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, September 15, 2019

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“…or Your Mother Will Break Both Your Legs.”


   by Reb Gutman Locks

 

     Jorden has two smaller brothers. Their father is a physician in New York. He brought the family to Israel for a ten-day vacation. I saw them early in their trip and then towards the end he came up to me and said, "I want you to know that the highlight of the entire trip was when you told the boys, 'You have to marry a Jewish girl.' They really understood how important it is. Thank you."

     I usually tell them in a funny way so they will remember it, but then I tell them the real reason.

    "What's the most important thing in the world? You got to marry only a Jewish girl or your mother is going to break both your legs!" They almost always laugh. "What's the real reason you have to marry a Jewish girl? All religions in the world except Judaism go by belief. Whatever you believe in that's your religion. You can change it every day by getting a different book. But we are not Jews because of our belief. We are Jews because of our mother. We are not a religion. We are a people, and people go by the mother so you have to marry a Jewish girl so your children will be Jews like you and your mother and father.

     Another thing, one out of 516 people in the world are Jewish. And one out of four Noble Prize winners are Jewish. Get the best. Marry a Jewish girl."

     I must have said these words a thousand times. How many have come back to me later and thanked me? I am always surprised, but now and then a Jewish man will come up to me and tell that I told him these words 10 or 15 years ago and because of that, today they have a Jewish family.

     Thank G-d for the opportunity to help, especially in such a life changing way.

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Friday, September 13, 2019

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Techeiles - A Meditation Into Infinity

by Lazar at Mystical Paths

Techeiles - A Meditation Into Infinity


התכלת דומה לים וים דומה לרקיע ורקיע לכסא הכבוד

 
Rabbi Meir teaches us (see Sotah 17a, Menachos 43b, Chullin 89a) that the color of the techeiles strings aren't merely a beautiful indigo blue. 
They contain within them a sacred meditation that crosses the sea, reaches to the sky, and finally culminates in the Throne of Glory, the point where all of existence finds its true Infinite Source.

This meditation guides the listener through this sacred journey.

https://youtu.be/eNjkmC1tkVw

Lazar can be reached via email: guidedjewishmeditation@gmail.com

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Democracy Failing, Secular Culture War!

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths


(Photo - sunrise over the Judean Hills in Beit Shemesh, Israel - Sept. 12, 2019 - (c) Reb Akiva)

One of the strangest aspects of being an American ex-patriot (an American living overseas) has been watching the meltdown of American culture from a distance.  The Obama years brought a strange twist with an upswing in liberal edge values, but that was normal swinging between the poles of US values and US political direction.

The normal swing the other direction came and... the liberal segment of society refused to release power.  They sued, they investigated, they refused to implement policy...effectively a LIBERAL COUP D'TAT in the United States of America.  What else do you call the refusal to transfer power and the refusal to allow the new legally elected administration to exercise its authority?  (Think for a moment the reaction if the same had been done to Obama.)  That story has not yet come to its end, but chaos in the U.S. through the next election cycle, especially if Trump wins, looks likely.

The cultural and political situation in Israel is coming to a similar head in copycat ways, though for different reasons.  The modern State of Israel was created primarily by a Jewish political class that was non-religious and "new zionist".  They came to a cultural agreement to basically leave the religious segment alone to do their thing and stay out of the way, with minor government support of basic religious services.  (This is referred to in Israel as the "status quo".)

But the Jewish religiously observant segment of the population has grown tremendously over 3 generations, and the ultra-orthodox segment has grown at an even faster rate.  They are no longer a minor 5% of society but somewhere from 20-45% of society (depending on how you measure).

...and Israeli secular society is looking at a majority swing to Jewish religiously observant over the next 10 years.  (I'm not talking about charedim, who are a sub-segment of the swing group with their own high growth and growing influence and impact.)

As in the U.S., the system is "democratic" and "fair" and "just" until the majority is in threat of power loss or control loss through democratic change.

The Israeli court system has been finding against the religious segment regularly, finding new "democratic" rights to protect the (current) majority positions - greatly upsetting the religious segment.

