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, May 27, 2018

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Talking to G-d

   by Reb Gutman Locks  
   

I Love It

 

     We all have busy days filled with all kinds of things, some activities seem mundane and some seem really special. For me, one of the most special moments of my day is when after having helped a Jew to put on tefillin and read the Shema, I explain to him how important it is for him to talk to G-d.

     I tell them, "The mitzvah (having fulfilled the commandment) opens the door to Heaven, take advantage of it, picture everyone you love one at a time with light on their faces and smiling and ask G-d to bless them, pray for our soldiers, the Jews in danger, say thank You, take a couple of minutes and talk to G-d in your heart."

     Almost all of them greatly appreciate the advice and turn their hopes to G-d. They close their eyes and open their hearts. I love seeing their faces when they do it. They always thank me warmly. It is probably the highlight of their day.

     I like it so much I made a video of it.

Talking to G-d 

(video link)

 
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Thursday, May 24, 2018

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Idolatry in Tzfat

   by Reb Gutman Locks   
      

Idolatry in Tzfat

 

Chaim, from Tzfat, (northern Israel), wrote: I just saw this on a popular Tzfat group. What do you think? Actual hardcore avodah zara (idolatry)?

 

Kundalini Yoga class: Kundalini yoga with the yoga teacher and sound healing therapist. Kundalini Yoga is the yoga of consciousness that brings about change in physical, mental and emotional bodies. The class includes body postures (asanas), breathing exercises and meditation with live didgeridoo music. The teacher of Kundalini yoga is also a sound healer with didgeridoo and Tibetan bowls.

Gutman's reply:

    Jews who practice yoga like to say that all the idolatry that is inherent in yoga has been removed, which, as long as they call it yoga, is simply not true. But with Kundalini yoga they cannot even pretend to say the idolatry has been removed because the actual technique is idolatrous.

     Kundalini yoga teaches there is an energy resting at the base of the spine and with their technique you can raise that energy up through the chakras (centers along your spine) and to the top of your head, and you will attain "god-realization." "You will see that you are god and live forever." They call this coiled up power the "serpent power."

     Who in the Torah says the same thing? In the Garden of Eden the snake tells Eve, if you will eat of this tree (that G-d told you not to eat of) you will not die. Your eyes will be opened, and you will be like G-d.

    It's the same serpent, but they call it the way to god-realization, and we call it a snake!

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Tuesday, May 22, 2018

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Fasting

   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     

Fasting

 

 

     There is a small, very fine kollel (advanced Talmud studies) in the Old City that specializes in Jewish mysticism where from time to time they hold a three-day fast. No eating or drinking for three days! They are very dedicated Jews, and are, as far as I can see, all extremely humble Jewish men…, but when I asked one of them to try a different kind of fast, a "fast" of three days of only spiritual joy, he asked me, "What…, you want to start an argument?"

     I have seen the results of fasting from food and drink, and I have seen the results of spiritual joy… abstaining from sorrow and negativity. In my experience, the spiritual joy "fast" brings far greater results.  

     In some ways the food and drink fast is much easier. All you have to do is refuse to eat or drink. It is easier to remember that you are fasting, too. But the spiritual joy "fast" is much subtler. You have to be on guard against even negative thoughts.

     Obviously, no one can control their thoughts so what this "fast" requires is if a negative thought does come you must quickly think two positive thoughts.

     Tools that make the Joy "fast" easier are to go through your day counting your blessings, thanking G-d over and over again, seeing how close we are to Redemption, doing mitzvahs remembering that they bring holiness into your life, helping others… After a while it gets easier and easier until it becomes your way of being.

     The Vilna Gaon said that the most difficult mitzvah in the entire Torah was to be happy all seven days of Succoth. It may be difficult to learn how to be happy all the time, but it is certainly worth the "effort".

 

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Thursday, May 17, 2018

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A Happy Radish

   by Reb Gutman Locks 
   

A Happy Radish

     
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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

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Thanks to the New Embassy





    by Reb Gutman Locks
        

Thanks to the New Embassy

 

     Thanks to the dedication of the new United States Embassy in Jerusalem a number of American dignitaries came to the Kotel. Among them were a very popular radio talk show host, Mark Levin, and Paul Teller one of President Trump's aids.

     Beside both coming to Jerusalem for the same reason, and both being Jewish, they both had something else in common. It was the first time either one of them had ever put on tefillin.

     Thank G-d for the opportunity to help such influential Jews learn about our ancient mitzvahs.

 

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Sunday, May 13, 2018

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Zen Monks & Self-Defense

   by Reb Gutman Locks   
      

Zen Monks & Self-Defense

 

    Moshe, a Jewish youth is traveling and wants to go live in a Zen Buddhist Temple for two months to study martial arts. He wrote me asking for my approval.

 

Moshe wrote:

     "I was writing my father asking approval and he says that if you say yes then I have it!

Please look at the conversation." 

