Saturday, March 31, 2012

// // Leave a Comment

Last Chance for Maos Chitim

Rabbi Ari Enkin of TorahMusings shares some of the halacha (Jewish religious obligation and laws) of providing charity for the poor for Passover…

(Rabbi Ari Enkin) Ma’ot chittim, also known as “kimcha d’pischa”, refers to the obligation upon everyone to donate funds prior to Pesach in order to help the poor to cover their holiday expenses. Not only is Pesach the festival of freedom but it is also intended to impart within every person a feeling of royalty. As such, efforts must be made to ensure that even the poor can feel this way. It is for this reason that Pesach is the only holiday which merited having a charity collection dedicated entirely to it. While on most other holidays one is encouraged to invite the less fortunate to eat their holiday meals in one’s home[1], on Pesach one should rather ensure that every person has the means and ability to experience their own seder in their own home.[2] …

The origins of a specific Pesach fund are quite ancient and are even mentioned in the Talmud.[7]

[1] Rambam Yom Tov 6:18, [2] Bishvilei Haparasha p.189, Pesachim 109a, [7] Yerushalmi Bava Batra 1:6, Mishna Berura 429:3

Every year and Jewish holiday, we at Mystical Paths offer you the opportunity to donate directly to the needy in Israel for the holiday.  We do this as a direct mitzvah project, with no overhead costs of organization, advertising, offices, secretaries, etc.  Every single dollar, shekel, pound, euro, rand, rubel, wan, yen, or any currency goes directly to those in need. (With only credit card processing fees of ~3.5% and currency conversion fees of ~1%.) 

If you’d like your charity assistance to go direct to needy yidden in Israel, we’re ready to be your shaliach.  (We operate via Rabbi Nati’s registered Israeli charity Yesh Ma L’asot and with the rabbinical oversight of Rabbi Chaim Farro.)

You can donate RIGHT HERE RIGHT NOW via this link

or here…

May Hashem bless you and everyone with a Kosher and Happy Passover, and may we merit the ultimate Passover with Moshiach tzidkaynu, mamash THIS YEAR IN JERUSALEM!!!

READ IT!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

// // 2 comments

Synonymous

I was not threatened or forced to post this video.  Really I wasn’t.

READ IT!
// // Leave a Comment

Vhe Shemada – A Special Passover Message

Forwarded by a reader, a great Passover message from the Chief Rabbi of South Africa.  He’s blogging and videoing!  That’s a rav who knows the tools needed to get his message out!

READ IT!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

// // Leave a Comment

Random Photos

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

Artistic neighbor…

random-1

Color contrast…

random-2

Spring trees…

random-3

Awaiting matzah…

2012-03-21 Kfar Chabad Matza Bakery - Miriam Akiva Haviva Raizel 028

2012-03-21 Kfar Chabad Matza Bakery - Miriam Akiva Haviva Raizel 091

READ IT!
// // 1 comment

Politics : World Bank

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

(Excerpted from UPI, with edits and additions)  President Barack Obama's nominee to lead the World Bank is facing criticism for being "anti-growth,"… The nominee, Jim Yong Kim, currently the president of Dartmouth College, wrote in the introduction of a book he co-edited that, "The studies in this book present evidence that the quest for growth in gross domestic product and corporate profits has in fact worsened the lives of millions of women and men." 

The book, published in 2000, was entitled, "Dying For Growth: Global Inequality and the Health of the Poor,"…

"Dr. Kim would be the first World Bank president ever who seems to be anti-growth," … "Even the severest of World Bank critics think that economic growth is what we want," Easterly said.

The U.S. nominee, which by understanding is always the one given the job (as Europe gets, by understanding, to nominate the director of the International Monitary Fund), has no economic or banking background.  Rather, Dr. Jim Kim is an anthropologist and a physician with a degree from Harvard Medical School, and served as director of the World Health Organization's Department of HIV/AIDS.

"Jim has spent more than two decades working to improve conditions in developing countries around the world," Obama said last week in announcing Kim's nomination. "The World Bank is one of the most powerful tools we have to reduce poverty and raise standards of living around the globe, and Jim's personal experience and years of service make him an ideal candidate for this job."

One might think that, to be effective, one would assign a banker or economic to the job of running a world development bank. 

Alternatively one could assign an anti-growth demagogue.

Wonder how that will work out.

READ IT!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

// // 14 comments

The Molad of our Time

by Dov bar Leib at Mystical Paths

This Friday morning is seven shlamim from the Molad of Nisan 72 1/2 years after the beginning of the Shoah.

I am still keeping my hope alive.  It clarifies things when I wake up in the morning.

And into the theatre of Jewish tears and suffering walks Jeremiah Wright.

Don't lose hope just yet. The 72 1/2 year mark is an extremely important mark in the Zohar on VaYera.  The previous verses in the Zohar described the events of 5766 to a tee.  So this particular Zohar has a provable track record. I wrote about this 6 years ago in the Secret of the Vav in HaShem's Name, but at that time I left out the statement about the 72 1/2 year mark.

I only bring this up because this particular page of the Zohar has a track record for accurately describing events in the Summer of 5766 and it gives the date of "66 years after passing over the threshold of the 6th Millennium.

It says that Mashiach would appear in the Galil in the 66th year.  But then mysteriously he would disappear for 6 years until the 72 1/2 year mark.  So there are two points.

In the year 5766, the bombing of the Galil and Haifa during the 2nd Lebanon War ended all of the Erev Rav's plans to unilaterally destroy Yehudah and the Shomron.  That war actually began on the 16th of Tamuz.  Some say it actually began on the 17th of Tamuz.

Yet, then the Zohar specifically says, for some strange reason, we have to wait another 6 years.

Hmm.  I wonder what the "for some strange reason part" is all about.  But there is no use stirring up all the sewage that has already run under the bridge.

READ IT!
// // 1 comment

Colonel Tom, U.S. Army (retired)

by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths

 

     Colonel Tom is from Texas. He graduated from West Point, and served in the U.S. Army for 30 years before retiring as a Full Colonel. He has two children, one a lieutenant, and one a captain, and they went to West Point, too. When he came up to me at the Kotel I would have bet that he was not Jewish. He was a Bible reading ch-ristain, married to a non-Jewish woman, living a military life all of his years. He let me know that he was very unhappy (to put it mildly) with the surrounding Arab countries where he visited, which I attributed to his evangelical leanings. 

 

     But after we talked for a while, even with that thick Texas accent, it came out. "Yes Sir, my mother is Jewish."

 

     That changed the whole scene. After asking him several times, to be sure, I told him that since his mother is Jewish, then so is he.

 

     He objected, "But it says that G-d is the G-d of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. It doesn't say anything about the mothers determining whose G-d it is."

