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, August 14, 2018

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A Great Kid


   by Reb Gutman Locks

A Great Kid

 

      This Israeli was too tough for me. He wouldn't listen no matter what I said.   

     "Come, put on tefillin."

     "No."

     "It doesn't cost money."

     "No."

     "It doesn't hurt."

     "No."

     "Only one minute…"

     "No."

      Finally, I said to the little boy, "Tell your father to put on tefillin. Pull him over."   

     The kid caught on right away. He grabbed his father's hand with both hands and pulled as hard as he could. The boy couldn't move his father, but just lifted his hand and arm a little when he pulled. His father laughed. He pulled more and more, and I pulled the boy, so he would pull even harder.

    The father gave in and I put tefillin on him. He had a good time. He read the Shema and the boy read most of it, too. I had him give the boy a blessing. His wife, the boy's mother, took pictures from where the ladies stand, and she sent the boy's younger sister over so the father would bless her, too. The father told me that it was the boy's birthday.

     I told the boy how good he was and that the mitzvah of his father putting on tefillin was only because of him pulling him. I explained that on our birthdays Hashem listens to our prayers and that he should give me a blessing. He slapped my open hand…a sign of friendship.

     They walked away very happy… the family had a loving time thinking about Hashem and their love for each other... thanks to that great little kid they have.

 

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Sunday, August 12, 2018

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Elul


   by Reb Gutman Locks  
     Elul

 

     The month of Elul is the time to prepare for Rosh Hashanah (the New Year). On Rosh Hashanah we come before the Judge and our portions for the year are set. What we receive is determined mostly by our actions. There is a general principle, mida kenegid meda. It means, "portion across from portion", i.e. what we receive will be formed by what we do.

     In Elul the King is in the field. This means that even the most simple of us can walk right over and talk to the King face to face. This is something we could never do if we had to gain entrance to His palace. The guards would never let us through the gate. What a wonderful opportunity we have.

    The letters that spell Elul are the initial letters of King Solomon's heart felt description of a Jew's relationship with Hashem, "I am my beloved's, and my beloved is mine…,"[i] and this is what we want to take with us as we go through the year.

     Although Hashem is always close to all who call, during the year we tend to forget this, but during the month of Elul we are reminded by the special early morning prayers, the blowing of the shofar, and the excitement that begins to fill the air.

     May each of us receive a most favorable judgement… a year filled with joy and health with all of our prayers answered, and may we accomplish all of our positive goals. And, please G-d, may we become more aware of Your most glorious Presence.     

    Shanah Tovah U'metukah (A good and sweet year)

 



[i] Song of Songs 6:3

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Thursday, August 09, 2018

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Jewish Meditation Explained



by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths





     What is different about
Jewish meditation? Isn’t all meditation the same? What is meditation supposed
to do for you? The technique we use when we meditate will determine the
results.

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Tuesday, August 07, 2018

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Helping


   by Reb Gutman Locks
      Helping

 

      A very nice, young, non-Jewish man from Brazil came to talk with me at the Kotel. He waited several hours for me to arrive. He had what he thought was a major problem, or problems, and he wanted to discuss them with me.

     He said, "I believe that G-d is infinite, but I do not know if I believe in the Torah."

     I told him, "You do not have to believe in the Torah. All you have to know about the Torah is that G-d told Noah to keep the Seven Commandments. The rest of the Torah wasn't given to you."

     He said, "But I want to feel my soul and I do not feel it."

     I told him, "You don't want to feel your soul, you want to become more aware of G-d's presence. You want to become more spiritually aware. The single most effective way for you to become more spiritually aware is for you to help others to know that G-d is one, and that He is infinite… so they stop worshiping idols, limited gods. If you will help others to learn this, G-d will be very happy with you."

     We spoke for some time and I told him over and over again how helping others spiritually was the solution to his spiritual problem. If helping others this way would become his spiritual life's work Hashem would be very pleased with him and treat him lovingly in this world, and in the next World, too.

     Whenever you are down, and you want to pick yourself up, go pick up someone else, and Hashem will surely pick you up.

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Sunday, August 05, 2018

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Is it a Burden?


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
      

Is it a Burden?

