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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Sunday, June 24, 2018

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No Other


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
    

No Other

 

     Since the previous article on Hashem's "concealment" drew so much interest, it seems appropriate to take the conversation to the next higher level.

    The last article discussed the disagreement as to what the Ari meant; that Hashem "contracted" Himself in order to have space to put creation.

     The current disagreement deals with; what is here now that Hashem has made His creation? The Torah says: "Know this day and take it to your heart that the L-rd is G-d, in the Heavens above and upon the Earth below there is nothing else."[i] 

     One opinion holds that this means there is no other god. Another says it means there is nothing significant other than Hashem, so all is nullified to Hashem. And there is a prominent opinion that insists that it really means exactly what it says: G-d is all; Hashem is the existence! "There is nothing else!"

    All agree that Hashem is Infinite, and by definition, the Infinite has to be endless. The problem is, since the Infinite is endless It has to be all. If so, then what is the finite,… the limited creation that we all experience? How can the Infinite and the finite both exist at the same time and place?

     The answer is that the endless Infinite is also the finite. It has to be, or else It would not be all. But since the finite is limited, it cannot be the Infinite!

     Once you identify an object you limit it, you have put borders on it, so you cannot call that object Infinite. Therefore, we have to say that, yes, the Infinite is also the finite, but the finite is not the Infinite.

     G-d is all, and He is beyond all too, but the all is not Him. The Infinite can say I am this little drop too, but the little drop cannot say, "I am the Infinite."

     So, what does the Torah mean when it says, "there is no other." It means exactly what it says, there is nothing other than Hashem.

     All existence, all reality, is the Holy One Blessed is He. He is all, there is no other, and He is beyond the all, too. 



[i] Deuteronomy 4:39 

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Thursday, June 21, 2018

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Is He Contracting or Is He Hiding?


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     

Is He Contracting or Is He Hiding?

 

     There is a long-standing disagreement as to the meaning of one of the Ari's deepest teachings, Tzimtzum (contraction). There is even a disagreement if there is a disagreement!

     Most briefly: The Ari taught; when Hashem first created the Universe, since all was just Him alone, filling all, He had to "tzimtzum Himself" in order to leave an empty place to put His creation.

     The question is, do we take tzimtzum literally as seems to be the Litvak understanding; i.e. that Hashem actually contracted Himself leaving a place empty and put the creation there? Or, do we believe as the Chassidim teach; not to take the word tzimtzum literally, and that all Hashem really does is to hide Himself in order for there to appear to be a place where He is not, i.e. the physical Universe, but actually He is still everywhere at all times?

     The main difference in these two understandings is, what is the reality today? Does Hashem, so to speak, stand outside of creation and watch over and control everything from there, or does Hashem actually fill and surround all … that He is everywhere at all times … filling even the lowest physical creation?

      The nature of the physical expansion of the Universe suggests that the Chassidim are right. Scientists say that the Universe is expanding, and it is expanding equally in all directions.

     Now, if you could imagine that Hashem withdrew Himself to one location and big-banged the creation into existence by sending it into the empty space away from the place he withdrew to, then it would seem that the creation would be expanding out away from where He "threw" it from, i.e. away in that one direction.

     But since the Universe is expanding equally in all directions, it suggests that Hashem big-banged the creation from the middle, and that is why it is expanding out in every direction.

     This seems to show that Hashem is right here in the middle of everything.

     Baruch Hashem

 

 

 

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Tuesday, June 19, 2018

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Hey, Yankee Fan!


   by Reb Gutman Locks
      

Hey, Yankee Fan!

 

     Even though I called out to him a few times, he ignored me. I called out again, "Come put on tefillin," but he kept on walking by. Then, because of his hat, I yelled, "Hey, Yankee fan."

     He looked over and, I said, "Yankee fan come put on tefillin," and he came right away.

     I guess calling him that made him feel comfortable, I really don't know, but whatever works is for the good.

     I told him my one Yankee line and he loved it. "The last Yankee game I went to was Babe Ruth day. They gave him a car."

