Sunday, July 30, 2017

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The Idolatry of Molech

   by Reb Gutman Locks 

The Idolatry of Molech


     There is a disagreement as to what the idol worship of Molech actually was. Molech was the Canaanite "god of fire".[i] The idol worshiper would pass his child through the fire of Molech. Some say the father gave his child to be passed between two fires, some say the child was to be passed over a flame, and some say that he actually gave his child to be thrown into the fire itself?

     It seems to me that there should be no disagreement as to whether the child was left physically unharmed, or was actually put into the fire.

     My reasoning is that when Hashem tested Avraham and told him to offer up his beloved son Yitzchak, and Avraham obeyed, Hashem blessed Avraham with tremendous blessings. But if offering up a child was a form of common idolatry, what was so great about what Avraham did? It must have been that the idolatry was not to harm the child, but to just pass him between or over the flames.

     One of the blessings Hashem gave to Avraham was that the entire world would be blessed through Yitzchak's descendants (the Jewish people).

     Jews have always been one of the least numerous peoples in the World, yet the accomplishments of the Jewish people throughout the ages in almost every field has been astonishing. For instance, even though only 1 out of 516 people in the world is Jewish, 1 out of 4 Noble prize winners is Jewish. Indeed, the entire world continues to be blessed because of Hashem's promise to Avraham.


[i] Lev 18:23,  2 Kings 23:10


Thursday, July 27, 2017

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The Nine Days

   by Reb Gutman Locks  

The Nine Days


     After the Torah reading Monday morning a young man in our minyan said the blessing thanking Hashem for saving his life. He told us that he was riding his bicycle into town (Jerusalem) and somehow got in between two Light Rail Trains! When the trains pass each other they are, at the most, only two or three feet apart so it's a wonder that he wasn't (G-d forbid) killed.

     Beside the question how could he be so foolish as to be riding his bicycle like that, there are two questions he has to ask himself. What did he do wrong to bring such a life-threatening situation upon himself, and what did he do right that Hashem saved his life.

     Everything we see comes to teach us something. All the more so, anything that actually happens to us comes for a specific reason. Hashem sends it all with specific intention. Nothing just falls out of the sky by accident.

     We ask the same thing about the Nine Days, the Destruction, this Exile. What did we, the Jewish People, do to deserve this horrible 2,000 years of exile…, and what did you and I do to deserve to be able to be in Jerusalem today.

     The Prophets told us the Land would be desolate until right before the final Redemption. Indeed, the Land was desolate, but now we are living in the Land. Today, more Jews live in Israel than in any other country in the world. Within a very short time the majority of the Jews in the world will be living in Israel. Today

Israel is a major exporter of vegetables and wine. The Land is flourishing. You and I will live to see the Temple and all that it will bring.

     We are so very sorry for what we did wrong…and we are so very thankful for having been forgiven.


Tuesday, July 25, 2017

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How Will It End?

   by Reb Gutman Locks

How Will It End?


     Thank you Aaron for pointing out that my statement that someday the world will revert to nothing is not universally accepted.

     As most often the case, there is more than one accepted opinion. On this most mystical matter the majority of the most respected seforim (Jewish books), hold like the Ramban, that after the resurrection of the dead and the World to Come happens, life will be more or less the same as it is now in this physical world but it will be more spiritual, at least on the level of Gan Eden (the Garden of Eden).

     There is also a legitimate opinion that after all the judgement and resurrection of the dead, the World to Come will a world of souls.

     "For in the Rambam's view the principal setting for man's ultimate reward and punishment is not the world of resurrected life but the World of Souls, and it is about this world of disembodied souls that Rab spoke when he said that 'the righteous sit with their crowns on their heads and delight in the radiance of the Divine Presence.' It is to this world of pure spirit that the soul enters upon death and to which it will return after its resurrected body dies. For Rambam maintains that the state of resurrection is not permanent. Rather, those deserving of resurrection will be resurrected and live the unusually long, happy lives of the idyllic Messianic period that culminated life on this earth – eating, drinking, and procreating, just like the people born initially in that epoch.  Eventually, however body and soul will again separate with the souls of the deserving returning to the eternal World of Souls to delight in the Divine Presence forever.

