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Wednesday, August 20, 2014

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What’s it Like when they’re Trying to Kill Me

imageThe terrorists – militants – unhappy people compensating for something - broke the ceasefire this evening with 3 rockets fired at Be’er Sheva, a city of 200,000 (with no military facilities in the city). They followed up with a heavy rocket bombardment of many Israeli cities, towns, and villages following a few hours later.  Our city was targeted multiple times, as was Jerusalem (we are on that flight path).  One home in town was hit with shrapnel from a rocket interception, damaging a retaining wall.

BOOM. Shook my windows with no siren.  That means it was probably on it’s way to Jerusalem and intercepted near us.

Three of my children are having bad reactions. One with a near panic attack and won't go to sleep, one is obsessing watching multiple channels and online info sources, jumping and shouting about every bit of info, and one has gone hyper nasty ripping everyone's heads off (but did go to sleep).

Here’s other comments that applied…

-- “Hamas are incapable of observing a ceasefire because they exist to fire. Would anyone expect ISIS to cease their fire? Or Al Qaeda?”

-- “Some of the Red Alert apps aren’t working.  Here’s what I recommend:

. for Android,  “Real Time Red Alert”, starts in Hebrew but has an English option, or RED Red Alert System, starts in English but has a Hebrew option.

. for iPhone / iPad, RED Red Alert System.

. from a browser, http://IsraelSirens.com

-- “I always give masked gunmen the benefit of the doubt.”

-- “Don't let news outlets get away w/ saying the ceasefire "collapsed." It didn't collapse. It was deliberately blown up by rockets from Gaza.”

-- “#Hamas says it has fired a rocket at #Israel's Ben Gurion airport again. Waiting for UN to condemn. Or maybe not.”

-- “Dear Israel bashers: When rockets rain down on Israeli woman and children, do you want Israel to: A. Do nothing? B. Stop the rockets?”

-- “Remember that time Israeli soldiers beheaded a Muslim and broadcast the video? Me either.”

-- “This isn't a war of civilizations. ISIS and Hamas aren’t a civilization. They’re the paradigm of barbarism.”

-- “My Father (not mine, the source of this comment) used to say: "They would gladly slit their throats if they could only get blood on your shirt and ruin it"

-- #RocketUpsides #Israel Being under attack is good because... It really gets the juices pumping. No boredom or depression running for shelter.

-- #RocketUpsides #Israel Being under attack is good because... Serious increase in prayer intensity without even trying!

-- #RocketUpsides #Israel Being under attack is good because... You finally get your teens to sit and chat...in the bomb shelter.

-- “Guys, I'm starting to think maybe Hamas doesn't want a ceasefire.”

-- “The silence of world leaders & human rights org to condemn #Hamas for breaking cease fire & renewing rocket attacks on #Israel is deafening.”

-- “No rocket fire in the last 20 minutes. Terrorist coffee break? #IsraelUnderFire #HamasSucks

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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

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What's Wrong with Smoking?



 
by reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths
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What’s Wrong with Smoking?


    
Jewish Law forbids using a shaky ladder. The obvious reason why we are
not allowed to go onto a shaky ladder is because it is weak. It might break and
we would fall. The Torah is a way of life, not death, so no Torah observant Jew
would ever climb onto a shaky ladder. Falling from a shaky ladder is a
possibility, not a given.
    
Smoking is a given. Smoking causes cancer to the smoker and to those who
breathe the smoker’s second hand smoke. It also causes heart disease, stroke,
lung diseases (including emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction,
and diabetes.) Five million people die every year from smoking, and this number
is increasing!
     And
now they have found out something else very interesting about smokers. 
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What’s Wrong with Smoking?


What's Wrong with Smoking?

 by Reb Gutman Locks 


     Jewish Law forbids using a shaky ladder. The obvious reason why we are not allowed to go onto a shaky ladder is because it is weak. It might break and we would fall. The Torah is a way of life, not death, so no Torah observant Jew would ever climb onto a shaky ladder. Falling from a shaky ladder is a possibility, not a given.

