Wednesday, April 30, 2008

// // Leave a Comment

The Tzadik of Tzanz

Read More
// // 7 comments

Lost,Threatened, Hidden

by Akiva at Mystical Paths

The leaders have lost their way. It is not a question of turning left or right, for one offers immediate disaster while the other simply slows the disaster down a bit.

Is it secular or religious? Shas leaders go to chain, but school funding is up. Rabbis blindly "support the government of Israel". Those who speak out are pushed out of organizations, cut off from access, persona non grata (in this world at least).

Those who actually start to make a difference are threatened. The status quo doesn't want change. Or rather, doesn't want the possibility of change it doesn't control.

The tzaddikim are SCREAMING, but their voices are being muffled, their message is not getting out.

World chaos is building, like watching the clouds of a thunderstorm build or watching a hurricane move on track to hit the shore. But did you hear what Britney Spears was wearing today??? Or what Obama's pastor said? Or what happened to Cristian on Dancing with the Stars??? Oh my.

In the past, one could not find the truth, information was unknowable. Today, it's readily available. Ah, but it's successfully buried in such piles of fecal matter that it's almost impossible to NOTICE it. And that is a successful defense against readily accessible truth.

There are individuals who are aware that something extraordinary is occurring, but who are so busy with other matters, or so coarsened, that not only do they not know the meaning of the exceptional events, but they do not even know how to ask about them. They are unaware that these events are connected with the forthcoming Geulah (redemption), Torah and mitzvot... They must be told about Moshiach's coming, and G-d's promise in the Torah and Prophets that He will redeem us...

Others...explain world events in their usual heretical fashion, for they deny chevlei Moshiach (the birth pangs of Moshiach) as well as Moshiach's coming. THey do not desire redemption and question Torah and mitzvos... Not only do they deny the validity of Torah and mitzvos, they cannot stand the fact that other Jews study and observe.

An evil person is to be reminded that at the time of the Exodus from Egypt there were also those who denied the redemption, even after G-d had show explicit miracles(!)... G-d is again giving those who deny the coming Redemption an opportunity to repent.
- The 6th Lubavitcher Rebbe, Sefer Hama'amarim Yiddish #24

Support the Path! - Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

// // 4 comments

Jerusalem Alert

The following was just forwarded to me. I can't speak for the veracity, but it makes sense in the context of previous pronouncements...

I am writing you from Israel after having an emergency meeting with former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom I have known since he was 26 years old. I was horrified to learn that when President Bush comes to Israel for its 60th Anniversary in May, he has made the decision to mobilize Arab nations to come for a summit on the 17th & 18th of May.

The purpose of this summit is to move forward with the Annapolis Road Map, the plan that will force Israel to give up a large percentage of Judea and Samaria, which they call occupied territories, and divide the Holy City of Jerusalem.

It is extremely humiliating to think this would be America’s way of honoring Israel’s 60th year of prophetic rebirth. Even more outrageous, I saw the document confirming that the plan is to have this finalized by November 12, 2008.


No actions or thoughts yet, just a first alert. Israel is on the table, and they're trying to cut out her heart and lungs!!!

Read More
// // Leave a Comment

What is Ego?

by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

If we are only like the ice cubes, and G-d is like the water, then what is ego? Surely, we all have strong ego experiences.

As this term is commonly used, ego either refers to the mental function of self-identification, or of self-evaluation. Self-identification is simply a person accurately identifying himself. I know that I am this particular person. I identify myself as this male who is doing these things. This is normal, healthy, ego awareness. We must have this awareness in order to function in the world. I have to know which physical person I am in order to guide myself through my day. We simply could not function without this self-identification.

Then, there is ego as the term is usually used. This type of ego experience refers to the generally exaggerated opinions that we may have of ourselves. These appraisals are almost always incorrect, being heavily skewed either to the positive or to the negative. These inaccurate appraisals are very detrimental to our spiritual growth. When we think too highly of ourselves, we fail to do the work that we must do. We just do not see the need for it. When we think too lowly of ourselves, we will not have the confidence or drive to do what we were sent here to do. Either way, we will not fulfill our potential. This can lead to depression, which holds the person down even further.

We do not want to eliminate self-evaluation. It is an essential tool in self-improvement. We just want to make sure that it is accurate.

One way to help release the tenacious grip that both types of ego almost always bring is to say a common sentence about yourself, such as, “I am sitting here.” Then take out the word “I” and in its place, put in the word “it.” So, referring to yourself you will say, “It is sitting here.” “It is walking down the street.” Say the sentence a few times until you can “step back” and actually see the “I” (you) as an “it.” This change in personal perspective allows for a somewhat detached, and therefore, more objective opinion of yourself.

If you are overly generous with your self appraisal, think about some of the things that we have discussed. Remember that all existence (including you and I) are merely tiny particulars in the one huge Infinite Being. Think how the entire physical universe, including our bodies, is at this very second being formed out of nothing. Picture yourself as a tiny flake of ice floating in a huge ocean. These tiny ice flakes are simply frozen water that is temporarily being formed and sustained by the temperature. Remember that very soon this temperature is going to rise, and you will melt. What you think you are will disappear as your form ceases, and you revert back to water.

So really, considering all this, there is not too much to be egotistical about; unless, of course, you have fulfilled the mission that you were sent here to accomplish. Have you done that? Did you become the best possible person you could have become? Did you do everything that the One Who sent you here wanted you to do?

If your opinions of yourself are too grandiose, then this type of thinking will help to bring them back in line with reality. If your opinions of yourself are too low, then remember that the soul that He has placed within you is pure.[i] In truth, your soul is an actual portion of the Holy One Himself on High.[ii] When you are down, you can easily pick yourself up by doing a good deed. And this will lead to another good deed, which leads to another, and soon you will be too busy to bother with this kind of excessively negative self-appraisal.

[i] A prayer upon awakening
[ii] Tanya

Support the Path! - Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More
// // 1 comment

On Jimmy Carter

by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

An older article, but an important read: The Real Jimmy Carter by Alan Dershowitz.

What's important to learn from this is how the Saudi's and other Arab oil money is buying major US and world public opinion. Your public officials are being seriously manipulated, and you need to know it.

Read More

Monday, April 28, 2008

// // Leave a Comment

Motivation vs Result - The Answer

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

Somehow, in originally posting this, I lost half the post, the answer! It's now here.

A reader sent this question:

Say a bully hurts a little boy. I retaliate because I care for the little boy. Somebody else retaliates because they hate bullies, or that particular bully.

Is both okay? I feel that one is motivated by love whereas the other is motivated by hate. And in the long run, one should always be motivated by love.

Another, more personal example: I used to get resentful when my husband didn't help around the house. That anger would fuel me to clean more than I would normally clean -out of spite! Time went by, I worked on myself. Now I want him to go and learn, work, etc. I realize the value of the woman being in charge of -thus taking care of the details of the house. So now I do housework out of love. Does that make sense?

But my question is; both motives get the job done. But is there repercussions in the long run?


Great question! And, if you don't mind, removing personal details I'd like to use the question and answer for a future blog post.

I'm going to answer you both from chassidus/kabbalah, and from the practical.

Pirke Avos teaches us that a mitzvah done for the wrong reasons will eventually lead to it being done for the right reasons. Your personal story is a direct life example of that. From the perspective of actions are what count, or stating it in a deeper fashion, within this physical world the kavana, the focus or intention is irrelevant without the physical action, your statement is accurate. The action counted, and even if one has the correct intent but doesn't perform the action, for example if one meditated upon all the proper mystical kavanot and yichudim on Passover matzah, but didn't actually eat any matzah, then the intention is useless.

However, Tanya (chapters 38 & 39) teaches us that the intention is key to the mitzvah being elevated beyond the reach of this physical world. That without proper intention, the essence of the mitzvah flops around like a wounded bird, never having the 'wings' to reach its possible level.