     "Fundamentally, however, all agree that man's eternal state is a sublime spiritual one - whether the spiritual life of pure soul (Rambam), or that of the soul reunited with an ethereal purified body (Ramban)." [i]

     Either way is fine with me. Please G-d, we will merit to see for ourselves.

[i] Artscroll Sanhedrin Appendix (The World to Come)

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Visitors to the Tomb of Aaron the Priest in Jordan Harassed (pics)

The tomb of Aharon HaKohein, the brother of Moshe Rabaynu (Moses our teacher) is located on a mountaintop near what today is Petra, Jordan.  Religious Jewish Israeli tour groups head there periodically, and here’s a report from a group that went in the midst of the current disputes and issues going on in Jerusalem (see Day of Hairy Armpits).  Here’s their report and pictures…

A group of ultra-Orthodox Jews who were staying in Jordan on the occasion of the Aharon Cohen ceremony and visiting his tomb, say that after the shooting at the Israeli embassy in Amman, ​​Jordanian police raided their hotel and announced that "Jews are forbidden to pray in Jordan".  The rabbi leading the tour said “it has become very tense in Jordan in light of the incident at the embassy, and there reports of severe harassment of Jews who are visiting Jordan.  The situation is tense. They do not let us pray at all." The Jordanian policemen told them that "in all of Jordan it is forbidden to pray to the Jews." "We are not allowed to pray in the morning, without tefillin, without a prayer shawl, without anything - we must not pray, even in the hotel, even in the room."

"Policemen came into the hotel and shouted and went wild and in a minute they would take us out of Jordan if we did a little squeak and told us, 'Whoever prays we will take him to jail.' "When we arrived at the border crossing, everything was fine, everyone behaved politely, we passed all the checks and everything went well, and suddenly, after they realized that we were a group from Jerusalem, we understood from the instructors that the story of the Temple Mount caused them to turn over us. They decided that they wanted to reexamine all the suitcases.  After we went through border check everything was fine, then they took us over again, began checking the suitcase and checking everything, refusing to transfer books, removing the prayer shawls, removing the tefillin. They even took took the skullcaps, and people remained with only a shirt and trousers. "

"A few of us saw what was happening and were able to move our items aside and keep them.”

Pictures from the Kever (Tomb) of Aharon HaKohein, Aharon the Priest and brother of Moses…

WhatsApp Image 2017-07-24 at 1.41.02 PM

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WhatsApp Image 2017-07-24 at 1.41.03 PM

WhatsApp Image 2017-07-24 at 1.40.57 PM


Monday, July 24, 2017

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Jew in Jordan Stabs Himself (in the back), then Shoots 2 Muslims

imagePeople keep trying to make logical sense out of the current situation in Israel, and now Jordan and Turkey (more on that below), such as pointing out that large mosques in Turkey, Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia all have metal detectors and security procedures for entry.   Examples, “Just went through a metal detector at an amusement park. No riots. No violence. Nobody murdered in cold blood.”  “Are you "denied access" to the airport, because you have to go through a metal detector?”  And a classic “man! Israelis are so bigoted because they installed a metal detector so they won't be killed.”

But that’s yesterdays riots…ah, news.  Todays news is…

In a residential building that’s part of the Israeli embassy complex in Jordan, 2 Jordanians were shot and killed when an Israeli embassy security guard stabbed himself and then shot a 17 year old Jordanian furniture repairman who was helping him position the knife in his chest.  A second Jordanian was also shot, apparently because of the stabbed Israeli’s poor aim while bleeding upon his gun.  Both Jordanians died from their wounds. 

The Jordanian authorities prevented the injured Israeli with diplomatic immunity from being evacuated to Israel for treatment, and have surrounded the embassy complex to protect it in case the stabbed dying Israeli should attempt to attack again. 

