Here's a pre-Shabbat treat: the ever-fantastic Avraham Fried singing one of my favorites - I'm sure you'll love this melody as much as I do. In case you'd like to sing along with the vid, the lyrics appear below. Enjoy, and let's hope that Hashem wipes away all tears of pain, and only tears of love and joy remain - amen and Shabbat Shalom!
Father Don't Cry, Composition and Lyrics by Avraham Fried
I will never forget the night I saw my father cry I was frightened and alone and his tears were burning in my eyes Deep in my soul I held him tight and tried to ease the pain.
Father in heaven it's no secret at all When You think of Your children How far they are from home Two tender tears fall from Your eyes And Your cries shake the world I cannot bear to see You this way.
Father don't cry I love You too much to see You in pain And and only You Who created tears Can wipe them away forever So bring on the day when there'll be only joy You and I will smile Bring on the day when there'll be be no more tears We'll never cry again.
I know it's tears of love But still it hurts me just the same You have always held my hand And now I want to hold Yours too And be there for You Don't You agree it's time to send the tears away
Father in heaven there's no reason at all Your precious children still are so far from home We've done all we can now it's in Your hands Let it end, oh, let it end, The whole world is waiting for You.
Father don't cry I love You too much to see You in pain And and only You who created tears Can wipe them away forever So bring on the day when there'll be only joy You and I will smile Bring on the day when there'll be be no more tears We'll never cry again.
We're having a good time this week here at the Beams...
Hebro? It's probably a play on words between "Hebrew" and "he's my bro". One way or the other, Hashem introduced me this week to Raphael "Hebro" Fulcher from Crown Heights in Brooklyn and I'd like to introduce him to you. Here's his rendition of "Gam Ki Elech" from Psalm 23. Enjoy!
Is it OK for Torah students to listen to rap music?
Thanks so much, Yosef from Baltimore
According to Rebbe Nachman (see Likutei Moharan I:3), any genre of music is fine to listen to as long as an upright musician is playing, performing and/or singing it. Just as non-kosher food damages the soul, non-kosher sights and sounds also damage the soul; indeed, they penetrate the soul much faster than the forbidden food does. For that reason, it's extremely important for us to be on guard always and selective about what we see and hear. Guarding our ears is therefore just as important as guarding our eyes. Acid rock and heavy metal with violent, lewd and profane lyrics destroy one's emuna and desire for Torah and prayer in an instant, Heaven forbid, especially when the musician is far from upright, to put it mildly. The whole subculture of drugs and debauchery that go along with certain types of "music" is something that any emuna-seeking individual must steer completely clear of.
As far as rap music goes, we must remember the principle that Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai teaches us in the Zohar, namely, that we must uplift everything in this world to Hashem. With that in mind, remember the following principle: a rapper who fortunately became a Baal Teshuva or a righteous convert may certainly wrap his rap in Torah, for he is uplifting it. Yet, I would discourage a person who grew up in Torah to wrap his Torah in rap, for he is bringing it down. So, if you want to listen to rap, stay on the safe side and limit yourself to listening to a kosher rapper like my spiritual son Nissim Black, who certainly uplifts his past by way of his Torah and inspires others with wholesome emuna messages in his music to get close to Hashem.
Every blessing, LB
Here's a treat to start of the new week on the right foot, an amazing and inspiring musical clip that Nissim Black and Yosef Brown made in South Africa. Enjoy it and have a lovely new week!
All the preconditions that our sages have stipulated for the coming of Moshiach have been fulfilled. The time is especially ripe now. Nevertheless, despite all the eager anticipation, and even though he tarries, we still wait for Moshiach innocently and patiently with simple faith. "And even though" in Hebrew is Ve'af al pi.
The Rambam's 12th principle of emuna is, "I believe with full and complete faith in the coming of Moshiach; and even though he tarries, I shall still wait for him whatever day he comes."
Let's hear Rav Shlomo Carlebach of blessed memory put the Rambam's above principle to music in one of his most soul-stirring melodies. Enjoy it, and may you have a wonderful Shvii shel Pesach and may we all soon - together - merit to greet Moshiach in our rebuilt Holy Temple in Jerusalem, amen.
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!
Our cherished friend and sweet-singer David Dome from London sent me a gorgeous traditional Irish ballad by the name of "Wild Mountain Thyme". He performs this balled ever so beautifully with new emuna lyrics I wrote for him. We now call this lovely song, "Voice on the Mountain," which we hope you'll enjoy. I can't stop listening to it. Sing along - the lyrics appear below the vid.