 

    "If I give you a good answer will you agree to put on tefillin?" I pointed to the tefillin since he had no idea what I was talking about. He nodded, and I told about Abraham and Sarah having Isaac, and Abraham and Sarah's Egyptian maid-servant, Hagar, having Ishmael. So, if he was right, and the people went by the father, then both boys would have been Jewish. "They both had the same father!" I told him that the people go by the mother, just like way back then, and since his mother is Jewish, so is he.

 

     "That's the best answer I've ever heard," he told me, as I slipped the tefillin on his arm.

 

     After he read the Shema in English, and prayed for his family, I explained to him how important is was for him to teach his children not to worship a limited god. I asked him, "Where is G-d."

 

     He answered, "I never thought of it, but isn't He everywhere?"

 

    "You're absolutely right. But the ch-ristain bible says that the guy who was crucified went to heaven, and was no longer in the grave." He agreed that it says that. "Then, he is not everywhere! Don't worship him. And if you love your kids, you won't let them worship a limited god, either."

 

    Tom is a Jew who has lived his entire life as a ch-ristian. He said, "I knew I came to Israel for a good reason."

READ IT!

Monday, March 26, 2012

// // Leave a Comment

The Warnings

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

The warnings are rife, the advice and direction are not.

The information flows readily, picking out the truth a challenge.

The situation unstable, the way to turn – unclear.

We must hang tightly to the ways of Torah, yet are challenged to do so with spokesmen confusing the ways or filtering the words for their own purposes.

It is a time of confusion in this midst of a mountain of information and electronic connection.

We are told to PREPARE!  But not how!

We await our Moshe Rabaynu, and then are warned false ones will arise.

We must do what we can today.  A mitzvah, chesed (kindness), tzedakah (charity), learning Torah. 

By making today better, perhaps tomorrow will be also.

The rest is up to Hashem.

READ IT!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

// // 2 comments

Three Pictures from the Kotel

by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths

 

 

When I put Tefillin on Him, I Kissed His Arm.


    The numbers are fading, and sadly, for the majority of Jews, so is the memory.

 

 

The Tune They Were Singing Was Especially Nice.

 

 

Iranian Jews Who Fled to America


READ IT!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

// // 3 comments

Matzah Baking!

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

2012-03-21 Kfar Chabad Matza Bakery - Miriam Akiva Haviva Raizel 022

Yesterday I headed to the hand-made shmura matzah bakery with my younger children.  Both to buy matzah for Passover and to give them a chance to see the process.

Shumra Matzah is matzah made from guarded wheat.  That is, wheat protected from any moisture from the time of harvesting through grinding into flour and until the production of the matzah.

Hand made matzah is matzah measured, mixed, kneaded, rolled, and baked by religious Jews l’shem hamitzvah – specifically with the holy intention of fulfilling the mitzvah of matzah for Passover.

In all cases the process has a maximum of 18 minutes from beginning to end.  Any longer and according to Jewish religious law, the dough will become leavened and is not kosher for passover.

Here’s a live video I prepared of the experience.  The first 2 minutes or so are informative slides, followed by live action video…

After watching, please consider donating to our Passover charity campaign, fulfilling the mitzvah of moas chitim – helping provide for the needy of Israel for Passover.

You can support the needy of Israel for Passover – right here, right now, 100% charity with NO overhead…

Donate to the Needy of Israel for Passover
Click HERE !

or here…

We operate via Rabbi Nati’s registered Israeli charity, Yesh Ma L’asot, and with the rabbinical supervision of Rabbi Chaim Faro.  NO office expenses, NO advertising expenses, NO salaries, NO overhead of ANY kind (except for credit card processing fees of ~3.5% and currency conversion fees of ~1%).  100% tzedakah (charity) direct to those in need.

This Passover, more than ever, lets help make sure our brethren in Israel are able to celebrate the holiday!

READ IT!
// // Leave a Comment

You Have Such a Nice Face

at the Western Wall with Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths

image003

Tzvi is from New Jersey. He speaks some Yiddish, but never saw tefillin in his life! When I was putting the tefillin on him, he asked me, “What are they?”

     I explained, “The Torah tells us to ‘bind G-d’s words upon our arm,’ and that these words are written on parchments and placed inside the boxes. It means that we should do what G-d told us to do, and that we should think about what G-d told us to think about.” I asked him, “Why did you agree so easily to put them on, if you had never even seen them before?”

     He said, “Because you have such a nice face!”

     I burst out laughing, “Zvi, I don’t care why you put them on, just so you put them on.” The Talmud says that we should do a mitzvah even for the wrong reason, because by doing it, there will be an influence, and then we might come to do it for the right reason.

Another mitzvah we should do for any reason is Moas Chitim, helping the needy for Passover.  You can do it right here via Mystical Paths, where we help the needy in Israel, direct and with no organizational overhead, salaries or expenses…

You can support the needy of Israel for Passover – right here, right now, 100% charity with NO overhead…

Donate to the Needy of Israel for Passover
Click HERE !

or here…

We operate via Rabbi Nati’s registered Israeli charity, Yesh Ma L’asot, and with the rabbinical supervision of Rabbi Chaim Faro.  NO office expenses, NO advertising expenses, NO salaries, NO overhead of ANY kind (except for credit card processing fees of ~3.5% and currency conversion fees of ~1%).  100% tzedakah (charity) direct to those in need.

This Passover, more than ever, lets help make sure our brethren in Israel are able to celebrate the holiday!

READ IT!
// // Leave a Comment

Moas Chitim – Passover Charity

It’s that time of the year, Passover is coming.  With Passover comes the obligation of Moas Chitim or Kimcha D’Pischa, supporting the needy for Passover. 

You can support the needy of Israel for Passover – right here, right now, 100% charity with NO overhead…

Donate to the Needy of Israel for Passover
Click HERE !

or here…

Every year before the Jewish holidays we raise money to support the poor and needy in Israel.  We do so via Rabbi Nati’s registered Israeli charity, Yesh Ma L’asot, and with the rabbinical supervision of Rabbi Chaim Faro.  We also do so with NO office expenses, NO advertising expenses, NO salaries, NO overhead of ANY kind (except for credit card processing fees of ~3.5% and currency conversion fees of ~1%).  100% tzedakah (charity) direct to those in need.

This Passover, more than ever, lets help make sure our brethren in Israel are able to celebrate the holiday!

READ IT!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

// // 1 comment

Targeting the Future

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

5 Jewish funerals from overseas are happening right now in Israel, 4 in Jerusalem and 1 in Beit Shemesh.  The 4 you’ve heard of, pictured above.  Targeted for being Jewish and targeted for being the future

This is, G-d have mercy, not a new tactic.  It is, however, the most horrifying one.  The one that everyone should recognize for what it is…attempted genocide.  Our children are our future, target the children and you target our future.  The future of the Jewish people and the Torah.

The 5th funeral today is for a young boy who’s life was taken by cancer, Reuven Kirshner, the grandson of a well known Jewish blogger.  We were informed of this funeral via a distraught phone call from Chicago in the middle of the night by one of the many bocherim from the community who were involved in bikur cholim.

