A conversation about G-d, mysteries of the universe and soul, Israel... and speculation about biblical prophecies and the end of days.

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Tuesday, June 25, 2019

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What Happens Next?


   by Reb Gutman Locks   

 

     One of Rambam's thirteen principles of Jewish faith is belief in the resurrection of the dead. But what, if anything, happens to us after we leave this world and before the resurrection comes?

     There is very little written in the Talmud and in mystical Jewish writings about what the soul will experience at that time; its judgement, its rewards and its punishment. On the surface, it seems that the Torah itself (the Five Books of Moshe) does not say anything about this… or does it?

     Hashem tells Abraham, "You shall come to your fathers (ancestors) in peace: you shall be buried in a good old age."[i] He tells Moshe, "Behold, you will lie with your forefathers…."[ii]

     If nothing will be going on after the soul leaves this world until the resurrection, then what did Hashem mean when He told these two greatest tzaddikim (righteous) that they were going to be with their fathers? If the soul does not exist at that time, or if it experiences nothing at that time, then what information was Hashem giving to them? How are they with their forefathers if they do not exist, or if nothing is happening?

     Obviously, something is going to happen to us after we leave this world.

     There is one way to change the future. Do something different today.



[i] Genesis 15:15

[ii] Deuteronomy 31:16

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Sunday, June 23, 2019

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I Pulled Rank On Him


   by Reb Gutman Locks
      I Pulled Rank On Him

 

    He was visiting from America. I asked him to come put on tefillin but he refused, He just wanted to keep walking by. I saw that he had a huge US Marine Corp symbol on his shirt.

      I asked, "Were you in the Marines?"

     "Yeah"

     "What year did you join?"

     "1986"

     "I joined in 1955"

      He did not seem impressed.

     "What was your rank?"

     "Lance corporal"

     "I was a sergeant… so you have to listen to me. Come put on tefillin."

      I pulled his arm and put the tefillin on him…. First time I ever tried that one.

 

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Thursday, June 20, 2019

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Are You Alright?


   by Reb Gutman Locks  

 

     Robert is from Oregon. He is in his late Seventies, a retired bankruptcy lawyer, and very stubborn. He strongly refused to put on tefillin. Both Shmuli and I worked on him, but he refused over and over again.

     Finally, Shmuli just pulled his arm out and I slid the tefillin up onto his arm. He stopped arguing and followed the instructions.

    When he finished, I showed him how to pray for his family and the important things in his life. He closed his eyes and stood there for the longest time. He was so focused on his prayers that I did not want to disturb him, not even to tell him that it would be better to face the Kotel.

     After at least five minutes his friend walked over and asked him if he was alright.

     I yelled at the friend, "Leave him alone, he's praying!"

     His friend said, "I'm sorry, but I never saw him like that before."

     Robert went back to talking to Hashem in his heart. When he finally finished, he thanked me.

     When I took his picture, I told him, "Next time don't be so stubborn. When someone invites you to do a mitzvah, cooperate. You'll have a good time.


 

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

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The Shema - A Declaration of Unity

by Lazar at Mystical Paths

The Shema - A Declaration of Unity


https://youtu.be/m8wZ85KX4No
 
The Shema is Judaism's oldest meditation. It is profound in its simplicity, importance, and depth. This short meditation (10 mins) guides the listener towards a deep connection with this ancient prayer, focusing on the Unity that is the Infinite Source.

To reach Lazar, email: guidedjewishmeditation@gmail.com
 


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A Bonus


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     A Bonus

   

     I love it when I get a bonus.

     I put tefillin on a father with two small boys. The oldest was maybe 9. As usual after saying the Shema I had the father put his right hand on the boys' heads and read the blessing that the Kohen say to us in the morning prayers.

     As always, before the father removed his hand, I told him to add the personal things he wanted for his son. The fathers usually say, "Hashem give you health, prosperity, success…" and they go on for a while. It is nice to see a father asking for blessings for his son. Israeli fathers can go on for a while but Americans seem to get stuck after asking for one or two things

     Then, as soon as he finished, I asked, "Is he a good son to you?"

     The father answered, "He's the best, a really wonderful son."

     The boy melted. He stepped closer to his father with a tear in his eye and put his cheek on his father stomach. The father put his hand on the boy's head and lovingly pulled the boy even closer.     

