41 posts categorized "Reader's feedback"

Susan's Story

Sue.um
Dear Rabbi Brody,

I'm sure you probably get emails like this all the time, but I'm writing you anyway. I'm almost finished my second year in college. After a terrific first year, this year was a disaster. I fell into a terrible relationship and became the victim of lies and maneuvering. My grades suffered and so did my self-image. I felt the worst depression ever and just felt no point to living anymore. My girlfriend saw me crying, and she was upset because of that. She grabbed me by the hand and took me to the Hillel House on campus. She said, "Come and meet some nice people." I always thought that the Hillel House crowd were nerdy, but I was wrong. The rabbi there was really nice and he gave me a CD, called Hashem Loves Me. I told him I didn't want it, but he said "Take it, it's free. There's an organization in Israel called Emuna Outreach that sends them to us every now and then." Rabbi, I'm not religious at all, but I do feel spiritual. This CD spoke right to my heart. I never heard such soothing and encouraging words before. You should know that it saved my life. It gave me the will to keep going. I'm finished most of my finals, and I managed to lift up my grades again and salvage this year. All thanks to Emuna Outreach and your CD. You have no idea what you're doing. I'm one person, but I'll bet there are many more like me. Thank you for giving me my life back. With deep gratitude, Susan from an Atlantic Coast university

The Gemara says that he who saves one life saves an entire world. Emuna saves lives. Your tax-deductable donation to Emuna Outreach (see "Donate" button on the top left-hand toolbar of this site) makes you a full partner in saving lives around the globe. We can't reach people like Susan, people on other campuses, soldiers on the front lines and prison inmates, in addition to tens of thousands of other people who benefit from our media and online lessons, without your generous support. Thanks so much and G-d bless always.


The Land of Emuna

Here is a letter with an amazing lesson of Hashem's constant and complete intervention in the tiniest details of our daily lives. Yes, emuna is for real:

Dear Rabbi Lazer, I  just watched your "Hashem's Pharmacy" video and  was astounded at the end with Rabbi Nachman of Breslev's concept that the more Emuna, the more fruits and vegetables.

My husband and I made aliyah 29 years ago and he went into the IDF during the Gulf War. Money was limited, and I didn't have much food in the house. He came home on leave one evening and we went for a walk. I was thinking about salad but not concerned believing that the next day everything would work out and I'd get my fruits and veggies. As we were walking along the road, I saw something up ahead, it was already dark but there was a full moon. Something on the sidewalk ahead looked like small round objects. As we approached, I became more sure that what I was seeing was fruit or tomatoes or something like that. Sure enough, we arrived at the spot and that is exactly what I found. A couple of tomatoes, some small cucumbers, two peppers and even an onion! These veggies were in perfect shape, no bruises and not even a speck of dirt. I could have eaten them right there. It was a  still night and I looked around for a plastic bag to see if they had been dropped and there was none to be seen anywhere around.

It was very unusual for me to have a bag in my purse but I looked and I just happened to have one that night!  I gathered the produce and we went home. My husband was a little freaked that I would eat food I found on a public sidewalk by the road but I KNEW it was from HaShem.  It was the best Israeli Salad I have ever eaten and I never lacked for veggies after that. Yours always, MS

Lacking something in life? With prayer and emuna, you won't lack a thing. If you haven't seen "Hashem's Pharmacy", enjoy it below:


Don't Wait Another 10 Years

Debbie finally arrived in Israel last month, after ten years of longing. She has been corresponding with me for a little over a year, and the first thing she did was to show up at my Wednesday evening weekly Emuna talk and broadcast in English from the Chut Shel Chesed Yeshiva in Jerusalem. G-d willing, she'll be working in the mornings as an English teacher and spending her afternoons at a women's seminar for Baalot Teshuva.

Debbie wrote a message that we wants me to convey to all of you; it's really profound:

Rabbi Lazer, please tell your readers how I wanted to make Aliya ten years ago when I was 21. I also wanted to learn more about Judaism. I let my mother talk me out of both. During the last ten years, I wish I could say I've been treading water, but it's worse. I floated from job to job, had a miserable relationship with a person outside of our religion who I lived with for four years, and have sacrificed my own aspirations to keep mom happy. I was miserable and lost my self-esteem. You gave me the courage to pack up and do what I really want. Pass the message on to others - don't waste a decade of your own lives to keep others happy. Come to Israel today, and claim your Jewish birthright. Live your own lives. 31 is better late than never...

No, Debbie, don't cry over spilt milk. With Hashem's help, your Emuna will strengthen and you'll meet a good guy very soon. Your message is an important one.

The ingathering of the exiles is just one more sign of the wonderful times that await us in the rebuilt Jerusalem of Eretz Yisroel, amen.


It Really Works

Dear Rabbi Brody,

In case you don't remember me with all your mail volume etc., I'm Peter from Kansas City who wrote you about my financial difficulties three months ago. You told me never to criticize my wife and to be sure I give a tithe to charity. To be honest, I thought your advice was off the wall. Then again, a little voice in my head said, "Hey, Peter - you're the one that asked his advice. He called it the way he saw it. Maybe you should listen?" Well I did, and not only has my marriage never been better but 2 weeks ago I landed a job with better hours, nicer people, great bennies on the side, and catch this - $12,000 more a year than I've been making. And guess what - I owe different people the sum of $12,000! Can you believe it?! Your advice and your CDs (I listened to "First Place" and "Respecting Your Wife") really work! The good Lord is great and thank you Rabbi for bringing us all closer to him whether we're Jews or not. May you have continued strength in your holy work, an appreciative Peter from KC


A Home in the Land of Emuna

Make your decision to come home to the Land of Emuna and try to strengthen yourself in emuna with all your heart, and you'll see big miracles like my wonderful friends the Gros family did:

Dear Rabbi Brody,

Exactly a year ago, my husband (Michael Gros) and I had a question for you. I wanted to give you an update on Hashem's answer to that question.