And in this election, EVERY left-wing or centrist-ish party in Israel is campaigning AGAINST THE RELIGIOUS.  Not against the right-wing, not even (directly) against Bibi - Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.  Rather they've started a direct culture war AGAINST THE RELIGIOUS.

"Against a State of Religious Law"
"Against 'them' taking our children away (making them become religious)"
"Against spending public money supporting Judaism"

This is their fear of loss of power and loss of control, and they're going to fight it to the end.

Suddenly the "we respect rights" and the "we respect the rule of law" and "we respect everyones freedom" has gone out the window.  Parents should not have the option to educate their children how they choose (religiously), or live how they want (choosing to spend time with Torah instead of high powered careers), or adjust public institutions (the army) to accommodate religious citizens (rather than force them to be secularly culturally indoctrinated).

It's not a surprise, but it is disappointing.  Democratic values are better than socialism or communism or facism, but can also be manipulated, taken advantage of, twisted, and misused for their own benefit.  And that's what we see happening in both the U.S. and now in Israel.

Trust only in G-d.

And if you are in Israel, vote Otzma Yehudit in this election.  They won't be perfect either, but at least they will push to protect the Land, its citizens, and Judaism.
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Thursday, September 12, 2019

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Who To Vote For in Israel ?!?

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

A long time reader asked, "There seems to be a split in how to vote in the upcoming Israel elections. One view (among parts of the ultra-orthodox Jewish community) is not to vote because it might be a trap, and haredim are saying not to be included and not responsible. (Peleg and Eida). The other view says vote Yahadut HaTorah (Rav Kanievsky)

I also feel there is a “surprise” result to this election.  I think that Netanyahu would do whatever he can to get elected (unscrupulously).  Even link with the Blue and White party (which would get him out of actually declaring sovereignty on our Eretz Yisrael).

Can you do any kind of analysis, and post it?"

Sure, I've been meaning to -- and you've motivated me to get to it, here we go...

The position of the Lubavitcher Rebbe has always made the most sense to me as a religious Jew, it is: vote for a religious party and a party that protects the Land of Israel's territory (that does not go with "land for peace" - or as can better be written nowadays "land for pieces of Jews blown up").

The problem is that the seemingly ultra-orthodox Jewish religious parties, United Torah Judaism and Shas are: NOT RELIGIOUS, and have demonstrated historically that they have no care for protecting the Land OR the citizens of Israel.

What they are is good old fashioned patronage parties for their segment of the observant Jewish community, meaning they exist to funnel government budget and resources to their people.  This is easily demonstrable by looking at their record: when religious issues have arisen, such as Shabbat construction on public infrastructure in Tel Aviv - they avoided being drawn into the issue (of governmental desecration of the Sabbath) which could have forced them to leave the government coalition. And they have supported land for pieces of Jews (for additional budget allocations).  But on budget issues and control issues of certain government authorities, they will push it to the limit.

It should be no surprise they have strong support among their constituency, and are growing through the strong demographic growth of their segment of society.  After all, if your jobs or yeshiva or synagogue are dependent on their party success...you are theirs.

So what parties care about the Land of Israel, the safety of the citizens of Israel, and the support of Judaism and Jewish culture in this the Land of Israel?

There are only 3:  Otzma Yehudit (The Jewish Strength Party), Yemina (The New Right Party), and Noam - which is a pop-up insta-party coming out of a segment of the national religious community.

Otzma Yehudit has been under continual attack by the secular system, including having 3 party members banned from running for the Knesset, because they insist that Jewish religious and cultural rights should have equal priority in the Land and State of ISRAEL as democratic rights.  This means no more land for pieces of Jews, and the courts shouldn't be able to decide that the secular fad of the moment overrides Judaism.

Yemina, a mess of a mix of small right wing groups and power trips of who should be in charge of what, has Bennett and Shaked, who were Education and Justice ministers that made significant changes in these roles previously.  Bennett re-introduced basic Jewish education to the Jewish population in the public school system in Israel, after it had been dropped.  And Shaked had been reforming how judges are chosen to move qualified judges who are also religious into the court system, where people with religious views were almost completely unrepresented.

