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February 2012

13 posts from January 2012

Rav Yehuda Zev's Legacy

IMG00310-20111123-1131Rav Yehuda Zev Lebowitz of saintly and blessed memory was a Kabbalist and hidden tzaddik as well as a Holocaust survivor. Little is known of him, for he lived his life far away from spotlights. Yet, his word carried tremendous weight in the Heavenly realm. What many don't know is that he was Rav Shalom Arush's principle spiritual guide. Rav Yehuda Zev, a holy man with the eyes of a sonogram, could not stomach anything other than absolute holiness. Many big rabbis were therefore afraid to approach him, for he could smell if they were the real deal or not. He loved Rav Shalom. He didn't leave much in the physical world, but he bequeathed his tefillin to Rav Shalom.

Before he died 0n the 27th of Elul, 5770 (6 Sep., 2010), he told Rav Shalom three things, the first two of which have materialized:

1. Uprisings and infighting will sweep through the Arab countries;

2. Bibi will want to attack Iran, but he won't be able to; Hashem will use other means as He did with Sadaam Hussein.

I don't want to repeat the third thing that Rav Yehuda Zev said, for it hasn't materialized yet. But, I urge our cherished brothers and sisters outside of Israel to start praying and planning to make Aliya, the sooner the better.

Negev Flash Floods

One of the first things a soldier or a hiker in the Negev desert learns is not to sleep in a wadi (dry river bed). It can rain dozens of miles away, but if water flows down from the mountains into the wadi, the wadi becomes a raging river that can flow as fast as 80 MPH. That means that if you're hiking in the area of Shivta or Avdat, and it rains on the Jordan border 40 miles away, a torrent of water will reach you in a mere 30 minutes. The flow of water can be strong enough to wash away a tank.

Thank G-d, we've enjoyed rain the past few days in the south of Israel. Here's a clip from last year that shows what we're talking about:

Rav Yitzchak Kadouri, zatza"l

Rav Yitzchak Kadouri of blessed and saintly memory, the Kabbalist leader of our generation, departed the physical world 6 years ago at the age of 110. Since today is his yahrtzeit, and it's a mitzva to see the face of a true tzaddik, so here is a rare clip with Iraqi Jewish music in the background, for the Rav was born in Baghdad. 

Starting at 6:30, you'll see his funeral in Jerusalem, where 300,000 attended. Also pictured are Rav Mordechai Eliahu ob"m, Rav Ovadia Yosef, Rav Biniahu Shmueli, Rav David Basri and other leading spiritual leaders of this generation. May Rav Kadouri's holy neshama intercede in our behalf, amen - we certainly need it!

Bright Beam Blessings to David Walker, for providing us with the video clip.

Lecha Dodi

The Holy Ariza'l and his disciples used to usher in the Shabbat by praying out in the field on late Friday afternoon. I dream of ushering in the Shabbat on our gorgeous Ashdod riviera sometime. Meanwhile, someone had a similar dream and put it to film, together with Rabbi Shlomo Carlebach of blessed memory singing his classic rendition of Lecha Dodi. I'm sure you'll love this as much as I do:

Click here to download this week's Chut Shel Chesed Parsha Sheet in English, courtesy of Breslev Israel and edited by our sweet friend Rabbi Yehoshua Goldstein. Shabbat Shalom!

Bitachon: Trust in Hashem

Bitachon, or trust in Hashem, is one of the most misunderstood concepts in Judaism.

I asked my beloved teacher and spiritual guide, Rav Shalom Arush shlit"a, for his definition of Bitachon. Here's what he says:

"Bitachon does not mean that I trust that Hashem will fulfill my wishes; Bitachon means that whatever Hashem does, I trust that He's doing it for the very best."