43 posts categorized "Reader's feedback"

More on the Monsanto Monster

My esteemed friend Dr. Yehuda Frischman, DAOM, is a Doctor of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine as well as a specialist in traditional Jewish medicine. He sent us the following email, which is a must-see for your health and protection: 

Dear Reb Lazer,

Your wonderful article on the axis of evil: Monsanto-Bayer-Farben deeply resonated with me. By the way, are you aware that Monsanto genetically modified crops make up between 50-95% of the American supply of corn, soy, rapeseed ("canola"), cotton, alfalfa, sugar beets and payaya? (Oh, and BTW, they have come up with a way to make Monsanto cheese, using their own laboratory produced bacteria modified with rennet produced from GM cow genes!). The only way to ascertain that you're not getting GM crops is to buy organic, like you say. But it gets better (or worse?) Monsanto back around 20 years ago tried to introduce a genetically modified wheat, that they claimed was nutritionally identical to regular wheat. Their was such an uproar, that they withdrew their patent request. BUT, what they don't tell you is that mysteriously, this Monsanto wheat: MON 71800 which is glyphosate (the main ingredient in Roundup and the one which causes autism and other brain impairments - LB) resistant, has turned up on farms from Oregon to Kansas, from Japan to India, as well as throughout Europe. Why is that? Well if you've ever seen wheat, the wind causes the germ to blow far and wide and it cross-pollinates with any other wheats that it happens to meet. In other words, the Genie is out of the bottle, and essentially (except, I've heard in the interior of Australia) it is impossible to find wheat which has not been hybridized with MON 71800.

So what is wrong with genetically modified crops? Here's what they do: to prevent pests from eating and "contaminating" crops Monsanto splices in a gene which causes the digestive tract of insects to explode (apoptosis). The trouble is that the same thing happens when we ingest these GM crops--we suffer from extreme inflammation in our guts! So what can we do about it? 1. Only eat organic produce. 2. Only buy heirloom wheats which do not breed with "modern" wheat: such as Einkorn, Kamut, Emmer and Faro.

One additional point I think you might find interesting is the origin Canola oil.   Back in the early '70s at the university of Manitoba, rapeseed oil, which is very high in toxic erucic acid, became the first Genetically modified plant grown in large quantities, spliced to eliminate its erucic acid.  To "honor" their country, the scientists who invented this original "Frankenstein" plant called it Canola, a contraction of Canadian oil. 

May we all enjoy good health.

Fondly, Yidel

Tough Opposition on the Field

Spiritual Growth
Dear Rabbi Lazer,

I'm writing this to you for two reasons: first, you don't know me and I feel really embarassed talking about this to a rabbi that knows me; and second, since you too are a Baal Teshuva, I'm hoping you can understand a fellow BT that was born in the spiritual gutters far away from Torah. I became observant about five years ago, when I finished my masters degree. As a university student and a popular dude at that, I guess you can say that I did about everything and enjoyed it too. I won't go into the reasons that I made teshuva, but I became very disgusted with my lusty lifestyle. I began to learn Torah and was drawn especially to the teachings of the Zohar. I did an about face and made serious efforts in developing my personal holiness. With daily mikva, daily teshuva, and total immersion Torah, I became a new person. Two years ago, I was introduced to a young lady who after three dates became my fiance. We are blissfully married, in no small thanks to The Garden of Peace, which I live by.

So what's my problem? I thought I had deleted my naughty x-rated past from my brain. On Rosh Hashanah, the Yetzer gave me a triple whammy. During Maariv on the first night, a really raunchy image flashed before my eyes which I won't describe, but it was something from the lowest part of my past. The same thing happened during Mussaf, and the same thing happened again the second night. When I should have been crowning the King, I was watching myself in x-rated movies from my own past, the exact opposite of holiness. Why did Hashem shtup me with these terrible thoughts? What could I possibly have done wrong to be pushed away like this? I had such aspirations of clinging to Hashem with real devotion in this year's prayers, and I blew it. I feel devastated and dejected, as if I've been totally defeated. What can I do? Please help me. Thanks so very much, David from California

Dear David,

The Yetzer - the Evil Inclination - wants you to think that you're a loser. The exact opposite is true - this year, you have attained a lofty and admirable soul correction. You're the winner, my man; here's how:

Back in your university days, you thoroughly enjoyed doing the lewd things that so embarassingly popped into your head during this past Yom Kippur. Yet now, the forbidden acts that you once enjoyed are now a source of shame. Your shame during Yom Kippur is not only a sign of humility and holiness, but a soul correction for the past. Having done teshuva out of love (hear our CD on the subject), your past transgressions now become valuable merits to your credit. What's more, when you did those wrong things, you didn't know they were wrong. You can be proud of yourself, for Hashem is proud of the unbelievable growth that you've made in five short years. Don't ever forget that spiritual growth and serving Hashem are like football - you can't gain an inch without facing tough opposition; that's why the rewards are so great. Keep plugging away, slowly but surely, for you'll be a big winner. Remember also that as a BT, you're now playing in a championship league. Be happy, David - you're doing great. With blessings for a meaning Yom Kippur and a wonderful year, LB

Rachel's Joy

Someone Small
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.

Mad at the Rabbi, Glad for the Result

Dear Rabbi Brody,

I emailed you in December last year requesting your advice. I had been diagnosed with breast cancer and a mastectomy was scheduled within a few days. The chronology is a little fuzzy in my memory now.  The final email I received from you was something to the effect of "have the surgery and thank HaShem for your disease". 

Not exactly what I wanted to hear at that particular moment!  Not only was it, in my mind, cold and generic, how would it be humanly possible for me to be thankful for this horrible disease?  I was angry with you, threatened to boycott Lazer Beams, Breslev, and cancel my membership with Breslev Israel!  A day or so later, I mentioned to my friend Bill (also a reader of yours) that I had received a reply from you.  I had told him that I wrote to you.  I also told him the way I felt about your less-than-10-word response. 

