Don't wait until the last minute! Pidyon Nefesh is a very special and powerful prayer and blessing that has the spiritual strength of a sacrifice in the Bet Hamikdash (Holy Temple) 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 "Pidyon Nefesh" - translated, "Redemption of the Soul", is charity money used for saving other souls and bringing them closer to Hashem, like Rabbi Arush does with Emunah Outreach, spreading emuna all over the world. This invokes phenomenal Divine compassion on the donor and on his/her loved ones. Here in Israel, Rabbi Arush makes sure that every Israeli soldier who so desires can attain emuna books and CDs at no cost to him (photos above and right, from Jordan border) - you have no idea how powerful this is. When you help protect Israel and its soldiers, Hashem protects you and your loved ones - measure for measure. Emuna Outreach goes way outside Israel's borders as far as US Troops in Afghanistan and Korea, to prison inmates in Israel, Canada, the UK and USA, all of whom seek a welcome a shot of spiritual encouragement.
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.
We, the undersigned Jewish bloggers, hereby protest – in the strongest terms possible – the parading and glorification of an “alternative lifestyle”, one that is classified in the Holy Torah as an abomination, especially through the streets of the holy city of Jerusalem.
The Torah demands that we live by a certain code of sexual morality, and as such, we are forbidden from certain relationships that a moral society cannot tolerate. These include incest, adultery, bestiality, and homosexuality. All these are considered grave sins in Judaism and incur the punishment of Karet, or excision from the Jewish people. An act performed with witnesses during the time of the Sanhedrin would incur an even worse consequence – namely, capital punishment.
And this is only on an individual level. When the sin is committed on a societal level, it is much worse. The Torah and our sages record how these acts were catalysts for both the Great Flood during Noah’s lifetime and the destruction of the Five Cities of the Plain.
As such, we consider any attempt to glorify acts that the Torah vehemently forbids by parading any such lifestyle through the streets with horror and utter disdain. Such parades in New York and San Francisco would be bad enough, but through the streets of the Holy Land of Israel is a thousand-fold worse. The Torah specifically warns us not to act in sexually abominable ways lest we be vomited out of the land. One can only imagine how it is viewed in Heaven when people brazenly display to G-d how abominable one can be. And if the Land of Israel cannot tolerate such acts of utter gall, all the more so in the holy city of Jerusalem, a city that is overwhelmingly religious.
We in no way wish to minimize the struggles in temptation some may have in this area and view with positivity those who have such inclinations and bravely overcome them. But those are not the people irreverently parading through the streets with rainbow flags, who show utter contempt for the Holy Torah and all we hold dear.
We therefore vehemently protest the “Pride” Parade in Jerusalem and everywhere else in the world where they may occur. We hope and pray that those who take part in such parades do a complete Teshuva for their actions, and may we see a rebuilt Jerusalem, speedily in our days, Amen.
Chazaq.org is a wonderful organization that does so much in bringing Jewish souls closer to Hashem. Rav Shalom Arush and I are delighted to endorse their superb work. Yet, if there's no flour, there's no Torah. Today, Chazaq is kicking off the Give Strong, Give Chazaq Campaign - it's a tremendous mitzva to donate to them. We want to convey our blessings to Rabbi Ilan Meirov and Rabbi Yaniv Meirov, Chazaq's directors, and pray for their success. Here's a taste of what they do:
This week is not only the week of Lag B'Omer and the yahrtzeit of Rebbe Shimon Bar Yochai (this coming Wednesday night 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:
Emuna Outreach stays in contact with Jewish soldiers around the world. We just now received photos from our good friend, US Army Major Yoni, who is the Brigade Chaplain of the US Army base in Bagram, Afghanistan. Here's what the Seder Table looked like there:
And here's Major Yoni in Bagram, Afghanistan:
Breslev Israel and Emuna Outreach just yesterday sent a care package of emuna books, CDs, inspirational pamphlets of glatt-kosher chocolates to US soldiers in a small outpost in Afghanistan, not far from Taliban country. Here's our shipping manager, Inon, preparing it - look at the smile on his face! That's how delighted we are to encourage our soldiers, wherever they are.
If you have soldier you care about serving overseas or in Israel, send us his name and address. Nothing is so encouraging to soldiers as a dose of emuna.