Tuesday, October 31, 2006

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The Immoral Parade - Jerusalem !!

by Akiva & R. Nati & Nava

The International Immoral-Impure Parade (more not here on this blog, but here in the news) is set for Jerusalem next Friday, erev Shabbat.

Do you know what next Friday is??? There are no coincidences in this world, all is by the hand of the Almighty! It just so happens that the ultimate public display of ta'avot and immorality in Israel, and as specifically stated by the organizers, the world, is scheduled to take place on Erev Shabbos Parshat Vayera, the parsha from the Torah that desrcibes the destruction of Sodom and Gemorah. Wow. Now there's a wild coincidence, huh?

The hebrew date of the parade is the 19th of the Hebrew month of Mar Cheshvan. 19 in Gematria is טבח - slaughter - אויב - enemy.

My dear fellow Yidden (Jews) and other welcome friendly readers, if there is a G-d in this world who cares and is involved in this world, then there are no coincidences. The warning of Sodom and Gemorah is set next to the strength to slaughter our enemies! Our choice.

Or, perhaps all is natural and random order. In that case, the organizers of the parade are correct! We should enjoy to the maximum every aspect of our limited and exclusive physical natures. Because when we die, we're gone. So live for the day, for there is no tomorrow.

Our choice.

Sit back, be quiet, you can't do anything anyway.

Our choice.

How can you be heard by a government far away?

Our choice.

They don't listen to us, they never listen to us.

Your choice.

Abraham Dicter , Minister of Internal Security
-- Fax (US) 011-972-2-6496168, (International) +972-2-6496168
-- Fax (Israel) 02-6496168
-- Phone (US) 011-972-2-6753727, (International) +972-2-6753727
-- Phone (Israel) 02-6753727
-- Email adichter@knesset.gov.il

Mayor Lopianski of Jerusalem
-- Fax (US) 011-972-2-6296014, (International) +972-2-6296014
-- Fax (Israel) 02-6296014
-- Email lpuri@jerusalem.muni.il

Jerusalem Police
-- Fax (US) 011-972-2-5391391, (International) +972-2-5391391
-- Fax (Israel) 02-5391391

Other government minister's contact info.

UPDATE: More Contact Info -

Superintendent of Jerusalem Police, Mr. Ilan Franco
-- Fax (US) 011-972-2-5391466, (International) +972-2-5391466
-- Phone (US) 011-2-972-5391100, (International) +972-2-5391100
-- Email mafkal@police.gov.il

Members of Knesset on the Interior Ministry Committee that will decide if the parade will take place:

MK Eli Yishai, Head of Shas faction:
-- Fax (US) 011-972-2-6662252, (International) +972-2-6662252
-- Phone (US) 011-972-2-6408406, (International) +972-2-6408406
-- Email lishka.sar@moital.gov.il, eyishay@knesset.gov.il

MK Edri, Minister of Jerusalem:
-- Fax (US) 011-972-2-6753929, (International) +972-2-6753929
-- Phone (US) 011-972-2-6753939, (International) +972-2-6753939
-- Email yedri@knesset.gov.il

MK Hirshson: ahirshson@knesset.gov.il
MK Gidon Ezra: gezra@knesset.gov.il
MK Yuli Tamir: ytamir@knesset.gov.il
MK Roni Baron: rbaron@knesset.gov.il
MK Yitzchak Herzog: iherzog@knesset.gov.il
MK Pines-Paz: pinespaz@knesset.gov.il
MK Rafi Eitan: reitanhantman@knesset.gov.il
MK Yitzchak Cohen: izchakec@knesset.gov.il
MK Eitan Kabel: ecabel@knesset.gov.il

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From Mystical Paths, MPATHS.COM. Reading it somewhere else? See it there, click.

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Monday, October 30, 2006

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Sight to the Blind and Hearing to the Deaf

Tehillim (Psalms) 121 is a declaration of faith and a prayer for G-d's constant protection. This is how we repair our sight and restore our hearing. You see, it's all about where we are looking and how we perceive what we hear. If we are looking only to the secular news then there is depression and disfunction, as they do not believe in the G-d of truth or His word. There appears to be no help.

First let's repair our vision so we can see what's ahead, Ok? How do we do this? Well, Dovid HaMelech (King David) taught us in his sefer emmuna (his book of faith), "The Psalms". He hid all kinds of treasures in there. Vision is all about where you look. Even more than that, how you look. You see with vision. You have a choice of to look or not to look, whereas with hearing we are bombarded with sound, we hear all kinds of things, noises, etc... We are told to guard our sight. Why? Because the eyes project a picture directly into the soul. It's hard not to believe what we see. So we have to control what we look at. That's why the Rabbi's are against TV, as it's a programming force that is hard to beat. Sight has a direct link to imagination, there is less processing of sight as we trust what we see more than what we hear. That's our nature as humans. Thus the old adage "seeing is believing".

We must look to a pure source if we are to receive pure vision. Today it's increasingly difficult to do this as we are attacked relentlessly... ads, billboards, TV, internet. We must close all this out and concentrate on a positive point each day. Thus we begin to understand the importance of saying Tehillim (Psalms) each day. Not the whole book, just start with five. There is a set portion each day (that divides tehillim into daily portions to compete in 1 month), but I try to say five a day and a Mishle (proverb). Thus I finish the book of Psalms and Proverbs every month 150/30=5 a day; 31/30=1 a day with the 31st proverb said every Shabbos night. That's my program to repair my vision and my hearing.

So for the eyes it's simple, put only the pure and simple words of truth in front of them and they will begin to see correctly. Easy day by day plan to repair your sight. Try it. (Queue the advertisement, dancing Psalms and heavenly glow, it's better than the purple pill and now availabe in generic!)

Now to work on our ears. Our ears are very special organs as they seem to be able to filter out what they don't want to believe. But they need to be trained to do so. Emmuna (faith) is a gift we can give to ourselves as well as others. If we speak of faith and truth then we receive a boost, we can't help but receive it. When we speak to others about our faith in G-d, we receive as well. You see faith is a gift that we can give and no one can refuse, they receive it even against their will.

Speak positive and there's a positive reaction, speak negative there is negative reaction. So it's up to us to power up each other's faith each day. When I read/say the Psalms, the eyes see and the ears hear, and there is an uplifting in my nefesh. My soul hears the truth of the words and it is like warm oil poured on my head, I feel refreshed. That's why it is so important to only listen to holy music, as the one who creates the music gives it a soul. If the soul is bad then the effect is bad, we're drawn into the kilpa, the forces of evil. But if the soul is holy and inspiring then we are uplifted and drawn after kedusha (holiness). This why we also are commanded not to speak lashon hara (bad about another), as it is damaging to all that hear it, not just to the one speaking but also to all those who hear it.

We have a creative force, speech. With the mouth we create our reality, a lie told three times we are told becomes truth. You see, we are in control of where we are heading, we have free choice over only one thing in this world, to fear heaven or not. This means you choose to believe or you choose not to!

(Tehillim/Psalm 121) A person who is besieged by doubt and disbelief has no where to climb, execpt to the highest mountain and look to see his rescue...

"A song of ascents. I (me myself and I) raise my eyes to the mountains; from where will come my help? My help is from Hashem, maker of Heaven and the Earth. He will not allow the faltering of your foot; your guardian will not slumber. Behold, He neither slumbers nor sleeps, the Guardian of Israel. Hashem is your Guardian; Hashem is your protective shade at your right hand. By day the sun will not harm you, nor the moon by night. Hashem will protect you from every evil; He will guard your soul. Hashem will guard your departure and your arrival, from this time until eternity."

No one can force you to help yourself, but we can each empower the other with faith. And that leads to trust and that leads to belief. We can make a difference in this world and the next, all we need to do is but heed the word of G-d and be faithful to it and ourselves. "Yesh Ma Laasot" there is something we can do!!!

