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Friday, December 19, 2014

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Chanukah–Light on the Right

by Reb Aharon Rubin, author of Eye to the Infinite…

מזוזה מימין נר חנוכה משמאל

The Gemoro says that one should light the menorah by the door, the Mezuzoh on the right doorpost and the menorah on the left. The door, says the holy Reshash, is shaped like a letter ches. The ches, according to the Ari, is comprises of a vov connected to a zayin.

The vov symbolises the purely spiritual, the Torah, Olom HaBo. It is the side of the Neshomoh and the yetser hatov. The zayin on the other hand symbolises this world, the material, the nefesh habehamis.

When we affix a Mezuzoh, we make the brochoh לקבוע מזוזה – to affix a Mezuzoh. Mezuzoh ‘happens’ to have the same gematriah as the Name of G-d that means “my Master” – the name א-ד-נ-י. By affixing the Mezuzoh, we are throwing a spiritual lasso round a firm spiritual peg, affirming our kabolas Malchus Shomayim, fixing the Shechinoh within our homes.

The left side of the door is this world. It – most of the year – is the sleeping partner. It is affixed to the Vov, subservient to it, shlepped around and limping. It receives holiness from the right side but has no voice of its own.

Not so on Chanukoh. On Chanukoh the light of Techiyas hameisim was revealed, the left-over little jug of oil, the little bit – the ‘breath of the bones’ (הבלא דגרמי) – that is left over the niftar. From that, there sprung to life the light of the Menoroh – for eight whole days. Eight is the number of Techiyas hameisim, of the days of Moshiach.

Chanukoh is a revelation, a spark, from the times of Moshiach. It is where this world, the zayin, the gashmiyos, the apparent darkness of the vessel, will be transformed into light. Chap aran – nem a latkeh un mach a brochoh!! LeChayim!


Thursday, December 18, 2014

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It is Lucky that Yehudah the Maccabee Did Not Ask...

via Torah HaRav Aviner

Yehudah the Maccabbee is the one who started the Jewish rebellion against the Assyrian/Greeks, who’s victory we commemorate as Chanukah today.

It is lucky that Yehudah the Maccabee did not ask politicians, because if he had they would have told him that one must consider the possible international pressure, and he would have sat and deliberated and deliberated.

It is lucky that he did not ask too many military strategists and experts, because they would have told him that there is no chance of delivering "the strong into the hands of the weak," and they would have broken his spirit.

It is lucky that he did not ask statisticians, because they would have revealed to him the secret that we are "the few against the many," and he would have been afraid of the demographic demon.

He also did not ask Roshei Yeshiva, because if he had, they would have ruled that it is forbidden for yeshiva students to interrupt their Torah learning, and then there would not have been a delivering of "the heretics into the hands of those involved in Your Torah".

He also did not ask too many Rabbis, because if he had, they would have told him that it is forbidden to challenge the nations of the world, and that we do not rely on a miracle, especially where there is a real potential for danger, etc., etc...

He also did not ask the humanists, because they would have confided to him that one soul of Israel is worth more than a few kilometers of land and is more costly for the Nation.

He certainly did not ask those who are pure-of-heart, because they would have depressed his spirit, and preached to him that it is not proper to kill or to be killed.

He did not ask deep thinkers, because – with their great depth - they would have confused him and stopped him with discussions of the order of priorities: Perhaps the Nation takes precedence, etc., etc...

He did not ask the pacifists, because they would have illuminated his eyes to the greatness of peace, and told him that one should never use violence, and that goodwill will resolve everything.

He did not ask too many questions, but he fulfilled his national and spiritual obligation. He jumped into the lion’s den, with amazing self-sacrifice into the great battle which saved Israel. And then all of the politicians, all of the strategists, all of the statisticians, all of the Roshei Yeshiva, all of the Rabbis, all of the humanists, all of the pure-of-heart, all of the thinkers, and all of the pacifists became sages after the fact, and they lit Chanukah lights as a remembrance of the victory, and these lights illuminate our lives from those days until this time.