     Smoking is a given. Smoking causes cancer to the smoker and to those who breathe the smoker's second hand smoke. It also causes heart disease, stroke, lung diseases (including emphysema, bronchitis, and chronic airway obstruction, and diabetes.) Five million people die every year from smoking, and this number is increasing!

     And now they have found out something else very interesting about smokers.

 

See:  What's Wrong with Smoking?   for the latest discovery.

 

 


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Monday, August 18, 2014

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#Ferguson USA and #Oslo, #Israel and #Gaza

-> The oppressed people of OCCUPPIED Ferguson, Missouri, USA, are rising up against their oppressors.  They’re showing their oppressors and occupiers who’s boss by looting and destroying the local exploitive businesses such as grocery stores, shooting each other, and attempting to attack the police.  The police have responded with DISPROPORTIATE force, illegally stopping the rioter legal right to spread their mayhem by containing the riots, firing tear gas, smoke bombs, and rubber bullets. 

There have been passionate but peaceful protests to be sure, but there has also been… violence and looting. Police forces in the town responded with an outlandish military-like presence more befitting Baghdad than suburban Missouri.

There were armored vehicles, flash grenades and a seemingly endless supply of tear gas… There were… officers perched atop vehicles, in camouflage and body armor, pointing weapons in the direction of peaceful protesters… Pointing a gun at an innocent person is an act of violence and provocation.

…the governor issued a midnight curfew for the town. A …band of protesters defied it and some were arrested.

If we want to truly address the root of the unrest in Ferguson, we have to ask ourselves how we can break this cycle. (of violence?)

-> Oppressed native born Norwegian Muslims (children of immigrants) demand their proper rights be fulfilled by ceding them part of OCCUPPIED Oslo as their allah given native homeland.  Failure to meet their proper and legitimate demand will be met with the legitimate response of an occupied people – mass casualty terror attacks rivaling 9/11…

“a Muslim terrorist group, Ansar al-Sunna’, is threatening that if a section of the Norway nation's capitol Oslo isn't transformed into a sharia-complaint Muslim nation, an attack rivaling 9/11 will be launched upon the Scandinavian nation:

‘If norwegian soldiers can take planes to Afghanistan, then Osama and Mohammed can also take planes to Norway, inshaAllah.  Now, the government must wake up and assume responsibility, before this war spreads to Norway. Before the counterpart reacts. Before moslems take the step necessary.

Do not confuse the moslems’ silence with weakness. Do not profit from the moslems’ patience. Do not force us to do something that can be avoided. This is not a threat, only the words of truth. The words of justice.

A warning that the consequences can be fatal. A warning about a 9/11 on norwegian ground, or larger attacks than the one carried out on 22 july. This is for your own good and in your own best interest.’

We do not want to be a part of norwegian society. And we do not consider it necessary either to move away from Norway, because we were born and grew up here. And Allah’s earth belongs to everybody.  But let Grønland become ours. Bar this city quarter and let us control it the way we wish to do it. This is the best for both parts.

We do not wish to live together with dirty beasts like you."

-> Oppressed occupied de-occupied Gaza insists on their Allah given right to fire rockets at Israeli civilian cities, towns and villages, and the right of the oppressed to plan and build terror tunnels and terror attacks on the non-occupying force.  Should Israel fail to give them their rights, they are willing to fight to the death of the last Gaza civilian.

We present the following demands to the occupying zionist entity that does not occupy us (these demands are real, additional comments may be slipped in)…

.. Withdrawal of Israeli forces and tanks from the Gaza border.  When we attack Israeli civilians, we don’t want our militants lives to be at risk.

.. Freeing all the prisoners that were arrested after the killing of the three youths.  This includes those who killed them, and the 100 additional jailed heroes of the resistance who have successfully murdered Israelis past.  We need their skills.

.. Lifting the siege and opening the border crossings to commerce and people.  Because we demand free entry into Israel and Egypt, and the free entry of all products, including C4, ammunition, rockets, and chemical precursors.  Don’t worry, the rockets are strictly for civilian use.