So while intent without the action is like wings without a bird, a mitzvah without the proper intent is like a bird without wings. It's still it a bird, it's alive and has it's essence. It's just not getting very high.

Fortunately, there's a malach specifically assigned to warehouse and shepherd these limited mitzvot. In the future, when one does teshuvah or when one performs the mitzvah with the proper intention, the previously improperly intentioned mitzvah (of the same type) are able to be elevated together with the properly intentioned mitzvah.

On a little bit towards the practical. When Pirke Avos discusses the wrong intentions, and this is discussed in Tanya also, they discuss things such as learning Torah for the sake of becoming a judge to make a living, rather than for it's own sake. Some emotions and activities have a tendency to be somewhat neutral, and therefore moving the motivation from the negative to positive is reasonably possible. Other emotions have such high negativity that their potential for good is very narrow, and unlikely (but not impossible) to turn.

In your first example, the first person is motivated out of love, and takes strong defensive actions. The anger induced is focused on protection, and therefore will likely stay in check. The second person is motivated by hate, and the anger induced is focused on punishment. It is much more likely to slip "out of control", and the actions taken against the bully may exceed a reasonable response.

In your second example, the cleaning was fueled by spite. Resentment was building, and the potential for a cleaning or messing event to become a trigger for sharing the resentment was high, with the possibility of beginning to damage the marital relationship. Now the cleaning is fueled out of love, and seeing your husband utilize the excellent conditions you've prepared builds the relationship.

So, yes, from the spiritual and physical aspects, the intention makes a difference.
Read More
// // 8 comments

Energy Healing

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

Many new age medical healing practices, traditional ages-ago medical practices, and eastern medical practices have come to our community in the past few years. Some are great and offer proven benefits, some may offer limited or unknown benefits but when healing is needed we try all we can, BUT some are tied to ancient practices of avodah zarah (idol worship) and/or directly tied in with beliefs of other religions. It's rare for a gadol Torah to do a personal investigation of such, but in this case it was actually done. Here is the teshuvah on Energy Healing. While this is from 5 years ago, we present it today to point out practical concerns about new age healing programs and things such as yoga.

* Translation of a teshuva from R. Yisroel Halevi Belsky *

I have been asked regarding a new healing treatment called Consegrity, which, according to its proponents, has already been used to heal many ill people in wondrous ways. I have also heard many stories which attest to the success of this treatment. It has further been told to me that many chashuve congregations have organized groups to teach and give guidance to Jewish men and women in the techniques, and they are preparing themselves to publicize the thing to the point where it will be considered by the general community as a proper medical treatment. The question is if there is anything prohibited in their applications -- even in situations where the patients are in life-threatening situations, for perhaps there is a problem of avodah zara or its appurtenances, rachmona litzlan.

Now this is a very serious question, for one may not be strict in a situation where it is possible to save lives and heal the sick. Chazal's statement is well known, "Anything that is a cure is not in the category of Darchei Emori." On the other hand, they have also stated that one may not be healed by the wood of an asheira tree, etc. Therefore we may not answer the question without a deep analysis and exhaustive research, and certainly not publicize a decision that is not well researched.

Therefore, I requested, and it was brought to me a full measure of materials that describe the details of the program and the textbooks that the practitioners of Consegrity use in their treatments. I read through the majority of the literature extremely carfully and spoke with some of their experts to hear directly from their mouths a detailed description and also a satisfactory explanation of some of the complicated passages. I studied all this with great deliberation until, I believe, I reached a fair understanding.

To my distress, it appears before me a complicated net of poisonous expressions, drawn from muddy springs including Christian sayings with an explicit reference to the head of Christianity, ymach shemo, himself. Also many of the statements are based on the abominations of the masters of India and places in the Far East, the famous and the obscure from which all the mystics and magicians (who are finding new strength in our times, rachmono litzlan, and many are stumbling as a result) drew from.

I have no doubt that the heads of the present confusion intended from the beginning to trap innocent souls in their nets. I will tell a small part of what I have found. Let the reader decide if I have overstated the case or minimized the thing in order to distance myself from exaggeration:

A woman studied this wisdom in a course that was set up in her neighborhood. She was startled to hear them make a direct reference to the head of Christianity which she only heard after the whole thing was over. She asked the expert if indeed it was true that they had affected some matter by way of this shem hatumah. He responded that it was definitely true and that this name had now entered into the depths of her soul and that it was implanted there and impossible to remove forever, because it was now a part of her very being and of her knowledge. When she heard this, her spirit fell inside of her and she was left thus perplexed until I assured her that there was nothing real in their nonsense and that she should not worry. They had not damaged or reached her soul in any way. Only then did she relax, baruch Hashem.

I have seen many instances like this, but what is clear to me beyond doubt is the presence of tamei expressions in hundreds of places, the majority of which are listed in their literature. This I have seen with my own eyes.

Apart from this, their trickery emerges from their philosophy, the foundation of which is that every word and thing has waves of energy which are activated through written or verbal expression. These waves act in different ways, even changing physical matter such as bones, water or anything in the world. This idea that a written word has a ring of special waves is central to their philosophy, and it is a falsehood of their own creation. There is no proof or evidence for this. They put forth many such statements that have no foundation in reason.

Others have claimed: So what? Let's remove from their books any difficult expressions and use what is left. The answer to this is that we may not use anything that was created from a deceitful source which includes even missionaries. Who can rely on his understanding to judge and clarify which action to accept and which to shun? For it has all come out of one source and all been used as one interconnected unit. Who will dare try to separate the tahor from the tamei?

I also want to emphasize that even if the stories that are being spread that the system is successful are true, this in no way indicates its kashrus or that it is permitted to use. For most magicians and faith healers have prided themselves in their supernatural successes. In the gemara, midrashim and ancient works, even to this day, many stories are told of "miracle workers" who have healing powers. It has always been so. The powers of tuma and the sitra achra are not imaginary; they are real; it is only that the holy Torah has commanded us to distance ourselves from them and not to use them to heal ourselves. We must only determine according to the law what is witchcraft and what is actual avodah zara. In our case, there is a complete confusion; they have brought in everything -- rachmono litzlan, actual avodah zara, witchcraft, invention and reality, nonsensical things and serious things; everything intended to confuse the mind, the understanding and the intelligence and to seduce innocent people -- who are frightened by the painful happenings they see with their eyes and become insane and astonished by them -- that perhaps this will bring an opening of hope to rely and lean on and remove the anguish from their hearts.

I have heard other rabonim express a different opinion on the matter, responding positively to this question. But, to me it is clear that they have not seen the material that I have accumulated and studied, and if they had seen what is hidden there, as I have, through examination and study, they would come to the exact same conclusions as I have. I am sure that those who asked them described an uncomplicated medical process which brings joy to the hearts of the sick and suffering with ease and without the bitterness of drugs. Perhaps these questioners themselves were not experts and did not understand that they walk in darkness.

What emerges from all this is that it is clear to me that one must distance himself from the Consegrity program and not use it at all. All courses should be halted and this sickness should be cleaned up completely. No scrap of this should be heard of within our borders. May Hashem create in us a pure heart and a healthy body. May it be His will that no error come through our deeds and may we reach knowledge of the truth with Hashem's help.

22 Sivan 5763
Brooklyn, NY

Yisrael Halevy Belski

Co-signed by

Avraham Yehoshua Heshel Bick
Av Beis Din Medzibozh

R. Mattisyahu Salomon
Mashgiach of Lakewood

R. Yakov Hillel
Yerushalayim
Read More
// // Leave a Comment

Motivation versus Results

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

A reader sent this question:

Say a bully hurts a little boy. I retaliate because I care for the little boy. Somebody else retaliates because they hate bullies, or that particular bully.