Unfortunately they made a mess of managing the internal party politics and their own ambitions, and trashed their previously successful structure.  And they're having to deal with a variety of arguments such as "everything they supported was not 100% religious" and "they are not personally sufficiently religious".

Noam actually might be interesting as they don't suffer from the mistakes of Yemina's leadership or the secular attacks on Otzma, but they have taken some extremist religious positions and are unlikely to gain enough votes to enter the Knesset.

This leaves Otzma as the only viable option for a religiously observant Jew in Israel.  The primary argument against them has been that they might not achieve the minimum necessary to get in.  However polls say they should succeed, and the chaos of Yemina and other factors are moving enough voters in their direction.

As a religious Jew living in the Land of Israel, I consider it prohibited to vote for United Torah Judaism or Shas, as both have never shown any concern for the Land of Israel or for the safety of the citizens of Israel, nor for the religious character of the State, which is the responsibility of every Jew, particularly those who call themselves religious.

In Israel, politics can be an existential - life or death - matter.  Wars or terrorism, G-d forbid, or prosperity and stability, can come from the decisions these politicians make.  And a generation can be drawn to or repelled from their eternal heritage as Jews the same way.

For these reasons I urge every citizen of Israel to vote Otzma or Likud.  It's the only reasonable response to an election campaign which has turned against JUDAISM.  That's a discussion for my next article.
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Kundalini


   by Reb Gutman Locks
      

Kundalini

 

     Again, a Jew thought he was doing really great spiritually only to have fallen into the pit of idolatry. Kundalini is part of Hinduism. It is called the serpent power that lies coiled up at the base of your spine. Then, as you practice their idolatry that serpent begins to rise up your spine.

 

 Shalom Rabbi!

     My name is E…, I'm 27 years old and living in Israel.

Few years ago, I had a kundalini awakening and I'm suffering badly from it ever since. 

It's causing me to do circle movements with my spine and hips and chanting mantras and so on.

At the beginning I was sure I was blessed or something because I saw Spirits/Angels and entered many states such as "bliss" "Samadhi" and so on.

     But as time passed, I started to feel it's going nowhere and basically maybe even going Down.

Those experiences and energy made me more arrogant and not more spiritual.

I thought maybe it's because I'm not "ready enough" for receiving this "חסד" [kindness]

But now after hearing your story I suspect it's even not a kindness anymore. At least not for me a born Jew. Maybe for Indians it is.

      I've listened to your story and thought maybe we can meet and you can help me out and give me tips how to come back to our Father and to my way as a Jew.

Toda Raba, E….  

 

Gutman's response:

     First and most important is to totally reject anything that comes from that practice/religion/. Say to yourself that you do not want anything to do with any of it.

     Next; make sure that you have NO books or any other references to any of those practices in your possession. No pictures, statues, souvenirs, beads, nothing at all that talks about or came about because of your involvement with it

     Next; whenever a thought, indication, feeling, sense, or anything at all that begins to feel like the sensations you had from that tumah,(uncleanliness) gently say something sweet to Hashem, or sing a nice soft song in your head to Him. Hashem is everywhere including right in front of your lips. Speak gently and say something like, "Hashem I love you. Thank you for all Your help."

     Those feeling will continue to come back for some time, at least for as long as you are interested in them even if your interest is to reject them. Until they become meaningless to you.

     Are you putting on tefillin every day? Keeping Shabbos? Eating only kosher food?

     You will not get rid of the tumah without being fully occupied with tarahah. (cleanliness)

     Do teshuva, (repentance) lovingly and thankfully

     Go through my YouTube channel and see which videos will help you.

     For instance:

Turning to G-d

Demons

     It won't be easy, but you can get rid of all that tumah by replacing it with the Holy.

     When you need an answer to a question write a short letter and I will answer it.

     This month, Elul, is the month of teshuva.

Be well

Gutman

 

E… wrote back:

     Thank you very much Rabbi, 

I'll start to reject those feelings; I was sure this energy is Divine because it made me enter to trance states and dancing for God.

I will try to put tefillin every day and maybe with time passes keep the Shabbat. 