Early Morning at the Kotel

   by Reb Gutman Locks   

   Early Morning at the Kotel   


       Early this morning, when we were putting on our tefillin at the Kotel, one of the men from a small group of Korean visitors stared up at the dark sky, threw his arms up into the air, and started screaming! He wasn't screaming because someone was bothering him. He was screaming out to G-d, but it wasn't a pleasant song, it was just loud and harsh. Maybe, if I hadn't seen them reading their so-called, "new bibles" I would have been more patient with him.

     Sometimes, early in the morning, especially on Shabbos when it is very quiet, a few black Africans come and sing and dance close to the Kotel. Their "songs" must be in "tongues," the x-ian, evangelical exercise of releasing their feelings through meaningless mumbles "…muglehamperistagbulitwatkididdo!" They jump in small jerking dance steps, shaking their arms and heads, and mumble out loud. I move away from my regular place, close to the Kotel, and I sit further away and wait for them to leave. It bothers me to hear them while I begin the early quiet prayers that I say before davening.

     I yelled out to the Korean in Hebrew, knowing full well that he would not be able to understand, "Be quiet!"

      The rabbi who specializes in the mystical teachings of Torah called over to me saying, "Leave him alone. It's a segula!"

     A segula is a spiritual remedy. I assume (if he was serious), that somehow having a gentile screaming out for help from G-d at the Kotel will relieve some Jews from having to scream out for help in his country.

     Then a yeshiva rav came over and semi scolded me saying, "Leave him alone. They are a sign of the Redemption. King Shlomo wrote that in the End Days all of the nations of the world will come to His house to pray."

     I quickly rebutted, "King Shlomo said, 'to His house,' to pray as in His house, not to bring their idolatry with them."

     He asked how I knew they were idolaters. I told him to go look at the books they had open in front of them.

     The Kotel draws all kinds of people from all over the world, most are simply tourists, but also some of the most righteous people in the world, and some of the nuttiest. What do these two totally different kinds of people have in common that the Kotel should be such a draw to both of them? Holiness draws people who are not so attached to the ground, and neither holy people nor nuts are firmly attached to the ground. (Obviously, for entirely different reasons)



Wednesday, December 17, 2014

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To Be a Mench–The 1st Candle

by Rebbitzen Rachel Wheeler at Mystical Paths

To be a Mentch -

For the 1st candle of Chanuukah - (For the memory of my father)

When my father (z”l) passed away 23 years ago and I felt that the world would not be the same anymore, a relative condolences me and said: “One of last nobles has just passed away”. I cried and quietly agreed.

My father (z”l) was born in Vilna (at the 1st World War) on the 1st candle of Chanuka, he was named Meir. (To shine light upon)

The Kabbalah says that when a baby is born, the parents receive a spiritual aide from heaven to know what is the right name for him/her, what is his/her Shlichus (mission) and Tikun in this world.

My father z”l lived out his mission, without too many sophisticated words, and at times with no words at all. With humbleness, modesty, peace, and with a great compassion towards others.

He was expert in listening. He had such a generous listening that when speaking with him, miraculously my thoughts would become clear, and I would get inner answers to my questions.

When he spoke he had encouraging, empowering words. He did not need positive thinking or empowerment workshops. He did not need coaching or Psychology courses in order to learn how to do it - he was “it”. Empowerment was his essence, his being.

In troubled times, my father used to call me on the phone and leave a message on my answering machine saying: ”Lift up your head, please remember you are not alone. kisses, Abba”. With such a warm, quiet, loving, full with faith (in me, in that everything will turn out ) voice. So much warmth was transmitted from the phone, so much was expressed in very few words. Soon after – everything looked different. Everything was different, for me.