.. Establishing an international seaport and airport which would be under U.N. supervision.  This supervision is ok by us given how well it’s worked in the Sinai, Lebanese-Israel border and Syrian-Israel border.

.. Increasing the permitted fishing zone to 10 kilometers.  No need to worry about smuggling via sea, the land border option covers that just fine.

.. Internationalizing the Rafah Crossing and placing it under the supervision of the U.N. and some Arab nations.  You should feel comfortable with this, Turkey has your back.

.. International forces on the borders.  Hey, it’s completely, yes yes completely, effective with Lebanon.

.. Easing conditions for permits to pray at the Al Aqsa Mosque.  Because we only attack the worshippers below once a week or so, which gives you the other 6 days to pray at your holy site.  Oh, and we’ll be stabling horses at your holy site on that day.

.. Prohibition on Israeli interference in the reconciliation agreement.  Our taking over the West Bank and the Palestinian Authority is an internal matter!  Stay out of it!

.. Reestablishing an industrial zone and improvements in further economic development in the Gaza Strip.  Please don’t mind our weekly bombing of the industrial zones and border transfer stations previously set up, we bomb it because we love it!

Anyone spot the pattern here?  Trying to play civilized with barbarians while keeping the standards of civilization is…rough.  Israel and the Jews, as usual, are the first – but never the last – targets.

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Don’t Be Oblivious to the Changes

via Lma’an Yishme’u

The editor of the Algemeiner Journal, Reb Gershon Ber Jacobson, would receive many direct instructions from the Lubavitcher Rebbe on what to write. On Rosh Chodesh Tammuz, 5740 (1980), he heard the following from the Rebbe:

"There are some rabbonim (rabbis) who are dealing with trivial matters, while burning issues like kashrus (kosher food) and taharas hamishpocho (family purity / mikvah) are neglected. They forget that they we are in a different age; they think we are still in the same world as fifty years ago."

The Rebbe continued, "This reminds me of the study I received from a certain elderly doctor, wherein he concludes that British people would not get caught up in cults due to their cold nature. I wrote to him, telling him that I received a letter from a British (Jewish) girl who had joined a cult, and that she was suffering emotionally from it. He answered that we would have to determine whether the causes were not from something else...

"This doctor sits with his old friends, with their old fashioned outlook, and they think the world is not changing... similarly, those rabbonim are oblivious to the great challenges that Yiddishkeit (Judaism) is facing."

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Sunday, August 17, 2014

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You Can Change Your Past


You Can Change Your Past

 by Reb Gutman Locks


     Everyone knows that the past is over. But if our past deeds are causing things to happen in our present life, then our past is not over.

     If we can change the way our past is influencing our present, we will, in effect, have changed our past.

     Many religions and philosophies teach that everything happens to us according to divine destiny, according to our fixed karma. They explain that we are who we are, and we are doing what we are doing, solely because of what we did in the past. They say that our future is already determined, too.

     We also have a similar concept, "portion across from portion",[i] which means "whatever you do comes back to you," but the Torah calls divine destiny and fixed karma, fatalism. The fixed future principle is only true if we continue in the direction we were going. But, we can turn any time we want.

     There is Mercy in the world. Mercy is not deserved. Justice is deserved. Mercy is a gift from love.

     We certainly deserve punishment for many of our past deeds, but when we realize that those deeds were harmful we can turn from them and do good instead. Then, not only will our past improper deeds not harm us, they will come to witness for our merit.

     The witnessing angel calls out, "Look what he turned from, and see what he is doing today!"

     Soon it will be the month of Elul. The theme of Elul is, "I am for my Beloved and my Beloved is for me." It is a time to tell G-d how much you love Him.



[i] mida k'neged mida 

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Friday, August 15, 2014

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Jews Responsible for Police Shooting in #Ferguson?

imageFerguson, a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, USA.  Saturday, August 9, an ethnic youth was shot in a confrontation with police. 

“Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager, was shot and killed Saturday by a police officer in Ferguson. The circumstances of the death are in dispute. Mr. Brown and a friend were walking home from a convenience store in the middle of the night when witnesses say they were stopped by an officer for walking in the middle of the street. They say that Mr. Brown’s hands were in the air when several shots were fired. The police say that Mr. Brown was shot during a fight over the officer’s gun.”

A tragedy, and a classic one in the U.S. in confrontations between police and citizens in high crime areas. As some would say “it’s the crime of being a black man”.  Others would say “authorities in high crime areas frequently find themselves in immanent danger, and naturally respond quickly to protect their lives and the public – sometimes this results in tragedy, an unavoidable result of the job given the difficult conditions.”

But now some say…. IT’S THE JOOOOOS FAULT!  What in the world could the Jews or Judaism have to do with a confrontation between the police and an ethnic and poor community in Missouri????

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Trita Parsi says… “Wondering why the excessive police violence (in Ferguson)? Here's a guess: Ferguson police chief got training in Israel!”

Here’s his proof:

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Because taking 1 week trip and hearing people talking about detecting suicide bombers leads to police violence in ethnic confrontation neighborhoods.

Now there are lots of wackos and trolls spouting all types of conspiracy theories all over the place.  BUT the re-tweets on this one are reaching in the thousands, meaning it’s being read by tens of thousands.  Not just somebody whispering his craziness in the wind.

So there you have it… blacks being mistreated by the police in Missouri are because of the JOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOS.

Are they out to get us?  “Trita Parsi - Leads largest Iranian-American grassroots organization from Washington, DC”.  Why yes, yes they are.

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Some War Sense from Rav Aviner

imageRav Aviner, shlita answers brief questions via SMS.  While these are not any kind of halachic tshuvot (long researched answers with major lists of sources and supporting opinions), they are quick and straightforward Jewish religious positions on issues of the moment…

About Israel’s war with Gaza, Protective Edge

Q: Is this war considered an obligatory war according to Halachah?

A: Certainly. According to the Rambam, one type of obligatory war is to protect Israel from its enemies. Defensive War (Hilchot Melachim 5:1).

Do We Need an Army?

Q: I heard a Rabbi say that we do not need an army and it is sufficient to rely on the spiritual strength of Rabbis. Is this true?

A: Moshe Rabbenu waged war, as did Yehoshua Bin Nun and King David. We need both of them: Human effort and Divine intervention. See Niddah 70b.

Protective Edge and Maaser

Q: Is it permissible to buy presents for wounded soldier in the hospital from Maaser?

A: Yes. They are in the category of poor.

Protective Edge and Killing Our Enemy

Q: I am a soldier and see hundreds of killed and wounded innocent people. Isn't our attack on Gaza unethical? Is it permissible for us to ensure our security with the blood of the Arabs of the Gaza Strip?

A: We are willing to make peace in a split second, but in that time they will murder us. We are obligated to protect the innocent citizens of Israel against the guilty. We try - far beyond any other army in the world - not to attack uninvolved civilians. I did not write innocent people but rather uninvolved civilians, since this is a defensive war against an enemy who has risen up to drive us from our Land. The "innocent" ones are our Nation and our soldiers.

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Thursday, August 14, 2014

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Living Jewish for Eikev is here!

Click the picture for direct download, or here for a list of the newsletters.

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Our Religion is Winning, Die Pig

image

The black flag of death has begun to appear in London and New York and (in the photo above) suburban New Jersey.  In photos too horrid to believe but posted by those perpetrating the acts, the jihadis of the “Islamic State” show off their acts of unbelievable horror to a world that JUST DOESN’T CARE.

Worse than the worst horror movie, more gruesome than the grossest Halloween display, they have been rampaging across the Middle East – carving out a kingdom now stretching through MOST of Iraq & Syria, a small part of Lebanon, and now threatening Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Their horrors read like stories from Medieval torture chambers: (live) beheadings, (live) dismemberment, gang rape, all the above performed to one family member in the presence of the others, cutting of children in half, burying children alive, cruxification, and literal enslavement of women and girls.  Heads are piling up like in the Killing Fields of Cambodia, and bodies like in the Holocaust.  Mass torture and slaughter, with nary a whisper from the United Nations Human Rights Council or from the national news (who’s reporters are too terrified to try to report from there).