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The Weapon of Moshiach

"The basic weapon of Moshiach is prayer...as it is written (Berashis 48:22) 'with my sword and my bow'. Onkelos translates, and Rashi comments, 'with my prayer and supplication'. The same idea is expressed (Tehillim 44:7) 'For I trust not in my bow, nor shall my sword save me...(but rather) in those who praise the Lord all day long'." (Likiteu Mohoran 2:1)

Reb Noson comments, "Our Sages teach that the strength of a Jew is in his mouth. With this weapon, the mouth, the Kingdom of G-d can be revealed...the tzaddikim of each generation, who draw their power from Moshiach, wage their battles with prayer." (Torat Natan 1 - Likuteu Mohoran English, Commentary pg 53)

The Maharsha explains that both sword and bow are necessary to counter the enemies of the Jews. These enemies are two: Esav and Yishmael. Esav was blessed "You shall live by the sword." (Berashis 27:40). Yishmael was blessed with mastery of the bow (Berashis 21:20). To counter them, Yaakov must employ his own sword, prayer, and bow, the brit. (Likuteu Mohoran English, Commentary pg 54)

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

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Having Eyes That Can't See!

And Ears that can't Hear?

I've been ill so I haven't been writing, but I have been reading. This post was motivated by the comments to the last few posts....

There is not enough Headline News, right out of the Navi (biblical prophecies)? Don't you all to see and hear what is happening, and about to happen to the World? You think it's just status quo?

I know I know, we need a hand written invitation from G-d Himself before we can get the message. "Stiff-necked". Well, if that's the case then just buy a TaNak (Old Testament for our non-Jewish friends out there). It was written for us as a road atlas to history, with all the rest stops (nice feel good things) and toilets (bad stuff). Clearly marked, it hasn't changed, the highway of holiness. Our destination is still and always will be Israel and Yerushalayim (Jerusalem) the holy city and Har HaBayit the Holy mountain. We don't need back roads.

All the parsha's for the last year since de-jewification of Gaza and the northern Shomron (West Bank) have been and are pertinent to our very present situation. Week by week the "news" is proclaiming it. But we're not getting it, are we? No, too easy.

Are we really that desparate? Hanging on to the false sense of security that a "non-nation" and "non-people" offer us? America's existence, THE ONLY REASON SHE IS HERE, is to separate us from our homeland and to keep us from connecting to G-d. Thus, all the politics and sports and movies and you name it, it's only there to keep us from attaining our goal.

A line from a recent movie, "there are those so desperately helplessly dependent on the system that they will fight to stay connected". This is real. JEWS of the world do not say we haven't heard as there has always been a voice in every generation, and just as there was those who cried out 70 years ago that it was coming. But, few listened. There are those now calling, begging us to break free and come home before it's too late. It only takes a little faith put things in order and then one foot in front of the other, board the plane and come home now!

I realize that there's opposition and all kinds of excuses. There will be those who will waste their time trying tell me all the reasons for their continued opposition to Hashem's will. Before you start, don't waste a second on any of this as He already knows the truth. It's only for you to feel justified. So STOP.... Don't even think or reason an excuse because there is none, except that we don't believe in the G-d of truth or His Word. Just like the generation of Noach (Noah). For 120 years people from all over the world came to see this "old fool" building a ship in the middle of the mountains and he's claiming it's going to rain? What's rain? It's never rained in history. "You're a fool and wasting you're time when you could join us in a party." ... "What a fool, he missed the football game", "what was the score", "did you see that he's bring in animals and food HA HA HA" ... "What an idiot"...

Oh..Oh ...No what's this? Water from the sky? Oh Oh it's raining,... Its not so bad.....But wait it's still raining, yah it rained out the world series last night, and what this there's water raising from the ground.... Let's go swimming... The water is hot....UHH ooohh ahhhhh.... Help I'm drowning, help.....uuuuuhhhh! TOO LATE...!!!!

Tehillim (Psalm) 120 - The first of fifteen "songs of ascents" ie requests for G-d's salvation from those who use slander and lies to wage war against us. (Sounds a little like the bush/olmert adminsitration?) These songs begin in the plural as to tell us that when we merit it, we can climb very fast to the top, not one step at a time but express elevator. "Lying lips" (Olmert) is behind the back action, as "deceitful tongue" (Bush) refers to someone who claims to be a friend but is not (Malbim). "Woe to me" for I have sojourned among an Xian nation, Edom ie. The extended Roman empire and its present day successors (Radak HaAruach): the US, the EU , etc.. Israel has received this long exile, and her tormentors constantly used slander and deceit to persecute her. This exile was started and is continued as a result of Lashon Hara, and even now in the midst of it, with all its pain and suffering. How is it that we can not learn our lesson? This entire painful exile was/is caused by the sin of lashon hara! This is why they use this method against us , constantly lying and cheating us. "I am peace", our constant desire is for peace, we are even willing to sell our souls, "assimilation" for it! Our every attempt at peace brings only war. They see are efforts to live peaceably with them and tolerating them as weakness and vulnerability. But don't take my word for it. Read...

"A song of ascents to Hashem in my distress (exile) I cried and He answered me. Hashem, rescue my soul from the lips that are lying (Israeli non-government), from the tongue that is deceitful (EU-US). You are like arrows of the mighty that are sharp; with coals of rotem-wood. Woe unto me, for my sojourn is dawn out; I dwelled with those who inhabit the tents of Kedar (Arabs nations of Ishmael). Long has it dwelt, my soul with those who hate peace. I am peace; but when I speak, they are for war."

STOP TRYING TO APPLY POLITICAL SOLUTIONS TO A SPIRITUAL PROBLEM!!!!!!

HOW LONG ARE WE GOING TO WAIT AND FOOL OURSELVES AND MAKE ALL KINDS OF EXCUSES??? The sin of disbelief is grave. Do teshuva and heed the word of Hashem, and return to your land.

It's a lot more effective than speaking about the political system in the US and waiting on the good will that they promised, and trying to second guess all that's going on in the news.

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Q&A

More Q&A...

Ploni said...Here are some of the things that are bothering me these days. These are probably the issues that I need to consult either a mekubal or a tzaddik on...

. In order to have emunah, you have to make sure you dont eat treife. I heard from a shiur of Rav (x) that many foods that have heichsherim (supervision) are actually treife. Can we trust the OU symbol?

. There is so much to do teshuvah for! I need to focus on about 5 major areas.

. I dont know what people I can trust in! I don't know if I can even trust in my local rabbi anymore!

. I don't want to be a victim anymore! I want to win and get my Olam Habah!


I'm not a mekubal or a tzaddik, but since you consulted me I'll try to give a little advice to help a bit. However, as a Rav I once had used to say to me, "Oh, you want a good answer, consult an expert, all I can give you is my answer..."

. I'm not familiar with Rav (x), I am pretty up on many kashrus issues. OU is the acknowledged experts on flavors and chemicals and I consider their hashgacha reliable on standard products, particulary because the standard products heavy use of flavors, colors and preservatives. Wine, meat, dairy, fish, that's another matter and I don't hold by the OU because there, various levels of stringencies are possible and the OU is not (extra) stringent (and I have taken those extra stringencies upon myself).

So, using each expert in their space, I consider the OU more solid on standard products (say like ketchup), and more 'hemishe' supervision on wine, meat, dairy and fish. But, to absolutely avoid treif we must do the best we can, practically rely on our committed fellow, and pray for help. Otherwise no one will succeed. See the recent situation in Monsey as an example.

. Start with two, 5 is too many at once. Take small steps to improve every week, after a few months you'll be amazed how far you have come. When you have those 2 well in hand, move on to another 2. Start with too many objectives and you'll get depressed at insufficient progress across the board.

