Sunday, July 5, 2015

The Motives of a Critic

Art: Norman Rockwell


Source: Based on Likutei Sichos, Lubavitcher Rebbe
Parshas Pinchas

The tribes appeared to have convincing proof that Pinchas' motives were not pure [Rashi] but they were mistaken. This teaches us a powerful lesson whenever we are tempted to find fault with another person's good deeds and question their motives.  One can never know another's true intentions.  So long as a person is doing good, he should not be put down or mocked, even if one has a "solid" proof that the person is insincere. And in any case, even if it were true, and the person indeed had ulterior motives, we are taught always to study Torah and perform mitzvos even for the wrong reasons, since in this way one will eventually come to have pure motives.

A deeper question here is: Where does the desire come from to find fault in people who are doing something good?  In our case, the tribes appeared to have holy intentions: they were concerned that Pinchas had slighted the honor of Moshe by taking the law into his own hands.  Similarly, a person may imagine that he has a low tolerance for other people's bad intentions because he himself is humble, and thus he finds the pride of others distasteful.

In truth, however, the reverse is likely the case.  The fact that a person criticizes the good deeds of another is probably because the critic himself is proud and does not like the idea that somebody else accomplished something that he did not.  Of course, he will not admit this, even to himself, because his pride makes him lazy, and recognizing that somebody else has accomplished something makes it more uncomfortable to remain lazy.  Therefore, his arrogance leads him to put down the other person's good deeds, so they do not wound his pride or inspire him to be a better person, which would require effort.

Furthermore, even if somebody's mitzvah observance does have overtones of haughtiness, the critic's pride is nevertheless more distasteful.  For, ultimately, the person who "showed off" with his mitzvah was at least honest about his pride, and did not attempt to conceal it.  The critic, however, cannot tolerate the truth that he too is proud, and he thus stoops to dishonesty, veiling his pride in a "cloak" of humility and righteous indignation.

The lesson is obvious: It is much wiser to be an activist than a critic.  For a little pride can make criticism destructive, rather than constructive, but a good deed always remains good, regardless of the intention.

Friday, July 3, 2015

The Purpose of Life

New two-and-a-half hour video from Rabbi Mizrachi.

 

Coming Back for More

"V'Anshei Damim U'Mirma" - men of blood and deceit [Tehilim 55]. The Mishna in Pirkei Avos [5:19] says that this pasuk refers to Bilam HaRasha. Why, asks the Ben Ish Chai does it use the plural form of Anshei - multiple men - when Bilam is only one person? 

The Ben Ish Chai quotes the Arizal who says that Bilam was a Gilgul [reincarnation] of Lavan HaArami. Bilam had two spirits in him, his own evil spirit and that of Lavan. 

We know from his dealing with Yaakov that Lavan was the world's greatest swindler. We also know from the Hagadah that he tried to annihilate Bnei Yisroel. Bilam himself also tried to destroy Bnei Yisroel. Therefore within Bilam lay Anshei Damim U'Mirma, two of the most blood thirsty and deceitful villains in history.

Source: Revach.net


Rabbi Nachman of Breslov and some of his followers were standing by the window one morning, when a funeral procession went by. As was the custom, the people in the procession were following the coffin, weeping and wailing for the loss of the deceased.

Rabbi Nachman turned to his followers and said "More than likely, the soul of the dead man is laughing his heart out over the big scene they are making out there. When somebody dies, everyone always weeps over him as if to say "How nice it would have been if you had remained in this world a little longer, so you could endure even more suffering and hardships here!"

Reb Nosson, the Rabbi's closest disciple, was deeply puzzled by this strange statement. "But what about Gehenna?" he asked. "Even in the next world, he won't be entirely free from suffering, because he was not righteous enough to escape the torments of Gehenna. So he will have to suffer in the afterlife also."

"But at least when he gets out of Gehenna, his suffering will be over forever!" Rabbi Nachman replied. "Once he has been purged of his sins in Gehenna, his soul will be purified, and he will enjoy the reward for the good deeds that he performed in this world."