Not to be left out of anti-Jew news, Turkey joined in…

The Turkish president decried the physical attacks on Jewish synagogues where attackers declared “the Zionists (didn’t) block worship at the mosques in Jerusalem, so we will defile, destroy, and block your entry to synagogues in Turkey”.  The Turkish president said ‘rights violations in Jerusalem may never be grounds for Muslims to violate the rights of others’ though Turkish security forces were NOT deployed to stop the attacks or protests.  The protestors did not note that the synagogues have metal detectors at their entrances to prevent concealed armed entry. 

UPDATES since I started writing this article…

- Apparently the Israeli security guard did not stab himself with a knife but rather borrowed a screw driver from the furniture repairman with which to stab himself.  Lucky for him the repairman was nearby!

- Apparently the Israeli security guard needed help from the repairman because he wanted to stab himself IN THE BACK.  It’s understandable he’d ask for help, being hard to reach and apply enough pressure by oneself.

- The father of the helpful furniture repairman described his son as a “martyr for Allah”.

(For the sarcasm impaired, I am taking actual statements from a mix of Arab propaganda…ah, I mean news…sites and joining them together in the apparent Arab view of this news story.  The headline on the British “The Guardian” almost reads exactly as mine above.)

UPDATE 2 – You can’t make this stuff up…

“Family says he didn’t do it…but if he did he’s a martyr”



Sunday, July 23, 2017

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Directing Your Heart

    by Reb Gutman Locks  

Directing Your Heart


     Regarding my article(s) on helping Jews to learn to love and enjoy doing mitzvahs by having them attach their personal prayers to the mitzvah:

Chaim wrote:

     "I want to thank you for this. I now try to add this for every yid while they still have tefillin on to make a personal prayer to Hashem. Most people love it."


My response:

    Chaim, be sure to tell them that the merit of fulfilling the mitzvah "opens the door to Heaven." This means that when we do a mitzvah Hashem listens to our prayers with both ears... it is a time of favor, and this is why it is so important for them to pray for all that they want at this time.

     Hashem bless you with many opportunities to help Jews see the spiritual joy in doing a mitzvah.



Saturday, July 22, 2017


Killing & Dying for their Bloody Honor

imageDuring Friday’s Day of Hairy Armpits, the Arab “Balastinain” leadership arrived at the riots in their luxury vehicles with diplomatic plates.  Sipping black Turkish coffee heated in over the open fire of a burning tire in a finjan (Arab long handled coffee pot), the leaders in their dry cleaned and pressed jalabiyahs (Arab style robes) extolled the crowds to riot and attack the security forces for NOT blocking access to their holy site – while the praying crowds pointed their anuses towards their holy shrine.

Following the instructions of these revered leaders of the Religion of Peace™, the crowds surged forward attacking the Israeli security forces who were NOT blocking the entrance to their mosque – merely requesting that they form lines and pass through metal detectors to prevent the entrance of deadly weapons.  The dishonor of being requested to queue could not be tolerated!

And 3 Arab youth died in the riots.  The Arab “Balastinian” leadership finished their coffee, re-entered their luxury vehicles, and drove home feeling a job well done…blood spilled, martyrs created, passions inflamed.  Classical demons from traditional fantasy stories could not have done better.

Friday night a Arab youth who’s passions had been inflamed by “the threat to the mosque and the Israeli raping of “Balestinian” women” (on a side note, the Israeli army is frequently accused of raping “Balestinian” women without proof, and alternately accused of racism for REFUSING to rape “Balestinian” women), this young man invaded an Israeli village, broke into a home where a family was celebrating the birth of a new grandson at a Friday night religious dinner, and stabbed a whole family to death.  The attacker’s mother released this statement, "I am proud of you, my son, and I hope that Allah will receive you."

Mahmoud Abbas, the president of the Palestinian Authority in the 11th year of his 4 year term, promptly broke diplomatic ties with Israel and called a meeting of the United Nations Security Council…for shooting the youth in the midst of attempting to stab the family children after he successfully stabbed the grandfather, the father, the sister, and the grandmother to death (the grandmother survived).  Amazingly the youth also survived and was taken for treatment, and sadly Israel does not have the death penalty. 