Is both okay? I feel that one is motivated by love whereas the other is motivated by hate. And in the long run, one should always be motivated by love.

Another, more personal example: I used to get resentful when my husband didn't help around the house. That anger would fuel me to clean more than I would normally clean -out of spite! Time went by, I worked on myself. Now I want him to go and learn, work, etc. I realize the value of the woman being in charge of -thus taking care of the details of the house. So now I do housework out of love. Does that make sense?

But my question is; both motives get the job done. But is there repercussions in the long run?




Support the Path! - Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More

Sunday, April 27, 2008

// // 2 comments

Making the News: Going after Politicians for Following the Law

by Akiva at Mystical Paths

A study released about a month ago statistically confirmed what many of us knew, 40% of news reports in Israel aren't news, they're opinion (the reporter is making them up to present his/her position). This is blatently clear from reading websites such as YNetnews or Haaretz.

It gets worse when they specifically go after someone, and if they can't find the merest excuse or example of lawbreaking (such as having spit on the sidewalk once 10 years ago), they'll try to make one up. This was recently the case with Bibi Netanyahu, who they went after for making a trip to London where the accommodations were paid for by the trip sponsor. Besides this not actually being illegal, the trip was requested by the Israeli government and for Israeli PR purposes. And, as anyone who watches Israeli PR knows, Netanyahu is about the only Israeli politician who has the slightest clue how to speak to the Western press. In the end the issue faded because, well, there wasn't actually anything there (beyond the press blowing foul spelling gas).

Today we see the same thing happen in the US. The NY Times has decided to go after Republican presidential candidate John McCain. The accusation, the candidate followed the law, to the letter, in using a corporate jet in his campaign from his wife's company. The Times worked extensively to prove that he followed the law, and didn't pay more than he had to. That, of course, is his failing, he should have gone beyond the letter of the law (per the NY Times). Not that the other candidates are, and we don't actually know because they didn't look at that.

Now, I'd love for the US presidential candidate to be a chossid who goes beyond the letter of the law, and I'd certainly appreciate an Israeli Prime Minister candidate who actually follows the law! (Being many people treat many laws in Israel as mere suggestions or informal guidelines, including the government.) But if I just get politicians that are "only" following the law, frankly I'd be thrilled.

BTW, I am not endorsing John McCain nor Bibi Netanyahu. What I am doing is calling the news media to task for massive and inappropriate opinion manipulation. I look forward to seeing such examinations of candidate Obama or Olmert. (I know, don't hold my breath.)

Support the Path! - Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More

Saturday, April 26, 2008

// // 2 comments

Tefilot for HaRav HaGadol Eliyahu, shlita!

by Akiva at Mystical Paths

We wish HaRav HaGadol Mordechai Eliyahu, shlita, a refuah shalayma! News reports that he had a heart attack Shabbat night, and is recovering from critical surgery over Shabbat.

Please include HaRav Mordechai ben Mazel in your tefilot.

Read More

Friday, April 25, 2008

// // 1 comment

Simple or Complex Faith?

by Akiva at Mystical Paths

On my post on safety in Israel versus the US (where Israel comes out ahead in 90% of the stat's, including average length of life), a commenter wrote...

Anonymous Commenter - In the world at large the cause of death by hasgacha protis is 100%. Death by other causes is 0.00%.

Emunah peshuta - simple faith is a wonderful thing. Knowing, with absolute certainly, that G-d runs the world and He is the only one to turn to, the only one upon whom to rely, is a great level.

Yet, we live in a world that appears to run through "natural" means, through the fixed pattern of the physical laws of the universe.

We can state with certainly that average life expectancy has grown tremendously in the last 300 years. Most people, on average, can expect to live into their 70's. Further, we can directly explain the natural means by which life expectancy can be shortened or lengthened. Namely: Prenatal health care, nutrition during early stages of life, vaccinations of certain (but not all) types of deadly or seriously debilitating childhood diseases (smallpox, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, etc), antibiotics, hypertension and cholesterol medication, capabilities of the local/national health care system.

Now, does this mean life expectancy is increasing because of man? Or, because the gates to wisdom are opened and knowledge comes to man per the Divine plan? Simple faith says "it's all from Hashem", and it is! But, this is not going to satisfy the more complex person. He'll say, if we have lots of traffic accidents should we all just daven, or should we examine the traffic pattern to see where to put a new light, or turn off, or overpass?

The answer is both. We should daven, and by doing so our actions to improve the situation should, G-d willing, be blessed with an opening of the gates of wisdom, or even the 'spontaneous' thinking of someone of a great way to 'make things better'. For the Hand of G-d is rarely seen directly in our times.

Support the Path! - Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More

Thursday, April 24, 2008

// // Leave a Comment

The Blessing of the Trees

An important mitzvah to remember for the month of Nissan! Video with Rabbi Lazer Brody, shlita of Lazer Beams and Emunah Outreach.

Read More
// // 8 comments

Going Nowhere Fast

-- A thought provoking article worth reading. BUT, Mystical Paths does not recommend the positions mentioned. Rather, we post it for thought provoking and discussional purposes. --

Going Nowhere Fast

Rabbi David Bar-Hayim

Machon Shilo - Torah La'am VeLaaretz

harav@machonshilo.org

Clueless Leaders

Israel is lost and directionless. Its political leaders lack vision and aspire to nothing.

Judaism is lost and directionless. It rabbinical leaders lack vision and aspire to nothing.

Revisionist leader Ze’ev Jabotinsky once illustrated his criticism of mainstream Zionism with the following analogy: “I see a man limping down the street, using only one leg, even though it is apparent that nothing is wrong with the other one. I turn to him and ask: ‘Why don’t you walk on both legs?’ He replies: ‘Is there something the matter with the one that I am using?’”

Jabotinsky referred of course to the policy of “one more dunam, one more goat”, whereby the Zionist Establishment focused on building up the land piecemeal, living from day to day, all the while refusing to enunciate its vision, the goal for which it was ostensibly striving: a sovereign state for the Jewish people in their historical homeland within clearly defined borders. Thus the most fundamental issues – what kind of state were the Jewish people demanding, where would its borders be, and within what time frame? – remained unaddressed. Jabotinsky’s insight was that the leadership preferred it that way, like a man who opts to use only one of his legs.

The result of this (lack of) policy was that the typical Zionist spoke fervently of the Jewish people’s right to the Land of Israel but could not explain, even to himself, where the borders of his beloved homeland lay or on what basis he defined that territory. In the end, observed Shabtai Ben-Dov, it was the acceptance of the armistice lines of 1948 that “clarified” for most Zionists where the Land of Israel for which they had fought actually was. It was only “logical”, therefore, for one time Education Minister Shulamit Aloni to refer to Hebron as “Hutz Laaretz” (overseas), and for the post-Six-Day-War Left to view a return to the very heart of our homeland as an “occupation”.

I once came face to face with the results of just such a Zionist education. The year was 1993 and I was doing reserve duty on the Jordanian border. Four of us were in a command car patrolling the border, and the discussion turned to then Prime Minister Rabin’s stated willingness to negotiate with the Syrians about relinquishing the Golan Heights. The driver announced that he supported handing over the Golan for peace, at which point I asked him: “Tell me, all other considerations aside, to whom does the Golan belong, us or them?” He thought for a moment and replied truthfully “I have no idea.” Why would he? Was he, a product of the State school system established by Ben-Gurion, ever taught what territory the Jewish people claimed and why?

Israel’s political leaders are just like that driver: they truly don’t know where we belong or why, nor where we are supposed to be headed. Everything is negotiable, nothing is clear, the future is a black hole.

Israel lost its way not in 1967 but in the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s, before there was an Israel, by thinking small, by refusing to see the big picture, by denying the Jewish nation’s destiny. By choosing mediocrity over greatness.

