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6 posts from March 2009

Emuna and Jewish Unity: The Invincible Combination

A little over three weeks ago, I arrived in Hamilton, Ontario for an evening with the entire Jewish community. The tension among the Jewish community - particularly among the Jewish students at the local McMaster University - reminded me of the days here in the south of Israel when GRAD missiles were falling two and three times a day. After the Hillel House in York University in neighboring Toronto was stormed by Arab students, the atmosphere at McMaster was electrified with the impending Israel Apartheid Week and the anticipated Arab and pro-Pally student demonstrations. Hamilton's Jewish student body was terrified. Nobody new what the Canadian Ishmaelites and their groupies were planning.

Thanks to the efforts of Canadian Betar's President Rose Lax, Rabbi Green of Hamilton, and Breslev Israel's Hamilton representatives Avi and Rebecca Shapiro, the entire Jewish community - including the Jewish students of McMaster - showed up for an evening of Emuna, unity, and encouragement. They asked me to address the challenge of Apartheid Week and what to do about it. I explained that we have to fight on our home turf (which is emuna and above the stars) and not to slug it out in the gutter of campus activism and counter demonstrations that are bound to fail.

To make a long story short,the evening was beautiful with all of us singing Rebbe Nachman's "Gesher Tzar Meod" and saying "Shma" together. The Jews of Hamilton responded just like the Jews of Shushan, learning that if you fear Hashem, you don't have to fear anyone or anything, including the Arabs on campus. Hashem put words in my mouth, and I promised that with such emuna and unity, nothing wrong could happen to the Jews of Hamilton and McMaster.

The very next day, everything went wrong on campus - all the anti-Israel and anti-semitic activities were either strangely cancelled or postponed indefinitely. In the words of Hamilton's Jews that wrote me, an outright miracle had taken place.

Earlier today, I received an email from Rose Lax. She writes: "It (Apartheid Week at McMaster U.) just literally fell apart. Furthermore and more importantly the JEWISH COMMUNITY FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER TURNED OUT IN MASS TO EACH OF THE PROGRAMS PRESENTED BY OUR SIDE. I have been fighting this with a few students since 2002 and this is the first time we have we have fought together as a people since Tel Hai..." Jewish unity is the real deal.

Emuna and Jewish unity are an invincible combination. Just ask the Hamilton Jewish community. I thank Hashem with all my being for the privilege of seeing His phenominal Divine Providence right before our very eyes.

All for the Best

Probably the biggest buzz on the Israeli web is INN's exclusive item entitled "America Moves Toward Abandonment of Israel." With emuna, you don't have to lose one second of your beauty sleep because of this. Do you know why?

Hashem does everything for the best. Whenever Israel leans on a wobbly reed, Hashem breaks the reed so that Israel will learn to depend on Hashem. This is all part of the scenario of Geula, and all for the best. Have a great Shabbat!

Everywhere I Walk, I Walk in the Land of Israel

Concluding our Eretz Yisroel series this week, here is a clip of Guy Tzvi Mintz and I singing Rebbe Nachman's famous quotation, "Wherever I walk, I am walking in the Land of Israel." A basic tenet of Breslever Chassidic thought is to strive to move to the Land of Israel. Even if one can't, one should yearn so much for the Holy Land, that one's thoughts and feelings are actually here. The more you love someone, the more you think about them.

Erez Levanon, of saintly and martyred memory

Monday night and Tuesday, the 7th of Adar, is the 2nd Yahrtzeit (anniversary of the death) of my beloved friend and brother, Erez Levanon, a hidden tzaddik of this generation whose beautiful young life-flame was extinguished by the bloody daggers of two terrorists who ambushed him when he was in the middle of personal prayer in an olive grove in the valley below Bat Ayin. You'll hear Erez's voice in the following clip, singing one of his original songs, "Lev U'maayan", based on a parable by Rebbe Nachman of Breslev.