A conversation about G-d, mysteries of the universe and soul, Israel... and speculation about biblical prophecies and the end of days.

- Read via Kindle Page on Facebook
- Read via RSS / Feedly Get via EMAIL

Sunday, September 23, 2018

// // Leave a Comment

Waving Them Right


    by Reb Gutman Locks   
      

Waving Them Right

 

     One of the two main mitzvahs of the holiday of Sukkot is to wave the Four Species. This is a most interesting and unusual mitzvah. Certainly, all of us are extremely careful to include the proper four plants... but there is another Torah commanded ingredient that many of us forget to include, and without this ingredient the commandment is not performed properly.

    See this video to be sure to include this additional essential ingredient.

 

G-d Said, 'Be Happy'

(Link)

 

READ IT!

Thursday, September 20, 2018

// // Leave a Comment

You Never Know

   by Reb Gutman Locks
     

You Never Know

 

     You never know what works until you try it, and even then, you never know.

     He is from London visiting Israel with his family. When he walked in I called over inviting him to put on tefillin. He used a common defense, "I'm okay."

     And as usual, I called back, "But you could be better."

     And, as often happens, he ignored me and kept walking.

     After some time, he and the boys came away from the Kotel and walked by on their way out.

     I tried again, "You didn't come here just to look at the stones. Come put on tefillin."      

     Again, he said, "I'm okay," and kept walking away even faster.

     What's so bad about not getting him is not just that he missed the opportunity to do a mitzvah, but when he runs away from a mitzvah in front of his children they learn to run away from the mitzvahs too.

     I yelled, "Oy! You blew it!" He kept on walking away.

     Some two or three minutes later he walked back saying, "You talked me into it."

     Something happened.

     I put tefillin on him, had him bless his boys, and go to the Kotel again to pray for his loved ones. And as usual, I explained to the boys why when they grow up they have to marry only a Jewish girl. Sure, I am 15 years or so early, but the thought has to be planted in their head when they are young and not just given to them after they grow up.

     I asked him, "What happened? Why did you decide to come back and put on tefillin?"

     He said, "I thought of my grandfather and what he would want."

     G-d bless the memory of his grandfather. He did that mitzvah even from his place in Heaven.

  

READ IT!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

// // Leave a Comment

Forgiven


    by Reb Gutman Locks

Forgiven

 

     Once the Baal Shem Tov was visiting a village for Yom Kippur. The was a simple Jew in the minyan who kept laughing throughout the evening prayers. The Baal Shem did not say anything, even though the laughter was quite disturbing.

     The next morning the simple Jew did it again, he laughed and laughed.

     After the morning services the Baal Shem called him to the side and said, "Why are you laughing like that? This is a very serious holiday. We come before Hashem begging to be forgiven for our sins, and you are laughing. Why are you doing this."

     The simple Jew answered, "Of course I am laughing. When you are happy you laugh…. And shouldn't I be happy on the day when Hashem is forgiving all my sins?"

     Have a wonderful day of being forgiven.

READ IT!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

// // Leave a Comment

Why Start with Two?


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     

Why Start with Two?

 

     Why does the Torah begin with the letter Bet? Aleph is the first letter of the aleph-bet and bet is the second. Wouldn't it have been more appropriate to begin with the aleph? After all, Hashem is the First. He is the single One... so, begin with the aleph!

     If the Torah was the story of Hashem, then, maybe it would have started with an Aleph, but the Torah is not the story of Hashem. It is the story of us, His creation, His people, our history, and where we are going…and we, and the world are many.

READ IT!

Thursday, September 13, 2018

// // Leave a Comment

Shabbos Teshuva



   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     

Shabbos Teshuva

 

     This Shabbos, the Shabbos before Yom Kippur, is called Shabbos Teshuva, the Shabbos of Repentance. "Repentance" is the common translation of teshuva however "returning" is a more proper description of the process of teshuva; returning to the pure nature of the self.

     One of the highlights of the prayers on Yom Kippur comes when we enthusiastically call out "teshuva, tefilla, tzedakah" (Returning, Prayer, Charity). Most Yom Kippur Books have a small word in a different Hebrew script inserted over each of these words. Above "teshuva" is the word "tzom" (fasting), above "tefilla" is "kol" (voice), and above "tzedakah" is "mamon" (money).

     These come to teach us more than the obvious lesson that we do teshuva, tefilla, and tzedakah; with fasting, voice, and money.

     In Hebrew they also teach us something that we might not have known without them; that "returning," "prayer," and "charity" are of equal importance. We cannot say that only one of these is important enough. We need them all. How do the words "fasting" "prayer" and "money" teach this lesson? In Hebrew, they each have the same gematria, the same numerical value.[i]

     To have a successful Yom Kippur we need all three.



[i] Each equals 136

READ IT!

Sunday, September 09, 2018

// // Leave a Comment

Coming Before the Judge


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     

Coming Before the Judge

 

     Tonight, we stand before Hashem. How are we to come before our Creator? What should our feelings be? On this day when our portions are set for the year, what should we do in order to receive a most favorable year? How do we turn from the ways that have led us astray, and instead turn to the ways of Hashem?