Israel and Torah Judaism: Missing in Action

The same can be said for Judaism. Have you ever noticed how some religious Jews refer to themselves as “Lithuanians”? Or that there is a Jerusalem suburb named “Poland Heights”? Treat the reality of over 5 million Jews living as a sovereign nation in their homeland for the first time in 2000 years as a continuation of Dvinsk, Minsk or Pinsk; insist that Jews in the Land of Israel must all behave, in terms of their customs and Halachic practice, as if they were still in Warsaw, Sanna or Marakesh; preach that the divisions of the Diaspora must be maintained today and for all time, thus perpetuating a seriously flawed Galuth mentality indefinitely; convince yourself that the Judaism of the Galuth is the real McCoy, that there is nowhere to go from here – and that’s precisely where you’ll go. Nowhere. No greater purpose. Nothing.

When the Beth HaWa’adh beth din (Jewish court) of Machon Shilo announced last year that all Jews in Israel may consume kitniyoth (rice, corn, legumes etc.) during Pesah, some thought that it was all about doing whatever is convenient. Not so. It’s about getting Torah Judaism back on track.

At the core of any authentic conception of Torah Judaism is its Halachic system. Halacha is the practical implementation and realization of those values and concepts that the Torah teaches and that the Jewish nation holds dear. An Halachic system always reflects the philosophy and vision that a particular ideology aspires to actualize in the real world. Halacha is never neutral; it is either a help or a hindrance. It either drives the Jewish people upwards and onwards, or it weighs it down and holds it back.

One who refrains from eating rice, or soy beans, or corn starch on Pesah is not a better Jew than one who does. Halachically there is no question that it is permissible. On the other hand, one is not required to consume these items on Pesah, or at any time during the year. So what’s the problem? It focuses the mind on a non-issue. And the more meaningless Pesah stringencies are promoted, the more meaningless Judaism becomes.

Galuth Mode or Geulah Mode?

Human beings are limited. We cannot be different people at one and the same time. A Jew can function in either Galuth mode or Geulah mode; you can’t have both. If we concern ourselves with maintaining our Galuth-based identities, we have no time or inclination to wonder how it is that each Pesah we beseech Hashem that next year we might participate in the Pesah sacrifice and yet do nothing whatever to actualize this deep-seated aspiration in the real world. We have to make a choice: authentic, full-flavoured Torah, or a pale, watered-down substitute.

Judaism’s rabbinical leaders are just like that reserve duty driver: they truly do not know who and where we are or where we are supposed to be headed. They have no clue how to move on to the next stage. They are unsure of themselves, vague and uncertain about everything, preferring the familiar, downtrodden Galuth version of the Torah for the majestic, vibrant and uplifting Torah of the Land of Israel, the Judaism of Abraham, Moses, David and the Maccabees. Little wonder that when Jews once again controlled the Temple Mount in 1967, the rabbinical establishment had nothing to say other than to forbid all Jews from going there. If the truth be told, they breathed a sigh of relief when it was tossed back to the Moslems like an unwanted bone.

Judaism lost its way not in 1967 but 2500 years ago when the Jewish nation declined to take up the offer of the Persian emperor Cyrus to return to its homeland. By thinking small, by refusing to see the big picture, by denying the Jewish nation’s destiny. By choosing mediocrity over greatness, Galuth over Geulah. From that day to this, as R. Yehuda HaLevi wrote in his masterpiece The Kuzari (2:24), “our prayers for redemption are like the mindless cawings of rooks and ravens”.

If we think small, we shall indeed be so, particularly in the eyes of our enemies.

If we think big, we shall indeed be great – in the eyes of Hashem, in our own eyes, and in the eyes of the whole world.



Read More

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

// // 3 comments

We Interrupt...

by Akiva at Mystical Paths

We interrupt our semi-automated posts and Chol HaMoed vacation for this VERY important political post (a topic we also have been successfully avoiding for a few weeks).

We are once again beginning to hear DIRE warnings of HUMANITARIAN DISASTER in Hamasistan (aka Gaza). The horror of the Jews once again cutting off fuel supplies is being pronounced to the world.

But this is beyond a lie, this is the man who murdered his parents crying to the judge about being an orphan!

1 week ago, Hamas barbarian murderers infiltrated the Israel-Gaza fuel depot transfer station and murdered the supply technicians! Surprise, when you murder the guys who pump your gas, you may have a problem getting it afterwards.

The gas station is closed, who's going to work pumping gas when you might get murdered any minute? BTW, they ALSO attacked the FOOD transfer station, but ONLY INJURED 6 soldiers, so that one is still open.

My friends, when you hear the world news media begin to spout against Israel and the poor Palestinian humanitarian disaster this time, YOU MUST respond to the absolutely falsity. THEY manufactured the problem. Let them manufacture the solution.

We have no requirement to BLEED and DIE to keep their lights on or their shelves full.

Demand at least a small semblance of truth.

At the same time this feces is being spewed, we note these key headlines...

- Midwest earthquake! Chicago shaking, scientists baffled.
- Bank of America announces 70% drop in profits and massive bad debt write off.
- Rice forces Israel to remove key checkpoints. Watch for Jewish blood to flow.
- (I drove through those darkened checkpoints tonight.)
- Bush to meet with Abbas on Thursday. On the table: Jerusalem pie, picking slices.
- Bad Israel, spying on the US 20 years ago. But why the headline now? (See above.)
- Foreclosures jump 347% in California. Snowball turning to financial avalanche.


My dear US friends, while you're watching Oprah or the Hillary and Obama show, your government is trying to destroy Israel, and literally at the same time the ground has started quaking underneath your feet (whether physical or economic).

The Guardian of Israel neither slumbers nor sleeps. But, Hashem Elokaynu, Hashem often works through apparently natural means. It appears that things just happen to be randomly occurring at the same time. There is no random, it's all G-d.

Support the Path! - Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More
// // Leave a Comment

No Right

photo by Akiva at Mystical Paths

No Right Turn on Shabbos or Holidays! Only in Israel.
NoRight

Support the Path! - Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

// // 1 comment

Prayer at Rashbi

photos by R. Nati at Mystical Paths

Prayers during Rosh Chodesh (not during Chol HaMoed) at the Kever of Rabbi Shimon bar Yochai, zt"l, in Meron...

rosh chodesh nissian 5768 002

rosh chodesh nissian 5768 004

Support the Path! - Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More
// // Leave a Comment

Kosher Graffiti

photo by Akiva at Mystical Paths

"The Path of Torah is The Path of Truth and Good"
2008-03-25-- 001

No, we don't recommend spraying painting Torah slogans around the neighborhood.

Support the Path! - Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More

Monday, April 21, 2008

// // Leave a Comment

Kosher Le'Mehardrin

photo by Akiva at Mystical Paths

Kosher Le'Mehadrin - Kosher to the Highest Level
kosher-lemehadrin

Support the Path! - Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More
// // Leave a Comment

Visit Kever Yehoshua bin Nun


Rafi at Life in Israel shares this event notice...

Visit the kever (the holy tomb) of Yehoshua bin Nun (Joshua, who took over after the passing of Moshe Rabaynu (Moses)) on Wednesday April 30th at night. Open from 11:00pm until 5:00am (and then davening at 5:30am).

It should be noted that the reason this is a rare event and in the middle of the night, is that the holy tomb is located in the middle of a current Arab village in the Shomron (West Bank). The army will escort everyone in and provide heavy security. The local hostile residents will be under curfew during this time.

Read More

Friday, April 18, 2008

// // Leave a Comment

THANK YOU, and a Kosher and Happy Passover

Pesach1

by Akiva at Mystical Paths

THANK YOU !!! You, our dear readers, in responding to our Passover campaign to help the needy in Israel, donated enough to provide 30 families the means to have a family Passover seder this year!