The “Balastinian” leaders are smiling as they have ignited yet another holy war.  It is written in the Midrashim that Pharoah bathed in the blood of Jewish children… yet we watch in our time as the “Balestinian” Arabs bathe in the blood of their own children AND our children.  And the U.S. liberals, and E.U., and U.N. praise them for doing so and condemn Israel for trying to stop it.

Insanity reigns.

May G-d revenge the blood of the innocents.

Post-Article Update…

In solidarity with the “Balestinians” for not being able to freely arm themselves in a peaceful holy site and murder Jews with impunity, the Chicago Sluts have banned “Zionist or Jewish displays” from it’s upcoming August Slutwalk.  In defending the decision to exclude the Jewish women, the SlutWalk organizers aggressively justified the action.  “Balestinian” displays will be allowed and appreciated, even though if a Slutwalk was attempted in Ramallah or Gaza the walkers would promptly be killed.  Amazingly, this is not parody.

Yet, as a religiously observant Jew, I have to admit to being less than upset that Jewish women in Chicago are being denied the “freedom” to publically flaunt themselves as “Dykes” and “Sluts” (their terms, not mine). 


Friday, July 21, 2017


Day of Hairy Armpits

by Reb Akiva at the Mystical Paths Grill

imageLast week two Arab terrorists attempted to spark a HOLY WAR as well as earn their place in their version of heaven by sneaking weapons onto the Temple Mount and into the mosques located there, in Jerusalem, Israel, and subsequently having a gun battle with Israeli security forces and killing 2 police officers.

(It should be noted that Israel cares sufficiently about Muslim sensibilities to staff the security forces on the Temple Mount with non-Jewish officers and Arabic speaking officers.)

Having murdered 2 Israeli officers as well as shooting up the place, the Israelis closed the facility to search for weapons and investigate the attack…

OUTRAGE!  The nerve of Israel dishonoring Muslims by closing access to their mosques!!!  Ichbin al Yahud, KILL THE JEWS! 

The Israelis reopened access 24 hours later, having concluded their investigation and having FOUND ADDITIONAL WEAPONS in the mosques.  They then installed metal detectors at the entrances to prevent any additional weapons from being brought in.  (And it should be noted there have been non-Muslim attack attempts against the mosques in the distant past.)

OUTRAGE!  The nerve of Israel dishonoring Muslims by requiring them to walk through metal detectors on the way to their mosques!!!  Ichbin al Yahud, KILL THE JEWS! 

imageThey declared this Friday a DAY OF HAIRY ARMPITS, and with their asses facing their mosques and the Temple Mount as they prayed at the entrances (apparently they show their need for the holiness of the place by mooning it), following which they demonstrated how they are the religion of peace by rioting, attacking the Israeli security forces, and generally tearing up the place (another way of showing their love and appreciation for Jerusalem and the Temple Mount – by destroying it to the extent possible).

The President of the Palestinian Authority stepped up his involvement in the peace process by calling Trump’s son-in-law to demand that the U.S. order Israel to remove the metal detectors.

One might think that some of what I wrote above is inaccurate or an exaggeration, but one would be wrong.  Trying to think along these lines boggles the Western mind, as well as the Jewish mind.  There is no logic to it, not even a convoluted political calculus.  Nor is there any type of fairness or justice argument.  What there is, is an HONOR position.  They are DISHONORED that the Israelis have taken an action, regardless of the reason.  Because of their HONOR, they are permitted to take any action they wish, including killing people or authorities.  And even if they harm themselves, their positions, their neighborhoods or property or holy site, if it’s done as a response to a DISHONOR, they are HONORABLE for doing so.

Welcome to the logic of the Middle East.

Photo – Butts facing the Temple Mount during Islamic prayer.  Nothing shows your love of a holy site like showing it your anus.



Thursday, July 20, 2017


Someone Prayed for This

    by Reb Gutman Locks


Someone Prayed for This


     He came over, pointed to the tefillin and asked, "What are these?"

     I explained that they are a Biblical command to Jewish men to take G-d's words and bind them to our arms.

     "It means that we will do what G-d tells us to do"

      I asked him where he was from.

      He said, "Estonia."