     Do you have any specific days that you are at the Kotel? 

I want to come and put on tefillin next to you I need some support of a Holy man like you because this energy is too strong sometimes...

     I feel like a meeting with you will help me to wake up again my Jewish spark within and motivation to get back to my roots of Judaism.

     Will it be possible? 

 

Gutman's reply:

     Reject the teachings in your head but do not reject the feelings. When you reject feelings, you wrestle with them which makes the attachment even stronger. When they come, the best is to ignore them, but this is almost not possible especially when you are first trying to rid yourself of them. What you do is when the feelings come, you think of something holy, gently. If there is a strong feeling as if it were a physical sensation, imagine the feeling spreading in an enlarging circle from its center where it feels the strongest, spreading on and out past your body.

    It will take a lot of work. Once you let it in, it is more difficult to get rid of tumah than it is to get it.

     I am at the Kotel every morning before neitz (sunrise).

     You should go to the mikvah every day, too. The mikvah purifies us from tumah

     Remember, when you do a mitzvah, if you did not do it happily, with joy, you did not do it right.

     Do teshuva with love and joy and Hashem will bless you so you will be able to help others.

Send me good news

Gutman

 

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

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A Bird Dropped By


   by Reb Gutman Locks

 

     It was a few hours before sunrise… I was sitting, learning at the Kotel when I heard something fall next to me. Unusual. I looked over and I saw that a bird dropped from his perch on a wall. Birds don't usually do this.

     I looked at him and he kept shaking his head. Then he flapped his wings but he couldn't fly. Instead, he landed on the floor just a few feet away.

     I thought, maybe I should help the guy? When I stood up and reached out, he flew away over to the Kotel, but he couldn't reach a landing space on the Wall. Instead, he tried to hold onto the side of the Wall just a couple of feet off the ground, flapping his wings very hard. A few other birds came flapping around him but he was stuck, in serious trouble, couldn't fly and flapping hard to cling to the side of the Kotel.

     I walked over and reached out to take hold of him. I intended to grab him over his wings, but his wings were up when I reached him, so I took hold of him by his body. It was so soft, and light, it felt very sensitive, even delicate. I could feel his heart beating hard.

     I took the bird and with both hands I threw him hard up into the air hoping that he would be able to make it to a high place so the wild cats that frequent the place would not get him. Instead he flew out the gate and on into the sky, flying away high into to freedom.

     What a nice feeling. Able to help a helpless bird secure his life.

     I watched him fly off high into the sky and somehow I felt a little like I was watching us when we went out of Egyptian slavery 3300 years ago. Nice.

 

 

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Sunday, September 08, 2019

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Elul - Repentance



   by Reb Gutman Locks   
       Elul - Repentance

 

     The month of Elul leads us into Rosh Hashanah (the Jewish New Year). It is a time of favor for teshuva (repentance). How does one successfully turn from having done inappropriate deeds? What is the best way to repent today?

Turning to G-d

(link)

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Thursday, September 05, 2019

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More Optimistic

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Tuesday, September 03, 2019

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Talmud


    by Reb Gutman Locks  
     Talmud

 

     The Talmud contains additional Oral instructions that came along with the Written Torah that Hashem gave to the Jewish people through Moshe, our Teacher. These teachings were not allowed to be written for many centuries, but then, when the sages saw that these explanations were being lost, they had to be written down.

     There are two main collections of the Talmud, the Yerushalmi and the Bavli. The Yerushalmi contains the Oral teachings as explained by the rabbis in the Land of Israel, and the Bavli features the teachings as explained by rabbis of Babylon.

      There is a general principle when learning these two versions of the Talmud. When there is a disagreement between them concerning a matter of physical halacha (Jewish Law) we follow the Bavli. And when there is a disagreement between the two versions on a spiritual matter, we follow the Yerushalmi.

     This basic principle reflects in our lives today. When calculating the physical aspects of life, a Jew might very well hold by the Bavli, i.e. live in America or other physically prosperous countries. And when calculating the spiritual benefits in life, a Jew will certainly hold by the Yerushalmi, that is, he or she will live in the Holy Land, and as close to Jerusalem as they can.