"But what about reincarnation?" Reb Nosson asked. "If he has to be reincarnated again, then what is the point of leaving this world and its troubles behind, only to return here again and again?"

"When he gets to the Heavenly Court," Rabbi Nachman replied, "he can put up a stubborn argument on his own behalf, and refuse to be reincarnated in any way, shape or form."

"Can he really do that?" Reb Nosson objected, "How can he refuse to accept the ruling of the Heavenly Court? Will it really help him if he refuses?"

"Of course it will help him" Rabbi Nachman replied. "He can stand before the Court and insist "Do whatever You want with me here in the heavenly realms - send me to Purgatory for every last detail of my sins if you must - but don't make me go back to the physical world again. Just get it over with here." If he is very, very firm in this, if he remains stubborn and does not move from his position, then it certainly will help him."

Reb Nosson took this lesson very seriously, and made a special point of fixing it in his mind. He prayed that, when his time came to go to the Other World, he would be able to remember this teaching and make the same plea before the Heavenly Court. in order to be saved from reincarnation. "No matter what might happen to me up there," he would say, "it would still be better than having to return to earth and be exposed to all of the dangers and temptations of material life again."

Nevertheless, after Rabbi Nachman died of tuberculosis in 1810, and it became the custom for Breslover Hasidim to gather at the Rebbe's grave in Uman on Rosh Hashanah, Reb Nosson also said: "If I knew for certain that I would merit to travel to my Rebbe's grave even once in a lifetime, then I would choose to reincarnate."

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Moshiach’s Donkey: A Drama in Four Acts



A Tale of 4 Donkeys: The One of Bilam, Avraham, Moshe and Moshiach

by Rabbi Y. Y. Jacobson

click here to listen

Summary: Why does the donkey hold such prominence in the story of Bilam and in Jewish history? Bilam’s donkey was apparently created on the first Friday of history. Then, we are taught, that Moshe used the same donkey once used by Avraham. And that Moshiach will come riding on that same donkey! Moshiach's donkey has a long, prestigious history. But why is it the donkey that features so prominently? What is the symbolism?

Time and again the donkey makes its appearance through the generations, surfacing at key junctures of the messianic process. Each time we see it fulfilling the same function, but in a slightly different manner -- reflecting the changes our world undergoes as it develops toward its ultimate state of perfection.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

The Coming War and Obama's End

And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High; and he shall think to change the seasons and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time." Daniel 7:25

 In January this year I wrote  ''I would like to suggest that ''a time'' equals two years. Therefore, a time [2], times [4] and a half of time [1] gives us a total of 7 years. The Presidency of Barack Obama began at noon EST on January 20, 2009 when he became the 44th President of the United States. Based on the prophecy in the Book of Daniel, I expect his Presidency to last no longer than January 2016.''

Below I have copied Reuven Kossover's english synopsis of a video posted at 1820.com
As you can see from #5 below, Obama's destiny matches my own theory.


The following was translated by Reuven Kossover from the video below:

This video is what the authors believe the War of Gog and Magog will look like, based on gematria and quotes from the Tana"kh. Unfortunately, it is all in Hebrew. I wish this had been in English. I think I understood the essence. My son helped me out with this, and some of the credit deservedly goes to him. THE MAIN POINT IS THAT THE WAR OF GOG AND MAGOG WILL TAKE PLACE TOWARD THE END OF THE RABBINIC YEAR 5775 - (2015)

1. Europe, Iran and the Arab countries will attack Israel around mid July, 2015 (Av, 5775) OR BEFORE. They will have a good level of success.

2. There will be attacks on major cities (in the video, New York and Paris were shown being destroyed) in the countries that come against Israel world-wide by meteor showers - one of the works of G-d to rescue Israel.