 

(To his father:)

     "I want to stop for 2 months in the Shaolin Temple (birth place and number one school of Kong Fu) to be a Shaolin monk for 2 months which means meditation and Kungfu training from sunrise to sunset   

     The meditations are to test discipline and ego to ensure that the practice does not fall into the wrong hands. 

     This does NOT involve worship or prayer or idolatry of any type. 

     The meditation does not involve any mantras or dogma —-it's simply the clear your mind meditation nothing more. 

     The philosophy is simply to be a kind honorable protector of the kindness and goodness left in this world and NOT to be taught or used as a destructive or dominant weapon (protection only). 

     They do not require any religious conversion for students (they are happy with 500€ per month)

     ONLY the teachers/masters living in the temple indefinitely must actually follow Zen philosophy and life style. They don't mind use of Tefillin or other, not too time consuming Jewish worship and religious practice, as long as it does not interfere with the training. 

     I might need to wear the clothes!!

     Meditation (not of any specific type) and serious training + payment 500€ is all required. 

     I'm telling you this because they ask all ages about parental consent on applying for "Kong Fu boot camp" 

So I really need your approval!!"

———————

And this is his father's reply:

     "I don't know about this... but rabbi locks in the rova would.  If he says it's ok..  then I would"

———

Moshe to Gutman:

     "As I know you already, my guess is that you would make me start doing tefillin for your permission go and I guess I would say, ok !!

    At the moment I'm completely not religious, but I will do any Jewish thing you ask for permission to go there. 

    If I go immediately, i will not be shaved when my next hair grows since they shave every 2 months  

     So is my guess right???

    Do I have to open myself to the possibility of Judaism to give it another chance to get your permission???

Thanks for your time."

 

Gutman's reply:

    Shalom Moshe,

     Although almost all of those teachings are just martial arts you would be putting yourself in spiritual risk by going into a Zen Temple.

    If your objective is to learn self-defense then there is a much better system being taught here in Israel, a system that people come from all over the world to learn. It is called Krav Maga.   

     Beside the fact that it is a better self-defense system you would be learning in Israel mostly with Jews and not in a Zen Temple mostly with monks who can seem very impressive… and who could actually steal your spiritual life away.

     Their objectives in life are the opposite to ours. They teach detachment, letting go of the world, and we teach proper attachment so we can elevate the world.

     I do not recommend you going to those classes but rather learn the better system here.

Love to your father

 

I sent my reply to him and to his father.

His father replied:

     Thanks.  I knew the answer, but I knew he would not listen to me.  Hopefully he will listen to you.   Keep up the great work.

 

Gutman's reply:

     For him to live in a Buddhist monastery, dressed in robes, practicing meditation and martial arts with zen monks for two months is insane. He could end up there with their goals and life style for years!

Be well

 



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Friday, May 11, 2018

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Demons



by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths




Are demons real? How could such a crazy thing like that possibly
exist? But there are some Torah sources that mention them…. But wait… there are
also some Torah sources that say they are not real. So, then who is right? Both
of them are right!

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

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Answers to the Letters



                                                          
                                                         
   by Reb Gutman Locks
     Answers to the Letters

The picture is a double U … a W

            Peh is the 17th letter in the Hebrew aleph bet. Peh is also the Hebrew word for mouth and the letter is shaped like a person's mouth.

     Did you come up with any?




   

            

 

 


   
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A Letter

   by Reb Gutman Locks
    

A Letter

 

     When they invented, or better yet, when they developed the English alphabet there was one letter that did not have a name, so (at least it seems to me) whoever was doing it gave that letter its name from the way it often looks.

     I see one letter in the Hebrew aleph bet that also looks like its name. And that letter's name is its meaning, too. Shall I tell you which letters I am referring to, or give you a minute or so to find them, or maybe make up your own?

     I will send out the answers in a few minutes.



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Tuesday, May 08, 2018

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Breathing Torah





    by Reb Gutman Locks   
      

Breathing Torah

 

     Torah is likened to water. This is because Torah and water have so much in common. For instance; they both come from above to below, both are essential to life, both purify…. But also, Torah (& mitzvas) can be likened to breathing.

     We must breathe in and we must breathe out. Either one of these alone would not enough. Although we experience the breathing process as if it is automatic, the reality is, that just as did Hashem intentionally breathe the breath of life into Adam the first man when He created him, so too is Hashem intentionally breathing our breath in and out of us all day long.

     Even though we have an essential desire to breathe in, as if we only need air in our lungs, the fact is, if we do not breathe out we could not breathe in. So, we see that breathing out is just as important as breathing in.

     Our Torah learning is really the same. It is not enough that we bring Torah and mitzvahs into our own lives, we have to breathe out, too. We must also bring what we have learned into the lives of others.

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Sunday, May 06, 2018

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No Way!

   by Reb Gutman Locks   
      

No Way!

 

     He's an Israeli. I put tefillin on his brother, but when I tried to bring him in too he refused, "No Way!"

     I tried to pull his arm pretending to be pulling hard but not really pulling him. He laughed, but he wouldn't budge.