The Yetzer Hara and our genocidal enemies know well that our children are our future.  Murder, disease, societal seductions of drugs, gangs, and the draw of a “pleasure focus” – all targeting our children.

What must we do?  First, have children!  Second, we must equally focus on our children as our future!  Third, daven to Hashem, for clearly in this world we and our children will only make it with the helping hand of our Father in Heaven.

If we use even a portion of the energy our enemies are focusing on children for good, with blessings from above our children are assured a good future.

READ IT!
// // 2 comments

What’s Your Future?

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

In my work in the high tech sector in Israel, I interact with many moderately successful very intelligent motivated hard working techies.  The majority of them are in their 30’s, secular Israeli Jews.  Family is a frequent topic of casual conversation, they often have 1 or 2 children, occasionally 3, while I have a large family (more than 5).

During our conversations I sometimes say to them, “Why do you have only 1 or 2 children?  You are smart and successful, exactly the kind of abilities we, the Jewish people and the State of Israel, need for the future!  Share yourself with the future!”

Unfortunately successful westernized non-religious Jews have followed a common western liberal tendency to have smaller families or no children at all.  Whether due to changing women’s roles and a drive for career over family, environmental impact concerns of a family, or simply a greater focus on self gratification instead of spending money, time and effort to raise children, the communal result is less Jews in the next generation.

Conservative insta-blogger InstaPundit picked up on a few articles describing the same phenomena among US liberals and environmentalists…

=================
JAMES TARANTO: Green Yet Barren: You Can’t Make A Baby By Hugging A Tree.

The baby boomers’ parents were unusually fertile, especially when compared with subsequent generations, including the boomers themselves. But the decline in fertility was not evenly distributed throughout American society.

This columnist has posited that the polarization of the electorate around the issue of abortion, combined with the direct effect of abortion itself on fertility, over the long term has a conservatizing effect on the electorate. We call it the Roe Effect. Although environmentalism is not sharply polarizing in the way that abortion is, it seems to us quite probable that a similar and overlapping effect is at work here.

After all, you can’t make a baby by hugging a tree. Attitudes about “the environment” are very much tied up with attitudes about human fertility. The prevailing view on the environmentalist left is, and has been since at least the early 1970s, that to bring a child into the world is an act of violence against Mother Earth. Along with feminism, which devalued motherhood and women’s domestic work, environmentalism motivated left-liberal baby boomers to have smaller families, or none at all.

If ideology drives one segment of the population to reproduce less, the effect compounds over time. Whereas big families get bigger with each generation, a childless couple (or single woman) is unlikely to have grandchildren either. The future belongs to the fruitful.

Childlessness is inherited. If your parents don’t have kids, you won’t either.

UPDATE: Reader Danielle Emery writes:

Your link to the article about low fertility among environmentalists reminds me of Larry L. Eastland’s 2004 WSJ article that demonstrated Gore lost Florida (and the Presidency) in 2004 due to disproportionate numbers of missing Democratic voters from abortion.

So the decline in fertility among those who lean left has already had profound and demonstrable effects on the United States.

When I bring up Mr. Eastland’s findings with my more liberal friends, I find them to be quite frustrated by it, and with no coherent response except to say the world will be a terrible place and my “descendants will be flipping burgers at McDonald’s”. Which is really not a bad thing, since it implies that: There will still be meat and we’ll be allowed to eat it; there will be money to buy it; there will still be big businesses and people to work at them. In other words, not really what the left has planned for us.

As you say, the future belongs to those who show up.

=================

For the Jewish people, our future has always been our children.  That hasn’t changed.

READ IT!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

// // 2 comments

Hank

by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths

image003

     Here’s Hank. His mother is Jewish, but that’s all he knows. His wife and kids are not Jewish, and when the guys from the tefillin stand brought him over to me he was wearing a fancy silver cross around his neck! You can’t get much further away than that. Still, Hank is as much a Jew as any of us, and we have to do our best to help him. Our conversation went something like this:

     “Hank, is G-d in Hell?” I asked.

     “Well, I don’t know. But, doesn’t G-d have to be everywhere?” he answered.

     “Then what are you doing wearing that cross? They teach that G-d is only in the good, but you know that G-d is everywhere!” I took the cross and tucked it in his shirt so it wouldn’t show, and I said, “Get rid of that thing. You don’t believe like they do. You know that G-d is everywhere.”

     He said, “They gave it to me.”

     “So get rid of it. King David said that G-d is even in Hell. They say that He is only in Heaven. Don’t follow them.”

     I told him how important it is for him to teach his children that G-d is everywhere, so that they do not worship a false god. I explained that since he loves his children, that the best thing he can do for them is to teach them the Seven Commandments that G-d gave to Noah. “If they follow those seven laws, they will be righteous people and have wonderful lives.”

     He seemed to have understood. Here’s a guy who came to the Kotel with a bunch of orthodox ch-ristains, thinking that he was one of them, and instead he discovered that he is actually a Jew, and that he doesn’t even believe like they do. Please G-d, he will follow up on what we talked about, and he will throw that foolish cross away.

    Thank G-d for the opportunity to be standing there to meet at least a few of the “Hanks” in the world, and to try to salvage their spiritual lives.

READ IT!

Monday, March 19, 2012

// // Leave a Comment

5 Pictures from the Kotel

by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

Would You Put Tefillin on Someone…

 

     Who was wearing short pants, and carrying a deadly weapon? Although there are many Grand rabbis who say, "Don't you dare do such a thing," I do it all the time. After all, the guy is risking his life to guard my life. The least I can do is to help him to guard his own.

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Get Them to Smile…

   I tell them that if they don't marry a Jewish girl, their mother will break both their legs!

 

 

 

Welcoming Peruvian Birthright'ers

 

 

 

 

 

 

These Young Teens From Orlando Florida

    will remember their school trip to the Kotel for the rest of their lives.

 

 

 

 

Black Hats and Grey Beards at the Kotel

 

     Obviously, if you are talking about black hats, and long grey beards at the Kotel, you have to be talking about religious Jews, right? Wrong! These hats are made out of plastic, and they are crushable. You can sit on them, and they will pop back up! And the beards are long, but the mustaches are cut off! And the men with the beards and hats…? They are from the "Baptist Brotherhood." Yikes! You can't get much farther away from us than that.

READ IT!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

// // 3 comments

Shalom from Down Under

by Rabbi Nati @ Mystical Paths

(Rabbi Nati is currently on a visit to Australia!  Here’s a few words from him on his trip…)

Shalom from the upside down land of Australia.

It rained all Shabbos. The Bondi Beach is beautiful, but only at 3:00 am to 6:00 am - this is the time to go out and do Hisbodedut (personal prayer and contemplation of Hashem), as later it’s an inappropriate environment for a modest person once the sun is up.  The waves are great and there is a kosher butcher and a Jewish book store just 3 blocks away from the beach.