. Unfortunately, that's a sign of the times. Keep searching, and remember, Pikre Avos says "asay l'cha rav", make for yourself a teacher. Once you find the right person, it's ok to be pushy about "making" him your rav. It's not unusual for a baal teshuvah to grow beyond the fit of his current rav or to need changes as he changes and grows. Don't slow down, find the rav that can keep up!

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Friday, October 27, 2006

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I'm Voting for The Big Guy

Excerpts (with commentary) from an email by Elisheva Rubin...

Can The Land, Eretz Yisroel, the Land of Israel, Eretz HaKodesh, the Holy Land, be given away? Can a vote permit it? Can the UN vote to divide it? Can US politicians decide it's good policy and execute on it?

The navi Yoel, the prophet Joel, wrote the following words of the future (Joel 4)...

For behold, in those days and in that time when I return the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem,

I will gather all the nations and I will take them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat, and I will contend with them there concerning My people and My heritage, Israel, which they scattered among the nations, and My land they divided.

And upon My people they cast lots, (they voted!) and they gave a boy for a harlot, and a girl they sold for wine, and they drank.

And also, what are you to Me, Tyre and Sidon (Lebanon) and all the regions of Philistia (Palestine/Gaza)?

Are you paying Me recompense? And if you are recompensing Me, I will swiftly return your recompense upon your head.

For My silver and My gold you took, and My goodly treasures you have brought into your temples.

And the children of Judah and the children of Jerusalem you have sold to the children of the Jevanim, in order to distance them from their border.

Behold I arouse them from the place where you sold them, and I will return your recompense upon your head.

"With regard to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, the United States President George W. Bush visits with Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah Monday, April 25, 2005, at the President's ranch in Crawford, Texas. The US and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia desire a just, negotiated settlement wherein two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace and security."

Secretary Rice condemned Israel’s “daily humiliation of occupation” of Palestinian Arabs; stated that there “could be no greater legacy for America than to help to bring into being a Palestinian state ... for a people ... who have been humiliated too long”; compared the PLO/Palestinian Arab movement to the American Revolution and implied the comparison of Palestinian Arab leaders to America’s founding fathers; praised America’s support of the Palestinian Authority (PA) legislative elections in January 2005 that Hamas won, saying that now Hamas can be held accountable; called PA president Mahmoud Abbas a “moderate”; and praised the Palestinians as being committed to a better future. (Here.)

Within the US, political activity is supposed to be a process. In a Democratic Republic, based on representative government, a political party is not follow-the-leader. But the Republicans are manifesting precisely that - top down directives, and a complete failure to hear the grassroots up. What the Democrats do is completely irrelevant. The only question is how to influence the Republican party to do the right thing which it claims to do, but is failing us miserably. We see here, in microcosm, that it is not going to happen. The Republican Party is just loyal opposition to the Democrats, and both are against Israel and the Jewish people. And folks, you should be complaining to force the political equilibrium to the direction which you must want - to stop the destruction of Israel.

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Speaking Out!

Yesterday, the head court of the State of New Jersey in the US ruled that the 'equal protection' clause of the state constitution means that same-gender couples must be granted equal rights to traditional husband-and-wife married couples. They then instructed the state legislature to create appropriate laws doing this.

There are those who, while disagreeing, may stay silent because this cause has become so popular and pervasive in modern US society that to speak against it is to be labeled old, out of touch, and the worst one may be labeled in the US: discriminatory.

The Gemora discusses those with gender anomalies (as in actual physical defects, mixed equipment), and how to classify them in an appropriate gender (at length). It also discusses those with inappropriate gender desires.

The Torah clearly warns us that these actions are a grave sin. However, clearly from the Gemora, both actual physical anomalies as well as desire anomalies exist.

In other words, it's a sin, but some people are created that way. Why not let them live?

The answer is (it's not a question of letting them live) because letting them flaunt and exalt their desires damages society as a whole. The actions of the NJ court yesterday violate fundemental basic morals of US society. Of course, that's the point, make new morals according to their niche need, ignoring the impact to society as a whole.

When we see such wrongs, we have an obligation to speak out. I for one am doing so.

This is wrong.

Akiva

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Thursday, October 26, 2006

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The Twilight Zone - Today's News

Sometimes in reading events of the day, I just have to wonder, have we entered The Twilight Zone...

European Union to Israel: "Peace process being stalled, get back on the road map!" Envoy Solana said, "As far as we are concerned, the Road Map still exists and both Israel and the Palestinians must meet their commitment to its first stage. We have the feeling that it is now stalled." ... You don't say? Next time, perhaps invite the envoy to meet with you on Sderot while dodging Kassam rockets. OMG!

Coincidentally, a movie was found and released today of a Nazi Slave Labor camp. Unlike normal propaganda films, this appears to be a home movie. Watch the Nazi's party while their slaves toil. 5 min, no sound (low quality), here. And a little more info about the finding of movie here.

And we ignore the building up of weapons by our enemies and nuclear preparations of two madmen.

Hashem Ya'azor! (Because it doesn't seem we're going to.)

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Rejoicing in Evil Thoughts!

It's written in the Tanya (Chap. 27), "If sadness comes from worry over evil thoughts and desires that enter his mind...if they enter while he is occupied wit his own affairs and with mundane matters (rather than at prayer), he should...be happy in his portion in that, though they enter his mind, he averts his mnd from them in order to fulfill the injunction, "Don't seek after your own heart and your own eyes, after which you go astray." (Devarim 15:39) ... "He who passively abstained from committing a sin, receives a reward as though he had performed a mitzvah." (Kiddushin 39b)

Here the Baal HaTanya, the 'Old Rebbe' teaches us that the not-perfectly-righteous should not cry over their less-than-kosher desires, rather they should rejoice at the opportunity for the mitzvah of fighting it! Rav Nachman reinforces this...

Likutei Mohoran (1:2): Each person is required to give strength to the Kingdom of Holiness so that it may overpower the Kingdom of the Other Side. Our sages taught, "A person should always incite the good inclination against the evil inclination." (Brachot 5a)

We are not tzaddikim, the perfectly righteous, or malachim, angels. We struggle with an evil inclination and an animal every day. This is a tough lot, but it is the service we've been given. Don't cry over the job, let's show the Boss that we can get the job done! After all, this is the job with which the Boss has entrusted us, and we must trust that He is a good judge of ability.

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A Long Life

A Guest Post from Reb Gutman Locks of the Old City, Jerusalem...thoughts on Parshat Noach...

Each year we read of the Biblical flood and never stop to ask, “What does this have to do with me?” As with every word in the Torah these facts must be coming to teach us something important or they would have no purpose in being there. What do these things teach us?

During Noah’s lifetime G-d looked down upon His creation and saw that man had horribly corrupted his way. Seeing that His handiwork went afoul He decided to destroy life upon the world by flood. Why did He choose to destroy it by flood rather than any other number of ways that He could have used? For instance, He could have cut off its air and suffocated all life, or He could have sent a fire, or just say the word and whatever He wanted would be?

He chose water because water represents kindness, purity and spiritual wisdom, and the inhabitants of the world turned their backs to these essential basic and natural human traits. So, as always, G-d sent back to man something in the way that man behaved.

This is the essential lesson here. Not that G-d sent a flood and wiped out all life, because He promised never to do that again. But rather we are to see how our daily actions bring back upon us equal and opposite reactions. Whatever we send out into the world is somehow going to come back to us. This principle is called “portion across from portion” and can be found through the Torah and in our daily lives.

Whenever something comes to us, good or bad, we should look for the reason it came. We should ask, “What did I do that brought this to me?” In this way we will be able to guide our lives properly and fulfill our greatest potential.


