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, June 30, 2016

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Why Be Happy?

​   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     

Why Be Happy?

 

     When doing a mitzvah it is essential to be happy. If we do not experience joy when we are serving Hashem our service will, G-d forbid, become a burden.

     All the more so, when we are trying to help other Jews to fulfil their spiritual purpose do we have to do it in such a way that brings them joy. Joy endears the mitzvahs to them and this will bring them to do another mitzvah.

     This is not referring to the joy of telling them jokes or giving them cookies. When we show them how a mitzvah opens the Gate to Heaven, that fulfilling a mitzvah produces a "time of favor," and since they listened to Hashem and did what He said, now He is going to listen to what they say…and then showing them how to open their hearts by speaking intimately to Hashem… all this brings a spiritual awareness and satisfaction, and this satisfaction brings a unique joy.

     Mitzvahs are tools that we have been given that allow us to accomplish something unique in creation. In this entire, huge Universe only a tiny human being can choose to serve G-d.

 

 

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

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International Day of Yoga!

​   by Reb Gutman Locks   
    

International Day of Yoga!

 

     This month the UN invited the world to celebrate the "International Day of Yoga". The question is, is yoga entirely physical, or is yoga also spiritual?

     I have been involved in a thirty-year argument with a neighbor who to this day goes to India for his annual two-week vacation to a yoga resort. We see each other regularly, late Shabbos afternoon and invariably the subject comes up. He insists there is no spirituality involved in yoga, while I insist there is.

     I have explained over and over again, that almost all of the physical aspects of those exercises are alright, except for the one or two that definitely identify it is as coming from that source, but all of their nonphysical teachings are somehow linked to Hinduism which is the religion of hundreds of millions of gods!

     Obviously, he refuses to listen and says such things as, "So what if there is a statue in the corner of the room where we do the exercises, no one is worshiping it, surely I am not." And I keep telling him that his head is filled with false spiritual concepts that invariably have come along with the exercises. After many years, I finally got him to stop saying that he does yoga every day and instead to say that he does stretching exercises.

     This past Shabbos afternoon I finally made a dent in his defense.

     Talking about the statute in the room where the guests at the yoga resort exercise he told me, "It's a statue of shi-va [the many armed Hindu god of destruction!] and it is meaningless. I used to have one before I became religious. Then, when I became religious I gave it away."

     "You have finally proven my point. I have been telling you over and over again that yoga is not only physical but brings along with it false spiritual teachings and you have denied this over and over again. If there are no spiritual teachings coming with the physical teachings of yoga what were you doing with a Hindu idol in your house?"

     "I got rid of it when I became religious."

     "Why did you have to get rid of it? If there are no spiritual teachings coming along with the physical exercises what's wrong with the statue? Where did you get the idea to put a Hindu idol in your home or office? And if it is not spiritual why did you have to get rid of it?"

     What will happen? I'll find out. I doubt that he will stop doing the exercises, but as I have said, the exercises have never been the problem. It's what they bring along with them. The problem is with any and all of the words and ideas that identify what he is doing as yoga. "Yoga" means yoke in Hindi. They teach that yoga yokes them to their spiritual beliefs. Obviously, all of these are forbidden to anyone who worships the One G-d.

 

 

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Sunday, June 26, 2016

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Conservative


​by Reb Gutman Locks 

They are visiting from America. When I asked them to put on tefillin they hurried by…not wanting to stop. I asked again. The father looked at the tefillin rejecting them.
 
     I said, “If you run away from the mitzvahs your son is going to run away even further.”

     That stopped him a little. “Are you Jewish?” 

     “Of course I’m Jewish. I had a Bar Mitzvah. We go to the Conservative synagogue.”

     “A bar mitzvah doesn’t make you Jewish. Is your mother Jewish”

     “Of course, both my parents are Jewish.”

     “Come put on tefillin.”

     “I’ve never done this before.”

     “You go to a Conservative synagogue and you have never put on tefillin? They put on tefillin.”

     I started putting tefillin on him and one of the volunteers helped the boy. I told the father, “The Conservative movement now allows inter-dating! That means intermarriage … no more Jews in those boys’ families! Better you should go to the Orthodox shul and not follow all the rules, than to go to the Conservatives and think that there are no rules.”