While there are those in the West who have campaigned against blood diamonds (diamonds purchased from mines run by militants in African conflict zones – thereby funding those militants continued actions), your car may now be running on gasoline via oil sold from the captured oil fields of Iraq and Syria, funding the Islamic State. 

But why should we care if a bunch of camel jockeys want to cut off each other’s heads and play soccer with them? 

image image

(Above, recruiting flyer to join the Islamic State being passed out in Central London, England.)

We have begun (yet another) clash of civilizations.  In the past such clashes may have been over the form of government and the rights (or lack thereof) of the citizens.  This clash is over whether you will retain your head or your daughters because they are superior and you are not human.

In the past, wars were far away – or at least had a border.  Today, through massive immigration, multi-culturalism, and the failure to promote a societal vision within the Western world, the enemy is within and discontented. 

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The problem we face: as these people get worked up about “their religion winning” – via horrific and massive slaughter, acts that if performed on an animal in the West would get you a lifetime in prison – will they import such acts to their home countries?  And even if they don’t, will their support help the most horrific organization in modern times spread it’s death, destruction, and horrific acts?

[ Seen the picture of the women being sold into slavery in Ninweh?  How about the Australian father and 7 year old son holding up a severed human head?  The thousands of dead men with their hands bound behind their backs piled in dead rows?  The half buried bodies of masses of children? ]

While the world obsesses over the war between Israel and Gaza (where the defender is vilified and held to an impossible standard), a force literally from hell is on the march. 

Will anyone pay attention?

Yusuf @Bodyguard790 said: ‘I wish a long life so you suffer each day.’

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What a World We Live In!


What a World We Live In!

 by Reb Gutman Locks


     Everything has a soul. If we could see deep enough we would see molecules moving around inside rocks. There is life even in inanimate objects. Obviously, the consciousness that the life in a rock experiences is not the same as the consciousness an animal experiences, but none the less, there is life even in a rock.

     What is the experience of consciousness? What is awareness? Just as are all physical encasements different, so too is the nature of the consciousness in objects different. Just as an object's physical body is determined by its purpose in creation, so too is its consciousness determined by its purpose.

     What is this bird aware of at this intense moment? Animals do not have freewill, but they certainly have feelings. What is the insect's experience at this moment? He surely sees the bird coming. Do insects have fear? Anxiety? Yearning?


​     This frog is looking out at his world. It is fulfilling its nature. It does not have freewill, but it is definitely looking for something. There is focused awareness happening inside that frog.


This young charedi bride and groom have never been alone before. Their marriage ceremony was a minute or two before this picture was taken. They had only seen each other for a few minutes in their lives, just long enough to be able to say, "My parents chose a good spouse for me."

     Now, they are about to be alone for the first time. He has never been alone with a girl before, and she has never been alone with a boy.

     What is going on in their minds? What are they experiencing?

     The custom is; first, the groom asks Hashem to bless his bride. Then, the bride asks Hashem to bless her husband...one of the most heartfelt, precious moments of life.

     Life is such that we are aware of something every moment. We either watch our thoughts running in our head, or we pay attention to something going on around us in our "outer" world. Sometimes we watch the mind roaming, sometimes we lock onto intense focused thoughts. We dream. We hope. We work. Something is always going on inside our head.

     There is you, your body, your awareness, and your world, all for a good reason.

     What an amazing experience life is. What a gorgeous opportunity when we use it right.  

 

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

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Who Has Delivered Me


Who Has Delivered Me from Danger

 by Reb Gutman Locks


     There is a special blessing that we say when we are saved from dangerous situations. We usually hear the blessing said when someone flies across the ocean. Traveling across the ocean used to be a lot more dangerous than it is now, but still, we say the blessing thanking Hashem for allowing us a safe journey. It is usually said without much emotion.

     This was not the case yesterday when a couple of platoons of soldiers returned from the war in Gaza and took turns saying the blessing at the Kotel.