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Speed Check & Blog Thoughts

A quick question for my readers. I'm thinking of editing the format so that articles are cut short with a MORE link to open the article and read the rest. This is because many articles are long, pushing old articles quickly down the page making them harder to find and read. What do you think? A negative of this approach is it makes it somewhat harder to read via RSS or blog reading software (a little bit of the "MORE" code gets mixed in the text, making it a bit confusing via reader), and about 1/3 of the blog readers read that way. Opinions? Better to have a shorter front page, or do you scroll down for older articles you haven't seen?

Thursday's have become d'var Torah (Torah oriented posts, especially about the portion of the week). Any preference, should these go on Friday's?

Speakeasy Speed Test

A nice little tool to check your internet connection speed. Click it.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2006

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Links of Interest

Frozen Jews at BeyondBT. Appearances can be deceiving.

SSA (same gender attraction), perhaps not what everyone thinks. Because society creates an accepted position doesn't make it right, and on this topic (secular) society's position has been manipulated by interest groups for years.

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A Healthy Diet, A Healthy Urge

A guest post by Reb Moshe, in response to A Touchy Subject...

The first thing to know is that physical and spiritual health are connected and have much effect on each other. A small hole in the body causes a big hole in the soul, as said the Maggid of Mezritch.

Now the practical side: Our sexual urge is very much affected by our hormonal balance. A person with healthy hormonal balance will have a healthy urge to marry and build a family, but not what people call "raging hormones". Although unfortunately in our days it is often caused by all the immodest junk that is seen in newspapers and on the street, a man who has a healthy hormonal balance will be able to control his urges much easier than one who does not.

How do we make sure to have a proper balance? DON'T take any hormonal supplements or run to endocrinologist! A healthy diet and lifestyle will make sure that one's hormones slowly but surely get back on track.

To make long story short, the important thing is to clean up the blood. But we don't clean blood with a broom or a sponge, Hashem gave us organs (liver and kidneys) who're happy to do the job. The problem is that these organs are too often so polluted and loaded with years of junk food that they're just too tired... The solution is obviously to clean up the blood together with the internal organs.

There are two steps to doing that: "sur me'ra" and "ase tov", or in other words, stop eating foods which further pollute your system, and do eat foods and do excercise that will help clean them. I'm going to outline here these foods to the best of my knowlege.

Foods to stay away from (in approximate order of importance):

Sugar - makes your blood too sugary (that's not too hard to figure out) and that has a very bad effect on nearly everything - our internal organs are not meant to function with high blood sugar (even not diabetic). It also feeds the "bad" bacteria in the large intestine which further causes all kinds of problems. Too many sweet fruits and fruit juices are also included in this (in my opinion one fruit a week is more than enough).

Too much meat (or chicken, eggs, fish) - is heavy for digestion. Our goal is to give our digestive organs as much rest as we can so that they can clean themlelves out - and they really do when we let them. The Rambam writes that it's enough to have meat or chicken once a week (Shabbos obviously), and again, not too much. If you can substitute fish for meat or chicken that's even better (fish is easier digested than meat or chicken). In terms of getting enough protein, combining starchy grains with beans or nuts gives one a full protein, or you can have milk products (again, not too much).

Salt - is way over used. We put too much salt in everything, and that makes the blood well... too salty. Again, in order for the internal organs to work properly, too much salt in the blood is very detremental, and kidneys spend their time getting rid of the salt meanwhile getting polluted themselves (kidneys are also very connected with the reproductive system and urge). Try to stay away from salt all together (you can get used to it after about a week), or at least use less salt as much as you can.

Foods to eat:

Fresh green vegetables - excellent for cleaning the blood and the digestive tract. Have a green salad before evey meal.

Whole grains - kasha (buckwheat), brown rice, whole wheat, qinua. These should be the main part on ones diet. They are easily digested, and their outer shell (bran) is very good for cleaning the digestive tract. Bread made from whole flour and sour dough is also good, however such bread without harmful additives is hard to find nowdays. Try looking for bread made from sprouted wheat in health food stores - that's usually the healthiest option.

Beans and nuts - if you don't have a little bit of animal products on a daily basis, you should have some beans or nuts together with grains to provide a full protein. It's more recommended than having animal products.

Exercise: It's very recommended to take a brisk walk (at least 20 minutes, the more the better) on a daily basis or at least 3 times a week. It cleans the blood and "massages" the internal organs. If you can break into sweat that's excellent (someone with heart problems should consult their doctor).

Always remember: a healthy lifestyle is a mitzvah and brings one closer to Hashem. This is how we were meant to live and is how people lived for the most part until modern food production introduced junk food and other health hazards. Getting back to natural living is also part of tshuva.


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Stained?

R. asked a tough question...

I am doing my best, however I know my soul is really awfully stained, and I fear that to get these stains off will take lots of real awful punishment. Is there a way to clean myself up without having to endure awful suffering in this world or the next?

Now that's a hard question and one that's perhaps best addressed to an expert, a true mekubal (kabbalist), who can diagnose and address your specific needs. But, here's my best shot being generic according to my understanding...

Achieving 'higher level' teshuvah can affect a cleansing for a particular avera. This process is described in Tanya but is not easily achievable.

Alternatively, the Baal HaTanya discusses how to achieve this cleansing when one doesn't remember all the specifics and instances for which to do teshuvah, but rather just the category of averot. For this, he prescribes 89 daytime fasts for each category (for example, sexual, stealing, non-kosher food, etc). He does recommend doing this in the winter when the fasting time is shorter.

Rav Nachman of Breslov specifically states that not only is fasting too hard, but without the help of a tzaddik it may be insufficient. He prescribes the use of mikvah and regular saying of Tikun Klali, and specifically includes visiting his grave site, distributing tzedakah there, and praying there on Rosh Hashana.

A properly skilled mekubal should be able to prescribe a specific tikun, often in the form of specific repairing tefilot and/or other personal actions over a period of time, while a tzadik or Rebbe can prescribe a series of personal events (such as moving to or from a particular place as a form of exile, distributing tzedakah in opposition to the previous area of averah, involvement in specific areas of chesed, etc) that also can effect the same.

In the end we can only pray that Hashem brings us in the path that is best for our souls and accept the difficulties of this world with love and appreciation, and hope that our Father is giving us the best opportunity to enter the next world with purity.

I asked several Breslover friends whether Rav Nachman says anything about avoiding Kaf HaKela and Chibut HaKever (2 post death pre-gehenom cleansings), as I know that the Tanya (Chabad chassidus) does, though very briefly. I was directed to Chai Morharan 488, which also discusses fasting (though I don't have the sefer so I don't know the details).

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Beit Togarmah

By R. Nati & Akiva

Yechezkel (Ezekiel) 38 lists the nations that will join Gog's coalition.

Today, Beit Togarmah has joined the peace keeping force in Lebanon. Keeping count anyone? Gomer is there. Meshech and Tubal are there. Persia is there. Put is there.

Awaiting Cush and Gog?

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Tuesday, October 24, 2006

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Choosing Between Evils

Q&A with R...

R. said...It reminds me of a rabbi in the Talmud who asked Hashem to give him a better parnassa. Hashem responded that perhaps He will recreate the entire world so that the rabbi may have a better parnassa. Only one question remains....should the Rebbe (Reb Nachum of Chernobyl) have transgressed the aveirah of Yichud in order to prevent an unauthorized opening of a closed channel? (original story here.)

Great question! Here we get into a whole different discussion. If a person is faced with two evils (or even no choice but evil), will he/she be held liable for choosing evil? Clearly the answer we learn from the Gemora is no. He/she is not liable for an avera (the sin) when the avera is forced, or forced by circumstance.

But, that doesn't mean there is no negative impact. If, G-d forbid, a Jew is forced to eat pork in a life or death situation, he hasn't comitted a sin in doing so. But, he also hasn't elevated the pork to holiness, and the small portion of his body that results from the non-kosher food, blood and fat and muscle, is from 'the other side'. The purity of his body has been lowered.

