Friday, December 19, 2008


First, Derech Eretz

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

First, derech eretz (acting respectfully). As we learn clearly from Pirke Avos, where there is EGO there is only YOU. And where there is only YOU, there is no room for Hashem.

The Yetzer Hara (evil inclination) does not come to the frumma yid (the religious Jew) and say "hey buddy, that's a lovely looking honey baked ham for sale over there, how about picking it up?" The yetzer is a wiley fox, he sneaks around and attacks people's weak points. "Hey, you know better and they're soooo ignorant, let them know how stupid they are. It's for their own good!" ...

A decade ago I was walking to tashlich on Rosh Hashana (a new year's outdoor ritual) with my young son and I passed a chossid of another chassidus who was walking back. He looked at me and said, "You're a Chabadnik?". Yes I responded. "Nu, where's your Rebbe now?" I stood there literally with my mouth hanging open, I couldn't believe it. "Nu, where's your Rebbe? Ha ha ha" he said again and walked away. (He was happy a tzaddik was dead? He was happy Moshiach hadn't come?)

We are in very turbulent times. G-d willing, it's the last moments of chevlai moshiach (the birth pangs of Moshiach). G-d forbid, it's more trials and tribulations as Hashem leads the world into the corrections necessary towards the Geulah. In either case, Jews are looking for leadership, direction, and some clue on the actions to take to prepare and protect them and their families (and yes, their finances - as it says, no bread no Torah).

We have CONFLICTING statements from gedolim, who are ALL trying to do their best for their communities and for the Jewish people. Every week world events, financial and otherwise, are taking shocking turns. And for many of our readers (and, btw, the authors of this blog) financial hard times with layoffs-redundancies, housing troubles, loss of invested funds, and loss of businesses are directly impacting their lives.

It's time for LARGE AMOUNTS of ahavas yisroel (love of our fellow) and achdus (unity). It's the only way we're going to get through such times. By hanging on, together.

Many blessings and Shabbat Shalom.


Anonymous said...

I hope you are talking about DereCH eretz. Derek is a not-so-nice Yiddish word.

Shavua Tov

Akiva said...

I'll take that spelling correction. Though I assume you mean drek, which isn't all that bad of a word as far as I know - though my yiddish is lightweight.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Akiva said...

- Yes I deleted your comment, it wasn't so nice.

- R. Nati hasn't had Internet access for 7 months or so. Further, his laptop was taken away for 3 months (this is another story). He still has no 'net access, anything being posted by him is coming from me personally carrying it via usb-drive from his home.

- I respond to most pleasant emails I receive, however I can't promise to respond to every one given the volume and my personal and professional life.

- This blog is my attempt to share with those who find the material of some value. It's a gift from me to you. I'm not making a living this way, and it absorbs a tremendous amount of time. I hope you find it of value and am open to suggestions, both positive and constructive. However, I'm not open to being spewed upon.

- I write frequently, sharing my thoughts and some minor details of my personal and religious life. Even if you've been reading for some time, this doesn't mean we have some kind of personal relationship - any more than you would feel you have a relationship with a book author, magazine columnist or newspaper journalist.

- Happy Chanukah.

Shiloh said...

Cannot R Nati use an internet computer? Has he been 'chamished' by the authorities? Gee Akiva, we cannot be friends. Chuckling. At anyrate, Chanukah Sameach to you both, along with your families.

Akiva said...

Shiloh - the straight answer to your question is: yes + 100.

Shiloh said...

lol, just hope the answer was not about R Nati

Anonymous said...

Shalom, to all.
Akiva, I have a question regarding your comment. If it is a gift (your blog), then why mention it over and over, perhaps to the shame of those who do appreciate the forum and yet are too poor to send you a dime?
Your words as a "disclaimer" of any personal relationship being established through the avenue of your blog directly contradict placing your feelings out for all to see.
When R' Nati's son was hit by the car, we (the readers) were not called on to daven for him as book authors, magazine columnists, or newspaper journalists.
When you place thoughts such as yours in writing, this has an influence on others. (I suggest reviewing what the RAMBAM wrote regarding the "printed word.") You can't be "middle of the road," waving a hand to welcome all to Eretz Yisrael for aliyah with the left and then holding up a hand to distance yourself from the masses with the right.
You originated this blog for your own reasons. Most of us respect this. I suggest not mentioning Ahavas Yisroel at all if you are not going to engender positive relationships (albeit loose acquaintances) with this blog.
You cannot mention shortfalls (financial and otherwise) or tragedies in this time of turmoil and expect any kind of sympathy or empathy from book authors, magazine columnists, or journalists.
Most of us comment because the forum is good, and (at least from my own end) some of us have considered you friendly, if not a friend.
If you will not think altruistically on this one, I say this: friends and allies are much scarcer than enemies, Akiva. I have been "at rock bottom" several times in my life. One never knows when or if (by the will of HaShem) one will end up there.
Have a good day, and I hope that I did not offend you with anything I wrote.
Boker Tov v'l'chayyim,
Yesha Galluzzo
(I am your friend; I hope you are mine)

Shiloh said...

Yesha, its a blog. Akiva is correct, it's parve. HaShem rebukes those he loves, we all have been there and done that too. At times he is friendly, at times he get's his guard up. But, it's his blog and he can do as he wishes. Yesha, get a grip on yourself. It's finished, we wait now.

Anonymous said...

Shiloh, shalom v'layla tov
I understand. What I wrote I wrote not so much for myself, but for him. About it being finished? I know it is. Trust me, achi, I "have the grip on myself."

We Yehudim, are brothers...and especially now, as G-D knows,we need to stick together in all ways. I wasn't berating Akiva's words so much as giving food for thought.
We just finished with Sukkhot. It seems to me that the minute it ends, the bundle is undone for the four species. Maybe they were never really bundled to begin with!
You are one of the ones who (to me) exemplifies solidarity and cohesion coupled with sincerity and the courage to speak the truth that is in your heart.
I guess I just yearn for the day when we all realize Ahavat Yisroel...and rise to the level that the Living G-D is waiting for us to reach.
As with Akiva,I haven't been blessed to meet you face to face. But I am your friend, Shiloh. It matters to me to tell you so, and it is my hope that you may take strength from my words. To know there are others out there who care about you. Who mention you in their prayer for Kiddush, and other times.
Have a good evening,

Shiloh said...

Yesha, I prefer no one mentions me in their prayers, but the intention is appreciated. I prefer to stay under my rock, coming out once in a while. You are right in your yearning, but it won't happen anytime soon. I was involved directly in a somewhat large prophetic happening in Israel almost 7 years ago, lately a 'r' offended the absolute hell out of me, so I hammered him back with Torah. He did not even have the courage to appologize to me, but called my wife admitting to her of the grave error he had made to save face. Thankless is an understatement of our situation. The times are perplexing to say the least. Do good, stand up for truth and justice, that's all we can do now. You do have very good points in your postings. All the best as usual. Akiva is a little cranky with me, so I give him the benifit of the doubt.

Akiva said...


Shiloh, in response to your previous, it was, and it was very very bad.

Shiloh said...

Akiva, I am sorry to hear that, but am not suprised at all. It's best not to speak too much though. I hope you both stay safe and we all hang on for the ride. I hope haShem hastens this geulah.

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