3. Obama and Khamenei will work together against Israel. Their ages, together, equal one of the satanic names.

4. We will go to war against our neighbors in the region - and kick all their butts (with a lot of help from G-d).

5. The 'Pharaoh' (Obama) will die in the month of Elul, 5775 (August - Sept. 2015).

6. JEWS are expected to do FOUR THINGS IN PREPARATION. This is what they are.
a. Help other JEWS.
b. Study the Torah lessons, weekly.
c. Wrap t'fillin, wear tzitziyot (this for men only), say prayers, KEEP the Sabbath and keep Kashrut (earlier, the video warns that communities in Israel that insist on violating the Sabbath will get hit hard by the enemy). For women, there is dressing modestly (not like frumps, but modestly), and acting modestly.
d. Finally, show this video far and wide, for it is a warning, and the clock is ticking down to the war of Gog and Magog.

Here is the video for those that understand Hebrew:


Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Independence Day


I wrote this before reading Lazer Brody's The Imminent Geula: Mister "V" and some of the information below is also contained there.  I guess as we approach The End, we're all thinking along the same lines.......Nevertheless, here it is:

The U.S. was founded on the Fast Day of  17 Tammuz 1776. This year America's Independence Day 4th of July again falls out on 17 Tammuz [Shabbat this year] , the beginning of the period known as the ''three weeks'' when the Jewish people remember the destruction of the holy Temples.

It will be the 239th Independence Day, meaning that America will be entering into its 240th year of Independence.  240 is, by the way, the gematria of Amalek [the perpetual enemy of the Jewish people] and the gematria of Dollar.

Since the founding of America on July 4 1776  the two dates have coincided 10 times, in these years: 1776, 1795, 1833, 1844, 1852, 1863, 1882, 1901, 1939 and 1996.  This year 2015 marks the 11th time the dates coincide.

With Confederate flags down and Rainbow flags up, America is slowly morphing into something new altogether.  

Heightened threats of terror attacks all over the world and a Summer of Hate demonstration planned for Golders Green in London, all coming in the middle of Ramadan [June 18 - July 17 this year].  Certainly the ISIS terror attacks of the past week in other parts of the world have shown us that these warnings are not just speculation.

The Parsha for the week - Balak - relates the curses that were turned into blessings - a sign for us, no doubt, that all the terrible things we are living through now will ultimately be turned into good, may it happen speedily in our days !

Elevating the Final Sparks

by Rabbi David Pinto

A person who pays attention to his surroundings will ask why, in recent times, we have been using disposable plastic items, all made from petroleum products. The textile industry also uses a great deal of plastic. The reason is that in these last times preceding the Final Redemption, the Holy One, blessed be He, wants to draw all the sparks of holiness that have been dispersed throughout the world, even in the most distant places, including sparks of holiness hidden in oil wells. Hence G-d inspired the creation of these disposable items created from petroleum products, as well as all the other steps required in their production. 


Thus a Jew finds himself at home and recites the shehakol blessing over a plastic cup or utensil, be it for a Shabbat meal or any other meal, and he says the blessing with the proper concentration. Through such blessings, all these sparks of holiness are drawn out and elevated to their rightful place. Even sparks found in rocks and dispersed throughout the world are elevated when marble or similar material is imported from various countries and used in the construction of synagogues and houses of study. Hence even these sparks are elevated. It is precisely now, just prior to the Final Redemption, that the Holy One, blessed be He, is hastening to liberate these sparks. 

As a result, through the fulfillment of Torah and mitzvot, we draw forth and redeem the sparks of holiness that are found among non Jews. Hence we must strengthen ourselves in Torah and mitzvot, and take upon ourselves the yoke of Torah with devotion and a sincere love for Hashem. With every mitzvah that we accomplish, we must make an effort to be focused and act solely for the sake of Heaven and the glory of Hashem.