     He is covered with very colorful, immodest tattoos, big holes in his ears, several earrings, the works.

     When I asked him, "What's the meaning of all these things?"

     He said, "There is no meaning."

     Senseless, life scarring!

     I took the tefillin off his brother and then as a last resort I tried an old gimmick that I made up years ago that makes them laugh but rarely ever works. I held the tefillin up to my ear as if I was listening to something and I called out to him, "It's for you. Someone wants to talk to you."

     He laughed and then, much to my surprise, he walked over and held out his arm for me to put the tefillin on him.

     A really nice guy, but oh so many lifelong scars, just to say, "I'm different" … if that's the message.

     Jews! We have to try to help everyone of us. You never know what even a small act of kindness will do to help change someone's life.

 

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Thursday, May 03, 2018

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Attraction

   
by Reb Gutman Locks   
     

Attraction

Ariel asked:

    Are Jews allowed to use the law of attraction?

Gutman's response:

     Most briefly, the "law of attraction" is a teaching that whatever you think about will come about. It has been around a long time, and as usual, the various religions add their bits to it and make it a religious practice.

      Can a Jew use it? Well surely not the Buddhist or Hindu or any other spiritual inputs. But the most basic belief is found in Jewish teachings in an old Yiddish saying; "Think good and it will be good."    

     This does not mean if you think about vanilla ice cream that you are going to walk around the corner and someone is going to hand you a vanilla ice cream cone. But it is an extremely important concept each of us should understand and use every day of our lives.

     The mood that we have at any given time has been caused by the thoughts we have been thinking. Every one of us has both good things and bad things going on in and around our lives at all times. If we focus on the bad things we are going to have a depressed state of mind. If we focus on the good things we will enjoy a positive state of mind. It is that simple. We have to train ourselves to look at the good going on so we will live joyful lives. This will not only give us positive mindsets, it will also give us longer and healthy lives.

     This does not mean that we are to ignore all negative things. Anything wrong in or around us THAT WE CAN FIX we must pay attention to as soon as possible. But thinking about the negative things that we cannot change merely pulls us down.

     "Think good and it will be good."



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Tuesday, May 01, 2018

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Israel Judokas

   by Reb Gutman Locks  
     

Israel Judokas

 

     A Japanese World Judo champion, a 5th degree Black Belt, came to the Kotel. Oh boy, was he in for a surprise!

     Israeli judokas win big at Euro Championship held in Israel yesterday. The national team snagged 4 medals.      


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Sunday, April 29, 2018

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Wonders

   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     

Wonders

 

Avi Asked:

     I heard about a phenomenon that supposedly has been documented to have happened to 160000 Buddhist monks called Rainbow body. As someone who spent time in the East is there a Torah explanation on how it could happen?

Gutman's reply:

     There are many "wonders" that happen with magic and the spiritually unclean practices of the East. The Torah testifies that Pharaoh's magicians could do almost all the wonders that Moshe did. When Avraham sent his children that he fathered with Keturah away to the East he gave them gifts. Rashi tells us those gifts were unclean powers. So, we see that such unnatural things could possibly happen.

     This does not mean that those tales of "Rainbow body" actually happened, but it shows us that even if they could happen they would not be what we want.

     "Rainbow body" is said to come to Buddhist monks who spend their lives in meditation and then when they die their bodies shrink and or turn into light.

     Ignoring the world and living a life of fulltime meditation is not our goal… not at all. Neither is light our goal. As beautiful as light is, it is not what we want, not even the Endless Light. There is the orh ein sof (light without end) and there is the Maorh ein sof (The maker of the light without end). Although light was first in creation, glory is higher than light.

     Our attention is towards Hashem, the One Who brings all phenomenon into existence. We strive to elevate the world by using it for good... not to ignore it.

     We are told when an exceptionally righteous Jew dies his body does not deteriorate, and there have been a number of cases when Jew's bodies have been dug up many years after their passing and their bodies had not decayed.

     The body, when used properly is a holy vessel. It has been given to us to use to accomplish our mission in this world. We are to respect it and take very good care of it. Even if we could, we would not want to shrink it and turn it into light.

     

     To sum up: I have had no personal experience with "Rainbow body" and almost certainly it is not being reported accurately, however I have seen more startling things than this in India as the gurus and magicians use koach tumah (spiritually unclean power) to do such things as to appear to materialize diamonds. The point is those monks died in their souls and minds a long time before their bodies died as they wasted their lives sitting on mountain tops meditating on nothing.

 

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Thursday, April 26, 2018

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Noise

   by Reb Gutman Locks   
    

Noise

 

      The Talmud gives us a very clever metaphor to explain humility.

     "The charity box with the fewest coins makes the most noise."

       Have you ever been in a room where a number of men were going around shaking their metal charity boxes trying to draw attention to their request for charity? A box full of coins makes almost no sound at all, while a box with only one or two coins makes a huge racket as the coins bang around from side to side.

     People with few accomplishments feel that they have to make a lot of noise so they will be seen.



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