READ IT!

Thursday, September 06, 2018

// // Leave a Comment

Need any Better Reason?


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     

Need any Better Reason?

 

     The Central Bureau of Statistics published the population details ahead of Rosh Hashanah. They found that 89% of Israelis are satisfied with their lives, and the average life expectancy, already among the highest in the World, continues to rise.

     Do you need any better reason to come live in Israel?

     Redemption is happening.


   

    

READ IT!

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

// // Leave a Comment

God Looks at Our Heart



by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

G-d Looks at Our Heart


     What if you don’t do the mitzvah exactly
the way it is supposed to be done? Does it still count? Is G-d strict with us?
 
(video
link)
READ IT!

Sunday, September 02, 2018

// // Leave a Comment

Coming Back from a Funeral


   by Reb Gutman Locks   

 

     How long does it take for a funeral to wear off? A wonderful friend passed away … seeing his body lying there on the litter completely covered with a tallis… helping to carry it to the van that would carry his remains to the cemetery on Mt Olives… he looked so small… he did so many wonderful things throughout his life… surely his portion in Heaven will be great… but here we are… you and I… seems like we have some time left… maybe… what will we do differently now? 

READ IT!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

// // Leave a Comment

Curses!


   by Reb Gutman Locks
    Curses!

 

     This week again we read the list of the most horrible curses imaginable. Oy! It is very hard to even read them. Why did, or worse yet, why do such horrible curses come?

     Read what Hashem tells us caused them; All these curses came upon you "because you did not serve Hashem, your G-d, with gladness and goodness of heart…"[i]

     It does not say they came because we did not serve G-d. It says because we did not serve G-d with joy.

     Mitzvahs make us holy. This is exactly what the blessing we say when we do a mitzvah tells us. Surely doing something that makes us holy should also make us happy.

     Have a holy, and happy New Year.



[i]  Deuteronomy  28:47

READ IT!

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

// // Leave a Comment

Where Is G-d?

 
    by Reb Gutman Locks
      Where Is G-d?

 

     A non-Jewish tourist came up to me at my tefillin cart saying he was a Bnei Noah. A Bnei Noah is a non-Jew who keeps the Seven Commandments of Noah. This makes them righteous people, and it gives them a good life in this world and a share in the World to Come.

     I asked him my "test" question. This is the question I almost always ask goiim when they come up to me, "Where is G-d?"

     He immediately answered, "Everywhere!"

     I slapped him on his shoulder and said, "Good for you. You guys are great."

     Virtually every time I ask a x-ian this question he will answer, "In Heaven."

     Then I ask, "Is He in hell?"

     They always answer, "No way."

     Then I point out to them the Psalm that says G-d is everywhere, even in Hell.

     Since they believe that that man of theirs is their god, and according to that myth, he was in his grave for only three days and then "he went to Heaven," they cannot answer that G-d is everywhere.

     If you ask a Hindu this question he might answer, "Which god are you referring to? There are many gods!"

     A Buddhist might answer, "It's your call. Since everything is an illusion, a dream that doesn't really exist, it doesn't make any difference.

     A Jew, and I am happy to say also the genuine Bnei Noah, know that Hashem is Infinite, and that the Infinite by definition, has to be everywhere.  

 

 

READ IT!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

// // Leave a Comment

When Bad Comes


   by Reb Gutman Locks

 

     Someone came up to me at the Kotel and asked, "What am I supposed to do when bad things come?"

     Moshe Rabbeinu (our teacher) asked the same question in a little different way. He asked, "Why do bad things happen to good people?"

     The Baal Shem Tov taught that everything comes to teach us something. He said, "Everything we see, we see for a reason."

     I explained, "Whenever something comes to you, you have to ask, 'Why did G-d send that to me?' Try to see what you did to bring that particular thing to you, and then adjust your ways accordingly. G-d is not cruel. He does not send things just to hurt us. In fact, what we think are punishments really come to correct the way we are going. So what we experience, whether good or bad, has to come as a continuation of the deed that caused it. This means that we can look at the result and see what similar action brought it about.

     Many years ago, very early morning at the Kotel a young American asked me why G-d had someone steal his wallet at the Hostel.

     He said, "They took all my money, $250! I came all the way from America for the Holiday… Why would G-d do such a thing?"

     I said, "Maybe you stole $250 from someone and you had to pay it back?"

     He said, "No Way! I never stole from no one!"

    "Maybe you owed that much in charity that you didn't pay?"

     He went, "OH! Wow!"

     I said, "You are very lucky that Hashem took that from you now when you had it, instead of asking for it after you leave the world, when you stand before the Judge and can't pay it back."

     So it is with everything that comes to us, the good and the bad. It all comes to guide us in the direction that Hashem wants us to go.

READ IT!

Thursday, August 23, 2018

// // Leave a Comment

I’m a Hero!