It’s a really nice plac,e people are friendly and laid back even though they have never seen a guy in nickers and socks with wild peyos (sidelocks) and tzitzit flying in the wind. Let alone one who can surf.

There are a lot of unaffiliated Jews here. I have sat and had a beer with a couple and had a real chance to speak to them about connection to Hashem.

One could say it’s been a misplaced demand for perfection which has driven them away from Judaism.  In a desire to protect from an increasingly intrusive and immodest world, a type of perfection demanding rabbi has arisen who can’t see that their desire for perfection is based in the mida of din (severity and judgment), instead of chessed, a loving and kind desire for Jews to connect.

So here I come in levush (full chassidic garb) and talk to them normally.  They have never met a rabbi who would just speak to them and not preach or deride them for their apparent lack of connection.

They do not see connection to Hashem as religion.  Most have come here from the former Soviet Block, so they believe but have a hard time showing it (and a cultural imperative to hide it).

But when comes along a guy in levush eating kosher and sitting and taking time to just be a friend, they really long to connect.

Alex, the man who cleans the building where I’m renting a room, is from Uman (Ukraine and the burial place of Rebbe Nachman of Breslev).  He asked me on Shabbos if I could let him put on tefillin. I said sure but not today.  He was upset and didn’t understand why I wouldn’t let him right now!  I explained that he could on Sunday but we do not put them on, on Shabbos.

Then there is Lara who is the receptionist who was worried that the light wouldn’t be on in the bathroom on Shabbos for me.  She is from Odessa. And Michael ‘Misha’ from Kiev.

They are all Jewish here and very surprised that I’m staying here.

I was shocked on arrival as the formal orthodox community wouldn’t open their doors.  They have a visitors center for meshuluchim (visiting charity collectors and rabbis from Israel or abroad).  I arrived asking to use the mikvah, daven (pray) and lay my head down for a few hours until I could make arrangements in the area.

I was told I had to prove my Jewishness and present letters of introduction and influence.  I mean just look at me,  "I'm Catholic, right?".  So, being shunned, I did not get to pray in synagogue on Shabbos nor hear Parshat Para.  Yet if Hashem arranged that I spent some time with the simple Jews of the area, I do so b’simcha (with joy).  I only have a real desire to help others understand they can connect from where they are which is right where we find ourselves at this moment.

So take a minute and just reach out to Hashem, tell all your faults and failings and express remorse over letting Him down. Then get right up and run towards Him, He is waiting for us to return to Him.

I fail all the time, but I continue daily to get up and try again!  Some days are better than others. But you know you still just have to be a ‘Yid’ no matter where you are!

You can always just start over, right now, this moment, as if you never served Him and make a new relationship today!  So you fell down, even in a huge way. Throw yourself at His mercy and turn away from your folly and never go back to it! Know there still is hope. This is teshuva!

Even for someone like me who knows better but still falls into it daily? Cry, plead, pray, dance, smile, and thank Him, and go on, that’s all we can do in this world. Just like I have to every day, just start from now anew, like you were just born.

Hashem is standing waiting for me and you to do just that, to come to Him and tell Him what He already knows. We are only flesh and blood and we are frail. He knows this already, so why? Because the whole of serving Hashem is in the BITUL... the nullification of Self before Him...

He knew the sins I was going to commit before I did them... only He wanted me to avoid them, Ok I couldn’t, so what now, give up? No way! There is no such thing as despair in the world at all. (Rebbe Nachman) It simply doesn’t exist at all, it is a lie from the other side to trap us in depression and cause us to give up.

No matter what, never lose hope!  There is always another chance as long as we breathe to cry out and beg to come closer to Him in a real way.  Just drop all the falseness and lies and serve Him from where you are.

We only mess up today.  Yesterday is gone so we have to let it go and tomorrow is but a dream not yet read to materialize. The former is arrogance and the latter is heresy, we only live today.  If we will only not rebel today we will fix all the tomorrows and repair all the yesterdays.

From Bondi Beach, New South Wales, Australia,
Blessings from down under,
Rabbi Nati

If you’d like to meet or speak with Rabbi Nati while he’s in Australia, he can be contacted at rabbikinstein@yeshmalasot.org

READ IT!
// // 1 comment

Jews Speak of Blessings

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

thumbnail (1)Jews speak of blessings.  It’s not the way of the Jewish people or the prophets of G-d to curse or to threaten. 

The prophets may sometimes warn, and plead with the people to return to their Father in Heaven to avoid negative predictions (prophecy).

But the path of the Jew is to speak of blessings and to bring blessings.  Every country the Jews have become a part of have been imbued with blessings.  “Those that bless you will be blessed.”

We may, G-d forbid, see that Jews were persecuted in a place and that place had a ‘turn of luck’.  Or see that the Jews left or fled from a place, and it changed from a place of influence and power to otherwise.

Yet we don’t focus on such things nor point them out.  The only time to focus on and study the opposite of blessings is on Tisha B’Av.

Otherwise, we focus on blessings.  We offering blessing and, through our Father in Heaven, bring blessings with us.

That is the way of the Jew, the path of blessings.

Shavua Tov, may you be blessed with a good week.  And may the Jews of Southern Israel be safe and at peace.

(learned from the Lubavitcher Rebbe)

READ IT!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

// // Leave a Comment

Jews Leaving?

excerpted from Via Meadia

Trends worth noticing.

Sometimes, alarming facts can be concealed behind seemingly innocuous jargon. That is the case with the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life’s latest polling on the “migratory patterns” of religious groups. As it turns out, one particular group is consistently on the move:

Of the seven groups examined in this report, Jews have by far the highest overall level of international migration, in percentage terms. About one-quarter of Jews alive today have left the country in which they were born…

By contrast, only one-in-twenty Christians [the next most migratory religious group] alive today (5%) have emigrated from their country of birth.

Obviously part of the answer has to do with the number of believers the religions claim. If five percent of 2.4 billion Christians migrate, we are talking about 120 million people. If one fourth of the world’s 14 million Jews pack up and move, only 3.4 million are hitting the road.

Still, the high percentage of Jewish migrants is striking, and to understand why these numbers matter…the answer is sadly unsurprising:

“The world Jewish community is consolidating,” said Jonathan Sarna, a professor of American Jewish history at Brandeis University… “Jews are abandoning Third World countries where historically they had been persecuted and moving to large and generally free First World countries.”

…A positive spin on Jewish migratory trends is that Jews, so often persecuted in their homelands, are safer in their new countries…

In other words, anti-Semitism is alive and well across the globe, and there are millions of persecuted Jewish refugees as a result.

The Washington Post adds…

…the vast majority of world Jewry lives in one of two countries. Of the 13.3 million Jews worldwide, 43 percent live in Israel and 39 percent live in the United States.

READ IT!

