Previous month:
December 2006
Next month:
February 2007

8 posts from January 2007

Yisroel Chaim revisited

Yisroel Chaim, the star of yesterday's Beams, shot to the top of our reader-feedback list. Loads of folks want to know his full name so they can daven for him.

With Hashem's help, I spoke to the wonderful people at the Zichron Menachem Association, the support group for cancer-stricken children and their families that produced yesterday's video clip. Efrat, Zichron Menachem's friendly spokesperson told me, "His full name is Yisroel Chaim ben Shoshana, but thank you, rabbi - we no longer need prayers for his recovery..."

It turns out that the film clip from yesterday is a year old; since then, Yisroel Chaim has received a completely clean bill of health. The nasty Big C has disappeared.

In my humble opinion, Hashem's blessing was enhanced by Yisroel Chaim's unshakable emuna, and by the phenominal efforts of Zichron Menachem. They do wonders for children like Yisroel Chaim, as you can see here.

Established in 1990, Zichron Menachem (ZM) is named in memory of Menachem Ehrental, an Israeli boy who battled cancer for over 14 years - from age 18 months until his young death. Drawing on their vast experience as parents of a cancer-stricken child, Menachem's family founded ZM as a non-profit organization aimed at easing the suffering of young cancer patients and their families. They are doing phenominal work.

Often, we receive inquiries from people looking for worthwhile charities. Put Zichron Menachem on your list, and be a partner in saving lives and putting smiles on the faces of children that are so courageously fighting for their lives.


The Jordan Chaviv Story

Remember this name - Jordan Chaviv. This young man is all neshoma and one of the sweetest and most talented people I know.Jc1 Born and raised in France, Jordan Chaviv a.k.a. Jordan C. Cohen was raised in a single-parent home by his mother. After his father passed away when Jordan was only 13, his mother, in hopes of a better future, relocated his family to Montreal, Canada.

In Canada, Jordan Chaviv discovered his true passion for music. In his late teens, he began to get involved in the music scene. After befriending many musicians and music producers, Jordan began to write songs and work with international, renowned producers and prominent musicians.

In an unforeseen turn of events, at the age of 24, Jordan Chaviv unexpectedly decided to go to Israel, where he discovered his true, Jewish identity and became a Baal Tshuva. "Before I went to Yeshiva in Jerusalem, to me being Jewish meant eating potato Latkes on Chanukah and going to Synagogue once a year for Yom Kippur," he recalls. Many fans first discovered Jordan Chaviv's producing and vocal abilities on Yitzchak Nissim's debut album "Chouva Rap Volume 1, Son of a Believer"(2005), featuring Jordan and Yitzhak's mesmerizing hit song, "Emounato". Despite his success and growing popularity from collaborating with Y. Nissim, Jordan decided that this time around, he would produce his first solo album, which includes 13 new tracks entirely written, produced and performed by Jordan, himself.

His album contains a musically diverse collection of songs, which fuses R 'n B, Soul, Oriental and Hip-Hop music as well as profound and powerful Torah-inspired lyrics in English, French and Hebrew. "My goal with this album is to inspire Jews around the world and reveal Hashem's ultimate greatness," he explains. "I wanted to make Jewish music that I, myself, would like to listen to. I know people out there are really waiting for something like this."

Although Jordan grew up in France and Canada, his music is heavily influenced by his North African roots. He listened to Michael Jackson, Brian Mcknight or Prince; in my humble opinion, he outshines all of them with his unique sound and passion for kedusha.

Jordan Chaviv's "Baal Teshuva" album is honest and personal. His spiritual and emotional dedication is evident throughout his record. "This is the best piece of work I have created to date, which cannot have been achieved had I not had prior experiences both in the music industry and in the spiritual world."

You can buy Jordan's album here. As soon as you click on his site, there's a flash-player on the right side where you can here his music. I strongly recommend "Shma Yisroel".  Beams readers loved "We Will Survive", so here's a post of it again. Jordan's music will bring a lot of people closer to Hashem. "I would feel very pleased, even if my music results in the spiritual growth of one man or woman." That's my kind of musician. May Hashem bless Jordan with smashing success, amen.


Alternatives to Ritalin

Unfortunately, this must be Ritalin week. I've had over thirty letters this week from families with kids on Ritalin.

If you don't believe that psychiatrists are making drug addicts out of school children, read this. There are plenty of ways to help children without drugging them, but they require an investment of time and dedication.

The M family in the midwest USA area had 3 children on Ritalin; all 3 were labeled ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) or ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder). Mister M was spending an arm and a leg on special schools, shrinks, and pills. After several months of correspondence, I convinced Mr. & Mrs. M to homeschool, with a lot of outside activity that includes hiking, rock collecting, bird-watching and plant identification. After 6 short months of homeschooling that includes Torah studies and hitbodedut, the M kids today are blossoming and are off of Ritalin. Mrs. M told me that her children have all succeeded on the recent required state exams.

