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, January 15, 2019

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Why Give?


   by Reb Gutman Locks

Why Give?

 

     Giving tzedakah (charity) is a Biblical commandment, so surely this is the reason we should give it. But when someone asked an elderly chassid why he gave tzedakah he did not answer because he was commanded to give it. He answered, "Because the poor guy needs it."

     These are two very good reasons to give charity; we are commanded, and it helps people who need.

     If neither of these reasons moves you, here is a third; According to two new studies conducted by researchers with the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, it makes us happier to give to others than it does when we give to ourselves.

     You want to be happy? Give some charity to a poor person. He'll get happy. You'll get happy. And G-d will get happy, too.

     Great reasons to give.

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Sunday, January 13, 2019

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Yelling!


   by Reb Gutman Locks
     

Yelling!

 

     I was on my way to the Kotel to daven mincha and when I went past one of the Yeshivas there were a few young American students standing outside by the door. One of them was smoking a cigarette. I asked him if he was stupid. He looked insulted. I said, "You don't look stupid, but then why are you smoking? Surely you know smoking is stupid."

     One of the other boys walked over to me and said, "You are embarrassing him! You are not allowed to yell at people like that."

     I said, "If it saves a Jew's life you are allowed to yell at him."

     He did not accept my answer and kept telling how wrong I was.

     Finally, I said, "Do you know how many lives I have saved by yelling at them if they do not listen?"

     He refused my answer.

     Just then the guy in the picture pushed in and said, "Thank you for getting me to quit smoking. You yelled at me and I listened."

     I laughed and said, "Hashem sent you to answer this guy" (the one who told not to yell at them).

      I walked away very happy while the group of boys watched me go, and guess who walked by? The new rabbi who I yelled at to quit smoking 7 years ago who listened to me.

     I yelled back at the group of boys, telling them that their rabbi quit smoking because I yelled at him. "Not only are you allowed to yell at someone, but if it will save his life you are obligated to yell at him."

    The boy who told me I was an embarrassment walked over and asked me to forgive him.

     I love it when Hashem sends me help.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aCPH3J5LXsc

What's Wrong with Smoking?

 

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

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Equal Rewards?


   by Reb Gutman Locks  
             Equal Rewards?

 

     The reward a Torah scholar receives, and the reward a struggling student receives are the same, as long as they both do as much as they can.

     "We learned that both the one who does much and the one who does little are equally rewarded provided that each directs his heart toward Heaven"[i]

     When a Jew offered up an expensive cow in the Temple, it was a sweet aroma to Hashem. If they offered up a little sheep, it was a sweet aroma to Hashem. Even if they offered up flour it was a sweet aroma to Hashem. But all this was on the condition that the one making the offering directed his or her heart to Heaven.[ii]

     These sources teach; one who does more, and one who does less receive the same reward.

     How can this be? Doesn't it seem unfair that the ones doing more or giving more receive the same share as the ones who are doing or giving less?

     The answer is, as long as we do, and give with a full and good heart the reward is so very great that no matter how much we do, or how much we give, the reward will be way beyond our merit. Even if we do a tremendous amount while we are here in this world, what we will receive in the Next World will be far more than we earned.

     Obviously, we have to do the physical things required in order to gain entrance to the Upper World, and, yes, we certainly have to direct our hearts to Hashem, but even after doing these things, we ourselves do not open the Upper Gates. Those mystical gates open from the top down, from the Higher to the lower… only by His mercy.

 



[i] Gemora Berachos 17a

[ii] Mishnah Menachot 13

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Tuesday, January 08, 2019

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Why Do they Refuse?



   by Reb Gutman Locks

Why Do they Refuse?

 

     He is a 77-year-old Israeli living in Washington State, never put on tefillin before, strongly refused to cooperate, but gave in to my insistence, and as you can see, he had a great time.

    Why does a Jew refuse to do such a pleasant, meaningful mitzvah especially at the Kotel?

     They all have their own invented reasons. Obviously, none of their reasons are valid, but to them they are. It seems to me that the most "popular" reason to refuse is that they are afraid if they put on tefillin it will open a door to them being bossed around and they will no longer be able to do such things as eat at their favorite restaurant, or they will have to turn off the TV on Shabbos, grow a long beard, and "who knows what!"

     The truth is, we do wish that this one mitzvah would lead to such things, and if they have a good enough time doing it, it very well might lead to them wanting to do more, but the reality is that their freewill goes with them wherever they go, so they will continue to live the life they choose each day.    

