88 posts categorized "Land of Israel"

The View


Happy day-after the chagim, everyone! I (Racheli) am so completely disgusted with food right now. My stomach is so full and bloated, and all of my mental energies are focused on imagining the extra pounds away. I don't think it's working yet, but I have complete emuna that they will come off. In the meantime, I have nothing interesting to say, so let's just sit and stare at this picture, shall we?

It's the view from my side yard. Isn't it stunning? The picture doesn't fully capture the beautiful valley that leads into the coast. Way off on the hazy horizon is Tel Aviv. Unfortunately, the picture doesn't show the buildings, but I can see the entire skyline on a normal day. On a very clear day I can even see the ocean. If I can manage to confiscate my husband's phone again, I'll try to post a picture of this view at night. It's like you're in an airplane. 

It's amazing that in one tiny piece of land, you have mountains, plains, several types of desert, farmland, and beautiful beaches. In about six hours during the winter, you can drive from snowy mountain forests up in the Galil to warm beaches down in Eilat. G-d willing one day I'll actually be able to visit such places. My idea of a girl's day out is going to Osher Ad in Bet Shemesh proper. Whoo hoo. Or should I say, Boo hoo.

Like they say (whomever "they" is,) Israel really is a microcosm of the entire world.

And that's it. Nothing interesting to say. Until I come up with something, I'll just try to figure out how I can escape to a gorgeous seaside hotel without the kids and my husband noticing. 

Moshiach and Mount Zion

Har Tzion Mezuza
And saviors will ascend Mount Zion to judge the Mountain of Esau, and the kingdom will be Hashem's
(Ovadiah 1:21).

Our sages elaborate on the above prophecy and say that Moshiach and his colleagues will exact retribution from the descendants of Esau, Zion's arch-enemy. Then, everyone will acknowledge Hashem.

Before this happens, Moshiach will enter Mount Zion. With this in mind, I want you to keep a very special image in front of your eyes - the mezuzah on the Zion Gate (image, above), at the entrance to Mount Zion. I was there yesterday, when I visited King David's holy gravesite atop Mount Zion. This is the mezuzah that Moshiach, King David's descendant, will place his hand on and kiss when he comes to fulfill the above prophecy. Some people say that they can see an image of Moshiach wearing tefillin on this mezuzah - can you?

May we all soon greet our holy Moshiach, may he come soon, amen!

The Ancient Village of Itri

Israel has breathtaking spots for personal prayer; that's natural, for it's the Land of Emuna.

Chirbit Itri (the ruins of Itri) is an ancient Judean village that was destroyed during the Bar Kochba Revolt against the Romans nearly 1900 years ago (132 -136 CE). It was a village of extremely pious Jews that has a large synagogue, four mikvas, and one of the most well-preseved winepresses from the period of the Second Temple. The village is off the beaten tourist path, quite near Elah Valley where David fought Goliath in the western Judean foothills.

Come join me for a personal guided tour of one of our priceless sites:

Shema Yisrael: Yaacov Shwekey

Rabbi Yosef Shlomo Kahaneman (1886-1969), The Ponovicher Rov of blessed memory, saved orphaned Jewish children from Catholic orphanages after the close of World War II. Although the priests and nuns denied that there were any Jewish children there, The Rov - accompanied by American officers - visited the orphanages at bedtime. He would call out "Shema Yisroel" and instinctly children raised their hands to cover their eyes, while crying in Yiddish, "Mama! Mama!" The holy Skolener Rebbe of blessed memory saved children in like fashion.

My dear and esteemed friend Yaacov Shwekey sings a moving rendition of the above story in "Shema Yisroel". Enjoy it and have a lovely Shabbat!

Land of Milk and Honey: Dates and the Secret of Fertility

Rebbe Nachman of Breslev says that The Land of Israel is conducive to fertility.

The Torah calls the holy Land of Israel the "Land of milk and honey;" Rashi elaborates that the "honey" refers to dates from the date palm.

Dates, especially those grown here in Israel, have magical qualities. If you know anyone with a fertility issue - man or woman - the following simple Land-of-Israel fertility enhancer is bound to help them:

Get a liter of fresh goat's milk. Take 8 big dates or 12 medium-size dates and soak them in the milk overnight. In the morning, use a blender to grind the dates in the same milk. Add a half teaspoon of cardamon powder (hel in Hebrew) and a tablespoon of bee honey (natural unpasteurized with no additives) and 40 dried untoasted almonds. Blend it all together and drink at least 250 cc's of the mixture (about 9 ounces). The effects are remarkable.

The above "Date Shake" not only does wonders for fertility, but it enhances stamina as well. I use it about an hour before a strenuous workout.

Don't forget to send me an invitation to the Bris. You can almost set the date...



Tu B'Shvat: Sunday Night & Monday, Jan. 24-25, 2016

Almond flowers
Above image: Almond blossoms in the Land of Israel - the sign that Tu B'Shvat is arriving.

Tu B'Shvat this year is Jan. 24-25, Sunday night and Monday. This is the New Year of the Trees. Many ask why Jews need a New Year for trees? Here are a few answers:

Few nations are so environmentally aware as the Jewish People; Tu B'Shvat, for example, is a day when we focus on beautifying the earth we live on. Especially here in Israel, Tu B'Shvat is a day of planting trees all across the countryside. Consider planting a tree (or two, or three, or more) in your backyard. What's more, many people plant a fruit tree every time they are blessed with a new child, for trees in Jewish tradition are symbolic of fertility, children and abundance. that's truly a beautiful custom. See more in Save the Trees, one of our feature articles in this week's Tu B'Shvat issue of Breslev Israel magazine.

It's no secret that that the nations of the world protest our right to the Land of Israel. But what does give us the right to every bit of our holy land? Tu B'Shvat is the answer, as we explain in Planting and Posterity. By the way, there's a big connection between Tu B'Shvat and the Shovevim weeks.

One of the first things a person is supposed to do when he comes to the Land of Israel is to plant fruit trees. In this manner, the settlers of the Land of Israel are truly partners with the Almighty in creation. How? The Torah calls the Holy Land "a land of milk and honey" more than a dozen times. Rashi explains that the honey that Torah refers to is the honey that flows forth from the luscious dates and figs, two of the seven special species of the Land of Israel that the Torah praises. Therefore, those who plant date palms and fig trees help the Land of Israel manifest its potential from creation, for they are the fortunate emissaries who enhance the flow of honey in the Holy Land. Read all about in in Trees, Israel and Geula.

Here's a big treat for Tu B'Shvat: Did you know that Israel's trees also give milk as well as honey? Try this delicious recipe, which is super healthy for children, athletes, expecting and nursing mothers or virtually everyone, which you'll find in Tree Milk and Honey.

This week's Torah portion is Yitro, where we'll read about the Ten Commandments. From all the myriad of wonders, miracles and acts of loving-kindness that Hashem does for us, the Torah juxtaposes “I am Hashem your God” with the exodus from “the land of Egypt and the house of bondage.” “I am Hashem your God” is the first of the Ten Commandments, the commandment of emuna - to believe in Hashem, the One true God. Hashem Himself is telling us that emuna is the precursor and prerequisite of exodus and geula, as we'll learn in Emuna and Geula.

Also featured this week:

Rav Shalom Arush: Be Positive

Dr. Zev Ballen: Effective Soul-Healing

Racheli Reckles: Private Eyes

David Perlow: Saving a Life

Jenn Safra: The Mysterious Honk

Dovber Halevi: The Greatest Growth Coach

Happy Tu B'Shvat and blessings for a wonderful new week!