A conversation about G-d, mysteries of the universe and soul, Israel... and speculation about biblical prophecies and the end of days.

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Sunday, June 16, 2019

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The Worst Sin a Jew Can Do!



by Reb Gutman Locks at Mystical Paths


This sin is so horrible that it brings 98 curses
to the Jew who does it. What could that poor Jew possibly have done to bring
these miserable curses?
If you Care: Share
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Friday, June 14, 2019

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Almost No One Got It!


    by Reb Gutman Locks  

 

     Yesterday's article, "A Special Guy" … almost no one got the point of the story. Well, it seems that almost no one got it.

     Why did I crack up laughing when he warmly thanked me?

     He called me, "special."

     What work did he retire from? Special Education! So, what would you assume a Special Ed teacher meant when he called someone special?

    Got it?

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Thursday, June 13, 2019

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Paths Podcast - Tankers are Blowing, Rockets are Falling, and can I walk in Tel Aviv?

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

Off the Beaten Path podcast can be viewed and subscribed to via the iTunes podcast directory here, or directly here.  Subscribe via your favorite Podcast listening app!  (I use Podcast Addict on Android.)

Argument #5, Oil Tankers blowing up, Rockets falling, Israeli politics gone Cray Cray, and am I allowed to work in secular Tel Aviv?
Join Reb Akiva & Fayga in arguing whether a war is about to break out in the Persian Gulf as oil tankers are blowing up (bombed/torpedo'd?), or in Gaza (rockets being fired at yeshivot!), how Israeli politicians are in political chaos, and is a religious Jew allowed to walk into a very secular and problematic cultural environment in Tel Aviv for work?
Direct download here, or listen live below...


And here's the YouTube version, with related photos from the Land of Israel, or view it below...

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A Special Guy


   by Reb Gutman Locks
      A Special Guy

 

      Mike is from America. I think he said Wisconsin. He is a 69-yr. old retired teacher of children with special needs. When I called out for him to come put on tefillin he walked right over. He wanted to do it.

     He told me although his rabbi is Reform, Mike puts on tefillin when he comes to the Kotel. The last time was three years ago.

    After reading the Shema in English I showed him how to pray for his loved ones. He stood by the Kotel praying for a long time.

     Then, after I took his picture he said, "Thank you very much. You are special."

         I cracked up laughing.

 

 

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Tuesday, June 11, 2019

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The Greatest Killer of All


   by Reb Gutman Locks   

 

     Who kills more people than anyone else? This is really the greatest killer who has ever lived, more than all of the dictators throughout the history of the entire world! Yet, he lives on wielding his sword against us day after day…. How long will we allow this murder for money to go on?

     "As of 2019, smoking kills 8 million smokers annually, plus an additional million people who do not smoke themselves but are killed by secondhand smoke. In other words, smoking kills one person in the world every four seconds.

     In Israel, where 59% of children are exposed to secondhand smoke, smoking-related illnesses kill 22 people each day, for a total of 8,000 people each year, 800 of whom were killed by others' smoking habits. Although only 19.8% of Israelis smoke, a full 66% of Israelis over age 20 are exposed to secondhand smoke, and 30% of them are exposed to it often.

     According to the WHO, smoke can linger in the air for up to five hours after a smoker leaves the room, and it contains over 7,000 chemicals, including 69 known carcinogens."

     The tobacco industry knowingly murders these millions upon millions of people for money.

What's Wrong with Smoking? 

(video link)

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Thursday, June 06, 2019

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The Most Difficult Mitzvah


   by Reb Gutman Locks   

 

     Someone asked, "What is the most difficult mitzvah? At first, I thought, "None of them are difficult," but then, after thinking about it for a while I came up with two mitzvahs that are difficult. But which one is the most difficult depends on what you are asking. Are you asking which is the most difficult to do, i.e. just doing it is difficult, or are you asking which is the most difficult to accomplish?

     If the question is, which gives you a difficult time when you do it, then I would answer that trying to help a Jew to do a mitzvah when he doesn't want to is the most difficult. Like when I try to get a Jew to quit smoking. Oh dear! Many times they get angry at me, and yell at me to mind my own business. The last guy I tried to help quit told me it was forbidden to tell someone the bad things about smoking because he stays healthy due to his "faith in Hashem." He meant that telling him those bad things could shake his faith.