     I had him read the Shema, pray for his loved ones, and take a picture to remind him. It's always the highlight of their day. It is their fondest memory they take with them when they go back home.

     It is such a simple thing to give to someone, yet it is so very important for them. You never know how it might change their life, what they will do differently from then on, and you certainly do not know how it might affect their share in Heaven, especially when they open their heart and talk to G-d.

    

     If you have been blessed to live life loving Hashem's Torah and His mitzvas, then you certainly should share what you have found with others.

   

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Sunday, June 17, 2018

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Mazal Tov




    by Reb Gutman Locks  
      

Mazal Tov

 

     Do you remember a couple of years ago, the Jewish man who was living in China and was seriously dating a Chinese girl… planning to marry her? He saw my video, "Jews Should Marry Jews" and he called her up right away and broke off the relationship. He moved to Israel, made Aliyah (became an Israeli), and went to the Ulpan (Hebrew speaking classes). After the Ulpan he joined a yeshiva and has been working half a day and learning Torah half a day ever since.

     Last Shabbos on my way to the Kotel he stopped me and introduced me to his wife of 6 months. Baruch Hashem.

     He said, "You should make a video for the non-religious Jews who live in America telling them that the most important thing is that they have to marry a Jewish girl."

     I told him, "I already made that video. Remember? It was what brought you here."

     Thank G-d for the internet!

 

Jews Should Marry Jews 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TptkFd6HXhE

(video link)

 

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Friday, June 15, 2018

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Pull Them Up!

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

Dear Son,

I know you are from the generation of baggy pants, but I am from the generation of no butt crack.  While you are my son and I think you are a great looking young man, I'm pretty certain nobody wants to see your anus or the path thereto.

Please pull your pants up and select pants as well as wearing them in such a way that if you are bending over, your rear end remains fully covered.

Thank you in advance.

Note some might try to yell about this being a tznius (modesty) issue.  Yet I take a different approach... THIS IS A PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY!

As much as we may live in a sexualized generation, I'm relatively certain that no one is interested in viewing the business end of the human digestive system.
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A Children’s Rebbe


   by Reb Gutman Locks
      

A Children's Rebbe

 

     How does he do it? He has some twenty very lively, curious, intelligent, religious Jewish boys staying in line and following him into the Kotel area. How come they are not running all over the place? Amazing.

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Thursday, June 14, 2018

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Everything for a Reason


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
      

Everything for a Reason

 

     The Torah commands everyone who has a zav emission and everyone contaminated by a human corpse "male and female alike shall you expel to the outside of the camp…".[i]

     Then, two lines later tells us, "a man or woman who commits any of man's sins …shall make restitution".

     Why did the Torah change from addressing "male and female", to "man and woman"? What does this come to teach us?

     Everyone with a contagious disease must be sent out of the camp, even if they are not yet adults. However, minors are not yet obligated to make restitution for their mistakes, so the line addressing restitution identifies "man and women," while the line addressing expulsion, which does include minors, addresses males and females to include both adults and minors.

     Such essential teachings learned out from a seemingly insignificant change.

     Every letter in the Torah is here for a reason.



[i] Numbers 5:3

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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

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YouTube!


    by Reb Gutman Locks
      

YouTube!

 

     A Hebrew speaking man in his twenties came up to me at the Kotel yesterday and said that he has been living in Spain for most of his life.

     He said that years ago he saw the video of me speaking with a pastor, "I never knew how to answer the x-ians who would try to convince me to follow their religion. I don't know about these things. But since I saw that video I just use what you said to the pastor and it stops them right away. It has become my basic way of understanding."

    What a wonderful tool YouTube is! He would never have bought a Jewish book in Southern Spain, but the internet reaches all over the world.

Answers to a Pastor

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GZW-NKGXFGg&feature=player_embedded


(Video Link)

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Monday, June 11, 2018

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The Sin of the Spies and of U.S. Chassidim?