He did not just say words: not hi and not bye….he did not use sophisticated words, he meant each word that came out of his mouth. He was a role model for the Mitzvot of “loving your fellow man”, without any selfish motives, without pride, without preaching, without patronizing and putting the other down. He was simple and authentic in his whole essence - to put light out there. He was a peace pursuer (like Aharon Hakohen), and so many times he was out there putting peace in impossible situations as the only light in the darkness; as the first candle on which he was born and he Baruch Hashem was shining light. In the essence of “a little bit of light expels a lot of darkness”.

This year I decided to write about Abba. To shine more light out there with his memory.

Abba brought out a quality that is mentioned a lot, but very few really understand its meaning. Abba WAS a mentch, a true mentch.

When does someone becomes a mentch?

Once I thought that after 50 everybody automatically becomes a mentch. When I passed 45 I understood that there are those who might never be a mentch in their lifetime.

Once I thought that a man after becoming a father, after understanding that “There are many devices in a man's heart; but the counsel of G-d, that shall stand” (proverbs,19,21); after being kicked and smashed by life challenges – then maybe he will be become a mentch. And then I saw those that became a father (time after time Baruch Hashem) and even became grandfathers, but still have not become a mentch.

And then I started to notice that there are men around even young ones that have it, and then I started to notice those that did not have it and they developed it. Developed? May be it just happened to them?

How do you teach somebody to become a mentch? Who really knows what it means? Who in our times wants to be a mentch? Everybody wants to make their next billion, to be famous , to buy more real estate, to conquer the world, to be charismatic, to reach the peaks, to be “more” (this attitude is not only for the unobservant as the Rebbe Maharash is saying that Yetzer Hara is sometime comes in disguise of a Tzadik).

Many may ask, what is the relevance of being a mentch in our times? Will it get a high rating?

No, it is not the trend (yet). The western society is more interested in how to break the code of the world and to magnetize more money and more success.

But I’m sure that in the upper worlds being a mentch gets a five star rating. I am sure it rips the heavens wide open, it reaches heights like the sound of the Shofar. It passes all the heavenly screens!!!!!!

Here down on earth I saw a mentch. In his quiet mode, with his loving and warm look, with compassion, forgiveness, a true understanding of the difficulty the other is confronting (even if the other is hurting) with no grudge. With authentic passion to help the other, with full generous listening, with humbleness, with true integrity and endless patience. With inner limitless warmth, with the depth of a soul touching another soul, and with endless devotion and dedication….

In these times when we have become so loud, vulgar, rational, achievement oriented, and outspoken I miss his tall ,handsome figure, the deep look, the broad shoulders, the humbleness, the eternal inner wisdom, the endless love, I miss this giant Neshama and purified soul.

What an amazing quality…….. where is it? did it disappear?

I do believe it didn’t disappear, in spite of the impression that it is diminishing like an endangered species…….

In the Zchut of my father my wish is that we will all learn to identify and cherish these qualities of being a mentch. That we will learn to dig down to the depth of our being, from all the places we were hiding it so well - to bring this light out with humbleness into our life.

To the Aliya of the soul of my father Meir Ben Abrahahm Itzhak z”l

Happy and Lichtich Hanukkah

Copyright © 2014 Rachel Wheeler


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

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The Holy Old City

   by Reb Gutman Locks   

The Holy Old City


     "Enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courtyards with praise, give thanks to Him, bless His Name."[i]

     King Dovid gave us this wonderful tool. Dovid was the beloved of Hashem so he knew how to come into Hashem's Presence. His words were not merely instructions on how to enter G-d's physical, Holy Temple. They are instructions for every generation, showing us how to come into Hashem's very Presence today.

     Thanking Him moves us through the outer gate. Then, to come even closer, we move on from thanking Him to blessing Him… calling to mind all of His greatness that we can. The more we recall, the brighter the glory.

     At the very entrance say such things as, "Thank you for bringing me this close, for my life, my health, my family. Thank you for showing me that you are real, for showing me that I can approach your Holiness…" and you will find yourself inside His outer gate. 

