23 posts categorized "Photo gallery and essays"

10th of Teveth and Rebbe Natan's Yahrtzeit: Today

Today, Tuesday 10 Teveth (18 Dec., 2018) is a fast day that commemorates the beginning of the Babylonian siege around Jerusalem, before the city fell and the First Holy Temple was destroyed two and a half years later. The fast begins 90 minutes before dawn on Tuesday morning and ends when the stars come out. Here in Israel, this is roughly from 5:00 AM to 5:09 PM, so it's the shortest fast day of the year.

10 Teveth this year also commemorates the 174th anniversary of the passing of our holy Rabbi and spiritual guide, Rebbe Natan of Breslev, of saintly and blessed memory. Were it not for Rebbe Natan, we wouldn't have had such a rich legacy of Rebbe Nachman's teachings. Rebbe Natan is a spiritual Transformer, for he brings us Rebbe Nachman's dazzling light in a measure that we can absorb. Rebbe Natan is also My Hero

Please light a candle for Natan ben Naftali Hertz, may his blessed and holy memory intercede on our behalf, amen. 

Here are some photos we took in Breslev, Ukraine a few summers ago, at Rebbe Natan's holy gravesite:

Photo 1: Rebbe Natan's Gravesite


Photo 2: View of the Ukranian countryside from Rebbe Natan's gravesite


Photo 3: The River Bugg, here Rebbe Natan would pour his heart out in personal prayer


Photo 4: Lazer praying at Rebbe Natan's gravesite



Winter Waves

It's not easy leaving my beautiful holy homeland, even for a few days; this trip is no exception. On a Friday before a trip, I try to visit our exquisite beach here in Ashdod; this time, I took my all-weather Olympus TG 850 camera with me. Here are a few of the images I took while riding the waves:

  1. Lifeguard on paddle-board: 1 Lifeguard
  2. Wave right before it smacks me in the face: In My Face
  3. Anyone lose a foot? Lost Foot
  4. Big blue Big blue
  5. Ashdod's beautiful Charedi beach Charedi Beach Ashdod

Stop the Stress!

This morning, I (Racheli) was late heading out to my Zumba class. Since I joined the new gym all the way in Bet Shsmesh - which is a 10 minute drive from my mansion - I find it so much more stressful than driving up my street to work out at the gym next door. Isn't that strange? It reminds me of people like myself that try to find the closest spot to the entrance of the mall. I don't get why we do this. Aren't we spending the next three hours walking? So what difference does a better parking spot make? But, human nature is human nature. 

As I was late, I started stressing out big time when I was getting ready and trying to peel my screaming 2-year-old off my legs so I could leave. And on the way there, I was trying to pass the slowpokes driving in front of me. "Move, ya turtle!" I screamed at them through closed windows. Let's forget the fact that most of the roads here are one lane roads. That's not important.

Suddenly, halfway to the gym, an often-ignored thought popped into my little brain. What's the point of stressing about being late? It doesn't change the time, and it doesn't make you get there earlier. So I decided to let go of my stress. I threw Stressy out the window and watched in my rear view mirror as another car ran over him. I delighted in his gruesome death. So long, Stressy.

Wait a minute. Doesn't Stressy sound like a girl's name? He must be gender confused. It's so trendy these days to not be certain about your gender.

Anyhow, after I made the decision to not stress over being late, I felt so much calmer. I didn't arrive to my class a bundle of nerves, and, in fact, the class was nearly empty because of summer vacation, so I got a spot right up in front anyways. I think the ladies love watching me have a spaz attack when I dance.

I know what you're asking. What if the kids are late for school, or you're late for work? Well, that would be a great time to activate our emuna superpowers. If you're running late, that's what Hashem wants. If your boss greets you with a clenched fist and a mouthful of un-PC words, that's what Hashem wants. Who knows what harsher judgments you avoided because you didn't stress about your situation?

So I'm going to try to listen to my own words, and do my best to keep from locking myself in my room until my kids start school next week.

In case you forgot, Rav Brody was in my town on Sunday night with Blues guitarist Lazer Lloyd. It was just awesome! Here is a pic just to show you what a great time you missed. In case you're wondering who that is in the middle of these two superstars, that's my husband. King David. Did you note the slight sarcasm? What a photobomb. I couldn't figure out how to photoshop him out, but nevertheless, it's a very nice picture. Have a great week!


The Emuna Blossom


Blessings for a healthy summer! Our special correspondent in the fields east of Ashdod reports that the Sabra cacti are beginning to flower in all their magnificent splendor. This is very symbolic, showing how exquisite beauty - emuna - blossoms particularly in an environment of dangerous thorns, symbolic of the trials and tribulations of this world that are testing us.

Don't forget that once the blossom becomes pollinated, courtesy of our little striped flying friends who also carry stingers, it becomes an amazingly sweet fruit - the "Sabra", or prickly pear. All those painful things we encounter on our way in life will also become the sweetest fruit, if we only relate to them within the context of emuna. It's all for the very best.

The Power of Understudy

The Gemara in tractate Berachot teaches that even if someone knows the entire oral and written Torahs by heart, but that hasn't done understudy under a true upright Torah scholar, the person remains inane. I therefore cherish every moment of understudy that Hashem enables me to do under my esteemed and beloved rabbi and mentor, Rabbi Shalom Arush shlit'a. During our recent trip to North America together, I spent a goldmine of time with my teacher; every word that comes out of his holy mouth, especially in his Torah learning and his giving advice to people, outshines a flawless 5-carat diamond. Here are a few photos that tell a small part of the story; enjoy them and have a wonderful Shabbat:

1 - Rav Arush and I leaving chilly Canada RSA LB Toronto

2 - Listening to pearls of wisdom before takeoff to our next destination Pearls of RSA wisdom

3 - Learning together in the Southern California morning air RSA LB LA

4 - Doing simultaneous translation of the Rav's emuna lesson in Las Vegas Translation booth LB

5- Rabbi Arush utilizing every moment of time - writing his newest book while waiting to be picked up from the airport RSA LAX