      I cannot recall ever meeting anyone from Estonia. I asked him what he was doing in Israel. He said that he had just gotten married and came here for a vacation.

     "Why Israel? Was anyone in your family Jewish?"

     "My mother's grandparents were Jews, but because of the holocaust many of the family were killed and her grandparents changed their name."

     "So, your mother's grandmother was a Jew?"

     "Both her grandparents were Jews."

     "How do you know?"
     "My grandmother told me."

     "Are you sure your mother's grandmother was a Jew?"

     "That's what they said."

     "If your mother's grandmother was a Jew… then your mother's mother was a  Jew… and if your mother's mother was a Jew… then your mother is a Jew… and if your mother is a Jew… then you are a Jew… and you can put these on."

      I took his arm, put tefillin on him and had him read the Shema in English. I explained what a big day it was for him to learn that he is a Jew and to put on tefillin for the first time. I showed him how to pray in his heart and I talked to him about the role of a Jew in the world.

     I was about to tell him that he had to marry only a Jewish girl but I remembered that he just got married to a girl from Estonia and I thought, "There's no way I can tell him that he has to marry a Jewish girl. What's he going to do, divorce his Estonian bride now that he found out that he's a Jew?"

     I held back and didn't say anything, but then for some reason I asked, "Anyone in your wife's family Jewish?"

     "My wife is Jewish."

     "What! Are you sure?"

      He said that he was sure.

     "Does she know that you are Jewish?

     "No. She's standing right over there."

     "Well, go tell her that for some very good reason, maybe her grandparents' prayers, or maybe your grandparents' prayers, but for some reason two young people living in a place where almost no Jews live and you two met and married. This is really amazing."

     He started to walk away. He wanted to tell his bride that she married a Jew.

     I quickly told him about Shabbos and told him that he had to follow up on this blessing.

     He certainly looked different then when he first walked up to me.

     Nothing happens by accident. There is a reason for everything especially when something so very unlikely happens. Someone's prayers were answered.


Tuesday, July 18, 2017


You Opened My Heart

​  by Reb Gutman Locks 

You Opened My Heart


      He lives in Washington DC. He is a professor teaching business in Georgetown University. He was willing to put on tefillin and to read the Shema but then wanted to take them off. Instead of helping him to take them off, I gave him my usual instructions how to pray for his family … to thank G-d …. Pray for the Jews in danger, and he stood there a long time with his eyes closed.

     When he finished and took off the tefillin he thanked me. I asked, "What for?"

     He looked totally different than he did before he prayed. His face lighted up, "You showed me how to open my heart. I feel wonderful and thankful. It was a very loving experience. You taught me to direct my heart to Heaven."

     There were a few young Chabad bouchurim (yeshiva students) helping with tefillin that afternoon and they heard him rave about his experience. It was so timely as the students are being taught to just have the Jew to put on tefillin and get the physical mitzvah without any concern whatsoever for "directing their hearts to Heaven."



Sunday, July 16, 2017

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Father to Son

   by Reb Gutman Locks

Father to Son


      When I called out to this Israeli he came right over to put on tefillin.

      He said, "But I do not know how."

    "That's what I am here for."

      First, I showed him how to bless his son. Then I helped him with the tefillin and to read the Shema. When he finished I had him talk to Hashem in his heart.    

     After he was finished he kneeled down and explained tefillin to his young son. Now the boy is probably not even two years old at the most and obviously could not understand what his father was talking about, but the boy got his father's message very clearly. 'My father loves me and these things he is pointing to and talking about are dear to my father so when I grow up they will be dear to me too.'     

     The father kissed his son whole heartedly and they both walked away richer from the experience.

     Why would an Israeli who doesn't know how to put on tefillin want to teach his young son about them? What was it he wanted the little boy to learn? He was teaching his son about their Jewish family, and about the ways of Jews … and thank G-d, his class was successful.


Thursday, July 13, 2017


Where Does It Say That?

​   by Reb Gutman Locks  

Where Does It Say That?


      One of my Shabbos guests is learning in a non-Chassidic yeshiva. He asked me if I go to the mikvah (immersion pool) every day.

     "Of course I do."