Similarly, even when it doesn't involve such a direct fleshy matter, the involvement with a negative matter causes a stain. One may not be judged in the heavenly court for the stain, after all one was forced into the position. Yet, that doesn't mean there's no stain.

So the Rebbe (Reb Nachum of Chernobyl) was placed in a very difficult circumstance, take on a stain, or take the risk of a higher level bracha. In the first case, there's no positive benefit and years of work to repair it . In the latter case, he enriches the life of the woman and her family, at risk of a great negative judgement upon himself.

Further, there sometimes seem to be openings offered, both personal and national, that require a risk or a 'trick' to get through into this world. The Rebbe may have perceived this as such a moment.

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Avoiding Reincarnation

by R. Nati

(R. Nati has been stricken with Bloggers Block. What can he write without being depressing or fatalistic and still get a message across? Well, I was going through some old emails and came across this post he sent me on August the 24th that never was posted...)

Moztei Shabbos, malavah malkah, I sat down at the table and began to sing Shabbos songs with two of my sons. It had been a very hot and difficult Shabbos with news on erev Shabbos of the (Katyusha) strikes on Tiberius, and my kids fighting all Shabbos (literally).

We sang a couple of songs and then I opened at random the sefer Chai Moharan, a biography of Rebbenu Nachman of Breslev written by his scribe Rabbi Nathan.

It was moztei Shabbos Nachamu (the Shabbos after Tisha B'av). I opened to number 446 which say's this: "The Sunday after Shabbos Nachamu 5569." So I had to read what was written there, I mean it was literally the same day. And what we found there blew my mind. B'kitzur (in short), a discussion about a funeral that was passing the Rebbe's house. People were crying and mourning as people do, as we are well aware at this time. (I've been to four in the last week.)

The Rebbe said "presumably the dead man is laughing in his heart at the people, the way they are crying over him. When someone dies people cry over him as if to say: how good it would have been if you had lived in this world even longer and suffered even more trials and torments, and then you would have had even more bitterness." Rabbi Nathan said to the Rebbe, "But surely even there he won't have relief from suffering, for G-d forbid he was not sufficiently righteous to escape the pain of gehenim and the torment of the grave. If so he will also suffer there."

The Rebbe replied: "But at least this will be the end of his pain and suffering, because once he will have gone through what he has to, then he will enjoy his reward for whatever he achieved in this world in the way of good deeds." In short, it's over.

"But surely there is such a thing as reincarnation. It could be that he will have to reincarnated again in this world, and if so what will have been gained by dying now and leaving the troubles of this world behind?" The Rebbe replied: "If he wants he can put up a stubborn argument there and say that he does not want to be reincarnated again in any shape or form so as to return to this world." How can that help? "It will most certainly help him," If he puts up a stubborn argument and says 'do whatever you want with me here down to the very last detail, only let me not have to return to Olam HaZeh, the physical world again in any form of reincarnation, just finish it here.' He can certainly achieve this the Rebbe said "It would certainly help so long as the dead man remains firm with his pleading."

The Rebbe was very serious. "and I made the point to fix this in my mind as to not forget it. I only hope I can remember it in the World to Come, and to make the plea before the heavenly court in order to be saved from reincarnation. No matter what might happen to me --- for 'I do not know which path they are taking me by' (Berakhot 28b) it will still be better than having to be reincarnated and having to be exposed to the danger of this world with all its vanities. From this time on, may G-d bring us back to him with perfect repentance in accordance with His desire." - end of the words of the Rebbe and his scribe.

So now I understand why it is so important to be joyful all the time in this life. The Rebbe says "What is there to be worried about?" He replied, "So long as you have someone to rely on you don't need to be afraid at all." BAM, BOOM, BLANG, it hit me. I've got nothing in this world to worry about, because surely I have many to rely on.

My wife (she is cleaning me up all the time) wow! The Rebbe…Baal Shem Tov….. David Hamelch….Aharon….Moshe…Yosef Hazadik…Yaakov Aveinu…Yitzhak Aveinu…Avraham Aveinu…BIG BOOM, (not a ketyusha rocket, B"H) My Father in heaven, my ABBA, Yod Kae Vav Kae, Elokim.

So I've found a path...Smile all the time… speak positively with emunah (faith) to everyone I speak to, to give a blessing to those I meet, to be a MENCHSH. And pray that I'm infectious so as to spread this to the next guy, so he/she will do the same and the next, and the next, and so on.

And to move the world with our joy in life and with our security in our G-d, so that our Father says: "My children!" and returns to us in mercy.

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Marines

"I will repeat what was said to me by a United States Marine colonel. He was stationed in Israel for several years as part of a project that the Marines were doing together with Israel Aircraft Industries. He had never known any Jews before coming to Israel and we became quite friendly. I invited him to my son’s wedding and, as he observed the ceremony and the dancing, he said to me “I understand the Jews now, I know who they are.” To my smiling response “I am one of them and I am not sure that I understand them,” he said “The Jews are the Marines of the world. They are few in number, they are proud of being who they are, they get the toughest assignments, they suffer the most losses, they get the job done, and they are Semper Fidelis – always faithful."

- To Perfect the World Under the Rule of G-d, Jay Shapiro

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The Baal Shem Tov or a Fake?

This picture of the Baal Shem Tov has recently been used on several books. Is it really the Baal Shem Tov?

Some claim not only is it not, it's a specific conspiracy not to be...

Samuel H. Falk (1710-1782) a Sabbatian and Frankist came to London and established a laboratory devoted to alchemy and Kabbala.

Falk's mystical activities were involved with the use of secret formulas for the name of God, which earned him the title of Baal Shem (Master of the Name) of London. The Frankists indulged in this name because their arch enemies were the Chasidic Jews, whose spiritual founder, Rabbi Israel Baal Shem Tov (1700-1760), earned his title by acclamation because of the good deeds he had done and his mastery of the Kabbalistic Holy names of God, the Shemot Hakedoshim. When the American artist John Copley painted Falk's portrait, the Frankists made duplicates of it and disseminated it all over Europe, from which they derived a sadistic pleasure at having substituted one of their ilk for the Baal Shem Tov.


Hashem Yaazo! From "To Eliminate The Opiate, Volume 1" by R. Antelman, a conspiracy theorist book on the takeover of the Sabateans (followers of Shabatai Tzvi) and conspiracy to destroy traditional Judaism.

Remember, just because we're paranoid doesn't mean they're not really out to get us. From here, but don't leave your skepticism behind.

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Monday, October 23, 2006

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Opening a Channel

Dreaming had a wonderful story of the Rebbe, Rav Nachum of Chernobyl, zt"l (here), where Rebbe Nachum is somewhat forced into giving a blessing for children to a barren woman. The story discusses Rebbe Nachum being called before the heavenly court for this.

R. emailed some questions about this story...

I wonder why the Heavenly Court was furious at Rabbi Nachum of Chernobyl? Sure he may have 'abused' his powers to give the poor woman her child, however:

1. The rabbi would have been 'over' the sin of Yichud if he refused and
2. Why is the Court upset? A woman had her baby at long last, there should be simcha!

It was a very disturbing story. Hashem is just and His deeds are perfect. However being flesh and blood and blind as a dingbat, I am still disturbed by it!


I replied... We learn that the tzaddikim have the power to give out brachos to increase a person's blessings from heaven. Yet, this requires that the 'channel' for that blessing be open (and a 'vessel' to receive the blessing be in place, but that's another discussion). You could say that these actions are not in contradiction of the divine plan, but rather authorized adjustments to the existing plan. They don't cause major replanning, just adjustments to the flow.

Opening a closed channel, however, is a major disruption to the plan. Not only must a closed channel be opened (or a path that does not exist for this person be created), in the case of children future generations till the end of time (or the end of this family line) now must be incorporated into the divine scheme of things.

We learn stories occasionally of people who are supposed to be childless, or have a short life, or have a very poor life, who receive a great blessing that opens the channels and changes their plan within this world. The 'authorization' required to make a great change is significantly higher.