     But it does happen from time to time that someone will come up to me and say such things as, "You won't remember me, but seven years ago you put tefillin on me here at the Kotel, and you showed me how to pray for my family, I want you to know that I have been doing it every day since." Baruch Hashem!

 

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Sunday, January 06, 2019

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When you try to help a Jew



by Reb Gutman Locks Mystical Paths


-When you try to help a Jew.  What if you get the guy you are trying to
help really angry at you? Is it better not to try to help others than to maybe make
a mess of things?

 type article here -
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Thursday, January 03, 2019

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Record month for rain


    by Reb Gutman Locks
      

 Record month for rain

     Several rainfall stations in Samaria and coastal plain record December rainfall quantities unseen in these areas since December 1991.

Thank G-d!

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Tuesday, January 01, 2019

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Idolatry


   by Reb Gutman Locks
     Idolatry

 

     When idolatry first began the idolaters thought that they had a valid reason to make their idols. They mistakenly thought, since Hashem is so, so wonderous, and so, so above all of us it is impossible to focus on Him Himself, so they thought to make something to represent Hashem (G-d forbid). Then they would hug and kiss that statue saying it is only a tool to satisfy their need to know G-d. Later, it sunk even further, and the statues became their actual gods!

     Certainly, they were entirely wrong in their thinking, but how do we answer their question? How can we serve and love and even "kiss" Hashem since He is so, so beyond all?

     This is why Hashem gave us His Torah. The mitzvahs are our way to love Him. By doing a mitzvah and directing our hearts to Heaven it is as if we are hugging our Father, our King, our Creator. Indeed, the mitzvahs are a wonderful gift to those who want to love G-d.

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Sunday, December 30, 2018

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It’s Raining in Jerusalem!


   by Reb Gutman Locks
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Thursday, December 27, 2018

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What Works?




   by Reb Gutman Locks

What Works?

 

     Daniil wants to know: Teach me; how do you convince them to put on tefillin. I could use this in my "campaigns."

     Gutman's reply: Everyone is different, so you never know what might work or what won't work. Often, we have to try a few different things.

Obviously, find out if he is Jewish first, or do not put tefillin on him.

    Here are a few things that might help.

    Number one, do not ask, "Do you want to put on tefillin," because he probably doesn't or he would have already put them on that day. Actually, his Jewish soul wants him to put them on, but his animal inclination doesn't know it.

     Instead, say; Come put on tefillin.

     If you see that he is being negative, quickly add something like, It will only take two minutes. Come, I'll help you. It's a good thing. Come. And reach out with your hands to bring him in. And smile.

     Don't expect them to be so ready to put on tefillin. If they were so favorable, they most likely would not need our help.

     Another very important thing; when you get him to put them on, make sure that they have a good time doing it, so they will want to do it again. Don't just give them mechanics in a language that they do not understand!

     They will have an enjoyable experience if you show them to read the Shema, in a language they understand, and then explain how doing a mitzvah brings a "Time of favor," a time when Hashem, so to speak, listens with both ears. Have them take advantage of this and pray for their loved ones, the Jews in danger, their personal needs, have them say thank You to Hashem. Help them to learn to talk to G-d in their heart.

     Some other things that can work, depending on where the Jew is holding; Come, it's a mitzvah. It doesn't cost money. You can help Jews in danger by doing a mitzvah and praying for them. I've gotten tough Israelis by holding the tefillin piece by my ear like a telephone and saying, "It's for you. Someone wants to talk to you." They sometimes laugh and come over to me.

     And even if you didn't get him, you softened him up for the next guy to bring him in.

 

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Tuesday, December 25, 2018

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Seeking Comfort


    by Reb Gutman Locks
      

Seeking Comfort

 

Yaakov wrote;

Hi Reb Gutman,

     An xian friend of mine said "find the shalom that comforts any and every situation"

       I was stunned at the meaning of this. I thought it was great.

       He is an old friend. not trying to convert me at all.  But then I thought, wait... is this from a xian thing in their book?

       So, I looked it up and apparently there is a quote about yashkie 'comforting' his followers (lehavdil) and shalom.

      So it bothered me... that such a meaningful statement... I cannot use because it has an xian source.

     What do you suggest about this?  Finding shalom in every situation is good because it's Hashem..   even being comforted by it is good, but for me, with my particular very bad sensitivities to xianity, I have to be careful.

    What do you think or suggest?