You cannot imagine the response as we handed people envelopes (of NIS 500) and their fear of an empty table for the holiday evaporated. Literally, people danced, hugged us, and tried to bestow blessings upon us. We told them it was all from YOU. They could not believe that people from all over the world would care enough to help them. Yet, you did. Yes, you...

From Australia: from New South Wales, Victoria, Western Australia
From Canada: from Ontario
From England: from London, Tyne and Wear
From France: from Paris
From Germany: from Berlin
From Israel: from Hertzaliya, Jerusalem
From Norway: from Kristiansand
From Portugal: from Lisbon
From the US: from Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Utah, Wisconsin

Pesach2
Your very generous donations have made a major difference in these peoples lives. Their tears of happiness, the relief of their worries, their Passover seder, will stand in your merit! Hashem Yevorecha Atchem! May G-d Bestow Abundant Blessings on you and your family this Passover! (We got some pictures and video of their responses, our own preparations for Passover prevent them from going up before Passover, but G-d willing we'll get them up for you soon.)

You've also inspired us! Seeing what is possible, seeing response from literally around the world, we're going to try to utlize this medium to do even more. More chesed (kindness), more helping others, and maybe, just maybe, reaching a little closer to the Geulah and Moshiach Tzidkaynu!

To all our readers, may G-d grant you a Kosher and Happy Passover, filled with blessings, filled with family and friends, and may this year we truly merit to be in Jerusalem.

לשנה הבאה בירושלים הבנויה

Programming note: No blogging this Sunday, as it's Passover! (Being in Israel, only 1 day, for those around the world it's Monday also.) During Chol HaMoed (Tuesday-Friday), a few items are pre-scheduled, but we'll be focused on spending the time with our families. Regular blogging will resume Sunday, April 27, G-d willing (with reports of the Geulah, Moshiach, and the arrival of the Beis HaMikdash? Please G-d!)

Photo credits: Artist Zalman Kleinman, from Haggadah for Passover - Kehot Publishing
Read More

Thursday, April 17, 2008

// // 1 comment

What’s the Most Important Thing?

by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

This is a redux from several years ago, but it's definitely worth repeating!

This coming motzie Shabbat (Saturday night) we celebrate Passover. Although Passover is, by far, the most memorable and beloved holiday of the entire Jewish calendar, it also brings the greatest number of details, requirements and restrictions. Observing each of these elements is crucial during this week of preparation and especially for the Seder itself. To list them all would (and does) fill an entire book.

There are the Torah commandments and there are the rabbinical commandments. There are also the customs that, surprisingly, vary tremendously between the Sephardim and Ashkenazim. There are the unique customs that have developed around the diaspora. For example, Indian Jews eat different foods on Passover than Temanni Jews, and some Jews will dip their matzah in their soup, while others would be aghast at such a move! Some will eat beans, and some would never do such a thing. There are strict requirements as to the minimum amounts of matzah, bitter herb and wine that must be consumed, and only within a specific period of time. And perhaps most important of all are the amazingly strict requirements not to have any leavening or related products in our possession for the entire week. Confusing this even more is that some authorities say certain foods are leavened while others swear that they are not.

On and on, the list of requirements that ensure a successful Seder can certainly seem overwhelming. It is no wonder that the favorite question a sharp student will ask his rebbe right before the Seder is, “What is the most important thing that I must watch out for?”

Last Pesach, right before leaving the Kotel to rush home for the Seder, a rabbi friend of mine asked me that very question. To his great surprise, I immediately answered, “Make sure that the children have a good time.” He looked at me as if I might be joking; his face was all twisted up. He wanted to know some great Kabbalah about the four cups of wine, or maybe how to lean to the side when drinking them. Or maybe I could give him some great Chassidic teaching on how to do teshuva (repentance) while trying to gulp down that impossibly hot horseradish. AAGHHHH! But, no, I simply said, “Make sure that the children have a good time.”

The next afternoon, he came up to me, smiling. He’s a smart guy and he took my words to heart. He said, “It was the best Seder ever. The kids were great. Everyone was laughing. We all enjoyed ourselves tremendously. But tell me, how can you really say that keeping the kids happy was the most important thing to watch out for? After all, this is a very serious holiday.”

I explained, “There is only one reason we have the Seder at all: to remember the Exodus from Egypt. And there is only one reason why we must remember the Exodus from Egypt: so we will remain Jews. If we forget our past, there will be no reason to go on as a people. There is only one way for us to remain Jews, and that is to raise Jewish families. Without the children coming back next year, there won’t be any Jewish families. It’s for the kids’ sake that we go through all this each year and, God willing, we will get to do it for them again next year, too. And if they have a good enough time, then surely someday we will even get to do it for their kids.”

Have a happy Pesach. It’s crucial.

Support the Path! - Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More
// // 1 comment

The Tzadik's Request

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

Recently, we posted the incredible video of a tzadik in personal prayer. At the end of that video session, the tzadik, HaRav Shalom Arush, shlita, requested we make a second brief video where he directly asks the world to make a spiritual difference, and tells you how.

This video was made in the field near the kever (holy resting place) of Dan ben Yaakov (Dan the son of the biblical patriarch Jacob) in the hills near Beit Shemesh, last week.

We just completed the translation and subtitling, so while the rav speaks in Hebrew, English subtitles appear throughout. NOTE - the rav's official translator was unavailable, this free translation (authorized but unverified) was made by us. Any errors in translating or representing the rav's words or concepts are strictly our errors. We promised this earlier this week, and felt the need to meet the rav's expectations of getting it out before Passover.

In this brief request, the tzadik explains how 10 minutes of your personal prayer to Hashem can literally change the world...

* 3 Minutes - Hebrew w/English Subtitles.




Support the Path! - Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More
// // Leave a Comment

Spiritual Preparation for Passover

by R. Nati and Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

We're in the midst of our Passover preparations, and if you're like we are, cabinets are being emptied, counters are overflowing, water is boiling, furniture is being moved, the children are either hungry, annoying, or both. Supplies are being hauled in, runs are being made for things missing, Passover boxes are being opened and dishes taken out.

Scrubbing is going on, koshering is going on, the house is upside down and somewhere between chometz and Pesach in kashrus (kosher status).

There's a story from Rebbe Levi Yitzchok of Berdichev, the Kedushas Levi, zt"l, who in the midst of this stood up and screamed, "Ribono shel Olam, Master of the Universe, may the scrubbing, the scrapping, the kashering, form angels that appear before you in the merit of the Jewish people". (The initials of those words in Yiddish being the same as the shofar blows on Rosh Hashana.)

Yet, in the midst of this joyous preparation, and many of you probably gagged when you read the words "joyous preparation", we must remember that it is absolutely imperative that it be a joyous preparation! For the Jewish people merited leaving Egypt due to their complete emunah (faith) in G-d, and their complete and joyous preparations. Meaning, if we get bogged down in the details and forget the essence, we've lost the meaning of Passover and lost it's potential as the time of our redemption.

This doesn't mean the details aren't important. But if in the process of ridding ourselves of physical chametz we're yelling at the kids, arguing with our wife, and expressing how much hard work this holiday is, then we're baking spiritual chametz!

Be b'simcha! The season of our redemption starts Sunday! And one should consult ones rabbi to determine if a chumra, an excess stringency is worth losing the spirit of the holiday over.

Support the Path! - Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

// // 3 comments

Emunah Paths Podcast #13 - A Sword At Our Necks!

Please join us for a very special podcast, Emunah Paths Podcast #13 - A Sword At Our Necks! A special edition with Rabbi Lazer Brody, shlita, discussing the threat to Israel. (10 minutes, MP3, English)

Direct MP3 Download: HERE - - Subscribe to Your iPod:

    Play it Now:

Let us know what you think! Click the Comments button below.

Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

// // Leave a Comment

Kosher for Erev Pesach?