     Israelis can be tough customers when you try to bring them in. And really, you could rely on the teaching that we are obligated to help a Jew pick up his fallen donkey along with him… that is, if he is not going to help you pick it up then you are not obligated to help him. But what father would let his kid do wrong just because the kid didn't want to do right? Anyway, doing this mitzvah can be difficult.

     But if you are asking which mitzvah is the most difficult to accomplish then I would say to "cleave to the radiance of His Presence." Been trying to do this every day, all day, for many years, and still have had only a peek now and then. Sometimes it feels like I am trying to pick myself up off the ground by pulling on my socks.

 

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Tuesday, June 04, 2019

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Paths Podcast - Do Jews Worship the Dead?

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

(We are not intending to do a podcast a day.  But I've had a bit of spare time and I'm working on learning how to do this better and the editing tools, so we generated a bit more material.  As always, your feedback is appreciated and requested.  How's the volume?  How's the consistency?  How's the topics?  Thanks!)

(I'm working on getting the podcast approved through the Apple iTunes podcast directory, so it will be downloadable and listen-able on any podcast listening apps.  Awaiting Apple approval at this time.)

Argument #4, Do Jews have Holy Sites?  Do Jews Worship the Dead?
Join Reb Akiva & Fayga in arguing whether Jews have holy sites, why we must visit them, and whether Jews worship the dead.
Direct download link.  Or play it below.  YouTube edition arrives tomorrow, G-d willing.


And here it is on YouTube, direct link here or hit play below...

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More Energy!


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
     More Energy!

 

     Regarding my recent response to the question on "energy healing," a reader wrote: "With due respect, this is a halachic question and is best addressed to a competent rabbi."

 

My response:     Although there is continuing effort by the liberal, alternative, more modern opinions, to allow all forms of alternative practices including "energy healing" and "yoga" and such, the fact is they are trying to take on something they do not understand and make it a Jewish practice.

     Regarding anything that has any spiritual content at all, this cannot be done; zero, none, not the slightest bit. You cannot elevate or nullify anything that has the least taste of idolatry in it.

     Having said this general principal, here are a couple of examples to show you how dangerous these things are.

     An Israeli man came up to the tefillin booth some years ago and said that his wife always hated her thick eyeglasses. She heard of an energy healer in Tel Aviv who could heal her so she went to him. The man held his hands by her eyes for a moment and they actually seemed to improve somewhat, but she still needed those ugly glasses.

     The "healer" said, "That is as far as I can take you, but if you will let me call on 'other powers' they will be able to heal you."

     She agreed and he did, and miraculously her eyesight got better. So much so that she did not need her eyeglasses. One happy woman!

     He said, that night when they were in bed his wife began to twitch and jump around. He asked her what was wrong. She yelled, "Tell them to get off me!"

     She went through her day like this. He took her to doctors, healers, rabbis, and no one was able to help her. He said he was going to have to commit her to a mental institution. So much for her healing.

    When an "energy healer" finishes his session, he will often have to quickly rub one hand down one arm and then do the other arm to wipe off the energy that is still sticking to his arms…. Do you think this is normal?  

     For you to see that I am not writing about these things from books, or other people's experiences, but rather that I went through the "energy" experience myself:    

     Some fifty years ago, due to the unclean practices I was doing, people would ask me, "What is this power we feel radiating from you?"

     When I would raise my palm toward someone he would fall to the ground in bliss.

     I ended up holding my hands in fists, unable to open them for five months, until they started to bleed.

     In the beginning the "healer" thinks he has the energy, but later he sees that the energy has him.

     The scientists say it at best provides a placebo…a fake healing. The rabbis I quoted say if is forbidden…, and I am telling you it is worse than anyone who has not experienced to the depth that I did can possibly know.

Gutman's Story Goes to Hollywood 

(video link)

 

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Monday, June 03, 2019

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Paths Podcast - Hide Your Women!

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

Argument #3 - Are we religiously required to HIDE OUR WOMEN?

Please comment on this article to let us know how we're doing!

Direct listen / download here, or click below to play...



Or watch on YouTube with accompanying pictures of life in the Land of Israel, link here or play below...

READ IT!

Sunday, June 02, 2019

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Paths Podcast - Did the Green Leaf break Israel?

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

It's a podcast!  Did marijuana break the election in Israel?

Direct download here.



