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July 2018

12 posts from June 2018

Blood Moon: Total Lunar Eclipse in Israel, July 27-28, 2018

Blood Moon July 2018
Here is exciting news that is closely related to the imminent Geula, Israel's full redemption, may it come soon and peacefully, amen:

Saudi Arabia, Iran, Syria and Israel will be at the center of a total lunar eclipse, the longest of the century, which will take place on July 27-28, 2018, or 15-16 Av, 5778 on the Hebrew calendar. This is an amazing occurrence that coincides with Isaiah's prophecy, as follows:

When referring  to the Geula, the full and final redemption of the Jewish People, Isaiah the Prophet says in the Name of Hashem, "B'ito, In its time, achishena, I shall hasten it" (Isaiah 60:22). Rashi explains that if the Jews so merit, the Geula will be hastened; if they don't merit, it will come anyway in its appointed time. My esteemed and beloved teacher Rabbi Shalom Arush explained to me that a "hastened" redemption will be a merciful and joyous redemption, whereas an "in its time" redemption is liable to be one of wars and strife, Heaven forbid. 

Succa 29a
The Gemara (photocopied, above) in tractate Succah 29a tells us that a Blood-moon lunar eclipse is not a good sign for Israel, especially when it is seen only here in the east and not in the west as the July 27-28 lunar eclipse will be. Yet, the Gemara in tractate Taanit 26b tells us that the 15th of Av (this year, Friday, July 27, 2018) is the best day of the year for the Jewish People. What's more, Saturday, July 28, 2018 is "Shabbat Nachamu" this year, the Sabbath of consolation, when Hashem consoles His people the Shabbat following the 9th of Av.

So what do we expect? Difficult tidings like the Gemara in tractate Succa tells us or good tidings like the Gemara in tractate Taanit tells us? The continuation of the Gemara in Succa answers that question and says: "When the Jews perform the will of Hashem, they need not worry about celestial omens. Thus says Hashem, 'Do not be frightened by the signs of the heavens' (Jeremiah 10:2)." 

If we all do teshuva the best we can and strengthen ourselves in emuna, then there won't be a thing to worry about. That's why it's so important to us to spread emuna as and as wide as we possibly can. There is an amazing Heavenly hint to this in the coming lunar eclipse, as I've circled in the graphic below - the total time of the upcoming eclipse, the longest of this century, will be 6 hours, 13 minutes - 613 is the exact number of the Torah's commandments. Coincidence? No such thing...

Blood Moon July 2018 map

To aid understanding, here's a clip, courtesy of our friends at the Times of India, which clearly explains the natural phenomenon of the coming lunar eclipse. Enjoy it, and may we all hear good news soon.

Three Levels of Peace

Policemanmachpela Lazer with security forces in the holy city of our Patriarchs Hevron, during a day of Emuna Outreach lectures at the Machpela Cave

Rebbe Nachman of Breslev explains that a person's quest for peace must be threefold - between him/herself and G-d, between him/herself and the Jewish people as a whole, and within him/herself.

In order to develop a harmonious approach to life as a whole, one must develop the ability to find Hashem's presence everywhere and in everything. That way, a person can feel love for Hashem regardless of the situation - whether things are good or seemingly bad.

If a person doesn't love G-d, he or she won't feel love for a fellow Jew. Therefore, the love of G-d is a prerequisite for ahavat Yisrael, the love of fellow Jews. Ahavat Yisrael leads to peace and unity; peace and unity among our people will hasten the redemption, soon and in our time, amen.

Just the Way You Are

The Way You Are
If you think that you are any less beautiful than the baby or the flowers pictured above, you are sorely mistaken. No matter what you think, Hashem - Who created you - loves you just the way youa re.

People think that if they're not millionaires, in the headlines, Rosh Yeshiva or member of Congress, that they're failures. That's just not so.

I said I love you and that's forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are.

The above lyrics come from Billy Joel's famous hit, "Just the Way You Are", which spent months in the Top Ten back in 1977. Today, I look at those lyrics and interpret them as Hashem talking to the soul - yours - which He created. Hashem says, "I love you just the way you are."

Don't miss today's emuna lesson and live broadcast from Jerusalem entitled "Just the Way You Are", which will take place, G-d willing, on the ground-floor main sanctuary of the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva on 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street in Jerusalem at 7 PM Israel time; the shiur is open to the public - both men and women are invited. 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.  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 later this coming week on Lazer Beams. 

And for your Oldie-but-Goodie enjoyment, here's Billy Joel from way back, singing "Just the Way You Are." Enjoy it!

What is Divine Providence?

SilkwormHashem not only decides who the next President of the United States will be and the longevity of the great galaxies; He decides which mulberry leaf a Japanese silkworm will eat for dinner (image, above).

Dear Rabbi Lazer,

I often hear you using the term "Divine Providence". Could you please give me a simple explanation of what it means? Thanks for all you do. Roberta from Atlanta

Shalom, Roberta!

Divine Providence is G-d’s will and personal intervention in our lives, which governs everything that happens to us both on a day-to-day scale and on a longterm scale. On an individual level, Divine Providence is designed to help us perform our task in life.

Divine Providence is both macro and micro. It not only determines events on a global scale, but also dictates the tiniest details in the universe, such as the evening meal of a worm. Our lives in their entirety – including each individual moment – are the outcome of G-d’s infinite wisdom and will. So, on a practical level, Divine Providence dictates when we succeed and when we fail, when times are easy and when they're hard, all for the benefit of our fulfilling our mission on this earth.

I hope you find the above explanation useful. All the very best, LB

Above the stars

Negev Stars
The Negev Desert is one of the best places on earth to look up at the stars (above photo).

Our forefather Abraham was an expert astrologist; he gazed up at the stars from there, and saw that he would never be a father.

Hashem told Abraham that his reading was accurate, but that he must put the astrology aside. By virtue of Abraham's clinging to Hashem, he raised himself to a status where he was above the stars - the zodiacs no longer had an influence on him, and he became a father to great nations.

Astrology is a true discipline, but those who cling to Hashem in faith and in loving obedience to the Torah's commandments are surely above the stars.

Nature, teaches The Ramcha'l in chapter 7 of Derech Hashem, is certainly influenced by the stars, for that is the way of Hashem's creation. But, Hashem gives us the opportunity to transcend nature, and to live above the stars' influence. Therefore, anyone can change fate or a stroke of bad luck by making Teshuva and clinging to Hashem. As such, the Gemara declares (tractate Shabbos 156b), Ayn mazal leYisroel, in other words, the stars have no influence over Israel, the loyal ones who cling to Hashem.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslev adds that for those who live above the stars' influence, miracles are natural. The Sombrero Galaxy, courtesy of

Like a Vineyard

King David in Psalms compares the Nation of Israel to a vineyard and the people of Israel to a grapevine; here's the explanation, from the biblical border between the hill country of Efraim and the tribal lands of Menashe, not far from Shechem near the village of Yitzhar:

Bright Beam blessings for a beautiful week!