     Now, tell Hashem just how great you think He is. "Hashem You fill and surround all. You are the very Source and Being of life. To see You is the very purpose of my life. You are all that I want…." and you will find yourself in His inner courtyard, and you try to cling to the tiniest glimmer of the radiance of His Presence, for even the briefest second.


[i] Psalms 100:4 

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The Holy Old City

   by Reb Gutman Locks   

  The Holy Old City  


     "Enter His gates with thanksgiving, His courtyards with praise, give thanks to Him, bless His Name."[i]

     King Dovid gave us this wonderful tool. Dovid was the beloved of Hashem so he knew how to come into Hashem's Presence. His words were not merely instructions on how to enter G-d's physical, Holy Temple. They are instructions for every generation, showing us how to come into Hashem's very Presence today.

     Thanking Him moves us through the outer gate. Then, to come even closer, we move on from thanking Him to blessing Him… calling to mind all of His greatness that we can. The more we recall, the brighter the glory.

     At the very entrance say such things as, "Thank you for bringing me this close, for my life, my health, my family. Thank you for showing me that you are real, for showing me that I can approach your Holiness…" and you will find yourself inside His outer gate. 

     Now, tell Hashem just how great you think He is. "Hashem You fill and surround all. You are the very Source and Being of life. To see You is the very purpose of my life. You are all that I want…." and you will find yourself in His inner courtyard, and you try to cling to the tiniest glimmer of the radiance of His Presence, for even the briefest second.


[i] Psalms 100:4 


Monday, December 15, 2014

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Hospital Culture

Spotted at a hospital in Jerusalem, Israel…


What kind of hospital posts a sign like this? "Hi, we know you're going to get angry and yell about our service - so don't as we won't listen to you. We won't listen to you if you don't yell either, by the way. Thanks for visiting and don't forget to pay on your way out (or we'll repossess your kidney?)”

(I’m not disparaging this hospital, I’m disparaging the sign.)


Sunday, December 14, 2014

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Starcraft for Shabbos

Starcraft is a popular computer game worldwide, and has actually turned into a national sport in Korea.  And now, they’ve introduced Starcraft for Shabbos…

(Spotted in a mall store in Israel…)


Now they are turning computer games into board games (instead of the reverse).  How…retro.  But good for Shabbos!

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Dreams Dreams Dreams

   by Reb Gutman Locks   

Dreams Dreams Dreams


     Hashem used dreams to reveal His plans to Yosef. Then He linked those dreams to more dreams, and these dreams led to even more dreams. Dreams, dreams, and dreams.

     The first dreams were Yosef's dreams that caused his brothers great disdain for him and led to them selling him as a slave into Egypt. But really those dreams should have been welcomed, if only the brothers had understood their meanings.

     Yosef's first dream was of his sheaf rising up, and their sheaves bowing down to his. The sheaves were of grain so they represented sustenance. The brothers did not know that there was going to be a severe famine, and they would have to go to Yosef for grain in order to survive. Had they known that this was going to happen they would have been very thankful for Yosef's sheaf being able to provide for them and their families.

     Yosef's next dream, of the Sun and Moon and 11 stars bowing down to him, made his brothers even more furious, but had they known that indeed Hashem was going to elevate Yosef to kingship they would have been proud to have such a brother.

     Hashem gave Yosef those two dreams that led to his slavery and to his imprisonment. Then, He gave two dreams to Pharaoh's servants. Their dreams also had to do with sustenance, Pharaoh's sustenance. Because of Yosef's two dreams he was imprisoned, and because of their two dreams he was taken out of prison.

     Then came Pharaoh's two dreams, which were actually one in that they dealt with the same subject, but it was repeated so it came to Pharaoh twice. Pharaoh's dream was also about sustenance, sustenance of his entire area of the world. Then, Hashem used Pharaoh's dream to elevate Yosef from the dungeon to the throne, and to save the world from famine.