Friday, March 16, 2012

// // 3 comments

Rashi’s Place

photos by Reb Avichai @ Mystical Paths

Rashi, Rabbi Shlomo ben Yitzchok, zt”l, was the premier commentator on the Torah and Gemora.  He lived in Worms, Germany.

Courtesy of Reb Avichai, here’s a few pictures from Rashi’s home and Rashi’s mikvah, still in existence today (from around year 1100 ce).

BeitRashi_10

BeitRashi_3

and the mikvah…

RashiMikwe_1

RashiMikwe_4

RashiMikwe_2

READ IT!
// // 1 comment

Tea Party Jew Targeted by IRS?

The Washington Examiner, by Justin Binik-Thomas:

thumbnailIn a 2009 commencement speech at Arizona State, president (Obama) joked about using the IRS as an enforcement agent for dissenters.    Little did I know that less than three years later the IRS would be asking groups about their association with . . . me (Justin Binik-Thomas).

The American Center for Law and Justice has reported that the IRS is targeting the nonprofit tax status of Tea Party and liberty groups across the nation. These conservative groups are now experiencing the targeted enforcement the President “joked” about…

Most of the questions (that the IRS asks them to answer to “prove” their tax exempt status) are pointed and obnoxious, but fairly standard by IRS standards: Explain fundraising, explain outreach, explain volunteers, explain your relationship with another group.

Some of the questions are baffling and don’t identify anything of redeeming social value, meaning they seem geared to utilize organizational resources instead of supporting or refuting a tax status.

Examples of these include requests to provide a hard copy printout of web pages, list all issues of importance to the group, and outline any training completed by or presented to the organization in question.

Still others are overreaching, such as whether officers serve on other organizations or have any plans to run for political office.  Vague!  What if the answer is “no” today and “yes” next year?  Would that result in an IRS sponsored election-day surprise or, perhaps, another query issued in the days leading to a primary or general election?

A recent IRS request of one of the liberty groups in the Cincinnati region moved into new and dangerous territory by asking about family members and specific individuals.  Well, one individual: Me.  The question asked:”Provide details regarding your relationship with Justin Binik-Thomas.”

It is a bit unusual, and frankly irrelevant, to ask about families.  Officers and employees have a certain duty and understanding when they sign on, but not so their families.  If a family member is mentioned, what happens to them or to their business?  Are they at risk or put on a watch list of sorts?  Will they be audited?

Why ask about me? … This IRS query is directed to a liberty group nearly 30 miles away in another city and another county.  I am neither a member nor a leader of their team, and I have never attended a meeting.

Does it relate to communications work I’ve done? Is it because I am Jewish Conservative?  Because I own a small business?

If it relates to my religion, it brings many additional concerns to the forefront.  Why being Jewish would matter is unclear, but it is one of the few things that distinguishes me from the many others working in this area (of conservative liberty groups).

Am I so successful in my roles so as to be a threat to this administration?  Am I so well known to be a valuable target?  Or am I a pawn in a witch-hunt in the pursuit of another group or individual?  How high does this go?

Why is the IRS targeting a conservative Jewish politically minded businessman in Ohio?  Actual IRS questionnaire sent to a Tea Party group, questioning about this man, here.

READ IT!

Thursday, March 15, 2012

// // 5 comments

Only at the Kotel!

by Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths

image003

Only at the Kotel would you see a scene like this: The Jew with tefillin is an avowed atheist from Sweden, and the black man is a ch-ristian preacher from Georgia, USA. The preacher was trying to convince the atheist that G-d really does exist, and the Jew was arguing his head off against him!

    You might ask, “Why in the world would an atheist put on tefillin?” Well… Gutman had something to do with it. I convinced him by telling him that he could help a lot of Jews by doing it.  Oh -- and I had to pull a little, too.

     The preacher couldn’t budge the guy, not in the least, and he finally gave up. He looked at me apologetically and said, “Well, I tried.”

     I love it. What a crazy world we live in!

READ IT!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

// // 1 comment

4 Pictures

from the Old City with Reb Gutman Locks

 

 

 

Hand Made Shmura (guarded) Matza Factory

 

     I bought my matzah today. The handmade, round, thin ones are the best.

 

 

They Come for a Tour

 

     And they get turned around. Some of them never saw tefillin before, and none of them knew that you are supposed to be happy when you do a mitzvah.

 

 

After You Bless Your Boy, Give Him a Kiss

 

 

 

All You Got To Do Is…

 

     …wear a yarmulke, put on tefillin, rest on Shabbos, and a few things like that. And you will almost certainly end up with a bunch of very nice children.

READ IT!
// // 1 comment

Dangerous Jews

APn: Dangerous Jews strike up militant poses in hardened military position.

israelis

Reality: Jewish children cower and hide in a “protected space” while under missile attack, targeting them for violent death, in Southern Israel.  Gazan Arabs continue their bombardment of Israel while the United Nations fails to condemn the clear war crime of targeting civilian areas with over 200 missiles and world news services ignore the situation.  Yet world will react in surprise and “horror” when Israel is forced to take major actions to stop the bombardment.

APn – Associated Press NOT.
Picture via @MargieInTelAviv

READ IT!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

// // 1 comment

I Would Not Take No for an Answer!

at the Kotel with Reb Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths

image003     This time, I insisted. I could not let the guy go without putting on tefillin. He and his son are from Argentina. When I asked, he refused, and wouldn’t even listen to the idea. I tried to pull his arm, but he pulled back strongly. He was a big guy, and he was insistent. And then, as if to prove his credentials, not only did he speak in Yiddish, but he told me that his mother was a great-granddaughter of the Baal Shem Tov.

     “What!” I yelled at the guy. “You are a great-great-grandson of the Baal Shem, and you are not putting on tefillin?” I grabbed him by the arm hard and kept pulling until he gave in. He read the Shema, and then I had him bless his son. You can see the emotions coming out. Then, he went to the Kotel and cried.

     I looked up to Heaven and smiled. I said, “Hey, I just made the Baal Shem happy!” I smiled even more, but then I had to quickly hold back my emotions before I started to cry.

READ IT!
// // 2 comments

Metal Rain

image

Some. Most. (80-90%)  NOT ALL.  People are dying, children are running in terror.

image

Welcome to Chelm!  Where like the proverbial cold, starve a cold feed a fever, you feed a terrorist and his children while he’s shooting missiles at YOUR CHILDREN.

And defeat is measured by the enemies failure to actually slaughter your children, rather than by waging war, committing war crimes (firing on civilians), and shutting down the operation of your society.

The wise men of Chelm would be proud.

READ IT!
// // Leave a Comment

Rebbe Nachman's Promise

by Rabbi Nati @ Mystical Paths

img3“When my days are over and I leave this world, I will still intercede for anyone who comes to my grave, gives a coin to charity and says these Ten Psalms. No matter how great his sins, I will do everything in my power, spanning the length and breadth of the creation to cleanse and protect him. I will pull him out by his peyos from gehenom. I am very sure of everything I say, but I am most sure in regard to the great benefit of these Ten Psalms.”

