Fruit of the Soul

In this special lesson for the month of Shvat, we learn about the four types of fruit that our sages speak about. They are:

1) Fruit of the field and tree - vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds

2) Fruit of the womb - our children

3) Fruit of our labors - the result of our career, trade, professional and job efforts

4) Fruit of the soul - one's emuna, prayer and Torah.

All the above four types have one very significant common denominator...


Gog and Magog: Postwar Fallout

Are Gog and Magog really dead? Will there be a nuclear war? What about Moshiach, where does he fit in to the current-events news puzzle? What does the Noahide movement have to do with all of this?  Today's podcast looks at what's happening all around us through eyes of emuna and puts contemporary affairs in their proper spiritual perspective.


The Self-Healing Prayer

I was lecturing at an IAF base, and my host - the assistant base commander - showed me where the bathroom was. When I came out, I washed my hands three times consecutively with a cup and said slowly and with intent the Asher Yatzar blessing that one says after visiting the toilet. My host looked at me wide-eyed, as if I'd suddenly sprouted peacock feathers. "Rabbi," he gasped, "you guys even make a blessing after relieving yourselves?"

We sure do! It's the best and cheapest health insurance policy anywhere. Hear this:

Asher Yatzar

Blessed are You, HaShem, Our God, King of the universe, Who created the human with wisdom and created within him many openings and many cavities, exposed and known before Your Throne of Glory, that if one of them were to be ruptured or one one of them were to be blocked it would be impossible to survive and to stand before You for even one hour. Blessed are You, HaShem, The physician of all flesh who acts wondrously.

Baruch atah Adonoi, Elohainu, melech ha'olam, Asher yatzar et ha'adam b'chochmah, u'vara vo n'kavim n'kavim, chalulim chalulim, galui v'yadua lifnai chisei chvodecha, she'im yipatei'ach echad maihem o yisataim echad maihem, ee efshar l'hitkayeim v'la'amod l'fanecha afilu sha'ah achat. Baruch atah Adonoi, rofeh chol basar u'mafli la'asot.

The Practical Halachas of Visiting the Toilet

No, this is not a joke. Proper deportment in the bathroom is an integral part of holiness. Besides, Jewish Law covers every single aspect of daily life.

As a service to our readers, here are the laws concerning visiting the toilet in a nutshell, based on Chapter Four of The Abridged Code of Jewish Law (Kitzur Shulchan Aruch):

  1. One must relieve oneself as soon as one feels the need, without delay.
  2. One must be modest in the toilet, and not relieve oneself in front of other people unless there is a partition.
  3. One must be careful not to overly strain, for it could create problems in the colon.
  4. One must not think about Torah or Torah-related subjects in the toilet; instead, think about mundane matters such as business or commerce.
  5. One must cleanse oneself thoroughly after visiting the toilet, for it is forbidden to pray if one’s body isn’t completely clean of excrement traces.
  6. Every time after visiting the toilet, even after urinating one drop, one must wash one’s hands thoroughly and then say the “Asher Yatzar” blessing.

May Hashem grant you and yours wonderful health always, amen.


The Prayer for Turning Difficulties into Diamonds

Emuna Diamond Weeds
On today's podcast (which you can hear below), we mention a prayer that can turn difficulties into diamonds. The prayer, which I had the privilege of composing, is based on a quote from the holy Rebbe Avraham Dov of Avritch, osb"m, aka "The Bat Ayin". He says: "Anyone who believes that all the events in his/her life are the product of Hashem's Divine Providence brings compassion from the Upper World down to this world." 

Prayer for Turning Difficulties into Diamonds, composed by Rabbi Lazer Brody:

"Master of the World, I believe with a full and complete belief that my difficulties, troubles and challenges, particularly the one I am facing right now, are from You and a result of Your precision Divine Providence that never makes mistakes, for You are perfection. Although I might not know why I am suffering this difficulty, I believe with full and complete belief that You love me and that You are giving me this challenge for my very best. Please, Father in Heaven, as I willfully accept this tribulation, please willfully accept my prayer for ___________________ (plug in the blank with whatever "diamond" you want to ask for)."

The above prayer really works. To hear how, listen to today's podcast, directly below:


SCS: Spiritual Cataract Surgery

For everything in the physical word, there is an equivalent in the spiritual world. In fact, the spiritual equivalent is the source and spiritual root of that object in the physical world. For example, the same way that the light of the sun acts in photosynthesis to sustain a plant, Divine light acts upon a soul to sustain it in a strikingly similar manner. Just as we have cataract operations to correct cloudy vision in this world, there is SCS, "Spiritual Cataract Surgery" to better the soul's vision. If a person is unhappy in any way, he or she should strongly consider the option of SCS. Learn all about it in today's eye-opening and eye-healing podcast.

Click here for your free mp3 download of this podcast; you are entitled to listen to it on your own device and to pass it on to others as well, courtesy of "Emuna Beams.


Bullseye

A person can score a bullseye in one of two ways. Either he or she can invest years of effort and training to become a champion archer, or he or she can be a slouch, grab a bow, shoot an arrow in the general direction of the target, and then draw the bullseye around wherever his or her arrow lands. Truth-seeking is the same way, as we'll hear in today's podcast...

Click here for your free mp3 download of this podcast; you are entitled to listen to it on your own device and to pass it on to others as well, courtesy of "Emuna Beams.


Above the Stars

In 1982, a squad of 12 Israeli paratroopers organized a midnight séance. They ushered in the soul of their sergeant’s grandfather. The soul said, "Tomorrow, you guys will be joining me…"

Is astrology the real deal? What about seances? Are we allowed to consult astrologers and clairvoyants, and depend on what they say? Today's podcast is a concise guide to the perplexed.

You won't want to miss today's podcast:

Click here for your free mp3 download of this podcast; you are entitled to listen to it on your own device and to pass it on to others as well, courtesy of "Emuna Beams.


The Control Freak

Today's podcast comes from the "Ad Halom" Israel Independence War Monument Park in Ashdod. "Ad Halom" in Hebrew means, "until here", to commemorate the most northern point in Israel that the Egyptian Army reached in 1948. Had, they captured Ashdod, there would have been nothing to stop the Egyptians from capturing the entire south of Israel as far as Tel Aviv - Jaffa in the north. But even in Ashdod there was nothing to stop the entire Egyptian Army except for a single-engine Piper piloted by a South African Jew named Eddie Cohen, of sacred and martyred memory, who was dropping Molotov cocktails from the cockpit on the heads of the Egyptians before he was shot down. Any objective observer knows that Hashem was controlling events, not the fledgling army. It's still the same, so there's no sense in trying to be a control freak...

Click here for your free mp4 download of this podcast; you are entitled to listen to it on your own device and to pass it on to others as well, courtesy of "Emuna Beams."