A public service announcement from Mystical Paths...

There's been a very weird kosher for Passover designation found on items in Israel...it reads:

Kosher for Passover and Erev (right before) Passover

While I've just been scratching my head over this one, Mr. Shaul B. of Beit Shemesh, Israel researched this odd designation and has this to report:

The answers I received (as to what this means) were split as follows:

1. It means that the product was manufactured before Pesach, so any chometz can be batul b'shishim [nullified by 60] (IOW the designation "Erev Pesach" is lav davka; it just means "made before Pesach"); or

2. It means that the product contains no matza, so it may be eaten on Erev Pesach (IOW "Erev Pesach" is davka, and it's specifically to put your mind at rest lest there should be crumbs of matza in your yogurt).

Thanks to Phil R. who provided the email address of Rav Vaitman at Tnuva, we now have a definitive answer:

Answer number 1: The product was made before Pesach, so you can rely on bitul for any chometz that may have gotten mixed up in the product.
Read More
// // Leave a Comment

Emunah Paths Podcast #12 - Passover After Shabbos - Part 2

Please join us for a very special podcast, Emunah Paths Podcast #12 - Learning the Halacha of Passover After Shabbos w/Rabbi Lazer Brody, shlita, Part 2. This is truly a special learning session with Rabbi Brody and Rabbi Nati. (25 minutes, MP3, English)

Direct MP3 Download: HERE - - Subscribe to Your iPod:

    Play it Now:


Let us know what you think! Click the Comments button below.

Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More
// // 2 comments

Coming

Due to our readers generosity and chesed (kindness), we're able to help people with empty tables make Passover this year. Helping the poor and Kimcha d'Pischa is everyone's responsibility. See our videos & donate on the sidebar over there --> or click here. RIGHT NOW is the time to make a difference THIS PASSOVER. Thank you! And may Hashem bless you!

* by Reb Nati at Mystical Paths

Within the coming days there are great changes coming, to the world at large, especially for the Jewish nation, and for all of those who believe and serve Hashem.

As we go forth to spread the call to wake up from our spiritual slumber, the forces of evil have come out against the servants of Hashem. But we know as it is written "that it is not by might nor by power, but by my spirit says Hashem of Hosts". We also know that there is no weapon against the Almighty, for it says "no weapon will prosper and every word raised against us you shall condemn". For Hashem, He is the Master of the righteous.

Hashem willing, the days of the Geulah are coming close. And, even you and I have a part to play.

Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More

Monday, April 14, 2008

// // Leave a Comment

What Am I?

Due to our readers generosity and chesed (kindness), we're able to help people with empty tables make Passover this year. Helping the poor and Kimcha d'Pischa is everyone's responsibility. See our videos & donate on the sidebar over there --> or click here. RIGHT NOW is the time to make a difference THIS PASSOVER. Thank you! And may Hashem bless you!

* by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

If our bodies, like all creation, are made out of nothing and will either soon return to dust or unfold, then what are we? If my body is merely a vehicle for me to ride around in while I am trying to wake up and fulfill my spiritual purpose, then what is this “me” that is riding around looking for fulfillment?

There is a higher perspective and a lower perspective. When the animal aspects of man rule, he acts like an animal. When the higher aspects of man rule, he acts like a messenger of G-d. Both of these aspects are man’s soul in action. Our lives are animated by our soul. When the soul leaves the body the man is dead. His soul is not dead. It still goes on. It goes on to receive the results of its earthly life. The good that it did will bring tremendous glory, and the evil that it did will bring great embarrassment.

But if my soul is my life force, then what am I? We say my soul, my life, so there must be someone whose soul it is. What is this my? What am I?

The soul can be likened to a ray of G-d on High that is being formed and directed into the object it vivifies.[i] This ray is shaped according to the individual soul’s needs. Although the ray is truly a portion of G-d on High, since it is being beamed into a body, it is limited to the body’s normal functions.

So, if the body is dust that is made out of nothing, and the soul is a portion of G-d on High, what then am I?

Think in terms of water and ice. The ice cube sees itself to be an ice cube. It does not recognize that its ice is merely a temporary condition of water caused by the temperature. But if you would take the water out of the ice cube, what would be left? Nothing. There is only water there. But the ice does not know that it is made entirely out of water. After all, the water is everywhere, and the ice cube is merely in a particular location. The water is free flowing, the ice cube is stiff. They seem to have very little in common.

When the ice cube says “I,” it is referring to the only thing it knows itself to be, an ice cube. The ice cube’s “I,” is its life force speaking from its limited perspective of itself. When man addresses himself as “I,” he is speaking of himself just as an ice cube would speak of itself. It is absolutely true that the ice cube is ice. The ice cube is correct when it sees itself to be one particular ice cube floating in a semi-frozen lake. As long as the ice cube has merely ice cube awareness, whenever it says “I am,” it is talking about the one who is living in, and as, that little ice cube. When the water says “I am,” it is talking about all of the water and all of the ice cubes too.

G-d is the water. We are the ice cubes.

[i] Tanya

Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More
// // Leave a Comment

Emunah Paths Podcast #11 - Passover After Shabbos - Part 1

Please help the poor of Israel this Passover. Kimcha d'Pischa is everyone's responsibility. See our videos and donate on our sidebar (over there --> ), or click here. RIGHT NOW is the time, as people need help literally today to make Passover this coming Sunday.

* by Akiva at Mystical Paths

Please join us for a very special podcast, Emunah Paths Podcast #11 - Learning the Halacha of Passover After Shabbos w/Rabbi Lazer Brody, shlita, Part 1 (22 minutes, MP3, English)

Direct MP3 Download: HERE - - Subscribe to Your iPod:

    Play it Now:


Let us know what you think! Click the Comments button below.

Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More

Sunday, April 13, 2008

// // Leave a Comment

Kavanot for Cleaning for Passover

Please help the poor of Israel this Passover. Kimcha d'Pischa is everyone's responsibility. See our videos and donate on our sidebar (over there --> ), or click here. RIGHT NOW is the time, as people need help literally today to make Passover this coming Sunday.

* by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

When cleaning for Pesach there are different kavanahs for a man and a woman.

- A man must remember that chometz stands for arrogance, and that he must rid his house of this horrible thing.

- The woman while cleaning for Pesach must remember over and over again, dirt is not chometz, dirt is not chometz.

Have a kosher and happy Pesach,
Love from Jerusalem,
Reb Gutman Locks

Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More
// // 13 comments

Tzaddikim Preparing?

Please help the poor of Israel this Passover. Kimcha d'Pischa is everyone's responsibility. See our videos and donate on our sidebar (over there --> ), or click here. RIGHT NOW is the time, as people need help literally today to make Passover this coming Sunday.

Dreaming of Moshiach has an incredible post, a translation from an article in Maayanei HaYeshua. It seems a number of tzaddikim have "run off to Tiberious to prepare".

Read it.

Read More
// // 1 comment

Pesach Kotel Announcements

Please help the poor of Israel this Passover. Kimcha d'Pischa is everyone's responsibility. See our videos and donate on our sidebar (over there --> ), or click here. RIGHT NOW is the time, as people need help literally today to make Passover this coming Sunday.

A public service announcement at Mystical Paths.

Read More

Saturday, April 12, 2008

// // 7 comments

Under Attack - Awesome Material in Progress

Please help the poor of Israel this Passover. Kimcha d'Pischa is everyone's responsibility. See our videos and donate on our sidebar (over there --> ), or click here. Time's running out, we begin our distributions SUNDAY, and you have to get your donations in by Wednesday morning for us to get them out in time to help.

by Akiva at Mystical Paths

Dear Friends:

We have had the incredible merit to be able to accumulate some awesome material from multiple tzaddikim to share with you. Yet, as these opportunities arose to gather and share kedushah, so has the opposition...