     They told stories of the dangers they survived, the miracles they saw. One soldier told how he looked down and saw that he was standing on a land mine that for some unknown reason failed to detonate even though he accidentally kicked it!

     Mixed emotions! At the same time…, we are torn because of the men we lost, and we are tremendously thankful for the ones who survived unharmed.    

 




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Tuesday, August 12, 2014

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70-Years Old


70-Years Old

   by Reb Gutman Locks


     Fredrick is originally from New York. He does not know if he has a Hebrew name. He is retired, and has been living in Colorado. He had never put on tefillin before. He spent a very long time standing by the Kotel praying for his loved ones. When he came back to take off the tefillin, I teased him saying, "The Sixties are over," but I don't think he believed me.

 

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Sunday, August 10, 2014

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Doubts Constantly Cloud My Mind



Doubts Constantly Cloud My Mind

 by Reb Gutman Locks     


Shlomo wrote:

     I started becoming much closer to Hashem and the Torah about 7 months ago and I started having set times for Torah learning and prayer 3 times a day. I can easily say that those were the most happy and exciting days of my life, every word was sweeter than honey.

     But at some point I got this big question that hit me in the back of my mind that I'm afraid of even typing, "Who is this God that I'm serving?" The question got louder and louder and soon I could barely focus on anything I did. I would get angry at everything and eventually fell into a tough depression which I'm still dealing with. I've come to the point where I'm barely even capable of praying because I feel like I don't even know who I'm praying to.

     Also, whenever I try to learn Torah I feel this very uncomfortable anxious feeling in my stomach that makes me sick because I keep asking myself, "What am I even learning about?"

     All of these doubts constantly cloud my mind that sometimes I take long naps just so that I can run away from all of the thoughts in my mind. This phase I'm going through makes everything so hard, even simple things like talking to other people, because no matter what I do I feel like I have no idea why I'm doing it.

     There are also other scary thoughts that bombard my mind at times that I don't know how to deal with and I don't know where to start when it comes to bringing back that beautiful happiness that I had in serving God that I experienced in the beginning. I've really dug myself into a deep hole and I would really love your opinion and advice on what I should do to help bring myself back to the love of Hashem and the love of the Torah as one, because now I can barely see the connection between God and the mitzvot even though I know in my mind that there definitely is a connection.

     Thanks so much for your time Rabbi and I hope that you can help me with my predicament. Hashem should bless you.

 

Gutman's response:

     The first thing you have to do is to release your attachment to your uncomfortable thoughts. The easiest way to do this is; whenever an uncomfortable thought comes, no matter what it is, simply know that the feeling of discomfort is a sign that you are to immediately, "watch your breath."

     This means that you are to calmly turn your attention to your breath, and notice the way the air feels as it passes in and out of your nose. Do not take a deep breath, but merely focus on the feelings in your nose as the air passes in and out.   

     At first, you may become aware of the pressure of the air against the inside of your nose, or you may be able to sense its temperature as it moves in and out… whatever the sensation, it does not matter. All that matters is that you focus on the feelings of the air as you breathe in and out of your nose. Then, as your attention leaves your breath, simply return to feeling the breath, over and over again.

     After you have watched your breath move in and out a few times, remember that it is Hashem Who is breathing your breath in and out. Then, go back to focusing on the sensation of the air.

     You should do this every time an uncomfortable thought comes, and continue watching your breath for a minute or two after you feel calm. Then, if another uncomfortable thought comes, return to watching your breath.

     As to why these thoughts come…simply stated; they come because you are interested in them. The mind wants your attention. Also, when you begin to grow spiritually you become more sensitive and open, so unless you fill that new openness with holy thoughts, your mind will be filled with whatever thoughts you strongly attach to.

     In addition to releasing your attachment to those negative thoughts by doing this exercise, you must also learn to fill your mind with positive thoughts.    

     There are always positive things happening in life, and there are always negative things happening in life. Whichever of them you pay attention to will determine your mood, your mindset, your daily experience in life. So, after you have relaxed your concern about your negative thoughts by watching your breath, see how many positive things you can think of.

