Rosh Hashana - tonight, Monday and Tuesday - is the King's coronation, when we crown Hashem as our King. People ask me why we leave our holy Land of Israel to go to the Ukraine on Rosh Hashana. The reason is simple: Rebbe Nachman himself told us before he left this world, Ish bal ye'ader - No one shall be missing, in other words, we Breslevers have a directive from our holy Rebbe of blessed memory to spend Rosh Hashana in Uman. This tradition was continued by Rebbe Natan zatza'l and by all subsequent generations of Rebbe Nachman's disciples.
Intrinsically, the main coronation of The King takes place in the Kloiz, the cental prayer hall near Rebbe Nachman's holy gravesite in Uman, which was the site of one of the greatest sanctifications of Hashem's name in history. During the Cossack pogroms of 1728, 33,000 Jews were brutally slaughtered after they refused to give up their ancient faith. Uman is the biggest teshuva and emuna factory in the world. Amazingly enough, last year there were 45,000 Jews praying together in Uman. This year, many more are expected.
Here from Uman, from Rebbe Nachman's holy gravesite, are our heartfelt blessings for you and your loved ones - Leshana Tova Tikatevu - may you be inscribed in the Book of Long Life for a wonderful New Year 5779, amen!
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 5779.
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, this year, amen!
In this week's lesson, we see the total contrast of the simple one and his meteoric rise to greatness. The clever one, endowed with fabulous aptitude and talent, begins his free-fall to oblivion…