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43 posts from July 2015

The Poison in Our Midst

Poison Hate Zealotry
Two back-to-back hate crimes have rocked Israel in the last 24 hours, both the product of zealotry and hate, the same poison that destroyed our Second Temple 1947 years ago.

The Gemara tells us that there was enough water, floor and firewood to sustain the Torah-loyal community in Jerusalem for another 25 years. But the wicked zealots destroyed these reserves to force the people to fight against the Romans. The result - destruction, death and Diaspora.

Unfortunately, this poison is still in our midst.

No one has the right to take the law - religious or civil - in his own hands. Sure, we certainly don't relish public actions that violate the Torah, particularly in the Land of Israel and especially in Jerusalem. Although we take exception to actions, we nonetheless must have compassion on our fellow humans who do those actions. Indeed, the Torah commands us to love them. We therefore must vociferously condemn the actions of the frenzied zealot who stabbed six people who were participating in the pride parade that took place in Jerusalem yesterday, as well as the immoral and mind-twisted zealots who entered the Arab village of Duma northeast of Ramallah last night, setting fire to two houses, killing a baby and critically wounding several other family members. Security forces are on a massive man-hunt to nab the perpetrators, but meanwhile, Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem have turned into a volcano that has already started to erupt.

Both cowardly hate crimes are the worst form of chilul Hashem, desecration of Hashem's Holy Name. This is not the way of Judaism, for a true Jew has mercy for all of humanity. As Judaism despises zealotry and hate, it's our solemn duty to rid ourselves of this terrible poison in our midst. The sooner the better.

"Tattie Hashivenu"

This Shabbat is Shabbat Nachamu, the Sabbath of Consolation. We beg our loving Father in Heaven to bring us back to Him - "Tattie, Hashivenu". Here it is in a lovely new song by Yanky Ausch and performed by Avremi Lunger and child prodigy Nusi Fuchs. Enjoy, and have a fantastic Shabbat!

Putin's Provocations - All for the Best

"Rebbe Yitzchak says, the year that our King Moshiach will be revealed, the nations will provoke one another" (Yalkut Shuimoni, Isaiah, 60).

More and more, we saw how all the preconditions for Moshiach and Geula that our sages mentioned in the Zohar, Gemara and Midrash are rapidly materializing one after the other.

No matter what you think about Vladimir Putin, in addition to being Russia's leader, he's literally a folk hero as well. He is an expert in judo and karate with an 8th-dan black belt, an outdoorsman and a Russian traditionalist who oozes national pride. While other international leaders were smoking marijuana, Putin was an officer in the no-nonsense KGB. One cannot deny the fact that Putin has nerves and a strong backbone. He is now testing the West, who are mostly much talk/little action. Outside of a few sobs and weak protests, Putin grabbed the Crimean Peninsula, a tremendous southern chunk of the Ukraine, uncontested. His antics are far from over.

On the 4th of July just 3 weeks ago, he sent two Russian bombers to skirt the California coast. They've also been maneuvering in the Caribbean, a stone's throw from Miami, and near Alaska. Putin is playing "chicken" with the USA, and meanwhile it's not him who's wearing the feathers. Anyone hear a peep from Obama or Kerry? They're busy painting the White House and State Department in rainbows...

Meanwhile, Putin is making a deadly alliance with Iran. The USA is smirking at Russia's sale of the advanced s300 missile-defense system to Iran, for the State Department thinks that will put a halter on any possible preemptive Israeli strike on Iran's nuclear facilities. But like we wrote yesterday, all the schemes against Israel will backfire in the schemers' faces. The USA won't be smirking when they discover Iranian ICBMs, which the so-called "nuclear agreement" didn't prevent, aimed at their shores. Too bad they don't listen to their own military leaders who are speaking incessantly about the Russian-Iranian threat to the USA (image above).

What does all this mean for us in Israel? We have no one to depend on but Hashem. In that sense, Mr. Obama has done us a priceless favor in showing the naïve among us that they cannot depend on him or on his administration. Both the Torah and the Prophets say that in the end of days, we'll be on our own with no one to turn to but Hashem. From an emuna standpoint, this is a best-case scenario.

Why wait for threats to turn to Hashem? Let's praise Him and thank Him for everything, the good as well as for the seemingly bad. From an emuna standpoint, an Obama in the White House and a Putin in the Kremlin is better for us than anyone else, for they're pushing us closer to Hashem and expediting the Geula, the full redemption of our people. Everything is truly for the best!

The Path to Paradise

Path to Perfection

Is it possible to live a life of paradise, a life devoid of heartache and disappointment, yet full of gratification? Rebbe Nachman answers this question in the affirmative.

You can discover his answer in today's emuna shiur and broadcast, entitled "The Path to Perfection", which will take place this evening (Wednesday), G-d willing, at 7:00 PM local time at our Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva, 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street, Jerusalem, in the main sanctuary. 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 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! If you are not able to view today's broadcast live, then G-d willing, you'll be able to see the video tape of it on this coming week on Lazer Beams.