     After reading the Shema, I showed them how to pray privately for their loved ones. They went to the Kotel for quite a while. The boy did an especially good job of praying with his eyes closed … talking to Hashem. They took a lot of pictures. I told the boy (several times) that he had to marry only a Jewish girl.

     Seeing how insistent I was, and wanting to confront that insistency, he said, “I have a question…. Is Judaism tolerant?”

     “Yes, we are tolerant, but not with someone who is trying to kill us!”

     “I understand completely,” was his reply.

     What happened: instead of them having an intellectual visit to an interesting, ancient, historical, Jewish site as they planned, they fulfilled a Biblical commandment… a mitzvah… and they spent time speaking privately to Hashem opening their hearts. I think the boy took to heart my advice of marrying only a Jewish girl and making a Jewish family. Surely this was the most important thing he learned that day.

     Why do I take the time to write these stories and send them out to you? Entertainment? …a little more than that. First of all, to encourage you to help the Jews you meet to bring them to do a mitzvah with joy, and most important, for you to see that doing the physical mitzvah is not enough. We have to help them open their hearts so the mitzvah will have a life changing effect on them. Then they will want to do it again
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Thursday, June 23, 2016

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Something Holy


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
   

Something Holy

 

     How do we treat something holy…something like the Kotel? The most respectful Jews will not even touch the Kotel. In fact, they will not even stand within a few feet of it! Why?

     The easiest answer for not touching the it is, "it's not yours," but that doesn't explain the deeper meaning. When you see something is holy you treat it with awe.

     The reason for not coming within a few feet of the Kotel is that each layer was not built exactly on top of the layer under it. They are indented, set back in somewhat. This is more evident when looking where another wall was later built up against it (see photo). The indenting was done to make the Kotel stronger.

     The ground where we stand in front of the Kotel is a few stories higher than the actual ground level. You can go inside the men's side and look through the glass floor sections and see how high up we are. We are standing on rubble and trash that accumulated over the some 2000 years since the destruction.

     So the problem is if we stand right by the Kotel we are standing on top of the lower rows. Those who do not wish to do this see this as a partial intrusion onto the Temple Mount. The majority of the major rabbinical sources say that we are not to enter the Temple Mount until the Redemption has come.

     In order to treat holy things with great respect we have to know what is holy. The truth is only G-d is holy. Whatever we call holy, be it a sefer Torah, or something we use to fulfill a mitzvah… all these merely point to Hashem. But Hashem is everywhere so what does it mean point to Hashem? It is impossible to point to where He is not! Holy things help to reveal Hashem's Presence, and what we call unholy further conceals His Presence.

 

 

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

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Where Do You Find Spirituality in Judaism?

imageA friend of ours was doing some research in current Jewish topics and noted to me…

Interestingly, my research revealed that a lot of modern orthodox seek or experience 'spirituality' through the outside world, rather than in the beis hamidrosh (synagogue and/or place of Torah study). That would seem to imply that the 'neshomoh' (soul) is missing in the beis hamidrosh”?

My thought... the beis medresh is focused solely on the intellect, and with the exception of the works of chassidus, remains in the realm of the legal and rarely invokes G-d or our relationship with Him.  The beis knesset (just synagogue) focuses on the fulfilling of the obligations of prayer (and engages social relationships simply because that's what happens when a number of people are together on a regular basis).  And while there are places in the prayer material where it’s appropriate to "stop and meditate on this concept" or "insert personal prayer here", we have so much obligatory material to get through that I think few spare the moment to do so – losing some of the possible connection with G-d.

Some tracts of Breslev teaches hisbodedus (personal speaking to G-d) to all as an important focus.  Chabad teaches hisbonenus (contemplative meditation on G-dly concepts to reach Awe of G-d), though it sometimes gets lost in the intellectual focus of Chabad chassidus.

Clearly connecting with G-d can be a part of traditional Judaism, and there are several clear traditional paths to doing so.  BUT I don’t see many involved in such or aware of such.

What about you?

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Monday, June 20, 2016

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Hindus Happy Yoga coming to Jerusalem

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths (with fun graphics by Rivka Levy of emunaroma.com)

image

“We know it’s kosher because it’s not held on Shabbos or Yom Tov!”