One of those involved had his completely refurbished car break down on his way back home after working on this, literally being stuck on the side of the road all night (the next day was naturally lost). One, who works on projects for multiple organizations, was called up and threatened with loss of his parnossa (they even yelled at his wife!) One, out of the blue his wife threatened to leave him, and his son was thrown out of yeshiva. One had the police come by his house and "search and investigate", at 3:00 AM. One, multiple children started vomiting spontaneously. In all cases, the ability to get the material out has been delayed, stopped, or is continuing literally with fear.

When we took the video of the tzadik, HaRav Shalom Arush, shlita, he told us "get this video up NOW, I'm staying here and davening UNTIL IT'S UP. Don't get side tracked, don't let anything interfere. RUN!" We ran, literally. We didn't understand the intense urgency. Yet now, as that first video and audio was only the beginning of what we have to share, we do.

G-d willing, and only with serious help from Heaven, we will be posting the following over the next few days, b'chasdei Hashem:

A special video message from a tzadik on how YOU can help bring the Geulah, as well as a REQUEST from the tzadik for you on how you can help him! A special audio 3-part lesson from a master rav on the halachos of Passover that comes after Shabbos. An audio of a special evaluation of the current spiritual situation and battle. An incredible video demonstration of a special mitzvah for chodesh Nissan. A video of a personal meeting with a chassidic rebbe.

We're working late and dealing with a host of problems to get this all up for you, as well as to begin distributing from the generious donations we've received for the Kimcha d'Pischa Help-The-Needy-For-Passover campaign. (We've received donations from Norway to England to Australia, from the US to Germany to France, and many places in between, thank you!!!)

Please be sure to stop back for these awesome posts this week (G-d willing), and, frankly, daven for us.

--Reb Akiva and Rabbi Nati

Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More

Friday, April 11, 2008

// // 6 comments

The Tzadik in the Field: Only Emunah!

Please help the poor of Israel this Passover. Kimcha d'Pischa is everyone's responsibility. See our videos and donate on our sidebar (over there --> ), or click here.

* Reb Nati at Mystical Paths

We were zoche, we had the incredible merit, to be with the Holy Tzadik HaRav Shalom Arush, shlita, in the field near the kever (holy resting place) of Dan ben Yaakov (Dan the son of the biblical patriarch Jacob) in the hills near Beit Shemesh.

For the first time ever we filmed a tzadik in hisbodedut (unstructured personal prayer to Hashem). He graciously permitted this specifically to share with all of us an example of how we should express our emunah (faith) in the Creator of the world. We were humbled to witness his power of prayer.

We have been blessed to be able to share this with you. Here is the Rav with personal example of yesh ma lasot, there is something to do to! (As opposed to all those who sit an moan, ein ma lasot, the situation is hopeless. There is always hope, as we see...)

* 7 Minutes - Hebrew w/English Introduction - Subtitles, soon to be added (summary in English below...)


Here is an authorized translation/synopsis:

1. Hashem, have pity on Your children, that each one should have complete emuna, asking You for advice and help from the first thing in the morning. “Hashem, help me to do your will,” and to appeal to Hashem for His help during every single situation of the day.

2. When a person encounters difficulties in life, he should realize that those difficulties are from Hashem. Once he learns that, despite the difficulties, life becomes pleasurable.

3. Hashem, do us loving kindness so that we all should believe in you, for emuna is the foundation of everything good in the world.

4. Hashem wants us to live with each other in love and peace, with harmony and connection, that each person helps his fellow. Hashem, make such a world.

5. Everyone should join in hafatza (Akiva adds - hafatza = spreading Torah and emunah among the Jewish people and faith in Hashem among the world), to distribute emuna like a fire in a field of thorns.

6. Hashem, please take pity on this world, that nothing is worth anything without emuna, that You are the King, and that everyone crowns You as King.

7. With everyone joining in hafatza, we’ll see the light in this world, and the full redemption of our people, amen and amen.


HaRav Shalom Arush, shlita's Torah is regularly published at:

BreslovWorld and LazerBeams. Thank G-d, we occasionally merit to publish some here.

Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More

Thursday, April 10, 2008

// // 1 comment

An Appeal, An Endorsement

by Akiva at Mystical Paths

Dear Friends:

Seeing those in need, we cannot stand by and ignore those who simply don't know how they're going to put the barest basics on their table in Israel for Pesach (Passover). Please spare us 2 minutes and 20 seconds, watch our latest video appeal and a special guest appearance by Rabbi Lazer Brody, shlita (of the Lazer Beams blog and Emuna Outreach).

In Israel charity is a personal affair and our collective responsibility. We simply can't assume that the government will be taking care, because they won't.

We are not an organization, there is no overhead, every single dollar / shekel / euro given will go directly to those in need (minus the credit card processing fee, ~2.5%).







Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

// // 1 comment

Our Power: Prayer and Emunah!

Please help the poor of Israel this Passover. Kimcha d'Pischa is everyone's responsibility. See our videos and donate on our sidebar (over there --> ), or click here.


* by Akiva at Mystical Paths

We have an amazingly powerful post below. The Breslev Tzadik of Meah Shearim, HaRav HaChossid HaTzadik Rav Shalom Arush, shlita, personally handed us a shiur (a Torah lesson) on CD with specific instructions to publish this on the Internet immediately. Rav Arush, shlita is well known in Israel and the Jewish world for his books the Garden of Emunah, the Garden of Yearing, and the Garden of Peace, as well as having published over 100 special Torah lessons for life.

In this shiur, he discusses the urgent threat to Klal Yisroel, to all the Jewish people, as well as the personal attacks which he suffered in the past few weeks. This is a professional quality CD production. The Rav walked into the recording studio to make sure it was worth listening to, and could be heard.

Format: MP3, 1 hour, Hebrew (We have a synopsis/partial translation below, as well as download links.)



Direct MP3 Download: 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9 - 10 - 11 - 12 - 13 - 14

Subscribe via Your iPod/iTunes:

This is a free translation in synopsis form from a quick listen of the shiur. We'll be adding to it as we can get through the whole thing.

Part 1

We are now in a situation where there is no way out. Now Hashem has put us in a wonderful situation, where we have no solution, no worldly path, no way except tefilah (prayer) and emunah (faith). And yet, the whole world is ignoring the situation.

It's time to wake up! No other power is going to help except tefilah (prayer) and emunah (faith). Our power is tefilah (prayer), it's the power of our father, of Avraham, of Yitzchok, of Yaakov.

Part 2

Lately many bad things have been happing to the Jewish people and I'm (personally) having much pain. What's going on with Bnei Yisroel (the Children of Israel)?

Last week I went with a group of talmidin (students) to the kever of a tzadik (the holy resting place of a righteous sage) and there was an Arab there. He mocked us, he caused us trouble and in the end he threw us out! Yesterday a talmid of mine was at the kever of a tzadik to pray and got beaten up by Arabs very badly. He was lucky to be able to get away! I was trying to figure out what is going here, two times bad things have happened.

Now let's look at Bnei Yisroel and their situation. Hashem took us, just a few shepherds, made us into a nation, and gave us Eretz Yisroel (the Land of Israel). Do you know what Eretz Yisroel used to be? All mud and swaps, it was a mess! And Hashem in His kindness made everything wonderful. Don't think for even one second that we just by chance got Eretz Yisroel. Hashem built Eretz Yisroel for a few people who just fought. Hashem did many miracles for us, so many and so big it's beyond our understanding.

Hashem has taken us from nothing and made us into something and the same for Eretz Yisroel. The miracles Hashem did for us and does for us are unbelievable! I myself was one of 3 soldiers who asked the general how can such great things be happening (in the Yom Kippur War). Arabs by the thousands are throwing their guns away and cowering from us! They had fear of what? Of death! They were so scared! The Lubavicher Rebbe said at the time of the Yom Kipper war, in the Sinai Hashem fought for us, all we did is go down the road of success! And the 6 Day War was just a complete miracle.

