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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Thursday, November 21, 2019

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Turning Things Downside-Up



   by Reb Gutman Locks  

Turning Things Downside-Up

 

     Here is how you can learn to help sad, negative, or depressed people turn their lives downside-up. It doesn't take much, but you have to be prepared, and you have to do it over and over again.

     Start like this. Tell your negative friend that you are going to make a series of negative statements about him, or about the world, and he is going to have to answer each one of them right away with a positive statement… and you are going to help him or her to learn to do this.

     For instance; say to him, "Your bead is getting grey."

     And he is going to have to learn to say something like, "Thank G-d. Do you know what the alternative to getting old is? (Dying young!)

     "You are very short."

     "I never bump my head on the ceilings."

     "You got a traffic ticket today."

      "Thank G-d I didn't get arrested, and I can pay the bill."

      "You're not rich."

     "Thank G-d, I'm not poor."

     "You have only a few friends"

      "Thank G-d for each one of them. They're great"

       And on and on…

     Make up a list of things that your friend surely sees to be negative… things that if he wants, he can look to the positive side of… and then you have to train him to respond quickly, and positively, until he turns his downside up.

    You will be a wonderful friend, a great teacher, or maybe even a lifesaver to each of the people you teach. You might even become an Upside-Trainer.

 

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

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Missionaries


    by Reb Gutman Locks   

Missionaries

 

     The other day a small group of missionaries came to the Kotel Plaza and put on vests with large Hebrew and English writing;

     "Suddenly you are going to die and be asked if you believe in yushka. If you say 'no' you will go to hell forever."

      I was shocked! How in the world could these brain-dead believers in that idolatry come stand in this holy place and try to sell that garbage to Jews?

     The guards ran over and had the police throw them out.

     Whenever I talk to x-ians and give them one of the many examples why not to believe in yushka they almost always say, "We got to go," and quickly walk away. They are so brainwashed that they believe if they weaken their faith in yushka the least little bit they will burn in hell.

     Jews should learn the most obvious reasons why that religion is totally false in order to defend themselves and their families from these missionaries.

 

Answers to a Pastor

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

 

What's Wrong with christianity? 

https://youtu.be/xw8l8G-uhnA

 

Why Don't Jews Convert to christianity? 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TBFN5wDXu4Y

 

Is christianity Idolatry?

 https://youtu.be/zxm26c4rklk

 

Isaiah 53 Link 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mcty0Or-u5g&t=50s

 

 

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Sunday, November 17, 2019

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And Avraham Bound Yitzhak


      Hebron-The Burial Cave

   by Reb Gutman Locks   

And Avraham Bound Yitzhak

 

     Before our Father Avraham placed his beloved son Yitzchak on the altar, he bound him. The Midrash says this was so Yitzchak would not jerk and ruin the slaughtering.

     It seems to me that he tied him for a different reason. Had Avraham not bound him, Yitzhak, the devoted son that he was, would not have let his aged father lift him and place him on the altar. He would have climbed onto the altar himself. But this would not have fulfilled the commandment. Yitzchak was not commanded to offer himself on the altar. Avraham was commanded to bring his son onto the altar.

     The devotion of our Fathers was on a level none of us can understand today.

 

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Thursday, November 14, 2019

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1+ 1 = 1



   by Reb Gutman Locks   
       1 + 1 = 1

 

     A small group of non-Jews came up to me by my tefillin cart at the Kotel and asked a few questions. They are almost always sincere unless they have missionary ideas. They pretty much ask the same questions and I answer them as an opening to explain to them the first of the Seven Commandments of Noah… Do not worship a limited god, i.e. No Idolatry.

     Yesterday, one of them blurted out that he was an atheist.  

     I told him, "An atheist says there is no G-d. If you cannot prove that there is no G-d you cannot be an atheist."

     He became upset with me and said, "I can fly. Can you prove I can't?"

     I tried to explain that I did not have to prove his beliefs, but he did. He got frustrated with me and walked off.

     Had he not stormed off how would I try to prove to such a person that G-d exists? I always use the simplest answer.