 

Gutman's reply:

     You are right to be careful of such things. A Jew must get all his or her spiritual teachings only from a proper Jewish source. Even if we would find something seemingly wise from other sources, if we would praise that idea, we will later come to praise even the bad things they say.

     Remember, this is referring to spiritual teachings from the Nations, not physical, i.e. scientific concepts.

     So, for instance, seeking comfort in every situation… comfort can come from drugs or perfume that hide the cause of the pain. Better than comfort in every situation being the goal, let's find the solution for whatever situation we are in. Hashem sends those discomforts to teach us something.

      As for finding "the shalom in every situation," you are right we want to find Shalom (Hashem's name) in every situation, i.e. seek Hashem everywhere. He is our source of comfort. It makes a huge difference in your daily life, in your awareness, if your goal is to find Hashem in your life or if it to merely seek comfort.

Be well

 

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Sunday, December 23, 2018

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Gutman's Poem

by Reb Gutman Locks



Gutman's Poem

 

Clocks click

Time slides

Brains hide

Memory hushes

Skin dries

Hair falls

Mirrors appall

Stride smalls

Face wrinkles

Teeth blink

Height ducks

Ambitions taper

Activities sag

Bones narrow

Muscles droop

Voice creaks

Knees squeak

Body bends

Appetite dims

Doctors pat

Sex was

Sleep's paltry

And Heaven calls,

Yet, now's

the best years of 'em all.

Thank G-d

 


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Thursday, December 20, 2018

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A Friendly Cannibal



by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths


-What if a cannibal happens
to be a very nice guy? What’s wrong with a friendly cannibal?

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Tuesday, December 18, 2018

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Yaakov Already Said So


    by Reb Gutman Locks  
     

Yaakov Already Said So

 

     When we read in this week's Torah portion that Yaakov switched his hands and placed his right hand on Yosef's younger son Ephraim to give him the primary blessing, and his left hand on the older grandson Manasseh to give him the secondary blessing, we should not be surprised. He already told us that he was going to do this.

     He switched his hands in line 14, and in line 5 he already said, "Your two sons … shall be mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine like Reuben and Simeon."

     He not only put Ephraim before Manasseh here, he said that Ephraim and Manasseh will be like Reuben and Simeon. Reuben was Yaakov's firstborn, the older, and Simeon followed, so Yaakov already said that Ephraim is to go before Manasseh.

     Why did Yaakov want Ephraim to receive the primary blessing? When Yosef gave Manasseh his name he said, "G-d has made me forget all my hardship and all my father's household."

     When he named Ephraim he said, "G-d has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering."

     Yaakov knew that his descendants were going to be exiled for many years in lands of suffering, and he did not want us to forget our father's household. He wanted us to be fruitful even in the lands of our sufferings.


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Sunday, December 16, 2018

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Just Found Out


   by Reb Gutman Locks  

 

     He just found out that he is a Jew. He is covered with improper tatoos and has lived a life without the slightest idea of a Jew's role in the world. Up until now, he has had only one path before him. Do what ever you want to do. Now, he has two paths before him; do whatever you want or to do or do what Hashem wants you to do.     

     Which path will he take? I do not know. Neither does he just yet, but like the rest of us, he will find out when he gets there. 

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Saturday, December 15, 2018

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What do you say? And will you be saying it too?

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

I came home from work to find one of my daughters raging mad at the death of a baby, born by c-section after his mother was shot in the stomach by an arab terror attack.

A short time later another daughter arrived home bringing news of soldiers being murdered while protecting a bus stop in the Shomron (West Bank) - mentioning that she knew one of the young men who was murdered, who apparently was a young man from our neighborhood who was drafted into Netzach Yehuda - Nachal Charedi, the ultra-orthodox IDF infantry battalion.

Both situations left me with nothing to say - stunned at the evil which continues to be perpetuated in 'Palestinian' society and actively supported and financed around the world (noting the UN's refusal to declare even the most evil acts terrorism).

All I can say is that while the Jews are usually the first to suffer attacks, they are never the last.  If the world doesn't stand up and actively stand against such events, then shortly thereafter they are occurring throughout the Western world.

My daughters are older now, the youngest involved 17, and weren't looking for parental explanation.  For tragic events we say Baruch Dayan Ha-emes, Blessed is the True Judge.  I don't understand the why or the Heavenly plan that requires such - but I do understand that if we are not standing up shouting NOT OK and pushing our governments to actively take actions against such barbarity, it will spread.
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