OMG it's finally here! Election day! OMG. This has got to be one of the most historically pivotal elections in the entire history of the United States. That was a little redundant, wasn't it? Even from the other side of the world, I'm going crazy from curiosity. Who will be the next POTUS? WHO??!
Now I think it's fair to say that neither candidate is exactly what we'd call ideal Presidential material. Did I say that PC enough? Because that's not what I really wanted to say. If you want my real thoughts, you can email me. Furthermore, I think that we can all agree that these candidates will take the United States in radically different directions.
Whether you believe in voting or not, whether you believe that your preferred candidate is the solution to all of America's problems and the opponent is the Devil (or the Devil's wife,) or whether you believe that both candidates are absolutely horrible choices for President, I am not going to debate any of this with you.
The only thing that I would like to say, as a still-American citizen, is that I, a Jewish Israeli, care about the fate of the United States. Just because I don't live there anymore, it doesn't mean that I am not interested in what's happening over there. I want to see the US make a huge turnaround - economically, socially, spiritually, even mentally. I want to see her and her people prosper and be happy. More than anything, I want to see the American People wake up and realize that Hashem is in the world, and that He loves each and every one of them and cares about their well-being.
There are many Jews who no longer live in the US that mistakenly believe that the fate of America is to crash and burn, and therefore we shouldn't interest ourselves in what's happening over there. I completely disagree. We shouldn't look forward to and delight in the downfall of America, even if it is written in the prophecies. Most of us that live in Israel and in other countries still have family and close friends that we care about who live in the States. Even if we know absolutely no one, we certainly know that there are plenty of good people in America that genuinely want to live upright, wholesome lives.
Even Avraham Avinu prayed for the wicked people of Sodom before Hashem's angels destroyed it. And, believe me, those people were totally wicked, man. So if Avraham Avinu can pray for evil people, then we can and must certainly pray for the good and welfare of the American People, no matter where they're holding politically, mentally, socially, and spiritually.
We are still all human (well, most of us,) and we are all responsible for one another. Therefore, I urge all of us, no matter where we live, to pray for the United States to merit a President that will be a channel of blessing for America and the rest of the world.
Incidentally, this is why our amazing team at Breslev Israel is so focused on Emuna Outreach. It's not because Rav Brody and my husband (who is the tour coordinator,) and everyone else on the trip, enjoy spending weeks at a time away from home. Okay, so maybe hubby enjoys a little peace and quiet during the two luxurious hours of sleep he gets at night while on tour. But really, it's because we sincerely care about each and every person, no matter where he is holding spiritually or religiously. If Hashem put someone on this Earth, it means that he has a purpose and something positive to share; sometimes he just needs help discovering all of his G-d given amazing qualities.
At the end of this month, Rav Brody and crew will be embarking on Breslev Israel's North American winter tour. Keep posted for dates and locations, and if you want to arrange a private meeting with Rav Brody or help out in any way during the events, contact email@example.com.
Rabbi Lazer adds:
Well said, Racheli. The USA has been a benevolent refuge for our people and we owe it our deepest gratitude. I pray that the USA will return to the values of the Founding Fathers, as brought forth in the Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. May Hashem save America from all forces of tyranny that rob American citizens of their liberty and their health. I pray that America will recognize the Creator and truly become one nation under God, as stated in the Pledge of Allegiance. America, may Hashem lead you on the right path, amen!
Where do you find Rabbi Lazer Brody before he left for the USA and Uman? He was in the hottest place in Israel, down on the Jordan border where daytime temperatures are reaching 111F. What's he doing? He's strengthening IDF soldiers in emuna.
Emuna Outreach is well-accustomed to hotspots, as you'll see in the following clip:
Emuna Outreach has grown tremendously, so much so that Rabbi Lazer Brody could no longer handle the entire organization on his own. But, as they say in Hebrew, the bitter has yielded the sweet. Emuna Outreach is now an integral part of Breslev Israel and the Chut Shel Chesed Institutions, under the auspices of Rabbi Shalom Arush shlit'a. Scroll down to read the whole story:
Above video: Emuna Outreach in action during the Gaza War two summers ago, 2014
Weapons won't guarantee a strong Israel; emuna will.
For nine years, from August of 2004 until July of 2013, Emuna Outreach was virtually a one-man operation. With the help of dedicated volunteers and supporters around the globe, Rabbi Brody did his utmost in spreading the concept of emuna - pure and simple faith in The Almighty - in places where it was needed most: in combat zones, in prisons and in hospitals.
Tirelessly, Rabbi Brody personally spent extensive time with soldiers of the IDF on all of Israel's borders, teaching them how emuna enables them to function better under extreme stress. He spent weekends away from home and family just to be with IDF soldiers on the Jordan and Lebanese borders.
