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11 posts from May 2013

This Shabbat in Uman

Warmest regards, blessings for everyone and Shabbat Shalom from Rebbe Nachman's holy gravesite in Uman. We're looking forward to an uplifting and most inspirational Shabbat, for leading us in the singing at the Shabbat table will be cantor Ushi Blumenberg. Here's a taste:


A Worthy Vessel

Our desire - the will, efforts, and yearning to seek Hashem - is a prime vessel for the Divine illumination of emuna just as a crystal goblet is for a fine wine. We wouldn't want to pour a thirty year-old Chateau de Rothschild Cabernet wine in a broken or dirty glass, for the wine would either spill on the floor or become ruined. A fine wine necessitates a whole and immaculately clean goblet. By the same token, without proper vessels, a person can't receive Divine illumination. Hashem doesn't want to spill His "fine wine" on the floor – we must be able to contain it. 

8. Crystal Goblet


The Master Nurseryman

Drip irrigation plants
Did you ever wonder why a greenhouse is also called a nursery, and the horticulturalist (also known as greenhouseman or plant farmer) is also referred to as a nurseryman?

Any plant farmer with a soul knows that his plants have souls. He cares for each plant like a baby, no matter how big his greenhouse is or how many plants he has. The same goes for a tree farmer with a soul; no matter how big his orchard is, he treats each tree as an individual, which in spirituality, it truly is.

In the photo above, taken from a greenhouse in the Samarian Hills, you see a classic example of drip irrigation. An individual hose and dripper reaches every plant, feeding it water and liquid nutrients just like a baby. The plants in the greenhouse are just like babies in a nursery. That's why the plant farmer is called a nurseryman, watering and feeding each one of his green "babies."

Don't worry about where your next meal will come from. Hashem is a much more loving Nurseryman than the best of tree farmers. He has His own method of drip irrigation to give us exactly what we need when we need it.

Overwatering and excess nutrients can kill a plant; Hashem knows also that excesses are not good for us, so we should always be happy with what we have. The Master Nurseryman knows what's best for each of us.


A Glimpse at a Chassidic Bar Mitzva

In Chassidic Israel, a Bar Mitzva is very simple. We don't make tremendous receptions in lavish halls. The Bar Mitzva boy puts on his new tefillin in the morning and gets called up to the Torah (if it's a Monday or Thursday). In the evening, we have a festive meal with family and friends, and sometimes a musician, and the Bar Mitzva boy gives a speech, usually a Talmudic elaboration with an important ethics message. The budget is very low but the joy is very high. Here's a clip from the Bar Mitzva of my grandson Yaacov Yosef, the son of my first-born, Rabbi BenTzion Brody of Jerusalem. Enjoy it and have a wonderful Shabbat!