Friday, January 16, 2015

The End of the Enlightenment



An incredible essay from Rabbi Yitzchak Ginsburgh, allowing us to understand the deeper reason why Jews are leaving France:  [HT: Devash ]


''The French Revolution, and the Enlightenment that fed the entire development of the modern world, is about to reach its end.''

Part One is here: The Emperor and the Rabbi

and Part Two is here: The End of the Enlightenment

Also see Rav Fish on Paris


Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Way It Is


The Kotzker Rebbe said: "Aub es geit nit vi es vilt zich, darfmen vilan vi es geit!" - "If it does not go the way you want it to be, then you have to go along with the way it is from Heaven".

[Rabbi Chaim Dalfin as heard from Reb Zelig Levin]

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The Rebbe on Autism [video]

If someone is autistic, it doesn't mean that they don't relate to anyone. They might not relate well to people, but to G-d they relate as well as everyone else, and even more. Place a charity box in his room. This will benefit him, and he'll remind his visitors that they must give charity."


 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Sparks of Tanya

What is our purpose in life?  Why is life such a struggle?  Why is my inner self so full of contradictions?  How do I deal with my anger, jealousy, anxiety and despair?  Does the universe really exist or is it an ''illusion''?   

The Tanya compacts four millennia of Jewish wisdom to answer the great personal and existential questions of life. It has revolutionalized the way we think about G-d, the human soul, the world, and our place in it.

The Tanya, the foundation of Chabad-Chassidic philosophy, has been termed the Written Torah of Chassidus.  It is endlessly deep and wide and answers all of life's questions.  However, for many, this vast treasure remains inaccessible, because of its Hebrew language or its translation to difficult English.

A new book ''Sparks of Tanya'' by Robert Kremnizer was written to make the Tanya available to the masses, simple to understand and easy to read, if you have ever tried and failed to learn Tanya, here is your opportunity.  I am only half-way through the book, but felt compelled to share it with you all.

Sparks of Tanya is available here or here

Monday, January 5, 2015

Yerida L'tzorich Aliyah - Descent for the Purpose of Ascent


No Pain No Gain
נס - Nes - Miracle

ניסיון - Nisayon - Trial

"All the affairs of the world, whether for the good or for the bad, are trials [nisyonos] for a man"… [Mesillat Yesharim* (Path of the Just) Rabbi Moshe Chaim Luzzatto]

When a person is destined to reach a level which is much higher than his present rung, it is necessary for him to undergo a descent first. [The Lubavitcher Rebbe]

Before a person experiences a miracle - נס - , he is given a trial - ניסיון. There is no ascent (aliyah) without a prior descent (yeridah). The lower the descent, the higher the potential ascent.

G-d tries the righteous, for knowing that the righteous will do His will, He desires to make them even more upright, and so He commands them to undertake a test, but He does not try the wicked, who would not obey.

Thus all trials in the Torah are for the good of the one being tried. [Nachmanidies, Commentary on the Torah; Genesis, p. 275; Chavel translation; ]

From here, we learn a number of important points. First, the purpose of a nisayon is not to reveal anything new to G-d, but to increase the spiritual reward of the person by bringing forth his or her latent greatness into actual deeds of righteousness.

Second, a person is only sent a nisayon that he or she has the potential to "pass," provided the person uses his free will properly.

Third (and this is implicit in the first point), the nisayon is intended for the good of the person—to elevate the person spiritually.

Nes can also be translated as "banner": The test is meant to "lift a banner" and reveal to the world, and to the person himself, the potential hidden within a human being.


*Learn Mesillat Yesharim: "The Path of the Just" at Shechem.org

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Signs of the Moshiach

Rabbi Mizrachi supplies evidence of the current day signs of Moshiach.

 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Nothing

Rebbe Nachman once told me "When things are very bad, make yourself into nothing. Uhu as es iz shoin gar schlecht, iz min zich gar m'vatel."

I asked him: "How does one make himself into nothing!"

He replied: "You close your mouth and eyes - and you are like nothing! Me far-macht das moil, uhu die oigen, iz bitul."

We can gain valuable insight from these words.

Sometimes you may feel overwhelmed by the Evil Inclination. You are confused by evil thoughts and very disturbed, finding it impossible to overcome.

You must then make yourself like nothing, you no longer exist, your eyes and mouth are closed. Every thought is banished. Your mind ceases to exist. You have nullified yourself completely before G-d.

Source: Rabbi Nachman's Wisdom by his Disciple Rabbi Nathan of Nemirov, translated by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan zt"l

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Abusive Parents

Abusive Parents: A Video from Rabbi Simon Jacobson This video is an eye-opener for adults healing from childhood abuse.