10 posts categorized "Holy Sites"

Lazer's Dream

Tefillin Temple Dream
Sometimes we see things for years, day in and day out, but we never realize what we're seeing.

I had the sweetest and most amazing dream I ever had the night before Chanukah. In my dream, I was shown that tefillin and the Holy Temple resemble one another (see above image - this is the best possible reproduction I could make of what I saw in the dream).

After I saw that the tefillin and the Holy Temple are both crafted from the same Divine mold, the Melitzer Rebbe shlit'a came to me in the dream with a special pair of "tefillin" - it was a miniature Holy Temple, the size of tefillin, with tefillin straps extending from it. He then put the "Holy Temple tefillin" on my head, smiled much wider than he usually does, gave me two affectionate slaps on the cheek, and I woke up. 


The Shechina Cries for Israel on Tisha B'Av

Rabbi Avraham Levi was a holy kabbalist and a student of the Ariza'l, who would wake everyone nightly in Tzfat for Midnight Lamentations (Tikkun Chatzot) - he was so holy that on Tisha B'Av, he merited seeing an image of a women dressed in black on the Kotel - the Shechina - begging for the end of exile and the restoration of the holy Temple. That's what you see in the adjacent below - in the spirit of Tisha B'Av, see today's lesson, a meaningful one, in the post directly below this. Have an easy fast, and may we all see the Geula soon, with our own eyes, amen!
Kotel.Shechina

The Jewish Family

Kotel

Mazal Tov! I got out of Bet Shemesh again. 

David had the genius idea (don't tell him I said that) to take the family to the Kotel for Rosh Chodesh Sivan. OMG I just remembered as I wrote this! It's Rosh Chodesh!! Chodesh Tov, yo!

I'm super excited because that means my birthday is coming up!! I plan to remember my birthday this year, just like I remembered it last year. Super proud of myself.

Today was a beautiful experience. Not just because I got to leave my four cubic feet of space. No. It was beautiful for a, um, beautiful reason.

First of all, let's all give me props for taking this awesome picture. It's so spiritual-looking, right? Sure, the subject of the picture happens to be super spiritual, but let's focus on my photography skills. See how I caught that ray of sunlight at just the right angle? And see that bird that I got to pose so nicely in his little rock nest? 

Let's give credit where credit is due.

Being at the Kotel is such a special experience. To stand there, knowing that Hashem's Divine Presence is there, floating all around the wall, covering everyone with her spiritual protection, it's awe-inspiring. And to be able to stand there, at the holiest site in the world, a site that was fought over throughout our history (and is still fought over) is just incredible.

People get very emotional at the Kotel. It's like their souls can feel this unique closeness to Hashem that is unattainable anywhere else in the world. Because there is such a strong connection, it is easier for the soul to express her feelings and her longing to reconnect with Hashem. 

The prayers a person prays at the Kotel are probably one of the most real prayers he/she will ever pray. Since we can feel the spiritual longing that our souls have, we are instinctively more aware of the fact that we are praying in front of G-d and not just into a prayer book. 

This was all very beautiful, but the most beautiful thing for me was when I looked around at the other women praying. There were all types of women: young religious girls, women with different types of hair covering, women with no hair covering, old women, middle-aged women - all had a single goal in mind. 

To connect with Hashem.

It sounds silly, but I imagined Hashem looking down at us, His children, like little ants here on Earth, asking Him way up in shamayim for whatever we need. And when I thought about it this way, I really saw us as one big dysfunctional family. 

We all have our different opinions, different ways of doing things, and different paths that we use to connect with Hashem. But in the big picture, we all want the same thing. We all want to be close to Him. We want to feel His love for us and to know that He cares about us.

Even though we may be so different on the outside, we really are the same on the inside. We all want the same things from life: health, money, spirituality, healthy children, a happy marriage, a condo on the beach, etc. 

I hope that this realization somehow makes its way from my head to my heart (and yours too!) The next time we find ourselves about to get into it with someone, let's do our best to step back and realize that the other person is not much different from us. Hopefully this realization will prevent much unnecessary hurt and suffering. 

