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38 posts from April 2018

Massive Explosions in Syria - Iran Threatens to Level Tel Aviv

Syria Explosions
Massive explosions rocked Syria last night, so huge that they registered 2.6 on the Richter scale.

Two Iranian manned and controlled missile bases in Syria have been wiped away. This is the second attack against Iranian bases in Iran in recent weeks.

Iran is threatening Israel and tensions are ratcheting up high here. The Prime Minister is scheduled to make a national address in the next few hours.

All this is happening between the yahrtzeits of Rebbe Meir Baal HaNess and Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai. May their holy memories interceded in our behalf, amen.

Maintaining Your Cyber Health: Beware of the Sneeze

No one likes the inconsiderate person who sneezes in public without making any effort to cover his/her mouth and nose. This individual exposes everyone to a bacterial cloud of over 100,000 potentially contagious microorganisms, including many bacteria and viruses of the not-so-friendly type.

Despite the danger, Jewish Law requires us to judge everyone fairly and look for the mitigating factors. In the above case, we could say that perhaps the sneezer was unaware of the perils that he or she shares with those in proximity of that sneeze. And even if they were aware, we can still say that a sneeze is only semi-autonomous; in other words, it's not completely under the sneezer's control. So, if he or she sneezed accidentally before they could control it, we certainly must forgive them. What's more, since a sneeze is sudden and convulsive, it could have been quicker on the draw than the sneezer's tissue or handkerchief that was intended to contain it.

We can certainly conclude that the sneezer had no intention of contaminating the atmosphere. And, to those who still say that the sneezer breached a mitzvah between man and fellow man by his or her lack of consideration, the Heavenly verdict in any sneeze other than one with a malicious intent to make others sick would be, "Zakai – not guilty!"

The verdict is quite different in the event of a cyber-sneeze.

Cyber-sneeze? What's that? If you want to stay healthy, then Cyber Sneeze, my feature article in this week's issue of Breslev Israel web magazine, is a must-read.

Also featured this week:

Rabbi Shalom Arush - The Dignity of Others

Racheli Reckles - Honey, I Broke the Carwash

Dr. Zev Ballen - Peeling the Veneer

Yehudit Channen - Behind the Curtain

Rebbetzen Chana Bracha Siegelbaum - The Fires of Lag B'Omer

David Perlow - Spoiled Kids or Emuna Kids

David Ben Horin - The Ultimate Rewards Plan

Tal Rotem - G-d of Rebbe Meir, Answer Me!

Pinney Wolman - Failing for Success

Scroll down to see Rav Shalom's invitation to the big celebration tonight.

Blessings for a wonderful new week!

You're Invited - Tonight in Israel!

This week is not only the week of Lag B'Omer and the yahrtzeit of Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai (this coming Wednesday night Hilula 2 and Thursday), it's also the week of Pesach Sheni and the yahrtzeit of Rebbe Meir Baal Haness (Sunday). Rav Shalom Arush invites you personally to a gala celebration of both yarhtzeits as well as a celebration of completing the learning of the entire Gemara tonight at 7:30 PM at the Doria Halls located on Route 35 east of Ashkelon. There will be a lavish meal and live entertainment with some of Israel's leading performers. If you're in Israel, we hope to see you there!

Arrange ahead of time for tickets by calling 02-5323339. The map below will show you how to get there:



Like a Rock in Turbulent Waters: The Nahal Tzafit Tragedy

Wadi Flood 26.4.18
Israel this morning is in shock. In one fell swoop of raging flood waters, 10 young people lost their lives yesterday. They were 18 year-olds from the "Bnei Tzion" premilitary academy in Tel Aviv, killed after being swept away in torrential floods (above image) yesterday afternoon during a hike in Nahal Tzafit, a river wadi in the Arava region east of the Dead Sea that's dry most of the year. 

To put things into proportion, and to understand the magnitude of this tragedy, ten fatalities is a number equivalent to the average fatalities of two whole years of rocket attacks from Gaza!

This is a message from Hashem that no one can ignore. What does it mean? 

You can walk in a wadi - a dry riverbed - on a clear day with a blue sky enjoying the desert's breathtaking beauty. Meanwhile, six miles away up in the mountains, strange unseasonal clouds gather and dump their furious downpour. In the space of ten minutes, an inch of rain falls (25mm), half the annual precipitation in the desert. All of a sudden, the waters - fast, mighty and overpowering, become a raging flood with the power to wash a semi-trailer away as if it were a Playmobile toy. The young people who lost their lives yesterday were hit with such a flash flood. They didn't have a chance of survival.

What's Hashem's message here? What does it mean when ten people get washed away like "A rock in turbulent waters" (Nehemia 9:11)? One Israeli meteorologist said that the flood waters in Nahal Tzafit were so powerful that they were washing 3-ton boulders away.

Thinking about this, I finally understood what King David prayed for all the time in a passage that is part of the Tikkun Klali:  "For this, let every devout person pray to You at a time when misfortune befalls, that the flooding, mighty waters not overtake him" (Psalm 32:6). Wow - today's news from the Heavenly newsroom, or not?

What does it mean? 

Nahal Tzafit - one of the meaning of tzafit in Hebrew is, "Did you observe?" Did you open your eyes? Did you search for the meaning?

Try this:

You're going along with your life, hunky dory. You're fine - you go to synagogue, you eat kosher and you give charity. But all of a sudden, a flood of social pressure overtakes you. People tell you that you have to be on a Whatsapp group or on Facebook. You gotta make the Instagram scene. Before you know it, you (and your children) are washed away by the anti-emuna flood of gossip and evil speech. The woman is no longer baking challas and the men is no longer opening a Gemara. Their noses are in their smartphones. Their kids, with their own smartphones, lock themselves in the bathroom or bedroom and are texting on Shabbat.

Yes, this flood of epikorsis - social media heresy - is  washing away the unsuspecting Jewish People. I know that many readers will have a fit about this, but sorry, but you know it's true.

For the last five days already, the Israel Meteorological Service has been warning on hourly radio broadcasts to stay away from Negev river wadis because of the chance of flooding. And the flooding came...

For the last five years, every one of our spiritual leaders - Sephardi, Lithuanian and Chassidic - have been warning of the dangers of the social media flood of heresy, telling people to stay away. And that flooding came raging too.

Is anyone listening?

If King David - King of Israel and Hashem's anointed - had the need to beg Hashem to protect him from "the flooding, mighty waters", which our sages interpret as the major sins of lashon hara, heresy, debauchery and bloodshed, what can we say? Can we nonchalantly stroll down the dry river beds of seemingly innocent social media, then get hit with a flood of lashon hara, heresy, debauchery and bloodshed, all of which washes everything away in its path?

The social media flood is a greater threat than Hamas and Hezbolla, but few people will take this to heart. For the one person who will, and decides to return to the spiritual high ground of prayer, Torah learning and challah baking, then this post was worth it. May are efforts in spiritual strengthening bring gratitude to the cherished souls who were washed away in yesterday's flood, amen! Shabbat Shalom, and may we hear good tidings,