Regarding the Rebbe, he was examined to determine if he had the merit, at that moment, required for that 'authorization'.

Regarding the woman, her destiny was to be childless and suffer through the difficulties of life associated with that. These challenges were the tests and trials needed for her soul to achieve it's maximum potential in this lifetime. Now an alternative destiny had to be planned to give her the opportunities her soul needed (or perhaps a whole additional lifetime planned as it was no longer possible in this one).

We do not have the vision to see, nor the scope to comprehend the great value of these experiences. Nor should we, as we must have compassion for our fellow and certainly never ever ignore their suffering because it's 'good' for them (as perhaps a person's suffering is specifically to give others the opportunity to relieve it!) Yet, "His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways not our ways." At a different level, indeed, all is for the good.

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Speculations and Concerns

Another chat with Reb Dov Bar Leib of the End of Days blog...

Dov: Everything is in line for exactly what Rav Nachmani predicted in the late 80s. If Iran needs an instant nuke this year, the wild man of North Korea will deliver. After Achmadinejad confirmed just before Yom Kippur that he has no intention of conceding anything, I decided to write the post about filling the four universes. I think that every American Jew should at least begin packing their bags, file for Nefesh B'nefesh funding, and open a file will their nearest Aliyah office. Even if they cannot hop on a plane in 5767, at least start the process. Mashiach will work through the details. Just show HaShem that they desire the dust here.

Me: Nefesh bNefesh is doing a great job, we're actaully starting to see a steady trickle out of all the major Jewish communities. But so far, it's just that, a trickle, 1 out of 100.

Dov: You might actually have until the 17th of Cheshvan. Just do what you can within your means. (A word through another party from) a trustworthy mekubal (kabbalist) told him that 5767 will probably be the last year for making Aliyah with all one's kavod (literally 'respect', but meaning belongings). He did not elaborate, but (given world conditions and the possibilities), he didn't need to.

Next week will give us an idea of how much of an effort will be mustered before the fateful confrontation.

Me: (Here we got into a side discussion, some of which I already included in my post on my visit to the Mekubal. Regarding the Impure Parade schedule for Jerusalem on the 19th of Cheshvan...)

Dov: I am sure the Eidut Chareidit (major Jerusalem Jewish religious organization) has something planned. They do not get a penny from Armilus. They are not compromised. Perhaps we will all be there sitting on Rehov Yafo (Jaffa Street). The frightening thing is we do not know what to expect. I expect ActUp to arrive with buckets of tainted blood. It is all very foreboding.

Me: I honestly don't believe you have to worry at all about the 'activists', rather the government support of them. Because Armilus can't be shown to be losing control. I'd expect the Yashamniks, the horses and the clubs.

Dov: My G-d. Even when the Chareidim set the city on fire when the government does an autopsy, we never saw the Yassamnikim. But it all makes sense that monster man PM would use them now. The forces of darkness can't get much darker than Armilus.

And, did you that the Russians are coming! Gog UMagog has begun.
Debka reported, but the article has since disappeared (though it's linked from many places)...The two Russian Chechen GRU platoons, Vostok and Zapad, revealed by DEBKAfile Oct. 6 as being deployed in S. Lebanon, are setting up their headquarters and surveillance posts in the Lebanese port of Sidon and giving Syrian intelligence a window on their input. Syria is drumming up local support in the strategic port-town, the largest in S. Lebanon, by pumping weapons to local branches of the two Shiite groups, Hizballah and Amal, and the two pro-Syrian clans which dominate the town.

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Rejected by the Land?

I received the following via a reliable source, but they didn't mention the original source...

Several months ago the Sadigurer (a chassidic group in Israel) Rebbitzen z"l passed away, during the Shiva someone commented to the Sadigurer Rebbe Shlit"a about Sharon still lingering, the Rebbe made a comment that Sharon was indeed dead but that the soil of Israel refuses to accept his body for burial because he betrayed it.

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

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Dreams Come

For a dream comes from much concern... - Kohelet 5.2

Shoshana commented: This is the most frustrating thing. We sense that big things are coming, we can feel it in the air. I think that people acutally know that we are in powerful times. We are only looking for confirmation that it's not a dream. We pray that we are redeemed without the pain that we all fear might be coming. I pray that Hakadosh Baruch Hu brings the geula without terror described by some of the navi'im!

Many gedolim, especially the chassidic rebbaim, have written that because the great pain and suffering of the geulah would be beyond what we can bear, it's been broken up into 3 pieces. I don't know if World War I was the first piece or not, but World War II was definately the 2nd piece. The merit of those korbonos is very great, though we would never have intentionally chosen it to be so.

Anonymous commented: Reb. Akiva, are you scared? I am. I am scared of the Day of Judgment, I am scared to die, I am scared of the unknown.

I am worried. I like to plan, but all directions I turn are dark and cloudy, making it impossible to do so. Yet, like the great Rabbi Akiva, my namesake, I try to look at the fact that events are lining up so well can only mean that the moment of the geulah is almost here. Moshiach, techiyas hamayseem, and the knowledge of G-d covering the earth like the waters fill the ocean, is almost within our grasp. Ahh, but that last step is a doozy.

Will commented: I think if you're dreaming numinously, as I have been recently, then the message really is getting through to you. If it wasn't, you wouldn't be dreaming numinously. I think that instead of straining to decipher the "dream code", it's usually best to be mindful (and grateful) that you are being text-messaged from Above, and then simply let the message integrate itself into your consciousness in its own good time. As for myself, I had a wonderfully numinous dream about a golden, sinewy, "awe"ful tiger. And the tiger's name was "Charity".

Will, I am not a dreamer, Hashem has not opened that door to me. I'm a calculator and a correlator. I am in touch with dreamers, and my post was written for one.

Shoshana commented: Rabbi Sutton has given a talk on basically what's ahead and how to prepare. There is one thing that struck me, he said before the Great Shabbat and everything that surrounds this happens, all likeminded people ie us will somehow connect and receive strength from each other and as Rabbi Nachman's famous wheat story says...at least we shall look at each other, see the mark on our forheads and remember we are mad!!!

A nice analogy! Perhaps even the ultimate target of Rav Nachman's story. We have these new technological opportunities that we've never had in the past. It is indeed up to us to find their use for good. I hope this blog helps a bit with that, if anyone has suggestion for making it better, please let me know.

Together, we can indeed strengthen one another, and together we have wisdom and knowledge that none of us has individually. Standing together, b'achdus b'yachad b'ahavat yisroel, we have merit far beyond what we can count apart.

Update: Lazer Beams adds a dream message from the great tzaddik (who has left us), the Baba Sali, here.

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Banished

One of the problems with unlimited laws needed for security is it requires trust of the authorities and those authorities to be exceptionally responsible in use of those laws. Historically, this scenario is good for about a week (ok, maybe a year).

In Israel, authorities have a wide range of 'legal' power to detain, imprison, extract information, and banish 'security risks'. No trial, limited appeal, and no access to the charges or evidence (sometimes not even by the judge!)

Starting about 1993 with the Israeli government of Yitzchok Rabin (who was later assasinated), these powers were turned from pure terrorist security risks to political opponents. Anyone disagreeing with the government loudly was reclassed as a security risk. With Mr. Rabin's assasination, this was ramped up to an even higher level.

Nowadays, if you protest too much, live in the wrong place and/or don't have the right connections, harrassment via repeated arrests with short term detention (24-48 hours) comes first, house arrest or banishment follows, then long term imprisonment, no trial, no judge, just the sweep of a pen(only 1 prisoner in the history of these events has ever been able to get his banishment overturned).

Over the past few weeks and months, 20 activist Jews from various outpost neighborhoods in Judea and Samaria have received orders keeping them out of the entire region. The orders are for between three and six months. Some of the men have families with up to five children, and some have no relatives outside Yesha.