In the merit of Rosh Chodesh Sivan (and my upcoming birthday) let's do our best to not argue. Because above everything else, being kind to others, giving in to others (without being taken advantage of, please!), and respecting the other's perspective is what will bring the Mashiach. 

I wish you all a happy, healthy Rosh Chodesh and a wonderful, dairy-infested Shavuot! 

~Racheli

p.s.- Don't miss Rav Brody's weekly Emuna Class tonight! Check out his post below for details! 


Hevron: Regards from the Great Grandparents

Probably my favorite prayer place in the world is the Cave of the Machpela in Hevron, where Abraham and Sara, Isaac and Rebecca, and Jacob and Leah are buried. I ask our holy ancestors to beg in our behalf at the Divine Throne, that we should successfully weather the "birth-pangs" of Moshiach, and fulfillment of all the redemption prophecies. May we all see our holy forefathers soon in the flesh, with the full redemption of our people in our holy land, the ingathering of the exiles, the coming of Moshiach, the revival of the dead, and the rebuilding of our holy Beit HaMikdash, amen. More than anything, may we merit to see the revelation of Hashem's Divine Presence within our midst, amen sela.

The feeling of being in the company of the holy ancestors defies description, so I'll just show you the pictures.

Photo 1: Maarat HaMachpela, Hevron

Machpela

Photo 2: Leah's gravesite

Leah_imenu

Photo 3: Abraham's gravesite

Avrahamavinu

Photo 4: We found the white donkey, now all we need is Moshiach

White_donkey_hevron

Photo 5: Maarat HaMachpela: A little piece of every Jew's heart is always here

Maaratmachpela


May A Jew Enter the Temple Mount?

Recently, with all the flare-ups on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, there has been a fierce debate as to whether Jewish Law permits a Jew to enter the Temple Mount at this time, when we are all in a state of ritual impurity. When the Chief Rabbi of Israel Rabbi Yitzchak Yosef answered a categorical "no", many accused him of contradicting his father, the great Rav Ovadia Yosef of saintly and blessed memory, one of the greatest rabbinical authorities ever. To set things straight, here is an excerpt of a shiur by Rav Ovadia osb"m, where he clearly states what is permissible and what is not:


King David's Tomb - Jerusalem is not for Sale

Entrance to King David's Tomb
Our sages warned us that in the days before Moshiach comes, the world will be prevalent with lies and the truth will be difficult to find. How right they were...

The ink is barely dry on our post from yesterday, A State for Jews or a Jewish State, where we observed the hypocrisy of demanding to be recognized as a Jewish State while acting like anything but a Jewish State. Maybe our post jolted the Prime Minister, because he just made a declaration that he'll initiate legislation that defines Israel as a Jewish State.

Honorable Prime Minister, who do you think you are fooling? On one hand, you want Israel recognized as a Jewish State. Then you retire to the ugly smoke-filled backrooms of your anti-emuna government, and look for ways to hand King David's holy gravesite to the Pope.

Who are you, Mister Prime Minister, a liar, a thief, a Kafkaesque cynic or all three? 

In my first position as a rabbi, I was the rabbi and spiritual rehabilitation director of a prison. I came in contact of criminals of all kinds. Yet, I never met one who would sell his grandfather's grave.

Many of us are King David's descendants. The anti-emuna government has no right to sell our ancestor's grave.

Not only was King David Hashem's anointed King of Israel, he is the great grandfather of Moshiach, may he come soon, amen. King David is the author of the Book of Psalms, the greatest bestseller of history. According to Kabbala, as King of Israel, his soul had sparks of all of Israel. That is why everyone of identifies with Psalms. King David is buried on Mount Zion. 

How can you be a Zionist if you give away Zion, and to those who engineered and supported the persecution and destruction of our people for the last 1200 years?

Hashem's Jerusalem and the holy gravesite of His anointed son David are not for sale. Think again, Mr. Prime Minister.