 

 

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Monday, September 02, 2019

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Ellul Musings

by Aharon Rubin at Mystical Paths

Ellul Musings

    Ellul, its astrological sign a בתולה virgin holding a sheaf of wheat, is the seeding ground for the oncoming days of Tishri.

    The ARI zal instructed his disciple, R. Chayim Vital, that the first 48 hours correspond to, and thus lay the foundations for, the twelve months of the approaching new year: each four hours corresponding to one month.1

    The 13 'corrections' or adornments of the 'Holy Beard' of the Holy One of Ancient Days, the thirteen attributes of G-d's Loving Mercy with which He conducts the world, are now seeded into the superconsciousness, or supra-consciousness, of the metaphysical root of the unification of Time/Space that come into fruition during the first 10 days of Tishri.

    These days thus begin the forty days of the formation of the foetus, culminating in the Day of At-one-ment, when Moses brought down the [second set of] tablets of the Decalogue. (The nine months gestation-period culminates in Sivan, the Sinatic revelation and giving of the Torah.)

    Forty days are noted to be the time it takes to change a characteristic.Use these forty days to make a small change for the better. Acquire a new habit. Just forty days of work - and you'll have it for life!


Footnotes:
1. Sha'ar Ru'ach HaQodesh
2. R. Elimelech of Lizhensk, Tsetel Qoton (§17); also see: Mishnoh Nidoh, 3:7; Menochoth 99b; Bechoroth 21b.
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Sunday, September 01, 2019

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Don't Blow It Out



by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths


- type article here -
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Thursday, August 29, 2019

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The Jews and the Moon


   by Reb Gutman Locks

 

     Jews are often likened to the moon. There are a number of reasons given, but mainly because the moon renews itself. This means that both the Jew and the moon know that when it is dark soon there will be light again.

    There is another strong likeness to the moon. Even in its darkest days the moon is still the moon. No matter what it does the moon is the moon. Likewise, a Jew who is totally assimilated, who does not know any Torah whatsoever, who is totally dark to awareness of Hashem, is still a Jew.

     A Jew can never stop being a Jew, so it makes sense for each of us to fulfill our roles as Jews, not only because this will bring us the best life we could possibly have, but simply because it is what we are.

 

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Wednesday, August 28, 2019

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Redemption Now



   by Reb Gutman Locks  
 
Someone sent me a letter objecting to my last article where I wrote that the Redemption has already started. He brought down many different horrible quotes of the terrible things that are predicted to happen before the Redemption comes to show that indeed the Redemption has not started. Here is my reply to him.

 

     When, in His mercy, He sees that the People would not be able to survive such treatment, He, in His kindness, spreads such things throughout many generations and locations.

     We ourselves have seen all those horrible things happen in our lifetimes in Europe.

     Right now we are seeing the vast majority of Jews in America not even caring that they are Jews.

     No more is needed. The bill has been paid in excess. Six million innocent Jews were murdered in our lifetimes and another six million disappearing into assimilation. We need no more.

     The Redemption has started, and we will live to see it become obvious to even those who now strongly deny it.

Be well

 

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

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Immigration & Emigration


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     Immigration & Emigration

 

     Immigration by Jews and their relatives to Israel rose by nearly 30 percent in the first half of 2019 over the corresponding period last year. And the number of Jews leaving Israel has dropped to its lowest level in more than three decades.

     Things here in Israel are good, and they are getting even better.

     This is another wonderful indication that the Redemption has already started. Hashem promised us that right before the End Days He would bring us home, and have us thrive in our own Land, and He is doing this right now. This has not been the case for the past 2,000 years. Welcome Home.  

 

 

 

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Sunday, August 25, 2019

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A Blessing


   by Reb Gutman Locks
     A Blessing

 

     The wonder of it all…. The little boy is watching his father give him a blessing. The father became emotional, overcome by his love for the boy and he started to cry. The boy looked up at his father concerned, not knowing why his father was crying.

     The Kotel… a father's love for his son… a little boy's innocence… the wonder of it all….

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