     A Bonus! I love it when I help parents and children show their love for each other, especially when they are doing a mitzvah

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Sunday, June 16, 2019

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The Worst Sin a Jew Can Do!



by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths


This sin is so horrible that it brings 98 curses
to the Jew who does it. What could that poor Jew possibly have done to bring
these miserable curses?
If you Care: Share
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Friday, June 14, 2019

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Almost No One Got It!


    by Reb Gutman Locks  

 

     Yesterday's article, "A Special Guy" … almost no one got the point of the story. Well, it seems that almost no one got it.

     Why did I crack up laughing when he warmly thanked me?

     He called me, "special."

     What work did he retire from? Special Education! So, what would you assume a Special Ed teacher meant when he called someone special?

    Got it?

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

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Paths Podcast - Tankers are Blowing, Rockets are Falling, and can I walk in Tel Aviv?

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

Off the Beaten Path podcast can be viewed and subscribed to via the iTunes podcast directory here, or directly here.  Subscribe via your favorite Podcast listening app!  (I use Podcast Addict on Android.)

Argument #5, Oil Tankers blowing up, Rockets falling, Israeli politics gone Cray Cray, and am I allowed to work in secular Tel Aviv?
Join Reb Akiva & Fayga in arguing whether a war is about to break out in the Persian Gulf as oil tankers are blowing up (bombed/torpedo'd?), or in Gaza (rockets being fired at yeshivot!), how Israeli politicians are in political chaos, and is a religious Jew allowed to walk into a very secular and problematic cultural environment in Tel Aviv for work?
Direct download here, or listen live below...


And here's the YouTube version, with related photos from the Land of Israel, or view it below...

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A Special Guy


   by Reb Gutman Locks
      A Special Guy

 

      Mike is from America. I think he said Wisconsin. He is a 69-yr. old retired teacher of children with special needs. When I called out for him to come put on tefillin he walked right over. He wanted to do it.

     He told me although his rabbi is Reform, Mike puts on tefillin when he comes to the Kotel. The last time was three years ago.

    After reading the Shema in English I showed him how to pray for his loved ones. He stood by the Kotel praying for a long time.

     Then, after I took his picture he said, "Thank you very much. You are special."

         I cracked up laughing.

 

 

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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

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The Greatest Killer of All


   by Reb Gutman Locks   

 

     Who kills more people than anyone else? This is really the greatest killer who has ever lived, more than all of the dictators throughout the history of the entire world! Yet, he lives on wielding his sword against us day after day…. How long will we allow this murder for money to go on?

     "As of 2019, smoking kills 8 million smokers annually, plus an additional million people who do not smoke themselves but are killed by secondhand smoke. In other words, smoking kills one person in the world every four seconds.

     In Israel, where 59% of children are exposed to secondhand smoke, smoking-related illnesses kill 22 people each day, for a total of 8,000 people each year, 800 of whom were killed by others' smoking habits. Although only 19.8% of Israelis smoke, a full 66% of Israelis over age 20 are exposed to secondhand smoke, and 30% of them are exposed to it often.

     According to the WHO, smoke can linger in the air for up to five hours after a smoker leaves the room, and it contains over 7,000 chemicals, including 69 known carcinogens."

     The tobacco industry knowingly murders these millions upon millions of people for money.

What's Wrong with Smoking? 

(video link)

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Thursday, June 06, 2019

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The Most Difficult Mitzvah


   by Reb Gutman Locks   

 

     Someone asked, "What is the most difficult mitzvah? At first, I thought, "None of them are difficult," but then, after thinking about it for a while I came up with two mitzvahs that are difficult. But which one is the most difficult depends on what you are asking. Are you asking which is the most difficult to do, i.e. just doing it is difficult, or are you asking which is the most difficult to accomplish?

     If the question is, which gives you a difficult time when you do it, then I would answer that trying to help a Jew to do a mitzvah when he doesn't want to is the most difficult. Like when I try to get a Jew to quit smoking. Oh dear! Many times they get angry at me, and yell at me to mind my own business. The last guy I tried to help quit told me it was forbidden to tell someone the bad things about smoking because he stays healthy due to his "faith in Hashem." He meant that telling him those bad things could shake his faith.