    "Do you believe in existence?" They usually say they do.

    "Do you believe that all existence is one existence?"

     They usually agree to this…

     Well then you believe in G-d, but you call Him Existence. Existence is G-d's Most Holy Name." (The Name "Hashem" means "To Be")

      Atheists do not usually change on the spot but they go away with something to think about.

 

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Tuesday, November 12, 2019

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Guided Meditation for Divine Awareness

by Lazar at Mystical Paths
 

Guided Meditation for Divine Awareness


To find purpose and joy in life requires Divine awareness of the Infinite Creator, always, at every moment. This was how King David lived his life, as he declared:
שִׁוִּיתִי ה' לְנֶגְדִּי תָמִיד
'I have placed the Eternal with me, always.'

The following meditation guides the listener through four stages of Divine awareness, leading to a deep connection with the Infinite Source, our Divine mission in life.

https://youtu.be/rYtxk5V_qfM
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Competition



   by Reb Gutman Locks  
     Competition

 

     Right now, you are in competition with someone, and you have to be better than this person or you will not be a great success today. This is the only person in the world you have to outshine.

     "You-now" are in competition with "you-yesterday". If you are a better person today than you were yesterday, even a tiny bit better, then you are a winner! Good for you. You're really great!

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Sunday, November 10, 2019

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I Don’t Know Why


   by Reb Gutman Locks   

 

      Yossi at the tefillin stand asked me to try to bring over an older American and his son to put on tefillin. They were refusing everyone who asked. I went over and they refused me too. He's 83 years old and didn't remember when (or if) he had ever put on tefillin.     

      The son said, "We have to hurry. We don't have time!"

     "Don't worry the pizza won't get cold."

     "We only have one minute here."

     "Come, use the one minute for this. You'll have a good time, I promise."

      The son walked away not wanting anything to do with it.    

      I used my usual lines with the father, the ones that I have seen work the best over the years and I was able to pull him in but his son ran away. I wrapped the tefillin on the father and then his son walked back over to us. I had the father bless his son and somehow, I was able to bring the son in, too. Maybe, since his father did it, he felt that he could do it to.

     After saying the Shema I explained how doing the mitzvah opens the spiritual door above. I had them stand by the Kotel and pray for their loved ones, and for the things they want to happen in the world.

     A few minutes later the father came back and I said, "You should see your face now. You look totally different than you did when you first came in. Really… I wouldn't lie to you."

     It is amazing how their faces change when they talk to Hashem in their hearts. For most of them; in their entire lives they have only talked to Hashem when they were really hurting!

     I told him, "Your son who didn't have any time and had to leave in one minute is still standing by the Kotel talking to Hashem."

     The son came back and we took pictures … they had a really great time.

     Then Shmuli pointed over to another father and son who were friends with the ones we helped and he motioned that they refused put on tefillin. I went over and said, "Put your right hand on you son's head and give him a blessing."

     He didn't want to.

    "Nu! Give the boy a blessing."

     He reluctantly put his hand on his head and repeated the blessing.

    "Now come put on tefillin." He refused.

    "Come it doesn't cost money!" He refused.

     Whatever I tried …. "No!"

    "Look what a good time your friends had."

    "No!" and they walked away, almost angry with me for being insistent.

     Why? Why would a Jewish man bring his family all the way to Jerusalem from across the ocean, and while standing by the Kotel absolutely refuse to do a simple, painless mitzvah? I really do not understand why they refuse.

     Maybe they feel if they put on tefillin they will have to become religious and give up their own way of doing things… or maybe they think that they will be saying that they have been wrong all of their lives…. 

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Thursday, November 07, 2019

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A Haunted House


   by Reb Gutman Locks  
     

A Haunted House

 

     When a troublesome thought continues to disturb you, depending on the depth of its disturbance, it can get so bad that it makes you feel as if you are living in a haunted house. That thought returns over and over again reminding you of the very thing that you do not want to be reminded of. What can you do?