The Lubavitcher Rebbe had 100% complete Ruach HaKodesh (holy insight). He said about the Sinai, not to give it back, telling the government of the past not to do so.

Part 3

Any piece of Eretz Yisroel conquered is a miracle! You think you just received it, but Hashem made miracles beyond understanding. Could a person do such a thing (as we saw in battle?) Veterens from that war tell continuous stories of miracles. I myself jumped into a group of over 1,000 Egyptian soldiers. They dropped their guns and surrenederd on the spot! How many could I have possibly killed? I saw with my own eyes how Hashem fights for us.

When Hashem wanted, He fought for us. We do nothing, it's all Hashem. Now Hashem isn't fighting for us. What happened? The Lubavitcher Rebbe said the second you give a piece of land (of Eretz Yisroel) that blood was spilled on, everythign will change. People will fear the Arabs. AND, from then on everything HAS changed, people fear the Arabs! Hashem himself gave us the Sinai and Gush Katif!

Arabs blow up buses, shoot people, it's all bad. Soldiers and policemen tell me Arabs walk up to them and ask, "what can you do to me?" They fear the Arabs, they are very scared, freaked out! Real soldiers, police, Jews are scared to do anything, to move!

Hashem stopped everything to wake us up and let us know it's not us doing anything, it's all Him! There is so much bad in this world, we have to wake up, open our eyes! But...many don't want too. They are happy with their life. People forgot Hashem. We forgot Hashem! We got further way, we abused Him!

So what will be? Hashem get's angry, He hides His face from us. If you're going to manage without Me, please go do so. All they have is their desires, it's all they care about after they went after their eyes. And they upset Me and they angered Me, so now I will anger them with this prophecy coming true.

Track 4

Listen, this is clear prophecy. Not only did they go serve some idol or crazy avodah zarah (idol worship), not only did they find a god better than Hashem, they forgot Me and Made Me Hidden. They upset Me with all their garbage. I'll show them, I'll send a nation of No Name to wake them up. I'll upset them, I'll show them there is a Creator in the world...

(G-d willing, more to come.)

(Photos: HaRav Shalom Arush, shlita, preparing a wedding, photo by yeshiva photographer, and the road leading into Meah Shearim - Jerusalem today, with one of many heavy guard stations positioned all over roads within Jerusalem today! By Akiva)

Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More
// // Leave a Comment

Something From Nothing

Please help the poor of Israel this Passover. Kimcha d'Pischa is everyone's responsibilty. See our videos and donate on our sidebar (over there --> ), or click here.

* by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

When we look at an object, we see it merely from one of the many physical perspectives possible. For instance, when people look at you they see a person. This is the factual reality of this level of your formation. Indeed, you are a person.

If we continue looking at you, but put a microscope between us, then we see an entirely different surface, or facet of your formation. We are not changing what we are looking at. We are still looking at you. All that we are changing is the way we are looking at you. With our bare eyes, we see a person. With a microscope, we see tiny formations. Both are true. If the microscope is a molecular microscope we will see zillions and zillions of molecules. Surrounding and filling each molecule will be what appears as a vast amount of empty space. Scientists estimate that all matter is made up of 99.9% empty space. The Torah says that this is a very close estimate.

These molecules are moving at all times, but no molecule ever comes near another molecule. They never touch. Each of them is always surrounded and filled with the vast amount of empty space. At this perspective, your body would look more like the cosmos than an individual person.

Which of these perspectives is true? Which is actually you? Are you a body with arms and legs, or are you a collection of molecules? Both are true. You are both the body and a vast collection of molecules. Both are accurate views at its particular level, or perspective, of your physical body.

Set the microscope to a much deeper level of magnification. Assume we could see the atomic makeup of your body. Now we see an entirely different scene. Zillions upon zillions of atoms, and again 99.9% empty space surrounding and filling each of them. The atoms are not at all shaped like the molecules. It looks like an entirely different universe than the molecular universe.

So which are you? Are you the atoms, the molecules, or the person? You are all of them. Are they three, or are they one? If I take all of your atoms and move them into the other room, your body and your molecules will go with the atoms. If instead, I move your molecules into the other room, then the atoms and body will move with them. So we see that these three are actually one. They are same body being seen from three different levels, or perspectives. Do not think that the body is a composite that is being made out of these three. If that would be the case, we would be able to take one of these three out and the remaining two would remain. The three are merely different perspectives of the same one.

What would we see if we magnified the atoms? We would come to zillions and zillions of quarks, and 99.9% empty space. Magnify again and again and again. We will come to gluons. Keep magnifying until it does not go any further. What will you ultimately come to? Remember, we are not dividing the molecules or atoms. We are simply magnifying them in order to look closer so we can see what they are actually made of. Each form you come to will again dissolve as we magnify further and further, until we come to absolutely nothing at all, entirely empty space!

G-d creates the Universe “something from nothing” (yesh me’ayin).[i] He did not create it from preexisting matter. There was nothing here before He began to create what He made into the universe. He creates the creation only from His will. Not only did G-d create the Universe when He originally created it, but He is continually creating it. Creation is an ongoing process. And, as it originally was, it is still being made “something from nothing.”

If the power that is right now holding all matter together would cease, the entire physical universe would simply “unfold,” and revert to nothing. Our physical existence is made of matter that is being created out of nothing. This matter is being held together in a form solely by an ongoing power that is sustained by G-d’s continuing will to sustain it.

[i] ex Nihilo

Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More
// // 2 comments

Know How To Duck

Please help the poor of Israel this Passover. Kimcha d'Pischa is everyone's responsibilty. See our videos and donate on our sidebar (over there --> ), or click here.

* by Akiva at Mystical Paths

Yesterday was a national emergency drill in Israel. Does your national emergency services teach you how to hide from a missile attack? Mine does. And the US President, US Secretary of State, UN Secretary General, and EU Ambassador say Jews hiding in shelters from missiles is just how it should be...



Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More

Monday, April 07, 2008

// // 7 comments

Meet Those in Need - Meet Yitzchok

by Akiva at Mystical Paths

Kol Yisroel Mishpacha Echad, All the Jewish People are one family, and those who bless you will be blessed...

Passover, the season of our redemption, is approaching. Please spare us a moment and meet one in need (video). The truth is, the man you are about to meet may be in need of the basics of this physical world, but we are in need of his relationship with Hashem. (1 minute Hebrew w/English subtitles, 2 minutes in English).

Following that is a personal appeal (video) from Rabbi Nati and myself to help our needy brothers and sisters in Israel. For most in the US and Western Nations, charity is an organizational affair. But here in Israel as we encounter those in our neighborhood and by the grocery store in need, in very serious personal desperate need, charity is a personal affair and our collective personal responsibility.

We are not an organization, we have no office overhead, nobody on salary, every single dollar / shekel / euro given will go directly to those in need (minus the credit card processing fee, ~2.5%).









Posted at Mystical Paths, MPaths.com.
Read More

Sunday, April 06, 2008

// // 1 comment

A Personal Appeal

(Our appeal posts will be at the top of the blog this week, scroll down for our latest posts.)

Dear Friends:

Passover, the season of our redemption, is approaching. Please take a moment and listen to this personal appeal from Rabbi Nati and myself to help our needy brothers and sisters in Israel. For most in the US and Western Nations, charity is an organizational affair. But here in Israel as we encounter those in our neighborhood and by the grocery store in need, in very serious personal desperate need, charity is a personal affair and our collective personal responsibility.

We are not an organization, we have no office overhead, nobody on salary, every single dollar / shekel / euro given will go directly to those in need (minus the credit card processing fee, about 2%).


Read More
Related Posts with Thumbnails