HEADLINE: Yoga Teacher’s Training for Jewish women to be held in Jerusalem

A 200-hour Intensive Yoga Teacher Training Program, claimed to be the “first yoga training in the world to cater to Jewish women” is being launched in Jerusalem in July, with a follow-up starting in September.   Organized by Toronto based Kinneret Yoga, whose tagline is “move and be moved”, it will not hold classes on Shabbat or Jewish holidays…

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, welcomed Yoga Teacher’s Training catering to Jewish women to be held in Jerusalem.  Yoga, referred as “a living fossil”, was a mental and physical discipline, for everybody to share and benefit from, whose traces went back to around 2,000 BCE to Indus Valley civilization. Yoga, introduced and nourished by Hinduism, is a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all. According to Patanjali who codified it in Yoga Sutra, yoga was a methodical effort to attain perfection, through the control of the different elements of human nature, physical and psychical.

Yoga is the repository of something basic in the human soul and psyche, Zed added.

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So there you have it.  It’s kosher because it won’t be done on Shabbos, and the Hindus are instructing us that it’s not (just) the Hindu religion, it’s about controlling the human psyche.  And who’s to say controlling the human psyche has religious or philosophical overtones?

Let there be no question: YOGA is not kosher.  It has an avodah zara-dic base, some positions themselves are positional forms of worship, and the meditative and psyche techniques are incompatible and diametrically opposed to Judaism.

“But Reb Akiva, it’s just exercise!”  WHEN it’s just exercise, just stretching moves WITHOUT the (meditative) breathing patterns, without the meditative focus, when it is indeed JUST a pure exercise, fine.  But it’s NEVER taught as “just stretch”, it’s always with it’s focus, breathing, centering, etc.  Yoga is a practice of avoda zara!

“But Reb Akiva, my kosher yoga has replaced all the hindi terms, and we meditate on the shema, and we don’t call SUN WORSHIP (that’s what Sun Salutation is called in it’s original language Hindi) that, we call it ‘Reaching to the Heavens’.”  It is possible to completely separate the value of a system from the problematic elements – but kosher yoga never does that!  Rather it seeks to partially substitute assuming that by injecting a Hebrew word for a Hindi one, or a Jewish meditation idea for a Hindu one, that it makes it kosher.  Better examples would be, stretching exercises of Pilates has stretch with no meditative aspects.  And Krav Maga has martial arts value without any chakras or “focusing your energies” of karate.  Kosher yoga is presenting a system who’s base pattern remains treif.

YOGA PSAK from Rabbi Ginsberg: (free translation)

Question: Is it permissible to practice yoga as part of a mental & physical exercises when doing so without any yoga spiritual aspects?

Answer:

If the system has a foreign name, if it offers a way of life and its way of life is alien, one should not deal with it (all the more so if the system components are contrary to the rule). Yoga is based on a pagan system. Body movements that mimic animals originate from Eastern idolatry. Therefore, this method is entirely banned. All of the benefit from these methods is superficial and ultimately harmful. These “benefits” damage the sanctity of the Jewish soul. We must educate distinguish between genuine divine light and a false image.

Notice that the name of everything points to the spiritual origin, we must abolish even the name of a foreign method at the first stage. Therefore it is forbidden to even mention at all the name "yoga." …

All wisdom must be grounded in the Torah. Yoga is negative energy that comes from impurity. Therefore, it is unacceptable, even if the practitioner does not have negative thoughts. All the advantages of this method are distorted shadow of the true good that can be derived from movement based on the teachings of the Kabbalah.

Kabbalah teachings include techniques for Jewish meditative focus and even for proper Jewish focused breathing methods.  A brief example is available (in Hebrew) at this link here

Thanks to Rivka Levy of emunaroma.com for the fun graphics and psak from Rav Ginsberg.

image

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Isaiah 53 Who is the Suffering Servant?



by YOUR-NAME at Mystical Paths
- type article here -
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Sunday, June 19, 2016

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Lighting Lights

​   by Reb Gutman Locks   

Lighting Lights

 

     What happens to a candle flame when you use it to light another candle? Look at the flame when you do it. Rashi says it will not lose anything by doing this, i.e. its own flame will not be diminished.

     Not only does a flame not lose anything by lighting another light, it gets even brighter when it is standing together with the new light. Try it and see. Go help a fellow Jew to put on tefillin, or show a Jewish girl how to light Shabbos candles and see what happens to your light.

