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37 posts from August 2014

The Key to Positive Thinking

Shavua Tov, a wonderful new week!

People ask, with all the chaos and strife in the world, and much of it in our own backyard, how is it possible to maintain a positive outlook on life? The answer is easier than you think...

With Hashem's guidance, I try to make our emuna lessons practical, so that each one has a gift that you can put to direct use to make your life sweeter and more successful. This one has an important tool that's priceless, a gift from my beloved teacher Rav Shalom Arush that I'm delighted to share with you:

The Three Gifts

During the time of the Holy Temple, whenever we slaughter beef or lamb, we must give three parts of the animal as a gift to the Cohanim - the shank, the tongue/cheek meat and the stomach. What is the special significance of this, because hopefully, we'll have to begin doing it again very soon.  Enjoy this week's mini-lesson and have a wonderful Shabbat!

The Iron Dome: Success and Failure

Iron Dome Nobody's Perfect
Somebody approached me on the street earlier today and asked, "If Hashem does everything for the best, then why did so many missiles penetrate the Iron Dome's defense system in Ashdod, like the one that landed in the kindergarten on Tuesday?"

I complimented the man for his superb question. I answered him, giving him three reasons:

1. Hashem wants us all to know that He guards over us and not the Iron Dome missile-defense system.

2. Hashem wants us to put all of our faith and trust in Him, and not in weapons, high-tech or anything else.

3. Hashem wants us to see His miracles, like in the case of the gas station, so that we'll all wake up and return to Him.

As such, it is Hashem who is behind the Iron Dome's success and its failures. It's also Hashem behind all of our successes and failures. There is no one but Hashem - ein od milvado!

The Key to Positive Thinking

Think positive
People ask, with all the chaos and strife in the world, and much of it in our own backyard, how is it possible to maintain a positive outlook on life? The answer is easier than you think...

Don't miss today's emuna lesson, "The Key to Positive Thinking". It's vital for our emotional health.

Today's shiur (lesson) and live broadcast will take place this evening (Wednesday) at 7:00 PM local time, at our Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva, 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street, Jerusalem, in the main sanctuary. As always, the live shiur is open to the public - both men and women are welcome - so if you're anywhere near Jerusalem, come on by! You can see today's lesson here - the broadcast, as well as our lessons posted from now on - are Mac and iPod compatible. If you tune in too early to the live broadcast link, you'll be sent to the main page of the Breslev Israel website, so try to tune in on time as follows: 

9:00 AM in LA and the West Coast, 10:00 AM Denver, 11:00 AM Mexico and Central, 12:00 PM NYC (EST), 5:00 PM in the UK, 7:00 PM Johannesburg and Capetown, 7:00 PM Israel. As soon as we can, G-d willing, we'll post a link to the lesson for all those who couldn't see it live. If you can't see the broadcast, you might need to download a new version of Flash Media player, which you can do here. We hope you enjoy the broadcast. 

Concealment Within Concealment

Concealment Breslev
With the war going on and all the hardships we've been living through in the south of Israel, many people ask, "Where is Hashem?"

Rebbe Nachman of Breslev answers in Likutei Moharan I:56 - "Even in a concealment within a concealment, Hashem is certainly there."

Yoeli Klein made a beautiful melody based on Rebbe Nachman's holy words that is taking the world of Jewish music by storm. Here are the original words in transliteration, followed by translation (the first line is Yiddish, and the second two lines are Hebrew):

V'afilu B'Hastora - Even in Concealment

(1) Der Aibishter zogt inz, "Kinderlach, Anochi haster panai bayom hahu", ober di Rebbe zogt

Hashem says to us, "Children, I will conceal Myself on that day", but the Rebbe says

(2) V'afilu b'hastora shebatokh hahastora bevadai gam sham nimtza Hashem Yisborach

Even in a concealment within a concealment, Hashem may He be blessed is certainly there

(3) Gam me'achrei hadevorim hakashim ha'omdim alekha, Ani omed.

And behind the the difficult things that stand before you, I stand.

Here is a beautiful rendition of Yoeli Klein's new hit, performed by our dear friends Menachem Moskowitz and the Yedidim choir from New York. We've felt the bee's stinger, so now let's taste the honey - something good comes out of every tribulation and challenge; don't ever forget that!

The Empty Kindergarten

Ashdod Kindergarten

Less than an hour ago, two Hamas missiles were fired on Ashdod, the second attack of the day. The Iron Dome intercepted one of them, but the other landed in the middle of town, hitting a kindergarten playground. In another of Hashem's miracles, no one was injured.

As I've said several times, southern Israel is known for its humor, especially in tough times. The latest joke is emphasizes the high level of academics in Israel: "In Israel, the only one who needs an education is the Minister of Education". Minister of Education Shai Piron is one of the leaders in the battle to secularize Yeshiva education, wanting to change the way our precious children have been learning Torah for centuries. None of his other decisions are any less ludicrous - he declared that schools in the south will be reopened tomorrow...

In sharp contrast to our national leadership, Ashdod has a wonderful mayor, Dr. Yechiel Lasri. Our mayor put his foot down and told his highness the Minister of Education, "Don't tell me how to run my city. As long as missiles are falling on Ashdod, our children won't go back to school." Hashem showed just how right Dr. Lasri is, with today's missile falling in an empty kindergarten.

Shai Piron, what would you have done if that kindergarten playground was full?

Thank G-d we can depend on Him, because the government certainly doesn't seem to know what it's doing.