Sunday, September 30, 2018

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A Contract with Hashem


    by Reb Gutman Locks  
       

A Contract with Hashem

 

     One of the last things Moshe did at the end of his days was to seal the covenant of Hashem with the Jewish people saying, "Not with you alone do I seal this covenant, and this oath but with whoever is here, standing with us today before Hashem, our G-d, and with whoever is not here with us today."[i]

     But there is a strict law that no one can obligate anyone else into a contract if that other person is not present at the time the obligation is made. Moshe was referring to the Jews who were not even born yet! So how could he obligate us if we were not even alive at that time?

     There is an exception to this law. One cannot bring someone who is not present into a contract UNLESS that contract is to that other person's benefit, and if it is to his or her benefit, then the contract is legal and the person who is not present is brought into the agreement.

     That covenant, the oath Moshe obligated us to, seals the Jews' relationship with Hashem... a wonderous bond that can never be broken. 



[i] Deuteronomy 29:13

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Hashanah Rabbah


   by Reb Gutman Locks
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Friday, September 28, 2018

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3 AM Friday morning


   by Reb Gutman Locks
    3 AM Friday morning
Spontaneous dancing…celebrating Sukkot, the holiday of rejoicing before Hashem

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Thursday, September 27, 2018

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Waving the Four Species


   by Reb Gutman Locks  
    

Waving the Four Species

 

     Why is waving these four plants supposed to make us happy? Why do we bring them together to wave them?

Jewish Unity - Lulav 

(link)

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RV2ap1QjBgE

 

 

 

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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

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2 AM


   by Reb Gutman Locks
     A Rebbe came to the Kotel to dance with some of his Chasidum 
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Make Sure Your Four Species are Kosher


   by Reb Gutman Locks
    

Make Sure Your Four Species are Kosher

 

     Each of the Four Species we wave on the holiday of Sukkot, the luluv (palm branch), etrog (citron), hadassim (myrtle) and aravot (willow), can be seen to represent Jews at four levels of Torah accomplishment. The esrog has a pleasant smell and taste so it is likened to the Jew who has both Torah and mitzvahs to his or her credit. The hadassim have a pleasant smell but no taste and are likened to Jews with Torah but not so many mitzvahs. The luluv has a taste but not a smell so it is likened to Jews with mitzvahs but not very much Torah. And the aravot have neither a pleasant smell nor taste so they are likened to Jews with neither Torah nor mitzvahs.     

     When we buy them, a nice esrog can easily cost between $30 and $200 dollars, a luluv will go for some $20 to $50, hadassim for at least $10, and the aravot for maybe $2.

     Now, here is what happens. We spend all the money on the first three, but the last one is often not available until the day right before the Holiday, so we have to wait before we can tie them together. We have all of the great ingredients but are missing the very inexpensive aravot. Not only are aravot cheap compared to the other species, but they represent the Jew without Torah or mitzvahs! But you know what? Without them our other three gorgeous expensive ingredients are worthless! Without all four, the three species would be posul, not kosher, and we cannot wave them!

     And so it is with us. Sometimes we seem to care so much for the Torah scholar who does many mitzvahs, and the Jews with learning although few mitzvahs, and even the Jews with mitzvahs but not much learning, but we disregard the Jew who has neither. But you know what? Without him we are posul. We need all the Jews in the minyan. Everyone one of us is important, and it is our job to see to it that we are all included in the waving. Bring your fellow Jew into the sukkah and show him how to wave the luluv to make sure that your Four Species are really kosher.

 

 

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Tuesday, September 25, 2018

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Kever Yosef Haztdik



20180626_013127



Looking for a unique and special Chol Hamoed activity?

Join a unique opportunity to visit Yosef Hatzadik (the biblical tribe founder Joseph son of Jacob) in Shechem (Nablus) – Israel.

The trip is closely coordinated with and supervised by the IDF – Israeli Defense Force and has a heavy IDF escort through the Arab city of Shechem to the holy site.

This trip will leave on September 26, 2018 / 17 Tishri from Ramat Beit Shemesh Alef, Israel at 22:30 (10:30 pm) from the mercaz (center) of RBS A, returning between 3:00 to 5:00 AM.

The cost is NIS 70 per seat. RESERVATION REQUIRED!

To RESERVE a seat please SMS or Whatsapp 054-9422171 – tour/transportation coordinated by Ms. Fayga Marks.

This is a rare opportunity as access is only once a month from Jerusalem or Bnei Brak and a few other select locations. Here’s an opportunity to go direct from Ramat Beit Shemesh!

This trip is for men and women. The bus on this trip is not equipped for wheelchair access. Cane or walker is ok, but the holy site does have stairs on the men’s and women's side

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The Morning After…


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     

The Morning After

    

     2:00 AM… a few hours after the first day of Sukkot… things quieted down 

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Sunday, September 23, 2018

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Waving Them Right


    by Reb Gutman Locks   
      

Waving Them Right

 

     One of the two main mitzvahs of the holiday of Sukkot is to wave the Four Species. This is a most interesting and unusual mitzvah. Certainly, all of us are extremely careful to include the proper four plants... but there is another Torah commanded ingredient that many of us forget to include, and without this ingredient the commandment is not performed properly.

    See this video to be sure to include this additional essential ingredient.

 

G-d Said, 'Be Happy'

(Link)

 

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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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