The Ten Psalms are 16, 32, 41, 42, 59, 77, 90, 105, 137, 150.

It is a good practice and a great tikkun to try and say them every single day.  This is known among the Breslev chassidim as Tikkun HaKlali, the General Spiritual Repair.

READ IT!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

// // Leave a Comment

Hints from Purim

by Reb Aharon Rubin, author of Eye to the Infinite at Mystical Paths

The Gemoro says that Mordechai is hinted at in the Torah in this week’s sedrah: מר דרור, translated by the Targum as מריא דכיא, which has the same letters as Mordechai. מריא דכיא is a sweet-smelling spice, literally pure myrrh.

Esther also had another name, mentioned once in the Megilloh – Hadasoh, meaning myrtle, an aromatic plant [used on Succos as one of the four types].

What do Mordechai and Esther have to do with spices? Why are their names bound up with the sense of smell?

The Gemoro tells us that at the time of the Purim story, accusations were levelled against the Jews for partaking in Achashverosh’s banquet but the Heavenly court decided in their favour, as their sin was לפנים – on the outside; though they had sinned, this was not a true indication of their inner self, their neshomos. Their souls, though perhaps tainted on the outside by their sin, remained pure at their core.

The Gemoro [Brochos] says that the only sense that provides delight for the soul, and not for the body, is the sense of smell.

It is perhaps for this reason that Mordechai and Esther’s names are bound up with the sense of smell. Mordechai and Esther represent the soul of the Jews at that time, their collective point of purity. Even though the Jews had sinned, their souls remained pure; their sin was only on the outside, their inner beings were still entirely bound up with G-d.

It is perhaps for this very reason that we dress up on Purim; to show the futility of the outside covering – the outside לבוש, ‘garment’, is not an indication of what lies within; on the contrary, the outside covering belies the true inner essence. We dress up to show how to laugh at the outside covering, the dressing-up…

Perhaps with this idea we can explain why Moshe’s name is not mentioned in last week’s sedrah and why this week ends with the account of him having to wear a veil מסוה.

Moshe is the epitome of the soul, the inner G-dliness. Last week’s sedrah spoke, in the main, about the priestly garments. When Moshe officiated in the Mishkon, he did not wear these garments, because he was them; he had no need to wear them to represent the higher lights because he was entirely bound up with those higher lights. Thus his name is not mentioned. A name is also a sort of clothing. Moshe’s essence was such that he was entirely bound up with G-d, to such an extent that the Kedushas Levi comments in last week’s sedrah that Aharon, as it were, enclothed Moshe, as Moshe was the inner holiness. Moshe is the inner essence. The inner essence has no name.

This week we read about the sin of the golden calf. The word עגל also means a circle. The Jews, though they sinned, only sinned in the outer aspect, their לבוש. G-d now had to relate to them similarly, through a לבוש – the 13 Attributes of Mercy [as it says, He wrapped Himself like a Shliach Tsibbur etc]. Beforehand, they were able to have a personal revelation of G-d. They now needed the Mishkon. And Moshe Rabbeinu too could only relate to them through the מסוה.

READ IT!

Friday, March 09, 2012

// // 3 comments

Rebbe Shimon's Promise

by Rav Nati @ Mystical Paths

"In the future, when Am Yisrael (the nation-people of Israel) will merit to taste from the Tree of Life which is this book of the Zohar, they will be redeemed from their exile in mercy" (Zohar parashat Nasso).

Therefore, the best advice to sweeten the birth pains before the coming of the Moshiach is to read the holy Zohar. It is fitting to be read by men, women and children and it has the ability to purify the body and soul as well as cancel any harsh decrees that may be upon Am Yisrael, even if one does not understand a word they are reading.

Rebbe Shimon (bar Yochai) is fitting to be relied upon in a time of great need.

- Reb Akiva adds… Tikkunei Zohar is the Holy Zohar more filtered for general audiences.  Further, the foundational works of Chassidus specifically teach many of the concepts and words of the Zohar especially presented for all.  Most hold that directly learning the Zohar should be only for those who have an excellent foundation in the revealed Torah and have reached levels of maturity.  If you’re not sure whether it’s appropriate for you, consult a competent orthodox rabbi and/or learn chassidus.

READ IT!
// // Leave a Comment

Avraham Fried – Purim in Hebron

Avraham Fried spent Purim this year on the streets of Hebron!

(h/t Life in Israel)

READ IT!

Thursday, March 08, 2012

// // Leave a Comment

Purim Purim

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

Our Purim campaign has completed.  Your Matanot L’Evyonim have been distributed to the poor of Israel!

Thanks to all our contributors including John, John, and Jonathan, Abe, Aytan, and Abraham, James, Joshua and Jacobo, Arthur, Eli, and Evan, Golda, Michelle and Pamella, Sheron, Barry and Felix, Jesse, Frank and the Quality company, Zev, David and Dovid. (If I missed anyone, please forgive me!)  In the merit of bringing simcha to the poor, may Hashem grant you blessings that bring you simcha every day of the year!

Some Purim sights from Israel…

Distributing Matanot L’Evyon…

DSC00600

DSC00614

As I took the previous picture, this guy drove by saying “hey, why aren’t you taking my picture.”  So I did…

DSC00602

What the heck?  (Collecting for a local charities on Purim.)

DSC00592

DSC00613

DSC00615

(we DO NOT recommend driving around like this!)

Happy Purim from the Land of Israel!

READ IT!
// // 3 comments

Reb Gutman, Why?

by Gutman Locks @ Mystical Paths

image003

First off, today is Purim, and I wish you a happy Purim.

Next, I have a question about something. If it is too personal, I will understand if you do not answer, but why do you refuse to call yourself ‘Reb Gutman,’ and instead only use your personal name. After all, if people want to honor you with the title “Reb”, I think that you should take it.

Gutman responds:

    There are a number of good reasons why I shun your generous title. Let me give you two of them. First and foremost, the Talmud tells us that the “Rabbis require titles to bring honor to themselves,” (such as Rav, Rabbi, Gaon, Reb, and so on) but the Prophets, who were so much greater than they were, have always been known by just their first names!

     Secondly, a Jewish teacher or writer (and his works), will often become known by his rosh hatevot (the initial letters of his name). For instance, you might not know who Rabbi Moses ben Maimon is, but you certainly know the Rambam. You might not recognize Rabbi Moshe ben Nahman’s name, but you definitely have heard of the Ramban

     Well, a good friend and well-meaning associate decided to give me a promotion from being just plain “Gutman” to becoming “Reb Gutman.” Unassuming enough, right? But before this, I, and my writings might have been called the “Gubeg” (My father’s name was Gershon). Gubeg seems okay, but after my new lofty title, the initial letters became Rgbg. You might think that this is pronounced Regbag, and I would become the “Regbag,” but I know that it will be pronounced in a more fitting manner, which is Ragbag, and I and my work will become known as the “Rag Bag.”