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

How can it be that in the week of Parshas Shelach, the Torah portion discussing the spies scouting Israel and returning with negative reports – bad mouthing G-d’s promised land, that the largest chassidic group in the U.S. rents a stadium to meet and bad mouth Israel?

In Parshat Shelach, the people subsequently suffered the punishment of wandering the desert and not being able to enter the land for the sin of listening and not responding to the bad report.  In other words, the sin of not listening to G-d’s words that it was the promised land but listening to the spies words that it wasn’t good.

We cannot make the same mistake.

Israel is the promised land, G-d’s gift to the Jewish people, and the land is very very good.  And that it is under Jewish sovereignty is an awesome blessing.  Jewish sovereignty is not perfect, there are plenty of issues and things that could be better.  But how incredible to stand in the land of our forefathers, to build, grow, work, plant… to be marrying off a daughter (G-d willing in 2 months) who firmly intends, with her chosson, to build a life – the next generation – here in the holy land. 

The Israeli government isn’t perfect, and some parts are unpleasant…just like the government wherever you are.  And some parts are good, and some are even great.  My Canadian and British friends living here in Israel tell me that the Israeli medical system is MUCH better than in their former home countries.  And as an American I can say that the medical system won’t bankrupt you while providing good treatment, and having the ability to pay is simply not an issue – everyone gets care.

The Israeli government has some sins in its past…but those times are gone.  How can the U.S. chassidim rail against Israel and still call themselves Torah Jews?  Do they not realize they give power to the enemies of the Jews and their words may even result in Jews being attacked and killed?

While the Jews of England may be faced with having to teach their children ‘alternative lifestyles’ or close their schools, and the Jews of the U.S. may be to service individuals who intentionally come to their businesses to violate their religious principles, they are railing against the ‘zionists’ because they won’t pay for rabbinical students to learn through 30?  Or because yes, if those students aren’t learning, they may be required to join those who are defending the life and limb of the population…while eating kosher food and being able to keep Shabbos?

Not acceptable by any Torah standard.

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Sunday, June 10, 2018

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Astrology?


   by Reb Gutman Locks
     

Astrology?

 

A Question from India:

    Sir, I am from India, I am a Hindu and I have a doubt about Judaism. Does Judaism support planet astrology?

 

Gutman's response:

    The location of the stars and such at times can reflect certain things in the world, such as a man's fortune. But in all cases, none of this is irrevocable, i.e. absolutely fixed, since a Jew can always repent, change his ways to the good, and this will change the effect of nature on him or her.

 

India wrote:

    Thank you very much sir

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Thursday, June 07, 2018

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The Face That You Show G-d



by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths


-The Alter Rebbe said to be very careful when we pray. He warned us not
to do one specific thing when we pray, and he told us why we should not do it.


-
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Tuesday, June 05, 2018

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The Sefirot vs the Chakras



   by Reb Gutman Locks
    

The Sefirot vs the Chakras

 

Someone commented: That kundalini is really cool. It reminds me of the sefirot.

 

Gutman's response:

    Surprisingly, many Jews think that the Ten Sephirot are somehow parallel or related to Hinduism's teachings of chakras. This is a huge mistake and it has caused a lot of Jews to think that yoga and Hinduism's teachings are close to what the Torah says, which is an even bigger mistake.

    The Sefirot are ten modes or attributes through which G-d manifests Himself. Although the Sephirot are usually shown in a design this is done only to explain their meaning. The Sefirot themselves are never in such a formation, but rather are all always in the same place at the same time. The diagram is merely a tool to discuss their differences.

     Hinduism teaches that the charkas are 7 vortexes of energy lying across seven different points on a person's spinal column. They say when the energy passes through them it causes a different spiritual experience as it goes up the spine and out the top of the head.

     It seems those who like to compare the two entirely different teachings do so because they somehow see their diagrams to be similar, which is also not true.

    The important lesson from this is that a Jew must learn all of his or her spiritual teachings from the Torah, and not from Hinduism which teaches there are millions of gods!