HT:  Yaak

The Essence of Prayer

Monday, June 29, 2015

Greece Set to Default, Euro Stocks Slide

The euro fell almost 2 percent and share prices tumbled across Asia on Monday as Greece looked set to default on its debt repayment this week, forcing Athens to impose capital controls to halt bank runs. 
Euro, stocks slide on looming Greece default

 Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras announced on Sunday that the nation's banks and stock market would be closed on Monday amid fears of financial collapse. Greece is also set to impose capital controls that will limit the amount of funds that citizens can transfer or withdraw from its financial institutions.
Greece Will Close Banks Amid Fear Of Financial Collapse

Sparks


"A star will shoot forth from Jacob, and a staff will arise from Israel" [Balak 24:17]

Rambam understood the verse above as referring to King David and Moshiach.  The Jerusalem Talmud, however, uses the metaphor of a "star" in this verse to refer to even the ordinary Jew. 

At first glance, this appears to be a contradiction, for Moshiach represents the highest perfection possible in a human being, whereas the "ordinary" Jew includes every Jewish person, even the most simple.  However, the matter can be reconciled based on the Baal Shem Tov's teaching that every Jew contains within him a "spark" of the soul of Moshiach.  The verse therefore refers to both Moshiach himself and the "Moshiach" within us.

The presence of this "spark" of Moshiach has a twofold implication:

a) The verse states the star will "shoot forth" suggesting that one's personal spark of Moshiach should be revealed and "shoot out" into the world;

b) Every Jew is able to speed up and bring about the actual manifestation of Moshiach through revealing his own spark and adding in Torah and Mitzvot.

Likutei Sichos Lubavitcher Rebbe

PS:  Jupiter and Venus will merge into a dazzling “super-star” in the Western horizon by the end of June, NASA says. The conjunction of the two planets has been building during the month of June and will culminate in a spectacular display on June 30. 

Sunday, June 28, 2015

London: ''Summer of Hate''

This was posted on a friend's Facebook page, and it's very disturbing.  The author requested that it be shared, so here we go:


An open letter and Request to all of my non Jewish Friends and Jewish friends outside of the UK.

July 4th, whilst essentially an American holiday, has long been associated with Independence, Freedom, celebrated in the USA by all regardless of religion, class, creed or race. However, 4th July 2015, here, in London, and indeed more specifically my neighborhood, just a 10 minute walk from my front door. We will play host to probably the most deeply distressing event in recent times to specifically target Jews living in the UK, and yes that includes me. As most of you know, I never play the minority card and rarely do talk about my specific religious beliefs, they are after all my own, and I respect everybody else’s choices. I’m truly humbled by how accommodating many of you have been when it has come to my odd dietary requirements or missed social events due to clashes with Jewish holidays. However, to say I’m troubled by what’s coming, is a huge understatement.

A far right group is planning a rally in the heartland of the London Jewish community against what it calls "Jewification of Britain", they will march through my neighborhood, and intend to burn copies of the Talmud (Jewish holy book) because of its anti-white teaching, ironic as Ashkenazi Jews like myself are white. Believe it or not despite 1000s of requests the Home Office and Metropolitan Police can do nothing to stop the 4 July protest from happening. The rally is not about free speech but a deliberate attempt to provoke tension and anti-Semitism. Indeed, July 4th is a Saturday, and it’s been specifically chosen as Saturday is the Jewish day of rest, when most Jews will be walking to synagogues in the very same area.

I kid you not this is the agenda for the rally in two weeks’ time:

1) The illegality of the Shomrim Police
2) What is Jewification?
3) International Jewry, the devils own hand
4) Why the holocaust didn’t happen
5) George Galloways 30 minute slot on Israel
6) A recorded audio speech by Joshua Bonehill

You can see the link on their website, outlining their intentions, and attached are couple of flyers for the event, to give you an idea of the seriousness of the situation.

http://joshuabonehill.net/2015/06/18/george-galloway-invited-to-speak-at-golders-green-demonstration/

This is not some random Facebook post or chain email, it’s a personal message from me. Can I please urge you to share the email / post with your friends and family to raise awareness of the dark situation that is developing on my doorstep. This isn’t Berlin 1938, its London 2015!! I end by quoting JFK, who was actually quoting Edmund Burke: for evil men to accomplish their purpose it is only necessary that good men should do nothing.

Love Aryeh Feingold 
24th June 2015, London, England