358 posts categorized "Breslev news"

Take it to Heart

Divine Heart
Yesterday during Tisha B'Av, when we weren't eating, drinking, or engaging in mundane matters. We were mourning our Holy Temple and taking stock in ourselves: why the near-2,000 years of exile and diaspora? It was a time for reflection, when we  were contemplating what we're doing with our lives. So what's the take-home message?

A person should establish priorities in life that are conducive to his or her fulfilling their mission on earth in the most successful possible manner, because that's what makes life meaningful. Yet, to do that, we all need to know what we're doing down here; that's what today's lesson is all about…

Don't miss this evening's life-changing emuna lesson and broadcast entitled "Take it to Heart", which will take place, G-d willing, in the ground-floor main sanctuary of the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva on 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street in Jerusalem at 7PM Israel time (12 noon EDT); 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.


The Caring Teacher and an End to Exile

Smiles build futures
Tisha B'Av, the fast day when we commemorate the worst calamities of our history, begins on sundown, Monday July 31, 2017 and ends at nightfall on Tuesday, August 1, 2017.

The Gemara teaches us that the Second Holy Temple, which we've been lamenting over for nearly 2,000 years, was destroyed because of the baseless hate and dissension among us. Do you realize what that means?

Anyone who contributes to the love and unity among us is actually building the Holy Temple with his or her own hands.

Teaching is not an easy profession. The first criterion for a good teacher, says the Vizhnitzer Rebbe shlit'a, is that he or she love every one of their students unconditionally. Such a teacher not only builds souls (where too many uncaring and unqualified teachers destroy them, Heaven forbid), but hastens the Geula, the full redemption of our people, for he or she uproots the core cause of exile. Imagine the rewards above that await such a teacher - they're mind-boggling.

Rather than kicking the dead horse of depressing lamentations that people are tired of hearing anyway, I chose to tell you the story of a fantastic teacher who saved a young boy's dignity and his entire future. This story exemplifies the type of teachers - and human beings - that we all should strive to be:

In the middle of the wedding reception, the groom – an exceptional Torah scholar who landed the beautiful daughter of a prestigious family – asked for the microphone. "I'd like to say a few words; indeed, I am obligated to express my gratitude. First of all, I must thank Hashem for the privilege of taking such an indescribably splendid wife from such a lovely family. Secondly, I must thank the one person here tonight who made this joyous occasion possible…"

All the guests looked around. Who was the groom talking about – his parents? The matchmaker? Maybe he was referring to his Rosh Yeshiva, with whom he had become especially close during the past three years. No, he wasn't referring to any of these people.

"I must share my story with you, for it's a story of how one act of loving-kindness from a teacher who cares can determine a pupil's entire future."

Obviously emotional, the blushing groom cleared his throat and began to unravel his tale:

Continue reading The Missing Watch, my feature article in this week's latest issue of Breslev Israel web magazine.

To further understand the meaning of Tisha B'Av and its relevance in current events and in our own lives, see my emuna-news op-ed, The Heart of Judaism.

Also featured this week:

Rabbi Shalom Arush - Time with my Beloved Father

Dr. Zev Ballen - Prayers and Dry Beds

Racheli Reckles - When Emuna Needs a Boost

Yehudit Channen - Hold Back and Hold On 

Dr. Rivka Levron - The Gift of Forgiveness

Lori Steiner - The Missing Snood

Aimee Cohen - Make Me a Match

Enjoy, and bright Beams blessings for a peaceful new week.

We almost forgot! There are still a few places (that are quickly disappearing) to join us in Uman for Rosh Hashana, 5778, for a New Year's experience that you'll never forget:

InnUman 5778.1


Spiritual EKG

Take the average Jewish dude who thinks that the Three Weeks is a pain in the gluteus maximus (the main extensor muscle of the hip). He doesn't really know what the Three Weeks mean, or what the Nine Days and Tisha B'Av are all about, other than the rabbis tell him that he can't drink wine, eat a steak, play golf, go to the beach or get a haircut. OK, he decides that if he can't play golf or go to the beach, he'll remodel his home. His rabbi tells him he can't do that either. "Shucks," he said, "If I can't do all that stuff, let me take the time to shop for a new car." Sorry, Pal, it ain't the time of the year for that either. The dude had a pain in his heart, so he went to the spiritual cardiologist for an EKG. The results, as you'll see below, are critical - he's almost spiritually defunct:

Spiritual Heart Disease

As you can interpret from the above chat, his pulse goes crazy from all the wrong things. Where he should be enthused, he's as apathetic as a knot on a piece of wood...

Don't miss this evening's game-changing emuna lesson and broadcast entitled "Cold as a Carp", which is our preparatory lesson for the rest of the 9 Days and Tisha B'Av. It 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 7PM Israel time (12 noon EDT); 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.


Shabbat Chazon: The Toothpick Salvation

Toothpick miracle
This coming Shabbat is Shabbat Chazon, the "Shabbat of Vision" that precedes Tisha B'Av. It is named as such because of the first two words of the Haftarah that we read, Chazon Yeshayahu, which means "the prophecy (vision) of Isaiah." Isaiah the Prophet chastises the Jewish People and reveals to them the reason for all of the suffering that is about to befall them – the Destruction of the First and Second Holy Temples, the Inquisition, the Pogroms, the Holocaust and all calamity until Moshiach comes.