Non-Ritalin solutions require care and effort. Ritalin requires neither.


Yizhar Florsheim: Israel's Musical Fragrance

Yizhar_florsheim After posting Emuna Outreach's Pereq Shira clip and the video clip from the last weekend's Beams Weekend magazine, I've received a huge volume of mail asking to know more about Yizhar Florsheim, his music, and where to obtain his CDs.

Here's good news for all of you that are looking for Yizhar's music, which in our opinion is the fragrance of Eretz Yisroel and the best Israeli flute ("Chalil") instrumentals you'll ever want to hear, that both gladden the heart and sooth the soul. Yesterday, Yizhar and I met in Jerusalem, and I came home to Ashdod with a case full of his CDs; they're now available here at the Beams (see the left-side toolbar on this site to order).

Father_daughter Yizhar hiking with his 6-month old daughter in the Judean Wilderness

The Florsheims are a breath of fresh Land-of-Israel air. When you listen to Yizhar's music, you feel the soul of Israel. Together with his lovely wife Ella who comes from Kibbutz Yavne near Ashdod and baby daughter Aya, Yizhar, 30, lives in a gorgeous Judean settlement named Maale Michmas, situated near Bet El, that was founded by his parents.

Smjudean_sax Where else in the world would you find somebody serenading on their saxophone in the middle of the desert? Welcome to Israel - Yizhar Florsheim's Israel, the Israel that I love.

There's no place on earth where you can find such a talented star that's so humble and down-to-earth. Yizhar is real people; his connection to his beloved Creator, land, and people gives his music a depth and dimension that's unheard of anywhere else. I carry his melodies around in my head all day long. Not long ago, I played his "Your Song" CD softly in the background when I had a warring couple in my office for an emergency session. They walked away all smiles. If you listen to his music, you'll be all smiles too.

Bouzouki_yizhar_florsheim

Yizhar on bouzouki - amazingly versatile, he plays a myriad of strings and woodwinds, and sings as well


Hitbodedut - An Introduction to Personal Prayer

Emuna Outreach has been working overtime lately. We're increasingly using the medium of video presentations to deliver the message of Jewish Outreach and Rebbe Nachman's teachings far and wide, quickly and enjoyably.

Olive_grove2 Today, you're invited to ride out to the Judean Hills with me. Far off the beaten track, there's a cave and spring that Jewish guerillas used as a hideout from the Romans during the Bar Cochba rebellion nearly 2000 years ago. It's a dream place for personal prayer. C'mon and join me - let's see how hitbodedut - your own personal-prayer relationship with Hashem - is the key to emotional stability and true happiness.

For a healthy soul, it's best to take the advice of the best doctor of the soul there is; in my book, that's none other than Rebbe Nachman of Breslev. Rebbe Nachman stresses the importance of spending at least 60 minutes a day in personal prayer. Hashem is always available, with or without an appointment.


Stuart Blue (and white)

There's a really dramatic tshuva story in the making. My spiritual brother and close friend, Abir Aluf (Grandmaster) Yehoshua Sofer, does wonders in the area of Jewish Outreach. Learning Abir - Jewish warrior arts - necessitates getting closer to Hashem and His Torah, for all of Abir is based on the inner power of Torah. The amazing Blue family in Nevada is one of the Abir Aluf's latest outreach projects.

Bob Blue was an elite US commando spec ops and trained in a deadly military fighting system now used in the South Korean C.I.C. He was a mercenary in Costa Rica, a big rough hulk of a guy that was severely injured in a near fatal car wreck. Others in the car including relatives died in the crash. Bob raised his kids to love the Jewish people and the Torah and to be tough as nails, but they studied Taekwondo and other idol-worship-rooted arts and competed on Shabbat. This confused them.

05statechamp308x401 Since Bob has been in contact with the Abir Aluf, his children no longer compete on Shabbat or on holidays; they are now on the way to becoming fully Kosher and Torah-observant. They train exclusively in Abir, and have discarded the far East methods. Stuart Blue, Bob's not-yet-Bar Mitzva son, is a gold-medalist champion in the State of Nevada.

Seeing folks get stronger in their Judaism is as beautiful as seeing a child grow before your very eyes. My guess is that it won't be long before the Blues become totally Blue & White, more of Hashem's beloved children that are making their way back to the Torah of Israel and the Land of Israel.

As a weekend treat, here's a fantastic new film clip of the Abir Aluf in action while teaching. Enjoy!