Melody: Traditional Irish, "Wild Mountain Thyme" Instruments, Vocal and Arrangement: David Dome Lyrics: Rabbi Lazer Brody
Oh Mashiach times a comin' And the trees are sweetly bloomin' And The Voice from the mountain Calls in love and in emuna Come home Neshama Come home....
And we'll all go together To hear The Voice on a mountain And we'll sing a song forever Come home Neshama Come home
I will then say a prayer By yon high and holy mountain My love song for my Father Flows like waters from a fountain Come home Neshama Come home...
And we'll all go together To hear The Voice on the mountain And we'll sing a song forever Come home Neshama Come home.....
Come home Neshama come home Neshama come home
Hashem forever be with me For there never is another And it's His Voice on the mountain Calling you and me dear brother Come home , Neshama Come home......
And we'll all go together To hear The Voice on the mountain And we'll sing a song forever Come home Neshama Come home My brother Come home My sister Come home Neshama Come home....
Welcome to the special issue of Beams Weekend Magazine, a new idea that we'd like to do more of in the future. This week, we have three departments: news and outlook, entertainment and Torah. We hope you enjoy it and would love to hear your feedback.
News and Outlook: Throw the Terrorists in the Trash
According to the "Chafetz Chaim" - the laws governing the wholesomeness of the spoken and the written word, any person who spreads hate and hearsay, purveying gossip and social venom in the world, has no place in the world to come. Therefore, be extra careful about what you say, read and write. Stay away from the gossips, for spiritually, they're like terrorists.
The holy Tanna Rebbe Shimon ben Shatach was the Av Beit Din, the Chief Justice of all of Israel. He saw a person with a drawn sword chasing another person. He ran after the two until he reached an alley-way. The victim was already on the ground, fluttering and about to die. Blood dripped from the assailant's sword. Rebbe Shimon told the assailant, "You evil person, who killed this man, you or me? What can I do, for I cannot bring you to trial, for the Torah demands two witnesses" (Talmud, Sanhedrin 37b). Rebbe Shimon ben Shatach could not try the murderer, but that doesn't mean he went free. When a court down here can't try a person, the Heavenly Court tries the person and justice is much more severe. It wasn't long before the killer suffered an excruciating death after being bitten by a poisonous snake.
If Rebbe Shimon ben Shatach couldn't convict a person despite the overwhelming evidence, then why do we allow ourselves to repeat hearsay, gossip and things that haven't been proven in a court of law or a Bet Din? That's dangerous.
Virtually nothing in the newspapers today has been proven in a halachically-legitimate court of law with two halachically- acceptable witnesses. There's no way that the Chafetz Chaim would allow reading any of today's newspapers, whether printed or electronic.
Newspapers and journalists judge people and print hearsay all the time. They too are required to observe the Chafetz Chaim. Any person who spreads hate and hearsay, purveying gossip and social venom in the world, has no place in the world to come. Therefore, be extra careful about what you say and write. Stay away from the gossips, for spiritually, they're like terrorists. It's easy to dispose of the printed-paper terrorists - just throw them in the trashcan where they belong. Better yet, don't read them in the first place. Why?
Don't you cherish your time? Why squander it on lies and half-truths? What's more, with the politicians' manipulation of the media, every rag has its agenda and you can't believe a thing.
This weekend, why not try reading something meaningful. Talk about the lessons of this week's Torah portion rather than what Bibi and Noni (why don't they refer to themselves as Benjamin and Arnon?) are saying about each other or what the CNN (Certified Nonsense News) is writing.
Like other terrorists, newspapers are dangerous to your body too! Unpleasant stories trigger cascades of a steroid hormone by the name of cortisol, aka the "stress hormone". This deregulates your immune system and inhibits the release of growth hormones. In other words, your body finds itself in a state of chronic stress. High cortisol levels impair digestion as well as cell, hair and bone health. They also cause nervousness, susceptibility to infections and render weight-loss virtually impossible!
Only the evil inclination would tell you to indulge in something so harmful to both body and soul. Don't listen to it; dispose of it in the nearest waste bin together with the newspapers.
Entertainment: Dudi Knopfler Sings "The Priestly Blessing"
Our very dear friend Dudi Knopfler, one of the rising stars of Jewish music today, has come out with a lovely rendition of the Birkat Cohanim, the Priestly Blessing, which is customarily said to greet the bride and groom as they arrive under the chuppa in Sephardic weddings. We're delighted to feature it, and may these beautiful words and exquisite melody invoke Divine blessings on you and yours.
Torah: The Left-handed Blessing
Have you ever heard of a "left-handed" compliment? There's a left-handed blessing, too. In this week's Torah portion, Vayichi, our forefather Jacob teaches us exactly what it is, how to use it and the extent of its power. Enjoy, and have a lovely Shabbat!