     You must learn to be strict with this, and whenever negative thoughts come, immediately think of some of the good things that are going on in your life, and or focus on your breath. You have to train yourself to take these steps as soon as you have a negative thought.

     As to your question regarding the existence of G-d; the fact that you know that there is existence answers your question. G-d's most holy name means Existence. G-d is Infinite, therefore He is All, but He hides to allow us freewill. Because He is hiding we see ourselves as separate, individual, finite beings. This is a very narrow perspective of the truth. The higher, broader perspective shows that G-d is All, and there is nothing else.

     If you try these recommendations they will certainly solve your problem. Obviously, if you do not do them, they cannot be a help to you.

     Try them, and soon you will see that you are not subject to your mind, but that your mind is subject to you.

Shalom

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Friday, August 08, 2014

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A Visiting Chossid is Frightened in England

imageA close friend of ours is visiting England.  He’s been there for some weeks, and he speaks of a frightening change as British society has quickly turned massively anti-semitic…

I’ve been in the United Kingdom (England) for about month, and looks like I’ll be here until the chagim (the Jewish holidays in September).

There are times when societies have been more comfortable for Jews, and times when they’ve been less.  But what I see happening on a sudden basis is the separation between the righteous and the other side, the good, the evil and those who will fall to the evil through simple indifference.  And the separation between the nations and the Jewish people.

The largest of all the grocery food chains are removing all the kosher items.  First this was all Israeli products.  It’s quickly moved to all Jewish products, and now to non-Jewish products that have kosher supervision.  As you might imagine, if the top grocery chain suddenly declares it won’t carry your product – and you added kosher supervision to attract more customers – you’d drop it pretty quick.

The food chains have announced they are doing this to be in “solidarity” with their Muslim customers and with the “poor Palestinians”. 

The second largest food chain is Jewish owned, but in this day and age profits win, and they have also announced they are removing kosher products.  The kosher consumer now must shop within the religious Jewish neighborhoods of London or Manchester – there simply are no other sources of kosher food available.

Multiple British Members of Parliament, mayors and district councilmen have rushed to join the action.  They’ve announced they are reviewing educational materials to make sure they’re appropriately sanitized of anything positive towards Israel or Jews (not that the British were particularly positive towards either in the past).  Israeli tourists are actively discouraged from their areas by decree, and while they can’t decree an absence of Jews they can and are making Jewish presence unpleasant.  (A number of Jewish day camps and vacationing chassidic groups have been requested to not come or their normal locations refused to rent to them).

There are daily anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, anti-Torah demonstrations across the country.  Universities are actively supporting and propping up this behavior, and the police are acting “with a very light hand”. 

There are signs of the times everywhere.  I am an obviously Jewish chassidic fellow, I literally don’t own non-Jewish clothing styles.  Everywhere I walk, for the first time in 30 years, I’m getting stares, comments, and aggressive “get in my face” stances.   The Muslim population of the UK is everywhere, in large numbers and in the extreme dress of their religion.  These Muslims make a point of letting you know you are not welcome. 

I stood up to a Muslim who spit on me, both prepared to defend myself and to engage the authorities.  However the local Jewish residents begged me not to take any action – too risky.  There is a collapse of anything obviously or outwardly Jewish, it’s “too risky”.  Even the Chabad synagogue was forced to change their name and signage – it’s now the “Town Community and Student Center”. 

While it’s no longer “safe” to be outwardly Jewish, it’s not only safe but a defense against the authorities to be outwardly Muslim.  Burkas and Jalabiyas are everywhere.  I mean there are more freaking Muslims here that in the West Bank, certainly more “religious” ones.  Yet you can go to jail for calling some a Muslim - its just as bad if not worse that the “n” word in the U.S.  It’s discrimination to use it, but all racial slurs are permitted if not openly encouraged when they are anti-Israel and anti-Jewish. 

I tremble to think that it may be like stories from our great-grandparents in times before World War II.  I pray daily to finish my trip and return home safely.  How a Jew in England can survive outside of the main Jewish communities in Manchester and London, I don’t know.

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