     The Alter Rebbe said to ignore it. Not all of us have that strong a will that we can do such a thing, so then what can we do?

     That bothersome thought will continue to come as long as it bothers you; either because you desire what it reminds you of, or because you hate what it reminds you of. Either way, it is going to return over and over again until you can feel, "So what." Then it will stop coming.

     How can you come to such a place? Whenever that thought comes consider it to be a sign that you must immediately have a positive thought, a thought about something holy, or pleasant, or anything loving to you. If you will actually train yourself the same way you would train yourself to lift weights, or any other training, you will have pleasant thoughts and that disturbing thought will cease to disturb you, then, it will cease to come.

     As soon as it comes, immediately think that holy thought, or say, 'I love You Hashem', or whatever works for you, and your haunted house will become peaceful again.

 

 

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Tuesday, November 05, 2019

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Graveyards

   by Reb Gutman Locks   

World's Largest Underground Burial Tunnel-Jerusalem


Graveyards

    There is a major problem with not having enough land to provide everyone with an individual burial plot here in Jerusalem. So, they came up with this idea for a massive underground tunnel with the bodies placed in small slots lining the walls of the tunnel.

     When I first saw this new arrangement for burial it really bothered me. It seemed so impersonal, like just stacking the remains without individual concern, but then I remembered that really this is how families used to be buried, only obviously on a much smaller scale.

     It used to be that a family would have a burial cave, and they would place two (or as many as it would hold) burial slots on each side and in the rear of the small cave. So, this new idea is really not new at all. It is just much, much larger.


Individual Burial Plots-Mt Olives-Jerusalem

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Sunday, November 03, 2019

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Hashem Knew



   by Reb Gutman Locks  

 

     Not only did Hashem know that Adam was going to sin… that the world was going to have to be destroyed… that Avraham was going to father the Jewish People… that the Torah would be given…, but He created the world with all this in mind.

     If Adam had not sinned, we would all still be living in the Garden of Eden with no need for sacrifices, and holidays, and such service of Hashem. But from the very beginning of creation, on the fourth day, Hashem said, "Let there be luminaries in the firmament of the heaven to separate between the day and the night and they shall serve as signs, and for festivals, and for days and years…"[i]

    Our wonderful holidays were prepared for us even before we were created.



[i] Genesis 1:14

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Thursday, October 31, 2019

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Lackadaisical


   by Reb Gutman Locks

 

     Shalom Alechem Gutman,

     A friend of mine was wearing a wide brimmed hat to shul this past Shabbos. He was advised that it was too wide and therefore was considered an ohel [tent].

    That got me to thinking, would HaShem be happy that he showed up to shul with this hat or would he have preferred that he stay home.

    Without going through the full debate I went through in my head, the conclusion I arrived at is that HaShem would not be happy that he went to shul.

     Not only would he not be happy that my friend went to shul, but also he may not be happy with any of us going to shul. You see I think we as Jewish people have become complacent and too comfortable with going to shul. Don't get me wrong, going to shul is not a bad thing, I go every Shabbos and plan on continuing to go, but I feel it has made lackadaisical with doing what HaShem truly wants. That is sacrifices at the Beis HaMikdash [Temple].

     I know there are people devoted to studying about the Beis HaMikdash but why don't we have a "think tank" going? We should be thinking about how to open The Temple Mount and build the 3rd Temple. Perhaps this is why Moshiach hasn't arrived yet.

Your thoughts?

Thank you for taking the time to read my question and think about an answer

Zev

 

Shalom Zev,

     If the community is getting "lackadaisical" by going to shul with all the support that is there, how much more so would they become lackadaisical if they stayed at home. Community is an essential aspect of Yiddishkeit. We grow by seeing each other.

    We are trying to build the 3rd Temple… by learning Torah and by doing the mitzvahs.

    But where you are right is that the vast majority of Jews do not have the proper kavanah (intention) when doing a mitzvah and this is why they are "lackadaisical."    

     Whereas now, at best, they are doing the mitzvahs because Hashem told us to do them… instead, they should be doing them experiencing the joy and holiness that comes from doing them.