The expelled residents and many of their neighbors feel that the government is merely trying to pave the way for the destruction of the outposts and neighborhoods in which they live. - Source here.

But honestly, watching the political downward spiral is too depressing. I'm going to try to focus on the more mystical stuff this week, staying on theme as it were.

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Friday, October 20, 2006

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Meeting with the Mekubal

I wrote quite a while back about the series of challenges that seemed to arise when I planned to visit a mekubal (that story is here.) Here's the story of my visit...

I had made arrangements to visit a major mekubal (kabbalist) visiting from Israel. This was to be a personal visit, family issues, health issues, children issues. All is not easy in this world, and some challenges are very hard.

He was staying in Flatbush, I don't live in New York. It was Tzom Gedaliah, the fast day, and it was a long, but surprisingly smooth, trip. I went with my whole family. This was not advised, but not only did I want to present some problems for review first hand, I also wanted to present my children with the opportunity to be in the presence of a tzadik (a righteous holy man). We arrived and found the location without too much difficulty. One person was inside and one was waiting before us. The children had been in the car for a while, the younger ones started running around and the older ones sat around and grumbled. My wife and I alternated positions between staying near the older ones and trying to keep their voices down, and staying with the younger ones on the sidewalk and directing their running safely.

I wanted to see the Rav while still fasting. The fast had ended and it was getting to me, I consumed a juice box of the children. My wife continued fasting (she's tough!) After about 15 minutes the person before us entered, we were next. I was trying to complete Tikkun Klali before entering, it was becoming a major challenge between the two groups of children. I was seriously beginning to doubt my judgment in bringing them.

Finally we went in. Instantly a series of embarrassing bathroom breaks were necessary with the children. No doubt about my judgment now, thumbs down. Ugh.

Eventually ready (us that is), the Rav motioned us over. He was seated at a small dinette table, the room well lit. The table had a fruit platter and a plate of cookies and pastries. The Rav was sitting in a silk black Shabbos coat, large white kippah, and a normal hat, looking regal. All of the children sat quietly, the older ones were shy and hanging back, he motioned them to come close to the seats by him.

We sat quietly for a few moments, all of us. I prepared to speak, as I went to open my mouth he motioned with his hand for me not to. He closed his eyes and concentrated for a half a minute or so, I felt a charge (like a static electricity build up).

He looked at my wife and I and he said, "the balance is not right", he then looked at my wife and said, "his blood is not right, he must get a blood test right away!". He then explained at length that when the balance between the parents is not right, the children become very upset at this and acting out in anger, further upsetting the serenity of the home.

My wife responded that I have blood tests every year or two and take high blood pressure medicine, everything is fine (or under control at least) in that area. He forcefully said, "he must get a blood test immediately, the medicine is wrong!"

He went on detailing how things are affecting me, my wife and the children. We had not said a word yet about a single problem of ours and he's detailing our problems to us! This went on for 20 minutes! During this whole time the children are sitting there rapt with attention. This is way out of character.

He began detailing how to work on our problems. First he prescribed a diet change that he said is critical for me, absolute avoidance of bad fats, pretty much all fats, as well as absolutely no sugar, as well as a series of salads and herbs. He reiterated a blood test and a medication change. He recommended specific spiritual steps, including specific tikkunim (prayers of repair) and yeshuos (prayers of salvation), both for myself and my wife. He further directed, rather straightforwardly, improvements in marital activities, focusing them on kedusah (holiness). This was extremely important, he said.

We took our leave and headed back to the car. And everything filled out. My older children started cursing up a storm, at each other, at themselves, at the wall. My wife grumbled how she got nothing out of it, it didn't connect with her. The little kids kvetched about food, tiredness, each other. It was like the yetzer hara had been bottled up and now the dam had crashed over. I couldn't believe it.

We traveled home, it wasn't pleasant until the crew fell asleep.

The next morning I delayed going into work and went to the lab. I happened to have a blood test prescription I'd put off for about 4 months (I hate getting stabbed for blood), so in to the vampires I went. And don't forget the cup.

Two days later I got a call from the doctor's secretary, "you've got to come in right away." "What is it?" I asked. "Your blood test results are in, it's important the doctor review them with you immediately."

Well, it seems my triglycerides have gone through the roof, my HDL has dropped through the floor, by LDL has gone up, and my blood sugar is high, and my liver enzymes are iffy. All this was somewhat normal last year (not great, but normal). And, my current blood pressure medication has a side effect of making the triglycerides and LDL problems worse.

In other words, too much fat, too much sugar, wrong medication, and hard to treat because of the liver. When I told my wife this, she started on the program. Me, I'm on a whole new series of medication, G-d willing the blood profile will get better when I retest in a month, and working my way through the tikkunim.

I had a conversation with Dov Bar Leib about this, and speculated that balancing personal areas of kedusah subject to extreme tuma is critical for klal yisroel (meaning specifically marital relations and associated activities). This means proper martial relations versus 'anything goes' (of course only within a kosher relationship). Though a steak can be kosher and eating it isn't, G-d forbid, an avera (sin) like eating a pork chop, still, gorging on 3 steaks certainly isn't a mitzvah. A similar analogy can be considered in marital activities.

These types of things, as well as other negative influences which had crept into our lives results in an out of balance relationship between the husband and wife, chutzpah and major anger towards the parents from the children, educational and authority problems for the children, health imbalances, increases in incidence of high blood pressure and diabetes.

Dov asked, "Why now more than in previous times?"

Of course, this is just my own speculation... Because when the yetzer hara is coming to it's end, it throws out all stops to prevent it. So we see such tremendous cultural influence pushing sex into everything, and this penetrates even the bedrooms of the frum Jewish world (which is partially the main target, and explains the intensity level required to get that deep). Damage the Jewish family and Torah society falls apart.

Similarly we see an external attack in the same category, The Impure Parade rescheduled for Jerusalem on the 19th of Cheshvon (Nov. 10?). Will the religious Jewish community stand up and rebuff it, with mesiras nefesh?

And that was my visit. I'll let you know how the results go, G-d willing only for the best.

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From Mystical Paths, MPATHS.COM. Reading it somewhere else? See it there, click.

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Picture of the Day

A great shot from Michael Totten, normally reporting on the Middle East but in the US Mid West right now...


Baruch Ata Hashem Elokaynu Melech HaOlam, Osay Maasay Verashis - Blessed Are You Lord our G-d, Master of the Universe, Who Re-enacts Creation.

I love the lightning glow in the cloud itself, I've never seen that before.

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Thursday, October 19, 2006

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Dreams and Calculations

Dreams, intense otherworldly reality. Yet there is no way of expressing the intensity, reality, or even the essence of the dream. At best, some details and a message can be shared.

Similarly the words of the mekubalim (kabbalists). Eye popping messages, yet hard to related the messages and vision back to the real world and lowly level most of us are at.

In some ways this was the concern of Yonah HaNavi (Jonah the Prophet), 'what if I deliver Hashem's warning along with the details of the punishment, and then they do teshuvah (repentence)?' Then he's accused of being false, and if it comes true, then his words were for naught (at least in this world results).

Today a number of us are trying to figure out whats going on. Some calculate from the secret dates and the words of the great mekubalim and gedolim of the past. Some correlate the words of the naviim, midrashim and targumim to place where and what events must occur. Some dream, bringing messages and hints from above (from the avot and eemot and heavenly advocates.)

The mekubalim (kabbalists) deliver mussar and directional messages, but just hints beyond that. The chassidic rebbe's bring messages of hope and direction in scary times, but again just hints beyond that.

How do we weave all these details together to paint as complete a picture as can be grasped by fleshy eyes all too grounded in this world. Is there a picture that all can look at and say, wow, this really is the time, we really must focus on teshuvah, we really must prepare and put aside the shtuss of this world and fully focus on our relationship with Hashem? Are great events about to start happening, and what should we be doing?