Or listen on Youtube along with some nice pictures of Israel (direct link)...


READ IT!
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Energy “Healing”?


   by Reb Gutman Locks   

 

Question:

     Shalom rabbi Locks. I am writing to ask about reiki. My husband was diagnosed to have cancer and his family who are religious are very assertive in suggesting to us that we should do healing through reiki. Is it ok? Because we are always telling them that since it came from the Far East it might have some idolatrous background it. Thank you.

 

Gutman's reply:

     Hashem heal your husband completely and quickly.

     As to your question: reiki certainly has a background of eastern idolatry and is quackery at best. All energy healing is dangerous, more or less depending on the one doing it. Some practice it while calling on spirits and powers, so it should not be done.

     One "alternative" rabbi in Lakewood says it is fine, while the rabbis who rely on science and halacha (e.g. Rav Belsky) say it is foolish at best and should not be practiced. Some people experience a feeling from the practice that they say heals them while science has said there is no such thing unless it is a placebo effect.    

     Obviously, your husband should follow the normal medical doctors' advice and could also try a number of non-spiritual, i.e. entirely physical, alternative medicines, too.

     If there would be a totally non-spiritual system that would satisfy your in-laws, then for peace at home, you might do it, but be sure there are zero spiritual practices, even names, coming along with it.

     Send me good news.

 

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Thursday, May 30, 2019

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Paths Podcast - What an Election Mess!

by Reb Akiva at Mystical Paths

We're trying to do a new podcast thing-y.  It's early, it's rough, it's experimental, but give us a try.

Jewish Paths Experimental - What an Election Mess (in Israel) <- a="" click="" listen="" now="" to="">



Or view on YouTube - click here or below.

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The Simplest Thing to Do


   by Reb Gutman Locks   

 

     What is the simplest, most easy, most successful thing a Jew can do to become more aware of Hashem's immediate Presence? This is the essence of the spiritual task of the Jew in this world. How can we accomplish this?

     Obviously, we are going to do our best to learn His Torah and fulfill its commandments, but many Jews do that and still are not at all aware of His Presence! What then can you and I do to live a life spiritually aware of Hashem?

     It's really pretty simple. All you have to do is to talk to G-d in your heart as you go through your day. Whenever you are not talking to someone else, instead of talking to yourself, talk to Hashem. He is right there in your head with you.

     Have Him become your most intimate companion.  

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Shabbos - Rejuvenation

by Lazar Weisz at Mystical Paths

Shabbos - Rejuvenation


https://youtu.be/C76cqLW9uVg

וביום השביעי שבת וינפש

The holy Shabbos day is the Divine day of rest and rejuvenation. This meditation guides the listener towards a deep connection with the rejuvenating powers of this day, with the נשמה יתרה (extra soul) that descends upon the person, and with the inherent blessings that originate with shabbos as the מקור הברכה (source of all blessing).


Please note: this meditation should not be played on Shabbos.

https://youtu.be/C76cqLW9uVg

Lazar Weisz currently lives in Monsey, NY. Inspired by the works of Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, ob"m, and using traditional Jewish sources, he has created an online guided Jewish meditation channel where he publishes free guided meditations on a variety of subjects. His meditation channel can be found at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6cxbHn8-bTcte_c4MepAxQ, and his Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/guidedjewishmeditations/.
To reach Lazar, please email: guidedjewishmeditation@gmail.com
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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

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Do They Hear?


   by Reb Gutman Locks   
      Do They Hear?

 

     Standing at the Kotel, helping with tefillin, talking to so many people… often saying the same things over and over again…do they really hear? Do they listen to what you are saying? Rarely, will you ever see one of them again. Is it really worth it?

     When I walked over to help with tefillin this afternoon Shmuli had to tell me something.

     "Today I put tefillin on an American guy…he's 26 years old. When I finished, he asked, 'Where's Gutman?'

     I said, Oh, you saw some of his videos?

     He said, 'no'.

     Then you read some of his articles?

     He said, 'no.'

     So, I asked him, then how do you know Gutman?

     He said he was here with his father 10 years ago and you spoke with them.

     I asked him do you remember anything he said?

     He said, Yeah, He said marry a Jewish girl and get a good job."

     Hum, I guess it's worth it. How many conversations did you have 10 years ago that you can remember the details so well?

     Good ideas are like seeds, and you never know how you are going to change someone's life when you plant one.

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