So, with all due respect, you can just call me Gutman.

     Have a happy Purim

     Gutman

READ IT!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

// // 1 comment

Pour'em

by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

We are told to drink so much on Purim that we cannot tell the difference between “Bless Mordechai and curse Haman,” or the other way around! What does this mean? How is it possible to drink like that?

First, for a well known fact: if you mix drinks – whiskey, wine and vodka or whatever - the chances are that you are going to become violently ill and miss the entire point of the party. (You will also earn the great disrespect, to put it mildly, of the one who has to clean up after you.) It is best to drink wine since wine was served at the original Purim party.[i] Whatever taste you prefer is fine, but stick to one type throughout the entire day.

The spiritual task on Purim is not simply to be happy. We must try to experience the highest spiritual joy possible. This joy comes when Hashem’s Presence is unmasked. How can drinking on Purim do this? By breaking down the human system of logic that prevents this understand from dawning. We try to take a peek into the greatest mystery of all. This can happen only when there is joy, and this joy has to be the joy that comes from doing a mitzvah. We are not searching for mere physical joy, such as the joy that comes from eating and drinking. But on Purim, even the joy that comes from eating and drinking is a mitzvah!

Once, there was a holy king. This king was not just an ordinary king. This king demonstrated his royalty by exuding a wondrous feeling of bliss. This feeling was so strong and so enjoyable that when his subjects would come into the palace for a feast, they would say, “This feeling emanating from the king is so wonderful, if only there could be more of it.” They reasoned that the only thing stopping the king's bliss from entirely filling the room was their own bodies, which took up so much space.

They decided to shrink in order to leave more room for the king’s bliss. And it worked. As they shrunk, more and more bliss filled the room. They enjoyed the additional bliss so much that they shrunk again and again until finally, they completely disappeared.

Unfortunately, this left the king with a problem. “I want to enjoy a feast with my subjects, but every time I invite them over,“ he complained, “they disappear on me. I want to eat and drink with my friends, but they evaporate right before my eyes. I don’t want to eat and drink all this food by myself.”

“Wait a minute, I know what I can do,” he reasoned. “After all, I am the king, so I can do whatever I want. I’m going to apportion myself around the banquet table. I am going to take small portions of myself and form these individual portions into different people, and on each person I am going to put a distinct mask. Each portion is going to see itself solely as the person that its mask depicts. And this mask is going to be stuck on each portion so that none will be able to remove its mask for the entire party. Maybe some portions will be able to sneak a peek from time to time, but for the most part, the masks are going to be permanently affixed.”

“What a party it will be! There will be eating and drinking and grand entertainment, with everyone ordering whatever he wants and eating whatever he orders. Then, at the appropriate time, when the feast is over, the strings holding on the masks will be loosened and each portion will be able to lift off its mask. Everyone will see it was really only me sitting there the entire time.”

This is the hidden story of Purim. This is why we wear masks and costumes on Purim, hiding our true identity. The truth is, only the King will be at your Purim meal, but you will not know this because logic tells you that you and your friends are the only ones there.

And this is why we drink so much on Purim. When the wine goes in, the mysteries come out. This year, when you are so very drunk, try to recall who is really filling your body. Try to take a peek under your mask.

“Know this day and take it to your heart that the L-rd is G-d; in the heavens above and upon the earth below there is nothing else.” Ain od! (There is no other).[ii]

[i] Esther 1:7
[ii] Deuteronomy 4:39
READ IT!
// // 2 comments

Drinking on Purim

via Rabbi Nati at Mystical Paths

Below is the secret tefillah of drinking b'kedusah, drinking in a holy way, on Purim. All know that it's considered a mitzvah to drink until "ad lo yada", until one doesn't know the difference between blessed is Mordechai and cursed is Haman. Unfortunately without proper intention and focus this can both be dangerous (physically) and easily develop into an inappropriate drunken binder.

This tefilah is said to be handed down from the Baal Shem Tov and is given out by HaRav Shalom Arush, shlita to his talmidim to be recited before drinking on Purim. It specifically says it is to be said before every cup of drink...

(partial English translation after the prayer graphic)



Free translation...

(This introductory paragraph is a holy Breslev addition.)

I accept upon myself to drink this cup of wine (the preferred drink to use for Purim is specifically wine) on this Purim day in the name of all the true tzadikim of the generations, for all the true tzaddikim who reside in the holy dust (here) in the Holy Land, and to Mordechai and Esther, and especially to our holy Rebbe (Rebbe Nachman of Breslev), the tzadik is the foundation of the world and the fount of wisdom, our Rebbe Nachman son of Fayga from Bresle, his merit should protect us and all Israel, Amein.

(This paragraph is a kabbalistic intention from the Ari Zal.)

In the name of the union of the Holy Oe, blessed be He, with His Shechina, to united the Name yud-kay with vav-kay in a perfect union in the name of all Israel.

I am prepared to invite the will of Hashem to fulfill the will of the Holy One, Blessed be He, and to listen to the words of (our holy) sages, which have commanded us to drink wine on Purim. The Master of the Universe has revealed and shown that by drinking the wine there is the merited and not merited, and I know that by myself I am still not worthy. Therefore I request this mercy upon myself: Master of Mercy, may it be your will, G-d and G-d of my fathers, that by drinking this wine the following merits will come upon my intellect - that I will merit to constantly by connected to the (true) leaders of Israel, that I will merit (tikun hamochin) intellectual corrections, wisdom, that my arrogance will be removed, that I will be humble, to repair my sins and especially (tikun habris) sins relating to the bris milah.

And I should merit by drinking this wine to be elevated, to have a good memory and especially to remember the mitzvah of eliminating Amalek. And I should merit to rise to a place that is all good, and Hashem should protect me. And you should protect me that I shouldn't become an evil one without merits...