How does one do calculations from dreams and hints? We pray to HaKodesh Baruch Hu (the Holy One, Blessed Be He) and cry to Abba B'Shamayim (our Father in heaven) to give us the glimmering of wisdom, and then we try. And perhaps, just maybe, in the merit of our prayers, and our efforts, and in the merit of all the chesed and mitzvot of the klal, and arousal from below will bring an arousal from above, and we will glean the meanings.

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From Mystical Paths, MPATHS.COM. Reading it somewhere else? See it there, click.

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It's Ramping Up

R. Nati emailed me a few days ago to say that he's heard of people getting expulsion notices. However, he held off posting waiting for some better confirmation.

Well, here it is...

Peretz (Israeli defense minister) meets settler leaders to reach an agreement over government plans to evacuate illegal outposts in West Bank. - YnetNews here.

Now, this is so completely ridiculous that there is no arguably positive position here. No evacuation has led to peace or any increase of good will (for more than about a week). The Gaza evacuation led to Hamas and continuous Kassam rockets being dropped on Israeli towns and cities, as well as free reign in weapon inflows.

So. What. In. The. World. Are. They. Doing???

Practically, they're doing anything that might deflect attention from the Lebanon War.

But spiritually what we're seeing is ramping up. The Erev Rav is, for the moment, in their strongest position. While they hold it, they're taking their actions, to remove Israel from it's connection with Hashem and with the Land, into the land of world peace, no values, and virtual reality.

Look for them to take big actions on or briefly after November 8th. As others have noted, it appears things are lining up in a big way for that time frame.

- West Bank Explusions
- Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade
- US Elections
- Possible Korean Confrontations
- Possible Iranian Confrontations
- Possible Syrian Confrontations

Mar Cheshvon is looking to live up to it's name (Mar means bitter, Cheshvon is the hebrew month that coincides with November).

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The Reach of the New "Anti-Terror" Law

Yesterday the President of the United States signed the Military Commissions Act of 2006. Some have said this was a major milestone in the US, with the population giving up it's rights to the theory of more safety, and I briefly thought so as well. So I researched a bit and actually went and read the thing.

First, here's an article saying it's instant dictatorship (MSNBC, Oberman). And, for those who like reading governments-speak, here's the full text of the law itself.

It's not that, here's my understanding of what it actually is...

If you are not a US citizen, and you take an action or provide support for an action that the US military or president or those judging such things for the president decide is 'hostile' against the US, and you are not a member of a military of another country that is actively battling the US and take the hostile action in uniform, regardless of where in the world the 'hostile' act occurs, then the US military can pick you up (whether you are inside or outside US territory), try you, and execute you. And you have no legal recourse to challenge this.

Whoa.

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The Erev Rav Talks Back

Yesterday I posted a link from the Muqata where he brought a new law proposal from an Israel parliament member (MK - Member of the Knesset)...

Any person who attempts to influence a minor, to become more religiously observant of Judaism,(להחזיר בתשובה) will be subject to arrest and imprisonment for 6 months.

Today he has a reply of his protest from the MK, and it ain't pretty. Check it out here.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

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Waiting On The Wagon of the Baal Shem Tov

Some nights back I had serious trouble sleeping. I awoke, or thought I did, in the middle of the night. I was standing at a cross roads in the middle of a dark forest. I was waiting for the Baal Shem Tov to come for we were traveling to a mysterious and distant place.

All I knew was that I was to wait for him to come and get me. Soon we would be traveling down the road, Alexi the baal agala (the wagon driver) would give the horses free rein and we would listen to the Holy words of our master. This would be my first journey with him, I did not know really what to expect. Every turn is something new, wonderful, and strange at the same time.

"You must simply trust my words", he said those of us there.

...And I awoke, and the dream faded from view. Oy, how I ached to return to it.

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Yechida

A beautiful entry from HaYom Yom, the book From Day to Day, for the 17th of Tishrei...

The soul-aspect of Yechida emerges through the Avoda of being tested. As is written (in the Hosha'anot service, from the prayers of Hoshana Rabba):

"She clings and cleaves to you" - the binding of the soul to G-d. This leads to..."She bears your yoke," observing Torah and mitzvot with self-sacrifice, and then..."She, the One People (Yechida), affirms Your Oneness" - Yechida of the soul is revealed.

Through this revelation the Yechida of the animal soul is transformed into G-dliness. This finds expression in the intensity with which one fulfills Torah and mitzvot, with an inner enthusiasm, with a sense of great delight and tremendous pleasure in serving G-d. (To a person on that lofty level) there is total equanimity to all worldy matters; "yes" and "no" have become absolutely equal to him, for he is now divested of the sense of delight in and appetite for material things.

The olive only sheds it's oil when squeezed. Similarly, the capabilities of the soul are revealed through challenges. Yet, fleshy eyes fail to see this and rarely do we appreciate this when troubles occur.

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From Mystical Paths, MPATHS.COM. Reading it somewhere else? See it there, click.
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Meet the Erev Rav

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

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Pictures of the Day

All via Chabad.Info...


Hakofos Shneyos in Hebron


Succos in unnamed Arab country with US forces.


Chabad visits the Israeli PM


In the last picture, Chabad is handing him the Rebbe's writings on maintaining the full Land of Israel and the predicted dangers of doing otherwise. Note the kippah the PM is wearing.

From Mystical Paths, MPATHS.COM. Reading it somewhere else? See it there, click.

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Bad Kiruv (Outreach)

The Monsey Tzadik commented on my post about inviting a non-religious Israeli friend (while in Israel) to Simchas Torah, "You’re a failure! he did not become charedi! He did not start to dress up like a penguin! With the keiruv people I know in the states, if you do not become 100 percent observant they will just toss you away."

and, even worse, Ploni Almoni commented with this personal story..."My wife and I got involved with keruv people from a kollel in near by town. I was realy into it but my wife wanted to take it slowly. The people from the kollel pressed us to sell our house and move to a Jewish community. They also were not happy that my wife was not covering her hair and was wearing pants.

Our marriage started to deteriorate. When I shared it with the head of the kollel he said that I should divorce her (we have a 3 years old child). I was not so happy but I started to investigate what it entails.

One day during that time the head of the kollel called my wife and threatened her with something I shared with him with confidentiality.

I was shocked, I felt so betrayed by them because that thing was suppose to be very secret. I also felt guilty for betraying my wife trust by telling about her to other people.

We cut off any contact with them, we are not observant anymore. Our marriage is strained, I do not think she will ever forgive me. I do not know if we going to make it, but if not my next girl will be a non-Jewish girl. Marriage is a complex thing and I would like to minimize any future complications."


Hashem YeRachem! G-d have mercy! In my opinion, as soon as you run into someone doing Kiruv Rechokim, literally Outreach to the Distant (meaning outreach to those non-religiously-observant and non-religiously educated Jews in America and around the world), you've already run into the wrong people. Because no Jew is far! Every single one has a special soul connection to Hashem Himself.

Those who approach reaching out to their fellow less educated less observant Jew with ego have already poisoned their approach.

Dear Monsey Tzadik, I consider myself a success for making a friend, for ahavat yisroel (love of a fellow), regardless of our respective styles of dress or quantity of synogogue attendance.

Dear Ploni Almoni (that's Mr. Anonymous in Gemora speak), I'm sorry to hear such a painful event occurred within your marriage. Unfortunately not everyone with a black hat and beard is truly religious, nice, or imbued with ahavat yisroel. And even if one is, the yetzer hara comes to us all. Please try to see past and do not judge Klal Yisroel and Hashem's Torah on one man's or organization's very very improper actions. And please forgive us, the Klal, for not reigning in those who act in such a way. If there is any way I can help, please let me know.

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