He regularly visited the wounded in rehabilitation centers and prison inmates in the process of rebuilding their lives. To places where he couldn't be personally, such as among the US Forces in Iraq and in Afghanistan, he'd send care packages of emuna books and CDs. Emuna Outreach has also worked extensively with the Aleph Institute, spreading emuna both in the American military and in the US prison system.
If that's not enough, Emuna Outreach sponsored emuna-awareness programs for as varied segments of the population as senior-citizens, toddlers and members of the International Noahide community, reaching as varied places as the Noahide community in Singapore and the native Americans of Texas, Tennessee and northern Canada.
But the job just became too prodigious for one individual to handle. So, in July of 2013, Rabbi Brody turned to the Minister of Emuna himself, his beloved teacher and spiritual guide Rabbi Shalom Arush, and asked for help so that the spread of emuna would not stop, Heaven forbid! As a result, Breslev Israel and the Chut Shel Chesed Institutions, both under the auspices of Rabbi Arush, have since taken Emuna Outreach under their wing. No longer a one-man organization, Emuna Outreach began to spread emuna on an even greater scale, as you see in the above film clip.
Rabbi Brody today is exclusively employed by Breslev Israel and his work in Emuna Outreach is completely under the auspices of Rav Arush, Breslev Israel and the Chut Shel Chesed Institutions.
With Rosh Hashana only a week away, you can accumulate double merit for this awesome Day of Judgment. When you Donate to Emuna Outreach (recommended $180 per family, or as you can afford), Rav Shalom Arush will personally perform a pidyon nefesh (see video below) for you and your entire family. You gain a prodigious chunk of merit that insures a wonderful New Year and you become a full partner is spreading emuna around the globe. What's more, your generous support of Emuna Outreach is IRS-recognized and tax deductible. As Rav Shalom Arush says, there is no greater mitzva.
Lazer explains to a Nachal Haredi soldier at a Jordan-border checkpoint about saying Tikkun Klali and Perek Shira.
No rest for the weary. Just like harvest season is the busiest time of the year for a farmer, Elul or "teshuva season" is a rush time for Emuna Outreach. We are doing our utmost, with Hashem's loving grace, to help enhance our soldiers' emuna, for emuna is not only Israel's best defense, it's Israel's only defense.
Emuna Outreach reaches certain places that we're not even allowed to publicize, such as our recent meeting with a special group of Israeli airmen to pump some high-octane emuna into the Israeli Air Force.
Emuna Outreach wants to thank all of you who have been donating your pidyon nefesh to Emuna Outreach. By the way, there's still time to Donate to Emuna Outreach and have Rav Shalom Arush perform a pidyon nefesh for you in Uman. May Hashem bless you and yours with a happy and prosperous New Year 5777.
This post is about strengthening our soldiers and the security of Israel; by doing so, we strengthen ourselves, as you'll soon see. Let's start with this letter from Emuna Outreach's mailbox:
Dear Emuna Outreach,
Thank you so much for the emuna books and CDs you brought to our unit on the Gaza border. Thanks to the teachings of Rabbi Arush, my guard duty flies by. It used to be a long and scary night on guard or on patrol, because you never know what might hit you down here. But now, after learning emuna, I talk to Hashem all night long and my shift flies by. Even more, despite our good training, there's no such thing as a soldier who isn't tense or afraid, however you want to call it. The emuna gives me confidence for I feel that Hashem's with me. Also, the connection with Emuna Outreach and particularly with Rabbi Brody means a lot to me as a lone soldier with my family in America. As a little note of thanks, I'm enclosing some photos: The first (see photos below) is of me reading "In Forest Fields". The second is of our guys saying Selichot at 1 AM (most of them are Sefardim so they say selichot the whole month of Elul.) The third photo is our crew praying together before going on patrol. Even our commander says that we've become much more motivated. Emuna Outreach has really been a great influence on our unit. Thanks so much and Shana Tova!
Signed, D from the Golani Infantry Brigade, IDF
At Breslev Israel and Emunah Outreach, we get letters like the above one all the time. You should know that the spiritual battle and the physical battle go hand-in-hand. We need your help, but we'll help you a hundred-fold in return. How?
Pidyon Nefesh is a very special and powerful prayer and blessing that has the spiritual strength of a sacrifice in the Bet Hamikdash to atone for sin and to mitigate severe judgments. As such, families who desire to invoke Divine compassion and sweeten harsh judgments make a special effort to do a Pidyon Nefesh some time during the month of Elul in preparation for the awesome Day of Judgment on Rosh Hashana.
The bigger and more pious the tzaddik, the more effective the "pidyon", which literally means "redemption", where one's money is literally a sacrifice for one's body and soul. The pidyon money "redeems" the nefesh, or soul, in other words, "Pidyon Nefesh." What's more, when the tzaddik uses the money for saving other souls and bringing them closer to Hashem, like Rabbi Arush does with Emunah Outreach - spreading emuna all over the world and making sure that every Israeli soldier can attain emuna books and CDs - you have no idea how powerful this is. You help protect Israel and its soldiers and Hashem protects you and your loved ones - measure for measure. Rav Shalom guarantees that no form of charity in the world can come close to spreading emuna.