BY DRINKING THIS WINE…

MAY I BE WORTHY TO RISE TO THE NOTION OF “REMEMBERING”; TO REMEMBER THE STORY OF AMALEK;
MAY I BE WORTHY TO RAISE MYSELF TO A PLACE THAT IS ALL GOOD;
MAY I BE WORTHY TO BE SAVED FROM THE NOTION OF “THOSE WHO ARE NOT WORTHY BECOME UNFORTUNATE”, AND FROM LIMITED
PERCEPTION, FROM FALSE HUMILITY, FROM SADNESS, FROM ARROGANCE, FROM THE EVIL OF HAMAN-AMALEK;
MAY I BE WORTHY TO MERIT TRUE HAPPINESS;
MAY I BE WORTHY TO WINE THAT PROVIDES JOY;
MAY I BE WORTHY THROUGH THIS WINE OF PURIM TO ENTER GREAT HAPPINESS AND TREMENDOUS LOVE, WITH MUCH INTEGRITY;
MAY I BE WORTHY TO ENTER THE HAPPINESS OF PURIM;
MAY I BE WORTHY TO BE HAPPY WITH ALL MY HEART AND TO MAKE OTHERS HAPPY;
SAVE ME FROM “THOSE WHO ARE NOT WORTHY; WHO ARE ALONE”;
SAVE ME FROM “WINE THAT MAKES ONE DRUNK”;
MAY I BE WORTHY THROUGH THE DRINKING OF THIS WINE TO UNDERSTANDING THOSE THINGS WHICH DELUDE ME THROUGH ILLUSIONS,
AND TO FIX THOSE ILLUSIONS, SO THAT THOSE ILLUSIONS CAN BE INCLUDED IN HOLINESS AND BE CHANGED OVER IMMEDIATELY TO GOOD.
MAY I BE WORTHY TO COMPLETE EMUNA, TO BELIEVE THAT NOTHING EXISTS BEYOND H-SHEM AND THAT EVERYTHING IS FOR THE GOOD.
MAY I BE WORTHY TO KNOW THE BLESSED ONE AND TO RECOGNIZE THE BLESSED ONE.
SAVE ME FROM THE CONFUSIONS WHICH DELUDE, WHICH THROUGH THEM, SHIMSHON CAME TO THE MISTAKE OF DRUNKENNESS;
MAY I BE WORTHY TO COME TO ELEVATED FEAR OF H-SHEM;
MAY I BE WORTHY TO KNOW THAT ALL OCCURS BY THE WILL OF THE BLESSED ONE AND THROUGH THIS TO BE WORTHY OF WINE WHICH
WILL MAKE ME HAPPY;
MAY I BE WORTHY THROUGH THE DRINKING OF THIS WINE TO AWAKEN FROM THE SLEEP OF PHYSICALITY AND SPIRITUALITY; WATCH OVER
ME SO THAT I DO NOT FALL INTO THE SLUMBER OF EITHER PHYSICALITY OR SPIRITUALITY;
HAVE MERCY ON US SO THAT THE DRINKING OF THIS WINE DOES NOT HARM US EITHER PHYSICALLY OR SPIRITUALLY;
MAY WE BE WORTHY TO SUBMIT, CHASE AWAY, UPROOT AND OBLITERATE THE EVIL OF HAMAN-AMALEK AND HIS GREAT FILTH, TO WIPE
AWAY HIS NAME AND ALL REMEMBRANCE OF HIM FROM THIS WORLD;
MAY WE BE WORTHY TO DRAW UPON OURSELVES THE HOLINESS OF MORDECHAI AND ESTHER;
MAY WE BE WORTHY TO DRAW UPON OURSELVES THE HAPPINESS OF PURIM THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE YEAR; TO ALWAYS BE HAPPY
TOGETHER WITH H-SHEM, THE BLESSED ONE, WITH A GREAT HAPPINESS AND GREAT LOVE IN BOUNTY AND TRUTH.
MAY WE BE WORTHY TO GAIN THE HOLINESS AND PURITY OF THE “RED HEIFER”;
MAY WE BE WORTHY TO BE PURIFIED FROM THE IMPURITY OF DEATH;
MAY WE BE WORTHY TO NEVER STUMBLE THROUGHOUT ALL OF OUR DAYS WITH ANY EVIL THOUGHT;
MAY WE BE WORTHY TO REPAIR THE BRIT (PERSONAL HOLINESS) COMPLETELY;
MAY WE BE WORTHY TO THE TRUE HOLINESS OF PESACH, AND NOT STUMBLE AT ALL IN THE SIN OF CHAMETZ THROUGHOUT ALL THE DAYS
OF PESACH.”
“MAY THE SWEETNESS OF H-SHEM, OUR GOD, BE UPON US – MAY HE ESTABLISH THE WORK OF OUR HANDS FOR US
AND THE WORK OF OUR HANDS MAY HE ESTABLISH”

LETTER “HEH”(‫ ,)ה‬WITH A COMPLETE BONDING AS ONE IN THE NAME OF ALL OF THE NATION OF ISRAEL.”

A safe and happy Purim!
READ IT!
// // Leave a Comment

Are you Afraid on Purim?

by Reb Akiva @ Mystical Paths

(a repost from an old article)

Are you afraid?

Israel is in danger. Terrorists, crazed countries trying for nuclear weapons. Terrorists threaten America, as well as economic disaster.

Mordechai refused to bow down. He was not afraid.

Why not? Because he was "Mordechai Hayehudi" (Mordechai the Jew). Yehudi (Jew)? He was from shevet Binyomin (the tribe of Benjamin, he should have been called Mordechai HaBinyomini, Mordechai the Benjaminite)! "Yehudi" is from "hoda'ah", meaning "to acknowledge". By refusing to bow to Hamon harasha (harasha=the evil), and the idol he wore, the Talmud says "when a person rejects idols, it's like he acknowledge the whole Torah". Yehudi, Yehudim, Jews, acknowledge the whole Torah.

We do not bow, generation after generation, we stand with the Torah and Hashem.

That's Purim.

Halacha says, "One who reads the Megillah backwards has not fulfilled the mitzva of reading Megillah."

The Baal Shem Tov says a special meaning, if you read the Megillah thinking it's only about the past (backwards), you missed the point, instead it's about how a Jew should be at all times, now as in the past.

A story from Russia. There was a revolution, communists. They made Torah and mitzvot against the law.

In the city of Rostov, the 5th Rebbe of Lubavitch was with his yeshiva.

Purim came, the students came to the Rebbe, what to do?
The Rebbe said, "For the sake of Purim, we'll forget the situation. Go and buy drinks and let there be light for the Jews!"

They had a Purim party (a farbrengen).

Suddenly the police came and started banging on the door.
Said someone "Rebbe, the police are demanding to come in. If they see us gathered here it will be our end...G-d forbid."

The Rebbe said, "Open the door for them".

In the doorway stood two tall and scary policemen. "What is this gathering? What is going on?"

"This is the Rebbe Sholom Dovber of Lubavitch. He is teaching Torah to his Chasidim. The Rebbe is busy with his talk and he cannot be bothered."

The two police were amazed at the Chasid's nerve, and they turned and left.

"An open miracle!" the Chasidim exclaimed to one another. They felt protected and sang with greater energy. Thus passed two hours.

So in their joy, they did not hear the police knocking again... "Rebbe, what shall we do?" several scared Chasidim cried out.

The Rebbe said, "Open for them! I don't fear them." The Chasidim understood that another great miracle was about to occur.

The police burst through the door, their weapons in hand. The Rebbe ignored their threatening presence and said,
"We will begin saying some words of Torah." The Rebbe raised his voice and began, "Amalek is first among the nations but his end will be destruction."

The faces of the police softened. The swords returned to their sheaths, and they watched with growing perplexity as the Chasidim listened to their Rebbe. They looked at one another and then, without a word, turned and left...

READ IT!
Related Posts with Thumbnails