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
      I'm a Hero!

 

     I hurried out of my apartment on my way to go daven. There was a Mommy with a baby carriage, a tiny girl on one side and a bigger little girl on the other side. They were all looking back down the street at their two "bigger" brothers who were maybe 5 or 6 years old. Mommies take a long time to go anywhere, and this one seemed to be stuck waiting for whatever the boys were up to.

     When I walked by the boys they said something to me while pointing to a tall bush growing next to the building. I couldn't understand their tiny voices, but they pointed again to the bush, and they squeaked whatever it was they wanted.

     I had no idea what the problem was. I looked up at the bush, and I told the boys that I didn't see anything there.

     One of the boys motioned for me to come stand over where he was, and he pointed up at the bush again. I went over and from there I could see a tiny part of their ball that was stuck high up in the bush.

     The boys held out two options for me to choose from, a heavy chain with a lock, or a bicycle tire. I chose the bicycle tire. I threw it up at the top of the bush really hard, but I missed it completely. It didn't come near where I wanted it to go. It hit the wall and fell to the sidewalk. No one was happy. I picked it up and tried again.

    OY! The tire got stuck on the top of the bush. Now the kids lost their ball and their tire, too. Yuck!

     But the bush was still shaking from the tire hitting it… and the tire fell to the sidewalk. Thanks for at least that much. But then, the bush… still shaking a little… and guess what? The ball fell to the sidewalk. Hooray!

     Everyone yelled…happy. The boys grabbed their ball and tire and ran after their Mommy who I could see had a huge smile.

     What a happy moment. B"H, the boys got their ball, Mommy could get the kids home, and I was going to daven right after having done a very nice good deed.

     Making people happy makes you happy. You want to be happy? Go help someone else to be happy…it's automatic.  

READ IT!

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

// // Leave a Comment

Mystical Comments

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

Rafael emailed...

Dear Reb Gutman & Reb Akiva,

I've been a regular reader of Mystical Paths for many years and appreciate every holy word you publish. But something very disturbing is happening now, apparently without your intervention: there's a crazy 
commenter that has
 been posting long comments full of kfira, mentioning all sorts of avodah zarah and even stating he's "one of our messiahs" (sic). 

I've checked the link he provided and it's a real salad mixing Judaism with Eastern idolatries and Xtianity - some texts on his blog are really scary! And he calls himself "more than Orthodox" (sic)...

I've tried to warn you by posting on the comments section, but it seems the blog has been left without previous moderation, so anyone may publish whatever he wishes. It's a very dangerous situation that you must correct immediately.

Your precious Torah blog has been used by this crazy person as a high-audience platform to publish his confused pseudo-Jewish blabber who may lead astray many Jews who are ignorant of the pure, non-contaminated Torah.
In summary, I kindly request you to take immediate action and erase all comments made throughout the recent days by this person, and if possible, to block him from his missionary campaign taking advantage of your readers base.

--

Dear Rafael,

Thanks for emailing directly, as well as Reb Gutman for emailing me about the importance of the issue.  I definitely haven't had much time to devote to Mystical Paths in the past year, and had previously loosened comment control as I felt that Google was making it overly difficult to comment.

I agree with you about the comments you pointed out, and a few others as well.

So I have removed anonymous commenting, deleting some questionable comments, and (temporarily) instituted comment moderation.  For those that appreciate commenting on Mystical Paths, I apologize for the overhead and inconvenience this will cause and hope you will push through it and comment.

If I caught anyone's comments in my quick sweep, I apologize for being over zealous.  

Mystical Paths is dedicated to a traditional orthodox halachic Torah approach to Judaism, while discussing it's chassidic, kabbalistic and spiritual and mystical aspects.  Anything out of those bounds will be rejected... which doesn't mean different takes can't be argued.

Thanks for reading!  And may Hashem bless all our readers with a good and sweet year with Rosh Hashana coming soon!
READ IT!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

// // Leave a Comment

Fences


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
      Fences

 

     Someone asked, why don't we ride bicycles on Shabbos.

     There are a few reasons given for this prohibition, such as bike riding is a weekday activity, or because you may inadvertently ride outside the Shabbos limit, but the most common reason given is that it is a rabbinical fence put up to protect us from falling against a Torah prohibition. The rabbis were afraid if we were to ride bicycles on Shabbos the chain might come off, as they often do, and then we would fix it, and fixing the chain would transgress a Torah based rule of repairing on Shabbos.

     It is the same reason why we do not play musical instruments on Shabbos… lest we break a string and then repair the instrument on Shabbos.

     There are many rabbinical fences that protect us from coming against the actual Torah prohibitions. They are like the Torah's actual physical fence that we are commanded to put on our roof tops even if we never go near the edge of the roof. We are commanded to put a fence there just in case someone might go to the edge and fall and there would be loss of life.

     All of the fences come to help keep us away from transgressing a Torah prohibition, but they also give us someone to argue with, instead of arguing with the Torah itself.

READ IT!
Related Posts with Thumbnails