We had made aliyah two years prior and had still not sold our home in America. In the meantime we were renting it out and the rent our tenants were paying covered the mortgage plus a little spending money.

Our problem was that we really wanted to buy a home in Eretz Yisrael but were unable to without the sale of our home in Atlanta. As you know the real estate market in America is bleak and it is even worse in Atlanta.

Your advice to us was to actively look for an apartment here in Israel and talk to Hashem telling him our dilemma and asking for help. We told Him all the reasons we wanted to buy here (including that we know that Moshiach's arrival is imminent and we wanted to be able to house all the guests that are going to be pouring into Erertz Yisrael!)and asked him to send a buyer to purchase our Atlanta home at the right time and the right price.

After much searching we found our dream apartment in Ramat Beit Shemesh. It was beautiful with a view of the neighboring mountains. The sunset from our balcony would be breathtaking and we really wanted the apartment however there was not even a bite on our Atlanta home.

We did not loose faith! We continued talking to Hashem every night and made an offer on the apartment in Ramat Beit Shemesh and it was accepted. Although we had enough money for the down payment we knew that the monthly mortgage payments would be an enormous financial strain on us. We would have to start asking relatives to help us each month if the house in Atlanta did not sell.

A closing date on our apartment in Ramat Beit Shemesh was set and instead of getting nervous about our Atlanta home we kept davening and talking to Hashem.

A week before our closing here in Eretz Yisrael we received a phone call from a family in Atlanta saying they were interested in our home, how much were we asking and how quickly could we close.

In the end, we got for out home in Atlanta the exact amount we needed to make our mortgage payments comfortable here. The best part of the whole story is that we closed on our apartment here at 3pm and in Atlanta 11pm all on the same day...only a 7 hour difference. We couldn't have planned it that!!

Thank you for your advice! Thank you for showing us that Hashem really listens to us. Thank you for giving us the gift of Emuna!

Shoshana and Michael Gros

 


No Easy Way Out

Dear Rabbi Brody,
I'm not religious, but I get a kick out of your column and your broadcasts, even though I disagree with you plenty. One thing I particularly don't like is the fact that you're always hounding Jews about keeping all of the 613 commandments. So what if I'm Jewish? Why can't I just keep the seven Noahide commandments like you tell the non-Jews to? How come you're so nice to the non-Jews, and you're all over the case of the Jews. That doesn't seem fair. Please explain. Thank you, GA from Ohio

Dear GA,

Diesel fuel is fine for a diesel engine, but it won't propel a jet engine. The spiritual profile of a Jew differs that of a non-Jew. Therefore, the spiritual diet that can keep a non-Jew healthy won't get a Jew off the ground. A non-Jew can eat shrimp and lobsters all day long, and as long as he/she observes the seven Noahide laws, he/she is considered righteous. If you eat 28 grams of shrimp, you put a gaping hole in your soul. Whenever you turn on a light bulb with a tiny flick of the finger on the Sabbath, you cut yourself off from Hashem. On the other hand, a non-Jew can do whatever he or she pleases on their Saturday.

If a Jew keeps 612 out of the Torah's 613 commandments, and willfully breaks #613, he or she is considered a transgressor. Not fair? Consider this - if a grain of sand lands on your hand, nothing happens. But, if it lands in your eye, you suffer excruciating pain. Not fair? A hand and an eye - while both being very necessary parts of the body - are built differently with different strengths and sensitivities; the same goes for a Jew and a non-Jew. While both are Hashem's beloved creations, they have different strengths and different sensitivities because of their different tasks in the world. Yet, like an eye and a hand, both are vital.

Since you're a Jew - whether you like it or not - the only way for you to guarantee yourself true happiness in this world and in the next is to keep all 613 mitzvas. There's no easy way out. We all came down to this lowly world to perform a difficult task, and not to have fun and games. Yes, I will continue to get on your cage for your own good - if that's so distasteful for you, why do keep on reading the Beams? I'll tell you why, GA - deep down, it makes your soul feel good. Think about it, GA. If you add some emuna to your life, you'll feel great. With smiles & blessings, Lazer Brody


Blue Otter's Dream

"Blue Otter" is a Tennessee Cherokee. Together with Chief Sitting Owl of the Central Tennessee Cherokee Nation, he travelled nearly 200 miles to meet me in person for the first time and hear me speak in Memphis this past month. A few days later, Blue Otter sent me the following email:

Osyio, Rabbi Lazer!

That night after the lecture, as I was blissfully sleeping in the Chief's "luxury suite," (as he calls it, and I did find it to be very commodious)... I dreamed that wherever you go on earth, there is a square 7' x 7' patch of what looked like "rain" that constantly follows and covers you. That was an interesting dream! I know it's true...

Shalom, Gah gey you e,

Blue Otter

Blue Otter's dream is remarkable. The minimum size of a kosher Succa is 7 tefachim by 7 tefachim. Our sages tell us that this is the smallest area befitting for the "Clouds of Emuna" to hover (in the words of the Zohar, tzila demehaimnuta). May we all be worthy vessels of the Divine Presence, amen.