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Friday, June 17, 2016

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Help Him Out–Update

imageA little over a week ago we wrote about our friend and former co-blogger Rabbi Nati, who is now homeless and struggling to start a new job in Hungary, and asked for your help.

We quickly reached over 70% of the the goal in getting him in a stable situation, and wired him the money today!  Your generosity is fantastic, may Hashem bless you greatly!  Here’s a few words from Rabbi Nati…

I just came from Israel embassy in Budapest, just to get one paper certified just cost me $685, so I'm now broke.  I needed apostle on my papers, it is a huge rip off that government services are being sold at such high prices.  The US embassy charged for this for my birth certificate at $50.  These are the things that hurt me as I was unaware and unprepared for these costs.

Thank G-d I'm good food and rent until the end of June, and have a public transportation pass until 28 June. 

I just found out that to translate my papers is another 43,000 huf, another $160.  These are all the surprise expenses of trying to start up in a new place.  G-d willing, it will be easier after I'm approved.

I need $800 a month to get by here, and after I get all the papers approved and start the job I should be making $1600.  But that’s 3 months from now.  Now I’m off to get health insurance for $200 per month. 

imageOf course, I was on the street and now have a bed and a job waiting – so it’s forward progress.  Working through the government offices, going to shul (synagogue), learning and keeping the Shulchan Aruch (code of Jewish law) each day.  All I can do is be a jewel wherever I am.  Only this is the path to reality for today.   Tomorrow, who knows?  It’s all in the hands of Heaven.

(picture – my basic sleeping quarters, a small rented room.  But trust me, it’s MUCH better than sleeping in a compact car for 2 months.)

About language, well reading is ok because I saw it as a child since my mother is from Hungary, understanding is harder and I speak even less.  It’s like a Scifi story where you  wake up in strange land.  But Google translate is great when you just speak to it.  I hold the phone up to someone and they speak and we laugh at it as it often doesn’t quite make sense.  English is heard here, but it’s rare.  Not like Israel where the  majority of Israelis have learned some level of English in school.  And there are a number of Israelis here!  Just today I gave directions to some Israeli tourist.

Baruch Hashem, I just met an old man who as seen me a few times on my way or coming back from shul.  He noticed that my arm had marks on it from wearning tefillin.  He came up to me and smiled and said he is a Jew.  He said its been more than 35 years since he told anyone that.  So you see, wherever and whatever G-d sends you there is a reason – perhaps giving this neshama a chance to remember he is a Jew was one of mine.

THANK YOU to someone who wired me money directly from England.  The timing was perfect as it made sure I had some money in hand for meals for the week.

(picture – a table to learn on.  What a privilege when you’ve had none.)

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Good Shabbos to everyone!  I miss you guys – unfortunately (or in some ways fortunately) I’ve only got internet and therefore communications access via public wifi in the public transportation stations.  So it’s just a few minutes to write a few short messages or send a picture.

Thank Hashem for each and every blessing!  For, G-d forbid, in a moment one can lose their job, their home, their car, their furniture, their seforim (Torah books), everything up to and including the clothes on their back!  Just to have a chair to sit in, a bed to sleep on, what a blessing!

Thank you and bless you, each and every one who helped however they could.  Anyone else who can help or who can do a bit more to keep me able to sleep in a bed and have a daily meal until (G-d willing) my authorization to work comes through and my new job starts, please do help!

Here’s how you can help:  Donate via Paypal, or if you are willing to do an international bank transfer, email me and I can forward you Rabbi Nati’s bank information in Hungary.

DONATE VIA CREDIT CARD or PAYPAL right here, right now!

If you don’t have a Paypal account, when you click on the link look for this on the bottom left and click Continue…

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May Hashem bless you abundantly for helping!

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

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Don’t Blow It!

​   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     

Don't Blow It!

 

     When you want to extinguish a flame, be it of a candle, or a match, or whatever, do not blow it out with your breath. You can shake it out, or wave your open hand quickly close by it, or if in a safe place, throw it to the ground.

     The word for breath in Hebrew is Neshama. Neshama is also the name of one of the levels or dimensions of our soul. Wind is Ruach. Ruach also means spirit and is the name of another level of our soul.

     Is this a negative commandment from the Torah; thou shalt not extinguish a flame with your breath? No, blowing out a candle is not forbidden in the Torah.