     Israelis can be tough customers when you try to bring them in. And really, you could rely on the teaching that we are obligated to help a Jew pick up his fallen donkey along with him… that is, if he is not going to help you pick it up then you are not obligated to help him. But what father would let his kid do wrong just because the kid didn't want to do right? Anyway, doing this mitzvah can be difficult.

     But if you are asking which mitzvah is the most difficult to accomplish then I would say to "cleave to the radiance of His Presence." Been trying to do this every day, all day, for many years, and still have had only a peek now and then. Sometimes it feels like I am trying to pick myself up off the ground by pulling on my socks.

 

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Tuesday, June 04, 2019

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Paths Podcast - Do Jews Worship the Dead?

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

(We are not intending to do a podcast a day.  But I've had a bit of spare time and I'm working on learning how to do this better and the editing tools, so we generated a bit more material.  As always, your feedback is appreciated and requested.  How's the volume?  How's the consistency?  How's the topics?  Thanks!)

(I'm working on getting the podcast approved through the Apple iTunes podcast directory, so it will be downloadable and listen-able on any podcast listening apps.  Awaiting Apple approval at this time.)

Argument #4, Do Jews have Holy Sites?  Do Jews Worship the Dead?
Join Reb Akiva & Fayga in arguing whether Jews have holy sites, why we must visit them, and whether Jews worship the dead.
Direct download link.  Or play it below.  YouTube edition arrives tomorrow, G-d willing.


And here it is on YouTube, direct link here or hit play below...

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More Energy!


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     More Energy!

 

     Regarding my recent response to the question on "energy healing," a reader wrote: "With due respect, this is a halachic question and is best addressed to a competent rabbi."

 

My response:     Although there is continuing effort by the liberal, alternative, more modern opinions, to allow all forms of alternative practices including "energy healing" and "yoga" and such, the fact is they are trying to take on something they do not understand and make it a Jewish practice.

     Regarding anything that has any spiritual content at all, this cannot be done; zero, none, not the slightest bit. You cannot elevate or nullify anything that has the least taste of idolatry in it.

     Having said this general principal, here are a couple of examples to show you how dangerous these things are.

     An Israeli man came up to the tefillin booth some years ago and said that his wife always hated her thick eyeglasses. She heard of an energy healer in Tel Aviv who could heal her so she went to him. The man held his hands by her eyes for a moment and they actually seemed to improve somewhat, but she still needed those ugly glasses.

     The "healer" said, "That is as far as I can take you, but if you will let me call on 'other powers' they will be able to heal you."

     She agreed and he did, and miraculously her eyesight got better. So much so that she did not need her eyeglasses. One happy woman!

     He said, that night when they were in bed his wife began to twitch and jump around. He asked her what was wrong. She yelled, "Tell them to get off me!"

     She went through her day like this. He took her to doctors, healers, rabbis, and no one was able to help her. He said he was going to have to commit her to a mental institution. So much for her healing.

    When an "energy healer" finishes his session, he will often have to quickly rub one hand down one arm and then do the other arm to wipe off the energy that is still sticking to his arms…. Do you think this is normal?  

     For you to see that I am not writing about these things from books, or other people's experiences, but rather that I went through the "energy" experience myself:    

     Some fifty years ago, due to the unclean practices I was doing, people would ask me, "What is this power we feel radiating from you?"

     When I would raise my palm toward someone he would fall to the ground in bliss.

     I ended up holding my hands in fists, unable to open them for five months, until they started to bleed.

     In the beginning the "healer" thinks he has the energy, but later he sees that the energy has him.

     The scientists say it at best provides a placebo…a fake healing. The rabbis I quoted say if is forbidden…, and I am telling you it is worse than anyone who has not experienced to the depth that I did can possibly know.

Gutman's Story Goes to Hollywood 

(video link)

 

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Monday, June 03, 2019

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Paths Podcast - Hide Your Women!

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

Argument #3 - Are we religiously required to HIDE OUR WOMEN?

Please comment on this article to let us know how we're doing!

Direct listen / download here, or click below to play...



Or watch on YouTube with accompanying pictures of life in the Land of Israel, link here or play below...

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Sunday, June 02, 2019

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Paths Podcast - Did the Green Leaf break Israel?

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

It's a podcast!  Did marijuana break the election in Israel?

Direct download here.



Or listen on Youtube along with some nice pictures of Israel (direct link)...


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