Keep in mind that we had already read Garden of Emuna and listened to numerous of your emuna series lectures.  Bill reminded me that I had contacted you and I was obligated to follow your advice. He also reminded me that you answer tons of letters every day and that I was being a little selfish to expect a long wordy email. After all, you're the rabbi!  So I swallowed my indignation, pride, fear, etc., walked out in my backyard and began to pray.  I thought I would choke on the words, but, with tears streaming down my cheeks, I thanked HaShem for "the disease".  Instantly, the fear left me and I regained my "center", that being connected with G-d in a way I had not been since I got the diagnosis.  I was once again at peace in the core of my being. 

Soon thereafter I had the surgery and was never afraid.  Bill kept reminding me that G-d already knew the outcome and there was nothing to fear.  Several weeks later I met with my oncologist for the first time.  She wanted to submit my lab work to a hoity-toity lab in California for an oncotype test before deciding on a course of treatment for my cancer.  I had never heard of this before, but agreed.  Apparently it would indicate the likelihood of cancer recurring in my body.  I was still seeing my surgeon at this time, who I really liked, and he was also anxiously awaiting the outcome. 

When the results were in, I went to see the oncologist for her to interpret them to me.  My oncotype test score was 2.  She explained to me that that was extremely low and that I would need neither chemotherapy nor radiation!  I grinned, said Baruch HaShem, full well believing that this would be the case.  A day or so later I had an appointment with my surgeon and he further explained that he had never, in his years of practice specializing in breast cancer, seen a single digit score on an oncotype test.  He had seen some 12s or 14s, but never a 2! 

Needless to say, I had no angst or problem thanking HaShem for this turn of events and this is what I knew the outcome would be because I had followed your advice, thanked HaShem every day, and maintained my emuna even when it was difficult to do so.  Thus, my sincere gratitude to you for making me mad!  I truly am blessed to know you and I am honored to have met you in person when you were last here.  We need help here in OKC and you hit the nail on the head in your talk.  Love and unity, which is what I was praying you would talk about as I was driving to the shul.  Funny how that works, huh? 

Shalom and best wishes, Dawn from Oklahoma

Joy, not Zealotry and Anger

Dear Rabbi Lazer,

Broken Heart
Six months ago I wrote you about my husband's spiritual slide, that he shaved his beard and stopped putting on tefillin in the morning. We exchanged a few emails and you told me that I was being too zealous and too "frum", always nitpicking at small details rather than stressing joy and emuna. I must be honest that you really upset me, and my heart (really my Yetzer Hara, but I didn't know it at the time) told me that you're just some NaNach-BT-Breslever parading as a rabbi and spiritual guide. But, when my husband opened up divorce proceeding in the Beis Din, I got a wake-up call from above that I had better listen to you. Other rabbis here were telling me to get a divorce. They said that my husband would ruin our three boys spiritually, and that I'd be better off on my own. You said the opposite. Despite the way I insulted you, you answered with patience that I should stop criticizing him and stop yelling, and that I should pray for him at least an hour a day. I did, while doing my best to control my temper and to be attractive at home. Better to be a meshiggina Breslever than an arrogant single parent. (I can't believe how arrogant I was in thinking all the negative about you - please forgive me).

The patience paid off. After the Shalom-Bayit Shabbaton that you and Dr. Zev Ballen did here in LA this past October, my husband cancelled the divorce file. This has been the best Chanuka ever. And like you said in your lecture to women, I now give him nothing but positivity. It has paid off big time. He is doing all sorts of things to earn more love and respect, which he is thriving on. Not only is he back to davening with a minyan, but he now has a Gemara chavrusa between mincha and maariv every day. He is spending much more time with our boys too.

I don't know how many families Rabbi Arush and you have saved, but ours is one of them. I just want all your readers to know that Yiddishkeit with joy - and not zealotry - is the way to go. By the way, we hope that the Shalom Bayit Shabbaton will turn into an annual event here. Forever gateful, Miriam

Dear Miriam,

I don't remember that you insulted me but of course I forgive you anyway. Thanks so very much for your letter. Happy Chanuka and blessings for another simcha in the family this year, LB  

It's All Good

Thank You God
Traveling so much around the world is not easy, but letters like the following make all my efforts more than worthwhile:

Dear Rabbi,

Uman. Shabbos before Rosh Hashana. Outside the kloiz. I heard you speak and I've had read the Garden of Emuna after my broken engagement almost two months previously, but the pain was still there and I didn't know what to do with it. Emuna? Not so much. I thought I believed. But I didn't know in what. Who's Hashem? He's here, there and everywhere, but that's the title of  a Beatles song too. I spoke to you and cried on your shoulder and you ever so non-judgmentally told me to thank Hashem for ten minutes a day for the pain and everything. Ok. Worth a try. You said to do it for ninety days and I'd see miracles and I'd be embarrassed for ever questioning G-d. I started right then. Within three days I was closer than ever to Hashem. Within the week I stopped counting what day I was up to knowing this was not something I'd stop doing. A month later I came to thank Hashem for the bad and had nothing to list... It was all good. Everything actually felt good. I couldn't believe and did teshuva for ever questioning Hashem.

The day after Sukkos I started dating a girl that was obviously incredibly special. My first thought when I saw her was "I don't know if this will work out and I may not even be able to have a conversation with her, but someone somewhere is getting the most amazing person and will be very happy."

Tonight we got engaged. Thank you Hashem. Forever. In all time and space. Thank you Rabbi Brody for introducing me to Him.

Please pray for us: With deep gratitude, Yisrael K., USA