     Is this superstition? Do we think that blowing out a candle with our breath will lessen our soul, or lessen the spiritual light in the world? No. But it is a Jewish custom for a good reason. 

     We are told not to use our breath to extinguish light to remind us to use our breath to share light, to help to make the world a brighter place. Our soul, our spirit, our breath… these come into the world to spread light, not to extinguish it. In fact, we are told to be a "light unto the Nations".[i]

 



[i] Isaiah 49:6

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

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San Francisco

​   by Reb Gutman Locks   
    

San Francisco

 

     His long hair was left loose but his beard was tied into a pony tail! He was wearing long, baggy shorts, had blue eyes, and a big smile when he walked into the Kotel.

    "Hi, where're you from?"

     "San Francisco."

     "You look it." (Referring to the hippie days)

Big laugh

     "What are you doing in Israel?"

     "Traveling with my girl friend. She's over there." He pointed to the women's side. "She's Jewish."

     (Uh, oh! Not my favorite job to tell a non-Jewish man that he should not be with his Jewish girlfriend)

     "Anyone in your family Jewish?"

     "Yeah, my mother. She's the only one."

     "Are you sure she's Jewish?"

     "Yeah, we all know it."

     "Well, if your mother is Jewish then you are Jewish. Come, I'll take your Jewish blood pressure."

     "What are these?"

      As I put the tefillin on him I explained that tefillin are a sign that we will do what Hashem wants us to do and we will think about what Hashem wants us to think about. He read the Shema in English and I showed him how to share the mitzvah with his loved ones by praying for them.

     "You're Jewish so you have to marry a Jewish girl."

     "Yeah, she's right over there."

     "Go to a local Chabad rabbi so the wedding will be proper, and the babies will be born with that spiritual advantage."

      For his whole life he thought he was a gentile. He walked into the Kotel area as a stranger visiting the Jewish land. He had a Jewish girlfriend but he himself was an outsider. Then all of a sudden he found out that this Holy Land is actually his land too… and best of all (at least in his eyes) the girl he loved was really for him. A very happy day.

 

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Monday, June 13, 2016

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Elephants in Rooms are Hard to Ignore

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

image

Let’s not discuss the elephant in the room.  We’re not sure we’re permitted to, or that it’s politically correct, or an appropriate discussion in polite company if you will.

Yet elephants in rooms are hard to ignore.  They tend to cause messes, side effects, and occasionally step on people.  They make their presence known because simply by being there take over the environment.

Some animals blend in, mix with the herd.  Others remains separate, but edge themselves by the herd and don’t stand out unless specifically hunted.  But the elephant in the room, a little stomping or charging and soon it’s his room.

Like the emperors new clothes, there are those that insist on ignoring elephants in rooms.  Even crazier, there are those who insist on bringing elephants into rooms and them insist that they be ignored.  We can debate whether these have ulterior motives, truly believe that the elephants need to be saved and the room is the best place for them, or are just nuts.  But they gleefully speak of the positives and advantages while leading the elephants into the rooms, completely ignoring that a room is an incompatible habitat for the elephant.

Others then compound the problem by rushing in to save the elephant!  The elephant must be understood while being in the room.  While it may stomp, because that’s what elephants do, you may not respond…that would be elephant-o-phobia.  Elephants may be incompatible with rooms, but to say so – even after being stomped – clearly shows YOU to be the problem.

Eventually the room becomes an elephant habitat, and all either suffer with the situation or have escaped to better circumstances. 

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Thursday, June 09, 2016

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L‘Chaim (to Life)

​   by Reb Gutman Locks
    

L'Chaim (to Life)

 

     How to live a long, healthy, Jewish life? Well, according to all of the most recent studies, if you are Jewish the best thing to do is to move to Israel and daven (pray) with a minyan (quorum).

     Japan has the world's highest average life expectancy—nearly 84 years—followed by Switzerland, Singapore, Australia, and Spain. Israel came in sixth. Israelis (Jews and Arabs) can expect an average lifespan of 82.5 years—80.6 for men and 84.3 for women, according to WHO. Jewish Israelis' average lifespan is noticeably higher than the Arabs living in Israel. So Jewish Israelis can expect to live even longer than the average 82.5 years, within the top few countries in the world!

     Also, current research finds a link between attending religious services and a lower risk of death from all causes.

     So if living a long, healthy, Jewish life is one of your goals, it's simple. Move to Israel and go to shul.