     A young Jew from Amsterdam came up to me at my tefillin cart. He said he liked my YouTube videos very much. After a while, he asked me if he should try to bring the Jews he meets in Amsterdam to do mitzvahs.

     He said, "I don't feel to do it because I don't want to burden them."

     I told him, "Because the mitzvahs are a burden to you, you do not want to share them with others. If you knew how wonderful the mitzvahs really are, you would be on the street looking for Jews to share them with."

    This is probably the single most major mistake religious Jews make. When they hear that we are to accept upon ourselves the yoke of Torah they picture a sweaty animal tied to a yoke and straining to pull a heavy load!

     But the simple reality is, the Torah does not come to give us a burden. The Torah comes to take away a burden.

     With or without a Torah life we still have to plough the field of daily living, but without the Torah guiding us our animal instinct tells us where to go… and it drags us along with it looking for all the things that animals like.

     But, when our goals are aligned with Hashem's wishes for us our lives are spent looking for holiness in the physical world. When you serve your Creator, life is a joy… an uplifting experience if you do it right.

 

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Thursday, August 02, 2018

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Yearning


    by Reb Gutman Locks   
      

Yearning

 

     When the First Temple stood the revelation of Hashem's presence would be revealed in the Temple continually, and on the holidays it would increase.

     Even though it was revealed this does not mean that every Jew experienced the revelation. Yes, everyone would notice something different, each according to his or her individual level, but unless the Jew looked for it, they would not see it… almost not at all.

     The same thing happens today, albeit on a much lower level. When we come into a holy place day after day, the awareness of that holiness will either increase or decrease daily. It depends on our desire to experience it. We have to seek the experience in order to recognize it, and obviously, first, we have to do what Hashem wants us to do.

     If we fulfill the commandments with only physical intent, then that will be all we will experience day after day, year after year. We have to look to see the holiness within the commandments.

     King Dovid, the beloved of Hashem, would ask, "How long will You hide Your face from me?"

     We should also be asking this question...lovingly and thankful that we even know to look for it.

 

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Tuesday, July 31, 2018

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Should We Go Up Onto the Temple Mount?


   by Reb Gutman Locks
     

Should We Go Up Onto the Temple Mount?

 

     Many years ago, on Fridays, I would go up to the guard shack that is on the roof next to the top of the Kotel. I'd go to put tefillin on the guard there. While he would read the Shema, I would take off my shoes and go stand on the dome of that building which is just across from the golden dome and maybe half as high. I think that the dome where I would stand is actually a little over the lower levels of that part of the Kotel.

     Wow! What a place to stand and look for Hashem's Presence. The best in the world! At least it's the best place in the World where we are told we can go today.  

     But shouldn't we go up onto the Temple Mount itself? Aren't some Jews and some rabbis saying it is time to go?

     How can I decide? Should I follow my heart? What I want? Should I follow those who say it is time now?

     I am not on such a level that I can make this decision myself. I have to look to the leaders of our times and see what they say.

     The Baba Sali the most famous miracle worker in our days did not go up. Rav Kadduri the famous mekubal did not go up. The famous Rav Ovadia Yosef did not go up. And the Lubavitcher Rebbe said it is a sin to go up now.

     So, I ask, what do I have to gain by going up now, and what could I be losing?

     I think I will have to wait… Yuck!  

 

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Sunday, July 29, 2018

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Smart Guy


   by Reb Gutman Locks
     

Smart Guy

 

     He came up to me at my tefillin cart and said, "Seven years ago you saw me smoking and you yelled at me to quit. Actually, you yelled at me a few times because I didn't listen at first, but finally I listened, and I quit smoking. I haven't smoked in seven years. Not only that, but like you said, now that I quit I can't stand the smell of them.

    "Then you yelled at me to get rid of my non-Jewish girlfriend, and I listened to you. And, thank G-d, I married a wonderful Jewish girl.

     "And now, just today, I received my rabbinical ordination, so I am a rabbi. Thank you very much for changing my life."

    Smart guy…he listened to good advice and look where it took him.

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

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Positive Thinking


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     

Positive Thinking

 

     A new study shows that cancer patients benefit from positive thinking, it can boost their survival rate. They found, "Cancer treatment should include positvie emotions as this could be of great help in fighting cancer."