What did the Jewish People do wrong? Did they engage in illicit sex? That's not the reason. Did they worship idols? That's not the main reason either. Did they spill innocent blood? No, the prophet isn't accusing them of that, either. Then what did they do wrong to deserve such severe punishment? Here's the prophet's answer: "An ox knows its owner and a donkey his master's trough; but Israel does not know – my people don't contemplate [observe, pay attention]" (Isaiah 1:3).

What? We suffer all the troubles of centuries for simply failing to observe and contemplate? That's right - we all must open our eyes and pay attention to all the seemingly insignificant (but huge) miracles that Hashem does for us every day. One such miracle happened to me; I write about in The Toothpick Salvation, my feature article in this week's new issue of Breslev Israel web magazine.

My beloved teacher Rav Shalom Arush shlit'a says that as soon as a person says in his heart that he wants to get closer to Hashem, even if he hasn't yet made the first tangible step, he's already considered to be a tzaddik; read more in The First Step.

Also featured this week:

Racheli Reckles - Happy Wife, Happy Life

Dr. Zev Ballen - No Emuna, No Coach

Yehudit Channen - Gypped by Jealousy 

Dennis Rosen - Coming Closer to the King

Dovber Halevi - The Big Boss

Aimee Cohen - If You Really Want It

Enjoy, and may we have a week of peace with good tidings, amen!


Juha's Bullseye

No Bullseye
When I was a soldier, I didn't have much time to read. But when I did, I enjoyed reading international folklore.

Every nation has its anti-hero. In Yiddish literature, he's called shlemazel or Kuni Lemel. In Czechoslavakia, he's called Shveyk. In the classic The Good Soldier Shveyk  by Jaroslav Hashek (1923), Shveyk captures a hill and kills all the soldiers on it, only to find out that they were on his side. In Egypt, particularly in South Sinai, he's called Juha - Juha is definitely my favorite. In the IDF, we used to invent our own Juha stories. If somebody would flub-up on a maneuver (in a mission, there's no room for flubups), he'd get the title of "Juha" for a month until he bent over backwards to perform triple-good and rid himself of the stigma. At any rate, I could never get enough of Juha; he kept me laughing in situations where it was hard to smile, much less laugh. Juha is always funny, but there's deeper messages buried under his apparent stupidity. Here's a taste:

Juha was tired of everyone making fun of him and calling him stupid, so he decided to join the Egyptian Army. He figured that once he'd get a uniform, everyone would respect him. Juha.elderlyJuha went to the training base and tried to enlist. Everyone laughed at him - he even sat backwards on his donkey (see illustration at right of Juha at retirement age). He said, "Take me - I'm a sharpshooter." They gave him a rifle, and pointed him toward a target some 50 meters away. He pulled the trigger and the bullet hit a wall way off to the left of the target. Juha ran to the wall and painted a bullseye around the bullet hole. That's we call in IDF slang, "Juha's Bullseye" - it's not the real thing, bro, and it won't earn you your sharpshooter's badge...

Before we laugh, let's have a look at ourselves: how many of us live our lives just like Juha? Oh yes, the Juhas of this world provide lots of laughter up in the Heavenly Court...

If you don't want to be a Juha (don't ever call anybody that if you visit Egypt, Jordan or Lebanon, and certainly not in any Israeli Arab village or town), then today's emuna lesson and broadcast is an absolute must.

Don't miss this evening's eye-opening emuna lesson and broadcast entitled "Juha's Bullseye," which will take place, G-d willing, in the ground-floor main sanctuary of the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva on 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street in Jerusalem at 7PM Israel time (12 noon EDT); 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. 


The Megilla of Geula, 2017: Trump and Achashverosh

Megilla 2017
If you don't think that the Megilla of Geula is unfolding right before our eyes, ponder the following points:

Like Achashverosh, Donald Trump has Jewish grandchildren.

Like Achashverosh, Donald Trump did not come from a blue-blooded family or from a political background.

Like Achashverosh, Donald Trump is a fabulously wealthy and powerful businessman.

Like Achashverosh, Donald Trump is regarded by some as a total idiot and by others as a genius; this is the same as the debate about Achashverosh between our sages in the Gemara, tractate Megilla 11a. 

Achashverosh was topsy turvy: one minute, he could kill his wife in favor of his adviser, and then later turn around and kill his adviser in favor of his wife. Trump too has already proven to be a master of the ideological u-turn; just recently, his administration is backpedaling on promises he made to Israel. The same goes with his relations with Russia and China; one minute he's buddy-buddy with them, and the next minute he's preparing for war with them.

I heard recently that someone went to Rav Leib Shteinman, may Hashem keep him strong and healthy, and showed him that the Hebrew numerical equivalent of Donald Trump is 424, the exact equivalent of "Moshiach ben David": מָשִׁיחַ בֶּן־דָוִד =  דונלד טראמפ = 424 - he asked Rav Shteinman what this meant, hoping that there's a connection between Trump and the coming of Moshiach. The esteemed and holy 104-year-old sage and leader of the Yeshiva world said, "It doesn't matter what Mr. Trump does; it matters what we do!" In other words, if we don't make Torah, teshuva and emuna our top priorites, neither Trump nor anyone else will hasten the merciful redemption of our people.

Don't miss today's exciting emuna lesson and broadcast entitled "The Megilla of Geula, 2017," which will take place, G-d willing, in the ground-floor main sanctuary of the Chut Shel Chessed Yeshiva on 13 Shmuel Hanavi Street in Jerusalem at 7PM Israel time (12 noon EST); 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.