     Hashem led them from this dream to that dream, and then from that dream to this dream. Dreams, dreams, dreams. 


Friday, December 12, 2014

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The Beinoni Niggun

Direct Link.  Very powerful niggun – start at 1:10.


Thursday, December 11, 2014


An Energy Healing Experience

A family member of mine asked…

I’ve been ill for some time.  I had this experience today and ask for your comments on it...

I went for a medical massage today, my chavrusha paid for it.  The idea being, I think, that the pain and the illness are causing tension and tightening of muscles, which reinforces the pain and illness.

Anyway, the woman performing the massage talked about energy healing and feeling my energy through touch and I became concerned - is there "energy healing" approaches that are considered kosher?

The woman was a frum woman (an orthodox religiously observant Jewess) in a very charedi (extremely strictly religiously observant) community - but given all I've read on Mystical Paths, I thought she may not know the root of her work.

She waved her hands over me and it made me really uncomfortable, making me think it could be avoda zara (a form of idol worship or from the practices of non-monotheistic religions).

Should I be worried and/or avoid such things?


Reb Akiva answered…  This one is more tricky than others. Most forms of this are a problem, some forms might be ok, and most forms are probably shtuss (shtuss – silliness, meaning in this case having no objective basis in reality – no physical action is occuring) in addition to being avoda zara. 

YET the mind/brain itself has a great ability to deal with some types of problems - and even if shtuss it may subject a strong believer in the healing action (person / energy / act / medicine) to the placebo affect and therefore be effective simply on the basis of believing in it.  The placebo affect (believe in a health / medicine solution and it will have a positive impact) has been proven to work with problems that could respond to direct brain / nervous system responses (meaning things like pain, tension, even some types of swelling or nervous system problems).  Even healing speed and immune system response can be affected, as the mind is unconsciously activating natural body abilities in response to the believed-yet-fake treatment or medication.  (In other diseases, such as cancer, the placebo affect has been shown to, in about 25% of the cases, affect pain and appetite, but not actually help with the cancer / tumors.)

From the patient’s perspective the result can be the same (as if the healing technique was real) as a treatment, that is, real body impact. 

If it makes the practitioner happy and she's not muttering any kind of names, referring to any entities, or foreign terms, just ignore.  There is certainly strong historical belief in spiritual healing, including within Jewish sources.  Similarly we have stories of doctors who have healed just by being there. Again, do they have a malach (angel) of healing following them around, or help people focus their own abilities (invoking a placebo effect), or?

If someone said they want to do Reiki or some system of energy healing, I'd avoid it as prohibited. If a sincere religious person says they "feel some healing energy and want to move it around" - I wouldn't pay for it, but I wouldn't be afraid or avoid it.  (In the next answer, Reb Gutman explains why I AM WRONG – it should be avoided.)

Reb Gutman answers… Hashem (G-d) heal you fully and quickly.

Energy healing is wrong and it does not heal anyone. It is rooted in the wrong assumption that a natural feeling can heal. It surely is used in avodah zara (foreign religious practices but meaning idol worship or non-monotheistic religions – involving other gods and entities) too, but obviously the practitioner you visited doesn’t know it. The physical aspects of it, ie the feelings the person being worked on feels themselves do no harm (nor good) but thinking that they are special or proper spiritual “energy” does harm.

If you read Coming Back to Earth remember when I sat on the corner in NY and thousands of people came and sat by me to feel the “energy.” It can be palpable but it has no healing aspects to it at all unless someone thinks that he or she is being healed by it and then that person will have a psychological “healing” ie in their mind.

I assume that you are trying the mainstream medical advice. Alternatives can sometimes help.  Massage and acupuncture can help with certain problems but don’t put your entire hope in the alternatives systems. I’ve seen a number of people find great relief in diet change.

Hashem bless you and your family to have only joy.