 

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Sunday, June 03, 2018

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Satan and Demon Talk



   By Reb Gutman Locks

Satan and Demon Talk

 

Rez's comment to my video, Demons:

     Thank you Rabbi for answering my question on your video; Demons. I have been christian for some time now and it's driving me insane with all this Satan and demon talk. Fear! I feel fear and I never understood why God would not just destroy the demons (fallen angels) according to christianity. I don't know that I want to be a christian anymore, but I am afraid to leave. The Jewish faith makes more sense to me than anything I ever understood about christainity but what do I do? Why would God allow yushka to comfort me and to bring me peace and there have been a lot of supernatural experiences that I can't explains either with yushak. Any advice for me? I am afraid to turn my back on yushka If it were not for all the demon talk and Satan which basically makes Satan into a demi god I like christianity. Be blessed Rabbi

 

Gutman's response:

     If you follow the Seven Commandments of Noah you will be a righteous person, you will have a wonderful life in this world, and you will have a share in the World to Come. G-d gave these seven laws to all mankind through Noah.  

     When one worships an idol, a limited god, such things as demons and evil spirits come into their minds. There is no reason to live this kind of life.

     You can find out more about these laws through such sites as AskNoah.org, and you can contact other Bnei Noah (children of) worldwide.

    Hashem bless you to live a peaceful life free from idolatry and fear.

Shalom


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Thursday, May 31, 2018

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A Jew Raised as a catholic



   by Reb Gutman Locks   

A Jew Raised as a catholic

 

     Hello! I have been watching your videos and I have to admit that they are very enlightening, and they really explain everything. I thought you would be a good person to ask. I have been thinking about converting to Judaism since I was 14 and I thought it was just a stage but here I am, 18 years old and still wanting to leave the catholic church. Like you said in one of your videos, Judaism is not a religion, it is a people. Well my mother and her parents are Jewish, but my dad is not. They decided to raise me catholic and send me through 12 years of catholic school. The fact that my mother is Jewish, the real question is "Do I fully convert?" What steps would I need to take in order to leave the church and become Jewish (religiously). And does not having a bat mitzvah effect anything?

Thanks! 

-Helen

 

Gutman's response:

     If your mother is Jewish, you are a Jew and you do not need to convert.

     "Bat mitzvah" means a "daughter of the commandments". It means that the girl has reached the age of understanding and therefore is obligated to follow the commandments that Hashem has given to the Jewish women. What we usually mean today by the words bat mitzvah refers to the celebration we have when the girl reaches that age. It has nothing to do with making her a Jew. If, as you have said, your mother is Jewish then you are a Jew.

     To leave the church just believe as a Jew believes and not as a catholic believes. For instance; G-d is One and not three. Know that G-d is not as they say, "one god in three persons", but One G-d in all persons.... He fills and surrounds all. He is the Father of all, so we all are His sons and daughters. No one dies for anyone else's sins. Pray only to the Father and not to anyone else…

     What city do you live in? Go to a local Chabad (Lubavitch) House and talk with the rabbi and his wife.

     Ask if you have any questions and let me know what happens.

Welcome home.

Be well,

Shalom from Jerusalem

Gutman


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Tuesday, May 29, 2018

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First Time



   by Reb Gutman Locks   
      

First Time

 

     He is 65 years old, from London, and this was the first time he had ever put on tefillin. In fact, it is the first time he had ever seen tefillin. When I asked him to put them on and brought him over he started to cry.

     When I began wrapping the strap on his arm he asked, "What is this all about?" He had no idea what the mitzvah of tefillin is, yet he cried when I started to put them on him. I asked him again if his mother was Jewish.

     I explained that we put them on to fulfill the commandment that Jewish men are to take Hashem's words, bind them on our arm and put them as a reminder between our eyes. After the Shema I had him stand by the Kotel and open his heart by talking to G-d. He loved it. He said it was very special to him.

     To me it seems so strange that a Jewish man 65 years-old from London had never even seen tefillin before, but then…, I had never seen them either, not until I came to the Kotel for the first time when I was forty years-old.

 

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