     When we look at the negative things going on in our lives, which all of us have, we become negative, down. When we look at the positive things we have going on in our lives, as all of us have, we become positive.

     Your mindset, your mental health, and now they say your physical health too, is your call…it is entirely up to you.

     There is an old Yiddish saying that has been teaching this lesson for centuries; "Think good and it will be good."

 

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

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An Argument


   by Reb Gutman Locks
     

An Argument

 

     There was an argument in the minyan this morning. A friend of mine read that I put tefillin on a Jew who was a x-ian minister.

     He said, "You should be more careful not to put to tefillin on a kofer (a denier)."

     I insisted, "You never know what effect a mitzvah can have on a Jew. It could very well save his life."

    He argued, "A guy like than should not even be allowed in here. Go ask the Rabbi."

    I asked the Rabbi. Not that I needed an authority to tell me that it is alright to put tefillin on such a Jew, but I thought that maybe my friend would listen to the rabbi.

     The rabbi said, "If he is a Jew he must put on tefillin."

     It didn't change his feelings on the subject.

     Often religious men come up to me at the tefillin cart and ask, "How do you know that they are clean," meaning that I shouldn't put tefillin on them.

     Sometimes I get frustrated with their attitude and say, "Why do you think that your fellow Jew is dirty?" That usually shuts them up, but not always.

     My general rule is; we don't keep the sick people out of the hospital.

    

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Monday, July 23, 2018

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After the Fast


    by Reb Gutman Locks
1:30 AM After the Fast
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Thursday, July 19, 2018

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A New Life


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
      

A New Life

 

     He walked up to me smiling. He didn't seem Jewish. I asked him if his mother was Jewish and he said, "No, she's a x-ian," so I montioned that he could go on to the Kotel. But then he said, "But, my grandmother was Jewish."

     "Your father's mother, or your mother's mother?"

     "My mother's mother."

     "If your mother's mother was Jewish then your mother is Jewish no matter what religion she follows. And if your mother is Jewish then you are Jewish. Are you sure that your mother's mother is Jewish?"

     He said, "Yes, we all knew it."

     Right then everything turned around for him.

     I put tefillin on him and he read the Shema out loud in English. I sent him to the Kotel to open his heart.

     A new man. I explained now that he knows he is a Jew he has to go learn what this means … what he is supposed to do about it. I told him to go to the Chabad House in his town. One of the smartest things Chabad does is not to insist on a Jew already being Torah observant before they are welcomed into the congregation.

     He walked in looking like a friendly gentile tourist, and he walked out a Jew excited to see what his new life is going to bring.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2018

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Baruch Hashem


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     

Baruch Hashem

 

     He is from Russia, but he moved to Israel some years ago. When he first walked by he said that he didn't have time to put on tefillin because people were waiting for him. I told him that it would take only one minute, and I gently pulled his arm. After reading the Shema in Russian I told him to pray for his family and to thank G-d.  

     He gave a big smile and in Hebrew, but with a thick Russian accent, loudly said, "Baruch Hashem I live in Israel. Baruch Hashem I have an apartment. Baruch Hashem I have food. Baruch Hashem I am healthy. Baruch Hashem…and he kept going on and on and on.

     This Jew knows the secret to living a happy life. Thank G-d for all the good things He is giving you and not only will you be happy with what you have, but He will then give you even more. Baruch Hashem

 

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Sunday, July 15, 2018

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The Nine Days


   by Reb Gutman Locks
     

The Nine Days

 

     Oy! Days of mourning are sad; yet we can elevate even these sad days. This exile was caused by Jews hating Jews without reason. We can reverse the exile by reversing its cause. Jews can love Jews without reason … without reason other than they are Jews. We can do this by even such a small thing as a friendly smile, or any helping hand. Especially if this helping hand brings the Jew you are loving closer to living a Torah based life. Not only will this help to reverse the exile; it will pick up the Jew you are helping, it will pick you up, and best of all, it will make Hashem happy, too. A really good deal!


It's a US number but that's the way to reach me here via phone.

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Thursday, July 12, 2018

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What Is A Jew?



by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

     What does it mean to be a Jew?  What is so unique about the Jewish People? Are
Jews any different than the other Nations of the World?
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