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Who Would Have Thought?

   by Reb Gutman Locks   

Who Would Have Thought?


     Who would have thought… coming all the way from Australia… that the highlight of the entire trip to Israel would be putting on tefillin at the Kotel! And don't forget that old man yelling at us about marrying only a Jewish girl, and making the world a better place…. Makes you feel good about being a Jew! Huh? Never really thought about it before. 


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

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Yud Tes Kislev

Yud-Tes Kislev is considered the Rosh Hashana of Chassidus (at least by Chabad).  On this day the first Rebbe of Chabad was released from prison and a death sentence for the “crime” of teaching Torah and Chassidus in Czarist Russia.  Because the charges had been formulated due to his teaching chassidus, it was clear that the ending of the charges meant an ending of accusations both in this world and the upper worlds against the secrets of chassidus being brought down.

via Lma’an Yisme’u

Early in תרפ"א, the Frierdiker Rebbe (the 6th Rebbe of Chabad Lubavitch), his mother Rebbetzin Shterna Sara, his three daughters, and many bochurim, became very ill. The doctors said that the Frierdiker Rebbe's situation was serious, but Boruch HaShem, on Yud-Tes Kislev, his health took a turn for the better. Instead of farbrenging, he wrote the following letter to the temimim and Anash:

On this holy day, which is the Rosh HaShana for Chassidus and for kabbalas ol malchus Shamayim, every individual should do his avoda conscientiously, and beg that HaShem give him the strength to go in the way of the Alter Rebbe. On this day, as the Alter Rebbe stands before HaShem, asking that we and our children be strong begashmiyus uveruchniyus, everyone should give tzedaka to the mosdos that follow the will of the Alter Rebbe. Every person, young and old, should undertake to learn Torah every day, each according to his level, and should accept upon himself ol malchus Shamayim for the entire year. Keep in mind that on this day all of the Rebbeim, from the Baal Shem Tov on, are helping us. Be very careful with this day because it is holy.

The Frierdiker Rebbe concludes his letter with the words, "lechayim velivracha".

(אגרות קודש מוהריי"צ ח"א ע' קכ"ב)

The Alter Rebbe (the 1st Rebbe of Chabad Lubavtich) said regarding Yud-Tes Kislev, "Whoever rejoices in my simcha, I will take out from distress to relief, from gashmiyus to ruchniyus, and out of Gehinnom."

The Tzemach Tzedek (the 3rd Rebbe of Chabad Lubavitch) explained that "rejoicing in my simcha" means holding onto the Alter Rebbe's "door-handle" ("kliamkeh") - by learning Torah and by doing avoda.

(סה"ש תרצ"ט ע' 315)


Tuesday, December 09, 2014


The Appalling Ignorance of YNet, aka Israel’s Yediot Achronot newspaper (translation: The Last Source or The Knowledge Source), reports the following about the stabbing attack inside Chabad’s world headquarters, 770, synagogue…


It says, “Stabbing at NY Chabad house”.  It also reports the WRONG health status for both the attacker and the victim.

Calling at stabbing inside Chabad World Headquarters and one of New York’s largest synagogues a stabbing at a Chabad house is like me reporting on Israeli elections (their top news headline) as “some parliamentary stuff going on inside Israel”.

This is the newspaper that is pushing through a law in Israel to BAN their competitor IsraelHaYom (Israel Today) because IsraelHaYom has a free distribution model, besides less biased and more knowledgeable reporting, and is crushing YNet in the marketplace.  Therefore it must be unfair!!!

Now, let’s see what they have to say.  Remember, a rabbinical student was STABBED IN THE HEAD/NECK…

A young haredi man was stabbed and wounded early Tuesday morning in a Chabad house in the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn, New York.

Not a young man, not a STUDENT RABBI, a “haredi man” – the Israeli term for orthodox Jews who wear hats and are very strict in their religious observance.  Rabbi, who cares?