     Welcome home.

 

 

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Wednesday, June 08, 2016

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Help Him Out!

n_1

Rabbi Nati is our good friend and was our co-blogger for the first 5 years of this blog.  A big chossid and emunah doctor, he moved to Israel 20 years ago.

The last few years were filled with troubles for our friend, with him being badly taken advantage of multiple times, leading with him being piled deep in debt and eventually to him becoming HOMELESS 2 months ago.

Friends offered him a Shabbos here and a night there, but the majority of the time he was sleeping in his car – being regularly threatened by the police when spotted (as someone hanging out in their car in the middle of the night is possibly a threat).

He eventually drove up to Meron, to the kever of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, where he became a holy beggar.  He got food for a meal a day at the charity tent set up there, got a chance to clean up at the mikvah when he could afford the $3 fee (if someone gave him charity), and gradually raised a bit of money to make a security deposit on an apartment…which was then stolen from him by another beggar.

Someone offered him a job as a security guard for a Jewish school in Budapest, Hungary, and he figured he’s gotten nothing to lose and any job is better than no job.  So he sold his only place to sleep, his 15 year old car, and headed to Budapest.  Unfortunately the job is not ready and there’s residency and work permit paperwork that has to be processed…leaving him with no resources and no job until that finishes. 

And if we don’t step up to help, he’ll be a starving beggar in Hungary.  Here’s what we can do…

“I need a little help.  Until I get legal papers I have to prove me ability to stay here, which is only $550 per month.   I have to find this minimal support to stay afloat until my papers are arranged, which can take up to 3 months.  I’ve already lost everything I had, furniture, seforim, and was left holding a pile of debts that are not mine.  At least I should be able to get a basic job and have a bed to sleep in and not live from a soup kitchen and sleep in car seat.

Thank G-d I’m not homeless at the moment.  I have a bed to sleep in. And what to eat. And I'm in shul (synagogue) every day.

It would be a great mitzvah if you could help keep a holy Jew off the street so he can stand up and work and learn and pray and share some Torah with the Jews on Hungary.

Please help me get my situation stabilized.  And may Hashem bless each and every one of you to be successful and never encounter such troubles.”

Here’s how you can help:  Donate via Paypal, or if you are willing to do an international bank transfer, email me and I can forward you Rabbi Nati’s bank information in Hungary.

DONATE VIA CREDIT CARD or PAYPAL right here, right now!

If you don’t have a Paypal account, when you click on the link look for this on the bottom left and click Continue…

image

May Hashem bless you abundantly for helping!

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Tuesday, June 07, 2016

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Ahavas Israel

​    by Reb Gutman Locks
      

Ahavas Israel

Love of your fellow Jew

 

     It was late afternoon, Yom Yerusalem, and it was totally nuts at the Kotel. It was packed with singing, dancing, jumping up and down kids wearing or waving Israeli flags. The music was so insanely loud that when I walked by the bandstand I had to put my fingers in both my ears and even tried to squeeze my shoulders towards them to block it out. It was so intensely loud that I could actually feel it physically pounding on my chest when I walked by! Boom! Boom! Boom!

     Where I stand to help with tefillin was somewhat better. At least it wasn't pounding on my chest, but there was no way you could talk to someone, not if you wanted to be heard.

     The boy knew how to put on tefillin without help. After he finished reading the Shema he wanted to quickly run back to his group. He had already taken the strap off his hand when I motioned to him in "sign language". I pointed to him turning my right hand palm up, and then I pointed to the sky above the Kotel, and then back circling over the huge crowd of Israelis filling the Plaza. He got it right away. He went, "Oh!" and quickly wrapped the strap back over his hand, picked up his backpack, and ran off squeezing through the crowd trying to get back near the Kotel.

     A few minutes later he came back, took off the tefillin, and looked at me with the warmest look of appreciation and love, and sincerely said, "Thank you very much."

     That was it. But what really happened? It was impossible to talk there. I had something important to say to the boy but couldn't be heard over the music. I waved my hand just a little bit in the right directions and his instinctive love for his fellow Jew picked up on it immediately. Even though he was in a hurry he stopped, backed up, and ran off to ask G-d to protect and shower love onto all the Jews in the world.

     Sometimes it's the smallest things; the quickest moment that brings out the deepest truth. 

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