attainable only through unity.

Bringing together a significant talent pool that includes film production by Daniel Finkelman and Elan Cohen, and music and lyrics by Los Angeles platinum songwriter and producer DK Benjamin, WeR1 is an inspiring musical triumph that takes viewers on a journey from London to Lyon to Tel Aviv and New York. Filling the heart and warming the soul, WeR1, a project of Kesher Yehudi - an organization which bridges the gap between secular and religious Jews - is a reminder to us all that now, as always, we are truly one nation with one heart. I'm sure you'll enjoy this:

A Magical Mikva

Jherin's Mikva

Image, above: the brand new Jherin Esther Mikva (women's side) in Deal, NJ.

Here is great news for women in the USA who don't have children:

All mikvas are special, but this one is magical:

The brand new Jherin Esther Gorcey Mikva is now open in Deal, New Jersey. It's unbelievably gorgeous.

Woman from all over the USA are coming there and seeing miracles. Jherin, of blessed memory, brought so many souls closer to Hashem in her 16 tender years on earth. Now that she's free from bodily limitations, she continues to do wonders for people.

Recently, when I was in Deal visiting Jherin's parents Dr. Steve and Rachel Gorcey, may Hashem bless them, I had the privilege of immersing in the men's mikva there - no words can describe what I felt. When I came out of the mikva, I said to Rachel Gorcey, "I'll bet women will see miracles after immersing in this mikva.

Rachel responded, "They already are!"

It's worth the trip to New Jersey. If you'd like to make an appointment to immerse in the Jherin Esther Gorcey mikva, please call 732-222-1278. May Hashem bless you soon with the joy of parenthood, amen!

The Emuna Tattoo

My cherished and esteemed friend Rabbi Zecharia Wallerstein from New York City is probably America's #1 rabbi for saving kids that have gone haywire and bringing them back into the fold. He's also one of America's best rabbinical speakers. In the clip below, he's telling a true story he heard from me. You'll love this - enjoy, and have a great new week!

Powerlifting for the Mind

KB and Gemara
Power-lifting? That's lifting heavy weights, what trainers call "resistance training". What could possibly be power-lifting for the mind?

Pick up a Gemara. Nothing in the world will build your brain muscle like a Gemara. And it's the toughest form of resistance training too - wait till you see the resistance that you get from the Yetzer Hara (evil inclination) the minute you decide to pick up a Gemara.

I invite you to visit an old age home in the ultra-Orthodox areas of Jerusalem and Bnei Brak. Don't be alarmed when you walk into the Bet Midrash (study hall, which every Charedi old age home has), and you'll find two spry nonagenarians animatedly waving their hands in the air, banging on the table and yelling at each other while arguing a point in Talmudic logic and debate. There's no one here with Alzheimer's - these old gents have been doing resistance training for their brains all their lives. Maybe many of their body functions are limited, but they suffer no atrophy of the mind. Their brains work hard.

The Koreans have always been pioneers in fitness. It's no surprise that the Talmud (Mishna and Gemara) has become a smash bestseller in Korea. The Koreans too want to strengthen their brains... 

How is it that Alzheimer's is so rare in the Torah world? While 11% of the general population in the USA over age 65, and 32% of the population over the age of 85 suffers from Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, the estimated numbers are less than a tenth of that among Torah scholars. Take for example Rabbi Leib Steinman shlit'a, one of this generation's greatest spiritual leaders - he's past 100 and his mind is still razor sharp. So were the minds of Rabbi Vosner and Rabbi Elyashiv, of sacred and blessed memories, who left us in recent years, both well over 100 years old.

What is it about the Gemara that strengthens the mind so much? First of all, it's Divine nutrition for the brain as opposed to the passive junk-food that most people feed their brains today. Second, understanding the Gemara requires conscious, sustained mental effort - it does for the brain what an HIIT (high intensity interval training) workout does for the body. Even when a person gets up from his Gemara session, his mind is still contempleting what he learned, just like the afterburn effect of a good workout. Third, learning with a chavruta (learning partner) forces the Gemara learner to be alert, attentive and mentally sharp. There's no boredom here. In fact, chavruta-style learning is fantastic for those who are kinesthetic or audial learners, because of the back-and-forth give-and-take style of learning where it's OK to fly out of your chair, learn standing up or any way else you like.

Bottom line - for a strong mind, nothing beats a Gemara.

The Battle for Eilat - Emuna vs. Gambling

King David said, "It is a time to act for Hashem, they have voided Your Torah" (Psalm 119:126). Recently, I expressed my desire to steer clear of politics and current events and devote the Beams to body, mind and soul health, which we can never have enough of. The Israeli government, particularly the Prime Minister and the Tourist Minister, are forcing me to break my word. I can't sit back and ignore the continued plans to defile our holy homeland and corrupt our citizens.

Let me explain: Prime Minister Netanyahu and Tourist Minister Levin want to turn the Red-Sea resort of Eilat, Israel (photo, above) into a gambling town. This is a double declaration of war on the emuna-hungry population of Eilat. Spiritually-healthy children can't grow up in a place like that.

If that's not enough, we give loads of counseling to addicted gamblers; first hand, I've seen how gambling wrecks marriages, homes and innocent children. Gambling addiction is ugly and painful, one of the worst types of addiction that causes tremendous peripheral damage. The Government, in its lust to imitate the worst aspects of the West, will be destroying more of its own citizens and another Israeli city will sucked into a spiritual cesspool. As it is, the Government prides itself into turning Tel Aviv into the gay-tourism capital of the world, may Hashem have mercy.

The Government has been systematically trampling Torah in multiple ways; on a spiritual level, their actions are what create the stern judgments Above that manifest themselves in rampant terrorism, road accidents and disease down here...

The only way to fight the spiritual contamination of our beloved homeland that's spreading like a government-sanctioned cancer is to spread emuna and more emuna. But we need your help. If you are capable of doing it first hand, then by all means, go for it! If not, give us the backing and we'll continue the fight to spread emuna and to bring our people - and the whole world - back to Hashem. Donate to Emuna Outreach - Rav Shalom says that there is no charity that reaches the shoelaces of spreading emuna.