Not in the world headquarters of Chabad, it’s just a Chabad house.  Like any other of the over 1,000 around the world.  No big deal.  It’s not the HEADQUARTERS or anything (it is).

The victim was an Israeli haredi, who is among the hundreds of yeshiva students at the school. 

Do these reporters actually check ANY of their information?  The attack was in the middle of one of New York’s largest synagogues, and the World Headquarters of Chabad.  Yes, the victim was Israeli (note the focus on haredi – it’s not so bad if it’s a haredi who’s attacked), and yes he is associated with a rabbinical training program of Chabad – which indeed has hundreds of students.  But the relevance is a small group were learning Torah in the 770 synagogue late at night and were attacked with intent to kill by knife.

Witnesses told Ynet that the attacker was dark-skinned and entered the Chabad house armed with a knife, before stabbing the young man in the neck.

Dark skinned?  Nice euphemism, more likely lack of knowledge.  He was African American in appearance (just look at the pictures Mr. Reporter!)

Although the circumstances were unclear, some tied the incident to recent anti-Semitic attacks.

Man, not associated with synagogue or community that uses synagogue, enters synagogue with knife and stabs someone.  I guess he could have just been needing some random knifing practice, perhaps before going out on a mercenary job.  Or maybe, oh I don’t know, he was looking to stab some Jews?

Ynet, your reporting on Jewish religious issues is PATHETIC, DISGUSTING, INACCURATE, INCOMPETANT, AND SEVERELY BIASED.

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CHABAD ATTACKED–Stabbing in 770

Reported via

imageA 22-year-old rabbinical student was critically injured after being stabbed in the neck by a disturbed African-American man in the main synagogue sanctuary of Chabad Lubavitch at 770 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, New York.  The stabber was confronted by police who attempted to contain and disarm him, and following lunging at police with the knife was shot by police officers.  The attacker died of his injuries at the hospital.

The incident began unfolding at around 1:30am when an African-American man entered the synagogue sanctuary in the Lubavitch World Headquarters at 770 Eastern Parkway and confronted a group of rabbinical students while carrying a large switchblade style knife.

The man appeared to be disturbed and was visibly agitated according to multiple witnesses. The attacker spoke with the men for a minute when he suddenly pulled out a knife and stabbed one of them in the neck. The victim fled out the main doors of the building and collapsed on the sidewalk in front of 770.

The victim was identified by friends as 22-year-old Levi Rosenblat, a rabbinical student from Beitar Ilit, Israel.

As the victim and witnesses fled the synagogue they called out for help and police officers responded within seconds and confronted the suspect still inside.

Cellphone video reveals the NYPD police officers exercising extreme restraint, repeatedly ordering the suspect to drop the knife all while he is asking others around him if they “want to die tonight” and moving towards additional potential victims.  Both the police and the chassidim of 770 are repeatedly seen trying to calm him down and get him to drop the knife.

At one point it appears that the man puts down the knife and the incident concludes without any further bloodshed, but as officers move in to take the suspect into custody he quickly lunges for the knife and once again begins threatening officers.

imageAs the suspect made a move towards police with the knife, he was shot once in the chest and dropped to the ground. Police then move in an cuff him.

In the meantime Hatzalah emergency medical ambulance service volunteers were outside 770 treating the victim, and once the suspect was restrained they were called in to treat the stabber who was now the victim of a gunshot wound.

Both victim and assailant were rushed to Kings County Hospital and were both initially listed in critical condition. The victim was later ‘upgraded’ to stable near critical – condition. The suspect succumbed to his wounds and died at the hospital.

The suspect was identified as a 50-year-old man, but his name was being withheld.

The attacker’s motiviation is unknown at this time, though during the incident he appeared to be disturbed.

The public is still being asked to say Tehillim (Psalms) for the recovery of the victim Levi Yitzchok ben Raizel.

VIDEO of the police confrontation…

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