     "My Rabbi says that thinking that going to the mikvah cleanses you spiritually, opens the door to sin because you think you can just go to the mikvah and there won't be any repercussions. He asks where in the Torah does it say for a man to go to the mikvah every day?"

      If the mikvah opens the door to sin because we think that we are free to sin again then so does doing teshuva (repentance) open the door to sin. If we know that teshuva brings forgiveness does that mean that we are going to go out and sin again?

      I will show you where we learn to go to the mikvah every day but first a little background information.

     What is a Chassid and what is a Tsaddik? In this sense a Chassid is a Torah observant Jew who does more than is required, and a Tsaddik is a righteous observant Jew who does all that is required. All sources agree that the Chassid is greater than even a Tsaddik.

     I explained to the boy that first we go to the shower and with soap and water we clean our physical bodies. Then after we are physically clean we go to the mikvah for spiritual purity.

     The difference between these two Torah ways (Chassidic and non-Chassidic) is more than going to the mikvah. For instance, the men in those yeshivas usually do not sleep in their tzitzis (small fringed garment). When asked why they do not sleep in them they explain that the mitzvah is a daytime mitzvah as it says you shall look upon them, so there is no obligation to sleep with them.

     And I answer that they are doing the mitzvahs only because they are obligated to do them, not because they love them. All Chassidic males sleep in their tzitzis.

     If when you say the blessing and pull the strap to tighten your tefillin your focus is to be careful that they do not fall off, then your intention when you tie your tefillin is the same as your intention is when you tie your shoes… that they shouldn't fall off.

     When you say the blessing and tighten the strap for your tefillin, your awareness…your attention should be on the meaning of the words of the blessing you are saying, "Who has made us holy with His commandments…." What a unique joy to be able to do a physical act and fulfill the commandment that we shall be holy.

     And this is a Torah source for going to the mikvah every day. The Torah commands us, "You shall be holy…." We want to do whatever we can to live pure and holy lives even when it means doing more than we are obligated to do.



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

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Absolutely Not!

   by Reb Gutman Locks

Absolutely Not!


     A tourist from Canada was walking out from the Kotel when Shmuli ran over to try to get him to stop and put on tefillin. He refused. I joined in. He refused. I shook his arm and said, "Come on, you'll have a good time. I promise you," he refused. Again and again no matter what we would say he really did not want to put on tefillin.

      I moved behind him and picked him up and bounced him saying, "Come put on tefillin. It's good. You'll have a good time."

     "No! Why do you want me to put on tefillin?"

     "Because you're Jewish and your mother would want you to do this."


      Shmuli laid the tefillin strap on his hand and said, "Just say the blessing."

      I started the blessing for him to repeat and was surprised that he repeated the words. I put the tefillin on him and had him read the Shema in English.

     When he finished I explained, "Now take just one minute and do this. This is why we wanted you to put on tefillin. When you do a mitzvah it opens the door to Heaven. Take one minute. Close your eyes and picture everyone you love with light on their faces and smiling and ask G-d to bless them. Pray for your family and for everything that is important for you.

     He did it, but I couldn't tell if he really meant it. But he stayed there with his eyes closed for a couple of minutes.

     I waited until he was finished and then took some pictures for him. Then he really surprised me.

     After I took off the tefillin I asked him, "Was this a positive experience?"

     He nodded his head and said, "I'm glad you got me to do it. It was a very good experience. Really. Thank you."

     I took this quick picture and he walked away.

     Ha! Shmuli and I felt great…maybe at the beginning we seemed to him to be pests, but in the end he was glad we "got him."

     For all of you who are blessed to go out and try to help others to do mitzvahs see that it was not the tefillin that he saw to be so enjoyable, it was the taking advantage of the mitzvah to share love with his loved ones. This is why it is so important for you to have the Jews you help to do more than just the physical mitzvah but to also show them how to direct their hearts to Heaven. We want more than just having them do the mitzvah. We want them to experience the beauty in the mitzvahs so they will want to do them again.