     Right before doing a mitzvah we say, "…. Who has made us holy with His commandments."

     What a wonderous thing to be able to do!

     Baruch Hashem for the precious opportunity to do a mitzvah. If you stop and think about what the blessing says when you do the mitzvah, not only will your service and awareness of Hashem not be lackadaisical, it will become vivid, joyful, … holy.

Be well

Gutman

 

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Tuesday, October 29, 2019

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85 Years Old


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     85 Years Old

 

     He said he was a Reform Jew so he did not need to put on tefillin. He is 85 years old, a retired banker from America. He said that he had never put them on before but later he remembered a "mitzva tank" putting them on him some 35 years ago. That's his 15-year-old grandson who had never put on tefillin. He had no idea what they were. A very nice boy who did not understand the importance of Jews marrying Jews even after I explained it to him. He does not feel that there is such a need.

     They are very fine people who understand that we have to live good and productive lives, but they have been so absorbed into the American culture that they do not understand the importance of Jews surviving as Jews.

     Four thousand years of Jewish history… from our father Avraham until now… two thousand years of Jewish exile… from the destruction of the 2nd Temple… withstanding such hatred as the holocaust, yet as far as these nice people go, it doesn't matter if tomorrow there are any more Jews in the world! Nor does it matter to some other 80% of the American Jews today. Oy!

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Sunday, October 27, 2019

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How Do You Know?


   by Reb Gutman Locks

 

     A father brought his young son over to me at the Kotel and said that the boy had a question. He seemed to be around 11 or 12 years old.

     The boy asked, "How do you know if something is true?"

     I was surprised that a young boy would ask such a question.

     I told him; first know that Truth is not the ultimate goal. When Hashem made the Universe, He created it with the attribute of Truth, but He saw that the world could not stand up to such a strict requirement, so in His Kindness He created the attribute of Mercy and Mercy came and threw down Truth so that there could be Peace. Peace is the goal, not Truth.

     But to answer the question; the way for us to know if something is true or not is to look to where it goes. So, for instance, look and see where almost every Jew who strayed from the Torah went. His grandchildren are almost always not Jewish. So we see that the Torah is true. It leads us to the place we want to go.

    Whenever you have a question, if something is true or not, look to see where it comes from, and look to see where it goes.

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Thursday, October 24, 2019

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“Let Us…”


   by Reb Gutman Locks 
      "Let Us…"

 

     And G-d said, "Let us make man in our image."[i] This is one of the biggest questions in the entire Torah. Who was G-d talking to? Did an "us" create man in their image? In whose image is man made?

    One well-known explanation is, He was talking to the ministering angels and showing humility. Another explanation He was talking to all of creation. There are a number of explanations that try to resolve this question.

     This is how I see it; Hashem was not asking for assistance from anything. He said "let us" just as He said, "Let there be…" in His other acts of creating. But here He was referring to Himself,[ii] and to the Earth, i.e. the Land, the adamah.

     Man, Adam, is made of body and soul. His body is made of earth and it will return to the earth when he passes from this world. His life force, his soul, is a portion of Hashem above. When he passes from this world his soul will return to its Maker and it will have to answer for its behavior while in this world. So, man is made in the likeness of Hashem, that is, his soul, and his body is made in the likeness of the earth.  

     Life is a temporary opportunity. One minute in this world is worth more than the entire World to Come in that we can set our future while we are here. We can change nothing once we are in the World to Come.

     One minute in the World to Come is worth an entire lifetime in this world for the bliss that we will experience there from the revelation of Hashem's glorious Presence.

     Our accomplishments while we are in this world not only determine our place in this world, they also provide us with our closeness in the World to Come.

 



[i] Genesis  1:26

[ii] Genesis 5:1 "He made him in the likeness of G-d"

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Wednesday, October 23, 2019

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He Causes...


   by Reb Gutman Locks  

He Causes the Wind to Blow and the Rain to Fall

Thank G-d… Rain in Jerusalem


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