Thursday, September 20, 2018

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You Never Know

   by Reb Gutman Locks
     

You Never Know

 

     You never know what works until you try it, and even then, you never know.

     He is from London visiting Israel with his family. When he walked in I called over inviting him to put on tefillin. He used a common defense, "I'm okay."

     And as usual, I called back, "But you could be better."

     And, as often happens, he ignored me and kept walking.

     After some time, he and the boys came away from the Kotel and walked by on their way out.

     I tried again, "You didn't come here just to look at the stones. Come put on tefillin."      

     Again, he said, "I'm okay," and kept walking away even faster.

     What's so bad about not getting him is not just that he missed the opportunity to do a mitzvah, but when he runs away from a mitzvah in front of his children they learn to run away from the mitzvahs too.

     I yelled, "Oy! You blew it!" He kept on walking away.

     Some two or three minutes later he walked back saying, "You talked me into it."

     Something happened.

     I put tefillin on him, had him bless his boys, and go to the Kotel again to pray for his loved ones. And as usual, I explained to the boys why when they grow up they have to marry only a Jewish girl. Sure, I am 15 years or so early, but the thought has to be planted in their head when they are young and not just given to them after they grow up.

     I asked him, "What happened? Why did you decide to come back and put on tefillin?"

     He said, "I thought of my grandfather and what he would want."

     G-d bless the memory of his grandfather. He did that mitzvah even from his place in Heaven.

  

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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

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Forgiven


    by Reb Gutman Locks

Forgiven

 

     Once the Baal Shem Tov was visiting a village for Yom Kippur. The was a simple Jew in the minyan who kept laughing throughout the evening prayers. The Baal Shem did not say anything, even though the laughter was quite disturbing.

     The next morning the simple Jew did it again, he laughed and laughed.

     After the morning services the Baal Shem called him to the side and said, "Why are you laughing like that? This is a very serious holiday. We come before Hashem begging to be forgiven for our sins, and you are laughing. Why are you doing this."

     The simple Jew answered, "Of course I am laughing. When you are happy you laugh…. And shouldn't I be happy on the day when Hashem is forgiving all my sins?"

     Have a wonderful day of being forgiven.

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Sunday, September 16, 2018

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Why Start with Two?


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     

Why Start with Two?

 

     Why does the Torah begin with the letter Bet? Aleph is the first letter of the aleph-bet and bet is the second. Wouldn't it have been more appropriate to begin with the aleph? After all, Hashem is the First. He is the single One... so, begin with the aleph!

     If the Torah was the story of Hashem, then, maybe it would have started with an Aleph, but the Torah is not the story of Hashem. It is the story of us, His creation, His people, our history, and where we are going…and we, and the world are many.

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Thursday, September 13, 2018

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Shabbos Teshuva



   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     

Shabbos Teshuva

 

     This Shabbos, the Shabbos before Yom Kippur, is called Shabbos Teshuva, the Shabbos of Repentance. "Repentance" is the common translation of teshuva however "returning" is a more proper description of the process of teshuva; returning to the pure nature of the self.

     One of the highlights of the prayers on Yom Kippur comes when we enthusiastically call out "teshuva, tefilla, tzedakah" (Returning, Prayer, Charity). Most Yom Kippur Books have a small word in a different Hebrew script inserted over each of these words. Above "teshuva" is the word "tzom" (fasting), above "tefilla" is "kol" (voice), and above "tzedakah" is "mamon" (money).

     These come to teach us more than the obvious lesson that we do teshuva, tefilla, and tzedakah; with fasting, voice, and money.

     In Hebrew they also teach us something that we might not have known without them; that "returning," "prayer," and "charity" are of equal importance. We cannot say that only one of these is important enough. We need them all. How do the words "fasting" "prayer" and "money" teach this lesson? In Hebrew, they each have the same gematria, the same numerical value.[i]

     To have a successful Yom Kippur we need all three.



[i] Each equals 136

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Sunday, September 09, 2018

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Coming Before the Judge


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     

Coming Before the Judge

 

     Tonight, we stand before Hashem. How are we to come before our Creator? What should our feelings be? On this day when our portions are set for the year, what should we do in order to receive a most favorable year? How do we turn from the ways that have led us astray, and instead turn to the ways of Hashem?

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Thursday, September 06, 2018

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Need any Better Reason?


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     

Need any Better Reason?

 

     The Central Bureau of Statistics published the population details ahead of Rosh Hashanah. They found that 89% of Israelis are satisfied with their lives, and the average life expectancy, already among the highest in the World, continues to rise.

     Do you need any better reason to come live in Israel?

     Redemption is happening.


   

    

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Tuesday, September 04, 2018

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God Looks at Our Heart



by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths

G-d Looks at Our Heart


     What if you don’t do the mitzvah exactly
the way it is supposed to be done? Does it still count? Is G-d strict with us?
 
(video
link)
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Sunday, September 02, 2018

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Coming Back from a Funeral


   by Reb Gutman Locks   

 

     How long does it take for a funeral to wear off? A wonderful friend passed away … seeing his body lying there on the litter completely covered with a tallis… helping to carry it to the van that would carry his remains to the cemetery on Mt Olives… he looked so small… he did so many wonderful things throughout his life… surely his portion in Heaven will be great… but here we are… you and I… seems like we have some time left… maybe… what will we do differently now? 

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