Sunday, July 09, 2017

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The Purpose

​   by Reb Gutman Locks  

The Purpose


     The Talmud says the reason G-d created the universe was so His creatures could be in awe of Him.[i]

     The Ramchal, the Ashkenazi Litvak perspective of Torah, teaches that the purpose of creation is the revelation of Hashem's Presence.

     Chabad, the Chassidic perspective of Torah, teaches that the purpose of creation is for man to make the lower world a dwelling place for Hashem.

     They are all saying the same thing albeit in slightly different ways.

     Hashem is Infinite and the Infinite has to be everywhere. But Hashem wants us to have freewill so we will earn our reward. In order to do this Hashem has to hide Himself. If we could see that He is truly here no one would choose to sin.

     Although He is everywhere, that is not our experience. Our experience is that we are here, and in truth, we are here. The Torah tells us that Hashem created the world, so the world and all that is in it are really here.

     The Eastern religions and philosophies teach that this world is an illusion.

     X-ianity teaches it is controlled by evil!

     The Torah teaches that even though creation is made out of nothing, and even though some day it will revert to nothing, for now it is something and this something is really here. And if we succeed in fulfilling our purpose for having been created and placed here, then this world will have been the most gorgeous opportunity possible.

     Shechina does mean G-d's Presence as most people believe. G-d is present in all places at all times. Shechina means the revelation of G-d's Presence, and this is the goal those three sources are referring to.

     No one can see G-d and live, but in His kindness the Heavens can open and allow us to see that He is truly here. We do not actually see Hashem. What we "see" is the awesome glory that radiates from His Presence ... the brilliant splendor that announces the King's Presence.

     How do we open the Heavens? The door in the Temple was locked at night. In the morning the Kohen would come to unlock it. Next to the door was a small hole in the wall. With the key in his hand the Kohen reached in through that hole and unlocked the door from the inside. Why all this trouble? To show that we have to do all that is proper for that gate to open. We have to walk up to that gate with the key in our hand, but the gate opens from the inside out, from the higher to the lower.

     Hashem opens the Gate to Heaven and we have to do all we can to please Him so in His mercy He will open it for us too.

[i] Shabbos 31 b


Thursday, July 06, 2017

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Love & Fear

by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

     In his book “Strive for Truth” Rav Dessler
asked, “What is wrong with hellfire mussar? [Strict Jewish ethics] If
you are aware of the consequences, you don’t do many sins.” This one minute video
answers his question.


Tuesday, July 04, 2017

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Join the Army

​   by "Reb Gutman Locks

Join the Army


Uriel wrote: "I don't miss war or killing or death all around me, but I do miss being a soldier."


Gutman's response: There is a simple solution to your problem. Join the army of Hashem and go out onto the front line with your tefillin and Shabbos candles helping to bring Jews to Torah and mitzvahs with joy. You'll have the greatest Commander; you will be working for the most righteous cause, you will be armed with entirely trusted weapons, saving your people from drowning in assimilation, tremendous pay…whenever you pick up someone else the Commander will pick you up, wonderful retirement both in this world and the next, and it will make you happy, too. Go for it… join today!



Sunday, July 02, 2017

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A Time of Favor

​   by Reb Gutman Locks 

A Time of Favor


     Some yeshiva students asked me for a Torah source for something I say to Jews when I help them to do a mitzvah. "The mitzvah opens the door to Heaven." This means that doing a mitzvah brings a time of favor and that when we do a mitzvah we should take advantage of this and pray for our loved ones. They were not against my point, but wanted a Torah source for it.

     The teaching is well known and there are many places we find the idea being taught. But first think what would happen if a subject of a King did something very bad for the King. Would that be an ideal time for him to ask the King for a favor? No way. Well, if doing something wrong brings a time of disfavor with an earthly King then certainly when we are talking about the Father of mercy should we know that doing something this King wants us to do will bring a time of favor.

     If that metaphor is not a good enough source, then see what Rabban Gamaliel said.[i] "Do His will as you would do your own will, so that He may do your will as He does His own will." This shows that if we do what Hashem wants us to do, i.e. the mitzvah with a full heart, then He will do what we want Him to do with His full heart.

[i] Pirkei Avot 2:4

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