Rav Shalom Arush will be happy to do a pidyon nefesh for you and your loved ones. Any amount is acceptable with a recommended $180 per family or equivalent; for a Pidyon to be especially effective, one should give with dedication. One cannot hope for a major salvation without giving to the limits of one's capability. Donate to Emuna Outreach and Rav Shalom Arush will do your pidyon nefesh for you; your contribution is US tax-deductible and you'll be our full partner in spreading emuna, especially where it's needed most. Blessings for an inscription in the Book of Life for a wonderful New Year 5777.
This morning, I (Racheli) was late heading out to my Zumba class. Since I joined the new gym all the way in Bet Shsmesh - which is a 10 minute drive from my mansion - I find it so much more stressful than driving up my street to work out at the gym next door. Isn't that strange? It reminds me of people like myself that try to find the closest spot to the entrance of the mall. I don't get why we do this. Aren't we spending the next three hours walking? So what difference does a better parking spot make? But, human nature is human nature.
As I was late, I started stressing out big time when I was getting ready and trying to peel my screaming 2-year-old off my legs so I could leave. And on the way there, I was trying to pass the slowpokes driving in front of me. "Move, ya turtle!" I screamed at them through closed windows. Let's forget the fact that most of the roads here are one lane roads. That's not important.
Suddenly, halfway to the gym, an often-ignored thought popped into my little brain. What's the point of stressing about being late? It doesn't change the time, and it doesn't make you get there earlier. So I decided to let go of my stress. I threw Stressy out the window and watched in my rear view mirror as another car ran over him. I delighted in his gruesome death. So long, Stressy.
Wait a minute. Doesn't Stressy sound like a girl's name? He must be gender confused. It's so trendy these days to not be certain about your gender.
Anyhow, after I made the decision to not stress over being late, I felt so much calmer. I didn't arrive to my class a bundle of nerves, and, in fact, the class was nearly empty because of summer vacation, so I got a spot right up in front anyways. I think the ladies love watching me have a spaz attack when I dance.
I know what you're asking. What if the kids are late for school, or you're late for work? Well, that would be a great time to activate our emuna superpowers. If you're running late, that's what Hashem wants. If your boss greets you with a clenched fist and a mouthful of un-PC words, that's what Hashem wants. Who knows what harsher judgments you avoided because you didn't stress about your situation?
So I'm going to try to listen to my own words, and do my best to keep from locking myself in my room until my kids start school next week.
In case you forgot, Rav Brody was in my town on Sunday night with Blues guitarist Lazer Lloyd. It was just awesome! Here is a pic just to show you what a great time you missed. In case you're wondering who that is in the middle of these two superstars, that's my husband. King David. Did you note the slight sarcasm? What a photobomb. I couldn't figure out how to photoshop him out, but nevertheless, it's a very nice picture. Have a great week!
Rachel from Puerto Rico sent the following email to our Breslev Israel office in Jerusalem:
Rav, Yo era aquella mujer esteril. Le escribo llena de emoción. Hace unos meses le escribí pidiendo consejo para mi esposo y para mi. Usted me contesto que agradeciera media hora por día y que escuchara la clase "Agradecer por lo que mas cuesta". Rav obedecí y ayer me entere que estoy embarazada.Ademas de esto yo habia hecho un Pidion Nefesh por 9 meses. Rav quiero que sepa y que anuncie, que el único camino para ver milagros es el agradecimiento. Gracias por ser usted la fuente, Rajel
Rabbi, I was that barren woman. I write with emotion. A few months ago I wrote asking for advice for my husband and me. You answered me to thank half hour per day and listen to the class "Give thanks for the most difficult things". Rav: I obeyed and yesterday I found out that I am pregnant. Besides this I had made a Pidion Nefesh for 9 months. Rav I want you to know and to announce to everybody, that the only way to see miracles is to give thanks. Thank you for being the source, Rachel
Rachel is right - with gratitude, you see miracles. She was not only grateful to Hashem for her difficulties, but for nine months straight she gave a substantial donation to help us spread emuna in the world. Rav Shalom Arush shlit'a says that there's no charity in the world that invokes such Divine compassion as spreading emuna.
Would you like to see miracles - a wondrous solution for the problem in your life that seems unsolvable? Thank Hashem for a half-hour a day like Rachel in Puerto Rico did. And, send a Pidion Nefesh - a most powerful donation that virtually redeems a soul - to Rav Shalom Arush shlit'a by Donating to Emuna Outreach (we highly recommend $180, but give what you can afford - there's also an option of giving a recurring donation for as many months as you wish). When you bring Hashem's children close to him, Hashem will bring your children and whatever salvations you need close to you. That's the power of Emuna Outreach.